Review : Jellyfish - Live at Bogartís
PopmattersEarly Ď90s band Jellyfish was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The San Francisco power-pop group came roaring onto the scene wearing their Dr. Seussian stovepipe hats and berets while mining a very retro-y sound at a time when glam-rock in the form of hair-metal was a big thing, making them seem a little out of sorts with the age. And, of course, the next big thing wouldnít come in the form of the paisley swirls of a band like Jellyfish, or even American contemporaries such as the Posies, the Cavedogs, or Redd Kross, it would be the unrelentingly bleak grunge of Nirvana. Plus, a band that clearly embraced the poppier aspects of Ď70s rock and seemed cartoonish at that Ė their video for ďBabyís Coming BackĒ, probably their most remembered song, featured the band being chased around a cityscape by an animated giant baby Ė just seemed a little too over the top for those heady, recessionary times.
Needless to say, Jellyfish only lasted for two albums (the final one composed with the help of session musicians since a couple of the groupís original members wound up defecting) and were basically just a blip on the MTV-addled consciousness. In 1990, it seemed the world just wasnít ready to embrace power-pop all over again head on. And, in the end, itís our loss, as the new Jellyfish live set, Live at Bogartís, recorded on February 21, 1991, at a club show in Long Beach, California, so effectively proves. How could so many people let music this good slip beyond their grasp? Well, when the public was kinda beholding the likes of Winger at the time, itís sort of easy to see why....full text
AllmusicRecorded on February 21, 1991, at the now defunct Bogart's nightclub in Long Beach, California, the appropriately titled Live at Bogart's captures a moment in time from one of the most beloved power pop/underground/bubblegum alt-rock outfits of the early '90s. Recorded when Jellyfish were touring in support of 1990's Bellybutton, the set, a large portion of which appeared on B-sides as well as 2002's sprawling four-disc box set of all unreleased and/or hard-to-find material, Fan Club relies almost solely on material from that album. The previously unissued cuts, "The King Is Half-Undressed," "I Wanna Stay Home," "All I Want Is Everything," a dead-on cover of Badfinger's "No Matter What," and an early version of Spilt Milk's "Bye Bye Bye," are as fluid, flawless, and lovingly detailed as their predecessors, and the band, which at the time featured Andy Sturmer, Roger Manning, Jason Falkner, and Chris Manning, was firing on all cylinders, despite the ensuing exhaustion and creative differences that would eventually cause Falkner and Chris Manning to leave the fold after the tour. Between the arsenal of should-have-been-massive AOR radio hits like "Baby's Coming Back" and "I Wanna Stay Home" and the decision to bookend their shows with an Argent song ("Hold Your Head Up") and a Wings tune ("Let 'Em In"), the latter of which dissolves effortlessly into Bellybutton highlight "That Is Why," Live at Bogart's offers up 13 very good reasons why Jellyfish retain the kind of fervent fan base that's usually relegated to groups with a much deeper discography....full text
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