Laurice: Best of Laurice, Vol. 1 (Mighty Mouth Music, 2011/reissued 2015)

September 5, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Laurice: Best of Laurice, Vol. 1

Laurice: Best of Laurice, Vol. 1

Originally released on vinyl in 2011, this CD collects several early-to-mid-’70s tracks by Laurice, an openly gay musician originally from Wales who released a handful of pop 7″s under different names, and recorded plenty more glam-rock tunes that have barely been heard until now. Apparently he became a legit disco star later in the ’70s under the name Laurie Marshall, and he’s now 71 and living in Canada and still making music (he has a new album coming out called G.A.Y.D.A.R.). This collection mostly focuses on his glam/rockabilly/power pop stuff from the early half of the ’70s, and most importantly it includes both sides of the single he released under the name Grudge in 1973. I heard “I’m Gonna Smash Your Face In” on WFMU years ago and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s the catchiest, sunniest power pop song ever, and the lyrics are completely hateful and violent (he threatens to throw acid in your face, among other things). It’s astounding. You just need to hear it. The other side of the single (“When Christine Comes Around”) is also about smashing someone’s face in. It’s hard to really top a single like that, but the rest of the album is worth digging into. He has kind of a wild rockabilly side to him, and also a penchant for really catchy pop hooks (“Shy Baby” is another highlight). “He’s My Guy” is as much of an over-the-top gay anthem as you’d expect. The later tracks head toward revved-up guitar-heavy disco, which he would later have success with, producing a more heavily-produced 1977 single called “The Disco Spaceship”. There’s a Volume 2 of this collection out too, which features two more songs about spaceships.

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