Kim Fowley “International Heroes”

This was waxed around the time he produced legendary recordings by the Modern Lovers so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best albums from the ubiquitous Kim Fowley. Son of actor Douglas Fowley, he produced the novelty hit “Alley Oop” in 1960, then went on to release some commercially unsuccessful solo albums, produced and wrote more oddities for other artists (including Kiss) and eventually unleashed Runaways on the world. And that’s just to name a few. He even found time to write songs with Skip Battin, which were recorded by the Byrds (Untitled LP) and Gene Parsons.

Those who’ve worn out their copies of Roxy Music/Eno/Bowie albums will be thrilled to exhume this forgotten (or never really even known) specimen of oddball glam. Judging from the cover, he didn’t want to leave anyone guessing about the sound he was shooting for. This platter plays like an instant classic, falling into some no man’s land somewhere between Roxy Music and the New York Dolls. Like Eno, he’s often playing post-punk years before it existed, but Fowley’s songs are looser and more accessible, sure to get you hooked on the first spin. “Something New” is simply a perfect pop song with a great update on a Byrdsian jangle feel. “I Hate You” is a gloomy slice of contempt that’ll leave you feeling good about your shitty mood. There are nice female soul/gospel backings throughout. “Dancing All Night” rocks like a garbage can bound outtake from Sticky Fingers.

International Heroes is another exceptional rocknroll record that is in dire need of CD release. Good luck finding any cheap copies on ebay.

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“E.S.P. Reader”

;) MP3 Album | download at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1973 | Capitol | search ebay ]


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3 Comments.

  • Brendan

    Monster tracks Stranger! glad you’re still kickin’. Never heard of this guy but I bought the album based on your review. Amen.

  • dipshit

    This is a wonderful album and so “of its time,” suspended between the optimism of glam rock and the dread that pervaded the nation during the Vietnam War. It really takes me back, and I can’t understand why somebody hasn’t reissued it. I also wish somebody would reissue _I’m Bad._

  • So glad you took the time to write about this lost gem. This record has it ALL, the first listen leads to obsession.

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