Teenage Head are making another pass at rock ’n’ roll history — this time with a wealth of experience to better inform the choices they make. Without Frankie Venom, is it worth the effort?
Well, looking back from the future, we’ll know.
At the present, Teenage Head are looking back with the double LP greatest hits release on Warner Music, “Fun Comes Fast”. Finally, a bona fide major label deal for the guys, who were always just on the cusp of getting it done (minus the quick foray as Teenage Heads in the early 80’s). This double LP gives you a quick catch up to Hamilton’s greatest rock band and is a pretty good retrospective across their career — I have some minor quibbles with the song selection (“My Mommies Pot” off of Head Disorder is a bit of a head scratcher — when “Head Disorder” would’ve been a stronger choice), but I’d be happy with all four sides of Disgusteen over and over, so I may not be the most discriminating palate. “Top Down” is not an album cut, but something out of the vaults that was a re-recorded version and subsequently was released as a single. Blood Boogie is a Daniel Lanois remix from the 7″ release in the mid-80’s.
It’s a curious slice of Teenage Head, who are Hamilton’s most important band, and perhaps Canada’s most important rock band, behind The Guess Who or Tragically Hip. Things are ordered non-sequentially, the running sequence flows fine, but miss something from a logical perspective. The photographs are pretty awesome to see (taken from when Teenage Head played on the roof of Jackson Square in the early 80’s). Always likened to Canada’s Ramones; their careers traversed a similar path. The Ramones were able to crank out four classic albums before 1981; Teenage Head only got two. Both bands got dropped from labels, had problems with management, and played every show offered to them, leaving in their wake kids who wanted to play rock’n’roll and ended up doing so. Maybe those bands that came after Teenage Head are the real legacy, and not this double album?