Album #328 – Go Girl Crazy!

Album #328

I knew from the moment I saw the album cover for Go Girl Crazy! that this album would be a barrel of fun. The Dictators, according to many, are the band that bridged both the garage rock bands of the 60’s, Iggy and The Stooges and The New York Dolls (also known as proto punk), with the punk movement on the late 70’s. The sound is pure rock and roll, perfect for headbanging. Some of the tracks also feature sound effects at the beginning (bar crowd noise). It’s as if the group are just sitting around in a bar, listening to the crazy drunks talk about nothing. That is probably the most unique feature of this album. The only thing I found lacking was that the songs were a little too slow. Luckily,  the Ramones would speed things up. The only thing I knew about the Dictators prior to listening to this album was that lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba hosts a show on the satellite radio channel Underground Garage. I can see now why Little Steven picked him as a show host for his channel. Even Steven Van Zandt will tell you how influential this band was and still is. Handsome Dick Manitoba has the energy and delivery that would go on to inspire Joey Ramone, Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra. The Dictators’ style was very humorous and they were a band that did not take themselves too seriously. Hell, they had a wrestler front and center on the cover of this album.  The album’s material mostly pokes fun at teenage and youth culture in the US during this time. One track that particularly shows this is the track (I Live For) Cars and Girls during which a mantra of “I need a car and I need a girl” is repeated incessantly. There are also two covers on this album that were as equally surprising. I Got You Babe was very well done but it sounded as if their cover was mocking the original. California Sun was the other cover and, even though I had never heard the original, the Dictators do an amazing job on that song too. I can clearly see why this band was a bridge between pre-punk/proto punk and punk. If the Stooges gave punk it’s energy, the Dictators gave punk it’s sense of humor and base in social commentary. Other highlights include: Weekend, Two Tub Man, Teengenerate and Master Race Rock. Overall, I give Go Girl Crazy! 5 out of 5.

Next: Neu! ’75 by Neu!

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