I’ve been claiming large scale fame and fortune for the girl in Girl Called Johnny, Brighton’s own Karen Anne is just a kiss away from having it all. She’s just a licensing deal for a TV sitcom, an opening slot on a big tour, a Burberry spread, or a meme connecting the world (or at least the UK) to her songs away, from where we thought she was going three years ago.
But it is not entirely our fault; for whatever reason even an Itunes Festival performance couldn’t save the stalled Ramona. Ramona were a 1970s Blondie/Ramones inspired update of pop punk that seemed tailor made even if a little out of time.
With Ramona not releasing their excellent debut album, Karen Anne regrouped as Girl Called Johnny, a poppier, more 60s UK girl band New Wave-y sound and released “Live”, With the single “Heaven Knows” as the opening song and “Jackie”, the other single, as the penultimate moment on the seven song EP, great songs anchor the set. “Why Don’t You Tell Her” adds twang and “Sunshine” a guitar solo and all the songs have Karen’s superb Chrissie Hynde meets Debbie Harry vocal and Public school accent, listen to the way she sings “second chances”!
Speaking of which, “Second Chances” is a big big ballad and the last song “Let It Begin” could well be considered her breakthrough anthem if Karen was in break through mode. The only misstep is “Tainted Love” which while nicely re-arranged from Gloria Jones 1964 original, and fitting into the entire concept well, is such a standard it wasn’t worth the effort. I would have found me a Kirsty Maccoll song myself, or Cilla Black, Sandy Shapiro…
Also, while I am happy to have Live!, it isn’t my first choice by a long shot. It is hard to complain about an album with a song as great as “Heaven Knows” on it but… if you are gonna release a live album, keep some of the between song patter in, just for feel. Plus, I am sick of waiting. Release a damn studio album, include some of Ramona’s best moments, the world is waiting.
Success is just a kiss away for Karen Anne and Girl Called Johnny but cmon guys, time to kiss and tell.
Eileen Shapiro: “Portfolio Of A Rockstar Journalist” With Philip Bailey Bringing Earth, Wind, And Fire
Jazz has always been my first love as a kid
some big country and Americana names
free for all has always been the idea behind EPR
The power-pop sensibilities of the Black Lips
Bey with a double header
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1976 (Volume 8, Number 5)
the man who made the world a safe place for Richard Simmons.