FLESHTONES  “Ride Your Pony” b/w “Roman Gods” (I.R.S. Records #IR-9905, 1981)

Way before Jack & Meg White called attention to America’s gurgling underground garage-rock movement, New York City’s Fleshtones were brewing a heady concoction of farfisa-driven proto-punk and Stax/Volt-style soul dubbed Super Rock.  After being wowed by their fine perfomance in a late-night screening of Urgh! A Music War, I high-tailed it to my local record shop to buy up all the Fleshtones records I could find.  Sadly, this lone 7-inch was all they had in stock at the moment.  It would have to suffice, but oh what a great little party-platter it is.

Listen to a sample of \”Ride Your Pony\” by The Fleshtones on Last.FM

A faithful, almost-live-sounding remake of Lee Dorsey’s Naomi Neville-penned classic, “Ride Your Pony” wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from these CBGB denizens whom I’d just witnessed going head-to-head with The Police and DEVO in Urgh! , but it did rock nonetheless, and it was pretty super.  So there you have it. (As a sweet bonus, check out this performance by Dorsey himself before it gets unceremoniously yanked.)

The flipside is a remix of the instrumental title-track from the ‘Tones’ I.R.S. debut, Roman Gods, featuring layers of horns, handclaps, gated snare, Bootsyesque bass pops and “ya ya-ya ya-ah” gang-vocals.  A sure-fire dancefloor filler at the nightclub in my brain.  There’s no vids available for this track, but grab a cocktail and swing, you lovers, to this spectacular clip (from a 1980’s Detroit-area public access cable show, mind you) of the boys performing \”Right Side Of A Good Thing\” from their 1983 LP, Hexbreaker.  If that don’t make you miss the ’80’s (or sorry you missed them.  Or glad you missed them), nothing will.

The Fleshtones still make great records, and still put on the greatest live show on earth, to this day.  Keep up with their dastardly doings at The Fleshtones Hall Of Fame.

NEXT WEEK: Hold on to another year of English pub-rock.