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Paul Collins - Ribbon Of Gold
Paul Collins - Ribbon Of Gold

Track Listing
1. Hey DJ
2. Ribbon of Gold
3. I Still Want You
4. Without You
5. Big Pop Song
6. Fallin in Love
7. Hanging Around With You
8. Parlez Vous Français
9. Smile Boy
10. Flown Away

Ribbon of Gold Press Release
Ribbon of Gold the new studio album from Paul Collins Beat is set to be released on March 24th by Spanish pop label RockIndiana. Produced by Chips Kiesby (Hellacopters, Nomads) Ribbon of Gold features 10 new songs from pop’s illegitimate son, Paul Collins.

After a 12 year recording silence, Paul Collins re-surfaced with Flying High, recorded at home with his new comrade in arms, guitar slinger Octavio Vinck and what would become the start of his new Spanish band. Flying High was a simple affair sporting songs that spanned Paul’s musical career and landscape, from the Beat-ish power chords of Rock n Roll Shoes and More Than Yesterday, to the all out melodic pop of Helen to the roots rocking Will You Be A Women the record encompasses all the facets of Paul’s writing ability, showcased with a simple and straight forward production style. “We wanted to let the songs do the talking,” says Paul, “I knew that there would be a lot of scepticism about me making a record after all this time, as Elvis Presley once said ‘Pop music changes every 6 months’ I felt that the best thing for us to do is to present the songs in a simple unassuming way, plus without any real budget or producer I knew there would be no way to make a “Big Rock” record. I was really starting from scratch again, but with the help of Octavio I knew we could do it!”

3 years later and hundreds of shows under their belt it has become a reality! The Paul Collins’ Beat has performed all over Europe and is making their second trip to SXSW this year. Old fans and new are always satisfied as they jump up and down to the old classics like Rock n Roll Girl and Don’t Wait Up For Me that sound right at home with the new songs like Afton Place and All Over Town. Make no mistake the live show delivers, from The Nerves to The Beat and now the Paul Collins’ Beat the band cranks through over 30 years worth of music, old and new, seamlessly!

While performing at the Road To Ruins Festival in Rome, the band met up with producer Chips Kiesby, most known for his work with Swedish rock bands The Nomads and The Hellacopters. As Paul tells it, “Juancho, my manager and bass player, and I were hanging out backstage after the show when we saw this guy with bright red hair! I asked Juancho, “Who the hell is he?” Juancho said, “That guy is one of the best producers around!” I walked up to him and said, “Hi I’m Paul Collins wanna produce our next record?” And he said “Yeah!” Several months later the band was in Gutenberg, Sweden recording Ribbon of Gold. “Now I knew it was time to make the Big Rock Record!” Says Paul about the recording, “I knew this was my chance to make a record with a big production, but I wanted it to be a record that we could play live, that kept it honest for me, Chips was the perfect producer, he knew the band, he was a fan of my early work and he knew how to bring my sound to tape!” The results are clear, one listen to Ribbon of Gold and it’s obvious that Collins is as good as he ever was, the songs bristle with excitement, they rock, they roll and they showcase what is undeniably one of America’s foremost talents. From his humble DIY beginnings with The Nerves, to his Major Label years at Columbia Records and the subsequent Indy years Paul Collins proves without a shadow of a doubt that he is here to stay! As Collins will always tell you…“Keep on Rocking!” - ROCKINDIANA

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the Beat represented the best the power pop revival had to offer, bestowing a promise of rock ‘n' roll salvation that ultimately poor sales, a rotating cast of musicians and a tug of tags with a popular British ska band also dubbed the Beat conspired to deflate. Thankfully, Paul Collins -- the band's ongoing musical mainstay -- refused to concede defeat to the fates, and after jettisoning the band with a final album in 1989, Collins opted for a solo career that kept the Beat trajectory alive in spirit if not in name. After a short spate of albums in the early ‘90s, Collins took a recording hiatus, later touring with a new edition of the Beat while enjoying a renewed burst of popularity in Spain of all places.

Collins returned to the studio two years ago after an extended absence via an album somewhat presumptuously titled Flying High, resurrecting the Paul Collins Beat moniker and reviving the basic rock ‘n' roll regimen that was at the heart of his signature band's musical mantra. This latest album follows suit and also keeps good company; it shares store shelves with a recent reissue of recordings by Collins' seminal group, the Nerves, best known for lending one of their early staples, "Hanging on the Telephone Line," to a band by name of Blondie.

Not surprisingly then, Ribbon of Gold doesn't tamper with the template - not by a long shot - but its effusive blend of carefree pop and breathless ballads proves Collins still reveres his roots. The exuberant "hey DJ," an energetic "Ribbon of Gold" and the good time girl meets guy "yeah yeah" chorus of "Falling in Love with Her" all show allegiance to basic pop precepts. Likewise, the strummed romantic ballad "Parlez Vous Francais?" and the chiming Beat... errr, beat... ballad "Big Pop Song" (an apt title if ever there was one) each demonstrate old school lessons on how to keep a sound simple, and yet solid.

Standout tracks: "Hey DJ," "Falling in Love with Her," "Parlez Vous Francais?" - LEE ZIMMERMAN / BLURT-ONLINE.COM

Ribbon of Gold is the finest Paul Collins release since the heyday of The Beat back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. Collins – who got his start playing in the semi-legendary Nerves with future Plimsouls frontman Peter Case and songwriter-to-the-stars Jack Lee back in the ‘70s – is a true rock and roll soldier, slogging it out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Spain over the course of his fruitful career. It’s with three of his musical compadres from Spain that he recorded this record – in Sweden, naturally.

While most of Collins’ releases from the late ‘80s through the early part of this decade eschewed straight-up power pop in favor a of a more relaxed, countrified atmosphere, Ribbon of Gold finds Collins going back to what he does best – writing and performing memorable, energetic rock and roll. Perhaps he was pushed to greater heights by his youthful bandmates or maybe he simply thought it was time to turn up the guitars again – in any event, tunes such as “I Still Want You,” “Falling in Love With Her” and “She Doesn’t Want to Hang Around With You” harken back to the halcyon days of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Girl” and classic rockin’ power pop.

Even when Collins slows the pace up a tad on “Hey DJ,” “Without You,” and “Ribbon of Gold” (whose lyrics read like the tale of the Nerves’ early days touring the U.S. in a station wagon), the results are still quite satisfying. It’s only on the ballads – which are strangely lumped together as the final three songs on the disc – where things lag, in part due to Collins’ weary vocals. Still, Ribbon of Gold is a pleasant surprise from one of power pop’s most enduring voices. - JOHN M. BORACK / GOLDMINE

Although Paul Collins is a revered name in powerpop history, any recent discussion of the man was strictly past tense. Many thought his best work was long behind him and the sheer exuberance of his early albums was something he was no longer capable of nor interested in. And while true fans know that The Nerves and The Beat were two of the most important powerpop bands in history, neither made the commercial splash that his contemporaries like Elvis Costello or even The Romantics did at their peak. It must have been especially frustrating for The Beat, who launched one of the most effervescent debut albums in powerpop history only to get sidetracked by having a UK ska band using the same name, and then watching as The Knack stole their thunder. After two albums and a couple of EPs, Collins and company all but disappeared from the popular radar.

He recorded a more adult-sounding album with yet another version of Paul Collins' Beat, followed by a couple of countryish solo efforts, but nothing made a splash. Well, in the States, anyway - revered in Spain and other overseas markets, he wasn't starving. A couple of years ago, Flying High was released under the Beat moniker but was largely an acoustic affair, almost adult sounding (especially considering the live Beat album made available around the same time). Then he took a deep breath and gave us Ribbon of Gold, an album that is close enough to classic Beat without sounding too retro. 'Hey DJ' and the title track kick off the album with Collins' trademark pop beat and harmony choruses. While not every song clicks, there are half a dozen great tracks here - 'Hangin' Around With You' and 'I Still Want You' can stand alongside the 70's Beat classics and 'Falling In Love With Her' is perfect roll-down-your-windows, quit-your-job pop nirvana. - BILL HOLMES / BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS

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