CD Review: Titan: It’s All Pop! (The Numero Group)

Despite not being Catholic, I have the urge to go into one of those rooms and wait for the sliding partition to open so that I may confess one of the worst sins I could have as a music geek: I am a power pop nut! Yes, you’ve heard it here first! I love songs with catchy choruses, guitar lines that stick in your head for days, vocal harmonies, great middle-eights and melodies so sweet they could give you cavities all wrapped up in a song no longer than three-minutes-and-thirty-seconds. While not enough of a sin to get jailed for I suppose, it has made my record collection one of insane pop diversity. In other words, there’s not only a plethora of Badfinger, Cheap Trick and Elliott Smith in my personal archives but also The Archies, Rick Springfield, The Partridge Family and Fastball taking up space as well.

Sadly, there has been (before now at least) no music from the little Titan Label, a gaping hole which has thankfully been remedied thanks to the glorious music mavens at The Numero Group. Though Numero’s specialty is reissuing the output of obscure R&B labels, a few years ago Numero teamed with former Yellow Pills magazine impresario Jordan Oakes to issue a great two-disc comp of obscure power pop under the title “Prefill”. Let me tell you, that comp was so cool and was so well received, I am not surprised the folks at Numero have decided to once again search out some “lost” power pop treasures, this time from the short-lived label Titan. Started by music fans Mark Prellberg and Tom Sorrells because they wanted to release music by some of their favorite bands, Titan’s run was short but amazingly sweet, at least, melodically anyways. Based out of the unlikely music business “hub” of Kansas City, MO, the label foundered from the start due to Prellberg and Sorrells’ lack of business knowledge and, even more importantly, their lack of funds to hire people who did. But, despite their lack of business skills, the pair did not lack the ears for great pop songs and great bands who could play them.

Each one of the songs on this set sounds like it could have come blasting out of your AM Radio in the late ’70’s on one of those Casey Kasem Top-10 countdown shows and been the catchiest song on the program. While none of these bands ever made it famous or even still exists today, this set goes to prove that every city has their own set of killer bands ready to set the world alight if only the stars would align and the right ears would listen. Prellberg and Sorrell’s were the right sets of ears at the right time, though their lack of music business savvy turned what could have been a glorious time for these bands and their hometown into another lost opportunity. Almost. The Numero Group has decided to set the world right again, albeit belatedly, by bringing these long forgotten bands and songs into prominence once more. Though Titan never was like it’s name, the music contained on this disc would have you shaking your head at how much talent could be in one city at the same time, playing the same clubs. My God! From the first song on the first disc to ther last song on the second disc, songs so crunchy and sweet you could pour milk on them and eat them for breakfast. Pound for pound, song for song, this could very well be the best power pop collection ever released.

Take that, Badfinger.

Scott

2 Comments

  1. Scott…
    ‘Tommy Titan’ (aka tom Sorrells) sent me your glowing review…I’m amazed at the response the CD is receiving. Just a note to let you know… some of us still do exist. It’s STILL all pop. ….ARLIS!

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