NEW ALBUM OUT SEPTEMBER 2018
Paul Collins is one of the most enduring cult rockers of the late seventies and a founding member of the legendary Nerves (with Jack Lee and Peter Case). He started his solo career in 1979 and has released more than 11 studio albums as Paul Collins, or Paul Collins’ Beat.
“Out of My Head”, his new record, is a return to the pure, unadulterated sound he helped create in his youth. On this new album Paul not only sings, but plays all the drums and most of the guitars as well.
With the collaboration of Paul Stingo on bass and harmonies, he delivers a true rock n roll record of the kind that are not being made in today’s world : simple melodies with classic songwriting structure, Rickenbacker guitars drenched in juicy reverb, straight up 60’s pop harmonies, and groovy drums, all recorded reel to reel, by real players. With a photo cover shot by legendary NY photographer Bob Gruen, “Out of My Head” is a testament to one man’s undying love for rock n roll.
From one angle, the story of power pop is all about underdogs — artists who rarely achieve commercial success of their own despite their influence on others. Maybe it’s a prerequisite for writing anthemic gems with sweet, sweet melodies and razor-sharp edges. Power-pop legend Paul Collins began singin’ for the lonely four decades ago with criminally underrated trio The Nerves, best known for Blondie’s hit cover of “Hangin’ On the Telephone,” before moving on to form The Breakaways and The Beat, later rechristened Paul Collins Beat. But however he feels about being owed more credit than he gets, he doesn’t let it stop him from writing great songs — there’s not a cut on PCB’s latest that’s any less vital and well-crafted than “Walking Out on Love”. – Stephen Trageser / NASHVILLE SCENE
The Dorian Gray of power pop : Throughout the album, Collins captures everything from the chiming craft of Buddy Holly to the raw energy of the Ramones, and both at once with “Baby I’m in Love With You.” Those who’ve been soaking in music delivered by advertising, television and film, may be surprised at the total lack of apology with which Collins and his producer deliver the guitar, bass and drums. Red-blooded rock ‘n’ roll may have mostly lost its place in the mainstream, but it still resounds with youthful energy no matter your age. – HYPERBOLIUM
The production recalls the tight, immediate sound of the classic debut album from the Beat, and Collins is writing songs that play to his strengths as a rock & roller while displaying the lyrical viewpoint of a grown man — “Walk Away” speaks of heartbreak from the perspective of someone who has dealt with it more than once, “Don’t Know How to Treat a Lady” offers some valuable advice on romance, and a tough rockin’ cover of the Four Tops’ “Reach Out I’ll Be There” speaks of the strength and determination that comes with experience. But if you’re just looking for a good time, don’t fret — “I Need My Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Little Suzy,” and the title cut are full of fire and good energy, and show this man’s power pop credentials are absolutely up to date. Feel the Noise suggests Paul Collins is in the midst of an unexpected career renaissance, and folks who love smart pop and rock & roll with hooks and heart have been waiting for this, even if they don’t know it. – Mark Deming / ALL MUSIC
Three minutes of your time is all each of these songs need. Some of them need less but that’s only because they’re shorter. Give them a play and they’ll be working their way into that part of the brain that demands you hit the replay button in less time that it takes to type The King Of Power Pop.
The title track leads the album and frankly it pales by comparison with what follows. Collins’ reverb-laden voice calls the band to arms. It sounds like a half-finished glam anthem without the football terrace chorus but it’s forgotten by the time you’re halfway through the one that follows. “Only Girl” is a concise, taught little pop rocker that goes right to the heart of the matter: Hooks. It’s right up there with Collins’ best and underlines why he deserves to be a household name.
And so it goes. There’s the massively catchy “All Eyes To See”, the Buddy Holly-esque “Baby I’m in Love With You”, the bouncy “Don’t Know How To Treat A Lady” and the imploring but vibrant “Little Suzy”. The title track, replete with references to listening to sounds on an old radio (where have we heard that before?), lands smack-bang in the middle of the dropzone as well. – I-94 BAR
Paul Collins has been a significant part of the power pop scene for 35 years plus. From his early days as drummer for cult-hero power-poppers the Nerves, to his brief leadership of the Breakaways, to his establishment of the Beat (a.k.a. Paul Collins’ Beat), Collins has championed the three-chords-and-a-chorus style that gives this album its cheeky name. King Of Power Pop is in fact a 13-track celebration of the genre, and it’s successful on just about every level. The songs are tight and memorable, the guitars are sharp and punchy, the beats make your feet tap, and the shout-along choruses dare you not to. – Daily Vault
Collins doesn’t fornicate around here – he just whips out nugget after nugget of catchy, melodic, chiming guitar pop with two guitars, bass and drums. The assertion in the album title may seem over the top, but after spinning King of Power Pop! a few times, you’ll find it difficult to disagree. – The Big Takeover
No one has more right to lay claim to the title of King of Power Pop than Paul Collins: over a 30-year career with The Nerves, The Breakaways, and Paul Collins’ Beat, Collins has consistently delivered the Rickenbacker jangle and harmonies, as well as songs about girls, “the kids”, and music itself, that power pop aficionados have demanded since the first issue of Bomp!, if not the Who’s The Kids Are Alright. As it is, he more than backs up his album’s boastful title on this most welcome—and deserving—victory lap. – Stephen Haag / PopMatters
With assistance from Detroit musician and producer Jim Diamond, King of Power Pop! finds Collins comfortably back in form, in the thick of his power pop roots. Accompanied by Austin singer/songwriter Eric Blakely on lead guitar, Detroit stalwart Dave Shettler on drums, and Diamond on bass, Collins proves that he still has the chops, executing deft hooks with his distinctive flourish of energy….. a satisfying pop record perfectly fitted for the waning signs of summer. - The North County Journal
I’ve little doubt that Paul Collins has chosen the title ‘The King of Power Pop’ with his tongue very firmly inserted in his cheek. However, his enviable way with timeless tunes ensures this benign monarch will always have his staunch followers. I’m proud to count myself among them. – Tim Peacock / WhisperingAndHollering
Leave it to the commoners of the blogosphere to endlessly debate Paul Collins’ status in the power pop firmament; as for this humble rockcrit, given the uniquely high quality of tuneage on King of Power Pop!, with nary a duff track among the thirteen, I say give him the crown. He’s earned it with better than three decades of uncompromising loyalty to the power pop aesthetic. – Rev Keit A. Gordon / Blurt
These thirteen rapid-fire pop concoctions barely allow the listener to catch a breath before Collins is off and running again. Nothing fancy, mind you, just a hook and a prayer. King Of Power Pop! will do the trick, whether you’re cleaning the garage, driving the neighborhood kids to soccer or shaking yer moneymaker in hopes of wooing a new mate. – MOKB
(Paul Collins) new album is called King of Power Pop! and it takes guts to go with that
title, but Collins has the chops to back it up. – The Washington Post
Collins has cut a handful of fine records since the breakup of the Beat, but King of Power Pop! is the first one in ages that captures the tough, upbeat sound of his most memorable work, and it proves the man hasn’t lost his touch for writing tight, hooky tunes with killer hooks and energetic guitar figures. Collins’ voice is a little rougher than it was in his salad days, but he makes that work to his favor, giving the songs a touch of defiant swagger even when he’s sounding sweet and heartbroken, and when he and his lead guitarist Eric Blakely lock in, this sounds like the perfect follow-up to the Beat’s classic albums for Columbia, bursting with tuneful vigor and rock & roll passion (and arriving a mere quarter-century after the fact). – Mark Deming / AMG
In his liner notes for his newest album, Paul Collins describes King of Power Pop! as “the record that connects the dots, from The Nerves to The Breakaways to The Beat to today”. This may be one of the most accurate assessments I’ve ever read an artist make of his own work. The record has a distinctly nostalgic feel in the best possible way, sounding both fresh and familiar at the same time. On the first listen, you almost feel as if you’ve heard these songs before. This isn’t a criticism of Collins’ originality. It’s a tribute to his ability to craft solid, punchy, thoroughly enjoyable rock and roll. – Music Tap
Recording in Detroit with Jim Diamond producing, Collins sounds as if he’s fresh off the end of a tour with the Beat – his voice a tad ragged but still thrilled by the glories of power pop. He charges hard into the bluesy “Do You Wanna Love Me?” and cuts the difference between the Beatles and Everly Brothers on the opening “C’mon Let’s Go!” His lyrics haven’t yearned so dearly and his voice hasn’t sounded this unbridled since he sang “Rock ‘n’ Roll Girl” and “Walking Out on Love” thirty years ago. Collins and Eric Blakely’s guitars rumble and sting, Jim Diamond’s bass and Dave Shettler’s drums propel, and the vocal harmonies and backings capture the joy of a summer’s night cruise with the windows down and the radio up.
Shettler adds tympani to “Many Roads to Follow,” and with the duet harmony sung at the top of Collins’ and Blakely’s ranges, they conjure the deep teen emotions of the Brill Building. Given his track record, it’s not really surprising that Collins still has great albums in him, but that he so effortlessly reaches back to the sounds he helped coin in the mid-70s (and whose invention he details in “Kings of Power Pop”), and it’s inspiring that he finds such satisfying ways to use the wear in his voice. Particularly noteworthy is how easily he matches Alex Chilton’s gravelly tone on a cover of the Box Tops’ 1967 hit “The Letter,” and how beautifully he covers the Flamin’ Groovies’ “You Tore Me Down.” The heartbreak of his original “Hurting’s on My Side” is rendered in the sort of ragged-voiced emotion John Lennon shouted out in 1964. Anyone who loves the Nerves EP and the Beat’s albums (particularly the debut) should grab a copy of this one ASAP. – Hyperbolium
HIS BENEVOLENT REIGN Paul Collins.
Interview for Blurt Magazine
Paul Collins was one of the pioneers of the power-pop genre, playing with bands such as Nerves, the Breakaways and the Beat. Now, he returns to his roots with the release of the aptly titled King Of Power Pop! on August 24 via Alive Records. “Do You Wanna Love Me?” basically defines power pop, with revved-up beats and garage-rock vocals complete with a harmonica. – Magnet
Earning the title "The King of Power Pop," as Paul Collins has, is like being the dude that invented the electric car. Everyone agrees you’re on to something, and some even think your ideas are good enough to save the world, but for some reason, you’re never going to get your due. Thursday night at Union Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y., Collins made the case for why his beloved genre, a sound he’s been playing since 1974, deserves a bigger audience.
"It’s really good, solid f—ing rock ‘n’ roll," Collins said, just before leading the latest incarnation of the Beat, the band he founded in 1977, through the tune ‘I Still Want You.’
Like the other 20 or so songs in his set, ‘I Still Want You’ was slightly twitchy and supremely tuneful: an early-Beatles-style rocker set against a Ramones beat. Collins, who also founded the Nerves, the band that wrote and originally recorded ‘Hanging on the Telephone,’ a 1975 hit for Blondie, played palm-muted chords on his Rickenbacker guitar, easily keeping pace with sidemen many years his junior.
– Kenneth Partridge / Spinner
When you release an album called King Of Power Pop!, you’re making a pretty big sweeping statement and one that’s sure to have the critics ready to shoot down. Paul Collins has been around long enough to have perfected this craft of power pop song writing so I am sure he’s ready for anything they’re ready to dish out at him. Including me. So I gave this a cranking and have to say, I was hooked in immediately. Wow! This guy just knows how to write a great tune. Under the guidance of producer Jim Diamond, Collins’ simple yet effective and highly infectious King Of Power Pop is track after track of golden gems fit for any jukebox across the globe. – Long Gone Loser
If ever an artist has fully embraced the spirit of power pop and evangelized the merits of the genre, it’s Paul Collins. This is a full fledged return to his roots with a sound reminiscent of The Nerves and The Beat in it’s prime. With help from Dave Shettler on drums, Wally Palmar (of the Romantics) on harmonica and harmonies, and Nikki Corvette on backing vocals it’s as solid as you can get. The quick tempo and distinctive guitar riff of "C’mon Let’s Go!" gets off to a great start. Paul is just ageless here as he rocks out "Do You Wanna Love Me? and the built in crowd pleaser "Doin’ It For The Ladies." The Merseybeat jangle of "Hurting’s On My Side" is another in a line of tracks that are both short and sweet.
It’s not all Beatles meets Ramones styled guitar songs either. "Many Roads To Follow" has a steady strum and Spector-like Kettle drum, and in honor of the recently departed Alex Chilton is a note perfect cover of "The Letter." The title track "Kings Of Power Pop" is loving look back on Collins career and other bands like The Beat. A few tracks are a bit repetitive ("Off The Hook") and "This Is America" seems a guitar version of Billy Joel’s "We Didn’t Start The Fire." But there are so many excellent tracks here, it earns a nod for top ten album of 2010. All Hail The King! – Powerpopaholic
The 13 tunes zip by in just over a half hour with only one making even the three minute mark. The economy is refreshing. Every song has its hook, but the before they can grow tiresome he’s wrapped things up and moved on to the next one. And while much of the subject matter is fairly trite he has some moments of hard won clarity, whether it’s the self-effacing title track (“Sometimes people, they remember me and tell me how great they thought I used to be”) or the anthemic “This is America” which counts Trans Ams, Burger Kings and “The Kids” amongst our nation’s finest achievements. No point arguing with that. Or this record, for that matter. It is what it is and it is a very good power-pop record by an often overlooked originator. – Friendly Suggestions
Being in charge of checking in new rock at a radio station, it’s easy to lose my enthusiasm for new releases. CDs start to sound the same. But Paul Collins’s King of Power Pop shattered all that. I was zapped by its fresh, fun, cool, tingly, and exciting voltage. I put it on and then played it again. I had to set my lemonade down on the new Phillip Selway CD to help Paul Collins with an air guitar solo. The songs on King of Power Pop are rippingly exciting, punky and professional, youthful and accomplished. This disc has wings. – Smile Politely
His opening duet with Nikki Corvette sounds like a calling card, equal parts Beatles, Bobby Fuller and the Ramones. These songs prove that Collins is still a master of the genre as a songwriter. “Hurting’s on my Side” equals anything the Flamin’ Groovies did in their Fab-Four obsessed second phase, as does the Peter Case co-write “Many Roads to Follow” with its cool synthesis of Phil Spector beat and Byrds jangle. “Off The Hook,” “Don’t Blame Your Troubles on Me, and “Do You Wanna Love Me?” demonstrate Collins’s tough, but tender edge. – Steve Wilson / KC Free Press
Such is the fragmented state of rock’n’roll music in the modern era that his lifelong devotion to the driving guitarsand hook-filled melodies that make up power-pop may have gone unnoticed by most listeners. But "King of Power Pop" proves it’s not too late. Fans of ringing Rickenbacker guitars; crisp, pounding drums; and tight, explosive two-minute pop songs – this 13-track album barely breaks 30 minutes – will find everything they crave here. – Press-Telegram
Ace power-popster Paul Collins (Nerves, Breakaways, Beat) has a new album coming out August 24th, humbly entitled King of Power Pop. To whet your appetite he’s released the track Do You Wanna Love Me for download. – Hyperbolium
Collins almost sounds like a kid who’s just strapping on a guitar for the first time. He just released King of Power Pop!, a record whose title might come off as a bit ostentatious if there wasn’t some truth to it…. A full return to the hook-laden rock music Collins helped shape more than three decades ago.” – News & Review / Chico
King Of Power Pop is the new studio album by Paul Collins, one of the originators of the high-energy pop sound known as power pop.
Paul got his start in the late seventies as the drummer for the legendary NERVES, (with Peter Case and Jack Lee,) later forming The BREAKAWAYS with Peter Case, and finally starting The BEAT, or PAUL COLLINS BEAT in 1979. King Of Power Pop!, his third record of this century is a complete return to his roots, to power pop, the sound he helped create and popularize, a sound that has seen a resurgence in recent years, a sound that is here to stay!
"For me this is the record that connects the dots, from The Nerves to The Breakaways to The Beat to today… this is the record that puts it all together!"
— Paul Collins
Produced and engineered in Detroit by Jim Diamond (Dirtbombs, The Go, White Stripes, to name just a few), King Of Power Pop also features Eric Blakely on guitar and backing vocals, Diamond on bass, and Dave Shettler on drums (SSM, The Sights). Motor City guests include Wally Palmar of the legendary power pop hit-makers the ROMANTICS, as well as pop icon Nikki Corvette of NIKKI & The CORVETTES. The catchy cover art is the work of legendary artist BILL STOUT.