Kevin Dunn – No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985

January 01, 1970

(Casa Nueva Industries)


Alongside the likes of Method Actors, Pylon and Love
Tractor, Kevin Dunn is an integral part of the secret history of the Athens,
Georgia, music scene, one that was obscured by the runaway success of local
luminaries R.E.M. and The B52s. In 1975, Dunn helped to form The Fans, a group
out of Atlanta who earned their place on the map as one of the very first
Southern rock bands who drew more inspiration from the likes of David Bowie and
Roxy Music than the Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band. In the thick
of the new wave era, he then started hanging out in Athens and became embedded in the famed
college town’s growing music scene, co-producing Pylon’s influential 1980 debut
Gyrate and releasing his own solo
album, 1981’s The Judgment of Paris,
which serves as the anchor for this excellent collection anthologizing Dunn’s
inventive artistry.


Spanning the years 1979 through 1985, No Great Lost is an essential introduction to the artistry of this
unheralded hero of American post-punk, whose combination of hyper-literate
lyricism, angular, envelope-pushing guitar playing (think Glenn Phillips of the
Hampton Grease Band meets Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill meets Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe) and a voice that brings
to mind a Dixie Tom Verlaine is long overdue for rediscovery. In addition to
the entirety of Paris, famously
hailed by Trouser Press publisher Ira
Robbins as “a striking modern-music pop album”, this set also features
a trio of songs from Dunn’s 1983 EP on Press Records, C’est toujours la meme
(which was lauded by the
late, great rock critic Robert Palmer in the New York Times), four cuts
from his synth-heavy 1985 full-length Tanzfeld, both sides of a 1979 DB Records
7-inch featuring a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine,” and one sole Fans track,
the ’79 single “Cars and Explosions.”


For anyone going deep into the
cavernous crevices of ‘70s post-punk and new wave, No Great Lost is a
must-own with the hopes of a similarly exhaustive anthology of The Fans to
shortly follow. Just be forewarned: If you intend to read Mr. Dunn’s Master’s
level quality writing in the liner notes, make sure you have a collegiate
thesaurus on hand. This is a guy who definitely knows his prose as well as he
does his way around that guitar neck.


DOWNLOAD: “911”, “20,000 Years in Sing Sing”, “Sharks”, “Mona”, “Cars and Explosions” RON


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