The Nerves – One Way Ticket (Alive Records)

With a discography consisting of a lone four-song EP released over thirty years ago, The Nerves are unlikely candidates for an archival collection, but Alive Records somehow found enough studio tracks, rough demos and lo-fi live tapes to make it happen. Heck, they even bend the rules a bit by including a version of a Nerves song done live by an early version of The Plimsouls, featuring ex-Nerve Peter Case. The band didn’t get far during their 1976-1978 existence, but they’re still remembered today, mostly for Blondie’s hit cover of their “Hanging On The Telephone” and for the band members who had success in the 1980s with The Beat and the aforementioned Plimsouls. Even if the little notoriety The Nerves achieved comes mostly from their connection to other groups, One Way Ticket valiantly tries to correct that historical oversight by showing that the Los Angeles trio were a tight musical unit caught squarely between the worlds of power-pop and the nascent punk scene. More than half of the album is too lo-fi for most listeners, but there are eight tracks of gem-like brilliance that make One Way Ticket a worthy purchase. The band’s original “Hanging On The Telephone” has none of Blondie’s new wave gloss and they attack the song with a raw rock sound that seems to predict The Replacements by several years. Their other studio songs are just as likely to leave you breathless, with the amphetamine jangle-pop of “Paper Dolls”, the Nuggets-esque “When You Find Out” and the sugary rush of the title track all standouts. Anyone looking to go beneath the surface of 1970s punk and power-pop should definitely give The Nerves a shot.


1. One Way Ticket

2. Paper Dolls

3. Hanging On The Telephone

4. When You Find Out

5. Working Too Hard

6. Give Me Some Time

7. Walking Out On Love (Breakaways)

8. Thing Of The Past (Plimsouls)

9. It`s Hot Outside (Jack Lee)

10. Many Roads To Follow (demo)

11. Are You Famous? (live)

12. Why Am I Lonely? (live)

13. You Won`t Be Happy (live)

14. Any Day Now (live)

15. Letter To G. (live)

16. Come Back And Stay (live)

17. I Need Your Love (live)

18. Stand Back and Take a Good Look (demo)

19. Are You Famous (demo)

20. Letter To G. (demo)