From the second half of the 1970s, especially in its last years, the city of Athens became one of the many musical epicenters of the USA. Centered around the centuries-old University of Georgia, its burgeoning cultural scene has spawned bands like the B-52’s, Pylon and R.E.M., to name only the best known ones, but it’s not about any of them that we’ll talk about today. At least not directly.
At the beginning of the 1980s, young students Linda Hopper and Michael Stipe met during design classes, became friends and in the blink of an eye became involved with the music crowd that circulated around the UGA campus, a tour that also included the sister of Michael, Lynda. The three got together with some friends and thus the dance plaguesbut that’s not what we’re going to talk about today either.
Because a few months after being born, the project died, and so the eldest brother of the Stipe family would follow its path with other partners in a certain group called REM, but Linda and Lynda (hahaha) decided to continue playing together, and then we finally got to the subject of today. Ladies and gentlemen, with you the Oh-OK.
Like many countrymen and contemporaries, the band das linda (now enough hahaha) had a short life and few records, more precisely two discs: Wow mini album (1982) e Furthermore what (produced by Michael, released in 1983), respectively 7 and 12 inches (for younger people, these were the measurements of singles and EPs), totaling ten songs; put together 13 songs recorded live and we have everything from Oh-OK. It’s too little? Yes, it’s little. And why do they deserve attention? Because they are the fuck, what the hell.
In June 2002, Collector’s Choice Music released a compilation of these 23 songs by the group, including the band’s versions of “Sunday Morning” (by Velvet) and the melo do fa fa fa fa, aka “Psycho killer”, by Talking Heads. . Unfortunately this compilation is not available for listening, but I found a redux version released in 2011 – and later in 2021 – by HHBTM Records, from Athens, with 5 less live songs but with the two EPs in full, and that’s what it really matters.
As danceable as the B-52’s and as jangle as REM’s, Oh-OK’s music has always had Stipe’s bass and Hopper’s voice at the forefront, but it’s clear that in Furthermore what the entry of then-unknown local guitarist Matthew Sweet thickened the band’s soup, which broke up in 1984. Each then went their separate ways: Sweet became ‘the’ Matthew Sweet, Lynda Stipe formed Hetch Hetchy and then – as far as sei – made some guest appearances on his brother’s songs at REM and Linda Hopper after setting up Holiday and releasing a single EP with them he moved to Atlanta, where he met Ruthie Morris to form the darling together Magnapop which in 1994 gave birth to one of the records of my lifemade by Bob Mouldwith whom she was friends since the Oh-OK era, the reason for this short text and which you can hear below.
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