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257. Imitation Life – Robin Lane & the Charbusters

IMITATION LIFE (1981)

Robin Lane & the Chartbusters

After the self-titled debut and a quickly released live album, the Chartbusters finished their recording career with 1981’s “Imitation Life.” Bolder, heavier and darker than the debut, it is also an overall stronger and more impressive effort. It comes closer to capturing the live Chartbuster sound than the debut, especially the aggressive guitar sounds.

Robin Lane started her career several years before singing with Neil Young. At that same time she was married to future Police guitarist Andy Summers. After a decade of club performance and honing songwriting skills, Lane formed the Chartbusters. Despite decent radio response and early support from the fledgling TV network, MTV, the band’s career never got off the ground.

But they did release two great studio albums. Imitation Life is for those who like their rock smart, jangly and filled with passionate female vocals. It is always difficult to ignore the comparisons to The Pretenders and it is more obvious on this album than on the debut, and that should be seen as a good thing. The heavier sound is most noticeable on the title track that borders on punk rock and No Control with it’s more progressive pop/punk vibe a la Joan Jett.

Lane went on to record a wonderful 4-song EP as well as a few independent projects as well as continuing to write songs for herself and others.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    November 16, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve been waiting to see where you’d put this. I like both records but this does have a little more grit.

  2. don
    March 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Thank you thank you thank you for adding this classic to the list!

    IO still think your rating system is fouled up, but at least you include just about all the albums I thought were good. And a few I never heard of.

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