This week is about one release: The self-titled debut LP from Classics of Love. Classics of love are important because their singer is Jesse Michaels. Jesse Michaels is important because he was the singer for a band from Berkeley, CA called Operation Ivy. Operation Ivy is important because, according to some, the modern world as we know it would not exist had it not been for them. I am inclined to agree with that sentiment, actually.
I remember the first time I heard Op Ivy. My high school marching band was traveling to Dallas to march in the 1991 Cotton Bowl parade. I asked my friend Bill to make me a tape for the trip. Really I just wanted a copy of the Pixies’ Doolitle, but that left a lot of extra space on my 90-minute, TDK cassette, so Bill filled it up with some extras, including Op Ivy’s Hectic EP.
I distinctly remember flipping the cassette over to side B and hearing “Junkies Runnin’ Dry” for the first time. It was one of those moments where the world got a lot bigger and a lot smaller at the same time. Follow that up with “Here We Go Again” and “Yellin’ In My Ear” and I was pretty much toast.
Junkies Runnin’ Dry:
There were a lot of things about Op Ivy’s sound that can easily be described as iconic, and, even though Michaels’ voice by itself didn’t really break any new ground, hearing his voice on new material is an INSTANT audio field trip back to 1991 and a bus ride from Atlanta to Dallas that took one hundred thousand hours.
Here’s the official video for “Castle in the Sky”: