This was 80 cents. Been holding on to this for a year, waiting for a good opportunity. Well, better now than never. Kind of a seminal record, in terms of the Chipmunks work.
Actually, this is a comeback record of sorts. Its orgins start from a mere DJ in Los Angeles who played Blondie’s “Call Me” at 45 RPMs and called it the new Chipmunk record. Based on this joke, many requests came in for the new Chipmunk material. By this time (circa 1979), the Chipmunks were run by Ross Bagdasarian Jr, who took over the brand after his father, Ross Sr’s death. in 1972. Bagdasarian and his partner, Steve Vining rushed out and recorded this album between 1979 and 1980. It was released in the Summer of 1980.
This was the first Chipmunk’s record under Jr as well as the first release since 1969. It also came at the start of the rebirth of the Chipmunks. A year prior, they returned to television with a Saturday morning cartoon show of old clips. The album received mixed reviews from critics but sold well and helped boost the Chipmunk’s 80’s resurgence. It also went Gold. Three years later a new show would run on Saturday mornings on NBC.
Despite being called Chipmunk Punk, this record is actually more New Wave than anything. It features “Call Me” from Blondie, the song that birthed this record.
It also has songs by the Cars, Queen, Tom Petty, Linda Ronstadt, and Billy Joel. It also features three songs from The Knack, featuring this pop music footnote.
For a sample, I went with Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right”. I really liked both “Refugee” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, but ultimately went with this song because it reminds me of a dead friend of mine. Alas, poor friend who will remain unnamed for this story. I went to his funeral service at which they played Billy Joel. It was this song and “Only The Good Die Young”. I asked my friend next to me if the deceased liked Billy Joel. He said no. Apparently, the deceased’s wife hijacked the service and made it about her. She was a classy lady indeed.
Otherwise, as far as this album goes, meh. There is nothing really great about this album. At least the Urban Chipmunk had some interplay between country recording artists. But I guess it is a good effort to get back in the entertainment game. It it did work as the Chipmunks were hugely successful in the 1980s as well as the 2000’s. The 1990’s. not so much I believe.