John Small - Old Enough To Know Better (Sourced Stock)
First discovered in an all-time fave dollar bin in a land not so far away, Old Enough to Know Better is a wildly inventive piece of pop obscurity by John Small. Released in 1984 by Harbor Sounds, a label that started and ended with the release of Small’s first and only album, Old Enough to Know Better isn’t the derivative, DIY synth drivel found on plenty of platters of its time, rather a high level production of some truly endearing pop songwriting.
Old Enough manages to avoid the pitfall of so many privately pressed rock and New Wave records of the 80s in Small’s genuine admiration and expert application of the pop rock formula. A British transplant to Richmond, Virginia, Small was a charismatic guitar player and venue fixture, delivering the local music scene some real, and authentic, talent amidst the Second British Invasion.
With that confidence, a great backing band, and a seemingly reasonable recording budget, Small came up with Old Enough to Know Better. The album isn’t a holy grail, and it isn’t without flaws. But if you remove the constructs of context and let this LP play, it’s just a really enjoyable listen. “I Know It’s Over” is the huge bop here (for those who asked, this is the ??? - ??? from this NTS mix), while both “Strength to Strength” and “Last Chance to Slow Dance” hold their own in other ways.
Stock here is limited, priced for discovery, and with that glorious cover artwork inviting you to throw your cool clothes in the hamper and jump in the inviting waters. Quack!