Album Review: Forever | Jesse and the Rippers

Jesse and the Rippers - "Forever"

BY DAN GARCIA ★★★★★

Today marks the re-release of arguably the greatest album of all time, Jesse and the Ripper’s debut LP Forever, originally released via Fat Fish Records over two decades ago. Originally under-appreciated and misunderstood upon its release (it only reached the number one spot abroad in Japan), the Bay Area natives changed music for the rest of time forever with this project. Lead by San Francisco native Jesse Katsopolis, Jesse and the Rippers today top the discussion of the greatest rock group of all time, perhaps only in the conversation with the likes of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. So when soft rock fans everywhere learned that Jay-Z’s new streaming service TIDAL would exclusively host the re-release of Forever, and in lossless FLAC CD quality, Jay-Z and listeners everywhere benefited as fans rushed to subscribe to the new Spotify competitor. And with three brand new tracks and a stellar re-mastering, Jesse’s Forever has a second chance to get the acclaimed reviews that it deserves.

Kicking off the classic LP, is its self-titled track ‘Forever’. “If every word I said could make you laugh, I’d talk forever,” sings Katsopolis. With lyrics co-written by the legendary Beach Boys, ‘Forever’ is the perfect start to the album. The guitar on this record is perfect (and its solo is addicting), Katsopolis’ singing is enchanting, and the background vocals are on point. While an album could easily crutch on such a track, which is in the discussion for one of the best 90s rock songs, Jesse and the Rippers do not slow down throughout the album.

“Little sister, don’t you do what your big sister does.”

Jesse picks up the tempo on his cover of Elvis Presley’s 1961 Something For Everybody record ‘Little Sister’. Have Mercy! Only Jesse and the Rippers could take a classic Elvis track and make it ten times better. ‘Little Sister’ is not the only rock & roll cover on this classic LP however, as mid-way through the album the Rippers remake Chan Romero’s 1959 hit ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’, the song that launched the rock & rollers young career.

While the album, even with its bonus tracks, is short and sweet (only totaling 11-tracks), 11-tracks is all it needs. Forever is a classic, no matter who you ask. While Jesse and the Rippers’ career was short-lived in many ways, this re-release is just what music in 2015 needed (just how the 90s needed its original release). Without Jesse and the Rippers you would not have Jay-Z, you would not have Modest Mouse, you would not have Drake. Everywhere you look, you will see an artist who draws a great deal of inspiration from Jesse Katsopolis. Their influence on music cannot be measured and only time will tell if another album ever matches the quality of Forever.

★★★★★

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