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Rubinoos, The

“What we have here is a vital serving of classic pop songs . . . few other records this year have felt so good” said Rolling Stone. “The best pop album of the decade” exclaimed the New York magazine Rocker. “Powerful, fresh, exuberant pop music,” said the NME.

What these rock publications were gushing over was the superb eponymous debut album from San Francisco power pop outfit, The Rubinoos in 1977.


The LP drew together influences from such 60s luminaries as Tommy James & The ShondellsThe Turtles and The Hollies, and injected them with the power of 70s rock.

The band first came together in 1973 as four exuberant teenagers. By 1977 they made #45 on the US Hot 100 with a cover version of Tommy James’ I Think We’re Alone Now.

Meanwhile, their first album – produced by the eccentric Matthew King Kaufman (boss of Beserkley Records) – contained such great pop songs as Leave My Heart Alone and Hard To Get.

It was not until 1979 that the long-awaited second album was released. Back To The Drawing Board throbbed with the same bright innocent pop bounce and was highlighted by the single I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend and a version of the old P.J. Proby hit, Hold Me.


The songs built eagerly to climactic choruses then broke cleanly into catchy bridges. Three-part harmonies abounded.

Significant commercial success was not forthcoming, however. By the five-song Party Of Two (1983) The Rubinoos were reduced to a duo (hence the album title). Tommy Dunbar and Jon Rubin recruited Todd Rundgren and members of Utopia to add some additional flair to their sound.

The result sounded more like Sparks than The Raspberries/British Invasion style of the original quartet.

The group reformed in 1999, releasing the album Paleophonic. They continue to record and tour.

Jon Rubin 
Vocals, guitar
Tommy Dunbar
Guitar, keyboards, vocals
Royse Ader
Bass, vocals
Donn Spindt 
Drums, vocals
Al Chan
Bass, vocals