From the “Recent Playlists from Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World” Blog:
We might as well start at the beginning. With the debut. Which got little traction and I must admit I did not buy first. Produced by Jack Douglas, it’s got a different feel from the Tom Werman stuff. It’s more raucous, earthier.And to the degree anybody still references it it’s because of the opening cut, “ELO Kiddies,” which Cheap Trick has continued to play. But if you sit down and play the whole album, which we used to do, you discover this quiet, hypnotic gem.
Once upon a time music wasn’t for everybody, just for you. It was your escape. You put on a record and you felt the only people who understood you were the band. “Mandocello” sounds like this. It’s not made for the radio, but your bedroom, on headphones, squeezing out all the b.s. of the world. With “Mandocello” playing, your life works.
The riff hooks you. But it’s really a compilation of sounds, including Robin Zander’s voice. But the piece de resistance is the magical change at 3:09. It’s like you’ve driven through the neighborhood picking up all your friends and now you’re cruising. Or better yet, you’re riding with your beloved. Only she doesn’t know you’re in love with her, even though you think about her all the time, fantasize about just being near her, never mind touching her.
Furthermore, most people are completely unaware Concrete Blonde covered “Mandocello,” faithfully, on their 1994 album of loose ends entitled “Still In Hollywood.” Yup, that’s the way it used to be, even the stars were fans, they knew not only the hits, but the album cuts.