Remastered reissue of Ric Menck solo material - with bonus tracks added since original release on Summershine Records.
"The tracks on The Ballad represent some of my early attempts at songwriting and recording. Since I had no real idea what I was doing I tried to keep everything as intimate as possible, which meant mostly recording on 8 track in people's homes. My musical influences were numerous. The Byrds figured most heavily into the mix, and there were numerous Beatles and Who rip-offs as well, but I bet ya didn't know my main vocal reference back then was Astrud Gilberto, and that I thought the first two Primal Scream singles were two of the best British pop records to come out in the 80's. The Primals were part of a movement of bands out of Britain back then that combined a mid-60's pop songwriting aesthetic with the irreverence of mid-70's punk. I found it all very exhilarating. The Pastels, Vaselines, Boy Hairdressers, Servants, Razorcuts, Jasmine Minks, and Biff Bang Pow were all releasing perfect little vinyl slabs of incredibly passionate guitar-based pop music that I gobbled up with overwhelming enthusiasm. So much in fact, that I started recording songs of my own in a similar style and sending over tapes to English labels in hopes that someone might actually want to release them. Much to my surprise many did, and eventually records came out on Sarah, Subway and Creation under fictitious names like The Springfields, Paint Set and Choo Choo Train. When Paul Chastain and I got Velvet Crush together I stopped recording my own material altogether. By then there were too many other things to think about. Many years later my friend Jason Reynolds convinced me I should compile all the early work onto a "solo" album. He even put the album out for me on his own Summershine label. It was delightful to find out so many people still enjoyed what I was doing during those early years, and now it seems there's a whole new generation to turn on. New bands like the Clientele and The Tyde prove that this kind of music will never go out of fashion." - Ric Menck, Los Angeles, California, Summer 2003
“Among power-pop's truest believers, Ric Menck is a visionary and a scholar, a brilliant pilgrim on a lifetime quest to understand and master that inscrutable fusion of allure, insight and energy that yields the most sublime melodic devotionals to the grand wizards of the two-minute single: Brian Wilson, Alex Chilton, Roger McGuinn, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, Phil Spector, etc. That he has sought to do so from behind a small drum kit rather than with a guitar or piano only heightens the intensity of the Illinois native's efforts, sharpens the clarity of his perspective. Where other auteurs have found easy creative satisfaction in the imitation of some obvious aspect of their icons' formulae, Menck - who can both sing and play guitar but rarely does in public - demonstrates a keener, deeper obsession with the zen of pop.” - Ira Robbins, Trouser Press (from liner notes)
“A much-needed and well-assembled compilation of the artist's non-Velvet Crush material, The Ballad of Ric Menck collects  sparkling indie single sides, all of them rendered with master pop craftsmanship. Perhaps most notable are the half-dozen cuts Menck recorded with Paul Chastain and friends under the name the Springfields for the legendary Sarah Records label, among them beautifully jangly originals such as "Sunflower" and "Wonder," as well as covers like the Hollies’ "Clown" and Matthew Sweet’s "Are We Gonna Be Alright"; as with the pair of Choo Choo Train tracks which lead off the disc, this is all essential material…” - ALL MUSIC GUIDE (describing the original Summershine Records edition) TRACKLISTING: Perfect Day The Bicycle Song Clown Wishing On A Star ** Sunflower Are We Gonna Be Alright? Big Blue Buzz ** Tomorrow Ends Today Wonder She Swirls Around Me Million Tears Reach For The Stars Tranquil Delaware Rain *** Golden Hair *** Scatter Good Friends [Demo] * Unreleased and exclusive * Not available on original album ** Not available on original album, first time on CD ***