The 77′s “Come and Gone”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 04.15.14 in Listen to This

Southern California band The 77′s are the ultimate shoulda-been story, a band bursting with talent and charisma and ambition sandbagged by, depending on who you talk to, either inter-band strife or label inattention (their debut for Island Records was released the same day that label released The Joshua Tree. You can guess which got more support.) Though it scored a glowing review in Rolling Stone, the Island record flopped (that’s what good press’ll get ya) and the band splintered, leaving frontman Michael Roe to solider on alone. Before rebounding with the basically-perfect odds & ends collection Sticks & Stones in 1990, Roe released More Miserable Than You’ll Ever Be, essentially a solo album recorded under the Love-referencing name “7 & 7 is.” Later this month, that album gets the deluxe reissue treatment, with bonus tracks galore. Its loveliest moment remains the delicate “Come & Gone,” which plays like a diary entry from Roe at the time, cataloging missed opportunities and false starts. Its gentle melody recalls the softer moments of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours — the ideal reference for a song of quiet disappointment.