What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Big Ball - Zappa Does His Own

Frank Zappa ran two labels which were distributed through Warner Brothers.  Bizarre Records for Zappa related content and Straight Records for other artists.   

While Warners was releasing The Big Ball series of loss leaders, Zappa did his own with his Bizarre/Straight artists.

The result is a single LP which retailed for $1.00

Zapped (Bizarre 1970)

All Bizarre/Straight records came with a unique inner sleeve with an order form for Zapped.  The verbiage is a little more on the snarky side as was Zappa's way.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Big Ball

Warner Brothers Records started up in 1958 after one of their contract players, Tab Hunter, had a hit single on Dot Records.   Realizing there was big money in records by their stars, they decided to start their own label.

The early releases were mostly soundtracks and novelty records.  Their biggest selling single was 'Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb.'  Biggest selling albums were by Bob Newhart and Allan Sherman.

This slowly began to change in the early 60's with the signing of  The Everly Brothers and Peter, Paul and Mary.   The acquisition of Frank Sinatra's Reprise label (along with their executives) didn't hurt either.

Over the next few years, the label developed a stable of artists that gave the label a distinct identity.  They exploited the similarity of these artists by cross marketing them on loss leader samplers.

The first one was:

The Big Ball (Warner Brothers 1970)

Warners followed this release with several releases of the same nature.  Double albums which were very generous with B-Sides and alternate mixes.

They were offered on the inners sleeves of Warner/Reprise releases.  All one had to do was to ruin the inner sleeve of the record by cutting out the order form.  The alternative was to take it to the library and have a copy made for a dime.  Cost was $2.00.  A bargain for a double LP, but cost effective for Warners as they probably introduced the customer to a lot of other artists.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Psychedelic Lollipop

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I couldn't pass up on a record called Psychedelic Lollipop.

Blues Magoos - Psychedelic Lollipop  (Mercury 1966)

I don't recall where I got this.  Perhaps Red Brontosaurus in San Diego.  I got one of the Blues Magoos albums there.  Possibly the follow up Electric Comic Book.

The record is great relic of that time between garage rock and full blown hippie-acid music.  It is reported to be the first record with the word 'psychedelic' in the title.   I'd buy a psychedelic anything from this period.

The outfits scream psychedelic, but the 'meet the band' section seems more Tiger Beat than Rolling Stone.

Ralph  - Quiet, Shy, Good Looking, plays his organ while singing.
Ronnie  - Loud, Funny, Lazy. plays bass
Peppy - An Idol, Lovable, "17", Drop-out, plays rhythm guitar
Mike - Psyched Out, Warm, Friendly, Rich, plays lead guitar.
Geoff - Blonde, Beautiful, Straight, plays drums.

I feel like I know them all.  I'm a Ronnie  - loud, funny and lazy.  Which one are you?

The records must have stayed in print for quite some time as this pressing is on the god-awful Chicago skyline label which Mercury didn't unveil until 1974.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Plugz First 45

As the LA Punk Scene was getting underway in the later '70's, the major labels wouldn't take notice.  This led to bands releasing singles on their own or on local indie labels.

One of the earliest - if not the earliest - release was by The Plugz from East LA.

The Plugs - Move b/w Mindless Contentment/Let Go  (Slash 1978)

The single came in typical punk fashion - a printed piece of paper folded over to form a sleeve

This release came courtesy of Slash Records - which was an offshoot of a local fan magazine

The inside of the 'picture sleeve'

And there were stickers.