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.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Move's Last Stand

By 1972, The Move had morphed into Electric Light Orchestra.   The final Move album, Message From the Country, was recorded at the same sessions as the first ELO album.

At the time, The Move was a trio.  Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood shared frontman duties.   Bev Bevan drummed.

They went out with a bang! The last Move release was this double A sided single - with a bonus track from the last album thrown in.

The Move  - California Man/Do Ya/Ella James  (Harvest 1972)

California Man - one of the best rock and roll songs by anyone.   Rock and roll lyric cliches abound.  Wood and Lynne trade off vocal - with Lynne throwing in an Elvis impersonation.  The instrumental breaks are traded as well.  Lynne does a Jerry Lee Lewis style piano solo.  When it comes to Wood's turn, he plays the same solo on a baritone sax that turns the whole thing on it's ear.  A lot happens in three minutes.   Years later, Cheap Trick covered it and made it sound a little more normal.

The other side contains the first version of Do Ya.   This was remade several years later under the ELO moniker to great success.  This version is a little rawer.  The remake doesn't have the ending 'Look out baby, there's a planet comin'' line.

After this release, The Move ceased to exist.  Roy Wood soon left ELO and took his rock and roll sensibilities to his new endeavor, Wizzard.   Jeff Lynne took ELO to great success eventually getting to work with Olivia Newton John on the classic Xanadu film.

Friday, April 13, 2018

One of Those Albums that Launched a Thousand Bands

Iggy and The Stooges had just been dropped from Elektra after two albums that tanked - but became classics many years later.   The Stooges and Fun House are awesome records.   Two of the best ever by anyone.

After they got dropped in 1971, MainMan signed them on to a management deal.  MainMan got them signed to Columbia.   The result is the classic Raw Power LP

Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power (Columbia 1973)

A great record that could have been so much better if the band was given the resources they deserved.    At the time, MainMan was focusing their attention to David Bowie who had just released his Ziggy Stardust album.   The Stooges, left to their own devices, put an album together on their own with no producer or decent engineer.    The result was a mess.   The first mix was rejected by Columbia.   David Bowie stepped in to attempt another mix.  He tweaked a bit, but basically concluded there was nothing to mix.   The album was further delayed and didn't come out until 1973.

Raw Power 'in action' as I type.

So how did this launch a thousand bands?    The energy on these songs shows through regardless of the recording.  Search & Destroy and Raw Power are still in Iggy's setlist 40 years later. 

The recording was also an influence.  When punk started later in the decade, the major labels were not interested.  This forced many bands to resort to a DIY aesthetic.  Low Fi and poorly recorded records were OK!  Thank Raw Power.

Oh  - and as usual - Iggy's wildman charisma shows through every second.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Counterfeits for G.I.'s!

With thousands of G.I.'s stationed in southeast Asia from about 1965 to 1974, there was a big market for American rock and roll.  Copyright law and enforcement was a little lax in Taiwan.  They had no issue of looking the other way when Liming Records decided to just pirate existing titles and sell them on the cheap.

A few of these have made their way back to the US with the servicemen.   Here's a sample of one.

It's a copy of the double live Grateful Dead album commonly referred to as Skull and Roses.

This label released a ton of them.  There was no attempt to pass it off as something other than a counterfeit - If you pass over the mis spellings and such - although this was common even with big labels translated into Asian language. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Runout Groove Etchings #1

Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station (Arista 1977)

The Dead only made a few stellar studio albums.  This particular one was a stab by their new label at mass success.  They hired Fleetwood Mac producer Keith Olsen to 'modernize' their sound.   The band was holed up  in a studio in Van Nuys, California for months.   Once done, Olsen ran off an had his way with the tapes - adding orchestrations, wiping percussion tracks, etc to arrive at a finished product.  The songs are classics and remained in repertoire until the very end.  The record is not so classic.

But - this post is to not talk about the music on the record.  I'm here to talk about the 'secret messages' sometimes included on the dead wax.

Here are the examples from Terrapin Station.

Side 1:  'Where Do You Keep Your Stereo Jer?"

Side 2:  "If it Rolls, Sink It"

And I don't mind saying these things are a bitch to photograph.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

I Love Record Covers With Pictures of Records on Them #6 - Les and Larry Elgart

Les and Larry Elgart - Sound Ideas (Columbia 1958)

One of those high end hi-fi's from the '50's.   Probably a high bit of rumble due to speakers right under the turntable.  I cringe at the records on the floor.   This one is sort of meta as it has a picture of their previous album.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pass a Good Time With Justin Wilson

Pass a Good Time with Justin Wilson  (Paula 1970)

Given the array of food placed before these ravenous gentlemen, they'll be passing something at some point.  I can't be sure of just what that will be.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

RIP Nokie Edwards

Sometimes a musician dies and nobody hears about it.  Tom Petty got the press.   Not so for Nokie Edwards.

Like most of the other 'surf music' bands, The Ventures originated far from the beaches of Southern California.  Tacoma, Washington to be exact.

Nokie was the lead guitarist for the most awesome guitar band ever - The Ventures.  He came to the band from Buck Owen's Buckaroos bringing a country twang to their sound.

So here as a tribute is a Ventures album submitted for your approval.

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run Vol. 2  (Dolton 1964)

This record features the core four band members that remained throughout most of the 60's.  In Japan  - they outsold The Beatles.

Left to right in the below picture:

Don Wilson  - rhythm guitar
Mel Taylor  - Drums
Nokie Edwards - lead guitar
Bob Bogle - Bass

Above we have the original pressing.   Subsequent pressings airbrushed out the wet armpit of Don Wilson (left).

The Ventures played Mosrite guitars.    Watch 'em wail in the clip below.  Go Mel Go!