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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bowie 'heroes' In Any Other Language

Every so often, a pop star will decide to offer up their songs in different languages.  The Beatles did it with I Want to Hold Your Hand an She Loves You.   The Rolling Stones did it with As Tears Go By.

English is the official language of rock and roll much like Italian is the official language of opera.  Sure there are variations, but thery're not the norm.  Any non-English records that gain traction in the USA are usually novelty songs.  

So Bowie did this in the 70's with 'heroes'

Bowie - 'heroes' (Chante en Francais) b/w V-2 Schneider.  

Looking very French on the picture sleeve

Bowie - Helden b/w V-2 Schneider

Vocal in German.  Bowie looking very Teutonic on the picture sleeve

I wish there was one in Spanish.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Strip for Your Husband

There is a record for everything.  Sadly, I don't have the instruction booklet that accompanied the original release.  

There's a track called Shivas Regal.  Evidently the scotch company, Chivas Regal, must have had issue with the name so they changed the spelling.  What they ended up with is the Hebrew word shiva which basically is mourning the loss of a family member.   Perhaps that's what happens if this record is played for anyone but your husband.

The last two tracks are Easter Parade and Lonely Little G-String.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

45's - How Long Can These Be

Normal length of a 45 is about 3-4 minutes.  I always wondered how long these things can go when spinning at 45 rpm.  

Bruce Springsteen - Fire b/w Incident on 57th Street  (Columbia 1987)

This is by far the longest one I have.  

The B-Side here clocks in at a whopping 10:03.   It's not very loud, which probably enables it to be so long.

If anyone knows of one any longer, I'd love to know what it is.  7 inch records that play at 33 don't count.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

REM Gets Sassy

In 1989, a short lived teen magazine called Sassy offered up an REM flexi-disc.   It was truly an odd pairing.  The magazine seemed to be grooming teens into fashion victims.  REM was a college radio darling at the time and just signed to Warner Brothers.   The song they chose to offer was even stranger.  Dark Globe which was written by Syd Barrett - former leader of Pink Floyd and psychedelia's most celebrated acid casualty.  I can't help but wonder if REM was in on the joke.

I must confess, I bought a copy of the magazine to get the record. I don't feel good about myself.  Maybe if I bought some cute leggings or hair scrunchies I'd feel better.

Writing the post inspired me to play the Madcap Laughs by Syd Barrett to hear the original.  I'm listening to it now.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

West Coast Punk - The Mutants

The Mutants from San Francisco.  Fronted by three lead singers.  One older gentleman, and two mismatched women.  One tall and skinny.  One short and wide.   I saw them share a microphone once. 

They were one of the bands from the Bay Area that were part of the cultural exchange of punk bands to Los Angeles.

As with most of the pre-hardcore punk bands, they had a sense of humor.  They definitely had a sense of fun.  In fact, their first (and only) album was called 'Fun Terminal.'  A name they took from an arcade across the street from the downtown San Francisco bus terminal.

They never really had mainstream success.  Their album was only released in Canada.  They went their separate ways soon after.

Below is their first EP.  It wasn't easily available in Los Angeles.  I had a friend in Berkeley assist in procuring it for me.

The Mutants - New Drug b/w Insect Lounge/New Dark Ages.  (415 1978)

This one plays at 33 1/3.  Seems a little odd to watch it play.

And some clips to show just how much fun they were.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Kinky Surprise

While rummaging through the used 45's rack at my local record emporium, I came across this.   One of the Survivors was pulled from The Kinks 1973 LP Preservation Act I.   The B-Side, Scrapheap City, appeared on Preservation Act 2 the following year.   My record geek senses were tingling.   Why would The Kinks release a single from an album that wouldn't be released for another year?   Was it an early demo?  It was $2 and I took a chance.

Well I had me a surprise.   On Preservation Act 2, Scrapheap City is sung by a female vocalist.  On this 45 we get a slowed down bluesy version sung by Ray Davies.

According to the Goldmine Guide to American Records, this single was withdrawn and has a NM value of $200.  I've never seen it for sale at that price.

In addition, the A-Side is different as well.  No Dave Davies vocal on the bridge.

The Kinks - One of the Survivors b/w Scrapheap City (RCA 1973)

In addition, I came across this promo single of Preservation, a song that acts as sort of a trailer for the albums. 

The Kinks - Preservation (Long Version) b/w Preservation (Short Version)  (RCA 1974)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bootlegs - Liver Than You'll Ever Be

Bootlegs came upon the rock and roll scene at the end of the sixties.  This was one of the first ones.  It was recorded at the Oakland Coliseum Arena..  Not sure what they call the venue now.  I think it may be the Oracle Arena.  It's the one next to Oakland Stadium just off the freeway by the airport.

It was recorded by the legendary Dub or Ken (not sure which of the pair held the mics).  In those days, shows were recorded by lugging a reel to reel tape recorder into the venue (this was OK then).  Quite an operation to get a recording. This was before cassettes, digital, tiny recorders, etc.

The recording they got sounded pretty good.  The performance is raw, exciting and direct.  The results got reviewed in Rolling Stone and supposedly lit a fire under the band to release Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out.

To get an item from recording to record was much more involved than today's distribution methods.  Masters needed to be cut and a pressing plant would need to be found that wasn't afraid to press it.  Most didn't want to risk being cut off by one of their major customers for undermining their product.  Sometimes the night crews did it under the table.

Packaging usually consisted of a stamped cover - a design co-opted by The Who for Live at Leeds.  Later, a letter sized piece of paper was often inserted under the shrink wrap.  Much later, actual printed covers were made.

The Rolling Stones - Liver Than You'll Ever Be  (Lurch 1969)

I'm pretty sure this is an original.  The bootleggers were not shy about bootlegging bootlegs.  This title was released on the Trade Mark of Quality and Rubber Dubber labels as well.

This is a rarity in bootlegs in that it has an actual printed label with song titles.  Never once do they mention the name of the band.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks (Columbia 1975)

Considered by some to Dylan's best post motorcycle accident album.  

This record marked a return to Columbia after a brief detour to Asylum Records to help David Geffen's ego.  It seemed an odd pairing to see Dylan on anything other than Columbia.  

Originally it was released with liner notes by Pete Hammill printed in black type on the dark maroon background.  (I don't have this version).

Someone didn't like it.  The liner notes were replaced by a painting on the back cover.  This version is the rarest as it didn't last very long.

Well, soon thereafter, the liner notes won a Grammy.  They were then restored in easy to read white type.  The layout is the same as the black type original version.  This one is the most common.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

George Harrison's Bangla-Desh Single

In 1970, things weren't going so well in Bangla-Desh.  Flooding, Famine, Poverty, etc.  George Harrison was one of the first rock stars to use his notoriety for the common good.  This single was released and he organized The Concert for Bangla-Desh.  

Below is the picture sleeve.   A slight departure from having cheesecake models.  The sleeve soon disappeared and the single was available in the standard Apple packaging.   

It was not a huge hit.  Most fans know it only as the closing number of the live concert album.  This is a studio take produced by Harrison and Phil Spector.

Bangla-Desh b/w Deep Blue (Apple 1971)

The single I have was number H-13 in someone's collection.  Wondering if H-1 was by Herman's Hermits.

And someone in the mastering lab decided to write Hari Krishna on the dead wax.

I saw Mr. H live in 1974 - his only US tour. He blew his voice out a few gigs into it.  We in the audience collectively held our heads low like bad schoolboys after being chastised for requesting this song.   "You can't just scream 'Bangla-Desh'"    We should have requested 'Whipping Post' instead.