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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Some Rolling Stones Picture Sleeves

The hipster vinyl revival seems to have passed by vintage 45 picture sleeves.   In sharp contrast to finding titles once found in the used dollar bins for $25, 45 picture sleeves can be had for a song.  I love 45's and the Rolling Stones.  I've been on a quest for early London Records picture sleeves.   Previously, I've found a few.   Check these out:  Jumpin Jack Flash and HonkyTonk Women PS 

I'll snap them up when I see them.    The holy grail - which I have no hope of obtaining - is Street Fighting Man b/w No Expectations.   Goldmine values it at $15,000.

Here are a few I've picked up recently.

Get Off Of My Cloud b/w I'm Free

A little damaged, but worth having

19th Nervous Breakdown b/w Sad Day.

A shot from the fruitful photo session at Franklin Canyon in Beverly Hills.

Paint It, Black b/w Stupid Girl

Another shot from Franklin Canyon.  This time in color.

Mother's Little Helper b/w Lady Jane

Features a shot which would become the cover to the US version of Aftermath.

Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow b/w Who's Driving Your Plane 

The A side is a goofy over produced Phil Spector-ish overkill.  The B-Side remains one of my favorite Rolling Stones tracks.

I got the cover on the cheap because some asshole wrote their name on it.  The front is a very 1966 is fisheye photo.

The back has The Stones in drag.  They don't look very feminine (save for Brian)

Let's Spend the Night Together b/w Ruby Tuesday.

Double A sided single from 1967.   Kind of a boring sleeve as it's just the Between the Buttons album cover, but cool nonetheless.

Still hope to find She's a Rainbow. In Another Land and We Love You.    Stay tuned.   Trying to do this without eBay.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Bob Dylan's Christmas Album

In 2009, Bob Dylan threw yet another monkey wrench at those who tried to pigeonhole him.  This is nothing new in his evolution as an artist.  Many shocking changes color his career from early on.  Going electric to piss off the folkies.  Going into hiding to piss of those who wanted more and more from him.  Going country to piss off those who thought he had the answer.  Going Christian to piss off just about everybody.  Going to the standards catalog to piss off those who wanted more songwriting, etc etc.

In 2009 he released a ....gasp..... Christmas Album.   This here promotional single was available if you bought the CD from Bobdylan.com

Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa b/w The Night Before Christmas  (Columbia 2009)

A rollicking song that should be place alongside 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' by Brenda Lee as a holiday favorite.

Packaging was pure vintage Columbia.

And it came in Christmas-y red vinyl.

As an added bonus, we get Dylan reciting 'The Night Before Christmas' on the B-Side

Have a listen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry X-Mas from RoXy Music

In 1980, around the time Roxy Music released Flesh + Blood, this peculiar one-off single appeared.

The Dumbells - Giddy-Up b/w A Christmas Dream

It's Roxy Music in disguise playing two instrumental tracks.  Vocalist Bryan Ferry can be heard at one point yelling 'giddy up!' amongst some whip cracks.

The B-Side is an ambient style synth track.

A true oddity in the Roxy Music cannon.   

Merry X-Mas and don't whip the reindeer too hard!

Have a listen.   

Friday, December 16, 2016


They were advertised in fast talking TV commercials.  They were inexpensive.  They sounded like crap.   They could be purchased by mail or at the car wash.  

All things considered, they were very successful and can be found at any thrift store.

This was a way for hits to have a second life after falling from the charts. Usually released a year or more after the original hits.

And they were limited collectors editions.  For collectors of what?  I don't know.  There ARE people who collect K-Tel records.  Perhaps it's for them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Music to Dream By

As stated many times before, there is a record for everything.  Here we have

Music to Dream By

Music to fall asleep to presented by The General Electric Company - makers of Sleep-Guard Blankets.

My first comment would be to make sure you have a turntable with automatic shut off.   You could find yourself waking to the sound of the runoff  groove burned into your psyche

What we get are easy listening tunes to lull you off to Dreamland.  Just as you're falling asleep, up pop four disembodied heads.

Pleasant dreams my lovely,

Friday, December 9, 2016

How To....

As I've said many times before, There is a record for everything.  Here we have:

Hear How to Converse in Spanish

The computer and the internet was pretty much the death sentence on this type of record.  It makes perfect sense why it existed,

It's the other titles that intrigue me.  I'd like to collect them all...

Note to self.  Be on the lookout for

Hear How To Tell Your Children the Facts of Life.
Hear How To Achieve Sexual Harmony in Marriage.
Hear How To Be a Better Bowler.
Hear How To Touch Type

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Square Dance

Before there was rap, if you wanted to hear someone talking over music your only choice was square dance music.

Pretty sure I picked this up in Nashville.

I have yet to host a square dance party.

Some great titles:
Take a Little Beer
Boil Them Cabbages Down
Back Up and Push

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NRBQ at Yankee Stadium

NRBQ.   The worlds greatest bar band.  Brief stints on major labels, but mostly indie records.

NRBQ at Yankee Stadium  (Mercury 1978)

One of their greatest covers.  The title implies a huge show in front of 50,000 screaming fans.   The photo reveals the true meaning of the title.  Yes, NRBQ was at Yankee Stadium.  If you look closely you can spot them just to the left of the dugout.

The album contains one of their 'hits,' Ridin' in My Car.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Irrepressible Ricky

It's been a long time since I've randomly pulled something out of the 7 inch collection.

So here we go with Ricky Nelson.

Critic types malign him as being lightweight. Elvis light.

The guy is the son of a band leader and his singer.  He grew up on his parents' TV show.  First as the young 'Irrepressible' Ricky.  Then growing up into a genuine teenage idol.

I don't have to apologize for liking his early rockabilly sides.  He had the best musicians daddy's connections and money could acquire.  Most notably guitarist James Burton.

Here are two EP's from one of those massive blind singles purchases.

Ricky Nelson - Down the Line EP  (Imperial 1958)

Ricky Nelson - You'll Never Know What You're Missin'  (Imperial 1959)

This one features the Jordanaires

Rick's later career veered into soft country rock before The Byrds and The Eagles adopted the genre.   He died in a plane crash after allegedly freebasing cocaine caused a fire onboard.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tommy James Doesn't Have and Ego Problem

Tommy James - Christian of the World  (Roulette 1971)

Tommy James' second solo album features this jaw dropping cover.   The album features the hit 'Draggin' the Line.'   

I'm not sure what's going on.  He thinks he's Jesus I guess.   Take a good look at the cover.  First off, his followers are not holding actual crosses.  They have little 'X's much like the things puppetmasters work with.   I would have been odd to follow Jesus around with a cross anyway.  Think following Caryl Chessman around with a gas chamber.  Think following Micheal Jackson around with a vial of propofol.

His followers are actually wrapped in bedsheets.  I'm sure they didn't have designer flower print clothing in the first century.

The scene continues on to the back cover.  Here we have flower bedsheet follower pulling a knife on a baby.

Just in case you didn't think Tommy James was divine, we get a soft focus shirtless cheesecake picture on the inner sleeve.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Captain Beefheart - Lick My Decals Off, Baby

For a long time I've been looking for a viny1 copy of this album  Finally found a copy at Rasputin's in Berkeley, CA

Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Lick My Decals Off, Baby   (Straight   1970)

This is the follow up to their classic Trout Mask Replica double LP from the prior year.  Often times is sounds like cacophony of sound,  In reality, the Captain rehearsed his band relentlessly.  This is exactly like he wanted it to sound,  There is nothing like a Captain Beefheart record.  Highly influential, never imitated,

The back features Captain Beefheart's original artwork.  He would later abandon music for a career as a visual artist.

My big thrill is having the original pressing on the Straight Records label

When Frank Zappa left Verve/MGM, he set up his own label through Warner Brothers/Reprise.  Bizarrre Records was for Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa releases (along with Lenny Bruce and Wild Man Fischer).  Straight Records was set up for other artists nurtured by Zappa.   Captain Beefheart was one of those.  As was Alice Cooper and the GTO's (Girls Together Outrageously)   The Straight moniker didn't last all that long and later pressings of Straight product appeared on Warner Brothers or Reprise.

Space age couple, why don't you flex your magic muscle?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Duane Eddy

Here's a guy who discovered the reverb setting on his amp and made a career out of it.

And turned that simple amp setting into 'A Million Dollars Worth of Twang.'

Not a speedy picker by any means.   He tended to play a few notes and let them float.  Rebel Rouser being probably his biggest hit.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Capitol Records Stereo Manifesto

When Stereo records began to appear on the market, each label touted the reason why theirs sounded better.   Below is Captol's stereo manifesto touting their 'new improved full dimensional stereo.'

This type of sound was on most Capitol recordings in the '60's.   They were so insistent on it they decided it was a good idea to remix and remaster Beatles recordings.   It didn't hurt their success, but the original UK mixes produced by George Martin are now considered definitive.  The Capitol mixes are only available on the original vinyl pressings and the recent box set money grab.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pearl Jam in Three Colors

In 1994, the CD boom was in full swing.  Major labels weren't pressing that much stuff on vinyl.  Many LP's were not released in the format.

An exception was Pearl Jam.  Their second and third albums, Vs and Vitalogy respectively, were released on vinyl in advance of the CD issue.

The singles pulled from Vitalogy shared their joy of vinyl.  A joy that was rare at the time.

Pearl Jam - Spin the Black Circle b/w Tremor Christ (Epic 1994)

The single was a throwback to the Epic label design that was retired in the '70's.  The song is an obvious tribute to records.  This time we get the classic yellow design..

Pearl Jam - Immortality b/w Rearviewmirror (credited to The Frogs)  (Epic 1994)

This time in blue with a hole to show the label.

Pearl Jam - Not For You b/w Out of My Mind  (Epic 1994)

This time in red - with no depiction of the label on the sleeve

Interestingly enough on these, the A Sides say they're from the Epic album 'Life' which is incorrect.  The album cited should have been Vitalogy.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Swedish Rock and Roll

And you though the only thing that came out of Sweden was ABBA and The Shocking Blue.

Here we have

Swedish Rock & Roll Dammit

Check out these bands.    The Mushroom River Band may be big some day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Electric Light Orchestra - Yes, They Put Out One Great Record

In 1972, UK psych band The Move embarked on a side project.   Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan planned an LP by a fake band called The Electric Light Orchestra.   The name is a pun based on (obviously) electric light and (not so obviously) light orchestra.

The Electric Light Orchestra - No Answer (United Artists 1972)

The album was recorded during the same sessions as The Move's final album - Message From the Country.

Members of The Move dressed in appropriate garb on the back cover.   Since United Artists was a film company, the year of publication is in roman numerals.   MCMLXXII.

We get a lyric sheet.

And a gatefold sleeve.

Now the story gets a little more interesting.  Officially, this was supposed to be a Move album in disguise.  The Move were under contract with Capitol where Message From the Country was released.  This release went to United Artists who couldn't use The Move name.  On the label, the artists is listed as 'Move Enterprises LTD Presents the Services of The Electric Light Orchestra.'

As a further humorous aside, the album supposedly had no title.  A secretary at United Artists was tasked with contacting the UK record company to see what the album was supposed to be called.  She called and got no answer.  That was written down on a form somewhere.  As a result, the album was called 'No Answer' in the USA.

After the release of this album, the move cut two more great singles.  California Man  (later covered with much success by Cheap Trick)  and Do-Ya (later covered by the Roy Wood-less ELO to much success).   Roy Wood left The Move before ELO could record a second album.   Subsequent releases by the remaining members of the band carried the Electric Light Orchestra moniker.

The rest is, as they say, history.  Roy Wood went on to release several awesome records with his band Wizzard and a few great solo albums.  ELO went on to worldwide success by taking the edges off and getting more mainstream.  Very much like the Peter Gabriel and Genesis saga.

Friday, October 28, 2016

I is for Iron Butterfly

A one hit wonder band with their 17 minute 'hit single.'    They tend to get lumped in with the San Francisco bands at the time, but they were actually from San Diego.  Their name is said to have influenced Led Zeppelin with their heavy/light juxtaposition.

Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida  (ATCO 1968)

This would be their second album.

One of the first riffs I ever learned on guitar.  The title comes from the slurring of the words 'In the Garden of Eden.'  Even though the title track clocks in at a little over 17 minutes, there is a 45 version that comes in under 3.  It eliminates all the filler.   IMHO it makes a great single.

Everyone knows the title song, but I challenge anyone to hum a few bars from Side 1.

The band follows up this LP with Ball in 1969 and Metamorphosis in 1970.  Neither was met with much success.  They continued on with constant personnel changes well into the 2010's with only the drummer remaining from the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida lineup.  That's like calling Ringo and His All Starr Band The Beatles.   I wonder if they can get away with doing a gig without playing the full length signature song.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Jerry Lewis Just Sings

Jerry Lewis Just Sings (Decca 1958)

For some reason, this ended up in my father in law's collection.  Someone must have given it to him.  His taste skewered more towards Oscar Peterson.

Yes, Jerry sings.  How well is in the ear of the beholder.  I once put this on and a guest asked if I was playing Ethel Merman!

No joking.  These are straight renditions of standards.

The record is pressed on styrene rather than vinyl.  It's very brittle.  Styrene records can wear out quickly.  It's a good thing my father in law was not that fond of this one.  It wouldn't last very many  plays on a heavy tone armed player from the era.