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, February 23, 2017

Hey, It's February 23rd!

And she's a my birthday too.

Here I present

Steppenwolf At Your Birthday Party  (Dunhill 1969)

Probably not your 5 year old's birthday party either.

And for the kiddies - at least we get some Mickey Mouse

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Rolling Stones - Early UK EP's

They never really caught on in the USA.   In the UK, 7 inch EP's were actually a thing.   The Rolling Stones released three in the early days of their career.  Each offering up tracks that were neither on an album nor previous single release.

First Up

You Better Move On/Poison Ivy/Bye Bye Johnny/Money  (Decca 1964)

All cover versions of original songs by Chuck Berry, Arthur Alexander, The Coasters and Barrett Strong.   Money is one of the few covers recorded by both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.  Bye Bye Johnny was a regular part of the set lists for the landmark 1972 tour.

Next we get.

Five By Five (Decca 1964)

Culled from sessions at Chess Studios in Chicago.  All covers save for the instrumental track 2120 South Michigan Avenue  - which coincidently is the address of Chess Studios in Chicago.

And then we get the live one.

Got LIVE If You Want It!  (Decca 1965)

Probably the best representation of an early Rolling Stones live performance.  Supposedly it was recorded by suspending a microphone from the balcony.  Recorded by Glyn Johns who later went on to produce The Who and The Faces (among others).  I have my doubts about it's authenticity as a live recording, but it really IS exciting.

Only five tracks (I'm not counting the 'We Want The Stones' track which is nothing more than the audience chanting in anticipation).  Notes say it was recorded at three venues.  Probably just so more of the UK record buying public could say 'I was there.'   Live recordings at the time had not yet come into their own as the techniques currently employed were not yet used.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oh No, It's Yoko

Yoko Ono - Walking On Thin Ice b/w It Happened (Geffen 1981)

In my humble opinion, the best single of 1981.

This would be what the Lennon/Ono camp was doing the final mix on the night of Lennon's murder.  It really rocks.    Musicians include Tony Levin from King Crimson on Chapman stick.  Guitars are by Bowie's frequent sideman Earl Slick.  Production was by Jack Douglas, known at the time for his work with Aerosmith.

At the time, it seemed the world was finally coming around to Yoko's music.  Suddenly, everything was changed by a deranged individual.

The single went so far as to include an insert with the lyrics.  Not a common thing at the time.

Have a listen

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pretty Things - What Coulda/Shoulda Been

Here's a band that couldn't get a break in the USA.   A British Invasion band that was more 'bad boy' than The Rolling Stones.   Some early hits in the UK were later included in Bowie's Pinups collection (Roslyn and Don't Bring Me Down).   Nothing really happened across the pond.

In 1969, they released the first rock opera (S.F. Sorrow) a good nine months before The Who's Tommy.  It went nowhere in the USA.

The follow up, in my humble opinion, is their best album.

Pretty Things - Parachute (Rare Earth 1970)

Critics loved it. It sported a striking cover by Hipgnosis - known at the time for their work with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.   Music is top notch.   What could possible prevent it from becoming a success?

(I know, I know as I raise my hand like the world's most annoying fifth grader)

It was released by Motown subsidiary Rare Earth.   The marketing machine at Motown had no idea how to work it.  There were no connections at the current FM stations.  Their machine was expert at top 40 and black radio.

It's the kind of record that makes me repeat some tracks before letting it go to the next one.

I can't get past Cries from the Midnight Circus and Sickle Clowns without lifting the needle and repeating.   It's that good.

Following this release, they were dumped by Motown and released one album on Warner Brothers before being signed by Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label.

Mass success and recognition never did come to this band.

Have a view of a TV appearance from 1970

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Soundsations Near LAX

I found myself in Mishiwaka, Indiana for Record Store Day Black Friday this year.  I managed to snag a few titles there, but came up short on my want list - most notably some Kinks EP's.

I had an early flight home.  My family was on a later flight due to wacky airline pricing and mile redemption.   I landed, had enough time to go home, get the dog out of storage and return to pick up my loved ones.   As I always do when picking someone up at LAX, I wait for their call at Soundsations Records in Westchester. 

It's closer to the terminals than the 'cell phone lot.'  You can see the control tower in the background on the above photo.  When I get the 'we've landed' text, I'll wrap up my purchase.  By the time I get to the terminal, my family is at the curb.

This year, I passed through the day after Black Friday.  I was able to get the two Kinks EP's I was unable to snag in Mishiwaka - along with a few other titles from their used bins.

I especially like the mannequin wearing a suit made of real 45's.

This upcoming Record Store Day I will be in New Orleans on business.  If there are any recommendations on RSD in that city, please feel free.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Bye Bye Bobby Vee

Recently we lost Bobby Vee.  Best known for the period where he was being marketed as a teenage idol, he was really a rocker at heart.   His first gig was filling in for Buddy Holly the day after his American Pie crash.

I don't have much of his catalog as I'm not a big fan of gushy love songs by guys with good haircuts.   Since I'm a big fan of The Ventures, I have this one.

Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures  (Liberty 1963).

Don't let the pastel cardigans fool you.  This record really rocks.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I Had to Move the Entire Collection

Recently had new flooring put in my office/musicroom/man cave.   This required the entire collection to be temporarily moved out of the room.  And of course, the flooring took about three times as long as originally planned.

I was still able to get at the collection while it was on vacation in my daughter's old room.  The only areas that would have required physical labor to retrieve were the A's and B's.   I had my fingers crossed that Eric Burdon didn't die.    Made it.

So here's a before and after of moving back day......

Before:  10:00AM

Nothing but power strips and Whit Bissell watching from the window.

After:   3:30 PM

Records in place, B system stereo set up.  Record playing.  At this point I still need to return the CD's to their place on the shelves.