For its 20th anniversary, Old 97’s debut album, 1994’s Hitchhike to Rhome, was released on double translucent orange vinyl, which is painfully obvious after having already seen the photo on the left. I recently wrote about my esteemed excitement over this release, so I won’t ooze my giddy juice all over this post. What I will say, however, is that although this jelled mix of country and rock makes for a catchy, singalong classic, it is unmatched to the band’s third effort, 1997’s Too Far to Care. An album that, I’ll have you know, I’ve yet to find…
Monthly Archives: September 2015
Feeling a bit on the homesick side of things lately, and it doesn’t get more “home-y” than J.R. Cash. This 1968 copy of the 2-LP set, The Heart of Johnny Cash was owned by my Grandfather, and was one of the great, many Cash albums I acquired after his inevitable, yet unfortunate death. What I wouldn’t give to share a whiskey and a spin with him now.
Johnny Cash, the perfect remedy for the homesick blues.
Comp albums by the world’s most popular musical act are nothing new, exciting, and / or controversial, but double, colored LPs are a horse of a different color. While going to school up in Ventura, CA some years back, a record store, whose name I cannot recall, went out of business and was celebrating with a storewide ½ off sale. Among some German Simon & Garfunkel, clear vinyl Drive Like Jehu, original pressings of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, I acquired both this, 1978’s 1962 – 1966, and the blue vinyl sibling, 1967 – 1970 for $10 each. They had a Spinal Tap picture disc displayed on the wall… I wish I’d gotten that guy too. Anyway, there is a time and place for compilation albums. I’ve yet to find that hour and location, but I’m sure they exist.
The Memphis, Tennessee label Hi Records had a illustrious career (until its eventual sale to Cream Records in 1977), and during its tenure, it rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in popular music at the time. Here is a very, very brief lineage of the label, a condensed version of the following Wikipedia page.
Former Sun Records producers Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch, along with a few other ambitious crazies started the label in 1957. Elvis Presley’s bass player, Bill Black started a combo (Bill Black’s Combo), and gave the label it’s first big hit with 1959’s Smokie Part 2. Bill Black’s saxophonist, Ace Cannon (a record we spun at the office just a few days ago) landed the label’s 2nd hit with 1961’s Tuff. By then, Quinton Claunch (remember, of Sun Records’ fame) had sold his share of the company to Jerry Lee Lewis’ cousin, shortly before Hi Records started churning out hit after hit with a little someone named Albert “Al” Green(e).
If you’ve never heard of the label, don’t worry. I just found out about it yesterday. Anyone wanna take a field trip to Memphis in the Spring?
I know not much of Underworld outside of dubnobasswithmyheadman, and when I passed on, just the other day, a 2014 double vinyl reissue (for $30! you would have passed too!), I was bombarded, often at random times of the day, with the inevitable cloud of regret. Save for a DNBWMHM single, the only other Underworld album I own is, unfortunately, their sophomore effort, 1989’s Change the Weather…. blah blah blah. If you don’t already, acquire dubnobasswithmyheadman. Your self-loathing conscious will thank you.
Summer of 2015 in Los Angeles, aka the Summer that would not end! As we “officially” move into Autumn, let’s, at least internally, put a proper end to the scorching heat and horrid traffic, and make way for cooling, soft breezes, roaring fireplaces, and plenty of Sounds of Silence and The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (enter your favorite Autumn-themed music here). Beach Boys, you’ve “officially” outstayed your welcome. It’s now time for you to go home. Happy Autumn Day!
Ain’t No Disco Duck!
Novelties and Rick Dees tended to go together back in the collar-popping 80s like disco and ducks. While the majority of radio-listening ‘Merica knows ol’ Dees for The Weekly Top 40, those select, demented few among us know him for Disco Duck, and those lonely, pathetic among us know him for his early 80s comedy albums. Released in 1984, this (anything but) Orwellian approach to subjects like glue sniffing, shorts-eating, and candid phone conversations (with mainstays of the day, Julio Iglesias and Michael Jackson) make Put it Where the Moon Don’t Shine something of a, let’s say “interesting” listen. Clearly capitalizing on his radio popularity, this album was actually not, I repeat, NOT a one-off, as it was the follow-up to his 1983 debut, Hurt Me Baby Make Me Write Bad Checks! I don’t have that one, but the cover alone makes me consider hunting it down. Disco Duck on the other hand…
The Future of 2000
The record on which this sticker is attached was small in stature, but large in overall significance. With only four tracks, Eye of the Cyklops from Mix Master Mike was the first record I’d owned, or even seen, that featured a copyright date that didn’t start with 19. Released March 21st of 2000, I’d purchased this record for its mind-blowing shockability, but have since been happy with the music contained within. I am, as I assume many of you are, ashamed to admit how long ago 2000 now seems.
Haven’t listened to it yet, but the latest addition to the virus of a collection is the 1992 split from Rocket from the Crypt and Dead Bolt titled, Smells Like Grease for Peace. One more record to check off the RFTC checklist, and one more that wasn’t gobbled up by the strict and deviant void that is the United States Postal Service. Still waiting on my Time Hardin and Rocket 45s, you rat-bastards!
A Sleeve for a Ghost
At some point throughout my collecting tenure I acquired just the sleeve to Led Zeppelins’ self titled 4th album. Although the history is (remotely) unknown, I still feel the need to blanket this “envelope of nothing” with the standard protectant sleeve all my other albums receive. Call it habit, call it stupidity, call it what you will.
Let it Bleed Belafonte
“The price of liberty, and even of common humanity, is eternal vigilance.” – Aldous Huxley
I unfortunately don’t have in my possession the 1979 Pelican Records release of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World from the January 27th, 1956 radio broadcast featured on The CBS Radio Workshop, so I can’t accurately depict the subject of this post with the proper visual image. Instead, here is a 1974 Memorabilia Records, When Radio Was King! as a semi-decent stand-in.
Last night the Mrs. and I sat at the dining room table under a humming glow of candlelight and listened to Part 1 of Aldous Huxley’s brilliant broadcast. See, we’re trying to get into classic radio broadcasts to break up our workweek. If you haven’t already, get yer ass over to the Internet Archive and download every single CBS Radio Workshop broadcast that your local hard drive can store. You can thank me later.
Blue Marbled (Guilty) Pleasures
When Alkaline Trio’s self-titled EP comp received its first vinyl release in 2008, it was given the rainbow treatment. Have a seat, because this is a hefty list. Orange marbled, gray marbled, clear with black smoke, brown marbled, and this blue marbled vinyl version. On constant rotation back in the early 2000s when it was first released digitally, Alkaline Trio is a great introduction to a pop-punk band whose glory days are far behind them, and deserves a proper listen, or at the very least, warrants owning five versions of the same album. Listen with pride, kids.
Polly, No Pockets
I know absolutely nothing about Polly Bergen (sorry, Polly), but this 1957 Columbia records release, at one point, and likely very briefly, graced her hands. I imagine a 1957 year old Jane was a lover of Polly’s early film career, or perhaps Jane was just a monster fan of The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse (Polly hosted from 1954 – 1955 before getting her own show, The Polly Bergen Show in 1957). I found this copy at a Goodwill in the valley and decided I had to have it. Maybe I should give it a spin sometime…
Brooklyn Dust Music
Majestic and righteous, all in one cohesive and awe-inspiring logo. File under Album Ass, or best logo of all time. On a side note, mainly because I don’t yet own it on vinyl, but how much does “fresh meat” in Underworld’s stellar Mmm, Skyscraper, I Love You sound like “Presley” during the line, “Elvis, fresh meat, a little whip cream?” Intentional? I’d say, yeah! Happy Monday.
Go Pack Go!
Don’t Forget to Register to Vote – F.Z.
NOFX’s fourth chronological album was actually the third album in the autobiographical sense. Not that this matters in any capacity, but upon discovering White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, I’d found that the band’s rhetoric sounded much more polished and mature than, what I THOUGHT was their previous offering (and my first introduction to the band), 1994’s Punk in Drublic. Well, I was wrong… clearly. To this day I still stutter-step when mentally placing this band’s large output in any discernible order, and every time, White Trash trips me up. This nonsensical rant certainly does nothing to undercut the severity of this amazing album, and should (probably) be forgotten as soon as humanly possible (preferably sooner). Happy Friday!