Calypso, Harry Belafonte’s third album, is an exciting and turbulent ride. It precedes Jump Up Calypso, my personal favorite, by about five years, and is pure, unquestionable, Belafonte gold. Both figuratively and literally, having officially reaching Gold status, and it was the first LP in history to sell over one million copies. Don’t believe me? Check the cover. “One of the Biggest-Selling Albums of All Time… Says it all, mate!
Was this how it was to be young again, circa: 1940 or 1941? Time Life Records certainly thought so back in 1970 when this 3x LP comp was released. 30, unoriginal (read: covers… or impostors) tracks span the popular swing sound during this two-year period, highlighting works from Duke Ellington, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Les Brown, Glenn Miller, and the like. If you’re in the mood (see what I did there?) for original swing era recordings, The Swing Era: The Music of 1940-1941; How It Was to be Young Then is NOT for you, but if you’re satisfied with some unobtrusive background instrumental ditties, then this box set may be your bag.
I just recently decided that I don’t listen to enough Blondie. I think I saw Blondie at a Tibetan Freedom Concert some several years back, but I could be wrong. Probably am. Anyway, AutoAmerican is Blondie’s fifth studio album and was released on Chrysalis Records in November of 1980. The #1 hit (in both the UK and the US) The Tide is High is actually a cover of a 1967 Jamaican ska track of the same name released by The Paragons. So, there you have it.
It can’t be stated enough, but for me, an album reaches pinnacle status once pressed on clear vinyl. My entire collection would be clear vinyl if at all possible, so when Hellcat Records released Operation Ivy’s only full-length on clear wax, I knew it was time to retire this monumental release. Already owning it on black, red, and picture disc, clear is the perfect shade to round out not only a perfect album, but a formidable chapter in my ears’ career.
Hidden beneath a thin shield of formed plastic is Luscious Jackson’s 1994 single, Deep Shag. Released on Grand Royal Records (GR 011), this 4-track 12″ contains three remixes of the single, and the previously unreleased track, Daddy. I own not one, but two sealed copies of this record. Why? I couldn’t for the life of me tell you, especially when they fetch for only $0.98 on Discogs. May have to finally set one of these free today.