Debut albums by glam rock bands often go overlooked when you’re not necessarily a fan of glam rock bands. Not the case with Poison’s 1986 offering, Look What the Cat Dragged In. Housing four singles, and listed at the coveted #2 spot on Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time, Look was produced for a total of only $23,000, as insanely low amount, even adjusted for inflation. No, Look doesn’t include Every Rose Has its Thorn, Your Mama Don’t Dance (a Loggins and Messina cover, and a personal, youth-fueled favorite), or even Fallen Angel (all would come with their sophomore offering with 1988’s Open Up and Say… Ahh!), but Look is still a sweaty, slutty, heavy metal classic worth its weight in L.A. Looks mega hold hair gel . Listen with caution, listen with hair.
Mainly just a post for the photo, but I’ll say, without a hint of hesitation, that as long as Newbury Comics keeps pressing exclusive vinyl releases of Odessey & Oracle, I’ll continue buying them. Maybe I’ve made this statement before… come to think of it, sure… I have. The Zombies have been nominated again (their fourth nod) to the rock and roll hall of fame. Fingers, toes, and wires crossed, they make it this year. They’re clearly deserving of the offer.
2005 saw the 3x LP compilation release (Sold My Soul), a catch-all, smash track, greatest hits, of sorts, by Los Angeles pretty-boy-hoodlums, The Pharcyde, and was released on the extremely short-lived The Funky Chemist Records label (they only produced five records, including this one). Little-to-nothing can be found about this label (from a quick, Google / Discogs / Wiki search), but these 24-tracks are a fantastic place to start for the casual Pharcyde connoisseur. It was also released in compact disc, if that’s more your bag.
I’ve kind of shied away from the Minutemen in recent months. Not by conscious choice, but by the inevitable interferences of everyday life. Same can be said for a lot of the old standbys, actually. Sleep. Extra time. My sanity. Anyway, this is the back sleeve cover to Minutemen’s 1983 EP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat. If you’ve ever felt like a gringo, you should check it out (track 6).
Fewer things bring unexpected pleasure than my wife, in the middle of the kitchen, with a bit of a Southern drawl, and a calm temper, muttering to herself, “I wanna kill.” You see, prior to a few weeks ago, she had never heard Alice’s Restaurant Massacree. So then, we had to proceed to listen to the track, in its entirety, for the next few weeks. (Twenty-seven 8×10 glossy photographs with the circles and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was, to be used as evidence against us.) Now friends, if you haven’t spun, picked, or played Alice’s Restaurant Massacree in quite some time, I humbly suggest you put this on the top of your to-do list. The lyrics are nothing short of hysterical, the chorus is catchy as hell, and if you listen to it enough, your significant other might start randomly quoting it without prompt or any slight hint of mention. These moments, well, these are the good moments.
Released in 1969, Okie from Muskogee was Merle Haggard and The Strangers’ first live album, likely attempting to mimic the success of ’68’s At Folsom Prison by the Man in Black. Okie was recorded, of all places, in Muskogee, Oklahoma in October of ’69, which was, apparently, a day before the studio album started making the country charts, or so Wikipedia would have us believe. Though I prefer the studio version, to hear the live version, recorded in the town that the track is about, is a pretty decent substitute.
I grew up on the Andy Griffith Show, so I felt inclined to procure at least one of the man’s albums for the collection, especially when said album was only $1 at a thrift shop. Released via means of Columbia Records back in 1972, Somebody Bigger Than You and I sees Mr. Griffith praising his deity with the twang of folk and country. The 7th studio album from this Hollywood great, Somebody Bigger… would be the first record since 1964’s Andy and Cleopatra on the Capitol label. At a specific time, in a specific place, this album fits the bill.
So, I’m not a fan of social media, for a slew of reasons, but once in a while, my casual strolls through the Instagram and Facebook walls pay dividends. Case in point, this Riot Fest flexi pack from Fat Wreck Chords. See, I didn’t go to this year’s Riot Fest (or any of the prior years), but one of the punk dudes I follow posted a quick heads up that Fat was selling leftover flexi packs on their website for a cool $15. Included is a split between Mad Caddies and Face to Face, Snuff and Swingin’ Utters, and finally, Night Birds and NOFX. Flexis, as a rule, don’t contain a whole lot of quality, but this pack was a fun surprise. Thanks, Instagram dude!
It seems around the same time as my Creedence journey, or shortly there after (before?), I stumbled across a record store closing its doors. Everything in the store was half off, so after a solid hour (or four), I walked out with a treasure trove of goodies, including this Simon & Garfunkel 45, The Sounds of Silence b/w Homeward Bound. I remember ALMOST nabbing a Spinal Tap picture disc, that was proudly displayed on the wall (for another few weeks before the doors would be locked for good), but mostly, I remember being the only person in the store, rummaging through unexpected, and quite cheap (and potential) riches. I don’t recall the name of the store, but I’ll never forget the fate that timing allowed.
There were a solid few months, some several years back, where all I’d listen to was Creedence on vinyl. Around this time I was finishing up the stellar discography of studio albums (of which there are seven: self titled, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum, and the often forgotten, Mardi Gras). 45s were fairly easy enough to come by, and this one from 1970 was a spoil from my travels… Travelin’ Band b/w Who’ll Stop the Rain. Both essential CCR numbers at any rpm.
In addition to authoring classic children’s books (Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic were grade school favorites for me, as I assume they were for you), and many other vast and treasured avenues, Shel Silverstein was a prolific songwriter. He wrote hits for Loretta Lynn, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, and of course, for Johnny Cash on arguably one of his most famous tracks, A Boy Named Sue. Mr. Silverstein’s history, one I’m soon to further explore, dates back to the Elektra label with his 1959 album, Hairy Jazz. Good luck finding a copy on the cheap, and if you have an extra one, thank you in advance for sending it my way.
We have recently fallen in love with a local pizza joint that spins actual vinyl on Technics 1200s. Not only are the vibes groovy and handpicked by the staff, the pizza is New Jersey-style, and absolutely delicious. Might I suggest a little Jackie Wilson with a side of Garibaldi (red sauce, cheese, meatball, jalapeno, tomato). Delicious Pizza, you’ve got a valid competitor.
Now, I was certain I’d already posted about this seminal soundtrack, but a quick site search conflicts with my shady memory. Originally released in accompaniment with the film in 2000, this 2015 colored vinyl version was a Record Store Day Black Friday, 15th Anniversary release from November 2015. There also appears to be a red vinyl version, limited to 500 copies “pressed exclusively for Red Bull Sound Select’s 30 Days in L.A.” (Thanks, Discogs.com). The only prior vinyl version came from Germany or the UK, and were extremely limited (not to mention fetch a hefty price online). 2016 black vinyl versions fetch for around $20, so options a-plenty.
Yup… this concert was over 18 years ago (le sigh). Certainly not a fan of The Nuge’s political position, but he was fairly solid with Skid Row and solo. Kiss was, obviously amazing, though I wish I hadn’t missed the blood-spitting part of the rock n’ roll show. The overpriced beer that caused me to miss this classic experience only added insult to the injury.
Technically, this is the official first album released by The First Edition to be credited to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, the first three albums listing the group as simply The First Edition. Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town dropped in 1969, and features the ensemble’s rendition of the Kris Kristofferson-written classic, Me and Bobby McGee. A brief recording history of this song… Roger Miller was the first to record it in ’69, followed by Gordon Lightfoot, then arguably most notably by Janis Joplin in ’70, just a few days before her death. The track is number two on side A, and is a great one-two punch following this album’s title track.
Rage’s second album, 1996’s Evil Empire was a (bit) more refined outing when compared to their debut album (that which was released four years earlier), 1992’s Rage Against the Machine. A classic, though not as highly regarded as their debut, Evil Empire recently received the Newbury Comics treatment, with this red colored vinyl pressing of 1200 copies. In any color or limited run, this album is a no-brainer.