I can’t tell you how I discovered this, but I recently found out that Modern Harmonic is offering the colored vinyl pressing of Sun Ra’s otherworldly comp, Exotica at a dirt-cheap retail price (20% off now, for some strange reason). I received my copy just yesterday, so ignore the $65+ price tags for used copies on Discogs, and get yours straight from the source!
For straight-forward, late 50’s country with all the twangin’, fiddlin’, and general “hurtin'” that invariably comes with it, Ray Price’s Greatest Hits is a deserving catch-all for those able to stomach the early genre (early being the optimal word, here). With 12-tracks, including the #1 Country Hit, Crazy Arms, RP’s GH has both feet firmly planted within this country legend’s early material (the album having been released in 1963), and is a pretty good representation of the time, and the talent.
I was so excited upon discovering this (cheap-ass) reissue of The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde, that I didn’t even care it was housed in a generic white, Delicious Vinyl sleeve. Up to this point (sometime in 1998), I’d only had this classic album’s cassette and compact disc releases, and had never even seen a copy of the original on vinyl, then, only six years old. The original is still missing from the collection, but this “personal original” houses a special place within the collection. File this under “one of the first 50 records owned.”
Made famous (in part) for their cover of The Kinks’ Stop Your Sobbin’, Pretenders (or The Pretenders, depending on who you ask… no, not the doo-wop crooners from the 1950s), were a London-based edge-band, forming in 1978. Releasing their eponymous debut for Sire Records (United States) in January of 1980, this self-titled masterwork is an effective mix of pop, rock, and punk, featuring the barking vocals of Chrissie Hynde. You should already own this, but if you don’t, add it to your (ever growing) list.
I’m a little reluctant to write about Don Preston and his 1968 debut, Bluse as I feel the story is deserving of more time than I currently have (or am willing) to give to it, save to say, it wasn’t anything that I thought it was, in the best way possible. Purchased as a joke, whose backstory will be saved for another time, I foolishly discovered that Mr. Preston is (still alive) a stellar guitarist, and has played with some of the very best: Rick Nelson, George Harrison, JJ Cale, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, The Righteous Brothers, and Ritchie Valens, to name a short few. Bluse is classic blues-rock (bluse-rock?), and is as anything spectacular as you would think, having read the list of unquestionable legends above.
HYPE STICKERS! Come one, come all, ‘n get ‘yer hype stickers! This one is for the 2015 Rhino Records colored vinyl reissue to Fire on the Bayou, the classic album by New Orleans legends, The Meters. Now, more and more collectors these days may be, in-fact, keeping all their record hype (stickers, fliers, download cards, etc.), but the sentimental part of me wonders what hype stickers to classic albums from the 60s and 70s looked like. Some I’ve seen and we’ve explored, but others, I fear, are lost for good. Anyway, this one is only a few years old, but it hyped me enough to purchase the album!
1984 was a symbolic and busy year, for events both unpredictable, and all too obvious. ’84 saw Jerry Lee Lewis surrendering to the feds for evading his income taxes, the year where Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr married Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders, the year when Red Hot Chili Peppers released their debut album, and even the year where Michael Jackson’s head engulfed into flames during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Can anyone say free Pepsi for life?! 1984 (Nineteen Eight-Four) is also the title to George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece (first published in 1949), as well as a feature film starring John Hurt (RIP) released in, you guessed it, 1984. The soundtrack single, showcased here, saw synth-pop masters, Eurythmics performing the track, Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four). Presented here are both the single version, and the near 8-minute extended version, both perfect for remembering a year when Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father, and Bruce Springsteen would release his infamous, Born in the U.S.A. Lots to do… lots to do…
This cover… am I right?! Lovely lady on the left is 17 shades of excited, what, with her cocktail glass full of lukewarm tap water, and Sterling McSternsersons on the right is paying attention to absolutely ANYTHING but the jovial woman directly in front of him. Follow the eye lines, follow the drama!
Always read the fine print, kids. I got excited for this Porno for Pyros picture disc and was so clouded that I didn’t realize this 12″ was for the Pets single, and in fact NOT the full-length debut album with the same cover. Pets is great and all, and ok, sure, I already own two versions of the full length, but I’m just a little pissed at myself for not digging a little deeper. You live, and with luck, you learn.
Rare are the days, these days, when I stumble across a Grand Royal Records release for under $2 that I don’t already have in the collection. Such was the case with GR063 and DJ Strictnine and Paranorm’s The Blow Up Factor contribution from 1999 titled, Mic Reaction. Included is the raging title track, its instrumental sibling, in addition to three other off-the-hook hip hop explosions (there were hooks? I didn’t see any hooks…). Anyway, one simply doesn’t pass up a Blow Up Factor release. If you own one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All that’s left to complete the set is 2000’s Vol. 4 by The Prunes featuring Freestyle, the final of four in the coveted series. The label would be defunct a year later, finally closing its bankrupt doors in 2001.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that it took me until a week ago to acquire this seminal new wave classic, The B-52’s self-titled debut from 1979. For years I thought I’d already owned it, which is why I’d passed it up so many uneducated times, but now, all those misfortunes are a thing of the past, because Rock Lobster (final track on side 1) has finally come home.
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, an 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.