Another find from the recent online hunt is (yet) another Elvis Costello release. This time, This Year’s Model on 8-track. Now, I know we’d “recently” touched upon the vinyl version of this seminal album, but let’s be honest, is $12 too much to pay for an essential, recent obsession on an obsolete format? Well, clearly, the answer is an astounding no! Happy New Year, kids!
Nun Sutch… I’ve been salivating over this release ever since my father, another record collector, sent me a photo some several months ago. I know little-to-nothing ( read: absolutely nothing) about his “Lord” or his ambitious shenanigans. We look forward to discovering the greatness within… thanks, Big Guy!
A Whole Lotta Frankie, as the record title goes, but part of me wonders (hopes, really), that young Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were fancy to the Frankie sound and were keen to this album, so much so that they “adopted” the “Whole Lotta’ part for their own drug-induced, sex-crazed, chart-topping needs. 17 hits had Frankie, Page and Plant got that beat.
Yesteryear’s headliners include, but are not limited to, Marty Robbins, Johnny Mathis, The Four Lads, The Dave Brubeck Trio, and Tony Bennett. Limited to “exclusive” member of Columbia (yes… THAT Columbia), circa: 1960, this collection of pop jingles by moguls of yesterday’s legends has its place and time, and is perfect for evenings waiting for your significant other to finish “getting ready.” Love you! 😉
So, and I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but when I get into something, say an artist, say, Elvis Costello, I get head over heels into them! This recent acquisition, on 8-track cassette is of Elvis Costello’s debut, 1977 album, My Aim is True. Lucky for us, the 8-track stereo hi-fi is in full, functioning order, so casual reading sessions on the living room couch will now sound even better, thanks to Declan Patrick MacManus and his late 70s classic.
Hey, hey! More of the Monkees, released back in ’67, as you’re well aware, I’m sure, was recently added to the collection by means of my cold-loving (or, at the very least, cold-tolerating) family. As my wife is the self-proclaimed fifth Monkee (more, much, much more for another time), this record annoys the neighbors in ways that make us happy well beyond our years. Riddle me this, Davy… why the shit were (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone and I’m A Believer saved for this second helping catch-all? A long-lasting question for the ages… and now, Mr. Serling…
Never one to scoff at anything swing-era related, I thank my thoughtful kin for this greatest hits collection by the comfort-inducing Glenn Miller, simply and adequately titled, Pure Gold. Chattanooga Choo Choo, In the Mood, Little Brown Jug… I can go on and on, and on, and on… I will say, for the record, that Moonlight Serenade (also included on this 12″) may, in fact, be one of the best songs ever written. Comfort food for the ears. You’re welcome.
An American Heritage Record… need I say more? Yes?! Well, fine, then. This unique collection (titled Over Here Over There) consists of popular WWII songs on both sides of the Atlantic (United States and England, for those of you geographically inclined). An interesting concept compilation album, for sure, the household eagerly looks forward to this historical trip down Popmusic Ln.
This is the last remaining album to be personally entered into Discogs, at least, until the next one comes along. Titled, Polish String Bands Play Polkas, this jovial 12″ is a perfect fit for mid-afternoon beer-battered cheese curd adventures, and, well, the like. Keep an eye out in the (not so) near future for its inclusion into the Discogs universe.
Ranwood, as it turns out, was co-owned by bandleader, and grandparent-favorite, Lawrence Welk starting back in 1968. Together with Dot Records creator Randy Wood, Ranwood (see where the name comes from?) would enjoy moderate success up until, and surpassing the acquisition by Mr. Lawrence Welk, whose bulk library was released on the label. Any way you spin it, this logo is one that can’t be beat!
Though the year is unknown, I estimate this price sticker to be somewhere in the mid-1960s range. Let’s say, for the sake of this post, that we’re looking at sealed record from 1968, with a price tag of $3.97. Adjusted for inflation, that same sealed record would cost you a whopping $28.67 today. That’s a bit of a jump, no? Anyway, $28 and change is, unfortunately, about the going rate for new releases these days (a bit more for Mondo and Waxwork gems). Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point. Buy used records. Hunt down original releases, and save yourself a hefty sum. Unless, of course, you’ve got a bottomless coin purse, then the world is your canvas, assuming of course you have space for all of your fancy colors.
My (extremely limited) exposure to Frankie Avalon can be (easily) traced back to a single motion picture… 1987’s Back to the Beach. I know, I know… what a disgrace I must be to my early-60s brethren, and this comes with absolutely zero hint of disrespect, but my 8-year-old-self had all but forgotten about this teen idol of yesteryear. A recent holiday haul has rectified that situation (thanks, folks!), so now we spin, and relearn from this classic tiger beat.
Preceding 1986’s Blood & Chocolate by only seven months is this T-Bone Burnett-produced icon, King of America. Billed as The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and Confederates in the UK and simply The Costello Show featuring Elvis Costello in the US, this 15-tracker clocks in at just under an hour (57:36) and features Costello’s fixation with Americana (at some points sounding almost completely country… but in a good way). The cover photo is emblematic and was my only visual recollection of Mr. Costello for much of my budding years… so much so that I thought it was a cover to a Greatest Hits or catch-all double or triple CD box, but alas, just a groovy cover to a groovy album, his 10th studio effort.
Let me just simply say this… I love Mondo. Their hassle-free, quick shipping and superb packing make for worry-free ordering. This, coupled with their almost frequent limited pressings makes any release a complete no-brainer. Case in point, this White Russian vinyl colored 20th anniversary release of The Big Lebowski (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). A pro tip for those not already doing this: get on their mailing list, and set calendar reminders for online sale times, because when they’re gone, they’re gone, and third party sales over at Discogs will make you wish you did.
I heard Elvis Costello’s I Want You on Spotify a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with it. A maturing Declan MacManus is not for the faint of heart (at least, not for those heavily into his first two albums: 1977’s My Aim is True and 1978’s This Year’s Model), but respect should be given to the delightful evolution of his songwriting ability. Blood & Chocolate is the King’s eleventh studio album (recorded between March and May of ’86, released that September), and would prove to be the last with The Attractions for nearly a decade (eight years until the release of 1994’s Brutal Youth). I Want You, the obvious standout, is a near seven minute emotional roller coaster that finishes up the first side. Listen with caution, but listen with frequent urgency.
My listening affair with The Rolling Stones carries with it a heavy satchel of struggle and self-inflicting restraint. The evolution from tolerating, through hating, and ultimately to accepting has been a long and winded excursion. Not completely unlike the band’s 1967 compilation album, Flowers (or the majority of these posts). This collection of (some) previously released tracks (about half) and unreleased (at least in the US) songs from Aftermath and Between the Buttons sessions create a (money-grabbing) faux-flower-power album, perfect for the rainbow of hipsters gallivanting their way through the free-spirited summer of ’67 (the album was released on June 26th). If you can stomach the overindulgent counterculture cover, you’ll find the seeds within are anything but psychedelic (compared to say, early Floyd), and are actually heavy hitters of oldies radio airwaves (Mother’s Little Helper, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, etc.). Whatever your personal feelings are towards this dominant group, Flowers is worthy of an in-depth exploration, even if you’ve heard the bulk of it before.
I’ve yet to find a turntable where this reissue of Rainbow Ffolly’s debut, Sallies Fforth DOESN’T skip like a rock over a calming pond… I hesitate purchasing another copy, on principle alone, but I really want to enjoy this quirky and bubbly album. Until I can overcome my personal demons and pull that proverbial trigger, I’ll stick to the digital copy.
FINALLY! The Burbs, the late 80s classic summer blockbuster (more like cul-de-sac-buster, am I right?!) gets a deserving vinyl pressing on this double, 180 gram “suburban sky” colored wax by Waxwork Records. This extended score by Jerry Goldsmith is flawless from start to finish, both in its superior audio quality, and its newly-imagined packaging. Some might scoff at he $36 price tag, but all things considered, this essential score, for the first time, of this quality, well, that’s something worth chanting about, right Ray?