Mo Monks

Third Man Records released a 5-track EP earlier this year of previously unreleased material from 1967 by The Monks. This copy, though reasonably priced at $10.99, was in fact NOT the hand numbered white vinyl version limited to 300 copies. All good, however, as the music within captures this obscure band during their (presumably) last recording session prior to their inevitable breakup. All-in-all, a necessary acquisition, if only for the sake of modern music history.

G, G G o H

Though I’ll admit that Tom Jones isn’t necessarily a consistent go-to, Green, Green Grass of Home was certainly a no-brainer for a cool $1. Released in 1967, G,GGoH features some relatively obscure Tom Jones in Georgia on My Mind and That Old Black Magic. I wouldn’t suggest you run out and find this album, but if you stumble across it, give it solid consideration.

Bottoms Up

1967 Dean Martin is solid, reliable, and adequate cocktail-chaser music. Gin and tonic, rye and vermouth with a dash of bitters, or a tart vodka martini are all outstanding pregame options to Deano Martino’s You Can’t Love ’em All. Though originally recorded for the original Ocean’s 11 in 1960, Ain’t That A Kick in the Head made its first LP appearance on this record, or so I could gather by my research companions (Discogs.com and Wikipedia.org). Whether your drink of choice is a Harry Headbanger, black coffee, or simply lemon water, Dean Martin is at the ready with a thirst-quenching soundtrack for you. Bottoms up.

Equinox

There’s something striking, and a bit unnerving about the cover of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66’s 1967 album Equinox. First of all, since their debut album dropped in 1966, and this is their sophomore effort, shouldn’t they have referred to themselves as Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’67? But more importantly, the angle of the cover photo, and the pensive looks across the faces of this great Latin jazz band suggest some hidden, otherworldly connection. When taking the photo for this record, I nonchalantly framed the album on my desk and through my camera saw six, 1967 musicians staring back at me. It was a moment I couldn’t shake, hence the subject of this post. Anyway, the music is great, like I said, Latin jazz, and you should check it out, if you can get past the chilling cover.

Spoon!

spoonI don’t listen to the Lovin’ Spoonful that much these days, and it’s not because the records are located on the shelf right next to Loverboy. But when I do listen to the Lovin’ Spoonful, I get a hearty dose of The Best of. Now, I’m fully aware that greatest hits albums are for lazy bastards and fascist sympathizers, but every once and a while it’s good to “spin the hits,” especially when you forgot you even owned the record.

“… if you don’t move to this one, then you’re dead.”

campus1967’s Belafonte on Campus is a modest collection of college touring favorites played on a then forty school, forty day tour. It’s often easy to overlook the power of folk music on North American youth throughout the murky turmoil that surrounded the late 1960s. Mr. Belafonte was first and foremost a man of the people, and his profound followers filled assembly halls and auditoriums to capacity (in some cases beyond), and Belafonte on Campus is a must listen for any fan of music history, and / or prolific performers. “… if you don’t move to this one, then you’re dead.” – William A. Attaway, Belafonte on Campus back cover.

Viva la Doors!

ILiketheDoorsThe Doors’ debut album (released January 4th, 1967) could almost (… almost) work as a mini greatest hits album, for those of you into mini greatest hits albums. The End, Light My Fire, Alabama Song (Whisky Bar), and their unsuccessful first single, Break on Through (to the Other Side) make for an phenomenal, long-lasting introduction to this historically symbolic LA band. For people into good things, this album is already in your possession, but for those of you into good things but are unaware of The Doors and their first album The Doors, shame on you. Shame on you, and good day! (Says the guy with the 1980 reissue…)

Herb’s Ninth

NinthLatin jazz greats, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass tackle Cole Porter (My Heart Belongs to Daddy) and The Beatles (With a Little Help from My Friends), among others on their 9th studio album, 1967’s Herb Alpert’s Ninth. Lost on me (until a bit of internet digging) is the pop culture joke on the cover. Apparently it was popular in the late 60s to wear shirts with Ludwig van Beethoven’s head on them. Makes sense, really, so jokester Mr. Alpert put his head on a shirt worn by none other than Mr. Beethoven. That goofy horn genius! The music is classic, modern day pop Latin jazz instrumental, and with every other offering by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert’s Ninth comes highly recommended.

That Record is Something Else, Man

SomethingElseI’ve been holding out for the 2012 remastered mono / stereo reissue of The Kink’s 1967 masterpiece, Something Else by the Kinks, but had to pull the trigger on this original US stereo pressing when faced with the decision. Chapter two in the “perfect album string” that started with 1966’s Face to Face and ended with 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies (6 albums in total), Something Else… is home to the following flawless cuts: Harry Rag, Waterloo Sunset, Death of a Clown (a Dave track), David Watts, and Two Sisters. Like with all early, middle, and late Kinks releases, Something Else… is nothing short of essential listening material. Ray Davies = genius… that is all.

White Fudge

VanillaFudgeThis 1967 psych-rock album is the first from Long Island’s Vanilla Fudge, and would serve as the band’s most successful offering, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts. With only three originals on the album Illusions of My Childhood, Pts. 1-3 (all instrumentals), Vanilla Fudge contains far-out and refreshing covers by The Zombies (She’s Not There), The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby and Ticket to Ride), The Supremes (You Keep Me Hangin’ On), and Cher (Bang Bang). For a refreshing take on classic 60’s flare, try some Vanilla Fudge in your groove diet. FudgeBack

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TuesdayAfternoonThe elegant mysticism that surrounds the ethereal journey that is Days of Future Passed is as inviting as it is comforting, and is, for this blue-skied Saturday afternoon, the perfect melodic mate. The Moody Blues and I are forever intertwined, as they were the first live band I’ve ever seen. I used to scoff at that fact, but now embrace it with humbled pride. Thanks, Big Guy for introducing us.

Happy Saturday, kids! Please drink / consume responsibly.

DawnThe Night