Electric Eclectics

moogBy far the best late 60s Moog record I’ve ever heard, Dick Hyman’s 1969 insta-classic Moog – The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman offers two parts satisfying melody, equal parts goofball, and a twist of the unexpected. I imagine the Moog to be like the zither for those who aren’t keen on the distinct sound, but for those in the mood (the Moog mood?) for a cheerful listening adventure, The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman are just a needle drop away.

 

5

5One can never turn down a Motown presentation, especially when its offered up by Diana Ross. 1969 saw a lot of things, and among them was the first studio release from The Jackson 5, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. I won’t got into details so much as to say, this is essential listening material for both historical, and pleasure purposes.

From Life to the Moon

totheprintedmoonWas flipping though a November, 1969 issue of Life magazine last night, you know, the one with “The Rough-cut King of Country Music” on the cover, aka Johnny Cash, and I came across this amazing full page ad for Time Life Records’ 6x LP box set, To the Moon. I’d acquired this piece of Americana at my brick and mortar about a year ago (the box set, not the magazine… I have my wonderful folks to thank for that one), and I’ve been a bit obsessed with it after the reissue announcement of the Voyager Golden Record box set (Kickstarter), so let’s just say I was a bit beside myself and had to do a double take upon its random discovery in the Life magazine that had been sitting on our living room table for the better part of three years. Man can step foot on the Moon, but I can’t discover a 47 year old record advertisement sitting beneath my nose. For shame.

Anyway, have a read, then head over to Discogs to nab this essential box set for next to nothing. She’s currently $7.50 for the full set (that’s 6x LPs and a 192 page, hardcover book, kids), and if you’re feeling REALLY interplanetary, back the Voyager Golden Record on Kickstarter. You’ll thank me later.

(my) Tom

TommyI used to love the Who. I used to love grape Nerds, tight-rolling my jeans, and collecting Rickey Henderson baseball cards. I can’t necessarily pinpoint when my love affair with the Who lost its passion, but I’ll never forget their fourth album, 1969’s Tommy. Rock operas aren’t my bag, to say the least, but Tommy, well, he’s a hard (rock) shell to crack, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t tested their endurance in a while to give it a solid shot.

A River of Green

GreenRiverCreedence came on at work yesterday and I was taken back to my grade school years when all I listened to, for what seemed like years, was Bad Moon Rising. I overdid it a bit on that track, and have since bypassed that track all together. Green River, Creedence’s third record, and album vehicle with which Bad Moon Rising came, is a non-stop roots rock trophy of classic Creedence. One of those albums that could easily be a greatest hits, Green River includes Cross-Tie Walker, Lodi, Wrote a Song for Everyone, Commotion, and Tombstone Shadow, among, obviously, Bad Moon Rising and the title track. Creedence is like the Kinks in that, once you start down the rabbit hole, it’s several months until you’re allowed to escape. Not a bad problem to encounter, to be honest.

The Turning Point

TurningPointMy first John Mayall album, The Turning Point was, for me, indeed just that. Recorded live on July 12th, 1969, The Turning Point featured Eddie Kramer at the recording engineer helm (of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix fame), with Mr. Mayall acting as producer, album art director, and a stellar offering on keyboards, tambourine, slide guitar, harmonica, and vocals. The multi-hat-wearing Mayall kills the harmonica blues sound for what feels like a room of 10,000 eager fans, and should be deemed necessary listening material for any fan of modern blues rock. The Turning Point may not be the best place to start, given Mayall’s extensive library, but it sure is a damn entertaining ride.

Abbey Ave

roadIs it weird that I’d rather house quarter of a brick of cheese than a thin slice of chocolate cake? I kind of feel my musical intake follows this same allusive guideline, in one form or another. Anyway, nothing to do with that, here is a picture of my latest 8-track snatch. $10 at a brick and mortar up in Ventura, County. She was purchased untested, but plays perfectly fine on the Hitachi home stereo system. This Friday was one for the books… more to come, when I have time. Happy listening weekend!

The 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show

Record ShowIn 1969, Warner-Reprise released a pretty badass 2-LP comp titled, The 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show. The Kinks, The Mothers of Invention, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Fugs, The Dead, Tull, Neil Young, and Fats Domino all make their prominent appearance. It’s a pretty solid comp; mixing well-known with mysterious obscurity. We paid $0.33 for this double LP, and she’s well worth every last dime.

Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play The Beatles

FiedlerModern contemporary conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, Mr. Arthur Fiedler tackles The Beatles with his 1969 album, Play the Beatles. This is EXACTLY what you’d think it would be from the master composer at age 75. 12 classical-pop interpretations of Penny Lane, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby, With a Little Help from My Friends, among others, done the only way Mr. Fiedler and the Boston Pops knew how… straight fucking forward. The only provocative part about this record is the album cover, which in no way represents the contents within. That certainly does not, however, make for a tedious listen. If your expectations are high, and I’m not exactly sure why they would be, pass this one up, but if you’re in the mood for a middle of the road take on British pop songs you’ve heard a thousand times, check out Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play the Beatles.

( )( )

IIWithout question, (yet still, arguably), the WORST back cover to any major album release of any, and all time. Now, there is certainly room for judgment and viable speculation, but k’mon! No track listings… no suggestive band photos… no credits… no nothing! “Look within” I suppose was the point, as well it should have been, but once that (now obvious) objective has been made, the art for Zeppelin II’s album ass is forever implanted (ass humor) in Groove history, or at the very least, made known to the casual passers by in a leisurely, and nonthreatening manner.

Argent

ArgentI was excited to rather recently discover that Rod Argent had continued his music career after the disbanding of The Zombies. Having written the serene The Way I Feel Inside, the colossal hit She’s Not There, the catchy Tell Her No, and the masterpiece Time of the Season, expectations are certainly high for 1969’s Argent. Having not heard anything by Argent (the band, not the man), I’m confident tonight’s spin will be an advantageous one, or should I say Argentageous? No, no I shouldn’t.

Another Day, Another Town, Another Post

CrocesSame album, different covers, same track listing, same catalog number, 2x art options, because with Jim and Ingrid Croce, options are a-plenty. Likely the Croce-head cover is a reissue of the train track melodies original, but with the same cat. number and zero indication of an identifying year, it’s really anybody’s guess.

Not that any of this matters, because at the end of the day, it all comes down to the music, and beneath both covers is a substantial collection of riveting folk-rock full of country themes, hard time, and beautiful lyrics. Ingrid gets as much, if not more mic time than Jim, (and she kills it), but that’s not to say James Joseph Croce ever takes a backseat, or really, that he ever could. From Vespers to Big Wheel to the emotionally cleansing closer, Spin, Spin, Spin, Another Day, Another Town is a monumental collection for anyone looking to tap square into late 60’s Americana, and with anything Croce related, she comes HIGHLY recommended.

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