This album has brought me close to tears, multiple times. Not only is this “New Orleans Jazz” release a perfect standalone, it bridges the geographic gap between my previous chapter in Wisconsin, and my current stint in Los Angeles. James Booker and his iconic Junco Partner happened to be the last melody of any significance I had giddily immersed myself into days leading to my permanent departure from the rural Midwest. What turned out to be rather serendipitous was that The Lost Paramount Tapes was, in fact, the first album of any format (compact disc) I was able to acquire upon my arrival to sunny, congested, southern California (September of 2003 with thanks to Grady’s Record Refuge in Ventura, CA). The first soundtrack to my new life has, today finally joined the fold. Thank you Vinyl Me, Please (a damn good record of the month club that I only recently discontinued) for seeing the unspoken greatness of this absolutely and profoundly perfect record, and for FINALLY providing it a much deserved, and greatly anticipated vinyl release. James Booker was most certainly a character, both sides of the coin, and his efforts on The Lost Paramount Tapes not only resonate on a deeply personal level, they make for one of the best (expletive) albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of spinning. Top 3 records of all time. Hands down.
1973 was a good year for a lot of people. I wouldn’t know, personally, but Mr. Harry Nilsson released an album of 20th-century standards for his 10th studio album, whimsically titled, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, so 1973 couldn’t have been all that bad. Using Sinatra arranger Gordon Jenkins, A Little Touch clocks in at just over 36 mins over 12 songs, and though praised for Nilsson’s prominent vocals, it only received modest chart success. Regardless, A Little Touch is well worth the price of admission, and is a perfect spin for those foggy, Southern California days, or anywhere you can plug in a turntable.
My knowledge of The Allman Brothers Band could fill a mid-century Social Studies textbook, assuming said textbook was completely blank. I know nothing of this band outside their infrequently played radio hit, Ramblin’ Man. Acquiring this album because it was (to me) a cover to a They Might Be Giants song, Jessica. Turns out, I had my starting and end points a bit skewed. Brothers and Sisters is fine, casual, late August, early September, autumnal soundtrack fodder, or something of the like.
This particular copy of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ fifth studio album, 1973’s Catch A Fire must have endured considerable play by the original owner, as this sleeve is absolutely filthy. Record hygiene must have been completely abandoned leaving me to feel the incessant need to scrub my mitts every time I give her a spin. I wonder, to myself, obviously, what would be a proper cleaning solution to clean album covers.
Well, it was only a matter of time until we got to the Steven Tyler-led, 70s monarch, Aerosmith. Hard rock, for the ears of fans who only knew soft rock (I apologize to no one), Aerosmith cemented their historic, decade-looming monument with 1973’s Dream On, although it didn’t receive commercial appreciation until its 1976 re-release, and although my interaction with the band didn’t “officially” occur until the mid-sorry-nineties, one growing up in rural Wisconsin does not go a casual day and not stumble across a bit of Aerosmith, in whatever iteration that plop-cultured medium deemed fit.