So, apparently “light music” is a genre. You classical nuts out there may scoff at my ignorance, but the term just seems too generalized, if, you know, you ask me. Light music has many siblings under the easy listening roof, and is sometimes considered concert or mood music. Man, to deconstruct all the little orphans that make up the easy listening compound seems, at first thought, an exhausting undertaking, so I’m going to squash the impending headache and am never considering tackling that nightmare ever again. Anyway, sidetrack aside, this 1977 collection of 1946 radio-only, unreleased material by Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra is a great way to set an ambient tone for an in-home dinner date, or to completely derail a house party filled with deviant hipsters. Both are pleasant thoughts, and The Uncollected Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra 1946 is a terribly pleasant listen.
Oh, Steve Miller. Tucked inside my 1977 copy of Book of Dreams was this pristine insert order form. From posters, to a concert / tour book, to a variety of shirts, and finally to a grab-bag fan club kit, Jokers and Jet Airliners alike could spend their hard-earned, late 70s cash on solid Steve Miller schwag, and for seemingly modest prices. One can never have too much Steve Miller schwag as far as I’m concerned, and the fine people at Capitol Records felt the same way.
My first “official” introduction to Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (outside a small font credit to a sample used on the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication), was this $4 purchase from good ol’ Half Price Books, 1977’s Richard Pryor’s Greatest Hits. I knew little to nothing of the man prior (or should I say Pryor… no) to this album, forgetting completely that this was the same Wonder Wheel-wielding genius from the slightly racist The Toy film (1982), so let me put it lightly by stating that my feeble mind was completely blown into some previously unknown realm of human consciousness upon first spin. Everyone I knew who cared to listen heard this album, with a slightly obnoxious and giddy introduction by me, and to this day, Richard Pryor’s Greatest Hits is still, by far, one of my all-time favorite records. It doesn’t hurt that it was probably one of my first 20 records purchased, but the content certainly (and quite vulgarly… let’s say “honestly”) speaks for itself.
It’s always an exciting and rewarding adventure to go record shopping with the wife for a variety of newly discoverable reasons. Our tastes vary, quite differently, for starters, but that’s all part of the charm. Case in point, this all-star jazz live recording of CTI veterans performing at the Hollywood Bowl from 1977. I’d never think to look for this, but couldn’t be happier with my wife’s decision. Discovering new music through the eyes, and ears, of others. Happy Thursday, kids.
There are some that will say that the best one-two punch-in-consecutive, one-two-tracks-on-an-album are something Zeppelin, or Beatles related. To them, this disclaimer is (likely) not accurate. For me, and mine, the KO comes from either RFTC’s Scream, Dracula, Scream!, or George Thorogood’s George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Find this out for yourself, I suppose.
I had the pleasure of obtaining a UK original of The Clash’s debut album, neatly titled The Clash a few years back. Of course, there is an alternate tracklist on the UK version that differs slightly from the Canadian and US versions, and since both of those versions came out a full two years after this 1977 original, this UK version is strongly considered the only true full-length debut from the band. For those of you into such things, there you have it. For those of you who aren’t, you can show yourselves out.
One wonders what Joe Strummer would think of his first Clash record being released on blue / white split vinyl for Black Friday… My interjections of Joe’s disdain for this release aside, she does make for a perfectly viable reason to fork over $29 for an album one already owns three times over. One never, ever goes wrong with The Clash, and this was, most certainly, $29 very well spent.
And it was at this point in his wayward life where he got electrofunked and dove, head over high heels into the indubious stratosphere of funk. Parliament has been on heavy rotation at the office, and has since sparked feverish interest by yours truly. Whatever you do this fine, Friday evening, be sure to give up the funk!
Bend your mind one side at a time with 1977’s Guitar Boogie. Fix yourself a heaping plate of last night’s grub, pour out a pint of your favorite brew, dim the lights and drop the needle, because it’s damn near boogie time. Have you heard of these young, up-and-comers? Eric Clapton? Jeff Beck? Jimmy Page? Nah, me neither, but this comp of classic blues-infused slut-rock is essential Monday night listening material, or, at least it is around our household. Sometimes, Mondays need that extra boogie…