Was 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.
Just when you think Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 can’t get any more punctual, this shit turns up in the valley being spun by the Boys Beastie, circa 1989, as showcased by this record sleeve from the Anthology: The Sounds of Science. Herb Alpert knew his shit, did he not?!
To follow up the commercially unsuccessful, yet strikingly ultramodern, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, the greatest British Invasion act of all time met 1969 with Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Arthur was originally slated as a soundtrack to a Granada Television play (thanks Wikipedia), which was later scrapped and never produced. Arthur reaches back to the band’s more rock-centric roots, and for a moment, abandoned the hazy-day, uncomplicated soundscapes of Village Green (or something to that effect). Arthur is a perfect bridge from the open-air concept album and the corporate, backdealing-rant that is Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. This particular copy is a 2 LP, mono / stereo remastered European release from 2012. They released a remastered version of Village Green in 2011, but have yet to release Lola with such prominent and uncompromising quality. One day, perhaps…
Without 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.
I 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.
1969 Beatles-inspired electronic music should sound a juicy-ton better than this Zapple Records, Electronic Sound release. Was track / side two’s No Time or Space in fact a casual demonstration from Mr. Krause to Mr. Harrison, or was it actually a composition intended for, albeit, avant-garde, reception?
Back in 1969, Hans Wurman released The Moog Strikes Bach… for RCA Red Seal Records, which is a bit of a strange title considering that ½ of the electronic interpretations derive from the master works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. What the hell… it’s Dr. Robert Moog’s toy, and it’s a gift to all ear-kind, or some type shit. IT’S CLASSICAL MUSIC REINTERPRETED IN 1960’S ELECTRO, PEOPLE! Get on board!
(starting to get sick and my head is as congested as a Verizon Wireless store in Westwood, CA) Mr. PG
Cover distracted, ditsiness aside, The Beginning British Blues is a hint of British Blues history the laypeople (especially including myself) may not have otherwise been hip to. Bridging the Eric Clapton gap between The Yardbirds and Cream, the momentary glimpse of Clapton’s collaboration with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers seems to be the bulk of the focus here. With back sleeve write-up by Jimmy Page (together with Miles Road, a duet with Mr. Clapton), The Beginning British Blues is a hidden treasure of historical significance, something this guy here just discovered he needed to possess.
How a “Best of” album can be fathomed (let alone released) after only two studio albums (out of nine) is far beyond my feeble comprehension, yet, such is the case with The Best of Tim Hardin. Comprised of a single disc cutdown of Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2, this 11-track comp, although magnificent beyond all audible understanding, lies through its teeth with its brags and boasts that this is in fact the best that Tim Hardin had to offer. Does it contain his early, and most pop-centric hits? Sure. Does it contain If I Were A Carpenter and Reason to Believe? Of course. Is it a well-rounded sense of this man’s brilliant songwriting ability, well thought out, considering his lengthy body of work? Not a chance in hell. For my money (I own it twice, and bought it three times), it doesn’t get any better than This is Tim Hardin, a worthy and presentable alternative as an adequate “Best of.”
In a neatly, candy-coated, nutshell, here, in Time Life’s own words, lives the bullet-pointed eccentricities from disc one of To the Moon:
The first message from man on the moon… The moon in legend and the science… The beginning of rocketry… Tsiolkovsky… Goddard… Oberth… Goddard’s first launch… The American Rocket Society… Dorn Berger’s experiments in Germany… World War II and the V-2s.
Side 2 (which, for apparent broadcast reasons, is NOT on the same LP…):
World War II ends… U.S. seizes remaining V-2s and the German Rocket team surrenders to the Americans… H-bombs for the U.S. and the U.S.S.R…. The war in Korea… U.S. space program lags… Sputniks stun the world… The humiliation of Vanguard I and the success of Explorer I.
If that doesn’t tickle your curiosity’s fancy, then I don’t know what will!
Also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! MAY THE MOONS AND THE STARS FOREVER SHINE UPON YOUR LIGHTED MEMORY!
“The dramatic story of man’s boldest venture told in the voice of those whose achieved it.” No, this is not a six record set, documenting the Snuggie, instead, it’s a rather profound, in-depth excursion into the global happenings of this magnificent achievement, man’s first stroll on the moon.
Only one record in, and the wave of entertaining, yet historical, back-story is proving to be well worth the $10 purchase price. As a sucker for the history, as much as the content, To the Moon will ultimately prove to be a bygone treasure of interstellar proportions… and comes HIGHLY recommended.
My heart belongs to the Village Green, but as of late, I’ve been waking up with the rhythmic quips of Arthur dancing merrily throughout my head.
Yes sir, no Sir. Where do I go Sir? What do I do Sir? What do I say?
Not to sound like a blemished disc, but in my humble opinion, it really doesn’t get any better than the Kinks. 1968 gave us The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, and the world was forever grateful. 1969 brought us Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), and we were once again reminded of how fortunate our helpless souls really are. GOD SAVE THE KINKS!
1969 was a colorful year… or so I’m gathering. Fat-assed, punchy kangaroos named Arthur (with an apparent case of the dribbles), baking, medium-rare against the British sun, make for a rather kinky inner gatefold design. Had the music for Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire) not been so impeccably genius, such mundane overindulgences may have garnished more criticism, but as it stands (or squats), this objectifiable throwaway acts more as a condiment for chuckles than an in-depth revelation of the band.
The British sun sets over many lands… as well it should. God save the Kinks!
Originally found on page 750A of the December 1969 issue of National Geographic, this Sounds of the Space Age from Sputnik to Lunar Landing was a recently acquired gem that was quite cheaply excavated (for a whopping $0.45) at a mega-thrift shop in the valley… you know the one, the giant-sized dumping ground of other people’s filth currently occupying the old Circuit City building? There it is. Of course you remember. How could you not? (I’m going absolutely nowhere with this, so I’ll stop the blood flow now.)
This nifty little flexi-disc features historical broadcast snippets surrounding the now light-years away, Space Race, and is narrated by Col. Frank Borman, USAF Astronaut. No fuddy-duddy shenanigans going on with this little marker of historical significance.
I could string together some extraterrestrial hoopla about why the record looks the way it does in the above picture, but the truth is, it’s been overcast all day here and I was forced to use my camera’s flash. That, and I rather dig the rings-of-Saturn-like groove highlights. Sometimes accidents yield unexpected results, and sometimes laziness eclipses the whole lot and one is forced to make do with what one’s got.
One word… Superposter. It’s not just your routine poster. Standard posters are for coupon cutters and puddle jumpers. Superposters… now, that’s the bees knees, you dig? Got a neighbor with a bum knee who can’t will himself to the kitchen to boil an egg? Give ‘em a Bob Dylan clown head Superposter. Want to grease the wheels with your kid’s 2nd grade math teacher because your kid keeps bringing home C’s? Give Mrs. Fractionstein a Moby Grape Superposter. Before you know it, little Suzysucksatmath will be merrily skipping home with her justly deserved B-. (Allow three weeks for delivery. Offer expires 12/30/69.)
Superposters… putting ordinary posters to shame since the late 60’s.
It’s a beautiful day. Is it? I don’t find it beautiful per say. More like adequate, sufficient, or possibly even two shades of presentable. But beautiful? There were certainly things about the day that were beautiful. Like for instance when the smog-clouds dissipated and the sun finally clocked in for work. It was certainly pleasant, but beautiful? Meh.
Now, as far as the late 60s SF folk-rock band with ankles wading in the pool of psychedelia, that (when stricken with the groove-mood to let the mind wander) is beautiful. I discovered It’s A Beautiful Day on an obscure psychedelic site a few years back, and upon seeing a hefty $35 price tag for this, their 1969 album, also their first, at my local record shop, I immediately thought this 7-track debut must have been filled with ear gold (golden earrings?). Turns out, the record shop had just severely overpriced this album. I ended up nabbing this copy for $1 at a shop closer to downtown.
Although it may not necessarily be a beautiful day, any day that isn’t terrible is that much closer to beautiful.
I was a needle-nosed 12-year-old when I endured my first, of many, very important lessons in the ways of essential music listening. That topic… The Beatles. The coach… my father.
Back when my only CDs were Gonna Make You Sweat by C+C Music Factory and Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em by the illustrious MC Hammer, you can imagine my childish shock upon hearing Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and Polythene Pam for the first time, let alone I Want You (She’s So Heavy). It was the summer of 1992, and all I listened to, all summer, was 1969’s Abbey Road. It was a stern suggestion from my father, and was a crucial, and unforgettable introduction to the boundless universe of planet Beatle.
Needless to say, that summer changed my life. I hit the Beatles accelerator (on my VW Bug… sorry, had to) and have yet to look back.
Thanks for the scholarly advice, dad, and for opening the door to a lifetime of euphoric, and essential music. Happy birthday, Big Guy!
No, this is an album by Tom Jones. Actually, if you take a step back even further, this is a blog post about an album by Tom Jones, and on this album by Tom Jones, evident by this blog post about an album by Tom Jones… you know, the blog post about an album by Tom Jones that you are currently (struggling through) reading, Tom Jones belts his little Tom Jones heart out while singing favored songs by such Tom Jones inspiring artists as Otis Redding, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Released in 1969 to promote a variety show by the same name, This is Tom Jones (the album, not the man… whose actual name is Thomas John Woodward, by the way) is a fairly well-rounded representation of this Welsh singer’s admired talents. I must admit that although my fondness for Tom Jones is casual, at best, I’m more than happy to welcome this album (by Tom Jones) into my collection.
This concludes the blog post about the album, This is Tom Jones titled, This is Tom Jones.