Let me first say, Happy Halloween, everyone! Second, let’s trick our treats with 1978’s blue vinyl comp, 1967 – 1970. It’s hard to believe this double LP is 37 years old already, but this late era Beatles comp is essential listening material, regardless of the holiday (also available is the early-era sibling, red vinyl version).
Comp albums by the world’s most popular musical act are nothing new, exciting, and / or controversial, but double, colored LPs are a horse of a different color. While going to school up in Ventura, CA some years back, a record store, whose name I cannot recall, went out of business and was celebrating with a storewide ½ off sale. Among some German Simon & Garfunkel, clear vinyl Drive Like Jehu, original pressings of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, I acquired both this, 1978’s 1962 – 1966, and the blue vinyl sibling, 1967 – 1970 for $10 each. They had a Spinal Tap picture disc displayed on the wall… I wish I’d gotten that guy too. Anyway, there is a time and place for compilation albums. I’ve yet to find that hour and location, but I’m sure they exist.
1978 was a great year for a lot of great reasons, leading that list is, of course, the Ralph Bakshi directed animated feature, The Lord of the Rings. Number 2 on said list would have to be Leonard Rosenman’s soundtrack to the film. This double LP album filled with fantastical circumstances of Magical proportions is a personal favorite among my circle (of two). Theme from Lord of the Rings (track one, side one) is played, proclaiming the victorious card player as the overlord supreme commander after a labored, yet smashing day filled with mana, spell-casting, and general adolescent buffoonery. This soundtrack is essential for a victorious lap following heated social battles, and for shaming the battered loser, all in one commanding spin. Recommended.
Yes, I’m well and patiently aware that it’s only Wednesday night (has there ever been a Wednesday Night Fever?), but let’s throw spit and caution to the wind and dust off our shin-kickin’ Boogie Shoes. Let a little (KC) Sunshine into your life, on this dark and drab Wednesday, and get yer ass out there on the dance floor! (Living room rug works just as well.)
The road to 3000 has been a long and winding one, and the choice of the mighty 3000, being the featured white vinyl version of the Beatles 1968 self titled album, is nothing short of exaccurate (exactly accurate).
I’d been hunting this monster down for more than a few years. The hefty price tag ($100+ complete w/ all four headshots and poster) always deterred me from pulling the trigger. That is, until I found this beaut off ebay last week. Knowing the inevitable 3000 was rapidly approaching, my once torrid, vinyl-hording obsession turned into a frugal-minded halt, as I forwent the “casual” purchasing phase until the mighty 3000 came home. I certainly hope #4000 isn’t for quite some time, as space is really starting to become an issue… one that every collector knows all too well.
Likely offered by a swagger-heavy, weight-showcasing, morally questionable record distributor to a (less than known) San Fernando Valley country music DJ (for a bootlegged case of high-octane tequila), this 1978 album of live material by the late, great Waylon Jennings is branded, not unlike a herd of grass-eating, nose-licking bovines, with this shimmering, gold flaked, “Demonstration Not For Sale” imprint.
I’ve seen many a promo in my day, but I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of eyeing one with gold leaf. This here, was a promo with promise! Probably purchased by a prima donna wearing plaid pants.
Is it fair to call yourself a fan if you base your devotion (see what I did there?) solely on a band’s debut album? This was the painfully embarrassing question I asked myself into a rearview mirror while meandering through 405 construction last night. Since as long as I can recall, I’d always been a Devo fan, but I’d only ever owned their first album, 1978’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
I was forced to ask myself, Q: Is it possible that this record is so prolific, so repeatedly nurturing of its innovative ingenuity, that any given listener (me) could throw caution to the wind (or the rest of this band’s mighty catalog), and view Devo exclusively as a 1978 widely misunderstood practical joke? A: Yes… you’re damn well right it’s possible.
Recorded in Germany and produced by none other than Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is a head-pounding collection of 11 adult themed nursery rhymes ripe with uneasy repetition and punk-like snarls. Devo unearthed that perfect blend of proficient musicianship with the overwhelming desire to annoy any suspecting dropper of eaves to the point of nausea, and makes the term “nerd” seem unforgettably horrifying.
Smarts, attitude, and the means to welcome wave after wave of social backlash is certainly enough to make me a lifelong Devo fan, and it’s the perfect combination for creating a timeless and memorable album.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s officially time to freak out. Why you ask? Is it because we’re well into our 2nd week of this adolescent government shutdown? No. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that one of your best friends is getting married in a few days and, like you, he’s an underdeveloped and severely frightened child living in an adult’s body? No, well, yes, but no. Maybe it’s the fact that in exactly 100 days, The Prudent Groove turns 1 year old? Possibly, but I think it’s something much more offbeat and divergent than that. Why can’t we all just freak out for freak out’s sake? I mean, it’s good for the beat-loving soul to freak once and a while, right? Yes. Well, all right then.
A mystical wizard of the electric 6-strings, Mark Knopfler and his merry pub-band, Dire Straits, present a “southern-fried-inspired” British album full of sexy swing and swooning rhythm on their 1978 debut appropriately titled, Dire Straits.
Brit bands performing their versions of Southern Rock can be a phenomenal experience if executed properly. The Kinks did it in 1971 with Muswell Hillbillies, and Dire Straits do it here. I’ve never considered Southern Rock an inspiring genre, but thankfully Dire Straits did. With tracks like Six Blade Knife, Down to the Waterline, Southbound Again and Wild West End, one would think Dire Straits shared a ridgeline with the groovy gents in ZZ Top.
I feel as though I’m doing Dire Straits a disservice by writing about them immediately after writing about the striking social impact of the Sex Pistols. Don’t feel bad for me. It’s my own fault… but you can send letters of encouragement to firstname.lastname@example.org to help calm my writing woes.
Dire Straits is a smooth sailing debut that showcases the unmarked talents of four, part-time musicians (music was the band’s “other” job before and while making this album). Years before free chicks and the lovable MTV, Dire Straits gave us arguably their most treasured gift, Sultans of Swing. With its expansive hook and its crooning delivery, Mark Knopfler and gang create a timeless song perfect for driving down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, aka California State Route 1), enjoying a pint at the pub with a silent stranger, or riding off into the sunset with your loved one resting on your arm.