Overcast and breezy days make me want to spin Kinks records. Not sure of the correlation there, but I’m not going to fight it. In reflective times such as these, might I suggest the 1966 classic, Face to Face.
Though she may have a few blemishes, I’ll gladly nab The Animals’ Animalization for a cool $0.92. G’wan have to spin this fool first chance we get. The Animals were my first introduction to the British Invasion, so although I’ve moved on to brighter, Kinkier horizons, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my first.
We’ve been sucked into the British Invasion vortex these past few weeks. A relatively calming and energetic state to find oneself, all things considered. On tonight’s rotation is the third studio album from Newcastle’s own, The Animals. Featured here is the 1965 US release on MGM Records titled, Animals Tracks, and as the cover boasts, contains their biggest set yet, but, you tell me… We Gotta Get out of This Place, Bring it on Home to Me, The Story of Bo Diddley, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, and Bury My Body. Personally, I don’t feel the self-promoting cover claim is anything outside of hot-damn accurate.
Released in 1966, or so I’m told, The Yardbirds Greatest Hits captures many of the band’s early British Invasion, blues rock chart toppers into one, neat, cohesive package. But we’re not focusing on this Epic Records release today for its global importance, but instead, for its previous owner’s lamenting admiration for the band.
As can be clearly seen from the five, strategically placed abnormalities on the back cover, this record’s original owner had this, and likely other albums displayed on a wall somewhere, likely in some dingy, smoke-soaked den of excess and euphoria (I like to think somewhere off the Fox River in rural Wisconsin). Five individually places strips of tape were all that was needed to hoist up this audio treasure, which was likely a decent conversation starter for 1966 hoods to drop out and over analyze over. Don’t Bogart that tape, my friend!
Reissued for the first time in the US, RSD’s exclusive live recording of 1965’s You Really Got Me back with Milk Cow Blues (recorded live at Twickenham Television Studios) is pure Kinks gold. $9.98 may in fact be a bit too much for a 2-track 45, but after all, we’re talking about the Kinks here… GOD SAVE THE KINKS!
We touched upon the unauthorized “collateral” vinyl version a few years back, but I just got my grubby mitts on an 8-track copy of the 1973 lawsuit-inspiring classic comp, The Great Lost Kinks Album. Featured here are both the cartridge and the original sleeve (which is essentially the same sticker used for the tape, covering a generic black cardboard sleeve). I need to get an 8-track cleaner to fully enjoy this historic little gem, but my 8-track obsessed mind can gleefully cross off yet another Kinks Stereo 8. Next on the coveted list of “must haves” is 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies, arguably my favorite Kinks package. The Prudent Groove… collecting obsolete and sub-par music formats since 2013, and not second guessing a minute of it.
Yesterday was a good day in terms of record pecking. I was able to find the following four albums (two firsts and two comps) for relatively cheap (it’s not only about the find… it’s also about the deal, as you all well know).
First up is The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut, The Rolling Stones. Now, there were two copies of this album over at Record Surplus, and both sleeves were in pretty good shape. The copy I left behind was priced at $35, but the version I brought home was only $5. Record Surplus is thoughtful enough to provide listening stations (available, albeit restrictive, in five minute intervals). The record looked a bit choppy, but after a test spin, it proved to be only visually perverted. Score one for The Groove!
Second is Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1. I’m absolutely loony over Tim Hardin’s brand of white boy blues (after discovering his 1967 released, 1963-1964 recorded album, This is Tim Hardin). If you don’t know Tim Hardin, you don’t know anguish. It’s as simple as that.
Third and fourth are two of the three part series of early 80s UK punk comps titled, Punk and Disorderly. I’d first heard of these comps via NOFX lyrics in the song, Punk Guy that go “He should’ve been on the cover of Punk and Disorderly.” With 16 tracks apiece, I eagerly look forward to angry meditations in UK punk.
So, there you have it. British Invasion, White Boy Blues, and early UK Punk. Not bad for a stroll down to the corner shop.
Arguably the best 30 track compilation featuring the monstrously influential British Invasion ever to be pressed to wax, this 1981 collaboration between Warner Special Products and Lake Shore Music marries the pinnacle of head-spinning talent that the Queen of England’s own had to offer… up to and including the 1961 single, My Bonnie, featuring Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers. The Beat Brothers, as you know, would eventually change their name to The Beatles… the band name this track is credited to on this compilation.
I’m not going to bore you with the A-1 list of exceptional talent highlighted here (The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Unit 4+2, Donovan, Manfred Mann, The Zombies, Them, Chad & Jeremy, The Beatles, The Spencer Davis Group…), but I will (briefly) mention that someone off Discogs offered to buy my copy of British Sterling, which I appropriately, and respectfully declined. One of these days I’m going to gather enough motivation to digitize this double LP, but until that (dreadfully long and labor intensive) day, two flips for 30 tracks suits me just fine.
Although I don’t consider A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum a pivotal part of the British Invasion, there is something striking about the 1-2 punch of Procol’s Shade followed by Tell Her No by The Zombies. Somebody knew what the hell he or she was doing when they made this compilation. To whomever that is… (raises Sun Records coffee mug) I salute you!
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA state tax? Look at it! It’s got mold or something all over the sleeve. The hell?! On one hand, The Kinks Greatest Hits! is a bit of a farce to begin with, what with it not containing ANYTHING from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One OR Muswell Hillbillies, but it does possess a b side that rivals any five track early Kinks comp I’ve ever heard… but it’s moldy, or whatever… but it’s The Kinks!… but look at it!… its got A Well Respected Man on it, and it’s only $1.84…
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA State tax? Well, you can’t. I already did.