File Under: Sumac – Female Vocal

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase Yma Sumac’s Voice of the Xtabay, as a 12″ nonetheless! What the hell would have stopped ya’? You may ask. Well, Nosey Neil, I’d already been the proud owner of the original 10″, so my inner money-saver began prodding with “reasonable” questions… that was until I discovered that the 12″ not only contained all 8 tracks from the original 10″, but also all 8 tracks from 1953’s Inca Taqui. Pimped as A Capitol Records Value (sticker in top right corner), the clear and correct decision to obtain was swiftly and promptly applied. Let’s not forget that legendary Space Age Pop-per Les Baxter composed and produced Voices, so you pretty much know you’re getting quality music. The 12″ is a steal at any price, and comes highly recommended.

How High?

Back in 1951, the husband and wife combo of Les Paul and Mary Ford released a slew of shellac 78s. Almost exclusively on the Capitol Records label, this 10″ features Les on his custom Gibson and Mary’s angelic melody on vocals. How High the Moon back with Walkin’ and Whistlin’ Blues as catalog no. 1451. The former is from the stage production of Two for the Show, while the latter is a lazy stroll of an instrumental with a country twang and a foot-stomp backbeat. Certainly a fun, yet restricted and short listen.

Stereo Now!

Give the benevolent gift of stereo this holiday season with Capitol Records’ New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo. It “sounds better than stereo has ever sounded before,” and it’s available “on all new capitol stereo discs.” With new “bite” to the brass, “impact” in the percussion, and crisp clarity you’d find only in a thrilling live performance, Capitol’s stereo recordings are a heavenly gift, perfect for any and every collector. Ask your dealer for more information, or write your congressperson.

Ace is the Place

Hey kids, stop the violence with your man, MY man, Mellow Man Ace! Circa: 1989 on Capitol Records, Mellow’s debut album, Escape from Havana featured, among many other (then) all-stars, both Delicious Vinyl owners Matt Dike and Michael Ross, as well as the ever-illusive Dust Brothers. Watch out for the explicit lyrics, but if you can gather your parent’s permission, you’re in for one peace-happy treat.

(A)Live Album

Live Album (aka the Grand Funk Railroad live album) was released by Capitol Records in the summer of 1970. Though the gatefold cover shows the band performing at the Atlanta International Pop Festival (fourth of July weekend), none of Live Album’s tracks were recorded there. A little food for misguided thought. Also present at the festival were It’s a Beautiful Day, Procol Harum, B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Spirit, and Mott the Hoople. Sounds like a dangerous time. It’s no wonder none of the band’s songs from this performance were included on the record.

Endless Summer

Endless Summer is a compilation album of Beach Boys classics from 62-65, released in 1974. It sold over 3 million copies. I own two. One, a double LP and two, this 8-track cartridge. I don’t use the word cartridge enough. Moving on… the LP version comes with a poster. The 8-track however does not. Endless Summer would spend a crazy 155 weeks on the Billboard album chart, and would become the band’s 2nd chart-topping album. It has an anniversary coming up. June 24th, for whatever that’s worth. But since we here in Los Angeles are suffocating under a blanket of fog (ol’ June Gloom), let’s look to another source of light for our summer entertainment. Even if The Beach Boys aren’t your bag, Endless Summer is certainly a must-have, in any format.

Frozen Metal Head

This EP has eluded me for long enough. A UK only release, 1992’s Frozen Metal Head features two versions of Jimmy James (the Single Version and the Original Original Version), a remix of the single So What’ Chat Want, and the instrumental, Drinkin’ Wine. Though the pressing info isn’t known, she’s housed within a solid white vinyl casing, and sounds perfect to virgin ears. This EP comes highly recommended.

Nasty

Upon its 1998 release, I grew to hold some nasty resentment towards my (then) favorite band’s Hello Nasty release (their fifth). For me, 1992’s Check Your Head and 1994’s Ill Communication were the perfect, bratty blend of aggressive punk and conscious hip hop that defined an era (my high school years). That era ended in 1998 with Nasty. She was released in the summer, and by the fall I’d already moved on to the likes of Crass and Anal Cunt (thank you Ear Wax Records in Madison, WI). I’d kept up with the boys Beastie through the end of their career (2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two), but they’d certainly fallen from the pedestal I’d made for them. Now listening to the 4x LP box set from 2009, and I must admit that my stupid, younger self may have been a bit too harsh on Hello Nasty. It’s certainly one of my least favorite of their albums, but it certainly makes for an enjoyable spin.

I Get a Kick Out of Porter

bushkinI don’t know much of Bushkin outside of his 1958 album, I Get a Kick Out of Porter, and what little I know about him I learned from the back album jacket. Aside from being an acclaimed songwriter and composer, apparently he was an avid jet flyer as well. One could gather as much from the cover photo, but one can also chalk this late 50s album up to “heavy cheese” or, at least that’s was my thought when I picked it up at the local record shop a few days ago. Ok, now to the music. I Get a Kick Out of Porter is energetic, late 50s jazz piano. Sophisticated, but not violent. Like with many other late 50’s jazz-fused Space Age Pop, it’s perfect living room music for evenings with a loved one. I bought it for the cover, but I’ll keep it for the vigor.

The Eight Questions Most Often Asked about Stereo Records

flipThe flip side to Thursday’s Full Dimensional Stereo insert from Capitol Records is this beautiful and informative breakdown of Capitol’s Full Dimensional Stereo sound, or as they state, The Eight Questions Most Often Asked about Stereo Records. Have a read, enjoy the mid-century art, and don’t forget to take notes… there will be a quiz at the end of the week.

Full Dimensional Stereo

dimensionalPimping the sensuous, splashy stereo sound to a mass of minions mothering mono was a popular venture in the dawn of this new recording and distribution era. Many vibrant inserts painstakingly detailing this new process were produced, such as this from Capitol Records from the late 50s. It’s an interesting feat to fancy a world where this (by today’s standards) common technique was the shiny new toy on the shelf. I’m gratified that so many labels of the time spent so much on promoting this recording method, which now only seem to exist stuffed inside an indiscriminate album jacket at the thrift store. Beauty, is indeed, in the eye (and ear) of the beholder.

Music, Martinis, and Memories

mmamAnother day, another Jackie Gleason reissue. This time, Music, Martinis, and Memories. Oh, how wayward evenings must have been in the chilly Decembers of the mid 1950s. As heavy on the piano as it is on the strings, Music, Martinis, and Memories sprinkles in a cool layer of lustful trumpeting, while never grooving faster than a slow, lovers walk… or a prowler’s strut. Music, Martinis, and Memories is, quite simply put, all you and your lover need for a successful, Jackie Gleason-inspired evening.