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.
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.
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 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 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.
Pimping 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.
Another 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.
This reissue of Jackie Gleason’s debut album (from 1952) jumped into my hands today for a cool $1.95. Labeled as “easy listening,” Music for Lovers Only is classic mood music, perfect when looking for non-assuming elevator music, with a bit of a suggestive twist. Now we can listen to Jackie Gleason while we eat!
The animal friendly cover to 1998’s Body Movin’ by the Beastie Boys is exclusive to the UK market, and can be had for much cheaper these days than what I paid for it in Madison, WI back in 1998. Capitalize on this party favorite three track 12″. Trust me, you won’t miss your $3.
Among the pile of “to be entered into Discogs.com” is this 19?? 78rpm of Peter Cottontail from Capitol Records. Bozo approved, which I imagine was a purified sign of prestigious quality back in the day, Mr. Cottontail’s, well, tale, will be the first spun during tomorrow’s mid-mourning session. Let’s say I didn’t watch Bozo the Clown on WGN in the mornings before school for, oh, let’s say close to 10 years, and let’s say I’m not a strong advocate of Mr. The Clown’s Grand Prize Game on said show. If both of these weren’t painfully obvious, I’d still lean my attention to a Bozo approved 78. Mr. Cottontail certainly had some heavy endorsers in his bushy, stolen carrot-filled pocket, and, well, he just made another. Peter Cottontail by Jimmy Wakely on Capitol Records is Groove approved. Next…
It’s always an amusing and rewarding scene when you go bargain-record hunting with your significant other. We paid $0.33.3 for this Paul Whiteman interpretation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue 10”, and it was clearly one of the highlights of our voyage. Encourage your SOs to join along in the hunt. A lively and vibrant world is sure to drop square on your platter.
A quick (very, very quick) fact check places this Capitol Records insert in, or around the year 1959. Meredith Wilson’s Original Broadway Cast of The Music Man was released in ’57, Louis Prima’s Las Vegas Prima Style was ’58, and Sinatra’s 1959 Come Dance With Me! all help make this claim. Regardless, these vibrant colors coupled with this elegant and straight-forward layout make for compelling and eye-catching contemporary art. My local record store has STACKS of these random inserts, and I’m 15 minutes shy of heading down there and asking how much they want for the lot. I’m sure my SO would be thrilled to beat the band about me acquiring even more record paraphernalia. Let the convincing commence…
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).
Treading thin ice here, so as not to bite the hand that feeds, or some type idiom that some deem appropriate here, but the first day of Los Angeles’ record fair dubbed, Wax The Los Angeles Record Fair, was, although wholeheartedly welcomed (obviously), a severe letdown. Yeah, well, what the shit could you have done better, you POS nobody, nothing head! Fair enough, I’d respond. Crosley Records, for one, would have no presence at said event whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned, and usability backs me up, anything sold at Urban Outfitters need not exist within the meticulous and clinically obsessed lives of record collectors, and anywhere they would frequent. I made a point to walk past that (Crosley) booth with a fierce and cool stride not seen in the great county of Los Angeles (Ventura County, well, that’s a horse of another color, altogether). $1200 priced Elvis Presley 45s baking in the Los Angeles heat, bubbling in the shadows of the (outdated) Capitol Records building, to me, does not make any lick of sense. As an aside, where the organization (WAX) and vendor shirt prices are fixed at an already outrageous $20, why, Capitol Records of Los Angeles, CA, are you charging an astronomical $27 for your damn logo on a solid color? The take away from this event was, at least for me: STEAL YOUR MUSIC! Thanks, but you’re fooling no one. If you’re not going to do it right, then please God, almighty… DON’T DO IT AT ALL!
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.
Nothing major tonight, except for a recent 78 find, at a reasonable $1, from the local brick and mortar down the street. Like everything that enters, at least one proper spin is required. This guy here is first in line for this weekend’s graduation-like introduction. Les Paul and Mary Ford. Please and thank you.
Early Beatles… yay! Let’s ignore the crowning musical achievement of this band’s later, experimental work, and revel in the simplicities of cookie-cutter pop. OR, as if there was an alternative, let’s ignore 1962-1966 altogether, and skip directly to 1967-1970. Please, and thank you.
Sincerely, Associate Professor, T.P. Groove.