Bottoms Up

1967 Dean Martin is solid, reliable, and adequate cocktail-chaser music. Gin and tonic, rye and vermouth with a dash of bitters, or a tart vodka martini are all outstanding pregame options to Deano Martino’s You Can’t Love ’em All. Though originally recorded for the original Ocean’s 11 in 1960, Ain’t That A Kick in the Head made its first LP appearance on this record, or so I could gather by my research companions (Discogs.com and Wikipedia.org). Whether your drink of choice is a Harry Headbanger, black coffee, or simply lemon water, Dean Martin is at the ready with a thirst-quenching soundtrack for you. Bottoms up.

File Under D for Dino

DinoNo, not the fun loving, prehistoric Snorkasaurus from Bedrock, but instead, the golden-throated matador, and decades old wearer of many hats, Dean Martin. Originally released in 1961 by Reprise, Dino Latino takes the Italian American south of the border for a stampeding collection of Latin gems. Check it out, if only for the outlandish cover.

Dino on My Mind

GentleEverybody can use a little Dino Martino on a random Tuesday evening, am I right? I remember, more like I can’t forget, a rumor about Dino drinking nonalcoholic, or watered-down cocktails during The Dean Martin Show and other public appearances where we was seen “drinking cocktails.” Descent shtick, I suppose. Anyway, I can’t, for the life of me, think of any current day Dean Martins! I can see Michael Bublé as a modern day Sinatra, although I’ve never heard any accounts of Bublé beating women, but he’s young. (The Prudent Groove does not advocate the beating of women, and has a zero tolerance policy towards arrogance in general.)

Reprise Records is Synonymous With the Excitement of Today’s Music

Reprise Insert… or so they claim. Although I’m not a fan of the late, womanizing crooner Frank Sinatra, I find myself acquiring a decent amount of his label’s records these days. Most recently, 1967’s The Live Kinks, where I discovered this lovely gem.

Signing the North American distribution rights to Don Ho, The Kinks and Dean Martin is a respectably eclectic maneuver for a label founded by the Rat Pack King (I prefer Dean Martin, myself), and it speaks to the ever enveloping, changing winds that swept through the later half of the social 60s… or so I gather… I wasn’t around then, so all these bits of online data could be nothing more than inaccurate gibberish… much like The Prudent Groove. I like inserts, and I like The Kinks. Good day.

Ambition Has its Flaws Volume 3

Audio

Well, it’s late, but k’mon, man! These things take time! Enjoy the beginnings of the festive holiday with works from Dean Martin, Country Mike (the Beastie Boys), R2-D2 & C-3PO, Joe Pesci, The Kinks, The Smothers Brothers, Rocket from the Crypt, the Capitol Studio Orchestra, The Dismemberment Plan, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Make your ears bleed red will these irreverent boughs of holly, courtesy of The Prudent Groove.

UK vs. US

Reprise InsertWhy the UK and the US didn’t get along is something I’ve never been able to comprehend. Oh sure, things may be all fine and good now (for now…), but back in the day (and before my time), it seems that ego took precedent over creative output. Case in point, this Reprise Records insert from (roughly) 1965.

Featured on this beautiful little rock artifact (rock-ifact?), are two albums, or rather fabrications released by The Kinks. First (left side near the bottom) is the US version of their 1964 debut called simply, The Kinks. The original track lineup, cover art and title have been ignored for the supposed candy-grabbing, fat-bellied, narrow-minded delights of US audiences. Here it is titled You Really Got Me. There, it’s appropriately titled The Kinks. Why the change? Yet another age-old question whose real answer has been mummified and lives buried within the damp and dusty crypt of music’s blotchy past. (Wikipedia offers their decent explanation of this butchering practice that can found here.)

Second, and along the same lines is 1965’s Kinks-Size (middle). Here, US meatheads grabbed material from the EP Kinksize Session, leftover tracks from their debut, and both sides to two of their singles, Tired of Waiting for You and All Day and All of the Night. This Frankenstein makes for a decent listen, because let’s be honest, there really isn’t a bad Kinks song (before 1973), but it’s disjointing and certainly NOT what the band had intended. Wankers, the lot of them!

So, what’s the point? I dunno. Why couldn’t we all just get along? That, or I just really dig old inserts. Carry on.

No… I’M the One Who Loves You!

DeanoThe great debate continues… which Deano Martino loves you more? Is it left Deano, or right Deano? They both claim to offer their affection, so which do you choose? And by choosing one over the other, do you then set a precedent for the “less than” Deano? I mean, does he then attempt to love you more, or does he go in the other direction and abandon you all together, figuring your choice, or favor rather, for the “other” Deano is just too much to bear and isolation is better than the heartache of rejection?

The great debate continues… but one thing’s for sure… it’s Dean Martin time, damn it!

You Never Forget Your First

Baby PhonoIt’s not every day an obsessive-compulsive collector is reunited with his first turntable. Today was that immortal day. While on holiday in the muggy bayou that is (currently) Southern Wisconsin, I (actually, my father found it) discovered a crucial piece of my record loving history, this late 70s, Disco Mouse, Sears, Roebuck and Co. phonograph.

Still in working, albeit cosmetically challenged, condition, this little guy provided countless hours of Pac-Man adventures, abridged versions of my favorite Star Wars, and Star Wars related fantasies (think The Ewoks Join the Fight), and spun my very first picture disc, 1977’s Main Street Electrical Parade. (It was most recently the spinner of Louie Louie by The Kingsmen, Volare by Dean Martin, and Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Oh how times have changed.)

A collector exhausts many a turntable throughout their lives. Some rest in unrepaired ruin, while others lay in storage for over 30 years, waiting to once again offer a plethora of new memories.

Many thanks to my folks for introducing me the wonderful world of recorded music.

To Play and Play Again!

Reprise InsertQuick question… Q: What do The Kinks, Dean Martin, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra all have in common? A: Quite a bit actually; you’re going to need to be a bit more specific.

Fine, I’ll tell you. They were all monumentally talented artists on the Reprise Records label. As a longtime collector of the Kinks, I’m a bit surprised to find Duke Ellington and Dean Martin to be their egg-borrowing neighbors. Apparently Reprise was started by Frank Sinatra in 1960, and then sold to Warner Bros. Records in 1963… and a year later the label would land the rights to Pye Records (UK label of the Kinks), and the well-rounded and eclectic Reprise Records family was born.

This is an insert from Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night album. Not being a huge fan of the womanizing crooner, I decided to avert my attention to the brothers Davies. Have a good Saturday!

1980: London Calling

London CoverFive days after the conclusion of a decade filled with orange, brown, swagger and abundance (the 1970s), the United States saw a paramount release that that would transcend every other album released throughout the rest of the decade. On January 5th, 1980, Americans received a message from across the pond. It was a message of conflict, disdain and unforgettable beauty. This message… the uncompromising London Calling.

Five days into the 80s, and the decade saw its best work… crazy. Released a few weeks earlier in its native land (December 14, 1979 in the UK), London Calling became the owner of the #8 spot on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. #8… all time. 8… out of 500! This isn’t news to the majority of you as you probably already own this treasured album, and if you don’t, I’ll pretend not to know you in public next time I see you… seriously… GET this album!

Calling BackBridging the weathered gap between Hard Rock, Punk, Reggae, Lounge Jazz, Rockabilly and Ska (to name a few of the many genres defining this “epic” album… it was actually released on Epic Records in the states, so HA!), The Clash were able to showcase their angst towards authority, their cry for better paying jobs, their thoughts on civil war, love, and the church, and they were able to do it by staying within the confines of the social attention span. The Clash found that the message of insolence, distrust, hope and liberation could reach more ears if the music was more accessible to a broader audience.

Everyone who has ever learned to type has written about this album, so anything I say here won’t be groundbreaking. I will however express my personal affection towards this gem, and try to offer its beauty onto others. I’m a London Calling pusher, essentially… and I’ve got a quota to meet, so shoot up!

Rudie LyricsReally quickly, I’ll get into this then I’ll leave you the hell alone. It was July 1997 and I’d just turned 18. I was sharing a room with my best friend and we were both in our infant stage of record collecting. He with his Jimmy Durante, Glenn Miller and Dean Martin, and I with my Beastie Boys, NOFX and Doobie Brothers. There is a little store in Madison, Wisconsin called Half Price Books. If you’re from the Midwest you’ve undoubtedly been there. It was at the East Side location where I found my calling of the London variety. I’d already owned 1982’s Combat Rock, and was eager for more from the almighty Clash. Anyway, to make a long, drawn-out story short, the first side to the first record (London Calling is a double LP, btw) instantly became the soundtrack to our summer, with Rudie Can’t Fail becoming our favorite, miss-quotable song (substituting “chicken-boo for breakfast” instead of the proper “drinking brew…” something I still do to this day).

Maybe it was because that summer saw us living on our own for the first time, but for us, London Calling equaled liberation. Few albums attach themselves to such monumentally important moments in an individual’s life. The acute notice these moments, and they never forget them. London Calling, for all its global importance, still manages to satisfy my local, nostalgic needs.Offensive Boyo