After Math is Finished, You Can Listen to Your Records

The Rolling Stones’ 1966 album, Aftermath (the band’s fourth studio effort in the UK, and their sixth in the US… figure that one out) is the first Stones album to 1) be recorded entirely in the United States, 2) consists of all Jagger-Richards compositions, and 3) was the band’s first “true stereo” release (thank you Wikipedia.org). Though the covers differ depending on your side of the pond, the flip side features (generally) the same layout. None of this matters, of course, because Aftermath features the following, early Stones classics: Under My Thumb, I am Waiting, Lady Jane, and a personal favorite, Paint it Black. (The UK version also includes Mothers Little Helper… the bastards...). If you don’t already own this essential piece of rock history, put it at the top of your list.

Also

AlsoBroken into two parts by format limitations, Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss saw a resurgence in record sales (speculation), evidenced by this 1968 release on London Records, photo featured to the left. Coming on the fiery heels of the globally successful masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, this particular pressing was pimped as “The Original Von Karajan Recording of Music Featured in 2001 A Space Odyssey,” and for reasons that or painfully obvious, would make for a worthwhile accessory to the MGM Records soundtrack. When long, turbulent days call for relaxing ear candy, Also Sprach Zarathustra thoroughly fits the bill.

DES 18012

TuesdayAfternoonThe elegant mysticism that surrounds the ethereal journey that is Days of Future Passed is as inviting as it is comforting, and is, for this blue-skied Saturday afternoon, the perfect melodic mate. The Moody Blues and I are forever intertwined, as they were the first live band I’ve ever seen. I used to scoff at that fact, but now embrace it with humbled pride. Thanks, Big Guy for introducing us.

Happy Saturday, kids! Please drink / consume responsibly.

DawnThe Night

Teen Beat Treasures

Blue-sertNot unlike the London / Parrot / Coliseum advertinsert from last April, this London / Parrot / Deram insert features, once again, Them, the Stones, and The Zombies under the “teen beat” umbrella, but this time around sporting a seasonably fashioned blue trim. My SO mentioned the other night how I hadn’t done an insert post in a while. Truth be told, I’m desperately running low on inserts, so… off to the local brick and mortar I go for another blaze orange hunt for early Kinks, late Hardin, and vibrant record inserts. Happy Friday, kids!

From London With Love

London InsertLondon Recordings, with all her lofty divisions, offered a red, white and blue window into the mid-60s English Assault, and was home to some pretty significant acts producing some pretty extraordinary cuts. Their mainstay, and supplier of the label’s flowing honey, were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Rolling Stones, but what I didn’t recognize until earlier today was how many other British Invasion favorites, or in this case Teen Beat favorites, also strolled under the London Recordings umbrella. Unit 4+2, the Moody Blues, the Zombies, and Them all saw early offerings on London, or one of her sisters, and in such a short amount of time, helped propel this label into the upper, heavily coveted realms of rock n’ roll history.

Les Paul Now!

Les Paul Now!If you’re in the mood for sweet-low, (<— comma… please notice the comma…) quality instrumental guitar music with a hint of blues and a touch of country twang, look no further than Wisconsin native Les Paul.

The Now part is a bit arbitrary, but the Les Paul part is pure, unmistakable 6-string joy. Two things I learned from (very, very briefly) researching this album are 1) Les Paul came out of retirement to record this album for London Records and 2) by this time, Les and Mary Ford had officially split.

Les Paul CustomReleased in 1968, Les Paul Now!, with its voluptuous purity, must have seemed somewhat out of step with the majority of pop music being produced in the closing years of the waning, hip-tastic 60s. Lucky for appreciators of prudent ear candy everywhere, virtue knows not how to tell time.