1987 called… they want their insert back. So, I haven’t spun a record in like, four days, and for some reason, out jumps Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven on Earth. Baby, I was afraid before, but I’m not afraid anymore… This was the best I could do to erase the awful Bagel Bites jingle out from beneath my skull… like Belinda Carlisle, something I’d not heard in several years.
The long-awaited double LP soundtrack to (arguably) the greatest film of all time, Jaws, arrived just in time for some much-needed holiday cheer. Presented for the first time on wax, this “double vinyl set presents the entire Academy Award-winning score as composed and recorded for the actual film” (the Grammy-winning 1975 MCA Records release was simply a re-recording, mind you). Offered on majestic, ocean blue vinyl, and released by the greatest soundtrack distributors known to man, Mondo, this jaw(s)-dropping release ranks up there as one of the most anticipated of the year… especially since preorders went live back in early July, on Jaws’ Day, actually (7/3). Save up your holiday gift money if you’ve missed out, because this one is bar none, the definition of essential.
I can venture to say that I’ve never listened to this record, or at the very least, it has been so long since I spun it, I’d forgotten that I owned it. Liquid Jesus’ Pour in the Sky from 1991 on MCA Records. These are the facts, but this obscure band’s details are lost (or hidden) on the interwebs. They don’t have a Wiki page, and Discogs casually lists them as indie rock… a catch-all for just about anything released between 1977 and yesterday afternoon. The cover reminds me of early R.E.M., but we’ll see how she spins. Sometimes, you don’t even need to leave the house to discover new records.
ABC-Paramount Records: Full color fidelity on a two-tone sleeve. Established in 1955 under the variation, Am-Par Record Corporation (the music collateral of American Broadcasting Company, which was then titled American Broadcasting-Paramount Theaters… the more you know), ABC-Paramount Records was home to some of the most prominent voices (I almost went with paramount) the late 50s and early 60s had to offer. With Fats Domino and Ray Charles leading the pack, other lesser-known artists (just because they’re less known doesn’t make them less than) like Mario Escudero, Sabicas, the Les Djinns Singers and Roy Smeck were given a platform with which to proclaim their love for the gift of music.
1961 saw the label branching out (far out, man) into the audacious world of Jazz with their subsidiary label, Impulse (featured in the photo above). Home to the likes of Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Duke Ellington, the Milt Jackson Quartet and John Coltrane, Impulse was managed by none other than CTI Records himself, Creed Taylor.
The label was eventually sold to MCA Records in 1979, and the relatively short-lived ABC-Paramount Records was discontinued shortly thereafter. As an aside, MCA Records was absorbed and rebranded as Universal Music Group in 1995, and has become the nation’s largest music corporation. The rest, as they say, is big fish eating little fish history (fishtory?).
Home to Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Coral Records was the not-so-ugly stepsister (subsidiary) of Decca Records. Formed in 1949, Coral Records saw fan-favorite releases by these, and many other big-name artists: Milton Berle, Lawrence Welk, Patsy Cline, Debbie Reynolds and the McGuire Sisters.
Unfortunately, Coral Records’ inspiring logo wasn’t enough to save the label’s merger with MCA Records in the 1960s. Save for the Lawrence Welk recordings, what was once known as a thriving and prolific label (they had Buddy Holly and the Crickets for crying out loud!) would devolve and become swallowed up by the Universal Music Group machine.
The phrase, “Buddy Holly Lives” may be true, but his label is now owned by a theme park.
On October 17, 1977 the Southern Rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced ‘lĕh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd) released their fifth studio album, Street Survivors. What’s Your Name and That Smell were two of the many highlights from this Double Platinum album (meaning it sold over 2 million copies in the United States alone… sorry if you already knew that).
On October 20, 1977 a plane carrying the band (who had just finished performing a show in Greenville, South Carolina) ran out of fuel and crashed in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, legendary guitarist Steve Gaines, Steve’s sister and Lynyrd Skynyrd backup vocalist Cassie Gaines, the band’s assistant road manager and both pilots were killed on impact. The remaining band members and their crew sustained serious injuries.
At the request of Teresa Gaines, Steve’s widow, and out of respect for the fallen members of the band, MCA Records withdrew the original “flame” cover and reissued the album with a similar image of the band amongst a basic black background.