De-De-De-Decca!

Man, gone are the days when “Organ” is a marketable category. Circa: 196x?, this “new world of sound” insert shines a stark spotlight into a bit more of the inconspicuous corners of the Decca Records catalog. With bold sections like “Piano” and “Instrumentalists,” it’s fairly evident that Decca wanted to showcase their vast and eclectic tastes, while still adhering to some of their main staples like “Country and Western” and “Folk.” Another day, another insert. Sadly, we’re beginning to run out…

The Beatles’ 20

Not that anyone every would, but someone could potentially only need to acquire this 20-track compilation record to get a very good representation of the luxurious Beatles catalogue. Titled 20 Greatest Hits, this 1982 Capitol Records comp covers (just about) all of the essentials in one, compact record. Like I said, every proper studio release by these clowns is essential for even the modest collector, but in a pinch, 20 Greatest Hits does just fine.

Crass-tastic

Though I haven’t spun Crass, of any sort, in quite some time, I’ll never stop fawning over their politically-charged, yet minimalist cover and label art. Crass was, as you well know, an art collective where their brash-brand of music played only a small roll in their onslaught of knock-you-over-the-head opinions. Today is a good day for Crass, but then again, so is tomorrow.

Golden Planet

I’d been holding out for an original pressing of Digable Planet’s debut, 1993’s Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), that was, until I discovered this limited gold vinyl 25th anniversary reissue from February of this year. As the first official vinyl reissue, this double LP is limited to 1000 copies worldwide, and doubles as an “Indie Record Store Exclusive” which is exactly where I found it. The Planets released a total of two studio albums (spanning 1993 – 1994), both of which are essential owns. Next up is 1994’s Blowout Comb, which I’m hoping will get the same 25th anniversary treatment next year.

MDC w/ Pig Champion

I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure why I put this Millions of Dead Cops featuring Pig Champion 7″ onto my Discogs wantlist, but for a cool $3.00, I made it mine. This two track quickie features a b-side with Dark Clouds, and a wonderful a-side with I Don’t Want to Hurt You Dude, I Just Want My Shit Back. Released on Honest Don’s Records, a short-lived subsidiary of Fat Wreck Chords, this is a take-it-or-leave it mini party, but all things considered, I’m happy it lives in our collection.

Plastic World

I’m finally starting to round out my Naked Aggression collection, thanks in large part to whiskey and Discogs. Recorded in Cottage Grove, WI, Plastic World is a walloping attack in five bursts from way back in 1994. Every single track is simple, yet blinding punk which is just as fitting now as it was the time in which it was released. For $6, not including shipping, you could add this to your collecting, and let me tell you, you absolutely should.

Lucy, You Got Some Celebratin’ to Do!

Happy early birthday, Lucille Ball! Our favorite (and closest) brick & mortar is giving out free I Love Lucy records (today and tomorrow) in honor of the late, great Lucille Ball’s celebrated birth (purchase necessary). Born 107 years ago tomorrow, Lucille’s history in television comedy has not been forgotten, and with a bit of luck, it never will. Happy birthday, Lucy!

Good Vibrations

Enoch Light was a powerhouse in the late 50s / early 60s. Conducting a series of legendary, well, series (Persuasive Percussion, Provocative Percussion) while manning the Command Records label, and releasing a variety of 20s and 30s volumes, he managed to release random, and essential one-offs like this 1962 record with the Light Brigade titled, Vibrations. With Enogh Light-style twists on these well known classics (I Get A Kick Out of You, As Time Goes By, The Old Black Magic, Dancing on the Ceiling, Temptation), and a frame-worthy, minimalist cover, Vibrations is a steal for $2, and of course, comes highly recommended.

Slip It

What I assumed was a t-shirt depicting Boba Fett holding up a boombox (Star Wars meets Say Anything) turned out to be a Beastie Boys Helly Nasty-inspired slipmat I’d forgotten I’d ordered. Since the now defunct Grand Royal Records slipmats go for insane amounts (well over $100), I figured it smart to jump into ordering any slipmat the Beasties are associated with. I encourage you to do the same. One can’t have too many slipmats, in my humble opinion.

RIP Charles Bradley

Daptone Records released this two-track 7″ on random colored vinyl last month. It features Mr. Charles Bradley & The Inversions performing Whatcha Doing (To Me), b/w just The Inversions performing Strike Three. Some yahoo is selling this 7″ on Discogs for $74.99, and it was just released some 12 days ago. Some people… am I right?! Regardless, RIP Charles Bradley.

Big Trouble in Little Charleston

I WAS going to speak to The Charleston City All Stars and their 1955 release from Grand Award Records (Enoch Light) titled, The Roaring 20’s Vol. 2, but it dawned on me that Mondo is offering up a double LP to John Carpenter’s legendary classic, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Big Trouble in Little China tomorrow at noon CST. My alarm(s) are already set, so I recommend you find your way over to Mondo tomorrow and nab this essential classic (that is, of course, after I’ve nabbed mine).

Sounds in Space

This 1958 demonstration record is something of stereophonic lore. Capitalizing on the space age pop theme of the time, RCA Victor took it upon themselves to showcase, complete with narration, the dramatic differences between the older, far-less superior monophonic, single-channel sound recording (this, of course, depends on who you ask), and the brand-spanking-new stereophonic technology. Sounds in Space is a wildly fun journey through these vastly-differing recording techniques, and if you’re a fan of classic, space age pop covers, this record is a no-brainer.

Midnight Sun

Discovered this 1965 Arthur Lyman record over the weekend, and the Lyman library continues to grow. Titled Call of the Midnight Sun, this Pacific-jazz 12-track’er contains Black Orchid by Cal Tjader, 500 Miles, written by Hedy West and made famous by The Journeymen and Peter, Paul and Mary, and of course, Hello, Dolly, written by Jerry Herman. Like with all Arthur Lyman records, Call of the Midnight Sun comes highly recommended.

Move Over, Pebbles

Move over, Pebbles, because there’s another 1987 monster taking over our ear holes. No girlfriends here, just lots of pouring sugar and biting love. Def Leppard, one of my first favorite bands, jack-hammered the planet with their best-selling album, Hysteria. Selling over 25 million copies, Hysteria was acquired by just about every breathing soul in the late 80s, myself obviously included, and though she shows a few signs of her age, she is the gold standard to represent the year 1987. Spin, enjoy, repeat.

Pebbles

So… going to the record store with the wife is ALWAYS an entertaining, yet mysterious experience. Case in point, the recent acquisition of Pebbles’ 1987 debut, Pebbles. To be fair, she did ask if I felt this record could join the collection (which, of course, she didn’t need to do), and before I knew what it was, I of course said yes. A partner that indulges the absolute, nonsensical practice of collecting records is always, and in every case, a keeper. What I didn’t know was, that I knew Pebbles, just not as Pebbles. Girlfriend, and Mercedes Boy were, without question, staples of my 8-year-old year, being the pop-radio nut that I was, but no longer am. So let’s just say, in conclusion, a hearty “thank you” to my wife, and her nostalgia for the 80’s, which perfectly matches mine. Some things just sort of work out, you know?