Am I the only one to discover that Sir James Paul McCartney co-wrote and performed on the studio version of Declan Patrick MacManus aka Elvis Costello’s 1989 classic, Veronica? A recent acquisition to the fold, complete with all the juicy credit details is this slightly used copy of Spike, Mr. Costello’s 12th album. I’m not prone to spend $8 on used records these days (cheapskate), but when the obsession takes over, there’s no telling what the outcome will be.
I’ll admit that I’ve only spun this album once, MAYBE twice, and I remember not thinking too much about it at the time. Wild Life was the third Paul McCartney release since the breakup of The Beatles, and was recorded with his wife Linda at Abbey Road Studios. It was released in 1971 to lukewarm reviews and is considered a haphazard offering from one of rock music’s most prominent front-runners. Listening to it again… it’s certainly an enjoyable spin, if somewhat unfocused and meandering, but still worthy of a respectful and deserving listen.
Much has been written about Paul McCartney’s debut solo album, 1970’s McCartney. Most notably, Paul’s refusal to delay the Apple Records release in order to follow previously planned titles… like The Beatles’ Let it Be. I’ve given this record two spins from two different turntables within the last 12 hours, and though I’ll admit my experience with solo Beatles projects are gravely “less than,” I quite enjoy the playful, often unfinished rawness of McCartney. Certainly not an album that will receive heavy spinning, but a fun journey, if even for its historical significance.
Back in 2007, Hear Music, co-owned label by Starbucks and the Concord Music Group, released four tracks by Sir Paul McCartney performing live at Amoeba Hollywood. I was working in Hollywood at the time and called to see what the situation was… are there tickets, how long is the expected line, stuff like that. I was told by the kind gentleman on the phone that there were already people waiting in line for the event, that wasn’t set to take place for another 28 hours, clearly the next day. I laughed and said my thank yous. A few months later I picked up this copy of Amoeba’s Secret, but for reasons I still can’t recall, never opened it. She may have her virgin spin sometime this weekend, but then again I may wait another 8 years. We’ll see.. Happy Friday!
So, as each and every one of you poor, sorry, socially conscious chaps know, tomorrow is Record Store Day. Below, to nobody’s inquiry, is my ideal checklist… we’ll see, tomorrow around noon, how well the Groove netted out…
311 – Grifter / Who’s Got the Herb? 7” – MAYBE
101ers – Elgin Avenue Breakdown – double LP – MAYBE
International Noise Conspiracy – Live at Oslo Jazz Festival LP – MAYBE
The Kinks – Kinksize Hits 7” – YeAH!
The Kinks – Kinksize Sessions 7” – YeAH!
The Kinks – You Really Got Me 7” – YeAH!
Paul McCartney – Family Way OST LP – FaF (For a Friend)
Pizza Underground – PU Demo 7” – MAYBE
Rainbow Ffolly – Sallies Fforth – FUGG YeAH!!
Various Artists – Darjeeling Limited OST LP – YeAH!
Here’s hoping tomorrow is a grand day for everyone… so long as we all get our shit!
The road to 3000 has been a long and winding one, and the choice of the mighty 3000, being the featured white vinyl version of the Beatles 1968 self titled album, is nothing short of exaccurate (exactly accurate).
I’d been hunting this monster down for more than a few years. The hefty price tag ($100+ complete w/ all four headshots and poster) always deterred me from pulling the trigger. That is, until I found this beaut off ebay last week. Knowing the inevitable 3000 was rapidly approaching, my once torrid, vinyl-hording obsession turned into a frugal-minded halt, as I forwent the “casual” purchasing phase until the mighty 3000 came home. I certainly hope #4000 isn’t for quite some time, as space is really starting to become an issue… one that every collector knows all too well.
I’ve only recently begun collecting solo Beatles’ work, but my father owns just about everything, so for the next week or so, I’ll enjoy perusing through his Beatles-heavy collection and making a well-thought-out checklist.
George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music is next on the platter, but will more than likely NOT yield a post. Busy day over here… off and running!
Ever wondered what it would be like to walk in the mighty boots of Sgt. Pepper? Well, you can’t, so stop dreaming for the impossible, and come back down to reality because presented here is (not at all) the next best thing.
Tucked deep inside my rather dilapidated copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is this lovely little “costume themed” Sgt. Pepper insert. Some assembly is needed, but with minimal work (scissors are required), you can amaze and confuse your family and friends by dressing up as the honorable Sgt. Pepper.
This cut-out kit includes:
1. Moustache (No Sgt. Pepper impersonator would be caught dead without one.)
2. Picture Card (To pass off as a valid and law-abiding photo identification card, presumably when questioned by authorities, or children with worried looks in their eyes.)
3. Stripes (To keep your Sergeant arms warm.)
4. Badges (Nothing says you’re serious about your appointed duties like a badge with a picture of yourself posted proudly upon your heroic chest.)
5. Stand Up (No Sergeant, ESPECIALLY Sgt. Pepper, would be caught parading around without a psychedelic, four-piece band. Here is a picture of that band.)
Halloween is several months away, but you can practice your army-commanding stature with this lovely, and surprisingly accurate, cut-out costume. (Mind-altering drugs and sitar sold separately.)
George Harrison is missing. He’s gone and, to be frank, I’m not sure he’s coming back. No note was left, not even a casual scribble on a matchbook. He may have left word with Paul, Ringo or John, but as you can see, the boys aren’t talking.
Well, what about the music, you ask? The music is safe and sound. And the sleeve? The sleeve is fine… for now. No, the only missing party to my copy of 1968’s The Beatles is George Harrison.
I can’t blame him for going rogue, what, with all the majestic wonders that await an eager traveler in their visceral quest towards discovery of the vast, colorful world that exists outside my music library. In perspective, I’m surprised this odyssey into the arousing unknown wasn’t made sooner.
George Harrison is gone. I must come to peace with this. George Harrison, is gone.
We miss you George. We wish you well, but most importantly, we all hope you remembered to pack a handkerchief for your bemoaning 6-string. The boys and I will be fine. Write when you can, and may your new home offer everything you couldn’t find here.
Squeeze snuck up on me. Hold on, let me start over. It’s imperative to mention how apropos that 1979’s post, the post representing the year in which I came into this world, contains the word, “Cats.” If you know me, you saw this one coming. If you don’t know me… I like cats.
Squeeze are like a sieve, an attention grabbing ear-whore in the best sense of the term. Not unlike The Kinks, Squeeze’s music is so damned good, so damned catchy, and so damned clever, that once you start listening to their music… THAT’S ALL YOU LISTEN TO! When I got into Squeeze, shamefully only a few years ago, I didn’t listen to anything else for nearly 3 months, and I’m not exaggerating. They’re that damned good!
With a hint of Punk’s aggression, and all the electronic qualities that make up good New Wave, Squeeze tickles your fancy in that slightly awkward, slightly dirty way, but leaves you begging for more… and more… you get the point.
The astute penning of Squeeze songs are attributed to Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook. According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine over at allmusic.com, “Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne during their heyday in the early ‘80’s.” Are you starting to get an idea of how good this band is?
Slap & Tickle is a fun little romp referencing the British euphemism for sexy times.
Then while she turned to kiss him
And very nearly missed him
She put her hand on his leg
He felt her tongue in his head
Up the Junction is a very sad tale about the rise and inevitable fall of a doomed relationship. A child is involved and the once adored couple no longer speaks.
Alone here in the kitchen
I feel there’s something missing
I’d beg for some forgiveness
But begging’s not my business
I can’t tell if Goodbye Girl is about a woman drugging our protagonist and robbing him, or if it’s a story about the beginnings of a failed marriage. Either way, Goodbye Girl is a catchy little ditty, and in my opinion, Squeeze’s best.
Sunlight on the lino
Woke me with a shake
I looked around to find her but she’d gone
Cool for Cats showcases Squeeze at the height of their innovative career. It’s a crowning representation of the stunning song-writing talents of Difford and Tillbrook. If you’re serious about music, and you don’t already own Cool for Cats, drop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and find this album. You won’t be disappointed.
For the next 30 posts, or until I get bored, the post number will correspond with the year in which the post’s subject was released. It could be an album review, a song highlight, or an insert advert. The choices are by no means the best of any given year, nor are they my favorite. They are instead a representation of the digable grooves in my collection, broken down by year. With me? Ok, cool.
For 1970 (post #70), I’ve chosen CCR’s (Creedence Clearwater Revival) Long As I Can See the Light/Lookin’ Out My Back Door 45. CCR had some driving, Southern Rock-inspired jams in their heyday, and Long As I Can See the Light is NOT one of them. This is not to say it is inferior in any way. On the contrary. With its simple lyrics and low-key, slow-rollin’ drawl, Long As I Can See the Light reminds us that we can always go back to where we came from, so long as the offer is still extended. We all, at one point or another, feel the need to move on… to explore the vast unknown of uncertainty. But we’d like not to dismiss the comfort of returning home, when it becomes undeniably necessary.
I can’t hear Lookin’ Out My Back Door and not picture the Dude smokin’ a jay and banging the roof of his car to Doug Clifford’s beat. It was used perfectly in The Big Lebowski, but given the song’s brilliance, I’d imagine this song would fit perfectly in any film that featured it.
My favorite line is, without question, “A dinosaur Victrola listening to Buck Owens.” In a song bursting with visual abnormalities (“A statue wearing high heals” or “Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band” for example), the image of an old Victrola shouting Buck Owens ditties always makes me chuckle. It’s easy to picture John Fogerty mentally returning to a happy place during the drug-induced hallucination he sings about in this song, and it’s generous of him to take us along on that ride.
I could have easily focused on Zeppelin III, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround – Part One, Dylan’s Self Portrait, McCartney’s solo debut, Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon, or even Bitches Brew, but for me, 1970 screams Creedence Clearwater Revival.