If your standard, run-of-the-mill record sleeve is referred to as a jacket, think of this simply designed, 60-year-old, thin sheath as an undershirt for your coveted records. RCA Victor Records manufactured this elegant slogan in the late 1950’s (this one found inside Perry Como’s When You Come to the End of Your Day, LSP-1885 from 1958), and although I wasn’t around then to verify the legitimacy of its claim, I dig the somewhat modest approach at presenting this familiar phrase. I tend to side with a company that developed and released the first 33 1/3 record and the first 45 rpm record, so it’s legit in my book.
Black Market Clash (BMC for short) was originally released as a 10″ record to the North American market (US and Canada) back in 1980. The 9-track 10″ contained rare and b-side tracks previously unavailable in this market, hence the necessity for release here. A 12″ version of the same 9-tracks (featured here) was released as a reissue, but the original 1980 record bridged the momentary laps between 1979’s London Calling and 1980’s Sandinista!. Super Black Market Clash would appear in compact disc form in 1993. It would include a whopping 21 tracks, and would render the original obsolete… banished into the world of discontinued media. Check it out, if you haven’t already, as anything by this seminal band is essential listening material.
I know that when I gobbled up cheap Elvis Costello records, back before I knew what I was getting, that a payoff would be inevitable. Today, I’m reaping the rewards of this legendary man’s artistic contribution to pop music, simply by knowing what I have. Get Happy!! is the fourth studio album by Declan Patrick MacManus (Elvis Costello), and the third as Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Though frequent spins come more from Elvis’ debut album, 1977’s My Aim is True, Get Happy!! is a great addition to this, or any collection. The earlier the better with Costello and his mates, but something to get happy about nonetheless.
The best damn (unintentional) soundtrack(s) to the best damn (dimensional) board game of all time. Indiana Jones, via means of the legendary John Williams, and the Milton Bradley classic, Fireball Island, are the perfect marriage for lazy, beer-swiggling weekends. There will never be a better board game / soundtrack pairing. You. Have. My. Word.
So, as it turns out, we’ll make great pets are the lyrics to Porno for Pyros’ 1993 single Pets. I won’t bother you with what my 13-year-old self THOUGHT Perry Ferrell was uttering in this whimsical comment on a suffocating society, but I will say it was borderline vulgar. Anyway, if you haven’t in a while, give Pets a quick spin. It holds up.
It’s 72 degrees and sunny here today. Perfect for some organized chaos in the elegant form of The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Take Five was one of those tracks I’d known before I knew what it was. A cool jazz standard, I’d always thought. That was until a buddy of mine (quite strongly) urged me to nab it at a small (and very dusty) San Diego record shop. $8 for this album is an absolute steal, I’d come to find out, and I keep the secondhand price tag on the outer sleeve as a constant reminder of my, let’s say, uneducated days. Take Five. The perfect soundtrack to an early Spring day. (Apologies to my friends and family on the East Coast and in the Midwest…)
This was an oops purchase, well, the second copy anyway. Meco Monardo, known primarily for his disco-infused Star Wars album, Music Inspired by Star Wars and other Galactic Funk, continued to tackle box office monsters with his 1978 release of The Wizard of Oz, and this 1979 offering, Superman and Other Galactic Heroes. So nice, we had to buy it twice… by sheer accident. If you can stomach disco, and have an ear for cinematic familiarity, Meco is your man.
Bay area ska-punksters Link 80 were huge among my inner circle back in the late 90s thanks, in large part, to their inclusion on Asian Man Records’ 1998 compilation, Mailorder is Fun!. If you’re in the mood for upbeat skacore with a punk attitude, look no further than Link 80, and for the love of everything holy, get your hands on Mailorder is Fun!. 29 tracks of pure, late 90s ska-punk bliss!
Earlier, back in 2015, we touched upon the much anticipated release of Lead Into Gold’s 2015 “official” single from 1991, Low & Slow, and, like a fine wine, this 3-track 12″ has gotten better with age. Lead Into Gold has since released another, 3-track 12″ (this year’s A Savage Gift), so I’m hoping that a good response will force some more, dynamic industrial noise from Paul Ion Barker. (Raises glass) Here’s hoping!
My first exposure to Lawrence Welk was by means of the Lawrence Welk Show. This was a beloved entertainment hour by my grandparents which we’d watch almost nightly (though at the time, G.I. Joe or Heathcliff was more my speed). I purchased 200 Years of American Music, a double LP, in memory of my grandparents, and she acts as a pretty good reminder of that period of my life.
I’m still contemplating this Newbury Comics exclusive for The Zombies’ Greatest Hits. Limited to only 500 pressings, this mono, single record contains all the classics you’d think of when someone mentions The Zombies, in new, remastered form. For more information, have a look at Newbury’s site here.
1973 was a good year for a lot of people. I wouldn’t know, personally, but Mr. Harry Nilsson released an album of 20th-century standards for his 10th studio album, whimsically titled, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, so 1973 couldn’t have been all that bad. Using Sinatra arranger Gordon Jenkins, A Little Touch clocks in at just over 36 mins over 12 songs, and though praised for Nilsson’s prominent vocals, it only received modest chart success. Regardless, A Little Touch is well worth the price of admission, and is a perfect spin for those foggy, Southern California days, or anywhere you can plug in a turntable.
3-Way Tie (For Last) was the final album released by San Pedro legends, Minutemen. Frontman D. Boon would tragically lose his life in a car accident almost immediately after 3-Way‘s release. One of this energetic guitarist’s last work of art was the painting used for the cover. A bit sad, all around, and kind of a departure from their previous albums, 3-Way features a handful of covers (CCR, Meat Puppets) that neatly pay tribute to this Southern California band’s early influences. Like with all Minutemen releases, 3-Way Tie (For Last) is essential listening material. RIP D. Boon.
One part feeling kind of lazy, mixed with a healthy dash of missing hype stickers, we’ll (briefly) stop to focus on this vibrant stamp on the left. This one is for Roy Orbison’s debut album from 1961, which received the RSD Black Friday treatment back in 2014. Numbered, limited, all that jazz, but most importantly, she’s an affordable way to enjoy this legendary artist’s first studio record. Thanks, hype sticker! You’ve done your job.
Presented here is, more or less, my latest obsession… Mr. Roger Miller. Mono on the right, stereo on the left, this classic “greatest hits” album can be had for about a quarter online (this doesn’t include shipping, mind you), but you can likely find it in the $1 bin at your local brick and mortar. All the singles are here, Dang Me, Atta Boy Girl, Do-Wacka-Do, In the Summertime, England Swings, Chug-A-Lug, and of course, King of the Road. I’d define Roger Miller as country in name only. He’s more of a goofball with an acoustic guitar any anything resembling Waylon, Johnny, or Willie, which makes him an easy and likable target for those not too fond of the genre as a whole. I guess, if pressed, what I dig most about Mr. Miller is his shining positivity. You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you’ve a mind to.