Meter Me aka Who dat!?

HYPE STICKERS! Come one, come all, ‘n get ‘yer hype stickers! This one is for the 2015 Rhino Records colored vinyl reissue to Fire on the Bayou, the classic album by New Orleans legends, The Meters. Now, more and more collectors these days may be, in-fact, keeping all their record hype (stickers, fliers, download cards, etc.), but the sentimental part of me wonders what hype stickers to classic albums from the 60s and 70s looked like. Some I’ve seen and we’ve explored, but others, I fear, are lost for good. Anyway, this one is only a few years old, but it hyped me enough to purchase the album!

1984?

1984 was a symbolic and busy year, for events both unpredictable, and all too obvious. ’84 saw Jerry Lee Lewis surrendering to the feds for evading his income taxes, the year where Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr married Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders, the year when Red Hot Chili Peppers released their debut album, and even the year where Michael Jackson’s head engulfed into flames during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Can anyone say free Pepsi for life?! 1984 (Nineteen Eight-Four) is also the title to George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece (first published in 1949), as well as a feature film starring John Hurt (RIP) released in, you guessed it, 1984. The soundtrack single, showcased here, saw synth-pop masters, Eurythmics performing the track, Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four). Presented here are both the single version, and the near 8-minute extended version, both perfect for remembering a year when Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father, and Bruce Springsteen would release his infamous, Born in the U.S.A. Lots to do… lots to do…

P for P

Always read the fine print, kids. I got excited for this Porno for Pyros picture disc and was so clouded that I didn’t realize this 12″ was for the Pets single, and in fact NOT the full-length debut album with the same cover. Pets is great and all, and ok, sure, I already own two versions of the full length, but I’m just a little pissed at myself for not digging a little deeper. You live, and with luck, you learn.

Grand Royal Addition

Rare are the days, these days, when I stumble across a Grand Royal Records release for under $2 that I don’t already have in the collection. Such was the case with GR063 and DJ Strictnine and Paranorm’s The Blow Up Factor contribution from 1999 titled, Mic Reaction. Included is the raging title track, its instrumental sibling, in addition to three other off-the-hook hip hop explosions (there were hooks? I didn’t see any hooks…). Anyway, one simply doesn’t pass up a Blow Up Factor release. If you own one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All that’s left to complete the set is 2000’s Vol. 4 by The Prunes featuring Freestyle, the final of four in the coveted series. The label would be defunct a year later, finally closing its bankrupt doors in 2001.

52

I’m a bit ashamed to admit that it took me until a week ago to acquire this seminal new wave classic, The B-52’s self-titled debut from 1979. For years I thought I’d already owned it, which is why I’d passed it up so many uneducated times, but now, all those misfortunes are a thing of the past, because Rock Lobster (final track on side 1) has finally come home.

Out of Sync

I’m certainly no expert on this subject, only having stumbled across it earlier today, and there have been wiser individuals who have written, at great lengths, about this subject (cited examples: ONE and TWO), and I know it’s rather old news, but were you aware that The Police’s 1983 album Synchronicity (their fifth and final studio output) has 93 different cover variations?! Some sources claim only 36 variants exist, which is still an outstanding number, in my opinion. Sure, The Police were considered the biggest band in the world upon this summer album’s release, but why all the intentional variants? Fun fact: most, if not all US pressings were released as audiophile records, which are actually brown or purple when held up to light, but appear to be standard black vinyl with minimal-to-no inspection. Mine is purple, for the record (see what I did there?). Which color is yours?

Look, But Don’t Bite

Debut albums by glam rock bands often go overlooked when you’re not necessarily a fan of glam rock bands. Not the case with Poison’s 1986 offering, Look What the Cat Dragged In. Housing four singles, and listed at the coveted #2 spot on Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time, Look was produced for a total of only $23,000, an insanely low amount, even adjusted for inflation. No, Look doesn’t include Every Rose Has its Thorn, Your Mama Don’t Dance (a Loggins and Messina cover, and a personal, youth-fueled favorite), or even Fallen Angel (all would come with their sophomore offering with 1988’s Open Up and Say… Ahh!), but Look is still a sweaty, slutty, heavy metal classic worth its weight in L.A. Looks mega hold hair gel . Listen with caution, listen with hair.

Zombie Zombie

Mainly just a post for the photo, but I’ll say, without a hint of hesitation, that as long as Newbury Comics keeps pressing exclusive vinyl releases of Odessey & Oracle, I’ll continue buying them. Maybe I’ve made this statement before… come to think of it, sure… I have. The Zombies have been nominated again (their fourth nod) to the rock and roll hall of fame. Fingers, toes, and wires crossed, they make it this year. They’re clearly deserving of the offer.

Soul

2005 saw the 3x LP compilation release (Sold My Soul), a catch-all, smash track, greatest hits, of sorts, by Los Angeles pretty-boy-hoodlums, The Pharcyde, and was released on the extremely short-lived The Funky Chemist Records label (they only produced five records, including this one). Little-to-nothing can be found about this label (from a quick, Google / Discogs / Wiki search), but these 24-tracks are a fantastic place to start for the casual Pharcyde connoisseur. It was also released in compact disc, if that’s more your bag.

Crown Records

Crown Records was a short-lived label (1953 – 1969), with embarrassingly cheap production. From sleeves that fell apart, to poor pressings, Crown appeared to be a smash-and-grab label, doing whatever it could to turn a buck, even if it meant tarnishing itself, and the knock-off artists it employed. For a rather hilarious background on Crown, head on over to Discogs. It’s a quick read, and you may surprise yourself with a chuckle or two.

Howl’er Back

I’ve kind of shied away from the Minutemen in recent months. Not by conscious choice, but by the inevitable interferences of everyday life. Same can be said for a lot of the old standbys, actually. Sleep. Extra time. My sanity. Anyway, this is the back sleeve cover to Minutemen’s 1983 EP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat. If you’ve ever felt like a gringo, you should check it out (track 6).

“I Wanna Kill”

Fewer things bring unexpected pleasure than my wife, in the middle of the kitchen, with a bit of a Southern drawl, and a calm temper, muttering to herself, “I wanna kill.” You see, prior to a few weeks ago, she had never heard Alice’s Restaurant Massacree. So then, we had to proceed to listen to the track, in its entirety, for the next few weeks. (Twenty-seven 8×10 glossy photographs with the circles and arrows, and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was, to be used as evidence against us.) Now friends, if you haven’t spun, picked, or played Alice’s Restaurant Massacree in quite some time, I humbly suggest you put this on the top of your to-do list. The lyrics are nothing short of hysterical, the chorus is catchy as hell, and if you listen to it enough, your significant other might start randomly quoting it without prompt or any slight hint of mention. These moments, well, these are the good moments.

Okie

Released in 1969, Okie from Muskogee was Merle Haggard and The Strangers’ first live album, likely attempting to mimic the success of ’68’s At Folsom Prison by the Man in Black. Okie was recorded, of all places, in Muskogee, Oklahoma in October of ’69, which was, apparently, a day before the studio album started making the country charts, or so Wikipedia would have us believe. Though I prefer the studio version, to hear the live version, recorded in the town that the track is about, is a pretty decent substitute.

Andy

I grew up on the Andy Griffith Show, so I felt inclined to procure at least one of the man’s albums for the collection, especially when said album was only $1 at a thrift shop. Released via means of Columbia Records back in 1972, Somebody Bigger Than You and I sees Mr. Griffith praising his deity with the twang of folk and country. The 7th studio album from this Hollywood great, Somebody Bigger… would be the first record since 1964’s Andy and Cleopatra on the Capitol label. At a specific time, in a specific place, this album fits the bill.

Riot

So, I’m not a fan of social media, for a slew of reasons, but once in a while, my casual strolls through the Instagram and Facebook walls pay dividends. Case in point, this Riot Fest flexi pack from Fat Wreck Chords. See, I didn’t go to this year’s Riot Fest (or any of the prior years), but one of the punk dudes I follow posted a quick heads up that Fat was selling leftover flexi packs on their website for a cool $15. Included is a split between Mad Caddies and Face to Face, Snuff and Swingin’ Utters, and finally, Night Birds and NOFX. Flexis, as a rule, don’t contain a whole lot of quality, but this pack was a fun surprise. Thanks, Instagram dude!

Bound

It seems around the same time as my Creedence journey, or shortly there after (before?), I stumbled across a record store closing its doors. Everything in the store was half off, so after a solid hour (or four), I walked out with a treasure trove of goodies, including this Simon & Garfunkel 45, The Sounds of Silence b/w Homeward Bound. I remember ALMOST nabbing a Spinal Tap picture disc, that was proudly displayed on the wall (for another few weeks before the doors would be locked for good), but mostly, I remember being the only person in the store, rummaging through unexpected, and quite cheap (and potential) riches. I don’t recall the name of the store, but I’ll never forget the fate that timing allowed.

Travelin’

There were a solid few months, some several years back, where all I’d listen to was Creedence on vinyl. Around this time I was finishing up the stellar discography of studio albums (of which there are seven: self titled, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum, and the often forgotten, Mardi Gras). 45s were fairly easy enough to come by, and this one from 1970 was a spoil from my travels… Travelin’ Band b/w Who’ll Stop the Rain. Both essential CCR numbers at any rpm.

How Do You Do?!

In addition to authoring classic children’s books (Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic were grade school favorites for me, as I assume they were for you), and many other vast and treasured avenues, Shel Silverstein was a prolific songwriter. He wrote hits for Loretta Lynn, Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, and of course, for Johnny Cash on arguably one of his most famous tracks, A Boy Named Sue. Mr. Silverstein’s history, one I’m soon to further explore, dates back to the Elektra label with his 1959 album, Hairy Jazz. Good luck finding a copy on the cheap, and if you have an extra one, thank you in advance for sending it my way.

Vito’s

We have recently fallen in love with a local pizza joint that spins actual vinyl on Technics 1200s. Not only are the vibes groovy and handpicked by the staff, the pizza is New Jersey-style, and absolutely delicious. Might I suggest a little Jackie Wilson with a side of Garibaldi (red sauce, cheese, meatball, jalapeno, tomato). Delicious Pizza, you’ve got a valid competitor.