Well, it was only a matter of time until we got to the Steven Tyler-led, 70s monarch, Aerosmith. Hard rock, for the ears of fans who only knew soft rock (I apologize to no one), Aerosmith cemented their historic, decade-looming monument with 1973’s Dream On, although it didn’t receive commercial appreciation until its 1976 re-release, and although my interaction with the band didn’t “officially” occur until the mid-sorry-nineties, one growing up in rural Wisconsin does not go a casual day and not stumble across a bit of Aerosmith, in whatever iteration that plop-cultured medium deemed fit.
Bend your mind one side at a time with 1977’s Guitar Boogie. Fix yourself a heaping plate of last night’s grub, pour out a pint of your favorite brew, dim the lights and drop the needle, because it’s damn near boogie time. Have you heard of these young, up-and-comers? Eric Clapton? Jeff Beck? Jimmy Page? Nah, me neither, but this comp of classic blues-infused slut-rock is essential Monday night listening material, or, at least it is around our household. Sometimes, Mondays need that extra boogie…
In 1966, Tim Hardin released his first studio album, Tim Hardin 1, and on this radiant release was not a reason to wonder, but instead a Reason to Believe, that Tim Hardin was, in fact, a timeless (and ultimately reckless) force, begging to be messed with.
The album’s third track, Smugglin’ Man, paints a greasy, underhanded picture of a deceitful man, THE man, able and willing to supply illegal substances to, among others, the Indians, the Arabs, and the Jews. This man of opportunity is, of course, Tim himself, or “Timmie” as the song goes. Be it guns, whiskey, gin or blatantly put, “anything illegal,” Tim was your late night go-to guy. Yes, Smugglin’ Man is a hell-of-a rockin’ R&B ditty, sung by a demon with an angel’s voice.
Cut to 1970’s compilation album, Tim Hardin.
Capitalizing on Tim’s breakout success of the late 60s, Tim Hardin (the album, not the man) was yet another repackaged, “Best of,” whose 9 (of 10) tracks made up the bulk of his first two albums (Tim Hardin 1 and Tim Hardin 2, naturally). I’m a completist sucker, so I had to have Tim Hardin, even though I’d already owned these songs two, and some even three times over.
All of this is very well, nice and good, but the (long-winded) message at heart, here, is that there is a hilarious oversight printed on this comp’s front cover. Instead of a rum-runnin’ man with a deviant mind for smugglin’, is instead a jaunty fellow with the habit for snuggling. As it’s printed, Snuggling Man paints a much different, and more family friendly picture than the gin-smugglin’, whiskey-sellin’ scar on the pale face of morality.
So, if you’re familiar with the song, here’s a little gift, smuggled, and snuggled, from me, to you…
I’m an old time snugglin’ man and I know just what to do
I’m an old time snugglin’ man and I know just what to do
I sell guns to the Arabs,
I sell dynamite to the Jews
– Lyrics by Tim Hardin, snuggler extraordinaire.
Short retort tonight, as the warm, guilty rays from the Hardin Sun cast fervent necessity that borderlines an acute obsession upon me and mine during these last few (years) weeks. I’ve gone so far as to hunt down the “Electronically Re-Recorded to Simulate STEREO” version of This is Tim Hardin to accompany the original mono version, and I have, today, decided it was worth a few good, conscious hours to digitize both albums for digital enjoyment. I’ve yet to find the proper ear-apparatus to showcase the difference between the two, but as with any obsession, logic gets second billing.
RIP James Timothy Hardin.
Just like how function trumps fashion, so too shall quality (eventually) trump quantity here at The Prudent Groove. For too long I’ve been lacksadaisically (it’s a word… I think) thumbing my procrastination button and parading through an inferior product (since day one). So, as a mission statement (if only to myself), I, out-of-turnly proclaim, that tomorrow’s focus will showcase a much more thought out analysis (read: sarcastic observation).
What you see here (obviously), is an 8-track cassette of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Acquired today for a cool $1.99, this lil’ jammer will squat within the vacant garage currently residing in our living room in the shape of an empty (wood-paneled) 8-track player. Gone (and thoroughly missed), is my red cassette copy of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and in its place, and abridged version of Zeppelin’s most commercially proclaimed outing.
“Do you own an 8-track player?’ – Record story Guy
“Have you read The Groove?” – Me (to myself, and several hours later)
Rock ‘N’ Roll gets kicked in the teeth with this fire-themed gauntlet of raging energy. Led by Speedo’s spitting vocals and Petey X’s stabbing bass work, the glorious Rocket from the Crypt, over just six songs, show everyone within shouting distance why they’re helmed as the best Rock ‘N’ Roll group ever to walk the Earth. The State of Art is On Fire, and Rocket from the Crypt lit the match.
The State of Art is on Fire was the first in a trilogy from RFTC (Rocket from the Crypt) in 1995, followed by August’s Hot Charity and October’s Scream, Dracula, Scream!. This particular release is, well, a bit peculiar since side A plays at 33rpms and side B plays at 45rpms. It should also be noted that this EP was the first to feature JC 2000, the band’s trumpeter, and also included a lyrics sheet, which was rarely included in releases by this band.
The hair-raising back-to-back shots from Rid or Ride and Human Torch are arguably the best one-two punch by any band on any album ever. I know this statement is subjective, but you’re wrong if you think otherwise. Like a violent flame, this album starts to burn your ears, your neighbor’s dog’s ears, your feet, the pear on your kitchen table, your memories of Senior Prom, and the blood flowing through your veins, and it doesn’t let up until the needle breaks on the final groove. The State of Art is on Fire is an experience. One that is not quickly, or let’s face it, EVER forgotten.
Only 300 copies exist of this blue marbled staple of Rock ‘N’ Roll awesomeness. Currently none are for sale of either this or the pink marbled version, but the black version can be had for only $8 at Discogs.
Art has been burning now for 18 years. Sit back and enjoy the flames.