This copy of Leon Russell’s debut solo release, 1970’s Leon Russell was a generous gift from one of my wife’s aunts, and for reasons unknown, happened to find its way to the top of the spin pile. Sadly, this is my only exposure to this acclaimed and lucrative songwriter, which upon now, my second spin, has perked my interest into the Grammy award winning artist’s six decade career. This artist’s collaborators include, but are certainly not limited to, The Rolling Stones, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, Steve Winwood, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (the last five who appear on this release.) Heavily driven by Russell’s railroad-like piano, Leon Russell brings with it heartfelt highs (A Song for You), and foot-tappin’, booty-shakin’ lows (I Put a Spell on You). A considerably enjoyable listen, Leon Russell comes highly recommended.
My listening affair with The Rolling Stones carries with it a heavy satchel of struggle and self-inflicting restraint. The evolution from tolerating, through hating, and ultimately to accepting has been a long and winded excursion. Not completely unlike the band’s 1967 compilation album, Flowers (or the majority of these posts). This collection of (some) previously released tracks (about half) and unreleased (at least in the US) songs from Aftermath and Between the Buttons sessions create a (money-grabbing) faux-flower-power album, perfect for the rainbow of hipsters gallivanting their way through the free-spirited summer of ’67 (the album was released on June 26th). If you can stomach the overindulgent counterculture cover, you’ll find the seeds within are anything but psychedelic (compared to say, early Floyd), and are actually heavy hitters of oldies radio airwaves (Mother’s Little Helper, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, etc.). Whatever your personal feelings are towards this dominant group, Flowers is worthy of an in-depth exploration, even if you’ve heard the bulk of it before.
Another London Records insert today (actually, just the flip side to 11/28 insert to be exact). Featured here are a few early Stones offerings (Aftermath, Out of Our Heads, Flowers, and Got Live if You Want It!), Mr. Cat Stevens, The Moody Blues, and of course, John Mayall. Power Blues looks good, based solely on the cover (never heard of it / them / ‘er), and I’m kind of interested in what Savoy Brown sounds like. Caravan, meh. Anyway, enjoy this colorful snapshot of late 60s psychedelic pop rock, won’t ya?!
The Rolling Stones’ 1966 album, Aftermath (the band’s fourth studio effort in the UK, and their sixth in the US… figure that one out) is the first Stones album to 1) be recorded entirely in the United States, 2) consists of all Jagger-Richards compositions, and 3) was the band’s first “true stereo” release (thank you Wikipedia.org). Though the covers differ depending on your side of the pond, the flip side features (generally) the same layout. None of this matters, of course, because Aftermath features the following, early Stones classics: Under My Thumb, I am Waiting, Lady Jane, and a personal favorite, Paint it Black. (The UK version also includes Mothers Little Helper… the bastards...). If you don’t already own this essential piece of rock history, put it at the top of your list.
Not unlike the London / Parrot / Coliseum advertinsert from last April, this London / Parrot / Deram insert features, once again, Them, the Stones, and The Zombies under the “teen beat” umbrella, but this time around sporting a seasonably fashioned blue trim. My SO mentioned the other night how I hadn’t done an insert post in a while. Truth be told, I’m desperately running low on inserts, so… off to the local brick and mortar I go for another blaze orange hunt for early Kinks, late Hardin, and vibrant record inserts. Happy Friday, kids!
London Recordings, with all her lofty divisions, offered a red, white and blue window into the mid-60s English Assault, and was home to some pretty significant acts producing some pretty extraordinary cuts. Their mainstay, and supplier of the label’s flowing honey, were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Rolling Stones, but what I didn’t recognize until earlier today was how many other British Invasion favorites, or in this case Teen Beat favorites, also strolled under the London Recordings umbrella. Unit 4+2, the Moody Blues, the Zombies, and Them all saw early offerings on London, or one of her sisters, and in such a short amount of time, helped propel this label into the upper, heavily coveted realms of rock n’ roll history.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Antique malls are time sucks. The alluring glow of buried treasure seems to boil the blood like a white-hot phoenix, and those of us who seek this 2nd hand treasure know exactly what I’m jivin’ at. These ominous voids (usually located next to a Subway or a Peet’s Coffee for some bygone reason) demand the archeological skills of a handsome, fedora-wearing ladies man named after the family dog, and the patience of a turtle-loving, detail-fixed hoarder of historic rubbish. Be it books, vintage clothing, old Look Magazines from the 1940s, or in this case, a banned UK copy of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 master work, Electric Ladyland, the junk drawers of yesteryear are spilled out for all to peruse and purchase at these, the greatest time-wasting five and dimes the world has ever seen.
Anyway, short story short, I was on one of my weekly trips to Times Remembered in Ventura, CA (a place my SO and I jokingly call Time Suck, but not too jokingly, you dig?), where I stumbled upon a tiny booth filled with doll clothing, baby spoons with crude pictures of horses on them, overpriced “I Like Ike” campaign buttons, and 2 records: The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, and this copy of Electric Ladyland. What struck me as odd was how no other records could be found within this seller’s little corner. I wondered, “Why these 2 specific records?” (Resting against a basket of thimbles and a child’s rocking chair.) Anyway, both records were marked $20, but that day, this particular booth offered a ½ off sale. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Well, do I really NEED a copy of Electric Ladyland?” Asinine to even consider, I know. I bought it, obviously, and now this hot little number fetches upwards of $450 on discogs.com.
Their Satanic Majesties Request had 4 pinholes in each corner, obviously punched to proudly display on the smoke-stained walls rented by the now levelheaded antique seller’s younger self. Had it been in better shape, I would have nabbed that guy as well. I’m still on the search for that little musical chalice.
300 days, 7200 hours, or roughly 432,000 minutes ago, I gave birth to The Prudent Groove. I sincerely appreciate all who have visited, and for the friends I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Now, I’ve got to go return some videotapes.
Today, Charles Hardin Holley would have been 77 years young. In the 22 years he walked this Earth, the legendary trailblazer, in the most modest of senses, achieved, in terms of profound influential force, more than any other artist ever to wade in the fervent pool of rock and roll. The Stones, the Beatles, and the giant led balloon would certainly not exist, in any fathomable form, had Buddy Holly not first set foot upon that timeless and immortal stage.
Happy 77th Birthday, Mr. Holly!
Yesterday was a good day in terms of record pecking. I was able to find the following four albums (two firsts and two comps) for relatively cheap (it’s not only about the find… it’s also about the deal, as you all well know).
First up is The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut, The Rolling Stones. Now, there were two copies of this album over at Record Surplus, and both sleeves were in pretty good shape. The copy I left behind was priced at $35, but the version I brought home was only $5. Record Surplus is thoughtful enough to provide listening stations (available, albeit restrictive, in five minute intervals). The record looked a bit choppy, but after a test spin, it proved to be only visually perverted. Score one for The Groove!
Second is Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1. I’m absolutely loony over Tim Hardin’s brand of white boy blues (after discovering his 1967 released, 1963-1964 recorded album, This is Tim Hardin). If you don’t know Tim Hardin, you don’t know anguish. It’s as simple as that.
Third and fourth are two of the three part series of early 80s UK punk comps titled, Punk and Disorderly. I’d first heard of these comps via NOFX lyrics in the song, Punk Guy that go “He should’ve been on the cover of Punk and Disorderly.” With 16 tracks apiece, I eagerly look forward to angry meditations in UK punk.
So, there you have it. British Invasion, White Boy Blues, and early UK Punk. Not bad for a stroll down to the corner shop.