Thursday, December 24, 2009

Old Dancehall, Horace Andy Style

Horace Andy - "Come Inna This" is Horace Andy in his signature "Sleepy" mode, singing perfectly behind the beat on a sort of slow early digital dancehall riddim. I got this 12" single for a couple of bucks, and the flip side is really nothing special (it's not Horace Andy or a dub version of the riddim or anything). So all I have for you in this post is this one song. It's Horace Andy singing about reggae music and how awesome it is, using the vocal melody from Mongo Jerry's "In The Summertime" over the fantastic early digital riddim (can anyone tell me the name of it?). Horace Andy is one of the most beloved reggae singers of all time, and I already posted a great dub record of his on here, so here's a rar single of his that I like more than most of his popular singles from this time period. I've never seen this track on any of the comps or "best of" records of his material. I ripped it for my own listening pleasure, and now you benefit from it too! Download below:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elvis Costello Bootlegs Cont'd

Side "D" of the 2-disc set entitled, "50,000,000 Fans Can't Be Wrong." I know, I'm taking my sweet-ass time getting all 4 sides up. Side "C" has a few bad skips, so that one is really lagging. This side is all live recordings, apparently from Cleveland in December of 1977, a fine year. You have some songs from My Aim is True and This Year's Model here, played at blistering speeds. The version of Lipstick Vogue on this recording just burns up your stereo, it's hot. Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Boston New Wave-Punk

Slow Children - "Pseudo Girl" b/w "Going to Germany" & "Oriental Bondage" is indeed a rare find. This 7" is from the Boston area, dated 1981 on the Varulven label. What do I know about this band? Absolutely nothing. Tried to do a little online sleuthing, and only found this 7" listed on a page that has a really extensive, thorough listing of every punk-related record that came out in the Boston area in the late 70's-80's. Found no information to go with it. Any you might have is welcome. I got this little record (kinda scratched and a slight warp) for next to nothing, so I'm not complaining. One little skip at the beginning of the second song, doesn't ruin it for me.

What's it actually sound like? It's weird, kinda artsy New-Wave/Garage/Punk/...? Sounds in the vein of early XTC, Gang of Four, Ian Dury....somewhere between them, maybe, haha. They desperately wanted to be from Great Britain. Honestly, the sound is fairly convincing and it's really not a bad little 7". This one will be a regular spin for me at certain gigs, and will be on mixes for driving long distances.

Download it from the link and give it a listen for yourself. Couldn't find anywhere to download or buy it, so good luck!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

British Soul

Watson T Browne and The Explosive - "Gimme Some" b/w "Home is Where the Heart Lies" is a British-pressed and recorded soul 45 on the President label. I honestly don't know a whole lot about it except it says it's produced by Eddy Grant. I can't really find much info about about Watson or the President label, although I did see a President label discography, and it includes a ton of great American soul 45's, some Equals 45's, and other British artists I'd never heard of. The Equals 45's tip me off that the Eddy Grant you're thinking of (yeah, Electric Avenue) is the same guy who produced this 45. It also has a similar rock 'n soul sound to what the Equals were doing. "Gimme Some" is a mid-tempo mover with passionate vocals and lyrics that you could probably guess without ever hearing the song. The b-side is a mellow ballad that leaves some passion to be desired, in my opinion. What I love about this 45 is how British it sounds. It's clearly trying its hardest to sound like good American southern soul, but it's got a certail sterility about it that just reeks of England. The vocals are a bit too forward in the mix for my liking, and the rhythm section doesn't play "behind" enough to give it the swagger that American soul had. It's interesting, and "Gimme Some" is certainly danceable. Download and hear it for yourself, then look for a copy somewhere!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jean Wells' Sweet Soul

Jean Wells - "Can't You Feel It" b/w "Sit Down And Cry" is a beautiful 45 on the NY-based Calla label from the late 60's ('67 or '68). Wells was a Florida-born singer who made records in Philly before doing her finest work for Calla in the late 60's. She's got some tunes that are prized by the Northern Soul cats, and she's not particularly well-known overall. When I saw this 45, I only bought it because I love a lot of stuff on Calla, and the song titles sounded like soul. I'd never heard of Ms. Wells. Well, the record went beyond my expectations. "Can't You Feel It" is an up-tempo mover with the hand-drumming and percussion that makes purple-heart-popping Anglophiles dance in ways they didn't know they could. It's a fairly passionate tune, but the ballad side, "Sit Down and Cry", is the one that gets me. Wells' voice is just totally convincing, and her timing is fantastic. She comes into lines just late enough to really make you believe, and keep you waiting for the next note to be emphatically sung. Love this 45, so download it below and buy it from somewhere.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

Magazine - "Shot By Both Sides" b/w "My Mind Ain't So Open" was Magazine's very first single, and I proudly own it. This 7" was recorded BEFORE the band had a keyboard player, so it's got a much rawer sound, with less glossy production keyboards. Now, this is tough for me, because I admittedly LOVE the polished, keyboard-heavy sound of the first LP, Real Life. So, obviously, this version of the classic song is different from the LP version that is more well-known to anyone who didn't hear this song on the radio in the UK when it came out. It's a more "punk" sound, and the b-side (which didn't make it on Real Life), "My Mind Ain't So Open", is definitely a fairly traditional "punk" song, more than the artsy, New-Wave-anticipating sound of the songs on the LP. It's a straight-ahead 2 minute rocker with 2 or 3 chords total. LOVE it. Devoto's voice was awesome. This band was awesome. Enjoy my rip of my very clean copy, then get a copy for yourself:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Weirdos - Destroy All Music

The Weirdos - Destroy All Music on the Bomp label from 1977 is probably my favorite REAL early LA punk 7". I found this SUPER clean copy of this record for really cheap at a record store REAL close to where I'm working now. This is just quintessential 1977 American punk, with the perfect amount of posturing-without-really-trying-because-it's-new attitude and snarl. Songs are short, not all that serious, and very fun to listen to. Don't know what more to say, really, because this one should pretty much explain itself. Great punk 7", download:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Instrumental Early Reggae

Jo Jo Bennett & Mudie's All-Stars - "Snowbird" b/w "Change the Tide" is the 45 I have for you today. Jo Jo is an Alpha Boys School alum, as so many of Jamaica's greatest musicians have been. He is known for his fine trumpet work, and I suppose his biggest "hit" was "Leaving Rome" on Trojan records in the UK, or maybe "Lecture Me", which I believe went on to become the oft-versioned "Lecturer" riddim that dancehall artists still use to this day. He moved to Canada, as so many of his fellow-Jamaicans did and still do. This 45 was one of his awesome recordings for Mudie's "Moodisc" label. My copy has most of the info scratched out, so it took some hunting and figuring out on my part just to find a name for the A-side. Turns out it's an instrumental, cooled-out early reggae version of Anne Murray's 1970 country hit "Snowbird"! That dates the recording of this to about that year.

I have to say, this instrumental version of Snowbird KILLS the original Anne Murray version (not surprising, I guess). It gives it such a nice melancholy vibe, with the lilting melody played PERFECTLY "behind" the rhythm. You'll see what I mean when you listen to it, it's lovely. "Change the Tide" to me sounds like a slighty-reggae-fied version of the "I Dream of Jeannie" theme song (written by Hugo Montenegro). I love it. Weird percussion, yelled vocal breaks, and the funky rhythm make this tune worth a listen. The only thing "reggae" about this track seems to be the organ and guitar hits. Check it out by downloading below:

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Favorite NJHC 7", right now, at least

Vision - Undiscovered is currently my favorite New Jersey Hardcore punk 7" EP ever, but that is subject to change depending on my mood or where I'm hanging out or what color I'm wearing or whatever. It's just a brilliant debut 7" from one of New Jersey's all-time best hardcore bands. This is on the melodic side. Definitely not the tough guy metal-tinged stuff, and also not the goofy-but-blistering AOD/Bedlam kinda stuff. It's awesome late 80's NJ hardcore punk that has influenced a lot of bands since. "Falling Apart" is one of my favorite NJHC songs EVER. Awesome melody, with vocals that are just the right mix of yelling/spitting words at you with venom, and actually sort of singing. At very least, we're not talking gutteral grunts and deep-throated screams. You can hear and understand every lyric (something my grandparents would say, but seriously, it rules). I have just been on a total mid-late 80's melodic hardcore kick recently with all of the DC stuff from that period dominating my listening. Then I picked up this 7" and remembered how fucking awesome it was, and why I loved seeing this band live so much. First hardcore band I ever saw, and they've never gotten old in my eyes. Still awesome. Support this band and buy actual, better-sounding versions of the songs from this EP on the "One and the Same" CD. For now, download this mediocre-sounding rip of the original 7".

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Otis Clay's Deep Soul

Otis Clay - "She's About a Mover" b/w "You Don't Miss Your Water" is a wicked 45 on Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary. This is seriously DEEP soul from Mississippi-born Clay, recorded at Muscle Shoals under Rick Hall's production. The 45 SOUNDS awesome thanks to tight production and a crack band, with Otis Clay's unique readings of these 2 classic songs. "She's About a Mover" was the Sir Douglas Quintet's "Nugget", and a good, rollicking R&B-styled song. Otis Clay and the Muscle Shoals band honestly take it to the next level and put the song in the correct context. It's great.

"You Don't Miss Your Water" is maybe my second favorite Soul song ever after "Dark End of the Street." Currently it's the one I feel the most, as, sadly, I'm sure many folks my age do. Your pretty standard story of having a good thing going with someone, leaving it for whatever bullshit reasons, and then later on when the superficial good times clear out, you find yourself missing the original, pure good thing you had. But of course it's too late, you had your shot, and forces of the universe have closed that door in your face. "You don't miss your water 'til your well runs dry" is a fairly well-known saying, and William Bell wrote an honest, touching soul ballad to PERFECTLY express his own realization that he missed his water. Otis Redding did a moving version of the song, and many have since covered it. This is my second favorite version, with the original Bell take on Stax being my favorite. This is a unique reading of the song, more conversational and laid-back in vocal tone (as maybe was Clay's general style), but still quite powerful. Download and listen below and find a copy, it's worth it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Elvis Costello Rarities/bootleg Part 2!

Here's side B, LP 1 from the same bootleg comp as my last post! 2 sides to go after this!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Elvis Costello Rarities/bootleg Part 1!

Alright, I've got a copy of Elvis Costello and The Atractions - 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. Elvis Costello is my favorite musical artist of the last 35 years or so. When I get pissed off, especially with ladies, Elvis is like an understanding, bitter older brother who's been through it and knows just what to say. This is a double LP bootleg on Slipped Disc records from Monaco. I've ripped all 4 sides, and now must edit them all, which is daunting. I'm kinda lazy so I'm gonna pace myself and go one side at a time and post them as I go. For info on this bootleg, you can check the Wiki on it. Basically, it's a bunch of live and demo recordings of Elvis Solo and with the Attractions, from the very early days. A quote from the a source of the Wiki: "Essential. The Agora concert appears in better quality on other bootleg CDs, but the Capitol Radio recordings on the Rhino re-issue were taken from a worn copy of this bootleg (hence the heavy noise reduction). But these sound amazing on this LP, so that makes it necessary to get an original copy of on vinyl." Well I have an original copy on vinyl, so you can download my rip! Here's side 1:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rare Atlantic Soul

Percy Wiggins - "Book of Memories" b/w "Can't Find Nobody" - Atco Records 45 I found for cheap and am really glad I did. "Book of Memories" was the "hit" side, I guess, but "Can't Find Nobody" is my favorite song. The awesome thing about this 45 is that both sides are sad songs of longing, which I'm a sucker for. "Book of Memories" is about hating feeling like being just another page in his former woman's book of memories, rather than a lasting love. Timeless theme, but not something you'll hear voiced in pop songs of today. It's a shame, and I think it's harming more than just the popular music, but those theories are for another blog. "Can't Find Nobody" is about not being able to find someone to take the place of his lost love...another common theme. The melody and beat of this song are killer, and it's a perfect dance tune. Has everything I like in an uptempo 60's soul track. I'm sorry I don't have much info on Mr. Wiggins, but I do know he had a sweet voice, and this is an Atco 45 I don't see very often. Download and enjoy below:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Crown Prince of Reggae

Dennis Brown - "Your Love's Got a Hold On Me" b/w Joe Gibbs and The Professionals - "Oh Girl" is a SWEET rub-a-dub early dancehall reggae 12" single from 1983, a great year for this style of music. It's one of my favorite versions of the Heavenless riddim, done by Joe Gibbs and The Professionals, with Dennis Brown singing a slow, sultry song over it with a laid back melody. Like, he sings it so slow and behind, you're waiting for each note and word, and it hits you just at the right time. The vocals match the riddim so well it's disgusting. The riddim is addictive, and overall it's perfect hot day, summertime listening. This is my favorite Dennis Brown track. The b-side is the riddim with the occasional dubbed in shout of "MURRRDERAH!" It's fucking awesome, and in good shape, so this rip actually aounds okay! Enjoy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Joe Strummer was the coolest

101'ers - "Keys to Your Heart" b/w "Five Star Rock 'n Roll Petrol" is a record I was super lucky to find in great shape. Chiswick Records put out some awesome stuff back in the day, and the 101'ers, Joe Strummer's pre-Clash rock 'n roll band, were among the best for sure. Joe Strummer was a hero of mine already, as I'm a huge Clash fan. I'd barely given the 101'ers a listen when I found this 7" and knew it was gonna be the best 7 bucks I ever spent. Well, it was. Keys To Your Heart is in my top 5 Joe Strummer songs ever, and competes for my absolute favorite. Think early Clash with less distorted/crunchy guitar, and about love instead of politics. Like.....really fucking good. Super catchy song, sounds awesome, and totally over-looked by most people. PERFECT song. Five Star Rock 'n Rol Petrol is less catchy, less clever, and lacks the substance of "Keys", but is a nice little b-side anyway. It's vintage Strummer. MUST-have. Download it below:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Soulshake (electric sitar, maaaaan)

Peggy Scott and JoJo Benson - "Soulshake" b/w "We Were Made for Each Other" is everything an awesome late 60's song should be. It rocks, it rolls, it's got tons of soul, electric sitar, pedal steel guitar, and a simple, steady ass-shaking beat. (Sorry for the amount of commas in that sentence.) SSS International put out some awesome soul, pop, and rock back in the day, and this pairing is no exception. I have no info about this vocal duo or record that you can't find on Funky 16 Corners or anywhere else on the internet, so I won't pretend to be an expert on them. I can tell you this song has moved some butts when I've spun it at parties and bars, and that's all I ask of my records. It had me from the opening harmonized "DOOOOOOO...DO DO DOOOOOO" and electric sitar riffage. "We Were Made for Each Other" is pretty much your standard b-side on a rollicking soul stomper.....slow, sweet, and not nearly as memorable as the A-side. The lyrics aren't earth-shattering, but the male/female vocal pairing is convincing and really soulful. The electric sitar makes its return on this b-side, which is always a plus. Matter of fact, it's featured more heavily on this cut. Worth a listen for the sitar riffs alone. Download below:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Orleans Funeral/Parade Music

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band - Jazz Begins: Sounds of New Orleans / Funeral and Parade Music is one of the coolest LP's I've ever heard. This is a goood record I DON'T HAVE, but my good friend Mark does. Or, I should say, he will as soon as I give it back to him. I heard 5 minutes of it and had to borrow it. This is funeral/parade music from New Orleans recorded around 1958 for Atlantic Records. New Orleans' funeral music and ceremony swings so wonderfully from mournful and down to joyous and hopeful...there's just nothing like it. When I die I want a New Orleans funeral so bad. This music is sparse, street parade music consisting of horns and drums. The clarinet, the trombone, the sousaphone (!), and the snare drum are instruments that simply tear my soul apart when I listen to this record. The musicians were incredible, and info about this band is easy to find. I can't say much else about this besides to say that this is a must-have. Honestly, this is music that will transport you somewhere. Download:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best Power Pop song ever?

The Flamin' Groovies - "Shake Some Action" b/w "Teenage Confidential" is, in my opinion, pretty much the greatest Power Pop 45 ever released. Now, I have the original British pressing 7" single. I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's a bit different from the version on the LP? I don't own the original LP, but the version of the song you can usually download online (and the version that's been on various comps) is different. This one seems a bit slower and more deliberate, less frantic. In any case, I've put this song on more mixes than I can count (definitely on every mix I've ever made for any girl, ever....which is a lot), and it's always a crowd-pleaser. I like this single version a lot. The b-side, Teenage Confidential is a slower, more obviously 60's-style ballad-type tune that pales in comparison to the A-side, but on any other 45 would be a very solid track. Plenty of info about the Groovies' history is available online (and is a rather interesting read). Crucial band, crucial tune. Definitely get this below:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cooooool Rub-a-Dub Reggae

Scion Sashay Success - "If A Minstrel" b/w "Version" is among my favorite mid-80's rub-a-dub reggae records. Now, let it be known, this is actually one side of a 12" single I have by Scion Success. The other side is not as sweet a song, but I'll up it soon anyway. This side of the record is just, in my mind, about the best early-mid 80's NYC Reggae production on the awesome Jah Life label. I was hipped to Scion Success by a fellow selector from another sound system who happened to stop by my old reggae night in New Brunswick. He told me to snatch up anything I could by this NY-based singer. The next day I found this 12" for 2 bucks, took it home and dropped a needle on it, and was knocked out. Success' voice is syrupy-sweet, and the melody is just perfect for the riddim-all over it like a satin blanket. This guy was doing the Bitty McLean thing lyrically and melodically way before Bitty McLean was around. He is probably most well-known for the sound-clash mainstay "Dun Dead Already", which every soundsystem must have to even enter a clash. But this is a fantastic lovers' style tune that I can listen to over and over and not get tired of. One of my all-time favorites. Dig it:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rare Stax/Volt Soul

The Four Shells - "Hot Dog" b/w "Reputation" seemed like a departure for Stax's Volt subsidiary when I bought the 45 for 49 cents. Volt is probably most well-known, certainly in my collection, for being the home of Otis Redding and the Mad Lads. The standard, down-home, southern soul feel dominates. This was a northern group produced by Jerry Butler and licensed to Stax. You'll hear that as soon as you listen to these tunes. This is not your standard Stax fare. "Hot Dog" is a very up-tempo shuffling bluesy dance number. "Reputation" is the stand-out track, with a clever melody and perfect mid-up-tempo dance beat. Very "Northern Soul," without the lush arrangements that would come in the later 60's (I believe this is from 1966 or so). This is a good, honest 45 on both sides. I love it, so you will too. Nice and rare, too! Download below:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Early Straigt Edge Hardcore

Uniform Choice - Screaming For Change is one of my favorite Straight Edge hardcore records ever. They were just a great hardcore band from the mid-80's that happen to have sung about straight edge. Yeah, some of the lyrics are pretty corny by today's standards, but I guess for 1985, it was really awesome, honestly. These guys were pretty much the first real Cali Straight Edge hardcore band, pre-dating bands like Chain of Strength. In my ears, they kind of bridge the gap between real fast, angry, earlier Edge hardcore like SSD with the "Youth Crew" style of the mid-late 80's. This is way up there on my list, and I actually very recently found the second pressing copy of this record that I ripped for you. Download the rip below. I'm stoked to own it, look for your own copy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rare Early Reggae/Soul

Carlton Moore - "Soul Jamaica" b/w "Wedding Day" is an American-pressed early reggae 45 on Tobin Records. I could find NO information on Mr. Moore's career or even this record, except that I've seen the JA pressing on Moodisc Records, so I know it's legit. And you'll know it's legit when you hear it. "Soul Jamaica" is a basic old reggae tune with the bubbling organ and horn accents, about Jamaica being funky and having soul, which I'm all about! It won't be found on any old reggae comps that I've seen, and I've seen a LOT of them. I'm into it. "Wedding Day" is the more interesting tune to me. I LOVE Jamaican musicians from the 60's and 70's playing American-style soul and blues (which is really where Jamaican popular music like Ska came from anyway). This tune is organ-heavy, and not reggae at all. It IS, however, Jamaican in style and presentation. It's a touching little wedding song, with Moore proving why he wasn't a big hit in his day: his falsetto and higher register vocals don't approach the quality of Pat Kelly or Slim Smith. Still an awesome download and well worth a listen. Download below:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Solomon Burke Rock and Soul

Solomon Burke - "Keep Looking" / "Don't Want You No More" is my favorite Solomon Burke 45, and I am a big Solomon Burke fan. Some folks call him The King of Rock and Soul. I've read an incredible number of amazing stories that he's told about his younger years, and if half of them are half true, the dude's a genius and personal hero. "Keep Looking" is real uptempo stuff with a steady, driving beat that has made many folks dance in my presence. Burke opens the song with his preacher-like spoken intro before the very northern-style soul beat with little percussion, guitar, and horn accents come in and tear you apart. It's urgent and powerful soul - just an awesome tune you don't usually hear by Solomon Burke. "Don't Want You No More" is a slower bluesy ballad that's a clear departure from his early country-ish ballads like "Just Out of Reach." This is most definitely blues, and a great kiss-off song. I love this 45, and urge you to find a copy. Download these 2 songs below:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Old NY/NJ Hardcore Comp

Message From America: Hardcore Has Come of Age on Urinal Records is a weird old (1985 or so?) comp from NJ-based Urinal Records, who put out Mental Abuse's legendary Streets of Filth album. This comp features 2 good tracks from Agnostic Front ( kinda weird versions of classic songs), a long Mental Abuse song, 4 awesome Seizure songs, and songs from Suburban Flashback, Violent Image, and Black Out. This stuff is pretty obscure. The Seizure songs are really good, punky old hardcore. The stuff on this comp ranges from weird and metallic to poppy/punky to brutal and pissed off. It's far from being the best comp of its time, but it's those transitional years in NY/NJ HC documented wonderfully. If nothing else, you can brag that you've heard some really obscure bands from the tri-state area! No photo, sorry (blue vinyl, too!), download below:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mod Revival!

The Purple Hearts - "Jimmy" b/w "What Am I Gonna Do?" is the Mod Revival 7" I have upped for you this evening. The Purple Hearts were one of the first bands to do anything of significance with the Mod Revival of the late 70's/early 80's in Great Britain, after not doing as well as a punk band under another name. While they don't exactly have the level of sophistication and songwriting of The Jam, they put out some brilliantly catchy, power-poppy punk that fell neatly in the category of Mod Revival in 1979-1980. Both sides of this single can be described exactly as that. I love both sides, they're great songs that couldn't have, but should have caught on as hits in America. As it was they scratched the charts in England, but had a greater output, and of higher quality, than most other bands of this period/style who put out one or 2 catchy singles and were never heard from again. I'm stoked to own this 45, and you can download my rip below:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ruddy Thomas Lovers Rock Reggae

Ruddy Thomas - "Let's Make a Baby" b/w "Version" (Mighty Two) is a great example of the Lovers' Rock style of reggae that was becoming huge in England and to a slightly lesser extent in JA in the late 70's and early 80's. It's a Mighty Two production (Joe Gibbs and Errol T) of a reggae cover of Billy Paul's 1975 Philly Soul classic, written by Gamble and Huff. American soul in the mid 70's was taking on this polished, glossy, mellower style as Barry White, Billy Paul, Al Green, and other baby-making-music singers became all the rage. Jamaican music, as it almost always did, followed suit and covered some of the American hits, and subsequently sold a ton of records in England. This has pretty much been the story of Jamaican music from the late 50's to present, although now it's a little less of a cut and dry idea as to who's following who.

In any case, I just wanted to up this particular record for Mother's Day! It's an okay song, better for kitsch value than anything else. Still worth a quick download and listen. Make a baby while listening to it! I know I won't. Download below(sorry for the scratchy sound, it's old Jamaican vinyl):

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mitch Ryder Rockin' Soul

Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels - "Too Many Fish In the Sea" b/w "One Grain of Sand" is a killer blue-eyed soul/60's rock 45. "Too Many Fish In the Sea" was a big hit for Motown's Marvelettes before Mitch Ryder turned it into an amphetamine-driven, blazing fast blue-eyed soul tune that captures the detroit dating experience from the perspective of a white boy with soul in 1967. At least that's how I see it. "One Grain of Sand" has almost psychedelic qualities in the production, and a hypnotizing beat. It's groovy music you can swing to, man. No kidding, this 45 is a total time piece and dates itself quite obviously, but still holds up as an interesting slice of white boy soul history. Mitch Ryder, at the top of his game, was a powerful soul force. This single was kind of the end of the top of his game, so it really is an interesting record for me. I have it in the original picture sleeve, minty condition! Download both tracks below:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jah Stitch Roots Reggae

Jah Stitch - "The Killer" b/w "Version" is a wicked Deejay reggae 45. I have the more recent Clocktower label pressing, but it's the original cut, along with a dub done at King Tubby's. It's your standard mid-70's roots reggae tune with lively Deejay "toasting" in the style of Big Youth, U-Roy, etc. I forget what the original vocal cut is that Stitch is chatting over here, but it's fantastic. This is a great exmple of being able to hear that reggae isn't really a "slow" music. Listen to everything that's going on, and you'll see it's not quite as layed back a musical style as most folks might think. I love this track, and the dub is equally nasty. Check them out:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pop Soul-Jazz?

Ernie Andrews - "Bridge Over Troubled Water" b/w "Something" kind of defies an easy definition. The 45 is on the Phil-LA-of-Soul label, one of Philly's finest soul labels, if not THE finest. I buy anything I see on this label within a reasonable price. And since I lived a stone's throw from Philly for a while, that price was generally low for me, as the stuff can be found fairly easily around there.

Anyway, this is, I suppose, vocal soul-jazz covers of top pop songs from the late 60's with the venerable Ernie Andrews backed by the Fuzzy Kane Trio. The piano jazz trio backing is perfect for Andrews' powerful-but-perfectly-controlled vocal treatments. Andrews did some singing towards the end of the Big Band era in the 50's and early 60's, and just had an awesome knack for putting just the right mix of heart, vocal cords, and know-how into his performances. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is just powerful here. Slower than the Simon and Garfunkel version, and just 20 times more believable, with 1/10th the schlock. It's moving. "Something" swings gently, and I imagine George Harrison was probably impressed by this gentle, jazzy version of his slow, serious tune. I love both of these tunes, download them below:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Killer Early Reggae

Slim Smith - "If It Don't Work Out" b/w "Don't Tell Your Mama" is one of my favorite early reggae 45's in my collection. Slim Smith was one of those Curits Mayfield-inspired Jamaican singers from the late 60's and early 70's that did his own thing, and did it well - with soul. Smith was in the Uniques, a major singing group in the Rocksteady-to-Early Reggae era. His solo work is where his soaring falsetto was really able to show itself. His voice is sadder, less sweet, and a tiny bit grittier than Pat Kelly, but they were very much contemporaries and have a similar singing style in many respects.
This cover of "If it Don't Work Out" (originally known as "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye") tugs at my heartstrings hard as hell. This is just a devastating, soulful version of a beautifully-written song. Smith really brings a great, extra-sad quality in his voice for this song. I love it. "Don't Tell Your Mama" is also a great tune, so download both below:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ella Washington's Southern Soul

This is Southern Soul at its finest. Ella Washington - "He Called Me Baby" b/w "Cry Cry Cry" "He Called Me Baby" is the better-known song, and is a heart-breaking soul ballad with a sweetness that seperates Ella Washington from Aretha or Tina or Mavis or most of the other popular lady singers of the late 60's. Kind of a cross between Carla Thomas and Aretha, if you wanna make comparisons. Just gorgeous and super soulful. "Cry Cry Cry" is the faster side, and is a nice enough tune, but the ballad on this 45 just destroys me. This is the original 45 on the Sound Stage 7 label. They re-issued all of her sides for them, so find that and pick it up, because it appears she was a really top-notch vocalist that has never really gotten her due. Enjoy this 45! Below is the picture from the re-issue of her recordings, then the download link for these 2 songs:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Gang of 4

Gang of Four - "Damaged Goods" b/w "Armalite Rifles" & "Love Like Anthrax" is one of my finest punk 7" records. It's on the "Fast Products" label, and was recorded in 1978. All three songs are great, and have become quite well-known, with "Damaged Goods" being among the best punk songs ever recorded, in my opinion. The lyrics are just awesome, and can be interpreted as you please. To me, unfortunately, it's pointed to attempts I've made at dating, especially in the last few years.

These are versions of these songs unique to this 7". This version of Damaged Goods, in particular, stands out from the LP version. It's slower, more deliberate, and actually tougher to dance to. I used to spin it at parties and get puzzled looks on people's faces rather than sweaty dancing hipster bodies, which made me smile endlessly. So I ripped the 7" (I have the second pressing) so you can look uncomfortable, or play it for other people to look uncomfortable, and smile as I did. Download it below:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Awesome Dub Clash LP!

Prince Jammy vs. Scientist: Big Showdown 1980 is one of my favorite dub LP's ever! As far as fun-to-listen-to dub, this is it for me. I put this record on as background music for any situation and it works. It's deepp and seriously an easy, worthwhile listen. It's 1980, so the effects were getting cooler and evolving from someone just smashing a reverb tank on certain drum hits or what have you. Dub was getting more and more progressive and enjoying popularity in England. This record was put out on Greensleeves, but I have the much later Jamaican pressing on Jah Guidance.
The way this record works is 2 awesome dub producers take a total of 10 of the hottest rub-a-dub riddims from 1980 and mix them to their dub-tastic hearts' delights. The riddims were made at the famous Channel One studio by the Roots Radics, who were THE late 70's-early 80's studio band. Scientist and Jammy were both kinda young, and both on top of their dub games. Prince Jammy would go on to become King Jammy not long after this album, and start his FAMOUS Jammy's label in the early 80's. He became the king of early digital dancehall and any records on the Jammy's label from the ealry-mid 80's is a must-have. Scientist stuck to his dub thing, and has been very influential in the dub world. I ripped my copy, so download it here below this awesome cover:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blues/Soul 45

ZZ Hill - "I Need (Someone To Love Me)" b/w "Oh Darling" is a nice 45 that I came across for next to nothing recently. Hill was a killer soul/blues singer, kind of like a less-smooth Bobby Bland. Maybe a bit more gospel than Bland? I dunno, I dig his stuff from this period (late 60's/early 70's), although his later stuff can be on the corny side, as happened to most singers in the late 70's/early 80's. "I Need" is a slow blues ballad with some wicked guitar tone, and sometimes inappropriate strings, which I find endearing rather than annoying in this instance. The title pretty much tells the story of what the song's about, and the delivery is spot on. "Oh Darling" is an uptempo blues in the soul/blues style. Again, the lyrics are simple, and the title alone should suggest to you most of what's said in the tune. It's the pleading thing that blues singers are so known for, and Hill was all over it. The instrumentation is nicer on this piece, and again the guitar tone and playing is just NASTY, in the best way. Simple, taking just the perfect spot in the backseat, allowing the vocals to really tell the tale. Download it below:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nice 60's Soul

Lou Courtney - "Skate Now" b/w "I Can Always Tell." This 45 is two sides of funky mid-60's soul as good as any you'll find. For some reason I never pull this one out to spin, which has kept it in decent shape, haha. Lou Courtney is one of those artists you don't hear a lot about, as he had no huge hits. He did have a great voice, and a funky vocal style. "Skate Now" is just a great uptempo dance song about a dance called, appropriately, "The Skate." It's simple enough, and the song has a drum and bass pulse that is totally infectious. Brilliant tune. "I Can Always Tell" is about a guy being able to sense that a girl is "just not that into him," as the kids like to say these days. Lou's lucky to have this skill; it's a tough one to master! No one wants to be "that guy" who can't take a hint, ya know? Learn the lesson from Lou and download these songs below:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Soulful Reggae/Rocksteady

Johnny Nash makes the blog again with a 45 I am positive I have a double of somewhere. His take on Sam Cooke's "Cupid" b/w "Hold Me Tight." This is straight up Jamaican rocksteady, on par with early Alton Ellis and Delroy Wilson. It was again recorded in Jamaica, with some American production touches, like some gentle strings in the background. Johnny Nash's voice is super smooth, and I can't imagine what would've happened if this stuff had been a bigger hit in America like he wanted it to. "Cupid" is among my favorite Sam Cooke songs, and this version is better than most covers I've heard. I highly recommend you download this and hunt for a copy in the dollar or 50 cent bin at your local record store, because I've found 2 copies in those very places. Download these tunes below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dr. John - Zu Zu Man LP

Dr. John - Zu Zu Man is an LP of more or less outtakes and rare tracks from the cutting room floor that didn't make it on his official LP's. Apparently these tracks have been put out against his will many times, and this copy on the local Trip label (of Linden, NJ) from the 70's ended up in my collection a couple of years ago for cheap. I love Dr. John's musial gumbo, giving a great cross-section of New Orleans culture and musical influences. Funky, jazzy, chock-full of voodoo, get the point.

Now, some of these tracks maybe should've stayed on the cutting room floor. For instance, the instrumental cut of "Christmas in New Orleans" is a better listen than the vocal one (both are included on here). "Zu Zu Man" and "Trader John" are on the weirder, funkier side, as one might expect from the Night Tripper. My favorite song on here, and maybe of any of Dr. John's songs, is "Della." It's almost a fast rock song with tight horns and awesome electric organ. It's got that urgency and desperation I love in my music. This is worth downloading just for that track. Dig it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Candi Staton, Muscle Shoals

This is probably one of THE definitive 45's in Candi Staton's career. It's "Stand By Your Man" b/w "How Can I Put Out the Flame (When You Keep the Fire Burning)." This was a hit for her on the famous Fame record label in Muscle Shoals from the late 60's. "Stand By Your Man" is a massive country song, made popular first by the woman who co-wrote it, Tammy Wynette. It's been covered countless times since, but this has to be the best, most genuinely soulful version ever made. This is a great southern soul record, as it truly shows how parallel southern soul was with country. Artists like Otis Redding and OV Wright are other great examples of the melding together of the styles, but this song in particular is just incredible. Staton delivers it with unbelievable passion. It's brilliant. The b-side is equally soulful, or moreso. It's slow and serious, and concerns a theme pretty much everyone I know can relate to, myself included. "I'm trying so hard to forget you, but you just keep me stringing along." What a line, you've probably been there. This song slays me. Amazing 45, download both sides in one shot below this rather sexy photo of Candi Staton:

And incidentally, I think moving forward I'm gonna just upload one record at a time. I feel like I get to say a bit more about it if I don't feel so anxious to move on and post another record or 2. Plus, the few people I talk to who actually read and download this stuff usually haven't gotten to listen to everything they downloaded before I have something new up there already. So I'll do one record per post, and one post a day maybe 4-5 days a week. And, please, seriously, talk to me. I'm lonely in my room surrounded by all these records. Start a discussion on the blog or something so I don't feel like I'm just typing at you nice folks. Thanks!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Rubinoos - Back to the Drawing Board (Power Pop!)

Okay, it's clearly been a power pop week for me! The Rubinoos were a Beserkley Records band from California, featuring the younger brother of a member of Earth Quake (THE Beserkley band). One of their early tunes showed up on the Beserkley Chartbusters comp that I posted several days ago. The Rubinoos also backed Jonathan Richman on my favorite song on that comp, "The New Teller." I was fortunate, in a way, that my dad was kind of a dork in the 70's and liked some power pop, especially the Rubinoos. So this was his copy of the album, "Back to The Drawing Board," on Beserkley Records.

Now, my own personal thing for this album is the second song, "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," which Canadian pop retard Avril Lavigne supposedly ripped off for her hit "Girlfriend," which they took her to court for. I can recall hearing this song as a kid in the car with my parents, because it was one of my dad's favorite songs, and it became one of mine at the age of, say, 4. That rules because it's an incredible power pop rock song. It sucks because it has set me up to be the guy who wants to be the girl's boyfriend! I really wish I was kidding, but I ABSOLUTELY blame The Rubinoos and my dad for setting me up to be the guy who's not into randomly getting action, and actually desires meaningful connection and all that shit girls don't want from me, haha! This song is kind of a "How to" for being THAT GUY, even though it's more about going for the girl you want and not being a pussy. So, seriously, a big "Fuck you" to all parties involved for turning me into a lame, perpetually single nerd. I've identified with this song for 20 lame years, now. I will die alone because of The Rubinoos. BUT, it really is a great song, and this album has some other gems on it, along with a bit of filler. It's strange, because it so rarely happens, but I actually like this album just a bit more than their debut album, which my dad also has. If you folks like this stuff, PLEASE drop me a line and inspire me to rip and upload the first LP. Download this one below:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Members

The Members - Solitary Confinement and Offshore Banking Business/Pennies in the Pound is a fine 12" single I am proud to own. As a matter of fact, this is one of my favorite punk singles ever. The Members are responsible for 2 of my very favorites, and this one (Solitary Confinement) happens to have also been done by the Newtown Neurotics with some changes, and called "Living With Unemployment." This version is epic, clocking in around 5 minutes. It's just great melodic, passionate, but not sloppy 1978 British punk. It's poppy, not offensive, and really well done. Has the sorta slow dubby breakdown parts in it, then a sax solo. The Members were great at sort of flirting with the dub and ska revival sounds that were popular at the time. And the "Offshore Banking Business/Pennies in the Pound"side of this single is their take on that. It's that British 70's punk take on dub/DJ reggae that bands like The Ruts and even The Slits made popular. "Ranking Tesco" does a bit of toasting on here, and it is exactly what you'd expect on this type of thing. It's really cool, and totally a timepiece. It's kind of like a more punk version of the English Beat reggae stuff, minus the actual toaster. Also epic, around 6 minutes! I'm a big fan, check it out:

Sorry, no picture, just download:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Tonight's only 45 is Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs - "Lil' Red Riding Hood" b/w "Love My Like Before." This is probably in my top 10 favorite 45's in my collection. I needed to give this one its own post, it's too good. "Lil' Red Riding Hood" you've probably heard, and if you haven't, you NEED to. It's creepy and ecclectic and sweet and tender at the same time, as I suppose I can sometimes be. It's a total classic, and just really fun to listen to. "Love Me Like Before" is a fast rock/soul number with a really catchy, simple hook, and the pleading/urgency I clearly love and identify with in my 60's music choices. Sam uses great vocal vibrato, and the sax lines are spot on 60's frat-rock. It's beautifully dated, like it SHOULD have been made in the 1966, and it was, and it's still fun to listen to. This song doesn't seem to appear on any current Sam The Sham comp CD's or what have you, so I highly recommend you download it and then find a copy of the 45 around. There are plenty available online, as "Lil' Red Riding Hood" was a pretty big hit. This record was in decent shape, so my rip isn't too bad, but it'll sound better if you have your own copy, ya know? Download it below:

And please share this blog wiith anyone you might think would be interested in it. I obviously make no money from doing this. I just want to share my favorite records that you might not have heard or owned. Spread the love, by all means. And please feel free to comment or contact me about stuff, it'll make me feel like there are people who actually enjoy my efforts, and the 10 hits I get a day aren't government agents racking up a rap sheet on me and figuring out how much they can fine me for/how long they can put me in jail for. Thanks!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Old Indie Rock

By Indie Rock, I'm not talking about the hipster doofus music of today. I'm saying, like, actual independent record company pop rock and roll from the 70's that never became radio hits, but was absolutely awesome and influential to awesome musicians who came later in the game. I'm talking Big Star and Raspberries kinda stuff, ya dig?

This is how I'd classify The Beserkley Chartbusters Vol. 1 comp from the 1975. I passed by this record a few times in shops before recently. I'm actually GLAD I did, because I'm just now at the perfect time in my life to be getting really into it. It's essentially what we call Power Pop in its great mid-70's form. On this comp are Jonathan Richman, The Rubinoos, Earth Quake, and Greg Kihn. Sounds like a motley crew of dudes, but they all kinda rule in their own right.

Jonathan Richman is quite well-known, and is kind of a genius. I have been on a real Jonathan Richman kick lately. I've been telling people, quite honestly, that I'm just kind of in a place in life where his stuff is making perfect sense to me and hitting home. That first Modern Lovers album just totally pegs a lot of feelings I've been having in recent times. This comp features different takes of "Roadrunner" and "Government Center", both of which are great. There's none of the organ from the Modern Lovers' versions (bummer), but there's acoustic guitar, a solid groove, and the usual Richman expressiveness and unbelievable honesty. So I love those tracks. The other two are totally awesome. He was so young. This shit is unbelievable.

The Rubinoos only have one song on here, although they backed Richman on a couple of tracks. I will one day rip and upload one of their LP's, they were great Power Pop. Some of their stuff is kinda eh, but their moments of brilliance are just, like, YES. Cool band. Their contribution to this comp is a nice little tune to introduce you to them.

Greg Kihn is better on his songs on this comp than on his corny 80's hit stuff. He had a sweet voice, and had decent songs. You wouldn't know this was him unless I told you, I promise. Worth a listen.

Earth Quake were kind of the backbone of Beserkley Records. They were a very underground rock band that played great pop stuff, and would be very much on the same playing field as Big Star. You can hear similarities, FOR SURE. Kind of a West Coast version of Big Star, without Alex Chilton or Chris Bell's sweet voices. They do a great cover of The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind", one of my favorite 60's rock songs, period. I highly recommend you look them up and check out more of their stuff. You'll like their contributions to this album.

So there ya go, this is a great comp of kinda weird, off-radar 70's pop rock that you might like, and should download below, then buy somewhere.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Old R&B today

Well, it was a long, busy, interesting weekend, and I'm glad it's coming to an end so I can be bored again and rip vinyl and put it up here for you fine folks to download and listen to.

First up is Don Gardner and Dee Dee Ford's classic "I Need Your Lovin'" b/w "Tell Me." Don Gardner is a soul legend, responsible for the original version of "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo", a version of which appears in an older posting. That song is maybe the ultimate rock-and-soul tune, but this classic on the Fire label is just an early 60's R&B romp with a simple message, stated (shouted) over and over again. This was sort of a hit, although I've never heard it on an oldies station. I had the pleasure of witnessing his return to the stage in Philly a few years ago with a few friends in his backing band, and it was just magnificent. The man can still sing and perform, and he just knocked me out. The B-side is Dee Dee's turn to sing lead, and she just rips on your heartstrings with a slow, emotional R&B tune.

The other 45 is Jennell Hawkins' classic version of "Money" b/w "More Money" on the Amazon label from the early 60's. I'd again call this classic R&B, just phenominal passion and funk in there, minus the gloss. Jennell Hawkins was an LA soul/blues singer who didn't have many hits, but this version of the Barrett Strong hit is just bombastic. It's reallly my favorite version of a song that has probably been covered hundreds of times, and is probably still played every weekend by some cover bands somewhere. LA Soul/funk really doesn't seem to get as much attention as Detroit, Memphis, Philly, and Muscle Shoals, and I think this is a shame. I may throw up some more LA soul this week to show you fine folks what the City of Angels offered the discriminating music fan in the 1960's. Download this 45 below:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Old NJHC/Metal

I'm sorry I'm only putting up one thing today, but it's an LP. I also won't be posting tomorrow and maybe the rest of the weekend, so take that time to catch up and listen to the other stuff I've posted on here that you might not have had a chance to listen to yet.

Sacred Denial - Sifting Through Remains is a definite departure from their first album or 2. Less hardecore punk and more metallic, for sure. So in that respect it's kind of heavier and sludgier, kinda thrashy but not the same kinda break-neck speed/breakdown mixed style from Life's Been Getting to Me. Vocals are kinda higher-pitched or something, also, and more melodic, maybe (and louder in the mix). Heavier drum sound, more insane guitar solos (the dude could play the hell out of some guitar, I must say). Still, solid songs, and better than most stuff coming out in 1988. And this is from New Jersey, man! Unfortunately one side came out a little quieter than the other on this LP, for whatever reason I couldn't boost it higher without clipping so you'll have to make due. Sorry! You should buy anything these guys ever put out, super underrated NJHC band from the 80's. Worth a listen. Get this below:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Northern and New Orleans Soul

I'll start up north, then go south.

The Ric-Tic label is one of my favorites, having put out fine sides by a number of important soul artists, including Edwin Starr. This is a popular, less rare 45 on Ric-Tic by Al Kent. The A-side is "Where Do I Go From Here?", and the b-side is the instrumental "You've Got to Pay the Price." Both sides are awesome Detroit soul from 1966 or so. "Where Do I Go From Here" is my favorite kind of asks a question in relation to a failed attempt at love, and urgently awaits a reply. If you're a big enough nerd to be reading this blog, you can probably relate. I'm a big enough nerd to be writing it, so you know I can. Songs that essentially say "WTF?" are really my favorites, in general. The instrumental b-side is popular as well, but my copy is a bit rough, so the sound quality is not the best. Download it:

Eldridge Holmes was a Louisiana R&B singer who worked under brilliant producer/writer/pianist Allen Toussaint. He had a super smooth voice that is just, really, perfect. Can't think of another word to describe it. This is a 45 on the Deesu label, produced by Toussaint, with both sides written by Holmes. The fast side is "Where is Love," again, an urgent song asking a question about love. I think I'll have to lay off of those songs for a week soon. This is getting to be too much of a pattern, I'm afraid. This song is like a New Orleans stab at the Detroit sound, and it absolutely rules. It destroys you in under 2 minutes. The ballad side is "Now That I've Lost You." Sorry again for the rougher sound, someone must be effing with the b-sides of all of my records. It's a slow, smooth blues that hits you right in the genitals, or heart, or both. I can't find any info on this particular 45 on the internets, but I don't look incredibly hard, because as long as it sounds good, I'm cool. And this sound amazing. I bought it on tour in New Orleans last year, and it ranks up there as a highlight of a pretty fantastic time in my life. This ranks up there as a rare one for me, definitely a feather in my collector's cap. Download both sides:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Awesome A-sides without B-sides

Sometimes, folks, the A-side plays nicely, and the b-side simply doesn't wanna play without a serious skip, unbearable click, or overwhelming hiss. So since I have 3 great 45's with beat-up, unplayable B-sides, I decided to lump them together for today's post and zip them all into one folder for you to download.

The Maytones - "I'm Feeling Lonely" is one of my favorite reggae singles ever on the Pama label. It's one of those great examples of rather sad lyrics over a really syrupy sweet instrumental track. I wish I could play the instrumental b-side without 3 skips, but even on a Technics 1200, no dice.

The 8th Day - "She's Not Just Another Woman" is a slow, funky Detroit soul tune on the famous Invictus label. Great hook, as always. Again, never pass up ANY vinyl on this label. Holland-Dozier-Holland knew how to make brilliant soul hits.

Ranking Joe - "Nable String Cutter" is a classic 70's DJ reggae cut on the "Moving Away" riddim (I guess that's what you'd call it?). This is the rarest of today's A-sides, and I really wish the b-side played alll the way through. The first 30 seconds or so are unplayable, but the rest is a sweet dubbed out version. Ranking Joe could chat lyrics, man, fi real. Download alll 3 songs in one shot below:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weird NJ Punk and Stax

I had a great time spinning records at Asbury Lanes last night in support of some friends' bands, and felt encouraged to dip into the collection to bring up some of the weirder stuff for you guys. So that's where I'm starting this post.

Children in Adult Jails were an awesome Jersey band on Buy Our Records, which is perhaps my favorite NJ label ever. There was some estrogen in this band to balance out the testosterone-driven stuff you often find in punk, and certainly in NJ punk and hardcore. There should be plenty of info about this band available somewhere on the internet. The sound these guys and girls had I might kinda describe as somewhere between Violent Femmes, Sonic Youth, and sometimes The Minutemen, even? I don't even know. Unique stuff, and super cool. I would say there are parts of this record that are definitely some Next-Level Shit. Arty, but not annoying. Dig the whole "Man Overcome By Waffle Iron" LP by downloading below:

And, as usual, I have a great rare 45 on the Volt label (Stax) by a lady named Dorothy Williams. As was so often the case with these 45's, one side is a foot-stompin' up-tempo tune you can party to, and the other side is a slow, heartfelt ballad that causes baby-making. This is just awesome old-style Stax, and you'll hear what I mean as soon as you hear it. Good, down-home soul music. This 45 isn't in perfect shape, but played all the way through, so I removed a few clicks and pops and put both sides up for you. I see this record go for a lot of dough on the internet (like always, I got it for very little in a NJ record store), but if you find a copy, like anything on Stax/Volt, you should obviously buy it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Punk and Soul tonight!

Sorry I missed a night updating, I was in the last patch of land in NJ that didn't have free internet I could steal. But I got some good old punk and soul/funk to make up for it.

The Lurkers were one of the first British punk bands, and this is probably their definitive 7". They're often painfully underrated and under-appreciated, which is a bummer. "Ain't Got a Clue" b/w "Ooh! Ooh! I Love You." "Ain't Got a Clue" is one of my favorite punk songs ever, and usually makes others' lists as well. It's super simple, straight ahead '77-style British punk. The b-side is another straight-forward punk song with a great hook. This stuff isn't screamy or as angry as, say, The Sex Pistols. It's just good, hard rock and roll from young dudes who kicked some ass. Download both sides:

And the soul/funk portion today will be The Parliaments - "Good Old Music" b/w "Time." The Parliaments were, of course, George Clinton's vocal group before giving birth to Parliament and Funkadelic, and ultimately what is now known as "P-Funk", or whatever they go by nowadays. "Good Old Music" is super funky, with fuzzed-out guitar, nasty organ, and heavy drums. This song is choc-full-o' samples for you beat-makers out there. It's closer to the George Clinton you've come to love since 1970 or so. "Time" is more of a straight-forward late 60's soul tune. And since it's on the Revilot label and has that "Northern Soul" sound, you might even classify it as such. It's simply an awesome 45 on both sides, so download them below:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blue Beat and Stax 45's

If the title of this post doesn't grab you, bummer. It's 2 of the most crucial record labels in their respective styles of music, and both 45's are fairly rare and feature female singers doing their damn thang. This one's for the ladies.

First up is a Stax 45 featuring the beautiful, soulful voice of Mable John, truly an unsung queen of blues and soul. The songs are "You're Taking Up Another Man's Place" and "If You Give Up What You Got." One is a great mid-tempo song that's very danceable and has a typical Stax sound for 1966, or so....which is of course awesome. The other side is a slow blues that's just gut-wrenching and gorgeous. Her voice is just dead on and super expressive. I love it, you will, too. This is powerful stuff.

The Blue Beat 45 was a great find, considering what I payed for it at a record show some time ago and what it sells for online now. It's Brigitte Bond (who?) and the Blue Beats doing "Blue Beat Baby" and "Oh Yeah Baby." I have no clue who Brigitte Bond actually was, and can't find any real info on her, but have seen mention of this 45 on the net. It's super British early Ska that's way more rooted in the jump blues that ska was sort of born from than the ska that was coming out of Studio 1 or Treasure Isle at the time. It's really almost a perfect defining record for what really was the "blue beat" sound in England around 1964, in my very humble and barely educated opinion. There is mention of Mods tapping their feet in "Blue Beat Baby", which really adds the perfect amount of kitsch to make this record worth owning for me. I just found this in a stack in my room and had to rip and upload it, because I'm stoked to own it. Download it:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rocksteady and Northern Soul!

So the Rocksteady 7" I've got for you here is weird, because it's the first American singer to make a real Jamaican record. Johnny Nash - "You Got Soul" b/w "Don't Cry." It's a talented American soul singer backed by top-notch Jamaican musicians, trying to make Rocksteady the next big thing in America. It didn't work, but did produce some awesome, often-forgotten tunes. Nash may be best known for "I Can See Clearly Now," but this stuff kills it. "You Got Soul" is the more straight-forward Rocksteady song, and "Don't Cry" is some sort of soul/rocksteady hybrid that is just gorgeous. This is one of those 45's I've seen in a lot of 50 cent or 99 cent bins in record stores and flea markets and either passed up because I already got a copy, or bought it to trade or give to someone I liked. Take note: It's in your best musical interest for me to like you.

And here's some nice Northern Soul on the Okeh label from Blues/Soul singer Ted Taylor, "Daddy's Baby" b/w "Mercy, Have Pity." Taylor had a fairly high-pitched voice....okay, it's very high-pitched, and he uses the falsetto he was born with to its fullest potential. "Daddy's Baby" is fast number with great, driving drums, bassline, and organ...just awesome uptown soul. "Mercy, Have Pity" is more of a mid-tempo blues tune with start-stop parts, and that high-register voice reaching notes most men wouldn't dream of hitting, asking for forgiveness and pity. Again, cool uptown sound that Taylor was known for in his Okeh days. This one is mid-60's. No picture:

Sorry, no punk today again. I have some great punk/hardcore LP's I wanna get up, but they take considerably longer to rip than 45's, so as sooon as I have a free 2 hours, I'll have more of the good stuff up for you. 'Till then, enjoy these goodies.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Soul and Dub today

I have to up this rare soul 45 first, because it's such an urgent-sounding 45 that it is practically forcing itself up onto the internet. It's a Curtis Mayfield production on the Windy C label from the Five Stairsteps (before they had their big hit with "Ooh Child"), "Ain't Gonna Rest (Til I Get You)" b/w "You Can't See." The A-side is really fast-paced Chicago soul from the late 60's, clearly a Curtis Mayfield production from the instrumentation, alone. The song is sublime, it's just furious and urgent as hell. The B-side is mid-tempo and has that same uptown sound with some strings and percussion that really make it for me. Big fan of this 45, and see it sell for quite a bit. Download the songs here and look for it to buy, it's worth it. (I dug and paid 2 bucks for it in NJ).

And Horace Andy's In the Light album is among the most influential of his or any reggae singer's career, and its dub counterpart Dub the Light is right up there with it. I have an original vinyl copy of Dub the Light on the Hungry Town label, so I ripped and upped it for you. It's complete with pops and scratches, as old Jamaican vinyl loves to be. But I don't think it skips, so you have every song here. Obviously, if you can find a copy of this on CD or vinyl, even the re-issue, get it, because it's absolutely genius. Seriously deep dub, great occasional snippets of vocals, more echo than a gigantic Arctic ice cave. A must have for any reggae/dub enthusiast.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rock and Reggae

Again, busy day, so this will be a quicky.

The rock I'm uploading is a French double 7" Alex Chilton - No Sex EP I got on the super cheap. This is real straight-ahead rock-and-roll from the Box Tops and Big Star singer-songwriter, but from the 80's! Luckily it doesn't have all the corny 80's production. One 7" had the 2 original songs from the single, "No Sex" and "Underclass." "No Sex" is I guess about AIDS, and a decent little rock song. "Underclass" is not quite as good, just a straight old-fashioned rock and roll song. My favorite part of this, however, is the second 7" containing a live version of "September Gurls" and a cover of Lou Chrstie's classic "I'm Gonna Make You Mine." It's like Alex Chilton doing a great Northern Soul version of a 60's pop song with distortion on his guitar....fucking AWESOME. No picture, just download:

And the reggae portion is a truly big Reggae hit by one of my favorite artists, Yellowman. This dude could chat lyrics like nobody's business over every riddim. This happens to be on NY's Witty's early dancehall label (80's), slightly different from the more popular version of Yellow's hit. I included the "Version" side of the 12" single, which is a great, straight-up version of the Answer Riddim.

Friday, March 13, 2009

One little soul 45 today

Sorry, busy day today guys, but I'm giving you a 45 that's better than most. This is a fairly rare one on the Josie label by Johnny and The Expressions : "Boys and Girls Together" b/w "Give Me One More Chance." I was super lucky to get a minty copy of this for like 3 bucks some years ago, because it goes for at least 10 times that now in lesser condition. "Boys and Girls Together" is a GREAT dance tune with a very nice uptown sound and a quick tempo, lush harmonies and sugary falsettos. The other side is a slow ballad featuring the same fairly slick production and falsetto harmonies. So listen to the first song and dance, then throw on the second song and make out. Serious baby-maker, here, folks.

Download it:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I got happy music here

It's nice out here in sunny New Jersey, and I have some nice weather music in addition to the sad, angry bastard music. Power Pop!
First up is a 12 inch 4-track EP by The Jags, featuring their big single "Back of My Hand," and 3 other nice tunes of that style. "Back of My Hand" is one of those old Power Pop staples that is on all the comps featuring British power pop. It's fast music with some bite, but it's not quite as pissed off as punk. I snagged this one for cheap, which I'm happy about, because I'd been looking for it locally for years, and happened upon it 2 days ago, finally! Digging pays off. But anyway, yeah, totally crucial tunage, here. Download:

And next up is a Cinerama 7" that I'm not quite sure how to classify. Brit Pop? Bubblegum Pop? I don't really care. It's good stuff. David Gedge can write one hell of a song, I must admit. These songs are cute, "7x" and "Kerry Kerry." Good, poppy rock and roll from the UK with great lyrics and hooks. Way underrated songwriter. Sound quality isn't superb on these songs, not sure why, but that should inspire you to buy them somewhere!

And to top it all off, here's some reggae. It's a much slower tune, probably better suited to much hotter weather, but might as well drop it now, because I love it. This is female singer Pat Davis' version of the Alton Ellis classic "I'm Just a Guy," called "I'm Just a Girl." Well-named. The b-side is the "Vanity" riddim dubbed out. This is a gorgeous song with a sugary sweet melody, I'm a big fan. No picture, download below:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NJHC and Soul, perfect together

Today I have some cool stuff for you, including the first LP I've ripped. It was daunting, but I tackled it with vigor.

Here's the first LP: Bedlam - Total Bedlam. It's a New Jersey Hardcore classic on Buy Our Records, and I believe it came out in something like 1986. I will warn you that it can be offensive to the wrong crowd, so if you're really PC and/or don't have a sense of humor, skip down to the soul I'm uploading. But if you can listen to some kinda funny, hard, fast music from NJ in the mid 1980's, check it out. They were kind of a brother band to AOD. My favorite song is "Hated You Then and I Hate You Now." "AIDS" is maybe the most offensive, guess why! It's just that kinda album, haha. Download:

On to nicer, more pleasant things, here's a 45 by Betty LaVette. It's some funky, rather deep soul on the Silver Fox label, "Do Your Duty" b/w "Love's Made a Fool Out of Me". If you've never listened to Betty Lavette, really get down on this, it's awesome soul music. Kind of a slightly sweeter-sounding Aretha Franklin sound. Not quite as deeply expressive as Aretha, but plenty of sweetness and sass. Download:

And to wrap up, I have a fantastic up-tempo soul 45 by The Radiants on the Chess label. This would I suppose be considered Northern Soul, real glossy kinda production, but all around fabulous harmonies and amazing dance beats. It's from the era right before production got too glossy to be cool. There's strings and horns, but they actually WORK and don't sound cheesey or forced. I love both sides of this 45, and believe you will, too.