Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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
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
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
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
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 song....it 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
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
Friday, March 20, 2009
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:http://www.mediafire.com/?noyw0i4omr2
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
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:http://www.mediafire.com/?eyunynytymw
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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
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
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
Download it: http://www.mediafire.com/?qomy3hmlzvw
Thursday, March 12, 2009
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!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
No picture, download below:
Next up is a less obscure record I got some years ago. It's a much later, slow lovers rock reggae cut of a classic 60's Rocksteady song sung by Errol Dunkley called "You're Gonna Need Me." The b-side is a very dubbed out reverb-heavy "Version" of the instrumental backing track. Errol Dunkley is often kind of underappreciated in the realm of Reggae singers. He didn't have the prettiest or flashiest voice around, but he sang great songs well, and I am a fan. Got to see him live a few years ago, and he put on a nice show. The original cut he did of this song is from the 60's, and is on the Trojan Rocksteady Box Set. It's like a mellow Jamaican equivalent of the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me." It was originally a blues tune by Barbara Lynn. This version came much later, but I don't know exactly when. It's some serious sad, heart-felt stuff. This one's dedicated to all the bitches that broke my heart via electronic communication! Bitches.
Again no pic, download below:
And I saved the best for last again. This IS my favorite Pat Kelly 45 of all time, and many would agree with me. It would be considered "Skinhead" or "Early Reggae", and I believe it's from about 1969. The instrumental backing track on this is so upbeat and happy-sounding that the sad, longing lyrics and vocal style seem to come from a whole other friggin' planet. I honestly can't even express the beauty contained on this 7" round slab of vinyl. I hate when stuff gets over-hyped, but I could hype this for an hour and it would still exceed any expectations you had. Kelly's Curtis Mayfield-inspired falsetto pleading tugs at my heart strings harder than the marlin from "The Old Man and The Sea". The b-side is another nice vocal track on basically the same instrumental called "Try to Remember." It's really good, but has a totally different melody and is less urgent and overwhelmingly sad than "How Long." I have a blank, original Jamaican pressing of this. Download it below the picture of the English pressing:
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Next up is a record that is one of the absolute gems of my collection. Pere Ubu's "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" b/w "Heart of Darkness" was their first record, and super rare to find, especially at a store in New Jersey. I remember when I bought it the dude behind the counter was so pissed because he had burried it in the bin hoping to scoop it up himself, and he admitted it to me. This is raw, weird proto-punk from one of 2 brilliant bands to emerge from the ashes of Rocket From the Tombs in 1975. 30 Seconds Over Tokyko is a long, strange trip with an intense finish, and Heart of Darkness is fast, dark, and awesome. Pere Ubu in their early days were totally unique and lightyears ahead of their time. No pic, download below:
And finally, here's one to lift the spirits a bit after the depression the Pere Ubu songs will put you in. The Emperors' "My Baby Likes to Boogaloo" b/w "You Got Me Where You Want Me" is a great 45 from a more or less unknown Pennsylvania soul group. "Boogaloo" is a well-loved classic by Philly soul master Don Gardner that the Emperors give a slightly more rockin', organ-and-percussion-driven take on. The b-side is more Northern Soul-sounding, but still not your standard stuff, again with more electric organ and percussion than a Northern Soul fan might be used to. This is another gem in my collection that I actually try to take good care of, haha. Download below image:
Friday, March 6, 2009
I'll start off with an awesome 45 by Clifford Curry on the Elf label, "She Shot a Hole in My Soul" b/w "We're Gonna Hate Ourselves In the Morning." "She Shot a Hole in My Soul" is an uptempo dance tune with a somewhat sad lyric. I suppose this is what some would call Northern Soul. "We're Gonna Hate Ourselves in the Morning" is my favorite of the 2 songs. It's a mid-tempo tune about a passionate affair that builds in power and feeling beautifully. I'd play this tune in a bar if there were some cougars with rings on their fingers who looked like they wanted to get down. Download below:
The next 45 I have up is from the late, great Alton Ellis. He's one of my favorite singers of any genre from any time period, and I got to see him live twice before his death. He was an incredible performer. This 45 contains the song "Denver", b/w a blank label containing a "Version", or instrumental track. It's awesome early reggae with Alton's signature pleading tone borrowed somewhat from his favorite American soul singers, and passion born in the church. Download below:
And I'll wrap this one up with some pissed off early 90's New York Hardcore (or Hate-core, as this band called it). This is a 7" from SFA with the tracks "Unclean" and "Freedom." If you're pissed off and wanna vent some anger and frustration, these tunes may help. I especially enjoy the spoken intro to "Freedom." You'll see why when you listen to it. This band gets kinda underappreciated by a lot of people. This was a strange kinda time in hardcore, I think, kind of a transition. I dunno, I like 'em. Download (sorry, no pic):
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Then I got some sweet funky stuff from The Fabulous Counts on a 45 rpm record, "Rhythm Changes" b/w "Pack of Lies." These were Detroit boys who could play the shit out of some funk. I believe this 7" is from around 1970 or so. Pack of Lies is an instrumental, and Rhythm Changes has some basic, simple, almost shouted funky vocals. This is on the famous Westbound label. Killer record, both sides scorch! Download below:
And finally, here's both sides of a killer Early Reggae 45 on England's Bread record label, produced by Jackie Edwards. Jackie's Boys - "Cum-Ba-Laa" b/w "I Want You Beside Me". I honestly am not sure which side is A and which is B, because they're both so good I just play whichever one I'm in the mood for. "Cum-Ba-Laa" is a very uptempo reggae number that's more instrumental than vocal (but great for dancing), and "I Want You Beside Me" is a warm, soulful vocal tune in a slightly slower tempo. Booth tracks are killer, and I have no clue if they've been issued or released on anything in recent times, but here they are from my 45. Sorry, no picture, but download below: