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: