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: