Tag Archives: The Beatles

Record REcollection 7/7/13

Standard

Record REcollection

As mentioned previously, one of my resources for obtaining music has been friends. A couple in particular have been especially generous when they have run across CDs or LPs they know I want and pick them up for me. I return the favor when I see albums they are seeking, which makes for a pleasant back and forth exchange.

I have also been contacted by friends who have uploaded collections to their computers and they no longer want the physical copies. I am always more than happy to take the music off of their hands. Whatever I can’t add to my collection I pass on to someone who wants it for theirs.

Additionally, I have been on the receiving end of a stranger’s kindness. One example occurred during my first visit to Village Records in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago last winter. A small, but quaint record shop with an eclectic mix of  new and used music, books and DVDs, the store’s greatest asset is its owner Will. Will greets everyone when they walk through the door, but gives patrons space to navigate his wares without hovering over them. If someone has a question, however, he is quick to provide assistance. But the most engaging aspect of visiting the store is talking over one’s purchases with Will. As one customer remarked on yelp.com, “The owner knew all of the albums I picked out well despite the fact they were all over the genre map.” That was my experience too. The love for music he exuded as he rang up my CDs and records spoke to my inner music nerd and was a pleasant addition to an already grand record store experience. As Will was bagging up my goodies I noticed Stereolab‘s “Jenny Ondioline Part 1” seven inch clear vinyl promo on the shelf behind him. I asked to see the record and we talked about our love for the band. I decided to add it to my order and instead of charging me ten dollars as marked, he knocked the price down to seven- a very fair price for the rare 45. A friend that accompanied me inquired if he sold 45 adapter domes. Will said no, but without thinking twice gave him the one from the store’s turntable.  We haven’t had an opportunity to visit his shop again, but I look forward to the next chance we get.

Finally, I have found a lot of hospitable folks at yard sales. Many people are selling their unwanted music for cheap via their front lawn stores, with some offering boxes of compact discs or records for a flat rate. There was one sale I was perusing LPs and the seller said, “Ten bucks and they’re all yours!” I was delighted to accept those terms, as the collection contained a couple hundred records.

Saturday I encountered another benevolent yard sale merchant. I was drawn to the sale due to their classified ad stating, “Lots of music CDs.” After finding twenty-seven discs suitable for my collection, the homeowner complimented me on grabbing all of the Alan Parsons Project albums. I made mention that the only projects by Mr. Parsons I already owned were on LP, so these CDs were a nice addition. He told me he had some records inside the house but didn’t own a turntable. He added that he was just going to throw them away but asked if I had any interest in them for free. I couldn’t answer in the affirmative quickly enough and thanked him a few times over. His wife went into the house and came out with a huge stack of happiness. For the small sum of nine dollars (the CDs were three for a buck), I went home with twenty-seven CDs and forty-seven LPs!

Saturday’s haul:

CDS

The Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination

The Alan Parsons Project I Robot

The Alan Parsons Project Pyramid

The Alan Parsons Project Eve

The Alan Parsons Project The Turn of a Friendly Card

The Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky

The Alan Parsons Project Ammonia Avenue

The Alan Parsons Project Stereotomy

Alan Parsons  On Air

The Cure Disintegration– This was a long time, overdue repurchase after lending it out in high school only for it to never be returned.

Ray Charles The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years- As a general rule I don’t purchase greatest hits compilations of artists I enjoy enough to collect their entire works, but for the price, I made an exception.

Cheap Trick Dream Police

Jethro Tull Aqualung– I already owned it on LP and am glad to add it on this format.

Jethro Tull Warchild

ELO Out of the Blue

The Moody Blues Greatest Hits– See Ray Charles

Talking Heads Fear of Music

Van Halen Van Halen– All VH purchases are albums I used to own on cassette.

Van Halen Women and Children First

Van Halen Diver Down

XTC Nonesuch– My first album on any format by the band. I have been familiar with them for many years but have only started appreciating their work the last several. My introduction to their music was “Dear God” and I allowed my  previous religious-inspired bias to cloud my judgement. While that tune is still not one of my favorites , I have taken the opportunity to explore their back catalog and like what I’ve heard.

Yes Going For The One

Yes 90125

The following CDs were bought for my wife. We maintain separate CD collections, though our LPs are a combined accumulation.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Styx Kilroy Was Here

Styx Pieces of Eight

Styx Paradise Theater

LPS

Count Basie 20 Greatest Hits

The Beatles Rarities

Irvin Berlin Dance to the Music of Irvin Berlin

Chuck Berry Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade

Boogie Woogie Trio Vol. 3

Ray Charles The Ray Charles Story

Bobby Darin 18 Roses & 11 Other Hits

ELO Out of the Blue

Marvin Gaye Let’s Get it On

Marvin Gaye Midnight Love

Marvin Gaye Every Great Motown Hit of Marvin Gaye

George Harrison Somewhere In England

Billy Joel 52nd Street*

Elton John Blue Moves

Elton John Greatest Hits Volume II

Elton John A Single Man

Elton John Victim of Love

Elton John The Fox

Elton John Jump Up!

Elton John Too Low for Zero

Elton John Breaking Hearts

John Lennon/Yoko Ono Double Fantasy

Jerry Lee Lewis Original Golden Hits Volume II

London Philharmonic Orchestra Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2

Lynyrd Skynyrd Gold & Platinum*

Barry Manilow Greatest Hits Vol. II*

The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed

The Moody Blues The Present

The Moody Blues The Other Side of Life

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra The Nutcracker Suite

Elvis Presley Elvis’ Christmas Album (1959 reissue)

Elvis Presley Elvis’ Christmas Album (1985 reissue)

Elvis Presley Loving You

Elvis Presley Elvis Is Back!

Elvis Presley G.I. Blues

Elvis Presley Blue Hawaii

Elvis Presley Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas

Elvis Presley Memories of Christmas

Prince 1999– We own this already so it will be given away or traded.

Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain– See 1999.

The Al Sack Concert Orchestra Music for Listening– Isn’t that the point of all music?

Bobby Vinton Roses are Red

Collector’s Records of the 50’s an 60’s Vol. 13

Grease soundtrack*- The Mrs. already owns this one so it will be given away or traded.

Jazz Heritage Series Vol. 33 Piano In Style: 1926-1930– This album features Jelly Roll Morton, Pinetop Smith and James P. Johnson

Saturday Night Fever soundtrack*- See Grease.

* denotes records that are more geared toward my wife’s tastes.

Advertisements

First Splash: Revisiting The Breeders’ Pod

Standard

The-Breeders-Pod

With The Breeders set to release a 20th Anniversary reissue of Last Splash next month, followed by a tour featuring that album’s lineup, little attention has been paid to their debut album, Pod-despite many fans considering it the band’s best.

Originally intended as a side project for The Pixies’ Kim Deal and Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly, The Breeders released Pod in 1990, to much critical acclaim. Rounding out the lineup was Josephine Wiggs on bass and Slint’s Britt Walford (billed as Shannon Doughton) on drums. While Deal and Donelly are both credited as the album’s guitarists and vocalists, it is Deal who provides lead vocals, with Donelly supporting her with rich harmonies as well as an occasional background vocal.

Pod starts out with the slow-moving “Glorious.” Despite its triumphant title, the song sets a tone for the early portion of the album, successfully combining a subtle darkness and sensuality accented by Wiggs’ subdued bass line. The shimmering, brooding guitar effects add a piercing intensity otherwise not found in this quiet song.

Next comes “Doe.” While sharing the previous track’s tone, this fellatio-focused tune (“It’s so salty, Timmy”) appropriately features see-sawing sequences of slower and faster tempos, with Donelly closing out the song with breathy background sighs.

Track three is a riveting, dare I say, better version of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.” Whereas the original version plods along, with each verse sloppily blending into the next, The Breeders successfully make each stanza a carefully-crafted highlight. The momentum slowly builds, leading up to the machine gun-like refrain of “Mother Superior jumped the gun” before gently closing with the titled chorus, sung by Donelly.

“Oh” sees the band slowing down once again and could be the opening track’s sister. Using that vernacular, “Hellbound” would be the distant cousin, as it is easily the closest the band comes to “rocking out.” This fast-paced romp also marks an end to the darker sounds alluded to earlier, but does so without disrupting the overall cohesiveness of the record.

“When I Was a Painter” has a playful feel to it and while not sounding like the Pixies, contains a quiet-loud-quiet exchange, not unlike Deal’s other band. This is followed by “Fortunately Gone,” a catchy pop tune that has ultra-sweet harmonies that could melt a glacier. This short song is also a prime reason the repeat button was invented.

Inevitably when a member of a well-known band forms a side project, their new output will be compared to their old. If  “When I Was A Painter” contains a common format utilized by the Pixies, “Iris” probably comes the closest to sounding like that band-however, not in an annoying fashion.

“Opened” is another uptempo, bass-driven number, drenched with guitar and sprinkled with sparse spoken word verses by Deal.

Not surprisingly “Only In 3’s” is the sole song co-written by Donelly, as it has her Throwing Muses / Belly touch all over it. But make no mistake: while Deal is credited with writing most of Pod‘s material, one can easily hear hints of Donelly’s influence throughout the album. With that in mind, “Lime” sounds a lot like a Throwing Muses ditty, despite being written by Deal.

Metal Man” closes out Pod and holds the distinction of being the weakest song on the album. Co-written by Deal and Wiggs, it is the sprinkles on top, rather than the cherry. In other words, it adds little flavor to what is otherwise a tasty debut from The Breeders.

When the album came out, Karen Schoemer of the New York Times wrote,  “The angular melodies, shattered tempos and screeching dynamics recall elements of each of the women’s full-time bands, but Pod has a smart, innovative edge all its own.”

The Breeders followed up Pod with the Safari EP in 1992. It was their last release to feature Donelly and first to contain Kim’s twin sister, Kelley.

Though Last Splash received greater exposure via alternative radio, MTV and had the benefit of  Kim’s full-time focus after the breakup of the Pixies, Pod was a groundbreaking release. One needs no further proof than to consider recording engineer Steve Albini’s assertion that it is the album he felt he got both the best sound for a band as well as the best performance.

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Standard

With birthday tributes permeating the internet, television, radio and turntables, October 9 has become an unofficial holiday for many music fans, particularly those impacted by the life and music of John Lennon. However, the celebration doesn’t end there. Other artists born on this day who have left an indelible mark include John Entwistle, Jackson Browne, PJ Harvey and Al Jourgensen. My personal collection has no less than 50 albums representing their work, and I have some glaring holes in said collection. The videos below represent just a handful of memories and melodies that have stirred my soul over the years. Happy Birthday, John, John, Jackson, Polly Jean and Al!