Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Wailers - Outburst!

The Wailers.
Like, Bob Marley and the...?
Absolutely not.

These Wailers were five white guys trying to tear it up on their first United Artist release from 1966:

Knowing absolutely nothing about this band, my first quest for knowledge led me to read the liner notes on the back of the LP, which are pretty funny...

"Brothers and Sisters, to witness THE WAILERS in action is to believe!...A personal appearance by THE WAILERS is a 'happening'...Soon the beat's into you, penetrating skull and belly...That haunting ever riding whang comes from the unique lead guitar of Neil Anderson...They are what they are."

The group, at that particular time, consisted of John "Buck" Ormsby on bass, Kent E. Morrill on organ and lead vocals, Neil Anderson on lead guitar, Ron Gardner on sax and lead vocals and Dave Roland on drums and lead vocals. Internet and Wikipedia research reveals that the entire group has passed on as of 2016.

There appears to have been many incarnations of the band since their formation in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington.  The only constant member was Morrill.  The band was also known as "The Fabulous Wailers" and even had their own record label, Etiquette, from 1962-1966.  Legend has it that Jimi Hendrix was a fan, and the band even helped give a start to garage rock greats, The Sonics.

Most of this record features songs entirely written by someone named R. Wayne Davies.  After a Google search, I discovered that Davies (aka Ron Davis, aka Ronny Wayne Davies) went on to become well known as a country song writer, and gained some pop fame as the writer of Three Dog Night's fourth album title track, "It Ain't Easy".

This is an interesting album.  It really is a hodgepodge of types of songs.  One song can be incredibly rocking, like "Out of Our Tree", and the next, a Left Banke type baroque pop number like, "Tears Don't Have To Fall".  The album not having a particularly distinct sound can be good and bad.  It's good if you like variety, but also, you find yourself just thinking that the different songs sound like a number of bands from the era could be doing them instead of thinking, "Oh yeah, this is the Wailers."

I give it two and a half stars.

Side One:

You Won't Lead Me On
I Want to Walk With You
Think Kindly Baby  (Makes me think of "Listen People" by Herman's Hermits.)
Out of Our Tree (Definitely the stand-out track.  I remember John putting this on one of the comps he would make for me while we were dating.  Grungy, hard garage rock at it's best.  The song was written by three members of the group and is the only track not penned by Davies.)
It's You Alone
Bad Trip

Side Two:

My Girl  (Reminds me of The Turtles.)
Turn and Run
Sit in My Room
Tears Don't Have To Fall  (Reminds me of The Left Banke.)
I'm Looking Down at You (Sounds a bit lounge-like.  I like it, but it's a completely different sounding band from the sound of "Out of Our Tree".)

Now, let's get John's take on this record:

Where did you buy this record and when?
"I bought it at Princeton Record Exchange.  I don't really remember exactly.  Had to be late 90's, early 2000's.  1999 or 2000, I think."

Do you own it in any other format?
"No.  Just the LP."

What is your over-all impression of this album?
"This is a weird and odd record for them.  These guys were contemporaries of The Sonics, predated The Sonics and they had records on the same label.  I don't know the whole back story, but they somehow hooked up with this R. Wayne Davies and recorded a whole bunch of his folksy songs.  This one song, "It's You Alone", started to break out and the band got picked up by United Artists.  That song became a hit in the San Francisco area, so they got booked to play at the Fillmore.  The people who came to see them expected this nice folk rock sound, but The Wailers busted out with "Out of Our Tree" and freaked everybody out.
This is kind of a departure for them with no original material except for two songs."

Favorite Track?
" 'Out of Our Tree'.  Killer garage classic with loud, booming drums."

How many stars out of five?
"A four.  There are some pleasant songs, but not what you'd expect from The Wailers."

Thanks for stopping by!
Same rules apply as before.  The first person to comment with a number between 1 and 12 and a number between 1 and 75 will help me randomly choose the next record.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

What a Way to Die: 15 Forgotten Losers from the Mid 60s

This week's record of random (Unit 11, Number 66) is "What a Way to Die: 15 Forgotten Losers from the Mid 60s" on the aptly named Satan Records.

Don't get me wrong.  I do enjoy the genre popularly known as "Garage Rock", but what I don't like are the records that sound like every other garage rock record.  Yes, I know, it's not a genre that one expects the world from right?  The sound that is built upon four chords and a drum beat.  However, to me, to end up as a favorite in my music heart, it's got to have an excellent beat and enough melody and changes to actually say something. 

Whenever my husband listens to records at home, it's these types of songs that tend to make the floors shake.  I don't mind, and I even hear a few that stick to me musically.  Just like that, this album has done the same.  Some hits, some misses, and some that are just (sorry) unremarkable to me.

Let's take a look at the tunes included in this compilation:

Side One:

1.) The Pleasure Seekers - What a Way to Die:  So, there's a pic of these women on the back cover.  Not to be one who makes generalized statements, but I'm going to anyway.  Women in bands in the 60's didn't tend to sound like that and look like this:

But, it's the Quatro sisters.  Yep, one part being Suzi Quatro.  Who would later go on to have her fame (Happy Day's-ish that it may have been) looking like this:

2.)  Larry & the Loafers - Let's Go to the Beach

3.)  The Teddy Boys - Don't Mess with Me

4.)  The Grains of Sand - That's When Happiness Began:  Sounds like strains of "I Wanna Be Your Man" by the Stones and "Little Girl" by Syndicate of Sound put in the blender and poured into this tune.

5.)  The Magic Mushroom - I'm Gone: I couldn't help but think of "You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators.  They're not exactly alike, but perhaps it was "inspired" by.

6.)  The Knaves - Leave Me Alone

7.)  The Renegades - 13 Women:  The best part of this song is the organ.  It gives it something different and makes it a little more foreboding. 

Side Two:

1.)  The First Four - Empty Heart

2.)  Richard and the Young Lions - You Can Make It:  I'm just guessing (haha), but this is probably the reason why my husband bought this record.  I know he LOVES "Open Up Your Door", and often talks about when he saw the reformed band when he was back home in New Jersey.  This song is quite good, and very superior to what I have heard on this compilation as of yet.  (Probably why they are the only band on the cover...or maybe it's one of the only bands they could find a picture of?)  I don't know much about Richard and the Young Lions, but their signature seems to be raucous songs with that "build to explode" format that makes a crowd happy.  I can only imagine how much fun it was/is to see them live.

3.)  The Beech-Nuts - My Iconoclastic Life:  The only thing I like about this song is the using the word "Iconoclastic" in the title.

4.)  The Human Beingz - Evil Hearted You:  Everyone knows "Nobody But Me", but this is just an okay cover of a great song.  You can't touch The Yardbirds.

5.)  The Swingin' Machine - Do You Have to Ask?:  You don't have to be the greatest singer in the world to front a garage band, but I don't think they even tried.  The guitar isn't bad, though.

6.)  The Enfields - She Already Has Somebody:  This one is pretty good!  They seem to have thrown enough of a bit of everything in to keep it interesting.  Decent lyrics, mixed with some surf rock, mild psych and melody.

7.)  The Pleasure Seekers - Never Thought You'd Leave Me:  Why do I have a feeling that the makers of this compilation just really, really wanted to put this Pleasure Seekers single that they had on a compilation album?

8.)  Special Extra Bonus Cut:  "...the first known recording of a notorious 60's punk band that everyone seems to love."  Complete with sax. Must be called "Gonna Have a Twist Tonight" or perhaps "Hideaway".  I really don't know who it is.  The singer sort of sounds like Tommy Smothers.  Is it Iggy?  I'm sure John will know...

On to John...

Where did you buy this record and when?
"I got that at Curmudgeon Records in Highland Park, NJ.  Had to be in the late 90's, early 2000's."

Do you own it in any other format?
"No, but I'd like to have it on CD for ease of convenience.  I haven't played it in so long and there's some killer tracks I was hearing while you were listening to it."

What is your over-all impression of this album?
"That's one of the best garage comps I've got!  There's really like one weak track on the end...I think it's the Standells."

Favorite Track?
"The Richard and the Young Lions track.  It's really cool how they put the Harry Harrison thing on the beginning and the end."

How many stars out of five?
"Five out of Five. It's a great comp."

And for my next blog,  the first person to comment with a number from 1 to 16, and another number from 1 to 75, that will be my next randomly selected record from John's vault. :-)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Status Quo - Piledriver

Let’s see… what do I know about Status Quo?  Well, I don’t think any self-respecting lover of good sixties music could not remember “Pictures of Matchstick Men”.  What a great tune!  However, it never made me want to investigate their other musical odysseys.

This album, Piledriver, was released in 1972, about four years after “Matchstick Men”.  This being the only album I’ve fully heard from Status Quo, I would have to say that they probably fit well in the early 70’s, bluesy, Zeppelin world that was popular at the time.  

Honestly, when I first put the needle in the groove and heard the first tune on this record, I was not impressed.  I am not a fan of early 70’s blues-rock, unless it has something different to say, or maybe a hook or two. That’s just my taste.  However, I was pleased to discover that it does get a bit better here and there. 

Track Listing:

Side One:

Don’t Waste My Time

O Baby

A Year

Unspoken Words 

Side Two:

Big Fat Mama

Paper Plane

All the Reasons

Roadhouse Blues

“O Baby” isn’t too terrible on the ears, and “A Year” is a bit (again, sorry for using this as a descriptor) soft-Zeppelin-esque. 

I could probably live without ever hearing “Big Fat Mama” again.  To me, it’s an example of generic blues-rock that takes over five minutes to say…practically nothing.

“Paper Plane” sounds to me like it was either a single, or had single potential.  It sounds like something you’d hear on a top 40 station in the early 70’s.

“All the Reasons” is a fairly nice tune with some good guitar.

And “Roadhouse Blues”…yep, it’s a cover of the Doors song.  I don’t mind the original, but this is just another oft-covered bar-band tune that really doesn’t impress much.  Granted, Status Quo is more talented than your average bar band, but maybe they should have just finished the album with more of their original work.

I don’t really feel that I’m all that qualified to judge blues-rock, as you already know that I’m not a big fan, but this album doesn’t seem too bad.  If you like this type of rock, you may want to check it out.  The songs do tend to go on longer than I personally like, and the vocals are not remarkable, but again, that’s just my opinion.

 Overall, it’s not something I’d visit again, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Let’s see what John has to say….

Where did you buy this record and when?

“I think I got this at Tommy’s store in Cranford.  When, I don’t really remember. Had to be maybe in the early 2000’s.”

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

“I bought it for “Paper Plane”, which is an awesome song.  But, I don’t remember much about it.  It didn’t leave much of an impression on me.  This is what they were known for after their psychedelic era.  It’s not bad.  It’s just not my thing.  Interesting cover of ‘Roadhouse Blues’.”

Favorite Track?

“Paper Plane”

 How many stars out of five?

“I’d give it 3 and a half or four.  Just for ‘Paper Plane’ alone.”

 And for my next blog,  the first person to comment with a number from 1 to 16, and another number from 1 to 75, that will be my next randomly selected record from John's vault. :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tom Jones - Live in Las Vegas

I guess you could say that Tom Jones is just one of those artists that I just don't get. Yes, he does have a decent voice, and sure, he has "stage presence", but I'm just really not a fan. (Gee...I bet you can't wait until I come across a record I actually love, eh?)

Anyway, this particular T.J. record is of a Vegas show recorded at The Flamingo. You can just picture all the middle aged women sweating in the front row, throwing their girdles and panties at Tom. Or maybe you wouldn't want to. I mean, I really didn' just sort of happened. That's the sort of thing that pops into one's head when one thinks of Tom Jones. That and lots of chest hair. Oh! And the "Carlton Dance" from "The Fresh Prince" (yes, I was a teenager in the early 90's. :-P)

Side One:
Turn On Your Love Light
Bright Lights and You Girl
I Can't Stop Loving You
Hard to Handle
Danny Boy
I'll Never Fall In Love Again

Side Two:
Help Yourself
Hey Jude
Love Me Tonight
It's Not Unusual
Twist and Shout

I have to admit, the guy is enthusiastic. I found myself tapping my foot just a little to "Turn On Your Love Light" and "It's Not Unusual", but the ballads like "Danny Boy" and his tribute to Lennon and McCartney with "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude" I could live without ever hearing.

Tom Jones is Welsh, and for the longest time, I never knew it. He is one of those performers who lose their accent when they sing. That's not good nor bad, but I'm sure there's gotta be people out there like me that had no idea he wasn't American.

The show ends with a version of "Twist and Shout" that weaves in and out of "Land of 1000 Dances". I found myself chuckling when Tom started going on about how he "needs a woman", and for women to let their hair down and "if you can't let it down, take it off!" (I wonder how many times he's said that throughout his career...)

All in all, Tom Jones Live in Vegas will not be a record I'll go out of my way to play again, but let's hear what John has to say, shall we??

Where did you buy this record and when?

"I didn't buy it. It was given to me by my friend Don Organ around late 1991. He moved away and I woke up one morning and he had left it at my back porch door. It had been in his basement and we used to pull it out and laugh once and awhile."

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's really not bad, I mean, there's some schmaltz, but the band is strong and you have to admit, he's a great singer. On the rock tunes and the R&B tunes, he's really, really good. It's fun."

Favorite Track?

"The ending medley."

How many stars out of five?

"Because of the schmaltz, I'd give it three and a half"

Hey...I thought it was funny!

Oh! And if you've made it this far, I just wanted to let you know how I picked this record. There are 16 cubes in this big record shelving unit. I randomly picked a number from 1-16 (12), and another number from 1-75 (42). This record was in cube 12, number 42.

So, the first person that comments with a number from 1 to 16, and a number from 1 to 75, I'll use those numbers to randomly pick the next record that I'll blog. ;-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Various Artists - Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: A Swingin' Summer

It's your typical "beach party" movie music fare, but these types of 60's movies are just pure matter how bad they are. There's quite a few movies from this era that are just more fun to look at, not to watch intently for deep meaning, good acting, or a fabulous story line.

I've never seen this movie, but if this clip is an indication, a wild 'OooP!' time was had by all:

Side 1:
Justine - The Righteous Bros
Nitro - Swingers
Swingin' Summer - Carol Connors
Out to Lunch - Swingers
I'm Ready to Groove - Raquel Welch (Yes, she sings. Nothing spectacular, but mind you, these are the days before vocal enhancement software, so hats off to her for trying.)
Filet of Soul - Swingers

Here's a clip of Raquel lipsynching "Ready to Groove" on Shivaree

Side 2:
Red Hot Roadster - Rip Chords
It's Not Unusual - Swingers (Yep, the Tom Jones tune.)
You Can't Fight Sidney Hall - Swingers
Penny the Poo - Donnie Brooks ("She's a red hot bunny...she's so 'ooooo'...she's a real go-getter...she's my baby sitter...I call her Penny the poo." She's the poo, ya know?)
Arrowhead Rock - Swingers
Theme from Summer Place - The Swingers

I'm guessing The Swingers are another studio set of musicans. I wonder how many other beach party type movies that they perform the instrumental tracks for?

This record also boasts a gatefold that features pictures of Raquel Welch for the gentlemen...

And then Gary Lewis shows up..."SWINGIN'!"


Where did you buy this record and when?

"At a record show...probably around '95 or '96."

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's kind of boring accept for the Righteous Bros track, and the Raquel Welch track is a goofy thing to have."

Favorite Track?


How many stars out of five?

"The inclusion of Justine makes it worth it, so I'd give it a three."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mae West - Great Balls of Fire

Mae West was born in 1893. This record was released in 1972. She was 79. So yes, ladies and gentlemen, cougars are nothing new. The amount of groaning she does on the album however makes me wonder if she's trying to be sexy, or just has a really bad case of indigestion.

Anyway, the horrible celebrity vocals continue. Much like Mr. Savalis, she's not THAT bad...just not that good. Anybody for a Telly Savalis/Mae West duet? Ah, if only...

I tend to enjoy those classic movies occasionally, but I never really cared too much for Mae West. I'd rather watch a Katherine Hepburn title...did she ever make an album? Hah!

Side 1:
Great Balls of Fire
The Naked Ape
The Grizzly Bear
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Side 2:
Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen(Oh my. She actually sings it, "Happy birthday twenty-one." She's coming on to a fan who's "all grown up" now. She sounds like she's been stalking her young fans... Ew.)
After the Lights Go Down Low
Light My Fire (Oh man...the music on this is kind of fun, but wow, this is totally campy. Check it out. "No time to walla' in the mire...and our love become a flaming pie.")

How Miss West Won World Peace
(She charmed Mao. Could she have found bin Laden?)
Rock Around the Clock


Where did you buy this record and when?

"I can't remember. I either got it at Izzy's or 'Off the Record'"

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's horrible! But that's why I keep it!"

Favorite Track?

"I can't remember anything about it."

How many stars out of five?

"Negative 5!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Telly Savalas - Who Loves You Baby

My first thought as I'm listening to this is, "Are you serious?"

I guess that remains to be seen.

The first track was really bad adult contemporary boring-ness, but the second, I can definitely see some comedic potential in this one. "Who Loves Ya Baby" is hilarious.

Remember a simpler time? (I mean, I really don't...I was born in 1981, so by the time I entered my "simple" years, things really weren't that simple.) Anyway, back in the day, when a popular singing star showed any inclination of having singing talent, it was time to make an album! How fun is that? (I only wish Randolph Mantooth had made one, but maybe he had too much self-respect for that...)

I am a big fan of a lot of classic tv, but I never got into Kojak, and I vaguely remember my mother watching re-runs of this show. I think she even found Telly attractive, and a lot of women did, but I just don't see the appeal. The 70's required a different kind of man. Telly Savalas was a sex symbol...and this album I'm sure sold to a lot of middle-aged women for their daily dose of Mr. Savalas' monotones. The only Telly I myself regard lives on Sesame Street.

It's not that he's a horrible singer. I've heard worse. He has that talking-singing style that belongs in Vegas. And I suppose he doesn't do all that bad for what it is. However, I find myself laughing out loud more than really "enjoying" it.

Here's the lovely paragraph from the back of the record by one Melvin Laird (gotta love a name like that) regarding Telly's work on this masterpiece:

One of the truly enthusiastic, charming, charismatic, hedonistic, soulful men I've ever met is Telly Savalas. His intense enjoyment and pursuit of the high velocity lifestyle dazzles and boggles the minds of men half his age! To have watched him emerge during the recording of this album as the consummate musical performer he longed to become, has been for me pure pleasure. The man may be a lousy baccarat player, but he sure wins my vote for a Permanent Star of the Ages Award! This is only the beginning, Telly...Thanks for all the hard work.

Should anybody really say more?

Take a listen to the hot title track, "Who Loves Ya Baby?"

Track Listing:

Side One-
This is All I Ask
Who Loves Ya Baby
Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)
Gentle On My Mind

Side Two-
Love is Just a Word
(Ah the Apple Tree) When the World Was Young
A Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business Singing the Blues (a Jim Croce song...this is just pure fun. lol)
The Men In My Little Girl's Life (the naration on this is pretty funny)


Where did you buy this record and when?

"I bought it as Izzy's, and it had to be when I was just still a customer. It was only $1."

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?


Favorite Track?

(Laugh) "The title cut, probably"

How many stars out of five?

(More laughter) "What's the opposite of giving stars?"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gabor Szabo - Spellbinder

Spellbinder. What an accurate description!

I am honestly not a huge fan of jazz in general. For me, most of the time, I just don't "get it". Yeah, I know, I should be scorned now because I volunteer at a predominately jazz radio station, but there is some that I do really enjoy...about 20%. For me, a lot of times, jazz generally goes on and on and on and I don't really see the point, but this record, for sure, has set me straight in a way.

This album is absolutely amazing. I put it on and right from the start, I wasn't bored in any way. Aside from the couple minutes it took me to scan the album cover and size the pictures, I sat here in the early afternoon sun and just immersed myself in this great instrumentalist.

Side One:
It Was a Very Good Year
Gypsy Queen

Side Two:
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
My Foolish Heart
Autumn Leaves
Speak to Me of Love

While, in my opinion, side one is a lot more interesting than side two, it's all good. The gatefold cover also had some great descriptions of the songs and a little about Gabor Szabo himself, since I pretty much had no idea about him. It is interesting to note that "Cheetah" was inspired by a "new New York discotheque", which I believe I have some pictures of in one of my old Life magazines. Very cool.

All in all, I give "Spellbinder" a 4 out of 5 star rating. I'll absolutely be looking into more of his stuff.

If you are a slight jazz nay-sayer and don't believe me as to how awesome this is, check out the title track here:


Where did you buy this record and when?

"This has to be a very early purchase of mine from Izzy's, so it has to be 1995 or 1996."

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have it on CD"

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's great! It's hard to describe. It drifts along and sucks you in, and it's relaxing. Great guitar."

Favorite Track?

"The title track, 'Cheetah', and 'Gypsy Queen'."

How many stars out of five?

"Four and 1/2. I knock it down for 'Autumn Leaves'"

Monday, August 2, 2010

Various Artists - Trans-World Punk Rave-Up: Raving 60's Beat and R&B from All Over, Volume 2

I seemed to have reached the shelves that are mostly compilations lately, but that's not a bad thing. It allows me to hear a lot of different artists that I probably wouldn't have picked up on myself.

This comp is pretty interesting. Since it's bands "from all over", it brings me back to wondering what I've wondered ever since I heard a Japanese group cover, "I Love You" by The Zombies. Why do bands that don't speak English aspire to sing songs in English? Is it just the success factor? Money? Is it due to what's popular at the time? I wonder, because I can't say that I've ever heard an English band try to emulate, say, a band from Denmark. It's a puzzler to me. Granted, there are a lot of languages that are pretty lovely when sung (i.e. French), but I wouldn't think that English would be one of them. It could just be the plain and simple fact that it's were rock 'n roll got to be king.

Anyway, today's album is:

Track Listing:
Side One:
1. T-Boones "King of the Orient: Sounds suspiciously like parts of "Little Green Bag" in my opinion.

2. Blue Stars "I Can Take It"

3. Phantom Brothers "Chicago": Very cool. I love this one. Probably because I do love Chicago, myself. I grew up not too far from there and anything Chicago-ish tends to make me a little nostalgic.

4. I Kings "Trovane Un Altro" The first of a few foreign language tunes on this record. I tend to not flip over things that I can't understand the lyrics to. (This even applies to songs that are in English that just have horrible enunciation.) However, like most of the songs on this comp, the music is really good. I just don't speak Italian...which isn't their fault.

5. Blue Stars "Social End Product" Woo! Great fuzz guitar and angry, yet smart lyrics.

6. Jaguars "It's All Over Now" A live-sounding, diabolical version of The Stones' tune. I lost count at how many lyrics they messed up. lol

7. Les Miserables "Miserablement Votre" Okay, this one sounds really familiar...what does this translate to in English? Cool percussion.

8. Rivals "Got Love If You Want It" Who didn't cover this song in some form or another?

Side Two:

1. Frays "Keep Me Covered"

2. Brand "Zulu Stomp" (Sounds quite familiar...I think John's played this on our show.)

3. Tony Jackson "Fortune Teller" (I think he might have played this one too?) Much more familiar with The Who's version, but this one isn't bad.

4. Bats "Got a Girl"

5. Fab "I Only Gave You Everything" This is pretty fab :-)

6. Teste Dure "Era Un Beatnik" I love the title. lol "Oh yeah!" "Oh si!"

7. David John & the Mood "Pretty Thing

8. Los Slavajes "Soy Asi" No wonder this band is on the cover, this is a great song...and I think I may be able to undertand some of the lyrics...unless I'm way off base (which could be totally possible.) I had Spanish in high school, but that was over ten years ago. However, I think "Soy Asi" means, "That's me"? (I apologise to any Spanish speaking readers. You have my full persmission to totally make fun of me!) He's obviously singing about some of the current popular bands (as evidenced by the riffs interjected throughout the song), and about how he wears his pants and plays a guitar and sings. Yep, that's all I could get out of it, but I still liked it!

So, who are these bands, really? All that is in the liner notes are the locations (countries) these bands are from. I'm sure you (and John) probably all have some trivia about these bands "from all over", so I'll leave all that to you in your comments, if you choose to participate.

Three and a half stars from me.

Y Tu Juan...?

Where did you buy this record and when?
(There's no reciept!)

"I got this with the other volume from Izzy. He ordered it for me. I'm guessing probably between 1999 and 2001."

Do you own it in any other format?

"No, but I have three or five of these songs on CD in other comps."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"I was hearing it in the other room and it's awesome. It's great euro-beat/garage punk. Think I might have to play it again and pick out some tracks for the show."

Favorite Track?

"Tony Jackson's 'Fortune Teller'. That I Kings song 'cause it sounds like The Kinks."

How many stars out of five?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Ugly Things

Just a quick note to thank Mr. Michael Lynch for his mention of this blog in the latest issue of the Ugly Things magazine. (

I noticed I had 65 visits to this blog yesterday...but what the more followers? What's up with that? Was it really that bad? :-)

I promise I'll post more.

Anyway, for those of you who have visited, thanks for checking it out!

Lots of love,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Various Artists - The British Psychedelic Trip 1965-1970, Vol 4

Psychedelic? Perhaps. Totally psychedelic? Perhaps not.

As I type out this particular blog, I'm almost halfway through the first side of this album and I'm thinking that this isn't your typical "psych comp". I think a lot of these songs are more British Pop, in my humble opinion...if we have to label things.

Nevertheless, this is an EXCELLENT compilation. From the first track, I've really been loving it. This is just the type of music I really enjoy, and it reminds me of the CD comps that John used to send me in the mail when we were first getting to know each other. It's really cool to discover these "new-to-me" bands.

Let's take a look at what's on this compilation:

Side 1:
That's the Way It's Got to Be - The Poets (Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham...we listened to "Loog's" show a lot on Little Steven's Underground Garage satellite radio station while we were drove from NJ back to MI on our vacation. Wow, can that guy ramble! And I thought I was bad...)

I Lied to Auntie May - The Neat Change (Co-writer credits lists a "Frampton"...could it be...?)

Movin' In - Toby Twirl

Glass House Green, Splinter Red - The Kinsman (A perky sounding song that is pretty much about death from what I gathered)

Lazy Day - Tinkerbells Fairydust (Wow...what a name. I know this song by Spanky and Our Gang. This version isn't bad, but I do prefer the former.)

Water Woman - Pacific Drift (This song stands out on this comp because it sounds different than all the others. I'm not too crazy about it, and it's featured twice on this album, of course by different groups. Maybe I'll like the other version better.)

Paper Chase - Love Children (This was great! I love simple pop songs. What does that say about me? :-P)

Whisper Her Name (Maria Laine) - Ice (Love it. Gotta find more of this 'Ice'.)

Peacefully Asleep - Life 'n Soul

Turn to Earth - Al Stewart (And all I knew was "Year of the Cat"...)

Side 2:

Baby Get Your Head Screwed On - Double Feature (This side starts off with songs that are a bit more soulful.)

8 1/2 Hours of Paradise - The Elastic Band (I totally dig this. I love those Brit bands that are obviously influenced by soul & R&B. Anything with an organ!)

Fade Away Maureen - Cherry Smash (So good! And I usually don't like cherry flavored anything. Hehe. Seriously, this is a great song.)

Gotta Wait - The Game

8.35 On the Dot - Peter Lee Stirling (Love the guitar in the beginning...and holy crap! According to the liner notes, Peter Lee Stirling is also known as "Daniel Boone" who does one my favorite cheesy 70's songs that John hates..."Beautiful Sunday"! I had no idea.)

All Our Christmases - The Majority (Interesting. The liner notes say that The Majority covered Ray Davies' "A Little Bit of Sunlight" and "Ring the Bells". That would be interesting to hear. This particular song is credited to "B. R. & M. Gibb". Yes, I do know who that is. It's very BeeGee'esque.)

Requiem - The Chocolate Watchband (Yet another song about death...but not so perky.)

Water Woman - Amazing Friendly Apple (Another great band name. I do like this version just a bit better.)

I'll Be Home (In a Day Or So) - Dream Police (They live inside of my head. They come to me in my bed. Sorry. I'm from Rockford, Illinois. One cannot let a Cheap Trick connection go by without commenting. Anyway, this song has quite the 70's feel to it. It was released in 1970, but oddly enough, I can hear some sort of soft-rock 70's band covering this in a heartbeat.)

Walking Through the Streets of My Mind - The Time Box (Great vibes - literally - and chimes too. I'm going to have to look into this group as well.)

The lesson from all of this? John has a TON of comps. I must pull them out once and awhile to discover more new things. Much like the comps he made for me helped me to delve into The Small Faces, Terry Reid and Love, I know I'll be searching for more by a lot of these bands on this album.

I give it four and a half stars!


Where did you buy this record and when?

August 2, 1989 at Vintage Vinyl, as evidenced by this receipt.

Do you own it in any other format?

"I think I have two of these songs on CDs somewhere..."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"To be honest, I don't think I've listened to it since I bought it and I'm in the other room listening and I think it's really good. A lot of it doesn't sound like psych, but more like blue-eyed soul music. It's interesting to see a lot of the names in songwriting credits and production. The Neat Change track is written by Alan Bown and Peter Frampton, "Baby Get Your Head Screwed On" is a Cat Stevens song and "Turn To Earth" is a Yardbirds track from their eponymous 1966 album. I remember putting it on a tape for my friend Robert out in Marin County and him remarking that it sounded like Richard Simmons singing!"

Favorite Track?

"Baby Get Your Head Screwed On, definitely. And that Elastic Band track right behind it."

How many stars out of five?


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Ventures - Swamp Rock

I'm back from vacation and ready to take on some more records. It's a massive task. I just realized that not only do I have that whole record shelving unit to go though, but there's a bunch more in one of John's closets and in a record cabinet that haven't been "rotated into" the general population yet. I'd better get crackin'.

Tonight's record, The Ventures. Like most of these records I've been pulling out, I can't say I know all that much about The Ventures. But, being all instrumentals and being a group that has been around for so long, I wonder how many personnel changes there have been.

This record had to have been released around the late 60's, I would guess. I've never been a fan of "Swamp Rock" myself. Never cared for CCR, and I HATE "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Stones. (I know, I know. Terrible, right?) I don't like "Brown Sugar" either. Go figure. Not my sound.

Track Listing:

Side A:
Carry Me Back
Honky Tonk Woman
Muddy Mississippi Line
Swamp Rock
Niki Hoeky

Side B:
Green River
Suspicious Minds
Catfish Mud Dance
Proud Mary
Plaquemines Parish

Overall, this isn't an album I'd probably listen to again. The Ventures are pros, of course, but it's just not for me. I do like, however, that they covered "Suspicious Minds", one of my very favorite Elvis tunes.

I give it two and one half stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?

"It was before I was working at Izzy' probably '94 or '95. It's cool to see Izzy's handwriting again..."

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's not one of my favorite Ventures albums. This is probably the first time I've listened to it since I bought it. Very countryish. I quite like 'Gumbo'."

Favorite Track?


How many stars out of five?

"Three stars for 'Gumbo'...the rest of it's kinda bland."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Robert Plant - Now and Zen

Webster's Dictionary defines zen as...ugh, never mind.

Tonight's installment is "Now and Zen" by Mr. Robert Plant. Officially one of the most BORING records I have ever heard.

Side One:
Heaven Knows
Dance on My Own
Tall Cool One
The Way I Feel

Side Two:
Helen of Troy
Billy's Revenge
Ship of Fools
White, Clean and Neat

I have to say, I've always liked "Tall Cool One". I feel that the song is the one redeeming quality of this album. But, is it due to the fact that it samples Zeppelin? It's a cool 80's rock tune. Everything else is...meah. (That's the best description I can find.) I'm sure somebody out there thinks this is genius, but for me, I just don't feel it, ya know?

But, I did find another receipt gem in the album:

Purchased in March of 1988, by young John.

In 1988, this was me:

I didn't know who Zeppelin was. Or Robert Plant. I was too busy watching Woody Woodpecker and Kids Incorporated, coloring, and pretending I was a singer/actress to my stuffed animals. :-P

One and 1/2 stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?

So, obviously we know you bought this in 1988. Where at? "Looks like Sound-a-Rama in downtown Rahway. If not there, at the mall somewhere."

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have a few songs on that 2-cd Robert Plant comp/best of."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"I don't really like it anymore. 'Tall Cool One' is interesting, but it sounds totally 80's. It's just kind of boring.
I saw him on that tour in July of '88. Cheap Trick opened. My sister's friend made us late and we only saw the very end of Cheap Trick. I really don't remember a lot of the songs Robert Plant played, it was kind of dull. I remember 'Communication Breakdown' was the encore and everybody got excited 'cause they thought it was Jimmy Page that was there, but it was just a member of Plant's band wearing a long coat."

Favorite Track?

"Tall Cool One....that's about it."

How many stars out of five?

"Three...and that's being nice."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moo

Honestly, when I first met John and I found out he liked Pink Floyd, I was like, "Eh?" What little I knew of Pink Floyd is probably what most of the average music listening population know. And that knowledge led me to be not much of a fan.

My most vivid memory of listening to Pink Floyd was sitting in the back of my brother Robert's car with my best friend Jennie in 8th grade listening to "The Wall". It scared Jennie. "This music is really creepy..." she said as she laughed and cowered in her seat. I didn't think it was scary, just a tad boring. (Now I'll duck as all die-hard Pink Floyd fans throw garbage at me.)

So, thankfully, John opened my eyes to the difference that is Pink Floyd in the Syd Barrett era. According to some 'Teen mags I have from the 60's, they were known as 'The' Pink Floyd. And to me, I think that's how it should be.

I can also honestly say that I'm not a huge psychedelic music fan. My personal tastes are a bit quirky. I like melodic music, but that's not to say a heavy guitar/jumble of sounds track can't spark my interest. In fact, psychedelic music can be a bit quirky in and of itself.

Tonight, my musical journey brings me to...

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moo

Yes, a boot. (Shhhh...)

Track listing:

Side A:
Astronomy Domine
Candy and a Currant Bun
Apples and Oranges
It Would Be So Nice
Intersteller Overdrive
Scream Thy Last Scream

Side B:
Heart Beat, Pig Meat
Crumbling Land
Point Me at the Sky
Come in Number 51, Your Time is Up
Mademoiselle Knobs

Just typing some of those song titles had me laughing...ah, sorry.

Anyway, back to the show.

I think this album is....ok. I'm not that well versed in Pink Floyd, so I'm sure that someone who is would have much more interesting things to say about the production of these songs and maybe even the stories behind them. So, I won't burden anyone with my analysis because I'm sure it would be entirely off-base. I did enjoy "Apples and Oranges", "It Would Be So Nice", "Crumbling Land", and really liked "Point Me at the Sky" (which really quite rocks). They have a bit of that British melodic touch that I do enjoy. I just can't get with the whole, "Let's go on for quite some time and not really go anywhere" type song. Maybe I have a short attention span when it comes to music, but then again, that's just personal preference rearing it's head again.

I give it two stars.

Yo, John...

Where did you buy this record and when?

(First, I have to show you this:)

(Cool, huh? Occasionally, when I'm rooting through John's music or books, I'll come across a receipt from the purchase. I find this both amusing and endearing. Looks like he bought a copy of Goldmine, a Them album, and a Pretty Things album. Interesting that they just listed this as "Records". Oh, and I have to mention, that by 2/25/89, I'd just turned eight. Hehe.)

So it was purchased it Vintage Vinyl in 1989. At 12:27pm.

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have a lot of the early singles on a CD now."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"You know my feelings about Pink Floyd...I love the Syd Barrett stuff and the pre-Dark Side of the Moon stuff. Just don't get into the dreamy-stoner type stuff."

Favorite Track?

"I love 'Point Me at the Sky', and I like the alternate take of 'Interstellar Overdrive'."

How many stars out of five?


Monday, May 31, 2010

Neil Innes - How Sweet to Be An Idiot

I would just like to start out by saying that even without having heard this album before, which I haven't, I think Neil Innes is awesome.

His work as "Ron Nasty" (and principal songwriter) in The Rutles (which I absolutely love), as well as what little I know of him as a member of the Bonzos had me going into this listen with a lot of respect. And I found that none of that was tarnished.

"How Sweet to Be An Idiot" was Neil Innes' first solo record, cut in 1973. So, this was probably after the Bonzos and a bit before The Rutles act gained any popularity.

Side One:
Momma Bee
Immortal Invisible
Topless A Go-Go
Feel No Shame

Side Two:
How Sweet to Be An Idiot
L'Amour Perdu
Song for Yvonne
This Love of Ours
Singing a Song Is Easy

This album is a mix of the serious and the sweetly humorous sides of Neil, which appeals to someone like me a great deal. The majority of the first side is a bit bluesy for my personal taste, but the second side has a lot of lovely songs that have nice little funny parts that had me chuckling here and there. I especially enjoyed "L'Amour Perdu" where he cleverly does some word play with French and English. What can I say...I like witty people.

A few of the songs on side two, I can't help but think they're a bit Beatles inspired, which couldn't hurt considering that Neil would become known for making one of the best Beatles parodys ever...but the music of The Rutles didn't poke fun at The Beatles, so I guess parody isn't the right word. You can tell that Neil has a lot of respect for the group, so his songs are more of a salute than anything.

All in all, I think "How Sweet To Be An Idiot" is a cute little record. Neil Innes just seems to be one of those people that you probably couldn't hate if you tried.

Oh, and evidentally, Oasis took "How Sweet to Be an Idiot" and turned it into a single called "Whatever". Never heard it. They got sued.

I give the album 3 1/2 stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?
This is probably one of my first purchases from Izzy's. It was something I picked up in '94 or '95, before I became an employee.

Do you own it in any other format?
No. I think I have "How Sweet to Be An Idiot" as a bonus track on one of the Bonzos albums

What is your over-all impression of this album?
To be honest, I don't think I've listened to it since I bought it, and I don't remember it being this good! It automatically sounds very British. Great backing musicians too.

Favorite Track?
Just from listening to it now, I like "Momma Bee" and "L'Amour Perdu"

How many stars out of five?
Four and 1/2