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

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Iguanas - S/T

I say this is self titled, because there's not really a title for it.

Thankfully, there were extensive liner notes on the back of this compiliation to aid me in understanding exactly what this is.

It's Jim Osterberg's first band. You know, Jim Osterberg. That household name. I mean, you can't go anywhere these days without hearing the name, Jim Osterberg.


Well, for those of us not really "in the know" (like myself), Jim Osterberg is known primarily as Mr. Iggy Pop. Yeah! He was the drummer in this band, and wouldn't you know, that's probably how he came to be known as "Iggy". You learn something new every day...

The Iguanas were a local, Ann Arbor, Michigan band from the early 60's who had recorded some original tracks, but mostly covers of popular early 60's rock tunes. Garage band a-go-go...but that's not a bad thing.

This compilation of Iguana's tracks was released in 1996 by Norton Records, and I find it really cool that they included a few little photos and show flyers on the back cover. I was especially geeked to see the one announcing the Shangri-las with the Iguanas at Club Ponytail in Harbor Springs, MI. That's just north of Petoskey, so I've been there a few times...I wonder where that was at...

Track Listing:

Side A:
1. Mona
2. I Don't Know Why
3. Again and Again
4. Out of Limits
5. California Sun
6. Twist and Shout
7. Walk Don't Run
8. Things We Said Today
9. Surfin' Bird

Side B:
1. Louie Louie
2. Wild Weekend
3. Tell Me
4. Slow Down
5. Johnny B Goode
6. Tequila
7. I Feel Fine
8. Pipeline
9. If I Had a Hammer

"I Don't Know Why" and "Again and Again" are Iguana originals, which is great that they put them first among all the covers, because some of them are downright atrocious. Take "Tell Me" for instance. Ouch. I love "Tell Me". I have the Stones singing "Tell Me" on my mp3 player at work, so I hear it almost daily and I never get sick of it. The Iguana's version was pretty painful.

But, this compliation is what is. It captures the early Iggy in his element. He only "sings" lead on one track, "Louie Louie" (only few bands must have been privy to the lyric sheet to this!), but if you're an Iggy fan, you buy this album. It's a nice garage-y snapshot, and if you listen closely, you can hear some studio chatter, which is usually always pretty cool.

For me, I give it two and three quarters stars, Ed.


Where did you buy this record and when?
Vintage Vinyl, as per usual, probably around '96 - 2000.

Do you own it in any other format?

What is your over-all impression of this album?
It's not that great. It's sounds like just another garage band, but it's Iggy's first band, and has his first composition on it. It's compitent garage rock - nothing earth shattering.

Favorite Track?
"Mona". It was the official single, and it's the best on this album.

How many stars out of five?
Because it's Iggy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Electric Firebirds - Dance Party Time

Electric Firebirds...

Electric Firebirds...

THE Electric Firebirds...

I Googled, I'd...Electric Firebirds? Nothing to be found.

Well, I'm sure there's something to be found, but I just don't feel like searching that hard.

Tonight's listen was this album:

Just looking at this cover from a distance, it looks fairly cool. Kinda groovy-60's chick with some records. This could be good. However, upon closer look, can see some boobage. Can't say I care all that much about that. So, obviously marketed towards (mostly) men, I'm sure.

Track Listing: (Record doesn't have a track listing on the back cover, only song listings on the record label itself...and doesn't indicate, as far as I can tell, which is side A and which is side B...not that it really matters here, so I'll just list them by the side I listened to first and it shall ever more be.)

Side A:
1. Let's Make It
2. Live Cream
3. Moon Right On
4. Troubled Earth
5. Electric Fireworks

Side B:
1. Heavy
2. Doors Time
3. Out of Town
4. Woodstock Hour
5. Nice and Easy

My guess? These are studio musicans, perhaps? They're all instrumentals and there's no songwriting credits on any of these listed. Thus, my conclusion is the the names of the songs were all created to fit the times. So...this came out, hmm...'68ish?

The music isn't bad. It's better than most instrumental party albums I've heard. And that's what it is. Music to put on for your 60's fun-time party. Something you can dance to, or ignore.

"Electric Fireworks" kind of sounded like "If I Had a Hammer."

My Five Thumb - All Thumbs Rating: 2 tiny thumbs up

Now, on to John:

Where did you buy this record and when?
At one of Izzy's record shows in Springfield, NJ around the late '90s, early 2000's.

Do you own it in any other format?

What is your over-all impression of this album?
It's a budget label. Grocery store record. They're studio musicans, and the record company releases these same songs over and over again with different titles and different covers. Might by Jerry Cole somewhere on there.

Favorite Track?
Overall, just a fun album for the "cheese" factor.

How many stars out of five?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bull of the Woods - 13th Floor Elevators (LP 1)

Alrighty, what do I know about the 13th Floor Elevators? Well, the first time I ever heard them was the beginning of the (awesome) movie, "High Fidelity". "You're Gonna Miss Me" is a very cool song, and I remember having a positive nod towards a few of the other Elevators tracks that I've heard John play on the show. So, I went into listening to this one with a fairly good mindset.

The 13th Floor Elevators have a very interesting story, mainly that of leader Roky Erickson. I highly recommend the documentary "You're Gonna Miss Me", that is the story of Roky's life and decent into madness. (I love rock docs. Even if I don't like the band, I tend to watch them because a lot of the times, they're really interesting. That is unless it's about someone I completely can't stand, count me glued to the tv for the time that it's on.) Can't say I know all that much about the group as a whole, though. (We saw "You're Gonna Miss Me" around the same time we saw "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" at the State Theatre, and for some reason...I get them mixed up! Duh...)

Anyway, so this evening I tossed (um, I mean, handled extremely carefully) this record onto John's turntable:

One thing I love about LPs is cover art. Cover art rules. Well, not all cover art, but you get my drift. Back in the day (I'm not THAT old, really, I just like saying that), cover art was, well, art. Yep. Not necessarily photographs (while there are a lot of great photographs used in cover art), but honest to goodness art that somebody actually took the time to produce. I love looking at LP covers. You can't judge a book by looking at the cover (but you know, we all do), but sometimes you CAN judge a record by one.

From the looks of this one...not one of the greatest covers I've ever seen. Yep, a bull, they got that point across. He appears to be starring out from a wooden frame in a burlap sack. Uh-huh. Ok. Moving on.


Side One:
1. Livin On
2. Barnyard Blues
3. Till Then
4. Never Another
5. Rose and the Thorn
6. Down by the River

Side Two:

1. Scarlet and Gold
2. Street Song
3. Dr. Doom
4. With You
5. May the Circle Remain Unbroken

I admit, I played side two first. I don't know why. I had a natural blonde moment and accidentally put the album on the second side first. I looked at the track listing and just thought it was one of those bands who are so cool and existential that they don't use their song titles in the lyrics. Anyway, I have to say that I wasn't really groovin' on the first few songs of side two. I don't really know what else to say but that it just really didn't do anything for me. "With You" was the first song from side two that I enjoyed. "May the Circle Remain Unbroken", I thought was going to be that gospel song, but I was pleasantly surprised. John walked by and said, "Yeah, this song is kinda creepy,", but it reminded me slightly of something cool and otherworldly like a song I enjoy by the group, Spiritualized called "We Are Now Floating In Space" or something like that...forgive my forgetting.

Side One, oh yes, way better than side two, in my opinion. "Barnyard Blues" was very cool for a blues song (not a huge blues fan here), and "Till Then" was probably my favorite track on this album. It sort of reminds me of The Byrds when I really liked the Byrds. On "Never Another", I think I heard that famous jug. "Rose and the Thorn" seemed kind of uneven, and I thought "Down by the River" was going to be that Neil Young tune.

Over all, I give "Bull of the Woods" two and a half thumbs up out of my "all thumbs" five-thumb rating system. (Confusing enough?)

Now, a few questions to John:

Where did you buy this record and when?
Princeton Record Exchange or Vintage Vinyl probably around '99 or 2000.

Do you own it in any other format?
It's included on a CD boxset I own.

What is your over-all impression of this album?
Not my favorite of the Elevators. I like a couple of the tunes. Sounds like a totally different band from their other records. Roky was only on a few because he was institutionallized at this time.

Favorite Track?
"Till Then"

How many stars out of five?
Three 1/2

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Begin Here:

It all started around 2005...I think. (Is it bad that I'm starting to lose track of time?)

John and I first met in person, and then spent over a year corresponding over email, instant messenger, and the good old telephone. Most of our first communications were all about music...(and come to think of it, not a lot has changed.)

We were brought together by our love for a lot of the same bands. The Kinks, especially, but he also got me into some of my most loved bands now, like The Small Faces.

Anyway, when the time came for us to decide to be together, he made an ultimate sacrifice for me and moved out here to my self-imposed exile in Northern Michigan. (Lord knows why...I must have been more attractive then. Haha)

So, not only did he move out here, but eventually, ALL of his collections followed. The most prominent of those being his records, cds, and 45rpms. Now, while this might not be the largest collection anywhere. (Well, in fact I know that it's not. You should meet his best friend, Rich!) This is, however, the largest collection of music that I've ever had access to.

This access is something that I feel I've taken for granted in the last year or so that I've been around it. There's just so much...I wasn't quite sure where to start. I do love music, and I know what I like and what I don't like, but John has stuff that he's kept that he doesn't even seem to like...which boggles my mind...but I guess that's what collectors do.

In an effort to understand more about this obsession, and maybe learn a thing or two along the way, (with John's blessing of course) I will be blogging here about my travels through the grand record collection. There's 100's of LPs, 1000's of CDs and 45rpms to go through. I'm not exactly sure of the frequency of my posts, as I do have a tiny semblance of a life (somewhere!), but I hope to make this as enjoyable as possible...even if no one reads it...but you know, I hope they do.

I invite all readers to stick around, comment (of course! we all love comments!), and if you're a kindred spirit when it comes to significant others or family members who have this kind of passion for music, you've come to the right place. I'd love to hear from you.