Photos

You are currently browsing the archive for the Photos category.

spitfire LP montrose LP

asia

Dragons are one of the most universally cool things in the world, and like all such things — for instance spaceships or girls on roller skates — they appear on album covers a lot more often than they do in real life. For the life of us we can’t imagine why a band that’s actually called Dragon wouldn’t put one on all their album covers.

dragon lp

Our favorite album about a dragon is the one where Spider-Man saves the Earth from Draco, King of the Dragon-Men. Our second favorite is “Perci the Dragon” by folk singer Ken Lyon.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

DSC07400We wouldn’t call her a contender for “America’s teenager,” but it’s still hard to believe Cyndi Lauper is sixty-two years old. Her birthday was yesterday — a day she shares with Kris Kristofferson, Roy Drusky, and one Osmond or another (Alan? Is that an Osmond?).

We have a paperback of This Day in Music History in the office. It’s where we find the birthdays we write on the blackboard each week. Afterwards its not really something we think much about, but this week it seemed like the musical birthdays would make a peculiar playlist. Here today are a few from this weekend.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Can’t Slow Down” by Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie was born on June 20, 1949, and was thirty-four years old when Can’t Slow Down, his second solo album, began its fifty-nine week stay in the top ten. That’s why you see copies of this album in nearly every record store in America — but you know what, it’s that popular for a reason. When was the last time you played your copy? You’ll be surprised how much you enjoy hearing it again.

Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual isn’t quite as ubiquitous as the first three Lionel Richie albums, but for folks in their thirties these days its an old favorite. That’s why Lauper took the entire album on a world-wide 30th anniversary tour two summers ago.

DSC07399

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Snowbird” by Anne Murray

This was the song which set singer Anne Murray’s career on track — it wasn’t originally chosen as a single from her album Country in 1969, but becoming an unexpected hit when released the following year. “Snowbird” was written by another Canadian, Gene MacLellan.

Golf For Women magazine named Murray the world’s best female celebrity golfer in 2007. Betcha didn’t know that.

Billy Guy was one of the longest-serving original members of the Coasters. He also released a series of solo singles in the sixties on Double L Records and — true to the group’s narrow walk between pop and novelty — had a couple of comedy projects in the seventies. One was a double album about drag queens and the other, The Tramp is Funky, featured his own raunchy stand-up material. “Poison Ivy” captures the Coasters’ flair for suggestive humor.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Poison Ivy” by the Coasters

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“In My Room” by the Beach Boys

And last we have Brian Wilson, the enigmatic Beach Boy who released his eleventh solo album, No Pier Pressure, earlier this year. We still have one copy in stock for those of you interested in hearing it. The album was originally planned to be a Beach Boys record, to follow their 50th anniversary album That’s Why God Made the Radio, and so includes some of his former bandmates, though obviously not Mike Love who for all intents and purposes fired founding members Wilson and Al Jardine, and David Marks who had been a member since 1962. Mike Love has his own, more profitable version of the Beach Boys which is playing shows in California this month. We’ll let Cyndi sum it all up for today…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Money Changes Everything” by Cyndi Lauper

atlantis in hi fi yodeling in hi fikentonDSCN0706guy lombardo

hi fi harp

mr bongos in hi fi sarah vaugh in hi fi

DSC07343Burt Bacharach is turning eighty-seven on Tuesday, and local guitarist Brian Peterson asked if he could come in and perform some of Bacharach’s many famous songs — so he’ll be here this evening at 5pm for your listening enjoyment. In the meantime, we had fun looking for some interesting recordings of his songs. Here’s the ones we chose:

story of my lifeThe Story of My Life

“The Story of my Life” was one of the first major successes for Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who had started writing songs together about a year earlier. The single by Marty Robbins reached #1 on Billboard’s country chart and #15 on the pop chart in 1957 — another version in England by Michael Holliday was also a #1 hit. Robbins later re-recorded the song for a 1970 album, and its title was used for a Columbia Legacy compilation disc.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Story of my Life” by Marty Robbins

DSC07346The Blob

Bacharach also wrote songs over the years with Hal’s brother, Mack. One of them was “The Blob” for the 1958 monster movie starring Steve McQueen. The silly song was recorded by a Los Angeles studio band led by Bernie Knee. The single by the Five Blobs was a surprise hit, reaching #33 on Billboard’s pop chart.

Folks in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania host an annual “Blobfest” which includes re-enactments and a photo opportunities at a facsimile of the basement of Chef’s Diner.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Blob” by the Five Blobs

DSC07347Move it on the Backbeat

“Move it on the Backbeat” is another song Bacharach wrote with Mack David. The uncredited singers are the Gospelaires, an in-demand backing vocal group which including at that time Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, as well as Cissy Houston.
You can also hear them singing on records by the Drifters, Dinah Washington, Ronnie Hawkins and on Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” (Troy was previously a member of the group). And of course “Move it on the Backbeat” was the beginning of a long collaboration between Bacharach and Dionne Warwick, who recorded dozens of Bacharach/David songs.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Move it on the Backbeat” by Burt and the Backbeats

casino royaleThe Look of Love

Casino Royale was the third soundtrack album Bacharach worked on. The title song was performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and Dusty Springfield sang the sultry, memorable tune “The Look of Love,” one of the most well-known Bacharach/David songs of all.

In the days before eBay and internet dealers, original stereo pressings of Casino Royale were one of the most sought-after albums for audiophiles. This is a result of the recording process, in which high-grade tape was used and heavily saturated to nearly the point of distortion, leading to extreme high and low ranges on playback. Our fairly worn mono copy is hardly a gem, but then again we’ve never really understood audiophiles anyways — they sure can take all the fun out of record collecting!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Look of Love” by Dusty Springfield

DSC07344South American Getaway

Bacharach’s score to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the records we’ve had in our collection for the longest. He received one of his three Academy Awards for the music, and the B.J. Thomas recording of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” was a huge hit. The music fits the film magnificently, as in the montage scene where Butch, Sundance and Etta travel to Bolivia and this song is heard.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“South American Getaway” by Burt Bacharach

smithBaby It’s You

Bacharach and Mack David wrote “Baby Its You” with Luther Dixon, who was the producer who established the Shirelles’ sound (he’s credited as Barney Williams on the single). It came out in the middle of their string of successful tunes for Scepter Records in the early sixties. The song was also a hit for the Beatles, and later an even bigger hit for Smith in 1968, which featured a full-throated delivery by singer Gayle McCormick.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Bqby Its You” by the Shirelles

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Baby Its You” by Smith

DSC07352Trains and Boats and Planes

Originally titled Hit Maker!, the first album Bacharach issued under his own name didn’t feature his own voice. Instead listeners found lush, mostly instrumental arrangements of songs he and David had written for Warwick and others. A largely anonymous chorus sings some of the songs, including “Planes and Boats and Trains,” which was had minor success as a single in England.

Also among the anonymous contributors were Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, session musicians in their pre-Zeppelin days.

The album has been reissued many times over the years, most often as Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Planes and Boats and Trains” by Burt Bacharach

DSC07351Walk on By

“Walk On By” was one of the many hits Bacharach and David wrote for Dionne Warwick in the sixties. The song’s woe-is-me narrative draws out a unique quality from nearly everyone who interprets it.

Isaac Hayes turned it into a bombastic, epic jam on his 1969 album Hot Buttered Soul, and about ten years later the Stranglers recorded an equally over-long version driven by a plodding bass line and an extended organ solo. Shortly after that the Average White Band recorded a great, funky version on their album Feel No Fret. Its a song which has inspired many interpretation and many imitations, and is surely one of the most beloved Bacharach songs.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Walk on By” by Isaac Hayes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Walk on By” by the Stranglers

DSC07348

My Little Red Book

The lyrics of Hal David were often melodramatic and self-depreciating, which fit well with Bacharach’s style. We read an interview once where he described how the music should tell a story, just as the lyrics do.

Whether “My Little Red Book” was intended to reference the ubiquitous and famous Quotes from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, published the same year as the song, is as debatable as theories The Blob was an allegory for Soviet communism. The song was one of the first Bacharach and David wrote for a British pop band, probably connected to their continued chart success across the pond beginning with the cover of Marty Robbins’ “The Story of My Life.”

When Love recorded the song for their first album, guitarist Arthur Lee completely re-invented the chord changes, to the chagrin of Bacharach. Still, the song was a hit and has become a favorite of garage rock fans and guys who like to hang around record stores and talk about where punk rock was invented.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“My Little Red Book” by Love

DSC07345I Say A Little Prayer

Several of the hits Bacharach and David wrote for Dionne Warwick became jazz standards, although his use of unusual chord progressions probably made it more complicated for performers. Stan Getz recorded an entire album of Bacharach/David songs in the seventies (What the World Needs Now Is Love), and Ahmad Jamal opened his 1968 album Tranquility (one of our favorites of his) with two of their songs: “I Say a Little Prayer” and “The Look of Love.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“I Say a Little Prayer” by Ahmad Jamal

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Look of Love” by Ahmad Jamal

Minneapolis band Semisonic produced one of the best closing time songs of all time, “Closing Time.” Lead guitarist and singer Dan Wilson wrote it in 1998, later explaining that the song contained his reflections on fatherhood. Its chorus quotes the first century Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Tom Waits’ debut album, Closing Time, was released twenty years earlier, ending with an evocative instrumental. His third album, Small Change, also ended with a closing time tune, “I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work,” which includes the lovely image of Waits dancing with a broom.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Closing Time” by Tom Waits

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“I Can’t Wait to Get Off Work” by Tom Waits

closing time

We’re not sure why, but for years our favorite closing time tune around here has ben the last song on the first album by Wizards Are Real. It’s one of the reasons we’ve twice asked them to close our block party on Record Store Day (the other reason being that they’re one of our favorite local bands). We’re pretty excited they’ll have a new record out this summer.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Good Goods” by Wizards Are Real

wizards

If you waited, say, ten or twenty years to start peeling (it reads peel slowly and see, after all), the banana wouldn’t come off without a fight, as on this copy in the shop right now.

banana1The residue outline of the peeled banana is still there. They were, presumably, easy to peel when new. Most copies look more like ours at home (below), just pink fruit and hardly a memory of a peel. We bet they were fun to peel, just as we remember how much fun it was to light on fire the paper panties inside Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, which went up in wild flash! And don’t even ask about the “Bite Me” iron on inside our copy of Nilsson’s Son of Dracula. Who thought people would want to collect this kind of stuff.

There are other variations to the jacket of The Velvet Underground & Nico, because an image projected upside down on the band in the concert photo on the back contained an actor who threatened a lawsuit against Verve Records for unauthorized use of his likeness. Thanks to Eric Emerson, these so-called “torso” jackets are the rarest copies because the label was forced to recall them and reproduce new jackets with his big dumb, upside down body airbrushed out. Probably didn’t help original sales of the LP, either. Other copies have a sticker covering the picture, which people invariably tried to peel.

banana2The thing about The Velvet Underground & Nico is that original copies are all noisy, resulting from poor pressing. If you want clean sound your probably better off with a European press like the reissues on Polydor. We’ve never been audiophiles around here, but our experience is that they sound much better. If you’re as big a fan of the Velvet Underground as we are, you probably also have the five-disc Peel Slowly and See set which was produced in the mid-90s. The sound on those CDs is better than any Velvet Underground records we’ve heard, and the collection includes interesting out-takes and alternate mixes any fan would enjoy. Sadly, somebody borrowed the book from our copy back in the mid-90s and never returned it. Maybe we should have written our name on it, like somebody did with both these copies of the original LP.

We’ve always appreciated the fact that “MC” sold his collection to Root Cellar Records all those years ago, because we were lucky enough to find one of our all time favorite albums. The copy in the shop belonged to “TS” in case you’re wondering.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“All Tomorrow’s Parties”

RockMachineTurnsYouOn

The Rock Machine Turns You On was the first budget-priced label sampler record. Columbia Records (CBS in the UK) produced it to improve sales of its contemporary rock, folk and blues lines, which on the jacket were called “underground” music. Ironically, the compilation contained artists like Bob Dylan, Blood Sweat and Tears and Simon & Garfunkel. Columbia’s idea was to compete more actively against labels which offered a more progressive catalog, like Elektra.

Labels had made promotional samplers for years, but this album was the first to be marketed to the general public as a marketing campaign. The original price was fourteen shillings and eleven pence, which seems like a lot of coins for a record but is actually only £0.75 in real money, which is half the usual cost of an LP. It sold very well and likely influenced the growing careers of the lesser-known in Europe artists included, like Spirit and Leonard Cohen.

The rock machine on the jacket was designed by Milton Glazer, the artist who also created the iconic poster inside Dylan’s Greatest Hits and the “I ♥ NY” logo. Columbia’s competitors quickly caught on and copied the idea, and similar collections were soon produced by Capitol, Warner/Reprise, Elektra and others. Record label samplers often had fun covers, which is our favorite feature. We’ve collected some of the coolest ones in the shop below.

We’ve got wide selection of them at the end of the compilations section here, but collectors of labels samplers are few and far between. The albums give you a good glimpse of the era, and sometimes feature tracks from records you’re unlikely to find without a long search. There’s one we’ve kept in our collection for years because of its great Tony Joe White song.

DSCN0633

Hard Goods from Warner/Reprise, about 1973. Features great songs by the Talbot Brothers, Deep Purple, the Beach Boys and Frank Zappa. Also a song from Osibisa’s “Happy Children,” which is a pretty hard album to find!

DSCN0634  DSCN0631Collectus Interruptus, from Warner Bros. and Sire Records in 1978, has a hilarious image on the jacket of, well, a collector interrupted.

The back of the jacket reads “twenty-six earbinding songs of unique delight, derring do, heartbreak, scandal and lurid sensations.” The song selection is not as great as other samplers, but it does put “God Save the Queen” next to Bootsy Collins’ “Bootzilla.”

The 1976 People’s Album doesn’t get much more political than Nazareth singing “I Will Not be Led” but it does have an awesome jacket.

DSCN0632

This very unusual Captiol sampler features three complete albums: Music from Big Pink by the Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service’s self-titled debut, and Sailor by the Steve Miller Band. All three are great albums and the artwork in this package is cool. It also features some really trippy poetry (uncredited) and weird liner notes.

DSCN0630Return to Casablanca kind of captures the limited range of the label, which was founded by Neil Bogart (get it?) who previously had run Buddah Records. The collection is from 1978, and consists of mostly disco and pop hits like Meco’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” And Kiss.

 

 

« Older entries

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.