Saturday, February 02, 2019

These are just a few of the records, tapes and even Cee-Dee's I had hanging around that I thought were too "common" an item to have reviewed within my usual blogposts so I just set 'em aside for a year-end (or in this care year-opening) one if only for a li'l change o' pace. These records might mean more to me than they do you, but since this is my blog why should I care what you think?

Edgar Broughton Band-MASTERS OF ROCK (EMI Harvest Records, Italy)

Here's yet another in a series of European budget releases that always cost the same as the reg'lar imports o'er here even if they went for a mere bag o' shells o'er there. 

You may remember a few of these cut-rate series that were up and about in the seventies such as Decca's THE WORLD OF... collection and Phonogram's ATTENTION, not forgetting the MASTERS OF ROCK and HARVEST HERITAGE series courtesy of EMI Europe featuring the bigger names on the roster once again collected and re-packaged in a fashion that was easily identifiable due to a familiar and standardized yet hip enough cover pattern. With the MASTERS OF ROCK platters the particular scheme consisted of, at least in the continental portion of Europe, the musical act in question's name rendered in some sort of relief form that looked so professional that I would guess the mere artwork and photography up front alone took up a whole lotta the album's budget! Well, that wouldn't've been much because they were just dredging up old music for new skins anyway with maybe a rare b-side to entice the not-so-weak fans.

The Pink Floyd collection is probably the best known MASTERS (and for a long time the only place to get those rare single sides) but there were others from the Electric Light Orchestra to Wizzard and East of Eden to Jeff Beck, the Band, Geordie and even the Beach Boys. And surprisingly enough there was one which dealt with radical rabble-rousers the Edgar Broughton Band who you would have thought to have been far out of the budget greatest hits crankout loop, but obviously weren't as this very record's existence attests to.

I don't even recall seeing this 'un flopping about in the import bins back then (maybe I had in some of the California ones I've encountered during my vacations there), that's how rare this item musta been! But when I look at that cover boy does that RECURRING DREAM that I have pop into my mind where I'm in some old backroom record shop or even department store record section and imports such as this (as well as bootlegs and other desirable platters of varying styles) seem to be popping right outta the bins just beggin' me to buy 'em!

Well, now that I have this little mofo in my mitts I don't have to dream no' mo' because this MASTERS OF ROCK collection is the spiffiest. Well, maybe not as spiffy as that HARVEST HERITAGE Broughton collection that came out in England a few years later but still good 'nuff, what with a concentration on the hard-rocking revolutionary side of the group with less of the softer and "introspective" as I like to say numbers cluttering about. Faves like "Call Me a Liar" and "Death of an Electric Citizen" (with Broughton's best Captain Beefheart growl front 'n center) pop up, and for a budget crank-out all I gotta say is that whoever it was at EMI that was responsible for this they sure did a pretty good job! However, why in hell did they go and leave Broughton's biggest hit "Out Demons Out" offa this? Unforgivable to say the least!


Captain Beefheart-THE SPOTLIGHT KID/CLEAR SPOT CD (Reprise Records)

Way familiar with the latter...had a copy (make that two) for ages and think it's the bee's knees as far as early-seventies destructo-sound attempting to go commercial go. However, I never did give THE SPOTLIGHT KID a listen perhaps because I remember seeing the cover at a record shop age twelve thinking it was just another country and western disc! And back in those days country and western was, at least for me, OLD FOLK'S MUSIC if you can believe that!

But how could I not like a platter like this which starts off with Beefheart growling like Iggy in heat before plodding on beautifully. I like it because it is depressing in its approach and sometimes it is good knowing that something else other'n you is gloomed out en toto! THE SPOTLIGHT KID just plows its way through, kinda like a train that is derailed yet still moves with sparks flying and cars wiggling about. Kinda like my life come to think of it. Hard blues yet in its own realm, punk rock (or tadpole music) if you're still using early-seventies CREEM magazine applications of the term. Life-reaffirming if your heart is still stuck in the mid-seventies record shop bargain bins.

Can't complain about these Beefheart platters one bit! Kinda takes me back to the record department at Mason's Department Store at the plaza (now long gone) when I was looking at those big Warner Brothers/Reprise hanging-from-the-ceiling-on-thin-wires posters with snaps of the likes of Zappa, Black Sabbath, James Taylor, Neil Young and of course the Beef himself swirling about which was my earthly introduction to this guy a good year before I actually found any of his records in a bin! All these years later I still kinda feel like that kiddo inna record department, only now my life is a whole lot fuller in some respects, ifyaknowaddamean...


I avoided these guys back during the big OS MUTANTES HIP TOTEM MOVEMENT of the early 2000's if only because said moo'ment reminded me of the even bigger MUSIC OF BULGARIA hype of the mid-sixties...y'know, that total adoration by the hipper amongst up regarding that music that just hadda be heard or else you weren't "with it" like the kids who used to taunt me for hating the Osmonds. Or something like that, but the constant barrage of praise certainly had my Geiger Counter clicking away like castanets!

Well now that everything has died down and it's safe to listen all I gotta say is...this is good pop in that late-sixties slick yet still spry way which echoes a whole load of hotcha AM psych pop moves (with even more twenties/thirties nostalgia cops to get my mother mad!)  to the point where these guys (and gal) coulda appeared on side four of NUGGETS and nobody would have complained. Good enough that I sure woulda loved to have read what Meltzer woulda said about 'em in THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK had they only made their way above the equator!


Would you believe that the very first group that was ever described to me as being a "garage rock" act (and this was in the high school locker room which is probably why the scent of sweat 'n body goo is suddenly overcoming me) was Woody's Truck Stop? Well maybe these guys weren't exactly the best group to come to mind when thinking about that or any particular era in rock 'n roll music, but I gotta admit that they do put up a good late-sixties wail on this, their sole album. Nothing extra-special true, but for a third-string act that had little chance of breaking out nationally (even if Todd Rundgren was in the band for a short while) Woody's was about as good as those other outta-nowhere acts that we all thought shoulda succeeded but (as usual) failed miserably.

Nice white soul and jazzy pop touches permeate, with the psychedelic rouser "Color Scheme" being the perfect bitta whipped cream and cherry on this hot fudge sundae of a platter. It actually holds up more than some of the not-quite-made-it competition of the day which had promise but just couldn't get it together enough to make it past the break through line.


Deep Purple-IN LIVE CONCERT AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL cassette (Harvest Records, England)

One of those curiosities that got to me, and after hearing this 'un I'd gotta say that my curiosity must have killed at least a dozen cats. Sure the merging of pop and classical is nothing new, but somehow I get the idea that the only reason this is done is to "legitimize" pop to the classical snobs and unless they're one of those "open minded" New York types I doubt that these people could care less! And although it worked with jazz as a listening to SKIES OF AMERICA will attest to, it sure soured with rock music unless you're one of the goochies who still dribbles to DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED in its entirety. I mean, I can enjoy "Knights in White Satin" on scant occasion, but just try to get me to sit through the entire thing without slinging threats at me, cyster!

And IN LIVE CONCERT ain't even as """""good""""" as that prior monstrosity, what with a load of typically schooled orchestral lines eventually leading way to rock passages that just ain't as get out as they were on Deep Purple platters past and even future. Not so sorry to say, but this is perhaps the nadir of early sonic sound implosion gone sophisticado falling flat on its face. I mean, could you see Blue Cheer mixing it up with a symphony orchestra trying to insert various classical ideals into their overall bludgeon? Thank goodniz some things that coulda didn't!

Television Personalities-...AND DON'T THE KIDS JUST LOVE IT CD (Fire Records, England)

I loved 'em, then I hated 'em, then I was totally indifferent. Still feel the same way even if I continue to discern the occasional flash of brilliance found in their retro-camp. Still can't dig my way through their reason for existence the way I can their obvious influences but I will say that I can understand what those who hear whatever it is they hear in the Television Personalities hear in them. Actually nice in low doses. Twee rock before twee became so cool that even a twee-bred person like myself couldn't stand it anymore.
Throbbing Gristle-THE SECOND ANNUAL REPORT CD (Mute Records)

A real classic for real people like myself who want a li'l whatcha'dcall rambunctiousness in their music. The electronic splurge goes all over and thankfully is not transposed with the usual free verse hippie jiz that usually accompanied these early free sound endeavors. Good enough that (like THE MARBLE INDEX) I could rank this as top notch twentieth-century avant garde music as well as something firmly rooted in the rock 'n roll idiom and like, I get the feeling this will be getting spun around here a whole lot more than INTERSYSTEMS and other synthobubblings in my collection ever will.
Judee Sill-HEART FOOD CD (Asylum, Japan)

The only reason I bought this one was because Sandy Robertson recommended it, comparing HEART FOOD to not only PET SOUNDS but David Bowie's LOW of all things! Frankly after listening to this all I could think of were the rest of the laid back early-seventies turquoise and fringe brigades brainwashing the mindless battalions to the eternal genius of Glenn Frey. And really, wasn't one James Taylor more than enough, as if we needed even more sensitive junkies to clutter up the record collections of sensitivity USA?  No wonder it was on Asylum!

Before I clock outta here I'm giving it the ol' college try discovering various sonic exploration that I've neglected lo these many years, and surprisingly some of these musical acts are of the more howshallIsay "singer/songwriter" mode. 

No I don't mean the usual fringe 'n turquoise types so prevalent in the seventies (see review directly above), but the more gnarly amongst 'em like Tim Hardin or this particular chap. Rose may have come outta the folk music camp but thankfully he ain't no cry-me-to-sleep slouch with his first two platters gathered up on this neat disque. The debut may suffer from over-production and strings galore but it still shines with his rendition of "Hey Joe" done the slow way as well as such cover version faves as "Come Away Melinda" and "Morning Dew". The second one is tougher and driving with a few downright CLASSICS including "Maman" (an anti-war song that thankfully doesn't reflect that whole peacenik mentality that was constantly being drilled into our kiddie brains at the time) and the smart and cutting "You Ain't My Girl No More" which sure sounds wonderful especially in our matriarchal society.

If only more folkies knew  of the proper interconnections between drug use and the creative process!

THIRD WORLD WAR 2 CD (Repertoire Records, England

Last year I reviewed these guys' debut and mulled over buying their second effort. Feeling rather oatsy, I decided to splurge. Well, chalk up another win for me because not only did my order from Russia arrive safe and sound but this platter is a bonafeed hard rock effort that holds up really well! The slicker production and additional piano and horn section doesn't ruin it like you'd think it would, while the team of Stamp and Avery rock as heavy as the MC5 and all of our other 60s/70s cusp faves did! Only those groups were able to "get it out" to "the people" and Third World War didn't, or couldn't, or something like that. A really neat effort from a team that didn't look anything like your standard radical rockers then or fact the two looked more like Chuck McCann if you can believe it!
BLACK PEARL CD (Wounded Bird Records)

Never can seem to find this 'un in my leaning tower of albums so I (or course) did the cowardly thing and BOUGHT MYSELF A CEE-DEE VERSION OF IT! Best cowardly thing I did in a long time too for BLACK PEARL remains one of those classic platters that, like the Stooges' debut, says goodbye to the wild raunch of the sixties and howdy to the decadent sleaze of the seventies. And man is this one the kinetic classic of all times not only with that three-guitar lead set up but Bernie "B.B." Fieldings' white man singing like a black man trying to sing like a white man vocals! Crazed through and through, and good enough for any true six-oh garage band fanatic to latch onto even if only half of the Barbarians appear on it! For three-fourths of 'em try getting the live album on Bell-Prophesy, a great slice of hard blues rock that has gotten its knocks over the years even if I would rate it one of the genre's best!
Eric Clapton/Jeff Beck/Jimmy Page-GUITAR BOOGIE LP (RCA Victor Records)

Why'd'ja think I bought this thing inna first place---for da music? Naw, I bought it for R. Meltzer's liner notes, and although Meltzer worship in this day and age seems just as out of place as Lester Bangs worship or Metal Mike Saunders worship or Nick Kent worship (an' I can go on) it sure goes down a whole lot smoother'n Parke Puterbaugh worship! 

Yeah, this is the same "British Archives"-culled collection that was issued with a freaky psychedelic cover in order to coax the heads 'n speds (that's a grade school-era neo-portmanteau. for "Special Education") into buying the thing, but so what! And believe-it-or-not but the playing is good enough that even yer pop'll swing to the boogie woogie track, second cut on side two! Well, he will at least until he sees what these guys look like! But Meltzer really brings it all together just like Bangs did with his MUSSORGSKY'S HEAD notes and like, what's wrong with listening to either the Yardbirds guitar greats or Mussorgsky with punk mode in mind?


Kim Fowley-BORN TO BE WILD CD (Elemental Music, Spain)

The one Fowley album I have never been able to FIND all these years is once again available, which makes me wanna mutter deep unto my soul WHY COULDN'T A USED COPY HAVE POPPED UP IN SOME FLEA MARKET OR GARAGE SALE BIN LO THESE MANY YEARS??? This is not the Kim we all know and love/hate, but the mad genius variant who could get away with producing Helen Reddy or recording an instrumental (mostly) covers rock album with himself playing the lead organ on each and every track. Of course it ain't earth-shattering, but if yer still of the seventies mind and think that this guy musta been great because his name was all over the place well...
Alan Snake-AXE PRESSURE LP (Bizart Records)

Brian Sands' passing had me pulling out this li'l remnant of what good was happening in early-eighties Cleveland, a time when the all of the real talent in the area was skeedaddling for New York City while the remnants were left to mull over what their place in the New Order was gonna be. Snake was the lead guitarist for Sands in a number of aggros, and here he gets to shine on a whole slew of top notch Cle power pop rockers that (no foolin') echo the heyday of the Raspberries-honed pop scene that spewed quite a few hotcha acts that never did make it far past the city limits. Former bandmates from Circus, the Andy Gerome Band and Milk help out as do ex-Raspberries Wally Bryson and Dan Klawon from the Choir, and it sounds just like what you wished more Cleveland power pop from the day did 'stead of what we got from those lame bar bands that got all the media attention. And if you don't believe me and wanna hear for yourself, just click here and find out what a fool you've been all these years ignorin' this.
Brinsley Schwarz-BRINSLEY SCHWARZ; DESPITE IT ALL CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records)

First rec has heavy influx of CSNY harmonies and definite West Coast paens to down home wholesomeness. Second one borrows ("swipes" might be a better word) from the Band's rehashing of ancient Amerigana as interpreted by Canadians. In between are shards of interesting rock 'n roll ideas that really don't sound bad at all in this company but man, if you wanna sit through all the other stuff that's your problem, not mine!
Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt Kickers Five-THE ORIGINAL MONSTER MASH CD-r burn (originally on Garpax Records)

It's always a blast to give "Monster Mash" a spin once in awhile even if it ain't Halloween, and this particular time of the year is just as fine as if it were October 31st and yer toilet papering that old guy down the street's house. The rest of this consists of horror humor knockoffs that plagiarize not only from the hits of the day but "Monster Mash" itself. They're worth maybe a once in a lifetime listen. Good parodies of Fabian and Stan Freberg's "John and Marsha" (or was it "John and Yoko"?) can be found within the cauldron.
Kim Fowley-SUNSET BOULEVARD LP (Illegal Records)

I don't care if it ain't the hip thing to do here in 2018 (or at least 1985), but I really enjoy giving my Kim Fowley platters a spin, this one being no exception. Here Fowley channels everyone from Bowie, Marley and Dylan through that cheap Hollywood scenario that must have seemed totally decadent to everyone associated with the guy, but dang if it sounds rather positive and life-reaffirming to me. Highlarious in spots and poignant at others, this one does capture a good portion of the music listening pleasure of the time that had guys like me emptying our piggy banks trying to gab even a slivver of that Great Rock Universe that still seems mystical even a good forty-plus years later. If you're a Fowley hater (as I assume most of you are), how about giving this one a (second, third, fourth) chance!
Gene Pitney-IT HURTS TO BE IN LOVE LP (Musicor Records)

Actually this holds together well enough to the point where obvious toss outs like "Hawaii" still have that listenability to 'em that doesn't make ya wonder why ya spent a good quarter for this at the flea market. While many albums of the same strata seem to lurch on and on this 'un does make for some rather entertaining sounds that still weave their way into whatever gland of yours they dare to. I woulda expected some older cyster type to listen to while she was either cleaning her room or chatting with the galpals who came to visit. Grab her copy when she ain't around and listen to it...I mean, who wants their li'l brother crashing in on a hot gossiping session anyway?
The Who-ODDS AND SODS LP (Track Records)

Closing out this year's own "odds and sods" is this Who collection from the mid-seventies which went from full price directly into the cheapo bins much to the delight of depression-era wages kids like myself. Seems that I had my share of fun spinning this way back during my younger years and although it sounds way more polished and professional now than it did then these Who tracks bring back memories of what noted dolt (and Youngstown "hip" FM dee-jay icon) Thomas John (Meister) said when asked about what he though of punk rock...he hated it because it sounded like, or at least reminded him of the early Who! Now can you think of a better statement in favor of the punk brigades than that pearl of wisdom, outside of anything Anastasia Pantsios wrote about the subject that is!


JD King said...

Too many hippies, commies, and perverts. Good to see Gene Pitney, though.

I guess we should be happy you haven't posted Paul Robeson or The Red Army Chorus or Prince.

Cap'n Beefheart? I prefer Cap'n Crunch to that mangy degenerate. Who's next? Frank Zippo? Sheesh... Just sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Third World War's Terry Stamp still trying to get it out to the kids, have a look at his entry at discogs :48 albums!!!