The Standells-Dirty Water

This was $4.  Got it for the garage rock sound of the 60’s.  It has been so long since I have written posts, I am having a hard time getting back into it.  Also, by the time you read this, I should be in Amsterdam on vacation.  It is my goal to get at least a week ahead of the vacation, writing wise.

Despite being most famous for the title track of this album, “Dirty Water” a song about Boston, The Standells were from California, Los Angeles area to be specific.  Lead vocalist and keyboard player, Larry Tamblyn, is the brother of West Side Story/ Twin Peaks actor, Russ Tamblyn.  The band formed in the 60’s and was influential to the early punk rock of the 70’s.  According to Wikipedia, a version of the band is active today.

This was the groups second album, recorded in 1965 and released in 1966 on the Tower Label,  The album spawned two singles, the title track and “Sometime Good Guys Don’t Wear White”.  Pretty good album.  Straight ahead garage rock from the 60’s.  Incidental, the title track would go on to become an unofficial anthem of the Boston Red Sox.

A lot of good points on this album as well as a lot of good covers of popular rock and roll tunes of the day.  There is an excellent cover of “Hey Joe” but I made a vow to myself that I would not post a version of this song due to the fact that it was stolen by Billy Roberts from his girlfriend at the time, Niela Miller and her song “Baby, Please Don’t Go to Town”.

Anyway, sample we need so sample we must.  Here is “Rari”.

Satisfactory record.  Maybe I can get more into writing these as this vacation goes on.

The Beach Boys- Beach Boys Concert

If you are expecting to read a lot on this post, please note that it is the end of the week as well as the end of the month (in theory) for the blog.  So I would put those expectations aside.  On the plus side, I have gotten way ahead in writing these.  You can say getting caught up is my opioid.  Anyway, I got this for ONE DOLLAR!!!! ONE DOLLAR!!!! I thought it was going to be all scratched up but it was in great shape.  It even still had the insert pages which seem to get torn out on records like this.

This record was The Beach Boys first Live record (seventh overall). It was also (fun fact) the first and only Beach Boy’s record to hit #1.  I found this a hard fact to believe but it is true.  Released in 1964 and recorded from two concerts at Sacramento’s Civic Memorial Auditorium (in 1963 and 1964), this is the only live Beach Boys’ record to feature the complete original line up, as Brian Wilson would stay studio bound around the second half of the sixties.

Really good little record with a lot of energy.  Wikipedia suggests that there were a lot of overdubs and edits but I find it irrelevant.  It is a good mix of early Beach Boys hits as well as popular songs of the day including covers by The Rippington’s, Jan & Dean, Dion, Dick Dale, and Chuck Berry.

For samples, living in Texas, I obviously went with “Long Tall Texan” which reminds me of the stage show at The Texas Tumbleweed restaurant I used to go to as a kid (which apparently is greatly defunct). I also liked “Monster Mash” an already novelty number made even more so by Mike Love. Finally, I went with “I Get Around” just so you can hear all the teenage girls in the audience lose their collective lunch.

Still can not believe thsi was only one dollar.  Top Rated.  Good bye week.  Good bye Month.

Steel Eye Span- Live At Last

Rounding out this week with one of my favorite artists who has been on the blog a whole lots, Steel Eye Span.  This record, with discount was $8.00.

Live At Last was Steel Eye Span’s 11th and at the time last album (before they shortly reformed).  Classic lineup members, Peter Knight and Bob Johnson had left the group to be replaced by Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.  The addition of Kirkpatrick made this one of the only two SES records which featured accordion as a primary instrument.  This record also features only two songs from previous albums.  

As the record states, the band broke up shortly after the recording of this album (which was March 7, 1978) for reasons they did not want to elaborate on.  Wikipedia, on the other hand , states the split was short lived as the band was contractually obliged to release an album (which they did in 1980).  Carthy and Kirkpatrick additionally viewed their tenure as short term and did not wish to continue much further.  And more reunions, albums, and other events followed which I do not wish to elaborate on.

As stated above, the departures and additions made for a different sound then their peak albums but this sound is pretty interesting in its own right.  Sure I am biased but the accordion is a nice touch.  I really liked this album altogether including this song “The False Knight”.

For samples, I really wanted to go with what are abnormalities for SES, songs written in the 20th century.  This album has two of them.  First we have “Saucy Sailor/ Black Freighter”, the latter song of course from Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera.  Maddy Prior really cuts loose in parts of this one.  Finally, I also have “Rag Doll” which is the Four Seasons’ classic.  Apparently, SES used to do a set of 1950’s numbers for encores and I imagine this number was part of that.

Satisfactory.

Amageddon- ST

Happy Saturday.  This record was $5.  I bought it, despite already having a copy which I bought for $10, because I really wanted to post it and at the time, I was really sticking to my journalistic guns of keeping records at $5 or less.  Such idealism.  Anyway, it was my pal Hugh who first turned me on to this record.  He played the first track and made me guess who the lead singer was.  This is also one of the records I found laying around my apartment on Christmas last year when I had company over the night before and I woke up to a place in massive disarray.

Keith Relf, born in Richmond, Surrey, UK in 1943, had one of the more interesting careers in music, if not one of the more underappreciated.  As the lead singer of the Yardbirds, his efforts were overshadowed by his more famous band mates, namely, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  After the group’s demise, Relf first took up with his sister and Yardbird Jim McCarty in the acoustic group Renaissance (a version of which has been posted on this blog).  However, after producing other artists, he formed this super group of sorts in 1974 with Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo of Steamhammer as well as Bobby Caldwell of Captain Beyond.

Armegeddon released on album (this one) and played two shows before disbanding.  Relf, who was working on reforming his version of Renaissance, would die of accidental electrocution in 1976.  He was 33 years old at the time.  This record would be his last recording.

But here we are with this, which is a hard driving rock and roll album that is really comparable to anything his ex-Yardbird band mates were doing at the time.  The album was a critical success, but since there was no tour behind it, it really did not sell.  So, it has been relegated to a special place in the annals  of the history of 70’s rock.

For a sample, I went with one of the shorter songs, “Paths and Planes and Future Gains”.  It should be noted that the opening song posted above, “Buzzard” is my favorite song on the album.

Great album.  Top Rated.

Melanie- Candles In The Rain

This gem of a record was only $1.  One freaking dollar.  Are you crazy people?  Anyway, looking at the cover and listening to this, I had a hard time believing this came out in 1970 (and was in great part, a product of the 60’s).  It looks and sounds like a much more modern record.

But this did come out in 1970 and was Melanie’s third album.  With the lead single “Lay It On Down (Candles In The Rain)” based on her experience performing at Woodstock (in which a bunch of spectators light up candles while see played).  I probably mentioned this on the last post I wrote on her, but you really do not hear much about Melanie’s performance at Woodstock which is probably a shame.  Anyway, this record and that single in particular, brought the artist her first Top Ten hit in the US.  “Ruby Tuesday” as well as “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma” were also hits.  The album sold well in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Overall, I think this is an excellent album and really showcases Melanie’s talent. With the exception of “Ruby Tuesday”, the rest of the songs are written by the artist.  She is also backed up vocally in places by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Left Over Wine” which was one of the songs I picked from the live album I posted last year or so but did not use. I think because it skipped.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Original Broadway Cast- Hair

 

Huh! This was one dollar.  Keepin it all musical this month on the Show.  Mostly book musical.

Hair, the 1968 production was the first rock musical to hit Broadway.  Created by two actors Gerome Ragni and James Rado who wrote the books and lyrics along with Galt MacDermot, who wrote the music, the work is noted for its anti-war stance, audience interaction, illicit drug use, profanity, and full frontal nudity.

Well not every actor went along with the nudity.  Despite receiving a $50 bonus for nude work, a young Diane Keaton, who was a memeber of the “tribe” as well as an understudy for the role of Shelia, refused.  Incidentally, Keaton appears on this record as on of the singers on “Black Boys”.

I went thru the musical’s synopsis a few times and honestly can not in great detail describe the plot any more than say this a bunch of hippies doing hippie shit.  As a result, when it was adapted into a movie in 1979, substantial changes were made including adding an actual story.  The movie stared Treat Williams as Berger.  As a side note, for the year and a half I did not have cable TV in my house, I reckon I must have seen every Treat Williams’ movie on Antenna Tv.

But the actual musical (which was first championed by the illustrious Joe Papp and his public theater) was a success and ran on Broadway for 1,750 shows,  Subsequent productions ran on the West Coast as well as  London’s West End.  Frequent revivals have also been staged throughout the years. Furthermore, this album sold 3 million copies by the end of 1969.  It stayed on the #1 spot for 13 weeks and was the last Broadway recording to do so (Hamilton went as far as #3). The musical numbers also spawned hits for various people inlcuding teh 5th Dimension, the Cowsills (which is crazy),  Oliver, Three Dog Night, and Nina Simone.

Well, for a sample, I went with the closing number which has a rousing chorus part , “Flesh Failures (Let The SunShine In)”.

Satisfactory.

 

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group- Live

This was $2.80 and purchased to inject a bit of rock into the blog which I like to do on Saturdays.  I saw Jeff Beck live at Sam Houston Coliseum.  He was a split bill with Stevie Ray Vaughn,  The year was 1989.  I was still in high school and was 15.  Terry Bozzio played drums.  Tony Hymas was on keys.  I remember being pretty stoked about “Freeway Jam”.  That is about all I remember.

Set List to said show

Interview with Beck and Vaughn and crew

Well, there is this live album, with a similar set up with the Jan Hammer Group.  Hammer best known for his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Miami Vice theme. Recorded somewhere on tout in 1976 (sources say the Astor Theater in Reading, PA on August 31) and released in 1977, this record features 7 songs which highlight Beck’s guitar skills as well as the interplay with the group.

For a sample, I went with “Full Moon Boogie”, solely because it had vocals, provided by drummer Tony Smith.  Just to round out the personnel, Fernando Saunders plays bass and Steve Kindler plays violin.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

The Ventures- The Colorful Venture

If my calculations are correct, this is post #800.  Here is a record from a group I put on this blog so much that I am running out of new pictures to accompany this.  This was $2 and bought at the Half Price on Veteran’s Memorial, which decided to raise its discount records from $1 to $2.50.  I got it last Memorial Day a couple months ago when HPB had its 20% sale.

This record was The Ventures 4th studio album, released in 1961.  It was the 3rd album they released that year.  It was somewhat successful compared to other releases around that period.  That is purely from a commercial perspective.  Music-wise, this is a fine album that plays on songs with colors in the title.  This album really has that classic Ventures sound.

For a sample, here is “Blue Moon”. Excellent album.  Satisfactory.

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition- Rollin’

Starting another month of Donkey Show with this record I got for $2.40.  A lot of good songs on this.  So we are into September. Plus it is Labor Day, so when you read this, I am at home doing nothing (or perhaps getting even further ahead in writing this blog).  That is if we still have a country when this post comes out.  Let’s see how this month plays out. I am good and ahead of the game as far as post writing goes.  However, still erring on the side of brevity so if you have any questions, I would suggest Google.

This record is from The First Edition, a band formed in 1967 from members of The New Christy Minstrels who wanted more freedom from a constricting repertoire .  Led by Kenny Rogers, who played bass and vocals, and Terry Williams, guitar and vocals, as well as Mary Arnold on vocals and occasional actor Micky Jones on drums, the band had some decent hits including “I Just Dropped In” and ” Ruby” blending the worlds of psychedelic pop and country together.    I did not realize this but when the band disbanded in 1976, there was some doubt as to if Rogers could maintain a solo career.

Well, during the height of their fame, they had their own TV Show, Rollin, produced by CTV in Canada.  As a counterweight to the Sonny and Cher Show with decidedly more rocking acts, the show began to paint the band as TV personalities rather than musicians, to the ire of certain band members.  Anyway, it ran from 1971 to 1973 with generally good ratings.

This album, released in 1973, features songs from the show as perfromed by the group.  There are songs that feature individual vocal performances by Rogers, Williams, Arnold, and guirist Jim Hassell, as well as an instrumental rocking piece on keyboards by Gene Lorenzo, Bach’s “Joy (Jeso, Joy Of Man’s Desiring), an arrangement that had been a hit for Apollo 100.  Pretty decent stuff.  A whole lot of Beatles’ content.

Well, from this record, here is the band with “Get Back”.  Also, might as well give Kenny some spotlight with “The Long And Winding Road”.

Probably could have done with some original content, but this perhaps defeats the purpose of this record, which is satisfactory.

VA-Fonzie Favorites

Ayyyy… Don’t sit on it.  I am not sure when I bought this but one day, while goign thru records in my pile, I noticed this.  $4 I paid for it.

Yes Arthur Fonzarelli, better known as the Fonz, was a minor character on the sitcom Happy Days before exploding into a national sensation and a main protagonist.  Played by Henry Winkler, who in real life was the complete opposite of his TV persona, Fonzie was the 1970’s adaption of 1950’s cool.  He was definitely one of my favorites as a kid and much to my parent’s chagrin, probably led to the ongoing friction I have with authority figures (which is quite funny given that it was a family TV show).

Here is a fun fact that I learned while writing this post.  Originally, the role of Fonzie was supposed to go to Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz, based on the strength of a similar one time part he played on the TV show Adam 12. However, as Dolenz was 6 foot, producers wanted the character to be at the same level as other characters, and so the 5-6 Winkler was cast.  Poor Mickey.

So here is an album put out to capitalize on the Fonz’s popularity.  It consists of mostly 50’s songs, the Happy Days’ theme song, and three novelty songs.  The back of the album has a fold out easel so the cover can be used a picture. The 50’s songs are pretty good an run a good range from The Everly Brothers to The Coasters, to Little Anthony and the Imperials to the original theme song “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. There is also an impressions track with expressed instruction for you to learn all of Fonzie’s favorite phrases.  This cam out in 1976 at a manufacturer’s suggested list price of $5.99 as advertised on TV and radio.

Of course for posting purposes, I am going to go with two of the novelty tunes.  First off, in what is quite strange, we have “The Fonzarelli Slide” which features the Fonz making an appearance at James Buchanan High with the Sweathogs from another 70’s hit, Welcome Back Kotter.  Although for the record, the impression of Horshack at times sounds more like Jerry Lewis.  Anyway, here it is as a strange time capsule of 70’s television.  It is credited to Frank Lyndon who I am guessing did all three Fonz impressions on this album.

Also, I went with a slightly more saner and straighter novelty number, ” The Fonz Song” by the Heyettes? .  Also to put something on that was not a joke, here is Lee Dorsey and “Ya Ya”.

The 1950’s hits are actually pretty good and I found the novelty songs entertaining.  Satisfactory.