lördag 13 oktober 2018

SMASH SOUNDS SD 850 (-67) US

Sampler with a nice blend of black and white. Big hits by artists like Otis Redding, Arthur Conley and Ben E. King together with ones from Shadows Of Knight, Sonny & Cher, Buffalo Springfield and more. So both a chance to get a number of classics at the same place and take in over thirty minutes of highly enjoyable recordings. And there's no cheating with the mixes - Arthur Conley "Sweet Soul Music" is mono, the rest stereo and the audio clear and well separated. One could argue that some of the stereo mixes are too panned, lacking overlapping, but at least they're true and pristine so I'm good listening. Also originally issued in Canada (same number) and Turkey (Melodi Plak 850). Further US as mono vinyl, cassette and reel-to-reel. Premiere US had label as shown here, thick vinyl, glossy cover and ATCO ad inner. (YZÄ*) (SÄM*)

torsdag 11 oktober 2018

THE LOLLIPOPS/BEDSTE 6340 047 (-76) DENMARK

In my late pre-teens Lollipops was one of the bands I liked best. We were about the same age and their childish and energetic apporach to pop and rock fit me like a glove. Saw them live when they toured Sweden and for a short while I was a devoted fan. Still have copies of their first two albums (see earlier posts) and they still work for me when I need to take head trips back to more joyous times. But as puberty happened for us all we grew apart. I got caught in white blues, psych and rock'n'roll anglo-saxon style and totally lost connection. In fact haven't heard any of their post-1965 stuff up to this day. So when I saw this compilation of tracks recorded 1967-71 thought I'd give it a try. Seven 45 A:s and one B coupled with four album only cuts. With their earlier kid-rock production in mind this comes as a small shock. Gone are the youthfully punchy approach, the screaming and insistant rythms. Instead I get in comparison rather slow late sixties Brit-pop, well arranged and performed, some even orchestrated. A couple of good tracks with a totally ok "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" cover and the self-penned pop piece "Sussy Moore" topping the bill. I guess this more mature style brought them new fans as time went by, but it's not The Lollipops I knew so I much rather spend time with their early stuff. The audio on this compilation is very good all through, having "Sussy Moore" as slightly enhanced mono and the rest true stereo. Issued in Denmark only, also on cassette (7185 057). First vinyl had label as shown here and thin laminated cover. (SCÄ*) (CCÖ*)

tisdag 9 oktober 2018

BRYAN FERRY/LET'S STICK TOGETHER ILPS 9367 (-76) UK

Today often regarded as a lost gem, but still showing up in the used bins to reasonable prices. Initially a project by US Atlantic to cash in on the "Let's Stick Together" 45 success, where they took the four songs from the UK "Extended Play" EP and baked them together with a couple of former single only tracks. So even if counted as an original album it's actually a compilation of 45 cuts. I'm usually not found of artists doing re-makes of own songs that were perfect to begin with and here I got five of those - four from the Roxy Music debute and one from Country Life. But in this case all so well made and presented they're up there with the original versions. Not very different, just softer and cooler in a very good way. In fact the whole LP is so warm and welcoming you just wanna dive in and stay. This is one of those albums where I'm having a hard time to chose favorites, cause they're all good and I'd pick differently depending on what day it is, but for now - the Beatles cover "It's Only Love" and the Roxy re-makes "Sea Breezes", "Casanova" and "2HB". Issued and re-issued all over the world through the years on every possible format. Premiere US vinyl on Atlantic (SD 18187). UK copies also exist with the common Island label design. No clue which was first, but as this copy was bought close to release I know it's early...having label as shown here, thin matt sleeve and black Island inner. (ÄNÖ*)

söndag 7 oktober 2018

OTIS REDDING/THE GREAT OTIS REDDING SINGS SOUL BALLADS VOLT 411 (-65/-68) MONO GERMANY

For background check posts on his debute "Pain In My Heart" and fourth LP "The Soul Album". As I always get lost in his voice - so personal and beautifully emotional it's hard to put anything down even if some of it apparently was hastened by the label for monetary reasons. Would be fussy to value one LP against any other, cause even if track choice may differ in quality the top vocals are there and the backing always on the spot. This was his second album and though in my world not up there with the debute still a very good ride. A couple of killers - "That's How Strong My Love Is", "I Want To Thank You", "Home In Your Heart" and "Mr. Pityful" - surrounded by eight more too good to be called fillers. Not all in with the audio of this mono. Somewhat denser than expected and tracks shifting in volume, a couple almost bursting the seams, still providing quite enjoyable listening. Unfamiliar with time line for German pressings, but as I get from the net this was released 1968, also as stereo (SD 411), which in that case would make it very late for a German double issue. The ATCO Special release there (AS 128 024) the following year was stereo only. Premiere US on Volt (411), originally on vinyl in Canada (Volt VLT 411), UK (Atlantic ATL 5029) and Italy (Atlantic ATL LP 09005). EU 2012 CD (Warner Music Group Volt 411) as remastered mono. You could call this copy a US mono in subsequent German drag. Matrixes has, apart from the stamped German 629894 A/B, also the etched US Volt mono no.s VO 12171/72 with the additional AT LW W lettering and sleeve an imported US original, here fully laminated. (GÖXÄ*)

fredag 5 oktober 2018

MOODY BLUES/A QUESTION OF BALANCE UK 1970 PROMO BOOKLET

Always looking to update old favorites as they get played a lot and accordingly tend to lose clarity. This has always been a true love of mine with its prefect blend of innovative and embracing (see earlier post) and when I finally found an a-ok UK original - not that easy as these almost always were loved to pieces - it also came with a beautiful twelve page promo booklet, containing pics and info about the then fairly new Threshold label and its artists. Since I can't find anything about it anywhere else and guess there are still Moody Blues fans out there thought I'd show some of it here. (DÄRR*) (MBÅL*)

onsdag 3 oktober 2018

BRYAN FERRY/ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE ILPS 9284 (-74) UK

I've seen and heard this criticized for being too much like his solo debute "These Foolish Things", but don't get why that is a bad thing. What's wrong with getting melodic and embracing, performed by top arists and conveyed by tophole audio, one more time? And as a whole this sounds even more ripe with at least three outstanding numbers. The self-penned title track is a killer with its tempo changes between two by themselves very attractive parts , the idea of performing "You Are My Sunshine" slow and wistful in a semi-New Orleans style pure genius and "The ´In´ Crowd" both elegant and raw with its crude David O'List (?) guitar play. To my taste totally up there with TFT and even preferable for some moods. He would go on and release many more fine solo albums and as I've heard still doing it to this day. I will get back to some of those later. This has been issued and reissued all over the world on every possible format through the years. Premiere UK had label as shown here and fully laminated fold/out cover. (ÄNÖ*)

måndag 1 oktober 2018

OUTSIDERS/SONGBOOK APLP 102 (-67) MONO HOLLAND

Amsterdam garage band active 1964-69. Domestically doing ok or better with a couple of top ten singles and a reputedly wild and raw stage act at the time, though as it seems never then reaching beyond the Benelux area. During their short existence they managed to issue two original albums - the 1967 eponimous debute and the 1968 "CQ" - plus twelve singles and one EP, all of which now is starting to get attention from international collectors of garage rock and hard r&b. This is an early compilation of 45 cuts - including seven A:s and four B:s, previously non-LP, coupled with three from the debute album. Label and sleeve say "stereo", but all cuts are true mono and the audio pristine. To my ears this is very good garage r&b. Most of it fast and furious with even some of the calmer numbers giving an impatient impression by rattling guitars and right-on production. I hear influence from Pretty Things, but also strokes reminding of Them and Rolling Stones. In your face and cheeky and upsetting rather than soothing. Hearing the vocals I can't believe they're not British. Many non-UK bands had a hard time getting their English right, but here it's perfect. Favorite tracks - "Filthy Rich" with the hard working drums and crude guitar solos, "Touch" with its prominent rythmic riff and "Thinking About Today" carried all through by a disturbing rythm guitar. To my knowledge this Dutch was the only vinyl release, also reissued on green label with same number and sleeve. Some of the cuts can be found as bonus on the 1994 CD version or their debute album - "The Outsiders" (Pseudonym CDP 1021 DD). First had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover. (HÖLX*)

lördag 29 september 2018

NON STOP PARTY '65 SML 83976 (-65) GERMANY

Yet another of about a zillion German compilations with various obscure combos and/or tracks from the sixties. Often frowned upon by posh gatherers, but for a long time collector like me who's always looking for oddities they can be a gold mine. This is all American mid-sixties rock'n'roll. Apart from The Risers "Match The Test", a pick from their long forgotten one-off album She's A Bad Motorcycle", there are no outmost rarities on this one, but all unusual enough on early vinyl to make it worth while. Two by post-Holly Crickets, two very good surf up-tempos from The Fantastic Baggys, two fine live takes from The Big Beats "LIVE! Off Broadway" and three rocking instrumentals by the T-Bones. I guess P.J. Proby and Gary Lewis & The Playboys still are considered common and/or collectible in some circuits, but not that familiar for the ordinary music lover. The P.J. Proby cuts sounds like enhanced mono while the rest are true stereo and the audio surprisingly fine for a compilation like this. Musically or auditorily maybe not suitable for young digitized ears, but well fitting old analog blokes like me. (SÄM*) (GÖXÄ*)

torsdag 27 september 2018

THIS AND THAT

Words about this and that six years on. Celebrating 1800 posts and now only 200 more to go before reaching my initial goal - the elusive 2000. Long doubted I'd get this far, but after support from among others Prof. Stoned and some nice people at Steve Hoffman's found a way to carry through. There are many good record sites handeling about the same stuff, but thought I could add something by only posting my own belowed records - more or less rare originals where I get personal, care about things like pressing and audio and also make mono-stereo comparisons, some of them previously undone. As I don't sleep very well it's also a good way to spend the wee hours between 02.00 - 06.00, during which most of these entries are written. Lack of sleep makes me a sometimes very tired man, which is the reason I can't post every day, even if I want to, and have to take time off every now and then to reload. Though Swedish I'm trying hard to write in English so most can understand directly, but also if needed allowing a better treatment from the Google translation box on the page. From a slow start now getting more page hits than I ever expected and that from all over the world. Feeling good with how things have turned out, but would love to see more comments. So either you're positive or negative, feel the need to add facts or just wanna say hi - don't hesitate to write one. Now suddenly it's dawning and I have to move on. Thanks for watching and have a nice day! Kindly/Erik

tisdag 25 september 2018

BRYAN FERRY/THESE FOOLISH THINGS ILPS 9249 (-73) UK

Continuing the Pin-Ups post here after a big bowl of java early morn. In my world these two albums have always been siblings and not only because they reached the shops and were bought by me at the same time. Both were recorded and co-produced by top vocalist glam icons covering some of their favorite songs backed by parts of their contemporary bands. The arrangements are equally thoughtful and inspiring and the audio excellent, providing very good listening. I can state the same releation here as with Bowie and Pin-Ups...covers or not this is a tophole Ferry album. Differences are - while Bowie mostly cover up-tempo songs and perform them as such the track choice on this brings a softer and more elegant impression. Pin-Ups can make me love intensely and snap my fingers, but here I'm soothed and can lean back with idle hands and a happy smile. So alike yet so different and of such high quality most period lovers would probably need both to get by. I couldn't chose even at gun point, so if you gonna make me - just shoot me first. Issued pretty much all over the world in the seventies, also on 8-track and cassette. Japan 2015 remastered SACD on Virgin (UIGY-9684). Not 100% sure if this copy belongs to the very first batch, but confident it's early, having label as shown here, medium-thick vinyl and fully laminated cover with Island logo black inner. (ÄNÖ*)

söndag 23 september 2018

DAVID BOWIE/PIN-UPS RS 1003 (-73) UK

A while ago when picking out "Aladdin Sane" for a post my fingers stumbled across this. It had slided back on the deep shelf and stayed unnoticed between "Aladdin" and "Diamond Dogs" for a very long time. Totally forgotten and now is probably the first time in a decade or so I have the pleasure to rehear it. No disrespect - it's just when you buy and trade a lot some items tend to disappear and this is not the first time things get lost in my collection to be recovered much later. I slightly remember when first buying it close to release I also bought Bryan Ferry's "These Foolish Things" at the same occation. Not a big thing then, but in retrospective feels kind of cool I got these iconic cover albums, both then newly issued, in one sweep. I'll get back to Ferry after this...one reaquaintance at a time. Listening now sure gives me lots of good vibes. You can always argue if cover versions can stand up to or even surpass the originals. I this case I don't think so as all treated here have grown to be darlings as they were making them impossible to better in any way, but that's not the point. Covers or not this is a tophole Bowie album. Every single cut is delicatley treated with insight and empathy, production and mixing superb and audio on this UK copy downright addictive. Didn't realise how much I missed it and very happy it's back in my reach again. Would be pointless to pick out favorites when listening while writing this 3.30 in the morning as I tend to be very emotional in the wee hours so let's say they all are...and very much so. Issued and reissued in about every format all over the world through the years. First UK had label as shown here, medium thick vinyl and matt cover with picture/credit insert.