Rolling Stones – ‘Highwire’ b/w ‘2000 Light Years From Home’ (656756 7) (1991)

One of two studio tracks appended to the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour live album Flashpoint, notable for its cynical take on Gulf War I, a fairly pedestrian metaphor, an odd b-side and Bill Wyman’s next-to-last appearance on a new Stones single (the last being the previously alluded to ‘Sexdrive’).
And not much else.
£1.50 at a table top sale in the village two days ago, a nice item for completist types.

Published in: on March 23, 2015 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

New Turntable at Thrifty Vinyl HQ!

SAM_0648Here’s the Asbo stereo corner now featuring a lovely new Pro-Ject 1.3 Genie turntable. After a technical snafu last Saturday involving the power supply, I finally hooked this baby up last night; I’m not that much of an audiophile, but even I can tell the difference this “budget”* turntable makes.

*i.e. cheap by hi-fi (high fidelity) enthusiast standards, expensive by mi-fi (my financial) standards.

Published in: on February 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm  Comments (2)  

Weather Report (CBS 32024) (1971)

SAM_0643Over the years, I’ve given Weather Report a number of gos. Heavy Weather, in particular, I’ve tried to get along with several times, in a few different formats. I’ve even tried with their bassist extraordinaire, Jaco Pastorius. All to no avail. So why keep beating my head against this fusion wall and pick up a 1980s Nice Price EX++ re-issue of their 1971 début for one pound at a Hythe charity shop last Friday? Well, a lot of it has to do with the musical history immediately preceding this release; starting with Joe Zawinul’s excellent mid-60s Atlantic Lps Money In the Pocket and Rise & Fall of the Third Stream and continuing with his, and WR co-leader Wayne Shorter’s groundbreaking electronic work with Miles Davis in the late 60s.

My hope was that a bit of the grit and magic of those performances (missing, at least as far as I was concerned, from the later WR music I heard) might still linger, so much closer to the source.

Unfortunately, I’m waiting for a new turntable, the ol’ Pioneer seems to be giving up the ghost, and so have no way of enjoying the vinyl collection. Don’t worry though, things should be sorted by Tuesday night and I’ll let you know the verdict on Weather Report some time after then.

UPDATE: Much more like In A Silent Way than Heavy Weather. Gets my vote.

Published in: on February 9, 2015 at 9:09 am  Comments (1)  

The Light of the World – Round Trip (ENVY 14) (1980)

SAM_0638Giles Peterson may have time for this sort of thing, but I’m afraid I don’t. No question about the band’s chops, but cheery jazz-funk ain’t my bag. This only cost me a pound last week at the thrift store, so I don’t feel too aggrieved, but I still had to listen to the Wailers’ Burnin’ Lp straightaways after just to get the taste of LOTW’s oh-so-tasteful take on “I Shot The Sheriff” out of my ears.SAM_0639

Published in: on February 2, 2015 at 9:39 am  Comments (3)  

Carlos Santana/Mahavishnu John McLaughlin – Love Devotion Surrender (69037) (1973)

SAM_0634It takes some cojones to tackle John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”, but that’s exactly how Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin kick off their mega-spiritual Love Devotion Surrender. The pair goes on to bookend side one with a likewise heavy spiritual jazz response to JC’s anthem called “The Life Divine”. What must Santana fans have made of this?

Santana is, of course, no stranger to overplaying, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is, given its jazz-rock impetus, an all out note-fest at times, with none of the pop flavour of his titular band. And yet, in the context of a prayer offering to both the Divine and John Coltrane, such indulgence makes perfect sense. Something of a transmutation to the guitar of Coltrane’s “sheets of sound”, Love Devotion Surrender is held together harmonically by organist Larry Young, who allows Devadip and Mahavishnu to launch into note torrents, particularly on side two’s joyful “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord”. And there is time for respite in the form of “Meditation” and another Coltrane cover, “Naima”; with what comes previously, both have the feel of post-coital cigarettes. A challenging and rewarding listen.

An original UK issue, with a gatefold cover, fantastic condish, only a pound.SAM_0633

Published in: on January 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm  Comments (2)  

Pink Floyd – Relics (SRS 5071) (1971)

SAM_0632EMI’s compilation originally came out after Atom Heart Mother but before Meddle as a kind of stopgap. That this was an accountants’ move is borne out by the track list, which should have been a comprehensive round-up of singles, Bs and outtakes (eg where are “Apples and Oranges”, “Candy and a Current Bun”, “Point Me At the Sky”, “Scream Thy Last Scream”, “It Would Be So Nice”, “Vegetable Man”?). Excising album cuts “Interstellar Overdrive”, “Cirrus Minor”, “The Nile Song”, “Bike” and “Remember a Day” would have made space for the above (though the latter track was released as a single).*

Which is not to say Relics isn’t a good listen, it is; and, with the inclusion of “Interstellar Overdrive” (along with the similarly lengthy “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, presented here in it’s b-side/studio version), it’s probably more representative of their psychedelic-era sound than a strictly 45s anthology would have been.

Sharp-eyed types will note that this is the original Starline issue of Relics, replete with textured cover and uncolored unlike later re-releases. And this VG+ gem was only a pound at the chazza this afternoon.

*It took 21 years for the album I’m proposing to come out and then it was a “bonus cd” on the Shine On box set called, somewhat prosaically if perfectly accurately, The Early Singles; note that there were no rarities on that disc, eg “Biding My Time” which featured on Relics.

Published in: on January 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm  Comments (4)  


One Year On 
“You’re Gonna Be Hearing Big Things From Industrial Cottage In 2014″ Proved Oddly Unprophetic

(Columbus, Ohio)—An upbeat Jayson Parnell has delivered a positive assessment of the prospects for his indie-guitar band Industrial Cottage for the calendar year 2015.

“This is the year for IC!” he shouted to a capacity Ace of Spades crowd who’d come to see Nashville Pussy last night.

Yet it was only 370 days ago in front of a Paradise City club audience that singer/rhythm guitarist Parnell made similar claims for 2014, saying that was going to be “their year”, further erroneously stating, “You’re gonna be hearing big things from Industrial Cottage in 2014,”

“Given that he’s been so spectacularly wrong about 2014,” said Ace of Spades patron Tracy Warner, “I have my doubts about 2015 representing any sort of watershed for Industrial Cottage.”

Others have also greeted Parnell’s comments coolly: “IC still sends out CD demos with Cure covers on them,” laughed University Records clerk Garry Calvino. “How the hell is this going to be ‘the year’?” he asked rhetorically.

“And their Facebook page is gay,” Calvino sneered.

But Parnell remains convinced that this is the year at least in part because his band is appearing on a Devo tribute album, Devo-Evolution, released by Akron alternative rock station, KBBS.

“We do this awesome jangly take on ‘Girl U Want’,” he said. “They’re totally going send it out to industry types and play it on the ‘Loud and Local’ show, which is on Saturdays at midnight. Hopefully, it’ll get us a gig at South By Southwest.”

Shortly after yesterday’s unlikely onstage prediction, Parnell asked for the bassist from Nashville Pussy’s autograph on his guitar case.

Published in: on January 18, 2015 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

“It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” b/w “Through The Lonely Nights” (RS 19114) (1974)


While I love the Stones’ famous apologia on the a-side, it was the non-Lp flip that caught my attention here and a fine county-style ballad it is too. Given it’s overall sound (esp. Mick T’s prominent ‘wah-wah’ guitar) and the fact that it was co-produced by Jimmy Miller, I wonder if “Lonely Nights” is from an earlier session, possibly those for Goat’s Head Soup; it made a much later appearance on the exceptionally feeble Rarities 1971-2003 compilation.  Many thanks to “Sue” for donating this to charity.

Published in: on January 16, 2015 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  


Madonna-2MADONNA TO RELEASE “GRIME” ALBUM                    Self-Styled “Lady” Madonna’s Sick In Bed Lp Set For Early 2015 Release

(South London, England) – Following a long-standing tradition of media manipulation, pop singer Madonna is set to re-invented herself as a Lady Sovereign-style “Grime” artist.

In additition to “spitting” atop canny recreations of Dubstep riddims, the multi-millionairess single mum plans to move into a dingy, cramped 2-bedroom flat on a council estate in Lewisham, south London with children, Lourdes, 18, and Rocco, 14, David 9 and Mercy, 9 for added “road” credibilty.

According to Cambridge academic and sociologist Marc Macion, “It’s rare when one event marks the emergence of a cultural phenomenon from under- to firmly over-ground trend, but this is such an incident.”

“Of course,” said Macion, “this also signifies the cultural critical mass at which Grime/Dubstep actually ceaces to be culturally important, with the truly influential and innovative EDM artists moving on to exclusive sub-genres such as Techno Grime, Dubstep Ragga, Grimy House, Hard Garage Grime and Hastings Grimestep Rockers.”


Published in: on December 12, 2014 at 11:22 am  Comments (2)  


800px-United_Nations_General_Assembly_Hall_(3)UN To Ban Brace of “Classic” Albums From Future Top 100 Lists
Pet SoundsAstral WeeksWhat’s Going OnForever ChangesVU & Nico, et al. for chop

(New York City, New York) – In light of the unremitting naming of a select few records in most Top 100 Albums lists, the United Nations has passed a resolution calling for the immediate banning of some fifty “classic” albums from all future critics’, readers’, listeners’ and viewers’ polls.

Apart from excising records for their ubiquity, Resolution 21-12 also excludes albums for being over-rated, with Pacific Ocean BlueThe Queen Is DeadGrievous Angel and Out of Time cited as particularly egregious examples.

UN boss Ban Ki-moon of South Korea is especially proud of his work on the Stone Roses. “We worked hard to get rid of that first Stone Roses record. I think Great British people are sentimental about it, but, believe me, apart from ‘Waterfalls’ it’s an ‘OK’ record at best.”

However, leaked minutes of high level UN talks reveal that Ban had to give up a crucial provision, which would have seen a blanket Frank Zappa and Oasis embargo, in a last-minute deal with several Balkan states to get the Roses ban.

The resolution marks a particular victory for African leaders who, for years, have been accusing Western critics of subsidising relatively obscure artists, inflating their canonical standing to a level completely at odds with their ability to sell records.

“Look at Fela Kuti, who’s sold millions of albums in Africa and the ‘developing world’. He languishes, even if he’s lucky, in some World Music poll,” explained Salif N’yabi, the UN’s Senegalese representative “And yet you get these British and American critics fawning over Trout Mask Replica, which has shifted way less than 100,000 units!”

However, Clifford Snoates, a Columbus, Ohio music writer, defends the so-called “Big Star” subsidies (named for the achingly beautiful and melancholic 70s power pop band that more people have heard of than have actually heard), arguing that cultural influence far outstrips sales in terms of importance.

“Without ‘Big Star’ subsidies,” the rock critic said, “too many would be unaware of Marquee Moon’s ‘exquisite guitar interplay’ or Raw Power’s ‘visceral riffage’. I’m worried that without proper fan-boy slavering and extra coverage, underground critic’s darlings, like New Bomb Turks and especially Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments will simply vanish.”

“And do you remember the Gaunt 7″, ‘Jim Motherfucker’? They made a wicked t-shirt over that, that said ‘Jerry’s An Asshole’. That was cool.”

In backing the resolution on behalf of the Obama administration, United States Vice-President Joseph Biden said, “It’s not like I think Radio City isn’t great, it is. But everybody knows this and it’s time to give Heart of the Congos, etc., etc. a look in.”

Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner pointed out that often one album will often dominate an artist’s body of work to the detriment of others.

“No duh, Sign “O” The Times remains Prince’s masterpiece,” said the outspoken Republican, “But if it weren’t for the 1987 double album hogging all the fun-sized singers’ votes, we’d see Lovesexy, my personal favorite, on a lot more lists.”

Some European member states have called, unsuccessfully, for additional regulations to ensure the adequate representation of female artists.

“I’m disappointed that the security council vetoed [the Womens’ EQ Charter],” said Maardi Wessim, the Dutch UN ambassador in charge of women’s affairs.

“Apart from BlueLady Soul, and maybe Dusty In Memphis you’re not going to see too many women on your average top albums lists. Quotas would have redressed this imbalance.”

The remainder of the list includes: Exile on Main StreetHighway 61 RevisitedLet It BleedBlonde On BlondeAre You Experienced?The BandNever Mind The BollocksLondon CallingBeggars BanquetZiggy StardustAutomatic For the PeopleThe Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation SocietyBlood On the Tracks, Sticky Fingers, There’s A Riot Goin’ On, Innervisions, Tonight’s The Night, “Zoso”, Physical Graffiti, Odessey (sic) & Oracle, Velvet Underground (3rd album), #1 Record, Sister/Lovers, Nevermind, Who’s Next, Blood On the Tracks and all the original 60’s Beatles albums except Magical Mystery Tour, which is still great, even though it wasn’t actually a proper album but a compilation of the British Magical Mystery Tour double EP and contemporary singles.

Published in: on December 10, 2014 at 1:43 pm  Comments (1)  

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