Hammond Hell


Everything felt wrong about this record. The sleeve did not feature an attractive ’70s wench gyrating excitedly. Nor did it feature a nice close-up of a vintage Hammond organ. Instead we get Mr. Hodgson’s jowels seen through a Vaseline-smeared lens. Plus, the album was released on Contour Records, one of the dodgiest of all the ’70s budget labels. I’ve yet to hear a nice-sounding Contour record. But I had nothing better to spend 50p on, so I figured I’d grab it anyway.

And I was right, the record is totally wrong.

Well not totally. The rhythm section sounds pretty groovy on the first track, but quickly petters out. And when Danny tones down the Hammond’s throaty roar for the more subtle, sparkly textures, the vibe is quite pleasant. But as predicted, any slight gains are completely offset by the lousy mastering.

Somewhat improbably, this album is currently available to download via one of our ‘competitors‘.  I can totally understand why people opt to digitise and share these records, which we all know will never, ever be reissued, but personally I could never enjoy the music without experiencing the physicality and context of the original ‘hard’ format. I mean, you can’t smell an MP3 file, can you?

Here at Thrifty Vinyl we prefer to preserve the integrity of the sounds locked in those dusty analogue grooves – so what can we offer that the file-sharing thrift blogs can’t? Not much really. Slightly better pictures, perhaps. Some cursory observations and analysis, if we can be arsed. We’re not in it for the glory – we do it because we are compelled.

I wonder what ever happened to Mr. Hodgson? Thanks to the informative sleeve notes, I can say with some authority that he will be 75 this year. Is he still alive? Drawing his pension? Or maybe still playing his Hammond at the Bridge House Hotel, Surrey to a thrilled coach-load of OAPs every weekend?

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 9:30 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. man – I have regular bad experiences every time I think about grabbing )yet another) Hammond musty-platter … Got a couple I have not yet really spent the effort to listen to – bought solely for the pleasure of the sleeve (as one is often prone to do!) ..

    I feel it is our duty to research and locate this long lost tinkler of the keys .. surley if nothing else – that is what this blog is for !!

  2. yeah we need to track him down, and then post a photo of us with danny doing the thumbs-up cheesy grin thing. or alternatively a photo of us solemnly placing a Hammond-shaped wreath on Danny’s grave in Whitehaven, Cumberland whilst playing his album on a portable deck.

    btw, the record actually sounds a bit better today. i think my new stylus has finally worn in! apologies to the engineer who mastered the record. although there’s still plenty of room for improvement…

  3. Could it be ?? http://www.ozzyjazz.com/winterjazz/dannyhodgson.htm

    “Danny has accompanied Bob Hope, Rolf Harris, Vera Lynn, Max Bygraves, Morecombe and Wise, Tommy Cooper etc. ” – sounds lie our man to me !!

  4. now that is interesting. according to the sleeve notes, danny ‘played cabaret on the Queen Elizabeth II’ which tallies with that online biog…so maybe that’s our man. not sure if our budget will extend to travelling to Adelaide for photo opportunities though!

  5. At the very least we should demand a signature !! I once sailed on the QE2 many years back – yah never know I may even have seen him live !!!

  6. […] Los 3 Sudamericanos – El Funeral Del Labrador 22. Surprise Sisters – La Booga Rooga 23. Danny Hodgson – All Of Me 24. Tony Back – Star Wars 25. Space DJs – Celestial Funk 26. Alan Haven – In The […]

  7. Ha-just found this posting after a year,that link to the other blog linked to my old blog-i know what you mean about the smell of an album (my copy of this album still smells musty from the rubbish pile that i liberated it from about 5 years ago 🙂 )

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