Half-A-Dozen Rock Classics


So I popped-out to my local High Street this morning to grab a paper and some emergency groceries, and came back with this little lot, for the price of a packet of fags. That’s the beauty of this method of vinyl-acquirement, ‘living off the land’, sustained by what nature provides: you just never know what you’re gonna come across next. And even though I reject dozens of records on my travels, it still amazes me how much there is out there, cheap-as-chips, just waiting for a new home.

I don’t intend to do individual posts on these records, as none of them are particularly unusual, but I reckon they all came from the same household, belonging to someone with a taste for classic/prog rock. My tastes are a bit different in general, so some of these will be quite a new experience for me. Four of them have gatefold sleeves, even though they’re not double albums, with wide-screen visuals, reminding us how lavishly well-presented rock elpees of a certain period were. The previous owner took good care of them too, as all the platters are in near-mint condition. Spinning though them tonight and they all sound as beautiful as the day they were pressed.

Individual notes on the albums (clockwise from top left):

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

I already had a copy of this one, in fact its one of the first records I ever owned, or perhaps I should say ‘borrowed’.  Y’see, my mum bought it because it was the ‘in’ record to buy, but I don’t think she much cared for it. But I was absolutely entranced. As a 7-year-old kid, it was the first long-playing record that really captivated me and I would play it over and over again until I knew the whole thing note-for-note. That actual record is still in my possession, and I have no intention of getting rid of it, but it has suffered a bit from some rough handling (by my younger self!) and I always promised myself that, if I found a pristine copy for the right price, I’d have it. And here it is: Tubular Bells, crackle-free at last!

Interesting to note the differences between the two pressings: My original has a ‘green’ label, and lists Virgin’s address as 119 Portobello Rd, W10. This other copy has b&w label printing (featuring the more familiar Roger Dean ‘virgins’ illustration), lists the address at 130 Notting Hill Gate, W11 and has a laminated sleeve. Presumably this is an earlier pressing. I’m no expert on the history of Virgin Records.

Genesis – Foxtrot

Believe it or not, my first proper exposure to the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis!

Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits

There’s a whole back-story here, concerning my quest to reconstruct my Dad’s record collection. I inherited a few of his records, but many others mysteriously disappeared (perhaps he disposed of them himself before he died, I’m not sure) but I’m always looking out for those missing parts of the puzzle, and this is one of them. He sure loved this one. I wouldn’t say I was a Dylan devotee by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s some special tunes on here that remind me of my dad, and that’s what it’s all about for me.

Cream – Goodbye

I know all their most famous songs, but I’ve never listened to a whole album of Cream before. Here goes nothing!

Cat Stevens – Catch Bull At Four

‘Teaser & the Fire Cat’ was the big Cat Stevens album in our house. My dad loved that one, but the follow-up is new to me. Lovely picture of young Yusuf on the rear sleeve – big smile, cigarette in hand, looking care-free and totally at ease with himself and the world.

The Moody Blues – On The Threshold Of A Dream

My mum had a K-Tel ‘Best Of’ (which is now in my possession), but I’ve never listened to an original Moody Blues album before. This one is from 1969, has beautiful photos of the group in the gatefold, plus a big booklet with all the lyrics. The whole thing looks and feels very prestigious.

Well that’s my weekend listening sorted-out, then…

Published in: on October 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A nice collection you have there – got things by most of them in this house – apart from Genesis which I have never been able to bother investigating – be interested to hear your feedback… – did once have a Gabriel disc- but that got nicked long ago …

    Nice shopping for sure !!

  2. Virgin history – well from what I know (not too much) – original Tubular Bells was a stereo mix – these are quite rare – he then banged out a quad-mix – which all further reprints used – so if you have an original Roger Dean label – try A-B-ing them to see if they sound different – there are actually quite a few differences (apparently) – I only have the Boxed – 4 disc collection of his first 3 releases plus some other stuff – not played it in decades – but I suppose I should give it a spin ..

    I remember clearly getting on the bus to school and being lent both this and a bunch of Zep to play over the weekend – afraid I always preferred the Zep !!

  3. interesting…i will have to get the headphones on and do some detective work…

  4. Interesting that Tubular Bells had such an impact on you. I was such a big hit that it must have been in countless homes and conditioned countless kids. I guess it would be one of the weirdest records in most ordinary seventies homes. Have you ever heard the follow up Hergest Ridge? It was considered a bit of a dud at the time I think, and therefore obviously not as influential, but it’s a far more gripping record IMO. There’s some really mad stuff on it, it has a strange sadness and often an eerie, spooky feel. Kinda “hauntological” perhaps. If only Woebot or K-Punk would endorse it it would certainly become the “cool” Oldfield record to own, but I’m afraid they would never sink so low.

  5. If I see a nice copy of Hergest Ridge on my travels i will def buy it…

  6. Got Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn in that Boxed (um box set) – I mentioned previously – all this talk is making me want to drag it out – funny thing is – yesterday when thrift shopping I almost picked up some 70s sheet music for an Oldfield ‘Portsmouth’ – cannot remember how that one went – otherwise I would have grabbed it ..

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