Albums Compilations Jazz

Stan Getz – Getz (Prestige PR 24019)

I was chuffed to find this tasty Prestige twofer of sweetness by West Coast Cool Jazz tenor saxophonist Stan Getz.  Probably best remembered these days for the thoroughly excellent collaborations with Joao Gilberto, this late 40s/early 50s compilation from 1972 represents Getz as a transitional figure, harkening to Big Band harmonies and melody but in a small band context with a (for then) modern, beath-y elegance a la Paul Desmond.  It sounds like what most people would recognise as “jazz music”.  A welcome addition to the library.

I also found an odd political/soft porn comic book originally published in the Guardian in the late 60s/early 70s, (explained here ), which may be of interest to those comic fetishist among you.

Albums Disco

Amii Stewart (1979) (Atlantic K50593)

Last week I reluctantly passed over this Amii Stuewart album on Atlantic. I was in a hurry, I’d spent extra money on the Anthology DVD box and it just didn’t seem right at the time. I regretted it as soon as I was in the car driving home.

But, to paraphrase a crappy American film ad (probably), sometimes in life there are second chances. And, sure enough, Miss Stewart was waiting for me in all her £1-wide-eyed-legs splayed-“Oh, you just startled me as I hustled unawares in my Egyptian/Martian/Disco Queen/slit up to my hips/barely there dress” glory. The album’s (and Amii’s) lone hit that I’m aware of, a discofied version of Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood” extends to six or seven ponderous minutes of poorly thought out repetition. Where was Walter Gibbons when they needed him?  The oddball cover of “Light My Fire” goes on even longer, but has a far superior breakdown leading to a gospel-style, double time rave-up at the end.

The rest of the album proceded accordingly: A good disco record, not a great one.

TV Related

The World At War

I used to watch this Thames Television series every week with my dad, during those war-obsessed years of the 1970s. This was serious television, and I still watch the repeats occasionally.

This vinyl spin-off features Carl Davis’ powerful theme, along with several of his incidental scores, plus a selection of contemporaneous songs from the era by the likes of Vera Lynn, although as the sleeve notes admit, most of the songs actually sung by the troops were simply “too obscene, too irreverent, too vulgar. These songs live on only in old soldiers’ memories”.

Great stuff, but I’m feeling the absence of Sir Laurence Olivier – his arresting, portentous narrative delivery was a big part of the series and it would’ve been nice to hear a few excerpts on the record.


Al Bowlly/Ray Noble

A couple of fine collections from the 1930s, featuring the honeyed tones of the great Al Bowlly, both in exquisite condition, to the extent that I suspect the previous owner barely played them. My grandmother is a big Bowlly fan (he was the ‘pop star’ of her childhood) so maybe I should pass these on to her. Or maybe not.



Although, if I could just briefly return to the Beatles theme…

This is surely the nearest thing to a Fab Four reunion in their collective lifetime, as John, Paul and George all help out with songwriting and performance (though John and Paul careful not to stray onto each other’s songs!) which illustrates the fondness they all must’ve felt for their former drummer.

This isn’t even an original pressing, it’s a reissue on EMI’s budget subsiduary MFP (surely the most featured record label on this blog), but please (please!) ignore the old Oxfam £2.99 sticker – I paid 99p for it in the Kingswood branch of CLIC Sargent.

I wouldn’t say it’s a consistently good album, though it was worth being reminded what a great song “Photograph” is – self-penned in collaboration with George; one of two hit singles, the other being the slightly less satisfying cover of “You’re Sixteen, Your Beautiful (And You’re Mine)”.


Edmundo Ros – Phase 4 Stereo ‘Spectaculars’

And so, after the giddy heights of Beatles mispress rarities, we return to the kind of bread ‘n butter nonsense on which this blog was founded – namely a trio of sixties latin albums from Edmundo Ros and his Orchestra on Decca’s Phase 4 Stereo series…


If you’re wondering what “+ i.m.20 c.r.” means, it stands for ‘individually monitored twenty channel recording”. This record from 1962 is the best of the bunch, I reckon, featuring such gems as, ahem, “I Came I Saw, I Conga’d”, described in the notes as “kicking every fourth beat like an angry, stir-crazy mule”.



And what exactly does ‘phase 4 stereo’ mean, anyway? Unusually, one of these records has a 12″ card insert, that describes the process in depth, with a nifty graphic (as always, click to enlarge….)


So now you know!


The Beatles – Revolver (PMC 7009 – first pressing)

Directly linked to the previous post – concerning the never-ending search for stupidly rare Beatles LPs, comes this post.  

This record was one of a batch of 14 or so I picked up a couple weeks ago for 50 pence a pop – in total mint condition – looks like it has never been played.  I also have first-print copies of Sgt. Peppers and Hard Days Night – both also seem to be desirable artifacts from those collectors of all things Fab-n-Four.

So what’s up with this particular disc – well it is one of the very first pressed from the first stampers made – this is found by studying the stamper-mark on the run-out-groove.  It also contains a different mix of one of the tracks –  which was immediately withdrawn and replaced – and has never been re-issued.  This stuff means a lot if you follow this sort of stuff …  anyway – I have supplied all you need to know below should you be interested in also trying to hunt down one of these babes ….   needless to say it sounds bleedin lovely in glorious MONO !!  Won’t bother mentioning what people seem to be prepared to pay for this particular disc – but if you want one of these – then no-doubt you know what to expect !!

“Revolver, Parlophone, PMC 7009, 08.05.1966, mono. Very Rare First pressing with mispressing! Side 2 matrix no.: XEX 606-1 have “Remix 11″ of “Tomorrow Never Knows”. When “Revolver” was initially mixed a different master for “Tomorrow Never Knows” was sent off to be pressed. This mix is known as ‘Remix 11′. Although subtle, it is different to the standard ‘Remix 8′ which was ultimately to replace it. The story goes that each group member was given the first copies from the production line and John went to listen to it. But, it turned out that he was unhappy with the mix or that the wrong one had been used and he informed George Martin. Production was then stopped as the new masters were cut and the pressing plates were replaced. First presses have a side 2 matrix number of XEX 606-1 whereas the standard presses have XEX 606-2 and beyond. Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd. or Ernest J.Day & Co. front laminated flipback cover. Black & Yellow label with “The Gramophone Co. Ltd.” perimeter print and “Sold in U.K. subject…” text. Plain white or sepia “LP advertising” inner sleeves. Tax code “KT” by spin-hole. Matrix numbers: Side 1: XEX 605-2; Side 2: XEX 606-1.”

12 inchers

First Post Ever…Ever

J. Walter Negro--Not His Real Name, Apparently
Wittgenstein or another early 20th Century nabob?


Unlike the other posters on Thrifty Vinyl apparently, I spend a lot of time at boot fairs as well as charity shops; all the while looking for a Butcher Cover version of the Beatles Yesterday…and Today.  Like every one of my previous attempts, now surely numbering in the thousands, today’s search, at a boot fair in Wincheap, near Canterbury, has ended in failure.

But, it was a noble failure, as you will see.

First up, “Shoot the Pump Parts 1 & 2” by J. Walter Negro and the Loose Jointz.   Straight away I suspected “J. Walter Negro” was a pseudonym.  Early 80’s New York- based hip hop/disco with ties to graffiti/street art. All the signs pointed to Arthur Russell.  Russell, I knew, traded under several different names, including Loose Joints, if not the more urban Jointz (sic).  

All these clues proved a veritable kettle of red herrings.   I was right, J. Walter Negro was a fake name, but not for Arthur Russell, rather a New York graffiti artist known as ABI.  Indeed, it’s his charmingly amateurish work which graces the cover.  The music is a pretty ambitious blend of latin disco and  proto hip hop with a lashing of OTT rock guitar. As a rapper, however, ABI makes a pretty good spray painter; J. Wlater’s flow is better than fellow downtown scenester Futura 2000’s (who is name-checked on the sleeve), but that’s not saying much.  The amusing shaggy dog story about mischief making in NYC with fire hydrants may or may not be a metaphor for tagging.  Part 2 and the Instrumental version on the flip side are the better listens.  

Is it Ludwig Wittgenstein on the cover of the A Certain Ratio Do the Du (casse) ep I picked up for 50p?  I don’t know, but I do know that “Shack Up” sounds uncanily like Joy Division, only with chops and a horn section.  By that I mean it’s good.  

I also bought a picture disc of “The Arms of Orion” by Prince for £2.50.  Yes, I know, a bit pricey for these parts, but it does add to a three-quarters complete collection of Prince 12″ up to and including those associated with the Batman soundtrack.  The stall where I made this purchase was all records, including collectables, i.e. an 80’s commercial/semi-legit release of an early acetate version of The Velvet Undergraound and Nico called Unripe or something for a tenner, a £5 12″ of “Marquee Moon” (mono mix!) and a gorgeous copy of Dillinger’s Bionic Dread for £29.  It was a great browse and if everything on the stall had been £1, I would have had the lot.


Heron (DNLS 3010)

Popped out for lunch to the small village next to here – and there in the local thrift store – was a white record box – 15 minutes later 14 LPs were tucked under my arm – at 50 pence a pop.   Some classic stuff – Moody Blues, Neil Young, Rick Wakeman – along with a couple that have caused me somewhat a cheeky smile!  Seems I have managed to grab a mint copy of Srgt Peppers – original Mono pressing – first cut – asking price around 200 quid it would seem.   Along with this disc from some psych-folkers called Heron.  This one is also in absolute mint condition – not managed to get home to play the thing yet – but asking price on the web seems to range from 200-400 quid (ouch) – not bad for a lunchtime-shop ..   The following description from the web gives an idea what to expect – sounds good to me !! 

“Recorded in a field! Beautiful drifting rural prog with a West Coast vibe in mellow. Hard to track down and this one is nice. The quartet Heron recorded 2 albums for Dawn Records in 1970-71. Their instrumentation is primarily acoustic guitars, el-bas and various keyboards (organ, piano). Their playing and singing is very inspired, and many of the songs sound as if they were recorded in one take. Sounds of birds and wind can be heard between several tracks, as a lot of the recordings were done outside a Devon country cottage.”


The Way We Wah!


From what little I remember of Pete Wiley’s group, they had a couple of hits which had that rousing, anthemic quality that seems to be a regular trait of Liverpudlian groups. Those scousers love a good sing-a-long.

This career overview from 1984 includes their first big hit “The Story Of The Blues”, but it’s side 1 that was the real eye-opener for a Wah-ignoramus like me. Chronicling the group’s earlier phase, here we see a far more potent, intense proposition – the group thrashing through a series of pile-driving post-punk anti-anthems that sounds more like Magazine or The Associates – though as a vocalist Wiley wasn’t in the same league as Billy MacKenzie.

The excitement tapers off quite dramatically on side 2, though that’s as much a reflection of the times as an indictment of Wiley’s failing muse.