“New” Needles For Xmas












Having seen me suffer so earlier this year when I needed to replace the needle and cartridge on my turntable, my wife thought she was doing me a favour with these in my stocking. Bless.

Edit:  I forgot to mention, these were purchased by my wife at the charity shop in Lyminge, Kent called Pushing Up Daisies; it supports local environmental works.

12 inchers

Etienne de Crecy – Someone Like You (Fast Track Vocal Mix) 12″

It was Ekolad himself who forwarded me a CD-R of the first Super Discount album something close to a decade ago. Great album. I later bought the 5th Anniversaire CD edition along with Super Discount 2 CD when it was released.  (I’ve since lost both CDs [in France, ironically] and recently re-bought the vinyl edition of the first SD off the ebay.) The sequel was a bit of a disappointment being somewhat more clinical sounding than it’s predecessor.  It is from the latter album that this 12″ was taken; like the album, it’s a bit too mechanical for me. I found this twelve 2 days ago in a Folkestone chaz shop when I was in town to pick up a couple Honest Jon’s rekkids from the Post Office distribution centre.  A good day.

Albums Uncategorized

Kassidy – The Oh Crap A Lisp (Lordi Parody CD-R)

Before anyone reminds me that the name of this blog presupposes that all musical content discussed herein should be found on 12″, 10″ or 7″ vinyl records, I would point out that this rule has been broken a couple times when it serves a useful purpose.

Well, I’m not sure this constitutes “useful” or not, but I felt compelled to write about this particularly odd CD-R.   Lordi, for those out the know, are a heavy metal band from Finland who won the Eurovision Song Constest in 2006.  More than you could possibly want to know is here.

For those readers old enough to listen to Radio 4, the closest comparison I could make with The Oh Crap A Lisp is the work of The Now Show‘s Mitch Benn.  Indeed, the genesis of the Lisp project came through Iain Lee’s LBC radio show.  Kassidy, for all the lyrical joking and extensive liner note fun, seems to take what he’s doing very seriously.  There’s an impressive list of of the instruments used including the mics. He’s provided a website for commentary on individual songs. Why, there’s even a biography of the artist written in the third person: “There was a general consensus ’round the beginning of the thirteenth century [sic] that there were far too many sane people in this world, and as a consequence Kass came into existence.”  As for the content, well, perhaps I would find these more amusing if I was familiar with/actually liked Lordi or if the music itself was more interesting and better sung.

One of the score or so thanked in the extensive liner notes was UKLFC (Kerry) who presumably donated her copy to the Ashford bootfair where I paid 50 pee for it on the same day I got the George Harrison 12″ below.

Albums Disco

Norma Jean – Norman Jean (Bearsville BRK 6989) (1978)

Something like five years ago I found this record at Help the Aged in Hythe, my eye caught by the distinctive, classy Norman Seeff photography. Despite having everything going for it, not least production, songwriting, instrumentation and arrangement by Niles Rogers and Bernard Edwards, I passed.  The hitch: a £2.50 price tag.  Less than a week later, I repented, cursing my meaness and returned to collect my spoils; alas, it was gone and I resolved that I would not rest until it was mine.  My vigilance was rewarded a few weeks ago and for only a pound. Praises be, but I suspect I would have gotten £1.50’s worth of pleasure in the intervening years.

The record sounds much like the other Chic productions of the time (really, how busy were those cats?!), bolstered by Norma’s excellent pipes. Chic were always keen on their musical history and here those debts are once again paid: witness, vibes solo in “Saturday” and a frenetic, but tasteful take on Sam Cooke’s “Having A Party.” Special notice must be given to the rhythm guitar playing, especially on “Sorcerer” which also features some fine conga work.  While the three ballads are artfully performed, it’s the uptempo numbers that I will return to.

Albums Classic Rock Rockpile Related

Dave Edmunds – Tracks on Wax 4 (Swan Song SSK 59407) (1978)

I adore early Nick Lowe solo records, most of which feature Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremmer and Terry Williams, as well as the Rockpile Lp, Seconds of Pleasure, which is that group as a nominal band.  So when Edmunds’ awkwardly titled Tracks On Wax 4 (the first DE solo record with all the above players) presented itself at Delmelza House recently, I snapped it up pronto despite the facts that his contributions to Seconds are my least favourite and a little of his braying style of vox goes a long way.  Still, this fourth Dave Edmunds studio album is a Rockpile album in all but name and therefore, if not quite as, nifty.

Does anyone else think it’s odd that Edmunds was on Led Zeppelin’s vanity lable, Swan Song?

Albums Classical Soundtracks

Walt Disney’s Fantasia – Leopold Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra (Buena Vista STER-101)

A photo-heavy family showcase album for the holiday season. Lavish ain’t the word for this 1959 gatefold treble Lp soundtrack to Disney’s 1939 animated tour de force that I got from the same American charity shop as the earlier Spirituals record.  The 20 page, heavyweight paper, full-colour booklet features artwork adapted from the film and it’s interesting to see how the vibrant 1950s interpretations of the earlier art, which must have seemed hopelessly out of date at the time, now seems itself so dated.  No less glorious because of it, though, as you can see.

“We recommend that the volume control on your phonograph be kept at a moderate room level for fullest enjoyment.”  Imagine seeing those words at the bottom of a Motorhead album sleeve.

Albums Blues Compilations Folk

Son of Gutbucket (Liberty LBX 4) – Various Artists

A solid collection of mainly British post-psychedelic folk and blues and follow-up to the Gutbucket compilation from a time when people were about “keepin’ it real”, “movin’ back to our roots” and “gettin’ our heads together” by “goin’ up country”.  Son of Gutbucket contrasts interestingly with the more Rhythm & Blues take on American roots music found on this pre-psych collection. There’s nonetheless more than a whiff of prog in both T.I.M.E.’s “Preparation G” and “Walking Down Their Outlook” by High Tide.

back cover of Gutbucket

There are lots of recognisable names among the credits for the sharp-eyed liner note reader. Especially one with the magnifying function on.

Albums Gospel

Negro Spirituals

A trio of similarly named albums to demonstrate my international crate-digging cred: The first comes from a junk shop near Boulogne for un euro; the second, liberated from a Virginian animal protection charity shop, cost me a buck; and finally, a quid landed me the last album from a Canterbury boot fair.

Negro Spirituals at Christmas (Guilde Disque International MMS 2090)- Golden Gate Quartet

A first rate 1950s (?) budget label collection from a gospel foursome still trading–they’ve got a new album out this year. Elvis was apparently a fan and it’s easy to hear why: lead and backing vocals bubble and bounce around each other in gloriously mellow fashion reminiscent of, but swingier than, the King and his Jordanaires. This one has been getting much play lately.

Spirituals (RCA Victor LM-2126)- Howard University Choir

As befits RCA’s Red Label classical division, this is a more “high church” chorale exercise for Sunday morning enjoyment. Like, for example, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, there’s a kind of explicit, and rather defensive, desire to make respectable that which was frowned upon by polite society.

Negro Spirituals (World Record Club LMP 12)- Various Artists

I’ve mentioned this elpee before, now here’s a chance to actually view the notorious creation. I gave it another chance recently and it sounds like a Disney chorus doing gospel. It’s really not great, but I still adore the cover.

Albums mid-90s triple XXX ragga jungle

A Souvenir of John and Margot (LYN 357)

Go right on ahead and judge this book by its cover, it sounds just like you’d expect: mid-90s triple XXX ragga jungle.

And it’s autographed, so book value is through the freakin’ roof!

12 inchers Beatles Related

George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You (extended version) 12″

Hari GeorgesonNot too many people braving the cold at Ashford Bootfair this morning, but the trip was made worthwhile with the purchase of a bootleg NYC hip hop mix CD and the present item for a pound. When George came to re-issue All Things Must Pass shortly before he passed, he claims to have been sorely tempted to re-mix his magnum opus and scale it back to something less Wagnerian.  He resisted that temptation as he surely must have done for the 12″ mix of his enormously popular bouncy overproduced comeback single from 1987.  Hari didn’t have a lot to work with, given the slightness of the original tune (basically two half verses and a chorus) and so it goes; the acoustic guitars are a likkle more pronounced, an intro edit of the guitar solo opens the track and a previously-unheard-amongst-all-the-clatter rockabilly breakdown intrudes three-quarters of the way through.