Albums Country AND Western

Dan McCorison (MCF 2810) (1977)


(Columbus, OH) Erroll Graine obviously thinks he’s some kind of fucking music critic or something the way he bangs on and on about record minutia in that smarmy, know-it-all way of his, patrons of local music emporium Secondhand Student Records reported yesterday.

“Jesus, what a prick,” recalled Phillip Green. “When I brought this country record I’d got in the cheapo section up to the counter, he goes, ‘Ah, songwriter Dan McCorison’s eponymous debut’–I mean, who ever uses the word ‘eponymous’?”

“And then he went on, ‘A solid, late 70s commercial country effort produced by ex-Byrd bassist Chris Hillman that neither disappoints nor challenges country orthodoxy’,” said an exasperated Green. “Yes, the pretentious asshole really said ‘country orthodoxy’?”

“Oh yeah,” agreed Tom Weston, another Second Student customer,”That guy’s totally into ‘crit-speak’ bon mots, using words like ‘oeuvre‘ and ‘canon’ and ‘sophomore effort’ and describing records as like someone else ‘on acid’.”

“It is very fucking tiresome,” Weston added.

“I like to think I’m doing a public service,” smiled Graine smugly unaware of the irritation he causes. “If people come into a record store, you know, they expect some expert guidance which I’m happy to provide.”

“Like that Dan McCorison Lp I sold today….” The dorkwad, now beginning to witter as if unable to help himself, launched into music writer mode.

“I definitely enhanced that guy’s shopping experience by explaining that it betrayed none of its producer’s former band’s glorious harmonic sheen, but rather was the kind of likeable, half-decent country record you found clogging up the K-Mart cut-out bin back in 1981.”

“And really, you should have seen how grateful he was when I pointed out that the only blip in the album’s aw-shucks-ma’am, hick-schtick was a truly bizarre reggae take on Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.”

Secondhand Student manager, Dan Onhigh, believes Graine is “perpetually stringing Dorothy Parker-isms in his head” and is so able to blurt them out when required.

“He should start a blog to get all that bullshit out of his system,” Onhigh said.

Albums Blues

Albert King – Blues For Elvis (Stax MPS-8504) (1981)

Not quite the post-Presley cash-in it might first appear, Albert King’s Elvis tribute was actually first issued in 1970 with the improbable title King Does The King’s Things. Around this time, major electric blues figures were radically re-imagining their sound for the rock market (cf. Muddy Waters’ Electric Mud and the notorious Howlin’ Wolf Album [the one with the “This is Howlin’ Wolf’s new album. He doesn’t like it.” cover]) with predictably controversial results. In contrast to the wah-wah’d guitar and loosey-goosey drumming heard on those Chess/Cadet Lps, the far more conservative and casual Blues For Elvis represents gentle tinkering: King’s stinging, un-effected lead lines share space with Stax-Volt horns while MGs anchor the rhythm section with typically tight flare and, given the material, sounding like the R&B of a decade earlier. Probably a minor record in the blues canon, but a good one to thrift.

80s Albums Compilations Dance Disco File Under POPULAR: Female vocal

Madonna – The Immaculate Collection (1990)

No retail shopping for me on Record Store Day, just cheapo chazzing. In fact, I already had Immaculate Collection on CD*, but couldn’t resist this early singles double Lp helping of the pop martinet whose musical and visual image mongering takes David Bowie’s similar chameleonality to absurdly cynical lengths and whose glamorisation (leading ultimately, and ironically, to normalisation) of sexual fetishism has virtually defined all solo female pop singing subsequent.

The liner notes offer a remarkable balance of slavering and intellectual pretension. Oh, Madonna, you so bad!

More Herb Ritts action on the inner sleeves.

*I will likely Music Magpie the compact disc version.

Albums Jazz

Paul Desmond and Friends – “First Place Again” Playboy (WM 4020) (1960)

Despite being nominal second banana, the most distinctive sound in the Dave Brubeck Quartet no doubt belonged to alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, whose mellow tone is a virtual personification of cool. A similarly relaxed vibe pervades on this awkwardly titled Lp (an early Warner Brothers release) with able help from MJQ’s rhythm section (them again!) and contrast to Desmond’s day job provided by guitarist Jim Hall.

When I first picked this up at Sue Ryder in Sandwich, I put it back for being too beat up. I retrieved it and decided on closer inspection that it just needed a good wash; and while the sound quality might not be as good as I’d hoped (esp. for £2), it’s certainly much better than I feared.

Albums Indian Classical Outernational

Ustad Vilayat Khan – Music of India (Volume 2) (ALP 1988) (1963)

As mentioned before, my knowledge of Indian Classical music is limited, but my record collector instincts are usually sharp enough to select worthwhile editions and even a neophyte could tell after one listen that this enchanting recording of extended performances for sitar, surbahar and tabla (subtitled Another “Music of the World” L.P.) is deftly brilliant, building slowly on both sides from gentle, hypnotic drones to frenzied sheets of sound.*

I could find no information about Volume 2 of this Gramophone Co. of India copy, which I picked up at the Mind shop in Cheriton last Saddy, but a charming story about the purchase of a slightly later, similar series on British EMI can be found here.

*apologies to Ira Gitler.

Albums Compilations Funk Jazz Soul

Free Soul – Essential Argo/Cadet Grooves Vol. 3 (ARC 510) (1991)

It was a barrel-shooting excersise the choice this morning to spend 50p at Mind in Cheriton on this Acid Jazz-inspired* Charly compilation of late-60s to late-70s funk-soul-jazz originally released on Chess Records subsidiaries Argo and Cadet and designed for the Rare Groove-head in your life.

As if the presence of Terry Collier’s ebullient “Ordinary Joe” and jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby weren’t enough clue-wise to convince me of purchase, the thanking of Soul Jazz Records (who must’ve only just been founded when this collection was issued), Honest Jon’s, James Lavell, Talkin’ Loud, etc. in the liner notes sealed the deal.

Interestingly, no information readily exists for Volumes 1 and 2 of this purported series.

*It says “File under Funki/Jazz” [sic] on the back cover.

Albums Reggae

Ini Kamoze (IMA7) (1984)

Early 80s Taxi Productions can be a bit brittle and, well, early 80s sounding. No such problem on “(He)artist” Ini Kamoze’s début “mini Lp”, wherein Sly ‘n’ Robbie make their robotic, pre-“Sleng Teng” reggae sound plenty meaty, each of the six tracks presented “showcase” style, with the extended portions dubbed up by all manner of mechanistic sound effects.

A 5-star record from the high tenor yout’ man singer, this one found cheap at an outdoor market in Canterbury on Saturday: They call it merther in chez Asbo!