Animal Magic 12″ EP

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Found this little nugget in the same pile as the Pigbag records, at the Cancer Research on Fishponds High Street. I suspect they all came from the same previous owner, as this is another nice example of that early eighties post-punk-funk thang with a strong Bristol connection.

Animal Magic’s EP is a tidy four-tracker released on Recreational Records, manufactured and distributed by Revolver, who’s phone number is included on the sleeve. Its been a while since I saw the old 0272 dialing code. Most Bristolian music lovers will remember the Revolver Records shop at the top of Park Street as an oasis of good alternative music.

I’d never heard of the band before (I was only 13 years old in 1982 when this record was released and not well versed in local indie-funk activities). There’s a nice picture of Howard, Mark, Mark, Gill and Rob on the rear sleeve…

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I’ve been quite charmed by their scratchy, urgent tracks. I particularly like the way the horns sound a bit out-of-tune, in a good way, similar to the semi-dissonant arrangements of more industrial-tinged groups like A Certain Ratio and 23 Skidoo.

I was wondering whatever happened to them all. There doesn’t appear to be much information about them out there, but thanks to Bristol Archive Records, their music does live on in the digital realm.

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Published in: on February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm  Comments (6)  

D’Angelo – Voodoo (MCR 902) (2000)

Voodoo 2GOD TO D’ANGELO: ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’                       Deity Finally Answers Neo-Soul Singer’s Thanks

(Heaven) – It’s taken a little over thirteen years, but God has finally responded to D’Angelo’s Voodoo liner note acknowledgment with a simple, heartfelt “You’re Welcome” on the neo-soul singer’s myspace page.

God didn’t get Voodoo when it was first released on Virgin in 2000 (“It must have slipped through the net!”), only picking up the recent deluxe re-issue on Light In the Attic’s Modern Classics Recordings imprint last month. It was at this point that the Lord caught D’Angelo’s “All thanks and praises 2 Yahweh Yahushina” notice on the inner gatefold’s liner notes.

“I was, like, ‘Wow, [D’Angelo] wants to thank and praise Me for My inspiration–that’s so cool’,” recalled our Heavenly Father, smiling beatifically. “It’s always nice to be recognised and I though it would be churlish, even bad-mannered, not to respond.”

Summing up the double Lp’s style as, “Marvin, Al and Sly meet at Paisley Park circa 1986 with judicious elements of hip-hop sprinkled liberally throughout”, the Almighty posted His message yesterday on http://www.myspace.com/dangelo. In the post, God praised Voodoo‘s “rough-hewn performances” and singled out the vocalist born Michael Eugene Archer for a “bravura, even virtuosic demonstration of the singer’s art”. Concluding the short note with “and basically, you’re welcome”, the Light of the World copied and pasted the e-mail on to the http://www.okayplayer.com/dangelo site listed on the album credits (“just to be sure [D’Angelo] got it”), but unfortunately the link didn’t work.

Despite a longstanding reputation for wrath, God turned vengeful only when asked why He hadn’t responded to D’Angelo at the time of Voodoo‘s original issue. “Listen, buddy,” the Creator replied testily, “you try administering Heaven and Earth full-time and see how much time you’ve got for pleasantries. Please!”

God went on to say that He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe His inspiration of D’Angelo was waning: “I mean, it’s been thirteen years and counting since Voodoo, where’s album number three?”

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Editor’s note: Alas, not a thrifty vinyl, but a retail one (one of only two[!] purchased in the last 3 months). It’s a great record, thoroughly recommended. A friend tells me CDs of this are going cheap at HMV–check it out.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  

PIGBAG 12″ Singles

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Known to the general public as one-hit-wonders, responsible for the #3 smash “Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag” back in April ’82, here we have the two significantly less successful singles that appeared either side of it, during the same year and on the same label (Dick O’Dell’s Y Records).

“Getting Up” (which peaked at #61 before quickly disappearing in February) is great: spiky, spacey, synthy post-punk Brit-funk of the highest caliber. Totally of-its-time and all the better for it. Of the two b-sides, “Giggling Mud” is perhaps even better, adding discreet dub-echo fx to a tight-but-loose funk jam, whilst “Go Cat” begins with a wonky rendition of the Top Cat theme before descending into a wild jazzy improv session. At one point someone shouts “Mine’s a cider!”, in true West Country fashion. You gotta love it!

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Released in the wake of “Papa’s…” surprise success, “The Big Bean” just scraped into the Top 40 in July before swiftly disappearing back whence it came. Now recording at Abbey Road, and featuring steel drums, the track has a more luxurious sound which seems to predict the onset of ‘World Music’ that would rise to prominence later in that decade. Even the sleeve design has more of a mid/late-80s look about it. But what it gains in production values, it inevitably loses in terms of urgency and what might be termed ‘bite’.

B-side “Scumda” is a more interesting proposition. Revolving around a repetitive piano figure, dense percussion and some half-decent attempts at mimicking bird-calls, the track suggests an update of Martin Denny’s ‘exotica’ sounds, which (if I recall correctly) were quite in vogue with many artists in the post-punk mileau of the time.

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon

Rhymin'THE DANGLING PHONE CONVERSATION

ARTIE: (picks up ringing phone) Hello.

PAUL:  Hi, Artie. We need to talk. I think we should stop making records together.

ARTIE:  This is so sudden. Have you thought this through? Are you sure?

PAUL:  I’m absolutely sure. Actually, I’m going to do a solo album.

ARTIE:  (long pause) I understand. (another long pause) Have you decided on a title for your solo album?

PAUL: Yeah, it’s called There Goes Balding Paul-ding.

ARTIE: (yet another long pause) Hmmm.

PAUL: What, don’t you like?

ARTIE:  It’s fine, but I was just thinking that maybe you should just call your first solo album simply Paul Simon, it makes a more definitive statement, that way you can save There Goes Balding Paul-ding for your second one.

PAUL: Perhaps you’re right, I’ll think about it.

ARTIE: Okay, see you later.

PAUL: Or not. (hangs up)

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 9:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Kenny Cox and Contemporary Jazz Quintet – Multidirection (BST 84339) (1969)

Kenny CoxIt’s the crate digger’s lot, I know, but it seems I’ve been striking out an awful lot lately. Recent family visits, under the guise of “exploring new places”, to Lewes, East Sussex and Tenterden, Kent, never mind regular sorties to Hythe and Folkestone, have left your reporter distinctly underwhelmed. If it weren’t for the many, many scores of wonderful records already purchased over the preceding four decades, for example, this tasty, if, given its turbulent time of issue, relatively conservative Kenny Cox Lp picked up a year or so ago from a chaz in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, well, I’d be completely lost.Blue Note

Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm  Comments (4)  

Aretha’s Gold (588 192/K40036) (1968)

It's Gold, Jerry. Gold!

It’s funny what you remember. One of my favorite thrift days was as a 14 or 15 year-old. A pop-up flea market was being held on the second floor (first floor, if you’re British) in one of downtown Mount Vernon, Ohio’s commercial buildings while it was being cleared out to make way for a new business. That day I bought Stardust by Willie Nelson, The Exciting Wilson Picket and Aretha’s Queen of Soul. That’s it, no revelations or anything, just a satisfying day buying great records for cheap; yet I still cling to the memory when the details of far more momentous life events escape me. Like I said, funny what you remember.
Back Gold
I’ve since lost all three albums and, despite thoroughly enjoying them, I’ve never replaced them. I do buy Aretha whenever I have the chance as evidenced by my purchase of Aretha’s Gold at the Oxfam in Canterbury. It was on sale, you see. I think they may be phasing out the vinyl there.

By the way, though they may have baulked at Sister ‘Re’s Etch-A-Sketch eyebrows and the fact that, at the time, there were only four Atlantic full-length records extant from which to draw a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation, Lp completists would nonethess feel compelled to own the generously appointed and well-programmed Gold due to its inclusion of the non-album single, “The House That Jack Built”. During the following 6 years, Atlantic would issue yet three more ‘Best Of’ anthologies–gotta be some kind of record company superlative.

Mo' PlumNot sure what to make of the sticker on the back indicating a different catalogue no. to the ones on the label and spine. It might have something to do with the fact that the sleeve has been drilled. Perhaps a well-informed Thrifty V reader could explain.

Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Prince – Lovesexy (1988)

SexyloveAREA MAN ACCEPTS ‘BEST BOOTLEG’ GRAMMY           Kudos For Work On Black Album

(Columbus, Ohio) — Humbled. Amazed. Proud.

These are just three of the words Columbus resident Lewis Ceri used to describe his emotions on being announced the winner of this year’s Best Bootleg Grammy award for his work on Prince’s otherwise unreleased Black Album. “Mainly, I want to share this award with Prince, for without his prodigal workrate, there might not be material to bootleg.”

Award presenters Steve Winwood and Natalie Cole couldn’t have been more fulsome in Ceri’s praise: “From the sourcing of overpriced, poorly manufactured, late generation copies,” enthused Winwood. “To the high-speed dubbing of cassettes on your room-mate’s stereo while he’s out, to collecting the easy money from mercenary independent record shops, the bootleggers’ art is a fraught one.”

“In awarding the Bootleg Grammy to Lewis Ceri,” Cole continued, “the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences wishes to acknowledge the hard work involved in making unreleased music available to overzealous, unscrupulous music fans.”

Ceri purchased his original copy in Camden Market when on vacation in London last summer and has been selling shittily dubbed cassette tape copies to College Boys Records since returning home. “I used cheap casssettes and low grade paper to keep costs down,” he joked during his acceptance speech. “Though I did at least use cheap purple paper for the J-card!”

Of the album itself, Ceri concluded, “It’s actually not that great, [followup] Lovesexy is a better record.

Editor’s Note: I got this album, Sign ‘☮’ the Times and Parade in one gigantic purple splurge at a thrifta in Sandwich. Another case of getting vinyl versions of records originally purchased on CD.

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Specials – More Specials (CHR TT5003) (1980)


POSTERLOCAL MAN SHOEHORNS THE SPECIALS INTO EVERY FREAKIN’ CONVERSATION

(Columbus, Ohio) — According to patrons of the Clintonville Ace of Cups club, music fan and OSU undergrad Gary Snyden manages to shoehorn English music group The Specials into every freakin’ conversation in which he engages.

“It isn’t just conversations about Coventry or music, let alone the late 70s UK ska revival,” revealed acquaintance Steve Bishop. “We could literally be talking about anything: the weather, the Columbus Crew, voting booth controversies, student loans, any freakin’ thing, and Gary would steer things toward the Specials.”

Friends were quick to note that they like the multi-racial act as much as anyone, but enough is enough and could we please give the freakin’ Specials references a break.

“My favorite recent Specials-related conversational contrivance, was when Gary went from the Oscar Pistorious trial to South Africa to Nelson Mandela to, you guessed it, Special AKA’s ‘Free Nelson Mandela’,” recalled co-worker Jane Spencer. “That particular leap took less than two freakin’ minutes to achieve.”

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Of course, debates centered around popular music are easiest for Snydon to shepherd Specials way: Ska, Elvis Costello, Andy Williams, new wave, Chrissie Hynde, No Doubt, the Go-Gos are but seven of the now hundreds of music-related topics that friends have learned to give a wide freakin’ berth.

Other recent tortuous gambits include comparing the black and white checkerboard vinyl flooring in a friend’s toilet to the 2 Tone Records logo and noting the similarities between the names of Neville Staple and that of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain when his history lecturer had been discussing the latter’s appeasement to Adolf Hitler prior to World War freakin’ II.

“Inevitably, any mention of the phrases ‘rat race’ or ‘stereotype’ sets Gary off singing,” reported Bishop.

Within the first minute of his discourse with Thrifty Vinyl outside the Ace of Cups, lifelong Columbus resident Snyden was able to allude to the Specials when a passing man’s smile revealed two missing front teeth: “Hmm, just like Jerry Dammers,” he freakin’ commented.

BACK COVEREditor’s Note: nice piece here, a real change-up when the band could’ve just as easily done a retread of their first Lp. Includes the poster and the free single.

Bonus Single

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm  Comments (2)  

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (Deluxe Edition)

Wazzup

ROLLING STONE: ‘F*CK IT, LET’S NOT NAME WHAT’S GOING ON THE GREATEST ALBUM EVER’                   Editors Choose Mediocre Television Lp For Top Spot Just To Piss People Off

(New York) — The latest Rolling Stone “100 Greatest Albums” poll was set to feature Marvin Gaye’s 1971 classic What’s Going On in pole position, but a last-minute, arbitrary change-of-heart lead editors to instead select Adventure, the disappointing sophomore release from New York new wave band Television, just to annoy its readership.

Saying that list issues were “basically a bullsh*t way to pad out a magazine anyway”, Rolling Stone‘s editor-in-chief, Jann Wenner recalled, “We were like, ‘F*ck it. What’s Going On always get picked, let’s choose something random and really piss people off.”

And yet, in order to fulfil the promise of the wilful, infuriating decision, the music bi-weekly couldn’t simply substitute Astral Weeks, Forever Changes, Horses or any other record in the accepted canon, never mind inevitable muso favorites like Sister Lovers or Liege & Lief. But nor did the editors wish to settle on an obvious stinker and tip their hand.

Said Senior Editor Ben Fong-Torres, “Once we decided against a properly good ‘classic rock’ album, I was up for nominating Under Wraps [by Shaun Cassidy] or maybe Milli Vanilli’s The Remix Album or, indeed, anything by Billy Joel as the best ever record but I was persuaded that choosing such utter crap would be too obvious.”

Rolling Stone staff then wondered about selecting a poor record by a well-regarded group. They were spoiled for choice: Islands by The Band, The Beach Boys Love You, Down In the Groove by Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones’ Dirty Work, Tin Machine II, the post-Lou Reed Velvet Underground album Squeeze, etc., etc. “Yeah, that list goes on and on and on,” said Wenner, shaking his head. “But there again, it felt like we were trying too hard and it’d backfire.”

Eventually, writers and editors alike felt that a mediocre record by a relatively (but not too) obscure or critically lauded cult artist would suit best as it might confound readers into thinking that perhaps they’d misjudged the given Lp. “When [editor] Jenny [Eliscu] used the word ‘mediocre’,” beamed Fong-Torres, “we knew the way forward.” The short list of middling albums included the Byrds’ Byrdmaniax, Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of SecretsPointing And Shouting by Mott the Hoople, Give ‘Em Enough Rope by The Clash, The Envoy by Warren Zevon, the Replacements’ All Shook Down and Talking Heads’ Naked. “I’m sure these records have their supporters, but no-one should confuse them with a top 100 greatest, yet alone number one best album ever,” explained Wenner. “Still, we thought there would be just enough doubt in people’s minds to think that maybe they did belong there.”

The ultimate choice of a weak 1978 Television album was seen by Wenner as a masterstroke. “Perfect choice–many music fans have heard of the band, but never actually heard them. And even if they have, chances are they’ve only heard Marquee Moon and could be fooled into thinking Adventure‘s brilliant.”

“Wait till they get it home!” he laughed. “It really is a pale imitation of the debut.”

Wenner said he hopes Rolling Stone‘s next issue, featuring the Top 100 Prog Rock Bassists of All-Time, will stimulate as much debate.
MarvinEditor’s note: Obviously, not a vinyl edition of WGO, but I was so stoked about this £1 Cancer Research find that I decided to post anyway. I haven’t broken the rules for a while and the tree of democracy must be nourished with the blood of tyrants periodically. Prior to this purchase, believe or don’t, I only had a really shitty looking What’s Going On/Let’s Get It On CD two-fer.

Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 9:53 am  Comments (8)  

Madonna – You Can Dance (1987)

You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind, 'cos your friends don't dance, and if they don't dance, well they're no friends of mine.Cheap Laughs Dept.

…SAID NO-ONE EVER — POP EDITION!

Directions: Using only your smart-assedness and knowledge of classic rock lore, attribute an unlikely quote to a popular musician. Like so…

  • “I’m sorry, if Bill Wyman quits, I quit too,” said Keith Richards. “It’s just not the Rolling Stones without him.”
  • “Favourite Beatles song?” said George Harrison. “Definitely either ‘Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand’ or ‘Sie Liebt Dich.'”
  • “Thanks, no,” said Keith Moon. “I’ve already had one and I’m driving,”
  • “We should give Mick Taylor writing credit on this one,” said Mick Jagger.
  • “Okay, now it’s time to record one of your songs Artie,” said Paul Simon.
  • “I don’t think it’s quite far out enough,” said Mike Love. “Bring the upside down water cooler bottles much higher in the mix.”
  • “Can we do another take,” said Carlos Santana. “I think I may have overplayed a bit on that last one.”
  • “Eno’s a clever fellow, but he can’t really play anything,” said Bryan Ferry. “What he does, he does very well but it’s necessarily limited music.”*
  • “Turn my amp down for me, will you,” said Richie Blackmore.
  • “Before we start the next number,” said Sid Vicious. “Give me a moment to tune my bass.”
  • “Marijuana’s alright,” said Bob Marley. “But not when I’m working. I need a clear head.”
  • “No, Colonel Parker,” said Elvis Presley.
  • “I think we’ll let the music sell the album,” said Madonna.
  • “I will defer to you on that decision, Rick,” said Roger Waters.
  • “Yes, Mojo, do come in–we’ve much to discuss,” said Van Morrison.

Now you try! It’s fun, it’s easy and it doesn’t cost a penny, only the withering of your already bitter and atrophied heart and the wasting of what precious little time you have left on Earth!

*whoops, Ferry actually did say that.

Editor’s note: I bought You Can Dance when it came out on cassette. An odd bespoke remix/singles hybrid, there is a percussion and keyboard thread that runs thought this segued Lp giving it continuity.

Published in: on February 8, 2013 at 11:07 am  Comments (10)