The Skatalites – “Guns of Navarone” b/w “Marcus Garvey” (WI 168) (1965)

SAM_0307Horace Andy once asked the musical question, “Do you love Reggae Music?” Now Thrifty Vinyl has asked its readers to write in and tell us what you really think about Jamaica’s national music. So, this month’s question…

DO YOU LIKE REGGAE?

  • “No, because I find it distracting when I smoke marijuana.” Vicky Verky, Camberwell.
  • “I used to listen to it back in College, when I had ideals and before I had a mortgage.” Russ T. Fari, Leeds.
  • “Not really. All reggae music sounds the same to me. Mind you, all classical, heavy metal, punk, garage, jazz, pop, dubstep, funk, house, bluegrass, soul, country, folk and blues music sound the same to me as well.” Carl Book-Marx, oop north.
  • “As a Trustafarian, I am obliged to like it.” Bobo, Oz.
  • “Don’t know it or feel it.” Mary Kettle-Chips, Dover.
  • “Yes. I’ve got a cd of Labour of Love by UB40.” Billie Burke, Cheltenham.
  • “I went right off reggae when Haile Selassie I died.” – Dyson Hoover, Farnham.
  • “Only if it’s on badly pressed JA vinyl.” Beanz N. Franks, Manchester
  • “What, do I look like a boring, white, balding, middle-aged man?” – Kevin, London.
  • “No. I preferred Jughead.” – Archie, Comics.
  • “Definitely. You mean Bob Marley, right?” – Guy Blanco, Never-Neverland.
  • “Not especially, but I do have a hilarious ‘rasta wig’.” Sir Jeremy Park-Lane, Westminster.
  • “Mento, no. Ska, yes. Rock Steady, yes. Ragga, yes. Dub, no. Jamaican R&B, no.” Richard, Bristol.
  • “Wait, reggae comes from Jamaica?”  – Bob Whacksibildup, Land’s End.
  • “Yes, but just the 70s classics, you know, by Eric Clapton, the Clash, Paul Simon and the Rolling Stones.” Alex Cleaning Product, by a tree.
Advertisements
Published in: on February 27, 2014 at 10:56 am  Comments (4)  

Y Cwiltiaid – Y Cwiltiaid! (QEP 4050) (1967)

SAM_0299“Beirniadu gan y clawr cic-ass, yr oeddwn wedi gobeithio y 7 “ep yn mynd i swnio fel Standells Abertawe; gwaetha’r modd ei fod yn fwy fel Cymru Kingston Triawd,” which is Welsh for “Judging by the kick-ass cover, I had high hopes this  7″ ep was going to sound like a Swansea Standells; alas it’s more like a Cymru Kingston Trio.” Nice enough, but not really my cuppa.SAM_0300More information may be gleaned rightabouts here, including translations, etc.

SAM_0301

Published in: on February 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bubblegum Is Back – Various Artists (BDLB 1001) (1974)

SAM_0295All right, go ahead, be snobs, just like you were in the Sixties. But if you’re gonna listen to Talking Heads, you might as well know that they cite bubblegum as one of their biggest influences and used to do the 1910 Fruitgum Co.’s ‘1, 2, 3, Red Light’ onstage, just like Wilson Picket had the good taste to cover ‘Sugar, Sugar,’ a rock and roll classic to which something like the Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star’ can’t hold a candle.

Bubblegum music, in fact, rested (or more accurately perked) squarely in the mainstream of the rock and roll tradition [and] could be described as the basic sound of rock and roll–minus the rage, fear, violence and anomie that runs from Johnny Burnette to Sid Vicious. 1-2-3-4, as Dee Dee Ramone would say. Ladle on a bit of Beach Boys here and there, keep the ball rolling but let it bounce. No lobs or straight shots in the other team’s face. A calculated innocence, perhaps, but the wonderful irony was that it worked.

— Lester Bangs The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll
SAM_0296
To give you an idea of their pricing policy, Sandwich’s Pilgrim’s Hospice once charged £5 for a scratched-to-buggery Band on the Run (it didn’t even have the poster!); needless to say, I’ve never bought anything there despite having visited several times. All that changed yesterday with this excellent compendium of late 60s, tooth-rotting, sunshine pop.

Published in: on February 22, 2014 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Milt Jackson Quartet – Statement (T.501) (1961)

SAM_0297What this just yesterday purchased album demonstrates, apart from my seemingly endless capacity to listen to Modern Jazz Quartet-related music, is why I tend not to buy from Oxfam. Look closely at the front cover. At the bottom right you will find the price sticker for Sue Ryder whence came this gem: £1. Fair enough. Now cast your saucers upward and note the £5.99 tag from the aforementioned Oxfam.

SAM_0298I will tell you this for nothing, my seemingly endless capacity to listen to Modern Jazz Quartet music is not matched by a correspondingly endless budget and no way would I have shelled out six nicker for this (admittedly lovely) Lp, especially as it’s a 1966 World Record re-issue and not the original Impulse! version.

Published in: on February 22, 2014 at 9:02 am  Comments (13)  

Grand Opening of New Unit To House 7″ 45rpm Singles at Asbo HQ

SAM_0288It’s not always about listening to the music, sometimes it’s about looking at it. For years I have bemoaned the inaccessibility of my 7″ singles. Held fast in a baker’s dozen’s worth of carry-cases on the bottom shelf of a sideboard in the dining room, too rarely did these records see any action. It was sad.

SAM_0290A few weeks ago I designed a shelving unit to contain my neglected vinyl. Pleased with the specs, I commissioned a friend to construct the storage system. In the meantime, I ordered plastic divider cards and labelled them using rub-on letters of various typefaces.

SAM_0291Last Friday, I took delivery and set about organising the records (so many, many questions about filing!) in a fit of nebbish anal-retentivity the like of which the Elham Valley, let alone Casa d’Asbo, seldom sees.

SAM_0292Having satisfactorily filed the collection, I straightaway moved the records out of their new home to undercoat and then paint it to match the Lp and CD storage units (see the Thrifty V wallpaper featuring shelves also built by my friend).

SAM_0293Now normally, of course, I couldn’t afford such frivolousness, but I recently came into quite a tidy sum as a result of the eBay sale of an item featured in this very organ. There are prizes for correctly guessing which item it was.*

SAM_0294Even as Comic Book Guy’s last-minute existential angst (“Oh, I’ve wasted my life.”) rings loudly in my ears,  I can’t help but indulge in some thoroughly rewarding staring time.

*And by “prizes”, I mean “no prizes”.

Published in: on February 18, 2014 at 9:50 am  Comments (17)  

Alan Caddy Orchestra and Singers – Tribute to Beatlemania (NUE 140) (1971)

SAM_0287THRIFTY VINYL RECOGNISES THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE BRITISH INVASION LED BY THE BEATLES

Did we love them? Yeah, yeah, yeah!

The Beatles are, of course, justly celebrated in the United States for their undeniably fresh music which, just a few short months after tragic events in Dallas, Texas, brought a joyous shriek from the beleaguered lungs of Uncle Sam. But it was the Beatles’ cheeky personalities, as expressed in their many press conferences, that first drew these long-haired Liverpudlians into the nation’s still grieving hearts.

From the Beatles’ first laugh-filled US press conference on February 7th 1964 to the controversial ones later on in the band’s career, staid American journalists didn’t know what hit ’em, but they always got good quote!

To celebrate this collective bosom-gathering, Thrifty Vinyl would like to present a few selected highlights of Beatles banter.

Q: How many of you are bald, that you have to wear those wigs?

RINGO: All of us. From the chemotherapy.

Q: Are you going to get a haircut at all while you’re here?

PAUL: Let me answer that with another question: can you eat my arse, because it tastes like chicken?

 Q: There’s some doubt that you can sing.

RINGO: [sings] “I am the anti-Christ/I am an anarchist/Don’t know what I want/But I know how to get it/I wanna destroy the passerby.” See, I can.

Q: Do you know American slang? Are you for real?

PAUL: Your mum thought so when I was shagging her last night.

Q: In Detroit Michigan, there handing out car stickers saying, ‘Stamp Out The Beatles.’

JOHN: First of all, that’s not a question and secondly, as the Japanese begin to design and build better and cheaper cars, Detroit and the surrounding economies that depend on the car industry will fall on desperately hard times, so they can sit on a broom and swivel.

Q: What do you think of Beethoven?

RINGO: Basically, he’s shit.

Q: What do you call that hairstyle?

GEORGE: Bite a fart, douchebag.

Q: A psychiatrist recently said you’re nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys.

PAUL: We’re not, obviously, but I’d definitely do his missus.

Q: Mr. Lennon, we’ve been hearing a great deal of interpretations of your comment regarding the Beatles and Jesus. Could you tell us what you really meant by that statement?

JOHN: I thought it was pretty clear, but just to make sure, I was saying that in comparing us [the Beatles] with Jesus Christ as a person and God as a thing or whatever it is, we are not only better, but greater.

Q: Would any of you care to comment on any aspect of the war in Vietnam?

GEORGE: Put it this way, if I wasn’t busy being a Beatle, I’d be over there killing Gooks and spreading democracy myself.

Q: Will you come out? [In 1969 John and Yoko held some press conferences in a large canvas bag]

JOHN: No.

Q: Why not?

JOHN: Because this is a ‘Bag’ event. Total communication. (Emerging shortly, holding his nose) Ah Jesus, Yoko farted!

Published in: on February 15, 2014 at 10:52 am  Comments (4)  

We get letters

bbsLet’s see what’s in the Thrifty Vinyl mailbox this week…

  • …I go to charity shops regularly and I have never seen a Phil Collins record there. Of course, I don’t know what they look like, so it’s possible I’ve seen one and just didn’t realise it. Edna Spatula, Yarmouth, Norfolk.
  • …Whenever I go thrifting for vinyl Lps, I only buy Shirley Bassey records. As a result, I now have over 800 albums by Dame Shirley, including multiple copies of some her more popular works. Bobby, Truro, Cornwall.
  • …They say “charity begins at home” so if I’m in a record enthusiast’s home, I help myself to whatever albums I fancy. And I always leave a pound per disc, as that seems to be the going rate. Kevin Liar-Liar, Pants-On-Fire, Berks.
  • …I own a chain of entertainment media charity shops throughout the UK and with the recent resurgence in vinyl sales, I’ve had to make a point of stocking more records. Unfortunately, I am obliged to pay the people who donate records (aka “distributors”) and I’m afraid I’ve had to pass these costs on to the consumer. Trevor Moore, CEO HMV Retail Ltd, London.
  • …Like Bobby from Truro [above] I, too, only buy Shirley Bassey records when I go charity shopping, but since I’ve yet to ever set foot in a charity shop, my Shirley Bassey record count remains at nil. Burly Chassis, Tintagel, Cornwall
  • …I don’t believe in charity, so when I find myself in a charity shop I steal as many records as I can shove under my jumper. Those I can’t shoplift, I render unplayable by use of an X-Acto knife. These charity case layabouts need to learn there’s no such thing as a “free lunch” in this life. Major Percy Twat-Breth, Toxteth Hospital, Dangerous Criminals Ward.
  • …With regard to Major Twat-Breth’s letter [above], I think people who steal Lps from charity shops are the lowest of the low and, if caught, they should have their record collections impounded and donated to charity. Those with small or not very valuable record collections could be forced to donate blood to the Red Cross. Major Percy Twat-Breth (Mrs), Toxteth.
  • …I wish I had 5p for every Johnny Mathis record I’ve seen in a thrift store; I’d probably have upwards of £40, which would be a positive boon in these “austerity” times, I can tell you. Edgar Allan Po’ Boy (no relation), London.
  • …Back in my day me and my friends couldn’t afford proper pornography and had to use those Top Of the Pops albums for our jack-off fodder. So I advised my vinyl collector grandson to use rubber gloves when handling TOTP compilations at his local Oxfam. No doubt other mucky teens used them as I did and you can’t be too careful. Anonymous, Name and address available on request.
  • …I once bought an ABBA album at a Sue Ryder shop, so imagine my anger when I took it home only to find a Lionel Richie record inside. How they laughed at the police station when I explained myself having been arrested and charged with arson later that day. Nigel Ardman, Belmarsh Prison.
  • …I have never been in a charity shop, yet I have purchased scores of charity donated vinyl. “How can this be?” you ask. Simple, I live in the United States and we don’t call them charity shops, we call them thrift stores. A Asshole, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • …I have made lots of money selling records on eBay that I bought in charity shops and I don’t even care. A N Other-Arsehole, Boston, Lincolnshire.
  • …Has anyone ever actually listened to a Bert Kaempfert record or did people just buy them and give them straightaway to charity? Tavish McGonnagle, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
  • …I once found a Beatles “Butcher Cover” album in a Carlisle Cancer Research chazza, but put it back. Someone else will get more pleasure out of it I thought. Anna Karenninna, Carlisle, Cumbria.
  • …Yesterday my 14-year old son claimed that my entire charity shop’s record collection (over 1000 Lps and half again as many 7″ singles) could fit on his iPhone. We tried it and, remarkably, it did fit. Unfortunately the phone was crushed in the process. Kitch N Utensil, Delia, Derbyshire.
  • …Unlike Mr Other-Arsehole [above], I feel terribly guilty about all the profit I’ve made dealing records originally purchased at charity shops. Mind you, it hasn’t stopped me. Mrs Audrey Priory-Clinic, Canterbury, Kent.
  • …I wish these so-called “crate-diggers” would bugger off and leave the charity shops to the rest of us normal record collectors. Mikey Mike, Brady, Herts
  • …I’ll never forget the time I went into a charity shop in Crewkerne. My family and I were driving back from holiday in Cornwall and we stopped in the picturesque Somerset village for lunch. Whilst there we visited the Scope charity shop where I found three EX+ condition Saturday Night Fever sound track albums. What are the odds of that? Mabel Budgerigars, Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Published in: on February 13, 2014 at 10:24 am  Comments (2)  

Nancy Sinatra – Country, My Way (RLP 6252) (1967)

SAM_0285I’ve never been a particular fan of Lee Hazlewood, his productions only just the right side of kitsch for my taste, but I couldn’t resist this country-pop crossover by long-time muse Sinatra today as it was just being put out at a chaz in Hythe. Seems everyone and their 13-year old first cousin made a country Lp back in the 60s, but this one works on account of top-notch playing and song selection, though Hazlewood must be the only singer in the studio technically worse than Sinatra.

This one’s for my homies, Out of Town DJs.SAM_0286

Published in: on February 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm  Comments (2)  

The Dave Brubeck Quartet with Orchestra – Time Changes (SBPG62253) (1964)

SAM_0284Brubeck was nothing if not ambitious and the blending on side two’s “Elementals” of classical and jazz music, while not the first such undertaking, sounds unforced and natural; not an embarrassing popularisation of the former nor an unctuous smartening up of the latter. While much credit for its success should go to the composer and arranger, props must be given to drummer Joe Morello whose energetic thumping during the piece’s later stages gives it real verve. Trading on the “time” conceit once again, side one is more traditional Brubeck fare, though it too is enlivened by the drummer. In really good condition, esp. for a pound at Demelza.

Published in: on February 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm  Comments (4)  

The B52’s – “Rock Lobster b/w “52 Girls” (PSR 438) (1978)

SAM_0258High School Dance Vignette

Kevin’s heart raced. He couldn’t believe he was actually buying pot! Two joints. A dollar a stick. And now he was going to show up to dance drunk and high. Giddy and dramatic, he imagined this was a turning point in his life, like the denouement scene in a coming-of-age movie.

As he walked across the football field to the high school that Friday night sucking on a Mickey’s Big Mouth, Kevin fumbled with the first bone. Lighting it and drawing deeply, he tasted the unmistakable bite of…tobacco. He’d been taken.

The worst part was that he couldn’t complain about it; not to the “dealer” who’d probably beat him up, not to his friends who would laugh at his gullibility and certainly not to his parents, who were, under the circumstances, unlikely to be understanding. Deep disappointment.SAM_0259Nothing for it but to finish his beers and go to the dance anyway, deflated. As he entered, the unmistakable sounds of the B52’s “Rock Lobster” assaulted his ear. He surveyed the booming room. Kids, huddled in cliques, danced and laughed. Despite the promise of great times, Kevin, like other wall flowers without girlfriends, often found High School Dances awkward and dismaying. But now all of that was being swept out of the way as “Rock Lobster” played. Here was a song that united jocks and nerds, the cool and the uncool, the shy and the extroverted. A sense of ease and belonging washed over Kevin as he raced over to the dance floor in time to crouch and do “The Worm” with people he loved and hated, made fun of and laughed with, envied and felt sorry for.

Down, down
Underneath the waves
Mermaids wavin’
Wavin’ to mermen
Wavin’ sea fans
Sea horses sailin’
Dolphins wailin’
Red snappers snappin’
Clam shells clappin’
Muscles flexin’
Flippers flippin’
Down, down

Let’s rock!

SAM_0260Editor’s Note: this 7″ was a giveaway with the UK first edition of the B52’s debut. The original, earlier version of the song whose silliness, kitsch cool and aggression virtually defines New Wave. Another cool piece from the Island records batch from the end of 2013.

Published in: on February 6, 2014 at 8:26 am  Comments (2)