Mrs Asbo is a fan, so for 20 pence, I can afford to be generous.
(New York City, New York) — Critics and fans alike were yesterday hailing veteran crooner Frank Sinatra’s new release, Trilogy, as a 3-album set.
“Yeah, he really did it there on a whole three records,” explained one music writer. “All three of which were capable of electrically reproducing the sound of Sinatra’s singing when played on a turntable hooked up to an amplifier and speaker system.”
Music lovers on the other side pond have also been quick to celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ first record in nearly six years, with at least one Brit calling it a “treble album”.
Others have heaped praise on Sinatra’s Reprise Records “comeback” as containing a full complement of songs and music commensurate with the vinyl triad included in the collection.
“What can I say?” gushed another fan. “Literally a trio of 33rpm discs!”
“Amazing!” she added.
Editor’s Note: As if in answer to an earlier question, The Clash and Frank Sinatra. A pair highly unlikely in 1980 to make ambitious, indulgent 3x Lps, but it happened. Both were seen as “events” at the time, both merited lead, if mixed, reviews in Rolling Stone, but only one was listened to by me and a Senior year girlfriend on 8-Track during afternoons after school at her place.
There were at least 20 Frankie records in Demelza House today, mostly the Capitol sides, which I don’t really love. However, I was intrigued to re-hear Trilogy. Coming in a sleeve heavy and wide enough to accommodate not only the discs themselves, but three inner sleeves thicker than most 12″ single sleeves, three normal inner paper sleeves with in-depth liner notes and a further paper insert detailing the scores of musicians who played on the records, it was quite the deluxe piece of self-mythology.
There. I said it.
Growing up in the States, The (US version of the) Clash was the second Clash Lp I got (having been released after Give ‘Em Enough Rope in America), and what a different animal from its UK counterpart it is. In fact, I was all prepared to write that the US version was (against the run of play) superior but, having bought the CBS release today at the Mersham Boot Fair (on the way home from Great Chart!) for £1 and listened to it tonight, I’m not so sure.
For the record, so to speak, the American re-jig contains the single versions of “Clash City Rockers”, “Complete Control”, “White Man In Hammersmith Palais”, “I Fought The Law”, “Jail Guitar Doors” and “White Riot” while excising “Deny”, “Cheat” and “48 Hours”.Okay, if we can’t decide on the better edition of the Lp called The Clash, can we at least choose between the single (more staccato and sound effect-laden, à la Joe Gibbs) and Lp takes of “White Riot”? Hmmm…no–simply too close to call.
I’d previously only owned the single version (on 7″ [above], on the US album and Clash On Broadway box set), so while I was vaguely aware of the second version, the album cut was a rough ‘n’ ready pleasant surprise. ________________________________________
If someone can think of a wider aesthetic differential between two albums in a single year than this one and Enigmatic Ocean, I’d like to hear it.
Violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty, touring behind Enigmatic Ocean in 1977 or ’78, at the Kenyon Sports Hall was my first “rock” concert. It certainly had the trappings of a rock show of the time: gurning long-hairs playing loud, flashy instruments, all witnessed by a bunch of blissed-out college students…and me. My father bought this record shortly after (helping it on its way to #1 in the US jazz charts).
Though he started in classical music and moved on to jazz (mentored by Jef Gilson, among others), this is as much a prog-rock affair (mile-a-minute solos on a phase shifted electric violin; ’round-the-houses key changes; funky fretless bass ostinati; not to mention provocative, if ultimately meaningless, song titles), without the vote-chasing unctuousness of that most reviled of hybrids, jazz-fusion; its familiarity no doubt paving the way to enjoyment in chez Asbo.
Though I listened to Enigmatic Ocean many times back in the day, I hadn’t given it or Ponty much though in the intervening years until recently when his name cropped up several times in the liner notes to Jazzman’s latter-day Jef Gilson compilations. My interest renewed, I even considered eBaying a copy, but decided to bide my time. My thrifty patience was rewarded this a.m. at the Great Chart boot fair just south of Ashford when I found this VG++ copy for only 20p.
In the course of thrifting, I always appreciate finding what is obviously a curated collection. Such was the case when I was with Grampa Asbo the other day in Sandwich and Deal and I found a clutch of pound-a-piece, high-quality turn o’ the century hippity-hoppity see dees. Unfortunately, several pieces I would have had were thrashed (e.g. Jungle Bros’ Forces of Nature), but several others were in fine shape.
I spent a decade and a half wishing Hip-Hop would just go away until I had a eureka moment listening to the U Brown toast during the second half of the 12″ version of the Chantells’ “Children of Jah” (Phase 1). Appreciating Brown’s polyrhythmic musicality and lilt, I “got” hip-hop that instant and a new world opened up. Many rappers allude to reggae, though the crossover is most explicit on Soul Jazz’s excellent Nice Up the Dance.
Black On Both Sides is Mos Def’s solo début and almost all killer. Blending live instruments (many played by Mos himself) and samples (among others a twisted, barely recognisable “Marcus Garvey” by Burning Spear), Black creates a warm, socially conscious vibe–it’s easy to like. Rawkus in the house.
The Gang Starr best of comes highly recommended. Unlike most greatest hits, Full Clip manages to play like a proper album and covers the Golden Age decade during which the duo began plying its trade. There are only a couple duplicates from Step In the Arena, the only other Gang Starr I own. Top drawer.
The Beastie Boys all-instrumental The Mix Up is an also likeable, but slightly underwhelming, affair; a rich man’s indulgence by players who know their limitations. Slinky, funky mid-tempo grooves prevail with hints of the Meters and lounge core.
And also a Pixies comp.
From the Thrifty Vinyl 60s Archives
(Dallas, Texas) — Following an exhaustive trial and nearly two years of research, Johnny Nash has confirmed that you have qualities and characteristics associated with ‘soul’, claiming his observations of the way you walk, talk, move, groove, dance and romance indicated high levels of ‘soul’ presence.
Further stating that your ‘soul’ is ‘good as gold’ and ‘won’t never grow old,’ Nash believes that your ‘soul’ is ‘deep inside’ and that ‘nothin’ in the world can hide [it]’.
Thus far, you have refused to comment on the Nash report, though sources close to you have expressed that, ‘soul is hard to find, so why don’t you come on now and let it shine.’
‘Just let yourself be free, so the whole wide world can see,’ these same sources added.
Editor’s note: Lovely reggae 7″ from the American Nash. Strings don’t detract from the groove.
It’s not kitsch, it’s not a joke, it’s not taking the piss and it doesn’t only work when you’re high: if you play the “Jolene” single at 33 RPMs, it sounds awesome. I bought this today to enjoy the unintended consequence of someone’s late night jape.