Early New Order Singles

SAM_0400I really liked the first few NO singles, but my keenness dropped of precipitously once they started taking Es and running dance clubs.


Published in: on June 2, 2014 at 9:27 am  Comments (1)  

Arthur Conley – “Sweet Soul Music” b/w “Funky Street” (OS-13077)

SAM_0399Interesting use of 1920s/Art Deco typeface and style to denote an Atlantic Records “oldies”, never mind the disconnect between that vintage and the mid-1960s release of the Conley single in question.

If I ever get off the old gluteus maximus and DJ, the B-side of this re-release by Otis Redding protégé Conley (bought by me on Saturday for 50p) will feature on rewind in my set.

Published in: on June 2, 2014 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Johnny Nash – “You Got Soul” b/w “Don’t Cry” (MM 586) (1968)


(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.

Published in: on May 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm  Comments (2)  

Dolly Parton – “Jolene” b/w “Coat of Many Colours” and “Love Is Like a Butterfly” (RCA 2675) (1974)


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.

Published in: on May 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm  Comments (2)  

Pixies – “Planet of Sound” b/w “Build High” (AD 1008) (1991)


(Amherst, Massachusetts) — “It happens once, you think, ‘Bad Luck’ and move on; twice and it’s like, ‘What, is there a sign on my forehead?’; but three times, man, I think we must be cursed.” So says Pixies frontman Black Francis on the band’s seemingly never-ending stream of girl bassists beginning with Kim Deal, followed by Kim Shattuck, who was in turn followed by Paz Lenchantin.

“Each time we’ve formed or re-formed, all the guy bass players are, like, busy or something, so we pretty much get stuck with girls,” he explained.

“At least it’s not that important of an instrument,” the singer laughed. “I mean, imagine if it was a girl drummer or guitarist!”SAM_0376Editor’s Note: This was, oddly, part of the same batch of soul and jazz singles I got the weekend before last. Also among that group was a dozen or so Beatles and solo Beatles singles with cool home-made sleeves; I wasn’t really tempted, since I have them, but it was fun to see.

Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Record Store Day (slight return)

SAM_0374Okay, I did participate in Record Store Day, if only virtually. And you will be pleased to hear that I didn’t have to entirely abandon my thrifty principles. I got the three RSD items above (relatively) cheap: the 5Lp Gilson box was going for £60 (and no postage) at Honest Jon’s the first Saturday they were “allowed” to sell RSD product online. I think this must have been a mistake because it was much more expensive elsewhere (upwards of £90 incl. postage) and HJ’s marked up their price to £75 the next day; the Everly’s Roots Lp has been on The List for some time now and Sounds of the Universe was (and, as of today, still is) flogging them at 20% off their £20 retail; finally, I picked up the lovely Action 8 x 7″ box set this week at Proper Music for £45, whereas everywhere else it was sold out or priced too high for me (£80-£120!).

In order to weakly justify/mitigate these, for me excessive, purchases, I’m selling several redundant or unlistened to pieces from the library.

So that’s all okay then.

Published in: on May 11, 2014 at 10:41 am  Comments (3)  

Charlie Mingus – Jazz Makers ep (126 106 MCE) (1960)

SAM_0368Not everything was an unqualified success this weekend. This lovely 7″ ep from Charles Mingus, while containing prime examples of the edgy big band style one associates with the influential bassist/band leader, is overburdened with surface noise. I am hoping to organise a disc washing system which will at least give vinyl like this a chance–more to come in this vein later.SAM_0370Likewise, the A-side of this Wicked Wilson Picket 45 is unplayable; however, the flip is in fine shape and a great tune to boot. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the 7″ers much more lately following the installation of the MegaSingles Storage Unit®.

Wilson Picket - "Mustang Sally" b/w "Three Time Loser" (584066) (1966)

Wilson Picket – “Mustang Sally” b/w “Three Time Loser” (584066) (1966).

Published in: on May 8, 2014 at 7:24 am  Comments (2)  

The Beatles – “Strawberry Fields Forever” b/w “Penny Lane” (R 5570) (1967)

SAM_0350“Strawberry Fields Forever” b/w “Penny Lane” single represented a watershed moment in the Beatles’ career. The two original Lps preceding the single had been highly successful, transitional albums; the writing deepened and became more adult, the music became sonically and melodically richer.

Bursting with creativity and hubris, the band challenged itself, no longer satisfied with the roles they’d chosen/had foisted on them. They became self-consciousness artists, stopped touring and grew mustaches. Depending on your point of view, the move was a brilliant, creative re-birth or the death-knell of something spontaneous and pure.

The first product of this calculated change was the double A-sided 7″ under consideration. (Significantly, it followed the early era-defining Collection of Beatles Oldies–one of the most edifying aspects of the Beatles story is its neatness, even the details.) Despite its unified theme, and unlike other Beatle non-Lp singles (e.g. “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “Paperback Writer” “Hey Jude”, etc.), “SFF/PL” wasn’t conceived as a stand-along issue, but was instead shorn from its ostensible parent Lp, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, when EMI demanded a new single, the previous 45 having come six months earlier, a lifetime in the whirligig of 60s pop.

The writers had dealt with personal subject matter before (cf. “Norwegian Wood”, “She Said, She Said”, “I’m Looking Through You”), but this was different. Sensitized by experiments with marijuana and LSD, John and Paul harkened back to their childhoods in ways both predictable and wondrous. John’s view is equivocal, Paul’s sunny. And yet both express their respective equivocation and sunniness with such precocious artistry, that any accusations of calculation and self-consciousness become, to my mind, moot.

SAM_0351I’d been earlier unsuccessful at the Etchinghill Boot Fair (having ruefully spied the competition leaving at 8:00 with a clear plastic bag chocka with records including, on the top, A Nice Pair, and, on the bottom, Rubber Soul), so when, travelling back from the garden center around noon, I saw a hand-drawn sign directing me to the Etchinghill Village Hall to buy Beatles vinyl “starting at £1”, I made Mrs. Asbo double-back with haste in abundance so’s I could investigate.

This original single (which I don’t own–in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard these songs before–so it made perfect sense for me to buy it for £4), was the happy fruit of that visit. I think it’s the first UK Fabs single with a bespoke sleeve.

Published in: on May 3, 2014 at 8:46 pm  Comments (8)  

Why I Don’t Participate In Record Store Day (apart from buying records at charity stores and bootfairs, obviously)

The four 7" singles re-released in the early 1980s by Edsel

Above, the four mid-60s 7″ singles by The Action re-released in the early 1980s by Edsel Records. Possessed of an appealing, soulful lead singer and an exciting, imaginative rhythm section (not to mention a rabid Mod following and the patronage of producer George Martin), The Action remain inexplicably unloved outside a relatively narrow cognoscenti. Despite owning half of them, an 8x 7″ box set of all the band’s singles was one of two RSD releases this year that tempted me.

How many records bought on Record Store Day were re-sold on Record Store Night?

That this is a legitimate question for grumpy old men is one of the ironies of RSD. Designed to attract footfall into bricks ‘n’ mortar music emporia, RSD has become instead a frenzy for internet quick-flippers eager to prey on the greedy and stupid. While this can’t be 100% true, I still wonder who among those punters standing in the hour-long queue at Whitstable’s Gateway Sounds, say, were legitimate, regular patrons and how many were simply scrabbling to grab as much product as possible, like crazed Christmas parents beating each other over the head at FAO Shwartz and Hamleys to secure Cabbage Patch Dolls or Tamagotchis. It’s this rabidity, this rabble-led avariciousness that I find so unattractive. Raw capitalism, market forces, supply and demand, blah, blah, blah.

It’s possible, likely even, that some people in that line get a buzz from the experience, but it’s not for me. I can’t be bothered.

Now at least one Thrifty Vinyl reader I know subsidises his high-priced RSD purchases by over-buying and selling on the excess. As a cheapskate, this makes a bit more sense to me, despite reservations; I do something similar with my second-hand shopping, just at a far, far slimmer profit margin.

I suppose this year I was particularly bitter as there were two RSD item that I would really liked to have picked up, The Action set mentioned above and a super-nice Jef Gilson et Malagasy collection from Jazzman. I buy regularly from Jazzman, but because of Record Store Day “rules”, I may not be able to own Malagasy without paying way, way over the odds. And I don’t roll like that–it’s not called Thrifty Vinyl for nothin’.

So I leave you to your jive-ass, many-times re-issued David Bowie 7″s, your over-priced Aerosmith 70s albums and your (seriously) One Direction singles; I’ll be celebrating Record Store Day the rest of the year when there aren’t so many people in the way.



Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 8:50 am  Comments (3)  

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…


  • “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.
Published in: on February 27, 2014 at 10:56 am  Comments (4)