George Martin & His Orchestra – Off The Beatle Track (PMCO 1227) (1964)

SAM_0692John wrote some droll liners and admits, apparently honestly, that ‘us Beatles are genuinely flattered that a “real musician”…should turn his talents to arranging an Lp of our songs’.  He was a bit harsher in later years. I believe the appalling title was under consideration for an actual Beatles record (maybe the first one), before Martin snaffled it.

By dint of their producer’s involvement, the represents one of the more legitimate Fab cash-ins; however, string heavy, with hints of middle-brow jazz, it’s simply too straight to be of more than passing interest to a non-Beatles collector. To be kind, it might find favour in the supermarkets and elevators of 1960s America. SAM_0694This cost me £2 today in Hythe. The sleeve of this rare Australian issue is a bit knackered but vinyl plays VG+.

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Published in: on May 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Paul McCartney – “Birthday”, “Good Day Sunshine”, “P.S. I Love You” and “Let ‘Em In” (12R6271) (1990)

SAM_0430To wish Sir Paul Happy Birthday by posting one of the most pointless live releases of one of the ‘White Album”s most obvious makeweights might seem a trifle unkind, but it’s genuinely meant and still makes a kind of sense.

Published in: on June 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Doris Troy (ST-3371) (1970)

SAM_0412Yer man George Harrison was a busy lad round the turn of decade. Not only producing the 3Lp behemoth All Things Must Pass, he had time to compose a handful of songs, play guitar on and effectively A&R Billy Preston’s second Apple Lp Encouraging Words and soul singer Doris Troy’s debut for the label.SAM_0411A vigorous and stylish attempt to meld 60s soul and “sixeventies” rock, it works because of the disciplined, superstar help on hand (Stephen Stills, Klaus Voormann, Ringo, Billy Preston, Peter Frampton, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, etc). Troy was a songwriter of longstanding (“Just One Look”) and so co-writes much of the material here. She’s listed a sole producer, but the beefy horns, thick guitar production style of her British patron shines quite plainly through.SAM_0410This came almost mint condish for £1 from Hythe today when Mrs Asbo and I went to Waitrose for our free coffees this afternoon. Noice.SAM_0413

Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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)  

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)  

The Beatles – Get Back (booklet) (1969)

SAM_0184MACCA SET TO RELEASE LET IT BE ‘DIRECTOR’S CUT’   Film To Feature Only McCartney Music, Face

(London, England) – Taking time off from promoting his New Lp, Paul McCartney has announced an upcoming “Director’s Cut” re-issue of the Beatles’ ill-fated fly-on-the-wall documentary, Let It Be. Sir Paul explained the new, fully authorised version of the film was to be “as Nature intended”, and feature only those songs composed, sung and performed by McCartney. While some of the other Beatles can occasionally be seen blurrily in the background (“Couldn’t be helped without CGI!”), most shots are now either close-ups of a doe-eyed McCartney or cute footage of Paul playing with wife Linda and their children.

Without the rancour, hurt and betrayal inherent in the original film, the overall effect is of a marvellous oil pouring on troubled water. Glossing over the notoriously ill-will surrounding his brainchild, Macca recalled: “Basically, John spent all his time with Yoko, Ringo effectively relegated the band to sideline status with his movie career and George had so little faith in the project he quit midway through.”

“It just seemed silly,” he continued, explaining the editorial thinking behind the revised cut, “to include people in the film who tried so hard to thwart things.”

After the press conference had finished, McCartney continued to upbraid his erstwhile colleagues of over four decades gone by.

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SAM_0187NB: The Beatles Get Back; photographs by Ethan A Russell; text by Jonathan Cott and David Dalton; designed by John Kosh; Produced by Neil Aspinall; published 1969 by Apple; printed in England by Garrod and Lofthouse International Limited.

No box or Lp, just the book for fifty pee at Ashford Bootfair two Sundees ago!

Published in: on December 4, 2013 at 10:32 am  Leave a Comment  

 

Published in: on September 10, 2013 at 9:14 am  Comments (3)  

The Beatles – Yesterday And Today (Capitol T-2553) (1966) “Butcher Cover”



Butcher
Found this yesterday at a bootfair in Ashford. I think it’s worth quite a bit.

$T2eC16NHJHIE9nyseGZkBRTgOjs15w~~60_57APRIL FOOL!

Published in: on April 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

John Lennon – Rock ‘n’ Roll (PCS7169) (1975)

SAM_1427Given a discography curtailed by, at first, semi-retirement and, ultimately, assassination, John Lennon’s solo studio output is necessarily small, just eight records. Despite this fact (as well as my Fabs collector mentality [see the Thrifty Vinyl Beatles Related tag passim]), I’ve never managed to own the slain Beatle’s oldies album. Thank you, Cats Protection League for helping breach this milestone.

SAM_1430First edition with what must surely be one of the last “classic” Apple labels, I’ve seen MFP versions of Rock ‘n’ Roll over the years, but the cover is unsatisfactory, IMO.

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm  Comments (3)