RECORD HAUL: Vintage Clash

While everyone is clamoring for their newly re-released editions and The Clash Hits Back, I’ve been on the hunt for vintage The Clash albums. A few months back I found London Calling, and today I found Combat Rock, complete with the shrink wrap intact at Trolley Stop Record Shop. I am still on the hunt for their self-titled album. After my first successful record sell-back at Guestroom, my day’s haul was completed with The White Stripes’ Elephant. Photos below.

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What did you buy this weekend? Have you sold back records before?

 

Icy Record Haul

If you live in Oklahoma, you know that it has been pretty snowy and icy the last few days, especially in central and southern Oklahoma.  I decided before it got too icy to go out and visit a few of my favorite record stores, Guestroom Records and Trolley Stop Record Shop. I was pretty excited about my finds.

I have recently taken a great interest in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was looking photo 1 (3)through the inductees and I realized there are a lot of trailblazing artists that I have not heard or written about. I first took interest in LaVern Baker.

I immediately assumed that she had been inducted for her contributions to soul and R&B, a very shallow judgment on my part. It turns out that she made major contributions to Rock and Roll. After reading her bio, I really wanted to find some of her vinyl. I found one compilation vinyl at Guestroom in the just in bin. To say the least, I was very excited.

I then headed over to Trolley Stop Record Shop. Every time I go into Trolley, I find a lot of records I want.  I have to go in with a money limit or else I am liable to spend goodness knows what. I have to ask myself, food or vinyl?

Jon, the record store owner, always let’s me know what bins to look through. He’s got my music taste down pretty good and knows where to direct me. I began digging through his new bins and found a Muddy Waters album. I had to have it, because I recently saw Buddy Guy in concert and he spoke of Waters during the show. 

photo 2 (3)While there, I also found a still-sealed vintage, Martha and the Vandellas album. I have been looking for one of their albums for quite awhile now. This was their forth album on the Motown subsidiary, Gordy.  They are also Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Finally, I found a Dusty Springfield album in one of Jon’s piles he was processing. He gave me an excellent deal on the whole set of records that I found. I’m going to have to go back next time I get paid. There were so many I still wanted to purchase.

I then rushed home before all the ice hit and the streets froze. Now it was just my vinyl and me. Nothing keeps you warmer then a good record.

Always listening,

Gabe

Mama’s Choice: Dolly Parton

Recently, I was at a loss on who to review next. It seems the blog has touched on many different genres and vinyl topics. So I turned to my mom for inspiration. Mamas are always right, aren’t they?

NPR

NPR

At first she had no suggestion since I had already reviewed Lionel Richie, her favorite artist. She’s a big fan of soul music and I have touched on that quite a bit. You see, this is what she raised me on, with the occasional Barry Manilow.

Then all of a sudden, as if the heavens had opened up and every being on the earth lit with glorious splendor, my mom said, “What about Dolly Parton?” Now this came as quite a surprise for me. I didn’t think my mom liked Ms. Parton, but since I have some of her records, I went with it.

I’ve always had a great admiration for Parton. She has long been one of my favorite country artists. I tend to stick with trailblazers, rather than that country stuff today. Is it even country? After contemplating over my Dolly albums, I decided to review her 1971 release, Joshua.

Union Music Store

Union Music Store

By the time Joshua came out, Parton had already released 6 albums. She was a popular performer and a regular on the Porter Wagoner Show. Although she already possessed these great accolades, she had not had a top country hit. She had many that had reached the top 20 and a top 10 hit, but never a number one. This album changed that, with “Joshua” climbing all the way to the top spot.

When I listen to this album, I feel as if Parton just asks if she can tell you a few stories. Every song possesses the elements of any great novel, just in a short 3-minute form. This album only comes in at 27 minutes and 36 seconds, but this album does not fall short of content.

“Joshua” is one of my favorite Parton songs. It shows her expert writing skills and her genius storytelling talents. She tells the story of an intimidating man named Joshua, yet she didn’t believe he could be that hard, so she went to visit him. In the end they fell in love and had tons in common. It’s not quite that easy in the song, but just give it a listen. I’m not going to ruin the story for you!

Next, I like “Walls of My Mind.” This is a nice slow ballad that explains the promise of a lover that didn’t come true, but that the promises are still hung on the walls of her mind. Following that is “It Ain’t Fair That It Ain’t Right,” another classic Parton and country tune of love gone wrong.

The last song on Side 1 has to be my second favorite. It talks of a Bonnie and Clyde type relationship, where Parton and her lover robbed banks, etc. Eventually, J.J. Sneed betrayed Parton and she had to shoot him and go on the run. This is like an early Miranda Lambert song.

Side 2 doesn’t lack the drama of Side 1. I especially like “Daddy’s Moonshine Still” and “Letter to Heaven.” “Daddy’s Moonshine Still” tells the story of her “bootlegging daddy” who dealt moonshine. Her brothers eventually died due to a deal, her mama died from the stress, and then her father died from drinking that stuff.

“Letter to Heaven” is a tearjerker. It talks of a little girl who wanted to write a letter to her

Music City USA News

Music City USA News

Mama in heaven. She asked her grandfather to write the letter for her. He wrote it and gave it to her to mail. And….you must listen to the rest to get the end of the story.

In the end, I feel this album continued to establish Dolly Parton’s career as one to stay and to eventually be the legend she is today.  The beginnings of her legendary lyrics are seen in this early recording and only “Jolene” and “Coat of Many Colors” were to follow.

In a live album I have of Parton’s she says that it takes a lot of money to look “this cheap.” Dolly may think she looks cheap, but her music is as rich as Midas.

Her assets far exceed the common eye.

Swingin’ and Spinnin’,

Gabe

Here’s a clip of Dolly performing Joshua from the 1970’s.

I Want Those Concert Tickets!

Too bad I’ll never get them.

Divorce should never keep one from speaking! Let alone singing! Don’t you talk to your ex?

Well unfortunately, the members of ABBA do not have the same feelings I do. They have clearly stated that they will not be performing together again.

Thank goodness it doesn’t take away their recordings.

Why does so much great music come from across the pond? ABBA is a group known for

Whiteinkdrops.wordpress.com

Whiteinkdrops.wordpress.com

their dance worthy hits. ABBA consisted of two couples, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha (Anna) Fältskog and Benny Andersson and Frida Lyngstad. Their music is legendary. They are members of the rock and roll of fame. Their music has even inspired the musical Mama Mia!

But they won’t take a chance and let us see them in concert.

This week I decided to listen to their late 1970’s album, Voulez-Vous. This translates to “do you want?” in French. This album is pure Europop topped with American disco. Ulvaeus and Andersson wrote every song.  I love the epic harmonys, composition, and sheer style of ABBA. The album is quite enjoyable, although at times I found it hard to differentiate between songs.

WikipediaThe opening track is “As Good As it Gets.” This song is just plain funky. I usually get up and move my needle back for a second go round of this tune. Immediately after you go into the album’s title track “Voulez-Vous.” This what I would presume would be a disco club hopper. I found myself digging in my closet for my leisure suit, then I realized that I’m only in my twenties and don’t have one.

Side A concludes with “The King Has Lost His Crown,” a disco power jam. Favorite lyric: “Was it hard to step down from your throne and to know tonight you’re all alone?”

Side B opens with “Does Your Mother Know?” This was one of ABBA’s big hits, but there is one extreme difference from this song compared to others. The lead vocals are not performed by one of the female members, but by Ulvaeus. Although, they do provide great harmony (as always) in the chorus. As the vinyl continues spinning, ABBA’s hit “Chiquitita,” comes up, a Spanish spiced, disco infused dance tune.

Overall, this isn’t my favorite ABBA album, but it does show the group at their at their best, but I do feel this album is the beginning of ABBA’s eventual decline. They released two more albums after this, and they contained some hits, but nothing as iconic as “Dancing Queen” or “Voulez-Vous.”

It is only fitting that ABBA has had many tribute bands and their songs have been covered by multiple artists. Their legacy is set, especially in the genre of dance, but unfortunately they showed me music can’t solve everything.

They can’t make you talk to your ex.

Spinning and doing the hustle,

Gabe

Here’s a 1979 video of Abba performing “Voulez-Vous.”

I Don’t Think Buddy Guy Needs My Approval

But he has it anyway.

Mr. Guy has done anything but slow down. Although his legacy is set, he has influenced

visitfortwayne.com

visitfortwayne.com

artists like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.  He has worked with some of the most legendary artists, including many artists at the early Chess Record label, Muddy Waters, and Jeff Beck. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has won 6 Grammys.

Guy’s guitar influences are endless and he said in a recent concert in Concho, Oklahoma that he still has tons to learn. His stage shows possess some crazy guitar antics. He can hold out a note on the electric for as long as you can imagine, play with his elbow, and even a drumstick.

And to think that this 76 year old, legendary artist is still performing across the country and making records is astounding, but as long as the blues continue to make him happy, he is going to be here.

RCA Records

RCA Records

Guy’s 2013 release doesn’t fall short. It is entitled Rhythm and Blues. On vinyl, it is a double LP set with one LP entitled “Rhythm” and the second “Blues.” This album shows the interworking of what I now consider two different genres that have been intricately worked together into a masterpiece. This album ought to school many of today’s artists who claim these genres.

The first 11 songs on this album are “Rhythm.” These songs have taught me what “Rhythm” music is. Rhythm music gives you that dance, boogie, funky sensation. You know when that one shoulder that begins to compulsively move to the beat until it’s infiltrated your whole body? That feeling.

Almost every song is a standout on this album, but for the Rhythm section “Best in Town,” “What’s Up With that Woman,” “What You Going to Do About Me (Duet with Beth Hart)”, and “The Devils Daughter” stand out for me.

The next 10 songs are dubbed “Blues.” Although to the naysayer’s ear they may not hear a clear definition, but Blues music is distinctly different. Picture rhythm as a light bulb, now damp a sheer piece of blue fabric on top of it and that’s blues. It still has the same foundation, it’s still the light bulb; just it now has a new shade.

Blues doesn’t quite give you that compulsive foot tap. It just seems to make me want to close my eyes and pursue a rhythmic sway. The content is also slightly different. It’s about life and feeling.

My favorite Blues tracks on this album include “Meet Me in Chicago,” “Evil Twin (With Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford),” “All That Makes Me Happy is the Blues,” and Guys autobiographical “My Mama Loved Me” and “I Came Up Hard.”

KMUW

KMUW

Considering newer waves of music, there really isn’t true rhythm and blues anymore.  Many of the artists that once made this genre have passed away or have simply retired. The idea that what they built is not being honored is a disgrace. They would never dream of shaking their laffy taffy, being a Flintstone and making your bed rock, or spinning their heads right round.

According to Guy’s Facebook, when Muddy Waters was passing away, Buddy wanted to run down and see him, but Waters said no.  He simply told Guy to “keep the damn blues alive.”

Buddy Guy has done just that with this new album, and damned if they think so or damned if they don’t, this is true R&B.

Swaying and Spinning,

Gabe

 

Meeting Royalty in Your Own Backyard

This week Mary and I had the pleasure of finally meeting her royal rockness, the Queen of Rock’n’Roll, Ms. Wanda Jackson.

Meeting Jackson was a huge honor and it had been a dream of mine as I am sure many of you can tell by my multiple posts. She was IMG_5307gracious and very kind. She held my hand as she told me the story of my favorite song and was amazed to hear that I have all but two of her albums. I told her how her music has touched my life, and that her later gospel recordings helped me through a rough patch in my life. She turned to me and responded, “Well sounds like I’ve been a big part of your life.”

Fun Fact: The jacket she has on in the picture was given to her by Jack White and she wore it in GQ magazine.

So in honor of meeting Jackson and considering her extensive recording career, I have decided to countdown my top 7 favorite albums.

Number 7: I Gotta Sing

This album was released in 1971. Since I’m only limiting myself to two favorite songs per album, I would have to say my choices for this one is her cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and her cover of “Fancy Satin Pillows.” This is a great album that shows the reason for Jackson’s longevity.

Number 6: Praise the Lord

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

I am a sucker for country gospel, and this album doesn’t disappoint this musical facade. Released in 1973, my two favorite songs off this album are “How Great Thou Art” and “Am I Not My Brother’s Keeper.” The liner notes for this album are interesting due to the fact her then pastor, Rev. Paul Slayer of South Lindsey Baptist Church in OKC, wrote the liner notes.

Number 5: Unfinished Business

This album is her latest and was released in 2012. My two favorites from this album is “Am I Even a Memory” and “California Stars.” This album was produced by Justin Townes Earle and he duets with her on “Memory.” This album shows that Jackson is still on top of her game.

Number 4:  The Many Moods of Wanda Jackson

This album has great covers that spread across a wide array of topics. “Fever” and “If I Had a Hammer” stand out for me. This album was released in 1968 and is a must have for any Jackson Fan.

Number 3: Right or Wrong7 Digital

This album shows Jackson’s soft and rock style in full 50’s form. The first side, properly entitled “The Sensitive Side” on the liner notes contains my first favorite, “Right or Wrong.” Jackson originally wrote this song for Brenda Lee, but she said she already had more hits then her, so she was going to keep it. My second favorite from “The Rockin Side” is “Who Shot Sam.” This album solidified Jackson in the recording industry as one here for the stayin’.

Number 2: The Party Ain’t Over

Mary's signed copy of "The Party Ain't Over."

Mary’s signed copy of “The Party Ain’t Over.”

Every Jackson fan was elated when this album was released. It came out in 2011 and was produced by the great Jack White. To be honest, every song on this album is a favorite and narrowing it down to two is tough. I would have to say her cover of Bob Dylan’s “Thunder on The Mountain” is top and then “Dust on the Bible.” There’s also these two really great songs, the late Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m no Good” and “Busted.” Then there’s “Blue Yodel #6.” Just buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

Number 1: Rockin’ with Wanda

LastFM.com

LastFM.com

This album defined women in Rock’N’Roll. This album is pure rockabilly, but with a twist only a woman could handle. “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad” and “Fujiyama Mama” are barely the surface of this landmark album. “Hot Dog” was one of the first songs I heard of Jackson’s. To me, this is the album that set everything into place for Jackson’s career establishing women in Rock’N’Roll and the defining of a genre.

These brief summaries barely describe these albums or touch on Jackson’s legacy. There are many more outstanding albums in her catalog. I’m still reeling from the fact that I was able to meet her. I no longer have to keep my album covers in the back of my car just in case I run into her at the Wal-Mart.

Spinning and Reeling,

Gabe