Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Om shanti (Alice Coltrane) (LP 254)

Alice Coltrane The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Vinyl - Luaka Bop, 2017) ***

Genre: International music  

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records (for some substantial money, it has to be said) 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Om Shanti

Gear costume All the other tracks 

Active compensatory factors: A series of devotional chants set to new age style sounds, this is a long way from the progressive jazz format I'm used to from Alice Coltrane. 

I had heard a track on a Mojo magazine sampler of recent releases and loved what I heard. It did take a while to buy the vinyl - not sure why new release records are so expensive - what's that about?

And I'm not sure how many plays this will get - especially now I've boxed up all my records and put them into a secure lock up while we head off to England.

Where do they all belong? A one off - although my Buddhist chants CD is a close cousin.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Everything will turn out fine (Stealers Wheel) (LP 253)

Stealers Wheel Ferguslie Park (Vinyl - A&M, 1973) ***

Genre: Scottish pop/rock

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Star

Gear costume: Everything Will Turn Out Fine

Active compensatory factors: As promised in LP 131's post, I finally caught up with a copy of this album in the $10 bins at Real Groovy.

Stealers Wheel can do the instant transportation thing with me. One bit of Star and I'm instantly back in 1973 - heading off to football on a winter Auckland day in a car with some team mates when this comes on the radio.

It's those creamy harmonic tones by Egan and Rafferty!

Star is the star of the show. As one critic at the time said - it's 'a catchy shuffle of the Lennon-esque variety, 'Star' is 3 minutes of pure shimmering acoustic-guitar pop loveliness and honey-throated vocal harmonies, punctuated with spikes of harmonica, kazoo, woodblock, and bawdy barrelhouse piano'.

Bang on!

Remember them this way!

Where do they all belong? Gerry obviously would head off to solo success via Baker Street and tragically, after years of alcohol abuse, pass away from liver failure in 2011. Joe Egan is still with us, thankfully.

Monday, July 2, 2018

20:20 vision (Rory Gallagher) (LP 251 - 252)

Rory Gallagher Tattoo (Vinyl - Chrysalis, 1973) ****
Rory Gallagher The French Connection (Recorded at RTL Studios Paris France 1974) (Vinyl - UMC 2018) ****

Genre: Irish pop/rock

Places I remember: Tattoo - Marbecks Records; The French Connection - Real Groovy Records 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: A Million Miles Away 

Gear costume Cradle Rock (as always - a real favourite of mine)

Active compensatory factors: Tattoo is a biggie in the canon. 

Four of the tracks were in the set list for the next few years (cf Irish Tour) and three are on The French Connection in the following year.

The live versions are better (Rory is always better live) but it's still great to hear those first studio stabs at the songs from 1973.

The French Connection is a recent release - recorded live in the studio - it's always great to hear Rory live in 1974 but Irish Tour (and expanded version has also just been released this year) remains the definitive statement.

Where do they all belong? Still a few seventies albums to go before we head into the eighties and end game for Rory - tons of great guitaring to come then. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tongue tied (Ace) (LP 250)

Ace Time For Another (Vinyl - Anchor, 1975) ***

Genre:  English pop/rock

Places I remember:  Real Groovy Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: 
No Future In Your Eyes (great harmonies - they should do that more often!)

Gear costume:  I think It's Gonna Last, Message To You

Active compensatory factors: Second album for Ace - that band Paul Carrick was in before Mike + The Mechanics, remember.

It's a continuation of the bright pop sounds found on their debut album Five-A-Side.

While pleasant, my main problem by side two's end is the succession of mid paced songs. A couple of rockers wouldn't have gone amiss.

Where do they all belong? They made a third album which I don't own, so your best best is to next check out the stellar Paul Carrick work for Mike Rutherford's band. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I feel good (Citizen Band) (LP 248-249)

Citizen Band Citizen Band (Vinyl - Polydor/ Mandrill, 1978) ****
Citizen Band Just Drove Thru Town (Vinyl - CBS, 1979) ***

Genre:  New Zealand rock/pop

Places I remember:  Marbecks Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: My Pohutukawa (from Citizen Band)

Gear costume The Ladder Song (a great single and off Citizen Band) and Rust In My Car (a good single of off Just Drove Thru Town)

Active compensatory factors: Second year at Auckland University and Greg Knowles and I fell head over heels for the smarty pants Beatles-esque fun rock 'n' roll of Citizen Band. Greg lead the cheerleading and he was spot on.

We'd been to a gig featuring Geoff Chunn's previous band (After Hours) and thought they were a promising band. 

Kevin Simms joined the party because he had a cassette tape of CB live at Westlake Girls' (I think it was there rather than the Boys' version). Of course, we were all big Split Enz fans so we were up for CB from the off.

Fair to say we all bonded over the music which was all grrrreat.

What a line up - The Ladder Song, Dig That Tex, My Pohutukawa, Julia, I Feel Good (showing the boys knew their kiwi music history), and capped off by the wig out that is Tex Goes To The Tinema (sic). It's a NZ music classic.

Second album syndrome hit them after that. Jay Lewis may have felt like a smart choice as producer but the glossy mix is underwhelming. Glyn Tucker Jnr shoulda done it again.

What a shame because Geoff Chunn's songs are worthy and the musicians are all ace faces.

Where do they all belong? In my heart forever. Dig that Tex!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Douce dame jolie (Machaut) (LP 247)

The Early Music Consort of London (directed by David Munrow) Guillaume De Machaut And His Age (Vinyl - EMI Records, 1973) ***

Genre: Classical  

Places I remember: Marbecks Records  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Virelai: Douce Dame Jolie. 

That's not available on youtube but this gives the rough idea!

Gear costume:  Virelai: Quant je Sui Mis

Active compensatory factors: 
My university career in English ranged all over and included Chaucer and 20th century American poetry, 15th and 20th century drama, Romance of the Rose and the Romantic Poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge, Shakespeare and Sean O'Casey.

This album stems from my university days writing an essay on courtly love. Machaut's music from 14th century France was a great mood setter.

I guess it could be seen as a kind of method acting - I love to immerse myself in literature by sampling all the different stimuli from the era (to a point - De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater was limited to a reading only!).

In this case it's the crumhorns, recorders and shawms (I have no idea sorry) from David Munrow.

On a sad note: tragically he committed suicide a couple of years after this came out. Depression strikes again.

Where do they all belong? Gregorian chants are more useful for mindfulness but there's something thrilling about this stuff sung in French or Latin!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

So danco samba (Sergio Mendes) (LP 245 - 246)

Sergio Mendes The Great Arrival (Vinyl - Atlantic, 1966 ) ** 
Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 Equinox (Vinyl - A&M Records, 1967 ) ***

Genre: Easy Listening  

Places I remember: Inherited from the Graham Purdy collection

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Night And Day (from Equinox)

Gear costumeMonday Monday (from the Great Arrival)

Active compensatory factors: Apart from jazz, dad loved the then topical genre that was 'Easy Listening'.

That genre cruises around the peripheries of piano jazz, world music, kitsch, lounge, and pop.

All of the above can be found somewhere on these two albums.

The first one is an instrumental piano jazz album that just floats by in a very pleasant, some might say, innocuous, manner. 

The second adds the faux pop vocals of Brasil '66.

It's so cool and hip! 

When I was growing up, listening to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Uriah Heep, I hated these albums.

Now, I can appreciate the nostalgic sounds on offer and can see the appeal for young executives like my dad. After a hard day in the office he could unwind with a drink and the uncluttered, exotic sound of Sergio Mendes.

Where do they all belong? With dad's other easy listening albums. Sounds Orchestral is on the way!