Thursday, March 27, 2014

Some like anything as long as it rolls (Ry Cooder) #153

Ry Cooder  Crazy 'bout An Automobile; If Walls Could Talk; School Is Out/ The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor); Look At Granny Run Run; Jesus On The Mainline (Warner Brothers Records 12", 238101, 1982)

This is a weird one - right on the border between an EP and an album. Although it tries to pass itself off as a '6 song album' you try and find it in Ry's discographies! Go on - I dare ya!

Instead it's a bizarre attempt at advertising Ry's existence. Bizarre because Ry Cooder isn't a commercial proposition in the way that, say, Kiss are. Ry exists in the rock margins. That's the way he and I like it.

Just look at his wiki page - it's a sketch rather than a portrait in oil.

This is also bizarre because it's NOT a cohesive live album - it's a cobbled together 'product'. It's not even all 'live'. 

Two tracks (Jesus and School) are from his sublime live album from 1977 - Show Time. School Is Out is actually a studio recording - placed as track 1 side 1 as a precursor to the live show. The other four tracks are live versions of songs from his Bop Till You Drop and Borderline albums.

Being Ry the music is superb but he's poorly served by this. 

The cover gives things away - a washout out photo lifted from a video! Pathetic. 

The back cover lists his albums and contains misrepresentations (the claim that this is 'Live in Europe' - Show Time was recorded in San Francisco!), wrong spelling (hautning) and poor research (Speedo on Borderline becomes 'Speeds' in these liner notes). Beyond pathetic!

Hidden gem: Jesus on the mainline is a standout track from Show Time - on a album of great great songs. I urge you to seek that out rather than pay over the top for this 'rare' piece of vinyl.

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