Brand X Moroccan Roll

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Brand X  Moroccan Roll
(1977) Passport label.  Reissue purchased used in 1986 Rhino Records Westwood. By the title alone you can see the band is still having a bit of fun making records.  On this album the line up is: John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Robin Lumley, Philip Collins, and Morris Pert. Released in 1977 the back album cover has photos of the band and I just have one word to say:  HAIR!!!  Long, fuzzy, bearded, stringy, and out to here.

SIDE ONE

  1. Sun In The Night (4:23)
  2. Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You’ve Broken Yours Off Already)  (11:19)
  3. Maybe I’ll Lend You Mine After All  (2:09)
  4. Hate Zone  (4:41)
  5. Collapsar  (1:34)

SIDE TWO

  1. Disco Suicide  (7:55)
  2. Orbits  (1:35)
  3. Malaga Virgen  (8:27)
  4. Macrocosm  (7:23)

From the liner notes:

The sanskrit lyrics on Sun In The Night mean: “Sun in the night, Everyone is together, Ascending into the heavens, Life is forever.”

Why Should I Lend You Mine…was recorded “live” in the studio–there are no overdubs.

Morris Pert: Percussion and a vast number of bits and things that he hit while the tape was running including: the Q.E.2, Idi Amin, and undiscovered parts of Scotland.

Recorded in Panavision at TRIDENT STUDIOS, London December 1976/January 1977 and mixed at MORGAN STUDIOS, London, February 1977 where the curtains are drawn, but the rest of the furniture is real.

I really do enjoy listening to these albums.  They are full of sounds; different timing, up and down and all over the place. Definitely not music to fall asleep to.

Brand X Moroccan Roll

Brand X Unorthodox Behaviour

 

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Brand X Unorthodox Behaviour
(1976)  Passport label.  Original release purchased used at Penny Lane Records in Westwood sometime in 1986 or 1987.  Includes inner liner notes sheet. This is a progressive jazz/rock album.  Brand X line up on this album is: John Goodsall- guitars.  Percy Jones- basses.  Robin Lumley- keyboards. Philip Collins- percussion.  This last name is the reason why I own any Brand X albums.  I am a big fan of Phil Collins.  In 1986 I learned Phil Collins was in this band as a side project during the mid-70’s so I started buying every Brand X album I could find that he plays on.  He is not on all of them.

SIDE ONE

  1. Nuclear Burn  (6:25)
  2. Euthanasia Waltz  (5:37)
  3. Born Ugly  (8:10)

SIDE TWO

  1. Smacks Of Euphoric Hysteria  (4:25)
  2. Unorthodox Behaviour  (8:13)
  3. Running On Three  (4:35)
  4. Touch Wood  (3:03)

The inner liner notes sheet is a trip to read.  It is full of inside jokes and nonsensical musings such as:

Soprano saxophone blown by Jack “Oh no, you’re joking” Lancaster

Hole punched in the centre by Sir Kenneth Clarke

Tepid tea and food fetching: Wonderbag, Typhoo “Lil

These explanatory notes were composed during an Indoor Deep-Sea Power boat racing contest in Reigate, Mozambique, by Philip and Robin, Underwater Show jumping champions 1975.

Clearly this group had way too much fun making this record.  My favorite tracks are Euthanasia Waltz and Running On Three.  Phil Collins was a pretty busy guy at this time.  He was also in Genesis.  Much more on Phil later.

Brand X Unorthodox Behaviour

David Bowie Let’s Dance

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David Bowie Let’s Dance
(1983) EMI America label.  Original release, purchased new from someplace in Riverside– a little store that went out of business and I can’t remember the name of it!  Original inner sleeve with lyrics.  This album was a huge hit.  The MTV videos released with the album were huge hits.  The 80’s sound of this album laid the groundwork for so many artists to rip off afterward: Simpleminds, Modern English, Thompson Twins, the list goes on….

Several talented musicians play on this album: Carmine Rojas-bass.  Omar Hakim-drums. (Do yourself a favor and watch Bring On The Night- the Sting documentary.  Omar Hakim plays drums and he is a gas!)  Tony Thompson-drums.  Nile Rodgers-guitars.  Stevie Ray Vaughan– lead guitar.  Bob Sabino-keyboards.  Mac Gollehon-trumpet.  Robert Arron-tenor and flute.  Stan Harrison-tenor and flute.  Steve Elson-baritone and flute.  Sammy Figueroa-percussion.

SIDE 1

  1. Modern Love  (4:46)
  2. China Girl  (5:32)
  3. Let’s Dance  (7:38)
  4. Without You  (3:08)

SIDE 2

  1. Ricochet  (5:14)
  2. Criminal World  (4:25)
  3. Cat People Putting Out Fire  (5:09)
  4. Shake It  (3:49)

Us Festival May 1983 Bowie headlined Day Three and I was there with my friends Pam and Rich and 300,000+ friends I had not yet met.  This was the Serious Moonlight Tour.  My memories of his performance are of seeing his image on the big screen bathed in a blue light and dancing with his face always turning in profile with his arms bent at the waist. It was amazing.  I am glad to be able to say I saw him perform.

David Bowie died a few weeks ago from cancer.  He was 69 years old.  My daughter told me the morning after the news broke.  She was upstairs getting ready for school when she called out to me with the news.  She was crying.  In the past six months we have had too many deaths to accept.  Bowie’s was another.  Although he wasn’t a family member or friend, nevertheless the loss was deeply felt.  Cancer.  It’s a motherfucker.

David Bowie Let’s Dance

David Bowie Changesonebowie

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David Bowie  Changesonebowie
(1976) RCA Victor label. Used purchased at Rhino Records Westwood probably in 1991.  Illinois was with me when I bought this.  Our conversation went something like this:

Illinois: “You know that’s a greatest hits album right?”

Me: “Yes”

Illinois: “I thought you wanted to start completing your collection and buy the original releases”

Me: “Well this one is only $4.99 and has hits and look at the cover!”

Illinois: <sigh>

SIDE A

  1. Space Oddity  (5:15)
  2. John, I’m Only Dancing  (2:43)
  3. Changes  (3:34)
  4. Ziggy Stardust  (3:13)
  5. Suffragette City  (3:25)
  6. The Jean Genie  (4:07)

SIDE B

  1. Diamond Dogs  (6:03)
  2. Rebel Rebel  (4:28)
  3. Young Americans  (5:10)
  4. Fame  (4:12)
  5. Golden Years  (4:03)

I am a Bowie fan.  But I do not own all of his albums.  The earlier written conflict with my mom over his music has very deep seeded roots.  As a teenager I struggled with my Christian faith and upbringing.  There were times in my life when I denounced all things counter to Christ’s teachings.  This would have included anything close to sexual deviation or gender bending.  So at times Bowie was OUT!  Which meant I didn’t play what albums I owned.  Thankfully I didn’t throw them out.  I was subjected to some pretty serious soul cleansings at prayer meetings, private schools, and youth group camps as a teenager.  To my mom the world was a pretty scary place and she constantly feared for my safety.  Encouraging my faith building was her insurance that I would be ok.

At 18, I freed myself from the bindings of Christ.  My break with the faith began the process of releasing my guilt and shame.  I pursued the music I liked.  I read the books I wanted to read.  I bought tarot cards and read all about astrology.  I was also a college student and began learning all about the real world.  So much different from the sheltered world I was familiar with in my hometown.  It was a world I knew was out there all along, I just couldn’t get to it.

So, I still do not own all of Bowie’s albums.  But now it’s because I just haven’t gotten around to it.

David Bowie Changesonebowie

David Bowie Aladdin Sane

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David Bowie  Aladdin Sane
(1973) RCA Victor label reissue purchased in 1979 at The Wherehouse in the Riverside Plaza. No lyrics sheet,  bummer…  Same line up as The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust; David Bowie, Mick Ronson, T.J. Bolder, and Woody Woodmansey.  Bowie toured America and Aladdin Sane resulted with each track identifying the cities that each inspired.

SIDE ONE

  1. Watch That Man  (4:25)  New York
  2. Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)  (5:06)  Ellinis
  3. Drive-In Saturday  (4:29)  Seattle-Phoenix
  4. Panic In Detroit  (4:25)  Detroit
  5. Cracked Actor  (2:56)  Los Angeles

SIDE TWO

  1. Time  (5:09)  New Orleans
  2. The Prettiest Star  (3:26)  Gloucester Road
  3. Let’s Spend The Night Together  (3:03)
  4. The Jean Genie  (4:02)  Detroit and New York
  5. Lady Grinning Soul  (3:46)  London

This album is all over the place.  It does not tell as succinct a story as The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy.  However there are many hits on this record.  The cover of Let’s Spend The Night Together is so different; it is a cover of the highest quality.  The piano and electronic effects amp it up to astral proportions. Woody Woodmansey’s drums are SOLID!  Panic In Detroit has a Stones feel to it, evoking images of urban decay and the growing war on drugs.  The Jean Genie is an earworm of the best kind.  The rattlesnake shakes “Smiles like a reptile” throughout the song really grind in the rump roller quality of the bass line.

I met David Bowie in 1989.  I was managing a flagship movie theatre in Los Angeles and I got a call on the business line on a Thursday evening that David Bowie wanted to come see the 8:00 PM showing of Dead Calm.  The man on the phone was not Bowie but his agent, or so he said.  There was a slight possibility that I was being duped.  You were never quite sure how folks would get the business number.  I made the arrangements and hoped like hell it was legitimate!

Right around 7:50 PM in walked David Bowie with a small group of people.  He was wearing a white button up shirt and faded jeans, and loafers.  He was not very tall.  He was SOOOOO polite and kind.  We shook hands.  I wanted to loose my mind but I kept it together.  I escorted him and his party into the theatre and then went into my office and freaked out!

David Bowie Aladdin Sane

David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars…

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David Bowie  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars…
(1972) RCA Victor label. Purchased new (reissue) in 1979 from Gillette’s Records.  This is the first Bowie album I purchased.  I would play it mostly after school when my folks weren’t home.  I would play it quietly if they were home– even though the album very clearly states TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME. 

In 1977 my family was invited to audition for the game show The Family Feud.  Our “family” was my mom, her Great Aunt Thelma, Aunt Thelma’s daughters Charlene and Anna, and myself.  We drove in to Hollywood (something we NEVER DID).  We were in our 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.  We passed by a billboard advertising the Bowie release “Heroes” and it had images of all of Bowie’s incarnations–  including Ziggy Stardust.  Before I knew it, I blurted out “Oh look, Bowie, how cool”.  Anna, who was probably 18 or 19 at the time made a comment about how she missed Ziggy since Bowie had dropped that persona.  The resulting silence was deafening.  Anna might as well announced Satan as her lord.  And I knew what was coming.  The tirade that followed from my mom on the sickness that was Bowie went on way too long.  I remember trying to make myself invisible in the backseat and avoided looking at Mom’s eyes in the rearview mirror.  Family feud indeed.

SIDE 1.

  1. Five Years  (4:42)
  2. Soul Love  (3:34)
  3. Moonage Daydream  (4:40)
  4. Starman  (4:10)
  5. It Ain’t Easy  (2:58)

SIDE 2.

  1. Lady Stardust  (3:22)
  2. Star  (2:47)
  3. Hang On To Yourself  (2:40)
  4. Ziggy Stardust  (3:13)
  5. Suffragette City  (3:25)
  6. Rock “n” Roll Suicide  (2:58)

1977 was the same year of the Bing Crosby David Bowie performance of “Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth”.  We ALWAYS watched the Bing Crosby Christmas Special.  I remember being secretly so righteous inside about Bowie being on this show.  “Look Mom, David Bowie is going to be on with Bing Crosby.”  Surely somehow this would convince her that Bowie was not an evil force in the world.  She almost turned off the set.  When they performed, I kept looking at her to gauge her reaction.  Her conclusion was something like, “Well I guess he wasn’t so weird.  But I still don’t like him– and neither should YOU.”  Ahhhh wham bam thank you Ma’am.

The musicians are: David Bowie-guitar, sax, and vocals.  Mick Ronson-guitar, piano, and vocals. Trevor Bolder- bass.  Mick Woodmansey– drums.  The theatricality of this album is perfect.  You can use your mind’s eye and see the Broadway play in each track.  The story of the misunderstood outcast with a heart the size of the universe.  Open, experimental, willing to question the norm, create, love, share discoveries with the world, togetherness, unafraid.  These are messages teenagers will always champion.  They are messages of hope and understanding.

YOU’RE NOT ALONE.    YOU’RE WONDERFUL.   GIMME YOUR HANDS.

 

David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars…

The Blues Brothers Briefcase Full Of Blues

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The Blues Brothers  Briefcase Full of Blues
(1978) Atlantic Label.  Atlantic inner sleeve (unsure if original). Purchased used at Record Surplus (on Pico) in Los Angeles.  Can’t remember when I picked this up, probably early 1990 (?)  It was at this time I started to collect comedy and when I came across this in the stacks I had to have it.  Filed in my music section rather than comedy for it is mostly a music performance album.

There is much to say here.  Record Surplus “the last record store” is my favorite record store.  I have been shopping there since 1986.  Been there with Illinois before we had kids.  Our first apartment was close by so it made it really easy to head over there to trade and shop.  Been there with Illinois while pregnant with each of our kids.  We moved 65 miles east after our first child was born.  This made it more difficult to shop there but we still managed probably 6 times a year or more.  Been there with the whole damn family.  With kids in tow, it made it for a more stressful shopping experience because the kids needed to learn how to look for things and be patient while Mom and Dad (in particular Dad) was looking.  More on Illinois and his timeline at a record store for a later post.

The Pico store was great.  Never really any trouble finding parking.  Upstairs 99 cent bins were a treasure hunters dream.  I had my rotation.  Stop at collectibles first.  Then over to kids records and spoken word.  Then rock, vocals, and maybe jazz or classical if I was hunting for something in particular.  Then begrudgingly over to CDs.  Maybe even check out the VHS or eventually DVDs. I was pretty sad when they moved to the new location on Santa Monica Blvd.  But still a great store.  And now on to this album:

ONE

  1. Opening: I Can’t Turn You Loose  (1:17)
  2. Hey Bartender  (2:46)
  3. Messin’ With The Kid  (2:46)
  4. (I Got Everything I Need) Almost  (2:36)
  5. Rubber Biscuit  (2:41)
  6. Shot Gun Blues  (5:13)

TWO

  1. Groove Me  (3:32)
  2. I Don’t Know  (4:07)
  3. Soul Man  (2:54)
  4. “B: Movie Box Car Blues  (3:57)
  5. Flip, Flop, Fly  (3:35)
  6. Closing: I Can’t Turn You Loose  (0.28)

Recorded live at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.  The Blue Brothers are Joliet Jake Blues (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and began as a sketch on Saturday Night Live.  This spring boarded into an album and eventually a feature length film in 1980.  This album enjoys the talents of Paul Shaffer, Steve Cropper, Matt”Guitar” Murphy, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Jordan, Lou Marini, Alan Rubin, Tom Scott, and Tom Malone.

This is a fun record.  Pretty straightforward Chicago style blues and of course the hilarious “Rubber Biscuit”.  My children know “Rubber Biscuit”.  My grandchildren will know “Rubber Biscuit”.  This album makes me remember the late 1970’s and the good times you had staying up to watch Saturday Night Live.  Not everybody did.  So you were part of a club in a way.  The Not Ready For Prime Time Players were irreverent, edgy, insane, and out there.  Their drug use and take no prisoners philosophy has been well documented. My contribution to the subject: John Belushi and I shared the same birthday.

 

The Blues Brothers Briefcase Full Of Blues

The Black Keys Turn Blue

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The Black Keys Turn Blue
(2014) Nonesuch label. Purchased new at Rhino Records Claremont.  Original inner sleeve including poster and copy of the CD. This album was a departure for the band– into a new sound and I love it!  Obviously inspired by Pink Floyd, kind of bluesy, and unapologetically The Black Keys.  The Black Keys are Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney and joining them on this record Brian Burton.

SIDE A

  1. Weight Of Love  (6:50)
  2. In Time  (4:28)
  3. Turn Blue  (3:24)
  4. Fever  (4:06)
  5. Year In Review  (3:48)

SIDE B

  1. Bullet In The Brain  (4:15)
  2. It’s Up To You Now  (3:10)
  3. Waiting On Words  (3:37)
  4. 10 Lovers  (3:33)
  5. In Our Prime  (4:38)
  6. Gotta Get Away  (3:02)

This album was the soundtrack for summer 2014.  Many trips to the OC to hang out with my girls and go shopping. The hit “Fever” was on the radio in regular rotation.  But the whole album is solid.  Plenty to sing along with such as “Waiting On Words” or “10 Lovers”. With Danger Mouse producing, the sound is richer, fuller.  For those who are Black Keys purists, you were probably a little disappointed in this record.  Too much of a change from the boiled down approach the band had taken for the earlier releases.  Weakest track is Gotta Get Away only because of the korny lyrics; but the hat tip to “San BerDo” is kinda cool.

No disappointment for me.  As I am writing this blog it comes to my attention, I like when an artist/band goes off in a new directions.  I am happy to go along for the ride.  This was one of those purchases where I bought the CD first, then had to own the album too.

The Black Keys Turn Blue

Jeff Beck Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop

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Jeff Beck  Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop
(1989) Illinois gifted this album to me, purchased new from Rhino Records, Westwood.  Epic label original inner sleeve.  This is one of my favorite Jeff Beck albums. For many reasons. The line up on this album is Jeff Beck guitars, Tony Hymas keyboards and synthesizers, AND Terry Bozzio drums and percussion.  Terry Bozzio is one of my favorite drummers.  So crisp and lightening fast.

1.

  1. Guitar Shop  (4:57)
  2. Savoy  (3:49)
  3. Behind The Veil  (4:52)
  4. Big Block  (4:03)
  5. Where Were You  (3:16)

2.

  1. Stand On It  (4:55)
  2. Day In The House  (5:03)
  3. Two Rivers  (5:21)
  4. Sling Shot  (3:04)

When Jeff Beck was touring for this album, Illinois and I had tickets to see the show.  Stevie Ray Vaughan was the opening act!  I couldn’t wait to go.  As the date got closer, turned out I couldn’t get the night off of work and so Illinois went with a friend.  I was really, really disappointed.  Illinois said the show was just ok; the sound mix was bad.

The other reason why this album is a favorite is because of the motif.  Jeff Beck collects muscle cars and the cover is a guitar on a lift like in a body shop.  Illinois and I have always had an appreciation for muscle cars.  When we were still dating we went to El Segundo and purchased a 1968 Camaro.  We were the third owners.  It was all original, nothing had been done to modify it.  Even had the old AM radio.  When we were on our way to the hospital to have our first child, we were in that Camaro.

This album is different– it has that late 80’s sound; kind of Miami Vice meets Jeff Beck.  Lots of synths but with Beck’s guitar aiming high over and throughout each track.  Of course no vocals but some really crazy talk tracks– “Nothing is being done!”.  Really great, loud, music with Jeff Beck shredding, Terry Bozzio driving the beat, and plenty of opportunity to get lost in it.

Jeff Beck Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop

Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills

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Big Brother & the Holding Company Cheap Thrills

(1968) Columbia label. Purchased new (probably a reissue) in 1979 from Gillette’s Records in Riverside, California.  Gatefold jacket with Robert Crumb artwork detailing songs and band members.  Indicative of the time is a label on the cover proudly declaring “Approved by Hell’s Angels Frisco”.  Big Brother and The Holding Company were James Gurley on guitar, Peter S. Albin on bass, Dave Getz on drums, Sam Houston Andrew III on bass and guitar, and Janis Joplin on vocals!  This album has live material recorded at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium.

SIDE I

  1. Combination Of The Two (5:47)
  2. I Need A Man To Love  (4:54)
  3. Summertime  (4:00)
  4. Piece Of My Heart  (4:15)

SIDE II

  1. Turtle Blues  (4:22)
  2. Oh, Sweet Mary  (4:16)
  3. Ball And Chain  (9:37)

In 1979 I had my own job and I could drive.  My folks would let me borrow the Oldsmobile and I would shop for records. At that time all of my purchases were either done in Riverside at Licorice Pizza, Music Plus, Wherehouse, Gillette’s Records, downstairs at Woolworth’s, or mail order from the Columbia Record House.

As a high school student I always felt as if I was born 10 years too late.  I understood what was happening in the 1960’s.  Unlike my mother, I embraced the counter cultural revolution of the hippies, rock and roll, and anti Vietnam politics.  But, at the time these issues were in the limelight, I was, what 6? 7?

No, I was safely ensconced in Riverside.  Running around barefoot in the downtown area, saving pop bottles and living vicariously by watching what my babysitters were going through. With names like Debbie, Jeanie, Ginger, or Penny they were 14, 15, or 16 and living the hippie life.

“Mommy how come Jeanie can’t babysit for us today?”

“Because she ran away.”

I remember when Jeanie came home after being gone.  Her once long and beautiful black hair was so tangled and full of knots (we called them rats).  She was so skinny.  She was so sad.  Her mom promptly got her a pixie haircut, bought her a bunch of new clothes and re-enrolled her at North high school.  She could babysit again.  Then within a couple of months, she was gone.  Her mom cried and cried.

Jeanie loved Janis Joplin.  Janis’s voice kind of scared me at first.  She didn’t sound like a girl the way Diana Ross or Dionne Warwick did.  But Janis was like a virus you caught.  Once in your system she was tough to shake.  I remember when the news said Janis Joplin had died.  I remember my mom talking about the dangers of being a hippie and a runaway and taking all those drugs. I remember thinking about my babysitters.  I don’t know what ever happened to any of them.

 

Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills