Friday, February 20, 2009

Recent Acquisitions (2-20-09)

Visit to the Newark Record Swap yielded these goodies:

Michael Henderson, In the Night-Time (Buddah, $2.50). Is the cover a late addition to the Crimes of Fashion gallery? Hell, no! If I had an album of smooth 70s soul and had his chest, I'd dress exactly the same as Michael Henderson. 

Barry White, Stone Gon' (20th Century, $2.50). Barry White's baritone is the vocal equivalent of an open shirt. Lucky for him, because he would look ridiculous with his shirt opened to the waist. 

Al Green, Explores Your Mind (Hi Records, $2.50). The record still has the shrink wrap and a price tag from the Record Factory. It cost $4.98 back when it came out in 1974. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, that's equivalent to $21.33 today. Money aside, this album is about as close to a religious experience as this secular soul has had.

Bill Withers, Just As I Am (Sussex original pressing, $4). This is Withers' debut record, which was released when he was 33 years old. He had worked in factories most of his early adult life. He's holding a lunch bucket on the album cover. I wonder if he had to bring his own lunch to the recording sessions. He sounds kind of pissed on this album. I would be pissed too if I had to bring my own lunch to the recording sessions. After the success of this album and his next one, which contains "Lean on Me", he sounded less pissed and his albums got less interesting. 

Bill Withers, Just As I Am (Sussex/A&M German pressing, $2.50). I love this album so much I have to have two copies. Curious what the Germans did to this fine-sounding LP.

The Motown Story: The First Twenty-Five Years (Motown 5-LP compilation, $2.50). Motown used to manufacture hits. Now I hear the hits are manufactured by 12-year old children in sweat shops in Sri Lanka. That would explain the Jonas Brothers and Milly Cyrus.

David Bowie, The Man Who Sold the World (RCA, orange label reissue on dynaflex vinyl, $2.50). The original LP was released on Mercury Records and featured a different cover. If the album is any good, I'll look for the original.

Neil Young, On the Beach (Reprise, $5). The 2nd of Young's Doom Trilogy and one of his scarcer albums. This one is stone mint.

Gabor Szabo, Wind Sky and Diamond (Impulse! red and black 2nd pressing, $2.50).  The cover gives this credit: "With the California Dreamers". In other words, I'm bracing myself for disappointment. That's why I didn't spring for the $15 original pressing at the record swap.

Charles Mingus, Mingus at Monterey (Mingus JWS-1/2, double LP, black label, distributed by Fantasy, $8). There is no other jazz artist who so effortlessly bridged the traditional and the modern strains of jazz. This is the first album Mingus released on his own label. It was originally available only by mail order. Those albums command big bucks now. Two years after its initial release, Fantasy distributed the album to a wider audience. I almost bought a Fantasy copy for $30 at Amoeba. Glad I waited. Patience is crucial in buying records. Conversely, when you come across a rare record, you need to be decisive enough to snap it up while elbowing others away.

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse! red and black label 2nd pressing, Van Gelder in the dead wax, $15).  I'd be really happy if not for the quarter-inch scratch on side 2. This is the best sounding version of the album I've heard. Copies mastered by Van Gelder are hard to find.

From the dollar bins. I rationalize buying dollar records by equating their cost to a candy bar, One good song on an album lasts longer a candy bar. And you can't ever eat that candy bar again.

Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells (Virgin Records). I can't believe this guy can wank for 50 minutes straight. I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes of his musical masturbation. To think some people like this. I guess there are folks who like to watch others jerk off. (File under: Onanism)

The Police, Outlandos d'Amour (A&M, no bar code). The Police actually have held up really well. I like them now more than ever before.

ELO, El Dorado (UA sunrise label). I can't say the same for ELO, but it's good for times when you feel like listening to the Beatles without actually wanting to hear the Beatles.

Joni Mitchell, Mingus (Asylum). I'm not a huge Joni fan, but I love Mingus. I wonder who wins in this incongruous pairing. I bet Joni walks all over Mingus.

Simon and Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. (CBS stereo 2-eye). Contains the original version of "Sound of Silence", not the hit version featured in The Graduate.

Cat Stevens, Mona Bone Jakon (A&M tan label). What the hell does the title mean? It sounds lewd.

Go-Go's, Beauty and the Beat (IRS, Sterling in dead wax). No, Rocky is not gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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