Sunday, August 11, 2013

Here's Ten Random Records...

Friend and VV contributor shows up in the CT for a VVer #2 summer family BBQ and he brought this stack with him.  Apparently his aunt unloaded this pile of goodness from her personal collection.  Assuming we are the bloggers and we know stuff (big assumption), he leaves them in our trusting hands to do what we want with them.  Is this a joke on us?

Oh. Dear. God.  In.No.Particular.Order.

1.  Peter Frampton I'm In You.  CREEPY.   Seriously, just look at the cover, the title, silken pantaloons, and foofy sleeved blouse/shirt!  Perhaps the record is good?  Problem is, before it even gets to the turntable, a pamphlet falls out.  What's in said pamphlet?  I think only pictures can tell... (Note: I'm In You Necklace)

And no, the pathetic cheese music in no way saves this one.

2.  Jo-Ann Kelly Self-Titled.  First reaction "Is this a guy?  I thought the name was Jo-Ann." Oh wait, the back cover will answer all our questions, "the first and only white blues singer of sufficiently awesome skills . . . Jo-Ann is young, British, and feminine.  Her sounds are brawny, black, and Southern."  Mmm hmm.  This must not have been written in English, definitely written in Estonian and the translation is just not carrying over.  No one talks or writes like this.

3.  Love Out Here is sort of psyched out at times and then also corny and boring at times.  It's  a double from 1969 so it's gonna need more attention.  The cover art painting of a lone seated blue flame figure is really what makes this one.  VVer #1 keeps trying to try to give it another try, but VVer #2 says, AAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!

4.  Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies The American Metaphysical Circus.  Side A interesting, possibly even better if extremely high.  Side B however turns into a family sing-along (literally; it's called the "The Sing-Along Song") prompting VVer #2's brother who hasn't gotten off the couch in nearly three hours, without warning, to finally get up to TURN OFF THIS RECORD.  This song makes him feel "Not Happy."  Even though VVer #1 said we are in the middle of a "happening" after reading about the "happening-producer" Joe Byrd.  Possibly the weirdest record ever.  Wait, there's a "Sing-Along Song Reprise"!!!

5.  Black Uhuru Anthem from 1983, a great year to be born, but not a great year for reggae albums as witnessed by the recent purchase of Jimmy Cliff's The Power and the Glory. But really not bad. Yet. 1983 also happens to be one year after Neil Young's techno-influenced, computer-voice heavy album Trans.  The influence is palpable on the good tracks.  Needs more Trans.

6.  The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit Plugged in Pop is "plugged in pop presented on the Moog synthesizer and other Electronic Instruments by Sear Electronic Music Productions, Inc."  Yeah, we gathered that from the title.   In fact, there are no names taking the credits in the liner notes except this Walter Sear fellow.   Was this the dawn of electronic music?  Mehhhh.  This is what VVer #2 playing the keyboard sounds like.  VVer #1 actually shouts from upstairs "Is that you playing?"  It's like one-fingered picking at a keyboard.  What a scam.

7.  Randy Newman Little Creatures best known by our 11 and 8 year old cousins (who were dancing around the basement till we put this one on) for being the guy who did the songs from the Toy Story soundtrack.  Sort of Bob Dylan, but no... not really.  In fact VVer #2 is so un-interested she is outside hula-hooping right now.

8.  Colosseum The Grass is Greener is probably the best of this bunch.  It's improvisational rock/jazz/blues/disco: a little Spirit, Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac, a little Allman Brothers.  Genre-shifting music.  The singing is at times atonal and often weighs things down.  The instrumentation is impressive though.  Horn sections, sax solos, jazz drums, and a potent guitar assault combine into a rich soundscape.  "Butty's Blues" would be one to check out.  The album cover art would fit right into the 90's alternative music scene.

9.  Juice Newton JUICE.  Hey, she wrote one song on this one.  Remember that one song?  What is this drek?  Oh, hey!  She wrote that other song also?  Wow... please turn it off.

10.  Commodores Natural High is pretty solid for what it is.  Disco, funk, and pop all rolled into a totally harmless but well crafted LP.  Thanks Motown.  "Three Times a Lady" has not aged well at all, but the rest really hits.  Lionel Richie and crew are at the peak of their powers, and looking at the back cover, pretty fly as well.  Possibly worth a spin or two if the stars were aligned just so.

[Disclosure: Some of these records were barely listened to by the VVers and some probably deserve another listen.  But not for this blog.]

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