This one is interesting for an unexpected reason. As I always admit, I love gimmicky records, and UK singles in the 1980s were uniformly released with gimmicks to boost sales and get them on to the charts. Case in point: This UK limited edition pack of Tears For Fears’ “Shout.” It came in a big envelope (upper left) that contained the single and a bunch of cards that made for a full calendar of 1985, so they were literally trying to turn the band into pinups. I stumbled across this the other day in a used record shop and snapped it up for $5; when I got it home, I looked closer and noticed something interesting: The days are in sync with 2019, so in theory, you could use the calendar for this year. Pretty cool.
So is IG back up and running again? Let’s find out with a test post: This is a shop I went to a few weeks ago—Vinyl Paradise, far out on Long Island. Unfortunately, the truly awesome storefront, referencing Elvis Presley and Clash album covers, is the best thing about it. Inside, you’ll find lots of carefully curated screamo bands and everything else appears to be randomly scrounged from garage sales—lots of Judy Collins and Seals & Croft. Apparently they’ve been there three years, which says to me their rent must be dirt cheap.
David Sylvian’s Alchemy, AKA Words with the Shaman, is one of my Top 5 records of all-time. An instrumental affair of what today we’d call world music, it has captivated me for decades. Alas, it’s been only available on import EPs- and used ones at that, so inevitably, they were noisey during the quiet interludes. I’ve bought multiple copies over the years, futilely trying to find a clean one, but now it has been re-released finally (the copy on the lower left) and it sounds GORGEOUS. Listening to it was like sending my ears to a spa for 40 minutes.
Yes, Paula Abdul is no vinyl nerd’s idea of cool, but this 1991 flop single is a wonderful case of Audio WTF, constructed out of standard club-thumping beats of the era, faux opera, a 1940s swing big band, and a piano part playing utterly backwards jazz chords for the hook. It’s audaciously ambitious, even though it only works sometimes (her exhortations are pretty insipid even for dance music, where the words are usually the least important aspect). Nonetheless, it’s pretty fun and even more impressive if only for the fact that it was on a mainstream dance album. If some UK act had brought it out back then instead of Paula Abdul, it would have been a hit on US alternative radio. On the other hand, this is the UK 12” remix for it and I don’t think it was a hit over there either so I’m probably wrong.
An original pressing of Billy Joel’s first album from before he was signed to Columbia. The label he was on was so bad that the album was lmastered at the incorrect speed [approximately 8% faster]. When Columbia acquired and re-released it years later, the mastering was fixed.
Tears for Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair family portrait, clockwise from top left: A Canadian promo LP for playing in record stores, combining tracks from The Hurting and SFTBC; a MFSL audiophile copy of SFTBC; the rare and expensive (sigh) 2014 stereo mix by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree (less verb, drums all up front—if you ever wanted “Shout” to punch you in the face, this is your album); and an OG UK pressing from back in the day.
I found this fascinating copy of the Stray Cats’ self-titled debut, pressed in Mexico. A promo edition, it includes a track listing sheet for DJs and others, listing translated song titles like “Chicos Fugitivos” for “Runaway Boys.” Neat!
#straycats #briansetzer #mexicanpressing #vinyl #vinyls #record #records #eighties #mtv #rockabilly #rock #pop #classicrock #recordcollector #recordcollection
RIP Mark Hollis, leader of new wave-turned-avant garde progsters Talk Talk. Life’s what you make it indeed. This is “Its My Mix,” an Italian EP of 12” remixes from before they deep dived into their minimalist psychedelic phase with Spirit of Eden.
#newwave #eighties #mtv #rock #pop #dance #vinyl #vinyls #record #records #recordcollection #talktalk #markhollis #recordcollector #recordcollecting
First record I ever bought with my own money, age 11. It was all downhill from there—money in my pocket-wise, room in my house-wise…..
#funkytown #lippsinc #disco #pop #dance #seventies #vinyl #vinyls #record #records #recordcollector #recordcollection
What fabulous design—at first glance, it looks like a reflection and of course it’s not. In addition to being great songsmiths, Madness has great visual flair—understated but distinctive all the same.