You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple! Now, if you want to cast more than one vote, comment on the Twitter and Facebook post and you could get up to 3 votes on your favorite pick.
There are no longer rules for my selections, maybe themes. I’m just picking albums in my collection and this time they are classics from the 70’s. What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have them right here…
Alice Cooper – ‘Billion Dollar Babies’
Elton John – ‘Captain Fantastic’
Rolling Stones – ‘Sticky Fingers’
David Bowie – ‘Diamond Dogs’
Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin II’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in December, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
It is Thanksgiving 2020 and dang what a crazy year it has been. One thing I have found to give me peace and help deal with stress during this Covid impacted world is my vinyl collection. I am of course thankful for my health and my family as that is a given, but since this is a music site, I need to tie in music somehow, I am also thankful for my vinyl collection. It brings me great joy. To be able to pull out an album and play it and it might help my mood brings me great satisfaction. There are so many things I love about it.
One of the things I love about vinyl is that occasionally you find an album cover that is interactive in some way. Something about the picture can be manipulated, changed or just turned to a different angle for a dramatically different picture. This makes for the most fun and enjoyable album experience. For this version of Turntables & Vinyl, we are going to explore those I have in my collection and maybe one I want to get in the future. I will break it out in to different categories. And let’s get right in to the first category…
Some album covers have a cover that changes the look of the cover strictly from the perspective of how you are looking at it. A changing perspective is actually a good thing to have in life as well. We change our perspective on the world depending on how we look at it. Why not take that ability and turn it in to an album cover. A couple I have in my collection do just that.
Def Leppard – ‘Retro Active’: This album cover looks different depending on the position you hold it. Up close, it is a beautifully lady sitting in front of a mirror doing make-up. From far away it is a Skull. See what I mean below…Look at the picture closely on your screen and see the girl, pull the screen away from you (or sit further back) and you will see the skull.
You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…note: I tried to throw in a couple non-obvious choices to make things a little more interesting. I have to admit, there are some heavy hitters on here for this selection.
New Release – Dokken – ‘The Lost Songs: 1978-1981′
Never Heard Before – The 13th Floor Elevators – ‘The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators‘
Not My Normal Genre – Miles Davis – ‘Kind of Blue’
From My Collection – Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin IV’
From My Collection – Queen – ‘Innuendo’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in October, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Welcome to the June Purchases wrap-up and what a month it was. After not visiting an actual record store in 2 months due to the Covid Stay at Home Orders, I was out in force when the opened back up. And this time it wasn’t just vinyl and CDs, there were a couple other surprises that were music related. And then there were a stack of albums I picked up that I didn’t have to buy which is always cool. Let’s get started.
First up was my trip to Repo Records and Noble Records as they were two of the first to open. I wanted to spend a little at both to show my support and I did just that. First up was Repo. I was worried we would have to wear masks and gloves, but thankfully neither store required but we could if we wanted to do it. Which I didn’t because we left the masks at home on the counter. I didn’t really find anything at Repo’s until I stumbled across a brand new copy of Tesla’s Psychotic Supper. It was new and sealed so no real deal on it, but it was cheaper than what Amazon was offering and since it is on a list of albums I want, I got it.
I am starting to feel old. Why you might ask? Well, I will tell you and it is not that I turned 50 last year. It is not that my kids are growing up too fast. Okay, that is part of it. The main reason is that all the musicians I grew up listening to are now starting to die. Not by drug addiction or overdosing. Nope, those are generally younger rockers and although sad, it doesn’t make me feel old. The musicians are now dying of natural causes due in part to old age. They are getting cancer or having heart attacks…you know…normal things that tend to happen when you are older.
Recently, we have seen the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek who were both in their 70’s when they passed. Let that sink in. They were in their 70’s. When I listened to them growing up, their music was mainstream. Not today. They fall under the Classic Rock category. I loved both Eddie Money’s and The Cars’ music. I remember sitting in my basement watching MTV and seeing Eddie scream out “Take Me Home Tonight” and The Cars “You Might Think” video which is one of the most innovative music videos ever done (at least at the time).
Their deaths brought to light a real issue that the world is facing. The heroes of the classic rock era of the late 60’s, the 70’s & the 80’s are getting a lot older and won’t be around much longer. Soon, we won’t be catching these acts on tour or won’t even have any new material be released. The iconic music makers will be dying and the music of generations will start to fade away. When that happens, how many radio stations will play Classic Rock anymore? Think about it…there are no stations specific to the 40’s, the 50’s or even the 60’s music (ok, maybe unless you have Satellite Radio). Some of the 60’s will fall under Classic Rock, but not the early 60’s music. Gone. Classic Rock’s days are numbered.
For this month’s version of The Original vs. the Cover, we are going to discuss the Jake Holmes song “Dazed and Confused” that was later covered (or stolen) by Led Zeppelin. The Jake Holmes song was released in 1967. Jimmy Page heard this song when Jake’s band and Jimmy Page’s band The Yardbirds were on the same bill. Jimmy took the song and made several changes to it and performed it with the Yardbirds. However, it didn’t get recorded until 1968 with Pages new band Led Zeppelin.
I say stole, because Page didn’t credit Holmes as the songwriter with the Led Zeppelin release. Page felt he had made enough changes to the song that he didn’t need to credit Mr. Holmes. And for the longest time Holmes did nothing until 2010 when he finally filed suit against Page. The lawsuit never made it to court as it was eventually settled out of court. Now, when the song is on an album that is newly released from Zeppelin it says…inspired by Jake Holmes.
Enough of the dirty music business. Let us focus on the song and which version is better. We will start as we usually do with the Original and then discuss the Cover ending with a wonderful Verdict of which one I like more. And away we go…
The song was recorded in 1967 for Jake’s debut album, ‘The Above Ground Sound”. It was recorded as a trio with only an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and a bass. No drums!! And honestly, you don’t miss them. The song is a trippy, psychedelic wonder. The song feels like a bad acid trip, full of paranoia and god knows what. Holmes at one time said it was about a girl and that can be true because women have dazed and confused men for centuries.
For My Sunday Song #129, we are tackling the Jeff Beck classic, “Beck’s Bolero”. The song was recorded back in 1966 and released by Beck in 1967. This was the first release after Beck left the Yardbirds in hopes of quieting everyone that were upset about him leaving the band. The song would wind up on his 1968 debut album ‘Truth’.
Now, before we get in to the song, I think we need to discuss the musicians that were on this track. The songwriter is said to be a guitarist by the name of Jimmy Page with contributions to it by Beck himself. The line-up was Jeff Beck (of course), Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, John Paul Jones and Nicky Hopkins. Damn!! That is a line-up. It was later confirmed that was the early incarnations of a little band you might have heard of called Led Zeppelin!! Pretty dang cool.
Okay, back to the song…the song is inspired in part by Ravel’s “Bolero” obviously. The song is made up of three parts. The first is Page giving us that Bolero sound and then Beck bringing in the melody and almost spiritual, spacey sound going. Part two kicks in with a scream and Keith Moon beating the crap out of the drums. The tempo picks up with some distorted guitar sounds and the song rocks out with some slamming keyboard as well. And part three brings us back to the earthy sounds of the beginning with some added fills and more melody. It is a sensational journey.
How can a band so new get its own Memes collection? Well, because it is my site and I can feature anyone. I tried not to make it all Led Zeppelin comparisons and its not, but there are a lot. I hope you still enjoy it.
If you are new to the site, I started this series with the year 1987 and then noticed that 1991 and 1983 were also a couple of the greatest years in music. I got to thinking, was there a pattern that every 4 years we have another great year in music. Well theory didn’t last long as I don’t think the next two years I researched were “great” years in music. Those years were 1979 and 1995. If you want to explore all the years I have examined so far, click on the link below…
Now that my theory is busted, I am just going to start looking for the “Greatest” year in music. I am going to start with 1971. Will 1971 be another great year or will it be the greatest year. Let us explore and see and then decide at the end. But first we have to ask What were the top albums of the year?, What were the debut albums from some of the great rock bands? and What was going on in the world of music that year?
What were some of the biggest news events that happened in 1971? I couldn’t find any one big thing that happened. Nothing new was invented such as the walkman or the CD. There were a couple things of note.
June 27th & July 4th – Music promoter, Billy Graham, closed two of the most famous music venues, The Fillmore East in New York City closed on June 27th and closed with The Allman Brothers (the band recorded their famous live album their 3 months earlier) and on July 4th the Fillmore West in San Francisco closed with Santana, Credence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead (not a bad night).
Happy Friday! Of course, all Friday’s are happy. The last day of the work week and new album releases. What could be better…maybe everyday being a Friday. There are a handful of albums this week for me and one was on pre-order and should be at my door when I get home from work…yes, it will be a great Friday. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in or if I missed anything which happens all the time. Have a great weekend and enjoy any new music you pick up.
W.E.T. – Earthrage – (Frontiers Records): Jeff Scott Soto is a busy man between his solo album, Sons of Apollo and now a new W.E.T. album. And it has been too long since the last one, 5 years I believe since the last studio album and that is way too long. Jeff’s vocals are what keep me coming back to everything he releases. With W.E.T., he teams up with Erik Martensson and Robert Sall to form this sensational trio. The bands this trio is from makes up the name…Work of Art, Eclipse & Talisman…all three great bands in their own right. If this first song is what we can expect, hold on tight!! Check them out!
Kip Winger – Solo Box Set Collection – (Frontiers Records): Kip Winger is such an underrated talent…well at least he used to be. He is now a Classical Composer (Grammy nominated I think)…pretty cool! This set is a collection of all his solo works (it isn’t classical music though). We get 5 CDs, the 3 solo albums, an acoustic album (with Winger songs included) and some rare demos and an unreleased track. Pretty damn fine set of music and worth picking up. This is what I have on pre-order and should keep me busy for awhile!! Here is the collections trailer…