Turntables & Vinyl #15 – More & More Vinyl

Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl…I keep getting more and more and I get more addicted to wanting more and more.  My wife shakes her head and just sighs at this point.  I guess I could be drinking, smoking or doing drugs, but thankfully that is not the case.  If I did those things, I would consume everything and I would just be throwing money away.  With the vinyl purchases, I at least could sell them if I ran out of money, so it is an investment…yeah, let’s go with that!!

There is a friend at work that her husband has 2 big crates of vinyl in their closet and she wants them out of the house.  So before they took them somewhere to sell them, she gave me first crack at going through them and letting me pick out the ones I want first. I gave her a fair price (more than any record store would give her, even more than they would in store credit).

The crates were very heavy and full of vinyl.  My wife said I should take them upstairs in the Loft and sit with the family while I went through them.  I declined as they were too dang heavy and I didn’t want to tackle the stairs with them.  Instead, I stayed downstairs for a couple hours and slowly went through the collection.

The collection consisted of albums from the late 50’s all the way up to the late 80’s.  Each crate was sort of themed.  The one crate was from the 50’s-70’s and it was all her husband’s parents vinyl.  It had stuff I had never heard of and a lot I had.  There was Elvis, Liberace (I passed on those), Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, the Kingston Trio and I could go on and on.

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My Sunday Song – “Whistle for the Choir” by The Fratellis

My Sunday Song #83 is “Whistle for the Choir” by The Fratellis.  The song is off their debut album ‘Costello Music’ which peaked at #2 on the UK charts and gave us a few hits including “Chelsea Dagger”.  However, I really liked this song the best.  “Whistle for the Choir” was their third single off the albums and it reached #9 giving them their 2nd Top 10 hit in the UK.  I don’t see where they did very well in the States which is a shame.

The Fratellis are a Scottish trio with a very retro feel and garage rock sound.  This song for me is more of the retro feel as it is a slow ballad using only an acoustic, bass and drum (well it’s a trio – what else are they going to use).  The song has a Beatlesque quality to it and even a little Ray Davies vibe.  I think for those reasons, the song struck a chord with me.  The simple sound and hypnotic beat pulled me in and put me in a trance where I swayed back and forth while listening.  It was encapsulating.  There is a little guitar solo, but also a nice whistle solo as well.

The song tells the story of a guy, who after a night out on the town, meets a girl that is way out of his league.  This doesn’t stop him.  He is going to try and get her anyway.  The nice thing is it doesn’t tell you if he gets the girl or not.

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The Original Vs. The Cover – “Live and Let Die”

Welcome to the first installment of “The Original Vs. The Cover” for 2018.  We are going to start it off this year with the battle between Paul McCartney & Wings and Guns ‘N Roses with the song “Live and Let Die”.  The song was written by Paul & Linda McCartney for the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die”. The two versions aren’t really that different in my opinion.  Some of the orchestration is replaced with guitars, but other than that they are very similar.  But before we choose a version we like more, let’s talk about each version first.

Paul McCartney and Wings

Paul was given the Ian Fleming novel to read and then he sat down at his piano and wrote the song.  I am not sure Paul had ever had to write a song around a title before as he said it was not an easy thing to do.  Well, he wrote the song in an afternoon, so it must not have been that hard.  The song is one of Wing’s most popular songs and it received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song in 1973.  However, it did lose to Barbara Streisand’s song “The Way We Were”.  The song was also nominated for a Grammy in the same year.

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Happy Birthday Jesus! – “Birthday” by the Beatles

Merry Christmas Everyone!!  It will be a busy day with opening presents, spending time with family and hopefully listening to new albums I might get for Christmas.  I wanted to take a second and wish all my loyal followers and fellow bloggers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays.

The biggest thing to do today is to celebrate someone’s birthday.  Actually, two someones. Today we celebrate two very special Birthdays.  One is the Big Guy, Jesus!  We have to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday as He is the reason for the season.  He is what Christmas is all about.  He puts the “Christ” in Christmas.  BUT!!!…He isn’t the only one that has birthday on Christmas.  Nope.  I do as well.  I won’t tell you my age, but it is less than 50 and greater than 48.

And to celebrate our Birthdays, I am going to leave you with a great Birthday song by the Beatles simply called “Birthday”.  I like this one because when I sing it for Jesus, I tell him its his birthday, but it is my birthday too, yeah.  So enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

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My Sunday Song – “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

For My Sunday Song #58 I am going to tackle my favorite Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun”.  Notice I said my favorite and I did not say the best.  I don’t want anyone getting a hair up there tail because I said the best.  My intention is to not start an argument as I know there are many people passionate about their Beatles.

The song was recorded in 1969 and released on their album ‘Abbey Road’ the same year. The song only features three of the Beatles, George, Ringo & Paul as John was recovering from a car crash.

Lyrically, it is a very simple song but musically there is a lot going on.  Paul did the bass, of course and Ringo on drums while George did everything else, and I mean everything else.  He is credited with both the acoustic and electric guitars, the harmonium, and introducing the band to a Moog synthesizer (which might have looked like something below).
Wall of MOOG
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Cheap Trick – ‘We’re All Alright!’ – Album Review

Cheap Trick is the fine wine of Rock & Roll…they keep getting better with age.  Okay, that was extremely cheesy if not entirely true!  They are now on their 18th Studio album after 44 years together.  To top it off, it has only been around 15 months since their last one, ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’.  The new album picks up right where that album left off.  ‘We’re All Alright!’ even takes it to the next level.

The album title, ‘We’re All Alright!’, is a line straight out of their classic song “Surrender” and the whole album is classic Cheap Trick.  The album is a fast paced, juggernaut of pure Cheap Trick rock.  The songs are generally around 3 minutes and the album flies by at only 33 minutes (45 for the deluxe edition).  The album consists of new songs and some old songs that were never recorded or released.

For a band where the members are well into their 60’s, they sound so alive and refreshing and sound better than bands that are half their age.  Robin Zander’s vocals are amazing and sound like he did when he was a kid. Rick Nielsen’s guitar work on the album is the highlight for me.  So many great riffs and solos that music today is sorely missing.  Tom Petersson’s work on the bass keeps everyone in line and adds the finishing touches to each song.  Daxx Nielsen (Rick’s son) on drums has that old Cheap Trick sound and keep the band going at a heart stopping pace.

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Friday New Releases – September 9th

September has an incredible number of new releases coming out and today is the start of it all.  There is now way humanly possible to get through all of them and I am not going to try.  I will miss out on a lot of great stuff, but each week there is going to be too much to get through.  I would have to quit my paying job and then do this full time (which doesn’t pay)…not going to happen, but wish it could.

The ones in Blue are the ones I will make every effort to listen to and enjoy!  Which ones are you looking forward to hearing?

  • 61E1lss9nGL._AC_US160_  Rev Theory – Revelation – (Another Record Co):  I like it loud and heavy and that is what I expect I will get with Rev Theory’s new release.  I have thoroughly enjoyed their prior releases and what I hear so far sounds great.  Give them a listen.

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Happy 4th of July – Is it time for another Revolution?

I am not usually political, but I feel this country is screwed no matter who gets elected.  I am not partial to Trump or Clinton.  I think they both suck!!  Since we are celebrating the birthday of our country, I thought I would do a playlist of songs about Revolution rather than going all patriotic.

Something needs to change soon or I fear the country my children are growing up in will be worse off than it is now.  Patriotism doesn’t seem to be a word in anyone’s vocabulary anymore.  Being politically correct, has gone too far in the wrong direction.  Racism seems to be at an all time high, when it should be non-existent.

If you say something nowadays that doesn’t jive with how a handful of people feel is the correct way to think, you get bashed on the internet or blasted in the media or even fired from your job.  Since when does a person’s opinion deserve that treatment.  What happened to freedom of speech.

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Turntables & Vinyl

Turntables & Vinyl.  Did you ever think they would come back in style?  I guess I must have thought so because I found a box  in a closet that was full of vinyl albums from the 70’s & 80’s.  However, I don’t own a turntable anymore.  What do I do?

Well, I went out and bought a turntable. My oldest daughter has been wanting a turntable as that is the new fad for kids her age, I guess.  That got me to thinking maybe I should get a turntable.  I didn’t want to spend too much as I didn’t know how much it would get used by her or by me.

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We were at the mall and I found this turntable at some trendy clothes store for young people (I was the oldest person in the store).  Don’t know if it is any good and honestly, don’t care.  It will be a fun experience I can share with my daughter and maybe teach her what real music sounds like.

We started shopping for albums afterwards and the first thing I noticed was…THE PRICE!!! HOLY CRAP!!  When did albums become so expensive.  $25, $35 and up to $50 for a freakin’ album.  Well, I guess my daughter won’t be getting one anytime soon.  She will have to listen to mine until I can take a 2nd mortgage out on the house to buy a new album. Luckily, the store had a limited selection so there was nothing either of us had to have right then.

We get back home and I run upstairs to grab the box of records.  We take it into my office along with the turntable.  I get the turntable plugged into the wall and into my stereo system and found the setup to be extremely easy.  Thank goodness as I wanted to put on some music.

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Next, I grabbed the box and opened it like I was a kid on Christmas.  I couldn’t wait to go through and see what all I had.  I knew what a lot of the albums were in the box, but not everything. What I did know for sure is that the first album to be played on the turntable was going to be Van Halen’s self titled debut from 1978.  I remembered that album was in the box along with several Kiss albums.

The Van Halen album sounded amazing!! And now as I am typing this post up, I am listening to Kiss Alive! and I have it cranked! (No one is home right now) Not a bad way to spend my afternoon.  Here is a list of albums that were in my box that I will definitely be putting on heavy rotation.

  • Van Halen – Van Halen
  • Kiss – Alive!
  • Kiss – The Originals (Special Edition with the first 3 albums)
  • Boston – Boston
  • Boston – Don’t Look Back
  • Eagles – Hotel California
  • Eagles – Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
  • The Beatles – The Beatles / 1967-1970
  • Mother’s Finest – Mother’s Finest Live
  • ZZ Top – Tres Hombres
  • Billy Joel – Glass Houses
  • Black Sabbath – Mob Rules
  • Kiss – Unmasked
  • Kiss – Hotter than Hell
  • Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  • Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute of It
  • Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion
  • Styx – Caught in the Act Live
  • Def Leppard – On Through the Night
  • Grease – Soundtrack
  • Star Wars – Soundtrack

The biggest surprise included in the box was the first vinyl album I ever bought.  If you have read the “About” section of my blog, you know what that album was.  My mom ordered it for me off the TV from a commercial during the TBS reruns of “The Monkees” back in the 70’s.  It was simply called “The Monkees”.  I almost teared up (actually I teared up from all the dust in the box as it flared up my allergies).

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A lot of these albums I am sure were my brothers’ albums and I somehow ended up with them. I hope they aren’t too disappointed that they are not getting them back.  That is not true, they can have them back.  They just need to come to North Carolina from Georgia and pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Also discovered in the box were some of my wife’s childhood albums.  There were some old Disney albums (and I mean old) and then some from a few of her favorite teen idols.  There was Andy Gibb, Leif Garrett and her personal love, Shaun Cassidy.  When she looked at the album, I hadn’t seen that look in her eyes since WE first met.  I think I should be jealous.  I have a feeling she will be listening to those while I “Da Doo Ron Ron” off to work.

The next day, my daughter and I found a great little record store in Charlotte and we went and picked up a couple albums.  They had those expensive albums like what I mentioned above, but they also had used albums that were a lot cheaper.  Since I had the first two Boston albums on vinyl, I went ahead and picked up Boston’s Third Stage ($10) and my daughter picked up James Bay’s latest album for only $20 (which I still think is too much).

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I need to make a list of what albums I want because I walked around that store for almost an hour and couldn’t decide on anything but the Boston album.  Too many to choose!!!  My daughter, who takes hours to pick out a shirt had her album picked in 5 minutes.

When we got home and put the James Bay album on, the cheap record player we bought the day before wasn’t working properly.  It can’t seem to keep the appropriate speed and the song tends to slow down.  All the excitement from the first day fizzled out fast. I knew I should have just waited and bought a decent player right out of the gate. Sometimes I am too cheap.   So, I guess I do care if the record player is any good.

Well, I am researching a decent player now and can’t wait to get one.  Any recommendations?  I am anxious to listen to the whole set of albums from the box.

Music is Magic – Playlist

If you don’t believe magic is real, you haven’t really listened to music.  Music can instantly change your mood.  It can even let you travel through time by taking you back to a special memory.  Music can make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel so many different things.  It can make you dance and soothe your soul.

If that is not magical, then I don’t know what is.  In honor of all that, here are my favorite “magical” songs.  Sadly, there are so many songs to choose from, I ended up with a list that only covered the ’60’s – ’80’s.  I have to do another list for the ’90’s-’10’s.

“Do You Believe In Magic” – The Lovin’ Spoonful

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