Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Crossing Off the Bureau

I make lists. Obsessively. In fact, I document my hunt for records with two separate lists. One list has the records I can realistically acquire by walking into my local mom-and-pop shop. This consists of reissues, new releases and overlooked staples. Some examples on that list right now are 'Underwater Moonlight' from the Soft Boys and 'Adventure' from Television. The turnover on this list is constant.

My other list is chock full of relatively rare records... most of which have been on there for years. I may only find one or two of these pieces per year. In moments of desperation, I have resorted to buying from a Discogs or an eBay to satisfy uncontrollable cravings. I don't really like to play that way because I love the euphoric feeling of finding these gems in the bins, but sometimes I can't help myself. Examples on this list right now are the singles "Pristine Christine" from the Sea Urchins, "Falling and Laughing" from Orange Juice, and the 12" of "Window Shopping" from the Friday Club. I only know a couple of shops in America that could possibly have any of the records on this list, and I get to these places only on rare occasions.

I didn't really realize Mrs. Linear Tracking Lives even knew about my lists, but she photocopied my "rare" list and took it with her to Chicago while out on business at the beginning of December. She stopped by one of my two favorite shops in the whole of this country and managed to cull the bins for a few of my wants. She placed them under the tissue paper inside of a box that seemed to have nothing but pajamas... which I opened Christmas morning. Quite cheeky.

So, that's how I acquired today's selection. As a huge fan of Dexys and the Style Council, the Bureau's 1981 album has been a want for a long time. If you don't know about the band, read up here. Surprisingly, it seems the LP was only released in Canada and Australia. For those in the UK, however, you may remember the 7" singles "Only For Sheep" and "Let Him Have It." These were not on my list. As you can see from the photo above, however, I'll be damned if my lovely lady didn't pick up those as well. So, it feels strange, but the Bureau have been removed from a list that rarely has a chance to contract. Get ready for some fine horns...

Only For Sheep

11 comments:

Echorich said...

Sheer Brilliance!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I used to share a flat with Eddie, the keyboard player from the Friday Club, so know all about 'Window Shopping'. The 12" is exactly the same as the 7" as producer Jerry Dammers blew all the budget fannying around with the one song and that's why the b-side is just an instrumental version of the same track.
Sorry I can't help you with The Bureau album, but hope you manage to track it down
Phil
Tel Aviv

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just re read your post and relise you've got the album, duh!
What a dear wife you have!
Phil

charity chic said...

Excellent story - well played Mrs LTL

The Swede said...

Well played Mrs LTL! I have fond memories of 'Only For Sheep', it was one of the first singles I purchased after starting work in a record shop in 1980. Never heard the LP though.

Scott said...

That was a lovely thing for your wife to do. your face must have been a picture on Christmas morning when you opened your gifts. Great track too...

Brian said...

Thanks for commenting, gents... and happy some of you remember the Bureau. I'm doing this on my phone and am all thumbs (get it?), but I wanted to say welcome to Phil. I feel like I know you already. I too followed Friend of Rachel Worth's countdown of favorite albums. So, I read your daily comments with interest.

I hope you see this because I wanted to expand on Window Shopping a bit. I know the song was produced by Dammers just as 2 Tone met its demise and that there wasn't a more proper B-side due to cash, but I'm still wondering about the 12". Years back iTunes and some other digital outlets packaged four versions of the song and called it the Window Shopping EP. There was the 7" on both sides, which I knew well, but there were also extended versions of the song and instrumental. I grabbed them. There wasn't much of a difference between the 7" and the extended takes, but the extended A-side went about 35 seconds longer and the extended instrumental was a little longer than the 7" instrumental too. I was under the impression these extended versions were taken from the 12", but you seem to think otherwise. I know 30 seconds and little if any remixing isn't much, but I'm a maniac. If this extended version I have as a digital download is from the 12", I still want it. Here is the iTunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/window-shopping-ep/id692234260

Brian said...

For those of you congratulating Mrs. LTL for a job well done, I thought you might like this addendum. When she returned from her trip and told me she had flown through Chicago O'Hare Airport I said if I had been that close to Vintage Vinyl (the shop she visited) I would have stopped by for sure. Then I added that on the way back to the airport I would have stopped by Portillo's for a Chicago-style hot dog. You know what? That's exactly what she had done on both accounts. Mrs. LTL was filled with suspicion/anger/confusion that I somehow knew what she had been doing. That's 20 years of marriage for you.

Dirk said...

Just perfect!! Then again I might call you a bit obsessive with your lists ... but apparently Mrs LTL don't mind all too much ... simply great!

Anonymous said...

Brian, I have to hold my hands up. What I thought I knew for the past 30 years is wrong. There is indeed a slight ( 30 second ) difference between the versions.
For this I'm going to blame Eddie. After buying the 12" and telling Eddie I did so, he told me something like. 'You should have just got the 7"' cause they're the same.Jerry blew the budget so no cash for a b-side or a remix'
Appologies, Brian,and hope you find the said 12"
Phil

Brian said...

Don't worry, Phil. That's a source I would have listened to as well. Sounds like with the company you kept you might have a few stories I would like to hear. And, of course, I have never seen the 12", so these extended versions I mentioned may not have been on the 12" after all... I'm just assuming. Please keep in touch.