Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Makin' a List, Checkin' It Twice

As the tryptophan wears off and you decide what to do with the rest of your holiday, why not consider a trip to your local mom-and-pop record shop? In no particular order, here are my top five releases for Record Store Day's Black Friday celebration.

Artist: Chet Baker
Album: 'Love For Sale: Live at the Rising Sun Celebrity Club'
Quantity: 4,000 copies
Format: Double LP

I won't pretend this was from his heyday, but the tracklist is stellar. Highlights from the show recorded live at Montreal's Rising Sun Celebrity Jazz Club, circa 1978, include "There Will Never Be Another You, "Snowbound" and "Love For Sale." This release is part of a series from the famed but defunct jazz and blues club that already highlighted performances from Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins and Muddy Waters earlier this year.

Artist: The Bangles
Album: 'Ladies and Gentlemen... The Bangles'
Quantity: 2,000 copies
Format: LP

I know I wrote about this one earlier in the year when it came out on CD, but if you waited, the vinyl release is really the time to pull the trigger. The album captures both sides of the band's phenomenal 1981 single, when they were known as the Bangs, as well as the 1982 self-titled EP. If you don't already own those two on the original vinyl, then this is a slam dunk. Even if you do, there are a few other rare nuggets from the same time period that have never been released.

Artist: The Monkees
Album: 'Good Times! Plus!'
Quantity: 2,500 copies
Format: 10"

These four non-LP tracks are sure to be a nice companion piece to the 'Good Times' comeback album released earlier this year. Loved the songs, but I was underwhelmed by the quality of my copy of 'Good Times!' Let's hope the red opaque vinyl of this EP sounds a little better.

Artist: Ramones
Album: 'Live at the Roxy, August 12, 1976'
Quantity: 3,000 copies
Format: LP

The title of the album is all you need to know, really. Compiled from two live shows performed that day and lovingly pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Many of your favorites from the band's first two albums are here. You can never have enough live albums from those early years.

Artist: Otis Redding
Album: 'Live at the Whiskey A Go Go'
Quantity: 2,250 copies
Format: Double LP

If the recently released six-CD set of 'Live at the Whiskey A Go Go: The Complete Recordings' was just too much for you (either economics or overkill, such as 10 takes of "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction"), this 19-song highlights version might hit the spot. The double album is printed on 180-gram red vinyl and is housed in a gatefold jacket that features extensive liner notes and original artwork. The recordings of Redding’s legendary three-night stand at Hollywood’s Whisky A Go Go in 1966 have been newly mixed and remastered from the original 4-track tapes. The following song is from 'The Complete Recordings.' So, I can't be sure if this is the version that appears on the LP, but it will give you a taste of the time.

I'm off to enjoy the holiday. I'll be back next week with more selections from my vinyl collection. Be good.


charity chic said...

These would liven up any collection Brian

drew said...

This Black Friday nonsense is getting on my goat. Why do we over this side of the pond have to adopt everything from the USA? Can't we think up our own exploitative, consumer frenzy. As you know I have nothing against the States but we seem to slavishly follow you, well in everything except politics where you seem to be following us to hell in a handcart.

The records look worth getting tho'.

Judge Pop said...

Well I never, a fellow Chet Baker fan. Of his later stuff, I really like the Tokyo live album where he does Almost Blue by Elvis Costello and some other delicious ear candy such as Stella By Starlight and Arborway. Again, a long way from a perfect performace but teh feel of him and the band is unmistakeable. Apparently he had to stay sober in Japan cos of the strict laws on things he was partial to. Purists criticise him as a singer but it the feel, man, and I'd take him above Sinatra any time. And those session with Gerry Muligan on pacific jazz are classics. Of course you know I'm a Chet fan, Alfa Romeo etc.

Brian said...

CC, Didn't get them all, but I did OK.

Drew, Nonsense, indeed. I quit lining up like a lemming after RSD 2011. As you say, though, always ends up being something I want. Now I show up at the end of the day or later and sift through the scraps. I usually do alright since my tastes seem to differ from the masses.

Judge Pop, Actually, I like Chet Baker's songs with vocals even more than the instrumentals. The perfect song is one where he sings and has one brilliant trumpet solo. Want an example? Try his take on "Just Friends.' Perfection. Speaking of Pacific Jazz, if you want to go off the path a bit, try Chet's 1958 album Big Band. Really into that one right now. Your song Alfa Romeo is beautiful. One of my all-time favorites... my wife's too.