Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ray Charles: "Have a Smile With Me"

It's Ray. It's fantastic and irresistible. I'm just sayin'.

This excellent 1964 charmer went to a fan in Maryland.

Billy Preston: "Music Is My Life"

This is one of my favorite LPs ever. Billy Preston's music is nothing short of phenomenal, at least in my humble opinion, which is not really as humble as it might at first appear.

Includes the hit "Will It Go Round in Circles," one of the most contagious, fun tunes in the known universe.

This back cover pic ranks among my favorite LP photos, too.

Elvis Presley: "Blue Hawaii"

Warning: picture of well-loved album's well-loved cover:

"Blue Hawaii" is Elvis' best selling LP - triple platinum. I still find myself humming several of the tunes from this LP. Who can resist "Can't Help Falling in Love"?

This LP went to a deserving fan in West Virginia.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Queen: "A Night at the Opera"

This was Queen's fourth studio LP, released in 1975. Contains the gigantic international sensation "Bohemian Rhapsody."

These pics were some of my first attempts at capturing album art.
I know. Not too great. But better than no pic at all, I reckon.

If I still had the album, I'd retake the pics. But this one now hangs out with a fan in Maryland.

Queen: "News of the World"

This was Queen's sixth studio LP, released in 1977. It includes the fabulous, timeless "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" and some other great songs that are much less known such as "Get Down, Make Love."

Bizarre but oddly intriguing album art....

This LP flew off to a fan in the Great White North (that would be "Canada").

Friday, July 16, 2010

Joe Walsh: "Barnstorm"

Not sure anyone but a true Joe Walsh fan would know about this LP. It is a bit confusing because this is really a recording by a band called "Barnstorm" and this is technically their eponymous debut album. But they feature Joe Walsh as a solo artist. This is a great LP musically, too. This was what Joe Walsh was doing between James Gang and Eagles.

Somewhere in Canada, a fellow collector is now happy to claim this one as part of his collection.

Arthur Fiedler: "Saturday Night Fiedler"

What a hoot! In his 80s, Arthur Fiedler, conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for fifty (that's right FIFTY) years, donned a John Travolta lookalike disco suit in 1979 to pose for this LP cover photo and the ones for the back of the jacket below.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for kitsch.

And a fan in Michigan was into it enough to buy it from me!

Neil Young: "Harvest"

Released in 1972, this is Neil Young's third solo album. Also known for his membership in Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; and Crazy Horse. This LP features his huge hit "Heart of Gold" and the special song about "Alabama" that prompted a response from Lynyrd Skynyrd called "Sweet Home Alabama."

I love this "reflection in a doorknob" picture in the gatefold.

This LP went to a fan in New York.

Peter, Paul, & Mary (debut)

Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers - best known as "Peter, Paul, & Mary" - were hugely popular during the 1960s when American folk music was capturing the hearts and minds of a generation. This is their debut LP, and it features their hits "Lemon Tree" "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" along with several other enjoyable tracks marked by their signature harmonies and down-home strumming. Released in 1962.

This LP went to Germany.

Elvis Presley: "Spinout"

Another of Elvis' many movie soundtracks. Fun, light rock-n-roll.

Released in 1966. Get a load of the price!

When you zoom in (by clicking on the pic) you can see that each of the LP tracks is matched to a promo shot from the film.

A fan in Florida snagged this one.

Michael Jackson: "Off the Wall"

This was Michael Jackson's fifth solo LP, released in 1979 at the height of the disco craze. The music on this LP is straight-up disco, but let's face it - it is contagious and ridiculously danceable. "Rock with You" "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" "Burn this Disco Out" "Workin' Day and Night" "Get on the Floor" Come on! I'm tapping my feet just thinkin' about it.

Yes. Glowing white socks. Here's a closer look:

I sold this before Michael Jackson passed away, and a fan in Germany has it now.

Elvis Presley: "Girl Happy"

One of Elvis' many "soundtrack" recordings from the hugely popular feature films he starred in fifty years ago.... or more.

To tell the truth I was a bit young when these LPs and their corresponding films were first released. I saw the movies on black and white television in my pre-adolescent years, and I had three older sisters who certainly dug everything about Elvis. I came across these LPs much later and added them to my collection more or less for the fun of it. If Elvis is anything, he is light-hearted and fun - at least in these movies.

So, this particular LP ended up with a collector in Canada, and watching the online auction for it was quite rewarding, indeed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Queen (eponymous)

Queen's excellent first LP, released in 1973. Queen is definitely in my top ten favorite bands of all time, maybe even in the top five. I've never been too great at making those kinds of lists because my tastes run such a wide gamut. What I know is that Queen is one of the maybe three bands for whom I consciously tried to own every LP.

Their music was still slightly raw and immature on this LP, but it is still crazy good.

This LP sailed out of my collection to find a home with another fan in California. Never fear. I saved all of the music digitally, so even though I can no longer touch and ponder the album itself, I can still listen to the music any time.

Crosby, Still, & Nash (debut)

This incredible debut album (debut for this formulation of artists) was released in 1969. I confess that although I loved this music then and never stopped loving it, I did not own this LP until MUCH later, picking it up for next to nothing at a used record store. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" still ranks very high on my list of favorites. I never tire of listening to it.

My copy of this LP accompanied the Canned Heat LP shown in a previous post on a one-way trip to a collector in France.

Art Direction & Design: Gary Burden
Photography: Henry Diltz

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Doors' Greatest Hits

No doubt about the fact that any "Greatest Hits" collection from The Doors would be enjoyable and filled with powerful music. All of the hits are here: "L.A. Woman," "Love Her Madly," "Hello, I Love You," "Light My Fire," "Riders on the Storm," "Roadhouse Blues," "Love Me Two Times," "People Are Strange," "Break On Through." Certainly an LP worthy to be owned and loved.

This LP was released in 1980, long after Jim Morrison had gone to his rest (one hopes but can't help but wonder) in Paris.

My copy flew to its new home in Texas in late 2007.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boogie with Canned Heat

Fantastic cover art. A great representation of the psychedelic motifs that were prevalent in 1968 when this LP was released.

This was Canned Heat's second LP, and it contained their huge hit "On the Road Again." What an utterly iconic staple of the era. It is so unlike Willie Nelson's later hit of the same name, and even less like Katie Melua's latest entry (not that either of these were necessarily "bad"). It is hynotic, captivating, and delightful. Canned Heat's "On the Road Again" should absolutely be included on anyone's list of favorites.

That well-loved song aside, I was in awe again of the whole LP when I played it. It had been so long since I had listened to it I had completely forgotten how great it was. Actually, I am pretty sure I appreciated it MUCH more in my middle-age than I did in my stupefied teen years.

A delighted collector in France found this one in his mail one day a few years ago (Oct 2007). I'll be happily keeping all of its tracks in rotation on my iPod indefinitely.

The back of the jacket is also worth sharing:

Con Los Beatles

The dilapidated condition of this jacket suits the half-face black and white photo of The Fab Four almost to the point of seeming intentional; like it must have looked like this from Day One.

This particular cover is simply the cover that was used for the Argentine release of "With the Beatles" in 1964.  The tracks are the same, and are (naturally) in English.

A previous owner was obliged to hand-write "With The" on the cover, just in case someone might be struggling with the translation of "Con Los." I found that rather amusing even though such careless defacement theoretically depresses the "value" of the jacket. I'm not too worried about that. I managed to sell this LP to a fan in New York back in October 2007 for the startling sum of $1.79. Unbelievably, the LP was still in playable condition, too!

Hey. Sharing music and memorabilia can't always be about piling up cash. In fact, I dare say it should never be about that. My love of music and my fascination with the recorded medium of vinyl LPs, and especially the wondrous history and art of the jackets, keeps me from any expectation that my retirement will be financed by an endless parade of shrewd sales deals. I'd much rather have another doe-eyed fan pick it up and lovingly gaze at it and take care of it than lose it to some passionless mercenary clearinghouse.