Sunday, December 26, 2010

Frank Sinatra: "In the Wee Small Hours"

With a career and catalog like Frank Sinatra's, it is pretty near impossible to settle on any one recording as "the best."  I'd have to say this recording, released in 1955, would certainly find its way to the top few of most reviewers and fans lists.

Not sure what I can say about Frankie - "Ol' Blue Eyes" - "The Chairman of the Board" - "King of the Crooners" - "The Voice" - Chief of "The Rat Pack." 
Some say the best thing ever to come out of Hoboken. 
If you do not already know and love (or at least appreciate) his talents, you've got a lot of reading, listening, and watching to do.  And trust me, you will enjoy every second of all of it.

A bit more detail about this album HERE.

Arthur Murray: "Music for Dancing"

Arthur Murray was a pop icon of the mid-20th century.
Born as Moses Teichman, he was brought to the United States by his mother in 1897.
During WWI, living in North Carolina, he changed his name to something less German.

Some great details of his story - the mail-order dancing courses, the chain of studios, and television - HERE.

This particular album was released in 1960.

Kate Smith: "Her Very Best"

Popular radio star of the 1930s-'40s, Kate Smith is perhaps best known
for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."

This particular LP was a compilation released in 1980.

You can find more about Kate Smith HERE.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Antonio Carlos Jobim: "Wave"

Released in 1967, this was Jobim's most successful LP.
It was his third studio album.
More about the artist HERE.

Can't quite make out the art credits.
Looks like maybe -
Photographs by Fane Turner
Design by Sam Archkopf

I'm sure that is not quite right, but it is the best I can do under the circumstances.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Transitionary Post

Allrighty, then.

I have completed posting about the LPs I SOLD (what was I thinking?).

And now I will begin posting about the REST of my collection.

I'll be posting about these albums in the order in which I have digitized them.  Not that this would matter all that much to all you untold handful of readers that are perusing this stupendously enthralling bastion of bloggedness.  However, it helps me maintain a (very tenuous) sense of order in an otherwise crazed maelstrom of global chaos.

So, that is my story.

The Byrds: "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

Released in 1965.
This album's title song is probably the most remembered of The Byrds' hits, although they had several, including "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "All I Really Want to Do."

However, I just have to mention their cover of one of the greatest songs of all time:
"Satisfied Mind"

If you do not know this song, you owe it to yourself to go find it.
It has been recorded by umpteen artists.
More about that HERE.

Cover photo: Guy Webster

This album found its way to a collector in Washington (state).

Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band: "Evolution"

Released in 1970.
As far as I can tell, this is not a very well known album,
although the single "Scorpio" got plenty of airplay.
This is one of those albums that gets inside you the minute you hear it.
And the entire album is well worth listening to.

More about Dennis Coffey HERE.

Apologies to the photographer(s) and designer(s).
I can't read the credits, and I couldn't find references online.

This LP went to a fan in Missouri.

Daryl Hall & John Oates: "Big Bam Boom"

'80s pop.
I guess ya love it or ya don't, maybe.
For me, Hall & Oates brought great funky rhythms and smart, catchy lyrics.
I still enjoy listening to most of the tracks on this particular LP.
Come on.
"Method of Modern Love"
"All American Girl"
"Possession Obsession"
"Out of Touch"
"Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid"
"Going Through the Motions"
"Bank On Your Love"

Released in 1984.

Check 'em out!

And ya gotta love the full-on '80s album art.
Unfortunately, I cannot make out the credits for this artwork in these photographs,
and further research online did not bring any results.

This was Daryl Hall & John Oates' twelfth studio LP.
The three preceding albums ("Voices," "Private Eyes," "H2O") were very strong commercial successes.
So was "Big Bam Boom" but some consider this album to be the turning point in their career,
as in the beginning of a downward trend.
Maybe I am easy to please, but I liked this album then, and I still do.

This LP went to a collector in California.

Blues Brothers: "Briefcase Full Of Blues"

Conceived for a sketch on Saturday Night Live in 1978,
this band was a hit very quickly.
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi fronted this exciting band of talented, well-respected blues and soul musicians.
This LP was released in 1978.

Apologies to the photographer(s) and designer(s).
I neglected to take note of your credits before this winged its way to a fan in California.

The Rolling Stones: "Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)"

Released in 1966, this was the first of what would eventually become numerous "Hits" recordings.

Do I really need to wax eloquent about The Rolling Stones and these early hits?

Suffice it to say...

I was listening to these tunes A LOT
at a very formative age.

It affected me.

I'm just sayin'.

A fan in Indiana took this one off my hands.

Compilation: "The Greatest Hits Album"

I know what you are thinking.
"Man. He has totally broken out the Cheese Wiz now."
(btw, you should know that Cheese Wiz spelled "correctly" (?) is a Registered Trademark
so you should be careful how you bandy that term about)

Let me cut to the chase here.
Compilations can be our friends.
Sometimes it may be the only way we are going to get ahold of certain tracks.
Was I going to buy "M"s album just so I could hear "Pop Muzik" over and over again?
I think not.
(Sorry, M.)
Or how 'bout "The Theme from Hill Street Blues"?
Take a closer look at the track list below.
I know it is a bit fuzzy when ya zoom in, but you can see what the songs and artists are.

For some of you I am sure that looking at the song list only proved your point regarding certain processed cheesesque food products.

Nevertheless, I bet you secretly listened to some of these tunes.

And a collector in Texas found this 3-LP album worthy of taking off my hands for a negotiated price I do not deign to reveal.

So there.

Louis Armstrong: "Satch Plays Fats"

This is one absolute gem of a recording.
Released in 1955, this is Satchmo at his best.
Fats Waller's great tunes
wrapped in Louie Armstrong's expressive voice
and incomparable trumpet.
It is available on CD.
You should totally grab a copy
(by which I mean "legally purchase from an authorized retail supplier")

This LP went to a collector in Connecticut.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Led Zeppelin: "Presence"

Led Zeppelin's seventh (7th) studio album, "Presence" was released in March 1976.
Full of outstanding music, this LP sold well enough, but it does not contain any tracks that one generally names when someone asks you to recall your favorite Led Zeppelin tune.
I have to say, though, that "Candy Store Rock" and "Hots On For Nowhere" really are on my short list of great Led Zeppelin songs.  Of course my short list is like 25 songs long....

Just in case you actually don't know much about Led Zeppelin
or if you'd like to refresh your memory
or learn a bit more than you already know
go HERE.

Album design by Hipgnosis.
It was nominated for the Grammy for Best Album Package in 1977.
(It was beaten out by John Berg's design for "Chicago X" - the one with the chocolate.)

This album went to a fan in Texas.

Gloria Estefan: "Let It Loose"

What can I say?
I'm a sucker for great female vocalists.
Sometimes ya just gotta DANCE!!!

Released in 1987, this was a major hit for Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.
Includes fun dance tunes like "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" and "1-2-3"
as well as gorgeous ballads like "Anything for You" and "Can't Stay Away from You."

This LP went to a collector in Canada.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cowboy Jazz: "That's What We Like About The West"

One of my most delightful accidental music discoveries!
This album was released in 1981.
It was the band's first LP, followed in 1982 by "Swing Boogie."
The group has a very distinctive, contagious sound and style.

Of note: Deanna Bogart started with this band.  She is now a successful solo artist.
Barry Sless also remains in demand as a skillful pedal steel guitarist.

This album went to a fan in Oregon.

Phil Collins: "No Jacket Required"

Released in 1985, this LP is
Phil Collins' biggest selling album, to this day.

Great story about the album, its title, and its music HERE.

Album design: Phil Collins
Photography: Peter Ashworth

This one? Canada.

Steve Winwood: "Back in the High Life"

Steve Winwood had a lot of commercial competition in the mid-1980s,
but he hit it out of the park with this LP;
especially with the title song and the even bigger hit "Higher Love."

This LP was released in 1986.

And it ended up with a fan in Canada.

Iron Butterfly: "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"

Released in 1968, this album and its title song are arguably the epitome of "psychedelic rock."
The band's name "Iron Butterfly" remains one of my favorite band names ever.
This recording features the legendary and iconic guitar talents of Erik Brann, who was all of seventeen years old at the time of its recording.
Iron Butterfly made plenty of great music, but nothing really to compare with the strident power and popularity of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."

Read more about 'em HERE.

This album went to a fan in Missouri.

Vince Guaraldi: "The Eclectic"

"Isn't he that 'Peanuts' guy?"
Vince Guaraldi came to be closely associated with the 'Peanuts' television specials.
Nevertheless, he had already established himself as a distinguished jazz musician prior to being commissioned for the 'Peanuts' franchise.
This album was released in 1969, several years after he had begun his 'Peanuts' journey.

For more of Vince Guaraldi's story, go HERE.

This album went to a collector in California.

Steve Winwood: "Chronicles"

This is a compilation album released in 1987.
It highlights Steve Winwood's "hits" of the 1980s.

One of my favorite songs of all time - "Higher Love" - is here, though of course it was also originally released on Winwood's "Back in the High Life" LP just a year previously.

If you are not aware of Steve Winwood's musical influence and heritage,
I encourage you to take a few moments to read the basics HERE.

Hadn't learnt my lesson yet about removing the shrinkwrap prior to photographing.

This one went to Canada.

James Gang: "Thirds"

Released in 1971, this was the third (3rd) studio album by this talented trio,
destined to be the last of their LPs led by Joe Walsh.
This album brought them their biggest hit with "Walk Away."

A little more about the album and the band HERE.

Front Cover design by Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein
Back Cover design by Patrick Cullie and Tom Wright
Photography by Phil Melnick and Tom Wright

One side of the inner sleeve is the most entertaining list of "acknowledgements" you'll ever read.
It is an amazing gallery of references to pop culture, favorite foods, and fellow rock stars.
Even Regis Philbin made the list.
Bet you don't know what he was doing in 1971 that would lead James Gang to mention him.

This album went to a fan in Texas.