Friday, December 27, 2013

Joan Armatrading: "Show Some Emotion"

Released in 1977,
this was Joan Armatrading's
fourth (4th) studio LP.

Joan Armatrading is a well-loved artist
who is still writing, recording and performing.

Read more about Joan Armatrading HERE.

Art Direction: Fabio Nicoli
Sleeve Photography: David Montgomery
Design: Nick Marshall

Lucky Strike's "Remember How Great...?": Various Artists

Released in 1960
as a promotional item
for Lucky Strike cigarettes,
this is a terrific compilation
of well-loved tunes
from some of the hottest
recording artists and performers
of their day.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Asia: "Asia"

Released in 1982,
this was supergroup ASIA's debut recording.

This band, still recording and performing as of this writing,
has included multiple variations
of at least twenty-two different artists,
originally featuring rock veterans
John Wetton (King Crimson, Family, UK)
Steve Howe (Yes)
Geoffrey Downes (Yes, The Buggles)
Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Atomic Rooster)

Cover Design: Roger Dean
Inner Sleeve Photo: Brian Griffin

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fourth Anniversary!

Well, for what it is worth, (that would be 'fwiw' in text-speak, but thankfully I am not relegated to that here) today marks the beginning of my fifth year of building this online museum.  Since I am not even one-fifth of the way through my current 'holdings' of vinyl LPs to post, if I post the same amount over the next four years as I have during the past four years, then hold that pace constant, I may run out of items to post sometime in the year 2028.

Now, we don't really know what "the internet" will be like in 2028, if indeed the internet or anything roughly analogous to it will exist then.  But, barring any intervening circumstances regarding my health, my ability to log on to a computer, or even to own a computer, or catastrophic meteor strikes, or world-devastating nuclear warfare, or whether 'the LORD tarries,' I should be nearing the end of the pile of LPs I currently have on hand by then.  Of course, I may very well obtain more in the meantime; in which case any attempt at estimating the closing of this blog due to running out of inventory will have to be reconsidered.

It is one of the beautiful things about the availability of recorded music that the supply and variety are seemingly infinite.  These things are not truly infinite, of course; but the quantities are vast enough that no single human being or organization could possibly hope to possess ALL music that was ever recorded.  Nevertheless, the empirical impossibility of the endeavor does not prevent me from wistfully wishing I could see and hear it all.

This 'museum' of my vinyl LP collection is not even all of the recorded music I have possessed.  There are also the audio-cassettes, the CDs, and the .mp3s (and other digital music files).  I do not have the audio-cassettes any more.  I finishing digitizing them about three years ago.  I am certain that my music collections are not even close to being as big as the largest private music collections, but they are more than adequate to my 'needs'; which doesn't mean I am about to stop acquiring new recordings.  No, as long as there are musical recordings being made, and as long as I have the wherewithal to obtain a few here and there, I will continue to add to my collection.

In fact, by this time next year (hopefully a lot sooner, actually) I expect to have in my collection a recording to which I am contributing as a singer and songwriter.  Look for 'Plumbline' coming in about six months to a CD outlet near you; or maybe on iTunes.  Maybe in 2028, someone will be writing a 'blog' or its equivalent, and include our first CD in their ruminations.  Ya never know, eh?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Elvis Presley: "Flaming Star"

Released for wide distribution in early 1969,
this LP is a companion piece for an
NBC-TV holiday special that aired on
3 December 1968.

This was something like Elvis' thirty-second (32nd) LP.

Read more about Elvis Presley HERE.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Steve Martin: "Let's Get Small"

Released in 1977,
this was Steve Martin's debut LP.

Of course, by the time this recording was published,
he had already made a name for himself
with The Smothers Brothers, Johnny Carson, and Saturday Night Live.

Read more about the amazing life and times of Steve Martin HERE.

Art Direction & Design: William E. McEuen
Graphics: Dean O. Torrence
Photography: Norman Seeff

Jose Feliciano: "Feliciano!"

Released in 1968,
this was Jose Feliciano's fourth (4th)
and most successful studio LP (in the US).

This LP includes several excellent covers of great songs,
but it Jose's cover of The Doors' "Light My Fire"
that literally caught fire with listeners everywhere.

The album also includes enjoyable covers of
"California Dreamin'"
"Here, There, and Everywhere"
"Always Something There To Remind Me"
"And I Love Her"
"The Last Thing On My Mind"

Illustrations: George Bartell

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Frank Sinatra: "Nice 'N' Easy"

Released in 1960,
this is a delicious collection of ballads
from The Voice.
(The TV show should have to pay royalties to the Sinatra family)

this album will carry you back to another time and place.
Almost enough to make you want to
light up a Chesterfield and pour yourself a glass of Jack Daniel's.

Benny Goodman: "The Great Benny Goodman"

Released in 1956,
this is a terrific compilation album,
part of Columbia's commemoration
of 25 years of recording Benny Goodman.

Among others, this recording also includes
Harry James, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, and Lionel Hampton.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kenny Rankin: "The Kenny Rankin Album"

Released in 1976
(although my copy has 1977 on the sleeve and label),
this was Kenny Rankin's sixth (6th) studio LP.

Kenny's great vocal abilities are taken to some
extraordinary places in this recording,
and not always in a forgivable manner.
Nevertheless, as always,
he is smooth and fun
and ultimately enjoyable.

Read more about Kenny Rankin HERE.

Design: Pacific Eye & Ear
Photography: Luigi Cazzaniga

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bill Evans and Toots Thielemans: "Affinity"

Released in 1979,
this is one of several LPs released
shortly before his death in 1980, and
this is one of dozens of examples
of the enticing keyboard artistry of Bill Evans.
In this case,
he is accompanied by
the inimitable harmonica stylings
of Toots Thielemans.

Read more about the life and times of Bill Evans HERE.

Art Direction: John Cabalka
Paintings: Ark Wong
Back Cover Photo: Doug Wetstein
Design: Eric Monson

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Ink Spots: "The Incomparable Ink Spots"

I was unable to discover for sure
when this album was released,
but most likely sometime in the
early to mid-1950s.
The Ink Spots were at the height
of their popularity in the 1940s.

Read more about The Ink Spots HERE.

The red vinyl LP below
is what was in this jacket
when I 'inherited' it.

it is not the platter that originally
came with the jacket.
This red LP is a Crown label
(not Craftsmen)
and it is a "Hits" compilation.

Soundtrack: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"

Released in 1969,
here is the musical environment
for George Lazenby's only outing as James Bond.

John Barry and Hal David collaborated,
and Louis Armstrong recorded the 'title' song,
"We Have All The Time In The World."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bread: "Baby, I'm-A Want You"

Released in 1972,
this was Bread's fourth (4th) studio LP.

This was also their most successful recording,
reaching #3 on Billboard's Hot 200 Album Chart.

Read more about Bread HERE.

Photography: Frank Bez
Art Direction: Robert Heimall

Gallery: "Nice To Be With You"

Released in 1971,
this was Gallery's first (1st) of two studio LPs.

The title song "Nice To Be With You"
(which was produced by Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore)
was a huge hit.
They were not quite "one-hit wonders"
because they did have a couple of other songs
that charted pretty well -
their cover of Mac Davis' "I Believe In Music"
and Tom Lazaros' "Big City Miss Ruth Ann."

Photography: Ransier & Anderson
Art Direction: Glen Christensen

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tony Orlando & Dawn: "Candida"

Released in 1970,
this was Dawn's debut LP.

As you can see by the cover,
technically this album was recorded by "Dawn";
i.e., without the "Tony Orlando &"
This was because of Tony Orlando's contract
with another recording label.
Thanks to the success of this record,
Tony Orlando was able to
"come out of hiding"
and continue to record and tour
as "Tony Orlando & Dawn."

Read more about Tony Orlando & Dawn HERE.

Photography: Joel Brodsky
Design: The Graffiteria / David Krieger
Art Direction: Beverly Weinstein

Mac Davis: "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me"

Released in 1972,
this was Mac Davis' third (3rd) studio LP.

Most reviewers agree that this album was Mac Davis'
"breakthrough" recording.

Interestingly, the Wikipedia article on this record
credits Mac Davis with "beatboxing."
I am not sure that term was in use in 1972,
since I believe it was coined in the 1980s
as a reference to human imitation of electronic drum sounds.
Nevertheless, it is an accurate description
of some of Mr. Davis' vocal stylings.

Read more about Mac Davis HERE.

Photography: Ed Caraeff

Monday, September 23, 2013

Barbra Streisand: "What About Today?"

Released in 1969, this was Ms. Streisand's eleventh (11th) studio LP.

This was not one of her more popular recordings.
Read more about it HERE.

Photography: Richard Avedon

Barbra Streisand: "Stoney End"

Released in 1971,
this was the quintessential diva's twelfth (12th) studio LP.

Read more about this LP HERE,
and follow links to some outstanding
contributors such as Randy Newman, Larry Carlton,
Gene Page, Eric Weissberg and many others.

Design & Photography: Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein
for Camouflage Productions.

Joe & Eddie: "Coast to Coast"

Released in 1963,
this was Joe & Eddie's third (3rd) studio LP.

Read more about Joe Gilbert and Eddie Brown HERE.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Joe & Eddie: "Tear Down The Walls!"

Released in 1965,
this was the fifth (5th) LP recorded by
Joe Gilbert and Eddie Brown.

Their successful musical career as a duo
was tragically shortened by Joe Gilbert's
death in an automobile accident in 1966.

Read more about Joe & Eddie HERE.

Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell

Released in 1968,
this was one-time collaboration
that was Glen Campbell's tenth (10th) LP.

The country duo's version of "Let It Be Me" -
which has been recorded before and since
by countless artists -
was a well-loved hit in 1969.

Cover Photo: Dick Brown