Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Shaun Cassidy (eponymous)

Released in Europe and Australia in 1976,
and in the US in 1977,
this was Shaun Cassidy's debut album,
and his most successful.

"Da Doo Ron Ron"
was his only #1 hit single.

Honestly, I am not quite sure how this LP
arrived in my collection.
I know I did not specifically seek it out
and purchase it 'back in the day.'

Shaun Cassidy was a short-lived teen phenom in the late '70s.

Read more about Shaun Cassidy HERE.

Cover and Poster Photography: Michael Montfort
Back Cover Photography: Claude Maugin
Art Director: Ed Thrasher
Design: Ron Coro, Norm Ung / Gribbitt!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Billy Vaughn: "La Paloma"

Released in 1952,
this is one of Billy Vaughn's earliest recordings.

Billy Vaughn was a staple for the "easy listening"
and "mood music" crowd.

This entire LP is available as one continuous 'video' on YouTube:

Read more about Billy Vaughn HERE.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stevie Wonder: "Talking Book"

Released in 1972,
this was Stevie Wonder's fifteenth (15th) album.

Includes the mega-hits
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life."

Many say this recording is when Stevie Wonder
'hit his stride' as an artist.

Read more about Stevie Wonder HERE.

Photography: R. Margouleff

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra: "Nola & Other Piano Instrumentals"

This LP was released in 1959,
when Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra
had already been household names
for nearly forty years.
"Nola," written by Felix Arndt,
was Vincent Lopez' theme song
from his earliest days on radio.
Vincent Lopez' orchestra was among
the first true "big band/swing" ensembles.

Here's a nice "soundie" compilation from 1939:

Read more about Vincent Lopez HERE.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sammy Davis, Jr.: "I've Gotta Be Me"

Released in 1968,
the title song became
one of Sammy Davis, Jr.'s signature songs.

This song was covered by numerous artists.
"I've gotta" believe this one song set Walter Marks (composer)
up for life.

Cover photo: Ron Joy
Art Director: Ed Thrasher
Back Cover: B. Tanenbaum

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fifth Anniversary!

It is in the very nature of the strangeness of this past year (2014) that I 'accidentally' stumbled upon the fact that today is the fifth anniversary of the launching of FastEddie's Wax Museum.  I was idly noticing how few posts I managed to post in 2014 when I saw an entry titled 'Fourth Anniversary!'

On a personal level, much has happened in 2014 that I can truthfully say I am glad to have in my past.  Multiple health issues, for example.  I burned up more 'sick leave' on behalf of myself, my son, and my wife than I have probably used in the previous ten years combined.  The result of those events was that I went for months without giving any attention to this blog.

Hooray for blogging! Blogs are patient creatures. They wait. They don't go anywhere. I mean, it's not like I have thousands of 'followers.' That is not even an ambition of mine, truly.  I actually have something like seven or eight different blogs.  I have not literally counted them.

I know my first blog - PostPonderance - has not seen the ministrations of my mind and fingers for nearly five years. Nevertheless, it is still there waiting for me, and I can make a new post there anytime I like.  Ironically, the posts I have made there were mostly efforts to convince myself to write more blog posts.

Well, in any case, 'Happy Anniversary!' to me!  I sincerely hope that 2015 will be a more positively productive year, and that FastEddie's Wax Museum will see plenty of action.

Cheers! and Shalom to one and all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blood, Sweat & Tears: "Blood, Sweat & Tears"

Released in 1968,
this was Blood, Sweat & Tears' second LP.

I believe the primary reason it was self-titled
is because the line-up was almost
entirely different from their first album.
In particular,
they boasted a new front man,
David Clayton-Thomas,
who replaced Al Kooper.

This album was hugely successful,
with major hits
"Spinning Wheel,"
"You've Made Me So Very Happy,"
"And When I Die."

It even won the Grammy
for Album of the Year,
beating out the Beatles'
"Abbey Road,"
Crosby, Stills, & Nash's debut LP,
Johnny Cash's "At San Quentin,"
The Fifth Dimension's "The Age of Aquarius."

This was an influential recording
for the world
and for me personally.
The stunning musical complexity,
the songwriting, and the vocals
had a lasting impact on my approach
to music composition and appreciation.

Cover Art: Timothy Quay
Back Cover Photo: Harrie George
Inside Art: Bob Cato
Design: John Berg

Friday, November 28, 2014

Steppenwolf: "Steppenwolf"

Released in 1968,
this was Steppenwolf's
highly successful debut LP.

Includes their mega-hit, "Born to Be Wild,"
plus "Sookie, Sookie" and "The Pusher."

"Berry Rides Again" is also a great track!

If you are not already a fan,
I'm not sure there is much I can say
to convince you of this group's
iconic role in the late '60s
progression of rock music.

If you ARE already a fan,
there's not much I could say
that would change your mind
or add to your knowledge,

How 'bout this:
a) the silver cover made it difficult for an
amateur photographer like myself to get a clean shot of the cover;
b) this album came to me second-hand (garage sale, I think),
so the disturbing, unfortunate red enhancements are not mine.

Read more about Steppenwolf HERE.

Art Direction, Cover and Liner Design: Gary Burden
Photography: Tom Gundelfinger

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Michael Omartian: "White Horse"

Released in 1974,
this was Michael Omartian's first solo LP.
By that time,
he had already begun to build an amazing
career as a session artist,
and this album marks the beginning of 
what became a super-stellar career
as a producer.

this album changed my life.
Everything about it was mind-blowing
(at least to me, at the time).

From this point forward,
I would always be on the lookout
for Michael Omartian's name
in any album credits.
My favorite
was when I found his name among
the dozens of names listed
on the credits for the soundtrack,
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull";
but I have found his name
on many, many, many album credits.

Read more about Michael Omartian HERE.

My favorite track from this LP:

Album Cover Concept: James Fitzgerald
Album Cover Art: Dave Jarvis
Photography: Harry Langdon

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Jazz Crusaders: "Old Socks New Shoes, New Socks Old Shoes"

Released in 1970,
this was "The Jazz Crusaders" eighteenth (18th) album,
thirteenth (13th) studio recording
(plus five live releases);
and their last
as "The Jazz Crusaders."

After this album,
they dropped the "Jazz"
from their name
and were known simply as
"The Crusaders."

This is an entertaining album
nice, easy but soulful and funky,
a great mix of original tunes
and memorable covers of a few then-recent
pop hits.

Read more about The Crusaders HERE.

Photography: Barry Feinstein and Tom Wilkes

Friday, November 21, 2014

Led Zeppelin: "Led Zeppelin" (debut)

Released in early 1969,
this LP was destined, seriously,
to ROCK 
rock music.

Personally, after 45 years,
this album remains on my Top Ten Albums List.
Every track is a gem,
from their stupendous originals
such as "Good Times, Bad Times,"
"Communications Breakdown,"
"How Many More Times,"
and the iconic
"Dazed and Confused,"
to their stunning interpretations
of Willie Dixon blues classics
"You Shook Me"
"I Can't Quit You, Baby."

Then and now = Fantastic!

Back Liner Photo: Chris Dreja
Cover Design: George Hardie

Friday, June 13, 2014

Black Sabbath: "Heaven and Hell"

Release in 1980,
this was the ninth studio LP for Black Sabbath,
but the first to feature Ronnie James Dio
as the lead vocalist.
He had just replaced Ozzy Osbourne in that role.

Artwork by Lynn Curlee and Harry Carmean

Read more about Black Sabbath HERE.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Placido Domingo: "Be My Love"

Released in 1976,
this is one of only a few among the hundreds
of Domingo's recordings that is not
strictly opera.

Read more about Placido Domingo HERE.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jimmy and Carol Owens: "Tell the World in '73"

Released in 1973,
this album was greatly
influential in many young people's lives,
not the least my own;
but that is a tale for another blog.

Read more about Jimmy and Carol Owens HERE.

Cover by Woody Woodward Grafix

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pablo Cruise: "Worlds Away"

Released in 1978,
this was Pablo Cruise's fourth (4th) album.

This was also their most successful recording
in terms of total sales,
due mostly to the huge hit
"Love Will Find a Way."

Read more about Pablo Cruise HERE.

Art Direction: Roland Young
Design: Chuck Beeson
Mirror Etching: Karen Louise Haskins
Photography, Back Cover: Jim McCrary, Aaron Rapoport
Photography, Inner Sleeve: Mark Hanauer

The Atlantics: "Big City Rock"

The Atlantics were a Boston New Wave band.

"Big City Rock" was their debut album,
and the title track the only song
that caught a bit of national attention,

Read a bit more about The Atlantics HERE.

Art Direction/Concept/Design: Stuart Kusher
Photography: Earl Miller
Lettering: Rod Dyer, Inc.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tin Huey: "contents dislodged during shipment"

Released in 1979,
this was Tin Huey's third (3rd) studio LP.

Part of the experimental rock scene that has been called "The Akron Sound."

Read more about Tin Huey HERE.

Cover Art: Mike Holmes
Back Cover Photo: Jeff Day
Airbrushing on Back Cover Photo: Stephen Nicol Price

Bee Gees: "Trafalgar"

Released in 1971,
this was the Bee Gees ninth (9th) album.

Includes the hit
"How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?"

Read more about the lives and times of the Bee Gees HERE.

Cover Art: "The Battle of Trafalgar" by Pocock
Inside Liner Photo: Roger Brown
Album Design: Hamish Grimes

Andy Williams: "In the Arms of Love"


Released in 1966,
this is Andy Williams' nineteenth (19th) studio LP.

Read more about Andy Williams' life and career HERE.

Photography: Bob Cato

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Perry Como: "Dream Along With Me"

Released in 1957,
this LP is one of dozens recorded by Perry Como
over the course of his 60+ year career.

Read more about Perry Como HERE.