Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Lee Lewis’

The 25 Greatest Live Albums Of All-Time

3 July 2010

“A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.” ~ Freddie Mercury

*****

Punch your ticket to 25 of the best live albums of all-time…


25] Yardbirds | Five Live Yardbirds – A young Eric Clapton flashes the skills that would earn him all kinds of silly nicknames, and influence half a generation of guitarists…

Listen: Smokestack Lightning


24] Black Lips | Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo – “This is gonna be the greatest live album ever,” yells one of the Lips during this set recorded in Tijuana, Mexico. It’s somewhere closer to the best live album of the ’00s…

Listen: M.I.A.


23] Grateful Dead | Reckoning – Freed from psychedelic pyrotechnics, the Dead shine on this stripped down, pre-Unplugged set…

Listen: Deep Elem Blues


22] Thin Lizzy | Live And Dangerous – Thin Lizzy capped a glorious run of mid-70s albums with this double-live epic…

Listen: Jailbreak


21] Various Artists | Woodstock – A bit of the good, bad and ugly, but Richie Havens, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe, Canned Heat and Alvin Lee save the day(s)…

Listen: Soul Sacrifice [Santana]


20] Bob Dylan | Live 1966: The Royal Albert Hall Concert – Dylan’s willful clashes with his audiences in ’66 would be echoed by Johnny Rotten in ’77 and Axl Rose in ’88, but the original punk is still the snarlin’est of them all…

Listen: I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)


19] Eric Clapton | Unplugged – Clapton rejuvenated his career – and gave his fans a new way to hear his songs – with this groundbreaking MTV Unplugged show…

Listen: Layla


18] Talking Heads | The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads – What do you know, they actually were punks! The first album comes from the years 1977-79, while the second covers 1980-81. Both trump Stop Making Sense

Listen: New Feeling


17] Otis Redding | Live In Europe – Recorded in March 1967, during the Stax/Volt ensemble tour of Europe, this album overflows with the enthusiasm of the audience, and foreshadows Redding’s knockout performance at the Monterey Pop Festival just a few months later…

Listen: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction


16] Muddy Waters | Live At Newport 1960 – At the 1960 Newport Folk Festival, Muddy Waters wasn’t yet a Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductee or Chicago Blues titan – he was simply a man with a band trying to impress a whole bunch of white people. This soulful yet blistering set did the trick, and sent him on his way to all those accolades…

Listen: I’ve Got My Mojo Working


15] The Rolling Stones | LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be – The original concert bootleg was recorded in Oakland, CA on November 9th, 1969. Highlights include a ferocious version of ‘Midnight Rambler’ that lays bare the psychotic violence at the heart of the song, and a tough-as-nails take on Robert Johnson’s ‘Love In Vain’. This is one of the best documents of the self-proclaimed ‘World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band’…

Listen: Midnight Rambler


14] Led Zeppelin | How The West Was Won – Taken from a pair of Southern California shows in June of 1972, this is the live showcase that Led Zeppelin always deserved. Jimmy Page considers the group to have been at its artistic peak during this period, and How The West Was Won bears out such an opinion…

Listen: What Is And What Should Never Be


13] Neil Young | Live Rust – Recorded at the Cow Palace on October 22nd, 1978, this double LP is the audio twin to Young’s concert film Rust Never Sleeps. The CD version omits ‘Cortez The Killer’, so stick to LP…

Listen: Sugar Mountain


12] AC/DC | Live From The Atlantic Studios – Originally released as a promo for radio stations, this show was captured on December 7th, 1977 at the Atlantic Recording Studios in New York City. AC/DC was a purring beast by this point, and the sublime aggression of songs like ‘Live Wire’ and ‘High Voltage’ come through loud and clear…

Listen: Live Wire


11] Dzihan & Kamien | Live In Vienna – Aided by a grant from the Austrian government, Vlado dZihan and Mario Kamien threw a very special release party for their 2003 album Gran Riserva. Featuring three percussionists, a horn section, five violins, a viola, a cello, a DJ, bass, guitars, a sampler and keyboards, and a host of exotic middle eastern and african instrumentation, the dZihan & Kamien Orchestra created live electronica like you’ve never heard it before, and likely never will again…

Listen: After


10] Little Feat | Waiting For Columbus – The best concerts are parties, and no band this side of the Dead threw a better party than Little Feat. Filled with pure boogie and swinging grooves, Waiting For Columbus includes definitive versions of ‘Fat Man In The Bathtub’ and ‘Spanish Moon’. Recorded in August of 1977, less than two years before group mastermind Lowell George suffered a fatal heart attack, this album remains a fan favorite…

Listen: Spanish Moon


9] Lynyrd Skynyrd | One More From The Road – The plane crash that killed most of Lynyrd Skynyrd remains the largest scale tragedy in the history of rock, and not just because of the body count. When that plane went down on October 20th, 1977 it took one of the best live acts of the ’70s. Ronnie Van Zandt was a good old-fashioned ass-kicking frontman, and his moxy is on full display throughout One More From The Road. Recorded July 7th-9th, 1976, this one’s a keepsake…

Listen: Call Me the Breeze


8] Ramones | It’s Alive – The Ramones were straight ahead, no bullshit rawk-an-rowl. No “We love you Cleveland!” or “There’s a story behind this next number…“, they just blasted away. Recorded at the Rainbow Theatre in London on New Year’s Eve 1977/78, It’s Alive features 28 songs in 54 minutes – you do the math. Better yet, just sit back and get blasted…

Listen: Blitzkrieg Bop


7] Nirvana | MTV Unplugged In New York – Recorded just months before Kurt Cobain’s death, this album functions as a roadmap of Nirvana’s influences. The covers included here shed light on several of the band’s musical relatives; from Leadbelly to David Bowie to Meat Puppets to the Vaselines, one can connect the dots among a number of influences that might not otherwise have been readily apparent. By all reports, Cobain was seriously addicted to heroin and in poor health during the weeks leading up the Unplugged date in November of 1993, and alienated his bandmates to the point that Dave Grohl offered to quit the group during rehearsals. [read full review]

Listen: Where Did You Sleep Last Night


6] The Band | The Last Waltz – Scorsese. The Band. Guest stars aplenty – Dylan, Neil, Van, Muddy, Joni, etc. Critics have quibbled over some of the performances captured here, but The Last Waltz is still the classiest goodbye from any band of the rock era. Rather than ending in death, insanity, internal strife or commercial failure, The Band threw a party. And you’re invited…

Listen: It Makes No Difference


5] Jimi Hendrix | Live At Winterland – Hendrix may have lit his guitar on fire at Monterey, but he burns down Winterland on the shows captured here. ‘Killing Floor’, ‘Fire’ and ‘Crosstown Traffic’ find their ultimate expression in these live versions, and the album is topped off with an epic, note-perfect reading of ‘Red House’. Live At Winterland is not only a fine place to wade into the guitar legend of Jimi Hendrix, but ultimate proof that he was a man apart on his instrument…

Listen: Red House


4] Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club, Hamburg – The Star Club in Hamburg, Germany is the cabaret where The Beatles perfected their live act before conquering America and the world. It’s hard to say whether that connection played into the fire that Jerry Lee Lewis played with on this particular evening, but from the word go he assaults his piano with a beautiful fury that is breathtaking to behold. His backing band, The Nashville Teens, were clearly in over their heads, and spend the entirety of this show holding on for dear life and trying to keep up with The Killer (“Play that thing right boy!” Jerry Lee yells at one Teen during a cover of Ray Charles’ ‘What’d I Say’). From the first notes of ‘Mean Woman Blues’, this is a nasty, snarling, unhinged performance that presages the nihilism of punk rock. “Jerry, Jerry…” he chants along with the crowd at one point, before cutting them off with an acidic “Alright already!”. Johnny Rotten, your grandpa is on line one… [read full review]

Listen: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On


3] James Brown | Live At The Apollo – Recorded on October 24th, 1962, Live At The Apollo was more than just a financial gamble. Live albums were unusual at that time, and this particular album was recorded before The Apollo Theatre’s famously fickle and unruly Amateur Night crowd. The audience was well-mic’d, and their squeals, screams, and gasps of delight are no small part of what makes this such an amazing document. JB’s sizzle comes blasting through the stylus, and at times he toys with the crowd, cajoling them to give it up before unleashing his own orgasmic yelps of joy. Regarding his stage presence, Brown explained that “Sometimes I feel like I’m a preacher as well [as a singer], ’cause I can really get into an audience.” [read full review]

Listen: Lost Someone


2] The Allman Brothers Band | At Fillmore East – This LP finds Duane Allman at a short-lived peak – he would die in a motorcycle accident in Macon, GA just a few months after the release of At Fillmore East, and a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday. His epic soloing on ‘Whipping Post’ and ‘In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed’ reflects Coltrane’s ‘sheets of sound’ approach to playing, and stands as some of the most outstanding guitar work of the rock era. ‘Whipping Post’ goes for 22:40 and sees Duane build up an amazing piece of musical architecture, before tearing it down piece by piece. It ends the album with a few bars of the intro to ‘Mountain Jam’ – which itself would occupy two entire sides of the double album Eat A Peach. Even if he’d lived to be a hundred, it’s hard to see how Duane Allman could have topped his work here. [read full review]

Listen: In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed


1] Johnny Cash | At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash was one of the most charismatic performers to ever set foot on stage – put him in front of a delirious and potentially dangerous audience on one of his best days, and you’ve got a recording for the ages. If you want to hear how thrilling live music can be, and find out what happens when a legendary performer is driven ever higher, until he reaches something close to the zeitgeist, pick up a copy of At Folsom Prison. [read full review]

Listen: Folsom Prison Blues

*****

25 More That Are Worth A Spin…

Curtis Mayfield | Curtis/Live!
Tom Waits | Nighthawks At The Diner
Van Morrison | It’s Too Late To Stop Now
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers | Live Anthology
Various Artists | Wattstax
The Clash | From Here To Eternity
MC5 | Thunder Express
Jay-Z | Unplugged
Duke Ellington | Ellington At Newport
The Kinks | BBC Sessions 1964-1977
Bob Marley & The Wailers | Live
J. Geils Band | Full House
Charles Mingus | Mingus At Antibes
Fred Neil | The Sky Is Falling
KISS | Kiss Alive II
The Byrds | Live At Royal Albert Hall 1971
The Stooges | Live In L.A. ’73
Elvis Presley | ’68 Comeback Special
Jeff Buckley | Live @ Sine-E
Ozzy Osbourne | Tribute
Velvet Underground | The Quine Tapes
The Jam | At The BBC
Miles Davis | Live Evil
Stevie Ray Vaughan | Blues At Sunrise
The Steve Miller Band | King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents…

*****

And 6 More That Should Come With Earplugs

Elvis Presley | Having Fun On Stage With Elvis
Bob Dylan | Live At Budokan
Led Zeppelin | The Song Remains The Same
The Beatles | Live At The Hollywood Bowl
Jimi Hendrix | Isle Of Wight
The Doors | Absolutely Live

Doubleshot Tuesday: Glenn Gould/Mac Rebennack

2 February 2010

[Today: Eccentric pianists...]


Pianists have hardly cornered the market on oddball behavior among musicians, but the roster of eccentric ivory ticklers – including Sun Ra, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Liberace, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John – is impressive. Classical interpreter Glenn Gould and New Orleans gumbo cooker Mac Rebennack are two more lovably screwy pianists. They had unique quirks and make different music from one another, but both are intensely possessed by the spirit of their music (sorry for jumping tenses, Gould died in 1982, while Rebennack rocks on).

Born in Toronto in 1932, Gould was a piano prodigy who played professionally at age 12 and graduated from the Toronto Conservatory of Music at 13. He became widely regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Bach, and was also known for his eccentric behavior. He was extremely particular about the height of his piano and the room temperature when he was recording, and would hum and sing along with the music as he was playing, driving his sound engineers to distraction and earning a few negative reviews in the process. Gould’s methods may have been unorthodox, but his results speak for themselves. In the documentary clip below, he comes off as a mad genius – so lost in his music that the world around him ceases to exist. As his fingers dance over the keys, it’s almost possible to see the music pouring through Glenn Gould’s brain, and it’s a sight to behold.

Mac Rebennack was a longtime professional sideman who changed his persona to Dr. John, The Night Tripper and recorded his debut album on time left over from a Sonny & Cher session. His first four LPs featured deep ‘Nawlins swamp voodoo that bordered on performance art. As Dr. John, Rebennack took to wearing scarves, headdresses, robes and voodoo priest makeup while he and his band conjured a dark, spooky atmosphere. But by the early/mid-70’s, he morphed into a first-line funkateer, and a sartorial precursor to Elton John. While he’s since matured into something of an elder statesman, Dr. John’s music always has a unique flavor. Listen up and laissez les bons temps rouler

*****

Glenn Gould, from the documentary The Art Of The Piano:

Dr. John, in a 1988 appearance on the TV show Night Music:

Hellfire

16 December 2009

Hellfire by Nick Tosches

Nick Tosches’ 1982 biography of Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the best rock books in print, and a worthy rendering of a man nicknamed ‘Killer’. Lewis is an idiosyncratic character who, in his own words, was “one mean sonofabitch”. He’s first cousins with the preacher Jimmy Swaggart, and his life has been an ongoing struggle between the sacred and the profane, with plenty of madness thrown in for good measure. Tosches captures the tone of Lewis’ twisted life with a writing style that’s part biblical brimstone, part gumshoe detective. Hellfire isn’t just a great story, it’s a first-rate piece of writing and a perfectly stylized biography of a truly American character.

Witness Tosches’ vivid description of what happened when Lewis’ disapproving father first discovered him playing rock music in some Southern den of iniquity:

Elmo walked past the crowded bar, past the roulette wheel, the blackjack table, and the Beat-My-Shake – walked until he saw his son, sitting up there at the piano, pounding and howling about how them big-legged women better keep their dresses down ’cause when he stared drillin’ on ‘em they were gonna lose their nightgowns, and that old blind man standing up there next to him, nodding his head up and down and wrenching at that electric squeeze-box as if it were the instrument of his blindness and he could not free himself from it. Elmo liked it – all of it. He had him a drink, and he liked it even more.

The book opens with Jerry Lee getting arrested at the gates of Graceland after causing a drunken disturbance in the wee hours of the morning, and after covering the bases of his life, circles back to an aging rocker losing his grip on reality. One nightmare sequence sees Jerry Lee morphing from dressing room to dressing room, the only things that remain constant are the drink in his hand and the idiotic reporter across from him asking inane questions. It’s a scarifying, crystalline take on the mind-numbing rigors of fame. Another passage finds him lost on tour somewhere in the midwest, ordering a bottle of booze from room service and watching the static on his television turn into a swarm of insects. This is chilling stuff, and from everything I can glean from Lewis’ character, it ought to be.

A straight-up re-telling of the facts of Jerry Lee Lewis’ life would make for an unsatisfying account. It’s a credit to Tosches’ stylized writing that even though Hellfire is nearly 30 years old, it still reads like the definitive biography of a rock and roll hell-raiser.

Listen: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Listen: Great Balls Of Fire

Weekend Playlist

30 November 2009

“If I’m going to Hell, I’m going there playing the piano.” ~ Jerry Lee Lewis


The Zutons | Who Killed The Zutons?


Jerry Lee Lewis | 18 Original Sun Greatest Hits


Jeff Buckley | Grace [Legacy Edition]


Thin Lizzy | Johnny The Fox


Various Artists | Gather In The Mushrooms: The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974


The Blasters | The Complete Slash Recordings


The Specials | Guilty ‘Til Proved Innocent!

Listen: Running Away


The Rolling Stones | LiveR Than You’ll Ever Be


Various Artists | Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams

Listen: Crazy Mary [Pearl Jam]


Stevie Ray Vaughan | Blues At Sunrise

Listen: Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town)


Brian Wilson | Smile

Listen: Surf’s Up


Various Artists | Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues


Iron & Wine and Calexico | In The Reins

Listen: Dead Man’s Will


Iggy Pop & The Stoogs | Live In LA 73

Listen: New Orleans


The Black Keys | Rubber Factory

Listen: Girl Is On My Mind


GZA | Liquid Swords

Listen: Shadowboxin’


Various Artists | Locations [Global Underground]

Listen: Mushrooms [Marshall Jefferson Vs Noosa Heads]


XTC | Upsy Daisy Assortment


Johnny Cash | Country Style 1958
[album cover not pictured]


Van Halen | Tokyo, Japan – 6/22/78
[album cover not pictured]

Masterpiece: The Great Twenty-Eight

1 October 2009

[Today: The first man up the mountain...]

Chuck Berry | The Great Twenty-Eight

Humankind must be hardwired to admire pioneers. Whether it’s naming islands and countries after those who “discovered” them, or cataloguing the names of the first men to scale Mount Everest and run a mile in less than four minutes, we love us some firsts. Naturally, a lot of time and energy has been spent debating who was the first true Rock & Roll artist. Elvis Presley deserves mention for his Sun Sessions LP, but even The King is clearly trumped by Chuck Berry. Some critics have floated swing artist Louis Jordan or Ike Turner or Jerry Lee Lewis, but even Jerry Lee’s mom knew the real score. According to the Killer, “[My mama] said, ‘You and Elvis are pretty good, but you’re no Chuck Berry.”

Chuck Berry wasn’t just one of the first artists to play Rock & Roll, he was also one of the greatest. He created a catalog of now-standard tunes and transcendent guitar licks that continue to inspire contemporary rockers. If Elvis encapsulated the physical presence and attitude of Rock, Chuck Berry had the sound. When Keith Richards inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986, he acknowledged his debt, “I lifted every lick he ever played.” AC/DC has made a career out of super-charging Berry’s licks and tossing in naughty lyrics. The Beatles, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and even Elvis himself, were heavily influenced by his sound.

In 1962, in an effort to shut down an important black voice, the government sent Berry to jail for two years on a trumped-up charge related to the Mann Act (which guarded against “immoral” behavior). But the cat was already out of the bag, and by influencing the main architects of 60’s rock, Berry ensured himself a permanent place in the sound of modern music. Fame has its rewards, but as Berry can attest, fortune isn’t guaranteed to be among them. “Of the five most important things in life,” he once shared “health is first, education or knowledge is second, and wealth is third. I forget the other two.”

Listen: Johnny B. Goode

Listen: Maybellene

Listen: Rock And Roll Music

Weekend Playlist

29 June 2009

Me, I’ve concentrated on music pretty much to the exclusion of other things.” – Lou Reed

Freddie King
Freddie King | Hide Away
[Album cover not pictured]

Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club, Hamburg
Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club, Hamburg

Shawn Phillips | Second Contribution
Shawn Phillips | Second Contribution

John Lee Hooker | Free Beer And Chicken
John Lee Hooker | Free Beer And Chicken

Instant Funk | Instant Funk
Instant Funk | Instant Funk

Soundgarden | Louder Than Love
Soundgarden | Louder Than Love

Rodriguez | Cold Fact
Rodriguez | Cold Fact

INXS | Shabooh Shoobah
INXS | Shabooh Shoobah

Various Artists | Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story
Various Artists | Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story

Calexico | The Black Light
Calexico | The Black Light

Jackson 5 | Greatest Hits
Jackson 5 | Greatest Hits

Miles Davis | 'Round About Midnight
Miles Davis | ‘Round About Midnight

Horace Silver | Silver's Blue
Horace Silver | Silver’s Blue

Donald Byrd | Mustang!
Donald Byrd | Mustang!

Alabama 3 | Outlaw
Alabama 3 | Outlaw

Gram Parsons | Grievous Angel
Gram Parsons | Grievous Angel

Basement Jaxx | Remedy
Basement Jaxx | Remedy

Radiohead | In Rainbows
Radiohead | In Rainbows

Mylo | Destroy Rock & Roll
Mylo | Destroy Rock & Roll

Gomez | Bring It On
Gomez | Bring It On

Ben Charest | Triplets Of Belleville Soundtrack
Ben Charest | Triplets Of Belleville Soundtrack

Various Artists | More Oar: A Tribute To The Skip Spence Album
Various Artists | More Oar

Neil Young & Crazy Horse | Sleeps With Angels
Neil Young | Sleeps With Angels

Minutemen | Post-Mersh Vol. 3
Minutemen | Post-Mersh Vol. 3

Barry & The Remains | Barry & The Remains
Barry & The Remains | Barry & The Remains

Various Artists | Brothers On The Slide: The Story Of UK Funk
Various Artists | Brothers On The Slide: The Story Of UK Funk

Gift Of Gab | Fourth Dimensional Rocket Ships Going Up
Gift Of Gab | Fourth Dimensional Rocket Ships Going Up

Culture | Trod On
Culture | Trod On

Led Zeppelin | Coda
Led Zeppelin | Coda

Stevie Ray Vaughan | SRV: The Boxed Set
Stevie Ray Vaughan | SRV (Box Set)

Black Sugar | Black Sugar
Black Sugar | Black Sugar

Buried Treasure: Live At The Star Club, Hamburg

28 June 2009

[Today: Jerry Lee Lewis kills his piano...]

Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club, Hamburg

In March of 1958, during a tour of England, it was revealed that Jerry Lee Lewis had married his 13-year old first cousin (once removed), Myra Gale Brown. Until that point, Lewis’ star had been in rapid ascent behind hit singles such as ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ and ‘Breathless’. But once the news of his young bride hit the papers, he was an instant has-been, reduced to playing juke joints for whatever paltry fee he could negotiate. By 1964 he had hit absolute bottom, hadn’t enjoyed a hit in six full years, and with the rise of Beatlemania and the British Invasion bands, looked more than ever like a creature of the past.

The Star Club in Hamburg, Germany is the cabaret where The Beatles perfected their live act before conquering America and the world. It’s hard to say whether that connection played into the fire that Jerry Lee Lewis played with on this particular evening, but from the word go he assaults his piano with a beautiful fury that is breathtaking to behold. His backing band, The Nashville Teens, were clearly in over their heads, and spend the entirety of this show holding on for dear life and trying to keep up with The Killer (“Play that thing right boy!” Jerry Lee yells at one Teen during a cover of Ray Charles’ ‘What’d I Say’). From the first notes of ‘Mean Woman Blues’, this is a nasty, snarling, unhinged performance that presages the nihilism of punk rock. “Jerry, Jerry…” he chants along with the crowd at one point, before cutting them off with an acidic “Alright already!”. Johnny Rotten, your grandpa is on line one…

During a 1979 interview, Nick Tosches asked Lewis about a legend that he’d once pushed a piano into the ocean. “You’re damn right I did. That was in Charleston, South Carolina, a while back. I pushed it outa the auditorium. I pushed it down the street. I pushed it down the pier. Pushed it right into the ocean.” Fair enough, but The Killer never pushed a piano harder or faster than he did on Live At The Star Club, Hamburg.

Listen: Mean Woman Blues

Listen: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Weekend Playlist

4 May 2009

Like sands through the hourglass, these were the records of our weekend…

Moby Grape | The Place And The Time
Moby Grape | The Place And The Time

Radiohead | In Rainbows
Radiohead | In Rainbows

Paul McCartney | McCartney
Paul McCartney | McCartney

J.J. Cale | Rewind: Unreleased Recordings
J.J. Cale | Rewind: Unreleased Recordings

Traffic | Dear Mr. Fantasy
Traffic | Dear Mr. Fantasy

David Grisman Quartet | Dawgwood
David Grisman Quartet | Dawgwood

Beck | Modern Guilt
Beck | Modern Guilt

Lee Morgan | Tom Cat
Lee Morgan | Tom Cat

Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes

Sly & The Family Stone | Small Talk
Sly & The Family Stone | Small Talk

The Beatles | Rarities
The Beatles | Rarities

Van Morrison | Veedon Fleece
Van Morrison | Veedon Fleece

War | The World Is A Ghetto
War | The World Is A Ghetto

Mac Wiseman | 'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered
Mac Wiseman | ‘Tis Sweet To Be Remembered

Bob Dylan | Highway 61 Revisited
Bob Dylan | Highway 61 Revisited

Kinks | Face To Face
Kinks | Face To Face

Pete Townshend | White City
Pete Townshend | White City

Mighty Imperials | Thunder Chicken
The Mighty Imperials | Thunder Chicken

Dr. John | In The Right Place
Dr. John | In The Right Place

Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger | The World Of Pete Seeger
[Album cover not pictured]

Freddie King | The Best Of Freddie King
Freddie King | The Best Of Freddie King

Neil Young | Massey Hall 1971
Neil Young | Massey Hall 1971

Lyrics Born | Everywhere At Once
Lyrics Born | Everywhere At Once

Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club Hamburg
Jerry Lee Lewis | Live At The Star Club Hamburg

The Stooges
The Stooges | Declaration Of War: The Best Of The Funhouse Sessions [Album cover not pictured]

Radio Birdman | Radios Appear
Radio Birdman | Radios Appear

Ween | Chocolate And Cheese
Ween | Chocolate And Cheese

Whiskeytown | Strangers Almanac
Whiskeytown | Strangers Almanac

Stevie Wonder | Innervisions
Stevie Wonder | Innervisions

6 Albums I Wish Were In Print On Vinyl

4 May 2008

This list could easily be 60 albums long, but for the sake of brevity I’ve narrowed it down to the records that I’m constantly looking for at my local music stores. There are dozens more that I’ve already tracked down and paid a pretty penny for – including The Soft Boys’ Underwater Moonlight, The Peddlers’ Suite London, the Wild Style soundtrack, The Incredible Bongo Band, and John Phillips’ John Wolfking Of L.A. – that ought to be more readily available on LP.

So if you happen to know somebody who can pull some strings and make things happen, here are a half dozen albums I’d love to see on vinyl, and soon…


Los Lobos * Kiko – Los Lobos have just a couple of albums available on vinyl, and their masterpiece Kiko is not among them. The fact that this album was released in 1992, around the time vinyl was bottoming out, probably explains why it wasn’t issued in the US (it was briefly issued on LP in the UK), but it’s time to re-issue this one on wax.


The Stairs * Mexican R-n-B – There are a few copies of this overlooked early-90’s gem floating around out there – occasionally one will pop up on eBay and fetch upwards of $150. For that kind of dough you could buy the entire Black Lips catalogue on vinyl and still have enough money left over for a night on the town.


Various Artists * The Anthology Of American Folk Music – The few OG copies of this that hit eBay fetch close to $200 apiece. The recent tribute album to the Anthology Of American Folk Music was issued on vinyl, so it can’t be too much to ask for the real deal. This one should definitely be reissued at 78 rpm.


Whiskeytown * Pneumonia Strangers Almanac only recently received the 180 gram treatment, and Pneumonia deserves the same. Whiskeytown’s sound is so suited for LP, it’s a sin that their albums have had to wait any length of time to be issued on vinyl.


Jerry Lee Lewis * Live At The Star Club, Hamburg – This was recorded in 1964, and could well be the very first punk album of all-time. Lewis was an afterthought at this point in his career, and he takes it out on his piano, forcing his hired band to play catchup at breakneck speed. LP copies will fetch $40+ dollars, on the rare occasions that they surface.


A3 * Exile On Coldharbour Lane – Another album that was released for a heartbeat in the UK, this ultra-rare gem is worth $150-$200 on the open market. But this album was a cult curiosity both before and after A3’s ‘Woke Up This Morning’ was picked up as the theme song for The Sopranos, so it’s probably a longshot for any kind of LP reissue.

*****


Honorable mention for Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, which was recently reissued as part of the vinyl box set Fruit Tree but has yet to be reissued on its own. Predictably, the box set can be had for about $50, while single copies of Pink Moon fetch $40-$45 – only in a free market!


Also, M. Ward recently reissued his first album, the confusingly titled Duet For Guitars #2, so there’s reasonable hope that his best album, Transfiguration Of Vincent, will soon be enshrined in waxy goodness.


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