Vinyl: Tangerine Dream “Phaedra”

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Performer: Tangerine Dream
Album: Phaedra

Company: Virgin
Genre: Electronic, ambient
Year: 1974

Fact: The album sleevedesign and art is done by the bands founder Edgar Froese

The AllMusic database is calling this a milestone for Tangerine Dream and “one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music”

Vinyl: Boz Scaggs “Hits!”

 

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CLICK ON THE ALBUM to hear a compilation of the album. Sorry. slightly different song order

Performer: Boz Scaggs
Album: Hits!

Company: CBS
Genre: Blue eyed soul / Soft rock
Year: 1980

Fact: What happened with that jacket and the cover art? It’s quite funny, ´cos the coverphoto looks more 1985 than 1980.

Info: Boz Scaggs has a wonderful blue eyed soul voice, somewhere between Van Morrison and Totos Bobby Kimball. Actually, Toto appears on the disco inspired song “Miss Sun” and cool outro vocal by Lisa Dal Bello. Toto appears as well on most songs on the album. Carlos Santana guests “You Can Have Me Anytime”

My rating: 5 of 6

Vinyl: Tom Clay “What The World Needs Now Is Love”

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A good cover – seen…eh…drawn from a childs perspective
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Had to include the backside of the LP, it´s a strong picture to illustrate the themes of the album!

Performer: Tom Clay
Album: What The World Needs Now Is Love

Company: MoWest(?)
Genre: Easy Listening, Spoken-word, Soul, Conceptalbum
Year: 1971

Fact: Tom Clay was a Radio Disc-jockey, who created this album as a social commentary. The Record includes speeches by John F. Kennedy, radio snippets, Martin Luther King, news samples and more.

Info: Songs used throughout the album includes, Marvin Gayes “What´s Goin´ On”, Burt Bacharach “That The World Needs Now”, Jimmy Webbs “MacArthur Park”, Joni Mitchells “Both Sides Now”, Simon & Garfunkels “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to mention a few! All songs performed by session musicians.

Listen to some of the tracks off the album on these YouTube links!

My rating: 5 of 6

Classic albums: Santana “Abraxas”

If you’re going to have one Santana album in your record collection – make sure it’s “Abraxas”. The album that could have been called “The Best Of Santanta” – but fact being it’s actually the bands second album, released in 1970!

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You can listen to Santana “Abraxas” if you use Spotify here!
If you wish, listen to the album in a YouTube rip here!
Before you buy it in iTunes or at your favourite record store

Why am I loving this album so much? Because it´s got everything you ever need in a Santana record. You get to hear almost every musical genre you could come up with in a classic rock album; Psychedelic, latin, blues, rock, samba and salsa, even hard rock and jazz.

That’s not all! The “Abraxas” album includes all the Santana songs you know best; “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen” (Originaly by Peter Green´s Fleetwood Mac / Gàbor Szabó), “Oye Com Va” (Originally by Tito Puente), “Samba Pa Ti“, “Hope You’re Feeling Better” and “Singing Winds, Crying Beasts“.

Carlos Santana play guitar like he’s obsessed by Jimi Hendrix’ soul and has just found out he’s Miles Davis unknown little brother. Lead vocalist on this album, Gregg Rolie, is one of the most underrated rock-vocalists ever. The rhythm section with David Brown on bass and Michael Shrieve plays tight as any jazz duo out there, the duo on percussion Jose “Cherpito” Areas and Mike Carabello must have been sweating and working their asses off during the recording. The album was recorded in only 14 days+ and it sounds like they have had the greatest time ever recording the album!

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You can play this album in whatever mood you’re in, if you want to cry and feel sad. If you’re feeling it’s time to shake up those salsa hips again, or if you wish you were on a cuban bar, if you want to shake out your frustration to the hard rocking tunes, or if you just want to sit down and chill to the jazz and blues tracks.

I bet after you’ve listened to “Abraxas” you burn your and stomp on Santanas pop-albums like “Supernatural” and it’s follow up albums – even if those were a major comeback for Mr Carlos Santana – that got him into the top of the charts again, made him win a great amount of prices and got him into Guinnies Book of Records for having the longest gap between two #1 albums; 28 years after his last #1 album “Santana”, the third Santana album from 1971. “Abraxas” is the album you come back to – time after time – and it´ll always surprise you!

The first time I heard the album, was a ripped vinyl copy onto a recordable CD, that was so crackly and full of vinyl pops, the sound was so warm. I was just sitting there with my mouth gaping, the whole album through. Actually the album made me go into my basement and find and connect the vinylplayer to my stereo again. Because the rip of the “Abraxas” album I fell in love with vinyl again.

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Since then, I’ve bought the album on CD, digital download – and finally finding it on LP again. In my favourite bargain used-records shop in Oslo, Norway – for the small price of a general chocolate bar!

The cover was worn out, the inner-bag of the LP was missing, and the black vinyl LP looked like it had partied since 1970, when the album was originally released.

My vinyl edit of “Abraxas” is full of cracks, pops and has the warm sound, just like my ripped CD-copy, so when I put the needle on the record – I let the world stop – and let myself carry away into Santanas magical and mystical world.


Have you heard Santanas “Abraxas”?
Do you have a favorite Santana album?

I bought two handfuls of vinyl

The last records I bought was some LPs and a couple of CDs the summer of 2012 – and a thats about it…
Not to understand that I haven´t bought any music lately – because I have, only digital – from iTunes and downloading free mixtapes from the net.

A few weekends back I went the city, in my case Oslo, Norway and finally got time to visit my favorite second-hand record store Råkk&Rålls (sic.) and bought a couple of handfuls of vinyl.

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Well, here is my “new” records – can you recognize any of these?

The two handfuls of records – I bought was;

Carole King “Her Greatest Hits”

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Singer/songwriter Carole King is one of the worlds greatest songwriters, a living legends who´s up there with song-writers like Burt Bacharach, Diane Warren and more – she has written hundreds of songs – and is the writer behind classic songs like “You Make Me Feel, Like a Natural Woman”, “You´ve Got A Friend”. Her “Tapestry” album is one of the really great classics everyone should own!
The brown drawn sleeve of various versions of Carole King is a great metaphor, for her dry, yet kinda soulful voice – that fits perfect for her simple and honest classic songwriting.
This greatest hits compilation with full title “Her Greatest Hits -Songs of long ago” contains 12 tracks taken from 6 of her solo albums, standout tracks is; “It´s too late”, “Feel The Earth Move” and “Corazon”
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE!

Alexander O’Neal “Alexander O´Neal”

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The late and great Alexander O´Neals selftitled 1985 album, was produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis of former Prince protoges The Time – these days known as super songwriters and producers par excellence! Guess who has produced all the biggest songs of Janet Jackson? Yes! Jam & Lewis. Back to Alexander O´Neals selftitled debut album contains the 10 minute long funky “Medley:Innocent/Alex 3000/Innocent II” could fit into any The Time/Prince album from the same time. The album is worth that song alone! Fun fact: Alexander O´Neal was close to become a member of The Time.
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE! (contains additional tracks)

Toto “Hydra”2652814-toto-hydra

Toto´s a musicians band; Super pro-musicians who has worked with almost everyone, from Michael Jackson to Roger Waters. Hydra was their second album, and an album that contains a more pop/prog songs, than the soft-rock songs they later became so famous for. The most Toto´ish songs is the cryptic “99” and “Mama”
The album cover is quite cool with a blurry picture of a leather clad anonymous longhaired man with an enormous sword against a brick wall in a dark backstreet. Mysterious cover.
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE!

Rolling Stones “Black & Blue”

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The Rolling Stones soul album “Black & Blue” includes two of my favourite songs, the funky disco of “Hot Stuff” and the wonderful but sad soul song “Fool To Cry” I love the Stones when they flirt with the softer side, like they do on this soulful album, and flirts with other sounds than the typical Rolling Stones-rock.
I have to question the album cover. The close-up of Mick Jagger & Keith Richards + Bill Wyman. All looking like punks and rather stoned. An odd choice of cover for their most soulful album. Despite that “Black & Blue” is one of my personal Rolling Stones favourite albums.
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE!

Genesis “Genesis”

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When an album starts as good as Genesis self titled album it got to be good. “Mama” is one of the really huge classics in the Phil Collins Genesis line up, a dark ballad about a man´s longing for a prostitute. Phil Collins voice is fantastic on this song – and according to Wikipedia the hah-hah´s is inspired by Grandmaster Flash´ “The Message”. Being the last album before they became a mainstream pop band with the huge success of “Invisible Touch” and the Spitting Image video “Land of Confusion”. Other great songs off “Genesis” album is the pop song “That´s All” and the two-part “Home By The Sea” / “Second Home By The Sea” – and this is just side A of the album. A great start, the rest is up to you to check out for yourself
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE! (contains additional tracks)

The Creeps “The Blue Tomato”

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Swedish band The Creeps was a really soulful and funky pop/rock record that contained the wonderful “Ooh, I Like It”. Vocalist Robert Jelinek must be one of the best vocalists in Sweden ever! Listen to his voice on songs like “Right Back On Track”, “SMASH!”, “I´d Better Start Running” and the superfunky “Way Cool”. Actually the whole album is worth every penny there is.
Another fun fact: I also have this album on CD, and when Norwegian chocolate-company Nidar was making a commercial for their chocolate coated corn candy “Smash!” a friend of mine who worked for Nidar told me they needed a theme song and asked me for tip – and I mentioned The Creeps had a song called exactly that “SMASH!”. I lent he my CD of The Creeps “The Blue Tomato” and they ended up using the song off my CD in the final commercial ad (Didn´t find it on YouTube, but will update the post if I find it at a later time!
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE!

Journey “Escape”

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“Don´t Stop Believing” has become a soft-rock staple. The genius trick of using this song as the last song of the final episode of “The Sopranos” was a fantastic way to make this great song known to new listeners.
The song has also been used in pop-culture TV-series “Glee” with great success. My wife can´t listen to Journeys “Don´t Stop Believing” without start telling how it makes her think about Glee (she´s a huge Glee fan!). Other songs worth mentioned here is “Who´s Crying Now” a song that makes anyone think about much under-rated soul legend Randy Crawford, the singer behind classics like “Street Life” and “Almaz” and “Who´s Crying Now” to mention a few of her classic songs.
This Journey album is worth owning for “Don´t Stop Believing” alone!
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE! (contains additional tracks)

Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”

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The first Rolling Stones of the 80´s is the 1980 album “Emotional Rescue”. The album’s title track was the first single off the album – and is one of the few disco songs released by the Stones. Here and there you can her disco influences on the album and “Dance pt. 1” reached the top 10 on the Billboard Dance Charts.
The beautiful ballad “Indian Girl” – a song that reminds me a bit like a slower version of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” – again a song in which Van The Man sounds more than a bit like the Rolling Stones Mick Jagger. “Indian Girl” should be up there with “Angie”.
Fun fact: The vinyl edition I bought included a huge poster with pictures with the album sleeve pictures. Tried to figure out if this a limited edition, but still haven´t found any info about this. Does anyone out there know?
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE! (contains additional tracks)

Bruce Springsteen “The River”

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The title track off this album is probably one of Springsteen’s finest songs ever and my personal favorite. The ultimate edit of the song is to be found on Bruce Springsteen & The E-street Band Live 1975-85 – a 11 minute epic edition, that starts with a 6 minute spoken part by Springsteen! Check it out here on YouTube!
I became a late Springsteen fan myself, and happen to be a bigger fan of the ballad-part of his career, than the rock star years. My favorite albums is his acoustic albums “Nebraska”, “Tunnel of Love”, “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” and my personal favorite “Devils & Dust”.
“The River” (album) is a great album to see all his sides; the pop singer in “Hungry Heart”, the afore-mentioned singer-songwriter in the title track – and the rocker several tracks on this album.
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE!

Prince “1999”prince-1999(2)

The Purple Ones 1982 album “1999” came in two different sleeves and edits; the iconic purple with 1999 drawn on – and this one as pictured above. When I caught my hand in it, I happen to forget that is was 1999, because its so many years since i saw this sleeve. I managed to mix it up with his late 70s albums like “Controversy” so my happiness in discovering it was “1999” was big! I checked the album on Wikipedia – and found that the edit I got is 1999 edited down to a single album containing only 7 tracks, compared to the original double-edit containing 11 tracks.
In the mid-80s I collected all albums by Prince on tape. I got hooked in ´86, and “Kiss”. I bought his back catalogue and every album up to “Lovesexy” on tape. In 1987 I got my first record player – and bought “Sign´O´the Times” and “Purple Rain” on vinyl. Then came CDs – and I started collecting all his albums on the digital format. And still do ´til this day. But after I got a new record player in the early 2000s I started re-collecting Prince´ albums on vinyl. It seems like my record buying goes in circles!
“1999” is the first Prince album to contain what became the recognizable Minneapolis sound. The sound of Prince and his friends, protoges and nemesis. With songs like the title track, “Little Red Corvette” and on of my favourite Prince-slow jams (in a style that has followed up til this day) “Free”. The album ends with the funky “Lady Cab Driver”, a beat driven track, with a fantastic spoken part in the middle. A perfect ending on the edited album. I will without doubt track down the double-album edit, to get the whole picture – and going to continue to complete my Prince collection.
IF YOU USE SPOTIFY – LISTEN TO THE ALBUM HERE! (the 11 track double album)

To quote Bugs Bunny Th..th…that´s all folks; That´s all ten records I bought, for a small handful of money: 10 records for only 250 Kr (norwegian kroner) that equals 33,75 EURO/45 USD/29 GBP. A good bargain for 10 classic second-hand records if you ask me!

…Hang on for more second-hand album record reviews…to be continued…