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…

R. Kelly is back with; Write Me Back

It´s as simple as this!
When R. Kelly released his first single from his then upcoming new album “Write Me Back” by the way a follow up to his until then latest album “Love Letter” I knew it was a must-have album!

On “Share My Love” he was back, and this time with a loose disco-soul track that lots of nods to Barry White and other late 70s and early 80s kings of soul like; Barry White, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, Alexander O´neal, Joe Smooth and Colonel Abrams

I have made a spotify that matches R. Kellys “Share My Love”. Just click the play button to play!


Have a look at “Share My Love” here!

Now his new album is finally here “Write Me Back” and his sounding better and greater than ever.

It´s a great retro-feel on the albumcover don´t you think!
Listen to the Deluxe-Edition by clicking the album cover underneath here!

Reviews all over the world – gives it the big thumb up (see reviews from metacritic.com a site that keeps score of entertainment, gives him 79 of totalt 100 points) – and gives R. Kelly the respect he deserves as one of the worlds greatest male singers! This time no guest singers or rappers, one track that´s using a sample, everwhere else a lot of real instruments – and a organic feel to the whole album.

If you prefer the deluxe-edition, this is how the cover looks!

He may has done some odd and strange things from time to time, and quite controversial things like the “Trapped In The Closet”s epic soul-opera. But still he always rises from the ashes and shows that he can do comeback like no one else can!

This time R. Kelly is back with a classic record that will stand out as a real classic years from now
R. Kelly is a artist that the press tries to knock-down. 
And he still does comebacks from time to time that shows the world who´s the man!