Vinyl Day 10: Jim Croce “His Greatest Songs”, Journey “Evolution”, & Elton John “Greatest Hits Volume II”

Super pumped about the absolute bangers I have for you today on Day 10. Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Jim Croce
Album: His Greatest Songs
Year: 1981
Genre: Folk
Record Origins: Mum and Dad

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Jim Croce is one of my favorite singers, song-writers, and performers. He generally seems extremely wholesome. I honestly can’t say I know this at all, but based on his Wikipedia page, he was a very hard worker and family man with a drive to make music professionally.

Sadly, he died in a plane crash after playing a concert in Nachitoches, Louisiana (from personal experience, a placename that is pronounced very differently than it is spelled). Although I know a bit about the things I write about ahead of time, I do learn some things, and I felt a little punch in the gut to learn Jim Croce was only 30 when he died.

This album was released 8 years after Jim Croce’s untimely death, and there are so many wonderful songs on it.


Artist: Journey
Album: Evolution
Year: 1979
Genre: Arena Rock
Record Origins: Mum and Dad

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First, let us gaze upon this magnificence that is Journey. On the front side of the album, we have this very historically appropriate graphic, and on the back side…THE OUTFITS. Honestly, the backside should be the front. We’ve got polyster, some weird shiny space outfit, HAIR…the hair.

Evolution is Journey’s 5th studio album. Can’t say I am a huge Journey fan, but they are a karoake or car-ride or shower sing-a-long classic. And I respect the vocal power of Steve Perry.

This album includes “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”, which is probably my favorite Journey song if forced at gun point to choose one. I am pretty sure the guys are wearing the same outfits in this video as they are on the record sleeve:


Artist: Elton John
Album: Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume II
Year: 1977
Genre: Folk
Record Origins: Mum and Dad

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I think this one needs no introduction. It also happens to include my favorite Elton John song:

 


This wraps up Day 10. Also, I checked, and I should have roughly 20-21 more “Vinyl Days” after today. The series beats on!

Vinyl Day 8: Spyro Gyra “Morning Dance”, Beach Boys and more “Shut Down”, & Barbara Streisand “Guilty”

Hello! I needed to take a break from the internet for a few days. Welcome to day 8 of an investigation of my vinyl. Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Spyro Gyra
Album: Morning Dance
Year: 1979
Genre: Jazz, jazz fusion
Record Origins: Mum and Dad

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Haha oh my god. I thought I knew who Spyro Gyra was, and I was expecting a more Jethro Tull sound. That expectation was extremely wrong. I don’t want to spend too much time on this as it reminds me of songs form a 70s porno or perhaps a beach love montage. I understand why jazz fusion gets such a bad rap at times.

NEXT.


Artist: Beach Boys, Robert Mitchum, The Cheers, and The Super Stocks
Album: Shut Down
Year: 1963
Genre: Hot rod rock (yes, this is a thing).
Record Origins: One of the parents. I don’t think they acquired this together.

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I get the feeling this is a special album. I cannot find a lot of information about it besides on some auction sites, and I read it is scarce. I am not really interested in selling these. So, I don’t care how much it is (and it may be nothing). It is a very fun album. The Beach Boys are an enigma to me. The Wilson brothers (er, at least Brian and Dennis) were drinking their lives away while writing these superficially chipper sounds. Honestly, there is nothing so sad or relatable to me at times as artists who are making pieces that are so opposite of what they are feeling inside.

Infamously and sadly, Dennis died in 1983 while homeless, nomadic, and hammered. He drowned after blacking out in shallow water trying to retrieve some of his ex-wife’s items, which he had thrown off of his yacht 3 years earlier.

Here are the Beach Boys performing “Shut Down”, the title track from the album I have, in happier times.


Artist: Barbara Streisand
Album: Guilty
Year: 1980
Genre: Pop
Record Origins: Mum and Dad

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This is a hell of an album cover: Barry Gibb, of the Bee Gees and producer of this album, hugging Barbara Streisand. Glorious manes of hair all around.

The top single of this Guilty is “Woman in Love”, and it was written by 2/3 of the Bee Gees, Barry and Robin. And you can hear the Bee Gees EVERYWHERE on this album. So even thought the album is Babs, it is very fitting that Barry Gibb is on the cover of the album, holding Babs, and probably whispering “Yes…you and the is album are my little baby.”

Here is the powerful single “Woman in Love”. I didn’t want to like it, but I really to like it.

Vinyl Day 7: Tyler, the Creator “Wolf”, Country Joe & The Fish “Greatest Hits”, & Deafheaven “Roads to Judah”

Welcome to Vinyl Day 7! Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Tyler, the Creator
Album: Wolf
Year: 2013
Genre: Alternative hip-hop
Record Origins: I bought this one.

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I highlighted Tyler, the Creator on Day 3Goblin was a fun album, and it was expressive. It was also a lot more angry. Wolf is Tyler’s step into genius. This is the rap-version of a rock opera. A rap opera if you will. It chronicles  The songs are emotional and unapologetically vulnerable– something a lot young black men aren’t often allowed by many different aspects of society. This is all balanced with some humor, and yet it all remains so relatable.

The album art is equally endearing. It shows a little baby Tyler on his bike (Slater?).

This is one of my favorite songs from the album. I was going through a difficult time with my dad, and this song was relatable at the time.

Another one of my favorite tracks on this album is “IFHY”. The video is also very interesting, and the pain is visceral.


Artist: Country Joe & The Fish
Album: Greatest Hits
Year: 1969
Genre: Psychedelic rock, folk rock
Record Origins: New Orleans- Christmas gift for my dad (that I got back!)

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I bought this album for my dad from a record shop in New Orleans. Perhaps it was a bit of a misguided attempt at me trying to connect with him because I am not even sure how he felt about Country Joe & The Fish, and I don’t even know that he listened to records. Luckily, this record came back to me.

I first learned about Country Joe & The Fish from the incredible PBS documentary Woodstock (apparently there is a new version of the doc, and I am sure it is just as good). This is the most popular song “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” (if you can’t tell from the song, it’s about the U.S.’s involvement in The Vietnam War and how stupid it was):

And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.


Artist: Deafheaven
Album: Roads to Judah
Year: 2011
Genre: Country, Americana, Indie Rock
Record Origins: One of mine, but I don’t remember where she came from.

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Here is the debut album from Deafheaven. I wrote about one of my all time favorite albums, Sunbather, on Day 5. I bought this album at the same time I bought Sunbather, and my friend was working in the record shop. He said he liked this album more. Roads to Judah is a great album, but I listened to Sunbather first and was tainted. However, both are very rich and powerful. And fuckin’ sick.

Here is “Unrequited” from Roads to Judah.


Thanks for tuning in here on Day 7!

Vinyl Day 6: Loretta Lynn “Van Lear Rose”, Curtis Mayfield “Back to the World”, & Bobby Sherman “With Love, Bobby: The Scrapbook Album”

Welcome to Vinyl Day 6! Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Loretta Lynn
Album: Van Lear Rose
Year: 2004
Genre: Country, Americana, Indie Rock
Record Origins: One of mine, but I don’t remember where she came from.

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Loretta Lynn (along with Dolly) is one of my favorite song writers and performers in the world. As a younger artist, she was way ahead of the field in terms of songwriting with greats like “The Pill“, “You’re Lookin’ at Country“, “Coal Miner’s Daughter“, and my favorite “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man“, featuring Conway Twitter.

And these facts from Loretta’s wiki are some of the primary reasons I lover her so much:

Lynn focused on blue-collar women’s issues with themes about philandering husbands and persistent mistresses. Her music was inspired by issues she faced in her marriage. She pushed boundaries in the conservative genre of country music by singing about birth control (“The Pill”), repeated childbirth (“One’s on the Way”), double standards for men and women (“Rated ‘X'”), and being widowed by the draft during the Vietnam War (“Dear Uncle Sam”).

Country music radio stations often refused to play her music, banning nine of her songs, but Lynn pushed on to become one of country music’s legendary artists.

As I have mentioned in another post, I love a good ol’ country rebel. Loretta checks those boxes.

With 60 years in the business under her belt, Loretta’s 42nd(!) studio album was a crossover album produced by indie greatness Jack White. The song most people will be familiar with is “Portland, Oregon”, which also features Jack White.

Loretta and Jack also won two Grammys for this album, and one of their acceptance speeches was adorable.

This album is excellent, and although I think we will continue to look back upon the aughts as a less than tasteful decade, this album surpasses and, I think, will stand the test of time. I can’t believe it is already 16 years old.

Though, I will say- the album cover and back always drove me a little nuts as it looks like Ms. Loretta is wearing that big heavy dress on a hot day in the South. It makes me itch just looking at it.


Artist: Curtis Mayfield
Album: Back to the World
Year: 1973
Genre: Funk, Soul
Record Origins: Slam from some thrift shop in Chicago

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This album was acquired from the donated collected of one, Alyce J. Landry. Who is she? I don’t know, but several of her records found their way into my house. So, thank you Alyce, whoever and wherever you are.

Alyce has great taste in music, and I like to imagine her spinning this record in the 70s. Maybe she smoked a little weed while doing it. Gettin’ woke. I certainly hope she danced to it as one must do with Curtis Mayfield.

This album peaked at #1 on the hip-hop and R&B charts and #16 on the US Billboard 200.


Artist: Bobby Sherman
Album: With Love, Bobby: The Scrapbook Album
Year: 1970
Genre: Pop
Record Origins: Mom

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I had no idea who Bobby Sherman was before I wrote this. However, I have now learned he was a teen idol and experienced hearing loss because of all the ladies who used to scream for him.

I feel a little indifferent about this one, but here is a video of one of Bobby’s hits “Julie, Do Ya Love Me?” with a bunch of girls flipping their ever loving shit about Bobby.



 

Thanks for joining me for day 6!

Vinyl Day 3: Tyler, the Creator “Goblin”, BeeGees “Spirits Having Flown”, & the London Philharmonic “The Complete Recordings of Handel’s Messiah”

Welcome to Vinyl Day 3. Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Tyler, the Creator
Album: Goblin
Year: 2011
Genre: Hip Hop
Record Origins: I bought this one.

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I have followed Tyler, the Creator for some time now. I have seen him twice (2014 and 2016), and he always puts on a very energetic show. He’s also incredibly funny. Apparently he hates this album, but there are some bangers on it that he and I agree on.


Artist: BeeGees
Album: Spirits having Flown
Year: 1979
Genre: Disco
Record Origins: me mum and paw

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This record ended the end of the BeeGees mainstream success:

 It was the group’s first album after their collaboration on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The album’s first three tracks were released as singles and all reached No. 1 in the US, giving the Bee Gees an unbroken run of six US chart-toppers in a one-year period and equaling a feat shared by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. It was the first Bee Gees album to make the UK top 40 in ten years (not counting the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever), as well as being their first and only UK No. 1 album.

Here is “Too Much Heaven” from that album:


Artist: The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Album: The Complete Recordings of Handel’s Messiah
Year: Sometime in the 70s or before.
Genre: Classical
Record Origins: me mum and paw

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My parents have a shit ton of orchestral and classical music in their collection. So get used to seeing this. This rendition of Handel’s Messiah is from the London Philharmonic. You can listen to it here. I’m not in the mood for this level of drama.

Vinyl Day 1: Huey Lewis and the News “Sports”, Jimmy Buffet “Volcano”, & Donna Summer “Live and More”

I’m starting a new short run series leading up to Record Store Day 2020 (April 18).

In 2013, I acquired my parent’s record collection. “Stole” might be a better term, but mom, if you read this, I am happy to give them back at any time. Since acquiring and combining records, my household has quite the eclectic record collection. I haven’t even listened to many of them. I am going to be sharing photos of all of the records and a small amount of research on them for the next few weeks.

This cat judged me throughout this entire process, and honestly, I don’t need that in my life.

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Let’s begin.


Artist: Jimmy Buffet
Album: Volcano
Year: 1979
Genre: Rock, I guess?
Record Origins: My parents. Smh.

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I’m gonna be real with you: I really don’t like Jimmy Buffet. I’m putting this one first because I never want to talk about this album again. It’s nothing against any of you who like him. It’s me. This is the only song I can take, and I am currently evaluating that statement now that I have typed it.


Artist: Huey Lewis and the News
Album: SPORTS
Year: 1979
Genre: Rock
Record Origins: Sam found this at Goodwill on the Westbank (greater New Orleans area) or the “Wank”, if you please.

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This is a solid album. If there ever was a white people culture, certainly this would be in it. I’ve definitely heard it in Applebee’s or TGI Friday’s. My dad used to jam this on the way to our piano practice when we were growing up. It was already legendary status in my mind, but American Pyscho ensured this album would be permanently seared into our consciousness.


Artist: Donna Summer
Album: Live and More
Year: 1978
Genre: Disco, Soul, Adult Contemporary
Record Origins: My parents

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This is a smoking album. Do you want to feel sexy? This album will make you feel sexy as it has tracks like “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You, Baby”. 🤤



Thanks for reading Day 1 of ?.