Today’s Vinyl Shopping

Found  a few great eclectic gems at my local record stores Lucky Star Records, and Analogetontraeger

 

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I was very excited to find a reasonably priced “North By Northwest” soundtrack.
Probably one of my favorite film composers, Bernard Herrmann created a lot of great Hitchcock scores, and this is one of my absolute favorites.  If you have attended the enthralling “Sleep no More” theatrical experience in NYC, they use a lot of Herrmann’s music in that.

 

This next one was also a great find: The legendary Hamilton Bohannon.

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“Insides Out” features side one with more dance, early Disco tunes, while side two is a more uptempo lounge, jazzy.

Bohannon began touring with Stevie Wonder when he was only 13 years old, and due to songs like “Disco Stomp” featured on this album is often credited as one of the grandfather’s of the Disco ‘Four on the floor” sound. He was a huge influence on the Talking Head’s spin off group The Tom-Tom Club led by Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, and has been sampled by the likes of Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dog, just to scratch the surface.  He performed and recorded with many Motown legends : Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Smokey Robinson.

If you don’t know his music, and love disco/dance music, then you have to go to the source and check him out.

You probably know this tune of his (although it’s not on the above mentioned album):

 

A lot of my vinyl shopping these days is either replacing classic LPS of artists whose vinyl I either sold when I switched to CD format, or was sadly part of the few crates stolen in a storage area when I was in between apartments.   The next batch is representative of that. In fact, I think for Aerosmith I went right from 8-Track to CD.  The years in between those formats I wasn’t listening to them much I guess.

The Hendrix one is a German compilation featuring some of the live at the Fillmore takes.   Same for the Floyd one, an 1980s or so compilation of the Syd Barrett era line up, featuring two of my favorites from that era “Apples and Oranges” and “Arnold Layne”

 

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Nite Flights

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1978, Scott Walker broke his spell of retirement to reunite (briefly) the Walker Brothers, of course, a massive influence on David Bowie.
Ironically, what broke Walker’s silence as an artist was being so moved by the “Low” and “Heroes” albums Bowie and Eno had released.
You can hear the influence. Bowie repaid the homage with a tip of his hat on his album “Black Tie White Noise” produced with Nile Rodgers covering the song himself. As if the legacy of this tune can’t get any better—Bowie dusted it off on the “Outside” tour letting Reeves Gabrels and Gail Ann Dorsey loose on the live arrangement. Here’s the original version by Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers. It is one of my favorite songs.
Here is Bowie rehearsing both Andy Warhol and Nite Flights for the outside tour
He also performed it live on the Jay Leno show when the album Black Tie White Noise was released.
And a link to the audio of the original Scott Walker version.

 

“Believing the Strangest Things”

 

David Bowie “Loving the Alien” Box Set

 

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I was about 12 years old when David Bowie released “Let’s Dance.” Although I already owned “Changes One” and “Ziggy Stardust” on vinyl, I wasn’t a full-fledged fan yet.  I liked his music quite a bit, and was fascinated — perhaps alarmed at some of the stories I had heard about him. That album, which catapulted him into arena-rock stardom, was the catalyst that kicked in my life-long fandom of the man who fell to earth.

Despite the obvious criticism of this particular era of Bowie’s career, I was excited to see what the offering of “Loving the Alien” box set would hold.  I own the first installment “Five Years” , skipped the “Young Americans” era and of course enjoy the “A New Career in a New Town” box as well.

Sure, I am being nostalgic, but for me, as Bowie was releasing albums like “Tonight” and “Never Let me Down” during the 1980s, I was on a personal parallel path discovering albums like “Lodger” and back to “Hunky Dory.”  It was an intense four to five year crash course delving into his work as a producer for records like Lou Reed’s “Transformer” and naturally,  his work with Iggy Pop.    Just as I “caught up” to Bowie, to the extent any listener can, he declared he was no longer going to record as David Bowie and released a record called “Tin Machine” with his new band of the same name.

With “Loving the Alien” , as the other box sets, the packaging on this set is brilliant. The booklet well produced. I got choked up reading Nile’s letter to David, saying how much he misses him.  The photos and liner notes are a great read while going back and re-discovering this era.

“Let’s Dance” gets a lot of flak, but you know what, there’s arty stuff on that album as well.  I always loved his take on Metro’s “Criminal World” for instance.  I can listen to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s solo on the long take of Let’s Dance any time. What great work Nile brought out in these musicians.  From the punchy “Modern Love” to space funk of “Without You” there’s plenty of gems on this record. It is a career defining recording.  I always love hearing Nile tell the story of how Bowie procured a photo of Little Richard standing by a Cadillac and told him “I want the record to sound like this.”  And that is exactly what only the genius of Nile Rodgers could pull off.

The live “Serious Moonlight” album is a treat too. The mix sounds a bit less polished and more “live” than what ended up on the live video of the tour.

The Tonight LP mix is great—I still love the song “Loving the Alien” and fans know Bowie revived this track live on a few of his last tours—a striking ambient version. It’s a very pop album, but even songs like “Dancing with the Big Boys” are a guilty pleasure here.

My favorite, well at least what held the most anticipation is the new version of “Never Let me Down.” Mario McNulty and company have done a great job with this.  I love the new versions of “New York’s in Love” again, a guilty pleasure of mine, but now it’s a harder industrial vibe. Other stand outs are “Zeroes” and “Beat of your Drum”

It is fitting, and sort of closing the circle as they say, that Reeves Gabrels plays on this new take of the album. Reeves was the “x -factor” of the Tin Machine project, the secret ingredient that gave Bowie the edge. Tin Machine whether they meant to or not, sort of threw bullets into the commercial gloss of the previous few albums Bowie released. Now, Gabrels has gone back and helped his long time collaborator and friend revive this work. Good stuff.

I even liked the “Glass Spider” Live album. Again, great work from the band, Peter Frampton in particular.  The live version of “Sons of the Silent Age” and the Diamond Dog classic “Big Brother” stand out on this one. “Blue Jean” was always a favorite of mine when played live, and the version here is fantastic.

The set also features “Dance” a collection of remixes from the era, which apparently was a scraped album release.  Collectors know each set comes with an installment called “Re:call” featuring B-sides and collectable mixes left off the albums, and this set is no different.  “Re:call 4” features single versions of some of the singles from the era, and the cringeworthy cover of “Volare” from Absolute Beginners. Fans of the goblin king will be happy to find a few songs from “Labyrinth”  here too. One of the B-Side’s “Julie” brought back a personal memory which I suppose I can share now that he’s not with us anymore.  Bowie and Gabrels were tracking songs for the “Hours” album in London at Mute Studios when Blondie released their come back single “Maria.” There were a few rumblings that the Blondie single was a bit similar to this track. I hear it , but I doubt Debbie and Co were aware of this song…one never knows.

Definitely a purchase for the die-hard fans, if you’re willing to shell out the bucks, it is a great addition to your collection.

 

New Bryan Ferry LP and Tour info…

BF-Bitter-Sweet-Announce.jpgThe album, which has been inspired by Bryan’s work on the Sky Atlantic/Netflix television series ‘Babylon Berlin’ (a German period drama based on the books by Volker Kutscher set in the 1920s), takes the musical stylings from that era and puts a new twist on well loved Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry tracks including ‘While My Heart is Still Beating’, ‘Sign of the Times’, ‘Bitter Sweet’ and ‘Dance Away’.  Whereas Ferry’s previous album in this genre The Jazz Age consisted of instrumentals, Bitter-Sweet includes 8 vocal tracks.

The album embraces ragtime, blues, and jazz, and whilst they evoke nostalgia, hearing beloved songs in a fresh and exciting way gives the record an edge of modernity; jazz in the 1920s was the soundtrack of popular culture – itself a modern invention and it’s almost as if we’re hearing it for the first time.

The album will be available on all streaming platforms and also on special CD and vinyl formats, available from the Official Bryan Ferry Store. (Please note that signed editions have now sold out.)

The Deluxe CD comes with an 18-page case bound book printed on Fine Linen uncoated paper. The Limited-Edition vinyl format includes an 180g black vinyl album in a wide spine sleeve with printed inner sleeve, both on uncoated paper with a matte dispersion finish and includes a 16-page booklet on uncoated offset paper.

The album artwork, designed in the style of the period, includes a written introduction by Princeton University musicologist Simon Morrison, and in his analysis he points out “Bitter-Sweet accomplishes what the modernists of the past, in their youthful enthusiasm, could not. Ferry’s music embraces the artifice of art as well as the artlessness of emotion so that the ‘sad affair’ described at the start leads you to ‘break down and cry’ by the end. Thus we are transported to the Berlin of the Tacheles club and the Chamäleon, to the zeitgeist of that jazz-friendly metropolis in the young 20th century – the hedonistic world of Babylon Berlin.”

Pre-order Bitter-Sweet from the Official Bryan Ferry store now!

For those of us in Germany:

Bryan Ferry is happy to announce that he will be joining this year’s 2018 Night Of The Proms tour in Germany this December.

This special 25th anniversary of The Proms in Germany will feature many guest artists playing their most well-known tracks backed with a full orchestra. Bryan Ferry will join other artists on the night for these special concerts.

Tickets for all Night Of The Proms Germany shows are now on sale – full program information can be found on the official German Night Of The Proms website.

PLEASE NOTE: These are not Bryan Ferry headline shows, and will feature multiple artists

Additional tour dates are avail here.

 

Track List for “BitterSweet”

Alphaville
Reason Or Rhyme
Sign Of The Times
New Town
Limbo
Bitter-Sweet
Dance Away
Zamba
Sea Breezes
While My Heart Is Still Beating
Bitters End
Chance Meeting
Boys And Girls

Great record store in KC: Sister Annes Records and Coffee

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If you visit Kansas City, there’s more than good BBQ in store for you. There’s great record stores too.

I had the pleasure to visit Sister Anne’s in KC this weekend.  You’re in for a treat here, as you can get an excellent cup of coffee at a reasonable price, and shop for tunes at the same time.

The store is named after Anne Winter, who sadly passed a few years ago. Anne was a moving force in the KC scene, promoting events at her record store, Recycled Sounds, running a program on indie radio, and constantly supporting the local music scene.

I found some great gems :  Silverhead’s “16 and Savaged” and a few reasonably priced James Bond OST’s to round out my collection (I like having all the different pressings of the Bonds).   They had some rarities including some amazing Brigette Bardot and KISS rarities. I was also impressed they had a limited edition set of Jamie Reid post cards, being that I have a few of his works in my own collection.

Here’s how to find them, they also have a facebookpage:

901 E 31st St
Kansas City, Missouri 64109-1444

(816) 248-0528

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