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There's a lot to love about Dusty in Memphis....Wexler and Dowd production....The A-Team as backing musicians....Reggie Young on guitar...I think it's a gem of an album.

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Don't need new music until this is organized.

I’ve been on a huge Redd Kross kick.  This is one of the greatest TV performances I’ve ever seen.  

I've always liked this guy's tone and style... and a few excellent notes in the solo as well~

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Is that the real deal, an original 6-eye Columbia pressing?

This morning I got the urge to hear Mussourgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," and came to realize that I have seven eight different versions on LP. I picked out one I'd never played, Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic on Columbia Masterworks, plucked from an antique pavilion for $1.

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Huzzah! This thing is fantastic and is now my go-to "Pictures" recording. Great performance--now I understand why Zubin makes the big bucks. But the recording is also stunning, with sparkling clarity and knock-you-down dynamics.

Mussorgsky toward the end was a hot mess, starting compositions he couldn't finish, his life chaotic and disorganized. Heavily alcoholic, he died at 42. In fact, he only completed "Pictures" for piano. After he died Maurice Ravel arranged the piano piece for orchestra, which is part of the standard repertoire today.

This shows how much he slid downhill in his last five years.

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Edited by JohnnyB
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I was sifting through my LP overflow shelves downstairs and came across this; didn't know I had it:

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Giving it a spin now and having a good time. Oops, a bit too dusty. I'll have to put it aside to clean. Next I tried Chick Corea's "My Spanish Heart" from 1976. A bit too mid-'70s for me, with too much trippy Aarp Vark, although the straight-ahead jazz is good and it's really well recorded. Back to the stack I brought up from overflow...

Now I'm on to "The Twain Shall Meet" by Eric Burdon and the Animals. It has their hits, "Monterey" (about the iconic 1967 Monterey Pop Festival) and "Sky Pilot. This is another discovery in the overflow shelves. It's an original from 1967. It turns out it was just reissued on vinyl in February.

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A lot of groups swung for the fence in 1967; The Beatles with Sgt. Peppers, Moody Blues w/Days of Future Past; Jefferson Airplane with Surrealistic Pillow, The Doors with ... The Doors, and this effort by Eric Burdon. Quite a departure from "House of the Rising Sun." And if Brian Wilson had gotten any cooperation from the rest of the Beach Boys, his "Smile" opus would have joined this 1967 burst of creativity.

Edited by JohnnyB
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Spun this one a day or two ago. Got it cheap in a batch of classical albums offa eBay last Fall.

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Dvorak's Symphony #9 (The New World) has a high level of accessibility. It has drama, luscious orchestrations, and at least three themes that have made their way into our cultural landscape. One theme was adapted for the 1984 Ken Russell film, "Crimes of Passion." Another was adapted into a folk hymn, "Goin' Home." Lennie was the first American-born conductor of stature in the 20th century. When he was on his game in the '50s and '60s especially, he conducted a lot of kick-ass recordings, including this one. Lennie was so popular at the time, a close-up headshot was sure to sell the album, as you see here.

Great performance and great sonics.

Edited by JohnnyB
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Just got back from Nashville. Sooooooooooooo

David Allan Coe's "Greatest Hits" and Bob Dylan's "Basement Tapes". Among others we saw Ray Wylie Hubbard in a small club, $15, 30 feet away, GREAT SHOW!!

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Wife, daughter, and I throwing darts, and listening to Live @ Budokan tonight.

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The energy captured from that concert is incredible. My favorite is "I Want You to Want Me," with Petersson's 12-string thrum driving the song and the audience shouting responses in time to the music.

Edited by JohnnyB
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Most Esteemed Redhead, being ten years my junior, sometimes missed out on cultural and musical references I take for granted.

One such situation arose yesterday and I plunked Steppenwolf's "Monster" album down.

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I'm always impressed by the quality of their recordings. Tight, crisp straight-ahead rock with a minimum of gimmickry, even when they get kozmic (like, say, the middle of Magic Carpet ride).

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I wanted something a little different (for me) to wind down with last night so I picked out a '70s classic I had plucked from a vinyl bargain bin for 75 cents but hadn't played, Paul Simon's first solo album, "There Goes Rhymin' Simon." I was in college when this came out and opening song "Kodachrome" was all over the airwaves back then.

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I had heard cuts from this album throughout '73-'74. I'd heard 'em on my first stereo rig. I'd heard'em on state-of-the-art equipment at the stereo store I worked at.

I poured myself a Jameson's & seltzer and sat down to spin the record.

Holy Crap! This thing, besides being a clinic in good songwriting, is also a master class in studio production and musicianship. Many of the songs were recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, produced by Phil Ramone. On my present rig, I heard these songs as I'd never heard them before. Then it occurred to me that--with 42 years of further electronics and speaker evolution--I was probably hearing better playback than the Phil and the engineers heard in the control booth.

When CD sales overtook LP sales in 1987, playback equipment--and especially mass market turntable technology--had never reached the full potential of LPs as a playback medium. We really didn't know what he had. Now I know, and it's simply amazing.

Many of these songs have a dense production, with multiple acoustic guitars, a bangin' rhythm section, and great vocal backups, superbly performed, recorded, and mixed. This album is a lot of fun, and the more you can hear into it, the better.

Although I couldn't afford one myself in 1972, a typical popular rig of the day was a Dual turntable ($150), Marantz 2245 receiver ($500), and a pair of JBL Century L100 "bookshelf" speakers ($580). This totaled about $1200 in 1972 money. That would be $6800 in today's money. My playback system comes to less at $6K and there's no way a '70s Dual/Marantz/JBL dorm system could come within sniffing distance of my LP-based system. $6K seems like a lot of money today, but we routinely spent that and more on music gear back then (as well as about $25 per album, adjusted).

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JohnnyB, I like how you spread your legs from Cheap Trick to Paul Simon and into further categories.

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In honor of BB King's passing, I'm finally getting around to spinning his eponymous 1964 recording, "Live at the Regal." On the left is the cover best known for that album, but the pressing on the right is the one I have, rescued from a vinyl bargain bin for a buck.

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BB didn't come up on my radar until around 1968; by then he was about 43. This recording was made when he 39, probably at the absolute height of his vocal power and range, though he managed to hang onto that for a long time. Anyway, this thing is pretty definitive from when he was known and popular, but not crossover famous yet.

Fast forward a few years to 1970. Now spinning a meticulous remaster 180g pressing of Van Morrison's His Band and the Street Choir. Opens with "Domino." Early Rod Stewart solo albums are sometimes described as pub rock. In pub rock, you usually have guitars, bass, and drums, possibly keyboards, but the only consistently ampflified instrument is bass guitar. Sometimes you'll hear mandolin, squeezebox, and other acoustic instruments. You could say the same of same-era Van Morrison. You could further delineate them as Scottish Pub Rock (Stewart) and Irish Pub Rock (Van Morrison). Morrison is particularly deft with R&B-based tunes. This makes sense as he got his start playing sax in R&B bands and handles the sax parts and solos on this album. Regardless of category, it's great stuff, catchy tunes, precisely and sharply performed and powerfully delivered. Lots of fun.

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Edited by JohnnyB
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I've been a busy spinner today. Spinning BB King made me think of Sinatra, BB's favorite singer. So I stumbled across this (didn't know I had it):

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It's a tribute to Sinatra's time with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. There couldn't be a more apropros tribute. Dorsey taught things to Sinatra that defined him as a unique vocal artist, both related to phrasing that defined him and the seemingly supernatural breath control that made it possible. For phrasing, Dorsey told Sinatra to listen to Bing to learn how to phrase a song. Then Dorsey let Frank in on a secret--how he could play long passages on the trombone by (I don't know how he got this to work) breathing in at the corners of his mouth while blowing the trombone through the mouthpiece. Frank learned the technique and adapted it to famously singing phrases that served the lyrics instead of being limited by a normal human's need to take a breath.

Then I stumbled on another album I didn't know I had: Toots Thielemans, Joe Pass, and bassist Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson, Live in the Netherlands, recorded in 1980 and released 1982. We all know Joe Pass, but Thielemans is a triple threat--a very melodic jazz guitarist, a wide range whistler who can double his own solo lines by whistling his improvisations an octave higher, and the ne plus ultra in playing the chromonica. Listen to him and you'll know where Stevie Wonder learned to transition from blues harp to chromonica. Toots is the master. I played this while flipping burgers in the kitchen and it made drudgery into a pleasure, as good music does.

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I've been a busy spinner today. Spinning BB King made me think of Sinatra, BB's favorite singer. So I stumbled across this (didn't know I had it):

61ckYOG5YpL._SS280.jpg

It's a tribute to Sinatra's time with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. There couldn't be a more apropros tribute. Dorsey taught things to Sinatra that defined him as a unique vocal artist, both related to phrasing that defined him and the seemingly supernatural breath control that made it possible. For phrasing, Dorsey told Sinatra to listen to Bing to learn how to phrase a song. Then Dorsey let Frank in on a secret--how he could play long passages on the trombone by (I don't know how he got this to work) breathing in at the corners of his mouth while blowing the trombone through the mouthpiece. Frank learned the technique and adapted it to famously singing phrases that served the lyrics instead of being limited by a normal human's need to take a breath.

Then I stumbled on another album I didn't know I had: Toots Thielemans, Joe Pass, and bassist Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson, Live in the Netherlands, recorded in 1980 and released 1982. We all know Joe Pass, but Thielemans is a triple threat--a very melodic jazz guitarist, a wide range whistler who can double his own solo lines by whistling his improvisations an octave higher, and the ne plus ultra in playing the chromonica. Listen to him and you'll know where Stevie Wonder learned to transition from blues harp to chromonica. Toots is the master. I played this while flipping burgers in the kitchen and it made drudgery into a pleasure, as good music does.

81Z3sizYNbL._SX355_.jpg

Toots just retired last year at 92... Belgium's pride.

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81Z3sizYNbL._SX355_.jpg

Toots just retired last year at 92... Belgium's pride.

Retired already? Early quitter! :lol: He just turned 93 a few weeks ago.

For Christmas 1969 my oldest sister gave me a Quincy Jones album that featured Toots on harmonica on one song and a guitar+whistling solo on another. The fascination never left and I remember the joy of discovering this Toots album where he's fronting and not a sideman.

Although many people are unaware of Toots, they have undoubtably heard him. He did the famous harmonica solo in the opening theme on Sesame Street, the harmonica solos on Peckinpah's "The Getaway," and the harmonica theme in Midnight Cowboy.

Thielemans' filmography is pretty extensive, with over 50 film credits.

You're totally right; a national treasure for Belgium.

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Matthew Sweet-Altered Beast

This track features a Hamer B-12S...

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Right now this:

I've seen these guys twice (once with Marr in the band), and they are cool as shit live.

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