Here we are with Part the Seventeenth rearing its ugly head in our (well, rather, your) direction and all the tautologies of the past stand true in defiance of better judgments, e-mails, threats and attempted trébuchets. Do we soldier on? Sure, why not. At this point all four of you look forward to my less than clever musical musings. Plus, we break the Holy 400 today, whatever that means. But I do know what it means for the English Language and her Spellings and Grammars. It means I don’t give a flying good goddamn of a coasting fuck on roller-skates. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation between financial stability and being a complete music loser/dork? Are these things even related? Shit, now I’m babbling and getting personal, something I promised I’d never do within these digital pages…
401. RUN D.M.C. — RUN D.M.C. Regardless of what you know of hip-hop and whether you like it or not, chances are Run D.M.C. has affected you in some way. I like “Hollis Crew” on this slab.
402. JEFF BECK — TRUTH. Admittedly, the only full Beck album that I’ve listened to was his first, Truth. And I dug it, though also admittedly; I am a bigger fan of his work with the Yardbirds than the solo shit. “Beck’s Bolero” co-written with Yardbird alum Jimmy Page is my fave here.
403. THE YARDBIRDS — ROGER THE ENGINEER. The Yardbirds first. Solid. Great listen. Also known as either the Self-titled album or Over Under Sideways Down. Beck trucks it through.
404. LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS — TEARS ON MY PILLOW / TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. Arguably, the A side is one of the prettiest and loveliest songs ever. Little Anthony is the fucking man. An excellent 45. An excellent outlook on life.
405. BOBBY WOMACK — FLY ME TO THE MOON. Soul’s Womack’s first full-length cut and worth every black moment of rhythm and blues and soul and funk, fun and despair, ahh… so chocolate.
406. WANDA JACKSON — ROCKING WITH WANDA JACKSON. The first lady, nay, the queen of rockabilly. Great hillbilly twangs in the voice, poise, charm, country looks and standards that defined the genre, both for the girls and boys. The female Charlie Feathers.
407. ARETHA FRANKLIN — I NEVER LOVED A MAN. While Aretha’s been in the R & R Hall of Fame since 1987, this entry really is for the man who did the keys and organ work on some of her stuff, namely this entry’s single, “I Never Loved a Man.” I’m talking about legendary session man SPOONER OLDHAM. Look him up, cuz he’s been involved in a lot of shit you’ve heard from this era.
408. PERCY SLEDGE — WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. Sledge got the nudge for the R & R Hall of Fame in 2005, but it was SPOONER OLDHAM setting the mood in this fucking classic. Is there anything old Spoonsie hasn’t turned to gold?
409. ELVIS PRESLEY — ELVIS THE KING (Box Set). This entry refers to the two sidemen inducted into the R & R Hall of Fame in 2009, Presley’s long time bass player BILL BLACK (Sun Records era) and long time drummer DJ Fontana (mostly RCA era). I mention this box set as you’ll get many examples of both men’s work.
410. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN — TIGERMILK. Not only is the cover photograph fucking hilarious but this is the album that introduced the hipster coolism of lounging and relaxing and finally brought the term “chamber music” out of retirement and into massive awesome vogueness. And it can show the broads what a sensitive dude you can be by having this in your collection. Yes, a man who loves gams and good wines and tries very, very hard to satisfy the ladies without expecting a lick in return.
411. FRANK SINATRA — IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS. Classic Sinatra cool swagger. “In the Wee Small hours of the Morning” is a great track but my fave is “I Get Along Very Well Without You (Except Sometimes)” which is Old Blue Eyes at his lovingly, most self-deprecating macho best.
412. METHOD MAN — TICAL. “Meth vs. Chef” and the title track get the most love from me, but the entire RZA production is a little nod and note all Wu-Tang alum should remember as the true recipe for success. Anybody got the last Method Man & Redman disc? Wanna let me borrow it? Huh?
413. THE CHURCHILLS — CHERCHILIM. Israel’s The Churchill’s were probably the zone’s first rock and roll act and if you can find this typical disc of the era you’ll have you a true piece of rock history. Also known as Jericho Jones (when not in Israel), I find it funny that Miki Gavrielov was in the band from beginning to end and no literature I’ve seen online refers to him as a founding member. Oh well. Those are the breaks.
414. CREAM — WHEELS OF FIRE. This double LP beaut came to mind cuz Cream was in the crossword puzzle the other day [Green Day and Cream et al. / Answer: trio. Ha hah ha!!!]. You may like the studio disc, In The Studio, or the live one better, Live at the Fillmore, but I find the masses split over this one. I like ‘em both, though the long tracks on the live slab tend to be of a “if I’m in the mood for it” kind of mood; those being “Spoonful” and “Toad.”
415. THE BEAU BRUMMELS — INTRODUCING THE BEAU BRUMMELS. 1965’s Introducing slab unleashed the Brummels on the planet and it is of a very interesting note to realize that out of the dozen tracks on this album, ten were originals; fucking sweet for the time. Anarchy!
416. OTIS REDDING — THE GREAT OTIS REDDING SINGS SOUL BALLADS. This reminds me of that Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy SNL skit were they do Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder respectively and Piscopo tells some studio cronie, “I wanna make an album for young people to enjoy, that’s why I’m calling this, Frank Sinatra Sings Songs For Young People.” Otis sings soul ballads for soulful people. Cool, smooth and oh so chocolate.
417. BOOKER T. & THE MG’S — MCLEMORE AVENUE. Their nod to the Beatles’ Abbey Road down to the cover art showing a photo of the group crossing the road where Stax Records called it home. Kinda reminds me of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66’s Foursider with the Beatles work. Awesome album.
418. ANTONELLO VENDITTI — LE COSE DELLA VITA. Ahh… youth and memories and all these Italian albums bring back those early moments of life where my love for music listening was developed. The album’s just like his cover photo: fierce, slightly angry and sexy. “Stupida Signora,” “Mariù” and “Il treno delle sette” are my faves here. Yum.
419. JAY DILLA — JAY LOVE JAPAN. I don’t know who did what to who or how this album came about or if it’s a boot or not… all I know is that it rocks Dilla cool, it’s got the rising sun cover art and it’s got nine tracks. The real loss here is Dilla’s untimely and tragic death. Oh well. Those are the breaks.
420. AIR — TALKIE WALKIE. Admittedly, Air rules, but it was the repeat function on a certain FIFA PS2 game that got me all gaga over “Surfing on a Rocket” that I ran out and bought this album. The video for “Alpha Beta Gaga” gives me a western oriented hard-on. Excellent.
421. LA BANDA DE LA BANANA VOLADORA — LA BANDA DE LA BANANA VOLADORA. One of Venezuela’s finest all around ska outfits. Political, danceable and fun. This, their first effort is fucking great. Traditional, two-tone, ska-punk and straight up reggae are all here, done with equal energy and aplomb. Gorgeous. Even my mom liked it.
422. THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS — PUSH THE BUTTON. I am not a big Chemical Brothers fan, but this album kinda grew on me real quick. A fun listen.
423. RHYTHM COLLISION — NOW. I got this disc from them at a show that they played with Bracket and Tilt I believe back in 1994 and I’ve loved all twenty-two tracks on this since. Great pop-punk with a strong California influence. Fun and kinda low-fi, it sucks that they got lost in the shuffle of the mid-90’s punk-crap explosion. Available on Amazon.com, used for a good price. Or I could burn it for you on a let’s exchange tapes kind of way.
424. HELMET — MEANTIME. Slow, heavy, awesome. Much better than Betty and I’m pretty sure that this might be the first time I may or may not write about something twice, but I just really, really like this album. Saw ‘em at Bayfront with Sausage and The Rollins Band. Good show. So what if I doubled up? It was bound to fucking happen. Ha!
425. LOS ILEGALES — CHICOS PALIDOS PARA LA MAQUINA. Spain’s Los Ilegales were always a darker Hombres G and a slightly less punkish La Polla Records, but they were overall good with some seriously twisted subject matters (frogs, drugs, highway corpses, etc…) with an underlying Nazi Germany humor in the mix. Fucking awesome if you get the joke.