Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Golden Years part 3

It's been a while since my last proper post and there's no excuse really other than laziness, but I'll try to explain it anyway: during the last few months of 2012 I amassed a lot of music.  I got lots of CDs and records for my birthday and for Christmas, plus I had a bit of birthday money which got spent on music too.  Of course I continued to go to boot sales at the weekends, and found plenty of irresistible bargains at those.  With the usual end-of-year best albums lists floating around all over the place my Spotify listening increased also, meaning that I rather overwhelmed myself with music for the latter part of the year. Ongoing chronic pain made for a pretty grumpy Christmas too, so what with one thing and another this blog got a little neglected, something I aim to put right over the coming weeks.  To this end, this post is about some of the best-of comps I picked up towards the end of the year.

First is The Golden Hour of The Lovin' Spoonful's Greatest Hits, £2 from a charity shop:

The Golden Hour of The Lovin' Spoonful's
Greatest Hits (1974)

Folk-pop group The Lovin' Spoonful described their songs as "good-time music" and they had their greatest streak of success in 1965-6, with nine US top 20 singles and three top 40 albums.  Their best-known hits are probably Daydream, Do You Believe In Magic and of course Summer In The City; their biggest single which reached no.1 in the US and no.8 in the UK.  A change of producer and other personnel in 1967-8 led to their eventual split in '69 but they left behind a large, if often overlooked legacy, 24 examples of which are in this collection.

Next up is The World of Amen Corner, an eBay bargain at £1.99:

The World of Amen Corner (1969)

Welsh rockin' popsters Amen Corner began life playing blues/jazz inflected music but experienced their greatest success when they adopted a more commercial sound.  Their first smash hit came in 1968 when Bend Me Shape Me reached no.3 in the UK, and their biggest single was 1969's If Paradise Is (Half as Nice) which scored the top spot for two weeks.  They disbanded later the same year.

Continuing with the 60's theme, next is Hollies' Greatest which cost £2 at a boot sale:

Hollies Greatest (1968)

Manchester group The Hollies released a staggering 67 singles between 1967 and 2005, 28 of which entered the UK top 40. This collection of fourteen songs contains those that included founder member Graham Nash and was released after he left the band in 1968. It was their most successful album, topping the UK chart for six weeks.  After quitting The Hollies Nash formed supergroup CSN with Steven Stills and former Byrd David Crosby, which leads us to my next hits compilation:

The Byrds' Greatest Hits (1967)

This is a collection of songs from The Byrd's heyday in terms of charting singles, with eight top 50 US hits (the highest positions coming from Eight Miles High, Mr.Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!) and three album tracks, all taken from their first four LPs.  Unsurprisingly it was their biggest selling album of all, although it didn't chart in the UK.  It's been re-issued several times over the years - this original UK mono release was bought at a boot sale.  I already own all of the tracks on various albums but at just £2 I couldn't bear to leave it there!

Last of all is Canned Heat Cook Book (The Best of Canned Heat) bought for £2 at a boot sale:

Canned Heat Cook Book (The Best of Canned Heat)

Like The Byrds, Canned Heat formed in California in the mid-sixties.  However, their sound is that of the South; a bluesey, swampy, Southern-fried kind of rock.  Their two biggest hits, Going Up The Country and On The Road Again were both covers/re-workings of blues numbers.  These both appear here along with eight other songs from their first four LPs, often referred to as their "classic period" as the line-up has gone through dozens of mind boggling changes over the years since then.  A version of Canned Heat still tours to this day.

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