Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Sunday, 19 October 2014

2014 Catch-Up Part 1

It's been a fruitful year on the car boot front and although I've been busy tweeting about my finds and using them to make Cloudcasts, the majority have yet to make the pages of this blog.  I intend to remedy this with a short series of catch-up posts where I'll run through the records from the main part of the season, taking us up to the 31st of August.  So, to Part 1....

When I go car-booting I take a few 50ps and £1 coins, and if I have any more spare cash, an emergency fiver or two.  Way back in June I faced an emergency in the shape of The Doors:

The Doors - Morrison Hotel (1970) [£5]

Their fifth LP, Morrison Hotel is a corker of an album with a bluesy sound that would be taken further with 1971's LA Woman, their final record with Jim before his death.  The way that the ominous Peace Frog segues into the haunting Blue Sunday is my favourite part of a phenomenal piece of work.  This copy is a UK repress, although I can't find a matching photo of the label on Discogs, i.e. with an asterisk after K 42080 A/B on the label:

Side A is called "Hard Rock Cafe", while Side B is
"Morrison Hotel".

I'm guessing it's an 80s repress, but if you can help out any info would be great.  Anyway, a top album in spanking condition constitutes an emergency in my book, so I snapped it up with no hesitation, and thank goodness, as it's one of my favourite finds of the year.

Quite a bit cheaper at 50p was Megachic: The Best Of Chic:

Megachic: The Best Of Chic (1990)

This compilation contains their first seven singles from debut album Chic through to Good Times from 1979's Risqué (some 7" edits, some long album versions) plus the UK-charting non-album single Megachic Medley from 1990.  This latter one was the reason I bought this compilation as I already have the rest on their original LPs.  It was produced and mixed by club DJ and remixer Bert Bevans, and although it has a ropey start, after the first couple of minutes this 7.30min track finds its groove and develops a very pleasant Pet Shop Boys-y vibe that's worth 50p of anybody's money.

Two further emergency fivers were spent during the summer, this time on a couple of Rolling Stones records.  Firstly, their 1964 self-titled debut album:

The Rolling Stones (1964)

Tell Me (You're Coming Back) is the sole Jagger/Richards composition here among a cracking set of R'n'B covers, including a nicely grubby version of Rufus Thomas' Walking The Dog.  This copy is of the boxed, red (mono) label variety, dating it from later than autumn 1969 when Decca introduced the silver box around their logo.  The record itself is in pretty good condition, although the laminate on the cover is a bit crinkly.

The other £5 got me a copy of their 1967 release Between The Buttons:

The Rolling Stones - Between The Buttons (1967)

This is my favourite of the two albums, although it's in slightly less good condition with a couple of skips at the beginning of Cool, Calm & Collected.  Luckily my favourite song, the whimsical LSD-alluding Something Happened To Me Yesterday is unaffected.  This copy has a red unboxed Decca logo on the label, matrix numbers XARL-7644-5A/7645-5A, which in better condition would be worth considerably more than a fiver.  Despite the condition it still sounds great, and is an album I'd probably not have bothered with and therefore missed out on if I hadn't found it at a car boot sale.

In my opinion Hotter Than July was Stevie Wonder's last great album; his 19th overall and the one that topped off his incredible run in the 1970s (Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants notwithstanding!).  Although I already have it on CD I was unable to resist a vinyl copy for just 50p a few months ago:

Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July (1980)

It spawned four UK top ten singles, including the fabulous tribute to Bob Marley Master Blaster (Jammin') and another tribute, this time of course to Martin Luther King Jr. in Happy Birthday as part of of Wonder's successful campaign to make King's birthday a national holiday in the US.  Other favourite tracks of mine are Ain't Gonna Stand For It and the ballad Lately - apparently covered by S Club 7!  I might have to check that one out.  Or not.

Quite a poignant record, this next one.  If you've read this blog before you might know that I'm fond of Teddy Pendergrass; both the artist and the man.  I bought This One's For You for £1 back in August:

Teddy Pendergrass - This One's For You (1982)

This, his sixth solo album, was released not long after the car accident that left him paralysed from the chest down for the rest of his life.  The material had been recorded before the accident; this album and the follow-up Heaven Only Knows completed his contract with Philadelphia International Records.  He finally began to record again for Asylum Records, releasing Love Language in 1984.

This One's For You is his usual winning mix of funky pop and soul balladry, with that rich, sexy voice that saw him eventually eclispe his former group Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.  There's a message from Teddy to his fans on the rear of the sleeve, which would have been written during the time of his hospital treatment and gruelling rehabilitation:
"To all my fans, to everyone who wrote, called or asked about me:
I appreciate your prayers and thoughts, however transmitted to me.  It gave me strength when I needed it, and I will always be grateful.  Soon I'll be able to see you in person, until then...this one's for you!
                               Love, Teddy."

Martha Reeves & the Vandellas had 26 hit singles between 1963 and 72.  Refreshingly, just two of them appear on this Music For Pleasure collection (with 1966's What Am I Going To Do Without Your Love? being a US-only single) that I bought for £1:

Martha Reeves & the Vandellas - Dancing In The Street (1973)

Instead it collects together album tracks and b-sides; those gems you're unlikely to hear on the radio, such as the terrific One Way Out which was on the flip of US-only hit Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone, and the buoyant Happiness Is Guaranteed from 1966 album "Watchout!"

Motown was fond of making the most of their best songs, so many were recorded by more than one artist.  There are two covers here; the Holland-Dozier-Holland-penned Mickey's Monkey was previously a hit for The Miracles in '63 before the girls recorded it for their 1965 album Dance Party.  Their version of Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike is interesting, as Gaye's '62 original actually featured Martha & the Vandellas on backing vocals and the ladies' own recording uses these same vocals as well as the original backing track, with added percussion and harmony vocals.  Typical Motown recycling!

It's definitely a compilation worth picking up if you come across it - there's not a duff track to be found and it's great to hear those lesser-known songs which are just as good as the big hits and have stood the test of time better by not being overplayed.

There are still a lot of records from the summer months to catch up on - hopefully Part 2 will be along soon.  Until then, don't forget to follow me on Twitter @VinylCarBooty (click the follow button at the top of this page) and hear me present some of my boot sale finds at

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