This album by Joe Tex set me back £3:
|The Soul Of Joe Tex (1967)|
Although familiar with the Southern soul of Joe Tex, I didn't recognise any of the songs from this 1967 LP on Allegro Records. It is in fact a UK version of Turn Back The Hands Of Time, an album released in the US two years previously on Pickwick/33, with a slightly different cover: http://www.discogs.com/Joe-Tex-Turn-Back-The-Hands-Of-Time/release/4305158 and identical tracklisting. Joe's discography is staggeringly large; by the time he had a hit with the million-seller Hold What You've Got he'd already released thirty singles. My top track here: ballad Could This Be Love?
On the last Sunday in June I bought a couple of Grace Jones albums, both in wonderful condition and both £1. First up, Living My Life:
|Grace Jones - Living My Life (1982)|
This was the final album of Grace's Compass Point trilogy on Island, following on from Warm Leatherette and the incredible Nightclubbing, whose reggae/dub flavour had marked a successful mutation from her disco years, and suited her vocal style perfectly. Here she branches out into songwriting; rather than the usual covers, she is credited with writing/co-writing all but one of the tracks; the almost 7-minute long The Apple Stretching by Melvin Van Peebles. I don't love it as much as her previous work with Sly & Robbie (and of course the other wonderful Compass Point musicians) but it's still a slinky, bassy must for any fan of Ms Jones, although why the title track was left off the album (but still released as a single) is anybody's guess.
It was to be her last album for a while, as film roles took up her time until Slave to The Rhythm appeared in 1985:
|Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm (1985)|
The striking cover images of both of these albums were created by artist Jean Paul Goude, with whom Grace was in a relationship at the time. This Trevor Horn-produced LP was originally intended for Frankie Goes To Hollywood and is described by Horn as "a biography". It's a concept album consisting of a set of varying interpretations of the title track fused together with fragments of Goude's biography and an Ian Penman essay being read by Lovejoy actor Ian McShane, and snippets from interviews with Jones by Paul Morley and Capital Radio's Paul Cooke. I was glad to find the vinyl version of this because on the CD release not only are these interesting segments left on the cutting room floor, the tracks themselves have been shortened and muddled around.
'Slave...' was Grace's last album on Island, reaching no. 12 in the UK and higher in other parts of Europe. A great bit of 80s art-pop, and at a quid a blinking bargain.
Next up, bought for a giddy £6, this repress (70s? 80s? You tell me - please!) of Crosby, Stills & Nash's 1969 debut:
|Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)|
|Side 1 label|
This stunning record went multi-platinum, spawned two singles (Marrakesh Express and the wonderful Suite: Judy Blue Eyes) and currently sits at number 259 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. The seven minute plus Suite: Judy Blue Eyes was the track chosen for The Boot Of Loot (in no way a shameless rip-off of Craig Charles' Trunk Of Funk) in Episode 8 of the CBVD Cloudcast, which can be heard here: http://www.mixcloud.com/CarBootVinylDiaries/car-boot-vinyl-diaries-episode-8/
The mighty Boney M. spread their brand of disco (or rather that of producer/mastermind Frank Farian) around Europe during the 1970s, and I got one of their most successful albums for 50p at a boot sale in the summer still sealed! As if no-one had wanted to hear it!
|Boney M. - Oceans Of Fantasy (1979)|
Complete with fold-out poster sleeve, too:
|The M. in all their glory: poster fold-out|
Oceans Of Fantasy was their fourth album, and followed its predecessor Nightflight To Venus to the top of the charts in the UK. It contains such delights as Bahama Mama, Bye Bye Bluebird and of course the single Gotta Go Home, as sampled by Duck Sauce for their hit Barbra Streisand. Music snobs be damned; Boney M.'s music may be a bit naff but it makes me so happy I couldn't care less!
I got this next album for free (originally priced £1) as I'd bought a rather warped Isaac Hayes LP from the seller a couple of weeks before:
|Various Artists - The Songs Lennon & McCartney|
Gave Away (1979)
It's a collection of material written during the early part of the boys' career, with the majority written with The Beatles in mind but then "given away" to other artists - mostly at first from the stable of Brian Epstein. So we have tracks from the likes of Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, The Fourmost, Cilla Black and Tommy Quickly, as well as non-NEMS artists such as Peter & Gordon, whose first three hits were Lennon-McCartney gifts/cast-offs. All three are included here, as well as their fourth record Woman, written by Paul but under the name Bernard Webb, in an experiment to see if it would sell as well without the L/M writing credit. It didn't.
The album was first released in 1971, but this re-release from 1979 has an extra track; Ringo's I'm The Greatest, also featuring John, George, Klaus Voorman and Billy Preston. Not only does it not fit with the original album concept of non-Fabs recordings, it's bloody awful as well. Apart from this opening track, Side 1 is the strongest thanks to the aforementioned NEMS gang and the Applejacks' Like Dreamers Do.
In 1962 jazz organist Jimmy Smith made a studio album with Oliver Nelson and his big band, produced by Creed Taylor, called Bashin'. A year later this was followed up by another album with the same set-up, this time recorded live over two New York dates in March, a copy of which I got for just 20p:
|Jimmy Smith - Hobo Flats (1963)|
On Hobo Flats, the master of the Hammond B3 tackles a variety of styles from bossa nova on Meditation to country on Don Gibson's I Can't Stop Loving You, as well as some rock'n'roll in the shape of Fats Domino's Blueberry Hill.
When I bought it, the rear cover had most of another album sleeve stuck to it, but with a bit of patience, working on and off over the course of a day I eventually managed to remove it, revealing the all-important sleevenotes:
|The half way point|
That's it for part three of this 2014 catch-up; part four coming soon. Don't forget to have a listen to the Cloudcast archive where you can hear me spinning tunes from lots of these finds and more: http://www.mixcloud.com/CarBootVinylDiaries/