Firstly, in a 3-for-£1, singles collections from the King & Queen of country; Kenny and Dolly:
|Both Sides of Dolly Parton (1978) & The Kenny Rogers Singles Album (1978)|
Both released in the UK in 1978, this pair of compilations by past Glasto tea-timers really hit the spot with their melodic country-pop taking in tales of cheatin', beatin' and hard times.
For £1 was this greatest hits from the wonderful Gladys Knight & the Pips:
|Gladys Knight & the Pips - Super Hits (1974)|
The 15-strong album compiles hits such as I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Friendship Train and their beautiful cover of Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through the Night; the second most successful version of this much-recorded song after that by country singer Sammi Smith.
Next up, for £3, not strictly belonging in the single-artist category but essentially the work of one man, Phil Spector's Echoes of the 60s:
|Phil Spector - Echoes of the 60s (1977)|
Apart from his Christmas album and the odd track here and there, my record collection was severely lacking some Phil, so I was delighted to find this album of wall-to-wall Wall of Sound brilliance a few weeks ago. It's got everything you'd expect to find; Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and loads of Crystals. It opens with the magnificent River Deep, Mountain High from Ike & Tina Turner; an exhilarating start with a quality that doesn't dip before the end of side 2.
From the same boot sale, costing £1.50, was another collection of the highest quality; this time from good old Motown:
|Jimmy Ruffin - Greatest Hits (1974)|
Big brother to David, Jimmy broke through in 1966 with the first song on this compilation; What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. This was to remain his biggest hit although there are no clunkers among the 18 songs included. David appears on final track Stand By Me:
Arizona-born Linda Ronstadt was one of the most popular and best-selling female artists of the 1970s, selling over 100 million records during her career. After leaving the trio The Stone Poneys in 1968 to go solo, she has recorded in a variety of styles and is probably best-known for her interpretations of songs by other artists. I picked up her 1976 Greatest Hits for £1:
|Linda Ronstadt - Greatest Hits (1976)|
It includes Different Drum from her days in the Stone Poneys, a cover of the Everly Brothers' When Will I Be Loved, and my favourite; her version of Neil Young's Love Is A Rose.
Another £1 find was this John Lennon compilation:
|The John Lennon Collection (1982)|
This was the first of Lennon's work to be released after his death in 1980, reaching no.1 here in the UK, making it the 10th best-selling LP of 1982. Like Jimmy's album above, it too contains a cover of Stand By Me, taken from 1975's Rock 'n' Roll album. This is the only cover, the rest being a good overview of his solo output beginning with the UK no. 2 single Give Peace A Chance up to 1980's Double Fantasy album, from which it pulls in six of the 17 tracks here.
Last but not least, again for £1, was Indiana Wants Me from R. Dean Taylor:
|R. Dean Taylor - Indiana Wants Me (1973)|
According to the sleevenotes, Canadian singer, songwriter and producer Richard Dean Taylor was the first white artist to have a hit on Tamla Motown. In the UK this was Gotta See Jane, a tale of a man speeding back to the love he left, jumping red lights all the way, with pursuing police siren effects, which reached no. 17 in 1968. The title track is similarly themed, as the protagonist, a man wanted for the murder of his girlfriend's lover, is hunted down by the Indiana police force, again with suitable sound effects. This one reached the top spot both here and in the US in 1970. My favourite song on the album is the Northern Soul tune There's A Ghost In My House, originally released to indifference in '67. After becoming popular on the NS scene it was re-released in '74 and squeezed into the UK singles chart at no. 41.
Picked up any good compilations lately, crate-diggers? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet me your pics @VinylCarBooty.