Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Monday, 27 February 2012

Living To Music March 2012

Join in if you can, alone or with friends, this Sunday at 9pm with Greg Wilson's Living To Music worldwide communal listening experience. The selected album this month is Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Spark of spring

Today was bright and sunny, if a bit nippy, but I went to my first car boot sale of the new year - about flippin' time too, as I've been suffering from vinyl withdrawal.

There were quite a few stalls for the time of year and I came away with four records, the first of which was Sparks' Kimono My House for 50p:

Sparks - Kimono My House (1974)

Released in the spring of 1974, Kimono My House was Sparks' third album and their first with Island Records.  It opens with one of their best known singles 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us' and is swiftly followed by another top tune 'Amateur Hour'.  In fact there isn't really a duff track here; this is why it was their breakthrough album, reaching no.4 in the UK.  The two opening songs reached no.2 and 7 respectively in the UK singles chart.

The front cover features two members of a Japanese dance troupe who were currently touring the country.  The lack of band name or album title on the front was a bold move that paid off - the striking image alone seemed to be enough to get attention.

                                Sparks – Amateur Hour

I stumbled across these videos on youtube today, showing firstly how vinyl masters are made and cut, with Part 2 about the process of LP pressing.  If you know nothing about how vinyl is produced, take a look; it's fascinating:

Wow, they make records from biscuits!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Blow By Blow

Former Yardbird Jeff Beck released his seventh album (and first under just his own name), Blow By Blow, in 1975.  I picked up a copy at a car boot sale just before Christmas for £3:

Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow (1975)

His first instrumental release, it's an energetic jazz fusion album featuring contributions from Stevie Wonder and long-time collaborator Max Middleton, as well as a reworking of Lennon and McCartney's "She's A Woman".  Wonder plays clavinet on his song "Thelonius" and George Martin produced the album as a whole.

Top tracks (Spotify):  Jeff Beck – You Know What I Mean

                                         Jeff Beck – She's A Woman

                                         Jeff Beck – Scatterbrain

Blow By Blow reached no.4 on the US Billboard album chart.

This album was among the last of the car boot vinyl I picked up in 2011, on a very chilly Sunday a week before Christmas.  The boot sales I went to during the autumn and winter threw up a pretty good selection of vinyl and I'm looking forward to getting back out there in the spring and trawling through some more boxes of dusty old records!  Here's a selection from the last few months:

 Roll on springtime!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

So Emotional

Like a lot of pop fans today I was really sad to hear about the death of Whitney Houston.  I loved her early records, and was pleased to find a 12" copy of So Emotional for 50p in a charity shop a couple of years ago:

Whitney Houston - So Emotional Extended Mix (1987)

Here it is playing on my old record player:

For more poor-quality home videos of crackly old records, see my youtube channel "Random records on my Dual HS 34".

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Make way for the Homo Superior

Hunky Dory was David Bowie's fourth album and his first after moving to RCA from Mercury.  I got a copy on eBay a few weeks back for around a fiver:

David Bowie - Hunky Dory (1971)

It's one of Bowie's most accessible records, front-loaded as it is with the monster trio of Changes, Oh! You Pretty Things and Life On Mars.

After modest success with Space Oddity and The Man Who Sold The World, Bowie seems to have really knuckled down to his songwriting, for Hunky Dory is his first masterpiece.  Acoustic folk-rock like Quicksand and Song For Bob Dylan ("voice like sand and glue") is well represented, my absolute favourite being the sweet, touching love song to his new baby son Duncan, "Kooks".


Elsewhere the piano reigns, Bowie making maximum use of the talents of Rick Wakeman before he left to join Yes.  Electric riffage is provided by guitarist Mick Ronson, where on tribute to Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground "Queen Bitch", the path to Ziggy Stardust is revealed.

It's a very English album, and Bowie employs his always- amusing "Cocker-ney" accent on final track The Bewlay Brothers.

Bowie in '71 (yum)
It wasn't a huge commercial success at first, but when Ziggy Stardust was released in June 1972, Hunky Dory's sales were given a deserved boost, peaking at no.3 in the UK.  To pick a few top tracks is too much of an ask, so listen to it all on Spotify here: David Bowie – Hunky Dory

Original Rolling Stone review here:

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Live fast, die young...

No vinyl, no car boot sale find, but I just have to post this vid of MIA's new single Bad Girls.  After the disappointment of her last album, it's a real pleasure to hear her completely back on form.  Yay!