Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Thursday, 30 October 2014

2014 Catch-Up Part 4

Welcome to the fourth and final part in this short series of posts where I run through the as-yet unblogged records found during this year's car boot season.  This at least takes us up to August 31st - I've a whole pile of vinyl from after this date waiting to appear too!

First up, a couple from the late, great Donna Summer:

Donna Summer - A Love Trilogy (1976)

A Love Trilogy (which cost me £1) was Donna's third album and the first of two released in '76 (the other being Four Seasons Of Love).  Produced by Pete Bellotte and Giorgio Moroder, Side 1 follows in the footsteps of previous album Love To Love You Baby with a single long track, Try Me I Know We Can Make It, which unlike the trilogy it purports to be is actually composed of four movements.  It doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the game-changing Love To Love you Baby, but at almost 18 minutes long and with a pounding bass, relentless disco beat and Donna's decorative vocals, it certainly serves its purpose.  Side 2 keeps up the pace with three more disco tracks including a breathy Could It Be Magic.

Also for £1 was album number seven - Bad Girls , which topped the charts in the US and made no. 23 here in the UK:

Donna Summer - Bad Girls (1979)

Donna's records with Bellotte and Moroder were mixed for non-stop dancing, and the opening one-two punch (Hot Stuff and Bad Girls) on the first side of this double album are a perfect example of this.

It's not until Side 3 that we get to have rest when Donna delivers a quartet of slowies, then things pick up once again with a trio of disco tracks.  The electronics are squelchier on this final side - and distinctly farty in the case of the 'I Feel Love'-aping Lucky.

Bad Girls - their only crimes were those against fashion.

Way back at the beginning of June I was delighted to find a copy of Van Morrison's Moondance in excellent condition for £1:

Van Morrison - Moondance (1970)

I'd already bought it on CD last year, but the thought of leaving it behind was unbearable. Morrison took a 10-month break after the release of Astral Weeks before he begin writing songs for this soulful, often delicate follow-up record of folk, rock and R&B.  My top track: the achingly beautiful Into The Mystic, which you can catch me playing on Episode 5 of the Car Boot Vinyl Diaries Cloudcast.  Moondance takes its rightful place at no. 65 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

If you're a regular reader of the blog you may remember that in my post on boot sale and charity shop perennials I was keen to snap up the next copy I saw of the the Carpenters' Singles 1969-1973, because as well as having some slightly different mixes and re-recorded vocals, an online source promised "newly recorded bridges and transition material so that each side of the album would play through with no breaks".  I found a very nice copy at a boot sale not long after for 50p:

Carpenters - The Singles 1969-1973 (1973)

There are in fact very few of these transitions; the first side opens with an excerpt from (They Long To Be) Close To You, then goes into the lovely We've Only Just Begun.  After this we have to wait through three songs before Superstar glides into Rainy Days and Mondays, which then drifts beautifully into Goodbye To Love, ending the side.  There are no segues at all on Side 2, although each track is edited closer together than normal so it flows nicely.

This minor disappointment aside, the songs are of course peerless, so my 50p was still very well spent.

I picked up a copy of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 1976 debut for £1 at the beginning of June:

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1976)

It's a solid album of American heartland rock, with perhaps a couple of more forgettable tracks, but with songs like the riff-tastic Strangered In The Night, the Springsteen-esque Hometown Blues and Byrdsian closer American Girl, it's a must-have for even casual fans of Tom & co.

Yorkshire-born arranger Geoff Love's prolific career included several albums of music from the movies, including this one:

Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Big Western Movie Themes (1969)

Big Western Movie Themes perfectly conjures up the desperate, lawless inhospitality of the great American West of the movies, as well as the quiet beauty of the arid landscapes that films like How The West Was Won, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad & the Ugly brought to screens in glorious Technicolour.  A total of 12 themes are presented here by Geoff's versatile orchestra, from the older classics to spaghetti westerns.  I didn't have to pay a fistful of dollars for it either - this neat package evoking the romance and danger of the mountains and prairies cost me 20p.

Also costing just 20p was this double album of South African pop:

Various Artists - Sounds Of Soweto (1987)

This collection of songs may have an upbeat cheerfulness, but subject matters are more serious, ranging from murdering gangsters to apartheid, not to mention food and fuel shortages.  There's plenty of love and sex too, all boasting a distinct 80s sound.  My favourite tracks are those by Lumumba featuring Alexandra-born singer Condry Ziqubu, especially Kiss Kiss, the tale of "a rich old woman slaking her appetites on young men". Lawks!

Don't forget you can hear tracks from many of these albums, and more besides, on the Car Boot Vinyl Diaries Cloudcast archive:

Friday, 24 October 2014

2014 Catch-Up Part 3

And now to the third part of my car boot vinyl catch-up, covering some of the records I've picked up over the summer months.  The previous parts can be found here and here.

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: 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)
Hula-hoops ahoy!

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:

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

Inner gatefold

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:

Monday, 20 October 2014

2014 Catch-Up Part 2

This is the second in a four-part catch-up of the records I got from this season's car boot sales here on the (mostly) sunny Suffolk coast.  Part 1 can be found here:

In July I picked up Bruce Springsteen's debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. in great condition for £1:

Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ

Although it received positive reviews upon release, the spirited, industrious rock'n'roll of Greetings.. only sold an initial 25,000 copies in its first year.  Since then it's deservedly sold much better and has won the position of no. 379 on Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list.  I have this on CD already, but couldn't leave it behind for the sake of a quid.

Another Bruce record I have on CD and again couldn't resist on vinyl, this time for £3 from a boot sale in August, was 1982's Nebraska:

Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska (1982)

Famously written and recorded as a series of demos, the ten tracks that make up the album were released unaltered from the cassette Springsteen made at home on a 4-track recorder after sessions with the E Street band failed to capture their rawness.  It's a dark, haunting record with mainly bleak, often harrowing stories of violence, escape and death. If you don't already have it, I recommend it highly.

More lightweight but equally good fayre next, in the shape of the Average White Band's second album AWB:

Average White Band - AWB (1974)

Released forty years ago (in the year of my birth), AWB was Scots funksters The Average White Band's debut for Atlantic after leaving MCA, reaching no. 6 in the UK album chart. Sadly, drummer Robbie McIntosh died the same year of an accidental heroine overdose so this album represents his best, last work.  Steve Ferrone took over the sticks and the band's subsequent LPs Cut The Cake and Soul Searching also entered the top ten.  I paid £1 for this corker of an album.

Another £1 bargain was this album from sophisticated chanteuse Françoise Hardy:

Françoise Hardy - In English (1969)

'In English' is exactly what you'd expect - Ms Hardy taking a break from her native tongue and singing a selection of her material in English, including her biggest UK hit All Over The World.  Note that this is a slightly different version of her 1966 album of the same name and more confusingly, uses the same cover photograph as 1967's Ma Jeunesse Fout Le Camp.  My top track: the beautiful Autumn Rendezvous.

One particularly hot Sunday in July saw me spending £4 on this 1980s repress (with the CBS 'Nice Price' inner sleeve) of Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home:

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

Containing such classics as Subterranean Homesick Blues, Maggie's Farm and It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), it rightly takes its place at no. 31 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  You can hear me playing On The Road Again (and lots more besides) on Episode 7 of the Car Boot Vinyl Diaries Cloudcast here:

Also featured on Episode 7 is a song from South African male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo's 25th album, 1987's Shaka Zulu, which I bought for £1:

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Shaka Zulu (1987)

The soothing a capella recording consists of new versions of previously released material, this time produced by Paul Simon with whom they forged a musical relationship during their appearance on Graceland the year before.  Some of the songs are sung in English, and this accessibility, coupled with Simon's involvement, made it a hit in the US leading to a Grammy award for Best Traditional Folk Recording.

Lastly - for Part 2 of the Catch-Up at least - again for £1, was Difford & Tilbrook's self-titled release from 1984:

Difford & Tilbrook (1984)

I can't find a chart placing for this sole album as a duo made two years after Squeeze split, so I'm assuming it didn't do that well, which is a shame as although it has a rather dated 80s quality that's quite brittle in places, there's melody aplenty.  Standout tracks are singles Hope Fell Down and Love's Crashing Waves.  It's hard to find these days, so grab it if you see it.

Part 3 of the Catch-Up to follow soon-ish; in the mean time keep up with my boot sale finds on Twitter @VinylCarBooty and listen to the CVBD Cloudcasts here:

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

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cloudcast Episode 9 now online!

The 9th edition of the CBVD Cloudcast has just been uploaded to Mixcloud, featuring freshly hand-picked records from the car boot sales of sunny Suffolk.