It’s been a while since I have done this. Not sure why, more than likely it’s a time thing as I spend most of my free time telling off my children, or telling off my wife. And as any keen record collector knows, finding excellent and unusual old LPs these days is getting harder and harder, as everyone seems to know bloody everything and want to ask daft prices for things quite a lot of the time too. And I really don’t have endless pots of money to throw into over-priced black wax that often just sits silently on shelf once bought. I have my principles. A good example of what I am encountering at the moment happened a few weeks ago. Quite a rare soundtrack I’d been after turned up for sale on ebay uk. I’ve been after it for about five years. It had a starting price of £75 which I thought was about twice its actual value. So, I emailed the bloke and asked if he’d take an offer, and sensibly he said he’d wait to see how it does at auction. Ten days later it remained unsold – no bids at all, by which time I’d kind of lost interest in it and with the sound clips he’d provided I’d also realized that it was actually quite dull. A day after the auction ended, the seller emailed me and asked if I wanted it for £100, and as a deal sweetener he’d throw in the UK postage. So, the man couldn’t sell his LP for £75, but then offers it to me for £100?!? Bonkers! Then he gets a bit angry when I offer him about £40 (which is sort of understandable I guess). This seems to be the way at the moment. I doesn’t help that I’m far too tight to spend huge money on records. So I have to do what I’ve always done and wait for years until a record appears that I think is cheap enough. But I’m used to it now. Two of the LPs in this list have taken me over ten years to find, one used to sell for about £250 and I bought it for £18 a couple of months ago. So it pays to wait I think. Here endeth the lesson, and these are the records floating HMS Trunk at the moment.
THE PALMER ROCKEY ALBUM:
A decade of searching to find it, and now it’s even more of a musical obsession. Terrifying for a number of reasons, and strangely addictive for reasons I can’t quite fathom. I suppose it’s the musical equivalent of smack. Or PCP. Or something. And the good news is it’s coming out, right here in September. You have been warned. Warn others please.
A right sod of a library album to find, I’d practically given up, then all of a sudden an unexpected email comes in from a record dealer asking if I happen to want it. Yes, I really want it bad was the answer. I now have it, and when I play it the four fish in the bowl on the kitchen table gaze at me with much love. Then they forget.
Weirdy and lovely French / Italian Morricone album. I’ve only ever seen it once with the original black and red French cover. Wow, that really is interesting.
A LINA WERTMULLER SOUNDTRACK:
This has it all, odd cabaret style madness, sort of bananas jazz, unexpected musical things and a picture of a man in chains with a mask on coming out of the sea on the front. And Lina looks like Sue Pollard on the back.
SIMON FISHER TURNER MEETS CAGE:
I believe this is an old remix or something like that of John Cage by the legend / teen pin-up that is Salmon Fish Or Tuna. The best way to describe it is that it’s like a dance record with no dancing.
This is here because the sleeve has to be seen. This came from the hip hop collection of David Toop which appeared in two different record shops here in North and East London a few weeks ago. Toop of course wrote the legendary Rap Attack book in 1984 (and other excellent books too). This record is in that rap book for obvious and possibly subversive reasons.
I love this record, it’s an early 80s British cassette thing now issued by an Italian, musically quite grubby and angry but in a playful fashion. Trouble is I’ve still not had bloody time to get down with it and it remains sealed and sat next to the deck, but I can sort of remember what it sounded like in the shop when I bought it and that’s what I hear in my head when I see the cover, so I am kind of listening to it really.
JIM GORDON PLAYS HEAVY:
Not quite sure what Jim Gordon was up to here, and I’m still trying to work out if it’s really excellent and quite mind-blowing or very average indeed. Musically I think it falls between two stools, a large steaming doggy pavement one, and possibly a human one.
THE ROOTS OF HEAVEN:
Superb orchestral score from Mr Malcolm Arnold, with the most beautiful love theme I have ever heard. Well heard recently anyway. I’m not surprised it’s a good love theme, just look at that lovely lady on the front, fresh from her steamy jungle shower.
Had to make a CDR for a garden party the other week - I still always have to have a little bit of classic Brazilian loveliness in my summertime and this is one of those albums that crept onto the CDR. Any ideas where the bloke on the front got his sandals? I’d love some just like them. I bought a similar pair the other week and my wife accused me of turning gay. Or at least my feet had.
Staying on the Brazilian tip, this bloke made a great album for Verve in the last 60s, totally overlooked and has some inspired and most usual moments. His version of Mas Que Nada has to be one of the best I’ve ever heard, all a bit dangerous, a bit trancy and bass heavy. This may explain why he looks so pleased with himself on the sleeve. Although at the time he had no idea at the time it was going to be such a quickly forgotten LP. And like all great forgotten Brazilian LPs, I found this is Brussels.
THE GANIMIAN ALBUM:
This is one of those LPs that is impossible to find unless you want to part with masses of money. And even more masses of money if you want the early stereo pressing. Anyway, it’s a great novelty LP, raving mad in a basic but effective East-Meets-West fashion. This includes the super duper titty shakin’ Come With Me To The Casbah cue. Which is nothing like what The Clash did three decades later.
Most excellent Guy Warren album that will no doubt be one of the #50pFriday albums coming up soon. A consistent and lively listen knocking on the door of rap and also that progressive African sound developed by Fela Kuti a few years later. Really superb and very clever indeed.
EGG AND CHIPS:
Tommy Steele meets John Barry meets Anthony Newley – a genius song about stuffing yourself silly at the corner café in order to keeping eyeing-up the waitress who you have a crush on. Thanks to Weegee for the heads up on this one. And I ask you, can you have more fun for £1. I mean this is a classic £1 shit record. It’s practically an anthem round here.
RIDDLE PLAYS GERSHWIN:
Most excellent EP of the great arranger having a bit of fun with the great composer’s work. I must be growing up a bit. Of course would have been far more exciting if it had been The Riddler Plays Gershwin.
Very hip plugged-in Italian album that is often referred to as a library LP but I believe it’s really just an electric studio experiment based on the signs of the zodiac. Anyway, it sounds like Carl Craig ten years before Carl Craig made a noise, which is pretty incredible. Apparently one of the cues here, Gemini I think, was issued by a contemporary artist as one of his “original cues”, and all he did was rip it completely and rename it. Cool!
LET’S HAVE A LUAU:
Mysterious and mythical Hawaiian oddness. Paul Page is the man of Hawaii, a sort of beatnik drunk musical dude. Imagine Ken Nordine in a grass skirt and you are kinda there. This is excellent, especially when the weather is all muggy and tropical, which is has been of late.
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