The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by Rudy, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    What's spinning on your system these days? Whether it's a new or old LP, a CD, or even something on your portable, let us know what you're listening to these days.
  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Just got in a couple of 180g LPs from the UK (thanks to an credit I had).


    Yep, Purple Rain came out a year or two ago on 180g vinyl. It sounds better than I remember the original LP--when it was cut by Grundman Mastering originally, Prince had wanted some distortion at the end of "Let's Go Crazy" to get a bit of that overdriven sound. This one is clean. Aside from a couple of clicks here and there (which may be dust or dirt), the vinyl is really quiet, and the bass is nice and solid on this one. A small bit of dish warp though--thankfully I have a clamp to help with that. I was very surprised that Warner actually used the original LP label (shown above), and also had an insert of the original innersleeve.

    Forgot how much I like the song "Take Me With U." Killer production on that one--that compressed acoustic guitar in the background was something unexpected the first time I heard it.

    The other 180g LP I grabbed was the ECM Records remaster of this title:


    I haven't played it much yet, but so far it seems as quiet as the other two ECM titles I picked up from the UK (the self-titled Pat Metheny Group, and Chick Corea's original Return To Forever album). This isn't my favorite of Metheny's (probably due to the Synclavier overdose), but a couple of the songs on side two have grown on me over the years.
  3. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I've been stuck on an old album that I've had for years, recently re-discovered, and recently purchased a CD issue of from 2000. It's The 5th Dimension's second album The Magic Garden. I acquired the old LP from a radio station, I suppose - I don't recall buying it, and it's been sitting on my record shelf all these years.

    About a year or so ago (it happened here in Florida, so I know it's no longer ago than that), I stumbled upon something about the album on the web, wondered if I had it, and came across the fact that I DID have it, under it's re-issue name of The Worst That Could Happen. So I gave it a spin on the turntable and was quite taken with all of the Jim Webb tunes and the little instrumental pieces used to connect the songs. Plus I marveled at the fact that it turns out to be a concept album, with a definite story to tell.

    I sort of forgot about it for awhile, and recently the subject came up again, and I realized I needed and wanted an upgrade. The old record was fairly scratched in places, making for some unwanted noise, so I sought out a CD.

    It turns out that it's been released a few times on CD starting around 2000. Arista aquired the Buddha name and issued a remastered CD in 2000, but it went quickly out of print. Later in the 2000's, Collector's Choice got hold of a bunch of 5th Dimension titles and issued two-fers. Up, Up, and Away was paired with The Magic Garden as the two were the first two chronologically, and THAT has gone out-of-print. The Japanese have done an expensive mini-LP of the title. And now our friends at Rev-Ola have gotten the rights to it recently and have a current issue of the album available.

    My first impression was that I'd get the current issue from Rev-Ola, but I learned that they'd juggled the song order a little bit - and it almost made sense that they did. At the end of side one of the record, the song "Ticket To Ride", the Beatles song, was apparently a required leftover track from an older set of Soul City sessions, and needed to be placed on this second album. Since the main thrust of The Magic Garden is a song-cycle all composed by Jim Webb, a lot of Webb purists criticisms have managed to get Rev-Ola to remove "Ticket To Ride" from the main running order and tack it onto the end. I thought long and hard about it, and decided that I liked "Ticket To Ride" right where it had always been, so I sought out an older copy of the Buddha remaster from 2000. I'm more convinced than ever that "Ticket To Ride" fits the theme of the album perfectly, even if it's a bit out of the musical mold of the rest of the album.

    I got the CD in the mail a couple of weeks ago and have been spinning it nearly non-stop - on the computer, on my MP3 player, and in the car. I love the Jim Webb compositions and Bones Howe's arrangements and this album is just a classic in my book. Lightweight pop for sure, but a classic nonetheless. One can surely hear the genesis of Webb's follow-up masterpiece of "MacArthur Park". I always loved that one too.

    The Magic Garden tells the story of a guy in love with a girl ("Susan"); he worships the ground she walks on and she later gives him a bad time, leaves him, marries someone else, and he resigns himself to living a blithely happy life in the gutter ("Paper Cup"). I'm not usually one to pay much attention to lyrics, but this one's really grabbed me.


    NP: The Magic Garden - 5th Dimension
  4. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I've sort of rediscovered a few recent albums the same way. I only just found out about Purple Rain a few weeks ago, when it was announced that three of Prince's earlier albums were getting the 180g treatment.

    One of my other rediscovered finds as of late (which I have to thank our pal Tony Currie for): the John Gregory Orchestra, doing cop show themes. I had a cassette in the late 70s on Mercury. Naturally it never sounded all that hot, especially after it got near a magnet and faded in and out as it played. We'd talked about it here and Tony hooked me up with a needle drop. The album was slightly different--it omitted one track (the Theme From S.W.A.T.), but added three more that I believe were British detective shows. The British album was called The Detectives.

    Out of curiosity one day, I hit Amazon and found that 13 of the 14 songs from the needle drop were on a CD called Six Million Dollar TV Themes, which contains a total of 28 tracks. All of the tracks from my original cassette are on the CD, two of the three extras from the British album are on there (it omits "Special Branch"), and it collects tracks from another album or two Gregory recorded o'er there 'cross the pond. It came in my order with the two LPs above.

    I found out via the booklet that Gregory released singles under the name Chaquito, as some of the earlier tracks had a Latin theme to them and was catering to that market. It's neat to here them again, finally in a clean version. The recording quality on the tracks I remember isn't the greatest (it's compressed, has a lot of reverb...but it works in its own cheesy 70s way :wink: ), but some of the earlier tracks like "Mission: Impossible" have some serious clout to them--plenty of percussion, bass that could launch woofers, you name it!


    Such a bargain, too: it's listed for £3.13 at Amazon UK. :D

    Another step backward: I just put on a 45RPM classical LP! It's on a short-lived series the Angel classical label put out--this one is the Firebird Suite. I grabbed it way back in the late 70s or early 80s IIRC. It sounds pretty good--not as dynamic as I'd like, but the tonality is nice. Unfortunately, Angel did not use the best of vinyl for this one. A good cleaning might help it, but then again... I should see if one of the RCA Living Stereo SACDs has a Firebird Suite on it.
    Bobberman likes this.
  5. Steven J. Gross

    Steven J. Gross Well-Known Member

    Sneaker Pimps "Becoming X"
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  6. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    In early January I sold my vehicle, which had a vehicle with a "USB" port in it, to which I had an iPod hooked up. While awaiting my new ride, I'm using a loaner Ford Bronco which has just a basic CD player, so I've had to haul a few items out that I hadn't listened to in a while.

    One was Herb Alpert's BEYOND album, which I hadn't played through in at least 10 years. That album has really aged well. The title tune is still my favorite on the record but there's really not a bad track on it.

    I've also been listening to some Alan Parsons Project albums. Their TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD disk has a lot of really great tunes -- most people point to the EYE IN THE SKY album as the best "APP" album, but TURN gets my vote.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I was spinning Beyond a few times last month--finally got a digital copy of the CD, so it saved me trying to find a way to do a needle drop. "Kamali" is another long-time favorite of mine from the album.

    I'm spinning Daryl Hall, Soul Alone. A great but overlooked album.
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  8. Steven J. Gross

    Steven J. Gross Well-Known Member

    Is that his second solo album?
  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    It's actually his third. Sacred Songs was recorded in 1977 but RCA fumbled on it and didn't feel it was commercially viable. It sat until 1980 and didn't do much. It was a collaboration with Robert Fripp (of King Crimson) who produced and played guitar.

    3 Hearts in The Happy Ending Machine was the second, and Soul Alone the third. "Borderline" from Soul Alone actually got airplay on some local contemporary jazz stations (before they really got ram-rodded into $mooth Jazz). Reminiscent of Hall & Oates but having a more funky vibe to it.
  10. Steven J. Gross

    Steven J. Gross Well-Known Member

    I have "Sacred Songs"...not too bad. One of my top 10 album favorites of all time is H&O's "War Babies", have you heard that?
  11. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Sacred Songs is definitely more experimental (for lack of a better word) than the more pop-oriented music he made in Hall & Oates. Haven't heard War Babies yet though--I'm still working my way back to some of those older H&O albums. Along The Red Ledge is one that has really grown on me, except maybe for one or two songs.

    So I don't know how it happened, but I'm listening to Led Zeppelin II right now... :laugh: Keeps me going at this late hour.
  12. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I'm up to Presence on Led Zep right now. :laugh:
  13. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I really like Daryl Hall's Sacred Songs album but I need to be in the right mood for it. It definitely shatters the Hall & Oates "blue-eyed soul" image. My favorite song is "Survive" and the closing track, "Without Tears" is one of his best ballads ever.
  14. Steven J. Gross

    Steven J. Gross Well-Known Member

    That's my favorite one from LZ!
  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I came at Led Zep kind of bassackwards. :D

    I had the original CD of LZ4, but picked up the 4-CD box set a few months after it was released. I carried it around so much that the labels started peeling off of the discs, and the discs became unplayable. (I wound up getting another set.) I then bought the 2-CD set that had the remaining tracks that the 4-CD set left out, so I essentially owned their whole catalog but in a scrambled order. I realize these are remixes, but they are still quite true to the originals.

    When I loaded up the Zune library, I rearranged all of the tracks into albums in their original running order.

    I do want to get more LZ on vinyl though. If I'm looking for used copies, it is hard to find ones that aren't thrashed. Some of the better reissue pressings on 180 gram vinyl are too pricey, and/or have gotten so rare as to be unaffordable. Good sounding LZ vinyl, though, is quite an experience. :D

    I've had their later albums on repeat. "Nobody's Fault But Mine" is on right now. :thumbsup:
  16. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I have exactly one Led Zeppelin record. It's a copy of the fourth album (with "Stairway To Heaven" on it).

    I was working at a progressive rock station back in '75 and they liked to play stuff straight from vinyl. Finding and keeping a clean pressing of "Stairway To Heaven" - an oft-requested song as you know - was problematic, and Atlantic must have sent in a batch of two dozen copies of LZ4 to the station - and virtually all of them had a noisy spot in the quiet parts of the song, which occurs at the end of a side.

    So the whole batch was basically tossed and I took one home. I think I've played through "Stairway To Heaven" maybe twice in my life since then. Other than that, it sits on the shelf in the rather strange company of Vicki Lawrence before it and Brenda Lee after it. I'll bet the other tracks are clean as a whistle.

  17. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    '75 was a few years after it was released. If it were first generation and a promo, it'd probably be worth a few bucks!
  18. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    I've been playing a compilation of Traffic called Feeling Alright - The Very Best of Traffic. Lots of great jams on this set.

    I also just went through a box of LPs that an ex-GF gave me a few years back, and it had the first Led Zeppelin LP in it. I really liked what was on this album. Lots of blues and some strong playing by Jimmy Page. A couple of other albums that are in this box are compilations of Jethro Tull (which is in great shape) and Deep Purple (which will need some serious cleaning).
  19. CherryStreet

    CherryStreet Member

    I've been a huge fan of Johnny Gregory since 1997 when I was in a Marks & Spencer in London and I picked up a copy of "The Cocktail Experience" a CD put out by M&S. I still think Johnny's version of "It Takes A Theif" rivals the original though it is missing Robert Wagner purring "My Kind Of Living". Still one of my favorite shows from when I was a kid. They would run it in the mornings with Hawaii 5-O , also on the M&S collection, in the summer. Highly recommended if you can track one down.

    What am I listening to lately?
    Rob Ickes - Road Song CD
    I Heart Huckabees Soundtrack by Jon Brion CD
    Steely Dan Live In Memphis 1974 Bootleg CD

    Aja by Steely Dan was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry today. Making it one of
    25 additions announced today making it part of 325 recordings that have been " deemed culturally, historically, or aestetically significant and worthy of preservation for all time".
  20. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Well, after two weeks of hell called "final exams" and "last-minute assignments," I'm back to spinning something other than a hard drive for my music. :D

    I dug a few more items out of the basement. Right now, it's Robert Plant, Pictures At Eleven, which I picked up several years ago for a dollar and never really got around to playing it. It sounds like it's in decent shape. I'll have to toss it on the rekkid vacuum.

    I found that I had an A&M Audiophile Series cut of Supertramp's Breakfast In America. I don't know if my memory of the original LP or CD is failing, but this LP has a weird tonality to it. It's like most Supertramp I listen to though--other than most of Crime Of The Century, I can only make it through a few songs before I have to get it off the turntable. :sigh:

    I stopped at the used rekkid shop a couple of hours ago, but they weren't taking any vinyl in today. (I wanted to trade a few things in and pick up a few titles I saw last time.) They had a few interesting 180g pressings, but not a lot. They had over 1,000 people through the store for Record Store Day, so the new vinyl was picked over.
  21. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    ...and today is Stevie Wonder day at Casa Rudy. Starting with Music Of My Mind and moving onward (Talking Book, Innervisions, Fullfillingness' First Finale, Songs In The Key of Life, Hotter Than July, then the four new tracks from Original Musiquarium).
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  22. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    We finished up cleaning the pool and I now have Pat Metheny's Question and Answer CD playing right now. Nice little trio outing.
  23. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Pat's touring this year again, but in a solo/duo format.
  24. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Another good one. Although I feel his followup effort, The Principle of Moments, is better and more focused. There are good moments on a lot of his albums -- his song "The Hurting Kind (Got My Eyes On You)" is a great rock'n'roll song from a few albums later down the road.

    I made up a CD of the "best of" Plant (solo) and Zep. It's a good compilation but it's another one I need to be in the right mood to play.
  25. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I only grabbed Pix At Eleven since I hadn't spun it yet. :D I agree it's a bit vague at times. Shaken and Stirred is one I keep going back to. It featured a lot of Robbie Blunt's influence and synths (the hit here was "Little By Little"), but of all of them, it's the one I've played the most. The Principle of Moments has "In The Mood" on it IIRC.

    You're thinking of Manic Nirvana for "The Hurting Kind (Got My Eyes On You)". "Big Love" is hilarious, one of those double-entendre "mile high club" songs...the ending with the reference to Jimmy Page. "I slept in the same room as Jimmy Page! They just finished remodeling it..." "Tie Dye On The Highway" and "Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night" (great cover of the original BTW) are two others favorites. That is one hard-rockin' album!

    Now and Zen is another good one, which sat between Shaken and Stirred and Manic Nirvana; "Ship Of Fools" and especially "Tall Cool One" are great songs. The latter is a great party song--danceable!

    I honestly can't tell anyone why I latched onto Led Zep about 20 years ago. I can listen to their entire studio album catalog straight through during a day's work and never tire of it. It's especially odd given my musical upbringing (which this site had a lot to do with!). I bought that 4-CD box set and then the 2-CD add-on set which gave me all of the studio tracks. Toted that around with me for years in my CD carrier.

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