The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Rudy

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Has anyone here ever listened to this little group from Poland?

Pyzate Słoneczniki! 🕺

Looks like Qobuz has that track, from this 1967 album:

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Mr Bill

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Most of the time in my car I've got talk radio going, but on weekends, usually starting with my Saturday AM Sam's Club run I spin The Lightning Seeds' CD (mainly cuts 1 & 3 -- "All I Want" and "Pure") after which I will switch to Buzzcocks' A Different Kind of Tension and follow that with Herb and the TJB's You Smile and Coney Island. Then it's the reissue of Skafish's debut I.R.S. album and the wonderful Baja 3-CD set... This has been my rut for a couple months now.

--Mr Bill
 

jfiedler17

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Most of the time in my car I've got talk radio going, but on weekends, usually starting with my Saturday AM Sam's Club run I spin The Lightning Seeds' CD (mainly cuts 1 & 3 -- "All I Want" and "Pure") after which I will switch to Buzzcocks' A Different Kind of Tension and follow that with Herb and the TJB's You Smile and Coney Island.

Great records all! That first Lightning Seeds album is so, so underappreciated. They should've been much bigger in the U.S. than they were. "All I Want" and "Pure" are both examples of truly perfect pop singles, IMO. "Pure" in particular is remarkably clever - the music reminds me a lot of my favorite British Invasion records of the mid-'60s, while the lyrics (particularly in the wordier sections, like the chorus and the post-guitar-solo vamp ("If love's the truth ...") make me think of the great new-wave lyricists like Andy Partridge, Chris Difford, and Elvis Costello. That song is like everything I love about British music from the '60s through '90s all wrapped into one package.
 

Rudy

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Aside from my Quincy Jones and Gerald Wilson big band explorations, I've been playing a 26 hour playlist, at random, of the 12-inch singles I own. Most are pulled from CD reissues, but there are needle drops of my own collection filling it in. I'm also working on an "oldies" playlist that is quite eclectic. (In other words, it's not like our stupid local oldies station that plays 50% 60s Motown rubbish. 🙄 Same old s**t, different words. 🤷‍♂️ Gimme some Stevie, Commodores or Rick James instead.)
 

Harry

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For the car trip, I've made two 8 hour plus WMA discs compiled randomly from my many compilation discs of various artists.
 

jfiedler17

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Aside from my Quincy Jones and Gerald Wilson big band explorations, I've been playing a 26 hour playlist, at random, of the 12-inch singles I own. Most are pulled from CD reissues, but there are needle drops of my own collection filling it in. I'm also working on an "oldies" playlist that is quite eclectic. (In other words, it's not like our stupid local oldies station that plays 50% 60s Motown rubbish. 🙄 Same old s**t, different words. 🤷‍♂️ Gimme some Stevie, Commodores or Rick James instead.)

Would have to agree with your Motown comment. I'm a big Motown buff, but the '70s (and, to a slightly lesser extent, the early '80s stuff, like DeBarge, Teena Marie, Rick James, Jermaine Jackson, etc.) does so, so much more for me than the '60s-era Motown sides, partly because I just got so sick of hearing the early Motown classics played ad nauseum on oldies stations. (And some of those '60s singles can be a bit hard to tell apart, too.) Even the Supremes I tend to gravitate more towards the Jean Terrell-led era of the group rather than the Diana Ross-led years ("Up the Ladder to the Roof" being my all-time favorite single of theirs), though I like a fair number of Ross' solo singles. But the Commodores and '70s-era Stevie are my favorite Motown acts.
 

Rudy

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But the Commodores and '70s-era Stevie are my favorite Motown acts.
I agree. There were other Motown/Tamla acts in the 80s that got local airplay and I enjoyed all of them. I can't say I ever fully got into the Commodores, but everything I've heard (and that I play here) I've really liked. Stevie, though...his albums from Music Of My Mind through Musiquarium's four new tracks are prime work and essential listening for me.

I just posted a Motown record on my Lost and Found Sounds channel--a long-lost album by Bobby Nunn, Second to Nunn. Playing it now, it sounds horribly dated, and tries to riff a little much off of Prince's sound (especially the single "Got To Get Up On It"). Ozone is another band that is overlooked: "Li'l Suzy" was their hit, and I can't recall if I have their album or just the 12-inch single. I'm sure I have other Motowns from the 80s. I know I have the three Lionel Richie solo albums and honestly, it's been so long since I've played them that they are long overdue for a refresher!

But I'd seen it at least twice. We'd get a new "classic soul" station in our area. It'd be fine for 3-4 months. Then...they would dump in tons of those Motown 60s singles. It was like an act of desperation--the stations probably weren't doing well in ratings, so they threw in what they thought people wanted. Nope! All they did was make most of us tune out. I think if the Motown 60s singles hadn't been pummeled at us by radio, many of us wouldn't be so fatigued. I think the Temptations (?) had it right. "It's The Same Old Song"...but they change the words so you buy the rekkids. 😐

Something obscure that I like is the Marvin Gaye/Mary Wells single "Once Upon A Time." The Mavericks covered it on Play The Hits in an almost exact replica. (Malo's female foil on that track is Martina McBride.) And oddly, the Supremes Christmas album has always gotten play here. 🤷‍♂️ The Motown 25th Anniversary TV special was also quite entertaining--even my dad sat in and watched it for a while. It was just a very well produced musical variety show, perfectly paced. I never thought to see if it ever had a digital release (I have the VHS version).
 

jfiedler17

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I agree. There were other Motown/Tamla acts in the 80s that got local airplay and I enjoyed all of them. I can't say I ever fully got into the Commodores, but everything I've heard (and that I play here) I've really liked. Stevie, though...his albums from Music Of My Mind through Musiquarium's four new tracks are prime work and essential listening for me.
Oh, absolutely! That stretch from Music of My Mind through the new songs on Musiquarium is truly one of the greatest unbroken runs of prime material by any one artist. He was never quite the same after that (his music became uncharacteristically cold in the late '80s and early '90s, but the same was true of a lot of artists who succumbed to the production trends of that time, i.e. programmed drums), but I do enjoy "Overjoyed" from In Square Circle every bit as much as I do any of his '70s classics. (It actually sounds more to me like a lost track from the Hotter Than July sessions than it does something from his mid-'80s catalog. I'm not sure exactly when he wrote that one, but I do remember him playing it on SNL two or three years before it finally got a release on record.)

I know I have the three Lionel Richie solo albums and honestly, it's been so long since I've played them that they are long overdue for a refresher!
Oh, you should! Dancing on the Ceiling has admittedly not aged quite as well as the other two, if only because of the more '80s-tinged production (the songs are still pretty great, though, "Ballerina Girl" and "Love Will Conquer All" being my favorites from that record), but I still love the first two every bit as much as I did back then (they don't sound the least bit dated to me, and the quality of the songs still floors me), and there are several album cuts from each of those that really could have been singles in their own right ("Round and Round" from the self-titled debut is one of his most underrated compositions, and I think Lionel would have been almost certain to score a sixth Top Ten hit from Can't Slow Down if he had put out "The Only One" as a single).
 

Rudy

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He was never quite the same after that (his music became uncharacteristically cold in the late '80s and early '90s, but the same was true of a lot of artists who succumbed to the production trends of that time, i.e. programmed drums), but I do enjoy "Overjoyed" from In Square Circle every bit as much as I do any of his '70s classics.
I agree--everything seems hit-or-miss once he got past Musiquarium. I could probably put together barely an album's length playlist of tracks I like from all of those albums from the mid 80s onward. His last two didn't connect with me at all--I couldn't even make it through A⏰2♥. And I hate to use the overused term "forgettable," but Conversation Peace was so forgettable that I bought it twice! "You Will Know" is one track I've always liked from Characters.
 

Rudy

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Has anyone here ever listened to this little group from Poland?
I just realized that reading the credits for their albums on Discogs is like looking through half of my high school yearbook... 🤣 Ours was a typical suburban enclave of mostly Polish-Italian neighbors, many who were execs or engineers for GM (as we were a stone's throw from the Tech Center), Ford or Chrysler.
 

Rudy

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Speaking of Stevie, I noticed that there was a digital box set several years ago, totaling 48 "CDs".

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It essentially puts a single album or release on a CD, with Musiquarium being the only compilation in the set. Those total 32 albums, with four of them double-CD releases, making 36 "CDs" total. Discs 37-39 are mono singles, 40-43 are additional singles and rarities, and 44-48 are remixes. Discs 40-43 are the most interesting in the set, as they include alternate single mixes, tracks from other Motown multi-artist compilations and soundtracks, Spanish and Italian versions of a handful of hits, a few scattered live tracks, and a handful of Xmas/holiday promos for the UK.

It's a good way to get an instant Stevie Wonder collection! No idea on cost, though, and it's available on most streaming services (including FLAC download via Qobuz).
 

Rudy

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I was being a bit silly in another thread here, and as typically happens, I end up listening to an artist (Magnifico, in this case), check the credits, and discover someone else. This time around, it's the saxophone player from the following video, Macedonian woodwind player Ferus Mustafov.


A lot of his albums on Qobuz are very much in the Balkan/Mediterranean tradition, with many of the dances in 7/8 (7/4?) time, similar to Greek dances. He also recorded music for belly dancing. I refrain from belly dancing myself--I don't need the neighbors phoning me into law enforcement again, not after the Great Limbo Incident of 2011.

One rather interesting recording I found with Mustafov is where he appears with the group Söndörgő, a Hungaro-Serbian band based around the traditional stringed instrument family of Serbia, the tamburitza. Mustafov and the band recorded a live album together. The track below, "Kisacko Kolo," is in the style of the traditional Slavic kolo (a circle dance, danced during social and family gatherings like weddings, celebrations, etc.).

 

rockdoctor

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Today at a thrift store that I hit up every few weeks, I found two Baja Marimba Band lp's. One is Watch Out in mono and the other is Fresh Air.
Both are playing on the turntable. The both sound very good.
 

rockdoctor

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Interestingly at the thrift store I saw a copy of Family Portrait but I left that one for someone else to find and start enjoying the great years of A&M. Since I bought Heads Up I have seen several copies in thrift stores. There was also what looked like Gina Vanelli's entire catalog from A&M in the used record bins.
Maybe the same person had all his releases.
 

Rudy

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For Gino, I'd recommend Powerful People and Brother To Brother as starting points. His debut album Crazy Life is a bit rare these days. The rest (at least on A&M) is an acquired taste for sure.
 

jfiedler17

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For Gino, I'd recommend Powerful People and Brother To Brother as starting points. His debut album Crazy Life is a bit rare these days. The rest (at least on A&M) is an acquired taste for sure.

I'd agree that those are his two best outings on A&M (with Nightwalker being my favorite of his non-A&M releases I've heard, though I've heard very little of his post-'80s output). His discography can be a bit maddening to those who just know him for "I Just Wanna Stop," if only because he had a three-or-four-year long phase after Powerful People where he seemed a bit artistically restless and tackled everything from jazz-fusion to prog-rock to symphonic pop, which, like Joe Jackson after him, kinda hampered his ability to settle into any kind of consistent groove commercially, hence the long time gap between his first and second pop hits. But he made up for that in a big way, both artistically and commercially, with Brother to Brother, which was an excellent comeback album. Crazy Life isn't quite as strong as either of those albums, but it's still fairly intriguing, not just for its relative rarity in comparison to the later albums, but because of it being produced by Herb and also being such an unusually brief LP for an album from the '70s (heck, if I remember right, the second side just barely clocks in at over ten minutes!).
 

Rudy

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Crazy Life as a whole, clocks in at about 24 minutes. I tend to like it since it's his first release and is in a similar mood as Powerful People. Before the synthesizers went nuts on later albums.

The only other A&M album that I've listened to quite a bit is Storm at Sunup, and our local jazz radio station used to play "Where Am I Going?" regularly back in the late 70s. There are a few awkward moments on the album, but it's more to do with the style than it is the actual song or lyrical content. ("Mama Coco" slowed down and performed in a low-key, smoky groove with some revised lyrics would work a lot better than the over-the-top treatment it got on the album.)
 
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Rudy

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Had some weirdness on my server, but ripped a fresh version of Head Hunters from the Analogue Productions SACD...

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Bobberman

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Had some weirdness on my server, but ripped a fresh version of Head Hunters from the Analogue Productions SACD...

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I have this CD and one of the tracks called "SLY" is my favorite mainly because it was used as background music for one of my favorite radio stations sign on sign off announcements back in my younger days as for Gino Vannelli's first album "Crazy Life" I consider it one of my top 3 favorite Gino Vannelli albums the other two are Nightwalker and Brother to Brother
 

JOv2

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(Formal Western Art Music Survey, 1750-1950: Week LIX -- Weingartner)

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JOv2

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Jack Wilson. Wilson, a very lyrical pianist (reminiscent of Duke Pearson at times) had the distinction of issuing what I believe are two LPs historically significant to Blue Note records. Something Personal, recorded, AUG1966, was the first "west coast" Blue Note LP issued since Al Lion sold the label to Liberty in 1965. Jack is a west coast artist, and this Blue Note was recorded in LA...so Al Lion and Van Gelder have nothing to do with the session; also, as you can tell by the musicians on the date, they're all west coast (dig the composition, Harbour Freeway, 5 P.M. -- quite unexpected to find a piece written about "The 110" on a Blue Note, I'll tell ya). Song For My Daughter, recorded between SEP1968 and JUN 1969, is I believe Blue Note's first "quasi-easy listening piano & strings" LP. Wilson's style was certainly ripe for that sort of thing -- and for what it is, it's top-drawer.
 

JOv2

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(And some of those '60s singles can be a bit hard to tell apart, too.
(In other words, it's not like our stupid local oldies station that plays 50% 60s Motown rubbish. 🙄 Same old s**t, different words. 🤷‍♂️ Gimme some Stevie, Commodores or Rick James instead.)
Totally. '60s Motown was a "music product" assembly line. Their goal was to produce juke-box type music, which had a longevity of about 4 months so it was regarded as highly disposable. It's no surprise then that probably 90% of the 45s they hacked out had the same 3 chords, the same tempo, the same running time, the same themes (with little-to-no thought put into the words)...; seriously, the only song-to-song differences were probably deciding to use 8 or 9 "oooh baby baby" phrases. Ball Of Confusion (from 1970) easily pulverizes 95% of their '60s 45s.
 

rockdoctor

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For Gino, I'd recommend Powerful People and Brother To Brother as starting points. His debut album Crazy Life is a bit rare these days. The rest (at least on A&M) is an acquired taste for sure.
I may go back and check them out. One thing I did not think to do is to see what the inner sleeves were.
 
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