The exclusive vinyl thread

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I hope this day (38 degrees celsius) is over soon. I was almost killed yesterday by an overheated (and drunk?) clodhopper in his tractor which had two trailers attached to it, while he was violently dashing down a potholed gravel path like a scorched sow. Suddenly, when he was approaching me on my bike, and i was obviously too slow for him, he raced through just another pothole and one of the trailers got loose and was hurled free from its attachment, and then catapulted towards my direction. Thank god, there was a birch tree on the side of the road which intercepted the full force of this trailer. I have always loved trees, they are our friends and guardian angels.
The tree is completely destroyed now, and I had to call the police, coz this arse was just dashing on and didn't even notice there was a trailer missing.

Anyways, I think with these temperatures outside it's better to stay away from traffic. Tomorrow temperatures gonna drop to 24 degrees again.

As I have mentioned above, I came across a big haul of used records in our local second hand book and vinyl store. Some have already been washed, others are still waiting to be. Which means that I can now eventually enter the listening phase.

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These are two smaller batches of records. On the left hand side, the unwashed, filthy ones. And on the right hand side, the desinfected, fumigated, vacuum cleaned and deep cleansed, rinsed, brushed and scrubbed albums, glowing and shiny-like-new, brought-back-to-life, cherry-picked gems.

A quick flip through the left batch:
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We don't hear much from or about Loudon Wainwright nowadays, but i like him.

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Time to move on from Roxy Music...

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First time i have found a Mozzer record in a second hand store. So, which one is it, folks? I was told that Morrissey and the Smiths can usually not be found in second hand stores, not here in Central Continental Europe, that is. Well, so this was a surprise.

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Some classic rock albums from across the pond.
And there are some more in this batch. Probably gonna wash them today after a cold shower.

Here is a peek into the second batch, the already clean ones from the thrift store. This batch also contains albums I have had around for quite a while now but was never happy with the sound quality. And also some new albums that I purchased at our local high-end hi-fi store. They all got a thorough re-wash and vinyl scrub.

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Today I listened to these two albums. Eartha is from the thrift store, and Curtis from the hi-fi store.

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Hello and welcome, today we're going to talk about this album here:

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I am very happy to say that this is NOT a comp. No, this is actually the retitled and repackaged (new cover art) German reissue of Eartha Kitt's 1960 studio album "Revisited", which looks like this:


The German reissue was released between 1965 - 1970 on the US Coral label. It's a stereo version.

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Folks, this album, though 50+ years old, is sounding simply fantastic. The soundscape is clear, warm, smooth and tasty. No surface noise at all.
It was manufactured by Teldec in Germany.
It's the same full-bodied sound which first came to my ears when i was listening to some German The Smiths single 12 inchers, like this one here, also on Teldec/Zensor:


By no means would I call it a high-gloss multi-dimensional audiophile pressing which in its purity, and animated by a deus ex machina, is supposedly gonna lift ya up to heaven where them angels reside, but let me just humbly call it the "Teldec Sound", and it's a down-to-earth sound which won't wear off after a few listens and decades of storage in a non-stylish and non-polylined paper sleeve. It's as sound as a sound should be.

Now, I did some research coz listening to the Eartha album surprised me and triggered my curiosity. How was that possible? And then the close sound resemblence to the Teldec releases of the Schmitds back in the 80s.

There is something called the "Royal Sound Stereo" which was employed as a term by Teldec Records to describe their cutting corrections done in the stereo groove by using the so-called Tracing Simulator. This procedure was used till the mid-70s. Other companies used similar or even the same cutting technique, RCA called it Dynagroove.

To cut it short, not sure, if this can solely explain what I would call a unique "Teldec Sound", as this technique was a common procedure, but it would be at least one explanation.

Back to Eartha. This album is truly cosmopolitan and sophisticated at the same time. It's like following Eartha Kitt on a round-the-world trip, starting off in New York, via Turkey, France, Italy, Singapore, you name it. Kitt was poly-lingual. She spoke 4 language and sang in 12. Being an intelligent person, she spoke her mind openly and daringly, and thus was blacklisted by president Johnson for 11 years. But she had no problems reorienting and instead focusing on her European and Asian fanbase.

The songs were recorded between 1953-1958 when she was under contract with RCA Victor. Best songs are the almost psychedelic "Lilac Wine", the charmingly jealous "Après Moi" and the Cole Porter song "Let's do it".

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A few words about the other three albums of which one is a newly bought record from the local hi-fi store (Curtis Harding), one is from the thrift store (Everly Brothers) and one was re-washed for one last time (Yagow).


A. Curtis Harding: If Words Were Flowers

Love this album. Could listen to it all day long. It was released on Nov '21 on the Anti- label, and is Harding's third studio album.
It's mostly a soul album touching a wide range of other genres (slop'n'soul style, as Harding calls it), but it never sounds like a stale retro-album, in contrast, it's actually highly radiant and alive, I would say this is mostly because of Harding's soulful voice, some of the songs' topics (all written by Harding) and the experimental and polished production style.

The album is soothing, uplifting (gospel chorus harmonies), satisfying (rich instrumentation) and also funny (in So Low a vocoder has been put over his vocals). So, the question is whether the long tradition of soul music and its contemporary continuation can help mitigate or even help overcome the problems we face in the 21st century? I think with this album we are heading in the right direction.

What I find a bit unusual are the many vinyl colour variants which are offered. There are 15, I've got the simple black one. There is an additional peach coloured one, a clear one, one in ash grey, a white one, a bright green one, a Bloody Mary one, a Goldy Locks one, etc. Made me think about the inflation of coloured vinyl again, and I wonder if it's still something special having coloured vinyl at home nowadays. Probably in the future, 20-30 years on, folks will look back in laughter when digging through all these chewing gum coloured vinyl records that were pressed en masse back in the early 20s, and then decide to go for the classic black vinyl coz it had become a rarity. Not sure if I am exaggerating, but i find that this wide range of candy-coloured vinyl variants sort of trivializes the beauty and importance of this music.

Album cover art is excellent!

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B. The Everly Brothers - EB84

This outstanding album came out when The Smiths released their debut album. For the Everlys it was a reunion album, 11 years after their break-up. There is a lot of early Morrissey sentiment that can be found in the lyrics of some of these songs. Just listen to "The First in Line" and you know what I mean. Anyways, one of the best comeback records that I know, and if this would get a new audiophile release, I'd be the first to buy it. My copy (German PolyGram Record Service Hannover press on the Mercury label) is totally worn out, most likely from overuse. I got it for 2 € at the thrift store. There was another copy for 1€.

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I am surprised to see that EB84 has never really become a hit album, despite its hit single "On the Wings of a Nightingale", written by Paul McCartney, who has never made a secret about the influence the Everly Brothers have had on the Beatles. He knew exactly what the Everly Brothers needed to be lifted up again, as they, for a long time, have "Lived too close to the Ground", and I assume that Paul McC. knew all of Don Everly's songs.

Jeff Lynne contributed too, the orbisonesque "The Story of Me" is almost insufferable, but then, not quite so.
There is a Bob Dylan cover (Lay Lady Lay) on the B-Side. Three of Don Everly's songs have also been pushed onto the B-Side, so that the A-Side could indulge in the well-known arrangement and mix of rockers & ballads that were a common structural principle on many 80s mainstream rock albums.

The production is steady and solid, almost tight (esp. on the A-Side), always unpretentious. What makes this album really beautiful are of course the vocal harmonies which have never been topped by anybody else, as far as i know. It's an angels' choir lifting you up from the barren corn field.

Best songs are the uplifting "Nightingale", the unpretentious tearjerker "The First in Line", and the smooth separation song "Following the Sun".

C. Yagow - The Mess

That's a 2021 German psychedelic shoegaze album. Music is great. I've got the beautiful peacock version here, which, at the same time, is also the worst-sounding record I have ever listened to, it's a real mess. Washed it three times now, to no avail. Sounds as if the drummer is locked behind a closed door. Something's terribly wrong with this pressing, which is a shame, coz the music is really good.

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Makin' progress here, folks. Theese 7 lost sheep are already home'n'dry.

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1. Nico & The Faction: Camera Obscura (1985)

A few sententious thoughts on our poor woman from Cologne, Christa P.
That's her 7th and last studio album, produced by John Cale. 3 years later she was dead.
For non-teutonic ears, this album may not be accessible first, as it is coming straight from Berlin's underground air-raid shelters. It's mostly pulsating, gothic dance music that has developed in darkness, letting you know that there is still some life around. Everything the tommies, frogs and uncle sams would dislike. At this point she was already heavily heroin-addicted, looked like Dresden in '45, had been raped by a GI and lovelessly impregnated by a frog. She was post-war Germania, being conquered and defeated just one more time by the allied forces' loser sons who needed something to impress their dads with. Was she ever able to liberate herself? We don't know.

I have a surprisingly quiet first US pressing here, which i found for a relatively cheap price in Berlin the other day. Best songs are:

3. Das Lied von (sic!) Einsanen (sic!) Madchens (sic!), (The song of the lonely girl): a hypnotic ballad, taken from the film "Alraune".

2. Win a Few: A danceable tune with a deep, pulsating drum machine drive, which makes your heart beat just a lil bit faster, enough to pick you up from the ground, and then help ya move around your lil butt like a Kraftwerk member.

1. Konig (sic!): Nico sings and also plays the harmonium on this one. It's unadorned and simple, like medieval Minnesang-like worshipping from a distance. Could be Cordelia singing for her dead dad King Lear, could also be from Nico singing for her son Ari. "I want to give you everything that keeps you alive".

All in all, a groundbreaking record. Nico is still worshipped as the Ur-Mother of goth music by some. There are songs, like Camera Obscura, that sound like a Holger Czukay composition. Tananore could be a Björk predecessor, a soundtrack to the Edda. Fearful in danger has some great keyboard / percussion work.

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Marvin Gaye - Midnight Love (1982)

Another last antemortem studio album.

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You have to like the standard rhythms of a drum machine to like this album.
I have a Europe 1987 reissue on the CBS label (Nice Price) here. Quality is lifeless, but okay. Got it from the thrift store.
His first album after his split with Motown, and it became the best-selling record of his career, mostly bc of the hit single "Sexual healing".
I can't find any political or social commentary on this album. Sex might heal a man, but it does not tackle any political or social inequality, it rather entrenches it. It is often thrown at audiences when inequalities and unsolved problems become very apparent in order to sidetrack folks' desires and hopes and thus create false needs. Has always been that way, and folks have always been that stupid and played that game.

Most interesting song is "Third World Girl".

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Michael Rother - Fammende Herzen (Flaming Hearts), 1976

Michael Rother's first solo album after having released several albums as a member of Neu! and Harmonia (with Eno,, and having played live with the early Kraftwerk. The album was recorded in Conny Plank's studio in '77 and released on Sky Records.


I have the original here, and it still sounds very good. The album is completely instrumental. Jaki Liebezeit (Can) is playing the drums. Otherwise, Rother wrote and performed all songs on the album. He just wanted to do his own thing for a change, I assume. Just like Marvin Gaye when he recorded Midnight Love (s. above), after his split from Motown.

I would call Rother the Roy Orbison of electronic music. The music is ambient, always moving forward (sometimes driven by a motorik beat), or even soaring, interlaced with thick guitar tunes, that sometimes come pretty near within the whisker of kitsch.

This album is a flying carpet of machine positivity and confidence. Still pleasurable to listen to.

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Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head (Diamentenkopf), 1975

Another first solo album. Every band member from Roxy Music contributed to this album but Ferry, who was not invited to the party. It's an energetic and melodic rock album, and half-instrumental.
I have a 1977 German reissue here (printed by Gerhard Kaiser in Essen), which is sounding fine, sometimes a bit tinny with some wavering distortion in the mid-range. The surface noise sounds like a mouse, rustling in its nest, but that's okay, if you like mice.

The songs are quite varied, but I honestly do not like the obviously Pink Floyd inspired songs (like Diamond Head and a large part of side B). To my ears, the Pink Floyd sound hasn't aged well.

The best songs are the multi-layered "Miss Shapiro" which is indulging in complex virtuosic synth and guitar play (They shouldn't have allowed Eno to sing on it, though.), the Roxy-like "The Flex" and the lightsome "Big Day" (here, Eno's singing is quite appropriate).

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The Jayhawks - Paging Mr. Proust (2016)

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They are an alt/country rock band that formed in the mid-80s. I think I've got 6 of their 11 studio albums on CD and LP by now, and this is imho not their strongest overall, but it has its many sparkling highlights which are growing on you after several listens.
I've got the ordinary UK, Europe & US pressing on the Thirty Tigers/Sham label here. I've also listened to the album digitally, and unfortunately I must say that the digital format sounds better than the vinyl.

I like the Jayhawks for their harmonies, melodies and musicianship. I would say there is a specific Jayhawks sound or formula. What I've grown a bit tired of is the point-of-view of the best-friend-in-times-of-trouble who is ever so tender, compassionate and caring, a bit like the young-and-nice men that Simon & Garfunkel were (and their gentle-at-heart songs). So, you just wish they would listen to a punk record before going to the record studio next time and then get a kick in their arse.

Best songs are the experimental "Ace" with its edgy guitars and dragging sound (I would've liked more of that), the intricate "Pretty Roses in Your Hair", especially bc of the synergetic guitar and piano interplay, and the fast-paced "The Dust of Long Dead Stars" because of its lyrics (chorus lacks a bit behind). Honorable mention: "Isabel's Daughter" as its banjo parts are reminiscent of the fantastic "Tailspin" on "Rainy Day Music" (which I think is their best album so far), and bc it can actually be listened to as a sequel to Tailspin.

Nicole Atkins - Italian Ice (2020)

That's her 5th studio album. The songs are nostalgically indie-country-soul-infused and unapologetically-retro-theatrical in their own way with a stylish disco touch. Her biggest asset is her magnificent voice with which she can blow your hairpiece off. She seems to be an intelligent person with a sense of humor, so her very passionate vocals do not always match her characters. I think she would be a formidable punk singer with style, like Nina Hagen, for example. Maybe because of the songs' strong rootedness in the past (50s + 60s classic soul and pop), I always imagine her singing them on a Broadway stage. It's very enjoyable.

Best songs are the steam-propelled "St. Dymphna" which showcases her excellent vocals once more, the Nashville-sounding "Never Going Home Again" and the soulful "A Road to Nowhere" which has a psychedelic touch to it. Honorable mention: "AM Gold" bc of its environmental commentary.

Renaissance - same (1969)

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Listened to it twice but can't get warm with it. Prog-rock-folk mixed with classical music that hasn't aged that well. Feels like a reenactment event to me, something that lives in a museum and thus needs professional and dedicated curation in order to arouse new interest. Pretty sure they have their connoisseur followerhip with a distinctive gourmet taste. Not my cuppa.
With this blazing heat outside, the only concern when leaving your house is to stay hydrated, and then you try to get things done quickly. Many of the trees in the garden that are exposed to the west, show horrible heat burns on the leaves and bark. They are not used to a scorching evening sun. It's unusual that temperatures stay that high in the evening hours. We still have frequent rain falls though. Two or three days of blazing heat, followed by some hours of more or less sufficient rain fall. I assume that in the years to come, these periods of extreme heat will get longer, and the rainfalls shorter. So, let's enjoy of what is left of the formerly restorative Summer months.

Anyways, just came back from the post office, and had to drink one and a half liters of water afterwards. I was coughing from the high ozone levels.

It's much cooler inside, and the vinyl hasn't melted yet, which is good news.

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Two very good albums here, with Loudon Wainwright III bearing the palm.

The Byrd's Untitled album is from 1970. It's a double album with one live record (side B contains a 16' version of Eight Miles High) and one with studio recordings. This was the later band's constellation of White, Ge. Parsons, McGuinn and Battin. I have a 1970 (OG?) European version here.

There is lots of interesting stuff on there. Not every song is great, some haven't aged that well, or sound too much like Mr Tambourine Man, but most of them are above-average and even terrific.

Best songs are the live version of the badass "Lover of the Bayou" with a striking guitar play, the Vietnam homecomer song "Welcome Back Home" with surprising lyrics that kinda draw a parallel to paedophilia and highlight the unempathetic sensationalist questions of those drowning not in blood but in boredom. There is a splendid drum and chanting section at the end of the song. Another great song is the live version of the briskly trotting "Mr Spaceman".

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I am most pleasantly bedazzled by Loudon Wainwright III's "Final Exam".

First of all, it's because of this 1978 UK first press's sound quality. The pressing plant is not mentioned anywhere, which of course raises the question why they had to make a secret of it. Bob Ludwig mastered the record, and it seems that he wanted to highlight Wainwright's vocals as much as possible. They are as clear as crystal, reaching out, taking up all the space available. As far as I have learned, my humble loudspeakers provide an excellent soundstage when it comes to distinct vocals. That's their strength. They lack behind when it comes to the low-pitched sounds, and actually i would fare better with a subwoofer.

Anyways, what I like about this album is its versatility and its humour. The lyrics are often biting and sarcastic, especially when the band (Slowtrain) is playing standard Nashville ole country or rock'n'roll formulaic tunes. The rock songs are all delivered over-the-top. Sometimes you wonder whether you are watching an SNL show, but he is definetely singing better than a comedian.

The best songs are the shouted "Pen Pal Blues" (which is reminiscent of Eminem's singing style and which unfortunately cannot be found on YT), the hilarious "Heaven and Mud" (the way he sings "boring" made my day) in which he is mocking the outlaw country music scene, and the rollicking "Watch Me Rock, I'm Over 30". I am happy to see that in the title song "Final Exam", Loudon Wainwright shows his admiration for Mozzer's "Staircase at the University".

There are only 9 vinyl versions of Final Exam out there, all from 1978.

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All in all, two outstanding albums.
Just listened to the 12" single of OUIJA BOARD on vinyl and was surprised to notice a change in the lyrics which I had never heard before.

Any info on that?

A quiet vinyl washing day...

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Some thrift store finds, some random travel discoveries, some vinyl re-washes.
Flippen through some of today's intensively cleaned, scrubbed'n'rubbed and bended though mended vinyl...

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a collection of country rock, plaintive country and bourgeois rock...

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romantic rock, indie rock and slop'n'soul rock'n'pop ....

meanwhile polished jackets are repaired...

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and smelly, rickety jackets inspected, compared and then thoroughly aired ....

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and scratches marvelled at and photographically shared coz nothing is spared:

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KRIS KRISTOFFERSON: Who's to bless, who's to blame (1975)

His 8th studio album, his singing career as a country star on the decline. This album didn't help. US pressing from the same year.

I fell asleep while listening to it that's how boring and uninspired it is. His vocals aren't the strongest on this album. The music doesn't offer anything new or surprising, mostly it's slow waltzes draggin on and on and on.

The last song, Silver (Hunger), is the worst song I've listened to for a long time. He is even singing about his dick in "Stallion". Seems he ran out of ideas balls to the wall.

Probably it was still better than most of the conventional country music coming from Nashville at that time, nevertheless, this album is shallow and uninteresting in its own way, mostly because the lyrical voice is dealing with problems of the average guy, bored and tired with being an adult and the life of an adult at that time, complaining non-stop but unable to activate himself.

I don't like any of the songs on it.

CARLY SIMON: Boys In the Trees (1978)

Just as boring. Her 7th studio album, in her 7th year of album recording as a soft rock and pop star. Her vocals are remarkable, the melodies often unusual, and some of her lyrics are sharp. She has definetely developed her own sound, which has become sort of a distinctive feature of the 70s, I would say. There is a lot of James Taylor on this album as well, e.g. as songwriter, backing vocals and on the guitar. They divorced 5 years later.

"You Belong to Me" became a Top 10 hit. They also covered the Everly Brothers hit "Devoted to You". It's okay.

This album is also full to the brim with the boredom of being a tired adult in the 1970s, like Kristofferson's. Many songs are "bed time" songs, like Tranquillo, in which she is describing her overflowing motherly heart during the bed routine in the evenings, trying to get her son to sleep. She is a good and devoted mother. The conflict between her son's interests and her own need for some fun is only a small one. The song is insufferable.

The last song on the album is taking the same line, "For Old Times Sake", when she is singing about going to bed with her husband in the most pedestrian way, it's just another bed routine. But she is a good wife, and dutifully fulfills all expectations, pretending to serve her own needs as well.

We hope that Carly Simon has found a way to be good to herself too, and wish her a good night of sleep.

(And yes, of course we do remember that Morrissey covered her lullaby "When You Close Your Eyes" on California Son. But one of her lullaby songs is fine; more, and we all fall asleep collectively.)
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NOVALIS: Sommerabend [Summer Evening] (1976)

Novalis were a prog rock band of the 70s, originating in Hamburg. They took their name from the 18th century early Romantic poet Novalis who died of tubercolosis at the age of 28.


Novalis the band were quite successful in Germany and also Japan. They called their sound "Romantic rock music", which sounds pretty hackneyed to 21st century ears, but so does Gram Parson's "Cosmic American music". In the 1970s it sounded fresh and unusual.

I would say they widened the spectrum of feelings that men were allowed to sing about in mainstream rock music, which traditionally was more or less just about sex, drugs, riding heavy machinery on the road, being angry and then getting ready for more sex. Their lyrics are fairytale-like and overtly sensitive, dealing with the individual's perception of the world around and reflecting on their intricate and often quiet reactions. They were anti-materialistic in a naive way. They perceived human loneliness as a problem which only love could overcome, which of course is an ideology on its own.

Their musical arrangements are broad in scope, sometimes spherical, and completely radio-unfriendly. Their best known song "Sommerabend" is classically divided into five parts and takes up all of side B on the record. In the 1980s, Novalis were killed by the Neue Deutsche Welle.

The music is quite nice, sounds a bit dated though, but not in an insufferable way.

My copy was released as a reissue on the orange Brain label in 1977. Most of Brain's labels were orange from 1977-1980. The green Brain was used till 1976, and in the 1980s a black Brain became the norm.


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That's his 2014 first studio album on Anti- . Originally it was released on a burger in the US.

It's a solid, always above average soul album with some garage and blues fixings. The production is excellent. I enjoyed listening to it.

Not long ago, I was raving about his 3rd album "If Words Were Flowers". This one still lacks the playful extravaganza of its successor with its gospel choirs, etc. Over the years, Harding's vocals have clearly developed in character.

I don't have any favourite songs on this album, but they are all highly likeable as a whole.

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Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel (1974)

I have a 1976 first German pressing here. It was his 2nd and last studio album, and was released 4 months after his morphine and alcohol induced death.

His vocals are already audibly broken and vulnerable, which adds some charm and authenticity, but are foreboding the imminent demise. In contrast, Emmylou Harris' vocals are always angelic and of ethereal beauty. For me, this contrast in their vocal harmonies is the signature sound of this album.

It's a very good album, but not a cracker. Despite his "Cosmic American Music" concept, fusing rock and country on a new level, there are quite a lot of traditional country standard tunes and tropes to be found, especially on the A-Side. Maybe he got tired of providing the Eagles with even more new pioneering ideas and material that they could subsequently commercially exploit.

Highlight of the album is of course "Love Hurts" on the B-Side, which remains the best version of this song available to the present day. It's actually the B-Side that rocks and parties. The best songs of this album can all be found there.

The beautifully rendered "Love Hurts", the stressed-out (cocaine-induced?) "Las Vegas", and the prayerful "In My Hour of Darkness" which is a premonition of what was to come. He was in a tailspin, and it's important to brace oneself for that as a listener and not let yourself be dragged down into the swamp as well.

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If you got down, in spite of it all, while witnessing the saddening tragedy displayed by Gram Parsons' downfall, the best medicine is to listen to some Smiths. This is my 2011 180gr reissue on Sire. You won't find any self-pityingly wailing steel guitars on it.

I spent a year in Manchester once, and for me it was a healing experience. I had made it a routine to run after the buses, inhaling the exhaust gases emitted, which was the first step of the healing process. After my return, I was completely rooted in reality. It's better to die under a 10-ton-truck than drown in a self-made swamp of tears.

I usually listen to the A-Side, bc of Sheila, which is one of my fav Smiths songs.

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A quiet vinyl washing day...

do you mind sharing your process for cleaning vinyl? I am somewhat new to the vinyl world and I have a few older, second-hand purchases which would more than likely benefit from a wash. Thanks in advance!
do you mind sharing your process for cleaning vinyl? I am somewhat new to the vinyl world and I have a few older, second-hand purchases which would more than likely benefit from a wash. Thanks in advance!
The spin-clean record washer works fine for me. I don't use their liquid cleaning soap though, which is delivered with the package, as the labels often get wet when they are spinned in the washer. L'art du son works better for me, as it actually makes the water get into the grooves instead of just flowing down the record, so the labels stay dry (most of the time). And you only need a few drops of it. It also has an antistatic effect, that's why I also clean new records with it. Unfortunately, the washer cannot rinse the records.

So, what second-hand purchases of yours are waiting for their clean-up?
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I had big plans for this Summer (see above), but then, there are/were days when I just didn't want to listen to anything or anybody, hoping to assist my brain in accomplishing its mental hygiene programme, which is important too even though it is pretty boring.
So, i am very much behind my schedule, which is okay.

Today is also the first day for many weeks that i don't have to fight against the temperatures outside. We had an hour of rain yesterday, and this was a real relief and true game changer. I am no longer in a survival mode but can actually just take it easy. Better late than never.
Flippin through some freshly cleaned vinyl which is stacked up on the sofa...

There is a true gem hidin' in here:
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Found these in records stores, at garage sales, on flea markets and in thrift stores, some local, others in far-away places...
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Some good ones, some bad ones, in good shape and in bad shape.
Sometimes you have to buy them in stacks, so there are a few duds in there too.
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Peter, Paul and Mary - Album (1966)

This was their 6th studio album and they wanted to add some musical innovations to their rather traditional folk-pop sound with its vocal harmonies and acoustic guitars. The sound on this album is a bit rockier and quite a lot of the 12 songs were written by contemporary songwriters. I have a 1966 German stereo first press here, which defo has seen better days.

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("It wasn't me!)

The A-Side is great. The best songs can be found there. The B-Side is okay.

Best songs are Laura Nyro's "And When I die", the elated trot-along "Pack Up Your Sorrows" with its beautiful harmonies, and Peter Yarrow's own, rather desperate "The King of Names", which is, among other things, foreboding MLK's assassination two years later.

On the B-Side "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" sticks out, as it is, contrary to its title, rendered quite melancholically, dealing with the depressing cycle of reproduction, work and death, culminating in a "...and we do it again". Great in a spine-crawling way.

Passport (Doldinger) - Passport (1972)

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Passport is a German Jazz-Fusion band put together in 1971 by jazz-saxist Klaus Doldinger. They were the German band formation reaction to Miles Davis' rockjazz album "Bitches Brew", which had inspired a lot of new electric rockjazz band formations worldwide.

This was their first album, which was mostly influenced by the Canterbury scene in the UK at that time. Two of the band members had played for Amon Düül II, so there is some Krautrock in it too. Most popular and famous is Udo Lindenberg, who is treated like a German cultural artefact nowadays, and who plays the drums on this album. In 1983 he wrote the pre-unification song, which turned into some kind of an unofficial funny national anthem, "Sonderzug nach Pankow" (Chartered train to Pankow) in which he beseeches then-leader of the GDR Erich Honecker to let him sing in East Germany. Everyone knew the lyrics by heart. If i remember correctly, this was actually the first song i could sing along with.

The signature sound of this album is the "double saxophone concept". I know that this album is mostly all about the saxophone, but I must say that i find it annoyingly disruptive at times, pushing itself to the fore. I had a hard time getting used to the first song "Uranus" with its very dominant, testosterone-driven saxophone playing.

I like "Lemuria's Dance" and "Madhouse Jam" best.

Carole King - Thoroughbred (1975)

Only listened to the A-Side. Couldn't be bothered with the rest of it. Radio-friendly music for people who feel alone (?) but should better not be distracted from their work, like truck drivers for example, or librarians, office workers. Songs are about gratitude and family and relationship issues.... No politics, please!!! Just do your work, pay your taxes and continue consuming, please.
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