My ten most recent "favorite" albums (in no particular order as of 08/26/2017)

Here are the albums that have recently captured by ears and attention over the last couple of weeks.  None are particularly recent releases and they won't necessarily appeal to everyone.  Still, these are what's playing on the BadCatRecords turntable.

 


If you've ever been curious about the Velvet Underground, this 1974 live, double LP is a great place to start exploring their catalog.  Ignore all the hype about what a decadent outfit they were.  I'm not saying they weren't decadent - kind of hard to do so given songs like 'Waiting for the Man', 'Heroin', 'Sweet Jane', etc.  The big surprise is what a great rock and roll band they'd become by 1969.  Sure, Nico and John Cale were gone by the time these sides were recorded, but this line up including lead guitarist Sterling Morrison  and bassist Doug Yule were nothing short of great.   It's an overlooked classic live set and worth every penny of the price.  Besides, it will give you plenty of time to wonder if Andy Warhol's butt graced the cover ...  Hopefully not.

 

Genre: rock

Rating:  **** (4 stars)

Title:  1969 Velvet Underground Live with Lou Reed

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-2-01874
Year:
 1974

Country/State: New York, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1094

Price: $35.00

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  The Mighty Quinn

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SR 61168

Year: 1968

Country/State: South Africa /UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2775

Price: $40.00

 

 

Some folks might want to buy it just for the cool Victor Mascoso cover.  The fact it has Manfred Mann's most enjoyable set of commercial pop tunes is almost an afterthought.  See the full review on the BadCatRecords webiste.


I loved the Dolan brothers' 1969 debut so when I stumbled across a copy of their sophomore released in a dollar bin, I grabbed it.

 

Produced by Sandy Robertson, 1970's "Through a Window" was a modest departure from the debut.  On a song-for-song basis the sound wasn't as "rock" oriented, which might prove a turnoff to some folks.  I'd suggest the band made up for that with a more varied and dynamic sound.  This time out you also got to hear plenty of Mick Dolan's dexterity on acoustic guitar (check out 'Freewheel' and 'A Song of Summer'). Featuring another set of largely original material co-written by the three band members, these guys were one of the tightest trios I've ever heard.  Very few wasted notes on any of these tracks.  All hyperbole aside, Michael Dolan was one of rock's most overlooked singers and lead guitarists.  Similarly, brother Steve and drummer Carless made for a dynamic rhythm section, capable of way more than the standard hard rock trio repertoire.  This was one of the few albums in my collection where I love virtually each and every track (I even have the album on my iPhone).  Hard to pick out favorites, but if pinned in a corner, my top three would include the rocking opener 'On the Road', the sweet ballad 'Smile As You Go Under' (always loved the backward tapes that close it out), and the stunning acoustic instrumental 'Freewheel'.

 

Needless to say, since I loved the debut, I was equally impressed by this one.  

 

Genre: rock

Rating:  **** (4 stars)

Title:  Through a Window

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: WS 1879
Year:
 1970

Country/State: Birmingham, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: white label promo copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2221

Price: $40.00

 

 


Genre: soul

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  I'm Gonna Miss You

Company: Brunswick

Catalog: 54123
Year:
 1967

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2727

Price: $40.00

 

 

The Artistics' debut for Brunswick and there wasn't a bad track on the album (and there were 12 tracks).  Equally unusual, these guys wrote most of their own material and were actually allowed to record it.   How many mid-'60s soul groups can make that statement?   Where to start?  The title track was a classic slice of '60s feel-good soul, but 'Glad I Met You' and 'Girl I Need You' were just as good.

Part of a series of Warner Brothers Music Show radio promotional releases, "Van Morrison Live at the Roxy" was recorded during Morrison's 1978 American "Wavelength" tour.  Produced by Joel Fein and Ted Cohen, the ten track set included material spanning the breadth of Morrison's career, but focused heavily on his recently released "Wavelength" collection -  the title track, 'Checkin' It Out', 'Hungry For Your Love', and 'Kingdom Hall' were all off of "Wavelength".   Backed by most of the folks who supported Morrison on the album, the results were pretty impressive.  With the focus on new material, there wasn't a lot of time for visiting old classics, which meant 'Brown Eyed Girl' and 'Crazy Love' were given rather slapdash performances. In fact, Morrison turned 'Crazy Love' over to back-up singer Katie Kissoon (mis-credited as 'Katie Kassoon'). Luckily 'Tupelo Honey' and 'Caravan' faired better.  All-in-all it was a nice enough live document, but it's short and for a wider view of the man and his unique talents, you'd probably want to go with 1974's "It's Too Late To Stop Now".

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Van Morrison Live At the Roxy

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: WBMS 102

Year: 1979

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promo album

Available:1

Catalog number: 1572

Price: $80.00

 


Genre: blues-rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Dancing On the Edge

Company: Alligator

Catalog: AL-4747

Year: 1986

Country/State: Ozark, Arkansas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2718

Price: $15.00

 

He lived in my community, and I've always wished that I knew that fact before his passing ...   Perhaps because it played down Roy Buchanan's blues chops,"Dancing On the Edge" always been one of my favorite Buchanan albums.  That's not to say this was a Buchanan stab at top-40 success, but tracks like hsi remake of 'Peter Gunn' and the instrumental 'Pedal To the Metal' were surprisingly commercial. The fact Delbert McClinton joined the band for three selections ('The Chokin' Kind', 'You Can't Judge a Book By It's Cover', and 'Baby, Baby. Baby') was just icing on the cake.  To be honest, this album probably wasn't going to change your opinion of Buchanan one way or the other. To my ears it was a wonderful example of the man's almost magical skill on guitar.  Exemplified by tracks like his cover of 'Drowning On Dry Land' (with Buchanan handling lead vocals), and originals like 'Jungle Gym', 'Whiplash', and the closer 'matthew', he was lightening quick, highly melodic, seldom played unnecessary note, but was capable of shredding with the best of them.  As you probably guessed, the three collaborations with McClinton were the standout performances, but the entire album was worth a spin.

Picked this one up at a yard sale without any knowledge of who they were.  Judging by the cover (don;t do that), my expectations weren't very high.  Guess I was thinking they looked like a British country-rock outfit.  I was wrong - way wrong.   "Glencoe" stands as one of those albums that makes you wonder how these guys escaped wider attention.  With Maitland and Turnbull responsible for the majority of  material, the set featured a likeable mixture that crossed country-rock ('Lifeline'), pop, and progressive moves (frequently within the same song).  Tracks like 'Airport', 'Lifeline' and 'Look Me In the Eye' were smooth and highly melodic and that may have spelled their demise.   With so many talented early-'70s bands out there, these guys were too mainstream for hard rock fans.  They were also too rock oriented for country-rock fans, and too bright and commercial for progressive fans.  Maybe not the most album of 1972, but thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

 .

 

Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Glencoe

Company: Grand Western Gramaphone

Catalog:  AL 31901
Year:
 1972

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2706

Price: $30.00

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Steve Winwood

Company: Island

Catalog:  ILPS 949
Year:
 1977

Country/State: Birmingham, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original textured cover

Available: 1977

Catalog ID: 2

Price: $10.00

 

Short and simple - Winwood's first solo album.  His best solo album.

Another too the point review - possibly the most consistent and enjoyable album in Green's lengthy recording catalog.  And it has a surprisingly number of up-tempo and funky performances.

Genre: soul

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Al Green Gets Next To You

Company: Hi

Catalog: SHL-32062

Year: 1970

Country/State: Forrest City, Arkansas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5419

Price: $20.00

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Got Change for a Million?

Company: Line

Catalog: 6.24578 AP 

Year: 1981

Country/State: Detroit, Michigan

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed, original German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3174

Price:  $40.00

 

Awesome early-1980s collection of rockers that was criminally overlooked (only released in Germany) and didn't even see an American release for a decade.  Of the nine tracks, there's only one disappointment which is an amazing batting average.  See the full review on the BadCatRecords website.

 

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