Heading downstairs for this week's Used Vinyl Alert, we have an international smorgasbord for your ears. Norwegian guitarists, Japanese jazz, French swing, American punk, Italian dance, and many more nations await you!
Let's start with the jazz LPs, as they are mighty ripe this week. Come check out records from Archie Shepp, Herbie Hancock, Harvey Mason, Howlett Smith, Osamu Kitajima, Walter Bishop, Richard Davis, Terje Rypdal, Philip Catherine, John Scofield, Jaco Pastorius, Gil Scott-Heron, Tony Williams, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Sonny Fortune, Larry Coryell, Ornette Coleman, Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Junior Mance, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Art Blakey, and a real beast of an LP from Mal Waldron.
Our regular rock and poppers are here from names like Frank Zappa, Prince, the Beatles, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, plus some rarer slabs from Mad River, Birtha, Popol Ace, Focus, the Free Design, the Silver Apples, the Nice, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Todd Tamanend Clark. We've got heavier ones from Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Guns n Roses, the Melvins, Weedeater, Boris, Om, Sleep, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, plus more from the B-52s, Devo, the Cult, the Church, the Buggles, the Cure, Wall of Voodoo, and newer stuff from Sublime, Japanther, Ratatat, Lightning Bolt, and Bohren und der Club of Gore.
Many great female vocal records are in this week, including a nice run of LPs from Nina Simone, and some classic/rare Billie Holiday and Wanda Jackson records. More folk is in from Buffy Sainte Marie, Pentangle, John and Beverley Martyn, Dave Van Ronk, and a handful of heavy private Xian psych records. Plenty of great blues LPs are in from BB King, Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Etta James, Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson, and more.
We haul out some more great, deep dance vinyl this week, including more Italo and Eurobeat than we've ever seen here at one time. You could party an entire summer away at Rimini Beach and still not get through all of these! Lots of the big names in this scene are here, which....if names like Den Harrow, Paul Lekakis, Mark Farina, Ken Laszlo, Savage, or William Pitt mean anything to you, get over here! A cool mix of other electronic records are also in, from names like Nik Pascal, Boards of Canada, and Flying Lotus.
We close it out with some soul and funk from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Osibisa, James Brown, Joanne Tardy, Hot Butter, the Isleys, and Otis Redding. A neat spread of international stuff includes Bob Marley, Augustus Pablo, Paco de Lucia, Martin Denny, Dick Hyman, and some classic dancehall EPs. Rap is here from Madvillain and Danny Brown, plus a nice spread of 90s hip-hop 12"s from lots of the big names: Nas, Beyonce, Jay Z, Usher, De La Soul, and Dr. Dre.
USED CD ALERT:
Evan here covering used compact disc duty, as Ryan's currently out of the office serving as the SD liaison to the NBA Draft. We do some strong work here this week bringing you the finest cornerstones of a respectable jazz and rock collection, with deep Prestige- and Impulse-laden catalog runs through the works of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Paul Motian and more. A healthy pull of Bob Dylan Bootleg series sets sits alongside big'ns from the Grateful Dead and Jer Bear solos, plus wild ones from Jimi Hendrix, Gil Scott-Heron, Jim O'Rourke, Richard Thompson, Emmylou Harris, Television, and DJ Shadow. Salut!
This isn't the spot to lay down odds on the third race. OTB is where Others Talk Back and give you the lowdown on what they've been feeling lately. This one's for the customers.
Bruce Springsteen – “Western Stars” This album is definitely not an E Street Band project. Bruce has gotten together a small band and also a forty-some member orchestra to detail his songs of lost love, lost lives and lost dreams. Bruce has called this his sixties pop record. But this is Jimmy Webb and “Forever Changes” sixties pop, not the Doors, Dylan or the Dead or anything remotely like that. In fact, “Western Skies” could almost be classified as a baroque pop album. The care that Bruce took to compose and arrange the songs is more than evident in the music. The songs are straightforward no- nonsense pop and this has to be the best sounding album of his career. And he sings the heck out of the songs to bring them across. I was definitely thrown for a loop when I first listened to the album. But with each successive listen I love it more and more. - Ted
Roger Daltrey – “The Who’s Tommy Orchestral” Like Mr. Springsteen, Mr. Daltrey has utilized an orchestra. In this case it is the Budapest Scoring Orchestra from Hungary. This dynamic score and arrangements have brought Tommy to life for the first time in many decades. And trust me, Mr. Daltrey can really still sing. - Ted
The Buzzcocks – “Singles Going Steady” and “A Different Kind of Tension” Without any doubt, “Singles Going Steady” is one of the best albums coming out of punk rock. The Buzzcocks were a singles band at heart and produced some of the best singles during the late seventies punk era. Their first eight singles from 1977 to 1979 are included, both a and b sides. It is simply a stunning album from start to finish. “A Different Kind of Tension” was the band’s last album before they broke up in 1981. Released in 1979, it is the yang to “Singles Going Steady” ying. “ADKOT” is album rock compared to the simple pop of “Singles Going Steady.” Song lengths are increased and the whole album has a certain sense of experimentation to go beyond the 45 single mentality. As good as they were with writing pop songs, the Buzzcocks also succeeded with the more experimental and outré songs of ADKOF.” And both albums are sourced from the original tapes for the first time in forty years. And yes, they sound fantastic. - Ted