Tuesday, March 09, 2004

OK, one more day of 1960s related stuff. For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I'm hardly an expert, I usually try to stay away from the more obscure prog/psych/folk releases. But, along with the album featured yesterday by Green, I bought a CD from a series called Fading Yellow which compiles lots of hard-to-find songs from the late sixties and early seventies. The guy who owns the record store warned me that the quality of the series varies a lot from one volume to the next, but I'm pretty happy with the one I bought (volume seven). So far my favorite song is also the silliest: this is Tinkerbell's Mind by The Glitterhouse. The lyrics start out in the goofy territory and just get worse and worse until at some point we’re singing about Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh. Really catchy, though! I keep thinking that the singer sounds a bit like Elvis Costello.

I also bought a reissue (on CD) of a self titled album by a New York band from the 1970s called Nosy Parker which I'm not liking all that much, so I'm not posting anything from it. Apparently it was a kind of a hot collectible in the past: I wonder if the easy availability of the CD version will put out that fire a little bit. I also picked up a kind of a pleasant album called I See It Now by a 60s band called Fargo. It's very Beatle-y sounding, though less inspired. Here's the song that appears on the Fading Yellow CD (I didn't have time to convert the vinyl to MP3's yet), Talks We Used To Have. It's probably worth noting that both the Fargo and the Green albums originally appeared on major labels (RCA and Atco respectively). One thing that I really hope will come from this MP3/downloading revolution that we're living through would be to see major labels making all (not just the popular parts) of their back catalogs available again.

I keep meaning to do something on Kim Fowley's 1970s albums. A lot of his recordings from the 1960s have come out on CD in the last few years, and his most recent releases (most of which really stink) are on CD, but some of his best records from the mid-to-late 1970s remain vinyl-only. This is a shame because a lot of his 1960s stuff is more jokey than good. I'm not saying that his crass weirdness doesn't have an appeal, and I'm also not saying that his 1970s albums don't have any crass weirdness. In fact, they have a lot. But they also feature some surprisingly good material. As an unorthodox introduction, here's a mediocre cover of a great song that appears on Kim's International Heroes record. This version is by the British Lions (basically the dregs of Mott the Hoople) from a pretty forgettable self-titled album. [It is available on CD, but I'm not about to spend any money to get that, so this version is from scratchy vinyl!]

I think tomorrow and Thursday will be Kim Fowley days, and depending on the feedback (if any) I get, I might even go through Friday. I really like the records that I'm going to be featuring a lot, so I hope you’ll overlook any preconceptions about Kim (especially if you’ve only heard Outrageous, Good Clean Fun, Animal God of The Streets, Outlaw Superman, etc. or if you know him via The Runaways or by Sonic Youth's cover of Bubblegum or by his recent solo albums or…god, there are 18 million ways you could be familiar with him). More tomorrow…

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