Archive for the ‘Record Collector’ Category

The Konrads

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Konrads, The Konrads, Decca, David Bowie

Listen: I Thought Of You Last Night / The Konrads
I

A year or two back, there was a sizeable piece in RECORD COLLECTOR about The Konrads ‘I Thought Of You Last Night’, primarily due to David Bowie’s involvement as a one time band member, if only for a few short weeks. Although it’s unclear, and I think unlikely, that he plays on this particular single, it’s understandably become a most desirable item nonetheless.

The article focused on the US Decca release, and at the time of writing, a standard pink label promotional copy had finally surfaced, thereby verifying it’s existence beyond only ever appearing in an old Decca release schedule. The most interesting part being the writer’s fairly adament and embarrassingly for him, dismissive position that the record absolutely did not make it beyond the promotional pressing stage. Therefore supposedly no commercial copies were manufactured. I mean, come on, how the fuck would a journalist some forty years later even know that anyway?

Well, it’s not true. I own a commercial copy.

I emailed the chap a few times, but he never responded.

Snooky

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Listen:  Sugar Lips / Snooky

Listen: Sugar Lips / Snooky 01 Sugar Lis.mp3

I spoke with Roger Armstrong today. He was one of the guys who opened London’s Rock On record shop in the 70′s, having started out with a few standups of used records just off Shaftsbury Avenue and later, founded Ace Records, the catalog/reissue company, which he still owns and operates. Like the rest of us, he’s just a plain old record junkie. Luckily, when I bought Tony King’s 45 collection back in May, Roger offered a helping hand, and as a result, they’re still all boxed up and sitting in one of Roger’s spare rooms, waiting to come home to NYC. So we had a fun hour catch up call today. He mentioned the Camden Record Fair from a Sunday or two ago, whereby he picked up 70/80 singles, about two thirds of which he’d never heard of. Even the deepest record collectors and musicologists always are finding more records to collect. That’s the beauty of it all, there are so many records, not only to play but to discover as well, and the search is never ending. Wonderful.

Tonight Phil stopped by. We played singles for a good three hours. I pulled out a stack of Contempo releases I’d faithfully bought in the late 80′s and tucked away on a bottom shelf. The Notting Hill Record & Tape Exchange was the place to be then, for me that is. I always stayed at the The Pembridge Court Hotel, a mere block away. Sometimes I’d make a few trips to and from the shop with armloads of singles, dumping them in my room and resuming the digging minutes later. One time, Corinne dropped me off around 10 AM on her way to Soho to shop, and noticed me in the ground floor 7″ section around 4 PM that afternoon when she returned. I’d been there the whole time, by now starving and needing to piss badly. True story. All the 7′s were around a pound or so a piece then. I remember loving the look of the Contempo labels, and their stock sleeves, despite being pretty unfamiliar with the company. I did know of the BLUES & SOUL magazine that the label was loosely associated with from the 70′s. A good publication, even if they over celebrated themselves a bit too often. Well all these years later, I finally got around to playing through this chuck of Contempos, finding this, ‘Sugar Lips’ by Snooky, licensed from Feelgood Records Ltd in 1975.

Phil didn’t know a thing about this record’s history, not did I. We Googled Snooky. Googled Feelgood Records. Checked the RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE. No info, not anywhere. Who is this? Who are Feelgood Records? No idea. Very bizarre. But in keeping with one of the great consistencies of record collecting, there’s always more records to discover. It never ever ends.

Interestingly, for such a hardcore soul label, this track sounds quite like The Tremeloes. I love it.

STEINSKI & MASS MEDIA

Monday, November 17th, 2008

We’ll Be Right Back / Steinski & Mass Media

We’ll Be Right Back / Steinski & Mass Media

Listen: We’ll Be Right Back / Steinski & Mass Media SteinskiWellBeRightBack.mp3

There’s a nice interview with Steve Stein in the December 2008 issue of RECORD COLLECTOR. It reminded me of the two Steinski singles Fourth & Broadway released, and so I went to play them, not having heard either for ages. They are a vivid soundbite of all that cut up stuff happening in both hip hop and dance but sound a bit dated now. ‘Pump Up The Volume’ was the unexpected mainstream smash from the bunch. Despite reaching Number 1 in Billboard, it lost a stack, as none of the samples had been cleared. Island were way more careful when releasing Bomb The Bass ‘Beat Dis’. Both singles were great, but those in the know claim without Steinski & Mass Media’s ‘We’ll Be Right Back’ from the year prior, they might not have existed. So just maybe this started it all.

Cast

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Free Me / Cast

Listen: Free Me / Cast
Free

I hadn’t realized Cast scored eight UK Top Ten’s between ’96 – ’99, and more chart success into ’01. I always thought this to be a pretty under appreciated record, but indeed it reached #7. Very good. Well deserved.

I suppose it’s a bit too early in their curve to hear the press singing praises just yet, but then again I don’t read most of it, well any of it to be precise, so they might be. Except RECORD COLLECTOR and MOJO, but haven’t spotted a Cast mention in ages. John Power was the guitarist for The La’s, and it’s all politically correct to like them so…

I’ve been very lucky, ever since Howard gave me that Elektra job, I’ve gotten to visit the UK many, many times. Always liked hearing Cast on the radio there, it just was a natural soundtrack. But I’ll never forget when this came on one morning. You know those moments when a song is an everlasting imprint of a time and place on the brain? I remember that moment, right down to the weather, what I’d just eaten for breakfast and the hotel room I was in while listening to Radio 1′s Breakfast Show, readying myself for work. It sounded modern and perfectly ’60′s at the same time. I had to have the record that day. I immediately called my pal, Jim Lahat, at BBC London and asked if he had a copy. Bless him, he always made sure I got everything, still does. He said, don’t worry, it’s in your pile, adding ‘why do you want it anyways?’. He’s a riot like that. We were seeing each other later at our usual haunt, EAT & 2 VEG, which, by the way, a is killer vegetarian joint just down Marylebone High Street from his office. And Jim outdid himself, getting his Polydor guy to bike over one of the promo-only vinyl pressings they’d done as a surprise. Jim has a heart of gold this way, always doing generous things for friends.

So ‘Free Me’ has great memories attached to it. Despite endless plays, I still can’t put my finger on exactly who this reminds me of, let’s say The Who and The Creation for sure. Anyways, it’s a classic.