Posts Tagged ‘Matt & Kim’

The Apollas

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Listen: You’re Absolutely Right / The Apollas
ApollasAbsolutely.mp3

For the longest time, I couldn’t quite understand the addictive cult obsession with Northern Soul, and then one day the light went off in my head. I still can’t explain it easily, but I get it. And God, is it addicting. Like when I get into that moment and I really need a proper Northern tune, nothing else suffices.

The inventory of undiscovered Northern necessities is forever high. Undiscovered not meaning unheard of or without some crazy book value but instead, undiscovered in that I don’t have a copy yet. It’s just not enough to actually hear it via a cd comp or on youtube, but to hear it on record, that’s the mainline.

Another official addiction problem this past year in my little world became Loma Records, the Los Angeles based soul label Bob Krasnow headed up for Warner Brothers in the mid 60′s. And there, in the thick of that incredible catalog, sat an aforementioned, or should I say just described, Northern necessity. The Apollas ‘You’re Absolutely Right’, an early Ashford & Simpson co-write with Jo Armstead, formerly one of The Ikettes.

And this devil escaped me for months on eBay, I kept getting outbid by a dollar or two. Until I’d had quite enough and eSniped a crazy high limit price, resulting in this promo pressing beauty turning up last week while on tour with Matt & Kim. Trust me, I rang the house daily inquiring about it’s arrival. All three family members just stopped answering my calls until on Saturday, Lucy phoned with the news that a record had arrived.

I could not get home from JFK fast enough on Sunday.

Here it is, it’s mine. Life is now complete, temporarily that is.

Ike Turner

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Listen: Right On / Ike Turner
Right

Lux and Ivy once pulled me aside in Toronto’s Kop’s Collectibles while we were shopping for 45′s just after doing a MUCH MUSIC interview. In deadpan seriousness, Ivy handed me an Ike Turner single proclaiming if I did not own it, I needed it. “He’s incredible, like seriously incredible.”

“Forget all that whoee about his domestic life, the records, just get ‘em all”, Lux in an almost scolding tone.

I have obeyed, and as an email I recently got specific to my several posts on this blog conveyed, you can never have enough Ike & Tina Turner.

‘Right On’ came out as a 7″ back when I was a college rep for United Artists, desperately interested in The Move, Wizzard, The Bonzo Dog Band and Family from their current roster, but also into the occasional Blue Note (who they distributed) funk-jazz release and any Monk Higgins or Bobby Womack single.

How I missed, misplaced or failed to pay attention to ‘Right On’ is a scary blank in my memory. It’s so good, so racey, so unforgettable. What the fuck happened? Did I black out for three months or something? Well, I’ll never know. But as I lie here in bed, with it on repeat and type this post, I can tell you one thing. At this very moment, it’s my favorite record in the whole wide world.

These lyrics are hysterical. Listen to every one. It may take a few plays, and I suggest headphones, but you’ll pick them up. Ike’s delivery will get in your face, maybe even scare you a bit, his voice is that alive. Wow.

Last week, while out on the Matt & Kim / blink-182 tour, we had a day off in Pittsburgh. Typically, they hit the Warhol museum, I think the crew went to a sporting event of some stadium sort, and I hit today’s version of the yellow pages, Google, looking for used 45′s. First thing that comes up: Jerry’s Records.

I rang to ask, did they have 45′s from the 50′s and 60′s. It was Jerry who answered.

Affirmative. “About 700,000.”

Hmm, ok, sounds like a bit of a stretch, but certainly more than a few boxes, and it was close, four miles. What the heck.

Lord have mercy. This was the most jaw dropping, overwhelming record store I can recall being in, maybe ever. If you visit, and you seriously must, be ready. What you see pictured above is one row from the $3 section of 45′s, then a few of those rows representing around one third of that total $3 section. Plus there’s the $7 section, the new arrivals and the $100+ locked room, none of those even pictured here. In total, they all take up maybe one quarter, tops, of the entire shop. The rest is albums. The walls are lined with memorabilia and every space is crammed with old displays and trade ads and, and, and……

I stood there frozen, body and brain. Couldn’t think of one single I needed for like five minutes. It was that powerful. But once I got going….forget it.

Promise yourself you will visit, and don’t plan on doing it in just one day. Maybe bring a stretcher. You might need to leave on it.

Like ‘Right On’, which I purchased at Jerry’s, I’d somehow never heard of either.

Aren’t records the greatest! There are so many, you never run out of the need to keep looking.

The Walker Brothers

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

walkerbrosshipuk, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash
walkerbrosshipusa, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash
walkerbrosshipps, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash

US Picture Sleeve: Front (above) / Back (below)

walkerbrosshippsb, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash

Listen: My Ship Is Coming In / The Walker Brothers
My Ship Is Coming In / The Walker Brothers

I will never forget the Friday night I walked into Two Guys Department store with my parents. As usual, I headed straight to the record department while they proceeded to do some weekly shopping. The singles were displayed all along the the tops of the album bins, each in their own metal rack holding about 25 copies. I wish I had photos.

There in brilliant full color, was the above Walker Brothers picture sleeved single, ‘My Ship Is Coming In’, a solid 25 copies freshly unboxed. I could hardly breathe. They looked fantastic in bulk. The sleeve just radiated about one hundred times more intensely than anything else in sight, like a messiah. I still get tingles looking at the cover. It brings me right back. I owned it minutes later.

I could not get home fast enough, freaking out in the dark car, holding this masterpiece but only getting to glimpse at it as we passed under traffic lights and street lamps. God knows how many times I played it that night. It was not guitar based British beat, but instead sounded like music grownups listened too. Yet clearly there was something addictive in it’s air. I decided then and there, I was going to love this record. That was that. I did then and I still do.

Years later Scott Walker would reveal that while all his contemporaries in London were modeling themselves after American blues greats, his attention was focused on becoming the next Eddie Fisher. How genius was this guy?

WalkerSunUKA, The Walker Brothers

walkerbrossunuk, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash
wlakerbrossunusa, The Walker Brothers, Scott Walker, Philips, Smash

Listen: The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) / The Walker Brothers
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) / The Walker Brothers

The world was not ready for the followup to ‘My Ship Is Coming In’. Mine certainly wasn’t. How could The Walker Brothers possibly up the perfection of that record? Then along comes ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)’, a flop a few years earlier for Franki Valli. He and The Four Seasons had loads of great records, and he’s no slouch in the vocal department. But Scott Walker he is not, no one is.

I swear, this record can still stop me in my tracks when it comes up on the ipod or BBC’s Radio 2. I heard it on the 60′s Sirius radio channel aboard a JetBlue flight recently. As diverse and truly exciting that the many other songs were, this just grabbed the prize unchallenged.

I saw Matt Pinfield the other day. He had Matt & Kim on his morning WRXP radio show, so I went along. Pinfield is the most kind hearted and passionate music fan, really knows his stuff, loves records. We worked together at Columbia and got connected at the hip. Somehow the subject of ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)’ came up. Almost in unison, we both blurted out nearly identical sentences.

“This may be the greatest single of all time.”

Deservedly, it spent a month at #1 in the UK. See the three consecutive NME charts below, reprinted from 40 YEARS OF THE NME CHARTS. Despite not one US TV appearance or live show, it did get played here and had a decent chart run, peaking at #13 in BILLBOARD. It should have, at least, gone Top 10 but given the many singles that never ever charted, there’s some contentment in it’s placing.

nme4_66, 40 Years Of The NME Charts

Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Above and below: Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’ picture sleeve, front and back

Listen: Say Goodbye To Hollywood (Mono) / Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band
Say Goodbye To Hollywood / Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band

Matt recently told me of his experience discovering The Ronettes via Pandora Radio, just a few weeks back. It was his first exposure. I often refer to certain vocalists, like Ronnie Spector, as being from a time period when one had to really sing in order to make records. That technical ability resonated, and upon hearing ‘Be My Baby’ during Pandora’s random, computer logic song choice playlist, got up to check the LED read out. His story concluded with an exclamation of her undeniable singing abilities, and now knowing exactly what I meant.

Every once in a while, along comes a superstar to the rescue of an idol, feeling more than indebted to said legend. Such was the case in ’77 for Ronnie Spector, with Little Steven Van Zandt (using his beyond brilliant alias Sugar Miami Steve) and Bruce Springsteen getting involved.

Recording and releasing Billy Joel’s apparent Ronnie Spector tribute song, ‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’, as the first single (posted above in promo only mono) from the forthcoming album (Epic PE 34683), a benchmark moment in 45 rpm history occurred. Lending The E Street Band’s entire line-up, signature sound (the group an obvious Phil Spector salute themselves) and services to her avail, a flop seemed clearly impossible. Not.

Leave it to US radio. No airplay was deemed worthy, despite the clout of Bruce Springsteen, Epic, Billy Joel, you name it. What a sacrilegious scar to every programmer involved.

Typically, in major label fashion, that forthcoming album (Epic PE 34683) was shelved, and back to the salt mines/oldies circuit went Ronnie Spector, frustratingly having made yet another timeless single and earning nothing. How fucked up.

Shirley Scott

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Listen: It’s Your Thing / Shirley Scott ShirleyScottThing.mp3

In my world, there is no bad version of ‘It’s Your Thing’. Unlike many, many original classics that are pointless to try re-doing (‘Be My Baby’, ”Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ – someone please tell The Red Hot Chili Peppers and U2 to stop making fools of themselves trying, ‘See Emily Play’….the list is looooong), some songs seem written to be personalized, reinterpreted. This is one.

Now Shirley Scott can do no wrong in my small place of the universe. Ever seen a bad picture of her? No.

From the great era when being black and trying to get your hair blond resulted in a beautiful orange do, Shirley Scott was queen. And when she got behind that Hammond B3 in those southern juke joints, it had to be heaven.

Found this, her version of ‘It’s Your Thing’ featuring King Curtis in Cleveland a week or so back. On tour with Matt & Kim not only means I get to watch one of the world’s greatest bands every single night, but also allows me to wander the streets looking for used records after soundcheck.

I didn’t need to go far. Stumbled on this, right there inside the Beachland Ballroom complex (2 live music rooms, 2 additional bars with incredible 7″ jukeboxes plus a hip antique clothing/kitch collectables/ great junk/record shop in the basement). In addition to about one hundred-ish 7″ singles that I struggled back to the bus with (Kim commenting ‘How do you plan to hide these from Corinne?’), this particular one had the additional value of it’s original jukebox tab stapled to the sleeve. I already had the promo back home, but a stock copy with the tab intact was just calling out my name.

The Heptones / The Upsetters

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

HeptonesBook, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

Listen: Book Of Rules / The Heptones HeptonesBook.mp3

Been digging out a lot of reggae stuff lately, combing through the shelves separated out exclusively for the genre, well ska and blue beat are in there too of course.

A few posts back, Justin Hines & The Dominoes to be exact, the story of my initial introduction, basically an unexpected crash course box full of seminal records from Howard, had me pull out a cd compilation I did at Island, created specifically to market, via in store play, the reissue series encompassing most of their classic 70′s reggae titles. Both cd and campaign were called 96ยบ IN THE SHADE. It was good fun, and honestly a piece of cake. I just started with Jimmy Cliff’s ‘The Harder They Come’ – and using the Island master printout (which chronologically lists every single and album by catalog number – if anyone would like a pdf of it – email me – it’s fascinating) picked out the gems.

And I’m proud to say, the comp got such good response from the shops, that we renamed it GROOVE YARD, changed the cover, squeezed on a few more good ones, and released it commercially. It sold well. I’m pretty sure it’s still in print – no wait – I just checked Amazon – out of print but there’s 1 new copy for sale: $142.00. I need to dig out that box lot from the garage this Saturday.

Like the rest of the solar system, I don’t use cd’s much anymore – the Airbooks in the house don’t even have disc drives, so most of those compact discs are boxed and in storage, although some I do keep shelved for long drives. I grabbed GROOVE YARD on my way out to Stony Brook University to see Matt & Kim the other weekend, and found myself reliving the greatness of quite a few tunes from the era, as well as some sentimental memories of those times.

‘Book Of Rules’ is certainly one of my 10-ish favorite reggae 7′s. Fantastic song, nice clean vocal and lovely production. Well done Chris Blackwell.

HeptonesBookDub, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

Listen: Book Of Rules (Version) / The Heptones HeptonesBookDub.mp3

Released in ’73, it seems to have just preceded full on dub, hence instrumentals with decorative sound effects thrown in were then called ‘version’ – and often used as B sides. I’ve always wanted ‘Book Of Rules (Version)’ to be a bit more exciting or interesting or something moving – but it basically isn’t. I’ve posted it to quench curiosity. Plus it’s interesting to see how dub was getting started.

HeptonesSufferers, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

HeptonesSufferUS, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

Listen: Sufferer’s Time / Heptones with The Upsetters HeptonesSufferersTime.mp3

By ’76, with Lee Perry at the controls, The Black Arc in full swing and The Upsetters doing the tracking, The Heptones were in tune with the times. Another classic, ‘Sufferer’s Time’, is basically perfect in every way. I never spin it just once. Can’t. I’ll even be late for something important to hear it that one extra time.

The real fun bit here it that Island US issued it as a 7″ too. I’m guessing there were pockets of Jamaican communities in some of the major US cities that would warrant, say a 1000 – 2000 piece run. Those sales figures are again guesses, and the manufacturing details were very sloppy at Island, so I never did figure out a real number on this and a few other jaw droppers (in that I couldn’t believe they’d been issued in the US on 7″) while at the company.

This I can tell you – there weren’t many as I’ve never seen another US copy of ‘Sufferer’s Time’. Just happened to stumble on this while going through some deeply buried boxes in the mailroom – a process of completion that took a month or two, but I got through ‘em all and it was well, well, well worth the sleuthing, trust me.

UpsettersSufferersDub, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

UpsettersSufferersUS, The Heptones, The Upsetters, Lee Perry, Chris Blackwell, Island

Listen: Sufferer’s Dub / The Upsetters UpsettersSufferDub.mp3

Not only is the A side a killer, but by ’76, proper dub was in serious swing – hence this monster example on the flip, aptly titled ‘Sufferer’s Dub’. Oddly credited only to The Upsetters despite many Heptones vocal drops, it makes for even more excitement in one way – an American single by The Upsetters. Never been another. I get excited by unexpected things admittedly.

HeptonesParty, The Heptones, Lee Perry, The Upsetters

Listen: Party Time / The Heptones HeptonesPartyTime.mp3

When this first arrived in the mail, dependably hot off the presses from HT, I was mildly disappointed. That was stupid. It’s awesome. I had the original UK LP pressing too, but now find only the US Mango copy in my wall shelf. Basically, I know Duane stole it – he always denies it – but it’s plain and simple true. No biggie – at least I know where it is.

But if you try to touch the single Duane, be prepared to pull back a bloody stub.

Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

Monday, September 21st, 2009

marvinkim, Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, Tamla, Motown

Listen: It Takes Two / Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston MarvinTammi.mp3

I don’t believe the general public hears this one enough. Seems to have slipped through the fingers of time. If I ever hear Marvin Gaye’s duets with Tammi Terrell (‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Ain’t Nothing Lie The Real Thing’) again on stale, tired US Oldies radio, I think I’ll puke. I’m betting Sirius gives this one a spin occasionally though. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Tammi Terrell, but I really love Kim Weston. She had swagger and I had the hots for her as a teenager, saw her on one of those Dick Clark ‘Caravan Of Stars’ tour packages.

‘It Takes Two’ is also an oddly hard single to find, considering it reached #14 Pop in ’67. Hard to find in good condition that is. I didn’t pick it up on release, and only found a fairly clean copy a year or so back. Now one of my jukebox staples, I spent the day just hanging around the house, filing stacks of singles I picked up during the past two weeks busing around the States with Matt & Kim, playing it incessantly, pressing B9 every time I passed my trusty Seeburg.

Bob Kuban & The In-Men

Monday, August 24th, 2009

bobkuban, BobKuban, Musicland

Listen: The Cheater / Bob Kuban & The In-Men BobKuban.mp3

Just one of those moments in time – a song that basically came and went. Then one day recently, it got into my brain and I realized I hadn’t heard it for eons. It sounded pretty great. Even though the singer and general lineup may have taken them down the Blood Sweat & Tears road, fate had a different plan. Not only did the next two singles barely scrap The Hot 100 ( ‘The Teaser’ #83 and ‘Drive My Car’ #93), the singer Walter Scott was murdered by his wife’s lover. I’m sure, much to her surprise, she was next, proceeding to bury them under the cement in his back patio. Some of this is fairly well documented, but interestingly, last night, Matt & Kim played OFF BROADWAY in St . Louis. And I got into a fascinating conversation with the club’s owner. Turns out Bob Kuban & The In-Men were a local band, and he informed me of the above gory details. Some of them, although possibly local legend, are just too gory to share. But enough said.

The record, seldom heard these days (good old, very old, American programmers hard at work putting themselves out of jobs – note WBCN in Boston), was a big hit, reaching #12 in ’66 and sounded wonderful on the radio, it’s blaring mono-ness complimenting the British Invasion dominance quite tolerably. Lyrically, alarmingly, and certainly unknowingly, predicting the future.

Matt & Kim

Monday, June 15th, 2009

mattkimlessons, Matt & Kim, Matt and Kim, Fader Label, Nettwerk, KCRW, Hot Butter

Listen: Cinders (Live) / Matt & Kim MattKImCindersLive.mp3

‘Cinders’ may be to this millennium what Hot Butter’s ‘Popcorn’ was to the last. Yet with all the open mindedness in today’s society, I can guarantee you it doesn’t spill over to radio programming. Don’t expect to hear ‘Cinders’ on a pop station anytime soon. A great session for KCRW captured the manic mayhem of ‘Cinders’ live, making for a perfect B side.

As for the A side, ‘Lessons Learned’, a mini symphony and the best video of the year, all at once. I’m probably the last person on earth to be writing about this clip – but I had to wait until there was an actual 7″ single, which thankfully now exists.

The Ikettes

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Listen: What’cha Gonna Do / The Ikettes Ikettes.mp3

May 24, 2009: one year since the launch of and first ever post on SO MANY RECORDS, SO LITTLE TIME.

What better way to celebrate the occasion than:

1) Improve the blog by creating expansion abilities to include new features over the next few months. And to achieve that, we’re moving to our own .com (bookmark this new address please):

SOMANYRECORDSSOLITTLETIME.COM

2) Re-post that original entry from May 24, 2008. The Ikettes / What’cha Gonna Do (music above/text below)

3) Take a week off. Never one to sit still, I’m going to Europe with Matt & Kim – and also acquiring one sick ass 45 collection in London – lots of amazing new records to write about as a result. My dear friend, and ska/reggae expert/addict Duane Sherwood will be filling in for the next week or so. Watch for his first post tomorrow!!!!

ORIGINAL POST FROM MAY 24, 2008:

The Ikettes only Phi-Dan release came out in early ’66. This was around the time of Phil Spector’s involvement with Ike & Tina, not just producing, but also including them on his Big TNT Show, filmed in November of ’65. The lineup on this record, courtesy of the fantastic booklet from Ace Records recent Ikettes anthology, CAN’T SIT DOWN….’COS IT FEELS SO GOOD, was PP Arnold on lead vocals, with Tina, Brenda Holloway and her sister Patrice on backgrounds. I’m launching this blog with The Ikettes simply because it’s a record I’m currently nuts about. Actually, right now, I’m in a serious Ikettes phase, fueled by the aforementioned CD. I was in London last week with Matt & Kim, and staying with Roger Armstrong, a great friend who founded and owns Ace. It was one of the discs he gave me, and I just poured over the booklet on the entire flight back home to New York. The CD is a must. And also try finding this single (the CD only draws from their releases on Modern Records). As you can hear, it’ll be worth the search. I picked it up off eBay a few months back having had no idea it existed. $65 later, it’s one of those great moments when you realize there’s always something else that needs to be added to the collection.

Matt & Kim

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Daylight / Matt & Kim

Listen: Daylight / Matt & Kim MattKimDaylight.mp3

And the winner is…….Matt & Kim for 7″ picture sleeve of the year, single of the year, live singalong dance party band of the year:

SPARKS

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Listen:  Good Morning / Sparks

Listen: Good Morning / Sparks SparksGoodMorning.mp3

There’s so much I could say about Sparks. It would take volumes.

To put it all in a nutshell, they are basically a higher form of life. Been a fan since the beginning, followed them around the east coast when KIMONO MY HOUSE was current. Corinne loved them before me – so I got hooked. Been loyal ever since, and why not, they have never disappointed. In May of this year, they played all 20 of their albums, in full, over a 20 night run in London. I was unlucky enough to miss eighteen of them, but very lucky to see two, KIMONO MY HOUSE and PROPAGANDA. This all led up to playing the newest release, EXOTIC CREATURES OF THE DEEP in it’s entirety on the 21st night. By shear coincidence, I was in London with Matt & Kim at the time, and stayed a few days extra to catch those two shows. The current single ‘Good Morning’ was being played all over the English stations. How very civilized. I even awoke in the middle of the night and heard it on the clock radio I’d fallen asleep to bedside. As always, the lyrics are tremendous.

It’s absolutely my favorite single of the year. This version is a rule breaker for me, given it’s not on vinyl like every other record on the blog. For Sparks, I’m making an exception.

The above audio originates from the first UK radio spin ‘Good Morning’ received, via the Jonathan Ross Show, broadcast 5/10/08. It’s worth hearing for the intro and outro banter. Great stuff.