Posts Tagged ‘The Lo Fidelity Allstars’

The Quotations

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Listen: I Don’t Have To Worry / The Quotations

Sifting, separating. Everyone’s favorite thing to do with records.

In this particular case, I’m referring to the 45′s. Really making headway, immersing some big collections I’ve acquired into the master library, and finding doubles. Always a joy. Every so often a box is partially jammed with “where the hell did this stuff come from” items. Not via the aforementioned collections, but most likely garage and estate sales, church rummages and one of my favorite places for Northern and obscure soul, Academy Records in Williamsburg.

I’ve covered my love for the place previously, and never walk out with less than one gem, usually for $1 or lower.

So tonight, Phil came by for several hours of spinning and filing. We stumbled on a big pile of soul and Northern stuff, most likely from Academy, and found some real shockers. Like this one.

No sooner than ten seconds in, we were pawing through THE NORTHERN SOUL PRICE GUIDE, knowing surely it’d be there. Not wrong, The Quotations’ ‘I Don’t Have To Worry’ listed loudly as very, very desirable. And not without justification.

It isn’t often we repeat a single more than once when faced with a box that needs playing. This one got three spins.

No idea where these guys are from, nor do I know wack about their origins.


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Listen: Rubber Bullets / 10cc 10ccRubber.mp3

I was surprised to see a recent Bob Lefsetz post about 10cc. His musical taste occasionally crosses paths with mine: The Kinks, The Ramones, The Lo Fidelity Allstars and a few others here and there. But he’s usually way west coast soft rock compared to my way east across the Atlantic preferences. A better commentary on the music industry, technology and life issues you’ll have a hard time finding. Check him out.

Surprisingly, he discovered 10cc upon their arrival in ’72, as most Americans didn’t.

‘Rubber Bullets’ was the band’s first UK #1 (US #73), back when they were on Jonathan King’s UK Records (get everything you see on his imprint), and was never off the radio or pub jukeboxes during that English summer. Just about every track by these guys had some oddly appealing production twist that was just not like anything else before and a true precursor to The Buggles. On ‘Rubber Bullets’, for instance, can you hear the drum kit other than during the rolls? Not really. And who noticed. Throw in the doo wop vocals bits (not uncommon for 10cc), bizarre lyrics and you’ve got a spot in history.

Most of their stuff was both funny and socially biting, hence way too thought provoking for the US programmer, usually religating them to radio’s embarrassingly long ignore them list.

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Listen: Nitty Gritty / Gladys Knight & The Pips GladysNitty.mp3

What’s really proof of this record’s power: the most addicted to any other genre of music fan can’t resist instant curiosity when ‘The Nitty Gritty’ powers through a set of speakers. I had quite the time spinning singles at Brooklyn Bowl last Sunday with Lord Wardd, playing mostly 60′s – present, basically tomorrow’s sound today stuff – even the one’s from the 60′s and 70′s, when released, would have been considered that: The Small Faces, T. Rex, or X. So it’s really fun to watch a younger but musically informed crowd light up when some down and dirty funk or soul hits. Even better, a whole bunch of parents and their young kids, out bowling for a fun afternoon, suddenly doing an about face toward the DJ booth with that ‘Oh my God, I remember this’ look burned onto their face.

Gladys Knight could belt it out every time, when she was given the green light that is. Looking back on a few gems like ‘The Nitty Gritty’ need only one listen to show us why.

Some friends stuck with her from the Motown move to Buddah. Suddenly she was sounding a touch buffed around the edges for my tastes, but the pre ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ era, all that Tamla/Norman Whitfield stuff, there’s no topping it.

Otis Clay

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

OtisClaySatisfied, Otis Clay, One-derful,

Listen: I’m Satisfied / Otis Clay OtisClaySatisfied.mp3

Otis Clay began a monthly series of Soul/RnB legends making long overdue returns to NY, at the City Winery. Bob Perry instigated the idea – and kindly asked me to dj. I suggested Phil (Lord Warddd) come along and spar, each of us manning a separate turntable. Who would have thought it would be so much fun? We had an absolute ball spinning, real hardcore soul fans appreciating all the obscurities we’d brung along.

Then there was Otis Clay. From the time when you REALLY had to deliver if you wanted a record released, he learned his craft from the church and the man stunned us all. I walked in a fan, and out a disciple. At 67, his voice was more powerful, raw, pure and riveting as it ever could have possibly been – and he delivered it so effortlessly. We, the audience, were not ready.

OtisClayTestify, Otis Clay, One-derful,

Listen: I Testify / Otis Clay OtisClayTestify.mp3

Several times indeed, he testified – I’m sure that’s what you’d call it, breaking down songs to a cappella middle parts – and seriously taking us on an out of body, other worldly or some such experience. Certainly not an everyday occurrence by any stretch.

OtisClayJukeboxTab, Otis Clay, One-derful,

Despite including neither side of his earliest One-derful non-charter in tonight’s set, his eyebrows raised when I asked him to fill out a trusty jukebox tab, requesting this double punch as my choice.

He talked about his Hi Records days, the Hi Rhythm players, Willie Mitchell, and hasn’t a bitter bone in his body. See him if you can. He’s doing a very rare one off June 16 in Chicago.


Fred & The New J.B.’s

Friday, December 18th, 2009

FredJBsBreakin1, Fred Wesley & The New J.B.'s, Fred Wesley, The J.B.'s, James Brown, People, Polydor

Listen: Breakin’ Bread / Fred & The New J.B.’s FredWEsleyBreakinBread.mp3

It was hard to keep up with their constant and annoyingly slight, name changes. Does one file all Fred Wesley & The J.B’s singles together despite the little details, or by the exact artist name as it appears on the label? A dilemma for the meticulous record collector. I stuck to my rule: file exactly as the label reads. All record alphabetical by artist, then chronologically within each. Hence my Fred/J.B.’s singles are in several places on the wall shelves. I had to check a few spots before tracking this one down. Every time I file it away, I swear I’ll remember it’s exact location next play. Never happens.

As mentioned in prior posts, I’m a sucker for records about food. None better than this ‘NEW NEW SUPER HEAVY FUNK PRODUCTION BY JAMES BROWN’ to satiate that appetite.

Will Lord Warddd play this when he dj’s The Funk Hangover Party at Brooklyn Bowl on January 1?


Monday, November 10th, 2008

Battleflag / The Lo Fidelity Allstars test pressing

Battleflag / The Lo Fidelity Allstars

Love Makes The World Go Round / Deon Jackson

I hung out with Phil tonight. He stopped by to get some songs needed for a DJ job in Scotland that he’s schlepping to. He started brainstorming about his next project, The Cherry Truckers and played me a few tracks. It’s going to be pretty hot.
We met ten years ago when I picked up his band The Lo Fidelity Allstars for Columbia and became fast record collecting friends. We certainly had some fun bus rides on those US tours. Then a few months ago, by ridiculous coincidence, he and Holly bought an apartment two blocks from me. Why he left England is a constant to and fro between us but that’s another story. Deservedly, their single ‘Battleflag’ became a pretty big hit even in the States. You see the original version, which was blocked from release, had a Prince bit in it. The Lo Fi’s publisher, Warner-Chappell also published Prince, but couldn’t seem to get him to clear it – or according to some sources, had no rapport with him to even present the idea at all – so off it came. This post is that uncleared version. Some white labels were initially pressed for clubs, but the legal department freaked and in addition to ordering them destroyed – covered their asses by having them stamped ‘Uncleared Sample – Do Not Circulate’ first, just in case. That was way too tempting for me. I had a pal in the plant grab a few boxes and send them straight over to my office. They have since changed hands on eBay for crazy amounts. Worth it I must say. More importantly, this version is out there as it should be – and I bet Prince would like it too. See if you can spot the potential issue.

Listen: Battleflag / The Lo Fidelity Allstars 07 Battleflag.mp3

So Phil is flipping through stuff, putting together some songs to play at this Scottish do. Inevitably, these are the fun moments, when one good track leads you to find another. Not having heard this in ages, we gave it a play. I’d forgotten about it’s deep soul production, one only a great voice can fill. Never knew at the time if this was a guy or girl. Deon was pronounced just like Dionne, and it always baffled me until I saw him on Shindig. This record actually got it’s start on TV. It was CKLW’s Swingin’ Time, Detroit’s local American Bandstand knockoff that triggered it. He even managed an album on Carla’s parent label, Atco. According to Wikipedia, he’s a student supervisor nowadays.

Listen: Love Makes The World Go Round / Deon Jackson 11 Love Makes The World Go Round.mp3