Monthly Archives: February 2013

The 6-pack: Happy anniversary to us

When the last week of February rolls around, it’s time to celebrate at AM, Then FM. It dropped into the blogosphere six years ago this week, way back in 2007.

For the six of you who have remained regular readers all this time, thank you.

There are more than six of you, of course, but the glory days of music blogs seem to have come and gone.

Oliver Wang wrote about that the other day over at Soul Sides in response to a reader’s question. “Blogs … peaked in saturation about five years ago and have been on the wane since then.” It’s a drag to go through the bookmarks and see the blogs that have gone dark, especially in the last year or so.

However, a few of us keep on keepin’ on.

So we celebrate the beginning of our sixth year with a six-pack. Six songs by six artists from their sixth studio LP. The songs had to come from my records, and they had to be vinyl rips.

neildiamondtaprootmanuscriptlp

“Soolaimon,” Neil Diamond, from “Tap Root Manuscript,” 1970.

One of the first LPs I ever had. Also my introduction to world music. Also for my friend Glick, who has been digging music with me for 40 years.

ccrpendulumlp

“Molina,” Creedence Clearwater Revival, from “Pendulum,” 1970.

I once really dug the “Green River” and “Cosmo’s Factory” LPs. “Pendulum” not so much, but this is a good song. I like the sax. Creedence was one of my faves when I was in my teens and 20s, but I’ve found them almost unlistenable since John Fogerty released “Centerfield” in the mid-’80s. I didn’t like that record and it somehow soured me on Creedence.

ojaysbackstabberslp

“Back Stabbers,” the O’Jays, from “Back Stabbers,” 1972.

Those of us of a certain age are blessed to have grown up in a time when you heard elegant soul like this on the radio.

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“I’ll Be Coming Home,” the J. Geils Band, from “Nightmares … And Other Tales From The Vinyl Jungle,” 1974.

Not long after starting this blog, I wrote a Complete Idiot’s Guide to the J. Geils Band for the blog that eventually became Popdose. I’m qualified because I have all 14 J. Geils Band LPs. Idiot completist. As I listened to all 14, this struck me as one of their best records. I almost picked “Gettin’ Out,” a keyboard-driven rave-up with a bunch of showy solos, but went instead with this slow groover. It has sort of a Latin beat and features Jay Geils on mandolin and Seth Justman on piano and that slinky organ.

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“Theme From ‘Enter The Dragon’,” Dennis Coffey, from “Instant Coffey,” 1974. (The LP out of print but the song is available digitally.)

Detroit guitar legend Dennis Coffey is one of the artists I’ve rediscovered since starting this blog. I have a bunch of his records now.

isleybrotsbrothersisleylp

“The Blacker The Berrie,” the Isley Brothers, from “The Brothers: Isley,” 1969. (The LP is out of print. The song isn’t available digitally that I can find.)

Likewise the Isleys, who I somehow knew almost nothing about before starting AM, Then FM. I have a bunch of their records now, too. This cut also is known as “Black Berries.”

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.

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Unearthed from deep in the office

You’d think winter in Wisconsin would be a good time to hole up in the office and rip vinyl like mad. But no. In the last five months, I’ve ripped exactly five LPs. Not exactly a breathtaking pace.

One of those records was one I’ve loved since getting it almost 40 years ago. Needing an album side for my other blog, The Midnight Tracker, I ripped Deep Purple’s “Who Do We Think We Are” a few weeks ago.

It was released in January 1973, during my sophomore year in high school. At that time, I didn’t have a lot of records, so I played it a lot. Though I hadn’t listened to it in years, I still knew almost every note and line when I ripped it.

In the latter part of 1972, a worn-out Deep Purple was hurled into studios in Rome and Frankfurt after a year and a half of touring. They slammed out this record, which has only seven cuts and wasn’t well regarded by the critics. “Woman From Tokyo” was the single, but this might be the best cut.

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“Rat Bat Blue,” Deep Purple, from “Who Do We Think We Are,” 1973. (The buy link is to a remastered 2002 CD release with extra tracks. Two more versions of “Rat Bat Blue,” one from the writing sessions and a 1999 remix, are on that CD. It also is available digitally.)

Ritchie Blackmore’s chugging guitar licks drive this one, as you’d expect. That is, until the late, great Jon Lord wrests control halfway through with a gleefully mad prog organ solo. Then you have Ian Gillan’s classic rock-star vocals, sometimes snarled, sometimes screamed.

It all makes for a wonderful trip back in time.

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.

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Filed under February 2013, Sounds