savoy brown - looking in

Savoy Brown: Looking In (1970)

Like so many metal albums of my youth, it started with the album cover. I would see Looking In, the sixth album from England blues rock band Savoy Brown constantly on my trips to the local record shops, and would marvel at that delicious comic book artwork. But each and every time I’d turn way, convinced it was just another run of the mill 70s rock and roll record that could be ignored. But as I started digging more into some of the obscure gems of the 70s I decided to stop ignoring that cover and give it a shot.

Man, I love being wrong.

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paul cauthen - room 41

Paul Cauthen: Room 41 (2019)

If you had told me a year ago that country would be the predominantly played genre when the family is together, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here we are on Day 25 of the #mayvinylchallenge, and I’m ready to talk about a country album. A recent country album. Today’s theme is around past or future live shows you wish you could see. For this one I’m going with the album that was played in my house more than any other in 2020…and 2021. It’s my wife’s favorite thing, the permanent road trip singalong album, and ever since hearing it I’ve been equally obsessed. So get your cigarettes and cocaine and let’s jump into the new outlaw country of Paul Cauthen and Room 41.

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gary clark jr. - story of sonny boy slim

Gary Clark, Jr.: The Story of Sonny Boy Slim (2015)

Day 24 of the #mayvinylchallenge takes a look at etchings, whether it’s the weird title messages scratched into the dead wax of a record or a full side sketch for those albums that don’t fit a double album format. Thinking about that brought me back to The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, the chameleon rock second record from Gary Clark, Jr. At 53 minutes it more than fits on a CD, but the vinyl version only takes up three sides, allowing for a gorgeous scratch design on Side D. So it fits the category; now let’s talk about the music.

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curtis mayfield - superfly

Curtis Mayfield: Superfly OST (1972)

Day 23 of the #mayvinylchallenge (which was yesterday, I know) asked for a soundtrack. I was considering the other amazing 1972 soundtrack album by a titan of r&b and soul, but while doing yardwork that opening riff to “Pusherman” came on and I really had no choice. So let’s spend a few minutes talking about Curtis Mayfield and how the soundtrack to Super Fly is not only one fo the best soundtracks of all time, but one of the best albums, period.

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genesis - selling england by the pound

Genesis: Selling England By The Pound (1973)

Day 22 of the #mayvinylchallenge has me back on track, and demands albums from the year of my birth. I don’t want to be one of those ancient dudes who constantly harp about how much better it was in the “good ol’ days” but DAMN 1973 was a killer year. Lots of options to choose from, but in the end I decided to talk about a band and album I only got seriously into once I started collecting vinyl. I may have come to Genesis via hits like “That’s All” and “No Reply At All” from the cassettes in the back of my father’s car, but diving deeper I was overjoyed to find so much more weirdness and rocking tunes in their back catalog. Few albums mix the two so well as Peter Gabriel’s penultimate album with the group, the brilliant Selling England By The Pound.

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ramones - ramones

Ramones: Ramones (1976)

Day 21 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks us for our rare, our limited vinyl. And I’ll tell you, I had no intention of owning a rare copy of the debut from one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Hell, I don’t even know if it is rare, but I haven’t found mention of it on any websites. Discogs has nothing, the Steve Hoffmann forums don’t mention it. So be it; that’s enough for me to count my weird-ass maybe valuable copy of the Ramones debut eponymous album for today’s entry. Really, any excuse will do…

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