kool and the gang debut

Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang (1970)

If we’re re-booting this blog for 2021, I thought I’d start with some of my most recent vinyl acquisitions. I can’t pinpoint when I precisely fell in love with soul and funk music; I’d been exposed to it on the radio in the 70s, but rock and metal took over, and it wasn’t until high school and late nights driving around town with Parliament’s Up For the Down Stroke blasting out the windows (that’s how my friends rolled in upstate New York circa 1990) and obsessing over the wriggle of Isaac Hayes’s Shaft score that I started to identify something that spoke to my DNA. Fast-forward about 30 years and when I got the note that Real Gone Music was reissuing Kool and the Gang’s debut self titled album on yellow vinyl I was all in.

Continue reading “Kool and the Gang: Kool and the Gang (1970)”
alice cooper - killer

Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)

(Yeah, we’re out of sequence but I recently picked this up at the record shop and needed a Beatles break, so even though the As are done here’s a welcome diversion) 

I grew up knowing about Alice Cooper rather than listening to Alice Cooper.  You couldn’t get away from that visage, the Welcome to My Nightmare look that’s been a staple of the man/the band for so many decades now.  But behind the paint and the Grand Guignol theatrics has always lay a band that could rock with the best of them and Killer demonstrates how versatile the entity that was/is Alice Cooper could be. Continue reading “Alice Cooper: Killer (1971)”

beatles - let it be, let it be naked

The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)

Let It Be feels like the loose, shaggy dog of The Beatles catalog.  Recorded before but released after Abbey Road, the stories behind the album – the acrimony between the band, the various (and rejected) Glyn Johns, the final polish by “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector and eventual release after the Beatles officially broke up – all of this overshadows the original intent: that of four guys getting back to their roots, playing together the kind of rattling rock and roll they loved in the beginning.  Continue reading “The Beatles: Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked (1970/2003)”

AC/DC, Alcest, and Music That Hurts

It’s probably not a shocking revelation that as I’ve been doing this project I’ve also been buying music.  Since it’s still in its infancy, the chances of picking up an album that would have already been reviewed is small.  But it does and did happen, so I wanted to take the time to spend a few words on two recent purchases: Highway to Hell from AC/DC and the debut full-length from Alcest, Souvenirs d’un autre monde.  Over the short course of writing this, it turned into something else. Continue reading “AC/DC, Alcest, and Music That Hurts”

armageddon

Armageddon: Armageddon (1975)

One of the best things Decibel Magazine ever gave the world was Scott Seward’s Filthy 50: a collection/ranking of 50 of the best proto-metal/stoner rock albums.  I was only aware of a handful of the more popular bands (Cactus, Grand Funk Railroad) so to have my ears opened to the fuzz-blown wonders of bands like the Groundhogs, Dust, Toe Fat, and the great Armageddon was like a gift from the sticky bud gods of yesteryear.  We’ll definitely be checking a few of the bands from the list later in this journey, but for now let’s talk a bit about the band’s one and only album, 1975’s Armageddon. Continue reading “Armageddon: Armageddon (1975)”

angola 70s

Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)

I don’t remember how I came across this disc, but Buda Musique’s collection of Angolan pop is a goldmine of incredible music.  Angola 70s: 1972-1973 provides a great starting place to hear traditional Angolan semba music and its commonalities and differences with other popular music.  There’s a lot to consider in the upbeat melodies considering the history of the music as a form of rebellion against Portuguese rule in prior to the country’s independence in 1975.  Continue reading “Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)”