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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harry nilsson - nilsson schmilsson

Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Day 9 is a quick #mayvinylchallenege for my wife, since I spent the day with her and her family for Mother’s Day. She’s slowly gotten into the vinyl addiction with me, but she sticks to a few of her favorite records to listen to: Van Morrison, Paul Cauthen, the Beatles…and Harry Nilsson, whose Nilsson Schmilsson not only contains the ubiquitous “Coconut” which has been used in dozens upon dozens of movies and television shows, thus working out for today’s theme of “music discovered via movies or TV” but also happens to be one of those perfect classic pop/rock records, full of brain burrowing hooks, inventive melodies and musical flourishes that adventurous hooks and production flourishes that feel like the lost cousin to the Beatles without ever really imitating them. It’s a stone classic, and for much more than “Coconut.”

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hawkwind - hall of the mountain grill

Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill: (1974)

It’s May 4th, which means today’s #mayvinylchallenge is space themed. And though my heart forever belongs to the Mothership Connection, I thought I’d turn to something a little more progressive for my album pick. And so we come to Hawkwind, and Hall of the Mountain Grill from 1974. What do you do after you release one of the greatest live albums of all time in Space Ritual? Well, you trim back a bit on the effects and weirdness (but really, not that much) since Robert Calvert is gone, but trimming still makes for a really tight set of tunes that run the gamut of spych, prog, and good old fashioned rock and roll.

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led zeppelin - houses of the holy

Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (1973)

Sorry for the brief break. Life and new work woes got in the way, but that stress moved from “No time to write about records” to “Christ on toast I don’t care I need a break so will write about a record.” Discogs has this lovely little randomizer that picks a record from your collection and Houses of the Holy popped up. Led Zeppelin was there at the very start of my record collection – Led Zeppelin II was the first vinyl I took from my father when I was a kid so I could play air guitar along to “Whole Lotta Love” – so why not listen to something I love, push the world away for a bit go over the hills and far away, so to speak?

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