The Bee Gees, Cucumber Castle, Atco SD33-327, 1970
Much like The Beatles, The Bee Gees were breaking up in early 1970. Brother Robin quit the group just as the recording of this album began, and halfway though the sessions, Barry & Maurice fired the rest of the original band. You might guess that all that drama would leave to a bitter recording experience full of unhappy songs, and guess what? That’s what this album is! The cover art even shows two very confused Bee Gees looking in opposite directions for some kind of sign of a brighter future.
The whole experience was so rotten that Barry announced he was leaving the group before the record even came out, leaving Maurice as the only Bee Gee left. Had they not been brothers, that would have been it, and Disco might never have happened. But this crummy album did just well enough to keep the public’s interest in the group going in parts of the world (#7 in Italy!) that there was demand for more Bee Gee music. Much more than there was from Robin or Barry Gibb solo records anyway.
I’d say that this record is really only for all the Bee Gee crazed people out there, and both of them already have their copy. That means I was able to get this near-mint copy for $2, and it’ll occupy my shelf until I have a “name that group” contest. This just doesn’t sound at all like a Bee Gees record at all, but it’s perfect for your next Game Of Thrones watch party.
Cost: $2, $214 Remaining
Bobby Darin, That’s All, Atco 33-104, 1959
This could be my best $1 album purchase ever. Some of the songs on this record are among the most famous of all time, with Mack The Knife being played somewhere right now. Yes, this album sold well for an album at Christmas 1959, but it’s fairly easy to find today. Why I can’t tell you, but get one when you see it. It’s a heck of an album. As simple as the cover might seem, if you really look at it, you see someone determined to be a success. And this record made that happen.
The back cover kind of shows the age of it. When was the last time a telegram was featured on a record jacket? But Sammy Davis Jr. was right. The record is so good that you almost want to hate Bobby Darin for making it. One thing about this particular record is the green pen mark in the upper right corner. I can’t say for sure if it’s genuine, but somebody signed “Bobby Darin 2/14/60” there.
Atco was the second label of the ATlantic Record COmpany. Ahmet Ertegun, the jazz crazed founder of Atlantic, let his brother Neshui start the label to feature acts that wouldn’t dilute the purity of the jazz oriented Atlantic label (but would still sell!). Early Rock & Roll acts certainly were not pure enough to be on Atlantic and Bobby Darin found himself on the new Atco label. This was Atco’s fourth album release, and the second by Bobby Darin, making the label’s success very much because of the success of this record. Again, if you see one, get it.
Cost: $1, $217 Remaining
Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Deep Purple, Atco 33-156, 1963
This is the kind of record someone like me dreams about. Ok, perhaps dream is a strong word, but sometimes you see something so exotic that you get a chill over finding it. This record, from this brother and sister act, did it for me.
It’s not like this is some musical masterpiece, but rather this is a fantastic example of a 1963 pop record. The duo had some real musical skills with April’s cat like vocal quality and Nino’s horn playing and arranging skills. There’s the Number One title track, some other very similar sounding tracks, and a really fun loungy-electronic song called Baby Weemus.
It’s just that seeing something like this for the first time ever in decent shape and a $2 price tag, it gave me quite the trill. Getting it home and listening to it gave me a bigger one. But knowing I can hear Baby Weemus anytime I want is the biggest thrill of all.
Cost: $2, $815 Remaining
Sonny & Cher, Good Times, Atco SD-33-214, 1967
Yes, Sonny and Cher made a movie. Not a good movie, mind you, but a theoretically released motion picture. Their co-star was the Oscar winning George Saunders, who you might remember from such films as All About Eve and Rebecca. It was directed by Oscar winner William Friedken, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist. Directing Good Times may have been where he got the idea to use copies amounts of vomit.
But I’m not reviewing the movie (mainly because I’ve only ever seen clips of it). It’s the record that I care about. Acts like Sonny & Cher get to make movies because movies come with soundtrack albums. And that’s generally where the profit margin is for a producer. While this film lost money at the box office, the mediocre performance of the soundtrack pushed the project into the black.
While there are no new hits, the record is pretty damned good. Mostly for the two new for the film versions of I Got You Babe. One is an acoustic instrumental (and perfect for a wedding cocktail mix) and one is a vocal version of the same track. The rest is kinda meh, but i’ll still give this one a few spins a year.
Today’s Summary: Cost: $2