July 12, 2016 Frankie’s Valley

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Frank Sinatra, Some Nice Things I’ve Missed, Reprise F-2195, 1974

Frank Sinatra had an amazing run.  The nickname The Chairman Of The Board came about because he was seemingly everywhere, doing everything just right, running things.  Sure, it got harder and harder to stay relevant, but for the vast majority of the public, they still bought his records, saw his movies and watched his TV specials.  By 1971, Frank had had it and retired from show business.  It didn’t last long.

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He came back with a splash.  A TV special and hit album announced Ole Blue Eyes Is Back in 1973.  This album was the follow up.  It should have never happened.  Even as a mixed tape, this would have been a really bad mix of current pop and show tunes, but covered by a 57 year old, it just comes off as trying to be someone he no longer is.  For me, the 70s were a time when the music business turned inward.  The singer-songwriter era was in full force, and originality ruled the day.  Singing someone else’s songs was out of fashion, especially someone else’s hit singles.

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To hear the great trendsetting Frank Sinatra singing Sweet Caroline, Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Old Oak Tree, and most appallingly Bar, Bad Leroy Brown, is kinda cringeworthy.  He sort of pulls off You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, but I really got the feeling that the whole package was a vain attempt at relevance.  Frank Sinatra was never known as a songwriter, but he was possibly the best song interpreter of all time.  This record sounds like the kind of thing he sang to in the shower or in the car driving around Palm Springs.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $3, $917 Remaining

June 19, 2016 Everybody Loves Choosing

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Dean Martin, Everybody Loves Somebody, Reprise R-6130, 1964

Sometimes,you just get lucky.  At a church run thrift store, I found TWO copies of this classic Dean Martin album, both still in their original shrink wrap.  At $1 each, it was worthy to get both, but which one would be the best one to keep and which one would I re-gift?

The one on the left is a stereo copy, which would normally be the simple, easy answer.  Stereo copies are usually more rare and since they were more expensive, they were played fewer times by their more affluent original owners.  There are some color variations in the sleeves, but Reprise, like a most independent labels, used different manufacturing plants. Finding the same album made in different places has slight variants.

But there are some other things to look for though.

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The back covers are both very clean, but original owner Les Goff made sure his John Hancock was plainly visible.  Again, that would tend to make me favor the album on the left.

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The inner sleeves are also in excellent shape, but the left hand one is just a plain white sleeve, while the right is a 1964 era Reprise sleeve featuring the adult music stars that made up the bulk of their roster then. Score one for the right hand side record!

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The final decision, though comes down to the actual records.  The one on the left is the Reprise label from the late 60s, while the one on the right has the three colored 1964 label.  The record on the left is not the first pressing, and you always want to add an original record over a re-issue.  Even if that reissue is a clean, 48 year old stereo copy

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $1, $970 Remaing