November 29, 2016 Don’t Let The Ring Wear Fool You

3z0a7972_4152Wilson Pickett, In Philadelphia, Atlantic SD-8270, 1970

I’m pleased to report that one of the best movies ever made about soul music is now on Netflix!  The Commitments may be an Irish movie, but it drips soul out of every scene.  While he doesn’t actually appear in the film, the band forms around the idea of getting to perform in front of The Wicked Wilson Pickett.  So I had to dig out this record an see how wicked it really is.

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At first I thought it was going to be a live album, owing to the cover photo and the cryptic title.  But apparently, it was such a big move for Mr. Pickett to not record an album at Atlantic Studio’s Muscle Shoals operation, that they named the whole record after the studio.  It’s actually just the second full album produced by the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  They would go on to form their own label, Philadelphia International, that would dominate the 70s soul scene and surpass Motown in sales and influence.

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So, while I was a tad disappointed to not hear the wicked one live, I did get to hear a really wonderful soul record from one of the all time greats.  While his 60s records are the ones that made the legend, his 70s sounds are somehow even more intense.  His gravelly voice is now rocky, but he still manages to hold it together and his screams are world class.  The material is a bit meh, but it’s still a great record.  Don’t let the ring wear fool you either, it’s in pretty decent shape!

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $615 Remaining

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August 16, 2016 The Sound Of Sellout

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Sammy Davis Jr., The Sound Of Sammy, Warner Special Products OP-1501, 1978

Say it ain’t so Sammy!  This is kind of a greatest hits package, but the worst kind of greatest hits packages.  Mr. Davis’ big hit single The Candy Man from 1972 is here, but most of the other songs are live versions recorded waaay past their original release.

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The real “wow” though, is not one, but too versions of The Alka Seltzer Song.  I’m sure by 1978, the offers weren’t rolling in, but could he have needed the money from schilling for a product like Alka Seltzer?

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Apparently yes.  For the record, the side two version of the jingle,  the rock (!) version, is the preferred one.  The big band version is just bad, as bad as you’d expect from a disco era studio orchestra.  The cover is so cheap that both sides have severe ring wear too.

I couldn’t find much information on this record, so i don’t if it was for sale commercially or if it was the kind of promo that you had to send away for.  The record is in really good shape, so my guess is the latter.  It’s just hard to think of Sammy Davis Jr and Alka Seltzer together in any kind of way.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $837 Remaining

June 15, 2016 New Routes To Goodwill

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Lulu, New Routes, Atco SD33-310, 1970

I really almost didn’t buy this record.  Lulu is close to one hit wonder status in the US, and this record came out three years after the hit.  The bottom seam is shot, and the record didn’t appear to be in great shape.  But as a blog writer, I was looking for a great example of ring wear to highlight for my reader(s), and this record has some of the most perfect ring wear I’ve ever seen!  So, yes fan(s), when you lay albums flat on their back instead of standing them up on their sides, the weight of the upper records presses their round shape into the covers of the lower records.  Usually the artwork presents a perfect circle from forming, but here, even the slightly raised center label ring was pressed into this cover!  I therefore present perfect ring wear for your enjoyment.

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I didn’t expect much, but I LOVED THIS RECORD!  I grabbed it in haste, so I missed the back’s liner notes telling me that not only was this the same Lulu who sang “To Sir With Love”-Duh!- but that it was recorded at the same Muscle Shoals record studio that turned out some of America’s best records of the late 1960-70s-Whoa!  Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Lynyrd Skynyrd all made their hits there using the same backing band as Lulu did.  A guy named Dwayne Allman was the guitar player.

Arco is short for Atlantc Record Company, and the label was founded for records recorded for Atlantic that strayed from the R&B and Jazz that the parent company released. In the 1950s, the label you were on reflected the kind of act you were.  Bobby Darin was Atco’s first major star, while Ray Charles released records on Atlantic.  The back liner notes add that Lulu had just become Mrs. Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, Atco’s leading act of 1969.  Perhaps getting signed to the label was no coincidence.

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The album contains songs that went on to become hits for others, namely Mr. Bojangles, and Feelin’ Alright, and there are two pretty cool Gibb Brothers originals included.

True to my suspicions, the record was in bad shape.  But at $1, I’m not really upset financially, and I’ll begin a search for a nicer copy online or at a shop.  This is a record I plan to really listen to.  I look forward to putting it one and having people say they really like it but have no idea who it’s by.

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It came with a nice period sleeve from Warner Brothers too.  I had no idea they had Don Rickles and Van Dyke Parks signed to them at the same time!  Still, this sleeve will probably end up one a later Perer, Paul & Mary record…

Today’s Summary:

Cost $1, $974 Remaining