Category Archives: Near Vinyl Heaven

Third Man Records – My first visit

I was in Nashville a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to pay Third Man Records a visit.

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One hour later and one hundred bucks lighter I left with these gems.

I got three singles from their Sun Records reissues collection:

Elvis Presley – My Happiness

Elvis Presley - My Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

This is “the 7” Sun Records Reissue version of the Grammy Nominated Record Store Day Exclusive 10-inch facsimile of Elvis Presley’s first ever recording from 1953″. Later that day I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where I saw the original acetate record on display. Apparently Jack White paid $300,000 at an auction for this.

Elvis Presley - My Happiness - Original Record

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Cash – Got Rhythm/I Walk the Line

Johnny Cash - Get Rhythm

Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t realize until checking out the notes on the Third Man Records website, that I Walk the Line was a B-side.

Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire

Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire

 

 

 

 

 

Great Balls of Fire, need I say more?

These next five are part of their Tamla Records reissues collection.

The Supremes – Buttered Popcorn/Who’s Loving You

Supremes - Buttered Popcorn Supremes - Who's Loving You

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently this is the only Supremes track to feature Florence Ballard as the sole lead singer. Being a Stephen King fan I have to mention that Florence Ballard is one of the deceased artists who perform in the town Rock and Roll Heaven in his short story, You Know They Got a Hell of a Band.

The Miracles – Way Over There/(You Can) Depend on Me

The Miracles - Depend on Me The Miracles - Way Over There

 

 

 

 

 

Way Over There is the first record on which William (Bill) Robinson was solely credited with the songwriting credits. Who is William Robinson, well you may know him better as Smokey Robinson!

Marvin Gaye – Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide/Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye - Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

 

 

 

 

 

This was Marvin Gaye‘s first single.

The Swinging Tigers – Snake Walk (Part One)/Snake Walk (Part Two)

The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part One The Swinging Tigers - Snake Walk - Part Two

 

 

 

 

 

Ever heard of these?, no me neither!

The Satintones – Going to the Hop/Motor City

The Satintones - Going to the Hop

The Satintones - Motor City

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently the Satintones were the first group to be signed to the Motown label.

These singles were amongst the first nine released on the Tamla Record label, guess who’s going to be buying the other four pretty soon!? Before I move on, I’ve got to mention this wicked website I’ve just come across called Motown Junkies on which the author is reviewing every single Motown release, both A and B sides.

As well as these reissues, I got a few records from Third Man Records Blue Series collection. These singles are by singers and bands who have been invited to record tracks the the Third Man Studio and to be produced by Jack White.

The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl . The cover photos are taken in Third Man Records “blue room” photo studio/live venue.Some acts that play the performance space, the Blue Room, record directly to vinyl through a 1950’s lathe. And get this, that 1950’s lathe once belonged to King Records, the Cincinnati label that was home to James Brown.

Here are the Blue Series records I purchased:

Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu – I Wonder/When My Man Comes Home

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Being an Alabama Shakes fan, as soon as I saw the name Brittany Howard, this was a must buy. I have to admit to having never heard of Ruby Amanfu, but having listened to the single, I’ll be finding some more of her releases. The B-side, When My Man Comes Home, was originally recorded by Memphis Minnie, who composed When the Levee Breaks, which was covered by Led Zeppelin on their classic fourth album.

Beck – I Just Started Hating Someone Today/Blue Randy

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I picked this up as I’ve been hearing quite a lot of Beck‘s latest stuff on my local radio station, WNKU, here in Cincinnati, plus I’ve got no Beck releases in my collection at all. This record’s pretty cool, as it’s got Jack White on backing vocals on I Just Started Hating Someone Today.

Seasick Steve – Write Me a Few Lines\Levee Camp Blues 

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Big Seasick Steve fan here, so this was a must! The Third Man Records write up on this single describes Seasick Steve as a ‘”proper festival headliner in the UK/Europe”. Having seen him a couple of times at Glastonbury Festival, I can certainly vouch for that! Both of these are from the “legendary” Mississippi Fred McDowell catalog. Now I’ have to admit I’ve never heard of him, so I think some research is required, on both him and Memphis Minnie. I mentioned Ruby Amanfu earlier, well she provides some fine backing vocals on Write Me a Few Lines.

Pokey LaFarge – Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County/Pack It Up

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I’m a huge Pokey LaFarge fan, having seen him half a dozen times now both here in the USA and back in England, so this was another “must buy” selection.

Smoke Fairies – Gastown/River Song

Smoke Fairies - Gas Town

Smoke Fairies - River Song

 

 

 

 

 

I picked this single for no other reason than they were British! Plus, the B-side, River Song, is a character from Doctor Who!

I got one single from the Third Man Live collection

Alabama Shakes – Be Mine/You Ain’t Alone

Alabama Shakes - Be Mine

Alabama Shakes - You Ain't Alone

 

 

 

 

 

Again, another in the “must buy” category. And talking of seeing bands live, Alabama Shakes are one amazing live band. I saw them in Atlanta, at the Shaky Knees festival in 2014, and they were incredible.

My final selection is one of Third Man Records latest signings and it’s

Margo Price – Hurtin’ on the Bottle/Desperate and Depressed

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I saw Margo and the Price Tags supporting Pokey LaFarge last December, just over the river at the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky, now that was one amazing night!

As you can probably gather, I enjoyed my visit to Third Man Records! So much so that I’ve now subscribed to their Vault series, watch this space….

 

 

 

 

 

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Drive-By Truckers – Everybody Needs Love

The latest addition to My Imaginary Jukebox is Everybody Needs Love by the Drive-By Truckers.

I bought the single of Everybody Needs Love on Record Store Day earlier this year at Shake It Records. It’s Volume 2 of Dangerous Highway, A Tribute to the songs of Eddie Hinton. In fact Everybody Needs Love is the B side, the A side  is called Where’s Eddie.

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I first heard these two tracks on their 2011 album Go-Go Boots.

Drive-By Truckers - Go-Go Boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And have I ever told you…

Yes, I’ve seen the Drive-By Truckers live! In fact I saw them back in August 2013 at the Golden Theatre, Athens, Georgia. That was one special night, not just because it was their hometown gig, but also it was the first time we caught Fly Golden Eagle live, who have since become a firm favorite. Their album Quartz is pretty damned awesome!

Fly Golden Eagle - Quartz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, get this, we’re going to see the Drive-By Truckers later this year at the Southgate House Revival!

Here’s a video of Drive-By Truckers performing Everybody Needs Love on the David Letterman Show

 

Not bad hey? That’s why Everybody Needs Love by the Drive-By Truckers is the next track in My Imaginary Jukebox!

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Aztec Camera – Love

Love by Aztec Camera is the latest addition to my vinyl collection. I found it in the second hand section of Plaid Room Records. Why Love by Aztec Camera? I hear you say. Well two main reasons, firstly it contains Somewhere in my Heart, which is probably Aztec Camera‘s best known song and is just a great song. Secondly How Men Are is one of my all time favorite tracks. I seem to remember reading a review somewhere that said it was the perfect pop song, well I totally agree!

There are a couple of other tracks that I remember being released as singles, Deep & Wide & Tall and Working in a Goldmine.

Listening to the album now, Killermont Street, the final track brings back memories of an episode of a BBC show called Songwriter’s Circle, featuring Roddy Frame, Aztec Camera‘s lead singer, Neil Finn (Crowded House) and Graham Gouldman (10cc). This was one of the songs performed by Roddy Frame and for some reason it’s stuck with me ever since.

Talking of said show, take a look at this…

 

Anyway, it’s a wicked album!

It’s been a while since I added a song to My Imaginary Jukebox, so Somewhere in my Heart is going in there!

And here’s a video of How Men Are, check it out, it is the “perfect pop song”

 

And if that’s whetted your album, well….

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Something More Than Free – Jason Isbell

Something More Than Free by Jason Isbell is the latest addition to my ever expanding record collection and it’s by far my favorite album of the year by far.

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first came across Jason Isbell on Bob Harris’s show on BBC Radio 2, when he played Alabama Pines from his Here We Rest album. A few weeks later, on 30 April 2012, I caught him playing a short, but brilliant, acoustic set at the London Palladium supporting Ryan Adams. I remember him doing a superb version of Alabama Pines and I’m sure there was a Drive By Truckers song in there too.

When I spent three months in Columbus Georgia, during the summer of 2013, it was a few months after the release of his Southeastern album. After hearing a couple of songs on the local radio station I purchased the album and it’s been a staple on my playlist ever since. I was lucky enough to catch him last year in Atlanta, at the Shaky Knees festival, where he played a few songs off Southeastern. A highlight of that set was a duet with Candi Stanton, when they performed Candi Stanton’s Heart on a String.

Jason Isbell - Southeastern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit to wondering whether Something More Than Free would match up to Southeastern, which is an acknowledged classic. But having listened to it a few times, it more than matches it. It’s definitely less personal than Southeastern and is definitely more upbeat. As a Brit who has only spent a few months in the South, his songs, based on characters and situations from the South, shouldn’t mean a lot to me, but that’s the strength of Jason Isbell’s songwriting, his songs resonate with me.

I mentioned earlier that I’d seen Jason Isbell perform with Ryan Adams, well I can offer no bigger compliment than say that I rate Something More Than Free on a par with Gold by Ryan Adams, that was released over ten years ago and is an album I constantly play.

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Just to finish, how about some Alabama Pines

 

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The Doobie Brothers – Best of the Doobies

Over the past couple of months I’ve bought quite a few second hand albums featuring songs I’d like in My Imaginary Jukebox, so this post and the next few will be about those albums.

I’m kicking off with Best of the Doobies by The Doobie Brothers. It features three of my all time favorites, China Grove, Long Train Running and Listen to the Music. I’ve got Long Train Running in my download collection, as part of the Ultimate Drivetime album, but none of the other two, so I thought this album would be a great addition to my vinyl collection.

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Looking at the album, it was released in 1976! I can’t remember hearing any of these tracks when they were first released, but they were radio staples throughout the late 70s and early 80s. Now I’m living in America, I hear them quite a lot on one of the the local radio stations in Cincinnati I listen to.

So far I’ve been picking one track per album for My Imaginary Jukebox, so sticking to that rule, I’m adding China Grove by The Doobie Brothers to My Imaginary Jukebox.

 

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Long Live the Record Store!

Yes, I know it’s been ages since my last post, but that means there’s loads to catch up on, so I won’t waste my time on excuses I’ll get straight into my post. Since moving to our near home, in Morrow, near Cincinnati, last September, I’ve bought more vinyl in the last six months than the last six years. I seemed to have moved to a vinyl mecca!

I’ve already mentioned Black Plastic Records, who are based in downtown Cincinnati, in a couple of previous posts. Just down the road from Black Plastic Records is Shake it Records. I paid my first visit there on Record Store Day last month.

This was my first Record Store Day in America, I missed last year’s, as due to some bad planning on my part, we held our wedding celebration on the same day as Record Store Day 2014. I didn’t think it would be wise to abandon the preparations in order to queue up at a record store! I was in France for Record Store Day 2013, but that’s for another post!

So for Record Store Day 2015, I woke up at 5:30am, left the house at 6:00am, arrived at the store at 7:00am, for a 9:00am opening, and found in excess of 100 people queuing already!  Two hours later, when the store opened, there was no mad chaotic rush like I’d experienced at Record Store Days in the UK. It was very orderly and, more to the point, very well organized. People were only allowed to buy one copy of any album or single and they seemed to have quite a few copies of each release. I’ll do a separate post on my Record Store Day purchases, suffice to say I spent a fortune, but came away a very happy man!

My most recent find, and my favorite store to date, is somewhat nearer to where I live. Twenty minutes drive away from Morrow is a small town called Loveland, and that’s where Plaid Room Records are based. I found out about Plaid Room Records when I visited Cappys Wines & Spirits. They suggested I pay the local Record Store a visit and I’m glad I followed up on their recommendation. It’s a great store, with a great selection of both new and used vinyl. Their service has been excellent and their staff friendly and knowledgeable.

I’ve been three times now and each time have come away with some classics I’ve been after for a while, together with some more recent releases.

When I was a teenager I used to spend my Saturday afternoons at the only record store in town, if I remember rightly it was called Hardys. I loved going there, I found out about loads of new bands there and was never pressured to buy anything. The owners and their staff were genuine music lovers and it showed. Plaid Room Records gives off a similar type of vibe and I’m sure its a place I’ll be frequenting on a regular basis in the future.

 

 

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Judie Tzuke – Welcome to the Cruise

The latest of my vinyl collection I’ve been listening to is Welcome to the Cruise by Judie Tzuke.

Judie Tzuke - Welcome to the Cruise

 

I tweeted about listening to this album last night and it’s apparent she still has many fans! The album was released in 1979 on Elton John‘s label. the Rocket Record Company. If memory serves me right I bought this pretty soon after it was released. I seem to remember seeing her perform Stay With me Till Dawn on Top of the Pops during the summer of 1979 and buying it the following weekend!

And like every other hot blooded teenager (I was 17 at the time) I fancied her like crazy!

Stay With me Till Dawn is still one of my all time favorite tracks and listening to the album again, the rest of the songs still sound great. The first three tracks of side one still rank, in my opinion, as one of the best starts to a debut album. Welcome to the Cruise and Sukarita still sound great, followed by the wonderful For You, another great on of my favorites. Every track on the album is pure class with her voice sounding so haunting, yet mellow. It’s great album to chill out to, but it lifts you up at the same time.

As for the final track on the album, Stay With me Till Dawn, it’s certainly stood the test of time, it still sounds beautiful.

Here’s the aforementioned performance from Top of the Pops, check it out, you’ll see what I mean!

Needless to say, Stay With me Till Dawn by Judie Tzuke is going to be the next track in My Imaginary Jukebox!

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Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record

A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra was one of the first albums I bought. It was released in September 1976, but I seem to remember buying it with my “birthday money” on my 16th birthday in 1977.

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Throughout that year the Electric Light Orchestra were constantly being played on BBC Radio 1, with three singles being released  off A New World Record. I’ll have to check, but I’m sure I’ve got the Telephone Line single in my collection.

Listening to A New World Record now, I have to say it still sounds great and the album cover still looks pretty awesome, with the now famous ELO logo making it’s first appearance.

One thing I do remember about the album is that the last track on the album, Shangri-la was one of my “go to” tracks if ever something went astray (being turned down!/being dumped!) with my teenage love life! Another thing I remember is the line “faded like the Beatles in Hey Jude“, one of the lyrics from Shangri-la. It’s funny what sticks in the memory…

I’m trying to stick to one song off an album if I add a track to My Imaginary Jukebox, but it’s quite hard with A New World Record. It was released in September 1976, but I seem to remember buying it with my “birthday money” on my 16th birthday in 1977.. Telephone Line, Rockaria! & Livin’ Thing were all great singles, but of those three Livin’ Thing is my favorite.

So Livin’ Thing from A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra is the next track in My Imaginary Jukebox.

Check this out to remind yourself what a great track it is…

 

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Steve Winwood – Talking Back to the Night

Talking Back to the Night by Steve Winwood is the latest record I’ve uploaded to my computer. I bought the album, last week, at the Black Plastic record store, which has a brilliant collection of old and new vinyl.

Steve Winwood - Talking Back to the Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first heard Talking Back to the Night pretty soon after it was first released in August 1982. A guy I used to knock around with back in the early eighties was a big music fan, and I remember hearing this round at his house and borrowing the album a few days later. I think I taped it on to a cassette (remember them?), but I’ve long since lost it, along with all my other old cassettes.

The most well known track from the album is Valerie, which appeared on many a “soft rock” compilation. In fact I have it on a Soft Rock Anthems CD. My favorite track though is the title track, Talking Back To The Night (Remix Version), which I’m going to add to My Imaginary Jukebox.

Having listened to the album again, I’m glad I bought it (for the grand total of $1.95 plus tax!), and it was good to listen to it again, but I can’t see me playing it on a regular basis.

Here’s the remixed version of Talking Back To The Night (Remix Version)

 

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Sad Cafe – Every Day Hurts

I thought today I’d make a start on copying my vinyl singles on to my computer, and the first one I came across was Every Day Hurts by Sad Cafe.

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I’m not sure where or even when I got this, but it’s one of my all time favorites. Looking at the single, it was released in 1979. It was taken of their third album Facades,which was produced by Eric Stewart of 10cc

I’ve actually seen this song performed live a few times, not by Sad Cafe. but by Mike and the Mechanics. Paul Young, Sad Cafe‘s lead singer, was one of the two vocalists with Mike and the Mechanics, until he died in 2000.

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One of the highlights of the Mike and the Mechanics gigs was when they performed Every Day Hurts with Paul Young on vocals, then Paul Carrack took over to perform the Ace hit, How Long, with Paul Young finishing off the medley with Genesis‘s We Can’t Dance.

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So to finish here’s Paul Young, with Mike and the Mechanics, performing Every Day Hurts. Definitely another song to go in My Imaginary Juke Box

 

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