Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lalo Schifrin "Theme from Enter the Dragon" soundtrack 45 USA/Argentina 1973

It's a busy weekend and I only have time to post a single this week, although there are a lot of great LPs I have lined up for you folks in the coming weeks.  We'll be getting back to more '60s/'70s rock soon, including some rare compilations I think people will love.  It takes more time to edit an LP into mp3s and do the track listings, especially with compilations.

Here's something a little different, two Lalo Schifrin compositions from the soundtrack of the classic 1973 kung fu flick Enter the Dragon.  Schifrin is from Argentina, and has been involved in both classical music and pop movie and TV soundtracks in L.A. for deacdes.

I much prefer the A-side, which is an up-tempo funk/orchestral pop track punctuated by some awesome '70s kung fu screams.  You can enjoy this with or without irony.  The B-side, "The Big Battle", sounds like the composer was told "OK, we need a song for a long fight sequence... make it sound something like the main theme, but like it could be coming to a climax at any point... but don't do that, just keep it going..."  This was a thrift store find and I likely paid 25 cents for it.

Them kids was fast as lightnin'.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fox "Only You Can" b/w "Out of My Body" UK/USA/Australia/Ireland 1974

Here's another one of those singles that I thought was a rarity, but is just relatively unknown in the United States.  This song hit #2 on the West German and #3 on the UK pop charts in '74, but at only #53 here in the US this is never going to get played on any commercial radio station.  My copy is a German pressing on the GTO label.

Fox was a multinational band put together by American songwriter/producer Kenny Young, and featured Australian Susan Traynor (using the stage name "Noosha Fox") on vocals, which in her case includes suggestive inhaling.

The hit has a loping beat, a softer side of dance-able glam-pop number that approaches, but never reaches, a reggae grove.  I bet they dug this at Rodney Bingehheimer's English Disco.  The B-side is more a psych-pop by way of glam ballad track and has quite the lysergic lyric, although if I had to pick a drug that was in the studio at the time I'd have to go quaaludes.  Despite - or is it because of? - this description I like both sides.  Now I'd like to hear the '75 LP.

Get out of your body.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marie Laforêt "Vol. 3" LP France 1967

This album was purchased a few weeks back at the same record fair where I picked up this stunning Czech record.  I bought this from a Quebecois guy who came down to sell some records, and I'm glad he was there.  Because I have the first couple of Pop à Paris CD compilations, I recognized the name, and more important the first track on the album, an awesome cover (with an unrelated rewritten French lyric) of the Stones' "Paint It Black."  If you haven't heard this yet do yourself a favor and give it a listen.  It might well be better than the original.  She certainly has a better voice than Mr. Jagger.

That song plus the "Sounds of Silence" cover make the LP worth having by themselves.  As a bonus you get 10 more songs by Ms. Laforêt, mostly orchestral pop-folk of the sort the yé-yé ladies were cranking out by the boatload in the '60s.

You can read about her career in music and movies - both of which she tossed aside for the visual arts - here or if you parlez the French here.  She's also left France and is now a Swiss citizen.  Apparently this is one of 7 roughly annual consecutive albums up through 1970 titled by number, putting her in the same league as Chicago and The Soft Machine in the competition for World's Most Imaginitive Album Titles.  The nice Canadian fellow had a few of the others, and despite him giving me a bit of a price break for actually knowing what I was buying, and trying out my college French, I had only so much cash to spend that day, and this album will have to do for the time being.

Incidentally Marie- douceur, Marie-colère translates as "Sweet Mary/Pissed Off Mary" or something to that effect. Also of interest: she had a euro-hit in 1977 with Il a neigé sur Yesterday ("It Snowed [on] Yesterday"), an homage to The Beatles which yeah, I won't be posting that.

Face 1

Marie- douceur, Marie-colère
Je voudrais tant que tu comprennes
La voix du silence
Siffle, siffle ma fille
Ma chanson faite pour toi
La plage

Face 2

Toi qui dors
La moisson
Je t'attends
Après toi qui sait
La tendresse
L'arbre qui pleure


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Various Artists "The ARP Family of Synthesizers" 7" EP USA 197?

This 7" 33 1/3 record was pressed in order to sell ARP synthesizers to the public.  It wouldn't be surprising to me if this were given out for free or for postage, in stores or through mail order.

My copy is a little beaten up, and I bought this in a thrift store in a plain paper sleeve, probably for 25 cents.  As I don't have a picture sleeve and there's no date on the record, the best I can date it is to c. 1972 if the statement on the A side that the Who's Next album was "recent" is accurate.

Side A is basic narration by Roger Powell about the ARP instruments and samples of their use.  The B side has some music samples from Powell and Dave Fredericks, both of whom had synthesizer records out at the time.  The first tracks I would describe as jazz fusion and ambient/easy listening, but the winners for me are the two brief final tracks, which are respectively cosmic experimental '70s bloop-blorp and one of those silly Moog-pop-type songs which sounds like the cartoon theme for an idiot character.  I don't know how else to describe it, but it makes me smile despite myself.

We'll be back to some rock in the next post.  In the meantime, enjoy this little tutorial that explains in part how the '70s sounded so interstellar, man.  Oh, here's a great list of acts that used ARP instruments.  It might have been easier to compile a list of who didn't!  Also check out this tribute page to the instruments.

Side 1

"The ARP Family of Synthesizers" - Roger Powell

Side 2

"Stinger" - Dave Fredericks
"Queene Efineska" - Roger Powell
"Hermetic Enigma" - Roger Powell (both Powell tracks on the 1973 Cosmic Furnace album)
"Mockingbird Hill" - Dave Fredericks


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Various Artists "Killed by Glam 2: 14 Euro Glam Rock Gems" LP international 1970s

This LP came out within the last couple of years on the MoonBoot label out of London. The first volume is all British bands and I'd love to hear that if anyone out there has it. This is all pretty killer '70s glam from continental Europe as the title suggests. Not much more I can add to that. If you like that genre, you'll love this. If you're a sucker for cheesy '70s electronic effects mixed into stomping rock tracks like I am, you'll love it even more.

Unfortunately my copy seems to have a couple of minor flaws in the pressing that cause brief skips in the first couple of tracks. (The obvious way to avoid this is for you to track down the CD or another vinyl copy like this and buy it.)

Overall this is a very nice job of presenting the music - very clean sound, and color reproductions of the 45 sleeves on the reverse with brief liner notes.

Side A

01. Rocket Men - "Rocket Man" (France 1974)
02. Sharaton - "Caught in the Act" (Netherlands 1974)
03. Mabel - "Hey, I love you!" (Denmark 1976)
04. Tiger B. Smith - "Morning Bird" (West Germany 1974)
05. Nicky Bulldog - "Chewingum Rock" (Italy? 1976)
06. House Of Lilly - "Turn Around" (Switzerland? 1973)
07. Walkers - "Fire" (Denmark 1973)

Side B

08. Funky Family - "Part of My Life" (West Germany 1973)
09. Black Fire - "Come On and Do It" (Netherlands 1975)
10. La Strana Societa - "Vento che soffi" (Italy 1973)
11. Lennart Messagie & Dagleth - "You Can Make It Better" (Belgium 1975)
12. Blue Vamp - "Jolly Dolly" (France 1974)
13. Tears - "Ooh Lah" (Sweden 1974)
14. The Killer - "Say Goodbye" (Netherlands 1975)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Various Artists "Radio Bond-Age" LP France 1980s

This cool compilation consists almost entirely of French bands of the 1980s.  Although I believe it was released in 1989, much of the material here dates from in some cases as many as 5 or more years earlier as it was meant to promote a number of releases on the Bondage label out of Paris.

It is one of the most impressive packaging jobs I've ever seen on a true indie release, with an elaborate glossy color gatefold cover and informative English language liner notes.  It seems the album was meant to introduce some French acts to an English-speaking audience.  This was one of the records I most had in mind to post when starting the blog.

There's a mix of punk and related genres, steering clear of the hardcore/thrash scene that also existed in Paris at the time.  You have fairly melodic art punk from (relatively) famous bands such as Bérurier Noir and Ludwig von 88, known for their artsy political stage shows, as well as several other inconnus that take things in a number of post-punk directions, ranging from the twisted folk of Les Nonnes Troppo (who dressed as nuns) and Les the hip hop-inspired sampling of No Vision, a group that apparently grew out of a "graffiti crew."  Expect from the best tracks some combination of demented B-52s, a touch of Cramps and standard melodic '80s punk sounds along with horns, accordion, and a variety of other instruments.  I can pretty much guarantee that everyone will like some of this and very few will like all of it.

The one non-French band on the LP is The Lords of the New Church, a "supergroup" American/British post-punk band composed of former members of The Dead Boys, Sham 69, The Barracudas and a number of other projects, who had at least one release on the Bongade label and were the first non-French band on their roster.

I bought this in a used record store in Philadelphia in about 1989 or so and haven't seen a copy since.

Face A

"Ready Ready Go Punk Rockers" - The Brigades
"Jardin Potager" - Les Endimanches
"Guerriers Balubas" - Ludwig von 88
"Nuit Apache" - Bérurier Noir
"I Love You - Fuck Off" - Lucrate Milk
"Les Voisins du dessus" - Les Satellites
"Pizza Attack" - Washington Dead Cats

Face B

"Hotel du Labrador" - Messageros Killers Boys
"Le Roi de la route" - Les Nonnes Troppo
"Pop SIDA" - Les PPI (Pervers Polymorphes Inorganises)
"Je suis un evade" - Nuclear Device
"Death Penalty" - No Vision
"Real Bad Time" - The Lords of the New Church

Vive le rock!