Journey Through Psych Prog Vinyl Records

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Have been looking through some of the more interesting psych/prog titles from the collection and wanted to offer our email list customers only a sneak peek into a few we found – we love these genres and thought you might also!

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Ange – Au Dela Du Delire – LP – French Symphonic Prog

  • Catalogue No: Philips 9101 004
  • Release Year: 1974, early RE,
  • Condition: M Vinyl, NM Sleeve
  • Price: $40
  • Artwork: Philippe Huart

Au-delà du délire is the third album by the French progressive rock band Ange – an absolute stunner from start to finish! They play a style of progressive rock called “French theatrical”, seeming to be influenced by Peter GABRIEL-era GENESIS and KING CRIMSON. However, their sound is more French than British. Lyrics are all in French, but this should not in any way stand in your enjoyment of this concept-masterpiece.

Great flowing guitars with excellent keyboard and vocal support. The songs are very well constructed and this recording reaches a large range of emotions, leaving the listener with a feeling of completion. In our humble opinion this is the best complete work of ANGE to date.

TRACKLIST

1. Godevin Le Vilain (2:57)
2. Les Longues Nuits D’Isaac (4:10)
3. Si J’étais Le Messie (3:00)
4. Balade Pour Une Orgie (3:22)
5. Exode (5:00)
6. La Bataille Du Sucre (Inclus: La Colère Des Dieux) (6:30)
7. Fils De Lumiere (3:52)
8. Au Delà Du Délire (9:02)

Listen here

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The Crystal Mansion – The Crystal Mansion – LP – US psych with elements of soul and funk

  • Catalogue No: Rare Earth / Motown R540L
  • Release Year: 1972
  • Condition:
  • Price: $55
  • Artwork: ?

This band is best known for their 1967 hit “Expressway to Your Heart”, the first hit song by the Philadelphia soul songwriting and production team of Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble.The Allmusic article on the band, by Lars Lovén, starts off: “The Crystal Mansion’s relatively short story is that of a white R&B band moving towards groovy psychedelic rock in the ’70s.”

But it is more than this. The band has real variety in its material and doesn’t sound the same all through the record. A fluid rhythmic feel permeates the texture of the Crystal Mansion album. Johnny Caswell has a strong, although not overpowering, voice that he uses to good effect. Arrangements are uncomplicated and clean, their sound chiefly blue-eyed soul.
TRACKLIST 01 There always will be more
02 Bad city ways
03 I love you
04 Satisfied
05 A song is born
06 Somebody oughta turn your head around
07 Boogieman
08 Let me get straight again
09 Peace for a change
10 Earth people

Listen Here: The Crystal Mansion ► Earth People – https://youtu.be/XyorXTVIrlo

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Atoll – L’Araignée-Mal – LP – Epic French Prog Rock

  • Catalogue No: Ariola GXF-2049
  • Release Year: 1975 Japanese Press, no obi
  • Condition: M Vinyl, VG+ Sleeve
  • Price: $40
  • Artwork: Yves Uro

Recorded during the Festival des Solstices in June ’75, this has become known as a reference to describe some French symphonic prog that was not like Magma (zheul) or Ange (theatre prog). Sounds a bit like: Yes, Genesis; complex, very elaborate and yet beautiful and delicate.

This album contains lots of great symphonic keyboard work with the addition of violin which sounds huge when mixed with Atoll’s guitar, bass and drum interplay. Check out their long first track below, Le Photographe Exorciste, which is truly epic!
TRACKLIST 1. Le Photographe Exorciste (9:10)
2. Cazotte N°1 (6:00)
3. Le Voleur D’Extase (7:30)
– L’Araignée-Mal (21:20) :
4. Imaginez Le Temps (6:40)
5. L’Araignée-Mal (5:05)
6. Les Robots Débiles (3:35)
7. Le Cimetière De Plastique (6:00)

Listen here: Atoll ► L’Araignee-Mal [HQ Audio] 1975 – https://youtu.be/ThBDd_pXP_U

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Spiral Sky – Spiral Sky – LP – Acid Folk, Heavy Psych Revival

  • Catalogue No: ACME AC8002LP
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Condition: M Vinyl & Sleeve
  • Price: $70
  • Artwork: ?

This band rocks a dulcimer! Penny Pepper is the ethereally-voiced vocalist on this pretty-obscure album but from what we can find, it is a UK dream pop psych piece in the flavour of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. This LP is from the second limited edition run, numbered 052/300. Worth a listen!
TRACKLIST A1 Lady of Shallot 3:14
A2 Wanting Love 4:55
A3 Kingdom for a Meaning 3:13
A4 Matty Groves 4:04
A5 Slime Pits 5:44
B1 Marriage of Inconvenience 4:34
B2 Bold William Taylor 3:36
B3 Folk Song 1:46
B4 Cat’s Whiskers 3:27
B5 Sensing the Blue 6:37

Listen here: Spiral Sky ► Kingdom For A Meaning – https://youtu.be/zN-XccOkCYY (Dulcimer fun)
Wanting Love ► https://youtu.be/e_twpi7ANvU (more psych-y)

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Brigitte Fontaine – Est – LP – Avante-Garde French 60s

  • Catalogue No: Saravah RP-7022-SH
  • Release Year: 1974
  • Condition: M Vinyl, EX Sleeve
  • Price: $50
  • Artwork: Maurice Tapiero

This was Brigitte’s first album, arranged by Jean Claude Vannier (Serge Gainsbourg) and fully Francais! By that we mean quirky melodies and vocal deliveries, with arty songs like “Une Fois Mais Pas Deux” the goofy “L’Homme Objet,” with its music-box backing, the odd as “Eternelle,” with its’ tribal male backup vocals and rhythms, and “Blanche Neige,” with its’ overdubbed tropical bird effects.

This is how Francois Hardy might have sounded if she had continued along progressive pop rock trends in the late 60s.
TRACKLIST

A1 Il pleut 2:32
A2 Le beau cancer 1:59
A3 Il se passe des choses 3:34
A4 Une fois mais pas deux 2:45
A5 L’homme objet 1:30
A6 Éternelle 2:23
B1 Blanche Neige 3:30
B2 Comme Rimbaud 1:53
B3 Dommage que tu sois mort 2:25
B4 Je suis inadaptée 2:41
B5 Cet enfant que je t’avais fait 4:25

Listen here: Brigitte Fontaine ► Je Suis Inadaptée- https://youtu.be/Y1v3zUwu644

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Tas the Trippy Festival Artist

TAS is a project-based graphic designer, visual artist and VJ based in the city of Graz, Austria. He started off in 2010 and since then has created visionary worlds of psychedelic motion art—a blend of light, colour, and motion. His works are shown at many European festivals including Modem Festival, Pulsar Festival, Psy-Fi Festival, Summer Never Ends and Noise Poison Festival. Read more at Orb Mag.

BUY INFO: Please email us with Artist + Title + your PayPal email address + postal address to buy. We will reply via email to confirm and then email a payment request to finalise the sale. Postage for 1 (including record mailer) within NSW = $10 + $2.95 signature on delivery (no exceptions). Postage outside of NSW and for multiples Australia-wide – what Australia Post charges to your location from 2508. Payment by PayPal. Gradings are based on Discogs gradings system. Oz pressings unless otherwise stated.

Les Baxter – Ports of Pleasure – Retro Exotica LP Love – Review

Les Baxter – Ports of Pleasure – Retro Exotica LP Love – Review

Ever imagined being a pirate in the South China Seas? Or performing the dance of the seven veils on top of an elephant in the dusk? Well Les Baxter has, because he created Ports of Pleasure just for you to practise to! Here is our review of the vinyl record LP – because we love Exotica.

Ports of Pleasure is an August 1958 Capitol Records release by Les Baxter and his Orchestra (ST 868). There have been less than ten reissues, and the featured image version shown in this blog is an Australian Press that is not on Discogs.

Musically, the album tracks are easy listening soundtrack pops of Big Band, Jazz, Space and Classical. On the reverse cover, Ports of Pleasure is introduced with lashings of double entendres:

“Here, in an album of compositions by Mr. Baxter, he calls forth fascinating impressions of the mysterious East – those small dots on the globe where one’s index finger lingers longest”.

Les Baxter is the Man.

King of the MOOD, Baxter and his Orchestra weave a seamless, immersive sound experience of the South East Asian Fantasy from the late 50s (think I Dream of Jeannie, Auntie Mame, Around the World in 80 Days: folks at that time were living the dream in post-industrial US of A and didn’t want re-al-ity interrupting their get-away time).

Tracklist

The tracklist forms the narrative of this blog because in each track, the listener is taken to a different ‘Port of Pleasure’. Not ignoring the obvious political and warfare situations that were going on in South East China at this period in time, I prefer to focus on the escapist exotica visions of the musician and his band.

  1. Tahiti: A Summer Night At Sea
  2. Hong Kong Cable Car
  3. The Gates Of Annam
  4. Shanghai Rickshaw
  5. Tramp Steamer To Singapore
  6. Spice Islands Sea Birds
  7. City Of Veils
  8. Monkey Dance Of Bali
  9. Harem Silks From Bombay
  10. Sidewalk Cafes Of Saigon
  11. The Pearls Of Ceylon
  12. Bangkok Cockfight

Tahiti: A Summer Night At Sea

A star-studded sky casts gentle light on a yacht lying at anchor near the shore. In a secluded spot on deck, two lovers catch the heady fragrance of exotic flowers, borne by warm breeze: from the island.

Hong Kong Cable Car

The quaint vehicle struggles valiantly to reach the top of the hill and slows down wearily as it reaches the crest. Then, the car speeds happily all the way down.

Lamma Island Hong Kong cable car
Lamma Island Hong Kong cable car

The Gates Of Annam

Barely visible through the evening haze, a mysterious procession passes through the great gates. Is it a file of sacred elephants, bearing the retinue of some ancient emperor – or, like an opium dream, only a bizarre flight of fancy?

The royal cortege leaves the Citadel for the Nam Giao Esplanade, BAVH 1, 1936
The royal cortege leaves the Citadel for the Nam Giao Esplanade, BAVH 1, 1936

Annam is the mountain range that extends approximately 1,100 km (680 mi) through Laos, Vietnam, and a small area in northeast Cambodia.

An Annamite Woman
An Annamite Woman

Shanghai Rickshaw

Grinning and racing only against himself, an agile rickshaw boy trots through the bustling streets of Shanghai. His precious burden is a fair-skinned English lady in search of jewelled treasures – at bargain prices.

Old Shanghai resident posing comfortably in rickshaw!

Tramp Steamer To Singapore

Out of the mist looms the black hulk of a freighter en route to Singapore, the gateway to the east, where strange gardens lie steaming in the tropic sun.

Painting of a tramp steamer by Stuart Roy

Spice Islands Sea Birds

Splashes of winged colour … outlandish sea birds fluttering, and screaming their brief erratic complaints to the winds.

Spice islands

City of Veils

Within the city’s crumbling walls, the visitor from the West is enticed by the sensuous movements of veiled dancers, unaware of the intrigue that pulses inside the city, veiled from him by whispering voices, by shuttered windows and silent footsteps.

Monkey Dance Of Bali

Sacred monkeys scamper through the temples, their human imitators performing the ritual monkey dance with exhilarating tempo and the bright tinkle of gamelans.

Harem Silks From Bombay

Freighters from Bombay carry rich silks and another, more beautiful cargo – slave girls for wealthy princes of the East.

Sidewalk Cafes Of Saigon

At a sidewalk cafe, a girl sips liqueur as she dreamily watches the hectic vivacity of the “Paris of the Orient.” She may be French, perhaps Oriental, probably both.

The Pearls Of Ceylon

Fishermen and divers, and the great Sea of India around them, bringing to the islanders life and death and an occasional pearl.

Tamil woman in tea plantation

Bangkok Cockfight

The national sport of the Indonesians. The bellicose birds strut to an almost jazzy beat as the crown presses in closer in tense expectation.

We Love Exotica

Here at My Vinyl Revolution, we LOVE Exotica. If you want some more insight into the musical genre, check out Jim Spencers’ bio on Les Baxter. Images used were all generated from a reuse image search via Google, using the exact terms of each track title to see how Les Baxter has influenced the internet algorithm: make no bones about it, the man is a GENIUS and rules words, images and sounds of Ports of Pleasure!

If you are after Les Baxter we have Jungle Jazz available at the time of this posting – grab it quick!


Erica from My Vinyl Revolution


My Vinyl Revolution is an online Music Distributor selling New Re-issue Vinyl from around the world as well as Second Hand Vintage Records in Australia and globally. If you’re after any new music on vinyl that we don’t have listed please don’t hesitate to ask as we may have it in stock waiting to be placed online or on its way!

Top Ten Singapore Funk 45s vinyl records 2018

Nam Hong - Funny Funny - 45

If we had to name our Top Ten Singapore Funk 45s vinyl records dug on our recent trip there, they would be…

For the vinyl record nerd, cratediggin’ for vinyl records in Singapore is definately a 50/50 – or less – bet. We were there one week ago and I felt compelled to talk about our experience as vinyl record collectors: good, bad and ugly. But more on the good side, so here goes.

Planning for the best cratedig EVER.

As we were time constrained, we initially did what any self-respecting millennial would do: we asked Dr. Google where the best record shops were. Facebook helped a lot also, and as we contacted each shop in turn, we realized that there are more reissue shops than original ones in Singapore. Not a bad thing at all, just we wanted 45s and of those, ones with unique sounds that we can collect ourselves.

Most of the shops were in the centre of Singapore and most spoke English or Singlish. They generally open late (round 11am) and stay open until late (round 9pm). Very respectable time I think, for musicians and vinyl people.

Singapore Leah St

The leadup to the dig

We had planned to dig for four days but the heat of Singapore absolutely caned us – so we spent poolside time and in our aircon room. Wish I could say we travel like this every time we dig but alas, we do not, so it was a lovely treat. We were staying in the centre of the city near Raffles, the colonial hotel famous for The Singapore Sling and Tigers jumping across the Bar.

There were about 5 stores in the centre of the city but we never made it to them. Too close to our hotel! Singapore has a cracking MRT (rail) system, and cheap taxis (we are from Sydney so anything is cheaper than where we live), so we decided to start in the ‘burbs and work in. And then we ran out of time… so the only place that we were able to visit was a goodly slab of vinyl in the form of Red Point Warehouse.

Red Point Warehouse Singapore

Red Point Warehouse

Red Point Warehouse is run (and perhaps owned) by a lovely, gentle, smiling gent by the name of Ong or Hong. From the second we slipped off our shoes (required for entry), and slipped past the sliding vault door with 45s and LPs stuck on the surface, we knew we were in a really special place. Probably the only place in Singapore like it I am guessing – if you know otherwise, let us know thanks!

Red Point Warehouse Singapore

Anyway, Hong was awesomely hospitable. He broke out the fresh water, whipped up a cool breeze with the fans and directed us straight to the decks where he then slung us 45s – for the next 5 hours. Yes really. I listened to exotic, screeching, otherworldly singers whose name I will never be able to remember EXCEPT for the standouts below.

Red Point Warehouse Singapore

Here are my Top Ten Singapore funk Chinese records, not all with the criteria of ‘good’, because as you might imagine, chinese musical sounds are not always aligned with the western ear or taste – which is fine – and I actually really enjoyed hearing some of the worse along the spectrum, because they actually got pressed onto vinyl!

Good vinyl records

If you know what you are looking for, any record can be a good one. My theory on good records that we found is this: if it has a funky break, interesting melody and/or strong vocal, then I am onto something.

Singapore funk 45s

But a good record for me, in Chinese funk terms, also has to have a good picture sleeve and some sort of metaphoric reference to both the Chinese culture and Western culture it is trying to merge/represent. Here are a few picks of the bunch:

1. 南虹 – 偶然遇見你 (Nam Hong – She’s A Lady – sung in Chinese, written by Paul Anka)

Nam Hong - She is a lady 45 EP

Nam Hong - She is a lady 45 EP

https://youtu.be/lliqToHN1m0 – what a heartfelt cover of the Paul Anka-written, Tom Jones-made-famous classic and possibly better than his because of the almost yodeling-like, plaintive rendering of the chorus by Nam Hong. The tune starts with a wah wah guitar intro that would’ve blown Anka’s hairdo sideways! BTW the cover in the Youtube clip for this could be the sleeve for Nam’s “Passionate Mountain Flower”.

2. 山地多情花 (Nam Hong – Passionate Mountain Flower), 1972

Nam Hong-Passionate-45-MVR

https://youtu.be/igBv31mO_zU – this Nam Hong track is the perfect vehicle for her voice. A little reedy, obviously telling a tale of woe or similar, but uptempo and again, with a cracking au-go go guitar intro.

3. Nam Hong & White Swan Band Chinese Pop Songs 12″ – Funny Funny, Honey Honey / Oh Candida

Nam Hong - Funny Funny - 45

I saw this cover on the shelf and took a photo because it just looked cool, and both sides of the sleeve design are very retro, but probably perfect for the time. Notice Nam is wearing a Woodstock shirt?

4. The Melodians – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The melodians - The good the bad and the ugly 45 The melodians - The good the bad and the ugly

https://youtu.be/bYTY9H6E6oY – what an intro – the effects are just fantastic on this cover of the western classic. Almost spooky reinterpretation with an off-beat hawaiian feel. A post on the youtube feed says: “那个年代,用吉他能奏出槍声,The Melodians 真是太棒了” or in English:

The Melodians were really good at that time, with guns making gunshots”.

True!

5. The Stylers – all round amazing Singaporean Funk Band from the 60s-Now

Throughout the dig we kept pulling random 45s and after a while realised that they were usually from the same group: The Stylers. This band sounds very versatile, something that you would have had to have been in Singapore in the 60-70s, but it is in the musical details that we hear their body of work, or original sound, coming through.

The Stylers Singapore funk

A bit of background info via a Mr. Rainbow (2010) on Youtube:

“The Stylers, one of the most popular instrumental groups from the 60s, started out as The Angels in their early days and recorded their first Mandarin EP with a singer by the name of Maggie in 1962 under Miracle Records. Since then, led by the versatile John Teo, the group had came a long way and recorded several Mandarin instrumental albums, including some vocal ones in English and Hokkien as well. They were one of the few groups that had their own recording company over the years. They were so popular during the 60s that their music accompaniment were much sort after by top artistes like Chang Siow Ying, Lena Lim, Wang Ching Yeng, Rita Chao, Sakura Teng, Suyin, Chopsticks Sisters, Ming Choo Sisters, Wu Kang, Yuli, Loong Piau Piau, Xie Cai Yin, Kok Peng Keen, Ervinna, Jenny Tseng, Rahimah Rahim and many others, when they recorded their respective albums.”

If you would like an alternative history check, read this Discogs Artist bio: https://www.discogs.com/artist/174976-The-Stylers

5A. The Stylers – Belachan

The Stylers - Belachan 45

https://youtu.be/bjMxoHf7oVM – this song might be about Belachan, the national Singaporean food that melts minds and mouths! Considered a real ‘rojak’ Singaporean song, the beat is a bit plinky plonk but the guitar licks and twirls more than make up for the musical narrative. Awesome.

5B. Ervinna and The Stylers – Singapore Pop Beat Garage

Ervinna Stylers 45

https://youtu.be/BiZBQ4d0pJI – I don’t know very much about this track but like Ervinna’s growly singing style, supported by the Stylers uptempo riffs.

5C. Ervinna and The Stylers – Witch Queen of New Orleans

Ervinna Stylers Ervinna Stylers

Ervinna Stylers Ervinna Stylers

WARNING – NAUGHTY PHOTO on Youtube – not original song visual.
https://youtu.be/VcXD0E1OMUs – OMG this is so funky!! Driving bass and Ervinna’s knowing lyrics, plus an evil background laugh at inappropriate times. Fantastic.

This is collectable by the look of it.

Bad vinyl records

Middle of the road goodness like these 45s is what you would probably be able to source on eBay, Discogs or the like. On one of the Youtube links I researched for this article, a user praises the Nam Hong song (sung in Chinese) that covers Paul Anka’s – She’s a Lady, saying: “We need more Chinese people doing covers of music that otherwise no one would be listening to!”. They may have a point.

8. 1967年 Simon Junior, Maurice Patton & The Melodians – 「For A Few Dollars More 」专辑 (4首)

Simon Jnr - Few Dollars 45

https://youtu.be/IhD898lCJM4 – This song is not bad really, it is just generic like so many of the Chinese 45s I spent 5 hours digging through. It starts out with an inspired bit of guitar fiddling a la cowboy Western style, and then kinda loses it after the first part.

9. The Steps – Sandra Sanger, Marini & The Steps

The Steps 1970 LP

https://youtu.be/2oZ3kA4LiUY – the clip plays the tune “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” which is also on the LP shown with writing all over it. Apparently Redifusion Singapore was a radio station, paranoid that their vinyl would get stolen, so wrote all over every surface of vinyl cover they had. We saw so many fantastic covers totally wrecked by the person/people who did this.

Anyway, this is a flat, overwrought and pretty bad cover version of the 1969 Jackie DeShannon version. Here is the original to compare 🙂

Ugly vinyl records

To make this grade the 45 has to be lax musically, boring or generic to the point of nausea!

10. The Melodians – Off Beat Cha Cha Cha 薔薇之戀

https://youtu.be/dEGsTPgP9YI – the Blue Star Records release from 1966. Assuming the Melodians needed a regular wage at this stage and did session work with singers?

The Melodians Cha Cha Cha 45 The Melodians Cha Cha Cha 45

Not sure what the Cortersions label 45 above sounds like but the cover is fantastic – and this time, Simon Junior is with the Melodians singing 4 Cha-Cha-Cha (TKE 2272). Recorded in Kinetex Studios…

Red Point Warehouse Singapore

Singapore 45s – keep searching

So that is our experience of Chinese and Singaporean funk digging in 2018 – we did come home with a few goodies, but overall think that Singapore is either dug out or we should have looked further afield. Thanks to Hong from Red Point – you made our trip worth it!

@myvinylrevolution

Chris Cornell’s Rusty Cage

Chris Cornell My Vinyl Revolution

Chris Cornell’s Rusty Cage

So the news of Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave, broke on Thursday – and I am broken. His rusty cage has broken and here is a heartfelt tribute to a great artist.

The sadness that I feel is not just because one of my rock gods has died, leaving me with only memories of my hazy twenties in mosh pits, soundtracked by Soundgarden.

It is not because I really wanted to see Audioslave before they came out on stage with zimmer frames (because yes, they would/will be playing forever).

It is because I would dearly love to read information about him that I don’t already know – information on why he did what he did, but it is not freely available on the internet. That would be information privy to only himself, that not even his family know, and why he made the decision to leave, what seemed to be on the outside anyway, such a charmed life.

Chris Cornell’s Musical Life

Most blogs are focussing on highlights of Chris’ musical career – good. He wrote and sang incredible tracks for Soundgarden and Audioslave, the two big hitters of his lifelong career. You know them, they were mind-blowing.

Temple of the Dog, another side project inbetween the two titans above, and his solo career, are the musical pauses that I consider to be of interest for fans and non-fans alike. Here are a few nods to his work:

Chris Cornell – “Can’t Change Me” (from Euphoria Morning, 1999)

“Can’t Change Me” is from Chris’ solo album Euphoria Morning. This psych-pop track is a tantalising look into a musical direction Soundgarden could have gone in if they had’ve reformed and worked together at this time.

And here is the french version of this song – the best ever!

Chris Cornell – “Seasons” (from Singles Soundtrack, 1992)

This gorgeous fan fave sits in the pantheon of ethereal, acoustic, mystical folk greats linked to the Led Zeppelin family. So not Soundgarden, but an excellent and seldom shown side of Chris’ repertoire.

Temple Of The Dog – “Times Of Trouble” (from Temple Of The Dog, 1991)

This represents the early 90s for me – the alt-nation ideal that was being explored in many creative cultures of the time is strong in this track. But it is a power ballad and about love, even if grungy and hard in the aesthetic style that Chris and Soundgarden were the pioneers of.

Soundgarden – Rusty Cage (from Badmotorfinger, 1992)

This song is terrifying in its’ directness, its’ need to explode – whether in terms of energy, an actual rusty cage, the truck or the shed in the song. Perfect for hormone-driven teens (which I was at the time it was released) to writhe and jump around in mosh pits and concerts, all dressed like Chris Cornell in long shorts, boots and shirtless.

Suicide or OD?

Apparently Chris did not take his own life, according to his widow Vicki Karayiannis:
“Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”[1]
But even if he did, it is done now and will no doubt influence many others as his music has done. I really just wish that his prescription was monitored, and his rock star ways were not allowed to end in his death, if they contributed to it.
Thankyou Chris. You really have soundtracked many moments in my life and for that I am very grateful to you. Your talent and obvious good looks were a staple on my life until now, and I never really made the effort to find out who you really were behind your music. I hope you will be happy wherever you go and will remember you fondly, along with the other dearly departed singers of this past year.
Readers who are seeking assistance can call Lifeline on 131114 or beyondblue on 1300224636.

@myvinylrev

chris-cornell-my-vinyl-revolution

George Michael – His Last Christmas RIP

my-vinyl-rev-George_Michael-blog

George Michael – His Last Christmas RIP

Another one bites the dust! George Michael was a flawed diamond but man did he give his all. Born in 1963, allegedly he has died just today, 25 December 2016, he was known for these three things:

  • Wham (80s dance pop outfit)
  • His solo career
  • His sexuality

And we LOVE him for all of them. Before you cast aspersions, just remember that this guy sold more than 80 MILLION albums in his time. That deserves big kudos.

Wham (80s dance pop outfit)

Fantastic, the bands’ first album, was released in 1983 and includes Club Tropicana (below via Vevo), Young Guns and Wham Rap! It went No. 1 and had multiple top ten hits. Imagine this happening to you as a teenager?

Their second album, Make It Big, went No. 1 on the US charts, including No. 1 hits Wake me Up Before You Go Go, Freedom.

In his copious amounts of spare time (not), George also contributed background vocals to David Cassidy’s The Last Kiss (1985) and Elton John’s Nikita and Wrap Her Up (1985).

His solo career

Although Careless Whisper was his first solo hit (1984), this was released during his time with Wham. Post-Wham, his first biggie was a duet with Aretha Franklin I Knew You Were Waiting. His effortless (well, that’s how it appeared to us the punters) collab with other huge global stars was another angle on his ability to not take himself too seriously, when millions were doing the exact opposite.

He won a Grammy for this one with Aretha.

In 1987 Faith was released, with George writing and producing every track on the album. I Want Your Sex was the lead track from this album but I honestly feel that every track from this album is worthy of exploration. I Want Your Sex is not about casual sex (George’s words), but not everyone else thought so. When introducing the song on American Top 40, host Casey Kasem, referred to it as “the new single by George Michael”. Go George! His creative work is really only an expression of his desire – how everyone else took it is up to them.

I Want Your Sex – such a strong, directional song!

His sexuality

Fast Love – such a smooth, sexy song! Watch here.

My Viyl Revolution - George Michael - Fast Love lyrics

George’s sexuality was a matter for himself of course, but his public journey to his own awareness of his sexuality was something that we watched from the media circus. How would you have managed coming out from one of the most successful 80s outfits?

I have no idea how I could have done what he did, and the more he got into trouble with the law (engaging in lewd acts in Cali loos with policemen, 1998, arrested for possession of dope, 2006), the more I liked him.

You see, George is only human. He has foibles like the rest of us and I would only hope that I had the grace and humour to take the piss outta myself if that ever happened to me.

Rest In Peace George, you have done a fantastic job and lived your life on your own terms.


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Saving the World, One Record at a Time.

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Vinyl Art, Hipgnosis and Pink Floyd

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Hipgnosis was a London design agency consisting primarily of Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson who specialised in cover art design for twenty years from 1963-1983. Peter Christopherson (of Throbbing Gristle fame) joined in 1974 and became a full partner in 1978.

All different and amazingly talented designers, they exerted – and still exert – a massive influence on vinyl art cover design, as did the bands who asked them to design their album covers. Groups like:

 My Top three Hipgnosis vinyl cover art picks – which one is your favourite and why?

Nuggets Hipgnosis1. Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968

Designer – Closest associations I could find were Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records and Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group.

Why: Colour and shape swirl over the cover in a pop psychedelic very reminiscent of the era. Large lighter and warmer palettes contrast with smaller contrasting floral sections and this play and detail makes the Nuggets cover unforgettable!

Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures2. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures, 1979
Designer – Peter Saville
Why: Linear disruption, minimal and framed in desolate black. Still, it shows optimistic for me, and nearly my all time favourite vinyl art cover!
Sacrosanct-Hipgnosis3. Sacrosanct – Recesses for the Depraved1991

Designer (of course) – H.R.Geiger

Why: Again, the detail and contrasting colour with light energy flowing from the spacy female figure’s mouth and eyes across (a guillotine?) to a mirrored skull/male image. Geiger isnt afriad of discussing the heavier side of life, death and art, and I have always liked his precision in design and detail. It is almost like the typography is superfluous to this cover design, which may not have been what the group was after but hey, that’s Geiger. he leaves the meaning construction to the viewer.

 Arguably the most well known Hipgnosis vinyl cover art design:

Dark-Side-of-the-moonPink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon, 1973

Designer – Closest associations I could find were Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records and Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group.

Why: Everyone knows Newton’s prism image and it is a superb analogy for metaphor and intrigue – of Pink Floyd as well as life and music.

Hipgnosis – the name

Aubrey Powell’s website describes Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett scrawling the name on a doorframe in the South Kensington flat the group shared with him:

“He is to thank for linking ‘hip’ (pertaining to a cool subculture) with ‘gnostic’ (esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters ) and the noun ‘hypnosis’ (an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep characterised by heightened susceptibility to suggestion).”

Hipgnosis _ the team

Their design taste in recruitment was as exacting as their actual cover art design process: assistants and artists who worked with them over the years included George Hardie, Neville Brody, Richard Evans, Bush Hollyhead, Geoff Halpin and Humphrey Ocean.

You can watch a short documentary video about the studio here, called Taken by Storm: a film about Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis by director Roddy Bagawa, from Piecemeal films/Fallen cinema, 2010.

So which Hipgnosis vinyl cover art is your favourite and why? Don’t limit yourself to the ones I’ve chosen above, there are so many other amazing Hipgnosis covers out there!!! Post comments below.

Hope you enjoy! As per usual, My Vinyl Revolution have tried to include multiple sources of information and correct as known at the date of posting. If you can add more info please post below and we will update once confirmed – muchas gracias!

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipgnosis#Discography

My Vinyl Revolution is fully social! Find our other vinyl art blogs at http://instagram.com/myvinylrevolution/

© 2014 My Vinyl Revolution www.myvinylrevolution.com

Vinyl Art, Judas Priest and Rosław Szaybo

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Written by @olsonwells

Judaspriestsinsin

Rosław Szaybo

I came across a recent purchase of Judas Priest’s Sin after Sin while browsing through the piles of vinyl sleeves that lie round our house (yes, in ordered piles and on shelves).

Metalheads love this sort of music, and I’m not sure where my taste lies yet in that regard, but I sure do LOVE the vinyl cover art by Rosław Szaybo (allegedly).

Sometimes referred to as packaging, sometimes art direction, the design skill that this artist employs is focussed, heavy and mythical!

I did some research (more than Wikipedia) and found out these FAQs about Rosław Szaybo and the album creation:

Rosław Szaybo

  • Polish and still alive apparently. Born 1933, he would have been a perfect age to capitalise on commercial opportunities for bands needing trained painters, photographers and/or cover designers (which he was all three).
  • Moved to the UK in 1966 and worked at Young and Rubicam freelance while building his contacts.
  • 1972 – CBS chief artistic director. Designed OVER 2000 covers, mostly for classical music (see, there is always a connection!), but also for Santana and The Clash.
  • Also designed Judas Priest’s British Steel album cover art
  • What is he doing now? See this Blabbermouth article – still rocking hard in cover art design
  • According to recordingreview.com, Roslav assigned Royal College of Art 1975 graduate Bob Carlos-Clarke to design the cover. Probably the art director/designer studio collab, the result is usually signed off with Szaybo’s name so dont want to offend anyone, just love the album and relying on research which may not be correct.

Judas Priest’s – Sin After Sin (1977) vinyl art

Features Szaybo’s own drawing as well as the John Pasche-designed gothic logo from their previous label release.

Features the light/dark shadow aspect, night sky with hidden mood and egyptian temple with the album title carved into the rock. Heavy Metal indeed! The gorgeous female figure at the right bottom is silhouetted, perhaps waiting to be initiated – or sacrificed – inside the pillars of the temple shown. Very evocative.

What’s your take on the cover? Jump on our blog and create your own after responding to my blog 🙂 Betty

My Vinyl Revolution is fully social! Find our other vinyl art blogs at http://instagram.com/myvinylrevolution/

© 2014 My Vinyl Revolution www.myvinylrevolution.com

Vinyl Art by Comus – Tone Float’s Organisation (aka Kraftwerk)

My-Vinyl-Revolution-Tone-Float

Written by @myvinylrevolution

Hi Everyone! My Vinyl Revolution here, blogging about vinyl cover art and the artists, designers and sometimes even the musicians who make them an art form.

Electronic musicians and Kraftwerk fans should prick up their ears for this blog article. Organisation were a German Krautrock band with three (future) members of Kraftwerk making experimental bleeps and twaddles. Don’t get me wrong, I like this album but more for the vinyl art than the music – quel horreur!

Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider-Esleben were the Kraftwerk posse – other members of this line-up were Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger (who later formed Neu, another influential band from the time).

Tone Float is the first LP collaboration (released 1970 on RCA Victor) between these two Kraftwerkers and many regard it as a strange detour from their future electro success with the K-band. It lies musically closer to traditional Krautrock, basically an instrumental jazz journey with lots of percussion and multiple instruments that are kind of psychedelic and rambling.

The album can be shared via YouTube here

But the vinyl art cover looks nothing like a Kraut rock album!

You cannot but help notice the incredible aesthetic difference between Tone Float and one of Kraftwerk’s more popular albums, Autobahn (below).

The overall theme of flowing-ness is certainly psychedelic, as is the stoned or contemplatative gaze of the Father Time-like figure squinting off into space.

The hand-rendered linework of the figure and Red Rider-like application of emotional colour across face hair and beard is also typical of the late 60s psych scene – totally the opposite of the Pop / Conceptual Art focus of their traffic cone Kraftwerk period.

Credit for the visual design is attributed by multiple sources to Comus, a UK progressive/psychedelic folk rock band from Bromley, Kent founded in the late 1960s. I’m not sure if this is correct but if anyone knows please post a comment as It would be awesome to give credit where credit is due.

My-Vinyl-Revolution-Tone-FloatMy-Vinyl-Revolution-Kraftwerk-Autobahn

If you own an original LP (from discogs) it should have:

  • Produced for Rainbow Productions
  • © 1970 RCA Limited
  • Original LP on RCA Victor, not to be mixed with bootleg pressings without RCA label, but with the same cat#, that were widely distributed.
  • The front cover must have ‘RCA’ and ‘Victor’ lettering in the top corners, otherwise it is a bootleg.
  • The cover is unlaminated, printed on thin cardboard.
  • The inner sleeve is the standard RCA thin plain paper type, with die cut label holes and curve cut top edge.

Psychedelic music instruments

Check this out – perfect for your counter-culture hero, the Fender guitar company made the Pink Paisley

fender pink paisley guitar

What’s your take on Tone Float? Jump on our blog and create your own after responding to my blog 🙂 Betty

My Vinyl Revolution is fully social! Find our other vinyl art blogs at http://instagram.com/myvinylrevolution/

© 2014 My Vinyl Revolution www.myvinylrevolution.com

Vinyl Art – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Carny Goth Blues Swamp Poetry

MVR_nick-cave-bad-seeds-the-firstborn-is-dead-lp

Vinyl Art – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Carny Goth Blues Swamp Poetry

Written by Betty Page

Hi Everyone! My Vinyl Revolution here, blogging about vinyl cover art and the artists, designers and sometimes even the musicians who make them an art form.

So everyone knows who Nick Cave is and if you don’t, there’s this thing called the Internet. We should be very proud of him as he is an Australian carving his niche into rock music’s annals of history in a very unique way, with the help of years of consistent showmanship, collaborators and gothic fervour.

Here are his albums critiqued for their covers – most of them have him on the cover but they are still different and unique in approach.

PS Ill keep adding reviews as I get to them – The Bad Seed Discography is extensive!

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Your Funeral My Trial, 1986

In 1986 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds were in the grip (creatively if not medically) of heroin, so this album is melancholic and desperate in tone. That’s not to say it isn’t absolutely brilliant, because this is the first album that isnt shambolically trying to get a grip on the synthesis of influences that the band was experimenting with while living round the world in different places, touring etc.

“The Carny” track from this album was performed live in Wim Wenders movie “Wings of Desire” – brilliant and gloomy Berlin at its’ romantic best, so all you would-be Goths out there, please name-check this album and that movie as they will make your job much easier.

Buy album here

Listen/watch Youtube album here

What’s your take on Nick Cave? Jump on our blog and create your own after responding to my blog 🙂 Betty

My Vinyl Revolution is fully social! Find our other vinyl art blogs at http://instagram.com/myvinylrevolution/

© 2014 My Vinyl Revolution www.myvinylrevolution.com

Mingering Mike – the story of a digger who found gold

my-vinyl-revolution

Mingering Mike – the story of a digger who found gold

How did a soul star, who released over 100 albums, just disappear? The story of Mingering Mike, whose career spanned from 1968-77, highlights the power of vinyl as art.

This story has all the elements of a good vinyl mystery:

  • Cratedigger
  • Jail
  • Drugs, guns, murder
  • Flea markets!

Read this wonderful story here: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/feb/11/-sp-mystery-of-mingering-mike-the-soul-legend-who-never-existed-jon-ronson

…and here’s where you can find details of the exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/mingering_mike/

Vinyl Cats

My Vinyl Revolution Vinyl Cats

Cats + Vinyl + Internet = Lots of fun!

Who would ever have thought that cats and vinyl are such a good match? And how they are ruling instagram at the moment? Check out these sassy pussycats below, who have legions of fans liking every post!

Why not add photos of your vinyl cat onto our @myvinylrev instagram fee, @myvinylrevolution Facebook page or other social media accounts (Pinterest, G+, Twitter, YouTube) – we would love to see them!

They are even selling merchandise for the page – I wonder if they sell cat Ts too?

Princess Monster Truck aka Chrissie Amphlett

princessmonstertruck

#princessmonstertruck was found roaming the streets of Brooklyn. Vets think her signature underbite came from overbreeding Persians in the same blood line.

Richard Kitty aka #David Bowie
#richardkitty
#richardkitty is a rescue cat who lives with his rescue brother Toshi. Richard is known for his heterochromia, which means his eyes are two different colors.
Hamilton the Hipster Cat aka Bruno Mars
Hamilton the Hipster Cat
Hamilton the Hipster Cat with his hipster moustachio – it’s real!

Photos via:

http://mom.me/pets/cats/19086-top-cats-instagram/

https://www.instagram.com/catsonamps/

Best Facebook Vinyl Videos

lego-record-player

Because…the Internet

We love the creativity of vinyl nerds and bloggers – here are some of our favourite vinyl videos from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram: please add your own links in the comments, retweet or share!

Hayarobi’s Lego Record Player

Korean Lego enthusiast Hayarobi has created a fully functional record player out of 2405 Lego pieces, comes with its own speakers and the only non-lego piece? The Audio Technica photo cartridge!!!! Amazing.

See the 45″ video of the Lego Record Player – design by Hayarobi

N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton

My-Vinyl_Revolution-N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton

Tru Dat Hip Hop Classic: N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton on Vinyl Record and an Academy Award nominee!

my-vinyl-revolution_nwa-straight-out-of-compton-20th-anniversary-edition-2lp-180gram-pressing-300x300

NWA celebrated their 20th anniversary of the original release of Straight Outta Compton on August 8, 2008. A movie came out late last year and it took me back:

In 1998, as an 18-year old growing up in the Western suburbs of Sydney (Granville to be exact), the album spoke to me musically even though I didn’t understand what its content was all about. Even thought I didn’t understand what living in Compton was like, I did understand from living in Granville how boring life can truly be.

It made me feel included in a culture. Being part of the Hip Hop culture gave me an avenue out of the boring humdrum life of living in the West. What Hip Hop culture gave to me via NWA, was a chance to escape and to be creative in one of the five disciplines [1] that the culture lived by – by doing graf:

Rap music (oral)

 

Turntablism (aural)

B-boying (physical)

Graffiti (visual) [1]

Production
(the unoffical 5th element of hip hop)

While I’ve worked my way through the whole 5 elements quite badly, the one thing that hip hop has given me is an education in self-belief, that no parent or mentor has ever done.

Originally released August 8, 1988 on Eazy E’s label Ruthless Records, Straight Out Of Compton became the pioneering record of the Gangster Rap genre. The tight production was by Dr Dre and DJ Yella with co-production credits going to the Arabian Prince.

Straight Outta Compton redefined the direction of hip hop, this version is the later re-release which has been remastered containing four bonus tracks and pressed on 180gram virgin vinyl.

Bonus Tracks:

  • Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony – F*ck the Police
  • Snoop Dog/C-Murder – Gangster Ganster
  • Mack10 – Dopeman
  • WC – If it Ain’t Ruff
  • Dr. Dre/M.C.Ren – Compton’s N The House – Live

Listen to the title track here: N.W.A. – Straight Out of Compton

Buy Now

Do your homework B-Boys and B-Girls! trailer here: Straight Outta Compton – Red Band Trailer with Introduction from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube (HD)(Official)

My Vinyl Revolution is an online Music Distributor selling New Re-issue Vinyl from around the world as well as Second Hand Vintage Records in Australia and globally. If you’re after any new music on vinyl that we don’t have listed please don’t hesitate to ask as we may have it in stock waiting to be placed online or on its way!  

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop