Stanley Clarke – Modern Man

I bought this a few weeks back on vinyl, from Good Times

Click on the cover to listen to the title track.

I bought his self-titled album a while ago, and liked it so much that I wanted more. So, when I saw this I bought it, no questions asked.

Unfortunately though it is a little disappointing. It is supposed to be a jazz fusion album, but to me it sounds more like a mix of disco and funk, and in fact it came out in a still very disco 1978. There are plenty of horns, disco-guitars, and various singers, along with piano and Stan’s funky bass playing. But, it just doesn’t do it for me, as much as I like Stan and disco, the two just don’t go together for me. Reviews on the Interwebs are also quite mixed.

The vinyl, cover, and insert are all in minty condition, all good there. It is a Japanese pressing.

I do like the cover though, Stan was a cool customer back in those days.

Stan’s best album cover.
This one is cool, too.

I am sure though this is just a blip in the Stan catalogue, so I shall continue seeking out more of his albums, those two above albums especially.

Stan has a great website, check it out.

Music count 2018: 105
Total vinyl count: 22

Saturday Night Fever

Not only is this an interesting and amazing film, but it also has one of the best film soundtracks around, which is why I snapped this up a few weeks back when I found it.

Six of the seventeen tracks on this double-album are Bee Gees tracks, pretty much all of their major hit songs with tracks like “Stayin’ Alive”, “Night Fever”, and “Jive Talkin'”. Other bands include Kool & The Gang, K.C. And The Sunshine Band, David Shire, and The Trammps. The film score tracks by David Shire though are not that great, they let down the album a bit, but the rest is pure disco gold.

The vinyl is is excellent condition and the cover is not too bad and includes the “obi” (the strip on the cover) which seems to be advantageous to have whether buying or selling a used record here. I got it for around 800 yen.

Fave track on the album is the 10 min 50 sec version of “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps.

Next, I want to find the “Staying Alive” soundtrack.

Music count 2018: 104
Total vinyl count: 21

Van Halen – Fair Warning

This was an album I had my eyes on for a while, but I passed it over for other albums such as the Abba album I bought a while ago. But, finally I succumbed and it has been in my collection for a few weeks now.

I am not a huge fan of Van Halen, but songs like “Jump” and “Hot For Teacher” are just too catchy to not like. This is their fourth album and does not have any tracks that most people would know unless they are V.H. fans, although “Unchained” is quite familiar.

It came out in 1981, three years before 1984 which is the album that had aforementioned songs and made Van Halen super-duper-stars. This album though is a very Van Halen-sounding album and has some good tracks. I just find it to be a decent but not essential listen. I am listening to it as I type, and I am actually getting into it as I bash on the keys, so perhaps I am warming to it.

The record and album cover are both in near-new condition. It is a Japanese pressing.

I am getting behind in my record posts, I have at least four more to write about, so I will get onto that.

Music count 2018: 103
Total vinyl count: 20

Supernatural Charlatan Senses Free

The music purchases have slowed down a little recently, although I am only 11 purchases behind where I was in October last year. Still, I have four rather different releases to speak of.

Santana – Supernatural

I am not really a Santana fan, but I bought this anyway because I thought it would be good to have at least one of his albums, he is after all an excellent guitar player and his music is unique.

I have only listened to this once, and I liked what I heard, but I think it is more of a in-the-background album rather than something you crank up and groove out to.

This is his seventeenth album, and probably caused Carlos to have to buy another cabinet because it went platinum fifteen times, and it received eight Grammy’s including Album of the Year. It sold over 30 million copies, making it Santana’s best selling album.

Click on the album cover above to listen to a track from the album.

The Charlatans – The Charlatans v. The Chemical Brothers

I bought this while I was in Good Times buying The Stranglers record last week. Before going to the counter I had a quick look in the CD section and found this for only 100 yen. It is a remix EP which I usually don’t go for as I don’t like remixes for the most part, but I thought the combination of The Charlatans and The Chemical Brothers might make for good sounds.

Unfortunately it is not very good, my remix aversion is still quite justified. But, it is OK to have, I guess.

Click on the album cover.

Senses Fail – If There Is Light It Will Find You

Senses Fail are a band I discovered when playing a fave Sony PSP game many years ago, one of their songs was on the game soundtrack along with at least two other bands I got into. Since then I have been collecting all of the albums and this is their latest album, released this year. I bought it on Bandcamp.

Senses Fail never release a bad album, and this one is no exception. It is not their best album, but it is still a very good album.

Senses Fail are a post-hardcore band, and are also described as emo, screamo, and metalcore. I should probably be a lot younger to admit I like this band, but inside I still feel 25, so that’s OK.

Broke For Free – XXVII

I discovered Broke For Free on Free Music Archive some times ago and liked him (it is just one guy) so much I downloaded all of his releases.

This album is on Bandcamp, and was released in 2016. I thought I had better pay for his music for once so I just bought it this very evening.

A quick listen shows that it is yet another good release. Have a listen yourself here, then throw some money his way why don’t you?

Recently I have decided to pretty much stop buying CDs. I want to concentrate on vinyl for a while, and support bands by buying downloads mostly on Bandcamp. Also, with almost 1000 CDs just sitting on my bookshelf all day doing nothing I feel that it is a bit of a waste. Vinyl is cool to have, but I continue to buy them at a slow rate. Perhaps I will buy the odd CD if it is something unique, rare, or just plain cheapo.

Something I would like to see is a cross between a record and a download. If record companies were to make a really nice 7″-sized cardboard album sleeve with a high quality booklet inside that has the lyrics, pretty pictures, and a download coupon where you can get the music, I would be willing to pay a bit extra for it. That way you could have your music sorted in special sized bins that don’t take up too much space and you could flick through your collection as though you were in a record store. Dang, I would really like that!

A record I bought online from England is on the way and should arrive any day soon, and it is definitely going to be the most prized vinyl in my collection so far. So I will blog about that very soon hopefully.

Music count 2018: 101

The Stranglers – The Raven

This is an album I had my eye on for some time at Good Times, my fave used record shop, and by far the best place to browse for records in this fair city. I passed it over a few times in favour of other slightly more desirable records, but I finally bought it along with another record which I will write about soon. I also bought another record the same day at another shop, so I have even more writing to do.

I have heard this album before, and while it is a decent listen it is not one of The Stranglers’ better albums, but it is still decent enough. It is a strange mix of songs actually, some of it sounds like their first album, and other songs are more experimental.

The pressing I have is a Japanese one, and has the limited edition 3D cover. It is in excellent condition and has the nice inside sleeve too. And I didn’t pay much for it either, roughly the price of a Big Mac Meal (I haven’t had one of those for a while now).

Yet another welcome addition to the slowly expanding vinyl collection.

Click here for a video of The Stranglers performing a couple of songs from the album live back in 1981.

Music count 2018: 97

Frampton Comes Alive!

I dropped into Hard Off for a record deal and walked out with this classic seventies double album.

It was a huge album back in the day, it sold eight million copies in the U.S. alone, and the rest of the world bought 3 million. In fact, in 1976 when this came out it was the best-selling live album of all time. Some of the songs were recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (where the Sex Pistols played their last gig), and most of the others at an arena in New York. Peter and his band were an arena band in the day. On the Rolling Stones list of the top 50 live albums of all time this comes in at number 41.

Many of the songs are recognizable, a few of them get regular air play on classic rock radio stations. It is the crystal clear recording that really makes this record though. Each of the instruments and Peter’s voice comes through clearly, and even the crowd who “Whoo”, “Woot”, and “Yeeeeah” a lot come through almost down to each person.

This is not an essential album just for the music alone, it is pretty standard stuff, but I think it is a good album to have in the collection for it’s place in history and that great live sound. My copy of the album is absolutely pristine, just a little wear on the corners, but it looks though I bought from new and never played it. It is a Japanese pressing too.

Garth Brooks now has the record for highest live album sales with his 1998 double album selling 20 million copies. Peter had some success after this album, but he hit a rough period in 1978 after some bad choices and a near-fatal car accident. He worked with David Bowie by playing on the Never Let Me Down album, and sang and played on the subsequent Glass Spider Tour. According to Peter this helped revive his career. These days he is still playing music, and has appeared on The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Here is an old video. Part of the way through the song he does his talk-box bit, something he popularised in the day.

Music count 2018: 95

Five Sounds On The Cheap

I have five musical delights to speak of, and it all cost very little, always a bonus.

Mashed Youth Records – Red Collection Vol. 1

I was looking around Bandcamp for some free dubstep, drum and bass, or jungle music when I cam across this.

Even though it had a “name your price” I didn’t enter “zero” and instead paid the minimum 0.5 Euro so it would be included in my Bandcamp collection.

It is a collection of six songs from three artists I have never heard of. All six songs are upbeat and have plenty of BPM’s. The songs also have bit of a reggae vibe to them which makes them even more natty.

Here is the Bandcamp page.

Fanu – Polku EP


After buying the previous release, I was doing a little more drum ‘n’ bass searching and ended up buying this release as well. Again, it was free but I paid 0.50 Euro for it.

It is a drum and bass EP released by a fellow from Finland who calls himself “Fanu”, or “Fatgyver”. He has released quite a few EPs, singles, and some albums, but I chose this one because it was the first one of his I came across.

It is pretty good, quite relaxing to listen to. Have a listen here.

Kula Shaker – K

As I did the Saturday before, I raced off to Hard Off to buy music instead of wasting money on parking. The first disc I found in the bargain bins was this one.

I knew nothing of Kula Shaker before buying this, I had not even heard one single song. But, I knew the name, and a quick look on the internet showed that this, their first album, sold bucketloads back in 1996 when it was released. In fact it became the fastest selling debut album in the U.K. then (in the current decade One Direction hold that title).

The music itself is fine, but nothing that grabs me all that much. It is described as psychedelic rock, but it also has a very Brit-pop sound to it, and some songs mix in Indian music, mysticism, and lyrics.

Not an essential record, but worth a listen to again some day.

Pulp – This is Hardcore

Pulp are one of those bands that I am not all that fussed on, but I usually end up buying anyway, especially if it is cheap.

Not a bad album, but I am not all that fussed on it.

Propellerheads – Decksandrumsandrockandroll

Like Kula Shaker, I had heard of this band yet had not heard their music.

The music is fine, but nothing special. It is not one of those albums I will play very often, but it is good to have in the collection.

Here is one of their songs from the album. Actually, after listening to this song I realised that maybe a second listen of the album is in order, maybe I will warm to it a bit more.

This is their only album to date, and while they seem to have stopped in 2003 there is some talk of a second album.

Music count 2018: 94