Leningrad Cowboys – Total Balalaika Show

This is a CD album I have been seeking out for years, but I was just not able to find it anywhere here. It is available on Amazon Japan used for the nutters price of 20,000 yen (NZ$263, US$181)…some people!

Doing a search for it elsewhere was not getting far until I came across it on Discogs for the very fair price of 7.50 Euros. A chap in Germany was selling it, and I immediately bought it. Postage was also 7.50 Euro, but I was more than happy to pay it. It arrived this morning, only four days after it was posted in Deutschland.

I have heard this album several times before, but it was not very good quality, and as I enjoy the album so much it was my main purpose in life to find it on CD.

It is a live concert of the Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Choir, recorded in Helsinki in 1993. The sound quality is superb, and there are two discs worth of rock ‘n’ roll along with traditional Russian songs. There was also a DVD of the concert released, you can watch them perform the song “Delilah” here. I may consider getting the DVD too one day.

Unfortunately one of the songs did not rip well due to a slight scratch on the disc, so I am bummed about that, but it ain’t no big thing. And our pet bird, who recently loves to munch on paper, bit a small chunk out of the back CD liner (the CD was sent without the plastic case to save on postage costs). So if you have a bird just be aware of this potential situation.

An excellent listen, and my all-time favourite live album.

Edit: I ripped the song that was messed up again, this time using error correction, and it worked out just fine. Yay!

Music count 2019: 2

Musical CD Catchup

I need to catch up on my recent CD purchases before the year ends, so here they are…

Paul Weller – Wild Wood

I found this in the bargain bins at Hard Off, and at only 108 yen I thought it was well worth a try (I also looked it up online just to make sure).

And for that price it is well worth it, decent and easy to listen to music, but nothing to set the world on fire.

Roni Size Reprazent – In the Møde

I was wondering what Roni Size did after the “New Forms” album, and old favourite, so I found this 2000 (New Forms was released in 1997) follow-up album on Amazon used for only 1 yen (plus postage).

The first song is “Railing Pt.2” which sounds a lot like the original first song “Railing” on New Forms, and upon hearing this I thought that this album is just going to try to cash in on the first album. But, from the second track onwards it turned out to be a new sounding Roni Size.

It still has the Roni Size Reprazent sound overall, but is also a bit more drum ‘n’ bass, and has some jungle thrown in too. I quite like it, I would say it is nearly as good as New Forms.

Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales

Again, this is a bargain bin find from Hard Off. I bought it because it has some familiar tracks on it like “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”, so I thought I would see what the rest of the album is like.

And it is a decent album, not normally my kind of stuff, but I find it to be quite pleasant listening.

Go to 2 min 30 sec for a harmonica solo…

That is it for CDs in 2018. I will not be buying many in 2019, except for bargain bin finds.

Music count 2018: 114

Superchunk – What a Time to be Alive

It is Christmas Day, but then again it is not because December 25th is just another working day here. So, to cheer myself up I need to write a blog post about one of my fave bands. This is Superchunk’s eleventh album, and this is a Bandcamp purchase at only US$9.

Superchunk usually play uplifting and happy songs, and this album is no different. The lyrics though do deal with some seriousness and angst, and the music itself is quite loud and raw, but it is still happy and catchy. I like it a lot.

Click here to listen to the title track.

Bit of a short post, but I have plenty more music to write about, so more later.

Music count 2018: 107

Chick Corea – Return to Forever

This was pretty much a random purchase from Good Times a few months back, but I knew that if it was from the Chickers then it must be a decent listen, which is what it turned out to be.

I found this in the “jazz fusion” box, which is where I have bought most of my jazz records so far. Actually, I am hoping to buy an album I saw in the same box tomorrow. Jazz fusion is boss.

The songs are quite relaxing to listen to and has a nice mix of electronic piano, flute, saxophone, and female vocals. It is the kind of music you would expect to hear in some boutique shop such as a shop that sells handmade candles or fancy muffins. Side one has only three songs, and side two just one 22 minute song.

Stanley Clarke plays on the album which is an added bonus. Chickers plays the electronic piano. Each individual instrument has it’s own place in the stereo landscape. For example the drums and the flute are in the right channel, and Chickers is pretty much on his own in the left channel, while Stan and the vocals are right in the middle.

The record and album cover are in minty condition.

Good music to chill out to.

Music count 2018: 106
Total vinyl count: 23

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