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

Burial

A few posts back I said I was waiting on a much-anticipated vinyl record to arrive from England, and it did so last week. I was a little worried that it might arrive damaged in some way, perhaps warped, but it arrived in perfect condition…thanks Royal Mail and Japan Post!

The record is a 12″ Burial single called Truant / Rough Sleeper, two tracks that run for a total of 25 minutes. The songs are comprised of several parts, with each part separated by a short silence, which is something I have not heard in a Burial song before. But, it is still pure Burial gold, and having a Burial release on vinyl makes it even more special.

Here is a good review which explains the record far better than I ever could.

Certainly this is the most prized record in my small collection, and it will probably stay that way.

Listen to the tracks here.

Music count 2018: 102

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

The Rockafeller Skank

I went to a Hard Off that is not far from here recently and had a good browse through the record bins there. There is a lot of stuff there, but unfortunately most of it is nothing interesting. There are plenty of bins full of 100 yen (and pretty rough looking) records, but nothing worth spending even 100 yen on. Looking through the 12″ singles bin though I stumbled upon this for 270 yen.

As usual it is in excellent condition and it still has the original shrink wrap.

Apart from the title song which we all know so well, there are two songs on the B-side. You can listen to the first one here, and the other here.

This is not an essential buy, but it is good to have Fatboy Slim on vinyl.

Music count 2018: 96

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