December 19, 2008

Christmas "in the Glenn Miller style"

This album, entitled "Christmas Serenade", is a collection of Christmas standards done "in the Glenn Miller style", featuring the original Glenn Miller singers, The Modernaires.

Not much to say about this one, but it's upbeat and fun, and it just might remind you of being at your grandparents' place during the Christmas season when you were a kid (or last week)!

Enjoy! And have a Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2008

Party like it's Christmas 1977!

I guess it makes sense that a company like K-Tel would have released this album back in 1977, at the height of the disco craze.

"Christmas Disco Party" is an album of disco-themed medleys of Christmas tunes. Although the cover says "25 Non-Stop Disco Hits", it's actually divided into 6 medleys, running about 6 minutes apiece, including a New Year's Eve medley to complete the holiday season (trust me, you will have had enough of this album LONG before New Year's Eve).

I'm not kidding, folks - this is pretty terrible stuff, listening to it now three decades later. As we know, the passage of time has not been kind to the general perception of disco music, and this certainly is not exempt from that. If you're anything like me, you might get a small initial giggle from this, but then get bored of it very quickly.

This is a Christmas disco party that would have me making excuses as to why I had to leave early. I post this on my blog as a musical artifact from Christmas past.

December 11, 2008

Christmas in Tijuana!

The swingin' new sound of fun for listening and dancing!

This is an album of "Tijuana-ized" versions of your favourite Christmas songs. It's perfect for your next Christmas party, since it not only features songs appropriate for the season, but does so in a way that will help you think of sunny days and not the kind of nasty cold weather we expect during these months, at least for those of us from "the north". The best of both worlds!

December 3, 2008

Sesame Street Fever! Catch it!

Released in 1978, a year after the super-smash hit film (and soundtrack) Saturday Night Fever, this is a great parody-slash-children's album featuring the Sesame Street gang, as well as an appearance from middle "Bee Gee" Robin Gibb.

The best part of this album is the cover and gatefold, a dead-on remake of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that sold so many copies the year before. The four-panel "Grover and his disco moves" section in the middle of the gatefold is priceless.

The album features six songs, including disco-fied versions of Sesame Street classics such as "Rubber Ducky" and "C is For Cookie". The funniest one in my opinion is "Doin' the Pigeon", in which the always-grumpy Bert has "no intention of getting [Sesame Street Fever] ... everybody's dancing all over the place ... it's silly!" Eventually, though, Ernie convinces Bert to "get down", and soon enough, everyone is "Doin' the Pigeon".

Here is an image of the gatefold:

November 11, 2008

Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out

The back cover of this LP explains: "If you were to wander into the dimly lit Russian Cafe in lower Manhattan called the Two Guitars on almost any evening you would find Sasha Polinoff entertaining the guests. As balalaika player extraordinaire and master of ceremonies Sasha sets the Slavic mood for the vodka, caviar and the Kiev cutlets."

So, straight from a Russian cafe in lower Manhattan (NYC, that is), by way of Moscow, here is an album of instrumental balalaika music from Sasha Polinoff. A balalaika is a three-stringed (sometimes six-stringed) instrument shaped like a guitar but with a distinctive triangular body.

So grab some vodka and caviar (like they serve at the Two Guitars cafe) and enjoy listening to the balalaikas ringing out!

October 18, 2008

Get It On! From RONCO!

This is the first in an ongoing, occasional series of albums brought to us by RONCO and its Canadian doppelganger, K-tel. These albums were around everywhere in the 70s and 80s.

Here we have "Get It On!", a "20 original hits, 20 original artists" compilation released in 1974 by RONCO. Lots of different stuff - here are a couple of notable tracks:

  • a cover version of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" by Johnny Nash (best known for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now")
  • A disco-fied version of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", a.k.a. the main theme from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • "Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

Also some Barry White, two songs by The Ohio Players, and a track from the Broadway musical Godspell ("Day By Day"), among other various hitmakers of the mid 70s.

October 14, 2008

Oktoberfest ist Wunderbar!

Just in time for Oktoberfest 2008, going on in Kitchener as I type, it's Oktoberfest ist Wunderbar!

This album features "Herr Oktoberfest" himself, Julius Rauchfuss, backed up by the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Gemutlichkeit Band, recorded LIVE at the Alpine Club in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside Germany. I got this album close to the source, at a record shop in downtown Kitchener.

Sadly, track 11 ("Boarisch Bier") had an irreparable skip in it, so I have left this track out.

Hopefully this will help fulfill your Oktoberfest dreams if you can't make it to Kitchener (or Munich) this year!

October 9, 2008

Oh, No! It's Devo!

This entry probably violates the "only on LP, not available on CD" guideline for this blog, but come on, check this out, it's too sweet to not include here.

This is the fifth studio album from Devo, released in 1982. I got it from a junk/record shop in Kitchener a few weeks ago. The album has a nifty built-in "stand" feature (see pics below) that allows you to display it proudly, as it is in our home now.

This is definitely more synth-y than earlier Devo stuff, but then again, it was 1982 ... everybody, even Rush, was mad for synths then.

Forgive me for getting all "political" on a music blog, but there is one track on this album that stood out for its lyrics. Maybe it's just a time-sensitive thing, and yeah, if I was American, I'd be a Democrat, but when listening to "Out of Sync" (track 3), I couldn't help but think of Sarah Palin:

"She's out of sync ...
and everyone around her knows that something is wrong ...
she's out of sync ...
she's got all the symptoms of a girl who skipped a beat ...
she's out of sync ...
and totally committed to living in a dark age ...
she's out of sync ...
constantly undoing what's already been done ...
she's out of focus, she's a warp in time,
she's discontinued, a break in the line."

Just sayin' is all.

dig the built-in stand!

October 8, 2008

Duane Eddy and his "Twangy" Guitar

This entry features "twangy" guitar music from Duane Eddy, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

The album is entitled "Have 'Twangy' Guitar -- Will Travel" and was an early album of Eddy's, being released in 1958. Apparently it was followed in 1959 by another album of "twangy" guitar music called "The 'Twangs' the 'Thang'", then again in 1960 with "$1,000,000 Worth of Twang" (sort of a "twangy" triple-feature, if you will). If I had these other albums, I would have featured all three together, but sadly, I do not have them ... yet! I will keep my eyes open and maybe we'll see them in a future post! And by all means, if anyone else finds them, let me know.

October 7, 2008

Looks Like Fun! Some "naughty"
comedy music from the 1950s
(read: fairly tame by today's standards)

This was an album I was given to convert to CD by a client (I have a little side gig converting LPs to CD for turntable-less folks who want to remain turntable-less, but be able to hear their old LPs).
This probably would have been classified as "naughty" or "risque" comedy music back in 1956 when it was released by Cliff Ferre. Today it's merely suggestive. No swear words at all, but innuendo galore. Most of the guffaws come from the singer making you think he's talking about one thing when he's talking about something totally different and innocent. For example, describing something sounding very much like his, ahem ... private parts, but it actually turns out to be ... well, I won't spoil it for you. (check out track 10, "Ain't It A Beauty" for the answer).

The Mighty Wurlitzer!

This entry features music from the "Roaring Twenties" by Leonard Leigh on the Mighty Wurlitzer, a pipe organ originally designed to accompany silent movies. On this album are a number of standard pieces from the era, such as "'S Wonderful", "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover", and "Bye, Bye, Blackbird". Medleys abound!

October 6, 2008

... WORLD TOUR ...

New Orleans - Greece -
Trinidad & Tobago - India

Ever since hearing the sitar on a few Beatles songs back when I was a teenager, I've become a fan of many different types of indigenous sounds and music throughout the world. To that end, our first entry is a "world tour" of different music from around the globe.

We'll start in New Orleans, then on to Greece. From there we go to Trinidad and Tobago, and finish off in India! Enjoy!

from New Orleans: "Swingin' Dixie" from trumpeter Al Hirt.

Great music for your next Mardi Gras party!


from Greece:

Bouzouki music from the album "Bouzouki Is Beautiful". A bouzouki is a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin, quite often heard after the word "OPA!" is shouted.


With all due respect and props, Harry Belafonte this ain't; this is the real deal from Trinidad, the true home of Calypso music.

My favourite track on this album is by far is "Bye, Bye Blakie", in which Calypso Princess tell us all about her turbulent relationship, and subsequent break from, Lord Blakie (also a featured calypso artist on the same album). The refrain goes like this:

"Let go me, hon ... don't touch me, hon ... leave me alone, I want another man.

Try a next plan, like you can't understand, I don't want to hear your conversation.

I decided to leave you for sure, mister mean I don't want you no more, I pack up me t'ings and walk out your door, so what the hell you bothering me for?"

In the third verse, we hear a tearful Lord Blakie pleading with his woman to take him back:

"Well, I'm getting down on my knees, and I'm begging you darling, please ..."


from India: bhajans (devotional songs) from Lata Mangeshkar.

Lata Mangeshkar is far and away India's most famous singer, and indeed one of the world's most prolific recording artists of all time. These songs were recorded circa 1968.

If you're thinking to yourself, "I've never heard Lata Mangeshkar sing", you may be wrong without knowing it. If you've ever watched or heard a musical number from an older "Bollywood" movie, there's a good chance it was Lata singing, since she was one of the dominant female singers in the industry and her talents were highly sought after.

October 5, 2008

The Vinyl Resurrection Collection! Listen for a while, and take home whatever you like!

Welcome to The Vinyl Resurrection Collection, a place for music "resurrected" from old vinyl LPs to the convenient, shareable, digital formats of today.

In the last several months, I've started a new hobby, converting old vinyl LPs to digital formats so they can be burned to CD, transferred to an mp3 player, or uploaded to the web for sharing. As a result, I've been buying up whatever looks interesting at thrift stores, garage sales, etc., and I've had some really great finds to add to my collection!

Which brings us to this blog. I'll be uploading these gems on regular basis so they can be downloaded, shared, and enjoyed by all! I'll be focusing on the more obscure "you'll-never-find-this-on-CD" kind of stuff but feel free to make any suggestions!

The first post will be a musical "world tour" including:

  • late 60s-era calypso music from Trinidad and Tobago
  • New Orleans "Swingin' Dixie" by Al Hirt
  • beautiful bouzouki music from Greece (from the aptly titled "Bouzouki is Beautiful")
  • bhajans from the wildly famous Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, also from the late 1960s.
Have fun! Thanks for listening and stay tuned for more!