Friday, September 24, 2010

Obsessing again

I have a ridiculous new obsession: 45cat

This site aims to catalogue every UK released 45, with full credits and label and cover images. Fortunately, as far as this obsession goes, for what is left of my sanity it seems I have at least as many 45s with the big hole as I do the little one.

Nevertheless I have been dipping into the boxes to see what I can add to the party.
This is one I pulled out that, although documented on 45cat, didn’t have a label image. So I have put that right. It also prompted me to play this record again, and what a delicious double header it is.

Tommie Young only briefly graced the soul scene. A handful of singles and a single album were released on the US Soul Power label between 1972 and 1975. 

In the end a number of factors probably conspired to her remaining very much in the Soul underground – Soul Power was a small label short on marketing muscle in the increasingly major label dominated 70s, Disco was dawning, and in reality Tommie’s heart appeared to remain in the church. She soon returned to gospel music.    

Contempo (don’t you just love that Contempo sleeve?) picked up two of her Soul Power 45s for release in the UK and this is my favourite.  

Tommie Young – That’s All A Part Of Loving Him  1973

Tommie Young – She Don’t Have To See You  1973

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not fair

The usual three boot fairs again this weekend, with almost nothing to show for it. It seems as the season slowly winds down so do the records on offer.  

For 30p I am VERY happy with this 45 though.

This was my only purchase today at one of the boot fairs I visited. Ever since I bought this Denise La Salle 45 I have been on the look out for more singles on the UK Westbound label. There weren’t many, and some are relatively easy to find as they were hits for the Detroit Emeralds. This particular release of theirs wasn’t a hit though, as far as I know, and I had never seen a copy before so for 30p it was an easy choice, and it’s in great nick.    
So how come I was glum when I handed over the loose change? Because it is just possible that this record has effectively cost me £60.30, and that is because driving to the boot sale I could have been captured on one of our wonderful country’s speed cameras.

This one was a mobile camera. Picture the stretch of road: a fairly steep downhill with a 40mph limit, near the bottom of the hill the limit changes to 30mph, the road bends slightly to the left and there is a fixed camera about 500 yards into the 30mph limit. So where was the mobile camera van placed? About 200 yards before the fixed camera. And this was at about 7.30am on a Sunday. Now if that isn’t an example of a pure revenue generator then I don’t know what is. I suppose with all the Government cuts just about to kick in we can expect to see a lot more of these mobile cameras. My speed was somewhere between 30 and 40 so it remains to be seen if I actually get a ticket.

Still, I should be worried about a speeding ticket?  Abrim Tilmon an original member of the Emeralds, and writer of the A side of this 45, died of a heart attack in 1982 aged just 37. Now that is really not fair.  

The break at the beginning of “smart” has, apparently, been a favourite with the hip-hoppers over the years – Common, Nas, DJ Krush to name just three.

Detroit Emeralds – You’re Getting A Little Too Smart  1973

The B side is just as good (and was an A side in its own right in the USA, I believe), except perhaps for the slightly incongruous rock-esque guitar break.

Detroit Emeralds – Lee  1973

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jazz J....

I've been away all week so once again nothing wordy here.

About 25 years ago I bought a great Street Sounds compilation "Jazz Juice" (which I still have of course). A couple of weeks ago I finally picked up "Jazz Juice 2", which contains an equally fine collection of jazzy grooves. These were early examples of Gilles Peterson's curating skills.   

There were eventually at least eight of these compilations I think. At this rate of buying I may one day enjoy listening to number 3 but if, by some miracle, I buy number 4 I will probably not be able to hear it!      

Jon Hendricks - I'll Bet You Thought I'd Never Find You  1975

Oscar Brown Jr. - Dat Dere  1966

Friday, September 10, 2010


We have friends coming around tonight.

It’s warm, we can be out in the garden.

Looks like rain, we could retire to the conservatory.

Heavy rain. Too noisy on the roof, looks like the lounge then.

Better have some lounge music, and some virtual sunshine.

Very happy to pick this one up in a local chazza today for 50p.

Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – Laia Ladaia (Reza)  1968
Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – Scarborough Fair  1968 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Still scratching

In my ever more obsessive search for lost soul gold dust I am sometimes guilty of overlooking the obvious. Tavares are a case in point. I loved their hits – e.g. “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel”, “It Only Takes A Minute” – but that was the problem: I knew the hits, thought that was all there was, and passed them by. Then, recently, I stumbled across Mrs Darce’s old cassette of their album “Hard Core Poetry” and that woke me up. Now I’m always on the look out for Tavares records.  

Following on from my previous post that talked about scratched records that sounded OK from the same haul here is the record that looked the mintiest of the bunch but in fact sounds pretty beat up.

I won’t expose you to the pops and clicks but instead point you to Youtube for two of the four tracks on this EP. (Squeezing four tracks on a 7” is probably not a good idea and is partly why the sound quality suffered, I guess).  

Friday, September 03, 2010

Scratching my itch

Last weekend was of the Bank Holiday variety here in Blighty. That meant extra opportunity to hit the car boot sales. Yippee!  
It didn’t start well. A Saturday visit yielded precisely nothing. The field in question was as packed with sellers as I had ever seen it, but there was very little vinyl – just a load of junk (ha ha). I thought I would be pushing my luck (with Mrs Darce) to “boot it” three days running so I gave Sunday a miss. That left Monday, where I managed to fit in two fairs, this time with some success.

The first venue is one of my favourites. For starters, at the risk of sounding a snob, it seems to be frequented by a better class of seller, and browser. As a result the whole air of the proceedings seems to be more relaxed, almost tranquil. So if pickings are thin it doesn’t really matter because I can treat it as a pleasant early morning stroll in the country – and there are some great countryside views to be enjoyed.
That’s all very well but what about the vinyl?, you say. Well, I didn’t come away empty handed – first there were four singles for 20p each (including Tina Harvey’s take on “Nowhere To Run”! but sporting lots of scuffs), then four albums for 10p each from a charming old couple bought solely for the young ladies on the covers demonstrating various levels of saucery (at the top end of which was Silver Convention’s “Discotheque Vol. II”, I’ll let you google it). I was informed the records would be going to the rubbish tip imminently and I couldn’t bear the thought of that – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! (But, ahem, these purchases do mean I’m going to have to find a bigger case for my collection of “girls”). Finally I parted with a whole £2 on another very scuffy looking piece of vinyl – Otis Redding “In Person At The Whisky A Go Go”. It was the beautiful original plum and orange Atlantic label that made me buy it. Almost plum, orange and red as it happened. I was commenting on the scratched state of the records we were looking at to a fellow digger standing next to me when I noticed blood on my hand. The records are so scratched they’ve scratched me, I thought. Then I realised the fellow digger had developed a nose bleed and there was blood dripping everywhere! “I never have nose bleeds, it must have been that five pound note I just took out of my wallet*”, he said. That made me chuckle. (*he had just bought a Tygers of Pan Tang album, remember them?).

Not a bad start to the day, but I wasn’t getting carried away as the records I bought to actually listen to were all in less than pristine condition, and the needle was yet to give its verdict.

Onward I went to the next fair, which was at the same venue that I had visited on the Saturday. It couldn’t be that bad again, surely? But after a fruitless hour+ it looked like it was.The only record I found worthy of note had been James Brown “Night Train” on UK Sue, but it was sleeveless and looked pretty beat up so I passed.  
I had decided to call it a day and was heading back to the car by backtracking down a couple of rows I had already visited. It was then I spied a few boxes of records I must have missed earlier. OK, I said to myself, one last dig and delve. And I’m glad I did because I found not one but two reggae nuggets (and a copy of Adam & The Ants’ “Prince Charming” album with gatefold cover which was in such stunning condition I had to buy it too!).

The first of the reggae finds was an album “Original Reggae Greats Vol II”. This was a budget LP on the Hallmark/Pickwick label dating to around 1974 full of tracks leased from Trojan. That and the Adam & The Ants LP set me back a whole 50p each. I also found a single by The Creations on the Amalgamated Records label. I had never heard of either of them but noticed J.A. Gibson (Joe Gibbs) and Jamaica in the credits – it must be reggae, I’ll have that, I thought! But again it looked scuffy and had a ominous looking scratch right across one side. I pointed this out and effectively got it for nothing. Now I was satisfied and happily called it a day.

So what did these scuffed up scratchy old records sound like when I dropped the needle on them? I was amazed. The Otis Redding album plays through without any noticeable surface noise, Tina Harvey is almost as good and The Creations side with the horrible scratch on it you can hear here. I think you will agree the scratch is, in fact, nowhere to be heard. All three are testament to the quality of British vinyl back in the day and also all represent serious bargains. Result! (Now I wish I had also picked up the James Brown Sue 45).  

Bob & Marcia’s “I Don’t Care” is side 2 track 1 on the Reggae compilation album. Listen to the strings (yes, strings) on this track, they are to die for.

Bob & Marcia – I Don’t Care  1972

The Creations’ 45 is probably my find of the year. Reggae vinyl rarely turns up, and when it does it is usually in pretty bad shape. Reggae is a catch-all term really, this 45 dates from 1968 and should more precisely be described as rocksteady. Just as I have backtracked into the 60s to fuel my passion for Soul music so I realise I need to be more serious about doing the same for reggae/rocksteady/ska. As I said, I was not familiar with Joe Gibbs’ Amalgamated Records, but just look at all the releases this little label made in 1968.      

The Creations – Holding Out  1968

“Get On Up” is on the other side this Creations 45. You can find it on “Get On Up” an excellent looking compilation of Joe Gibbs produced rocksteady from 1967-68.