Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pat Benatar

Artist: Pat Benatar
LP: 7" single
Song: "Heartbreaker"
[ listen ]

You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy.

I think I may have more Pat Benatar 45s than anyone else in town—especially since I've ended up with multiple copies because I've upgraded to picture sleeves in better condition for about five of them over the years. For example, I've got two copies of "Heartbreaker," which was released in 1979 and reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. I've just played the better of the two copies through, loudly, on my home stereo system, and it really can't be beat. It's one of the best American pop songs from the 1970s-to-'80s transition. 

Born Patricia Andrzejewski in 1953, Pat became "Benatar," thank god, when she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, in 1972. Pat was inspired to pursue a music career after seeing Liza Minnelli in concert in Richmond, Virginia in 1971. I'd like to take this opportunity to officially thank Liza and Dennis for their contributions to Pat Benatar's career, which you can read all about right here.

[ Pat Benatar ]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lasse Wellander

Artist: Lasse Wellander
LP: Electrocuted
Song: "Hotel 167"
[ listen ]

Here's something I found at Råkk og Rålls in Oslo on my trip to Norway back in May. I was taken in by several beguiling factors: 
  1. Lasse played guitar for ABBA for lots of their studio recordings, and for a bunch of their live shows too! So naturally, I figured he probably sounded exactly like ABBA, but without any words. Unless maybe he sang!
  2. On the back of "Electrocuted," his 1975 solo debut LP, Lasse uses a series of symbols to indicate which musicians are playing on each of the tracks—symbols that immediately brought to mind the system of enigmatic codes and symbols Bob Mizer always used to indicate the personality traits and sexual proclivities of his hunky male AMG models for their photo spreads (no pun intended) in monthly issues of Physique Pictorial
  3. Lasse is super handsome and I like the way his pants cling to his hips. I wanted to take him home with me.
  4. Lasse, come home!
But alas, this record sounds nothing like ABBA. And frankly, Lasse pretty much lost his looks soon after this LP was released (those poor Scandinavians hardly stand a chance!). And now that I've got photo documentation of his 1975-era bedroom eyes, hip-huggers and hairy chest, "Electrocuted" has been unplugged and put into my 'trade-in' pile of LPs. You can read about Lasse Wellander in Swedish here and go here for information in English.

[ Lasse Wellander ]

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Faze-O

Artist: Faze-O
LP: Good Thang
Song: "Funky Lady"
[ listen ]

It's my birthday! I'm gonna' put on my milk-chocolate silk shorts and go get me some ice cream!

[ Faze-O in full bloom ]

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dolly Dots

Artist: Dolly Dots
LP: Dolly Dots
Song: "(They Are) Rollerskating"
[ listen ]
Song: "Moviestar"
[ listen ]

This 1979 Dolly Dots record is one of the things I found at Rocade Musikk in Bergen, Norway earlier this year. The Dolly Dots have come up with one of the best album covers I've ever seen! They're all on roller-skates, apparently skating through outer-space, and they've named themselves "Dolly Dots," for heavens sake. I was certain I'd struck roller-disco gold. (Rocade doesn't have a listening station, so I was judging books entirely by their covers.) 

At the height of their popularity in The Netherlands and Belgium and Turkey and Japan, Dolly Dots had their own television show, there were Barbie dolls fashioned after each of the Dots, and you could reportedly even paste Dolly Dots wallpaper upon your bedroom walls (of course no one's actually dared to post photographic evidence of this online). But the music. What about the music? Well...to be honest, it's like what you'd expect if you were to put on a soundtrack for a sloppy, half-baked off-Broadway GREASE impersonation set at a 1958 post-sock-hop slumber party, replete with lots of jazz hands, pillow fights, and jumping on the mattress. But on roller-skates! This record is fucking awful.


[ Dolly Dots ]

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ann Hathaway

Artist: Ann Hathaway
LP: The Intimate Ann
Song: "New Love, New Wine"
[ listen ]

Well this is kinda' sad. The caption from page 100 of the book "New York City Jazz" says Ann Hathaway would be remembered as a great singer of the late 1940s. But nowadays she's hardly remembered at all!


Obviously whoever wrote that has never heard of THE PRINCESS DIARIES. I dare you to try Googling Ann Hathaway the great jazz singer of the late '40s. She doesn't even have a Wikipedia page! And even Google is pretty sure you couldn't possibly be looking for anyone other than the newer, larger-lipped, non-intimate Ann who has an 'e' at the end of her name—the one from LES MISERABLES

I wasn't able to find an obituary for my Ann Hathaway, which either means she's faded completely into obscurity and her body is lying someplace uncollected and alone, or maybe she's still alive! Ann, are you still with us? Please leave a comment here to let me know you're still alive and, at age 102 or whatever, you somehow managed to use the internet to Google yourself and find this blog post instead of just millions of these

By employing some advanced Ann Hathaway filtering tactics, I managed to come up with some neat photos of the singer cavorting in Washington Square and performing at Cafe Society in New York in 1947. The extensive LP liner notes about Ms. Hathaway and bandleader Andre Brummer from this (I think) 1956 release are included below.  


[ Ann Hathaway ]

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hambone

Artist: Hambone
LP: Big Fat Juicy Fun
Song: "Big Fat Juicy Fun"
[ listen ]

Speaking of pink album covers and harmonicas, here's some 1981 instrumental disco music I picked up at Square Records in Akron, Ohio a few years back that's pretty heavy on the mouth organ too. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia and arranged and conducted by jazz trumpeter/high school teacher Tommy Stewart, the music itself is not nearly as big, fat, juicy, or fun as the LP cover would lead us to believe. It's not ghastly or anything, but some pretty high expectations have been set by that lady with the lollipop—not to mention the cutesy stuffed elephant and pig.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Larry Graham

Artist: Larry Graham
LP: Sooner Or Later
Song: "Hold Up Your Hand"
[ listen ]

As I was sorting through my records this week, I figured I would probably get rid of this 1982 Larry Graham LP. For one thing, it's pink. And tropical. Also, Larry looks like he wants to be Magnum PI, which I figured couldn't be a good thing. And even though he was with Sly and the Family Stone and fronted Graham Central Station, 1982 is at the cusp of when lots of formerly mind-blowing artists started releasing stuff that just wasn't quite as good as before. What a fool was I. Larry may look like a browner Tom Selleck here, admittedly, but he's still got it, in spades. "Hold Up Your Hand" is my song of the month. Maybe even two months. What a voice! Larry plays all instruments here and throws in a dynamite harmonica solo to boot. Turn it up. 

So taken am I with Larry's third solo LP, I've just sent off a check for $131.50 for a personally autographed photo of Larry, a beautiful full color poster, two satin tour jackets (one red, one black), a unisex t-shirt and a Larry Graham natural canvas tote bag with contrasting print. And Larry hardly charges anything for shipping!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Brock Peters

Artist: Brock Peters
LP: Sing'a Man
Song: "Venezuela"
[ listen ]
Song: "Down By the Riverside"
[ listen ]

Along with a pair of early '50s Peggy Lee albums in mint condition, this brilliant and beautiful 1959 Brock Peters LP is one of the things I paid cold hard cash ($3) to remove from Doug's Used Records in Yakima last weekend. Born in New York City in 1927, Brock played violin and studied classical voice—as well as physical education and psychology—before going on to stardom on both stage (Porgy and Bess; Anna Lucasta; Body Beautiful) and screen (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME). He also evidently recorded a few LPs. You can read more about Brock here, and in the liner notes written by Sidney Poitier and DeDe Daniels (who I'm not able to find any info about—unless she's gone on to become a professional yoga and fitness instructor in the L.A. area), included below.

[ Brock Peters: July 2, 1927 — August 23, 2005 ]