Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kasim Sulton

Artist: Kasim Sulton
LP: Kasim
Song: "Don't Break My Heart"
[ listen ]

The cover of this 1982 solo album by Utopia bassist/vocalist Kasim Sulton is about five times more exciting than the music inside. And the music inside isn't really half bad. But with direction by Bill Burks and concept, design, and photography by Peter Corriston and Brian Hagiwara, the LP's artwork is what I like best about this one. Peter Corriston won a Grammy for this LP cover shortly before the "Kasim" LP was released, and he also did the art for this one and this one. He even worked with Andy Warhol! Brian Hagiwara has worked on a long list of album covers over the years and maintains a studio in New York CityTo me, the cover of Kasim Sulton's solo record is slightly reminiscent of some of the stuff 23 Envelope put together for The Wolfgang Press and Ultra Vivid Scene in the UK over a decade later. The music on "Kasim," however, is pretty much your basic early-'80s top 40 pop/rock, resembling a mixture of Huey Lewis and Wham, with a dash of Quarterflash thrown in for extra flavor. After determining that "Don't Break My Heart" was the song I would post, since it is, indeed, the catchiest track on the album, I learned on Wikipedia here that it was a top 40 hit in Canada! You can read more about Kasim Sulton and stay up-to-date on his whereabouts and goings-ons at the Kasim Info website here.

[ Kasim Sulton with John Oates ]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Haro Pourian

Artist: Haro Pourian
LP: Menank Hay
Song: "Armenouhi"
[ listen ]

My date this past weekend bowed out of our post-picnic movie plans while we were standing on a sidewalk a block-and-a-half away from a really good consignment record store. What was I supposed to do with my suddenly available two free hours? This LP from Armenian-Lebanese heartthrob Haro Pourian is one of the treasures I found that evening while I wasn't at the movies. The back of the album shows Haro performing to a well-dressed set of bored-looking spectators. One wonders what sort of entertainment this crowd could possibly be accustomed to, since they're clearly not wowed by the live performance of Haro Pourian—or "the Tom Jones of Lebanon," as he's known here in the USA (well, mainly just in my apartment). People have evidently paid $70.99 and even $173.25 for this record, but my copy was just $3. If you have information or funny stories about Haro Pourian, please speak up! There really isn't much about him on the web, at least not in English anyway.

[ Haro Pourian: The War on Boredom ]

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eydie Gorme [1928-2013]

Artist: Eydie Gorme
LP: Love Is a Season
Song: "On the First Warm Day"
[ listen ]

Oh phooey. I was trying to decide what to post on the blog today when I read on IMDB that lovely "vocal-lass" Eydie Gorme died this afternoon in Las Vegas. In addition to her solo career, Eydie is known for her Spanish-language work with Trio Los Panchos and her English-language work with husband Steve Lawrence. Gorme and Lawrence first met when they were both booked to perform on The Tonight Show in the early 1950s. They were married in 1957 and he was still at her side today when she passed away. You can read more about Eydie Gorme on Wikipedia here, visit the "Simply Eydie" website here, find Steve and Eydie's own website here, and go here to read Eydie Gorme's obituary in The Hollywood Reporter. Liner notes and some unflattering photos of Eydie from the back of her 1958 "Love Is a Season" LP are included below.

Eydie Gorme
[ August 16, 1928 — August 10, 2013 ]
We will miss you, Eydie.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Red Guitars

Artist: Red Guitars
LP: Slow to Fade
Song: "Marimba Jive"
[ listen ]

I'm home from work today with tired eyes, a headache, and a stuffy nose. This morning while rummaging through a stack of LPs that had been stashed behind the piano I found this 1984 release by Red Guitars. I had no idea what the record sounded like, or even when or where I'd picked it up. I threw it on the turntable and was delighted to discover what a terrific find I'd made...somewhere, at some time in the past. Based in Hull, Red Guitars was an English band that made music together in the early-to-mid 1980s, releasing just two LPs and a handful of singles. This is the first of their two LPs, and "Marimba Jive" was the first of two consecutive #1 hits by the group on the UK indie singles charts. I don't think I hear any marimbas in this song. Do you? You can read more about Red Guitars here and go here to visit their website. Album credits and the "Marimba Jive" song lyrics are included below.

[ Red Guitars ]

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Face Lifters

There are lots of people in my life—friends, family, colleagues at work—who've been making me rather happy lately. I feel fortunate. This is the first mix tape I've made in 16 months. I nearly forgot how it's done!

side one:
01. Hallelujah, I'm a Bum - Merrill Jay Singers
02. My Way - Kopecky Family Band
03. Loving the Alien - David Bowie
04. Springtime Bouquet - Cyrus
05. Annie Ya Ya - The Gauchos feat. Jim Doval
06. Mother Told Me About Jesus - The Original Five Blind Boys of Mississippi
07. Yfirbord - Sigur Rós
08. This Twilight Garden - The Cure
09. I Almost Called Your Name - Margaret Whiting
10. Bonjour Baby - The Motels
11. La Sonnambula - Anna Oxa 
12. Wind Me Up - R.J.'s Latest Arrival
[ listen ]

side two:
01. Straight Lines - New Musik
02. Wild Flower - The Blow Monkeys
03. I lè Pou Malé - Guy Jean
04. Montevideo - Vic Garcia
05. Cornelia and Jane - Yo La Tengo
06. Wheel of Love - Karel Gott
07. Midnight Is the Time I Need You - Démis Roussos
08. Everlasting Arms - Vampire Weekend
09. Shoot to Kill - Booty People
10 Ooh, Ah, Yeah! - Mouth
11. Call Me - Blondie
12. Dear John - Teach In
13. Manolete - Los Chavales
14. Un Jour Peut-Etre - Mouloudji 
[ listen ]