Posts from the ‘Entertainment’ Category
If this groovy instrumental doesn’t make your foot move involuntarily, then check your shoe for cement.
Keith Mansfield is a British composer/arranger who had knack for summing up a mood in the short time required by the broadcasting projects he scored. His songs are a time capsule of the 1960s and 70s and, in my opinion, full of quality and nuance that is sometimes overshadowed by goofiness of the era. His song Funky Fanfare has even been used as recently as 2010 for the theme song for Pit Boss.
This is the good stuff!
Translated literally as “The Touch,” Tango is a dance that is performed exactly as it is described.
Harry Horlick wasn’t from Argentina.
That didn’t stop this Russian immigrant from putting out at least two Tango albums. The one seen here is a thrift-store find, worn to the point of being grey in the grooves. But the beauty of Tango makes its way through anyway. I digitized a couple of the tracks into a video for your home dancing pleasure 🙂
He had the chops to be considered the King Of Easy Listening.
When I think of instrumental versions of popular songs, I always think of Ray Coniff and His Orchestra. As a band leader, he was great. And to get what could easily be called “The Ray Coniff Sound,” he added choral parts over the instruments. Still without words, the vocals added an element to the songs that seemed to smooth everything out.
Listen to his version of Mack The Knife from 1963, digitized from glorious vinyls, and you’ll see what I mean!
Lately I’ve been digitizing some songs from my record collection, pulling sources from albums I’ve had for decades – or ones that I’ve found at thrift stores over the years. It’s pretty hard to pass up a 99-cent copy of Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes, Sarah Vaughan, or Henry Mancini, when you still have a working record player. I mean, seriously…single MP3 tracks off Amazon or Apple cost that, and only if that vintage track is available at all. I can get the whole album for the same price?
Here’s my dollar, Ms. Cashier.
Plus of course, there is the argument over the “warmth” of listening to analog recordings from vinyl. Frankly my ear isn’t well tuned enough to hear anything shrill in digital remasters. I will say this: there is a familiarity to hearing the “clicks and pops” of a record, something tangible and tactile on a turntable playing a song for me through a vinyl track of glory.
Life isn’t perfect, and therefore the soundtrack to life shouldn’t necessarily demand perfection.
Last night I was putting away canned goods in the pantry when I spied a box of records that hadn’t been touched in a while. Taking a quick look inside exposed a few items I had owned since the 1980s, along with some other items given to me by friends when they gave away their record player in the early 1990s. One of those albums is the one you see here: Metal Health by Quiet Riot.
Of course there’s nothing quiet about it; Metal Health was standard-issue early-80s rock, courtesy of the blaring-yet-powerful high-pitched vocals of Kevin DuBrow, mixed with the hook-heavy guitar solos of Carlos Cavazo and solid backing by Frankie Banali and Rudy Sarzo. Since its release in 1983, the album has sold over 6 million copies. Quiet Riot was a seasoned crew of performers by this time, having been together for a decade. They played many of the same venues as Van Halen during the 1970s. While not achieving the same notoriety as other L.A. rock bands of the era, they continued to play until 2007, when singer DuBrow was found dead of a cocaine overdose at his home. They reformed in 2010; none of the original early-70s line up remains.
On my copy of the album the first track is titled “Metal Health,” which according to resources makes it part of the first release. On subsequent releases of the album, the track was retitled as “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” – which is what most people called it anyway. Much like The Who’s Baba O’Riley being called “Teenage Wasteland” by most of the listening public.
Metal Health is considered widely to be Quiet Riot’s largest hit and, thanks to the 2013 Superbowl, has seen a worthy tribute 30 years later as part of a really funny Hyundai commercial – the two versions of which are posted below:
And if you’re itching to hear the original song in its epic entirety, here’s the track I digitized from my LP version. All Hail Vinyl!
99-cents isn’t a lot anymore.
Despite that, it can still get a few good things. For example, I picked up this album today at Goodwill because I didn’t have any Twist music in my collection. Besides, the cover is kinda cute 🙂
What I found was so upbeat that I can’t stop listening to it.
I don’t know much about Carl Stevens, but I can say this album is mid-paced, happy, and makes fun of itself. Most of it is without words, but when they do sing it’s in goofy voices. There are twangy guitars, fast versions of old standards, and plenty of percussion.
In short, this 99-cent album is fun!