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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Bachelor’s Thesis about Vinyl in the Digital Age

almost a year has passed since i got my bachelors degree, and finally the translation of the unabbreviated version of ‘Research of the Current Status of Vinyl Records in Context of the Internet’ is finished. that means i translated everything i had written for this paper in the first place …

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Shake Spears – Biography of a 1960s pop group

Chris Kritzinger, Alan Escombe, Brian Bastow and Johnny Kreuger, 1966 or 67
 I had started this project several years ago and I hadn’t worked on it for a long time – but now I am happy to publish this post, finally :-) It is about one of my favourite bands from the 1960s, one that is sometimes considered “obscure”, and there’s very little information about them on the internet. I wanted to change that, and I was lucky to have one of the original band members among my personal contacts. I first got in touch with Alan Escombe in 2009. We have exchanged many emails and messages, and he has become a close friend of mine. Great parts of the following text are based on our email conversations, and the rest is based on several different websites with bits and pieces of information on the Shake Spears and their records. The most important sources were memoire60-70.be, a great website managed by Jean Jième, the Shake Spears’ former manager, and rhodiemusic.com.
I want to thank Jean at this point for all the great work he put into that website, and for the photos in this post that are used by his courtesy.
I also want to thank Roland Pearsall, who proof-read …

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

My New HMV 101 Gramophone

P1070046
 
it was in early december that i decided to look for a gramophone on ebay again. i wanted to have one for a couple of years by then, but most of my money went into records instead. and of course, with gramophones, you have to be lucky to get one for a decent price and in a decent condition.
to my surprise, during my first quick search i found a black HMV 101 on ebay starting at £110. i gave it a try, and to my even greater surprise i was the only bidder and won it for the starting price on 15th dec 2013.

the little device arrived by mail a couple of days later and i couldnt have been happier – it was SO beautiful! such a classy design, and looking absolutely fabulous even after some 80 years. of course i had already bought some steel needles and wanted to listen to some of the 78s that i had been collecting all the time without being able to play them.
even the original key for the lock was included!
as it turned out, the gramophone hadnt been serviced in …

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 15


 
this one and the two posts below are the last three volumes of a set of compilation CDs i made for a friend a couple of years ago. there are NO music downloads, i just wanted to post the covers i made for the CDs back then. i hope you like them :-)

click here to see the previous volumes.

tracklist:
Back in the U.S.S.R. ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1968 Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) ∙ Belfast Gypsies ∙ 1967 Crawling Up a Hill (live) ∙ John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers ∙ 1964 I Ain’t Done Wrong (live) ∙ The Yardbirds ∙ 1965 Berry Rides Again ∙ Steppenwolf ∙ 1968 Our Home ∙ Bang ∙ 1971 I’m So Glad ∙ Cream ∙ 1966 Dark Side of the Mushroom ∙ Chocolate Watchband ∙ 1967 Spoonful ∙ Howlin’ Wolf ∙ 1968 Thorjon ∙ The Electric Prunes ∙ 1969 Blind ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1969 White Room ∙ Cream ∙ 1968 Blues News ∙ Jesse Harper ∙ 1969 Let’s Work Together ∙ Canned Heat ∙ 1969 Bring It on Home ∙ Led Zeppelin ∙ 1969 Listen, Learn, Read on ∙ Deep Purple ∙ …

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 14


 
just a cover art i made some years ago for a friend, no download

click here to see the previous volumes.

tracklist:
I Am the Walrus ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1967 Mr. Universe ∙ Episode Six ∙ 1968 Silver Tongue ∙ Humble Pie ∙ 1969 Wasted Union Blues ∙ It’s a Beautiful Day ∙ 1969 Wring That Neck ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1968 Silence of the Morning ∙ Glass Sun ∙ 1968 In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida ∙ Iron Butterfly ∙ 1968 Problems ∙ Red Dirt ∙ 1970 Castles Made of Sand ∙ The Jimi Hendrix Experience ∙ 1967 She Said, She Said ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1966 Hold on ∙ Les Fleurs De Lys ∙ 1969 Foggy Notion ∙ The Velvet Underground ∙ 1969 Are You Gonna Be There (at the Love-in) ∙ Chocolate Watchband ∙ 1967 Introspection Part One ∙ The End ∙ 1969 I’m Your Witch Doctor ∙ Them ∙ 1967 Barabajagal ∙ Donovan ∙ 1969 I Feel Free ∙ Cream ∙ 1966 Susie Q ∙ The Rolling Stones ∙ 1964 Do You Remember Walter? ∙ The Kinks ∙ 1968 Obviously 5 Believers ∙ Bob Dylan ∙ 1966

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

VA: Rock Sessions Volume 13


 
just a cover art i made some years ago for a friend, no download

click here to see the previous volumes.

tracklist:
Need You ∙ Lyd ∙ 1970 Purple ∙ Steve Morgen ∙ 1969 Dirty Old Man (at the Age of Sixteen) ∙ Them ∙ 1967 You Really Got Me ∙ The Kinks ∙ 1964 Shakin’ All Over ∙ The Swinging Blue Jeans ∙ 1964 Fortune Teller ∙ Thee Sixpence ∙ 1966 I’m a Loser ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1964 4th Time Around ∙ Bob Dylan ∙ 1966 Girl with No Eyes ∙ It’s a Beautiful Day ∙ 1969 Coming into Los Angeles (live) ∙ Arlo Guthrie ∙ 1969 Buttermilk Boy ∙ Humble Pie ∙ 1969 I’m Not Talking (live) ∙ The Yardbirds ∙ 1965 Glass Onion ∙ The Beatles ∙ 1968 Double Dare ∙ Lyd ∙ 1970 Anyone’s Daughter ∙ Deep Purple ∙ 1971 Throw Down a Line ∙ The Jeff Beck Group ∙ 1969 Whole Lotta Love ∙ Led Zeppelin ∙ 1969 Born Under a Bad Sign ∙ The Apple Pie Motherhood Band ∙ 1968 Angeline ∙ Genesis ∙ 1968 Crest of Wave ∙ Rory Gallagher ∙ 1972

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Music Machine: (Turn On) The Music Machine (US 1966)

The Music Machine - (Turn On) The Music Machine
 
Original Sound – OSR LPS 8875 (US)
one of my favourite garage rock-era albums of all time. i bought this lovely copy from an ebay seller in greece almost a year ago. not quite cheap but totally worthwhile. the cover has some faint ringwear, but thats all, otherwise both cover and record are near mint. just beautiful!

this is the stereo version of the first issue. the mono version is rarer and more sought-after, thus also more expensive. when the mono version of a record is generally valued higher than the stereo version, it is often the case that the stereo version is “fake” stereo (recorded in mono and then re-processed with sometimes disputable results) and these fake stereo recordings mostly do sound crappy.
however, in this case i do not regret my buying decision, i’d take the stereo version again and i recommend it to everyone who wants to buy an original copy of this album.
the sound is clear, crisp and powerful. a high quality recording transferred onto high quality vinyl. this one is definitely one of the best-sounding records from the mid 60s in my collection!

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Churls: The Churls (CAN 1968)

The Churls - The Churls
 
A&M – SP-4169 (US) promotional copy
a nice near mint copy i bought in december 2012. to be honest, this is one of the LPs i only bought because of a single track on it. the rest of the album is not bad, but doesnt kick ass as much as that one song, thus only 4 out of 5 stars for this LP.

this self-titled record of the churls is the first of two LPs the group recorded. they are from canada, but the albums were issued in the US only at the time (as far as i know), and you often find promotional copies (like this one). they obviously didnt hit the big fame, but their output is decent.

my favourite track is the third one on the second side, ‘time piece’. i added it as a youtube clip at the end of this post, and i assure you you wont be disappointed! its a heavy psych rocker i always like to put on compilations together with stuff like ultimate spinach or captain beefheart. the in my opinion second best song on the album is ‘gypsy …

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Saturday, 30 November 2013

More News


 the record carrying cases i had bought on ebay have arrived :-) one of them came decorated with jimi hendrix stamps by some previous owner. looks lovely, i’m gonna leave them on.

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

News


 hi folks, this is the pile of records i took home from the record fair at the jaarbeurs in utrecht, netherlands, last saturday. i had spent all the money i took with me in less than three hours – what a great day :-)
The Balloon Farm
7″ A Question Of Temperature

Laurie
3405USA 1967 The Barbarians
7″ Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl

Laurie
LR 3308USA1965 The Changin’ Times
7″ How Is The Air Up There

Philips
40341USA1965 The Count Five
LP Psychotic Reaction

Double Shot
DSS-5001USA1966 Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
7″ Kites

Parlophone
R5646GB1967 Kaleidoscope
7″ (promo) Tempe Arizona

Epic
5-10500USA1969 Jerry Lee Lewis
7″ Great Balls Of Fire

London American Recordings
HLS 8529 (early 60s reissue)GB1958 Postively Thirteen O’clock
7″ Psychotic Reaction

Hanna-Barbera
HBR-500USA1967 The Rolling Stones
7″ Paint It Black

Melodija
M62-36979UDS1979 Bob Seger & The Last Heard
7″ Persecution Smith

Cameo
C-465USA1966 The Electric Prunes
LP Underground

Reprise
RS-6262USA1967 The Standells
LP Try It

Tower
ST 5098USA1967 The Swamp Rats
7″ Psycho

Get Hip Archive Series
GHAS-21 (2003 reissue)USA1966 The Tidal Waves
7″ (promo) Farmer …

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

July: July (UK 1968)

July - July (promo)
 
Epic – BN 26416 (US) promotional issue
this LP took over ‘the original wizard’s position as the ‘crown jewel’ of my collection when i bought it this summer. i was lucky to get it for such a fair price ($174), which is mainly due to the flaws on the rear side of the cover (doesnt matter very much to me though). the vinyl, however, plays just beautifully; ranging from EX- to M-. i doubt that there are truly dead-silent copies of the US issue out there, so i guess this is about as fantastic as it gets!

as far as i know, there are 5 original issues of this record from four different countries:
UK Major Minor – MMLP 29 (mono), SMLP 29 (stereo) US Epic – BN 26416 (stereo, mostly promo copies) Brazil Musidisc – 2.177 (mono) Mexico Fresa – FL-2 (mono)
it could also be 4 different issues if you count UK mono and stereo as one issue. however, the UK issues are insanely expensive in mono as well as in stereo. a copy would eat up more than half of my monthly salary (of which i still …

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The End: Introspection (UK 1969)

The End - Introspection
 
Decca – SKL – R 5.015 (France)
this is one of those albums i always wanted to have and have been looking for for a long time. although it is rather unknown generally, it enjoys great popularity among record collectors and aficionados of late 60s psych – and also die-hard rolling stones fans, as it was produced by bill wyman (no need to introduce this guy ;-)).
the original UK pressings (Decca LK-R 5015) are ridiculously expensive, so they were never an option for me. the US pressings (London PS 560) are more common and affordable, but I hate those silver covers – they look terrible unless theyre in mint condition, and you rarely find those. apart from that, the white cover design simply looks much better to me. i had seen a french pressing of this album in jaarbeurs, utrecht in april for sale for about 320 euros. still a prohibitive price for me keeping in mind its not from the country the music and the group originated from.

a couple of months ago this copy turned up on ebay for less than a third (!) of that, with …

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

What I’ve been doing all the time


 i cant believe it is almost five months since the last time i wrote a new post here… well i did not entirely spend those five months twiddling my thumbs. with kind assistance from a native-speaking friend, i started translating my paper about vinyl records into english. i had written this paper in order to get my bachelors degree, which i had finally achieved in april (writing it actually took me half a year, and i thought translating it would take less time – i could not have been more wrong, haha! well, the fact that there is no deadline for this project and that i am still working fulltime might also slighty affect how long this is taking :-)). of course i am not only translating this paper, but i am also correcting all the formal and content-related mistakes i can find, and i try to improve it in general. in the picture below you can see how far ive gotten by now. 48 pages are translated, and 42 are still left:
i have also been tidying up my record collection by moving it into another room and completely re-organizing it – now everything is in alphabetical …

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Captain Beyond – Captain Beyond (US 1972)

Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond
 
Capricorn – CP 0105 (AUS)
well, this one is pretty heavy stuff – i dont listen to it very often, mostly because i am more into psych and garage rather than heavy or hard rock, but on the plus side, the heaviness of such albums when listening to them doent ‘wear off’ as soon as if you listened to them all the time, and they still really shake your bones.
theres one interesting thing about this album and about this band, as their vocalist was rod evans, who was the singer of deep purple on their first three albums (which by the way are nothing like hard rock at all, interestingly).

as i had been a great deep purple fan at the time, this is how i got to know this LP. while deep purple’s music became really heavy compared to their previous stuff, once evans had been replaced by ian gillan, and they started to define what we would eventually call hard rock, rod evans did the same thing in his new group captain beyond. no more covers of neil diamond or ike & tina turner (YES, deep purple did that. they …

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Floating Bridge – Floating Bridge (US 1969)

Floating Bridge - Floating Bridge
 
Vault – 124 (US)
this is another one of my very favourite albums, which i had been looking out for for quite a while and i had finally bought an original US copy in february on discogs. it shipped from australia so i had to wait some weeks until it arrived. but the waiting was totally worth it, but record and cover are in a really beautiful condition and the disc plays almost like new.

this album is the groups only output next to two 45s they released. it is a mixture of a handful of genres, certainly not meant for people who love concept albums, but i think the different styles fit well together and its nice to have a little variation while listening to an LP even if its not various-artists. there are some nice covered instrumentals that range from melodic to psychedelic, some real nitty gritty blues stuff, some really killer heavy psych fuzz numbers and some late 60s rock typical for the time to fill the gaps between all these.

although the whole album is superb in my opinion, there are four tracks i think are …

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