thanks for looking.
so, it seems that summer is over in both mind and body… at least the weather this week has required i pull my sweaters out of the closet… but who knows what next week will bring, right? either way, schools back in, vacations are over and it’s time to catch up with some home listening. some great new ones this week (brown recluse ep, legends of benin 2lp comp), as well as a ton of essentials restocked (sun ra lps and cds from saturn and art yard, british mod rarities from top sounds and psychic circle, lounge/light psychedelic rarities from beatball and companion), plus more expected later on friday and monday… as always check the tequila sunrise records facebook page and/or twitter feed for up-to-the-minute new arrivals and restocks.
also, please note the new fall hours (thursday 12-8)!
as always, many of these titles are in very limited quantity, so if you're interested in anything listed below and can’t make it to the shop you can make a purchase via paypal or over the phone with a credit card and pick them up later or have them shipped (see more information below). i will no longer hold records. sorry.
prices are subject to change without notice.
prices do not include shipping and handling. for those of you shipping within the continental united states I offer a 5.00usd flat shipping rate for any amount of records and/or compact discs. shipping cost for international orders are calculated on an order by order basis. payments for orders can be made via paypal or with a credit card by telephone between 12-6pm/est.
i also offer bike messanger service via timecycle couriers. for the low cost of 10.00usd i can deliver any amount of records and/or cds you wish to purchase to your center city philadelphia location (this includes some parts of south, west and north philadelphia) within two hours (and for those of you who need your records even faster, we also offer ‘rush’ service for the low flat rate of 20.00usd for any amount of records/cds delivered to you within one hour). of course, we are still more than happy to ship records via the usps within philadelphia. orders placed before 5pm/est will ship out that evening and should reach their destination by the following day.
PICKS OF THE WEEK
BROWN RECLUSE SINGS- THE SOFT SKIN 12”EP (slumberland, usa)
*brown recluse’s debut vinyl ep (after a superb self released cdep entitled black sunday -circa 2006-2007) finally see’s the light of day (fwiw, this was originally intended to be released via tequila sunrise, but what can i say, the money was not there, so slumberland expressed interest and from all perspectives, it was a wise move. keep your eyes/ears peeled for the forthcoming full length)… Formed in 2006, Brown Recluse take influences from the psych pop of The Zombies and Margo Guryan, the tropicalia of Os Mutantes, and 60s producers like Curt Boettcher, Joe Meek and Phil Spector, and create something very modern. Their debut EP Black Sunday was a brilliant blast of pop invention; it's blend of blinding songcraft, skilled arrangements and gorgeous playing is an absolute joy and made Brown Recluse one of our favorite new bands. The Soft Skin was recorded in mid-2007; after some delays with the original release, we're very excited to be able to bring it you on Slumberland Records. The four songs show an increasingly confident full-band line-up stretching out and reaching a new plateau. A pastoral, psychedelic vibe permeates the EP, bringing to mind the sunshine pop of Curt Boettcher's The Millennium/Sagittarius projects, and such familiar touchstones as Brian Wilson, Belle & Sebastian, The Clientele and the Elephant 6 collective.
ROCK AND PSYCHEDELIC
V/A- FAIRYTALES CAN COME TRUE: UK POPSIKE FROM THE LATE 60'S 2LP
(psychic circle, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… 180 gram pressing. Twenty previously-uncomped tracks of enchanting UK pop-psych, compiled by legendary psych musician and Psychic Circle label-head, Nick Saloman (The Bevis Frond). You'll find the pre-Fairport Iain Matthews, the only single from Jackie Lomax's Lomax Alliance, Gallagher & Lyle's unique response to Pet Sounds & a Troggs-like gem from P.J. Proby's hairdresser! Compilers and collectors alike know that there was some wonderful music coming out of the UK in the late '60s and it wasn't all-out psychedelia or floor-filling blue-eyed soul. Sure, all these tracks have a psychy feel, and some of them would pack a dancefloor, but really they're more concerned with harmony and pop sensibility. These are dazzling tracks, all very melodic and very refreshing.
V/A- ALPHABEAT: POP, PSYCH & PROG ROCK 1967-1970 LP (top sounds, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… Contains an 11-page lavishly illustrated magazine-style booklet, and housed in authentic '60s fashion with a laminated sleeve... Compiled and realized by Nigel Lees (author of much of Record Collector magazine's long running series 'The British Psychedelic Trip'), Alphabeat marks the debut release on his own label Top Sounds, a collection which brings together 13 rare slices of pop, psychedelia and progressive rock recorded during 1967-1970. Only 2 have appeared previously on compilations, the remainder bar the obscure 1970 45 by Mississippi have never been released and make their vinyl and CD debut on Alphabeat. All tracks have been professionally restored and the release includes an informative and profusely illustrated 24-page booklet which features histories of all the artists, together with many photos which have never been published before. The release has the blessing of at least one member of each group and in some cases several. Many of the selections on Alphabeat were not even known to exist before the release of the compilation, and few connoisseurs of obscure late '60s pop, psych and prog will be disappointed with its contents. Dubbed from a master supplied by a Belgian television company, 'Foxy Lady' and 'Toad' were recorded live at a pop festival in 1968 and prove The Barrier to be as exciting on stage as on their best singles from the same year, while Mississippi impress with their heavy bluesy rock which is lifted from their lone and very rare 45 from 1970. The pigeonholing of Breakthru as a lightweight pop act through their only single 'Ice Cream Tree' is devastatingly dismissed by the unveiling of 2 incendiary slices of psychedelically-inclined rock recorded at a Birmingham studio in late 1967, and an unknown group who recorded at R.G Jones' OAK studios sound uncannily like The Game 3 years on with the slow burning 'First Back From Heaven.' The Pathfinders' 'Pumpkin Lantern' has appeared before on compilations on a number of occasions, but thanks to the discovery of another acetate copy, it's presented here in premium quality together for the first time with its previously ignored but very special rendering of the Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody.' Graded Grains have presented psych collectors with a mystery and an enigma since their acetate of 'Animal Magic' and ' Lucifer Sam' was unearthed for Chocolate Soup For Diabetics Volume 3 way back in the early '80s, and such was their dogged obscurity that some came to believe there was no such band called Graded Grains at all. Top Sounds however, are able to present 4 tracks recorded on the continent in Paris in 1969 which beautifully exhibit authentic pop psych with a marked Barrett-era Pink Floyd influence, one of which is a later (and much cleaner!) take of the famed 'Animal Magic.' And last but by no means least, the legendary blues band Black Cat Bones prove their versatility and deliver an uptempo psych-flavored rocker called 'Warmth Of The Day,' which aside from inclusion on a fairly recent bootleg has only previously been available on the rare 1969 promotional for the QE2 ocean liner.
V/A- SHAPES & SOUNDS: ORANGE & RED BEAMS FROM THE BBC ARCHIVES LP (top sounds, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… Including a 16-page color booklet based on a vintage Radio Times… Following on from Alphabeat, Top Sounds is proud to announce the release of a second compilation, a delightful selection of choice '60s rarities from the otherwise largely inaccessible BBC archives. Spanning a period of almost two years, Shapes & Sounds offers 17 performances taped in BBC studios for broadcast not only on the more familiar radio shows such as Top Gear and Saturday Club, but also some of the daytime weekly programs such as The Dave Cash Programme. This release features six bands, all of whom will be familiar to collectors of psychedelia and pop of the period, some of which are lauded as being amongst the most rated groups of their time. For many, pride of place will go to Kaleidoscope, as Shapes & Sounds features two tracks that are missing from the BBC's Transcription Service archive and consequently were not included on the Please Listen To The Pictures BBC set. Thanks to the recent discovery of a transcription disc, Top Sounds are privileged to complete the jigsaw and offer a choice version of the band's most contagious single 'Jenny Artichoke,' as well as a stupendous rendition of the Faintly Blowing cut 'Music' which is guaranteed to have Kaleidoscope's legion of followers in ecstasy! Also thought lost and making their debut on are three splendid tracks by Tomorrow featuring Keith West, sourced from two editions of Top Gear in October 1967 and February 1968. Included are excellent renditions of 'Blow Up' and 'Colonel Brown,' but the pick of the bunch is almost certainly 'Real Life Permanent Dream,' with its overdrive of twisting wah-wah guitar throughout from the nimble fingers of Steve Howe. It's been a while since any fresh music from Timebox was released and Shapes & Sounds offers their four remaining session tracks from the Beeb archives, which include a beautiful version of their famed 'Beggin,' a rendition of 'Yellow Van' which most definitely puts the single cut to shame, a superb take of 'Stay There' and perhaps most importantly, an admirable slice of blue-eyed soul in their cover of the Young Rascals' 'A Girl Like You,' which the band never recorded outside of the BBC. The Montanas' discography is noted by many as being rather hit or miss, but that is most definitely not the case with their inclusion on Shapes & Sounds, and most will no doubt be surprised and animated by the BBC take of their most prized pop/psych 45, A Step In The Right Direction. That excellent single was enhanced by a wash of phasing, but in this live performance the song is literally drowned in a veritable tidal wave of that glorious wind tunnel effect, while 'You're Never Going to Get My Lovin' would have made a better choice for a single than some of those that were actually released. The other Montanas performances form something of a Moby Grape tribute, with a cracking rendering of 'Hey Grandma' and a blistering attack on 'Omaha.' Of all these numbers from their repertoire, only 'A Step In The Right Direction' ever appeared on a single. Oxfordshire's Gentle Influence have come to more prominence recently with the inclusion of their popular 'Easy To Know' on the 'Le Beat Bespoke' compilation and Top Sounds have uncovered a similarly styled nugget with their BBC only cover of Curtis Mayfield's 'You've Been Cheatin',' as well as a superior version of their final 1969 A-side 'Always Be A Part Of My Living.' And last but my no means least, The Spectrum -- hitherto not the most rated of '60s bands by some -- impress with a fuzz guitar-spiked performance of 'Headin' For A Heatwave' which is more virile and much more atmospheric than the 45 version, and they enthusiastically rip through a Beeb only take of The Artwoods favorite 'I Take What I Want.' The sound quality is absolutely superb throughout, with nearly every track sourced from original BBC Transcription records. The Tomorrow performances have been taken from excellent off-air recordings and similarly shine and few of the tracks on the collection needed much enhancement at all, all have nevertheless been professionally restored and mastered. The presentation is immaculate and as with the Alphabeat release, Artholeghraphics have designed a memorable period-flavored package. Includes a 24-page booklet packed with illustrations, band histories and listings of all their known BBC sessions written and supplied by Nigel Lees, author of much of Record Collector magazine's 'The British Psychedelic Trip' series. Except for one of the Montanas recordings being bootlegged many years ago, none of the tracks have ever been commercially available and most have not been heard in public since the '60s. All copies are hand numbered and Shapes & Sounds is a legitimate limited edition release, licensed from the BBC with the blessing/co-operation of no less than 19 band members.
V/A- SHAPES AND SOUNDS VOLUME TWO: SHADES OF DEEPEST PURPLE FROM THE BBC ARCHIVES 1967-1971 LP (top sounds, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… With this second excavation of previously unreleased live BBC session performances spanning the period 1967-1971, Shapes And Sounds becomes a series and Volume Two features a completely different line up of bands from last year's set. Pride of place on this second edition arguably goes to The Gun, with three astonishing performances that were recorded nearly a year before 'Race With The Devil' which illustrate their late '67 menu of mod and psych pop, with cracking versions of Rupert's Peoples 'Hold On,' Paul Simons 'A Most Peculiar Man' and a quite splendid airing of their legendary 'Light On The Wall!' The Casuals surprise with the beat of 'Midnight Confessions' and 'Take Me For A Little While' as well as a fine rendering of 'Jesamine,' while The Mirage perform a live version of their May 1967 single 'The Wedding Of Ramona Blair.' The Alan Bown! play an excellent take of 'Magic Handkerchief' and even more interestingly offer two numbers that never appeared on any Bown release, with the self-penned progressive popper 'Movie Star Baby' and a brilliant interpretation of The Association's 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies.' Also with three tracks on Shapes And Sounds are Wales' The Bystanders, who turn in a lovely version of 'Royal Blue Summer Sunshine Day' as well as a glorious homage to The Byrds with 'Renaissance Fair.' Even better and long talked about in collectors' circles but never previously released is their absolutely stunning rendition of 'I Am The Walrus,' which Top Sounds are sure will disappoint no one! Sourced from an off-air recording of their only British television appearance on Disco 2, Killing Floor perform 'Milkman' from their Out Of Uranus LP in superb quality (the TV show was wiped decades ago) and of similarly heinous rarity are live tracks from Portrait and Katch 22, who turn in forceful renderings of 'Born To Be Wild' and 'The Price Of Love,' respectively (the latter of which is better than the Status Quo cover!) The sound quality is absolutely superb throughout, with 12 of the 16 tracks sourced from original BBC Transcription records. The other performances have been taken from excellent off-air recordings and similarly shine and though few of the tracks on the collection needed much enhancement at all, all have nevertheless been professionally restored and mastered. The presentation is immaculate and as with the previous Shapes And Sounds release, Artholeghraphics have designed a memorable period flavored package. The LP has a 16 page color booklet based on a vintage Radio Times packed with illustrations, band histories and listings of all their known BBC sessions written and supplied by Nigel Lees, author of much of Record Collector magazine's 'The British Psychedelic Trip' series. Except for the Mirage recording being bootlegged many years ago (in lesser quality!), none of the tracks have ever been commercially available and most have not been heard in public since the '60s. Shapes And Sounds is a legitimate limited edition release, licensed from the BBC with the blessing and co-operation of many band members.
SOFT ROCK AND LIGHT PSYCHEDELIC HARMONY
THE CANTERBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL- RAIN & SHINE CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… This limited CD issue is the sole album of The Canterbury Music Festival only 150 copies were pressed in 1968. The album has an almost willfully secret pop-sike masterpiece of sorts.... on the obscure and collectable BT Puppy label owned by the legendary doo wopper Tokens. This album contains the complete BT Puppy recordings, and is one of the rarest albums in the entire collectable Soft Rock genre! Beatball reissue CD carrying better clean sound in ever! Also this set contains newly extensive liner notes featuring the interview with the original members and rare band photos. Plus the band sticker... this is a must for all fans of soft rock & good time music lovers.
HAGOOD HARDY & THE MONTAGE- MONTAGE CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… Hagood Hardy is best remembered as a composer of TV advertising jingles and his 1975 hit 'The Homecoming' (originally written to advertise tea). Before that, he had a jazz-tinged pop group called Montage and they made this classic album featuring treasures such as a brilliant reworking of Vince Guaraldi's 'Cast Your Fate To The Wind' and Dory Previn & Fred Carlin's bittersweet 'Come Saturday Morning.' First official release; LP miniature sleeve including obi, 24-bit digital remaster from the original master tape; liner notes by Duglas Stewart (BMX Bandits).
MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING- IN WONDERLAND CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… The first official output of this obscured 60s band the Mutual Understanding who created a sound somewhere betwixt Free Design, Eternity's Children, Association, Small Circle of Friends, and Harpers Bizarre. Their sole album In Wonderland was originally released on Nimbus 9 in 1968. In Wonderland is an obscured pop-psych masterpiece from Canada, this recording were presented jointly by the legendary Canadian independent label Nimbus 9 Productions and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) at that time. The Mutual Understanding combines the musical talents of the great Canadian musicians; Ben McPeek, Jimmy Dale and Jerry Toth, with the clever and innovative vocal stylings of Canada's top vocal group, the Laurie Bower Singers. The album captures a unique post psychedelic musical moment in time that enchants with its own flavor.
WALTER RAIM CONCEPT- ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… A long waited US soft rock masterpiece re-issue. First released on MTA Records in 1970, it features the original cover art and 11 tracks. As a composer, guitarist and arranger Walter Raim's outstanding album. Produced by Bob Thompson, genius for arranging '60s lounge/space age pop scene (ex. Roger Nichols, Van Dyke Parks and Harpers Bizarre).
THE TOKENS- INTERCOURSE CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… This is a CD of the legendary vocal rock group The Tokens called Intercourse. We guess that says it all. What we have here is the great lost Tokens album, recorded in 1968 and promptly turned down by WB. To fill a contractual obligation, just 200 copies were pressed up and the album pretty much remained an interesting catalog sighting before its reissue. What we also have here is a white doo-wop group delivering an album that falls somewhere between Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper. Everything on here works in a very organic manner: all of the songs follow a neat continuum and could easily be termed as a humanistic song cycle, each one surrounded by late-'60s Beatlesque production values, right down to the massively compressed drum sounds and omnipresent tape saturation. Trippy, loopy and totally of its time, classic doo-wop this is not; great, however, it is. This CD issue contains remastered original mono mix album plus never released stereo mix version which were founded out from their attic. Total 31 trax in.
THE UNUSUAL WE- THE UNUSUAL WE CD (beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… A long waited US soft rock masterpiece re-issue. First released on Pulsar Records in 1969, it features the original cover art and 10 tracks. This album is a must-own for fans and highly collectible. Produced by the legendary Harold Battiste.
THE JIMMY VANN BAND- THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE SKY CD
(beatball, south korea)
*shop favorite restocked… The Jimmy Vann Band made sweet music, a hybrid of soft pop and mellow jazz. The Upper Left Hand Corner of the Sky is a collection of pure hearted music that soothes the soul. The title track has become a classic of the soft-pop genre, composed by Buddy Prima (nephew of the legendary Louis Prima). Remastered with tender loving care, this reissue brings you the original magic and melody of this long lost album. First official release; LP miniature sleeve including obi, 24-bit digital remaster from original master tape. Liner notes by Jimmy Vann, Duglas Stewart (BMX Bandits) and Park Joo-Hyeok (including lyrics).
LUIE LUIE- TOUCHY CD (companion, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Some years ago, a Los Angeles area collector stumbled across an orphaned copy of Touchy in a thrift store. It was shared through tape trading networks and bootlegged on vinyl -- now, Companion Records is proudly offering this first official Touchy CD release. Luie Luie has to be the most jaw-dropping one-man band lounge act found to date. Touchy serves as a conceptual dance album, an experimental album, as well as a sort of healing LP for '60s burn-outs. What can his music be compared to? Nothing that we know of. Luis Johnston is a Southern California screenwriter, painter, and musician who's spent the past 30 years working in almost complete obscurity. But he's also written and starred in a feature film and shaken hands with Elvis Presley. Luie has been playing live at various restaurants, lounges, and country clubs for three decades and is still going strong. He released a handful of 45s in the '70s and one full-length LP, Touchy in 1974. And he continues to record unknown quantities of yet-to-be-released CDs. This deluxe CD version is housed in a digipak sleeve, includes 2 'Touchy buttons,' a 20-page booklet with rare photos, concert flyers, art work, and a new introduction from Luie himself which sheds some light on his original inspiration for the album.
MARC MUNDY- MARC MUNDY CD (companion, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… We are thrilled to offer this CD reissue of Marc Mundy's self-titled 1971 LP; a truly unique, privately-issued curiosity rescued from obscurity by one of our favorite trailblazing collectors, New York's Paul Major. Many (Mid)East/West crossover albums surfaced during the psychedelic era but none that sound quite like Mundy's. 'You'll have a hard time finding another LP to compare with this combination of feeling and sound,' Major claims and we couldn't agree more. The emotional effect of Mundy's vocals coupled with his band's irresistible groove is a strange pairing -- you could argue that the two are at odds with each other, but the result is a sound and feel so unique and compelling to our ears, we believe it to be in a class all its own. The CD was mastered from one of the few surviving original copies and includes a 4 panel poster insert with original back cover lyric sheet, a short biography, and a rare 1970 photo of Marc handsomely packaged with original front cover artwork.
THE NEW CREATION- TROUBLED CD (companion, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Welcome to the first commercial release of Troubled, the sole output from Vancouver, British Columbia's all-but-forgotten Jesus rock trio, the New Creation. Originally pressed in 1970 in the vinyl LP format in a limited run, this album never quite made it out of its hometown borders. It would be another two or three decades before anyone outside of the group's small circle would hear it at all. The obscurity of this album is impossible to overstate. Only 100 vinyl copies were ever produced and none were available commercially. The New Creation were partly inspired by the music of the Jesus People movement, a Christian adaptation of the '60s movement, which shared the same Haight-Ashbury district birthplace. Jesus People patterned their language, fashion, and music after their hippie neighbors in an attempt to update their expression of faith. This street level movement gained mainstream media exposure around 1970 and within a year cover stories ran in Newsweek, Life, and U.S. News and World Report. Musicians in this scene plotted their own course in an attempt to counteract what they saw as the destructive themes in much of mainstream rock music. Acts born out of this grassroots movement would inspire believers worldwide to cut their own record -- contract or no contract. "A showcase of raw, inventive musicality. Categorically, it's -- I dunno -- Sixties Garage Godcore? Yet it transcends being a mere period piece. The songwriting is deliriously brilliant, the lyrical perspective haunting. The band's sincerity is unquestionable, even if its meters are unfathomable." -- Irwin Chusi
V/A- LEGENDS OF BENIN 2LP (analog africa, germany)
V/A- LEGENDS OF BENIN CD (analog africa, germany)
*finally available on vinyl and restocked on cd… Double vinyl version, in deluxe gatefold sleeve and printed inner sleeves which replicate all of the liner notes from the CD version booklet. Analog Africa presents Legends Of Benin, a collection of super-rare and highly danceable masterpieces recorded between 1969-1981 by four legendary composers from Benin: Gnonnas Pedro, Antoine Dougbé, El Rego et Ses Commandos and Honoré Avolonto, each with a sound all their own. What you are about to hear is distinctively Benin -- a thick brew of agbadja, soul, cavacha, funk, Afrobeat, and Afro-Latin sounds all mixed in with heavy traditional rhythms. Gnonnas Pedro is the king of modern agbadja: a rhythm hugely popular in Togo, Benin and Ghana, based around three pieces of percussion, each with a different tone. Traditionally a rhythm used during burial ceremonies, Gnonnas adopted and modernized it in the mid-'60s, calling it "Agbadja Modern." The track "Dadje Von O Von Non" was originally recorded in 1966 and is Gnonna's first modern rendition of agbadja. Also featured here is the crazy, kick-ass funk track "Okpo Videa Bassouo" recorded in 1973, as well as the sublimely contagious track, "La Musica en Verité." Honoré Avolonto was one of Benin's most prolific composers, releasing Benin's most successful LP in the late '70s. That album was recorded with Black Santiago, a band fronted by amazing trumpeter Ignace De Souza, another legend, with whom he recorded the Afrobeat track, "Dou Dagbe We." Avolonto has fronted some of Benin's most powerful bands and some of those "partnerships" with Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and Les Commandos are presented here. Beware -- killer Afrobeat meets frenetic funk. El Rego et Ses Commandos were responsible for Benin's first Afro-soul-funk track with the support of Ghanean singer, Eddy Black Power. The "Jerk" scene in Benin was triggered by the success of "Feeling You Got," and its infectious accordion riff. "E Nan Mian Nuku" is an Afro-Latin tune combined with a kind of bossa nova, and "Vimado Wingnan" is Benin's most sought-after funk track. Out of all the artists here, Antoine Dougbé is the least known even in Benin, but he created his own style which he dubbed Afro cavacha -- a fantastic mixture of Congolese rhumba, Latin sounds and traditional vodoun rhythms. All of his vinyl releases, especially the ones released on his own Editions Dougbé Antoine label, are incredible and have become some of Africa's most sought-after collector's items. Enjoy the mind-blowing sounds of Benin.
V/A- PARLEZ VOUS POP? CD (bureau b, germany)
*shop favorite restocked… Parlez Vous Pop? is a compilation of 16 enchanting songs in broken French from the '60s and '70s. French is the language of love. The words flow as smoothly as a vintage Bordeaux, like the suggestively sweet nothings Serge Gainsbourg whispered into Jane Birkin's ear. Ah, France, famed for laisser-faire, laisser-allez and exquisite cuisine -- something patently lacking in the wirtschafts-wonderful Germany of the '50s and '60s (not to mention the United Kingdom). Songs sung in French were not only pleasant to the ear, they promised a better, more luxurious life. Even chansons laced with melancholy hinted at a certain lightness of heart. Some artists -- or their record labels -- simply wanted to see if they could make an impression on the French market, singers like Roy Black, Mary Roos, Peter Kraus or Freddy Quinn, as well as British stars such as Dusty Springfield and Sandy Shaw. Others, notably Reinhard Frédérik Mey, Caterina Valente, Vicky Leandros, were genuine Francophiles and released entire albums in the French language. For some -- Manfred Krug, Alexandra, Marianne Faithful or Ireen Sheer, for example -- it was more a question of having a bit of fun singing one or two French numbers to include on their LPs. The majority of them may have struggled to perfect their French accent, but the near-misses are perhaps the most charming of all. While some of the German performers get very close indeed, with Marlene Dietrich and Manfred Krug earning particular recognition from their French counterparts, the British singers just cannot roll their "R"s or accentuate the "E" at the end of a word. Elsewhere, Alexandra sounds like an exiled East Prussian and Lys Assia gets her tenses in a twist but ce n'est pas grave -- as long as it swings. The booklet contains liner notes from the unique, magnifique Françoise Cactus, vocalist with the Franco-German band Stereo Total.
V/A- LA BELLE EPOQUE: EMI'S FRENCH GIRLS 1965-1968 CD (emi, uk)
*2007 release, in stock for the first time… Excellent CD that collects the best tracks by the talented female artists signed to EMI's French labels. British stars like Sandie Shaw recorded material exclusively for France -- and she's heard with her rare French-only track 'Rien N'est Fini.' Remastered from the original sources at Abbey Road, La Belle Epoque -- EMI's French Girls 1965-68 presents these 20 tracks as they've never been heard before. Some tracks have previously been included on French compilations or bootlegs, however, the sound quality here is a revelation. Original mono and stereo have been used, preserving the integrity of the original recordings. Artists include Michel Arnaud with Serge Gainsbourg, Les Roche Martin, Liz Brady, Anne Kern, Christie Laume, Sandie Shaw, Ria Bartok and Alice Dona.
SUN RA ALL STARS BAND- HIROSHIMA LP (art yard, uk)
*shop favorite restocked, out of print from the label… One of the most enigmatic Sun Ra albums you'll ever hear -- a really striking recording that's filled with a great sense of majesty and cosmic exploration! The extended title track "Hiroshima" features Ra playing pipe organ -- using the instrument quite freely and expressively, to create these sounds that are both oddly spacey, but also have almost an ancient Egyptian sort of feel! The track is one of the sparest we've ever heard from Ra, but also one of the most moving -- an extended tapestry in sound that's filled with amazing moments. The flipside of the record features "Stars That Shine Darkly" -- a real gem that features guest work from Archie Shepp on tenor, Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Lester Bowie on trumpet, Don Moye on percussion, and Philly Joe Jones on drums! With a lineup like that, there's a wonderful interweaving of jazz styles and traditions going on -- all grounded in a slightly more familiar Arkestra mode, thanks to John Gilmore on tenor and Marshall Allen on alto. The tune beings quite freely, and almost sparely -- sounding a bit like some of the late 60s Paris recordings by either Shepp or Cherry -- but as it moves forward, it develops a bit of a pulse -- and also shows some strains of AACM influence as well! As with other Artyard titles, the quality of this reissue is excellent -- heavy vinyl, wonderful cover and inner sleeve, and full notes on the music -- all a lot better than the original pressing!
SUN RA & HIS INTERGALACTIC MYTH SCIENCE SOLAR ARKESTRA- ON JUPITER CD
(art yard, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… Originally issued as El Saturn 101679, recorded on 10/16/79, never reissued before in any form (before Artyard's prior LP edition in 2005, now out of print). On Jupiter uses more than the usual amount of post recording processing and mixing, nudging up to the jazz-rock/disco music of its time, but not getting too close. These are still eccentric, expanded, lurching musical beasts. And it's nice to hear the oboe and bassoon -- so often lost on the live concert mixes -- so prominent here. The playing is great, as ever. This release along with Sleeping Beauty are two of the more accessible Ra releases and mark a rare experiment in quasi popularity by the band. They are both also, at present, collectors' items.
SUN RA & HIS INTERGALACTIC MYTH SCIENCE SOLAR ARKESTRA- HORIZON CD
(art yard, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… In 1971, in Denmark, at the end of a tour, Sun Ra suddenly decided to take his whole band to Egypt. They had no concerts and no contacts there, but Ra sold some recording rights to Black Lion to pay for the tickets and they flew out. They were stopped at customs and their instruments were temporarily impounded, but they were let through as tourists. Then they booked into a hotel facing the pyramid at Giza. Word got to Hartmut Geerken, then working at the Goethe institute, and he quickly threw a concert together at his house in Heliopolis, for which Brigadier Salah Ragab borrowed army instruments for the Arkestra to play (he was later disciplined for it). Ra's Moog had made it through customs and a Tiger Organ was hired. One of the audience (of 25) booked the band in for a Cairo TV session the following day. Then Ragab persuaded the Ministry of Culture to book a concert at the Balloon Theatre (for another tiny audience: only the first 4 rows were occupied). Two more concerts followed -- at the American University (for the cab fare) and the Versailles Club. They stayed for more than a fortnight, making a film while they were there and finally, by band-members selling various personal items, raised the money to fly home. Horizon (also known as Starwatchers and Sun Ra in Egypt Vol. 2) contains a big chunk of the now legendary Balloon Theatre concert (it burned down soon after their visit, as did the hotel in which the Arkestra stayed while they were in Cairo). The Balloon extract is an uncut block (tracks 1- 4 on the CD) and features a lot of Sun Ra's all-hell-let-loose Moog soloing, as well as a great version of 'Discipline #2.' The rest of Horizon is from the Heliopolis concert, kicking off with an instrumental version of 'Enlightenment' and 'Love In Outer Space,' (neither are on the original LP) segueing slowly into 'Space Is The Place' -- followed by drum orchestra, more Ra soloing on Moog, Tiger Organ and detuned piano (bloops, hoovering, whistles, Concords taking off) leading to a first lurching, then wild, 'Discipline #8.' Two bonus tracks, for the first time restored from the original concert, follow: 'We'll Wait For You' (with June Tyson) and 'The Satellites Are Spinning' -- which ends in full-on percussion. A classic recording of a classic band in great form.
SUN RA- DISCO 3000: COMPLETE MILAN CONCERT 1978 2CD (art yard, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… 24-bit (mastered from the original tapes, with booklet notes by performer Michael Ray). 6-panel digipack. Recorded at The Teatro Cilak, 1/23/1978, Milan Italy. In the winter of 1977-1978, philosopher, pianist and bandleader Sun Ra was in Italy. The Italian tour resulted in releases on Sun Ra's own Saturn label, all of which have long been out of print and all but impossible to find. With the re-release of Disco 3000, one of the most celebrated of these elusive Saturn gems is once more available. This release, and its companion Media Dreams, capture a side of Sun Ra's work -- small ensemble, close form, original composition, rather minimal -- that is otherwise under-represented. Depending heavily on Ra's electric and electronic keyboards (including the mysterious Crumar Mainman -- of which even the company has no record) and, more unusually, on his intelligent use of sequencers and rhythm machines, this is an important window on the evolution of Ra's musical thinking, rendered even more transparent by the economy of its means; a quartet comprising only saxophonist John Gilmore, trumpeter Michael Ray and drummer Luqman Ali.
SUN RA- MEDIA DREAMS 2CD (art yard, uk)
*shop favorite restocked… This is the companion to Disco 3000, made on the same classic Italian quartet tour with John Gilmore, Michael Ray (trumpet) and the minimal but perfect Luqman Ali (drums). Ra himself plays piano and electronic keyboards, including the mysterious Crumar Mainman, which Ra describes as 'like a piano, organ, clavichord, cello, violin and brass instruments' and which also, importantly, has a facility for pre-programmed bass lines and electronic percussion, which Ra uses constantly and to great effect in this small ensemble setting and seldom, if ever, elsewhere. The best of this collection (most of CD1) is luminous: very electronic, often rhythmical and melodic, always economical and making every sound count. These tracks are like no other jazz ensemble and, although recognizable as Ra -- who else could think of, and then get away with this -- unlike any other Ra ensemble, either. Ra makes the machines do amazing, visionary things while the band exercises restraint, remaining always in focus. In between, there are piano, saxophone, trumpet and drum vignettes, fresh and perfectly judged; this real was a fine band. This places the original vinyl release (and related releases, Sound Mirror and Disco 3000) back into the context of the concerts from which they were drawn. An important addition to the Sun Ra canon, since it is a rare document of an unusual Ra project that produced three classic late '70s LPs. Beautifully packaged and well annotated.
SUN RA- LANQUIDITY LP (philly jazz, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Recorded at Blank Tapes Studio, New York, 7/17/1978. The album was originally on the 'micro-label' Philly Jazz, owned by a Philadelphia recording engineer who knew Sun Ra from his live performances on University of Pennsylvania's WXPN. The album has become a much in demand rarity among the ranks of acid jazz DJs throughout the world. Tracklisting: Lanquidity, Where Pathways Meet, That's How I Feel, Twin Stars of Thence, There are other Worlds (They have not Told You of).
SUN RA- OF MYTHIC WORLDS LP (philly jazz, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Exact repro of this 1980 album, the second Sun Ra album to be released on Philly Jazz following Lanquidity. Undated live recording, not previously reissued on either LP or CD! Sun Ra's music is equational. It is based on a system and philosophy as old as the most ancient of civilizations, and it points the way of the future as well. Music is not seen as merely entertainment. Ra has oftentimes mentioned the potentials of music to change the social order. In fact, the highlight of many of his performances is his self-conceived cosmodrama which is essentially a dramatic monologue by Sun Ra in which he outlines the paths toward omniversal perfection. The Arkestra itself becomes the musical foil for Pharonic wisdom and cosmic insight." --Spencer R. Weston
SUN RA- INTERSTELLER LOW WAYS LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Originally titled Rocket Number Nine. Tracklisting: Onward, Somewhere in Space, Interplanetary Music, Interstellar Low Ways, Space Loneliness, Space Aura, Rocket Number Nine Take off for the Planet Venus. Recorded at various locations, Chicago, late 1960.
SUN RA- WHEN SUN COMES OUT LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Circe, The Nile, Brazilian Sun, We Travel the Spaceways, Calling Planet Earth, Dancing Shadows, The Rainmaker, When Sun Comes Out. First two tracks probably made during the same session at the Choreographers' Workshop, late 1962 or 1963. Remaining tracks recorded during different sessions around the same period. The master tape of side B is in stereo; all known pressings of the album are in mono, however. The master tape also includes a rejected take of an unidentified piece at the beginning. In addition, three pieces were recorded backwards (!) on the master used by Evidence.
SUN RA- SUPER-SONIC JAZZ LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Retitled Super Sonic Sounds on Impulse. Tracklisting: India, Sunology, Advice to Medics, Super Blonde, Soft Talk, Sunology, part II, Kingdom of Not, Portrait of the Living Sky, Blues at Midnight, El is a Sound of Joy, Springtime in Chicago, Medicine for a Nightmare. Recorded RCA Studios, Chicago, 1956.
SUN RA- THE NUBIANS OF PLUTONIA LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Originally titled The Lady With the Golden Stockings. Tracklisting: Plutonian Nights, The Lady with the Golden Stockings (The Golden Lady), Star Time, Nubia, Africa, Watusa, Aiethopia. All from various clubs and rehearsal rooms, Chicago, 1958-1959.
SUN RA- ANGELS AND DEMONS AT PLAY LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Recorded between between 1963 and 1967. Tracklisting: Tiny Pyramids, Between Two Worlds, Music from the World Tomorrow, Angels and Demons at Play, Urnack, Medicine for a Nightmare, A Call for All Demons, Demon's Lullaby.
SUN RA & HIS MYTH SCIENCE ARKESTRA- COSMIC TONES FOR MENTAL THERAPY LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: And Otherness, Thither and Yon, Adventure-Equation, Moon Dance, Voice of Space. The first two pieces were recorded by Tommy Hunter at the Choreographers' Workshop, New York City, 1963. The last three were recorded at the Tip Top Club, Brooklyn, 1963. 'Moon Dance' was recorded at a joint in Brooklyn called the Tip Top Club, where Hunter was playing in Sarah McLawler's organ trio. Sun Ra and company came in at 10 AM and played for several hours. I suspect that 'Adventure-Equation' and 'Voice of Space' were also recorded at the Tip Top. Ra is not known to have had access to a Hammond organ elsewhere, and although the recording quality is a little better on these pieces, the tapes are still mono, Hunter may have moved his microphones around, and the echo would cover up some of the faults anyway. Note the background talking on 'Moon Dance' and how it carries over into the beginning of 'Voice of Space'. Note whispers at beginning of 'Adventure-Equation'. Note the phone ringing around 4:00 and 7:50 into 'Adventure-Equation'.
SUN RA- WE TRAVEL THE SPACE WAYS LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Interplanetary Music, Eve, We Travel the Spaceways, Tapestry from an Asteroid, Space Loneliness, New Horizons, Velvet. Recorded at "El Saturn Studio" (meaning some club or rehearsal room), Chicago, around 1959.
SUN RA- STRANGE STRINGS LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Worlds Approaching, Strange Strings featuring vocal by Arthur Jenkins, Strange Strings featuring lightning drum. Recorded in New York, probably 1966. A very uncommon Sun Ra LP, originally issued on Thoth (a Saturn-subsidiary?) in '66 or '67. A concept album of sorts, dealing with musicians playing unfamiliar instruments ("Chinese lutes, moon-guitars, mandolin, bass, koto," according to Tam Fiofori). "It is a piece of astonishing variety...Sun Ra here succeeds in creating perhaps the most completely improvised but organic piece in the history of jazz, with no prepared rhythmic, melodic or harmonic material, performed by players on instruments foreign to them." -- John Szwed.
SUN RA- ATLANTIS LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Rehearsal, possibly at Sun Studios, New York 1967-1969. Tracklisting: Mu, Lemuria, Yucatan, Yucatan, Bimini, Atlantis.
SUN RA- HOLIDAY FOR SOUL DANCE LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: But Not for Me, Day by Day, Holiday for Strings, Dorothy's Dance, Early Autumn, I Loves You Porgy, Body and Soul, Keep Your Sunny Side Up. Hall Recording Co., Chicago, late 1960, except Early Autumn, which was made at the Wonder Inn around the same time.
SUN RA- MONORAILS AND SATELLITES LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Space Towers, Cogitation, Skylight, The Alter Destiny, Easy Street, Blue Differentials, Monorails and Satellites, The Galaxy Way. Recorded at Sun Studios, New York 1966 (a home recording).
SUN RA- SOUND SUN PLEASURE!! LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: 'Round Midnight, You Never Told Me That You Care, Hour of Parting, Back In Your Own Backyard, Enlightenment (taken from Jazz in Silhouette), I Could Have Danced All Night. Recorded by Alton Abraham, Chicago, 1958. Also seems to be a studio recording. Not the same session as Jazz in Silhouette.
SUN RA- THE NIGHT OF THE PURPLE MOON LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Sun-Earth Rock, The All of Everything, Impromptu Festival, Blue Soul, Narrative, Outside the Time Zone, The Night of the Purple Moon, A Bird's Eye View of Man's World, 21st Century Romance, Dance of the Living Image, Love in Outer Space. Probably recorded in New York 1970. Small grouping of Sun Ra (Moog synthesizers, Roksichord), John Gilmore (sax, perc.), Danny Davis (sax, clarinet), Stafford James (bass).
SUN RA- MY BROTHER THE WIND VOL. II LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Somewhere Else, Contrast, The Wind Speaks, Sun Thoughts, Journey to the Stars, World of the Myth "I", The DesignQCosmos II, Otherness Blue, Somebody Else's Idea (Somebody Else's World), Pleasant Twilight, Walking on the Moon. Recorded in New York or Philadelphia 1969.The session tapes also include a rejected version of an unidentified composition.
SUN RA- BAD AND BEAUTIFUL LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… All recorded at the Choreographers' Workshop, New York, November or December 1961. Tracklisting: The Bad and the Beautiful, Ankh, Just in Time, Search Light Blues, Exotic Two, On the Blue Side, And This is My Beloved. A tape of these sessions was sold to Alan Bates of Black Lion/Freedom records (probably in 1970). It also included an incomplete, untitled piano and bass duet and an incomplete title featuring piano and percussion.
SUN RA- MAGIC CITY LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: The Magic City, The Shadow World, Abstract Eye, Abstract "I". Recorded at Rehearsal, New York City, around 9/24/65 and Live at Olatunji's loft, New York, spring 1965.
SUN RA- OTHER PLANES OF THERE LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Tracklisting: Other Planes of There, Sound Spectra, Spec Sket, Sketch, Pleasure, Spiral Galaxy. Recorded at Choreographers' Workshop, New York, 1964. 'Spiral Galaxy' is from a different session than the other three tracks. Probably recorded by Tommy Hunter.
SUN RA- ART FORMS OF DIMENSIONS TOMORROW LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Classic Chicago Saturn release, issued in 1965, recorded at the Choreographers' Workshop, all but the last two tracks in the basement (where Ra liked the piano sound). Recorded in New York 1961/1962. Tracklisting: Cluster of Galaxies, Solar Drums , The Outer Heavens, Infinity of the Universe, Lights on a Satellite, Kosmos in Blue. Featuring: "Cluster of Galaxies", "Ankh", "Solar Drums", "The Outer Heavens", "Infinity of the Universe", "Lights on a Satellite", "Kosmos In Blue". With futuristic space interludes that are mindblowing... "This music, performed by a jazz band in the early 1960's, predates Syd Barrett, and occurred long before Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditations. But you will swear you are listening to a lost Kraut/psych classic inspired by both of these. 'Solar Drums' is everyone in the band grabbing a percussion instrument except for the man behind the recording desk, who plunges everyone into a swirl of echo until they tip and tremble off each other luminescently, plinking brightly in the dark...one of the most amazing documents of Sun Ra's foresight. In these two recordings he anticipated - created? - psychedelic music." -- Happy Dog Potatohead.
SUN RA- PLANET EARTH LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Featuring: "Cluster of Galaxies", "Ankh", "Solar Drums", "The Outer Heavens", "Infinity of the Universe", "Lights on a Satellite", "Kosmos In Blue".
SUN RA- FATE IN A PLEASANT MOOD LP (saturn, usa)
*shop favorite restocked… Hall Recording Co. and rehearsals, Chicago late 1960-early 1961. Tracklisting: The Others in their World , Space Mates, Lights of a Satellite, Distant Stars, Kingdom of Thunder, Fate in a Pleasant Mood, Ankhnaton.
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