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Lou Rawls, Come On In, Mister Blues, 1969 on Pickwick/33

One has to be careful about some of these discount releases on Pickwick/33 – they were a discount label for a reason, offering cheap compilations of previously released…

Def Leppard, Pyromania, 1983 on Mercury

For me this is one of those albums I loved as a 13 year old, then outgrew for many years (aka thought I was too cool for something…

13th Floor Elevators, Flivver, 1988 on World Productions of Compact Music

I first heard Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators on fourth or fifth generation tape copies from friends in the 80s, but didn’t really come to appreciate…

Daryl Hall and John Oates, Private Eyes, 1981 on RCA

I thought of this as an early Hall & Oates record, until I checked out their discography, which goes back to 1972’s Whole Oats. Turns out it is…

Various Artists, Big Hits of Mid-America Volume Three, 1980 on Twin/Tone

Technically the first version of this 2xLP set came out in 1979, but my pressing is from 1980. Twin/Tone was concerned about the Yipes’ track “The Ballad Of…

The Cure, Boys Don’t Cry, 1980 on PVC/Fiction

Fiction was the UK label, PVC the US label (a sublabel of Passport Records). This was really a compilation album for the US market, drawing eight tracks from…

The Suburbs, In Combo, 1980 on Twin/Tone

The debut album from Minneapolis band The Suburbs. Twin/Tone’s catalog (in 1984) described it thusly: Inspired, frenetic, sometimes absurb, the Suburbs’ debut LP is a rocker. Considerably more…

Tom Tom Club, The Man With The 4-Way Hips (12″ Single), 1983 on Sire

Tom Tom Club, of course, were Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz from Talking Heads. It started as a side project while Talking Heads were still active, but has…

Parliament, The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, 1976 on Casablanca

One of my rules of thumb is that any 70s Parliament or Funkadelic vinyl I find that is in reasonable shape and not too expense I just buy….

Willie Nelson & Webb Pierce, In the Jailhouse Now, 1982 on Columbia

i love a good Willie Nelson tribute album or duet album: San Antonio Rose with Ray Price, For the Good Times (a tribute to Price), the tribute album…

Bruce Cockburn, Circles in the Stream, 1977 on True North

I came to Cockburn through the activist tours of the 80s and his hit “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” from Stealing Fire. But he had a decades…

The Housemartins, The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death, 1987 on Elektra

On this record the Housemartins were Norman Cook, Dave Hemingway, Stan Cullimore, Pete Wingfield, and P.D. (Paul) Heaton. Heaton & Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South,…

Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Session, 1988 on RCA

I could have (and would have) sworn this album was called The Trinity Sessions, plural, but I would have been wrong: it’s singular. (The session was recorded at…

Gary Numan, The Pleasure Principle, 1979 on ATCO/Beggars Banquet

The cover and title echo back to Magritte’s 1937 painting Le Principe du Plaisir. Most people know this album for the track “Cars” but it’s really a more…

David Bowie, Diamond Dogs, 1974 on RCA Victor

Bowie’s eighth studio album, recorded following the disbanding of the Spiders from Mars, working (again) with producer Tony Visconti. The recording band includes Tony Newman and Aynsley Dunbar…

Leon Russell, Leon Russell and the Shelter People, 1971 on Shelter Records

There’s been a resurgence of interest in Leon Russell lately, with a tribute album (A Song For Leon) and a biography (Leon Russell: The Master of Space and…

Ry Cooder, Boomer’s Story, 1972 on Reprise

I love Ry Cooder’s career – so many different threads, all of which are wonderful. This was his third studio album in a roots/Americana/blues tradition. Randy Newman guests…

Fugees, The Score, 1996 on Columbia / Ruffhouse

Very hard to find original pressings of this – my copy is a 2021 reissue. This is an absolute must have, alongside The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which…

Bonnie Raitt, Takin My Time, 1973 on Warner Bros

Raitt’s third full length album, produced by John Hall. Great versions of Mose Allison’s “Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy” and Jackson Browne’s “I Thought I was a Child.” Guests include…

The Chesterfield Kings, The Berlin Wall of Sound, 1990 on Mirror Records

The Chesterfield Kings were a garage-rock band from Rochester NY fronted by Greg Prevost. i randomly found a single of theirs in the mid-eighties (“She Told Me Lies”)…