It's that time of year again when the windows are finally open, the breeze is blowing pollen into house, and the sweet sound of fuzzy warbles echoes through air. In honor of that, I'm doing an all vinyl list this week. All but on of these are albums I've bought in the last few weeks. Some I've already owned on CD for many years, others were new to my ears. Lots of classic rock/ folk on here, and nothing from the last ten years, but as they say, everything old is new again. Enjoy.
Mountain - Climbing: One of those records I just took a chance on, knowing very little about what the band sounded like. After catching a snippet of a song the other week, I remembered having seen this record used in the local vintage record store. I picked it up on my next trip and it's much heavier than I had always assumed. Pretty fantastic hard blues, and had it not been for Led Zeppelin, I think this album would be more widely discussed as one of the great early heavy rock album. It reminds of Buffalo's Volcanic Rock album.
Iggy and The Stooges - Metallic K.O.: Released in 1977, this concert was the band's final performance (before reforming this past decade). Though I had the remastered double CD of this, I still had to pick up the original vinyl when I saw it. The band is all raw energy, as always, but what makes this recording a must-have is the way Iggy antagonizes the crowd throughout as they pelt the stage with beer bottles. The entire thing is electric from the moment it begins to the moment where you hear the bottle break on Iggy's head...hence the title of the record. Legendary.
Leonard Cohen - Songs From a Room: This is the Montreal poet/ songwriter's second album, released in 1969 and includes some of his best known songs such as "Bird on a Wire," and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes." In my opinion, this is his most complete album in that it feels like an album rather than a collection of songs. I absolutely love this record and was very excited to find an original pressing on vinyl.
The Mamas & The Papas - Deliver: After their breakout debut in 1966, the folk foursome released two more albums in the next year, including this, their third, in 1967. As a result this album may suffer a little from fatigue and a shrinking library of fresh songs to chose from. That said, there are still some amazing tracks on this album, especially the amazing "Creeque Alley." Very few folk bands have had the unique dynamic of The Mamas & The Papas, or the wonderful harmonies.
Uncle Tupelo - March 16-20, 1992: The legendary alt-country band that would eventually break into Son Volt and Wilco, recorded this all acoustic album in 1992. Back in college, this was actually my introduction to the band, but I never owned it. On Record Store Day, I picked up the 180gram reissue and have been loving the down home country feel once again. "Warfare," "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down," "Lilli Schull," and "Fatal Wound" are stand out tracks among an album without a weak song.
Okkervil River - Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See: This is the Austin indie folk band's 2002 debut and one of the only albums of theirs that I didn't own. So when I saw this at the store on Record Store Day, I had to pick it up. A raw sound compared to what they will eventually evolve into, but there's a beauty in the fragile way it holds together. There definitely feels like a Saddle Creek influence here, along with a steady intrusion of Drag City.
Tim Buckley - Blue Afternoon: This is the singer/ songwriter's fourth album released in 1969, and like his others, it's a masterpiece of psychedelic folk. One of the pivotal aspects of Tim's music is how he's consistently a few years ahead of his time. He really ushers in the sound of '70s folk, capturing a deep sadness to his music that won't reach the mainstream until after the end of the Summer of Love. "Happy Time," "Chase the Blues Away," and "The River," are real stand out tracks for me.
The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads: This 1965 classic is one of the band's break-out releases and includes the mega hit "Satisfaction". It also includes a ton of Jagger/ Richards penned songs that really signal a sea change in the band's direction to come. "The Under Assistant West Coast Promotional Man," "Play with Fire," and "The Spider and the Fly" show the Stones moving toward the subversive icons that they would become in the second half of the '60s and early '70s. A fantastic record and so happy I found it in Mono.