Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OLD VINYL

The redoubtable Stu Savory has come up with an interesting idea for a Blog-Meme (remember those?) involving old vinyl LP’s.

You know what those are, don’tcha? Vinyl “long playing” (LP) records are what the primitives of the mid-twentieth century used as storage media for analog sound files. They consisted of thin molded vinyl discs with tiny grooves in which were embedded the vibratory signatures of sounds. Those sounds could be reproduced with remarkable faithfulness by placing the record on a turntable rotating at a carefully controlled 33⅓ RPM and placing a diamond-tipped needle in the groove. Electrical transducers would capture the resulting vibrations and feed them into an electronic amplifier. The compact digital audio disc, appearing in the early 1980’s, eventually superseded the LP record... but there are plenty of us Old Goats who have a metric buttload of old vinyl discs stashed away.

Here’s how the meme works:
  1. Dig out one of your favorite old vinyl LP’s and listen to it. The LP must be at least 30 years old.

  2. Put up a blogpost with a scan/photo of the cover and a short review of your favorite track on the LP. Include a link back to this post and a copy of the meme rules.

  3. If possible, embed or link to a YouTube video of the artist(s) performing, preferably of the same vintage.

  4. Mail Stu a permalink to your blog entry. He may link back to you in the comments.

  5. Repeat every week for the foreseeable future. (Stu does this on Sunday, but I’m not quite as picky about the day of the week.)
As for my Old Vinyl of the week, I had a devil of a time finding something... mainly because I have over 350 vinyl LP’s in the Basement d’Elisson, most of which are well over 30 years old. But I (of course) managed to find something.

Stand Up

Here’s Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, their second album, vintage 1969. I discovered it - and Tull - a few months after its release when I was a college freshman. I still enjoy it, all these years later.

The LP jacket was designed by noted woodcut artist James Grashow and featured a cutout of the band that stood up (get it?) when you opened the album jacket. It is considered a collector’s item now.

Stand Up pop-up jacket

Martin Barre’s replacing Tull’s original guitarist Mick Abrahams signaled a shift in the group’s sound away from the blues and towards progressive rock, more in tune with group leader Ian Anderson’s thinking. It’s an arc that is very evident when you listen to Tull’s first three albums in sequence: This Was (1968), Stand Up (1969), and Benefit (1970). Stand Up represents the best of both worlds, a hard rock sound that still retains a bluesy, even jazzy tone.

There are several songs from this disc that, at one time or another, have bubbled up as favorites of mine, but “We Used To Know” - at least in my mind - is the standout track, with its minor key and plaintive lyrics:

Nights of winter turn me cold -
Fears of dying, getting old.
We ran the race and the race was won
By running slowly...


Give it a listen and a look-see if you get a chance. [Note: If you watch the YouTube video at the link, fast-forward three minutes to skip a lot of extraneous noise and waiting around.]

There are other notable songs on Stand Up. “Bourée,” a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, was given a jazzy rendition in the video below:



As a side note, it turns out that JoAnn, one of our dearest friends, is actually a first cousin to Glenn Cornick, the bassist in the video above (and on Tull’s first three albums). How ’bout dat?

JoAnn and SWMBO
“Tull, schmull. Where da wine at?” JoAnn and SWMBO.

5 comments:

Richard said...

Heh, now that I have a USB turntable hooked up I might just have to give this one a go.

BobG said...

I have that album, along with all the rest of theirs up to and including Thick As A Brick; they're still one of my favorite groups from that time period.

Houston Steve said...

I have a copy of "With Love, Bobby" a/k/a "The Scrapbook Album", by Bobby Sherman, that still has the unsealed cellophane wrapper on it. Just so you know, it is #78,672 on Amazon's best seller list. Who could ever forget, "Julie, Do You Love Me?" My ownership thereof is a testament to what happened when you forgot to return the Columbia Record Club's "No Thanks" card for the monthly selection. The fact that it is still sealed up and has therefore never been played, is a testament to the fact that I had, and still have, some level of dignity.

Yabu said...

I would love to play in this game, but, unfortunately, all of my "records" were destroyed in a fire in 1982. I had hundreds.

I had that same Tull album. Damn!

Mistress of Sarcasm said...

That's always been my favorite Jethro Tull song too.