I have no doubt, dear readers, that you will have noticed the jagged 1537-shaped hole in your lives over the last 72 hours – I hope you haven’t found it a completely ‘unendurable shit-awful MF-ing purgatory’ to quote one of my regulars*, or indeed be moved to the same extremes as another devotee of mine who vowed to ‘politically and economically destabilise one nation in the developing world every three hours until you post again’**.
My family took a well-deserved break in Bath this weekend, elegant Roman and Georgian city and setting for chunks of my favourite Jane Austen novels^. Now elegant and tasteful are just two of my middle names and so I fitted right in straight away, of course. We did lots of sight-seeing, shopping and walking, as well as catching the new Bond movie on the day it came out. But you’re not here for that are you? you’re here for more red-hot, uncensored, sleeveless vinyl action.
Well, I have to say it was tough to get any real action in Bath – the only record shop there is a HMV, they do vinyl now but, meh! However yesterday, on a walk out of town to the lovely Prior Park Landscape Garden I stumbled across a great charity shop. I swear I was just going to walk past, when my 1537 spider senses tingled and I dived in to find a huge rack of vinyl loveliness, all the usual charity shop suspects – James Last, Abba, Status Quo, Stylistics, Acker Bilk, 10cc were represented in full effect, but a whole load of interesting jazz, folk and pop stuff too. Obviously, I turned my back on all that tasteful stuff and plumped for these four beauties instead, all in absolutely mint condition, I was inspired:
Inspired by Mr Connection’s Antipodean obsession with an LP named after a hill on the Welsh borders I grabbed Mike Oldfield Hergest Ridge, initial plays are very favourable too.
Next, inspired by the great cover and the fact that my dad used to sing ‘Lumberjack’ to me when I was little, I plumped for Johnny Cash Ride This Train his 1960 travelogue through his homeland, which straddles that (railroad) line between corny and momentous perfectly for me.
My next inspiration stemmed from my own dumb completist tendencies and I plumped for techno/electro/thingy-o pioneer Bomb The Bass Into The Dragon, initial plays and a shout of ‘what’s that crap you’re playing?’ from Mrs 1537 aren’t very promising, but hey, I love his other stuff, maybe it’ll be a grower.
Last up, inspired by my tribal love of all things metal I grabbed the only LP there that you could really describe as metal, I mean sure Acker Bilk rocks but he never played a flying V clarinet to my knowledge. So I jumped on the 1980 NWOBHM compilation LP Metal For Muthas II, which is identical in every respect to the ground-breaking, musically great first volume, except for the ground-breaking great music. First listen gives me a pair of tracks I like, Trespass ‘One of These Days’ and ‘Storm Child’ particularly.
So I’m happy, overall, with my finds.
On a side note I’m about half way through this year’s Booker prize-winning novel Marlon James A Brief History Of Seven Killings. It’s relevant here because it is set in Jamaica 1976 and charts the events leading up to the shooting of Bob Marley two days before the famous Smile Jamaica Concert. It is at once simultaneously one of the most poetic, yet heart-wrenchingly, viscerally violent novels I have ever read/am reading. Totally recommended reading, as long as you have the stomach for it.
How cool is my new Lego bass-playing Frankenstein figure?! Check out the padlock, the patch on the back of his jacket too!!
I’ve just noticed 600 up next – hmm, I need a special record to review for that milestone.
599 Down (still).
*Mr B Obama, Washington. Cheers bud – I’ll get back to you with those Dream Theatre and Annihilator MP3s.
**that wacky dude, Mr V Putin; you one crazy cat, and yes, I promise, I’ll be back with that Harsh Toke LP review I’ve been promising you for ages now.
^and thus QED my favourite novels, period.