Tony Coulter here, with another batch of recent vinyl finds, topped off, as always, with something for the eyes -- in this case, a few of my favorite record jackets.
Over to you....
The Orange Groove: Crystal Blue Persuasion and Other Sounds of Today (Somerset, 1969)
Let's begin with one of those cash-in, exploitation psych albums featuring a "fake" studio group. This one, unusually, consists mostly of originals -- a few of which are actually quite good. I've given you my favorite cut, "Street King," which has a bit of an "eastern" feel that's somewhat at odds with the "he's a greaser rebel, but I love him" subject matter. The lead vocalist's voice is rather odd, but quite likable once the mind adjusts. A very striking song worthy of any "real" sixties band.
The quiet one at the eye of the storm:
Apple: Lets the Good Times Roll (no label, 1977?)
The group known as Apple hailed originally from Yakima, Washington, and recorded the album at hand in Portland, OR. They were basically your standard-order lounge cover band, and indeed this album consists largely of covers of songs like "Leroy Brown," "I Can See Clearly," and "Get Back' -- plus, of course, the obligatory Elvis medley. As is often the case with this sort of album, one of the few originals is the real winner here: "Mothers," written and sung by Dan Regeimbal. It's a moody, atmospheric tune, nicely accented by wah-wah guitar and very much suited to Regeimbal's crooner vocal stylings.
Sergeant Apple's Lonely Hearts Club Band:
Salon Kitty: Shokubutsu (Fantin Latour, 1984)
Taking a sharp left turn style-wise, I give you next an album I'd actually been looking for for many years. A duo from Osaka, Japan, consisting of Shinichi Shimomura (accordion) and Atsushi Nakayama (pretty much everything else), Salon Kitty make subtle and gorgeous music that reminds me of a mix of early Pascal Comelade and the Japanese band Che-Shizu. Well worth the nearly 20 years I waited for this. Now I suppose all that remains is to see the 1976 sexploitation flick they took their name from.
The Salon Kitties:
??: New Original TV Themes: Green Hornet Theme / Tarzan Theme / The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Theme (Wyncote, 196?)
For a couple of years now, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for anything on the Wyncote label. A budget subsidiary of Cameo Parkway, Wyncote specialized in grade-Z, cash-in exploitation albums, often featuring radically f'ed up audio knock-offs. This particular album, produced by an anonymous batch of studio musicians, is up there in its off-kilteredness, but also gets a strange, addictive groove going. Apologies for the crappy condition of the vinyl.
The monkey from U.N.C.L.E.:
Karol Kerr Lee & Bernie Leighton: Movement Exploration (Kimbo Educational Records, 1970)
Let's close the audio portion of this post with two kiddies albums, both released by Kimbo Educational Records. The first of two songs I've picked out for you is a nifty cover of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western classic, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." I dig the arrangement!
A head in motion:
Karol Kerr Lee & Bernie Leighton: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
JoAnn Seker & George Jones: Rhythmic Parachute Play (Kimbo Educational Records, 1969)
The second Kimbo Educational Records album offered for your consideration is devoted to a phys ed activity I somehow missed out on: playing with parachutes. Set to the tune of Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now Is Love," the cut below is a perfect example of unintentional surrealism.
All hail the mighty mushroom:
Let's close this post with a few of my favorite LP record jackets. In some cases I still own the LP, in other cases I no longer do -- chivalry prevents me from getting more specific.
La Terrifica: Eso Me Conviene (True Love Records, 1984)
Art: Ricardo Rivon
Cesar Castro y Sus Cumbiamberos: s/t (Discos Fuentes, 1981)
Various Artists: Explosive Hits (??, 197?)
Various Artists: Merlin Music Presents... (Merlin Music, 1987)
Gregg: Common / Time (Euphonic Records, 1978)
Art: Joan Wright
Medford Senior High School Choir: The Universal Language (Custom Fidelity, 1973)
Art: Michael Henderson
St. Monica Parish Guitar Group: For Betsy (Musical Question, 197?)
That's it for now. See you in two weeks' time....