70 FROM ’70 — INTERIM REPORT

My first computer-based list of albums was created on an Apple Classic. Filemaker Pro was the program, as I recall. Back then I insisted on spelling it programme. Queen’s English. The entire collection was housed in a three shelf unit made from a cut down wardrobe. When I took to the robe with a circular saw I had no idea it was made of hardwood. Old, tough hardwood. After ten minutes in I’d cut through about ten inches of wood and smoke was whisping around the blade. 

At the time the vinyl count was probably five hundred records. Didn’t need dedicated storage for the CDs—they shared a couple of shelves with the music books. So it was the task of a few winter evenings to tap the entire collection into the little computer and save it on a floppy disc. The earliest print-outs were on perforated paper where you had to gently tear off the side strips. Printing a new version happened quite regularly because the document did not require three major deciduous forests worth of paper, back then. It’s over twenty years since there’s been a hard copy; I wish I’d kept one from the late 80s.

 

Gathering data for the spreadsheet was easy. There was the album cover and a couple of key books. That was it. It was a golden age when my eyes were good enough to read the small print on record labels and the back cover of an LP. If information was missing it stayed missing… or you took a guess. Some of the odd and inconsistent decisions made all those years ago still exist in the current catalogue because it is essentially the same document, translated from computer to computer and export from one spreadsheet to another. An archeological record of records.

Of course I know that there are mistakes and inaccuracies in the catalogue. When I encounter them and have time, they get fixed. But there has never been an accuracy audit and for the entries made over thirty years ago, I just don’t see the detail. It’s like the carpet in your family home; you walk on it without seeing.

OK, you observe, this fellow was obsessive decades ago and is probably the same today. So what? The key word in the previous paragraph is mistakes. Inaccuracies. The two key words are mistakes and inaccuracies. Mistakes, inaccuracies and unreliable data. Amongst the key issues are… 

When you commit to a large project like, say, 70 Albums From 1970 (which began here), it’s worthwhile making sure your list consists of items actually released in 1970. Not 1969 or 1971: One Nine Seven Oh.

Oh. 

That was my response when I came to put the final few albums into Part Three of the series. I discovered no less than three albums were miss-assigned. I’m not going to embarrass myself by revealing which ones because I’d lose all respect and dignity. But it does mean that some serious revisions are needed before the next instalment can go to press.

On the bright side, I’ve refreshed my aural memory of several albums that were passed over in the first few runs. Below are two lesser known releases from 1970 that did not make the cut for the final countdown, but could have.

T2It’ll All Work Out In Boomland

Early this century, the Decca Record Company released a spiffing three CD set of ‘underground’ music from the progressive rock scene (1967—1975). It’s a fabulous box that placed music I already knew next to bands either entirely new to me or more names than mates. One of the former was T2, a heavy prog trio from England who released just this one album at the time. And what a powerful album! Despite the unexceptional vocals, T2 deliver a sweeping landscape of early heavy-prog features, including blues-rock jams punctuated with fiery guitar, thoughtfully structured long pieces (“Morning” occupies the entire second side) and, er, heaviness. Fans of Atomic Rooster would find much to enjoy here, methinks.

TEN WHEEL DRIVEBrief Replies

Big brass rock bands were, um, big in the late 60s and early 70s. Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago spring immediately to mind. New York based Ten Wheel Drive were another sizeable unit: ten players with a powerful horn section that included highly respected sax player Dave Liebman. These are bluesy, funky rock arrangements with lots of jazz influences. It took me ages to get into Brief Replies as I didn’t respond positively to the first track, “Morning much better”. Too hasty by half. A couple of things make this album special. Firstly, the powerful vocals of Genya Ravan (who also blows a mean harp) lift this way above most ‘chick singer’ records of the period. Ravan was versatile. On “Come live with me” she sounds like nothing so much as a sexy, jazz-soaked Suzi Quatro, while on “Stay with me” there is plenty of Joplinesque wailing… except I reckon Genya had a greater range and more vocal control. The other strength of the LP is that the arrangements don’t meander; things are kept tight and tidy—eight songs in thirty-eight minutes. Fans of BS&T and Janis should check this one out.

70 FROM ’70 — PART 3 (#30 —> #21) will appear soon.

There may be minor disruptions of service while Vinyl Connection moves house, including the entire music collection. Why didn’t I collect beer coasters?

29 comments

  1. I’ve got that Decca release, Legends Of A Mind. Lovely set and package.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ain’t it just? Don’t know about you Paul, but I sometimes wonder about the value of that shelf full of compilation CDs… but not that particular one!

      Like

  2. pinklightsabre · · Reply

    Hey! We’re doing Piper at the Gates…next week. Join us! Great piece, and great peace to you and yours old friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would love to Bill. And at this stage I don’t have a client at noon on Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        Sweet! Hold that time please! Would love to see and hear from you again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am really impressed by the CD and vinyl collection in your apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Have to move it all next week, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good luck, Bruce! There is some magic and agony in beginnings.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Guy gesagt, Herr HF

          Like

  4. Good luck with your move, Bruce! I like the autumnal colors in your current header. I smiled when I saw Osibisa included among the selections. We should do another Art On Your Sleeve post when the time is right… : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bet, JDB. And thanks.

      Like

  5. Obsolete technology? Spreadsheets? Album/artist lists? You know your audience, Bruce!
    Hope the move goes (&/or is going / went) well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hee he. Music loving Science Teachers. It’s a niche market but one I’m proud to connect with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Moving house?! Jesus. The very thought makes me sweat. Beer mats, definitely a better collection option.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are Joe. But it’s too late, baby, it’s too late.
      And you know the really fun part? This is the return home. I moved it all single-handed 5 months ago before renos began. Lucky I’m so young and–as they say in these parts–fit as a Mallee bull.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh dear, moving. One of the traumas of life. You might revise what those “golden days” really are after the move — reading album information might go down a notch! 🙂 Great fun reading about your catalog evolution, Bruce. As a retired librarian, I can vouch for inaccuracies in bibliographic records. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciate the professional endorsement, Marty! What really surprises me is that (a) there are so many mistakes, eg: Fireball 1977??, and (b) Some of them are so obvious Blind Freddy could have picked it. eg: (the one I was hoping no-one would pick up) I included Blind Faith in an earlier instalment of this series. That iconic, classic album came out in 1969. Sigh.

      Like

  8. There’s a ‘thing’ going around on facebook now where people post the ten albums that most influenced their taste in music. Have you done this? It seems like a good post for you in the future.I looked at my list and noticed that 60% of my albums are punk, and the most recent album is 1999. I’m a musical has-been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps a has-been Jeff, but still a good decade ahead of me! I’m just watching the Iggy Pop produced series ‘Punk’. Great stuff.

      Yes, I’ve seen that album-cover chain. I proposed a more reasonable and sensible quota – a hundred albums in a hundred days – but didn’t get much traction.
      Hope you are staying safe and well, Mr C.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found ten to be pretty limited and every day I say “ what about ______?” I’ll check out that iggy pop movie. Sounds right up my alley.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s called ‘Punk’ and it is a 4 part TV series, Jeff. I’ve watched the first two so far – excellent.

          Like

  9. I’d help you move but you’d have to check my pockets after for albums I accidentally forgot were there.
    You have me checking out 10 Wheel. I’m as sucker for things I missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d welcome your presence, CB. And don’t worry, I have a sophisticated sensor system at all the exits. Just don’t wear your vinyl trousers.

      Like

      1. I’m a pretty good helper once I get going. Put on some good tunes, feed me some good conversation, enjoy a meal after the works done. I’m in.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds great! Beer or wine?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Both please or a combo Bwine. Might be a good idea to keep me off of that until the move is completed.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. T2? New to me. And that Boomland album is fabulous! Even better, the download cost me just £2.99!! This is a VE Day anniversary I won’t forget in a hurry … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great Phil, at every level!

      Like

Comments and responses welcome for all posts: present or past. Please join in!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: