Category b) Seventies [1970 – 1979]

FEBRUARY 1971 — PART ONE

We’re running late, by about two months, so let’s get into it. * FEBRUARY 1971 ALBUM RELEASES Simply the most infectious collection of straight-ahead electric boogie that you’ll ever hear. John Lee was a savvy veteran by the early 1970s, he’d witnessed the surge in interest following the British blues boom of the early 1960s […]

JANUARY 1971 — THREE LATE ARRIVALS

It is tempting to believe that the internet knows everything about everything. When it came to finding release dates for Vinyl Connections bushel of 1971 albums, it became clear that the www is not as all-knowing as you think. Sure, I discovered a number of errors in the VC spreadsheet, mostly albums where I had […]

JUTE THE OBSCURE

Rare records with eye-watering price tags do not always live up to their reputation nor their scarcity-inflated value. Although Vinyl Connection does not own a vinyl copy of the one and only Kahvas Jute album Wide Open, the excellent Aztec Music re-issue is playing as I write. Thus it can be loudly proclaimed: this is […]

JANUARY 1971—50 YEARS AND TWO MONTHS AGO

Even while the 70 FROM ’70 finalists were still being mentally debated by your correspondent, lists were being compiled and assessments made for the following year. This year, in fact. The one in which we are currently deep into March and sniffing the yellow-brown air of autumnal decline. Where is the spring in Vinyl Connection’s […]

SPLIT DECISION

Veteran British blues-rockers Groundhogs deserve respect. They were there, in one form or another, from the early days of the UK blues explosion, taking their name from a John Lee Hooker song (‘Ground Hog Blues’) and backing the legend on his mid-60s visit to old Londinium. After a debut album in 1968 showed them in […]

EUROPE ENDLESS

Teaching English at the Volkshochschule Wiesbaden was one of the highlights of my time in Germany. The Head of the Language Department seemed delighted to have someone who actually had a teaching qualification. Though this was correct in principal (I did indeed have a Bachelor of Education) I’d never actually taught in schools nor practiced […]

NOW HE SINGS

If I delay writing, I’ll stall for sure. Too much information will kill the personal resonance. What do I do with this Chick-shaped hole? Attempting to cover a sixty year career is daunting. … a few of the thoughts tumbling through the Vinyl Connection brain box as the news of Chick Corea’s death hits home. […]

ALL AT SEA

King Crimson, captained by the redoubtable Robert Fripp for well over half a century, have never been timid about re-jigging the rigging and giving the band’s back catalogue a lick of varnish. As time has passed, the offerings—aimed squarely at cashed-up Boomers—have become more lavish. But unlike some artists (or their estates… not looking at […]

PINING FOR THE FJORDS

Rockin’ All Over The World — #8 Vikings, fjords, Slartibartfast, and homesick parrots. Such are the images springing to mind when Norway comes up in conversation. But did you know it has a reigning King and a conservative female Prime Minister? That the Norse people invented Thor before Marvel comics? Most of the population of […]

I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS YOUNG (JUST)

My niece is in the midst of her end-of-high school exams. She’s feeling pretty stressed, as can be imagined. Who doesn’t have clammy-palmed memories of the final secondary school tests? As I vaguely recall—and as vaguely recalled in a much earlier post about exams, Deborah Roberts and Suzi Quatro—my stress levels were variable, ranging from […]