Category Particular platters

MASTERS OF UNREALITY

Black Sabbath’s third LP, released in July 1971, is not exactly a long-player. Clocking in at thirty-four minutes, the follow-up to 1970’s breakthrough Paranoid does not wear out its welcome. Overlooking the two brief instrumental pieces you are left with a six song record that opens with a love song to grass and closes with […]

1971, SINGER SONGWRITERS #1

The early 1970s saw the emergence of the singer-songwriter as an acoustic force in popular music. If you played something—commonly piano or guitar—and wrote your own material, why bother with a band? All that negotiating and compromise, pah! Do your own thing, (wo)man. Do it yourself. So albums boasting a single person’s name on the […]

AUTUMN 1971, MELBOURNE

Typing the title, a southern hemisphere companion to the previous post, I found myself wondering what was going on for me during autumn of that year. Not much, really. I was doing more-or-less exactly what my son is doing fifty years later: plodding through Year 10 in a suburban Melbourne secondary school. He’s sitting behind […]

CHILLED BUT WARM

Thunder rumbled around the pre-dawn purple, but burrowing under the doona I got another hour’s sleep. Maybe more a doze. When I crawled out it was light; brighter than expected given the vague sleep-penetrating sounds of heavy rain earlier. The morning blind raising ritual let in more light and more weather. The rain wasn’t rain, […]

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 […]

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 […]

HAVE SPACESUIT—WILL TRAVEL

Ordering a book from the dreaded ‘Big River’ company, I was lured by the ‘on your list’ bait and, of course, bit. The item was a CD I’d removed from an order months ago, something that had caught my attention but not fully hooked me in. On a whim, I added it to the cart; […]

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 […]

DO ANDROIDS DREAM?

Is Vangelis the Greek Jean-Michel Jarre? Is Jean-Michel the French Klaus Schulze? Is all European synthesiser music the same? If you answered ‘No’ to all three questions, go to the top of the class. Vangelis O. Papathanassiou was born in the town of Agria some 120 km north of Athens as the seagull flies, or […]