The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:39 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:FYI the title . . .

Weirder still is the name of the group. While it appears to be "Stars On 45", even on the label, the same group put out albums which played at 33rpm. On those, it says "Stars On Long Play". So apparently the name of the group was simply "Stars On" and what follows was just an indication of the format.
This is the kind of important stuff I wrestle with as a record seller.

PaleoLiberal
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 2125
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: Madison

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby PaleoLiberal » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:51 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
PaleoLiberal wrote:Were the Monkees real?

They were most definitely real musicians, singers, and songwriters, yes.
But if you're asking if the TV show was a documentary, then no.

I can certainly go into more detail now if you'd like, otherwise just stick around -- I own lots of Monkees and will surely give them a long and loving write-up when I get to the Ms, sometime 'round about 2022, I reckon.


I agree. I did know at least one girl back in the day who was a huge Monkees fan.

Interesting to see perceptions change as to what was or wasn't "real" over the years.

The Beach Boys were considered real, as a singing group. The fact that they mostly used studio musicians didn't matter. They sang their own songs.

In fact, in those days it was assumed the musicians didn't really count as part of a singing group. I gather that the Ed Sullivan show pretty much insisted that the singing groups use the ES musicians, rather than their own musicians, because the Ed Sullivan Show musicians were used to the pressures and challenges of live shows at that venue.

Ed Sullivan even wanted the Beatles to sing along to the house musicians. He was surprised that the Beatles insisted on playing their own instruments. As a test, they taped a live dress rehearsal the night before in front of a live audience of screaming fans. It went so well, not only did Ed Sullivan agree to have the Beatles play their own songs, but he later broadcast the taped rehearsal, since they played different songs on their live show.

The Monkees were considered not "real" by many critics because they were a band put together just for the TV show, rather than a band that grew organically. They were sometimes called the "pre-fab four". Of course, there have been many other bands and singing groups put together by a promoter, before and since. Consider One Direction, for example. Just as "fake" as the Monkees, but a very real group.

Igor
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1911
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:49 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:As for Kansas . . . yeah, not on my rack. They had a few good riffs. Too bad they didn't put them in good songs. :P


That's OK. This is America - you have a right to be wrong. Especially about music.

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:51 pm

Igor wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:As for Kansas . . . yeah, not on my rack. They had a few good riffs. Too bad they didn't put them in good songs. :P


That's OK. This is America - you have a right to be wrong. Especially about music.

Of course, because all music opinions are subjective.
(Or, as I've grown increasingly fond of saying, everyone likes what they likes and that's a-OK with me.)
That said, everything I post that is not music-related is 100% objectively true always and forever.
That's The Wagstaff Promise! (Disclaimer: promise may not be honored.)

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:39 am

ERNIE K-DOE -- Sturdy New Orleans soul grooves make up the 18 cuts on the comp. I have, which collects tracks recorded for the Minit label from 1959-1961 under the guidance of the legendary producer/songwriter/pianist/arranger Allen Toussaint. "Mother-In-Law" was the smash hit and "A Certain Girl" is another well-known fave. I'm pretty fond of "Te-Ta-Te-Ta-Ta" too.

THE KAY-GEES -- Do you like early Kool & The Gang? Then you'll also like The Kay-Gees which featured Kevin Bell, brother of Gang leader Ronald Bell, and their very similar dance funk. All I've got is their 1974 debut Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan and it's a real winner, opening with the killer one-two punch "Get Down" and "Let's Boogie" and featuring plenty more pleasures besides. So stop what you doin' and "Hustle Wit Every Muscle", why doncha?

CHRIS KENNER -- More late-'50s/early '60s New Orleans soul! Kenner is perhaps best known as a songwriter -- he penned "Land Of 1000 Dances", for example, and co-wrote some of Fats Domino's hits -- but he is a truly undervalued singer who I really should explore further. "I Like It Like That" was his the big hit, powered by (again) Allen Toussaint's production and rolling piano, "Sick And Tired" the minor one. My faves are the oft-covered "Something You Got" and the fantastic ballad "Never Reach Perfection".

THE KEYNOTES -- Fairly obscure doo-wop for people who like great doo-wop. I've got a 20-cut compilation that's lots of fun for genre fans. "I Don't Know" is fairly representative but hands-down the best cut here is the galloping train-chugger "In The Evening".

KILLDOZER -- College me couldn't get enough of this but adult me has very little use for it. It really just boils down to no longer being enamored of the ugly, ugly vocals (although I still love a lot of the lyrics.) Not suggesting the reverence these guys still get is in any way undeserved, it just ain't my bag any more. I don't have much on CD, so re-listening after all this time wasn't really unpleasant or anything, and their all-covers collection For Ladies Only still brings a smile to my face both for its ridiculous song selections ("Hush", "Burnin' Love", "One Tin Soldier", "Take The Money And Run", "American Pie", "Funk #49" . . .) and the way they bash through them all as if they were Killdozer originals.

Next up . . . a whole buncha folks/bands filed under King!

PaleoLiberal
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 2125
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: Madison

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:11 am

King's good.

The first rock concert I ever saw was King Crimson. Paid $1.50 for the tickets. I found their rendition of Larks Tongues in Aspic mesmerizing, but it could've been that I was smoking that funny stuff people were passing around.

I found a youtube video from that very concert:


Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 25119
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:22 am

I've seen the three Kings: Freddie, Albert and B.B. (twice). Freddie was my favorite.

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:32 am

Henry Vilas wrote:I've seen the three Kings: Freddie, Albert and B.B. (twice). Freddie was my favorite.

Nice trifecta. All three are represented on my rack, natch, as are the Crimsons.

As a teenager, I once had the opportunity to meet B.B. backstage at a show a friend of mine was working security at but my asshole boss wouldn't let me take a break to go do that. (The theater he was playing was literally one block away from where I worked.) Bosses are the worst!

Igor
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1911
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:00 am

Since you hate Kansas, I spent a full 15 minutes compiling a list of Kansas-related songs that sound less like Kansas than normal. I suspect you will hate them all.

This is the closest I could find to an Archies-sounding song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSk8rg81PGs

These two are from Steve Walsh solo albums:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh32qAGDnmc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2KfXH9Nsjg

This is from their last album for a major label
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDYtC9OqBgQ

This is the first lineup of the band which was much more experimental, and reunited 30 years later.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztKkicjqte4

A Kerry Livgren solo song with Ronnie James Dio singing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Fmh4m3LrI

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:04 am

Sorry, Igor -- I somehow missed the above post when you made it. So I just spent my coffee-time this morning digging through those links and while "hate" is a strong word, I didn't particularly care for any of this. Walsh in other contexts doesn't really help -- he's one of the things I dislike most about Kansas. But even when the songs are OK (or at least have good hooks) the production is so cheeseball I can't get past it. That's the '80s' fault as much as Kansas's but still, I did have to shut some of these down before they ended. Always nice to hear Dio, though, but man, those terrible synths!

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:04 am

ALBERT KING -- I sure hope y'all like blues guitar cuz there's a lot of it coming your way.
While doing some light reading on him before coming here I found it quite interesting there seems to be a pretty big split among those who revere him as a pioneer of tone and string-bending technique and those who find his style almost wholly derivative, mostly of fellow King B.B. (None of these Kings are related, btw. In fact, Albert copped his stage name -- and some critics would say much of his style -- only after B.B. was already quite popular. Al's real name is Nelson, for all you trivia fans.)
Albert was (apparently) one of the first guys to play left-handed without restringing the guitar which accounts for some of his pretty recognizable tone. Personally, I tend to fall into the "he sounds a lot like B.B., only with less to say" camp. Which is not to say I don't think he's a remarkable and very listenable guitarist (and I certainly don't think "being derivative" is automatically an insult when it comes to musical performance) if the blues is your bag. Where listening to a whole lot of him started to drag was that I don't think he's really much more than serviceable as a singer (despite getting his start in gospel groups) and since he was not a prolific songwriter, he's sometimes only as good as his choice of material will allow.
He recorded some of his first sides in the pre-rock early '50s but the handful of cuts I have from that era are pretty unexceptional. He made records for a variety of labels throughout the '60s but never really hit his stride til he hooked up with the fine folks at Stax, where he was blessed with their amazing house band (originally that meant essentially Booker T. and the MGs plus the Mar-Key horns but on the later stuff he's as likely to be backed by The Bar-Kays and/or Isaac Hayes's Movement) and strong songwriters. "Born Under A Bad Sign", the title cut from his first Stax LP, became a rock standard and it's easy to hear why. (That album also features "The Hunter", from which Led Zeppelin copped one of the best sections of their melange "How Many More Times".) Pretty much everything he recorded for Stax -- and I have all the singles, 5 of the 9 LPs he recorded for them, plus outtakes released decades later -- is worth hearing, although Blues For Elvis (yep, it's all Elvis covers) strains too hard to reinvent those songs in a blues context and was easily the weakest of the bunch. I've also got two CDs-worth of stuff he recorded in the late '70s for blues label Tomato which is fine but less interesting than the Stax stuff. (I loves me some Stax, what can I say?)

ANNA KING -- I discovered Anna on a comp. of James Brown-related tracks, where she was teamed with longtime Brown collaborator Bobby Byrd on the fucking amazing single "Baby Baby Baby". So it was a no-brainer for me to pick up her James Brown-produced album from 1964, Back To Soul when it got a CD reissue in 2006. And it's a real corker. Just check out the opening cut, "Make Up Your Mind" and tell me that ain't as soulful as anything you've ever heard. The whole album's pretty great and also features what is easily one of my favorite-ever versions of the much-too-often-covered "Night Time Is The Right Time". Anna only worked with the James Brown Revue for two years (where she had replaced Tammy Montgomery, who would later change her last name to Terrell) before striking out on her own. Unfortunately, despite a stint singing spirituals with Duke Ellington's Orchestra, that never amounted to any further success.

Next up . . . B.B.!

Igor
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1911
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:39 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote: Walsh in other contexts doesn't really help -- he's one of the things I dislike most about Kansas.


That surprises me a bit. As a fan of the band for 40 years or so, I'm very familiar with the complaints about the band - and almost all of them have centered around the songwriting/material. Haven't heard anyone complain about Walsh's vocals ever; but as you have said, to each his own.

Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 10524
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat May 06, 2017 4:36 pm

Sorry for the delay, everybody! I got caught up in a different listening project . . .
See, I am completely out of room in the closet where I store my "garage sale records" (i.e. the stuff that's not in good enough shape to post for sale on my website) so I decided to organize them with the hope that they will move better if people don't have to dig through 40+ boxes just to find what they're looking for. First I pulled out and trashed all the stuff that was literally unplayable and/or so undesirable nobody was ever gonna buy it. Then I sorted everything by genre and alphabetized it. I also decided I might as well just keep anything I was interested in -- since again, this is stuff I'm only trying to sell for a buck or less anyway -- and so I've been listening through piles of LPs, deciding if I liked some of it enough to keep, just checking for skips on other stuff. That project has finally concluded and I'm ready to dive back in to the Alphabetical Project more regularly again.

B.B. KING -- Here's the thing, though . . . I have a lot of B.B. and while I did listen to some of it during the LP Project, I failed to make any notes and I'm now several weeks out from some of those listens. So B.B. ain't gonna get the write-up he deserves. And he's very deserving because he was fantastic and everyone should love him. Always happy to discuss more in-depth if folks are interested, of course -- and he definitely seems like the kind of fella most folks are either already familiar with or they just ain't that interested -- but I'd just as soon just plow forward.

So here's a few jumbled thoughts about the B.B. I have on CD:
1) B.B.'s legend is well-deserved. His guitar playing is expressive and masterful, his vocals are fantastic, his range and depth of influence are remarkable, and he was a top-notch songwriter, to boot. He's the real deal. If you don't like B.B. King, you don't like the blues and perhaps you don't like American music at all.
2) His 1992 box set King Of The Blues is better than most such endeavors. It's heaviest on '60s material but keeps enough of the '50s stuff to serve as an excellent primer, the '70s tracks are well-selected, and it doesn't fall victim to the standard box set conundrum of pretending the latest stuff is just as good as what preceded it until midway through the fourth and final disc (where cheeseball '80s production, crappy soundtrack selections, and endless "guest stars" drag the thing down considerably.) Really well put together and if you only have room for one B.B. set on your music shelves, not a bad way to go.
3) His earliest material is now well-represented on CD, thanks mostly to the kind folks at the UK Ace label. His RPM Hits 1951-1957 and The Best Of The Kent Singles 1958-1971 are both self-explanatory and quite fantastic. I also recommend the 2-on-1 reissue of his first two LPs on the Flair label: Singin' The Blues and The Blues.
4) Of his later studio albums, the one that really blows me away is his crossover album, 1970's Indianola Mississippi Seeds, which features an unlikely assortment of backing musicians: Joe Walsh, Russ Kunkel, Leon Russell, and (of all people) Carole King. You can listen to the whole thing on YouTube and I imagine it's a great place for the unitiated to meet King in a context even some who dismiss the blues might find appealing.
5) B.B.'s live recordings are almost uniformly excellent -- he was a fine storyteller and had great rapport with his audiences -- but the classic Live At The Regal is probably his best, if only for the amazing "Help The Poor", which ain't about what you think. Kudos also to 1991's Live At The Apollo which proves the dude still had it a-plenty on stage, even if his studio recordings were being dragged down with modern production touches and other concessions to the marketplace.

Next up . . . still lots more Kings! Specifically, the wonderful Ben E.

Madsci
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1496
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Madsci » Sat May 06, 2017 9:29 pm

I have been listening to BB King since the 70s. But come to think of it is has always been live. Maybe it's time to buy a some of his recorded music.

Igor
Forum God/Goddess
Posts: 1911
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 10:48 pm
Contact:

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Sat May 06, 2017 10:47 pm



Return to “General Music”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests