Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sides 1 and 4 on one record????

Have you ever wondered why some of those double albums you own have Sides 1 and 4 on one record and 2 and 3 on the other? Ok, this is general knowledge to some of you, but I've had the question asked to me by a few lately so I figured I would shine a little light on the subject.

From the mid 60's to the mid 70's, many people were buying automatic record changers (not only between these years, but this was the most popular time). These turntables would play one side of a record and then the tonearm would return to the beginning position, another record would automatically be dropped on top of the existing, and then this record would be played. This way you could listen to multiple sides of albums without having to go to the turntable and flip a record. 

Therefore, many double albums were pressed with Sides 1 and 2 on different pieces of vinyl (as well as 3 and 4, etc....). So now you could listen to two sides of a record in order without having to go to the turntable and turn it over. Then you would only need to flip the records once and you can listen to the next two sides.

This was extremely convenient in the day where vinyl was the medium of choice. 

This did cause some confusion in the record industry though. When Issac Hayes released his Black Moses album in 1971, the album was pressed in the sequence stated above. When this album was transferred to CD in 1989, they put the sides in the wrong order. Side 4 was between Sides 1 and 2. Ok anybody can make a mistake. Oddly enough, when they re-released the album again in 2009 they still did not fix the mistake.

It's a great album regardless, but its nice to hear it in the order that Issac Hayes intended.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What are you listening to this Fall??

What albums do you listen to more in the Fall? I always see myself drawn to select albums at different times of the year. Sure you can listen to Jimmy Buffett during a snow storm, but it just seems to fit in more on a hot sunny day. Right?

Here are three albums that I'm always reaching for when the leaves start falling:

Guns 'N Roses - Use Your Illusion 1:

OK not so much anymore, but when I was in my late teens I was always searching for my GNR just so I could feel all cool playing November Rain in the actual cold November rain (the coolness stops right here). Of course I would hear a bunch of classics that I never heard since.... well... last November... and the album would stay heavily on my playlist (ok.. ok.. blank tapes back then) for the majority of the Fall season. 

Pearl Jam - Yield

It must be pulling out the warm flannel shirts that gets me into the grunge state of mind. Whatever it is, I'm always in the mood for some Pearl Jam when the leaves start falling. This is one of my personal favorite albums by Eddie Vedder and the gang, It came out when I was in grade twelve when I really started to discover my passion for music. 

Joel Plaskett - Three

Back in 2008 I went through a very difficult time where I had to make a few tough life choices. I remember watching the colourful leaves blowing while I went for a long drive in the woods with my windows down, clearing my head. It was during this drive that everything in my life just seemed to start making sense. This was the moment when I finally felt like I had some direction. This was one of the greatest moments of my life and Joel Plaskett's Three was providing the soundtrack in my truck. Every time I hear anything from this album it always brings me back to this fall drive and helps me re-live this great time.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Revisiting a classic - The London Quireboys - A Bit of What You Fancy!

A nice new addition was added to my collection this week. An album by The London Quireboys called A Bit of What You Fancy.


The London Quireboys were a hard rock band formed in 1984 in England by friends Jonathan Gray (Spike) and Guy Bailey. With Spike handling vocals and Bailey on guitar duties, they recruited Nigel Mog on bass, Chris Johnstone on piano and Paul Martin on drums for the initial lineup. Martin didn’t stay long and was replaced by Nick Connell (Cozy) on drums. Ginger Wildheart was later added to the lineup as a rhythm guitarist.

Originally known as The Queerboys, they started gaining some recognition playing at the Marquee Club. In 1987 they decided to change their name to The Quireboys as the former was giving them trouble landing gigs.

They released a handful of singles for an Independent label called Survival Records including their 1989 hit 7 O’clock. This single gained them a new level of success landing on the UK Singles Top 40 Chart. After this success, they scored Sharon Osbourne as their new manager and were signed to EMI Records where they recorded this debut album A Bit of What You Fancy in 1990.

I couldn’t find any clear explanation, but somewhere along the Cozy left the lineup and was temporarily replaced by Ian Wallace (performed and recording with Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt and most notably, King Crimson) for the recording of this album. As well, Guy Griffin replaced Ginger on rhythm guitar.

Now the first obvious comparison listening to this album is Spikes voice bearing a very strong resemblance to Rod Stewart. Oddly enough this album was also by Stewart’s guitarist/musical director Jim Cregan.
This LP meets all the criteria for a successful 80’s based hard rock album. They lead it off with the killer party song 7 O’clock, and keep the party going with hard hitting songs throughout. In true hair metal fashion they even throw in a great cheesy rock ballad called I Don’t Love You Anymore just for good measure.

This album proved very successful for the band and enabled them to live the rock star dream for a few years. They played some huge venues opening for bands/artists including Iggy Pop, The Cramps, Guns ‘N Roses, Soundgarden, and L.A. Guns.

Sadly, the success was short lived as the early 90’s saw the birth of grunge and the demise of hard rock bands in mainstream music. They did release a follow up album called Bitter Sweet & Twisted in 1993 but broke up shortly after. They have since reformed a few times and are currently together with Spike and Guy Griffin being the only members that were a part of A Bit of What You Fancy.