Category: Various Artists

Various Artists – Zabriske Point Soundtrack

ARTIST: Various (Soundtrack)                              zabriske

TITLE: Zabriske Point

YEAR RELEASED: 1970

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Dark Star, Tennessee Waltz

LINEUP: Pink Floyd, Kaleidoscope (US band), Grateful Dead, Patti Page, Youngbloods, Jerry Garcia, Roscoe Holcomb, John Fahey

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Soundtrack to infamous Michaelangelo Antonioni film is as unfocused and bland as the film, despite the presence of some heavy hitters.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The best thing about this soundtrack album is the reworking by Pink Floyd of “Careful with That Axe, Eugene” to “Come in Number 51, You’re Time Is Up”. The best way to hear that is on You Tube, with the concluding images of the film (the house exploding over and over and over again) combined with the song.

What else is there? Some country-rock excursions, an excerpt from “Dark Star” that only makes you want to hear the whole thing, some Pink Floyd songs that were actually better than the second side of Atom Heart Mother, and some infernal noodling. Oh, and Patty Page.

This movie was a spectacular failure:  incomprehensible, pretentious, and clichéd. The soundtrack kind of fits it.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Pink Floyd had some other tracks they kept from the movie and finally reworked them into the famous “Us and Them”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, even more noodling and more blah Pink Floyd tracks.

GRADE: C:  Maybe it should have been a Pink Floyd EP, though one of the Kaleidoscope tracks and the John Fahey tune is nice.

Various Artists – Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970

ARTIST: Various Artists  220px-Loveisthesongwesing

TITLE:  Love is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Most of them were

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Songs by the Youngbloods, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe & the Fish, Santana, Grateful Dead, Steve Miller Band, Janis Joplin, etc.

LINEUP: Various

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Great collection of 60’s singles and cuts by San Francisco bands that highlight the diversity and sound of that era and place.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Most people associate San Francisco music with the 60’s and the psychedelic sound. While there’s a lot of that, it’s not the entire story of the scene.

There were a lot of bands that were more garage band (the Count Five) or blues bands (Steve Miller) instead of bands like the Grateful Dead. The Jefferson Airplane, for example, was more of a folk band at first (for example, the cut they used “It’s No Secret”) than a psychedelic jam band.

With any collection of this size, there are some clunkers (in order to present a full spectrum of bands, not everything is to one’s taste) and some questionable selections. But that’s not much of a quibble. If you’re interested in exploring the SF sound, grab this.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The Grateful Dead’s track is the single version of “Dark Star”.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: Since this focuses on a single scene, some of the selections aren’t up to standards (at least to my ears). However, go for it if you love the 60’s.

Various Artists – Beg Scream & Shout! The Big Ol’ Box of 60’s Soul

ARTIST: Various Artists                 2305641

TITLE: Beg Scream & Shout! The Big Ol’ Box of 60’s Soul

YEAR RELEASED: 1997

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Most all of these songs were

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You know probably half of them. You should know all of them, really.

LINEUP: 144 60’s soul artists

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: 144 songs by 144 artists packaged like a 45-RPM box of singles, and it’s a must have for those who want to start collecting soul records from the 60’s.

 

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I don’t know what more to say about this except – this has 144 classic soul songs from the 60’s. Slow jams, upbeat numbers, the beginnings of funk, everything. It really encapsulates what happened in soul and R&B from 1960 to 1969 (and a eentsy bit beyond thanks to release vs. chart date).

You may have heard a lot of these songs, because sometimes they picked obvious choices, or picked songs that you know but by the original artists. You may have heard a lot of these artists, but sometimes they picked the non-obvious deep cuts. There are plenty of treasures here throughout. It’s a great overview and you’ll be diving into the catalogs of most of these bands going to unearth more gems by them,

NOTES & MINUTAE: The only two artists they tried to get licenses for, but couldn’t, were Sly and the Family Stone and Sam Cooke. Plus this has Erma Franklin’s (Aretha’s sister) fantastic original of Piece of My Heart, which slays Joplin’s.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  No.
GRADE: A: You may be able to find it on a discount now, but it’s still great buy no matter what price you pay.

Various Artists – Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story

ARTIST: Various Artists R-3227790-1321377460.jpeg
TITLE: Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story
YEAR RELEASED: 2008
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Most of these were singles on Ardent Records
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: My Noise and Sick to Move if you were into alt-rock
LINEUP: Big Star, Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Terry Manning, Lawson & 4 More, Tommy Hoehn, Cargoe, and others.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The musical history of the record company that put out Big Star’s material.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I’m kicking myself, since this isn’t streaming and I jettisoned some of the tracks. Well, OK I may have exiled a lot anyway, but I always want to re-visit things, you know.

Ardent Records was the house label for Ardent Studios, which was (and is) a rather successful. As with any collection like this, it’s kind of an oddball mix of types and styles. You have blue-eyed Memphis soul, psychedelic garage rock, power pop, and rarities of all shapes and sizes. Some of this stuff wasn’t released because no one wanted to lease it after it was recorded.

For historical purposes this is good stuff, but I’d only play a few cuts over and over besides the Big Star stuff (which you can get everywhere). Ardent Records ultimately failed when Stax Records (who distributed it) wheezed out of commission in 1975.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Stax made a deal with Columbia in 1973. It only took two years to bankrupt it due to shoddy management.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: C+: There’s some great non-Big Star stuff, some average stuff and some head shaking stuff. For the price, it’s not cost effective especially since Big Star has lots of options for listening.

Various Artists – Making Singles, Drinking Doubles

ARTIST: Various Artists bs100_cover_1
TITLE: Making Singles, Drinking Doubles
YEAR RELEASED: 2002
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: They all were singles
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You know a lot of these songs but not by these artists
LINEUP: Waco Brothers, Kelly Hogan, Ryan Adams, Andre Williams, Moonshine Willy, The Meat Purveyoirs, Neko Case, Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys, The Sadies, Volebeats, Jon Langford.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Bloodshot Records celebrated its success as of 2002 with this compilation of alt-country singles and covers by its artists.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The ‘various artist compilation album’ is quite problematic. Sometimes they’re great because it’s for a great cause and the artists rally around it by giving it their all. Sometimes it’s just some tossed off covers for a tribute album.

This one is a collection of singles and covers by circa-2002 Bloodshot Records artists. As you see in the lineup, it’s kind of an all-star list of alt-country stars and wanna-be’s.

This record is a hoot! Covers of Jimmy Cliff, XTC, Loretta Lynn, Madonna, Freddy Fender, Funkadelic, Conway Twitty and Poison are the highlights along with some hollerin’ originals. Alt-country fans will dig this – those uncommitted may find it tedious. That’s their issue!

NOTES & MINUTIAE: This isn’t on Google Play but it’s on Spotify.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B+ : It’s really fun, but won’t convert anyone towards alt-country.