Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Interior Design

Interior Design is the fifteenth album by Sparks being released in 1988. Once again another album from the Mael geniuses that most folks have never heard and didn't do anything commercially. Two tracks did make it to the Billboard Hot Dance Music chart. The vinyl pressing only had 10 tracks and CD versions of the album included a number of bonus tracks including three versions of the LPs final track "Madonna", a remix of "So Important" and the short instrumental "The Big Brass Ring". Long out of print, Sparks' own record label Lil' Beethoven Records reissued the album in a digipak sleeve retaining the bonus tracks back in 2008. It's a nice slice of late 80's synthpop which I just love, although the three different language versions of Madonna I could have done without especially since that is my least fave track on the album. Many critics cite this as their weakest album. Not agreeing with that one as I can think of a couple others that are weaker efforts than this.  For example I thought Lil Beethoven  was a less than stellar release. I just couldn't wrap my head around that one yet the critics absolutely loved it.  Even Sparks fans are split on this album,  they love it or hate it.

The Toughest Girl in Town
Let's Make Love
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, May 13, 2011

Persuasion


In 1990 Adam Ant released his 4th solo album, Manners and Physique. The album yielded a top 20 single in Room at the Top. Then in 1991 Ant returned to the studio and recorded his fifth album for a planned release in 92 or 93. MCA, however, was a little ticked that Manners and Physique didn't achieve gold status and the label decided to drop Ant from their label after hearing the new album. Apparently MCA wasn't keen on Adam's dance oriented sound and wanted stuff that sounded like Goody Two Shoes.

The new album was titled Persuasion and following the rejection of the album by MCA, Adam, together with a new band including Marco Pirroni, embarked on the live 1993 Persuasion Tour to attract a new label for the album. Ant was able to sign to new label Capitol Records in the USA and EMI in the UK, but MCA pulled a pissy pants move and was unwilling to let go of the Persuasion master tapes and so a new album Wonderful was recorded instead with the band from the tour. The album has surfaced as bootlegs and once in a while shows up in fan forums. This album is one of the 20 written about in "The Greatest Music Never Sold" by Dan Leroy, a book that reveals information on the legendary lost recordings of many famous artists. The latest news that I've found is that Sony now has the rights to the recordings, although nothing has been said yet with regards to releasing it. I picked this up from a fan site 7 or 8 years ago and as I was searching for the site again I found it's no longer in existence. I wouldn't call it his best work but there are moments of the Ant brilliance. So here is a couple cuts from the lost album and if anyone has been searching for it can drop me an email.

Persuasion
Headgear


Funny Toon Canadian edition

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Greatest Western Themes

This week while I was cruising through my vinyl collection and looking for the next album I wanted to rip, I came across this album residing in my soundtracks section. Not sure where it came from. It might have been in the Mrs.' collection or maybe I picked it up when I was at a friends house going through his extra albums. I thought hey this looks good. As I was ripping The Greatest Western Themes and getting the info I realized it was a K-Tel record. Sort of. On the back it says a K-Tel release but on the vinyl it says Era Records presents. Well it seems Era Records was started in 1955 as a pop, country and jazz label. In the mid 70's the Era Records label and back catalogue was sold to K-Tel. The once-proud Era name was soon subjected to the indignity of being an outlet for bogus versions of rock and roll hits re-recorded by "at least one member of the original group." That is all I can find out about this album. These are not the original versions of these classic western tunes, although whoever did these covers did a very good job and it's quite an enjoyable listen, bringing back lots of memories. Although the original composers are credited on the back of the album, there is no mention of who actually recorded the versions on this album. A lot of times if it wasn't the original artist it would say somewhere, as recorded by the "doo wop singers" or some such group. As a result I had to tag it as unknown artists. The album is in pristine condition and if anyone might have some additional info about it I would be curious to know more.  This version of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is quite different but it's a good listen nonetheless.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magnificent Seven
Rawhide
Funny Toon