Everybody's Coming Home for Lunch These Days

306. James Brown: Live and Lowdown at the Apollo, Vol. 1 307. James Brown: Papa's Got a Brand New Bag 308. James Brown: I Got You (I Feel Good) 309. James Brown: Live at the Apollo, Vol. 2 310. James Brown: Sex Machine 311. James Brown: There It Is 312. James Brown: Hot on the One 313. James Brown: I'm Real 314. Les Brown and His Band of Renown: The Beat of the Big Bands 315. Marion Brown: Duets 316. Miquel Brown: Symphony of Love 317. Clifford Brown and Max Roach: Pure Genius Volume One 318. Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris: Battle of the Blues 319. Sam Brown: Stop! 320. Jackson Browne: Saturate Before Using 321. Jackson Browne: For Everyman 322. Jackson Browne: Late for the Sky 323. Jackson Browne: Running on Empty Mixworthy: "Never Can Say Goodbye," #311; "Sentimental Journey," #314; "Doctor My Eyes," #320; "Late for the Sky," #322. So there's a James Brown song I can salvage after all--I forgot about There It Is, his doleful contribution to what I count as soul music's greatest three or four- year run ever, the neoclassical period of the early '70s. (In the age of trip-step and dub-hop and post-grimeist, genre names are an endless source of amusement; I've always felt comfortable using Vince Aletti's simple, almost elegant "neoclassical soul," however.) I like "King Heroin," too. But placed alongside Les Brown fronting Doris Day and two Jackson Browne songs, I still don't think I'll be guest-editing an issue of Vibe anytime soon...Late for the Sky was one of my favourite albums round about grade 12. I'd listen to it over and over again, almost always side one (it would be more accurate to say it was one of my favourite half-albums). I don't think my attachment had anything to do with Taxi Driver, which uses the title song in that strange, numbing scene where Travis watches "American Bandstand" before accidentally kicking over the TV--my most important encounter with Scorsese's film wouldn't take place until the fall of my first year at university. (And yet, I'm almost positive I bought Kris Kristofferson's The Silver Tongued Devil and I, another album I strongly associate with Taxi Driver, before entering university... the timeline's very blurry.) I know Late for the Sky's great cover art had some- thing to do with it; even today, its twilight shot of the vintage car parked out front of the suburban house, possibly meant to suggest the teenage Jackson Browne picking up his prom date, evokes a certain mood that's very much in line with what I loved about that first side. Cover art definitely mattered then. ___________________________________________________________________________ 324. Sharon Bryant: Here I Am 325. The Peabo Bryson Collection 326. Tim Buckley: Goodbye and Hello 327. Harold Budd: The Pavilion of Dreams 328. Harold Budd: The White Arcades 329. Bebe Buell: Covers Girl 330. Buffalo Springfield: Last Time Around 331. Buffalo Springfield 332. The Beat of the Solomon Burke 333. Solomon Burke: "Silent Night" 12-inch 334. T-Bone Burnett: Truth Decay 335. T-Bone Burnett: Trap Door 336. T-Bone Burnett: Proof Through the Night 337. Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n Roll Trio 338. Burning Spear: Live 339. Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue Mixworthy: "For What It's Worth," "Go and Say Goodbye," "Out of My Mind," "Mr. Soul," and "Rock 'n' Roll Woman," #331; "If You Need Me," #333; "Lonesome Train," #337. "Once I Was" and "Morning Glory" (#326) are old favourites from my sordid singer-songwriter past, but I did a quick check, and Tim Buckley's voice is not aging well. There's some borderline stuff on the T-Bone Burnett albums, too. I've got five Buffalo Springfield songs; almost as many as the Beach Boys, four more than James Brown. Yet when I found out driving home tonight that they were in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (to which Toronto's Q-107 is devoting a big theme weekend, possibly tied to this year's inductions, I'm not sure), it struck me as silly. Solomon Burke's in there too, and yes, that strikes me as even sillier still. Steve Rubio has written a lot about this on his site, drawing parallels with various inductees (and controversial near-misses) over at the Baseball HOF. The Buffalo Springfield were a working band for what, three years? If you're the Velvet Underground, that's not a problem. But the Buffalo Springfield's three years produced one very famous song, "For What It's Worth" (extra points, I guess, for being one of those default songs for any stock footage involving the Viet Nam War or hippies being clubbed over the head), three albums (of which one, two, or all three are highly regarded, depending upon who you consult), a couple of famous ex-members (one over-qualified for induction on his own merits, the other not even close), and, all told, maybe 15 or 20 good-to-great songs. Their long-range influ- ence, apart from the over-qualified ex-member, is basically nil--the Eagles, Poco, "Your Mama Don't Dance," and it gets worse from there. Personally, I like the Buf- falo Springfield a lot; I could have added another two or three songs to the five I've listed. Objectively speaking, however, the idea that they've been put on a plane with James Brown (who, again, I have little use for personally) in terms of achievement, influence, and either "peak value" or "career value" (baseball writer Bill James's guiding barometers for HOF inclusion), well, I don't get it. And Sol- omon Burke's case is non-existent to me. Next borderline HOF member who turns up, maybe I'll run down the entire list of inductees and keep them in or cast them out. ___________________________________________________________________________ 340. Kate Bush: Lionheart 341. Kate Bush: The Whole Story 342. Billy Butler and the Enchanters: The Right Track 343. Jerry Butler: Sweet Sixteen 344. Butterfield Blues Band: East-West 345. The Butterfield Blues Band Live 346. Butthole Surfers 347. Butthole Surfers: Live PCPPEP 348. Butthole Surfers: Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac 349. Butthole Surfers: Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis 350. Butthole Surfers: Rembrandt Pussyhorse 351. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven 352. Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady 353. Donald Byrd: Fuego 354. Donald Byrd: The Cat Walk Mixworthy: "Cloudbusting," "The Man With the Child in His Eyes," and "Running Up That Hill," #341; "Wichita Cathedral," #346; "Gary Floyd," #348; "American Woman," #350; "Orgasm Addict," "What Do I Get?" and "Harmony in My Head," #352. The Jerry Butler album is an early-70s studio job, not a compilation; his best stuff comes up later on the Impressions' Vintage Years. The collection from his brother's group (#342) is pretty good standard-issue mid-sixties soul, but no one song title is jumping out at me. I revisited my early fascination with (and subsequent dismissal of) the Butthole Surfers writing about "Pepper" in an old Radio On, so I won't repeat all of that here. Suffice to say they were the ultimate curio from that era, a band that would make no sense at any other time in history. I shouldn't be listing three songs by them--the whole mixworthy idea has no real relevance in their case, as they weren't, uh, a song band--but for old time's sake, I've picked off three of their poppier numbers. Pigfuck nostalgia is a powerful thing...There's a story that goes along with my acquisition of Paul Butterfield's East-West, but unfortunately I've forgot- ten the key part of the story. I got it at a big storefront sale on Royal York Road seven or eight summers ago. The owner was selling off her brother's record collec- tion, everything a flat $4. Mostly jazz--I got a couple of fantastic old Django Reinhardt albums, French imports from the '50s in perfect shape--with blues and a bit of R&B scattered throughout. The brother, from upstate New York, had been in a doo-wop group responsible for a well-known hit. I have the song somewhere in my collection and know it very well. Can I remember it now? No...Any middle-aged male who were to undertake a project like this would list at least one Kate Bush song. I've got three--"Cloudbusting"'s an all-time favourite. But obviously the songs aren't "The Whole Story" with her. The decision-making influence of the penis in all walks of life, aesthetics included, can be a powerful thing, and in a manner that was arty and demure enough that no one was going to mistake her for Madonna, Kate Bush played around with that truism very effectively. ___________________________________________________________________________ 355. Byrds: Preflyte 356. Byrds: Younger Than Yesterday 357. The Byrds Greatest Hits 358. The Notorious Byrd Brothers 359. Byrds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo 360. The Best of the Byrds: Greatest Hits, Volume II 361. Byrds: The Original Singles 1965-1967, Volume 1 362. Byrds: The Original Singles 1965-1967, Volume 2 363. Time Between: A Tribute to the Byrds 364. John Cale: Vintage Violence 365. John Cale and Terry Riley: The Church of Anthrax 366. John Cale: Paris 1919 367. John Cale: Fear 368. John Cale: Slow Dazzle 369. John Cale: Honi Soit 370. John Cale: Music for a New Society Mixworthy: "You Showed Me" and "Here Without You," #355; "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "Why," #356; "The Bells of Rhymney" and "Eight Miles High," #357; "Goin' Back" and "Wasn't Born to Follow," #358; "She Don't Care About Time," #361; "Lady Friend," #362; "Hanky Panky Nohow" and "Half Past France," #366; "Fear Is a Man's Best Friend," #367. I said earlier that only the Beatles and Neil Young would get 10 songs; the Byrds get 10 too, and so will the Who and the Velvet Underground (choosing their 10 might be the hardest call of all). I don't think I'll need 10 for Dylan or the Rolling Stones. Again: with the most colossal of the colossuses at the upper end, I'm nar- rowing the mixworthy list to my absolute favourites, else choosing a cut-off point would be almost impossible. For more minor artists where the cut-off point is cry- stal clear, I may list as many as three or four songs. The relative weight of A to B is not therefore 10/4 or 10/3--the ratio is meaningless...I've definitely come to rank the Byrds as only one step down from the Beatles: almost their equal in terms of peak value (their mixworthy 10 versus the Beatles' 10), definite advantage to the Beatles on career value. I've managed to fill in some gaps in my collection online, but I don't think there's anything essential on Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn!, or Fifth Dimension not already covered by the compilations...The Church of Anthrax and Family's Music in a Doll's House are the sole examples of a highly spe- cialized branch of cover art: "Tributes to the mise-en-scène of middle-period Jerry Lewis." ___________________________________________________________________________ 371. Calloway: All the Way 372. Cameo: "She's Strange" 12-inch 373. Cameo: "Word Up" 12-inch 374. Cameo: "Back and Forth" 12-inch 375. Cameo: Machismo 376. Glen Campbell's Greatest Hits 377. Camper Van Beethoven: Take the Skinheads Bowling 378. Camper Van Beethoven: II & III 379. Camper Van Beethoven 380. Can: Ege Bamyasi 381. Capris: Gotham Recording Stars 382. Capris: There's a Moon Out Tonight 383. Captain & Tennille: Love Will Keep Us Together 384. Captain Sky: Concerned Party #1 385. Irene Cara: Carasmatic 386. Eric Carmen 387. The Best of Eric Carmen Mixworthy: "Wichita Lineman," #376; "Take the Skinheads Bowling" #377; "Circles," #378; "Good Guys & Bad Guys," #379; "There's a Moon Out Tonight," #361; "Love Will Keep Us Together," #383. With regret, I've omitted Cameo's "Word Up." You still hear it now and again on the radio, and it doesn't do a whole lot for me anymore. The two Capris albums are by completely different groups--not as in the real Drift- ers vs. the people playing Casinorama next month who are billing themselves as the Drifters, but rather five white guys vs. four black guys and a black woman. The black Capris came along a little earlier. One thing you can deduce from this oddity is that lawyers and litigation weren't as omnipresent in the '50s as they are today. But if the chronology had been reversed, I bet it wouldn't have mattered anyway-- the black Capris would have been the Five Ringtones or Rena and the Four Galahads instead...The one reason I'm glad Michael Moore is around: Bowling for Columbine reintroduced me to "Take the Skinheads Bowling," maybe the greatest thing to come out of the '80s...Anyone like to buy a Can album? They're, like, really, really influential!

next section

records index

other pieces