The Cokes Are in the Icebox
527. Mitty Collier: Shades of a Genius 528. Bootsy's Rubber Band: Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! 529. Bootsy's Rubber Band: Bootsy? Player of the Year 530. Bootsy's Rubber Band: This Boot Is Made for Fonk-n 531. Bootsy: Ultra Wave 532. Bootsy Collins: What's Bootsy Doin'? 533. Judy Collins: Golden Apples of the Sun 534. Judy Collins' Fifth Album 535. Judy Collins: Who Knows Where the Time Goes 536. Judy Collins: So Early in the Spring Mixworthy: "So Early, Early in the Spring," #534; "Both Sides Now," #536. Judy Collins' Fairport Convention and Joni Mitchell covers aren't viewed with the same disdain as, say, Joan Baez's hit Band cover, but they're not exactly treasured, either--you won't be seeing a "Where is the love for Judy Collins?" thread on "I Love Music" in the near future. I think she does fine by both songs--I haven't listed "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," where her artiness does lose some of the original's warmth, but it was her version of "Both Sides Now" that was the hit, and therefore the version I knew first, so I'll go with that one. Two for Judy, none for Bootsy. I said it once before, but it bears repeating--I'm the funkiest man alive. The first four Bootsy Collin albums (released in consecutive years--he was churning them out like Woody Allen), like the Brides of Funkenstein albums already listed and all the Funkadelic, Parliament, and Parlet albums that will follow, were given to me, sometimes used and sometimes new, by Vinyl Museum Norm. Their basement was full of P-Funk and its related spin-offs round about 1981, all of it going for 99˘. I was curious as to how much some of that stuff might sell for online--according to one site I found, generally between $10 and $25 an album. Or at least that's what they're asking, anyway. Does anyone actually pay that much? Again, I always view these fig- ures as delusional fantasies on the part of the sellers. If there actually is someone out there who'd say "Here's $100 for your Bootsy Collins records," I'd a) reconsider my policy of never again selling records, and b) ask the person if there's any inter- est in a few boxes of beautiful baseball cards dating to right after the '94 strike. ________________________________________________________________________________ 537. John Coltrane: Black Pearls 538. John Coltrane: Giant Steps 539. Coltrane Jazz 540. John Coltrane: My Favorite Things 541. Olé Coltrane 542. Coltrane's Sound 543. The Best of John Coltrane 544. John Coltrane: Alternate Takes 545. John Coltrane Quartet: Africa/Brass 546. Coltrane "Live" at the Village Vanguard 547. Coltrane 548. John Coltrane Quartet: Ballads 549. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman 550. John Coltrane: Impressions 551. Coltrane Live at Birdland 552. John Coltrane: A Love Supreme 553. John Coltrane: Ascension 554. John Coltrane: First Meditations (For Quartet) 555. John Coltrane Featuring Pharoah Sanders: Live in Seattle Mixworthy: "My Favorite Things," #540; "Chasin' the Trane," #546; "Out of This World," #547; "Afro-Blue" and "Alabama," #551; "Part 1 - Acknowledgement," #552. I tried to treat this literally, by checking the songlist for a tape I made two years ago for a student of mine--a saxophone player with the school band who asked if I'd record some music by "that guy you played...you know, the guy"--but I guess I didn't keep it. So these are the six songs that jump out immediately. I could spend the next couple of days going through each album and filling out the list with my next four favourite, but I'll leave it at that. In general: outside of "My Favorite Things," I prefer the Impulse stuff to the Atlantic, and, like a lot of people I'm sure, he starts to lose me after A Love Supreme (though not totally). It was my first-year roommate at university, Tom Mayock, who first played John Col- trane for me. It was a compilation, I think. Trying to piece together the exact sequence of events that led to me ending up with 19 albums is difficult, but I know that the turning point was when he sent me a copy of A Love Supreme after my second year. (I think I'd already acquired My Favorite Things on my own by that point; Tom dropped out in spectacular fashion after failing all but one of his first-year courses, which, I probably don't need to add, was not a measure of anything except the fact that he never wanted to be there in the first place--one of the smartest guys I've ever met.) The really bizarre thing--this part of the story mystifies me-- is that I had to pick up the album (there were two, actually--one of the live records the other, I think) from Paul McGrath, a guy who covered pop music for The Globe and Mail years ago. You'll see a quote from Paul on that famous full-page ad for the Ra- mones' first LP, the one that mixed ecstatic raves with horrified aneurysms; Paul's quote was one of the most horrified. I think he was a friend of Tom's brother, and that's as much as I can figure out--why was I picking up these albums from him?! Anyway, I have an amazingly vivid memory of listening to A Love Supreme for the first time--it's kind of corny, but absolutely true. When I put it on, I'd been up for some 30 hours finishing an essay, my last one of the year--a weird badge of hon- our among university students, something I used to be able to do easily, whereas now I have difficulty staying awake through a two-hour movie. A great calm always settles over you when the school year finishes--I still experience it today as a teacher--so as I listened along to "Part 1 - Acknowledgement," half hypnotized by its tranciness and half drifting in and out of sleep, it felt like I was in the middle of some mean- ingful brush with serenity. And then, towards the end, the chanting: "a love supreme, a love supreme..." I clearly remember wondering if I was hallucinating when the chant- ing started up; a voice was the last thing I expected to hear, and there was a flat, druid-like quality to it that seemed to belong to the world of hallucinations. (If it had been 1991 instead of 1983, I'd have been checking under the bed for Bob from Twin Peaks.) It remains one of the great musical moments of my life, right up there with similarly life-altering encounters with "Cowgirl in the Sand," Taxi Driver, and The Catcher in the Rye. Over time, "My Favorite Things" has become the song I play most often, and I'm fairly sure I've listened to that more than any other piece of music I own. I think it's one of those works of art that contains the world--it's Ulysses, it's Citizen Kane, it's "Guernica," it's one of the great achievements of human his- tory. (Please don't ask me if I've read Ulysses--work with me here.) And I'll stop there, because I have to keep a few superlatives in reserve for Black Vinyl Shoes. ________________________________________________________________________________ 556. Communards: Tomorrow 557. Perry Como: Como's Golden Records 558. Company B 559. Company B: "Fascinated" 12-inch 560. Concrete Blonde 561. John Conlee: Forever 562. Arthur Conley: Sweet Soul Music 563. Ry Cooder: Paradise and Lunch 564. The Best of Sam Cooke 565. This Is the Sam Cooke 566. Alice Cooper: Killer 567. Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits 568. Chick Corea: Before Forever 569. Chick Corea: My Spanish Heart 570. Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose 571. The Best of Bill Cosby Mixworthy: "Fascinated," #558; "Twistin' the Night Away," "Sad Mood," "Having a Party," "Bring It on Home to Me," #564; "Elected," #567. Radio has killed "Sweet Soul Music" for me. It was my second-year roommate at university, Sir Monti Rock IV, who first played the Communards for me...just kidding. Only one Alice Cooper song. Loved him when I was 11--I still remember my grade 6 music teacher, Mr. Weedmark, bringing in School's Out one day (also whichever Cat Stevens album has "Morning Has Broken")- but even "Elected" is a close call; it gets by on a few bonus points for being de- finitively Nixonian. But I've got the same radio problem with "School's Out" and "I'm Eighteen" as I do with "Sweet Soul Music," and all in all, the Dolls, Slade, T. Rex, the Sweet, and just about every other famous glam name all sound so much livelier to me today. Of course, Alice Cooper wasn't really glam--he was half-glam and half-metal, and that's the problem. He didn't possess the almost preternatural knack for pop music that the others had, but neither was he anywhere near as gargan- tuan as Led Zeppelin. Some of his best stuff, like "Hello Hooray" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy," just sounds kind of pleasant. I liked his recent Staples commercial, although it's almost comical that he should feel the need to rewrite history for the sake of his daughter and his corporate sponsor: he did say school's out for- ever, plain as day. ________________________________________________________________________________ 572. Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True 573. Elvis Costello (four-song British EP lifted from the first album--just in case you're perplexed) 574. Elvis Costello: This Year's Model 575. Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Armed Forces 576. Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Get Happy!! 577. Elvis Costello: Taking Liberties 578. Elvis Costello: Trust 579. Elvis Costello: King of America 580. Coulson, Dean, McGuiness, Flint: Lo & Behold 581. Count Five: Psychotic Reaction 582. The Life & Times of Country Joe & the Fish 583. Cover Girls: Show Me 584. Cover Girls: "Don't Stop Now" 12-inch 585. Cowboys International®: The Original Sin Mixworthy: "Girls Talk," #577; "Sleep of the Just," #579; "Psychotic Reaction," #581. Should I go listen to Cowboys International®'s "Thrash" to see if it makes the cut? That's not a real question; I just wanted an excuse to use their trademark symbol again. I'll leave Elvis Costello for my crosstown rival. I'd also include "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" if I had it on record, possibly "13 Steps Lead Down," too. (Used brilliantly in an episode of The Larry Sanders Show. Hank's immortal line upon being introduced to "Elvis": "I don't think so.") There was every reason in the world for me to have become a big fan, but I didn't. Again, evidence that I tried lingers on the shelf...The Country Joe album was probably the single dumbest decision I ever made as a record buyer. Nothing wrong with the music itself: "Who Am I" and "Janis" are nice, and "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" is word-perfect (but too gimmicky as music to warrant inclusion above). I bought it sometime in the late '70s on a jaunt to Burlington Mall with my parents. I remember I had to choose between Life & Times and Freak Out!--improbably still sitting there in a bin, ten-plus years after release, and as far as I can tell that would not have been a later pressing-- and I opted for Country Joe. If only the cashier had clubbed me over the head until I changed my mind.