And Billy's Number One Hundred and One

1029. Generation X 1030. Gen X: Kiss Me Deadly 1031. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 1032. Germs: Germicide 1033. Germs: What We Do Is Secret 1034. Stan Getz in Stockholm 1035. The Best of Stan Getz 1036. Terry Gibbs: Terry 1037. Gibson Brothers: Cuba 1038. Debbie Gibson: Out of the Blue 1039. Debbie Gibson: Electric Youth 1040. Don Gibson: Great Gibson, Volume 1 1041. Nick Gilder: You Know Who You Are 1042. Dizzy Gillespie: "Diz" 1043. Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Europe Mixworthy: "One Hundred Punks," #1029; "Back in N.Y.C.," #1031; "Lexicon Devil," #1033; "Roxy Roller," #1041. I don't know--if nothing else, that might be the most fluid grouping of songs I've yet singled out. Punk, art-rock, and glam, except the glam guy was disco, the art-rock singer wasn't hated by punks, the one punk was kind of glammy, and seeing as they were all released within a matter of a few years, three decades later their differences start to melt away. I guess I'm far enough away from this that I can be honest: for a couple of months in 1981, before Billy Idol turned into "Billy Idol," I was convinced that "Dancing With Myself" (#1030) was the greatest pop song ever...It's useful to remember that no mat- ter how strange or obsessive one's own pursuits may seem, there are always people out there who make you look like the picture of mental health by comparison. When I was looking around for an image of one of the Family albums I own, I came across Andy Thompson's "Mellotron Albums List": an extensive index, with reviews and ratings, of what is apparently every pop album of the past 35 years to feature a mellotron on one or more of its tracks. Loads of mid-70s art rock, of course--including lots of German bands with names like Alma Alta and Embryo--more recent things like Oasis and Pavement and the Flaming Lips, and also a number of people I do not associate with mellotrons: Jose Feliciano, Jimmy Cliff, David Lee Roth, etc. I don't see Schoolly-D anywhere, but there are definitely some striking anomalies in there. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway gets four-and-a-half out of five stars: "Banks used his 'tron on less than half of the album's tracks, and many of those sparingly, but there's several grade-A Mellotron classics..." (The way mellotron is routinely shortened to "'tron" is one of the things I most love about the site.) "Back in N.Y.C." isn't mentioned as being one of those classics, which surprises me, but then I don't know a mellotron from a synthesizer from a harmonica. You could spend several lifetimes trying to track down all the music in- dexed by Andy, so if that's your idea of a good time, this is where to start. You'll have 'tron, 'tron, 'tron till your daddy takes the Magma away. (This is a good time to commemorate one of the conspicuous Randy-gaps in my collection: shadow album #1031.5, Gentle Giant's Playing the Fool, their 'tron-free but art-heavy double-live. Apologies to the Giant: I never thought you'd be missed, but you are.) ________________________________________________________________________________ 1044. Mickey Gilley: Down the Line 1045. Mickey Gilley: Suburban Cowboy 1046. Mickey Gilley: Gilley's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 1047. Philip Glass: Music in Twelve Parts - Parts 1 & 2 1048. Philip Glass: Glassworks 1049. Glass Tiger: The Thin Red Line 1050. Gleaming Spires: Songs of the Spires 1051. Gary Glitter: 'Remember Me This Way' 1052. Goats: Tricks of the Shade 1053. Goddo: Who Cares 1054. Go-Go's: Beauty and the Beast 1055. Go-Go's: Vacation 1056. Go-Go's: Talk Show 1057. The Golden Gate Quartet's Greatest Spirituals 1058. Benny Golson's New York Scene 1059. Ian Gomm: Gomm With the Wind Mixworthy: "Sweet Thing," #1053. Ouch. I might like Glass Tiger's "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" better than any- thing from the two Philip Glass albums, or I might not, I don't know--either way, that train left the station quite a while ago. The Gary Glitter's a live album--I remember thinking it was a best-of when I bought it--so nothing there, although the idea of "Glitter patter" is intriguing. The Goats has a '92 copyright, another real late one, and it's supposed to be good, so I'll give it a listen; right now, I don't remember anything. I interviewed Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's when her first solo LP came out--pretty exciting, right? Which leaves Goddo's "Sweet Thing," home of the funniest pick-up line ever: "You like the fact I'm in the Goddo band." They were Canadian--if they were still around today, it'd be "You like the fact I'm in the Goddo collective." ________________________________________________________________________________ 1060. Benny Goodman: The Alternate Goodman, Vol. XI 1061. Dexter Gordon: The Other Side of Round Midnight 1062. The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore 1063. Lou Gramm: Ready or Not 1064. Grand Funk Railroad: Caught in the Act 1065. Grand Funk Hits 1066. Earl Grant: Ebb Tide 1067. The Grateful Dead 1068. Grateful Dead: Live/Dead 1069. Grateful Dead: Workingman's Dead 1070. Grateful Dead 1071. Grateful Dead: Europe '72 1072. Grateful Dead: Skeletons from the Closet 1073. Dobie Gray Sings for 'In' Crowders That Go 'Go Go' 1074. Dobie Gray: Drift Away 1075. Dobie Gray: Loving Arms 1076. Dobie Gray: Hey Dixie Mixworthy: "Look of Love," #1062; "Cold Rain and Snow," #1067; "Dark Star," #1068; "Wharf Rat," #1070; "Friend of the Devil," #1072; "The 'In' Crowd," #1073. I think the general rock-critic view of Grand Funk Railroad is that they were awful till their bubble-metal phase began. I actually like "Closer to Home" better than any of their hits; if I had something other than a live version, I'd be listing it. If you want to know what a normal adult version of Michael Jackson would look like, Loving Arms' cover photo of Dobie Gray gives you a good idea. The cover photo of Dobie Gray Sings for 'In' Crowders That Go 'Go Go' gives you a good idea of the kind of scenes unfolding inside Homer Simpson's head most of the time...Skeletons from the Closet goes way back to the beginning of my collection; I added some of the Dead's regular-issue albums a few years later, and just this past summer I downloaded Anthem of the Sun, Aoxomoxoa, and American Beauty Rose. I'm not a fanatic, but whenever they settle into the sound you hear on "Dark Star," "China Cat Sunflower," and "Wharf Rat," I like them a lot. I guess I could even see myself as a Deadhead in some other life- time. I'd be Moon Man, the only Deadhead who complains about all the live shows. ________________________________________________________________________________ 1077. Wardell Gray: Bop Sessions 1078. Great Society with Grace Slick: Conspicuous Only in Its Absence 1079. Great Society with Grace Slick: How It Was 1080. Greater Than One: G-Force 1081. R.B. Greaves 1082. Al Green: Let's Stay Together 1083. Al Green: I'm Still in Love With You 1084. Al Green: Call Me 1085. Al Green: Livin' for You 1086. Al Green Explores Your Mind 1087. Al Green: Greatest Hits 1088. Al Green's Greatest Hits Volume II 1089. Al Green Is Love 1090. Al Green: The Belle Album 1091. Al Green: Love Ritual 1092. Al Green: Truth N' Time 1093. Al Green: Soul Survivor Mixworthy: "Take a Letter Maria," #1081; "Let's Stay Together," #1082; "I'm Still in Love With You," #1083; "Have You Been Making Out O.K." and "You Ought to Be With Me," #1084; "Sha La La (Makes Me Happy)," #1086; "Tired of Being Alone," #1087. Marcus has the first of the two Great Society reissues in his Stranded discography; I'm a huge Jefferson Airplane fan, but I never got much out of either album. I'll be listing "Free Advice," a Great Society song I have on The Autumn Records' Story, when I get to compilations a couple of thousand records from now. Al Green Explores Your Mind might be my favourite album title ever--definitively psy- chedelic, but also suggestive of They Saved Hitler's Brain or some other grade-Z horror film. The cover's just a shot of Al smiling; they could easily have come up with some- thing a lot more twisted...I'm glad I never had to make any effort to discover Al Green. I likely would have taken to him no matter what, but who knows, if I were a few years younger, he might have been someone where I'd read too much about him beforehand for his records ever to live up to expectations. I think that's something that plays a part in understanding my indifference to James Brown and Otis Redding; it has much more to do with matters of style (and sure enough, as Al Green veers closer to Otis Redding on something like "I Can't Get Next to You," I stop liking him), but the fact that I'd read so much deification of Live at the Apollo and Otis Blue before I ever owned either album almost guaranteed some measure of letdown. With Al Green, all of that is a non- issue; he was there, on the radio, right alongside the Carpenters, Bread, Badfinger, and all my other favourite music when I first started obsessing over Top 40 radio in 1972, so he's thoroughly embedded in the mystery and romance of that moment for me. If equating Al Green with the Carpenters seems nonsensical to you, all I can say is that a) you weren't 11 years old in 1972, and b) you need to see The Virgin Suicides a.s.a.p....I'm smiling just looking at the Greater Than One LP. When I was at CIUT, we had, what, 15 or 20 Greater Than One records? 40? Over 70? I believe we had 86: 57 12-inches, and another 29 albums. Somewhere along the way I bought one of my own, but I guess I never fell under their spell enough to want to track down the other 85. Greater Than One would have been at least One Too Many.

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