Now I Don't Hardly Know Her

1235. Independents: The First Time We Met 1236. James Ingram: Everything Falls Apart 1237. Luther Ingram: (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right 1238. The Best of the Ink Spots 1239. The Ink Spots 1240. The Ink Spots' Greatest Hits 1241. Inner City: Big Fun 1242. Inner City: "Do You Love What You Feel" 12-inch 1243. Inner City: "That Man (He's All Mine)" 12-inch 1244. Insect Surfers: Wavelength 1245. International Submarine Band: Safe at Home 1246. Intruders: Super Hits 1247. INXS: Kick 1248. Gregory Isaacs: Out Deh! 1249. Gregory Isaacs: Private Beach Party Mixworthy: "Do You Love What You Feel" and "Good Life," #1241; "Promise Is a Com- fort," #1249. I know I've included the Intruders on one or two soul compilations circa '69-73, also the Independents, I think, but I can't remember which songs from looking at titles, indication enough that both are fairly ordinary. I mentioned the International Submarine Band's Safe at Home a couple of days ago, something I had coveted since reading the Gram Parsons entry in Woffinden/Logan's encyclopedia: "an album which is assumed to represent the beginning of country-rock and copies of which now change hands for a king's ransom." I'm not sure at what point I bought the Woffinden book--sometime around the end of high school or beginning of university--but that was likely the first time I became aware that such a thing as really valuable records existed. "'King's ransom'--wow, that sounds impressive, I think I'd like to have one of those." When I found a sealed copy of Safe at Home at Toronto's Around Again a few years later, I remember getting all worked up that I'd stumbled over this once-in-a-lifetime discovery, even though every conceivable sign-- the price (a very paltry ransom of seven or eight dollars), the "DJ Copy - Not for Sale" stamp on the record, the fact it was still sealed, the oddly unreal look of the cover art (which was in actuality the only legitimate thing about it), the sheer fortuitousness of it all--suggested it was a fake. I wanted to believe: "Who'd ever bootleg something that no one except me even knows about?" The most ridiculous part of the story was when I had the album with me back at class that day, and I eagerly shared all the details of my good fortune with Viveca Gretton, my great fantasy-land crush through most of university. I want to say something like "I'm not sure what kind of reaction I was hoping for" at this point, but I think I do know, and that's the really sad part: "The International Submarine Band's Safe at Home? The one that changes hands for a king's ransom? That's so amazing! I need to reevaluate you--let's get married." ________________________________________________________________________________ 1250. Isley Brothers: Rock on Brother 1251. The Very Best of the Isley Brothers 1252. Isley Brothers: Doin' Their Thing 1253. Isley Brothers: Forever Gold 1254. Isley Brothers: Timeless 1255. Burl Ives: Junior Choice 1256. Burl Ives: Have a Holly Jolly Christmas 1257. J.J. Fad: Supersonic: The Album 1258. The World of Susan Jacks and the Poppy Family 1259. Jackson 5: Greatest Hits 1260. Bill Jackson: Long Steel Rail 1261. Janet Jackson: Control 1262. Janet Jackson: "Nasty Cool Summer Mix" 12-inch 1263. Janet Jackson: "When I Think of You" 12-inch 1264. Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation 1814 Mixworthy: "Shout," #1250; "Twist and Shout," #1251; "I Want You Back," "ABC," and "I'll Be There," #1259; "When I Think of You," #1261; "Escapade," #1264. I'm not that big an Isley Brothers fan--they're maybe the most obvious instance of HOF status being conferred on someone for having stuck around forever--but there's something very neat and tidy about the continuity between the five albums listed above. "Shout"'s on the first, "Twist and Shout"'s on the second, "This Old Heart of Mine"'s on the third, the fourth has "That Lady," and "It's Your Thing" is on the last; five LPs, one famous song on each, no overlap anywhere...The two Janet Jackson picks are questionable. My interest in her has suffered something of a mal- function over the years--her brother, her sister, her father, her formula, the cal- endar--but I'll list them anyway. She hasn't had a major meltdown yet, none that involves courts, rehab, or public weeping, anyway, and I guess that counts for something among the women who dominated pop music in the early '90s. ________________________________________________________________________________ 1265. John Jackson: Step It Up and Go 1266. Mahalia Jackson: I Believe 1267. Mahalia Jackson: Silent Night 1268. Mahalia Jackson's Greatest Hits 1269. Marlon Jackson 1270. The Original Soul of Michael Jackson 1271. Michael Jackson: Off the Wall 1272. Michael Jackson: Thriller 1273. Michael Jackson: Bad 1274. Millie Jackson: Caught Up 1275. Millie Jackson: Feelin' Bitchy 1276. Milt Jackson 1277. Milt Jackson: Bag's Groove 1278. Rebbie Jackson: RU Tuff Enuff Mixworthy: "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," #1271; "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," #1272. Spent: "Rock With You," #1271; "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Smooth Criminal," #1273. "Human Nature" was superseded by S.W.V.'s "Right Here (Human Nature)," and I never had any use for any of the other hits, "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" especially. The only thing I can think to say about Michael Jackson at this point is to note how amazingly little has changed over ten years' time. Everyone had their say about him in Radio On when the singles from Dangerous came out, and then we did it all over again in '94 and '95 when the first molestation case broke. Other than his ever wors- ening physical disfigurement, everything's more or less exactly as it was a decade ago...Too many Jacksons to keep track of. My favourite by far is still Reggie. ________________________________________________________________________________ 1279. The Jam: In the City 1280. The Jam: Sound Affects 1281. The Jam: Absolute Beginners 1282. The Jam: "Town Called Malice" 12-inch 1283. Ahmad Jamal: At the Top: Poinciana Revisited 1284. Ahmad Jamal: Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival 1985 1285. James: Strip-mine 1286. Elmore James: Original Folk Blues 1287. Etta James Sings 1288. Etta James: Her Greatest Sides, Vol. 1 1289. Harry James: Harry's Choice! 1290. Rick James: Street Songs 1291. Sonny James: You're the Only World I Know 1292. The Best of Sonny James 1293. The Best of Tommy James & the Shondells Mixworthy: "That's Entertainment," #1280; "Dance With Me Henry," #1287; "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Crimson and Clover," #1293. I always liked "That's Entertainment" a lot, but the Jam's early-80s heyday, when they were charting like the Beatles in England, coincided with the years when my friends and I were most immersed in the N.Y. Dolls, the Stooges, the MC5, and all the other pre-punk touchstones. Consequently, the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the Jam is making fun of them--they somehow came to represent everything we considered effete and contrived and generally lame about new wave, especially anything out of Britain. Ten years later, when Scott Woods and I wrote the '70s book, we made fun of people who worried about things like whether the Jam were new wave or punk. Now another ten years have passed, and I'm like the befud- dled slacker kid in the Homerpalooza Simpsons episode; I don't know who I should be making fun of...For all the complaining I've been doing about bad HOF picks in these entries, I haven't yet suggested anyone who should be in there, so here goes: Tommy James should be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. In a very short time, he put his name on a handful of records that were better art, and that will long outlast, anything from the combined works of Solomon Burke, the Dells, ZZ Top, Brenda Lee, Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, and Earth, Wind & Fire. "Crimson and Clover," by almost any objective standard, is one of the greatest and most striking pop singles ever made; subjectively, I consider "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Draggin' the Line" to be almost as good. And then there's "I Think We're Alone Now," which I'm a little tired of but is great nonetheless, and, two huge arguments in his favour, "Mony Mony" and "Hanky Panky." I'm really sick of them, but within the genre they belong to-- sports-arena anthems, wedding-reception favourites, whatever you want to call it; I nominate better-that-Billy-Idol-covers-this-or-else-he-might-cover-the-Doors-instead-- they're as enduringly popular as "The Twist." His chances of ever getting voted in are about equal to my own, though; the day that 3rd Bass, Bruce Hornsby, and Yar- brough & Peoples go in, Tommy James will still be waiting...When this entry gets filed, there'll be a photo overhead of The Best of Tommy James & the Shondells. The cover will be red; my copy is blue. I have no explanation.

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