Everything Empties From What Was in Your Head
2651. Toad the Wet Sprocket: Bread and Circus 2652. Charles Tolliver: Paper Man 2653. Tone-Lôc: Lôc-ed After Dark 2654. Tonio K.: Life in the Foodchain 2655. Tony! Toni! Toné!: "Little Walter" 12-inch 2656. Toots & the Maytals: Funky Kingston 2657. Toots and the Maytals: Just Like That 2658. Toots Hibbert: Toots in Memphis 2659. Tower of Power: Bump City 2660. Best of Graham Townsend 2661. Peter Townshend: Who Came First 2662. Pete Townshend: Another Scoop 2663. The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!" 2664. Best of Traffic 2665. Traffic: John Barleycorn Must Die 2666. Traffic: Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory Mixworthy: "Pressure Drop," #2640; "A Lover's Concerto," #2647; "Hole in My Shoe," "Feelin' Alright," and "Dear Mr. Fantasy," #2648. Sorry, Tone, I'm just not feeling it right now. I haven't mentioned this since the very beginning: with very few exceptions, I list the artist and/or album title exactly as it appears on the cover. A number of times I've had titles written one way on the front cover, a different way on the spine, and a different way still on the record itself, and there I'll go with whichever makes the most sense; there are also occasional instances where an exact transcrip- tion would be so confusing that I'll make a minor adjustment. Otherwise, I go with what's there. So Toots and the Maytals sometimes take an ampersand and sometimes don't, Pete Townshend was "Peter" for Who Came First (like I went with "Phillip" for my first half-year of Nerve bylines--ugh), and no one told Traffic that "shoot- out" is legitimate as a compound...Another Scoop has some really good acoustic demos of early Who songs, but obviously I'll be listing all those songs later. I thought for sure I had Rough Mix...Three Traffic songs are too many, but there you go: a great Sgt. Pepper imitation, an FM staple I'm surprised I'm not sick of by now, and one of my key high-school drug songs (which I first heard via a cover in Go Ask Al- ice, along with covers of "White Rabbit," "Five Years," and "Do You Know What I Mean?"--almost as influential for me as Mean Streets!) I won't try to make a case for the comatose Shoot Out, an album that acquired some misguided mystique for me in high school. I think I was intrigued by always seeing it on the CHUM chart--the short list of albums they appended to the Top 30 singles--even though it was with- out AM airplay; one of those early indicators, like seeing the New York Dolls and Slade covers in record stores, that there was this separate musical world to the one I was so immersed in. I'm sorry to say that my copy is not hexagonal--it's a regular square, with two little white triangular patches in the top-right and bot- tom-left corners...Important update: the Shoes charted two albums in Billboard. That's what I speculated a few entries back, but I didn't want to leave the world hanging, so I dropped into the main reference library today to check. Happily, they had one of the Whitburn guides, so I didn't have to search through microfilm. Noth- ing for Suicide, but the Shoes did even better than I would have guessed: Present Tense spent 12 weeks in the Top 200 in 1979, making it as high as #50, while Tongue Twister peaked at #140 two years later, dropping off after seven weeks.(Boomerang, their last album for Elektra, didn't chart; neither did Black Vinyl Shoes, which was not a surprise.) Influence still counts for a lot, so I won't declare the Shoes more famous than Suicide based on this, especially seeing as (something we're re- learning for the 37th time) the charts are sometimes rigged. But I do think you can at least make a reasonable case that they were--for all I know, a #50 album in Bill- board translates to more sales in a week than Suicide had in their entire career. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2667. Trammps: Disco Inferno 2668. The Trammps III 2669. The Best of the Trammps 2670. Trammps: Slipping Out 2670. Randy Travis: Old 8 x 10 2672. Randy Travis: An Old Time Christmas 2673. Trenchcoat: Bad to the Bone 2674. Lennie Tristano: That's Jazz #15 2675. Trouble Funk: Drop the Bomb 2676. Andrea True Connection: More, More, More 2677. T.S.O.L. 2678. True West: Hollywood Holiday 2679. Tū 2680. The Ernest Tubb/Loretta Lynn Story 2681. Maureen Tucker: Life in Exile After Abdication 2682. Joe Turner: Boss of the Blues 2683. Joe Turner: Big Joe Rides Again 2684. Big Joe Turner: Rhythm & Blues Years 2685. Joe Turner: Effervescent Mixworthy: "More, More, More," #2676; "Do It Right," #2681. Spent: "Disco Inferno," #2667. I'd probably be bypassing "More, More, More" also, if it hadn't been zapped back to life by Len on "Steal My Sunshine" a few years ago. Andrea turns up as a talking head in Inside Deep Throat; she's been sitting on the couch pounding down more, more, more Oreos for the past quarter-century...The Trammps credit an M.C. on Disco Inferno: Flash Wilson. Flash gets his own little photo insert on the back cover, right below the group shot, in which there are no less than 11 Trammps pictured. Long before medi- ocre Canadian bands adopted the term, they may have been pop music's first collective. It's actually very confusing, as the credits list only five Trammps proper, followed by 13 musicians. With no overlap between the two lists, it looks as if some musicians were deemed more photogenic than others...Speaking of which (I don't have much to say about any of this music, so I'm focussing on cover design for this entry), Ernest Tubb looks thoroughly deranged in the shot that graces the front of #2680. It's otherwise a fairly bland cover, so I won't bother searching for a scan, but man, does he ever look scary--I think he may even have been possessed by Satan at the time...The last of the four Joe Turner albums is a different guy than the famous blues singer of the first three. According to the Goldmine guide, Big Joe Rides Again (1959, stereo, green At- lantic label) is the most valuable record I own: $200 for a near-mint copy. By my own standards, I'd classify my copy as near-mint, but in collector terms it's prob- ably a "VG+," dropping the value to $100. Again, that's $100 in fantasy dollars-- there's a CD reissue available, which would be good enough for anyone who's sane. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2686. Ike & Tina Turner: River Deep - Mountain High 2687. Ike & Tina Turner: Workin' Together' (The Best of the Rest) 2688. Tina Turner: Private Dancer 2689. Tina Turner: Break Every Rule 2690. Turn Ups: Turn Up 2691. Turn Ups: Urban Blight 2692. 28th Street Crew: I Need a Rhythm 2693. 20/20 2694. Dwight Twilley Band: Twilley Don't Mind 2695. Turtles: Golden Hits 2696. Turtles: Greatest Hits 2697. Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits 2698. Conway Twitty: Georgia Keeps Pulling on My Ring 2699. Conway Twitty: Conway 2700. T. Rex: Electric Warrior 2701. T. Rex: The Slider 2702. UB40: The Singles Album 2703. UB40: Labour of Love Mixworthy: "River Deep-Mountain High," #2686; "Happy Together" and "Outside Chance," #2695; "You Showed Me," #2696; "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," #2700; "Metal Guru," #2701. T. Rex made out somewhat better on CHUM than Slade or Mott the Hoople: "Bang a Gong" was pretty big right when I first became a full-time listener, making it as high as #8 in the spring of '72, yet "Metal Guru" didn't chart (or, I'm pretty sure, even get played--it was new to me when I first heard it in the early '90s while working on the '70s book). Why? They were both #1 in England, and, if anything, "Metal Guru" is the more bubblegummy of the two. Naive question: were North American Top 40 programmers actually a little afraid of glam? Sweet were huge, though, so that doesn't really make sense. I love how every single DJ who plays "Bang a Gong" today makes sure to hold off cueing up the next record till the very last second so you can hear Bolan's Chuck Berry allusion--"Meanwhile, I was still thinkin'..."--during the fade...I bought the earlier Turtles compilation (the original White Whale best-of; the second one was put out years later by Rhino) at the Record Peddler when they were still on Queen St., dating it to 1980 or so. I remember this because I stupidly passed on a remaindered copy of More Golden Hits for five or six dollars at the same store. I was still a couple of years away from the buy-everything philosophy I would later adopt, so my thinking on such matters still went something like this: "Why do I need the second volume if 'Happy Together''s on the first?" I did not expect to be second-guessing myself 25 years later. This segues into my belated discovery of "You Showed Me," in- cluded on More Golden Hits and now one of my favourite songs of its day. It made it to #6 on Billboard in 1969, and almost as high on CHUM, but I'm positive it had van- ished completely by 1972--the only Turtles songs I remember getting played on CHUM's "Solid Gold Weekends" were "Happy Together" and "Eleanor." I never heard it on any kind of radio for the next 15 years after that, and, because I didn't buy the De La Soul album when it came out, I missed another chance to catch up with it there. Only when I bought the Byrds' Preflyte sometime in the mid-90s did I finally hear the original. The Byrds probably do it a little better--without playing them back-to-back, my guess is the two versions are almost identical--but the Turtles had the hit, surely one of the most ethereal songs ever to find its way into the Top 10. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2704. Tracey Ullman: You Broke My Heart in 17 Places 2705. Ultravox: Systems of Romance 2706. The Undertones 2707. Undertones: Hypnotised 2708. Undertones: Positive Touch 2709. Undertones: All Wrapped Up 2710. Undertones: The Peel Sessions 2711. Undisputed Truth: Down to Earth 2712. Undisputed Truth: Higher Than High 2713. Unwanted: Secret Past 2714. Ut 2715. U2: The Joshua Tree 2716. U.X.A.: Illusions of Grandeur 2717. Marc V.: Too True 2718. Ritchie Valens: His Greatest Hits 2719. Luther Vandross: Give Me the Reason Mixworthy: "I Know a Girl," #2706; "Hypnotised," #2707; "It's Going to Happen!" #2708; "In God's Country," #2715; "La Bamba" and "Come On Let's Go," #2718. I should be listing at least a couple more Undertones songs ("Smarter Than U" from their debut EP belongs for sure), but those are far and away my three favourites off the first three LPs; there was a fourth, The Sin of Pride, that I never bought. I saw the Undertones live in 1979 opening for the Clash at the O'Keefe Centre, one of the more famous Toronto shows because the crowd got out of hand and started ripping up the place. I was the ringleader...well, not really, but I was an enthusiastic on- looker; it's all a blur at this point. Anyway, it wasn't until a few years later that I turned into a big Undertones fan, possibly triggered by picking up Hypnotised as a delete and for at least a few weeks thinking the title track was the greatest song ever. All of this is backdrop to reviewing Feargal Sharkey's solo record for Nerve and feeling--there's no other way to say it--deeply betrayed. The only other time that jumps to mind where I felt the same way was with Trans. What usually hap- pened with me when it came to my favourite performers, or somebody following up an album I liked a lot, was that I'd listen and listen and eventually convince myself that it was a pretty good record--maybe not what I was hoping for, but good enough. Examples: X's Under the Big Black Sun, the Cramps' Psychedelic Jungle, the Gun Club's Miami. I was a total fan; I wanted to believe, usually worked hard enough that I was able to, and when that wasn't enough, I took it personally. Without going into a lengthy, convoluted explanation of what happened between here and there--the short version is I got older--I can't imagine ever working hard to like something now, and even less getting overly upset because somebody I like puts out a bad album. Too bad--feeling that passionate about something is a good thing. (I'm still passionate about music I love, just not so protective when it comes to specific artists. It's much more a matter of stumbling onto things blindly now.) The strange thing is, I'm still inclined to get that way with certain filmmakers. On the heels of Boogie Nights and Rushmore, Punch Drunk Love and The Royal Tennenbaums were huge disappointments (Magnolia was bizarre enough to get a pass initially, but I don't think much of that one now either). I wrongly felt the same about Lost in Translation the first time I saw it, until a second viewing turned me around. I'm at a point now where I'm pre- pared to be disappointed by the two Andersons, but there are two directors, Sofia Coppola and Terry Zwigoff, who still have a clean slate with me; the first time either one puts out a mediocre film, I suspect I'll feel like I did with Feargal Sharkey. (This is kind of funny--I've been anxiously waiting for Zwigoff's follow- up to Ghost World, and I find out just this morning, reading Andrew Sarris's review of The Bad News Bears, that Bad Santa was Zwigoff's. I had no idea. I'll rent it out soon. I'm not optimistic.) ________________________________________________________________________________ 2720. Van Halen 2721. Van Halen II 2722. Van Halen: Women and Children First 2723. Cherry Vanilla: Venus d'Vinyl 2724. Ben Vaughn Combo: Beautiful Thing 2725. The Best of Billy Vaughn 2726. Sarah Vaughan: The George Gershwin Songbook 2727. Sarah Vaughan: The New Scene 2728. Bobby Vee: The Singles Album 2729. Alan Vega 2730. Alan Vega: Collision Drive 2731. Alan Vega: Saturn Strip 2732. Alan Vega: Just a Million Dreams 2733. Suzanne Vega: Solitude Standing 2734. Velons: Come and Get These Memories Mixworthy: "Jamie's Cryin'," #2720; "Dance the Night Away," #2721. I'm hard at work on a carefully calibrated system to measure who was more famous, Alan Vega or Martin Rev. Final results will be posted when I'm finished...When I was writ- ing about how bad the Incredible Record & Book Store was a few entries back, I said it was the worst Toronto record store I ever walked into. I added the part about "ever walked into" only after realizing that there were so many record stores around the city at the time, the dozen or so I frequented on a regular basis represented only a part of what was out there--all the key ones, I'm pretty sure, but I didn't have a car at the time, and there were lots of out-of-the-way stores scattered around the city that I didn't have the initiative to bike out to. Occasionally an album will turn up that I associate with a store I was in no more than once or twice, and that probably wasn't in business much longer than a year or two, in some cases not even that long. I got the Cherry Vanilla LP at some place out in the east end, just above the Danforth, somewhere around Pape or Greenwood; I vaguely recall it being a very cluttered and small space, more likely a general junk shop that happened to carry records than an actual record store. For a time I (reluctantly) kept a scratched-up copy of Freak Out! in my collection that I bought from a shop at the lower end of Parliament St., somewhere below Gerrard; again, I retain a dim memory of the general look of the place--much more spacious than the store above, with a large window dis- play--but don't remember being in there more than the one time. I'll be listing a copy of Jackie Wilson's Greatest Hits shortly that was bought at the north end of Church, just below Bloor; that definitely wasn't a record store, with more of an elegant, wooded look common to antique shops. So maybe there weren't that many record stores proper after all, but there was no end to the book and knick-knack and thrift shops that had records for sale, and I'm sure I only ever made it into a small percentage of them. The stores where I bought all these records were almost as much a part of this story as the records themselves, and thus far I've mainly mentioned them in pas- sing; towards the end, I may try to write a more detailed rundown. I know for sure that two of the used stores are still in business, as is one of the retailers; an- other one of the retailers may be, but I'm not sure. The rest are long gone...When Van Halen started getting a lot of coverage in Creem around '80 and '81, I hadn't a clue who they were. They weren't even on the radar my last two years of high school, at least not among me and my friends. Eventually, of course, I came to love certain songs--the two above and "Panama," primarily, although I'm starting to get sick of the latter (it gets played approximately 10 times more often than "Jump" on Q-107). I have less than zero affection or nostalgia for the band in general. Sometimes Dav- id Lee Roth is really funny, mostly he makes me squirm mightily; I have never once felt the need to refer to him as "Diamond Dave." (I remember being in A&A's in 1984 and getting my friend Steve to buy the "Pretty Woman" 45 for me--I was too embar- rassed to take it up myself. I'm embarrassed about my embarrassment now, but that gives you an idea of how squeamish I can get over the sight of Roth.) The idea that the group still managed to retain a huge following after Roth left--that "Right Now" is an MTV staple and is apparently considered by some faction of the world as a great video--is just bizarre.