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The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby dave esmond » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:33 am

One I just recently got that I haven't listened to much but like a lot so far is his tribute to Billy Strayhorn.

...And His Mother Called Him Bill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...And_His ... d_Him_Bill

Full disclosure tho'. I've yet to find an Ellington record I don't like. So I'm kinda easy.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:49 am

A Drum is a Woman. the "story" of jazz as only Duke would tell it.

and for a later one, I really like: New Orleans Suite
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:50 pm

Live in Paris has long been one of my favorites. Not as raucous as the Newport concert (which is maybe as close as you going to get to a jazz orchestra inciting a riot), but great just the same. I love so many of Ellington's studio recordings, but the live stuff is where the rubber really hits the road.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:16 pm

The wheels of The Project grind slowly...
I picked up a bunch of new CDs recently, which has mostly kept me occupied since I last updated here, but I figured I might as well check in with what I've got.

Shirley Ellis -- Known today, if at all, for the novelty single "The Name Game" (you know, "banana fana fo fana" and all that jazz). I have a 30-track comp. for some reason. Not much here to get too excited about. Her balladry is sub-par, the production and arrangement on these ain't exactly genius, and a lot of the songs are dumb, and not in a good way. But she does have an interesting voice and while undistinguished, most of this is pleasant enough background music if you (like I) like this sort of thing. The best of the novelty stuff is hands-down (no pun intended) "The Clapping Song". She also turns in a decent-enough version of "The Nitty Gritty", but I think I'll stick with the Gladys Knight & The Pips version. A couple other highlights: "Soul Time" and "Birds, Bees, Cupids And Bows"

Lorraine Ellison -- "Stay With Me" was a minor hit back in 1966 and is reasonably well known among lovers of '60s deep soul. And with good cause, as it's a powerhouse vocal. For years, all I knew by Ellison was that one and the even-more-minor-hit followup "Heart Be Still", both culled from R&B comps. So it was with great excitement that I picked up this 3CD set when it was released in 2006. I guess my expectations were too high as upon first listening, I was decidedly unimpressed and so, for many years, this sat on my shelf unlistened to. In recent years, a number of friends have expressed some astonishment that I had such a low opinion of it and urged me to listen again. I dutifully did so and yeah, I definitely judged it too harshly as there's a lot of wonderful stuff here. That said, I still have more than a few reservations. The third disc of demos is pretty uninteresting, but exactly the kind of stuff I expect to find on a Rhino Handmade release. But the bigger problem (which crops up more on Disc One) is that Ms. Ellison sometimes just doesn't sing very well. She sounds downright flat on some of these tunes and simply disinterested on others. When she's on, of course, she's fantastic, and there are more than enough pleasures here that my hasty dismissal upon first listen was definitely off-base. I've come to really enjoy much of this set over the last couple years, but it's still not the lost masterpieces I'd originally hoped for.
Most of my faves aren't on YouTube, but here's a sampling:
"I Want To Be Loved" -- 1967 single
Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers To Cross" -- 1973 single
Do Better Than You're Doin'"-- 1974 LP cut

Barbara Jean English -- all I have is this 8-track CD but why I have it at all remains a mystery. This really stinks. Bad '70s soul. Hard to tell if the crappy sound is indigenous to the grooves or just an example of shoddy Collectables mastering, but even with cleaned-up fidelity, I can't imagine enjoying these boring, overwrought songs. I found nothing here to recommend in any way. Truly baffled why I own this, but I won't for long. PURGED!

Anyway, that really is all I've got to since Ellington. Gotta work harder, I know.
Next up... The English Beat!
That oughtta get me moving.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:08 pm

The English Beat -- Hooray for The English Beat!
The Complete Beat is definitely more thorough than I need, but what can I say, I'm something of a completist. Their first two albums have been favorites for nearly as long as I can remember and appending a few non-LP tracks just makes them better. If all you know about these guys is that they were part of the second wave of ska revival and lumped in with the Two-Toners (they actually only released one single on Two Tone before founding their own label, Go-Feet) then there are many pleasures awaiting you on further investigation. More rock than many of their contemporaries, with a lot of other disparate influences thrown in for good measure.
I Just Can't Stop It is still my fave, but then, pretty much any record with "Twist And Crawl" would be. Throw in "Mirror In The Bathroom", "Two Swords", "Click Click", and "Stand Down Margaret" and you'd think it'd be pretty much impossible to top. But with the addition of bonus tracks "Ranking Full Stop" and their sublime cover of "Tears Of A Clown" you've got yourself one helluva party. I really love pretty much everything about this.
Wha'ppen? is a very tiny step down, but its highs are as high as highs climb. If there's a more perfect single than "Doors Of Your Heart", I'm not aware of it. The dreamy "Walk Away" is my other favorite here. And while the originally-non-LP tracks here aren't as fantastic as the previous two were, "Too Nice To Talk To" comes close.
Then there's Special Beat Service. A lot of people and many critics (note the distinction I just made) will tell you this is their masterpiece. But like so many things in life, a lot of people are wrong. I find this record to be a slickly-produced, pretty dull slog. Sure, it paves the way for the sound of General Public, but who listens to them anymore? (Actually, I'm curious: does anyone listen to them? 'Cuz I haven't heard them in 20 years and could be missing out on something, I suppose.) Yes, the MTV-hit "Save It For Later" is one helluva catchy single (seriously, don't click on this unless you want a particularly insidious earworm for the next few days), but the only other saving grace here to my ears is the unstoppable "Rotating Head" (which, fuck ... this is so great, and alone worth the price of admission, I suppose.) Otherwise, I really don't get the appeal of this album. Perhaps some other foron will school me and explain why this record is hailed as some kind of classic.
The appeal of the remaining 2 discs will depend entirely on how much and in what way you love and appreciate The Beat. A whole disc of 12" & dub mixes might be your cup of tea, but I mostly don't think these are their best songs, so I don't really need longer versions of most of them (and frankly, I've never had much use for dub, just as a general rule.) The final disc features 3 Peel Session sets and a short live set from 1982 which, for my money, is the definite highlight of these bonus discs. They tear through great versions of "Best Friend", "Tears Of A Clown", "Twist & Crawl" and "Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret", making me wish I had had the opportunity to catch them live back in the day. Wow. They've got a live CD/DVD set I probably should pick up. Don't suppose any Forons have heard it?

John Entwistle -- The greatest rock and roll bassist ever, he was also a pretty damn good songwriter, a very underrated singer, a fine horn player, and a great arranger. His solo albums, alas, may not be the place to discover any of that (except maybe for his singing, which shines on a lot of this stuff, even when the material ain't all that great.)
Inexplicably, I don't have his first, Smash Your Head Against The Wall, on CD (OK, it's explicable. It's out-of-print and was only ever available as an expensive import, if I'm not mistaken.) But I do have a handful of its tracks burned from a comp. It has some fine Who-ish numbers like "My Size" and "You're Mine" (and even a version of "Heaven And Hell", which The Who also recorded) but it won't fool anyone into thinking they're hearing Who's Next. It's dark and moody and heavy, and sounds OK while you're listening to it, but it's not particularly memorable.
1972's Whistle Rymes is in a similar vein and I feel pretty much the same way about it. I like this stuff, but it just doesn't grab you and lodge in your brain the way Entwistle's best stuff with The Who did (I often find his contributions to be welcome highlights on Who records.) But this one has what is probably my all-time favorite breakup song, the hilariously dark "I Feel Better", as well as a pretty rockin' paean to masturbation in "Ten Little Fingers". A handful of demos as bonus tracks adds pretty much nothing to the proceedings.
After two relatively straightforward "heavy" records, Entwistle really starts to indulge both his humor and his love of old rock and roll on his next pair of records. Rigor Mortis Sets In kicks off with the everything-you-need-to-know-is-in-the-title "Gimme That Rock And Roll" (which I'll take over The Who's similarly-themed "Long Live Rock") and then races through a bunch of tributes to the sounds of rock's past. His "Mr. Bass Man" (yes, the Johnny Cymbal song which I learned from Scooter on The Muppet Show) is a bad joke executed poorly, his dance-craze-wannabe "Do The Dangle" is only about as entertaining as the title, his "Hound Dog" cover is pointless, and "Made In Japan" unfortunately flirts with racism. Then there's an inferior version of "My Wife" (which makes no sense in this company anyway.) The album's highlights are the fun '50s pastiche, "Roller Skate Kate", and the album-closing barn burner "Big Black Cadillac", but I can't in good conscience really recommend this album to anyone.
Mad Dog takes the early rock fetishism even further than "Roller Skate Kate" did. John doesn't even sing on the girl group title track, wisely turning the vocals over to actual (if undistinguished) girls. (Why this isn't on YouTube, I cannot say.) It's pretty great to my ears, but then, I loves me some girl group and the lyrics are pretty hilarious. There's more highlights than on the previous set in my estimation -- "I Fall To Pieces", "Lady Killer", "You Can Be So Mean" -- but then, I'm a pretty easy mark for this kind of nostalgia (although I could really do without the "funky" instrumental insultingly named "Jungle Bunny". Blech.)
Avoid At All Costs: His 1981 collaboration with Joe Walsh, Too Late The Hero. Holy awfulness!

The Equals -- Why the heck are these guys not better known? Everyone knows Eddy Grant, of course, because "Electric Avenue" is hard to forget, but in the '60s and into the '70s, he fronted this pretty fantastic pop group who put out a string of excellent singles. You've likely heard "Baby Come Back", which was their only stateside hit, and it's a very good representation of their sound: Thumping, repetitive, catchy, and fun, with a hint of the Caribbean. You might also know "Police On My Back", if you're one of the handful of people with enough patience to slog through The Clash's Sandinista! (The Clash's version is better than the original, IMHO, but only out of context.) This 2-disc set is packed with poppy pleasures (if probably slightly more Equals than anyone really needs.) Some of my favorites: the itchy-like-James-Brown "Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys", the bubble-gummy "I Get So Excited", the extra-stompy "Diversion" and "Honey Bee", and the lovely and soulful (and uncharacteristic) ballad "Ain't Got Nothing To Give You". Good stuff that more people should know.

Next up... the fantabulous Roky Erickson!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:59 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
John Entwistle -- The greatest rock and roll bassist ever, he was also a pretty damn good songwriter, a very underrated singer, a fine horn player, and a great arranger. His solo albums, alas, may not be the place to discover any of that


I would put 905 and Trick of the Light as two of the top 10 Who songs, with My Wife right there too. But you are right, the solo stuff is not very good. I have most of them on album. Don't play them much.

Also, the water bottles on the mike stand thing just looked dorky, like beer headgear or something. Fortunately the awesome bass lines made up for it.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:32 am

Igor wrote:I would put 905 and Trick of the Light as two of the top 10 Who songs
Wow. That's some serious Entwistle-devotion right there. I wouldn't rank either of those that high in my list of greatest Who songs, but I do love them both and they are definite highlights of Who Are You. Ox even manages to come up with a great song for the worst Who album -- "Cry If You Want" is one of only 3 worthwhile tracks on It's Hard (the other two being the singles, "Athena" and "Eminence Front".)

Igor wrote:Fortunately the awesome bass lines made up for it.
Those basslines could make up for anything. When people ask me who the greatest guitarist ever is or who the greatest vocalist is, I have no quick answer. But I don't hesitate to name Entwistle as greatest-ever bassist.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:49 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:The Equals -- Why the heck are these guys not better known?

I'm guessing they're not well known around here as very few of their records were released in the US at the time. And even though "Baby, Come Back" was a hit, I don't recall ever hearing it on oldies radio. It seems in the past few years they've been gaining recognition from people into 60s bubblegum and glam (the stomping "Diversion" is kinda proto-glam).

Great band. I also dig Softly Softly, and I Can See But You Don't Know.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:25 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Igor wrote:Fortunately the awesome bass lines made up for it.
Those basslines could make up for anything. When people ask me who the greatest guitarist ever is or who the greatest vocalist is, I have no quick answer. But I don't hesitate to name Entwistle as greatest-ever bassist.


I assume you have seen videos like this, which isolate Entwhistle's bass. Pretty awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80dsyo2Ox-0
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:14 pm

A belated thanks, Igor. Damn but Entwistle is a motherfucking monster.

And now, Roky Erickson:
I am a big fan. And you should be too. Probably best known for his nutball horrorshow rockers, I actually prefer his more gentle side. But I've yet to find anything I really dislike, so I'd say any time you come across an album from this one-of-a-kind artist you should snag it.
I Have Always Been Here Before is an OK place to start, as it spans his whole career, which dates all the way back to his debut single from 1965 as leader of The Spades on the bonkers Them-like "We Sell Soul", then settles into a 10-song intro to The 13th Floor Elevators, where he first gained fame, before devoting the rest of disc one and all of disc two to his various endeavors under his own name from the '70s onward. It's not that great of an Elevators selection, frankly, but I really dig them, so I don't think such a small sampling really does them justice. (I will be getting to the Elevators properly sometime in 2019, I reckon.) This guy's discography is a total mess -- lots of one-off records on different labels which were subsequently reissued, repackaged, rearranged, and generally fucked with. He also has regularly re-recorded his own songs, often with different bands and in wildly different styles, often in surprising ways.
His finest single set, IMHO, is All That May Do My Rhyme which has two versions of "Starry Eyes", one of my all-time faves, plus the best version of the incredible "You Don't Love Me Yet", and two fantastic rockers in "Haunt" and "Don't Slander Me". Next, I'd recommend You're Gonna Miss Me - The Best Of Roky Erickson which includes a nice mix of his folk-psych numbers like "I Have Always Been Here Before" (and yet another "Starry Eyes") with his penchant for horror-movie rockers like "Don't Shake Me Lucifer", "Night Of The Vampire", "Creature With The Atom Brain", "I Walked With A Zombie", and "Two Headed Dog".
The Evil One (plus one) double-CD couples a 1980 release with hard-rocking backing band The Aliens with a radio show from 1979. Most of the aforementioned horror-show stuff originates from this era, but there are plenty of pleasures here not included on the best-of, like "It's A Cold Night For Alligators" and the appropriately haunting "If You Have Ghosts". The radio show intersperses some previously unreleased recordings and demos with interview snippets, the latter of which are notable for being some of the most coherent snatches of dialogue I've ever heard from Roky, a notoriously unstable and unintelligible babbler.
The same can not be said of the incoherent ramblings which punctuate Wildlife E.T., a disjointed mess of poorly recorded live tracks and other previously unreleased stuff. Lots of great songs here, often in radically different form than on other releases, but the sound-quality and annoying dialogue snippets make it the biggest slog of all the discs I own.
Better, if still not as great as the first few discs I mentioned, is Gremlins Have Pictures, which has been reissued a number of times with minor tweaks. Sound quality is still spotty, but there's some great stuff here I don't have anywhere else, including the bizarre "Song To Abraham Lincoln", a revved-up version of The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" (different than the one on Wildlife), and the awesome "The Damn Thing".
A truly one-of-a-kind writer and performer, this guy deserves a lot more attention than he's ever really received. Become a fan if you're not already. You will thank me.

Esquivel -- I own waaaaaaay too much Esquivel.
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music is a well-put-together comp and probably all anyone really needs. (Heck, "Mucha Muchacha" is probably all anyone really needs.) I definitely like this stuff as much for cheese value as anything else, but there's no denying that Esquivel was an exceedingly inventive arranger and that the playing on these records is top-notch from all involved.
If you're looking for full LPs, I'd recommend both volumes of Other Worlds, Other Sounds and Exploring New Sounds In Stereo. The one to avoid is Strings Aflame which adds (yep, you guessed it) a full string orchestra to the mix. It's the only one of his albums I have which I find pretty much unlistenable (it's doubled-up with Exploring New Sounds on CD, otherwise I would purge it.) It's so bad that I was not at all surprised to learn that unreleased tracks from the same session later turned up on a Living Strings LP. Anyway, if you like insane jazzy cheese with some of the most ridiculous-sounding "vocals" ever recorded ("zu zu zu zu zu", indeed) then this stuff's for you. All others, beware. A couple more highlights to whet your whistle (and yes, there's actual whistling): "Sentimental Journey" and "The Breeze And I (Andalucia)"

The Essex -- Remembered, if at all, for their #1 hit from 1963, "Easier Said Than Done" -- which is basically a girl group song with male backup singers -- this group had a powerful lead singer in Anita Humes, who has one of the best and most distinctive voices from that era, but like so many pre-Beatles R&B groups, she just didn't have the material to do her justice. The follow-up hit, "A Walkin' Miracle", suffers from trying to duplicate the success of "Easier Said Than Done" and the group never really clicked again with record buyers. You can get their first two long-players on one CD and they're both pleasant enough but loaded with undistinguised covers of such standard-for-the-era fare as Robert & Johnny's "We Belong Together", The Chantels' "Every Night", The Five Keys' "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind", and Maxine Brown's "All In My Mind". That said, there are certainly some other delightful highlights here for fans of the genre: "Quit While You're Ahead", "I Want The Real True Thing", "Are You Going My Way", and the fantastic "Stand By Me"-ish, "Where Is He" are all standouts. Best of all, however are the two audition demos which showed up on the Westside UK CD Girls Will Be Girls: "You Better Go For Yourself" and "I'll Let The Boys Know". Sure wish their actual recordings had sounded more like these two. Wow.

Eurythmics -- Their only proper album I own on CD is their first big one, Sweet Dreams, which is a pretty solid meh. Not bad, but sorta dull. (And their version of "Wrap It Up" is beyond atrocious.) But the other CD I have, the 1991 Greatest Hits, makes a pretty strong case for this duo being one of the top singles artists of the '80s. Obviously, you have to be able to get past the standard '80s production but the songs are surprisingly sturdy and there's no denying the power of Lennox's voice. The biggest clunker here is the very-forced-sounding "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" (especially given how much better and fresher "I Need A Man" sounds) but the best tracks transcend their production flaws and reveal some masterful pop songwriting craft: "Sweet Dreams", "Would I Lie To You?", "Missionary Man", and "Thorn In My Side", in particular, are all fantastic singles, but there's really not much here I don't like. Any other fans? And should I bother with any of their other albums?

Next up... Betty Everett!

Next up...
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:50 pm

Short update because next up is The Everly Brothers, and that's gonna take me a while as I have two Bear Family sets to dig through (which is gonna be a pleasure, just a time-consuming one.)

Betty Everett -- "It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)" is a '60s pop classic, but really, there's not much here to get too excited about. Everett's not a particularly distinctive singer and the material is mostly second-rate, at best.
This Dutch import more than adequately covers her Vee-Jay recordings from the mid-'60s, kicking off with "Kiss" and including her other best-known song, "You're No Good" (which is one of the few examples of a song done better by Linda Ronstadt.) Along the way there's lots of filler, including a couple undistinguished duets with Jerry Butler ("Let It Be Me" was the hit). Burned onto the same disc are a handful of stray tracks, 2 pre-Vee-Jay sides cut for Cobra, and a few other stragglers recorded for various labels after the hits had long since dried up. Pleasant enough stuff, but wholly inessential.
The other disc I had was (note tense) The Fantasy Years, chronicling her work for that label from 1971-1974. It's mostly crappy MOR jazzy-pop with undistinguished vocals plus a handful of slightly funky tunes with little to recommend them, the sole exception being "Ain't Nothing Gonna Change Me", which was a good single. Final analysis: Burn the single, purge the CD.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:17 am

"F" demands your attention.

The talents of Fiona, one of which was not singing... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cu4FqZKXfY

Firehouse, who could sing higher than Fiona http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCpDrfztxhM

Foghat - while a kickin' tune, I am at a loss as to why Roger Earl needs two bass drums. He wasn't that great at playing just the single one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nwOBaH--kA
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:28 pm

Oh, hello...
I guess I was slacking on this project, eh? But y'know... holidays and shoveling and lots of other excuses blah blah blah.

Sadly, what really made me get back into this was the death of Phil Everly. I had left off mid-way through my Everlys CDs and I knew I had to finish now.

The Everly Brothers -- I have all three Bear Family box sets, which is everything the boys recorded from 1955-1972. It's one heckuva recorded legacy, and one which I really wasn't all that aware of until last year.
The first set, which covers 1955-1960 (and the only featuring material I've known intimately for decades), remains one of the single greatest bodies of work recorded in the rock'n'roll era. A super solid set loaded with great songs. Virtually all the songs the Brothers are still known for are from this era -- "Poor Jenny", "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "Till I Kissed You", "Let It Be Me", "Wake Up, Little Susie", "When Will I Be Loved", "Problems", "Bye Bye Love", and so on. These are some of THE seminal singles from rock's first era and remain classics for a reason. But much of the lesser-known stuff is just as great (or nearly so) and there's little filler here. This set also includes the fantastic Songs Our Daddy Taught Us album, featuring their heartfelt renditions of old country and folk numbers. They would return to this well again later in their career, but never so masterfully.
The second set covers 1960-1965. After leaving the tiny Cadence label, they moved to Warner Bros. where they employed bigger productions and explored some interesting new directions. They only had a few hits in this era, and the ones I was familiar with prior to acquiring this set are far from my fave EB tracks (which is what kept me from exploring their later music for so long.) I've never cared for "Cathy's Clown" and "Ebony Eyes" is one of the most dreadful pieces of dreck I've ever heard. But "Walk Right Back" and "Gone, Gone, Gone" were definitely keepers and when I was finally exposed to the totality of this set, I was blown away by how fantastic it is. The first disc is mostly equal to the Cadence stuff and there are countless pleasures scattered throughout (it's 7 discs total and, like many Bear Family sets, loaded with alternate takes and other outtakes. But a lot of the alts are very different and show just how experimental the Bros were in this era.) Most everything here is worth hearing, with the exception of the disc containing their abominable Christmas album (they basically just overdubbed a few vocals onto cheesy chorale renditions of classic carols) and lots of shitty versions of old standards (they were unable to record original material at the time because of contract disputes, so they were basically just cranking out product to stay in the marketplace. These recordings really have no value now.) I'm not going to post any links because if I start, I'll go on forever. There are simply way too many pleasures on this set to sum up in a post like this, but needless to say, they were doing a lot of great pop music experiments which may not have paid off commercially, but sure sound amazing today.
The third set covers 1966-1972. It too has a total clunker disc -- a live set from 1970 with some horribly arranged rock medleys and even worse conceived renditions of their classics (all the fast ones are way too fast and all the slow ones are way too slow.) Even if I never hear that disc again, it will still haunt me. But the rest is pretty damn great. I don't think the highs are quite so high as the previous set's (although the first disc is pretty damn close) but this is still awfully consistent for a group well past its hit-making prime (they literally only charted once during this period, with "Bowling Green" in '67.) There's a lot fewer alternates here, but a handful of demos are particularly choice. Especially on the later discs, there's a lot more country influence than the pop stuff on the middle set, and while I do sometimes loves me some country-rock, this isn't going to supplant the likes of Mike Nesmith, International Submarine Band, or Sweethearts Of The Rodeo in my heart any time soon, I wouldn't think (and some poor song choices don't help) but their voices remain some of the finest ever committed to wax (even on that dreadful live disc.) And ultimately, that's what the Everlys will always be remembered for above all else. RIP Phil.

Evil Stig -- After the murder of lead singer Mia Zapata, The Gits hooked up with Joan Jett to do some fundraising shows and eventually, this album resulted. (Gits Live - get it?) I'm not actually familiar with The Gits' music but I'm one heckuva big Jett fan, and this is one of her finest, if least well-known, albums. The worst cut here is an unnecessary (re-)remake of "Crimson And Clover". The rest of it just cooks -- brimming with anger and aggression and fueled by some serious ass-kicking rock and roll. A few of these songs had already been on Jett's previous album, the also very undervalued Pure And Simple, but they kick even harder in this context.
"You Got A Problem", "Activity Grrrl", "Whirlwind", "Spear And Magic Helmet"
Seriously though, there's not a bad cut here. I could have picked any four other tracks and they'd be just as representative of this album's pleasures.

The Exciters -- Fantastic girl-group goodness! (There's actually one dude, but this is full-on girl group sound, so why quibble?) Best known for the deservedly classic "Tell Him" (and to a lesser extent, for recording the original version of "Do Wah Diddy"), but for my money the not-quite-a-hit follow-up "He's Got The Power" is even better. Lead singer Brenda Reid has one of the best screaming soul voices I've ever heard, especially for this kind of material, and why she couldn't achieve greater success is a mystery to me. I have a nice 29-track import collection that's nearly clunker-free, plus another disc of a dozen or so tracks leftover from various comps and what-not I've had in my possession at some point. If songs like this don't make you adore Girl Group, than nothing ever will. They kept recording sporadically throughout the '60s and into the '70s, managing some pretty great stuff along the way, like this chugger from 1969.

And that's it for the Es. Next up (you guessed it) F, starting with the fabulous fantastic Faces. Woo-hoo!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I'm not going to post any links because if I start, I'll go on forever.


I'll do it.

Radio & TV
Little Hollywood Girl
I'm Afraid
It's Been A Long Dry Spell
Sweet Dreams
The Price Of Love
I'll See Your Light
You're My Girl
June Is As Cold As December
The Devil's Child
Milk Train

That's just a little bit of the great recordings they made. These guys were so good. A lot of their early 60s stuff (including many unreleased tracks) were very innovative.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:25 pm

Thanks, Kyle. Fine choices, all.

And to give you some further idea of just how awesome the EB sets are, 5 of those that Kyle just linked to didn't even make the cut when I ripped a slew of songs to make a mix with.

Here's a few more:
It Only Costs A Dime
Hard, Hard Year
I'm Not Angry
Nancy's Minuet
I'm On My Way Home Again
It's Been Nice (Goodnight)
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