In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day 2013, I decided to make a list of 20 records I think everyone should own on vinyl. Take this Record Store Day to build a nice foundation for your record collection. I picked this list based on pretty arbitrary criteria, including what critics generally think are great, what I think is great, what I think particularly sounds good on analog-warm vinyl, and what you won’t have to pay $100 for or scour for (e.g. no hard-to-find ’90s vinyl or things out of print). I also left it to one album per artist. These aren't in any particular order. Send any omissions to this list to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just leave a comment!
In my mind, The White Album is the greatest Beatles album, but you can’t beat the utterly perfect one-disc punch of Revolver. It should go without saying that every Beatles album is essential and is worth owning on vinyl yadda yadda, but if you have to start somewhere, do it here. Their catalog was recently reissued on vinyl in stereo mix, so you should have no trouble finding them if you’re just starting out — and you should have no trouble finding quality replacements, if your old Beatles LPs are worn out.
Born on this day: March 4, 1944 - Legendary R&B singer, songwriter, and musician Bobby Womack (born Robert Dwayne Womack in Cleveland, OH).
Happy 69th Birthday, Bobby!!
On this day in music history: March 4, 1967 - "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the fourth chart-topping single for the British rock band. Richards will come up with initial idea for the song, writing it in a Los Angeles hotel room in early 1966 while the band are in the city recording tracks for their album Aftermath. The song is based on a groupie Richards knows and his then girlfriend, Linda Keith. Jagger will write most of the lyrics including the songs' chorus. The Stones will record "Ruby Tuesday" at Olympic Studios in London on November 8, 1966 with additional overdubs recorded on December 3rd. Guitarist Brian Jones will also play the recorder on the song, giving it its distinctive baroque sound. "Ruby" is originally released as the B-side of "Let's Spend The Night Together" in January of 1967. When American radio stations feel that the former song is "too suggestive" for airplay, DJ's will flip the single over and play "Ruby Tuesday" instead. Entering the Hot 100 at #78 on January 21, 1967, it will speed to the top of the chart six weeks later. Certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, "Ruby Tuesday" will be added to US LP pressings of The Rolling Stones' next album Between The Buttons when it is released on February 11th.
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls, Live in Texas captures a stop on the Rolling Stones' 1978 American tour in support of that year’s Some Girls album. The tour followed immediately on the release of Some Girls and by the time the band arrived in Texas in mid-July, the album had hit the No.1 spot on the US charts. The tour took a “back to basics” approach, with the band and their music very much at the forefront. Filmed on July 18th, 1978 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, this concert is typical of the tour, with The Rolling Stones delivering a raw, energetic performance in front of a crowd that is clearly loving the show. This is undeniably the Rolling Stones at the peak of their form!
See it at San Francisco's Balboa Theatre Tuesday, August 14th and Thursday, August 16th. Get your tickets HERE now!
Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Stratall in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.
SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):
This year is turning out to be a good one for Allah-Las. This week saw the announcement that the L.A.-based band, who weave strains of ’60s Nuggets-style garage rock with ’80s Paisley Underground jangle and au currant surf rock swagger, would be releasing their self-titled debut album Sept. 18 on Innovative Leisure. Additionally, Allah-Las were announced as part of the FYF Fest lineup this week, taking place Sept. 1-2. And the band also is playing this weekend at Moon Block Party in Pomona Saturday June 23.
Allah-La's debut album was recorded at the Distillery Studio, a Costa Mesa-based haven for analog recording, and was produced by label mate and local rock hero Nick Waterhouse. The band, which consists of bassist Spencer Dunham, singer/guitarist Miles Michaud, guitarist Pedrum Siadatian and drummer/singer Matt Correia, already has released a video for the album cut “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind),” a jangly powerhouse that calls to mind Them’s garage classic “Gloria,” but relaxed instead of manic, resplendent in its analog sheen and laid-back cool.
I checked in with Dunham, a fellow South Bay native, to ask about the new album and what it was like for 3/4 of the band to work together at Amoeba.
PST: Has it been difficult to capture the exact sound you've been looking for on record?
Dunham: We tried recording a bunch of ways with different people but were never really satisfied until we went to the Distillery.
PST: What has recording with Nick Waterhouse and at the Distillery afforded the band in terms of sound and direction?
Dunham: Nick grew up in Orange County and has known the owner, Mike, since he was about 16. Mike loves to tinker with weird electronics to create one-of-a-kind instruments and effects, like microphones that go through record player needles. Sometimes those kind of things can be very complicated and time consuming, so it was really helpful to have two people working together to set up strange reverb tracks and whatnot.
PST: Can you talk a bit about working at Amoeba and how that affected the formation of the band and development of its sound? And what did you do while working at the store?
Dunham: Pedrum, Matt and I all used to work upstairs in the warehouse as “case switchers,” which is where you take bins of used CDs and put them in fresh jewel cases. You get a CD player and a hold box and basically just listen to music all day. It's pretty mundane work, but you get to see a lot of unusual albums, and we were all exposed to a lot of new music.
PST: In addition to the screaming girls and whatnot, have you had a lot of older “Nuggets” fans and people like that be into you guys? Have you had any particularly strange fan experiences so far?
Dunham: We definitely have a healthy contingency of garage fans, but our main audience remains American Apparel models. Not too many strange fan experiences yet, but Patrick Campbell Lyons from the ’60s band Nirvana (UK) befriended us after hearing our old radio show on KXLU a while back.
PST: I was never really that into the punk and stuff that a lot of other kids from the South Bay were into. Were you guys always attracted to more of the rock n roll stuff compared to what the area is known for? Were you exposed to it by parents, older siblings etc.?
Dunham: I used to listen to punk and it will always have a place in my heart, but in high school we mostly listened to a lot of classic rock: Hendrix, Who, Rolling Stones etc. We also used to hang around Scooter’s, which was a legendary Hermosa Beach record store owned by Uncle Tim, who hosts my all time favorite radio show, “The Bombshelter,” on KXLU. His shop was about the size of a closet, and while the majority of it catered to the punk scene, he also kept an eclectic selection of rock and got us turned onto stuff like The Velvet Underground and early Moody Blues.
PST: Can you give me a top five garage rock and paisley underground list of records you're particularly fond of?
Dunham: Here's a mix of classics and current jams: