Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lou Monte - Pepino the Italian Mouse And Other Italian Fun Songs

I've already expressed my love of Lou Monte on a previous post. This is the most recent addition to my Lou Monte record collection. I got this about 6 months ago in a used book and record store back in my hometown of Palatine, IL, when I was visiting last fall. I was so excited to find this record because I had been looking for it for many years. I have the second Pepino record and I love that so much. I had to hear the record that started it all.

I am happy to report that the record met my expectations and then some. Not only is there a great Pepino song, there are other instant classics like "Calypso Italiano", "Tici Ti - Tici To - Tici Ta", "PLease Me Colombus", "Twist Italiano". There are some other great songs that also merit mention. "Show Me The Way To Go Home" is great. I love it because it is the drinking song Quint and Hooper sing in "Jaws". That is my favourite scene in "Jaws".

"Oh Tessie" is great is great. It is basically Bill Baily won't you come home with different lyrics. Many are in Italian, which I love.

"Eh Marie, Eh Marie" is nice as well. I have Lou singing this song on some other albums, but it is always an up beat number. This is a romantic ballad that would be prefect for a romantic dinner on a promenade in Italy. It was a nice surprise.

"Sixton Tons" is also a great song on it's own, but here it gets the Italian treatment. Again I have a soft spot for that.

Overall the album is great from start to finish. I hope you like it as much as I do.


01 Pepino, The Italian Mouse.m4a
02 Calypso Italiano.m4a
03 Oh Tessie.m4a
04 Tici Ti - Tici To - Tici Ta.m4a
05 Show Me The Way To Go Home.m4a
06 What Did Washington Say (When He Crossed The Delaware).m4a
07 Please Mr. Columbus (Turn The Ship Around).m4a
08 A Good Man Is Hard To Find.m4a
09 Eh Marie, Eh Marie.m4a
10 Sixteen Tons.m4a
11 Mala Femmena.m4a
12 Twist Italiano.m4a

The whole thing here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jerry Lee Lewis - Woman, Woman/Touching Home 7" - 1971

There is so much more to Jerry Lee Lewis than "Great Balls of Fire". My last post featuring Jerry Lee was a bluesy number oozing sexiness. This one is more in the country vain and has some of Jerry's fine piano playing. The song sounds like it is going to be a love song, but like many great country or blues songs it is more about breaking up. Jerry really pours in the emotion on this song as he sings "woman, woman get out of my way". You can find this song on Jerry's 1971 release "There Must Be More to Love Than This" which I don't think has been re-issued on CD.

It can also be found on the 2000 release "Mercury Smashes...And Rockin' Sessions". That is a huge box set that can run you quite a few bucks, so this may be your best place to hear this song.

"Touching Home" is another country ballad, and is fine as well. To me it is a little plainer and standard, but that is okay. Oddly enough it is a little easier to find. It is from the 1971 album "Touching Home", but can be found on quite a few CD compilations. It is also on the big of "Mercury Smashes...And Rockin' Sessions" compilation.


01 Woman, Woman.mp3
02 Touching Home.mp3

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blue Angel - Blue Angel - 1980

What was Cyndi Lauper doing before singing about girls wanting to have fun. She was fronting the new wave pop band Blue Angel. If you like Cyndi, then I think you'll like this as well. She sounds great, but has a little more rock and roll to her here.

Here she does the song "I'm Gonna Be Strong" which she re-recorded in 1994 as a solo artist. I love the later version which I have on her "12 Deadly Cyns" best of compilation, but I love this version too. Every note is perfect and when she gets to that big climactic finish, look out, we're talking shivers.

The song was written back in 1963 for Frankie Laine, but he didn't have a hit with it. The following year Gene Pitney did. But it was Cyndi who really made the song her own. Read more about the song here.

This album was re-released on CD in 2005 on some small label. I don't know how easy it is to find. I'm sure with the internet you can find it. The songs all sound and feel like early 80's New Wave pop for the most part. If you are into that, you'll like this. For more on the record and tha band go here.

"Maybe He'll Know" kicks off the record with a bang. Great Cyndiness and a bouncy fun beat. It's happy and has a fun little keyboard thing going on under the vocals.

I also like "Fade" which has a retro 60's vibe to it with an 80's new wave take. In fact I think that is a fair summation of the whole record. That shouldn't really be too much of a surprise. If you think about those early days of Cyndi Lauper her whole image had a sort of thrift store retro thing going on. Remember all those bracelets and thrift store dresses and skirts. She definitely had one foot in the past.

By the way if you ever have a chance to see Cyndi Lauper live these days, I highly recommend it. I never saw her in the 80's, so I have nothing to compare it to, but she really rocks the house down. I saw her a few years ago and was so completely blown away. He voice is I think stronger than ever before and she dances and runs around that stage like a mad woman. She came out into the audience and sang as well. She was great. And then of course the ballads live "Time After Time" and "True Colors" were amazing. I'm pretty sure "True Colors" brought tears to my eyes.

So if you can't see her (actually, I really don't even know if she is touring right now), but you need a Cyndi fix, check this early relic out.


01 Maybe He'll Know.m4a
02 I Had A Love.m4a
03 Fade.m4a
04 Anna Blue.m4a
05 Can't Blame Me.m4a
06 Late.m4a
07 Cut-Out.m4a
08 Take A Chance.m4a
09 Just The Other Day.m4a
10 I'm Gonna Be Strong.m4a
11 Lorraine.m4a
12 Everybody's Got Angel.m4a

Here's the whole thing. Blue

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ernest Tubb & Red Foley - Too Old To Tango/Doctor Ketchum 7"

Here are two classic sides from Ernest Tubb and Red Foley. I'm not sure the reason, but the billing on the songs are reversed on each side. One side says Red Foley and Ernest Tubb, while the other says Ernest Tubb and Red Foley.

These two songs are country songs that fall into a sort of sub genre of speaking songs. There is singing, but there are also bits of just plain spoken word. I've found that this was quite a common thing and I think was quite popular back in the day. Both songs are equally as good. I don't think I can choose one over the other. Both are fun. Both have a little bit of humor to them.

Doctor Ketchum is great because it is a fantastic time capsule of Men's minds in the 1950's. I also like the innocent use of the word "dope" in this song.


01 Too Old To Tango.mp3
02 Doctor Ketchum.mp3

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Al Green - You Ought To Be With Me/What Is This Feeling 7"

This one is definitely not clean. I mean it sounds like it was stored in a sandbox, so no one should get their hopes up to high. With that disclaimer out of the way, the songs are typical Al Green, which means they are pretty good songs. Smooth soul. Makes me want to go out and buy a whole bunch of other Al Green tunes. I'll be honest, I pretty much know the tune from "Pulp Fiction" and that's about it. I think I may have some greatest hits of Al Green laying around or someone may have given me MP3's of the music, but I need to revisit that. Sorry I really don't have more to say on this one.


01 You Ought To Be With Me.mp3
02 What Is This Feeling.mp3

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Orange Bird - 1971

I love collecting old Disney records. I really like these story book ones. When I first saw this I didn't know anything about the orange bird, but as you have probably gatherer by now, that doesn't stop me from buying something. If fact many times that is the very reason I will buy something.

As it turns out the Orange Bird was a character Disney created for Disneyworld in Florida. The orange growers of Florida sponsored the citrus pavillion and as part of the promotion for that the Orange bird was created. He appeared on commercials with Anita Bryant at the time. This record and story book tells his story.

As you can see from the pictures he is a little bird with an orange for a body. His wings are little green leaves. He couldn't sing or speak, but he could make his thoughts appear in little clouds of orange smoke. The "Orange Bird" song tells you all you need to know.

I've included the whole record here and scans of all the pictures so you can enjoy the whole experience.

An interesting piece of trivia is that the little boy on the record is Ron Howard. Between Mayberry and Milwaulkee he did some voice work for Disney records. He is on the Haunter Mansion record which I'll probably post closer to Halloween and this record. I think he did some others, but that record and this one are the ones I own. This was Ron's last thing he did for Disney.

There was a 7" 45 of the Orange Bird song, which I don't own. What I have done is take the song from this record and add a little fade out at the end before the narration kicks back in so you can enjoy the song on its own on your Ipod.

Lots of articles have been written about this record, the orange bird and Anita Bryant. You can also find some video on youtube.

Here are my high res scans of he album and book.

Here it the Orange Bird's myspace page.

And here is another good page with fun facts.

01 Introduction.m4a
02 Little Orange Bird.m4a
03 The Story Part 1 (Picnic Park).m4a
04 Sing All Day.m4a
05 The Story Part 2 (Picnic Park Birds).m4a
06 I'll Fly The Sky Way.m4a
07 The Story Part 3 (The City).m4a
08 A Cat Don't Like....m4a
09 The Story Part 4 (The City).m4a
10 The Perfect Picnic.m4a
11 The Story Part 5 (The Family).m4a
12 Orange Tree.m4a

Or you can grab it all in one file 01 The Orange Bird (Complete Album).m4a

Or broken up into sides.
01 The Orange Bird Side 1.m4a
02 The Orange Bird Side 2.m4a

Here is a link to the higher res scans on Flickr. You'll be able to read the words to the story. The hi res images are also imbeded in the audio files so you can click on the artwork in Itunes and read the story.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yvonne Gage - Doin' It In A Haunted House - 1984

I've been contemplating holding off on posting this record until Halloween, but decided against it. I may repost it then, but we'll see.

I bought this record because actually written on the record in pen someone wrote "Thriller ripoff". That was enough to spark my interest. I'm happy to report that that description was 100% on the money. In fact I've never heard such a blatant ripoff.

From what I've gathered this record came out about 6 months after the Michael Jackson classic. It takes the same basic musical riffs and then changes them ever so slightly, and then adds a nasty element to the lyrics making this the perfect club record.

The song of course isn't as good as the original, but it has it's own charm. Part of that charm may come from a sort of desperate vibe I get while listening to it. You can't help but think, "really? You couldn't come up with anything original? You had to steal Thriller?"

Give it a listen. Save if for your next Halloween party. Throw your guests for a loop.


01 Doin' It In A Haunted House.mp3
02 Doin' It In A Haunted House (Instrumental).mp3

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yella - Yella 12" - 1981

This is a really cool record. I think it is actually quite rare. When I first picked it up I really didn't know much about it and found that it was selling for like 75$ on e-bay. I don't know that this is still the case. By the way when I found the record it was on sale for 35 cents and then I happened to be in the thrift store on a half off day so I got it for 18 cents.

So what's the big deal about this record? From what I've read this record was basically a release from the Tom Tom Club before they were the Tom Tom Club. They released this record to clubs and such around New York. You'll recognize the music as the backing tracks for "Genius Of Love" but there is a rap by Yella over it. From what I've read this came first and then was reworked into "Genius Of Love" and released under the new name of the Tom Tom Club. If I'm wrong on this and I've read bad information someone please correct me. I could be wrong. For all I know that story was cooked up. In recent years I've learned that after "Genius Of Love" there were many rappers who stole the song and release dance tracks, especially around New York. So were Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz involved with this record or was it pirated. I don't think that is the case because the track also appear as a B-side on the "Genius of Love" 12" single. To me that supports the idea that this is the first incarnation of The Tom Tom Club. Read what wikipedia has to say on the subject. I know it is now 100% accurate, but it does support my story.

Well whatever the story, they bottled lightning with this little piece of music. This thing has been sampled endlessly and is instantly recognizable to just about anyone under the age of 40. So if you like "Genius Of Love" and want a new twist on it this may just do the trick.


01 Yella.mp3
02 Yella! (Dub Version).mp3

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Holly Golightly - On The Fire/My Love 7"

I know I will probably say this about every Holly Golightly record I post, but this is my favorite one. I'll try not to say that on anything I post in the future to keep the integrity of this statement here, but I can't make any promises.

If you are new to the greatness that is Holly Golightly this record is a great introduction. It captures the sort of retroness of her work, but also shows how beautiful and relevant her work is today.

"On the Fire" may even be my favorite Holly Golightly song of all time. I've put it on many a mix CD for friends. I love the lines "Your love is a lie and you love a liar." Crushingly great. The guitar on this song is also great. Simple, but perfect.

"My Love" is an old Willie Dixon song and she does the song right. It's a really sort of honky tonk swinger. You feel like you're in a piano bar and she's just banging this one out.

Now this is a relatively recent release. I don' t know if this 7" is in print of not, but I'm sure it isn't too hard to find. Holly has a pretty big following. At the very least you should search out her albums. "On The Fire" happens to be from her 2004 release "Slowly But Surely". Go get it now. I also recommend "Singles Roundup" and "My First Holly Golightly Album" and "Truly She Is None Other". If you can't afford the whole albums are have trouble finding them at the very least seek out the song "My Love Is" from "My First Holly Golightly Album". It ranks up there with "On The Fire" as one of my favorite Holly Golightly songs. In fact now that I'm thinking about it they are a tie for first.

For more on Holly read here.


01 On The Fire.m4a
02 My Love.m4a

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Surf Raiders - Surf Bound - 1983

The Surf Raiders were part of a surf revival that happened in the early 80's. I actually don't really remember that, but it appears it was there. I guess my contact with it was through hearing Agent Orange who took surf music and turned into "Skateboard" music, giving it a little more punk edge.

When I was in highschool in the later half of the decade I and many of my friends went through a surf music phase, inspired mostly by Agent Orange. A friend of my had a band that may have played once at a party where they kind of did the Agent Orange thing playing faster, louder surf music.

This record is not that. This record sounds like it could have been recorded in 1962 on Del-Fi records. It is authentic surf music, machine gun guitar and all. If you are a fan of any of that old early 60's surf music this is a great album. It takes that genre, treats it right and is recorded under much better conditions so it sounds great.

I don't know much about the band. I did some basic internet searches and didn't really find anything. I did find them on a surf compilation with Agent Orange. If anyone knows any more about this band please let me know.

So next time your heading to the beach or dreaming about heading to the beach to catch some waves I think this might be a perfect soundtrack for you.


01 Surf Bound.mp3
02 Totally Tubular.mp3
03 Egyptian Surf.mp3
04 Beyond.mp3
05 Hit The Surf.mp3
06 Raider Jam.mp3
07 Wave Walk'n.mp3
08 The Ranch.mp3
09 Hott Foam Rider.mp3
10 Long Ride.mp3
11 K-39.mp3
12 El Surfboard.mp3

Here's the whole thing. The Surf

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Elton Britt - The Jimmie Rogers Blues/Singin' In The Pines 7"

Back to the old country western collection. Here's a tribute to Jimmy Rogers, the famous cowboy yodeler. And as you might think there is plenty of yodeling. Like the "Ballad of J.C." which I posted recently this is a romanticized account of Jimmy Rogers life. It is fun as a sort of novelty song, but I'll be honest it seems a little slow and kind of overstays it's welcome. I mean really the song is over 5 and a half minutes long. What kind of pop song is that?

"Singin' In The Pines" is a great song as far as I'm concerned. It really sticks in your head. It is pure Americana evoking a postcard version of rural America. I love it. The song also is beautiful. I know I probably overuse that word, but it is a word I like and I think everyone understand. The melody flows like a easy flowing river. The orchestrations are cool and easy like a breeze. It's another perfect song for the season.


01 Jimmy Rogers Blues.mp3
02 Singin' In The Pines.mp3

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rainbow - Rising - 1976

I really shouldn't have to say anything else besides Ronnie James Dio here. Sure it is Richie Blackmore's Rainbow, but let's face it Dio is the highlight here.

This record is quite beat up and the rip isn't the best quality, but I think it is good enough to give you a taste and perhaps convince you to seek this record out for yourself. Okay you may not need the whole record. It does kind of get bogged down in 70's metal indulgence, which may not be everybody's cup of tea. But if your cup of tea is 70's metal with all sort of fantasy imagery of wizards and wolves and magic then this is a goldmine for you. If you are a youngin' and you don't know if this old fashioned music is for you, I'll compare it to Wolfmother. They are pretty much picking up the torch where bands like this and Black Sabbath left off. So if that is your cup of tea, then this if so for you. It is a classic in that sense.

If you are just casually interested in what all the excitement is over early 70's metal, then just go straight to "Stargazer". In my opinion this song has it all. It's epic. It's dark. It even has the ominous organs. The repeated use of the words "flesh and bone" and lines like "my eyes are bleeding"(ah heavy metal bliss). It has great Dio lyrics with crazy fantasy imagery right from Heavy Metal magazine. And then of course it has Dio. There is a lot about this song that reminds me of Dio's best solo work in the 80's. In my book that is high praise.

Before finishing this post I'd like to talk a little bit about organs and synthesizers and my youth. I remember when Van Halen released 1948 and there was a big uproar amongst fans. Were they selling out. Real rock didn't have synthezisers. Those were computers. There for some reason was a whole stigma attached to having keyboards in hard rock or heavy metal. Of course I was young and didn't know better. I of course loved the keyboards on 1984, but I didn't have the musical knowledge to defend Eddie and his new found experiments with keyboards. Now I'm not going to say 1984 and Eddie's use of a synthesizer made that record hard rock or metal, no. It did tame those songs up some, but the thought that keyboards and synths automatically made the songs less is false. I of course have known this for a long time, but it is the thoughts that were running through my head when I was re-listening to Stargazer the other day. You can't get much harder or more in the realm of straight up metal than this song and I can't imagine it without the organ. See if you agree.


01 Tarot Woman.mp3
02 Run With The Wolf.mp3
03 Starstruck.mp3
04 Do You Close Your Eyes.mp3
05 Stargazer.mp3
06 A Light In The Black.mp3

Here is the whole thing Rainbow -

Thursday, April 17, 2008

DOA - Bloodied But Unbowed - 1983

There was a time in the early 90's when I thought these guys would be lost forever. This is a time in the early 90's before the internet really took off. I remember being away at college and trying to tell some friends about DOA and they didn't know what I was talking about. All they knew was the Europop Dance ground Dead Or Alive. Good in their own right, but completely different. I remember thinking that these underground hardcore punk bands that myself and my small group of skater friends listened to would be forgotten forever. No one talked about them. At the time all the music was out of print. No one was repressing these records on CD. I had a few records and tapes of records and a handful of tapes I made from the radio show "Fast and Loud" that played on WNUR in Chicago. What I never thought would be that 15 years later these bands would be revered as godfathers, that documentaries would be made about them, all the music would be re-released on CD, and that my own son would fall in love with this very music.

I credit the internet for saving this music from oblivion. I credit the internet for giving people a forum to share this music. File sharing programs and music blogs have been a god send for me. I've been able to re-find and re-listen to so much of that music from that time and rekindled my love for it.

It was in this rekindled state that I found this record and bought it. I loved the few songs I had from DOA and this record was perfect for me. It is a collection of the hits. I use that term hits loosely since I don't think any of the songs ever really were hits in the traditional commercial sense. They are more hits in the sense that they are the best of the best.

The highlights for me are "The Prisoner", "Smash The State", "World War 3", "The Enemy" and "Fucked Up Ronnie". These guys were hard core, but they weren't so hard core that they abandoned song writing. There is still some of the early punk influence in these songs. Sure they are faster and harder, but there is still a sense of melody and song craft.

01 New Age.m4a
02 The Prisoner.m4a
03 Unknown.m4a
04 Smash The State.m4a
05 Rich Bitch.m4a
06 Slumlord.m4a
07 Fuck You.m4a
08 I Don't Give A Shit.m4a
09 Waiting For You.m4a
10 Watcha Gonna Do_.m4a
11 World War 3.m4a
12 2 + 2.m4a
13 The Enemy.m4a
14 Fucked Up Ronnie.m4a
15 Woke Up Screaming.m4a
16 001 Loser's Club.m4a
17 13.m4a
18 Get Out Of My Life.m4a
19 D.O.A..m4a

Here's the whole thing on one glorious zip file. DOA - Bloodied But

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nestor Amaral And His Continentals - Holiday In France

This is a record I bought for my mom and sister. My sister is quite a few years older than me my parents had this record around the house back in the 60's. When I got into collecting records she asked me if I had ever seen this record. She described it and so one day I found a record that looked like what she described and low and behold it was the right one. I think listened to the record and fell in love with it myself. It is one of your typical imagine yourself on vacation in a foreign land type records. I think these kinds of records we popular because young girls ad housewives would imagine going to France or Italy or Spain. I think there were records of this sort for just about every country.

The songs here are light and fun and definitely evoke thoughts of France. It is of course a romanticized version of France, but that is okay I like that too.

The highlights for me are "Pigalle", "Boom" "La Vie En Rose" and "La Mer", but really there aren't any bad songs on the record. The opening sort of narration/introduction sets the mood perfectly. We are welcomed to France through an extremely thick French accent. After hearing that you feel like you are sitting in a French cafe enjoying the native sounds and sensations. It really is a nice one to put on for mood music around the house. It is also perfect for a Spring day, maybe while doing your Spring cleaning. Windows open and a cool breeze through the house, a good book and these songs filling the air makes for a wonderful afternoon.


01 Under Paris Skies.mp3
02 Pigalle.mp3
03 Mademoiselle De Paris.mp3
04 La Seine.mp3
05 I Love Paris.mp3
06 Boom.mp3
07 Under The Bridges Of Paris.mp3
08 Valentine.mp3
09 La Vie En Rose.mp3
10 La Mer.mp3
11 Paree.mp3
12 J'Attendrai.mp3

Here's the whole thing Nestor Amaral And His

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stevie Wonder - If You Really Love Me 7"

Here's another in my series of Stevie Wonder 45's that I own. This is Stevie at his best in the 70's. His work in the 80's is okay and has a certain appeal as a sort of time capsule of the 80's but his work in the 70's is just great, through and through. I have not emotional attachments to any of that music, so I judge it purely on its musical merits and I think it is great.

"If You Really Love Me" is a great pop single. He really sings his heart and soul out in that one. Makes you fall in love with Stevie Wonder all over again. "Think Of Me As Your Soldier" is a beautiful ballad in it's own right, but certainly not the highlight for me. Both of these songs were recorded when Stevie was a mere 20 years old and were on the album "Where I'm Coming From" from 1971. This was a pivotal moment for Stevie. He was growing up and becoming his own man. He was spreading his wings. These songs and that album were a sign of the greatness that was before Stevie in that decade.

The B-side rip is extremely noisy with pops and crackles, so I apologize in advance. It really shouldn't matter because the A-side sounds great and that is the one you should listen to.


01 If You Really Love Me.mp3
02 Think Of Me As Your Soldier.mp3

Monday, April 14, 2008

Jo Basile, His Accordion And Orchestra - Accordion Polka - 1957

Anyone who has spent anytime looking through old record bins knows that it isn't hard to find polka records. People bought a ton of these things and I think all of those people have died or donated the records to thrift stores. The trick though is finding ones that are worth listening to. I'm no connoisseur of polka. To be honest I bought this record 100% because of the cover, and then was pleasantly surprised to find that the music wasn't half bad. In fact it is quite good. It certainly can get you into the mood for a bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Something I find funny about this record is that Jo Basile's accordion gets its own billing. It's not Jo Basile and Orchestra, it's Jo Basile, His Accordion and Orchestra. I also love that girl's hairstyle. It is gravity defying.

The other thing this record reminds me of is Disneyland. The first track sounds like something you would hear around the Matahorn or maybe even the tea cups.

If you'd like to know more about Jo Basile there is a link to a great bio. You'll learn things like Jo's real name was Joss Baselli and Italian that made a name for himself in France, before signing a record deal and changing his name. There's lots more so have a read.

So get read to Polka.


01 Clarinet Polka.m4a
02 Beer Barrel Polka.m4a
03 Swedish Rhapsody.m4a
04 Alpine Polka.m4a
05 Swedish Polka.m4a
06 Can-Can Polka.m4a
07 Hop Sa Sa.m4a
08 Polka Dot Polka.m4a
09 Jenny Lind Polka.m4a
10 O Suzanna Polka.m4a
11 Pot Pourri.m4a
12 Triolets.m4a

Here is the whole thing. Jo