Monday, July 27, 2009

THE HEADPHONE TRAVELER: Collectors' Choice Music


Hey, gang! SPAZ here!
On this edition of THE HEADPHONE TRAVELER, I'm going to give you a rundown on some of Collectors' Choice Music's latest reissues....

Now, I may have my preferences when it comes right down to my favorite types of music, but my insatiable appetite to hear as much music as possible has allowed me to expand my views and even change my opinions on certain styles of music...

With this batch of Collectors' Choice reissues, I was able to revisit some old musical acquaintances from my past and visit some folks that I missed first time around....

NED DOHENY's self-titled album from 1973 is like visiting an old friend from your grade school days: you may not remember him, but once his music washes over you, it begins to take you back to a time long-forgotten but fondly remembered! Like fellow songwriter Jackson Browne, Ned was one of the first acts to sign with David Geffen's Asylum Records. He shares Browne's knack for writing intelligent songs that may seem lightweight on the surface, but allow yourself to dig deeper and the tracks will drag you down into a deeper, more meaningful place. There are hints of The Eagles, CSN, The Doobies and Steely Dan floating around in the mix, but Doheny stops short of sounding like anyone else and ends up sounding much more confident in remaining himself....



Former Byrds drummer GENE PARSONS may have been a very talented musician, but, to be honest, there were not many people expecting much when he released his Kindling album in 1973. The truth of the matter is that many folks didn't even get a chance to hear this full length platter, as it got lost amongst the glut of that year's releases (teen pop, Glam Rock and whatever else was flavor of the month). Over three decades later, this reissue is hopefully going to help give Gene the credit he deserves. Kindling is an authentic slice of Country Rock that features stabs at Bluegrass and everything that lies in between the two genres. This isn't the sound of a musician going through the motions: this is honest and real with emotions that range from joyful to melancholic. It's enough to make you wonder why you never heard it before. Kindling goes a long way in proving that Ringo wasn't the only drummer releasing worthwhile solo albums in the '70s. Maybe I should go give those Cozy Powell albums another listen...


For many Rock fans, Disco was the epitome of overindulgence, both on record and behind the scenes. In fact, most Rock fans enjoyed Disco as much as they enjoyed having their fingers chewed off by rabid rats. Well, I'm glad to say that I LOVE Rock and I LOVE Disco. I think most musical genres has something valid and noteworthy to offer, whether I like it personally or not. (Well, except Emo. But that is another subject altogether.) When Peter Brown released "Do You Want To Get Funky With Me?" during the Disco craze, he became a one-man sensation, shifting a million copies of the single alone! While the clubs loved what he was doing, he barely registered on the popular radar. It wasn't until the '80s when his song "Material Girl" was recorded by some chick named Madonna did he cross over into the Pop charts. Stargazer, released in 1979, came out between those two milestones, but stands up on it's own as a Pop album with an incessent Disco beat. Brown isn't trying to sound 'black' on Stargazer, he's just blending his Chicago Pop roots together with his love and understanding of late '70s Dance music. In fact, if Billy Joel had decided to make a Disco record instead of a New Wave album when he released Glass Houses, it may have sounded like Stargazer. Fancy tunes, swelling strings and a good beat: that's what Peter Brown's Stargazer is all about...



Everyone loves to laugh and Bill Dana's My Name... Jose Jimenez will make you laugh, even though you'll also feel a little uncomfortable. As funny as his character was (and is), Bill Dana would never be able to bring Jose Jimenez to life in today's overly politically-correct world, which is a real shame. This album features Dana portraying his Jimenez character in sketches lifted directly from the Steve Allen Show and it remains extremely funny throughout. Each sketch features the same types of jokes and set-ups, but is always a hoot. Old fashioned, clean comedy will never go out of style. Here is an actually sketch featured on the album...



That's it for today, folks! Stay tuned for some more groovy blog posts... and even more from The Headphone Traveler... coming soon!

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