Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time Machine: 1969 #2

12-2-09 Time Machine: 1969 #2

I have been ‘reading’ the Japanese magazine “Strange Days” for all of 2009. A regular feature of this magazine has been “Time Machine – 40 Years Ago” – listing records all released in 1969.

Strange Days 2009.05 lists “March 1969 Albums” as Colosseum “Those About To Die Salute You” (Fontana UK STL 5510), Cream “Goodbye” (Polydor UK 583 053), Led Zeppelin – self-titled album (Atlantic UK 588 171), The Bee Gees “Odessa” (Polydor UK 582 049/50 double LP), Spooky Tooth “Spooky Two” (Island UK ILPS 9098), Jackie Lomax “Is This What You Want” (Apple UK SAPCOR 6), Family “Family Entertainment” (Reprise UK RSLP 6340) and Scott Walker “Scott 3” (Philips UK SBL 7882).

I found out about Colosseum by 1970, as much of 1969 was spent lamenting the loss of Cream as a working band. I didn’t hear of Led Zeppelin until “Led Zeppelin II” came along. I certainly knew The Bee Gees! “First Of May” from “Odessa” was a big hit in my house. I had seen LP’s by Spooky Tooth in the hippie record store, but I did not hear them until “The Last Puff”. I tried the Jackie Lomax album because of it having 3 members of The Beatles on it – “Sour Milk Sea” is fantastic. I heard Family on a Warner / Reprise loss-leader sampler LP, so I knew them – I had found a cheap used copy of their 1968 debut album “Music In A Doll’s House”, which remains one of my all-time favorite albums. “Family Entertainment” isn’t too shabby, either! Never heard Scott Walker in 1969 – I did not particularly care for The Walker Brothers (or “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”).

Strange Days 2009.06 lists “April 1969 Albums” as Brian Auger & The Trinity “Definitely What” (Marmalade UK 608 003), Grapefruit “Around Grapefruit” (Stateside UK SSL 5008), Kaleidoscope “Faintly Blowing” (Fontana UK STL 5491), Soft Machine “Volume 2” (Probe US CPLP 4505), The Moody Blues “On The Threshold Of A Dream” (Deram UK SML 1035), Roy Harper “Folkjokeopus” (Liberty UK LBS 83231) and Nazz (Todd Rundgren) – self-titled album (SCG UK 221 001).

At the time, I was really only familiar with The Moody Blues on this particular list. I didn’t like this album as well as “In Search Of The Lost Chord”. I think I knew that there was something distantly related to The Beatles about Grapefruit, but I didn’t hear it at all then. I knew nothing of Kaleidoscope or Brian Auger or Julie Driscoll in 1969. By the time of “Flat Baroque and Berserk” (a whole year into the future), I was a Roy Harper fan (thanks to a $1 of “Flat Baroque…”). I always saw the Nazz albums, but I never heard them.

In 2009, the big winner here is the Soft Machine LP, again, one of my all-time favorite albums by any artist. I truly didn’t hear them until “Third” (a year or so into the future), but I ravenously went in search of more Soft Machine once I got my teeth into that; “Volume Two” was what I found first. A bit much to consider being 11 years old and grooving to Soft Machine “Volume 2” – but if I would’ve been hip enough – I would’ve dug it, as I did when I did make it’s acquaintance.

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