Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Machine #2 – February 1970

4-12-10 Time Machine #2 – February 1970

Thankfully, Strange Days magazine in Japan has kept up with it’s “Time Machine” series, which I find quite interesting. This month, I own all of them!

Strange Days 2010.04 lists “February 1970 Albums” as The Move “Shazam” (Regal Zonophone UK LP SLRZ 1012); Ginger Baker’s Air Force “self-titled” (Polydor UK 2LP 2662 001); Gong “Magick Brother” (Byg FR LP 529 029); Van Der Graaf Generator “The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other” (Charisma UK LP CAS 1007); Rod Stewart “An Old Raincoat Will never let You Down” (Vertigo UK LP VO 4); Black Sabbath “self-titled” Vertigo UK LP VO 6); Cressida “self-titled” Vertigo VO 6); Frank Zappa / The Mothers Of Invention “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” (Reprise / Bizarre US RS 6370); and John & Beverly Martyn “Stormbringer” (Island UK LP ILPS 9113).

At the time, I was probably most aware of Ginger Baker’s Air Force. I had been a huge Cream fan, and I dutifully obtained Blind Faith’s only LP. I didn’t know the jazz guys on Air Force, but it sounded good to me. I loved the cover art, too. I had seen “Shazam” by The Move, and I liked that cover art as well – but I waited and got “Looking On” when it first hit the streets not long after this.

I didn’t start on Van Der Graaf Generator right away; I found a US copy of “Least We Can Do…” and several US copies of “Aerosol Grey Machine” first. I really got going with them by the time of “H To He” and they were one of my favorite UK bands by the time of “Pawn Hearts”.

Rod Stewart, Black Sabbath and Cressida – three fine Vertigo label acts. I definitely saw all of these LP’s at the time. First one I actually heard was Black Sabbath, when “Paranoid” came out. The Vertigo fever didn’t set in for a year or two – when I would go back and try and figure out which ones I had missed – that’s when I heard Cressida – and I like this one better than their 2nd album! I knew Rod Stewart from Jeff Beck albums, and from Faces records. Like most of North America, I eventually got into Rod’s solo works with “Every Picture Tells A Story”.

I certainly didn’t hear Gong in 1970. It took a few years for all the defective Byg LP pressings to turn up in bargain bins in Los Angeles. But when they did, I was all over it! I think I got “Magick Brother”, “Banana Moon” and “Camembert Electrique” all the same month! And it took a while to get ones that weren’t warped / out-of-round etc.

I had been following Frank Zappa for years by this point, so “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” was a natural for me – I felt sad when the poster included basically said that the band was no more. But I didn’t give up on Zappa…

I really had no idea who John Martyn was, apart from being a guy who had albums on Island UK. “Stormbringer” got a US issue on Warner Brothers, and a “promo copy” of “Stormbringer” was found for a reasonable price (under $1). I also got the next John & Beverly Martyn LP on Warners US, “The Road To Ruin” (again, for less than $1).

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