Hey there friends and music lovers, how are you holding up? I hope well.
With the social distancing still in full effect it seems like people have been busy. There are a ton of podcasts, mixes and shows going up from all corners of the world and many of them are excellent. Add to that all the other stuff to watch and to read and you barely have enough time to get through a fraction of it despite being home with all this apparent free time. I don’t know about you but I feel overloaded and have actually been trying to consume less during this period and just stick with what I know and what I already have. That for me is records and they will always be my go to for entertainment and enrichment purposes. So, between listening to the records we have been putting up on the store and digging into my own shelves I have gone through a lot of records and have had little time for much else. Maybe a little TCM at night, I do like my old movies but mostly music. Anyway, this time made it more than clear to me what great value records are. You get the music, the artwork, the information and can hold it and feel it and enjoy them time after time if handled and stored properly. They also don’t have to cost a fortune. Growing up, part of the appeal with records was that no matter how much money you had it was always possible to round up enough to get something cool. Good record stores then and now always catered to both ends of the budget scale. The mark of a good store should be that whether you spend just a dollar or a few hundred, either way you come away with a decent record. At Sorry State Records, I think we do a good job at that. Since the shutdown, we have been listing lots of our used records for you and will keep going with that but one area of the store that we wanted to try and give you access to is our great Bargain Bin section. This is where we have records priced $5 and below. There are so many good records that don’t go for much but are just as good as those rare holy grail types and can give you just as much pleasure for a fraction of the cost. Most often with the bargain bins it is a chance to pick up solid back catalogue titles and best sellers at affordable prices. We have lots of those.
So very briefly without any more blather here are ten titles, in no particular order, that I just plucked today that are worthy of being in anyone’s collection. All priced between $2 and $5.
1: Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell. Vanguard 1974. Killer jazz fusion with funky moments and heavier psych guitar parts. All his sixties and early seventies records are pretty good.
2: GoldFinger Soundtrack by John Barry. United Artists 1964. What’s not to love about this? One of the best Bond title tunes, sung by Shirley Bassey. One of John Barry’s finest. Plus, a cover with cool Bond images including Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore. Come on.
3: Mae West: Great Balls Of Fire. MGM 1972. Yes, that Mae West. She made a couple of these records backed by a swingin’ beat combo. Covering mostly 50’s rock ‘n’ roll songs, there are a couple of cool numbers on here and you get Mae still doing what she always did best, sexy innuendo and double entendres.
4: Tony Bennett with Count Basie Big Band: Big Band Bash. Intermedia Records 1982. Not sure when this was actually recorded but it sounds great. Really swingin’ stuff and both band and vocalist were on top form. Class.
5: Ramsey Lewis Trio: Hang On Ramsey! Cadet 1965. I love this record so much. Prime Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded live at the famous Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, California. He covers two Lennon & McCartney tracks among the repertoire of other current pop hits and originals. A great listen start to finish. If you are not picking up every Ramsey Lewis record you see on Cadet, you should be.
6: Cal Tjader: Soul Sauce. Verve 1965. The record that introduced me and most others to the talents of Cal Tjader and the joy that you feel when you listen to him play the vibes. His records combine just the right mix of jazz and Latin grooves and always hit the spot. Perfect mood music. This record is dripping in pedigree. Recorded in part by Rudy Van Gelder at his studio and featuring among others, Willie Bobo, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Grady Tate, Armando Peraza as musicians. Such a great record and holds up to the best.
7: Mongo Santamaria: Stone Soul. Columbia 1969. Keeping on the Latin tip with this great funky and soulful album. Again, a who’s who of musicians playing on it including Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums. Nice versions of See-Saw and Cloud Nine among other pop and soul covers, all with great Latin percussion.
8: The Isley Brothers: It’s Your Thing. T-Neck 1969. Killer funk and soul from The Isley Brothers on their own label. You get the title hit and a lot of other great tunes. I always liked I Must Be Losing My Touch and Don’t Give It Away off this one. Some cool down tempo ballads too.
9: Dave Edmunds: Get It. Swan Song 1977. Classic late seventies Rockpile production. Dave pretty much played and sung everything on this one and it’s full of 50’s influenced rockers with hooky guitar parts-a-plenty. This is a fun record.
10: Kenny Rogers: The Gambler. United Artists 1978. We only just dipped our toes into the rock and country records but let’s wrap it up at ten with this classic. Nothing needed to be said. Respect to Mr. Rogers. This one has a great cover and that title song and a couple of other half decent songs. The Hoodooin’ Of Miss Fannie Deberry is Kenny doing Tony Joe White and getting all swamp funk groovy.
Alright, there you go. Ten records pulled from our Bargain Bins that are fully guaranteed to be ace and will set you back about $35 if you bought the lot. That’s pretty good value. Get in touch if you want them.