Good Album Hunting, March 2, 2023: Stick It In Your Ear Records

Yesterday, my beautiful wife and I went to a record shop in downtown Springfield where I had permission to buy up to $100 of highly priced records.

You see, gentle reader, I suffered a birthday last month, and my wife often gets me a gift certificate or something for the event. But when she got to Relics the day before my birthday, she found a line winding up the aisle to check out, meaning it would have taken her an inordinate amount of time to purchase the gift certificates. And, as you might have read here, the Relics gift certificate is not the best gift, as it has a six month life span, and it is a gift certificate where you must spend all of the value of it, as no change is given. Instead, she allocated $100 for me to spend on fun stuff, which is kind of funny as I tend to buy what I want anyway.

So I decided to make an excursion of it: She and I, together, would go to the record store, and I could spend $100, and I would pick out a record for her, and she would pick out a record for me.

To be honest, I hoped to fill out my Billy Joel collection. When I was visiting Recordhead over on Hampton in Milwaukee in 1990, Billy Joel records were easy to come by as people were replacing their vinyl collections with cassettes or CDs, so I bought a bunch of them. But, oh, gentle reader, what a fool I was a couple of years later when I sold those very records at garage sales for a couple of needed dollars. I recounted all this when I bought (another copy of) 52nd Street last November. But I thought this would be a good opportunity and excuse to splurge on other Billy Joel records.

Oh, but, gentle reader!

The Billy Joel section was but a couple of copies of 52nd Street and a copy of The Bridge. No Piano Man. No The Stranger. No Glass Houses. No Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 2. Oh, the empires I have lost!

I did get The Bridge, though, which I had not owned previously.

I went through the jazz section, looking for Hiroshima, or Keiko Matsui, or Najee, but nothing. I flipped through the Herbie Mann section, and I said Not today. Well, it was more like let’s see what else I can find, but it turned into not today.

My wife pointed out they had $.99 records in boxes along the wall, so I started pawing through them, but the deleterious effects of a martial arts class arose: I could not crouch at the boxes long, and I really had to pee. So I called a lid on it so we could find a restaurant that offered a restroom after our purchases.

We got:

  • The Bridge by Billy Joel.
  • Send It by Ashford and Simpson. I have their earlier album Is It Still Good To Ya? (purchased May 2021). Like previously mentioned artists, Ashford and Simpson had a career spanning 40 years, and I only learned about them by buying their albums and then, today, reading Wikipedia.
  • Fever! by Doc Severinsen. Maybe this can count as the record I picked out for my wife. It was in the dollar section, and although we have numerous Doc Severinsen albums, I was not certain we had this one. And as I grew uncomfortable, I threw the original terms of the trip out the window. Perhaps this should count as the one I picked out for my wife, as I had expected I would pick out a trumpet album for her.
  • Alternating Currents by Spyro Gyra. Since learning that they are not, in fact, zydeco, I have been picking up this fusion jazz band when I can.
  • M.F. Horn 3 by Maynard Gerguson. My wife found this record. I know we have MF Horn 2, and I am pretty sure we did not have this one. We do now.
  • Walk On by Karen Brooks. A Pretty Woman On Cover (PWoC) record. Going by the titles, I’m not sure if it’s pop, 70s folk, country, gospel, or what. The first song is “Country Girl”, but who can tell? (Research indicates: country.
  • Lets’ Dance with the Three Suns by, well, The Three Suns.
  • Super Girls. I didn’t actually buy this one; they have a couple of boxes of “Free with Purchase” up front, and I found the fortitude to paw through them, grabbing this sleeve containing three records. I figured this would be some trashy exploitation band with a couple of extra platters thrown in, but it turns out this is a compilation of girl band hits. With a trashy exploitation cover.

So we didn’t end up spending $100. The records I bought were priced kind of like what you see in antique malls–between $.99 and $10, but the platters themselves were in very good shape, whereas at the antique malls and book sales, they tend to be a little marred.

I did shy away from records close to $20, which means, of course, known and popular acts. Earlier in the week, I rediscovered The Shaft soundtrack in our music library, and I recounted to my beautiful wife how I bought a number of blaxploitation soundtracks about ten years ago and the R&B stars’ other records, such as Isaac Hayes and Bobby Womack, and how I picked them up on vinyl sometimes later. And although I saw Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack. For $50. I passed.

Still, I am thinking about going back and checking out the rest of the dollar records later. Well, when I get downtown again, which is fairly rare.

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