Kenny Burrell – Blue Lights Volume 1

Things are slow at work today and i’m also highly unmotivated so i figured why not get this out of the way as well. I’m not really sure what i might have to add though after Guy Minnebach did a short but sweet post on the album a while back. There you can see all the versions and colors as well as the original image. Early on this record and cover was a big mess to be, some were selling for thousands of dollars, some where basically given away and foolishly i couldn’t work it all out. Eventually i got my act together and the professor side of me figured out that it’s all about stereo and mono. And by then i also realized that an original mono issue would most likely never grace my shelf. This is one of the best looking covers so i still wanted some kind of copy, and eventually i somehow got the not so good idea of getting the Andy Warhol’s Jazz Album Covers Vol.2 box set. Clearly, with hindsight, this was a stupid decision as the covers in those boxes are nothing but terrible in every way.

I got the book From Silverpoint To Silver Screen based on Guy’s recommendation and it really is a fantastic book filled with more than a couple of drawings familiar to those interested in the record covers and/or dust jackets. A definate must have! Anywho… as said originals of this record are selling for big money, right now i could only find one, well two if you don’t mind some water stains. And even if prices have gone down a little i guess you would still have to consider yourself pretty lucky to find one of those for under $1000. I don’t want to pay that right now so i’m taking little baby steps up the ladder towards the sky going from something terrible to something that’s at least a little bit better.

What i got is the stereo reissue of Volume 1 that i think was released in 1967, at least that’s what Discogs tells me. It’s far from a rare find on ebay and these days i don’t keep track of prices in the same way that i did before. So i might have gotten a little overexcited and triggerhappy when i saw this a while ago. I think i payed $30-35 or something like that and had i bothered to check Discogs i might have gotten a better deal since there are several available there. At least i wasn’t completely ripped off. And i still need to get Volume 2, so a note to self – check Discogs. Always check Discogs.

This record is also one of the few of these old ones that has a Wikipedia article. It doesn’t say much but it at least it mentions Andy Warhol. Apparently the album has also been released on CD, both as seperate discs and as two disc set. I mentioned that i think this issue was released in 1967 but i don’t know… I know i said this was less of a mess to me now but to be honest i’m not so sure. I mean, look at this from Discogs. There are apparently three reissues as BST81596 released in 1967, 1973 and 1975…. I have no idea which one i have and i doubt it matters much. Maybe i should go and have another look at the actual cover. There are also several and more recent reissues, primarily from Japan. For anyone interested in those there are always A LOT of them on ebay.

blue-lights-versionsSo yeah… for now stereo will have to do. And when it comes to the condition there is not much to say and it’s also another thing that’s of little importance, at least when it comes to these reissues. But anyways, it’s partially still in shrink, has some tiny stickers and a cut corner but that’s about it. If nothing else i can put my previous copy back in it’s jazz box and never look at it again. And it does look a lot better in blueish/greenish than the pale almost grey version that i guess was meant to serve as a sorry excuse for pink. And who knows, now that the book collection is nearing completion maybe i can get back to putting more focus on the record covers again. And as time moves on maybe my brain will start convincing itself that $1000 is cheap for getting rid of the word “Stereo” and the Blue Note logo or whatever. Hmmm, now that i think about it the cover would look better without them…


Andy Warhol’s Jazz Album Covers Vol.2

This feels a little bit like déjà vu… Even though it’s another one of my christmas gifts for myself it’s something i just want to get out of the way and move on to other things. I basically could have just copy/pasted my previous post but let’s see what we got here. This is the second volume of DOXY’s boxes of Warhol’s jazz album covers and as with the first one there’s really only one reason that i got this and that’s Kenny Burrell’s Blue Lights. Well, i also kind of wanted it just to have both boxes so maybe it was more like two reasons. As i wrote in my previous post i wasn’t aware of the quality of the covers when i ordered this, i would most likely have ordered it anyway for the above reason but i would not have been so eager and payed a little more than $100 for it. But oh well, what’s done is done.

Besides Blue Lights this volume contains copies of Both Feet in the Groove, The Congregation and The Story Of Moondog and once again the circumstances are the same in that i already had reissues of all of these and in the case of Both Feet in the Groove an original copy. All references to Blue Note and things like that are of course removed and when it comes to Blue Lights they decided to make a double album kind of thing and thus the text “Volume” has been removed from the front cover. As far as i can tell they also added a track called I Never Knew that i don’t think is on either the original Vol. 1 or 2. All other covers might have underwent similar small design changes but i haven’t looked at them close enough to give any more examples. As with the first box this one is of course also a limited and numbered edition of 500 copies and my copy is number 340. I guess they might have fooled some people with this “limited” thing but crap is rarely limited and even more seldom numbered… I won’t bore anyone with any more thoughts and comments about the condition of the records, but things are exactly as they were the first time around. In short these boxes are really only for the closest mourners.

So there it is. I’ve now put both of these away and most likely will never look at them again…. If nothing else i will have played a nice joke on my daughter when she finds these after i’m gone and thinks they must be worth a fortune!

Cooler things to come later in the week!

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The Rolling Stones – Emotional Tattoo (Reissue)

This is the first of about four things that i decided to get for myself for christmas. I was going through some old posts and if you exclude The Joke / Chase The Dragon that i didn’t really find per se i haven’t gotten a record for almost six months, so it was about time. However, this particular record isn’t something to get all super excited about. As i’ve been forced to a couple of times in the past i’ve once again had to settle for something other than the original. But anyways, what better way to start the year than with some Rolling Stones…

This is hardly news to anyone that’s even slightly into all this but this is a later reissue of the very rare and highly sought after original bootleg on orange or black vinyl from 1983. To the best of my knowledge this hit the scene at the beginning of 2014. At the time the members of the WCCC seemed a bit perplexed not knowing what to make of it really, who, where, when and why? My first thoughts and feelings were those of, in lack of a better word, a scam of sorts or at least the work of a shyster. And those initial thoughts are still there, but obviously i gave in to temptation and caved in… As said the original has always made the boys with deep pockets come out to play and sometimes selling for more than $1000. When this reissue first appeared it was selling for upwards of $250 which given my thoughts about it naturally made me look the other way. As copies then stopped appearing on ebay i basically forgot about it until just a couple of months ago when Richard Forrest’s post about his copies made it come up for a bit of discussion in the WCCC and i was informed by Guy Minnebach that copies were now available for $40 or so, and there are still a number of copies in that region on discogs.

I know little about it other than the fact that it’s a german reissue and that it’s a limited and numbered edition of 350 copies. It’s available on green or black vinyl and i’ve put some time into trying to figure out if there are 350 copies of each color or if that number is for the total edition. This basically means contacting different sellers and asking if they know, which of course they don’t. My copy is number 217 and i decided to go with the colored green vinyl and it’s also still sealed. However, the seller has opened it a little bit to have a peak inside. This is most likely to see what color vinyl is inside which is strange because it also has an ugly green sticker on the plastic which to any non-genious would indicate this is a green version. Whatever the case it doesn’t lead me any closer to a guess about the total number of these, i’m leaning towards 350 copies in total but i don’t know… and it doesn’t really matter anyways. There are also a few small differences between this one and the original issue. I’ve never had my hands on the original so i can’t say anything about the general quality but Frank Edwards notes in his post that the cardboard is of much lesser quality, and i’ll take his word for it. But that aside, let start with the front. The cover image is much brighter, crisper and packs more of a punch than the original and it also has Warhol’s signature below the portrait. On to the back where there’s really only one big change – everyones favourite alien E.T has sadly been replaced by all ten of the portraits in the Mick Jagger series of screen prints.

And while on the topic of these prints, i think this series was done in 1975(?). I don’t know if this is true or not but on this page at The National Gallery of Australia it basically says that Warhol felt he wasn’t payed enough for his work on the cover to the highly successful Sticky Fingers album and thus decided to find other ways to cash in on his celebrity friendship with Mick Jagger. But from the funny letter sent by Jagger to Warhol discussing that cover i was under the impression that Warhol basically set his own salary for that work, so i don’t know… I quite like these portraits though and now and then you’ll see a set of all ten promotional cards made to advertise the upcoming portfolio of the silk screens, there’s one of these at Swedish auction site Bukowskis now for example as well as two seperate cards on Auctionet, here and here. Unfortunately prices for the full set are usually out of my comfort zone though…

It seems that Warhol + Jagger is somewhat of a favourite combination for covers to bootleg recordings of The Rolling Stones. Apart from what is now two editions of this album there’s also the very rare Mick Jagger in Japan that Frank Edwards dug up from god knows where a little over a year ago. This record has a different portrait on the cover and though not really a Rolling Stones bootleg i’ll still put them in the same pile for this. But that’s not all, just recently yet another record with a Mick Jagger portrait cover turned up on ebay. This one is called Lonely at the Top and uses the same portrait as the one for Emotional Tattoo. I think this one is also from Germany, on a label or whatever called CAT Records and limited and numbered to 55 copies. It’s been on ebay lately with outrageous starting bids but looking at popsike it seems it should be possible to find a copy for a lot less with a bit of patience.

So, that’s that. Even though the original release from 1983 in my opinion has more of a genuine or legit feel to it this will do nicely and i feel no shame in putting this down as the first addition to my collection of record covers of the year. Perhaps not a thrilling addition but i still quite like it. More things to come!

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Walter Steding and the Dragon People – The Joke / Chase The Dragon

This is a post i thought i’d never get to make. It almost feels a bit unreal to start typing… It’s not Melodic Magic but it’s not every day that i get to add something as cool and rare as this to my collection of record covers so i’m pretty excited about this. It’s also the third and final part of my trade with Guy Minnebach and i might as well thank you again Guy right away, thanks!

Walter Steding and the Dragon People – The Joke / Chase The Dragon (Earhole Productions – WS 4000)

Where to start with this… well, as with a lot of other things the coolest looking covers are also among the rarest and most expensive. However i don’t know exactly how rare this is considered to be. I do know that it’s been a loooong time since i’ve seen this album on ebay with a low starting bid and without a reserve price. So in that aspect the market has not been able to have it’s say regarding the price of this recently. In fact, there’s only been one logged sale on ebay in the last year and that closed at around $200. For someone with a thick wallet the record is available at both ebay and discogs, and has been so for quite some time. But with a median price or whatever it’s called of around $500 i would assume this is a record that budget collectors like myself will to have hope, pray and wait on forever and ever… Going back a few years the record has sold for as much as $1000 and in may 2011 it held two places in the top ten of most expensive records sold on discogs that month.

On to Walter Steding then… not the easiest thing to read up on him either but i’ve at least been able to figure out a little bit. Seems he mostly played electric violin and got started in New York in the late seventies as a one man band thing playing opening gigs at the famous CBGB’s for bands like Blondie and one of my favourite bands The Ramones. Apparently he first met Warhol at a discotheque on lower Broadway called Infinity and they got to talking about his music and eventually Warhol invited him to perform at The Factory. I guess they got along pretty good as Steding later became one of Warhol’s painting assistants preparing and cleaning the silk screens and things like that i guess…

Then sometime in 1980 Steding formed his band The Dragon People and eventually Warhol produced some of Stedings music and released it on his own label called Earhole Productions. And this is in fact the one and only album that was ever released on that label So what about the company? Well, it has not been easy to find anything whatsoever about it’s history. No mention anywhere, nothing at all. This is a little annoying since i’m sure it’s an interesting story behind it and it sure makes me curious as to what the plans and intentions were. And why nothing really came out of it? The only thing i have found, and i can’t quite put this all together but here goes… On Walter Stedings site there is a lot of cool stuff. Videos, paintings and so on, even a portrait of Andy Warhol himself.  There is also a section of different writings, and one in particular was very interesting. In this one here Steding writes that “On aug. 9 we signed a contract for him to be my manager and to start a record company called Earhol Music…”. But since the single in question was released a couple of years earlier in 1980 i don’t really understand this. Could it have been self released or whatever it’s called under the name Earhole Productions with the intention to eventuelly start a “real” company called Earhol Music? Maybe i’m not making much sense, but this is all pretty intriguing… I’m going to look into these writings more later. The images of the cover signed by both Warhol and Steding as well as the signed drawing of the head on the front design is also very cool! I’m also curious about the catalogue numer WS 4000, could “WS” be short for Warhol and Steding? Whatever the case, why the 4000?

Anyways, on yet another side note Warhol also produced the music video to Steding’s song Secret Spy from his album Dancing in Heaven. I’ve seen this single listed on ebay as a “Warhol cover” a couple of times and Frank Edwards also has it posted on his blog. The cover features a still frame from the video, and since Warhol produced the video i guess one could argue that it is in fact a Warhol cover, of sorts…

Oh well, moving on… Warhol is credited as the executive producer but the guy controlling the actual recording, mixing and mastering was Chris Stein – co-founder and guitarist of the band Blondie and someone i assume Steding got to know during the time at CGBG’s. The recording sessions were held at Blank Tapes Studios in New York, i’m not going to get side tracked more than i already have but there’s a pretty interesting “documentary” on that place on YouTube. No mention of Warhol or Steding though, but still pretty interesting…

After reading everything i just wrote it felt like a whole lot of nothing… But oh well, at least the writings of Steding was pretty interesting. So what about the cover itself? Well, as i’ve said before i love black and white. So it might not be surprising that this cover is right up at the top in my personal favourites list. I also absolutely love the back/front design idea with a big drawing on the front together with four small photographs and vice versa on the back. And also the idea with the inverted coloring, very cool and clever! Another great thing about this is that you can just flip the cover over when it’s up on the wall and get a totally new look, great stuff! I also didn’t know that violin was Steding’s instrument of choice before starting this post, but now all the small violins on both the front and back cover as well as on the labels make a lot more sense.

I can’t say much about the condition either. Even though it does have a couple of smaller issues that can be seen in the images i would never ever complain about anything with this cover. It’s absolutely fantastic and i don’t think i can thank you enough Guy, i’m thrilled to finally have this on my wall! This surely puts a little more “oomph” into my collection, thanks again!

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Carlos Chávez – A Program of Mexican Music

For once i actually have plenty of stuff that i’m pretty excited about but i’m sticking with the chronological order of things. And this has been laying around since before the summer so i figured it’s time to post it and then get to move along to more exciting things…

Carlos Chávez – A Program of Mexican Music (Columbia Records Masterworks – ML 2080)

When i started my record/cover collection this was selling for quite high prices and didn’t show up on ebay all that often. Lately both of these things have changed. Even though great looking copies still generate high prices i would say that in general prices has dropped quite a bit. It’s also not uncommon to see it on ebay, right now there are a few copies available there and a couple of discogs as well. As with the Alexander Nevsky i don’t care too much for this cover so i’ve been a little hesitant to try and get it even though prices are now within my range. But seeing as it (probably?) is the first recognized Warhol cover i’ve still always wanted to get a copy. Usually i’m clued to the screen at the end of an auction that i’m watching but if i remember correct i didn’t follow this auction with that much interest, i placed my bid early and then ended up as the winner.

I’ve rean on both Frank Edwards blog and Richard Forrest’s list on rateyourmusic that there supposedly are three variations of this cover – basically green, blue and yellow. I’m not convinced this is the case though. I’ve been looking at images on popsike and i have a hard time distinguishing a difference between the possible green and yellow version. As far as i can tell the difference in color is most likely due to lighting and the age/condition of the cover. One thing that is certain though is that the blue version is much more scarce and still sells for quite high prices. Personally i also like the blue version better but this will do, for now…

I was trying to find an acceptable copy without it costing me too much and i think i got a pretty good condtion vs. price ratio on this, if i remember correct i payed about $40-50 for it. I’m not that concerned about the condition of this but it does have some issues. There is some general discoloration to both the front and back, some small markings next to the names of the songs, various stickers and things on the back and also the bottom seam is split maybe 1-2 cm at the opening. So… taking all of this into account i still think it’s an OK copy and seeing as i don’t really like it i’m not at all bothered by these issues.

From what i’ve been able to piece together the music is a recording of one or more concerts that was held in connection with an exhibition in 1940 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition was called Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art and from what i’ve read in this quite interesting old article Carloz Cháves conducted the first three evening concerts on the 16-18th of may in 1940. There is also a program/booklet from this exhibition that has sometimes been included in the auction for the record. The funny thing was that as i was browsing ebay this morning preparing to make this post i actually found a copy of this program. It was listed with a BIN price of just $10 and i though it would make a nice complement to the record. Once again i took the liberty to ship it to my personal postal worker in the US…

There were not that many images of the inside of the booklet in the listing but looking at one of them i would say it’s quite clear what Warhol was asked to draw or where he got his inspiration from…

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Artie Shaw – Any Old Time 7″ EP

I have a soft spot for EP’s and singles. It’s neat little format, almost like a CD but still leaves room for some cool artwork and has somewhat of the same feel as an LP. There are some, not a lot, but some EP’s with Warhol covers. Richard Forrest has put together a great list here. Unfortunately most of these are quite rare. And some, like Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr and maybe also Latin Rhythms by The Boston Pops are more like crazy rare. And of couse, also crazy expensive. I’ve seen a few copies of the Both Feet in the Groove and I’m Still Swinging EP’s here and there, some even at a Swedish internet shop but these were in pretty bad shape so i decided to leave them be.

So, apart from the Ratfab single and the different William Tell records i think this is my first Warhol EP. That’s not mentioning some of the mock-ups i got from Richard Forrest though.

Artie Shaw – Any Old Time (RCA Victor – EPA-5013)

This has been on the shelf for quite some time. I think i got it sometime last summer or autumn but i’m not really sure. And i also can’t remember what i payed for it but i think it was somewhere around $20-25. I hadn’t really been looking for it at the time and just happened to stumble upon it pretty much by accident. I haven’t been following this record since then either but there is one copy on ebay right now for a BIN price of $30, so it would seem i neither made a great deal nor got ripped off.

Once again though i am puzzled to see that, as with the William Tell record, apparently there are (at least) three different variations of this record also. There is of course the LP and then this EP with the catalogue number EPA-5013, but looking at Frank Edwards blog i was surprised to see his 7″ had a completely different catalogue number – RPX 1308. Would love to hear my fellow WCCC members thoughts on this. It would seem though that i still have one more of these to find.

The condition is very good, close to great i would say. One thing that i noticed though was that the quality of the actual photo on the front cover is noticeable worse on the EP than on the LP. The coloring of the “Artie Shaw” on the front is also a little bit different, red on the LP and pink on the EP. The front cover isn’t that interesting though, it’s what on the back the counts. The design on the back is bascically the same. The only difference is that on the LP the chain of clocks runs in a straight line along the right hand side, and on the EP the chain is chopped of in the middle and positioned more in the center. They also switched the order slightly, on the EP the bottom three clocks from the LP is on the top and vice versa.

Thought i had posted the LP already but turns out i hadn’t, but i’ll save that for a later post…