Before we get to a rare (largely) non-musical entry in our album series, some more single edit recommendations.
• Chicago-Beginnings: This is my favourite Chicago song, but I always thought the album version meandered instrumentally at the end. The 45 RPM edit tightened things up, especially the opening, which sounds more exciting as a result. This version used to just be available on singles and YouTube but was, in the last several years, reissued in a stereo mix on some Chicago compilations. This is now my go-to version.
• Archie Bell and the Drells— Tighten Up: I have, in this space, already praised the mono 45 RPM version of this song, which begins with a very funky drumbeat as opposed to some silly and all too quiet whispering and a rather muddy-sounding instrumental intro on the stereo LP version. I have just discovered, via YouTube, a stereo version of the single edit, but the mono still has more oomph.
• Won't Get Fooled Again— The Who: Avoid any compilation that contains the single edit. It's a travesty that misses out on some of the song's crucial elements. Didn't record company people learn from Hey Jude that it's possible to place a long song on a 45 RPM side?
And now to our latest album entry:
As I've written before, there are several milestones in my music listening life. The first album I ever heard on cassette was K-tel's Canadian Mint compilation. The first album I ever heard on LP was K-Tel's 3-LP set Today's Super Greats.
And the first LP I ever purchased was K-tel's 2-LP set Super Bloopers.
(That's three for three for K-Tel!)
Two factors attracted me to this album. One was the relatively low ($3.99 if memory serves) price. And the chance to hear radio and TV people screwing up, mostly with quite ribald results.
The album also symbolizes the glory days of record browsing and buying for me. I bought the album at Place Vertu in a pharmacy (the name is lost in the recesses of my brain) situated next to the now lost and lamented Discus record store.
From then on, I proceeded to browse at Discus for lengthy periods of time. It was a huge store with numerous LPs, including many with budget prices that I duly ignored for years. Some for good reason (ugly-looking UK Pickwick versions of budget Camden Elvis Presley LPs, and some bad disco material) and some from ignorance of the greatness of the contents (the very unique The Beach Boys Love You).
But before I concentrated on music, my listening life was consumed for a while with Super Bloopers, from a president's name being garbled as "Hubert Jeever" instead of "Herbert Hoover" to the transposition of the "Dominion network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation" to the "Dominion network of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration" to the transposition of "a good man is hard to find" to, er, you get the idea.
I listened to this record constantly, especially appreciating the rather understated and dry tones of the narrator.
And then, years later, I learned that I was (largely) the victim of a betrayal.
Many of the bloopers contained on the two LPs were (gasp!) re-created!
This distresses me, but on the other hand, the re-creators did a pretty good job comedy-wise, so I'm half-forgiving.
The album with the horrible pink cover art is long gone from my collection, but many of the bloopers can be heard on YouTube.
They're enjoyable, but the album is also symbolic as the start of my favourite hobby — collecting music— even as there was very little on Super Bloopers.
Next time: The Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n Roll.