Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It's been a quiet couple of weeks in the wonderful world of the unhealthily obsessed. I did manage to take a mid 70s press of 'Bryter Layter' off the wall of the Soho branch of MVE at the weekend and yesterday I got the Marvin 'Hannibal' Peterson LP I'd been after for a while but aside of that, all quiet on the Western Front.

That said there was a period of about 40seconds last night when I thought that one of the big numbers on my Vinyl bingo card was finally going to get crossed out in blobbly red marker pen. I was in the always unpredectable, often over-priced tatt store 'Music and Books' flicking through the 'Justins' when I came across a copy of the first Ash Ra LP. Holy cock up a lamp-shade. At 30 Euros I decided it would have to be way beyond fucked for me not to take it home.

The sleeve was in good shape and my hopes were high for the vinly. I mean what could possibly have happened to the record for it to be 30 Euros, maybe the owner had got the message about his over-pricing and done a pendulum swing in the other direction. Even on seeing that Side 1 was what you would technically call Bad Plus, I was still considering adopting said record until I flipped it. Holy fuck if there doesn't need to be a new category for grading called 'Cunted'.

Somebody, most likely a very high and paranoid German had tried to carve their name into the playing surface with a knife. Awesome. Even on seing this I wasnt completely beaten so I drew my nail across the grooves to see if it might play. Nope, I'm guessing a series of 1mm deep gouges the wrong direction would probably be enough to confuse even the most determined of needles. Anyway, to cut a long and dull record shop based story short, it stayed where it was and as a footnote fuck the guy at 'Music and Books' for even putting it out.

Not sure why this should surprise me. He put a copy of the Floh De Cologne LP on Ohr out for 60 with a chip out of it that ate into the majority of the first track.


The only other big revelation from the past week that comes to mind is that i have started at a gym to try and shake some of that record chiseling fat: The additional girth that accumulates when you spend your weekends and evenings leant into a rack of stale smelling vinly rather than going out walking or playing football. I am trying to build the rest of my physique up to match that of my fingers, my 60 mile an hour record rack flicking digits.

So enough of the wittering. What's been on the turntable yo? Well there was this, but then isn't there always? 'Dusty in Memphis' is the kind of listening constant that ensures it's always being played by somebody somewhere and with good reason. It's a solid record. Yes it sounds way too close to Bobbie Gentry for comfort and no, she never managed to channel her girl-love based sexuality into her music in the same way as Nina Simone did. But hey, this record has to be in everybody's Top Ten 'sexy time' albums, has to be. There isn't a filler on here and each and every song is sung in the key of 'fuck'. Dusty's voice sounds like she is sat on one of those Sybian self-pleasuring machines and even the orchestration manages to sound 'saucy'.

A perfect example is 'Breakfast in Bed', a song that should bring to mind coffee breath and soggy cornflakes sticking to your back but it doesn't, it sounds like Dusty is singing about getting pounded from behind by a fireman... or fire lady armed with a strap-on.

So on to the downsides: First off the picture is incomplete, I hate to say this but you need to buy the expanded CD to witness the full glory of Dusty in Memphis. Or if you are insecure and obsessed with the pointless like me buy the CD and the UK first press on Philips and a German press just incase you ever find yourself in a situation where you need three copies.

The other major downside is the cover. It's shit. The US release of this got a much more apt 'Dusty in a night gown looking slightly surprised with her hands over her mouth possibly wiping something from her chin' sadly Europe got stuck with a particularly unflattering facial close-up framed in frog green. Still, when you are faced with a musical monolith as sizable as this even I can over-look the short sighted stupidity of the Philips art department.

Great record.

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