Having concluded I was not going downtown to Record Store Day on the 2oth, we were going out of town anyway… I decided to stop in for a bit at the East Side Half Price Books. I had the afternoon off, and frankly I didn’t figure there would be much I hadn’t seen since I was there recently, however, it would still be fun.
The first album I found there made the whole trip worth it.
“The Blues Brother – Briefcase Full Of Blues”
This is the one! Jeff turned me on to this in the early days of Ann Arbor. This was a SNL skit that took off sure, but it was also a tribute to blues (perhaps my first, before I really knew the Blues) and damn good too. I loved this album. This probably did more to attune me to the blues than anything else before that night I recorded the Chicago radio station Blues show and was hooked forever. Jeff and I would goof on “Rubber Biscuit” to each other. I knew all the words to that crazy song. I think that this may also be the first consciousness I had of people doing other people’s songs. I knew that The Blues Brothers didn’t write these songs and they even called out some bands. This only added to my respect for the album and the boys. I didn’t think of it as a novelty act. I bet they would still be doing this today if Belushi was still around.
I also picked up 10 more albums.
“Sugarloaf – Sugarloaf”
This album was one of those that I pulled thinking, “no way could this be the same band that Jeff plays on his tape Lost In My Mind”. I flipped it over and saw the track list. Nothing I recognized, but there was a song called “The Train Kept A-Rollin (Stroll On)”. I have heard “Train Kept A Rolling” in many forms from Aerosmith and Foghat and others and so I thought I might check this one out. Then I opened it.
Jerry Corbetta! That was the guy! On Jeff’s tape he prefaces a song “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” saying it is Jerry Corbetta and Sugarloaf. So this IS the band. That song isn’t on here, but it is the same band and now I HAD to get it. P.S. WORST picture of a band ever. Not seeing it actual size doesn’t do it justice. First of all the picture is fuzzy. Not in an arty way, but more of a “it’s not great but we only have this and the one shot where no one was looking at the camera” kind of way. They are standing in what appears to be a newspaper and garbage strewn cement room, like in a basement or an abandoned building. I guess the photographer determined this setting might wash out some of the horrible fashions these guys are wearing. Amusingly the members of the band that are not called Jerry are Bob’s. Three Bob’s in one band. Bob Webber, Bob Raymond and Bob MacVittie.
By the way, the album is good and there is a song on it I knew. “Green Eyed Lady” was a big hit and I recognized it right away. So THIS is Sugarloaf. Well worth a buck.
“Jackson Browne – Jackson Browne”
In a case of classic synchronicity, I heard a song from this album on the WSUM Wednesday morning show. I can safely say that it has been many years since I have spontaneously heard a Jackson Browne song on the radio, but since I bought some recently I am now hearing Jackson, or at least noticing him more. On WSUM they played “Doctor My Eyes” as the cover song of the week. This was also done by The Jackson Five with little Michael singing. At any rate, I was like, oh yeah, that IS Jackson brown. He is really growing on me. So when I saw this one I had to get it.
“Jackson Brown – Late For The Sky”
I have no idea about the songs on this one, but I have liked everything far.
“Neil Diamond – Touching You Touching Me”
I had passed this one up several times thinking it was one of those early years comp albums, but it turns out it was an early regular release. So of course I had to have it. In truth, I could do without Mr. Bojangles… but the rest is great stuff.
“Short Stuff – Talk Is Cheap”
Now that I knew the name, when I came across this one, which I had passed over before, I knew to grab it. More Jim Liban. Do I have the entire Short Stuff collection now?
” Cat Stevens – Catch Bull At Four”
This Cat Stevens doesn’t have one song on it that I recognize by name, but it’s Cat Stevens. Had to get it.
Then comes the Chicago albums. These made me nostalgic for the apartment in Mishawaka and the Chicago 8-track tapes my mom had. Some I really liked and some were not so good. A little smarmy and poppy for me. Basically I learned about Chicago in the middle of their career and what I didn’t know was that the stuff I really liked was the old stuff, most of which I knew from this album:
“Chicago – IX – Chicago’s Greatest Hits”
Since the names of the albums are all pretty much numbers I could never remember which was which. In fact when I picked this one I didn’t even realize it was a “greatest hits” until I saw the cover spine.
I also got…
“Chicago – V”
“Chicago – VI”
and last but not least…
“Chicago – XI”
I think I may end up getting most of the albums before “Chicago’s Greatest Hits”. They are jazzy and punchy and very instrumental… but the stuff after was what was big when I was in high school and most of it was just a bit too much like the stuff you put on mix tapes for your girlfriend by getting the cassette single. You wouldn’t want the whole album.
All in all not a bad haul for a place I have hit times already.
There was another Half Price Books in my future, but I didn’t know it yet.