Posts Tagged ‘Daily Record’

The Daily Record: “Blackstar”–David Bowie (2016)

In 2016 music, Rich's House of Vinyl on January 12, 2017 at 3:23 am


There is, of course, a real danger in saying that one is going to perform any sort of creative ritual “daily,” but, hell, I live on the edge. I’ll try to post short Daily Record posts here for awhile, beginning with a set of records released in 2016.

Today’s “Daily Record” is David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. Released just over a year ago, two days before Bowie’s death. I have already written about how Bowie’s death hit me and about Blackstar itself, so I will keep this entry brief (and, in fact, I’ll keep all future Daily Records brief).

I bought Blackstar late in the morning after Bowie’s passing. I’ve listened to it many times since then, so many times, in fact, that I released in late December that it was pretty much the only album released in 2016 that I paid any serious attention to it. I am making up for that now, but for the time being, let’s talk briefly about Blackstar.

Knowing that Bowie was seriously ill during the recording of Blackstar and died just days after its release certainly colors the perception anybody will have when they hear the album, but minus those circumstances, I’d still rank Blackstar among Bowie’s best work. It’s probably among my favorite five Bowie albums, and I’ve heard my share. It is of course, a spooky work. It’s sad. It’s horrifying. But it’s all beautiful, transcendent and, dammit, pretty funny at points. I mean, the chorus of the song I’m listening to right now is “Where the fuck did Monday go?” over and over. And it’s weird and funny and oddly life-affirming knowing that Bowie, in the midst of a serious illness, sat or stood in a recording studio near his home in New York City and sang that line over and over again.

Blackstar isn’t merely “oddly” life-affirming though. It’s gloriously, oddly life-affirming.

So, I’ve listened to a bunch of 2016 albums recently. I like all of them in different ways and if this latest “Daily Record” iteration takes off, I’ll write about them all before I move on to older records. But Blackstar is the king of them all. My favorite record of 2016.



Rich’s Daily Record 001: 333 Words about Tom Jones Sings “She’s a Lady”

In Rich's House of Vinyl on August 1, 2012 at 12:41 am

And now, 333 words inspired by the 1971 album, Tom Jones Sings “She’s a Lady”.

I can trace my enthusiasm for records all the way back to where it began: I was probably about seven years old and I had this little toy record player, along with a handful of 45 r.p.m. singles. A few of these singles featured a colorful parrot on the label, obviously the symbol of Parrot Records.

The Parrot Records happened to be Tom Jones singles. I don’t know that I had a clear idea who Tom Jones was at that point, but I do have vague memories of watching the parrot on the label spin around as Tom Jones crooned about a “Daughter of Darkness.”  I liked the parrot.

At first, Tom Jones was all about the parrot for me. And that parrot was one of the elements that started me on a lifetime of record collecting.

Flash forward 20 years. By now, I know exactly who Tom Jones is. One day, as my wife Donna and I are strolling around a flea market in a shopping center parking lot near the Northeast Philadelphia intersection of Cottman Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard, I am excited to discover someone selling an entire stack of vintage Tom Jones Parrot albums for cheap.

I still owned those earliest singles in my collection, but the allure of stocking up on so much classic Tom at one time was more than I could handle. Or, perhaps, I accumulated the records over the course of more than just one visit to the flea market. In either case, I was soon the owner of a fine Tom Jones collection.

Tom Jones Sings “She’s a Lady” is one of those albums. By the time he rolled this one out, Tom Jones was sexy and he knew it. He probably even worked out, just like those LMFAO guys. Tom was at the top of his Tom Jones Game and he knew it, with a title track that allegedly features Jimmy Page on lead guitar and became Jones’ highest-charting hit in the United States.