Saturday, March 25, 2006

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Waaaay back in the dim and distant days of 2002, I posted a list of vinyl long players that I liked that were unavailable on CD. Here and here are follow-up posts, adding three more. Out of that list, four have been released on compact disc: Neil Young's glum masterpiece On the Beach, Maria Muldaur's retro-folk/jazz exercise Sweet Harmony, David Cousins' mid-70's solo turn Two Weeks Last Summer, and the Pentangle's tuneful Britfolk swan song Solomon's Seal. I am happy to announce that one more has been added to that number: (and I'm sure you've guessed what it is by the honkin' big picture above) Mirror by Graham Central Station. Cut-and-pasted from that long-ago post, with minimal editing:

Larry Graham, the G of CS, was Sly's bass player until he got fed up with Sly's BS and started his own group. This was their 3rd or 4th release, I forget how many exactly. Frankly, except for about 2 or 3 songs per album, most of the Graham Central Station records are boring affairs, but this one boasts four stellar tracks out of eight and has garnered itself a place in the Johnny Bacardi Hall of Fame for Great Tuneage. The lead track (cleverly titled "Entrow") features marching band percussion, which would have caused a lot of high school band drum sections to wet themselves if they'd actually bought the frigging record. "Love (Covers A Multitude of Sins)" is a smooth, soulful track with sprightly strings and great backing vocals. I Got A Reason swipes the actual melody of the old Folger's coffee commercials (if you've heard them you know what I mean, it was set to a coffee pot percolating) but isn't stupid. Graham must have hurt himself hitting the high note at the end; it's an amazing thing to hear. Finally, the last cut, an elegy for his father called Forever is a bit overlong but has a gorgeous group vocal melody which is mirrored (if you'll excuse the expression) by a squiggling synth line, at least 4 years before they became annoying elsewhere. It's a wonderful record, probably the best thing by a Family Stone member (including Sly) since the Fresh album, and I'll be damned if I can figure out why it's not available in its entirety on compact disc. You can get a couple of cuts from it on one of the Graham anthologies available. Caveat: There is a strong strain of fundamentalist religion running through all the lyrics, though, and if that sort of thing bothers you then you should just get over it. No, seriously- just thought I'd mention it.

Y'know, I don't know how many of you ever go back and read your old posts, but it's kind of a weird experience, to go back and see where your head was at 2-3 years ago. And I know, I'm long overdue in replacing images from many of my 2004 posts. Barely have the time and energy to post new stuff, let alone go back and do maintenance like that. Oh well, someday.

Anyway, this is a fine album, and I hope to get a copy ASAP. It's on my Amazon wish list, hint hint!

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