Friday, February 5, 2016

January Record Shopping in Arizona, Part Five.

Our last stop was another Zia in Tempe, I think near the ASU campus. It was getting late but we ended up being there for a while, not leaving until after 10:30. You gotta put in the work, people. Here's what I got:

Annie Lennox & Al Green - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" 7" (1988)

In the Scrooged sleeve! Had to buy it for that.

The DiMartinos - The DiMartinos (1974)

Private-press LP out of St. Paul, Minnesota, that I assumed was gonna be super down with Jesus, but it's actually a pop record that's all covers - seems like they were a gigging band that provided entertainment at events and whatnot. My copy is signed by all four members on the back. I love paying two dollars for records like this.

8Ball & MJG - Ridin High (2007)

2xLP, sealed, and it was 8 bucks. My first 8Ball & MJG full-length on vinyl, I think. Killer Mike is on this one.

This album - specifically the lead-off track, "Relax and Take Notes" - brings up something I've been thinking about for a while. On the sleeve, it says "Relax and Take Notes featuring Notorious B.I.G. and Project Pat." If you listen to the song, BIG is just sampled for the hook, which is taken from a verse I know (literally the only BIG lyrics I know) in "Dead Wrong" with him and Eminem. So, first off, it's not what you'd traditionally consider a rap "feature" at all, because the dude's been dead for a decade by the time this thing dropped. Also, "featuring" an artist of this caliber would imply - to me, at least - he'd be rapping a verse, though I think that line's gotten blurrier over the years and there's an argument to be made there. But, to me, there's also an implication that his contribution would be something new, or at least rare enough that not a lot of people had heard it. If not, why would I care about it? This is taken from his posthumous album, which sold 2 million copies. I just think it's a little misleading and maybe even a little cheap. And I doubt it's even the rappers themselves who do it. I know there's other examples of this. Anyway.

Bobby Gosh - Love Ballet (1982)

That cover is really something. The lead track on this is an amazing anthem that should have soundtracked a steamy love scene in a movie. Maybe it was. At 1:35 I'm pretty sure he says "Touching softly as we feel clothing disappear" which is incredible.

Digital Underground - Future Rhythm (1996)

This has been the elusive DU album I've never owned in any capacity. Not even sure I've heard any of it before. This is the official US vinyl release - plain black sleeve with a track-listing sticker. Actually the sticker's on the shrink. This thing was sealed, sucka.

Kra-Zee White Boy - Down & Dirty (1990)

This is, against all odds, worse and more offensive than I thought it might be.

Neil Michael Hagerty - Plays That Good Old Rock and Roll (2002)

At 12 bucks, this was one of my more expensive purchases, and the last thing I picked up on the trip. Dude from Royal Trux. My wife is gonna love this record!

I bought some tapes while we were there, and I had been picking up other ones during our trip. Here's all of 'em:

Yeah, I'm getting into W.A.S.P. It's about time. And that Fudge Tunnel tape was a legit score. Alright. Now I gotta find room for this stuff.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January Record Shopping in Arizona, Part Four.

Next we headed to Asylum Records in Mesa, which was a metal-head's paradise, with KISS memorabilia everywhere and all kinds of other rock-related ephemera. They also had a super sweet cassette section in the front:
And at reasonable prices! (Except for this special bin inside where they were trying to sell cassette copies of Check Your Head for $20. They're currently going for about $5 on Discogs and eBay. Dick move. There were a bunch of overpriced tapes in there - stuff I would have paid $5 for because that is what they are worth. Bummer.)
They also had a small wall of bootleg cassettes with handwritten labels, which I've always assumed were basically garbage in the age of the internet. I could download these for free and make my own shitty cassette labels instead of paying $15.
I felt like a lot of the records there were overpriced, which was frustrating because they have a huge selection of vinyl and some really cool shit. The records were just consistently 5 or 10 bucks more than they should be. But, my brother helped me comb through the sizable 12" section, which was much more forgiving with the ol' price tags, and I scooped some stuff.

Salt-n-Pepa - "Tramp" 12" (1987)

So the original version of "Tramp" was released on S&P's 1986 LP Hot, Cool, & Vicious. This 12" remix was released a year-ish later, with the original, 4:09 version of "Push It" (which I can't find anywhere on the internet) on the flip. The 7" version of this 12" features a remix of "Push It," and that's the version that would end up being a hit, getting its own single (which I bought in 1987 on 7"- no big deal) and leading off their next record, 1988's A Salt with a Deadly Pepa. So that's how that works.

Bell Biv Devoe - "Do Me!" 12" (1990)

I keep some records in the front room of our house that I play when I'm doing dishes. This will be one of those. More than ready for the 9-minute "Mentality Hip Hop" mix. Man I was so down for BBD the year they came out and so embarrassed I ever listened to them the year after that. Glad we can get back on track.

D.ST - Crazy Cuts (1983)

I bought one of this guy's other records a while back. He's the dude who scratched on "Rockit" and was a DJ pioneer all-around. Mostly known now as Grand Mixer DXT. Old school clap bap.

ET (Eddie Towns) - "Beat Friends" 12" (1985)

Bought this strictly based on the cover and I have no regrets.

Jimmy Z - "Funky Flute (featuring Dr. Dre)" 12" (1991)

Man, I have to straight-up cop to not knowing this video existed. (Make sure to stick around till the end for Eazy.) Dre's looking like he's fulfilling some contractual obligations on that one. This is the promo 12" - on the Ruthless label, mind you - for that lead single from his full album that actually came out. Shit is nuts. A-side on this is a 9-minute club mix.

Arabian Prince - "She's Got a Big Posse" 12" (1989)

Really not that great of a 12" now that I'm looking at it. Two album versions, a radio edit, and "bonus beats" that is just two minutes of four-bar loops. Good-looking cover, though.

Bobby Jimmy & The Critters - "N.Y./L.A. Rappers" 12" (1988)

Speaking of Arabian Prince, he was one of The Critters before he joined and left NWA. This is the sole BJ&TC release on Ruthless, and this thing says it's produced by Dr. Dre, and he does show up briefly on one track (the dirty one). Bobby Jimmy was a comedy rapper, sort of an 80's hip-hop Weird Al. The A-side here finds him biting beats and styles from Public Enemy, EPMD, Ice-T, and even Eazy-E. You wild for this one, Bobby Jimmy.

Oaktown's 3•5•7 - "Turn it Up" 12" (1991)

One of the final releases from these lovely ladies. Only bonus track is a dub, but I'll take it. This jam just reeks of 1991.

Michel'le - "Keep Watchin'" 12" (1989)

Two remixes on here, as well as a bonus track (that Dre raps on and Jimmy Z plays flute on), all produced by Dr. Dre in 1989. Club bangers on the dance tip. You can hear him saying shit in the background. It's dope. And yeah: that's a watch on her ankle.

Urban Dance Squad - "Deeper Shade of Soul" 12" (1990)

One of what I'm sure are endless variations of this single. This one has a hype sticker on the black sleeve that says "A Deeper Shade of Squad" and some other stuff. Three mixes, one of which is the "single version." Oooh, you spoil me! I love UDS, btw. I feel like some people think they're a dated remnant of the 90's or something. These guys could do it. How dare you.

Tairrie B - "Swingin' Wit T" 12" (1990)

Very excited to find this. Corners are clipped on both sides on the bottom (?) so this might be an interim copy, but it'll do for now. Only one non-album track - a remix that's sufficiently dope. This is on Comptown Records, like the rest of Tairrie B's early output, and her early stuff is about the only thing the label actually put out. Short lived, sucka.

Def Jef - "Black to the Future" 12" (1990)

I keep looking out for Def Jef's first album, and it just ain't happening. I think I have one of his other 12"s, but that might be it. The remix on this is solid, but it's the almost-nine-minute lyrical clinic Jef puts on on "Phunky Az Phuck" that seals the deal. Very 1990. Jef's got some knowledge to drop, y'all.

Next up: we go one more place and eventually realize it's 10:30 at night and we're two hours from home.