The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, February 29, 2008

Next Month...

2-29-08 Next Month…

Thanks for reading February’s blogs – I know they might not’ve been as interesting as usual, but…it’s been cold, rainy etc. There were just some days when my mind wasn’t on my work, as it were.

Rather than do an ‘alphabet’ for March, I thought I’d try an area not previously explored by the Ron Kane Files: Various Artist albums! I have 1,400+ various artist albums / CD’s, and there are plenty of good ones that seldom get mentioned. Sometimes I keep a various artist collection / compilation for just a few songs – other times, I am using the collections / compilations to cover or complete genres. If I had to pick a favorite ‘genre’ – I like comps / collections by record label.

For the LP’s, only so much of the cover can fit onto the scanner, so forgive me. I’ll do my best to see that all the best ones get discussed. As always, if you have any favorite ‘various artist’ titles, please feel free to mention them in ‘comments’. But maybe wait and see if I get to them first!

My big introduction to V.A. albums was via the Warner Brothers / Reprise double LP compilations of 1969, “Songbook” and “Record Show”. I believe I found a flyer for these albums stuck in my copy of “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. It wasn’t hard to figure out to send $4 for two double LP’s of “new material” from a label that had a really good track record with releases. And I wasn’t the only one – one of my friends liked these albums so much that he even made his own CD-R’s of them! Those wonderful Stan Cornyn liner notes!!!

And I also enjoy completing sets – how many volumes of “Backtrack” did Track Record in the UK make? How many Byg France “Rock generation” titles are there? Do I have all of the Island UK label sampler LP’s / CD’s – up to, say, their 20th anniversary? 40th anniversary? All these questions and more will be answered in March!

“Various artist” albums must’ve appeared in the “Supplemental Issue” of the Schwann Record Catalog – I do not remember them being listed in the regular editions. When I finally got Music Master (from England), I was pleased to find them all listed under “V.A.” or “Various Artists” – just pages and pages of them. Phonolog always listed ‘em by title (I think).

Seems appropriate that we should use ‘leap year day’ (Feb. 29) to discuss the upcoming month, doesn’t it? A day we only get once every four years.

For those who can’t stand the suspense, the ultimate ‘various artist’ compilation is the Sony Music / Columbia Records 26CD boxed set, “Soundtrack For A Century – 100 Years”, 479 artists, 547 tracks! And a coffee table book!

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Shown: Jimi Hendrix "Axis: Bold As Love" UK LP label...


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

WB Loss Leaders

As a kid buying records, I was very intrigued in the great 2xLP $4 Warner Bros. Loss Leader series! I can't tell you how many times I saw the inner sleeves hawking these babies and wanted them. But I was 7 years old. I was not ready for mail order yet, and truth to tell, my parents would have been no help. As it was, I finally got my feet wet with mail order in my early 20s, courtesy of Mr. Ware who shared his Wolak lists and sources with me. I started out ganging orders with Mr. Ware and the next thing you knew...

But dammit! I always wanted to order those WB loss leaders! As a child I was struck by the "Schlagers" cover parody of "Exodus." And IF I had ordered it I would have had a copy of Doug Kershaw's great "Diggy Diggy Lo!"

What was a 7 years old doing knowing what the cover of the "Exodus" soundtrack looked like? Well, my dad's cousin [from Jersey] visited and gave my dad an 8-track of the Ernest Gold soundtrack. It seems Dominic had "turned over a new leaf" and listened to rock & roll now...

7:37 AM  

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