Saturday, October 18, 2008

An email question

Two questions for you:

On the best way to store properly cared for records:
It's already a given that they must be:

In the record jacket, and in a plastic sleeve. But should the plastic
sleeve's open edge be at the top, or on the open side of the album
jacket? If you store them with the open edge of the plastic cover at
the top, you have to remove the album entirely to play it, and then
assemble the whole thing again upon storing it. If you have an
exceptionally rare or old record jacket, you risk damaging the edges
by constantly removing and replacing the cover in the plastic. If you
store them with the open side where the opening in the album cover is,
when you place the album back on the shelf the plastic starts inching
back, making it harder to read the spine.

I would be interested in reading your answer, and I'm sure your blog
readers will as well. Thanks!

- Bill
North Olmsted, OH

Thanks for your question Bill. There are some solutions to this. I have some Scotch tape handy in my music room and use this to keep this from happening. I store my LP's in protective plastic sleeves with the opening in the back. My records are placed in the album jacket so that the record and sleeve open at the top, so if someone were to pull the album out and opening it, the record is easily acessible. The Scotch tape is placed at the open end of the plastic sleeve, (which is in the back, when stored) usually about two small pieces. This helps to prevent the problem you have encountered, by not allowing the plastic to inch back, thus making the spine easier to read. Another method is to not store your albums so tight- give the records room to breathe. You can also take about 5-8 out and when placing the album of choice back in its place, have a handful of LP's instead of the one, it makes it easier to 'repack' the Lp's and helps with the problem you are having. But, for me, the scotch tape method works best, it also prevents the album from falling out once you have selected it; meaning you could have the open end of the plastic upsidedown and the LP would not fall out.

Classic Rock Videos

Elvis- I Can't Help Falling In Love With You

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at album cover art and look at number 11 on's list of the most controversial, weirdest, best and worst album covers:


11. Royal Trux: ‘Sweet Sixteen’ Nothing like a great image of a toilet, err, I think that what it is.

Royal Trux was an American alternative rock band from 1987 to 2001, founded by Neil Hagerty (vocals, guitar) and Jennifer Herrema (vocals). Hagerty and Herrema released their first album, Royal Trux, in 1989. Then, after moving to San Francisco, Royal Trux released the experimental double-album Twin Infinitives. They're parents must be reall proud.



11. Tripping Daisy: 'I Am An Elastic Firecracker' The second album by Tripping Daisy, released in 1995. Tripping Daisy weaves their own alterna-rock path like a weary prisoner of war from the battle for college radio and MTV dominance. The band sounds a bit like Public Image Limited morphed into Jane's Addiction.



11. David Cassidy – ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ Makes the Gigwise 'worst' list (he does look kind of stoned), but Mr. Cassidy was a hot item at one time. "Home is Where the Heart Is" was the second album released on RCA Records by David Cassidy. It was released in 1976 and was produced by Cassidy and Bruce Johnston.

The album is notable for a strong composing contribution from Gerry Beckley of the band America. Beckley also takes a few lines of lead vocals. Some tracks from this album are compiled on the 1996 collection, When I'm a Rock 'n' Roll Star.

Now, I know I am showing my age when I say that my yearbook picture looked a lot like this. Man, I'm an old fart.



11. Sigur Rós: ‘Agaetis Byrjun’ This makes the 'best' list? Man, I thought that the staff had options. Maybe someone was hungover, but this certainly does not belong here.

Ágætis byrjun (Icelandic for "An alright start") is the second album by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, which was released in 1999. Ágætis byrjun was recorded between the summer of 1998 to the spring of 1999 with producer Ken Thomas, and became Sigur Rós's breakthrough album, both critically and commercially. Ágætis byrjun represented a substantial departure from the band's previous album Von, with that album's Cocteau Twins-esque dream pop and extended ambient soundscapes replaced by Jónsi Birgisson's now signature cello-bowed guitarwork and lush orchestration (using a double string octet amongst other orchestral elements).

The album's title came from a friend hearing the first song they had written for the album; what would become "Ágætis byrjun". After hearing the song, he said it was "an alright start"; the name stuck.

The sketch on the cover was drawn by Gotti Bernhöft with a Bic Cristal ballpoint pen. The booklet cover for the CD edition of the album features the line: "Ég gaf ykkur von sem varð að vonbrigðum... þetta er ágætis byrjun" which translates to "I gave you hope that became a disappointment... this is an alright start." This line is a reference to their two previous releases, Von and Von brigði.

Sigur Rós assembled and glued together the cases of the first print of Ágætis byrjun themselves. This resulted in many of the CDs being unusable due to glue stains on them.

Blender Selects the 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time

I, too was a bit shocked at this list and it is certainly up for debate. I think Nirvana's "Nevermind" deserves a higher ranking (I am not a big Madonna fan), but I think some greats have been missed. Where is the Band? What about a any Simon & Garfunkel LP? Where is the first Boston LP? And "Hotel California" at #91? No Zappa, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top? What about the Cars debut album? Buffalo Springfield or Jefferson Airplane or maybe Chicago's first LP? And as long as they inlcude Canada, what about the Guess Who? I think they need to rework this, but I am sure that anyone could argue about some of the bands on the list. There are some glaring omissions.

What do you get when you take the greatest albums ever made and remove any by the Beatles, Rollings Stones, Kinks, AC/DC, the Who, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, Elvis Costello, etc.?

You get Blender's list of the 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time. This one should generate a lot of discussion because for every good thing about the list, there's something equally off.

Let's start with the good. Blender has managed to name a number of albums to the list that aren't usually recognized in such compilations. Albums by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Chic deserve to be recognized along with all the "regulars."

They've been adventurous in some of their selections within an artist's repertoire. For Steely Dan, it's Katy Lied that made the list instead of Aja. Off the Wall for Michael Jackson instead of Thriller. Let's Get It On for Marvin Gaye instead of What's Goin' On.

On the other hand, can a list that doesn't include classics like What's Goin' On really be taken seriously, especially when so many other lists include it in the top ten albums ever made in ANY country...and what's the deal with including Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town but omitting Born to Run?

There are also a great many greatest hits and compilation albums, including the Madonna album deemed to be the greatest by an American artist. While these albums sell in great quantities, the fact remains that they are mainly tracks taken from other works by the artists and the only real new "art", save for the occasional bonus track, is the sequencing and the liner notes. About the only good reason to include them on the list is to acknowledge acts that were never considered to be album artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Hank Williams, the Coasters and the Carpenters (but definitely not Madonna).

Finally, these are supposed to be albums by American artists. Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are Canadian and don't really belong here.

Here is the full top ten and all other listings for veteran artists.

1. The Immaculate Collection - Madonna
2. Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
3. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
4. Innervisions - Stevie Wonder
5. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
6. Ramones - Ramones
7. Parallel Lines - Blondie
8. The Great Twenty-Eight - Chuck Berry
9. Nevermind - Nirvana
10. Blue - Joni Mitchell
12. Metallica - Metallica
13. Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
14. Pet Sounds - Beach Boys
15. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
16. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music - Ray Charles
17. The Velvet Underground & Nico - Velvet Underground, Nico
18. Purple Rain - Prince & the Revolution
19. Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
20. Sex Machine - James Brown
21. Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
22. King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson
23. Murmer - R.E.M.
24. Mothership Connection - Parliament
26. Van Halen - Van Halen
27. Call Me - Al Green
28. Rocks - Aerosmith
30. Grooviest 17 Original Hits! - Little Richard
31. The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings - Louis Armstrong
32. Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
33. 40 Greatest Hits - Hank Williams
34. Katy Lied - Steely Dan
35. The B-52's - B-52's
36. Risque - Chic
37. Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
38. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You - Aretha Franklin
39. The Sun Sessions - Elvis Presley
41. Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
42. Horses - Patti Smith
43. There's a Riot Goin' On - Sly & the Family Stone
46. Raising Hell - Run-DMC
47. Back to Mono: 1958-1969 - Various Artists (Phil Spector)
48. Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
50. Destroyer - KISS
51. Court and Spark - Joni Mitchell
52. 12 Songs - Randy Newman
54. In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
55. The Basement Tapes - Bob Dylan
58. American Beauty - Grateful Dead
60. Graceland - Paul Simon
61. 50 Coastin' Classics - Coasters
62. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen
63. At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
64. Grevious Angel - Gram Parsons
65. Lady in Satin - Billie Holiday
66. Modern Lovers - Modern Lovers
69. (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd) - Lynyrd Skynyrd
70. Sign "O" the Times - Prince
71. Radio - L.L. Cool J
72. The Singles 1969-1981 - Carpenters
74. Lady Soul - Aretha Franklin
76. At Newport 1960 - Muddy Waters
78. From Elvis in Memphis - Elvis Presley
79. Dust Bowl Ballads - Woody Guthrie
81. Nuggets - Various Artists
83. Double Nickles on the Dime - Minutemen
84. Greatest Hits - Buddy Holly
85. Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson
86. After the Goldrush - Neil Young
87. Automatic For the People - R.E.M.
89. Remain in Light - Talking Heads
91. Hotel California - Eagles
92. Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
95. Nilsson Schmilsson - Nilsson
97. The Doors - Doors
98. Let It Be - Replacements
99. Fulfillingness First Finale - Stevie Wonder
100. Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul - Otis Redding


This Date In Music History- October 18


Charles ("Chuck") Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1926.

Songwriter Cynthia Weil (wrote "Kicks", "On Broadway", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" and many others, usually with then-husband Barry Mann) is 71.

Happy birthday to Russ Gugiere- guitarist/vocalist with the Association ("Along Comes Mary").

REO Speedwagon guitarist Gary Richrath was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1949.

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was born in New Orleans in 1961.


Paul McCartney made his debut with the Quarrymen in 1957, a skiffle group founded by John Lennon. He blows the solo on “Guitar Boogie.” The Quarrymen eventually became The Beatles and Paul switched to bass.

'The Graduate', starring Dustin Hoffman and featuring a soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel, was released in 1967.

Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" was released in 1968. "Before I came to England, I was digging a lot of the things Bob Dylan was doing," Jimi said. "He is giving me inspiration."

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were busted for possession of marijuana in 1968. The bust, while not a major deal in England, was used in the 1970s as the reason the U.S. government didn’t want Lennon to immigrate. Actually, the government felt Lennon was a political radical/troublemaker.

'Easy Rider', starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, was released in 1969.

The Band’s masterful self-titled second album - which contains such classics as “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” – entered Billboard’s album chart in 1969. It reached #9 and eventually went platinum (1 million copies sold).

The late songwriter Laura Nyro ("And When I Die", "Eli's Coming", "Wedding Bell Blues" and many others) was born in 1947.

Today in 1969, the song "I Can't Get Next to You" by the Temptations topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1956, 21 year old Elvis Presley pulled into a Memphis gas station where he started to attract a crowd of autograph seekers. After repeatedly asking Elvis to move on so he could resume normal business, station manager Edd Hopper slapped Presley on the head and finds himself on the receiving end of a punch in the eye from Elvis. Station employee Aubrey Brown tries to help his boss, but is no match for Presley. After police are called, Hopper and Brown are charged with assault and are eventually fined $25 and $15 respectively.

The Jackson 5 made their US network TV debut on Hollywood Palace in 1968. The group included Jackie (18), Tito (15), Jermaine (14), Marlon (12) and Michael (10).

Dickie Goodman had the best selling single in the US in 1975, with the novelty tune, "Mr. Jaws", which mixed his rapid-fire mock interviews with answers that were snipped from contemporary hit singles. Goodman first entered the US charts in 1956 when he and his partner Bill Buchanan used a similar format on a record called "The Flying Saucer".

At a Rock 'n' Roll revival concert at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1968, Bill Haley was given an eight minute standing ovation.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played its first major show backing Billy Hallyday at the Paris Olympia Theatre in 1966.

Richard Lester’s "How I Won The War” premiered in London in 1968. The anti-war film featured John Lennon as Corporal Gripweed. Lester directed the first two Beatle films (A Hard Day’s Night and Help!).

The Animals first UK tour as headliners opened in Manchester, England, in 1964 with Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, Tommy Tucker and the Nashville Teens as supporting acts.