Thursday, March 30, 2006

Goodwill Music Review

Oh hi. I've recently been in talks to join a leading entertainment magazine. Ahh that's a lie. This is what I've been doing, buying stuff from Goodwill!

This is clearly stuff from someone's collection. Certainly they were in a pile of mess but you know, it's kinda got the same slant. This is stuff I either bought, would have or forgot about it. I've got them all know. I'm so happy.

Patrice Rushen-Now (1984) This is one of my favorite Rushen albums and her last for Elektra/Asylum. This being from 1984, it's tech heavy, but it's also one of the more concise efforts from Rushen. I have the vinyl--and vinyl at this point was getting pretty atrocious, especially WEA's "efforts." By this point it was all about Dolby HX Pro in its airy, relatively early stages.

The Sound: The vinyl despite its flaws, sounds a bit better. The cassette has a flat, oddly non dynamic sound, like a cassette...

Jeffrey Osborne-Don't Stop (1984) It was actually a joy finding this. "Don't Stop" came off the heels of the classic, "Stay With Me Tonight." The commercial decline and diminishing quality makes this effort a bit hard to find. The fortunes of this effort seemed to be predicated on the title track and "The Borderlines." Guess what? Both of them still blow. The best on this "Let Me Know" and "Crazy 'Bout Cha" are unassuming hooky ballads that show off Osborne's baritone and George Duke's production skills.

The Sound: At this time, A&M got in cahoots with BASF to offer CHROME cassettes. The difference makes for a more "cleaner" though not necessarily better sound. That's pretty much the deal with A&M cassettes of the time.

Georgio-Sexappeal (1987) You know I was happy to find this one. I've been passing this by for 20 odd years. Georgio of course was the Motown recording artist who bared more than a passing musical resemblance to Prince. The music is pretty much the same thing, rudimentary, Prince-like grooves with Songs About Sex. That's what makes it great. The big hits here are "Lover's Lane" and "Tina Cherry." I don't know about anyone else but the profundities of "Sexappeal" and the World War III adverting "Bed Rock" always makes me choke back a sob.

The Sound: Motown's cassettes were made by MCA at this time. Ok--nothing great.

Smoke City-I Really Want You (1985) Oh, this the gem of the shopping excursion. Although this group released this effort on Epic Records, it's totally hard to find because it's barely remembered. This is best known for the single "Dreams" which is one of those yearning, potentially nauseating songs. Heh, I like it a lot. Despite that genre classic, this is pretty derivative stuff...

CBS Cassettes Are Horrible: I almost passed out seeing a CBS cassette of the time in this good shape. Yep, I'm a geek. Guess what? Despite being preserved, it still sounds like shit.

Dino-24/7 (1989) I have to admit, I do like synths of this era. Dino was an R&B/pop act who folks were calling the next KC of the Sunshine Band fame. While that didn't pan out, "24/7" is a strong, purely late '80s set. In an odd sense, 1989 musically helped me to actually like '80s music. Songs like "Never 2 Much of U" and the smooth "24/7" hold up extremely well. The big hit here is "I Like It."

Does It Sound Like Crap?: It's fine. The cassette was barely played. This has the flat yet reliable sound of cassettes from 89-93, nothing spectacular despite the Dolby HX Pro label. In the liners Dino says to "Keep pumpin' the fresh jams!!" Indeed...

Marcia Griffiths-Carousel (1990) I was always a fan of Marcia Griffiths. The original "Electric Boogie" is a thing of beauty. After years of notoriety as a popular though annoying dance, "Electric Boogie" got a 1990 recast. Boy, is it ever annoying. The groove is all but dissipated. Think that's bad? Get a load of "Electric Boogie (Dub Mix)" it's enough to make me pop my Xanax like so much Pez. God bless her, for reasons unknown, Griffiths also unearthed the always ghastly "Sugar Shack." Yeah, that's what I want to hear, a faux-reggae version of something from Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs.

The Sound: It's an early 1990's Island cassette, not distributed by Warner communications, sounds ok...
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