I miss the days of the late 60’s and early 70’s when I would browse the cut-out bins at the Woolco in Muscle Shoals, the K-Mart in Florence, or the Big K in Sheffield. You never knew what you might find, and sometimes you got very lucky. Regular LP’s cost around $3.50 at the time, and generally you could find cut-out albums from 49 cents up to $1.99. Sometimes you just took a leap of faith, based on an interesting cover, a musician or producer you recognized, or a review from Rolling Stone that you remembered. Here are some albums that I found that I have loved all these years and and thankful that they have been in my life. Andy Pratt–“Records Are Like Life”–I love every track on this album and have subsequently come to enjoy the rest of Andy’s work over the years. This was his first LP and it’s wonderful.
Another great find was the debut from the Scottish band, Forever More, “Yours-Forever More”. Several of the members went on to form the Average White Band, but this sounds nothing like that. It’s an imaginative album, and much better than their second album.
Another album that I love to this day is the debut and only album by Bo Grumpus, “Before The War”. It was produced by Felix Pappalardi and included his song “Travelin’ In The Dark” which he later re-recorded with Mountain. With a name like Bo Grumpus, they had to be good, and it’s a great album. The band did one other album under the name Jolliver Arkansaw, which is not as good. (Apparently they weren’t as good at picking out band names as they were at making music.)
One last LP that I found was The Spencer Davis Group’s “With Their New Face On”. The Spencer Davis Group was a very popular English band and had many hits with their teenage wunderkind Steve Winwood. When Winwood left the band to form Traffic in 1967, he was replaced by two musicians, keyboardist/vocalist Eddie Hardin and guitarist/vocalist Phil Sawyer. They released “Face” in 1968, and it’s a wonderful album that sounds eerily like Traffic, in a good way. It also included “Don’t Want You No More”, which a year later was covered by The Allman Brothers Band as the first track on their debut.
I could go on forever, but I hope you will check out these “Hidden Treasures” and perhaps you will be “thankful” too. Happy Thanksgiving!