Friday, November 06, 2009

In 1974 for my 15th birthday, my Mom drove me to Peaches Records and Tapes in Buckhead. Peaches was one of those wonderful, giant record emporiums of that era. We lived in East Point, on the south side of Atlanta and opposite the uptown Buckhead neighborhood. Finding good records on Atlanta's south side in the seventies was all but impossible. It is not easy 35 years later. As an apprentice record collector, all I wanted for my birthday was an opportunity to get to this legendary store, which might as well have been off world to a bicycle bound teenager. I still remember the thrill of walking into that room of records for the first time. To this day when I go to a good record store the pleasure I feel is but a simulation of that initial rush. The addict is always looking to repeat the experience of his/her first shot. For my first time I bought two records that would turn out to be enormously influential. One was a collection of experimental music on the Folkways label called Sounds of New Music (1959), including short selections by John Cage, Henry Cowell, Edgard Varese and an excerpt of Aleksandr Mosolov's "Symphony of Machines." The other record I bought was Brian Eno's first album, Here Come the Warm Jets. I had read about this extraordinary record in Creem magazine, which was my principle source for information on new and unusual music in my suburban cultural desert. Unusual was what I sought. I was that kind of kid. Anything that stretched the boundaries of music or lilterature or film appealed to my imagination. I might not understand it, but I wanted it. Here Come the Warm Jets was about as weird as pop music gets, then or now. In many ways it was the model for all the post punk and new wave experimental pop that emerged between 1977 and 1982 and beyond. Wire, the Talking Heads, Pere Ubu, Magazine, Orange Juice, the Tall Dwarves, the Pixies and dozens of other important bands owe much to Eno's early solo work. Likewise pop new wave hit makers such as ABC, Soft Cell and Japan would not have existed without the influence of the arty experimental pop of Brian Eno on this record and the arguably greater masterpiece to follow: Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy. Nearly four decades later this music still sounds foward reaching. As a teenager I studied the careful clutter of the cover photography for clues and listened to Here Come the Warm Jets until I wore my copy out. And I loved it. According to the discography on error-riddled Wikipedia: Here Come the Warm Jets was issued in January of 1974. According to the typo scattered classic: Terry Hounsome's Rock Record: Enlarged, Revised, Expanded: A Collectors' Directory of Rock Albums and Musicians (Blandford Press, 1987, 3rd edition), the same record was issued in 1973. My overburdened, unreliable brain remembers first reading about the record in 1973. Certainly Here Come the Warm Jets was issued in the UK prior to its U.S. appearance. So I am assuming it was available as an import through the Jem Records import catalogue toward the end of 1973.

Best LPs of 1973

1. Brian Eno: Here Comes the Warm Jets (Island, UK)
2. Iggy & the Stooges: Raw Power (CBS)
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skeh-nerd (MCA)
4. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure (Island, UK)
5. Mott the Hoople: Mott (CBS)
6. David Bowie: Aladdin Sane (RCA)
7. John Cale: Paris 1919 (Reprise)
8. Kraftwerk: Ralf & Florian (Vertigo, UK)
9. King Crimson: Larks Tongue In Aspect (Atlantic)
10. Miles Davis: On the Corner (CBS)
11. Al Green: Call Me (Hi)
12. Art Ensemble of Chicago: Bap-tizum (Atlantic)
13. Can: Future Days (United Artists)
14. John Prine: Sweet Revenge (Atlantic)
15. Blue Oyster Cult: Tyranny and Mutation (CBS)
16. New York Dolls: New York Dolls (Mercury)
17. Tom Waits: Closing Time (Asylum)
18. Led Zepplin: Houses of the Holy (Atlantic)
19. Faust: IV (Virgin)
20. Sly & the Family Stone: Fresh (Epic)
21. Art Ensemble of Chicago: Fanfare for the Warriors (Atlantic)
22. The Who: Quadrophnia (MCA)
23. Toots & the Maytals: Funky Kingston (Island)
24. Robert Fripp & Brian Eno: No Pussyfootin' (Atlantic)
25. Elliott Murphy: Aquashow (Polydor)
26. Neu: Neu 2 (United Artists)
27. Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (Motown)
28. Sun Ra: Space is the Place (Impulse)
29. Lou Reed: Berlin (RCA)
30. Big Youth: Screaming Target (Trojan)
31. Peter Hammil: Chameleon In the Shadow (Charisma)
32. Marvin Gaye: Let's Get It On (Motown)
33. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Capitol)
34. Gato Barbieri: Chapter One: Latin America (Impulse)
35. Faust: The Faust Tapes (Virgin)
36. The Faces: Oh La La (Warner Brothers)
37. Gram Parsons: GP (Reprise)
38. Bob Marley & the Wailers: Catch A Fire (Island)
39. Jeff Beck: Beck Ola (Epic)
40. Cockney Rebel: The Human Managerie (EMI)
41. ZZ Top: Tres Hombres (Warner Brothers)
42. The Kinks: Preservation Act 1 (RCA)
43. Henry Cow: Legend (Vigin)
44. The Rolling Stones: Goats Head Soup (Rolling Stones)
45. Roy Wood: Boulders (United Artists)
46. Terry Reid: River (Atlantic)


Blogger hanson ono. said...

this post reminds me of when my mom used to drive me into ATL (or dropped me off at teh College Park Marta station...) to buy records at Earwax, Streetbeat & Red Beans & Rice in the early 90's: cuz you couldn't get vinyl @ Turtles at the time. Midtown seems uber-different now...

70's produced a lot of great records. some of these records can be found for cheap in thrift stores, ebay, discogs or in used bins at still very great record stores. it is a lot of stuff to shift-thru but there are a lot of great lessons to be learned as well. a LOT of great music to enjoy. to be sure...

1:38 PM  

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