Urban75 Album of the Year - 1968

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by belboid, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    I heard a story in a Jimi Hendrix documentary that the cover for Electric Ladyland was meant to be this

    and someone from the label, I think in the UK?, came out with the naked women picture behind Jimi's back. Supposedly when Jimi saw what they'd done he was furious.

    Theres probably some details Im missing out in the retelling of this that ive long forgotten, but that was the gist of it.
    Dr. Furface likes this.
  2. Dr. Furface

    Dr. Furface One small step for man

    Yeah, once.
  3. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    Yeah the Track album covers were done without consulting Hendrix but that was completely standard operating procedure. The notion that pop artists decided on/ were consulted about/even got to see in advance their LP sleeves was only just beginning to gain traction, primarily from the example of The Beatles control over aspects of their careers. If I remember correctly Jimi also didn't much care for the US cover but that's the one used on reissues. (Hendrix's increasing control over what was done in the studio wasn't replicated in the area of design and marketing. I don't think he was consulted about Tracks original 'puppet' cover for Band of Gypsys either).
  4. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Just seen this is from 1968 :thumbs:....used to play this loads...still sounds great despite the age and the rinsing. Bardot and Gainsbourg sing about Americana in a french pop art stylee (in the main)
    its a bit of fun
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    Kaka Tim likes this.
  5. Idris2002

    Idris2002 Xmas eve, you know?

    Joni Mitchell always did the cover art for her own albums, but she was unusual in that regard, I suspect.
  6. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    I'd imagine someone like Bob Dylan had had greater involvement with cover design before 1968.

    By contrast with Hendrix's experience The Small Faces were actively involved in the wonderful, if somewhat impractical, cover design for Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. That wasn't the norm though.
    Idris2002 likes this.
  7. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    I was being a little light hearted. In part regarding the retrospective connotations that the term hippie has acquired (rather like the term mod), reflecting contemporary cultural concerns more than anything that was happening in the late sixties. No wish to clog up the thread with old bollocks however.
  8. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    shame :( thats what im here for
  9. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    aye, but at the time the likes of Kaleidoscope, QMS, Zappa and of course the Dead would have been contenders because 'hippiest' was an American thing, or in more local terms Floyd or perhaps Moody Blues, although the more obscure the hippiester. Which is why I'd say the String Band were probably peak hippy here in 1968, though I never liked them at all.
  10. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    The way I remember the anecdote was that Jimi was consulted, he specifically asked for the central park pic, taken by Linda McCartney iirc, and some sleazy UK record exec said Nah Mate, Get some naked birds on there, that'll make it sell, fuck Jimi.
  11. killer b

    killer b Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy

    I didn't care much for the ISB on record, but I saw Mike Heron playing a set of their hits with Trembling Bells last year and it was brilliant - think I'm going to give their 68 albums a spin this week
    newbie likes this.
  12. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    There were two record companies involved and I thought he made suggestions which were ignored for the cover of the US release on Reprise.

    The sleazy record execs in question would have been Lambert and Stamp of Track Records in the UK, who also co-managed The Who. The ugly naked woman cover was designed by Dave King whose legendary collection of art and photographs of the Russian Revolution is now held in the Tate. Not convinced that it went down as you describe - I'd guess that the relationship between Track and Hendrix had a different dynamic to that between say Decca management and most of the groups signed to them. But the end result of not being consulted came to the same thing.

    One difference in all these cases is the role of managers in dealing with record companies. The Stones manager Loog-Oldham had input into their branding and image at Decca including covers. At Track The Who themselves had a degree of input because Lambert and Stamp filled both roles. (However I recall Townshend talking about having to prevent an equally ugly cover being used on Who's Next). Hendrix's management wouldn't have had the same type of inside clout with Track, and included the undoubtedly sleazy Mike Jeffries who didn't have Hendrix's interests and concerns as his priority.
    ska invita likes this.
  13. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    im sure you're right...i don't trust myself on these things.
    Supposedly Hendrix wasn't happy about the Axis Bold as Love cover either.
    He had a really shit time with music business people in general.

    belboid, are these all okay?
    Ken Boothe ‎– Mr Rock Steady
    On Top The Heptones
    Good All Over Delroy Wilson
    Intensified Desmond Dekker And The Aces
    Action! Desmond Dekker And The Aces
    Engine 54 The Ethiopians
    Evening Time Jackie Mittoo
  14. Spandex

    Spandex A crazy bulbous punchbag of sound

    Mr Rock Steady I've seen listed as both 67 and 68, but I think it's 68.

    Good All Over appears to be 69.

    Intensified is listed as 68 on discogs, but everywhere else has it as 70. It might be a comp of stuff recorded in 68 released in 70.

    The rest is all good to go :thumbs:

    * I'm willing to be corrected on all of this by those who know more than me.
    ska invita likes this.
  15. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Both Desmond Dekkers seems bonified 68 on original Beverleys press but 70 on later pressings...im more worried about the OUTRAGEOUS complilation rule ;)
    Spandex likes this.
  16. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Astral Weeks is alright. Glad I heard it. Probably not in my top ten though.

    More massive strings than I expected.
    Idris2002 likes this.
  17. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    talking of first listens to classic albums I wasn't sure what to make of the Beatles White album - it was quite a confusing listen - though I found this random listener review helpful to help understand what had been going on to produce such an unusual record:

    Much has been made of the fact that the group was no longer on the same page musically by the time 1968 rolled around, as each member was earnestly starting to pursue his own interests. At this point the Beatles had started writing their own material mainly as a reflection of those interests. Gone was the wild psychedelic experimentation, replaced with the return of the basic 2-guitar, bass and drums format of their earlier days. And yes the music was more basic, even sparse in places, thanks to the fact that much of the material here was written solely on acoustic guitar during their retreat time in Rishikesh, India earlier in the year.

    If this were any other group, such a divided approach would've made a wildly incoherent mess of an album, but this is still the Beatles we're talking about. The band was still the sum of their influences, even if they were no longer combining those influences within a group collective. Yet, the material here still fits and blends together into an astonishing whole even though it shouldn't. No real explanation for it, it somehow just works. But the Beatles were always masters of making an album statement through execution if not thematically. And even as the band was starting to fray around the edges and pull itself apart, they still find new ways to make it work, be it hiring guest musicians like Eric Clapton to play the blazing guitar solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" to rediscovering the joy of true ensemble playing on "Happiness Is a Warm Gun."

    The songs themselves lay the blueprints for each member's impending solo careers. John's acerbic wit starts to come forward with tracks like "Glass Onion", where he derides the Beatles' mystique, "Sexy Sadie", his disdain for the Maharishi, "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", a verbal attack on a hunter he met in India, "I'm So Tired", his answer to Revolver's "I'm Only Sleeping", the nightmare sound collage of "Revolution 9", and "Julia", a dry-eyed elegy to his mother. Paul continues his music hall explorations with "Honey Pie" and "Martha My Dear", gets political with "Bluebird", paints character studies with "Rocky Raccoon" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", rocks out with "Back In the USSR", "Birthday" and the nearly-heavy metal "Helter Skelter", and gets loose on "Wild Honey Pie" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road". George Harrison continues to advance as a songwriter with the brilliant "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", makes a sociological statement with "Piggies", and pokes fun at his friend Eric Clapton with "Savoy Truffle". Even Ringo turns in a tune of his own with the country-flavored "Don't Pass Me By".

    As a 30-track album, and the fact that the Beatles' breakup actually started during the sessions for this album, the listening experience here will hit some rough patches. In spite of everything working against it, the White Album still stands as a fascinating document of the summation and history of their influences.

  18. killer b

    killer b Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy

    I got a copy of the white album on tape a bit ago, and have been playing it in the car a bit - the good songs are wonderful, but there's so much filler. And so many weird pastiches (I guess the music hall stuff that review talks about).
  19. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    In general in the Beatles output I really like that they so often went music hall...didnt realise Paul was the main force behind that....seems particularly lots in Peppers/Mystery Tour/Yellow sub/White era...it never felt cynical or ironic ... i find it endearing to them.

    While other people were dropping acid and coolly turning away from the old world and distancing themselves from an older generation i think its a nice thing that they cheerily looked back at the bandstands, sea side resorts and music halls and made a happy link to that past(and present), imagining being 64 themselves etc. It comes over as very unsnobby I think. <<thats my impression anyhow.... The Mystery Tour film seems to captures that direction I think...based on and in the spirit of the old charabanc outings

    ETA: turns out Mystery Tour film was Paul's idea too.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  20. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    two weeks isnt enough time for this, especially in the big golden LP age 60s and 70s years
  21. killer b

    killer b Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy

    1970 rather than 1968, but if you're into music hall I picked up this curious album by the northumbrian folk dance band High Level Ranters recently - a set of victorian geordie music hall songs.

    None of it on youtube I don't think, but I ripped my favourite track to mp3 if you want to check it out - newbiggin via new orleans IMO:
    ska invita likes this.
  22. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    hah thats great...by bizarre coincidence i went through (a) newbiggin last week! my first time in north yorks + wider area - im in love a bit. (i expect you mean the newbiggin on sea one, but north yorks newbiggin kinda works too).
    If id heard that a month ago im not sure it wouldve done much more for me, but its hitting the spot today, post-trip.
    there are a lot of biggins in the UK....i lived in a biggin in Kent/London borders myself.

    with the beatles music hall stuff much as i like it im not particularly drawn to ever sit down and listen to it...its basically how i feel about the beatles in general.

    id like to discover more British 'folk' music beyond the...not sure what to call it - not to be too dismissive but twee guitar folk music that you might think of when the word folk comes up

    ***harsh lyrics in that tune! - robbing and abusing a drunk guy*** lyrics by "traditional"
  23. killer b

    killer b Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy

    the song is about the first shift of a new policeman, and is not meant to be complimentary to the police...
    ska invita likes this.
  24. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    missed that bit :D
  25. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    Depends what you mean by 'folk' and 'twee' I guess. (Is twee like 'hippiest' with added pot-pourri :D)

    In 1968 a lot of UK 'folk' music albums, both on the 'traditional' side and the more modern 'acoustic singer/songwriter' side were getting Joe Boyd style productions often with cellos and flutes and stuff. Sometimes that works for me, and sometimes it doesn't.

    Anyhow on the 'trad' side there's Shirley Collins 'The Power of the True Love Knot', with arrangements by her sister Dolly (the flute type sounds here are a traditional pipe-organ). Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick were working as a duo - 'But Two Came By' was issued that year.

    On the 'acoustic singer/songwriter' front there's John Martyn's 'The Tumbler' - hadn't really found his form IMO. The Incredible String Band had two albums released, one a double, and they converted to Scientology. And that knob Roy Harper had an LP out.

    On the 'folk circuit' acoustic blues had been an influence on quite a lot of musicians, and there were also people who played it. There's an interesting 1968 compilation album (compilation as in multi-artist rather than previously released material - it was all recorded over three days) called 'Me and the Devil' which includes tracks by Tony McPhee and Jo-Ann Kelly.

    The thing I've most enjoyed revisiting is Davy Graham's 'Large as Life and Twice As Natural'. One of his better albums IMO. It includes a bit of all of the above but can't really be pigeon-holed as any of them.
    Sprocket., ska invita and killer b like this.
  26. Kaka Tim

    Kaka Tim Crush the Saboteurs!

    wouldn't describe them as "sleazy" - Kit Lambert was a gay, upper class bohemian and what would we'd probably now call "bi-polar" - a very interesting character . They were more into outrageous publicity stunts then cynical machinations or exploitation (which was probably how the rather grim electric ladyland cover came about - apparently it was chris stamps idea). They were chaotic and making it up as they went along for the most part. The Story of Jimi Hendrix's Banned 'Electric Ladyland' LP Cover
  27. Lurdan

    Lurdan old wave

    Neither would I - for once I forgot the "air quotes". I'll "really" "have to" "try" a bit "harder" :D
  28. Idris2002

    Idris2002 Xmas eve, you know?

    I get what you're saying, but didn't the Kinks do that sort of thing better?
  29. mod

    mod A modernist


    I win.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  30. killer b

    killer b Minimum Waste / Maximum Joy

    You might like the first fairport convention album ska invita - that's 1968, and less twee than some of their later work.
    littleseb and ska invita like this.

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