Archive for Rhino Records

The 45 Turns 60!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 28, 2009 by 30daysout

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My kids have never known the pleasure of getting music from a 45-rpm single.  When many of us were young, we usually heard music two ways: on the radio or off a 7-inch vinyl record.  That was the 45: the gateway drug to long-playing albums (LPs).  People gave me 45s by the bushelful when I was a kid but the very first single I ever bought was in 1967: “Good Vibrations,” by the Beach Boys.  With its beautiful (then; today, nauseating) colorful swirl, it was the ultimate summer song.  And I played it until the grooves would no longer give music, only raunchy, scratchy static.

The 45-rpm record was born in 1949, created by RCA Victor as competition for the long-playing album that Columbia Records invented.  “Texarkana Baby,” by Eddy Arnold, was the first 45 and god knows what was the last.  Actually they still put ’em out although mostly as novelty items; check your friendly neighborhood record store – don’t tell me you don’t know what those are.

Perhaps the most valuable 45 is Elvis Presley’s first single sun223on Sun Records, “That’s All Right,” from 1954.  I would think the least valuable 45 single collectible is that goddamned “I Think I Love You” Partridge Family picture sleeve record – I have one too, we ALL have one!

Rhino Records is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 45 by making a bunch of tracks available (through iTunes) with their original cover art and b-sides.  (For you kiddies, you flip a single over and there’s another song, called a b-side.)  Among the 30 selections available are “Love Shack” by the B-52s, “Bang A Gong” by T. Rex, and 1960s classics from Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, the Monkees and Iron Butterfly.  You get the song and the b-side for $1.49, which is about twice what I paid for my “Good Vibrations” single, but whatever.

The 45 is a piece of pop culture history that’s gone for good.  Already dead for a couple of generations now, it’s one of those things that you can’t help but get kind of nostalgic about.  At least until you realize that now you sound like your grandpa.

Rhino Records Digital 45 website (see a complete list)

MP3: “Good Vibrations” (45 single version) by the Beach Boys

(My) Rock Moment: “Life and Times,” Jim Croce

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2008 by 30daysout

In early 1973, my father took us out to go shopping for my mom’s birthday. She loved music, and mentioned she liked a new tune on the radio called “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” mainly because it talked about Chicago, her hometown. I liked the song too, so I suggested to my dad that we get it for her for her birthday. It was going to be a big surprise. Well, like with most presents I buy my mom, the joke was on me. She hated it, and couldn’t wait to take it back. But for some reason we decided to keep it, and I’m glad we did.

 

Life and Times by Jim Croce was my introduction to music. Every song on that album struck a chord with me. I literally played that record on my crappy stereo until the scratches made it to hard to listen to. I liked it because it was different than the Herb Alpert and Johnny Mathis records I always heard being played around the house. It was something I could call my own.

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