B-Sides in the Bins #8 – Cedar Rapids, IA 3/11/07

Happy Daylight Savings! Today I needed to get my oil changed which usually entails leaving my car at the oil change place and figuring out what to do for a couple of hours. I decided to go visit the used CD stores in the area. I ended up at Half Price Books and got some good deals. Really, Half Price Books has some of the best vinyl selection in Cedar Rapids. Ratz Records downtown has the most vinyl, but Half Price has the best quality selection in town.

Tusk – Fleetwood Mac (2 LP Warner Brothers 2HS 3350, 1979) ($5.98) Tusk in so many ways is one of my desert island discs. My dad bought this when it came out on cassette. Since this is a double album it came on what would be a 90-minute cassette. This ultimately means that the tape is thinner and more susceptible to failure. We bought two copies of this tape as we wore them out. The second copy wore out and I used a cassette repair kit from Radio Shack to fix it. Looking back I’m amazed that they had cassette repair kits! The plastic liner would wear out from the hubs so I cracked the tape open and moved the tape and spools over to a new case and liner. I bought this on CD when it came out and was punished with a shortened version. Back in the day they could only make 78 minute CD’s and so Warners made Tusk with an edit of “Sara” which is crazy since that was one of the singles. Or, maybe they got the edit from that… Brilliant record which was considered to be extravagant noodling from a band losing its direction or allowing Lindsey too much creative control. In hindsight, this is the White Album of my generation. According to the sleeve, this was $15.98 MSRP!! My copy is super clean. I need to get that remastered 2-disc version one of these days. I’m still looking for clean versions of the other Buckingham-era LP’s. My childhood pressed into shiny black plastic. I also own the Camper Van Beethoven “tribute” to Tusk which is recommended as well.

“Heaven or Las Vegas (edit)” b/w “Dials” and “Heaven Or Las Vegas (album version)” – Cocteau Twins (12″ Capitol/4AD SPRO-79427, 1990) ($1.98) This one was mistakenly stuck in the Rap section with all of the other lonely Rap white label promos. I really didn’t need this as I have the “Dials” track as a CD promo and as part of the extra disc in the maroon Cocteau Twins box set released by Capitol in the early 90’s. For $1.98 I couldn’t pass it up. Maybe this needs to be eBay fodder for someone who is a completist. The cover has major spine injury and someone wrote on it– this is a promo so some radio station had it in its library. The vinyl is very clean. The Heaven or Las Vegas album is pretty much the pinnacle of the Cocteau Twins catalog in my opinion. I saw them that tour in Chicago at the Metro with my friend Urban who turned me on to them that previous year. That album was one of my “makeout” favorites from that year.

Idle Moments – Grant Green (CD Blue Note 7243 4 99003 2 5, 1999) ($3.00) This one was in the “Clearance” section of the CD’s. Part of the “Rudy Van Gelder Edition” remasters of the formidable Blue Note back catalog. Originally released in 1963 as Blue Note BLP 4154. I have decided that I’m going to purchase whatever Blue Note CD’s I stumble across. Grant Green is an amazing jazz guitarist and probably considered the earliest of the groove jazz players. I first became aware of Grant Green due to his inclusion in the Blue Note Grooves compilation from the 90’s. Lots of Blue Note titles were pillaged for the Acid Jazz movement and Blue Note countered with releases of the more popular tracks. Blue Note also sponsored an Acid Jazz sampling effort in US3 which also used Grant Green’s “Sookie Sookie” in its first album. This is a nice, mellow album with two superb renditions of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s “Django.” This release includes two outtakes that are extended versions of “Jean De Fleur” and “Django.” Very cool find. One funny note about this release is that it still has the price sticker from the Record Collector who includes the date it was bought as used. Some time after 5/2004 it was sold for $12.00.

The Stratocaster Chronicles – Celebrating 50 Years of the Fender Strat” – Tom Wheeler (book Hal Leonard Corporation ISBN 0-634-05678-6, 2004) ($19.98) The original MSRP on this one was $50. Hardcover coffeetable book on the history of the Fender Stratocaster with a forward by Eric Clapton. Includes a CD with samples of the Strat in action as well as interviews with Leo Fender and others. A Fender fan myself, I couldn’t pass up this title. Thank God for Half-Price Books. Nice pretty pictures of the guitar that changed the face of music.

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