Monday, January 30, 2012

Webb gems on vinyl, via a guy named Glen

January has been tough to the Mabe household. Sickness and other stuff have given us a few weeks of rough water. So yesterday I briefly indulged in a much-needed diversion.

I can't remember if I ever told you I collect vinyl albums, particularly those of my two favorite singers, Elvis Presley and Glen Campbell. It can get to be an expensive hobby, especially when you're on a budget, so I usually only buy a few records a year.

But, I had a little Christmas money in my pocket and I wanted to check out the new location of Knoxville's coolest vinyl shop, Lost and Found Records on North Broadway. Maria and the gang have moved across the street into what appears to be a remodeled home. It's one cool joint.

I surfed through the Elvis section and didn't see any surprises. (One of these days, I'm going to find a good copy of the rare black-vinyl version of "Moody Blue" and not have to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Or at least that's the dream.)

Then I made my way back to the country music section. And, yep, I found about five or six Glen Travis Campbell albums I didn't own. Most of these are Capitol recordings from Campbell's heyday as a popular singer (roughly 1967-77).

I know what you're thinking. "Hey, pal. It's 2012! Where's your iPod?"

Well, I listen to one nearly every day, but I'll go to my grave insisting the best way to get a stark, "live" sound is from a clear vinyl record played on good equipment.

Yesterday, I listened to one of my favorite albums, Campbell's "Live at the Royal Festival Hall," released in 1978. Highlights include a beautiful version of "Galveston" reworked to a slower tempo per composer Jimmy Webb's original composition, a give-it-all-you've-got cover of Webb's "MacArthur Park," a nice tribute to the Beach Boys (Campbell subbed for an ill Brian Wilson in the mid-60s) and a beautiful song I'd never heard before called "Streets of London." That's the great thing about these old albums -- getting to hear songs that have disappeared into the mists of time. You can hear it here.

Listening to Campbell in his vocal prime, backed by an orchestra, weaving through all those Jimmy Webb gems, well, it was just what this ol' fella needed yesterday. Better than a million bucks.

"Live at the Royal Festival Hall" is available for digital download, if you must. But, you won't have near as much fun as I did listening to the vinyl yesterday.

Nope, nope. Don't even try to tell me otherwise.

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Anonymous NashGirl01 said...

I remember that album (I listened to it on 8 Track) fondly. I recently saw Jimmy Webb at Tin Pan South, and covered the evening in my video blog - talking about that album and showing clips from the 1977 television show. (Isn't YouTube fabulous?) Jimmy Webb conducted the songs he wrote at that performance. Thought you'd enjoy it. :-)

6:45 PM  

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