Auto Swap Record Review

Posted on February 10, 2009 – 11:38 PM | by OldManFoster
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So I was out at the Buick Club Auto Swap the other week, looking for nothing in particular (because I already have more than enough cars that don’t run, and should spend any extra $$ I have to make them run) but looking at everything.  I showed up nice and early just in case a $300 barn-fresh Crosley station wagon  was waiting for me, but no luck.

I actually didn’t buy any auto parts at all.  Instead I followed a habit I’ve picked up over years of auto swap parts hunting:  don’t forget to look at all the non auto stuff.  You would be amazed at what shows up among the 1954 Packard fenders, Mustang rear ends and Corvair manuals.  I’ve had particularly good luck finding records and even guitars!  This time out I found a few LPs that have been on my want list for a while.
First up is Beach Boys’ Party!  I already had a copy of this record, but it’s pretty scratchy so I was glad to find a replacement.   Party! is one of the least popular of the Beach Boys’ output, and many fans only know it as the source of the hit single ‘Barbara Ann.’   It’s a great record.  I suspect that this album was done to cash in on the folk craze– it’s all acoustic guitars and handclaps with a ‘live at a party’  sound that anyone who has heard the aforementioned ‘Barbara Ann’ will recognize.   I’m not going to try to say that it’s up there with Pet Sounds, but this is a sweet, fun record that is undeservedly ignored.  There are great songs on here (‘There’s No Other Like My Baby’ is up there with the Boys’ best) including a fascinating batch of covers.  There are no less than three Beatles covers… at a time when the two bands were battling it out on the charts.  To put this in perspective, try to imagine Coldplay covering three songs by RadioHead.   All in all a playful snippet of the Beach Boys in their prime.
Next up is Some Blue Eyed Soul by the Righteous Brothers.  My music-junkie pal Donnie in Seattle  turned me on to this one.  When he started to drop the needle on this  I was skeptical to say the least; I’ve been burned buying Righteous Bros lps before…. Great covers, boring records.  This one is a different story- strong Sam and Dave flavored RnB from two skinny white guys who learned to belt.  I have to assume that this is the record that made people give a shit about them 45 years ago.  It’s so good that it almost makes me want to take a chance and re listen to the other half-dozen of their records I’ve bought in the past.  Almost.
And finally I scored The Hit Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel.  I’ve been looking for this record for over 20 years now– not because it’s so rare, but because I’m so cheap I knew that I’d find it for a buck one day.   Released in the late sixties, this was a totally lame attempt by the Pickwick label to cash in on the success of America’s top folk duo by releasing ancient material as though it was new stuff.  It’s not that the songs are bad– they are in fact quite good for teen pop on the order of the Everly Brothers and early Jan and Dean– it’s just that they aren’t really by Simon and Garfunkel.  Ok, the argument can be made that, technically they are, since Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel did record these songs in their earlier group Tom and Jerry.  One of these songs, ‘Hey School Girl’ was a hit for the teenage duo in 1957, selling 100,000 copies of the single. As a bonafide Simon and Garfunkel nut you would think that I’d have just coughed up the $20 this usually goes for just so I could finally hear it… and that would doubtless be the case had I not borrowed my buddy Stan’s copy ($1, Thrift Center, 1993) and listened to it way back when.

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