First up, a couple from the late, great Donna Summer:
|Donna Summer - A Love Trilogy (1976)|
A Love Trilogy (which cost me £1) was Donna's third album and the first of two released in '76 (the other being Four Seasons Of Love). Produced by Pete Bellotte and Giorgio Moroder, Side 1 follows in the footsteps of previous album Love To Love You Baby with a single long track, Try Me I Know We Can Make It, which unlike the trilogy it purports to be is actually composed of four movements. It doesn't quite hit the mark as well as the game-changing Love To Love you Baby, but at almost 18 minutes long and with a pounding bass, relentless disco beat and Donna's decorative vocals, it certainly serves its purpose. Side 2 keeps up the pace with three more disco tracks including a breathy Could It Be Magic.
Also for £1 was album number seven - Bad Girls , which topped the charts in the US and made no. 23 here in the UK:
|Donna Summer - Bad Girls (1979)|
Donna's records with Bellotte and Moroder were mixed for non-stop dancing, and the opening one-two punch (Hot Stuff and Bad Girls) on the first side of this double album are a perfect example of this.
It's not until Side 3 that we get to have rest when Donna delivers a quartet of slowies, then things pick up once again with a trio of disco tracks. The electronics are squelchier on this final side - and distinctly farty in the case of the 'I Feel Love'-aping Lucky.
|Bad Girls - their only crimes were those against fashion.|
Way back at the beginning of June I was delighted to find a copy of Van Morrison's Moondance in excellent condition for £1:
|Van Morrison - Moondance (1970)|
I'd already bought it on CD last year, but the thought of leaving it behind was unbearable. Morrison took a 10-month break after the release of Astral Weeks before he begin writing songs for this soulful, often delicate follow-up record of folk, rock and R&B. My top track: the achingly beautiful Into The Mystic, which you can catch me playing on Episode 5 of the Car Boot Vinyl Diaries Cloudcast. Moondance takes its rightful place at no. 65 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
If you're a regular reader of the blog you may remember that in my post on boot sale and charity shop perennials I was keen to snap up the next copy I saw of the the Carpenters' Singles 1969-1973, because as well as having some slightly different mixes and re-recorded vocals, an online source promised "newly recorded bridges and transition material so that each side of the album would play through with no breaks". I found a very nice copy at a boot sale not long after for 50p:
|Carpenters - The Singles 1969-1973 (1973)|
There are in fact very few of these transitions; the first side opens with an excerpt from (They Long To Be) Close To You, then goes into the lovely We've Only Just Begun. After this we have to wait through three songs before Superstar glides into Rainy Days and Mondays, which then drifts beautifully into Goodbye To Love, ending the side. There are no segues at all on Side 2, although each track is edited closer together than normal so it flows nicely.
This minor disappointment aside, the songs are of course peerless, so my 50p was still very well spent.
I picked up a copy of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 1976 debut for £1 at the beginning of June:
|Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1976)|
It's a solid album of American heartland rock, with perhaps a couple of more forgettable tracks, but with songs like the riff-tastic Strangered In The Night, the Springsteen-esque Hometown Blues and Byrdsian closer American Girl, it's a must-have for even casual fans of Tom & co.
Yorkshire-born arranger Geoff Love's prolific career included several albums of music from the movies, including this one:
|Geoff Love & His Orchestra - Big Western Movie Themes (1969)|
Big Western Movie Themes perfectly conjures up the desperate, lawless inhospitality of the great American West of the movies, as well as the quiet beauty of the arid landscapes that films like How The West Was Won, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad & the Ugly brought to screens in glorious Technicolour. A total of 12 themes are presented here by Geoff's versatile orchestra, from the older classics to spaghetti westerns. I didn't have to pay a fistful of dollars for it either - this neat package evoking the romance and danger of the mountains and prairies cost me 20p.
Also costing just 20p was this double album of South African pop:
|Various Artists - Sounds Of Soweto (1987)|
This collection of songs may have an upbeat cheerfulness, but subject matters are more serious, ranging from murdering gangsters to apartheid, not to mention food and fuel shortages. There's plenty of love and sex too, all boasting a distinct 80s sound. My favourite tracks are those by Lumumba featuring Alexandra-born singer Condry Ziqubu, especially Kiss Kiss, the tale of "a rich old woman slaking her appetites on young men". Lawks!
Don't forget you can hear tracks from many of these albums, and more besides, on the Car Boot Vinyl Diaries Cloudcast archive: http://www.mixcloud.com/CarBootVinylDiaries/