Author: Rudy

Album of the Week: Alan Gorrie’s “Sleepless Nights”

Average White Band alumnus and co-founder Alan Gorrie’s lone solo album for A&M, Sleepless Nights, is our AOTW feature this week.  Join our forum discussion for this album.

Lost Album of the Week: Gary Taylor’s “Just Gets Better With Time”

Our “lost” albums of the week are those albums which were assigned a spot in A&M’s album catalog but for whatever reason, were never released.  While Gary Taylor‘s album Just Gets Better With Time was never released, the song of the same title was released as a single on A&M.

If the tune sounds familiar, the song was also recorded by The Whispers, who many listeners will recognize from the hit single “Rock Steady,” on which Taylor sang backing vocals.  Taylor’s songwriting, production and vocal talents have been found on many recordings by such names as Anita Baker, Lalah Hathaway, Vanessa Williams and others.

Popular songs he has written includes “Keep in Touch” (Grover Washington, Jr.), “Living Without a Heart” (Vanessa Rubin), “My Heart, Your Heart” (The Whispers) and “Good Love” (by Anita Baker, Lonnie Liston Smith and others).  Gary Taylor’s official Web site is Morning Crew Music. Be sure to pay a visit!  And join our forum discussion here.

 

Cataloging Your Collection

I’m interested to know if anyone else has cataloged their music collection.  It’s hard for me to believe, but I don’t think I’ve cataloged anything since about 20 years ago.  I kept everything (vinyl, CDs) in a spreadsheet.  Which I’m sure is now long gone.  And I have long wanted to either catch up or start over again with making a list of all of the titles I own.
For kicks, I am trying out the Music Collector desktop software from collectorz.com.   One feature that attracted me was how you could fill in your collection in an automated manner.  It can do this two ways: 1) by loading a CD in your CD-ROM drive so it can scan the contents, or 2) entering a barcode.
Barcode support was what I was interested in.  Just about all of my CDs have barcodes, so that takes a lot of data entry and handling out of the equation.
I do not own a barcode scanner, but I do have three smartphones and a tablet to work with.  There had to be something out there.  I already have the standard barcode scanner app, but there is no way to transfer from that app to another device like a computer or tablet.  I found one for Android called WiFi Barcode Scanner that works well.  It comes with a really small utility that intercepts the incoming stream from the phone, and processes it by adding a carriage return or tab after the string of numbers, for example.
That worked out perfect with the desktop software, since it has a bulk entry option where you can enter barcode numbers and hit “enter” to go to the next line, ready for the next barcode.  I can scan across the room, across the house even, and the barcode numbers get entered.
Once you have a list of numbers, it then searches for the titles.  It finds all of them with standard SKU numbers.  A few promos were hole punched through the entire code, so those I have to enter manually.  One disc (so far) was a Japan release and had no entry, so I submitted that manually.  Also, many record club recordings do not have barcodes, but a few do, and it seems hit or miss if the servers recognize the club number.  (It depends on someone adding it to the database.)  Out of about 50 titles, I had nine not recognized; that’s not bad, since those are ~40 titles I don’t need to enter by hand.
It catalogs just about all the data you would need:  format, track list, release date, catalog number, SKU number (which is the barcode), and even allows for front and rear cover scans.
You can also add want list items.  That would be great for taking when going out on record crawls.
There is a mobile version for both Android and IOS, and it can optionally sync with your desktop software.  They also offer similar packages to catalog your books and videos as well.
I’m only doing a few shelves worth to see if I like how the program works.  And I know LPs will be tedious since very few I own will have barcodes on them.  I am also planning on cataloging downloads.  For insurance purposes, it helps to document these things, and there are times I have wanted to find album data without having to dig an old recording out of storage or find it on the shelf.
Is anyone else using a cataloging program, a database or a spreadsheet to catalog their collections?  Let us know via comments through our Forums!

Three Joe Jackson titles to be reissued by Intervention Records

intervention-joe-jacksonComing this spring, Intervention Records is releasing three classic titles by Joe Jackson:  Look Sharp!, I’m The Man and Night and Day.  All are being cut straight from analog 15ips safety copies, featuring the mastering of Kevin Gray and plating/pressing by RTI.  The first two titles are due in “Feb/March” per Intervention, and Night and Day follows in April.  These come hot on the heels of two great A&M Stealer’s Wheel reissues, including their self-titled first album and Ferguslie Park,  which have seen very favorable reviews in the audiophile press.

Of Stealer’s Wheel, Michael Fremer of Analog Planet wrote: “Kevin Gray’s cut from ‘best analog sources available’ … is the best sounding version of this album I’ve yet heard. There’s more detail to be heard overall, better instrumental layering, greater transparency and more honest equalization (the “Porky” is upper-midrange “pushed”).  The first two Jackson LPs will be substantially upgraded over the originals.  Shane at Intervention writes: “Fans of those first two JJ LPs are going to be blown away! That top-end energy was still vibrant on the tapes, but were able to restore the bass foundation. It’s still a punchy, aggressive sounding record, but dramatically better balanced. I think you’re going to be more than pleased!”

We’re looking forward to these here at A&M Corner!

Milestones: Jobim and Carpenters

The Wonderful World Of Antonio Carlos JobimJanuary 25 marks the birthday of the legendary Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Antonio Carlos Jobim.  Born in 1927, Jobim was instrumental in bringing Brazilian music and Bossa Nova to the ears of listeners around the world, and penned many tunes that defined the era. Jobim appeared on A&M via Creed Taylor’s CTi label by way of two albums, Wave and Tide, and appeared uncredited on the Brasil ’66 album Equinox.

Carpenters also made the news today in 1975 when their single “Please, Mr. Postman” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The original version by The Marvelettes was the first #1 single for the fledgling Motown Records label, and this song, along with a handful of others, holds the distinction of reaching #1 performed by two different artists.  “Venus” by Shocking Blue hit #1 in 1970, while Bananarama’s version reached the top in 1986.  Grand Funk and Little Eva both took the Goffin-King tune “The Loco-Motion” to #1, and another composition of theirs, “Go Away Little Girl,” would reach #1 two times at the hands of Steve Lawrence and Donny Osmond.

Enter our Herb Alpert Signed CD Giveaway!

Come Fly With MeTwo lucky winners will win a copy of the latest Herb Alpert CD, Come Fly With Me, signed personally by Herb Alpert and Lani Hall!  To enter the giveaway and read the details, visit our forum.  Contest ends on Feb. 21, 2016, so don’t delay!

Click here to jump over to our forum and enter the giveaway.