Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday Night Double Feature

First of all, you're probably wondering what a man with such social equity as myself is doing at home on a Saturday night. The short answer is none of your business. The slightly longer answer is eating ice cream and trying to remember how to make blog posts. So, in what I believe is the first double album post on The Always Blue Society and is even more certainly the first themed double album post on The Always Blue Society, here we have two albums by a couple of artists who hit it big in the early '60s, fell off, presumably took some drugs, then made some pretty sweet psych albums.

First up is Del Shannon's The Further Adventures of Charles Westover. You probably know Del, born Charles Westover, for his hit 1961 single "Runaway". That damn organ solo seriously gets in my head for, like, days at a time. Often. Anyway, this 1968 outing finds Shannon exploring the more baroque side of American psychedelia. That means strings. Lots of them. And if you've ever read any of my other posts, you probably've gathered that's kind of my cup. The 1-2 punch of "Silver Birch" followed by "I Think I Love You" is probably the highlight of the album for me, but the album overall is really strong.

1. Thinkin' It Over
2. Be My Friend
3. Silver Birch
4. I Think I Love You
5. River Cool
6. Colour Flashing Hair
7. Gemini
8. Runnin' On Back
9. Conquer
10. Been So Long
11. Magical Musical Box
12. New Orleans (Mardi Gras)

Download The Further Adventures of Charles Westover

Second is Chubby Checker's Chequered!. Chubs is most known for the single/dance craze "The Twist" that white people loved so much. I'm not totally clear on the details of this one, released in 1971. Something about Amsterdam, a shitty record exec on a shitty record label. Apparently Chubby's not keen on talking about it. The good news is it's a pretty good album. If you're a fan of psych-blues-gospel-rock stuff in the vein of Sly and post-Love Arthur Lee, you'll probably like it. Lots of organ. "Goodbye Victoria" has an earwig of a chorus. "Stoned in the Bathroom" is pretty funny. I like "He Died" also, some really satisfying chord changes.

1. Goodbye Victoria
2. My Mind
3. Slow Lovin'
4. If the Sun Stopped Shining
5. Stoned in the Bathroom
6. Love Tunnel
7. How Does it Feel
8. He Died
9. No Need to Get So Heavy
10. Let's Go Down
11. Ballad of Jimi
12. Gypsy (Bonus Single)

Download Chequered!

There's probably a bunch more albums in line with this post's theme. I was considering including The 4 Seasons' The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette and The Tokens' Intercourse, but I wasn't sure they were really worth writing about, although Gazette has its moments. Unless we get readers clamoring for these albums, you should be able to find them pretty readily on the innernette.