Monday, 14 May 2012

Linda Ronstadt and The Byrds

I brought out some of my old vinyl records after a long time. It's not that I wasn't going to listen to them anymore but rather, I had been too busy with a lot of work. Playing vinyl records is not like playing a compact disc. With a compact disc, you would only need to switch on the CD player and then pop the compact disk into the tray. It's a straight-forward idiot mechanism.

With each of my vinyl records that I haven't played for a long while or which I would have acquired in recent months, I've got to go through the whole process of checking the condition of the playing surface, wet them properly with my potent mixture solution of distilled water, iso-propyl alcohol and surfactant, remove all the dirt that came off with this solution, and then ensure the record surfaces are dry enough before I place it on the turntable.

Of course, I've also to ensure that the stylus was clean without any dirt sticking to it. If it was dirty, I'd need to brush the dust away with my carbonfibre brush and then slowly apply my stylus-cleaning solution to it. So it takes a lot of time to prepare each record for playing. Not to mention too that at the end of playing the record, I've had to replace the inner sleeve if it was dirty from years of neglect. I'd normally do this for the old records anyway. All this work means that at the end of the process, I have an almost pristine album back on my shelf!

So this morning, I brought out two Greatest Hits records to clean and play. The first was by Linda Ronstadt. I had almost forgotten how well she interpreted other people's songs. She never wrote her own material but chose to use other people's. I wonder how much successful she could have been if she wrote herself. The late 1960s and 1970s was a period when singer songwriters had come to the fore, writing and singing their own stuff, and making a success of it.

Side One: You're No Good, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Desperado, Love Is A Rose, That'll Be The Day, long Long Time
Side Two: Different Drum, When Will I Be Loved, Love Has No Pride, Heat Wave, It Doesn't Matter Anymore, Tracks Of My Tears

The second album was from The Byrds. This was from a time when David Crosby was still playing with the group. He later left and had even greater success with Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young. But during the time he was with The Byrds, the group was known for its slick interpretations of Bob Dylan songs. In fact, on some tracks, I would have thought that it was Dylan singing himself!

Side One: Mr Tambourine Man, I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better, The Bells of Rhymney, Turn Turn Turn, All I Really Want To Do, Chimes Of Freedom
Side Two: Eight Miles High, Mr Spaceman, 5D (Fifth Dimension), So You Want To Be A Rock "N" Roll Star, My Back Pages

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