Warpig- S/T

This is one of my favourite albums as well as one of my better record picking stories.  Warpig was formed in 1968 and toured the Ontario, Canada club circuit before being signed to independent label, Fonthill.  This, their only album, was released on Fonthill in 1970 and re-issued on London in 1973 and again in 2006/ 2010 on Relapse/ Kreation.

The copy shown is my playing copy.  It is the London pressing from 1973.  I scored this one at a Value Village for $1.49.  It consistently sells on eBay/ Discogs/ etc. for a few hundred dollars.  I use this as my listening copy because it is probably in the worst shape.  Over the years, I have accumulated numerous copies.  I have found 4 copies of this pressing and have yet to spend more than $2 for any of them.  I also found THREE SEALED COPIES of the original Fonthill pressing in a thrift store at the same time for $1 each.  Those can fetch as high as $700-1000 each!  I sold one to a friend for $50... just sharing in my good luck... but have held onto the other two for a rainy day.  And I even bought one of the Kreation re-issues simply because the vinyl was really cool.  Its like a cloudy, trippy white/blue vinyl.  I have even come across a few copies of their 45 for the song "Rockstar" a few times!

The reason I love this record isn't simply because I have bought about $5000 worth of their records for about $20 total.  Its because this album KILLS.  Amazing early psych/ metal.  You need to get a copy of this record... and if you can't afford to buy an early pressing, grab one of the latest re-issues.  Well worth the cash. 

Stats... (Original Pressing)
Artist: Warpig
Title: S/T
Year: 1970
Label: Fonthill
Matrix: F 103
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Marianne Faithfull- Broken English

Marianne Faithfull will always be known for her time with The Rolling Stones.  She was in a relationship with Mick Jagger from 1966-1970 and was the inspiration for a few of their songs.  She once said that her plan was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend so she slept with three of them and decided Mick was the best.  Imagine some little hottie, groupie, hanger-on saying that today?  Awesome...

This album was sort of a comeback for Marianne.  After years of addiction (coke/ heroin/ whatever she could get her mitts on...) she released "Broken English" to some highly critical acclaim.  It was also the album where her voice was noticeably more haggard from the drugs/ smoking.  Gone was the "As Tears Go By" angelic tone.  Her "new" voice is/ was much more punk/ bluesy.  Although she would continue to be a junkie for a few more years, this record seems to be the turning point in her life where she decided to make a change.

But no one wants to hear about the record... Let's talk about her train wreck early years!  When the cops raided Keith Richards' place on drug suspicions, they found the young Ms. Faithfull all screwed up wearing only a fur rug!  In the mid 80's while still strung out on heroin she fell and broke her jaw!  In 1971, producer Mike Leander found her living on the street... she had lost custody of her son earlier that year after she broke up with Mick.  She also lived in a squat in Chelsea with one time boyfriend, Ben Brierly (Lead Singer of the punk band, The Vibrators)  Dude... this woman lived HARD!

The feel good part of this story is that Marianne cleaned up her shit and went on to record many albums and act in many movies.  She beat breast cancer and is still fighting Hepatitis C.  She is/ was very enigmatic and has certainly had one of the more interesting careers in music.  LOVE Marianne Faithfull... Oh yeah... and I got this record for free.  Score!

Artist: Marianne Faithfull
Title: Broken English
Label: Island
Year: 1979
Matrix: M1
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

The Alexandrov Song And Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army

As many of my loyal readers already know, I am a huge fan of Eastern European Folk/ Regional music.  Ok... maybe not a fan but I definitely never walk past a record like this in a thrift store. 

This record, pressed on the Soviet label, Melodiya, sounds serious.  Like if I were to crack a smile while listening to it I may be shipped on the gulag to Siberia to live out my days in a 4 x 8 cell eating stale bread, a slop made from something resembling meat and oatmeal and any rats I could catch while dreaming of Dostoyefski serious.  Listening to this record reminds me of that scene in Rocky IV when Rocky and Drago are just about to fight in Russia and the Soviet anthem is blaring while Drago enters to the ring.  And that huge drapery thing with Drago painted on it rises from the floor to cover one entire side of the stadium.  Damn!  Rocky IV was sooooo good!  Best line... When Drago lays a beat down on Apollo Creed and in his Dolph Lundgren, "Screw You" voice he coldly says "If he dies, he dies."  BADASS!  Dolph's best line in any movie... ever!

So yeah... This record is perfect if you feel like making borscht, conforming or just want to train your bear to ride a bicycle.  A total score for 10 cents!

Artist: The Alexandrov Song And Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army
Title: ???
 Matrix: C-01235-6
Year: ???
Label: Melodiya
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Bent Wind- Sussex

Everyone always asks me what is my greatest thrift store score of all-time.  Although I have gripped some solid records over my years of collecting, some worth as much as $700-800, they all pale in comparison to my copy of "Sussex" by Bent Wind.  This Canadian psych monster from 1969 consistently fetches upwards of $4000 (whenever it actually goes up for sale... which is a rarity in itself)

Finding a copy of this record in VG++ condition is the stuff of legends and when I first laid my eyes upon it in a charity shop I rarely venture into, I almost had a coronary!

This shop was located in a shitty neighbourhood and usually only had dirty clothing and a stack of plastic cups for sale.  I had been in this store maybe 3 or 4 times in my life and had never scored a decent record.  I was passing by with a few extra minutes on hand so I decided to see if there was anything worth anything.  Across the room I spotted a cardboard box full of vinyl so I raced across to see if there was anything besides James Last or Barbara Streisand in it.  I flipped through it as fast as possible because some dirty, psychotic looking dude was sizing me up.  Like realllllly sizing me up.  From about 10 inches away.  It was quite unsettling.  As I was about to just say screw it, a heavenly light shone from above and I swear to god, although I am not a religious man, angels sang and He spoke to me.  "PLEASE TAKE THIS LP AS A SIGN THAT I EXIST"  There, between two Anne Murray albums was Bent FRIGGIN' Wind!  It was in amazing shape.  Still had the original cello wrap on it!  I grabbed it and although I wanted to continue flipping through the box of vinyl, I scampered to the cash register.  The older woman who took my money commented on how she like the artwork on the sleeve.  As soon as I had exchanged my 10 CENTS!!!! for this record I told her that I felt that I could likely get about $3000-4000 for this LP.  She looked at me as if I was the dirty psychotic looking dude from across the room.

Now, this type of score is a once in a lifetime event and I know that I will never find another record as valuable or collectible in my life.  I have been to the mountaintop and the rest of my days will be spent on a slow decline of vinyl digging.  Bent Wind was my Everest and I am ok with that.  If I never find anything even remotely as cool as this album, I will know that for one day in my life I was the happiest record collector on the planet.


Inca Babies- This Train... Is Bound For Glory

First things first... I want to apologize for abandoning this blog for a couple of weeks.  I was in the middle of moving and well... this blog was not at the top of the priority list.  Now with that out of the way, let's move onto a new review!

Inca Babies were active from 1982 to 1988 but reformed in 2007 and have since been touring/ releasing new material.  They hail from Manchester, England and have released six albums and a handful of singles.

I grabbed this record in a Value Village for $1.49 because I liked the band name.  I had never heard of them before but was willing to gamble.  The cover art had me thinking this might be some sort of 90's indie rock but I was way off.  If I had to describe their sound I would go with "Inca Babies are what The Cramps would sound like if they were all messed up on ketamine."  They certainly have that rockabilly sound but its slowwwwwed way down.  That isn't a bad thing.  I like this album.  I am going to create a new genre here.  I am going to say Inca Babies are Deathabilly.  With this album they have created a dark and ominous album that would not be out of place as the soundtrack to a Jim Thompson novel (If you've never read Thompson, get to it!)  A solid record that I see moving into semi-heavy rotation around the new Weird Wax Mansion.

Glad to be back blogging about these vinyl gems!