Charity Shop Pickings

Aretha Franklin: I picked this up at a charity shop today and it’s just as good as you’d hope – the disc is in tip-top condition too, not a pop or click on it. A definite keeper. I also took a punt on this – I’m not a huge fan of big band/swing stuff but I’d heard of Gene Krupa and an album by two drummers sounded interesting. And it’s great, unchallenging listening, drums to Continue Reading

An Evening’s Listening

And we’re back – I’ve been digging through my dad’s vinyl today and cataloguing, so we’re listening to some of it to see if we want to keep it. First up this evening, Peter Paul and Mary. Yeah, not great. Anything with a song called “I dig rock and roll music” is trying too hard to be down with the trendy hepcats. We’re hanging on for Puff the Magic Dragon… Not a keeper. Average of Continue Reading


A charity shop purchase from today. Hocus Pocus is just genius! We recognised House of the King and found it was the theme to a 70s children’s TV programme “Don’t Ask Me”. I don’t remember the programme but I remember the theme.

Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique, Sir Thomas Beecham & French National Radio Orchestra (1961, HMV SXLP 30295)

This one surprised us a bit – we thought Berlioz was experimental, but this sounded pretty normal to us, nothing too untoward and pleasantly listenable in an occasionally forthright way with some quite loud horns. It seemed to flow, nothing atonal about it – which is perhaps what we expected, a bit of honking and clanging. So forgive the ignorance, what’s controversial/innovative/unique about it (I’m reading from the sleeve notes here)? We enjoyed it and Continue Reading

Schubert – Symphonies 5 & 8, Karl Bohm/Berlin Philharmonic (1966, Deutsche Grammophon)

This one hasn’t really done it for us, and we didn’t make it to the end of the 5th Symphony, let alone the 8th – I suppose it would have been more apt not to finish the 8th, given that it’s the “Unfinished Symphony”. It wasn’t helped by the record sounding quite scratchy, but SWMBO also described it as “cut-price Elgar”. I’m not sure what it was about it – most things have been “yes, that’s nice” Continue Reading

Cesar Franck, Symphony in D Minor (1973, CBS 61356)

I’m writing this while the LP is still on the turntable, and that’s because I already know it’s a keeper. I know nothing about Franck, although I have heard of him which is a start. We might be classical numptys but have generally heard of the main composers!  The only downside now that we’re on side 2 is that it’s a bit crackly, the odd scratch on it. I don’t have the classical music language Continue Reading

Handel – The Gods Go A Begging (1969, World Record Club ST 837)

And so at the third attempt tonight, we get something we actually want to listen to. This is a bit of a compilation job, not just Handel but Mozart and Rossini as well. Conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Actually not half bad – quite listenable, quite stirring in places (in the music, not places in me – it’s not that good). I even recognised a couple of bits – Arrival of Continue Reading

Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire (1973, CBS 32280)

Ah, one of the non-classical albums in my dad’s collection. Most of the non-classical stuff is folk (and most of that is already in boxes for disposal), but there are occasional ones you might not expect. The Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix for example – but at least they’re renowned and classic albums. Then we have this – John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, 70s noodling at it’s worst. I didn’t have high hopes for this – Continue Reading

Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier (1954, Decca LXT 2956 & 2967)

This one had a couple of things going against it, which meant it didn’t even make it onto the turntable tonight.1) We picked out a recording of Der Rosenkavalier yesterday and didn’t feel the need to keep it2) We first thought it was another abridged version of the opera, but no it’s worse than that – it’s discs 2 & 3 of a 4 LP set. Why oh why did my dad have the middle Continue Reading