When Was The Last Time You Played This Album?

Posts tagged “Albums of 1978

Todd Rundgen “The Hermit of Mink Hollow”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#142 in the Series) is Todd Rundgren, The Hermit of Mink Hollow.

I can’t believe it’s been 32 years since The Hermit of Mink Hollow was released.  But when you do the math 1978 …2010 yup, 32 years.

This was one of the very first album that I can remember that the artist played EVERY instrument.  The only one I can think of that might have been earlier was Jon Anderson, Olias of Sunhillow. That was 1976 but did have a very minimum of contributors. The Hermit of Mink Hollow was exclusively Todd.

It’s even harder to believe it’s been that long when you give it a listen. It easily passes the test of time.

Stand out tracks include the opener, All The Children Sing, Can We Still Be Friends, Hurting For You, Too Far Gone, You Cried Wolf and the great Onomatopoeia.

When I was looking for information on this album I found a great story.  This is from Wikipedia:

In The 30 Rock Episode The C Word, the character Frank says that this is his favorite Todd Rundgren album.  Show runner Liz Lemon tries to tell Frank that someone’s insulted her with a word that ‘rhymes with your favorite Todd Rundgren album” expecting him to name Runt. Frank responds: “It rhymes with The Hermit of Mink Hollow?

You have to love when Todd gets a reference on network television.

Hermit of Mink Hollow peaked at # 36 on the Billboard Album Charts.

Can We Still Be Friends peaked at #29 on the Pop Singles Charts.

There is great website called Live From Daryl’s House.  It features the great Daryl Hall and various guests. Todd was a guest about a year ago.  Here’s a video of a great version of Can We Still Be Friends with the two Philly boys, Todd, Daryl and the late, T-Bone Wolk. Following that is a rare video of All The Children sing.

John Prine “Bruised Orange”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#139 in The Series) is John Prine, Bruised Orange.

John Prine’s debut album, called simply John Prine is considered his masterpiece, and rightly so.

It’s quite the feat when you think that he wrote Sam Stone, Illegal Smile, Donald and Lydia, Angel From Montgomery, Paradise, Six O’Clock News, You’re Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore and of course, Hello in There ALL before he was 25.

Looking at that track list you can see why that album is held in such high regard.  I am, however, going to feature Bruised Orange.

I’m not sure why this album was always so high on my list of Prine classics.  Part of it might be that it was new when I got my first guitar and I learned how to play many basic chords strumming to what’s here.

The songs here that I enjoyed attacking and killing on that old Ovation were Fish and Whistle, Aw Heck, Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone and of course, That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round.

Some great players made their way to the great Chicago Recording Company studio in 1978 to help with the sound.  Jethro Burns (Homer and Jethro), John Burns (Flyer), Tom Radtke (Bill Quateman), Corky Siegel (Siegel-Schwall), Mike Utley (Coral Reefer Band), Jackson Browne, Bonnie Koloc, and many, many more.

It was produced by Steve Goodman.

It reached #116 on the Billboard Album Charts.

Here’s a great version of That’s the Way That the World Goes Down (aka Happy Enchilada).  By John, at his kitchen table.

I’m following it up with a song not on Bruised Orange, but a great song none the less. It’s just something I want you to hear.  It’s called In Spite of Ourselves.  It’s hilarious!!  Please check it out. It begins with John telling a story about a movie he made where he and Billy Bob Thorton played brothers.  Their father was Andy Griffith. How ’bout that!

Tom Waits “Blue Valentine”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Tom Waits, “Blue Valentine.”

What a piece of music this one is.  I just love Tom Waits.  This is yet another example of the album I love is the tour I saw.

I can’t remember the name of the place. But there was a little roadhouse between Merrillville + Valparaiso, Indiana where I saw this tour.  It had to be in 1978 or ‘79.  The opening act was Leon Redbone who had laryngitis that night and did everything instrumental.  He then held up a ‘thank you’ sign after every song.

TW does an amazing version of ‘Somewhere” from West Side Story as an opening number on this album. It’s truly a remarkable version.

Other highlights include ‘Red Shoes By the Drugstore, Whistlin’ by the Graveyard, Romeo is Bleeding, $29’ and of course, ‘Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis.’

His concert from this tour was just as strong.  It’s hard to remember much of it.  I do know that he opened the show leaning against a gas pump smoking a cigarette.  I’ve actually seen this tour on Austin City Limits if you can catch it.

Little Feat “Waiting For Columbus”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#113 in the Series) is Little Feat, “Waiting For Columbus.”

I usually only have studio albums in this blog. No Greatest Hits packages either. But today is going to be different. Today is Little Feat, “Waiting For Columbus.” It’s quite possibly the best live album ever.

I do so for sad reasons. Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward passed away yesterday from liver cancer. He will be missed by masses. He was a wonderful musician and according to those that knew him, a wonderful person.

What always amazed me about “Waiting For Columbus” was Richie’s drum sound. For 1978, the drums kicked like something recorded decades later. What a wonderful sound!

Highlights are many. “Fatman In The Bathtub, Oh Atlanta, Old Folks Boogie, Spanish Moon, Willin’ Rocket in My Pocket’ and of course, “Dixie Chicken’ into’ Tripe Face Boogie.”

Lowell George never sounded better than on this record. Billy Payne, Sam Clayton, Kenny Gradney and Paul Barrere rounded out the sound. The Tower of Power horns also were a huge part of this.

We’ll miss you Richie. Thanks for the music.