I spent part of New Year’s Day moving my laptop music stash to a cavernous external hard drive. I’m up over 5,200 songs now, although that’s not a lot compared to some folks I know of. It may have been premature to pop for a drive that can theoretically hold over 10 times as much, but I’m a bit of a technogeek. And it’s finally dawned on me that I spend many, many more hours at the computer than I do on the couch in the living room where the big stereo is, so my plan is to migrate some more of my favorite CDs from their round plastic incarnations to purely digital form so I can enjoy ’em more often.
The project required some rather close examination of what’s actually in my laptop library. In the process, I discovered a few more 2007 releases that I should have mentioned in my post last week about my favorite new music of the year.
A Band of Bees: Another band inspired by British pop of the ’60s, which leads to plenty of Kinks-like and Beatlesque moments on their latest album, Octopus.
The Eagles: The fact that Long Road Out of Eden didn’t automatically come to mind when I started thinking about the year’s best records is probably indicative of its long-term importance. (It might also mean that I’ve got too damn much music to keep track of anymore.) Does this album induce as much pleasure as I get from listening to, say, On the Border? Nah. But I’m glad they made it anyhow.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: Apart from providing the backing for Amy Winehouse, the band backed Sharon on another fine album of retro-soul, 100 Days and 100 Nights, which is required listening in 2008 for anybody who digs what we do here.
The migration project also uncovered a bunch of forgotten 45s that I’d, well, forgotten, so I’m going to post a few of those in the next little while. Up first is an all-time favorite one-hit wonder. Tony Ashton, Kim Gardner, and Roy Dyke were part of the same beat-group generation that spawned the Beatles; Ashton and Dyke were members of the Remo Four, who were managed by Brian Epstein and who placed third in a Mersey Beat magazine poll of favorite groups, behind the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. (The poll was published 46 years ago this week.) In late 1970, Ashton, Gardner, and Dyke released “Resurrection Shuffle,” a stormin’ R&B record with supremely horny horns and bangin’ piano that reached Number 3 in the UK.
The record made only Number 40 on the Hot 100 in the States in the summer of 1971, although it was Top 5 in Chicago and Oshkosh, and Top 10 in Toronto and Spokane. I bought it on a 45 that summer, and all these years later, I’ve never heard anything else quite like it.