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November 01, 1977 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-01
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Page 14-Tuesday, November 1, 1977-The Michigan Daily
Top tunes or

The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, Nov

paltry prices

Something for everyone. That's the
catchword behind the cut-out racks
found in nearly every local record
store. Cut-out racks, (or bargain-
bins, as they are sometimes called),
contain high-quality record albums
at reduced prices, usually $1.99 or
$2.99. The reason for the reduced
prices is that the LP's are either
manufacturers' overstocks or have
gone out of print due to declining
Even though the albums might be
considered "rejects" in some re-
spects, it is often possible to find the
likes of Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Eric
Clapton and Bob Dylan in the cut-out
racks. What some people consider
unworthy of purchase is pure trea-
sure to others, and the treasure is
there for those who look.
In the field of rock music, the list of
artists represented in the cut-out
racks is virtually endless. True,.
much of it is trash, but if you skip
over copies of Bobby Sherman's
Christmas Album, almost any taste
in music can be appeased. For the
fan of rock guitar, it is possible to
obtain Eric Clapton's live album EC
Was Here, or his studio LP There's
One In Every Crowd, either one for
under three dollars. Edgar Winter's

Jasmine Nightdreams and Entrance
can both be found for the same low
price. His critically acclaimed LP
Edgar Winter Group - With Rick
Derringer also graces the cut-out
bins. Brother Johnny Winter is there
too, with his album John Dawson
Winter III available for only $2.99.
Some prominent British rock
groups have albums in the discount
racks, high quality music that listed
at $6.98 just a few years back. Four
albums by the now-defunct King
Crimson are available at reduced
prices, including their master work,
Larks' Tongues in Aspic. Surprising-
ly, one of Mott the Hoople's best al-
bums, The Hoople, is also available,
featuring the semi-hit single "Roll
Away The Stone."
The avid record collector may find
a few scarce LP's in the cut-out racks
to fill in the gaps in his collection.
One incredible find is the album
Michael Franks on Brut records.
Franks currently has two other
albums on the market, but his first
LP is obtainable for the paltry sum of
$1.99. Bill Joel's first album, Cold
Spring Harbor, can be found with a
little bit of dedicated searching; the
album contains some good material
from the artist who released Piano
Man, although the production is

Elton John's soundtrack LP to the
movie "Friends" can be found in the
bargain bins, and is worth the $1.99
price tag. Although much of the
album is devoted to Paul Buckmas-
ter's orchestration, the Elton John-
Bernie Taupin compositions are rep-
resentative of their earlier quality
material. For $2.99 one can find
copies of James Taylor's One Man
Dog, Steely Dan's Katy Lied, and
Simon and Garfunkel's first Colum-
bia LP, Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.

Almost half of Harry Nilsson's
recorded works are now selling at
lower-than-list prices, including the
John Lennon produced Pussycats.
From Jefferson Airplane to Cap-
tain Beefheart and The Magic Band,
an incredible variety of artists and
recordings is available to all who
peruse the cut-out bins. Jazz, folk and
classical LP's, as well as rock, can be
found at a price that won't introduce
abject poverty. The cut-out racks are
overflowing with quality music, just
waiting for someone to flip through.

Who's behind the remarkal
DQ1O speaker?

Stars don't mesh on
new Nicholas album

Join the Daily's
Arts Deportmen t
Phone 764-0552
Z a
_ tz
- -
'fs- Z

The music of a good blues band
picks the listener up and transports
the passenger to destinations within
the players' personal experiences.
It's easy to identify this intimate
rapport between musicians and audi-
ence. It's an intuitive feeling. A far
more difficult question to answer is,
why? It could be due to the exception-
al skills of the harmonica player, or
to the impeccable timing of the base
player, but more than likely the
magic created is a result of the group
of performers trusting each other
and sharing an enthusiasm for- the
music they're producing. Their love
for the blues is bound to be conta-
John Nicholas got together some
musician friends and made a sincere
effort to capture this same love for
the blues on an album called Too
Many Bad Habits. While it has some
successful moments the overall at-
tempt fails, because that mutual
trust between group members is
missing. Although many of the musi-
cians played for Asleep at the Wheel
at one time, this reuniting project re-
mains loose. The album was pro-
duced on Ann Arbor's own Blind Pig
label, but different tracks were
recorded in locations as diverse as
Austin, Texas and Farmington,
Michigan. Perhaps this adds to the
hodgepodge inconsistency of the
quality of music.
Side A begins with a swing number,
Mandolin Boogie. Bill Mabry's fiddle
playing stands out as capable, but the
sound of the song is no different and
not even as good as that of Asleep at
the Wheel. Another mandolin and
fiddle number, the traditional Sittin'
On Top of the World, is enhanced by
Link Davis, Jr.'s lamenting saxo-

phone, but Nicholas's forced, unnat-
ural voice detracts from the music.
The better moments on the album
happen when John Nicholas gives his
friends a break and takes over the
music by himself. In Rock My Blues
Away he does all vocals and plays all
the instruments - piano and all
guitars - leaving only Martin Gross
on the drums. This cut is clearly
superior to the ones that go before it,
because Nicholas is in total control of
the timing and interaction of the in-
struments. His solo performance of
Don't You Mind People Grinnin' in
Your Face, an original effort, also
stands out as a cut above the pre-
vailing mediocrity of Side A because
he sings it a capella, and instead of
doing his blues singer imitation, he
offers an honest rendition of the song
with a much clearer, truer voice. The
idea behind his lyrics also appears
sincere as he philosophizes, Bear this
in mind,/A true friend is hard to
find./Don't you mind people grinnin'
in your face.
Much of Side B is devoted to cuts
featuring Nicholas with harmonica
player Big Walter Horton. Their
years of collaboration makes itself
apparent in these numbers as the
music of this album finally comes
close to what can be labeled good
blues. In Careless Love, a traditional
blues ballad, Horton's harmonica
gently mocks Nicholas's vocal, effec-
tively capturing the bitter'mood of
the lyricist's angry attack on care-
less love. You caused my mother to
steady grind./You caused my broth-
er to lose his mind./God damn you,
I'm going to shoot you/And shoot you
four five times./I'm going to stand
over you/Til I'm sure you die. This is
also the first cut that Nicholas's
guitar can be distinctly heard and
The best song on the album is
another Nicholas/Horton duet. Nich-
olas's guitar becomes a background
for some fancy harp playing by
Horton in the instrumental, Gettin'
Out of Town. Big Walter's harmonica
becomes a train and sets the listener
in rocking motion as he moves the
music down the track. This is the
only cut on the record that can be
dubbed a first-rate blues experience.
John Nicholas and his friends had a
good idea and the result of their reun-
ion on Too Many Bad Habits .has
some high points, buhliey la&'that
continuity that results.from a group
of musicians who have been playing
and developing together for years
and-years. The potential for good
blues is there, but the magic is

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Mr. Marantz produced. T
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Then there's our brill
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