Thursday, May 18, 2006


The only thing lamer than buying a greatest hits collection is worrying that buying a greatest hits collection is lame. Besides, the specially-priced price was right, and my recent enjoyment of The Small Faces' Ogden's Nut Gone Flake reminded me I'd been meaning to get some Faces ever since Rushmore. How many years ago was that? That's what happens when you put yourself on a strict CD purchase diet, you never catch up.
This is solid guilty pleasure material, very nostalgic for me even though I had only heard two or three of the songs before. Evocative of after-school jobs washing dishes, of bars in the afternoon, trying to smoke. The only problem, though, is it's Rod Stewart. And the problem with Rod Stewart is...he's Rod Stewart. I remember a book I had as a kid, Celebrity Trivia, quoted Rod saying, "My favorite things in life are football, beer, and girls. Not necessarily in that order!" But Rod's harmless enough, just wants to have a good time. And don't worry, ladies, anything Rod's got to give is quaintly old fashioned, I'm sure. Remember when they used to call it VD? Ah, innocent days...

With the excellent selection at Everyday Music, choosing the "used" CD of the week is often a challenge and this week's was no exception. I was torn between a copy The Electrifying Eddie Harris, a safe bet if Swiss Movement is any indication, and this goofy looking thing. It was close, and I tried to talk myself into buying both, but good sense and the fact Lonnie takes time in the liner notes to thank "Lady Sagittarius--for her Earthly Guidance" pushed Expansions up to the register. I love his work with Pharaoh Sander, especially "Astral Traveling," but I had no idea otherwise. So? Well, it's really good. He recorded it in '74, right after leaving Miles' band, and it does seem to be of that time and place, though certainly a lot sunnier than anything the Dark Prince would've tolerated. All Music Guide calls it Soul Jazz, and that seems about right. Listening to this it's easy to believe Smith went on to have some "soft jazz" hits, but at this stage, with the congas and the rhythmic keyboards, he's still soulful enough to rock those shut-yer-mouth shades. This music would go well with sundown at some Sonoran health spa. Or maybe a Jamaican health spa. Warning: Some of the vocal tracks by Lonnie's brother sound like his brother is Antony. I mean, I like Antony just fine, but...


At 6:53 AM, Blogger dup said...

I also bought that Faces greatest hit collection used thinking there must be some few undiscovered gems ala Rushmore but alas it sucks for the most part. There's a Corduary Suit song that's sort of okay.

I read something where Nick Hornby quoted someone else who said about Rod Stewart: "No one betrayed his talent more."


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