Good Vibrations

Various Artists

Ronco, 1973

REVIEW BY: Eric E5S16

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/14/2007

I'm not sure how I was able to get enough money (probably allowance), and not sure of the actual cost (my guess would be a dollar something each), but I do remember where I bought my first two vinyl albums.  It was at a corner drug store, called Cortilet, in South Holland, Illinois.  As I was looking through the albums there, two albums caught my eye and ended up in my little bitty hands as I walked out the door, thanks to the allowance I had.
 
Those two albums were God Bless Tiny Tim and Ronco's Good Vibrations.  My record album collection had begun.
 
As much as you are probably laughing at Tiny Tim, his first two albums were in my vinyl collection as I was growing up.  Both albums, as well as his entire catalogue for Reprise Records has been reissued as a box set called God Bless Tiny Tim: The Complete Reprise Recordings.
 
My memories of the Ronco LP are heartwarming.  This was album was played constantly, and to this day, I still have this album.  Recently, I took a look at it, and made a custom CD of all the songs from it.  I have all the individual artists’ CDs, whether they be full length recordings by the artists themselves, or some that were on various artists compilations.  The Ronco LP contains edited versions of the songs, however some of the full-length albums I have on CD contained the longer versions.  Luckily, all the songs did fit on one standard CD.
 
I believe this album became my first experience with radio DJ'ing.  A friend from grammar school and I put on a tape recorder and DJ'd every song from it.  He moved to my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Arizona a year or so later; oh, to hear that tape today. The only recollection I have is when my friend muttered the words "Tough sh!t" and we stopped the tape, laughing hysterically, and corrected ourselves by saying "Tough toenails."

As for the songs, there are some classic songs from the 1970s:  I'm sure most of us canremember Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)" by The Hollies, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (which would be covered decades later by Simply Red, and reach #1).  Other songs that would reach #1 included the Johnny Nash song, Mac Davis' "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me," The Looking Glass' "Brandy," and Sly & The Family Stone's "Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin.”  

There are some great album tracks here as well where you know the artist's name, but might not be familiar with the song:  Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Go Down Gamblin'" is a great rocking song, especially the long version from their Blood Sweat & Tears 3 album.  The same can be said about the long version of Rod Stewart's "Handbags And Gladrags" from The Rod Stewart Album.  Mott The Hoople's "All The Young Dudes" (written and produced by David Bowie) is another classic.  Poco's "A Good Feeling To Know" can also be found on their The Forgotten Trail (1969-74) double disc.  The Association's version of John Sebastian/Lovin' Spoonful "Darling Be Home Soon" is a very impressive song and one of my personal favorites.  "Darling Be Home Soon" is from the band's release Waterbeds In Trinidad.  Melanie had a huge hit with "Brand New Key"; her song "Peace Will Come" is probably my least favorite from this Ronco compilation.
 
There are other good songs on this compilation:  Ramsey Lewis' "Slipping Into Darkness" is a great soulful instrumental.  James Brown's "Down And Out In New York City," from his Black Caesar soundtrack release, is here.  The O'Jays had many hits, however "992 Arguments" may not ring any bells.  Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk," Chi Coltrane's "Thunder And Lightning," Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains In Southern California," King Harvest's "Dancing In The Moonlight," Redbone's "Witch Queen Of New Orleans" fill out this great collection.
 
For those who remember and enjoy the music of the 1970s, these songs will bring great memories.  It includes a wide variety of different genres and styles of music.  Some say the decade of the 1970s wasn't a great decade for popular music, but personally, I never really found any type of music from the 70s that I don’t enjoy.  And Good Vibrations captures the essence of the decade’s popular music scene well.

Rating: A

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Comments

I posted a comment on your article about "The Kind" I have all of their songs in MP3 format if you are interested. Send me an email joebush13@yahoo.com if you are interested.

Thanks
Joe








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