Hey Smyth, how is the record business going?

It’s been a while since my last report, sorry.  Just a busy time with school and helping my wife manage her rebuilt rotator cuff. Plus I can hardly tear myself away from the train wreck that is this election season.

I continue to buy records at a fairly dizzying rate, and not necessarily the cheap ones.  Goodwill has not been a friend lately and I’ve covered my addiction with new records, used records, you name it.

But I have managed to cover my costs a little bit.  For the last several months my little record business has brought in a pretty steady $65 a month that I reinvest in my collection. My February receipts purchased the records I bought this week which included a minty 1976 pressing of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and a pretty nice copy of Johnny the Fox by Thin Lizzy. Last month I picked up a copy of the Fleetwood Mac boxed set of the early Peter Green albums, and the much wished for Going to a Go-Go by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

The chief problem is replacing sold stock, but this week’s pick-up should help.  It’s the cleaning and recording on my spreadsheet that just takes time.  But if I can count on some really good records every month as a result, it’s worth the trouble.


Trilogy by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

I saw ELP in 1977 when Works, Vol. I was released.  They were already past their prime.  They were, in many senses a super group.  Keith Emerson was the standout in The Nice. Greg Lake was the bassist and chief vocalist in King Crimson.  20 year old Carl Palmer was a laser-fast virtuoso on drums in Atomic Rooster. When they formed in 1970 to release their first album the band was considered something of a super group.  The classically influenced Emerson did things with a Hammond organ that can’t be imagined-exploding, raping, somersaulting, you name it. But he could certainly play.

Trilogy was their most accessible record to a non-fan. Recorded in 1972, Trilogy had the band’s most radio friendly song “From the Beginning.”  It also had one of their briefer classical covers in Aaron Copeland’s “Hoedown.” But there are some other great tunes too in the title track and the opening three segments to the “Endless Enigma.”

I’ve become less of a fan of ELP over the years.  Their wretched excess seemed outrageously fun, loud and different back in the day.  It’s just annoying now. But this record really is good.  The instrumental pieces are focused and strong.  Emerson seems under control and mostly support Lake’s excellent vocals. “From the Beginning” remains one of my very favorite songs.

I pulled it off the shelf this week and listened to it several times for the first time in years.  It is highly recommended.



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