Buffalo Springfield – Last Time Around

Artist: Buffalo Springfield
Genre: Classic Rock, Rock, 60’s rock
Title: Last Time Around
Released: 1968
Label: Atco
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Richie Furay – guitar, vocals, Dewey Martin – drums, Jim Messina – bass, vocals, Stephen Stills – guitar, piano, B3 organ, bass, clavinet, vibes, percussion, Handclaps, background vocals, vocals, Neil Young – guitar, harmonica, piano, background vocals, vocals, Bruce Palmer – bass, Buddy Miles – drums, Jimmy Karstein – drums, Gary Marker : bass, Jeremy Stuart – harpsichord, calliope, bells, Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, Richard Davis – bass, unidentified – horns, saxophone, clarinet, drums, bass, drums, harpsichord, orchestra, piano, drums
Producer: Jim Messina
Engineers: Adrian Barber, Phil Iehle, Jim Messina

Last Time Around is the third and final studio album by the American folk rock band Buffalo Springfield.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Time_Around Last Time Around was released to fulfill contractual commitments. By the time it was completed the group had functionally disbanded, with the cover photo of the group consisting of a montage and the five original members only recording together on one track, “On the Way Home”.
Original bassist Bruce Palmer appears on one track: ‘On the Way Home’. His face is shown on the Last Time Around back cover photo montage with a humorous “mad” sign aligned, due to Bruce resembling Alfred E. Newman in the shot. (See it on top almost middle)?
The album contained songs that were very important to the authors. Neil Young has performed both “I Am a Child” and “On the Way Home” in concert throughout his career, the latter both solo and with CSNY, the Transband and the Bluenotes. “Kind Woman” became one of Richie Furay’s best known tunes; he performed it with Poco and throughout his solo career. Continue reading

Aren’t new vinyl records always better than used?

While unlike audio gear and cars, the depreciation value of records is slow if at all, but like cars, does it always pay to buy new? With the huge amount of records out there in the used market that have not been re-issued and may never be, it is like trying to go to your local Ford dealer car lot and insisting on finding a 1966 Mustang to purchase, not going to happen.

If you have not noticed by now that vinyl records are back to stay for a long time to come, than you must be in a coma someplace. I grew up with vinyl records and it was the only music medium there was for a while before my time and into the first 4 years or so when 8-track and cassette tapes appeared. However, I never had a huge collection nor did my parents. I think at one point I had collected about 60 records by the mid-eighties. (I have more records now, than ever before).
Around the end of the eighties I had switched to CD. It took about 5 years of fighting about the price of CDs for me to switch and I did so because the prices came down. When CDs first hit the market, it was common to see prices from about $20 to $30 per disc. When they hit $10 I started buying in. Continue reading

America – Homecoming

Artist: America
Genre: Folk-Rock, Soft Rock
Title: Homecoming
Label:Warner Bros
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Dan Peek – guitar, keyboards, vocals, Gerry Beckley – guitar, keyboards, vocals, bass guitar, Dewey Bunnell – guitar, vocals, percussion, Joe Osborn – bass guitar, Hal Blaine – drums, percussion, Gary Mallaber – drums and percussion
Engineer:Bill Halverson, Chuck Leary, Mike Stone
Mastering Engineer: Lee Herschberg

Homecoming is the second studio album by America. It is acoustic guitar-based, with a more pronounced electric guitar and keyboard section than their first album. This second effort helped continue the band’s success, and includes one of their best known hits, “Ventura Highway”. For this album and the next six throughout the next five years, the group traditionally chose titles beginning with the letter “H” (the self-titled debut album became unofficially included in this distinction when fans started referring to it as the “Horse with No Name” album when that track was added to later pressings).

My copy of this LP is in a tri-fold jacket and on the green Warner Bros label, which was known for being very good pressings and that continues here.

Side one begins with “Ventura Highway”. This hit is one of my favorites on this LP. From Wikipedia:Dewey Bunnell, the song’s vocalist and writer, has said that the lyric “alligator lizards in the air” in the song is a reference to the shapes of clouds in the sky he saw in 1963 while his family was driving down the coast from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California, where they had a flat tire. While his father changed the tire, he and his brother stood by the side of the road and watched the clouds and saw a road sign for “Ventura”. In the booklet for the boxed-set, Highway, he states that the song “reminds me of the time I lived in Omaha as a kid and how we’d walk through cornfields and chew on pieces of grass. There were cold winters, and I had images of going to California. So I think in the song I’m talking to myself, frankly: ‘How long you gonna stay here, Joe?’ I really believe that ‘Ventura Highway’ has the most lasting power of all my songs. It’s not just the words — the song and the track have a certain fresh, vibrant, optimistic quality that I can still respond to”. The song has a “Go West, young man” motif in the structure of a conversation between an old man named Joe and a young and hopeful kid. Joe was modeled after a “grumpy” old man he had met while his dad was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi at Keesler Air Force Base. He also stated “I remember vividly having this mental picture of the stretch of the coastline traveling with my family when I was younger. Ventura Highway itself, there is no such beast, what I was really trying to depict was the Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1, which goes up to the town of Ventura.” “That’s Gerry and Dan doing a harmony on two guitars on the intro. I remember us sitting in a hotel room, and I was playing the chords, and Gerry got that guitar line, and he and Dan worked out that harmony part. That’s really the hook of the song“.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventura_Highway

The second track “To Each His Own”, is a pop ballad and one of my favorite tracks on the LP.  “Don’t Cross the River” is a folk-rock style song and the banjo gives it a bit of country flavor, good song too. Track four gives us “Moon Song” with the signature America sound. Track five, “Only in Your Heart”, includes some keyboard/synth work, which is not the norm for this band. Yes, it is a good song too.

Side two begins with a good solid song titled, “Till the Sun Comes Up Again”“Cornwall Blank” is the second song on side two and a great song. It is similar in nature to the song “Donkey Jaw” from the band’s debut LP. Track three is “Head and Heart” and is somewhat similar in signature to the opening track on this LP, “Ventura Highway”.
“California Revisited” follows and “Saturn Nights” is the album’s closer, which is very appropriate.