Saturday, February 3, 2007

More Bizarre/Straight Goodness

Judy Henske and Jerry Yester - Farewell Aldebaran
I love a lot of the stuff on the short-lived Bizarre / Straight label family. This might be the top of the heap though. Great singing, sharp songwriting, great arrangements, varied sound - everything you need to make an IRA classic.

Right out of the gate comes Snowblind, a dirty-ass rock and roller that the VU could dig. Then a couple of sweet and purdies before St. Nicholas Hall, a psychedelic anti-Catholic song with an avant-garde Mellotron outro. If you haven't heard this, please do download the album. It is one of the all-time greats.

Raider opens side two with a nice sung-in-the-round chorus. Jerry steals the mic for Mrs. Connor, a weeper. Rapture, Charity - a couple ringers. Then, Farewell Aldebaran takes the understated psych feel from some of the earlier stuff and pegs the knob at 11. Giving us a perfect GD ending.

This got reissued on ________, a label that a lot of collectors are pissed with because they don't get good sound and they (reportedly) don't pay royalties. Still, I don't know if my vinyl rip is any better. You can check it and see.

Judy and Jerry broke up soon after this monsterpiece. She was part of the team, rather than the main focus on the disappointing Rosebud, which was one of the last issues on Straight.


Lee said...

Just curious - what's the story on the cover? Was the original non-psychedelicized, or was it the other way round?

In any event, thanks - I do think your vinyl rip beats the CD.

TBA said...

The back cover is that polarized thing. This is the front.

archigram said...

Yeah, those shady/shoddy Radioactive CDs sound terrible. Thanks for this! "Three Ravens" and "Horses on a Stick" are favorites!


A request: BLOSSOM TOES-WE ARE ...(re-post?)Thanks-ALEX

COOP said...

Great blog -lotsa good stuff!

If you have a good rip of the second Robin Gibb solo LP, PUHLEEZE post it! I have a severely compressed rip of it, and would love to get a better version.

Simon said...

I've just had to sign up for blogger so that I can leave a comment. This is annoying but not as annoying as the Judy Henske & Jerry Yester album you're hyping...

In whose strange world does "Snowblind" sound like the Velvet Underground? "St. Nicholas Hall" is a pompous easy-target failed comedy record. Completely over-blown for the light-weight content. And beneath the supposedly psychedelic croaking on "Farewell Aldebaran" some pretty ordinary library music struggles for air.

Most of all it's the singing that kills the thing. I agree with David Berman that "all my favourite singers couldn't sing" but there are limits. Both Judy and Jerry seem to specialise in flat bellowing, other than that the style is hopelessly square. Give me the Shaggs' own thing any day.

TBA said...

Listen to it again there, Simon. This didn't get to me right away either. For years, I skipped the H/Y track on the Bizarre sampler. The key to a lot of these arrangements is the weird mellotron samples, if that helps.

Glad to be of some service in helping you be annoyed, by the way. And we all salute you for signing up for blogger to make a snarky comment, rather than just freely downloading rare music.

John Dirt said...

Could you re up this one?