When we saw Craig’s pick for this week’s Vinally Friday segment, we groaned.
Seriously? Harry Belafonte? Who in their right mind wants to listen to Harry Belafonte croon in his straight-edge calypso stylings on a Friday?
Funny enough – after doing a little research, his Belafonte at Carnegie Hall is now the one we’re most looking forward to. Not because, say, we’re particularly excited about the songs themselves. No, we’ve heard many of them before and they’re not, you might say, the most riveting pieces of work for a rock radio station.
But considering the live double-album was among the first stereo releases and that it was also included in the book “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,” we’d be silly not to at least give it a fresh listen.
Yes, Carnegie Hall features the most recognizable of the “King of Calpyso’s” original material, and yes it was the first album to sell over a million copies in a year. And yes, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Album of the Year.”
But, like Analog Planet’s Michael Fremer writes, none of this explains the true reason behind this recording’s relevancy nearly 60 years after the fact.
“Beflafonte at Carnegie Hall made obvious the new medium’s (stereo’s) potential for transporting listeners to the concert hall,” he explains. “… Had this been a crappy recording, the fascination with it among lovers of great sound recordings might not be as widespread of intense. But it is among the greatest – if not the greatest – live concert recordings ever made and Belafonte’s and the orchestra’s performances make it well worth revisiting.”
So, whether you like the lyrics, the rhythms and Belafonte’s vocals or not, you’d be remiss to tune our this week’s Vinally Friday morning opener.
Also on the turntable Friday:
-They had pretty much spun out of control by 1978, but for whatever reason The Who were able to come together just long enough to put out what would later be called their “last reasonably interesting” record.
Alanya will showcase the band’s eighth studio album, Who Are You, which was held out of the No. 1 spot in the US only by the Grease soundtrack and which would be the final recorded by the band before Keith Moon’s death.
–Devo’s another band that doesn’t make the Trail playlist very often, so enjoy it while it’s here.
Robert will feature the new wave outfit’s breakthrough record, Freedom of Choice – featuring seminal favorite “Whip It”.
For a very detailed “making of” story about the 1980 album – including how the band managed to communicate “a dead serious message about the fate of society by being full of shit most of the time” – check out this Rolling Stone Magazine article from 2015.
-And Tommy will wrap up the day of vinyl with a revisit of Cage the Elephant‘s third studio release, Melophobia.
Tommy featured Melophobia during one of our earlier Vinally Friday segments in July of last year, so if you missed it now’s your chance to enjoy the redux.
Finally, it’s Friday! It’s Vinally Friday, all day on the Trail 103.3!