Vinyl-ly!!

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (Aug. 19) – At last, it is over.

All this business of moving from one residence to another – annoying and interminable beyond any project you can imagine – thankfully turned up a few pleasant surprises.

None was bigger than a collection of vinyl record-albums I thought I had long-ago discarded. My Mom died of cancer on New Year’s Day 1996 and my Dad lived in our house on Kennard Ave. in Downsview until July 2001. By then, he had met a wonderful, nurturing woman; re-married, and was moving into a house in the Bayview/Finch neighborhood of North York. As my boyhood home was emptied, I rustled through life-long possessions and figured – with storage an issue – I would forsake my old records. Only this week did I realize I still had a pile of them. 

AT FIVE YEARS OF AGE IN 1964, I WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO YOUNG TO PURCHASE THIS HOCKEY ALBUM (ABOVE AND BELOW) ON MY OWN. IT SHOWED UP IN THE STACK OF RECORDS I FOUND THIS WEEK UP IN THORNHILL AND I’M NOT CERTAIN WHO BOUGHT IT. NOR DOES IT PARTICULARLY MATTER, GIVEN THE HISTORIC VALUE.

The album covers and vinyl record-discs pictured below offer a perfect outline of my musical taste growing up – nothing of which has changed into my mid-50’s. It is the only music my 16-year-old son, Shane, has ever listened to (he knows more about 60`s and 70`s rock that I did – or will) and my 13-year-old daughter, Lauren, is hastily gravitating toward the same (though Nirvana gets in the way, now and then).

We continue, now, as we started – with hockey records I look forward to hearing once again when I get around to purchasing a turn-table.

Life, as always, is cyclical beyond our control.     

RADIO/TV PLAY-BY-PLAY ?? FROM THE BOSTON BRUINS STANLEY CUP SEASON OF 1969-70: ENDING WITH BOBBY ORR’S LEGENDARY OVERTIME GOAL AGAINST ST. LOUIS.

THIS TWO-RECORD ALBUM FROM 1973 ?? COMMEMORATED THE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA – FEATURING THE 1970’s LOGO AND THEME SONG. IT CONTAINED ORIGINAL AND RE-CREATED MOMENTS FROM THE GAME’S HISTORY, VOICED BY FOSTER HEWITT, BILL HEWITT, DANNY GALLIVAN AND OTHERS.

FROM MY MOM’S SISTER – AUNT LINDA – THE FIRST ALBUM EVER BOUGHT FOR ME… ON MY FIFTH BIRTHDAY, IN FEBRUARY 1964. ?? TWIST AND SHOUT WAS THE BEATLES FIRST ALBUM RELEASE HERE IN CANADA; IT CONTAINED SONGS MOSTLY DRAWN FROM PLEASE PLEASE ME, THE BAND’S INITIAL L-P IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

SIMPLY CALLED THE “WHITE ALBUM”:??RELEASED NOV. 22, 1968.

THE BEATLES’ LAST – AND BEST – WORK ? RELEASED IN NORTH AMERICA OCT. 1, 1969.

BEST OF THE BEST.?

TRY BUYING THIS ALBUM ?? RELEASED IN NORTH AMERICA ON NOV. 13, 1978. COULDN’T FIND IT ON C-D LAST YEAR IN CANADA OR THE UNITED STATES. A LATER, UP-DATED VERSION – WINGSPAN – IS MORE ATTAINABLE.

RELEASED ON SEP. 9, 1971, IMAGINE WAS JOHN LENNON’S SECOND SOLO ALBUM. THE LEAD TRACK – IMAGINING “A WORLD AT PEACE WITHOUT THE DIVISIVENESS AND BARRIERS OF BORDERS, RELIGION AND NATIONALITY” – IS AMONG MY FAVORITES.

RELEASED IN NOVEMBER 1976, THIS IS THE FRONT ? AND BACK ? COVER OF GEORGE HARRISON’S “BEST OF” ALBUM AS SOLD IN NORTH AMERICA, AUSTRALIA AND FRANCE. GEORGE IS THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE BEATLES I’VE SEEN IN CONCERT – AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS IN DECEMBER 1974, DURING HIS DARK HORSE TOUR.

STICKY FINGERS, BY THE ROLLING STONES, ?? WAS RELEASED APR. 23, 1971. ALBUM COVER (ABOVE) WAS ADORNED WITH AN ACTUAL PANT-ZIPPER. RECORD CONTAINED TWO OF THE BAND’S GREATEST HITS – BROWN SUGAR AND WILD HORSES.

A SECOND COMPILATION OF HITS FROM THE ROLLING STONES ? WAS RELEASED SEP. 12, 1969 – FEATURING SUCH SONGS AS RUBY TUESDAY, JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH, HONKY TONK WOMAN AND MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPER.

RELEASED AUG. 18, 1978: THE FEATURED TRACK OF THIS ALBUM ? IS AMONG THE MOST ICONIC IN BRITISH ROCK HISTORY.

PROJECTED TO BE THE LATTER-DAY BEATLES, THIS BRITISH-AMERICAN FOURSOME (DAVEY JONES, MICKEY DOLENZ, PETER TORK, MICHAEL NESMITH) – A QUASI ROCK GROUP – GAINED FAME THROUGH A TELEVISION SERIES AND A NUMBER OF INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE SONGS. THE ALBUM HERE ?? WAS RELEASED IN 1982.

ALSO RELEASED IN 1982 ? FEATURING HIT SONG VALLERI.

TAPESTRY ?? REMAINS ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING ALBUMS IN POP MUSIC HISTORY, WITH MORE THAN 25 MILLION COPIES SOLD AROUND THE WORLD. RELEASED FEB. 10, 1971, CAROLE KING’S WORK INCLUDED SONGS MADE FAMOUS BY JAMES TAYLOR – YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND AND IT’S TOO LATE.

WITH MORE THAN 40 MILLION SALES, RUMORS ? IS THE SIXTH-BEST SELLING POP ALBUM OF ALL TIME – TRAILING ONLY THRILLER (MICHAEL JACKSON); THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (PINK FLOYD); THEIR GREATEST HITS (EAGLES); BACK IN BLACK (AC/DC) AND SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (BEE GEES). IT WAS RELEASED FEB. 4, 1977 AND YIELDED NO. 1 HITS GO YOUR OWN WAY, DREAMS, DON’T STOP AND YOU MAKE LOVING FUN.

IN AUGUST 1969, THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS (LEFT-TO-RIGHT, ABOVE: DENNY DOHERTY, CASS ELLIOT, MICHELLE PHILLIPS, JOHN PHILLIPS) RELEASED A GREATEST HITS COMPILATION ?? THAT INCLUDED THEIR SIGNATURE SONGS MONDAY, MONDAY AND CALIFORNIA DREAMING. MICHELLE PHILLIPS, NOW 69, IS LONE SURVIVING MEMBER OF THE FOLK-ROCK GROUP THAT PERFORMED BETWEEN 1965 AND 1968.

LATE-60’s PSYCHEDELIA 

RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER 1968, GREATEST HITS L-P BY THE ASSOCIATION (JIM YESTER, BRIAN COLE, TED BLUECHEL, RUSS GIGUERE, LARRY RAMOS, TERRY KIRKMAN) SOLD MORE THAN TWO MILLION COPIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND FEATURED WELL-KNOWN SONGS CHERISH, WINDY, NEVER MY LOVE AND ALONG COMES MARY. A LESSER TRACK – REQUIEM FOR THE MASSES – IS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE.

FROM 1972, THIS COMPILATION FEATURES A WHITER SHADE OF PALE, RELEASED AS A SINGLE ON MAY 12, 1967 (TEN DAYS AFTER TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LAST WON STANLEY CUP). ITS SIGNATURE ORGAN SOLO EMBODIES THE PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC ERA. 

THIS ALBUM WAS RELEASED ON THE FIRST DAY OF A NEW DECADE (JAN. 1, 1990) WITH SUPER HITS IT AIN’T ME BABE, EVE OF DESTRUCTION AND HAPPY TOGETHER.

CROSBY, STILLS NASH (AND YOUNG)

THIS IS MY FAVORITE, ALL-TIME MUSICAL GROUP. DAVID CROSBY, STEVEN STILLS, GRAHAM NASH AND NEIL YOUNG GAINED INSTANT FAME WITH THEIR FIRST ON-STAGE PERFORMANCE – AT THE LEGENDARY WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL IN BETHEL, NEW YORK, 44 YEARS AGO THIS WEEKEND. YOUNG, THE GIFTED CANADIAN GUITARIST, WOULD SUBSEQUENTLY LEAVE AND RE-JOIN THE FOURSOME NUMEROUS TIMES, WHILE CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH REMAINED A FOLK-ROCK TRIO THROUGH THE 60’s, 70’s, 80’s AND 90’s. I HAVE BEEN TO LIVE CS&N CONCERTS IN TORONTO, NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. AND LOS ANGELES. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT OF MY LIFE WAS A NIGHT-TIME, OUTDOOR ENGAGEMENT, WITH NEIL YOUNG, AT THE FAMED HOLLYWOOD BOWL, JULY 31, 2006.

BEST OF CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG ALBUM ? – RELEASED  AUG. 19, 1974.

THE GROUP’S FIRST ALBUM ?? WAS RELEASED MAY 26, 1969 AND CONTAINED ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS – SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES – WRITTEN BY STEVEN STILLS ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP AND BREAK-UP WITH SINGER/SONG-WRITER JUDY COLLINS. IT IS LISTED AMONG ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE’S TOP 500 SONGS.

AMONG ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE’S TOP 500 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, DEJA VU ? WAS RELEASED MAR. 11, 1970. IT FEATURED HIT SONGS CARRY ON, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN AND WOODSTOCK.

THE GROUP’S THIRD ALBUM ? (FIRST WITHOUT VOCAL COMPLIMENT BY YOUNG) WAS RELEASED JUNE 17, 1977 AND FEATURED GRAHAM NASH’S HIT JUST A SONG BEFORE I GO. ANOTHER TRACK, SHADOW CAPTAIN (CROSBY), IS AMONG MY FAVORITES. 

STILL GOING STRONGLY IN THEIR THIRD DECADE, THIS ALBUM ?? WAS RELEASED JUNE 21, 1982. IT FEATURED BILLBOARD HITS WASTED ON THE WAY AND SOUTHERN CROSS.

FOR PARTS OF FIVE DECADES, NEIL YOUNG HAS BEEN A WORLD-RENOWNED CANADIAN ARTIST. HIS THIRD STUDIO ALBUM ?? WAS RELEASED AUG. 31, 1970. IT CONTAINED HIT SONGS TELL ME WHY, ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART AND SOUTHERN MAN.

BEFORE HIS CS&N DAYS, DAVID CROSBY (SECOND FROM LEFT, ABOVE) WAS A MEMBER OF THE BYRDS, WHOSE GREATEST HITS L-P ?? WAS RELEASED AUG. 7, 1967 AND FEATURED HIT SONGS MR. TAMBOURINE MAN AND TURN! TURN! TURN! 

GRAHAM NASH (ABOVE-LEFT) WAS A MEMBER OF THE HOLLIES. THIS COMPILATION OF HITS WAS RELEASED IN 1983 AND INCLUDED A SIGNATURE SONG, STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE.

AMONG THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PROGRESSIVE-ROCK GROUPS WAS THE TRIO OF KEITH EMERSON, GREG LAKE AND CARL PALMER. THIS COMPILATION ?? – RELEASED JAN. 1, 1971 – INCLUDED ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS, LUCKY MAN, WITH ITS FABLED SYNTHESIZER COMPONENT. I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER SEEING E-L-P IN A REMARKABLE QUADRAPHONIC-SOUND CONCERT AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS ON DEC. 7, 1973.

CANADA’S OWN… AND SIMPLY, THE GREATEST. DOUBLE L-P GORD’S GOLD ?? WAS RELEASED IN NOVEMBER 1975 WITH ALL OF THE ORILLIA NATIVE’S GROUND-BREAKING WORK.

NO COMEDIAN COULD MAKE ME HOWL LIKE THE LATE, GREAT GEORGE CARLIN, WHOSE SIXTH ALBUM ?? – RELEASED IN NOVEMBER 1974 – ASKED, AMONG OTHER QUESTIONS, “DO YOU EVER NOTICE THAT YOUR OWN FARTS SMELL OKAY?” 

BEFORE HE NOTABLY CONVERTED TO ISLAMIC FAITH, LONDON-BORN STEVEN GEORGIOU (STAGE NAME CAT STEVENS) BECAME ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST PROLIFIC FOLK-ROCK MUSICIANS. HIS THIRD ALBUM RELEASE ?? (OCT. 1, 1971) CONTAINED THREE MONSTER HITS – PEACE TRAIN, MOONSHADOW AND MORNING HAS BROKEN. 

COMPILATION ALBUM ?? RELEASED IN JUNE 1975.

RELEASED NOV. 8, 1974, THIS L-P ?? HAS SOLD MORE THAN 32 MILLION COPIES, WORLD WIDE, AND WAS A DIAMOND SELLER (MORE THAN ONE MILLION COPIES) HERE IN CANADA. ELTON JOHN’S WORK (1970-1974) YIELDED TEN UNFORGETTABLE SONGS. 

THE DEBUT ALBUM OF THIS AMERICAN HARD-ROCK BAND ?, RELEASED AUG. 25, 1976, YIELDED NO. 1 HIT: MORE THAN A FEELING.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND NATIVE JEFF LYNNE BRILLIANTLY WROTE AND PRODUCED SONGS FOR THIS WILDLY POPULAR BAND/ORCHESTRA IN THE MID-TO-LATE-70’s. DOUBLE L-P, ABOVE, WAS THE SEVENTH STUDIO PRODUCTION BY E-L-O (RELEASED OCTOBER 1977), AND ITS MOST POPULAR, WITH HIT SONGS TURN TO STONE, SWEET TALKIN’ WOMAN AND MR. BLUE SKY. I SAW E-L-O IN CONCERT AT OLD EXHIBITION STADIUM IN AUGUST 1978. OPENING ACT WAS THE BIG FELLA – MEATLOAF.

HE WASN’T EXACTLY A ONE-HIT WONDER, BUT GARY WRIGHT WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED FOR THE TITLE TRACK OF THIS SUCCESSFUL L-P ? – RELEASED IN JUNE 1975. ANOTHER TRACK, LOVE IS ALIVE, ALSO DID WELL.

FORTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THIS MOVIE AND SOUNDTRACK ALBUM ?? WAS RELEASED (IN 1968), NO PERSON HAS BEEN ABLE TO COMPREHEND THE FINALE OF THE THEATER PRODUCTION. IT IS BEST KNOWN FOR THE BLUE DANUBE WALTZ (JOHANN STRAUSS) AND THE SIGNATURE THEME – ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA – (RICHARD STRAUSS).

“BUSTED FLAT IN BATON ROUGE…” WAS THE OPENING LINE OF ME AND BOBBY McGEE (WRITTEN BY KRIS KRISTOFFERSON) – MY FAVORITE TRACK ON THIS L-P – RELEASED JAN. 11, 1971. JANICE JOPLIN HAD PERFORMED AT THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL. SHE WAS FOUND DEAD AT THE LANDMARK HOTEL IN LOS ANGELES, OCT. 4, 1970, OF A HEROIN OVERDOSE. JOPLIN WAS ONLY 27.

THIS ENDURING COMPILATION ?? WAS RELEASED JUNE 14, 1972 AND HOLDS THE U.S. RECORD FOR MOST ALBUM SALES BY A DUO (MORE THAN 14 MILLION). VIRTUALLY ALL OF ITS 14 TRACKS ARE INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE, AS PAUL SIMON AND ART GARFUNKEL SYMBOLIZED FOLK/SOFT-ROCK IN THE LATE-60’s AND EARLY 70’s. 

RANKED 59th ON ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE’S TOP 500 ALBUMS, THIS L-P ?? FEATURED THE DISTINCT SOUND OF JOHN FOGERTY’S SWAMP-ROCK BAND – WILDLY POPULAR IN THE LATE-1960’s. AMONG ITS MONSTER HITS WERE BAD MOON RISING, LODI, GREEN RIVER AND WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN. ALBUM WAS RELEASED IN JANUARY 1976.

MUSIC BY THE KING OF FOLK/COUNTRY ROCK IN THE 60’s AND EARLY-70’s ENDURES LONG AFTER HIS UNTIMELY DEATH, AT 53, IN A PLANE CRASH OFF MONTEREY BAY, CALIF. IN OCTOBER 1997. THIS ALBUM ?? (RELEASED IN NOVEMBER 1973) WAS JOHN DENVER’S FIRST COMPILATION, CONTAINING HIS “ANTHEM” ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH.

ANOTHER BRILLIANT FOLK-ROCK SINGER DIED PREMATURELY IN A PLANE CRASH AT ONLY 30 YEARS OF AGE. A CHARTERED AIRCRAFT CARRYING JIM CROCE WENT DOWN IN LOUISIANA ON SEP. 20, 1973, BUT NOT BEFORE THE PHILADELPHIA NATIVE LEFT BEHIND THIS MEMORABLE COMPILATION ?? FEATURING MONSTER HITS I GOT A NAME, BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN, TIME IN A BOTTLE AND OPERATOR.

BEGINNING AS CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY IN 1967, THIS AMERICAN ROCK BAND SHORTENED ITS NAME AND CHURNED OUT A PLETHORA OF HIT SONGS IN THE 70’s AND 80’s. INITIALLY CALLING ITSELF A “ROCK-AND-ROLL BAND WITH HORNS”, CHICAGO GRADUALLY ADOPTED A SOFTER SOUND AND THE COMPILATION HERE ?? (RELEASED IN 1984) FEATURED SEVERAL SUCH EXAMPLES: COLOUR MY WORLD, IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW AND WISHING YOU WERE HERE. 

AS YOU CAN PROBABLY DISCERN, I PLAYED THE LIVING HELL OUT OF THIS FABLED SOUNDTRACK AS A CHILD IN THE 1960’s. THE MOVIE – AND ITS MUSIC – NEVER GROWS OLD.

OLD HOCKEY POCKETBOOKS

FOUND WHILE PACKING TO MOVE. HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE?

EMAIL: HOWARDLBERGER@GMAIL.COM

TWITTER: BERGER_BYTES

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