Friday, January 27, 2012

What Was the First Album You Bought?

Whenever the topic of “first concert” comes up I’ve got a great story. In January 1974 (I was fourteen) my cousin Mike was on his way out west and the day he stopped at our place in Montreal Bob Dylan was playing the Forum. Mike asked me if I wanted to go see the show and I said it had been sold out for months. Mike said, no problem, we headed down to the Forum and Mike bought us tickets (and maybe a little something else ;) from a scalper in Atwater Park.

The concert was great, though I have to admit I was too young to appreciate Bob Dylan and my favourite part was The Band.

But when it comes to “first album” I don’t have such a good story. The first album I bought was K-Tel’s “Fantastic: 22 original hits 22 original stars” in late 1973.

Oh sure, it had Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me,” and two Elton John songs, “Crocodile Rock” and “Rocket Man” it also had Vicki Lawrence’s (Mama, from The Carol Burnett show?!?) “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” and something called “Bongo Rock” by The Incredible Bongo Band.

At the time my favourite songs on the album were probably Stories' "Brother Louie," and The Five Man Electrical Band's "I'm a Stranger Here." This was in the era beore "Disco Sucks" so there's an odd mix, for sure.

Here’s the complete song list:

Stories- Brother Louie
Elton John- Crocodile Rock
Dawn (featuring Tony Orlando)- Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree
Focus- Hocus Pocus
The Sweet- Little Willy
Bill Withers- Lean On Me
Lobo- It Sure Took A Long, Long Time
Vicki Lawrence- The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
The Incredible Bongo Band- Bongo Rock
New York City- I'm Doin' Fine Now
Barry White- I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby
Maureen McGovern- The Morning After
Chester -Make My Life a Little Bit Brighter
Les Emmerson- Cry Your Eyes Out
Charlie Daniels- Uneasy Rider
Albert Hammond- The Free Electric Band
Foster Sylvers- Misdemeanor
Five Man Electrical Band- I'm A Stranger Here
Stampeders- Minstrel Gypsy
Peter Foldy- Bondi Junction
Jim Stafford- Swamp Witch
Elton John- Rocket Man

Turns out there was a TV commercial for this album but I don’t remember it:

Also, it seems that K-Tel had the same albums in the US and Canada with slightly different song lists.

So, what was the first album you bought?


Dana King said...

The Very Best of Buddy Rich. Included West Side Story Medley, Channel One Suite, Norwegian Wood, The Rotten Kid, Love for Sale, and a few more. In fact, I also have the CD and think I'll give it a listen. Thanks for reminding me.

John McFetridge said...

Dana, one of my friends had a Buddy Rich-Gene Kruppa "drum summit" album that he wore out. I've never heard a Buddy Rich version of Norwegian Wood but it sounds interesting.

I signed up for someting called that streams music so I'll go listen to the Buddy Rich now, too.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Desolation Boulevard by The Sweet

pattinase (abbott) said...

Gigi. Beat that.

John McFetridge said...

Gigi is tough to beat, Patti. My wife bought the Laserdisc of Gigi back when that was the new technology.

John McFetridge said...

Yeah, Sean, Desolation Boulevard had both Ballroom Blitz and Fox on the Run, didn't it? But it didn't have Little Willy...

Peter Rozovsky said...

Dana's first album puts us all to shame.

John, my first album ever was a gift. I don't remember the album title, but it was by Herman's Hermits, and it contained a few songs that hold up to this day. I did not find out until many years later that one of those songs, "Dandy," was a Kinks cover.

I also had Led Zeppelin's second album; don't remember if that one was a purchase or a gift. If a purchase, it was probably my fist.

I definitely bought the Who's Tommy for the outrageous price of $8.40 for a three-record set at Alex Sherman's. I am certain that was the first triple album I bought.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Randy McIlwaine said...

Haha... you bought a K-Tel album. My first album was Alice Cooper's Billion Dollar Babies. Still have it, with the giant billion dollar bill inside. That's the problem with CDs - no cool inserts.

seana said...

It's a bit of a blur now, frankly. As I recall, our budgets ran more to 45s.

I know that my roommate's choices in college of Joan Baez's Diamonds and Rust and whatever the latest one by Judy Collins was, maybe "Judith", were among the most influential.

Peter Rozovsky said...

45s cost 77 cents in my early youth!

JamesEMc said...

Morton Gould's recording of Ferde Grofe's The Grand Canyon Suite with a narration by Johnny Cash, and Invitation to the Dance by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Ondrej Lenard. I bought them both at a real music store with several turntables where you could listen to a record before buying it. I still have both LP's, but they are pretty battered up after at least 51 years.

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