Various Artists

Goodies, Vol. 1

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While Warner Brothers released "loss leaders" like The 1969 Warner/Reprise Songbook and Troublemakers, albums which were available pretty much for postage only, two dollars for a double LP or one dollar for the single Zapped disc with a gruesome cover photo of Frank Zappa and early tracks by Alice Cooper, the label also released inexpensive retail items like Revenge of the Killer Bees and this compilation, Goodies, Vol. 1. If memory serves, this disc went for about 99 cents, and featured tracks from albums the company was pushing at the time. The real nugget here was the previously unavailable stereo version of Fleetwood Mac's "The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)." All four minutes and 34 seconds of the Peter Green tune are here from the Reprise single (Rep 0925), but the single was in mono, and fanatics had to find this to expand their horizons prior to the dawn of CD re-releases. Side one is a bit laid-back, Gordon Lightfoot, the Grateful Dead, Jesse Colin Young, Van Morrison, and Dion carrying on like true '60s folkies in 1972. The only thing remotely resembling a hit next to the Fleetwood Mac track is Marc Bolan's "Ride a White Swan." Jimi Hendrix is represented by the inclusion of "Castles Made of Sand," while Rod Stewart and the Faces liven things up with "Had Me a Real Good Time." Whoever thought to put Tony Joe White in between Stewart and Hendrix must have had a real axe to grind with his superiors. The Peter Asher production of "A Night in the Life of a Time for Everything" from their Benefit LP, and though the album doesn't have the rarities series like these are known for, a production crew of Tony Visconti, Chas Chandler, Lenny Waronker, Joe Wissert, and others, along with these stellar acts, is still a wonderful addition to any record collection. Thirty years later, none of the major labels could muster this kind of a lineup or find music as interesting and inviting. Dion's "Your Own Back Yard" has him sounding like Dylan, and it's a treat. They certainly don't make 'em like they used to, even -- or maybe especially -- the budget items.

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