Second Hand News / April 2013

We got great feedback on last month’s ‘Second Hand News’ feature (thank you!). For newcomers, this is where we give you a little insight into the ‘new arrivals’ into the SuperDeluxeEdition used record collection. Basically, an excuse to talk about some good records or CDs.

So here, for your pleasure, is the next instalment: a few items that have found themselves into those inadequate ‘recycled’ plastic bags that charity or thrift stores often keep behind the tills. Lots of vinyl picked up in the last few weeks… enjoy!

Depeche Mode / I Feel You CD Single

Depeche Mode / I Feel You – UK CD Single (1993)

Back to the days when every Depeche Mode single seemed like a ‘classic’. I Feel You was the lead 45 from the Songs of Faith and Devotion album. The insistent driving guitar line still sounds essential today, and the track is dripping in sweat, danger and infidelity. Included is the Martin Gore-sung One Caress. This quality B-side is an exercise in pain and guilt, with a cinematic Bernard Herrmann-esque string break thrown in for good measure. Also contains the ‘throb mix’ of I Feel You (good) and the ‘babylon mix’ (not so good). Depeche Mode’s new album Delta Machine is out now.

Sheryl Crow / If It Makes You Happy US CD Single

Sheryl Crow / If It Makes You Happy – US CD Single (1996)

The four track US CD single of one of Sheryl Crow‘s very best songs, comes in a album-style jewel case with white tray. The selection here features two tracks not found on either of the two UK CD singles: I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday (from Fast Track To Nowhere, the soundtrack to a forgotten US TV Series called Rebel Highway) and No One Said It Would Be Easy live in Nashville. The former is dire, with the later simple coming across as rather lacklustre. Thankfully, the cover of the Derek and the Dominoes song, Keep On Growing, is excellent. The previous owner had left bits of the ‘J Card’ stuck on the front.

Sade / Smooth Operator 7"

Sade / Smooth Operator – UK 7″ single  (1984)

Amazingly Smooth Operator was left as the fourth and final single pulled from Sade‘s Diamond Life debut back in 1984, but would be the breakthrough track for the band in America where it reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. This found its way into the SuperDeluxeEdition shopping basket because it is in excellent condition, (sleeve and vinyl) and for non-album B-Side Spirit, which we hadn’t heard. Spirit is not the hidden treasure we were hoping for, but a perfectly decent slice of early eighties mid-paced funk-jazz. The Smooth Operator here is shorn of its spoken word intro as featured on the album version of the song.

The Cardigans /

The Cardigans / Super Extra Gravity CD+DVD (2005)

The first rule when you see the last Cardigans album, Super Extra Gravity, secondhand is check you are not looking at the rare-as-hen’s-teeth SACD version. In all likelihood you won’t be (it’s very hard to find) so once you’ve got over that disappointment, the next best CD edition is this limited edition CD+DVD set. In truth, it’s not actually that hard to get hold of, and comes with two bonus tracks (Give Me Your Eyes and Slow) and an excellent DVD which is quite a thoughtful and substantive look at the making of the album – very different from some of the content-light DVDs that come with some deluxe editions. An ex-Cardigans fan had also donated the I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer CD single to the same charity shop. So for 50p we picked that up as well (it includes For The Boys a US-only bonus track on previous album, Long Gone Before Daylight)

 Blue Mercedes /

Blue Mercedes / Rich and Famous (1988)

Remembered (or not) for single I Want To Be Your Property and a lead singer who sounded like ABC’s Martin Fry, Rich and Famous was the only album from UK pop/dance act Blue Mercedes. This Phil Harding and Ian Curnow-produced album was released on CD via MCA records and contained four bonus remixes including the “Def B4 Dishonour USA Mix” of I Want To Be Your Property (which also ended up on Phil Harding’s Club Mixes Of The 80s compilation from 2011). To be filed in the section marked ‘CDs we will virtually never play, but still want to own all the same’. 

Paul McCartney / Maybe I'm Amazed 1976

Paul McCartney / Maybe I’m Amazed  (1976)

Someone had off-loaded quite a big pile of Paul McCartney vinyl where this was purchased, so it was bought at the same time as Pipes Of Peace/So Bad, Band On The Run/Zoo Gang and Hi Hi Hi/C Moon (all seven-inch, of course). Maybe I’m Amazed gets the nod for this selection due to its topicality, being of course from the soon-to-be-reissued Wings Over America album (see here for details). The studio version would have been a sure-fire number one back in 1970, but after seven years of non-stop hits with The Beatles, McCartney wasn’t bothered at that time and nothing from his solo debut was issued as a single. This live version hit number 10 in the US and 28 in the UK when it was released (in early 1977). The labels on the seven-inch share the same Hipgnosis design as the album, and B-side is Soily, normally the concert-closer in 1976 and a McCartney rarity, in that it has never been commercially issued as a studio recording. A Record Store Day 12″ of this track is being issued in a few weeks.

Level 42 / The Family Edition

Level 42 / The Family Edition – Canadian LP (1987)

The telltale HMV ‘import’ sticker is a clue to this vinyl from Level 42. The Family Edition is a variant on the ‘Platinum Edition’ version of the Running In The Family album that was released only in Canada. Side One includes the three remixes which seem to be common to all ‘Platinum Editions’ (Lessons In Love (Shep Pettibone remix), Running In The Family (Dave ‘O’ remix) and It’s Over (Extended remix). Side two includes a Family Edition Megamix, which fuses Something About You, Lessons In Love, World Machine, Running In The Family and It’s Over), Freedom Someday (originally a CD-only bonus track in the UK) and It’s Over (Instrumental). The megamix and instrumental were not considered worth including in last year’s Running In The Family Super Deluxe Edition box set.

Prince / Glam Slam 7" single

Prince / Glam Slam UK 7″ single  (1988)

The second single off Prince‘s Lovesexy album from 1988, this UK seven-inch contains the edit version of Glam Slam on the A-Side and comes backed with an edit of Escape. The transparent sleeve with sticker contains the trend started with previous single Alphabet St.

Nilsson / A Little Schmilsson In The NIght LP

Nilsson / A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night LP (1973)

The sleeve is rather warped  but the vinyl is in superb condition, so this original Nilsson UK pressing for £1 was always going to get snapped up. This collection of standards was produced by Apple’s Derek Taylor and our purchase came with the original inner sleeve which has the message “If you enjoyed the album please buy Derek Taylor’s new book ‘As Time Goes By’…”.

Robert Palmer / Ridin' High LP

Robert Palmer / Ridin’ High (1992)

Any vinyl LP issued around 1992 or ’93 tended to be pressed in very small quantities, with the format being regarded as on its way out, which is why quite a few albums of this period (Kate Bush’s The Red Shoes, Roger Waters’ Amused To Death) command high prices on the used market. Robert Palmer‘s Big Band album Ridin’ High may not be in similar demand, but it has long been a SuperDeluxeEdition favourite and was recently reissued by Edsel Records. Thanks to the large format LP sleeve you do find yourself spotting artwork elements that had gone unnoticed previously, such as the red eyelashes and lips superimposed on the ‘sky’ background. Having said that, compared to vinyl releases of today this is a rather shoddy affair, the photo of Palmer lacks sharpness and clarity, and the vinyl is very thin, with a dull label design.

9 responses to Second Hand News / April 2013

  1. Julian H says:

    Actually, the 7″ of Smooth Operator is an entirely different cut to the album version, not just an edit. There were a few tracks like that – another case would be China in Your Hand by T’Pau, where the band also recorded two different versions for the album and the single. In both cases the saxophone solo is the most obvious giveaway.

  2. Spencer says:

    Thanks for another great installment! I recently found a sealed copy of Empire Mark I by Peter Banks at a thrift store and a target CD of YES 90125 in the used bin at my local music store. This part of SDE makes me want to keep on looking to keep getting that rush of finding such great things at such cheap prices!! Looking forward to another.

  3. John B says:

    I really love that Blue Mercedes album. I hope you give it more than one spin before sticking it on the shelf for good! “See Want Must Have” was the second single, but “Crunchy Love Affair” really shows off their similarities to ABC. I always wondered what happened to these guys after this release. One of the best albums of 1988.

    Seeing both Sade and Robert Palmer in the same article, I remember reading an interview with him in 1985 where he was talking about liking the band. They were still pretty new at that point, so the article pointed out that he pronounced the name as “sayd.” In America, the spine of the cassettes/CDs and the stickers on the albums all said “Sade (Shar-Day)” so that no one else would make that mistake. Island Records also did that for an American band named Bourgeois Tagg.

  4. Ray judson says:

    Love this segment! It makes me want to grab a few pieces out of my collection at random and give them a spin!!

  5. morten says:

    hi Paul – this segment is becoming one of my favorites on this site. thumps up! – got the DM cd-single my self, and just loving the info on all your 2nd hand treasures.

  6. Simon says:

    In the UK, Smooth Operator was only the third (and final) single from Diamond Life, following Your Love Is King and the under-rated When Am I Going To Make A Living? (an interesting little number to consider in this week of the death of a former Prime Minister).

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Good point Simon… it was the fourth single in total, but unlike other territories “Hang On To Your Love” wasn’t issued in the UK. I really like “When Am I Going To Make A Living” but it’s a weird choice for a second single ahead of Smooth Operator (in the UK).

      • Simon says:

        I agree that it was a weird choice, and trying to put my head back to 1984, I can’t work out why it was the choice.

        I would still counter, that despite the order shown on Wiki, that Smooth Operator was the third single from the album as it was released in the UK several months before it was released in the US.

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