All The Way To Cleveland: The Mott The Hoople Saga [part 2]

Record Shopping Road Trip: Square Records – Akron, Ohio

Square Records was indeed, square!

[…continued from last post]

So once we reached Akron, on a Thursday, we had a free day before we needed to head to Cleveland [45 min away] for the Mott The Hoople show on Saturday, April 6th. I had not been planning to buy records in Akron, as I said, but the line had been crossed in Charleston, West Virginia the day before. My brakes at this time were in need of replacement since I live on a mountain and every time I go anywhere, it is a guarantee that my brakes get quite a workout. They chose to start squeaking the prior trip to Knoxville. I didn’t have the time to take care of them in the few days between trips. But it was important to have them taken care of right now. The noise was annoying. Friday was an open day with no plans so that seemed to be the time to get the service done. I got to the shop around 8:00 a.m. and was out of there before noon.

Afterward, it was noon and I was hungry. My wife had already eaten and the afternoon was open. Time to go to Time Traveler and see what was there this time. But it was important to eat first. Since my wife had fed while I was away on the brake job, I went off alone to West Akron in search of food and records. I found the Lebanese place I wanted to eat at: Aladdin’s Eatery. And a block up the street was Square Records; a new place to me. It was sitting adjacent to Cheese + Chong’s – an all mac-and-cheese restaurant! I was already set on Lebanese, but I can say that on another day I might have taken the bait. I ate first and ambled over to Square Records.

A close look…

The window said it was of genus Record Storus Americanis. Your basic 50+ year old storefront with faded ephemera in the window. A closer look revealed the sort of coloration I like.

…a closer look

An Elvis Costello + The Attractions promo stand up at the right for “This Year’s Model” was appreciated, but I was in Akron. What mattered most was the front and center shrine to these holy men.

… the closest look

That’s right; a copy of “Freedom Of Choice” by DEVO! Akron, take me home! The shop was not busy on a Friday at lunchtime. I saw new and used CD/LP stock, so this was not one of those places… yet. I hit the CDs and looked for a few items that have been on my shortlist; primarily any CDs by The Coup and Janelle Monae. Both are thin on the ground and things were no different here. Once I scanned and stopped looking for specifics, there were some decent used CD material.

I was amazed to see Bryan Ferry’s Olympia” for a dollar! I already had the boxed edition, but the standard CD for eight bits was a no-brainer. Besides, the card sleeve in the box is not immediately on-rack. I was happy to see a Phil Manzanera solo album, “Primitive Guitars.” I have never heard his solo material; having only Roxy Music and 801 so this was a long time in coming. Then I saw a late-model Prince album from his TAFKAP period, “Chaos + Disorder.” That got bought as it was unheard material that I rarely see. And finally the Luaka Bop Shuggie Otis DLX RM of “Inspiration Information” was the most exciting thing here! Shuggie Otis was an artist that I was being led to in much the same way that I had been led to Scott Walker in earlier years, and I had never seen this before. Even better, it had Otis’ original version of the mighty “Strawberry Letter 23” on it as bonus material! Sold!

I then moved to the used LPs. There are no new LPs that I have on my want list. I had begun digitizing my wife’s David Werner collection over a year ago, but her copy of his debut album, “Whizz Kid,” was pretty trashed. Of course I would find a better copy of it in an Akron store! WMMS in nearby Cleveland was probably the only radio station outside of those in Pittsburgh [Werner’s local] and NYC that probably ever spun that album! A check of the wax looked much nicer. And they had a POPS 12″ of three tracks from his 1979 album on wide groove 12″ that would yield the best possible remaster. It’s mine!

I also found a want list 12″ with Funkadelic’s “One Nation under A Groove” US 12″ that gave the album cut another four minutes to stretch out. The LP cut sounded like it began with a hard edit. Maybe this had the buildup to that point? Finally, I saw a Canadian Split Enz compilation called “Beginning Of The Enz” from 1977! Certainly something new to me. My good friend Mr. Ware collects Split Enz. He probably didn’t need this, but if he declined it would certainly do my Record Cell no harm!

Was Pandora behind this box?

The store also had some 7″ 45 boxes. I was not seeing the sort of material [UK 7″ from 1977-1984] that I relish, but then I came across this as seen at right. Yow! A whole box of “70s/80s Punk + New Wave” salted with “also local Akron/Cleve” too! Be still my beating heart! I ripped into the box to find maybe eight 45s that were not recognizable. Maybe one or two off-brand issues from Clone Records. A huge disappointment when I was expecting to see early Pere Ubu and DEVO material [probably long gone by that time]. Heavy sigh. And at that time I overheard the owner talking on the phone to someone, telling him that he no longer bought CDs, so cue another heavy sigh! Looks like I got here just in time. I asked the owner how long he had been in the shop and he said 16-17 years. So in the five or six times I’d been in Akron in the 21st century, this was the only time I’d ventured to West Akron and had stumbled upon Square records. The run here was well balanced and slightly over $30.

Square Records | Akron

  1. David Werner: Whizz Kid – RCA Victor ‎– APL1-0350 – US – LP – Square Records/$4.00
  2. David Werner: David Werner – Epic ‎– AS 628 – USP – 12″ – Square Records/$3.00
  3. Funkadelic: One Nation Under A Groove – Warner Bros. Records ‎– WBSD 8803 – US – 12″ – Square Records/$4.00
  4. Split Enz: Beginning Of The Enz – Chrysalis ‎– CHR 1329 – CAN – LP – Square Records/$4.00
  5. Phil Manzanera: Primitive Guitars – Editions EG ‎– EEGCD 14 – US – CD – Square Records/$5.00
  6. Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information DLX RM – Luaka Bop ‎– 72348-50473-2-9 – US – CD – Square Records/$6.00
  7. Bryan Ferry: Olympia – Astralwerks ‎– ASW 06428 – US – CD – Square Records/$1.00
  8. The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince): Chaos And Disorder – Warner Bros. Records ‎– 9 46317-2 – Square Records/$6.00

At least I was not going hog wild, since I still had another store right in front of me this gray Ohio afternoon just minutes away.

Next:  …Never Let Me Down

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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22 Responses to All The Way To Cleveland: The Mott The Hoople Saga [part 2]

  1. zoo says:

    That Split Enz comp is…interesting. For the uninitiated, the songs might not sound too dissimilar; however, the the players on the songs from the Dizrythmia album are almost completely different (save Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner…well, and Noel Crombie, who doesn’t really do anything) than the ones from the previous two albums. That said, those are some top songs. Nothing else in the world of music sounds like early Split Enz. “Walking Down a Road” is one of my favorite songs ever.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – I can sort of see a Genesis influence in early Enz, but the songs are much more cogent to me. The label said 1977 but that was done to the time of the recordings. This LP was actually released in 1980 as a cash-in by Chrysalis after “True Colours” made their name. While I own the “1972-1979” box, I still need the lesser “1980-1984” box. I only own vinyl of “True Colours” and “Waiata.” I’ve never heard the others in that box.


  2. SimonH says:

    You’ve not heard Time and Tide?
    Amazing album.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      SimonH – Nope. Not yet, anyway. I am very familiar with “True Colours” and “Waiata,” and still own LPs. But I never heard the “Time + Tide” album. I only know the two US singles that got on MTV. In 1985, I did once buy the OZ import LP of “Conflicting Emotions” with the “Kia Kaha/Parasite” bonus 12″ single, but never rated that album. I quickly sold it off in the Great Vinyl Purge. Never heard “See Ya ‘Round” either. I’m still waiting for the right copy of that “1980-1984” OZ box!


  3. SimonH says:

    There’s something about Time and Tide, probably partly because I tie it very much to the time I bought it, v strong songs though. I quite like Conflicting Emotions. I did order a secondhand cd of the last album, it turned up with half the right cover and half Nils Lofgren’s Grin. The cd was Grin!
    So, I haven’t heard it either:)


  4. Tim says:

    Your photo with the movie theater, for a split second I thought, awwww, how quaint a revival theater playing Dumbo.
    Then I remembered some hack just released a very badly remixed cover version.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – So that’s what it’s come to. Tim Burton is now “some hack,” but if the shoe fits… I’ve only bothered with four of his films in the last 20 years. And two of those [“Sweeny Todd,” “Dark Shadows”] were pretty mediocre. I thought “Big Fish” was his only great one of the noughties, but he’s “floundered” since then. Just like Johnny Depp. His dark mirror. No wait, “Big Eyes” was pretty good.


      • Tim says:

        He long ago wore out any goodwill I had for him from films like Beetlejuice or Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. A lot of his mid and later career is on autopilot and cookie cutterish in style, they all look the same, they all sound the same. The aberrations are source material that pull him away from his schtick, Ed Wood, Big Eyes, Big Fish was disjointed, it felt like he didn’t know what to do with it and as a consequence it wasn’t allowed to breathe. I suspect an extended cut of that one would be an improvement.

        His remakes of movies are abominations, there should be a Geneva Convention for war crimes against cinema and a warrant issued for his needless efforts with Planet of the Apes and Wonka specifically.

        I’ve enjoyed your recaps of haunting used music stores. Not much going on with purchases around here, I’d love that St Etienne Tiger Bay for the rarities disc but it’s just too darn much to justify the overall cost. There’s a YT video for one of the tracks and if they’re all like that, wow.
        I’d really like to get my mitts on that Elvis Costello record store day Purse EP and am holding out hope that the tracks end up as bonus tracks on some future release down the road. Coming off of the last album, my favorite of his since Painted From Memory, I’d like to think that the quality control is in the same arena.


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Tim – I liked “Big Fish” enough to read the [local] source novel. Wow! What a shoddy piece of work! Burton completely transformed that into something woorthwhile for me. It was like night and day as it was a disjointed mess compared to the film. I’d rather have burning splints shoved under my fingernails that to ever see ANY “Willy Wonka” film! Original OR remake. I have no love for Planet of the Apes in any form, either. Looking at his wikipedia page to familiarize myself with the many films I have skipped, it noticed that everything he’s done has turned a profit [not taking into account Hollyweird’s “creative” accounting methods] … except “Ed Wood,” his best film!

          Are you talking about the 2017 2xCD of “Tiger Bay?” Copies are cheap on Discogs, [~$10] but the overseas shipping [none are in the hands of US dealers] will easily double the cost. Still, it’s not as if we’re talking $30+ even with shipping. It’s the [slightly different] 2010 2xCD issue that’s pricey [$40and up]. Holy Toledo! I only have the US “Tiger Bay” and I see thay have clipped off the song “Western Wind/Tankerville” with vocals by Stephen Duffy! Now I need a UK copy of this title!

          So you really dig the new Costello? I should look into buying a copy as Mssrs. Ware/chasinvictoria have sung its praisees widely. Didn’t know about the “Purse” EP. RSD is almost completely off my radar now. Any cool stuff was always UK only, anyway!


          • Tim says:

            No, there’s a NEW sde of Tiger Bay. There is vinyl that duplicates the 2 cd set PLUS a cd of excerpts and alternate arrangements. Plus box, book, download code, etc. I think it’s going for 40 pounds plus shipping to US. Waaaaaayyyy too much for that one cd. I queried ST on Facebook about them releasing that down the road say via Amazon mp3 for those of us who want only the new content and they responded that they see that sort of thing happening but in the immediate term they are focusing on this box set and pleasing the fans who are buying it.


            • Tim says:

              Tracklist, including an item on the new cd with Stephen Duff.
              The new Marble Lions track is the one that there’s a vid on YouTube for, it’s quite good.

              Tiger Bay 25th anniversary box set

              Original album – Heavenly HVNLP8SE – Two-disc vinyl album cut at 45rpm

              1. Urban Clearway
              2. Former Lover
              3. Hug My Soul
              4. Like A Motorway
              5. On The Shore
              6. Marble Lions
              7. Pale Movie
              8. Cool Kids Of Death
              9. Western Wind
              10. Tankerville
              11. The Boy Scouts Of America

              Tiger Bay – Remains Of The Day – Heavenly HVNLP8RD – 33rpm Vinyl Album

              1. Urban Clearway (demo)
              2. Black Horse Latitude
              3. I Buy American Records
              4. Hate Your Drug
              5. You Know I’ll Miss You When You’re Gone
              6. Hug My Soul (demo)
              7. The Wedding of Stacey Dorning
              8. Sushi Rider
              9. Deborah’s French Feast
              10. Pale Movie (demo)•
              11. La Poupee Qui Fait Non (No No No)
              12. Highgate Road Incident

              Tiger Bay – Tapestry – Heavenly HVNLP8CDBD – CD

              1. Urban Clearway – Arrival Strings
              2. Like A Motorway – Bass
              3. Former Lover – Intro Chat
              4. Western Wind – Stephen Duffy Vocal
              5. Boy Scouts Of America – Lynch Frost Bed
              6 Cool Kids Of Death – Sven Verse
              7. Hug My Soul – Vibes & Strings
              8. Tankerville – Orchestra
              9. Like A Motorway – Fragments
              10 Pale Movie – Guitar Solo
              11. Boy Scouts Of America – Orchestra
              12. Marble Lions – Sarah Plus Orchestra
              13. Tiger Bay – Coda


              • postpunkmonk says:

                Tim – So this new box has about 85% of the 2017 DLX RM disc 2 material that’s on a bonus LP only? So that means that hardcore fans are being bled £60/$80 for Tapestry – which is the only CD in the mixed format package. Ghod, I hate mixed format packages!


                • Tim says:

                  i am seriously hoping that at some point they follow through on their Facebook threat to release the new material for us poor plebes that rely on Amazon or iTunes. And yes, you nailed it, a mixed format BSOG that carries a high price tag exacerbated by killer shipping if you live in the states.


            • postpunkmonk says:

              Tim – Oh. I geddit. A BSOG version of “Tiger Bay.” One hopes that it consolidated both the 2010 and 2017 DLX RMs as well as the Kitchen Sink®. I’m happy with what I run across for Saint Etienne. That band has such a deep furrow of fan club only material that would vex me sorely were I a completist on them. The fact that I am not a completist on them is to be considered progress on my end!


              • Tim says:

                There’s also a new fanclub-ish release and while I have heard nothing from it I’ve read comments from folks who claim to and it sounds bad.

                You know it’s bad when the self described completionists say it’s only for people like them.


          • diskojoe says:

            I actually did see both Willy Wonka films when I was in the hospital several years ago for my first hip replacement.

            I’m looking forward to getting the recent reissue of Sparks’ #1 Song In Heaven album, which my old high school friend John got when it first came out back in 1979.


            • postpunkmonk says:

              Diskojoe – What a ground breaker that album was! I think it was critical to Moroder’s progress going forward showing how he could work with even as idiosyncratic a band as Sparks with content far away from Donna Summer. Mating that pulsating Eurosound to Ron’s incredibly witty verse. No team ups with the likes of Blondie of Bowie without it. To be sure, “I Feel Love” cemented his reputation as a writer/producer, but “Number One In Heaven” advanced him artistically as much as it did for Sparks.


  5. Tim says:

    Splitting responses – yes the new Costello is fantastic, his best in ages. By all means buy yourself a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Re: Time and Tide — a perfect blend, IMO, of pre-fame and post-fame Split Enz. Not as consistent as True Colours, but more satisfying in some ways, and definitely pointed the way to Woodface, my favourite SE album.

    Re: Costello — the new one is worth checking out, certainly. There’s been decades of uneven and/or diminishing returns with Costello, but that said he still periodically writes gems and he still puts on one of the best damn concerts anyone has ever.

    Re: Tiger Bay — my fave of the “good” Saint Etienne albums, so I need to investigate this expanded edition! Duffy??!

    Re: Tim Burton — clearly he works for money now, and does occasional projects that half-interest him and his wife between the “bank” gigs. He had his moments and did some fine work that should be enjoyed, but he’s not (and hasn’t been since Edward Scissorhands) someone you could count on to enjoy.


  7. PS. I did not enjoy Burton’s version of Willy Wonka BUT it was truer to the book than the original film (it must be said) and somewhat via that remake I finally got to meet Deep Roy, an actor who’s career has fascinated me for ages. OMG, the difference in size of our heads!!!


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