V/A, Negro Spirituals (1961)
For the longest time I had no idea what this record was – in that the cover was clearly an inlay only, not the main front cover. It was my grandfather’s records and it used to spook me out a bit as a little kid, but I loved it. And then I inherited it and it’s always been a favourite but it’s been in the “unknown” pile I guess. I kinda liked that I couldn’t find much out about it. You don’t really need to know much – you just take a listen: my god, it’s captivating and frightening and inspiring and unforgettable. Anyway, I’ve since found out – I’m pretty sure – that it’s the record I’ve linked to – from 1961. And I think the real cover is the one down here in the bottom right, but I’ve photographed what I live with as the cover (top left) to give you an idea of the state of it; of what I had to work with. Sometimes these sorts of curios are my favourite records. The music on this is wonderful too. That’s really the selling point. It was from hearing this that I started to check out other work-songs and gospel and show-tunes and field-hollers; this record seems to be a mixture of all of those things all in one. Powerful, brilliant, beautiful stuff. And I’m lucky to have this record. It means a lot to me, perhaps mostly because my grandfather was an odd chap, he never talked about music. He listened to music a lot. But never spoke about it, never shared it with anyone. And he never had anything else like this record in his collection – the rest of it was Foster and Allen and loads of classical music. Some ghastly stuff all up, and some wonderful stuff. But I know he listened to this record a lot. I think that’s why I made the effort with it.
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown