Richie Havens, The End Of The Beginning (1976)
Well Richie Havens is known for the opening of the Woodstock Movie, right? I mean, well, that’s how I got to know him anyway. I would watch that clip over and over, the foot-tap, that percussive guitar strum, the passion in the vocal. This was before I’d heard a whole bunch of things like Bill Withers and Terry Callier; way before that. Well, I was about 12 when I first watched the Woodstock movie. So I hadn’t really seen/heard anything like Richie Havens. I was transfixed. And then, a few years on, I found this album in a bargain-bin and grabbed it. Initially I was disappointed because I had wanted more aggressive acoustic guitar stomp – where this was all wafting folk-pop. The opening cover of I’m Not In Love was good but I wasn’t much sold on it for a while. I kept listening though – through the obvious covers (If Not For You, Long Train Running) and you know – now – I really dig this album. It’s very much an album of its time – and that’s a big part of what I love about it. That and (of course) Havens’ voice. Beautiful. Yes, he’s just a footnote really – and all because of those sandal-covered foot notes he stomped in to the stage at Woodstock; but still. I dig the hell out of this album when I play it.
Sample Track: I Was Educated By Myself
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