Lost In The Grooves
Kim Cooper & David Smay, ed.
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Buy *Lost In The Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide To The Music You Missed* online

Lost In The Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide To The Music You Missed
Kim Cooper & David Smay, editors
288 pages
November 2004
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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If this is the type of reference journal you read cover to cover, then you are either, a) unemployed with way, way too much time on your hands; b) a social deviate with no close friends other than a pet goldfish; or c) so seriously mired in the minutae and micro-statistics of pop music that you probably spend all your time reading and none of it listening.

In any event, this is a fun sort of peripheral appendage to the many encyclopedias and source books currently available. In the main, the material here was extracted from the brains of a list of writers - many good ones, many marginal ones - who were presented with the question, "What's the best album no one has ever heard of?"

And what you come up with is a book of album reviews of records that are elevated to cult status when, in truth, they should be lying at the bottom of a 25-cent cut-out bargain bin at your local record establishment.

For instance, King Crimson's Lizard is described as "uniquely unusual and forward-looking." This album is so strange that if you listen to it from beginning to end - in one sitting - you start to grow claws and revert with atavistic savagery to something less than human.

Then, with no explanation this author can seem to uncover, the authors include Spirit's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Don't forget the title of this book, now. Twelve Dreams was an astonishing record and anyone with a shred of musical intelligence knew that Spirit was one of the true and original spearheads of the West Coast/Topanga Canyon/psychedelic summoning groups and not some obscure and antiquated band like the other several hundred here represented. The writer here notes "There was no lead vocalist for imprint," and if he's insinuating that the band had no identifiable up-front singer - either visually or vocally - he's out of his mind. Jay Ferguson was a beautiful, blonde canyon boy with the voice of an angel and a stage stance that pre-dated a lot of the ensuing Sunset Strip rockers.

Remember that title? Lost In the Grooves? Well, in the next paragraph this author states "Nature's Way," a seventies FM staple and in my head staple means mainstream, not lost.

This was the band's last album and the writer, again, unaccountably comes up with the absurd notion that "I think it was rock's first case of 'Jesus, we can't top this!" He's suggesting that after a big hit, and maybe their finest album ever (it wasn't, but it was marvelous), they laid down their guitars and went home? I don't think so.

Anyway, the writers here have a lot of this wrong. And most of this is so obscure, they could make up anything they wanted anyway.

Fun, if only meant for mild distraction.

© 2005 by Steven Rosen for curledup.com.

buy *Lost In The Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide To The Music You Missed* online
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