Music » Thrift-Store Finds by Anthony Nownes

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Knoxville has a plethora of thrift stores. Every week or so I visit one or more of these stores in search of treasure amongst the flotsam and jetsam. I spend most of my time sifting through racks and boxes of dusty vinyl LPs. When I find something obscure or interesting or just plain weird from the LP era, I will tell you about here in an occasional column.

  • The Mamas and the Papas: 'Farewell to the First Golden Era' Published 7/16/2014 at 10:52 a.m. 0 comments

    Few people better illustrate the precarious position of women in the male-dominated world of popular music than Cass Elliot.

  • Stevie Wonder: 'Songs in the Key of Life' (1976) Published 5/7/2014 at 11:20 a.m. 0 comments

    Music fans were subjected to a number of indignities during the 1970s. The Beatles and the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones, all chart-toppers in the 1960s, were replaced by the likes of Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, the Captain ...

  • The Buggles: 'The Age of Plastic' (1980) Published 2/5/2014 at 12:36 p.m. 0 comments

    Few one-hit wonders are as pathetic as VH1 led us to believe. Many, in fact, lead musically impressive post-hit lives while avoiding death and/or illegal activity and succeeding despite millions of prying eyes seemingly waiting to view an inevitable train ...

  • Automatic Man: 'Automatic Man' (1976) Published 10/9/2013 at 10:25 a.m. 0 comments

    The career of guitarist Pat Thrall illustrates, among other things, that the music business is foremost a business.

  • Sly and the Family Stone's 'Greatest Hits' (1970) Updated 7/19/2013 at 4:02 p.m. 2 comments

    Sly and the Family Stone are not generally mentioned with the giants of American rock ’n’ roll, but they should be. They presaged so many things that their history alone, quite apart from their music, is worth attending to.

  • The Buckinghams’ 'Greatest Hits' (1969) Published 5/22/2013 at 3:18 p.m. 0 comments

    Collecting thrift-store musical jetsam has allowed me to learn a great deal about life in the 1960s.

  • Vanilla Fudge: 'Vanilla Fudge' (1967) Published 3/20/2013 at 10:00 a.m. 1 comment

    So how does this idea sound: Let’s take bona fide pop-rock classics such as “Ticket to Ride,” “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” and “She’s Not There,” and play them at half-speed. This will make the songs longer, weirder, and more ...

  • Cheap Trick: 'Heaven Tonight' (1978) Published 1/16/2013 at 11:02 a.m. 0 comments

    Cheap Trick is one of America’s greatest bands. They are criminally underappreciated. As proof, consider that Cheap Trick can’t sniff the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, even though it has inducted the likes of Donovan, Jackson Browne, and the ...

  • The Zombies: 'Odessey and Oracle' (1968) Published 11/20/2012 at 10:07 a.m. 0 comments

    Odessey and Oracle (the lads couldn’t spell) is one of my best ever thrift-store finds. In summary, it is a blockbuster.

  • Ambrosia: 'Life Beyond L.A.' (1978) Published 9/19/2012 at 10:56 a.m. 1 comment

    I’ve written previously about my affection for soft rock. To date, I have exactly zero converts to my basic view of soft rock, which is nothing more complicated than that it sometimes is enjoyable to listen to.

  • American Flyer: 'Spirit of a Woman' (1977) Published 8/1/2012 at 12:14 p.m. 0 comments

    Music trivia is like a great Pacific Ocean garbage island in my brain—it takes up a lot of space, has a half-life of 5,000 years, and will never allow anything else to sprout up in its place. Yet sometimes the ...

  • The Bee Gees: 'Saturday Night Fever' (1977) Published 6/13/2012 at 12:16 p.m. 3 comments

    Has any group in history as undeniably talented band as the Bee Gees been subject to as much derision as they have?

  • Neil Young's 'Time Fades Away' (1973) Published 5/16/2012 at 12:39 p.m. 4 comments

    Every time one is tempted to dismiss Neil Young as irrelevant, he roars back with a Harvest Moon or a Prairie Wind.

  • MC5: 'High Time' (1971) Published 4/11/2012 at 12:01 p.m. 1 comment

    When I found the album I thought to myself, “What kind of jackass would stuff this classic album in the Goodwill bin?” Upon reflection, however, I realized that I was the one engaging in jackassery.

  • Ram Jam: 'Ram Jam' (1977) Published 2/29/2012 at 2:22 p.m. 0 comments

    One way to avoid the pitfalls of enduring rock stardom is to not endure. The ephemeral Ram Jam—comprising a group of guys who were thrown together by record executives and thus hardly merit the moniker “band”—preserved its place in rock ...