A List of Things We Lost is the rare vinyl blog of the sometimes corporeal, always ephemeral Unbreakable Records.

Nothing posted here will be found on a compact disc. Links are lingering somewhere at the end of each post; go find 'em!

No commercial endeavor is implied or supported by the posting of this music, it is for personal enjoyment and consumption only.

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Monday, June 23, 2008


Since I inadvertently began A List Of Things We Lost with an album from the year of my birth, I'm just gonna keep moving forward in time.

We're almost at the 80s, but not quite yet. Ooh, but when we get there. . . .

Though The Headboys isn't quite a horrible rarity, I haven't found anyone, even among the Flea's hipnoscenti record browsers, who've heard of the band or heard the album... So this one's for you, Brooklyn!

Edinborough residents Lou Lewis (guitar and vocals), George Boyter (bass and vocals), Calum Malcolm (keyboards and vocals) and Davy Cross (drums and vocals) formed the hypertight but short-lived Headboys in 1977. Their self-titled debut [RSO RS-1-3068] arrived in 1979 on impressario Robert Stigwood's label. The band recorded it themselves in Malcom's own studio, in conjunction with Peter Ker (who'd produced hits for the Motors).

I love The Headboys for its sonics, the sea of guitar and keyboard tones and the way they're all layered. Lewis is a killin' guitarist and, what's more, the record sounds great despite the band's misleading DIY sloganeering on the back: "Nae dolbies, nae aphex, nae bother."

Lead-off "The Shape Of Things To Come" has little in common with the similarly-titled Yardbirds rave-up; rather, it's an upbeat pop romp that had chart success in both the U.K. and the U.S. (just check out some comments on other blogs to see how fondly people remember the song). "Stepping Stones", likewise, has nothing to do with the Monkees, though the verse rocks like vintage Traffic - hell, they even go out on a hot-ass leslie'd guitar solo. But the chorus always gets back to a classic powerpoppy hook, sweet as a sugar doughnut.

The 'boys infect your ears and take over your head with the same jaunt as Elvis Costello had at the same time, perfectly mixing 60s mod-pop with modern arrangements and not wasting a note. Every tune has something to recommend it, from pub singalong choruses to tasteful analog synths, quirky but not overused. "Experiments" (whence the title of this post) predates both the sound and themes of Thomas Dolby's later smash "She Blinded Me With Science." Oh - and it's much better.

Though they'd been playing together for two years before the album was released, and "The Shape Of Things" was getting good airplay, the Headboys decided they were nonetheless unprepared for life on the road, and retreated from the wake of their minor success back into the studio. Their second record never did see the light of day, and I'm happy they maintain their own Myspace page, which does feature some unreleased tracks.

According to the band's own bio, they were reluctant to become part of the New Wave trend, despite the message of "Changing With The Times". Maybe it's because, as one listen to The Headboys demostrates, they thought they were simply making music, not waving a flag for a genre.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Aw hell yeah, here's one just hows I likes em: super funky, super rare, not a whit of info to be found.

To judge by the cover (come on, we all do it) Harold Dumont Sings Duke Ellington (Cleemo CL-1001) stirs minor intrigue with its low-budg look, though what the music promises is less clear. Dumont dresses the definitive, cheesed-out mid-70s crooner, with huge lapels & a mohair vest. But one glance at the back cover liners indicates otherwise.

Accolades from Nipsy Russell portend. . . something different, if not necessarily good.

And then you hit it: "The disc was put down in three sessions and can really be said to fall in three categories; Jazz: [sic] R & B; and Easy Listening. The first session consisted of a small rock group with strong jazz overvibes: Grady Tate - Drums ; Bob Crenshaw - Bass ; Garnet Brown - Trombone; Mel Davis - Trumpet."

Grady Tate always signals goodness. Add to that the use of "jazz," "R&B," "easy listening" and "rock" in the same paragraph. How could I not rush it to the tt?

Further personnel for the sessions include Bobby Mann - Guitar; Derek Smith - Keyboard ; Mel Lewis - Drums ; Marvin Stam & Thad Jones - Trumpets ; Bill Watrous - Trombone ; Margaret Ross - Harp ; Richard Davis - bass.

Rare-groove fusion at its finest, with solid jazz cred. Dumont's style is over the top, a borderline-silly baritone that sometimes gallops where the tight arrangements try to rein it in. Grit slinks off of every track. The uptemo tunes are all burners, with lower-key ones set to a steamy simmer ("Mood Indigo" is a wah-wah jaw dropper).

Cursory web searches reveal absolutely nothing about the label, the singer, the producer... nada. The album was produced by Harold Dumont and Harry Hirsch, who also wrote the liners & engineers the record. Nothing indicates the year; I'm going with the latter end of the 74-77 spectrum, but listen & comment & tell us what you think. Maybe Hirsch also created Cleemo Records just for this album (or else it folded shortly thereafter), it being catalog # 1001. The only two verifiable things I can tell you about Harold Dumont Sings Duke Ellington: it has in the past fetched upwards of $40, and "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" seems to be a Euro DJ club fave.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back at the Flea or, There Used to Be a Season Called "Spring"

Unbreakable will be back at it again, same booth - E22. Stop by & say "hi," buy some stuff, buy some other stuff, you know, the usual. I have a canopy - yes, going pro - so you can stave off the 95 degree heat standing under it & perusing the newly-filled dollar boxes.

Remember when there was a time between winter & summer called "spring"? Those were the days.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Sunday, June 1, marks my record selling debut at the Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene. What better way to kick it off than to throw up some honest-to-goodness, super-rare, jam-kicking-out rock-n-roll? (yeah I love those hyphens!)

Snotty glam at its finest, most idiomatic, Anvil Chorus (Atco SD 36-114, 1975) is just the platter. Produced by Andy Johns, the decadence of the decade shimmies off the turntable, with The Kids (previously Heavy Metal Kids) providing all the right Bowie/Mott/Stones/Dolls moves with none of the pretense. I mean, look at those mugs! Any mother would have been proud to get them out of her house and onto some beer-soaked stage somewhere in North Cardiff.

Found this one in the stacks in my basement and, given the blunt cover art and back portraits, had to play it immediately. Wowee zowee, as they say. Not much info about it to be found, though, save for the excellent hermaneutics of Julian Cope's Head Heritage crew. Apparently both albums, though released on Atco, are super hard to come by these days. Why? I have no idea. But until the WEA reissue arm realizes what's sitting below its craggy corporate nose, Anvil Chorus will be our little secret.