Diggin’ In The Crates (The Relaunch!)
Some of our longtime fans may remember a web series we were running a few years ago called “Diggin’ In The Crates”. Myself and Peter Cook dove into some of the more obscure and under-appreciated gems here at the store. It was a super fun project for us. Really brought home the idea that you can never know everything about music. There is an endless wealth of cool music out there and much of it get’s completely passed over due to lack of press and name recognition.
Here’s a great example:
HURRICANE SMITH “S/T”
Found this record yesterday while digging through one of my favorite secret spots. Cover alone seemed worth a listen and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before. Dropped the needle quickly through a few spots and was instantly hooked for a full play. Back at the store today and I’m writing this while giving a first complete spin.
The whole record has this playful yet melancholic feel to it that I just love. A sort of whimsical longing (if that makes any sense). Mr Smith’s unique voice stands out immediately. It’s in a slightly higher register with a tone and expression all his own. Definitely hearing some Bealtes, Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson comparisons here but nothing strong enough to pass him off as a copy cat. Most of the tunes are piano driven with some brilliant, understated orchestration pushing it right over the edge.
After forming my own impressions, I did a little research. Wikipedia quickly confirmed my Beatles comparison. Turns out Norman “Hurricane” Smith was the engineer on all their EMI recordings up through “Rubber Soul”! After that, he went on to produce the first, second and fourth Pink Floyd albums. He even produced the incredible “S.F. Sorrow” by the Pretty Things! This LP is one of his only attempts at releasing his own music. Aside from from some waves off the song “Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?”, it never fully took off and his name now lives on in relative obscurity.
The record is currently for sale in the store for only $6.99. Come grab it while you can and maybe do a little creative digging of your own…
– Sean Hartman