Latest Batch of Album Reviews (May 2022): Kula Shaker, Jefferson Airplane, Albert King, The Band

Rummaging through the back end of my CD shelf, so there is highly questionable stuff here.

A welcome encounter was the CD version of Kula Shaker’s 1997 EP Summer Sun – I think this is the only „Extendend Play“ on CD I ever purchased, and with six songs clocking in at 21 minutes, it’s a splendid little mash-up of britpop and raga-psychedelia. Very neat.

Stylistically consistent, we continue with Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow (1967) from thirty years earlier – there’s nothing much to add about this classic of Summer-of-Love-mythology, and Kula Shaker sure got a healthy dose from this. The bonus tracks on this CD are very good, some straight Kaukonen-blues.

And now for the dingy and disappointing backwaters of the CD shelf: a 2005 compilation of electric soul blues master Albert King, entitled Born Under a Bad Sign & Other Hits – the title gives away that this is not the album classic you’re looking for, it’s a desperate, but not despicable compilation, actually featuring a non-album single. I don’t remember where I but this, but I was young and on a budget. I do remember that I wanted to original (much more expensive) album Born Under a Bad Sign though and thought: Ah, this is just as good. Well it isn’t and I never got around to buy the actual thing. Compilations like these can deal real and long-lasting emotional damage, as you can see.

Which leads us to the next compilation, from 1996: The Weight by The Band. Now this is just a weird and cynical cash-grab of a CD with no value. I got this from my uncle as kid, since my father once introduced him to The Band through their first album, If I remember correctly. Anyhow, as even the thriftstore in my town doesn’t accept CDs anymore (he can’t resell them, no takers), I don’t know what to do with it.