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2014-05-09

Les Baxter - The Sounds of Adventure

Posted on 77 Jetset Strip

I am back from outer space and with that look upon my face; it is the look of a having hoisted in a great haul of vinyl from the depths of the thrift store. Actually, they just about jumped into my hands, one after another. It was as if they knew I was coming. Well my long-eared friends, April was a rough month and what better remedy for calamity than the sweet, sweet sounds of Les Baxter. As I said, it was a rather an extraordinary visit to the thrift store.

Normally, one has to put on their respirators, gloves and the mining helmet with the light in front; literally to dig through the bins of albums jammed together like rocks in a cave in. Of course, there are moldy jackets, missing records, missing sleeves, and shameful stuff that nobody wants like Mitch Miller and pubescent Wayne Newton.

Even if you find something worth buying, you’ll need to do a three point check. First, make sure it’s the right album. Secondly, check that it wasn’t put through a record scratching machine. You’ll need to check side 1 and side 2. Side one can look pristine then you turn it over only to find side two looks like and etcha-sketch. Decisions, decisions.

Then there are those times you are there at the thrift store when the cows come home. Their hair slicked back with ‘Vitalis’ and they are carrying a haul of lounge vinyl that will make you wet your pants. So, while my pants are at the Laundromat let me tell you about the gems!

There it was with its green, palm leaf pattern cover. ‘Les Baxter: The Sounds of Adventure’— A Capitol Record Club Exclusive. Now, it is no secret that I am a bounder of adventure, so when I saw this I wiped away the spittle and had a closer look. SWEET SHINOLA! It was a double album, mint condition, with a gatefold containing everything I might need to know about the ‘Exotic World of Les Baxter’.

“I’ve never believed in cheapening music by going according to what people think is public taste. I think that people will respond to quality in the song and arrangements….” – Les Baxter


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