UPDATE *** April 21, 2012 – Record Story Day!*** UPDATE
Happy Record Store Day 2012! Just a short update. I recently acquired a long coveted K-tel release featuring all of Neil Diamond’s earliest hits courtesy of good friend of mine who graciously departed with it. Thank you Bee23 SO MUCH! Rest assured it will be treasured and well cared for in its new home – which is a bright shiny blue plastic Milk crate that I polish every day by the way. Err…okay then, would you believe ever other day? In any event, Neil looks very comfortable there cradled among-st all other K-tel cohorts and alumni. Much thanks once again!
UPDATE *** March 08, 2012 *** UPDATE
Downloadable. Shawne Jackson – Just As Bad As You here.
NOTE: Hello Ktel enthusiasts. Sorry1 I am aware the links are broken to the songs. The service I previously used went out of business and no longer provide that service. I am looking to fix that utilizing another service. Mostly likely Dropbox in the coming days.
As a further note. I need to re-sample the LP analogue and convert it to digital mp3. As matter of interest, here is the process. A single song may take 5-15 minutes per cut depending on the degree of scratches. For the purpose of this demonstration I will use Wild Eyes by the Stampeders that I lifted from the LP. Below is the screenshot as to how the digitized single looks before treating and correcting the scratches. Note all the “spikes” that extend beyond the height or amplitude from the rest of the signal.
To hear the degree of the damaged signal, you can listen here.
Now after one run through and a couple of manual removes of a couple of spikes my program – Adobe Audtion – missed, this is the result.
To hear the now improved signal minus the scratches, listen here.
And as a final step, I increased the Volume or amplitude while being careful not to raise it too much because otherwise what results is distortion. And you don’t want that! So, this is the final step! I raised it 3 decibels by the way. The results below.
And that is the task I undertake per cut. Worth it in the end. Thereafter, I upload it to my player. So, that’s why I’m always on the hunt at thrift shops and garage sales for rare LPs. Always welcoming donations btw. 😉
Stay tuned. Thanks for the visit.
*** ORIGINAL POST of My K-tel Music Stuff ***
I decided to delve into my K-tel collection today and ended up doing a little reminiscing. It seems I’ve amassed a substantial collection of Ktel 8-track tapes and LP records over the years – most of which have been recent – culled from garage sales and second hand stores such as Value Village and the Sally Anne. (45 titles in all!) Coupled with the fact that I also refurbished an 8-track tape player I recently acquired, I thought it might be a good idea to try my hand at turning a couple tapes into mp3s. For those not familiar with the history and musical catalog, there is plenty of information at Wikipedia about Ktel there. It seems funny to me now that the same people who brought you the “Vegamatic”, also saw fit to get into the music biz!
In any event, I thought I’d tackle the only full Ktel album/tape that featured exclusively Canadian Artists – “Canadian Mint”. Being a Canadian company, based out of Winnipeg, I’m glad they saw to it to feature some of Canada’s great talent from this era when the Canadian music industry was just starting to come into its own. I guess we can thank Pierre Juneau , who was instrumental in establishing Canadian content regulations for broadcasters to promote Canadian artists, for that! Incidentally, we pay homage to the man annually to the awards we now just call the JUNOS.
Anyways, here are some tunes for your enjoyment. Most are available for downloads too for you to experiment with! I haven’t done any processing of the recordings, so you may want to try your own mixes utilizing the provided tracks. So, consider this post for educational purposes only. FYI. Apparently Ktel will ,according to their website , issue their music catalog on iTunes. However, I’ve been monitoring the site for a couple of years, but still no announcement yet! In the meantime I’m offering up these mp3’s for any other fans of this music who may have difficulty in finding them elsewhere. I’m sure the official Ktel releases will be of better quality when they are digitize professionally in WAV format. So having said all that…here’s what I have so far! ENJOY!
Still a great driving tune that’s held up well over the years! BTO got good mileage out of this one!
Best Werewolf song ever! Well Warren Zevon comes close with Werewolves of London. However, there’s nothing like a homegrown Werewolf!
I’ll put on my marketing hat here and say this has retro commercial theme written all over it. Although it’s about getting high, I’d bet “babyboomers” would buy into it. Hmm…maybe a car commercial?
Sassy with a great groove! Note the horns. Very reminiscent of all the tunes of this era. I have this tune in mind whenever I need to write a scene that portrays a gal with attitude.
A decent tune that was a prelude to their 80’s success. More rootsy. I met singer/ writer Bill Henderson at the Friendship Centre in Vancouver back in the day. I told him I liked this tune, but I threw out the Ktel it was on. He got a great kick out of that.
Someone needs to do a funked up version of this with some raunchy guitars. I’m thinking a Nirvana treatment. In fact if you listen to the musical bridge, it sound like the same progression from “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
Ahh Susan Jacks of the Poppy Family. I think our answer to Olivia Newton John. On another note, speaking as a songwriter, I like the modulations to three separate keys. Done effectively. I think the key modulation is to emulate – aurally – the visual of the train speeding up. Cool trick!
Excellent song! Who says you can’t have a banjo in a pop song? I can’t believe Greg Godovitz of GODDO was once in this band. I don’t think GODDO ever had a banjo?
Some laid back Jazzy Soul stuff…if that’s even a genre. Like the harmonies! Again, check out the horn section.
More of the same from members of the band above. Can you tell? I think a lot of bands started to put horns into their arrangements after seeing the success Skip Prokop was having with his band Lighthouse. These were the days when you did a gig with a gazillion people on stage.
11/Goodbye Mama by Dave Nichol.
Can’t find anything about this dude! However, I think this song could have been interchangeable with Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin'”. You remember? The song at the end of the movie Midnight Cowboy where Dustin Hoffman is riding in the bus. This song has that vibe, but with a Canadian slant. Very nice song!
And if you liked that here is another version of Goodbye Mama by Anne Devine.
Don’t know why this is here? I guess all the teenyboppers, like my sisters back in the day, will enjoy this little slice of life! Two words. Tiger Beat! “Ohh Tony DeFranco is so adorable!”
I read he sells real estate now in California. However, I think a good series would be “Tony DeFranco, the Missing Years”. It would be fictional, but every week Tony would be seen plotting to “whack” his former teen idol nemises. One week he could plot to whack Donny Osmond, the next Lief Garrett, followed by Shaun Cassidy…well you get the picture. I would watch that! Anyways…
Here are some more from the Ktel album Sounds Spectacular!
This rocks, but enough with the horns already! No..scratch that. Actually, the horns work for this quite well. Great vocalist! It’s Johnny Kay! The same guy who sang “Born To Be Wild”.
Barry Greenfield. Our Cat Stevens supposedly. However, he never had another hit. I really like this tune! Something ominous and brooding about it!
3/ Rock and Roll I Gave You All The Best Years of My Life by Terry Jacks. Read more about him here.
I think we all heard enough of Terry Jacks singing “Seasons in the Sun”. God I want to slit my wrist every time I hear that tune! This is a bit more palatable. Kinda grows on you.
They played at my high school once. That’s about all I know. Oh and they did a sugary version of “Last Kiss”. Yeah the same one covered by Pearl Jam. What the hell was Pearl Jam thinking?
Although not Canadian, this is a cover by three English gals doing a Niel Young song. Wonderful harmonies, no instruments! So good in fact, that the group Trio – comprised of Emmy Lou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Rondstadt – replicated it!
This is not the original mp3 from the album because it has a skip and I couldn’t covert. However, enjoy this extended version anyways. BTW. Ktel was notorious for abbreviated versions of the original such that they could get 22 cuts on an album. In any event, from the same band that brought you the original version of ” Smokin’ in the Boys Room” Although not a Canadian band, I included ’cause it rocks. Holds up quite well over the years. I bet you they would have been great live back in the day. In fact, be sure to checkout the YouTube video of the same song. It’s great by the way! Check out Cub Koda and his glasses. Moreover, he almost makes the tune a religious experience! Here is the
link to YT!.
And if that wasn’t enough. Here are a couple from CANADA GOLD!
Note: This is a work in progress. I have the album, but it is in terrible shape. It has a lot of scratches, so consequentially, it is difficult to clean up.
And now for something completely different! This is a very descent tune that features the violin. Who knew violins could rock? Does anyone remember Hugh Marsh? This isn’t Hugh, but I bet you Hugh heard this and thought, “Hey!”.
As the kids would say… this is DOPE! This a great tune with awesome arrangements. It’s got horns, an excellent string section, solid drums, nice complimentary guitar riffs and trills. I don’t know what the hell the singer is singing, but hey…it’s still a great tune.
MORE TO COME! CHECK BACK SOON! HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR VISIT. HAPPY LISTENING!
Just as an added footnote, I know an old acquaintance of mine from Winnipeg was involved in bring the K-tel story to the little screen in the form of a documentary called As Seen On TV. Apparently they did run into trouble in financing for the completion of the production, but from I understand it was completed, though I’ve yet to see it. Stars Dave Thomas. Here’s a promo I found on YouTube link.. Enjoy!