Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Case Of The Missing KISS Album Sold At A Garage Sale

By Rob Clark, The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS — What started as a harmless garage sale to clear out unwanted items from her home, has turned into a bit of a rock-n-roll nightmare for Susie Dale.
Dale, who lives at 280 Thunderbird Rd. SE, is hoping the man who paid $2 for her husband’s 1977 “Kiss Alive II” album turns out to be a good Samaritan and offers to return the album.
She said she’s willing to pay him $50 for its safe return and refund him the $10 he paid for five other albums on Thursday.
Why go to so much trouble?
The album was autographed and given to her husband Pat Dale by Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.
“Mister, please be a Christian,” Susie Deal pleaded on Friday as her sale continued. “I will pay you back for all the stuff you bought and I’ll give you all our other records and any records I find in the future.
“And that treadmill.”
Susie Dale explained that when she and her husband moved into the house nine years ago they discovered a stack of records left behind inside an old Nutone record player cabinet that remains built into one of the walls.
Among the albums was “Frampton Comes Alive” Jim Croce’s “Photographs & Memories,” “At Folsom Prison” by Johnny Cash, the Beach Boys’ “Endless Summer” and recordings by Elvis, Blood Sweat & Tears, Earth, Wind & Fire, Nazareth, Cole Porter and Little Feat.
The Kiss album, given to Pat Dale by Simmons at a trade show in Las Vegas some years ago, had found its way into the pile.
Susie Dale said she grabbed the records and set them out in the sale among the dishes, clothes, chairs, baskets, an old microwave and a green love seat, along with other items.
A photo of the records — showing a sliver of the Kiss album — was posted on Craigslist.
“A man showed up here Thursday morning and wanted to buy the records and I couldn’t find them,” Dale said. “I think my husband had put them back in the cabinet, so we went inside and he bought six of them for $12.”
She said the man mentioned he works for Rockwell Collins and likely had no idea the album was extra special because Simmons signed the record label on the inside.
Rockwell Collins spokesman Josh Baynes said the story was making the rounds Friday and that someone posted the story about the album on the company’s internal chat board. No one had replied to the post by Friday afternoon, Baynes said. But, he noted, 8,000 people work at the plant.
Pat Dale could not be reached by The Gazette for comment.
As of Friday night, the album had not resurfaced, but Susie Dale said she did have a special visitor to her home — Mayor Ron Corbett, who stopped by and autographed the Dale’s “Corbett for Governor” yard sign and suggested they try to sell it on Saturday at the garage sale. She said she’s going to do just that.
Susie Dale said this isn’t the first time she has screwed up.
She once used her husband’s money to tip the pizza delivery man.
“I might have sneaked into my husband’s closet to get some money to tip the pizza guy,” she said. “I ended up grabbing a $5 bill that was special — it was a bill that was being passed around my husband’s work.”
Dale said she had to track down the delivery man and pay him $10 to get her $5 bill back.
“Every time I screw up my kitchen remodel gets put on hold,” she said. “It seems like my kitchen remodel has been on hold for nine years.”
Susie Dale, of Cedar Rapids, said the man who purchased her husband Pat’s 1977 “Kiss Alive II” album, autographed by Gene Simmons, showed up before 8 a.m. today to her garage sale and returned the album in exchange for the $2 he paid for it on Friday.
“He brought it back, so that was very nice,” said Dale. “And, he would not take the $50.”
Dale had offered to buy the record back for that amount and also joked she’d throw in her old treadmill, which also is for sale.
“He would not take the treadmill,” Dale said, noting she’s slashing prices at her sale today.
“Valuable stuff is $2, everything else is free,” she joked. “The treadmill is ‘I give you $2.’”
Dale said the man who returned the album wished to remain anonymous and she has no idea where it is now.
“Pat took it and went in the house,” she said.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Catching Up: Chester Bennington, Storms, Whatever Comes To Mind

Plenty of things are going on since we all last touched base, the biggest one was Chester Bennington hanging himself Thursday after losing his battle with depression, he of Linkin Park fame and later replaced the also deceased Scott Wieland in Stone Temple Pilots for a so so EP. There remain skeptics of Linkin Park albums, There was one album I did buy and listen to, it may have been A Thousand Lights.  Say what you want about Hybrid Theory but in 2001 that did give meaning to up and coming kids of the high school years looking for their own sort of Nu Rock.  I guess I may have to look into hearing their latest album just to see what the fuss was about, but this year Bennington told the audience that Hybrid Theory is past and fans should just grow up.  A tip off of things to be.  It didn't help when Chris Cornell hanged himself earlier in the month and it affected Chester a lot more than what people thought it would be.  On the day Chris would have turned 53, Chester took himself out of this world.  And the usual sadness and anger came out, how dare he kill himself.  I feel for his family, his six kids that will never see their dad alive again, and I feel for him.  Believe me I had days that I would like to do the same thing but I have friends that care about me and that keeps me going.  I'll never approve of suicide but I do have an understand of what he goes through before he ended it all.   Life is not easy, and even if you're a living a dream of playing in a band and making some sort of income from it, you still can check out of this world.  RIP Chester anyway. He was 41.

More deaths include George Romero, the guy who gave us Night Of The Living Dead and Martin Laudau who also died.  Landau became very eccentric in his later years but he forever be known as Roland Hand on Mission Impossible and to a lesser extent Space 1999.

The Jones County Fair was this week, and everybody's favorite band Nickelback came into town as well as Daurty (can't spell the guy's name and spell check ain't helping either). Keith Urban was next and he put on a better show, but it seems everytime we have The Jones County Fair we get some fucking nasty weather and this was no exception.  A big monsoon hit the fair after Nickelback took the final encore to which local areas ended up getting 8 to 10 inches of rain in spots causing rivers to go out of their banks again, The Wapsipinicon River floods Independence and then goes downstream. The Volga flooded out the town of Volga and the Little Maquoketa turned Sumner into a town inside a lake.  On Wednesday Night, more tornadoes came out of nowhere, the biggest one from a EF 1 tornado that tore through historic downtown McGregor and turned into rubble.  It even moved a antique store next door to a house a block away.  Guttenburg also got 8 inches of rain for their trouble and Dubuque got the double whammy of storms in straight weekends that the sewage is now overflowing in spots.  Meanwhile in South Western Iowa, they missed out on all this fun.

To Davenport this weekend and I come to find that Music Go Round is no longer around.   Just three months ago I bought a acoustic guitar for 95 dollars and while I enjoyed finding some good used stuff there, it seems that the music stores are going the way by record stores.  Few and far between.  However the store was up for sale as the original owner was retiring but got no takers and it closed on May 22.   Which leaves Uncle Ike's Music in Asbury/Dubuque as the choice place for used stuff.  Or Guitar Center to which I did buy a cajon on sale for acoustic jams since nobody likes loud drums, or in the case of the Mike And Dyke Show having somebody come in and bash your snare out of tune. I didn't find much of value, a few cast off 45s at the Salvation Army store, finding a museum 45 at Ragged Records and picking up the new Dawn Cd.   Bob mentioned that he bought a bunch of country 45s but I passed since I bought the Cajon earlier in the day.  And I didn't have the budget to pay more than 45 cents for scratchy forty five although I had to buy Frankie Miller's Too Hot To Handle on Starday.   Real hillbilly music came from Starday Records in the 50s.   And then spent the night watching the Quad Cities River Bandits come from behind to beat Great Lakes 6-5.  Thankfully, the skies stayed cloudy and we did have a wind coming from the north which made it feel a lot cooler than the 100 plus degree heat index of the past week.  I finally decided to put the AC in the window downstairs and it has been on ever since.

Singles Going Steady Medley:  Davenport barrel scrapings

1)    Dream Police-Cheap Trick (Epic 9-50774)  1979  #26
I don't think this was a juke box copy, it plays way too good.  Cheap Trick was never really that great on the top 40, their number 1 single The Flame is something that they would rather forget, their version of I Don't Want To Miss A Thing. But still Dream Police is still a nice piece of power pop ear candy that still gets played on rock radio.  Their latest album is worth a listen.  B side is the title track to their 1978 album Heaven Tonight.  A great album but this song was one I never cared much for.

2)    When A Man Cries-Michael Kelly (Phillips 40046)  1962

Lounge pop single and a one off for Phillips for Michael Weiss aka Mike Kelly.  The record looked mint but either it wasn't pressed right or the mastering was crap.  Lots of echo and over the top vocals which Kelly sounds like very early Al Martino when he was over the top on his early stuff or Paul Anka.  B side Find Me, is more desperation, a bit more uptempo but once again the recording sucks. Sounds like he was recorded in a cave.

3)    Shadrack-Brook Benton (Mercury 71912)  1962  #19
A gospel song in the way of Samson And Delilah arranged by Malcom Dobbs, who had a hand in Hallelujah Time for the Oscar Peterson Trio.  Even for a top 20 showing, this song never gets played anymore.  Since its roots is gospel one can see why.  Benton had his share of hits and schlock but Shadrack with a lively choir in the background is a favorable track.  B side and number 77 showing Lost Penny is plain gospel schlock.

4)    Husbands And Wives-Jack Jones (Kapp K-551)  1963  #14

More lounge pop but I always liked Husbands And Wives for that catchy hook that starts out the song and it ends on a mellow note.  This was Jones' highest chart showing ever; he made it to number 15 with a pop cover of The Race Is On.  Husbands And Wives found itself on the Rhino mix tape of Vegas Music and probably sounds better that way. B Side Toys In The Attic, certainly not related to the Aerosmith version made it to number 92 for one week.   And is muzak bad.

5)    I Don't Mind The Thorns If You Are The Rose-Lee Greenwood (MCA-52656)  1985
Greenwood can be a good singer but he's forever known as God Bless The USA.  This song he channels his inner Michael Bolton. Overblown country ballad.

Record Reviews Not For The Faint Of Heart

The Dawn-Wooly (Cartouche 2017)

For me the most anticipated release was this album from our favorite jam band from the Quad Cities, pairing up with Bob Herrington and Cartouche Records, this time out adding two new members.  While the new lineup has enabled The Dawn to embrace their R and B side, the two songs Stay (Won't You) and Let Me Be Your Man are their tributes to Prince.  But my reaction to Derek Fortin's falsetto is mixed, usually that is a turn off for me, just ask Mick Jagger and The Charlatans UK lead singer when they go that route.  Plus you get a 20 second triangle solo from the other new member Edub Wilson.  In essence there are 8 songs of varying degree.  Sean Ryan remains heavily influenced by Trey Anastacio and The Dawn seem to be more accessible to these ears than Phish.  Even though At First Light, their last album only had 4 songs with a 40 minute total, those songs had a better ebb and flow than Wooly, although the title track brings echoes of Roxy Music with sax player Matt Sivertsen's channeling his inner Andy McKay.  Still, the best songs are when Sean Ryan sings them and then the band going into different directions, including 1984 which has been in their setlist for some time.  And Dance All Night which is part Phish and part Little Feat.   Although there's a reprise of the title track in the final two numbers, Watch Me Fly is where they channel Fortin's falsetto to a rousing ending that recalls moe.  After five albums, The Dawn have firmly established their jam roots and Wooly is a worthy followup to At First Light.  But it takes repeated listens for this album to set in.  I still think the best is yet to come though.
Grade B+

Lana Del Rey-Lust For Life  (Polydor 2017)

She's back with the rap stuff that was on her first album Born To Die and she continues that usual slow tempo mope new agey pop stuff that makes her sound like the Enya of the 2010s.  Her albums are a emotional roller coaster of highs and lows, to which makes me wonder if I really didn't give Ultra Violence a far listen, I loathed it when I first heard it but the next album got into my top ten best of, 2015's Hollywood.  I think the reason why Hollywood was better was the lack of rap artists to which Lust For Life, The Weekend and ASAP Rocky make appearances, Rick Nowels is back to help produce and shape the music, that's another plus, but overlong time of this album (72 Minutes) makes this a chore to listen to.  But the first half does really kick in, including a line that hit very hard  "it hurts to love you, But I still love you, it's just the way I feel (13 Beaches).  Sometimes when you have to sort through an hour and 12 minutes, you might stumble upon a lyric or note that will floor you.  The Sean Ono Lennon and Stevie Nicks cameos have their fun, but the brutal truth of 13 Beaches can turn a album into it's own classic.  I still think Lust For Life gets to be a bit cluttered and can go on a bit too long for its own good but it's kinda like looking for old scratchy records, a lotta junk but look hard and you'll find a classic worth taking home.
Grade B

Deep Purple-Fire In The Sky (Rhino 2017)

There has been no shortage of Deep Purple best ofs, but this one takes a stab of covering all the bases of each and every formation of Deep Purple, from the most stable lineup ever featuring Steve Morse and Don Airey taking over for Richie Blackmore who hopes to play one more gig with them in the future (on his own terms of course) and Airey for Lord who passed away in 2012, to the various lineups over the years, even Joe Lynn Turner gets acknowledged with a track of his own.  Even if fans still can't get over that Blackmore has been gone for 20 plus years, Steve Morse really has done an exceptional job, of course he's part of the Dixie Dregs and is one of the best guitarists still alive.  The rare best of, Fire In The Sky starts out with Hell To Pay from the Now What?! album, which gives the indication that this compilation was already planned for, Johnny's Band from the new DP album would have been the ideal song to start things off.  And then after that, the journey begins to the beginning, this is one of the few comps that start out in the present and go backward.  There are two different versions.  The single CD is basically a mix tape of edits and single versions and is as rag tag and not worth anybody's time unless you want a Part 1 edit of Child In Time and Burn.  The 3 CD set makes more sense, although in this day and age true fans already had the albums.  Deepest Purple remains the best overview of the 70s era Deep Purple, but at least Rhino managed to licensed key tracks from Universal and whoever has the Mark 1 era DP cuts.  There's a lot of quibbling with what songs were used, Don't Hold Your Breath would have been better than Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming and the single CD gets lowered a point for Soldier Of Fortune instead of Stormbringer. But you have to hand it to them for having Rod Evans on five tracks, including Kentucky Woman, which introduced me to this band way way back, the failed 45 of Bird Has Flown and Mandrake Root to which the final part of the song would become part of the 45 minute version of Space Trucking when Deep Purple did it back in the 1970s.  Deep Purple was still trying to figure out themselves during the first lineup and couldn't decide on a prog rock or pop rock and even if Rod Evans was much maligned, he did have his own style of vocals.  Replacing him with Ian Gillan from Episode Six, a band that was even more poppier and folk sounding turned out to the best move even though Richie Blackmore would regret that later on but the way Gillan comes tearing out of the gate on Speed King changed Deep Purple forever and the early 70s albums defined them, even Who Do We Think We Are, to which Rat Bat Blue also comes from (along with Woman From Tokyo). A falling out and David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes come on to replace Gillan and Roger Glover and Burn turn out to be the surprise hit of 1974 with the title track itself showing that DP could do it without Gillan  Stormbringer turned out to be a disappointment and Blackmore took his guitar and formed Rainbow and Tommy Bolin replaced him.  Come Taste The Band showed improvement but Bolin overdosed on drugs in 1976 ending the Deep Purple the band.  Then the mark 2 came around and managed to put up with each other till Gillan left and Joe Lynn Turner showed up and Blackmore damn near turned Purple into Rainbow 2 before Gillan was drafted back in the band, The Battle Rages On was a perfect title for the chaos and then Blackmore took guitar and went home and Steve Morse replaced him and still plays in Purple.  But the question remains if Fire In The Sky is a perfect overview of Deep Purple, the answer is not really but it is the only overview that showcases all phases of the band's career and even if some of the songs are noting more than filler songs (Soldier Of Fortune, Hard Road, which Blackmore's off key guitar solo is noted, Street Of Dreams)  there's still a share of classic hits and rockers that defined Deep Purple as one of the best hard rock bands, they were never heavy metal.  And this compilation does suggest that there was life after Blackmore went medieval with his gypsy folk rock Blackmore's Night.  But it's a shame that nothing was included from the new album Infinite, Johnny's Band would have made this essential.  But Fire in the Sky (the box set), while flawed, is recommended if Rhino keeps the price under 20 dollars.  Which they won't.
Grade Box Set B+  Single CD  B-

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fourth Of July Wrap Up

Life goes on, even after laying idle for most of the month.  Last month's rating found ourselves aroune 1340 views and I suppose that's the most reasonable of views. Now we are back to inflated rates over 200 views a day.  Russia has opened up the servers leading here I gather.

(6-28-17  Central City/Prairieburg EF-2 Tornado)

The later part of June found ourselves once again stuck in between tornado action again, just in time for NOAA radio to shut down operations to move to a new home.  That didn't keep the tornadoes away, just in time for the Linn County Fair to which one twister formed outside of the fairgrounds and tore up a good chunk of area leading to tear through Prairieburg's south side of the city and causing damage to their grain elevator, the second time this has happened in a decade. More tornadoes formed over an area past Monticello, Oxford Junction and a few other places.  I forgot who took the above picture but this is the tornado that would rumble through the country side on the way to Prarieburg, taken off County Home Rd, not far from our place of residence.   No damage here but as you can see it was a bit too close to home for my liking.

(Deb Zumbach: photo)

Although, the tornado did play havoc enough to close the opening day of the fair, it didn't stop the Bellamy Brothers from playing Friday Night.  For myself, I got to watch the final set of Justin Case at The Chrome Horse and then did a full nights worth of seeing Toxic Blonde and the return of Super Sized Seven playing outdoors at CRL, The Funk Daddies at New Bo, Past Masters moving on after the departure of Bart Carfizzi  at Rumors and finally New Trick at Aces And Eights although I called it a night once they started playing Bon Jovi.  I have no idea on what's happening with Dreams Of Arcadia, Ryan Paul announced he was moving back to the East Coast despite them having a full slate of July dates to play at and it looks like Bart will replace him, to be renamed the Julie and Bart Experience, Julie is out visiting relatives on the west coast.   Things are up in the air.

The dating scene can be a startling thing, especially when musicians date other musicians. Hayley Williams decided that she and New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert are parting ways after being married for a year and a half.   And of course, they request privacy as well.  That's standard procedure.

(Prairieburg Tornado 6/28/17)

 On the other side, Partrick Carney (Black Keys) is thinking the third time getting married will be the charm as he popped the question to Michelle Branch and she said yes.  Since musicians are more out there in the open in the social media it seems to be that most go their own way after a way.  It's no different if they were not musicians, the success rate for marriages are 50/50.  Of course finding that perfect somebody is going to be hard, we all tend to do no wrong till we either leave a seat up on the toilet, or fart too much or putting up unpredictable moods    And yes, it's most evident that in order for a relationship or marriage to last is to try to work things out and compromise.  For better or worse, for richer or poorer, for sickness and in health.  But most of the time, people usually take the easy way out when things don't go as planned.  To be an musician and working with somebody to make new music, sometimes it can happen that feelings can get more and more intimate.  The question then comes up, what's next.  Is it worth it taking the next step, but once you do share your feelings and soul and then your bed, you then cross a line that you can never return.  And if it does goes south or if you have a falling out, you eventually want nothing to do with them.  Then again who knows if Pat Carney and Michelle Branch will be together forever, the odds are not in their favor but sometimes love can conquer all.  Johnny Cash and June Carter was one,  John And Yoko another.  But also it might not mean forever either, Richard And Linda Thompson: they made great music together but alas, their marriage fell apart in our very eyes by the albums they made together (Shoot Out The Lights). Once in the while they'll get back together for some musical fun.  It is fun to be with somebody that can make music and things are fine on stage.

(Photo:Mirza Kudic  Des Moines Storm 6/28/17)


Norro Wilson-Singer songwriter that had a couple singles on Smash Mercury in the late 60s, later wrote hit songs like The Most Beautiful Girl In The World for Charlie Rich in 1973.  Produced Buck Owens when Buck was on Warner Brothers, discovered Keith Whitley.  Died June 8, at age 79.

Stevie Ryan, You Tube Star, hung herself on Sunday, the loss of her grandfather triggered her depression into where she didn't want to live anymore. She was 33.

John Blackwell Jr, drummer for Prince, passed away from cancer on Monday.  He was 43.

The Chicago Cubs have been a major disappointment this season. After the feel good season of last year and winning it all, the Cubs have barely played 500 ball and injuries have not helped either.  Nor Mingrel Montero, whose tirade about Jake Arrieta not holding runners on base, and the fact that Montero was 0 for 28 in throwing out runners, but blame the pitcher anyway.  Anyway, Montero got traded to Toronto soon afterwards.  While last season the Cubs had plenty of all stars, only Wade Davis got invited to the show (unless Kris Bryant wins the popular all star vote).  We are still waiting for the Cubs to get their act together.  Of course everybody says they will turn it around but at the halfway point, and Milwaukee and now St Louis catching on fire and winning games, the Cubs find themselves at second place still stumbling around and can't seem to put a winning streak going.  Losing Dexter Fowler has really hurt them more than singing Jon Jay who was supposed to be lead off hitter.  Kyle Schwarber, world series hero is now trying to find his swing in triple A Iowa.   Way things are going there won't be a World Series appearance, hell they might not be over 500.

CD Reviews:

The Rolling Stones Aftermath UK (Abkco 1966)

This may have had more songs but the US version of Aftermath made more sense.  The key placement of the 11 minute Goin Home also plays a role, on the US version it's the final track, here it's track 6 and it derails the rest of the album.  It's nice to hear the extended version of Out Of Time, to which it made more sense in edited form on the Flowers album.  The UK version offers up Mother's Little Helper, Take It Or Leave It and What To Do, but the omission of Paint It Black is reason why if you want the better album, you have to buy the US version.
Grade B+

Albert Hammond-Golden Classics (Collectibles 1974)

Albert could use a decent best of, but at the time, Collectibles decided to combine his first two albums as a whole, plus the singles of I'm A Train and Half A Million Miles From Home.  Perhaps adding Air Disaster and 99 Miles From LA would have made this a decent overview.  Hammond turned out to be a MOR artist, later albums for Epic turned him more schmaltz than pop anyway but this does have his number 2 hit It Never Rains In Southern California and one of my favorite tracks from him The Free Electric Band.  And of course the silly but fun I'm A Train.  For the lesser known tracks, The Hollies did find something out of The Air That I Breathe to make that a number 1 single for them, for him it's kinda of a snoozer.  Names, Tags, Numbers And Labels was given to The Association for a failed single, Albert would record it again on the S/T album.  Time has not aged It Never Rains In Southern California all that great and B side Brand New Day, while I like it eventually turned out to even lesser inspired when I hear it today.  And For The Peace Of Mankind is the bloated direction that Hammond would later go upon, it ventures too close to pompous Neil Diamond territory. For all the setbacks, I tend to favor the second album Free Electric Band a bit more despite Peace Of Mankind.  I guess there's a European Epic Import of Greatest Hits that simplifies everything but even that has Peace Of Mankind.
Grade B

T Bone-Choice Cuts (2000)

If you have made your way to Parlor City on any given Tuesday Night nowadays, chances are you will run into Tom (T Bone) Giblin who hosts the blues jam and always have some of the finer blues players in town backing him up.  He's also in the Iowa Music Hall Of Fame for his keyboard work.  He's the closest thing to Booker T Jones and of course has backed up many of legends around town. On this 1999 live setting featuring seven of the bands that he played in back then, it's a who's who of music knowledge.  Dennis McMurrin, Billy Lee and Bryce Janey, Craig Erickson, Bob Dorr and Kevin Burt are part of the 14 song selection here.  While there's no Green Onions here, Gibby as he's better known (for me that is) can put his own spin on Papa's Gotta Brand New Bag or Tighten Up, although Kevin Burt might hold the record for the most times he says I Know on Ain't No Sunshine.  Once in a while there's a track that will showcase Gibby's rock and roll side which isn't too often.  It's the Craig Erickson penned Imperfection.  Don't let that fool you, Gibby is very good at improvising.  That's why he's a hall of famer.
Grade B+

Albums From My Youth:  Tom Waits-Heart Attack And Vine (Asylum 1980)

In theory, this is the album that really hints at the future of where Tom Waits would go: a more slant toward weirdness that would get him bounced from Asylum and over to Island where they welcome him with open arms and he finally embraced his weirdness.  The title track and Till The Money Runs Out are oddball rockers to which on the latter Waits repeats the whole song lyrics twice before it fades out and the latter, showcasing an oddball guitar lead lick.   Waits seems to be bored by the tin pin alley balladry that made his late 70s work weird beyond belief.   The only time any ballad seems to work on this is the lovely Jersey Girl to which Bruce Springsteen covered, Saving My Love For You isn't bad but I have no use for side 2's On The Nickel and Ruby's Arms.  On the whole, Heart Attack And Vine seems to be a throwaway,  Waits's songs work better when they're uptempo and mysterious.   Usually Bones Howe keeps Tom a bit restrained on past recordings but you can sense that on In Shades or Downtown, he's considered to be a deterrent.  It would be the last time Howe would work with Tom on any album.  And the next album would ushered in the Island years, but Heart Attack And Vine is actually the first step in that direction of weirdness.
Grade B