Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Do K-Tel’ category

While K-Tel’s discography of pre-1985 compilations is deep and wide (and a confusing mess to wade through), it is a finite system. I’ve spent over a year sifting through it, adjusting and re-adjusting my search parameters, and trying to find a few promising grains of wheat among the massive volume of chaff. There have been […]

Do K-Tel #20: Rock ’83 (1983)

November 13th, 2017

As I mentioned last week, my current method for sniffing out comps I may have overlooked involves plugging a favorite band name plus “K-Tel” into my search bar and seeing what turns up. My first attempt at this featured the Stray Cats, who were nowhere to be found on the fairly comprehensive stack of early […]

Do K-Tel #19: Hi-Energy (1979)

November 8th, 2017

Six weeks have passed since the previous installment of this feature, which was more than enough time to freshen up my pool of midlist compilations released by the Winnipeg Wonder. Having exhausted the vein of direct nostalgic recollection, I’ve begun casting my net a little further from familiar shores. It hasn’t been an easy or […]

Do K-Tel #18: Modern Dance (1981)

September 26th, 2017

Because of the ominously impending Halloween Countdown, this will be the last installment of this feature until November. That’s kind of a lucky break for me, though, because it also happens spotlight the only K-Tel compilation in my stack that hasn’t yet been discussed. I’m hoping to replenish the reserves during the break. If that […]

Do K-Tel #17: High Energy (1979)

September 18th, 2017

If you’ve been reading this site, following my twitter feed, or engaged in conversation with me, then you’ll be well aware about my long-standing fascination with the “death of disco.” It was a social-cultural shift wrapped up in musical one, whose impact still echoes through the present day. It was the culmination of multiple interwoven […]

Do K-Tel #17: Hot Tracks (1983)

September 11th, 2017

Chart Action 83 may not be my favorite K-Tel release, but it was the foundation upon which my irrational interest in mass market pop compilations was built. The album dropped right at the moment my eleven year old self became entranced by WHTT’s “hot hit radio” format and included several of the cuts I’d tune […]

Do K-Tel #16: New Wave (1979)

September 5th, 2017

Discogs’ chronology of K-Tel releases doesn’t separate by regional markets, which makes sense from an archival standpoint if not an ease-of-use one. It can make it difficult to pinpoint items of interest, especially during those high-volume years of most interest to me. I’ve sifted through the listings a half dozen times already, yet each pass […]

I first come across 1982′s Hit Express while sifting through the Discog’s exhaustive (and exhausting) listings for K-Tel offerings. While it contained a few crucial cuts from that magically apocalyptic era, it lacked that certain something which would inspire an immediate purchase. I made a note of it — complete with a question mark — […]

By the end of the past spring, my K-Tel obsession had lost a good deal of its momentum. I’d already picked up the most obvious and essential compilations and my interest had started to drift toward cowpunk and Paisley Underground obscurities that went overlooked during my Nineties vinyl collecting days. The few K-Tel releases I […]

Every K-Tel “current hits” compilation was disposable by design. Their contents were skimmed from the previous seasons pop charts, pressed to vinyl, and released under some ephemerally significant title and trade dress. They stuck it out in the midlist churn for a brief period of topical appeal before getting booted into the realm of deep […]

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