Tag Archives: Light In The Attic

Rocks In The Attic #834: The Shaggs – ‘Philosophy Of The World’ (1969)

RITA#834The answer to that age-old question: What happens if you record an album in 1969 with three teenage sisters who seemingly have no desire to play in the same key – or in the same time – as each other?

My favourite story about the Shaggs and their overbearing ‘softball coach’ father, Austin Wiggin Jr., can be found in the liner notes to this 2016 reissue from Light In The Attic. Russ Hamm, an engineer at Fleetwood Recording Studio, recalls:

‘They start playing and…I mean, it’s not hard to burst out laughing. What is going on here? I turn to Austin, and I said “Look, I’m not a guitar player, but I think I can tune those guitars.” And he looked at me and says, “No, no…those guitars are guaranteed. I bought those guitars from Ted Herbert’s Music Mart in Manchester. They’re the finest guitars, and they’re guaranteed.”’

This contender for ‘worst album ever’ (bless ‘em) is definitely my go-to record whenever I need to get people to leave my house. After a party, or a barbeque, it’s got the magical touch of communicating ‘maybe you should leave now.’

Hit: Philosophy Of The World

Hidden Gem: It’s Halloween


Rocks In The Attic #581: Marty Robbins – ‘Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs’ (1959)

I’d never heard this record before last week when I found it for the princely sum of one New Zealand dollar in a local charity shop. I must have seen the cover a million times though – it’s one of those country records like Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood’s Nancy & Lee, or the Louvin Brothers’ Satan Is Real, that belongs to another era but has more than enjoyed a 21st century revival and reissue.

In any other world, these might be forgotten albums, and it makes you wonder about all the hundreds (and thousands) of forgotten albums that will remain truly forgotten. Light In The Attic records were responsible for the Lee & Nancy and Satan Is Real reissues, but they’re just one company and, to the best of my knowledge, seem to be alone in that kind of pursuit.

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs’ revival comes from its appearance in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die books, and while I’m not a country nut I still find it a very nice listen. It’s real music before music was spoiled by all those teenagers and hippies in the 1960s. My copy is a New Zealand first press from 1959, which makes it almost sixty years old. Something must have been lost in translation over the Pacific when they sent the artwork though, as my cover is a garish pink instead of the usual red.

Hit: El Paso

Hidden Gem: Big Iron