This record is a real mystery. I
picked it up at a flea market in Amsterdam because I like vanity pressings.
Numerous internet searches have turned up zero results, so perhaps this is
the first time this record has been listed online. Who knows, it might even
be the last remaining copy extant.
Written, produced, and recorded by a guy named Spike in Amsterdam in November
1984, the record was recorded "at home" and mastered at "Stichting Popmuziek
Nederland" and printed in Holland as SR198401 (Spike Records, 1984, #1).
"All compositions lyrics vocals and sound engineering by Spike."
Black and white photo of who I presume to be Spike himself, haircut just
this side of a mullet, posing with his electric guitar. It looks like someone
has spattered a little bit of ink intentionally across his eyes. Was this
part of the design, applied by Spike himself? Or the vindictive act of someone
jealous? Just a freaky accident? There is also a barely detectable splattering
of candle wax which can be easily rubbed off but which I leave on as part
of the greater story. I can imagine a candle having been knocked over while
listening in a latenight drug haze... Condition of sleeve good to very good,
with a bit of edge wear and a spot where a pricetag has been peeled off.
Some very slight ring wear, too.
Strange mushroom-inspired art, looks like someone made a mushroom out of
white tape, image is replicated 4 times in various sizes with largest mushroom
spilling over the white border. This leads me to belive that mushrooms were
greatly influential in the conception and execution of the record. The sound
bears this out...
Despite looking like a folk record, it falls more into a kind of pop metal
swirly psychedelic category. The vinyl itself is in very good condition,
some very slight hiss in places, no skips. Vocals display lots of reverb
and echo (and at times it sounds like a woman singing--"In the Garden"--and
other times a creepy authority figure as in "The Golden Eye") and there's
no doubt that Spike could shred. It's hard driving rock with intricate extended
spacy guitar solos and the obligatory ballad ("Can't Stop Loving"). The sound
is professional and this is certainly as good as any pop music of that time.
It's not amateurish (although if you listen closely there are a couple of
missed beats) and pretty much does rock. Vocals are sparse, with many
Oddly, the track listing starts with 46 and proceeds to 57, making me wonder
if this is a piece of a much larger work, a misprint, or just Spike being
cute about the size of his oeuvre. Second track, numbered 47, is titled Highway
47, so maybe that's a clue...
46 OPEN YOUR EYES
47 HIGHWAY 47
48 CAN'T STOP LOVING
49 IN THE GARDEN
50 THE GOLDEN EYE
52 DAY AND NIGHT
53 UNCLE $AM
55 FOOLING AROUND
56 APOLLO 4
My guess is that Spike was an American expatriate who landed in Amsterdam
and had himself a very good time playing guitar and sampling the pharmacopia
which makes that city so popular among vagabond musicians. Maybe he spoke
a lot about putting together a record, and finally "produced the goods" by
releasing this vanity pressing.
This will be an important addition to the right collection. Very rare, possibly
Title: Producing the Goods
Label: Spike Records, SR198401
Condition: Good enough