Wednesday, July 15, 2015

40 Year Itch : Whatcha Doin' With a Gun In Your Hand?

Fantastic Four : Alvin Stone (The Birth and Death of a Gangster)

   Every so often, as a teen in the early 80's,  I'd purchase a 99-cent cut-out cassette at Woolworth's. It was always like pulling the handle on a slot machine because you never knew what was inside. You just knew that it came up short on expected sales. Which means nothing when it comes to quality. 

    The Jack Levy designed cover of Fantastic Four's Alvin Stone (The Birth and Death of a Gangster) made me gamble my money on what turned out to be a blaxploitation-inspired concept album from a Detroit soul group that had been around since the early 60's. While the title track probably sounds too much like the Temptations's "Papa Was a Rolling Stone", I actually loved the sound effects and dialogue that come in around the five minute mark. 

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