Sunday, 18 May 2014

My Buffy Compilation Record

I was wondering what I'd do if I was ever asked to curate a Buffy Sainte-Marie compilation. To pick a mere 15-20 songs from her whole career? How could I do that?

Then I thought I wouldn't do that, there would have to be some limits placed around the project and for this project I'd limit myself to Buffy's post-Vanguard albums. Buffy was with Vanguard for a decade and there are already several compilations of her Vanguard years so it makes sense to look at her later albums, from the early '70s onwards. That gives me a much smaller selection to choose from but it doesn't really make it any easier.

Buffy released six albums after leaving Vanguard, three in the early/mid-'70s, two in the '90s (including the re-recorded best of 'Up Where We Belong') and one in the '00s. She released a few singles with new songs or re-recorded versions of old songs as 'B' sides and she helped out with the vocals on records by friends. Buffy has also been sampled by Kanye West ('Dead or Alive' by Cam'ron) and others in more recent years so she does pop up in unexpected places. Buffy's post-Vanguard albums are:

Changing Woman
Sweet America
Coincidence & Likely Stories
Up Where We Belong
Running For The Drum

I didn't know her 'Buffy' or 'Changing Woman' albums existed until the '00s and the internet popped along, but I bought an imported version of 'Sweet America' from Window's music store in the Central Arcade in Newcastle in 1976 or '77. I bought 'Coincidence' and 'Up Where We Belong' from HMV on Oxford Street in the '90s and bought 'Running For The Drum' on import from Canada before it was released in the UK (obviously) and then a UK version from HMV just in case any of the songs were different.

So, now I need to listen to all six albums - and extra songs - to decide what to include in my compilation. I want my compilation to open with 'Cho Cho Fire' from 'Running From The Drum'. I first  heard it played on an internet radio show from Hawai'i in 2007 and then on a CD from Oxfam in its world music series 'Think Global: Native America' in 2008. I used to check the Buffy CDs in HMV every month or so in the hopes that something new might be there and I couldn't believe my luck when 'Think Global' appeared. See? It is worth waiting and hoping.

So. I now have my work cut out for me. Watch this space...

No comments: