Sunday, September 30, 2012

Please - Please (1968-69 uk, great proto prog psych beat)



Another release from Acme/Lion by Peter Dunton's Please, this one is a collection of demos taken from original master tapes and restored acetates from 1968 - 1969. Comes with a 8-page booklet featuring the lyrics.

Tracks
1. We Aim To Please - 2:51
2. No More White Horses - 3:21
3. Paper Anne - 3:15
4. Seaweed - 5:10
5. Break The Spell - 3:17
6. Strange Ways - 3:21
7. Man With No Name - 3:27
8. Watching - 2:11
9. You're Still Waiting - 2:05
10.Breakthrough - 3:23
11.The Story - 2:24
12.Folder Man - 2:24
Music and lyrics by Peter Dunton

Please
*Peter Dunton - Drums, Vocals Except Tracks 3,4,7,12
*Bernard Jinks - Bass
*Nick Spenser - Guitars
*Jurgen Ermish - Organ
*Robin Hunt - Flute, Vocals Tracks 3,4,7,12
*Rod Harrison - Guitar On Tracks 2, 4, 7, 12

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Please - Seeing Stars (1969 uk, excellent proto prog, psych beat)




Please were formed by Peter Dunton and Bernie Jinks in late 1967. They had just returned to Britain from Germany where they had played with Neon Pearl, which also included their third member Jurgen Ermisch. The fourth original member Adrian Gurvitz later co-founded Gun. Unfortunately this line-up left no vinyl legacy or unreleased recordings that have been located behind it. 

They disbanded in May 1968 when Peter Dunton joined The Flies for whom he wrote both sides of their Magic Train 45. When The Flies split up at the end of 1968, Dunton reformed the band (line-up 'B'). Rob Hunt had also been in The Flies. They recorded all the cuts compiled on this album. Please split again in April 1969 when Peter Dunton joined Gun. 

The remaining members recruited a new drummer and renamed themselves Bulldog Breed. They later cut the Made In England album. In the Autumn of 1969, Peter Dunton quit Gun to reform Please with Bernie Jinks and Nick Spenser (ex-Neon Pearl). This incarnation was relatively short-lived as they had difficulty recruiting a suitable keyboard player. 

In early 1970 Dunton, Jinks and a later Bulldog Breed member Keith Cross joined forces to form T2, who were responsible for the excellent It'll All Work Out In Boomland album. One of T2's tracks, No More White Horses also crops up in a radically different form on Please's 1968/69 retrospective.
Tapestry Of Delights
Tracks
1. Seeing Stars - 3:16
2. Words To Say - 3:19
3. Before - 3:18
4. Time Goes By - 4:30
5. The Road - 5:28
6. Rise And Shine - 3:53
7. Still Dreaming - 3:24
8. Secrets - 3:11
9. Who You Know - 3:32
10.But - 2:53
11.Steal Your Dreams - 3:00
All songs by Peter Dunton

Please
*Peter Dunton - Keyboards, Lead Vocals, Drums
*Bernie Jinks - Bass, Vocals
*Nick Spenser - Guitar, Vocals

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Chocolate Watchband - Melts In Your Brain...Not On Your Wrist / The Complete Recordings (1965-67 us, fascinating garage psych, 2005 Big Beat two disc set)



Great rock'n'roll rarely translates properly to disc. The history of the genre is littered with literally thousands of acts that were blinding and transcendent on the bandstand, yet limp, ineffectual or misguided in the studio. And the opposite is just as true, though the art of the recording medium allows for a control and an innovation that usually isn't possible in a live context. When the two disciplines are matched, there is the potential for true greatness; yet for those involved, the realization of such may come only after years of frustrated disillusion with the initial outcome. Such is the case with the Chocolate Watchband. 

The recorded legacy of this supreme psychedelic punk combo paints a picture quite removed from the truth, yet as our definitive new anthology MELTS IN YOUR BRAIN . . . NOT ON YOUR WRIST demonstrates, it nevertheless holds up as one of the finest catalogues of the 1960s, balanced between the Watchband's own Anglophile blueswailing, and a preternatural aura, the result of studio trickery imposed without the bands knowledge or consent. The juxtaposition acts as a paradigm of how the British Invasion-inspired punk fury acquired an experimental veneer, and led to something unique. By unwittingly having their record career mapped out for them by producer Ed Cobb, the Watchband paradoxically wrote themselves into the annals of cultdom; yet it is the rock'n'roll heartbeat of this once-in-a-lifetime band that is their true heirloom.

As well as handily collecting their complete recorded works 1965-69 in one nicely remastered package, Melts In Your Brain . . . Not On Your Wrist" seeks to finally clarify the peculiar and fascinating history of this consummate group. The tracklisting on this definitive 2 CD set clearly delineates between the tracks that truly feature the definitive Watchband ie the grinding 1966 model led by frontman par excellence David Aguilar - and everything else attributed to the Chocolate Watchband name, whether it be recordings by the earlier and later incarnations of the combo, or those trippy cuts on their three long-players either adulterated or recorded by someone else entirely. 

The many aficionados that have come to love the Watchband's albums over the years are no doubt blissfully unaware of the machinations behind the substitutions and studio fakery on their records, and no doubt cherish the non-Watchband sides on those records just as much. To which end, their studio adventures, as well as the illustrious life and times of the Watchband are examined in great detail in the copiously illustrated booklet, with commentary from all the bands members, and a rare interview with the late Ed Cobb.
by Alec Palao
Tracks
Disc 1
1.Let's Talk About The Girls (New Aguilar Vocal) - 3:34
2.Sweet Young Thing - 2:57
3.Baby Blue - 3:54
4.Blue's Theme by The Hogs - 2:48
5.Loose Lip Sync Ship by The Hogs - 3:19
6.Don't Need Your Lovin' - 2:38
7.Sitting There Standing - 2:21
8.Misty Lane - 3:22
9.She Weaves A Tender Trap - 2:39
10.Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love In) - 2:25
11.No Way Out - 2:22
12.In The Midnight Hour (Original Aguilar Vocal) - 3:30
13.Come On - 1:49
14.Gone And Passes By - 3:14
15.I'm Not Like Everybody Else - 3:43
16.I Ain't No Miracle Worker - 2:50
17.Milk Cow Blues - 2:57
18.Medication (New Aguilar Vocal) - 3:06
19.'Til The End Of The Day (New Aguilar Vocal) - 2:39
20.Psychedelic Trip (Backing Track) - 1:58

Disc 2
1.Let's Talk About Girls (Don Bennett Vocal) - 2:46
2.In The Midnight Hour (Don Bennett Vocal) - 4:27
3.Hot Dusty Roads (Don Bennett Vocal) - 2:26
4.Gossamer Wings - 3:26
5.Baby Blue (LP Mix) - 3:13
6.Medication (Don Bennett Vocal) - 2:07
7.Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying - 2:51
8.Since You Broke My Heart - 2:22
9.Uncle Morris - 3:11
10.How Ya Been - 3:12
11.Devil's Motorcycle - 3:02
12.I Don't Need A Doctor - 4:03
13.Flowers - 2:47
14.Fireface - 2:51
15.And She's Lonely - 4:18
16.Dark Side Of The Mushroom - 2:36
17.Expo 2000 - 2:41
18.Voyage Of The Trieste by The Yo-Yoz - 3:39
19.In The Past by The Yo-Yoz - 3:08
20.The Inner Mystique by The Yo-Yoz - 5:36
21.The Uncharted Sea (Aka Voyage Of The Trieste) by The Yo-Yoz - 3:25
22.Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go (Backing Track) by Inmates - 2:38
23.Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go (Don Bennett Vocal) by Inmates - 2:17

The Chocolate Watch Band
*Dave Aguilar - Vocals
*Gary Andrijasevich - Drums
*Bill Flores - Bass
*Mark Loomis - Guitar
*Sean Tolby - Guitar
*Rich Young - Bass
*Pete Curry - Drums
*Jo Kemling - Vox Organ
*Don Bennett - Vocals

More Chocolate...
1967  No Way Out (Sundazed expanded issue)
1968  The Inner Mystique (Sundazed expanded issue)
1969  One Step Beyond (Sundazed expanded issue)

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The Standells - Dirty Water (1966 us, groovy raw garage, Sundazed bonus tracks edition)



The Standells made number 11 in 1966 with "Dirty Water," an archetypal garage rock hit with its Stones-ish riff, lecherous vocal, and combination of raunchy guitar and organ. While they never again reached the Top 40, they cut a number of strong, similar tunes in the 1966-1967 era that have belatedly been recognized as '60s punk classics. "Garage rock" may not have been a really accurate term for them in the first place, as the production on their best material was full and polished, with some imaginative touches of period psychedelia and pop.

The Los Angeles band was actually hardly typical of the young suburban outfits across America who took their raw garage sound onto obscure singles recorded in small studios. They'd been playing L.A. clubs since the early '60s, with a repertoire that mostly consisted of covers of pre-Beatles rock hits. Drummer (and eventual lead singer) Dick Dodd had been a Mouseketeer on television, organist Larry Tamblyn was the brother of noted film actor Russ Tamblyn, and Tony Valentino was a recent immigrant from Italy. Gary Leeds (later to join the Walker Brothers) was an early member (though he was replaced by Dodd).

The Standells' pre-"Dirty Water" history is a little vague and confusing; they recorded some ordinary albums and singles for Liberty, MGM, and Vee Jay, appeared in the movie Get Yourself a College Girl, and did a lot of television work (most notably a well-remembered guest appearance on The Munsters, where they did a woeful version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand"). There were flashes of gritty inspiration on early cuts like "Big Boss Man" and "Someday You'll Cry," but the group didn't really hit their stride until teaming up with producer Ed Cobb, formerly of the clean-cut vocal group the Four Preps. It was Cobb who wrote "Dirty Water," which marked quite a change of direction from their previous clean-cut image. In fact, the group didn't even like the song, which took about six months to break into a hit.

Considerably toughening their image, the group churned out four albums in 1966 and 1967, as well as appearing in (and contributing the theme song to) the psychedelic exploitation movie Riot on Sunset Strip. Cobb, in addition to writing "Dirty Water," also penned their other most enduring singles, including "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick on Me," and "Try It" (the last of which was widely banned for its suggestive delivery). 

The group did write some decent material of their own, such as the tense "Riot on Sunset Strip" and the psychedelic "All Fall Down," which bears an interesting similarity to some of Pink Floyd's early work. Their albums were quite inconsistent -- in fact, one of them, consisting of covers of big, mid-'60s hits, was altogether dispensable -- which makes it advisable for all but the truly committed to look for greatest-hits compilations that selectively weed out the best stuff.
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Medication (Ben DiTosti, M.Allton) - 2:42
2. Little Sally Tease (Jim Valley) - 2:57
3. There's a Storm Coming (Ed Cobb) - 3:18
4. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 3:54
5. Dirty Water (Ed Cobb) - 2:46
6. Pride and Devotion (Larry Tamblyn) - 2:13
7. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) - 2:12
8. Why Did You Hurt Me? (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) - 2:28
9. Rari (Ed Cobb) - 5:32
10.Batman (Neal Hefti) - 3:04
11.It's All in Your Mind (J.Cobb) - 2:38
12.Love Me (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) - 2:45
13.Medication (Ben DiTosti) - 2:43
14.Poor Man's Prison (Keith Colley, Joe Henderson) - 2:23
15.Take a Ride (Ed Cobb) - 2:08

The Standells
*Dick Dodd - Drums, Vocals
*Gary Lane - Bass, Vocals
*Larry Tamblyn - Organ, Vocals
*Tony Valentino - Guitar, Vocals

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Academy - Pop Lore According To The Academy (1969 uk, essential jazzy psych folk rock, japan remaster)



The text on the back cover of the LP Pop-Lore According To The Academy preached among others, that we are not dealing with pop, folk and blues, but with something completely new! Such notes were typical on plates of the 60's and as far as they are sometimes true, it is not necessarily in this case ...

The album was the first title in the history of the tiny label Morgan Blue Town (known connoisseurs with a collectable plates Pussy groups and Motherlight) -founded by wzińôtego, session drummer Barry Morgan.

Polly Perkins is as happily ensconced as any EastEnders cast member could feasibly be in such an unremittingly grim environment, holding down the role of Dot Cotton’s sister, Rose. In 1969, however, she was one of the two lead vocalists in a studiously unconventional jazz-folk quartet called The Academy.

One album the quartet Academy released in March 1969,contained just twelve neatly arranged, but rather sparingly made ​​songs that combine elements of folk, jazz, and (to a very limited extent) psychedelia. Of course, in a way it was a novelty, but back then, incredibly rich in music exciting times you had to try harder to deserve to be called a precursor.

The band occurred two vocalists (including gifted with clear voice Polly Perkins), and the instrumentation consisted of electric and acoustic guitar, flute and saxophone. As you can see, there was composed of drummer and it was a major flaw in all this lovely music, as some fragments sounded almost like a demo, including opening a whole, underdeveloped enroll With The Academy; jazzy Polly Perkins Georgie Brown Loves You, and a little Jethro Tull The Girl In His Mirror. The absence of drums and bass engenders an oddly austere, parsimonious, claustrophobic atmosphere.

However, special mention deserves the typical folk, including captivating vocals and very melodic Munching The Candy, delicate, played only on guitar and flute Poor Jean, quite catchy, referring to Russian folklore, recorded minn. oboe with Rachel's Dream and She returned home-based resonance saxophone, flute and graceful vocal harmonies. Interesting.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Enrol With the Academy - 2:47
2. Munching the Candy (P. Perkins, L. Davis) - 2:56
3. Anya Anya - 3:13
4. Quiet and Gentle - 2:58
5. Poor Jean - 3:49
6. Polly Perkins Loves You Georgia Brown (D. Walter, L. Davis) - 1:47
7. Rachel's Dream - 4:03
8. Thank You Mary Hayley Bell (P. Perkins, L. Davis) - 2:39
9. The Girl in the Mirror - 3:47
10.She Returned Home - 3:54
11.Deadline (D. Walter, L. Davis) - 2:53
12.Yellow Star - 3:55
Music by Richard Cobby, lyrics by Lena Davis unless otherwise stated.

The Academy
*Dick Walter -  Flute
*Richard Cobby - Guitar
*Polly Perkins - Vocals
*Damon J. Hardy - Vocals
*Lena Davis - Lyrics

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oasis - Oasis (1973 us, great west coast psych with folk rock touches)



Although this album was pressed in Canada and lists no home base for the group on the cover, it is known that they were based in Marin County (San Francisco Bay Area).

This private pressing is this band's only foray into the market place with only about 150 copies pressed.

Released in 1973 and only in Canada this album sounds like the West Coast scene mixed with Allmans country styled guitars,and CSN harmony song structures and a female joint lead vocalist with a pitch to die for. Which is defined as "psychedelic" by some record dealers in Europe.

The group was previously known as RJ Fox, who saw a double CD issue of their early seventies material issued in Summer 1994: RJ Fox: Retrospective Dreams (Black Bamboo).

Shelly Fox was previously in Cookin Mama and Stephen Barncard also worked with Chet Nichols and David Crosby.

Kelly Bryan had earlier been in the short-lived Grootna, and later played on a couple of albums by Jesse Colin Young. 
by Clark Faville and Stephane Rebeschini


Tracks
1. Wake - 3:40
2. Caught Away (Sherry Fox) - 3:00
3. Runaway Life - 4:31
4. To Be Born Again (Sherry Fox) - 3:13
5. Indeed Candide - 2:24
6. I Didn’T Like To Tell Her (John Yager) - 5:10
7. We Are People (John Yager) - 5:54
8. Every Way Of A Man (Sherry Fox) - 3:02
9. High Revs - 5:23
10.Other Side (Carl Tassi) - 3:48
11.Queen Of My Life - 4:58
All songs by Joel Siegel except where noted

Oasis
*Joel Siegel - Vocal, Guitar
*Sherry Fox - Vocal
*John Yager - Lead Guitar
*Ted Teipel - Organ
*Carl Tassi - Drums
*Kelly Bryan - Bass

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tramp - Tramp (1969 uk, splendid blues rock with Mick Fleetwood, Danny Kirwan a.o., japan remaster)



This was a great assembly of Fleetwood Mac alumni Bob Brunning on bass, Danny Kirwan on guitar and Mick Fleetwood on drums and they are rounded out nicely by Brunning's long time partner in crime Bob Hall on piano and Dave & Jo Ann Kelly on vocals (though under fake names due to legal reasons). Inspired playing and material set this platter alight. 

The rocking galloper "Own up" gets us started on perfect footing with Dave and Jo Ann dueling it out on lead vocals while Kirwan's rough guitar keeps the energy going along with great drum fills by Fleetwood and Bruns holds up his end well, a real highlight. Other rocking moments are Danny's guitar instrumental spotlight called "Hard work" which is a fierce shuffle and Bob Hall has some of his most meaningful ivory licks added to this one. This is probably the longest Kirwan has soloed on his own on record to date though the slow "Street walking blues" often gets overlooked in this regard as Kirwan solos for well over a full minute towards the end of the track here and it's a gut wrencher that keeps you begging for more.

 If I have any complaint about this record, it's just that the late great Jo Ann Kelly is perhaps under used here as though she does a great job as mentioned on the opening cut, it sounds like she's really only on two other tracks here which are the great mopey classic blueser "Baby what you want me to do" handled perfectly here by all concerned and the catchy slight chunky funk of "On the scene" though again, accompanied by "little brother Dave". This turns out to be a minor quibble though as Dave lays down some great vocals on the rest of the tracks. 

The light plinky shuffle of "Same old thing", the effective stroll of "What you gonna do when the road comes through", the piano led boogie of "Somebody watching me", a piano and vocal only moaner called "Too late now", another piano led ballad called "Month of Sundays" (though it also includes a finger snapping jazz feel with Danny's delicate guitar strums keeping it successfully in this vein) and the well put together closing sing a long "Another day". 

These explanations I have attempted to give here hardly do justice to the great sound this group have put out for us here as I find it a mix of blues and rock that is not bettered in many other albums if any. Also impressive is that Brunning is credited with co writing all tracks here except the Kirwan guitar work out discussed above and the great straight ahead blues highlight here "Baby what you want me to do" and I would say this album would rank as a highlight in the respective discography of all 3 Mac members here to date. 
by John Fitzgerald
Tracks
1. Own Up  - 2:50
2. Same Old Thing - 2:05
3. What You Gonna Do When The Road Comes Through - 2:50
4. Somebody Watching Me - 2:56
5. Too Late Now - 2:39
6. Baby, What You Want Me To Do - 3:59
7. Street Walking Blues - 3:16
8. On The Scene - 2:44
9. Month Of Sundays - 3:39
10.Hard Work (Instrumental) - 4:20
11.Another Day - 2:08

Tramp
*Bob Hall - Keyboards, Piano
*Dave Kelly - Vocals
*Jo Ann Kelly - Vocals
*Danny Kirwan - Guitar
*Mick Fleetwood - Drums
*Bob Brunning - Bass

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Chocolate Watch Band - No Way Out (1967 us, classic garage psych, Sundazed expanded issue)



No Way Out, the thrilling debut album by the Chocolate Watch Band, immediately finds that cosmic sweet-spot of perfect garage-rock traction: where the rubber meets the road and the train keeps a-rollin.' Nobody ever did Mick Jagger any better (even Mick, himself) than the Watch Band's frighteningly superb frontman Dave Aguilar. "Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love-In)" and "Let's Talk About Girls" are on everyone's list of Top 20 garage rock anthems of all time. And that's just the tip of the vermillion iceberg for this essential longplayer. "Come On," an early Stones single, gets the perfect Watch Band overhaul, "Hot Dusty Roads" ventures down back alleys that Buffalo Springfield never dreamed about and "No Way Out" dances rings around the outskirts of your nearest Human Be-In.

A San Jose, Calif. band whose reputation has grown exponentially over the decades, the Chocolate Watch Band are now revered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World of garage rock. Spotlighting the classic lineup—the inflammatory vocals of Dave Aguilar and the roof-rattling guitars of Mark Loomis and Sean Tolby, fronting the rock-solid bass of Bill Flores and the letter-perfect drums of Gary Andrijasevich—the Watch Band's first two albums have it all. Stones swagger snake-hips its way through cosmic significance with just a dusting of eye-opening psychedelic legerdemain to make your neck snap backwards in pure joy. 
Sundazed-recs
Tracks
1. Let's Talk About Girls (M. Freiser) - 2:43
2. In The Midnight Hour (S. Cropper, W. Pickett) - 4:26
3. Come On (C. Berry) - 1:48
4. Dark Side Of The Mushroom (B. Cooper, R. Podolor) - 2:37
5. Hot Dusty Road (S. Stills) - 2:23
6. Are You Gonna Be There (At The Love In) (D. Bennett, E. McElroy) - 2:23
7. Gone And Passed By (Dave Aguilar) - 3:12
8. No Way Out (E. Cobb) - 2:21
9. Expo 2000 (R. Podolor) - 2:39
10.Gossamer Wings (D. Bennett, E. McElroy) - 3:29
11.In The Midnight Hour (S. Cropper, W. Pickett) - 4:29
12.Milk Cow Blues (K. Arnold) - 2:56
13.Psychedelic Trip (Flores, Aguilar, Andrijasevich, Loomis, Tolby) - 1:57
Bonus tracks from 11-13.

The Chocolate Watch Band
*Dave Aguilar - Vocals
*Gary Andrijasevich - Drums
*Bill Flores - Bass
*Mark Loomis - Guitar
*Sean Tolby - Guitar

More Chocolate...
1968  The Inner Mystique
1969  One Step Beyond

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

May Blitz - The 2nd Of May (1971 uk / canada, fine hard rock with prog folk traces, japan SHM remaster)



The second and final May Blitz album basically picked up where its predecessor left off, with the thunderous and foreboding "For Mad Men Only," and then bludgeoned on from there. Except, where May Blitz concentrated on weight, 2nd of May is more interested in mood and even mirth -- "25th of December 1969" would be almost jovial, if the lyrics weren't so harsh, while the balladic "Just Thinking" closes the album with the sweetest of whispers. 

It's a tighter disc than its predecessor. Just two of the eight songs really top five minutes, as the band learned how to cram maximum impact into minimal space, and layered the virtuosity on from there. The helter-skelter blur of "Eight Mad Grim Nits" is as electrifying a guitar workout as you're likely to hear, with the axe panning wildly while the rhythm section soars like a steeplechase behind it; while "High Beech" takes the opposite tack entirely, a psychedelic dream that builds so gently that the effect is almost boleric. "Honey Coloured Time," too, has a gentle mood that puts one in mind of labelmates Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan," as performed by the Full House era Fairport Convention. 

And, while a lengthy Tony Newman drum solo doesn't really repay repeat listens (well, not unless you like drum solos), still 2nd of May remains one of those albums that you will find yourself returning to again and again, while wishing May Blitz had held on long enough to cut a follow-up. 
by Dave Thompson
Tracks
1. For Mad Men Only - 4:16
2. Snakes And Ladders - 4:42
3. The 25Th Of December 1969 - 3:12
4. In Part - 6:10
5. 8 Mad Grim Nits - 4:33
6. High Beech - 5:02
7. Honey Coloured Time - 4:13
8. Just Thinking - 5:12
All songs written by Reid Hudson.

May Blitz
*James Black - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Reid Hudson - Bass
*Tony Newman - Drums

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Friday, September 21, 2012

May Blitz - May Blitz (1970 uk / canada, standout hard rock, japan SHM remaster)



May Blitz was a short lived British-based trio that consisted of two Canadians and an Englishman. The two Canadians were guitarist and vocalist James Black and bassist Reid Hudson, with the Englishman being drummer Tony Newman, formerly of the Jeff Beck Group. This band basically combined psychedelia with blues and hard rock that's not unlike the Jimi Hendrix Experience or Cream.

May Blitz only released two albums, this one, which is their debut, and The 2nd of May in 1971 before breaking up. The opening song, "Smoking The Day Away" sounds a lot like Hendrix, in fact, my brother was convinced it was Hendrix when he first heard it. The song has tends to be drug-oriented, and you can practically smell the marijuana smoke hearing this. The song is also loaded with some killer guitar jams. "I Don't Know" is much in the same vein, with rather strong hippie overtones (the lyrics deal with the back to the land movement of the hippies of that time).

"Dreaming" starts off acoustic and mellow, but before you know it, you get blasted with some truly insane drumming and more killer solos. "Squeet" is one of my favorites, I can't really explain it, but the lyrics are pretty silly, it keeps "Squeet all over the walls" over and over, then the band goes off soloing again.

"Tomorrow May Come" is another favorite of mine, it's a really cool and mellow psychedelic piece. "Fire Queen" is a totally wild song that sounds a whole lot like The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (James Black sounds a whole lot like Brown on this song), the only difference is this song is dominated by guitar rather than Hammond organ.

The album closes with "Virgin Waters", it's the closest thing to prog rock on this album, but still sticks to their bluesy hard rock roots. I really love that spoken dialog. This is a truly wild album and if the description of their music sounds interesting to you, get this album. 
by Ben Miler
Tracks
1. Smoking The Day Away - 8:19
2. I Don't Know? - 4.52
3. Dreaming - 6:40
4. Squeet - 6:51
5. Tomorrow May Come - 4:47
6. Fire Queen - 4:14
7. Virgin Waters - 6:56
All compositions by  May Blitz and Mark Hudson.

May Blitz
*James Black - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Reid Hudson - Bass
*Tony Newman - Drums

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The Wackers - Hot Wacks (1972 canada / us, power melodic glam pop with some folk shades)




When the Wackers were recording their 1971 debut album Wackering Heights producer Gary Usher "told us that if it did well, meaning critically or sold a bunch of records or whatever, we could go someplace exotic to cut the next one," remembers singer-guitarist-songwriter Bob Segarini. "Exotic turned out to be Montreal. I thought, we're going to Canada? The record must have not done that good." But the Wackers would end up liking Montreal so much they would move there for several years. And Hot Wacks gave them the chance to record more music that properly reflected their harder-rocking live sound, even if disagreements over how to mix the end result would lead to the end of their working relationship with Usher. 

Wackering Heights had introduced a band that stood out as an anomaly on the early-'70s album-oriented rock scene with their affection for pop-folk-rock melodies and multi-part vocal harmonies, all owing much to the spirit that had driven the 1960s British Invasion. "The difference between Hot Wacks and the first album was that we started leaning a little more towards our live side," explains Segarini, who along with multi-instrumentalist Randy Bishop wrote most of the material on the album (though everyone in the Wackers made compositional contributions). "We wanted it to be a little rockier, a little more electric. Wanted a bigger drum sound and a bigger low end, and more electric guitars than acoustic guitar. I don't know if we were just succumbing to the fan reaction live, or whether we ourselves wanted to move away from the folky thing. 'Cause we were kind of disappointed in the first album, insofar as good friends -- people like [rock critics] Lester Bangs, Ben Edmonds, and Dave Marsh -- [were] going, 'I love the band, man, but the first record's a little wimpy.' You hear that stuff enough, and go, 'Okay, let's beef it up.' I like the sweetness of the first album, but I like the reach of the second album. We really pushed ourselves on Hot Wacks." 

Most of Hot Wacks was recorded in Montreal, Bob continues, "at a place called Le Studio, which was in a church across the street from the morgue downtown. That album was cut on two Trident 16-track boards imported from England, on 32 tracks. They had mechanically synced two 16-track machines so that we could record 32 tracks, which was unheard of in the day. The secret that came out years later, that they never told us, was the machinery never worked. Every morning at 5 A.M., two engineers would go in there and sync those two machines up by hand. It would take them six to eight hours. They did it every day, and never told us." 

Most of the record was done in Montreal (the sessions taking a mere six days, according to the original LP's back cover credits), and most of it was written by the Wackers. But the track singled out for the most attention was the one cover, and the one song that was not recorded in Montreal. Their version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Oh My Love," from Lennon's Imagine, was cut at Wally Heider's Studio in San Francisco (the vocals for one other track on the LP, "Wait and See," were also done at the studio, though everything else on that track and the rest of the album was recorded in Montreal). Issued by Elektra as a single, it has subsequently appeared on numerous bootlegs, mistakenly billed as an unreleased Beatles version of the tune. "I just went, 'Okay, now, we're doing this as though the Beatles were,'" says Segarini. "We're full-goose bozoing this thing as a Beatle track. This is an exercise in fun. How would Lennon have recorded this song if the Beatles hadn't broken up? That was the premise." 

Continues Bob, "We even flew [engineer] Ritchie Moore into Wally Heider's to record that track, because he and Usher knew how to get the slowed-down bass and drum sound we wanted, with a ton of compression on it. So we record the song slightly fast with the tape slowed down so that when they slowed it down, it had much more weight to it. You'll notice that the tom-toms are going 'poom-poom' -- that's how you do that. Then they compressed the bejeezus out of the bass and drums. We put on the 12-string guitar and all that stuff, quadrupled the vocals to get that beautiful silk sound." 

An especially imaginative touch was supplied by koto player Kathie Kodama. "I'm thinking to myself, 'They wouldn't use a sitar on this because this is not a George [Harrison] influence,'" elaborates Segarini. "'This is a John [song]. John's married to a Japanese [woman]. Japanese instruments...koto!' So I find a koto player at the University of San Francisco. She was like 18 years old, and she had a koto, which is huge -- the thing is like eight feet long, it's got four strings, it's like somebody just stuck strings on a log. She shows up with her father, and it took the first three hours of the session to get her to play [the koto riffs on the track]. Her dad wouldn't let her play those notes, because they weren't the notes that are supposed to be played on a koto. It's a traditional instrument. In other words, not unlike the sitar, there are certain things you should be able to play on it, and certain things you shouldn't. So we had to retune the koto and talk her into doing that, and we did. She was talking to her dad in Japanese all day, reassuring him that it was okay, that their ancestors weren't going to turn into Easter eggs or anything. But I love the sound of it. It did exactly what we wanted it to do." 

The first time Segarini heard it on a bootleg "was on a ten-inch from Germany called The Guitar Is All Very Well and Good, John, But You'll Never Make a Living With It. Then it was on like 180 other bootlegs as the rejected Beatles version from Abbey Road, which, of course, it isn't. But that was neat. It was nice to be alongside John Lennon and Beatles songs on bootlegs." They'd also fooled their producer, Gary Usher, in a different way when they sent him their demos of material during pre-production for Hot Wacks. "Oh My Love" was the last one they sent, as Bob had only gotten a white label test pressing of Imagine with the original Lennon version "the night before from Federal Express. So we didn't have time to learn the song, 'cause I had to go to the post office in the morning. So I just put the record on, then we overdubbed guitars and vocals and sent it to Usher. I got a call from him -- 'that's the best song you ever wrote.' I went, 'Yep.' Still is!" he laughs. 

Other comparisons to the Abbey Road-era approach of the Beatles might have been sparked by side two of Hot Wacks, which -- like side two of Abbey Road -- was largely devoted to a medley of sorts. Aside from the opening track "Breathe Easy," the side consisted of a ten-a-half-minute continuous string of tracks, opened by "Time Will Carry On" and concluded by "Time Will Carry On (Won't It)." "Those were bits and pieces of songs that Randy and I hadn't finished," comments Segarini. "We were working on one of them. I was hitting a blank wall with this stupid thing, and Randy said, 'Well, I've got this piece of music.' So we just strung stuff together until we found a spot where we could go back into the original lick. The parts that Randy sings, Randy wrote, the parts that I sing, I wrote. The demo was actually three guitars, bass, and vocals. We recorded it in the living room and sent it off to Gary, and he said, 'This is great. It's gonna get you guys over the top.' We actually did that song live, coast-to-coast television, live from New York, [on] a children's show called Take a Giant Step. It ran on Saturday mornings. We did that and one other song,. Usher flew out from L.A. and did the mix in the booth, and I would kill to find a copy of that, because it was spectacular." 

The Wackers and Usher did not see eye-to-eye on the mix of the LP, however. According to Bob, "We had a big falling out with Gary Usher, doing the final mix of the Hot Wacks album. In fact, he walked out on a mix, and got on a plane, went back to California. I never saw him again. We had to finish the mix of 'Time Will Carry On' on our own. Which we did. I mean, you couldn't have stopped the Wackers with a sledgehammer. We knew we were good, and we knew what we were doing. 'Where's the gig, where's the stage, where's the recording studio' --  that was the attitude. So -- 'Oh, Usher left? Are we gonna fall apart?' 'Nah, I got a train to catch this afternoon, let's finish this.'" 

Back in the 1970s, Segarini told Gary Sperrazza and Lester Bangs for a Wackers feature in Shakin' St. Gazette, "I can't really blame Gary, because he's a talented guy; he was bright enough to think that we could make good records, and we learned a tremendous amount from him. Someday we'd like to work with him again. But we couldn't get him to stop producing. He'd let us have bits and pieces of rock'n'roll, but they always sounded like there was a piece of gauze over it. We could never get him to kick back a little bit." Added bassist-guitarist Bill "Kootch" Trochim, "No matter what he does he has to take the longest way around, do it the hardest way possible. Instead of putting a room noise on a cut he'll do a fifteen IPS round robin or a seven-and-a-half IPS round robin and put it way off in the right speaker somewhere. It'll sound the same, except that it'll have a tendency to sound sterile." Reflecting on the matter today, Segarini is still a little disappointed that the group's records didn't entirely capture the live energy of the band, as "live performances of the Wackers would blow your mind. They were very electric, very jangly, very much more rock-ish. Nobody ever really tried to capture what the band had evolved into." 

Just as their records weren't quite coming out the way they wanted them to, neither did the artwork. Segarini says Elektra turned down "the cover that we wanted because 'we looked too much like girls.' Which is really ridiculous now. It was an amazing picture of the band. I think we were wearing about $150,000 worth of turquoise and silver jewelry, and everybody had their hair done and their makeup done. It was an amazing thing. They really toned it down, 'cause they were embarrassed by it. 

They had absolutely no idea what we were doing." At least the band did manage to give a full paragraph's work of interesting thank yous on the back cover credits, including "special thanks" to Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, and fellow Elektra artist David Peel. There was also a special "P.S. Don't forget to register to vote for Frank Zappa at least (and yourself as well)." Segarini had known Zappa since the late '60s, when they were neighbors in Laurel Canyon, and "I'd see him mowing his lawn in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt all the time when I'd go by that house. [I] almost ran over Moon Unit when she was about one." The plug to vote for Frank Zappa got on the back cover "because that was when Frank probably the most logical man that ever picked up a guitar, and always on the side of common sense and practicality. Made great music; sort of personified to me the driven musician that was all about the music. Frank was just a cool guy." 

The back cover also credited managers John Frankenheimer (now co-chairman of the prominent Los Angeles legal firm Loeb & Loeb) and Bill Siddons (who was also managing the Doors at the time). Playing as the opening act for the Doors when that band toured as a trio following Jim Morrison's death, the Wackers ended up attracting rather more attention than Siddons attended. "After Jim died, he wanted to re-fire their career," recalls Bob. "So they did a big tour, and halfway through the tour, we were barred from the press parties afterwards because the Doors are...I mean, god bless those guys, but they're kind of dull. And we'd be over in the corner singing three-part harmony Beatle tunes and everybody was having a great time. So we got a note one morning in a hotel saying, 'Re: tour press meet'n'greet, your presence is no longer required. Have fun. There's extra money in a per diem to go out in whatever town.' So we went, 'Yeah, okay,'" he laughs. "'You're an idiot, but okay.'" 

One inadvertent consequence of the Hot Wacks sessions was to establish the Wackers as a popular live act in Montreal. Though they returned to California after the album was finished, they came back to play for about two months straight at the Mustache club. "We always referred to Montreal as Hamburg after that," remembers Segarini fondly. "Because we got great. We played extra sets at five in the morning for mob guys and their mistresses in mink coats, and they'd stick $100 bills in our pockets. It was an amazing time." So well were they received in Montreal, in fact, that the Wackers were based there by the time they released their third and final Elektra.
by Richie Unterberger 
Tracks
1. I Hardly Know Her Name (M. Stull, R. Bishop, R. Segarini) - 1:49
2. We Can Be - 4:27
3. Oh My Love (J. lennon, Y. Ono) - 2:51
4. Wait And See (William Trochim) - 3:42
5. Do You Know The Reason - 3:41
6. Breathe Easy  (R. Segarini. W. Trochim, M. Stull) - 3:11
7. Time Will Carry On -1:50
8. Maybe Tomorrow - 1:07
9. Hot Wacks (M. Stull, R. Bishop, R. Segarini, S. Earnshaw, W. Trochim) - 1:27
10.Anytime/Anyday - 1:01
11.Find Your Own Way - 3:15
12.Time Will Carry On (Won't It) - 1:56
All songs by R. Segarini, R. Bishop

The Wackers
* Spencer T. "Ernie" Earnshaw - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
* N. Randy Bishop - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
* William "Kootch" Trochim -  Bass, Vocals, Guitar
* Michael "Two Foot" Stull - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
* Robert Segarini - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Chocolate Watchband - One Step Beyond (1969 us, great garage psych with west coast tinges, Sundazed extra tracks issue)



The third and final of the original studio albums by the Chocolate Watchband, One Step Beyond is n the one hand close as any performing group called the Chocolate Watchband ever got to making a finished album of their own, which is reflected in the fact that all but one song here was an original by the bandmembers; but on the other hand, this is a different Watchband lineup, assembled by Sean Tolby and Bill Flores, including guitarist Mark Loomis and drummer Gary Andrijasevich (both of whom had left in 1967 to join the Tingle Guild), and original, Foothill College-era Chocolate Watchband member Danny Phay (who'd also been in the Tingle Guild). 

Missing is David Aguilar, the band's one-time lead singer and most visible songwriter up to that time -- and the result is an album that has almost none of the influence of the Rolling Stones, and, instead, shows the greatest folk-rock influence in their history. The overall sound is brittle but melodic, reminiscent in some ways of the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Charlatans, Moby Grape, and the Jefferson Airplane. Danny Phay isn't nearly as charismatic a singer as Aguilar, but he's not bad, either, and there are lots of interesting shared vocals. 

There's also quite a bit more guitar noodling here than on any previous Watchband recording -- that's not necessarily a bad thing, though it does dilute some of the impact of the punkier moments. "Devil's Motorcycle" is also of special interest to fans of Moby Grape, as it features the Grape's Jerry Miller subbing for Loomis on lead guitar. They shined on Ashford & Simpson's "I Don't Need No Doctor" as well as the Loomis/Andrijasevich original "Uncle Morris," and "Flowers" was a beautiful piece of folk-based psychedelia, while Sean Tolby's "Fireface" recaptured some of the original band's thicker rock textures. 

Original Foothill College-era member Ned Torney was also present on the sessions playing keyboards, but his work was left out of the final mix of the album, which meant the guitars got even greater exposure than intended.
by Bruce Eder
Tracks
1. Uncle Morris (G. Andrijasevich, M. Loomis) - 3:09
2. How Ya Been (D. Phay, G. Andrijasevich) - 3:10
3. Devil's Motorcycle (G. Andrijasevich, S. Tolby) - 3:01
4. I Don't Need No Doctor (N. Ashford, V. Simpson) - 4:01
5. Flowers (D. Phay, G. Andrijasevich) - 2:46
6. Fireface (S. Tolby) - 2:49
7. And She's Lonely (M. Loomis, S. Tolby) - 4:16
8. Don't Need Your Lovin (D. Aguilar) - 2:36
9. Sitting There Standing (Flores, Aguilar, Andrijasevich, Loomis, Tolby) - 2:20
10.Blues Theme (M. Curb) - 2:21
11.Loose Lip Sync Ship (D. Aguilar, M. Loomis) - 3:01
Bonus Tracks 8-11

The Chocolate Watchband
*Sean Tolby - Guitar
*Bill "Flo" Flores - Bass
*Mark Loomis - Guitar.
*Gary Andrijasevich - Drums.
*Danny Phay – Vocals
With
*Jerry Miller - Guitar

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Chocolate Watch Band - The Inner Mystique (1968 us, superb garage psych, Sundazed expanded edition)



The Inner Mystique, the hypnotic second album by the Chocolate Watch Band, takes up exactly where its sacred predecessor left you: looking for your perfect match at the local Love-In. When Watch Band lead singer par excellence Dave Aguilar grabs you by the lapels and tells you "I'm Not Everybody Else," you have no choice but to believe him. He's not. And when he cools down enough to extol the virtues of "Medication," who could doubt his sincerity? Especially when he stokes the fires to the boiling-point where medication may not really make much difference. But the real stunner here is the Watch Band's exhilarating cover of Bobby D's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." In typical CWB interpretive bliss, nobody has ever done this hallowed song any better. Not Bob Dylan, not Van Morrison. Nobody.

A San Jose, Calif. band whose reputation has grown exponentially over the decades, the Chocolate Watch Band are now revered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World of garage rock. Spotlighting the classic lineup—the inflammatory vocals of Dave Aguilar and the roof-rattling guitars of Mark Loomis and Sean Tolby, fronting the rock-solid bass of Bill Flores and the letter-perfect drums of Gary Andrijasevich—the Watch Band's first two albums have it all. Stones swagger snake-hips its way through cosmic significance with just a dusting of eye-opening psychedelic legerdemain to make your neck snap backwards in pure joy. 

Tracks
1. Voyage Of The Trieste (W. Cobb) - 3:38
2. In The Past (W. Proctor) - 3:06  
3. Inner Mystique (W. Cobb) - 5:35  
4. I'm Not Like Everybody Else (R. Davis) - 3:42  
5. Medication (M. Alton, B. Ditosi) - 2:06  
6. Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go (H. Ballard) - 2:15  
7. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (B. Dylan) - 3:11  
8. I Ain't No Miracle Worker (N. Mantz, A. Tucker) - 2:49  
9. She Weaves A Tender Trap (Bonus Track) (W. Cobb) - 3:29  
10.Misty Lane (Bonus Track) (M. Siegel) - 3:16  
11.Baby Blue (Original Single Version) (Bonus Track) (B. Dylan) - 3:12  
12.Sweet Young Thing (Bonus Track) (W. Cobb) - 2:55  

The Chocolate Watch Band
*Mark Loomis – Lead Guitar
*David Aguilar - Vocals
*Gary Andrijasevich - Drums
*Sean Tolby – Rhythm Guitar
*Bill 'Flo' Flores - Bass

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Guns 'n' Butter - Guns 'n' Butter (1972 us, fine jazzy progessive rock, Flawed Gems 2011 reissue)



This awesome but underrated record from this unjustly forgotten US band from Boston was released on Cotillion Records in 1972 and contained very ambitious, well-arranged and truly inspired, jazzy progessive rock with memorable and complex tracks, full of interesting ideas. 

Their music was characterized by fine electric guitar and Hammond phrases mixed with excellent and intensive violin, flute and sax solo parts. Because the Guns & Butter line-up was predominantly Jewish, there was more than a hint of traditional Jewish music in thier sound, which gave them a unique and distinctive sound. This beautifully varied and simply stunning music can be compared to early Kansas, Jethro Tull and Darryl Way's Wolf. Unfortunately the record went completely unnoticed and as a result the band split up.
Tracks
1. I Am - 4:23
2. Time Has Wings - 2:54
3. Look At The Day - 2:38
4. Sometimes - 8:32
5. It Can't Go On Like This - 3:10
6. Our Album - 3:04
7. Lady Grey - 3:48
8. Family - 2:33
9. Elysium's Butterfly Comes - 2:33
10.The Wanderer - 5:26

Guns 'n' Butter 
*Jeff Lyons - Vocals
*Lenny Federer - Violin, Viola
*Paul Cohen - Guitar
*Richard Ploss - Flute Saxophones
*Peter Cohen - Bass
*Peter Tucker - Drums

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Lost Nation - Paradise Lost (1970 us, stunning hard progressive rock, Flawed Gems reissue)



Lost Nation were formed in Detroit, Michigan, their sole album "Paradise Lost", originally released 1970 in the US on Rare Earth RS 518. Late psych album , crossing over to progressive rock with some of the organ/guitar jams. Recalls another Michigan group - the more known SRC, especially on their "Traveler's Tale" album. Album is melodic in a heavy style with plenty of organ, including Hammond B3. Great riffing and soloing and always fun, in the style of what people now call “proto-prog”. 

Essentially it is an amalgam of late psych rock, early Prog and hard rock. There were lots of bands from the period 1968-71 that encompassed these three elements, played in an atmosphere of early Deep Purple with a touch of Beggars Opera, lots of tasty guitar improvisation! remind me of most, this is a real killer in case you are into US hard psych into prog albums. Stunning tracks and musicianships. 7 minutes "She'll Take You" is nothing else then a monster!. Mandatory purchase for any lover of rock music of 1970!
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Tall Ivory Castle (L. Zelanka, R. Stults) - 4:48
2. Rome (L. Zelanka, R. Stults) - 4:05
3. Little Boy (C. Webb, R. Stults) - 4:27
4. Images (C. Webb, R. Stults) - 6:50
5. Seven Minute Woman (C. Webb, R. Stults) - 5:05
6. Shadows Within You (L. Zelanka, R. Stults) - 4:36
7. She'll Take You (C. Webb, R. Stults) - 7:14
8. Falling Inside My Mind (L. Zelanka, R. Stults) - 7:17

Lost Nation
*Art Wolfe - Bass
*Ron Fuller - Drums
*Craig Webb - Guitar
*Larry Zelanka - Keyboards, Organ
*Ron Stults - Vocals

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Haymarket Square - Magic Lantern (1969 us, acid trippy psych, 2001 edition)



Drummer John Kowalski and bass player Bob Homa formed Haymarket Square in Chicago in the late '60s. Both had previously toiled in Chicago high school garage band the Real Things, the name a derivation and tribute to English beat band the Pretty Things. Not your typical amateurs, the Real Things actually played professional instruments and earned professional gigs until they disintegrated in 1967 due to the usual reasons of the season, leaving the two original members to assemble a new unit. 

Homa decided to place ads in the campus newspaper of the University of Illinois Chicago -- where both he and Kowalski had enrolled by this time -- as well as in two local Chicago dailies. Guitarist Marc Swenson, a 17-year-old lead player who idolized and emulated Dave Davies, was the first to answer and was quickly hired after a short, impressive audition. The three then set about searching for a singer, but were unsuccessful until receiving a call from Gloria Lambert, who had also seen their advertisement. At the time, she was biding her time in the folk band Jordan, Damian, and Samantha until something more exciting (i.e., electric) came along for which she could utilize her classically trained skills. 

An audition was set, and when the 20-year-old blonde with the powerful Grace Slick voice showed up, the three teenagers were somewhat awestruck and, of course, impressed, and snapped her up immediately. Like Swenson, Lambert also happened to be a strong burgeoning songwriter. The quartet took the name Haymarket Square in honor of the Chicago Labor riot that took place at the turn of the century.

Within a short time, the band had earned a strong local reputation and degree of popularity on the Chicago rock scene, playing premier rooms such as the Electric Playground and the Playboy Mansion in addition to the many teen clubs and hangouts, and sharing stages with important international groups like the Yardbirds and Cream, as well as local favorites H.P. Lovecraft, Saturday's Children, and the Shadows of Knight. Soon they were composing their own songs in imitation of their idols Jefferson Airplane, while also absorbing the city's blues and folk traditions, and adding a smattering of Lovecraftian occult touches. 

Haymarket Square's escalating stature led to an offer from the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in the summer of 1968 to act as backup musicians for a live work of art that was on display at the time, the Original Baron and Bailey Light Circus, produced by a pair of University of Illinois professors. It in turn led to Magic Lantern, released on independent Chaparral Records later in 1968. 

As the music featured on it was initially utilized as live accompaniment and created expressly with that purpose in mind, the album plays much like the records of the Airplane's middle, most psychedelic period, as much visceral experiences to fill San Francisco ballrooms as they are objects for home listening, or like early Grateful Dead recordings, intended as soundtracks for Acid Tests and experimental light shows. But as with the work of those bands, Magic Lantern transcends its intended purpose; in fact, it is one of the stronger -- not to mention one of the earliest -- slices of acid rock from the era, outstanding in every way, from Kowalski's expert drumming to Lambert's impressive, insistent singing to the intensely mood-filled, darkly textured original songs.

The band changed personnel shortly after the album's release. Homa chose to exit the band and was replaced by Ken Pitlik, while Robert Miller added a second guitar to the mix. This version of Haymarket Square continued through 1974, when they called it quits. By this point, Swenson and Lambert had married, while the others went their own separate ways. 
by Stanton Swihart
Tracks
1. Elevator (Gloria Lambert) - 7:06
2. The Train-Kept-A-Rollin' (Tiny Bradshaw, Lois Mann, Howie Kay) - 7:20
3. Ahimsa (Robert Homa, John Kowalski, Marc Swenson) - 8:14
4. Amapola (Marc Swenson) - 10:43
5. Phantasmagoria (Gloria Lambert) - 4:08
6. Funeral (Gloria Lambert) - 9:23

Haymarket Square
*Robert Homa - Bass, Vocals
*Marc Swenson - Guitar, Vocals
*John Kowalski - Percussion
*Gloria Lambert - Vocals

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The Misunderstood - Before The Dream Faded (1965-66 us, exquisite psychedelic fuzzed garage steel blues)



In 1966 the Misunderstood, an ambitious anti-war rock band from small town California, set off on a mission to England. In swinging sixties London they forge a revolutionary new psychedelic sound, but on the very brink of international success the heart of the band is ripped out when their lead singer is drafted by the US Army. Torn from stardom and faced with war or prison he miraculously escapes from boot camp and embarks on a spiritual journey to mystical India, living for seven years as a monk in a primitive ashram.

With the discovery of a secret ruby mine, and magical jewels, he becomes embroiled in further extraordinary adventures, his fugitive life forcing him to live in the shadows, one step ahead of the authorities. Children of the Sun is the thrilling true-life saga of the greatest lost rock band of the 1960s and one young man’s quest for spiritual peace, personal freedom, and survival.

Too little-known in their time to qualify as forgotten, the Misunderstood were, in all but riches and renown, the American Yardbirds: a panzer-garage quintet from Riverside, California, combining electric-blues lust with rave-up dementia and tight, flammable songwriting. After an early-’66 line-up change, the band boasted, in the country-raga invention and greased lightning of steel guitar prodigy Glenn Ross Campbell, its own Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page rolled into one.

These feral demos show why Peel went wild: singer Rick Brown’s deep, scarred bark, like Howlin’ Wolf swallowed whole by Eric Burdon; the searing psychedelic prophecy of Campbell’s pedal steel in the London audition takes of “My Mind” and “Children of the Sun."

Two weeks after that September ’66 session, Jimi Hendrix arrived in the UK and became all the rage, the immigrant acid king. But the Misunderstood got there first. Hear the proof.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Children of the Sun (Hill, Brown) - 2:50
2. My Mind (Hill, Brown) - 2:34
3. Who Do You Love (Elias McDaniel) - 2:26
4. I Unseen (Hill) - 2:01
5. Find the Hidden Door (Hill, Brown) - 2:16
6. I Can Take You to the Sun (Hill, Brown) - 3:38
7. I’m Not Talking (Traditional) (Original arrangement) - 2:25
8. Who’s Been Talking? (Traditional) - 2:57
9. I Need Your Love (Treadway) - 3:20
10.You Don’t Have to Go (Traditional) - 4:43
11.I Cried My Eyes Out (Treadway) - 2:39
12.Like I Do (Treadway) - 2:51
13.You've Got Me Crying Over Love (Hidden track) - 2:22

The Misunderstood
*Rick Brown - Harmonica, Vocals
*Glenn Ross Campbell – Steel Guitar
*Tony Hill - Guitar, Vocals
*Rick Moe - Drums
*George Phelps - Guitar
*Greg Treadway - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Steve Whiting - Bass

1966-67/69  The Legendary Goldstar Album / Golden Glass

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Kallabash - Corp.(1970 us, laid back mellow progressive rock with flute and a jazzy bluesy feeling)



This was apparently a one-shot album for the Uncle Bill label. It was pressed in Greensboro, NC (40 miles south of Danville) and may be the only lp on the label. 

The album has a rogressive touch, with quite a lot of brass and woodwind and the occasional mellow instrumental like "Jimmy's Song" and "Rainbows".  

Band known for its strong stage presence including an appearance in the buff at the 1971 rock festival in LoveValley, NC; used fog machines and other stage gimmicks to create a crowd frenzy; veteran musicians formed group almost overnight with members of The Impacts and The Pieces of Eight. 

Tracks
1 Wishing Well - 4.15
2 Toe Jam - 3.20
3 Blue, Down, And Out - 2.49
4 Big Leg Woman - 2.23
5 Revaduction - 1.20
6 Where Do We Go From Here - 4.10
7 I'll Be Gone Come Yesterday - 2.50
8 I've Learned To Hide The Pazh - 4.21
9 Jimmy's Song - 3.23
10 K.D.'S Dilemma - 5.35
11 Rainbows - 2.11
12 Princess - 3.26
13 Critics, Friends, And People - 3.24

Kallabash
*Ish Brady - Lead Vocals, Bass
*Tom Coleman - Drums, Congas
*Ted Keaton - Lead Vocals, Organ
*Rick Oates - Guitar
*Mark 'Bird' Wrenn - Flute, Alto Flute, Tenor Sax

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Twentieth Century Zoo - Thunder On A Clear Day (1968 us, fizzing garage psych with blues trails, Sundazed issue)



The Twentieth Century Zoo were the first psyche rock hand from Phoenix to have a national album release. The story begins in 1966 when West High School student Bob Sutko recruited Allan Chitwood and Greg Farley and formed the folk-rocking Bitter Sweets. 

The band became a fixture on the valley rock ‘n' roll scene, measuring up to such local legends as the (pre-Alice Cooper) Spiders, the Caravelles, the Mile Ends, Vibratos and Phil and the Frantics. The Bitter Sweets released two local singles in 1966 and 1967, including the now sought-after Byrds clone "Cry Your Eyes Out" (Hype 102). The Bitter Sweets gained the support of Tony Evans, an influential music director of Phoenix radio giant KRIZ (1230 am). 

Evans ran Routeen Music, a local publishing company, which scored a big hit on Artco - a Phoenix soul label - with the original "Funk)' Broadway" by Dyke and The Blazers. Evans soon placed the regional hit on Art Laboe's Original Sound Records in Los Angeles. This connection led to the band's third and final single - "In The Night/Another Chance" (OSR 70) - getting a similar national shot in 1967. Though "In The Night" holds up as a decent fuzz-punker today, contemporary success eluded the band. By late 1967, the Bitter Sweets decided to take a different tack, psychedelicizing into the Twentieth Century Zoo. 

Besides ex-Bitter Sweets Sutko (vocals and harmonica), Farley (rhythm guitar), Chitwood (bass) and drummer Paul Bennett, the group picked up Paul "Skip" Ladd, formerly of the Laser Beats ("Rampage," Laser 101), on lead guitar. Band manager Chari Zelman – affectionately recalled as a pushy, redheaded, single mom - financed a session at Audio Recorders on North Seventh Street in Phoenix. The resulting single's A-side, "Clean Old Man" (CAZ 103) gave little warning ot the ferocity found on the flip. 

The mind-crunching fuzz of "You Don't Remember" could have clinched legendary status for The Zoo all by itself. Shortly after the record hit the streets in late 1967, Bennett received his greetings from Uncle Sam and the band needed a new percussionist. Future drummer Randy Wells of Sounds Incorporated remembers auditioning in Zelman's garage: "It was full of young drummers, all banging away on their sets, but as soon as I started to play, they liked me," says Wells, who honed his chops bearing the skins  in the Tempe High School marching band. Wells was firmly planted in the drummer's seat by the rime the Zoo returned to the studio to cut their next single, 1968s heavy "Love In Your Face"/ Tossin' and Turnin’ (CAZ 104). 

In the fall of that year, Zelman secured an album contract with Vault Records of Los Angeles. Wells remembers spending two weeks in LAs Sound Factory Studios, cutting what was essentially the Zoo's live set at the time. The album, Thunder On A Clear Day (Vault 122), includes rerecorded versions of "You Don't Remember" and "Love In Your Face” both of which arc longer and in stereo. 

The pair are included on this CD, along with two previously unreleased album tracks, "Hall Of The Mountain King" and "Enchanted Park." Wells recalls dashing with producer Gene Simmons over the percussion. "I wanted to do a Santana sounding thing with the drums. We had these Latin licks, but Gene didn't have time for it. He did pump up the drums in the mix. They sound pretty good." Simmons added keyboards to the session and many different sound effects, including a string introduction to "Blues With A Feeling" that Wells recalls he found on a tape in the studio. Vault released die LP and edited versions of "Rainbow" and "Bullfrog" as a single (Vault 948) in late 1968. 

The album is now considered a West Coast hard-rock classic. "I was surprised with the album cover and my double exposure picture on the back," says Wells. "I was definitely the strongest personality in the band, because I wanted things done a certain way, and I clashed several times with Gene Simmons, but he forgave me. He knew I was a crazy drummer. For that time, (considering) the quality of the studio, they did pretty good with what we had." After the release, the band played several large concerts at the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum, opening for national acts. "We played with Iron Butterfly twice, The Byrds, Crabby Appleton and Blue Cheer," Wells remembers. "The second time we played with Iron Butterfly we used rented amps for some reason and the fuses kept blowing. It was the most horrendous night of my career. We were really ready to kick butt, and they kept blowing fuses right and left. We had to stop after a couple of songs." There was a final Vault single release in 1969, "Only Thing That's Wrong"/ "Stallion Of Fate" (Vault 961), the group's swansong release. 

Following the demise of the Zoo in 1970, Wells played in local Phoenix country-rock band E.Z. Pickins, before answering to a higher calling in the mid-70's. He recently earned his Doctorate of Ministry and has his own church in California, although he still plays drums on Sunday. As Wells says: "I can still get things going with my double bass drums. I don't miss a lick. I've even got some new things, but this time it's for the Lord."
by John P. Dixon
Tracks
1. You Don't  Remember (Single Version) (R. Sutko, G. Farley) - 2:49
2. Clean Old Man (R. Sutko, Paquette) - 2:37
3. Love In Your Face (Single Version) (G. Farley, R. Sutko) - 2:03
4. Tossin 'n' Turnin (Rene, Adams) - 2:16
5. Quiet Before The Storm (P. Ladd, R. Sutko) - 4:56
6. Rainbow (P. Ladd, R. Wells, R. Sutko) - 4:17
7. Bullfrog (M. Merrick)- 6:39
8. Love In Your Face (G. Farley-R. Sutko) - 3:20
9. You Don't Remember (R. Sutko, G. Farley) - 3.09
10. It's All In My Head (H. Aceves) - 5:06
11. Blues With A Feeling (W. Jacobs) - 9:54
12. Only Thing That's Wrong (A. Chitwood, R. Sutko) - 2:44
13. Stallion Of Fate (S. Ladd, J. Preston) - 2:55
14. Country (R. Sutko, G. Farley) - 2:53
15. Hall Of The Mountain King (Grieg) - 2:59
16. Enchanted Park (R. Sutko G. Farley) - 4:29

Twentieth Century Zoo
*Allan Chitwood - Bass
*Bob Sutko - Vocals, Harmonica
*Greg Farley - Guitar
*Randy Wells - Drums
*Paul "Skip" Ladd - Lead Guitar

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