Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dave Cousins - Two Weeks Last Summer (1972 uk, spectacular prog folk rock)



Dave Cousins' long awaited solo album, Two Weeks Last Summer, was released in mid-October 1972, on the same day the Strawbs single "Lay Down" was released (see a 25th anniversary special feature). The album had been recorded before the band went off to undertake their first US tour in 1972. Cousins headed for Richard Branson's recently-opened Manor Studios in Oxfordshire, taking with him guitarist Miller Anderson, bassist Roger Glover from Deep Purple and drummer Jon Hiseman (Colosseum, later Tempest). Rick Wakeman guested on two tracks and, more significantly, on "I'm Going Home", the Cousins rock'n'roll song which became a Strawbs live set encore favourite, was joined by guitarist Dave Lambert, who masqueraded in the cover credits of Two Weeks as "Lampoon".

In promotional material for the Bursting At The Seams US tour, Cousins commented that the different styles of the musicians used for the solo album added "a totally new dimension to the songs and further added to the rock train of thought, considerably influencing the new songs I was writing."

After the tour, Cousins had returned to the studio, wanting to re-mix a couple of tracks on his solo album. He recalled:

"When I first made it I was delighted with it ... the remixes weren't as successful as my first attempts. I should have stuck with it as it was and put it out. Now I can listen to side one and I'm deliriously happy with that side two isn't so good. But all in all, I'm quite happy with it."

The title track has had a lengthy history. First recorded in the Sandy Denny sessions back in 1968, in what is for me a rather unsatisfactorily hasty version, it was later recorded by Sandy with her own band Fotheringay, for which session Dave was asked to write an extra verse.

Unfortunately it didn't make the album Fotheringay either (though there have been rumours that Jerry Donahue is trying to put together a release for the second album), and only emerged on the majestic Sandy Denny retrospective set Who Knows Where The Time Goes. On Two Weeks, Cousins plays guitar and piano (and something coyly labelled "tinklies" - presumably chimes of some sort), and Tom Allom plays organ over the top of Roger Glover's sweeping bass notes.

"October To May", as noted earlier, was based on the tune of a Russian folk song sent to Cousins via Sonet in Denmark. A version with a guitar backing appears on Preserves Uncanned. Here it is delivered accapella, with Cousins solo voice capturing the sense of winter cold over multi-tracked backing vocals (Dave Lambert, Tom Newman and Tom Allom - under the guise of the "Kidlington Kossacks").

Cousins' tour de force on the album is however the three part "Blue Angel", a song which became a regular for the Cousins and Willoughby duo, but only joined the Strawbs repertoire for the 1993 Silver Anniversary tour. Cousins is once again supported by Glover, joined now by Rick Wakeman, Jon Hiseman and Miller Anderson. The first section of the suite, "Divided", opens with a gentle Cousins acoustic guitar phrase, before building up speed into some exciting guitar breaks from Anderson until the first appearance of the anthemic chorus which links the sections.

The second section "Half Worlds Apart" is dominated by some characteristic Wakeman piano runs, over paradox laden Cousins lyrics - "A man of honour has no secrets, How can I be a man of secrets". The final section moves into a major key, for the reassuring "At Rest", before the chorus takes us to the fade. The track is for me one of Cousins most impressive compositions, and it alone would justify [has justified!] the album's re-release on CD. "Blue Angel" can also be found on the UK 2LP "Best Of The Strawbs" as the only representative included from the solo album. The song was re-recorded by the 1976 band (Cousins, Lambert, Cronk, Combes, Mealing and Kirby) in the initial Deep Cuts sessions, which also spawned "Beside The Rio Grande" and "Hard Hard Winter".

However, those sessions with Tom Allom were abandoned, and "Blue Angel" in that format has never seen the light of day (though performances of the song live by the band in the 90s clearly draw on that arrangement).

[A version of the song, which is closer to the 1976 version than the original, was recorded by the 1993 line-up and was released on Blue Angel in 2003.

The closing track on side one is "That's The Way It Ends", where an attractive Robert Kirby brass arrangement makes it quite difficult to hear Cousins' vocals. Side two opens in fine form with "The Actor", Cousins' voice electronically distorted over searing wah wah guitar from Anderson, joined now by Lambert with Townshend-like thrashing chords. The track features an extended fade out with the two guitarists trading phrases over a heavy rock backing from Glover and Hiseman - unusually strong stuff for Cousins, but picked out by Cousins for inclusion on By Choice, the A&M retrospective used to fill time between Bursting At The Seams and Hero and Heroine.

"When You Were A Child" is a touching piano/vocal solo by Cousins regretting the passing of childhood, and is followed by the second most frequently performed track on the album, the country-style "Ways And Means". Built up from a Cousins acoustic guitar run, it features guitar from Anderson and more fluid Wakeman keyboard work (he in particular excels). Cousins has suggested that he would like the verse which appears on the front cover of the album:

"I am as the world forever spinning
Rekindled by the early rising sun
I am as the road that's ever winding
A never ending journey just begun"

to be his epitaph, wryly adding that it would probably cost too much to be inscribed. The song was another number written in the Devon hideaway caravan, which around this time was replaced by a cottage in the village of Alfington.

"We'll Meet Again Sometime" , which Plummer in his Melody Maker review, reminds us was the Strawbs old show-opener, appears officially on vinyl for the first time here, in a heavily countrified version with Cousins vocals and a acoustic/slide guitar duet with Miller Anderson. It was recorded more or less in the open air in the grounds of the Manor, complete with birdsong and passing cars. 
Tracks
1. Two Weeks Last Summer - 3:07
2. October To May - 2:27
3. Blue Angel - 9:49
....Divided
....Half Worlds Apart
4. The World - 1:45
5. That's The Way It Ends - 1:15
6. The Actor - 4:28
7. When You Were A Child - 3:02
8. Ways And Means - 4:22
9. We'll Meet Again Sometime - 4:48
10.Going Home - 3:24
All Sonds by Dave Cousins.

Musicians
*Dave Cousins - Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Tinklies
*Dave Lambert - Guitars, Backing Vocals
*Miller Anderson - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Jon Hiseman - Drums, Percussion
*Roger Glover - Bass
*Tom Allom - Organ, Backing Vocals
*Rick Wakeman - Piano, Organ
*Tom Newman - Backing Vocals
*Robert Kirby's Wind Septet - Wind Instruments

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If - Waterfall (1972 uk, awesome jazzy brass prog rock, Repertoire remaster)



The Idea was to record the album “Live” in front of an invited audience to capture the spontaneity and the excitement of concerts, where the musicians were usually at their best. Rooted in the traditions of Jazz they loved to improvise. The results were epic like “Sector 17” an extended performance that features som amazing dazzing guitar. 

However the adherence to the If concept performing well structured songs was maintained on the attractive “Waterfall” sung here with soulful enthusiasm by J.W. Hodkinson. Vocals are also placed on lyrics, Waterfall stands out as the most commercial song on the album. With both single and radio station versions included here among the bonus tracks. The first three album tracks were recorded “Live” at the Command Studios in London, in February 1972 and the remaining three numbers were done at Morgan Studios in July the same year.

Some line up changes were made during the period “Waterfall” was recorded. If had been on the road for a couple of years and needed a boost, changes didn’t really made that much difference, but the album was good and has some fine moments.

If Played eleven tours of the States and one show they played in front of 32.000 people. If was a well-respected band and made some great music. That’s the way it should be remembered.
by Chris Welch, London, January 2003
Tracks
1. Waterfall (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) - 5:42
2. The Light Still Shines (Quincy, Humphrey) - 5:06
3. Sector 17 (Quincy) - 8:00
4. Paint Your Pictures (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) - 5:18
5. Cast No Shadows (Davies) - 7:30
6. Throw Myself To The Wind (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) - 4:42
7. You In Your Small Corner (Humphries, Quincy) - 3:28
8. Waterfall (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) - 4:02
9. Waterfall (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) - 4:00

If
*Cliff Davies - Drums
*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodgkinson - Vocals, Percussion
*John Mealing - Piano, Organ
*Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute, Vocals
*Dave Quincy - Saxophones
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar
*Dave Wintour - Electric, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Vocals

1970  If - If (Repertoire remaster)
1970  If - If 2  (Repertoire remaster)
1971  If - If 3 (Repertoire remaster)
1972  If - If 4 (Repertoire remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tabaco - Desintegracion (1971 spain, trippy psych blues rock, double disc edition)



Tabaco originally hailed from Barcelona, more precisely from the area known as El Valles - with the capitol Sabadell. Jordi Molet (drums), Eduardo Gonzalez (bass guitar / organ) and Josep M. Abella (guitar, vocals), better known as "Los Duendes". as they called themselves when they first appeared on a stage, made little more history than playing a few local gigs and smashing one curious world record that until then was held by a Swedish rock outfit in June 71 Los Duendes played a 27 hour non-stop music gig (the Swedish record was 26 hours of non-stop rock and roll). 

This bizarre adventure earned them some publicity in the local newspapers. It was probably an amazing experience, but it did little else for them. Actually that was to be the last live appearance of Los Duendes as such, as the incorporation of a new member in May 1971 would see new influences thrown in the combo's sound and therefore a new name was chosen: Tabaco.

Mariano Escria (guitar) joined the band and brought with him his devotion for progressive music. Back in the sixties and seventies the hotels from the Spanish coast were always contracting bands to play at the hotels night clubs in order to attract the younger tourists coming from all parts of Europe -and due to their new style of music Tabaco were hired for a season at the Hotel Corona in Calella de la Costa. 

In October, the outfit entered the studio to record what was to be their first LP. Although very few months had passed since Mariano joined in. the album shows clearly the new direction the band was taking. Such classics as 'Desintegracion' were created during this period.

Their unorthodox play and takes on classics like "Lady Samantha" as well as their own compositions such as "She Everything she is” or "Dia sin luz" make the album to this day a classic and a collector's item. As far as the band was concerned, the album didn't bring them fame or fortune, but they had the chance to promote it. 

They shared the stage with some of the biggest Spanish names on the band circuit, among them Los Canaries, Mustang, Strex and Brincos. just to name
a few. They also won a second residence in the Hotel Corona for the summer of 1972. Tabaco kept playing until they called it a day in 1973.

Mariano quit the music business. Eduardo still plays to this day. Jordi joined a jazz hand. Josep M* reformed Los Duendes. with a totally new line-up that keeps the spirit of the original group. They are playing hits of The Shadows. CJiff Richard and rock and roll classics in Barcelona night clubs.
CD Liner-notes
Tracks
Disc 1
1.Desintegracion - 5:11
2.Tabaco - 3:23
3.Dia Sin Luz - 3:58
4.She - 3:25
5.Born To Be Free - 4:43
6.Lady Samantha - 3:06
7.I Feel Glad - 2:52
8.Rollin' My Thing - 2:48
9.Fredom Blues - 4:34
10.Dia Sin Luz (Acustic) - 3:47
11.Rolling My Thing (Diferent Version) - 2:56
12.Lady Samantha (Instrumental) - 3:06
13.Reedom Blues (Instrumental) - 4:30
Disc 2
1.She (Instrumental) - 3:25
2.Born To Be Free (Instrumental) - 5:02
3.Dia Sin Luz (Instrumental) - 4:23
4.Lady Samantha (Diferent Version) - 3:05
5.I Feel Glad (Diferent Version) - 2:52
6.Freedom Blues (Diferent Version) - 4:33
7.She (Diferent Version) - 3:25
8.Born To Be Free (Diferent Version) - 5:02
9.Dia Sin Luz (VDiferent Version) - 4:17
10.Desintegracion, Part II - 4:49
11.Desintegracion, Part III - 4:51
12.Tabaco (Diferent Version) - 3:19

Tabaco
*Jordi Molet Marles - Drums
*Eduardo Gonzalez Ponsa – Bass, Organ
*Josep M. Abella Prats - Guitar, Vocals
*Mariano Escria Sole - Guitar

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Fat Mattress - Fat Mattress II (1970 uk, exceptional psych rock, Sequel bonus track issue)



Not many people know that Noel Redding once shared a twobedroom flat off the Fulham Road with Jim Leverton, who played bass on the Walker Brothers classic The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore; that Eric Dillon is now an airline pilot in the Isle of Man, or for that matter that Fat Mattress sold over 500,000 copies of its first album in the States.

Born of frustration in November 1968, Fat Mattress survived for barely a year. They never quite came to terms with their meteoric success and the end was almost inevitable. Folkestone in the early '60s was the focus of the Kent music scene, a magnet for young musicians like Redding, Leverton, singer Neil Landon, and drummer Pete Kircher — later to play with Status Quo — who performed in bands like The Lonely Ones and The Bufnettes, and were regular favourites on the club scene.

When Redding left home to join the Jimi Hendrix Experience, nothing was ever quite the same again. The old schoolmates from Harvey and Dover Grammar School, however, never lost touch. Landon joined the Ivy League, who then became The Flowerpot Men. Remember Let's Go To San Francisco? Leverton even risked loosing face amongst his peers by joining the backing band for Englebert Humperdinck, nonetheless, it served its purpose, for Leverton met Eric Dillon, a young musician from' Wiltshire, who was later to become the drummer of Fat Mattress.

Then came the call from Redding. The graduates of the Folkestone music scene decided to record their own album. The name was suggested by a friend who had been in the merchant navy. Redolent of the easy life, it had nothing to do with drugs, as some suggested at the time. For Redding it was to be the antidote to working with Hendrix.

For Leverton and Dillon a chance to escape the hideous Humperdinck band. Landon couldn't wait to clamber out of his flowerpot and join the party. Redding had managed to secure some studio time from Warner Brothers at Olympic in Barnes. 'It was winter. We didn't see the light of day for almost two weeks', recalls Leverton. Redding put everyone up in his flat in Thurloe Court where they lived on 'porridge and potatoes'. Noel, the only one with any spare money, would sometimes treat the others to an Indian meal at the local Tandoori.

'It was great to be free spirits again', recalls Redding. The first album. Fat Mattress One, emerged smiling and innocent into the sunlight. 'Even the technicians were impressed'. The following year, whilst being wooed by both Warner and Polydor, Fat Mattress supported the Jimi Hendrix Experience tour in the States. Redding would play guitar with Fat Mattress, then take the stage in his familiar role as bassist with The Experience.

They returned to find two contracts on the table. There was no contest. Polydor's offer, up front with the promise of singles and two albums a year was too good to refuse. The money was incredible for the time. Polydor set up offshore bank accounts for each of them. 'They even gave us a Coutts cheque book', recalls Landon.  The first album was released in the Autumn of '69 and rose to number 17 in England and 30 in the States. Magic Forest, the single, was No. 1 for a time in Holland. The band played the Isle of Wight Festival that summer, with Bob Dylan topping the bill. In December they went to the States in their own right and with a second album in the pipeline.

In America the Mattress disintegrated. Jim and Noel fell out. The band played just 5 of the 30 dates before returning home. 'We just weren't ready to be a headline act', Jim remembers ruefully. 'It was all just meant to be a bit of fun.' The second album took three months to cut. There was talk of a third album, but it came to nothing. The inspiration was drying up. Landon is now 'somewhere in Germany', still singing 'like the old trouper he is'; Redding, whose career needs no introduction, lives in Ireland; Dillon flies Cessnas to the Isle of Man, while Leverton is back in his native Kent and still a working musician, playing bass, most recently with the late Steve Marriott's Packet of Three.

This album, re-released after all these years brings with it the unmistakable whiff of lost youth, kaftans and some remarkable musicianship from the band that flourished briefly in that golden summer long ago.
by Adrian Morgan, 1992
Tracks
1. The Storm  (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 4:13
2. Anyway You Want (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 3:47
3. Leafy Lane (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 2:50
4. Naturally (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 3:03
5. Roamin' (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 4:25
6. Happy My Love (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 3:43
7. Childhood Dream (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 3:20
8. She (Neil Landon) - 2:36
9. Highway (Neil Landon, Noel Redding) - 4:24
10.At The Ball (Neil Landon, Noel Redding) - 4:13
11.People (Neil Landon, Noel Redding) - 4:00
12.Hall Of Kings (Neil Landon) - 5:32
13.Long Red (West, Pappalardi, Landsberg, Ventura) - 4:21
14.Words (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 4:12
15.The River (Neil Landon, Jimmy Leverton) - 17:09

Fat Mattress
*Neil Landon - Vocals
*Jimmy Leverton - Bass, Vocals
*Eric Dillon - Drums
*Steve Hammond - Guitar
*Mick Weaver - Keyboards
Additional Musician
*Noel Redding - Guitar

Related Act
1967  Flower Pot Men - Let's Go To San Francisco
1972  Road - Road

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

If - If 4 (1972 uk, splendid jazz rock, Repertoire remaster)



Pioneering British jazz rock outfit IF compromise some of the finest musicians in England, including tenor sax virtuoso Dick Morrissey and guitar star Terry Smith. They were well received in America and hugely popular throughout Europe during their heyday in the early seventies.

If was unusual in writing original songs and arrangements, giving their music a much broader appeal than most instrumental jazz groups. With powerful singer J. W. Hodkinson at the helm, and a rich variety of styles from soul to funk, the band had the opportunity to shine an exotic range of settings.

Despite their success as a “Live” act, a hit single eluded them and this didn’t help the band’s long term future. Indeed their fourth album  “IF4” was the last by their original line up. Thereafter, If underwent conclusions that led to their break up. While IF4 is a diverse collection of performances, every track has its delights and surprises. Some of the tracks on IF4 were included on the now legendary “Waterfall” album that was released in the US by Metro Media Records. 

The end of the first chapter of IF came after a strenuous European tour in August 1972. They were schedule to fly to L.A. the following September to play at the Whiskey A Go Go.  However Dick ended up in hospital, and the whole tour was cancelled. That’s when the band split up. Dave Quincy and Terry Smith got involved in a group called Zzebra, later Dick reformed IF with Cliff Davies and did some more albums.

In transpired that Dick was under contract to Lew Futterman for five years, which didn’t run out until 1975. Once he gained his freedom, Dick went to New York and was involved with the Average White Band for a while. That’s where he met Jim Mullen and they formed a band, which played together for many years. Sadly Dick-a much- admired musician- died after a long illness in the year 2000 aged 60.
by Chris Welch, February 2007
Tracks
1. Sector 17 (Quincy) – 10:34
2. The Light Still Shines (Quincy, Humphrey) – 5:06
3. You In Your Small Corner (Quincy, Humphrey) – 3:49
4. Waterfall (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 5:27
5. Throw Myself To The Wind (D. Morrissey, B. Morrissey) – 4:51
6. Svenska Soma (Jonsson, Smith) – 7:09

If
*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodgkinson - Vocals, Percussion
*John Mealing - Keyboards
*Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute
*Dave Quincy - Saxophones
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar

1970  If - If (Repertoire remaster)
1970  If - If 2  (Repertoire remaster)
1971  If - If 3 (Repertoire remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fleetwood Mac - The Vaudeville Years (1968-70 uk, classic blues jam rock, two disc set)



The first four recordings heard here are "liveish" BBC style recordings that although they sound like they are in mono, are good listening especially "Love that burns" as it's stripped free of it's horn section which was included on the "Mr. wonderful" version and tended to be slightly intrusive but one can now appreciate the song even more here. However, a minor complaint is that the "Intro" part of "Intro/Lazy poker blues" is nothing more than a snippet from "Oh well (part 2)" which is rather redundant. 

I would've preferred it just to have started with "Lazy poker blues" without that tagged onto the beginning. The studio recordings start with a bang. Just when we seemed to be lead to believe that the infamous EP of Jeremy's that was to accompany "Then play on" to compensate for his lack of an appearance on that album was nothing more than a rumor and that it was in fact his solo album that was to be the accompanying item, here's the lost EP, in all it's glory. 

Without giving away too much of the surprise, Jeremy starts each song with a funny introduction and he mocks flower power rock and John Mayall among others. It works just as well as those songs recorded for his debut solo album. Fans of that album will love this. Later, you get to hear the unedited "Someone's gonna get their head kicked in tonight" which doesn't fade and has a few bodily noises and four letter words that were not considered acceptable for a single at the time and that would probably apply these days too. 

Peter has got two great versions of "Show biz blues" albeit with different titles as well as an early instrumental workout of "Before the beginning" billed here as "Blues in B flat minor" which is most haunting. Danny is not to be forgotten either as on disc two, he's featured on "Farewell" which sounds like an early demo of "Earl Grey", "Love it seems" which has a "When you say" feel, "Tell me from the start" is a big band style whimsical tune and two exciting jams billed as "October jam (1 & 2)" the latter is a short but rocking straightforward number while the former is a lot looser and has a news bulletin jingle rhythm style but that's some news I wouldn't mind hearing! 

There's alot of Green greatness on disc two as well. "The Madge sessions - 1" is an uncut tape which includes most of what ended up as "Searching for Madge" & "Fighting for Madge" but at least half of which has not been heard previously. Intriguing that at approximately the 1249 mark, when one of the familiar "Searching for Madge" sections ends, one can hear what is known in the taping world as a "punch out" in the tapes. One easily imagines that this was the tape Peter used to decide what would make the final cut for "Then play on" from these jams and the tape was probably stopped and left there for many years causing the deterioration in the tape. Maybe not, but it's fascinating to ponder such legends. This is just as exciting to hear in it's entirety after all these years as is the complete 16 minute "Underway". 

This tape shows how hard it must have been to decide which portions of it to use originally. Surprisingly, "The Madge sessions - 2" is a quiet two minute instrumental doodle which is not what one would expect from the title especially after hearing the white noise of number 1 but still keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. There are many other great recordings available on here, I've just tried to highlight a few wonderful moments. This is great classic early Mac that never "was", but now can "be" in your collection. An essential purchase for those who want the early Mac to play on. They do here in style. 
by John Fitzgerald, June 27th, 2005

Tracks
Disc 1
1. Intro / Lazy Poker Blues (Peter Green, Clifford Adams) - 3:48
2. My Baby's Sweeter (Willie Dixon) - 3:53
3. Love That Burns (Green, Adams) - 4:15
4. Talk To Me Baby (Elmore James) - 3:37
5. Everyday I Have The Blues #1 (John Chatman) - 4:13
6. Jeremy's Contribution To Doo-Wop (Jeremy Spencer) - 3:34
7. Everyday I Have The Blues #2 (Chatman) - 4:23
8. Death Bells (Lightnin' Hopkins) - 5:05
9. (Watch Out For Yourself) Mr Jones (Spencer) - 3:35
10.Man Of Action (Spencer) - 5:21
11.Do You Give A Damn For Me (Green) - 3:45
12.Man Of The World (Green) - 3:28
13.Like It This Way (Danny Kirwan) - 3:17
14.Blues In B Flat Minor (Green) - 4:16
15.Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight (Spencer) - 2:58
16.Although The Sun Is Shining (Kirwan) - 2:24
17.Showbiz Blues (Green) - 6:51
Disc 2
1. Underway (Green) - 16:15
2. The Madge Sessions #1 (John Mcvie, Mick Fleetwood) - 17:21
3. The Madge Sessions #2 (McVie, Fleetwood) - 2:42
4. (That's What) I Want You To Know (Spencer) - 3:54
5. Oh Well (Green) - 2:47
6. Love It Seems (Kirwan) - 2:39
7. Mighty Cold (Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman) - 2:28
8. Fast Talking Woman Blues (Green) - 4:02
9. Tell Me From The Start (Kirwan) - 2:02
10.October Jam #1 (Kirwan, Green, McVie) - 5:01
11.October Jam #2 (Kirwan, Green, McVie, Fleetwood) - 1:57
12.The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Prong Crown) (Green) - 4:43
13.World In Harmony (Kirwan, Green) - 3:28
14.Farewell (Kirwan) - 2:18

Fleetwood Mac
*Peter Green – Guitar, Vocals
*Jeremy Spencer – Guitar, Vocals
*Danny Kirwan – Guitar, Vocals
*John McVie – Bass Guitar

1967-71  Live At The BBC
1968-70  Show Biz Blues
1968-71  The Best Of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1969  Shrine '69
1969  Then Play On  (Deluxe Expanded 2013 edition) 

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If - If 3 (1971 uk, amazing jazz brass prog rock, Repertoire bonus tracks remaster)



‘If 3’ was produced by their manager Lew Futterman and first released in 1971. It features the band’s original seven-piece line up, with powerful vocals by J.W.Hodkinson and excellent drumming by Dennis Elliott.

Among the eight outstanding tracks are Dave Quincy’s intriguing ‘Fibonacci’s Number’ and Terry Smith’s ‘Seldom Seen Sam’. Strong arrangements, powerful solos and a clever blend of jazz and rock make this a satisfying set and a fine memorial to the late Dick Morrissey. 
Tracks
1. Fibonacci's Number (Quincy) – 7:38
2. Forgotten Roads (Quincy, Preston) – 4:23
3. Sweet January (Quincy, Preston) – 4:30
4. Child Of Storm (Quincy, Hodkinson) – 3:39
5. Far Beyond (Mealing, Preston) – 4:57
6. Seldom Seen Sam (Smith, Hodkinson) – 4:50
7. Upstairs (B. Morrissey, D. Morrissey) – 4:52
8. Here Comes Mr. Time (Mealing, Preston) – 4:43
9. Forgotten Roads (Single Version) (Preston, Quincy) – 4:03
10.Far Beyond (Single Version) (Mealing, Preston) – 3:53

If
*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodkinson - Vocals
*John Mealing - Keyboards, Vocals
*Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute
*Dave Quincy - Saxophones
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar

1970  If - If (Repertoire remaster)
1970  If - If 2  (Repertoire remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chick Shannon And The Last Exit Band - Tears On The Console (1975 uk, marvelous folk smooth psych rock)



In 1975 Mike closed down Holyground (temporarily as it turned out) to start a new studio venture in Doncaster. In the last few midsummer weeks he suggested to Steve Channing that some of his songs, plus some Mike and Steve would write later on, should be recorded. Mike asked the members of 'Lazy Days' to join in giving (as he thought before the recording sessions) a line up of Steve on vocal / acoustic guitar; Dave Wilson on electric guitar; Alan Robinson on bass; and John Shepard on drums. 

None of the band had met Steve on the first day of recording, and to Mike's surprise Lazy Days turned up with a Hammond organ player, Mick Spurr, who also added an early Moog synth to the line-up. The results, even on the first day, were magic - a lively set of songs driven by Steve's vocals and skills on guitar, and backed by a tight and fluid group. The songs, often blued based, were lovely. 

The atmosphere was electric, and pushed along by the knowledge that Holyground was ending. Steve and Lazy Days had been regulars since the 70's - Steve appearing first on Jumble Lane and Lazy Days had recorded there on several occasions and in different line-ups. 
Tracks
1. The Stealers (Channing) - 3:00
2. Cornflower Blues (Levon) - 5:41
3. Tears On The Console (Levon, Channing) - 3:48
4. Peach Of A Love (Channing) - 4:17
5. Brand New Day (Channing) - 2:17
6. Living In The City (Channing) - 6:06
7. No. 5 Along From Reds (Levon, Channing) - 2:27
8. Get Down To It (Channing) - 3:37
9. Call The Shots (Channing) - 2:49
10.Play Like A Band (Levon, Channing) - 5:00
11.No Point At All (Channing) - 3:27
12.Dust Blues (Levon, Channing) - 3:09
13.The Bully (Channing) - 2:51
14.Like Decent Folks Do (Channing) - 4:21
15.White Knight (Channing) - 3:30
16.Heart Of The Storm (Channing) - 4:48
17.Echoes Of Holyground (Levon, Traditional) - 0:42
Tracks 11-12 from the Tears sessions(out takes)
Tracks 13-15 from other early sessions
Tracks 16-17 recorded 2004

The Last Exit Band
*David Wilson (John "Basic" Priestley) - Lead Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Channing (Chick Shannon) - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Mandolin
*Liam Robinson (Tom Viking) - Bass, 12 string Guitar, Vocals, Melodeons
*Alan Robinson (Zeppo Van Heere) - Organ, Synthesizer, Vocals
*John Shgepard (Clayton W. Weste) - Drums
*Andy Wells - Wurlitzr Piano
*Chris Coombs - Brass

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If - If 2 (1970 uk, spectacular jazz rock fusion prog rock, repertoire digipack edition)



The second If album came out within the same year as the first, and continues in the same distinctive jazz-rock vein the band worked on its debut.

The playing is excellent, with the sax and flute work of Dave Quincy and Dick Morrissey carrying the group's sound to a level unmatched by other, better known contemporaries like Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. J. W. Hodkinson's unique vocals continue to sail through the music, while Terry Smith employs a deeper, grittier guitar tone than he used on the first LP.

The material here is not as interesting as on the earlier release, but the soloists have plenty of space to stretch out and strut their stuff over John Mealing's organ/electric piano bed of chord changes.

Jim Richardson lays down some inventive basslines and drummer Dennis Elliott keeps the band on track through various rhythmic twists and turns 
by Jim Newsom
Tracks
1. Your City Is Falling (Dave Quincy) - 5:05
2. Sunday Sad (Dick Morrissey) - 8:23
3. Tarmac T. Pirate And The Lonesome Nymphomaniac (John Mealing, Preston) - 4:34
4. I Couldn't Write And Tell You (Dave Quincy) - 8:20
5. Shadows And Echoes (Margaret Busby, Lionel Grigson) - 4:27
6. Song For Elsa, Three Days Before Her 25th Birthday (J. W. Hodkinson) - 5:40

If
*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodkinson - Vocals, Percussion
*John Mealing - Organ, Electric Piano, Backing Vocals
*Dick Morrissey - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute
*Dave Quincy - Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Flute
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar

1970  If - If (Repertoire remaster)
Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Jarvis Street Revue - Mr. Oil Man (1970 canada, remarkable heavy acid psych digipack remaster with extra tracks)



The Jarvis Street Revue was formed in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in the late 60's around the talents of, Tom Cruickshank, Wayne Faulconer, Tommy Horricks and George Stevenson. In 1970 the band released their only album, Mr. Oil Man which was recorded at DMG Sound Studios in Thunder Bay.

This official CD reissue of rare psychedelic classic from Canada. Remastered from the original tapes & supplemented by seven bonus tracks.

First release by Columbia Records in 1970 / Completely dried up Canadian heavy psych monster, with fantastic acid guitars throughout: The album is predominantly heavy rock with psychedelic overtones blended acid rock in The Who style and green politics anti-bussiness influence in the lyrics.
Tracks
1. Mr Business Man (Tommy Horricks) - 2:38
2. Mr Oil Man (Stevenson, Faulconer, Horricks) - 13:10
3. 20 Years (George Stevenson) - 3:05
4. Sally's Hymn (George Stevenson) - 4:42
5. 300 South (Jordan) - 2:41
6. Heidi Ho (Wayne Faulconer) - 3:27
7.Sweet Susan (Jordan) - 2:23
8. Angela (Jordan) - 2:31
9. Mr Rock (Grashey) - 2:32
10.Uncle Benny (Tommy Horricks) - 3:39
11.I Believe In Freedom (George Stevenson) - 3:23
12.Sweet Eyed Satin Lady (Wayne Faulconer) - 3:41
13.Better Things To Do (Jordan) - 2:13
Bonus Tracks 7-13

The Jarvis Street Revue
*Tommy Horricks - Vocals
*Tom Cruickshank - Drums
*Wayne Faulconer - Guitar
*George Stevenson - Bass

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

If - If (1970 uk, elegant jazz fusion prog rock, repertoire remaster and expanded)



If was Great Britain's contribution to the jazz-rock movement begun and popularized in the late '60s/early '70s by Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago.

Formed in 1969 by Melody Maker jazz poll winners Dave Quincy, Dick Morrissey, and Terry Smith, the band never found popular success in the United States. However, If produced several albums noteworthy for placing jazz players in a pop/rock band context and producing a true fusion of the two genres without diluting the players' improvisational skills.

Unlike most of their horn-band contemporaries, If had no brass players in the band, relying solely on the saxophones of Dick Morrissey and the flute and saxophones of Dave Quincy.

But what really gave If its unique sound were the vocals of J.W. Hodgkinson and the guitar of Terry Smith. Hodgkinson's vocal timbre was unusual -- smooth, flexible, and strong in the high end, sounding like no other vocalist.

Smith's trebly guitar sound was also unique, combining a rocker's use of sustain with the jazz fluency of Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt. The original incarnation of If produced five excellent albums between 1970 and 1972, but these albums failed to find an audience.

Morrissey soldiered on with the If name for two more albums with a totally different lineup and a more generic rock-type sound, but these, too, went nowhere. Drummer Dennis Elliott was later a member of the platinum-selling rock band Foreigner 

In 1969, one of the big stories in pop music was the emergence of a new hybrid, "jazz-rock." Magazines and newspapers were full of stories about the "comeback" of the big band sound, and every rock band with a horn or two was lumped into this new category, whether there was any jazz component to their music or not.

The leading purveyor of the new sound was Blood, Sweat & Tears, a nine-piece outfit from New York whose eponymously titled second album burned up the charts that year following its release in December, 1968. Originally formed by Al Kooper in 1967 with the express purpose of mixing jazz improvisation into a horn-expanded rock band, BS&T's first album, Child is Father to the Man, failed to capture the music-buying public's imagination.

After some personnel changes, including the replacement of the founder in a coup by other band members, the group recorded and released Blood, Sweat & Tears. Propelled by the hit singles "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die," this album spent seven weeks in the number one slot on the Billboard album chart and eventually won the Album of the Year Grammy award.

1969 also brought forth another horn band album, Chicago Transit Authority, by the group that called itself Chicago. CTA didn't reach the stratospheric level of popularity that BS&T found at first, but the combined success of the two led many young musicians from various backgrounds to create their own versions of jazz-rock horn bands.

One of the best groups to emerge in the wake of the 1969 jazz-rock explosion was a septet from England that called itself "If." Formed by two Melody Maker jazz poll winners, saxophonist Dick Morrissey and guitarist Terry Smith, If integrated jazz into its arrangements more seamlessly than did Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Differentiating themselves from other horn bands of the era, If had no brass instruments. The band's horn section was all woodwinds---Morrissey and saxophonist/flutist Dave Quincy. Another distinguishing characteristic was the unusual vocal timbre of singer J. W. Hodkinson, who soared through the upper reaches in a manner similar to Steve Winwood, only with more polish and elasticity.

In addition, guitarist Smith selected a unique trebly guitar tone that blended the sustain of a rocker with the fluent licks of a jazzman. The band's first album, titled simply If, was released in the United States in the fall of 1970 to much fanfare from Capitol Records, their American label. It was a great album, one that still holds up more than thirty years later.

The album opens quietly, a lone guitar playing a gentle, bluesy intro that becomes a repeating riff in 7/4 time. Hodkinson's vocal arrives, with the first couple of verses accompanied only by the electric guitar floating atop barely audible organ chords.

The saxophones appear playing a complementary pattern as the bass guitar and drums sneak into the mix. The song builds for a couple of minutes, the odd-metered rhythm becoming more insistent. Then the guitarist's riff turns into a sizzling two-minute solo flight over smoldering organ, bass and drums.

When the horns reemerge to resume their earlier pattern, vocalist Hodkinson returns to take the song to its lyrical climax: "I'm reaching out on all sides, I'm grabbing at the truth instead of lies; I want it said when I am gone…I moved the world just one step on." Saxophones, organ and guitar build to a climax, until guitarist Smith is left alone for the denouement.

"I'm Reaching Out On All Sides" is a powerful opening musical statement. But the best was yet to come. The second track is the album's centerpiece, an eight-and-a-half minute instrumental jazz mini-suite called "What Did I Say About the Box, Jack?"

This piece builds to several internal climaxes and features an out-of-this-world flute solo, a fiery guitar solo, and a concluding slice of tenor sax virtuosity. Bassist Jim Richardson provides the hook at the beginning and end of this number, and John Mealing's organ chords make the bed over which the soloists soar.

The record's first side concludes with Hodkinson's best vocal of the set on "What Can a Friend Say?" The horn section is augmented on this track with trumpet and trombone, giving the arrangement a Blood, Sweat & Tears-like luster.

After Hodkinson belts out the lyrics, Dick Morrissey cuts loose on a ferocious Coltrane-inspired romp, only to be upstaged when Terry Smith comes out of nowhere to grab the spotlight with another well-constructed guitar solo that covers the length and breadth of the fretboard.

Whew!! It's already been an exciting twenty-one minutes of music, and we're only halfway through the disc.

The second half of the record opens with a much more conventional R&B/soul-style workout called "Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing is All About)." There's a nice soprano sax solo in the middle that sets this apart from the typical soul raveup of the time. Hodkinson flexes his bluesy vocal muscles and the band really cooks.

"Raise the Level of Your Conscious Mind" is the most poppish of the songs on If. As the title implies, the lyrics offer the kind of optimistic sentiments that were prevalent in 1970, but may sound dated to jaded 21st century ears. (Horn bands generally weren't known for the depth or profundity of their songs' lyrics.)

The wistfully nostalgic ballad "Dockland" provides a refreshing respite, but its middle section still offers guitarist Smith an opportunity to display his jazz chops. The recording closes with a blaze of horn-driven rock and roll as the band travels to "The Promised Land." When the recording ends, you can't get the insistent invitation of the chorus to "Come, come with me into the promised land" out of your head.

If became popular briefly in England and on the European continent, but never found its audience in the United States. The jazz-rock horn band genre didn't last very long, and If began to disintegrate in 1972 after four albums. Drummer Dennis Elliott ended up in the mega-selling rock band, Foreigner 
Tracks
1. I'm Reaching Out On All Sides (Quincy, Fishman) - 5:46
2. What Did I Say About The Box, Jack? (Dick Morrissey) - 8:24
3. What Can A Friend Say? (Dave Quincy) - 6:57
4. Woman Can You See (What This Big Thing Is All About) (J. W. Hodkinson) - 4:13
5. Raise The Level Of Your Conscious Mind (Fishman, Marsala) - 3:18
6. Dockland (Daryl Runswick) - 4:47
7. The Promised Land (Dave Quincy) - 3:46
8. Raise The Level Of Your Conscious Mind (7 Version) (Fishman, Marsala) - 3:17
9. I'm Reaching Out On All Sides (7 Version) (Quincy, Fishman) - 5:44

If
*Dennis Elliott - Drums
*J.W. Hodkinson - Vocals
*John Mealing - Keyboards, Vocals
*Dick Morrissey - Saxophones, Flute
*Dave Quincy - Saxophones
*Jim Richardson - Bass
*Terry Smith - Guitar

Related Acts
1968  Terry Smith - Fall Out
1974  Zzebra - Zzebra

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Various Artists – Loose Routes 1, Music From Holyground (1965-73 uk, amazing jagged folk psych blues rock, kissing spell 2001 release)


Pre 1965, Mike Levon began recording his Shadows covers band in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. Whilst at college in Yorkshire, 1965-66, he recorded and released a folk LPs and EPs, including Last Thing On My Mind. In 1966, Mike and Dave Wood set up Holyground, recording Number Nine Bread Street during 1966-67. In 1967 Mike moved into Cass Yard, where he set up the studio. All Holyground recordings till 1975 were made in this room, including Mike's first electric session, with Bill Nelson and Global Village. A to Austr was started in 1968, and the name Holyground Enterprises was registered.

In 1971 work had already begun on Astral Navigations. Thundermother came to record in 1970. In the summer Global Village were recorded live in Wakefield's Thornes Park, and in the studio Jumble Lane was started. A to Austr was released in September. 

The rest of Astral was recorded in 1971. Some of this was captured on film by Mike's brother, Kevin, and released as the Astral Windows video in 1991. Jumble Lane was released in July 71. Mike got Bill Nelson in to record what was to be Northern Dream. This period saw the recording of Gygafo's Legend of the Kingfisher, Northern Dream, and the start of the Ode LP. Many local bands were recorded. In 1975 Mike closed Holyground, recording Tears On The Console as its swansong.

In 1988 Mike started to reissue Holyground records, with this soon turning into writing and recording new music. Music from the 1990's was released on And Strangeness And Charm, and a new album, In And Out Of Time was begun in 2000.

Mike Levon, owner of Holyground Records, died peacefully on 4th September 2011.
Tracks – Year - Artists
1. Quite So! (The Trends)  1965 (Mike Levon, Bob Simmonds)
Bob Simmonds & Mick Woodhouse - Guitars, Mike Levon - Drums
2. Don't Think Twice  1965  (Bob Dylan)
Terry Mccann - Vocal, Marilyn Collins - Guitar, John Williams - Bass, Jane Westlake - Tambourine
3. I Still Miss Someone  1966  (J. Cash, R. Cash)
Jane Westlake - Vocals, Guitar
4. I Don't Believe You  1965
5. I Don't Believe You (Live) - 1966 (Bob Dylan, Arranged By The Group)
Dave Nuttall - Vocal, Clive Colling - Piano, John Williams - Guitar , Brian Wilson - Bass, Mike Levon - Drums
6. Recording Corrina, Corrina  1966
7. Corrina, Corrina  1966 (Mississippi John Hurt, Arranged By The Group)
Chris Coombs - Vocal, Harmonica, Jane Westlake - Guitar, Jim Reed - Lute, Richard Smith - Flute, Clive Colling - Virginals, John Williams - Bass, Ian Jones - Drums
8. Song Of Black Glass  1966
9. San Francisco Bay Blues
Bob Hart - Vocal, Jane Westlake - Vocal, Jim Reed - Lute, Clive Colling - Virginals, John Williams - Guitar
10.A Little Bit Of Nelson  (Bill Nelson)
11.Outro To The Friend (Chris Coombs, Bill Nelson)
12.Dear Mr. Fantasy
Al Quinn, Bill Neson, Global Village
13.It's Alright
Chis Coombs
14.Super Judy  1968  (Mike Levon, Brian Calvert)
Chris Coombs - Vocal, Brian Calvert - Guitar, Brian Wilson - Bass, Ted Hepworth - Drums, Chris Heinitz - Brass
15.Working On Between The Road  1969  (Chris Coombs)
Chris Coombs - Vocal, Guitar, Brian Wilson - Bass, Ted Hepworth - Drums
16.I Slept Clear Thru  1971
(Ark)
Paul Travis - Vocal, Other Members Of The Group Sang And Played The Rest!
17.Nearly Home  1971
 (Ark)
18.Horse Rehearsing  1971
(Horse)
Chris Roddick - Guitar, Vocal, Pete Ball - Fiddle, Other Musicians Unknown
19.Down By The River
(Steve Channing)
Steve Channing - Vocal, Guitar
20.Those Old Arabian Nights  1970
21.White Knight  1970
(Steve Channing)
Steve Channing  Vocal, Guitar
22.Hold Me In Your Arms  1971
(The John Perfect Jazz Group)
John Perfect - Saxes, Mike Gould - Trumpets, Marcia - Vocal Linda King - Vocal, Martin Snell - Piano, Liam Arthurs - Bass,  Nick Dew - Drums
23.Feed Your Head (Out-Take)  1971
(Unknown Group, Could Be 'Noah')
24.Play The Game  1971
(Method)
Played By The Group Method - Names Unknown
25.Shabby Tiger  1973
(Andy Diggle, 'Loz' Laurence)
Gemma & Julia - Vocals, Andy Diggle - Guitar, Vocal, 'Loz' Laurence - Piano, Lead Guitar, Vocal, Unknown Bassist & Drummer
26.Boogie Music Version 1  1971
(L. T. Tateman III)
Dave Millen - Vocal, Lead Guitar, Daz - Bass, Fred Kelly - Drums

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beacon Street Union - The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union / The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (1967-68 us, outstanding bosstown psychedelia)



The Beacon Street Union were part of the dreaded, overhyped Bosstown Sound. The scene was a reaction to the San Fransisco rock explosion but Bosstown could in no way compete with the Bay area. The Beacon Street Union released three good experimental psych/hard rock albums (one album under the Eagle moniker) during the late 60′s and early 70′s. They were one of the best amongst a desperate bunch which included the Ultimate Spinach, Eden’s Children, Puff and Orpheus.

The Bosstown Sound was not a total waste as it did produce other decent acts such as Earth Opera (which included a young David Grisman and the Rowen Brothers), Listening and Phluph. The Eyes Of The Beacon Street Union was the band’s debut released in 1968 off the MGM label. Most of the songs were written by John Lincoln Wright (vocals) and Wayne Ulaky (bass). The album opens with a silly introduction by Tom Wilson which explodes into the records first song, My Love Is. My Love Is was an excellent way to open up the band’s debut, as it was full of crashing Who-like drums and energy, strong harmonies, amateur lead vocals and a ripping psych guitar solo. 

Of the albums 11 songs, there are three weak songs which include two covers (Beautiful Delilah and Sportin’ Life) and a pointless jugband tune titled Four Hundred And Five. The rest of the album was pretty stellar, hard hitting garage psychedelia, full of highlights like the very trippy, percussion oriented Mystic Morning. Blue Avenue (with some great heavy riffs), the anti drug anthem Speed Kills and Green Destroys The Gold were full on psych assaults with guitar freakouts and a strong sense of urgency (Sadie Said No is more of the same). Just these three killer bad trips alone are worth the price of admission. Other compositions such as South End Incident/I’m Afraid and The Prophet are slow but still strong with lots of drug inspired dimentia. The Eyes of.. was a powerful debut that showed a band that took chances and fired on all cylinders.
by Jason Nardelli

The second album The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens again was critically assaulted. I was thrilled with it from the cover to the arrangements. It seemed like someone had put time and money into the affair. It was thrilling for a fan to see this group be lavished with production efforts. The orchestrations by Larry Fallon were lush and fully integrated to the songs.

The album begins with The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens. A fully blown metaphor of life as a surrealistic Monopoly game. The follow up song The Clown's Overture is a soothing orchestral wash. A perfect come down after what should be an intense experience of the opening song. Then the orchestra leads you into Agnus of Aberdeen a dramatic ballad of childhood lost. Thus ends a trio of songs united by common orchestra arrangements that have the earmarks of 'concept' on them. Nicley done, but no concept is apparent and it's not successful in that way. A cover of Blue Suede Shoes breaks the unified feel and reminds you they are ROCK after all.

Beacon Street Union promo picture     May I Light Your Cigarette? is an innovative mood piece. It is built up on layers of heavily tremoloed guitars almost exclusively. Wright does a Morrison-stlye monologue which never seems to add up to anything. The cut fails as a song but shows the group's efforts to be experimental and creative. This is always dangerous as a 'product' to sell to the public but can be essential to group creativity in the long run. It shows that they had plenty of ideas and should have had time to develop them but this was the second and last album so that would never happen.

The album ends with the 16;34 minute Baby Please Don't Go. This was a live favorite of the band (and many other groups in the sixties) and is a showcase for the band playing. It works that way and gives you a good idea of what they did live. Although they never recorded another album, this effort shows them to be a healthy creative unit who have progressed as a group. It would have been nice to get more material from them. 
by Paul "Blowfish" Lovell
Tracks
1. My Love Is (Ulaky) - 4:09
2. Beautiful Delilah (Berry) - 2:10
3. Sportin' Life (Beacon Street Union) - 3:08
4. Four Hundred And Five (Farrell, Rhodes, Tartachny, Ulaky, Weisberg, Wright) - 2:09
5. Mystic Mourning (Rhodes, Ulaky, Weisberg) - 5:55
6. Sadie Said No (Ulaky, Wright) - 2:51
7. Speed Kills (Ulaky, Wright) - 1:55
8. Blue Avenue (Ulaky) - 2:49
9. South End Incident (Ulaky) - 3:53
10.Green Destroys The Gold (Ulaky) - 3:00
11.The Prophet (Ulaky, Wright) - 4:31
12.The Clown Died In Marvin Gardens (Ulaky, Wright) - 3:53
13.The Clown's Overture (Fallon) - 2:40
14.Angus Of Aberdeen (Ulaky, Weisberg) - 4:39
15.Blue Suede Shoes (Perkins) - 2:08
16.A Not Very August Afternoon (Rhodes, Tartachny, Weisberg, Wright) - 3:43
17.Now I Taste The Tears (Clifford)  - 3:12
18.May I Light Your Cigarette (Ulaky, Wright) - 5:38
19.Baby Please Don't Go (Rhodes, Tartachny, Ulaky, Weisberg, Wright) - 11:13

Beacon Street Union
*John Lincoln Wright - Vocals
*Richard Weisberg - Percussion
*Wayne Ulaky - Bass
*Paul Tartachny - Guitar
*Robert Rhodes - Brass, Keyboards

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The Alarm Clocks - Yeah! (1966 us, awesome rough garage punk)



Formed in 1965 in Parma, OH, teenagers Mike Pierce (bass and vocals), Bruce Boehm (guitar), and Bill Schwark (drums), the Alarm Clocks got a lot of mileage out of one 45 single, although it would be 40 some years before they would really take advantage of it. The trio recorded two raw slices of garage punk, "Yeah!" and "No Reason to Complain," live in a studio in 1966 and released it on their own Wake Up label, and a month or so later recorded a live demo tape of their live set at Sound Ideas Recording Studios. Nothing much came of either venture, and the group disbanded in 1967. The single, though, took on a life of its own, gradually filtering through the informal garage band collectors network and becoming a highly sought-after item.

Both sides of the 45 turned up on 1996's Back from the Grave compilation from Crypt Records, and eventually the bandmembers were tracked down. The A and B side of the single plus the complete demo tape and three tracks from Boehm's earlier band the Perceptions made up the album Yeah!, which was released by Norton Records in 2000. 

Perhaps sensing unfinished business, the Alarm Clocks re-formed in 2006 with all the original members on board plus a new fourth member, guitarist Tom Fallon. This second coming of the group recorded a new album in two days at Freddy Fortune's basement studio in Michigan in 2006. The album appeared as The Time Has Come later in the year from Norton Records. 
by Steve Leggett
Tracks
1. Yeah (M. Pierce) - 2:44
2. No Reason To Complain (M. Pierce) - 2:12
3. Louie Louie (R. Berry) - 3:18
4. Money (Cordy, Bradford) - 2:48
5. It's All Over Now (B. Womack) - 3:58
6. Bald Headed Woman (S. Talmy) - 3:23
7. I'm Alright (Nanker, Phlelge) - 3:13
8. She's About A Mover (D. Sahm) - 2:41
9. Route 66 (B. Troup) - 2:14
10.The Perceptions - Wipe Out (The Surfaris) - 2:12
11.The Perceptions - I'm A Fool (J. Cooper, R. West) - 2:39
12.The Perceptions - Tree Stump Cover Theme (B. Boehm) - 1:56

The Alarm Clocks
*Mike Pierce - Bass, Vocals
*Bruce Boehm - Guitar
*Bill Schwark - Drums

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Johnny Rivers - Rewind / Realization (1967-68 us, great straight ahead rock with blue eyed soul and psych touches)



With a big, clean production, and quality L.A. session musicians, Rewind is a great collection of blue-eyed soul and rock. The album's two Motown covers, "Baby I Need Your Loving" and "Tracks of My Tears," are more similar to tributes than attempts to outshine the originals. Rivers sounds like a well-adjusted Southern hipster on tracks like "The Eleventh Song," which makes him sound like a cooler version of Sonny Bono. "Rosecrans Boulevard" showcases superb vocal harmonies and horn playing. 

The most interesting track would have to be "Sidewalk Song/27th Street," which is pretty mediocre as a song, but are the bizarre sound clips possibly attacking commercialism? No one really knows. Produced by Lou Adler, arranged by Jimmy Webb, featuring Joe Osborne on bass, Larry Knechtel on piano, and Hal Blaine on drums, this record is a solid, tight recording, with excellent production and inventive arrangements provided by Webb. 
by Zach Curd

Not a concept album, but a song cycle depicting life in southern California in the late '60s, Realization is a fine cycle to catch a ride on. It's also a serious surprise -- when psychedelia reared its head in 1967, the results were frequently disastrous for those performers who'd been specializing in straight-ahead rock & roll, and few had rocked harder or more straight-ahead than Johnny Rivers. Instead of jumping on a bandwagon that had nothing to do with where he was musically, he hijacked the sounds of psychedelic rock -- much as the Temptations did at Motown -- and took it where he was going. 

Acting as his own producer for the first time, Rivers opened up a slightly gentler side to his work that's equally valid and a lot more interesting, if not quite as exciting as his rock & roll classics. After a few sonic digressions as a lead-in, "Hey Joe" gets going, carrying listeners into Rivers' gorgeous rendition of James Hendricks' "Look to Your Soul." His own achingly beautiful "The Way We Live" follows, and then comes Hendricks' "Summer Rain," which turned into Rivers' last big hit of the 1960s. And then he has the temerity to take "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and make it prettier and harder -- but less spacy -- than the Procol Harum original; from there he plunges into blue-eyed soul on "Brother, Where Are You." 

The surprises continue right through to the rather delicate, introspective reading of "Positively Fourth Street" at the close, Rivers succeeding in evoking a vast array of thoughts and emotions. For his trouble, helped by the two hits, he was rewarded with a Top Five charting album, and one that has continued to find new admirers across the decades. 
by Bruce Eder
Tracks
1. The Tracks Of My Tears (Warren "Pete" Moore, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Tarplin) - 3:00
2. Carpet Man (Jimmy Webb) - 3:05
3. Tunesmith (Jimmy Webb) - 3:12
4. Sidewalk Song / 27th Street (Jimmy Webb) - 2:27
5. It'll Never Happen Again (Tim Hardin) - 3:28
6. Do What You Gotta Do (Jimmy Webb) - 2:22
7. Baby I Need Your Lovin' (Holland, Dozier, Holland) - 3:10
8. For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her (Paul Simon) - 2:53
9. Rosecrans Boulevard (Jimmy Webb) - 2:34
10.The Eleventh Song (Jimmy Webb) - 2:21
11.Sweet Smiling Children (Jimmy Webb) - 2:14
12.Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) - 4:33
13.Look To Your Soul (James Hendricks) - 3:11
14.The Way We Live (Johnny Rivers) - 3:09
15.Summer Rain (James Hendricks) - 3:52
16.Whiter Shade Of Pale (Gary Brooks, Keith Reid) - 5:39
17.Broker Where Are You (Oscar Brown, Jr.) - 3:37
18.Something's Strange (James Hendricks, Johnny Rivers) - 3:28
19.What's The Difference (Scott Mckenzie) - 2:48
20.Going Back To Big Sur (Johnny Rivers) - 3:28
21.Positively 4th Street (Bob Dylan) - 5:03

Musicians
*Johnny Rivers – Vocals, Guitar
*Larry Knechtel – Piano
*Mike Deasy Sr. – Guitar
*Joe Osborn – Bass
*Mike Deasy Jr. – Vocals
*Hal Blaine - Drums,  Percussion
*James Burton - Guitar
*James Hendricks - Rhythm Guitar
*Marty Paich - Horn, Strings

1964-2006  Secret Agent Man, The Ultimate Johnny Rivers Anthology

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blue Sun ‎– Festival (1970-71 denmark, excellent jazz fusion progressive rock)



Danish band, formed 1969 in Copenhagen. Originally a hippie band with roots in avant-garde jazz-rock. Most of their body of work come from live recordings - mostly improvisations dominated by sax, organ and guitar. The music is mainly instrumental, with some South African inspiration. 

The band was very popular at that time among youngsters, having strong spiritual power when they performed live. Their album from 1973 presents similar style but a bit more peaceful with leading sax and vocal, alternately. Disbanded and reformed several times with changing members throughout the 1970s until they split up for good in 1981.

This is no less than Blue Sun's 2 LP's and their single on 1 CD. The first LP was a live recording from 'Tagskaegget' in Aarhus Danmark 1970 titled 'Peace be Onto You' (Spectator Records). The second LP named just 'Blue Sun' (Parlophone). Also Parlophone released their single from 1970. In a very short period Blue Sun was the prefered hippie-party band. 

No one hit the hippie-wave better than this jazz-rock-soul inspired band with 2 unique front figures: Charismatic black man Dale Smith (vocal + percussion) and Jesper Zeuthen. The latter achieved in no tim reputation to be best in Dk on tenor-saxophone, based on the fact that he archieved his totally unique way of playing. The band was inspired of Dollar Brand, Jimi Hendrix and Black Soul.
by Adamus67
Tracks
1. Festival (Smith. Zeuthen) - 2:48
2. Katedralen (Zeuthen) - 4:26
3. På Fjeldet (Kaspersen. Zeuthen) - 3:22
4. Kære Irene (Smith. Kaspersen. Zeuthen) - 2:14
5. Afro Blue (Kaspersen) - 3:22
6. Working Man (Blue Sun, Smith) - 9:46
7. Velkomst (Zeuthen. Pontoppidan) - 4:49
8. Aum (Blue Sun) - 11:15
9. Peace Be Unto You (Smith. Kaspersen. Zeuthen) - 16:24
10.John Henry (Smith. Ehlers) - 8:40
11.Lyset (Zeuthen) - 6:51

Blue Sun
*Dale Smith - Vocals, Percussion
*Jesper Zeuthen - Tenor, Soprano Saxophones
*Soren Berggreen - Flute,Alto Sax,Mouth Harp, Electric Violin
*Jan Kaspersen - Keyboards
*Niels Pontoppidan - Guitar
*Poul Ehlers - Contrabass
*Bo Jacobsen - Drums

1975-76  Blue Sun And Jytte Pilloni - It's All Money Johnny

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