Wednesday, October 31, 2018

McPhee - McPhee (1971 australia / new zealand, astonishing blend of hard psych bluesy classic rock, 2002 akarma remaster)



Sydney band McPhee, which formed in 1970, released no Singles and only one LP during its brief life, but the group has long enjoyed a cult following and rock historian Chris Spencer describes it as "one of the most collectible (and enjoyable) Australian Albums of its time".

Jim Deverell and Benny Kaika were originally from New Zealand, and Deverell and Joyce had previously worked together as session players backing artists like Digby Richards, The Delltones and Little Sammy & The In People. Faye Lewis had done session singing and had been a member of Luke's Walnut, the group that replaced Tully as house band for the musical Hair in early 1970. English-born Terry Popple had been a member of late 60's UK band Tramline, who issued a couple of Albums on the Island label. He linked up with McPhee shortly after the group formed, when he travelled to Australia in early 1970, and the band began working on the Sydney club and wine bar circuit.

McPhee was strongly influenced by the acid-rock and progressive styles coming from the UK, as indicated by their covers of songs done by acts like Spooky Tooth and Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity, as well as the emerging west coast American sounds like Neil Young. In this respect they operated in the same general area as contemporary groups like Melissa and Galadriel, although on record they were probably the hardest-hitting outfit of the three.

In 1971 they went into Martin Erdman's World Of Sound studio in Sydney to record an album for erdman's independent Violet's Holiday label. The sessions yielded seven tracks that were favourites from the bands live repertoire. The two originals were the lengthy jazz-rock instrumental Out to Lunch and five cover versions, including 'heavy' renditions of Spooky Tooth's "The Wrong Time", Neil Young's "Southern Man", Ritchie Haven's "Indian Rope Man" and The Beatles' "I am The Walrus". 

The album's piece de resistance was the surging rendition of "Indian Rope Man" (a Richie Havens song done in the style of the cover by British soul/R&B act Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity) highlighted by a stunning Hammond organ solo by Jim Deverell.

Released with little promotion in early 1972, the album sank without trace. Perhaps only 500 copies were ever pressed, which places it with Albums like Company Caine's fabled Dr Chop as one of the rarest of Aussie LPs of that era.

Not long after the album came out, McPhee broke up. Popple returned to the UK where he joined he joined his former colleague Mick Moody in SNAFU. Lewis returned to session work and sang in an outfit called The Bondi Bitch Band. Kaika played with Jeff St John, John Robinson's band Tramp and Leo De Castro's New King Harvest. Deverell moved on to the USA and apparently died of cancer some years ago. Joyce relocated to Darwin, where he joined a number of Aboriginal bands like Under the Spell of Trees, Life on Mars and Dogboy, which featured American-born drummer Allen Murphy, who had worked with Warumpi Band and Yothu Yindi. For a number of years during the early 1990s, Joyce ran the Northern Territory office of the AusMusic organisation.

In the pantheon of Australian early 70's progressive rockdom, McPhee must rank as one of its most obscure outfits. McPhee's solitary album appeared to little fanfare in early 1972 and simply sank without trace. Its likely that only 500 copies were ever pressed so it rates as a significant rarity. More importantly, 'Mc Phee' stands as one of the great lost treasures of Australias progressive rock era, a truly fascinating artefact of tremendous scope. The tapes have been dusted off so that you can hear this hard-hitting underground masterpiece in all its glory. McPhee came together in Sydney during 1970 with the line-up of Faye Lewis (vocals), Tony Joyce (lead guitar), Jim Deverell (Hammond Organ), Benny Kaika (bass) and Terry Popple (drums). Deverell and Kaika were originally from New Zealand, while Englishman Popple had been a member of late 60's UK blues-boom band Tramline, who issued a couple of albums on the Island label.

McPhee played the local club and bar cicuit around Sydney and in 1971 entered producer Martin Erdman's World Of Sound studio in order to record an album. The sessions yielded material culled from the bands live repertoire including five cover versions. McPhee's influences extended from the prevailing Acid-rock trends of the day, to the emergent sounds of progressive rock with a smattering of contemporary rock hits. From the outset it is clear that McPhee is imbued with a crucial kick and gritty sense of purpose. It is brimming with acidy, wah-wah fuelled lead breaks and some of the most awesomely heavy and stunning Hammond organ playing to be heard anywhere on an Australian album. The opening cut, a groaning version of Spooky Tooth's 'The Wrong Time' (from 'The Last Puff'), sets the scene. Joyce peels off a series of clattering guitar riffs while Deverell holds the whole thing together with his growling organ bubbling away underneath. McPhee also tackle Spooky Tooths brooding arrangement of Lennon and McCartney's 'I Am The Walrus' (again from 'The Last Puff') which is pretty freaky stuff! The surging seven minute version of Richie Havens' 'Indian Rope Man' (as covered by Julie Driscoll & Brian Augers Trinity) remains the albums piece de resistance. 

The album ends with a Tony Joyce original titled 'Out To Lunch'. This jazz flavoured instrumental starts out innocuously enough, but the 10 minute, open-ended arrangement allows the band to stretch out in fine style. Joyce takes the spotlight with a lengthy guitar solo which eventually concedes to more organ pyrotechnics. Not long after the album appeared, the members of McPhee went their seperate ways. Popple returned to the U.K. where he joined old cohort Mick Moody in SNAFU. Deverell the keyboard wizard apparentlysuccumbed to cancer and Joyce relocated to Darwin where he played with a number of Aboriginal bands, and for several years ran the Northern Territory office of the AusMusic organisation. The chances of unearthing an original vinyl pressing of McPhee are now pretty slim. So take advantage of this reissue to savour the delights of a magnificent lost gem. 
by Vicious Sloth
Tracks
1. The Wrong Time (Gary Wright, Hugh McCracken) - 6:38
2. Sunday Shuffle (Benny Kaika) - 3:25
3. Southern Man (Neil Young) - 5:51
4. Indian Rope Man (Jim Price, Mark Roth, Richie Havens) - 7:19
5. Superstar (Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 7:19
6. I Am The Walrus (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 5:05
7. Out To Lunch (Tony Joyce) - 8:03

McPhee
*Faye Lewis - Vocals
*Tony Joyce - Guitar
*Jim Deverell - Keyboards
*Benny Kaika - Bass
*Terry Popple - Drums
With
*Shauna Jensen - Harmony Vocals
*Ken James - Alto, Flute
*Larry Durea - Congas

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Public Foot The Roman - Public Foot The Roman (1973 uk, fine prog rock, 2011 remaster)



These guys actually had an interesting background.  Irish-born singer/guitarist Sean Byrne had been a member the California-based The Count Five who had a classic one-shot single with 'Psychotic Reaction'.  When that band fell apart Byrne eventually returned to Ireland where in the early 1970s he ended up as a member of Public Foot the Roman along with lead guitarist Greg Knowles, drummer Jaime Lane, keyboardist Dag Small, and bassist Ward (guess he couldn't afford a last name). 

Produced by Derek Lawrence who handled a bunch of the Wishbone Ash catalog, 1973's oddly titled "Public Foot the Roman" was kind of an odd hybrid of AOR and progressive moves - occasionally blended together in the same song ('When You Lay It Down').  With Byrne responsible for all eight tracks on the surface that wouldn't sound particularly promising (I can see folks thinking along the lines of a second tier Genesis or Gentle Giant).

The fact of the matter is that while there wasn't a great deal of originality here, the band played with considerable energy and with one of two exceptions (the country-tinged 'King for a Day'), this album was a lot of fun to hear.  Byrne, Lane, and Small all handled lea vocals, though Byrne seemed to be the most prominent of the three.  All of them had decent if slightly anonymous voices that managed to cover the band's entire catalog.  For his part Knowles was a truly overlooked guitarist who turned in some first-rate performances on this overlooked set..  That said, the band's secret weapon (well I guess he really wasn't much of a secret) was keyboardist Small who managed to salvage virtually everything he touched.
Tracks
1. Land Owner - 4:38
2. When You Lay It Down - 5:40
3. King For A Day - 3:09
4. Judas Returns - 6:00
5. Don't Bite The Hand - 5:05
6. One - On My Mind - 4:54
7. Decline And Fall - 8:31
All compositions by Sean Byrne

Public Foot The Roman
*Sean Byrne - Guitar, Vocals
*Greg Knowles - Guitar
*Jamie Lane - Drums, Vocals
*Dag Small - Keyboards, Vocals
*Ward - Bass

Related Act
Count Five - Psychotic Reaction (2007 digi pack remaster and expanded) 

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Collusion - Collusion (1971 uk, extraordinary prog rock, 2015 reissue)



Genuine UK prog rock obscurity from 1971, originally released in a tiny run on the custom SRT label. Collusion was a Dagenham-based six piece with twin guitars and interwoven male/female vocals as the main ingredients. Expect hard-edged prog-rock with tasty folk and jazz elements. 

This engaging release features seven original tracks with the stunning 'Bluebirds' and the epic 'Sweetbread Line' as the undisputed highlights. The package is presented with a special poster sleeve offering rare pics and memorabilia. There also are extensive sleeve notes and a band history by Tony Davison, plus an additional comment by their manager and esteemed promoter Darrol Edwards.
Tracks
1. I've Got That Cold Porridge Feeling - 3:19
2. Might As Well Be Dead - 4:41
3. Song Of Pity - 5:02
4. The Way It Used To Be (Tony Davison, Steve Webb) - 6:16
5. Saturday Morning (Down The Dead Highway) (Mike West, Tony Davison) - 4:45
6. Sweetbread Line - 5:24
7. Bluebirds - 7:37
All song by Mike West except where stated

The Collusion
*Sandy Baker - Vocals
*Tony Davison - Vocals, Tambourine
*Chris Simons - Bass
*Colin Victory - Drums
*Mike West - Guitar
*Steve Webb - Guitar

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Lesley Duncan - Sing Children Sing (1971 uk, delicate folk soft rock, 2000 edition and Vinyl issue)



Lesley Duncan's debut album was a modestly engaging slice of early-'70s singer/songwriter rock, though not distinctive enough amidst a rapidly crowding field to command attention. Somewhat like Elton John, she blended parts of folk-rock, the emerging singer/songwriter movement, pop (though less pop than John), and bits of the Band's gospel-rock flavor. Indeed, the record is best known for Duncan's own version of her composition "Love Song," covered by Elton John on Tumbleweed Connection (and way back in 1969 by a pre-"Space Oddity" David Bowie on a home demo that's since been bootlegged).

Reference points among Duncan's countrywomen might include the obscure early-'70s work of Marianne Faithfull (though not as dark) or Bridget Saint John. Duncan wasn't as folky or reserved as Saint John, but this is pretty laid-back, and too pensively even-tempered and melodically bland to make a deep impression. The sound is certainly pleasant and professional, due in large part to the presence of some big names in the session band, including guitarist Chris Spedding, Pentangle drummer Terry Cox, and most of all Elton John himself on piano. The more bittersweet-than-usual "Love Song," here garnished by some odd rainfall-like effects in the background, is the standout, while "Crying in the Sun" edges oddly close to the kind of pop/rock ballad that could have been covered by Dusty Springfield.  Lesley Duncan, died aged 66 of cerebro- vascular disease, 12 March 2010.
by Richie Unterberger
Tracks
1. Chain Of Love (Lesley Duncan, Jimmy Horowitz) - 4:43
2. Lullaby - 3:52
3. Help Me Jesus - 3:13
4. Mr. Rubin - 7:04
5. Rainbow Games - 2:42
6. Love Song - 3:38
7. Sunshine (Send Them Away) - 3:30
8. Crying In The Sun (Lesley Duncan, Jimmy Horowitz) - 3:10
9. Emma (Lesley Duncan, Jimmy Horowitz) - 2:37
10.If You Won't Be Mine - 2:56
11.Sing Children Sing - 3:39
All Songs by Lesley Duncan except where indicated

Personnel
*Lesley Duncan - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
*Jimmy Horowitz - Organ, Piano, Celeste, Keyboards
*Toni Campo - Bass
*Terry Cox - Drums
*Elton John - Piano
*Tristan Fry - Percussion
*Joe Moretti - Guitar
*Chris Spedding - Guitar, Bouzouki
*Ray Cooper - Percussion

1973  Lesley Duncan - Everything Changes (Vinyl edition) 

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Friday, October 26, 2018

The Byrds - Younger Than Yesterday (1967 us, brilliant folk psych, 2012 blu spec remaster)



Beyond their trademark sound—Roger McGuinn’s shimmering 12-string Rickenbacker and Gene Clark and David Crosby’s smoke and honey harmonies—the Byrds were musical game changers who transformed rock ‘n’ roll three times.

With brilliant arrangements of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn,” they forged the folk-rock sound of the mid-’60s.

Inspired by jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s modal improvisations over popular movie themes like “My Favorite Things” and “Chim Chim Cherie,” and the rambling ragas of the Bangladeshi sitarist Ravi Shankar (a fervent Crosby had allegedly hipped George Harrison to Indian music after he’d attended a Shankar recording session), The Byrds helped launch psychedelic music with “Eight Miles High.” Released on March 14, 1966, the song opened our ears and minds to a whole new realm of sonic possibility five months before the Beatles’ mesmerizing mantra “Tomorrow Never Knows” and a year before the acid jams of the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix.

But by 1967 The Byrds were in shambles.

Their lead-singer and top songwriter Gene Clark, responsible for the band’s first self-penned hits “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” and “Set You Free This Time” had abruptly quit the group in January 1965, ironically citing his fear of flying as the reason for leaving while insiders claimed that working with the notoriously arrogant David Crosby nearly caused him to suffer a nervous breakdown.

In the vacuum created by Clark, bassist Chris Hillman quickly stepped up to the plate. When The Byrds released Younger Than Yesterday on February 6, 1967, four of the album’s best songs were penned by Hillman.

Before joining McGuinn, Clark and Crosby, Hillman’s background was in bluegrass, playing mandolin before picking up electric bass. Hillman would invite his old friend, guitarist (and future Byrd) Clarence White to the studio to add his trademark slippery country riffs to his songs, “Time Between” and “The Girl With No Name,” which (along with their earlier single “Mr. Spaceman”) set The Byrds heading down the country-rock road.

Originally named the Jet Set before adopting the Byrds as their moniker, the clever spelling wasn’t just some Renaissance-inspired wordplay; Roger McGuinn and company had dubbed their group in honor of the great Admiral Richard Byrd, famous for his expeditions to both the North and South poles.

The band’s slogan “Always Beyond Today” summed up the philosophy behind many of their sonic experiments, which, while always innovative and interesting, didn’t always bear repeated listening. McGuinn’s electronic dabbling on “C.T.A. 102,” which employed an oscillator and manipulated voices and Crosby’s meandering free-form bardic recitation on “Mind Gardens” seemed self-indulgent at best. But many of these ideas would actually come to fruition on their following album The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

I can only hope Crosby was high on LSD while recording “Mind Gardens,” intending it to be a “sonic relic” or perhaps a “contemporary urban field recording,” otherwise there was no excuse for committing this embarrassment to wax. To be fair, he would later reign himself in enough to record the mesmerizing “Guinevere” with Crosby, Stills and Nash, which incorporated many of the best aspects of “Mind Gardens” and “Renaissance Fair.”

The sessions for The Byrds’ fourth album began on July 28, 1966, with Gary Usher, who’d co-written the Beach Boys’ classic ballad “In My Room” with Brian Wilson, at the helm. Having just produced Gene Clark’s debut album Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers for Columbia Records (a fine record that immediately plummeted into oblivion) Usher helped try to balance the escalating tensions within the band while bringing an ethereal luster to the music (perfectly illustrated by the pixilated album’s cover shot).

Usher would thankfully stay on through another major shift in the Byrds’ personnel and style to produce their next two albums, the psych/country milestone The Notorious Byrd Brothers and their Americana masterpiece, Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

The dismissal of David Crosby in October ’67 came as little or no surprise. His firing could not be attributed to any particular reason. As far as McGuinn and Hillman were concerned there were far too many to count. Both Hillman and McGuinn had been aggravated by Crosby’s on-stage politically-charged remarks about the Kennedy assassination at the Monterey Pop Festival the previous June. On top of that, Crosby had brazenly joined “the enemy,” when he played a set with his friends, Buffalo Springfield, filling in for Neil Young, who failed to show up for the gig.

Over the next few years, The Byrds would be in a constant state of flux abruptly changing direction, dropping their celebrated 12-string sound in lieu of banjos, fiddles and mandolins, when they headed down to Nashville at the suggestion of new recruit Gram Parsons. The result was their 1968 opus Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the creation of country-rock…not that Ringo Starr hadn’t helped break down the barriers between long hairs and rednecks with his earlier cover of the Bakersfield cowboy Buck Owen’s “Act Naturally.”

But back to Younger Than Yesterday…The album’s lead-off single, “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” was a cynical statement about the mad whirlwind of fame and money that many pop stars found suddenly themselves in the center of. While taking aim at pre-fab groups like the Monkees, the song could be seen as a self-deprecating autobiographical comment from The Byrds’ about their debut album, which, with the exception of Roger McGuinn’s 12-string guitar, was performed by a top-notch group of L.A. session players known as the Wrecking Crew.

The Crew’s pro performances would soon come back to haunt The Byrds when, on the success of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” they toured the U.K. in 1965 and failed to replicate the rich, warm sound of their No. 1 single.

The screaming of exuberant crowds heard on “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” who thought they were witnessing the “American Beatles” ultimately went home disappointed in the band’s shabby performance. The song also featured some hot brassy riffs by the South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela that not only gave the tune a jagged jazz edge but also pointed to the future genre of “World Beat.”

The album’s title was inspired by Dylan’s “My Back Pages” (“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”), which provided the band with its next single (and the third Dylan tune to provide the band with a hit). “My Back Pages” became a point of contention for Crosby, who rightfully felt shortchanged as his songs perpetually wound up as Byrds B-Sides.

In hind-sight it is clear that McGuinn and Hillman continually chose to shelve Crosby’s tunes in favor of their own compositions or songs by outside writers including Dylan, Pete Seeger and Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Among Younger Than Yesterday’s highlights were Crosby’s “Everybody’s Been Burned,” (released on the flip-side of “So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”) written when he was playing folk clubs back in 1962 and the gorgeous “Renaissance Fair” (the B-side to “My Back Pages”), which perfectly captured the atmosphere of the time, burgeoning counter-culture and events like the Human Be-In and Monterey Pop.

The album’s closing number, “Why,” had already appeared in an earlier, better version as the B-side to “Eight Miles High.” Ignored, “Why” fell into obscurity and Crosby felt the song deserved a redux. A perfect portrait of ’60s repression and rebellion, the tune was also a great vehicle for McGuinn’s spiraling 12-string raga riffs. Crosby later confessed that he favored the earlier Jim Dickson-produced version, despite his demand that the band recut the song and include it on Younger than Yesterday.

A few additional Crosby numbers from the sessions, including “It Happens Each Day,” with its counterpoint trumpet arrangement, and the bright and bouncy “Lady Friend”—both stronger than many of the songs that comprise Younger Than Yesterday’s playlist—would surface in later compilations, and McGuinn and Hillman’s lush psyche/country rocker “Old John Robertson” was later released as the lead-off single from The Notorious Byrd Brothers whose album cover photo depicted now just three original members of The Byrds. In the fourth stall, David Crosby had been replaced by a horse. While the cover depicts the stallion’s face, it is rumored that outtake photos from the session also included snaps of the band smiling with the animal’s rear end facing the camera

An album that found The Byrds in the delirious high of transition, at times gloriously scattershot with experimentation, for all its blemishes, Younger Than Yesterday still sounds as fresh today as it did in 1967. The Byrds always dared to fly where only eagles dared—that kind of ambition will always be timeless.
by John Kruth, 02/06/17 

Tracks
1. So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) - 2:04
2. Have Seen Her Face (Chris Hillman) - 2:30
3. C.T.A. - 102 (Jim McGuinn, Robert J. Hippard) - 2:29
4. Renaissance Fair (David Crosby, Jim McGuinn) - 1:51
5. Time Between (Chris Hillman) - 1:54
6. Everybody's Been Burned (David Crosby) - 3:02
7. Thoughts And Words (Chris Hillman) - 2:54
8. Mind Gardens (David Crosby) - 3:28
9.My Back Pages (Bob Dylan) - 3:05
10.The Girl With No Name (Chris Hillman) - 1:50
11.Why (Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) - 2:45
12.Don't Make Waves (Single Version) (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) - 1:33
13.It Happens Each Day (David Crosby) - 2:47
14.My Back Pages (Single Version) (Bob Dylan) - 2:33
15.So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) - 2:06
16.Have Seen Her Face (Chris Hillman) - 2:40
17.C.T.A. - 102 (Jim McGuinn, Robert J. Hippard) - 2:28
18.Renaissance Fair (David Crosby, Jim McGuinn) - 1:52
19.Time Between (Chris Hillman) - 1:54
20.Everybody's Been Burned (David Crosby) - 3:05
21.Thoughts And Words (Chris Hillman) - 2:57
22.Mind Gardens (David Crosby) - 3:46
23.My Back Pages (Bob Dylan) - 3:09
24.The Girl With No Name (Chris Hillman) - 1:50
25.Why (Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) - 2:48
Tracks 1-11 Original Album Mono Version
Bonus Tracks mono 12-14
Tracks 15-25 Original Album Stereo Version

The Byrds
*Jim McGuinn - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*David Crosby - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Chris Hillman - Electric Bass, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*Michael Clarke - Drums
Additional Musicians
*Hugh Masekela - Trumpet
*Cecil Barnard (Hotep Idris Galeta) - Piano
*Jay Migliori - Saxophone
*Vern Gosdin - Acoustic Guitar
*Clarence White - Guitar
*Daniel Ray (Big Black) - Percussion

1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1968  The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo  (Double Disc Set)
1969  The Byrds - Ballad Of Easy Rider (2013 Blue Spec remaster and expanded)
1969  The Byrds - Live At Fillmore
1971  The Byrds - Live At Royal Albert Hall
1971  The Byrds - Farther Along (Blu Spec 2014 extra tracks release)
1971  The Byrds - Byrdmaniax (2013 Japan Blu Spec edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)
Related Acts
1973  Roger McGuinn - Roger McGuinn (2013 Edition)
1975  Roger McGuinn And Band - Roger McGuinn And Band (2004 extra tracks remaster)
1976  Roger McGuinn - Cardiff Rose (2013 edition)
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1979-80  McGuinn Clark Hillman - The Capitol Collection (2007 double disc set)

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Evie Sands - Any Way That You Want Me (1970 us, marvelous orchestrated soulful sunny psychedelia, 2005 remaster)





Evie Sands is another character in the long line of those whose name is being mentioned among the “small circle of friends” and true aficionados, and whose songs (well at least some of them) are well known to even an average listener, without actually being aware of the original artist.

After three singles in 1965/66/67 respectively, with each of the songs, thanks to plain misfortune, becoming a hit single for someone else instead for her own self (Take Me For A Little While – Jacke Ross, I Can’t Let Go – The Hollies, Angel Of The Morning – Merrilee Rush), her long overdue stroke of luck finally came with the cover of her producer Chip“Wild thing”Taylor’s Anyway That You Want Me in 1969.

With an additional middle eight, the author himself, considers this to be the definitive version of the song, made worthy of any BIG productions archive. Her long awaited debut album followed early in 1970, and was more than worth the wait, it’s just that those who realised it at the time were pretty rare.

Besides the mentioned hit single, also included is an updated version of Take Me For A Little While, as well as a couple more genuine female blue-eyed soul items such as Close Your Eyes, Cross Your Fingers or I’ll Hold Out My Hand, with an additional fuzzy guitar line giving it an extra dimension.

Also worth the mention is the opening swirling orchestral cacophony, leading into another piece of soulful pop, Crazy Annie, the slightlydelic orchestration of Shadow Of The Evening, while It’s This I Am was Evie’s debut self-written recording, recently brought back to public attention by both Beck and Beth Orthon.

Being somewhere between the soulful deliveries of the latter-day Dusty Springflied, and the melodic eclecticism of Carole King, with a touch of rootsy Americana, it’s not hard to see why Dusty herself, cites Evie Sands as her favourite female singer.
by Garwood Pickjon
Tracks
1. Crazy Annie (Al Gorgoni, Chip Taylor) - 3:42
2. But You Know I Love You (Mike Settle) - 2:57
3. I'll Never Be Alone Again (Al Gorgoni, Chip Taylor) - 3:05
4. Any Way That You Want Me (Chip Taylor) - 3:39
5. Close Your Eyes, Cross Your Fingers (Chip Taylor, Ted Daryll) - 4:02
6. It's This I Am (Evie Sands) - 4:10
7. Shadow Of The Evening (Chip Taylor) - 4:16
8. Take Me For A Little While (Trade Martin) - 2:43
9. Until It's Time For You To Go (Buffy Sainte-Marie) - 2:58
10.I'll Hold Out My Hand (Al Gorgoni, Chip Taylor) - 3:27
11.Carolina In My Mind (James Taylor) - 0:40
12.One Fine Summer Morning (Al Gorgoni) - 3:23
13.Maybe Tomorrow (Alan Bergman. Marilyn Bergman, Quincy Jones) - 3:14

Musicians
*Evie Sands - Vocals, Guitar
*Chip Taylor - Guitar
*Al Gorgoni - Guitar
*James Burton - Dobro
*George Devens - Percussion
*Sal Ditroia - Guitar
*Jeannie Thomas Foxx - Vocals
*Paul Griffin - Piano
*Ernie Hayes - Piano
*Eddie Hinton - Guitar
*Paul Humphreys - Drums
*Barney Kessel - Guitar
*Larry Knechtel - Piano
*Herb Lovelle - Drums
*Joe Mack - Bass
*Lou Morro - Bass
*Trade Martin - Guitar
*Hugh Mccracken - Guitar
*Vicki Mikey - Vocals
*Frank Owens - Harpsichord
*Lyle Ritz - Bass
*Al Rogers - Drums
*Toni Wine - Vocals

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (1964-82 us, impressive folk rock 2016 audiophile double Vinyl set)



In a recent MOJO interview, Roger McGuinn hinted that it may not have been a panic attack that led to Gene Clark leaving the Byrds, but the promise of being the next Elvis. For some dumb reason that solo career never took off. But Gene Clark certainly had all the makings. He was Hollywood handsome and a total chick magnet. Not to mention, one hell of a singer-songwriter. Despite not being the next Elvis, his legacy remains groundbreaking. The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark essentially paved the way for Country Rock. His solo albums, White Light and No Other stand the test of time, defying easy categorization.

However, his catalog remains a bit of a mess. Albums and compilations often go in and out of print, on fly by night labels. At steep prices. Only a haphazard assortment of his output is available for download. All of which makes Clark’s recordings more elusive than they should be. The Lost Studio Sessions 1964-1982 is another wild card to add to this ongoing game of 52 Pickup.

While these previously unheard of studio outtakes and demos are a treasure trove for Clark fans, they by no means make for a good album. While the sound quality is superb, this is far from a cohesive listen. But is a good album the point really? Lost Sessions is essentially a vault dump the producers hope to cash in on. The people who put this together know full well who their target audience is. This collection is conspicuously unavailable for download and fetches for a pretty penny on CD and vinyl. Regardless, this release is a real eye opener for Clark enthusiasts.

The first 6 tracks are startling. Because they’re virtually unrecognizable as Gene Clark. His overwrought vibrato sounding traditionally dated. In another era, Clark could have been Perry Como. These studio demos do however, provide a clear snapshot of Clark’s artistic development from New Christie Minstrel to Byrd. The songs themselves reveal what a precocious talent Clark had for writing. There’s a lyrical complexity and emotional depth that’s way ahead of its time. A far cry from ‘Love Me Do’.  

Despite Leon Russell’s over the top orchestrations, ‘Back Street Mirror’ reveals just how much of an impact Bob Dylan had on Clark. One can hear him marry the Beatles’ melodic smarts with Dylan’s dazzling word play. His vocal delivery owes so much to Dylan, it verges on parody but one can hear flashes of originality. The song’s only release was on the 1967 David Hemmings album, Happens. But Hemmings’ version is nowhere near Clark’s in terms of passion and emotion.

 On ‘Back to The Earth Again’ one can hear Clark finally coming into his own. The ensuing six tracks are stunning. It’s criminal the likes of ‘The Lighthouse’ or ‘The Awakening Within’ never made it on any Clark release. According to the liner notes, Clark may have forgotten having even written them. Such was his level of productivity at the time. Simply put, they’re dazzling. Clark’s maze-like lyrics fraught with mystery, yearning and self-doubt. Time and place become nebulous in ‘The Lighthouse’. It’s more like Clark is writing a letter off the top of his head.  ‘Sweet Adrienne’ is a multi-faceted portrait of a woman who is beyond his grasp.  ‘Walking Through This Lifetime’ and ‘The Sparrow’ keep up the ante. I’ll be damned if ‘Only Yesterday’s Gone’ isn’t a lost classic. Beautiful.

As for the remaining cuts, we’re treated to a rousing, passionate version of ‘She Darked The Sun’. One that surpasses that off The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark.  ‘Don’t That Road Look Rough and Rocky’ was recorded for a 1972 album that ground to halt when producer Terry Melcher was injured in a motorcycle accident. Many of the tracks resurfaced on the posthumous Dutch release, Roadmaster. The Melcher version here is stunning, eight miles above the version on Roadmaster.

The rest of the collection isn’t nearly as revelatory. Gram Parsons covers and a stab at the Box Tops’ ‘The Letter’ are interesting curios but far from Clark in his prime. Most notable is his take on Roddy Crowell’s ‘No Memories Hanging’ Round’ from the 1982 Nyteflyte sessions.   

At its best, Clark’s talent was completely intuitive, not intellectual. As dreamy as his songs are, they’re undeniably visceral. And instinctively, he knew what all great songwriters know: Great songwriting isn’t about being cool and clever but being emotionally vulnerable. Something Clark delivered in spades. The man could sing the phone book and bring a tear to your eye. Truth of the matter is, Gene Clark fanatics simply cannot afford to pass this one up. A priceless trove of too well kept secrets. Also, an unflinching chronicle of a great artist’s rise and eventual fall. 
by Kevin Orton 
Tracks
1. The Way I Am - 2:39
2. I'd Feel Better - 1:53
3. That Girl - 3:06
4. A Worried Heart - 3:43
5. If There's No Love - 2:33
6. Back Street Mirror - 3:20
7. Don't Let It Fall Through - 3:01
8. Back To The Earth Again - 3:11
9. The Lighthouse - 3:01
10.The Awakening Within - 2:55
11.Sweet Adrienne - 2:23
12.Walking Through This Lifetime - 3:17
13.The Sparrow - 3:35
14.Only Yesterday's Gone - 1:53
15.She Darked The Sun (Bernie Leadon, Gene Clark) - 3:06
16.Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (Traditional) - 3:16
17.She Don't Care About Time - 3:06
18.Don't That Road Look Rough And Rocky (Traditional) - 4:30
19.Bars Have Made A Prisoner Out Of Me (Freddy Weller, Michael Hardin, Spooner Oldham) - 3:10
20.One Hundred Years From Now (Gram Parsons) - 2:40
21(The) Letter (Wayne C. Thompson) - 2:45
22.Still Feeling Blue (Gram Parsons) - 2:13
23.No Memories Hangin' Round (Rodney Crowell) - 4:00
24.I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - 2:38
All songs by Gene Clark except where indicated

Musicians
*Gene Clark - Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica
*Leon Russell - Arranger
*Hugh Masekela - Horn Section
*Chris Hillman - Bass, Vocals
*Gram Parsons - Piano, Vocals
*Bermnie Leadon - Lead Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Sneaky Pete Kleinow - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Michael Clarke - Drums, Vocals
*Clarence White - Electric String Bender Guitar
*Eric White Sr - Harmonica
*Spooner Oldham - Piano
*Byron Berline - Fiddle
*Chris Ethridge - Bass
*Claudia Lennear - Vocals
*Merry Clayton - Vocals
*Herb Peterson - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Al Perkins - Electric, Pedal Steel Guitar

1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
With The Byrds
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Donovan - Breezes Of Patchouli His Studio Recordings (1966-69 uk, outstanding folk jazzy bluesy pychedelia, 2013 four discs remaster)



Despite a title that suggests, to the uninitiated, a mocking comedy sketch by Chris Morris, this box of delights comprising Donovan Leitch’s late 60s output, is a glorious snapshot in time. No other British singer did as much to merge folk sensibilities with mainstream pop, and the results are here across 90 remastered tracks.

Ostensibly a collection of five full albums, plus a disc of period B-sides and bonus tracks (where we find the Patchouli song of the title), it represents a prolific output of material that struck a chord with traditionalists and teenyboppers alike. 1966’s Sunshine Superman was the eye-opening calling card, where leftfield psychedelia rubbed shoulders with whimsical folk. The following year’s Mellow Yellow broadened the canvas further to include sassy brass and Beat-style poetry.

1968’s The Hurdy Gurdy Man dabbled in drug references while producer Mickie Most added heavier rock hues, but 1969’s Barabajagal arguably suffered from being too scattergun. Most intriguing, though, is A Gift From A Flower To A Garden, the 1968 double set that could be the work of two artists, Donovan dividing himself between fey folkie and earthy bluesman.
by Terry Staunton
Tracks
Disc 1
Sunshine Superman 1966
1. Sunshine Superman - 3:16
2. Legend Of A Girl Child Linda - 6:54
3. Three Kingfishers - 3:18
4. Ferris Wheel - 4:15
5. Bert's Blues - 4:00
6. Season Of The Witch - 4:58
7. The Trip - 4:38
8. Guinevere - 3:42
9. The Fat Angel - 4:14
10.Celeste - 4:13
Mellow Yellow 1967
11.Mellow Yellow - 3:44
12.Writer In The Snow - 4:31
13.Sand And Foam - 3:21
14.The Observation - 2:25
15.Bleak City Woman - 2:26
16.House Of Jansch - 2:46
17.Young Girl Blues - 3:48
18.Museum - 2:58
19.Hampstead Incident - 4:44
20.Sunny South Kensington - 3:50
All songs by Donovan Leitch
Disc 2
The Hurdy Gurdy Man 1968
1. Hurdy Gurdy Man - 3:18
2. Peregrine - 3:39
3. The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl - 1:43
4. As I Recall It - 2:10
5. Get Thy Bearings - 2:54
6. Hi It's Been A Long Time - 2:39
7. West Indian Lady - 2:19
8. Jennifer Juniper - 2:43
9. The River Song - 2:17
10.Tangier - 4:14
11.A Sunny Day - 1:58
12.The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow - 2:48
13.Teas - 2:41
14.Jennifer Juniper (Italian Version) - 2:43
Barabajagal 1968
15.Barabajagal - 3:26
16.Superlungs My Supergirl - 2:50
17.Where Is She - 2:49
18.Happiness Runs - 3:28
19.I Love My Shirt - 3:19
20.The Love Song - 3:16
21.To Susan On The West Coast Waiting - 3:14
22.Atlantis - 5:01
23.Trudi - 2:25
24.Pamela Jo - 4:27
25.A Poor Man's Sunshine (Nativity) - 5:17
All compositions by Donovan Leitch
Bonus Track 14
Track 25 From The Barabajagal Sessions
Disc 3
A Gift From A Flower To A Garden 1967
1. Wear Your Love Like Heaven - 2:30
2. Mad John's Escape - 2:24
3. Skip-A-Long Sam - 2:30
4. Sun - 3:21
5. There Was A Time - 2:06
6. Oh Gosh - 1:52
7. Little Boy In Corduroy - 2:38
8. Under The Greenwood Tree - 2:00
9. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be - 2:33
10.Someone Singing - 3:09
11.Song Of The Naturalists Wife - 2:48
12.The Enchanted Gypsy - 3:23
13.Voyage Into The Golden Screen - 3:18
14.Isle Of Islay - 2:25
15.The Mandolin Man And His Secret - 3:36
16.Lay Of The Last Tinker - 1:55
17.The Tinker And The Crab - 2:56
18.Widow With Shawl (A Portrait) - 3:04
19.The Lullaby Of Spring - 3:29
20.The Magpie - 1:33
21.Starfish On-The-Toast - 2:49
22.Epistle To Derroll - 5:47
Words and Music by Donovan Leitch
Disc 4
1. Breezes Of Patchuli - 4:36
2. Museum (First Version) - 2:53
3. Superlungs (First Version) - 3:17
4. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be - 2:43
5. Sunshine Superman (Original Longer Stereo Version) - 4:44
6. Epistle To Dippy - 3:12
7. Preachin' Love - 2:41
8. Good Time - 1:55
9. There Is A Mountain - 2:36
10.Superlungs (Second Version) - 3:17
11.Epistle To Dippy (Alternative Arrangment) - 3:13
12.Teen Angel - 2:18
13.Poor Cow - 2:58
14.Lalena - 2:55
15.Aye My Love - 2:08
16.What A Beautiful Creature You Are - 2:45
17.Colours - 4:19
18.Catch The Wind - 5:05
19.The Stromberg Twins - 4:41
20.Snakeskin - 2:41
21.Lauretta's Cousin Laurinda - 4:18
22.The Swan (Lord Of The Reedy River) - 3:10
23.New Years Resolution (Donovan's Celtic Jam) - 3:15
All titles by Donovan Leitch
Tracks 1-5 "Sunshine Superman" Associated Recordings
Tracks 6-11 "Mellow Yellow" Associated Recordings
Tracks 12-16 "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Associated Recordings
Tracks 17-21 "Barabajagal" Associated Recordings
Track 22 "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Associated Recording
Track 23 "Barabajagal" Associated Recording

Musicians
*Donovan - Vocals, Guitar, Organ, Harmonica, Whistling
*Bobby Ray - Bass Guitar
*Eddie Hoh - Drums
*Shawn Phillips - Sitar
*Jimmy Page - Electric Guitar
*Eric Ford - Electric Guitar
*John Cameron - Keyboards, Arrangement
*Spike Healey - Bass Guitar
*Bobby Orr - Drums
*Tony Carr - Percussion, Bells, Congas, Finger Cymbals
*John Paul Jones - Bass Guitar
*Danny Thompson - Bass Guitar
*Spike Heatley - Bass Guitar
*Phil Seamon - Drums
*John Mclaughlin - Rhythm Guitar
*Joe Moretti - Rhythm Guitar
*Danny Moss - Saxophone
*Ronnie Ross - Saxophone
*Big Jim Sullivan - Electric Guitar
*Eric Ford - Electric Guitar
*Shawn Phillips - Sitar
*Pat Halling - Violin
*Harold Mcnair - Flute
*Eric Leese - Electric Guitar
*Cliff Barton - Bass Guitar
*Jack Bruce - Bass Guitar
*Ken Baldock - Double Bass
*Mike O'Neill - Keyboards
*Keith Webb - Drums
*Mike Carr - Vibraphone
*"Candy" John Carr - Congas
*John Bonham - Percussion
*Clem Cattini - Drums
*Jeff Beck - Guitar
*Madeline Bell - Backing Vocals
*Ronnie Wood - Guitar
*Lesley Duncan - Backing Vocals
*Aynsley Dunbar - Drums
*Alan Hawkshaw - Piano
*Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards
*Rod Stewart - Backing Vocals
*James Kehn - Percussion, Drums
*Gabriel Mekler - Keyboards

1965  Donovan - Fairytale (2001 expanded deluxe edition)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Glass Harp - It Makes Me Glad (1972 us, magnificent varied style prog jazz psych folk rock with great guitar parts, 2005 remaster)



Following the concert, were Glass Harp was opening for The Kinks at Carnegie Hall in November 21 of 1971, (The concert was recorded, but for some reason remained buried until 1997), the trio made their way to the mobile recording unit parked outside to hear the result. Says Keaggy, "Lewis Merenstein, our producer, was there, and we listened to it as it was playing back. It sounded wild. We were really excited about it." 
As it turned out, though, it was decided that another studio album should be scheduled for release ahead of the live project. The outcome, It Makes Me Glad, would be the third and final contemporary release for the band.

"We recorded that album," says Phil, "with everyone knowing that my intentions were to leave sometime in the summer. And I did leave. My last concert date with the fellas was August 8, 1972 in New York.""There was a lot of compromise on everyone's part at that time," remembers Sferra. "Phil realized that he had to go sort himself out, get away, and just start all over."

And get away, he did. Keaggy married and moved to California, where he joined the pioneering Christian band, Love Song. That connection would lead him to relocate again, this time to upstate New York, where he became involved with a Christian community known as Love Inn. "When I left Glass Harp," says Phil, "people thought I had either died or gone off to join a monastery!" In reality, a second legendary musical career was unfolding.

Glass Harp's efforts to fill Keaggy's slot in 1972 were unsuccessful. While outstanding guitarist Tim Burks and violinist Randy Benson came in to fill the void, the magic just wasn't there. The magic, it seemed, was the rare synergism between Sferra, Pecchio, and Keaggy. A year or so later, Glass Harp officially disbanded. Sferra moved on to join bands in northeastern OH, while Pecchio, Jonah Koslen, and Michael Stanley formed another regional giant, The Michael Stanley Band. Several years later, Pecchio and Sferra would join forces again with The Motion, a nine-member R&B/Motown review.
The trio has been reunited on several occasions, performing concerts in Akron and Cleveland in 1981 and 1984, and in impromptu settings with John and Dan joining Phil on stage when his concert tours brought him to town.
by John August Schroeter
Tracks
1. See Saw (Dan Pecchio) - 2:12
2. Sailing On A River (John Sferra) - 3:38
3. La De Da (Dan Pecchio) - 5:45
4. Colt (John Sferra) - 3:23
5. Sea And You (John Sferra) - 4:15
6. David & Goliath (Instrumental) (Phil Keaggy) - 2:50
7. I'm Going Home (Phil Keaggy) - 2:40
8. Do Lord (Dan Pecchio, John Sferra, Phil Keaggy) - 4:22
9. Song In The Air (Phil Keaggy) - 2:35
10.Let's Live Together (Dan Pecchio, John Sferra, Phil Keaggy) - 3:50
11.Little Doggie (Dan Pecchio, John Sferra, Phil Keaggy) - 2:27
Bonus Track 11

The Glass Harp 
*Phil Keaggy - Guitar, Vocals
*Dan Pecchio - Bass, Flute, Vocals
*John Sferra - Drums, Vocals

1971  Glass Harp - Live! At Carnegie Hall

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Savoy Brown - Street Corner Talking / Hellbound Train (1971-72 uk, awesome boogie rock, 2006 remaster)



After 1970's Looking In album, Peverett, Roger Earl, and Tony Stevens left to form Foghat, leaving Kim Simmonds with yet another dilemma. But for Simmonds, things went a little smoother than he might have imagined, picking up piano player Paul Raymond, bassman Andy Silvester, and drummer Dave Bidwell, all from Chicken Shack. He also hired singer Dave Walker, who was the former frontman with the Idle Race, and together the new lineup recorded Street Corner Talking, one of Savoy Brown's finest moments. Gelling almost instantaneously, Walker's cozy yet fervent voice countered with Simmonds' strong, sturdy guitar playing, and an exuberant mixture of British blues and boogie rock prevailed. 

All of Street Corner Talking's efforts are solid examples of the group's blues-rock power, from the slick cover of Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" to the deep feel of "All I Can Do" to the subtle strength of "Tell Mama," Walker's best-sung tune. The album's blend of sultry guitar blues and upfront rock & roll flavor give it a multi-faceted appeal, with every musician contributing his talents uniformly, which is something that's rather difficult to achieve after there's been a wholesale change to the personnel. Although they stayed together for the Hellbound Train album, Silvester was replaced by Andy Pyle for 1972's Lion's Share release, and a year after that Walker left to join Fleetwood Mac. 

Comprising the same lineup as Street Corner Talking, Savoy Brown released Hellbound Train a year later. For this effort, Kim Simmonds' guitar theatrics are toned down a bit and the rest of the band seems to be a little less vivid and passionate with their music. The songs are still draped with Savoy Brown's sleek, bluesy feel, but the deep-rooted blues essence that so easily emerged from their last album doesn't rise as high throughout Hellbound Train's tracks. The title cut is most definitely the strongest, with Dave Walker, Simmonds, and Paul Raymond sounding tighter than on any other song, and from a wider perspective, Andy Silvester's bass playing is easily Hellbound's most complimenting asset. 

On tracks like "Lost and Lonely Child," "Doin' Fine," and "If I Could See an End," the lifeblood of the band doesn't quite surge into the music as it did before, and the tracks become only average-sounding blues efforts. Because of Savoy Brown's depth of talent, this rather nonchalant approach doesn't make Hellbound Train a "bad" album by any means -- it just fails to equal the potency of its predecessor. But there is a noticeable difference in the albums that followed this one, as the band and especially Simmonds himself was beginning to show signs of fatigue, and a significant decline in the group's overall sound was rapidly becoming apparent. 
by Mike DeGagne

Tracks
Street Corner Talking 1971
1. Tell Mama (Kim Simmonds) - 5:19
2. Let It Rock (Kim Simmonds, Paul Raymond) - 3:12
3. I Can't Get Next To You (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) - 6:35
4. Time Does Tell (Kim Simmonds) - 5:24
5. Street Corner Talking (Kim Simmonds) - 4:02
6. All I Can Do (Billy Davis, Gwen Gordy Fuqua, Berry Gordy, Jr.) - 10:52
7. Wang Dang Doodle (Willie Dixon) - 7:15
Hellbound Train 1972
8. Doin' Fine (Andy Silvester, Kim Simmonds) - 2:46
9. Lost And Lonely Child (Kim Simmonds) - 5:57
10.I'll Make Everything Alright (Kim Simmonds) - 3:19
11.Troubled By These Days And Times (Paul Raymond) - 5:43
12.If I Could See An End (Kim Simmonds, Paul Raymond) - 2:55
13.It'll Make You Happy (Kim Simmonds) - 3:26
14.Hellbound Train (Andy Silvester, Kim Simmonds) - 9:13

Savoy Brown
*Kim Simmonds - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Paul Raymond - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Andy Silvester - Bass
*Dave Walker - Vocals
*Dave Bidwell - Drums

1967-68  Savoy Brown - Shake Down / Getting To The Point
1969  Savoy Brown - Blue Matter (2004 remaster and expanded)
1969-70  Savoy Brown - Raw Sienna / Looking In
1974  Savoy Brown - Boogie Brothers
Related Act
1972  Foghat - Foghat (Japan Remaster)
1973  Foghat - Rock And Roll (Japan Remaster)
1974  Foghat - Energized (Japan Remaster)
1974  Foghat - Rock And Roll Outlaws (Japan remaster)
1975  Foghat - Fool For The City (2008 ultradisc MFSL)
1976  Foghat - Night Shift (Japan remaster with extra track)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tim Buckley - Wings The Complete Singles (1966-74 us, brilliant collection, 2016 remaster)



Tim Buckley was a singularly gifted singer and songwriter, but his body of work seems to defy the traditional logic of a single-disc career-spanning anthology. Buckley was a creatively restless artist, and he jumped from solo acoustic purity to folk-rock to psychedelia to jazz to R&B to purposefully scuzzy rock in the course of a recording career that lasted just eight years. The beauty and strength of his voice and his skills as a songwriter were the sole unifying threads in his discography, and many fans will even argue about those when it comes to his final three albums. 2001's Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology comes closest to capturing the artist's many facets, in part because it's a two-disc set that takes the time to examine his catalog with real scope, but Omnivore Recordings has taken a novel approach to summarizing Buckley's work with Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974.

This collection features 21 songs that were released as single sides during Buckley's lifetime, including one unreleased track that was intended to be the B-side to a 1967 45 that never saw the light of day. The previously unheard number, "Lady, Give Me Your Key," is a gem, a lovely exercise in Baroque folk-rock that certainly justifies the release of this collection, as well as the inclusion of classic tunes like "Morning Glory," "Once I Was," "Aren't You the Girl," and "Pleasant Street." But Wings also confirms one bit of conventional wisdom about Tim Buckley: he thought in terms of albums, not singles, and as good as most of these tracks are, they sound a bit too ornate to have been pop radio favorites in their day. One senses the labels who released these tracks were grasping at straws choosing which might miraculously please a radio programmer.

This set also passes on some of Buckley's best known songs because they were never released in 7" format (most notably, "Buzzin' Fly" and "Song of the Siren"), and three of his albums -- 1969's Happy Sad, 1970's Lorca, and 1970's Starsailor -- are completely unrepresented. However, while 1973's Sefronia is generally considered a botch, Buckley's cover of Fred Neil's "Dolphins" is here to show the album had a hidden gem, and the R&B raunch of "Move with Me" and "Wanda Lu" plays better here than in the context of the albums where they were first released. Wings doesn't do better than most Tim Buckley collections in making sense of his fascinating, sometimes contradictory songbook, but it does bring together an hour of good to brilliant songs from a one-of-a-kind artist, and the set includes an interview with Buckley's friend and writing partner Larry Beckett that lends some welcome insights into how these recordings came to be.
by Mark Deming

Possibly one of the great vocalists of the 1960’s, Tim Buckley drew from folk, psychedelic rock, and progressive jazz to create a considerable body of adventurous work in his brief lifetime. His multi-octave range was capable of not just astonishing power, but great emotional expressiveness, swooping from sorrowful tenderness to anguished wailing.

His restless quest for new territory worked against him commercially: By the time his fans had hooked into his latest album, he was onto something else entirely, both live and in the studio. In this sense he recalled artists such as Miles Davis and David Bowie, who were so eager to look forward and change that they confused and even angered listeners who wanted more stylistic consistency. However, his eclecticism has also ensured a durable fascination with his work that has engendered a growing posthumous cult for his music, often with listeners who were too young (or not around) to appreciate his music while he was active.

Tim Buckley's musical growth was something to marvel at; with every album and with every song he wrote throughout his short, nine-year recording career, the American singer/songwriter became more daring, exploratory and confident. All ten of his singles (A-sides and B-sides included) have been collected — including a pair of unreleased songs from 1967 — on new compilation Wings: The Complete Singles Collection 1966-1974, along with liner notes featuring an interview with Buckley co-lyricist Larry Beckett and photos of every 45 included. 

Wings is released in chronological order and it's fascinating to hear Buckley's transformation from straight-ahead folk-rocker ("Wings," from his 1966 self-titled debut) to jazzy crooner obsessed with vocal experimentation ("Happy Time," from 1969's Blue Afternoon) to hard-edged boogie singer ("Move With Me," from 1972's Greetings From L.A.) and proto-classic rocker ("Wanda Lu," from his 1974 swansong Look at the Fool).  While many of his B-sides, including the cocksure honky-tonker "Honey Man" and the unearthed British invasion-inspired "Lady Give Me Your Key" show Buckley sounding exceptionally loose and experimental, Wings is a highly listenable compilation that shows this true talent across all his many musical incarnations. 
Tracks
1. Wings - 2:34
2. Grief in My Soul (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 2:07
3. Aren't You the Girl - 2:05
4. Strange Street Affair Under Blue (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 3:12
5. Once Upon a Time (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 2:20
6. Lady, Give Me Your Key (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 2:38
7. Morning Glory (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 2:57
8. Knight-Errant (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 2:02
9. Once I Was - 3:26
10.Pleasant Street - 5:17
11.Carnival Song - 3:14
12.Happy Time - 3:15
13.So Lonely - 3:28
14.Move With Me (Tim Buckley, Jerry Goldstein) - 3:42
15.Nighthawkin' (Tim Buckley, Jerry Goldstein) - 3:22
16.Quicksand - 3:24
17.Stone in Love - 3:30
18.Dolphins (Fred Neil) - 3:14
19.Honey Man (Larry Becket, Tim Buckley) - 4:12
20.Wanda Lu - 2:39
21.Who Could Deny You - 4:22
All songs by Tim Buckley except where stated

Musicians
*Tim Buckley - 6, 12 String Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Bottleneck Guitar, Kalimba, Vibraphone
*Lee Underwood - Guitar
*Jim Fielder - Bass Guitar
*Van Dyke Parks - Piano, Celesta, Harpsichord
*Billy Mundi - Drums, Percussion
*Jack Nitzsche - String Arrangements
*John Farsha – Guitar
*Brian Hartzler – Guitar
*Jimmy Bond – Double Bass
*Don Randi – Piano, Harmonium, Harpsichord
*Henry Diltz – Harmonica
*Jerry Yester – Piano, Organ, Harmonium
*Carter Collins – Congas, Percussion
*Dave Guard – Kalimba, Tambourine
*Eddie Hoh – Drums
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Steve Khan - Guitar
*Jimmy Madison - Drums
*John Miller – Acoustic, Electric Bass
*Chuck Rainey - Guitar
*Joe Falsia - Guitar
*Reinhold Press, Chuck Rainey - Bass Guitar
*Harry Hyams, Ralph Schaffer - Viola
*Louis Kievman - Violin
*Robert Konrad - Violin, Guitar
*William Kurasch - Violin
*Jesse Ehrlich - Cello
*Kevin Kelly - Organ, Piano
*Paul Ross Novros, Eugene E. Siegel - Saxophone
*Jerry Goldstein - Percussion
*Ed Greene - Drums
*Bob Rafkin - Guitar
*Mark Tiernan - Keyboards
*Denny Randell - Keyboards
*Tom Scott - Tenor Saxophone
*Fred Selden - Flute
*Earl Dumler - English Horn
*Larry Bunker - Percussion
*King Errisson - Percussion, Congas, Tambourine
*Ken Watson - Percussion, Timpani
*Buddy Helm - Drums
*David Blumberg - String Arrangements
*Earl Palmer - Drums
*Terry Harrington - Horn, Saxophone
*Richard Nash - Horn
*William Peterson - Horn
*John Rotella  - Horn
*Anthony Terran - Horn

1966  Tim Buckley - Tim Buckley (Part 1 of 2017 eight cds box set)
1967  Tim Buckley - Goodbye And Hello  (Part 2 of 2017 eight cds box set)
1967  Tim Buckley - Live At The Folklore Center (2009 digipak release)
1969  Tim Buckley - Happy Sad (Part 3 of 2017 eight cds box set)
1969  Tim Buckley - Blue Afternoon (Part 4 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1969 Tim Buckley - Greetings From West Hollywood (2017 remaster)
1970  Tim Buckley - Lorca (Part 5 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1970  Tim Buckley - Starsailor (Part 6 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1972  Tim Buckley - Greetings From L.A. (Part 7 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1967-69  Tim Buckley - Works In Progress (Part 8 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1973  Tim Buckley - Sefronia (2017 remaster)
1974  Tim Buckley - Look At The Fool (2017 remaster)

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Tim Buckley - Live At The Folklore Center (1967 us, amazing acoustic folk, 2009 digipak release)



It's mindblowing that the folk iconoclast Izzy Young, founder of New York CItry's legendary Folklore Center, sat on this reel to reel tape of a very young Tim Buckley on his first trip to the Big Apple from the West Coast, for more than 40 years. Young was a promoter and was as close to a folk music purist as there was, and an integral part of the City's scene in the '50s and early 60s. Buckley's performance at the center was the result of a long, informal conversation, some lox and bagels; it was scheduled without having heard his record or hearing him sing(!) and in the same month as concerts by Spider John Koerner and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Buckley was hanging out in N.Y.C. between the release of his debut album and the impending issue of the now-classic Happy Sad. According to Young in his liner essay, there were about 35 people in the audience. Along with the essay, there is a verbatim transcript of an interview between him and Buckley without the questions.

What transpires here (released through the visionary good graces of Tompkins Square Recordings) is the sound of Buckley emerging from the influence of the New York scene's sound and into the enigmatic one he would call his own. The performance here is electrifying. Buckley is picking his six-string guitar with as much passion as his singing (the opener is an incredible version of "Song for Janie"), and on other songs, he's beating the living hell out of his open-tuned, 12-string guitar to match (check "I Never Asked to Be Your Mountain"). Other well-known Buckley numbers are performed here and, as many times as we've heard them, sound completely fresh and new -- because they were new to him. There's the brief reading of "Phantasmagoria in Two," an excellent version of Fred Neil's "Dolphins," the wooly exuberance "Aren't You the Girl," (though it is sometimes off-key and even shrill) and the honest tenderness and vulnerability on display in "Carnival Song." And while this set is comprised of unreleased live material, the real treasure trove is that contains a whopping six songs -- all composed by Buckley -- that have never been issued before in any form. There is the uptempo "Please Just Leave Me"; the consolation ballad "What Do You Do (He Never Saw You)"; the broken love song "Cripples Cry"; the seductive ballad that is "If the Rain Comes"; the raucous "Country Boy," and the concluding pathos-fueled manic strum and thrum that is "I Can't Leave You Lovin' Me," with its killer falsetto in the refrain that leaves the audience clapping enthusiastically.

The final effect of this set is electrifying because of its raw, unfiltered, and even spontaneous performance. The sound quality and fidelity are fine since this was recorded on a single 1/4-inch tape recorder with a single mike; so guitar and voice are naturally balanced by the performer; add to this the natural warmth of the room. This is all evident in the ambience of the CD with very little tape hiss, miraculously. This surprise document is early proof of Buckley's genius at such a young age, and in a live setting, even without a producer. He could offer a completely new twist on what was considered "folk music" at the time, to a very conservative and tough audience, and burn down the house. This is simply a must for fans.
by Thom Jurek
Tracks
1. Song For Jainie - 3:02
2. I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain - 4:17
3. Wings - 2:44
4. Phantasmagoria In Two - 3:18
5. Just Please Leave Me - 2:28
6. Dolphins (Fred Neil) - 4:32
7. I Can't See You (Tim Buckley, Larry Beckett) - 4:05
8. Troubadour - 4:30
9. Aren't You The Girl - 2:57
10.What Do You Do (He Never Saw You) - 2:51
11.No Man Can Find The War (Tim Buckley, Larry Beckett) - 3:19
12.Carnival Song - 2:43
13.Cripples Cry - 5:07
14.If The Rain Comes - 2:50
15.Country Boy - 4:04
16.I Can't Leave You Loving Me - 2:26
Lyrics and Music by Tim Buckley except where noted

*Tim Buckley – Guitar, Vocals

1966  Tim Buckley - Tim Buckley (Part 1 of 2017 eight cds box set)
1967  Tim Buckley - Goodbye And Hello  (Part 2 of 2017 eight cds box set) 
1969  Tim Buckley - Happy Sad (Part 3 of 2017 eight cds box set)
1969  Tim Buckley - Blue Afternoon (Part 4 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1969 Tim Buckley - Greetings From West Hollywood (2017 remaster)
1970  Tim Buckley - Lorca (Part 5 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1970  Tim Buckley - Starsailor (Part 6 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1972  Tim Buckley - Greetings From L.A. (Part 7 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1967-69  Tim Buckley - Works In Progress (Part 8 of the 2017 eight cds box set)
1973  Tim Buckley - Sefronia (2017 remaster)
1974  Tim Buckley - Look At The Fool (2017 remaster)

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