Sunday, November 18, 2018

Jackson Heights - Bump 'n' Grind (1973 uk, wonderful soft prog rock, 2010 remaster)

Adding a new drummer to the line Up (actually three in the form of Michael Giles, Ian Wallace and Ian Paice -yes the Purple man- in one song),  band struggled on releasing a fourth studio set "Bump 'n' Grind" before calling it quits at the end of 1973.  

In "Bump and Grind" the intention of Jackson Heights was a return to somewhat simpler, less bombastic music. By the time the band was ready for this album, that intention had already been thrown overboard, probably for an important part by the record company, which began to crumble the harrowing lack of commercial success. Too good for the rock scene, not hit sensitive enough for the pop charts, the band fell out of the way everywhere. A somewhat fuller, more commercial sound was therefore in order.

That is, in retrospect, actually the greatest merit of "Bump" and "Grind": the album sounds incredibly good in this polished version, a richly produced album. That is partly due to the large orchestra that accompanies the band in a number of tracks. Those numbers are beautiful pop songs of the classic kind.

Jackson subsequently partnered with Swiss keyboard player Patrick Moraz in the band Refugee (made even more ironic given Jackson had previously tried to recruit Moraz for a late inning version of Jackson Heights).  Frustrated with the business, he dropped out, relocating to Los Angeles where he lived until the early 1990s.  Back in the UK he resumed a somewhat low-keyed musical career focusing his time on the blues oriented Ginger Pig Band and occasional Nice reunions.

Chatton hooked up with Ian Anderson in the short-lived Fragile, played in Boys Don't Cry, Uzlot (with Yes' Jon Anderson), toured with John Miles, Meatloaf, and others, wrote material for others, became an in-demand studio player, recorded a couple of solo efforts, and enjoyed success as a talent scout/manager
1. I Could Be Your Orchestra (Hugh Murphy, John McBurnie) - 4:15
2. Spaghetti Sunshine (Brian Chatton) - 3:34
3. Long Necked Lady (John McBurnie) - 3:46
4. Public Romance (Brian Chatton) - 2:31
5. Bump And Grind (John McBurnie) - 3:25
6. Cumberland County (Brian Chatton, Lee Jackson) - 3:41
7. It's A Shame (Brian Chatton, Lee Jackson) - 4:19
8. Ladies In The Chorus (Brian Chatton, Lee Jackson) - 3:05
9. Whatever Happened To The Conversation (Brian Chatton, John McBurnie, Lee Jackson) - 3:49

Jackson Heights
*Brian Chatton - Vocals, Piano, Clarinet, Organ, Mellotron, Harpsichord, Celesta, Tubular Bells, Electric Piano, Moog
*Michael Giles - Drums
*John McBurnie - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Mellotron, Percussion
*Lee Jackson - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Cello
*Johnny VanDerrick - Violin
*Ian Paice - Drums
*Ian Wallace - Drums
*Chris Laurence - Bass
*Bill Bell - Banjo
*Brian Hawkins - Viola
*Brian Mack - Viola
*Don McVay - Viola
*Jan Schlapp - Viola
*Alan Travers - Violin
*Andy Babynchuk - Violin
*Cathy Wei - Violin
*Clare Farmer - Violin
*David Woodcock - Violin
*Eddy Roberts - Violin
*Liz Edwards - Violin
*Gavyn Wright - Violin
*Godfrey Salmon - Violin
*Jeff Grey - Violin
*Louise Jopling - Violin
*Paul Pearce - Violin

1970  Jackson Heights - King Progress (2004 remaster)
1972  Jackson Heights - The Fifth Avenue Bus (2010 remaster)
1972  Jackson Heights - Ragamuffins Fool (2010 remaster)
Related Act
1970   Justine - Justine (2008 Sunbeam release)

Free Text
the Free Text

Friday, November 16, 2018

Jackson Heights - Ragamuffins Fool (1972 uk, elegant prog rock, 2010 remaster)

Jackson Heights' third album (issued as Ragamuffin's Fool by Vertigo in the U.K. and Jackson Heights by Verve in the U.S.) was an improvement over its predecessor (The 5th Avenue Bus), but still an indication that leader Lee Jackson would have relatively little exciting to offer in his post-Nice career. While 5th Avenue Bus had at times leaned toward an American west coast soft rock sound (particularly in its vocal harmonies), Ragamuffin's Fool went for a somewhat harder, artier, and more diverse approach. "Maureen" had almost, but not quite, enough straightforward rock hooks to have had a chance as a single.

The gloomy ballads "Oh You Beauty" and "Chorale," more than anything on The 5th Avenue Bus, reached back a little toward the slightly classical-tinged, keyboard-anchored melodic scope of the Nice, though the flavor on the first tune is as much Todd Rundgren as Keith Emerson. "As She Starts" is a kind of nice, slightly eccentric waltz with good vocal harmonies, and "Bebop" again nods in the art rock direction with its fusion of classical piano and dynamic rock rhythm. However, just when you're thinking it's not a half-bad record in its slightly peculiar mix of melancholy pop, mild art rock, and more of those west coast-influenced harmonies, it sputters to a close with a few mediocre good-time and country-rock numbers that are wholly at odds with the mood of the rest of the LP. 
by Richie Unterberger
1. Maureen (Brian Chatton, John McBurnie, Lee Jackson) - 3:50
2. Oh You Beauty (John McBurnie) - 4:20
3. As She Starts - 3:24
4. BeBop - 3:57
5. Catch A Thief - 4:47
6. Ragamuffin's Fool - 4:43
7. Chorale (Five Bridges Suite) (Keith Emerson, Lee Jackson) - 3:23
8. Chips And Chicken - 3:58
9. Poor Peter (Lee Jackson) - 2:01
10. Bellyfull Of Water - 3:56
All compositions by Brian Chatton, John McBurnie except where indicated

The Jackson Heights
*Brian Chatton - Mellotron, Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Mike Giles - Drums
*Lee Jackson - Bass, Congas, Electric Cello, Guitar, Vocals
*John McBurnie - Acoustic, 12 String Acoustic Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
*Mox Gowland - Harmonica
*Keith Harris - Banjo
*Laurie Jay - Drums
*Oli Oliver - Fiddle

1970  Jackson Heights - King Progress (2004 remaster)
1972  Jackson Heights - The Fifth Avenue Bus (2010 remaster)

Free Text
the Free Text

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fresh Blueberry Pancake - Heavy (1970 us, great rough acid psych jam rock, 2001 release)

Pittsburgh power trio Fresh Blueberry Pancake formed in 1968, comprising singer/bassist Tony Impavido, guitarist John Behrens, and drummer Geoff Reidell. After two years of local gigging, the group built up enough of a fan base and enough original material to record a demo tape, and in 1970 they self-released Heavy -- issued in a pressing of just 54 copies, the record is now much sought-after among collectors of plodding, monolithic acid rock. (The Shadoks label reissued Heavy in 2001.) After the album's release the group abbreviated its name to Pancake, dissolving in 1972. 
by Jason Ankeny
1. Hassles - 4:03
2. Being In Town - 3:12
3. Clown On A Rope - 3:53
4. Bad Boy Turns Good - 3:24
5. I Call Him Lord - 2:32
6. Down On The Farm - 2:39
7. Where's The Sun - 4:08
8. Sleep Bound - 4:13
9. Stranded - 4:51
All songs by John Behrens, Tony Impavido, Geoff Rydell

Fresh Blueberry Pancake
*John Behrens – Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Impavido – Bass, Vocals
*Geoff Rydell – Drums

Free Text
the Free Text

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Man - Rhinos Winos And Lunatics (1974 uk, spectacular jam psych prog rock, 2007 double disc remaster)

1974, another year, another Man album and, inevitably, a change in line-up for the Welsh band that refused to lie down. Stalwarts Micky Jones and Terry Williams remained and, somewhat surprisingly, Deke Leonard was invited back into the fold after having been ignominiously sacked before the bands previous album Be Good To Yourself At Least Once A Day. Obviously he had been redeemed for his irredeemable nihilism! Or perhaps it was just because the Man band fancied recruiting two members of Iceberg, Leonard's solo band. Those two members were Malcolm Morley and Ken Whaley, both of whom had previously been in Help Yourself signed, like Man, to United Artists. For the first time the management suggested that Man work with an outside producer and roped in Roy Thomas Baker, fresh from recording the second album by an up and coming band named Queen. Although the band initially resisted, they soon found that their level of playing reached a new peak under the gifted ears of Mr Baker.

Written, recorded and mixed in under three weeks, the quality of the album defies the seemingly effortless ease with which the group could come up with new and exciting material. The reinstatement of Leonard provided a foil for Jones to play off resulting in some great multi-layered guitars all over the album. Taking The Easy Way Out Again is the sprightly opener with a naggingly insistent guitar riff while The Thunder And Lightning Kid has a degree more funkiness to it with keyboardist Morley taking over on vocals and even contributing some guitar. California Silks And Satins is more laid back and the only track not composed by the whole band, having been brought to the recordings sessions by Leonard and Morley from the Help Yourself days. On Four Day Louise the band really gel with the twin guitar and underpinning keyboards making it a popular live number.

Side two of the original vinyl version of the album started with the brief instrumental Intro which segued straight into the lovely Kerosene where Ray Thomas Baker's influence is more instantly heard. Rich harmonies and an almost sleazy guitar takes the band into a totally new area far removed from what had gone before. However, it was not all change as Scotch Corner is a more traditional Man number, extended instrumental sections with the feel of unrestricted jamming, all with a smooth sheen taking the edge off the rougher edges. The album is rounded off with another short instrumental appropriately called Exit and, as a bonus, the single mix of Taking The Easy Way Out Again.

However, the real bonus comes with a previously unreleased live recording taped during the band's first American tour at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles in March 1974. And as an extra bonus the recording features saxophone maestro Jim Horn who had happened to turn up to the gig accompanied by his sax and offered to join the group on stage. A true musical genius, his contributions are outstanding, particularly considering the first time he heard the songs was on stage that evening! Of course, the band had to step up to the mark to avoid being overshadowed by their illustrious guest, and boy they did just that. There are plenty of live man recordings available so what does this one have to offer over all the rest? Well three genuine Man classics, two of which are a shade under twenty minutes each, an openness in the playing, a shade more experimentation and some awe inspiring sax playing. Should be enough for anyone!

Once again Esoteric have excelled in this reissue, they understand exactly what the fan wants from a quality reissue. The fact that there is some excellent music as well is rather a bonus! 
by Mark Hughes
Disc 1 Rhinos Winos And Lunatics 1974
1. Taking the Easy Way Out Again - 4:22 
2. The Thunder and Lightning Kid - 5:17
3. California Silks and Satins (Deke Leonard,  Malcolm Morley) - 4:40
4. Four Day Louise - 6:02
5. Intro - 0:46
6. Kerosene - 6:29
7. Scotch Corner - 9:04
8. Exit - 1:13
9. Taking The Easy Way Out Again (Single Version) - 3:19
All songs by Micky Jones,  Deke Leonard,  Malcolm Morley,  Ken Whaley except track #3
Disc 2 Live At The Whiskey A Go Go 28th August 1974
1. American Mother (Deke Leonard,  Malcolm Morley) - 14:21
2. 7171 551 (Deke Leonard,  Malcolm Morley) - 12:25
3. A Hard Way To Live (Deke Leonard,  Malcolm Morley) - 3:40
4. Romain (Martin Ace, Clive John, Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Terry Williams) - 19:04
5. Bananas (Clive John, Micky Jones, Phil Ryan, Terry Williams) - 19:39

*Micky Jones - Guitar, Vocals
*Malcolm Morley - Piano, Guitar, Vocals
*Ken Whaley - Bass
*Terry Williams - Drums, Vocals
*Deke Leonard - Guitar, Piano, Vocals

1969  Man - Revelation (2009 remaster and expanded)
1969  Man - 2 Ozs Of Plastic With A Hole In The Middle (2009 remaster)
1971  Man - Man (2007 remaster with extra tracks)
Related Acts
1971-73  Help Yourself - Reaffirmation An Anthology (2014 Remaster)
1973  Help Yourself - 5 (2004 release)
1976-78  Tyla Gang - Pool Hall Punks / The Complete Recordings

Free Text
the Free Text

Monday, November 12, 2018

Andrew Gold - All This And Heaven Too (1978 us, beautiful soft rock, 2005 bonus tracks remaster)

Best remembered for his mid-'70s smashes "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend," pop singer/songwriter Andrew Gold was born in Burbank, California on August 2, 1951. The son of composer Ernest Gold (who won an Academy Award for his score to the film Exodus) and vocalist Marni Nixon (the singing voice of Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady), he first attracted attention as a member of the Los Angeles band Bryndle alongside Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman, and Karla Bonoff; in 1973, both Gold and Edwards joined Linda Ronstadt, appearing on classic albums including 1974's Heart Like a Wheel and 1975's Prisoner in Disguise. A noted arranger as well as a skilled multi-instrumentalist, Gold swiftly emerged as one of the most sought-after session musicians on the West Coast scene, and his résumé -- including dates with James Taylor, Carly Simon, Loudon Wainwright III, and J.D. Souther -- reads like a who's-who of the singer/songwriter movement. 

In 1975, Gold released his self-titled solo debut; its follow-up, What's Wrong with This Picture?, was his commercial breakthrough, notching an international hit with "Lonely Boy." "Never Let Her Slip Away, " from 1978's All This and Heaven Too, also reached the British Top Five, but the album's most enduring moment remains "Thank You for Being a Friend, " the blockbuster ballad later remade as the theme song for the hit sitcom The Golden Girls. However, 1980's Whirlwind stiffed, and Gold was cut loose from his contract with Asylum. After spending the early part of the decade touring with Ronstadt, he teamed with 10cc alumnus Graham Gouldman to form Common Knowledge, recording a self-titled LP in 1984. Gold and Goldman then rechristened their duo project Wax UK, notching a minor hit in 1986 with "Right Between the Eyes." "Bridge to Your Heart" was a British smash in 1987, but after 1989's A Hundred Thousand in Fresh Notes, Wax UK disbanded. Andrew Gold passed away at the age of 59, at his home in Los Angeles on Friday Jun 3rd 2011
by Jason Ankeny
1. How Can This Be Love (Mark Safan, Mark Goldenberg) - 4:00
2. Oh Urania (Take Me Away) - 4:23
3. Still You Linger On - 3:26
4. Never Let Her Slip Away - 3:28
5. Always For You - 4:38
6. Thank You for Being a Friend - 4:41
7. Looking For My Love - 3:43
8. Genevieve (Andrew Gold, Brock Walsh) - 5:05
9. I'm On My Way (Mark Safan) - 3:44
10.You're Free - 4:07
11.The Gambler (Version 1) (Kenny Edwards) - 3:57 
12.Thank You For Being A Friend (Outtake) - 1:31 
13.Dr. Robert (Live) (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:20
14.Genevieve (Original Version) (Andrew Gold, Brock Walsh) - 5:43
15.Still You Linger On - 4:52
All songs by Andrew Gold, except where stated

*Andrew Gold - Vocals, Piano, Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Electric Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer, Harmonium, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Tympani
*Kenny Edwards - Bass
*Brock Walsh - Backing Vocals, Percussion
*Waddy Wachtel - Guitar
*Jeff Porcaro - Drums
*Rick Marotta - Drums
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Beau Segal - Drums
*Brad Palmer - Bass
*Ernie Watts - Saxophone
*J. D. Souther - Backing Vocals
*Jennifer Warnes - Backing Vocals
*Mark Safan - Backing Vocals

Free Text
the Free Text

Saturday, November 10, 2018

R. Dean Taylor - The Essential Collection (1965-72 canada, wondrous soul orchestrated sunny folk psychedelia, 2001 issue)

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, R. Dean Taylor made his first entry into the world of music at the age of 12, singing at various open-air Country & Western shows in the Toronto area.  

In 1960 he recorded his first record, "At the High School Dance," which played across Canada and on CHUM Radio, Toronto' s power-house radio station.  He appeared on a CBC dance party TV show and started playing clubs and other venues around the Toronto area and toured the States for a short time.

Dean went to New York in 1962 and cut four sides which were distributed on the AMY- MALA label: "I'll Remember," "It's A Long Way to St. Louis," "We Fell In Love As We Tangoed," and "Beautiful Dreamer"

In 1963 a friend from Detroit called him about a newspaper article featuring an up-an-coming record company called Motown Records and said he could arrange an audition.  Dean was fortunate enough to meet with Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier of Motown's top producing team, Holland, Dozier, Holland.  They liked his material and Dean was immediately signed as a writer and artist for the label. Dean started working with Eddie Holland, sitting for hours tossing ideas back and forth and coming up with lyrics for many of the Holland/Dozier hits.  

…Eddie was a fantastic writer, he could write from a woman's point of view as well as a man's, and I really learned a lot from working with him.  I wanted to learn everything I could about producing and started playing tambourine on the Holland/Dozier sessions.  I played on most of their records, such as "Standing In the Shadows of Love," "Reach Out," and many more.  Seeing the innovative way Brian and Lamont used new sounds in their productions, such as footstomps on an old board as the intro on "Where Did Our Love Go" and many other gimmick sounds, was an inspiration.  Watching Holland/Dozier produce, and playing with those great musicians now referred to as The Funk Brothers, was more than I could have ever hoped for.

As a writer, Taylor's credits include such hits as "Love Child" and "I'm Living In Shame" by the Supremes, "All I Need" by the Temptations, "I'll Turn To Stone" by the Four Tops, and "Just Look What You've Done" by Brenda Holloway.

Dean recorded his own record, "Let's Go Somewhere" in 1965, a subtle war protest song, but not much happened.  In 1966 he recorded "There's A Ghost In My House."  but f
ound out from a friend that there was little or no promotion on the record since they were concentrating on promoting the established Motown acts.  Four years later in England, a club DJ started playing "There's A Ghost in My House" and it became popular.  Other dance clubs picked up on the record and Motown UK released it as a single, and it went to the top of the charts in England and throughout Europe.

"Gotta See Jane," written in 1967 on a rainy drive to Toronto, became another English hit but received no promotion in US.  

In 1970, Dean recorded "Indiana Wants Me" which he always felt would be a hit record.  Two radio stations broke the record in the States.  Disk jockey, Scott Regen, believed the record was a hit and fought to get the record played on WKNR in Detroit.  At the same time, program director, Rosalie Trombley put the record on the powerful CKLW playlist in Windsor, Ontario.   Dean went to Motown Vice President, Barney Ayles, and asked him if he could put some heavy promotion behind this record.  Ayles knew it was getting airplay and the record was getting positive feedback so he agreed to hire an independent promotion man, Al Valente, to go out with Taylor on a promo tour to stations, large and small, in the Michigan area.  More and more stations began playing "Indiana" and  Barney told the Motown promotion department to get behind it. Dean also appeared on CKLW's The Robin Seymour TV Show a number of times.  "Indiana Wants Me" became a million-seller and climbed to #1 on the US charts, making R. Dean Taylor the first white artist in the history of Motown to do so.

Dean's songs continue to receive International airplay and have been covered by several artists.  Currently, Dean has built a recording studio in his home in Los Angeles and is working on a new CD and writing a book about his Motown memories. 
1. Gotta See Jane (Edward Holland, Jr., R. Dean Taylor, Ronald Miller) - 3:08
2. Back Street (R. Dean Taylor) - 3:37
3. Ain't It A Sad Thing (R. Dean Taylor) - 2:28
4. Gonna Give Her All The Love I Got (Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong) - 2:52
5. There's A Ghost In My House (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, R. Dean Taylor) - 2:14
6. Don't Fool Around (Edward Holland Jr., R. Dean Taylor) - 2:29
7. Indiana Wants Me (R. Dean Taylor) - 3:47
8. Woman Alive (R. Dean Taylor) - 2:33
9. Love's Your Name (R. Dean Taylor) - 2:20
10.Taos New Mexico (R. Dean Taylor) - 3:11
11.Fire And Rain (James Taylor) - 2:58
12.Shadow (R. Dean Taylor) - 2:50
13.Two Of Us (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:06
14.Poor Girl (Edward Holland Jr., R. Dean Taylor) - 2:44
15.Let's Go Somewhere (Edward Holland Jr., James Dean, R. Dean Taylor) - 2:53
16.Candy Apple Red (R. Dean Taylor) - 3:34
17.Sunday Morning Coming Down (Kris Kristofferson) - 4:15
18.Just Like In The Movies (Edward Holland Jr., Lamont Dozier, R. Dean Taylor) - 2:31
19.My Lady Bug Stay Away From That Beatle (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland Jr., R. Dean Taylor) - 2:52

*Richard Dean Taylor - Vocals

Free Text 
the Free Text

Friday, November 9, 2018

Jamul - Jamul (1970 us, great roots classic rock, 2011 remaster)

Named after the rural east San Diego town they came from, folk/blues rockers Jamul played frequently at venues like National City's Club Pleasure, performing originals and covers of tracks like the Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash." Gary Puckett (of The Union Gap) championed the group, helping them land a label deal with Gabriel Mekler's Lizard Records, distributed by Ampex.

In addition to turning up on the KGB-FM Homegrown album series, Jamul earned nationwide airplay with singles like their cover of “Tobacco Road,” as well as originals like “Movin’ To the Country,” and “Sunrise Over Jamul” (named a Newcomer Pick of the Week in Cashbox magazine). Their self-titled debut LP hit number 93 on the Billboard album chart in 1970.

"We did very well packing the clubs and ended up making an album produced by Richard Podolor with Gabriel Mekler as executive producer," recalls drummer Ron Armstrong (formerly of the Misfits, who opened in San Diego for the Rolling Stones). The same production team also produced Steppenwolf and 3 Dog Night.

"Little Richard heard that we recorded one of his songs on our album, 'Long Tall Sally,'" says Armstrong. "We were playing at the Whiskey, in Hollywood. He told our leader and lead singer, Bob Desnoyers, that he liked our four piece band better than his big band and asked us to back him for his first video, produced by Barry Richards, and also play one of our songs in Washington DC...this became part of Barry Richards TV Production." 
1. Tobacco Road (John D. Loudermilk) - 3:50
2. Long Tall Sally (Enotris Johnson, Richard Penniman, Robert Blackwell) - 2:58
3. Sunrise Over Jamul (Ron Armstrong) - 3:03
4. Movin' To The Country (Ron Armstrong) - 3:58
5. Hold The Line (Ron Armstrong) - 2:22
6. Jumpin' Jack Flash (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 4:46
7. All You Have Left Is Me (Bob Desnoyers) - 2:48
8. Nickel Thimble (John Fergus) - 2:46
9. I Can't Complain (Ron Armstrong) - 3:42
10.Ramblin' Man (Steve Williams) - 4:18
11.Valley Thunder (Bob Desnoyers) - 3:49

*Bob Desnoyers - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Steve Williams - Harmonica, Vocals
*John Fergus - Bass guitar, Vocals
*Ron Armstrong - Drums, Vocals

Free Text
the Free Text

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Duffy - Scruffy Duffy (1973 uk, sensational hard bluesy psych prog rock, 2002 remaster)

Duffy's second LP Scruffy Duffy's opening bars take you to the Exile On Main Street territories, but that-s just until the vocals begin-then you see you are into something different. The sound of Duffy is between the raw side of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and the pastoral side of Jethro Tull, but their very personal mix of psychedelia, progressive and hard rock is unique.  Scruffy Duffy released in 1973 on Chapter One label.
1. Running Away - 2:33
2. Changing My Ways - 6:00
3. Ode To Clay - 2:59
4. The 1959 Rock'n Roll Bop - 2:56
5. The Browns - 3:02
6. Banker - 4:21
7. Joker - 2:28
8. I Can't Help The Way I Am - 1:23
9. St. John's - 9:02
10.Finale - 0:29
All songs by Stuart Reffold, Barry Coote, Joe Nanson, Patrick Sarjeant, Will Wright.

*Stuart Reffold - Lead Vocals, Harp, Percussion
*Barry Coote - Guitars
*Joe Nanson - Organ, Vocals
*Patrick Sarjeant - Bass, Vocals
*Will Wright - Drums, Percussion

1972  Duffy - Just In Case You're Interested (2010 remaster)

Free Text
the Free Text

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Duffy - Just In Case You're Interested (1972 uk, exceptional hard psych prog rock, 2010 remaster)

Duffy were formed in London in the early 1970s by five guys in their late twenties: Stuart Reffold, vocalist, Barry Coote, guitarist, Joe Nanson, keyboardist, Patrick Sarjeant, bassist and Will Wright , drummer, they met in the university circuits of Cambridge and London.

In the essays, their music had clear influences from the early sonority of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Humble Pie and Jethro Tull, the kind of sound that was in vogue among early British youth of the era. It did not have the heavy mark of the Birmingham scene, which was already outlining the primitive heavy metal, not as progressive as the London scene, which was beginning to see the fuse of Pink Floyd and Yes. It was a sound of convergence.

They often played in university circuits, pubs and nightclubs across the central north-central axis of England, such as the Marquee, Fishmongers Arms and Eel Pie Island in London, The Star Hotel in Croydon, The Mothers in Birmighan, among others.

After getting a name in the local scenes, they were invited to attend major rock festivals, even opening for Deep Purple at the Pop Monster in 1971, until they met, -during one of those shows-, the Swiss producer Stephen Sulke, who had already worked with Santana, Melanie, Aretha Franklin and Buddy Miles.

Sulke became interested of their songs and invited them to record their debut album in Switzerland, where he had contacts with studios, sound engineers and others connected to the music industry, anyone who could be interested in the work of the group. The result was the album "Just in Case You're Interested", originally released by the German label Mabel Records in 1971. At that time they did not manage to release their LP in UK, but only in some European countries, South Africa and South America.
1. Matchmaker - 2:42
2. Long Lost Friend - 3:00
3. Judgement Day - 4:21
4. Amie - 2:30
5. It's My Life - 2:50
6. Rock Solid - 3:13
7. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Bennie Benjamin, Horace Ott, Sol Marcus) - 5:49
8. Tell Me - 3:03
9. Riverside - 2:58
10.Place To Die - 2:13
All songs by Patrick Sarjeant, Will Wright, Barry Coote, "Leslie" Joe Nanson, Stuart Reffold except track #7

*Patrick Sarjeant - Bass
*Will Wright - Drums
*Barry Coote - Electric Guitar
*"Leslie" Joe Nanson - Keyboards
*Stuart Reffold – Vocals

Free Text
the Free Text

Monday, November 5, 2018

Maggie Bell - Queen Of The Night (1974 uk, excellent funky blues rock, 2006 bonus tracks remaster)

Producer Jerry Wexler puts the earthy vocals of Maggie Bell in a beautiful setting here. She stretches John Prine's "Souvenirs" to the max with Steve Gadd ably assisting by splashing the drums as deep as Bell's vocals. Her uptempo version of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" is more captivating than Eric Clapton's; she oozes that Etta James sexuality while Reggie Young throws some tasty guitar into the semi-calypso groove. Bell's identity is unique on much of the material, but a couple of tunes have her paying tribute to some of her sisters. 

The title track, "Queen of the Night," is drenched in gorgeous harmonies by the Sweet Inspirations and is pure Genya Ravan, but conversely, the cover of "A Woman Left Lonely," embraced totally by Janis Joplin on Pearl, is a sweet vocal and totally alien to how Joplin ripped the song to shreds so wonderfully. It works on an entirely different level on Queen of the Night -- Bell's voice is an instrument that slips into different styles on a moment's notice. She takes the fun but silly Ringo Starr/Vini Poncia number five hit from the same year and gives it some style, then turns around with Deadric Malone's "As the Years Go Passing By" and delivers another brand of quality sound. Cornell Dupree's fabulous guitar leads cook in the background -- the frosting on the cake for "As the Years Go Passing By." Intense and beautiful, it is the real sleeper here. While Merry Clayton was singing backup on Ringo Starr's "Oh My My" and ex-Black Oak Arkansas Ruby Starr would track Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," Bell broke through her Stone the Crows image to cover a range of ideas, giving even David Clayton Thomas some respectability, taking his original "Yesterday's Music" to new heights with a Bonnie Bramlett-style touch of gospel.

From Will Jennings to Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen, Bell's Queen of the Night is a stunningly marvelous mix of blues, pop, soul, and Southern rock. "We Had It All" builds with a smoldering tension that gives Bell a platform for her inspired phrasings. Sager must've been over the top when she first heard this version of "The Other Side." This is music straight from the heart, which concludes with "Trade Winds," piano, drums, and Bell's voice tapering off like the end of a great set at some intimate nightclub. This is an extraordinary creation worth pulling out when you want to appreciate a fine wine like Queen of the Night. 
by Joe Viglione
1. Cado Queen (Mentor Williams, Troy Seals, Will Jennings) - 3:38
2. A Woman Left Lonely (Dan Penn, Dewey Oldham) - 3:55
3. Souvenirs (John Prine) - 5:34
4. After Midnight (J.J. Cale) - 2:38
5. Queen Of The Night (Ronnie Leahy) - 4:03
6. Oh My My (Richard Starkey, Vinny Poncia) - 2:57
7. As The Years Go Passing By (Deadric Malone) - 4:23
8. Yesterday's Music (David Clayton-Thomas, William Smith) - 3:27
9. We Had It All (Donny Fritts, Troy Seals) - 2:57
10.The Other Side (Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Allen) - 2:55
11.Trade Winds (Ralph MacDonald, William Salter) - 5:17
12.Penicillin Blues (Live Bonus Track) (Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry) - 12:11
13.Wishing Well (Live Bonus Track) (John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi) - 4:03

*Maggie Bell - Vocals
*Cornell Dupree - Guitar
*Steve Gadd - Drums
*Barry Goldberg - Keyboards
*John Hughey - Steel Guitar
*Arthur Jenkins - Keyboards
*Ralph MacDonald - Percussion
*Leon Pendarvis - Keyboards
*Chuck Rainey - Bass
*William Salter - Bass
*The Sweet Inspirations - Vocals
*Richard Tee - Keyboards
*Reggie Young - Guitar

1975  Maggie Bell - Suicide Sal (2006 remaster) 
1969-71  Stone The Crows - Stone The Crows / Ode To John Law (2015 double disc bonus tracks set) 
1972  Stone The Crows - Live In Montreux (2002 edition) 

Free Text
the Free Text

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Leon Russell - Leon Russell (1970 us, splendid varied style rock, 2014 japan SHM remaster)

Leon Russell never quite hit all the right notes the way he did on his eponymous debut. He never again seemed as convincing in his grasp of Americana music and themes, never again seemed as individual, and never again did his limited, slurred bluesy voice seem as ingratiating. He never again topped his triptych of "A Song for You," "Hummingbird," and "Delta Lady," nor did his albums contain such fine tracks as "Dixie Lullaby." 

Throughout it all, what comes across is Russell's idiosyncratic vision, not only in his approach but in his very construction -- none of the songs quite play out as expected, turning country, blues, and rock inside out, not only musically but lyrically. Yes, his voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but it's only appropriate for a songwriter with enough chutzpah to write songs of his own called "I Put a Spell on You" and "Give Peace a Chance." And if there ever was a place to acquire a taste for Russell, it's here. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. A Song For You - 4:08
2. Dixie Lullaby (Leon Russell, Chris Stainton) - 2:35
3. I Put A Spell On You - 4:12
4. Shoot Out On The Plantation - 3:13
5. Hummingbird - 4:02
6. Delta Lady - 4:05
7. Prince Of Peace (Leon Russell, Greg Dempsey) - 3:05
8. Give Peace A Chance (Russell, Bonnie Bramlett) - 2:23
9. Hurtsome Body - 3:39
10.Pisces Apple Lady - 2:53
11.Roll Away The Stone (Leon Russell, Greg Dempsey) - 3:10
All Songs By Leon Russell Except Where Indicated

*Leon Russell - Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Buddy Harman - Drums
*Klaus Voormann - Bass
*Mick Jagger - Vocals
*George Harrison - Guitar
*Ringo Starr - Drums
*Alan Spenner - Bass
*Charlie Watts - Drums
*Bill Wyman - Bass
*Delaney Bramlett - Guitar
*Eric Clapton - Guitar
*Jim Horn - Saxophone
*Bonnie Bramlett - Vocals
*Steve Winwood - Keyboards
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Chris Stainton - Keyboards
*B.J. Wilson - Drums
*Joe Cocker - Vocals
*Merry Clayton - Vocals
*Jon Hiseman - Drums

1968  The Asylum Choir - Look Inside (2007 remaster)
1971  Leon Russell And Marc Benno - Asylum Choir II (japan SHM 2016 remaster)
1971  Leon Russell - Leon Russell And The Shelter People (2016 Audio Fidelity)
1972  Leon Russell - Carney
1979  In Session At The Paradise Los Angeles With J.J. Cale (2003 remaster) 

Free Text
the Free Text

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bob Seger - Smokin' O.P.'s (1972 us, fantastic groovy roots 'n' roll, 2005 remaster)

It's that legendary "Heavy Music" man back on the scene again with his fifth album in as many years, and most likely his best (arguably, his best material is available only on Abkco singles, and were originally released on the Cameo-Parkway label six years ago}.

If you're residing on either coast, it's a good bet you've never heard of this guy, and you've been missing a thrill. Hopefully, this album will change all that. In the South, Southwest, and all-important Midwest, they rank this Detroit boy right up there with Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker. With good reason -- Bob has consistently churned out great singles for six years, and always puts on a great, exciting live show. Seger is an intense, charismatic performer and person, and the fact that he has never made it big in California or New York is at least as unfortunate for those of us living in those states, as it is for Seger himself. And he is one of the few hard rockers who is totally capable of translating his in-concert excitement from the stage to the vinyl.

The man who wrote "Heavy Music," "2 + 2," "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," and "Death Row" in his days with Cameo and then Capitol Records (the most important of the Capitol LPs to have is Tales of Lucy Blue) comes through here not so much with original material as with successful interpretations of already popular songs. His "If I Were A Carpenter" was a pretty big hit last summer, for instance, and that's a pretty hard song to breathe new life into, it's been done so many times already.

He's backed on this record by Teegarden and Van Winkle, themselves an established popular Michigan rock group (remember "God, Love, and Rock and Roll"?). Seger can rock with the best of them on guitar or keyboards, but his greatest asset is his voice. Echoes of Eric Burdon in his prime may run through your head, and justifiably so, but Seger has his own vocal style.

His choice of material for this album is eclectic and successful: Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley" and Eric Anderson's Chuck Berry riff, "Let It Rock." Plus Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With," Leon Russell's "Hummingbird" and Bobby Blue Bland's classic "Lovelight."

Worth the entire price of admission, however, is a version of "Heavy Music" that sounds very close to the original version of six years ago. It must be an old version, because the band is Seger's old Last Heard, not the same personnel as on the rest of this record. The song is a prime example of and an anthem about Detroit's heavy rock and roll music.

It's about time that Bob Seger achieved the recognition that his talents and his six years of sweat and poverty have earned him. There is no excuse for you to not have this album in your collection, no excuse at all.

Case dismissed.
Harold Tribune, Words and Music, 12/72
1. Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love (Ellas McDaniel) - 6:17
2. Love the One You're With (Stephen Stills) - 4:17
3. If I Were a Carpenter (Tim Hardin) - 3:48
4. Hummin' Bird (Leon Russell) - 3:47
6. Let It Rock (Chuck Berry) - 3:25
7. Turn on Your Love Light (Deadric Malone, Joseph Wade Scott) - 4:44
8. Jesse James (Traditional) - 3:29
9. Someday (Bob Seger) - 2:34
10.Heavy Music (Bob Seger) - 2:33

*Bob Seger - Guitar, Piano, Vocals
*Jack Ashford - Percussion, Tambourine
*Eddie Bongo - Percussion, Conga
*Mike Bruce - Guitar
*Jim Bruzzese - Tambourine
*Crystal Jenkins - Vocals, Background Vocals
*Skip Knape - Organ, Bass Guitar, Piano, Keyboard
*David Teegarden - Drums, Maracas, Marimba
*Pam Todd - Vocals, Background Vocals

Free Text
the Free Text