Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mick Abrahams Band - At Last (1972 uk, fascinating blues brass rock)

"Unlike most guitarists, Mick Abrahams' playing, blending sophisticated chord work with dazzling single-string breaks, goes beyond the distinction between lead and rhythm playing. You can hear echoes of many forms - Mick has a wide-ranging style drawing from jazz, country and western, rock'n'roll (ancient and modern) and he is also one of the most imaginative and sensitive exponents of bottlenecking.

Mick made his decision to go professional at the fitting age of 21, when his mother asked him whether he wanted a big party or a guitar to launch him into manhood; he chose the guitar, a Gibson SG that he still uses six years later, and shortly after formed his own band, the Original Hustlers, who played mostly Chuck Berry and Little Richard songs and what Mick laughingly refers to as "our own arrangements of Beatles' numbers". 
Beat Instrumental, February 1971

In 1970 Abraham's left the Blodwyn Pig, to be replaced by ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks and guitarist/singer Larry Wallis. The group continued on under the leadership of Lancaster, although it was eventually renamed Lancaster's Bomber. Initially Abraham's formed a new group called Wommet; it was very short-lived, however, so he reorganized his career around the Mick Abraham's Band, with Walt Monaghan on bass, Bob Sargeant on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Ritchie Dharma on drums. He released two albums on Chrysalis, Mick Abraham's and At Last, with his former Blodwyn Pig bandmate Lancaster expanding the lineup to a quintet. Neither sold very well, although Abraham's was never at a loss for paying gigs. 
by Bruce Eder
1. When I Get Back (Mick Abrahams, Bob Sargeant) - 5:04
2. Absent Friends (Bob Sargeant) - 4:48
3. Time Now To Decide - 2:28
4. Whole Wide World - 3:53
5. Up And Down (Part 1) - 2:00
6. Up And Down (Part 2) - 2:15
7. Maybe Because - 8:01
8. The Good Old Days (Bob Sargeant) - 4:14
9. You'll Never Get It From Me (Bob Sargeant) - 3:36
All songs by Mick Abrahams except where stated

*Mick Abrahams – Lead, 7-String , Slide, Pedal Steel Guitars
*Bob Sargeant - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Keyboard
*Walt Monaghan - Electric Bass
*Jack Lancaster - Flute, Clarinet, Soprano, Tenor Saxophone
*Ritchie Dharma - Drums, Percussion

1969  Blodwyn Pig - Ahead Rings Out (2006 remaster and expanded)
1970  Blodwyn Pig - Getting To This
1971  Mick Abrahams - Mick Abrahams

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Wet Willie - Wet Willie II (1972 us, fine southern roots 'n' roll)

Continuing from their first album, Wet Willie II finds this Southern band charging ahead in the boogie stakes while attempting to establish themselves as a harder-edged companion to the Allman Brothers. Half the tunes are covers and the other half are self-written.

While the highlight is Wet Willie's version of Otis Redding's "Shout Bamalama," the group is putting forth more of their own identity than on their first disc. Good, raucous fun, Wet Willie II is another fine product from those good ol' Southern boys who like their grits and their rock & roll. 
by James Chrispell
1. Shout Bamalama (Otis Redding) - 3:36
2. Love Made Me (Ricky Hirsch) - 4:53
3. Red Hot Chicken (Jack Hall, Jimmy Hall, John Anthony, Lewis Ross, Ricky Hirsch, Wick Larsen) - 4:46
4. It Hurts Me Too (Elmore James) - 4:59
5. Keep On Knockin' (Richard Penniman) - 2:27
6. Airport (John Anthony) - 3:34
7. Grits Ain't Groceries (Titus Turner) - 3:03
8. Shoutgun Man (Ricky Hirsch) - 4:12
9. Shaggi's Song (Wick Larsen) - 4:33

Wet Willie
*Jimmy Hall - Harmonica, Percussion, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
*Rick Hirsch - Lead, Rhythm Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
*John Anthony - Organ, Electic, Acoustic Piano, Percussion, Vocals
*Lewis Ross - Drums, Congas
*Jack Hall - Bass, Vocals
*Wick Larsen - Lead, Rhythm, Acoustic Guitars, Moog Synthsizer
Additional Personnel
*Scott Boyer - Steel Guitar on tracks 2 and 9
*Jai Johanny Johanson - Timbales on track 6
*Ella Avery -  - Backing Vocals on track 1
*Susie Storm - Backing Vocals on track 9

1973  Wet Willie - Drippin' Wet Live
1974  Wet Willie - Keep On Smilin
1975  Wet Willie - Dixie Rock
1976  Wet Willie - The Wetter The Better
1977  Wet Willie - Left Coast Live
1977/79  Wet Willie - Manorisms / Which One's Willie? (2013 Edition)

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blodwyn Pig - Getting To This (1970 uk, remarkable hard blues rock with jazz flashes)

Getting To This, Blodwyn Pig's second opus, features Mick Abrahams (formerly of Jethro Tull) meeting acid and fusing it with his unique blues style. This album also shows the band as having a reflective side, thus creating the epic "San Francisco Sketches", and single handedly creating prog rock (no, it wasn't King Crimson folks!)

The album starts with the down-to-earth blues/rock-fest of "Drive Me", boasting a brilliant sax solo which starts off sounding like mighty guitar feedback, laid down by the sadly unheard of Jack Lancaster. (In fact, Blodwyn Pig as a whole is largely unheard of...). 

The second track, "Variations on Nainos", whatever the hell that means, is a flute driven psychedelic slice of strangeness, the last verse sung sounding as if the band were drowning in a bath. The next song, "See My Way" is in the same vein as MC5, but slightly more sedate and with crushing sax and drum work. "Long Bomb Blues" is a hilarious 1 minute ditty all about Mick Abrahams getting drunk and hauled over by the cops. His wife beats him upon his return. 

The aforementioned "San Francisco Sketches"...THE 4-part prog track. Opening with the beautifully reflective 'Beach Scape', it really makes your mind float out to cosmic realms. The second part, 'Fisherman's Wharf' is a jazzy swagger, featuring saxophonist Jack Lancaster pulling out all the stops. We return to tranquillity in part three, 'Telegraph Hill', mellow and cool. This is ripped apart and laid waste to by the final chunk, the slow and sludgy saxophonic cacophony 'Close The Door, I'm Falling Out Of The Room'...this is one of the darkest, most gruelling pieces I've ever heard. 

The heavy overtones are retained in the next track, "Worry", a mighty guitar fuelled anger stomp with haunting vocal work. This is followed by the slightly stupid and twee "Toys", a song about a small boy's toys telling him to love them right...

We find ourselves back in hilarity land with "To Rassman", a bluesy-reggae song that almost mocks the early reggae movement of the late 60's in the UK. And what a brilliant comical Rasta accent by Mick!

The last (original Vinyl) track truly is a crushing blow to the politicians running the insanely pointless Vietnamese war..."Send Your Son To Die"...even the title sums up the song's message. This is perhaps the angriest Anti-Nam song ever, with the exception of Black Sabbath's classic "War Pigs". Ron Berg is sure as hell not taking any prisoners with his thunderous drumming on this storming riff-fest.

Finally the 2 bonus tracks here on this release, these two tracks were apparently featured on the US edition Pig's debut "Ahead Rings Out". The first of these two tracks is "Summer Day" a truly masterfully-crafted blues song, with one of the most complicated riffs I've tried to play! The time changes on this are incredible!! The last is the laid back "Walk On Water", which opens with a single acoustic guitar and then ends up in a massive jazz-rock-psychedelic breakdown.
by Matt Ainsworth
1. Drive Me - 3:21
2. Variations On Nainos - 3:49
3. See My Way - 5:06
4. Long Bomb Blues - 1:09
5. The Squirreling Must Go On (Abrahams, Pyle) - 4:24
6. San Francisco Sketches (Lancaster) - 8:13
.a.Beach Scape
.b.Fisherman's Wharf
.c.Telegraph Hill
.d.Close The Door, I'm Falling Out Of The Room
7. Worry (Pyle) - 3:45
8. Toys - 3:05
9. To Rassman (Berg) - 1:31
10.Send Your Son To Die - 4:27
11.Summer Day (Abrahams, Pyle) - 3:50
12. Walk On The Water - 3:42
All songs by  Mick Abrahams except where indicated

The Blodwyn Pig
*Mick Abrahams - Guitar, Vocals, Seven String Guitar, Tenor Guitar
*Jack Lancaster - Flute, Electric Violin, Tenor, Baritone, Sax, Phoon Horn, Cornet
*Andy Pyle - Electric Bass, Six String Bass
*Ron Berg - Drums, Tympani
*Graham Waller - Piano

1969  Blodwyn Pig - Ahead Rings Out (2006 remaster and expanded)
1971  Mick Abrahams - Mick Abrahams

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Wet Willie - The Wetter The Better (1976 us. great southern boogie funkie rock)

Wet Willie were one of founding fathers of the almighty southern rock genre to appear in the early 1970’s.  Signed by Capricorn Records, they never hit the big time like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Bros or even The Marshall Tucker Band.  Still, they were able to sell a few albums and crisscrossed the country on tour for many years. 

Part of the reason the band never hit it as big as their friends is because they had a true mishmash of sounds going that made them more of an acquired taste.  While there is no doubt they were a southern rock band, Wet Willie liked to incorporate country, rock along with some sublime jazzy licks and rhythms and even a dab of blue-eyed soul into their music.  While this made them more unique it also limited their appeal.

While most known for the song “Keep on Smilin’” the band created and released a boatload of good music including the album The Wetter the Better.  Besides having one of the best album covers of all time, the album contained some great bluesy, southern fried tunes.  “Teaser,” “Baby Fat” and “Walkin’ By Myself” are rather addictive songs that once they get into your head have a hard time being silenced.  The final song, “Everybody’s Stoned” is a fan favorite that sums up the era well.
By Jeb Wright
1. No, No, No (Michael Duke) - 3:11
2. Teaser (Michael Duke) - 4:03
3. Baby Fat (Ricky Hirsch, Jimmy Hall, Michael Duke, Jack Hall) - 3:54
4. Ring You Up (Michael Duke) - 5:18
5. Comic Book Hero (John Anthony) - 4:42
6. Walkin' By Myself (Ricky Hirsch, Jimmy Hall, Jack Hall) - 4:52
7. Everything That 'Cha Do (Will Come Back To You) (Ricky Hirsch) - 5:14
8. Everybody's Stoned (Ricky Hirsch) - 5:10

The Wet Willie
*Jack Hall - Bass, Vocals
*Jimmy Hall - Harmonica, Saxophone, Percussion, Lead Vocals
*Earl Ford - Trombone
*Michael Duke - Melodica, Piano, Moog, Lead Vocals
*Ricky Hirsch - Lead, Slide, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
*Lewis Ross - Drums
Guest Musicians
*Jerome Joseph - Congas
*Dezso Lakatos - Baritone Saxophone
*Skip Lane - Baritone Saxophone
*Leo LaBranche - Trumpet
*Danna Hall, Leslie Hawkins - Vocals

1973  Wet Willie - Drippin' Wet Live
1974  Wet Willie - Keep On Smilin
1975  Wet Willie - Dixie Rock
1977  Wet Willie - Left Coast Live

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Missing Link - Nevergreen (1972 germany, astonishing jazz prog kraut rock, 2005 extra track edition)

Missing Link is generally said to be a Munich band. This is right in that the six people forming the band met there in 1971. Bassist Dave Schratzenstaller comes from Munich. Most of the others, however, moved there from other parts of Germany: On drums Holger Brandt (from Bad Salzdetfurth near Hiidesheim), Gunther Latuschik playing the saxophone, Markus Sing on guitar, the singer Gabriel Dominik Mueller, and Dieter Miekautsch on keyboards. At that time, Munich was something like a stronghold of psychedelic and progressive music in Germany, with groups like Amon Diiul, Embryo, Popol Vuh, Out of Focus, Sub, Siloah, Between, Niagara, Subject Esq., Sameti, Sunbirds, Yggdrasil, Pentagon, and Anima. Missing Link should follow the same direction. 

They proved especially convincing on stage, where they were discovered by Gerhard Augustin. He was looking for talented young people for United Artists and at that time also managed the group Amon Duiil II. Gerhard Augustin provided them with a contract for three LPs, and in the autumn of 1972 they started work in the studio of Dieter Dierks in Stommein (Rhineland), well known for the many recordings for the Pilz and Ohr labels. The band was pleased to find there was a Mellotron in the studio which they could use for their recordings. Seven of the songs recorded there - all written by themselves - were released on the LP "Nevergreen!" (United Artists UAS 29439 I) at the end of the year. The title was meant to constitute an opposition to the commercial evergreen, to the level of which they wouldn't descend. The picture on the fold-out cover was designed by Holger Brandt. It should, in a mocking kind of way, represent the missing link in the evolution from ape to man. Inside, the cover shows (from left to right) Markus Sing, Holger Brandt, Gunther Latuschik, Gabriel Dominik Mueller, Dieter Miekautsch, and Dave Schratzenstaller, shot in the environs of Munich. 

According to Gerhard Augustin, 2000 copies of this LP have been pressed. A short while later, at the beginning of 1973, the 7" single "Friday on my mind'V'Kids hunting" (United Artists 35568) was released. The song on its flip side was already on the LP, the one on the front side a very unconventional new version of the wonderful Easybeats hit from 1966. The picture on the sleeve is based on a photograph taken at the same session as that one on the inner sides of the LP's fold-out cover. Here, however, Dieter Miekautsch is missing. He probably stood too far off. The wrong spelling of "Kids" (Kid's) on the sleeve and on the label - apostrophised - is due to an unsuspecting graphic designer who did not know the text. This time, only 1000 copies were pressed, if at all. None of the songs were bad, although they perhaps slightly lacked the fire of the band's live performances.

A second and third LP could not be recorded, because at that time the label went into a financial inbalance. Every low-rank manager flew first class around the world and squandered money the artists could not bring in to this extent. Thus, finally the times of United Artists Germany were over. Also Missing Link were going downhill. They hardly presented pieces of their own any longer, but started to perform mainly in U.S. clubs, where they played cover versions. Most of them played in several groups at the same time. Dieter Miekautsch was replaced by Konstantin Wecker who later should become prominent as a singer/songwriter and cocaine addict, and in 1973 Missing Link finally split.

In 1975, Holger Brandt - as a member of Gert Westphal and Between – released the LP "Hesse between music", and in 1976 - as a member of Sahara - the LP "For all the clowns". Today, he is a music publisher in Freising near Munich and, at the same time, plays in various bands. Dieter Miekautsch became quite well-known. He was involved in three Embryo LPs, namely "We keep on", "Bad heads & bad cats" and "Live", and in the self-titled second LP of Missus Beastly from 1974 and the Real Ax Band's one and only LP (1977). Markus Sing continued to play together with Konstantin Wecker in Wecker's backing band until he committed suicide in the early 1980s. Dave Schratzenstaller went to New York, Gabriel Dominik Mueller followed his ambition and lived as an actor in Switzerland. What has become of Gunther Latuschik is not known to any of the people involved.

This release contains as a bonus song the single track "Friday on my mind", so that includes the complete work of Missing Link ever released.  Many thanks to Holger Brandt, Gerhard Augustin, Holger Heimers, Jurgen Kaun, and Fuzzy for their friendly support.
by Birte Haffner
1. Spoiled Love - 5:21
2. Song For Ann (Dieter Miekautsch) - 2:52
3. Time Will Change - 5:35
4. Only Me - 5:12
5. Sorcery (Charles Lloyd) - 5:26
6. Filled Up - 6:29
7. Kids Hunting - 6:15
8. Friday On My Mind (Vanda, Young) - 3:07
All compositions by Missing Link except where stated

The Missing Link
*Markus Sing - Electric, Acoustic, Twelve-String Guitar
*Dieter Miekautsch - Piano, Organ, Mellotron
*Holger Brandt - Drums, Percussion
*Dave Schratzenstaller - Bass
*Günther Latuschik - Tenor, Soprano, Alto Saxophone
*Gabriel Dominik Mueller - Vocals

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Various Artists - Pop And Blues Festival (1970 germany, outstanding prog experimental kraut rock)

The Hamburg event was held over the Easter weekend in March 1970, it was attended by a reputed 17,000 rock fans. With 22 acts in all, and such talent as Blodwyn Pig, Colosseum, The Nice, Steamhammer, Warm Dust, and others, the then new and mostly unknown German acts also showed their worth, as being every bit as good, if not better. The album documenting the German acts at the March 1970 festival has extraordinary recordings from Tomorrow's Gift, some heavy Frumpy and very Blodwyn Pig inspired Thrice Mice! There are also the two virtually unknown bands: Beatique In Corporation and Sphinx Tush.

Thrice Mice:
A sextet from Hamburg, playing the patented, distinctive German type of progressive jazz-rock typified by underground legends like Xhol or Out Of Focus (2nd & 3rd album). The leading soloist in Thrice Mice was Wolfgang Buhre. He often tried to copy the wah-wah sax style of Ian Underwood of Mothers Of Invention. Their album was recorded during November and December 1970 in Hamburg and released on Phillips in 1971. After a couple of years, the group resurfaced as Altona and made two further albums for RCA in 1974 and 1975.

The Krautrock scene may be best known for creating some of the weirdest abd revolutionary rock music, yet there was another side to the scebe, of progressive that rivalled the best in Britain, of which Frumpy were at the forefront, followed by the like of Jane, Eloy, Novalis, Message, et al. This band played their own brand of progressive rock that was mainly influenced by blues, soul and hard rcok with some minor classical elements. Their female vocalist Inga Rumpf had a quite weird voice, sounding more like a man than a woman. However, the main musician in the band was their French organ-player Jean-Jacques Kravetz who delivered some solos that nearly were on par with the best progressive rock keyboardist.
Frumpy later transmuted into the more commercial Atlantis.

Sphinx Tush:
1969 the famous trio "Sphinx Tush" was founded with Zabba Lindner on drums and Andreas Smietana on bass. Their music was something like early punkmusic, long before punk was getting popular. They used to play in the biggest hall of the town (Ernst-Merck-Halle), where groups like the "Rolling Stones" used to play. They have played at the last evening of the well known Star-Club in St. Pauli (thats where the Beatles started) and they've done many live-perfomances at the radiostation NDR.

Tomorrow's Gift:
Like Frumpy and Joy Unlimited, they were a blues and soul-rock band who turned on, tuned in and dropped out to the progressive music at the end of the sixties. Both mentioned bands had female vocalists, as had Tomorrow's Gift: Ellen Meyer. Arguably she didn't have a voice as strong as Inga Rumpf, but hers was good enough to serve the music. Tomorrow's Gift was really a band of future talents, three of the members being still teenagers. Original guitarist Carlo Karges later worked with groups as different as Novalis, Extrabreit and Nena. He also guested on the Release Music Orchestra album 'Get The Ball' (1976). Manfred Rurup later recorded with Carsten Bohn's Bandstand, Elephant and Inga Rumpf.
CD Liner-Notes
Artists - Tracks
1. Frumpy - Duty - 7:35
2. Thrice Mice - Vivaldi's Revival - 7:12
3. Beatique Corporation - Going Straight - 3:41
4. Tomorrow's Gift - Sound Of Which - 19:58
5. Frumpy - Floating - 12:14
6. Beatique Corporation - Things We Said - 5:21
7. Sphinx Tush - Crashville - 4:40
8. Beatique Corporation - Sunwave - 15:15

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Golden Earring - Live (1977 holland, sensational hard rockin' live set)

This 1977 double-album opus represents Golden Earring's entry into the series of live albums that were so popular in the late '70s. At this point in its career, the band's live sound had a newfound sense of power, thanks to the addition of second guitarist Eelco Gelling. Indeed, classics like "Radar Love" and "She Flies on Strange Wings" benefit from a newfound complexity and energy that stems from the energetic guitar interplay between Gelling and George Kooymans. Golden Earring's new double-guitar sound also allows the group to overhaul some of its material in new and interesting ways.

Live remains a solid portrait of the group's live act at this juncture of its career and further benefits from a sharp, full-blooded sound (the engineer was future U2 producer Steve Lillywhite). All in all, Live isn't an album for the casual fan, but is likely to keep the group's following entertained. 
by Donald A. Guarisco

Live is a double live album by Golden Earring and ranked by the experts of the highlights of their careers. Known for their live reputation distinguishes this live album with a very long drawn-out songs are also concert recordings of all the work. 

Together with Contraband (1976) and Grab It For a Second (1978) is one of the three live albums which Eelco Gelling and Earring member participated. With his maniacal solos on Mad Love's Comin', Con Man Radar Love Gelling gives an added value to the Earring sound. That sound is the emphasis on solid and swinging rhythm section, which fully reflected in, inter alia, Mad Love's Comin 'and Radar Love. 

Barry Hay gets on Candy's Going Bad and Vanilla Queen. "Live" marks a turning point in the period after the success of Radar Love. Until this at the Rainbow Theatre in London recorded the live album tries to maintain its international position Earring. After "Live" threatens everything the band in years Hague has made up her hands to slip. Sales plummet and the survival of the band is disputed.
Disc 1
1. Candy's Going Bad - 5:06
2. She Flies On Strange Wings - 8:10
3. Mad Love's Comin' - 9:53
4. Eight Miles High (Gene Clark, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn) - 10:01
5. The Vanilla Queen - 11:45
All songs written by Barry Hay, George Kooymans, except where noted
Disc 2
1. To The Hilt - 6:55
2. Fightin' Windmills - 8:26
3. Con Man - 9:09
4. Radar Love - 11:17
5. Just Like Vince Taylor - 6:25
All songs written by Barry Hay, George Kooymans

The Golden Earring
*Eelco Gelling - Guitar
*Rinus Gerritsen - Bass
*Barry Hay - Vocals
*George Kooymans - Guitar
*Cesar Zuiderwijk - Drums

The Golden Earring 
1965 Just Ear Rings (2009 extra tracks edition)
1966  Winter-Harvest (2009 extra tracks issue)
1968-69  Miracle Mirror (2009 bonus tracks edition)
1969  On The Double
1969/71 Eight Miles High / Seven Tears
1972  Together
1973  Moontan

1971  George Kooymans - Jojo
1972  Barry Hay - Only Parrots, Frogs And Angels

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Solid Ground - My Solid Ground (1971 germany, spectacular tough prog kraut rock, digipak with extra tracks)

In February and April of 1971, they recorded their self-titled album, which was released by the Bacillus label later that year. In June of 1971 My Solid Ground entered the studios of SWF in Baden-Baden for a live radio broadcast. Because of legal issues they could not play any of the pieces from the LP, so they debuted entirely new material. Though the group now had nationwide success, they were frequently losing members. By 1972 the band consisted of Rendel with a totally new lineup. That year they moved to Frankfurt where they lasted until 1974, when Rendel dropped My Solid Ground to pursue academics. He has since become a lecturer on music at Muinz University, as well as producer and composer. 

The first track, the 13-minute "Dirty Yellow Mist," certainly lives up to its reputation, as the group goes into dark space rock that sounds like something between Pink Floyd and Thirsty Moon, with lots of long keyboard drones, a crunchy guitar riff, some acid guitar licks, and some distorted spoken vocals, as well as some higher-pitched wordless chanting. Unfortunately, much of the rest of the record does not live up to the promise of that first track, coming off like a typical early-'70s hard rock band, with belted vocals and maybe some occasionally interesting guitar work. "That's You" has enough energy to be proto-punk, and certainly its chorus of "do you wanna die" doesn't weaken that impression. 

Far more notable is the track "The Executioner," a sinister piece that alternates between echoed-spoken vocals and intense guitar solos. The rest of the original album is too mainstream, but thankfully the CD adds another album's worth of bonus tracks, and some of these are really good, especially the original full-length version of "Flash," a 24-minute tour de force of guitar solo blitzkrieg between a variety of segued pieces, some of which are far better than the two-minute cut that ended up on the LP. Other bonus tracks include some instrumental versions of songs and a stripped-down version of "Dirty Yellow Mist." 
by Rolf Semprebon
1. Dirty Yellow Mist - 13:07
2. Flash Part IV - 2:19
3. That's You - 2:23
4. The Executioner - 3:32
5. Melancholie - 4:19
6. Handful Of Grass - 2:45
7. Devonshire Street W1 - 3:29
8. "X" - 3:43
9. "Y" - 1:34
10.Z" - 1:31
11.Flash (Original Full Lenght Version) - 24:42
12.The Executioner (Different Mix) - 3:35
13.Handful Of Grass (Different Mix) - 2:42
14.That's You (Different Mix) - 2:21
15.Dirty Yellow Mix (Different Vocals) - 7:30
All songs written by Bernhard Rendel, Karl-Heinrich Dorfler, Andreas Wursching

My Solid Ground
*Bernhard Rendel - Guitar, Vocal
*Karl-Heinrich Dorfler - Bass, Vocal
*Andreas Wursching - Drums
*Ingo Werner - Organ, Piano

1971/2001  My Solid Ground - SWF Session

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Solid Ground - SWF Session (1971-2001 germany, magnificent hard prog krautrock, 2002 expanded edition)

This group has long been one of the more obscure Krautrock bands, even though their single eponymous album from 1971 has become legendary, even though much of the record is fairly conventional hard-rock.

Bernhard Rendel, only 14 years old at the time, started My Solid Ground in 1968 in Russelsheim, near Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to this, his mother encouraged his interest in music and guitar, and she continued to support him even as his music became louder and harder. The group began to practice at the home of Rendel?s parents, and his family also helped arranged live performances. With their musical talent and an elaborate lightshow, the band soon became a popular in the region around Frankfurt. By 1970 after a few lineup changes, the group gelled with Kalrheinz Dorfler on bass, Andreas Wurching on drums, and Ingo Werner on organ. In late October of that year they recorded the track ?Flash? the Morfelden Studio in Frankfurt, and used it to win second place in an amateur competition hosted by Sudwestfunk (SWF) Radio. 
by Rolf Semprebon

This CD contains 4 unreleased tracks from 1971 (19mins) recorded at a broadcast session for SWF radio. Those songs are in the vein of the original album -- even better -- heavy guitars cosmic organ! Bonus: A complete album recorded in 2001 by bandleader and guitar player Bernhard Rendel with a scope reaching from space rock and lyrical elements to floating psychedelic sounds. Resourceful and innovative: My Solid Ground 2001. Informative 12 page booklet cool photos.
1. Hysterical - 2:48
2. BBB - 6:41
3. Superconstellation - 2:38
4. Short Waves - 6:55
5. Drive - 5:25
6. Grand Nightmare - 6:35
7. 1-40 - 9:51
8. The Cruzifixion - 4:11
9. Frogster - 4:16
10.Moonclouds (On Earth) - 4:10
11.Mystery Metal Thing - 11:12
All compositions by Bernhard Rendel

My Solid Ground
*Bernhard Rendel - Guitar, Vocals, (All Intsruments Tracks 5-11)
*Karl-Heinz Dörfler - Bass (Tracks 1 - 4)
*Andreas Würsching - Drums (Tracks 1 - 4)
*Ingo Werner - Organ (Tracks 1 - 4)

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Khan - Space Shanty (1972 uk, stunning hard prog canterbury rock, 2010 japan SHM remaster)

“Space Shanty” is a one-off album by a foursome of pedigreed Canterbury musos, and it’s considered a love-it or hate-it classic by proggies. Some love its loose, jazzy jams, and others hate its hippie lyrics and flowery arrangements. But what’s notable is that “Space Shanty” is a distillation of the many styles of the Canterbury musos — the cosmic-hippy humor, the fascinating and busy arrangements — but it remains completely fresh and exciting.

As is typical of the Canterbury bands, each member was also a member of a number of other bands. Keyboardist Dave Stewart played with Arzachel, Egg, Gong, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, to name a few. Guitarist Steve Hillage went on to play and record a number of notable albums with Kevin Ayers, Gong, and as a solo artist. Basist Nick Greenwood had done time with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

After a few false starts and some rotating membership, Khan came together in 1971, and finished this album in March, 1972 with Neil Slaven producing. Dave Stewart even took time off from his band Egg to sit in on the “Space Shanty” sessions. Khan did its share of live shows, supporting such acts as Van Der Graaf Generator and Genesis. Khan continued playing live after “Space Shanty” was finished, but its membership continued to change. Only Hillage remained the original member. After some live dates the money dried up and Khan dissolved. Hillage joined Kevin Ayers on the road four days later and played on the “Banamour” album and later joined Daevid Allen’s Gong.

The music has a real sense of scale and joy, and the guys are clearly enjoying themselves and their instruments. The recording is warm and straightforward with panning and flanging done to good effect. The Canterbury crowd were quite innovative, particularly with combining effects pedals with keyboards, so by this time weren’t relying too much on studio trickery and tape manipulation.

“Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains” starts with a fairly straightforward rock beat played at a stride. “Looking at the ground, I’m crying for the sky. I know I can’t hope to go where I can’t be found. But when I close my eyes I start to fly.” And fly they do — just listen and wait for them to break into some of the best Canterbury prog jamming you’ll ever hear. “Driving to Amsterdam” features some particularly fiery keyboard work by Dave Stewart and his prepared keyboards.

The album has been issued quite a few times, starting with the original Brain and Pink Elephant vinyl pressings in 1972, and a vinyl reissue in America in 1978 on PVC records. There have been CD pressings by Mantra, Deram, Polydor (a Japanese mini-LP style reissue). The vinyl has also recently been reissued by Tapestry records. The CD to get is the new remastered expanded edition by Eclectic Discs (ECLCD 1016), which features great, tight sound from the original master tapes, excellent liner notes, and two previously unreleased cuts.
1. Space Shanty - 9:01
.a. The Cobalt Sequence
.b. March Of The Sine Squadrons
2. Stranded - Effervescent Psychonovelty No.5 - 6:35
3. Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains (Steve Hillage, Nick Greenwood) - 7:14
4. Driving To Amsterdam - 9:22
5. Stargazers - 5:33
6. Hollow Stone - Escape Of The Space Pirates - 8:18
7. Break The Chains (Steve Hillage, Nick Greenwood) - 3:24
8. Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains - 4:25
All compositions by Steve Hillage except where indicated

*Steve Hillage - Guitars, Vocals
*Nick Greenwood - Bass, Vocals
*Eric Peachey - Drums
*Dave Stewart - Organ, Piano, Skyceleste, Marimbas

Related Acts
1969  Uriel - Arzachel (2007 remaster, collectors edition)
1976  Steve Hillage - L (2007 remaster)
1977  Steve Hillage - Motivation Radio
1978  Steve Hillage - Green (2007 remaster and expanded)
1979  Steve Hillage - Open (2007 remaster) 

1969-72  Egg - The Metronomical Society
1971  Egg - The Polite Force (2008 Esoteric remaster)
1969-70  Egg (2008 Esoteric remaster)
1974  Egg - The Civil Surface (2007 remaster)

1972 Nicholas Greenwood - Cold Cuts

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Roger Daltrey - One Of The Boys (1977 uk, excellent mod rock power pop with glam shades, 2005 issue)

If I wanted to get anything out of this business," Roger Daltrey says, "it was never to have to go back and work in a factory again. And I've got that. But the one thing I've learned is that money never buys you out of being working-class. The middle classes don't ever let you forget where you come from."

Daltrey has no intention of forgetting. Despite the 12 years that have passed since the Who's apocalyptic "My Generation" and the criticism from today's punk rockers that the Who have lost touch with their roots, Daltrey is adamant that – as the title of his latest solo album insists – he's still very much One of the Boys. The album's title track, written for Daltrey by Steve Gibbons, begins: "He speaks with a terrible stammer/Doesn't have much to say," and, sure enough, the song is marked by the Who's classic amphetamine stutter. Daltrey, in fact, describes the song as "a 1977 'My Generation.'"

Daltrey's conflict with the middle class also stems from a more immediate personal experience. When he recently erected an eight-foot penis (a prop from the film Lisztomania in which he starred) on the grounds of his 200-acre farm in Sussex, complaints from outraged neighbors led to a visit from high-ranking police officers who requested that the offending organ be removed. "It could only happen in England," sighs Daltrey. "There were probably banks being robbed and people being murdered, and the police force were concentrating their efforts on my eight-foot penis." Unbowed, the singer simply planted another next to it.

Daltrey has taken advantage of a six-month sabbatical from the Who to work his farm and record his third solo album. While his previous two LPS were commercial successes (the last, Ride a Rock Horse, went Top Ten in Britain and America), Daltrey feels that One of the Boys will be the first to establish a coherent musical direction for his solo career. "It's always been difficult for me to do that up till now," he says. "I've always said that if I wanted to make a rock & roll album I'd do it with the Who, because that's the finest rock & roll vehicle in the world. It would be pointless to do second-best to that. But there are all kinds of music the Who don't touch."

Certainly the album showcases an eclectic and well-balanced collection of songs – ballads, tough rockers and even some country-flavored tunes (although Daltrey insists he is "too British" to consider a full-fledged Nashville album) – by such writers as Andy Pratt, Colin Blunstone and Paul McCartney, whose "Giddy" was written especially for Daltrey. The album's three original compositions, which mark the singer's belated songwriting debut, were done in collaboration with the album's producer, Dave Cortney. Daltrey says he was always inhibited by Peter Townshend's prolific output, "but a solo album seemed a good opportunity to put my own material to the test."

His first attempt as a lyricist includes a song about life in jail, "The Prisoner." It was inspired by the autobiography of John McVicar, who is currently serving a 26-year term in an English prison for armed robbery. Daltrey was so taken with McVicar's account of prison life that he acquired the film rights to the book. "McVicar doesn't make any excuses," he says. "He is a criminal, no question of it. But the book really illustrates how prison isn't the answer to anything. It really made me think what it must be like. I've been in the nick for a maximum of a week out of my life, and every day of that week seemed like a year. To think of a guy who's doing 26 years, and nobody cares . . ." Daltrey leans forward on the leather couch, his voice rising with intensity as he pummels his leg with a clenched fist. "Where I come from, anyone with the least bit extrovert tendencies either became a footballer, a boxer, a rock musician or a thief. If I hadn't found rock & roll I would have ended up like McVicar," he allows a laugh," 'cause I'm not very good at football."
1. Parade (Phillip Goodhand-Tait) - 3:42
2. Single Man's Dilemma (Colin Blunstone) - 3:03
3. Avenging Annie (Andy Pratt) - 4:31
4. The Prisoner (David Courtney, Todd, Daltrey) - 3:32
5. Leon (Goodhand-Tait) - 4:46
6. One of the Boys (Steve Gibbons) - 2:46
7. Giddy (Paul McCartney) - 4:46
8. Written on the Wind (Paul Korda) - 3:23
9. Satin And Lace (David Courtney, Tony Meehan, Daltrey) - 4:05
10.Doing It All Again (Murray Head) - 2:27
11.Say It Ain't So, Joe (Murray Head)   4:19
12.You Put Something Better Inside Me (Gerry Rafferty, Joe Egan) - 3:50
13.Martyrs and Madmen (Steve Swindells) - 4:18
14.Treachery (Swindells) - 4:58

*Roger Daltrey - Lead Vocals, Harmonica
*Rod Argent - Keyboards
*Brian Odgers - Bass Guitar
*John Entwistle - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Phil Kenzie - Saxophone
*Jimmy Jewell - Saxophone
*Stuart Tosh - Drums
*Alvin Lee - Guitars
*Jimmy McCulloch - Guitars
*Paul Keogh - Guitars
*Hank B. Marvin - Guitars
*Eric Clapton - Guitars
*Mick Ronson - Guitars
*Keith Moon - Drums
*Paul Korda - Piano
*Andy Fairweather-Low - Backing Vocals
*John Perry - Backing Vocals
*Tony Rivers - Backing Vocals
*Stuart Calver - Backing Vocals

1965  The Who - My Generation (Japan SHM Remaster)
1966  The Who - A Quick One (Japan SHM Remaster)
1967  The Who - Sell Out (Japan SHM Remaster) 
1968  The Who - Live At Fillmore East (Japan Edition)
1971  The Who - Who's Next (Japan SHM Remaster)

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Gnidrolog - In Spite Of Harry's Toe Nail / Lady Lake (1972 uk, splendid prog rock, 2012 bonus tracks remaster and 2004 issue)

First time around Gnidrolog had a fairly short career running from 1969-1973, but in that time they managed to play some of the classic venues alongside some of the most illustrious names in the history of rock music. Sadly, despite producing some truly inspiring works, they never quite achieved the level of acclaim that they richly deserved.

The lineup on this album are Colin and Stewart Goldring, Peter Cowling (bass) and Nigel Pegrum (drums) - who after leaving Gnidrolog went on to join Steeleye Span.  The music is a real blend of guitar work and vocals augmented by recorders, flutes, saxophones, harmonicas, and such like. The end result is a unique style that was leading edge for it's time.  Now, looking back it's really very hard to tell exactly who was influencing who, but this album certainly has some elements that are strongly reminiscent of the likes of VDGG, Gentle Giant and Jethro Tull.

The album opens with 'Long Live Man Dead' and from the outset one is struck by the starkness of the powerful vocals set against some very harsh guitar riffs. After the initial opening the sound throttles back a little and there is a nice passage with woodwind sounds contrasting well with the guitar and percussion work. Vocals continue with less harsh tone, but they are charged with emotion and feeling. 'Skull' is effectively a continuation of the first track and is marked by gently echoing flute work set against the acoustic guitar.  The track finishes with a reprise of the opening vocal and guitar theme, before lapsing into a series of musical echoes reminiscent of King Crimson's earlier works.

'Peter' has a very mellow opening with Peter Cowling's cello coupled with a beautiful flute arrangement which plays alongside. Acoustic guitar and vocals add to the air of melancholy on the track.

There is a brooding sense of unease as 'Snails' starts up with recorder and oboe.  A repeating pattern on the electric guitar soon joins in, the percussion part is gradually introduced and the pace slowly builds up.  The vocals intially come in short, fairly quiet sections, alternating with heavy oppressive, and somewhat disharmonious, guitar work. The track is musically very advanced for its time and it provides a relentless assault on the senses as the frenzied pace and feeling of dischord contiues to build - it's almost above likes and dislikes - it simply is! It takes a little getting used to but is very effective.

In complete contrast 'Time and Space' is another piece that opens peacefully, a recorder and oboe passage is set against acoustic guitar and a lightly tripping vocal line. It gives way to some far more progressive elements with a much heavier sound.  The song seems to have it's roots set in renaissance period music but overall, I am tempted to draw comparisons to King Crimson and Gentle Giant.  The following song ,'Who Spoke', is a quiet acoustic guitar track with some very plaintive, almost anguished vocals, very akin to Peter Hammill.

The final track 'Goodbye-Farewell-Adieu' is another piece split into two parts. The first section 'Goodbye-Farewell-Adieu' contains woodwind sounds winding gently around, with gentle trills and more quiet guitar work. The vocals are very melancholic with harmonizing that is truly superb. The second part of the piece, 'Harry's Toenail', is an instrumental piece which is suddenly more upbeat with driving drum rhythms and pacey guitar work. Harmonicas give a really nice bluesy feel to the track. The eight tracks referenced above, which made up the original album, were all recorded in 1972.

Following hard on the heels of 'In Spite of Harry's Toenail' Gnidrolog produced what is, for me, a much more coherent and polished performance with their second album, 'Lady Lake'.  The nucleus of the band consists of the Goldring twins; Stewart on lead guitar and Colin providing rhythm guitar, vocals, recorder and lead horn.  As before, Nigel Pegrum provides drums and flute, while Peter Cowling plays bass and cellos.  A new face to the lineup this time around came with the addition of John Earle on soprano, tenor and bass sax and second flute - John also sings lead vocals on one of the tracks, more of which later ...

The CD follows the same format as the original album, consisting of just six tracks, with a playing time of just under forty minutes, which actually strikes me as quite long for the year! As with my previous Gnidrolog review I have to reiterate the point that, even with hindsight, it's actually very hard to tell who influenced who, but again there are certain similarities to bands such as Van der Graaf Generator and Gentle Giant - although I find the music here to be much more emotional and capable of creating moods.

The opening track, 'I Could Never Be A Soldier', is the longest on the album at 11'36". Although it is, in many ways, a product of its time - written when the the Vietnam war was very much in the media spotlight - it is a song with a clear and powerful message.  Having said that, the song is written without any direct reference to time or country and, due to this, the message is humanitarian rather than political and it works perfectly. Musically this is a song of contrasts; at times light and airy, at other times a darker heavier feel prevails - and it is these contrasts that help create a sense of urgency as we move through the track.  The verse/chorus structure is apparent in the early part of the song where flute and recorder work feature prominently and create beautiful additions that are woven around the main theme. The instrumental section that follows is a real joy to listen to as a repeating motif comes into play with gentle percussion rhythm, excellent bass work and very subtle echoes cutting in from the guitar.  Bit by bit the layers of sound are built up as the percussion becomes more complex and the guitar part fills out, while the flute/recorder sounds really break free from any constraint. The final vocal section is sung with real passion as the song launches into a final instrumental section with a truly breathtaking lead guitar line which is finally joined by the saxophone for the last climactic moments.

'Ship' is one of the highlights of the album.  It is a very moving and inspired song and, of all of Gnidrolog's early work, is probably the one I like the most. The song, basically, deals with refugees finally finding a place to call home - but Stewart tells me it actually works on a number of levels.  It kicks off with some great sax playing which makes way for acoustic guitar work that supports the vocals for the song verses. The vocals have a slightly raw edge to them, but they command the whole performance gliding effortless through the verses and soaring to ecstatic heights during the chorus, where the saxophone rejoins with magnificent effect. As with the first track this is another number that just builds and builds to a peak ... and the way the guitar and saxophones run rings around each other towards the finish has to be heard to be appreciated.

The shortest track of all is 'A Dog With No Collar' at just over two minutes.  Although, on first hearing, it seemed a little weak by comparison to its immediate predecessors, it has grown on me with time and is now very high in my estimation. The main feature is the very bleak, but well defined, vocal line supported by acoustic guitar.  Despite my early misgivings, I love the production on this track as you can hear the finger movements across the guitar strings - and this seems to really heighten the intensity of the piece. The addition of a sensitive saxophone line from about half way through adds to the air of melancholy

The album's title track 'Lady Lake' is the one most at odds with the rest of the featured material - and is most likely to be a problem for those not familiar with the genre of early experimental prog. Musically this one is very avant garde in its outlook and it seems to be very jazz-influenced.  Throughout the early stages of the track there is a sense of structured dischord with driving bass lines and swirling sax sounds which have a very anarchic feel.  This starts to die down at the point where the vocal line is first introduced and, at this point, I can sense strong similarities with the style later adopted by Gong offshoot Here and Now. Overtones of an angst ridden Peter Hammill echo through the remaining vocals while instrumentally things seem to settle down into a more structured pattern although the style becomes quite heavy and oppressive.

'Same Dreams' is another very compact song at under three minutes, but it is strong on content. The lead in features some gentle piano playing which continues throughout the whole piece building strongly where appropriate.  This is, in fact, the only early Gnidrolog track that I'm aware of which features any kind of keyboard.  It is played by Charlotte Fendrich and the style seems to have a classical edge, giving a slightly Procol Harum feel to the proceedings. Pleading vocals and fine harmonisation from the sax come across well and the strong percussive build up to the choruses, supported by fine bass work, is masterful.

I have heard it said that the final track, 'Social Embarrasment', sounds more like Gentle Giant than Gentle Giant did themselves, and I have to concede that this is not far off the mark! My only criticism here is that the incessant repetition in the closing section of the song tends to jar the nerves a little after a while but other than that this is a good, if at times quirky, track which makes a strong end piece to the album. 

Often overlooked and rarely imitated, Gnidrolog represent many of the best aspects of true progressive rock music. Not only has their album stood the test of time well but it has also retained a freshness that should be a source of real inspiration - and with the exception of piano on one track, still not a keyboard in earshot ... but don't let this put you off!  This CD comes highly recommended to all fans of seventies prog or to those who want to discover where it all began! 
by Simon Hill
Disc 1 In Spite Of Harry's Toe Nail 1972
1. Long Live Man Dead - 9:44
2. Peter - 3:28
3. Snails - 7:12
4. Time And Space - 7:34
5. Who Spoke - 2:22
6. In Spite Of Harry's Toe-Nail - 9:25
7. Snails (Instrumental First Version) - 6:46
All songs by Stewart Goldring, Colin Goldring, Nigel Pegrum, Peter Cowling
Bonus Track 7
Disc 2 Lady Lake 1972
1. I Could Never Be A Soldier - 11:34
2. Ship - 6:42
3. A Dog With No Collar - 2:08
4. Lady Lake - 8:51
5. Same Dreams - 2:47
6. Social Embarrassment - 6:33
7. Baby Move On - 4:11
All compositions by Stewart Goldring, Colin Goldring, Nigel Pegrum, Peter Cowling, John Earle
Bonus Track 7

"In Spite Of Harry's Toe-Nail"
*Colin Goldring - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Recorders, Tenor Saxophone, Horn, Harmonica
*Stewart Goldring - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Cowling - Bass, Cello
*Nigel Pegrum - Percussion, Flute, Oboe, Piano
"Lady Lake"
*Stewart Goldring - Lead Guitar
*Colin Goldring - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Recorder, Tenor Horn
*Nigel Pegrum - Percussion, Flute, Oboe
*John Earle - Soprano, Tenor, Baritone Saxes, Flute, Vocals
*Peter Cowling - Bass Guitar, Cellos
*Caroline Fendrich - Piano

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Colosseum - Valentyne Suite (1969 uk, significant progressive jazz rock, 2004 deluxe expanded edition)

There has been understandable confusion for decades about the overlap and differences between Colosseum's second UK album and their second US album. Their second UK LP was titled Valentyne Suite; their second US album, however, was not only given a different title, The Grass Is Greener, but featured a substantially different track listing, with only four of the eight tracks overlapping with Valentyne Suite (although the version of "The Grass Is Greener" on the US release has a guitar overdub by Clem Clempson, the original part by James Litherland getting lost in the process). The variance can partially be traced back to the US version of Colosseum's debut Those Who Are About to Die Salute You, which included three tracks yet to be issued in the UK, including the first two (but not the third) of the sections comprising "The Valentyne Suite." It's enough of a mess to instigate a booming headache among those trying to assemble Colosseum's complete early output. 

This deluxe expanded edition of Valentyne Suite, thankfully, completely sorts out this hassle for the CD era. With the sort of logic too uncommon in the record industry, it places the whole of the UK Valentyne Suite album on disc one, and the whole of the US The Grass Is Greener album on disc two, as well as adding a couple of tracks recorded for BBC radio in November 1969. That does mean that four of the tracks are heard twice, and that only the third part of "The Valentyne Suite" ("The Grass Is Greener") is heard on The Grass Is Greener, since the first two parts had already been issued in the US as part of the altered version of Those Who Are About to Die Salute You. But the redundancy is forgivable, considering this finally allows listener to hear all of the band's studio material from this era in the same place, with lengthy liner notes that explain the discographical tangle as well as possible.

Not to be overlooked, of course, should be the music, which in both albums found the band expanding their rock-blues-jazz format in interesting directions that encompassed more improvisation and a richer range of melodic colors, though the songs sometimes could have used some editing. Especially satisfying was the deft insertion of some classical influences from time to time, particularly in parts of the 17-minute "The Valentyne Suite." "The Kettle" was as close as the band got to catchy blues-rock-pop, and the jazzier "Elegy" (in which the vocals almost sound like a foreshadowing of Sting) was also one of their best songs. 

Both "The Kettle" and "Elegy" were placed on both Valentyne Suite and The Grass Is Greener, but the songs unique to the The Grass Is Greener (all recorded, unlike the rest of the studio material here, with new guitarist Clem Clempson replacing James Litherland) aren't filler. Of these, "Jumping Off the Sun" in particular got Colosseum more in the swing of hard-charging psychedelic-pop-influenced rock than anything else they did, while "Rope Ladder to the Moon" was a cover of a quality song from Jack Bruce's debut solo album, and Ravel's "Bolero" gave them a chance to plunge further into classical material. Finally, disc one adds the aforementioned two November 1969 BBC tracks, including a version of "Lost Angeles" (from The Grass Is Greener) and the fusion instrumental "Arthur's Mustache," which didn't find a place on either of the two albums.
by Richie Unterberger
Disc 1
1. The Kettle (Heckstall-Smith, Hiseman) - 4:29
2. Elegy (Litherland) - 3:14
3. Butty's Blues (Litherland) - 6:47
4. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Heckstall-Smith, Litherland, Hiseman, Brown) - 3:54
5. The Valentyne Suite - 16:55
.a Theme One - January's Search (Greenslade, Hiseman)
.b Theme Two - February's Valentyne (Greenslade, Hiseman)
.c Theme Three - The Grass Is Always Greener (Heckstall-Smith, Hiseman)
6. Arthur's Moustache (Reeves) - 6:31
7. Lost Angeles (Farlowe, Greenslade, Heckstall-Smith) - 8:37
Disc 2 The US Album 'The Grass Is Always Greener'
1. Jumping Off The Sun (Tomlin, Taylor) - 3:38
2. Lost Angeles (Farlowe, Greenslade, Heckstall-Smith) - 5:34
3. Elegy (Litherland) - 3:14
4. Butty's Blues (Litherland) - 6:46
5. Rope Ladder To The Moon (Bruce, Brown) - 3:45
6. Bolero (Ravel) - 5:30
7. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Heckstall-Smith, Litherland, Hiseman, Brown) - 2:53
8. The Grass Is Greener (Heckstall-Smith, Hiseman) - 7:35

The Colosseum
*Dave Greenslade - Hammond Organ, Vibraphone, Piano, Vocals
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Saxophones, Flute
*Jon Hiseman – Drums
*James Litherland - Guitars, Lead Vocals
*Tony Reeves - Bass

1969  Colosseum - Those Who Are About To Die Salute You (2004 remaster and expanded)
1970  Colosseum - Daughter Of Time (remaster with bonus track)
Related Acts
1969  Sweet Pain - Sweet Pain
1969  Jack Bruce - Songs For A Tailor (expanded edition)
1970  Keef Hartley Band - Overdog (extra track remaster edition)
1970  Mogul Thrash - Mogul Thrash
1972  Dick Heckstall Smith - A Story Ended (2006 Japan Remaster)
1973-82  Bob Theil - So Far...

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

James Gang - Rides Again (1970 us, excellent classic hard rock with funky shades, 2010 SHM remaster)

With their second album Rides Again, the James Gang came into their own. Under the direction of guitarist Joe Walsh, the group -- now featuring bassist Dale Peters -- began incorporating keyboards into their hard rock, which helped open up their musical horizons. For much of the first side of Rides Again, the group tear through a bunch of boogie numbers, most notably the heavy groove of "Funk #49." 

On the second side, the James Gang departs from their trademark sound, adding keyboard flourishes and elements of country-rock to their hard rock. Walsh's songwriting had improved, giving the band solid support for their stylistic experiments. What ties the two sides of the record together is the strength of the band's musicianship, which burns brightly and powerfully on the hardest rockers, as well as on the sensitive ballads. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. Funk #49 (Fox, Peters, Walsh) - 4:06
2. Asshtonpark (Fox, Peters, Walsh) - 1:51
3. Woman (Fox, Peters, Walsh) - 4:38
4. The Bomber: Closet Queen/ Boléro/ Cast Your Fate To The Wind (Fox, Peters, Walsh, Maurice Ravel, Vince Guaraldi) - 7:04
5. Tend My Garden - 5:39
6. Garden Gate - 1:41
7. There I Go Again - 2:50
8. Thanks - 2:20
9. Ashes, The Rain And I - 4:58
All songs by Joe Walsh except where noted

The James Gang
*Joe Walsh  - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Piano, Percussion
*Dale Peters  - Bass Guitars, Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Percussion
*Jim Fox  - Drums, Vocals, Percussion, Keyboards, Organ, Piano
*Rusty Young  - Pedal Steel Guitar

1969  James Gang - Yer' Album (Japan SHM remaster)

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