Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ministry Of Sound - Men From The Ministry / Midsummer Nights Dreaming (1966/68 uk, fabulous beat orchestrated swinging psych, 2005 double disc set)

The Ministry of Sound issued just one 1966 single while they were active. But they recorded several albums' worth of material within the space of about a couple of years, eventually bringing them to the notice of those who collect the small British school of '60s sunshine pop. Too, their history was quite complicated considering their small discography, as they were a studio outfit whose personnel included noted songwriter John Carter, although Carter was not the dominant member.

The core of the Ministry of Sound was the duo of singer/songwriters Robin Shaw and Micky Keen, who had first performed together back in the late '50s in Mick Everly & the Prophets. By the mid-'60s they were part of the house band of Southern Music Studios, and signed to Carter's publishing company as songwriters. They also recorded often at Southern Music Studios as Ministry of Sound, with Carter pitching in with songwriting, guitar, and some lead vocals. Songwriter Russ Alquist also sang lead on some tracks, as well as making some contributions as a writer, with Robin Shaw handling some of the lead vocal duties as well. Top British session drummer Clem Cattini and keyboardist Barry Kingston also recorded with them.

At least several dozen songs were recorded by the aggregation between 1966 and 1968, but the only two that found release were issued on the 1966 Decca single "White Collar Worker"/"Back Seat Driver." In common with much of the material with which the prolific John Carter was associated in the mid- to late '60s (with groups such as the Flower Pot Men and the Ivy League), it gave a British spin to the harmony sunshine pop of groups like the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Association, and the Tokens, perhaps with a bit of the Four Seasons and Motown thrown in. Some of it also drew from psychedelia in the sophisticated production, use of then-advanced instrumentation such as the Mellotron, songs that explored British characters and situations, and lightly trippy lyrics. It wasn't as good as their most obvious influences, but it was very smoothly recorded and sung, with pleasant if not indelible tunesmithery.

Although some of the songs they recorded were covered by British pop group Amen Corner and Australian singer Normie Rowe, the Ministry of Sound didn't get the chance to release any more records while they were active. They came to an end when Robin Shaw joined the touring version of the Flower Pot Men, with Keen, Carter, and Cattini continuing to focus on studio work. In 2005, 35 of the tracks they recorded between 1966 and 1968 were issued on the two-CD set Midsummer Nights Dreaming/Men from the Ministry, most of them previously unreleased, though it did include both sides of their 1966 single.

At a glance, this 35-track, two-CD set looks like it's combining two 1960s albums by the Ministry of Sound with bonus tracks. It's not; the Ministry of Sound issued just one single, and this is a witty facsimile of how their discography might have played out if things had turned out differently, complete with mock artwork for two LPs, one from 1966 and one from 1968. So almost all of these 35 cuts, all recorded between 1966-1968, were previously unreleased; the only two that actually came out in the 1960s were on the 1966 single "White Collar Worker"/"Back Seat Driver." The group did deserve better than just one official single, but nor was its output particularly deserving of deluxe treatment. 

Fans of John Carter, who sang and helped write some of the tracks, will be familiar with the kind of idiosyncratic spin on late-'60s harmony pop the Ministry of Sound offered, combining elements of sunshine pop, the Beach Boys, the Beatles at their poppiest, pop-psychedelia, and maybe a bit of the early Bee Gees. This blend is particularly prevalent on the second and better of the CDs, which groups the more sophisticated and psychedelically inclined tracks into the mock album Midsummer Nights Dreaming, with its very British lyrical blend of everyday life and fairytale imagery. 

It's an attractive sound, and so well produced it's hard to believe these weren't actual releases. But it's just not as memorable, hooky, or penetrating as the best work in this general field, though the melancholy "Rain Rain Rain" comes close with its slight sub-Brian Wilson circa 1966-1967 vibe. It's odd to hear a riff that almost approximates the one heard in Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love," however, on the 1966 single "White Collar Worker." The earlier-sounding material on disc one is weaker, populated by some pale attempts to marry British Invasion pop with Motown-influenced production. There's also more straightforward passable sunshine poppiness with a strong California vocal harmony streak; "Three in the Morning," for instance, sounds very much like something the Turtles or the Association might have done. The packaging is superb, with comprehensive liner notes and excellent sound. 
by Richie Unterberger
Men From The Ministry
1. Mary Mary - 2:32
2. Someone Like You (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:26 
3. I'm Coming Home (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 3:15 
4. Something Very Good (John Carter, Robin Shaw, Peter Nelson, Neil Landon) - 2:27 
5. Goodbye To Rosalie - 2:33
6. Sunday In The Park (John Carter, Russell Alquist) - 3:41
7. Hey Girl (No Need To Push) (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:49 
8. Something You've Got (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 3:03
9. Ooh La La (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:33 
10.I Couldn't Spend Another Day - 2:36
11.Three In The Morning (Russell Alquist) - 2:12 
12.Angels Get Out Of Bed (Russell Alquist) - 2:46
13.Big Top Heart (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:37
14.Get Outta My Way - 2:15
15.Love Equals Love (John Carter, Russell Alquist) - 2:47 
16.Memory (Mickey Keen) - 1:57
17.Turn Around (Mickey Keen) - 3:49 
All sons by John Carter, Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen except where noted
Bonus Tracks 13-17
Midummer Nights Dreaming
1. White Collar Worker - 3:20
2. Throw The Thing Away (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 1:40
3. Back Seat Driver - 2:25
4. Rain Rain Rain (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:37
5. In The Sky (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:24
6. Sequin Sally (Russell Alquist, Juliet Mills) - 3:27
7. Laughing Man (John Carter, Russell Alquist) - 3:25
8. Going Round And Round (John Carter, Peter Barnfather) - 3:38
9. Time And Motion Man - 2:41
10.Little Ray Of Sunshine - 3:04
11.Magic People (Mickey Keen) - 2:06
12.Midsummer Dreaming (John Carter, Russell Alquist) - 2:45
13.Life Is Living (Russell Alquist) - 3:07
14.Marjorie Morningstar (Russell Alquist) - 2:00
15.Roberto Billow (Russell Alquist) - 3:10
16.Mr Light (Mickey Keen) - 2:32
17.When I Was Born (Russell Alquist) - 2:53
18.Rain Rain Rain (Alternative Version) (Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen) - 2:45
All sons by John Carter, Robin Shaw, Mickey Keen except where indicated
Bonus Tracks 13-18

The Ministry Of Sound
*Micky Keen - Guitar, Vocals
*Russell Alquist - Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Barnfather - Vocals
*John Carter - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Clem Cattini - Drums
*Robin Shaw - Bass, Vocals

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tower Of Power - Bump City (1972 us, fascinating funk Jazzy brass rock)

Bump City is the second album by the long living Bay Area based Soul Funk group Tower Of Power, released in 1972. Tower Of Power are best known for their funky Soul sound highlighted by a powerful horn section and precisely syncopated bass-guitar lines.

One of their biggest hits came off the album: "You're Still A Young Man", recorded in Memphis and with Rick Stevens as lead vocalist. The production and arrangements were much improved over the debut album East Bay Grease from 1970, as was the engineering and overall technical quality. Their lines were crisper, the unison and ensemble passages much sharper, and they were beginning to round into shape.

The album was the first to make an impact in the band's early days, and paved the way to their mid Seventies success with subsequent albums like their self titled third album and Back To Oakland from 1974, both of which feature Lenny Williams on lead vocals.
1. You Got To Funkifize - 4:33
2. What Happened To The World That Day? - 4:14
3. Flash In The Pan - 3:37
4. Gone (In Memory Of Jacqueline Mesquite) (Greg Adams, Skip Mesquite) - 3:43
5. You Strike My Main Nerve (Stephen Kupka, Emilio Castillo, Lenny Williams, Louis Gordon) - 2:55
6. Down To The Nightclub (Stephen Kupka, Emilio Castillo, David Garibaldi) - 2:45
7. You're Still A Young Man - 5:38
8. Skating On Thin Ice - 3:51
9. Of The Earth - 4:31
All songs written by Emilio Castillo, Stephen "Doc" Kupka except where stated.

*Rick Stevens - Lead Vocals
*Skip Mesquite - First Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Vocals
*Emilio Castillo - Second Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
*Greg Adams - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn, Piano, Vocals
*Stephen "Doc" Kupka - Baritone Saxophone, Vocals
*Mic Gillette - Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Vocals
*Willie James Fulton - Guitar, Vocals
*David Garibaldi - Drums
*Francis Rocco Prestia - Bass
*Brent Byars - Conga Drums, Vocals
*Jay Spell - Piano
*Greg Adams - The Memphis Strings Arranged And Conducted

1970  Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Billy T.K And The Powerhouse - Move On Up The Unreleased HMV Tapes (1972/75/80 new zealand, outstanding groovy fusion acid rock, 2009 release)

No local musician embodied this archetype more – or took it further – than Billy TK. His recordings with The Human Instinct, in particular the album Stoned Guitar, remain emblems of the period, and are today both historically significant and highly collectible. His subsequent work with groups such as Powerhouse and Wharemana have built on the style and technique he developed during this time.

Billy TK’s story began in Bunnythorpe, a rural township just outside Palmerston North. Born Billy Te Kahika, his surname was abbreviated by his Pākehā schoolteachers, who couldn’t be bothered writing out his full Māori name.

In 1972 Billy returned to New Zealand with Australian drummer Steve Weir and formed the first line-up of Powerhouse, which for the next eight years would see a series of continually changing line-ups.

Initially a quartet, Billy TK’s Powerhouse secured a residency at Wellington club Lucifer’s where they played a mixture of rock and soul covers, ranging from Neil Young to Curtis Mayfield. Later that year an opportunity arose for Billy to start his own club in Palmerston North, so he returned to the Horowhenua, where Powerhouse took up residence at the newly opened, Boulevarde club.

This version of the band was recorded in Wellington’s HMV studios for a possible album, however nothing was released at the time. These recordings finally emerged in 2009 as Move On Up: The Unreleased HMV Tapes, and show a club band in its embryonic stages, albeit with an unusually fiery guitarist.

Playing regularly at the Boulevarde, Powerhouse began to grow in scale and ambition. Inspired by the current jazz-rock fusion of Santana and John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy began adding musicians to the line-up, expanding the tonal and rhythmic possibilities. These included keyboardist Jamie Tait-Jamieson, percussionist Mana Rauhina, cellist Pauline Poole (who later become a well-known singer under the name Hattie St. John) and singer Mahia Blackmore. Following the departure of Steve Weir, the group went through a number of drummers including Bud Hooper and Neil Storey, who would go on to play with Dragon before his untimely death. At the time he joined Powerhouse he was still at school.

“I was auditioning drummers, I’d tried a couple and there was this kid out the back in a school uniform and I said, ‘Have you come to audition?’ He said, ‘Yeah’, so I said, ‘Hop on’, and he was it. He had it. So I had to go and talk to his mum!”

Sometimes Billy’s old friend Ara Mete played drums; on other occasions he would play second guitar.

In the communal spirit of the time, the group took up residence in a rural mansion in nearby Cheltenham, made available by a friend of the band. Each member had his or her own room, there was space to rehearse, and even tennis courts. It also provided inspiration for Billy’s original writing, which increasingly dominated the repertoire. Band membership at the time swelled to as many as 15 people.
by  Nick Bollinger
1. Bottle Of Red Wine (Eric Clapton) - 3:04
2. Move On Up (Curtis Mayfield) - 9:09
3. Hum Along And Dance (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) - 5:15
4. Into The Mystic (Van Morrison) - 3:28
5. Marbles (John McLaughlin) - 5:24
6. Guajira (C. Reyes, David Brown, Rico Reyes) - 4:02
7. Goodbye Post Office Tower Goodbye (Angus Cullen) - 4:28
8. Southern Man (Neil Young) - 9:06
9. Dance With The Spirit (Billy Te Kahika) - 2:37
10.Rhythm Of Your Love (Billy Te Kahika) - 3:41
11.Heaven's Melody (Live) (Billy Te Kahika) - 12:55
12.Beyond The Material Sky (Live) (Billy Te Kahika) - 5:50
13.Race Into The infinite (Live) (Billy Te Kahika) - 10:40

*Billy T.K - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*John Bilderbeck - Guitar
*Steve Webb - Drums
*Gav Collinge - Bass
*Ara Mete - Rhythm Guitar
*Jamie Tait-Jamieson - Keyboards, Saxophone
*Arnold Tihema - Congas, Lead Vocals
*Mahia Blackmore - Vocals, Percussions
*Dick White - Saxophone

Related Acts
1970  Human Instinct - Stoned Guitar (2007 bonus tracks edition)
1971  Human Instinct - Pins In It

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Billy Thorpe And The Aztecs - Long Live Rock And Roll (1972 australia, stunning classic guitar rock, 2008 digipak release)

The Moomba Festival on Sunday the 12th. of March 1972 culminated in a massive live concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The line-up was Friends, La De Das , Gerry and the Joy Band and headliners the Aztecs.

As noted in TV and Newspaper reports, an enormous crowd of 200,000 (yes, you read right: Two Hundred Thousand!) turned up. The following GoSet edition featured a detailed report on the concert and noted the debut of a new track entitled "Long Live Rock And Roll And Long May It Move Me So" (predicted, following the success of "most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy", to be another number one smash - though it was never recorded).

We have taken the Aztecs' barnstorming performance and added another from late 1972 at Melbourne's Festival Hall (their farewell show before travelling to the UK) to create a never before released Aztecs' CD - one that captures the band at the peak of their live power (this is the same year and line-up of the classic Aztecs Live! at Sunbury performance, i.e. the "Sunbury Aztecs" - Billy Thorpe, Gil Matthews, Paul Wheeler and Bruce Howard).

The Festival Hall show features a lost classic: "Let Yourself Go" - a song in a similar vein to "Time To Live" and "Momma" - monster riffing, powerful vocals, relentless beat (with obligatory drum solo) with a running time of over 10 minutes!!

There's also a rare live version of their single "Believe it Just Like Me".
Live At The Myer Music Bowl 1972 (Moomba Festival)
1. Be Bop A Lula (Gene Vincent, Tex Davis) - 5:26
2. CC Rider (Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Traditional) - 4:59
3. Long Live Rock N' Roll (Billy Thorpe) - 9:39
4. Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy (Billy Thorpe) - 7:30
5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Jessie Hill) - 15:16
Live At Festival Hall 1972
6. Let Yourself Go (Billy Thorpe) - 10:58
7. Believe It Just Like Me (Billy Thorpe) - 2:53
8. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Jessie Hill) - 16:20

The Aztecs
*Billy Thorpe - Vocals, Guitar
*Gil "Rats" Matthews - Drums
*Paul Wheeler - Bass
*Bruce Howard - Electric Piano

1972  Billy Thorpe And The Aztecs - Live! At Sunbury (2005 digipak)

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tony Hazzard - Tony Hazzard Sings (1969 uk, pleasant smart orchestrated colorful beats)

Tony Hazzard graduated from university in the sixties and, by a quirk of fate, went straight into the music business. He began as a solo singer featuring in classic sixties television shows such as Ready Steady Go and Thank Your Lucky Stars, but it soon became clear that his forte was songwriting and, during a three year period, from 1966 to 1969, he wrote six top twenty hits in the UK and Europe for the likes of Manfred Mann (Fox On The Run & Ha Ha Said The Clown), The Hollies (Listen To Me), The Tremeloes (Hello World), Lulu (Me The Peaceful Heart),  and Herman's Hermits (You Won't Be Leaving). He also had songs recorded by Gene Pitney (Maria Elena), Dave Berry (Love Has Gone Out Of Your Life), Simon Dupree and The Big Sound (The Eagle Flies Tonight), Nana Mouskouri (Mamma), Cliff Richard (The Sound Of The Candyman's Trumpet), Hall & Oates (The Princess And The Soldier), and The Yardbirds (Fade Away Maureen & Ha Ha Said The Clown), culminating in 1974 with another Top Twenty hit for Andy Williams (I Think I'm Over Getting Over You). 

During this time he also wrote and produced television jingles, and wrote theme tunes for BBC and ITV series. One jingle won an award at the Cannes Film Festival. He also sidelined as a session singer and guitarist working with the likes of James Last, Long John Baldry, and Elton John, featuring on three of the latter's albums (Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection & Honky Chateau) and appearing on stage with him at his first Royal Festival Hall concert.

In 1969 he recorded his first album, mainly a collection of the demos of the hits, entitled “Tony Hazzard sings Tony Hazzard”. A version on CD was released in 2007 by Cherry Red Records. 1971 saw the release of his second album “Loudwater House” followed in 1973 by “Was That Alright, Then?” A double CD of these albums was released on the Sanctuary label in 2005, under the title “Go North – The Bronze Anthology”. During the early seventies he also toured extensively with his band, featuring musicians who had played on the albums. In 1976 he recorded an album, “Hazzard & Barnes” with an old friend, Richard Barnes, who had previously sung harmonies on all the demos of the hits. In 1974 he moved to Cornwall and contemplated leaving the music business, but a visit to Nashville and Los Angeles in the late seventies sparked another creative period during which he wrote many songs which have never been published.

In 1977 he won a Citation Of Achievement from BMI, one of the American equivalents of The Performing Right Society in the UK, for one of his sixties hits, Fox On The Run, which, in the intervening years, had traversed the Atlantic and become a bluegrass standard. It has since been recorded by the majority of bluegrass and country artistes, including Tom T. Hall, Bill Monroe, The Country Gentlemen, George Jones, Ricky Skaggs, Flatt & Scruggs, Doc Watson, and Bare Naked Ladies.

Though he never achieved chart success in his own right, the British songwriter Tony Hazzard penned many hits for Sixties pop groups such as the Hollies and Manfred Mann. This high-quality collection, much sought-after on vinyl, features Hazzard's own versions of his songs, including the Manfred Mann hits "Fox on the Run" and "Ha Ha Said the Clown," with backing by some of the cream of late-1960s U.K. session musicians.

Tony Hazzard's songs are known to millions. During his first flurry of pop success in the mid-late '60s he scored huge hits with "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown" and "Fox On The Run" for Manfred Mann, "Listen To Me" for The Hollies, "Me The Peaceful Heart" for Lulu, "Hello World" for The Tremeloes and "You Won't Be Leaving" for Herman's Hermits. In addition, his "The Sound Of The Candyman's Trumpet" was recorded by Cliff Richard and entered into the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. "Maria Elena" was beautifully rendered by the great Gene Pitney while the Jimmy Page-led Yardbirds turned Tony's "Goodnight Sweet Josephine" into a Psych-Pop classic. Simon Dupree & The Big Sound, The Casuals, The Family Dogg, 

Cherry Smash and The (formerly Swinging) Blue Jeans all turned to Hazzard's effortless pop tunes in the late '60s too. In the midst of all this success as a writer, Tony somehow found time to polish up a dozen or so of his demos (themselves things of fully formed wonder as played by the top session cats of the day) and thus was born his first 'solo' LP, Tony Hazzard Sings Tony Hazzard, released in 1969. It features all of the aforementioned mega-hits and a selection of other equally worthy pop gems as rendered by Tony, his band and pals like Jimmy Page and The Hollies' Tony Hicks. This compilation is produced with Tony's full co-operation and features ultra-rare non-LP single sides and brand new, in-depth liner notes by Rev-Ola's very own Andy Morten, this is a must for all lovers of pure '60s pop thrills. 16 tracks. Rev-Ola. 2007.
by Andy Morten.
1. Listen To Me - 2:33
2. Brown Eyed Girl - 3:13
3. Me, The Peaceful Heart - 2:29
4. The Sound Of The Candyman's Trumpet - 2:34
5. Hello It's Me - 2:59
6. Fox On The Run - 2:39
7. Hello World - 4:06
8. Goodnight Sweet Josephine - 2:52
9. Ha! Ha! Said The Clown - 2:19
10.Hey Mrs. Housewife - 2:38
11.You Won't Be Leaving - 2:26
12.Fade Away Maureen - 2:34
13.The Sound Of The Candyman's Trumpet (Single Version) - 2:33
14.Everything's Gone Wrong - 2:16
15.You'll Never Put Shackles On Me - 2:21
16.Calling You Home - 2:22
All songs written by Tony Hazzard
Bonus tracks 13-16

*Tony Hazzard - Vocals, Guitar, 12-String Guitar
*Roger McKew - Guitar
*Nick Robbins - Synthesizer
*Joe Foster - Synthesizer
*Tom (Colonel) Allom - Vibraphone
*Tat Meager - Drums, Percussion

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spur - Spur Of The Moments (1966-72 us, amazing jagged acid folk psych, vinyl edition)

Spur was an unknown Illinois band who gained some local notoriety in the late 60’s but never hit the big time (they opened for many of the era’s big bands: The Byrds, Cream, Bob Seger, Steve Miller and The Grateful Dead).  For Spur of the Moments, Drag City compiled the best tracks from their sole album (1968-), along with several outtakes and rare 45 cuts.  Tons of blogs and rock magazines/fanzines have reviewed this gem, so we figured we’d give our own spin on this exciting new reissue.

While Spur of the Moments is by no means a cohesive, album-like statement, each song is finely crafted 60’s rock n roll that’s well worth a spin.  Spur started out life as a garage band who called themselves The Unknowns.  The Unknowns would eventually change their name to Spur and touch on a variety of classic 60’s sounds: garage, folk-rock, heavy psych and country-rock.  It must’ve been a challenge to assemble and piece together this anthology.  Spur were certainly long-lived by 60’s standards (1965-1972) but they were also a group who frequently revamped their sound/style and spent very little time in the recording studio.  That being said, Drag City does a great job putting all their highlights together in one convenient place.

The LP’s first five cuts are its most brilliant ones.  We begin with “Mind Odyssey,” a classic slice of psychedelic country-rock that’s highlighted by fluid guitar work and mild studio experimentation.   With “Tribal Gathering,” Spur turns a classic Byrds track into a 14 minute Grateful Dead-like acid guitar jam.   “Time Is Now,” another great performance, is quality West Coast psychedelia with good harmonies (about mid way through), fuzz guitar and a strong Jefferson Airplane feel.  These 3 cuts also suggest that Spur may have been listening to The Byrds’ Notorious Byrd Brothers album.  “Modern Era,” a 1966 single which was originally backed by a cover of Gene Clark’s “Feel A Whole Lot Better” (not included), recalls 5D Byrds, with it’s punchy, jangley guitars and acid fried lyrics – definitely a keeper.  

“Mr. Creep,” a terrific cut from Spur’s sole album, sports cool, distorted vocals, razor sharp guitars and bizarre lyrics (great, twisted garage psych).  Other fine tracks: Spur’s excellent country-rock take on The Beatles’ classic “Eight Days A Week” (banjo and steel guitar make me think of a cross between Dillard & Clark and The Flying Burrito Brothers), the suprising power pop of “Help Me I’m Falling” and the jumpy garage number “Be Tender, My Love.”
by Jason Nardelli
1. Mind Odyssey (Ed Kalotek) - 2:37
2. Mr. Creep (Ed Kalotek) - 2:10
3. Tribal Gathering/We Don't Want To Know (Chris Hillman, David Crosby, Ed Kalotek) - 14:10
4. Modern Era (Jimmy Fey, Rick Willard, Ron Lipe, Stan Bratzke, Stix Maxwell, Ed Kalotek) - 2:14
5. Time Is Now (Ed Kalotek) - 4:11
6. Be Tender, My Love (Ed Kalotek) - 2:41
7. You Could Help Me Ease The Pain (Ed Kalotek) - 2:14
8. All Over The World (Jerry Corbitt) - 3:03
9. Help Me I'm Falling (Stan Bratzke) - 4:26
10.Eight Days A Week (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:40
11.Yield Not (Deadric Malone) - 2:27

*Ed Kalotek - Keyboards, Twelve String, Six String Guitar
*Stix Maxwell - Percussion, Drums
*Stan Bratzke - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Guitar
*Rick Willard - Vocals, Bass
*Jimmy Fey - Vocals, Lead Guitar

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Apartment One - Open House (1970 holland, efficient prog psych rock, 2014 edition)

Rock band from Hilversum, founded in 1967 under the name Serpentine. The first line-up lasted until 1969 and consisted of: Peter van der Sande (v, g, ex-Sexton Five, Highschool Five, Smokey and Kingbees), Rob Morel (b, ex-Dean Allen Set), Ralf Dragstra (o, p, trb, ex-Dean Allen Set), Bob de Laat (s, ex-Dean Allen Set), Patrick Verboom (tr), Frank van Tijn (v, dr, to OPMC) and Dick Pels (g, ex-Guardians, to Dean Allen Set).  In 1969, Peter left the group temporarily.  Serpentine started accompanying Amos Tamela (ex-Mustang Soul) and Sandra Reemer.

Peter then recorded a single for Polydor with his new group Blech, featuring: Fije Jasky (dr), Ton Jasky (b), Theo Andriessen (p), Ad le Conte (o).  Nevertheless, the single was released under the name Serpentine, because Peter had soon returned to his old band.  The line-up was then narrowed down to: Peter van der Sande (v, b), Onno Lopulalan (g), Frank van Tijn (v, dr) and Ralf Dragstra (o, p).  Band members also did a lot of session work - for California License, Big Boy & Bouncers and OPMC, amongst others.  On account of legal reasons, later records were released under the moniker Apartment One.  Serpentine fell apart in 1970, Peter joined Focus.

"Open House" released through Pink Elephant label, and it's a mixture of prog psych rock with some blues and country references.  
1. Step Inside (Onny Lopulalan, Ralf Dragstra) - 4:10
2. Fuzz Buzz (Robbie Dale, Peter Van Der Sande) - 2:51
3. Eternal Moralist (Robbie Dale, Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:04
4. Dictionary (Robbie Dale, Peter Van Der Sande) - 2:24
5. Summer Term (Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:49
6. Dragstream (Onny Lopulalan, Ralf Dragstra) - 3:07
7. Like A Queen (Robbie Dale, Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:08
8. Going Up Town (Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:05
9. Try And Bye A Try (Robbie Dale, Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:15
10.What's Going On (Peter Van Der Sande) - 3:35

The Apartment One
*Frank Van Tijn - Drums, Vocals
*Peter Van Der Sande - Vocals, Guitar, Cello, Organ, Bass
*Bob De Laat - Saxophone
*Dick Pels - Guitar
*Patrick Verboom - Trumpet
*Ralf Dragstra - Keyboards, Trombone
*Rob Morel - Bass
*Onny Lopulalan - Guitar

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tomorrow's Gift - Tomorrow's Gift (1970 germany, powerful heavy prog krautrock, 2016 remaster issue)

Tomorrow's Gift were responsible for the first release (of only three totally) on the Plus label (owned by Miller International). 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 (but remained faithful to their roots). 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. The rest of the band members were: Carlo Karges (guitar, percussion), Manfred Rurup (organ), Wolfgang Trescher (flute), Bernd Kiefer (bass) and Olaf Casalich (drums). Casalich was later replaced by Gerd Paetzke. This was really a band of future talents, three of the members being still teenagers. Their eponymous double album had a typical vintage progressive sound. There were powerful long tracks with plenty of guitar, organ, flute and drum solos, Ellen Meyer's vocals were comparable to those of Janis Joplin. 

The production (courtesy of Jochen Petersen (Ikarus), possibly his first production ever) was unpolished and some of the material a little rough around the edges. It would have been better to edit the material down to a single album! There is more than an album's worth of live material by Tomorrow's Gift issued on the two festival samplers, 'Pop & Blues Festival '70' and 'Love and Peace'. The first one had a 20-minute version of Donovan's "Season Of The Witch", re-titled "Sound Of Which" (sic!), interspersed with very long, sometimes chaotic instrumental parts. Still it is a good example of their raw live sound. The latter had another 20-minute track: "At The Earth/Indian Rope Man" and the shorter "Begin Of A New Sound". Both concerts were recorded before their debut album.

The five-piece Tomorrow's Gift split up in 1971, but Manfred Rurup and Bernd Kiefer (bass) kept the band going. They recruited "Zabba" Lindner (drums) from Sphinx Tush and recorded 'Goodbye Future' (1972) as a trio, an ironic title considering the name of the group! This album was technically better, as the engineering and production were handled by Konrad Plank. The sound of Tomorrow's Gift had changed completely and now leaned towards instrumental jazz-rock with forceful keyboard and bass interplay. It was indeed a very varied album: Canterbury-influenced jazz-rock with improvised free jazz parts (a bit comparable to the first Annexus Quam album), general Zappa-esque weirdness and musical jokes. The album wasn't released until a year after the recordings were completed.
from Cosmic Dreams at Play
1. Riddle In A Swamp (Carlo Karges, Manfred Rürup) - 8:02
2. Prayin' To Satan (Manfred Rürup) - 5:09
3. One Of The Narrow Minded Thoughts (Manfred Rürup) - 3:28
4. Tenakel Gnag (Wolfgang Trescher) - 2:55
5. The First Seasons After The Destruction (Carlo Karges, Manfred Rürup) - 13:02
6. How You Want To Live (Manfred Rürup) - 7:32
7. Grey Aurora (Manfred Rürup) - 1:40
8. Ants (Wolfgang Trescher) - 2:51
9. Breeds There A Man (Carlo Karges, Manfred Rürup) - 3:21
10.King In A Nook (Carlo Karges) - 4:21
11.Sandy Concert (Manfred Rürup) - 8:08
12.Enough To Write A Song About Or Two (Carlo Karges) - 2:00
13.Second Song (Carlo Karges, Wolfgang Trescher) - 0:27

Tomorrow's Gift
*Carlo Karges - Guitars, Percussion
*Bernd Kiefer - Bass
*Ellen Meyer - Lead Vocals
*Gerd Paetzke - Drums
*Manfred Rurup - Keyboards
*Wolfgang Trescher - Flute
Guest Musician
*Jochen Petersen - Alto Saxophone (11)

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Brainstorm - Second Smile (1973 germany, prominent prog rock)

The second record by Brainstorm, from 1973, reveals even more variety to this German group's take on Canterbury jazz-rock. The album starts off with a spacy keyboard drone, dripping water noises, and gentle acoustic guitars, and just when you think you have the track, "Hirnwind," pegged as a mellow folk number, it becomes hyperactive progressive jazz-rock, with propulsive rhythms and lots of furious electric guitar, organ, flute, and sax, with some goofy wordless vocals thrown in. Other tracks also have that abrupt unpredictability, as Brainstorm's compositional prowess is even more developed, especially on the complex songs of "My Way" and "Marilyn Monroe," which feature a lot of changeups and different moods and tempos. They also do an ultra-funky arrangement of Leon Thomas' "There Was a Time," a standout on the disc. 

Though this record is energetic, it doesn't quite achieve the same manic overdrive of some of the material on their debut, Smile a While. Second Smile presents a more mature group, though one that is still a lot of fun, especially on the vampy "Marilyn Monroe" and wild "Hirnwind," the two songs that bookended the original album. The only weak cut is the bonus track, "You're the One." This single is a remake of "You Are What's Gonna Make It Last" from Smile a While, but tries to pump it up with a more conventional rock sound that is less interesting than the rest of the album. 
by Rolf Semprebon
1. Hirnwind (Roland Schaeffer, Rainer Bodensohn, Eddy Von Overheidt) - 5:43
2. Herbst (Roland Schaeffer, Rainer Bodensohn) - 3:40
3. My Way (Eddy Von Overheidt, Roland Schaeffer) - 8:12
4. Affenzahn (Brainstorm) - 4:47
5. There Was A Time (Roland Schaeffer, T. Thomas) - 7:09
6. Marilyn Monroe (Roland Schaeffer, T. Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt) - 8:32

The Brainstorm
*Rainer Bodensohn - Bass, Flute, Vocals
*Enno Dernov - Bass, Guitar
*Joachim Keinzer - Drums
*Roland Schaeffer - Guitar, Keyboards
*Eddy Von Overheidt - Keyboards, Vocals

1970-71  Fashion Pink - To Brainstorm

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Coyote - Coyote (1972 us, magnificent rural funky prog rock, 2013 issue)

Hum, I never would have guessed these guys were from Cockeysville, Maryland ...  Prior to coming together as Coyote, the various members had played in a host of Baltimore bands.  Showcasing the talents of keyboardist Rod Arment , lead guitarist Chuck Beaty, bassist Jim Kestle, drummer Tim Lloyd , and keyboardist Rusty Steele.   The group were regulars on the Maryland and Washington, D.C. club circuit, but in spite of their talent and enthusiasm, were unable to attract the attention of a major label. 

Later in the year the band got around to recording a self-financed LP - 1the cleverly-titled "Coyote".  Musically the album's always been somewhat of a curiosity to my ears.  There aren't a lot of online reviews, but a couple of them describe the set as a country-rock effort.  I'll tell you that's not a particularly accurate description.  With four of the members contributing to the writing chores, side one was quite eclectic, bouncing around between jazz-rock instrumental ('Cowboy & Indians'), Dead-influenced old-timey Americana ('Horney Coyote'), and conventional rock ('Jabberwocky').  

Side one was also notable for displaying some of the era's strangest lyrics ('Farmer Fetcher's').  In contrast, exemplified by material like 'Ready to Ride' and 'Fly' side two reflected a more focused rock and progressive-leaning sound.  Blessed with four decent singers (drummer Lloyd was the only non-singer in the group), gave the album a nice sense of diversity and technically these guys were all quite impressive with Beaty and Steele deserving special notice. There's no doubt these guys were talented and I'd be willing to bet they were a killer club act.

Shortly after the album was released the hand underwent a major personnel shift that saw Beaty and Kestle joined by keyboardist Brian Boyd, lead singer David Gable, and drummer Dennis Meros.  The band seemingly continued to perform through 1976 and then called it quits with various members joining a host of local bands.
1. Farmer Fletcher's (Chuck Beaty) - 2:26
2. Cowboys And Indians (Chuck Beaty) - 2:54
3. Horney Coyote (Chuck Beaty) - 6:32
4. Jabberwocky (L. Carrroll, Chuck Beaty) - 3:13
5. Flat Chested Woman (Chuck Beaty) - 4:27
6. Ready To Ride (Rod Arment) - 3:06
7. Silver Ring (Chuck Beaty) - 5:09
8. Fly (Jim Kestle, Rusty Steele) - 5:07
9. People Funny (Jim Kestle) - 2:21
10.Musician (Chuck Beaty) - 3:10

The Coyote
*Rod Arment - Keyboards, Vocals
*Chuck Beaty - Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Jim Kestle - Bass, Backing Vocals
*Tim Lloyd - Drums, Backing Vocals
*Rusty Steele - Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fandango - Slipstreaming / Future Times (1979-80 uk, tough boogie classic rock)

Fandango was formed by ex-Deep Purple (Mark I) member Nick Simper in 1978 after the demise of his former band Warhorse in the mid 70's. The band recorded two albums, Slipstreaming in 1979 and Future Times in 1980 both originally released on a small German label Shark When the debut album Slipstreaming was originally released, the music world was in turmoil. Punk was beginning to rear its ugly head, disco was hot while hard rock was becoming a thing of the past. The band had a hard time finding a U.K. label to release a 70's styled hard rock album so the band went to Germany where hard rock and Nick Simper's reputation was still a viable product. 

The debut album was released on the Shark label in Germany and finally picked up by Gull in England where it achieved a moderate amount of success. On the basis of the first album's sales another album, Future Times was recorded in 1980 but this one was only released in Germany. With the lack of promotion and low sales on the second album, Fandango decided to call it a day and folded in 1983. This two CD set marks the first time that both of these albums have seen an international release. Besides the two albums in their entirety, this set also contains four bonus selections in the form of rare and unreleased recordings. The CD booklet contains a detailed information on the band and documents the history of both album releases. This set should be of particular interest to any fan of British hard rock and also of interest to Deep Purple collectors. 
by Keith Pettipas
Slipstreaming 1979
1. Candice Larene (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 6:35
2. Rocky Road Blues (Peter Parks, Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 5:04
3. Independent Man (Hey Mama) (Nick Simper) - 6:33
4. Slipstreaming (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 4:24
5. Schoolhouse Party (Nick Simper) - 4:15
6. Sister (Peter Parks, Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 4:52
7. Mississsippi Lady (Jim Croce) - 4:17
8. Time Will Tell (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 5:54

Future Times 1980
9. Pull Out And Start Again (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 5:14
10.Get Down, Lay Down (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 5:40
11.She Was My Friend (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 4:50
12.Future Times (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 4:51
13.Undercover Man (Peter Parks, Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 5:47
14.Something's Burning (Mac Davis) - 4:51
15.Hard Drink And Easy Women (Jim Proops, Nick Simper) - 3:45

*Jim Proops - Vocals
*Pete Parks - Guitar
*Bass Guitar – Nick Simper
*Neil McCarthur - Piano, Organ (tracks 1 - 8)
*Ron Penney - Drums (tracks 1 - 8)
*Mac Poole - Drums (tracks 9 - 15)

1967  Flower Pot Men - Let's Go To San Francisco
1970  Warhorse - Warhorse (2008 Japan remaster and expanded)  
1972  Warhorse - Red Sea (2010 remaster with bonus tracks)

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Machiavel - Jester (1977 belgium, extreme heavy prog rock, 2010 remaster)

Jester is regarded as Macheavel's greatest album (second in row), and apparently the band benefitted greatly with the addition of vocalist Mario Guccio, who also played some flute, sax, and clarinet. Keyboardist Albert Letecheur really steals the show here with lots of electric piano, string synths, Minimoog, Mellotron and piano, while Roland De Greef provides bass, Marc Ysaye provides drums, and Jean Paul Delvaux provides guitars.

"Wisdom" starts off with some pulsing synth sounds, then the string synths and guitar kick in. Some rather dramatic vocals kick in. It's a great piece and a great way to open the album. "Sparkling Jaw" starts off with some spacy synths, in a rather slow manner, but then when the music kicks speed, the Supertramp influence (the electric piano) surfaces. "Moments" is a nice acoustic ballad done prog rock style, this reminds me most of Genesis during their more acoustic moments. 

The Mellotron rears it's head for the first time on this album here, and the Mellotron would be heard for the remainder of the album. "In the Reign of Queen Pollution" has lyrics that don't exactly need a rocket scientist to understand: about pollution and genetic mutation thanks to the consequence of pollution (including how after a thousand years children were born with the face in the shape of a gas mask). The song appropriately starts off in a rather dark and sinster matter with the string synths dominating. But the music starts picking up, Letecheur gives a nice Moog solo, then the music gets upbeat, for some strange reason, but the music is quite catchy. 

The title track has more of that Supertramp influence, but then at the end more nice synths that end this piece. "Mr. Street Fair" is a nice spacy piece dominated by string synths, with a circus-like atmosphere. "Rock, Sea and Tree" is the ending piece that has more great creative passages. What I admire is Machiavel is they also didn't forget to create great songs, and make them interesting by including some great creative passages. It's probably little wonder why they did so well in their native Belgium.

It's amazing how this album even got released! I'm not referring to the music, of course, it's the artwork inside the gatefold of the LP. The gatefold has very sexually explicit artwork. Even so, the artwork is done surrealistically, as often you would see on many '70s prog rock albums, just this one is perhaps the most sexually explicit art I ever seen on a prog rock album, even the cover to Frank Zappa's Over-Nite Sensation is nothing compared to this! EMI (actually its division, Harvest, a label known for acts like Pink Floyd, Eloy, Triumvirat, Barclay James Harvest, etc.) actually released this album despite the artwork. I'm glad they did regardless of how controversial the artwork, at the risk of being banned.

There is no doubt about it, Jester is a great album to start if you don't know Machiavel. And if you were turned off by them thanks to a later release such as New Lines, you'll be glad to know Jester is much better. It comes highly recommended! 
by Ben Miler
1. Wisdom (Albert Letecheur, Roland De Greef) - 6:01
2. Sparkling Jaw (Albert Letecheur, Roland De Greef) - 7:06
3. Moments (Albert Letecheur, Marc Ysaye, Roland De Greef) - 3:19
4. In the Reign of Queen Pollution (Albert Letecheur, Roland De Greef) - 6:54
5. The Jester (Albert Letecheur, Roland De Greef) - 5:27
6. Mr Street Fair (Albert Letecheur, Roland De Greef) - 7:57
7. Rock Sea and Tree (Albert Letecheur, Marc Ysaye) - 9:21
8. The Birds are Gone (Marc Ysaye) - 1:50
9. Im Now Here (Marc Ysaye) - 2:23

*Mario Guccio - Vocals, Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet
*Christophe Pons - Guitars
*Roland De Greef - Vocals, Bass
*Marc Ysaye - Drums,Vocals, Tambourine, Maracas, Gong, Percussion
*Hervι Borbe - Keyboards
*Jean Paul Devaux - Electric, Acoustic, 12 String Guitars, Vocals

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tower Of Power - East Bay Grease (1970 us, excellent jazz funk brass rock)

Tower's musical odyssey actually began in 1968 when Emilio Castillo met Stephen Doc Kupka in July of that year. When Doc auditioned during a band rehearsal at Emilio's house, Emilio's father called him into the kitchen and offered the following advice: Hire that guy, he's got something. Doc and his signature baritone sax sound were now in the band, and on August 13, 1968, Tower of Power, as we know them today, began playing gigs, and soon became very well known in the area.

Many other bands came out of the San Francisco Bay area in the late 60's. Bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Big Brother, Journey, Cold Blood and others all helped to define the San Francisco Sound. Tower of Power has always claimed Oakland, California as their hometown. Playing area venues and making a name for themselves, Tower of Power's big break was just around the corner.

After playing at a Tuesday night audition at the Fillmore in 1970, Tower was signed to Bill Graham’s San Francisco records and their first album, “East Bay Grease,” was recorded. All of the compositions were original tunes written by Castillo and Kupka.
1. Knock Yourself Out - 7:10
2. Social Lubrication - 7:24
3. The Price - 6:10
4. Back On The Streets Again - 5:51
5. The Skunk, The Goose, And The Fly - 5:50
6. Sparkling In The Sand (Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka, Lawrence Lopez) - 9:05
All selections written by Emilio Castillo, Stephen Kupka, except where noted

Tower Of Power
*Rufus Miller - Lead Vocals (Except Sparkling)
*Emilio (Mimi) Castillo - Alto Sax,Vocals,And Extra Greasy Vocals On The Skunk
*Dave Garibaldi - Drums,Vibes,Background Vocals
*Greg Adams - First Trumpet
*Steve Kupka - The Funky Doctor - Baritone Sax,Background Vocals
*Skip Mesquite - Tenor Sax,Flute,Vocals
*David Padron - Second Trumpet
*Frank Prestia - Bass
*Rick Stevens - Lead Vocal On Sparkling In The Sand, Background Vocals
*Willy Fulton - Guitar, Background Vocals
Mellow Side Orders
*Mic Gillette - Trumpet, Trombone, Flugelhorn Solo On Sparkling In The Sand
*Ken Balzell - Trumpet

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fashion Pink - To Brainstorm (1970-71 germany, astonishing heavy psych experimental prog rock, 2000 issue)

The origins of Fashion Pink can be traced back to the experiences of three schoolmates from Baden-Baden, southwest Germany, who decided to form a contemporary underground progressive rockband, having already played in various beat groups.

Fashion Pink was formed in 1968 by Roland Schaeffer (saxophones, vibraphone, guitar, bass, vocals), Eddy von Overheidt (organ, piano, vocals) and Joe Koinzer (drums, percussion). This line-up was completed by Jürgen Argast (bass) and Helmut Ruesch (guitar). After a few month, Jürgen and Helmut left and Rainer Bodensohn took over bass and flute. These young and enthusiastic musicians, all well educated on their instruments from an early age, developed a complex and refined music style. Influenced by the likes of Jethro Tull, Caravan, Soft Machine and Frank Zappa not to mention Jimi Hendrix, Beatles and Rolling Stones the boys created a varied and exciting music, which diverged from the well-travelled tracks of kraut and progressive rock. After only a few gigs, the musicians had gained a considerable local reputation, but were hungry for more.

At that time, Rainer's father was as a flutist with the Baden-Baden Symphony Orchestra, while Eddys father was involved with the Baden-Baden casino orchestra both of which had strong ties with SWF-radio station. In 1969 SWF started their talent search for up-and-coming bands organised by presenter Walther Krause. It was not surprising that Fashion Pink became the first young band in a long series recording sessions for SWF. Walther Krause appreciated Fashion Pink's work especially the talent of Roland Schaeffer so much, that he engaged him as a producer for further bands in the sessions series.

All in all, Fashion Pink were invited four times to record under live/studio conditions at SWF-studio U1 in Baden-Baden. During their sessions in 1970 and 1971 Fashion Pink recorded some cover versions in addition to their own material.

This collection concentrates on their own compositions and shows the band's development from song-oriented psychedelic material to more complex arrangements, which ended in epics in excess of ten minutes (titles such as "Thesen-Antithesen" and "Brainstorming"). Copies of the sessions were sent to concert agents and to various German labels. This added to the band's reputation and Fashion Pink played at the first Straßbourg festival in early 1971, this was followed by further festivals and many gigs in southwest Germany in and around the french border.

Following a gig in early 1971 their van was involved in an accident  from which Harald Wagner (bass) never entirely recovered forcing him to leave the band. Harald had joined Fashion Pink at the end of 1970 allowing Roland and Rainer to concentrate on their own main instruments. The remaining members decided to continue as a quartett and change the group's name. Second choice "Fashion Prick" caused trouble when the band tried to sign a record deal and Roland suggested the name "Brainstorm".

German label Intercord accepted and offered them a two album contract. In October 1972 Brainstorm released their first album "Smile A While" followed by "Second Smile" in summer 1973 ... but that's another story.

Roland Schaeffer is the only founding member of Fashion Pink still active in the music business, playing guitar and saxes in one of Germanys most famous progressiv rock bands Guru Guru.
by Manfred Steinheuer, September 2000 
1. You Make Me Crying (Roland Schaeffer) - 3:23
2. Cry In The Morning (Roland Schaeffer) - 4:04
3. Einzug Der Elefanten (Arrival Of The Elephants) (Roland Schaeffer, Rainer Bodensohn) - 2:45
4. You See (Eddy Von Overheidt) - 2:45
5. Number Six (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt, Rainer Bodensohn, Joe Koinzer) - 5:54
6. Why Am I So Blind (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt, Joe Koinzer) - 5:31
7. Shit Is Nothing Changing (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt, Rainer Bodensohn, Joe Koinzer) - 5:04
8. Watch Time Flows By (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt) - 3:05
9. You Knock Me Out (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt, Rainer Bodensohn, Joe Koinzer) - 3:05
10.Herbst (Autumn) (Roland Schaeffer, Rainer Bodensohn) - 3:29
11.Brainstorming (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt, Rainer Bodensohn, Joe Koinzer) - 10:23
12.Thesen-Antithesen (Roland Schaeffer, Eddy Von Overheidt) - 13:57

The Fashion Pink
*Roland Schaeffer - Saxophones, Vibraphone, Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*Eddy Von Overheidt - Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Joe Koinzer - Drums, Percussion
*Jürgen Argast - Bass
*Helmut Ruesch - Guitar
*Rainer Bodensohn - Bass, Flute

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Sameti - Hungry For Love (1974 germany, great tough raw 'n' roll, 2010 digi pak remaster)

Sameti was founded in 1970 by the late Shrat (Christian Thiele, ex-Amon Düül) & Harris Johns in Munich/Germany and became part of the so called "German Underground". They played at the legendary PN-club in Minich and a couple of festivals like the first "Herzberg" Festival and the "Erstes deutsches progesssives Popfestival" at the Sportpalast in Berlin. 

After a few month Shrat left the band. The rest carried on as a trio, but only for some month. 

The original band produced a music with trippy Amon Düül II and Hawkwind stylings, and is especially notable for the stunning improvised side-long work "Anotherwaytosee Improvisation". Shrat's vocals, only heard rarely in Amon Düül II, come across as most strange, adding a unique touch to a highly derivative blend of Krautrock styles.
1. Intro - 1:25
2. Do You Really Love Me - 2:57
3. We're Gonna Make You Feel Allright - 3:27
4. Sweet Angel - 5:43
5. Peppermint Bar - 2:49
6. Ain't Got No Peace - 4:16
7. Save Me - 3:43
8. I'm Not A Looser - 3:49
9. Baby Please Love Me - 4:15
10.More And More - 8:41
All songs by Christian Thiele, Jorg Evers, Bernd Weber, Robby Heibl

The Sameti
*Christian Thiele (Shrat) - Lead Vocals
*Daniel Alumno - Drums
*Jorg Evers - Guitar, Vocals
*Robby Heibl - Bass, Vocals
*Bernd Weber - Guitar, Vocals

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Live In White Lake, NY (1969 us, awesome blues brass rock, 2015 release)

This is a part of Rock 'n' Roll Music History, recordings made in Woodstock 1969 (last day on August 18th), including a couple of unreleased songs.
1. Intro 01:07
2. Born Under A Bad Sign (William Bell, Booker T. Jones) - 13:38
3. No Amount Of Loving (Paul Butterfield) - 6:12
4. Driftin’ And Driftin’ (Charles Brown, Johnny Moore, Eddie Williams) - 12:08
5. Morning Sunrise (Paul Butterfield, Philip Wilson) - 8:00
6. All In A Day (Rod Hicks) - 9:03
7. Love March (Gene Dinwiddie, Philip Wilson) - 10:07
8. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright ("Little" Walter Jacobs) - 9:58

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
*Paul Butterfield - Vocals, Harmonica, Piano
*Buzzy Feiten - Guitar
*Rod Hicks - Fretless Bass, Background Vocals
*Philip Wilson - Drums
*Ted Harris - Keyboards
*Keith Johnson - Trumpet
*Steve Madaio - Trumpet, Background Vocals
*Gene Dinwiddie - Soprano, Tenor Sax, Background Vocals, Lead Vocal (Track 7)
*Trevor Lawrence - Bariton Sax, Background Vocals

Paul Butterfield's mosaic
1964  The Original Lost Elektra Sessions
1965  The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
1966  East West
1966  East-West  (2014 Audio Fidelity Hybrid SACD) 
1966-68  Strawberry Jam
1967  The Resurrection Of The Pigboy Crabshaw
1968  In My Own Dream
1969  Keep On Moving
1970  Live 
1970  Live Vol.2 
1971  Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin' (2015 Release)
1973  Paul Butterfield's Better Days
1973  Live At Winterland Ballroom (2014 issue)
1973  It All Comes Back (Japan Edition)
1976  Put It In Your Ear (2015 Edition)

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Procol Harum - Procol Harum (1967 uk, gorgeous psychedelic rock with baroque and prog tinges, 2015 deluxe double disc set and 2012 japan HQCD expanded issue)

The self-titled Procol Harum marked the album debut of the band then consisting of Gary Brooker (vocals/piano), Robin Trower (guitar), Matthew Fisher (organ), David Knights (bass) and B.J. Wilson (drums).  (Brooker, Trower and Wilson had all previously played in The Paramounts, the group that scored a minor U.K. hit in 1964 with Leiber and Stoller’s “Poison Ivy.”)  With all but the closing track, Fisher’s “Repent Walpurgis,” penned by the team of composer Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid, Procol Harum heralded bold new voices in the British rock scene with its progressive blend of psychedelia, classical and blues idioms.  

The LP, produced by Denny Cordell and released on Regal Zonophone, had been preceded by two single releases.  May 1967’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” reached No. 1 in the U.K. in June and stayed in that position for six weeks.  (Guitarist Ray Royer, whose tenure in the group was short-lived, played on “Whiter Shade.”)  “Homburg” then followed in October, making No. 6 on the pop chart.  Surprisingly by today’s standards, neither song was included on Procol Harum in the U.K., but “Whiter Shade” was added to the LP for its U.S. release.  It replaced “Good Captain Clack” in a reshuffled sequence.  “Whiter Shade” would make No. 5 in the U.S., with “Homburg” performing less impressively at No. 34.

Esoteric has Procol Harum, remastered from the original mono tapes (no stereo version exists), available in both 1-CD and 2-CD iterations.  The single disc has the original 10-track U.K. album plus four bonus tracks – the singles “A Whiter Shade of Pale” b/w “Lime Street Blues,” and “Homburg” b/w “Good Captain Clack.”  This edition is seven tracks short of Salvo’s 2009 version of this LP.  However, Esoteric also has the album in a 2-CD deluxe edition with 15 bonus tracks – seven of which are previously unreleased and two of which are making their CD debuts.  

The seven previously unreleased cuts encompass the band’s 1967 BBC performances for Top Gear and Easybeat.  The other bonuses include B-sides, alternate takes and stereo mixes.  Henry Scott-Irvine provides the new liner notes, and the 2-CD set also includes a facsimile promotional shop poster made for the release of the album in January 1968.
by Joe Marchese
Disc One - Original Album Released as Regal Zonophone LRZ 1001 in January 1968
1. Conquistador - 2:33
2. She Wandered Through The Garden Fence - 3:21
3. Something Following Me - 3:33
4. Mabel - 1:50
5. Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) - 4:59
6. A Christmas Camel - 4:42
7. Kaleidoscope - 2:49
8. Salad Days (Are Here Again) - 3:33
9. Good Captain Clack - 1:25
10.Repent Walpurgis (Matthew Fisher) - 4:04
11.A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Single Version) (Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) - 4:04
12.Lime Street Blues (Single Version) - 2:50
13.Homburg (Single Version) - 3:52
14.Good Captain Clack (Single Version) - 1:28
15.Alpha - 3:50
16.Salad Days (Are Here Again) (Instrumental March 1967) - 4:12
17.Understandably Blue - 3:29
18.Pandora's Box (Instrumental) - 3:05
19.Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) (Alternate Mono Mix) - 4:45
20.Something Following Me (Alternate Mono Mix) - 3:38
All Songs by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker except where noted
Bonus Tracks 11-20
Disc Two
1. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Extended Early Version, March 1967) (Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) - 6:04
2. Homburg (Extended Stereo Version) - 5:33
3. Repent Walpurgis (Extended Stereo Version, August 1967) (Matthew Fisher) - 7:27
4. Conquistador (1971 Stereo Mix) - 2:39
5. She Wandered Through The Garden Fence (1971 Stereo Mix) - 3:27
6. Something Following Me (Stereo Mix) - 3:47
7. Mabel (Undubbed Stereo Mix) - 1:55
8. Kaleidoscope (Stereo Mix) - 3:08
9. Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) (Stereo Mix) - 5:23
10.Homburg (1971 Stereo Mix) - 3:56
11.Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose) - 3:11
12.A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) - 5:12
13.Mabel - 1:37
14.Homburg - 3:50
15.Good Captain Clack - 1:17
16.She Wandered Through The Garden Fence - 3:12
17.Kaleidoscope - 2:27
All Songs by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker except where stated
Tracks 11-13 BBc "Easybeat" Session, June 1967
Tracks 14-17 BBC "Top Gear" Session, September 1967
Victor Japan Hqcd 2012 Edition
1. Conquistador - 2:35
2. She Wandered Through The Garden Fence - 3:22
3. Something Polliwog Me - 3:34
4. Mabel - 1:51
5. Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) - 5:00
6. A Christmas Camel - 4:43
7. Kaleidoscope – 2:49
8. Salad Days (Are Here Again) - 3:34
9. Good Captain Clack - 1:26
10.Repent Walpurgis (Matthew Fisher) - 4:55
11.A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, Keith Reid) - 4:06
12.Lime Street Blues - 2:51
13.Homburg - 3:53
14.Good Captain Clack - 1:29
15.Il Tuo Diamante - 3:23
16.Understandably Blue - 3:30
17.Pandora's Box - 3:43
18.Alpha - 3:48
19.Conquistador - 2:38
20.She Wandered Through The Garden Fence - 3:25
21.Homburg - 3:54
All Songs by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker except where indicated
Procol Harum
*Matthew Fisher - Organ
*Dave Knights - Bass
*B.J. Wilson - Drums
*Robin Trower - Guitar
*Gary Brooker - Piano and Vocals
*Keith Reid - Lyrics
On "A Whiter Shade of Pale" only
*Ray Royer (in place of Trower) - Guitar
*Bill Eyden (in place of Wilson) - Drums

Related Act
1973-76  Robin Trower - Tale Untold, Chrysalis Years (3 disc box-set, 2010 remaster bonus tracks issue)

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