Thursday, July 30, 2020

Peter Green - Man Of The World Anthology (1968-88 uk, outstasnding blues rock, 2004 double disc remaster)

The sixties, as we all know, provided us with a slew of cult heroes whose reputations rest almost as much as them either shuffling off this mortal coil or succumbing to the pressures of fame and mislaying their marbles as their musical achievements. In the latter bracket we have names like Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, Roky Erickson, Skip Spence and Peter Green. Green stands apart from the crowd. He wasn't a psychedelic voyager (though lysergic experimentation doubtlessly helped his decline). He was, first and foremost a bluesman, with the ability to replace Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.He was a fabulous singer and songwriter who was equally adept at adapting blues classics or conjuring new standards, seemingly, with ease. He's returned to something approaching form in recent years, but Man Of The World barely approaches the full story.

There's no getting around the fact that Sanctuary are pulling a little bit of a fast one with this anthology. The bulk of Green's studio work with Fleetwood Mac resides in the Columbia catalogue, leaving them to present us with alternative mixes, demos or live versions to represent the man in his prime. Luckily even offcuts and rarities from this period shine brighter than most artist's main output. While rougher versions of ''Green Manalishi'' (Green's most psychedelic hour and a true indicator of where his mind was headed) and the gorgeous ''Man Of The World'' just leave one hungering for the finished originals, live versions of ''Oh Well'', or ''Jumping At Shadows'' (taken from the legendary Boston Tea Party gig) are simply stunning in their power. The latter is demonstration in itself of Green's mastery of tone and attack with nothing more than a vintage Les Paul and a Marshall stack. His mastery of the blues guitar remains more emotive than any other of his generation.

Unfortunately following his debut solo album, The End Of The Game, and his retreat into psychological turmoil in 1971 he fell mainly silent. By 1980 he was coaxed back into the studio with several famous friends (Pete Bardens, Snowy White, Dave Mattacks etc) and produced several desultory albums that were but a pale shadow of his late 60s output. The bulk of this album comes from these. Add to this a couple of jokey, early extra-curriclar numbers from jams with Bob Brunning's Sunflower Blues Band.
by Chris Jones 2004
Disc 1
1. Man Of The World (Peter Green) - 3:00
2. Long Grey Mare (Peter Green) - 1:58
3. Cryin' Won't Bring You Back (Mike Green) - 5:04
4. A Fool No More (Peter Green) - 7:42
5. Trying To Hit My Head Against The Wall (Mike Green) - 3:44
6. Last Train To San Antone (Mike Green) - 5:30
7. Walkin' The Road (Mike Green) - 3:48
8. Uranus (Bob Brunning) - 3:20
9. Whatcha Gonna Do? (Mike Green) - 3:48
10.Born On The Wild Side (Mike Green) - 2:58
11.Lost My Love (Mike Green) - 5:22
12.Fast Talkin' Woman Blues (Peter Green) - 3:21
13.Long Way From Home (Mike Green) - 3:42 
14.Touch My Spirit (Mike Green) - 3:44 
15.Seven Stars (Peter Green) - 3:04 
16.Loser Two Times (Mike Green) - 4:28 
17.Oh Well (Peter Green) - 2:46
18.If You Let Me Love You (B. B. King, Sam Ling) - 10:30  
Tracks 1, 2, 12, 17, 18 with Fleetwood Mac 
Track 8 with Brunning Sunflower Blues Band
Disc 2
1. Jumping At Shadows (Duster Bennett) - 4:22
2. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green) - 7:10
3. Big Boy Now (Mike Green) - 5:53   
4. You Won't See Me Anymore (Mike Green) - 3:35
5. Got To See Her Tonight (Mike Green) - 5:48 
6. Same Old Blues (Traditional) - 3:43 
7. Showbiz Blues (Peter Green) - 4:04
8. Ride With Your Daddy Tonight (Traditional) - 3:28   
9. Tribal Dance (Peter Green, Snowy White, Reg Isidore, Lennox Langton) - 4:27
10.Give Me Back My Freedom (Mike Green) - 5:37 
11.Bandit (Peter Green, Mike Green) - 3:02
12.Baby, When The Sun Goes Down (Mike Green) - 5:33 
13.What Am I Doing Here? (Mike Green) - 3:28 
14.Shining Star (Mike Green) - 3:06
15.Apostle (Peter Green) - 3:10
16.Stranger Blues (Peter Green) - 4:54 
17.Lazy Poker Blues (Peter Green, Clifford Davis) - 3:21
18.The Green Manalishi (Peter Green) - 4:41
Tracks 1, 2, 7, 17, 18 with Fleetwood Mac 
Track 8 with Brunning Sunflower Blues Band

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

Brunning Sunflower Blues Band
*Bob Brunning - Bass
*Pete Banham - Drums
*Colin Jordan - Guitar
*Big Sunflower - Piano
*John Altman - Horns
*Dave Kelly - Guitar
*Peter Blue - Guitar
*Bob Hall - Piano
*Peter Green – Guitar

*Peter Green - Lead Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
*Ronnie Johnson - Rhythm Guitar
*Snowy White – Guitar
*Roy Shipston - Organ
*Paul Westwood - Bass Guitar 
*John 'Rhino' Edwards - Bass Guitar 
*Kuma Harada - Bass Guitar 
*Dave Mattacks - Drums
*Morris Pert - Percussion 
*Peter Vernon-Kell - Piano 
*Pam Douglas - Backing Vocals 
*Carol Ingram - Backing Vocals 
*Lennox Langton – Percussion
*Jeff Daly – Saxophone
*Mike Green – Vocals
*Larry Steele – Bass
*Webster Johnson – Keyboards
*Reg Isidore – Drums
*Jeff Whittaker – Percussion
*Daniel Boone – Keyboards
*Ray Dorset – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Harmonica
*Vincent Crane – Keyboards
*Len Surtees – Bass 
*Greg Terry-Short – Drums

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Peter Green - Little Dreamer (1980 uk, beautiful funky blues rock, 2019 reissue)

In 1980 Peter Green released his third solo album "Little Dreamer", most of the material this time written by brother Mike (aside from a too-pleasant Born Under a Bad Sign and a co-write on the title track).

Again Green kept things mellow, perhaps even more so than on In the Skies. Some of the material like the bluesy pop of Loser Two Times and Baby When the Sun Goes Down sounded like a serious pitch at radio play, the funk didn't quite suit him but the seven minute closer title track took him right back to the sound and style of Albatross, with lyrics.
by Graham Reid,  Feb 17, 2020
1. Loser Two Times - 4:28
2. Momma Don'tcha Cry - 3:19
3. Born Under A Bad Sign (Booker T. Jones, William Bell) - 2:53
4. I Could Not Ask For More - 4:55
5. Baby When The Sun Goes Down - 5:33
6. Walkin' The Road - 3:49
7. One Woman Love - 5:28
8. Cryin' Won't Bring You Back - 5:03
9. Little Dreamer (Peter Green, Mike Green) - 7:00
All compositions by Mike Green except where stated

*Peter Green - Lead Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
*Ronnie Johnson - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Shipston - Organ
*Paul Westwood - Bass Guitar 
*John 'Rhino' Edwards - Bass Guitar 
*Kuma Harada - Bass Guitar 
*Dave Mattacks - Drums
*Morris Pert - Percussion 
*Peter Vernon-Kell - Piano 
*Pam Douglas - Backing Vocals 
*Carol Ingram - Backing Vocals 

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

Fleetwood Mac - Live in Boston (1970 uk, superb electric blues rock, three disc box set, 2003 HDCD remaster)

Recorded during a legendary extended weekend stand in 1970, these live recordings from the three-guitar lineup of Fleetwood Mac have existed in various shoddy, uneven, and sometimes sloppy configurations, but were finally sorted out and released as a triple-disc box (also available individually) in 1999. First-generation source tapes were utilized, approximately an hour's worth of previously unreleased tracks as well as between-song patter is interspersed among the discs, and the running order is restored to match that of the original performance. Live at the Boston Tea Part, Vol. 1, taken from the first set, is a Peter Green bonanza.

Kicking off with a sharp "Black Magic Woman," then weaving his liquid guitar lines into an achingly slow cover of Duster Bennett's "Jumping at Shadows," and finally breaking into a formerly unavailable 25-minute version of "Rattlesnake Shake," the disc's centerpiece, Green sings and plays with restrained authority. The extended jam on "Shake" proves that Green was a master improviser, referencing his blues roots even when flying off on spontaneous tangents no less riveting than those of the Allman Brothers or the Grateful Dead. Jeremy Spencer takes the lead on two rollicking Elmore James covers, "I Can't Hold Out" and "Got to Move," the latter seeing the light of day after being hidden in the vaults for 29 years. The set closes with Green's proto-metal "The Green Manalishi" in a riotous 13-minute version that leaves the original four-minute single looking limp. This is the tightest, and most varied of the three albums, and is recommended for newcomers not interested in the entire set. 

Live at the Boston Tea Party, Vol. 2 starts strong with a floating "World in Harmony," the only Peter Green/Danny Kirwin co-written track in the Mac catalog, and one that, interestingly, never appeared on a studio album. An abbreviated but aggressive "Oh Well" (the rocking opening only) segues into a half-hour "Rattlesnake Shake" that's more raucous, driving, and intense than the lower key, and slightly stiffer version on Vol. 1. The Kirwin/Green interplay here is stunning as they push each other past previous limits, driven by the forceful rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Jeremy Spencer runs through terse versions of "Stranger Blues" and "Red Hot Mama," two hot and jittery Elmore James covers. But the show becomes slipshod with his '50s doo wop tribute "Teenage Darling," complete with faux-Elvis singing that is pandering and irritating.

The band jogs through a few revved-up, enthusiastic, but hardly essential Little Richard covers, redeemed by Fleetwood's driving drums and Green's wiry leads weaving through ten minutes of "Jenny Jenny." It may have been a blast at the time, but the tracks don't translate well without the visual impact of the three guitarists flailing away. The set ends with a heretofore unheard 12-minute jam simply entitled "Encore," where Joe Walsh of opening band the James Gang, adds a fourth guitar. Intermittently interesting, the quadruple guitars trading leads and riffs make for some predictably cluttered and unfocused music. Followers of the band during these early years might find this of passing curiosity, but for most people, you had to be there. Still, with Green playing at the peak of his powers, at least half of this disc is essential, especially to fans, and the numerous high points more than make up for the parts that drag. 

Part Three is a goldmine for fans of this Mac lineup, as it features a whopping six tracks-over 35 minutes-worth of newly found material. Most importantly, almost all of this music is of exceptional quality. Unfortunately the album's centerpiece, an intense, eleven minute, slow blues cover of B.B. King's "If You Let Me Love You," is marred by Peter Green's dead microphone, giving his vocals a hollow quality. But his guitar attacks with startling clarity, as he alternately pushes and lays back with style and moderation. Green deftly massages his solo, and the band gives him plenty of room to navigate, making this one of the most impassioned performances on all three discs. 

An instrumental version of Danny Kirwin's "Coming Your Way" is another recent addition, and throughout its seven minutes, the dueling guitars of Kirwin and Green spar with Mick Fleetwood's tribal drums creating a rhythmic whirlwind that frustratingly fades away before it's over. Jeremy Spencer whips out four Elmore James covers with a lately discovered version of "The Sun is Shining" a highlight, as his buzz-saw slide slices through the tune. A few Little Richard oldies crop up, and a frayed but propulsive version of "Tutti Frutti" where the band relaxes and rocks with class and restraint, shows how innovative they could be even working with the most basic three chord material. A remarkably subtle, weekend closing, eight minute "On We Jam" is the final unearthed cut, and proves that even with three talented guitarists sharing leads, the improvisational skills of this band were second to none. Not the most cohesive album of the trio, Part Three is still indispensable to fans, and a reliable overview of the strengths and diverse approaches of this short-lived but renowned version of Fleetwood Mac. 
by Hal Horowitz
Volume 1
1. Black Magic Woman (Peter Green) - 6:45
2. Jumping at Shadows (Duster Bennett) - 4:48
3. Like It This Way (Danny Kirwan) - 4:28
4. Only You (Danny Kirwan) - 4:23
5. Rattlesnake Shake (Peter Green) - 24:38
6. I Can't Hold Out (Elmore James) - 6:35
7. Got to Move (Elmore James) - 3:25
8. The Peter Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown) (Peter Green) - 12:52
Volume two
1. World in Harmony (Danny Kirwan, Peter Green) - 4:10
2. Oh Well (Peter Green) - 3:12
3. Rattlesnake Shake (Peter Green) - 25:36
4. Stranger Blues (Elmore James, Marshall Sehorn) - 3:55
5. Red Hot Mama (Elmore James) - 4:03
6. Teenage Darling (Jeremy Spencer) - 4:16
7. Keep A-Knocking (Richard Wayne Penniman) - 4:56
8. Jenny Jenny (Enotris Johnson, Richard Wayne Penniman) - 7:40
9. Encore Jam (Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, Jeremy Spencer, Joe Walsh) - 13:25
Volume 3
1. Jumping at Shadows (Duster Bennett) - 4:17
2. Sandy Mary (Peter Green) - 5:21
3. If You Let Me Love You (B. B. King) - 10:30
4. Loving Kind (Danny Kirwan) - 2:57
5. Coming Your Way (Danny Kirwan) - 7:06
6. Madison Blues (Elmore James) - 4:49
7. Got to Move (Elmore James) - 3:56
8. The Sun Is Shining (Elmore James) - 3:11
9. Oh Baby (Elmore James) - 4:26
10. Tiger (Ollie Jones) - 3:44
11. Great Balls of Fire (Jack Hammer, Otis Blackwell) - 3:16
12. Tutti Frutti (Joe Lubin, Richard Wayne Penniman, Dorothy LaBostrie) - 6:45
13. On We Jam (Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, Jeremy Spencer, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood) - 7:56

Fleetwood Mac
*Peter Green - Guitar, Vocals, Six String Bass
*Jeremy Spencer - Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Percussion
*Danny Kirwan - Guitar, Vocals
*John McVie - Bass Guitar
*Mick Fleetwood - Percussion, Drums
*Eric Clapton - Guitar
*Joe Walsh - Guitar

1967-71  Live At The BBC
1968-70  Show Biz Blues
1968-70  Fleetwood Mac - The Vaudeville Years (two disc set)
1968-71  The Best Of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac
1969  Shrine '69
1969  Then Play On  (Deluxe Expanded 2013 edition) 
1970  Fleetwood Mac - Kiln House (2013 SHM remaster) 
1972  Fleetwood Mac - Bare Trees (2013 SHM remaster)

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

America - Homecoming (1972 us, clear bright silky rock, with colorful arrangements, 2015 SACD)

America‘s second studio album, Homecoming, showcases the trio hitting their folk-rock stride with a slight nod to some diversified musical sub-genres. Released in late 1972, this album features group added richer instrumentation, particularly with more pronounced guitar and keyboard layers to top off the acoustic guitar-based compositions. Lyrically and thematically, the songs build on America’s penchant for yearning and wanderlust.

The group was formed in London by vocalists and composers Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Buckley and Dan Peek, who chose the name because they all had American fathers. They got some plum gigs opening for the likes of Pink Floyd, The Who and Elton John, which led to a brief contract with UK-based Kinney Records before they signed to Warner Bros. Their self-titled debut was released in 1971 and the lead single “Desert Song”, eventually re-titled “A Horse with No Name”, became a minor hit locally but a much larger hit worldwide.

With this success, the trio relocated to Los Angeles and opted to self-produce the second album, Homecoming. The recording was delayed a bit due to an arm injury by Peek, but once it got rolling the trio enlisted Joe Osborn on bass and Hal Blaine on drums to round out the group arrangement for this album. 

The album commences with its most popular and indelible track, “Ventura Highway”. This is a unique classic with a fine, distinct and optimistic vibe and rhythm. It was written by Bunnell and features poetic lyrics inspired by a family trip through Southern California a decade earlier. Musically, Beckley and Peek provide the distinct harmonized guitars throughout, which helped elevate the song to a Top Ten hit in the US.

Beckley’s “To Each His Own” is a sweet, rotational piano ballad with some harmonized vocals in the chorus, while Peek’s Top 40 hit “Don’t Cross the River” has a very county/rock feel which seems to parallel the sound on the Eagles’ debut album, also released in 1972. The compositional roundabout returns to Bunnell with “Moon Song”, an asymmetrical tune which migrates from pure folk to an electric coda featuring a fine guitar lead by Peek. “Only In Your Heart” complete the original first side of the album as a choppy piano with smooth vocals by Beckley.

“Till the Sun Comes Up Again” returns to the soft folk/rock for which America is best known as an acoustic tune with a slight arrangement in verses and harmonized vocals and good rhythms during choruses. “Cornwall Blank” branches out towards a Southern / Allman Brothers Band feel with a darker feel with much reverb and layers of electric guitars while the album’s only cover song, “Head and Heart” written by John Martyn, includes a slightly funky electric piano. The aptly titled “California Revisited” acts as a late album counter-point to “Ventura Highway” featuring early seventies, moving soft folk sound with heavy harmonies. The album concludes with Peek’s “Saturn Nights”, features soft piano and deep harmonies, eventually warming up with fine rhythms and more direct melodies.

Homecoming reached the Top 10 on the Pop Albums charts and helped propel America towards ever greater success throughout the decade of the 1970s.
by Ric Albano
1. Ventura Highway (Dewey Bunnell) - 3:34
2. To Each His Own (Gerry Beckley) - 3:15
3. Don't Cross The River (Dan Peek) - 2:36
4. Moon Song (Dewey Bunnell) - 3:43
5. Only In Your Heart (Gerry Beckley) - 3:24
6. Till The Sun Comes Up Again (Gerry Beckley) - 2:14
7. Cornwall Blank (Dewey Bunnell) - 4:20
8. Head And Heart (John Martyn) - 3:50
9. California Revisted (Dan Peek) - 3:06
10.Saturn Nights (Dan Peek) - 3:35

*Dan Peek - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Gerry Beckley - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Bass Guitar
*Dewey Bunnell - Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
*Joe Osborn - Bass Guitar
*Hal Blaine - Drums, Percussion
*Gary Mallaber – Drums, Percussion

1971-72  America - America (Hybrid SACD 2013 edition)
1975  America - Hearts (2016 SACD) 

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Friday, July 24, 2020

America - Hearts (1975 us, soft acoustics gemlike vocal harmonies, 2016 SACD)

I began listening to this album with no great expectations, but by the third song the excellence of the arrangements and production was so evident -- and so comforting -- that the rest of the disc moved easily and pleasantly. America still dispenses tuneful, if basically bland, pop-oriented pastiches of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, but let's face it: as pabulum goes, it's remarkably well prepared.

The man responsible for the arrangements and production of Hearts is George Martin, and it's high time he got some kind of award. Before he became associated with the Beatles (and it is fair to say that Martin's skills, which are diplomatic as well as musical, helped the Beatles immensely). Martin produced the recordings of the Goons, featuring Peter Sellers, who were the Monty Python of the Fifties. Whether dealing with lunatic comedy, the farthest reaches of rock, or the very tuneful and straight-ahead pleasantries of America, Martin has always brought to his productions taste combined with an understanding of both what performers want to do and what they are capable of doing. He is a very accomplished gentleman, is Mr. Martin, and without him the history of recent pop music would have fewer great moment.s
by Joel Vance, Stereo Review, August 1975. 

America released many hit albums including their fifth studio release which is a favorite among fans. This superbly crafted 1975 classic was produced by legendary Beatles producer George Martin and is a musical treasure filled with great harmonies and hooks!

Achieving significant popularity in the 1970’s, Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek and Dewey Burnell made up the band that became famous for their close vocal harmonies and light acoustic folk sound. With a string of hit singles and albums, often played on pop/soft rock radio stations, Hearts boasts three top selling hits. High Resolution Audio fans can now experience the original quad LP mix on SACD with a stereo layer and includes the #1 hit "Sister Golden Hair," their Top 20 ballad, "Daisy Jane" and "Woman Tonight."
by Wesley Derbyshire
1. Daisy Jane (Gerry Beckley) - 3:10
2. Half A Man (Dan Peek) - 3:37
3. Midnight (Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell) - 2:47
4. Bell Tree (Gerry Beckley) - 2:34
5. Old Virginia (Dan Peek, Catherine Peek) - 3:34
6. People In The Valley (Dewey Bunnell) - 2:46
7. Company (Dewey Bunnell) - 3:28
8. Woman Tonight (Dan Peek) - 2:25
9. The Story Of A Teenager (Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek) - 3:24
10.Sister Golden Hair (Gerry Beckley) - 3:22
11.Tomorrow (Dan Peek) - 2:53
12.Seasons (Dewey Bunnell) - 3:04

*Gerry Beckley - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*Dewey Bunnell - Vocals, Guitar
*Dan Peek - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
*David Dickey - Bass
*Willie Leacox - Drums, Percussion
*George Martin - Keyboards

1971-72  America - America (Hybrid SACD 2013 edition) 

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Camel - Under Age (1969 uk, a top notch hard blues psych guitar blaster, 2004 remaster)

Sopworth Camel  was a rock group formed in Italy in 1969 by four English musicians and is the first band from Italy that might be regarded as a "super-group". The Musicians came to Italy with various groups during the beat era in 60s. Martin Fisher (b.1947in Kingston, London, UK) and Pete Huish came to Italy in June,1966 for a couple of gigs with a band called Thane Russal and Three, where they played guitar and drums respectively. Pete Huish was a great drummer and his style sounds similarly to John Bonham's. One day the guys,  Martin and Pete,  desired to switch to different style than Thane Russal was known from. 

Their biography inevitably connects with a guitarist Dave Sumner - a member of  Primitives and Motowns. The Motowns  arrived  in  Firenze, Italy  stright from Liverpool in 1966. Dave was electrifying italian audiences from south to north. After Martin and Pete were through with their original bands, they offered  Dave to join the forces and set up a new group.

As the trio was formed, Martin, a former guitar player, picked up the bass. He played using an octave divider, a stomp box allowing the player to adjust the pitch of the instrument one octave above or below the usual tone. Martin had to go to London to get one of these effects because they were hardly found in Italy. The band was named Sopworth Camel. Pete thought up the name (in London slang - Sopworth Camel = Sopwith Camel). They played their first concert at Piper Club in Rome, Italy  in early 1969. 

After that they decided to make the Naples their headquarters. Sopworth  Camel contributed  to Martin's  progress - he developed a unique technique of playing the bass, very rich and ear~catching and, together with Pete Huish, they were able to create such a complex background that Dave was completely free of exploring his guitar style. Many musicians longed to be a part of that trio but only Alex "Eck" Ligertwoodaka  Alex Jackson  (born 18.12.1948 in Glasgow)  managed to achieve the goal. He played in group called The Senate. 

They came to Italy in 1968. RCA gave Sopworth Camel an opportunity to record a single and an album. They choose to release a 45 including an italian version of  "Only My Woman"  former recorded by the Marbles  (the title in Italian  was "Sei La Mi Donna"). On the B-side they included Spirit's classic "Fresh Garbage" (1969). Following the success of the 45s, they released a full lenght album called "Underage - dedicated to all those who understand"  in 1969 and 45 with songs from the album,"Mystery Tour / Society's Child". The material recorded at RCA  Studios in Rome in  2nd, 3rd,  9th and  12th,  June,  1969. Woruth noticing - the name of the band is only Camel. In studio they were supported by Gaetano Ria - sound engineer, Tony Mimms who played the piano on a couple of tracks and was awarded with the title of assistant  producer. Actually the band had a complete control over the music and the mix. G. Tosti who was expected to be the musical supervisor never even entered the recording studio! The album cover was drawned by Gordon Faggetter, a drummer of  Cyan Three. 

The nine covers featured on the album are taken from their live set and some of them are better than the original versions. The band went on playing gigs in Italy. There were also invited to play abroad. The musicians were also backing vocalists in italian singer Nada's group (there was also Derek Wilson in his band). When Dave Sumner decided to leave the band and came back to the Primitives, Martin and Pete moved to Britain to seek for a new guitarist. In those times Peter Frampton got in touch with them and Frampton made an album under the name of Peter Frampton's Camel. After the concert at Caracalla Pop Festival in October, 1970 Camel disbanded.

After Camel split Martin Fisher came back in Englad untill Dave Sumner offer him to join one of the last Primitives line~up. After a year Dave left the band  and a new guitar player, called Laury, joined the band. Then Martin started playing in the studio as a session man with Derek Wilson, Mike Fraser, Laury and Lally Stott. Then he moved to UK again and played for a couple of years with  East of Eden, recording the album "Another Eden", Pete Huish played with his band in England and Canada. He passed away. Dave Sumner continued his career in Italy with Mad Dogs, West Coast Lizzie, Made in England i Superobots.
Pearls Of Rock, 04.01.2009 
1. Pinball Wizard (Pete Townshend) - 4:09
2. Where Is My Mind (Mark Stein) - 3:37
3. Tin Soldier (Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriot) - 4:15
4. Forget It, I Got It (Gary Wright, Jimmy Miller) - 4:11
5. Mystery Tour (John Lennon, Paul Mc Cartney) - 5:18
6. Can`t Be So Bad (Don Stevenson, Jerry Miller) - 3:59
7. Society`s Child (Janis Ian) - 4:45
8. Sitting On The Top Of The World (Walter Vinson, Lonnie Chatmon) - 5:01
9. Evil Woman (Larry Weiss) - 5:57

*Alex Jackson “Alex Ligertwood” - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano
*Dave Summer - Guitar, Vocals
*Martin Fisher - Bass, Keyboards, Harpsichord
*Pete Huish - Drums

Related Act
1975  East Of Eden - Another Eden (2012 remaster) 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Alex Harvey The New Band - The Mafia Stole My Guitar (1979 uk, spectacular glam prog rock)

This 1979 outing saw Alex Harvey returning to the rock music world for what would be his final album. It's no big surprise that The Mafia Stole My Guitar sounds a lot like the Sensational Alex Harvey Band: the music remains the same unusual but intriguing blend of prog ambition and punk energy and it also contains a few of Harvey's trademark oddball cover versions (example: his surprisingly straight-faced cabaret version of "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody"). What is a surprise is how consistent The Mafia Stole My Guitar is, especially in light of the uneven final albums of his last band. While the album never coheres the way classic Alex Harvey outings like Next did, each of the songs feels inspired and benefits from a carefully-crafted sound:"Wait For Me Mama" contrasts a wailing, impassioned vocal from Harvey with a tightly-controlled, gypsy-flavored groove from the band while "Oh, Spartacus" is a Roman adventure tale that takes the story of its title character and gives it a glam rock beat.

The Mafia Stole My Guitar also adds finds Harvey shifting his sound in a new direction, with the saxophone taking an upfront role in the arrangements and adding a jazzy flair to the proceedings. A good example of this new jazziness is the cover of "Shakin' All Over," which alters this classic Johnny Kidd and the Pirates hard-rock nugget by raising the tempo to an amphetamine level and adding all sorts of jazz-fusion inspired riffing over the top.

This album also contains one of the loveliest songs in the Harvey canon in "The Whalers (Thar She Blows)," a surprisingly gentle and lyrical song layered with plenty of gentle synthesizer and saxophone shadings. The end result is a rocking yet stately-sounding slab of music that is unmistakably the work of Alex Harvey. While it's tragic that Harvey would never record again after this album (he died of health problems in 1981), the Mafia Stole My Guitar remains a fine addition to his legacy. 
by Donald A. Guarisco
1. Don's Delight (Don Weller) - 1:33
2. Back In The Depot (Alex Harvey, Matthew Cang) - 6:31
3. Wait For Me Mama (Alex Harvey, Don Weller, Matthew Cang, Hugh McKenna) - 7:01
4. The Mafia Stole My Guitar (Alex Harvey) - 5:13
5. Shakin' All Over (Johnny Kidd) - 4:51
6. The Whalers (Thar She Blows) (Alex Harvey, Matthew Cang, Hugh McKenna) - 7:06
7. Oh Spartacus! (Alex Harvey, Matthew Cang) - 3:57
8. Just A Gigolo-I Ain't Got Nobody (Irving Caesar, Julius Brammer, Leonello Casucci) - 5:19

*Alex Harvey - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Matthew Cang - Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Simon Charterton - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Tommy Eyre - Keyboards, Vocals
*Gordon Sellar - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Don Weller - Saxophone, Horns

1972-73  Framed / Next 
1974-75  The Impossible Dream / Tomorrow Belongs to Me
1974  The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Hot City / The Unreleased Album (2009)
1975-76  Live / The Penthouse Tapes
1976/78  The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Stories / Rock Drill (2002)
Related Act
1970  Tear Gas - Piggy Go Getter (2019 remaster)
1971  Tear Gas - Tear Gas (2019 remaster)

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Monday, July 20, 2020

The Graeme Edge Band Featuring Adrian Gurvitz - Kick Off Your Muddy Boots (1975 uk, marvellous soft prog rock with plenty of fluid electric guitar workouts, 2009 remaster)

A solo album from a drummer is rarely cause to celebrate, for invariably it arrives stillborn. But Kick Off Your Muddy Boots is a solo set from Moody Blues' skin basher Graeme Edge in name only, and instead is really a showcase for the Gurvitz brothers, or more precisely singer/guitarist Adrian. Edge contributed only three songs to his set; the dreamy "Lost in Space," the introspective "Have You Ever Wondered," and dramatic "Somethin' We'd Like to Say," providing very tentative links to the Blues' own sound. The rest of the album, composed by Adrian Gurvitz, goes very much its own way. 

The fabulously funky instrumental "The Tunnel" flies furthest from the mothership, while a guesting Ginger Baker edges Edge into the shadows on the Chicago blues spectacular "Gew Janna Woman," the set's apotheosis. "My Life's Not Wasted" is nearly as epic, meandering from funk to blues, soul to orchestral overkill in one fell swoop. 

Swinging from the C&W-tinged rocker "Shotgun" to the sunny California-styled "Bareback Rider," Muddy Boots treads into as many musical pastures as possible, with the bonus "We Like to Do It" (the band's 1974 single) tossing ragtime into the mix. Keyboardist Mickey Gallagher provides excellent work throughout, his lovely soundscapes and delicate melody lines providing a perfect foil to Gurvitz's soaring leads and hefty riffs. The rhythm section is strong of course, but in the end, this is Gurvitz and Gallagher's show from start to finish, and what a show it is. 
by Dave Thompson
1. Bareback Rider (Adrian Gurvitz) - 5:15
2. In Dreams (Adrian Gurvitz) - 5:13
3. Lost In Space (Graeme Edge) - 4:28
4. Have You Ever Wondered (Graeme Edge) - 5:10 
5. My Life's Not Wasted (Adrian Gurvitz) - 2:59
6. The Tunnel  (Adrian Gurvitz, Graeme Edge, Paul Gurvitz) - 2:06
7. Gew Janna Woman (Adrian Gurvitz) - 4:15
8. Shotgun (Adrian Gurvitz) - 4:10
9. Somethin' We'd Like To Say (Graeme Edge) -  3:32   
10.We Like To Do It (Adrian Gurvitz, Graeme Edge) - 4:02

*Graeme Edge -- Drums, Percussion
*Mickey Gallagher -- Keyboards, Backing Vocals
*Adrian Gurvitz (aka Arian Curtis) -- Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Paul Gurvitz -- Bass, Backing Vocals
*Jorge J. "Jay Jay" Bell - Orchestral Arrangements 
*Martyn Ford - Orchestral Arrangements 
*Ginger Baker - Drums
*Barry St. John - Backing Vocals
*Brian Parrish - Backing Vocals
*Joanne Williams - Backing Vocals
*Lesly Ducan - Backing Vocals
*Ray Thomas - Backing Vocals
*Ruby James - Backing Vocals
*Sunny Leslie - Backing Vocals
*Nicky James - Backing Vocals

Related Acts
1965-67 The Knack - Time Time Time (2007 release)
1968  Gun - Gun
1969  Gun - Gunsight (Japan 2008 remaster)
1971-72  Parrish And Gurvitz - The Parrish And Gurvitz Band (2006 remaster)
1971  Three Man Army - A Third Of A Lifetime
1974  Three Man Army - Two (Japan SHM remaster)

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Bullet - The Entrance To Hell (1970 uk, awesome pre stoner funk rock blended with the sound of a traditional blues rock power trio, 2010 remaster)

The Entrance to Hell is one of those legendary exhumations at which the Angel Air label has become so adept, delving into archives that even their owners have seemingly forgotten, and emerging with treasures whose very reputations are the stuff of mythology. The jewel this time is the debut album by Bullet, the band formed by John Du Cann and Paul Hammond immediately after departing Atomic Rooster, but whose lifespan was cut short by the emergence of another, better-known American band of the same name. Bullet U.K. changed their name to Hard Stuff, and promptly re-recorded their already complete debut album, renaming it Bulletproof, and leaving the original tracks in the vault. 

Arguably, they made the correct decision -- Bulletproof, as it eventually emerged, is very much a classic of its ilk, a hard-hitting metal rocker that compensates in sheer bludgeoning power for what it lacks in finesse or musicality. The Entrance to Hell retains those same qualities but somehow seems to lack the same glue that held its successor together; not quite an album's worth of demos (although that would be a joy), it is instead a rough sketch of what was to come, an excellent collection that would soon be even better. 
by Dave Thompson
1. Door Opens  - 0:08
2. Millionaire - 6:04
3. No Witch at All (John Gustafson) - 5:39
4. Taken Alive (John Gustafson) - 3:15
5. The Soul That I Had - 5:37
6. Entrance To Hell - 4:30
7. The Orchestrator (John Du Cann, John Gustafson) - 3:24
8. Hell, Demonic Possession - 3:45
9. Fortunes Told - 3:29
10.Sinister Minister (John Gustafson) - 3:36
11.Jam - 1:39
12.Time Gambler - 6:15
13.Monster in Paradise (John Gustafson, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover) - 4:41
14.Jay Time - 2:53
15.Mr. Longevity (John Gustafson) - 4:40
16.Door Slams - 0:03
17.Jam (The Taker) - 7:12
All songs by John Du Cann except where stated

*John Du Cann - Vocals, Fender Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Cello
*John Gustafson - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Tuners
*Paul Hammond - Drums, Sticks, Other Walking Aids

1971-73  Hard Stuff - The Complete Purple Records Anthology (2017 double disc remaster) 
Related Acts
1967-68  The Attack - About Time (2006 remaster with unreleased material)
1967-69  The Attack - Magic In The Air
1967-69  Andromeda - The Definitive Collection
1968  The Five Day Week Straw People - The Five Day Week Straw People
1970  Atomic Rooster - Atomic Rooster (2016 Japan Mini LP SHM remaster) 
1970-72/81  Atomic Rooster - Devil's Answer / Rare Live Recordings 
1970  Atomic Rooster - Death Walks Behind You (2016 SHM remaster with bonus tracks)

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Hard Stuff - The Complete Purple Records Anthology (1971-73 uk, superb hard psych classic rock, 2017 double disc remaster)

Hard Stuff came to life when the musical differences between guitarist/vocalist John DuCann and drummer Paul Hammond with keyboardist Vincent Crane reached a boiling point regarding the direction that Atomic Rooster would follow in the wake of their #4 UK hit “Devil’s Answer.” Crane wanted to follow a soulful direction while DuCann and Hammond favored a heavier rocking sound for the band. Quatermass bass guitarist/vocalist John Gustafson was asked by DuCann to join Atomic Rooster, and agreed, only to find that Crane owned the rights to the band’s name.

The trio, joined by vocalist Harry Shaw, formed a quartet taking the name Bullet. The band released a single, “Hobo” c/w “Sinister Minister.” The songs on the single rocked, but there was already an American band named Bullet who had a top 30 hit, and thus the quartet was forced to take a new name. Shaw left the band, the remaining trio selecting the name Hard Stuff, recorded two albums, “Bulletproof” and “Bolex Dementia” as well as two singles. All these tunes are included on The Complete Purple Records Anthology with both sides of the Bullet single added as bonus tracks. The Bullet sides were re-recorded by Hard Stuff and included on “Bulletproof.”

Hard Stuff’s debut LP “Bulletproof” is a fine piece of hard rock, a combination of tunes written by DuCann and Gustafson, who share lead vocals. The album opens with the fiery guitar driven “Jay Time,” a DuCann composition, which was first recorded by Bullet, then re-recorded by Hard Stuff and released as the a-side to their first single. “Sinister Minister” another hard driving rocker, written and sung by Gustafson, follows and was also released as the b-side of “Jay Time.” “Bulletproof” is full of heavy riffs and hard rocking numbers with Gustafson’s “No Witch At All” and DuCann’s ‘Time Gambler” being particular standouts. Of the album’s ten tracks, six are re-recordings of tunes by Bullet, one, “Monster In Paradise” co-written by Gustafson with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover of Deep Purple, label mates of Hard Stuff.

The band’s second and final album “Bolex Dementia” is another fine piece of hard rock, full of heavy riffs by DuCann and thundering bass by Gustafson. As with its predecessor the LP is a mix of tunes written by DuCann and Gustafson, each contributing five tracks to the album. The opening track “Roll A Rocket” penned by DuCann sets the stage with its heavy riff and gorgeous solo. The LPs lead vocals are split evenly between DuCann and Gustafson, with each singing their own compositions. Two non-LP sides, Gustafson’s “Inside Your Life” and DuCann’s “(It’s) How You Do It! Were released as a single supporting the album and are included as bonus tracks on this anthology.

The Complete Purple Recordings 1971-1973 marks the CD debut of the single sides by Bullet. An early mix of “Monster In Paradise” is also included as a bonus track. The sound quality of the recordings is the best yet, with DuCann, Gustafson and Hammond all participating in the remastering job. The set’s 16 page full-color booklet includes an informative essay by Malcolm Dome, as well as photos of the band members, album and single art work and a Hard Stuff/Bullet discography, making this the definitive Hard Stuff collection. Fans of hard rock and DuCann’s guitar work will definitely want this anthology to add to their collection.
by Kevin Rathert
Disc 1 Bulletproof 1972
1.  Jay Time (John Du Cann) - 2:52
2.  Sinister Minister (John Gustafson) - 3:32
3.  No Witch At All (John Gustafson) - 5:38
4.  Taken Alive (John Gustafson) - 3:15
5.  Time Gambler (Rodney)  (John Du Cann) - 6:15
6.  Millionaire (John Du Cann) - 6:03
7.  Monster In Paradise (John Gustafson, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover) - 4:34
8.  Hobo (John Du Cann) - 3:24
9.  Mr. Longevity-Rip (John Gustafson) - 4:33
10. The Provider-Part One (John Du Cann, John Gustafson) - 2:31
11. Hobo (Bullet Single A-Side, 1971 Pur 101)  (John Du Cann) - 3:26
12. Sinister Minister (Bullet Single B-Side, 1971pur 101)  (John Gustafson) - 3:33
13. Jay Time (Single A-Side, 1972 Pur 103)  (John Du Cann) - 2:41
14. The Orchestrator (Single B-Side, 1972 Pur103)  (John Du Cann, John Gustafson) - 3:23
15. Monster In Paradise (Early Mix)  (John Gustafson, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover) - 4:45
Recorded at De Lane Lea, Kingsway, London Aug-Sep 1971
Bonus Tracks 11-15
Disc 2 Bolex Dementia 1973
1.  Roll A Rocket (John Du Cann) - 5:19
2.  Libel (John Gustafson) - 3:59
3.  Ragman (John Gustafson) - 3:00
4.  Spider's Web (John Du Cann) - 4:55
5.  Get Lost (John Du Cann) - 3:00
6.  Sick N' Tired (John Du Cann) - 4:04
7.  Mermany (John Gustafson) - 5:57
8.  Jumpin' Thumpin' (Ain't That Somethin')  (John Du Cann) - 2:55
9.  Dazzle Dizzy (John Gustafson) - 3:41
10. Bolex Dementia (John Gustafson) - 3:39
11. Inside Your Life (Single A-Side, 1973 Pur 116)  (John Gustafson) - 3:10
12. (It`S) -  How You Do It ! (Single B-Side, 1973 Pur116)  (John Du Cann) - 3:11
Bonus Tracks 11-13

The Hard Stuff
*John Cann - Vocals, Fender Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Cello
*John Gustafson - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Tuners
*Paul Hammond - Drums, Sticks, Other Walking Aids

Related Acts
1967-68  The Attack - About Time (2006 remaster with unreleased material)
1967-69  The Attack - Magic In The Air
1967-69  Andromeda - The Definitive Collection
1968  The Five Day Week Straw People - The Five Day Week Straw People
1970  Atomic Rooster - Atomic Rooster (2016 Japan Mini LP SHM remaster) 
1970-72/81  Atomic Rooster - Devil's Answer / Rare Live Recordings 
1970  Atomic Rooster - Death Walks Behind You (2016 SHM remaster with bonus tracks) 

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Labi Siffre - Crying Laughing Loving Lying (1972 uk, gorgeous orchestrated jazzy politicized folk, 2006 remaster and expanded)

Labi Siffre was born on June 25, 1945. He is a British poet, songwriter, musician, and singer most widely known for “(Something Inside) So Strong,” “It Must Be Love,” and “I Got The…,” the sampled rhythm track which provides the basis for a number of well-known hip-hop tracks such as Eminem’s breakthrough hit single, “My Name Is.”

Labi Siffre was born the fourth of five children, at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in Hammersmith, London to a British mother of Barbadian–Belgian descent and a Nigerian father. He was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at St Benedict’s School, in Ealing, West London.

Jazz and blues records provided his musical education and included Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus among many others. Jimmy Reed and Wes Montgomery loomed large as guitar influences; Billie Holiday, Jimmy Reed and Mel Tormé as vocal influences.

While trying to become a full-time musician, Labi Siffre worked odd jobs as a warehouseman, a filing clerk and as a minicab driver and delivery man. In the early 60s, he joined a jazz trio that featured him on guitar, playing at Annie’s Room, a jazz club fronted by the singer Annie Ross. He then toured as opening act and backing singer for Jackie Edwards, the Jamaican songwriter, soul and reggae star. Labi went on to form another three-piece group called Safari, playing London’s Soho clubs. Then his first solo gigs came in Amsterdam at the folk club Het Kloppertje, and at the then haven of psychedelic hippiedom, Paradiso.

In 1969, while working in Amsterdam, Siffre signed a publishing and management contract with Management Agency & Music Ltd. He released six albums between 1970 and 1975, and four between 1988 and 1998. In the early 1970s, he had UK hits with “It Must Be Love,” “Crying Laughing Loving Lying” and “Watch Me.”

He moved to Los Angeles in 1977 and shortly thereafter decided to quit the music business as a performer and concentrate on writing. After nine months in California he moved back to the UK when, in 1978, two of his songs, “Solid Love” (performed by Siffre) and “We Got It Bad” (co-written and performed by Bob James) reached the UK finals of the BBC’s A Song for Europe.

Labi Siffre came out of self-imposed retirement from music in 1985 when he saw a television film from South Africa showing a white soldier shooting at black children. He wrote “(Something Inside) So Strong,” an anti-apartheid anthem, which remained enduringly popular and is an example of the political and sociological thread running through much of Siffre’s lyrics and poetry. It was sung by the crowd during a remembrance ceremony following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017. It won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, and has been used in Amnesty International campaigns, a television advertisement, and Alice Walker’s film against female genital mutilation. In 2015, Siffre revealed the song was also inspired by his growing up gay.

His stance on civil and human rights has further enhanced his reputation. In 1990, collaborating with the South African R&B, jazz-fusion singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler, Siffre wrote the lyrics of five of the nine songs on Butler’s album “Heal Our Land.”

Searching for expression beyond the “limitations of songwriting,” Labi Siffre wrote his first poems in 1984. Three books of his poetry have been published: “Nigger” (1993), “Blood on the Page” (1995), and “Monument” (1997). More appear on his poetry blog Labi Siffre – Into The Light. He released a new album, “The Last Songs,” on EMI in 2006.

Labi Siffre and his partner, Peter John Carver Lloyd, were together since July of 1964 and up until Lloyd’s death in 2013. Under the UK Civil Partnership Act 2004, they became legally recognized partners in December of 2005. Siffre remains active in political and social justice issues, and is an outspoken atheist. We thank Labi Siffre for his artistry and courageous activism.
by Stephen A. Maglott

In 1972, London-born musician, poet and openly gay singer-songwriter Labi Siffre released “Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying,” a tender love ballad that deals squarely with homophobia and racism.  While never having an international hit or labeled a “superstar”, the multi-talented Siffre built a cult following with covers by Rod Stewart and Olivia-Newton John and samples by Kanye West, Jay-Z and most famously by Eminem on “My Name Is.” 

Unafraid to speak up against injustice, protest songs take on issues of their day, but transcend their eras to speak to future generations.  Partnering with WXPN, Guster shares their cover of “Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying”, a respectful rework that honors the unassuming protest song for a new generation (out tomorrow).
by Penny Palmer
1. Saved - 2:11
2. Cannock Chase - 4:07
3. Fool Me A Goodnight - 3:45
4. It Must Be Love - 3:57
5. Gimme Some More - 2:55
6. Blue Lady - 5:06
7. Love Oh Love Oh Love - 4:27
8. Crying Laughing Loving Lying - 3:03
9. Hotel Room Song - 2:54
10.My Song - 4:44
11.Till Forever - 1:15
12.Come On Michael - 2:58
13.You Make It Easy - 4:12
14.Good Old Days - 3:12
15.Pristine Verses - 3:03
16.You'll Let Me Know - 3:50
17.Oh Me Oh My Mr City Goodbye - 3:52
18.For The Lovin' - 4:30
Music and Lyrics by Labi Siffre

*Labi Siffre - Vocals, Guitar, Electric Piano, Celesta
*Nick Ingman - Conductor
*Les Hurdle - Bass
*Vanessa Poole - Bassoon
*Stephen Maw - Bassoon
*Brian Bennett - Drums
*Harry Cornet - Flute 
*Ray Warleigh - Flute
*Jeff Bryant - French Horn
*Martyn Ford - French Horn
*Hugh Potts - French Horn
*Richard Studt - Strings
*Dave Richmond - Bass
*Francis Monkman - Electric Piano, Celesta, Organ
*Barry DeSouza - Drums
*Alan Skidmore - Flute
*Don Fay - Flute
*Richard Tattersall - Ukulele
*Robin Thompson - Bassoon
*Peter Robinson - Electric Piano

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Evensong - Evensong (1971-73 uk, harmony drenched baroque folk, 2010 korean bonus tracks remaster)

Evensong consisted of Birmingham natives, Mick Lawson and Tony Hulme. Their self-titled album was the only album the duo released, it received a fine reception at the time of it’s release, with the two going off to tour the album in America. Session players Clem Cattini, B. J. Cole, and the notable Herbie Flowers, appear on the album, as well as well as string arrangements from former Spencer Davis Group guitarist, Ray Fenwick. 

Mick Lawson names Bob Dylan as one of his biggest influences, later changing his stage name to “Emmit Till” in the 1980’s, after Dylan’s 1962 song, The Death of Emmet Till. In an interview with The Birmingham Mail, Mick said, “When I was touring America in the 1970’s with my band Evensong we played at Dylan’s High School in Hibbing, Minnesota…we ended up hanging out with his uncle, who had a soft spot for Brummie folkies.”

Can’t say there’s a recognisable Dylan influence on the album, if there is, it’s very watered down (possibly a slightly noticeable influence on seventh-track, Rum Runner.) Arguably, it’s a good thing Dylan’s influence isn’t too strong, it’s not an album released to change how people perceive the world, or question society and humanity, the heaviness and truthfulness of Dylan’s lyrics wouldn’t fit on an album like Evensong; it’s an album far from reality, an escape from the difficult truths of real life. Of course singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan are extremely important, and changed the world with their lyrics, but albums like Evensong are just as needed in their own way.

A number of tracks stick out as being particularly special, Gypsy, being one of them, completely hypnotic, dreamy, and psychedelic, it’s a song that could be compared to Mark Fry‘s iconic acid-folk album, Dreaming of Alice, released the same year. The Smallest Man In The World, is another stand-out song, and possibly their most well-known track, it holds onto a childhood naivety that mimics the Incredible String Bands Hedgehog Song, among others.

The album is slightly inconsistent, in that it seems to rapidly change genre from song-to-song, one minute you’re transported to a psychedelic daydream in Dodos and Dinosaurs, straight into the gimmicky, I Was Her Cowboy, with an all-American rock 'n' roll feel, and a country tinge. Then straight back into a world of psychedelic-folk with Store of Time. It’s as if someone’s clicked their fingers in your face, a jolt back to reality. Maybe it’s a good thing…the album might just be too dreamy if it weren’t for the songs that break it up a bit – the ‘adverts’ of the album. That aside, it’s an incredible album, it’s strong points overpower it’s weaker points by a million to one.

The album makes perfect listening on these warm hazy summer days, a soft and dreamy trip to a kaleidoscopic world of sunsets, sunshine, and sunflowers.
1. Dodos And Dinosaurs - 3:48
2. I Was Her Cowboy - 3:18
3. Store Of Time - 3:35
4. Gypsy - 2:38
5. Smallest Man In The World - 3:38
6. Take Your Son To Church Mother - 4:47
7. Borderline - 3:02
8. Firefly - 2:40
9. Rum Runner - 3:50
10.Sweetbriar Road - 4:02
11.Home Made Wine - 2:59
12.Reaching Out For Someone (Dick Holler) - 2:52
13.Wooden Wheels - 4:32
14.Tell Me A Story - 2:22
15.Dance Dance Dance (Neil Young) - 2:48
16.Romeo - 3:41
All songs by Mick Lawson, Tony Hulme except where indicated

*Mick Lawson - Guitar, Vocals
*Tony Hulme - Guitar, Vocals
*Clem Cattini - Drums
*B. J. Cole - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Herbie Flowers - Bass
*Mike Moran - Orchestration
*Ray Fenwick - String Arrangements

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