Friday, August 23, 2019

Camel - The Snow Goose (1975) (Vinyl)

Year: April 1975, Recorded: Island Studios, Decca Studios, (LP 1975)
Label: Decca Records, Gama Records (UK), SKL-R 5207
Style: Symphonic Rock
Country: Guildford, Surrey, England
Time: 43:39
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 KHz
Size: 255 Mb

The Snow Goose is the third studio album by the band Camel, released in 1975. The critical success of "The White Rider" suite (based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and appearing on the band's previous 1974 album, Mirage), inspired the group to write more novel-inspired conceptual suites.
The band considered several novels on which to base their next album. For a time they settled on Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, and some songs were written before the idea was abandoned in favour of Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose. The album's name, originally The Snow Goose was altered to Music Inspired by The Snow Goose to accommodate legal protests by Paul Gallico. The album was originally due to feature lyrics based on Gallico's text, but this was abandoned due to the copyright objections. The music was mostly written over a fortnight in a cottage in Devon, England.
Matrix Side A: XZAL-13718.P-2W, Side B: XZAL-13719.P-3W

Camel:
Andrew Latimer – electric, acoustic and slide guitars, flute, vocals
Peter Bardens – organ, electric piano, acoustic piano, pipe organ, Minimoog, ARP Odyssey
Doug Ferguson – bass, duffle coat
Andy Ward – drums, vibes, percussion

Production:
David Bedford – orchestral arrangements
Rhett Davies – recording engineer
Modula – sleeve design

01. A1 The Great Marsh (02:00)
02. A2 Rhayader (03:03)
03. A3 Rhayader Goes To Town (05:21)
04. A4 a. Sanctuary b. Fritha (02:31)
05. A5 The Snow Goose (03:08)
06. A6 a. Friendship b. Migration c. Rhayader Alone (05:43)
07. B1 Flight Of The Snow Goose (02:37)
08. B2 Preparation (03:56)
09. B3 Dunkirk (05:31)
10. B4 a. Epitaph b. Fritha Alone (03:40)
11. B5 La Princesse Perdue (04:53)
12. B6 The Great Marsh (01:11)

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Procol Harum - Exotic Birds and Fruit (1974) (Vinyl)

Year: April 1974, Recorded 1973 - 1974 (LP 1974)
Label: Chrysalis Records (UK), CHR 1058
Style: Art-Rock
Country: Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England, UK
Time: 37:15
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 251 Mb

"Exotic Birds and Fruit" met with a good critical reception but only rose to No. 86 on the Billboard album charts. In Denmark, it peaked at #9 upon release, and nearly a year later in early 1975 it re-entered the Top 20 peaking at #19. The album was preceded by the single release of the opening track "Nothing But the Truth" back with the single only B-side track "Drunk Again".

Exotic Birds and Fruit is the seventh full-length studio album by British progressive rock band Procol Harum. The cover artwork for the album is by Jakob Bogdani, a noted Hungarian artist whose paintings centred on exotic birds and fruit.
Collaborating again with producer Chris Thomas, Procol Harum the band recorded the album at George Martin's Air London Studios in London. According to singer/songwriter/piano player and band leader Gary Brooker the album was recorded in reaction to the two preceding albums which used extensive orchestration. Brooker stated "We made the live album with an orchestra. We'd then taken the orchestra into the studio for 'Grand Hotel'...we'd had enough of orchestras".
This back to basics approach worked well given that there were regular power cuts during the power struggle between Edward Heath's government and the UK unions. The band used an emergency generator during the blackouts which forced three-day working weeks during the so-called "winter of discontent" of 1973–74.
The album features the song "Butterfly Boys" written about the founders of the band's record label at the time Chrysalis. The band were unhappy with the terms of their contract and expressed that frustration in song.
"Exotic Birds and Fruit" met with a good critical reception but only rose to No. 86 on the Billboard album charts. In Denmark, it peaked at #9 upon release, and nearly a year later in early 1975 it re-entered the Top 20 peaking at #19. The album was preceded by the single release of the opening track "Nothing But the Truth" back with the single only B-side track "Drunk Again".

Personnel:
Gary Brooker – vocals, piano
Mick Grabham – guitar
BJ Cole – pedal steel guitar
Chris Copping – organ
Alan Cartwright – bass guitar
B. J. Wilson – drums


01. A1 Nothing but the Truth (03:12)
02. A2 Beyond the Pale (03:06)
03. A3 As Strong as Samson (05:10)
04. A4 The Idol (06:39)
05. B1 The Thin End of the Wedge (03:42)
06. B2 Monsieur R. Monde (03:43)
07. B3 Fresh Fruit (03:05)
08. B4 Butterfly Boys (04:26)
09. B5 New Lamps for Old (04:07)

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Arabesque - Arabesque (1980-1983) (Vinyl)

Year: 1980-1983 (LP 1984 ?)
Label: Melodia Records (Russia), C60 20963 008
Style: Pop, Disco
Country: Frankfurt, Germany
Time: 35:16
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 254 Mb

Arabesque was an all-girl trio formed at the height of the European disco era in 1977 in Frankfurt, Germany. The group's changing lineup worked with the German composer Jean Frankfurter (Erich Lie?mann) and became especially popular in Japan and the USSR.
In 1975, children's music singer Mary Ann Nagel proposed a girl group to producer Wolfgang Mewes, who accepted. Two additional members were recruited through a song contest. An Englishwoman (Karen Ann Tepperis), a German-Mexican (Michaela Rose), and a German (Mary Ann Nagel) comprised the initial group.
After the first album, the band lineup changed by keeping only the original member Michaela Rose, while replacing the two other girls, Karen Ann Tepperis and Mary Ann Nagel, with new members Jasmin Vetter and Heike Rimbeau, respectively. Nagel was replaced due to her becoming tired of the long daily commute from Karlsruhe to Frankfurt am Main, where the group was based. Tepperis was replaced due to the fact that she was pregnant and could not go on tour. The surprising overnight success of Hello Mr. Monkey in Japan prompted the producers to schedule an immediate tour to Japan. The duration of Heike Rimbeau in the group was also short-lived; due to her pregnancy in 1978, she was briefly substituted with Elke Bruckheimer. This German country singer appeared only in a few live performances during the year 1979. However, shortly afterward, she too was replaced by Sandra Lauer. Lauer had previously attended the Young Star Music contest in 1975, where she achieved a record deal and released the song "Andy mein Freund" ("My Friend Andy").
In 1979, at age 17, Lauer was invited to become the lead singer of Arabesque. The trio (Lauer, Vetter, Rose) would remain in this lineup from 1979 until their split in 1984.

Members: Jasmin Vetter, Michaela Rose, Sandra Lauer

01. A1 In For A Penny, In For A Pound (03:02)
02. A2 Don't Fall Away From Me (03:39)
03. A3 I Stand By You (03:50)
04. A4 Zanzibar (03:44)
05. A5 Born To Reggae (03:32)
06. B1 Billy's Barbeque (02:51)
07. B2 Young Fingers Get Burnt (03:12)
08. B3 Caballero (04:03)
09. B4 Blackout (03:31)
10. B5 The End Of The Show (04:20)

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Vanilla Fudge - Renaissance (1968) (Vinyl)

Year: June 1968 (LP 1974)
Label: Midi Records (UK), MID 30043
Style: Rock
Country: Long Island, New York
Time: 41:11
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 215 Mb

Renaissance peaked at #20 on the Billboard album charts in July 1968.
Renaissance is the third album by rock band Vanilla Fudge, released in June 1968. It was their first album to feature mostly original material, with five of its seven tracks penned by band members.
In addition to the band's original songs, Renaissance also included "The Spell That Comes After" (written by Frank Zappa's and Herb Cohen's protege Essra Mohawk, but erroneously credited on original pressings of the LP to Zappa's art director Cal Schenkel), and a cover version of "Season of the Witch", originally written and performed by Scottish folk singer Donovan. The band also interpolates lyrics from a second Essra Mohawk song, "We Never Learn", into their rendition of "Season of the Witch".

Carmine Appice (born December 15, 1946) - drums, vocals
Tim Bogert (born August 27, 1944) - bass guitar, vocals
Vince Martell (born November 11, 1945) - guitar, vocals
Mark Stein (born March 11, 1947) - lead vocals, keyboards

01. A1 The Sky Cried - When I Was A Boy (07:37)
02. A2 Thoughts (03:32)
03. A3 Paradise (06:02)
04. A4 That's What Makes A Man (04:26)
05. B1 The Spell That Comes After (04:30)
06. B2 Faceless People (06:06)
07. B3 Season Of The Witch (08:55)

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Hollies - For Certain Because (Stop Stop Stop) (1966) (Vinyl)

Year: 9 December 1966 (LP 1988)
Label: BGO Records (UK), BGO LP9
Style: Rock
Country: Manchester, England
Time: 31:58
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 216 Mb

For Certain Because is the fifth UK album by the Hollies and their second released in 1966. It was the first Hollies album in which all the songs were written by members Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks, and the first on which they did not use the pseudonym "Ransford". It was also the first Hollies album recorded with new bassist Bernie Calvert.
Retitled Stop! Stop! Stop! for the US and Canadian markets and issued with a different, full-color cover image of the group in the US market, this was also the fifth Hollies album released in the US and Canada, although the third released in 1966. It was the first Hollies album on which the track listing for all of the US, the Canadian, and the UK versions remained the same; that would not happen again until the 1970s. In addition, other markets used the title Stop! Stop! Stop! when issuing or reissuing this album, including the UK, which retitled it as Stop! Stop! Stop! for a 1971 budget-line reissue. In 1983, Liberty Records in the US reissued this album as Pay You Back With Interest without the tracks "Stop! Stop! Stop!" and "High Classed".
Stop! Stop! Stop! was the Hollies' last new album for Imperial Records in the US and for Capitol Records in Canada. Their next new album, Evolution, would be released in the US and Canada on Epic Records while remaining on Parlophone/EMI in the UK and would revert to having a different track lineup between the US/Canadian and UK versions.

Allan Clarke (born 5 April 1942) — vocals, harmonica
Tony Hicks (born 16 December 1945) — lead guitar, vocals
Graham Nash (born 2 February 1942) — rhythm guitar, vocals
Bobby Elliott (born 8 December 1941) — drums
Bernie Calvert (16 September 1942) — bass guitar except on "Don't Even Think About Changing", piano
Eric Haydock (born 3 February 1943) — bass guitar on "Don't Even Think About Changing"
Mike Vickers (born 18 April 1940) — orchestral arrangements on "High Classed", "What Went Wrong" and "Crusader"

01. A1 What’s Wrong with the Way I Live (02:01)
02. A2 Pay You Back with Interest (02:43)
03. A3 Tell Me to My Face (03:08)
04. A4 Clown (02:12)
05. A5 Suspicious Look in Your Eyes (03:35)
06. A6 It's You (02:08)
07. B1 High Classed (02:19)
08. B2 Peculiar Situation (02:53)
09. B3 What Went Wrong (02:13)
10. B4 Crusader (03:45)
11. B5 Don't Even Think About Changing (02:08)
12. B6 Stop Stop Stop (02:50)

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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Quicksilver Messenger Service - What About Me (1970) (Vinyl)

Year: December 1970 (LP 1970)
Label: Capitol Records (UK), EA-ST 630 (IE 064 80722)
Style: Rock
Country: San Francisco, California, United States
Time: 45:34
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 273 Mb

Quicksilver Messenger Service was one of the best bands to emerge from the Sixties Haight Ashbury - San Francisco scene. They loaded up their from-the-heart songs with free-form jamming; in gigs at classic venues like the Fillmore and Avalon, they stretched out and improvised, pushing their music in unpredictable directions. Tougher than the Grateful Dead, looser than the Jefferson Airplane, but never managing to achieve the popularity of either; they faded away after 1975. Maybe they just weren't ambitious enough. In the words of guitarist Gary Duncan, "We had no ambition toward making records, we just wanted to have fun, play some music and make enough money to be able to afford to smoke pot". Sadly, today Quicksilver Messenger Service is too often overlooked as an essential classic rock experience.
They made hippie music, simple straight forward lyrics, mostly love songs and some social commentary thrown in (from the freak point of view). QMS from Solid Silver Musically loose, plenty of rough edges, rarely over-produced, no slick singer, just a tough dual guitar attack always looking for a little open space to stretch it out as far as they could go. Their personnel sometimes changed based on who was busted on the latest pot possession rap. But the two guitar attack of John Cipollina and Gary Duncan was generally a constant. With the charismatic folk rocker Dino Valente out front, the band had its most recognizable singles "Fresh Air" and "What About Me". However there is much to enjoy in all the bands phases from the heavy jamming of the first albums, through the hits of the Valente folk pop period (spiced up by Nicky Hopkins then Michael Lewis keyboards) and finally sweet cowboyish love songs like "Gypsy Lights" and "Don't Cry My Lady Love"
Duncan, Freiberg and Lewis stretched Quicksilver into the Eighties with the the lost classic "Peace by Piece" where the band experimented with rap music and synthesized drums. Today, Gary Duncan's powerful Shape-Shifting Quicksilver pushes the live sound full circle, with long explorations of rock, jazz, pop and blues - touching back to the endless jams of the sixties at the Avalon and Fillmore.
Listen to Quicksilver, still jazzed after forty years and sounding fresher than ever.

Dino Valenti – lead vocals (except on "Won't Kill Me"), guitar, percussion
John Cipollina – guitar, percussion
Nicky Hopkins – piano (except on "What About Me", "Baby Baby", "Subway", and "Call on Me")
Gary Duncan – guitar, backing vocals, bass, percussion, organ
David Freiberg – bass, backing vocals, lead vocal on "Won't Kill Me", guitar
Greg Elmore – drums, percussion
Mark Naftalin - piano on "What About Me", "Baby Baby", and "Call on Me"

Matrix side A: EA ST1 630-1, side B: EA ST2 630-1

01. A1 What About Me (06:39)
02. A2 Local Color (02:59)
03. A3 Baby Baby (04:41)
04. A4 Won't Kill Me (02:31)
05. A5 Long Haired Lady (05:50)
06. B1 Subway (04:26)
07. B2 Spindrifter (04:35)
08. B3 Good Old Rock And Roll (02:30)
09. B4 All In My Mind (03:44)
10. B5 Call On Me (07:35)

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself (1971) (Vinyl)

Year: October 1971 (LP 1971)
Label: Mercury Records (USA), SRM-1-614
Style: Hard Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 41:06
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 263 Mb

Review by Easy Livin (Location: Scotland)
The third album from Uriah Heep sees them taking further giant steps forward. The rhythm section is still in a state of turmoil, but the nucleus of Box/Byron/Hensley have found a solid direction, and are approaching the pinnacle of their combined creativity.
The title track has become one of the band's most enduring pieces, a solid five minute chunk of loud, infectious rock, with a wall of sound, and a breathtaking pace. The instrumental breaks are quite stunning, with Box in particular in fine form. Towards the end of the track, Bronze label-mates Osibisa add additional percussion as it increases pace before reaching a climactic conclusion. I only discovered recently, that the lead vocals on the track are performed by Ken Hensley, not David Byron, although the latter always took the lead when the song was performed live. Quite why this happened is puzzling, as the overall sound is very much as if Byron himself was singing as usual.
The album includes the epic "July Morning", with its majestic prog sound, and superb structure. The track alternates between soft and loud passages, and includes a wonderful Hammond solo followed by Byron reaching ever higher with his piercing screams. The main instrumental theme which closes the track is basically simple, but transformed by a guest appearance from Manfred Mann on synthesiser. While Hensley would later master this instrument himself, they were still somewhat rare at the time, giving the track a very progressive feel in the early 70's. A truly magnificent piece of music.
The rest of the tracks are all very strong, including the melodic ballad "What should be done", and the twin guitar lead on "Tears in my eyes".
With this album, the Uriah Heep "sound" was firmly established. The tracks have great power, while strong melodies are still very much the priority. "July morning" especially is an absolute classic.

Matrix side1: SRM-1614A-M1, side2: SRM-1614B-M1

Ken Hensley (born 24 August 1945) – Organ, piano, guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Mick Box (born 9 June 1947) – Lead guitar, acoustic guitar
David Byron (29 January 1947 – 28 February 1985) - Lead vocals (Except "Look at Yourself": Ken Hensley - lead vocals)
Paul Newton (born 21 February 1948) – Bass guitar
Iain Clark (20 August 1946) – Drums

01. A1 Look At Yourself (05:09)
02. A2 I Wanna Be Free (03:59)
03. A3 July Morning (10:28)
04. B1 Tears In My Eyes (04:59)
05. B2 Shadows Of Grief (08:38)
06. B3 What Should Be Done (04:13)
07. B4 Love Machine (03:37)

Prelistening "Look at Yourself" (1971) (Vinyl): ClipWatching


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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Jethro Tull - Aqualung (1971) (Vinyl)

Year: 19 March 1971 (LP 1971), Recorded December 1970 – February 1971
Label: Chrysalis Records (UK), CHR 1044
Style: Art Rock
Country: Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Time: 42:54
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 264 Mb

Aqualung is the fourth studio album by the rock band Jethro Tull, released in 1971. It is regarded, despite the band's disagreement, as a concept album featuring a central theme of "the distinction between religion and God". The album's "dour musings on faith and religion" have marked it as "one of the most cerebral albums ever to reach millions of rock listeners". Aqualung's success signalled a turning point in the band's career, which went on to become a major radio and touring act.
Aqualung has sold more than seven million units worldwide, and is thus Jethro Tull's best-selling album. The album was generally well-received critically and has been included on several music magazine best-of lists. The album spawned two singles, "Hymn 43" and "Locomotive Breath".

01. A1 Aqualung (06:32)
02. A2 Cross-Eyed Mary (04:08)
03. A3 Cheap Day Return (01:24)
04. A4 Mother Goose (03:51)
05. A5 Wond’ring Aloud (01:53)
06. A6 Up to Me (03:15)
07. B1 My God (06:50)
08. B2 Hymn 43 (03:18)
09. B3 Slipstream (01:13)
10. B4 Locomotive Breath (04:23)
11. B5 Wind Up (06:02)

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979) (Vinyl, Double LP)

Year: 30 November 1979, Recorded December 1978 – November 1979, (LP 19??)
Label: Harvest Records (UK), SHDW 411 SHSP 4112
Style: Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 39:28, 42:19
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 225, 263 Mb

A rock opera, its story explores Pink, a jaded rockstar whose eventual self-imposed isolation from society is symbolised by a wall. The record was a commercial success, charting at number one in the US for 15 weeks, and number three in the UK. In 1982, the album was adapted into a feature film of the same name, directed by Alan Parker.
Bassist Roger Waters conceived The Wall during Pink Floyd's 1977 In The Flesh tour, modeling the character of Pink after himself and former bandmate Syd Barrett. Recording spanned from December 1978 to November 1979. Producer Bob Ezrin helped to refine the concept and bridge tensions during recording, as the band were struggling with personal and financial issues at the time. The Wall is the last album to feature Pink Floyd as a quartet; keyboardist Richard Wright was fired by Waters during production, but stayed on as a salaried musician. Three singles were issued from the album: "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" (the band's only US number-one single), "Run Like Hell", and "Comfortably Numb". From 1980 to 1981, Pink Floyd performed the full album on a tour that featured elaborate theatrical effects.
The Wall initially received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious. It later came to be considered one of the greatest albums of all time, as well as being one of the most well-known concept albums. It has sold more than 24 million copies, is the second best-selling in the band's catalog, and is one of the best-selling of all time. Some of the outtakes from the recording sessions were later used on the group's next album, The Final Cut (1983). In 2003, Rolling Stone listed The Wall at number 87 on its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In the early 2010s, Waters staged a new Wall live tour that became the highest-grossing tour by a solo musician.

LP1
01. A1 In the Flesh (03:25)
02. A2 The Thin Ice (02:30)
03. A3 Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1) (03:16)
04. A4 The Happiest Days of Our Lives (01:43)
05. A5 Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) (04:02)
06. A6 Mother (05:31)
07. B1 Goodbye Blue Sky (02:56)
08. B2 Empty Spaces (02:03)
09. B3 Young Lust (03:31)
10. B4 One of My Turns (03:38)
11. B5 Don't Leave Me Now (04:08)
12. B6 Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3) (02:00)
13. B7 Goodbye Cruel World (00:40)

LP2
01. C1 Hey You (04:45)
02. C2 Is There Anybody Out There (02:41)
03. C3 Nobody Home (03:28)
04. C4 Vera (01:37)
05. C5 Bring the Boys Back Home (01:20)
06. C6 Comfortably Numb (06:24)
07. D1 The Show Must Go On (01:39)
08. D2 In the Flesh (04:18)
09. D3 Run Like Hell (04:20)
10. D4 Waiting for the Worms (04:04)
11. D5 Stop (00:35)
12. D6 The Trial (05:13)
13. D7 Outside the Wall (01:49)

Prelistening - Vinyl Rip Full Album:  (LP1): ClipWatching

Prelistening - Vinyl Rip Full Album:  (LP2): ClipWatching


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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Ray Manzarek (The Doors) - The Whole Thing Started With Rock & Roll (1974) (Vinyl)

Year: 1974 (LP 1974)
Label: Mercury Records (Canada), SRM 1-1014
Style: Rock
Country: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Time: 40:33
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 263 Mb

Ray Manczarek (February 12, 1939 – May 20, 2013) was an American musician, singer, producer, film director, and author, best known as a member of The Doors from 1965 to 1973, which he co-founded with singer and lyricist Jim Morrison. Manzarek was notable for performing on a keyboard bass during many live shows and some recordings, taking on a role usually filled by a bass guitar player.
Manzarek recorded on every track of all eight Doors studio albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. He was a co-founding member of Nite City from 1977 to 1978, and of Manzarek–Krieger from 2001 until his death in 2013. USA Today defined him as "one of the best keyboardists ever."

01. A1 The Whole Thing Started With Rock And Roll (02:35)
02. A2 The Gambler (05:25)
03. A3 Whirling Dervish (05:23)
04. A4 Begin The World Again (06:38)
05. B1 I Wake Up Screaming (03:36)
06. B2 Art Deco Fandango (03:03)
07. B3 Bicentennial Blues (07:56)
08. B4 Perfumed Garden (05:53)

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