Friday, January 22, 2021

John Mayall - Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966) [Vinyl Rip] 180g, 4 bonus tracks

Year: 22 July 1966 (LP 2008)
Label: Decca Records, Lilith Records (Russia), 900020
Style: Blues Rock
Country: Macclesfield, England
Time: 54:51
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 342 Mb

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (a.k.a. The Beano Album) is a 1966 blues/blues rock album recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton as part of the band. It is the second album credited to John Mayall after the live John Mayall Plays John Mayall. Clapton left to form Cream after this recording, though would team up again in 1971 for the double LP Back to the Roots.
It is also known as The Beano Album because of its cover photograph showing Eric Clapton reading The Beano, a British children's comic. Clapton stated in his autobiography that he was reading The Beano on the cover because he felt like being "uncooperative" during the photo shoot. The photographer was Derek Wedgbury and the location was near the Old Kent Road.
In 2003 the album was ranked number 195 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Apart from being one of the most influential blues albums, it also started the now-legendary combination of a Gibson Les Paul guitar through an overdriven Marshall Bluesbreaker amplifier.
Originally, John Mayall intended for his second album to be also a live one in order to capture the guitar solos performed by Eric Clapton. A set was recorded at the Flamingo Club, with Jack Bruce (with whom Clapton would subsequently work in Cream) on bass. The recordings of the concert, however, were of bad quality and were scrapped.
The album consists of blues standards by long-established artists such as Otis Rush, Freddie King and Robert Johnson, as well as a few originals penned by Mayall and Clapton. Most tracks serve as a showcase for Clapton's playing. Although he sang on several Yardbirds' recordings, "Ramblin' on My Mind" was Clapton's first recorded solo lead vocal performance, which Eric had been reluctant to record.

Musicians:

John Mayall - lead vocals, piano, Hammond B3 organ, harmonica
Eric Clapton - lead guitar, lead vocals on "Ramblin' on My Mind"
John McVie - bass guitar
Hughie Flint - drums

01. A1 All Your Love (03:34)
02. A2 Hideaway (03:15)
03. A3 Little Girl (02:35)
04. A4 Another Man (01:46)
05. A5 Double Crossing Time (03:02)
06. A6 What'd I Say (04:27)
07. A7 Parchman Farm (02:22)
08. A8 Ramblin' On My Mind (03:08)
09. A9 It Ain't Right (02:39)
10. B1 Key To Love (02:06)
11. B2 Have You Heard (05:52)
12. B3 Steppin' Out (02:28)
13. B4 They Call It Stormy Monday (Bonus Live) (04:33)
14. B5 Intro To Maudie (Bonus Live) (02:25)
15. B6 Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Bonus Live) (06:40)
16. B7 Hoochie Coochie Man (Bonus Live) (03:53)

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac) - The Legendary Christine Perfect Album (1976) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 1970 (LP 1976)
Label: Sire Records (USA), SR 6022
Style: Rock
Country: Lancashire, England (12 July 1943)
Time: 37:21
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 206 Mb

With her naturally smoky low alto vocal style and a knack for writing simple, direct, and memorable songs about the joys and pitfalls of love, Christine McVie has had a long and productive musical career while seldom insisting on being center stage. Born Christine Anne Perfect on July 12, 1943, in the small village of Bouth, the daughter of a concert violinist and a faith healer, a combination that just begs for uniqueness, McVie began playing the piano at the age of four and then found herself seriously studying the instrument at the age of 11, continuing her classical training until she was 15. That?s when she discovered rock & roll. While studying sculpture at an arts college near Birmingham for the next five years, she immersed herself in the local music scene, joining the band Sounds of Blue as a bassist. By the time McVie graduated with a teaching degree, Sounds of Blue had broken up, and she moved to London. In 1968 she reunited with two of the band?s former members, Andy Silvester and Stan Webb, in the British blues band Chicken Shack, playing piano and contributing vocals. The band released two albums, 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve in 1968 and O.K. Ken? in 1969, and garnered a Top 20 hit in the U.K. with McVie?s impressive version of Etta James? ?I?d Rather Go Blind.? She left the band in 1969 after meeting Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, marrying him a year later, just after the release of her first solo album, the self-titled Christine Perfect.
Following the marriage, and now known as Christine McVie, she joined Fleetwood Mac as a pianist and singer and remained a member for the next 25 years, becoming a superstar in 1975 as part of the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks version of the band. She and John McVie divorced in 1978, although both continued as members of Fleetwood Mac through the albums Tusk (1979) and Mirage (1982). She recorded and released a second solo album, simply called Christine McVie, in 1984. She married keyboardist Eddy Quintela in 1986. They would separate four years later in 1990 (and divorce later in the decade), just as the band -- now minus Buckingham -- released Behind the Mask. Following the tour for that album, McVie announced to the band that she would not longer go on the road, although she continued to work in the studio with them, contributing five songs to 1995?s Time. A reunion of the Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band for 1997?s live The Dance followed, and McVie did the resulting tour with the group before officially retiring from Fleetwood Mac in 1998 after the group?s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that year. She then lived quietly out of the music limelight until the release of her third solo album, In the Meantime, in 2004.
(Steve Leggett, Rovi. www.billboard.com/artist/299258/christine-mcvie/biography)

01. A1 Crazy Bout You Baby (03:05)
02. A2 I'm On My Way (03:13)
03. A3 Let Me Go (Leave Me Alone) (03:39)
04. A4 Wait And See (03:18)
05. A5 Close To Me (02:45)
06. A6 I'd Rather Go Blind (03:16)
07. B1 When You Say (03:18)
08. B2 And That's Saying A Lot (03:02)
09. B3 No Road Is The Right Road (02:53)
10. B4 For You (02:50)
11. B5 I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around) (03:30)
12. B6 I Want You (02:26)

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Electric Light Orchestra - Face The Music (1975) CD

Year: 1975 (CD ?)
Label: EPIC/LEGASY Records (US), 82796 94278 2
Style: Rock, Prog Rock
Country: Birmingham, England
Time: 52:33
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 327 Mb

Face the Music is more fine work from the Electric Light Orchestra, which rather quietly has evolved into a most consistent septet. Leader Jeff Lynne remains one of a few Sixties rockers who has developed a new and more adventurous style with a minimum of chaff in the process. In this setting he has successfully integrated a recognizable string trio (an achievement in itself) with his own melodic strings, producing a stately music without being stuffy or saccharine. Nor do the cellos and violin seem a mere afterthought.
All eight compositions are strong and fully realized: "Poker" with its hard rock guitar explosions, the oddly workable C&W flirtation "Down Home Town" and an instrumental with lavish but spirited orchestration. The seven outdo themselves, however, on "One Summer Dream," a beautiful and evocative tune sung touchingly by Lynne. A trifle sentimental perhaps, but lyrically and musically, it displays more emotion (not to mention pure ability) than one ordinarily hears from a rock group. Most importantly the song, and the rest of Face the Music as well, reiterates that rock can be complex, ambitious and "arty," yet still remain rock.
(Charley Walters, Rolling Stone, 1-1-76.)

The Electric Light Orchestra, led by former Move member Jeff Lynne, is better than most groups who try to combine rock with classical motifs. At least the ELO is skillful and unpretentious. But what is the sense of mixing whiskey and wine? The powers, techniques, effects, and schematics of rock and classical music are at polar odds with one another. Outside of relief from the boredom of playing the twang-thump of rock, there doesn't seem to be any valid reason to try to achieve this mutant sound. And, even though ELO's classical orchestrations are neatly done, they cannot disguise the basic weakness of the rock material.
(Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 2/76.)

Another beautiful set from the seven Brits who helped pioneer the merger of classical and rock on a mass basis. Divided fairly equally into smooth, flowing melodies fronted by equally relaxing singing and easy rockers, the guitar, vocals and writings of Jeff Lynne remain dominant. New to the group, however, is Kelly Groucutt, who handles bass and takes over on lead vocals from time to time. With a softer voice than Lynne's, Groucutt provides the balance that has been missed in past albums. Guitars, violins and cellos melt together easily under Lynne's production, and the unlikely combination works as well as anything the band has ever done. Musically, a truly beautiful LP. Best cuts: "Waterfall," "Evil Woman," "Poker," "Down Home Town."
(Billboard, 1975.)

Superb production and a good song lineup featuring "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic."
(Bruce Eder, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.)

ELO's formula first jelled into a sleek hit-making machine with Face The Music, an album on which Jeff Lynne's producing chops first match his songwriting prowess -- fueled by songs such as the radio staple "Evil Woman" and dreamy ballad "Strange Magic."
(Eric Deggans, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.)

01. Fire On High (05:31)
02. Waterfall (04:11)
03. Evil Woman (04:29)
04. Nightrider (04:26)
05. Poker (03:32)
06. Strange Magic (04:29)
07. Down Home Town (03:54)
08. One Summer Dream (05:51)
09. Fire On High Intro (Early Alt Mix) (03:23)
10. Evil Woman (Stripped Down Mix) (05:00)
11. Strange Magic (U.S. Single Edit) (03:27)
12. Waterfall (Instrumental Mix) (04:15)

Tracks 9, 10, 12 Previously Unreleased.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Rick Wakeman - The Myths and Legends Of King Arthur (1975) [Vinyl Rip, 1st press]

Year: 1975 (LP 1975 1st Press)
Label: A & M Records (UK), AMLH 64515
Style: Symphonic Rock, Rock
Country: Perivale, London (born 18 May 1949)
Time: 44:40
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 263 Mb

Solo Career:
In August of 1971 Wakeman left Strawbs and joined a group called Yes as a replacement for one of the original band members, Tony Kay. Wakeman’s first album with that group was released in early in 1972. The recording, called Fragile, drew praise as a classic example of progressive rock, and by 1972, the band was a worldwide sensation. Wakeman played with Yes until 1974 when Patrick Moraz replaced Wakeman who left the group to further his solo career. Wakeman returned to Yes in 1976 and remained with the group until the end of the decade, after which time he continued a sporadic association with the group.
Even during his years with Yes, Wakeman spent a great deal of time in solo recording sessions for A&M Records. His earliest releases received notable reviews and earned gold records. Six Wives of Henry VIII was released in January of 1973, and Journey to the Center of the Earth appeared in 1974. Journey, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and narrated by David Hemmings, was an original Wakeman composition, based on the Jules Verne novel by the same name. The recording topped the charts in England, and Wakeman performed the composition at London’s Royal Festival Hall on January 18, 1974. He recorded his next album, Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, with the English Chamber Choir in 1975. Myths received mixed reviews, and Wakeman recorded and released afourth album, No Earthly Connection, in 1976, shortly before he rejoined with Yes. His reunion with Yes was encouraged by the resurgence of longer, symphonic renditions by the group, music that was abandoned during Wakeman’s absence. The Wakeman charisma was seen especially on their 1977 gold album, Going for the One, and their platinum release, Tormato, in 1978. According to Irwin Stambler in Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock Soul, Wakeman returned to Yes because, “they were back to playing the kind of music they should be playing.” Wakeman also recorded two solo albums for A&M during the nextfewyears: CriminalRecordin 1977, and Rhapsodies in 1979.
In 1980 Wakeman left Yes once more and signed with Charisma Records. Later in 1990, he reunited with Yes co-founder Jon Anderson Bruford, to try to reignite Yes. Although the reunion failed to earn critical approval, the music received a warm reception from audiences. In 1989 Wakeman rejoined with his old Yes bandmates to form the group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe. The foursome released an album that sold over a million copies worldwide; they tou red extensively that year, and in 1991 their album, Union, sold over two million copies worldwide. Wakeman toured extensively throughout the United States with Yes in 1977, 1978, 1979, and again in 1991.
(www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wakeman-rick)

Rick Wakeman - synthesisers, keyboards, grand piano
Gary Pickford-Hopkins - lead vocals
Ashley Holt - lead vocals
Geoffrey Crampton - lead and acoustic guitars
Roger Newell - bass guitar
Barney James - drums
John Hodgson - percussion
New World Orchestra, English Chamber Choir

01. A1 Arthur (07:26)
02. A2 Lady Of The Lake (00:46)
03. A3 Guinevere (06:44)
04. A4 Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight (05:22)
05. B1 Merlin The Magician (08:51)
06. B2 Sir Galahad (05:51)
07. B3 The Last Battle (09:38)

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Steamhammer - Mk II (1969) CD

Year: 1969 (CD 20 Jan 2010)
Label: Air Mail Archive Records (Japan), AIRAC-1566
Style: Rock, Art Rock
Country: England (1968–1973)
Time: 59:18
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 317 Mb

Steamhammer:
— (noun) A ram worked piston-wise by steam striking downward.
— (verb) Blows whose force and level are delicately adjustable.
Steamhammer’s origins began with the blues. Like many of their peers, they soon experimented with instrumental passages, introspective lyrics, and ultrasonic guitar effects, along with folk, jazz and classical influences. After making a name for themselves in the English pubs of the late 1960s, Steamhammer’s self-titled album debuted on Columbia Records in 1968. It featured their trademark single, “Junior’s Wailing” — a pumping “…Rock me baby, rock me all night long” number that sold well in Europe. Their first album proved formative to the band’s memorable sound, with performances built on a series of complex movements: changes of key and rhythm, one moment delicate, the next, hard-hitting ‘body’ music. Each instrument – drums, guitar, bass, and flute — alternated lead, the rest providing a background framework for the solos. These were the qualities that captured blues legend, Freddie King’s attention, when he asked the band to back him on two European tours. “It was a real blast,” Martin remembers. “Steamhammer would play their set, then Steve Davy, Mike Rushton and Martin Quittenton would stay up on stage with Freddie to play his set. White and I would sit in the audience to watch Freddie play. He could surf, he could rock – a real master, he was.”Steamhammer stayed on the road as one of the era’s hardest working bands, relentlessly refining their live set to create sophisticated arrangements and a generous helping of spontaneity, where everyone always got a crack at the whip.
Beginning in 1970, personnel changes shifted the band’s sound, which ultimately helped them expand their musical scope:
-Drummers Mike Rushton and Mickey Waller were replaced by Mick Bradley, whose aggressive drumming pushed the band to further experiment.
-Flute player Steve Joliffe left in 1970, later emerging in Tangerine Dream
-Bassist Steve Davy left in late 1970, replaced by the classically trained Louis Cennamo
-Lead vocalist Kieran White left the band in early 1973 to record solo albums, after which, the band decided to proceed as a trio, with a focus on complex arrangements and a more progressive rock sound
The genesis of Armageddon began, in fact, with the final Steamhammer album, Speech, in 1973, produced by ex-Yardbird and Renaissance frontman, Keith Relf. In the winter of ‘74, two years after drummer Mick Bradley’s sudden death from leukemia, Relf sought Louis and Martin out to form a band in California. Armageddon exploded onto the scene in late 1974, their potential so great that Rolling Stone magazine ran two articles on them before they had a drummer, a contract, or even a name for themselves. Relf brought in Bobby Caldwell on drums, and introduced the band to A&M Records producer Jerry Moss. Half a song into a set at the Charlie Chaplin Sound Stage in Hollywood, Moss signed Armageddon.
After much industry buzz, Armageddon released a stunning self-titled effort that landed in stores, fall of 1975. Liner notes on the album describe the band’s music as, “breathtaking, intense, and highly sophisticated.” The band’s secret weapon was their musicianship. Given complete creative reign over the project, the stark, powerful energy of their “live” sound quality was integral to the album’s success. “We were pleased with how the record came out,” Pugh recalls, “but to hear the band live was to witness the real epicenter of where we were coming from. Armageddon was all about four guys who were just crazy about the music.”
Armageddon never took their mind-blowing record on the road, due to another string of setbacks that stunted their momentum. Foremost was Relf’s battle with chronic asthma, which forced him to retire in spring of 1976. (Relf died suddenly in May of that year.) Punk and “arena” rock also loomed large on the horizon, a sharp veer away from the band’s interests. Through it all, Martin Pugh had been a central figure in the Steamhammer-Armageddon story. Pugh appeared on each album and co-wrote, co-produced, and co-arranged every track on the Armageddon LP. Martin also pushed forward with various musical efforts when the band dissolved. He and Caldwell tried to reassemble Armageddon in the early 1980s, producing a number of songs for a second LP under Capitol Records with Jesus Christ Superstar’s lead singer on vocals, and were literally hours away from completing the deal, when it fell through, due to creative differences. Caldwell eventually returned to Captain Beyond, Louis reunited with his former band, Renaissance, and Martin stayed in Los Angeles, continuing to pursue musical projects. Although their careers took them in different directions rather prematurely, rock aficionados agree that Armageddon was one of the most inspired collaborations ever undertaken, bringing together four extremely talented musicians, and garnering a loyal group of fans — many of them Steamhammer followers — worldwide.
(steamhammer.com/about-steamhammer)

01. Supposed To Be Free (05:56)
02. Johnny Carl Morton (04:35)
03. Sunset Chase (01:39)
04. Contemporary Chick Con Song (04:52)
05. Turn Around (03:32)
06. 6/8 For Amiran (03:00)
07. Passing Through (05:03)
08. Down Along The Grove (00:41)
09. Another Travelling Time (16:07)
10. Fran & Dee Take A Ride (03:16)
11. Autumn Song (04:04)
12. Blues For Passing People (06:26)

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West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Volume Two (1967) CD

Year: 1967 (CD 2001)
Label: SUNDAZED Records (USA), SC 6174
Style: Rock, Psychedelia
Country: Los Angeles, California, US
Time: 39:10
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 225 Mb

Contributor: Dave Stephens
With a stupid name like that it was always pretty unlikely that it would work out right for the band.
Couple in the fact that the band’s leader saw himself as the incarnation of hip/alternate, and …
… that the guy who’s reputed to have put the key components of the band together, Kim Fowley, while having a deserved cult following, has never been strongly associated with serious music,
then it might come as a surprise to learn that The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band managed to release six albums, some of which contained some really good music.
There were two parts to the jigsaw. The first part was Bob Markley, adopted son of a wealthy oil magnate. Bob had studied law, which was to come in useful, but he was also an aspiring record star – he’d released a couple of singles on his own label. The other part was an existing band, the Laughing Wind, who’d also cut a few singles. The band comprised brothers Danny and Shaun Harris, on lead and bass guitar respectively, Michael Lloyd also on guitar, plus John Ware, drums. All bar Ware handled vocals. Most of the boys had worked in previous bands in the L.A. area.
At a party held in Markley’s Beverly Hills mansion in August 1965, attended by the Harris Brothers, Michael Lloyd, Kim Fowley and plenty more, with musical entertainment provided by the Yardbirds amongst others, our hero/anti-hero had one of those eureka moments and decided that groups were the in thing, and, armed with the introduction from Fowley, proposed to the Laughing Wind that, if he could join the group as vocalist and songwriter, he would purchase new gear for them plus a light show and would cover the boys’ touring expenses. This was agreed and Markley came up with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band name. Not only that, he ensured that legally he owned the band’s name and that he handled the music publishing.
The first album from the WCPAEB, released on the tiny indie FiFo Records (see Footnotes) was titled West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Volume One, perhaps rather optimistically, since it implied a future. Without wishing to be unduly cruel, there wasn’t a lot on the album that signified there might have been a future. Much of it was garage in sound – this was 1966 – but slightly more tender in nature than some bands that got classified under that heading. Outside of five originals which I’ll come on to, the content consisted of covers, some predictable like You Really Got Me and yet another Louie Louie, some rather less predictable including Chris Kenner’s New Orleans rolling rocker Something You Got (a not unpleasing workout which did capture some of the Crescent City laid-back feel) and Oscar Brown/Nat Adderley’s Work Song. Unlike the Georgie Fame vocal version of the song which might have been a Brit source, this take was purely instrumental, in line with the Cannonball Adderley record.
There were two Dylan covers, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue and She Belongs To Me. The first was reasonable but paled in comparison to the versions from Them and the 13th Floor Elevators (with the last named taking the biscuit for sheer freakiness). However the WCPAEB’s version of She Belongs To Me definitely warrants a listen. Starting out with heavy fuzz bass, the record eventually disappears in a storm of feedback and distortion. In comparison, the vocal, which lasts for little more than a minute, is precise and controlled, sounding passably like Dylan without falling into the trap of pastiche. The whole thing is over in less than two minutes though one could well imagine them stretching out on stage.
Of the five originals, three were from Bob Markley with two being Kim Fowley co-writes. Two of this trio were unremarkable attempts at psych, while the other was a soft folk rock thing, not unlike the sort of song P.F. Sloan was producing in the time frame. Which leaves two, I Won’t Hurt You (on which Markley gets another co-write along with Shaun Harris and Michael Lloyd), and If You Want This Love. Both were decent folk rock sounding affairs which was probably why they were selected to turn up again on the group’s second album in more fully realised versions.
Before leaving this set I would note that, for many years the LP was very difficult to get hold of (which didn’t do any harm to the band in terms of cult status), but in 1997 a CD version was released via Sundazed which doubled the number of tracks to 22. It is believed that most, possibly all, of the extra tracks were from the Laughing Wind prior to morphing into the WCPAEB. Certainly they are generally softer in nature with more of an emphasis on harmonies. Their cover of the Left Banke’s She May Call You Up Tonight would illustrate this superbly if only it was on YouTube!
One gets the impression that Markley, who very much saw himself as leader with the rest almost as paid employees, was keen to expunge any memory of the first album, since the second, which saw release on the far more prestigious Reprise label, was entitled The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band Part One. I would assume that it was only ‘Part One’ rather than ‘Volume One’ because the latter had been used. Whatever, Markley, with or without the band, evidently saw this as the start and given his general outlook that would probably have been, in his eyes, “the start of something big”.
It wasn’t – the start of something big that is – but it was a mighty fine album in its own right. From the first few bars of track #1, Shifting Sands, you were aware that this was on a different level to the first outing. There was a balance of eight relatively conventional, often Byrds inspired songs, and three freaky ones. If that balance was slightly more skewed to the more accessible stuff, I’d classify this album as great. As it is it’s merely very very good.
The detail: let’s take those freaky ones first. Help, I’m A Rock is, of course, the number from the first Mothers Of Invention album, and it begs the question, why would you want to hear this from anyone other than Frank and the Mothers? Apart from some slight curiosity which, I found, disappeared rather quickly, my answer would be that you wouldn’t. Even the original wasn’t something you would play very frequently but it was essentially Zappa, no one else. I would call Leiyla, Bo Diddley meets Monster Mash. A perfectly good Diddley based backing track with a simplistic but acceptable vocal is marred by a kitsch horror show on top. It does develop but that doesn’t mean it gets better. The most successful of this bunch is 1906. Over a fast guitar + choral riff a narrator intones nonsense lines interspersed with “I don’t feel well” pleas. Presumably a bad trip but considerably more acceptable than the other ‘advanced’ efforts. Markley himself was so impressed with these tracks that Help, I’m A Rock and 1906 were the A-sides of the two singles issued from the album.
(www.toppermost.co.uk)

01. In The Arena (04:14)
02. Suppose They Give a War and No One Comes (03:41)
03. Buddha (02:08)
04. Smell of Incense (05:51)
05. Overture - WCPAEB Part II (01:32)
06. Queen Nymphet (02:20)
07. Unfree Child (04:05)
08. Carte Blanche (02:45)
09. Delicate Fawn (02:31)
10. Tracy Had a Hard Day Sunday (04:36)
11. Smell of Incense (single mix) (02:28)
12. Unfree Child (single mix) (02:52)

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hardin and York - Tomorrow Today (1969) CD

Year: 1969 (CD 1994)
Label: RPM Records (UK), RPM 128
Style: Rock
Country: London, England (19.02 1949 – 22.07 2015)
Time: 66:17
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 365 Mb

When keyboardist Eddie Hardin (born 19th February 1949, South London) was recommended in 1967 by family friend and Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones for the vacant position in the then internationally popular Spencer Davis Group he could scarcely have believed that his introduction to the world of professional music would have led to a career that is now well over a quarter of a century old. On joining the band in April 1967, he teamed up with Davis, guitarist Phil Sawyer and drummer Pete York (born 15th August 1942, Middlesborough) they took off on an American tour followed by a cameo appereance in the film "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush". They also scored two UK hits, "Time Seller" (No.30) and "Mr. Second Class" (No.35), before, in the summer of '68, both Hardin and York left to begin work as a duo - 'The smallest big band in the world' as they were initially dubbed by the music press.
Securing a record deal with Bell Records, the duo released an album (SBLL 125) and single (BLL 1064) both called "Tomorrow Today" in mid '69 and found themselves in considerable demand on the European live circuit, gigging with the likes of Deep Purple, The Nice and Keef Hartley. One concert in a youth hostel in Hamburg-Blankenese was recorded without the pair's knowledge and released as a bootleg disc which the duo only found out about when fans used to bring it to gigs for them to sign. Eddie Hardin eventually tracked down a copy of this excellent quality recording and set about "bootlegging the bootleggers"! The 1970 LP "Smallest Big Band In The World" (SBLL 136) was followed by 1971's "For The World" (Decca SKL 5095) before the pair went their separate ways by releasing solo LP's - Hardin with "Home Is Where You Find It" (TXS 106) and York with "Pete York Percussion Band" (TXS 109), both on Decca Records.

01. Tomorrow Today (03:36)
02. 100 Years From Now (02:44)
03. I'm Lost (08:23)
04. Drinking My Wine (04:45)
05. Candlelight (04:37)
06. Beautiful Day (02:32)
07. Mountains Of Sand (06:45)
08. Can't Keep A Good Man Down (06:23)
09. Listen Everyone (04:06)
10. All I See Is You (03:23)
11. Mullberry Place (04:30)
12. Sunday Morning (03:35)
13. Rock 'N' Roll Music (03:52)
14. Can't Find My Way Home (02:37)
15. Just A Case Of Time (04:22)

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Paul McCartney and Wings - Wings Over America (1976) [Vinyl Rip] 1st Press, 3LP Live

Year: 1976 (LP 1976, 1st Press)
Label: MPL Communications (UK), PCSP 720 0C 154-98497/8/9
Style: Classic Rock
Country: London, United Kingdom
Time: 43:20, 32:50, 40:06
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 280, 212, 268 Mb

This year's premiere U.S. tour by Paul McCartney's post-Beatles group was one of the best-attended and best-put-together concert jaunts ever mounted. McCartney is one superstar who instinctively understands the importance of adding entertainment to live musical appearances, and his painstaking mixes of tapes made all along the tour represent the many original programming concepts in this show. The three disks are packaged in a clever split double-pocket jacket with a poster taking up the fourth compartment. Just about all the great songs written by McCartney either for the Beatles or Wings can be found here in intensely performed versions that cleverly take maximum advantage of the excitement of playing before big arena audiences. One unique bonus found on this LP is Wings guitarist Denny Laine, original singer of the Moody Blues performing that group's early hit "Go Now," which was only in the show at LA. But McCartney live with this well-honed group is an endless fascination. He remains the ultimate pop-rocker whether singing with his solo acoustic guitar, driving the group with his bass, rocking full-out with the travelling horn quartet or riffling off piano arpeggios for his haunting ballads. No LP in the future is likely to deliver us this much of McCartney in so many effective settings. Best cuts: "Jet," "Band On The Run," "Magneto & Titanium Man," "Silly Love Songs," "Let 'Em In," "Blackbird," "Yesterday," "Live And Let Die," "Lady Madonna," "Listen To What The Man Said," "Long And Winding Road ," "Hi Hi Hi," "Richard Cory."
(Billboard, 1976)

For such an expensive, three-record concert souvenir, made by an artist as commercially astute as Paul McCartney, a consumer-conscious review seems appropriate. The Wings fan with all the studio albums, for instance, may find Wings over America a legitimate alternative; excepting the single side of acoustic material, these performances are rawer and more driven than the original recordings and, in many cases, much the better for it. "Rock Show" is placed in its natural habitat; "Magneto and Titanium Man" becomes more sinewy and sinister; "Time to Hide" is reborn and simply wonderful. "Soily," the encore original, is a perfect climax, one of the best fast songs McCartney has written. In other words, there is probably enough novelty here to make Wings over America worth owning. From the above, non-Wings fans -- particularly those who find them wimpy -- can infer that this is as good and tough as you'll get this particular band.
On the debit side, the acoustic set is unremittingly maudlin. Many of Wings' mediocre songs -- "My Love," "Listen to What the Man Said," "Silly Love Songs" -- successfully resist transcending mediocrity.
There isn't much stage patter; crowd noise is kept at an unobtrusive but effective level; the cover painting compares favorably to a witty James Rosenquist, but the poster inside is downright cheesy. Caveat emptor.
(Ken Tucker, Rolling Stone, 2/10/77)

Wings Over America - Triple Live album, with Poster (pictures are included):
Wings over America is a live album by the band Wings, released in December 1976 on MPL Communications (in the US, it was released by MPL Communications and Capitol). In its initial release, it was a triple album and included a poster of the band, which reached number 8 in the UK charts and peaked at number 1 in the US. The cover was designed by Hipgnosis, and features a painting of an airliner about to open its cabin door.
Wings over America was another success for Wings, reaching number 1 in the US in early 1977 (the last in a 5-album stretch of consecutive number 1 albums for Wings) and number 8 in the UK. For the five Beatles songs included, McCartney elected to reverse the songwriting credit to McCartney?Lennon.

Linda McCartney - backing vocals, piano, keyboards, percussion

Denny Laine (ex Moody Blues) - lead vocals on "Spirits of Ancient Egypt", "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)," "Richard Cory," "Time to Hide", and "Go Now" and backing vocals, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion, harmonica

Jimmy McCulloch (ex Thunderclap Newman, Stone The Crows) - lead vocals on "Medicine Jar" and backing vocals; acoustic, electric and bass guitars 

Joe English - backing vocals, drums, percussion 

Tony Dorsey - trombone, percussion

Howie Casey - saxophone, percussion

Steve Howard - trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion

Thaddeus Richard - saxophone, clarinet, Western concert flute, percussion

01. A1 Venus And Mars - Rock Show - Jet (10:15)
02. A2 Let Me Roll It (03:44)
03. A3 Spirits Of Ancient Egypt (04:04)
04. A4 Medicine Jar (Jimmy McCulloch) (04:05)
05. B1 Maybe I'm Amazed (05:09)
06. B2 Call Me Back Again (05:24)
07. B3 Lady Madonna (02:37)
08. B4 The Long And Winding Road (04:26)
09. B5 Live And Let Die (03:31)
10. C1 Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me) (01:57)
11. C2 Richard Cory (03:01)
12. C3 Bluebird (03:41)
13. C4 I've Just Seen A Face (02:07)
14. C5 Blackbird (02:32)
15. C6 Yesterday (02:22)
16. D1 You Gave Me The Answer (02:04)
17. D2 Magneto And Titanium Man (03:19)
18. D3 Go Now (03:43)
19. D4 My Love (04:18)
20. D5 Listen To What The Man Said (03:41)
21. E1 Let Em In (04:05)
22. E2 Time To Hide (Denny Laine) (04:58)
23. E3 Silly Love Songs (05:54)
24. E4 Beware My Love (05:12)
25. F1 Letting Go (04:35)
26. F2 Band On The Run (05:43)
27. F3 Hi, Hi, Hi (03:34)
28. F4 Soily (06:01)

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