Saturday, April 4, 2020

Wings Paul McCartney - Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976) (Vinyl)

Year: 1976 (LP 1976)
Label: MPL Records (UK), PAS 10010, OC 064 97581
Style: Classic Rock
Country: England
Time: 46:57
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 269 Mb

Wings at the Speed of Sound is the fifth studio album by the British–American rock band Wings, released on 25 March 1976 as a follow-up to their previous album Venus and Mars. Issued at the height of the band's popularity, it reached the top spot on the US album chart and peaked at number 2 on the UK album chart. Both singles from the album also reached the top 5 of the UK and US singles charts, with 'Silly Love Songs' reaching number 1 in the US.
The album was recorded and released in the midst of Wings' highly successful Wings Over the World tour, with songs from the album performed on the tour after its release. Subsequently, performances of "Let 'Em In", "Time to Hide", 'Silly Love Songs' and "Beware My Love" were included on the live album Wings over America, released in December 1976. The album, after the 2010 CD version, was again remastered in 2014 with further improved audio quality.
As a reaction to critics who believed Wings was merely a vehicle for Paul McCartney, the album featured every member of the band taking lead vocals on at least one song, and two songs from the album are written or co-written by band members other than the McCartneys.
After a series of concerts in Australia in November 1975, Wings took a break from the tour to spend the holidays with their families and in January 1976 booked time at Abbey Road Studios in London to record Wings at the Speed of Sound. It was the first time McCartney had fully recorded an album in England since Red Rose Speedway. Because of the tour commitments, Wings were not afforded the opportunity to record in another locale. By the end of February, the album was complete, and Wings went back on the road.
Around the time of the studio sessions for Wings at the Speed of Sound, McCartney was facing criticism for Wings simply being a vehicle for himself. He encouraged each of the band members to contribute a song during the sessions, though this would become one of the reasons for the criticism of the album. McCartney had previously attempted to create a democratic album in Red Rose Speedway, though it would be rejected by his record label.
Engineer Peter Henderson later commented, "I remember one of my first engineering jobs, working with Paul McCartney on Wings at the Speed of Sound — he'd do two vocal takes and ask, 'Which is the better one?' And when he played guitar, he'd really lean into it and give it everything he got." Two tracks ("The Note You Never Wrote" and "Warm and Beautiful") were arranged by Fiachra Trench.
The album was recorded at Abbey Road in two different sessions: first sessions took place in August/September and October 1975, with work resuming in January–February 1976. During the playback of "Must Do Something About It", Paul heard drummer Joe English sing the song and decided to have him take the lead vocal. In "Cook of the House", McCartney handled double-bass, while "Silly Love Songs" was arranged in a disco-style, in a similar fashion to Al Green's "Sha La La".
(en.wikipedia.org)

01. A1 Let 'Em In (05:12)
02. A2 The Note You Never Wrote (04:23)
03. A3 She's My Baby (03:09)
04. A4 Beware My Love (06:30)
05. A5 Wino Junko (05:21)
06. B1 Silly Love Songs (05:56)
07. B2 Cook of the House (02:40)
08. B3 Time to Hide (04:32)
09. B4 Must Do Something About It (03:45)
10. B5 San Ferry Anne (02:09)
11. B6 Warm and Beautiful (03:14)

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Wishbone Ash - Argus (1972) (Vinyl)

Year: 28 April 1972, Recorded January 1972, (LP 1972)
Label: MCA Records (USA), MDKS 8006
Style: Rock
Country: Torquay, Devon, United Kingdom
Time: 45:27
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 297 Mb

Argus is the most commercially successful album for Wishbone Ash and is considered by many to be their high-water mark musically. This third album by the British rock quartet features a medieval-themed lyrical concept which is complemented by a musical blend of heavy blues, folk, and progressive hard rock. Further, with dual lead guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner, this album was one of the first to employ the harmonized lead guitars method which would later become popular among hard rock groups.
Wishbone Ash was formed as a trio in 1969 in Torquay, England by bassist Martin Turner (no relation to Ted) and drummer Steve Upton. When the original guitarist departed the group, they had a hard time deciding between the final two competing candidates, and ultimately they hired both Powell and Ted Turner to become a four-piece rock band. In 1970, the band landed on a tour opening for Deep Purple, whose guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore was impressed with their sound and helped the band sign a record deal with Decca/MCA Records. Both the albums Wishbone Ash in late 1970 and Pilgrimage 1971 received favorable reviews but less than favorable sales.
For the recording of this third album, producer Derek Lawrence teamed with Deep Purple’s engineer (and future big-time producer) Martin Birch at De Lane Lea studios in Wembley, which had just installed a state-of-the-art 16-track desk console. The album was recorded in less than a month in early 1972.
While the songs on Argus are solid throughout, the best material is positioned on the original first side of the record. “Time Was” is a nearly ten-minute epic which starts with a long picked, acoustic folk section, building the tension nicely before the full band arrangement finally kicks in at around the 3:00 mark. From here, the song rocks quite aptly with no fewer than three guitar lead section, weaving between solo and harmonized guitars in between the verses and bridge section.
“Sometime World” features bluesy lead guitars over a solid, rounded bass line through this quasi rock/ballad. Like the opener, this song also takes a turn towards harder rock part way through with an energetic jam and good leads built on Turner’s prog-based bass riff. “Blowin’ Free” begins with a couple of coordinated, choppy riffs which work to create a really cool sonic pattern in the intro. Next, the drum rolls in to a thumping rhythm for the song proper and, working in the opposite direction of the previous two tracks on side one, the song breaks down to a fine, mellow mid-section before returning for a blistering guitar lead and the final verse.
Side two is escorted in with the marching drum and regal-like tones of “The King Will Come”. Unfortunately, the song proper here is much less interesting than the unique intro. “Leaf and Stream” follows as a pure folk song with the lead vocals accompanied by picked electric and a fine bass line. The album winds down with a mini-suite by Martin Turner and Andy Powell. “Warrior” has sparse vocals in between long stretches of atmospheric music before a full rock jam commences. “Throw Down the Sword” offers the perspective after the fight from “Warrior” is over. After a few brief verses, song and album complete with a duo guitar lead, leaving the listener on a high note.
The success of Argus propelled Wishbone Ash into the arena headliners and set the stage for further success through the mid seventies, before frequent lineup shifts chilled their momentum.
(Part of Classic Rock review’s Celebration of 1972 albums. by Bill Golembeski. soundblab.com)

01. A1 Time Was (09:48)
02. A2 Sometime World (07:01)
03. A3 Blowin' Free (05:23)
04. B1 The King Will Come (07:14)
05. B2 Leaf and Stream (04:00)
06. B3 Warrior (06:01)
07. B4 Throw Down The Sword (05:56)

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Various Artists - Zabriskie Point (Soundtrack) (1970) (Vinyl)

Year: 1970 (LP 1970)
Label: MGM Records (UK), 2315 002
Style: Rock, Psychedelia
Country: UK, USA
Time: 36:47
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1
Size: 203 Mb

All three major American counterculture movies of the late sixties benefitted from the new vogue for rock soundtracks. The Strawberry Statement mixed purpose-written orchestral themes with mostly familiar numbers by CS&N and Neil Young, plus the predictable but appropriate “Something In The Air” and “Give Peace A Chance”. Easy Rider thrummed along to a more eclectic but still fitting selection from Dennis Hopper’s record collection: Steppenwolf, Hendrix, the Byrds and stoned oddities from the Holy Modal Rounders and the Electric Prunes. But maverick director Michelangelo Antonioni’s choices for Zabriskie Point are more enigmatic, and the story of their choosing more bewildering.
The film itself, part wilfully perverse take on the late sixties student unrest, part classic road movie and part soft-porn skinflick, has been analysed to death; you either love it or hate it. The soundtrack album by contrast has received few reviews and deserves examination in these pages. The story goes that Antonioni commissioned the then “hot” acts Pink Floyd, John Fahey and Kaleidoscope (US) to create new music for various scenes in the film including the notorious desert love scene, which they duly did, and then summarily rejected almost all of this when delivered, instead delving into the back catalogues of these acts and others. (According to legend, the spurned Fahey was so affronted he “decked” the director forthwith.) The lengthy, dusty love scene was eventually orchestrated by Jerry Garcia’s solo guitar improvisations, and even then Antonioni insisted on a fussy edit compiled from four different improvs for the final seven-minute opus.
Perhaps the oddest thing is that despite all these creative shenanigans the soundtrack still works, both in the movie and as a long-player. Floyd’s opening “Heart Beat, Pig Meat” is an organ-driven sound collage that contains enough menace to convey the tension as the students discuss the upcoming strike, and their soft, Byrdsy “Crumbling Land” provides a fleeting but apt background to the start of Daria’s desert odyssey in the Buick though, as Dave Gilmour admitted, it “could have been done better by any number of American bands”. A brief spiralling segment of the Dead’s live “Dark Star” accompanies Mark’s liftoff of the stolen Cessna from the airfield at LA, while Fahey’s “Dance Of Death”, which is somewhat discordant but isn’t actually very morbid, plays after Daria hears over the radio of Mark’s gunning-down by the cops on his return to the airfield. Patti Page’s venerable “Tennessee Waltz” is an inspired choice for the old rednecks in the desert truckstop (and would cost Antonioni a small fortune to licence from the State, which owned the copyright). Garcia’s sweet, restrained playing provides a genuinely sensitive background to the balletically-choreographed desert orgy. And of course the explosive climax is tailor-made for Floyd’s climactic “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, which appears in a re-recording unfortunately inferior to the wonderful original single B-side and with the alternative title “Come In Number 51, Your Time’s Up”. The two Kaleidoscope tunes “Brother Mary” and “Mickey’s Tune”, Roscoe Holcombe’s down-home “I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again” and the Youngbloods’ “Sugar Babe” are all excellent, delightfully obscure country rock items which accompany various highway scenes out in the Mojave.
The movie also featured Keith Richards’s bluesy “You Got The Silver”, which for licensing reasons never appeared on the OST album, and Roy Orbison’s splendid but inappropriate “So Young” which played over the closing titles and was allegedly added at post-production without Antonioni’s permission, and is hence with some justification also omitted. The 2-CD Sony reissue offers on its first disc all the other soundtrack tunes in complete form apart from the truncated “Dark Star”, and on the other the four complete Garcia improvs and four pieces of the rejected Floyd material, most of which are interesting enough but sound rather raw and unfinished, presumably not having being polished up for the final takes, and hence really for Floyd completists only. The CD booklet offers as cover picture a bizarre solarised still of the film’s two principals au naturel and a really excellent essay on the soundtrack by David Fricke.
(Written by Len, March 23rd, 2011, therisingstorm.net)

01. A1 Heart Beat, Pig Meat (Pink Floyd) (03:14)
02. A2 Brother Mary (Kaleidoscope) (02:41)
03. A3 Excerpt from Dark Star (Grateful Dead) (02:37)
04. A4 Crumbling Land (Pink Floyd) (04:17)
05. A5 Tennessee Waltz (Patti Page) (03:07)
06. A6 Sugar Babe (The Youngbloods) (02:14)
07. B1 Love Scene (Jerry Garcia - Grateful Dead) (07:06)
08. B2 I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again (Roscoe Holcomb) (01:57)
09. B3 Mickey's Tune (Kaleidoscope) (01:43)
10. B4 Dance of Death (John Fahey) (02:43)
11. B5 Come in Number 51, Your Time Is Up (Pink Floyd) (05:03)

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Back Street Crawler - The Band Plays On (1975) (Vinyl)

Year: 1975 (LP 1975)
Label: Atlantic Records (UK), K 50173
Style: Rock, Blues rock
Country: England and USA
Time: 44:36
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 263 Mb

Back Street Crawler was an English–American rock band There was a group of blues and rock musicians founded by guitarist Paul Kossoff (ex-Free), signing to Atlantic Records (courtesy of Ahmet Ertegun) in 1975. The band took the name from Kossoff's solo album, Back Street Crawler. Terry Wilson, Mike Montgomery and Tony Braunagel had played together in the short lived Bloontz, whose only album was released in 1973 and included versions of the Mike Montgomery songs, "Jason Blue" and "The Band Plays On", both of which featured on Back Street Crawler's album The Band Plays On.
The band's progress would continually be overshadowed by Kossoff's well publicised drug dependency. His reliance on narcotics was common knowledge. Ultimately, his addiction to narcotics led to his eventual demise.
A headlining tour was conducted in the UK during May and June 1975, prior to finalising sessions for the album The Band Plays On. To push the album, a further series of live dates were announced. However, these shows were curtailed when Kossoff was taken ill with a stomach ulcer. Whilst receiving treatment, Kossoff's condition worsened and suffered a cardiac arrest. Four live concerts, in Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and London, were undertaken in November.
Keyboard player Mike Montgomery quit the band shortly afterwards, to be replaced by John 'Rabbit' Bundrick for a series of American concerts in early 1976. Again, ill-health on Kossoff's part, including the guitarist breaking his fingers, resulted in numerous shows being cancelled.
The band set to work on their second album, working with producer Glyn Johns, in a variety of studios in New York and Los Angeles. With Kossoff still obviously ailing, session musician W.G. 'Snuffy' Walden committed much of the guitar to tape, Kossoff later playing lead over the mostly completed tracks. Walden also performed live, in the absence of Kossoff, with the band in February 1976. With Kossoff resuming his position, the band headlined four shows at the Starwood in West Hollywood. During the run of shows, Bad Company, were performing at the Los Angeles Forum and they joined Back Street Crawler onstage for two nights. The final night of the engagement, on March 3, 1976, was to be the final performance of both Paul Kossoff and Back Street Crawler.
A British tour with AC/DC as support act was set to commence on April 25, 1976. On March 19, Paul Kossoff died from cerebral and pulmonary edema on an overnight flight from Los Angeles to New York. Following Kossoff's death, the band continued under the name of Crawler.
(en.wikipedia.org)

01. A1 Hoo Doo Woman (04:18)
02. A2 New York, New York (04:43)
03. A3 Stealing My Way (04:22)
04. A4 Survivor (03:40)
05. A5 It's A Long Way Down To The Top (06:00)
06. B1 All The Girls Are Crazy (03:36)
07. B2 Jason Blue (04:58)
08. B3 Train Song (04:35)
09. B4 Rock & Roll Junkie (03:18)
10. B5 The Band Plays On (04:59)

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969) (Russian Vinyl)

Year: 26 September 1969 (LP 1991 ?)
Label: ??? (Russia), B 00001
Style: Rock
Country: Liverpool, England
Time: 47:46
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 292 Mb

Yes, I know it wasn`t long ago since my last reprint of a Lennon interview, but this one was unavoidable. They absolutely were on the brink of splitting and they did make some very good albums solo after the Beatles. In a lot of ways that was a good thing as we got to have more great albums to listen to, but you always ask; “What if…?”
Read on!

Beatles are on the brink of splitting.
One group is just not big enough for all this talent.

By Alan Smith.
I MAY be wrong, and I hope I am, but these are dark days for the Beatles. I begin to wonder how much longer their association can stand the strain of their own individual talent.
JOHN LENNON pulls toward Peace and his Plastic Ono Band; RINGO Pulls toward a bigger and better film career; GEORGE HARRISON jumps toward his own prolific songwriting; and PAUL McCARTNEY pulls himself away to Scotland, his own songs . . . and silence.
Certainly, John and Paul are on opposite sides of a heavy wall of difference and self-inflicted gloom. And the bond between them can hardly have been more weak, or their opposing interests more strong.
A few days ago John and Yoko and I talked in a one-hour fifteen minute exclusive interview for NME (partly filmed for BBC-1’s look at the world of John and Yoko Lennon in ” 24 Hours”), and during that time he gave me frank answers to this mental rift with Paul and the present state of the Beatles.
He was pleasant, together, straightforward, mellow and resolute, and only in references to Paul did his voice drop in doubt.
He told me: “Paul and I both have differences of opinion on how things should be run. But instead of it being a private argument about how an LP should be done, or a certain track, it’s now a larger argument about the organisation of Apple itself.
“Whether we both want the same thing from Apple in the end is a matter of opinion. But how to achieve it — that’s where we digress.
“Mainly, we disagree on the Klein bit. But you know, I don’t really want to discuss Paul without him here. It’s just that as far as I can see, Paul was always waiting for This Guy to just appear and come and save us from the mess we were in.

Pull out.
“And we were in a mess, and only my saying it to the Press that time enabled Klein to hear about it and come over.
“I’m a quarter of this building, and it became a question of whether I should pull my money out if I could — which I probably can’t.
“I did say I wanted out at one time. It was just that all my income was going in to Apple and being wasted by the joy-riding people who were here. In fact, that was just the minute bit of it. I just wanted it to stop.
“It’s no use pretending we can be here all the time when that kind of thing is going on. We needed a business man. No Beatle can spend his days here checking the accounts.
“There was also the question of the four of us holding different opinions on different things, and the staff not knowing where they where or who to listen to.
“I know that’s what’s going on all the time. People come to me and say `Paul wants this done, what do you think?, `and they know damn well what I think and they say `alright,’ and then they go to Paul and say John wants this done, he’s off again.

Instuctions.
“The result is that we kept sending in different instructions and nothing was being done. Like people anywhere, they were getting away with what they could. We were naive and stupid.
“What I want is for the freeloading to stop, but the old Apple spirit to remain. The spirit will be there, because if Apple is not a problem to the Beatles — which it was — it just can’t help but get better.
“Our job is to put the creative side into Apple. If the Beatles never recorded together again, but each put their creative efforts through Apple… that at least would be better than me having a company, Paul having a company, George having a company, and Ringo having a company. “Together we at least have that much more power.
“I know now that the original concept of helping everybody doesn’t work in its purest form. All you get are the bums and freeloaders everybody else turns down.
“The only way we can help other artists at Apple is the same way the Beatles helped other artists … by breaking new barriers. That’s what we didn’t get before. We sat back, and we started to believe our own publicity, to tell ourselves how the Beatles helped people get long hair, and the Beatles started off this, and the other.
“The Beatles split up? It just depends how much we all want to record together. I don’t know if I want to record together again. I go off and on it. I really do.
“The problem is that in the old days, when we needed an album Paul and I got together and produced enough songs for it.
“Nowadays, there’s three of us writing prolifically and trying to fit it all onto one album. Or we have to think of a double album every time, which takes six months.
“That’s the hang-up we have. It’s not a personal ‘The Beatles are fighting’ thing, so much as an actual, physical problem.
“What do you do? I don’t want to spend six months making an album I have two tracks on! And neither do Paul or George, probably. That’s the problem. If we can overcome that, maybe it’ll sort itself out.
“None of us want to be background musicians most of the time. It’s a waste. We didn’t spend ten years making it to have the freedom of recording studios, to be able to have two tracks on an album.
“It’s not like we spend our time wrestling in the studio trying to get our own songs on. We all do it the same way . . . we take it in turns to record a track. It’s just that usually in the past, George lost out. Because Paul and I are tougher.
“It’s nothing new, the way things are. It’s human. We’ve always said we’ve had fights It’s no news that we argue. I’m more interested in my songs. Paul’s more interested in his, and George is more interested in his. That’s always been.
“This is why I’ve started with the Plastic Ono and working with Yoko . . . to have more outlet. There isn’t enough outlet for me in the Beatles. The Ono Band is my escape valve. And how important that gets, as compared to the Beatles for me, I’ll have to wait and see.
“You have to realise that there’s a peculiar situation in that if ‘Cold Turkey’ had had the name ‘Beatles’ on it, probably it would have been a No. 1.

“Abbey Road”.
“‘Cold Turkey’ has got Ringo and me on, and yet on half the Beatles’ tracks of ‘Abbey Road,’ I’m not on, or half the tracks on the double album — and even way back. Sometimes there might be only two Beatles on a track.
“It’s got to the situation where if we have the name `Beatle’ on it, it sells. So you get to think: ‘What are we selling? Do they buy it because it’s worth it, or just because it says ‘Beatles?’
“George is in the same position. I mean, he’s got songs he’s been trying to get on since 1920. He’s got to make an album of his own. And maybe if he puts ‘Beatles’ on the label rather than George Harrison, it might sell more. That’s the drag.
“Of course we could each make an album and call it ‘The Beatles.’ But that would be cheating. And that’s not my scene.
“Anyway, folks, remember the Plastic Ono Band LP from Toronto released December the 12th, with a nice picture of the sky, and a fab calendar inside of a year’s events with John and Yoko, with poetry and fun.”
(ARTICLE ABOUT John Lennon (The Beatles) FROM New Musical Express, December 13, 1969)

01. A1 Come Together (04:21)
02. A2 Something (03:04)
03. A3 Maxwell's Silver Hammer (03:28)
04. A4 Oh Darling (03:28)
05. A5 Octopus's Garden (02:51)
06. A6 I Want You (She's So Heavy) (07:51)
07. B1 Here Comes The Sun (03:06)
08. B2 Because (02:46)
09. B3 You Never Give Me Your Money (04:03)
10. B4 Sun King (02:30)
11. B5 Mean Mr. Mustard (01:05)
12. B6 Polythene Pam (01:18)
13. B7 She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (01:52)
14. B8 Golden Slumbers (01:32)
15. B9 Carry That Weight (01:37)
16. B10 The End (02:18)
17. B11 Her Majesty (00:29)

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pink Floyd - Ummagumma (1969) (Vinyl 2xLP)

Year: 1969 (LP ????)
Label: EMI Records, Harvest Records (UK), SHDW 1, SHDW 2
Style: Rock, Psychedelia
Country: London, England
Time: 39:34, 46:42
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 236, 251 Mb

Pink Floyd have the last laugh. By Nick Logan.
When the Tremeloes can talk about playing progressive material then the day is dawning for the complete establishment into pop of a stream of music once laughed at and contemptuously dismissed as a short-lived fad.
Three or so years back when it was all starting, Pink Floyd were getting a rough ride from the pop pundits… but went on to do perhaps more than any other group to open the way for the new breed of pop musicians who in 1969 have made their presence felt in no uncertain manner.
As far as last laughs and all that, Pink Floyd have plenty to chuckle about.
“When we started in UFO it was a beautiful place to play,” recalled Floyd keyboard wizard Richard Wright when we spoke last week. “But when we went outside London nobody wanted to know. People used to throw bottles at us.
“At the same time we had a slight hit with See Emily Play and people expected us to play Top 20 stuff. Instead we came along with this strange music they didn’t understand.
“People just didn’t believe in us; I think they regarded us as a huge joke,” continued Richard without bitterness. “They saw us as a lot of freaks getting up on stage and playing freakish music.
“I’ll never forget Pete Murray saying on ‘Juke Box Jury’ that we were just a cult and would last for six months.”
Groundwork
From the groundwork laid by the Floyd and their contemporaries the whole Underground network, along with the University circuit, built up.
Could Richard forsee the progressive boom? “I knew it would happen some time but I didn’t know if it would happen quickly or slowly.
“I don’t think we could have seen it happening to such an extent where today the Underground is now the overground and Underground groups are getting better money than the teenyboppers.
“Yes I would agree that it is today’s pop music, and it is really nice because there are so many groups playing good music and it is accepted everywhere.”
Everywhere? “Well there are still a few places where a few people will walk out, but generally speaking it just gets better and better.
“Even Glasgow, which you might expect to be an incredibly bad scene for a group like us, is a really beautiful place to play.”
What did Richard think changed it?
It was UFO; it was groups like us and the whole hippie philosphy that was connected with it.
“And because the pop thing was then so shallow and empty and people wanted better things. Now because of it even straight pop is becoming better.
“Audiences now demand that you must he able to play your instrument — it’s not just a question of having a pretty face or wearing way out clothes. I should think it’s pretty hard to establish yourself as a teenybopper group now.
“It’s nice too that what has happened in the past three-four years has encouraged really good musicians to care about what is happening in pop and to form their own bands.
“It is very encouraging to find that what you believe in is commercial.”
Successes
After a couple of medium successes with singles, the Floyd dropped away from the market to make their name through albums. Their double set, “Ummagumma,” is at No 9 in this week’s NME Chart.
I asked Richard if the group had any inclinations to return to singles, with the successes of Fleetwood Mac and Jethro Tull in mind.
“Well we had that one hit and then two after that didn’t make it,” he replied. “Then we came to realise that it was not important to get hits and that, in fact, a No 1 for us might be a bit of a drag.
“I find the whole business of pop and Top Of The Pops a drag, and the singles scene is a dying market anyway.
“I’m not putting it down. If we got a single that went to No 1 it might be nice but it wouldn’t be important because that’s not what we are about.”
He see nothing wrong however, with other groups breaking into the singles field; nor does he feel it will do them any harm.
“It is rubbish to say they have gone commercial,” he maintains. “Bands like Jethro Tull and Fleetwood Mac believe in what they are playing and in the end it always comes down to the music.
“It is not a question of a sell-out — it means in fact that pop is growing up.
“From now on I believe pop music will be good music. There will be still more change but the standards have been raised and I cannot see them going down again.”
Pink Floyd, of late, have encountered a great deal of success in the film world with their scores for “The Committee” and “More,” released as their last hit album, and Richard sees this as further proof of the new acceptance for progressive music.
In this field they’ve recently completed the score for a TV cartoon series in the States — the producer asked them to do it after hearing “Saucerfull Of Secrets” — and for an Italian film to be released here in February.
An album of the music will be released at the same time and as the group will be recording a further album later this month there are plenty of Floyd goodies on the horizon.
“Film scores are very hard work,” commented Richard. “On the Italian film we worked solidly day and night for two weeks to produce 20 minutes of music. But it is very satisfying work and we’d like to do more of it.”
He went on to reveal that the score also contains some un-Floydian segments; the group using blues and country and western music at certain points.
New Tour
In February they start a concert tour at London’s Albert Hall and plan to develop more the Azemuth Co-ordinator used on previous dates.
Richard explained it is a stereo system with either four or eight speakers that can be set up around a concert hall so that the audience is completely immersed in the sound — 360 degrees stereo if you like.
They would also like to work with an orchestra. “We want to write a complete work for the orchestra and ourselves so that the group is another part of the orchestra.”
Then, if it is possible, the orchestra would be split up and positioned around the hall — along with the speakers — so the audience would he sitting in the middle of the music.
I don’t think they fear any competition from the Trems with that!
(ARTICLE ABOUT Pink Floyd FROM New Musical Express, December 13, 1969)

LP1
01. A1 Astronomy Domine (08:27)
02. A2 Careful With That Axe Eugene (08:47)
03. B1 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (09:24)
04. B2 A Saucerful of Secrets (12:54)

LP2
01. C1 Sysyphus (Wright) (13:23)
02. C2a Grantchester Meadows (Waters) (07:55)
03. C2b Several Species Of Small Furry Animals (Waters) (04:23)
04. D1 The Narrow Way (Gilmour) (12:15)
05. D2 The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Mason) (08:44)

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Julian Lennon - Valotte (1984) (Russian Vinyl)

Year: 15 October 1984, Recorded February–August 1984, (LP 1987)
Label: Melodia Records (Russia), C60 25595 002
Style: Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 39:13
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 257 Mb

"When Julian Lennon Joined the Family Business with 'Valotte'":
John Lennon's eldest son, Julian, had to know he'd be faced with a lot of unfair comparisons when he decided to start his own recording career: Following in a parent's professional footsteps can always be tricky, and that goes at least double when the parent in question was a beloved public figure whose life ended in a heartbreaking act of senseless violence. With his debut album, Valotte, however, Julian proved he was more than just a famous surname.
In fact, according to Lennon lore, Julian sent his first series of demos out anonymously, thus acquiring the interest of Charisma Records boss Tony Stratton-Smith purely on the strength of his work. It makes for a great story – and it's probably exactly what anyone else would do if they were trying to establish themselves apart from a famous parent.
Even if it's true, that somewhat disingenuously skirts the issue that would ultimately dog Valotte along with each subsequent Julian Lennon record: Vocally and melodically, he can't help but sound a lot like his dad.
"It's not a conscious effort to sing like that. When you sing, you sing," Julian protested in a 1986 interview with Creem. "It's not like I'm like -- what do you call those guys who mimic people? Whatever comes out, comes out. Especially for the first album: That's when I really started singing, so there's no way I knew how to mimic anybody. It was just what came natural."
Regardless, with John Lennon's murder still less than five years in the past – and his last posthumous solo hit, "Nobody Told Me," having hit the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic earlier in 1984 – Julian quickly found himself besieged by fans and critics who either thought he sounded too much or not enough like John. Selling two million copies of your first album, as Julian eventually did with Valotte, can be a bewildering experience even under the best of circumstances; for Lennon, who was only 21 at the time, it must have been particularly discombobulating.
It also didn't help that, while it was public knowledge that John had left Julian's mother Cynthia for Yoko Ono when he was a young boy – and that they hadn't always enjoyed a particularly close relationship – many chose to believe he was little more than an idly wealthy kid trading on his family connections to record a vanity album between cashing trust fund checks, no matter how earnestly (and delicately) he tried to point out that it wasn't true.
"No, I didn't," Lennon told an incredulous Melody Maker in 1984 when asked if he had a lot of money growing up. "Still haven't – never have had. I've had as much as anyone else." In fact, Lennon added, while he stood to eventually inherit part of a trust, he and his mother had "been scraping around in flats ever since the word go."
Whatever Lennon's personal financial situation, no scraping sounds were heard in the grooves of Valotte, which was recorded over several months in 1984 in some of the finest studios around, including Muscle Shoals and the Hit Factory. At the helm was Phil Ramone, who Lennon had requested after hearing his work for Billy Joel, and a number of session ringers were drafted for the sessions, including bassist Marcus Miller, percussionist Ralph MacDonald, and legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans, who contributed the chirping hook on the album's biggest single, "Too Late for Goodbyes."
Lennon's label, Atlantic Records, seemed to treat him like a prestige artist all the way around, even hiring director Sam Peckinpah to shoot the "Too Late for Goodbyes" video, and at least initially, their efforts paid off: Valotte peaked in the Top 20 in the U.S. and the U.K., spinning off singles to pop, rock, dance, and adult contemporary formats while Lennon took to the road for his first tour. If the reviews were occasionally dismissive, the public seemed more than willing to embrace Julian as an artist in his own right.
As can so often be the case with young artists who achieve early success, however, that momentum proved difficult to sustain over subsequent releases. Lennon's second release, 1986's The Secret Value of Daydreaming, marked a commercial step down from its predecessor, followed by a steep tumble down the charts for 1989's Mr. Jordan and 1991's Help Yourself. That represented a doubly frustrating decline because it found him losing audience interest and label support just as he started coming into his own as a singer/songwriter – an evolution evidenced by lovely later singles like 1991's "Saltwater").
Looking back, it was a problem Lennon saw developing as early as Valotte. "When the reviews came in and the criticism came in, it was obvious where other people's minds were at as far as I was concerned. People obviously had their own visions or opinions of me that stuck," he admitted in a 1991 interview. "And it's not that I felt I was living under somebody's shadow, but I believe that the press – and, to a degree, the public, because of the press – had created a shadow for me to live under and it was hard to ignore."
"Yes, I have had a few knock-backs – too many to mention. Pulling myself back up on the horse, time and time again, over many years, has been tough," he admitted in 2013. "I have been close to quitting on numerous occasions, especially when after the release of an album the comparisons begin without people having even listened to it."
Still, as he noted in a separate interview, Julian refused to to turn his back on music. "It never goes away, really. But also I get restless if I just do the same thing all the time. My mind wanders too much," he offered in response to a question about his long delays between albums.
"Slowly but surely, after extensive periods of time away from music, it tends to all flood back," Julian added. "Then it’s a question of working with those ideas."
And if Julian Lennon never hits the commercial or creative heights attained by his father, he's long since made his peace with that. "I think everybody should earn their own way in life," he mused during a radio special after Valotte was released. "I mean, if anything is going to come out of anything later, that's fine, but I think at least you should really get out there and have a go for yourself. In the end, success is much more sweeter that way. You're actually proud of what you've done. You had to do it to gain whatever you got from it, you know."
(ultimateclassicrock.com)

01. A1 Valotte (04:20)
02. A2 O.K. For You (03:42)
03. A3 On The Phone (04:53)
04. A4 Space (04:26)
05. A5 Well I Don't Know (04:37)
06. B1 Too Late For Goodbyes (03:38)
07. B2 Lonely (03:56)
08. B3 Say You're Wrong (03:33)
09. B4 Jesse (03:53)
10. B5 Let Me Be (02:09)

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975) (Russian Vinyl)

Year: 12 September 1975, (LP 1991)
Label: AnTrop Records - П91 00213/14, 32395/96
Style: Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 45:28
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 256 Mb

During the writing and production of Wish You Were Here, the members of Pink Floyd were grasping with the their new found stardom and the pressure to deliver another hit album. A serious bout of collective writers block and frequent tour interruptions further added to this pressure over the course of 1974 and early 1975, but eventually the concept came into being and the fine album was completed. While this record was almost totally composed by bassist Roger Waters, and much of its focus is former band member Syd Barrett, this album is really a tour de force for guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, who contributes some indelible textures, riffs and licks throughout the album.
Following the worldwide success of 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon, the group negotiated a new contract which gave them a reported advance of $1,000,000. While touring Europe in 1974, the group composed three extended songs. Two of these, “Raving and Drooling” and “You Gotta Be Crazy” would be held over and reworked as the tracks “Sheep” and Dogs” respectively on the 1977 album Animals. The third piece, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” would become the bookend centerpiece around which this loose concept album would be built.
Wish You Were Here was produced by Pink Floyd as a band with the assistance of engineer Brian Humphries, who had previously worked with the group on the 1969 soundtrack album More. Like its predecessor, the album was recorded at the famed Abbey Road Studios. Being that Humphries never worked there before, he encountered some early difficulties.
But the technical difficulties were nothing compared to the incredible coincidence of Barrett showing up during the mixing of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” which was obviously written about him. Barrett had arrived to attend Gilmour’s wedding on June 5, 1975, while all four band members were in the mixing room. Not a single one of them recognized him at first as he had shaved his head and eyebrows. Once they all realized that it was him, it was obvious that he was unable to partake in a normal conversation and had no idea that he was the subject of the song they were mixing that day. This put a damper on the wedding and unfortunately no member of Pink Floyd saw Syd Barrett again until they attended his 2006 funeral.
The first section of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” sounds totally new age during the beginning section, which was originally developed as “Household Objects”, an experimental piece using ARP synth, Hammond organ and wine glass harmonica. After this long intro, the second instrumental section is much more musically rewarding, built on an indelible four note riff by Gilmour, above which he adds a bluesy lead and below which there is crisp and steady playing by the rest of the group. This second section acts as a kind of overture for the album, with Wright performing a calm synth solo that previews a later piece and Gilmour returning with a more blistering lead. After 8:45, the song proper finally begins with Waters on lead vocals delivering poetic lyrics which describe his take on Barrett’s plight. Gilmour adds a superior, double-tracked lead in between the two verses and the final two minutes of the track is dedicated to an extended sax solo by Dick Parry above a new riff before song dissolves into a link to the next track.
“Welcome to the Machine” is a textual track with an abundance of synth and sound effects and the most substantial in studio production. However, this is probably the least musically creative as it is just a strummed acoustic which guides along the dark and mechanical sound effects with little to no traditional rhythms. The song does build a bit in the middle but then unfortunately reverts back to same arrangement for the last verse, missing an opportunity to bring it to a stronger sonic level. The album’s second side starts with Gilmour’s wild, treated guitar riffs which are expertly accompanied by Waters’ bass and Wright’s electric piano for a rich rhythmic experience. Wright then adds the signature synth riff, leading to the verses which feature guest Roy Harper on lead vocals, who was brought in when both Waters and Gilmour were unsatisfied with their respective attempts at singing the song. In any case, Harper’s style fits nicely with the Pink Floyd sound, seeming to split the difference between Waters and Gilmour in style, while adding his own flourish to the end of each chorus. The final two minutes of the song are dedicated to a Gilmour guitar lead over increasingly funky rhythms by the rest of the band, especially Mason who gets more and more intense as the outro proceeds.
Starting with a unique sonic intro, “Wish You Were Here” is the true highlight of the album, as stripped-down acoustic track featuring Gilmour’s gruff and folksy vocals. The song’s full arrangement contains tremendous plethora of musical tid-bits ranging from a county-type piano, to a bluesy, slide acoustic lead, to the modern sounding synth pads. This unidirectional track’s hook comes during the single final verse. which leads to the song’s climatic outro featuring Gilmour vocally mocking his own lead acoustic while the song fades into a distant wind effect. This leads to the second suite of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, which starts with a cool bass and guitar thump very reminiscent to “One of These Days” from 1971’s Meddle, right down to the distorted lap steel guitar played by Gilmour. After an abrupt return to the main theme for two verses, the suite just as abruptly turns to a funky clavinet-driven section led by Wright, which is entertaining in spite of the fact that it breaks the musical cohesion. The final parts of the song seem to be extraneous as they really seem to lack focus and direction, just pure filler to fill out the album before a long, anticlimactic fade, a really unfortunate way to end this fine album.
Wish You Were Here became an instant commercial success, topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, with EMI reportedly unable to print enough copies to satisfy initial demand. Both Gilmour and Wright have cited this album as their favorite by the band and, while it had initially received lukewarm critical reviews, the album has grown to near universal acclaim over the past four decades. Wright and David Gilmour have each cited Wish You Were Here as their favorite Pink Floyd album.
Classic Rock Review
Posted on September 12, 2015
CategoriesAlbum Reviews
Tags1975 Albums, 2015 Reviews, Album Reviews by Ric Albano, British Artists, David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters
Part of Classic Rock Review’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of 1975 albums.

01. A1 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5) (13:54)
02. A2 Welcome To The Machine (07:46)
03. B1 Have A Cigar (05:04)
04. B2 Wish You Were Here (05:52)
05. B3 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9) (12:50)

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Paice Ashton Lord - Malice In Wonderland (1976) (Vinyl 1st press)

Year: 1976 (LP 1976, 1st press)
Label: Oyster, Polydor Records (UK), SUPER 2391 269
Style: Hard rock, Rock
Country: England
Time: 43:57
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 293 Mb

When DEEP PURPLE disbanded in 1976, Jon Lord and Ian Paice decided to start a new band, not trying to recreate what they already had with DEEP PURPLE but to explore new musical directions.
As frontman they recruited singer and keyboard player Tony Ashton. Jon Lord had already collaborated with Tony Ashton composing the soundtrack for “The Last Rebel” (published 1971 as “Musical score composed by Tony Ashon & Jon Lord, performed by Ashton, Gardner & Dyke”) and on “First Of The Big Bands” (published 1974 as “Tony Ashton & Jon Lord”), an album which could be seen as some sort of blueprint for “Malice in Wonderland”.
The lineup was completed with Paul Martinez on bass and Bernie Marsden on guitar, a brass section fronted by Howie Casey and two female background singers, Sheila McKinley and Jeanette McKinley.
The recordings took place in Munich in autumn 1976 in basement studio of the Arabella hotel (inspiration for the song “Arabella”) and the album was released in early 1977, surprising many DEEP PURPLE fans with a mix of Rock, Blues, Funk and Jazz.
To promote the album, a tour covering major European cities had been planned, but as tickets didn’t sell as expected, most dates were dropped from the oncoming tour, leaving just five British dates to be performed.
As time went by, Tony Ashton felt more and more uncomfortable with his role as frontman of PAL and it also turned out the fans needed more time to adjust to the sound of Paice Ashton Lord as expected. By the end of 1977, the band started the recordings for a second album, but as the momentum was gone the album was never finished and the band called it quits in 1978.
(thehighwaystar.com)

Ian Paice - drums, percussion
Tony Ashton - vocals, keyboards
Jon Lord - keyboards, synthesizer
Paul Martinez - bass
Bernie Marsden - guitar, backing vocals

Technical:
Martin Birch - engineer

01. A1 Ghost Story (05:45)
02. A2 Remember The Good Times (05:46)
03. A3 Arabella (04:07)
04. A4 Silas And Jerome (03:24)
05. A5 Dance With Me Baby (03:20)
06. B1 On The Road Again, Again (03:59)
07. B2 Sneaky Private Lee (06:09)
08. B3 I'm Gonna Stop Drinking (05:16)
09. B4 Malice In Wonderland (06:07)

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