Thursday, April 30, 2020

Yoel Levi - The Artistry Of Yoel Levi Conductor (1993) CD

Year: 1993
Label: Telarc Records (Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.), CD-89108
Style: Classical
Country: Romania - Israel (16 August 1950)
Time: 61:45
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 216 Mb

Yoel Levi (born 16 August 1950) is an Israeli musician and conductor. Born in Romania, Levi grew up in Israel.
He studied at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music, receiving a Master of Arts degree with distinction. He continued studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music with Mendi Rodan. He also studied with Franco Ferrara in Siena and Rome, with Kirill Kondrashin in the Netherlands, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Levi won first prize at the International Conductors Competition in Besancon in 1978. He spent six years with the Cleveland Orchestra, from 1978 to 1984, as assistant conductor to Lorin Maazel, and with the title of resident conductor from 1980 to 1984.[1] He became music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 1988 and held the post until 2000, when he was succeeded by Robert Spano. With the Atlanta Symphony, Levi made several commercial recordings for Telarc, including music of Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Miklos Rozsa, and Shostakovich. Following his Atlanta music directorship, he held the title of music director emeritus of the Atlanta Symphony from 2000 to 2005.
Outside of the United States, Levi was Principal Conductor of the Brussels Philharmonic from 2001 to 2007. He became principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2001, the first Israeli with that title. Levi served as Principal Conductor of the Orchestre national d'Ile-de-France from 2005 to 2012. In August 2013, Levi was named the next music director and principal conductor of the KBS Symphony Orchestra, effective January 2014, with an initial contract of 2 years.
In 1997, Levi was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree by Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and also gave the commencement address.
In June 2001, he was named Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
(en.wikipedia.org)

01. Prokofiev - Montagues and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet (03:49)
02. Mendelssohn - Scherzo from A Midsummer Night's Dream (04:23)
03. Stravinsky - Gavotta con due variazioni from Pulcinella Suite (03:30)
04. Hindemith - Allegro from Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria (04:14)
05. Prokofiev - Larghetto from Symphony No 1 in D major Op 25 (04:10)
06. Sibelius - Vivacissimo from Symphony No 2 in D major Op 43 (04:17)
07. Stravinsky - Danse sacrale I'Elue from The Rite of Spring (04:09)
08. Barber - Adagio for strings Op 11 (08:18)
09. Shostakovich - Allegro from Symphony No 9 in E-flat major Op 70 (05:17)
10. Sibelius - Andante from Symphony No 1 in E minor Op 39 (04:51)
11. Copland - Interlude from Music for The Theatre (05:14)
12. Moussorgsky - La Cabane su des pattes de poule - The Hut on Fowl's Legs (03:33)
13. Moussorgsky - The Grate Gate Kiev from Pictures at an Exibition (05:54)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tina Turner - Foreign Affair (1989) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 1989 (LP 1990)
Label: Melodia Records (Russia), A60 00707 000
Style: Pop
Country: Brownsville, Tennessee, U.S. (1939)
Time: 53:04
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 371 Mb

On Foreign Affair, it’s debatable whether Tina Turner really was “The Best”. The album, 27 years old as of Tuesday, September 13, wasn’t a major success as such in the States, considering it was her third release, post her massive comeback six years prior.
However, on the other hand, it was a huge international success in Europe, number one in Germany and Sweden, amongst other places, and topping the overall European Chart for four weeks. It was also her first UK number one album. There it sold 1.5 million copies, worldwide it sold a more than respectable total of 6 million.
With the album cover, there’s three people sat down on chairs in a triangular formation. Pointing towards the listener is Tina herself, hand in that wild hair of hers, the two others, men, pointing away north-west and north-east. These guys, perceptively, could be an Italian American mobster, big, heavy jacket and pork pie to the left; and a white, British working class man, maybe a miner or a docker, big, work worn jacket and flat cap to the right.
Does this make Turner anchored, her position between them, a black, fiery maned queen of Africa? The Third World sandwiched by the two premier exponents of First World ideology? Furthermore, because of the blue hue over the whole picture, you can’t tell if they’re sat at a sandy beach, or a snow strewn resort in the Alps, or something. Is it evoking the skies or oceans, arguably the two things universal no matter where you go?
The opening track, “Steamy Windows”, kicks in rollicking and moody, though somehow understated. This doesn’t last too long, though, when the chorus kicks in. Tina belts out her vocals and the band get a tad wild. Harmonica heralds a brief rhythm section refrain, driving and head nodding.
“The Best” comes in with that thumping bass drum and low, bassy synthesiser. Tina certainly puts her identity upon a track which was originally performed by Bonnie Tyler. It’s passionate, and it’s fair to say she spills her guts out on this one. It’s an uplifting one, and it’s easy to see why, for many, it’s her signature track.
The crescendo towards the saxophone solo, and it’s subsequent play, might bring a tear to those caught up in the histrionics of that particular moment. The bass drum and a light tinkling bring the track right down with excellent dynamics, before raising for another epic climax of sheer, searing emotion.
Track three, “You Know Who (Is Doing You Know What)”, is quite a moody number, somewhat rooted in the blues. Tell-tale signs to the contrary are the bass synthesiser, which in itself actually works quite well. Bossy and authoritative, it underpins the whole arrangement, really holding it down. Passionate, bluesy guitar, up the other end, takes flight over the top; sad, emotive and a tad triumphant.
Following track, “Undercover Agent For The Blues”, has a walking beat, so much so it’s maybe moodier and more blues inflected than anything preceding it. Tina’s vocals are definitely hot and heavy, almost personifying the identity of opener, “Steamy Windows”. Her delivery then comes straight from the gut, not too far from doing damage to those famous vocal chords of hers.
“Look Me In The Heart” is a bit more tender, though there is a rhythm akin to a galloping horse. More of a romantic lilt than anything else, though. There’s a touch of melancholy to the proceedings, with the guitar flighty and almost as light as the fluttering of a heart amidst headlong romance. Saxophone brings both the sensual and sexual.
Next up, “Be Tender With Me Baby”, is similar, a down on your luck tale probably, again, concerning matters of the heart. This rocks emphatically, considering it’s walking pace. The massive drum sound really gives the song extra punch. Her high register performance seems to quest to reach that power reached by those massive drums. A passionate guitar solo follows, like reckless love and the love of the chase.
Then comes “You Can’t Stop Me Loving You”, which’s quite a busy one, a syncopated effort that’s almost funky. Parts of it seem evocative of “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Another gutsy performance, though, in tandem with some really rocking, verging on hard rock and heavy metal, guitar. Passages of keyboard lend a certain graveness to proceedings, like a stalker in denial in that you can’t stop me loving you.
“Ask Me How I Feel” has a certain element to it reminiscent of “The Best”. Not so much a blatant copy as progressive writing whereby you’d largely consider such repetition as artsy, thematic and clever. With her urging for you to ask that question implied in title, it’s like she’s shoving, angry. Like asking her a stupid or rhetorical question, or her asking you something for which there can only be one answer. Yes, she’s angry. Yes, she’s passionate about, and hacked off about, something.
The excellent “Falling Like Rain” is thumping and clapping, the drums really give the song anthemic qualities. A, yes, massive sound. The chorus is satisfying, big and bold. The keyboards are thick and ring out, each note hammered out with a degree of finality. It really grooves along.
“I Don’t Wanna Lose You” is, as the title suggests, forlorn and desperate. It ticks along, slow so you can hear every word she says as she tries to make you stay. A middle section builds to a crescendo and with a never out of place saxophone solo. The height of passion, maybe suggesting embrace, reconciliation and resolution.
“Not Enough Romance”, has processed drum, aided with sparse bass. This builds up come the chorus, the whole backdrop a lot more busy and animated. In many respects, said chorus is beautiful. Light like the aforementioned fluttering and, what’s more, strings of the heart. The build up to the final chorus reinforces that beauty.
Title track and closer, “Foreign Affair”, drives like an expensive sports car driving along winding roads on continental Europe. Foreign affair, indeed. The word, again, is moody. Rooted in the blues but updating it into an Eighties context, like what a lot of Chris Rea stuff of that era did. Saxophone lends the track extra passion before fadeout.
The album has a good mix of rock, blues and pop, arguably well exemplified by “The Best”, “Ask Me How I Feel” and “Falling Like Rain”. The pop sensibilities of “The Best” are such a grand, pop production that it really hammers home when you listen. Considering it was, originally, Bonnie Tyler’s song, she certainly made it her own. For a rough equivalent, think the stamp Whitney Houston put on Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.
With “Ask Me How I Feel”, it’s similar in some respects, maybe a nod to artistic repetition, though the passion evident on the track is of a more aggressive, maybe confrontational nature. So much so, you feel you’re being addressed personally, the end result most likely that you retreat, tail between legs, having answered, meekly, her imploring rhetoric. She, you could argue, is channelling the grief of the blues, deep set in the soul and gut, and getting angry evermore.
“Falling Like Rain”, with that big sound, fills, you could say, arenas in a way, maybe due to the rock instrumentation, that “The Best” just couldn’t cut. It’s a primal thing, probably due to the drums instead of relying upon, however bold, that bassy synthesiser of the latter.
Tina Turner’s now, for a very long time now, an international treasure. She’s bold, brassy, a real fighter, but still has a vulnerability that lends itself towards excellent songs and excellent performances.
(Posted on September 18, 2016 by Andrew Watson. www.wepluggoodmusic.com)

01. A1 Steamy Windows (04:07)
02. A2 The Best (05:32)
03. A3 You Know Who (Is Doing You Know What) (03:48)
04. A4 Undercover Agent For The Blues (05:23)
05. A5 Look Me In The Heart (03:46)
06. A6 Be Tender With Me Baby (04:19)
07. B1 You Can't Stop Me Loving You (04:02)
08. B2 Ask Me How I Feel (04:52)
09. B3 Falling Like Rain (04:07)
10. B4 I Don't Wanna Lose You (04:23)
11. B5 Not Enough Romance (04:07)
12. B6 Foreign Affair (04:30)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Deep Purple - The House Of Blue Light (1987) [Russian Vinyl]

Year: 1987 (LP 1988)
Label: Melodia Records (Russia), C60 27357 004
Style: Hard Rock
Country: Hertford, Hertfordshire, England (1968)
Time: 46:59
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 337 Mb

Of the seventies hard-rock dinosaurs that still roam the earth, Deep Purple is one of the few with any credibility left in its crunch. The House of Blue Light — the second album by Purple’s classic In Rock lineup since their return to active duty — is certainly a marked improvement over their lukewarm ’84 comeback, Perfect Strangers, and, except for a couple of outright duds on side two, is as good as this band has ever been since its "Smoke on the Water" salad days.
"Bad Attitude" opens the album with five minutes of vintage Machine Head sludge — Ian Paice’s thunder sticks calling the proceedings to order with a rigid goose-step beat, Ian Gillan raping his tonsils with the vigor of yesteryear. And "Mad Dog" is basically an ’87-model "Highway Star,” high-speed metal fortified with Jon Lord’s lusty Hammondorgan sound and the brass-knuckle guitar of Ritchie Blackmore.
The band has spiked its old hammer-and-anvil sound with a little future tech here and there: "The Unwritten Law" features subtly deployed electro-hand-claps and percolating sequencer amid its clenched-fist chorus and Blackmore’s loco fretwork. But it’s only when Purple turns on the retro-charm full blast that The House of Blue Light really goes up in flames. "Hard Lovin’ Woman" and "Dead or Alive" are both body-slam rockers in the old blitzkrieg spirit of "Speed King" and "Fireball,” while Paice’s sledgehammer-of-the-gods drumming and Blackmore’s punch-your-lights-out chords keep "Call of the Wild,” with its atypically poppy hook, from turning into neo-Boston fluff.
Fortunately, all that crash 'n' burn also obscures most of the album’s lyric embarrassments. Although Gillan is hardly the Alan Alda of heavy metal, "Mitzi Dupree,” a heavy-plodding blues, may be a new low in rock-star sexism (“I said what is this queen of the ping pong business/She smiled what do you think/It has no connection with China/I said oow have another drink”). But aside from the rather purple poetry, the ho-hum Armageddon stomp "Strangeways" and a notable lack throughout the album of classic Blackmore psycho-chicken-scratch soloing, The House of Blue Light is a surprisingly strong return from the tar pits. There’s no "Smoke on the Water" here, but Deep Purple still has a pretty good fire going down below.
(By David Fricke. "RollingStone". February 26, 1987 5:00AM ET)

Ian Gillan - lead vocals, conga, harmonica
Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
Roger Glover - bass
Jon Lord - keyboard, synthesizer
Ian Paice - drums, percussion

01. A1 Bad Attitude (04:47)
02. A2 The Unwritten Law (04:39)
03. A3 Call of the Wild (04:53)
04. A4 Mad Dog (04:36)
05. A5 Black and White (03:44)
06. B1 Hard Lovin Woman (03:27)
07. B2 The Spanish Archer (05:00)
08. B3 Strangeways (06:00)
09. B4 Mitzi Dupree (05:07)
10. B5 Dead or Alive (04:42)

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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of a Madman (1981) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 1981 (LP 1981)
Label: Jet Records (UK), JET/LP 237
Style: Hard Rock
Country: UK (born 3 December 1948, Aston, Birmingham)
Time: 43:46
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 301 Mb

Ozzy Osbourne’s second solo album, Diary of a Madman, is a classic rock record in every way – monster guitars, Ozzy’s eerie, wailing vocals, riffs so massive they slap you round the facce, and underpinning it all, pounding drum beats.
Released in 1982, the album has since been re-released twice, most recently in 2002 when the original bass and drum parts of Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were re-recorded by Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, part of the fall-out from a messy legal dispute between Daisley, Kerslake and Osbourne. Fans of the original loudly objected to the change, but those coming to the album for the first time will hear a band that sounds tight and on the money.
The songs on this album are in the classic rock mold, but they are lifted out of the ordinary by the legendary rock axe God, Randy Rhoads. Diary Of A Madman was the last record he played on before his death while on tour with Osbourne, and his huge guitar sound is all over the record with power riffs and extended guitar solos crammed in at every opportunity.
Bonus live track I Don’t Know perfectly showcases the live magnificence of Osbourne at his peak, with Rhoads giving a virtuoso performance. It makes you understand how the self-proclaimed 'Prince of Darkness' has kept his devoted fans over the past 30 years.
Title track, "Diary Of A Madman", combines strings with a minor key riff, creating a memorable slice of rock that is over-the-top in all the right ways, but other tracks such as "SATO" and "Little Dolls" are filler.
Rock ballad "Tonight" provides a welcome change and "You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll" is a real stand-out track. "Flying High Again" has an almost-bluesy feel, and album-opener Over the Mountain sets the tone for the fast-paced, straight-forward rock on this album.
It might be a conventional rock record, but the thudderingly raucous guitars and the strangely ethereal and creepy vocals mean that it pushes all the right buttons. If you’re a fan of Osbourne, add this one to your collection.
(BBC Review. Helen Groom 2007)

01. A1 Over The Mountain (04:34)
02. A2 Flying High Again (04:45)
03. A3 You Can't Kill Rock and Roll (07:03)
04. A4 Believer (05:19)
05. B1 Little Dolls (05:42)
06. B2 Tonight (05:54)
07. B3 S.A.T.O (04:11)
08. B4 Diary Of A Madman (06:16)

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Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of a Madman (1981) CD

Year: 1981 (CD 1995)
Label: Epic (U.S.), EK 67236
Style: Hard Rock
Country: UK (born 3 December 1948, Aston, Birmingham)
Time: 43:24
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 308 Mb

Proving the success of his first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, was no fluke, Ozzy Osbourne reestablished himself as the wildman of commercial metal with Diary of a Madman, which came out on Nov. 7, 1981. Following a similar structure to that of Blizzard, Osbourne skillfully combined storming fist-in-the-air rockers like “Over the Mountain,” “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.” with more subtle and dynamic songs such as “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” and the heartrending power ballad “Tonight.” The only thing missing was a classical guitar instrumental, but guitar god Randy Rhoads didn’t need a solo spotlight since he shined bright as the sun all over the record.
Like many albums Osbourne was involved in during the years he was a veritable rock 'n' roll maniac, Diary of a Madman was accompanied by controversy and legal wrangles. Bassist Bob Daisley allegedly wrote much of the music and most of the lyrics on the album and drummer Lee Kerslake claimed he came up with the main ideas for “Flying High Again” and “Over The Mountain,” yet neither the bassist nor drummer received songwriting or performance credits (the liner notes credited bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge). And when the album was reissued in 2002, the original tracks were completely erased and re-recorded by bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica) and drummer Mike Bordin (Faith No More).
To Ozzy’s adoring fans, it didn’t matter who the rhythm section featured. It was all about Ozzy’s iconoclastic voice and Rhoads’ exceptional neo-classical guitar playing, and Diary of a Madman was another amazing roller coaster ride full of musical depth, sharp songwriting and top-notch performances.
Like Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman was recorded quickly in an effort to get Ozzy back on the road. Most of the songs were written throughout 1980 and by February, 1981 the band was at Ridge Farm Studios in Rusper, England with producer Max Norman. In less than a month the album was complete. Tragically, the album would be the last studio album to feature Rhoads, who died in a plane crash on March 19, 1982.
“Randy felt a bit rushed for Diary of a Madman,” his brother Kelle Rhoads told me in 2011. “He wished he had a little bit more time; he was a perfectionist. Of course, what’s on there is pretty good, but he had a little more time to work on the first record.”
For most bands in the ‘80s, a month in the studio was barely enough time to set up the mikes and tweak the board levels, let along track the songs, but Norman, who cut his teeth on Blizzard of Ozz, had vision, drive and the skill to capture the band’s performances quickly and spontaneously. Diary of a Madman is a crisp, polished recording in which every instrument is clearly audible and the lows and highs are perfectly balanced. For the self-deprecating Osbourne, his singing was the weakest element of the record.
“Randy was the highlight of that album and everything he did,” he told me in 1997. “He could do anything and I was very lucky to have him. His talent made me sound better. I don’t especially like the sound of my voice and I don’t know why people keep wanting me to sing and perform.”
Diary of a Madman entered the Billboard album chart at No. 16, and the album features three singles that landed on the Mainstream Rock Chart; “Flying High Again” hit No. 2, “Over The Mountain” peaked at No. 38 and “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” made it to No. 41. On May 10, 1982, Diary of a Madman was certified platinum by the RIAA and on Oct. 26, 1994, it went triple platinum.
In addition to its 2002 reissue, the album was released in a deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition in 2011 with the original bass and drum parts restored. The release also featured a bonus live disc recorded during the second leg of the Blizzard of Ozz tour. Highlights include early performances of “Flying High Again” and “Believer” as well as the Black Sabbath songs “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave” and “Paranoid.”
Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.
(Jon Wiederhorn. November 7, 2019. loudwire.com)

01. Over The Mountain (04:31)
02. Flying High Again (04:44)
03. You Can't Kill Rock And Roll (06:59)
04. Believer (05:17)
05. Little Dolls (05:38)
06. Tonight (05:50)
07. S.A.T.O (04:07)
08. Diary Of A Madman (06:15)

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Monday, April 20, 2020

Cactus - Restrictions (1971) [Vinyl Rip, 1st Press]

Year: 1971 (LP 1971 1st Press)
Label: Atlantic Records (UK), K 40307
Style: Hard Rock, Rock
Country: Long Island, New York, U.S.
Time: 35:43
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 216 Mb

The plan was for the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice to join with guitar god Jeff Beck and his singer Rod Stewart in a supergroup of sorts in the fall of 1969. The plan was derailed when Beck had an automobile accident that incapacitated him for the next 18 months. Stewart then joined pal Ron Wood in the revamped Faces (and pursued a somewhat lucrative solo career), leaving Bogert and Appice to find alternates for their dream band. They recruited guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels, Ted Nugent's Amboy Dukes and The Buddy Miles Express, and singer Rusty Day from Ted Nugent's Amboy Dukes.
This line-up managed three albums (Cactus, One Way... Or Another, and Restrictions) before interband troubles led to Jim McCarty quitting at the end of 1971. Shortly afterwards Rusty Day was fired from the group. The fourth and last Cactus album ('Ot 'N' Sweaty) featured original rhythm section Bogart and Appice joined by Werner Fritzschings on guitar, Duane Hitchings on keyboards and Peter French on vocals.
After Cactus' dissolution in 1972, Bogert and Appice finally joined with Beck to form Beck, Bogert & Appice. After one studio album (the self titled Beck, Bogart & Appice) and one live album (Live In Japan, released only in Japan) the band dissolved. Their second album remains unreleased to this day, along with recordings of the band's last concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 26, 1974.
The New Cactus Band, led by Duane Hitchings, released one album (Son Of Cactus) and featured no original Cactus members. Mike Pinera, formerly of Blues Image and Iron Butterfly, came in on guitar, along with Roland Robinson on bass and Jerry Norris on drums. The New Cactus Band soon disbanded.
In the late 70s Rusty Day formed a new version of Cactus in North Florida, where he had relocated. This version of Cactus featured Steve Dansby on guitar, John Sauter on bass, and Gary Moffatt on drums. There are no known studio recordings from this era, though live recordings do circulate.
After a long hiatus Cactus unexpectedly emerged in June 2006 with two appearances in New York City: a radio appearance on 92.3 Free FM, and their first show since 1972 at B.B. King's Blues Club in Times Square. This show was a warm up for the gig which sparked the reunion, an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival in Norje, Sweden. The 2006 version of Cactus sees original members Carmine Appice, Tim Bogart, and Jim McCarty reunited and joined by Jimmy Kunes on vocals. Randy Pratt joined the band in NYC and Sweden on harmonica.
(www.playityet.com/artists/cactus)

Matrix: Side A: K 40307 A1, Side B: K 40307 B1

01. A1 Restrictions (06:15)
02. A2 Token Chokin (03:10)
03. A3 Guiltless Glider (08:40)
04. B1 Evil (03:19)
05. B2 Alaska (03:39)
06. B3 Sweet Sixteen (03:18)
07. B4 Bag Drag (05:02)
08. B5 Mean Night In Cleveland (02:16)

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Blind Faith - Blind Faith (1969) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: August 1969 (LP 1969), Recorded 20 February – 24 June 1969
Label: RSO Records (Italy), 2479 176
Style: Classic Rock
Country: Ripley, Surrey, England
Time: 42:30
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 243 Mb

Rising from the ashes of two defunct English rock bands, Blind Faith lived a very short life as a “super group” in 1969. Despite being together for less than one year, they manageg to release one eponymous album which captured lightning in a bottle by aptly displaying the immense talents of the members of this quartet which seemed to effortlessly jive together as a group. Beyond the heap of well-deserved critical praise, the album was also very successful commercially. Blind Faith reached the top of the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic and sold more than half a million copies within the first month of its release.
The group began in the summer of 1968, when the band Cream broke up shortly after the release of their album Wheels of Fire. Guitarist Eric Clapton began jamming in his basement with keyboardist Steve Winwood of the group Traffic, who had also taken a hiatus at the time. The two had had previously collaborated on a project called “Powerhouse” in the mid 1960s and while Clapton was somewhat hesitant to start a new group, Winwood was enthusiastic to move forward. He enlisted bassist Ric Grech, formerly of the band Family, and Clapton’s Cream band mate Ginger Baker on drums. When Clapton finally relented, he gave the new group the name “Blind Faith” as a cynical reference to his outlook on the project.
By early 1969, the band entered Olympic Studios in London under the supervision of producer Jimmy Miller, who tried to keep them focused on developing solid material rather than just loose jams (although there was plenty of that). By this time, buzz about this new group began to circulate among fans and the press. In June, the group released a limited edition promo single called “Change of Address”, which immediately sold out despite the fact that the group’s name and band members were omitted from the label. This was an early indicator of the coming success of Blind Faith.
Winwood composed most of the original material on the album, starting with “Had to Cry Today”, which proves to be a good showcase for all the individual talents of the quartet. Starting with a straight-forward hard rock riff and later morphing to a more complex arrangement during the verses and choruses, the song showcases Clapton’s versatility of multiple guitar styles along with Winwood’s moody and fantastic vocal crooning. The song does break down and become a little unfocused in second half, but is otherwise a great album starter. An even finer Winwood composition is “Can’t Find My Way Home”, one of the most indelible moments on this album. This is a soft and melancholy foray into Celtic folk with contemporary lyrics that act as a spiritual ode to young rockers at the hung-over end of the swinging sixties. The ballad gets a bit more intense during the slightly improvised outro, where Clapton’s acoustic picking is joined by Baker’s jazzy drum beats.
The Buddy Holly cover “Well All Right” is a fun rocker, driven mainly by Winwood’s piano and organ throughout, with Clapton playing a much more minor role with just an opening and recurring riff. Much like the upcoming music of the re-formed Traffic of the early seventies, the song dissolves into a funky jam with Grech and Baker providing great rhythms. Clapton’s lone composition, “Presence of the Lord”, is the best song on the album. Almost like a fusion Gospel/rock ballad through the verses and choruses with Winwood playing R&B electric piano, the song enters a fantastic bridge interlude. Here Clapton does some of his best guitar work ever, wailing through a wah-wah laced jam which carries over into the final verse, the finest moment on the album. The lyrics reflect a period of personal turmoil for Clapton and act in concert with the supergroup’s name.
The second side contains only two tracks, starting with  “Sea of Joy”, an underrated classic on this album. Well ahead of its time, the song contains elements of hard rock, folk, and country along with pleasant vocals by Winwood and a violin solo by Grech. Baker’s “Do What You Like” contains a groovy backbeat in the vein of Santana. But at fifteen and a half minutes, the song is ridiculously long and proves to show that Blind Faith falls about one song short of being an absolute classic. While the jams on this song are all respectable, when a long chanting section gets more disorganized and dissonant, it is clear the group is just filling in the time to make this an LP.
The lack of a full catalogue of songs, caused Blind Faith’s few live shows to become partial tributes to Cream and Traffic, which led to Clapton’s quick departure and the group’s demise. Following Blind Faith, Steve Winwood began a solo project which morphed into a re-formed Traffic in 1970, this time with Ric Grech added as the bassist for the band. Baker formed the fusion Ginger Baker’s Air Force before moving to Nigeria, where he lived from 1970 until 1976. Clapton continued his incredible workload, recording both his debut solo album and one with Derek and the Dominos in 1970. While the group parted suddenly, all members have looked back favorably on Blind Faith and the rock world is certainly richer because of it.
(Classic Rock Review, January 3, 2014, Album Reviews by Ric Albano. www.classicrockreview.com)

Eric Claptonguitar, vocals
Steve Winwoodorgan, bass, guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals, harmonica
Ginger Bakerpercussion, drums
Ric Grechbass, violin, vocals

Matrix Side A: 2479 176 A 520 220580, Side B: 2479 176 B 520

01. A1 Had To Cry Today (08:54)
02. A2 Can't Find My Way Home (03:18)
03. A3 Well All Right (04:29)
04. A4 Presence Of The Lord (04:51)
05. B1 Sea Of Joy (05:26)
06. B2 Do What You Like (15:31)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Bad Company - Burnin Sky (1977) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: March 3, 1977 (LP 1977)
Label: Island Records (UK), ILPS 9441
Style: Rock, Hard Rock
Country: Westminster, London, England
Time: 45:08
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 275 Mb

The string finally ran out for Bad Company with their fourth album, Burnin' Sky. Their approach was so simple that it almost inevitably became formulaic, and although Mick Ralphs continued to screech with his sparse guitar leads and Paul Rodgers continued to present his lust in a soulful voice -- well, one had heard it all before several times by now. A band that begins life declaring "I can't get enough of your love" doesn't really have anywhere to go, and by this, their fourth album, Bad Company were getting sloppy around the edges, tossing in a '50s pastiche in "Everything I Need," crooning "The Happy Wanderer" as if they were on a drunken pub crawl. There were plenty of those patented ominous midtempo rockers, too, of course, but nothing you'd want to add to the set list. Of course, the real reason this was the first of the band's LPs to miss the Top Ten in the U.S. and the U.K. is that last point: only one hit single in the title track. Clearly, it was time to try something new, but after three years of stadium rocking, what Bad Company wanted to try instead was a vacation; they weren't heard from again for two years.
(www.allmusic.com)

Burnin' Sky is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Bad Company. It was released on March 3, 1977.[2] Burnin' Sky was recorded in France at Chateau d'Herouville in July and August 1976 with future The Rolling Stones engineer Chris Kimsey but its release was delayed until March 1977 as to not compete with the band's then-current album Run with the Pack.
The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 and No. 17 in the UK Albums Chart. The album was remastered and re-released in 1994. The cover is similar to the poster for the 1969 Sam Peckinpah film The Wild Bunch. In the 2000 movie Almost Famous, the fictitious band Stillwater's first T-shirt is strikingly similar to the Burnin' Sky album cover.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

01. A1 Burnin Sky (05:09)
02. A2 Morning Sun (04:07)
03. A3 Leaving You (03:24)
04. A4 Like Water (04:20)
05. A5 Knapsack (01:21)
06. A6 Everything I Need (03:21)
07. B1 Heartbeat (02:39)
08. B2 Peace Of Mind (03:24)
09. B3 Passing Time (02:31)
10. B4 Too Bad (03:53)
11. B5 Man Needs Woman (03:48)
12. B6 Master Of Ceremony (07:07)

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

Alan Price - Metropolitan Man (1975) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 1975 (LP 1975)
Label: Polydor Records (UK), 2442 133 DELUX
Style: Rock
Country: UK (born 19 April 1942, County Durham, UK)
Time: 43:39
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1, mp3
Size: 255, 104 Mb

Alan Price (born 19 April 1942) is an English musician, best known as the original keyboardist for the British band the Animals and for his subsequent solo work.
Price was born in Fatfield, Washington, County Durham, and was educated at Jarrow Grammar School, County Durham. He is a self-taught musician and was a founding member of the Tyneside group "The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo", which was later renamed the Animals. His organ-playing on songs by the Animals, such as "The House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "Bring It On Home to Me" was a key element in the group's success.
After leaving the Animals, Price went on to have success on his own with his own band the Alan Price Set and later with Georgie Fame. He introduced the songs of Randy Newman to a wider audience. Later, he appeared on his own television show as well as achieving success with film scores, including winning critical acclaim for his musical contribution to the film O Lucky Man! (1973) as well as writing the score to the stage musical Andy Capp. Price has also acted in films and television productions.
Music:
Price formed the Animals in 1962 and left the band in 1965 to form the Alan Price Set, with the line-up of Price, Clive Burrows (baritone saxophone), Steve Gregory (tenor saxophone), John Walters (trumpet), Peter Kirtley (guitar), Rod "Boots" Slade (bass) and "Little" Roy Mills (drums). In the same year, he appeared in the film Dont Look Back, which featured Bob Dylan on tour in the UK.
During 1966, he enjoyed singles success with "I Put a Spell on You", which reached No. 9 in the UK singles chart, and "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo", which reached No. 11 in the same chart. In 1967 the Randy Newman song "Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear", reached No. 4 in the chart as did his self-penned song, "The House That Jack Built". "Don't Stop the Carnival" followed in 1968 and rose to No. 13 in the UK singles charts.
Price went on to host shows such as the musical Price To Play in the late 1960s, which featured Price performing and introducing the music of guests such as Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. His second album, A Price on His Head (1967), featured seven songs by Randy Newman, who was virtually unknown at that time. In August 1967, he appeared with the Animals at the hippy love-in that was held in the grounds of Woburn Abbey.
A later association with Georgie Fame resulted in "Rosetta", which became a Top 20 hit (1971), reaching No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart. An album followed, Fame and Price, Price and Fame Together. During this period Price and Fame secured a regular slot on The Two Ronnies show produced by BBC Television, and also appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Show. He recorded the autobiographical album Between Today and Yesterday (1974) from which the single "Jarrow Song" was taken, returning Price to the UK singles chart at number 6.
Price participated in three reunions of the Animals between 1968 and 1984. In July 1983, the Animals started their last world tour. Price's solo performance of "O Lucky Man" was included in their set. In 1984, they broke up for the final time and the album Greatest Hits Live (Rip It to Shreds) was released, comprising recordings from their concert at Wembley Arena in London supporting The Police.
Price recorded two albums with the Electric Blues Company featuring guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench and keyboardist Zoot Money, the first Covers was recorded in 1994. A Gigster's Life for Me followed in 1996 and was recorded as part of Sanctuary's Blues Masters Series, at Olympic Studios in South-West London.
Since 1996 Price has continued to perform regularly, arrange, write songs and create other works. During the 2000s he has continued to tour the UK with his own band and others including the Manfreds, Maggie Bell and Bobby Tench.
2016 saw the release of Savaloy Dip, an album recorded in 1974, but due to it being accidentally issued in the wrong way, it was recalled by the company. It was intended to be a sequel to O Lucky Man!, but eventually the next album being Between Today and Yesterday, with the title track being taken from the Savaloy Dip recording.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Price)

01. A1 Papers (03:38)
02. A2 Fools Gold (05:54)
03. A3 Nobody Can (03:01)
04. A4 A Little Inch (03:25)
05. A5 Changing Partners (03:25)
06. B1 Mama Divine (03:10)
07. B2 Too Many People (04:19)
08. B3 Keep On Rollin (03:41)
09. B4 It's Not Easy (04:10)
10. B5 Sweet P (03:46)
11. B6 Drinkers Curse (05:07)

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