Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Pretty Things - Rage Before Beauty (1999) CD

Year: 9 March 1999 (CD 2002)
Label: Repertoire Records (Germany), REP 4936
Style: British Rhythm and Blues, Rock
Country: London, England
Time: 64:34
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 433 Mb

Under The Radar: The Pretty Things
Yeah, I know. The Pretty Things aren’t exactly unknown.
Well, to you, maybe, if you’re feigning surprise at the title. Hell, they were The Rolling Stones before the Stones were, and although they never got the press that Mick and the boys got in later life, they were still a significant part of the transition of rock’n’roll way back when. They were unmistakeably cool. They probably created the first concept album, even though Tommy by The Who is what most people will nominate when asked that question.
But even many of those who nod approvingly about Dick Taylor and Phil May and the boys from the 60s assume that it all ended a long time ago. So I’m writing today for those people.
To the amazement of many, in 1999 they came off the mat with a new album almost a quarter century past their zenith. Eight years later they released another (Balboa Island), but I prefer Rage Before Beauty. Here are my words from eleven years ago as they appeared in Consumable Online (including references to cloth-covered speakers and an amazement that men can rock in their fifties!)
Rage Before Beauty. And if you think that’s a great title, consider that the original was Fuck Oasis, and Fuck You!
Yessirree, these geezers haven’t lost one iota of vinegar over thirty five years, and now there’s a recorded document to prove it. Snapper Music has recently released the classic older titles by The Pretty Things along with this collection of material recorded during the mid and late nineties. The original band is as intact as it possibly can be in 1999, and that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “boys to men” now, doesn’t it?
For those unfamiliar with the band, they were contemporaries of The Rolling Stones (guitarist Dick Taylor was an original Stone), but their behavior and attitude made the Stones look like decent lads. When your drummer is widely considered the inspiration for Keith Moon‘s loutish lifestyle, well…that’s saying a mouthful.
(Full version: drbristol.wordpress.com/tag/rage-before-beauty/)

01. Passion of Love (03:22)
02. Vivian Prince (05:15)
03. Everlasting Flame (03:46)
04. Love Keeps Hanging On (08:55)
05. Eve of Destruction (03:02)
06. Not Givin' In (04:01)
07. Pure Cold Stone (05:46)
08. Blue Turns to Red (04:00)
09. Goodbye, Goodbye (02:45)
10. Goin' Downhill (04:11)
11. Play With Fire (04:07)
12. Fly Away (04:30)
13. Mony Mony (04:44)
14. God Give Me The Strength (To Carry On) (06:03)

PrettyThings99RageBefore_book_1.jpgPrettyThings99RageBefore_book_2.jpgPrettyThings99RageBefore_book_3.jpgPrettyThings99RageBefore_book_4.jpgPrettyThings99RageBefore_digipak_front.jpgPrettyThings99RageBefore_digipak_inside.jpg

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Hawkwind - Doremi Fasol Latido (1972) CD

Year: 24 November 1972 (CD 2001)
Label: EMI Records (Europe), 7243 5 30031 2 8
Style: Space Rock, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock
Country: London, England (1969-present)
Time: 59:06
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 365 Mb

Review Summary: Less space rock, but more spacey in style. Doremi Fasol Latido is the beginning of the classic era for Hawkwind.

Hawkwind – A trip through Space, Part III A Change In Style.

Change is big, but more importantly for Hawkwind was the fact that change was common. And change doesn't get any bigger than this. After 'X' the lineup changed once more, the drummer and bassist both decided that enough was enough and left the band. Dik Mik, always darting back and forth also left for three months, but he returned with something that would change the style and music of the band entirely. A man by the name of Ian Kilmister, or Lemmy.
That's right, before Lemmy became the lead man of Motorhead, he was a simple guitarist doing amphetamines with Dik Mik, who liked him so much that he brought him back to the band. As Hawkwind was in need of a bassist he learnt how to play on the fly, and his chugging bass lines would change the sound of Hawkwind entirely. They also found a new drummer, who would fit perfectly with this sound. On this album Hawkwind is.

Dave Brock - 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
Nik Turner - saxophone, flute, vocals
Lemmy - bass guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals
Dik Mik - Synthesizer
Del Dettmar - Synthesizer
Simon King - drums

The feel to Doremi is much different to Hawkwind's previous outings. 'Brainstorm' starts out with a rumbling bass line that sounds like it could be a distorted guitar. Moments later the drums kick in with a brilliant pace and style that keeps up for the entire opening song.
Hawkwind on this album is far more rockier than on their first two. Lemmy doesn't feel like a bassist instead he feels like the second guitarist the band had been missing. In addition Simon King is more of a rock drummer than the previous ones. This doesn't mean that Del and Dik are left out on this album, the space feel is still very much there, especially during the jam that takes up the middle section of the song.
'Space is Deep' begins differently, more simple than 'Brainstorm' with a single acoustic guitar and whirling electrical noises from the synthesiser department. Finally the rest of the band kick in with a brilliant jam that fills the middle section. The drum and bass whirl and twirl on a dance of death before finally ending up where they began, with a simple, quaint acoustic outro.
The second half of the album begins with a harsh electrical distortion, with both the synthesisers pumping away until that chugging bass comes back in again. 'Lord of Light' contains some of the best lead-bass guitar that you will ever see, Lemmy takes you on a trip that blasts you up and down and throws you side to side. He is the main course on this album, finally pushing away the synthesisers that had dominated their earlier works. He leads, the band follows, the drums making the perfect counterpart to his powerful strumming.
This powerhouse is alternated with the acoustic version of Hawkwind, on songs like 'Down Through the Night' mind you this type of acoustic doesn't mean that it is lacking in the synthesiser department, but one thing that really stands out is the vocals. You can hear the hurt that Dave Brock is feeling in amongst the synthesiers, providing the chilling core to the heart of this part of the album.
'Time We Left' is as diverse as you could imagine, starting off spacey heading then into a guitar with so much effects that it wouldn't sound out of place on a Jimi Hendrix record. But its this distortion that makes the music so unique and brilliant at the same time. It doesn't matter if it is simple acoustic or bass guitars powerful enough to whack weeds all day long. Hawkwind delivers on all fronts.
Doremi Fasol Latido isn't over yet, and it finishes with the first ever Motorhead song. 'The Watcher' would later appear on Motorhead's first album, it is the first song written by Lemmy, and is a simple acoustic track with his grumbling vocals and fuzzy bass line. A good way to end a good album.
Doremi shows the best of Hawkwind up to this point. Each new member brought something with them, in this album Lemmy and Simon brought rock influences and a new style of bass guitar, a style which would change the way the synthesiers came across. Rather than being on the forefront, they are now on the flank supporting the onslaught of the Hawklords as they seek to dominate the space rock world.
(www.sputnikmusic.com/review/56276/Hawkwind-Doremi-Fasol-Latido/) (Review by Hoppoman. April 12th, 2013)

01. Brainstorm (11:33)
02. Space Is Deep (06:22)
03. One Change (00:50)
04. Lord Of Light (06:58)
05. Down Through The Night (03:04)
06. Time We Left This World Today (08:43)
07. The Watcher (04:17)
08. Urban Guerilla (03:42)
09. Brainbox Pollution (05:43)
10. Lord Of Light (Single Version Edit) (04:01)
11. Ejection (Previously Unreleased Version) (03:47)

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Blossom Toes - If Only For A Moment (Japan Edition) (1969) CD

Year: July 1969 (CD 1992)
Label: Polydor Records (Japan), POCP-2191
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Rock
Country: London, England (1966–1970)
Time: 43:55
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 273 Mb

Blossom Toes' If Only For A Moment was prog - just maybe not as we know it.
Blossom Toes' If Only For A Moment (Marmalade, 1969) ditched 60s psychedelia for heavyweight riffs and tightly honed songwriting.
Two years after their arresting debut We Are Ever So Clean, those budding darlings of impresario Giorgio Gomelsky released If Only For A Moment. Ostensibly led by Brian Godding, a guitar god of the second firmament, who shared songwriting duties with the equally talented Jim Cregan, Blossom Toes now sought to leave behind the psychedelic leanings of their earlier work for a heavyweight sound that veers between the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Captain Beefheart via Iron Butterfly.
The opening track Peace Loving Man is penned by Godding and sung by bassist ‘Big’ Brian Belshaw. It’s a riff-laden anti-Vietnam anthem delivered with aggressive vigour (check out the buzzsaw guitar coda) and released as a single.
Throughout the album, Godding’s thoughts are frequently troubled by violence and its destructive effect upon the sound mind. ‘The darker side of you is when you shine,’ he laments on Kiss Of Confusion, while ruminating upon the proverbial good cop/bad cop scenario in Billy Boo The Gunman. His pacifist tendencies again come to the fore with Love Bomb; a 100 per cent gold-plated purified projectile that he schemes to drop upon the devil’s own. It was the unadulterated dictum of the Woodstock nation, now advancing all too rapidly towards extinction.
Cregan contributes his own off-centre blend of songwriting sensibilities with Listen To The Silence, Wait A Minute and the luxuriating textures of Indian Summer that might have shone twice as brightly had it ever been released as a single.
Belshaw also lends his quivering tonsils to a distinguished cover of troubadour Richie Havens’ Just Above My Hobby Horse’s Head, which is further garnished with tasty sitar licks courtesy of folkie Shawn Phillips. It’s a fitting companion to the band’s own uncommon compositions which display a remarkable maturity in both music-making terms and in their grasp of studio production techniques.
A few months later, the band decided to call it quits after being involved in a near fatal car crash when returning home from a gig. Godding went on to form BB Blunder with Belshaw and later found regular work with Keith Tippett, Mike Westbrook and Kevin Coyne. Cregan co-formed the noteworthy but short-lived blues rock trio Stud, before joining the ranks of Family. He later forged a musical partnership with Rod Stewart.
A bunch of posies they never were; If Only For A Moment remains an enduring work that has stood the test of desperate times and continues to indicate a byroad to the promised land of prog.
(www.loudersound.com/features/blossom-toes-if-only-for-a-moment-was-prog-just-maybe-not-as-we-know-it) (By Lin Bensley (Prog) July 17, 2016)

01. Peace Loving Man (04:52)
02. Kiss Of Confusion (04:45)
03. Listen To The Silence (04:50)
04. Love Bomb (07:39)
05. Billy Boo The Gunman (07:08)
06. Indian Summer (05:55)
07. Just Above My Hobby Horse's Head (02:53)
08. Wait A Minute (05:50)

BlossomToes69IfOnlyForAMoment_back.jpgBlossomToes69IfOnlyForAMoment_front_box.jpgBlossomToes69IfOnlyForAMoment_front.jpg

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Monday, June 21, 2021

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Volume 3: A Child's Guide To Good And Evil (1968) CD

Year: May 1968 (CD 2001)
Label: Sundazed Records (U.S.), SC 6175
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Folk Rock, Rock
Country: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Time: 38:28
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 208 Mb

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band is one of those remarkable quasi-underground groups from the 1960s which nowadays inspires a sort of obsessive cult interest among certain individuals. As such, there’s been more than enough amateur scholarship written on them for me to safely forgo much of an introduction or studied history (I’d strongly recommend Tim Forster’s comprehensive article). In fact, if it were not for their conspicuous absence on the Rising Storm, I might think that any more ink shed on the band’s records would be a waste of time.
As it stands, however, A Child’s Guide To Good and Evil deserves a place on these pages. Probably the strongest and most representative of the band’s recordings, Child’s Guide is a surreal set of beautiful folk-rock and off-the-wall psychedelic excursions from the mind of notorious west-coast playboy Bob Markley. Don’t be put off by the band’s legendary weirdness, though; hell, any record that opens with as stunning a pop song as a€?Eighteen Is Over the Hilla€? should deserve a place in your collection, catholic taste or not. Multi-tracked finger-picked acoustic guitars and wide-open harmonies help drive this piece into one of the catchiest choruses this band ever put to tape. Imagine a hipper, dropped out Simon and Garfunkel and you’re maybe halfway there.
After hooking you with the opener the band slowly starts to indulge more and more in their trademark psychedelics. First comes fuzz-tone bass and pedal-steel on a€?In the Country,a€? which happily manages to transcend its overworked a€?going to the countrya€? theme. Then Ron Morgan’s crackling electric sitar turns up on the two otherwise-unrelated a€?Rituala€? numbers as the band explores such intriguing topics as flowers, beads and babies. Morgan really does seem to have been the band’s secret weapon at this point; his spidery guitar lines – such as those dancing behind the twisted black humor of Markley’s a€?A Child of A Few Hours Is Burning To Deatha€? – help turn these songs into psychedelic classics. In this last song we also find the Experimental Band’s often-inscrutable lyrics at their most unnerving and most pointed: a€?we all are nothing but soft moist people, with soft moist hands folded over our buttons,a€? Markley intones cheerfully before dropping his psychopathic chorus. The Mamas and Papas these guys were not.
So if you ever thought Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was just way too tame and predictable, then it might do you good to check out the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. All of the records the band released during its short lifetime are worth hearing at least once, from the garage-band hodgepodge that is Volume 1 to the unmitigated Freudian strangeness that is the band’s official swan song, Where’s My Daddy. Markley himself may have been one disturbed cat, but the band’s solid musical prowess was always more than enough to keep his nonsense on target.
(therisingstorm.net/the-west-coast-pop-art-experimental-band-vol-3-a-childs-guide-to-good-and-evil/) (Written by Nik December 23rd, 2011)

01. Eighteen Is Over The Hill (02:42)
02. In The Country (02:03)
03. Ritual #1 (02:09)
04. Our Drummer Always Plays In The Nude (02:45)
05. As The World Rises And Falls (04:52)
06. Until The Poorest People Have Enough Money To Spend (02:18)
07. Watch Yourself (05:20)
08. A Child's Guide To Good And Evil (02:29)
09. Ritual #2 (02:04)
10. A Child Of A Few Hours Is Burning To Death (02:41)
11. As Kind As Summer (01:10)
12. Anniversary Of World War III (01:36)
13. Shifting Sands (Single Mix) (03:54)
14. 1906 (Single Mix) (02:17)

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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Eric Burdon and The Animals - Winds Of Change (1967) CD

Year: January 1967 (CD 19??)
Label: Polydor Records (W-Germany), 825 712-2
Style: Rock, Classic Rock
Country Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Time: 43:56
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 208 Mb

As the album title states, there were changes being made for the 60's British group, The Animals. By 1967, the original band had fell apart. But Eric Burdon, the man behind the success of The Animals, and what would be their only #1 and signature song, "The House Of The Rising Sun", reformed his former group, and called it Eric Burdon & The (New) Animals. Burdon would become the only original member. The first release with the new Animals lineup was Winds Of Change, an album that not only dealt with change for the group, but it would also project the future of Eric Burdon as a solo artist.
The album starts out with the title track, and ends with "It's All Meat". Both songs are tributes to Burdon's musical influences, mostly the blues. Burdon sings "Robert Johnson sang the blues" in "Winds Of Change". Muddy Waters and Ray Charles are mentioned in the latter song. The title track is truly psychedelic, as the rest of this album signifies. "Poem By The Sea" is just as psychedelic. And "The Black Plague," is a spoken word tune, with church-choir background vocals similiar in sound and just as eerie as The Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad."
Burdon does his own version of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". Completely different in sound as compared to the Stones, this song would be a regular favorite of Burdon's, as he would perform it in concert, and would also record another version of it when he left The Animals to join a black funk band, War, in the Seventies.
"Yes I Am Experienced", is the group's answer to the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Are You Experienced," released earlier in the year 1967. Even if you didn't know the title of this song, it does resemble the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first album. Chas Chandler, original Animals bass player, became Jimi Hendrix's manager after leaving the original Animals lineup. Another Animals favorite, "San Franciscan Nights" is featured on this album, as the San Francisco scene was booming in 1967, as many popular rock groups were formed from that city, like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
"Man - Woman" is another spoken word tune. Burdon's spoken talents sounds exciting and vibrant, as he tells the story of how man and woman dominate the love scene, aka The Love and Peace Generation, another happening event of the late 1960s. These four words in this song pretty much tells it all, all, as Burdon shouts: "Man! - Woman! - Desire! - Love!". This song, as well as "The Black Plague", is probably the beginnings of what would later become a very popular hit with War, "Spill The Wine."
The next three songs are slow-paced tunes, yet they match the rest of the album's excellence. "Hotel Hell" has a Spanish sounding guitar and horns are just fantastic, making this song work so well. "Good Times", features the line that makes you think:
"When I think about the Good Times I have wasted, having Good Times." (Actually, it would a autobiographical song about Eric Burdon himself.) Lastly, "Anything" features the line "For you, I'll Do Anything", a phrase meant for a friend or loved one.
Winds Of Change features some excellent musical instrument arrangements. The spanish sounding accoustic guitar, and throughout this album has the late '60s George Harrison/Beatles indian-sounding guitar (sitar). Violins are also used, and the gong is featured on "Poem By The Sea". This album is also psychedelic, as this style of music was dominating the scene at the time.
Winds Of Change is an experience. For the Sixties favorite, this is a must. Eric Burdon & The Animals were number two on my list next to The Beatles in the category of favorite groups of the Sixties. (Yes, I thought it was so cool that there was a musician out there named Eric; I learned this before I discovered Eric Clapton.) I have always been a big fan of Burdon/Animals music ever since. They've had a few reunion albums later in their career, featuring all of the original members. Unfortuately, Chas Chandler passed away in 1996.
Polygram, the record company that purchased many of the M-G-M recordings, re-issued many of the original late 60s albums of Burdon & The Animals in 1994. Yet to see its faces on compact disc are the very early original albums, and the later ones when the original group reformed. Before We Were Rudely Interrupted, the band's first reunion studio album in 1977, has yet to see the CD laser beam. Their 1983 reunion studio album, Ark (a personal favorite of mine), can be found on CD through import ads. Burdon still performs today, as he seldom releases an album. He's released three albums with War from 1970-1976. From 1971-1988 (as Eric Burdon), he's released six albums. His latest album was in 1993, where he teamed up with British jazz-rock keyboardist Brian Auger. Througout his solo career, Burdon participated in movies and television.
If you're only familiar with "The House Of The Rising Sun," boy, do you have a lot of catching up to do! The original lineup's material is probably considered their best work. Their later material had some big hits, but not as as many as the original lineup. In either case, this band is not to be passed up. Discover The Animals' music; it's an event you will cherish and enjoy.
(dailyvault.com/toc.php5?review=484 / Review by: Eric E5S16 / Originally published: 08/24/1998)

01. Winds Of Change (03:59)
02. Poem By The Sea (02:15)
03. Paint It Black (05:59)
04. The Black Plague (05:59)
05. Yes I Am Experienced (03:40)
06. San Franciscan Nights (03:20)
07. Man - Woman (05:29)
08. Hotel Hell (04:48)
09. Good Times (02:59)
10. Anything (03:21)
11. It's All Meat (02:01)


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Friday, June 18, 2021

Grand Funk Railroad - Born to Die (1976) [Japan CD]

Year: January 1976 (CD May 24, 2006)
Label: Capitol Records (Japan), TOCP-67012
Style: Pop, Rock
Country: Flint, Michigan, United States
Time: 58:29
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 430 Mb

Boy, there’s a cheerful title, eh? Couple that with the album cover of the four band members in coffins and you’ve got a party!
This album is a far cry from “We’re An American Band,” “The Loco-Motion” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” the top hits from the band’s last three albums and the ones that brought them to a new audience. Despite the addition of Railroad back to the band’s name, the music still sounds shiny and well-produced, a far cry from the murky slog of, say, Grand Funk. But man, these songs…what happened, guys?
It appeared to be a confluence of things. Mark Farner’s cousin died in a motorcycle crash. The band was exhausted from recording and touring for so long. The hippie dream had obviously died many years prior and Farner’s words about togetherness and love seemed to be lost. There wasn’t much for the band to celebrate, and that angst informs the vast majority of the music here.
Now, it’s not like this is a Black Sabbath record or anything; many of the songs are over five minutes, but the music is similar to what Grand Funk had been doing the last few years, albeit a bit slower paced. It’s the downcast, defeated lyrics that are such a change from the happy Michigan rockers everyone had come to know. You can look at the titles and guess what the songs are about: “Born To Die,” “Talk To The People,” “Politician” and “I Fell For Your Love.” The mournful, soulful sax solo that starts off “Talk To The People” shows promise, but the song doesn’t follow through as it should.
The highlights are “Take Me” and “Love Is Dyin’,” which inject some energy into things with solid guitar solos and Craig Frost’s keyboards, which turned out to be a necessary addition for this band. Also recommended is “Dues,” which captures GFR’s forgotten flair for the musically dramatic set to Farner’s cheerful apocalyptic lyrics: “I’m not stupid and I might be havin’ too much pride / Surgeon general has determined that I may as well die / Jesus are you watching or have you gone blind / Evil souls are upon us and we’re surely runnin’ out of time.” (Remember three years ago and “We’ll come into your town, we’ll help you party down?” Again, what happened?).
Some fans also enjoy “Genevieve,” but most will find the six-minute instrumental and fairly devoid of a point or musical resolution, although it sounds cool. “Sally” is fun too, the lone attempt at a hit single, but hardly up to the level of what has come before. And the rest, as mentioned, is a slow-to-midtempo trudge that even fans will have a hard time sitting through. If anything, it’s at least interesting to gauge Farner’s state of mind during this time and hear him bare his soul on record; there are no cringe-worthy lyrics, no real political calls to action, just a guy wondering what it’s all for and what’s worth living for.
The three main highlights are worth seeking out for Grand Funk fans or those who enjoy 1970s classic rock and want to dig deeper than the local radio station’s repetitive offerings. But the rest just isn’t up to par, betraying the band members’ exhaustion and states of mind, making this an interesting but highly flawed addition to GFR’s catalogue.
(dailyvault.com/toc.php5?review=8991 / Review by: Benjamin Ray / Originally Published: 03/12/2016)

01. Born To Die (05:35)
02. Dues (05:36)
03. Sally (03:16)
04. I Fell For Your Love (04:13)
05. Talk To The People (05:33)
06. Take Me (05:10)
07. Genevieve (06:11)
08. Love Is Dyin' (04:14)
09. Politician (03:54)
10. Good Things (04:36)
11. Bare Naked Woman (Live Rehearsal) (03:39)
12. Genevieve (Live Rehearsal) (06:26)

GrandFunk76BornToDie_back.jpgGrandFunk76BornToDie_OBI.jpgGrandFunk76BornToDie_book_1.jpgGrandFunk76BornToDie_book_4.jpgGrandFunk76BornToDie_book_5.jpgGrandFunk76BornToDie_book_6.jpg

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Kevin Ayers - Bananamour (1973) [Japan CD]

Year: May 1973 (CD March 12, 2014)
Label: Parlophone Records (Japan), WPCR-15527
Style: Rock, Alternative Rock
Country: Kent, England (16 August 1944 - 18 February 2013)
Time: 69:40
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 443 Mb

Is this the second-greatest rock album featuring a banana on its cover? Quite possibly. While Bananamour is not quite as important as The Velvet Underground & Nico, it does boast the best song ever about the German vocalist who appeared on the Velvets’ landmark LP. More on that later.
Kevin Ayers’ last LP for the prog-oriented Harvest label, Bananamour isn’t as far out and cerebral as 1970’s Shooting At The Moon or as wonderfully weird as 1969’s Joy Of A Toy, but it has more hits than misses and it contains perhaps the founding Soft Machine member’s greatest composition. More on that later.
Bananamour—a fruity, bilingual portmanteau word that suggests Ayers is not to be taken totally seriously—starts with the woozily beautiful and ominous “Don’t Let It Get You Down (For Rachel),” a ballad redolent of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” and “Carry That Weight.” Ayers’ feeds his voice through a Leslie speaker while backing vocalists Liza Strike and Doris Troy vibrantly burst to the fore with the title chorus. The carefree lope of “Shouting In A Bucket Blues” is elevated by guest musician Steve Hillage’s honeyed, psych-blues-inflected electric guitar, which contrasts with Ayers’ lusciously lugubrious acoustic-guitar strum. Bassist Archie Legget steps to the mic to sing “When Your Parents Go To Sleep,” a brassy, wobbly legged blues-rock ballad about aching hormones. His voice is like a less pugnacious Joe Cocker while the tune resembles the Stones’ “I Got The Blues.” I’m not complaining.
Another impressive guest, Soft Machine organist Mike Ratledge, illuminates “Interview.” With Legget’s bass line getting to the funky nitty-gritty, this is severe blues rock that cuts as deeply as Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.” Thankfully, this tune gets stranger as it goes, with Ratledge going off into the stratosphere with some mindblowing improv. Another Soft Machine alumnus, the inimitable Robert Wyatt, bestows harmony vocals to the warm, intimate ballad “Hymn.”
Bananamour has a couple of goofy tangents, too. “Oh! Wot A Dream” falls somewhere between Pink Floyd’s “Pow R. Toc H.” and a Bonzo Dog Doodah Band ditty while “Caribbean Moon” comes off as a British take on Nilsson’s “Coconut,” with all the insouciant charm and faux-calypso vibe that that implies. (“Caribbean Moon” appears on the US Sire edition, not the original Harvest release.)
Now for the piece de resistance (thank you for your patience)—“Decadence,” a chiming, slow-blooming drone-rock epic that portrays the aforementioned Nico as a cold, elusive heartbreaker. A key passage: “Fading flowers in her hair/She’s suffering from wear and tear/She lies in waterfalls of dreams/And never questions what it means/And all along the desert shore/She wanders further evermore/The only thing that’s left to try…/She says to live I have to die.” Harsh, dude. The song’s gradually accelerating and ascending cruise to the stars (Legget’s bass is a spiraling, springy wonder) foreshadows soulful British space-rockers Spiritualized. That is high praise, indeed. You can bet legendary BBC Radio DJ John Peel loved Bananamour.
(Buckley Mayfield. August 3, 2020)

01. Don't Let It Get You Down (04:03)
02. Shouting In A Bucket Blues (03:44)
03. When Your Parents Go To Sleep (05:47)
04. Interview (04:43)
05. International Anthem (00:43)
06. Decadence (08:04)
07. Oh! Wot A Dream (02:48)
08. Hymn (04:35)
09. Beware Of The Dog (01:25)
10. Decadence (Early Mix) (bonus track) (06:57)
11. Interview (BBC Bob Harris Session) (bonus track) (05:19)
12. Oh! Wot A Dream (BBC Bob Harris Session) (bonus track) (02:44)
13. Shouting In A Bucket Blues (BBC Bob Harris Session) (bonus track) (03:49)
14. Don't Feel Lonely 'Til I Thought Of You (BBC In Concert) (bonus track) (04:30)
15. Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes (BBC In Concert) (bonus track) (04:34)
16. Interview (BBC In Concert) (bonus track) (05:48)

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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Slade - Old New Borrowed and Blue (1974) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 15 February 1974 (LP 1974)
Label: Polydor Records (UK), 2383 261 SUPER
Style: Glam Rock
Country: Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England
Time: 37:48
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 259 Mb

Old New Borrowed and Blue is the fourth studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was released on 15 February 1974 and reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. It has been certified Gold by BPI. The album was produced by Chas Chandler. For the album, Slade attempted to begin breaking away from their usual rock formula. For example, the singles "My Friend Stan" and "Everyday" were piano-led and did not have the typical "Slade" sound.
In the US, the album was released by the Warner Bros. label under the title Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet, minus the tracks "My Town" and "My Friend Stan" (as they had been previously released there on Sladest).
Background:
Old New Borrowed and Blue was recorded amid various touring and promotional activities in late 1973, and also during the headline-making recovery of drummer Don Powell, who was involved in a near-fatal car crash in July, briefly throwing the band's existence into doubt. Despite his critical condition, Powell was able to make a recovery and the band soon entered the studio to record material for their new album. During recording of "My Friend Stan", Powell was still walking with the aid of a stick and had to be lifted onto his drum stool. On the album, the band attempted to continue their usual formula on some tracks, while others took a change in musical direction. The album's title, as explained by Holder, came from the album's content, which the band felt had a mix of old, new, borrowed and blue songs.
"My Friend Stan" was released as the album's lead single in September 1973 and reached No. 2 in the UK. Over Christmas 1973, the band would also achieve success with their No. 1 single "Merry Xmas Everybody". Old New Borrowed and Blue was released in February 1974 and reached No. 1 in the UK. In the UK, Old New Borrowed and Blue was awarded Gold by BPI prior to its release, based purely on pre-order sales. At the time, a Slade spokesman had reported to the Record Mirror: "The album has sold twice as many cartridges and cassettes than their previous offerings." In March, the album's second single "Everyday" reached No. 3. In America, Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet reached No. 168. "Good Time Gals" was issued there as a single in February 1974. Later in May, "When the Lights Are Out" was also issued in America and Belgium. Both singles failed to make any chart impact.
Song information:
"Just Want a Little Bit" is a cover of the 1959 Rosco Gordon song, which was a minor hit in 1964 for Liverpool group The Undertakers. The song was later recorded in 1977 by The Animals too, of which Slade manager and producer Chas Chandler was bassist. At the time, the song was a regular inclusion in Slade's live set. "When the Lights Are Out" is the band's first track to feature Jim Lea on lead vocals. In a 1974 interview for the "19" readers, Holder jokingly commented: "There's nothing like a good singer and Jimmy's nothing like a good singer." The song was later covered by Bob Segarini in 1978 and American rock group Cheap Trick on their 2009 album The Latest. Lea would also record his own version with his brother Frank Lea under the name The Dummies in 1979. "My Town" originally appeared as the B-Side to "My Friend Stan".
"Find Yourself a Rainbow" features honky-tonk piano as the main instrument, played by Tommy Burton. In a 1974 fab club interview, Powell stated: "Pub piano is played by a local landlord, Tommy Burton. He now owes us free booze for the rest of the year." On the album's inner gatefold sleeve, the lyrics of the song include an extra verse which was not on the song's recording. "Miles Out to Sea" was another song to later be recorded by The Dummies. Of the up-tempo tracks "We're Really Gonna Raise the Roof" and "Do We Still Do It", AllMusic stated: "Slade fans can be assured that these guys hadn't lost the will to rock out."
"How Can It Be" is a country-flavoured track with acoustic guitar. "Don't Blame Me" originally appeared as the B-Side to "Merry Xmas Everybody". In a 1979 fan club interview, Lea said of the song: ""Don't Blame Me" was a time-filler, I think that it was created as that. When it was used as a B-Side, we didn't even know it was being used, it was chosen by the offices."
Chandler had persuaded Lea to finish "My Friend Stan" after he heard Lea playing the melody at home on his piano. "Everyday" also features piano and was released as a single at Chandler's insistence. Jim Lea was totally opposed to it being an A-side and argued with Chandler for the duration of a flight from the UK to Australia. When it was released, the band knew they were taking a risk but "Everyday" would become a firm favourite on stage. The song featured Lea on guitar as guitarist Dave Hill was away on honeymoon at the time of the recording sessions. "Good Time Gals" also featured as the B-Side to "Everyday".
(www.owlapps.net/owlapps_apps/articles?id=5261501&lang=en)

01. A1 Just Want A Little Bit (04:06)
02. A2 When The Lights Are Out (03:07)
03. A3 My Town (03:09)
04. A4 Find Yourself A Rainbow (02:11)
05. A5 Miles Out To Sea (03:52)
06. A6 We're Really Gonna Raise The Roof (03:08)
07. B1 Do We Still Do It (03:03)
08. B2 How Can It Be (03:04)
09. B3 Don't Blame Me (02:36)
10. B4 My Friend Stan (02:43)
11. B5 Everyday (03:11)
12. B6 Good Time Gals (03:33)

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII (1973) (Japan Vinyl) [Vinyl Rip]

Year: 1973 (LP 1973)
Label: Alfa Records (Japan), AMP-7050 (SP-4361)
Style: Symphonic Rock
Country: 18 May 1949, Perivale, London, England
Time: 37:12
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 218 Mb

Wakeman’s first solo album is a fantastic, instrumental journey that brings the historical figures of Henry VIII’s six wives back to life again.
Soon after joining Yes, Rick Wakeman was approached by A&M co-founder Jerry Moss to record a solo album. Wakeman, who had been toying with the idea of writing music based on the book The Private Life of Henry VIII, began sketching out pieces around the personalities of Henry and his six wives (the music for Henry himself was later scrapped). Thus began a love affair between English history and keyboard prog that continues to this day for Wakeman and his fans.
The Six Wives of Henry VIII is possibly the single greatest keyboard prog album ever written. Every song plays out like a rollercoaster of emotion and adventure, infused with humor and humanity and featuring an array of keyboards that are perfectly woven into complex, full-bodied arrangements. Every time I listen to this album, it brings me joy. Catherine of Aragon, Anne of Cleves and the rest of these storied ladies arrive like old friends.
While the earlier “Cans And Brahms” (from Fragile) was a pleasant enough diversion, The Six Wives of Henry VIII fully reveals the genius of Rick Wakeman for the first time. It’s my favorite of the Yes solo records (Olias of Sunhillow is a close runner-up), although Six Wives actually sounds more like a Yes/ELP hybrid. Wakeman and Keith Emerson are both sonic architects/saboteurs who can create grand cathedrals of sound and dismantle them in an instant with humor. It’s a process that Wakeman repeats with breathtaking ease on Six Wives, so that, despite the sheer number of notes on this record, each has its proper place.
Yes fans and the comparatively smaller number of Strawbs fans will no doubt pore over the musicians’ credits with interest. In the honorable mention department, Alan White is terrific on this album, and the cameos from Dave Cousins and Dave Wintour are also highlights.
The Players:
Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Mike Egan (guitar), Frank Ricotti (percussion), Alan White (drums) with Bill Bruford (drums on A1/B2), Ray Cooper (percussion on A1/B2), Dave Cousins (electric banjo on A3), Chas Cronk (bass on A3), Barry de Souza (drums on A3), Steve Howe (guitar on A1), Les Hurdle (bass on A1/B5), Dave Lambert (guitar on A3), Laura Lee (vocals on B2), Sylvia McNeill (vocals on B2), Judy Powell (vocals on A1), Barry St. John (vocals on A1), Chris Squire (bass on A1), Liza Strike (vocals on A1/B2), Dave Winter (Wintour) (bass on A2/B3). Produced by Rick Wakeman; mixed by Ken Scott, Paul Tregurtha, Dave Henshall (Hentschel) (A2); engineered by Paul Tregurtha and Ken Scott (A1/B3).

Released on elpee, quadraphonic elpee, cassette and 8-track on January 23, 1973 in the UK (A&M, ALMH/CAM-64361), the US and Canada (A&M, SP/QU5/8T-4361), Germany (A&M, 86 560 IT) and Japan (A&M, AML-173) with gatefold cover; reached #7 on the UK charts and #20 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record).

(progrography.com/rick-wakeman/rick-wakeman-six-wives-henry-viii-1973/)

01. A1 Catherine Of Aragon (03:49)
02. A2 Anne Of Cleves (07:58)
03. A3 Catherine Howard (06:41)
04. B1 Jane Seymour (04:54)
05. B2 Anne Boleyn - The Day Thou Gavest Lord Hath Ended (06:40)
06. B3 Catherine Parr (07:07)

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