Saturday, November 25, 2017

David Cassidy - Cherish (1972) + Bonus Track

(U.S 1969 - 2017)
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For a glorious moment in the early 1970s, teen heartthrob David Cassidy – who died last Wednesday (22nd Nov) from multiple organ failure at the age of 67 – was the biggest star in the world.

His face and half-naked torso graced a million girls’ bedrooms. He was the king of the lunchbox back in the 70's.

His 1974 tour of Australia was typical of his life then. According to his pal and photographer Henry Diltz, “[it was a] collection of mad rushes from cars to hotels, hotels to venues, venues back to hotels”.

“All serenaded by screaming pubescents who kept vigil outside his hotels 24 hours a day.”

Appearing at the Logies he met fellow actor Gina Lollobrigida, then regarded as one of the most beautiful women in the world. She spirited him away so she could take photos of the star naked. Just another day at the office.

At a concert at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse, the fans pulled the stage down halfway into the set. The stage itself buckled under the weight of koalas and underwear from the 33,000 fans.

Cassidy had fond memories of Australia: “There’s a spirit about the people here that I have never forgotten. They love to have a good time. Um, they love the sun. They love to drink. They love to gamble. They love to smoke, they love horse racing.”

All of this hysteria flowed from Cassidy’s role as Keith Partridge in the TV sitcom The Partridge Family. The plot was a single mum, played by Cassidy’s real-life stepmother Shirley Jones, Keith and three younger children form a band and go on the road.

The Partridge Family, which launched in 1970, was the nice alternative to the scruffy Woodstock generation. Like the Monkees before them, they had a number of hits including "I Think I Love You", "Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted", "I Woke Up in Love This Morning" and "Come On Get Happy". They had six gold albums in two years. David had a No.1 solo hit with Cherish.
[Extract from thenewdaily.com.au]


Album Review
This was David's first solo album. It hit no. 15 on the US charts on Feb. 19, 1972, and stayed on the charts for eight weeks. In Britain, where it peaked at no. 2.

The most interesting thing about this album is that it is really a Partridge Family album done solo. The same pop hooks and sounds as well as the same personnel and many of the same writers (Tony Romeo, Wes Farrell, Bobby Hart etc) appear. None of this is surprising given this was Cassidy’s first solo LP and a hit formula was never, not going to be followed.

Cassidy would, over the next couple of albums, start to develop his own sound which is not to dissimilar from this musically but at least it is individual, distinct and more thoughtful. Thematically his music would move dramatically away from the love / lost love breakup songs here and deal with issues of fame, celebrity and love in a slightly more cynical way.

Cassidy, here, writes one song by himself and all the rest are written for him or are covers. The album is produced (again) by Wes Farrell and session musicians include: Hal Blaine on piano and Tommy Tedesco and Larry Carlton amongst others on guitars. Though not credited on the album apparently others Wrecking Crew sessionmen play also.

Track Breakdown:
Being Together – a big beat ballad about falling in love…..filler at the start of an album?
I Just Wanna Make You Happy – another big beat ballad about falling in love – this one better.
Could It Be Forever – filler
Blind Hope – romantic and disposable.
I Lost My Chance – romantic but not quite disposable
My First Night Alone Without You  –  the lonesome ballad.
We Could Never Be Friends (‘Cause We’ve Been Lovers Too Long) – mainstream pop …but catchy. Not that different to The Archies.
Where Is the Morning – superior kiddie pop.
I Am a Clown – very maudlin but catchy and with the spoken intro it’s dramatic and silly, much like “Are you Lonesome Tonight” and it’s spoken section. That doesn’t mean it’s bad ….actually it’s quite good, as is “Are You Lonesome” ….
Cherish – another pure pop song and another good one. Well, it is the title tune after all ….
Ricky’s Tune – a song by David about his dog and one of the best songs on the album – less pop and more west coast rock with country overtones ….think Crosby Stills and Nash.
All I Wanna Do Is Touch You - Bonus non-album B-Side to "Cherish". Should have been track 3
[extract from whatfrankislisteningto]
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I'm posting this 'out of character' album as a tribute to someone who I grew up listening to and unashamedly admired while he was a member of the Partridge Family, one of the many musical T.V shows that moulded my teenage years in the 70's.
The post includes MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy which turned up in a box of records I acquired at a garage sale many years ago. The single "Cherish" was later found inside the cover, thus the opportunity to provide the non-album B-Side single "All I Wanna Do Is Touch You" as a bonus track.
I hope this album 'makes you happy' as it did me when I listened to it - RIP David 'Partridge' Cassidy
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Track Listing:
01 Being Together 2:53
02 I Just Wanna Make You Happy 2:18
03 Could It Be Forever 2:16
04 Blind Hope 3:14
05 I Lost My Chance 2:38
06 My First Night Alone Without You 3:34
07 We Could Never Be Friends ('Cause We've Been Lovers Too Long) 2:50
08 Where Is The Morning 2:53
09 I Am A Clown 4:35
10 Cherish 3:46
11 Ricky's Tune 3:24
12    BONUS All I Wanna Do Is Touch You   2:54
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)

(U.K 1968 –2004, 2008–present)
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As Yes were always looking over the horizon (as Alan is fond of saying), vocalist Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe, feeling their oats over previous successes, decided pursue a large-scale project. Jon had taken of a footnote in Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography Of A Yogi that described Schastic scriptures covering various aspects of religion and life. These would form the basis for Yes' next grand work, the ambitious four-song "Tales From Topographic Oceans" with each track consuming an individual vinyl side.

While on tour, Jon and Steve conducted candlelight sessions, working out the basic structure for of the four compositions inspired by this concept. As excited as the two were about the project, their (as well as co-producer Eddie Offord) were initially apprehensive. Yes had taken big steps before, but this was a major undertaking, especially given the proposed music's scale and complexity. But eventually everyone agreed to explore the concept and commenced recording at Morgan Studio. Situated in what members felt was a colorless English town, Morgan was chosen for its 24-track recording capabilities, one of the first studios in the U.K. to offer that option. Members had been divided between recording in the city or the country, and a humorous compromise of sorts was reached with wooden farmyard animal decorations and scenery.

Though there was a basic agenda for the work in progress, not everything was set in stone, Jon and Steve would often convene in a nearby room to plot direction. Steve Howe: "There were bits of one tune on another side—not so much that we were short of ideas but more that we wanted to reinterpret them, incorporate them, bring them into play as if the whole thing was a thematic playoff as well as a conceptualisation."

Album opener "The Revealing Science Of God" is basically trademark Yes, with rock sections alternating with quieter passages. Here the band demonstrates its knack for repeating themes that fluctuate in weight and significance: "Revealing" generally rocks and propels its listener through the various that will contribute to the ensuing tracks. (A bit of Yes folk lore; Eddie Offord, wrongly assuming the tape was blank, ended up slicing through an entire reel of a "Revealing" mix to retrieve the empty reel. Though Eddie did piece the tape back together, another mix was ultimately used.) 
After the thrust of "Revealing," "The Remembering" starts almost as if to let the listener—and Yes—-catch their breath. A light and airy introduction belies what's to come: waves of sound, followed by what Jon in his album notes describes as the "Topographic Ocean", a recurring section that evokes the water's mystery. Rick contributes some of his most moving playing here, combining Moog and Mellotron, and the section is effectively restated at various points. Chris adds some fretless bass, and Steve plays a lute on some of the folkier sections. The song unfolds slowly yet very deliberately, and though challenging, the result is one of Yes" more affecting pieces.


"The Ancient" is both primal and spacey, its percussiveness setting the stage for the first part. Tribal rhythms evoke the ancient peoples alluded to in Jon's notes. In retrospect. Steve says, "[ was surprised at the strange diversity of Side 3, but in the context I suppose we did want to go that far away, and 1 think it was beautiful to come back." The "coming back" is the second part, with Steve leading the way, executing a classically tinged intro on Spanish guitar. The song that follows is tentative and inspirational, Jon's pensive vocals giving way to a chorus that evokes hopefulness.

In its style, "Ritual" harkens back to Side . After the unusual color of the previous pieces, this final track is the full force return of the rock 'n' rollier Yes, pulling themes together and presenting them with an emotional wallop. The rhythm section dominates the side: Chris extrapolates on an earlier jaunty section with a tour de force solo, followed by a primeval drum section led by Alan White and featuring the others on tymnani. The torrent subsides, and Steve's evocative guitar gives way to Nous Sommess Du Soleil, a final, calming statement before the storm that drives Topographic to its dramatic conclusion.

Alan White, making his first appearance on a Yes studio album, unleashes his creative juices here. Me uses a hollowed out log on "The Ancient," contributes a last conga on "Ritual," and uses brushes on an aluminum sheet on both tracks, lie also arranges intricate backing rhythms in a time signature different from the others. 'Tin listening to Steve play while I'm playing something else," Alan explains, "You have to detach your mind and listen to what he's playing, but you have to keep on playing what you "re playing. A lot of that happens in a lot of the music: Chris and myself have to listen to him while we're playing, something different. There's no reason why the guitarist can't hold everything down and we go around him," Band members contributed to the cover developed by Roger Dean to evoke Topographic primordial concepts. Various cultural landmarks dot its landscape, and its gatefold sleeve includes Jon's liner notes, along with photographs of different textures and scenes. However, Roger's ideas were much more grand. The album cover would provide the visual design for the concert stage, with its translucent fiberglass scenery, which contributed to the music's mysterious atmosphere. The theatrical aspect was not lost on Yes, At the Rainbow in London, the band made it clear that no audience members would be seated after the start of the show, the same discipline enforced at orchestral conceits. The performance consisted of the Close To The Edge album, followed by the entire Tales, with an encore. The group would eventually drop the demanding "Remembering" late in the U.S. tour.

Yes - Live At The Rainbow, 1973 - Oceans Tour
When released, Topographic was the first Yes album to ship gold. But critics - and many fans - were perplexed when first confronted with its majestic scope. Some magazines embraced the LP: Time magazine ranked it among the year's best. But most of the major rock press was unmoved: what did four sprawling sides have to do with an art form based on rebellious three-minute anthems?
The too-easy joke was that this time Yes went "over the edge/ a sentiment echoed by Rick Wakeman. Although Rick made some essential contributions to the project, he later claimed that if the CD format had existed at the time, there wouldn't have been as much of what he viewed as padding. Steve, one of the Topographic prime architects, has a different view: "There's a reason why it was long, because we were exploratory. If Yes weren't exploratory we wouldn't have bothered to write so long, and we wouldn't have bothered to explore so many ways of doing our music."
In a sense, this was the album that separated the casual fan from the true believer. Those who felt rewarded by the journey were won over. Those who didn't abandoned Yes, temporarily or altogether- including Rick. His star as a solo performer was rising due to the popular The Six Wives Of Henry VIII and eventually his personal success, coupled with his lack of enthusiasm for Topographic would lead him to leave Yes after the album's tour.


Though "Ritual" would be retained for the next two Yes road trips, an entire side of Tales would not be heard again until the '90s, when fans new and old were as eager to hear these masterworks as the band was in performing them. Yes knew the album had merit and were delighted to rind it was still embraced by their audience. Even Rick was       happy to revisit it decades later. "It's never been a secret that Topographic Oceans was never my favorite Yes album." he said. "But I get a lot out of playing "Revealing" because I've found new ways of playing it — I've found ways of putting in new things and putting in other sounds in different things I didn't have before.
Ultimately, Tales From Topograhic Oceans is a very dense and stimulating experience. Yes had crafted compositions where the layers become apparent with each listening. Any attempt to describe the intricacies and interplay in words can do it no justice. Each piece reverberates within itself and resonates within the greater whole. Yes were fortunate to have had the creative freedom to produce this bold and innovative work — and we are fortunate that the  did.  [Mike Tiano]

The Parts
1st movement: Shrutis. The Revealing Science of God can be seen as an ever-opening flower in which simple truths emerge examining the complexities and magic of the past and how we should not forget the song that has been left to us to hear. The knowledge of God is a search, constant and clear.

2nd movement: Suritis. The Remembering. All our thoughts, impressions, knowledge, fears, have been developing for millions of years. What we can relate to is our own past, our own life, our own history. Here. It is especially Rick's keyboards which bring alive the ebb and flow and depth of our mind's eye: the topographic ocean. Hopefully we should appreciate that given points in time are not so significant as the nature of what is impressed on the mind, and how it is retained and used.

3rd movement: Puranas. The Ancient probes still further into the past hevond the point of remembering. Here Steve's guitar is pivotal in sharpening reflection on the beauties and treasures of lost civilisations, Indian, Chinese, Central American, Atlantean. These and other peoples left an immense treasure of knowledge.

4th movement: Tantras. The Ritual. Seven notes of freedom to learn and to know the ritual of life, Life is a fight between sources of evil and pure live. Alan and Chris present and relay the struggle out of which comes a positive source. Nous sommes du soldi. We are of the sun. We can see.


The Album Cover
Roger Dean recalls the inspiration behind the cover art for Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans

Although Roger Dean had created sleeves for a number of other bands during the late sixties, it was his collaborations with Yes which brought his other-worldly designs to the fore and became a crucial element in the packaging of that band’s early seventies releases. Having already designed the covers that adorned Fragile and Close To The Edge, as well as creating their iconic “bubble” logo, in 1973 he was approached to craft the sleeve for their double album Tales From Topographic Oceans. The album’s reception was mixed due to the complexity of the tracks, but the sleeve still remains one of the band’s more recognisable.

How did you meet the band?

“Well I remember meeting Phil Carson, who was running Atlantic records in Europe at the time, and showing him some of my work. Phil told me that he’d love me to do a cover for them but he only had two bands on the roster, which were Yes and Led Zeppelin. As soon as one of them needed a new cover he said he’d give me a call, and the Yes sleeve came up first. So that was how I was initially introduced to the band. It was all fairly prosaic really, so there weren’t any mystical meetings on a mountain.”  


What about the design brief?

“It was different with regard to any other Yes album cover I’ve done as it involved a long and detailed conversation with Jon Anderson. On other occasions the expectation was that it was my job to come up with the idea, develop it, present it and package it. So for Fragile for example, around that time I was concerned with the problems of pollution, plus I wanted to create something to match the title. So the idea was to have a small, fragile world as a centrepiece and the spaceship was an ark taking the inhabitants and whatever creatures there were on this planet to a new home. The planet then begins to disintegrate in view of the craft and this is shown on the back cover. But for Tales From Topographic Oceans I remember Jon and I spent a long time talking about ideas for the sleeve when we were flying from London to Tokyo via Alaska, and we were just inspired when looking at the patterns in the landscapes below.”


The cover was more landscape oriented compared to previous works. What was the reason behind that?

“Well, landscapes have always been my inspiration and I still primarily think of myself as a landscape painter. Tales... was really me trying to convey my enthusiasm for landscapes and Jon seemed to have a matching interest.”

What were the inspirations behind each of the stones or monuments?

“Well, nothing in that sleeve is actually made up or imagined, so everything that’s in there is a portrait of something. The Mayan Temple is the most obvious one but all the other rocks exist. The rock on the left hand side is at Avebury and continually pops up in magazines. The fascinating thing about it is that every photo that I’ve seen of it has been taken from exactly the same view that I drew it. The waterfall and pile of rocks are at Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire, and there are others rocks that are at Stonehenge and Land’s End. So every stone in that picture I could take you to.” [This article originally appeared in Prog issue 27]

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my treasured vinyl, purchased back in 1974 for the pricely sum of $9.95 (this was the standard price for a double album at the time). In pristine condition, you won't find a better vinyl rip of this masterpiece anywhere else. Of course full album artwork is included for both CD and Vinyl plus label scans. The was the first album set I'd purchased where the record company had the album cover design printed on the record labels as well (see below) - a bold move by their record company Atlantic and one that other record companies would do in the future.  This post compliments my earlier post for Yesshows (both doubles) and is not to be missed.  The opening track "The Revealing Science Of God" is my favourite track and features some of Rick Wakeman's best keyboard work on the set.

Track Listing
01 - The Revealing Science Of God
02 - The Remembering
03 - The Ancient
04 - Ritual


Yes were:
Jon Anderson - Vocals
Steve Howe - Guitars, Vocals
Chris Squire - Bass Guitars, Vocals
Rick Wakeman - Keyboards
Alan White - Drums 
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mike McClellan - The Heartland (1988)

(Australian 1966 - Current)
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Mike McClellan began performing in the late 60’s and released his first album, titled simply ‘Mike McClellan’ in 1972. It was regarded as one of the most auspicious debut albums from any writer singer of his era. He toured extensively for the next 2 years playing the songs from that first album and previewing the material that would make up his breakthrough record. His second album ‘Ask Any Dancer’ went Gold and the song ‘Song and Danceman’ was voted Song of the Year at the Annual Music Industry Awards in 1975. It hardly needs repeating that the song has become an Australian classic having been recorded many times, both here and overseas.

Tours with performers including Roger Miller, Melanie, Dr Hook, The Hollies and Leo Kottke expanded Mike’s audience even further and he earned (deservedly) rave reviews for his capacity to hold his own in the company of such internationally recognized stars. That recognition took a giant leap forward when Rick Nelson recorded one of his most acclaimed songs – ‘Rock’n Roll Lady’ in 1975 and John Farnham covered ‘Saturday Dance’ in the same year.

1976 saw the release of what was regarded as Mike’s finest album of the 70’s – ‘Until the Song is Done’.  ‘The Gamble’ shot to top of the country charts and ‘Lovers Never Wind Up Friends’ and ‘Midnight Flight’ were covered overseas. It was inevitable, for so many reasons, that Mike would record a live album. For alone on stage, with just a guitar, he was able to create a certain magic that couldn’t be easily captured in the studio. ‘An Evening with Mike McClellan’ was released in 1978 and included some of his most requested concert tunes along with several brilliant demonstrations of his unique guitar playing.

1979 saw him compering his first television series ‘National Star Quest’ which lead to his being asked to take over the highly successful ABC program ‘Country Road’. Within a year it became ‘Mike McClellan’s Country Music’ and he continued to present the show for a further 3 years, touring extensively behind the huge national profile that it sustained for him. 1980 marked a change in direction. He parted company with EMI and, working with Harry Vanda and George Young of the Easybeats, released ‘Laughing in the Dark’ on the Albert’s label. It became his second gold album on the strength of the single ‘The One I Love’ - one of his most requested songs, it joined the growing list of McClellan classics and was covered many times internationally.

1982 took him overseas to the UK and America. He was away for 12 months, gathering enthusiastic reviews wherever he played and establishing valuable contacts with international publishers. He returned to Australia in 1983 – and this marked yet another change in his career. Weary of the constant travelling he sought more stability for him and his family. MOJO, then regarded as the most dynamic ad agency in the country persuaded him to write for them. For 2 years he contributed some of the most memorable advertising in television, writing the concepts, words and music for clients such as Australian Airlines, Red Rooster, Channel 9 and growing the XXXX and Tooheys campaigns for the agency. Invigorated by new challenges he and a partner left MOJO and set up their own agency – KAZOO. It grew rapidly over the period from 1986 to 1991. The 2 partners became 3, the staff went from 3 to 30 and the billings went through the roof!

In 1989, despite the ad demands, Mike released a new album ‘Heartland’ (featured here). It is considered by many to be his finest album and marked a return to the EMI label. In 1991, he sold his share holding of KAZOO to set up HOOKS, LINES and THINKERS and take complete control of his own destiny once more. He needed the flexibility to do some more writing for himself, to free up his time and take advantage of the dramatic changes that had been happening in the communications industry itself. He now works with CEOs and senior managers, mentoring and facilitating the development of business, marketing and communication strategies.

1998 was yet another auspicious year in his long career as it marked the release of his first single for
Warner Music. The three songs contained were a little different to past McClellan offerings. They are
tributes to three great Australian sportsmen – Mark Taylor, Don Bradman and David Campese. In late
2001 Mike release a comprehensive retrospective of his recording career. Personally chosen and carefully re-mastered from the original tapes ‘Time And Time Again’. It is an EMI double CD containing 35 of his best songs. Among these are re-recordings of two songs from his very first album and two never previously released - ‘California Cool’ and ‘New York City Blues’. Also in late 2001 we saw the first of what have become standout concerts with old friends Kevin Johnson and Doug Ashdown.

In 2005, in conjunction with Andrew Pattison, who established Melbourne’s much loved acoustic venue ‘The Troubadour’, he brought to Australia and shared the bill with the wonderful US singer/songwriter Danny O’Keefe. There is another CD of new songs now being recorded and for the first time in many years, Mike is back doing concerts, renewing old friendships and playing extensively.

‘Mike is a national treasure – a fine musician, songwriter and performer – in many ways the voice of Australia’ says Dr Greg Whateley, Principal of AICM. ‘I personally grew up listening to Mike’s music and remember every milestone noted in this article. To have Mike at AICM is nothing short of sensational. AICM is a small conservatorium with big plans – and it is a delight to have Mike as part of those plans.’

In 2008+ Mike has accepted a position as Senior Visiting Fellow at AICM and will be involved in teaching and advising on an ongoing basis.
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This post consists of both FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl, another album I picked up in pristine condition  at the market for a couple of bucks. Gee I love Trash & Treasure.  Full album artwork, lyric sheet and label scans are also included.  Another fantastic release from one of Australia's most iconic folk and popular artists.  The first track "Murmur Of The Heart" is brilliant and leads the way for some of his best songs to date.
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Track Listing
01 - Murmur Of The Heart
02 - The Heartland
03 - Storm Out On The Ocean
04 - Sing Me Home Tonight
05 - River Of The Night
06 - I Love That Old Rock 'N' Roll
07 - Face To Face
08 - A Fool Like That
09 - Somebody Else
10 - Sacred Ground
11 - Oh Babe
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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Yes - Yesshows (1980)

(U.K 1968 –2004, 2008–present)
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Yesshows is the second live album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released in November 1980 on Atlantic Records. The album is compiled of recordings from their 1976, 1977, and 1978 tours from dates in North America and Europe with its mixing supervised by bassist Chris Squire.
The live performance included the "in-the-round" stage that rotated throughout the show, so spectators had full view of all band members multiple times.

Really good sound quality and no duplication of songs from the Yessongs album. Great renditions of Ritual and Gates of Delirium. Better than the studio recordings, to me this is a very underrated and worth while Yes Album to have in the collection. Other songs are good but not spectacular but would have preferred if they replaced the other songs with Awaken and sound chaser or Revealing Science of God which I like better such as "Don't kill the whale" or "Parallels".


Yesshows was already a nostalgia item when it hit shelves: The recordings were taken from shows in 1976-78 – featuring two former keyboardists, Wakeman and Relayer's Patrick Moraz. The timing is curious – it arrived three months after the band's 10th album, the divisive Drama, which featured a pair of controversial new recruits, the Buggles' Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. (The former, who had the impossible task of replacing the departed Jon Anderson, was reportedly booed at several shows during his first and only Yes tour.)

Given its place in the Yes timeline, Yesshows was likely a bittersweet listening experience for most fans – reminding of the band's erratic majesty in the mid-to-late '70s, with Anderson at the helm. Today, it's a messy but magnificent glimpse at a sadly overlooked era in the band's wild timeline.
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Yes featuring Patrick Moraz
Album Review
Yes' second live album was released in 1980, post-Drama, but documented the tours of 1976-78. Like its predecessor Yessongs (a triple Live album of epic proportions), it opens with a recording of Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, after which the band launches into "Parallels," one of the best tracks on 1977's Going For The One. It's a heavy, stomping version, too, with Chris Squire and Steve Howe tearing shit up like proto-metal warriors, and it sets the tone for what's actually a really good live collection, unfortunately overshadowed by its more ostentatiously epic predecessor. The track listing offers quite a few surprises; while they play three tracks from Going ("Parallels," the title cut, and "Wonderous Stories") and "Don't Kill The Whale" from Tormato, they also bust out "Time And A Word," from their 1970 second album.


And then there are the epics: This album features a version of "Gates Of Delirium," from 1974's Relayer, that's simply astonishing, and "Ritual/Nous Sommes Du Soleil," originally the fourth side of Tales From Topographic Oceans, is actually split between Sides Three and Four here, swelling to nearly 29 minutes (seven minutes longer than the studio version) in the process. "Gates" is softer and more listener-friendly than the studio version, which was so sonically hot and harsh it was almost avant-metal, with a drum sound like a steel toecap slamming you in the back of the neck. The drums here are a more rounded thump; the vocals are sung in a less urgent, panicky manner; Moraz's keyboards offer fewer of the sci-fi zaps heard on the album, going for Isaac Hayes-ish string patches and fusion/soul organ instead; and the junk-percussion interlude in the middle is impossible to replicate live, so they don't try. Howe and Squire are still set to destroy, of course, but overall this live "Gates" is less delirious, and more rockin'.

Yes featuring Rick Wakeman
It's also interesting to hear Moraz's contributions to "Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil)"; he gets plenty of solo space, but doesn't do all that much to warp the studio version. The second half of the piece, though, really amps up the energy, particularly from Howe; his guitar is absolutely searing. Even more impressive, much of the extra running time is devoted to a drum solo, which would suck if it wasn't accompanied by insane, almost Eye Yamantaka-like vocalizations and high-tension keyboards from Moraz. It builds up a huge wave of energy, which then crashes down into the soft, quiet final section. After that, the band runs through an acoustic-guitar-driven version of "Wonderous Stories," and that's it.  [taken from stereogum.com]
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my pristine vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans. 
In all honesty, this double album pales into insignificance in comparison to its big brother 'Yessongs' but then again, no other band has ever released a live set matching Yes's 1972 epic triple masterpiece, so I guess they had nothing further to prove. 
My main interest in Yesshows was the inclusion of the live rendition of "Ritual" from 'Tales from Topographic Oceans', one of my favourite Yes albums. My only criticism of this live set is the overly long 'audience applause' between the last two tracks which becomes very tiresome after the first play.  I have therefore trimmed off more than 1 min of applause in this rip, to save your sanity.
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Track Listing
01 - Parallels 6:57  *
02 - Time And A Word 4:05  *
03 - Going For The One 5:13  *
04 - The Gates Of Delirium 22:58 +
05 - Don't Kill The Whale 4:12  *
06 - Ritual (Part 1) 12:13  +
07 - Ritual (Part 2) 16:09  +
08 - Wonderous Stories 3:55  *

Track 01 & 08 recorded at Ahoy-Halle, Rotterdam, 24 November, 1977. 
Track 02 & 05 recorded at Empire Pool, Wembley, 27 October, 1978. 
Track 03 recorded at Festhalle, Frankfurt, 18 November 1977. 
Track 04, 06 & 07 recorded at Cobo Hall, Detroit, 17 August 1976. 

Yes Members:
Jon Anderson (Vocals)
Steve Howe (Guitars)
Chris Squire (Bass)
Alan White (Drums)
Rick Wakeman (Keyboards) *
Patrick Moraz (Keyborads) +
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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Pink Floyd - What If It's Just Green Cheese (1969)


Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
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The landing of Apollo 11 on the moon easily qualifies as one of the truly epochal moments of the twentieth century. The three American astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, spent about 21 hours on the moon, during which time countless thousands of people surely looked up and thought, “Wow, there are human beings up there.” In fact, we know for sure that David Gilmour of Pink Floyd was one of those people (see his thoughts below).

With some assistance from its colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany, the BBC mounted programming to celebrate the great event. One of the shows featured a live jam by Pink Floyd. The program was a one-hour BBC1 TV Omnibus special with the whimsical title of "So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?". It was broadcast on July 20, 1969, at 10 p.m. Interestingly, the program featured two actors who would become much more famous about three decades later—Ian McKellan and Judi Dench. Dudley Moore and the Dudley Moore Trio were also on hand.

The Floyd jam session eventually came to be called “Moonhead.” Pink Floyd performed live in the studio, providing suitably spacey music throughout 
the programme. Collector have had audio tapes of this for several years and refer to the music as  "Moonhead". 
The band claim they improvised the entire six-minute instrumental from scratch. It’s included in Pink Floyd’s massive new box set The "Early Years 1965-1972", which was released in 2016.   [Extracts from the book "Pink Floyd: In The Flesh - The Complete Performance History, by Povey & Russell, 1998" ]

David Gilmour reminisced about the appearance in an article he wrote for the Guardian in 2009:

We were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23.

The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. ... They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called “Moonhead”—it’s a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues.



I also remember at the time being in my flat in London, gazing up at the moon, and thinking, “There are actually people standing up there right now.” It brought it home to me powerfully, that you could be looking up at the moon and there would be people standing on it. [extract from dangerousminds.net]

Thanks to Mr. Weird & Wacky for the rip included here for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post. This rarity from Pink Floyd certainly fits both the Weird and Obscure categories, but perhaps gives us some insight into their early fascination with anything Stellar and maybe was the impetus for their master piece 'Dark Side Of The Moon', released several years later.




Saturday, October 28, 2017

Van Morrison - Live Unapproved (1993) Bootleg

(Northern Ireland 1958 - Present)
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Raised in Belfast, Van Morrison came to fame with Them, who had two UK hit singles in 1964-5, with 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Here Comes The Night'. The former hit's B-side was 'Gloria', a  Morrison original, which the Shadows Of Knight took to the US Top 10 in 1966.

Morrison left Them in 1966 after a US tour, and his first solo single, 'Brown Eyed Girl', (1967) was a US Top 10 hit. He then signed to Warners for 1968's 'Astral Weeks', one of the most critically  acclaimed albums of the era.
Between 1970 and 1974, he worked with a superb backing band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, releasing five single albums and one double: 'Moondance' (1970), 'His Band & The Street Choir' (1970), Tupelo Honey' (1971), 'St Dominic's Preview' (1972), 'Hard Nose The Highway' (1973), and the double live album, 'It's Too Late To Stop Now' (1974).
Many regard this period as Morrison's best, as it showed his tremendous vocal range from skillful soulful ballad to straightforward R&B.


1979's spiritually influenced 'Into The Music' included Morrison's first UK hit, 'Bright Side Of The Road' while 1983's 'Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart' was his first UK Top 20 album.
1989's 'Avalon Sunset' involved Georgie Fame on keyboards and included a duet with Cliff Richard, 'Whenever God Shines His Light', which became Morrison's biggest ever UK hit single.
'Enlightenment' (1990) and 'Hymns To The Silence' (1991) -both UK Top 5 - continued his new-found direction.

1993's Too Long In Exile' (with guest John Lee Hooker) and the 1994 double live set 'A Night In San Francisco' then preceded 1995's 'Days Like This', which received rave reviews.
[extract from "The Encyclopedia of Rock" edited by Michael Healey, Carlton Books, 1996.p79-80]
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Stogumber Church, Somerset U.K
Bootleg Review
The show on this CD must be a audience recording. Recorded live at the Church of our Lady St. Mary, Stogumber, Somerset, U.K., January 17, 1990. The sound is not the greatest, probably because of the acoustics of the church where Van was playing. The concert was a surprise concert where only
about 300 people could take part in. For more information on this show, see pg. 167 of Steve Turner's biography of Van Morrison.

Additional notes from Andy Lock:
I'm the person who set up the concert (see the John Collis book). The reason the sound is poor is because it was recorded from the front, which picked up the band monitors rather than the main PA.
The band members listed on the The Church of our Lady St Mary CD are completely wrong  [the correct lineup is shown below]. The CD missed off "In the Garden", which closed the set, and I think it was the first ever live performance of "It's So Quiet in Here".

From the liner notes:
It hardly seemed credible - Van Morrison, a rock legend for over 25 Years, playing live to a small audience in the Somerset parish church of Stogumber. But it was happening, and there was a good mix of locals and Somerset people together with a sprinkling of 'devotees' from far and wide to witness it. In the side-chapel Van Morrison waits, his face gleaming above his dark coat. He really looks quite distinguished with long straggly hair. He grabs the saxophone and plays a Latin style intro to "Did Ye Get Healed? *"

His voice sounds so good and natural in these surroundings. He looks round to his band and bursts into his Christmas hit "Whenever God Shines His Light"*, gesturing the crowd to clap. They need little encouragement. He plays the standard "It's All In The Game" with Georgie Fame singing falsetto backing like any regular choir boy. The crowd loves it. Then it's a run-through some of Van's best-known songs and you realise how many of them have a spiritual fell. Almost too soon it's the interval. The vicar says he will ring the bell when it's time to come back! The second half includes the powerful "Into The Mystic" and closes with "Down By The Riverside"*, which almost brings the house down. 
[ * not included on this bootleg release - see alternative releases]
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my MOJO CD Bootleg and includes their 'signature red' artwork. As mentioned, the quality of the recording is nothing to write home about being an audience recording rather than soundboard sourced.  But if you enjoy hearing 'Van the Man' belt out what he does best (a spiritual song fest), then go gotta have this one.
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Track Listing:
01. When Will I Ever Learn (5:07)
02. Full Force Gale (2:15)
03. Beautiful Vision (3:58)
04. It's All In The Game (5:34)
05. Orange Field (3:24)
06. Give Me My Rapture (3:39)
07. Bright Side Of The Road (3:42)
08. Vanlose Stairway (4:27)
09. Dweller On The Threshold (4:01)
10. Thank God (3:01)
11. Into The Mystic (4:54)
12. Northern Muse (6:16) 

Musicians:
Van Morrison: Guitar, saxophone, keyboards 
Georgie Fame: hammond organ 
Dave Early: drums 
Bernie Holland: guitar 
Haji Ahkba: flugelhorn 
Brian Odger: bass 

Van Morrison Link (104Mb)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Larry Carlton - Discovery (1987)

(U.S 1962 - Present)
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Perhaps more than any other guitar player, Larry Carlton helped create and define the West Coast guitar sound of the 70's, having played on over 3000 sessions and over 100 gold albums by such stars as Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell, Linda Rondstadt, John Lennon, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond and Christopher Cross. Larry's talents stretched into television, garnering four Grammy nominations, winning with Mike Post for "Hill Street Blues." His soundtrack credits include "Against All Odds."

Carlton gained distinction for the unmistakable and often imitated "sweet" sound he delivered with his Gibson ES-335. He also broke new ground with his new trademark volume pedal technique, eloquently displayed in his featured performance on ­ Crusader One with legendary jazz/rock group The Crusaders in 1971.

During his tenure with The Crusaders (through to 1976), Carlton performed on 13 of their albums, often contributing material. In 1973, Carlton released his second solo project, 'Singing/Playing', on Blue Thumb Records ­ aptly titled, as he not only played guitar, but also performed vocals on eight tracks.

Before he transitioned completely to a solo career, Carlton became one of the most in-demand studio musicians of the past three decades.
As his association with the Crusaders began to draw to a close, Carlton signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1977. Between ’78 and ’84, Larry recorded six solo albums for Warner Bros. Records:  Mr. 335: Live In Japan, Friends; Eight Times Up; Sleep Walk; Strikes Twice; Larry Carlton. The latter self-titled album was released hot on the heels of his debut session with rock supergroup Steely Dan. Rolling Stone magazine lists Carlton’s tasty ascent on Steely Dan’s Kid Charlemagne as one of the three best guitar licks in rock music.

After thirteen albums with the legendary Crusaders and numerous Steely Dan sessions, Larry's solo career has expanded his worldwide reputation as an artist/producer of great sensitivity and high standards. In 1985 he was approached by the newly formed MCA Master Series to consider doing an acoustic jazz album. His first release for the new label was 'Alone, But Never Alone', a consensus No. 1 album on the Radio & Records and Billboard Jazz charts.

Larry continued studio session work and touring in between, emerging again in 1986 on MCA Records with an all-acoustic album, 'Discovery', which contained an instrumental remake of Michael McDonald’s hit, "Minute by Minute." The single won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1987. Carlton’s live album, Last Nite, released in 1987, got him a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prized 'MINT' vinyl and includes artwork for both vinyl and CD, plus label scans.  I was ecstatic when I found this album in amongst a pile of classical albums at a garage sale recently, still sealed in its shrink wrap and still as new as the day it was first pressed. What makes this find even better is the quality of the pressing - a special Audiophile custom pressing using premium virgin vinyl as part of the MCA Master Series.  The quality of the recording is amazing and Larry has once again demonstrated why he is considered to be the king of the West  Coast guitar sound.  As much as the Doobie's cover "Minute by Minute" is the highlight of the album (on which Michael McDonald plays keyboard), the remaining tracks hold their own making this one of Larry's best acoustic releases.
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Track Listing

01. Hello Tomorrow
02. Those Eyes
03. Knock On Wood
04. Discovery
05. My Home Away From Home
06. March Of The Jazz Angels
07. Minute By Minute
08. A Place For Skipper
09. Her Favorite Song

Acoustic Guitar: Larry Carlton
Keyboards: Terry Trotter
Bass: John Pena
Drums: Rick Marotta
Percussion: Michael Fisher
Sax Solos: Kirk Whalum
Keyboard on "Minute By Minute": Michael McDonald
Horn Section: Jerry Hey and Gary Grant (Trumpets) with Larry Williams on Woodwinds
Vocals by Larry, David Pack and Michele Pillar
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Larry Carlton MP3 Link (97Mb)
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Larry Carlton FLAC Link (250Mb)
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