Sunday, April 15, 2018

Grateful Dead - Live Unapproved (1993) Bootleg

(U.S 1965 - 1995)
From the 1960s until the 1995 death of guitarist, singer-songwriter Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead played roughly 2,300 long, freeform concerts that touched down on their own country-, blues and folk –tinged songs, and on a similarly wide range of cover versions. Along the way, they popularized the concept of the jam band, influencing thousands of songwriters and basement improvisers and earning themselves maybe the most loyal fans a rock band have ever had.

Nearly as famous as the band itself were its legions of "Deadheads" — predominantly white men who have lovingly preserved the era that spawned the Dead by emulating their Summer of Love predecessors' philosophy and that period's accoutrements: tie-dye clothing, hallucinogenic drugs, and the Dead's music. These fans supported the band with an almost religious fever, following the group around the country, trading tapes of live concerts (something the band allowed as long as it wasn't for profit, providing prime spots for tapers at shows), and providing a synergy between band and audience that was unique in rock. In true psychedelic style, the Grateful Dead preferred the moment to the artefact — but to keep those moments coming, the Dead evolved into a far-flung and smoothly run corporate enterprise that, for all its hippie trimmings, drew admiring profiles in the financial and mainstream press.

As the band evolved over the years, Jerry Garcia becomes the leader of the band. Not that all this causes any great friction. The Dead has always been a band without a leader and without a plan. Jerry does everything humanly possible to live down this role, but sooner or later he is thrust into that position. And he is a natural leader. He grew up with it. His dad, who was a leader of a Dixieland band, knew what it took to hold anywhere from ten to 15 instruments together. And when the Grateful Dead turns into the Hippie Buffalo Bill Show, Jerry is the obvious focal point. He's the innovator. The symbol. There will be no ice cream flavors named after Phil Lesh.
The Grateful Dead's manner of writing songs is a haphazard, hit-or-miss business. Nothing is nailed down. First the guys try out their songs in front of an audience. For most groups a song is written and arranged, then is put out on record. The tracks get played on radio. Only then does the band go out On the Road and back up the record. It basically lip-synchs its own songs. But Dead sets are four-hour exercises in "let's see what happens." Never have a playlist, never write it down.

There is no such thing as a finished Dead song. It always changes. You never know what will pop up at a Dead concert, or in what form it will appear. The main thing is the freedom to fuck up. This is something we took to heart from all those acid tests. Bobby Weir will often forget a new song in front of 15,000 people. The crowd loves it.
What is that? It's a new song. And the Dead don't make announcements. They don't say, "This is from our new album, it's called 'New Potato Caboose.'" If they can't remember it, they just stumble through it, make a mistake and get back to the groove. If they sort out tentatively because someone in the band can't remember the changes, then it just becomes a hiccup of a song and they slide into something else.

Sometimes it takes two or three years of performing a song before it gets a personality. It's only through playing these tunes to a live audience that you would ever get such a radical transformation of "Good Lovin'", which began life as a funky boogaloo and then after years of being played and leaned on turned into a reggae island hip-hop number. But despite all the fiddling with songs and procrastination, the Dead eventually develop a big book of songs. In the seventies we played a five-night stand in San Francisco and repeated only four songs. At the closing of Winterland in San Francisco some fans hung a huge banner that said: 1535™ NIGHT SINCE YOU LAST PLAYED "DARK STAR." Now, that's devotion. [extract from Dead Reckonings: The Life And Times Of The Grateful Dead, by John Rocco. Schirmer Trade Books, 1999. p90-91]
Based on the track listings for this bootleg it is my opinion that these recordings were made in 1977 and probably originated from their Buffalo Memorial Auditorium NY. concert - 9th May, 1977.
The following are some first hand reviews of this concert.
Review1 [Dylan M, 2007]
May 5th-9th in 1977 found the dead in their top form, and this show is no exception, infact it is proof to any nay sayers of late 70s dead (how could you be?) This show is perfect. Keith isn't blackout wasted and is hitting his key solos with perfection. Bobby actually hits some interesting riffs, specifically in Bertha. Donna isn't overwhelming Bobby or Jerry vocally. Phil is experimenting like never before on the fretless. These are the most Intense Phil Bombs on the Deads entire career.

Without spelling out the whole setlist which is all amazing (except for Sunrise, but that goes without saying, and was expected in 77') I'll point out the highlights.

Franklin's Tower opener is quite a treat with the band in high vocal form and no slacker moments in the slipknot jam. Phil and Bobby seem to have a mutual understanding of what needs to happen in this.
The only time anyone messes up in this show is when Jerry forgets the words during Franklin's Tower..."One Watch.....if you get confused, listen to the music play!" Makes for a classic version of the song. A perfect show if there ever was one. Quintessential versions of Peggy-O, Comes A Time, Uuncle Johns Band, Music Never Stopped and Cassidy.

Another set 1 topper seems to be Big River which is spectacular. Each instrument is relevant and no one is "soloing", everyone is cooperating.

Many reviewers have mentioned Music Never Stopped as being great here. Again we get some outrageous Phil bombs with a faster, more intense solo than used to from Jerry in this song. I almost felt twinges of the guitar energy displayed in numbers like the Eleven from 1969 fillmore shows. Never would Garcia play guitar this sharply or intensly again.

Second set is magic time and dosn't nessesarilly follow the second set formula. Bertha->Good Lovin smokes and Ship of Fools, while a wonderful song, squashes the energy from the 1st two songs.

This bootleg tape is always, always with me wherever I go and is a prerequisite for long road trips.

What do the Dead do after playing 08/05/77? They drop the heat on us with this.
Everybody knows 08/05/77: the Legendary Cornell show. But with all the hoopla surrounding that one specific date, it seems that many folks have blocked out the amazing music that surrounded that incredible musical experience. Case in point: the following night in Buffalo. The energy from the previous night is channelled into perhaps the best version of Help>Slip>Franklin’s of the year. Gone is the meandering mellowness of 1976. This is the Dead at their finest. The boys are on fire. The transitions are spot on and Jerry’s vocals and guitar work on Franklin’s Tower are magnificent. My four favourite versions of this trifecta are One From The Vault, Beacon Theatre, 06/14/76, this version here and the beauty that is the opening sequence of Without A Net.

The Grateful Dead 1977, with singer Donna Jean Godchaux

The rest of the first set is perfect Dead: Brown-Eyed Women shines with Americana and Jerry pours his heart into the solos. Bobby’s clean slide work compliments Jerry’s fiery guitar as the boys flow into a traditional Bobby Mexicali. Tennessee Jed follows and Jerry is on as always. I have a huge affection towards a well-played Big River. This one here…well, just listen. Johnny Cash wrote it. Bobby sings it. But Jerry makes it his own. Take a listen after Keith’s piano solo. Pure magic. This is vintage Garcia. Billy fills in with a beautiful flourish and we wind down into Peggy-O. Has there ever been a more beautiful Garcia tune? Vocals, guitar work, timing…perfect. Jerry’s first solo takes us far, far away and then gently brings us back. Tales of rejection and triumphant return entwine beautifully, while we, the listener, are reminded of a time when worry was closer to home. Why do we find this experience so emotional? Ask any deadhead and you will get a different answer. History combines with beauty. Why am I listening to a band that I only saw live once? Why do I feel an instant affinity to any person that I hear playing the boys? Well, the music lives on and hopefully I can forward some of the experience to all of you. That the music lives on and continues to gain listeners is a testament to the integrity of the band. The spark that was lit back in my formative years has grown and I hope that I have helped turn on a few friends along the way. I will just leave it at this: do those first notes of Eyes of the World always make you smile? No matter where you are or what you are doing? 
“Right outside this lazy summer home….”

Sunrise is standard as always, but my goodness…The Music Never Stopped. This song was born in 1976, but the Band brought it to its height in 1977. If I were to pick my favorite Donna accompaniment, it would be the Music Never Stoppeds from 1976-1978 or the Wharf Rats from the same era. All else aside, this version is one of the best from 1977 and may be the best from the late 1970’s.
A beautiful Bertha begins the second set. Jerry, Bobby and Phil charge through and bring the first set magic right to the forefront. A predictable Good Lovin’ flows into Ship of Fools. Jerry brings everything down, down, down only to launch into Estimated. This tune was still relatively new to the band having only been introduced during the Terrapin Station recording sessions. Any hesitancy the band may have had at the February Swing Auditorium show has now dissipated. Estimated is here to stay. Jerry’s thwunky wah goads Phil right into The Other One.
For astute listeners, Jerry’s signature 1977 “growl” can be heard in evolution throughout 1976. Swing Auditorium 1977 is really where the 1977 “Jerry growl” takes over. Throughout 1976, Jerry’s tone can be heard to flow in and out of the “signature growl.” Sometimes we hear him almost all the way there and then at other times we hear the individual beauty of 1976. An overlooked year indeed: a transition year. But if you catch yourself with an ear for the Dead, you will recognize 1976 right out of the gate. Such is the beauty of the Dead. When you know, you know.

Buffalo Ticket Stubb
The Other One is one of the Dead’s primal tunes. Here we get a dark, yet fully satisfying version that flows into early Dead psychedelia while maintaining the feel of late 1970’s Dead. Mickey and Billy intersperse a brief drum interval and then the band falls into Not Fade Away. The boys have been playing this tune since 1970 and are quite aware of where they can take it. The drums thunder as Jerry finds inexplicable note combinations and the band builds towards an inexorable crescendo, only to find all the instruments fade away… except Jerry.
The haunting notes of Comes a Time slowly emerge: a solo Jerry tune that was worked seamlessly into the Dead repertoire. Pure emotion. The end solo section is pristine. And then we come to every deadhead’s favorite tune: Sugar Magnolia. I cannot say I ever liked this tune, but you become numb to it after a while.
The Dead were never known for playing the best encores. But honestly, I will take an Uncle John’s Band encore any day. From a historical perspective: a fitting send-off to a brilliant three-night run. The Grateful goddamn Dead!
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my MOJO CD and includes the usual 'red generic artwork' and accompanying concert photos.  This is a great recording, with the sound quality almost rating a 10/10 (definitely a soundboard recording).   Although not the complete concert this sample of 7 tracks provides some of the highlights from their 4th show in May, 1977- and is closely associated with their legendary Cornell concert held the night before.  Hope all you 'Deadheads' out their enjoy this one - if you haven't heard it before.
Track Listing
01 - The Music Never Stopped
02 - Cassidy
03 - Bertha
04 - Good Lovin'
05 - Tennessee Jed
06 - Ship Of Fools
07 - Franklin's Tower
Grateful Dead were:
Jerry Garcia - Guitar, Vocals
Bob Weir - Guitar, Vocals
Phil Lesh - Bass Guitar
Bill Kreutzmann - Drums/Percussion
Mickey Hart - Drums/Percussion
Keith Godchaux - Keyboards, Vocals
Donna Godchaux - Vocals


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Crossfire - Hysterical Rochords (1982)

(Australian 1974 - 1983)
Crossfire were an Australian jazz-fusion band active from 1974 to 1983, which recorded five studio albums. The primary composers of the group were founding members Jim Kelly (guitars) and Michael Kenny (keyboards, piano). Other members of Crossfire included Ian Bloxsom (percussion, glockenspiel), Greg Lyon and Phil Scorgie (electric bass), Don Reid and Tony Buchanan (saxophones, flute), John Proud, Doug Gallacher, Steve Hopes, and Mark Riley (drums).

Crossfire were a jazz-fusion band formed in Sydney in 1974 with a line-up of Ian Bloxsom on percussion, Tony Buchanan on saxophone, Steve Hopes on drums, Jim Kelly on guitar, Michael Kenny on piano and Greg Lyon on bass guitar. Bloxsom, Kelly and Kenny had been band mates in Southern Contemporary Rock Assembly. The ensemble issued a self-titled debut album late in 1975, with a line-up of Bloxsom; Kelly; Kenny on keyboards and trumpet; Lyon on bass guitar and vocals; John Proud on drums and Don Reid on reeds. Rock Australia Magazine's Felicity Surtees found that the group had "gone past the stage of being just a creative outlet and has become a major part of their lives." Lyon described their style, "what we play is contemporary music. We're influenced by everyone really... It allows everyone to be creative."

Crossfire 1978
Crossfire were the first Australian artists to use direct-to-disc recording for their aptly titled second album, ''Direct to Disc, in late 1978. It was produced and engineered by Alan Thorne and issued by Trafalgar Records/RCA. For the album, the line-up was Bloxsom; Kenny on Wurlitzer piano and flugelhorn; Lyon; and Kelly; joined by Doug Gallacher on drums; and Don Reid on saxophones and flute. Michael Foster of the Canberra Times felt "their music displays many moods — playful and joyous, eerie and sombre — always sensitive, reflecting the influences and experiences of each player." He emphasised "the effect gained by the horns, which seem to hang suspended a lot of the time against a backdrop of the instruments which normally carry rhythm, and the percussion group. The rhythm and percussion instruments often, as is the way since bop, step outside their roles as custodians of time and measure, and establish their own rights to individual actions."

Jim Kelly
The group's third album, East of Where (1980), was issued on WEA and was co-produced by Kelly, Kenny and Martin Benge. All the tracks were written by Kelly or Kenny. For this album Bloxsom, Buchanan, Hopes, Kelly and Kenny were joined by Phil Scorgie bass guitar. Foster found there was "more humour in this album than in the previous one. The music is of the same genre, but there is a certain wryness in the approach to its work, by one of Australia's most exciting bands." Although "there are times when it gets a little heavy, but generally the music lifts and soars, and is fun to listen to."

Crossfire were the backing band for the American jazz singer Michael Franks on an Australian tour, which provided a live album, Michael Franks with Crossfire Live (1980). In late 1982 they issued their fourth studio album, Hysterical Rochords, again with Kelly, Kenny and Benge co-producing. The line-up was Bloxsom, Buchanan, Hope, Kelly, Kenny and Scorgie. The Canberra Times' W. L. Hoffman noticed that "there are six tunes, all of them interesting and, again, all of them written by [Kelly or Kenny]." Hoffman praised the title track, "it is a neatly structured, very bluesy piece, with Ton Buchanan's saxophone threading through the tune, bringing it all together" while "the sounds continue on the second side, smooth, singing music as is characteristic of Crossfire."

Crossfire 1982

During 1982 Crossfire undertook an international tour through India, Holland, England and the United States. The group's performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on 16 July 1982 was recorded. It was released as their second live album, Live at Montreux (July 1983). The ensemble were Bloxsom on percussion and mallets, Buchanan on saxophones and shakers, Kelly, Kenny, Lyon and Mark Riley on drums. Eric Myers declared, in the July-August edition of Jazz magazine, that the gig showed the group "playing original music that is an outgrowth of our own culture, can take their place on the international stage with the best of them ... a great moment for Crossfire and a high point for Australian music." The group disbanded later that year. Their performance at the Basement in Sydney was broadcast on ABC radio's The Burrows Collection for the episode, "Ten Years On – The Basement" in August 1984.[10] The gig had included guest vocals from Erana Clark and Barry Leaf.

Crossfire reunited briefly in 1991 and issued another album, Tension Release; with the line-up of Bloxsom, Buchanan, Hopes, Kelly, Kenny and Lyon. In July that year they promoted its release with a series of gigs in Sydney.[extract from wikipedia]

Album Review from Canberra Times (11/10/1982)
CROSSFIRE is also an all-Australian group, and I suppose it is appropriate to add my own prejudices to the nationalism which has been so evident these past many days, with Brisbane the epicentre.

There arc six tunes, all of them interesting and, again, all of them written by group members. Keyboard player Michael Kenny wrote the title track (two on side one), 'Youth In Asia' (3/1) and 'Trinity' (2/2); Guitarist Jim Kelly wrote 'No Hands Jive' (1/1), 'Miles Away' (1/2) and 'Let It Slide Down Easy' (3/2). Those two, with Martin Benge, produced the album.

Tony Buchanan
'No Hands Jive' has a Caribbean influence. 'Hysterical Rochords' is nothing like the music implied in the title. Indeed it is a neatly structured, very bluesy piece, with Ton Buchanan's saxophone threading through the tune, bringing it all together.

Again, the music is somewhat different to what is expected from the title of 'Youth In Asia'. There are some passages which hint at Asian subtleties, but Buchanan again seems to be in charge and rather seems to wail like a West Coaster on the rampage.

The sounds continue on the second side, smooth, singing music as is characteristic of Crossfire. Ian Bloxsom's percussion, Phil Scorgie's bass and Steve Hopes' drums are all of importance in the rounded sound.

It is a sound which is distinctive, easy on the ears and which swings. It, too, is Australian, and very good indeed.

Michael Kenny
Another Review 
by Mr MarcGorium's Wonder Emporium

Hysterical Rochords was the fourth album from Australian fusion group Crossfire. This album contains six pieces, all pretty generic jazz fusion, and far more poppy than other jazz fusion albums. If you’re into the 70s era of Zappa, but don’t want the comical side, then this is the album for you.

To be honest, I can’t really find a fault in the performances. The arrangements are quite nice, and there are plenty of nice uses of different instruments all over the place. The hooks on some of the songs are quite good too, and it’s all very clean. There in lies the problem however – it’s just sort of… too polished. There is very little emotion coming from these tracks, and instead it’s just very well executed jazz rock.

Stand out track is the 10 minute ‘Youth In Asia’, which, despite the title, didn’t actually make me want to end my own life. Pretty good music all round, but it will leave you feeling like you needed just a bit more.

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my virgin vinyl and features full album artwork for both CD & Vinyl formats, plus label scans. This is another great album from one of the best jazz rock bands to have come out of Australian. This album is also very hard to find, so you might want to grab yourself a copy here, before it becomes a truly 'historical record'. LOL

Track Listing 
01 - No Hands Jive 5:08
02 - Hysterical Rochords 6:54
03 - Youth in Asia 10:05
04 - Miles Away 5:43
05 - Trinity 7:38
06 - Let It Slide Down Easy 5:36

Crossfire were:
Jim Kelly - Guitars
Michael Kenny - Keyboards
Ian Bloxson - Percussion, Mallets
Tony Buchanan - Sax, Flute, Clarinet
Phil Scorgie - Bass
Steve Hopes - Drums

Friday, April 6, 2018

Various Artists - Rock Made In Germany '79 (1979)

(Germany 1978-79)
German rock music (Deutschrock) came into its own only by the late 1960s, but spawned many bands and were often referred to as Krautrock artists. Mostly instrumental, the signature sound of Krautrock mixed rock music and "rock band" instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums) with electronic instrumentation and textures, often with what would now be described as an ambient music sensibility. Bands such as Can, Kraftwerk, & Tangerine Dream come to mind, while heavier bands such as Scorpions, Eloy and Jane also fit the bill.
This compilation of German bands was released by Electrola (a subsidiary of EMI) in 1979 and features some of the bands listed above.  The thing I really like about Electrola releases is that they are German pressings and the quality of their recordings are excellent, similar to Japanese quality.
A couple of relatively unknown bands in amongst some regulars, makes this sampler a mixed bag for Krautrock collectors.
Track: I Don't Even Know Your Name
Album: A La Carte
Personnel: JURGEN FRITZ - Keyboards, vocals

This is probably the best internationally known German symphonic rock band. Triumvirat's music was very keyboard-oriented, earning their reputation as the German equivalent of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Ekseption or P.F.M. It is tempting to think that these bands always attempted to outdo each other with their pompous, vast instrumental exhibitions, often based firmly on classical themes. In addition, Triumvirat's conceptual albums were often based around moments from European history. Organist and leader Jurgen Fritz assembled the original trio in 1970. In 1971 Hans Pape become their bassist and participated in the recording of their first album Mediterranean Tales in the Electrola Studio, Cologne, January 1972. Hans Pape later quit and was replaced by Helmut Kollen. Illusions On A Double Dimple (1974) did so well in the USA that it entered the Billboard charts! It was the combination of accessible symphonic-progressive music coupled with good marketing by EMI that made this possible!
In Germany, however, the band wasn't able to sell its' records so well. In the press, their music was slaughtered by the overcool music journalists, then as now! Spartacus (1975) is considered by many to be Triumvirat's best album. Old Loves Die Hard (1976) saw the addition of the vocalist Barry Palmer and the re-instatement of former bassist Dick Frangenberg. This album sweetened their style, moving them dangerously close to supermarket-muzak.
The band underwent several personal changes (including the loss of vocalist Helmut Köllen, who died of carbon monoxide as he listened to some of his studio songs in the car while the engine was running in his garage). The band ended in 1980 with the release of their final album, Russian Roulette. The featured track "I Don't Even Know Your Name" comes from their sixth studio album 'A La Carte' released in 1978

Lilac Angels
Track: Hard To Be Free
Album: Hard To Be Free
Personnel: JOE STICK - Vocals, guitar, keyboards
BODO STAIGER - Guitar, vocals
PETER WOLLEC - Bass, vocals

Groups like Lilac Angels were quite rare in Germany in the early seventies - they were not too keen on musical experiments, but more interested in making good time rock'n'roll music, inspired by Rolling Stones and rhythm & blues in general. Surprisingly enough, the band was groomed by Klaus Dinger (of Neu and La Dusseldorf), who produced their first album and released it on his own short-lived Dingerland label. The recordings were done in March and April 1973 in Windrose studios, Hamburg, with Konrad Plank engineering. With titles like "Rock'n'Roll Hand" and "Hard Lovin' Man" you know what to expect!   Lilac Angels were rather the traditional rock band, with their conservative glam rock appeal, they were supposed to be more successful.
In Rudi Esch's google book 'Electri_City: The Düsseldorf School of Electronic Music', Bodo Staiger states "The Lilac Angels were like a springboard for me. We were a glam rock band who often played live. I was studying guitar at the time and was in my training. I simply wanted to play. Although the Lilacs were not a great love, at that time they were just right for me. We played pieces written by Joe Stick, he was the singer, songwriter and band leader.
As the Lilacs we released two albums; the first to lauch Klaus' label 'Dingerland' in 1974, and the second one recorded with me in 1977, then released through EMI Electrola in 1978, before we split in 1979."
The featured track "Hard To Be Free" is taken from their second studio LP of the same name, released in 1978.

Track: Sunday Jam
Album: Self-titled
Personnel: ROSCO GEE - Bass, Vocals
MICHAEL KAROLI - Guitar, Vocals
REEBOP KWAKU BAAH - Percussion, Vocals

German experimental rock band formed in Cologne circa 1968, initially as Inner Space and becoming "The Can" when fronted by black American singer Malcolm Mooney. Can are well-known as one of the key pioneers of Krautrock, particularly during the era when fronted by Japanese singer Kenji "Damo" Suzuki who "turned their sound towards a crazy mixture of improvisation, noise, mantra and funk rhythms". They were constantly at the forefront of the scene during their 10+ year history, composed music for a number of esteemed feature films, and their pop satire single "I Want More" became an international hit, while their 1971 hit album "Tago Mago" still sells strong today and is considred to be their finest hour.
Their featured track "Sunday Jam" was taken from their self-titled release from 1979 (not 1978 as stated on the album cover) and was Can's last release before splitting and taking a seven year hiatus.
This release is seriously underated in my opinion. While the band's last few albums saw them drift into a pit of mediocrity, 'Can' is a return to form, in a way. No, this couldn't pass for a
Damoera album at all, but it's a lot tighter sounding than anything since 'Soon Over Babaluma'. "All Gates Open", "A Spectacle" and "Sunday Jam" are probably the best songs Can made post-Babaluma. While some have called it another disco sellout album, it's a hell of a lot better than the incredibly mediocre 'Out of Reach' and 'Saw Delight'. Even the often-slagged-on "Can Can" is pretty enjoyable in sort of a novel way. While this is not anywhere near their earlier albums, it really doesn't deserve to be overlooked.

Track: Blame It On These Endless Nights
Album: Selftitled
Personnel: BERND UNGER - Guitar, backing vocals, claves, maracas, autoharp, tambourine.
WALTER SEYFFER - Lead vocals, cabasa, backing vocals, tambourine, triangle.

As Nine Days Wonder disbanded in 1979, Seyffer and Unger kept together as Wintergarden. They had enough of being independent and forced themselves to get a major deal. Electrola signed a contract. The deal made it possible to record an album without any financial restrictions. Some very famous German musicians were featured on their first album Wintergarden: Chuck Trevor [Thomas Tscheschner] from Karthago and Kin Ping Meh on bass, Ian Cussick sang backing vocals and Dieter Arendt on drums [both Lake]. Christian Schimanski played the pedal steel guitar.
This debut album sold 50.000 copies. Not enough for Electrola but enough to let them record a second one (The Land of Milk & Honey). As success failed the record company wanted to decide over the next album. Seyffer and Unger quit the contract.
In the end their publisher wanted a third album. The duo pressed some demo recordings on vinyl and committed it to the publisher.

Track: Always Somewhere
Album: Lovedrive
Personnel: ULRICH ROTH - Guitar

This well known heavy rock band is listed here mainly due to the significance of their first album Lonesome Crow (1972), released on the green Brain label. From the album's catalogue number, you will see that this was the first album on the Brain 1,000 series! Their debut was way better than those albums that brought Scorpions international fame - much more experimental and 'progressive' in sound!  Their ace guitarist Michael Schenker left soon after this album for international adventures with the heavy metal group U.F.O. (their first albums were also great!). He'd met this group when Scorpions supported U.F.O.'s German-tour. This left Scorpions under the command of Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker, who re-launched the band with Fly To The Rainbow on RCA in 1974. Their new guitarist Ulrich Roth provided some interesting moments on their albums up to 1978. Scorpions gradually established themselves as the leading heavy metal band in Germany as their creative energy decreased and horrible heavy ballads (their trade mark) became their trademark.

Prior to Lovedrive's recording, from which the featured track "Always Somewhere" is taken, the Scorpions' lineup had a major change when their lead guitarist, Uli Jon Roth, quit the group (not to mention, the rock genre was rapidly changing). With this in mind, the band not only highlighted the album with the licks and riffs of three guitarists (Rudolf Schenker, Michael Schenker, Matthias Jabs), but they also dramatically changed their style to sound more like that of Van Halen. This change is quite welcome; not only are the performances more unpredictable, but the lyrics and melodies are better written. In fact, some of the Scorpions' best songs, such as "Loving You Sunday Morning," "Holiday," and of course "Always Somewhere" are found here, making it one of their finest releases.

Eberhard Schoener
Track: Octogon
Album: Video Magic
Personnel: EBERHARD SCHOENER - Keyboards
STING - Bass Guitar, Vocals
EVERT FRATERMAN - Drums, Percussion

Eberhard Schoener has been a very influential character on the German rock scene, not due to his recorded output, but as an inspirational source and general advisor for up and coming musicians. He was born the 13 May 1938 in Stuttgart. Between 1952 and 1958 he studied violin and conducting in Detmold. In 1962 he founded the Munich Youth Symphony Orchestra, which he conducted for eight years. From 1966 he become the artistic manager and premier conductor of the Munich Kammeroper. He was the man who brought the first moog synthesizer to Germany in 1968. He experimented a lot with this instrument at the Bavaria studio in Munich and encouraged Florian Fricke to buy one. Schoener's synthesizer experiments were documented on his first three solo albums, two of which were moog adaptations of classical music in the style of Walter Carlos. The third one comprised similar adaptations of American folk and country music!  His work with the Munich Kammeroper in collaboration with Procol Harum (Germany-tour 1972) and Jon Lord (presenting the "Gemini Suite" live) was more significant. Jon Lord was and is a long-term friend of Schooner. Meditation (1974) was his first electronic work in its own right, inspired by an extended trip to Asia. It was another one of Schoener's many attempts to merge different musical traditions. With Tony Ashton (vocals, piano, organ), David Coverdale (vocals), Ray Fenwick (guitar), Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals, guitar), Jon Lord (keyboards), Pete York (drums) and two opera singers he led the ambitious classical and rock fusion project Windows. With the exception of Bali-Agung, an uncommon merging of Balinese traditional music and rock with Pete York and Sigi Schwab (guitar), all the Harvest albums were further classical and rock concept albums with contributions from famed musicians like Andy Summers (guitar). Steward Copeland (drums). Sting (bass) and Olaf Kubler (sax).

The featured track "Octogon" is taken from Schoener's collaborative album with The Police, entitled 'Video Magic'. Although Schoener's atmospheric washes of keyboards are to be duly noted, the undeniable focus of interest here is the constant presence of guest backing band the Police. For Police fanatics, this album is a real find: not so good as a "lost" Police album, perhaps, but better than the Brimstone and Treacle soundtrack. Summers' guitar takes on a rockier sound than usual, and Copeland's drumming work is as tight and propulsive as ever. Sting's bass and vocals here are often low in the mix, with his voice echoing and mantra-like in repetition. This is used to wonderful effect in the pulsing "Why Don't You Answer" and the soaring opening track, "Trans-Am." Even a bit of rapid-fire urban narrative is indulged in "San Francisco Waitress." This all isn't as much of an aberration as new wave Police fans might think: the band had hidden prog-rock roots, as Summers was an early Soft Machine alum and Copeland a veteran of Curved Air. This album, and Schoener's influence, caught the Police at a turning point in their development from a guitar band in Zenyatta Mondatta to a moodier studio band with a broader sonic palette in Ghost in the Machine.

Track: Ausflug
Album: Flyday
Personnel: PETER WOLBRANDT - Guitars, vocals, strings, percussion
INGO BISCHOF - Keyboards
HELMUT HATTLER - Bass, percussion, backing vocals

The name Kraan was short, concise and meant absolutely nothing. Still the band was to become one of the most important and stylistically characteristic German jazz-rock bands of the seventies. Kraan was formed in Ulm (south of Stuttgart) in 1970. All members had their backgrounds in free jazz bands. Johannes "Alto" Pappert on his side had a passion for soul, but came to Kraan directly from a rock band. Their debut album was recorded in May 1972 and later released on Spiegelei in a colourful fold-out sleeve. It contained their basic live repertoire at the time (and also favourites for years to come) like: "Kraan Arabia" (a cunning jazz trip into Eastern music) "Sarah's Ritt Durch den Schwarzwald" and "Head" (an 18 minute long improvisation). A remarkable album, it was recorded in just three days at Studio 70, Munich. Instrumentally it was well-balanced between Pappert, Wolbrandt and the outstanding bass-work of Hattler, then just 20 years old but already a master of his instrument.

The two following albums, Wintrup (1973) and Andy Nogger (1974), were similar in style. They sold quite well, even gaining a release in the States. In those days, Kraan toured Germany a lot and were renowned for their great performances full of improvisations. The excitement of a Kraan concert was caught perfectly on Live (1975) - one of the best German live albums of all time! Improved versions of many of their old songs were included with extended solos. The live album was recorded at Quartier Latin in Berlin in September 1974.

In 1975 Kraan made two tours in the United Kingdom and also appeared at the Danish Roskilde festival in July, now adding a fifth member: Ingo Bischof. He had previously been a member of Karthago. Let It Out (1975) proved to be a disappointment (for the band as well) and Bischof left at the end of the year. After one German tour and a third UK tour Pappert also left in August 1976 to go solo.

The featured track "Ausflug" is taken from their 1978 album comeback album called 'Flyday', a noteworthy effort after two previously lackluster releases. The band goes for a more straightforward  progressive rock/jazz fusion blend than ever before, and guitarist Peter Wolbrandt in particular sounds like he is enjoying every minute of it. Bischof's keyboards are played with taste and  restraint, unlike some other releases on which he seems to be intent on cramming as many notes as possible into a measure regardless of whether they belong here. The experimental textures and  abrupt time signature changes that characterized their early work are gone, and with them some of the excitement, but there are compensations. While it doesn't rank with the very best of their previous work, 'Flyday' is a very respectable effort that shows that there was still plenty of life in a very talented group.

Track: Pilot To Paradise
Album: Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes
Personnel:  FRANK BORNEMANN - Acoustic, effect & electric guitars, lead vocals
DETLEV SCHMIDTCHEN - Grand pianos, Fender Rhodes, Hammond M3, Mini-Moog & ARP synths, Solina & Hohner String ensembles, RMI keyboard computer, backing vocals
KLAUS-PETER MATZIOL - Alembic bass, Moog Taurus pedals, backing vocals
JURGEN ROSENTHAL - Drums, percussion, flute

A bona-fide space rock classic. 'Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes' finds these German greats at their most expansive, with extended instrumental sections, fantastical lyrics, and their trademark sleek yet far-out, synth- and organ-fueled sound.

"Pilot To Paradise" is taken from Eloy's seventh studio album  'Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes' which was released in 1979 and it's sometimes called as the last classic Eloy album. When people talk about the best albums of this prog German band, this album usually gets mentioned. And it's not hard to understand why because what we have here is a really cool mix of symphonic prog and space rock.

By 1979 the interest in progressive rock had almost vanished due to the rise of the punk and disco movements of the late 70's. But there were still some pretty damn solid prog albums released in that time too and Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes is one of those. This album brings Pink Floyd to my mind and I would recommend that you listen to it with headphones, to get the full experience.
Sadly, shortly after the album was released, what was probably the best Eloy line-up collapsed with  drummer Jurgen Rosenthal and keyboardist Detlev Schimdtchen leaving to form Ego on the Rocks.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my newly acquired vinyl, once again sourced from a Bazaar in Geelong, in amongst a multitude of 'dim a dozen' titles.  The message here folks is that it always pays to look for the diamond in the rough.  Full album artwork and label scans included, along with all of the covers displayed above.  Hope you enjoy your trip back through time to when Krautrock was at it's pinnacle (or at least it was in Australia)
Track Listing
01 Triumvirat - I Don't Even Know Your Name 4:25
02 Lilac Angels - Hard To Be Free 4:19
03 Can - Sunday Jam 4:10
04 Wintergarden - Blame It On These Endless Nights 3:50
05 Scorpions - Always Somewhere 4:54
06 Eberhard Schoener - Octogon 6:53
07 Kraan - Ausflug 7:13
08 Eloy - Pilot To Paradise 7:01

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

John Mayall - The Turning Point (1969) + Bonus Tracks

(U.K 1956 - Present)
We can debate forever what Mayall's best records are, and many blues lovers would easily choose the album he did with Clapton, Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton. However, his most famous work, even if it wasn't his best, came several years after Clapton left to become a major guitar hero. It was in 1969, not long after Taylor left, that 'The Turning Point' was recorded live at the Fillmore East.

The Turning Point is unique because the concert and the subsequent album release featured an all acoustic quartet and no drummer, something unheard of in hard rocking 1969. Mayall played harmonica and acoustic guitar, Johnny Almond played sax and flute, Jon Mark played, according to Mayall, "acoustic finger-style guitar," and Steve Thompson was the bassist. Mark and Almond left not long after the album was released to form their own band.

Among the songs are the album's best known track, the exuberant classic "Room to Move," a piece that became famous for Mayall's mouth percussion gimmick, and there is the topical rant that opened the album, "The Laws Must Change," a song expressing his views on legalizing marijuana. However, the best tracks have bassist Thompson and woodwind player Almond stealing the show. Because this concert was "unplugged" (a term that was not yet used in 1969) the former's bass is front and center while the latter proved he can play with any bluesman or jazz band anywhere. Both shine on "Thoughts About Roxanne" and "California."

Mayall's vocals can be a distraction but once you get beyond them 'The Turning Point' is definitely a very rewarding experience. [notes by Charlie Ricci at bloggerhythms]
Journalist Chris Welch Reviews The First British Performance Of John Mayall's New Band
They're sensational! The new Mayall 'blues without bashing' band have suddenly developed into the most original, refreshing and exciting group in Britain, nay the world.

Minus a drummer and minus the usual battery of amplifiers, the band, as a result of John's inspirational change of formula are creating some of the most subtle and rewarding music I have had the pleasure of hearing in many moons.
At the Cambridge May Ball last week, the band received an ovation from the hippest audience ever to wear full evening dress and gowns. The new group, with fingerstyle guitarist Jon Mark added at the last moment, made their debut at the Paris Olympia and went on to tour Germany. Cambridge was their first English date.

John is playing harmonicas and electric guitar plugged into his PA system, having dropped organ, piano. Multi instrumentalist and looner extraordinary Johnny Almond is on flute tenor and alto.
The range of sounds and moods they obtain is staggering. It has to be admitted. I was extremely dubious about any band working without drums, which I thought could only lead to hours of boredom. However they played two sets, the second proving more together and intense than the first.

Johnny Almond's playing was brilliant throughout. After years of hard work with many English bands, he is surely destined to he a star. With the low level of volume he can play the sweetest sounds without being overwhelmed. The same holds true for the fine guitar of Jon Mark, who used to accompany Marianne Faithfull, before going into session work.

Steve Thompson on bass provided the firm pulse to their music and worked in such a way the absence of a drummer was quite un-noticeable after one became accustomed to the sound.
But the most remarkable feature of the new band is their interplay and empathy. Sometimes, perhaps only one member is playing, then the others join in gently, building up to climaxes that sound all the more exciting for the restraint that has gone before.
Talking later over a meal in the library, Mayall said the plan now is to get an LP nut of the new band and he wants to record it live at the Fillmore in America.
Speaking personally, I can't wait to see the effect they are going to have on the rest of the country and of course, the music scene [courtesy of Melody Maker 21st June '69]

This post consists of FLACS and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my newly acquired CD, another gem found in amongst a pile of classical titles at the local market.  Full album artwork for both CD and vinyl formats are included, along with 3 bonus tracks (available from the remastered / extended CD release), also recorded at the same Fillmore concert.

Track Listing
01. The Laws Must Change - 7:21
02. Saw Mill Gulch Road - 4:39
03. I'm Gonna Fight For You J.B. - 5:27
04. So Hard To Share - 7:05
05. California - 9:30
06. Thoughts About Roxanne  - 8:20
07. Room To Move - 5:03
08. Sleeping By Her Side - 5.10
09. Don't Waste My Time  - 4.54
10. Can't Sleep This Night - 6.19
The Band are
John Mayall (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica)
Jon Mark (Acoustic finger-style guitar)
Steve Thompson (Bass Guitar)
Johnny Almond (Sax / flute)
John Mayall FLAC Link (357Mb)
John Mayall MP3 Link (65Mb)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Les Patterson - 12 Inches of Les The Album (1985)

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.
From the desk of:
Dr. Sir Leslie Colin Patterson, K.B.E.

Dear Music Lover,

I’m Australia’s best loved diplomat, no worries, but I’m certainly no kill-joy or blue-nosed wowser, to use an old ethnic Australian expression.

An old mate of mine Ken (Tommo) Thompson, who’s been kicking around the upper echelons of the P.R. Rag-Trade Media traps for yonks, first introduced me to the raunchy sound of Country Music. I heard it and I liked it, little dreaming that a couple of years later I’d be laying down these chart-bustin' tracks.

In my capacity as Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of the London School of Australian Studies, Shadow Cultural Attache to the Court of St. James and Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the World Cheese Authority, I’m a self-taught singer. Currently, the voice you hear on this microgroove is completely ‘natural’ and ‘untrained’ in terms of singing.

Yet these tracks, mostly crafted by Aussie’s award-winning and internationally acclaimed songsmiths, Barry Humphries and Diane Millstead and arranged by ace muso David Mackay, have already had hard-nosed critics using adverbs like ‘comparatively nice’ and ‘quite acceptable’.

I guess you could say I am the acceptable voice of the Post Nashville Sound as we know it Down Under. I am also an up-market Johnny Cash and a thinking man’s Leonard Cohen. There’s even a bit of Dolly Parton in me, though I wouldn’t mind an even bigger bit of me in Dolly Parton. Are you with me?

This is a family record. Take it on your holiday with you and you’ll end up with a family.

It remains for me to thank Bob England and Tim Prior of Towerbell Records for making this waxing the fun it sounds and the Australian Cheese Board (literary and musical archives division) for paying the band, though let’s face it , Cliff Hall on keyboards, Chris Rae on guitar, Paul Westwood on bass and Graham Jarvis on drums would all have done it for nothing. No worries.

All the best,
Sir Les Patterson

This month's WOCK on vinyl is yet another Barry Humphries (aka Les Patterson) gem, requested by the blog follower 'Real Deal' just recently.  Les Patterson is another one of Humphries fictional characters - obese, lecherous and offensive. However, Patterson is Dame Edna Everage's exact opposite: she is female, refined, Protestant and from Melbourne; while Les is male, uncouth, Roman Catholic and from Sydney.
Because these recordings are Wicked and Offensive, they fit nicely into the WOCK charter, and I'm sure sure your'e going to love these comical and  riskee' ditties. My favourite of course is the single "Give Her One For Christmas" which only features 7 Inches of Les!
Because the songs run into one another with Patterson's never ending hilarious dialogue, I have chosen to rip each side of the album as a single file to retain the continuity of the entertainment.  Ripped from Vinyl in MP3 (320kps) format, this post includes full album artwork and label scans.

A1 Sir Les Intro (Genuine Reprise)
A2 Role Model For All Australian Ministers For The Yartz Discusses Diplomacy & Diversification
A3 Genuine
A4 Lady Gwen Former Hand Model (The Woman Behind The Statesman)
A5 My Old Lady
A6 Vinyl Venues, San Quentin Or Wormwood Scrubs?
A7 Give Her One For Christmas (A Seasonal Chartbuster)
A8 You Can't Win 'Em All
A9 Help Me Make It Through The Night +
B1 Patterson's Pointers On Political Pitfalls
B2 Never Trust A Man Who Doesn't Drink (Blue Nosed Wowser)
B3 Les Exposes Himself And The Odd Masonic Secret
B4 Motel Mini Bar
B5 It's Stiff Cheddar, Chairing The Cheeseboard
B6 Song Of Thanks
B7 Sir Les Outro & Encore
B8 Desert Island Dilemmas
B9 Bangkok Chiropody
B10  13,000 Miles

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

John Lennon - Live In New York City (1986)

(U.K 1957 - 1980)
On 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, John Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to raise money for children with mental challenges at friend Geraldo Rivera's request. The benefit concerts, billed as One to One, also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na. These concerts were Lennon's only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first – and last – formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966.
Both concerts sold out in advance. The first show, which had been added due to public demand for tickets, was dubbed “the rehearsal” by Lennon, owing to the band’s relative lack of experience performing live to such large audiences.

The full setlist was (as pieced together by The Amazing Kornyfone Label from amateur recordings):

- Power To The People intro / New York City
- It’s So Hard
- Move on Fast
- Woman Is The Nigger Of The World
- Sisters, O Sisters
- Well, Well, Well
- Born In A Prison
- Instant Karma
- Mother
- We’re All Water
- Come Together
- Imagine
- Open Your Box
- Cold Turkey
- Hound Dog
- Don’t Worry Kyoko (only performed at the matinee performance)
- Give Peace A Chance

"Give Peace A Chance" was the final song, and Lennon and Ono were joined on stage by the other stars and the organisers of the concerts.

During John Lennon's early solo years, he had recorded songs and made public statements about social injustice and the need for world peace, but in New York he became actively involved with political protests. Several of America's best-known left-wing radicals, including Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, were soon in touch with him, welcoming the support and publicity that his name brought to any cause. John and Yoko supported a protest for American Indian rights at Syracuse, gave a concert for the relatives of victims of a controversial tiot at Attica prison, and played a benefit for jailed activist John Sinclair.

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Elephants Memory Band
In 1972, John and Yoko teamed up with an American rock band called Elephant's Memory to record some protest songs for the album, 'Some Time in New York City', which also featured a bonus LP of live recordings made in England by the Plastic Ono Band in 1969. It was an unsuccessful record, both commercially and critically, and marks the low point of Lennon's post-Beatle recording career.
The songs, some solo efforts written by John or Yoko, others collaborations, were aggressive and simplistic and focused on several radical issues of the day, including women's liberation, the war in Northern Ireland between the IRA and the British army, and the imprisonment of left-wing activists, and they illustrated rather acutely Lennon's naivety and lack of understanding about many of the issues involved.

The press were harsh in their comments when the LP was released in mid-1972, including Rolling Stone which described the work as, 'Disastrous . . . the politics are witless and the live jams mindless.' John seemed to have forgotten his wise words of the previous year about sweetening the message 'with a little honey', and would later agree that the songs weren't good - It became journalism and not poetry, and I basically feel that I'm a poet.'

Despite the very cool response to the record, John was still popular and a charity event at New York's huge Madison Square Garden, featuring John, Yoko and Elephant's Memory, was a great success, earning a five-minute standing ovation for a concert which included strong and impressive performances of the songs, 'Give Peace A Chance', 'Cold Turkey', and 'Instant Karma', and raised a lot of money for handicapped children. It was one of several fund-raising events involving the Lennons in the summer of 1972 which raised an estimated £700,000.

Live in New York City" reached #55 in the UK, and surprised many with its US appeal where it peaked at #41 and eventually went gold.  [extract from John Lennon: An Illustrated Biography by Richard Wootton, Hodder & Stoughton Books, 1984. p 108-109]

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my virgin vinyl (found at that Geelong Bazaar still in its shrink wrap) and includes full album artwork plus label scans.
Its nice to find a gem like this and only pay minimal $$.
Although not rare, its one recording I didn't have in my collection and so, I'm sharing with you folks - and always remember to Give Peace A Chance

Track Listing
01 - Power To The People_New York City 
02 - It's So Hard
03 - Woman Is The Nigger Of The World
04 - Well, Well, Well
05 - Instant Karma (We All Shine On)
06 - Mother
07 - Come Together
08 - Imagine
09 - Cold Turkey
10 - Hound Dog
11 - Give Peace A Chance
Plastic Ono Elphants Memory Band
John Lennon (Guitar / Keyboards, Vocals)
Yoko Ono (Keyboards)
Stan Bronstein (Saxophone)
Wayne 'Tex' Gabriel (Lead guitar)
John Ward (Bass)
Gary Von Scyoc (Bass)
Jim Keltner (Drums)
Rick Frank (Drums)
Adam Ippolito (Keyboards)
Lennon Live In New Your City FLACs Link (277Mb)

Lennon Live In New York City MP3 Link (106Mb)