Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cliff Richard - Live In Birmingham 1999 (2CD) Bootleg

(U.K 1958 - Present)
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When Cliff Richard converted to Christianity in 1964, he made plans to cancel his fan club and effect his retirement, though later reconsidered. Nevertheless, he has remained acutely aware that many find the rebelliousness, even decadence, inherent in rock incompatible with the Bible. Yet, Richard continued to thrive as a recording artist, racking up record numbers of British hits, with his only faith-caused hiccup a decision to recall single "Honky Tonk Angel" when he belatedly discovered it was about prostitutes.

However, in 1999, EMI, his record company of 40 years, decided that "Millennium Prayer," his proposed next single, was simply a bridge too far. Though its mixture of the tune of "Auld Lang Syne" and a lyric consisting of "The Lord's Prayer" was a little peculiar, it was no more mawkish than a lot of Richard's other, highly successful records. When EMI declined to release it, Richard took it to tiny independent label Papillon. Upon its release, he still encountered opposition, with several stations, including the mighty BBC Radio 2, refusing to play something so ineffably uncool. However, with a multi-generational fan base behind him and a vociferous Christian network purchasing in solidarity, the record soared to UK # 1 on December 4,1999.
Richard is patently too nice a man to be vindictive but even he must have felt some glimmer of satisfaction when the following year EMI felt compelled to license "Millennium Prayer" for inclusion on his next live album.
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In this Cliff Richard concert from 1999, the singer and pioneering British rock and roll star takes his audience on a trip through music beloved by young British audiences in the 1950's and '60s, as well as his later hits and other songs, with key guest performances by guest artists.

Cliff Richard was born Harry Webb in 1940 in Lucknow, India, where his father was working as a contractor to Indian Railways. The family soon moved to Calcutta, then to Surrey, England, and in the early 1950's, young Harry got involved in the British "skiffle" fad. Skiffle brought together American folk, blues, and country in a homemade, low-tech style that teenagers could learn quickly; it was a strong influence on the development of British rock and roll. By the mid-1950s, amid the success of Elvis Presley's brand of rockabilly and African-American acts among young pop audiences, Harry Webb was singing with a rock-and-roll band. He soon took the stage name Cliff Richard. Richard began recording in 1958. His first single featured "Schoolboy Crush," a cover of the Bobby Helms recording, intended as the a-side; and "Move It," which leads off this concert, the intended b-side. The b-side recording was so strong it became the a-side, and the single reached number two in the U.K. Today "Move It" is widely considered the first homegrown British rock and roll recording.

Presented as a British Elvis Presley, Richard took off as a rock and roll singer and teen heartthrob. With his backing band — soon to be called the Shadows, and soon to have hits on their own — he recorded "Living Doll," which reached number one in the U.K. and the top forty in the U.S. Richard also starred in a series of highly successful films, which made him the top box-office attraction in Britain in 1962 and 1963. With the first wave of the rock and roll craze subsiding, Richard nimbly adapted to a more broadly accessible pop sound, continuing to enjoy top-five hits. Soon the new sound of the Beatles was sweeping Europe and then the U.S., but Richard's career flourished nevertheless. He even recorded with the Nashville "country politician" producer Billy Sherrill, for two top-five hits.
Cliff Richard And The Shadows
Still, while a 1960 U.S. concert tour went well, and Cliff Richard and the Shadows appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show," he received weak support from American labels and never achieved the kind of popularity in the U.S. that "British Invasion" bands enjoyed. 
The Shadows are an English instrumental rock group, and were Cliff Richard's backing band from 1958 to 1968, (though they have collaborated again on numerous reunion tours). The Shadows have placed 69 UK charted singles from the 1950s to the 2000s, 35 credited to the Shadows and 34 to Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The group, who were in the forefront of the UK beat-group boom, were the first backing band to emerge as stars. As pioneers of the four-member instrumental format, the band consisted of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Their range covers pop, rock, surf rock and ballads with a jazz influence.
The core members are Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett. Along with the Fender guitar, another cornerstone of the Shadows sound was the Vox amplifier. The Shadows, with Cliff Richard, dominated British popular music in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the years before the Beatles. The Shadows' number one hits included Apache, Kon-Tiki, Wonderful Land, Foot Tapper and Dance On!. Although they lost ground in the late '60s, the band had a second success from the late '70s.

The Shadows are the third most successful act in the UK singles chart, behind Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. The Shadows and Cliff Richard & the Shadows each have had four No. 1 selling EPs.

In the mid-to-late 1960s, Richard began revising his act, partly under the influence of his conversion to evangelical Christianity. He performed with Christian groups and appeared with the Billy Graham Crusades. He acted in the 1967 film "Two a Penny," released by Billy Graham's film company.
In the 1970s, he had his own television show featuring, among others, Hank Marvin (lead guitarist), who appears in this concert. In duets with Olivia Newton-John and others, he at last achieved commercial success in the U.S. In 1995 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In succeeding years, Cliff Richard has resumed recording rock, country, and Christian music and performing concerts like this one, in which he revisits the pop of the 1950's and 1960s on which he had a such a strong influence [liner notes by Wieeiam hogeland]
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD (released on Immortal Records) and includes full album artwork.  Cliff Richard Live In Birmingham 1999: The Countdown Concert (2CD) .... I'm not sure if this is a bootleg, but the presentation is good, although it's clear that this is not an official release based on the record label. A live recording, probably a soundboard for radio broadcast, this double CD release features many of Cliff's hits (both from the 60's with the Shadows and featuring Hank Marvin on lead guitar) and also the 70's and beyond.  Note: Some of this material has been released on alternative Shadows bootlegs (as depicted below)
Relevant Tracks with Hank Marvin (NITG)
Titles: APACHE; DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA; RIDERS IN THE SKY
Hank plays lead guitar on “Move It"; "Living Doll" & "The Young Ones”.
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CD1
  1. Move It
  2. Living Doll
  3. Rock Around The Clock
  4. Be-Bop-A-Lula
  5. When
  6. Elvis Medley: Teddy Bear; All Shook Up; Jailhouse Rock
  7. I Believe
  8. The Young Ones
  9. I'm In Love With You
  10. Needles And Pins
  11. She Loves You
  12. Apache
  13. I'm Nearly Famous
  14. Miss You Nights

  15. Bright Eyes
  16. We Don't Talk Anymore
  17. Don't Cry For Me Argentina

CD2
  1. Sci Fi
  2. I Just Don't Have The Heart
  3. Medley: Some People; A Little In Love
  4. It's In Every One Of Us
  5. Mistletoe And Wine
  6. Riders In The Sky
  7. Can't Keep This Feeling In
  8. Nessun Dorma
  9. I Do Not Love You, Isabella
  10. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

  11. Vita Mia
  12. Lucie
  13. Human Work Of Art
  14. Saviour's Day
  15. The Millenium Prayer

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Cliff Richard Live FLACs (301Mb)
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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Uriah Heep - The Collection (1989)

(U.K 1969 - Present)
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Anyone listening to the debut Uriah Heep album, "Very Eavy, Very Umble", when it was first released way back in 1970 would doubtless have been as surprised as the band themselves if anyone had told them right there and then that two decades later the name Uriah Heep would still be on concert-hall billboards all over the world. Everyone dreams, everyone has ambitions but not even the irrepressibly chirpy Cockney guitarist Mick Box would've thought that one a remote possibility.
Especially when fie saw some of the reviews they were getting. For years, Uriah Heep were the band everyone - except the fans - just loved to hate. They were slammed as a poor man's 'Deep Purple' due to the relentlessly heavy guitar/Hammond organ-driven rockers "if this band makes it, I'll have to commit suicide," promised another unimpressed hack... Uriah Heep heard it all.

But they were too damn stubborn to pay any mind to the critics! Instead, they took their cue from the smiling faces crammed against the stages, took solace from the consistent - if unspectacular - record sales and just kept on rockin'.
They were every bit as 'Umble as Charles Dickins' simpering clerk who unwittingly gave them their name, but they were more stubborn than a stable full of proverbial mules. They refused to give up no matter what happened, enduring their share of personal changes, upheavals, and even tragedies to play concerts and become a name act in just about every country in the world from Iceland to Australia, from the USA to the Soviet Union. Just take a look around: it's 2000 and the band are still with us! They have beaten all the odds and have survived.

This collection - a mere scratch on the surface of their 19-studio album, five frontmen career - couldn't hope to be a comprehensive resume of all the band have done and are capable of. But listen to it and hear most of the classics: "Gypsy", "Easy Living", "Return To Fantasy", "July Morning" they're all here, along with a few goodies time has overlooked, and maybe even a few surprises.
Not least of all for those who said the band would never last (no byline, ta!)
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my incredibly rare vinyl set, later released as a single CD set in 2000 on Sanctuary records. Full album artwork for both media's are included in the one file

Tracklist

A1 Love Machine

A2 Easy Livin'

A3 Look At Yourself

A4 July Morning

B1 Firefly

B2 Running All Night (With The Lion)

B3 Return To Fantasy

B4 Been Away Too Long

C1 Rainbow Demon

C2 Gypsy

C3 That's The Way That It Is

C4 Wake Up (Set Your Sights)

D1 Love Is Blind

D2 Can't Keep A Good Band Down

D3 On The Rebound

D4 All Of My Life


Castle Communications, CCSLP 226

Uriah Heep Collection FLACs (487Mb)


Saturday, January 19, 2019

Michael Bolton - Unlicensed Live (1993) Bootleg

(U.S 1975 - Present)
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Michael Bolotin (born February 26, 1953), known professionally as Michael Bolton, is an American singer and songwriter. Bolton originally performed in the hard rock and heavy metal genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, both on his early solo albums and those he recorded as the frontman of the band Blackjack. He became better known for his series of pop rock ballads, recorded after a stylistic change in the late 1980s. 
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Bolton began recording in 1975. This first album was self-titled using his original family name of Bolotin. Early in his musical career he focused on hard rock, with his band Blackjack once opening for heavy metal artist Ozzy Osbourne on tour. It was rumored that in 1983 Bolton auditioned for, but was denied, the lead vocalist position with Osbourne's former band, Black Sabbath. Bolton later stated this was untrue, saying "That rumor about me auditioning for Black Sabbath was only a rumor, I don’t know how on earth it started."
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There’s no mistaking the vocal power of one Michael Bolton. The singer, who started his recording career in the mid-1970s, hit his musical stride beginning in the latter part of the 1980s with a stunning mixture of soaring ballads and cover versions of songs that inspired him -- and the rest of us -- such as “To Love Somebody,” “Drift Away” and “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay.” 

Critics have sometimes accused Bolton of dipping into the covers well a few too many times during his career, but the singer knows it’s one of his strengths -- one which his loyal legion of fans have never seemed to mind. But, the singer also knows a winning original lyric when he hears one.

1. "Soul Provider"
The title track -- and first of five singles -- of Bolton’s 1989 release, this song was to serve as kind of 
the prototype for much of Bolton’s success with original material during the 1990s. It balanced power and passion in an effective manner, and brought the influences of Detroit and Memphis to the forefront of Bolton’s music and helped to define his sound. 

2. "That’s What Love Is All About"
After a decade of recording, success finally came Bolton’s way with the 1987 release of The Hunger. At the center piece of that set was this beautifully worded ballad (written by the singer with Eric Kaz) that became the first major Michael Bolton song hit. The song hit No. 3 on the adult contemporary chart, and made the Top 20 on the Hot 100, serving notice to the musical world that an artist who would stake a reputation as one of the top song interpreters of the next decade was about to take flight -- and indeed he did!

3. "Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay"
Michael Bolton's 1987 version hit #11 in the US, his highest charting song until "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" hit #1 in 1989. Neal Schon of Journey played on Bolton's recording.
Bolton is unable to whistle. He had to have the whistling solo dubbed when covering the song.

4. ”Love is a Wonderful Thing”
This song has a bouncy beat that feels very much like a pop record. The huge synthesizer stabs and syncopated beats work to generate a highly listenable No. 1 national chart hit for him.

5. "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You"
The song that effectively broke Bolton’s career wide open to the masses took a few twists and turns before it became a hit in 1989 to 1990. The singer wrote the pain-drenched ballad with Doug James in 1983 for Air Supply. However, a disagreement with Clive Davis over one of the lyrics made the composition a free agent. Laura Branigan made the song a hit as the follow-up to “Solitare.” The song was even performed by Lisa Hartman Black during her 1982-87 stint on CBS’s Knots Landing, but it truly found its audience when Bolton himself cut it for his Soul Provider disc in 1989. 

6. "I Found Someone"
Bolton co-wrote "I Found Someone" for Laura Branigan in 1985. Her version was only a minor hit, but two years later, Cher resurrected the song, and with it her own singing career. Bolton co-wrote several other songs for both singers.

7. ”Georgia on my Mind”
This No. 6 song is an old Ray Charles song that Bolton lent his distinctive vocal style to. The song is a decent rendition that stays fairly true to the original version. 

8. "How Can We Be Lovers"
The first major hit single for Bolton from the pen of Diane Warren, the singer also shares writing credit with producer Desmond Child on this brilliantly written (and produced) plea for emotional stability in a relationship. At the point of this song’s release in the winter of 1990, the singer had deservedly earned a reputation for being one of the top ballad singers in the business, but this song showed that Michael Bolton was no one-trick pony.

9. "Time Love and Tenderness"
There were few artists more bankable on the adult contemporary charts in the 1990s than Michael Bolton, and this 1991 hit was among his biggest, topping that chart -- and hitting a peak of No. 7 on the Hot 100. Once again, the singer turned to the highly esteemed Diane Warren for the track, which also served as the title cut from his most successful album -- selling over 8 million copies in the United States alone. 


10. "When I’m Back On My Feet Again"
Another dip into the deep song well of Diane Warren didn’t start out exactly like you might think. On the surface, this song might sound like it is about a man hoping for eventual strength to return to him again after a break-up, but Warren told Wesley Hyatt in The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits that the song was initially sparked by her feelings of pain and loss following the passing of her father. Regardless of how you want to interpret it, the song remains one of adult contemporary and pop’s most emotional moments of the late '80s / early '90s. 

11. ”When a Man Loves a Woman”
This is classic rock song from Percy Sledge. The song fits Bolton’s voice and vocal style to a tee and his version, while somewhat different from the original, has its own merit.
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Australian AMCOS Bootleg CD and includes some refreshing coloured covers for CD media only. This bootleg is not registered on BOOTLEGZONE.COM and so its origin is difficult to say, however I suspect the concert may be from January 1993 / Center Stage, Chicago, IL based on the track listing.
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Tracklisting
01 - Soul Provider
02 - That`s What Love Is All About
03 - (Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay
04 - Love Is A Wonderful Thing
05 - How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
06 - I Found Someone
07 - Georgia On My Mind
08 - How Can We Be Lovers
09 - Time,Love And Tenderness
10 - When I`m Back On My Feet Again
11 - When A Man Loves A Woman

Michael Bolton - vocals
Michael Braun - drums
Bruce Kulick - guitar
Bob Kulick - guitar
Mark Clarke - bass
Aldo Nova - keyboards
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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Max Merritt & The Meteors - A Little Easier (1975) / Out Of The Blue (1976) with Bonus Tracks

(New Zealand 1956 - 2008)
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There's an attitude among some of the more churlish citizens of the Mother Country to dismiss anything remotely Antipodean or otherwise Australian and New Zealand in origin. Bad judgement on their part. Not for them an eloquent bouquet of well chilled Fosters. Not for them the literary richness of Barry McKenzie. Worse still. No Max Merritt and the Meteors.
Max Merritt is one of the Antipodes' finest. Introduced to a guitar at the age of twelve in his native Christchurch, New Zealand, the enterprising Merritt lost little time in creating his own club residency. He opened the Teenage Club with his parents.
Fueled by rare soul and rhythm and blues records supplied by US servicemen at a nearby Army base, Max Merritt and the Meteors quickly became the talk of the North and South Islands. Soon the Merritt talent began to encompass song-writing and at 19 his hot teenage single "Get A Haircut" was danced into the Top Ten.
Australia beckoned and it was conquered. Then it was time for the Mother Country.

A few years to settle in and then a contract to capture the Meteors' magic on wax. Amusingly, while most of the Mother Country still awaits the pleasure of succumbing to Max Merritt and the Meteors, these platters have caused their fame in their homelands to escalate out of all proportion. When Max Merritt and the Meteors now canter homeward, they play in concert halls and sports stadia.
Featured in this post are the first 2 Max Merritt and the Meteors LP's to grace the Arista label. Unlike its 1970 RCA predecessor, we find the group in a more rocking mood, as the racing "Let It Slide" and acid "Monopoly" readily atest.

But Max hasn't totally forgotten those special moments: "The kind of song I wanted to hear coming over the car radio when I was around sixteen or seventeen, sitting in a car with my arms around a girl, just, y'know, looking at the sea."

You said it, Max. There are several such moments contained herein, and Max is a master at creating exactly the song you want to hear at those special times. Close your eyes and you can almost smell the salt air and see the surf curling as Max croons "Midnight Man" or "Ain't You Glad You Came' .
Like it's predecessor, this record is a bonzer platter. The Meteors play with verve and panache, and Max's sandpaper-to-silk voice is in top form. This is a record to give parties that extra spark, to impress friends with your expansive cultural and musical tastes, to add that tang and allure to those magic moments.
When you're sitting in the comfort of your own home with this waxing wafting around you, remember those churlish chaps who, unlike you, will never experience what makes a country great. Silly sods [Liner notes by Jonh Ingham].
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MAX MERRITT- THE LEGEND RETURNETH

Max Merritt 1973
The Story So Far: Back in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the early 60's a teenage brick-layer called Max Merritt started up a teenage dub to play the sort of music he liked. There was an American Military Base nearby and the Yankee, servicemen would supply Merritt with rare (in New Zealand and Australia) soul singles for the club juke box. Merritt came to Australia, playing the same rough edged R&B that inspired him so mightily. The band built into a legend — a roaring soul outfit whose popularity never faded, no matter what variation the pop scene was going through at the time. In I970, Merritt took his band to England. Years of re-building his musical reputation from scratch ensued. But once again, Merritt was building into a legend — this time on the London pub circuit, especially at two pubs, the Windsor Castle and the White Hart. Finally, in 75, Merritt and the Meteors were signed to the prestigious Arista label in England and released the album A Little Easier which had "encouraging" sales in England, but did bloody well in Oz. We catch him just before the opening of his Oz tour.

You've been through a hell of lot, both in Australia and now over in England. Would you-like to tell us how you felt when you left Australia to go to England after having battled it out for so many years here.

MAX MERRITT: The reason I left Australia in the first place is that I couldn't really see much more of a future for me and the band as we were then, because we were sort of played out right round the music scene. You know, we'd been around so many times everybody had seen us and the only thing left for us to do was go into RSL and Leagues clubs and things. And I thought, well I'm never gonna do that... I'd rather give up than do that. So I figured we d go over to England and have a crack at it because we had nothing to lose. Rather than go into RSL clubs, I'd stop playing altogether. So we went to England instead. I hadn't really realised the size of the place and when I got there I got such a shock. Mainly because it's hard to get to see people. Nobody's really interested because of the size of the place. They've got so many groups and so many managers going to see them all the time that its very hard to get a breakthrough.

Has it been heartbreaking for you over there, or have you found it more of a challenge?

MAX MERRITT: Well I found it a challenge the last three years. The first part I found a bit heartbreaking. What happened was ... I got involved with this manager ... and he ripped me off for a considerable amount of money. I was really pretty destitute at that time, you know, I've got a wife and a family and I had nowhere to live. To be in London like that is pretty frightening. I mean, it's alright for a single guy, you can manage, you can do anything ... but when you've got a wife and kids it makes it a bit different. That scared me a bit at that time. But after that I went and got a job in a timber yard for about 6 months to just get some bread together. Then I started up a new band with Stewart (drummer Stewie Spears — ed) Stewart stuck by me and I got various London guys together, and that's how it is now.

In Australia, at the moment, there seems to be a revitalized interest in Max Merritt — your records are really starting to pick up and things seem to be going incredibly welt. Are there similar signs to a breakthrough elsewhere.

MAX MERRITT:  Well, it's doing that in New Zealand too.

What about Europe, rather than America or England? I believe you've been doing quite a bit of work over there, and you have quite a following in Europe.

MAX MERRITT: Well I'm not sure exactly what's happening in Europe, but I think there's been quite a bit of interest and at the moment we're getting quite a bit of airplay with "Let it Slide" in England.


Max with Stewie Speers
Talking about that Max, do you find that English radio is not as encouraging for acts who are not a straight out pop, band? Do you find that English radio is restricting in that way?

MAX MERRITT: Well it can be, yeah, because the whole thing is governed by the BBC. They pick what's going to go on  their play lists and if you don't make the pi ay list it just doesn't get played in England because even the commercial radio stations listen to what happens on the BBC.The BBC is the one that most people listen to.

Can you tell us a little about the backtrack of "Let It Slide"?

MAX MERRITT: That was one I wrote a while back and we actually released it in Australia at one time but it did nothing, it just died.

There are a few people who remember that, but this is a brand new version isn't it?


MAX MERRITT:  Yeah. This is more like I wanted to record it In the first place. Unfortunately, at the time we originally recorded it, I was involved with this certain fellow management-wise — I don't really want to mention his name — and he insisted on producing the record. It ended up something that I didn't want. To my mind it spoiled the song because I wanted just a plain rock n" roll sort of thing. Bar-room rock "n' roll if you like. But he hanged all that, he spoilt the whole feel of it. So I thought, well, I can't be all that wrong, so I tried it again.

And you weren't wrong this time?

MAX MERRITT:  No.

Haven't you ever thought about going to America?

MAX MERRITT: Yeah, we have. We want to cater everything towards the American market, more than the English one. We  should know in a couple of weeks what's happening about the American side of things because we haven't had  anything released there.

How do you feel about coming back to Australia ... the last time you were here was five years ago for a Sunbury Festival?

MAX MERRITT: Well, naturally very, very excited because it's the old home territory. I'm very pleased that "Slipping Away" did so well because it can't be relying on our past history. I feel it must be selling to a reasonable extent to another generation. So I'm very pleased about the record doing so well for that reason. And I guess we'll probably be seeing a lot of new faces at the concerts. I hope so anyway. I just feel that we've gotten through to a younger generation.

Well, it seems the legend of Max Merritt just keeps on going. It gets passed down from punter to punter til you've got a whole stack of people still talking about Max Merritt, this great ex-Australian (they class you as Australian because a lot don't know you're from New Zealand). It seems a lot of people are really looking forward to the concerts.

MAX MERRITT: I hope so. I'm really looking forward to it. We did a farewell concert in London  at a place called The Nashville Room. It's not all that far from Earls Court so we got a lot of Australians  and New Zealanders down there and it was really a terrific night. Really a great night.

Can you tell us a bit about your next album?

MAX MERRITT:  Well, we were in the recording studio right up until we left for Australia. "Let It Slide" and "Whisper In My Ear" ... they'll be on it. Seven of the songs are my songs and there'll be three others. There's not all that much I can say because we haven't got them down at the moment. All I can say is that they're slightly different from the first album. Probably a little bit of a country feel has crept in slightly. And it's a little more rockier.

Are there any tracks in particular you've written you'd like to talk about?

MAX MERRITT: There's one I've written called "Ain't You Glad You Came", and I'm quite pleased with that one because I wrote it about a friend of mine. I'm pleased with the way it came out because I think it actually touches the feeling.

Are there any favourite tracks on the upcoming album?

MAX MERRITT: Let me think ... Aw, I like them all, otherwise I wouldn't be recording them.

That's a fair enough answer. We can't ask any more questions following that statement [extract from RAM Magazine, June 18, #34, 1976, p24]
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The post consists of two albums, both ripped from my personal vinyl collection, in both FLAC and MP3 (320kps) format, supported with full album artwork and label scans. Please note the alt New Zealand cover for A Little Easier, posted below.
As usual, I have sourced some bonus tracks to enrich your experience and am indebted to a mate (Sunshine) for making the single: "Slipping Away / I Keep Forgetting" available. It is worth noting that the single release of "Slipping Away" is shorter than the version recorded on the LP and the B-Side has never been released in any other format. In addition, an earlier version of "Let It Slide" (as discussed in the above interview with Max) is also included along with a rare recording the band made for Levi Jeans back in the early 70's.
Finally, I would also like to acknowledge the source of the interview with Merritt - 'The Legend Returneth', having been taken from RAM Magazine, June 18, #34, 1976, p24, of which a scanned copy is also included
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A LITTLE EASIER
01 King Size Rosewood Bed 6:25
02 Mr. Horizontal 3:28
03 Wrong Turn 5:32
04 Coming Back 5:05
05 A Little Easier 4:48
06 Find A Home 5:23
07 Long Time Gone 4:29
08 Slipping Away 5:34
09 Live Levis (Bonus Track) 3:04
10 I Keep Forgettin' (Single B-Side)  3:09
11 Slippin' Away (Single A-Side)  3:36

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Credits:
Bass – Martin Deniz
Drums – Stewart Speer
Engineer – Richard Dodd
Guitar – John Gourd
Keyboards – Dave MacRae
Pedal Steel Guitar – BJ Cole
Percussion – Ray Cooper
Producer – Del Newman
Saxophone – Barry Duggan
Vocals – Max Merritt

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OUT OF THE BLUE
01. Let It Slide
02. Whisper In My Ear
03. Monopoly
04. Blame It On The Reggae
05. Midnight Man
06. Rosie
07. Gotta Have Your Love
08. Tell Me Mama
09. Take Part Of Me
10. Ain’t You Glad You Came
11. Let It Slide (Bonus Track Early Version)


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Credits:
MAX MERRITT: Vocals, Guitar
STEWART SPEER: Drums
LANCE DDCON: Keyboards, Saxaphone,
Backing Vocals
MARTIN (FUZZ) DEN IZ: Bass, Backing Vocals
JOHN GOURD: Guitar
PRODUCED BY: Joe Renzetti for CUKce Productions 

RECORDED AT: Trident Studios, London, England
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A Little Easier FLACs Link (294Mb)

A Little Easier MP3 Link (122Mb)
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Out Of The Blue FLAC Link (220Mb)
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Out Of The Blue MP3 Link (83Mb)
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Saturday, January 12, 2019

David Cassidy - Rock Me Baby (1972)

(U.S 1969 - 2017)
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Best known for his role as teen idol Keith Partridge in the hit 1970s musical sitcom "The Partridge Family," David Cassidy's career spanned over six decades until his passing on Nov. 21, 2017. Cassidy led a successful career in music and acting following the conclusion of "The Partridge Family" in 1974, appearing in nearly two dozen more television shows and films while releasing 14 studio albums between 1972 and 2008.

David Cassidy’s incredible October 1972 Bob Hope Special appearance (see below) actually occurred during the very heart of The Partridge Family Era, which didn’t end until the show was cancelled in the summer of 1974, following the release of 'Bulletin Board', the 9th and final original Partridge Family album release.


David’s formal solo career began in earnest in 1972, with DC "solo" works being released concurrently right alongside Partridge Family albums from thenceforth. The touring was all done under David’s name of course, since "The Wrecking Crew" (the famous LA session musicians who backed virtually every recording by Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, The 5th Dimension, et many al.) were also The Partridge Family backing band.

It would have cost each of them a fortune to forego even a few weeks of their constant and lucrative studio work, so from 1972-74 David hit the stadiums with a hired band and a prayer, mostly on weekends, after full slates of taping the show each week! It burned him out pretty hideously by the time the show wound up its run and he then retired from live performance for many years.



David's illustrious career was cut short due to mounting health issues, but Cassidy lives on in the hearts of television and music lovers across the globe.

Rock Me Baby
One of several Top 20 hits for Cassidy throughout his career, "Rock Me Baby" was the title track from his 1972 sophomore album. While it didn't receive as much recognition as "How Can I Be Sure," the single is considered one of the singer's most well-known songs. It was also recorded by British pop group Brotherhood of Man, but was given exclusively to Cassidy once it began charting.

"Rock Me Baby" launched a heavier sounding Cassidy on to the world market with great success.  The title track is a great rockin' number.  Published critics have even gone as far to say that had the song had anyone's name on the recording other than Cassidy's, it woule be regarded as one of THE rock songs of the early 70s.

This album showcased slick production and musicianship and gave Cassidy more feature space in terms of song writing and playing.  Cassidy wrote "Two Time Loser" and co-wrote "Some Kind Of A Summer" and "Song For A Rainy Day".  David's writing partners of the time were Dave Ellingson and wife Kim Carnes - who later went on to great pop fame in her own right.

This album spawned the hit title track and David's first UK #1 - his definitive recording of "How Can I Be Sure". The album itself hit #41 in the US and #2 in Britain. [Review by Pinupip, 2007]

It is interesting to note that fellow singer Johnny Farnham also released "Rock Me Baby" in 1972, and reached #4 on the Australian Charts.

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my crispy new vinyl which I picked up at my local OP Shop some years ago. What caught my attention with this album was the name 'Larry Carlton' appearing in amongst the credits (playing guitar) and upon closer inspection, other big named artists such as Tom Scott (woodwind) and Kim Carnes (vocals). Another attraction was David's cover of the Moody Blue's hit "Go Now" which he does extremely well IMHO.

As per usual, full album artwork and label scans are included, but no bonus tracks this time, I'm afraid.
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Track Listing
01 - Rock Me Baby 3:25
02 - Lonely Too Long 3:19
03 - Two Time Loser 3:15
04 - Warm My Soul 2:54
05 - Some Kind of Summer 3:37
06 - (Oh No) No Way 2:35
07 - Song for a Rainy Day 4:01
08 - Soft as a Summer Shower 3:20
09 - Go Now 3:05
10 - How Can I Be Sure 3:06
11 - Song of Love 3:34

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Monday, January 7, 2019

The Doors - Alive, She Cried (1983)

(U.S 1965 - 1973)
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“Alive, She Cried” was the first official live release by The Doors since their 1970’s “Absolutely Live”. With the 1980 release of the Morrison bio “No One Here Get’s Out Alive” along with a new “Greatest Hits”, the fans were hungry for new material. This was it. Although this is all live material, each song was heavily edited by Paul Rothchild, with new overdubs added to some of the songs. The source material comes from the Aquarius Theatre, Felt Forum, Detroit and Boston shows. Fans would later get to hear the original source material when Bright Midnight Records (and later Bright Midnight Archives) released all of the original concerts unedited. They would also discover that although the version of “Little Red Rooster” on ‘Alive She Cried’ was credited to being from the Detroit show, it was actually from one of the New York Felt Forum shows. This release was discontinued after the Doors released the “In Concert” double CD in 1991 which contained all of the songs from this release.
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The Doors - Fillmore East, 1968
Liner Notes
It had been a long Monday afternoon for the Doors, stranded backstage at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood, waiting for something to happen. Scheduled to take temporary possession of the hall from the long-running hippie entertainment Hair, their intimate one-nighter was actually an important test run for a projected series of concert recordings. But it was a full hour past the agreed takeover time, and the Hair crew still weren’t moving their silly plastic props and staging quickly enough. The Doors were left to . . . . wait around . . . .

That there were four Doors taking part in the tedium was something of an amazement. Soundchecks had never been of much concern to Jim Morrison, who was usually elsewhere until minutes before showtime. He was, however, taking the occasion of this first live Doors recording very seriously. He had turned up at the theatre early, bearded and energized, ready to have at it.

The Doors - Hollywood Bowl, 1969
This feeling was shared by Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek. The wanted it. After all the politics. The controversy and concert cancellations that had eaten up the better part of 1969, the quartet itched to play some music. When the changeover was finally complete and the band’s equipment in place, these tensions dissolved. The singer shouted for “Gloria” and they were off.

The Van Morrison classic was one of the first songs the band had worked up as they invented themselves in a makeshift Venice rehearsal room, and a presence that would snake through their entire history. They used it to flesh out their earliest sets, jamming on it with Van himself when the Doors opened for his group ‘Them’ at the Whisky A Go Go. It was central to the late 1966 performances at the New York club Ondine that helped win the band its influential East Coast following, and a song they would continue to call upon every so often until their final shows in 1971.

Always mood elevation for audiences, on this occasion in an empty hall, “Gloria” was a pure release for the band. Jim was relaxed and playful, his voice rested and strong. Free of the expectations of his audience, for a few precious minutes he succeeded in ditching the Lizard King. Here was another side of the Doors; celebrating the endurance of the simple urge to rock.

That Aquarius soundcheck was among a host of live Doors tapes that vanished sometime in the 70’s and were feared to be lost forever. This was a severe blow, as there was never much in the way of unreleased material to begin with. The Doors fashioned their remarkable achievement in a career brief even by rock & roll standards. Their six studio albums in five years toured a course of changes that would have been intense given a full decade. In this acceleration there was little waste and almost nothing left over.

The first signal that the missing tape situation was not without hope came when a videotape of a 1968, Danish television performance surfaced. Among the selections was a union of “Texas Radio & the Big Beat” and “Love Me Two Times”. Not only was this a unique coupling (“Texas Radio” would not officially show up until two years later on L.A. Woman), it was clearly of release quality.

This unexpected discovery sparked the Doors’ enthusiasm, and they resolved to mount a search for the rest of the tapes. Assisted by longtime producer Paul Rothchild, they spent many months exhaustively investigating every possible lead. The effort generated only frustration until they stumbled upon a scrap of paper in an unused desk at a Los Angeles storage facility, indicating that an unspecified shipment had been received but never logged in. Tallied with the existing information, this proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle. The year-long hunt was brought to conclusion in a matter of hours.

In reviewing these tapes, the band and Rothchild followed two basic criteria beyond the obvious musical considerations. The first was that they would not repeat any of the titles from Absolutely Live, no matter how different the version. The second was that, as the recovered tapes spanned a three-year period, they would attempt to assemble a correspondingly broad overview of the Doors’ capabilities.

So you have the exhilaration of the soundcheck “Gloria,” and the rock-hard economy of “You Make Me Real” and “Love Me Two Times.” The extended “Light My Fire” demonstrated how impressively these musicians could solo, but more importantly how supremely well they played together, the shared circuitry at the heart of the Doors’ timeless hoodoo. “Moonlight Drive” was among the first original songs concocted by the band, and this version is distinguished by the unexpected incorporation of a syncopated “Horse Latitudes.” “Latitudes,” “Texas Radio” and the inclusion of the “Graveyard Poem” in “Light My Fire” are applications of Morrison’s poetic consciousness as a means of keeping older material internally fresh. “Little Red Rooster,” with an assist from John Sebastian on harp, points to the twisted country blues that became an increasing concern in their final days.

No record album can ever fully reproduce the magic of a live concert. These live Doors performances, however, document moments when that magic was present. And the presence continues to be felt. Kids in garages and basements everywhere still learn how to rock by hammering out homemade versions of “Gloria” and “Light My Fire”. Let it roll.
[by Benjamin Edmonds. August, 1983]
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my prized 'mint' vinyl and includes full album artwork for both CD and vinyl media.  Although many reviews for this album are somewhat critical, I actually enjoy listening to this Live Recording more than their Absolutely Live release, and up until recently Little Red Rooster and Gloria were unavailable on any other release. For those of you who are looking for a complete Official Doors Collection, this album is a must have. From what I can tell, this album is somewhat of a collectors item.
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Track Listing:
01 - Gloria
02 - Light My Fire
03 - You Make Me Real
04 - Texas Radio & The Big Beat
05 - Love Me Two Times
06 - Little Red Rooster
07 - Moonlight Drive (Incl. Horse Latitudes)

The Doors were:
Guitar – Robby Krieger
Organ, Bass – Ray Manzarek
Drums – John Densmore
Vocals – Jim Morrison
Producer – Paul A. Rothchild
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The Doors Alive She Cried Link (241Mb)
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Friday, January 4, 2019

Can - Opener (1976) + Bonus Live Tracks

(German 1968–1979, 1986, 1991)
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Can was launched on an unsuspecting audience in autumn 1968, to a totally polarised critical reception. Their ability to arouse such strong confused feelings, for and against, was in itself a statement of their dynamism, confused because they were an enigma, could not be fitted to the current scheme of things, nothing was known of them as individuals. They are still the most unsettling of the German rock groups. Cologne is not Germany’s wildest city. This is why Can live there. Their studio, once a castle, now occupies an old cinema a few miles out of the city. Visitors are few – but never turned away, and in this easy practical atmosphere the band work. Can do not record numbers so much as discover songs or patterns in the process of recording. The timbre of their music, on record at least, has softened with their later albums from which this is compiled, and their music became more accessible. The key to Can’s music is not where it comes from or what the ingredients are, but how it works, how it moves and that’s to be discovered by listening.
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They have been compared to the Velvet Underground and there is some sense in that, although it could be misleading. If the Velvets play in a junkyard, the Can are somewhere more sinister still. Given that all rock of this organic nature has similarities, the Can are unmistakably Germanic. The kind of structured, planned pieces which many English groups go in for are rejected by them as "bourgeois" an attempt to beat the Romantic composers at their own game. Whatever truth there is in this, it means that this band are very single-minded and as far as possible create their music spontaneously. Having the luxury of their own studio, most of the material is worked out there on the floor. They just go in, start playing and let it take over. In fact it couldn't happen any other way because the music's textures are too subtle to be contrived beforehand. Originally they spent so much time in the workshop exploring their particular universe that they were sometimes thought of as a studio group. This is not so. The physical urgency of the music, its edgy excitement, is in no sense an insular affair and they have spent the last year doing many concerts in order to develop their confidence as public performers. They are a big group in the German underground where a few years ago, before its Liberty release, people were paying £6 or more fore private pressings of "Monster Movie"

The only outfit in England with anything in common with them is Hawkwind but again that is inapposite, Hawkwind's sound is cleaner and more straightforward, even if it operates on similar principles. Like any important band, the Can sound like no other.

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On lead vocals, Damo Suzuki doesn't so much sing as breathe words heavily into the microphone in a particularly doom-laden fashion. He is Japanese and 21, the others are German and older. Irmin Schmidtz is the organist and articulate spokesman. Unbelievably, he used to conduct symphony orchestras and his English inclines to phrases like "parameters of consciousness" With him there is none of Keith Emerson's front parlour arpeggios, or Richard Wright's Vaughan Williams chord changes, or Bring Auger's Sandy McPherson touch.

Damo Suzuki
Irmin studied under Stockhausen and Berio, and it shows. As for his playing, well, I don't know how he does it but it sounds like anything but an organ. Often it is almost indistinguishable from the guitar, but more disembodied, or the engine of flying saucer (if you know how that sounds). Then there is Holger Czukay. His Bass catches you like a clam (he is ex-Stockhausen, too) and recently he built a ferocious machine to generate maximum concussion. Michael Karoli plays guitar in a weird spidery chip-chop sort of way, quite unlike anyone else. And Jaki Liebezeit, the drummer, holds the axis while at the same time exploring endless possibilities within a given rhythmic pattern. Yet separating out the ingredients in this way can convey very little because the Can's music is intensely interwoven. Its surface is deceptively regular and beneath is an elaborate matrix of constantly shifting emphasis and cross-feeding, bulging in hypnotic spasms, its effect is ectoplasmic and powerfully sexual.
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Album Review
An excellent introduction to Can, though many of their pieces I personally like more are, obviously missing. Monster Movie was my first, then I bought this album. Interesting that some of their lesser-approved tracks from 'Soon Over Babaluma' are here, but they are lovely nonetheless.
A compilation of the more accessible side of Can at their prime. This collection would have been perfect with the inclusion of the classic tracks "Halleluwah" and "Mushroom".


The title of this 1976 Sunset Records / Universal Artists compilation of Can tracks works on at least three levels – first, it suggests an accessible introduction to the music of this influential but often ignored or difficult-to-pigeonhole Cologne unit, formed as it is from their mid-period legacy; secondly, it’s an amusing pun on the band’s name (mercifully, in spite of being quite good-humoured chaps, this was the only time they – or their labels – saw fit to make lighthearted fun of their name); finally, when combined with designer Paul Henry and photographer Trevor Rogers’s sleeve image of an open Campbells condensed soup can, there’s an inextricable link to Warhol’s semi-ironic brand of pop-art. So there you have it – best of, joke or artistic statement; take your pick.

Opener was compiled by journalist and major Can fan Duncan Fallowell and Tim Read and features eleven classic cuts ranging from the impossible funk of ‘Moonshake’ to the screwy clank of ‘Spoon’. Fallowell offers gushing sleevenotes which I’ve provided below (he co-wrote ‘Dizzy Dizzy’, included here, and so represents a somewhat biased viewpoint) and the rear has that typically Seventies approach of turning the sleeve over to pictures of the band – ranging from Michael Karoli and Holger Czukay looking like extras from Easy Rider to Irmin Schmidt and Jaki Liebezeit looking like hippy professors; Damo Suzuki just looks suave – plus brief details of their respective roles. Among the facts quoted: Karoli was a pupil of Czukay and saw The Who play in Torquay; Schmidt studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio; Suzuki busked round Europe playing one chord on a guitar while improvising on top. Czukay is described functionally as the bassist and engineer, while Liebezeit’s multi-cyclical drumming is heralded as the defining factor in Can’s music. You can imagine how oddly compelling that sleeve might have been to someone flicking idly through the racks of LPs in an HMV in 1976.

So it was for me, albeit twenty years later, when I alighted upon this record in Time Records in Colchester. I bought this either just before or just after Sacrilege, and it served as my proper introduction to the music of Can. I’d been aware of them since I first read through the Mute Documentary Evidence brochure that inspired this site and my love of the label, but Opener offered the first real opportunity to get my head into their music; I fell in love with it instantly, and I used to play thus a lot, often late at night on a Sunday ahead of the following day’s lectures and classes.

I hadn’t listened to this probably since I left university in 1998 until I played it yesterday whilst selecting LPs to listen to with my youngest daughter (six). She described Opener as ‘weird but good’ and grooved along to ‘Moonshake’ like it had been recorded today.
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (sourced from the web many moons ago) and includes limited artwork and label scans. As mentioned in the review above, this compilation could have been improved with the inclusion of some essential Can classics such as "Halleluwah" and "Mushroom". Been a vinyl release this would have been a big ask based on length limitations (although the single releases of these tracks would have sufficed), but for a CD media I have chosen to include some rare live renditions of these tracks as bonus tracks.  Now, all you need is the can opener!
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Track Listing
01. Dizzy Dizzy
02. Moonshake
03. Sing Swan Song
04. Come Sta, La Luna
05. Spoon
06. I’m So Green
07. Vitamin C
08. Future Days
09. Mushroom (bonus live 1972)
10. Halleluwah (bonus live 1972)

Can were:
Irmin Schmidt - Keyboards
Holger Czukay - bass
Michael Karoli - Guitar
Jaki Liebezeit - Drums
Kenji 'Damo' Suzuki - Vocals
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