Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pearl Jam - Animal - Unauthorised (1994) Bootleg

(U.S 1990 - Present)
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Pearl Jam is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has consisted of Eddie Vedder (lead vocals), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass). The band's fifth member is drummer Matt Cameron (also of Soundgarden), who has been with the band since 1998. Boom Gaspar (piano) has also been a session/touring member with the band since 2002. Drummers Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons are former members of the band.
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One of the most successful rock bands of the past quarter-century, Pearl Jam have released 10 studio LPs and numerous live records and official bootlegs over the course of their career, selling an estimated 60 million albums worldwide. But if they’d released only one record – their 1991 debut, Ten – their place in rock history would still be secure. Ten, which turns 25 on August 27th, unleashed the modern-rock classics “Alive,”  “Jeremy” and “Even Flow,” established the previously unknown Eddie Vedder as a superstar frontman and went on to sell more than 13 million copies in the U.S. alone.

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For better or worse, the success of Ten also helped push the Seattle rock scene that spawned it (and “grunge” culture in general) squarely into the national spotlight, and inspired a host of lesser bands who blatantly imitated Pearl Jam’s densely rumbling attack and Vedder’s distinctive baritone roar. It also effectively blurred the lines between so-called alternative and mainstream rock, igniting a heated debate among the band’s critics, fans and fellow musicians over whether Pearl Jam were major-label sell-outs, or committed artists whose musical vision just happened to be broad enough to fill arenas. [extract from Rolling Stone, 'Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know', August 2016]
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The Pearl Jam 1993 European/North American Tour
Pearl Jam embarked on this tour after completing the recording sessions for its second album, Vs. The Europe leg included a few shows in which the band opened for U2 on the band's Zoo TV Tour, while both legs included several shows in which the band opened for Neil Young on his Harvest
Moon tour. Guitarist Mike McCready said that when the band opened for U2 in Europe the crowds hated Pearl Jam. The short tour of North America focused on Canada and the West Coast of the United States.


In 1993, Neil Young collaborated with Booker T and the MGs for a summer tour of Europe and North America, with Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam also on the bill. Some European shows ended with a rendition of "Rockin’ In The Free World" played with Pearl Jam, foreshadowing their
eventual full-scale collaboration two years later.  Bassist Jeff Ament said that playing with Neil Young was the most inspiring thing that we've ever been involved in.

Eddie Vedder  & Neil Young
The bootleg recording posted here comes from their 07/16/93 concert held at the Sportpaleis Ahoy: Rotterdam, Holland with an attendance of 9,500. Supporting act were Tribe After Tribe.

The full set consisted of:
Release, Why Go, Deep, Jeremy, Rear view mirror, Elderly Woman, Glorified G, Daughter/(WMA), Garden, Go, Animal, Alive, Black, Porch/ Tearing, improvisation, Once, Fuckin' Up, Leash
Encore 1: Sonic Reducer, Rockin' in the Free World, State of Love and Trust
Encore 2: Indifference

Notes: Pearl Jam has a few problems adjusting to the size of this venue. Ed introduces 'Go' as "... a song you can sing to your own body ..." and he calls it "Don't Go Out On Me." Ed requests the lights be turned on and left on for 'Alive' ("Hey, we'd like to be able to see these people"). 
It was a Great show!
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The post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from a very juicy Grapefruit Bootleg CD and includes the usual generic red artwork, along with alternative covers from similar bootleg releases, namely 'Jeremy Live', 'Against' and the Swingin' Pig release 'Europe 93'.
As indicated below, this bootleg is a combination from three different sources, and not just L.A in 1993 as indicated on the cover.
Recording quality is excellent and most certainly comes from Soundboard feeds. This bootleg is a must for any Pearl Jam enthusiast and for the uninitiated, this recording is a great starting point to familiarise oneself with this 90's Grunge band.
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Tracklist
01 Release 4:25
02 Why Go 3:38
03 Deep 4:18
04 Jeremy 4:59
05 Daughter / W.M.A. 4:46
06 Garden 5:35
07 Even Flow 4:54
08 Go 2:34
09 Alive 4:53
10 Black 5:14
11 Fuckin' Up 4:09
12 Leash 2:49
13 Sonic Reducer    3:49
14 State Of Love And Trust 3:40
15 Baba O'Riley 3:55
16 Animal 3:08
17 Rockin'In The Free World
(Feat. Neil Young) 6:44

Band Members:
Jeff Ament – bass guitar
Stone Gossard – rhythm guitar
Mike McCready – lead guitar
Eddie Vedder – lead vocals, guitar
Dave Abbruzzese – drums

Tracks 1 to 13: radio-show recorded live at the Ahoy, Rotterdam (day 1 of 2), July 16, 1993. Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, in South Holland within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea.

Tracks 14 to 15: recorded live at the Park Plaza Hotel Ballroom, Los Angeles, September 10, 1992.
Premiere party for the "Singles" movie which was partly broadcasted by MTV. Due to the use of heavy profanity by Eddie during the live performance of "State Of Love And Trust", the broadcasted version was partly mixed with the studio version of the song and played with members of Alice In Chains as the last song.

Tracks 16 and 17: recorded live at the Universal Amphiteatre, Universal City, September 2, 1993.
Complete performance of Pearl Jam at the MTV Video Music Awards 1993 ceremony, "Rockin' In The Free World" was played with Neil Young as unannounced guest on guitar and vocals.
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Pearl Jam Unauthorised Link (170Mb)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary / On Stage (1991) Bootleg

(U.S 1967 - 1972)
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Creedence Clearwater Revival, though one of the most commercially and artistically successful acts of the late 1960s and early 1970s, failed to release a live album during its initial four-piece run from 1968 to 1970. However dominated in the studio by John Fogerty’s near-unparalleled songwriting prowess and efficiency, CCR ultimately distinguished itself as a disciplined live act that saw solid input from each member. Propelled by a vastly underrated and contributing rhythm section in Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums), the group shed its undeniable three-minute AM appeal in the live setting with a willingness to venture off into surging jams. Aided by Fogerty’s infamously meticulous approach to rehearsals, the band maintained greater focus and momentum than its Bay Area contemporaries in this regard and provided the guitarist with ample opportunity for improvisational lead work.

Original CCR
The songs in this post come from the very limited Radioshow LP called "Retrorock" A radioshow is a show placed onto LP (or CD now) for use in radiostations. They play it on the radio and afterwards they (normally) must destroy the record. This concert recording is average quality and only very limited quantities exist. This radioshow had songs on it from the Fillmore West concert and songs live from Oakland, CA.January 31, 1970. The full radioshow is copied on this bootleg, without the commercials which are on every radioshow [extract from River Rising]

Although the cover artwork associated with this On Stage release indicates that the recordings were made at the Fillmore East, in March 1970, these recordings actually come from the final closing show at the Fillmore West, held on the 4th July, 1971. [ as reported at the Electric Bayou website]

Fillmore West
Fillmore West
One day after he closed New York's Fillmore East, promoter Bill Graham announced the lineup for the final week of San Francisco's Fillmore West. Graham would end three years of historic shows with five nights of music billed as "the bands that built the Fillmore." The final night, July 4, 1971, featured Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tower of Power. Camera crews recorded the week's events for the documentary Last Days of the Fillmore.

In 1968, Graham moved from the original Fillmore Auditorium to the Carousel Ballroom, a former dance hall. Graham opened the venue as the Fillmore West on July 5, 1968.

The Sunday night finale was an invitation-only event that was broadcast live on KSAN and KSFX in quadraphonic FM. "This is going to be the greatest mother---ing evening of our lives," Graham promised as he opened the show. "And now, a bitch of a band from the East Bay – Tower of Power."

The funk-rock horn band was a tough act to follow but the audience was bowled over by surprise guests Creedence Clearwater Revival. The band, fronted by John Fogerty wearing a turquoise cowboy suit with matching boots, was now a trio. It was their first performance since Tom Fogerty quit back in January. The band opened with "Born on the Bayou" and the hour-long set of their hits ended with "Keep On Chooglin'."

The headliners of the evening were Santana, who took the stage just before 1AM. Santana's classic sextet was joined by guitarist Neil Schon and percussionist Coke Escovedo. The 90-minute set opened with "Incident at Neshabur" and included the hits "Black Magic Woman," Oye Como Va" and "Soul Sacrifice." The closing number was Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way."

Drummer Michael Shrieve explained that choice in the book Live at the Fillmore East and West. "We wanted to come off as a little more progressive, as we felt that it would represent us at the given time when the Fillmore closed. We were sort of transformed as a band and that's why we chose to do the Miles Davis tune … and have our kind of groove to it. That was really important to us."

The night ended as Van Morrison, Mike Bloomfield, Sam Andrew of Big Brother & the Holding Company, the Tower of Power horn section and others joined Santana for a jam session.

"The music was terrible (at one point Van Morrison insisted they all stop and try something else) but the show was great," wrote David Felton in Rolling Stone. "Graham and his staff pelted the audience with gifts – paper plates, beer, champagne and ice cubes. Sometime between 4 and 5AM, everyone gave up and went home. About 40 fans stuck around to shake hands with Graham, then left him to wander alone among the amps and debris."

"I'm closing the Fillmores for a combination of reasons," Graham told UPI. "They've been a 52-week a year operation and I'm tired of the anguish and lack of time for myself and for other activities as a result of having to work that way. You become a victim of your own creation. I want to get out of the grasp of the monster I created."

But Graham was soon back in the concert business, promoting huge outdoor concerts with performers that included Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers Band. Graham was killed in a helicopter crash on Oct. 25, 1991 while returning to his California home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert. [extract from Ultimate Classic Rock]
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This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my CD 'On Stage' Bootleg and includes full artwork along with alternative covers for other bootleg releases for the same concert.
Note that the Back Tray song listing incorrectly states the title for Track 14 as "Up Around The Band" when in fact it should read "Up Around The Bend".  The quality of the recording is a little disappointing (6/10), however this famous recording belongs in everyone's collection as it represents an important part in the closing of the Fillmore West.
Alt Release
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Track Listing
01 Bad Moon Rising 1:59
02 Green River 3:01
03 Hey Tonight 2:17
04 Keep On Chooglin' 8:19
05 Proud Mary 2:40
06 Travelling Band 2:02
07 Commotion 2:25
08 Born On The Bayou 4:38
09 It Came Out Of The Sky 2:58
10 Lodi' 3:01
11 Who'll Stop The Rain 2:15
12 Fortunate Son 2:15
13 Down On The Corner 2:32
14 Up Around The Band 2:34
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CCR band
John Fogerty - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Stu Cook - Bass
Doug Clifford - Drums
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Creedence Clearwater Revival Link (100Mb)
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Monday, July 9, 2018

Journey MEGA Post: Journey (1975), Look Into The Future (1976), Next (1977)

(U.S 1973 - Present)
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Formed in late 1973, Journey made their debut at San Francisco Winterland on New Year's Eve that year, followed by New Year's Day second gig before 100,000 audience at annual Sunshine Festival at Diamond Head Crater, Hawaii (I plan to post this brilliant concert at a later stage as it shows a very different Journey). Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band included recent Santana alumni Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals. Bassist Ross Valory and Rhythm Guitarist George Tickner, both of Frumious Bandersnatch, and drummer Prairie Prince of The Tubes rounded out the group. The band quickly abandoned the original "backup group" concept and developed a distinctive jazz fusion style.

After an unsuccessful radio contest to name the group, roadie John Villaneuva suggested the name "Journey." Prairie Prince rejoined The Tubes shortly thereafter, and the band hired British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had recently worked with John Lennon and Frank Zappa. On February 5, 1974, the new line-up made their debut at the Great American Music Hall and secured a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Journey 1975: Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Neal Schon, George Tickner and Aynsley Dunbar
Journey released their debut Selftitled album in 1975, and rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band before they cut their second album, Look into the Future (1976). Neither album achieved significant sales, so Schon, Valory, and Dunbar took singing lessons in an attempt to add vocal harmonies to Rolie's lead. The following year's Next (1977) contained shorter tracks with more vocals, and featured Schon as lead singer on several of the songs. Journey's album sales did not
improve and Columbia Records requested that they change their musical style and add a frontman, with whom keyboardist Gregg Rolie could share lead vocal duties. The band hired Robert Fleischman and transitioned to a more popular style, akin to that of Foreigner and Boston. Journey went on tour with Fleischman in 1977 and together the new incarnation of the band wrote the hit "Wheel in the Sky." But fans were lukewarm to the change, and personality differences resulted in Fleischman being fired within the year.

In the fall of 1977, Journey hired Steve Perry as their new lead singer. Perry added a clean, tenor sound and the band became a true pop act. Their fourth album, Infinity (1978), reached No. 21 on the album charts and gave the band their first ARIA-certified platinum album plus hit singles out of "Lights" (#68 U.S.) and "Wheel In the Sky".

Journey 1976: Aynsley Dunbar, Ross Valory, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon
Album Reviews
Journey are a band your neighbours are going to love to hate. It's suggested on the album sleeve that to fully appreciate the sound of Journey, you should play the record at the highest possible volume-just the sort of thing that's sure to win you friends.
But Journey aren't your average group of speaker-blowing hopefuls. The band has drawn its personnel from the likes of Santana, Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Grand Central Station and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. But if you get a little lost listening to Santana, plain confused with Zappa, or the Bluesbreakers were a little before your time, then Journey are definitely the band to listen to.
Although acclaimed as a supergroup when they were formed in late '73, Journey has received very little airplay in Australia. Possibly the first time many Australians heard of the band was when Skyhooks were their support band during the 'Hooks American Escapade'.

The title track of their first album Look Into The Future (released in '74) is probably the best place to start. If you're not sure about buying the album, get your local record man to play that track for you and if those 7 or 8 minutes don't have you ready to part with six or seven dollars of your drinking money, you'd better get your hearing aid tested.

The second album, Journey, is a little more complex, with once again the opening track setting the mood for the album. "Of a Lifetime" starts very gently but has a finish that tends to leave you nailed to the floor. Lyrically Journey seem to be a product of the late '60's British style of writing, much of which can be attributed to Greg Rollie on keyboards (co-founder of Santana with Carlos Santana). The lyrics tend to be overly poetic, particularly on "Mystery Mountain" and the very powerful "In My Lonely Feeling".

Journey 1977:  Neal Schon, Aynsley Dunbar, Ross Valory, Gregg Rolie
The current album Next lacks the outstanding track that made the first two albums, although "Feels Like The First Time" is a strong contender. It follows on from the previous album in style and complexity and seems to be a natural progression for both the band and listener.
But with Journey-start at the beginning. And try not to play it too late at night. .. for the neighbours' sake [Review by Marc Wallace from Vinylising, RAM Magazine, 21st October, 1977. p17]
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This MEGA post consists of Journey's first three album (in my opinion their best) ripped to FLAC and MP3 (320kps) from my trusty vinyl (which have been in my collection since their release).
Full album artwork for both LP and CD formats are included, along with label scans.
Although I listen to Journey's more current releases, I still prefer the band before Steve Perry was brought in to give the band a more commercial appeal.  Nothing beats the blistering guitar / keyboard solos found on these three albums, and my neighbours have grown to enjoy them also!


Journey - Selftitled (1975)
01 - Of A Lifetime
02 - In the Morning Day
03 - Kohoutek
04 - To Play Some Music
05 - Topaz
06 - In My Lonely Feeling_Conversations
07 - Mystery Mountain

Journey are:
Gregg Rolie - Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Neal Schon - Lead Guitars, Lead Vocals
George Tickner - Rhythm Guitar
Ross Valory - Bass, Piano, Background Vocals
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums, Percussion

Journey  FLACS Link (201Mb)

Journey MP3 Link (87Mb)



Journey - Look Into The Future (1976)
01 - On A Saturday Nite
02 - Its All Too Much
03 - Anyway
04 - She Makes Me (Feel Alright)
05 - You're On Your Own
06 - Look Into The Future
07 - Midnight Dreamer
08 - I'm Gonna Leave You

Journey are:
Gregg Rolie - Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Neal Schon - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Lead Vocals
Ross Valory - Bass, Background Vocals
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums, Percussion

Look Into The Future FLACS Link (253Mb)

Look Into The Future MP3 Link (99Mb)



Journey - Next (1977)
01 - Spaceman
02 - People
03 - I Would Find You
04 - Here We Are
05 - Hustler
06 - Next
07 - Nickel And Dime
08 - Karma

Journey are:
Gregg Rolie - Keyboards, Lead Vocals
Neal Schon - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Lead Vocals
Ross Valory - Bass, Background Vocals
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums, Percussion

Next FLACS Link (230Mb)

Next MP3 Link (92Mb)


Saturday, July 7, 2018

REPOST: Little Heroes - Watch The World (1983) plus Bonus Single

(Australian 1980-1984)
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In amongst all the turbulence of line-up changes, The Little Heroes said bon voyage to Australia for a period during mid 1983, during which they recorded their third album ‘Watch The World’ at Farmyard Studios in the U.K., under the production supervision of Rupert Hine. The album surfaced in September ‘83, and went on to crack the top 50 in Australia. The title track single only rose to #73, but its follow up ‘Bon Voyage’ performed better (#51), though not to the level on the charts that would do justice to such a great song.
It was perhaps the commercial disappointment of ‘Watching The World’ that contributed to The Little Heroes calling it a day in June 1984. It’s a pity really because The Little Heroes seemed to be a band that were just hitting stride, as exemplified on ‘Bon Voyage’ and another great song from the same album called ‘Modern Times’. Whatever the reasons for The Little Heroes not reaching their absolute potential, they nonetheless left us with a fine body of work to savour.

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A Perth Newspaper reported on Little Heroes on 8th March, 1984. The following is a transcript from this article:

Heroes Return
Little Heroes 'Watch The World' set the standards for Australian albums last year through its fine production and engineering.
The band suddenly found itself being watched by the world as the heroes became more than your average Oz pub band.

Back in Perth this week for a series of dates, Little Heroes founder (and until now chief songwriter) Roger Hart looks back on 1983 as the bands most satisfying year.
"It was the year we solidified", he said on the phone from Melbourne this week. "Whereas in the past I would have only given the band a life of two years at any given time, it now has an unlimited potential".
The cause of this burst of optimism is the lads' belief that the finally-settled Heroes line-up offers a social consistency and musical individuality that's hard to beat.
Hart says all five members have very individual and different playing styles and songs are now developing through different styles rather than the head of one person.
The big change to the next album, which will be cut after a six month break the band intend to take a couple of weeks, will be in the songwriting.
"Songs will be written by everyone in the band for the first time," says Roger. "Before, I've written everything and to be honest, the job got boring.
"There is no competition. They just went along with what I was doing. This way its going to be much more stimulating. We intend to have about 30 songs from which to pick when we cut the album.
"And the sound will be sparser as well. In retrospect one of the faults with Watch The World is there was too much going on musically".
So watch Little Heroes, their next step is the world. Find out why by catching them around town this week [article by Mike Gee, sourced from Little Heroes Facebook Page]

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Unfortunately, this fourth album never saw the light of day, as the band disbanded within 3 months of this article been written, when Roger Hart chose to leave in June, 1984.
One can only wonder what this album would have sounded like, given their plans to change direction in their song writing. The following album reviews for 'Watch The World' were sourced from three different newspapers / magazines (thanks to Little Heroes Facebook Page) and provide a wide range of viewpoints about this album.
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'Goodbye To All That' Review 1
The third album, although since lineup has drastically changed once again, one can hardly compare.
Nevertheless, main man Roger Hart seems to have got the best team and the best result this time (and recording in England with Rupert Hines hasn't done any harm either).
Music is more developed, less strict pop song forms, the prevailing mood is sombre, a bit cold even.
Still a band in search of gigantic hit and I can't hear it here. Perhaps if this lineup survives to make a second album, something more vital will have been forged [Artice by Greg Taylor]
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Review 2
The Little Heroes 1982 album 'Play By Numbers' was a spotty offering sprinkled with gracious, heartfelt pop songs. Stained by the blood of a sentimental or street toughened heart, the fiery impact of these tracks was all too often doused-down by monochromatic tunes included for the sake of being modern rather than moving.

'Watch The World' is an album of greater substance  and less obvious commercial intent. It's not that the accessibility is missing. It's just that it is more strategically placed. The stuff borne of a band actively maturing and of a wild-hearted, clever minded producer like Rupert Hine.
On the title track, a suspicious choice for single release, the classy synthesizer works like a fuel-injection system, only spurting out its energy when necessary. Roger Hart's nasal, theatrical voice, arguably more suited to picturesque ballads, does a fine job bleeding the ordinary, hard nosed chorus. And, somehow, despite the lack of flair of this track, it becomes five minutes of lyrically-superior rock and roll. Yet it is far from The World's main beauty spot.
That honour goes to the chorus-dominated squelching guitar play "Modern Times". It's not hard to imagine this stern rhythm working well in the ash-filled pub corridors. It's got the energy, it's got the message and it's for the melody to make sure it reaches the right destination.
 

Even Hart's usually controlled, intellectual vocals prefer to make the path of the roads' scholar rather than the Rhodes Scholar. Ditto for the dynamic, complex "Beating Drums", another track that reveals the band's love of a big production chorus and hectic percussion  division.
One sad aspect of Watch The World is that the magic mix of lovely, terminal nostalgia and peachy, timeless memories, so ideally sketched on "One perfect Day" is not quite replicated here. "Bon Voyage" tries in vain to emulate that classic tune. It is a love story read from the lips of a tourist that's filled with unrepentantly lazy guitars, scratching about behind Hart's dynamic enunciation's.
"Memories", also pursues rockstalgia. But alas, the heavy drum beat fuzzes out the hypnotic processes of the rhythm section, leaving the track to languish in no-personland.


Live At Billboard Club, Melbourne. 1983
If Rupert Hine has ensured that Little Heroes is more intent these days to twisting the mind rather than twisting by the pool, he occasionally gives them reign to blissfully bop. "Seventh Heaven", a Reels-like jingle jive and the more lyrically worthwhile "Whose Turn To Cry" are unserious, undemanding and unfair for anyone who can't dance. They happily break up all the gravity and grief in the World.
Finally, as the ultimate statement of the band's versatility comes the almost L.A sound of "Waiting". Sounding more like that other big 'Little' band from Down-Under, Heroes show that West Coast sounds can be injected with electric energy and vocal rudeness without losing any of their suaveness and cool [Article by Robert Vella]

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Review 3
The Little Heroes' third album is a sophisticated development of the flippant pop with its boppy rhythms that has dominated their previous albums. Unfortunately the romantic and emotional potential of Watch The World is never fully realised by producer Rupert Hine. With his characteristically compressed production, he has managed to wash away the melodies in a flood of synthesizer overlays. And it is so evident that even even the most sparse moments are brimming with harsh, synthesizer hiss.


This is the first album from the current line-up of the Little Heroes and it's their most compatible and musically effective combination yet. Banished,blessedly, are their bopping rhythms. The new arrangements focus much more successfully on melodic layers than rhythms. There's some nice guitar melodies from Paul Bell and keyboard player Paul Brickhall (ex MEO245) has introduced some clean, emotive lines. Using Hine's own synthesizer and programs, the arrangements inevitably sound remarkably like Hine's own work. Baffling though is why the arrangements defy, if not outright ignore, the lyric line leaving the songs floundering somewhere between blatant pop and something more substantial.

The Little Heroes force has always been their more melancholy songs and the highlight of Watch The World is undoubtedly "Bon Voyage", the song that originally drew Rupert Hine to the band. They've kept it simple, relatively clean and it shines as the logical successor to their biggest hit "One Perfect Day"
Watch The World in overview, however, is an incompatible meeting of the wrong band with the wrong producer. In other hands, this could have been a nice pop album with some soaring moments. As it is, it comes close but in the end the copious window dressing tends to smother rather than enhance the good ideas [Article by Andrea Jones]

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Finally, below is a transcript of an article published in Juke Magazine (June 9, 1984) which talks about the band's decision to split.
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'Little Heroes Split'
The Roger Hart-Paul Brickhall song writing team will stay together, but The Little Heroes have decided to split up The band's decision came as a shock. In an interview with Juke only a few months ago, on the eve of their going off the road to write and record the next album, the members indicated confidence that overseas recognition would take some time and suggested that they had the commitment to stick to it until then.
Certainly the news took EMI executives by surprise too. They had spent a small fortune getting English producer Rupert Hine to work on the Watch The World album and there was a strong indication Hine would also work on their next LP. The band also did well supporting Duran Duran on their Australian tour last year.
 

The Little Heroes were a band much praised by the Australian rock press but ended up having only a minor hit with "One Perfect Day" which momentarily widened their loyal cult following. [article by Jillian Hughes and Robbie Coates]
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'Post Heroes'
* Roger Hart/Roger Wells went on to become an author and meditation trainer. His books on meditation are: Happy to Burn (Lothian 1997) and Love & Imagination. More recently his first novel, Levin's God was published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press (2004).
* John Taylor became a filmmaker and graphics designer, winning an AFI award in 1986.
* Paul Brickhill went on to head the Music Department at the Australian Ballet School.
* David Crosbie was the Chief Executive of Melbourne's Odyssey House, the largest drug and alcohol treatment centre in Victoria and is on the National Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs. He is now the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Council of Australia.
* Alan 'Clutch' Robertson worked for Warner Music for sixteen years in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, after which he established Alan Robertson Management, representing bands such as Magic Dirt and TaxiRide.
* Martin Fisher became a Crown Prosecutor in the Northern Territory and played keyboards in popular Darwin band The Fabulous Baker Brothers [extract from Little Heroes Facebook Page]
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This post consists of an FLACs and MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my Vinyl copy of this album. Full album artwork is included for both vinyl and CD. Note that EMI released both ‘Play The Numbers’ and ‘Watching The World’ albums on a CD twin pack in the 90s, but it’s been a while since they’ve been available to buy new. I would also like to acknowledge the use of photos included in this post which were taken from the Little Heroes Facebook Page, for which I am most grateful.

*  REPOST:  Added bonus non-album B-Side Single "Let It Go" and freshly ripped FLACs
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Track Listing
01 - Watch The World
02 - Bon Voyage
03 - Modern Times
04 - Memories
05 - Seventh Heaven

06 - Painting Pictures
07 - Beating Drums
08 - Waiting
09 - Whose Turn To Cry
10 - Castles In The Air

11 - Let It Go (B-Side Single).

Band Members:
Roger Hart (Guitar/Lead Vocals)
Paul Brickhill (Keyboards/Vocals)
Anthony Tavasz (Bass/Synthesizer)

A. Paul Bell (Guitar/Vocals) 
Alan 'Clutch' Robertson (Drums/Percussion)
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Little Heroes MP3 Link (110Mb)  New Link  7/7/2018

Little Heroes FLAC Link (310Mb)  New Link 7/7/2018
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Thursday, July 5, 2018

TMG - Disturbing the Peace (1978) Aust. and U.S Versions

(Australian 1970-1989, 1998)
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Australian Cover
 TED MULRY GANG
 Line-up:
 TED MULRY (vocals, bass guitar);
 GARY DIXON (guitar);
 LES HALL (guitar);
 HERMAN KOVACS (drums).

The band originated as a trio (Ted, Les and Herman) in September, 1972. Of course Ted had started as a soloist and apparently his role of bass player came about one night quite by accident when his backing group's original bass guitarist stormed off the stage. He simply picked up the instrument and took over. Ted began practising and became the group's permanent bass player. Herm and Les had both previously worked with Velvet Underground (Australian group).

Although the band was originally formed as a backing group (due to the inconsistency of bands providing Ted's accompaniment at his solo gigs), they quickly built up a following as a complete unit.

US Cover
In December, 1973 the boys set off on a two month trip around the US and Canada. Back in Australia they completed their first album, Here We Are (which they had started just prior to going overseas), and it was issued in November '74. Just prior to its release they added Gary to the line-up in an attempt to increase their versatility.
In March, 1975 they released their first single, 'Sunday Evenings', which did nothing, basically because of lack of airplay. Then, midway through the year, radio personality Barry Chapman (from 2SM in Sydney) suggested that a track from the Here We Are album, 'Jump In My Car', should be released as a single. Eventually the record company agreed and the result was a number one hit and total sales of over 80,000 copies.

The success of 'Jump In My Car' stimulated new interest in the album and by May '76 it had gone gold. Early in the piece though one track on the LP, 'Dina', had caused some problems. It was a popular song on stage and one verse included a four letter word which had to be blanked out on the album.
The band's next single, 'Darktown Strutter's Ball' / 'She's For Me', made the top five in charts all around Australia and at the end of May, 1976 they released their second album entitled Struttin'. A track from it called 'Crazy' was lifted from the LP and it became their third hit.
To promote the album's release the group set off on their first national tour ('Struttin' Across Australia') and in the meantime a contract for world-wide release of their records was signed with Phonogram. Then in June they teamed up with Sherbet for their 80 day Australian tour.


Ted and the boys wasted no time in coming up with their third album Steppin' Out, which was the first record by the band to carry their new abbreviated name of TMG. It was released in October '76 and displayed a greater emphasis on melody and harmony than their first two albums. It sold rapidly, going double gold after only two weeks in the shops. Coinciding with its release the band set off on yet another tour around Australia.

The title track from the album was released as a single and it charted in November "76. Then in January '77 a further song, 'Jamaica Rum', was lifted from the LP and it became the band's fifth hit single.

Over the next couple of months the rock papers began printing a series of rumours and denials regarding the band's possible split with EMI  Records. In April '77, the speculation ended when it was announced that they had moved to the Mushroom label, and officially changed their name to TMG.  Their first release for Mushroom was The TMG Album in June, along With a single from it entitled 'My Little Girl'. The album was still basically extroverted rock, but it did manage to capture the onstage excitement for which they were noted. Then in September they released what should have been a double-sided hit, 'Naturally'/'Sha La La La Lee'. However, it sold only moderately.


At the end of 1977, EMI released an album entitled Ted Mulry/ TMG's Greatest Hits (one side featuring Ted's solo hits and the other featuring the band's). Plans for 1978 included the recording of a' new LP in January and their first ever tour of New Zealand (spanning two months) starting mid-way through February. [extract from Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, Outback Press, Noel McGrath 1978. p211-212]


TMG
In April, 1978 the band set off on a three-month tour (supported by Feather) and the groups's steady climb to the upper echelons of the Australian rock scene finally paid off in November when they signed an American release deal with Atlantic Records. Their first issue in the US was a single featuring 'Heart Of Stone' and 'Disturbing The Peace'. A compilation album was to follow in March.

In Australia, the band released a single titled 'Lazy Eyes' on Mushroom (March '78). It was followed on June 5th by Disturbing The Peace album produced by Richard Lush and recorded between January and April. A single, 'Heart Of Stone'/'I Miss You' was lifted from the album and released in July, followed in November by a completely new single, '(You've Got The) Devil In You'.

To promote their recordings, TMG embarked on probably the most extensive tour ever undertaken by an Aussie band, covering all states and many remote towns, including Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Mt Isa and Cairns. Although record sales were not as significant in Australia in 1978 as in previous years, the band did manage to gain airplay in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, New Guinea and throughout South-East Asia.[extract from Australian Encyclopedia of Rock 1978-79 Yearbook, Outback Press, Noel McGrath 1979. p46-47]

This post consists of 2 rips taken from vinyl, both in MP3 (320kps) format and features the Australian and US releases for their Disturbing The Peace album. Full album artwork and label scans are included for each release, the Australian release on Mushroom records and US release on ATCO records. The track listings between releases are different, with their hit single "(You've Got The) Devil In You" and "Too Bad" only appearing on the US release, while "Girl On The Stage" and "One Night" only appear on the Australian release. 
This post was made in response to a request made by blog follower - Micko, and to make the differences between these two releases more publicly known. 
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Track Listings
(Australian Release)
01 Disturbing The Peace 4:17
02 Heart Of Stone 3:38
03 Over And Over 3:47
04 Woman In Love 3:07
05 I Miss You 4:36
06 Lazy Eyes 3:03
07 Gonna Be Somebody 3:38
08 Set Me Free 2:59
09 Girl On The Stage    2:23
10 One Night 2:51

(U.S Release)
01 Disturbing The Peace 4:17
02 Heart Of Stone 3:38
03 Over And Over 3:47
04 Woman In Love 3:07
05 I Miss You 4:36
06 Lazy Eyes 3:03
07 Gonna Be Somebody 3:38
08 Devil In You 3:16
09 Set Me Free 2:59
10 Too Bad 3:12


Monday, July 2, 2018

Blue Mink - Melting Pot (1969) + Bonus Tracks

(U.K 1969 - 1977)
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Blue Mink was a British five-piece pop group, that existed from 1969 to 1974. Over that period they had six Top 20 hit singles in the UK Singles Chart, and released five studio based albums. According to Allmusic: "they have been immortalised on a string of compilation albums, each recounting the string of effervescent hits that established them among Britain's best-loved pop groups of the early 1970s.

Roger Coulam (organ) (born 26 April 1944) formed the band in the autumn of 1969, with Madeline Bell (vocalist), Roger Cook (vocalist), Herbie Flowers (bassist), and Barry Morgan (drummer) (born November 1944, London died 1 November 2007). Most of the songs were written by Cook and Roger Greenaway.

Flowers, Morgan and the guitarist Alan Parker all worked with Coulam at London's Morgan Studios. The four of them recorded several backing tracks, with which Coulam approached soul singer Bell and Greenaway (who had been half of David and Jonathan) as vocalists. Greenaway declined, but put forward Cook (the other half of David and Jonathan).

Blue Mink 1970
The band's debut single, "Melting Pot" (written by Cook and Greenaway) was recorded with this line-up and released on 31 October 1969, Philips (BF1818), with the b-side "Blue Mink" (penned by Alan Parker); it charted at #3 in the UK Singles Chart. An album of that title was released early in 1970, at the same time as the second single, "Good Morning Freedom". This track was not on the first release of the LP; but it was added to subsequent pressings.

The members continued with their session work despite the success of the band. In March 1970, Cook and Bell appeared on Elton John's eponymous first solo album; Elton John covered "Good Morning Freedom" (written by Albert Hammond) anonymously on the Deacon Records budget compilation album Pick Of The Pops. In April, Cook and Greenaway played briefly in Currant Kraze, and together they continued to write songs like "You've Got Your Troubles", "I've Got You On My Mind" and "I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing". Other side projects included involvement with Alan Parker's band The Congregation; Herbie Flowers' contributions to Lou Reed's Transformer album; and the involvement of Flowers, Morgan and Parker in sessions with Pete Atkin in March 1971, that later appeared on his Driving Through Mythical America album.

The band's second album and their third single released on Philips in September 1970 were entitled Our World (the album was released as Real Mink in the U.S.). The band's next single release was "The Banner Man" on Regal Zonophone in the spring of 1971. It reached #3 in the UK chart. The members' other projects now took priority until January 1972 when Blue Mink played two weeks at The Talk Of The Town club in London. Recordings from this engagement were released that March as the album Live at the Talk Of The Town simultaneously with the studio album A Time Of Change (renamed from Harvest to avoid confusion with Neil Young's new LP).

Ray Cooper (drums) and Anne Odell (keyboards) joined the band that summer and played on the single "Stay With Me" which charted at #11 in November 1972. By the time of Blue Mink's fourth album, Only When I Laugh, glam rock was supplanting the lighter pop sound of the previous few years. The associated single, "By The Devil (I Was Tempted)", written by Guy Fletcher and Doug Flett, only reached #26 and the Top 10 single "Randy" in June 1973 was their last success.

Their final album, Fruity, (January 1974) and the singles "Quackers" (January 1974) and "Get Up" (July 1974) failed, and the band split up that autumn after a farewell tour of the United States. Elton John was among the celebrities present to say goodbye, introducing the band onstage at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, California.



As a footnote, it is worth recording that when Capital Radio, one of the UK's first two independent local radio stations took to the air in London in 1973, the station identity jingles were written by Cook and Greenaway, performed by Blue Mink and orchestrated by George Martin. Appropriately, Madeline Bell had also sung the original jingles for Radio Caroline, the offshore pirate station that first went on-air in 1964, in the end successfully challenging the BBC's monopoly of British radio broadcasting.

Madeline Bell & Roger Cook
Since the band's demise in 1977, each of the members maintained a loud presence in the world of session musicianship and songwriting. The Rimshots covered Blue Mink's "Get Up", re-titled as the disco single "7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)" in 1976, and had a hit single.
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Was Blue Mink's 1970 song 'Melting Pot' racist?
(Phil Curtis, Life long love of music)
Not necessarily racist (I don't think in the song any particular race is privileged) , but to a modern listener, perhaps distinctly odd and rather disagreeable.

I remember in the early 1970s being played this song in school assemblies by earnest, politically correct and well-intentioned teachers. The “melting pot” hypothesis was regarded at the time as an enlightened solution to racial problems. The lyrics espouse how the world should become one big melting pot where different races and religions would be be mixed, "churning out coffee coloured people by the score", This refers to the supposed pigmentation of children after such racial mixing.

In the songs defence, it is in part a protest against those who though miscegenation a sin. Miscegenation (inter racial marriage and childbearing) was still a bit of a hot topic in the 1970s, analogous to debates over gay marriage today. This may be lost on a contemporary audience perhaps unfamiliar with the term and baffled by the idea that some people object to a person of - say - West Indian heritage marrying an Anglo-Saxon.

Its funny how things change. The thought of us all being the same fills me with the horrors. The benefits, or even the possibility, of a multicultural society had not been considered at this time. In 2017, we can rightly champion and celebrate diversity, and can recognise that being different need not stop us living happily together for our mutual benefit, so long as we apply a bit of mutual respect and toleration.
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On a less serious note, you'll laugh your head off at the 'bogus news report' published in the New Biscuit Newspaper entitled "melting-pot-mass-killers-face-life-in-jail". Had me fooled for a brief moment ! Very clever and worth a look..

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl, and includes artwork for both Vinyl and CD
As an extra bonus, I've included 3 B-side singles "Good Morning Freedom", "Blue Mink" (an Instrumental) and  "Our World" to add to the melting pot.
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Tracklist:
01. Melting Pot 3:54
02. Gidda Wadda Wobble 3:50
03. Gimme Reggae 3:13
04. But Not Forever 3:02
05. Chopin Up Stix 4:21
06. I Can Feel It Baby 4:32
07. Country Music 4:33
08. Mary Jane 3:19
09. Over The Top 6:23
Bonus B-Side Singles
10. Good Morning Freedom 2:54
11. Blue Mink 3:48
12. Our World  4:02

Blue Mink:
Roger Coulam - Keyboards
Madeline Bell - Vocals
Roger Cook - Vocals
Alan Parker - Guitar
Herbie Flowers - Bass
Barry Morgan - Drums
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