Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Avalanche - Avalanche (1976) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1976-78)
Melbourne based Avalanche was a rock act fronted by 'ex-Raw Glory' vocalist Adrian Campbell. The group had been assembled by three erstwhile members of 'The Bootleg Family Band', guitarist Tony Naylor, bass player Clive Harrison and drummer Geoff Cox. With the recruitment of Campbell the quartet set about gigging as Avalanche in early 1976. The band's catchy pop/rock sound was displayed on the singles "Wizard Of Love" (in February 1976 and it went to #23 in Melbourne.), "Sweet Baby, Brown Eyes" (July 1976), "Landslide" (October 1976) and "Good For Me, Good For You" (March 1977), and on their self-titled album in September 1976. The following month brought what was potentially the group's biggest break when it was announced that they had signed with ABC Dunhill Records for release of their material in the U.S. "Wizard of Love" became their first US Single and was closely followed by their "Landslide" single. Unfortunately, reaction in the US was not strong enough to prompt a trip there.

The following year both Harrison and Cox drifted away. Clive Harrison would later issue a 1982 solo album 'Once Bitten'. John Barnes was enlisted on drums to fill the void but in quick succession he was usurped by former Pantha man Barry Cram. The bass position was given over to Graham Thompson, an ex-Stars member. Augmenting their sound with keyboard player Gerard McCabe Avalanche issued their version of The Beatles 'Got To Get You Into My Life' as a single.

Avalanche 1976
 During 1978 Campbell and Naylor had re-titled the band 'Front Page' bringing in bassist Phil Wood, 'ex-New Morning' and 'Key Largo' keyboard player Bruce Haymes and erstwhile 'Clean Cut' drummer Tony Thornton. Haymes had the briefest of tenures before he upped and left for the 'Richard Clapton Band'. He would be replaced by James Black of 'Rum Jungle' on guitar and keyboards.

Front Page only managed the one single, "I Thought I'd Never Fall In Love Again"/"Rockin' Hollywood", before collapsing (You can find this single at OzzieMusicMan). Interestingly enough Campbell's vocals sound very much like Graham Bonnet's in this single. After splitting, Naylor joined Jon English's backing band Baxter Funt and Campbell would be spotted in the early 80s as part of Funk band Adrian's Wall.
Meanwhile, ex-Avalanche drummer, Geoff Cox, was keeping busy doing voice-overs, session drumming and even a stint on Melbourne radio station 3DB as a co-announcer. He also spent several weeks filling in as a drummer for the Little River Band following Derek Pellici's accident.  Today, Coxy is a well known celebrity and T.V presenter on various Life Style Shows.

Avalanche 1977
 This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes full album artwork along with label scans. Also included are 4 bonus non-album singles (A/B sides).  Although there are no landslides on this record (LOL), the song writing skills of Naylor and Harrison are still strong and the LP is still worth the listen.
Thanks to Dave and Micko at Midoztouch for some of the bonus singles included here.
Track Listing
01 - Bermuda
02 - Wizard Of Love
03 - Annie
04 - Overnight Sensation
05 - Tie Your Laces
06 - Landslide
07 - Bar Room Ladies
08 - Spark In The Dark
09 - Closer To Love
10 - Symp (Instrumental)
11 - Something I Need

12 - Sweet Baby Brown Eyes
13 - The Climb (B-Side Single)
14 - Got To Get You Into My Life (Bonus Single)
15 - You And Me (Bonus Single)
16 - Good For You, Good For Me (Bonus Single)

Avalanche were:
Adrian Campbell (Vocals)
Clive Harrison (Bass)
Tony Naylor (Guitar)

Geoff Cox (Drums)
Avalanche Link (100Mb)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

John Lodge - Natural Avenue (1977)

(U.K 1965 - Present)
This 1977 solo effort by John Lodge, the Moody Blues' esteemed guitarist reminds listeners of various important things. First, that he's a great rocker who enjoys an inspirational, jamming tune that can flash his electric prowess, as on the locomotive "Natural Avenue." Second, that once a Moody, always a Moody, as every song to a certain extent has that ethereal, orchestral flair to it, and incorporating this can be sappy or effective, depending on the strength of the tune ("Summer Breeze" is a bit on the melodramatic side). And finally, that Justin Hayward was and is the lead singer for a good reason. Lodge has a serviceable voice, and charms effectively on kindly ballads like "Carry Me," but there's an airy quality to his delivery that skims over the potentially deeper emotions of each tune. The album is best listened to as a nostalgia session because many of the cheesier '70s production techniques were employed, dating it pretty severely. Perhaps the fact that Lodge's solo career never fully took off is something we should be grateful for; had it, the Moody Blues might not have endured intact so many decades beyond their original heyday. [review Jonathan Widran]

Listening to the various solo albums and collaborations of the band members really drives home the following idea in my mind: the Moody Blues were a band entirely (except for Edge) made of second bananas. By this I mean that the four main songwriters were all the kind of guys you could rely on for two or three really good songs per album, but that would have trouble filling out a recording with great songs from start to finish. Now, within a band as "democratic" as the Moodies were, this made for an ideal situation, since nobody had to contribute more than two or three of those songs an album, and as such the band's albums ranged from good to great. This album, though, follows the expected pattern of a Moody Blues second banana; a bunch of material ranging from mediocre to quite good, with a couple of incredible peaks thrown in for good measure.

The album actually starts off quite strong, giving the impression of a potential minor classic. The opening "Intro to Children of Rock and Roll" (the full track is much later in the album) is a minute-long acoustic number that's just sorta there, but the title track that follows is quite interesting. It's a fascinating example of how an awkward, not-quite-right sequence of notes, as in the verses, can function as a full-fledged hook, and while the "rocking" foundation is kinda pedestrian, the various elements of the song come together in a way that I really like. "Carry Me" and "Summer Breeze" are both rather nice pop-ballads that each boast pretty lovely melodies; they each basically just ride a couple of nice, but not amazing, hooks for a few minutes a piece, and they each leave me with a warm feeling when they're over. We then come to the album's first major classic, the gloriously anthemic "Who Could Change." The melody is built around a two-note foundation, a foundation that has led to some classics through the years (e.g. "Imagine," "Isn't it a Pity") and scores of tacky anthems, and I really think this song comes out strongly on the positive end of things. It's a song that really benefits from John's "shaky" voice, in much the same way that his parts in "Isn't Life Strange" benefit, and the contrast between John's voice and the incredible build in the arrangements (including guitar parts that sound uncannily like Hayward at his best but which apparently aren't) as the song goes on really impresses me. A hardcore Moody Blues fan that hasn't heard this song is a sad hardcore Moody Blues fan indeed.

Unfortunately, the album falters pretty badly in the second half. The track immediately following "Who Could Change" ("Broken Dreams, Hard Road") is shockingly clumsy sounding after the songs that had come before it, and the weak reggae of "Piece of My Heart" doesn't make me feel any better either. "Rainbow" is a rather nice, albeit schmaltzy, orchestrated ballad, while neither "Children of Rock and Roll" nor "Street Cafe" sound as powerful or interesting as John seems to think they should. They're not bad, but they're not that great, either. Plus, the CD version ends with a bonus single, "I Threw it All Away," where John inexplicably tries to do what sounds like a Bryan Ferry imitation to my ears, and the mix of saxophones and female backing singers doesn't seem tasteful at all to me.

However, in the midst of the dreck of the second side, there is one more ballad that stands up to anything John wrote in his career with the Moodies. "Say You Love Me" is basically the template for all of the great ballads he did later, and I'm not sure he ever topped this one. The first half of each verse melody is only mildly interesting, but the second half of each verse, leading into each repetition of the chorus, is one of the most powerful bits of music (ignoring the lyrics, which are largely predictable given the title) mentioned on this whole page. There's just something amazing to me about that chord sequence, and the way John belts those lines with all of his charmingly limited might, that makes the song get stuck in my head all the time. Plus, there are some nice bits of guitar window dressing throughout, and a curious descending synth sound that pops up from time to time. Great song.

So overall, this is a pretty inconsistent offering, one I could probably give a smaller grade if I were feeling cynical, but it's definitely one I like on the whole. The peaks are great, and there are enough good songs for me to give this a 9 without too much consternation. [extract from John McFerrin Music Reviews]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl which I purchased from a second hand record shop in the late 70's, because of  the great album cover (Roger Dean).  The Moody Blues were one of my favourite bands at the time and Justin Hayward  was well known for his solo releases, but the name John Lodge was not familiar to me. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I eventually realised who he was.
Also included in this post is full album artwork for LP and CD, along with the full lyric sheets from the LP.
Even though I like this album, I must admit it does sound like a watered down 'Moodies album' and kinda leaves you wanting more.  Nevertheless, if you haven't heard this album I reckon it is worth the listen, but don't expect any "Nights In White Satin" on this one.
Track Listing 
01 - Intro To Children Of Rock'n'Roll     1:05
02 - Natural Avenue     3:55
03 - Summer Breeze     5:22
04 - Carry Me     5:46
05 - Who Could Change     6:19
06 - Broken Dreams, Hard Road     4:32
07 - Piece Of My Heart     3:55
08 - Rainbow     3:51
09 - Say You Love Me     6:30
10 - Children Of Rock'n'Roll     4:30
John Lodge (6 & 12 string Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Vocals)
Steve Simpson (Spanish & 6 String acoustic Guitar)
Kenny Jones (Drums & Percussion)
Chris Spedding (Electric Guitar)
Mick Weaver (Piano)
Jimmy Jewel (Sax)
Brian Rogers Orchestral Quintet
Gary Osborne, John Richardson, Alan Williams (Backing Vocals)

John Lodge Link (123Mb)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Deep Purple - Nobody's Perfect (1988)

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
Nobody's Perfect is a live album released in 1988 by Deep Purple. It was recorded during The House of Blue Light tour in 1987 in Europe and the USA. The outer sleeve photography was designed by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis and the band lineup was a reunited Deep Purple Mark II
This double live set also contains a new studio (Live Jam) version of "Hush" to commemorate their 20th anniversary. (Note: "Black Night" was also re-recorded but never released).
The album represented Deep Purple's setlist at the time, which consisted much of the typical Made in Japan set, combined with newer material from the 1984 reunion album Perfect Strangers and The House of Blue Light. Songs such as "The Unwritten Law" and "Difficult To Cure" (which included an extended-riff from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, 4th Movement) were played every night on the tour, but were not included on this album.
"Hard Lovin' Woman" includes parts of "Under The Gun" during Blackmore's guitar solo. "Strange Kind of Woman" includes the "Superstar" chorus from Jesus Christ Superstar. "Woman from Tokyo" changes into "Everyday" (Buddy Holly) halfway through. [extract from Wikipedia].
Review 1
Recorded during the tour to promote "Perfect Strangers" and the then forthcoming "House of blue light", this is a fine live album by Deep Purple. With the classic line up having reformed for those albums, all the energy and virtuosity, not to mention personality clashes, returned.

The track list borrows heavily from the legendary "Made in Japan", with no less than 6 tracks being duplicated. These include "Highway star", "Smoke on the water", and "Child in time" of course, as well as truncated versions of "The mule" and "Space truckin'". "Strange kind of woman" makes up the six, but the version here is adapted to include a call and response duet between Gillan and Blackmore, which leads to a burst of "Superstar" from Rice/Lloyd-Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar". For those in doubt as to the reason for this, Ian Gillan sang the part of Jesus on the original Rock Opera release of "Jesus Christ Superstar". The performances of the other five tracks are faithful, perhaps with hints that this line up has played them so often that they do not now require any real effort, "Lazy" being a little too close to the truth. For some reason, Blackmore's guitar solo on "Child in time" lacks the impact of the original, sounding rather ordinary here.
The new songs are introduced by a spirited rendition of the title track from "Perfect strangers". This wonderful Zeppelinesque song which transfers well to a live environment, concludes with a blink and you'll miss it coda of "Gethsemene" from the aforementioned "Jesus Christ Superstar".
We then dip into the disappointing "House of blue light" for two songs (three if you have the extended CD) of which "Bad attitude" is the most appealing. "Perfect strangers" then contributes another number which made the album such a pleasing return to form, with "Knocking at your back door". The extended intro to the song here, which includes some classical and ragtime piano, only serves to embellish the tension of the studio version.
It's good to hear "Woman from Tokyo", the only really memorable track from "Who do we think we are" getting an airing, although it does end with a rather strange Buddy Holly interlude for no apparent reason. The album concludes with a "live jam" in the studio of Joe South's Hush, a cover of which appeared on Deep Purple's first album. The rendition of the verses here sounds surprisingly like Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" until the familiar "Na na na" chorus cuts in.
In all, a fine live album by the legendary line up of Deep Purple. It may have its shortcomings in terms of both the tracks performed and sometimes in the performances themselves, but hey, "nobody's perfect". [review by Bob McBeath from Progarchives.com]

Review 2
This compilation of live performances by Deep Purple was released in different versions and labels. In the UK and Australia, it was released under Polydor in 2 LP formats while in the US under Mercury with the same format. The CD versions also two kinds: double CD as well as single CD (with some track omissions) both released by Polydor. Mine is the single CD version and I am satisfied with the CD, including the sound quality which is much better than "Made In Japan". It's probably the technology used is significantly different. The band's performances recorded here vary with four tracks (Highway Star, Strange Kind of Woman, Perfect Strangers, and Woman From Tokyo) were taken from the same concert in Irvine Meadows, California on 23 May 1987. Four other tracks (Hard Lovin' Woman, Child In Time, Black Night, and Smoke On The Water) were taken from concert in Oslo, Norway on 22 August 1987. Two tracks (Knocking At Your Back Door and Lazy) from concert in Phoenix, Arizona on 30 May 1987. The remaining track (Hush) was taken from live jam recorded at Hook End Manor on 26 February 1988.

As far as live album, this is a very good one to enjoy as the members of the band demonstrate their full effort for the performances. Ian Gillan still can sing high register notes on "Highway Star" as well as "Child In Time". The famous "Strange Kind of Woman" which was best recorded during "Made In Japan" live record with its great break featuring great shout of Gillan responded wonderfully by Ritchie' guitar solo.But with this version Gillan performed differently even though it still have similar style. There is a good insert of "Jesus Christ Superstar" during the performance of this track. Jon Lord provides great classical music keyboard / piano solo during the opening of "Knocking At Your Back Door" (11:26). "Lazy" is also not performed as "Made In Japan" style but it's still an interesting live track.
Overall, this is a very good compilation of Deep Purple live performances in 1987. Fans of hard rock music who enjoy live record must have this CD [review by Gatot Widayanto from Progarchives.com]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3 (320kps) ripped from my Polydor double vinyl set - acquired from one of the hundreds of garage sales I've picked on countless Saturday mornings. The condition of the vinyl is pretty damn good, but it was a hard one to record with its fluctuating volume throughout many of the tracks. Full album artwork for both vinyl and CD releases is included.  I liken this double live set to their earlier  'Made In Japan' and it almost matches this classic live release by the Mark II reunion group. Gillan's vocals are still as strong as his 1972 efforts and Blackmore still reproduces some of his guitar magic on this one.
As the album says Nobody's Perfect but this double set comes pretty damn close.
Tracks Listing
01. Highway Star (6:10)
02. Strange Kind Of Woman (7:34)
03. Perfect Strangers (6:25)
04. Hard Lovin' Woman (5:03)
05. Bad Attitude (5:31) (Not on original CD release)
06. Knocking At Your Back Door (11:26)
07. Child In Time (10:35)
08. Lazy (5:10)
09. Space Trucking (6:03) (Not on original CD release)
10. Black Night (6:06)
11. Woman From Tokyo (4:00)
12. Smoke On The Water (7:46)
13. Hush (Live studio jam) (3:50)

Band Members:
Ritchie Blackmore - lead guitar

Ian Gillan - vocals

Roger Glover - bass guitar, vocals

Jon Lord - organ, keyboards, vocals

Ian Paice - drums

Nobody's Perfect MP3 Link (203Mb)
Nobody's Perfect LP1 FLAC (298Mb)
Nobody's Perfect LP2 FLAC (300Mb)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Party Boys - Live At Several 21st's (1983)

(Australian 1982–1992, 1999, 2011)
Ex-Mondo Rock member Paul Christie formed The Party Boys in 1982 as an occasional “supergroup” consisting of some of Australia’s finest musicians. The concept was that Christie would employ players (all of whom had other commitments) when the need arose, and that the set they played would consist entirely of cover versions.
Paul Christie is an Australian bassist and vocalist born in Brisbane in 1953. He came to prominence as a member of the second and most successful lineup of the group Mondo Rock, which was founded by former Daddy Cool leader Ross Wilson. Christie performed on many of the group's hits in the early 1980s including 'State of The Heart', 'Cool World', 'Summer of '81', 'Chemistry', 'No Time', 'The Queen & Me' & 'In Another Love'.

After leaving Mondo Rock Christie founded the all-star touring group The Party Boys in November of 1982. From his memoirs...

'Upon leaving Mondo Rock in late 1982 I returned to Sydney and took a break on the northern beaches. I thought about options for the future and devised the concept of The Party Boys. Australian Crawl singer James Reyne & I had become friends whilst I was living in Melbourne. We shared a common belief that as musicians, we were not receiving the best financial returns based on the success experienced in our respective bands. This was the way the music business was structured coming out of the ‘70’s into the early ‘80’s...
I believed a line-up of musicians from a number of known bands performing together for an interim period, managed and coordinated by myself, would succeed, for the benefit of the musicians. In October of 1982 I approached the manager of Moby Dick Surfers Club, Graham Chatfield and proposed two concert dates for Nov 14th & 21st 1982. He accepted and booked the yet unrehearsed band. James was in Sydney filming ‘Return To Eden’, he had available time. I called guitarist Ian Moss (Cold Chisel) who was unavailable however his housemate Harvey James (Ariel, Sherbet) was and agreed to participate. I had worked with The Angels fleetingly and become friends with drummer Graham Bidstrup, he joined along with Kevin Borich who had employed me as bass player from 1977-1979 in the Kevin Borich Express...

The Nov 14th date was wildly successful, the band then performed at The Astra Hotel Bondi, The National Hotel Brisbane, The Manly Vale Hotel then Moby’s again on the 21st. A live album ‘Live At Several 21st’s' was recorded by Keith Walker of 2JJJ at Manly Vale. Released by EMI Records it achieved Gold + sales status. The band went through several incarnations over the next decade and included many famous Australian and international musicians including former and current members of Status Quo, The Eagles, Kevin Borich, The Animals, The Angels, Sherbet, Skyhooks, Rose Tattoo, 

The Choirboys, Australian Crawl, Divinyls, Models, Dragon, Swanee, GANGgajang, Rainbow, Alcatrazz, AC/DC and Noiseworks. [Extract from http://www.answers.com/topic/paul-christie-australian-musician]

By 1987, the band had released four live albums (and a Best Of collection), with Live At Several 21sts (1983) making the national Top 10. The band finally entered the recording studio in 1987 to put down a cover version of John Kongas’ 1971 hit He’s Gonna Step On You Again, which reached Number One.

.This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) freshly ripped from my immaculately kept vinyl (so fresh that you can almost smell the Burbon & Coke that was consumed during these recordings)
Full album artwork for both CD and vinyl is also included along with label scans,  for your pleasure.
All of the tracks of on this album are well executed covers of popular hits by bands such as The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, and Willy Dixon (to name a few), but my favourite track is their cover of the Door's hit "Been Down So Long" (originally released on their LA Woman album).
Get it while you can !
Track Listing
Side one.
01. Not fade away
02. I'm your Hoochie Coochie Man
03. Beat goes on
04. Don't let go
05. Superfreak
Side two.
01. Been down so long
02. My baby drove up in a brand new Cadillac
03. Gunslinger
04. Bitch
05. White light/White heat

The Party Boys were:
James Reyne - lead vocals
Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup - drums
Kevin Borich - guitar and vocals
Paul Christie - bass and vocals
Harvey "Harry" James - guitar and vocals
The Party Boy's Link (MP3)
The Party Boys (FLACs)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Never Never: On The Beach / It Doesn't Mean Anything (1980)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
Here's a rare single by a Geelong band called 'The Never Never', who formed out of another band called 'Southern Aurora'. (but not to be confused with another band called the Never Never from Perth, in 1982)
"The Never Never" played the pub circuits in Geelong and Melbourne between 1978 and 1981, but never really hit the big time.
They only released one single on an Independent Label "Media Sound" in 1980, tracks were "It Doesn't Mean Anything" and "On The Beach".
There is some confusion as to which track was the A-Side as both sides of the record label have side A printed on them. In addition, Chris Spencer's 'Who's Who of Australian Rock' managed to give incorrect credit to the Perth band for their single in their 1989 edition, but did correct it in later editions. Who's Who's spelling of band member names is also inaccurate in comparison to what is printed on the singles back cover and their reference to 'Never Never Band' rather than 'The Never Never' is also incorrect, going by what is printed on the record label. Spencer also incorrectly sites the release date of the single as being 1981, whereas the cover clearly states 1980.
To add more confusion, the back cover lists 'Tom Micheals' as vocalist and guitarist, yet his real name is Mick Thomas.  Hmm... somebody didn't do their research properly.
In late 1984, Mick Thomas (lead vocals, lead guitar and bass guitar) went on to form the first version of folk rock band 'Weddings Parties Anything' with a former band mate, Adams.
It's hard to know which of the tracks was meant to be the A-Side but Who's Who site it as "It Doesn't Mean Anything".
I personally like the other track "On The Beach" with its simple but catchy melody and "It Doesn't Mean Anything" which sounds a lot like Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him"
Anyhow, have a listen to this rare and Obscure single from the Never, Never (literally folks) and tell me what you think.

Band Members:
Joe Nado - Lead Guitar
Tom Micheals (alias Mick Thomas) - Vocals & Guitar
Wendy Harrison - Bass
Arch Enemy (aka Archie Cuthbertson) - Drums

The Never Never (17Mb)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jon English - Beating The Boards (1983)

(Australian 1972-Present)
Jon English is one of few Australian performers who have successfully combined a career in so many genres of music, television, and stage.
From the early 70’s in the demanding role of Judas in Australia’s first and enormously successful production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, to his Logie winning performance as the convict Jonathan Garrett in the TV mini series, ‘Against the Wind’, together with countless return seasons as the dashing Pirate King in ‘Pirates of Penzance’ and the lovable Bobby Rivers in the TV sitcom, ‘All Together Now’, Jon has contributed immeasurably to the performing arts for nearly four decades.
With no less than 16 music albums to his credit, including the self penned rock opera ‘Paris’, any attempt to list his many achievements in this short space would only result in copious sins of omission.  His hits include Turn the Page, Some People, Hollywood 7, Six Ribbons, Words are not Enough, Hot Town, Carmilla – just to name a few – and his many accolades include multiple Logie, Aria, TV Week, Countdown, RAM Magazine, Melbourne Critics Green Room, AFI and MO awards.
A prolific songwriter, experienced screen composer, and a popular actor with wide community recognition and critical public acclaim, Jon is one of Australia’s most successful, loved, and enduring recording and performing artists.
Jon English BIO  (pre1983)
Jon's birthplace was Hampstead, England. He migrated to Australia with his family at the age of thirteen and two years later joined forces with three fellow students at Cabramatta High School to form the original Sebastian Hardie.
He remained with the band until January 1972 when he auditioned, along with 2,000 other hopefuls, for a part in Jesus Christ Superstar. Not only did Jon win a part, but he was given the very demanding and prestigious role of Judas. His performance in the show was highly acclaimed wherever it was staged. He remained in the production for two years.
Superstar was not his only activity during this period though. Initially he worked casually with a band called Duck and appeared on the LP called Laid. Then, later in 1972, he began recording his own album entitled Wine Dark Sea, which was released in March 1973 on the Warm and Genuine label through Phonogram. A single, 'Handbags And Gladrags', was cut from the LP and a follow-up, 'Close Every Door', came out in July '73.

In March 1974, Superstar closed and Jon went straight into the studio to record the soundtrack of the rock opera of Ned Kelly (in which he took the part of Ned). Jon also started doing a lot of live performances as well as cameo appearances with his old band (Sebastian Hardie) and an outfit called Baxter Funt. Other activities included starring in the play Bacchoi, the co-writing of a ballet called Phases, and writing a column for the Sydney Daily Mirror. Somehow Jon found time at the end of the year to record his second album, It's All A Game, which was released in January 1975. One of the outstanding tracks on the album was 'Turn The Page', and as a single it became his first hit.
A new version of Jesus Christ Superstar had emerged meanwhile, and Jon rejoined the show and toured with it around Australia and New Zealand. He remained with the production until early in 1976 when he began recording his next album, Hollywood Seven. The title track was released as a single first of all, and the LP hit the market in August. Another song, 'I'm A Survivor', was also lifted from the album. Later in the year Jon and Trevor released a joint single, 'Laid Back In Anger'.
Jon's acting career was also expanding with appearances in TV dramas such as Homicide, Matlock Police and No.96. In March 1977, another single, 'Lay It All Down', was issued from the forthcoming Minutes To Midnight album. Then came a tour with Bryan Ferry and another single, 'Behind Blue Eyes' (May 77). At this point, with touring becoming such an integral part of his career, Jon decided to form his own five piece band which included two keyboard players. Jon's last single for 1977 was 'Every Time I Sing A Love Song', released in August.
Plans for 1978 included a proposed European and US tour (where 'Hollywood Seven' received airplay) in February and the release of his new album which was completed in December '77.
Not only was 1978 Jon's biggest year for recording ("Words Are Not Enough' scored higher on the national charts than any of his previous singles), but his acting career received a tremendous boost when he landed a lead role in the million dollar Australian-made television show, Against the Wind.Jon's part as a 19th century convict in the thirteen episodes kept him busy from February to August. The first episode was screened in September, and the show was sold in England, parts of Europe and also — a major breakthrough — for a six figure sum in the US.
In December, an Against the Wind soundtrack album was released by Polydor. All tracks were arranged, composed, performed and produced by Jon and Mario Millo. (Their relationship dates back to the early seventies when they worked together in Sebastian Hardie). A single, 'Six Ribbons', was lifted from the album and released in December.
Jon also worked on his solo career during '78. In June, 'Words Are Not Enough', released as a single, soared to the number five position on the charts. It was followed by an album in August. Originally titled Fluent English, but changed after the single's success to Words Are Not Enough, it was recorded at Albert Studios in Sydney and mastered in the UK. It displayed a more diversified sound than his previous work, and a second track, 'Nights In Paradise', was lifted from it in September providing Jon with yet another hit.
Apart from television acting, recording and touring (with his band Baxter Funt) he completed a third stint as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar on the Sydney club circuit midway through the year.
A 'Best Of 'compilation planned for release in the first half of the year; and with a green card that will allow him to work in the U.S, he plans a visit there early in the year to pursue his acting/recording career
[extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, 1978: p105-106, 1979: p19-20]

In April 1980, English released Calm Before the Storm which peaked at No.17 on the albums charts, with a single "Carmilla" peaking at No.27; this was followed by the less successful Inroads from January 1981 and singles "Hold Back the Night" and "Ask no Questions". Meanwhile, Against the Wind was shown on international TV stations in United Kingdom and other parts of Europe as Gegen den Wind in Mot alla vindar in Scandinavia. Success in Scandinavia included the soundtrack peaking at No.1 on the Norwegian Albums charts and two singles, "Mot alla vindar" and "Six Ribbons" both peaking at No.1 on the Norwegian Singles charts, all in 1981. English History, his compilation album also peaked at No.1, follow up albums Calm Before the Storm and Inroads both reached the Top Ten in Norway. In Sweden the soundtrack and the "Six Ribbons" single both peaked at No.4 on the relevant charts in 1980, later English History and "Hollywood Seven" reached the top twenty in their charts.

During 1981, English toured UK and Scandinavia with Mario Millo (guitars, ex-Sebastian Hardie), (guitar), Jackie Orszaczky (bass; ex-Syrius, Bakery, Marcia Hines Band), Coz Russo (keyboards), Richard Gawned (tenor sax, flute; ex-Marcia Hines Band) and Nick Lister (drums; ex-Kush).
English teamed with former Superstar co-lead, Marcia Hines, to produce July 1982's mini-album Jokers & Queens (see previous post) and its self-titled single, the album peaked at No.36 on the Australian albums charts and the single reached No.62 on the singles charts
His double live album, 'Beating the Boards' was released in early 1983 with backing by the Foster Brothers containing John Coker (bass), John Dallimore (guitar, flute, vocals; ex-Redhouse), Peter Deacon (keyboards, vocals), Greg Henson (drums) and Keith Kerwin (guitar, vocals; ex-Southern Star Band).  [extract from Wikipedia]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from a CD release (now out of print) and includes full album artwork for both CD and Vinyl releases. I chose to rip the CD rather than my vinyl copy, because the LP's cause the stylus to jump around a bit.  Imperfections in the pressing I suspect.
This double live set acts as a good anthology of Jon's recording history, but some of the tracks don't quite capture the sound quality of their equivalent studio tracks (eg. Hollywood Seven and Turn The Page)
Track Listing
A1 - Beating The Boards         (3:54)
A2 - Survivor                 (5:03)
A3 - Turn The Page            (3:27)
A4 - Been In Love Before         (8:15)
A5 - Lay It All Down            (4:42)
B1 - The Shining            (4:48)
B2 - Josephine (Too Many Secrets)    (5:08)
B3 - Lovin' Arms            (5:00)
B4 - You Might Need Somebody        (3:47)
B5 - Get Your Love Right        (5:09)

C1 - Words Are Not Enough        (5:12)
C2 - Beautiful Loser            (4:52)
C3 - Against The Wind/Six Ribbons    (8:22)
C4 - Hot Town                (5:57)
D1 - Hollywood                (7:00)
D2 - Move Better In The Night        (5:33)
D3 - I Can't Turn You Loose        (4:48)
D4 - Every Time I Sing A Love Song    (5:30)

Lead Vocals - Jon English
Acoustic Guitar – Keith Kerwin, Jon English
Bass Guitar – John Coker
Drums – Greg Henson
Electric Guitar – John Dallimore, Keith Kerwin
Flute – John Dallimore
Keyboards – Peter Deacon
Lead Vocals – Jon English
Producer – David Williams, Jon English
Backing Vocals – John Coker, John Dallimore, Keith Kerwin, Peter Deacon
Engineer [Live] – Duncan McGuire, Roger Savage

Beating The Boards (MP3)

Beating The Boards LP1 (FLAC)

Beating The Boards LP2 (FLAC)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Journey - Guitar & Amps (1978) Ex SB [REPOST]

(US 1973-Present) 
REPOST - Improved RIP and artwork
Found this gem at the Victoria Market one sunny Sunday afternoon back in the late 70's and paid a small fortune for it. Bootleggers could charge what they liked back in those days, particularly when the band was considered to be obscure and Journey was still very much an unknown band in Australia. But it was worth the money, the recording is excellent and the cover is almost commercial standard. This boot must be very rare! as I have yet to find it in a Google search.
I already had Journey's first three albums with their heavy rock and jazz fusion flavours and was very much into the band's long instrumentals and soaring guitar and keyboard solo's. Then came along Steve Perry, who added some refined vocals on their "Infinity" album making it far more commercial than their previous releases.
"Guitar & Amps" picks up the band at this stage of their career and showcases both old and new tracks from their catalog, including their big hit 'Wheel In The Sky'. It was recorded at the Monitro Studios in front of a small audience.
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 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".
The post consists of FLACs and MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes full LP artwork. Recorded in front of a small studio audience, the quality of the recording improves after the first track (sound engineers must have been asleep !). This is a rare bootleg indeed.
Note: Track listing printed on back cover is not accurate - listing below is correct
Track Listing
01 - Of A Lifetime
02 - I Would Find You
03 - Feeling That Way
04 - Anytime
05 - La Do Da / Can Do
06 - Winds Of March
07 - On A Saturday Nite
08 - Wheel In The Sky
09 - Next
Band Members
Steve Perry (Lead vocals)
Neal Schon (Guitar)
Gregg Rolie (Keyboards / Vocals)
Ross Valory (Bass / Vocals)
Ansley Dunbar (Drums)
Journey FLACs (309Mb) New Link 21/02/2015

Journey MP3 (119Mb) New Link 21/02/2015
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