Saturday, February 16, 2019

Thump'n Pig & Puff'n Billy - Downunda (1973)

(Australian 1973)
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In 1973, Warren 'The Pig' Morgan was asked to do a solo album and he asked Billy Thorpe to be involved. It was primarily Warren's material, but Billy sang and played on all of it and co-produced the album. The result was this hit album entitled "Thumpin' Pig and Puffing Billy" and a single entitled "Captain Straightman b/w Bow My Head" which went to #28 nationally. "Captain Straightman" become an Aztec favourite and was one of their most requested songs when playing live. Thorpe entered this track into an American songwriting contest where it made the finals and as a result Thorpie got his first taste of playing in the USA and this, according to the notes, was the trigger for his move to LA in 1976.
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The Album
As most readers would know, the notorious duo of Thump'n Pig & Puff'n Billy was none other than piano player extraordinaire Warren 'Pig' Morgan and Billy Thorpe. In late 1972, Morgan was offered an album deal and he invited Thorpie to share the project with him. Calling in their buddies Gil Matthews (drums) plus Barry 'Big Goose' Sullivan (bass) and Phil Manning (guitar), both from Chain, the album sessions got underway at Armstrong Studios with engineer John Sayers.


The material flowed freely, with all the musicians enjoying the lively and positive nature of the sessions. This is reflected in the buoyancy and spontaneity of album tracks like 'Moving with Rock', 'You Look After Me, I Look After You', 'Sunny Day', the bluesy 'I've Cried Over You' and the pounding rocker 'Captain Straightman'.

Warren Morgan and Billy Thorpe 1973
With respect to 'Captain Straightman', Morgan says: "I had this piano riff available to me. It was around the time Joe Cocker came to Australia for the first time, and he got arrested and thrown out for some perceived 'bad behaviour'. I got a bit incensed because 1 thought 'that's no way to treat a guest', so to me that was Captain Straightman: the authorities. So I had the piano riff and the words 'Captain Straightman' just came out. I started yelling out 'Captain Straightman', and the other lyrics came together pretty quickly. Billy then put his touch on the second verse. So, having composed the song, I dedicated it to Joe Cocker because he'd fallen foul of Captain Straightman."

Morgan continues: "When I listened back to songs like 'Bow My Head' there's a bit of religious overtone in there. I don't consider myself religious at all, but I guess there's nothing wrong with writing like that. I was just surprised, T find that quite intriguing because that's not really me. At the same time a composer should be able to write about anything and have no real personal thoughts about it. I did attend a very strict Methodist boarding school, but this is what amuses me because I was thrown out of scripture; I just wasn't interested. But in these songs I'm saying these religious things, so... there you go!"

Havoc issued 'Captain Straightman' as a single in March 1973. It reached #28 on the national chart and has since emerged as a fondly remembered classic. By the time the album Downunda came out in April (on Atlantic; re-issued as Aztec AVSCD004 in 2005), Morgan had rejoined the Aztecs. Thorpie entered 'Captain Straightman' into an American song contest and when it made the finals he got his first taste of playing in the US, all of which precipitated his eventual move to LA in 1976.
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prized vinyl copy and includes full artwork and label scans.   I had an autographed copy of this LP with signatures on the front cover by both Billy and Morgan, but chose to sell it off recently for a pretty penny.  Not sure if this was a smart move, but I was happy with the price and it financed some other albums that I didn't have.
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Track Listing
01 - Captain Straightman
02 - I've Cried Over You
03 - You Look After Me, I Look After You
04 - Morning With Rock
05 - Early Morning
06 - Mothers and Fathers
07 - Just For You
08 - Sunny Day
09 - Bow My Head
10 - Mister Man

Band Members:
Warren 'Pig' Morgan - Piano, Vocals
Billy Thorpe - Guitar, Vocals
Barry Sullivan - Bass
Gil Matthews - Drums
Phil Manning - Guitar
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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Various Artists - TRAX British Made (1989) with Bonus Track

(Various Artists 60-70's)
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This is one in a series of compilation albums released by TRAX records (a subsidiary of EMI), namely British Made, Australian Made and American Made.  These compilations pay tribute to some of their most popular native artists and bands, showcasing some of the greatest songs every released during the 60's and 70's. The following post pays tribute some of the most popular and successful artists/bands from the U.K.
While looking at the 'Hall of Fame' listing on the back cover of this album, it was obvious that one name was missing, and so I have filled the gap by including Black Sabbath's mega hit "Paranoid" as a bonus track.
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Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
When British heavy metal rockers Deep Purple arrived at the Montreux Casino, Switzerland, they were planning to record their album, Machine Head, in its concert area. On the eve of the recording session, Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention were performing at the venue, where a concertgoer - later dubbed "some stupid" in "Smoke On The Water" - let off a flare gun, igniting a fire that burnt the casino to the ground.
The fire started small, but after part of the ceiling collapsed, Zappa ordered the audience out of the hall, He later recalled in an interview, "The auditorium filled with smoke and shortly after, the band had to escape through the backstage tunnel, [and] the heating system exploded blowing several people through the window. Though no one was killed, Deep Purple were forced to find alternate recording space with the help of Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival and one of that the heroes of that night, who pulled several kids from the fire, which destroyed Zappa's equipment and put the venue out of commission until 1975.
Deep Purple's iconic track from their album Machine Head "Smoke On The Water," which chronicles the events of that night, "came to me in a dream one or two mornings after the fire," bassist Roger Glover once said. Meanwhile, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore did justice to the drama of the event by adorning the lyric with a menacing four-note blues lick that is now probably the most famous riff in hard rock history [by Sara Farr. Date December 4, 1971 Country Switzerland]


Free - "All Right Now"
Pure and unadulterated, Free emerged as keepers of the flickering flame jf the British blues in a quartet of beautiful balance. Paul Rodgers's Huskily yearning vocals, clothes courtesy of the small ads in Melody Maker; Paul Kossoff stretching his timeless guitar licks with his Les Paul's sustain; teenage Andy Fraser's mile-wide bass; rock-steady Simon Kirke 4/4'ing the whole together on drums. Their manifesto was nowhere better proclaimed than on their 1970 hit "All Right Now".
Alexis Korner had suggested that they call themselves Free after his own blues trio Free At Last, and seemingly erupting out of nowhere, they found themselves up amongst the headline acts at the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970. Yet they were never able to build completely on that success, not least through trying to keep Paul Kossoffs drug addiction under control. 1973's 'Wishing Well', Free's final single, was a heartfelt plea from Rodgers to Kossoff - he failed to heed the song's message, and was dead within three years.

Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
Named after an eighteenth century agriculturalist, Jethro Tull recorded a one-off single that unfortunately appeared under the name "Jethro Toe" before building a reputation on the club and university circuit in the U.K. Incorporating rock, blues, folk, and jazz elements, their excellent 1968 debut album 'This Was' reached the UK Top 10. Their second set, Stand Up, released on August 1,1969, was Jethro Tull's only British chart-topper The contagious "Living In The Past" was a Transatlantic hit.
Firmly installed at the forefront of the burgeoning progressive rock scene, Tull were the first rock band of note to feature the flute as lead instrument. Yet in direct ontrast to the introverted appearance that instrument might suggest, they possessed a strong visual image thanks to the onstage antics of their leaser,singer, chief songwriter, and flautist lan Anderson, whose persona can best be described as that of a hopping, bug-eyed tramp. The cover of their 1971 release Aqualung partially conveyed that. As the 70s progressed, the Tull became more popular in America than at home, with "Thick As A Brick" (1972) and "A Passion Play" (1973) both topping the U.S. album charts.
An erratic, wilfully perverse band, Jethro Tull have also embraced folk rock, hard rock, and world music at various stages in their lengthy career, indeed, that refusal to be categorized led to an unlikely triumph in the late '80s, when their album 'Crest Of A Knave' saw off Metallica to win a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance [by David Wells]


Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
Formed in 1969 with the progressive agenda of making rock music which aspired away from dancing teenagers towards sedentary students, Supertramp eventually became a pop band - in all but image. Their combination of facelessness and chart success was the kind of thing only possible before the age of MTV.
Keyboardist Rick Davies and guitarist Roger Hodgson dominated the songwriting and singing, the latter's talent for quirky tunes giving him the upper tend as, with each album they released from 1974's Crime Of The Century, their fan-base and expectations of selling more next time grew. As the band's success had waxed with Crisis? What Crisis? (1975) and Even In J^e Quietest Moments (1977), the Britons relocated to me U.S. Breakfast in America (1979) was made in Los Angeles, every note soaked in FM radio sunshine. With the band themselves lacking in star personality, record cover imagery - spread across the foot-square canvas
of an LP sleeve plus press and billboard advertising -mattered a lot for them. The Breakfast in America sleeve's spoof Manhattan with cereal box skyscrapers and a diner waitress statue of Liberty was both clever and sunny. The music matched, with the singles "The Logical Song" (an infectious and dazzling exercise in rhyming words ending with "-al"), "Take the Long Way Home," "Goodbye Stranger," and "Breakfast In America" propelling the album to No. 1 in the U.S. charts on May 19,1979, where it resided cumulatively for six weeks. [by Mat Snow]


The Kinks - "Lola"
Given Ray Davies' later dominance, it's worth recalling that it was the Kink's guitarist Dave Davies, his frenetic younger brother, who gave the group's first singles their substantial mettle: he ripped up the speakers in his practice amp and hooked them with a couple of his Vox amps for the raw sound of 'You Really Got Me'. Dave and Ray fought constantly, like all good brotherly bands, but Ray's songwriting skills held sway. By 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion' and 'Waterloo Sunset' the Kinks had segued to the very model of an English band, with their neatly observed cameos of life in Blighty, always serious but blessed with a twinkling, crinkled smile.
From there on it was but a sprightly stroll towards some concept albums, success in America following 'Lola' ('Celluloid Heroes' was the Hollywood parallel of 'Waterloo') and obeisance from Paul Weller, Supergrass and Blur - whose single 'Country House' was an undisguised tribute to the Kinks' 1966 'House In The Country'.
"Playing gives a great sense of self-expression, the energy you create by playing. I  used to get mad,
and I suppose I'm sort of schizophrenic at heart as well." [quote by  Dave Davies]
Interesting fact with their 1970 hit single "Lola".  The BBC banned the track for a different reason. The original song recorded in stereo had the word "Coca-Cola" in the lyrics, but because of BBC Radio's policy against product placement, Ray Davies was forced to make a 6000-mile round-trip flight from New York to London and back on June 3, 1970, interrupting the band's American tour, to change those words to the generic "cherry cola" for the single release, which is included on various compilation albums as well.

David Essex - "Rock On"
Rock On is the debut album of U.K singer/songwriter David Essex, released in 1973. Its lead single and title track, "Rock On", is still Essex's best known song in the United States. David Essex wrote this "rocker" to play at the end of the 1973 movie "That'll Be The Day."
Born David Albert Cook, in London in 1947, "Essex" loved playing soccer as a kid...and even dreamed of becoming a pro player. In his teens, he discovered music...playing drums in a local band before becoming a singer.
For the next two years, he toured England with the band 'David Essex And The Mood Indigo' releasing seven more singles in his native UK, before 1970! It was then that Essex also started honing his acting skills, grabbing small parts in small movies...and notably, he won the lead role in the London stage version of "Godspell" in 1971. His involvement with "Godspell" led to him being cast in the movie "That'll Be The Day," along with Ringo Starr and Keith Moon!!
Essex's movie character was a working class, aspiring rocker in pre-Beatles England...
He asked producer David Puttnam if he could write the movie's ending song...and Puttnam said....sure.
"Rock On" addressed the restless nature of his film character...a rock artist-wannabe, going through tough times. The song was also a tribute to the early days of Rock 'N' Roll...making mention of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran!
Puttnam listened to the finished song, and decided not to use it for the film...saying that it was 'too weird"!   Not to be discouraged, David Essex eventually used "Rock On" to secure a recording deal with the CBS Records. "Rock On" would be his first single on the CBS label.
And so, FINALLY, everything came together for Essex as both a singer and actor!

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" is a song by British rock band Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, released as the lead single from the band's 1975 album The Best Years of Our Lives. It was written by Harley, and produced by Harley and Alan Parsons. In February 1975, the song reached the number-one spot on the UK chart and received a UK Silver certification. It spent nine weeks in the Top 50. The track marked Harley’s first Number 1 hit single, entered the Top 10 in 15 countries and has sold around 1.5 million copies to date.
“People keep asking me, did I know at the time how successful Make Me Smile would become?,” Harley told Official Charts.com. “I was 23 years old and wouldn't have been considering the long-term future.
“But we all knew, in number two studio at Abbey Road, after we'd re-mixed it, that something special might just be in the air.”
“Alan Parsons, my co-producer and engineer, did a fantastic job,” he continued. “Which is why the record sounds so fresh and bright on the radio to this day, a full 40 years on!"


The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
Chrissie Hynde moved to England in the early 70's, looking for the kind of magic the British invasion had promised to an alienated girl in Akron, Ohio. What she found was punk, and she immersed herself in it. When in 1978, she founded The Pretenders with three Hereford lads - guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers - something - to use a phrase from this song - so special was born: a rock band with a punk attitude and pop smarts.
The title "Brass In Pocket" came from an English northern expression for having money about one's person, although the song is concerned with matters carnal rather than financial. In Hynde's lyric and vocals, she adopts a masculine predatory approach, announcing, "There's nobody else here, no one like me," although a shadow of vulnerability reveals itself in the way every chorus rises in an indignant insistence that she has to have some of her quarry's attention.
The song - which at one point Hynde told producer Chris Thomas would be released over her dead body - became the first UK No. 1 of the '80s on January 19, 1980 helped on its way to the top by a slinky back beat, a clean guitar sound, Hynde's throaty but velvety voice, and the frisson generated by nobody being able to tell in her litany of what she was going to use to get her man whether she was singing "Gonna use my arms" or "arse." [by Ignacio Julia]

Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
When Thunderclap Newman made UK No. 1 on July 5,1969, during the last summer of the '60s, their song "Something In The Air" almost seemed like a hymn to the Sixties' revolutionary spirit. By 2000, its composer, John "Speedy" Keen, had sanctioned the track's use in a way the idealistic young man who wrote it would have been horrified by back in 1969: as background music in a commercial for the ultimate corporate airline British Airways.
The trio who formed Thunderclap Newman -drummer/vocalist Keen, conservative-looking barrel house pianist Andy Newman, and a precocious 15-year-old guitarist named Jimmy McCulloch - were originally recruited by The Who's Pete Townshend for a movie soundtrack. That this ad hoc group was mismatched was illustrated by the fact that their one album Hollywood Dream (1969) contained some good songs which collectively never seemed to gel. Even on "Something In The Air," Keen's ethereal, floating melody
was interrupted by an incongruous Newman honky-tonk piano break. However, on this track at least it worked and Keen's plaintive, reedy voice forewarning that the revolution was imminent and intoning the rousing refrain "We have got to get it together - now!" was all over the airwaves upon the record's release.
Little did Keen and his colleagues know that the song was really one last act of defiance by their generation before their ideals died with the start of a new, more cynical decade. [by Sean Egan]

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Joe Cocker's flailing arms, parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live, always gave the impression of a man who was out of control, an impression sometimes heightened by Cocker's lifestyle: it belied a deep, respectful passion for R'n'B, and Ray Charles in particular. After paying hard-earned dues around northern clubs, his rise to fame was swift: a UK Number One single with his cover of 'With A Little Help From My Friends' (the friends included Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood), and notable appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. The rambling, shambling Mad Dogs ft Englishmen tour of the US, organised by Leon Russell in 1970, was a saga of exhaustion (sixty gigs in three months) and self-destruction, and the strain nearly did for him. But Cocker was made of Sheffield steel, re-emerging to duet with Jennifer Warnes on 'Up Where We Belong' and jump-start his career.

Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
In the '60s, The Beatles had topped UK and U.S.single and album charts all at the same time but never technically with the same product, it took Rod Stewart to achieve what even the mighty Fabs hadn't. Still the frontman of The Faces but increasingly becoming better known for his solo albums, in 1971 Stewart recorded his LP masterpiece, 'Every Picture Tells A story'. As usual, it was made up of a highly unusual mixture of folk, soul, and rock, an epic version of "I'm Losing You" rubbing shoulders with Stewarts beautiful rustic evocation of frontier life, "Mandolin Wind." It also featured a collaboration between Stewart and classical guitarist Martin Quittenton about the artist's first sexual conquest.
Despite a raunchy theme and a catchy, jangling melody set off by an arresting mandolin solo, all driven home by Stewart's unique emotional rasp, Mercury Records didn't think that the song was hit material, relegating it to a B-side, instead, "Reason To Believe" was chosen as the album's single. But fate in the form of DJ opinion intervened, and the single "Maggie May" was given the radio play she deserved; on October 9, 1971, the song topped the singles charts in the UK. it had made the top spot in the United States on October 2, the same day as the album had topped the U.S. album charts. With the album also lodged at NO. 1 in Britain, it made for an unprecedented double-double whammy. [by Melissa Blease]

Elton John - "Your Song"
Elton John is a superstar in the truest sense of the word. It might sound corny, but Elton is one of the few performers not only to survive the seventies but actually to blossom during their fickle years. Unlike most "stars" of this decade who have a nasty habit of disappearing within the span of three albums, John has risen from total obscurity to the top of the heap—outselling just about all the current competition. He is to the children of the seventies what the Beatles and the Stones were to the sixties' generation.
In 1969, Elton's first single, Lady Samantha, was released. It was a well-received but stiffed. By the time Elton's first album, 'Empty Sky', was released, the world was aware of his presence. The record, unreleased stateside until 1975, was fairly crude, produced on a four-track tape deck by Brown. But it proved that Taupin-John had talent. Brown allowed Gus Dudgeon to take over for his follow up LP and the hit single "Your Song" appeared at the top of the charts. Released as the B-Side to "Take me To The Pilot", U.S and disc jockeys preferred it to the A-Side and played "Your Song " instead.  Elton's career had started in earnest.  Your Song was also released as a single in the UK in 1971, but in this case it was the A-Side.
From that point onward, Elton and Bernie continued to grow in every musical respect and the hits kept on coming and coming. The rest of course is history.


Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich were a flamboyant quintet, named after the five friends' nicknames, formed in Salisbury in 1961. From 1965 to January 1970, the group spent more weeks in the UK singles charts than The Kinks or The Who. They first entered the UK charts in December 1965 with "You Make it Move".
A string of hits followed including Hold Tight!, Bend It! and Save Me and a UK number one single with the whip-cracking "Legend of Xanadu", in 1968. In fact, they were such hit-makers that they spent more time on the English singles charts in 1965 to 1969 than the Beatles!
Two of their albums charted - their eponymous debut, in 1966, followed a year later by If Music Be the Food of Love... Then Prepare for Indigestion.

T-Rex - "Get It On"
By March 1971, Marc Bolan was on the top of the world, and at the top of the charts. Just three months after his band T Rex's "Ride A White Swan" frustratingly stalled at No. 2, their latest single, "Hot Love' had risen to No. 1 and the band were back at Top Of The Pops, to perform the hit for the nation.
Marc was looking cool that afternoon. He'd just picked up a new silver lame jacket and matched it with hip-hugging white trousers. But, as he picked up his guitar to head out onto the soundstage, he felt a hand on his arm. He looked around; it was Chelita Secunda, a publicist friend of Bolan's wife June. "One thing before you go..." Deftly, Chelita daubed some eye-shadow "across his face, and then brought out some glitter, patting it across his cheekbones, tiny teardrops that shimmered in the light. Musicians had worn make-up onstage before, but this was something new, something bold. He now looked glamorous - but, shockingly, glamorous in the way that a woman would - something accentuated by his corkscrew curls, which always looked suspiciously like a lady's permanent. It didn't matter that the cameras didn't close in on Bolan's face until the final chorus of the performance, the "La la la" that chased "Hot Love" to its fade. One glimpse of it - a blinding sparkle beneath the studio lamps - was all it took to ignite glam rock, the dominant sartorial style of the UK charts over the following years.
Following the success of  "Hot Love",  Bolan released his next single soon after called "Get It On", taken from his highly acclaimed LP 'Electric Warrior', which shot to #1 on the charts, reaffirming that Glam Rock was the next big thing in pop music.   [by Dave Thompson]

The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
Having scored early successes with shamelessly teenybop-oriented singles like "Funny Funny" and "Co-Co" (penned by the prolific hit-making duo Micky Chinn and Mike Chapman), Sweet turned a corner with the heavy-riffing "Wig-Warn Bam," which entered the UK Top 75 on September 9,1972. Their following series of Top 10 entries, although still master-minded by the Chinnichap duo, saw them shift effortlessly into relentlessly pounding heavy rock, albeit shot through with a frivolity that was essentially pop ("Blockbuster," "Hellraiser," "Ballroom Blitz," "Teenage Rampage"). Simultaneously, Sweet's classic line-up of Brian Connolly (vocals), Andy Scott (guitar), Steve Priest (bass), and Mick Tucker (drums) left no stone unturned in their relentless search for new eye-catching costumes, exploring every possibility inherent in outrageous coiffure, glitter, sequins, face paint, loin cloths, and feathers, not to mention a penchant for shiny metallic thigh-length boots. This quest to go further out than T Rex, Slade, and the rest won them recognition as the band who had taken the glam look to the outer limits.
This accolade proved a two-edged sword, with many critics writing them off as little more than low-grade teen fodder. In retrospect, however, it's hard to deny that Connolly's expressive vocalizing, Tucker's imaginative powerhouse percussion, and Scott's all-round musicianship set them apart from most of the competition. Indeed, when Scott replaced Chinnichap as Sweet's songwriter, he delivered gems like "Fox On The Run" and the Ivor Novello Award-winning "Love Is Like Oxygen."

So, how did their 1973 hit "Ballroom Blitz" come about? It was art out of chaos. Pop art. The Sweet‘s “Ballrooom Blitz”, Glam Rock’s catchiest, trashiest, most lovable song, came from a riot that saw the band bottled off the stage, at the Grand Hall, Palace Theater, Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1973. Men spat, while women screamed to drown out the music. Not the response expected for a group famous for their string of chart hits, “Little Willy”, “Wig-Wag Bam” and the number 1, “Block Buster”.
Why it happened has since led to suggestions that the band’s appearance in eye-shadow, glitter and lippy (in particular the once gorgeous bass player Steve Priest) was all too much for the hard lads and lassies o’ Killie.   When the man at the back of the theatre said "everyone attack", and the room turned into a ballroom blitz. Whatever the cause of the chaos, it gave Glam Rock a work of art, and Sweet, one of their finest songs. [by Gavin Michie]


Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
Written by singer Roy Wood, who made his name in the 60s as co-founder of The Move, "See My Baby Jive" was among Wizzard’s six top 10 hits.
Wood performed with other local groups until forming The Move with Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton in 1966. They secured a recording contract and their first single, Night Of Fear, reached number two while Blackberry Way topped the charts. The Move enjoyed five other top 10 hits, including Flowers In The Rain, the first song played on Radio 1.
“While still recording with The Move, Wood formed the Electric Light Orchestra with Bev and Jeff Lynne as he wanted to create pop songs with classical overtones. He co-wrote and co-produced the first album before forming Wizzard.

“Wizzard's first five singles were top 10 hits. Their debut song, "Ball Park Incident", climbed to number six in 1972, followed by two number ones, "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers".  After Wizzard, Wood concentrated on solo work and producing.

Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [bonus track]
Faced with the challenge of capitalizing on a successful first album, Black Sabbath responded with the soundtrack for an urban nightmare. Sabbath - bassist "Geezer" Butler, guitarist Tony lommi, drummer "Bill Ward, and vocalist John "Ozzy" Osbourne - specialised in dark, bluesy power chords and grinding sense of doom. Though common currency for today's heavy rockers, this sounded like nothing less than the Devil's playlist to listeners still grappling with the demise of The Beatles.
Sabbath's heaviness was distinct from Led Zeppelin's. The latter's music revolved around sex. Sabbath talked of anything but. On Paranoid, they addressed militarism ("War Pigs"), heroin abuse ("Hand if Doom"), comic book rumbles ("Iron Man"), and the aftermath of nuclear war ("Electric Funeral"). For a great many record buyers, however, Paranoid's most relevant numbers evoked horrors closer to home. On the title track, the band - at loggerheads with management, reeling from an exhaustive tour schedule - may have been speaking from the heart or simply posturing. Either way, the song "Paranoid" - an unexpected hit single and one so unusually uptempo as to make one think it was by their speedier metal rivals Deep Purple - remains one of rock's most harrowing depictions of mental anguish ("People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time").

Their eponymous debut of the previous February was the album that for many kick-started the whole heavy metal genre but Paranoid is Black Sabbath's masterpiece. [by Ralph Heibutzki]
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This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy of this EMI compilation and includes full album artwork for CD & Vinyl. I'd also like to acknowledge the inclusion of record label scans, kindly supplied by  Mr.Purser with thanks.  As mentioned, I've included Black Sabbath's mammoth hit "Paranoid" as a closing bonus track to counter balance the opening mega hit "Smoke On The Water " by Deep Purple. Hope you enjoy this great British sampler.


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Track Listing
01. Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
02. Free - "All Right Now"
03. Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
04. Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
05. The Kinks - "Lola" 
06. David Essex - "Rock On"
07. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
08. The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
09. Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
10. Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
11. Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
12. Elton John - "Your Song"
13. Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
14. T-Rex - "Get It On"
15. The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
16. Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
17. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [Bonus Track] 
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TRAX British Made Link (156Mb)
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jimi Hendrix & Otis Redding - Monterey International Pop Festival (1967)

(Various Artists)
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The Monterey International Pop Festival was scheduled for June, 1967.   In the back of everybody's mind it was to be the opening event for the "Summer of Love". This was a portentous time. In the same month The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Means Club Band, and the song San Francisco (Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie was about to help set a mood that would influence a generation.

The Monterey Festival organisers were former Beatles publicist Derek Tarter (who was to bring a reluctant Paul McCartney on board), LA businessman Lou Adler, Mamas and Papas main-man John Phillips and music biz wheeler-dealer Alan Pariser. Their aim was to set-up a non-profit making event showcasing "a diversity of international talent". Among those booked to appear were Indian satar maestro Ravi Shankar, The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, The Grateful Dead, the Mamas and Papas (natch), The Who, Otis Redding, Big Brother and the Holding Company and a young American guitarist all-but unknown in his native land, Jimi Hendrix.

The festival ran for three days and proved a huge success. Otis Redding put in a performance that literally took breaths away. He was the only major representative of American soul musk, but the power of his voice coupled with his intensity of performance revitalised a style of music that had been largely disregarded by white American record buyers. That he should die in a plane crash a few months later would only serve to heighten the remembered poignancy of his performance. The Who showed that they were world class rockers and Big Brother and The Holding Company, featuring rough diamond vocalist Janis Joplin, knocked everybody sideways.

But it was Jimi Hendrix who stole the show. Introduced by doomed Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who was there for that express purpose, Hendrix performed as if he were on stage in an intimate London venue. Although high on acid, he teased notes out of his guitar even he must have been surprised at. His banter between numbers was restrained but spot-on, and the band played the gig of their lives. At the end of the set, Hendrix set fire to his guitar and smashed it against his amp. Jimi Hendrix had arrived.

To consolidate on me success of Monterey, he was booked into a series of American showcases and, although an over-eager agent had booked him as tour support to the Monkees, this was aborted after a few mutually-confusing gigs, by summoning up the ogre of the right-wing pressure group, The Daughters of the American Revolution. [extract from The Mammoth Book Of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll, p93-94]

The Monterey International Pop-Festival celebrated the strength and the joy of a new culture with a weekend of music, good feelings and flowers which drew some 50,000 marvellous and marvelling people to Northern California in the summer of 1967. The music, the community feeling and the heady sense of good will which the event radiated became an international social landmark which stood unmatched until two years later when it was joined by Woodstock, the East Coast reflection — somewhat magnified—of Monterey.

The weekend was an impressive and exciting summation of where rock and roll had been in the latter part of the 1960's and a carefully planned prelude to the next couple of years. The festival — this first rock festival, this first large-scale massing of artists and audiences — covered a lot of ground between its Friday night of the Association, Lou Rawls, Simon and Garfunkel and more to its Sunday of Ravi Shankar, the Mamas and the Papas, the Buffalo Springfield, the Who and more. For many of the artists, Monterey was the high point of their career, and their performances reflected the excitement. For others, among them the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Otis Redding. the Monterey International Pop Festival was the beginning of a new phase.

Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding were the rage of England in that summer of love and psychedelia but they had yet to play the United States and thus were no more than a rumor to most of the Monterey crowd. Their appearance at the festival was magical: the way they looked the way they performed and the way they sounded were light years away from anything anyone had seen before. The Jimi Hendrix Experience owned the future and the audience knew it in an instant. The banks of amplifiers and speakers wailing and groaning as Hendrix' fingers scurried across the strings of his guitar gave the trio's music as much density another rock groups were getting out of studio 8-track tape machines. And, of course, Hendrix is a masterful — though seemingly offhand — performer. Pete Townsend of the Who had become famous for destroying his guitar. Hendrix carried the ritual a couple of fantasies farther with lighter fluid and dramatic playing positions in "Wild Thing." When Jimi left the stage, he had graduated from rumor to legend.

Jimi in action
Otis Redding had been performing and recording for five years, but his fame and his following — despite a couple of undeniable hit records — were largely confined to black rhythm and blues audiences in America and to Europe, where he and the Stax/Volt Revue had a justly fanatic following. The Monterey International Pop Festival was comprised of rock people who were still a year or two away from rediscovering their roots, "the love crowd," as he characterized them. It's difficult to describe the extent of his impact Saturday night.

Otis Redding
He was the last act in a day of music which had left the spectators satiated and pleasantly exhausted. Redding went on around midnight, close to the curfew agreed upon by the festival organizers and the local police department and sheriff's office. Booker T. and the MGs and the Markeys had played a brief instrumental set and stayed on stage to back Redding. Within moments after Otis Redding hit the stage, the crowd was on its feet and — for the first and only time in a weekend of five massive concerts — was impulsively rushing toward the stage to dance in the warmth of his fire. Me rocked and rolled past the curfew with a dazzling performance which no one could think of stopping. That night he gave the Monterey International Pop Festival its high point and he was embraced by the rock crowd as a new-found hero. Six months later he was killed in a plane crash, leaving Monterey as perhaps the high point in his performing career—Pete Johnson [Liner Notes]
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OTIS AND JIMI BURN IT UP  [Rolling Stone magazine, Sept 2004, #630]
New stars are born at Monterey Pop Festival  (JUNE 16TH-18TH, 1967)
I'd like to introduce a very good friend, a fellow countryman of yours," said Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival on the California coast. "He's most exciting performer I've ever heard -: Jimi Hendrix Experience." Hendrix needed te big intro. Despite success in England, their "Are You Experienced?" was a  big hit, he was unknown in his native America. He took the stage in a gypsy vest, a head-band and a blazing-orange ruffled shirt, and lunched into torrid renditions of "Killing Floor" and "Foxy Lady". Possibly feeling the two hits of purple acid he had taken earlier in day, Hendrix babbled nervously to the crowd as he played the intro to the next song. I'd like to dedicate this next song to anyone with any kinda hearts and ears ...

Right now we'd like to do a little thing by Bob Dylan." A crashing, bluesy cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" came next, and the crowd belonged to him. "The Who and Jimi had the loudest amps I'd ever been close to" said Monterey Pop documentarian DA. Pennebaker."  I was in a state of shock—I was getting brain damage." To one-up the Who, who had already smashed their equipment during "My Generation", Hendrix pulled out all the stops. He plucked strings with his teeth, and, during the closing "Wild Thing", humped the amps and ejaculated lighter fluid all over his guitar, which he then Set ablaze. "I decided to destroy my guitar at the end of the song - I'd just finished painting it that day," Hendrix said.

Otis Redding also had a break-out show at Monterey. A soul singer from Georgia who had found success mostly on the Chitlin circuit, "Redding had never really played before anything other than a black audience [in the U.S.]," says director John Landis, who was in the crowd. Redding's intensely yearning ballad "Try a Little Tenderness" and rockers such as the Stones' "Satisfaction" electrified the audience. "Otis blew the whole place apart," said former Capitol Records president Joe Smith. "When you talk about the one moment when everybody leapt up, it was Otis Redding."
Years later, when Landis directed The Blues Brothers, he worked with Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn, who were in Redding's band. "I kept telling them it was so exciting to see Otis," says Landis. "They said, You thought it was exciting? You should've been onstage."
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Album Review: Jimi Plays Monterey (Polydor 827 990-2) [1986]
Arguably the best of the many live albums that have surfaced since Hendrix's death, this is a recording of The Experience's historic performance at the Monterey Festival on June 16, 1967. It was Hendrix's first gig in America since going off and becoming a star in Britain, and he rose to the occasion with a vengeance. Much to the horror of the boss of his American record company, and to the delight of 50,000 curious onlookers, he concluded his set by torching and demolishing his guitar during an anarchic finale of 'Wild Thing'. By the time he walked off the stage he was a star in America too.
This post presents this epic performance in full and in sequence, and includes "Killing Floor", "The Wind Cries Mary" (very rarely heard live), "Can You See Me" (ditto) and "Rock Me Baby", along with the more familiar "Hey Joe", "Purple Haze" and "Foxy Lady". But the track which makes the collection a must is the unique interpretation of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", which Hendrix handles with supreme panache, interspersing the tumbling poetry of the lyric with little guitar flourishes of unearthly grace. [review by David Sinclair, The Essential Guide to Rock on CD, Greenwich Editions, 1995. p160-161]
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Jimi Plays Monterey [Liner Notes]
Sunday, June 18,1967
Just after the end of the Six Day War, right before the historic Johnson-Kosygin Summit. Too bad old LBJ had to prepare to meet the Russians in New Jersey — he would have enjoyed Monterey. But he didn't make it, and that was Lyndon's loss. Jimi, Mitch, Noel and around 49,997 others were at the Pop Festival, the first of its eclectic kind. Jimi was rushing, a little anxious. no big story about, we couldn't make it here, so we go over to England, and America doesn't like us, because, you know, our feet's too big, and we go! fat mattresses, and we wear golden underwear, it ain't no scene. Hie that, brother. It's so groovy to come back here and really get a chance to really play." Clearly the man planned to kick ass. The Chinese had dropped their first H-Bomb the day before — but Jimi's set was the bigger blast, shattering love beads and granny glasses, blowing shredded flower petals back to the Haight. The first American performance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience was a major step in the evolution of the ear.

Jimi's set was designed and paced to carefully draw the un Experienced audience into this new world. Fully 55.55% of the tunes were cover versions. (Though ROCK ME BABY later became the all-Hendrix LOVER MAN, dropping the ratio to fifty-fifty.) These versions of FOXEY LADY (with a solo unique among the studio and other live versions), WIND CRIES MARY and PURPLE HAZE are previously unreleased. HEY JOE has only been available on the soundtrack from "A Film About Jimi Hendrix," and KILLING FLOOR only on "KISS THE SKY." From Brian Jones' introduction to the last anguished squeal of tortured Strat on WILD THING, this marks the premier of one of Jimi's most historic performances, complete and in sequence.

And the first time it's ever sounded this good. The 1967 Wally Heider 8 track master tape was first transferred onto a Frank Dickinson-modified 3M thirty-two track digital recorder. This new master was mixed through Sunset Sound's custom console, with API 550A equalizers and NECAMm automation, onto a JVC DAS 900 Vinch two-track digital recorder. At this point, minor edits were made by digital consultant Joe Gastwirt on a Neumann VMS 70, modified with a JVC quartz-lock motor, special JVC cutting head and full custom JVC electronics cranking out 800 watts (or one horsepower) per channel. Impressed? You should be — with all the steps noted above, digital mastering has insured practically no generational sound loss from the original live recording Disc, CD, tape or film, it doesn't get any better than this. Particularly when the raw material comes from the best — Jimi Hendrix
[by Paul Diamond]
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from both CD (Hendrix) and Vinyl (Otis Redding). I have chosen to include Jimi's full set, as every track was a master piece in my opinion.
Otis sang more than the five tracks included here, but finding decent recordings of his full set has eluded me, and so I have gone with the official recordings found on the B-Side of the vinyl release, which by the way, is in absolute 'mint' condition.
These performances have been quoted as being the highlight performances for both of these artists and it is with great pride that I can provide them here for your pleasure.  Enjoy.


Track Listing
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
01 - Killing Floor (Jimi Hendrix)
02 - Foxey Lady (Jimi Hendrix)
03 - Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) 
04 - Rock Me, Baby (B. B. King-Joe Josea)
05 - Hey Joe (Joe South)
06 - Can You See Me (Jimi Hendrix) 
07 - The Wind Cries Mary (Jimi Hendrix)
08 - Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
09 - Wild Thing (J.Taylor)

Otis Redding
10 - Shake (Sam Cooke)
11 - Respect (Otis Redding)
12 - I've Been Loving You Too Long (Otis Redding-Jerry Butler) 
13 - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Mick Jagger-Keith Richard) 
14 - Try a Little Tenderness (Harry Woods-Jimmy Campbell-Reg Connelly)
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Monterey International Pop Festival FLACS Link (395Mb)
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Monterey International Pop Festival MP3 Link (165Mb)
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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Galapagos Duck - Right On Cue (1978)

(Australian 1969 - Present)
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Based in Sydney back in the 70's, Galapagos Duck was an integral part of the foundation and success of the Jazz Club 'The Basement'. The band continuously performed in the club as it's primary  'house band' for 16 years - during which time 'The Basement' became known as one of the greatest Jazz Clubs in Australia and around the world. 'The Duck' also toured extensively all throughout Australia, visiting the capital cities and - on many occasions - performed in country areas including the remote areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
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How the ‘Duck’ got its name
I’ve heard a few versions of the story, but this was told me by Tom Hare and John Connelly during a radio interview in the 1980s in Townsville. The “Duck Flies North” tour was to promote their “Endangered Species” album, sponsored by the Australian Wildlife Society : ‘In the early days at “The Basement” in Sydney the band shared the stage with an assortment of props for various functions. Alongside the old paraphernalia was a large wheel with a clapper that produced a loud clacking-quacking sound when it was spun around the numbers on the outer edge, giving rise to much humour in dull moments.

The DUCK
Around this time general conversation was rife about the discovery of the last giant tortoise left on the Galapagos Islands, nicknamed “Lonely George”. Spike Milligan was a firm follower of the band, often sitting in on trumpet and when a visitor to the club asked him the name of the band, in his own peculiar habit of zany humour, Spike told him: “it sounds like a Galapagos Duck”.
The following week the new chum was heard telling his friends loudly, “Oh, they’re the Galapagos Duck”. The name stuck. It is often miss-spelt, but seldom forgotten, and followers agree the band will never become an 'endangered species'.



And so, it is no surprise to see the band pay tribute to their ring in' trumpeter by naming one of the tracks on this 1978 release - "Blues For Spike" and another named after their beloved 'Jazz Club' - "Basement Blues" [from Bundaberg-Jazz-Waves-Newsletter-Issue 25-February-2015, Editor: Valerie Brown]

Sahibs, Herren, or Guys?
Galapagos Duck will always remember 1978 as the Time of Travel, embracing three overseas tours, Asia, Europe and USA (Miami, Florida). Naturally, with such a band, the social history of these tours is rich in anecdote, but we are concerned with only random thoughts here.

The humidity and hospitality of Jakarta, riotous scenes at Bombay's jazz Yatra Festival, where the band was still on stage at 1.00am, and the humour, in retrospect, of the Poona concert. Thence to Colombo, where Gordon Tytler wrote - "I found they didn't swim like ducks at all. No: they floated like the swans they really are. I felt genuinely sorry for the hordes of 'pop' fans in this little island of ours who have never had the opportunity of listening to really good jazz - as distinct from that half-baked stuff that comes over the air-waves day-in and day-out. If you were there you'd have enjoyed a rare musical treat'!
The bustle of Hong Kong - the long awaited trip to Peking which is another chapter in itself - the Jazz Workshop at the University of Singapore, and the concert in the Conference Hall, of which Nancy Byramji wrote - "They are easy going, and have an individualistic style of improvisation that is reflected even in their name. Within 20 minutes of their performance, their chameleon-like versatility in switching instruments comes through delightfully"

Others in Asia said that their impressions of the Duck were - "organized vigour" - or "earthiness with polish" - (which could mean a salami sandwich!) but the reception everywhere was stimulating.
Printing lyrics on the inner sleeve seems de rigueur to the rocker-poppers, but we haven't, not even for Misty, so that subscribers can't sing along with Uncle Groovinham and mess up the subtle sonorities.

Thoughts on the European tour are even more random. Suffice to say that Galapagos Duck first tried their mettle on a German audience in Kassell (wonderful city!). Three encores.
Encouragement plus! So to Montreux Festival with pin tails up and another great reception.

In London, the High Commissioner swept protocol aside and insisted that the GD concert be held in the usually sacrosanct mam hall at Australia House - a boil over! The rainy Monday night at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, London - packed house - amazing scenes - the charge across the Channel for the public concert in the mam Opera House Square of Brussels. Belgian beer is ambrosia. Then the four nights at The Atlantis in Basel, Switzerland and the impact the band made there, playing a different programme each night. Back to the "new" Basement, with an awareness that Australian audiences are just as critical and appreciative as any in the world. The brief trip to Miami, Florida seems only days ago. Frantic stuff- another two encores. American beer is not ambrosia.
All of this jaunting about was possible because of the following benefactors - Musica Viva,  Department of Foreign Affairs, Qantas, PolyGram Records.


On the black plastic record herein, there are approximately 1,464 bars of music. We don't expect you to enjoy every bar - (although we have the usual wistful hopes), but make of them what you will - and know that they will always be playing 'right on cue' [Sydney, December 1978]
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans. Not a bad album I might say and for those of you who enjoy pure jazz, you'll really like this one.
If you've haven't explored Jazz as yet, then this LP is a good starting point as the sounds and tunes are both catchy and enticing. These boys are a tight unit, and are 'right on cue' when belting out popular tunes such as the "Pink Panther" and "Misty"

Although not credited on the album cover, there is a high chance that Spike Milligan was responsible for some of the sounds on this album, as he was touring Australia (Melbourne/Sydney) with 'his comedy stage show' at the same time when this album was being recorded. 
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Track Listing
01 - Marabi
02 - All In Love Is Fair
03 - What's Going On
04 - Blues For Spike
05 - The Pink Panther
06 - Basement Blues
07 - Misty
08 - Right On Cue
09 - My Mama Told Me So
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The Duck were:
Tom Hare: Flute - Alto sax - Trumpet - Drums - Conga - Timbales - Small Percussions - Vocals
Greg Foster: Trombone - Harmonica
Ray Alldridge: Acoustic and Electric Pianos - Hohner Synthesizers - Clarinet
Chris Qua: Bass Violin - Electric Bass
Len Barnard: Drums - Washboard - Small Percussion
Spike Milligan: Trumpet - Duck Calls
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Galapagos Duck FLAC Link (220Mb)
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