Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unauthorised: Live Vol.1 (1993) Bootleg

 (U.S 1983 - Present)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers Eat It Raw

(Grooving on the `mother’s milk” of sex and funk)
by Roy Trakin 

One thing George Clinton told me about playing funk I’ll never forget is, you have to take it all the way home,” says Flea. Sitting in the middle of a fashionable Melrose Avenue Italian bistro, the Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist and co-founder of the group is doing his share by wearing a beany with a propeller attached on top.

“You don’t give it up half-arsed,” chimes in his buddy, lead singer and fellow original member Anthony Kiedis, who’s attracting some attention via a particularly colourful tattoo on his shoulder “Funk is hard-core music which deals with hard-core emotions. War and peace. Love and hate …”

He might have added life and death, because that’s what the Chili Peppers confront on their fourth and apparently most successful LP, Mothe6 Milk (not including 1988’s “best or EP, Abbey Road). It took the heroin OD of long-time guitarist Hillel Slovak and the exit of drummer Jack Irons—and the addition of John Frusciante and Chad Smith to replace them—for Flea and Anthony to grab the reins of the Chili Peppers’ cult following and steer it toward the promised land of commercial success.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 1989

“The death of Hillel changed our entire attitude,” explains Anthony, the band’s spokesman. “Losing your best friend at the age of 26 is a mind- and soul-blower. But there was definitely an inspiration which came from Hillel dying which helped sharpen the focus of the band. Flea and I were left with each other, and we decided, ‘Here’s something we started a long time ago that we haven’t finished.’ We both realised we had to bear down, change our lifestyles and look at what was important to us—things like friendship, love, making great music and not getting sidetracked by the more negative influences in life. We tried to use our loss as a bolstering, positive influence—if nothing else, to prove to the world what we were doing was worthy and legitimate. Hillel may be dead; we’re not.”

Anthony Kiedis and Flea, August 1989

The group underscored that resolve with the first single from the new album, the AOReady anthem called “Knock Me Down.” It’s a cautionary saga that warns, “If you see me getting high … knock me down.”

“Oddly, I began writing that song before Hillel died,” Anthony reveals. “I hadn’t really thought about completing it until after he passed away. It’s about recognising we’re all human beings and the best we can ever be is just that—human. Nobody is any better or worse than anybody else. And you’re never above a problem … including the deadly disease of addiction. One should be willing to accept the helping hand of your close friends instead of trying to do everything yourself. You should never think you’re so cool or in control you can take care of problems that are beyond being solved by an individual”

Phantasy Theatre, Lakewood 1989
Anthony insists he feels not guilt about being unable to prevent what happened, only “ultimate sadness.” hindsight, I wished I could have helped him, but it’s ridiculous to dwell on that,” he says. “You can’t blame yourself.”

Instead, Anthony and Flea picked a pair of brand-new Chili Peppers and tried to turn their tragedy into triumph. After three albums and an EP that failed to dent the charts, the band was anxious to raise the stakes, insisting there was no pressure to do so from management or their label, EMI.

“We have a desire to communicate our music to a much larger amount of people than we have in the past,” agrees Flea, propeller blades turning on his hat. “I think we captured more energy than we ever have on record before. Considering everything that happened, the fact we stayed together was a big bonding factor.” “Our record company never attempted to ask us to do anything other than what we do,” claims Anthony. 

“Probably more out of fear than anything else. I think it was that lack of pressure that helped us because we did our thing without changing for the sake of industry or radio or anything. The only pressure came from ourselves.”


The contributions of new guitarist Frusciante and drummer Smith were more than incidental. Frusciante was a Chatsworth, California valley guy who’d followed the Red Hot Chili Peppers as an avid fan before joining the group, the same day he quit Thelonious Monster.

“It was like an injection of fresh monkey blood into the temple,” notes Anthony, digging into an appetiser of fresh mozzarella cheese. John adds, “I already felt like I was a member of this band spiritually before I ever met them. They were an extension of my attitude toward the world and music, and my philosophy of how I want to live my life.”

As for Detroit native Smith, he had no idea what the Chili Peppers were about before he auditioned. “We just explained we were a hard-core, bone-crunching, mayhem-inducing, psychedelic sexfunk band from heaven,” Anthony laughs. “And could he produce that type of drumming?

In its first few weeks of release, Mother’s Milk has sold almost 200,000 copies, more than any other previous Chili Peppers album. “This record is more radio-acceptable,” agrees Anthony. “Although it wasn’t our intention to change in that direction. We weren’t tiling to fit in. It was just a natural expression of how we felt. This was a direct link from our hearts, souls and genitals to guitars and vocal cords.” [extract from thechilisource.com]

The Mother's Milk Tour

With John Frusciante and Chad Smith on board, Mother's Milk instantly garnered more attention than the band's previous records and, as such, the venues the band performed in were able to accommodate far larger crowds. The band was now playing more arenas than ever before and gaining more television and radio exposure, especially through college radio, which was a huge supporter of the album and helped the band to eventually gain more mainstream attention. For the first time the band also upgraded to a full-fledged tour bus and added backup musicians and singers.

The tour was by far the biggest tour for the band at the time breaking them through to new audiences and larger venues to perform at. The tour also included television appearances on such shows as The Arsenio Hall Show where they even performed a tribute to the late night host called "Ode To Arsenio" which was used as an intro to their cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground". In Austin, Texas, during the opening set by Mary's Danish, all four Chili Pepper's ran onstage totally naked, and tackled Mary's Danish two female lead singers. I suspect that Mary Danish were chosen as their support band as they had a common interest in the music of Jimi Hendrix. The RHCP's concert setlist at the time consisted of "Castles Made Of Sand" and "Crosstown Traffic" 

FEATURE SHOW STATS
46th show of the "Mother's Milk Tour"
80th show in 1989
3rd show in Lakewood, OH
497th show in United States

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my JOKER bootleg CD, another unofficial release by AMCOS from the early 1990's in Australia.  This is a recording from their 3rd show held in Lakewood, Ohio on the 21st of November, 1989 at the Phantasy Theatre.

The quality of the recording is not as good as other JOKER releases I have heard, but the clarity is still there. The length of the set list on this bootleg is both short and incomplete, featuring only 10 of the 21 songs played on the night..  Sadly, the encore "Crosstown Traffic" is one of the missing tracks. 

This bootleg has been released previously under the title "SuperFunky" (see above) and I have included artwork for both releases. Note that track 9 is listed on the Joker release as "Special Secret Song Inside" but of course the track is actually "Party On Your Pussy". I'm thinking that the JOKER team were worried about the back lash they might receive from the authorities if they printed its real name, as these bootlegs were sold in many mainstream outlets. 
Of course, there's no first prize for guessing what Track 10's chorus line might be!   

Tracklist
01. Out In LA (2:17)
02. Backwoods (3:37)
03. Dr. Funkenstein (1:10)   'Parliament Cover'
04. Funky Crime (3:26)
05. Higher Ground (3:37)    'Stevie Wonder Cover'
06. Hollywood ( 6:08)       'The Meters Cover'
07. Knock Me Down (4:03)
08. Castles Made Of Sand (3:27)     'Jimi Hendrix Experience Cover'
09. Special Secret Song Inside (aka Party On Your Pussy) (3:57)
10. F # U (1:13)

Personnel
Flea - bass, backing vocals
John Frusciante - guitar, backing vocals
Anthony Kiedis - lead vocals
Chad Smith - drums


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Various Artists - Rock Anthems

 (Various Artists 60-70's)

Concept was a marketing company in the vein of K-Tel. J & B was a sister company. They were based at 37 Whiting Street Artamon Sydney and later 139 Murray Street, Pyrmont. Other than that there is little information. The label was started by Theo Tambakis. He had worked at K-Tel, where he produced Hooked on Swing.

Concept was a highly prolific producer of compilations, and lasted into the CD era. The first release was in 1984 – Breakin’ It Up CC0001, and the final seems to be after CC0200D – Unforgettable Songs, in 1992. The albums were heavily promoted on radio and television.
A majority of their compilations didn't display release dates on their covers and this compilation is one of them. However, of those that have dates (see Discogs listing) a majority were released during 1987-1989, and so my guess is that this compilation was released sometime during this period


This compilation features tracks from both the 60's and 70's and in my opinion packed with 20 fantastic rock classics. But are they all Rock Anthems? Well, I'll let you be the judge.

Meatloaf - "Bat Out Of Hell" (1977)

Surging, soaring but melodic "Bat Out Of Hell" single and album (of smae name) shook up the punk/new wave music scene of the late 1970's/early 80's, forcefully reminding it of hard rock's presence., but also crossing-over into 'theatrical' pop appreciation. Its perpetrator, Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday in Texas in 1948), adopted a tumulruous theatricality, which should have surprised nobody since he had already starred in the movie "Rocky Horror Pcture Show". Like all of Meat Loaf's hits, Bat Out Of Hell was written by pianist Jim Steinman. He said he wrote this to be the ultimate "Motorcycle crash song." The lyrics refer to a rider being thrown off his bike in a wreck and his organs exposed. The Bat Out of Hell album spent 474 weeks on the UK album chart and became one of the top five all time best selling albums.

Elton John - "Crocodile Rock" (1972)

"Crocodile Rock" was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded in summer 1972 at the Château d'Hérouville studio in France (it was listed as "Strawberry Studios" in the album's credits), where John and his team had previously recorded the Honky Château album. It was released on 27 October 1972 in the UK and 20 November 1972 in the U.S., as a pre-release single from his forthcoming 1973 album 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player', and became his first U.S. number-one single, reaching the top spot on 3 February 1973, and stayed there for three weeks. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on 5 February 1973 and Platinum on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA.

The song was inspired by Elton's discovery of leading Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit single "Eagle Rock", which was the most successful Australian single of the early 1970s, remaining at No.1 for a record of 10 weeks.

Elton heard the song and the group on his 1972 Australian tour and was greatly impressed by it. A photo included in the album packaging features John's lyricist, Bernie Taupin, wearing a "Daddy Who?" promotional badge.(see right)

The Spencer Davis Group - "Gimme Some Lovin'" (1966)

The Spencer Davis group was signed by Chris Blackwell, who released their first single, a cover of the John Lee Hooker song "Dimples," in 1964. He had the group record songs written by the Jamaican composer Jackie Edwards, two of which were #1 UK hits in 1965: "Keep on Running" and "Somebody Help Me." When Blackwell set his sights on the American market for the group, he had them record with producer Jimmy Miller and asked them to write an original song that would go over well in the US. "Gimme Some Lovin'" was the result; Miller made the US release more appealing to American taste by adding percussion and a female chorus. The song served its purpose, becoming the first American hit for The Spencer Davis Group.

Gimme Some Lovin' was written by the group's lead singer, Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis was their guitarist - he was chosen as the group's namesake because he was the only one who enjoyed doing interviews). Winwood says they banged it out in the studio in the first or second take. The song was also written on the fly. In Rolling Stone magazine, bassist Muff Winwood said, "Steve had been singing, 'Gimme some lovin',' just yelling anything. It took about an hour to write, then down the pub for lunch."

Dave Edmonds - "I Hear You Knockin" (1970)

Dave Edmunds is one of those artists who is always on the verge of becoming a big name in the pop industry. It started back in 1967, when, as the lead guitarist with the UK band LOVE SCULPTURE, he reached the No 1 spot in the U.K. with Sabre Dance. In 1970 he decided to go solo and his first single, I Hear You Knockin, hit the No. 1 spot in England, selling over 3,000,000 copies. The record made Top 20 in Australia as well.

The song did very well in America, but far better in his native UK (Edmond's Welsh), where it was one of the biggest selling singles of all time to that point. He had several other UK hits, following up with another retro cover: "Baby, I Love You," which made #8 in 1973. He had a number of other hits in his native Britain, among them "Queen of Hearts" and "I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock & Roll)."

Canned Heat - "On The Road Again" (1968)

Though the blues originated in the United States, and then were a few credible American blues-rockers (such as The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Captain Beefheart's early groups), the genre was dominated by UK stars like The Roiling Stones, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and Jeff Beck Group. At the very point where all those acts were at their peak, Canned Heat rushed into the top 40 on September 7 , 1968 with "On the Road Again" adapted from a little'known record by Floyd Jones.

Based in Southern California, far from the blues' southern Delta origins, Canned Heat demonstrated with the single that a young American white band could both play the blues credibly and add enough of a psychedelic rock sheen to make it relevant in the late '60's. The modern touches were supplied by a solid rock beat and a pseudo-Eastern tamboura drone, though Al Wilson's eerie high vocal sounded literally out of this world. Canned Heat were dedicated record collectors and folklorists as well as musicians, Wilson had even helped teach legendary Delta bluesman Son House now to play guitar again when House made a comeback on the '60s folk circuit. So it was little surprise they reached all the way back to the '20s for their next hit, "Going Up the Country," which adapted elements from country bluesman Henry Thonas' "Bull Doze Blues".

T. Rex - "Get It On" (1971)

The pioneering glam rock band T. Rex (originally Tyrannosaurus Rex) could do no wrong in their native England. From 1970 to 1973, they had an astonishing ten Top 5 singles, including four #1’s. (Yes, you read that right.) The band was formed in 1967 by guitarist Marc Bolan, who was not quite 20 years-old at the time, and he teamed with producer Tony Visconti to shape the group’s records, a relationship that would continue for eight albums.

In 1971, their British label, Fly, released “Get It On” and it became the band’s second consecutive #1 chart hit on July 24. Their U.S. record label changed the name of the song to “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” to avoid confusion with a song also called “Get It On” which was released that same year by a jazz rock band named Chase.

According to T. Rex drummer Bill Legend, he and Bolan worked out the rhythm one day in Bolan's hotel room, and when the tour got to Los Angeles, the group reconvened with members of the team that worked on their first album: producer Tony Visconti and backup singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, who were members of The Turtles and recorded as Flo & Eddie. At Kaylan's home in Laurel Canyon, they spent all night working up the song, and the next day, they recorded it at Wally Heider Studios in LA. When they got to the studio, they had the chorus, the rhythm, and the "you're dirty and sweet" line, but Bolan had to come up with the other lyrics on the spot, indicating he wasn't thinking too hard about them. Everyone agrees that cocaine was involved throughout the process.

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends" (1968)

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.

The Kinks - "All Of The Day & All Of The Night" (1964)

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'.

"All Day and All of the Night" was released as a single in 1964, reaching No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965. The song was included on the Kinksize Hits EP in the UK and the Kinks' second American album, Kinks-Size (1965). Like their previous hit "You Really Got Me", the song is based on a power chord riff. Both songs are similar in beat and structure, with similar background vocals, progressions, and guitar solos.

Santana - "Black Magic Woman" (1970)
Black Magic Woman was a hit for Santana, but few people know that this song was actually a cover of a 1968 Fleetwood Mac song that hit No.37 in the UK. Peter Green, who was a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, wrote the lyrics.

Many also don't know that Santana started out as a blues band, just like Fleetwood Mac. "I used to go to see the original Fleetwood Mac, and they used to kill me, just knock me out," Carlos Santana said in the book The Guitar Greats. "To me, they were the best blues band."

Santana put their own spin on the song, incorporating Latin textures, but they kept the basic sound from the original intact. Santana keyboard player Gregg Rolie sang lead on this. He later joined Journey in 1973.

On January 10th 1971, "Black Magic Woman" peaked at No.4 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 8th, 1970 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100 (and 7 of those 13 weeks were on Top 10).

Toto - "Hold The Line" (1978)

“Hold the Line” was released back in 1978 as the band’s first single EVER and also featured in their debut self-titled album. Not many artists had the opportunity to leave such an outstanding first impression the moment they stepped into the cutthroat world of music industry. However, Toto did it with this song – it immediately reached top positions in the USA, Swedish, South African, Canadian and Australian charts. It’s also RIAA certified as “GOLD”.

The song was written by the keyboardist of the band – David Paich and the lead vocals are performed by the incredibly talented Bobby Kimball.

The song features a single-note piano percussion, which was a quite popular technique at that time. In addition, in my opinion, the song’s biggest asset would be the elegant but vigorous “creamy” guitar riff. The song simply proved that six talented session musicians, who used to back up other famous artists can actually make magic on their own from the first try!

“It started out with the piano riff that is in the intro. I started playing this riff and I just couldn’t stop playing it. I played it for days, and I started singing, “Hold the line, love isn’t always on time.” It was a phrase that just came into my head. . . it was a blessing. (The words) came to me in the night, and then I went to the verse. I wrote it in 2 hours. Sometimes songs come quickly like that, and sometimes I spend 2 years trying to finish a song,” said David Paich about the writing of the song.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (1974)

Randy Bachman lifted a riff here and a phrase there, coming up with Bachman Turner Overdrive's rock-tastic classic You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, a song that still pays his bills.

Randy recalls: “I’m looking for something, and then You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet comes along by accident. I was rehearsing and producing BTO’s third album. We needed an FM Top 40 hit, something light with a heavy bit in it. At that time, I was inspired by Traffic’s Dave Mason and his song Only You Know And I Know, which had a dang-a-lang rhythm, and the Doobie Brothers’ Listen To The Music. So I copped those jangling rhythms, changed the chords and then added some power chords of my own. I had a work in progress, in two parts: a great rhythm and a heavy riff.”

“Way back when, my brother Garry, one of four Bachman boys, had a speech impediment; he stuttered and stammered. For the ultimate tease I wrote a song like he spoke. Then I called him up and scared him by telling him it would be on the album. “The words just flowed out without thought: ‘I met a Devil woman, and she took my heart away.’ That sounded good. Then for the chorus I copied the way he’d say: ‘You ain’t seen n-n-nothing yet,’ and also the way he stumbled on ‘f-f-forget’, and the way he said ‘b-b-b baby’. I liked it as an idea but I was never going to finish it off.”

Randy would have shelved the song altogether had not Mercury’s artist liaison man, Charley Fach, intervened.

“He loved the album that became Not Fragile, but he couldn’t hear an FM radio single. He said: ‘It’s great, but we need a hit.’ I’d just done a 90-day tour, so I told him: ‘Take it or leave it. But I do have this real bad work track with an awful Van Morrison impression.’ The engineer played it to him, and within 1 second he said: ‘Put that on the album now.’ A few weeks later he phones me up and says the record is huge!

Note: The title is grammatically incorrect. It is a double-negative, although "You Haven't Seen Anything Yet" wouldn't have the same ring to it.

Status Quo - "Rockin' All Over The World" (1977)

Often dismissed as three-chord jokes, Status Quo have had the last laugh. After four decades, they've racked up over 50 UK Top 40 chart entries, even if only guitarist Rick Parfitt and guitarist/lead singer Francis Rossi have been ever-present.

They started as a psychedelic band whose excellent "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" (1967) saw them gain their only Top 40 American hit. Before tong, though, the group began chafing at their paisley shirts.

They used the album Ma Kelly,s Greasy Spoon (1970) to affirm a new direction: no-nonsense boogie. It's a path from which they have never deviated, iheir crowd pandering, be-jeaned stage act summed up by their literally head-down ax-thrashing (which iconic pose they featured on the cover of their 1972 album Piledriver) and by the tone of their sole UK No.1, "Down Down" (1974).

As time wore on though, the odd country or pop touch crept into the proceedings, their mordant song about tax exiledom, Living on An lsland, (1979) a particular surprise.

Though they write plenty of material themselves, Quo's signature song has become their version of John Fogerty's "Rockin' All Over The World", which entered the UK chart on October 8, 1977. It's stirring celebration of rock was deemed by Bob Geldof to be the perfect way to open 1985's Live Aid concert, thus securing the Quo an immortality even more elevated than their record of more UK chart entries than any other British band.

Steppenwolf - "Born To Be Wild" (1968)

In 1968, rock 'n' roll was becoming harder and more urgent, reflecting the uncertainty and danger of the times - and Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wlld," which enteredthe Billboard Top 40 on July 20,1968, sealed the band's legacy in the annals of an angry counterculture with its loud guitar riffs, dense drumming, and outlaw lyrics.

Written by Mars Bonflre (aka Dennis Edmonton), the song's second verse references "heavy metal thunde[" the first time the phrase "heavy metal" appeared in song. Steppenwolf's use of the term, first used colloquially by Beat poets Herman Hesse and Williams S. Burroughs, coined the name of the emerging genre - one that dominated the U.S. charts throughout the '70s.

As Steppenwolf singer John Kay commented, "our philosophy was to hit'em hard, make your point, and move on." With its aggressive guitar riffs and lyrics that challenged both mainstream and counterculture values and prized individual freedom above all else, "Born To Be Wild," from the album Steppenwolf (1968), paved the way for bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, and even now for bands like the atmospherically heavy HIM. lt also provided the perfect sonic complement to the influential Dennis Hopper/Peter Fonda biker flick Easy Rider (1969).

Free - "All Right Now" (1970)

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.

Uriah Heep - "Gypsy" (1970)]

"Gypsy" is the debut single by British progressive rock/hard rock band Uriah Heep. It is the opening track on their first album, …Very 'Eavy …Very 'Umble, released in 1970. "Gypsy" was written by Mick Box and David Byron. The B-side of the song in most countries was "Bird of Prey", though in others, the B-sides were "Wake Up (Set Your Sights)", "Come Away Melinda" and "Lady in Black". The album version of "Gypsy" lasts more than six and half minutes, while the single version lasts less than three minutes.

To differentiate themselves from other Rock bands at the time, Heep replaced the almost obligatory guitar solo with a wild organ solo in this song. The song was one of the heaviest of its time, quickly became one of Heep's most loved songs and is now considered to be one of the most important early heavy metal compositions.

Procol Harum - "Conquistador" (1967)

Formed early 1967 in Southend, Essex, from the ashes of R&B group the Paramounts, Procol Harum's first single, the ethereal Bach-influenced  'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' gave them a huge international hit. Number 1 in the UK for six weeks, it stands as an immortal cornerstone of the celebrated 1967 Summer of Love. Royer and Harrison were replaced by Robin Trower on guitar and B J Wilson on drums during the recording of their first album, but Procol Harum received greater recognition (and healthier record sales) in the US than at home, where their first album to chart was 1969's 'A Salty Dog'.

"Conquistador" was written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid, and it originally appeared on the band's 1967 self-titled debut album. It was released as a single off the band's 1972 album 'Procol Harum Live In Concert' with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and it is this version that is their most popular release. Note that the version released on this compilation is the original studio version.

Procol Harum's lyricist Keith Reid told Songfacts that the music for "Conquistador" was written before the lyrics. He added that this was unusual as "99 out of 100" of the Procol Harum songs back then, "were written the words first, and then were set to music." 

Joe Walsh - "Rock Mountain Way" (1973)

"Rocky Mountain Way" is a 1973 song by rock guitarist Joe Walsh and his band Barnstorm. The song was originally released on the album The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get. The song features Walsh using a guitar talk box, manufactured by sound engineer Bob Heil, who invented the device used by almost every rock music exponent. The distinct tone "... gives Walsh's blues stomp a futuristic wave, as if a hulking mechanical beast was looming just over those rocky mountains

Joe explained in an article for Rolling Stone Magazine - I had left the James Gang, left Cleveland and gone to Colorado because Bill Szymczyk was there and so were a whole bunch of other people I knew. We had the Smoker album pretty much done [1973's The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get] except we had this one track that was an instrumental. I couldn't think of any words and everybody was patiently waiting for me to come up with something.

One day I was in my backyard in Boulder mowing the lawn and I was thinking, "Boy, I sure hope leaving the James Gang was a good idea!" Because I hadn't really surfaced as a solo act yet. I was almost there, but not quite. And then I looked up … and there were the Rocky Mountains. It was summer but you could still see snow on the back range. It just hit me how beautiful it all was, 5,000 feet up. And that was it – the words came: "Spent the last year Rocky Mountain way/Couldn't get much higher." And the second verse is about my old management – telling us this, telling us that, time to change the batter. I got all of that at once. And I ran inside to write it down before I forgot it.

Only problem was, I forgot to shut off the lawnmower. It kept moving and went into the neighbour's yard and ate her rose bushes. Cleared a little path straight through. So those lyrics wound up costing me, I don't know, maybe 1,500 bucks. But it was well worth it. The neighbour, though, she was pissed. I said to her, "You don't understand! I got the words!" But she just looked at me. [My Life in 15 Songs: Rolling Stone, May 2016]

Cheap Trick - "Dream Police" (1979)

"Dream Police" is a song written by Rick Nielsen and originally released in 1979 by the American rock band Cheap Trick. It is the first track on the group's album of the same name. Nielsen has stated that the song "is an attempt to take a heavy thought - a quick bit of REM snatched right before waking up - and put into a pop format." He also stated that "the song was about Big Brother watching you.

"Dream Police" dates back to 1976. It was one of 22 songs the band had written for their first album, and it didn't make the cut. The song evolved as they played it live and refined it in the studio, and it was released as the title track of their fourth studio album. By this time, their live album At Budokan had been released, breaking them big with the single "I Want You To Want Me." The next single was "Dream Police," and it became one of their most popular songs, reaching #26 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100.

Rod Stewart - "Maggie May" (1971)

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.

Boston - "More Than A Feeling" (1976)

At one time, Boston’s debut release was the fastest-selling debut album of all time. Nearly everything about this album is masterfully crafted, from the volume to the layering and everything in-between. The musicianship found in every song is superb. While Tom Scholz plays several instruments, his most notable is probably the guitar. Though there are many good musicians out there, that’s not where Boston makes it’s case.

Take for instance the opening track “More Than a Feeling.” This debut single entered the Billboard chart on October 16, 1976 on its way to peak at No. 5. Aside from having one of the more recognizable riffs, the way everything come into place at just the right time is something few were able to do before Boston.

Even less are as capable after Boston. It’s difficult to explain without listening, but I can certainly try. Imagine a level of sound where the lead guitar is playing and the forefront, where it usually is. With Boston, Scholz found a way to make everything else, from the drums, to the organ, to the bass also be very easy to hear, at the same time, in just the right places for maximum satisfaction.

There’s something about Boston debut LP that makes it one of the best of all time, and although they hit it big with their single "More Than A Feeling", this album had much more to offer.

This post consists of FLACS ripped from my Concept Vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans.  This is one of my favourite compilation albums and offers a broad range of hits from the 60's and 70''s.  A couple of rarities worth mentioning on this comp: Uriah Heep's "Gypsy" (the single release being a shorter version to the album release that people are more familiar with) and Procol Harum's studio version of Conquistador (most people are more familiar with the Live version).  
The only negative I have with this comp is the absence of any Aussie Anthems, which is a bit short sighted of the part of Concept in my opinion.  But then again, this is only a Concept Record !   LOL

Tracklist
A1 – Meat Loaf (Bat Out Of Hell)
A2 – Elton John (Crocodile Rock)
A3 – The Spencer Davis Group (Gimme Some Lovin')
A4 – Dave Edmunds (I Hear You Knocking)
A5 – Canned Heat (On The Road Again)
A6 – T. Rex  (Get It On)
A7 – Joe Cocker (With A Little Help From My Friends)
A8 – The Kinks (All Day & All Of The Night)
A9 – Santana (Black Magic Woman)
A10 – Toto (Hold The Line)
B1 – Bachman-Turner Overdrive    (You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet)
B2 – Status Quo (Rockin' All Over The World)
B3 – Steppenwolf    (Born To Be Wild)
B4 – Free (All Right Now)
B5 – Uriah Heep (Gypsy)
B6 – Procol Harum (Conquistador)
B7 – Joe Walsh (Rocky Mountain Way)
B8 – Cheap Trick    (Dream Police)
B9 – Rod Stewart    (Maggie May)
B10 – Boston   (More Than A Feeling)


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cajun Rockers (1970)

 (U.S 1967 - 1972)

Creedence Clearwater Reviva
l (often referred to as Creedence or CCR) was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s which consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford.

These members played together since 1959, first as The Blue Velvets, then as The Golliwogs. Their musical style encompassed the roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock genres. They played in a Southern rock style, despite their San Francisco Bay Area origin, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern United States iconography, as well as political and socially conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War. The band performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York.

The group disbanded acrimoniously in late 1972 after four years of chart-topping success. Tom Fogerty had officially left the previous year, and his brother John was at odds with the remaining members over matters of business and artistic control, all of which resulted in subsequent lawsuits among the former bandmates. Fogerty's ongoing disagreements with Fantasy Records owner Saul Zaentz created further protracted court battles, and John Fogerty refused to perform with the two other surviving members at CCR's 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Concert

Originally released as "The Royal Albert Hall Concert", it was later discovered that it was actually a performance given at the Oakland Coliseum in California on 31st January, 1970. Subsequent releases of this concert simply titled "The Concert".

The preparations began weeks before the C-Day. The underground rock radio station of the Bay Area KSAN-FM promised to record the concert in stereo and broadcast it live. The boss of the station Tom Donahue also announced the band to stage. Robert Abel's National General Televison crew was called to film the show. Furthermore, Creedence Clearwater invited Booker T. and the MGs to kick off the evening and join a jam session at the Factory on previous night.

The Oakland concert presented the band at their peak. Everything worked fine: vocals, guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums. John Fogerty provided killer vocals. Fogerty brothers with John on vocals, lead guitar and harmonica and Tom with rhythm guitar also shined in the closing jam "Keep on Chooglin'". The effortless version of "Bad Moon Rising" was one of the finest hours of drummer Doug Clifford. Stu Cook provided reliable bass lines all the way, particularly in "Commotion." All numbers were well rehearsed at the Factory. They were almost as great or sometimes even a bit better than the original studio versions. The foursome formed a positively primitive mix that was and is still greater than the sum of its parts.

Everybody in the crowd wasn't completely happy with their experience. Some people who saw the concert on spot back then have recalled they heard the band twice: once from the stage and once echoing from the back wall of Oakland Arena. 



On the set list, the band blasted their way through most of their hits this far. They delivered both sides of their latest single cuts: "Green River," "Commotion," "Down on the Corner," and "Fortunate Son." The crowd was also privileged to hear the new 45 rpm "Travelin' Band" backed with "Who'll Stop the Rain" which was released on the same day. It's possible that the world premiere of the live versions of both cuts took place at Oakland Arena. The concert was also one of the few occasions the ticket owners heard "Don't Look Now" live.

"Lodi" was missing in the set list. It was dropped from the band's repertoire in summer 1969 and remained absent until the summer of 1971 when it was reincarnated by the CCR trio.

The live versions were very true to the original studio cuts. The few occasions the band stretched out a bit were the blistering "Keep on Chooglin´" and "Green River" which featured an extended guitar solo by John. 

The Oakland show provides the one and only documented set list of the band's concerts from the period that started from the release of Willy & the Poor Boys in fall 1969 and ended up to their first Euro tour in April 1970.

The 56-minute film of the concert and documentary featured "Travelin' Band," "Born on the Bayou," "Tombstone Shadow," "Bad Moon Rising," "Time Is Tight" (by Booker T. and the MGs), "Proud Mary," "Don't Look Now," "Fortunate Son," "Commotion," and "Keep On Chooglin'." It was first exposed in Berkeley cinemas during the band press party at the Factory in December 1970.

Due to lack of sponsors the premiere for the large audience delayed seriously. Legal problems also emerged on the eve of screening. National General was sold to Freeways which wanted to show the movie but the band wasn't thrilled anymore in summer 1971. A certain clause in the agreement allowed a limited number of showings. After that, the master was supposed to be destroyed. It seems it didn't happen. 



In Concert went first on the air on WNEW-TV in New York on June 20, 1971. Reviews were positive. It was also screened on various European TV channels during the forthcoming months. The TV show is currently available on several poor-quality bootleg DVDs but the official, restored and remastered Deluxe laser disc is still waiting for legal release.

The audio of the concerts was available on several bootlegs in the 70's. It was officially released in autumn 1980. The Creedence Clearwater Revival live album was originally titled The Royal Albert Hall Concert.  Shortly after the set came out somebody discovered that the tapes were actually from the concert at the Oakland Arena. The LP was silently renamed 'The Concert'. 

The general public doesn't usually rank The Concert album very high - mainly for the lack of variation from the studio versions. However, there's a small number of devoted fans who regard The Concert almost as the greatest live album of all-time. [extract from the electric bayou/concerts/1968-1972]

This post consists of  FLACs ripped from an Australian (AMCOS) budget release CD (probably from the 90's - no release dates given) and contains full album artwork, including the official vinyl release by Fantasy Records from 1980. 
This show is probably the best quality CCR bootleg show available, and features CCR in their full glory. Just a great, classic show, including many of their all-time classic songs.

Tracklist
01 Born On The Bayou    5:12
02 Green River 3:03
03 Tombstone Shadow 4:05
04 Don't Look Now 2:25
05 Travelin' Band 2:07
06 Who'll Stop The Rain 2:38
07 Bad Moon Rising 2:22
08 Proud Mary 3:29
09 Fortunate Son 2:25
10 Commotion 2:35
11 The Midnight Special 3:47
12 Night Time Is The Right Time 3:24
13 Down On The Corner 2:49
14 Keep On Chooglin' 9:04


CCR were:
Bass, Backing Vocals – Stu Cook
Drums – Doug Clifford
Lead Guitar, Lead Vocals, Harp – John Fogerty
Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals – Tom Fogerty





Thursday, December 31, 2020

Al Di Meola - Tour De Force - Live (1982)

 (U.S 1974 - Present)

Fusion guitarist extraordinaire     Al Di Meola has entertained audiences for decades since releasing his debut album Land of The Midnight Sun in 1976. From his work with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia, and the Rite of Strings trio with bassist Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty to his time with fusion supergroup Return to Forever, Al Di Meola’s brilliant technique on both acoustic and electric guitars has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fretboard fanatics worldwide.

Al Di Meola's "Tour De Force-Live" was recorded live at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia on February 4, 1982, and was the first time that the musicians on the album had played together "live" in concert. "Tour De Force-Live" features Jan Hammer (Keyboards), Anthony Jackson (bass) and Steve Gadd (drums), among others, who all contribute to an outstanding version of "Elegant Gypsy Suite" and a superb take on "Crusin'".

I have both live albums by Al Di Meola, this one and 'Friday Night In San Francisco' (which is a collaboration between Di Meola and Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin). The two albums are pretty much each others opposites. While Friday Night In San Francisco was all an acoustic album featuring only the three guitarists with no other musicians backing them up, Tour De Force is a full on band performance. This means lots of drums, percussion, keyboards and bass guitar, all excellently played. That alone makes this album a lot more progressive than the San Francisco album. However, a combination of the two - an album showing both the electric side and the acoustic side of Al Di Meola would have been far more interesting, giving us a full picture of the guitarists (early) career.

The running time of this whole album is only just above 39 minutes and I am certain it does not feature a full show. In fact, Friday Night In San Francisco was even shorter. I think this album should have been much longer and featured a full show (requiring a double album set I know). 


I have no idea what other songs featured in Di Meola's repertoire at that time, but I would have liked more material from Elegant Gypsy and Casino as well as something from Land Of Midnight Sun and maybe even a couple of Return To Forever cuts. 

To be fair it is probably not right to judge this album by what is missing. What actually is here is very good! The pieces chosen for this live album were taken from the studio albums Elegant Gypsy, Casino and Electric Rendezvous with two numbers not available on any of his studio albums - "Nena" and "Advantage". 


There are some passages in the Elegant Gypsy tracks that are radically different from the original versions and this is indeed interesting, but still these differences are primarily for Di Meola's fans to appreciate.

This live set has proved that Al Di Meola's virtuosity was not only writing and playing the music at the studio but that he can also deliver the music live with an excellent performance, with the help of his Tour De Force team.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my Japanese vinyl pressing which was purchased from one of my regularly visited import shops in Melbourne.  Of course, full album artwork and label scans are included as usual.
I was lucky enough to see Al Di Meola play at the Melbourne Concert Hall when he toured Australia in 1983 with Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin. Although their sets were purely acoustic, I was totally blown away by his virtuoso and speed with his axe..  Content to have seen him play live, I regularly listen to the Tour De Force album to satisfy my desire to hear his live electric guitar work.
At this point in time, I believe this post is the only rip available in FLAC for this awesome release, so I suggest you grab it now while it's still hot.

Tracklist
01 Elegant Gypsy Suite 10:08
02 Nena 5:04
03 Advantage 4:55
04 Egyptian Danza 5:39
05 Race With Devil On Spanish Highway 7:28
06 Cruisin' 5:24

Credits
Guitar – Al Di Meola
Bass – Anthony Jackson
Drums – Steve Gadd
Keyboards – Jan Hammer
Keyboards [2nd] – Victor Godsey
Keyboards [Additional] – Phillippe Saisse (tracks: 1, 5)
Percussion – Mingo Lewis
Percussion [Additional] – Sammy Figueroa (tracks: 1 to 3)
   

Friday, December 25, 2020

W.O.C.K on Vinyl: Bob Dylan - Christmas In The Heart (2009)

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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..

Using his own excellent band and a group of singers whose mellifluous responses to his own rheumy growl hark back to the sounds of the Andrews Sisters, Dylan finds an appropriate setting for each of these Christmas chestnuts, from the reverent to the jovial. The blend of idioms is familiar from Love and Theft and Modern Times, in which he brought together elements of country, bluegrass and a sort of genteel salon music to provide a background to his renewed fondness for old-fashioned crooning.

The result is polished without being glib, and a sympathetic listener may find it addictive. The musicians Dylan brought to Britain in 2009, augmented by David Hildalgo of Los Lobos on accordion, mandolin, violin and guitar, and the great Chicago session guitarist Phil Upchurch, whose earliest successes predate Dylan's own, distinguish themselves on even the most unpromising material. 

According to Hildalgo, quoted in the current issue of Uncut magazine, the sessions were both impromptu and highly concentrated: Dylan and the musicians listened to various recordings of each of the selections, and then decided on the best approach. It seems safe to say, however, that no one has ever tackled O Come All Ye Faithful quite like this.

Is he sincere? Does he mean it? You can only chuckle at his ability to keep us guessing when you turn past the conventional cover painting of a horse-drawn carriage speeding through snowdrifts to find a photograph of Bettie Page (see above), the famous cheesecake model, dressed up in a Santa outfit complete with suspenders and bulging bra. [review by Richard Williams, The Guardian]

For me, I think Dylan enjoyed making this album, and at times sounds more like Tom Waits  than the young troubadour we grew up with, who sang anti-establishment songs and dared to trade his acoustic guitar in for an electric one.  

So, with out any further Christmas jingles and O Come All Ye Faithfuls, I'd like to wish you all a joy filled Christmas and a New Year that provides quantious amounts of new and rare music.

Thanks to Deutros for the Rip (Taken from CD / MP3)

Tracklist
01 Here Comes Santa Claus
02 Do You Hear What I Hear?
03 Winter Wonderland
04 Hark The Herald Angels Sing
05 I'll Be Home For Christmas
06 Little Drummer Boy
07 The Christmas Blues
08 O' Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
09 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
10 Must Be Santa
11 Silver Bells
12 The First Noel
13 Christmas Island
14 The Christmas Song
15 O' Little Town Of Bethlehem