Sunday, December 21, 2014

Budgie - Live in London Global Village (1974) Bootleg

(U.K 1969 - Present)
.
How Budgie Started
(Extract from Jeff Colin's book 'Rock Legends at Rockfield')
With a similar sound to their Midland counterparts Black Sabbath, Budgie recorded most of their albums at the Monmouth Studio. The following extract looks at Budgies' big break -- when they had an audition at Rockfield with Sabbath producer Rodger Bain.
After two years of gigging, and writing songs, the Budgie's big break was just around the corner. One day in 1969 when they visited their agent to pay her, she told them about an audition taking place at Rockfield Studios - just down the road from Cardiff in Monmouth. A producer there, Rodger Bain, was looking to sign a rock band and was auditioning a few acts from across the UK.  Singer and bass player Burke Shelley laughs, though, when he remembers the agent’s warning to them as they left her office that day. ‘Our agent, Mrs England, I think her was name, took on a very stern face and told us, “Don’t you dare play any of your own stuff !” He giggles at the memory. ‘You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you? We were playing a few well known tunes by other bands to get gigs, but half our set was our own material and although she warned us not to play that stuff - and I’d reassured her that we wouldn’t - as soon as we got outside I said to the guys “Forget that. We’re doing our own songs” and it worked.’ The band, armed with
CD Cover
songs like "All Night Petrol", "Guts" and "Rape of The Locks", impressed the veteran music producer.  He told them he was keen to sign them, despite the fact he’d already given a contract to one other budding young band. The group in question was Black Sabbath, a band that Budgie would frequently be compared to over the coming years. Before that deal could happen, the band had to play another audition in London for representatives from some of the major record companies.
Ray Phillips was baffled that they didn’t hold the second audition at Rockfield, but instead at a small recording studio in London.
‘As we set up our equipment, we noticed two guys there. One was from a company called Bell Records and the other was called, David Howells, from MCA Records. I’d always thought that if a record company heard us play, then they’d sign us straight away. Dave Howells was Welsh as well. He was Merthyr born and bred, so we had an affinity with each other. Anyway he loved us and we signed a major deal with MCA records just a few weeks later. I was quite proud of the fact that Budgie had only been playing for 4 or 5 years, before we signed a major worldwide deal. That was fast work, because most guys had been in bands for 10 years before they got a deal. But we’d practiced and rehearsed non-stop. We wanted to be the best.’
.
Concert Review
Recorded at London's Global Village (March 9th 1974) and capturing Budgie initially at something approaching their peak and then some way away from it. The London show is spectacular. With better than expected sound quality, it pinpoints the often manic experimentation with which Budgie approached their music -- that is, titles as long as your arm (shame that only "You're the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk" is present here) and solos that extend even further. Neither "Breadfan" nor "Zoom Club" have ever sounded better, and even the less than stellar "Hammer and Tongs" is not to be missed. Though it's a mere six songs long, the London show is spectacular. With better than expected sound quality, it pinpoints the often manic experimentation with which Budgie approached their music -- that is, titles as long as your arm (shame that only "You're the Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk" is present here) and solos that extend even further. Neither "Breadfan" nor "Zoom Club" have ever sounded better, and even the less than stellar "Hammer and Tongs" is not to be missed.
An alternate vision of the 1974-1978 Radio Sessions CD released a few years ago, this live Capital Radio broadcast opens with DJs Nicky Horne and Roger Scott swapping scene-setting banter ("about thousand youngsters… not overcrowded, very comfortable out on the floor and not a streaker in sight"), and then kicks into a "Breadfan" that reminds us why Budgie deserve so very much more than the second division metallurgist tag that normally accompanies mention of their name.
With Burke Shelley already sounding like his voice has been through the wringer, but the band hitting warpspeed around him, it’s the traditional Budgie blend of skull-pounding riffs and heartwarming melodies, colliding in the most unexpected places again and again and again. Six songs comprise the hour long broadcast - an impassioned "Powdered Milk," "Hammer And Tongs," "Parents," "Rocking Man" and, best of all, a "Zoom Club" that really does zoom, soaring from sublime high to deafening peak around one of the slinkiest, most seductive rhythmic riffs ever conceived.
What’s most amazing, though, is the fact that Budgie were already a little past their peak when this was recorded… a full concert tape from two years previous would wipe the floor with this one. But still there’s not another band of their breed that could compete with Budgie in full flight and, until they get the box set they deserve, discs like this will be precious as gold dust (Review by Dave Thompson).
.
This post consist of both MP3 (320kps) and FLACs ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both Vinyl and CD. The quality of the recording is simply brilliant and although the track listing for this concert is limited, most tracks are 8+ mins in length and showcase some of Bourge's best guitar work.
This concert was taped for Radio Broadcast, taken from their 'In For The Kill' tour and consequently is one of the best Budgie bootlegs in circulation. This bootleg is not for the faint hearted, and should be played loud, real loud !
.

Track Listing 
01. Breadfan (6:13)  
02. You're The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk (8:10)  
03. Hammer And Tongs (12:00)   
04. Zoom Club (8:44)   

05. Parents (8:39)   
06. Rocking Man (9:10)
.
Budgie were:
Burke Shelley- Vocals, Bass
Tony Bourge - Guitar, Vocals
Pete Boot - Drums  
.

Budgie Live in London (MP3)
.
Budgie Live In London (FLACs)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Canned Heat - '70 Concert: Live In Europe (1970)

(U.S 1965 - Present)
.
Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and Bob "The Bear" Hite. They gained international attention and secured their niche in the pages of rock 'n roll history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who) and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival. Wilson was already renowned for his distinctive harmonica work when he accompanied veteran bluesman, Son House, on his rediscovery album, "Father of the Blues." Hite took the name Canned Heat from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, another ardent record collector capable of fretboard fireworks at a moment's notice who was a former member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry "The Mole" Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans and then with The Platters, The Shirelles, T-Bone Walker and Etta James.
Canned Heat's unique blend of modern electric blues, rock and boogie has earned them a loyal following and influenced many aspiring guitarists and bands during the past 35 years. Their Top-40 country-blues-rock songs, "On The Road Again," "Let's Work Together," and "Going Up The Country," became rock anthems throughout the world with the later being adopted as the unofficial theme song for the film Woodstock.
Right from the start, Canned Heat has been at the forefront of popularizing blues music. Their second album, "Boogie With Canned Heat," included the worldwide hit "On The Road Again" and a twelve minute version of "Fried Hockey Boogie" that established them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie!" Their third album, "Living The Blues," included a 19-minute tour de force, "Parthenogenesis" which displayed the quintet at their most experimental along with their incarnation of Henry Thomas' "Bulldozer Blues" where singer, Wilson, retained the tune of the original song, rewrote the lyric and came up with "Goin' Up The Country," whose simple message caught the "back-to-nature" attitude of the late '60s and went to #1 in 25 countries around the world.
The band can boast of collaborations with John Mayall and Little Richard and later with blues icon, John Lee Hooker, the musician that they initially got much of their musical inspiration from in the first place. This union first produced the spirited and revered album, "Hooker 'n Heat" and then Hooker's 1990 Grammy Award-winning classic, "The Healer." The band is also credited with bringing a number of other forgotten bluesmen to the forefront of modern blues including Sunnyland Slim, who they found driving a taxi in Chicago, Skip James, who they found in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi and took to the Newport Festival, Memphis Slim and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown with whom they recorded in France and Albert Collins. They brought Collins to California where they had their manager negotiate a recording agreement for Albert that started him on his way to becoming a well known musician throughout the world.
.

On September 3rd, 1970, the band was shattered by the suicide of Alan Wilson. His death sparked reconstruction within the group and member changes continued throughout the next two decades. On April 5th, 1981, at the Palamino in Los Angeles, gargantuan vocalist, Bob Hite, collapsed and died of a heart attack and on October 20th, 1997, Henry Vestine died in Paris, France following the final gig of a European tour.
Despite these untimely deaths and assorted musical trends, Canned Heat has survived under the leadership of Fito de la Parra since the late 70's. Since 1967, the band has toured extensively all over the world, performing at numerous festivals including Monterey Pop, Newport Pop, the Sturgis Motorcycle Run U.S.A., and the original Woodstock. They have performed at world-renowned venues such as Paris' Olympia, both Fillmore Auditoriums, The Kaleidoscope, Carnegie Hall (with John Lee Hooker), Madison Square Garden and even Royal Albert Hall and have played more biker festivals than any other band in the world.
.
They and/or their music have been featured on television (In Concert, David Frost, Merv Griffin, Midnight Special, Playboy After Dark, etc.), and in films ("Woodstock," "Flashback," and "Forrest Gump" etc.). Their legend has recently been heard and felt in various television commercials ("On The Road Again" for Miller Beer, "Goin' Up The Country" for Pepsi, Chevrolet and McDonalds, "Let's Work Together" for Lloyd's Bank, England's Electric Company and for Target Stores along with other songs for 7-Up, Levi's and Heineken Beer).
Now, more than thirty six years later, Canned Heat is still going strong. Anchored throughout by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra (a member since 1967), Canned Heat is well on track to carry the boogie-blues it made famous, well into the 21st century. With one of their strongest lineups ever, now together since the end of 1999, Fito on drums, Greg Kage on bass and vocals, Dallas Hodge on guitar and vocals, John Paulus on guitar and vocals and Stanley Behrens on harmonica, flute, saxophone and vocals.
Fito's book, "Living The Blues" is available through the band's website and at most popular book outlets. It is the complete and outrageous Canned Heat story of "Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival" along with over 100 captivating pictures from their past.
..
Concert Review
Canned Heat '70 Concert is taken from various locations on live concert European tour right before Alan Wilson’s death and is the band's first officially released live album. Canned Heat had toured Europe in 1970 in support of their album Future Blues, which had featured the hit single "Let's Work Together" (a #2 hit in the UK). Recordings from the tour were put out as a live album, orginally called Canned Heat '70 Concert - Recorded Live In Europe (as per this post), but later reissued with the simpler title Live In Europe. It was a great blues album, showcasing the whole band, in particular the excellent lead guitar of newcomer Harvey Mandel. The album did well in the UK, where it reached #15.
However on their return to America, both Mandel and bassist Larry Taylor left the band to work with John Mayall (who had just then relocated to California). Original lead guitiarist Henry Vestine then returned, bringing with him bassist Antonio de la Barreda.
This album captures the 1970 incarnation of Canned Heat with Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals), Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals/harmonica), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Aldolfo "Fito" de la Parra (drums), and newest addition Harvey Mandel (guitar), who had replaced Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar) in 1969.
.

.
They headed across the Atlantic in the spring of 1970 on the heels of "Let's Work Together" -- a Wilbert Harrison cover that charted within the Top Five in Europe. These are also among the final recordings to feature Wilson, whose increasing substance abuse and depression would result in an overdose prior to having re-joined the band for another stint in Europe in the fall of the same year. Indeed the brooding "Pulling Hair Blues" from this effort is marked not only by some decidedly dark and strung-out contributions, but more subtly, Hite's tentative introduction of Wilson -- indicating he had not been playing for the duration of the set. The Heat's performance style has shifted from the aggressive rhythm and blues of their earliest sides to a looser and more improvisational technique. The opener, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right Mama," is given a greasy mid-tempo groove over Hite's vocals . Mandel shines as his guitar leads dart in and out of the languid boogie. Although presented as a medley, "Back on the Road" is more or less an inclusive number with only brief lyrical references to "On the Road Again." Mandel's sinuous fretwork melds flawlessly with Wilson's harmonica blows. The powerful rendering of the aforementioned "Let's Work Together" is a highlight, with Canned Heat in top form as Wilson's electric slide riffs recall their seminal sound.
[Review by Lindsay Planer at AllMusic.com]
.
.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy (the album has seen better days so click removal was applied to the audiophiles) and includes full album artwork for both CD and vinyl releases.
What makes this post great is the fact that the rough sound reproduction on this 45 year old vinyl gives the listener a realistic concert experience which is lacking on any CD release.
So sit right back, crank up the bass, and as The Bear would say: "Don't Forget To Boogie!"
.
Tracklisting
01     That's All Right Mama    
02     Bring It On Home    
03     Pulling Hair Blues    

04     Medley: Back On The Road/On The Road Again    
05     London Blues    
06     Let's Work Together    
07     Goodbye For Now

.
Band Members:
Bass – Larry "The Mole" Taylor
Drums – Adolfo "Fito" De La Parra
Guitar – Harvey Mandel
Guitar, Vocals, Harp – Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson
Vocals – Bob "The Bear" Hite
Producer – Skip Taylor

.
Canned Heat Link (127Mb)
.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cilla Black - Cilla Sings A Rainbow (1966)

(U.K 1963 - Present)
.
Cilla Black (OBE) is without doubt one of Britain’s most successful and best-loved entertainers. Over the years, she has had 19 Top 40 singles (including two #1 hits), sold out concert venues around the world and presented many iconic TV shows whilst bringing up three sons with her husband, Bobby Willis.
Born Priscilla Maria Veronica White on the 27th May 1943, she grew up in a musically oriented household in one of the toughest parts of Liverpool. Living with her parents and three brothers, she was often encouraged to practise her innate singing talent by performing to her family. “It’s no wonder that I knew I wanted to be a professional singer from a very early age, because I was surrounded by music in our house. My father played the mouth organ, my mother and aunts used to sing, and it wasn’t unusual for families to get together and make their own music in the fifties.”
During her late teens, the sheer drive Cilla had to become famous made her adamant that she would never be labelled as just another girl “suitable for office work” as an early school report had suggested. Understandably, she wanted more from life and could regularly be found escaping to the trendy clubs of the day like The Iron Door and The Cavern, the latter of which was where she worked as a coat-check girl. She also served coffee at The Zodiac, another clubbers’ haven, where, incidentally, she met her husband-to-be, Bobby Willis. Perfectly placed amongst the up-and-coming stars of the day, she wowed them with her singing and confidently convinced the powers that be to let her share the spotlight on stage.
Cillla 'Sings A Rainbow' Promo Shot
Thanks to a lot of support from her friends, she quickly became a mini-celebrity in her neighbour- hood, performing alongside so many legendary acts that were fundamental in establishing the “Mersey Sound”, such as The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Fourmost and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.Due to a twist of fate, Priscilla White (known around the Liverpool music scene as “Swinging Cilla”) almost overnight received a new stage name, when the music paper the ‘Mersey Beat’ misprinted her surname as Cilla Black, a name that she favoured and happily kept.
It wasn’t long before Cilla came to the attention of Brian Epstein, a local talent scout and manager of The Beatles. Epstein was introduced to her by none other than John Lennon, who persuaded him to arrange an audition at The Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead. Unfortunately, the audition was unsuccessful due to a combination of nerves and singing to The Beatles’ accompaniment, who played in their own key. All was not lost as, to her surprise, she was later spotted by Epstein while singing “Bye, Bye Blackbird” in the jazzy surroundings of the Blue Angel club. This performance finally convinced him to sign her, so on the 6th September 1963, she became his only female vocalist!
Cilla hosts her own show in 1969
There was an immediate bond between Cilla and Epstein. From the moment he met his starlet, he wanted to nurture the ‘Judy Garland’ qualities he believed she possessed, having high aspirations of creating a British icon who, in his prophetic words, would become “…one of the biggest stars in this country for thirty or forty years”. His faith, combined with Cilla’s talent, effortlessly convinced George Martin, the renowned producer of Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey and The Beatles, that she was worthy of signing to Parlophone Records (a subsidiary label of the EMI Group). Shortly afterwards, Cilla Black made her debut on the British singles charts with one of the first of many songs given to her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. “Love of the Loved”, a song Cilla had often heard The Beatles perform at The Cavern. The recording made a modest impression on the British charts when it was released on the 27th September 1963.
This was soon to be overshadowed by her next release, which Brian Epstein discovered on a trip to the USA. “Anyone Who Had A Heart”, a song by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, had already proved to be a massive hit for Dionne Warwick which Cilla, then a keen follower of the US Top 100, had already admired prior to it being suggested by Epstein. Her knockout rendition, recorded in January 1964, went on to become not only her first #1 but is still, to this day, the biggest selling single of all time by a British female recording artist. George Martin acquired the perfect follow-up, an Italian ballad, “Il Mio Mondo”, with an English lyric, became “You’re My World”. This epic “torch” song went on to become Cilla’s second #1, paving the way for an influx of other Italian songs such as Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”. Furthermore, it broke Cilla into the tough US market as well as gaining her massive support across Europe and Australasia, culminating in hundreds of sell-out concert dates throughout her time at EMI (1963-1978).
“When I reached #1 in the charts with “You’re My World”, it made me the second British girl to ever have two successive #1 hits. I heard the good news just days before my 21st birthday. Two #1 hits in a row!” During the sixties, Cilla sustained her place at the forefront of the Brit-Pop music scene, with one of the most impressive starts for a British female recording artist, including 17 consecutive Top 40 triumphs on the singles charts. To put this unprecedented success into perspective, it happened during a decade when achieving a Top 20 single meant that you had to sell in excess of 100,000 copies a day in the UK alone!
In August 1967, only days before his premature death, Brian Epstein had engineered Cilla’s switch to television with her own eponymous variety show for BBC TV. The immediate success of the ‘Cilla’ series marked the beginning of a new phase of Cilla’s professional life as she was now one of Britain’s top rated television entertainers. Her show regularly commanded staggering audience figures of between 18 and 22 million until it ended in 1976. Apart from providing Cilla with the opportunity to perform her music, it also showcased her infectious personality, her ability to host a live show, the ease with which she performed with guest stars, acted in comedy sketches and her forte – her interaction with the general public.
Cilla’s immense popularity continued throughout the seventies into subsequent decades through an array of successful concert tours, situation comedy series, pantomime performances, summer season shows, West End productions and prime-time entertainment shows – ‘Surprise!, Surprise!’ (1983-1997; 14 Series/137 shows) and ‘Blind Date’ (1985-2003; 18 Series/380 shows). The latter show earned Cilla an award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In 1997, Cilla was honoured with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her achievements in the entertainment industry.
In 1999, after 30 years of marriage, Cilla’s beloved husband and manager Bobby Willis sadly passed away at the age of 57. Bobby was not only acknowledged and respected for his skilful management of Cilla’s career, he was a songwriter, executive TV producer and executive producer of many stage productions.
In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 revealed that Cilla’s version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” was the UK’s biggest selling single by a female artist in the 1960s.
In September 2013, Cilla Black celebrated her 50th year in the entertainment business.  For more information on Cilla Black’s life and career,see Cilla's Website.
.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy that I recently found at my local salvos - in absolute pristine condition. Whoever owned this LP really looked after it all those years and looks like it has been rarely played. Full album artwork and select photos of Cilla are also included. Strange how this pressing is Stereo where as all other releases I found on eBay etc are Mono (see cover below)
Now some of you are probably wondering what possessed me to post this early pop album from the sixties on this blog. The cover holds the key - how could anyone resist - what a smasher !  Enjoy
.
Track Listing
01 - Love's Just A Broken Heart
02 - Lover's Concerto
03 - Make It Easy On Yourself
04 - One Two Three
05 - There's No Place To Hide
06 - When I Fall In Love
07 - Yesterday
08 - Sing A Rainbow
09 - Baby I'm Yours
10 - The Real Thing
11 - Everything I Touch Turns To Tears
12 - In A Woman's Eyes
13 - My Love Come Home

.
Cilla Black Link (82Mb)
.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bill & Boyd - Companions (1978)

(Australian 1959 - 1989)
.
The duo 'Bill Cate & Boyd Robertson' (alias Bill & Boyd) teamed up while they were both still at college in Wellington, New Zealand. They started off playing at concerts for fellow students. Then they graduated to clubs and managed to score a recording deal with a local label. A succession of hits followed on the New Zealand charts and they toured the country several times.
Then, early in 1964, they left their following behind to further their careers in Australia. They wasted no time in releasing their first Australian hit in June of that year entitled "Chulu Chululu". It was a bright, sing-along song recorded live at the Rotorua Sound Shell in New Zealand.
The talented Kiwis were quick to gain popularity, appearing regularly on TV (particularly on Bandstand) and working clubs around Australia. After repeating their initial chart success and refining their act even further, they left for America early in 1968. In the US they toured with the Supremes and Herb Alpert. The highlight of the tour was a mammoth performance at Central Park in New York.
.
On their return to Australia, they established themselves as a top club act. In 1970, they joined Ron Tudor's newly formed Fable label. Their first release, in July 70, was a version of "It's A Small World" which, although a steady seller, didn't quite make the top forty. They had several releases over the next four years including the patriotic "Aussie" single in July 1974. However, their big chart re-entry came in January 1975 with "Santa Never Made It To Darwin". The song, of course, referred to the Cyclone Tracy disaster which devastated Darwin on the Christmas Eve just prior. It was recorded with the intention of raising funds for the appeal from royalties. Bill and Boyd's aim was more than satisfactorily achieved when the record made number one nationally.
.
In mid 1975, the duo released an album entitled Bill & Boyd (which Fable hope to revamp and re-release early in 1978) and hit the charts at the end of the year with "Put Another Log On The Fire", and Bill and Boyd were a household name in Australia.  After that they took a break from recording and concentrated on touring.
 After over 15 years playing together, Bill & Boyd were at the peak of their career, performing on a Dinah Shore TV special filmed at the Sydney Opera House, and touring with Glen Campbell. This connection led to Campbell producing an album for the duo in Los Angeles, using his own backing band. When Companions was released in Feb 1979 they were dividing their time between England and the US, but they still regarded themselves as New Zealanders. On the TV show Dinah they agreed to perform only if a National Film Unit clip on New Zealand was screened while they were singing. “That clip was so long,” Cate told Gordon Campbell, “that we must have gone through about 50 repeats of ‘Pokarekare Ana’.”
.
Bill and Boyd continued to perform together until 1989, more than 30 years after they first traded harmonies. In Australasia, perhaps only the Bee Gees could claim a longer career – but they were related. As John Dix wrote a year earlier, “Schoolmates at Wellington’s Naenae College, Bill Cate and Boyd Robertson must really like each other.” 
J & B Records have released an album of their all time greatest hits called 'Dreamin'  and in 2003 we finally got a CD compilation from EMI of all their greatest hits. A long time coming indeed.
.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from a recently acquired vinyl record, found tucked away in a Antique Bazaar in Moonee Ponds. Yep, another gem just collecting dust and picked up for the cost of a gold coin. And on further investigation  at home, I discovered to my surprise that the inner sleeve had been autographed by the duo themselves. Although this album does not feature any of their more popular hits, the album consists of  10 strong tracks produced by  the legendary Glenn Campbell.  Worth a listen, even if you're not a country fan.
Also included is full album artwork and one of their most popular singles "Santa Never Made It  To Darwin" as a bonus track.
.
Track Listing 
01 - Companions
02 - Universal Law
03 - Where There's A Love There's A Way
04 - I See Love
05 - Colleen
06 - This Is Getting Funny (But There Ain't Nobody Laughing)
07 - Let's All Sing A Song About It
08 - Roll On Bother
09 - Fool Ya
10 - At Times I Wonder Why That The Lord Has Chosen Me
11 - Santa Never Made It To Darwin (Bonus Track)

.
The Band:
Vocals: Bill Cate & Bill Robertson
Drums: Steve Turner
Bass: Bill McCubbin
Keyboards: T.J Kuenster
Acoustic Guitars: Carl Jackson & Craig Fall
Electric Guitar: carl Jackson
Banjo & Fiddle: Carl Jackson

.
Bill & Boyd Link (76Mb)
.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Little Roger and the Goosebumps - Stairway To Gilligan's Island (1978)

.
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.
. 
Supposedly Robert Plant's favorite version of Stairway To Heaven and done with Gilligan Island Lyrics.....
Little Roger and the Goosebumps was a pop/rock band from San Francisco active during the 1970s and early 1980s and resurrected in 2006. It has been led throughout its history by Roger Clark and Dick Bright, with various sidemen.
The band is best known for its single "Gilligan's Island (Stairway)", a song combining the lyrics to the theme song of the television show Gilligan's Island with the music of "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. The band wrote the song in 1977 as "material to pad the last set of the grueling 5 nights a week/4 sets a night routine," recorded it in March 1978, and released it as a single in May 1978 on their own Splash Records label. Within five weeks, Led Zeppelin's lawyers threatened to sue them and demanded that any remaining copies of the recording be destroyed. The song was reissued in 2000 on the CD Laguna Tunes with the song title renamed "Stairway to Gilligan's Island."

During a 2005 interview on National Public Radio, Robert Plant referred to the tune as his favorite cover of "Stairway to Heaven."
.
For background information on my favourite T.V Sitcom 'Gilligan's Island' see my previous posts:
 The Ballad Of Gilligan's Island - A Parody 
and  
The Mosquitoes - Gilligan's Island

But for a first hand account on some of those perplexing questions that always crop up when discussing the show, this is what castaway Russell Johnson (alias 'The Professor') says in his book:
 HERE ON GILLIGAN'S ISLE..

Sometimes I've wondered if people take Gilligan's Island too seriously. It amazes me how even today, people assume it's hip to pose this bright revelation by asking, "Why would the Howell's bring all that money along on a three-hour tour?" Man, it doesn't take any gray matter to figure that out!
You don't know how many stand up comics owe money to Gilligan for writing their material for them. Our show has been fodder for their routines for years. They pose all kinds of riddles,"How come the Professor could build a nuclear reactor, but he couldn't build a boat to get them off the island?" (And I never built a nuclear reactor.)
Of course, our show was inconsistent and incongruous. Of course there are unanswered questions. At first, we asked the same questions, and then we just accepted it all and stopped wondering. Jim Backus explained it perfectly for a reporter a few years ago:
"The question we always get is, "Where did [the Castaways] get all those clothes?" I always say, 'They had a very large suitcase.' What's funny is that they never think that's a phony answer. They wink; they're in on the joke. After all these years, they are still in on the joke."
My answer: "It's in the script."

.

.In fact, it's in the theme song. Do you realize the lyrics lie to you? Think about it: "The mate was a mighty sailing man"? C'mon now.
"If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost..." Would be lost? We were lost.
And it wasn't a desert isle. It was a jungle island.
So your imagination gets a workout—or your gullibility, depending on how you look at it. Sure Mr. Howell brought along his stock certificates for the Tahatcha-Pookoo Oil and Mining company. Sure Mr. Howell packed an Indian chief's headdress in his trunks of clothing. Once you get past the insanity of it all, it's not so bad.
One question that is often posed to me involves the Professor's total lack of sexual interest. Was he asexual? He didn't even know how to kiss a woman affectionately.
The answer is that Sherwood Schwartz did not want to get into the sexual natures of the characters too deeply, outside of the obvious, like the Howells' devotion to each other and Ginger's lusty one-liners. Keep in mind, the consensus from the cast in the beginning was that we were targeting this show toward children. The fact that adults came along was a surprise to all of us. As time went by, it became more sophisticated, if you'll allow me that. We could see how the scripts would grab some adults. [ Transcript by Russell Johnson, 'Here On Gilligan's Island', HarperPerenial 1992,  p183-4 ]
.
So, once again, my regular monthly WOCK on Vinyl post is dedicated to yet another 'Parody' based on my favourite T.V sitcom from the 60's - 'Gilligan's Island'. The C is definitely for Crazy Castaways, while the K is reserved for the Korny idea of mixing a Led Zeppelin tune with the lyrics from the Gilligan Island's theme, and then releasing it on the SPLASH label.
.

Stairway To Gilligan's Island Link (10Mb)
.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Manfred Mann - The Best Of (1975) plus Bonus Tracks

(U.K 1962–1969)
.
Manfred Mann was originally formed by Mann (b. Mike Lubowitz in Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct 21, 1940) and Mike Hugg (b. Andover, Hampshire, Aug 11, 1942) as a jazz-band called the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers; in 1964 they started playing R&B, and consolidated themselves into a five-piece with the line-up as above though Dave Richmond was the group's original bassist. Jones (whose real name was Paul Pond) was still an undergraduate at Oxford University.

They signed to HMV and released an unsuccessful, but promising, instrumental called "Why Should We Not?", and then found their style with a fast-moving "Cock-A-Hoop". However, it was not until their third single "5-4-3-2-1", with Jones' harmonica-playing prominently featured, that the band established themselves as a chart act.
"5-4-3-2-1", which reached No. 5 in the U.K. charts in February 1964, was undoubtedly assisted by the fact that it was used as the theme tune to the TV programme, "Ready Steady Go", until it was replaced by the Manfreds' follow-up, "Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)", also a major hit. Manfred Mann had 15 hits in the next few years (although Hubble Bubble was the group's last self-penned single), with what was often just high-class pop material, while they tried to show their more substantial skills on albums like- their blues-oriented, debut Five Faces Of Manfred Mann.
Their hits included "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy" (1964), which reached No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic, despite the fact that it was a cover of a record by The Exciters, "Come Tomorrow". "Oh No Not My Baby" (both 1965) and "Pretty Flamingo" (1966).

They also recorded a very popular EP which included Paul Jones' composition about the band (and himself) "The One In The Middle", and also Dylan's "With God On Our Side". Meanwhile, Vickers left to pursue some solo projects, and McGuinness moved over to lead guitar, with Jack Bruce (*) coming in on bass.
Within six months, Bruce had left to join Cream, and Paul Jones had similarly opted for a solo career (he had two hits, "High Time" and "I've Been A Bad Bad Boy", the theme-tune from "Privilege", a movie in which he starred); their replacements were Klaus Voorman and Mike D'Abo from a Band of Angels respectively.
The band signed to Fontana label, and resumed their chart success with "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James", "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown" and "My Name Is Jack".

The outfit always made capital out of covering Dylan songs, "With God On Our Side", "If You Gotta Go, Go Now", and later Just Like A Woman and "The Mighty Quinn", which provided the band with their third British No. 1 in February 1968. Dylan himself was quoted as saying that he thought Manfred Mann came up with the best cover versions of his material.
Meanwhile, Manfred Mann were becoming increasingly jaded with what seemed the demeaning process of merely following hit single with hit single, and many members, like Vickers, had absorbed themselves in "heavier" pursuits - Hugg, for example, had written the score for "Up The Junction".
So in 1969, Mann broke up the band and he and Hugg formed the more ambitious Manfred Mann Chapter Three with a full brass section; although their debut album included a fine version of a Hugg song, Shapes Of Things, that had been a 1966 hit for The Yardbirds, Manfred Mann did not find true happiness and artistic credibility in an albums-oriented band, and Chapter Three was dissolved in 1971, only for Mann to try again with Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
.
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my pristine vinyl copy which I picked up for a song (pun intended) at me local flee market last week. Although this pressing was released on Phillip's Australian budget label 'Rainbow' the quality of the recording isn't too bad. Some bass enhancement was added to enhance the sound, but overkill was avoided to retain the authentic sounds of the 60's.
As a side note, I'm somewhat intrigued by the intro to "Trouble and Tea" which sounds so much like the Beatles 'Day Tripper'  it's a wonder Manfred Mann weren't sued for breach of copyright. Have a listen and see what you think.
Even though the tracks on this compilation were recorded when Manfred Mann were signed to the Fontana label, I'm also including as bonus tracks their two singles "Pretty Flamingo" and "DoWah Diddy Diddy" which were released earlier by HMV, to make this collection complete. This compilation has also been released under other titles such as 'Mannerisms' and 'Attention! Manfred Mann'
.
Track Listing 
01. The Mighty Quinn
02. Ha Ha Said The Clown
03. Up The Junction
04. Just Like A Woman
05. Semi-Detached, Suburban Mr. James
06. Fox On The Run
07. My Name Is Jack
08. Ragamuffin Man
09. Sweet Pea

10. So Long, Dad
11. One Way
12. Trouble And Tea
13. Pretty Flamingo (Bonus Track)
14. Do Wah Diddy Diddy (Bonus Track)

.

Manfred Mann - keyboards
Paul Jones - vocals, harmonica
Mike Vickers - saxophone, flute, guitar
Tom McGuinness - bass
Mike Hugg - drums, vibraphone
.
Manfred Mann Link (97Mb)
.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dave Mason - Scrapbook (1972)

(U.K 1966 - Present)
.
Dave Mason was born in Worcester, England, in 1946. As a teenager he began to sing and to play the guitar, performing frequent gigs in Worcester with The Jaguars and The Hellions. In addition to Dave Mason, the youthful membership of The Hellions also included Jim Capaldi, a local musician who had ability as both a drummer and a vocalist. Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi later became acquainted with Steve Winwood, a young singer, keyboardist, and guitarist who was the star of The Spencer Davis Group ("Keep on Running," "Gimme Some Lovin'," "I'm a Man"), and in 1967, together with Chris Wood, a musician from Birmingham who played flute and saxophone, they all committed themselves to the formation of Traffic.
The first single to be recorded by Traffic, "Paper Sun" (released on Island Records in May, 1967) featured the sound of Dave Mason playing the sitar (in common with George Harrison of The Beatles and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones), and was a hit in the United Kingdom. Their second single, "Hole in My Shoe" (released in August, 1967), which Dave Mason wrote and sang, did even better, and still is
remembered as one of the foremost British hits of that year. 'Mr. Fantasy', the first album by Traffic, included three further tracks that were written and sung by Dave Mason ("House for Everyone," "Utterly Simple," and "Hope I Never Find Me There"), but he had removed himself from the band by the time the LP was released at the end of 1967.
After leaving Traffic, Dave Mason recorded a single on his own, "Little Woman," which was released in the early part of 1968. He also played acoustic guitar on Jimi Hendrix's recording of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," and produced the first album by Family, 'Music in a Doll's House'. Later in 1968, he returned to the fold, providing a handful of tuneful songs for Traffic's second album, 'Traffic'. "You Can All Join In," "Don't Be Sad," and "Cryin' to Be Heard" were excellent tracks, showing off Dave Mason's abundant talents, but the one song that truly stood out was "Feelin' Alright?" Joe Cocker covered "Feelin' Alright?" with great effectiveness in 1969, and it has since established itself as one of the most durable standards in rock'n'roll. Nevertheless, Dave Mason's second stint as a member of Traffic was even shorter than his first, and by October of 1968, he was out of the band again.
.
Dave Mason did not remain idle after his second departure from Traffic. In 1969, he toured as a member of Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (along with George Harrison and Eric Clapton), and in 1970, his first album, 'Alone Together', featuring contributions from Jim Capaldi, Leon Russell, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, and many others, was released on Blue Thumb Records. 'Alone Together' displayed Dave Mason's full abilities at their musical height, with songs such as "Only You Know and I Know," "Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave," "World in Changes," and "Look at You Look at Me" receiving repeated airplay on FM radio. Also in 1970, Dave Mason briefly served as an early member of Eric Clapton's new band, Derek and The Dominos.
In 1971, Dave Mason recorded an album with Cass Elliot of The Mamas and The Papas (Dave Mason and Cass Elliot, released on Blue Thumb Records), but their fruitful partnership was short-lived, and he soon
was back to pursuing his own path in music, although he did return to Traffic for a third time, taking part in a string of performances in England that resulted in the release of a live album, 'Welcome to the Canteen'. When Dave Mason (with The Pointer Sisters, three young women from the nearby city of Oakland, as his backup vocalists) appeared at Winterland in April, 1972, he had stepped out of the shadow of Traffic
and was in high demand as a performer, being warmly regarded as one of the best musicians, and one of the best songwriters, of the period. [extract from sweetylovefashion.blogspot]
.
.Single: Just For You / Little Woman
Released 1968 on Island Records
Some folks will remember Dave Mason's song "Just For You" from it's inclusion on the fragmented 1969 Traffic album "Last Exit". In fact this was not a Traffic song at all but the topside of a splendid solo single released by Mason in 1968. It might just as well have been a Traffic single as it carries the group's trademark sound. "Just For You" is an infectious pop single that had hit written all over it, the song features bright guitar chords a propulsive bass riff combined with Mason's pleasing vocals, Traffic instrumental whiz Chris Wood also supplies attractive flute. A great single that deserved to hit big but somehow slipped thru the cracks.
The flipside "Little Woman" is kinda obscure it's only other appearance was on Dave Mason's "Scrapbook" album. This song is a raga-rock masterpiece that recalls Mason's trippy excursions on the first Traffic album and his work on the first Family album..
.
Single: Hole In My Shoe / Smiling Phases
Released in 1967 on Island Records
"Hole in My Shoe" was a single by English rock band Traffic which as a single release reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 22 in the German charts, in 1967. This psychedelic song was written by Traffic's guitarist Dave Mason, who played sitar on the track. Depending on your state of mind, you might find some weighty meaning in the song, but Mason says he was just writing down random thoughts in the style of a nursery rhyme. He also insists that he hadn't tried LSD when he wrote it.
Mason has since revealed "That's the first song I ever wrote. It was my first attempt at songwriting. I mean, that stuff I did back then, when I listen to it, I cringe and realize I need to work on writing. But writing comes out of living. You have to have something. Dave Mason tells us that this song was "the beginning of the end as far as the other three guys were concerned for me." The band's second single (after "Paper Sun"), it was a the biggest UK hit for Traffic, but it wasn't what Mason's bandmates had in mind, since they didn't think it represented their sound.
Steve Winwood explained to The Sun June 26, 2008: "We never wanted to be a pop band but we had a hit with 'Shoe,' which was Dave's song. Dave had his own idea about the band, the rest of us had another one - a not-quite-as-sensible one, really, because it wasn't half as commercial."
Mason quit the band soon afterwards and Traffic began to develop a less commercial sound, which put an end to their run of hit singles in the UK. However their new material proved popular on American Rock stations and it gave the band a second wind across the Atlantic.
.
Mason (Far Right) in Traffic
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl (acquired sometime ago at an Opp shop) and contains full album artwork. Note that this Australian release is a single LP release, unlike its European and U.S counterparts that were double album releases. I'm unsure why this was the case and can only assume the distributor 'Festival' decided that releasing a double LP was too risky for an artist who's name may not have been well known (although 'Traffic' certainly was).
Most of the tracks on this Best Of compilation originate from Mason's association with Traffic, with just a few tracks being sourced from his earlier two solo albums.
Mason's inclusion of the Sitar on some of these tracks demonstrates his versatility as a musician, but somehow seems like a cash in on what George Harrison had already achieved during his Beatles era.
.
Track Listing
01 - Hole In My Shoe
02 - Utterly Simple
03 - Hope I Never Find Me There
04 - Cryin' To Be Heard
05 - You Can All Join In
06 - Feelin' Alright (Alternate Version)
07 - Little Woman
08 - Vagabound Virgin
09 - Just For You
10 - Sad And Deep As You (Live)

.
Dave Mason Link (80Mb)
.