Monday, April 25, 2011

Mississippi - Selftitled (1972) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1972-75)
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Mississippi was an Australian band (1972-1975), which featured some big names in Australian rock music, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and Kerryn Tolhurst. The band started as Alison Gros in Adelaide, South Australia in 1970 and moved to Melbourne in 1971 where they recorded as Allison Gros, Drummond and in 1972 became Mississippi; this band eventually evolved into Little River Band (LRB) by 1975.
Allison Gros recorded one independent single ("Naturally" / "Would You Really Have To Go?") on the Gamba label in 1970. The band then moved to Melbourne and signed to Ron Tudor's Fable Records, for whom they cut two more singles in 1971, "If I Ask You" / "So Good" (July) and "All The Days" / "Weaver Of Life" (December). Their next recordings for Fable is a genuine oddity of Australian rock. Under the pseudonym Drummond, the members of Alison Gros cut a novelty 'chipmunk' versions of the '50s rock'n'roll classic "Daddy Cool", which was released in July '71.
In early 1972, Allison Gros changed their name to Mississippi. They recorded their excellent self-titled debut LP with the addition of session players Peter Jones (piano), Geoff Cox (drums), Barry Sullivan (bass, ex-Chain) and Graham Lyall (flute). It was released in September that year on Fable's new Bootleg imprint, a subsidiary label recently set by Tudor and musician Brian Cadd. The Mississippi album showcased the band's considerable vocal abilities and Goble and Johnson's strong writing skills. The material and the tight harmonizing showed the influence of groups like The Hollies, The Bee Gees, Crosby and Stills, Nash & Young. Their debut single "Kings of the World" (released in July) became a Top 10 hit in October.
In December '72 they issued a second single, "Mr Moondog" / "All Through The Day". One of the group's important early appearances was their set at the 1973 Sunbury Rock Festival in January, where they were backed by a full orchestra. Their next single, "Early Morning" / "Sweet World" was released in July '73, and in October they supported The Jackson Five on their Australian tour.
The band made their second appearance at Sunbury in January 1974. Sadly, they never got the opportunity to record another album but they were able to cut two more fine singles. Their penultimate single, "Early Morning" was co-written by Russ, Graeham and Beeb.

Their last single was a recording of a live favourite "Will I", a song Beeb had co-written with Daryl Cotton just after the demise of Zoot; its B-side, "Where In The World" was the very first collaboration between Beeb and Graeham. It was released in early 1974, and made the Top 40 in May 1974.
It is interesting to note the strong LRB sound emulating from this track, and it was definitively a precursor for better things to come from the talented writing partnership of "Goble and Birtles"
According to Birtles, the band was disappointed by the lack of support in Australia, and encouraged by interest in the album, which had been released overseas, they decided to try their luck elsewhere and left for a tour of the UK in April that year. [extract from Milesago]
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Cameron Crowe (of the magazine Rolling Stone) writes how Mississippi eventually evolved into the Little River Band:
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After a short stint at a talent agency, Birtles (formerly bassist with Zoot) joined Goble in a band called Mississippi, which had just released an LP in the U.S on the Fantasy label. “It was a good learning experience,” says Birtles, “but we made the classic mistake of going to England to tour. Britain has always been the place where Australian bands break up.”
True to form, Mississippi did just that. Broke and desperate in London, the band’s nucleus (Birtles, Goble and drummer Derek Pellicci) ran into Shorrock and his manager, Glenn Wheatley. Both were nearing the end of the line with Axiom, a similarly fated “Australian supergroup.” Everyone commiserated and made plans to meet up in Australia in six months to join forces.
Half a year later, they were together again under the old banner of Mississippi. “But,” says Pellicci, “since we were criticized for being an Australian band with an American name, we changed it.” Little River, a town 30 miles outside of Melbourne that holds five houses and a hotel at the time, served their purpose, and the addition of bassist Rodger McLauchlan and guitarist Rick Formosa (later replaced by George McArdle and Briggs) completed the Little River Band [Courtesy of Rolling Stone #247 – Cameron Crowe – September 8, 1977]

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This post contains a rip (mp3 at 320kps and FLACs) of Mississippi's one and only LP, taken from a re-released CD by EMI in 2001 (see pictured below - now out of print). It has a different cover from the original LP but according to Graeham Goble it appears to be mastered from the original tapes. I have supplied full album artwork from both LP (thanks to Midoztouch) and CD, and also included their three non-LP singles "Early Morning ", "Where In The World" and "Will I" as bonus tracks.
As an added bonus, I have also included a live rendition of their hit single "Kings Of The World", recorded at the Sunbury 73 concert.  All bonus tracks are MP3 only
Many of the photos displayed in this post were sourced from both Graeham Goble's Website and Beeb Birtles Website (with thanks). There are also some very interesting Video Performances of Allison Gros and Mississippi available at Goble's website.
Being a big fan of the Little River Band in the 70's (especially their first album), I was delighted to discover this early incarnation of LRB when curiosity got the better of me (or was it the cat !) and highly recommend you give it a listen.
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Track Listing
01 - Save The Land
02 - Mr. Moondog
03 - Three Days
04 - All Through The Day
05 - Sweet World
06 - Feel Alone
07 - Do I
08 - King Of The World
09 - City Sunday
10 - When You're Old
11 - Day Job Song
12 - Early Morning (Bonus Single)
13 - Where In The World (Bonus Single)
14 - Will I (Bonus Single)
15 - Kings Of The World (Bonus Live Sunbury 73)

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Band Members:
Graeham Goble & Beeb Birtles: Lead & Harmony Vocals, Vocal Arrangements, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Russ Johnson: Lead & Harmony Vocals, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
John Mower: Lead Vocal

Bass: Barry Sullivan

Bass, “Day Job Song”: John Gray

Drums: Geoff Cox

Drums, “Day Job Song”: Tea Van Zyl

Flute & Sax: Graeme Lyall

Orchestrations: Peter Jones
Piano: Brian Cadd, Peter Jones
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Mississippi Link MP3  (109Mb)
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Mississippi Link FLACs (266Mb)  New Link 06/04/2015
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16 comments:

  1. This is one brilliant album.. why wouldn`t it be!. there are some of the best written songs by the writers on this as songs like save the land, early morning, Do I, day job song.. i own the single and have played it till it wasn`t playable.. such great moods in all the songs..
    great post..
    all best

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  2. Thanks Sadness
    Yep - a favourite of mine also and certainly a classic Aussie album.
    Was totally ignorant of Allison Gros material until I researched 'Mississippi' more fully - worth a listen if you get time. See http://www.graehamgoble.com/clips-allison

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  3. Thanks so much - yet another gap in my Aussie music experience that you have introduced me to. Being a fan of LRB, Gobles/Birtles, Brian Cadd I missed this first time around (I was 5 years old).

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  4. Nice to see some of the Aussie classics are still appreciated by future generations.
    Thanks for dropping by Noteatpig2getha.

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  5. Just found this page. Brilliant. I was 20 when Mississippi used to do regular gigs at New Lambton's Savoy Theatre (Newcastle NSW). Used to hang with them when they were in town. They took me to the Bootleg record label's concert in Sydney. We stayed at a motel in Kings Cross. The concert was an awesome assembly of Australian Rock. I'll have to research who performed there. Thanks for reminding about some good times! In the article above, the author identifies their 1974 track, "Where in the World" was reminiscent of LRB. Indeed that was the first. But
    I'm puzzled by the lack of mention of songs written later but not recorded by Mississippi which they played at their gigs, such as a "A Long Way There". These were the beginnings of LRB's repertoire. I guess the author has only heard their recorded material rather than their live sets.
    Thanks, Astral

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  6. Astral
    I can vividly remember hearing "It's A Long Way There" for the first time and the track completely blew me away. I was hooked on LRB's sound immediately, but sadly they lost some of their magic in later albums. The transition period between Mississippi and LRB was certainly the 'magic moment' in their career.
    And thanks for your recollections - its always great to hear what others have experienced.

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    1. Apologies for the inappropriate forum to air this unrelated material, AussieRock but my memories are diverse. Rockon Vinyl has no mention of two Aussie bands, one i saw in 1966 and one I heard in 1967. Both released singles. In 1966 I went to an underground (in both senses of the word!) bar in Sydneys docks area enjoyed an amazing band called Python Lee Jackson do their CBS single "Hold on I'm Coming". I was 14. I read that they played with Rod Stewart occassionally, so perhaps they went to England..The following year I was learning to play guitar and learnt a Phil Jones and the Unknown Blues single " If I Had a Ticket". I just saw a you tube video of it and thought I recognised a muso in the band. I hoped to find both bands on this site. but no luck. By the way I visited Beeb Birtles website and left a post of reminiscing and good wishes but I'm not sure it sent successfully..
      Perhaps you could post some summaries of your research on them, if the bands are relevant to your genre..

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    2. Hi Astral
      If you are after some information about Python Lee Jackson, take a look at
      http://www.gluonics.com/rod-stewart/python-lee-jackson.shtml
      I have their 'In A Broken Dream' LP which I can post if you like
      With respect to Phil Jones & The Unknown Blues band, you can find the mentioned single on a great Nuggets compilation from JB Hi Fi online - http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/music/pop-rock/down-under-nuggets-original-artyfacts-1965-1967/676792

      Hope this helps alittle

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  7. Hey, AussieRock. Am just now discovering this great album. Is it possible for you to upload a lossless (FLAC) version of the CD? It's extremely hard to find now, and although I did find a lossless version elsewhere, there's distortion in the first track from a bad rip. If you can do this, I'd truly appreciate it. My e-mail is chpoof@gmail.com. Thanks!

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    1. Hi gaydude65
      Seeing you asked so nicely, I've made an exception and reposted this in FLAC format for you - but only the album tracks. The bonus tracks remain as MP3 as they are not my rips
      Enjoy

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    2. AussieRock, you not only rock, you are also a very kind gentleman. :-) What a pleasant surprise to see this message this morning. Thank you SO MUCH for doing this for me! If there's anything you're looking for that you haven't been able to find yet, please let me know. If I happen to have it, I will gladly share it with you. :-)

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  8. Hi. Thanks for posting the FLAC files for this brilliant album. Its one of my many holy grails. As a life-long passionate Australian music supporter, old enough to have seen so many of the great artists you have featured play live when these records were released, I spend way too much of my life searching the net for albums I've lost or more usually worn out past the stage of ripping to CD. The recent reissue activity of Warners/Mushroom back catalogue has been a frustratingly slow but welcome development. And of course, the drip-feed of re-issues from Aztec and Sandman. I'm a bit too OCD to download MP3s, which is my loss, so if a great, out-of-print album turns up on the net in lossless format, I get very excited. This is one of them. I'll happily pay for FLAC downloads if they appear on Bandcamp or CD Baby, but its not often for classic 60s-80s Australian albums. I optimistically search for (at a price I can afford to pay) the debut albums by Colleen Hewett, Dugites and Renee Geyer, the Greg Quill/Country Radio catalogue, ditto Flying Circus, the Manikins, the fantastic Laid album by Duck, A-Reefer-Derci, so many of these haven't had a CD release or only for about 5 minutes. So your site is one of my favourites. Cheers, Dave

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    1. Hi Dave - thanks for dropping by. I can help you out with FLACs for Colleen's debut album and the A-Reefer-Derci Double album, but will take a little time. Stay Tuned

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    2. Thanks Aussie, I appreciate the time and effort required. Looking forwards to these albums very much. BTW do you have a FLAC of the La De Das Rock'n'Roll Sandwich? I Don't want to ask too much.
      I had a nice result luck the other day. Finally managed to score a CD of Skyhook's Hot for the Orient. After several years of passing on silly prices, this one was only expensive rather than outrageous. Similarly with the 2nd Hummingbirds album, Va Va Voom, after a long search. Feel free to ask for FLAcs of these two if you're interested, although I don't know how to send them to you. And fantastic to finally be able to buy Co Caine's Product of a Broken Reality from Aztec. Cheers Dave

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    3. Hi Dave - should be able to help out with the FLACs for Rock 'n' Roll Sandwich also. Would love to get hold of some FLACs of your recent Skyhooks acquisition (I've already got MP3's and would love better rip) - maybe you could zip em' up and upload them to a host site like zippyshare or mediafire?

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    4. OK Aussie give me a few days to work out how to do it. I can rip to FLAC ok, but I've never uploaded anything or zipped up a file, so I'll be learning as I do it. I'll let you know on this page when I've either done it (with link) or need some advice. It's VERY exciting news about the albums you're going to put up in FLAC. I love them all ever so much. Cheers Dave

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