Sunday, October 21, 2012

Various Artists - Underground 70' (1975)

(Various 70's Artists)
Another compilation, this time featuring a range of bands with Underground status at that time. Most bands featured had come or evolved from the late 60's with some going onto bigger and better things (eg. Chicago Transit Authority, Al Kooper, Moby Grape).
The first thing that caught my attention with this album was the great cover, featuring Jerry Goodman from the Flock who went onto play violin in the famous jazz fusion group Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The second attraction was the Purple Vinyl pressing which certainly made this garage sale find worth while. The inclusion of the early Chicago track with other obscurities certainly put the icing on the cake.
The following is brief background information on each of the bands featured in this conglomerate of psychedelic, jazz, funk and acid rock. Hope ya enjoy it
Chicago Transit Authority was the initial name of the band currently known as Chicago. They called themselves Chicago Transit Authority from their beginnings in February 1967 until their self-titled debut album came out in April 1969. By the time they recorded their second album late that year, they had shortened their name to Chicago after the CTA (Chicago’s public transportation agency) threatened to sue the band.
In their original incarnation, keyboardist Robert Lamm, guitarist Terry Kath and bassist Peter Cetera all shared lead vocals, while James Pankow, Lee Loughnane and Walter Parazaider handled all brass and woodwinds and Danny Seraphine played drums. Lamm, Kath and Pankow were the band's main composers at this juncture.
Released in April 1969, The Chicago Transit Authority (sometimes informally referred to simply as "CTA") proved to be an immediate hit, reaching #17 in the US and #9 in the UK. While critical reaction was also strong, the album initially failed to produce any hit singles, with the group seen as an album-oriented collective. In 1970 and 1971, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" (#7), "Beginnings" (#7) and "Questions 67 and 68" (#71/#24 re-release) would all prove to be belated hits. Buoyed by the success of their later albums, the album stayed on the charts for a then-record 171 weeks, and was certified gold (and later platinum and double platinum).

The Flock was a Chicago-based jazz-rock band that released two records on Columbia records in 1969 (The Flock) and 1970 (Dinosaur Swamps). Like their hometown contemporaries Chicago Transit Authority, the Flock relied heavily on electric guitar and horns. But the sound took a wicked quantum leap thanks to Goodman, a conservatory-trained violinist who had been the band’s guitar tech. Goodman, went on to become a member of Mahavishnu Orchestra and a solo artist.
The members at the time of their 1969 studio recording were Fred Glickstein (guitar, lead vocals), Jerry Goodman (violin), Jerry Smith (bass), Ron Karpman (drums), Rick Canoff (saxophone), Tom Webb (saxophone) and Frank Posa (trumpet).

You Never Know Who Your Friends Are was the second album by New York City-based singer-songwriter Al Kooper, issued in 1969 on Columbia Records.
A continuation of sorts of his début, the album finds Kooper continuing to create an eclectic mix of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, pop and blues, though without the psychedelics that had somewhat permeated through I Stand Alone. Utilizing a large group of musicians under the direction of Charlie Calello known collectively as "The Al Kooper Big Band", Kooper strayed away from the heavy string orchestrations of his début as well.
Relying on more original compositions, with a full nine of twelve tracks by Kooper (with the remaining three by Motown staff songwriters or Harry Nilsson), the album further helped to cement Kooper's reputation as a consummate artist. 

The Chambers Brothers was a soul-music group, best known for its 1968 hit record, the 11-minute long song "Time Has Come Today". The group was part of the wave of new music that integrated American blues and gospel traditions with modern psychedelic and rock elements. Based on their Southern roots, the brothers brought a raw authenticity to their recordings and live performances that was missing from many other acts of that era. Their music has been kept alive through heavy use in film soundtracks.
"Wake Up" comes from their double album 'Love, Peace and Happiness' which was released in December of 1969. It consisted of some live material recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore East and some studio recordings.
In "Love, Peace and Happiness", the phrase "That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind" is paraphrased as, "Its a small step for man, but its a giant leap for all mankind".

Appaloosa's self-titled 1969 LP matched singer/acoustic guitarist John Parker Compton's thoughtful, melodic compositions to sympathetic arrangements featuring fellow band members Robin Batteau on violin, Eugene Rosov on cello, and David Reiser on electric bass. In both its combination of instruments and the absence of a drummer, it was a most unusual instrumental lineup for a rock band, even at a time when boundaries and restrictions were routinely bent. The core quartet were bolstered by top session players (including members of Blood, Sweat & Tears) and, above all, producer Al Kooper, who also added a lot of his own keyboards and guitar to the album. Kooper himself played electric harpsichord, electric guitar, organ, vibraphone, piano, and electric piano, as well as doing string arrangements on the featured track "Rosalie" Rosalie was originally performed for years as a folk song but Kooper folk-rocked it up with piano and electric guitar to an almost Fairport Convention style but still being country-esque as well.
For more information on Appaloosa, see

NRBQ is an American rock band founded in 1967. The abbreviation "NRBQ" stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (originally Quintet). It is known for its live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. Its best known line-up is the 1974–1994 quartet of pianist Terry Adams, bassist Joey Spampinato, guitarist Al Anderson, and drummer Tom Ardolino. The band's music is a rollicking blend of all types of music from The Beatles to modern jazz. This cover of Eddie Cochran's big hit "C'mon Everybody" was released in 1969 on both their self-titled album and as a single.

NRBQ's devoted following was stoked by years of legendary live shows. The band never works with a set list, so fans never knew what songs to expect. In addition to its own compositions, the band performs a broad range of cover material, and has even worked no-refusal audience requests into its act.
However, all of this admiration from peers and fans has never resulted in chart-topping success. The band made only one appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in its nearly 40-year recording career ("Get That Gasoline Blues" reached No. 70 in 1974.)

Don Ellis (July 25, 1934–December 17, 1978) was an American jazz trumpeter, drummer, composer and bandleader. He is best known for his extensive musical experimentation, particularly in the area of unusual time signatures. Later in his life he worked as a film composer, among other works contributing a score to 1971's The French Connection and 1973's The Seven-Ups.
In early 1969, the Don Ellis Orchestra was back in Columbia Studios to record "The Don Ellis Band Goes Underground", a collection of several pop songs (arranged by Ellis) and some Ellis originals. The album features vocalist Patti Allen on songs by Laura Nyro, The Isley Brothers, and Sly Stone. It also includes "House In The Country" which was the theme from the French Connection (1972) and featured here on Underground '70

Pacific Gas & Electric was an American blues rock band in the late 1960s and early 1970s, led by singer Charlie Allen. Their biggest hit was "Are You Ready?" The band was formed in Los Angeles in 1967, by guitarist Tom Marshall, bassist Brent Block, second guitarist Glenn Schwartz (previously of The James Gang) and drummer Charlie Allen, who had previously played in the band Bluesberry Jam. When it became clear that Allen was the best singer in the new group, he became the front man, and Frank Cook, previously of Canned Heat, came into the band on drums. Originally known as the Pacific Gas and Electric Blues Band, they shortened their name when they signed to Kent Records, releasing the album Get It On in early 1968. The record was not a success, but following the band's performance at the Miami Pop Festival in May 1968 they were signed by Columbia Records.Their first album for Columbia, Pacific Gas and Electric, was issued in 1969, but they achieved greater success with their next album, 'Are You Ready' in 1970. The title track reached # 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the album was recorded, Cook was injured in a car accident and was replaced on drums by Ron Woods, Cook staying on as manager. Marshall and Schwartz left, and were replaced by Frank Petricca (bass) and Ken Utterback (guitar), with Brent Block moving to rhythm guitar before leaving later in 1970. Unusually for the time, the band contained both black and white musicians, which led to rioting and gunfire on one occasion when the band, who toured widely, performed in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/progressive rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California.
The original lineup of the group evolved from an earlier Los Angeles band, The Red Roosters, which included Randy California (guitars, vocals), Mark Andes (bass) and Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion). With the addition of California's stepfather Ed Cassidy (drums), and keyboard player John Locke the new band was originally named the Spirits Rebellious (after a book by Khalil Gibran) but was soon shortened simply to Spirit. In 1966 Randy California had also played with Jimi Hendrix (then known as Jimmy James) in his band, The Blue Flame.

Cassidy was instantly recognizable by his shaven head (hence his nickname "Mr. Skin") and his fondness for wearing black. He was around twenty years older than the rest of the group (born in 1923). His earlier career was primarily in jazz and included stints with Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk, Thelonious Monk and Lee Konitz. He was a founding member of Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder.
"New Dope In Town" was the closing track from their 3rd LP 'Clear' and is considered to be the most powerful track on the album

A rare major label psych gem. Released by Columbia Records in 1968, Jacobs Creek one and only released album deserves you're acid-riddled attention. Not a blown out fuzz monster by any means, Jacobs Creek trades in well written songs, tight vocal harmonies and the occasional egregious over use of a horn section. Steve Burgh's lead guitar is the definite highlight of the proceedings.
This New Jersey band was lead by brothers Lon and Derrek Van Eaton, who are best-known for the subsequent music they made for The Beatles’ Apple label. The sole album made by Jacobs Creek was a fine collection of acid-tinged rural rock, which first appeared in 1969. With arrangements encompassing electric guitars, horns and sitar, it’s an eclectic treat for fans of vintage psychedelia.

Lon and Derek Van Eaton would go on to release an album on Apple Records in 1972 entitled “Brother” (with some involvement from Ringo Starr and George Harrison) and another in 1974 for A&M Records called “Who Do You Out Do”, while Burgh next surfaced playing bass on David Bromberg’s own eponymous debut, beginning a session career that would quickly grow to include dates in support of John Prine, Steve Goodman, and Willie Nelson (1973’s classic Shotgun Willie).
Burgh spent much of the mid-’70s serving as musical director for Phoebe Snow, and in 1977 he contributed guitar to Billy Joel’s breakthrough effort The Stranger, appearing on the Grammy-winning “Just the Way You Are.” (Max Collodie). If you like this track "Behind The Door", you can now purchase a CD release of their one and only LP by Aurora records at the Rare Record Shop online.

Moby Grape is an American rock group from the 1960s, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting and that collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz together with rock and psychedelic music.
Due to the strength of their debut album, several critics consider Moby Grape to be the best rock band to emerge from the San Francisco music scene in the late sixties. The group continues to perform occasionally. As described by Jeff Tamarkin, "The Grape's saga is one of squandered potential, absurdly misguided decisions, bad-luck, blunders and excruciating heartbreak, all set to the tune of some of the greatest rock and roll ever to emerge from San Francisco. Moby Grape could have had it all, but they ended up with nothing, and less."
The group was formed in late 1966 in San Francisco, at the initiation of Skip Spence and Matthew Katz. Both were previously associated with Jefferson Airplane?Spence as the band's first drummer, playing on their first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, and Katz as the band's manager.
Both had been dismissed by the group. Katz encouraged Spence to form a band similar to Jefferson Airplane, with varied songwriting and vocal work by several group members, and with Katz as the manager. According to Peter Lewis, "Matthew (Katz) brought the spirit of conflict into the band. He didn't want it to be an equal partnership. He wanted it all."
The band name, judicially determined to have been chosen by Bob Mosley and Skip Spence, came from the punch line of the joke "What's big and purple and lives in the ocean?".
"Looper", a jazzy guitar exploration, was one of the very first tracks that Moby Grape ever cut. It quickly became a classic piece of folk-rock, yet with the pronounced country edge that was always a Grape trademark. Despite the bizarre title (which may have been a nickname for a loved one) it's a rather piercing love song.
This version of "Looper" comes off their fourth album entitled Truly Fine Citizen. After completing this album, the band went on awal until 1971 when they reunited temporarily with Skip Spence and Bob Mosley to record the reunion album, 20 Granite Creek. The band soon fell apart again afterwards.

Illinois Speed Press (ISP) was an American rock band formed - originally, in 1965, as The Rovin' Kind - in Chicago, later relocating to California. Illinois Speed Press was a Chicago-spawned band whose sound combined elements of R&B and country music in a powerful double-lead-guitar attack. It was enough to turn them into stars in Chicago, get them a contract with a major label, and a move to Los Angeles, paving the way for longtime careers for their two guitarists. Though the Illinois Speed Press was a late-'60s phenomenon in Chicago, their roots went back a full decade, traceable to a late-'50s band called "the Capitols" (no relation to the soul outfit of that name), who played local high school functions and the YMCA. They began a series of name changes — some voluntary and some imposed by outside forces — in the early '60s, most of which reflected the changing musical sensibilities of the era.
James Guercio discovered the 'Rovin' Kind' at the Chicago Whiskey-A-Go-Go, where they were the house band. He offered them management and production and brought them back to Los Angeles where they were signed to CBS/Columbia Records under their new name, Illinois Speed Press (ISP). The name change happened in February 1968.
ISP toured the country from 1966 to 1971 playing with such prolific musicians and bands as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Steppenwolf, The Grateful Dead, Chicago, Led Zeppelin and many more. Though much of the personnel changed over the years, Paul Cotton (of Poco fame) and Kal David remained as the driving force. Though the band only released two records, ISP remains an underground favorite for those who were privileged enough to see this band perform.  
Formed in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1967, Aorta initially consisted of Jim Donlinger (guitar, vocals), Jim Nyholt (piano, organ), Dan Hoagland (tenor saxophone), Bobby Jones (bass, vocals) and William Herman (drums). In February 1968, Hoagland left to join the Chicago Transit Authority, later known as Chicago.
Aorta was a highly talented rock band from Rockford, IL that released two albums throughout 1969 and 1970. The band was originally known as the Exceptions, a popular soul rock group that played around the Chicago area and released a handful of singles. In 1969, Columbia released their debut record which featured a nice mix of organ and guitar with a strong psychedelic flow throughout most songs.
This album was housed in a beautiful, graphic sleeve that has always overshadowed the great music from within. Musically speaking, Aorta’s sound comes close to Boston band Listening or even the more psychedelic aspects of early Blood, Sweat and Tears during its Al Kooper phase. There seems to be some kind of concept that reoccurs under the Mein Vein theme. Aorta is solid throughout though, featuring strong musicianship, inventive studio wizardry, superb songs with a healthy dose of fuzz guitar and wonderful string and horn arrangements. Heart Attack is the second track from the album. After splitting up in 1970, two members Mike Been and Jim Donlinger joined H. P. Lovecraft.
This post consists of an MP3 rip from my Very Purple Vinyl (German Pressing) and includes full album artwork, along with a select range of band photos as featured.  The condition of the vinyl wasn't fantastic, but I have painstakingly removed any of the clicks and pops that were evident. Hope you enjoy this broad range of early 70's 'Underground Music'.
Track Listing

01.   Introduction (Chicago Transit Authority)  6:35    
02.   Tired Of Waiting (The Flock)  4:40    
03.   You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Al Kooper) 2:58    
04.   Wake Up (The Chambers Brothers)  2:15    
05.   Rosalie (Appaloosa)  4:20    

06.   C'mon Everybody ( NRBQ)   3:01    
07.   House In The Country (Don Ellis)   2:46    
08.   Bluesbuster (Pacific Gas & Electric)   2:56    
09.   New Dope In The Town (Spirit)   4:24    

10.   Behind The Door (Jacobs Creek)  4:00    
11.   Looper (Moby Grape)  2:58     
12.  Hard Luck Story (Illinois Speed Press)  4:43    
13.   Heart Attack (Aorta)  2:30

Underground '70 Link (110Mb)  New Link 17/06/2014


  1. Hey Stanley
    Are you saying there is a problem with Mediafire?
    I can't fault it??

  2. Sorry! Yes, I'm getting "This file has been identified as a copyright protected work and cannot be distributed using MediaFire."

    Shame, because I'd like this. I used to have the LP.

  3. This is crazy - the album is no longer available so this does not break copyright
    I will post it on another provider - stay tunes

  4. guaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuu Hace tiempo ya que bscaba el disco de The Flock pero por desgracia no esta completo bueno que se va ha hacer, de todas maneras bien.

  5. I loose this vynil 20 years ago. I finally found it. Thank you