Saturday, August 31, 2013

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Mosquitoes / Gilligan's Island

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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.
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One of my all-time favourite episodes of Gilligan's Island is entitled 'Don't Bug the Mosquitoes'  (Season 2, Episode 12, aired Dec 9, 1965).
'The Mosquitoes', featuring Bingo, Bando, Bongo and Irving, were billed as America's next big rock band. 
The British-invasion-influenced Mosquitoes fled the states for some much needed r 'n' r as the group's overzealous fans grew to be too much. Can you imagine Mosquito-mania? As a result, 'The Mosquitoes' found themselves on what was believed to be a deserted island, where the group could escape the non-stop Beatlesesque fan frenzy. However, The Mosquitoes quickly learned that they were not the only inhabitants of the small Pacific island. 

The shipwrecked castaways of the S.S. Minnow had been living on the island since their planned three-hour luxury cruise was ruined by a severe tropical storm. Desperate to return home, the seven stranded castaways attempted to lure The Mosquitoes to immediately take them back to civilization. The mop-top quartet agreed to do so, but only after their no-deadline period of island rest and relaxation was completed. However, Gilligan and company were not prepared to wait-out The Mosquitoes downtime. The end result, like every predictable episode of the sixties sitcom, was another aborted rescue.

The Mosquitoes were played by:
-Bingo (Les Brown, Jr.)
-Bango (George Patterson)
-Bongo ( Ed Wade)
-Irving (Kirby Johnson)

Three of The Mosquitoes (excluding Bingo) were actually members of The Wellingtons, an Illinois based folk trio that actually performed the theme song for the first season of Gilligan's Island ("The Ballad of Gilligan's Island").


While researching the sitcom's Mosquitoes, I was keen to know if there had been a real band called The Mosquitoes.  The closest I could find was an American band in the mid-80's with a slightly different spelling called 'The Mosquitos'

The Mosquitos - 1985 - That Was Then, This Is Now [mlp]
Long Island, New York. The Mosquitos released a 5 song EP of fine 60's influenced pop entitled "That Was Then, This Is Now!" on the Valhalla label in 1985 and then disappeared. The Mosquitos, who took their name from the band that appeared on an episode of "Gilligan's Island", were known for their blistering live shows (anybody have any mp3's or cd-rs?) and for writing the song "That Was Then, This is Now" that the regrouped Monkees turned into a Top 20 hit in 1986. 

The Mosquitos were:    Vance Brescia, (vocals/guitar), Steve Prisco (lead guitar/vocals), Iain Morrison (bass/vocals), Mitch Towse (drums), and Tony Millions (keybard/vocals).
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So, this month's WOCK on Vinyl post easily fits the Crazy / Korny categories and I felt compelled to share this hilarious episode of Gilligan's island with you. I just love the outfits and character types that The Mosquitoes portrayed on the show, and am sure you'll get a Buzz out of 'em too.
Posting consists of the 1985 Mosquitos MLP (MP3/256kps) and both audio and video files for the show sement where the Mosquitoes perform their new hit "He's A Loser" on Gilligan's Island.
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Don't Bug Me Link (50Mb)  New Link 31/10/2015
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Stylus - For The Love Of Music (1976) + Bonus Track

(Australian 1975-1979, 1992, 2002-2010)
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Stylus was a 1970's Australian soul-pop group. The band is notable for being the only Australian act ever released by Motown Records in the USA. Stylus toured with George Benson, Average White Band, Ike & Tina Turner, and Australia's "Little River Band". Japan's Toshiba-EMI re-issued 3 Stylus CDs (For The Love Of Music, Best Kept Secret & Part Of It All) in 1998/99.
Stylus was formed out of the ashes of a group called “Mason Cure” (led by  Ian Mason), featuring four of the members of  Stylus, but once Ian Mason left in 1974, they formed “Stylus”, with Sam McNally taking on the keyboards role and Jeff Joseph the manager. The band was Peter Cupples vocals/ rhythm guitar, Peter Lee drums, Sam McNally keyboards, Ron Peers guitar/vocals and Ashley Henderson bass guitar/vocals.
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Summer Breeze_45
Peter Cupples wrote & produced the groups music. Their music is smooth and funky, widely regarded as Australia’s premier soul group in the 70's, supporting groups like the Average White Band, Tina Turner and George Benson when they were touring Australia. Stylus was also regular on the ABC television show 'Countdown'.
The band eventually scored a deal with WEA (Atlantic) and issued the single Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze"/"Feelin' Blue"  in July, 1975. The single reached #31 in Melbourne during August.
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If your'e after hard funk then their albums won’t hit the spot but if you dig groups like Average White Band, The Eagles and other 70's groups that have a undercurrent of out funkiness running through their Rock then you may want to take a listen to Stylus.
This line-up recorded the first two albums 'Where In The World' and 'For The Love Of Music'.
For the third album 'Best Kept Secret' Trevor Courtney filled the drum position. Several drummers were used from this time till the fourth album 'Part Of It All' was released including Joe Tattersall's and Mark Meyer who played on 'Part Of It All'. Singer Peter Roberts joined the band from the middle of 1978.
'Best Kept Secret' was released in the USA by Motown on their Prodigal label. The album and singles received favourable reviews in Music Industry magazines such as Cashbox and Billboard.
'Part Of It All' was to be the second US release but due to a re-shuffle of key management in the record company this was shelved.

Album Review 1
This album showed heaps of potential, but the pressure to produce a new album on the back of the success of their first, made it hard. We never took time off to rehearse or even record. We kept on giging all the way through, as we had families to support. We rehearsed at sound checks, and in our hotel rooms while on tour.
Songs like "Getting in the Groove" "Moving on Home" and "Nature is giving" were great grooves to play live. I think this album produced three great ballads, "So much love", which introduces Ashley Henderson to the front mike. People got to hear what a fantastic and unique voice he has. 'So much love' was a good single for us, picking up airplay all around the country. (It even made it on to one of those 'explosive hits' records). The other two ballads were "Musical Man" & "Love is all we need". I believe those three songs would sound great, recorded with the sounds and technology we have today, (food for thought)...
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Peter Cupples goes on to say.....'For the Love of Music' was our second album. I think that potentially it should have been our best record. We had discovered, at this stage, that we had a wonderful and unique vocal talent in our band - our bass player Ashley Henderson. I set out to write some ballads to match his beautiful voice. This added another dimension to our music. The trouble was, with the pace that things had moved, and with the weight of the constant touring, we didn't have enough time to sit back and let it develop at its own rate. I had the ideas for the songs, and we were rushed into getting it out to follow up on our debut success. The record, whilst it was a nice recording, was probably a bit of a let-down. We changed managers at this stage and we also seemed to lose a bit of momentum. So we continued to tour and slog it out on the road. [extracts from Peter Cupples website]
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Stylus On Stage 1976
Album Review 2
As an Australian record collector, you usually hear about the legend of Stylus from Japanese record collectors before hearing about it from locals, and this group does still seem to be a sought-after item over there. Having started out as a break-collector, I was more than a little disappointed by this album when I first heard it. The sound, which would now be best described as modern soul, is a lot smoother than it is funky. Fronted by Peter Cupples (known for his work with Stylus as well as his two solo albums), it’s surprising that nothing by the group was compiled until last year (Respect Overdue Vol. 3). The good tracks on here have a really upbeat, choppy funk groove, but be warned – the vocals may not be what you are expecting, or hoping for. "Gettin' in the Groove", "For the Love of Music" and "What’s Right for You" fall right into this category. They have three other albums in the same vein. I don’t listen to them very often and seem to recall this one being the best of them. Feel free to tell me otherwise! [from aussiefunk.blogspot.com]
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This post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my pristine vinyl copy. Not a pop or crackle to be heard - something you wouldn't expect from a Stylus ! LOL
Also included is full album artwork, lyrics sheet and label scans. As a bonus, I have also included a B-side single that was not included on the album called "Funky Fig" (the flip side to their single "I Just Don't Wanna Fall in Love Right Now"). This rare single was sourced  from DJ Kinetic with thanks, from his AussieFunk blog - and is well worth visiting.
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Track Listing 
01. For the Love of Music
02. Musical Man
03. Movin' On Home
04. So Much Love
05. Gettin' in the Groove
06. Nature is Giving
07. I Just Don't Wanna Fall in Love Right Now
08. We All Need One Another
09. What's Right For You
10. Love is all We Need
11. Funky Fig (Bonus B-Side Single)

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Band Members:
Bass – Ashley Henderson
Drums – Peter Lee
Guitar – Ron Peers
Keyboards – Sam McNall
Producer, Vocals, Guitar – Peter Cupples
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Stylus Link (125Mb)

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Barclay James Harvest - And Other Short Stories (1971)

(U.K 1966 - Present)
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Barclay James Harvest is a British group, formed in early 1966 around Oldham, Lancashire area from the ashes of two separate choral groups. Wolstenholme and Lees meet one another at art school together, signing to EMI's progressive label Harvest the following year (EMI reputedly named their new label after them). They developed a symphonic style characterised by intricate keyboard-guitar interplays, and close vocal harmonies. They released their first album in the U.K.in 1969.
Line-up has remained intact since inception, as has music, which fits loosely into "flash-rock" categorization, leaning heavily on Wolstenholme's use of mellotron and keyboards. Barclay James Harvest quickly established a large and faithful following throughout Europe, an orchestra performing with the group on some gigs. Although not always favoured with critical approval, Barclay James Harvest have on a number of occasions (for instance, when they switched labels in U.K. to Polydor) appeared to be on brink of major commercial breakthrough.
In U.K., however, are established as consistently in-demand gigging band with relatively small but ardent following. Second, third and fourth albums, as listed below, first released in U.K. 1970, '71 and '72. Albums five and six both released 1974. Time Honoured Ghosts (1975) cut in San Francisco under producer Eliot Mazer, followed by Octoberon in Oct '76.
With a career spanning 20 albums over a quater of a century, they have continued to live in the shadow of other symphonic rock specialists such as Yes, ELP and Genesis.
Ignoring passing trends and rejecting gimmicky stage effects, they remained true to their own beliefs through Wolstenholme's departure after 1978's album 'XII' reduced their songwriting potential.
The melodic and often lightweight studio work belies their powerful and atmosphericlive performances as demonstrated by the 'LIve Tapes' album released on Polydor in 1978. 'A Concert For The People' (1982), recorded at an open-air concert in Berlin, drew a record crowd. British fans, however, remained indifferent.
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The band continued as a trio with regular guest musicians until 1998. One album, Welcome to the Show, released in 1990, was released under the abbreviated name BJH. However, because of criticism from fans, the full Barclay James Harvest name was restored, albeit with the inclusion of the BJH moniker.
In 1998, musical differences amongst members of BJH saw the band essentially split into two different groups, both of which retained "Barclay James Harvest" as part of their names. John Lees released an album mixing new songs and BJH classics, entitled Nexus, under the band name "Barclay James Harvest through the eyes of John Lees". Woolly Wolstenholme played in (and composed for) this band, subsequently resurrecting Maestoso to record and tour with new material, as well as back-catalogue favourites. Les Holroyd and Mel Pritchard teamed up to record under the name "Barclay James Harvest featuring Les Holroyd". Lees and Wolstenholme recently (2006/7) toured under the slightly modified band title "John Lees' Barclay James Harvest".
Barclay James Harvest Playing At the 1974 Reading Festival
Mel Pritchard died suddenly of a heart attack in early 2004. Woolly Wolstenholme took his own life in December 2010, having apparently struggled with depression for many years.
The two derivatives of Barclay James Harvest continue to record and tour to this day, and enjoy ongoing popularity, particularly in Germany, France, and Switzerland. [extracts from the 'Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock', 1994 and Wikipedia]
Holroyd and Lees at 1974 Reading Festival
Album Review (by Dave Connolly)
'BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST AND OTHER SHORT STORIES' is the fourth album by gentle U.K. folk-psych-prog group Barclay James Harvest, and was eleased in 1971.
Like the work of Buffalo Springfield or the Moody Blues in the first go 'round, you'll need to take it on faith that the Baroque touches on Barclay James Harvest and Other Stories were effective for their time. The fuzzed guitars, Mellotron, bongos, heavy orchestration and dreamy arrangements may sound alittle stilted today, but strip them away (or simply acquiesce to enjoy them) and a very good collection of songs reveals itself. There are obvious nods to the Beatles ("Blue John Blues," "Medicine Man") and the Moody Blues (the lovely "Ursula"), but that's a fait accompli on any Barclay James Harvest album. Although the album doesn't really tell any stories (an optimistic acceptance of mortality comes into play on a couple of tracks), the band does aspire to bigger things on the aptly titled "The Poet." The only knock on this album (and it pertains to Barclay James Harvest in general) is that you wish they aspired to more. The classical arrangements are stunning, and when the band musters a big orchestral ending for a song like "Little Lapwing," you can't help but wonder how much better it would have been if they'd invoked it sooner. Musically the band is solid; Mel Pritchard's Ringo-isms on the drums are especially neat, while John Lees gets in some nice distorted guitar parts and Stewart Wooly Wolstenholme steals the show when the Mellotron comes into play. The epic "After the Day" closes things on a high note, ending with an explosion that announces all bets are off. Barclay James Harvest and Other Stories is itself a high note in the band's early catalog and worth a flyer for anyone interested in the band's oeuvre.
LP Harvest Labels
This post consists of an MP3 (320kps) rip taken from a friends CD and includes full album artwork along with some choice photos of the band in the early 70's. (NB. The live photos from their 1974 Reading Festival gig were sourced from ukrockfestivals.com with thanks).
I choose not to rip my vinyl, as it has seen better days. I purchased it 2nd hand some 30 years ago, and have really played it to death however I was lucky enough to source a CD copy for this posting. I particularly like the second side with the last three tracks being their swansong in my opinion. This album appealed to me for its wonderful symphonic and progressive rock style and I still enjoy what it has to offer more than 40 years after it's release date. Hope you enjoy it too.
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Tracks Listing
01. Medicine Man (3:56)
02. Someone There You Know (3:47)
03. Harry's Song (3:52)
04. Ursula (The Swansea Song) (2:54)
05. Little Lapwing (4:56)
06. Song With No Meaning (4:21)
07. Blue John Blues (6:50)
08. The Poet (5:33)
09. After The Day (4:05)

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Line-up of Musicians:
Les Holroyd (basses, piano, guitars, vocals)
John Lees (guitars, lead vocals, percussion)
Mel Pritchard (drums, percussion, congas, Tympanis)
Stuart Wolstenholme (keyboards, Mellotron, electric guitar, vocals, drums, acoustic guitar)
Martyn Ford (tambourine)
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Barclay James Harvest Link (93Mb)  New Link 25/10/2015
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spy v Spy- Because Bootlegger (E.P) 1994

(Australian 1981-2003)
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Bassist Craig Bloxom and guitarist Mike Weiley first met each other at Nelson Bay High School in 1976 when, having just moved from England to Australia, Weiley was paired with Bloxom by the principal based on their common musical interests. The two quickly discovered a common interest in David Bowie.

After high school, Bloxom and Weiley moved to the Sydney north shore suburb of Cammeray, playing in various Sydney bands. Looking for a drummer, one of Bloxom's ex-bandmates introduced Cliff Grigg, who happened to live in a squat in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe. Pretty soon the three began sharing the same squat, using it for rehearsals. They knew the band had cliqued as "everything came together right, in the sense that we either sped up at the same time, or we slowed down at the same time".

Spy vs Spy scored their first gig at Sydney's Sussex Hotel, filling in for The Fast Cars, whose singer had unexpectedly taken ill. From there the Spies developed an enthusiastic pub following for their distinctive brand of angular ska-flavoured indie rock. Dirty Pool management picked them up and they then did many Sydney gigs, particularly at the Sydney Trade Union Club, often supporting INXS. Other notable supports were The Clash at the Capitol Theatre and U2 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

In February 1982 the band set out to record, knocking back Michael Hutchence's offer to produce in deference to go with mate Simon Vidale. They recorded "Do What You Say" at T.R.M. in Surry Hills, releasing it as their first single in April on Roger Greirson's independent Green label. This led to EP Four Fresh Lemons in August, the 1,000 pressings selling out in just five days. The New Zealand release, Six Fresh Lemons, combined Four with the A & B sides of their first single.

The Spies briefly broke up shortly after but reformed in July 1983 as a four-piece with Marcus Phelan on guitar. Diluting the ska influences that had typified their early sound, the Spies concentrated more on driving indie rock sounds typical of Sydney's no-frills pub rock scene. Due to problems from the Prohias comic strip Spy v Spy in MAD Magazine, as well as a potential clash with NZ band The Spies, the band were forced to officially adopt the name V.Spy V.Spy, despite continuing to call themselves Spy vs Spy.

Spy vs Spy turned a corner in late 1983. With their gig gear stolen and Phelan departed, big Spies fan Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil fame got to know the band and introduced them to Midnight Oil's manager Gary Morris. The Oils' label, Powderworks, released the Spies second EP Meet Us Inside in October 1984, plus the accompanying single "One of a Kind" in November.

First album Harry's Reasons was released on Powderworks in March 1986 to critical acclaim. Singles included "Injustice", about the plight of Australia's aboriginal communities, and "Harry's Reasons", about a friend's heroin addiction, "Harry" being a local nickname for heroin. The Harry's album also featured the Spies great cover of the "Dangerman" theme, a firm favourite with Spies audiences.

A switch of label to WEA saw second album, A.O. Mod. T.V. Vers., follow very soon after. The name is an abbreviation meaning "Adults Only Modified Television Version", a very common censorship notation appearing along the bottom of Australian television screens at the time (when censorship was quite conservative). In keeping with the Spies strong social awareness, singles released from this album were "Sallie-Anne", an ode to murdered prostitute Sallie-Anne Huckstep, "Credit Cards", a comment on spiralling debt and empty consumerism, and "Don't Tear It Down", inspired by the N.S.W. Dept of Main Roads seeking to demolish the band's Darling Street squat.

After having toured the A.O. Mod. T.V. Vers. album without a break, WEA demanded another album. Thus Xenophobia [Why?] was written and recorded in just six weeks, the title being inspired by race issues surfacing in the lead-up to Australia's upcoming 1988 Bicentennial year. Singles released were "Forget About The Working Week" and "Waiting". Certainly the Spies were by now at the peak of their fame, playing smaller shows to dedicated fans in Sydney under pseudonym The Drug Grannies.

In 1989 the Spies went to England to record Trash The Planet at Richard Branson's Manor House studios, the album being released in November. Grigg, being very unhappy by the sound of the drums on the album, eventually left the band in late 1991 and Bloxom and Weiley took a year off. This more or less marked the end of the peak period of Spy vs Spy.

The Spies returned to touring in 1993 with new drummer Mark Cuffe. Now signed to Sony, 1993's Fossil album completely bombed, causing the Spies to consider another split. However, due to the influence of Australian surfers in Brazil, the band had by now built up a considerable Brazilian following, so the Spies stuck with it for several Brazilian tours. Around this time, Bloxom and Cuffe undertook side-project Shock Poets, meanwhile Weiley worked on his side-project The Honey Island Project. By 1997 Cuffe left to concentrate full-time on Shock Poets, replaced for a time by ex-Icehouse drummer Paul Wheeler.


Touring spasmodically in Australia and Brazil, Spies bassist and unmistakeable frontman Craig Bloxom eventually played his final Spies gig in Sydney in 2003. Citing exhaustion and disillusionment from alcoholism, Bloxom underwent rehab at The Buttery, eventually leaving Australia for the USA, finally settling in Mexico. The original Spy vs Spy was therefore officially defunct thereafter.

Weiley and Cuffe re-formed in August 2006 to tour as an altogether new entity with Cuffe on vocals. This band, known simply as The Spys (to differentiate it from the original Spy vs Spy), play several brand new songs while the old original Spy vs Spy songs "get a fresh treatment".
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This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork, along with select band photos sourced from the Spies Website.  I would also like to thank Cliff at Midoztouch for this rare E.P which captures the Spies playing at 2 Triple M Live At The Wireless broadcast in Brisbane.
Note: The title track on this EP is a studio track taken from their 'Fossil Album', released in 1993.
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Track Listing
01 - Because
02 - Hard Times
03 - One Way Street
04 - Comes A Time
05 - Don't Tear It Down

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Spy v Spy were:
Craig Bloxom - Bass, Vocals
Michael Weiley - Guitar, Vocals
Mark Cuffe - Drums, Vocals

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Spy v Spy Link (42Mb)
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meatloaf - Anything For Love (Unauthorised Live 1993) Bootleg

(U.S 1967–present)
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Meatloaf (real name Marvin Lee Aday), began his show business career with small parts in Broadway theatrical productions. Playing Eddie in the film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, he also featured as vocalist on Ted Nugent's 'Free For All' (1976) album.
He met Jim Steinman while working with The National Lampoon Roadshow, and the duo composed a grandiose rock opera together. Eventually signing to Epic in 1978, 'Bat Out Of Hell' was released the same year and after initial indifference interest was generated following extensive touring with Cheap Trick. The album sold in excess of five million copies and stayed in the UK charts for an incredible 395 weeks. After a three-year gap 'Dead Ringer' (1981), mainly composed by Steinman, became a UK Number 1, with the title song providing a Top 5 hit single. Interest in the US had already started to wane, and the duo went their separate ways, Meatloaf's career beginning a gradual decline.
Subsequent releases lacked the creative spark without Steinman's input, but modest chart success continued. 'Blind Before I Stop' (1986), saw an accompanying tour - a stunning three-hour theatrical spectacle. 'Meatloaf Live' (1987) was his final album of the decade and represented a resume of his best work to date. In 1990 he signed to Virgin and began working with Jim Steinman once more, but the relationship has yet to bear fruit. [extract from the The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock, ed by Michael Heatley, 1994]
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Bat out of Hell (The LP)
Meat Loaf and friend/songwriter Jim Steinman started Bat out of Hell in 1972, but did not get serious about it until the end of 1974. The two-year gap in the production was due to controversy surrounding his son born in Afton, Wyoming. Meat Loaf decided to leave theatre, and concentrate exclusively on music. Then, the National Lampoon Show opened on Broadway, and it needed an understudy for John Belushi, a close friend of Meat Loaf since 1972. It was at the Lampoon Show that Meat Loaf met Ellen Foley, the co-star who sang "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with him on the album Bat out of Hell.
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Meatloaf On Countdown
After the Lampoon show ended, Meat Loaf and Steinman spent time seeking a record deal. Their approaches were rejected by each record company, because their songs did not fit any specific recognized music industry style. Finally, they performed the songs for Todd Rundgren, who decided to produce the album, as well as play lead guitar on it (other members of Todd's band Utopia also lent their musical talents). They then shopped the record around, but still had no takers until Cleveland International Records decided to take a chance. On October 21, 1977, Bat out of Hell was released.
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Meat Loaf and Steinman formed the band The Neverland Express to tour in support of Bat out of Hell. Their first gig was opening for Cheap Trick in Chicago. He gained national exposure as musical guest on Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1978. Guest host Christopher Lee introduced him by saying, "And now ladies and gentlemen I would like you to meet Loaf. (pauses, looks dumbfounded) I beg your pardon, what? (he listens to the director's aside) Oh! Why...why I'm sorry, yes, of course...ah... Ladies and gentlemen, Meat Loaf!" The huge success of the album caused a rift to open up between Meat Loaf and Steinman: the group, named after Meat Loaf for ease of labeling, seemed to Steinman to sideline his work as creator, and Steinman started to resent the attention that his partner was getting.
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Meatloaf On Countdown

During a show in Ottawa, Meat Loaf fell off the stage and broke his leg. He toured with the broken leg, performing from a wheel chair. During this time, Meat Loaf began heavy use of cocaine, had a nervous breakdown and threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the ledge of a building in New York. Then, in December 1978, he went to Woodstock to work with Steinman. It was at the Bearsville studio that Meat Loaf met his future wife, Leslie G. Edmonds; they were married within a month. Leslie had a daughter from a previous marriage, Pearl, who has since followed in her stepfather's footsteps to become a singer. In the middle of recording his second album, Bad for Good, Meat Loaf lost the ability to sing; it is unclear as to the exact cause - the tour was a punishing one, and the vocals are energy intense. However, his doctors said that physically he was fine and that his problem was psychological. Nevertheless, Steinman decided to keep recording Bad for Good without Meat Loaf.
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Bat out of Hell has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the highest selling albums of all time. In the UK alone, its 2.1 million sales put it in 38th place. Despite peaking at #9 and spending only two weeks in the top ten in 1981, it has now clocked up 474 weeks on the UK album chart, a figure bettered by only by Rumours by Fleetwood Mac - 478 weeks. In Australia, it knocked the Bee Gees off the number #1 spot and went on to become the biggest-selling Australian album of all time. Bat out of Hell is also one of only two albums that has never exited the Top 200 in the UK charts; this makes it the longest stay in any music chart in the world, although the published chart contains just 75 positions [extract from lyricsfreak.com]
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(Interview from ClassicRockMagazine.com , Issue 173, 2012)

Meat Loaf: When I first met Jim [in 1973] he was sharing an apartment on 102nd Street with I don't know how many people. His bed was in the kitchen - it's headboard was the refrigerator

Jim Steinman: Meat was the most mesmerising thing I'd ever seen He was much bigger than he is now, fucking huge. His eyes went into his head when he sang, like he was transfixed.

Meat Loaf: We knew we were gonna make a record together.

Jim Steinman: We used to do all our practice in a hotel room. I'd written most of the piano parts without a piano. A lot of them had been pinched from some of my previous pieces, the rest I just put down.

Meat Loaf: We were just a duo, voice and piano. We were doing songs like Bat Out Of Hell, and most of the others, in fact.

Jim Steinman: We thought we had enough material, so that's when we started making rounds of the record companies. That was a true disaster. A medley of the most brutal rejections you could imagine.

Meat Loaf: We didn't do demo tapes, we'd do it live. People would just look at us: "What are you dang?"

Jim Steinman: Producers hated it too We'd go to producers and they'd say: "You can't do this on a record - it's theatre music. No one's gonna buy it." The only person who believed in it was Todd Rundgren. Either he believed in it or he didn't care.

Todd Rundgren (producer/guitarist): When I heard the record, I rolled on the floor laughing. It was so out there. I said: "I've got to do this."

Jim Steinman: Todd essentially bankrolled it. Bearsville, which is Todd's label, were going to put it out. But then Warners, who owned Bearsville, rejected it.

Todd Rundgren: For about four months. we didn't know whether it would come out or not. Then we found this little label called Cleveland International

Steve Popovich (owner of Cleveland Records):  It was the day and age of the wimpy-lookmg Peter-Frampton-types. Then here comes Meat Loaf. This huge guy with an amazing voice.

Todd Rundgren: Steinman was highly influenced by Bruce Springsteen - the theatrical nature of the material, the suburban teenage angst. Every Springsteen song was about that.

Jim Steinman: The title song is the least understood element of the album. "Bat Out Of Hell" is about obsession. Anyone who's obsessed is funny. But it's also a noble sentiment.

Todd Rundgren:  Somebody suggested we make Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad sound like an Eagles song, cos the Eagles were enjoying a string of hit singles.

Meat Loaf:  Todd mixed the record in one night. He started at six o'clock and finished about four o'clock in the morning.

Jim Steinman:  I didn't want it just to be a bunch of songs, I wanted to be a cinematic experience

Meat Loaf:  Overproduced? Bullshit. I was at Motown, so I know what 'overproduced' really means

Jim Steinman: This was the days of disco, of Saturday Night Fever, of John Travolta in his white suit, pointing to the heavens. we had a huge, fat Meat Loaf about to collapse...

Todd Rundgren: I don't think it got any good critical notices.

Jim Steinman:  It was a big success overseas long before America. It took about a year to get big in America.

Todd Rundgren:  The success was a complete shock to all of us. Nobody came into that record with any expectations. We were fortunate to get it done at all.

Jim Steinman:  How many did it sell?  It all depends on which accountant you talk to.


THE FACTS:
Release Date: October, 1977
Label: Cleveland International/Epic
Highest Chart Position: UK #9,  US #14,  Aust #1
Personel: Meat Loaf (Vocals), Jim Steinman (Keyboards, percusion), Todd Rundgren (Guitar, Keyboards), Kasim Sulton (Bass), Edgar Winter (Sax), Max Weinberg (Drums), Ellen Foley (backing Vocals)
Rolling Stone Review: "Swell...but entirely mannered and derivative...The principals have some growing up to do"

This bootleg recording was more than likely sourced from his Wembley Arena gig, which was performed on the 13th December, 1993 in London. As stipulated on the generic Grapefruit cover, the recording is only part one of the concert, and the full concert has been released in full previously under the above title.
(See meatloafsingles2 for the full concert listing)
The post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from CD and includes both the generic Grapefruit artwork along with the covers for the Wembley Arena release (as shown below). I have also chosen to include a live recording of "Heaven Can Wait" taken from a 1993 single, as a bonus track.  The sound recording for this concert is listed as an audience recording on meatloafsingles2, but I would go as far to say that it is soundboard quality.
Please ensure you have drunk plenty of fluids before you listen to this bootleg, and stop playing it altogether, if you feel faint....LOL
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Track Listing
01 - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
02 - You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth
03 - All Reved Up With No Place To Go
04 - Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through
05 - Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad
06 - Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)
07 - Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back
08 - Heaven Can Wait (Bonus Track)
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Meatloaf Link (150Mb) New Link 29/02/2016
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band - Wangaratta Wahine (1974)

(Australian 1971-1980)
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The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band was an Australian band, active throughout the 1970s. It was based in Melbourne and centred around singer and multi-instrumentalist Mick Conway (Captain Matchbox) and his brother Jim Conway, who is widely regarded as one of Australia's finest exponents of the blues harmonica. Original line-up: Dave Hubbard (vocals), Peter Inglis, Peter Scott, Mick Fleming, Jim Niven, Mick Conway, Dan Hicks Back in 1968, Mick Conway and his brother Jim formed the Jelly Jug Band as a joke to enter a talent quest. To their astonishment, they won!
The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band emerged from the Jelly Beans in 1969. They began playing regularly at any venue that lent itself to their theatrical music style. In particular they played the Much More Ballroom in Melbourne They organised a National Jug Orchestra from jug bands all over the country in April 1972.
Mick Conway
The band's first single, "My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes", hit the national charts in November '72. However, they experienced a major split shortly afterward. In the interim came a single, "I Can't Dance (Got Ants In My Pants)", and early in 1973 their first album, 'Smoke Dreams'. After a period of recess, the band reorganised, and by September the line-up had consolidated to its more notorious format as follows: Jim Niven (piano), Mick Fleming (banjo, mandolin, guitar); Jim Conway (harmonica, kazoo, recorder); Mick Conway (vocals, horn, ukeh) Geoff Hales (drums); Fred Olbrie (violin, guitar, harmonica); David Flett (sax, flute); and Dan Hicks (guitar).
Changes in line-up were characteristic of the band, perhaps because it was more a theatrical unit than a rock group.
During 1974, two more singles emerged: "Your Feets Too Big" and "Hernando's Hideaway". At the end of the year came the 'Wangaratta Wahine' album. It featured old standards as well as originals by Mick Conway and David Flett.
Also during the year, John Snyder worked with them on guitar.

The group became a TV regular and toured extensively throughout 1975. The year also saw the departure of Geoff and Dan to be replaced by Chris Worrall (guitar) and Manny Paterakis (drums), and was rounded off with their third album, 'Australia'. The change was followed by Fred leaving, to be replaced by Jack Saram.
By mid '76, another upheaval occurred when Graeme Isaacs joined, filling Manny's shoes on drums. The band then consolidated as a six piece unit (Mick C, Mick F, Graeme, Jack, David and Gordon McLean) and embarked on a campus tour.
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Then, in November, the group again reformed, becoming part of a fifteen member theatrical touring act set up by the Australian Performing Group. The whole group adopted the name 'Soapbox Circus', and two new faces - Peter Mulheissen and Rick Ludbrook appeared (David Flett was the notable omission from the new unit).
A live album, 'The Great Stumble Forward', surfaced in June 1977. A single, "If I Can't Hav-Anna In Cuba" followed. The end of the year saw the band performing a play called Smack In The Dacks, and by 1978 the band was known simply as Matchbox with the line-up now comprising Mic, Jim, Ludbrook, Mulheisen, McLean, Tony Burkys (guitar, ex-Original Battersea Heroes) and Stephen Cooney (guitar, later of Redgum), who was replaced by Louis McManus (ex-Bushwackers). Matchbox released the Slightly Troppo album, and the delightful single "Sleep" (June 1978), followed by "Love Is Like A Rainbow" (January 1979), as well as making an appearance in Tim Burstall's 1979 feature film version of the Jack Hibberd play Dimboola.

Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band On Countdown 1975
By mid-1979, the line-up of the Conways, McManus and Mulheissen had been augmented by Robert Ross (drums, ex-Manning), Eric McCusker (guitar) and Chris Coyne (sax, flute). That version of the band introduced a more rock-oriented sound, but it lasted only about a year; McCusker left to join Ross Wilson's Mondo Rock and was replaced briefly by Peter Martin. In its final incarnation as 'The Matchbox Band', the group released one last recording, an independent single, "Juggling Time" / "Dirty Money", before breaking up in September 1980 [extract from Noel McGrath's 'Australian Encyclopedia Of Rock' Outback Press, 1978]
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Makin' Whoopee
(Article from The Echo, June 27th, 2013)

Whoever said musicians can’t multi-task obviously hasn’t met Mic Conway. Conway, 62, was a high school student when he founded Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band with his brother Jim, and has been incorporating magic tricks, fire-eating, tap dancing and juggling into his performances ever since.
"When people come to see a show they might love music, but they like to look at things as well and that’s what I’m all about," the Melbourne artist said.
"I like dressing songs with visual things." Starting a jug band in the 1970s was a bold venture, and one that led him to record numerous albums, tour the world and win an ARIA.
"As a kid I collected old 78 gramophone records, and when I came across jug band and blues on those recordings it changed my life.
"We were in school at the time and just did the jug band as a joke, then suddenly it became a career." Conway and guitar flatpicking champion Robbie Long will put on a theatrical display at Ocean Grove’s Piping Hot Chicken Shop tomorrow night, after an opening act from friend and fellow musician Sarah Caroll.
Conway’s colourful career includes creating what is now known as Circus Oz, working with film and television programs such as The Wiggles, performing one-man shows at schools and of course writing and playing music.

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"The jug band was my entree into music because you could play instruments that weren’t instruments, and things that were just a bit of junk suddenly became very musical," he said.
"I just stumbled into my career. I didn’t mean to be a performer but haven’t stopped." Conway has recently been busy recording an album with his National Junk Band, and one song, 'Growing Old Disgracefully', could be the title track.As they say, if you haven’t grown up by 50, you don’t have to.

 [Artice by Bethany Tyler]
 Side Note: Bethany writes for both the Geelong Advertiser and Echo Newspapers and is one of our very own up and coming 'budding journalists' - so watch this space, I'm sure there will be plenty more to come!
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This post consists of MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my treasured vinyl and includes full album artwork and select photos of the band. If you haven't heard 'The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band' then I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the diversity in instrumentation and musical finesse that this band brought to the Australian Music Industry and believe me, there was no other band like them at the time!
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Track Listing
01 - Blues My Naughtie Sweetie Gives To Me
02 - Lovesick Blues
03 - Half A Moon Is Better Than No Moon
04 - Jug Band Music
05 - Wait For Me Juanita
06 - Top Hat
07 - If Youse A Viper
08 - That's What The Bird Sang To Me
09 - Wangaratta Wahine
10 - Flamin May
11 - Your Feets To Big
12 - Hernandos Hideaway

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The band were:
Mick Conway (Vocals, Washboard, Phonograph Horn, Ukelele, Jug)
Jim Conway  (Harmonica, Kayoo, Whistles, Vocals)
Fred Olbrei (Violin, Vocals)
Dave Flett  (Bass, Vocals, Harmonies, Ukulele)
Geoff Hales (Drums, Washboard, Tap Dancing)
Jim Niven   (Keyboards)
Mick Fleming (Banjo, Mandolin)
Jon Snyder   (Guitar)

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Sorry, but this album is now available from Aztec Records, and features some live bonus tracks, making it great value for money.  Please support our local artists by purchasing the CD.
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Various Artists - Songs Of A Psychedelic Age (1978)

(Various 60's Artists)
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Out of thirty tumultuous years of rock 'n' roll, 1967 stands unchallenged as the end of the beginning and, some might say, the beginning of the end. Had we not been there, we would doubt that it ever came to pass. Future generations may well dismiss it as a preposterous narcotic nightmare
1967 was the Gathering of The Tribes, the realisation that rock music was in fact rock culture. An overflowing optimism engulfed us all; we truly believed that we could change the world with our ideals, our beliefs, our new found freedoms and our music. That we were naive and self-indulgent never occurred to us for a moment during that idyllic, heady, flowery year. Musicians, the young Gods of the Age of Aquarius, identified themselves with the romantic figures of the past — poets, painters, writers, philosophers and mystics. By breaking down the previously sacred three minute song limit and experimenting with improved rhythms and structures, they believed they were giving the music the same freedoms they had siezed for themselves. And it worked ... for a time.
Psychedelia, inner consciousness, transcendental meditation, mind expansion — these words became part of the new language of the counter culture. Music became an intellectual experience — dancing was passe — we now had to sit and contemplate the lyrics, dwell upon the cosmic possibilities of it all. We wanted so desperately much to feel new sensations and absorb new concepts But then we also wanted to stop the war in Vietnam, feed the starving millions, challenge all the values of our elders, free the blacks and make the sun shine a few hours longer each day. And if this wonderful innocent dream was too hard, there were wondrous potions to make it easy; chemical and organic substances which turned our minds inside out and did strange and often incomprehensible things to our music. As the Electric Prunes put it, "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night'.
By 1967, a second front had opened. The leadership of London was challenged by traditionally tolerant San Francisco. While London hippies grooved away at the UFO and Middle Earth clubs, listened intently to John Peel's Perfumed Garden radio show, got blown away at the 24 Hour Technicolor Dream Festival, and never missed a performance by Pink Floyd, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Dantalion's Chariot, Tomorrow, Soft Machine, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Incredible String Band; the freaks of San Francisco were on their own plane of advanced consciousness at the Matrix Club. Fillmore or Family Dogg, picking flowers during the Human Be In at Golden Gate Park, listening to the birth of free-form FM radio, and experiencing the unbelievable light shows which accompanied performances by the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane. Country Joe & The Fish, Moby Grape, It's A Beautiful Day and so many others.
Despite the visually and sensually overwhelming trappings, what was happening to music in 1967 was no more than a part of the evolution of rock, albeit at a dizzying pace. Less than four years had taken us from 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' to 'Purple Haze', from the total and absolute power of the hit single to the untapped medium of the conceptual album. In 1967, musicians, for the first time, felt they were in full control of their own destinies.
Then suddenly had a perspective of rock'n'roll, of how it had evolved and how it could be used in the future. All the stray ends were being fused together -  rock was defining itself into the form we know it today — where almost any style can co-exist harmoniously with another.  An articulate rock press had arisen to give focus to this sense of maturity, and to applaud those beacons of the new age who now enlightened as well as entertained.
For nothing changed quite as much as those who were buying the records, the post-war baby boom kids who were now entering university and developing political attitudes. Three years before, they had screamed at Beat Boom  purveyors; now, still loyal to rock, they expected it to reflect different attitudes, to express more complex emotional states.
The changes were not only in the philosophies being expressed. George Martin and The Beatles had demonstrated the potential of sound experimentation, via reverse tape tape loops and extraneous farmyard noises. Technology was unleashed - wah wah pedals, fuzz boxes, advanced multi-track recording, the technique of phasing (minutely delaying one side of a stereo signal, as demonstrated superbly by Itchycoo Park), Marshall amplifier stacks, exotic instruments fed through electronic effect units...anything and everything that a fertile imagination could conceive and implement.
The music on this mind-blowing double album takes us from the mystical year of 1967 to the present day, presenting original and revivalist purveyors of psychedelic music. British, American, and Australian psychedelia comes together within this package, which, although it makes no pretense of being an any way comprehensive, is almost certainly the first anthology of its kind to be released. So be prepared to be sucked into a strange and sensational whirlpool as you lay stylus to vinyl and go tripping into the Summer Of Love. May you never return. [Linear notes by: Glenn A. Baker (Honorary Guru)].
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I've always had a thing for the Psychedelia era, and its association with 'Flower Power' and feel that it reached its pinacle with Woodstock. I love the music, the clothes and the imagery that is also associated with the era, and most bands featured on this album constitute a major part of my record collection. This compilation is therefore a favourite of mine and gets played quite often.
The post itself consists of a rip from cassette tape for Sides 1 & 2 and a rip from Vinyl for Sides 3 & 4. The reason for the tape rip is because my vinyl copy (record 1) has seen better days, and I wanted to offer the best rip possible.  All tracks are in MP3 format (320kps) and full album artwork is included.
So, get those paisley shirts out of your wardrobe, put ya rose coloured glasses on, dimm the lights and if you've still got a stash tucked away, light up and let the music take to away to a far away place where Strawberry fields and Purple haze are something you can almost touch!
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Track listing
CD1
1. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown: Fire [2:53]
2. Jimi Hendrix Experience: Purple Haze [2:45]
3. Cream: Strange Brew  [2:45]
4. Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit  [2:27]
5. Fever Tree : San Francisco Girls  [3:58]
6. Tomorrow: Revolution  [3:45]
7. Small Faces : Itchycoo Park  [2:47]
8. The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations  [3:35] 
9. The Masters Apprentices: Living In A Child's Dream [2:28]

10. Strawberry Alarm Clock: Incense & Peppermints  [2:46] 
11. Status Quo: Pictures Of Matchstick Men [3:15] 
12. The Twilights: Comin' On Down  [2:19]
13. The Easybeats: Peculiar Hole In The Sky [2:48]
14. Bobby & Laurie: Every Second Day  [2:39]
15. The Flower Pot Men: Let's Go To San Francisco (Parts 1 & 2) [6:38]
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CD2
1. Eric Burdon & The Animals: San Franciscan Nights [3:20]

2. Country Joe & The Fish: Flying High  [2:45]
3. John's Children [with Marc Bolan]: Midsummer Night's Scene  [2:32]
4. The Accent: Red Sky At Night [3:09]
5. The Misunderstood : Children Of The Sun [2:47]
6. Electric Banana: Blow Your Mind [3:35]
7. Russell Morris : The Real Thing [6:20]

8. Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride [2:41]
9. The Lemon Pipers: Green Tambourine [2:25] 
10. North 2 Alaskans: Crimson & Clover/Incense [4:43] 
11. Kim Fowley: The Trip [1:55]
12. The United States Of Existence : Return To The Psychedelic [2:41]
13. The Temptations: Psychedelic Shack [3:53]
14. Eric Burdon & The Animals : Monterey [4:35]
15. The Cowsills: Hair [3:30]   
Outro - Vox Wah Wah Pedal Ad.
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Songs From A Psychedelic Age Link (238Mb)
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