Tuesday, April 29, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Dave And The Derros : Nice Legs, Shame About The Face (1979)


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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"Dave And The Derros" was created by lead singer David Jones (watmuff). David Jones was a radio station disc jockey based in Newcastle N.S.W (Australia) and wrote novelty songs for his radio show. David had a large repertoire of radio character voices, one of which was his beloved “Dave the Derro”. David liked to make parody songs for his radio show. This eventually allowed him to work up an act based on "Dave". He complemented his performances with an ever changing backing band of musos. Some of these various musos also backed John Paul Young (thanks to Tom MusicMix for this brief bio).

Singles by "Dave And The Derros" were:
Death To Disco (1978)
Out Of Bounds (1979)

Nice Legs, Shame About Your Face (1979)
Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose (1980)
Two Cans Of Beer and a Bucket of Chips (1981)


Dave and the Derros also released an album in 1980 called 'Live After Death' which features most of these singles.

For this month's WOCK on vinyl I am including my favourite Dave and the Derros single: "Nice Legs Shame About The Face". The Monks had the original 'Nice Legs' in the UK in 1979. Dave and the Derros did an Aussie version later that year (on the Mushroom label). Anyway both versions of the 45 are available on eBay, so start ya bidding! Incidentally there was also a version in NZ by 'Stark Naked And The Car Thieves', I kid you not. (see YouTube clip).


As a bonus, I've also decided to include another funny parody by Dave called "Death To Disco", released on the Mushroom label. However, to be honest I think that the B-Side "Punk Princess" is a better song, so make sure you give it a listen also.  Well, that's it for this month, finishing with some very Crazy and Korny tunes.
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(MP3/320kps)
A.Nice Legs, Shame About The Face / B.Hip Pocket Nerve
A.Death To Disco / B.Punk Princess 
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Dave And The Derros (20Mb)
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Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Church - Persia (1984) 12" EP

(Australian 1980-Present)
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Hypnotic Australian guitar rock band The Church enjoyed a successful '80s career as a cult band specializing in atmospheric early alternative music. They formed in 1980, originating in Canberra & Sydney, Australia. The Church are pioneers of neo-psychedelic-new-wave-gothic-rock; dark alternative pop characterised by driving percussion and bass, jangly melodic guitars in the high-register with romantic melancholic lyrics usually sung in a low dreamy manner. The Church achieved early chart success in Australia with songs such as 'The Unguarded Moment' and 'Almost With You' that were also released internationally. The band also gained recognition for its' distinctive jangled harmony guitar style which was originally instigated by Peter and sometimes mistakenly attributed solely to 12 string electric guitar. Through five albums and a handful of EPs released during the decade, the group managed to carve a career during its initial years that would have been more than enough to cement a permanent place among rock royalty. Over the years, though, The Church has continued to record and perform with regularity and quality results.

Founding members are Steve Kilbey on lead vocals and bass guitar, and Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on guitars. Drummer Nick Ward played only on their first album; through the 1980s the band's stable drummer for eight years (1982-1990) was Richard Ploog, who left the band after Gold Afternoon Fix. Jay Dee Daugherty (ex-Patti Smith Band) played drums for the band 1990-1994, after which Tim Powles became the longest-serving drummer; having played with the band, since 1996 he has now been a member for 18 years. Three of the members recorded material as The Refo:mation in 1997.

The Church's debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit "The Unguarded Moment". They were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe and the United States. However, the US label was dissatisfied with their second album and dropped the band without releasing it. This put a dent in their international success, but they returned to the charts in 1988, with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit "Under the Milky Way". Subsequent commercial success proved elusive, however, and the band weathered several line-up changes in the early 1990s.
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Review1
'Persia' is an EP by The Church, released in August 1984. The follow-up to February 1984's Remote Luxury, Persia continues in a similar stylistic vein. Brighter in feel than its earlier companion EP, it is usually regarded as the stronger of the two. While Remote Luxury heavily bore Steve Kilbey's stamp, Persia features one track penned by guitarist Willson-Piper, "Volumes," as well as a band composition, "Shadow Cabinet," long a favorite among fans.

While Persia isn't as consistently excellent as its precursor, it does continue the sonic diversity found on Remote Luxury; in particular, "Constant in Opal" and "Violet Town" are among the more sonically adventurous "pop" songs The Church committed to tape in their early years, as it meshes the jangly Post-Punk of their intial recordings with the dark psychedelia they would mine throughout the mid-to-late eighties. While not as consistently memorable as full-length albums such as The Blurred Crusade, Seance, and Heyday, this EP offers a glimpse of The Church in a transitional phase, pushing their sound into new regions with admittedly mixed results, but on the songs they get it right, to quote Kilbey once again, "The Church stop messing about and hit home."
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Review2
Most of the songs on the EP Persia were written by Kilbey, but the atmospheric sound was lighter and less bleak than on their previous LP Seance. Persia contained the distinctive guitar sound of the band complete with keyboards of guest musicians such as Davey Ray Moor and Craig Hooper. Songs like "Violet Town" and "No explanation" had evoked a relaxed summer atmosphere. Made as a kind of parody of American country, improvised and unexpected arrangements of music synthesizer dominated, still largely considered a failure by fans and band.
Because of the interest aroused in the United States, The Church left the manager Michael Chugg in Sydney and signed with the owner of Malibu's Management, John Lee, who promoted it with a tour of the country during October and November 1984, which raised more a thousand people in cities like New York and Los Angeles, but hardly had other half-hundred.  In financial terms, the band lost thousands of dollars a week.

In conclusion, the band felt as if they had reached the ceiling in 1984. Unable to repeat the success of their first two albums, they perceived that their creativity was extinguished. Kilbey later commented: "I think we published some records that were not as good as they should have been, after The Blurred Crusade ... The band was sailing in a sea of apathy, I did not write songs as good and did not play too well, causing the enthusiasm around the world to fall. " [extract from The Fringe Magazine]

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This post consists of a MP3 rip taken from a 'virgin' vinyl copy (still shrink wrapped after 30 years) and includes full album artwork and label scans.  I did own the other EP 'Remote Luxury' some years ago but sold it at a trade fair for a nice pricely sum, but still regret parting with it.  Hope ya enjoy this 12" E.P.
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Track Listing
01 - Constant In Opal
02 - Volumes
03 - No Explanation
04 - Violet Town
05 - Shadow Cabinet

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The Church were:
Steve Kilbey (Vocals, Bass)
Peter Koppes (Guitar)
Marty Wilson-Piper (Guitar)
Richard Ploog (Drums)

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The Church Link (50Mb)
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Madonna - Live Vol 1 Unlicensed (1993) Bootleg

(U.S 1979–present)
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In 1990, Madonna continued to explore and develop her own ideas about ambiguity in gender and sexuality, a feminist agenda in which a woman is in control of her body, her role and her life. Although she examined this theme in her "Like A Prayer" video, it was most fully expressed in her audacious four-month twenty-seven-city 'Blonde Ambition' tour, which established her as a modern-day Amazon, her erotic and exotic routines invariably ending with the woman on top. She strutted the stage in contemporary armor, Jean-Paui Gaultier's cone-shaped bustier, presenting an enduring image of Madonna at superwoman, her dancers playing musclebound slaves utterly subservient to her will. Yet the French designer's description of the garment that will be forever identified with the singer can also be applied to her own psychology; as he said,'A tough outer shell protects hidden vulnerability.' [extract from 'Madonna' by Andrew Morton, Bantam Books, 2001. p164]
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Blond Ambition Tour
While riding high on her success in Dick Tracy, Madonna kicked off her third and most imaginative tour to date on 13 April 1990. When tickets went on sale, 2500 were sold in one minute-a new record in the entertainment industry. The Blond Ambition Tour opened at Chiba, Japan's new Marine Stadium, to enthusiastic reviews. The futuristic out-door venue at Chiba provided a fitting locale for the show, a highly theatrical extravaganza. The surrealistic atmosphere was heightened by the rain that began to fall just as the show opened. Adhering to the philosophy that 'the show must go on,' Madonna braved the downpour, and though the show had to be briefly interrupted a few times to sweep the rain from the stage, the audience was delighted that the singer was willing to carry on. Three years earlier high winds had forced Madonna to cancel her Tokyo show, and she wanted to avoid another cancellation at all costs.

The tour coincided with the release of Madonna's latest album, 'I'm Breathless', the title of which provides a clever tie-in with her starring role as Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy. Described on the album sleeve as 'music from and inspired by the film Dick Tracy,' I'm Breathless is a departure from what Madonna has done before With the notable exception of "Vogue",' which seems written specifically for the top 10, the music evokes the era of torch songs and swing tunes. Her voice, too, is different. The bright chirp of "Holiday" is now deeper and darker. Three songs from the album -"Sooner or Later," "Now I'm Following You," and "Hanky Panky" - were featured in the glitzy 'Blond Ambition' show.

Madonna's latest tour had been likened to a Broadway production, With the band relegated to the sidelines, the emphasis is indeed on the action that unfolds on the stage. The show brings to life her songs and videos. Her performance is an exercise in precision, a ballet, rather than a rock concert. With its sexy costumes and suggestive banter, it is also intended to shock. "Like A Virgin" found Madonna sprawled on a bright red bed. As  she rubbed her hands over her body, her two male companions massaged the fake, pointy breasts that were attached to their bare chests. As choreographer Vince  Paterson explained, '[Madonna] wanted to make statements about sexuality, cross-sexuality, the church and the like.' An essential part of the message was delivered by Madonna's exotic costumes, one of which was a pinstriped man's suit with cutouts for her breasts. 'I like the mixing of femininity and masculinity,' explained designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. 'Of course with Madonna, the femininity explodes through the masculinity. It's a little bit surrealistic. It's kind of an obsession in America, you know, the pointed breast.'

Madonna has always been known and even criticized for the blatant sexual imagery of her shows. Her image has invited criticism from feminists who believe that she portrays women in a negative light. Madonna, however. believes that her message is just the opposite. "People have this idea that if you're sexual and beautiful and provocative, then there's nothing else you could possibly offer. People have always had that image about women. And while it might have seemed like I was behaving in a stereotypical way, at the same time, I was also masterminding it I was in control of everything I was doing, and I think that when people realized that, it confused them. It's not like I was saying "Don't pay attention to the clothes-to the lingerie-I'm wearing." Actually the fact that I was wearing those clothes was meant to drive home a point that you can be sexy and strong at the same time. In a way, it was necessary to wear the clothes.'

In other words, the Boy Toy is not a sex object; she is the boss, the woman warrior, equipped with armored under-wear. Blond Ambition is about female power. She does after all, knock down her chorus line of men. 'It's a great feeling to be powerful. I've been striving for it all my life. I think that's just the quest of every human being: power.'

  The Japanese press concentrated on writing about Madonna's sexual shenanigans to the point of ignoring other aspects of the show, but the response in Japan was a decidedly positive one: Madonna reportedly earned $14 million for just nine shows. They may have loved her in Japan, but the welcome Madonna received elsewhere was far less cordial. In Toronto, police asked her to tone down her show. When she refused they set themselves up in the stadium with binoculars, presumably ready to rush to the stage and arrest her if she committed any illegal acts in the course of her performance. In Italy, Catholic groups in Rome and Turin called her show vulgar and blasphemous and demanded that Madonna's concerts be banned. Many church officials were especially disturbed by Madonna's routine use of a crucifix as an article of costume jewelry. The reaction was an intensified version of the controversy that had surrounded her 'Like A Prayer' video the year before. Protesters in Italy were successful in forcing the state-run television network to stop running the video.


As is her nature, Madonna held strong to her position. She called a press conference and invited the church leaders to 'Come and see my show and judge it for yourselves. My show is not a conventional rock concert, but a theatrical presentation of my music and, like the theater, it poses questions, provokes thought and it takes you on an emotional journey. This is what I call freedom of expression and thought. By preventing me from doing the show, you would be saying you do not believe in these freedoms.' Church leaders declined her invitation, but the show went on as scheduled.


Controversy goes hand-in-hand with being an artist. A work of art-be it a novel, a sculpture or a performance-challenges the intellect. As an artist who strives to be thought-provoking and entertaining, Madonna has never shied away from controversy, and will undoubtedly continue to do so with her future creative endeavors [extract from Madonna, by Marie Cahill, Bison Group, 1991. p84-88. See below]
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This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from the Australian AMCOS CD bootleg release and presents  the first half of the show. There was a Vol 2 released which provided the 2nd half of the show, but I have yet to source it I'm afraid. Nevertheless, the song selection on Vol 1. is the better of the two in my opinion.
Full album artwork is provided, along with Italian 'Maverick Bedtime' bootleg release which features the full show (see below). The recording itself comes from the Dallas Show at the Reunion Arena in the USA, held on May 7, 1990.  The quality of the recording is very good with exceptional vocal clarity. (Please note that I have edited the opening track "Express Yourself" by removing a minute of annoying sound affects which would have supported the visual component of the shows introduction).

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Track Listing
01. Express Yourself
02. Open Your Heart
03. Causing A Commotion
04. Where's The Party
05. Like A Virgin
06. Like A Prayer
07. Live To Tell
08. Oh Father
09. Papa Don't Preach

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The Band:

Madonna - Vocals
Kevin Kendricks, Jai Winding - Keyboards

Carlos Rios, David williams - Guitar
Darryl Jones - Bass
Jonathan Moffet - Drums
Luis Conte - Percussion
Donna Delory, Niki Harris - Backing Vocals

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Madonna Link (110Mb) New Link  25/05/2015
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Saltbush - Selftitled (1978) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975-1979)
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Melbourne country group 'The Promised Band' recorded a single "Got To Get Back To Tamworth".
This band then morphed into Saltbush with Bernie O'Brien, Paul Pyle and Ross Nicholson in 1975, touring Australia and supporting Ray Stevens who was also touring at that time. Saltbush eventually gained recognition in 1977 by winning the Best New Talent Award at the Tamworth Country Music Awards, and also played at the Tulsa Festival in Oklahoma, US in the same year. They also received an award in 1979 for their single "Stranger / Fiddler Man" taken from their Selftitled album.
Their music style was a mixture of Country, Folk and Bluegrass. They were also great ballad singers and successfully toured for a year with the Slim Dusty Show in 1977.

 Saltbush released two quite successful albums: At Twin Rivers (1976) and Saltbush (1978), before disbanding as a group in 1979 and seeking solo careers.
Some of the members were Bernie O'Brien (one time member of The Rondells), Paul Pyle and Ross Nicholson and Mark Moffatt who both played on and produced their albums. There are a couple of Saltbush tracks on the 'Live at the Station' album released in 1976, an album which I plan to post in the near future, so stay tuned.
Record producer Mark Moffatt has been sharpening his studio skills for over 30 years. He grew up playing music in Bundaberg and then Brisbane in a string of bands including Iron Web, Spike and Stop Press. He later travelled to the UK where he worked on Denmark Street meeting some of the most famous musicians and producers of the day including Jimmy Page, Terry Britten and Eric Stewart of 10CC.
Returning to Australia in the mid 70s he began working at the Bruce Window Studios in Brisbane where they had a state of the art 16-track studio in the West End. The first band Mark Moffatt produced after the famous Saints single were Melbourne country outfit Saltbush. He later joined the band playing mandolin and lap steel on this LP and touring the U.S.
In a pocast with Mark (thanks to Jordie and David Kilby) he states that the band had a relatively strong following around Melbourne with over 200 people regularly attending their gigs - mostly to hear them argue on stage. They were a pretty rough and ready band but were also very good musicians and Slim Dusty was a big fan. They definately liked their drink! [extract from soundcloud.com]
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Slim Dusty recalls in his book 'Another Day, Another Town'.......
I spent 1977 touring, because I had two albums still in the can by the end of 1976, "Give Me the Road", a truck album, was released in October 1976, but "Just Slim" and "On the Move" were to fill my recording commitment for 1977. So I appeared in all the mainland capitals, toured Queensland, Victoria! New South Wales and went down to Tasmania to complete the year.
At the Tamworth Awards in January, a Melbourne band called 'Saltbush' won Best New Talent, and I was very impressed with their raw, driving sound. I liked the songs their guitarist, Bernie Q'Brien, wrote for them as welL They stirred up the establishment at Tamworth a bit, and when they turned up again at the 1978 Awards there was so much clucking over their doings that I was not game to say that I'd booked them to do the Queensland tour with me. They got themselves 'high' on goodness knows what, locked themselves into the dressing rooms backstage at the town hall during the Awards presentation and refused to come out, until Phil Emmanuel screamed matching obscenities through the door and threatened to call the cops.
When it finally became known that I was taking them on tour, the industry was confounded. I knew quite well they might be a handful, but I always laid it on the line when employing anyone. I had two rules. I don't put anyone under a contract—an unhappy member of the team will never give his or her best and will upset everyone else—so if they want to go, then go, 'just give me time to get a .replacement'. The second rule was that everyone has to be sober for a performance, and there's no drinking backstage either, I like my beer as well as anyone, but if you let one start drinking around the show, you will always get the other who'll take it too far and wreck things. Needless to say, the boys had to be on their best behaviour this time! [extract from p219]
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This post consists of  MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy (which was acquired in mint condition only recently) along with full album artwork. Although I'm not a big fan of Country / Bluegrass music, Saltbush style is more like the Dingoes or Redgum which tends to be more commercial and mainstream.
I have also included some bonus tracks, two tracks from their first album 'At Twin Rivers', the A & B side of a single released just before they broke up in 1979, and the two live tracks from the 'Live At The Station' LP which I plan to post in the near future.
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Track Listing
01 Bring It With You   3:15
02 Guess I Could Never   4:10
03 Bad Dose of the Blues   2:24
04 Backsliders Wine   3:40
05 Fiddler Man   2:16
06 Brother Billy   1:15
07 Rainy Day Woman   2:45
08 D Tune   0:40
09 Rosanna   2:05
10 Take Your Time   2:37
11 Ned Kelly   3:45
12 Honest Sam   3:36
13 Stranger   3:04

Bonus Tracks
14 Brown Bottle Blues (From At Twin Rivers)  2:59
15 Razorback Mountain Blockade (A-Side Single)  2:42
16 Born For The Night Life (B-Side Single)  2:57


17 Stay All Night (Live At The Station)  2:24
18 Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother (Live At The Station)  3:30

19 Man of Steel (From At Twin Rivers)  2:52

The Band Members:
Bernie O'Brien - Lead Guitar/Dobro, Fiddle and vocals
Ross Nicholson - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Paul Pyle - Bass, Vocals
Harry Frith - drums, Vocals

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Saltbush Link (119Mb)
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Queen - At The Beeb (1989)

(U.K 1970-2009)
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Few bands embodied the pure excess of the '70s like Queen. Embracing the exaggerated pomp of prog rock and heavy metal, as well as vaudevillian music hall, the British quartet delved deeply into camp and bombast, creating a huge, mock-operatic sound with layered guitars and overdubbed vocals. Queen's music was a bizarre yet highly accessible fusion of the macho and the fey. For years, their albums boasted the motto "no synthesizers were used on this record," signaling their allegiance with the legions of post-Led Zeppelin hard rock bands. But vocalist Freddie Mercury brought an extravagant sense of camp to Queen, pushing them toward kitschy humor and pseudo-classical arrangements, as epitomized on their best-known song, "Bohemian Rhapsody." Mercury, it must be said, was a flamboyant bisexual who managed to keep his sexuality in the closet until his death from AIDS in 1991. Through his legendary theatrical performances, Queen became one of the most popular bands in the world in the mid-'70s; in England, they remained second only to the Beatles in popularity and collectibility in the '90s. Despite their enormous popularity, Queen were never taken seriously by rock critics — an infamous Rolling Stone review labeled their 1979 album Jazz as "fascist." In spite of such harsh criticism, the band's popularity rarely waned; even in the late '80s, the group retained a fanatical following except in America. In the States, their popularity peaked in the early '80s, just as they finished nearly a decade's worth of extraordinarily popular records. And while those records were never praised, they sold in enormous numbers, and traces of Queen's music could be heard in several generations of hard rock and metal bands in the next two decades, from Metallica to Smashing Pumpkins.
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The origins of Queen lay in the hard rock psychedelic group Smile, which guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor joined in 1967. Following the departure of Smile's lead vocalist, Tim Staffell, in 1971, May and Taylor formed a group with Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer for Wreckage. Within a few months, bassist John Deacon joined them, and they began rehearsing. Over the next two years, as all four members completed college, they simply rehearsed, playing just a handful of gigs. By 1973, they had begun to concentrate on their career, releasing their debut album, Queen, that year and setting out on their first tour. Queen was more or less a straight metal album and failed to receive much acclaim, but Queen II became an unexpected British breakthrough early in 1974. Before its release, the band played Top of the Pops, performing "Seven Seas of Rhye." Both the song and the performance were smash successes, and the single rocketed into the Top Ten, setting the stage for Queen II to reach number five. Following its release, the group embarked on its first American tour, supporting Mott the Hoople. On the strength of their campily dramatic performances, the album climbed to number 43 in the States.
It is at this point that Queen's popularity caught the attention of the music buffs at the BBC in England and they were asked to record some of their material from their first two albums in the BBC studios, in front of a small audience. Thus, the following recordings eventuated back in 1973 and were only made available to the general public in 1989, with the release of 'Queen At The Beeb'. 
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Review 1
In fact, between 1973 and 1977, Queen recorded six sessions for the BBC, the first five during the initial flood of excitement that led up to the release of their third album 'Sheer Heart Attack', the last in 1977, when their pomp and circumstance ought to have sounded grossly misplaced amid the churning seas of punk rock — but didn't. Each and any of these is a revelation, topping the regular albums for excitement and alive with all the improvisational quirks and oddities that the band delighted in distributing through their live set. All but two, however, remain deep in the vault, leaving 'At the Beeb' to stand among the most disappointing of all the albums in this venerable series — at the same time as sounding as good as any of them. Drawing from Queen's first and third BBC sessions, in February and December 1973, the eight tracks are divided between the band's first two albums — seven from Queen, one (a passionate "Ogre Battle") from what was then the still-gestating Queen II. And they are what you'd expect, vast and bombastic, widescreen epics that make no distinction between the hard rock that was the early Queen's most visible calling card, and the fey, quirky balladry that was the trick up their sleeves. And, while none of the performances here can touch the familiar LP takes in terms of production values and musical excellence, again the emphasis is on visceral verve and spontaneous combustion, qualities that Queen possessed in abundance. For many years the best-selling of all BBC sessions albums, 'At the Beeb' is not an album for the casual listener; nor will it satisfy the completist collector. Nevertheless, anybody who knows the band only for the operatic grandiosity of their regular albums would do well to check it out. It might well change your opinion forever.
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Review 2 
This session featured on this album was recorded in 1973 and includes tracks which later appeared on the band's self-titled debut and its follow up, albeit in different and sometimes extended format. There is a noticeable difference in the sound of the band on this session when compared to the full album releases. For a start Brian May's guitar sound on here is one of the rawest and most brutal things you will hear on any album from the 70's. The fact that he made his own guitar, wound his own fat single coil pickups and tweaked his gear may have something to do with his sound. It is rumoured that he used to play using unusually heavy strings plucked with an old coin which also helped him to achieve his distinctive tone. Whatever the secret was behind May's early sound the sheer bite and aggressiveness to the overdriven guitar on here, and indeed May's explosive playing in general, are what elevates this album above the status of a mere curiosity. The art-rock tendencies that began to pervade Queen's music a few years hence are already present this early on in their career with the harmony vocals and Freddie Mercury's inventive piano melodies finding a foothold within some of the songs. But make no mistake, this is a guitar album first and foremost.

The real highlight comes in the form of an extended version of "Son and Daughter". Brian May literally bludgeons his way through the opening verses with a buzzing chainsaw of a rhythm tone. An extended middle section jam, which was later featured on 'Brighton Rock', finds May creating clever harmonies over looped tape delays and Roger Taylor going bat crazy on the sticks. "Ogre Battle", with its memorable opening riff and pounding drum beat is totally unlike its polished counterpart on 'Queen II'. This is raw and endearingly naive yet still the quality of performance and musicianship shine through. May is also in top form on the infectiously vital performance of "Great King Rat" driving the song along with a chugging riff and bursts of harmonied wah-wah soloing. It would be stretching things to proclaim this session performance as some sort of essential lost gem and indeed there are some rather weak tracks in the form of "Liar", "Doin Alright" and "Modern Times Rock and Roll". These lesser cuts can't be saved from mediocrity but for anyone who doubts Queen's hard rock roots the sheer raw energy displayed on much of the music should dispel this assumption.
A lot of people's abiding impression of Queen is that of a tired old commercial rock band who dabbled in some eccentric theatrics, experimented with a bit of funk here and there and slowly but surely became a parody of themselves. This would be a fair assessment if you follow their career from around 1977 onwards. But delve deeper into their past and you will find a totally different beast which certainly had it's roots firmly planted in a hard bedrock. So, next time someone tries to lecture you on what is real music while bopping away to 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' tell them you like Queen too, remove their greatest hits LP from the 20 year old record player, stick this on and blow his speaker cones with a dose of 'Son and Daughter' at full volume.
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LP - Side 1
Liner Notes (from CD release)
This is an event. Not merely the release of more "product", but a major milestone in the annals of Rock. What you hold here are eight songs recorded in 1973 by Queen, one of the great names of post-war international music. Moreover, these are versions of well-known numbers that you will never have heard before!
FACT. February 1973. Queen have been on the live circuit for barely two years. But they've yet to sign a major recording deal. However, the enterprising folk at Radio One book vocalist / pianist Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon, and drummer Roger Taylor for a session with producer Bernie Andrews. It is to be broadcast on Sounds Of The '70s, and four tracks are laid down on February 5th, viz My Fairy King, Keep Yourself Alive, Doin' Alright, and Liar. All of these songs were eventually to turn up on the band's self-titled debut album for EMI (released in July of that year), but these versions have never been heard before... not even in bootleg form!
COMMENT. It's amazing to hear the stunning renditions the band explore herein. Liar's dramatic, thundering Metal extravagance. My Fairy King's lushness and orchestral bravura. Keep Yourself Alive's responsive, momentous Metal-Pop ebullience. Doin' Alright's combination attack of blazing riffs and delicate tinctures of melody.
FACT. On December 3rd 1973, Queen recorded a second session for Sounds Of The '70s, performing the songs Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, Modern Times Rock'n'Roll, and Son And Daughter. With the exception of Ogre..., all the songs here were featured on the Queen LP. Ogre Battle is to emerge on the Queen II LP, released in March 1974.
LP - Side 2
COMMENT. Once again the quality of performance and recording are breathtaking. Ogre Battle is a panorama of virulent grandeur and broadsword clashing mania. Great King Rat has a seismic bite and flaring, cascading incandescence. Modern Times Rock'n'Roll boasts rousing, glinting rhythms. Son And Daughter is suffused with individual Blues and dramatic cloisters. Magnificent.
As I said earlier, this isn't a release, but an event. Captured here is the essence of early Queen. The style that would help shape two generations of Rock 'N' Roll. The sound that would conquer the world. This is vital, valuable, inexorable. An historical affair that still maintains a contemporary resonance. Rare indeed.
[ by Malcolm Dome, RAW magazine].
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This post consists of a MP3 rip (320kps) taken directly from my CD copy  of this official release, which is no longer available through normal resellers. Included is full album artwork for both LP and CD and alternative CD releases (namely Queen At The BBC)  have also been included. This album shows a heavy side to Queen and highlights the raw musical talent of each band member, before they got caught up with commercialism.
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Track Listing
01 My Fairy King
02 Keep Yourself Alive
03 Doin' Alright
04 Liar
05 Ogre Battle
06 Great King Rat
07 Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll
08 Son And Daughter
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Band members:
Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano, electric guitar),
Brian May (electric guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards),
Roger Taylor (drums, backing vocals, tambourine),
John Deacon (bass guitar)

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Queen Link (89Mb)  New Link 22/04/2017
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Jon English and Marcia Hines - Jokers and Queens (1982)

(Australian)
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This post brings two highly regarded artists 'Jon English' and 'Marcia Hines' together in 1982 with their mini LP "Jokers & Queens" backed on guitar by John Dallimore (ex Redhouse) & Ross East (ex Copperwine), Keith Kerwin (ex Avengers), bass John Coker, Bruno Distanislo, Keyboards Charlie Hull, Peter Deacon (ex Nitro), Steve Ball (ex Kush), Drums Greg Henson (ex Ben Turpin), Hamish Stuart (ex Ayers Rock), Sunil De Silva (ex Hot City Bump Band). The “Jokers and Queens” tour ran for nearly two years.
Recorded for Midnight Records with 3 original and 3 covers produced by Charlie Hull & Jon, the album is another one of those great Aussie LP's that has yet to be released in CD format.
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Jon English (1968-Present)
English born singer Jon English cut his rock performance teeth in a number of bands during the late 60s and early 70s in his adopted country Australia, having moved here in 1961 at age 12. The most notable of these was the band Sebastian Hardie which English fronted until early 1972. Soon after Jon English won the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian stage production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Performing alongside another great singer in Marcia Hines, English showed his versatility as a stage performer and actor.
The production toured for the next five years, but along the way English found the time and energy to record his debut solo album ‘Wine Dark Sea’. The album was well received but didn’t yield any hit singles. English’s follow up ‘It’s All In A Game’ proved to be the breakthrough for ole ‘black eyes’ as he was affectionately dubbed, led by the hit ‘Turn The Page’ (#7) in early ‘75. The second half of the 70s would prove a prodigious period for English. His 1976 album ‘Hollywood Seven’ reached the OZ top 20. The title track reached #13 and proved the perfect vehicle to display English’s ability to belt out a classic dramatic rock ballad.
The album ’Minutes To Midnight’ followed within eight months, but it was to be the 1978 album ’Words Are Not Enough’ that would see English finally receive a well deserved top 10 hit with the title track. During the same period English took the lead role in the popular TV mini-series ‘Against The Wind’, and to top it off collaborated with old Sebastian Hardie bandmate Mario Millo to compose, record and produce the soundtrack album, featuring English’s biggest career hit ‘Six Ribbons’ (#5).
The hits continued through 1979 and 1980 with ‘Get Your Love Right’ (#27) and ‘Hot Town’ (#11). English toured extensively in the early 80s around Australia and overseas, but international success largely eluded him - like so many Australian artists of that era - however he did breakthrough to enjoy considerable commercial success in Scandinavia during that time. 1982 also saw English rekindle a great creative partnership with Marcia Hines on the single ‘Jokers And Queens’ (#62).
In 1983 English released the album ‘Some People’. The title track reached #50, whilst the follow up ‘Waterloo’ (not the ABBA song) lost the battle for chart success at #96. But I was among those to purchase ‘Waterloo’ on 45 and absolutely loved the song. It’s a brilliant rock-ballad that tells of the events at the historic Battle of Waterloo, from the perspective of a 15 year old drummer boy in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. It’s one of those songs that can literally send shivers up the spine, very emotive and delivered with such fervour by English. I played my 45 copy until the grooves were well worn, not to mention it featuring one of the best B-sides I’ve ever heard with the song ‘Oh, Paris’ - a precursor toward English‘s future efforts in the stage musical and album ‘Paris‘. I was well pleased to finally obtain a CD copy of ‘Waterloo’ through its inclusion on Jon English’s second ‘best of’ compilation, ‘English History II’ released in 2001. [extract from Retro Universe]
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Marcia Hines (1970-Present)
Marcia Elaine Hines was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Sydney in 1970 at age 16, after auditioning for the Australian production of ‘HAIR’. At the time she was unaware she was pregnant with her daughter Deni.
Following ‘HAIR’, she starred as Mary Magdalene in the production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’.
Marcia achieved great success as a recording artist in the 70’s with many hits and was voted ‘Queen of Pop’. During this period, her debut album was released, ‘Marcia Shines’, and it became the biggest selling album by an Australian female artist. Within one week it had sold 7,000 copies. Over the next eight months it topped the 50,000 sales mark.
In February 1976, she toured with Gene Pitney. Then, in May, came her third single, 'Don't Let The Grass Grow'/'You Gotta Let Go', which didn't make the charts. Hot on the heels of her first successful album, Marcia left for Los Angeles midway through 1976 to record her second at the Arbee Studios. The album was called 'Shining', and was released in October '76. Within one month it had gone gold. That same year she was crowned TV Week Queen of Pop for the first time. In September she released her biggest selling single to date, "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", which stayed in the charts for an amazing twenty one weeks.
Marcia's next national tour came early in 1977. It was promoted as her Shining Over Australia Tour. It was so successful that an 'encore' tour was scheduled for March '77, covering twenty eight additional venues. At this stage, her basic backing unit (which was supplemented by other musicians) consisted of fiance Mark Kennedy (drums); Jackie Orszackky (bass guitar, musical direction); Stephen Howsden (guitar); and Warren Ford (keyboards). In the meantime, sales of the 'Shining' album were still rising and by the end of March '77, they had topped the 150,000 mark (triple platinum status).
Then, in April, Marcia spent most of her time in the studios recording her third album. It was a slightly more mellow record although it did reflect her diversified vocal ability. The album was called 'Ladies And Gentlemen . . . Marcia Hines'. Amazingly it went gold only two hours after it was shipped to two states. By the end of 1977 it had sold over 50,000 copies. Pre-empting the album was a single from it entitled "What I Did For Love". The song was from the stage show, A Chorus Line, and entered the charts at the end of July. At the same time Marcia embarked on her biggest tour ever, which spanned one hundred and thirty days and included eighty six shows. It also covered both South East and Far East Asia.
7" Single
To top off 1977 she was again crowned TV Week Queen of Pop and another single from her album, 'You', was released in October. At the end of the year, Marcia recorded a Christmas special for the ABC network.
With only three years' recording behind her, Marcia had become Australia's biggest selling, locally recorded female artist ever.
In 1982 Marcia toured with Jon English in "Jokers and Queens", releasing an album of the same name.  Soon after Marcia put her solo career on hold to concentrate on being a mum.
Marcia released her biography in 2001 entitled "Diva", alongside a greatest hits album. Since 2003, Marcia has appeared as a permanent judge on ‘Australian Idol’.
She was inducted into the ‘ARIA Hall of Fame’, and in 2009 received an ‘AM’ in the Australia Day Honours for her services to the entertainment industry and the community, through a range of charitable organisations.
Marcia continues her hectic performance schedule, touring nationally with Simply Red, as well as hosting a series on Foxtel’s Lifestyle network entitled "Sweet Talk". [extracts from colemangreig.com and Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, Outback Press. 1978. p143-144]
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This post consists of an MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my vinyl copy, which I only acquired recently. Full album artwork is included along with label scans. Not a well known release, this mini LP is a great snapshot of two of Australia's best loved and talented vocalists dueting alongside the cream of Australian musicians playing at that time.
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Track Listing
01 - Jokers and Queens
02 - Ain't Gonna Run
03 - Heard it Through the Grapevine
04 - This Time
05 - You Were on My Mind
06 - Lovin' Feeling (Live)

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Backing Musicians:
Guitar - John Dallimore, Ross East, Keith Kerwin
Bass - John Coker, Bruno Distanislo
Keyboards - Charlie Hull, Peter Deacon, Steve Ball
Drums - Greg Henson, Hamish Stuart, Sunil De Silva.
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Jokers and Queens MP3 Link (57Mb) New Link 17/10/2015

Jokers and Queens FLACs Link  (160Mb)
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