Saturday, May 31, 2014

Rock On Vinyl Turns 5 Today - Happy Birthday

(Various Artists)
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HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY!
Rock On Vinyl turns '5' today, starting way back in 2009, on May 31st.
My first post was Cold Chisel's ultra rare 12" E.P 'You're 13, You're Beautiful and You're Mine'. (As WEA reissued the complete Cold Chisel catalog on CD recently, this posting is now disabled).
I'm proud to say that this has been my stance from day one, to only post music released on Vinyl which is not currently available on CD. Of course I sometimes question the validity of the pricing advertised on Amazon for some CD releases, with prices reaching into the 100's of dollars. This is sheer greed in my opinion.
Anyhow, back to the party at hand. So, what about some stats for the blog - since June, 2009 there have been:

- 828,000 Visitors

- 1.6 Million Page Views with visitors coming mostly from United States, Australia, the UK and Germany

- 477 Posts covering over 350 artists / bands

- Most popular posts being Bruce Willis (WOCK on Vinyl), The Runaways (Legend) and Deep Purple (Powerhouse)

- At present, the blog has 172 followers contributing to more than 1100 comments
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So thanks everyone, for your support over the past five years. I hope you've found a few gems along the way and I will endeavor to keep delivering the goods for at least another five!
Remember, I'm always open to suggestions on what to post, as long as they fit the 'unavailable' criteria. Just leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.
OK - I'm off to have some of this yummy 'birthday cake' now and work on my next post. But as a small birthday present to you, I've posted a compilation of Birthday songs for your enjoyment. Keeping in the spirit of this blog, the number and total length of the tracks on this compilation would actually fit on a vinyl pressing. And so the party begins......
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Track Listing
01 - Happy Birthday (Stevie Wonder)
02 - Happy Birthday Lisa (The Simpsons/Micheal Jackson)
03 - Silver City Birthday Celebration Day (Brian Cadd)
04 - Birthday (The Sunnyboys)
05 - Magician's Birthday (Uriah Heep)
06 - Happy Birthday Helen (Things of Stone & Wood)
07 - Happy Birthday Rock & Roll (The Pirates)
08 - Happy Birthday To Me (Ross Ryan)
09 - Celebration (Kevin Borich)
10 - Celebrate (Dragon)
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Happy Birthday (MP3 / 110Mb)
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kevin Borich - Studio 22 (2003) T.V Broadcast

(New Zealand/Australian 1969-Present)
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With a professional career spanning 35 years, Kevin Borich has done it all.
Beginning with the La-De-Da’s in New Zealand, writing the classic hit `Gonna See My Baby Tonight’, to his Kevin Borich Express and The Party Boys, Kevin has performed at some of the biggest Rock events Australia has seen.
Sunbury and the Rock Arenas in the 70’s with 60,000 people, featuring Fleetwood Mac, Santana (with whom he was invited onstage to play with) and The Little River Band.
Two New Years Eve celebrations at the Sydney Opera House with 70,000 people, telecast live, nationally and internationally to Japan, at that time, a first! Numerous support shows for international acts, Elton John, Status Quo, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy to name a few.
From your local to the big events, Kevin has carved out a revered reputation in the Australian Music Industry, performing his music with a youthful exuberance – giving extra meaning to the word Longevity.
Kevin has played and recorded with artists such as Renee Geyer `Blues License’ – Dutch Tilders `The Blues Had a Baby ‘- Richard Clapton `Prushan Blue’, Joe Walsh and The Party Boys, of which Kevin was a founding member.
Jammed with Carlos Santana on two of his tours, also with Bo Didley, Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Living Colour.
Overseas tours and tours with Jimmy Barnes, Renee’ Geyer and Mark Hunter, have added spice to his career.
Kevin is well known for his high energy electric guitar style. At the Gimme Ted Benefit Concert for Ted Mulry, Kevin’s performance was hailed throughout the music industry as world class. A Borich show leaves his audience pleading for more, as seen at the Eastcoast Roots & Blues Music Festival Byron Bay, Thredbo Blues Festival and dozens more.
Kevin starred in the hugely successful 18 ‘Sold Out’ Australia wide ‘Long Way To The Top’ 2002 arena concerts. 2003 and Kevin, alongside Tony Joe White, John Mayall and Ray Charles (in that order) performed the Melbourne International Music & Blues Festival. In recognition of Kevin’s contribution to Australian music and blues culture he was inducted into the Australian Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. 2004 and more gigs, more touring, more festivals and a new CD – Nomad.
Kevin includes a 1930’s National Steel acoustic guitar in his show. This “laid-back” acoustic style is a very well received addition to Kevin’s performance on a selection of electric guitars, including his Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Firebird slide guitar.


Kevin is touring with his Express, playing material from his extensive catalogue. Some of which was re-released on CD by Festival (Kevin Borich – Collection) and EMI (Kevin Borich – Goin Down Town, a double pack of the Kevin Borich Express first two albums, `Celebration’ and `Lonely One’, but sadly is now out of print). Due to popular demand, Kevin has independently produced and released his CDs.
`Live at the Big Kahuna’ – a blues-based double live CD which shows Kevin’s versatile guitar style.
’Heart Starter’ – strong powerful and sensitive playing from guys who have tons of cred, Harry Brus (bass) and John Annas (drums) and on 2 tracks Kevin’s son Lucius Borich (drums).
‘Nomad’ – a mighty experience of the combined musical talents of KB, Lucius Borich (drums and bass) and Mark Kennedy (drums and percussion) and Harry Brus (bass).

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This MP3 (256kps) post was ripped from a YouTube clip of a live performance Kevin made on ABC  T.V in 2003, in their famous Studio22. Although Kevin only plays 4 tracks, he quickly demonstrates why he is considered to be one of Australia's best blues and rock guitarists in the business. The T.V host 'Clinton Walker' also interviews Kevin between tracks about his early 'gig' days back in the 70's and some of the better known musicians he has jammed with, over his 35 year musical career.  Artwork is also included which I pieced together myself - so enjoy.

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Track Listing

01 - JL's Heavyweight Boogie
02 - Kevin recalls his pub days in the 70's
03 - Angels Hand 

04 - Interview: Kevin recalls who he has played with
05 - Canefield (Queensland Blues)
06 - Goin' Downtown

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Kevin Borich Link (50Mb)
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Party Boys - Selftitled (1987)

(Australian 1982–1992, 1999, 2011)
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In 1982, Paul Christie (ex-Mondo Rock) decided to form a good-time rock'n'roll band 'The Party Boys', initially for a one-off, two-week tour. The tour was so successful that two weeks extended into ten years, with major hit singles, best-selling albums and sell-out tours along the way. When Christie left Mondo Rock in late 1982, he called up a few old mates with the idea of putting together a covers band for a fun tour. The Party Boys played all cover versions in order to maximise their impact on the pub circuit.

Original line-up: James Reyne (vocals; from Australian Crawl), Kevin Borich (guitar, vocals; from Kevin Borich Express), Harvey James (guitar; ex-Mississippi, Ariel, Sherbet, Swanee), Paul Christie (bass; ex-Kevin Borich Express, Mondo Rock), Buzz Bidstrup (drums; ex-Angels)
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The Swanee Years
By 1987, Angry Anderson (the Party Boy's 5th lead singer) was replaced by John Swan, ushering in The Party Boys' most successful period. Their first release with Swan was a cover of the John Kongos hit "He's Gonna Step On You Again", a song that was reportedly also being considered as a comeback release for John Paul Young at around the same time (Young did not record the track).
In June the single reached No. 1 on the Kent Music Report Singles Chart. In December that year, it was followed by the band's first ever studio album, The Party Boys, which featured six original tracks, plus covers of AC/DC, Argent The Angels, Them and La De Das songs. The Argent tune, "Hold Your Head Up", was issued as a single in November, which peaked at No. 19. However Swan left the band for contractual reasons and to work on a film, Chase the Moon, which was never completed.

Swan was briefly replaced by Graham Bonnet, the UK singer who had recorded with an array of bands including The Marbles, Rainbow and Alcatrazz and who had enjoyed solo success as a solo artist in the 1970s. After only five performances, however, Bonnet left and Swan returned. In February 1988, the group supported AC/DC's first Australian tour in seven years. Swan left after these shows, having served the longest continuous period as the band's singer, broken only by Bonnet's two week tenure. Walsh returned to the band during a brief Australian visit and the group recorded a single, "Follow Your Heart" which was released in March 1989. The new line-up were Christie, Borich, Walsh, and American Calvin Welch on bass guitar with Hamish, Fergus and Angus Richardson on backing vocals. [extract from http://web.archive.org].
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Album Review (by Steve Mascord, Juke Magazine)
There hasn’t been a lot of real grassroots guitar rock’n’roll to come out of Australia since Jimmy Barnes’ last record. A bit, but not much. In fact, there’s been very few enduring Aussie bands capable of blowing your head off since AC/DC. Paul Christie, Swanee and the Party Boys clearly want to change all that.
This, The Party Boys’ first studio album, finally transcends their ‘all-star been-around group’ facade with some original tracks that more than equal the classic rock they have always peddled with great commercial success.
And it’s been a long time coming. The Boys have seemingly been around for 100 years and had just about as many members. The Party Boys have become The Commercial Boys. Paul Christie’s “dream group” now packs as much financial punch on radio and vinyl as it always has on stage.
Their first release with CBS is a scorcher. Half an album of hand-picked covers and half of originals. It already has two hits, ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again’ and ‘Hold Your Head Up’, both of which set the tone for a traditional hard rock album spiced with melody. The next single will be the semi-melodic original “Is This The Way To Say Goodbye”, a bluesy little track that Swanee croons in a style befitting brother Barnes himself. But the Boys potential for greatness is never better illustrated than on the remaining original ‘She’s A Mystery’, ‘Rising Star’, ‘Small Talk’ and particularly ‘It Could’ve Been You’.
‘She’s A Mystery’ and ‘It Could’ve Been You’ are the sort of songs most of the new American melodic metal brigade would kill to get their hands on. The other two originals are both up-front Aussie screamers mirror the influence of veteran rockers Alan Lancaster and John Brewster on the band.
Of course, the Party Boys would be castigated by their fans if they didn’t include oldies like ‘High Voltage’ and ‘Gloria’ on the record. Throw in Kevin Borich classic ‘Gonna See My Baby’, and The ‘Boys have served up new bosses CBS with a well-balanced commercial effort.
The production (Lancaster and Brewster produced) is unashamedly guitar-based and not fancy or pretentious, although some of the cover songs do come across as being a bit flat. But the Boys’ no frills style is enough to remind you that Ackadacka are Australian. While this album will hardly set the Australian music industry on its ear like AC/DC did, there’s enough potential on show to indicate that’s exactly what the Party Boys are capable of doing.   
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The Party Boys released the single "He's Gonna step On You" in 1987. It was released through the CBS label as catalog number: 650906 7. "He's Gonna step On You" first charted on 8th of June 1987, peaked at 1st position, and stayed in the charts for 26 weeks. They also released the single "Hold Your Head Up" in 1987. It was released through the CBS label as catalog number: 651124 7. "Hold Your Head Up" first charted on 5th of October 1987, peaked at 21st position, and stayed in the charts for 19 weeks.
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This post consists of a MP3 rip (320kps) ripped from my clean vinyl copy and includes full album artwork, plus select photos of the band. This album should be played loud, irrespective of whether you are having a party or not !
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Track Listing
01 - Hold Your Head Up
02 - Is This The Way To Say Goodbye
03 - He's Gonna Step On You Again
04 - She's A Mystery
05 - Rising Star
06 - Gloria
07 - Small Talk
08 - It Could've Been You
09 - Gonna See My Baby
10 - High Voltage




The Party Boys were:
John Swann - Lead Vocals
Kevin Borich - Lead Guitar, Vocals
John Brewster - Rythm Guitar, Vocals
Paul Cristie - Drums, Vocals
Richard Harvey - Drums
Alan Lancaster - Bass, Vocals


The Party Boys Link (89Mb) New Link 24/10/2015

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Atomic Rooster - Assortment (1973)

(U.K 1969-75, 1980-83)
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Atomic Rooster was an English progressive rock band, originally composed of former members of the The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member, and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, however they are best-known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, "Tomorrow Night" (UK No. 11) and "The Devil's Answer" (UK No. 4), both in 1971.
'Assortment' by Atomic Rooster is that rare item, a well-planned compilation album, and is Atomic Rooster's first collection. Atomic Rooster were formed in mid-1969 by keyboard-player Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer, both from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, famous for the hit single, Fire, and Nick Graham on bass. Although named after the charismatic frontman, Crane was the main songwriter and musician with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, so his own band was a natural development. Atomic Rooster were one of the first heavy, keyboard-led, progressive rock bands, along with The Nice and King Crimson, so it is no coincidence that Carl Palmer would depart soon after to join Keith Emerson and Greg Lake from those bands to form ELP.
Early Atomic Rooster featuring Carl Palmer

Charisma wisely used the two hit singles to open each side of the vinyl or cassette, therefore "Devil's Answer" begins the album. The track started life as a non-album single, with John Du Cann on lead vocals and guitar, but was later added to the third album, 'In Hearing Of' (1971), as a bonus track. Atomic Rooster usually gave their songs an imaginative intro and "Devil's Answer" has a gradual build-up of their distinctive dual organ and guitar. As befits an intended single, "Devil's Answer" is catchy, with Vincent Crane's characteristically heavy keyboards and Du Cann's spiky guitar, but with added brass for extra punch. "Sleeping for Years" has a spooky lingering guitar intro, before another catchy insistent riff and organ work. Du Cann's guitar swirls in-and-out, as does his voice, along with his memorable, 'Oh-ho's.' Du Crann's subject matter is typically unsettling for the band, when he tells us, 'Wasted Away, sleeping off the years/ Been around, stuck around far too long.' 'Sleeping for Years' is from Rooster's second and best album, 'Death Walks Behind You' (1970), with the classic lineup of Du Cann, Crane and Paul Hammond on drums from Princes Risborough's local heroes, Farm.

Having built our expectations of another gradual build-up, "Friday the 13th" bursts straight in, with the whole band on fire, but it was not always this way. 'Atomic Rooster' (1970), the first album, was recorded with the original lineup of Nick Graham on lead vocals and bass guitar, Vincent Crane on keyboards and Carl Palmer on drums. On completion, Nick Graham (a talented multi-instrumentalist) departed for the similar-sounding Skin Alley and John Du Cann was recruited from Andromeda as lead singer and guitarist. Crane, like Ray Manzarek of The Doors, took over the bass lines, by playing them on the Hammond, with a combination of his left hand and pedals. They were then overdubbed. "Friday the 13th" was also overdubbed with DuCann's voice and guitar, for the US release, adding energy and improving it markedly (despite Nick Graham being a fine musician). This is the version on Assortment. Crane has cleverly blended a jaunty melody with a lyric about despair, sung by Du Cann with a call and response, 'No One Will Save You, they won't try/ Someone please, please help me/ Everyone's lonely when they die.' Despite the title, the hook of  "Save me" is infectious and the solos are excellent as always.

Another track on the first album to be overdubbed, this time only with guitar, is the next track on Assortment, "S.L.Y." (the third and final over-dub, again with just guitar, was on the "Before Tomorrow" track, which is not included on this compilation). S.L.Y. is also another song with a repeated phrase, 'I want you', that does not match the title. Nick Graham sounds remarkably like Atomic Rooster's fourth singer, Chris Farlowe, which may explain why the latter fitted so well. Farlowe's soulful voice is not included on Assortment, but I strongly recommend his album with Atomic Rooster, 'Nice 'n' Greasy', because they maintain the quality and he gives some of his best performances. "S.L.Y." is typical of the standout tracks on the first album, as it points to Atomic Rooster's future work. It ends on a guitar that sounds like an atomic rooster . . .

"S.L.Y." is followed on the compilation by "Death Walks Behind You", which has an intro that sounds like an Atomic Rooster! More great work from those people at Charisma! "Death Walks Behind You" is the fondly remembered title track from Atomic Rooster's most critically and commercially successful album. It is a relatively long piece that builds slowly to the main riff, with bursts of wah-wah, followed by alternating piano and bass notes. The lyrics reach the pinnacle of Crane And Du Cann's darkness, 'Start to scream, shout for help/ There is no one by your side/ To forget what is done/ Seems so hard to carry on.' "Death Behinds You" fades on an eery chiming guitar and the ubiquitous, 'Oh-ho's.'

Chronologically, Atomic Rooster's first hit single, "Tomorrow Night", opens the second side of the vinyl and cassette. John Du Cann's voice follows the repetitive guitar, accompanied by Carl Palmer's successor Paul Hammond on chopping cowbell and percussion. Like "Devil's Answer", it is catchy and maintains the menace and flawless solos. It ends on vocal effects and that atomic rooster again! Breaking the Ice, from 'In Hearing Of', has Du Cann concentrating on guitar, to be replaced by Pete French, from Leaf Hound, on lead vocals. With the addition of French, another excellent singer, the feel is bluesier and less bleak. However, Assortment's balance is redressed by "I Can't Take No More", a driving track from 'Death Walks Behind You'. Pete French's voice is at its most distinctive raspiness on "The Price", with more call and response and an economical Keith Emerson-style solo from Crane.

An untouched "Decline and Fall", from the debut album, is primarily a vehicle for the 19-year-od Carl Palmer's drum skills. It is mostly instrumental, with rolling tom toms and a famous solo, which later reappeared on ELP's Tank. As previously stated, Palmer departed Atomic Rooster soon after the first album for an even greater showcase with ELP. Nick Graham's vocal passage at the end of "Decline and Fall" is better than it is often given credit and, with the benefit of hindsight, should have been afforded more space.


After the recording of 'In Hearing Of', in 1971, John Du Cann and Paul Hammond left the band to form Bullet and Hard Stuff with bassist Johnny Gustafson from Quatermass. Vincent Crane recruited Chris Farlowe to continue with a more soulful and funky, but equally high quality, version of Atomic Rooster. In 1980, Crane and Du Cann reconvened with drummer Preston Heyman to record 'Atomic Rooster' (1980) for EMI, a punk rock-inspired album, which was full of creative promise. Hammond, despite suffering serious leg injuries in a car accident in Belgium, even rejoined for the tour and the classic lineup was re-established. However, after a lifetime of mental illness, Crane became ill and Atomic Rooster disbanded. Hammond died from an accidental drug overdose in 1992, sadly putting an end to dreams of new material. Those who knew him in the early days said he was a talented musician and a decent person, unspoiled by the commercial success he enjoyed with Atomic Rooster. Crane intended to try again with Du Cann in 1997, but tragically committed suicide, with an overdose of painkillers, in February 1989. A musical genius and one of progressive rock's true innovators was gone. Du Cann's solo work was often surprisingly upbeat, but he died following a heart attack in September 2011.


Assortment stands as a monumental achievement by one of the first and best progressive rock bands. Without synthesizers, computers, sequencers and samplers, they created a body of heavy, but melodic and imaginative work their successors can only dream of emulating. All credit to Charisma, then, for taking the time to compile a collection which not only reflects Atomic Rooster's best work, but is also an example of their finest output. It is not often one can say this about a compilation. [review by BigEars at www.musicbanter.com]
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Is this my long lost cover?
This post consists of MP3 rip (320kps) taken from my prized vinyl copy. Alas, the album's cover was misplaced and never found many years ago (one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of my life) so I have sourced the artwork from the internet for this post.  As mentioned in BigEar's review, this album is a wonderful collection of Atomic Rooster's best work from 1969 to 1973 and a must for any serious record collector. I of course have acquired all of their albums on CD over the years but listening to their hits on vinyl just doesn't get better, so I have avoided using CD rips in this post on purpose.  Expect the occasional crackle & pop.
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Track Listing
01 Devil's Answer (3:29)
02 Sleeping For Years (5:26)
03 Friday The 13th (3:29)
04 I Can't Take No More (3:35)
05 Death Walks Behind You (7:31)
06 Tomorrow Night (3:19)
07 Break The Ice (4:25)
08 S.L.Y (3:40)
09 The Price (5:39)
10 Decline And Fall (5:42)

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Band Members:
Vincent Crane: Hammond organ, piano, backing vocals
John Du Cann: Lead vocals, guitars
Nick Graham: Bass guitar, vocals
Carl Palmer: Drums, percussion
Paul Hammond: Drums, percussion
Pete French: Lead vocals
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Atomic Rooster Link (125Mb)  New Link 30/05/2014
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Broderick Smith's Big Combo - 2 Live Shows (1981)

(Australian 1979-1982)
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Broderick Smith (born 1948 in Hertfordshire, England) is an Australian singer-songwriter, harmonica, guitar and banjo player. He has been a member of 1970s bands Carson and The Dingoes, 1980s Broderick Smith's Big Combo and performed solo. Broderick sings, plays harmonica and guitar. He writes his own material and performs other songwriter’s material as well.
Broderick started playing folk and blues music back in 1962. Leaving school and having a variety of jobs, he joined legendary Blues outfit the Adderley Smith Blues Band.
In 1968, Broderick was conscripted by the government of the day and press-ganged into the Australian Army for 2 years, in which he spent most of the time trying to stay out of trouble.
Upon his eventual release after the collapse of the Liberal junta he helped form a country roots type act called Sundown. But his first commercially recorded work was on Harvest EMI records  in 1972 with Carson, a boogie and blues band. This was his first real taste of traveling the country and playing music.

Broderick Smith's Big Combo
Then in 1973 he helped form The Dingoes, a legendary country rock group that is a main inspiration behind the modern country rock explosion. The Dingoes aim in life was actually to carry on the great work done by another band called Country Radio and explore the possibilities of blending Bush music with R’n’B.
The Dingoes were signed up to American management in 1976 and went over there to live and work until the end of 1978.  While in the States, the Dingoes were booked to do a national tour with Lynard Skynard which would have probably launched them to success was cancelled due to the plane crash which killed several members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band.  They consequently returned to Australia disheartened and eventually disbanded. Kerryn Tolhurst remained in the states, living in Arazona, but only recently returned to Australia, when the dingoes reunited in 2009.

Broderick Smith
After his 1978 return to Australia, Broderick fronted various bands with his name featured: Broderick Smith's Hired Hands (1978-1979), Broderick Smith's Big Combo (1979-1982), Broderick Smith Band (1983-?) and Broderick Smith and the Noveltones (1988). Of these Big Combo provided his best known latter releases with the singles "Faded Roses" and "My Father's Hands" and the album Broderick Smith's Big Combo in 1981. Broderick Smith's Big Combo selftitled album finally made it to CD on Aztec Records. in 2010.
Smith was also a singer on the Andrew Durant Memorial concert album which was held in 1981.
Overall, Broderick has released fifteen albums to date, nine under his own name, recording both here and in Canada and the US. He has recorded with Cat Stevens, Jimmy Barnes, Steve Cropper, The Memphis Horns, Buffy Saint Marie, Phil Ochs, Ted Egan, Tommy and Phil Emmanuel. The list just goes on and on.

Malcolm Eastick
Broderick's been involved in the writing of somewhere around 200 songs and his solo albums have seen him writing virtually all the lyrics. He generally starts off with the lyric in a prose form and then when the music is written, he then tends to change the lyrics to suit the music. Broderick believes lyrics should say something and not just be something to sing along to [extract from mushroommusic.com]
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Broderick Smith's Big Combo
After his time with Aussie legends Carson and The Dingoes, Broderick Smith (one of Australia's greatest voices) assembled an enviable group of musicians, christened Broderick Smith's Big Combo. Joining him were: Mal Eastick (guitar - ex-Stars), Mick O'Connor (organ - ex-Mark Gillespie Band), Chris Wilson (piano, guitar - ex-Buster Brown), Graham Thompson (bass - ex-Stars, Russell Morris Band) and John Annas (drums - ex-Atlas, Kevin Borich Express). The band soon became one of the country's biggest live attractions and was signed to Glenn Wheatley's W.B.E. label. They recorded their self-titled album at AAV in Melbourne with Ernie Rose producing. The album would feature four singles - the first two: 'Faded Roses' and 'My Father's Hands' became top 40 hits (as did the LP), followed by 'High Rise' and 'Ruby In The Snow'.
John Annas
Broderick has been likened to a Bruce Springsteen and his E-Street band, with his distinct voice and the Big Combo's twin Keyboard sound (Hammond Organ & Electric Piano). Broderick Smith even has the same initials!  They even do a great rendition of Springsteen's "Badlands" - as featured here on the Billboard set.
"Last Train from Mobil Town" is a great opening track on the Central Club set, and grabs you straight away. The Big Combo use the rhythm section in this song to sound like a driving train, with it's fade C/- John Annas on snare and drums and Mick O'Connor on organ, the song quickly builds. Like a lot of songs about trains, it is a metaphor about moving on in life. Broderick wants to leave this shit town that he has never been happy in and sees his future ahead being somewhere else, that's for sure.
Of course, both sets featured his hit single "Faded Roses" which is a considerably gentler song. Chris Wilson plays some awesome piano on this track, opening up the wonderful melody of Faded Roses which made it so popular with Australian audiences. Broderick paints a picture with his lyrics of a lousy cafe, a relationship where things aren't really that good, and simply asks where is it all leading to? It's basically a 'get out of my life' song rather than a love song, it's really just a breakup song.
"Iceman" is another great song that just chugs along and the Billboard set features some brilliant guitar work by Malcolm Eastick. Overall, these two live shows capture Broderick Smith in his element and his Big Combo band were probably one of the tightest units around at the time.

Big Combo On Countdown
 This posts consists of two posts, the first one 'Live at Billboard', recorded by 92.3EON-FM  in 1981 and the second recorded at the Central Club in Richmond, probably 1981 also. Both are soundboard quality and are presented here in MP3 format (320kps).  Thanks must go to the Dennis B at Midoztouch for the concert rips and to WoodyNet (also at Midoztouch) for his wonderful artwork.
Note: I have edited the artwork for the Billboard concert to match the correct track listing and also moved the last Billboard track "Into the Mystic" to the Central Club concert to retain a single CD format for both sets.  For more info on Broderick Smith, why not check out his comprehensive website
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Brod Smith's Big Combo Live @ Central Club Hotel 1981  (156Mb)
01 - Last Train From Mobiltown
02 - Tightrope
03 - Almost Saturday Night
04 - High Rise
05 - I Was Here
06 - Faded Roses
07 - Fortune Favours The Bold   
08 - My Father's Hands
09 - Gimme Some Lovin'
10 - Two Steps From The Blues
11 - Back Off Baby Brother
12 - Iceman
13 - Ruby In The Snow
14 - Into The Mystic (Live At The Billboard)
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Brod Smith's Big Combo Live @ Billboard 1980's  (178Mb)  New Link 27/6/2016 
01 - Dr. Rock 'n' Roll

02 - Almost Saturday Night
03 - Here Come Those Tears Again
04 - For Shame Of Doing Wrong
05 - Messin' With The Kid
06 - Mr B is Coming to Town
07 - Because The Night
08 - You've Got Some Imagination
09 - Jungle Work
10 - Ruby In The Snow
11 - High Rise
12 - Badlands
13 - Faded Roses
14 - After Glow Of Your Love
15 - Substitue
16 - Back Off Baby Brother
17 - Devil Drives
18 - Iceman

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (1973)

(U.K. Various Artists 1973)
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Rock stars doing disappearing acts wasn't entirely new by the early Seventies. Bob Dylan conveniently used a motorcycle accident as a ruse to fade away for three years in the late Sixties. The Beatles escaped the pressures of post-Sgt Pepper fame by retreating to a hideaway in the foothills of the Himalayas with their spiritual guru the Maharishi. But Eric Clapton's self-imposed exile from pop fame - which, at its height, had seen "Clapton is God" graffiti spray-painted all over London - had led him straight into a career- and life-threatening drug habit. "I had to go into the darkness," he explained later.
Friend and fellow guitarist The Who's Pete Townshend, who'd been deeply affected by the recent deaths of Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix, had seen the warning signs. So, too, had Lord Harlech, aristocrat father of Clapton's girlfriend Alice Ormsby-Gore. Together the pair hatched a plan to get Clapton working again.
L-R: Ronne Wood, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend
After little more than a week of rehearsals at Ronnie Wood's Hampton Court home, Eric Clapton emerged with an all-star band featuring Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Ric Grech and Rebop alongside Townshend and Wood. George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Paul and Linda McCartney, Elton John, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Page were just a few of the famous faces in the audience, together with a couple of thousand fans, all eager for a rare glimpse of the guitar guru.

Because of the precarious nature of Clapton's condition, the makeshift band was privately dubbed The Palpitations, due to a suspicion that the guitarist might bottle the performance. It was a close thing: Clapton arrived just one minute before he was due on stage.
Bearded and a little heavier than when he was last seen in public, he opened with 'Layla' and everyone's nerves quickly steadied. It was a historic show, but not, reckoned the guitarist, necessarily a classic one. "Well under par," Clapton admitted later A surfeit of guitarists took the edge off his playing, though less remarked upon at the time was the change in his voice, which had acquired a new soulful edge - but everyone was just simply delighted to have him back. [extract from 'I was There - Gigs That Changed The World' Mark Paytress, 2005. p160]. 

Ronnie Wood shares his recollections of the event....
Pete Townshend came to the Wick one night, because he was worried about Eric Clapton.
After Eric's group, Derek and the Dominos, busted up in 1971, he withdrew with his then girlfriend, Alice Ormsby-Gore (Lord Harlech's daughter who, sadly, died of an overdose), and the two of them stayed stoned on heroin for two years. I mean, they became hermits. The only time I can think of during those two years when Eric came out into the real world was in August 1971, when George Harrison invited him to Madison Square Garden in New York to take part in his Concert For Bangladesh. He showed up, played, and after that he and Alice just shut the door again and stayed smacked out.

All their friends wanted to do something and many of them tried, but Eric and Alice didn't want to know. Pete grew so worried that he decided we just couldn't have this any more, and was determined to do whatever he had to in order to get them straight. His answer was to put together a concert and then to convince Steve Winwood and me that it was time to drag Eric out of his reclusion in Surrey and up to London for rehearsals. Which is exactly what we did. We literally dragged Eric out of his house and moved him into mine. We made him spend ten days at the Wick with us, rehearsing. Along with Eric, Pete, Steve and me were Jimmy Capaldi from Traffic, who played drums and sadly died in January 2005, Jimmy Karstein also on drums, Reebop Kwaku Baah, who was on percussion, and Rick Grech on bass.
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The Rainbow Concert was held on 13 January 1973, at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, formerly the Astoria, where, back in '57, I first saw Duke Ellington's orchestra with Sam Woodyard on drums and 'Cat' Anderson on trumpet and where I also played my first concert with the Jeff Beck Group. During rehearsals, it was obvious to me that Eric hadn't lost anything over those two years in seclusion. He'd always been my premier guitar inspiration, and when we took the stage at the Rainbow that night everyone else knew it too. The place was packed and went wild when we opened the show with one of rock's definitive love songs, 'Layla'.
 George Harrison was in the audience that night with his wife, Pattie Boyd. She was an absolute beauty who had had a bit part in the movie A Hard Day's Night, and had met George on the set. He fell for her, married her and wrote the song 'Something' for her. But Eric was in love with Pattie, too, and he'd written 'Layla' for her. From the audience's reaction, everybody must have known that.
. We did the Hendrix hit 'Little Wing' and lots of Eric's big songs like 'Let It Rain', 'Badge', 'After Midnight' and 'Bell Bottom Blues'. By the time we reached the end of the set with 'Key to the Highway' and 'Crossroads', no one had any doubts - Eric was back.
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That show was a turning point in his career because, as he later said, 'Pete Townshend gave me faith in myself.' It was also a turning point in mine. Eric and Pete had me doing the Duane Allman slides in numbers like 'Layla' and I had to learn all these complicated Clapton songs which I'd never played before. That they wanted me to be their Duane Allman was a big feather in my cap. The fact that they elected me to play the part of Duane suited me fine, as he was my bottleneck hero ever since I heard him play on Aretha's The Weight'. All the more so because it was the first time I'd played with the really big boys, boys I respected. I felt like Elmore James! [Extract from Ronnie Woods Autobiography 'Ronnie', McMillian Publishers, 2007. Chapter 8, Rainbow, p104-106]
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Eric Clapton And The Palpitations - Rainbow Concert
.This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes both artwork for LP and CD, plus label scans.  I have also chosen to include as a bonus track, "Layla" which was their opening track at the Rainbow Concert (and comes from the expanded CD release of this famous concert). I was always mystified why the original vinyl release didn't include this 'classic' track (and perhaps drop one of the lesser popular tracks like "Pearly Queen" or "Roll It Over"). Although I've listed it as track 7 it would probably be better positioned as track 1 when you listen to this concert, so you get the benefit of the opening dialogue.
My only criticism of this concert is the somewhat average quality of the recording that was produced by the record producers for both the Vinyl and CD releases, so don't shot the messenger !
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Track Listing
01 - Badge
02 - Roll It Over
03 - Presence Of The Lord
04 - Pearly Queen
05 - After Midnight
06 - Little Wing
07 - Layla (Bonus Track)

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The Palpitations were:
Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals
Pete Townsend - Guitar, Vocals
Ronnie Woods - Guitar, Vocals
Rick Grech - Bass
Steve Winwood - Keyboards, Vocals
Jim Capaldi - Drums, Vocals
Jimmy Karstein - Drums'

Rebop' Kwaku Baah - Percussion
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Rainbow Concert Link (107Mb) New Link 24/02/2017
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