Monday, September 18, 2017

The Easybeats - The Best Of Of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl (1967)

(Australian 1964–1969, 1986)
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The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl was released in May 1967 in Australia and New Zealand) this album was first digitally remastered for CD in 1987 and then in 1997 with a different artwork (as per this post). It was then remastered again by Don Bartley and reissued in 2013 for the  iTunes Store and released in 2014 on 180 gram vinyl for Record Store Day Australia. This version features slightly different font to the original 1967 version and has the Parlophone logo removed.

It was the first compilation album released exclusively in Australia and New Zealand to coincide with the 1967 Australian Homecoming Tour. The album peaked on the Kent Report Charts at number 3 and became the 20th best selling album in Australia in 1967. Another interesting feature about this LP was the “Recording History of The Easybeats” chart featured on the covers rear.

The Follow Up Single To 'Friday On My Mind'
Within the Easybeats camp there were heated arguments, prolonged discussions and gridlocked disagreements over what should be the follow-up single to 'Friday on My Mind'. It was an important decision. The right follow-up to a breakthrough hit could ensure a long and successful career. The wrong choice could doom them to one-hit-wonder status. Finally, Shel Talmy and United Artists decided on 'Who'll Be the One'. ('Do You Have a Soul?' would be the B-side.)

Their reasoning was that it had similar vocal harmonies and production values to 'Friday'. George explains, 'Shel Talmy produced it (a hell of a good producer) in the American tradition of a follow-up record sounding like the first hit ... American bands have been known to use the same backing track for a follow-up single. The strategy may have been sound but the song was not single quality. It had a slightly catchy chorus, but no hooks, no fiendishly clever guitar-work, no infectious harmonies and nothing lyrically unique. Every member of the band opposed the choice.


Maggie Makeig reviewed the new single in Everybody's magazine at the time and was accurate in her assessment: ' "Do You Have a Soul?" sounds a better side to me with much more going for it. I can imagine the soul searching that went on before the 'Beats decided on 'Who'll Be the One' but I think it was a mistake.' George says, 'The next single became 'Who'll Be the One' which was crap, but it seemed to be the thing to satisfy most people. It wasn't in the same league as 'Friday on My Mind', it wasn't even on the same planet!'

Arguably, any other song on Good Friday would have been a better option (except 'See Line Woman' which was a bit experimental). Wiser heads would have consulted the Top 40 charts from Down Under. 'Sorry' was a proven winner. It had shot straight to No. 1 in Australia and No. 2 in New Zealand just before 'Friday' broke through. Stevie Wright explains, 'Some of our big hits ['Sorry' and Til Make You Happy'] weren't considered big hits by the English when we got there. We were just treated with the contempt they usually reserve for those from a European country. They just didn't want to know ... Time had moved on and the English just didn't consider [re-releasing those songs]. They thought the stuff that went to number one in Australia was second-rate.'

Australian rock musician and writer lain Mclntyre argues that the top contender for follow-up single should have been 'Pretty Girl': 'Although there was an obvious, gold-plated contender in the superb "Pretty Girl" the song was inexplicably passed over and relegated to the B-side of a later single.' What counted against this ballad was that it had a different feel to 'Friday' and that Harry Vanda took lead vocals. But one listen today confirms that it would have been perfect for the English market and that it is one of the best examples of the Easybeats' exquisite and creative harmonies. [extract from Vanda & Young - Inside Australia's Hit Factory, John Tait, 2010. p82-83]
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 1997 CD release of the album and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD releases.  Featuring such classics as "She's So Fine", "Wedding Ring", "Sorry" and the mega hit "Friday On My Mind", this timeless compilation album is chock a block full of 'Easy Fever'.
For more information on John Tait's comprehensive and authoritative biography of The Easybeats' power house musicians Vanda & Young, see his bookstore website
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Track Listing
01 - For My Woman (Young, Wright)
02 - She’s So Fine (Young, Wright)
03 - Wedding Ring (Young, Wright)
04 - Sad Lonely And Blue (Young, Wright)
05 - Easy As Can Be (Young, Wright)
06 - In My Book (Young, Wright)
07 - Women (Young, Wright)
08 - Pretty Girl (Vanda, Young)
09 - Come And See Her  (Young, Wright)
10 - I’ll Make You Happy  (Young, Wright)
11 - Too Much (Vanda, Young, Wright)
12 - Sorry (Young, Wright)
13 - Made My Bed ; Gonna Lie In It (Young)
14 - Friday On My Mind (Vanda, Young)

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The Easybeats:

Stevie Wright - Vocals
Snowy Fleet - Drums
Dick Diamonde - Bass
Harry Vanda - Guitar, Backing vocals
George Young - Guitar, Backing Vocals

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The Best Of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl (249Mb)
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mother Goose - Live in Dunedin, NZ (2007) Bootleg

(New Zealand 1975 - 1984)
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Mother Goose were a theatrical rock group that formed in Dunedin in 1975. They were renowned for their whacky costumes and stage routines. In 1976, they relocated to Auckland and then Australia. In 1982 Steve Young received the APRA Silver Scroll award for the song "I Can't Sing Very Well".

Now, sing along if you remember this one: "Baked beans, oh baked beans, baked beans, oh baked beans".

In 1977 Mother Goose were slurping them up by the bucketful as the strangely dressed Dunedin band hit a stellar patch in their career with their joyous ode to Heinz' saucy super food.

Mother Goose might have looked kinda funny and not taken themselves terribly seriously, but the six southern men were hot musos and their live show ruled.

Based in Australia when they released the jolly piss-taking single Baked Beans, fledgling Aussie bands like Cold Chisel, the Angels, Men At Work and Midnight Oil clamoured to support them. A year later, Mother Goose were living the rock 'n' roll dream in Hollywood, wowing crowds with their high-octane live show and funny theatrics.

They were loved by audiences and critics alike, but their frenetic live show didn't translate into album sales. Global superstardom eluded them, as it does so many deserving acts, and Mother Goose split in 1984.

For a full biography of the band you can see my earlier post for their Stuffed Album or you can jump across to the Dunedinmusic website.



Mother Goose 30th Reunion
(Mother Goose live at the Regent Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand March 23, 2007)

Marcel Rodeka writes on his website:
And this our one-off reunion show in Dunedin in 2007, after 25 years of not playing together. This is the original Dunedin lineup to celebrate Dunedin's Festival of the Arts. Of course we were also fortunate to have had Justin McCarthy on guitar for three years and Neil Shilkin on keys for over two years, both outstanding musicians and writers and every much part of Mother Goose and its history as the rest of us. This concert featured our long time live sound engineer, the legendary Pixie Michael who was also part of our long history and who changed and influenced our live sound immeasurably the day he came on board. It was great to have Pixie again out front for the Oxo Cubans Mayfair Theatre show in September.
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This post consists of a single MP3 (256kps) ripped from a video DVD that I recently acquired at my local flee market (what a find folks).  I am also including a MP4 rip of the concert as a separate link and is well worth watching.  The concert goes for just under 1 hour and is brilliant.  Thanks to Marcel Rodeka for the concert photos.  Having seen these guys perform on numerous occasions back in 1977, this concert brought back a flood of wonderful memories that I treasure immensely. Their stage act was nothing like I'd seen before, and to this day remains the best I've ever seen.
So, sit ya self down and crack open a can of baked beans and once again revisit the wacky the world of Mother GOOSE!
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Track Listing 
01 - Lawnmower Symphony
02 - Silent Movie
03 - Spuds Are Up
04 - Land Ho!
05 - Somebody Broke My Heart
06 - 8 Miles High (with Drum Solo)
07 - Paint It Black
08 - This Is The Life
09 - Once Upon A Time
10 - Baked Beans 07
11 - Sound of Music (encore)
12 - I Can't Sing Very Well

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The Band
Craig Johnston (Vocals) 
Marcel Rodeka (Drums) 
Pete Dickson (Lead Guitar) 
Kevin Collings (Rhythm Guitar) 
Steve Young (Keyboards) 
Denis Gibbins (Bass Guitar) 
and later 
Justin McCarthy (Lead Guitar) 
Neil Shilkin (Rhythm Guitar)
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Mother Goose MP3 Link (109Mb)
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Mother Goose MP4 Video Link (678Mb)
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Various Artists - History Of The 70's Vol.1 (1979)

(Various Artists  1970-74)
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Every generation has a soft spot for the decade in which it came of age. For rock and roll fans, however, it’s hard to argue that any decade surpassed the ‘70s, on a number of fronts. Post-Beatles and pre-MTV, the ‘70s occupied a sweet spot where rock and roll was played out on wide-open terrain, and on a field where “genre” had yet to become a catch-word. And so, this post gives you a sample of those well known classics (ROCK, GLAM, POP) that we Baby Boomers grew up with, as teenagers.

Take note that even though this compilation is entitled Vol.1, I can find no trace of a Vol.2 every being released. One must wonder whether EMI had intended to release a Vol.2 which covered the second half of the Seventies (Vol.1 only covers the first half), but changed their mind later, perhaps due to poor sales with Vol.1.

SUZI QUATRO - CAN THE CAN
Born in the U.S.A., where at the age of 14 she left school and formed a band with her three sisters, Suzi Quatro was discovered by Mickie Most in Detroit, while recording a new album with Jeff Beck. Mickie signed Suzi Quatro to the RAK label in 1972, and a year later she took the world by storm.

Hits like 48 CRASH, DAYTONA DEMON, DEVIL GATE DRIVE and THE WILD ONE all made the charts here in Australia. Of course, it started with CAN THE CAN, which reached No. 1 and stayed on the charts for 29 Weeks.

Although she did not have many hit records during the mid-seventies, in 1978 she returned to the charts with THE RACE IS ON, IF YOU CAN'T GIVE ME LOVE and a duet with Chris Norman (from Smokie) called STUMBLIN 'IN.

BLUE SWEDE - HOOKED ON A FEELING
Before the onslaught by Swedish supergroup Abba in the mid 70s, an unknown Swedish band by the name of BLUE SWEDE took the pop charts by storm, all over the world. The record HOOKED ON A FEELING, made Top 10 in most European countries and here in Australia had a similar impact The single reached No. 4 and remained m the charts for 24 weeks. An already well established band in Sweden, this single was their first recording in the English language. They recorded an album which sold very well in Australia Unfortunately, they were not to repeat the success of their smash-hit. The band broke up a couple of years later and at this stage, only the lead-singer, BJORN SKIFS, is still in the music industry. Bjorn is, at the moment, a very successful solo artist in Europe and destined to come up with a hit record here in Australia.

DAVE EDMUNDS - PROMISED LAND
Dave Edmunds is one of those artists who is always on the verge of becoming a big name in the pop industry. It started back in 1967, when, as the lead guitarist with the UK band LOVE SCULPTURE, he reached the No 1 spot in the U.K. with SABRE DANCE. In 1970 he decided to go solo and his first single, I HEAR YOU KNOCKING, hit the No. 1 spot in England, selling over 3,000,000 copies. The record made Top 20 in Australia as well, but his big hit here was PROMISED LAND, which reached No. 7 and stayed on the charts for 17 weeks Strangely enough, this record proved only to be a hit in Australia. Although Dave has been quiet for the last few years, it will only be a matter of time before he will be back on the charts.

JOE SOUTH - CHILDREN
Joe South started his career as a session musician, working with such artists as BOB DYLAN, ARETHA FRANKLIN, as well as playing on Simon and Garfunkel SOUNDS OF SILENCE album.

His compositions created a lot of interest , and several of these songs became hits, like DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS by Billy Joe Royal and HUSH by Deep Purple. In 1968, Joe signed with Capitol Records and recorded his first album INTROSPECT.

However, it was not until 1969 that the album started to chart in the U.S.A. The big hit single off the album was GAMES PEOPLE PLAY. CHILDREN reached No. 51 and stayed 9 weeks on the charts
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ROSS RYAN - I AM PEGASUS
Discovered in 1972 when he was the support act for Roy Orbison, Ross was signed to EMI in 1973. His first album for EMI was A POEM YOU CAN KEEP. This album featured his hit single I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.

This was followed by his biggest hit to date, I AM PEGASUS which reached No.2 and stayed on the charts for an unbelievable 38 weeks. In early 1974, both the album MY NAMES MEANS HORSE and the single taken from this album were certified Gold. The then Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Gough Whitlam, presented Ross with the Gold Record Awards.


LA DE DAS - TOO POOPED TO POP
The LA DE DAS were originally from New Zealand, where they had a No.1 hit with a song called HEY BABY They came over to Australia in 1966, but if wasn't until 1971 that their first Australian hit, GONNA SEE MY BABY TONIGHT follow-up, MORNING GOOD MORNING, charted in 1972 and their last hit, as featured on this album, was TOO POOPED TO POP in 1974.  It reached No. 24 and stayed on the charts for 19 weeks.

Although the LA DE DAS went through quite a few personnel changes, their lead guitarist Kevin Borich stayed with the band till the end. He wrote most of their songs and was also lead vocalist.

When the LA DE DAS disbanded, he formed his own band, which is now known as one of Australia's premier bands, namely The Kevin Borich Express.


STEVIE WRIGHT - EVIE PARTS 1,2 AND 3
It is not often that a single which lasts longer than the customary 3 to 4 minutes becomes a hit, due to the fact that commercial radio stations around the world feel anything longer than 4 minutes becomes boring to their listening audience.

However, every now and then a record comes along that will break this rule.  One such record was EVIE written and produced by Vanda &
Young and performed by STEVIE WRIGHT. When it was decided to release EVIE as the single from the HARD ROAD album, it was decided to put Part ONE on Side A and and PARTS 2 & 3 on the B Side of the single.

Radio stations around Australia preferred the longer version, and for about 4 months in 1974, all major radio stations programmed the album version. EVIE reached No.1 on the Australian Charts and stayed in the charts for 26 weeks. The album version of EVIE is featured on this album. It is a classic!

GEORGE BAKER SELECTION - LITTLE GREEN BAG
The Seventies will be remembered for the influx of bands on the international charts. The George Baker Selection is one of those bands. They hail from Holland, where, together with THE T-SET, they have been the top band for many years.

They were to have two big international hits: the first, LITTLE GREEN BAG, made it to the top of all European charts and to No. 16 here in Australia and stayed on the charts for 26 weeks. Their second hit came a few years later and made it to the No.1 spot just about everywhere the record was released. That song was, of course, UNA PALOMA BLANCA.

T REX - HOT LOVE
MARC BOLAN, born in London. 1948, is still regarded as one of the most important artists to emerge from the seventies. Although Marc had been recording for many years on quite a number of different labels, it was not until late 1970 that he achieved chart success in the U.K  The record, issued through Fly Records, was RIDE A WHITE SWAN, and reached No 2 in England.

The follow up to that was HOT LOVE, which stayed at the top of the English charts for a mammoth 6 weeks. It reached No.2 here in Australia and stayed in the charts for 16 weeks. In September 1977, while driving with his girlfriend Gloria Jones, Marc was involved in a car accident and was killed instantly

JOE COCKER - THE LETTER
Probably best known for his double 'live' album and the movie MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN, Joe started his musical career in 1964 with the Decca Record Company. His first single I'LL CRY INSTEAD, only managed to earn him 10 pence and with that sort of encouragement, he decided to go back to his job as a gas-fitter. After a few years playing in different groups, he decided to record once again. This time he was luckier, MARJORINE created a lot of interest by the media and the follow-up WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS reached No.1 in the U.K and No.27 in Australia, staying on the charts for 13 weeks.

ALVIN STARDUST - MY COO CA CHOO
Alvin, whose real name is Bernard Jewry, was born in London and started as the lead singer of the successful British band SHANE FENTON AND THE FENTONES at the age of 15. Then they played London's Royal Albert Hall, they had The Beatles as a support act. In 1973, Alvin signed with a newly-formed UK label, Magnet Records, and released his first single, MY COO CA CHOO, which became a smash hit, stormed the Australian charts and went as high as No.1 and stayed in the charts for 26 weeks.

In 1974, he was acclaimed as Britain's Top Selling Male Singles Artist and was awarded the London Weekend Television Trophy as Britain's Most Outstanding Live Performer. MY COO CA CHOO proved to be Alvin's one and only big hit here in Australia.

HANK B. MARVIN - SACHA
HANK B. MARVIN is best known as the lead guitarist of the Shadows. This instrumental group was formed back in 1958 under the name of the DRIFTERS, but due to objections from the American DRIFTERS, they changed their name to THE SHADOWS.

Their first No. 1 single in the U.K., was APACHE in - July 1960. The SHADOWS were also part of the success-story with CLIFF RICHARD. CLIFF & THE SHADOWS were responsible for a string of hits like MOVE IT, SU MMER HOLIDAY, as well as the hit movies THE YOUNG ONES and SUMMER HOLIDAY SACHA reached No. 15 and stayed an incredible 41 weeks on the Australian charts.

PETER SKELLERN - YOU'RE A LADY
Peter's musical career started at the age of 16, when he became organist and choirmaster of St. Paul's Church, Bury, U.K., In 1968 he graduated from The London Guildhall School of Music and joined a rock band called THE MARCH HARE. After recording one album, he decided to give the recording-side of the business away and joined a publishing company. However, after a few years in publishing, the urge to record again became too much and after signing with Decca Records, he released YOU'RE A LADY. It reached No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 2 in Australia, staying a total of 17 weeks on the charts. Peter had one more hit in the seventies, namely HOLD ON TO LOVE, which, although a big hit in the U.K., could not surpass the performance of YOU'RE A LADY here in Australia.

RASPBERRIES - GO ALL THE WAY
The RASPBERRIES were formed early 1970 in Cleveland, U.S.A., and although their music sounded very much British, all four members of the band were American. The four members were Wallace Bryson, James Bonfanti, David Smalley and Eric Carmen. Of the four members, Eric Carmen has been by far the most successful solo artist since the band broke up. When their first album was released by Capitol Records in early 1972, the RASPBERRIES were accused of just copying the early Beatles sound. However, the media might have over-reacted a bit, as the RASPBERRIES proved to be a very successful band on their own merits. Their biggest single, GO ALL THE WAY, made the Top 10 in America and became one of the bestsellers of 1972 in that Country. In Australia, the single charted at No. 12 and stayed in the charts for 16 weeks.

RUSSELL MORRIS - RACHEL
Russell started his musical career with a Melbourne-based band SOMEBODY'S IMAGE. After two years with that band, Russell decided to go solo. He recorded two-singles, THE REAL THING and PART 3 INTO PAPER WALLS, both of these reaching the No. 1 spot and both of them produced by his then manager- lan "Molly" Meldrum.

His third single, RACHEL, was originally recorded in the U.K., but Russell wasn't too happy with the end result and decided to re-record here in Australia. That was in early 1970 and RACHEL became Russell's third hit in a row, reaching No. 25 on the Australian charts and remaining there for 21 weeks.
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my EMI Vinyl and includes the usual cover artwork and label scans.  Hope you enjoy this trip back down Seventies memory lane, especially with the full length version of 'Evie' running for 12 minutes and the hard hitting 'Can The Can' by a  leather clad Suzi Quatro
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Tracklisting
01 –Suzi Quatro    (Can The Can)
02 –Blue Swede    (Hooked On A Feeling)
03 –Dave Edmunds  (Promised Land)
04 –Joe South    (Chlldren)
05 –The La De Das  (Too Pooped To Pop)
06 –Ross Ryan    (I Am Pegasus)
07 –Stevie Wright  (Evie - Parts 1, 2 And 3)
08 –George Baker Selection  (Little Green Bag)
09 –T. Rex  (Hot Love)

10 –Joe Cocker    (The Letter)
11 –Alvin Stardust  (My Coo Ca Choo)
12 –Hank B. Marvin  (Sacha)
13 –Peter Skellern  (You're A Lady)
14 –Raspberries    Go (All The Way)
15 –Russell Morris  (Rachel)

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History Of The Seventies FLAC Link (334Mb)
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History Of The Seventies MP3 Link (136Mb)
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Barry Humphries - The Sound Of Edna (1978)

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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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John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE (born 17 February 1934) is an Australian comedian, actor, satirist, artist, and author. Humphries is best known for writing and playing his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson. He is also a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an award-winning writer and an accomplished landscape painter. For his delivery of dadaist and absurdist humour to millions, biographer Anne Pender described Humphries in 2010 as not only "the most significant theatrical figure of our time … [but] the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin".

Humphries' characters have brought him international renown, and he has appeared in numerous films, stage productions and television shows. Originally conceived as a dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife who caricatured Australian suburban complacency and insularity, Edna has evolved over four decades to become a satire of stardom, the gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, egomaniacal, internationally feted Housewife Gigastar, Dame Edna Everage.
 

Dear Music-Buffs:  All Australians are superb singers. Just think of Helen Reddy, Peter Dawson, Olivia Newton-John, Joan Sutherland, Rolf Harris, and my namesake Dame Nellie Melba if you don't believe me.
Being a proud Australian, I am happy to say that I am no exception to our miracle song-bird statistics. And yet, you will be amazed to learn, I have never had a singing lesson in my life! Mine is a natural talent given to me by Dame Nature herself, and when you and your loved ones listen to this historic microgroove you will not be surprised to hear that world renowned opera singers chantooses and glamour-pusses have begged me for the secret of my lovely voice.


The songs and arias on this beautiful waxing will be mostly new to music lovers and fans of my consummate artistry. Some I have sung over the wireless and oh my internationally acclaimed, award-winning BBC television shows. A few have been specially commissioned by the world famous Charisma gramophone company.

I hope there is something on this record for every taste, whether you be a housewife or a senior citizen, a baby-sitter or a beatnik. Little Nic Rowley, who composed and arranged the music, is quite simply one of my Very special people, and at our recording sessions in Amsterdam and Los Angeles he was always at pains to show off the wonderful variety and richness of my voice without being in any way 'pushy' or bossy. What a foolish boy he would be if he tried! The words or 'lyrics' as we call them in musical circles, are by Barry Humphries who, to give him his due, 'discovered' me many moons ago, and has basked in my limelight ever since.

I wish I could give him full marks for his poems, but to my mind some of them have an uncalled-for and unnecessary element about them which I can't quite put my finger on. The nicer songs were supervised by the multi-talented lan Davidson who I have a lot of time for, and who has ensured that wholesomeness and good taste remain the keynote, in spite of Barry's said efforts.

Edna And Her Gladdys
I happen to know that the Powers that Be are putting a copy of this best-selling disc in a time capsule, and I'm proud to think that in millions of years time people will judge our entire western civilisation by my humble repertoire. Does that thought give you goose bumps as well? [Album Liner Notes]
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Anyone who lives in Australia will know Barry Humphries (alias Dame Edna Everage) and some have been lucky enough to see him (her) in person. I was one of the lucky ones when Barry Humphries lectured to a small group of 'budding botantists' at the School of Botany in Melbourne University, back in 1981. His topic was of course 'The Gladiolus' (a genus of perennial cormous flowering plants in the iris family) and was nothing short of hilarious. And so, it is with pleasure that I present this Wacky and Wonderful Comical satire for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post in MP3 (320kps) format ripped from vinyl. (See alternative cover design below)
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Track Listing
01- Life In A Goldfish Bowl   
02 - The Night We Burnt My Mother's Things   

03 - I'm Sorry (With Apologies To Ken Thomson)   
04 - A Woman's Woman   
05 - Niceness   
06 - Every Mother Wants A Boy Like Elton   
07 - My Bridesmaid And I   
08 - I Miss My Norm (Duet For Edna & Brazen Hussar)   
09 - S & M Lady (with Edna Evil & The Ratbags)


The Everage White Band are:
Nic Rowley - Keyboards
Peter Moss - Bass, Guitars
Roy Jones - PercussionChris Warren-Green - Violin
Nigel Warren-Green - Cello
Les Fyson - Baritone Solo
Sue Aldred - Soprano Solo
The Fred Tomlinson Singers - Choir

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The Sound Of Edna (87Mb)
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Friday, August 25, 2017

The Allman Brothers Band - Win, Lose Or Draw (1975)

(U.S 1969–1976, 1978–1982, 1989–2014)
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During the early 1970's The Allman Brothers Band overcome the deaths of founding members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley and released the highly successful Brothers And Sisters album in 1973, with its #2 hit single "Ramblin' Man". Reaching new levels of fame and recognition, they came to be seen as leaders in the emergent 'southern rock' movement. They ended the year with a brilliant New Year's Eve concert in San Francisco, organised by Bill Graham, which was broadcast nationwide on the radio. Both Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts also embarked on solo careers.

In fact, the Allman Brothers earned a reputation with their live performances, and the band's first two albums, "The Allman Brothers Band" and "Idlewild South", were distinguished by their solid blues roots and exciting rhythmic dynamism.

Meanwhile, however, relationships within the band were not good. Their success had led to problems with egos and personality conflicts, with guitarist Dickey Betts and pianist Chuck Leavell both wanting to move in different directions, leaving Gregg Allman to try and mediate. When it came to recording the follow-up to 'Brothers And Sisters', the band were no longer a unified group. Allman was not present for many of the sessions and his vocals had to be recorded later, and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe went missing and had to be replaced by session players on a few songs. When it came out in 1975, 'Win, Lose Or Draw' was seen as an uneven record and was received somewhat poorly. Betts seemed to be fully in control, repeating his 'Brothers And Sisters' formula by contributing some mellow country-rock songs and an extended instrumental entitled "High Falls" which takes up most of side 2 on the album. There were also a couple of Allman compositions (which followed in the style of his solo album Laid Back), and covers of numbers by Muddy Waters and Billy Joe Shaver.

Though its often seen as a 'beginning of the end' sort of album, 'Win, Lose Or Draw' is still a great record, with some truly fantastic highlights. It did indeed manage to chart to #5 in the States. However shortly after its release the band effectively fell apart, with Gregg Allman falling out with the other members. Leavell, Jaimoe and Lamar Williams went on to form jazz-rock group Sea Level, while Betts and Allman continued moved on to solo careers.

I am a big fan of 'Win, Lose Or Draw'. Back when it was released my initial reaction was pretty close to what others have said on various blogs while researching the album, it didn't have the drive and pizazz of all their previous releases. But... its not being overplayed and the passage of time has been very kind to it. Its not the level of their debut, 'Eat A Peach' or 'Brothers/Sisters', but its strong in its own way.
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 "High Falls" is as good as anything they ever did in my humble opinion, as well as the title track and "Can't Lose What You Never Had".


This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) taken from my prized vinyl, and the usual album artwork and label scans. I have always enjoyed listening to this album and although I know this is not their best release, I have always had a soft spot this LP in my collection. And so, I wanted to share it with you.
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Track Listing
01. Can't Lose What You Never Had (McKinley Morganfield) 5:50
02. Just Another Love Song (Richard Betts) 2:44

03. Nevertheless (Gregory L. Allman) 3:32
04. Win, Lose or Draw (Gregory L. Allman) 4:45
05. Louisiana Lou and Three Card Monty John (Richard Betts) 3:45
06. High Falls (Richard Betts) 14:28
07. Sweet Mama (Billy Joe Shaver) 3:33

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Band Members:
Gregg Allman: Lead Vocals, Organ, Clavinet, Acoustic Guitar

Richard Betts: Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Chuck Leavell: Piano, Electric Piano, Moog Synthesizer, Clavinet, Background Vocals
Lamar Williams: Electric Bass

Jaimoe: Drums, Percussion
Butch Trucks: Drums, Congas, Percussion, Tympani
Additional Musicians:
Johnny Sandlin: Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Bill Stewart: Percussion

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The Allman Brothers FLAC link (218Mb)
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The Allman Brothers MP3 Link (87Mb)
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Grace Knight - Stormy Weather (1991)

(Australian 1976 - Present)
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Grace Knight is well known as the lead singer of the 1980's Aussie band Eurogliders, for her performance in the ABC show 'Come In Spinner' and her latter career as a jazz diva.
'Come In Spinner' was a big hit on television and the soundtrack album was an even bigger success for the ABC. I was now apparently a ja2zy torch singer and bookings were coming in for me as opposed to Eurogliders. I was now a solo performer and was performing songs from 'Come In Spinner' with a 12-piece band, including a horn section. I swapped my wrestling boots for high heels and my chamois leather Indian top for an evening gown. My extensions were removed and my hair was brushed for the first time in years.
Eurogliders hadn't yet officially split, but we were well on the road of no return. Not many gigs and no money.

With the success of 'Come In Spinner', I would've been mad not to release a similar album immediately. So I went to Eurogliders' record company, Sony Music, and asked if they were interested in doing another album of classics. They were.
My second solo album, Stormy Weather, shot up the jazz charts and one week saw Spinner and Stormy Weather sitting at first and fifth position. Two different records through two different companies.
When it came to singing the classics, performing live was quite a different story, I was used to dancing onstage, but these songs were quite different, they didn't require a manic ballerina to express the wonderful stories. Clear diction seemed more of a prerequisite.

On The Set Of Spinners
Ray Alldridge, an absolute legend in jazz circles, became my music director. Ray was well aware of my pop background and instead of turning his nose up at my audacity for swapping genres, like many people on the jazz circuit did, he encouraged and lead me into each song, playing notes that would help me pitch, smiling at me when I was due to sing, or nodding his head off to the side to tell me not to sing.
Ray is a complete gentleman who plays piano like a deranged demon or a heartbroken angel, depending on what the song demands. I'm sure that without Ray I would not have had such an enduring career.

It frightened me to hear my voice for the first time singing these songs, there was no electronic drum kit, no bass player with his amp turned to maximum volume, no lead guitarist playing so loudly you'd feel the wax dripping across your eardrum trying to protect the sensitive innards, and no backing singers giving you a hand. With these jazz musicians the whole was more important than the individual and I was part of the whole. I fell in love with their sounds—beautiful, rich, wooden, hollow sounds from the double bass, wire brushes kissing tight snare-drum skins and brushing across metal cymbals ever so gently. I could hear every single pluck and whhhhoosh, and of course Ray's playing which I counted on as my safety net. If I happened to fall, Ray would spring me back into place by simply playing a progression of notes that left me nowhere else to go musically.


It took a fair few gigs before I stopped shouting 'SO-PHIS-TI-CA-TED LA-Dy into the microphone and learned that I could actually sing these songs, they didn't require belting, not like Euros, where I could barely speak until midway through the next day 'cause my throat was so rasped from shouting the night before.
At first I used to get nervous working at The Basement in Sydney. The venue was well known to jazz musicians and aficionados alike. It was so small there was nowhere to hide mistakes and fuck ups. The audience crammed in, many seated directly under my nostrils. One night when we played there I wore a particularly short black velvet dress, the stage at The Basement is small and I had little room to move given it was filled with musicians. One of my favourite musicians at the time was a young double bass player named Todd Logan. Such a cutie was Todd, he was barely old enough to drink but he played his beautiful double bass with the heart and soul of a man three times his age and experience.

I was in the dressing room with my manager, Diana, drawing a mouth with gnashing teeth on a strip of white gaffer tape. 'Oh shit, what are you up to now, Grace?'
'Di is this in the right place?'
I patted the gnarly gaffer tape teeth onto my panty-hosed, G-strung arse and swung around to look in the mirror. It looked suitably awful.
'Grace, y'can't. The audience, what'll they think?'
'They won't see, but keep yer eye on Todd.'
'Please don't?'
We pumped out the last set and I said our goodnight's and turned around to acknowledge the band, they all took a bow and as Todd came up from his, I took mine directly in front of him. I bent forward I flicked the back of my dress up exposing my arse and gnarly teeth taped across my crack. I heard a stumble behind me and turned to see Todd on the floor cradling his double bass, the band and audience wondered what on earth had promoted this fall—as I'd imagined, the only person who saw this in the packed Basement was Todd!

Reviews of gigs and of my albums were glowing, reviewers seemed to think it was a marvel a singer could cross over genres from pop to jazz. But the only difference I could discern between the two was space.
It wasn't me who called myself a 'jazz singer', it was a tag placed on me. I'm a singer who happens to work with jazz musicians, but I'm no Ella Fitzgerald, no Sarah Vaughan and I'm certainly no Cleo Laine, I just love singing. I was selling large quantities of albums classified in the 'jazz' section, but having never listened to or studied jazz, I felt a bit like a fraud that would surely one day be caught out. I just pretended it didn't bother me, though inside it did and I was petrified. [extract from Grace Knight: Pink Suit For A Blue Day, New Holland Books, 2010. p212-216]
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This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. Although not officially released on vinyl which is somewhat strange for the time period, this album was released on cassette (see below), so I figure it pretty much meets this blog's charter and deserves a place here.
If you get a chance to read Grace's biography Pink Suit then I don't think you'll be disappointed - she certainly had a tough childhood and managed to be become a very resilient and determined artist.
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Tracklist
01 - Fever    3:39
02 - Drinking Again    3:05
03 - Love Or Leave Me    2:14
04 - Guess Who I Saw Today    2:59
05- Walkin' After Midnight    3:09
06 - That Ole Devil Called Love    3:07
07 - Danny Boy    3:08
08 - Stormy Weather    4:25
09 - Momma He Treats Your Daughter Mean    2:57
10 - Crazy    4:27
11 - Picking Up After You    3:38
12 - You'll Never Know    4:25
13 - God Bless The Child    5:34

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Vocals - Grace Knight
Drums - John Morrison, Len Barnard,Doug Gallacher, Gordon Rytmeister
Bass - Craig Scott, Jonathan Zwartz, Gary Holgate, Ed Gaston, Dave Pudney, Alex Hewston
Guitar - Rex Goh
Keyboards - Larry Muhoberac
Percussion - Sunil De Silva 

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Grace Knight FLACs Link (259Mb)
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Grace Knight MP3 Link (110Mb)