Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Meo 245 - Rites Of Passage (1982) + Bonus Live Track

(Australian 1979 - 1983)
MEO 245 were an Australian pop rock, new wave band which formed in 1978 in Tasmania with Paul Brickhill on keyboards, guitar and vocals; Campbell Laird on drums; Paul Northam on guitar and vocals; and Mick Wilson on bass guitar. Wilson was replaced on bass guitar by Mark Kellet, who in turn was replaced by Anthony Moore.

The story begins in the late 70s when four high school students created a group that played covers - Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep. Once graduated, they decided to try their luck in Melbourne under the name MEO 245 , chosen with reference to the catalog numbers of a German Import Beatles EP.

They recorded their first album, Screen Memory, and the singles "Lady Love" and "Other Places", all of which made the mainstream charts in Australia, reaching the top 100 of the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. They appeared on ABC TV's pop show Countdown performing "Lady love" and "Jewels".

Paul Northam
During April and May 1982 they recorded a six-track EP, 'Rites of Passage' (September 1982), at Richmond Recorders with co-production by the group and John French (he also worked as its audio engineer). It provided two singles, "Sin City" (also September) and "Summer Girl" (November). It was a marked shift from the new wave pop of 'Screen Memory' with a more guitar-orientated sound coming to the fore.

Rites of Passage was their last record testimony, and it is without a doubt the darkest. After releasing their highly successful album in 1980 and some singles between 80 and 82, the adventure just seemed to stop. And even if, in their beginnings, they seem inspired by the seventies (Yes, Roxy Music, Bowie ...), the six tracks here compose a mixture of cold wave and romantic pop, which I would compare with Joy Division and XTC for the brighter and hopping part.

Campbell Laird
Ahead of the EP's release Kellet left and was replaced on bass guitar by Anthony Moore. In January of the following year Brickhill left to join Little Heroes and the group disbanded by March with Laird joining Soldier of Fortune and Northam going to Luxury Device. 'Screen Memory, Rites of Passage' and the non-album single, 'Lady Love", were released on CD as 'Screen Memory / Rites of Passage', for a compilation album in 1997 by Mushroom Records.

They were together from 1979 to 1983.

This post consists of FLACS and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my trusty vinyl which I purchased second hand many moons ago, when Synth Pop was the rage and my matching hairstyle was captured on my wedding video for prosperity and ridicule !
Although this follow up (mini) album was a disappointment compared to their highly successful LP 'Screen Memories', it is still a crucial recording to have if you collect Aussie Rock.  To sweeten the deal, I have added a rare live recording of their big hit "Lady Love", recorded Live at Storey Hall, RMIT, Melbourne, in 1980 on 24th December, as a bonus track
Full album artwork included (inc high res scan of back cover) along with label scans and select band photos. 

Track Listing
01 Sin City
02 All Depends
03 The Waiting Room
04 Summer Girl
05 Sweethearts And Roses
06 Rites Of Passage
07 Lady Love (Bonus Live) 

MEO 245 were:
Vocals, Guitar – Paul Northam
Bass, Effects [Pedals] – Mark Kellett
Drums, Other [Et Cetera] – Campbell Laird
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Keyboards – Paul Brickhill
Rites Of Passage FLAC link (181Mb)
Rites of Passage MP3 Link (59Mb)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Budgie - 1978-10-22 City Hall,Newcastle,U.K (Bootleg)

(U.K 1971 - Present)
Late 1967, in Cardiff, John Burke Shelley bass/lead vocals) met up with Raymond Phillips (drums) and guitarist Tony Bourge to form Budgie establishing a substantial following within the South Wales college and club circuit. After a journalist commented Budgie's sound was more akin to a 'Six Ton' Budgie, their name became as heavyweight as their delivery. In 1970, Roger Bain was impressed by their raw energy and promise and via his company 'Hummingbird Productions', Dave Howels from MCA signed the band. Budgie were now back as Budgie with a five album deal.

Many claim The MCA albums were arguably their finest work, with openers Budgie and Squawk providing the backbone of heavy riffs and melodic interludes which was to characterise the bands' style. Shelley's high-pitched vocals were first aired on the charmingly titled single 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery'. Their sense of humour was often reflected in their song titles, 'Hot As A Docker's Armpit' proving Budgie didn't take life too seriously. In 1973, their 'Never Turn Your Back On A Friend' LP with its Roger Dean designed gatefold sleeve boasted some classic moments, from the thoughtful 11 minute epic 'Parents' to the blistering 'Breadfan', to be covered some 20 years later by Metallica.

Ray Phillips departed in late '73. Pete Boot was brought in quickly to honour a Spanish touring schedule and record 'In For The Kill', Budgie's first LP to chart. Once Steve Williams on Drums stepped in, Budgie were once again in full flight. In 1975 we provided their fans with the astounding 'Bandolier', considered by many to be the pinnacle of their achievement. With additional Welsh guitarist Myf Issacs touring with the band, their stage sound was also fuller. Retrospectively a bad decision, their management elected to take a deal offered by A&M rather than re-sign with MCA. The more melodic 'If I Were Britannia I'd Waive The Rules' followed, but it didn't chart. In 1977 Budgie re-located to Canada to crack the North American market and Budgie's seventh album, 'Impeckable', became their most mainstream effort to date arriving in January 1978.

Steve Williams
The following month saw a well attended clutch of UK theatre shows prior to engaging in their lengthiest US trek - quaintly entitled the 'Hide Your Pussy Tour', taking the band right through the summer months. Budgie had previously recruited the ex-Quest member as second guitarist Myf Isaacs. Their next foray stateside produced the much in demand 'Live At Atlantic Studios' live tapes and the a high quality bootleg set called 'The Electric Ballroom', material much sought after by collectors. Isaac also played on their 'Impeckage' album, although he is not listed in the album credits as a band member, but rather only listed with thanks.

Burke Shelley
Later in 1978, after their 'Hide Your Pussy' tour, the band flew out to Canada and then to Texas, a trip paid for by Don Smith who would later produce their final album in 1982 "Deliver Us From Evil".
After returning to the U.K.in late May, Tony Bourge decided he'd had enough of touring and quit the band, after playing with the band for more than 10 years. Tony Bourge's last ever Budgie gig was played at the Welsh National Eisteddfod Pavilion, in Cardiff, Wales on 1st July, 1978.  Budgie quickly went into damage mode and enlisted Rob Kendrick (ex-Trapeze) as guitarist and after several months of intense practice, commenced the second half of their 'Hide Your Pussy Tour' in England and Scotland.  [Concert timelines from Budgies Fan Club]

Thanks to (progressrock.cz)
This bootleg comes from a concert played on 22nd October at City Hall, in Newcastle U.K and features some new material that never made it onto vinyl, making it highly collectable.  Unfortunately, the sound quality is only average / good as it is an audience recording (although it does improve towards the end of the show), but this bootleg still an important addition to any Budgie fan's collection.

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) taken from a cassette tape recording and includes custom artwork and all photos shown above. The concert features Rob Kendrick on guitar and 'Strife' were also on the bill that night as support act. Now, I've always been a stalwart fan of Tony Bourge's guitar playing, every since I started following the band back in 1973 when I heard their NTYBOAF album for the first time, but having now heard Rob Kendrick's guitar work on this bootleg, I gotta say he comes pretty-damn close. He really fires up the show with both his attacking axe work and ongoing banter with the crowd. His guitar solo in Breadfan is simply stunning and I now understand why the other lads in the band signed him up when Bourge exited stage left. 

Track Listing
Disc One (44:21)
01 - Melt the Ice Away
02 - Breaking All the House Rules
03 - Cold Love (featuring Rob Kendrick)
04 - Don't Dilute the Water
05 - Fix On Rock & Roll
06 - Love For You and Me
07 - Can't Get Up In the Morning

Disc Two (45:45)
08 - Rainbow 
09 - In For The Kill
10 - Ocean Rider
11 - Breadfan 
12 - Do You Like It
13 - Zoom Club

Budgie were:
Bourke Shelley - Bass, Vocals
Rob Kendrick - Guitar
Steve Williams - Drums

Budgie Live At City Hall, Newcastle FLAC Link (602Mb)
Budgie Live At City Hall, Newcastle MP3 Link (88Mb)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Deep Purple - Scandinavian Nights (1988)

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
This classic Deep Purple concert was recorded by Sveriges Radio for a radio show called 'Tonkraft', held in Koncerthuset, Stockholm, on 12th.November 1970. This concert was originally released on vinyl in 1988 as 'Scandinavian Nights in Europe' and as 'Live and Rare' in the USA in 1992. The original master tapes were later discovered and are remixed for this release. The track order on this CD is different from the live set order.
Songs on the album are mainly from the 'Deep Purple In Rock' album - released early in 1970, and long instrumentals from earlier albums. The two songs "Mandrake Root" and "Wring that Neck" took up half the concert in the early days, until the Fireball tour.

Deep Purple Mark II
This double-LP has some really good moments; I especially enjoy parts of "Mandrake Root", but the sound quality is disappointing, and the group's performance is uneven (and on occasion painfully out of tune).
The highlight of course is their #2 hit single at the time - "Black Night", with its catchy riff and enticing lyrics, which finished off their set list at the time. It is interesting to note that Black Night was not included on their In Rock album, mainly to attract fans who simply enjoyed their single but weren't interested in hearing more Deep Purple material. And the stalwart fans would of course buy both. Smart hey!
Review [Dave Thompson]
Deep purple's follow up album to 'In Rock' was an especial bugbear. Despite the promising start to the sessions back in September 1970, the band's schedule didn't allow them to return to the studio; they'd scarcely even got any writing done. The only significant addition to their live repertoire in recent months was an improvisational leviathan built around the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," which itself was little more than the framework for a marathon drum solo.
It was certainly exciting in concert, but it neither said nor did anything for Deep Purple's hopes of advancing their own art. Increasingly, it seemed that the band had reached a creative impasse, finding it easier to allow existing numbers to grow in length than concoct new material.

A live recording made for Swedish radio broadcast at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, on November 12,1970, captured the dilemma. The band's classical excursions notwithstanding, this remains one of the earliest MarkII concert recordings to have been officially released, in 1988, as the 'Scandinavian Nights' album; it was, in fact, one of the earliest of their concerts to even be recorded (only a February 1970 BBC broadcast and a dynamic Aachen festival show from July predate it).

Scandinavian Nights highlights a live set that comprised just seven numbers, including a mere three from In Rock (admittedly volcanic assaults on "Child in Time" and "Into the Fire," and an impossibly overwrought "Speed King"), three that were little more than endless jams ("Mandrake Root," "Paint It Black," and a full thirty minutes of "Wring That Neck"), and, finally, the encore hit "Black Night." 
It is an exhausting listen and, in purely musical terms, an exhilarating one — the Bagshot Bullet, as the rest of Deep Purple nicknamed Blackmore's most frenetic playing, ricocheted wildly that night. But it is also the sound of a group that was swiftly vanishing up its own backside.[extract from Smoke On The Water: The Deep Purple Story. By Dave Thompson. ECW Press - 2004, p112]
Review 2
Good lord, this is pure hard rock heaven. This is the Deep Purple I fell in love with. The absolute best live rock band ever. Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord could jam and jam and jam and jam and......  Ian Paice may have been the heaviest rock drummer ever with the exception of Keith Moon. Catch a buzz, play this loud because this is what rock once was.
Seven tunes over 109 minutes, what hard rock band besides Deep Purple could do those kind of workouts and not bore you to death? There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe this monster "live" album.

Gillan, Glover, Lord 1970
Although most famous Made In Japan was released in 1972, the group performed at venues around the world and presented how they can make amazing show. The time between albums, "In Rock," and "Machine Head" was definitely the best in band's history and from this period of 1970's comes this album. Registered in Stockholm shows practically crazy and unbelievable energy of Deep Purple, along with the feats of individual musicians as solo and joint improvisations which reached its apogee in the nearly half-hour "Mandrake Root."

Paice, Blackmore 1970
Review 3
Scandinavian Nights is a double live album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It was originally recorded by Swedish National Radio for a radio show called Tonkraft at the Stockholm Konserthuset on 12 November 1970, but not released until 1988. The tapes were re-mixed by Tom Leader at Angel Studios in London.
The US double CD, released in 1992, was titled 'Live and Rare' (see cover below), while the European double vinyl and double CD, released in 1988, were both titled 'Scandinavian Night's. The European vinyl release contained a limited edition picture booklet. 

The original master tapes were later discovered and remixed for a re-release as Live in Stockholm by Purple Records in 2005 (see cover below), with improved sound quality. On the original release the song running order was adjusted to fit the timing-restrictions of vinyl,and the CD edition unnecessarily mimicked this; Live in Stockholm features the set list in the correct order.
A new edition of the album, titled Stockholm 1970, was released in 2014 by EDEL as part of "The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series" with additional material: two songs recorded in Paris in 1970; contemporary Jon Lord interview; a bonus DVD with Deep Purple's performance at Granada TV in 1970, previously released on VHS as Doing Their Thing.
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy and includes artwork both Vinyl and CD releases.  Deep Purple MKII is my favourite iteration of this legendary band, who I have followed my whole life, starting as a teenager. I still remember the first day I heard "Black Night" played on the radio, and immediately thought the song was about a medieval Knight, and my misunderstanding only became apparent once I had purchased the single from my local record shop. And of course, when I bought their LP 'In Rock',  I was totally hooked.
Track Listing
1. Wring That Neck (34:22)
2. Speed King (10:45)
3. Into The Fire (4:47)
4. Paint It Black (9:49)
1. Mandrake Root (28:40)
2. Child In Time (20:28)
3. Black Night (7:34)

Line-up / Musicians:
Jon Lord - Keyboards
Ian Gillan - Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore / guitars
Ian Paice / drums
Roger Glover - Bass

Thursday, February 28, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Henhouse Five Plus Two - In The Mood (1976)

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.
In December 1976, Ray Stevens released this novelty single (Warner Bros. WBS 8301), a version of Glenn Miller's "In The Mood" in the style of a clucking chicken; a Top 40 hit in the US and UK in 1977. This fictional chicken group never released another records ever again.

Few songs make me want to pay an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to remove my ear drums.
But “In the Mood” by Henhouse Five Plus Too is officially in serious contention.

This novelty song is pure 'chicken feed'. It’s stupid. It’s silly. It’s downright Peckuliar !

Remarkably, “In the Mood” by Henhouse Five Plus Too reached #40 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1977 and that’s good enough to land it here for this month's W.O.C.K On Vinyl candidate, where I believe it shames all other one-hit wonder novelty songs with its sheer insanity - it's  Weird, Crazy and Korny, all in one

The Henhouse Five Plus Two
The Henhouse Five Plus Two is actually novelty songwriter and Grammy Award-winner Ray Stevens who is the same man who bestowed “The Streak” upon the world back in 1974, and released more than 90 singles in a distinguished six-decade career and notched 10 top-40 hit singles. 

Where the name Henhouse Five Plus Two originates from, I’m not sure... I assume it’s somewhat an inside joke or a spinoff from a group (eg, The Firehouse Five Plus Two was a Dixieland jazz band, popular in the 1950s). Either that or a clever twist to the name Henhouse Seven!

A big thank you to Garry (Ozzi Musicman) for sharing this gem. I might just add this is not for the low-level tolerant... to those who can withstand a whole trial of chickens clucking big-band standards, I congratulate you. You do have to be “in the mood” to hear this one!

I’ve now spent more time writing about this song than listening to it. That’s more than enough. I’m no longer in the mood.   Just download this MP3 rip (320kps) and get the cluck out of here....

The Henhouse Five Plus Two Link  (12Mb)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Galapagos Duck - The Removalists (1974)

(Australian 1969 - Present)
Galapagos Duck is an Aussie Jazz Band that's been around since the late 1960's. This, their 2nd album is the soundtrack to the film of the same name, a classic Australian movie based on the play of the same name written by David Williams. Here's a review I found on the internet that sums it up nicely:

"Let’s call this record one of the Australian standards in record collecting. I say that because it’s one of those records you find out about very easily. Galapagos Duck albums aren’t overly hard to find in Australia, but after coming across the crappy ones, someone’s bound to tell you that this is the one to look out for. A soundtrack to the play of the same name (see description below), this album is considered by most to be the best and funkiest of their half a dozen or so LPs. It sounds like a soundtrack, but it also sounds like a jazz funk record. 'Removalists Suite' has a great, happy vibe to it, with clapping and sax soloing. The best moment is when it changes up and kicks back into a nice piano–led jazz funk number.

The other great cut on here is the 'Removalists Theme' that starts with percussive piano stabs and a hokey brass line before pausing and then dropping into a pounding mix of fast, heavy drums and electric bass solo. The bass soon moves over while the drums get in on the soloing action themselves. But the groove doesn’t leave for long, and once things are locked back in the groove there’s a great sax solo as well. A great record by a band that held residency at Australia’s premier jazz club during the 70s."

To me the album, released late in 1974, is best described simply as a fusion of late 1960's jazz and early 1970's funk. I think it's great and I now understand why VG+ copies of the LP can go for well over AU$60!

L-R: Willie Qua, Tom Hare, Chris Qua, Marty Mooney, Dave Levy
About this transfer
Despite looking remarkably clean, my copy has its share of surface ticks. This seems more a reflection of very flimsy mid-1970's vinyl quality rather than anything else. Visually, the LP looks perfect; not a mark, scuff or scratch on the very shiny surface. Anyway, after a medium Click Repair and manual tick removal, all that's left is just the slightest amount of surface noise that is only noticeable in the quiet passages, or with headphones.

Further, I found that the highs appeared a bit rolled off. Having not heard another copy (at over AU$60 each I don't intend to), I don't know whether this is due to the original mastering (there are plenty of overdubs which could explain it) or some other factor related to my particular pressing (such as ageing stampers). In any event, I decided to do what I very rarely do and tweak the sound just slightly to add some definition to the upper mid frequencies. This had the effect of removing the murkiness and bringing the percussion a bit more forward into the mix, while still maintaining a nice warmth and depth. I hope you approve of this mastering decision - I certainly think it's a subtle change for the better. [notes by Jae from Midoztouch]

About The Movie
The film was based on David Williamson's stage play, first performed at La Mama in Melbourne in 1971 (press reports suggest that the very first season was seen by only a modest 1200 people but it quickly became a cult theatrical hit).
Williamson is Australia's best known playwright, who has also done a substantial number of screenplays for film and television. He is listed at 'AustLit', with a relatively short biography and some 166 works.

When Marilyn Carter (Jacki Weaver), at the urging of her sister Kate (Kate Fitzpatrick), goes to the cops to report that her husband Kenny (Martin Harris) has beaten her, the police arrange for a removalist (Chris Haywood) to help her remove her furniture from the flat.
Constable Ross (John Hargreaves), fresh from training school and reporting for his first day of work at a suburban police station, settles in with cynical long-serving Sergeant Simmons (Peter Cummins), and after checking Marilyn's bruising, they go to Kenny's flat.
The removalist strips the flat, and then Kenny, handcuffed and vulnerable, finds himself alone at the mercy of the police ... and then the simmering tensions erupt ...
This post was ripped to MP3 (320kps) format from vinyl (thanks to Jae at Midoztouch for the rip) and includes full album artwork and label scans. Considered to be the Duck's best album, I would encourage you to take a listen to this one if you haven't heard their material before.
01 -  Removalists Suite
   a) In The Making
   b) Marilyn's Rest  
02 -  Removalists Theme
03 -  Carter
04 -  Kate Did
05 -  Self 'Bloody' Control

Bass Guitar – Chris Qua (tracks: A1, A3, B1)
Bells – Tom Hare (tracks: A1, A3)
Clarinet [Electric] – Marty Mooney (tracks: A3, B2)
Double Bass – Chris Qua (tracks: A2, B2, B3)
Drums – Tom Hare (tracks: A1), Willie Qua
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – Dave Levy (2) (tracks: A3)
Electric Piano [Wurlitzer] – Dave Levy (2) (tracks: B1)
Flugelhorn – Chris Qua (tracks: A1, A3)
Flute – Willie Qua (tracks: A1, A3)
Percussion – Chris Qua (tracks: A1), Dave Levy (tracks: A1), Marty Mooney (tracks: A1), Willie Qua (tracks: A1, B1)
Piano – Dave Levy (tracks: A1 to A3, B2, B3)
Saxophone [Baritone] – Tom Hare (tracks: A3)
Saxophone [Soprano] – Tom Hare (tracks: A2, B3), Willie Qua (tracks: A1, A3)
Saxophone [Tenor] – Marty Mooney (tracks: A1, A3 to B3), Tom Hare (tracks: A1, A3 to B2)
Triangle – Dave Levy (tracks: A3)
Trumpet – Tom Hare (tracks: A3)
Vocals – Chris Qua, Dave Levy, Marty Mooney, Tom Hare, Willie Qua

The Removalist MP3 link  (101Mb)

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Thump'n Pig & Puff'n Billy - Downunda (1973)

(Australian 1973)
In 1973, Warren 'The Pig' Morgan was asked to do a solo album and he asked Billy Thorpe to be involved. It was primarily Warren's material, but Billy sang and played on all of it and co-produced the album. The result was this hit album entitled "Thumpin' Pig and Puffing Billy" and a single entitled "Captain Straightman b/w Bow My Head" which went to #28 nationally. "Captain Straightman" become an Aztec favourite and was one of their most requested songs when playing live. Thorpe entered this track into an American songwriting contest where it made the finals and as a result Thorpie got his first taste of playing in the USA and this, according to the notes, was the trigger for his move to LA in 1976.
The Album
As most readers would know, the notorious duo of Thump'n Pig & Puff'n Billy was none other than piano player extraordinaire Warren 'Pig' Morgan and Billy Thorpe. In late 1972, Morgan was offered an album deal and he invited Thorpie to share the project with him. Calling in their buddies Gil Matthews (drums) plus Barry 'Big Goose' Sullivan (bass) and Phil Manning (guitar), both from Chain, the album sessions got underway at Armstrong Studios with engineer John Sayers.

The material flowed freely, with all the musicians enjoying the lively and positive nature of the sessions. This is reflected in the buoyancy and spontaneity of album tracks like 'Moving with Rock', 'You Look After Me, I Look After You', 'Sunny Day', the bluesy 'I've Cried Over You' and the pounding rocker 'Captain Straightman'.

Warren Morgan and Billy Thorpe 1973
With respect to 'Captain Straightman', Morgan says: "I had this piano riff available to me. It was around the time Joe Cocker came to Australia for the first time, and he got arrested and thrown out for some perceived 'bad behaviour'. I got a bit incensed because 1 thought 'that's no way to treat a guest', so to me that was Captain Straightman: the authorities. So I had the piano riff and the words 'Captain Straightman' just came out. I started yelling out 'Captain Straightman', and the other lyrics came together pretty quickly. Billy then put his touch on the second verse. So, having composed the song, I dedicated it to Joe Cocker because he'd fallen foul of Captain Straightman."

Morgan continues: "When I listened back to songs like 'Bow My Head' there's a bit of religious overtone in there. I don't consider myself religious at all, but I guess there's nothing wrong with writing like that. I was just surprised, T find that quite intriguing because that's not really me. At the same time a composer should be able to write about anything and have no real personal thoughts about it. I did attend a very strict Methodist boarding school, but this is what amuses me because I was thrown out of scripture; I just wasn't interested. But in these songs I'm saying these religious things, so... there you go!"

Havoc issued 'Captain Straightman' as a single in March 1973. It reached #28 on the national chart and has since emerged as a fondly remembered classic. By the time the album Downunda came out in April (on Atlantic; re-issued as Aztec AVSCD004 in 2005), Morgan had rejoined the Aztecs. Thorpie entered 'Captain Straightman' into an American song contest and when it made the finals he got his first taste of playing in the US, all of which precipitated his eventual move to LA in 1976.
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prized vinyl copy and includes full artwork and label scans.   I had an autographed copy of this LP with signatures on the front cover by both Billy and Morgan, but chose to sell it off recently for a pretty penny.  Not sure if this was a smart move, but I was happy with the price and it financed some other albums that I didn't have.
Track Listing
01 - Captain Straightman
02 - I've Cried Over You
03 - You Look After Me, I Look After You
04 - Morning With Rock
05 - Early Morning
06 - Mothers and Fathers
07 - Just For You
08 - Sunny Day
09 - Bow My Head
10 - Mister Man

Band Members:
Warren 'Pig' Morgan - Piano, Vocals
Billy Thorpe - Guitar, Vocals
Barry Sullivan - Bass
Gil Matthews - Drums
Phil Manning - Guitar

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Various Artists - TRAX British Made (1989) with Bonus Track

(Various Artists 60-70's)
This is one in a series of compilation albums released by TRAX records (a subsidiary of EMI), namely British Made, Australian Made and American Made.  These compilations pay tribute to some of their most popular native artists and bands, showcasing some of the greatest songs every released during the 60's and 70's. The following post pays tribute some of the most popular and successful artists/bands from the U.K.
While looking at the 'Hall of Fame' listing on the back cover of this album, it was obvious that one name was missing, and so I have filled the gap by including Black Sabbath's mega hit "Paranoid" as a bonus track.
Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
When British heavy metal rockers Deep Purple arrived at the Montreux Casino, Switzerland, they were planning to record their album, Machine Head, in its concert area. On the eve of the recording session, Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention were performing at the venue, where a concertgoer - later dubbed "some stupid" in "Smoke On The Water" - let off a flare gun, igniting a fire that burnt the casino to the ground.
The fire started small, but after part of the ceiling collapsed, Zappa ordered the audience out of the hall, He later recalled in an interview, "The auditorium filled with smoke and shortly after, the band had to escape through the backstage tunnel, [and] the heating system exploded blowing several people through the window. Though no one was killed, Deep Purple were forced to find alternate recording space with the help of Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival and one of that the heroes of that night, who pulled several kids from the fire, which destroyed Zappa's equipment and put the venue out of commission until 1975.
Deep Purple's iconic track from their album Machine Head "Smoke On The Water," which chronicles the events of that night, "came to me in a dream one or two mornings after the fire," bassist Roger Glover once said. Meanwhile, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore did justice to the drama of the event by adorning the lyric with a menacing four-note blues lick that is now probably the most famous riff in hard rock history [by Sara Farr. Date December 4, 1971 Country Switzerland]

Free - "All Right Now"
Pure and unadulterated, Free emerged as keepers of the flickering flame jf the British blues in a quartet of beautiful balance. Paul Rodgers's Huskily yearning vocals, clothes courtesy of the small ads in Melody Maker; Paul Kossoff stretching his timeless guitar licks with his Les Paul's sustain; teenage Andy Fraser's mile-wide bass; rock-steady Simon Kirke 4/4'ing the whole together on drums. Their manifesto was nowhere better proclaimed than on their 1970 hit "All Right Now".
Alexis Korner had suggested that they call themselves Free after his own blues trio Free At Last, and seemingly erupting out of nowhere, they found themselves up amongst the headline acts at the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970. Yet they were never able to build completely on that success, not least through trying to keep Paul Kossoffs drug addiction under control. 1973's 'Wishing Well', Free's final single, was a heartfelt plea from Rodgers to Kossoff - he failed to heed the song's message, and was dead within three years.

Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
Named after an eighteenth century agriculturalist, Jethro Tull recorded a one-off single that unfortunately appeared under the name "Jethro Toe" before building a reputation on the club and university circuit in the U.K. Incorporating rock, blues, folk, and jazz elements, their excellent 1968 debut album 'This Was' reached the UK Top 10. Their second set, Stand Up, released on August 1,1969, was Jethro Tull's only British chart-topper The contagious "Living In The Past" was a Transatlantic hit.
Firmly installed at the forefront of the burgeoning progressive rock scene, Tull were the first rock band of note to feature the flute as lead instrument. Yet in direct ontrast to the introverted appearance that instrument might suggest, they possessed a strong visual image thanks to the onstage antics of their leaser,singer, chief songwriter, and flautist lan Anderson, whose persona can best be described as that of a hopping, bug-eyed tramp. The cover of their 1971 release Aqualung partially conveyed that. As the 70s progressed, the Tull became more popular in America than at home, with "Thick As A Brick" (1972) and "A Passion Play" (1973) both topping the U.S. album charts.
An erratic, wilfully perverse band, Jethro Tull have also embraced folk rock, hard rock, and world music at various stages in their lengthy career, indeed, that refusal to be categorized led to an unlikely triumph in the late '80s, when their album 'Crest Of A Knave' saw off Metallica to win a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance [by David Wells]

Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
Formed in 1969 with the progressive agenda of making rock music which aspired away from dancing teenagers towards sedentary students, Supertramp eventually became a pop band - in all but image. Their combination of facelessness and chart success was the kind of thing only possible before the age of MTV.
Keyboardist Rick Davies and guitarist Roger Hodgson dominated the songwriting and singing, the latter's talent for quirky tunes giving him the upper tend as, with each album they released from 1974's Crime Of The Century, their fan-base and expectations of selling more next time grew. As the band's success had waxed with Crisis? What Crisis? (1975) and Even In J^e Quietest Moments (1977), the Britons relocated to me U.S. Breakfast in America (1979) was made in Los Angeles, every note soaked in FM radio sunshine. With the band themselves lacking in star personality, record cover imagery - spread across the foot-square canvas
of an LP sleeve plus press and billboard advertising -mattered a lot for them. The Breakfast in America sleeve's spoof Manhattan with cereal box skyscrapers and a diner waitress statue of Liberty was both clever and sunny. The music matched, with the singles "The Logical Song" (an infectious and dazzling exercise in rhyming words ending with "-al"), "Take the Long Way Home," "Goodbye Stranger," and "Breakfast In America" propelling the album to No. 1 in the U.S. charts on May 19,1979, where it resided cumulatively for six weeks. [by Mat Snow]

The Kinks - "Lola"
Given Ray Davies' later dominance, it's worth recalling that it was the Kink's guitarist Dave Davies, his frenetic younger brother, who gave the group's first singles their substantial mettle: he ripped up the speakers in his practice amp and hooked them with a couple of his Vox amps for the raw sound of 'You Really Got Me'. Dave and Ray fought constantly, like all good brotherly bands, but Ray's songwriting skills held sway. By 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion' and 'Waterloo Sunset' the Kinks had segued to the very model of an English band, with their neatly observed cameos of life in Blighty, always serious but blessed with a twinkling, crinkled smile.
From there on it was but a sprightly stroll towards some concept albums, success in America following 'Lola' ('Celluloid Heroes' was the Hollywood parallel of 'Waterloo') and obeisance from Paul Weller, Supergrass and Blur - whose single 'Country House' was an undisguised tribute to the Kinks' 1966 'House In The Country'.
"Playing gives a great sense of self-expression, the energy you create by playing. I  used to get mad,
and I suppose I'm sort of schizophrenic at heart as well." [quote by  Dave Davies]
Interesting fact with their 1970 hit single "Lola".  The BBC banned the track for a different reason. The original song recorded in stereo had the word "Coca-Cola" in the lyrics, but because of BBC Radio's policy against product placement, Ray Davies was forced to make a 6000-mile round-trip flight from New York to London and back on June 3, 1970, interrupting the band's American tour, to change those words to the generic "cherry cola" for the single release, which is included on various compilation albums as well.

David Essex - "Rock On"
Rock On is the debut album of U.K singer/songwriter David Essex, released in 1973. Its lead single and title track, "Rock On", is still Essex's best known song in the United States. David Essex wrote this "rocker" to play at the end of the 1973 movie "That'll Be The Day."
Born David Albert Cook, in London in 1947, "Essex" loved playing soccer as a kid...and even dreamed of becoming a pro player. In his teens, he discovered music...playing drums in a local band before becoming a singer.
For the next two years, he toured England with the band 'David Essex And The Mood Indigo' releasing seven more singles in his native UK, before 1970! It was then that Essex also started honing his acting skills, grabbing small parts in small movies...and notably, he won the lead role in the London stage version of "Godspell" in 1971. His involvement with "Godspell" led to him being cast in the movie "That'll Be The Day," along with Ringo Starr and Keith Moon!!
Essex's movie character was a working class, aspiring rocker in pre-Beatles England...
He asked producer David Puttnam if he could write the movie's ending song...and Puttnam said....sure.
"Rock On" addressed the restless nature of his film character...a rock artist-wannabe, going through tough times. The song was also a tribute to the early days of Rock 'N' Roll...making mention of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran!
Puttnam listened to the finished song, and decided not to use it for the film...saying that it was 'too weird"!   Not to be discouraged, David Essex eventually used "Rock On" to secure a recording deal with the CBS Records. "Rock On" would be his first single on the CBS label.
And so, FINALLY, everything came together for Essex as both a singer and actor!

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" is a song by British rock band Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, released as the lead single from the band's 1975 album The Best Years of Our Lives. It was written by Harley, and produced by Harley and Alan Parsons. In February 1975, the song reached the number-one spot on the UK chart and received a UK Silver certification. It spent nine weeks in the Top 50. The track marked Harley’s first Number 1 hit single, entered the Top 10 in 15 countries and has sold around 1.5 million copies to date.
“People keep asking me, did I know at the time how successful Make Me Smile would become?,” Harley told Official Charts.com. “I was 23 years old and wouldn't have been considering the long-term future.
“But we all knew, in number two studio at Abbey Road, after we'd re-mixed it, that something special might just be in the air.”
“Alan Parsons, my co-producer and engineer, did a fantastic job,” he continued. “Which is why the record sounds so fresh and bright on the radio to this day, a full 40 years on!"

The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
Chrissie Hynde moved to England in the early 70's, looking for the kind of magic the British invasion had promised to an alienated girl in Akron, Ohio. What she found was punk, and she immersed herself in it. When in 1978, she founded The Pretenders with three Hereford lads - guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers - something - to use a phrase from this song - so special was born: a rock band with a punk attitude and pop smarts.
The title "Brass In Pocket" came from an English northern expression for having money about one's person, although the song is concerned with matters carnal rather than financial. In Hynde's lyric and vocals, she adopts a masculine predatory approach, announcing, "There's nobody else here, no one like me," although a shadow of vulnerability reveals itself in the way every chorus rises in an indignant insistence that she has to have some of her quarry's attention.
The song - which at one point Hynde told producer Chris Thomas would be released over her dead body - became the first UK No. 1 of the '80s on January 19, 1980 helped on its way to the top by a slinky back beat, a clean guitar sound, Hynde's throaty but velvety voice, and the frisson generated by nobody being able to tell in her litany of what she was going to use to get her man whether she was singing "Gonna use my arms" or "arse." [by Ignacio Julia]

Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
When Thunderclap Newman made UK No. 1 on July 5,1969, during the last summer of the '60s, their song "Something In The Air" almost seemed like a hymn to the Sixties' revolutionary spirit. By 2000, its composer, John "Speedy" Keen, had sanctioned the track's use in a way the idealistic young man who wrote it would have been horrified by back in 1969: as background music in a commercial for the ultimate corporate airline British Airways.
The trio who formed Thunderclap Newman -drummer/vocalist Keen, conservative-looking barrel house pianist Andy Newman, and a precocious 15-year-old guitarist named Jimmy McCulloch - were originally recruited by The Who's Pete Townshend for a movie soundtrack. That this ad hoc group was mismatched was illustrated by the fact that their one album Hollywood Dream (1969) contained some good songs which collectively never seemed to gel. Even on "Something In The Air," Keen's ethereal, floating melody
was interrupted by an incongruous Newman honky-tonk piano break. However, on this track at least it worked and Keen's plaintive, reedy voice forewarning that the revolution was imminent and intoning the rousing refrain "We have got to get it together - now!" was all over the airwaves upon the record's release.
Little did Keen and his colleagues know that the song was really one last act of defiance by their generation before their ideals died with the start of a new, more cynical decade. [by Sean Egan]

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Joe Cocker's flailing arms, parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live, always gave the impression of a man who was out of control, an impression sometimes heightened by Cocker's lifestyle: it belied a deep, respectful passion for R'n'B, and Ray Charles in particular. After paying hard-earned dues around northern clubs, his rise to fame was swift: a UK Number One single with his cover of 'With A Little Help From My Friends' (the friends included Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood), and notable appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. The rambling, shambling Mad Dogs ft Englishmen tour of the US, organised by Leon Russell in 1970, was a saga of exhaustion (sixty gigs in three months) and self-destruction, and the strain nearly did for him. But Cocker was made of Sheffield steel, re-emerging to duet with Jennifer Warnes on 'Up Where We Belong' and jump-start his career.

Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
In the '60s, The Beatles had topped UK and U.S.single and album charts all at the same time but never technically with the same product, it took Rod Stewart to achieve what even the mighty Fabs hadn't. Still the frontman of The Faces but increasingly becoming better known for his solo albums, in 1971 Stewart recorded his LP masterpiece, 'Every Picture Tells A story'. As usual, it was made up of a highly unusual mixture of folk, soul, and rock, an epic version of "I'm Losing You" rubbing shoulders with Stewarts beautiful rustic evocation of frontier life, "Mandolin Wind." It also featured a collaboration between Stewart and classical guitarist Martin Quittenton about the artist's first sexual conquest.
Despite a raunchy theme and a catchy, jangling melody set off by an arresting mandolin solo, all driven home by Stewart's unique emotional rasp, Mercury Records didn't think that the song was hit material, relegating it to a B-side, instead, "Reason To Believe" was chosen as the album's single. But fate in the form of DJ opinion intervened, and the single "Maggie May" was given the radio play she deserved; on October 9, 1971, the song topped the singles charts in the UK. it had made the top spot in the United States on October 2, the same day as the album had topped the U.S. album charts. With the album also lodged at NO. 1 in Britain, it made for an unprecedented double-double whammy. [by Melissa Blease]

Elton John - "Your Song"
Elton John is a superstar in the truest sense of the word. It might sound corny, but Elton is one of the few performers not only to survive the seventies but actually to blossom during their fickle years. Unlike most "stars" of this decade who have a nasty habit of disappearing within the span of three albums, John has risen from total obscurity to the top of the heap—outselling just about all the current competition. He is to the children of the seventies what the Beatles and the Stones were to the sixties' generation.
In 1969, Elton's first single, Lady Samantha, was released. It was a well-received but stiffed. By the time Elton's first album, 'Empty Sky', was released, the world was aware of his presence. The record, unreleased stateside until 1975, was fairly crude, produced on a four-track tape deck by Brown. But it proved that Taupin-John had talent. Brown allowed Gus Dudgeon to take over for his follow up LP and the hit single "Your Song" appeared at the top of the charts. Released as the B-Side to "Take me To The Pilot", U.S and disc jockeys preferred it to the A-Side and played "Your Song " instead.  Elton's career had started in earnest.  Your Song was also released as a single in the UK in 1971, but in this case it was the A-Side.
From that point onward, Elton and Bernie continued to grow in every musical respect and the hits kept on coming and coming. The rest of course is history.

Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich were a flamboyant quintet, named after the five friends' nicknames, formed in Salisbury in 1961. From 1965 to January 1970, the group spent more weeks in the UK singles charts than The Kinks or The Who. They first entered the UK charts in December 1965 with "You Make it Move".
A string of hits followed including Hold Tight!, Bend It! and Save Me and a UK number one single with the whip-cracking "Legend of Xanadu", in 1968. In fact, they were such hit-makers that they spent more time on the English singles charts in 1965 to 1969 than the Beatles!
Two of their albums charted - their eponymous debut, in 1966, followed a year later by If Music Be the Food of Love... Then Prepare for Indigestion.

T-Rex - "Get It On"
By March 1971, Marc Bolan was on the top of the world, and at the top of the charts. Just three months after his band T Rex's "Ride A White Swan" frustratingly stalled at No. 2, their latest single, "Hot Love' had risen to No. 1 and the band were back at Top Of The Pops, to perform the hit for the nation.
Marc was looking cool that afternoon. He'd just picked up a new silver lame jacket and matched it with hip-hugging white trousers. But, as he picked up his guitar to head out onto the soundstage, he felt a hand on his arm. He looked around; it was Chelita Secunda, a publicist friend of Bolan's wife June. "One thing before you go..." Deftly, Chelita daubed some eye-shadow "across his face, and then brought out some glitter, patting it across his cheekbones, tiny teardrops that shimmered in the light. Musicians had worn make-up onstage before, but this was something new, something bold. He now looked glamorous - but, shockingly, glamorous in the way that a woman would - something accentuated by his corkscrew curls, which always looked suspiciously like a lady's permanent. It didn't matter that the cameras didn't close in on Bolan's face until the final chorus of the performance, the "La la la" that chased "Hot Love" to its fade. One glimpse of it - a blinding sparkle beneath the studio lamps - was all it took to ignite glam rock, the dominant sartorial style of the UK charts over the following years.
Following the success of  "Hot Love",  Bolan released his next single soon after called "Get It On", taken from his highly acclaimed LP 'Electric Warrior', which shot to #1 on the charts, reaffirming that Glam Rock was the next big thing in pop music.   [by Dave Thompson]

The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
Having scored early successes with shamelessly teenybop-oriented singles like "Funny Funny" and "Co-Co" (penned by the prolific hit-making duo Micky Chinn and Mike Chapman), Sweet turned a corner with the heavy-riffing "Wig-Warn Bam," which entered the UK Top 75 on September 9,1972. Their following series of Top 10 entries, although still master-minded by the Chinnichap duo, saw them shift effortlessly into relentlessly pounding heavy rock, albeit shot through with a frivolity that was essentially pop ("Blockbuster," "Hellraiser," "Ballroom Blitz," "Teenage Rampage"). Simultaneously, Sweet's classic line-up of Brian Connolly (vocals), Andy Scott (guitar), Steve Priest (bass), and Mick Tucker (drums) left no stone unturned in their relentless search for new eye-catching costumes, exploring every possibility inherent in outrageous coiffure, glitter, sequins, face paint, loin cloths, and feathers, not to mention a penchant for shiny metallic thigh-length boots. This quest to go further out than T Rex, Slade, and the rest won them recognition as the band who had taken the glam look to the outer limits.
This accolade proved a two-edged sword, with many critics writing them off as little more than low-grade teen fodder. In retrospect, however, it's hard to deny that Connolly's expressive vocalizing, Tucker's imaginative powerhouse percussion, and Scott's all-round musicianship set them apart from most of the competition. Indeed, when Scott replaced Chinnichap as Sweet's songwriter, he delivered gems like "Fox On The Run" and the Ivor Novello Award-winning "Love Is Like Oxygen."

So, how did their 1973 hit "Ballroom Blitz" come about? It was art out of chaos. Pop art. The Sweet‘s “Ballrooom Blitz”, Glam Rock’s catchiest, trashiest, most lovable song, came from a riot that saw the band bottled off the stage, at the Grand Hall, Palace Theater, Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1973. Men spat, while women screamed to drown out the music. Not the response expected for a group famous for their string of chart hits, “Little Willy”, “Wig-Wag Bam” and the number 1, “Block Buster”.
Why it happened has since led to suggestions that the band’s appearance in eye-shadow, glitter and lippy (in particular the once gorgeous bass player Steve Priest) was all too much for the hard lads and lassies o’ Killie.   When the man at the back of the theatre said "everyone attack", and the room turned into a ballroom blitz. Whatever the cause of the chaos, it gave Glam Rock a work of art, and Sweet, one of their finest songs. [by Gavin Michie]

Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
Written by singer Roy Wood, who made his name in the 60s as co-founder of The Move, "See My Baby Jive" was among Wizzard’s six top 10 hits.
Wood performed with other local groups until forming The Move with Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton in 1966. They secured a recording contract and their first single, Night Of Fear, reached number two while Blackberry Way topped the charts. The Move enjoyed five other top 10 hits, including Flowers In The Rain, the first song played on Radio 1.
“While still recording with The Move, Wood formed the Electric Light Orchestra with Bev and Jeff Lynne as he wanted to create pop songs with classical overtones. He co-wrote and co-produced the first album before forming Wizzard.

“Wizzard's first five singles were top 10 hits. Their debut song, "Ball Park Incident", climbed to number six in 1972, followed by two number ones, "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers".  After Wizzard, Wood concentrated on solo work and producing.

Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [bonus track]
Faced with the challenge of capitalizing on a successful first album, Black Sabbath responded with the soundtrack for an urban nightmare. Sabbath - bassist "Geezer" Butler, guitarist Tony lommi, drummer "Bill Ward, and vocalist John "Ozzy" Osbourne - specialised in dark, bluesy power chords and grinding sense of doom. Though common currency for today's heavy rockers, this sounded like nothing less than the Devil's playlist to listeners still grappling with the demise of The Beatles.
Sabbath's heaviness was distinct from Led Zeppelin's. The latter's music revolved around sex. Sabbath talked of anything but. On Paranoid, they addressed militarism ("War Pigs"), heroin abuse ("Hand if Doom"), comic book rumbles ("Iron Man"), and the aftermath of nuclear war ("Electric Funeral"). For a great many record buyers, however, Paranoid's most relevant numbers evoked horrors closer to home. On the title track, the band - at loggerheads with management, reeling from an exhaustive tour schedule - may have been speaking from the heart or simply posturing. Either way, the song "Paranoid" - an unexpected hit single and one so unusually uptempo as to make one think it was by their speedier metal rivals Deep Purple - remains one of rock's most harrowing depictions of mental anguish ("People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time").

Their eponymous debut of the previous February was the album that for many kick-started the whole heavy metal genre but Paranoid is Black Sabbath's masterpiece. [by Ralph Heibutzki]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy of this EMI compilation and includes full album artwork for CD & Vinyl. I'd also like to acknowledge the inclusion of record label scans, kindly supplied by  Mr.Purser with thanks.  As mentioned, I've included Black Sabbath's mammoth hit "Paranoid" as a closing bonus track to counter balance the opening mega hit "Smoke On The Water " by Deep Purple. Hope you enjoy this great British sampler.

Track Listing
01. Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
02. Free - "All Right Now"
03. Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
04. Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
05. The Kinks - "Lola" 
06. David Essex - "Rock On"
07. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
08. The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
09. Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
10. Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
11. Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
12. Elton John - "Your Song"
13. Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
14. T-Rex - "Get It On"
15. The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
16. Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
17. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [Bonus Track] 
TRAX British Made Link (156Mb)