Monday, July 15, 2019

Vangelis - Original Sountracks: Blade Runner (1982) & Antarctica (1983)

(Greece 1963 - Present)
I decided to do a double post today, which focuses on my two favourite Vangelis's albums, both of which are soundtracks to movies.

Firstly, 'Blade Runner' which I saw at the movies when it first premiered in 1982 blew me away from the opening scene (where Harrison Ford is seen flying through the streets of L.A in a 'spinner') to the final credit listing at the end of the movie which features the sound of Acid Rain falling. And what about the lazy, haunting sax solo (by Dick Morrisey) in Love Theme, backed by Vangelis's superb electric piano and symphonic accompaniment. And of course, I like anything Sci-Fi based.

The second Soundtrack 'Antartica' took my interest more because I was working as a research assistant at the time at Melbourne University in 1982, for the Antartic Botantical Research dept.
It was was my dream to visit Mawson over the  summer period the following year, however the government pulled the pin on all scientific research at the end of 1982 (monies went into Mining instead), so I never did get there. So the closest I could get, was to see a newly released movie called Antarctica in 1983, which featured some amazing photography of this icy dessert landscape.
Of course it also featured a some awesome sound affects to enhance the visual experience, and was pleasantly surprised to learn during the credits, that Vangelis was once again behind this musical culinary delight.
Vangelis - Blade Runner (1982)

In the 21st century, a cyberpunk vision of the future is introduced, man has developed the technology to create replicants - humanoid androids with short, fixed lifespans - which are illegal on Earth but are used in the off-world colonies. In Los Angeles, 2019, Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) is a Blade Runner, a cop who specializes in terminating replicants.

As a failsafe, replicants were designed to have only a four-year life span to prevent them from having enough time to develop complex human emotions. These replicant mutineers, lead by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) return home to find their makers, hoping to find the key to extend their life span, in the remaining underworld where only misfits remain.

Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)
Deckard is forced to come out of retirement when these four replicants escape from an off-world colony and come to Earth. Before starting the job, Deckard goes to the Tyrell Corporation and he meets Rachel (Sean Young), a Replicant girl he falls in love with. The city in which Deckard must search for his prey is a huge, sprawling, bleak vision of the future. Man's obsession with creating a being equal to himself has back-fired. This film questions what it is to be human, and why life is so precious.

Sean Young as Rachael
Vangelis’ soundtrack for Blade Runner remains one of the relatively few soundtracks to establish an enduring reputation as fine music in its own right. Vangelis, by mid-1981 when he was first invited to view a rough cut of footage from Blade Runner, was at the peak of his fame as a solo artist, following a half-decade long run of successful albums. On 29th March 1982, a month prior to submitting his compositions for Blade Runner, he would crown his career as a creator of movie soundtracks (which began as far back as 1963) by winning an Oscar for his work on Chariots Of Fire. His work on Blade Runner took place in the midst of a truly auspicious moment for the Greek composer, and he fully lived up to the expectations placed upon him.

For a more extensive description of the story line see HollyWood Reporter and album review see UnderThe Deer
Vangelis - Antartica (1983)
Antarctica is a soundtrack album by the Greek electronic composer Vangelis, released in 1983. Vangelis had recently written music for Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, before he released this haunting soundtrack. It is the score of the 1983 Japanese film Antarctica ("Nankyoku Monogatari", lit. "South Pole Story") directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara, and was nominated by the Japan Academy for "Best Music Score".

In 1958, a Japanese expedition to Antarctica led by meteorologist Kenjiro Ochi (Tsunehido Watase) and doctor Akira Ushioda (Ken Takakura) leave their exploration base, abandoning their loyal team of sled dogs. When the scientists who are supposed to replace them have their mission canceled, Akira and Kenjiro are worried their dogs will die. A year later, the scientists embark upon a dangerous expedition to rescue their faithful animal companions.

Synthesisers of "Theme from Antarctica" conjure cold and desolation, but also a bright landscape not lacking in beauty. "Antarctica Echoes" has minimal melody showing the vastness of the landscape. "Song of White" is cold-sounding, while "The Other Side of Antarctica" has a sinister sound. "Deliverance" is the theme that plays at the end of the film when the handlers on the first expedition
find corpses of seven dogs, that eight of the dogs broke loose, and two of the dogs, Taro and Jiro, return alive. [extract from Wikipedia]
Review / Storyline
This 1983 soundtrack to the obscure and ultimately rather touching movie directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara (1927 – 2002) was only released world-wide some five years later. The film was apparently based on a true story and a big success in Japan at the time, where in 2001 it was released on a double DVD set that unfortunately lacks English subtitles. However, the story line is easy to follow and this movie is as much about that story as it is about the often breath-taking shots of Antarctica and its wildlife.

Across the opening titles we hear Life of Antarctica, a dramatic piece that uses sequencers, various layers of harmony and flute-sounds to set up an atmosphere of adversity. It is used for this purpose at a few points throughout the movie. The actual story develops as follows: about halfway through the film, a team of Japanese arctic explorers is forced to abandon camp due to extreme weather circumstances. Those circumstances make it impossible to take along the full complement of dogs, who are left behind chained to a rope. This is especially hard on their two caretakers, who had developed an emotional bond with the dogs, after having been saved from trouble by them during one of their treks across the continent. This trek, made by 3 men and the dogs pulling a sleigh across the icy mountains, provides the first opportunity for the music to fully play its part. A couple of short ambient non-album pieces are introduced here as periods of intense activity alternating with periods of rest plus shots like a beautiful sunset are accompanied by tracks such as Deliverance and Memory of Antarctica.

Man's Best Friend
Of some 20 dogs left behind, 7 eventually manage to break free to start a long battle for survival. They initially bond together, but fatal events and various injuries make the group split up and become smaller and smaller. There are extended scenes showing the dogs trying to find food (frozen fish in the ice, the occasional bird), running across the ice (Kinematic) and witnessing some amazing sights. 

One of those, the strange magnetic phenomenon of Aurora Australis (or Aurora Borealis, as it'd be called in Canada, where the film was mostly shot) has an ambient piece which would have been worthy of inclusion on the album. Some sad scenes show the dogs come to an end in different ways. Here the contemplative music of Antarctica Echoes and Memory of Antarctica is often used.

Meanwhile back in Japan the two caretakers keep wondering about the fate of their dogs and be depressed about their having been so powerless to do anything about it. When summer returns to the white continent, two dogs have somehow managed to survive the ordeal. 

Finally Re-united
Eventually an opportunity comes along for the two men to return to the camp and at least put their minds at rest. As expected, they find most dogs dead but are then happily reunited with the two survivors to the majestic sounds of the Theme, which also covers the end-titles. That theme, the opening piece on the album, is a magnificently orchestrated blend of harmony and percussion. Its drawn-out melody is trademark Vangelis - using only a few notes and achieving harmonic resolution by the simplest of means it's got class written all over it due to its spacious arrangement. I've heard it being used for a TV-documentary about ocean sailing as well, it evokes that sort of feeling of heroism very well.The album's own overall effect is one of virtuosity, an inspired Vangelis at a high point in his musicianship.

There is some, but not much additional music and alternative versions in the movie that are not on the album, on the other hand none of the fully worked out pieces on the album are heard in their entirety in the movie. 

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'mint / pristine' vinyl (both titles) and includes full album artwork for both Vinyl and CD formats.  The rip of Antarctica is particularly impressive, as my copy is a Japanese Pressing and it is well known fact that Japanese pressings are the best in the world, in terms of their quality (from cover to vinyl). I hope you enjoy these soundtracks as much as I do.
NB>  Another movie worth looking out for (with a similar story line to that of Antarctica) is called 'Eight Below' and although the soundtrack is not credited to Vangelis, you would be forgiven in thinking that it was.

Blade Runner Track Listing
01 Main Titles 3:42
02 Blush Response 5:47
03 Wait For Me 5:27
04 Rachel's Song    4:46
05 Love Theme 4:56
06 One More Kiss, Dear   3:58
07 Blade Runner Blues      8:53
08 Memories Of Green     5:05
09 Tales Of The Future      4:46
10 Damask Rose      2:32
11 Blade Runner (End Titles)   4:40
12 Tears In Rain 3:00

Antarctica Track Listing
01. "Theme from Antarctica" 7:29
02. "Antarctica Echoes" 5:58
03. "Kinematic" 3:50
04. "Song of White" 5:17
05. "Life of Antarctica" 5:59
06. "Memory of Antarctica" 5:30
07. "Other Side of Antarctica" 6:56
08. "Deliverance" 4:30

Vangelis – composer of all instruments

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Various Artists - Sick Music (Custom Compilation)

(Various Artists 1960's - 2000's)
The inspiration for this somewhat 'average post' comes from a recent 2 week stay in hospital for which I was only released 5 days ago.  Several operations later and a 12 month battle with Bowel Cancer has resulted in a good prognosis for which I am very grateful, especially to a wonderful medical team consisting of surgeons, oncologist, radiologist and gastroenterologist.

During this time, I have been able to maintain this blog as best I could although the number of posts has dwindled more recently, requiring me to schedule postings in advance for those times when I have not been in front of my trusty computer and research materials.
The obvious theme for this post is centred on 'Bad Health' and songs related to this theme have been drawn from my collection for this very SICK compilation (pun intended).
I have only included songs with a minimum quality of MP3 (320kps) along with custom made cover artwork. There is a wide variety of music genre on this homemade compilation, yet all songs have a common theme of 'bad health' and are mostly well known. The one band that you may not be familiar with is the 'Cold Chisel sound-a-like' band called Koritini, an Australian band formed in the early 2000's. The remaining tracks and bands should be familiar to you, closing with Zepplin's epic "In My Time Of Dying", making this an interesting and diverse compilation, released on my special custom label called 'Sick Records'

So, to put sum things up; Aussie Rock is officially back to fight another day

Track Listing
01 The Aztecs - Sick 'N' Tired
02 Robert Palmer - Doctor Doctor
03 The Beatles - Doctor Roberts
04 Led Zeppelin - Sick Again
05 Alice Cooper - Sick Things
06 Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine
07 John Mayall - Medicine Man
08 Wings - Medicine Jar
09 Linda Ronstadt - Hurt So Bad
10 Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight
11 Koritini - Sick Again
12 Weird Al Yankovic - Like A Surgeon
13 Madder Lake - Hospital Of Love
14 Led Zeppelin - In My Time Of Dying

Sick Music Compilation Link (114Mb)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Devastatin' Dave (The Turntable Slave) - Zip Zap Rap 7''

Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.....

Remember 'Zapped,' the 1982 sci-fi comedy starring Scott Baio as a nerd who gains telekinetic powers? Something tells me Devastatin' Dave (The Turntable Slave) was tremendously inspired by that slice of cinematic excellence. But, instead of waxing righteously about lifting skirts and altering the paths of pitches on the diamond, Dave uses his lyrical powers for an anti-drug message.

'Say No to Drugs' was the pop culture slogan of the '80s, so we're wondering why a single targeted to kids would have the word "zap" over The Turntable Slave's Vitamin D. Please note that the rap's lyrics will make you significantly dumber than any drug on the streets.

Precious little is documented about the artist known to us only as Devastatin’ Dave (The Turntable Slave). His sole legacy on earth — according to the internet anyway — seems to be a lone release, the “Zip Zap Rap” vinyl single. It was released in 1986 on the Superstar International Records label, a short-lived imprint out of California whose biggest artist was Scherrie Payne of the Supremes.

The single cover and centre rings offer little help in uncovering the identity of the man behind the bitchin’ red-rimmed sunglasses. Songwriting for “Zip Zap Rap” is credited to a D. Cary (who I believe to be Dave Cary, the man himself) and Wayne Henderson. Henderson also received a production credit. Now the name Wayne Henderson rings a huge bell for me, as that’s the name of the trombonist/producer who co-founded the Jazz Crusaders — one of my favorite groups — in 1961.

Whoever Dave is, or wherever he came from, he’s here on this record to just one thing. Rap about the dangers of cocaine and inspire you to stay in school.

This month's WOCK on Vinyl fits the Crazy & Korny categories like a glove - just like the ones Dave is wearing on the front cover.

WARNING: This probably sounds better if you are actually using cocaine, but I do not condone such activities. But seriously, this song blows!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Jesus Christ Superstar - First Australian Recording (1972) and Original Australian Cast Recording (1973)

(Australian 1972 -1973)
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera created by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1970. The earliest Australian version was staged from May 1972 to February 1974, and was quickly followed by the more popular release from 1973, entitled the 'Original Australian Cast Recording' which featured well known artists Jon English and Stevie Wright.  I was lucky enough to see this 1973 production through my Church Youth Group and was profoundly impressed with this fresh view on Christianity.

Based on a concept album project written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and the subsequent long-running Broadway performance, this film tells the story of the final 6 days in the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot. Too often miss-labelled as a musical, this film is a "rock opera." There are no spoken lines, everything is sung.

The first 'rock opera' by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage, Jesus Christ Superstar has wowed audiences for over 40 years. A timeless work, the rock opera is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events but seen, unusually, through the eyes of Judas Iscariot.

Loosely based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Superstar follows the last week of Jesus Christ’s life. The story, told entirely through song, explores the personal relationships and struggles between Jesus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, his disciples, his followers and the Roman Empire.

The iconic 1970s rock score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane.” A true global phenomenon and perfect pick for schools, community theatres and professionals alike, Superstar continues to touch new generations of audiences and performers.

First Australian Recording (1972)
This particular release is fairly unique, in that — clocking in at eighteen songs from a show that only had twenty-three (or twenty-four, if a recording included the new addition to the stage version, “Could We Start Again Please”) to begin with — it’s one of the rare “knock-off” recordings that took a swing at getting the lion’s share of the score in the can. Made in Australia by a combo assembled by producer and organist Mike Perjanik, and deemed good enough by EMI to give it a British release on their cheapie Starline label, it is often dubbed the “First Australian Cast” by fans because it pre-dates the official Australian production.

Sang part of Jesus Christ
Vinyl Vulture, in its terrific (now out-of-print) feature on the early recordings of JCS, claimed that “none of the vocalists get any credit whatsoever on this album,” but my research suggests they might not have been looking hard enough. (Indeed, it escaped their notice that Erl Dalby, the singer playing Judas on this album, seems to have been something of an Australian star — or at least a fairly well-known quantity in music circles — at the time, as the History of Australian Music From 1960 until 2010 suggests.) 

At any rate, they can hardly be blamed for this mistake, as they are right in their assessment that “the band are the stars, not the singers.” The vocals are effective, but not over-egged, and so it’s the musicians who really shine, delivering a harder rock experience than the original album with much multi-tracked guitar and organ, and wailing fuzz-toned solos chucked in the mix at random.

Standout tracks include killer takes on “Heaven On Their Minds,” “What’s The Buzz,” and “Superstar,” and versions of “The Temple” and “Gethsemane” with a genuine rock edge. 

Unfortunately, this album is out of print, but rather than try your luck finding used copies through such variable (on a good day) sources as eBay, you can listen to it here.

Jesus Christ Superstar began as a concept album because no producer wanted to put it on stage.
Lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who met in 1965 when they were 20 and 17, respectively, enjoyed their first taste of shared success with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1968. Next, the duo focused on another Biblical figure: Jesus of Nazareth. The pair envisioned a daring new rock musical that would retell—from Judas’s perspective—the story of Christ’s betrayal and execution. But Lloyd Webber and Rice couldn’t find anyone who was willing to produce the project as a stage show—Lloyd Webber recalled that they were told it was "the worst idea in history." So they transformed it into an 87-minute, two-disc concept album instead; it was released in 1970.

Original Broadway Production (1971)
The apparent setback may have been a blessing in disguise. Both men have argued that, by writing Superstar as an album at the onset, they were able to streamline the score more effectively than they otherwise could have. “Doing it on record,” Rice said, “made it shorter, cut out the book, made it more contemporary, made it more rock, gave it more energy, and identified it more with a younger audience. All those things the record gave us. We didn’t really appreciate that at the time because, largely thanks to Andrew, we were trying to write for the theatre, not for records. But doing it that way around worked so well, because in addition to making the work itself better, it promoted the work so well, so when it finally hit the stage, everybody knew the entire score.” The show made its Broadway debut in 1971.

When any show is a hit, a lot of people will be quick to capitalise on the show’s success. In this case, Jesus Christ Superstar was one of the first albums of its kind, and everyone wanted their own slice of the pie where the Passion According to Tim and Andrew was concerned. At this time, many “budget” labels famous for releasing low cost sound alike albums (“knock-off” recordings capitalising on shows, songs, or albums that became hits) jumped into the fray.
The performers were usually never an actual ensemble that had performed JCS (indeed, in its early days, the number of actual casts performing the show were very few), but instead merely a group of vocalists who recorded songs from the show. Usually, these recordings were very cheaply put together and produced, and priced to own. (In the future, albums like these, now labelled “studio cast recordings,” could no longer be accurately described as simple cash-grabs, but at the time, the use of the phrase “knock-off” is totally appropriate.) 

Jon English plays Judas
Though it may be a matter of opinion, this particular fan feels that since the performers on these studio recordings lack the experience of getting on a stage and actually performing the show in front of an audience, the performances are pleasant enough, but not always up to par with a real cast album.

This post consists of both Australian releases ripped from vinyl to FLAC format and includes full album artwork for both releases. Note that the 1972 release (studio only) is very rare and extremely hard to find. I was lucky enough to stumble across this release at the local Flee Market some months ago, and paid the hefty price of one dollar. A miracle !
The other release from 1973 with it's distinct Purple Cover is fairly easy to come by, probably because there were so many printed, but is certainly worth having for its connection with Jon English and Stevie Wright. 
First Australian Release (1972) Tracklist
A1 Overture
A2 Heaven On Their Minds
A3 What's The Buzz / Strange Thing Mystifying
A4 Everything's Alright
A5 This Jesus Must Die
A6 Hosanna
A7 Simon Zealotes
A8 Pilate's Dream
A9 The Temple
A10 I Don't Know How To Love Him
B1 Damned For All Time / Blood Money
B2 The Last Supper
B3 Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)
B4 King Herod's Song
B5 Trial Before Pilate
B6 Superstar
B7 Crucifixion
B8 John 19:41
Original Australian Cast Recording (1973) Tracklist
A1 – Jon English Heaven On Their Minds 3:54
A2 – Michele Fawdon, Jon English, Trevor White, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast Everything's Alright  4:07
A3 – Trevor White Hosanna 2:24
A4 – Stevie Wright, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast  Simon Zealotes 3:31
A5 – Trevor White Poor Jerusalem 1:20
A6 – Robin Ramsay Pilate's Dream 2:03
A7 – Trevor White, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast The Temple 5:08
A8 – Michele Fawdon I Don’t Know How To Love Him 4:39
B1 – Trevor White, Jon English, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast  The Last Supper 7:52
B2 – Trevor White Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) 6:48
B3 – Michele Fawdon, Rory O'Donoghue Could We Start Again Please 2:28
B4 – Robin Ramsay, Peter North, Trevor White, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast Trial Before Pilate 6:46
B5 – Jon English, "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Cast Superstar 4:10
B6 – "Jesus Christ Superstar" Australian Orchestra John 19:41 3:17

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Bob Dylan With The Grateful Dead - Unauthorised Live Vol.2 (1993) Bootleg

(U.S  1961 - Present)
The Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead 1987 Tour was a concert tour by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead taking place in the summer of 1987 and consisting of six concerts. Each concert began with one or two lengthy sets by the Grateful Dead of their own material (sometime broken into a first and second set, per the Dead's usual practice), followed by a roughly 90 minute set of the Dead acting as Dylan's backup band.

This bootleg is a recording of one of these six concerts, the venue being the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon and took place on July 19, 1987.  The day before the concert there was a record rainfall. Concert day was a record high heat day. . . Humid and Hot.  It was amazing that the Dead could even play in such conditions. The atmosphere was festive and sweaty, the portable showers set up near the back of the stadium got a fair amount of use.  A skywriter wrote 'IMPEACH REAGAN' during The Grateful Dead's concert bracket, which got the crowd going.

This concert has been released as a bootleg under many titles: 'Bridget's Album' (Pharting Pharoao Records), 'In The Heart Of Oregon'. (Flamingo Records), 'Mad Mystic Hammering' (B & W Records) and 'Together We’re Strong'  (Archive Series); and also officially as 'Dylan & The Dead' in 1989.

The sound on this 70+ minute CD is pretty good, maybe a 8/10 (although Dylan's vocals on the first 3-4 tracks are a little faint), and if it was any better it would be as good as the official release 'Dylan & The Dead'. The audience applause in between songs has been expertly edited to allow the full show to be presented. It is a shame that Dylan doesn't like to banter with the audience but I guess he's too focused on remembering the lyrics to his songs. This CD, along with companion Vol. 1 (does anyone have this?), was manufactured in Australia.

In the early 1990's there was a loophole in  the copyright law there that allowed such pieces to be distributed, as long as the pieces were clearly identified as not being authorised by the Label who owned the controlling rights. Joker went overboard with the statement, and created this incredibly ugly, nameless title. The spelling of unauthorised is the Aussie spelling. The titles were sold at discount prices at grocery stores and the like. Dylan shows little to no emotion in his singing of these songs, but at least the sound quality is there.
Concert Review (by Augy)
I remember and from my recordings I have in storage, this was the most interesting of the three west coast Dylan/Dead performances, although Oakland was probably best overall. I was particularly enthused about the rare numbers they played at each show, but this one especially!
Namely, "Heart of Mine" I just love that tune ! It has just a beautiful, although repetitive chord progression.
Autzen Stadium Eugene 1987
Also, "Watchin' the River Flow" which, although only a blues, it has a is a maybe not completely unique, but a very elegant or novel, for lack of more appropriate adjectives, (I probably sound like I'm writing a scientific journal paper with words like that), approach to the turnaround; which was perfect for Garcia, in the same way Anaheim's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was, since I always referred to Jerry as the "king of the turnaroud" ! I say that because he could throw in a turn around virtually anyway, I mean in places that were anything but blues or folk; so given "Rainy Day Women"'s obvious repetitive turnaround who more appropriate to play it but Garcia. So the same goes for "Watchin' the River Flow".

Dylan & Garcia
There are other things I like about that tine as well in the lyric, etc. but of course as most of you probably know if one doesn't already know the words from the studio release, it is difficult at a live Dylan performance to understand the lyrics often because Dylan deliberately accents or inflects his words differently on different beats and/or holds a syllable for a a different length of time as a way of improvising from one performance to another.

Dylan & The Grateful Dead, 1987
Moreover, "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" is another rare tune that I like, although kind of creepy but so are some Grateful Dead tunes, to which perhaps some may take exception to, in the same way I take exception to the person who though this Dead/Dylan performance was "uninteresting". Furthermore, they did a great version of "Tangled up in Blue" in Garcia's usual rousing approach to that tune, but not quite the same style as Garcia Band show ! The rest of it was more or less the same as the other two west coast shows.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my JOKER CD bootleg and includes full album artwork.  The track listing for this concert indicates that they played 2 songs for their encore  "Touch of Grey" and "All Along The Watchtower".
For some reason "Touch Of Grey" is missing from this bootleg which is strange, as there would have been room on the CD for its inclusion.
Nevertheless, the other 14 tracks are all here for your enjoyment.
01 Maggie's Farm 
02 Dead Man Dead Man 
03 Watching the River Flow 
04 Simple Twist Of Fate 
05 Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
06 Stuck Inside Of Mobile 
07 Heart Of Mine 
08 It's All Over Now Baby Blue 
09 Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 
10 Queen Jane Approximately 
11 Ballad Of A Thin Man 
12 Highway 61 Revisited 
13 Tangled Up In Blue 
14 All Along The Watchtower 

Bob Dylan — vocals, guitar
Jerry Garcia — lead guitar, backing vocals
Bob Weir — guitar, backing vocals
Brent Mydland — keyboards, backing vocals
Phil Lesh — bass
Mickey Hart — drums
Bill Kreutzmann —drums

Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead Live Link (141Mb)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Cliff Richard - I'm Nearly Famous (1976)

(U.K 1958 - Present)
.I'm Nearly Famous is particularly apt for an artist who has rarely been out of the charts since 1958.
Born Harry Rodger Webb, Lucknow India, October 14, 1940, after leaving school, Cliff Richard played part time in a band called "The Drifters" which would later be known as "The Shadows".
Signed to EMI Records, the starting point of his career was in September 1958 with the release Move It. It quickly moved to No.2 in the U.K. Charts, and stayed there for 17 weeks.
Between Move It in 1958 and Devil Woman in 1976, Cliff chalked up 65 hit singles in the U.K., including nine No.l singles, 32 Top 10 - a remarkable achievement.
"Devil Woman" from this CD, I'm Nearly Famous, became one of his most successful singles in the U.S. It reached No.6 on the U.S. Billboard Charts, No.5 in the U.K., and No.3 in Australian Charts in September 1976. It also gave Cliff his first gold disc in the USA.
That year also saw Cliffs recordings released in the USSR and a tour in September, where he received a tremendous reception in Leningrad and Moscow, playing to approximately 91,000 people.
Cliff Richard's career spans two decades, and as we move through the 80's, Cliff continues to dominate the charts in Australia and in the UK. [liner notes]

Album Review (by Dave Thompson)
I'm Nearly Famous is the album which marked Cliff Richard's return from the commercial and, in many ways, creative void which had consumed him since the end of the 1960s. 

Recorded with former Shadow Brian Bennett in the production chair and boasting the most consistently excellent clutch of songs and performances Richard had mustered in over a decade, the album was previewed by the lovely "Miss You Night," opened with the neo-disco "I Can't Ask for Anything More," and peaked with "Devil Woman," a rocker which became his first ever U.S. Top Ten hit. 

But they were simply the best-known standouts. "It's No Use Pretending" was an anthemic ballad with more than a hint of Elton John around its execution -- quite coincidentally, it was John's Rocket label which oversaw the album's American release. From the same writing team of Michael Allison and Peter Sill, the riff sodden rocking title track, too, has ghosts of John around it -- think "Crocodile Rock" meets "Bennie & the Jets." 

The tide flows both ways, however. Of course the two artists sound alike, but there was a time, when John was first breaking through, when a lot of people thought he sounded like Richard. Chicken? Meet the egg. There are a couple of less than stellar moments -- "Lovers" is basic big ballad by numbers, "Junior Cowboy" is the kind of ersatz country rocker which Richard had done much better in the past. What's important, however, is that once these would have been the highlights of a new Richard album; either that, or indistinguishable from all the other ballads and country rockers on board. 

This time around, they were simply a lull before the next masterpiece rolled out. I'm Nearly Famous rates, alongside David Cassidy's The Higher They Climb, among the most surprising albums of the mid-1970s, a record which was made in the face of both critical hostility and public indifference, yet managed to completely redefine its creator in the eyes of both. Cassidy, of course, never followed up his renaissance. Richard, on the other hand, hasn't looked back since.

This post consists of FLACs and MP3 (320kps) ripped from my CD copy but includes full artwork for both Vinyl and CD.  When I heard "Devil Woman" played on the radio for the first time, I didn't realise it was Cliff Richard singing as he had disappeared from the Australian charts during the early 70's and was pleasantly surprised when I learn't it was Cliff behind this catchy tune.  Of course my interest in his music was rekindled and have enjoyed many of his later releases since. 

Track Listing
01 I Can't Ask For Anymore Than You 2:48
02 It's No Use Pretending 3:21
03 I'm Nearly Famous 3:51
04 Lovers 2:54
05 Junior Cowboy 2:43
06 Miss You Nights 3:55
07 I Wish You'd Change Your Mind 3:01
08 Devil Woman 3:36
09 Such Is The Mystery 5:08
10 You've Got To Give Me All Your Lovin' 3:04
11 If You Walked Away 3:00
12 It's Alright Now 2:28
Cliff Richard MP3 Link (61Mb)

Cliff Richard FLAC Link (183Mb) Added 14/06/2019


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Colleen Hewett - Colleen (1983)

(Australian 1967 - Present)
Colleen Hewett was born in the Victorian town of Bendigo in 1950, and has established herself as one of Australia's most admired and consistently successful recording artists. She was crowned the nation's 'Queen of Pop' twice in the seventies, and over the years has also won recognition as a talented stage and screen actress. This 1983 album features a number of her hits from the eighties, including the number one "Dreaming My Dreams With You" and a wonderful rendition of Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings".
One of the most admired and consistently successful Australian recording artists, Colleen Hewett twice topped the Australian charts, a decade apart. Her active fifteen year hit span is unique in a country which tends to dismiss its female pop performers-swiftly and mercilessly.

Born in the Victorian town of Bendigo in 1950, personable Colleen was performing publicly by the age of twelve. After working with an amateur band for three years she became a part of Australia's vibrant sixties pop explosion when she joined the vocal trio The Creations. Before the decade was over she had recorded and toured with the Laurie Alien Revue and lan Saxon & The Sound.

Colleen's high profile solo career began in 1970 when she won the Bandstand Best Female Newcomer of the Year Award. Signed by Festival Records, she covered a song from Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Leon Russell's Superstar, and entered the top forty. This helped her secure a role in the Melbourne stage production of Godspell, which in turn gave her a number one gold single, Day By Day, which was recorded with full orchestration and the Australian Boys' Choir.

By 1972, Colleen was a major star in Australia. She won the national Go-Set Pop Poll as Best Female Singer and was crowned Queen of Pop. The following year she was part of the celebrity cast in the two live Australian presentations of the rock opera Tommy and was again crowned Queen of Pop. In 1974 she co-starred with John Farnham in the stage musical Pippin. But although she had minor hits with Carry That Weight, Waltzing Matilda, Sit Yourself Down and, during a brief 1974 stint with Atlantic Records, / Believe When I Fall In Love, she had ceased to be a major record seller and moved further into screen and stage activities, taking the lead in the 1978 ABC TV series The Truckles.

The dawn of the eighties echoed the same point a decade before, with Colleen - now recording for Wizard Records - once again claiming the chart summit; this time with the seductive Dreaming My Dreams With You. Her new hit run continued with Avenue Records and she had more chart entries including Gigolo, The Wind Beneath My Wings and If You Ever Feel The Need.

This 1983 Avenue label album, produced by Englishman John Wood, brought together most of those hits and included fine versions of the taut Split Enz ballad "I Hope I Never" and the gentle-but-funky Allan Toussaint piece, Motion. Since its release Colleen has remained only semi-active in music and entertainment while still commanding considerable loyalty and affection among Australians who recall her unpretentious air and honest charm. (Liner Notes by Glenn A. Baker)

This post consists of FLACS ripped from a recently acquired CD copy which trumps my vinyl copy (which is unfortunately warped) and includes full artwork for both media. Colleen released no less than 4 singles from this album, demonstrating just how popular she was during the 80's. The 2015 billboard poster above also shows that she is still going strong and is still able to draw crowds.
Yes, Colleen is still a Superstar !
Track List:
01 When The Feeling Comes Around 3:20
02 Tell Me That You Love Me 3:20
03 The Wind Beneath My Wings 3:20
04 What Could You Know About Love       3:05
05 I Hope I Never 4:20
06 Hearts (Our Hearts) 3:13
07 Dreaming My Dreams With You 3:45
08 Since I Loved Like That 2:15
09 Gigolo 3:15
10 What If You Fell In Love 3:22
11 When I Dream 3:36
12 Motion 4:53
Colleen Hewett FLAC Link (250Mb)