Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pink Floyd - BBC Archives 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' (1974) Ex SB

(U.K 1965 - 1996, 2005)
Pink Floyd were an English rock band who earned recognition for their psychedelic music in the late 1960s and, as they evolved in the 1970's, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd's work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful acts, the group has sold over 200 million albums worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States.

Pink Floyd were formed in 1965, and originally consisted of university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and Syd Barrett. The group were a popular fixture on London's underground music scene, and under Barrett's leadership released two charting singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", and a commercially and critically successful album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. In 1968, guitarist and singer David Gilmour joined the line-up, and Barrett was removed due to his increasingly erratic behaviour. Following Barrett's departure, bass player and singer Roger Waters became the lyricist and dominant figure in the band, which thereafter achieved worldwide critical and commercial success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon (DSOTM), Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall [Extract from Wikipedia]
Dark Side Of The Moon was my first introduction to the band back in the early 70's and I was totally blown away with the amazing stereo sound affects that came out of my Onkyo stereo system at the time. I listened to this album non-stop for weeks and weeks, almost to the point where I was sustaining 'Brain Damage' myself !
Since then, I have sourced many live versions of this famous LP, and finally stumbled upon this amazing recording made by the British Broadcasting Commission - one of the 'best bootlegs' I have ever come across. The sound quality is A++
In 1974, the BBC taped the second set (The Dark Side On The Moon) and the encore (Echoes) of the Floyd performance at Wembley Empire Pool, on November 16. However, Echoes was never broadcast, and for many years only the DSOTM set was circulating from broadcast sources.In recent years, recordings taken from the BBC pre-FM tapes began to circulate, some of them including the long lost soundboard version of Echoes. However, none of these RoIOs are fully sonically satisfactory in our opinion. Most of them are processed and used some kind of noise reduction, sometimes very slightly (the Sirene releases), and other times more heavily (the Winston remasters, "Time In London") 

The rare, unprocessed versions currently circulating, like the "FM Pre-Master" Russian bootleg, are pleasant but not without a certain amount of hiss, which reveals that the lineage was not without some generational loss. The hiss from the unprocessed versions available until now is probably one of the reasons why so much NR was used on the various remaster projects. After much research, Harvested found a superior source, totally unprocessed, with much less hiss than the other unprocessed versions circulating until now. A spectral analysis of the audio file showed that this source was very pure and could be the result of direct transfer from the BBC masters. However, it is well known that the BBC mastering of that concert sounds rather dry and flat, especially the DSOTM set and our source was no exception. Therefore, we felt this new source needed the "Harvested treatment," in order to make this recording really shine, with good dynamics. The remastering was done very carefully in an attempt to leave the music intact, avoiding NR, de-hissing, or any other processing that would generate artifacts.

The majority of the remastering work consisted of adjusting the audio levels, balancing the recording when needed, and bringing more clarity and depth by applying specific EQ settings here and there. The final result sounds great to our ears and this version boasts excellent dynamics and a well defined high end without the flaws present on most of the other sources. This CD is free from all NR artifacts, the amount of hiss is minimal, and the low frequency noise that can be clearly heard on all of the currently circulating versions of Echoes (especially during the quiet parts) is not present here."BBC Archives 1974" brings you this famous BBC recording in its most complete form (the lines,"I've been mad for f*cking years...," as well as the applause and tuning between Eclipse and Echoes are present), offering the best possible quality for your listening pleasure! "
The rip here was taken from tape at 256kps and includes full album artwork.
Track Listing
01. Speak To Me
02. Breathe
03. On The Run
04. Time
05. The Great Gig In The Sky
06. Money
07. Us And Them
08. Any Colour You Like
09. Brain Damage
10. Eclipse
11. Echoes
Band Members:
David Gilmour (Guitar, Vocals)
Roger Waters (Bass, Vocals)
Richard Wright (Keyboards)
Nick Mason (Drums and Percussion)
Pink Floyd Link (148Mb) New Link 26/03/2021

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chicago - Christmas Special (1998) Ex FM Broadcast

(U.S 1967- Present)
With Christmas only around the corner here in Australia, it only seems fitting to post something fitting of the feastive season. Christmas with Chicago, House Of Blues Los Angeles, CA Dec. 8, 1998; is a pre-FM recording on the SFX Radio Network Concert Special originally broadcast December 16-29, 1998.
Chicago is an American pop rock/jazz fusion band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The band began as a politically charged, sometimes experimental, rock band and later moved to a predominantly softer sound, becoming famous for producing a number of hit ballads. They had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Second only to the Beach Boys in terms of singles and albums, Chicago is one of the longest running and most successful U.S. pop/rock and roll groups.
According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, scoring 22 Gold, 18 Platinum, and 8 Multi-Platinum albums. Over the course of their career they have charted five No. 1 albums, and have had twenty-one top ten hits [Extract from wikipedia].
In 1998, Chicago released Chicago XXV: The Christmas Album, which mixed traditional holiday favorites with an original Lee Loughnane composition. It went gold in the US. (The album was re-released with additional tracks in 2003, under the title ''What's It Gonna Be, Santa?) The album featured Keith Howland's first, and to date only, lead vocal on a Chicago record. .
The rip was taken from a tape recording of an FM Radio Broadcast of this concert at 320kps and comes with limited artwork. The sound quality is excellent, and you've got 6 terrific Christmas/holiday songs done Chicago-style on top of some classic Chicago tunes.
Merry Christmas Folks !
Track Listing
01 - Radio Introduction
02 - Little Drummer Boy
03 - You're The Inspiration
04 - The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
05 - Hard Habit To Break
06 - Let It Snow!
07 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
08 - Saturday In The Park
09 - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
10 - Just You N' Me
11 - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
12 - Hard To Say I'm Sorry/Get Away
13 - Closing Credits
Band Members:
Jason Scheff - lead vocals / bass
Bill Champlin - lead vocals / keyboards / organ
Robert Lamm - lead vocals / keyboards
Lee Loughnane - lead vocals on Let It Snow / trumpet
Keith Howland - guitars / vocals
Walt Parazaider - saxaphone
Jimmy Pankow - trombone
Tris Imboden - drums
Chicago Christmas Link (86Mb) REPOST

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sports - Fair Game (1977) E.P

(Australian 1976-1981)
The Sports were formed in 1976 by Stephen Cummings who was the singer of Melbourne rockabilly group, 'The Pelaco Brothers', (which comprised Cummings, Joe Camilleri, Peter Lillie and Johnny Topper). Cummings and ex-The Pelaco Brothers bandmate Ed Bates, with Robert Glover (ex-Myriad) on bass guitar, Jim Niven on piano (ex-The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) and Paul Hitchins on drums. Their early sets contained covers of Chuck Berry, Billy Emerson, Don Covay, Company Caine and Graham Parker. Original songs, mostly written by Cummings and Bates, completed their sets. The Sports' debut recording was the EP, 'Fair Game' in early 1977, financed by friends and family. This E.P is now considered to be very rare gem amongst other Australian recordings, as only 500 copies were pressed.
A friend in London posted the record to the 'New Musical Express' which declared it 'Record Of The Week'.

(from New Musical Express, 9-7-77)
This was sent in by a fan in Melbourne, Australia and blimey it is ace. If you got crooked by AC/DC, The Saints and Frank Ifield don't think that all the bands downunder are out of date. Steve Cummings out-Jaggers Jagger and nearly matches Lowell too, I kid you not. Featish slide from Ed Bates, touch perfect keyboards from Jim Niven, and a fair dinkum rhythm section c
ourtesy of Paul Hitchins and Robert Glover. You can tell where they're coming from but so what. The Sports are a gen-u-wine rock'n'roll discovery.

The Sports found themselves right in tune with the very latest music trend dominating London rock. They became part of the promise of a new beginning for song-based rock as an antidote to punk, dubbed New Wave. "We were totally surprised," Cummings says of the NME review.
"It was the last thing you'd expect. It was my making and my undoing in some ways. When you have everything go right so quickly you expect that everything after that is going to be good and that easy. It meant that I probably didn't put myself out as much as I should have."
The following is an early 'pub circuit review on The Sports playing in Melbourne, back in March, 1978. The article comes from an independent newspaper called Bottom Line which was circulating in the CBD in the late 70's:

Sports are a tasty, quirky R&B band who have become legendary in a very short time around their home town of Melbourne. They play like a genuine band: i.e. with a peculiar, fused sound which innovative in itself. Their four-track EP Fair Game found its way to England earlier this year and won an excellent review in New Musical Express, which made the snobs sit up and take, notice, and those who already had smug. For Sports are very much a clique-owned band (their buttons, featuring the famous twisted sandshoe logo, are hugely in demand), and will remain largely so as long as they stay in this country. For Sports are short on teen appeal and long on musical roots. They mostly draw the 20's age bracket here, because their influences are so 60's. They play "Keep On Running" and "Walk in the Room", both monster hits of that era, and their own material, although diverging into some eccentricities (a heavy touch of rockabilly in numbers like "In Trouble With the Girls") has that same neat, urgent, sweaty feel. Their arrangements are classy, very professional, and everything they tackle comes up with that unmistakable Sports touch. Their stage presence is total and confident, owing much to the energetic Steve Cummings, lead vocalist, who has worked his way up to this from The Pelaco Brothers (arty truck-driving music). Pianist Jim Niven, an old, familiar face from Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, works beautifully, and the rest of the band (Ed Bates and Andrew Pendlebury on guitars, Rob Glover on bass, Paul Hitchens on drums) are more than proficient. Besides their EP, Sports are available now on the Oz 'Debutantes' album. An original number like "(Right) Through Her Heart" (on the EP) is the stuff of which classics are made . . . And it would be fair to say that, caught on a goodnight, Sports have played, and will play again, some truly great great music [reviewed by Jenny Brown from her regular write-up "Pub Bands (An Occasional Guide]"
I remember seeing the Sports play at both La Trobe and Melbourne University during the late 70's and at the time considered them to be poor cousins of Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons (who were very big at the time). However, over time my respect for the band changed and I started to realise that they had a unique sound of their own and Stephen Cummings was a great vocalist in his own right.
The Sports had top 30 hits on the Australian Kent Music Report singles charts with, "Don't Throw Stones" (1979), "Strangers on a Train" (1980) and "How Come" (1981); and top 20 albums with, Don't Throw Stones (#9, 1979), Suddenly (#13, 1980) and Sondra (1981). "Who Listens to the Radio?", co-written by Cummings and Pendlebury, peaked at #35 on the Australian singles charts in 1978, and was their only hit on the United States Billboard Pop Singles chart, peaking at #45 in November 1979.
The Sports broke up in 1981 with lead singer Stephen Cummings going on a successful solo singing career [Extracts from Wikipedia and Stephen Cumming's blog Lovetown].
The rip of this rare EP was taken from vinyl at 320kps and includes full artwork (Many thanks to Ecrob from Midoztouch)
Track Listing
Roadrunner Mag Oct, 1978
01- (Right) thru her heart
02 - Twist Senorita
03 - In Trouble with The Girls
04 - Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache
Band Members:
Stephen Cummings (Vocals)
Ed Bates (Guitar)
Robert Glover (Bass)
Jim Niven (Piano)
Paul Hitchens (Drums)
Joe Camilleri (Sax and Producer)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Budgie - Live In Olsztyn, Poland (2009) Ex Audience

(U.K 1971 - Present)
Well, I finally got to see Budgie after waiting 36 years for them to tour Australia. They played at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Melbourne on the 18th November in front of a small audience of approx 300. Although the venue was not large they still performed with energy and intensity that one would normally expect to see at a larger venue. Their Australian tour covered all major cities and were supported by the very talented Aussie guitarist Phil Emmanuel, brother of Tommy Emanuel (see my review of Phil's performance on the Midoztouch forum)
Budgie regrouped in the late 90's and the new millenniuum with various new guitarists (but admittedly not as good as the famous Tony Bourge), with Ronnie James Dio's guitarist 'Craig Goldy' currently sitting in the axeman's seat. But let me tell you, this guy played 'note for note' every lead break that Tony Bourge ever produced when they played standards like 'Parents', 'In For The Kill' and 'Breadfan'. Goldy's dexterity and speed on the frett was nothing short of 'sheer brillance' and he was somehow able to play rhythm and lead at the same time (similar to the great Jimi Hendrix).

Throughout the gig, Goldy's personna was very warm, often smiling at individuals in the audience and he was obviously enjoying himself. However, the main focus for me was to see the original vocalist and bass player 'Burke Shelley. 'This guy must be getting close to 60 but when he came on stage, he looked like a 30 year old, dressed in Levi jeans with the knees torn out and flaunting long waivy hair which was straight out of the 70's. His uniquely high voice (similar to that of Pavlov Dog's David Surkamp or Rush's Geddy Lee) has not changed one bit and Shelley was able to reproduce every high, screaching line without fault. However, because I was only metres away from Shelley, closer inspection when the lights focused on his face and torso revealed a body similar to that of Keith Richards! I suspect he too has suffered the usual perils of working in a rock band.

They started off with their usual opener 'Panther Division Destroyed' and then went straight into 'Melt The Ice Away' to speed things up. Steve Williams, their 3rd and final drummer, was keeping the rythmn section in tow looking very cool and comfortable behind his modest drum kit and dark Ray-Bans and has a style not unlike that of Ian Paice from Deep Purple. Shelley is a brilliant entertainer and played his worn out Fender bass like a real showman, adding solid riff lines where required, often closing his eyes when singing but still able to play complex bass lines. The highlights of the night would have to be renditions of 'Parents' and 'Napoleon Bona Parts 1 & 2' both exceeding the 10 minute mark. I gotta say it was an almost surreal experience and I was in total ecstasy.

They covered a wide range of tracks from most of their 12 albums, including the heavier tracks from their recent release 'You're All Living in Cuckooland'. After finishing the set at about 11pm with 'Whiskey River' they came back for an encore playing 'Guts' and then their trademark track 'Breadfan'. Each member of the band was showcased during the encore and both Shelley and Goldy made an effort to interact with audience members 'pearched' at the front of the stage. When I finally walked out the doors after the gig, and attempted to chat with a few other happy campers, we all realised that we were stone deaf and just laughed. It will be a night I'll never forget and can now mark off another item on my list of things to do before the 'final curtain'. Final word - Impeckable !
From memory, the set list went something like this:
01. Panther Division Destroyed
02. Melt The Ice Away
03. Napoleon Bona Parts 1 & 2
04. I Turned To Stone
05. Falling
06. In For The Kill / Crash Course In Brain Surgery/ Nude Disintegrating Parchutist Woman / In For The Kill (Reprise)
07. Justice
08. Dead Men Don't Talk
09. Parents
10. Zoom Club
11. Whiskey River
12. Guts
13. Breadfan
Band Members:
Burke Shelley (Bass and Vocals)
Craig Goldy (Guitar)
Steve Williams (Drums)
If you want to explore Budgie more, you'll find a few other Budgie postings on this blog.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get an acceptable recording of the Melbourne gig, so the next best thing I can offer here, is a great audience recording of a concert made earlier on in the year, when Budgie toured Poland. The setlist is similar to the Melbourne concert, although it is missing some core tracks off their current album.
The quality is very good for an audience recording, ripped at 256kps, with minimal crowd chatter and was recorded in Olsztyn on 24th March, 2009. Limited artwork is included.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

WOCK On Vinyl: Banana Splits - We're the Banana Splits (1968)

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.
This WOCK posting comes under the 'crazy' category. As a young teenager, I have fond memories of tuning in to the ABC on a Sunday night to watch another one of my favourite shows "The Banana Splits Show". The show ran for an hour and featured both animated and live-action segments, in particular a satirical action thriller called 'Danger Island' which always left you hanging on the edge of your seat, and always teasing you into watching next weeks episode !
To a pre-teen generation for whom the concept of "free love" equalled unlimited hugs from mom and the notion of "getting high" meant nothing more than a breakfast cereal-induced sugar coma, the Banana Splits marked the apotheosis of such staples of late 1960s culture as psychedelia, pop art and, of course, music. Like the Archies and Josie & the Pussycats, the band was essentially nothing more than a marketing front for a collective of faceless studio musicians; unlike their peers, however, in their own unique way the Banana Splits represented the acid culture's subtle encroachment into mainstream children's entertainment.
Essentially, the Banana Splits concept was like the Monkees once removed; clearly modeled on the exuberance and slapstick comedy of the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, the show also borrowed heavily from the bright, psychedelic image the Fab Four sported on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Like both the Beatles and the Monkees, the Splits were a four-piece pop band, and like the Monkees (and the Beatles in Help!), they even lived together in the same mod digs. Unlike their human predecessors, however, the Banana Splits were bizarre, anthropomorphic animals: rhythm guitarist Drooper was a lion, lead guitarist Fleegle was a dog (my favourite character by the way), keyboardist Snorky was an elephant, and drummer Bingo was a monkey.

For all its good-natured, well-produced late-'60s pop, the Banana Splits LP is sweet and happy in one dose, like having a banana split for appetizer, lunch, and dessert. Still, those songs do include the well-remembered hit "The Tra La La Song," plus some surprisingly raving garage- soul-pop with "I'm Gonna Find a Cave" and the Wilson Pickett-like "Doin' the Banana." The more bubblegummy happy-go-lucky numbers and ballads are harder to bear, but obviously the session cats playing on these tried harder than they had to, putting sitar on the lightly psychedelic "In New Orleans" and Baroque harpsichord on the uncharacteristically moody "Wait Til Tomorrow." Note that a recent CD re-release of this LP also adds eight non-LP bonus tracks, including more typically bouncy lightweight kiddie pop/rock and a boisterous alternate version of "The Tra La La Song". I am not including these here as the CD is still available commercially.
The rip provided here was taken from vinyl at 192kps and includes full album artwork. Also for your entertainment, I am including the words from their very catchy opening theme song - The Tra La La Song.
.One banana, two banana, three banana, four
Four bananas make a bunchand so do many more.
Over hill and highway the banana buggies go
Comin'on to bring you the Banana Splits show
Makin' up a mess of fun, makin' up a mess of fun
Lots of fun for everyone
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la
Tra la la, la la la la

Track Listing
01. We're the Banana Splits
02. I'm Gonna Find a Cave
03. This Spot
04. Doin' the Banana Split
05. Toy Piano Melody
06. Soul

07. The Tra La La Song
08. Wait Til Tomorrow
09. You're the Lovin' End
10. In New Orleans
11. Two-Ton Tessie
12. Don't Go Away - Go-Go Girl
LinkBanana Splits Link (40Mb) New Link 02/08/2014
Banana Splits Alternative Link (40Mb)  New Link 12/10/2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Divinyls - Live (1983 & 1986) Ex SB

(Australian 1980-97, Present)
Led by provocative singer Christina Amphlett, whose songwriting with guitarist Mark McEntee is the basis of the band, Divinyls have recorded a wealth of excellent material, from commercial hard pop and driving arena-rock to alluring ballads.
Divinyls formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1980. Legend has it that guitarist Mark McEntee first saw vocalist Christina Amphlett performing with a church choir at the Sydney Opera House, and took notice of her when the cord of the microphone she was using became tangled on her stool, which she proceeded to knock over and drag across the stage, singing all the while. Mark: "From that moment, I knew something had to be done, that we should form a group."
As the bands focal point, Amphlett - who is the cousin of 60s Australian "Queen of the surf", Little Pattie (real name Patricia Amphlett) - has strutted her stuff the world over, astounding and bewildering audiences with her displays of school uniform-clad bump'n'grind burlesque, unrestrained sexuality and animal grace.
By the time Divinyls formed in 1980, Amphlett had been singing in bands since the early 1970s. Her early bands included Daisy Clover (which she joined at age 14), One Ton Gypsy and Steamhammer.
She had also spent three years travelling throughout Europe, during which time she spent a period in a Spanish jail. Jeremy Paul and Mark McEntee had both served sentences in the softest of all soft-rock bands, Air Supply.
Divinyls emerged out of inner-city Sydney and quickly built a national following. In September 1981, WEA issued the band's debut single Boys In Town which reached Number 6 during October. It was lifted from the mini-album Music from 'Monkey Grip' which was the soundtrack of the Australian low-budget movie Monkey Grip. Amphlett took the small speaking part of Angela in the film.
The band supported UK band Simple Minds on an Australian tour and Divinyls signed to Chrysalis and recorded the punchy 'Desperate' album in New York with producers Mark Opitz and Bob Clearmountain. The album spawned the singles Science Fiction (Nov 1982), Siren (Never Let You Go) (April 1983) and Casual Encounter (August 1983).
.The band continued to tour extensively, both locally and overseas, and the singles Good Die Young (August 1984) and In My Life (November 1984) followed.
The 1985 album 'What A Life! ' reached Number 2 in Australia within a week of release. The first single, Pleasure And Pain (co-written by British 70's pop guru Mike Chapman) peaked at Number 5 and also cracked the American Top 40. Two other singles were lifted from the album - Sleeping Beauty and Heart Telegraph.
Following months of touring in the US, Divinyls returned to Australia with a line-up containing three Americans (including Frank Infante from Blondie). Such was their stadium rock experience at that time that the band consistently blew audiences away on the enormous Australian Made tour in 1987.
By the time their second Mike Chapman produced album, 'Temperamental', was released, the band were basically back to a duo of Amphlett and McEntee. The singles from the album were Back To The Wall (March 1988), Hey Little Boy (July) and Punxsie (October). All were minor domestic hits.
In 1990 Divinyls signed with Virgin and issued the biggest album of their career, Divinyls, spawning the Number 1 Australian single I Touch Myself in January 1991. This provocative paean to masturbation also took the band into the US Top Ten (Number 4) and UK Top Ten (Number 10).
Divinyls tracks subsequently started to appear in the soundtracks to US movies and TV shows (including Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and the band signed with BMG/RCA in 1996. [Extract from]
The live recordings included here are taken from the pinacle period in the bands career, when they released their 'Desperate' and 'What Is Life' LP's, with both concerts sourced from U.S tours. My favourite track is "Elsie" - purely for the raw energy that Christie Amphlett exhibits in this classic track.
The rip was taken from tape at 192kps and includes full album artwork.
Track Listing
(Spit - 4th May 1983, Boston, MA)
01 - Introduction
02 - Make You Happy
03 - Only You
04 - Only Lonely
05 - Science Fiction
06 - Boys In Town
07 - Elsie
(Tower Theater - 22nd Jan 1986 Philadelphia, PA)
08 - Sleeping Beauty
09 - In My Life
10 - Pleasure And Pain
11 - Don't You Go Walking
12 - Science Fiction
13 - Boys In Town
14 - Guillotine
Band Members
Christie Amphlett (Vocals)
Mark McEntee (Guitars)
Bjarne Ohlin (Keyboards)
Richard Harvey, J J Harris (Drums)
Rick Grossman (Bass)
Divinyls Link (71Mb) New Link 03/10/2013

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stomu Yamashta - Go Live in Paris (1978)

(UK 1976-1977)
Stomu Yamashta was born in 1947 in Kyoto Japan, with the name Yamashita Tsutomu.
Since the late 60's he has developed an international reputation as a composer and performer (percussion, keyboards) of serious music, jazz rock fusion, rock, electronica as well as multi-media projects for the theatre, a ballet score ("Shukumei" ) and cinematic soundtracks. He has toured and played with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the rock group Come to The Edge. Yamashta has recorded not only jazz rock fusion and rock but music by the serious modern composers Maxwell-Davis and Henze.
He came to Europe in the early 70's working briefly in France on theatrical multi-media projects (e.g. the precursor for "Red Buddah Theatre" and "The Man From The East") before moving across the Channel to England. Through the 70's Yamashta recorded the majority of his 70's albums in the UK but alas very few of the Island Records recordings have been issued on CD.

  He has composed the soundtracks of the David Bowie film "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (which borrowed significantly from earlier recordings), Ken Russell's "The Devils", and race car documentary "One By One".
However, Stomu Yamashta is probably best known nowadays as the leader of the supergroup GO with Stevie Winwood, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schulze and Michael Shrieve for three albums and related performances.
What first attracted me to these albums was Al Di Meola's involvment, as I am a huge fan of this legendary guitarist and jazz rock in general. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard their first selftitled album and realised that there was more to Go than just the brillant guitar work from Di Meola.
The primary difference when comparing the live performance at Paris and the rendering simply titled Go (1976) is that Go Live From Paris (1978) presents the proceedings (as they exist) in a properly linear fashion, as correlated to the Eastern mythology that informed the extended two-part suite. This is in direct contrast to Go, which assembled the contents out of sequence.

The stage show was recorded at the Palais Des Sports in Paris, France on June 12, 1976 and the recital setting allows for considerably longer and more exploratory interaction amongst Stomu Yamashta (percussion/piano), Steve Winwood (vocals/keyboards) and (drums). They are joined by legendary jazz axeman Michael Shrieve, Al DiMeola (guitar) as well as Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel veteran Klaus Schulze (synthesizer) -- all of whom had contributed to Go. Filling out the band are Jerome Rimson (bass), Pat Thrall (guitar), Brother James (congas) and Karen Friedman (vocals).
Specifically, the licks traded between DiMeola and Shrieve are comparable to the workouts the pair shared as part of the Borboletta (1974) era Santana.
In terms of sheer intensity, it is hard to beat Di Meola's searing leads and Winwood's blue-eyed soul on the driving "Ghost Machine," easily topping its former incarnation. "Surfspin" lands into the funky mid-tempo "Time Is Here" highlighted by Karen Friedman's expressive exchanges with Winwood, while Rimson punctuates the rhythm with some penetrating bass interjections. This is followed by the sole Winwood composition "Winner/Loser," which further exemplifies how the spontaneity of the concert yields results that best their predecessors.

In fact, on the whole the material on Go sounds like a blueprint for the exceptional and inspired outing found here. The second movement commences with fairly even renditions of the trifecta "Solitude," "Nature" and "Air Voice" -- which had previously been given the name "Air Over." "Crossing the Line" is an additional zenith, spotlighted by Winwood's emotive vocals and the untamed and otherwise incendiary frenzy of fretwork courtesy of Di Meola. Clocking in just shy of 15mins, "Man of Leo" provides another opportunity for the players to loosen up and fuse their collective improvisations behind Di Meola's intense soloing and the similarly seminal instrumental offerings from Shrieve, Rimson -- who is at his most melodic -- and Freidman's haunting warbles (Extract from
I highly recommend this double live album to those who can't get enough jazz fusion and spacey, cosmic orientated music that takes the listener on a voyage filled with guitar and synthesier meanderings. Steve Winwood's vocals then puts the icing on the cake.
The rip was taken from CD at 320kps and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD.
Track Listing
01 - Space song
02 - Carnival
03 - Wind spin
04 - Ghost machine
05 - Surf spin
06 - Time is here
07 - Winner Looser
08 - Solitude
09 - Nature
10 - Air voice
11 - Crossing the line
12 - Man of Leo
13 - Stellar
14 - Space Requiem
Band Members
Stomu Yamashta (Percussion / Drums)
Steve Winwood (Vocals / Keyboards)
Klaus Schulze (Synthesizers)
Michael Shrieve (Guitar)
Al DiMeola (Guitar)
Pat Thrall Guitar)
Jerome Rimson (Bass)
Karen Friedmann and two others (vocal choir)
Brother James (Congos)
Go Live In Paris Link (146Mb) New Link 17/01/2019

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Taste - Tickle Your Fancy (1976)

(Australian 1975-1977, Present)
Taste were a magnificent heavy rock band from the mid '70s, which featured the dual guitar attack of Murdock and Amenta. They seemed to have had a pop image which now seems ridiculous - both LP's reached the top twenty in the Australian charts and are absolutely fantastic hard rock classics.
.At the peak of their career they played to crowds as large as 13,000 people and owned 7 Marshall stacks ! They appeared on every major concert and TV show including Countdown, Hey Hey its Saturday, The Don Lane show etc. and toured with Suzi Quatro, The Sweet, Skyhooks, Sherbet, TMG and Hush. They were much admired by English rockband Queen (who played Taste's "Boys will be Boys" every night on tour before they went on stage). Unfortunately, due to management problems and bad marketing Taste never achieved the success they deserved. They were asked to tour America with Queen and signed to Sire Records in USA but broke up before releasing anything.
Released in 1976, The LP "Tickle Your Fancy" is a tight batch of quirky hard rock songs brimming with a unique melodic point of view. Considering the young age of the band, alot of the material here is surprisingly accomplished, both in performance and songwriting. Though the hooks are very subtle, the entire album taken as a whole is a rewarding listening experience through and through.
Richard Guillianti reviewed the band in December's RAM #48 (1976) Taste - Tickling the Star's Fancy by writing: "Taste have been pulling some pretty neat reviews for their LP Tickle Your Fancy and for their new single 'Boys Will Be Boys'. But its not only yer hack cub reporters who've been taking notice of 'em.
In Sydney, they performed at the Bondi Lifesaver with none other than Sherbet, the All-Stars, Rockell T James and Kevin Borich in attendance. Afterwards, (Sherbet's) Tony Mitchell congratulated the group on the 'tightest set he had seen from a band for years'. Adelaide was also good to them, there, they broke the attendance record for one of the dances they played".
.Taste have reformed recently and have completed a new album of 10 new originals. "Rock Is Dead" is now released and available on their website They have been playing the pub circuit in Melbourne, playing the more popular names such as the Prince of Whales, The Toorak Lion and The Corner Hotel in Richmond.
This unique hard rock effort deserves to be heard, so be sure to download this classic album and hear this offering from Down Under - it's bound to Tickle Your Fancy ! LOL
The rip was taken from Vinyl at 320kps and includes limited album artwork but loads of photos and articles.
Track Listing
01 Same Old Story
02 Degenerate Fool
03 Group "e"
04 Rock 'n' Roll Superstar
05 Tickle Your Fancy
06 Lady Of Love
07 Loose Lover
08 Lone Ranger
09 Love Ya Babe
10 Taste of Life
Band Members:
Ken Murdoch ( Lead Vocals / Guitar)
Joey Amenta (Guitar / Vocals)
Michael Tortoni (Bass Guitar)
Virgil Donati (Drums)
Taste Today
In mid 2007, a young drummer with attitude and talent to burn was looking to make an impact on the rock scene. He found a lot of bands out there trying to re-create the big rock sound of the 70s. When Joel Witenberg heard that legendary rock band Taste were reforming and in need of a drummer he leapt at the chance to be a part of an authentic classic rock band with a history of playing live with the likes of Queen, AC/DC, Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil.
Taste’s lead singer and songwriter Ken Murdoch says in a recent interview: "I started singing in shitholes when I was 15, By the time I was 17, I was a veteran of pub rock alongside Joey and Michael. We had been booed, spat upon, and ignored until we got it right and that’s something bands don’t have anymore. But once you get it right and that crowd love you something magical happens between the two of you. I don’t see that happen much anymore," Now back with a full band and a bigger sound than ever, Taste are promoting the release of their new album "Rock Is Dead".

.Sickened by what seems to be a lack of real rock direction in music, Taste’s lyrics explore and destroy the media frenzied world that seems to accept its stars by the amount of exposure offered to them rather than by virtue of their talent. "People need heroes and singers and bands they can trust. That’s why U2 are still strong. Every so often a Sex Pistols or Nirvana come around. Its unstoppable," says Murdoch. Bridging the power chords and riffs of the late 70s with a contemporary sound and subjects, Rock Is Dead is a timeless classic that will empower anyone who listens to it to celebrate the true sound of rock. (Extract from Taste's Myspace)
Link Removed.  Taste have released a remastered Best Of Compilation CD on their Bandcamp Website which contains most of these songs. Please support our local artists.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Skyhooks - Festival Hall (1975) - VG SB

(Australian 1973-1980, 1983-1984, 1990)
Skyhooks were an Australian rock band of the 1970s, sometimes classified as a glam rock band, because of their flamboyant costumes and make-up. Skyhooks formed ca. 1973. They gained a cult following around Melbourne but a poorly-received performance at the 1974 Sunbury Festival saw the group booed off the stage. Soon afterwards, the original lead singer Steve Hill resigned. To replace him, the group recruited occasional singer, surfer and carpenter Graeme Strachan. The replacement of Hill by Strachan was a pivotal moment for the band, as Strachan had remarkable vocal skills, magnetic stage and screen presence. Alongside Macainsh's acerbic lyrics, another vital facet of the group's sound was the twin-guitar attack of Red Symons and Bob "Bongo" Starkie (younger brother of original guitarist Peter Starkie). [Extract from Wikipedia]

With "Living In The 70's" recorded and released to much acclaim in 1975, Skyhook's confidence started to soar. They decided to tour the country to promote their album and their live shows reached a new high, pulling publicity stunts wherever they went. With the band starting to make money, they got heavily into stage props, hiring a guy called Hank, who did the special effects for the TV show Homicide. They got a mock TV set, which would explode during "Horror Movie". During the show, Shirl would mount a four-foot polystyrene falic-shaped prop that would also explode, showering Twisties upon the crowd. The ejaculating twisties was the climax of "Smut". Unfortunately, this prop was confiscated by the vice squad at a Adelaide concert. The Skyhooks always delivered an explosive live show - literally. Several of their roadies had to do a course so they'd be allowed to use gunpowder and explosives.
During their tour, Skyhooks played at the Sunbury 1975 concert and went down a storm, making up for their poor performance at the Sunbury concert the year before. Many critics said they were the highlight of the festival, having blown the overseas drawcard "Deep Purple" off stage. The Rolling Stone review called Skyhooks "the explosion point of Sunbury 75....arguably quite the best set, Deep Purple included". The irony was that Deep Purple got paid close to $300,000 for their appearance, but the Hooks, who were meant to be paid $3,000, didn't get a cent because the company running the the event, Odessa Promotions, went into liquidation. It was the final Sunbury.
Skyhooks ended that tour with a huge show at Festival Hall on Anzac Day, 1975. Special guests were AC/DC, Bob Hudson and New Zealand's top group Split Enz. Tickets were $2.70. Shirley made the papers again by asking teenage girls to come to the concert and throw their bras and panties on stage. "This is our way of celebrating Anzac Day", he said. "It is a much better release than getting drunk or breaking the gaming laws by playing 2-Up on the street". Truth reported that the lingerie throwing caused trouble in Brisbane when Skyhooks' fans returned home without their underwear, and the band draped their guitars with bras and panties. Shirley said: "When Winter comes, we will be able to tell our real fans. Of course, our fans shouldn't feel the cold. We have a pretty hot act". And they did.

A Rolling Stone live review by Terry Durack captured the excitement: "There was a drum roll and flashes of smoke bombs, and the entire stage was blanketed by thick, multi-colored smoke. Somewhere behind it, all we could hear was 'Whatever happened to the revolution...' You could just make out Greg Macainsh in a tight royal blue satin suit, topped off with a yellow stetson (hat) and yellow boots. Sitting regally on a draped throne, Fred Strauks sported a silver crown. As the smoke cleared, the rest of the band came into view: Red Symons in a white fright wig, Bongo Starkie, mysterious and sinister in a black jump suit and green boa, and Shirley, bumping and grinding his way through the lyrics. As the song ended, an unexpected explosion echoed through the hall. Shiley smiled. 'That scared the shit out of everyone'!"
The Anzac Day show caused the craziest reaction. The Age said: "A Monster - that's the only way to describe the concert at Festival Hall yesterday afternoon."
The Sun review said: "Memories of Beatlemania returned to Festival Hall yesterday.... About 50 fans were carried semi-conscious on to the stage after being crushed in the crowd. Some determined girls used this as a ruse. After being brought onto the stage, they made a desperate dash for their favourite band member. The article also reported that Split Enz were booed and AC/DC's Bon Scott bared his behind to the audience".

Molly Meldrum also picked up on the Beatlemania line in his 'Meldrum Beat' column in Listener-In TV: "Festival Hall was witnessing scenes of hysteria and adulation that have not been seen there since the days of Beatlemania. The crowd went absolutely out of their minds....Like in the early 60's, when a place called Liverpool turned the eyes and ears of the worldwith the Beatles, the 70's could very well see Melbourne become the city of the music world".
A Rolls Royce was hired to take the band to the gig at Festival Hall. The band met at Red's house in Bell Street, Fitzroy. "It was a funny scene," Shirl recalls. "Red was spewing, a Rolls Royce was the last thing he wanted people to see outside his Fitzroy house." For a lark, Shirl travelled to the gig in the boot !" [Extracts from 'Ego Is Not A Dirty Word - The Skyhooks Story' by Jeff Jenkins, 1994]

Although I didn't attend the 1975 Festival Hall concert, I did see Skyhooks play the following year at the Geelong Show Grounds when they headlined the Summer Rock one day festival. My girl friend at the time was a big fan of Skyhooks, and spent the whole time sitting on my shoulders yelling and screaming while they were on stage. Needless to say, I didn't really see or hear much of the Skyhooks set!
However, also playing at the concert were Ariel, Redhouse and Taste who I was more interested in anyhow.
The rip of this legendary concert at Festival Hall was taken from tape at 160kps and includes full album artwork (Thanks to Woodynet at Midoztouch)
Track Listing
01 - Horror Movie
02 - Whatever Happened To The Revolution
03 - Hey Whats The Matter
04 - Bawlyn Calling
05 - 3FQ (Love On The Radio)
06 - Loves Not Good Enough
07 - The Other Side
08 - Nursery Rymes and Band Intro
09 - All My Friends Are Getting Married
10 - Mercedes Ladies
11 - Every Chase A Steeple
12 - Ego
13 - Saturday Night
14 - You Just Like Me Cause I'm Good In Bed
15 - Let It Rock
Band Members:
Shirley Strachan (Lead Vocals)
Greg Macainsh (Bass, Vocals)
Red Symons (Guitar, Vocals)
Bob Starkie (Guitar, Vocals)
Freddie Strauks (Drums, Vocals)
Skyhooks Link (71Mb) New Link 12/04/2020

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ferrets - Dreams of a Love (1977) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975-79)
The Ferrets were an Australian pop / rock band from Melbourne and Sydney, formed in 1975 and disbanded in 1979. They are best known for their début #2 hit single "Don’t Fall in Love" in 1977. Philip Eizenberg (guitar), Kenneth Firth (bass guitar, backing vocals), Billy Miller (vocals, guitar) and David Springfield (guitar, backing vocals) formed The Ferrets and were soon joined by drummer Rick Brewer.
Ken Firth, Phil Eizenberg and Billy Miller had been involved with the Australian stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar (1972—1974) which also included Jon English and John Paul Young. Firth (bass guitar, backing vocals), Miller (vocals, guitar) and Dave Springfield (guitar, backing vocals) were all members of hard rockers Buster Brown (which also featured vocalist Angry Anderson later of Rose Tattoo). In 1975, the trio left Buster Brown to join with guitarist Eizenberg and formed The Ferrets. Drummer Rick Brewer (ex-Zoot) joined in 1976 together with Miller’s sisters Jane Miller (backing vocals, keyboard) and Pam Miller (backing vocals). They were now a seven-piece band.
After favourable reactions from audiences in Melbourne and Sydney, The Ferrets produced a demo tape that caught the attention of Ian "Molly" Meldrum talent coordinator for ABC-TV series Countdown. Meldrum signed them to Mushroom Records and started producing their début album Dreams of a Love on 19 July, 1976. After nearly a year, production was still incomplete, so The Ferrets took over (assisted by recording engineers Tony Cohen and Ian MacKenzie) and Meldrum was attributed as "Willie Everfinish" on the album cover. Album production was finalized on 15 August 1977. Meldrum had carefully crafted their first single’s A side "Lies" taking weeks but the B side "Don’t Fall in Love" (written by Ian Davis and Firth) was rushed in three hours. The Ferrets premiered on Countdown in an episode compèred by Jon English however, they used their B side. "Don’t Fall in Love" quickly sold out its initial pressing and many customers wanted a copy of The Ferrets' début album – there was concern at Mushroom Records as Meldrum had not organised an album cover: a white hand stamped cardboard sleeve was issued with a promise of the album artwork to follow!

On Stage At The Palais 'Nightmoves' Concert
 The Ferrets released a promo as the single rocketed to #1 on Melbourne’s charts and #2 Nationally. They were awarded with "Best Australian TV Performer" at the 1977 King of Pop Awards for their Countdown appearances. Although generally remembered for their biggest hit, their follow-up single "Janie May" reached #19 in Melbourne and was on Countdown episode of 13 November 1977 (featured infamous 'Prince Charles Interview'). Their debut album Dreams of a Love achieved Gold record status and the long awaited album cover depicted a model (Wendy Bannister) holding a snarling ferret on her shoulder. [From Wikipedia]
I saw The Ferrets play at the Nightmoves Concert, held at the Palais Theatre in St.Kilda in 1977 and was blown away with their huge production numbers and full on theatrical stage productions, influenced by Miller's earlier associations with big stage productions like 'Jesus Christ Superstar' no doubt (they even had a 20 strong boys choir singing in the background of 'Just Like The Stars')
They were a very talented but highly under rated band of the 70's and really deserved more recognition as been the forerunners for big production bands like John Farnham and Little River Band in the 80's.
Dave Gray writes "Billy Miller is a superb guitar player, arranger and vocalist. He approaches music and life with a real sense of delight and play. I'm not saying he's a blissed out , mystic hippie. I mean that he has his priorities and one of those seems to be that he doesn't expect to be bummed out every time he turns around a corner. He's tough and wiry and cranky and he's a complete joy to play with. He knows his nuts and his bolts".

After the Ferrets, countless bands and gigs followed for Miller, who still plays in his original band and up until 2004 worked in a music production company (Duffield Kenihan Pty Ltd) creating music for TV commercials, and co-producing the music for "Round The Twist" (Children's TV Foundation). Billy also composed music for several short films, including "The Bird" (VCA 1996), which won best music in its category. In 2008, Billy was busy playing gigs with Stephen Cummings and his own band, recording a new album, composing and producing soundtracks for films in his studio, starring in documentaries and barracking for his beloved Saints (St Kilda Football Club). Now, if they had won the 2009 Grand Final this year against the Cats, can you imagine the party he would have had with St.Kilda's other Number #1 supporter - Molly Meldrum!
For more information about Molly's association with the Ferrets, have a look at Rectro Universe's posting 'Don't fall in love with a Ferret'.

The rip included here was taken from CD at 320kps (thanks to Midoztouch) and the bonus singles Side A & B from vinyl (thanks to Ozzie Music Man). Full album artwork is also included.
Track Listing
01 - Prelude
02 - You Belong With Me
03 - Bye Bye Baby
04 - Lies
05 - Killing Ourselves
06 - Janie May
07 - Dreams Of Love
08 - My Old Dog
09 - El Quicko
10 - Don't Fall In Love
11 - The Children Play
12 - Just Like The Stars
13 - Magic In The Sand
14 - Are You Looking At Me (Bonus Side A single)
15 - Holloway (Bonus Side B single)
The Ferrets Link (109Mb) New Link 23/06/2020