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.