Wednesday, March 31, 2010

W.O.C.K on Vinyl - William Hung (She Bangs)

(U.S 2004)
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.....
William Hung was an outsider musician who gained fame on the third season of the television series American Idol (2004) as a result of his off-key audition performance of Ricky Martin's hit song "She Bangs". While studying civil engineering at University of California, Berkeley, Hung was inspired to audition for American Idol in San Francisco during September 2003 after winning a talent contest at his dormitory, Clark Kerr Campus.

Hung was not aware that his American Idol audition would be broadcast until it aired four months later. He was the final contestant to be auditioned on the January 15, 2004, installment, the coup de grĂ¢ce of an hour-long episode that showcased other would-be pop stars, mostly lacking in talent.
"I want to make music my living," said Hung, before he started singing and dancing to Ricky Martin's "She Bangs". As judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul tried to restrain their laughter, judge Simon Cowell dismissed Hung's performance, remarking "You can't sing, you can't dance, so what do you want me to say?", to which Hung replied, "Um, I already gave my best, and I have no regrets at all." Jackson and Abdul applauded his positive attitude, with Abdul remarking, "That's the best attitude yet."

.Hung's response to Cowell's criticism starkly contrasts with the often confrontational rejoinders of other contestants. Hung added, " know, I have no professional training of singing and dancing," eliciting mock surprise from Cowell, who replied, "No? Well this is the surprise of the century." Hung was not admitted through to the next round.
Hung rapidly gained a cult following. A William Hung fan site, set up by realtor Don Chin and his wife Laura, recorded over four million hits within its first week. He was offered a $25,000 advance on a record deal from Koch Entertainment in 2004, and released three albums on that label in 2004 and 2005. The albums mainly consisted of covers of pop and rock songs, including "She Bangs" [see his website for for details]
A false news-story involving the death of American Idol celebrity William Hung was circulated in July of 2004. The story claimed that Mr Hung "was found dead yesterday, apparently of an intentional heroin overdose". The story was passed around via email and generated a lot of discussion among those who frequent online message boards.
In fact, Mr Hung is still very much alive and well. This rumour started from a story on the satirical "news" site, Broken Newz. Although it resembles a real news story, it was a complete fabrication apparently in the name of entertainment. Personally, I find this sort of satire in very poor taste.
So, overall my verdict is that it doesn't get much 'crazier' than this when a person can claim fame and fortune by having absolutely no talent at all - yet, being in the right place and the right time can can make you a star. On ya William !
For the posting, I put together a package of William Hung "She Bangs" dance remixes found on the web some time ago, along with the original audition video clip from American Idol and some choice photos of his rise to fame. Also included is the English Edit version of "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin, just in case you need a refreshing sedative to put things back in perspective!
She Bangs Link (29Mb) New Link 02/07/2022

Saturday, March 27, 2010

INXS - Kick It In Excess (Live in San Diego 1988) Ex SB

(Australian 1977 - Present)
Noted for their blend of rock and funk, Australia's INXS is still composed of the same members who started the band in 1977 - Tim, Andrew, and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly, and Garry Gary Beers (with the exception of Michael Hutchence who died in 1997) After struggling for years on the Australian pub scene, the group began to attract international attention in the early 1980s and had what Rob Tannenbaum labeled in Rolling Stone a "breakthrough hit" in the United States with 1986's "What You Need." This taste of fame was small, however, compared to the phenomenal popularity INXS experienced after the release of their 1987 album Kick. Aided by wide music video exposure on networks such as MTV, Kick's first single, "Need You Tonight," thrust INXS, and especially lead singer Hutchence, into the limelight. As critic Cathleen McGuigan announced in Newsweek, INXS has "a hard-driving, irresistibly danceable sound and a sexy, live-for-the-moment attitude--tempered with just a dash of social consciousness." She concluded that the band possessed "all the right ingredients for late '80s success."
When Andrew Farriss first crossed Michael Hutchence, they were both high school students. They met when Andrew broke up a fight that Michael was involved in. The two became instant friends, and found that they shared a very strong interest in one thing - music. By the end of their high school days in 1977, they formed a band called "The Farriss Brothers" which was composed of Andrew, his two brothers Tim and Jon, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Gary Beers, and Michael. Within a couple of years, the sextet refined their sound and changed their name to INXS (pronounced IN EXCESS.) Little did the Perth, Australia-based band realize the magnitude of success that awaited them in the years to come.
Their first single, "Simple Simon" was heavily influenced by the declining punk scene and also found roots in ska and pop. With their initial single finished, the band began touring the Australian continent, and slowly began to establish a fan base in the pub touring scene. It is this initial dedication of INXS to touring that helped to establish their credentials and begin to create a solid fan base of support. It is estimated that they were playing nearly 360 shows a year in the sweaty pubs of Australia during their early years. It sure payed off....
In 1980, the band released their first album, the self-titled "INXS" on Deluxe Records. The album featured their first major hit in Australia, "Just Keep Walking," and was quickly followed in 1981 by their second LP, "Underneath the Colours." These two albums, in conjunction with continual touring, helped refine their sound and style, and paved their way for the hugely successful "Shabooh Shoobah" album.
This legendary record, released in 1983, became the first INXS album released worldwide, and its impact was very strong. The album's major hit, "The One Thing" was a worldwide smash hit, and with the help of a worldwide tour, INXS began the road to world domination. The album is also important in that it is the first album to feature the trademark INXS style of dance rock. "The One Thing" was followed by a string of hits, including "Black and White" and "Don't Change," which is still many fans' favorite INXS song of all time.

1984 saw the band release "The Swing." The Swing continued to push INXS toward the top of rockdom, with such classic singles as "Original Sin," "Burn For You," and "Melting in the Sun." Original Sin, the lead single from the album, established what the band had always tried to do with the help of Nile Rodgers - namely, allow rock music to still be danceable. The controversial single dealing with interracial relationships was banned in several countries, including the United States. "Burn For You" began the creative relationship between INXS and filmmaker Richard Lowenstein. Lowenstein created the video for the song, and has since served as video director for most subsequent INXS singles. The album, "The Swing," did phenomenally well around the world, and became one of the five biggest selling albums in Australian music history.
Though INXS had become well-known around the world, it was not until 1985' "Listen Like Thieves" that they became house-hold names. The album was the first to go platinum (1 million units sold) in the US, and featured their first US Top 10 single, "What You Need." Behind their growing popularity were two things - their unique style of rock rhythms and their continual touring of the world. The album features such singles as "This Time," "What You Need," "Listen Like Thieves," and "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)."
In the interim between "Listen Like Thieves" and their next record, the band continued to branch out and diversify. Michael Hutchence entered the world of acting with his memorable performance in Lowenstein's "Dogs in Space," featuring the Australian hit song, "Rooms for the Memory." The band also contributed songs to various soundtracks, including "American Anthem," "Crocodile Dundee," "Pretty in Pink," and most notably, "The Lost Boys."

KICK Tour Advert - Juke Magazine 1988 (#697)
1987 saw INXS explode into one of the most famous bands in the world... ever. "Kick" not only sold 4 million copies in the US, but 10 million worldwide, and still stands today as one of the most famous albums of all time. "Need You Tonight," the lead single, hit #1 in the US and many other countries, and went on to win 5 awards at the MTV Video Music Awards show in 1988. The string of hits on the album is near legendary: "Devil Inside," "New Sensation," "Never Tear Us Apart," and "Guns in the Sky." The album featured killer hooks and rhythms, great melodies, well-written lyrics, and more. With two successful stadium tours INXS had finally scaled the world [extracts from biography by Neil Kothari]
On 22 November 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his Sydney Ritz-Carlton hotel room. On 6 February 1998, after an autopsy and coronial inquest, New South Wales State Coroner, Derrick Hand, presented his report which ruled that Hutchence's death was a suicide while depressed and under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Despite the official coroner's report, fans and relatives considered his death accidental. After Hutchence's death, INXS did not perform publicly for almost a year and then only made a few one-off performances with different guest singers until 2000.
Former lead singer of Australian band Noiseworks, Jon Stevens began singing with INXS in May 2000 and fronted the band until late 2003. In 2005, Jason Fortune won the right to front the band via a reality T.V show / competition held in the states and stayed with INXS until 2009.
The band is still looking for a replacement - any takers ?
Live In San Diego was a recording on the 31st March in 1988 during INXS's World Tour to promote their highly successful album "Kick" which reached #1 in Australia.
Tracks from this concert span back to their first hit 'The Loved One', with a majority of them taken from "Swing", "Listen Like Thieves" and of course "Kick". The sound quality is excellent and it is a fantastic snapshot of INXS performing at the peak of their career. This posting is a 320kps rip from a CD (originally taken from a soundboard tape recording) and includes full album work, along with select photos of the band. This posting is a must have for any INXS fan or the uninitiated wanting to hear what all this XS is about!
Track Listing
01. Kick

02. Guns In The Sky

03. Tiny Daggers

04. The Loved One

05. Original Sin

06. Shine Like It Does

07. Listen Like Thieves

08. New Sensation

09. Soul Mistake

10. Kiss The Dirt ( Falling Down The Mountain)

11. Need You Tonight

12. Mediate

13. Devil Inside

14. This Time

15. The One Thing

16. What You Need

17. Good Times

18. Don't Change

Band Members:
Michael Hutchence - Vocals

Andrew Farriss - Keyboards and Guitars
Kirk Pengilly - Guitars, Sax and Vocals

Tim Farriss - Guitars

Garry Gary Beers - Basses

Jon Farriss - Drum and Percussions

INXS Live Link (161Mb) New Link 05/04/2017

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Gun - Selftitled (1968)

(U.K 1967-70)
The Gun were a little-known 60s British acid rock band who evolved into the 70s progressive hard rock trio Baker Gurvitz Army. The Gun began as The Knack, formed in 1963 by guitarist/vocalist Paul Gurvitz (born Paul Anthony Curtis, 6 July 1947, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; he was known by the surname Curtis until the early 1970s. Thereafter he adopted his family's actual surname, Gurvitz. The Knack changed its name with the development of a psychedelic style in the spring/summer of 1967, performing] at the final UFO Club concerts with bands such as Pink Floyd. In November, 1967 they made recordings for the BBC's newest flagship alternative music radio programme, Top Gear and twice played in the air.

Soon to expand into a sextet, with Paul's younger brother Adrian, then they were consisting as a power trio of Paul Curtis as bassist, Adrian Curtis (Adrian Gurvitz) as guitarist/vocalist (he also wrote all music and lyrics of The Gun), and drummer Louie Farrell (born Brian John Farrell, 8 December 1947, Goodmayes, Essex; he joined The Knack in mid 1966) to release two albums after being signed to CBS Records in early 1968.
In early 1968 the band scored a hit with the opening track from their self-titled album (1968), "Race With The Devil". Issued as a single in October 1968 it reached the top 10 in its native UK and #35 on the Australian Singles Chart (Go-Set) in March 1969. Jimi Hendrix quoted the song's riff during his song "Machine Gun" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. "Race With The Devil" has been covered by Judas Priest (on the remastered CD version of Sin After Sin), Black Oak Arkansas (on their album Race With The Devil), and Girlschool (on their album Demolition)

Their debut album's cover is noteworthy as an early example of the work of Roger Dean, who was later responsible for producing trademark covers for super bands such as Yes, Greenslade and Asia. Allmusic describes it as having a "distinctive psych-flavored proto-metal" sound [Extracts from wikipedia].
The Gun also released a second single from their first album called "Drives You Made / Rupert's Travels" with the A side sounding similar to their previous hit single - but it failed to chart with the same success.

"Race With The Devil" (2006 French exclusive limited edition 4-track CD) was issued as part of the 'EP Collection Original Versions' series, remastered in high definition 24-bit, originally released in France in 1968. It featured four tracks: - "Race With Devil / Sunshine / Drives You Mad / Rupert's Travels".

For your enjoyment, I have posted a rip of The Gun's first release ripped from vinyl to MP3 (320kps) and includes full album artwork.
Track Listing 
01 - Race With the Devil
02 - The Sad Saga of the Boy and the Bee
03 - Rupert's Travels
04 - Yellow Cab Man
05 - It Won't Be Long (Heartbeat)
06 - Sunshine
07 - Rat Race
08 - Take Off
[Bonus Tracks]
09 - Drives you Mad
10 - Don't Look Back 
11 - Runnin' Wild

Band Members:
Adrian Curtis (Guitar and Vocals)
Paul Curtis (Bass and Vocals)
Louie Farrell (Drums)
The Gun Link (57Mb) New Link 02/03/2022

Monday, March 15, 2010

Adrian Gurvitz - Classic (1982)

(U.K 1979-2000)
Adrian Gurvitz (until the early 1970s he used the surname Curtis and then took the family real name, Gurvitz) is mostly known for the 1982 worldwide hit ballad "Classic". This is in total contrast to his first chart success in 1968, as the lead guitarist/singer with the band, The Gun. The Gun's only UK Singles Chart success was "Race With The Devil". This song was revived by Girlschool, who are still touring by the way. Ironically, The Gun was originally billed as a "psychedelic/crossover" band, plus "Race With The Devil" was just a whimsical experiment, with a mixture of orchestration and hard rock.

Gurvitz was also the lead guitarist in the band Three Man Army, (together with his brother Paul Gurvitz). Their album, Third Of A Lifetime (1971), predominantly featured a selection of hard-driven blues tracks such as "Butter Queen", but also featured the melodic instrumental title track. The album is now available on a remastered CD format. Adrian Gurvitz also recorded on a 1973 album with Buddy Miles, which received virtually no airplay or recognition.
After Three Man Army split, the Gurvitz brothers teamed up with Ginger Baker to form The Baker Gurvitz Army. They released the vinyl albums Baker Gurvitz Army (1974), Elysian Encounter (1975), and "Hearts on Fire" (1976); on which they added vocalist Snips from the band Sharks. After this they also got together with Graeme Edge for two albums for Threshold - Kick Off Your Muddy Boots (1975) and Paradise Ballroom (1977); both albums being illustrated by Joe Petagno [(extract friom wikipedia]
For a more complete biography, see popedelos80

Without trying to state the obvious, the title track on this album is itself a 'classic' with lyrics and a melody that are unforgettable. In fact, Gurvitz manages to rhyme 'classic' 'attic' and 'addict' in three consecutive lines of the first chorus. Nice going, Mr G!
If you haven't had the time to listen to this 'classic album' of the 80's then it's time to catch up and enjoy some great music from a talented vocalist and guitarist. Enjoy!

Rip was taken from vinyl at 320kps and includes full album artwork. The post also includes the bonus B-Side single "Runaway" (flip side of "Classic") which was not included on the album.
This album is a classic ! (pun intended)
Track Listing
01. No Fears In The Night
02. Living Ain't Easy Without You
03. Clown
04. Hello New York
05. Your Dream

06. Classic
07. Breakdown
08. No One Can Take Your Place
09. End The Story
10. Runaway (Bonus B-Side Single)

Band Members:
Adrian Gurvitz (Vocals, Synthesisers, Piano, Guitar)
Paul Gurvitz (Bass and Vocals)
Charlie Charles (Drums and Harmonica)
Adrian Lee (Synthesisers)
Don Myrick (Saxophone)
Adrian Gurvitz Link (100Mb) New Link 15/12/2023

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

AC/DC - Can I Sit On Your Face Girl (1976) Bootleg

(Australian 1973-Present)
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Although the band are commonly classified as hard rock and are considered a pioneer of heavy metal, they have always classified their music as rock and roll.
AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album 'Powerage'. The band recorded their highly successful album Highway to Hell in 1979.
Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their best-selling album, "Back in Black". And of course the rest is history so I'm not going to bore you with the rest of their biography!

As a teenager, I spent most of my adolescence years listening to AC/DC on the radio and watching them play on the popular TV show 'Countdown'. To me, AC/DC were a band that defined 'Aussie Rock and Roll' and led the way for other bands to make it big overseas.
I have a particular soft spot for early AC/DC recordings, and have chosen this bootleg because it truly defines their 70's sound (and led admirably by their cheeky vocalist Bon Scott).
Now, there appears to be some debate as to whether the bootleg 'Can I Sit On Your Face' was taken from a concert recorded at the Apollo Stadium, in Adelaide in December of 1976, or a later show held in January, 1977 at Haymarket, Sydney.
According to AC/DC Bootlegs the song list for this bootleg best fits the order shown for the Apollo Stadium concert held in 1976, with the last two tracks 7) Baby, Please Don't Go and 8) Problem Child missing. This can be explained by the length limitation for Vinyl recordings at the time, where most LP's had a limit of 20 mins per side. Pressings beyond this time limit suffered poor sound quality and volume. For this reason, I suspect the last two tracks were left off this bootleg, to retain quality. The song order for the Haymarket show is also totally different to this bootleg, so I can't see how it could have been taken from this concert as there is great continuity between all tracks on this bootleg.
The Apollo Stadium (officially called the Apollo Entertainment Centre) was an indoor arena located at 41 Kingston Avenue, Richmond in the Adelaide Metropolitan Area, South Australia. It had a seating capacity of 3,000. It opened in 1969, and was named as such after the Apollo moon landing of the same year.
'Can I Sit On Your Face Girl' is one of Bon Scott's most colorful performances, and my current favorite AC\DC bootleg. If you don't have this in your collection, it is a must. What makes this so special, is that the live recordings are not an attempt to make an exact duplicate of the studio version. This concert was just Bon and the boys, talking with the crowd, playing hard, and singing a few fun variations of their popular songs.
The rip included here was taken from 'Green Vinyl' at 196kps and includes album artwork along with choice photos of ACDC from the same era. A recent copy of this album was sold on eBay for £29.99 Not a bad price considering there were only 500 copies pressed. This bootleg also boasts excellent sound quality and I would give it an A+ rating.
Track Listing
01 - Jailbreak
02 - The Jack
03 - Can I Sit Next to You Girl
04 - High Voltage
05 - Rocker
06 - It's a Long Way to the Top

Band Members:
Bon Scott (Vocals and obscenities)
Angus Young (Guitar)
Malcolm Young (Guitar, Vocals)
Mark Evans (Bass, Vocals)
Phill Rudd (Drums)
AC/DC Link (60Mb)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Zoot - Zoot Locker (1980)

(Australian 1965-71)

Zoot were a pop/rock band formed in Adelaide, South Australia in 1965 as Down the Line. They changed their name to Zoot in 1967 and by 1968 had relocated to Melbourne. They had a top five hit on the Go-Set national singles chart with a heavy rock cover of The Beatles' ballad "Eleanor Rigby" released in 1970; but they disbanded in May 1971. Mainstay bass guitarist, Beeb Birtles, was later a founder of Little River Band in 1975 and guitarist singer-songwriter, Rick Springfield, who moved to the United States in 1972, achieved international fame as a solo artist, songwriter and actor [extract from wikipedia]

.Zoot became one the most popular Australian bands of the second 'pop wave' of the late 'Sixties when they and other acts like The Valentines, the Masters Apprentices, Russell Morris and The New Dream were scoring hits and causing riots. Like so many groups at the time, Zoot were drawn along by the rapid stylistic shifts of that uncertain period and they suffered under some ill-advised management decisions that led to them being tagged as a lightweight 'bubblegum' act — an undeserved reputation which overshadowed their fine musicianship and their genuine desire to be taken seriously..
Ironically, they're probably best remembered these days for the 1970 single that they hoped would scuttle their pop image for good — their classic heavy-metal version of "Eleanor Rigby" — and also for the fact that Zoot was first successful outing for two future stars -- solo performer and soapie heart-throb guitarist Rick Springfield (who went on to have major success in the U.S. in the eighties - see Rick's website for more details) and Little River Band lynch pin Beeb Birtles [extract from]
Zoot was one of several significant Aussie bands that emerged from the fertile musical hothouse of Adelaide in the mid-1960s -- the same scene that produced The Masters Apprentices and The Twilights. When the Zoot moved from hometown Adelaide to Melbourne in 1968, the band's management gave it a bubble-gum image, centred on the slogan Think Pink, Think Zoot'. The band dressed entirely in pink outfits. It took Zoot until 1971, just before disbanding, to shake the image and achieve musical credibility.

In 1970, Zoot promoted the release of the single 'Hey Pinky', by taking out an ad in Go-Set magazine that featured a nude rear photograph of the band members. The song was a scathing comment on the band's pink image.
My all time favourite Zoot track would have to be "Eleanor Rigby" (and was infact the first Zoot track I ever heard). Now I know this is going to ruffle a few feathers in the Beatles crowd, but I reckon this Aussie version of the classic track 'beats' the fab fours version by far. The guitar work and vocals are brillant and it is a credit to them to be able to match it with the lads from Liverpool.
The rip included here was taken from CD at 320kps and includes full album artwork + booklet scans.

Note: Zoot Locker is a "Best Of Compilation" that only covers tracks released between 1968-1971.

Track Listing
01 - You Better Get Going Now
02 - 1 x 2 x 3 x 4
03 - Monty and Me
04 - It's About Time
05 - Sailing
06 - Yes I'm Glad
07 - Little Roland Lost
08 - She's Alright
09 - Sha La La
10 - Flying
11 - Mr Songwriter
12 - Strange Things
13 - Hey Pink
14 - The Freak
15 - Evil Child
16 - Eleanor Rigby

Band Members:
Beeb Birtles – bass guitar, vocals (1965–1971)
Darryl Cotton – lead vocals, guitar (1965–1971
Rick Brewer – drums (1968–1971)
Rick Springfield – lead vocals, guitar (1969–1971)

Darryl Cotton (1949-2012) RIP
Darryl Cotton, the lead singer and founding member of '60s and '70s band Zoot, died early today (27th July, 2012) in a Melbourne hospital. He was 62 and had recently been diagnosed with liver cancer [Herald Sun]

Zoot Link (96Mb)