Friday, April 29, 2011

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Safe Sex (Painters and Dockers - 1988)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
I think I'd better explain why I chose to post this single before you get any weird ideas. I've been busy painting the house recently - in fact, I've just finished painting the study where I do most of my blogging. So when it came to deciding what to post for this month's WOCK on Vinyl, the word 'paint' was somewhat engrained in my brain - or maybe it was the paint fumes !
I then remembered a bizarre single I found in a bargain bin some 20 years ago, by a local Melbourne band called the 'Painters and Dockers' with a Crazy title "Safe Sex" which has some very Korny lyrics. The record cover is also designed with some cut out characters, an idea similar to that which Kellogs adopted in the 70's, on the back of their cereal boxes.
Painters and Dockers are a band from Melbourne, Australia who formed in 1982 . The unusual name was chosen early in the band's career when playing at a pub frequented by the 'Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union', the band had no name and chose Painters and Dockers for the event, and the name stayed with the band from then on. Several members of the band went on to form the highly successful Dili Allstars.
The Painters and Dockers released six albums between 1984 and 1994, which featured a selection of sarcastic and amusing singles, such as "Die Yuppie Die" and "Safe Sex" from their 1988 'Kiss My Art' album and the pro-queer and anti-monarchy "I Know Better Queens Than That" from 1994's 'The Things That Matter'.
On closer inspection of the record label, I have discovered that "Safe Sex" was produced by the legendary 'Lobby Loyde', and his almost punk rock influences can be clearly heard in this track and the live B-Side "Soul Child".
Their greatest chart success was achieved with 1985's Nude School which received air play on a number of commercial radio stations and which was marked by its controversial lyrics and video clip.
In the earlier years, they were the headline act at the Port Melbourne Festival, and in a Government initiative called Rockin' The Rails, played songs from the back of a train, as it stopped at various Melbourne stations, including Ringwood, Camberwell and Flinders St.
The rip was taken from my vinyl 45 at 320kps and includes full artwork.
Oh well, it's back off to do some more painting - now where did I put that damn paint brush ?

01 - Safe Sex
02 - Soul Child (Live)

Band Members :
Colin Buckler - Drums

Vladimir Juric - Guitar Vocals

Andy Marron - Drums

Mick Morris - Sax

Phil Nelson - Bass

Chris O'Connor - Guitar Vocals

Dave Pace - Trumpet

Paul Stewart - Vocals Trumpet

Painters and Dockers (18Mb) REPOST

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mississippi - Selftitled (1972) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1972-75)
Mississippi was an Australian band (1972-1975), which featured some big names in Australian rock music, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and Kerryn Tolhurst. The band started as Alison Gros in Adelaide, South Australia in 1970 and moved to Melbourne in 1971 where they recorded as Allison Gros, Drummond and in 1972 became Mississippi; this band eventually evolved into Little River Band (LRB) by 1975.
Allison Gros recorded one independent single ("Naturally" / "Would You Really Have To Go?") on the Gamba label in 1970. The band then moved to Melbourne and signed to Ron Tudor's Fable Records, for whom they cut two more singles in 1971, "If I Ask You" / "So Good" (July) and "All The Days" / "Weaver Of Life" (December). Their next recordings for Fable is a genuine oddity of Australian rock. Under the pseudonym Drummond, the members of Alison Gros cut a novelty 'chipmunk' versions of the '50s rock'n'roll classic "Daddy Cool", which was released in July '71.
In early 1972, Allison Gros changed their name to Mississippi. They recorded their excellent self-titled debut LP with the addition of session players Peter Jones (piano), Geoff Cox (drums), Barry Sullivan (bass, ex-Chain) and Graham Lyall (flute). It was released in September that year on Fable's new Bootleg imprint, a subsidiary label recently set by Tudor and musician Brian Cadd. The Mississippi album showcased the band's considerable vocal abilities and Goble and Johnson's strong writing skills. The material and the tight harmonizing showed the influence of groups like The Hollies, The Bee Gees, Crosby and Stills, Nash & Young. Their debut single "Kings of the World" (released in July) became a Top 10 hit in October.
In December '72 they issued a second single, "Mr Moondog" / "All Through The Day". One of the group's important early appearances was their set at the 1973 Sunbury Rock Festival in January, where they were backed by a full orchestra. Their next single, "Early Morning" / "Sweet World" was released in July '73, and in October they supported The Jackson Five on their Australian tour.
The band made their second appearance at Sunbury in January 1974. Sadly, they never got the opportunity to record another album but they were able to cut two more fine singles. Their penultimate single, "Early Morning" was co-written by Russ, Graeham and Beeb.

Their last single was a recording of a live favourite "Will I", a song Beeb had co-written with Daryl Cotton just after the demise of Zoot; its B-side, "Where In The World" was the very first collaboration between Beeb and Graeham. It was released in early 1974, and made the Top 40 in May 1974.
It is interesting to note the strong LRB sound emulating from this track, and it was definitively a precursor for better things to come from the talented writing partnership of "Goble and Birtles"
According to Birtles, the band was disappointed by the lack of support in Australia, and encouraged by interest in the album, which had been released overseas, they decided to try their luck elsewhere and left for a tour of the UK in April that year. [extract from Milesago]
Cameron Crowe (of the magazine Rolling Stone) writes how Mississippi eventually evolved into the Little River Band:
After a short stint at a talent agency, Birtles (formerly bassist with Zoot) joined Goble in a band called Mississippi, which had just released an LP in the U.S on the Fantasy label. “It was a good learning experience,” says Birtles, “but we made the classic mistake of going to England to tour. Britain has always been the place where Australian bands break up.”
True to form, Mississippi did just that. Broke and desperate in London, the band’s nucleus (Birtles, Goble and drummer Derek Pellicci) ran into Shorrock and his manager, Glenn Wheatley. Both were nearing the end of the line with Axiom, a similarly fated “Australian supergroup.” Everyone commiserated and made plans to meet up in Australia in six months to join forces.
Half a year later, they were together again under the old banner of Mississippi. “But,” says Pellicci, “since we were criticized for being an Australian band with an American name, we changed it.” Little River, a town 30 miles outside of Melbourne that holds five houses and a hotel at the time, served their purpose, and the addition of bassist Rodger McLauchlan and guitarist Rick Formosa (later replaced by George McArdle and Briggs) completed the Little River Band [Courtesy of Rolling Stone #247 – Cameron Crowe – September 8, 1977]

This post contains a rip (FLACs) of Mississippi's one and only LP, taken from a re-released CD by EMI in 2001 (see pictured below - now out of print). It has a different cover from the original LP but according to Graeham Goble it appears to be mastered from the original tapes. I have supplied full album artwork from both LP (thanks to Midoztouch) and CD, and also included their three non-LP singles "Early Morning ", "Where In The World" and "Will I" as bonus tracks.
As an added bonus, I have also included a live rendition of their hit single "Kings Of The World", recorded at the Sunbury 73 concert.  All bonus tracks are MP3 only
Many of the photos displayed in this post were sourced from both Graeham Goble's Website and Beeb Birtles Website (with thanks). There are also some very interesting Video Performances of Allison Gros and Mississippi available at Goble's website.
Being a big fan of the Little River Band in the 70's (especially their first album), I was delighted to discover this early incarnation of LRB when curiosity got the better of me (or was it the cat !) and highly recommend you give it a listen.
Track Listing
01 - Save The Land
02 - Mr. Moondog
03 - Three Days
04 - All Through The Day
05 - Sweet World
06 - Feel Alone
07 - Do I
08 - King Of The World
09 - City Sunday
10 - When You're Old
11 - Day Job Song
12 - Early Morning (Bonus Single)
13 - Where In The World (Bonus Single)
14 - Will I (Bonus Single)
15 - Kings Of The World (Bonus Live Sunbury 73)

Band Members:
Graeham Goble & Beeb Birtles: Lead & Harmony Vocals, Vocal Arrangements, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Russ Johnson: Lead & Harmony Vocals, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
John Mower: Lead Vocal

Bass: Barry Sullivan

Bass, “Day Job Song”: John Gray

Drums: Geoff Cox

Drums, “Day Job Song”: Tea Van Zyl

Flute & Sax: Graeme Lyall

Orchestrations: Peter Jones
Piano: Brian Cadd, Peter Jones
Mississippi Link FLACs (266Mb)  New Link 06/04/2015

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rolling Stones - Palais Theatre, St. Kilda, Melbourne (1966)

(U.K 1962 - Present)
The Rolling Stones are an English band whose rhythm and blues and rock & roll- based music became popular during the "British Invasion" in the early 1960s. The band was formed in London in 1962 by original leader Brian Jones, but was eventually led by the songwriting partnership of singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Pianist Ian Stewart, drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman completed the early lineup. Ian Stewart was removed from the official lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager and keyboardist until his death in 1985. The band's early albums were mainly covers of American blues and R&B songs. The band's single, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", established the Stones as a premier rock and roll act [extract from wikipedia]
The Stones' second Australasian tour (1966) was even bigger than their first. They had just returned to work after what had been their longest break since the band's formation in 1962. Their popularity had soared since their previous tour, and by the time they arrived Decca had released 13 singles, six EPs and four LPs in Australia. On the first tour, promoter Harry Miller had been extremely stingy with the band's freight allowance and had insisted that they not bring their own amplifiers to cut down costs. This time around the band were in a far stronger negotiating position and they brought 72 pieces of luggage and 102 pieces of equipment.
The tour was another double bill, this time supported by The Searchers -- the bill was later described by Searcher Frank Allen as "a combination as weird as teaming Vlad The Impaler with Mother Theresa".
The '66 Far East tour came hot on the heels of the Stones' latest single, 19th Nervous Breakdown, released on 4 February in the UK. It was another transatlantic smash, gaining rave reviews and reaching #2 in both the UK and the USA. On 11 February the band left the UK and travelled to New York, where they promoted the new single with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. They performed Satisfaction and 19th Nervous Breakdown, followed by a duo performance of As Tears Go By with Mick and Keith. This was also the Stones' first colour broadcast on US television.
The tour was relatively uneventful, although Brian caused a minor stir by using the word 'Christ' during a radio interview. The doorman at the Wellington Dominion Theatre was quoted about damage to the theatre there:
"When The Beatles were here seats were damaged. This was worse than The Beatles -- several seats were pierced by stiletto heels."
At the Sydney press conference, two NSW university students from Tharunka magazine were among the reporters. Paul Sleeman interviewed Jagger, chatted about instruments and music, showed him the new $1 bill (Australia had officially introduced decimal currency two days earlier) and talked about Prince Charles' stay at Timbertop school in Victoria. "They were delightful, just delightful," recalled Andrew Strauss, who accompanied Sleeman and took photographs. Later that day the band performed for a Bandstand special at TCN-9 studios. Songs performed were: I'm Moving On / Get Off Of My Cloud / Play With Fire / 19th Nervous Breakdown / As Tears Go By (with Jagger and Richards only) / Satisfaction. All songs were mimed to playback. Special aired on February 20.
While in Melbourne Mick Jagger was given copies of the new Australian music magazine Go-Set, and he was reported to have been favorably impressed.
Mick is pictured left holding a copy of Go-Set while being interviewed at the 3UZ Radio Station.
The Stones played a total of six shows over 3 nights while in Melbourne (24th, 25th & 26th Feb), all held at the Palais Theatre in St.Kilda, and this post was taken from the 2nd show on the 24th Feburary).
In Adelaide, while relaxing around the hotel pool, the band had a memorable encounter with a young female fan who willingly revealed some extensive tattooing beneath her bikini bottom, including a red devil tattooed onto her lower mid area, which became a source of much amusement within the band in weeks to come.
Melbourne radio station 3UZ was located at the top of Bourke St, in the city's centre. The DJ's would interview rock stars on the roof overlooking the street, in this case Stan Rolfe was chosen to conduct the interview (see pictured right). Stone's fans flocked in such large numbers to see the band on this day, they they actually stopped traffic.
Mick was interviewed by Disc magazine on 26 February, and revealed that while in Australia the band "got stoned a couple times" and attended a party given by "some DJ" (possibly Ward 'Pally' Austin?) which Mick described as "a gas", and also mentioned that the group had to stay onstage at each performance until the police came to help them get away.
According to Bill Wyman's diaries, the tour grossed $59,136 for the Stones. Remarkably, the Stones' management team earned only slightly less than their clients -- UK agent Tito Burns received $5913, managers Allen Klein and Andrew Loog Oldham were paid $5321 and the the Stones earned $7063 each after expenses, although Wyman recorded that the band did not receive the payment at the time. The delay in payment is reputed to have been the reason why Keith Richards punched out Harry M. Miller when he met him at a club in London later that year.
After the tour Wyman and Jones headed to Los Angeles, while the other members holidayed briefly in Fiji. The group reconvened at RCA Studios in Hollywood in March for three days of recording with famed session player and arranger Jack Nitzsche. The tracks recorded included some of their very best from this period -- Lady Jane, Out Of Time, Paint It, Black, Stupid Girl and Under My Thumb. These songs, which represent for many the zenith of Brain Jones contributions to the band, were released on their next LP, Aftermath [extract from Milesago]
There was a remarkable postscript to the 1966 tour almost 40 years later. During the tour Bill Wyman played a semi-acoustic Vox V248 'Teardrop' bass. This distinctive instrument appeared in several Stones concert photos and film clips from 1965 and early 1966 -- including their Top of the Pops appearance on 3 February 1966, where they performed 19th Nervous Breakdown -- and it is also believed to be the bass that Bill played on Satisfaction.
Vox had a close relationship with both the Stones and The Beatles and both groups used Vox amplifiers extensively on tour and in the studio. The Stones were also noted for their frequent use of the distinctive Vox guitars and basses and Brian Jones was often photographed playing his famous trapezoid-shaped white Vox Phantom guitar. The V248 bass was the new semi-acoustic version of Vox's famous Mark IV (V224) solid-body teardrop bass. It was marketed as "The Wyman Bass" because Bill had agreed to endorse the new line, and the Wyman Bass was only Vox guitar to be inscribed with an endorser's name. On 5 February, just before the Far East tour, Jennings Musical Instruments (makers of Vox guitars and amps) gave Wyman a new Thomas organ as an advance payment for his endorsement.
Unfortunately, Bill's Teardrop bass was stolen after their Wellington shows on 28 February. It remained in New Zealand and reportedly passed through a succession of 'owners' before being given to New Zealand musician Nick Sceats in the 1980s (see pictured above), in lieu of payment for a recording session. Sceats kept it for about fifteen years, but he was recently alerted to the possible Wyman connection. As a result, he contacted Bill through an internet fan site, and Wyman confirmed that it was indeed his long-lost Teardrop bass, and it was returned it to him shortly before Easter 2004.
The rip was taken from a Radio Broadcast and converted to mp3 at 320kps (sourced from Soundboard blogspot with thanks) and includes full album artwork and tour photos (sourced from Laurie Richards Collection, Museum of Performing Arts).
This bootleg has also been released under other titles - 'The Rolling Stones: Do You Like Billy Wyman' and 'The Rolling Stones: Do You Like The Rolling Stones'. Although the concert recording is fairly short (20mins), the quality of the recording is astounding for its era. There are also references made to the iconic Myer Melbourne Store during the commercial breaks which might give some additional 'satisfaction' to any historians out there !
Track Listing
01 - The Last Time

02 - Mercy Mercy

03 - She Said Yeah

04 - Commercial 1

05 - Play With Fire

06 - Not Fade Away

07 - That's How Strong My Love Is

08 - Commercial 2

09 - Get Off Of My Cloud

10 - Commercial 3

11 - Satisfaction + Commercial

Band Members:
Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica, maracas, tambourine)

Brian Jones (guitar, vocals, harmonica, organ)

Keith Richards (guitar, vocals)

Charlie Watts (drums)

Bill Wyman (bass)

Rolling Stones Link (47Mb) REPOST

Monday, April 18, 2011

Deep Purple - Powerhouse (1977)

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
Deep Purple's 2nd incarnation (Mk 2) emerged from a low-key beginning to become one of the best and most successful rock bands of all time. Mk 2's breakthrough wasn't as overnight as that of Mk1, but had a much more lasting impact when it came. Mk 2 came about when Ian Gillan and Roger Glover joined the band in secrecy, with Nick Simper and Rod Evans exiting. Gillan exemplified the kind of powerful and vocally agile singer that the band sought to develop their harder rock sound. Glover came along at first on a session basis, but quickly impressed with his natural grasp of writing, and was snapped up to complete the new Deep Purple.
The first Mk 2 single, 'Hallelujah', was very much a Mk 1 throwback, and disappeared without trace (as had all Deep Purple's UK singles to that point). The line-up's first live gig was in front of a tiny audience at London's Speakeasy Club on July 10th. Inspired by their live chemistry, and with the quality of the music being written, the band gigged intensely in the UK and mainland Europe over the next 12 months, gaining an almighty live reputation. Their profile was also raised (if not in the way they all hoped for) by a performance of Jon Lord's rock / orchestral crossover 'Concerto For Group & Orchestra' at London's Albert Hall in September 1969, a piece that the rest of the band only came to appreciate in later years when it was no longer seen as a threat to their hard rock direction. A live album of the night was also their first top 30 UK chart entry, and the show was broadcast on BBC TV.
As a unit Mk 2 decided to pursue an uncompromising hard rock approach. Jon's Concerto sequel 'Gemini Suite' was allowed only one single band performance, in September 1970 (the live recording only seeing the light of day twenty years later). Ian Gillan sang on Lloyd-Webber and Rice's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' album but opted to remain gigging and recording with Deep Purple rather than appear in the movie.
The band's hard work paid off when their quintessential rock album 'In Rock' cracked the UK album charts open in June 1970, reaching #4 and staying in the top 30 for over a year. At the same time a jokey post-pub studio session resulted in 'Black Night', which became a major UK hit single. Newspapers now ran headlines like 'Purple Mania'. From late 1970 the once frequent profile raising TV and radio appearances were squeezed out of the band's itinerary as demand increased for them to tour and record. Their next two studio albums, 'Fireball' and 'Machine Head', were made under pressure-cooker conditions which nonetheless produced fantastic results; 'Fireball' the ultimate progressive rock album, and 'Machine Head' a hugely influential hard rock album packed with classics. Both went straight to #1 in the UK, helped by two more hit singles, while a relentless succession of tours that pushed the band global. The Japanese and US markets opened up, but the strain on the band's health and nerves increased. Something had to give.
In the middle of it all, three August 1972 Japanese shows (fitted in between two US tours) were recorded. 'Made In Japan' was to set uniquely high standards for a live rock album. However, shortly after it was recorded, Ian Gillan handed in his resignation. 'To this day I don't know said said shut up.' Despite the fact that his relationship with Ritchie Blackmore had been in silent stalemate after disagreements over the way forward, Gillan agreed to stay long enough to fulfill the remaining bookings. These included four more US tours, two UK tours and two European jaunts, stretching off over the horizon to a Japanese tour lined-up for late June 1973.
By early 1973 'Made In Japan' was becoming Deep Purple's biggest seller to date in the USA, and the hitherto almost ignored 'Machine Head' album track 'Smoke On The Water' was making an impact in their singles charts. Even though it did not reach the heights of its predecessors, the last Mk 2 studio release 'Who Do We Think We Are' appeared in March '73 and helped Deep Purple become the world's top selling album act of 1973. The line-up was already effectively over by the time recording it was finished, Gillan adding bite to the lyrics by venting his spleen about the frustrations of his position.
Deep Purple's ever increasing success hid a sense of gloom back at their management's offices. It was a relief to all when Ritchie Blackmore agreed to stay on in the band. In return he was given free rein to put his vision into effect for a new Deep Purple, planning a unique duel vocal approach with Free's Paul Rodgers on lead vocals, and the extraordinary Glenn Hughes from Trapeze on bass and vocals. This meant that Roger Glover had to be squeezed out, a situation he gradually got wind of, leading him to resign along with Gillan rather than wait to be pushed.
Exhausted, Gillan and Glover stepped off the roller coaster on 29th June 1973 after a show in Osaka. It was over two years before either stepped on stage again. Ian Gillan eventually eased his way back into the business with the Ian Gillan Band in late 1975, Roger Glover agreed to join but pulled out after a TV date. Not until 1979 did he return to touring when Ritchie Blackmore recruited him into Rainbow. Even so, the feeling all around Deep Purple Mk 2 was one of unfinished business. Jon Lord described their break up as "the biggest shame in rock and roll, ever..." [extract from]
So why was MKII the best incarnation of Deep Purple?
Mk 2 was the best but I believe we have still a lot musically to benefit from songs like "Mistreated" in Mk 3 where the various tones and flavours of both the guitar and vocals are varied in both live and studio versions. It is nice to have them still going but I think Gillan's voice is over the hill now. Don't forget that 'Made in Japan' was made in 1972-3. Jon Lord had the good sense to call it a day before it became a comic act. I don't know why they didn't invite Ronnie James Dio to take over from Gillan, and as it turned out Blackmore got him first when he formed Rainbow.
I have every single album of theirs since they started and 'lyrics' were what made the band work together in rhythm. Otherwise they would have been just another jam band.
Blues and (progressive) Rock don't always mix, but Purple had the musical know-how to classically bind them together. Some of the derivatives are jazz based but the overall tone is Rock-Blues because the songs are often about people places and situations. I would place Mk 3 and Burn at the top of the Blues list. But when the band were figuring out who they were they experimented no end with different beats, shorter or longer introductions to chorus beats which were outside the musical key they were playing in. This is what made Purple MK 2 the best because they experimented with everything.
Powerhouse Review
"Painted Horse" was recorded in Autumn 1972 for inclusion on the WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE album. Left unmixed because of internal conflict, it appears here for the first time. Subdued but interesting solo from Ritchie on guitar and lan Gillan's Lunch Wrapper (mouth organ!)
The next three numbers are all from a short set which preceded Jon's Concerto for Group and Orchestra on 24th September 1969, and they give a unique glimpse into Deep Purple's first stage act. Probably nervous, and already worried about the way the press might (and did) - misconstrue the reasons behind the Concerto, they were nonetheless anxious to prove themselves in their own rights. Gillan's vocals give "Hush" a new dimension (listen for evidence of his early passion for Elvis) and the Albert Hall acoustics give Jon's Hammond a superb atmospheric sound.
"Wring That Neck" was an integral part of the show until I971, an instrumental for Jon and Ritchie, whose wonderful finger vibrato is captured at last.These older numbers were eased out as new material was written and recorded.
"Child In Time" was one such new number, the live version closely follows the original studio recording, which had only been laid down a few days before. Gillan puts his heart and soul into the vocals, and Ritchie concentrates hard to pull off a classic solo. The stunned audience remain silent as the final notes echo around the hall, before they burst into applause.
"Black Knight", recorded at the same time as the historic MADE IN JAPAN live double album but not included therein, was performed as an encore during August 1972 in Tokyo and only previously included on the 24 CARAT PURPLE album.
"Cry Free" closes the album. A rather lovely Gillan lyric over a hard Purple riff, with an unusual phased guitar solo from Ritchie. Possibly a projected single, this was one of a number of items recorded during sessions for the immortal IN ROCK album - 'Classic Tracks From The Classic Band' [Linear notes on album cover]
Rip was taken from my mint condition vinyl print at 320kps and includes full LP and CD scans. At the time of its release, this album was considered to contain many rare recordings - unavailable elsewhere. From a collection point of view, this is a must in any Purple Collection.
Track Listing
01 - Painted Horse (5:19)

02 - Hush - live (Joe South) (4:37)

03 - Wring That Neck - Live (Blackmore, Lord, Paice, Simper) (12:51)

04 - Child In Time - Live - 12:29

05 - Black Night - Live (4:59)

06 - Cry Free (3:11)

Track 1: Leftover track from the 'Who Do We Think We Are' sessions in 1972
Tracks 2-4: recorded live at Albert Hall September 24, 1969 from the 'Concerto for Group and Orchestra' program
Track 5: Live version recorded in Japan 1972
Track 6: Leftover track from the 'In Rock' sessions in 1969/1970

Band Members:
Ritchie Blackmore - lead guitar

Ian Gillan - vocals

Roger Glover - bass guitar, vocals

Jon Lord - organ, keyboards, vocals

Ian Paice - drums

Deep Purple Link (96Mb) Link Fixed 09/09/2018

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crossfire - Direct To Disc (1978)

(Australian 1974 - 1982, Present)
The Australian jazz fusion band Crossfire was formed by guitarist Jim Kelly, keyboard player keyboardist Michael Kenny, and percussionist Ian Bloxsom in 1974, in Sydney.
Additional band members have included Tony Buchanan (flutes), Don Reid (sax/flutes), Phil Scorgie (bass), Greg Lyon (bass), Doug Gallagher (drums), and Steve Hopes (drums/percussion).
Crossfire were of a high enough standard of musicianship to gather worldwide recognition, the band served a long apprenticeship in jazz venues, often as the backing band for other artists, with the various members still concentrating on session work. Early on the band showed a lot of blues influence in their playing probably due to members having played in R&B and soul bands previously.
By the late 70s the band was touring widely overseas, spending time in Asia, Europe and America, having played such prestigious gigs as the Newport Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's in London and The Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1982 (see pictured right).
They recorded seven albums while together, including a live album with U.S. vocalist Michael Franks (see previous post) and produced Australia's first direct-to-disc LP in 1978 (as included in this post). Crossfire also performed on collaborative tours with Lee Ritenour, Don Grusin, and Randy Brecker.
Lead guitarist Jim Kelly went on to release several CDs as a leader and record with D'Volv, in addition to working as Head of Guitar Studies at Southern Cross University in Lismore.
For more information about Jim Kelly see his MySpace page
Likewise, further information on Greg Lyons (Bass) can also be found at his website. Greg is pictured left in the studio, sometime in the late 70's.
Direct To Disc Recording
In the late 1970s, "direct-to-disc" records were produced, aimed at an audiophile niche market. These completely bypassed the use of magnetic tape in favor of a "purist" transcription directly to the master lacquer disc. The first direct to disc recording in Australia was by Contemporary Jazz/Funk band Crossfire, closely followed by Dutch Tilders (with Kevin Borich) entitled 'The Blues Had A Baby'
These days, the term "direct-to-disc" means recording to a computer hard drive. But in the 1970's, it referred to the audiophile technique of recording directly to a vinl-disc cutting lathe, without the intervention of a tape recorder. It was a notoriously difficult way to record; the musicians and all concerned had to record a complete LP side without any serious musical or technical mistakes. Otherwise, it was put another lacquer on the lathe and do it over. But the gain in sound quality was considered worth the trouble. (As typical commercial LP releases were cut from fourth-generation analog tape copies, the improvement in sound offered by eliminating all those layers of tape and electronics was not illusory.)
The analog direct-to-disc recordings were therefore the most expensive and the most ideal when judging on quality of sound alone. The drawback of the vinyl long playing record is however that only a restricted number of copies shall be pressed. A number of 1500 per matrix is the maximum if a relatively high level of quality is to be guaranteed.
Less attractive is also that the vinyl disc is easily damaged. On top of that, the gramophone record asks for a high quality playback system: the optimum turntable-arm-cartridge-amplifier combination. [extract from]
The rip was taken from my mint condition 'direct-to-disc' vinyl at 320kps and sounds as crisp as the day it was cut Ah - give me a shot of vinyl any day ! It is somewhat regrettable that you will only experience a digital version of this album, but I'm sure you will enjoy the music just the same.
I also include full album artwork along with select photos of the band at that time period as well as current photos. Thanks to Greg Lyons for some of these shots.
Note: While doing some research into this album, I stumbled on a 'weird' copy of this LP for sale on eBay. The pressing in question has 'Armada Records Logo' printed on its label, rather than 'Trafalgar Records Logo', even though it clearly states the LP is released by Trafalgar.
The correct label is shown on the right, and the 'pressing error' below right.
Track Listing
01. - It Coitanly Was (5:03)

02. - On the Wings Of Albatrocity (4:37)

03. -
Fahannokookin’ (6:03)
04. - Oddball (6:44)

05. - Satie-ated (8:15)

Band Members:
Mick Kenny (Wurlitzer piano, fluegelhorn)
Doug Gallagher (drums)
Ian Bloxsom (percussion)

Don Reid (saxophones, flute)

Greg Lyon (bass)
Jim Kelly (guitars)

Crossfire Link (68Mb) REPOST

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles - Live! (1972)

(U.S 1966–present, U.S 1967–2008)
I purchased Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles Live on vinyl in 1972 when it was first released, and I still consider it one of my favorite live music albums. The brass sound that was popular in the early 1970's adds energy and pop to this live recording. I first heard the fast version of Evil Ways on this live album, and still prefer it to the slower studio recording that is on the Santana Greatest Hits album. In fact, the first five cuts on this live album are a wild ride. If I have a possible complaint about Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles live, it would be that it is too short. If this album were only the first half, I'd love it. The combination of Carlos Santana's blistering guitar solos (and those of Neal Schon) and his Latin-rock-based band with the heavy, heavy gut drumming of Buddy Miles (soon to be a member of Jimi Hendrix's second great group, A Band of Gypsies, made for great, continually exciting music. "Lava," "Them Changes" (much better than on Buddy Miles's own group recording of the same time). The first half of the album is as exciting music as you could find at the time. The second half is a long, wandering piece entitled "Free Form Funkafide Filth", and the piece is about as good, and as dated, as its title. It's somewhat boring, heavy, and it doesn't go anywhere. But that doesn't matter because the first half is so good!
I wish this group had played together longer.
Live Album or Studio Scam?
There seem to be all sorts of urban legends surrounding this 1972 Top Ten album from Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles. Some people claim that the concert never took place (see which seems unlikely, since Santana and Miles toured together extensively in late 1971 and early 1972. Others suggest that Carlos played little on the album, and while I respect the six-string talents of Neal Schon (who legend also says turned down an invitation from Eric Clapton to flesh out Derek and the Dominos to play with Santana's band, and who built a great reputation for himself as lead guitarist for Journey), there are numerous guitar runs on 'Live!' that have S-A-N-T-A-N-A written all over them. I think many of the myth-makers are deluded by the overly-engineered master tapes. It was common practice in the early seventies to modulate the amplitude of the crowd noise and this seems to be what was done with 'Live!'. While it sounds hokey at times (with what sounds like looped audience applause at times), that doesn't mean the performances didn't happen.
Perhaps also lending to the controversy is the liner notes listing the recording date as 'January 0, 1972', a non-existent date, suggesting the concert never happened. But the concert actually took place in Hawaii, in the center of the Diamond Head volcanic crater, on January 1, 1972 during the 'Sunshine '72 Festival', so the bogus date on the linear notes is probably a typo or was done as a joke.
Supporting that fact is a collage of about fourteen photographs from the concert itself. One can see Carlos playing guitar in several of them, and there's a number of Hawaiian-looking people standing around as well. That's proof enough for me. I guess this one doesn't rise to the level of the McCartney death hoax!
Fortunately, the music does rise to the occasion. I first acquired a copy of this album as one of my 12 "free" records when I joined the Columbia Record Club. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but in 1972 most people were convinced you couldn't go wrong with Carlos Santana, and I was one of them. I wasn't disappointed. While it may take a little time and a few listens for the 25 minute plus "Free Form Funkafide Filth" to grow on you... it does. I'm not sure how 'free form' this filth is (it's credited to Miles, Santana, drummer Gregg Errico, and bassist Ron Johnson), but it manages to hit a funk groove on several occasions and passes the ample running time (especially for a vinyl record) admirably.
The real gems, however, are on side one. While the track listing lists five separate tracks, tracks one and two ("Marbles" and "Lava") and tracks four and five ("Faith Interlude" and Mile's best known composition, "Them Changes") segue seamlessly into one another, creating a musical suite. Only an upbeat, horn augmented version of "Evil Ways" stands alone, almost as a centerpiece. All of these tracks, save "Faith Interlude", which is perfectly titled given it's bouyant strains, are funky tomes of dynamite. Robert Hogins on organ and Coke Escovedo on timbales, along with a trio of conga players, do yoeman's work keeping up with Santana, Schon, and Miles. Over the years these tracks have merged in my mind, and belong together as one piece of work every bit as much as the flip side of the original vinyl disc.
This album has been reissued on CD several times, having been remastered in 1994 and then reissued in 2005 and 2008. The pressed copies of the 2008 release must have gone quickly, explaining why it is no longer available. Sadly, no additional tracks have ever been added to any of the reissues, suggesting that no additional quality recordings from the concert exist. That's a little hard to believe, but what else could explain it? If additional material comparable to what is being offered here is ever released, criminal negligence charges should be levied against Bob Irwin, the "Reissue Producer", for keeping it under wraps for so long. [Don Schmittdiel 2008]
The rip was taken from CD at 320kps (source unknown) and includes artwork from both CD and LP. Photos taken at the Sunshine '72 Festival inside the Diamond Head volcano, Honolulu Hawaii are also included. I have also chosen to include an alternative rip (160kps) of Side 1 as a single mp3 file, to retain the continuity of the tracks as heard on the LP, where one song runs into the other.
I personally enjoy the alternative whereby the continuity of the concert atmosphere is retained.
Track Listing
01. "Marbles" (McLaughlin) – 4:18

02. "Lava" (Miles) – 2:10

03. "Evil Ways" (Henry) – 6:36

04. "Faith Interlude" (Miles, Santana) – 2:13

05. "Them Changes" (Miles) – 5:50

06. "Free Form Funkafide Filth" (Errico, Johnson, Miles) – 24:54

Band Members:
Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals
Neal schon - guitar
Buddy Miles - Drums, percussion, congas, vocals
Ron Johnson - Bass
Bob Hogins - Organ, Electric Piano
Greg Errico - drums
Richard Clark - drums, percussion, congas
Coke Escovedo - percussion, tímbales.
Mingo Lewis - percussion
Mike Carabello - percussion, congas
Victor Pantoja - percussion, congas
Hadley Caliman - flute, saxophone
Luis Gasca - trumpet
Santana and Miles Link (168Mb)
New Link 08/09/2018

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Stockley See Mason Band - Endless Love (1979) Maxi Single

(Australian 1978-79)
Formed in 1978, Stockley See and Mason were an evolutionary band coming from the remnants of popular Australian bands 'Ariel', 'Country Radio' and 'The Dingoes'.
They were renowned for their wonderful dueling guitar work and harmonies, with all three key band members contributing to vocals. They were supported by Jeff Rosenberg (bass) and Dave Stewart (drums).
Although they were a highly talented band with seasoned song writing skills, they only produced one album (Beg Steal or Borrow) and one Maxi single (as posted here). Sadly they called it quits in 1980.
Band Member Bio's:
Sam See
Sam See is a musician of international standing, well known and respected in Australia, the United States and Canada. Sam was a founding member of seminal Australian bands Sherbet and Flying Circus and then toured England and Germany with Bon Scott's acclaimed band 'Fraternity'. 'I spent much of the the seventies in the US and Canada with Canadian prog rock orchestra, Lighthouse and carved out a career as a session musician and in film score production.'
Sam came home on tour with Greg Quill's Country Radio in 1978 and decided to stay, forming the legendary Stockley See and Mason and releasing an eponymous live album.
'I became John Farnham's musical director in 1981 and then went on to record with a wide variety of artists including, the Black Sorrows, Goanna, Daryl Braithwaite, Tina Arena, Brian Cadd, Swanee, Broderick Smith etc. 'I also produced records for Rose Bygrave, Tina Arena, No Nonsense, Separate Tables, Colleen Hewitt, Rhonda Burchmore and others. 'I then wrote 'Reasons', the fourth hit single from John Farnham's 'Whispering Jack' album. 'In addition, I produced tracks for people like Olivia Newton-John, Vanetta Fields, Marina Prior and Marcia Hines.
'I was the musical director for a number of events such as the AFL Grand Final, the Last Great Sixties Show and then, 'Tonight Live' hosted by Steve Vizard. 'I was asked to assemble the rocking-est band on TV and that's what I did, accompanying a wide range of artists including Tom Jones, John Farnham, and one of my all-time heroes Steve Morse,' said Sam.
Sam is still producing great music, for example he just completed the score for the National Geographic/ABC documentary series 'Croc Country' and can be seen rocking out with Melbourne blues outfit 'The Hornets.
Sam is currently working with Glyn Mason under the name of 'The Pardoners' [extract from the Soundvault]
Glyn Mason
Glyn Mason first played rhythm guitar and sang in the New Zealan band Jigsaw for one year before moving onto to replace Larry Morris as lead singer of the Rebels. With Mason as their new lead vocalist, the Rebels recorded a song called "My Son John". The single raced all the way to number one on the National NZ Charts. The flip-side was a good thumping rocker called "Passing You By". Both tracks appeared on Madrigal, the Rebels album which came out instead of the long promised second Larry's Rebels album. By the time the album was released, the Rebels were resident in Melbourne and had been signed to do a one-off single over there. When it sunk without a trace in New Zealand as well as Australia there didn't seem much point carrying on and by January 1970, they were no longer.
Mason then went on to join Chain, Home, Copperwine, and then Ariel.
Ariel returned to Australia in January 1975 and the same month they added New Zealand-born Glyn Mason on guitar and vocals as fifth member. Glyn's previous credits included Chain, Copperwine and even a stint with Thunderclap Newman. His powerful, soulful voice was a great addition to the band, and the three guitar lineup packed a real punch, but unfortunately this terrific lineup was woefully under-recorded. Happily though, a high-quality live recording of this lineup has recently come to light, and it's a priceless historical document for several reasons. Made at the Station Hotel, Prahran on 11 November, 1975 -- the night of the dismissal of the Whitlam government -- the tape includes a live rendition of a suite of songs from The Jellabad Mutant, and it showcases what a polished and dynamic live outfit Ariel Mk III really was.
After playing in Ariel, Glyn Mason worked solo for some time, then in 1978 he formed Loose String Band followed by Stockley, See & Mason, with veteran players Chris Stockley (ex-Dingoes) and Sam See (ex-Sherbet, Flying Circus, Greg Quill's Southern Cross), and they recorded one fine album for Mushroom.
Chris Stockley
Chris Stockley first played for a band called Cam-Pact but was quickly recruited for a group being formed by Brian Cadd and Don Mudie - Axiom. Formed in Melbourne in 1969, Axiom were arguably Australia's first true supergroup. Yet, in spite of a wealth of talent and promise, some notable chart successes and two superb Albums of original material, they failed to achieve lasting popularity, due in part to waning public support in Australia as they vainly tried to crack the fickle English market, and the band fizzled out after less than two years. Axiom signed to Ron Tudor's Fable Records. Their first single "Arkansas Grass" (co-written by Cadd and Mudie) was an immediate hit, reaching #7 in December 1969.
When Axiom folded after a three years, Chris Stockley joined the Dingoes in April 1973, comprising Kerryn Tolhurst, John Strangio, John Lee (ex-Blackfeather), and fronting the band, the powerful voice of lead singer Broderick Smith. Strangio left in July and was replaced by John Bois, who had played with Tolhurst in Country Radio. They were one of the early signings to the fledgling Mushroom label. Their debut single "Way Out West was" written by Tolhurst (although the first two Albums credit it to the group as a whole). Released in October 1973, it became the band's signature tune and one of the classic Australian singles of the 70s. Just a week before the single was released Chris Stockley received a serious gunshot wound during an incident at a party in Melbourne, which resulted in a 2 month stay in hospital. For many years the incident was written up as 'accidental shooting' but according to Ian McFarlane's "Encyclopedia, the real story was that Stockley had been shot by the notorious Melbourne drug dealer Dennis Allen who had been trying to gatecrash the party. Given Allen's fearsome reputation, Chris can count himself lucky to be alive. While he recuperated he was replaced by keyboard player Mal Logan (ex Healing Force, Carson) and he stayed with the group until the end of 1974.
Geoff Rosenberg (Bass): had played for several years off and on with Blackfeather before joining Stockely See Mason, then went on to play with Eurogliders throughout the 80's.
Dave Stewart (Drums): had spent 3 years prior to Stockely See Mason with Daniel, then played on with Goanna, Glyn's Tour De Force, Brian Cadd and Max Merritt.
Rip was taken from my 45 maxi Single at 320kps and includes cover and label scans.
The B-side track was recorded live at Melbourne University Theatre, 24th June 1979.
Track Listing
01 - Endless Love
02 - Blue Horizon
03 - The Last One To Know (Live)

Stockley See Mason Link (27Mb)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Australian Crawl - The Final Wave (1986)

(Australian 1978–1986)
In the 1890's, the citizens of Melbourne were exposed to a strange and exciting phenomenon — a young sportsman by the name of Alick Wickham, originally from the Solomon Islands. Wickham was as a high-diver of some renown, indeed he held the local record by diving 200 feet into the Yarra, but it was really his swimming that turned heads. He had developed a new method that propelled him through the water at tremendous speed. Eventually, it became the preferred national style. I am talking, of course, about the Australian Crawl.
At the beginning of 1978, five young Melbourne musicians with more than a passing interest in aquatic sports formed a band called Australian Crawl. Their sound was sheer magic, an unexpected blend of social observation, a sweaty backbeat, hot guitar licks and a firm sense of Australian tradition. They had a distinctively Melbourne twang that recalled the sounds of many of that city's great bands — Skyhooks, Jo Jo Zep and the Sports — whilst also stating a youthful, sexy confidence that was all their own. Within eighteen months of their first gig they were the most popular band in the country.

I vividly remember Australian Crawl's historic debut on Countdown with "Beautiful People" in August 1979. I'd like to say that singer James Reyne blew me away with his classic good looks and already distinctive singing, but what really grabbed my attention was that both his arms were in plaster. He had broken both wrists the week before.
Over the next seven years, Australian Crawl broke plenty of records — and plenty of hearts — as well. Their first album 'The Boys Light Up', enjoyed an instantaneous popularity comparable only to Skyhooks' spectacular debut. The album remained high in the Australian charts for an unbroken 104 weeks, and when Countdown viewers were asked to name their favourite band and male vocalist for 1980, Australian Crawl and James Reyne won hands down.

After adding a sixth member — singer, guitarist and songwriter Guy McDonough brother of drummer Bill McDonough — Australian Crawl went into the studio to produce a new album that would prove them no one-hit wonders. The album was called 'Sirocco', after Errol Flynn's yacht, and it went straight to Number One. Again the nation's rock fans named Australian Crawl their favourite band. Again the album sold quadruple platinum.
If the band's first two albums were slick, dollar-generating pop classics they were also an increasingly inaccurate reflection of the Crawl's hard-driving live sound. They presented one facet of the band brilliantly, but not the whole picture. And so the decision was made to enlist the services of expatriate Australian producer, Mike Chapman to record a back-to-basics rock and roll album in Hawaii. Titled 'Sons Of Beaches', it was an authentic, unpolished LP which gave the band a stamp of credibility.

"Success came to this band in an incredibly short time" said James Reyne at the time of the album's release. "We've had to learn and develop as we've gone along, and of course we're still learning. This album might take a few listens but it's the most accurate reflection yet of what Australian Crawl is capable of."
Although Sons of Beaches made a beeline for Number One it was not until the following year — 1983 — that the band had their first chart-topping single. The song was "Reckless", a sparse and chilling ballad that may be remembered as Australian Crawl's finest moment. Taken from their only original release for the year — a four track EP called 'Semantics' — the song proved yet again that there was more to Australian Crawl than first met the eye. They had demonstrably reached a new maturity, and with it gained a new respect.
'Semantics' showed that Australian Crawl had the capacity to take note of changing values in the pop market, to accommodate new ideas. In an ideal world, it should have ushered in a new era for the group; it should have been the catalyst for new growth and international recognition. As it was, it merely stalled the inevitable. Band members who had always asserted the individuality now began breaking out in different directions. James Reyne took time out to star in a big budget television-series. Return to Eden. Drummer Bill McDonough left, to be replaced by John Watson. And then, tragically, Guy McDonough died after a long illness, Australian Crawl was shattered.

For what seemed like an entire year the band remained inactive, suspended in a void. And then, in 1985, Aussie Crawl bounced back one last time with their most polished most electric record to date. Produced by Englishman Adam Kidron and with excellent international players augmenting the band unit, 'Between A Rock and A Hard Place' sounded like a new beginning for Australian Crawl. It proved, if anyone ever doubted it, that this was still a group with a wealth of talent on offer.
If circumstances had been different, it might not have been their swansong and they would still be reminding us of their presence in their own brash, inimitable way.
Over seven great years Australian Crawl sold well over a million records in Australia. Many more attended gigs and larger concerts. That's a lot of happy people who won't be forgetting in a hurry [Linear Notes: by Ed St. John Sydney, 1986]

On December 10, 1985 the axe fell on the band. Announcing the split, a spokesperson for the band said there were no musical differences, only a unanimous desire by band members to go their separate ways and concentrate on things other than the band.
As a way of saying thank you to their fans, the band chose to sign off with a small number of local concerts in January, 1986, calling their final tour 'The Final Wave'. These recordings were captured on the 27th January by the AAV Mobile Recording Unit and remixed at the Fastforward Studios, Melbourne.
The quality of the recordings is exceptional and the track listing is a fantastic anthology of their most popular songs. Also included is their trademark 'live' track "Louie Louie" which had been on their set list since their very early days.
This post includes both FLACs and MP3's(320kps) ripped from CD which I found on the net some time ago (source unknown) along with full album artwork taken from my vinyl pressing. Although some tracks are a little too 'up tempo' compared to their studio equivalents (ie. Errol, Things Don't Seem), I still like this album and recommend it as a great live anthology. Another classic Aussie Album !
Track Listing
01 - Beautiful People
02 - Unpublished Critics
03 - Lakeside
04 - Love Beats Me Up
05 - White Limbo
06 - Two Can Play
07 - Errol
08 - Downhearted
09 - Daughters of The Northern Coast
10 - Boys Light Up
11 - Indisposed
12 - Things Don't Seem
13 - Reckless
14 - (The Last) Louie Louie

Band Members:
James Reyne — (Vocals)
Brad Robinson — (Keyboard)
Simon Binks — (Guitar, Vocals)
John Watson — (Drums)
Harry Brus— (Bass, Vocals)
Mark Greig - (Guitar, Vocals)

Australian Crawl MP3 Link  (131Mb) Link Fixed 20/07/2016

Australian Crawl FLAC Link (452Mb)