Friday, September 30, 2011

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Los Destellos (1971)

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.
Found this track in cyberspace awhile back, while trawling the web for weird and wonderful music. As soon as I heard this song by Los Destellos I was taken back to my early childhood days when beatnik's and hippie's were prevalent influences in music and culture.
Beatniks evolved from the cool 50's youth culture. They wore berets and polo necks and hung out in coffee shops playing bongos and reciting poetry and experimenting with marijuana. They pre-dated the hippie movement by about 10-15 years. Dobie Gillis (aka. Bob Denver from Gillian's Island) was a beatnik on his own T.V show. Man, they were some cool cats!
Anyhow, this track entitled "Onsta La Yerbita" has some real crazy sounds and I just love the voice over by Enrique Delgado.

Under the direction of lead guitarist Enrique Delgado, Los Destellos (the sparkles, like a star) are pretty much known as the founders of Cumbia Peruana circa 1966. Now I am pretty skeptical about using the word chicha to define their genre of music. I feel that chicha is more associated with 70's and 80's transient Andean cumbia, a music that is probably rooted more in Amerindian sounds, beliefs and the harshness of the Amerindian experience (hardship, displacement, lament). Whether they influenced the chicha movement later on or became part of it by default, I’m not 100% sure.

However, Los Destellos appear to be more part of the Lima Mestizo culture (mixture of Indian/Spanish blood). And can be reflected in the way which their sounds fuse Latin boogaloo, psychedelic rock, soul, Colombian cumbia, tropical and indigenous music in a whole host of ways.
Apparently Los Destellos had a resurgence of popularity in the 80's that lasted until Enrique Delgado died in the early 90's. The band still performs today, but I believe it’s the widowed wife of Enrique who runs the band.
Anyhow, if you are looking for something 'totally different' and 'just a little Weird', then you have a listen to this track. Now, where did I put my bongo set ?
Los Destellos - Onsta La Yerbita (9Mb) 320kps Link Fixed 21/06/2022

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

U2 - Live Unapproved (The Joshua Tree Tour 1987)

(Irish 1976-Present)
Here is another U2 bootleg on the MOJO label, probably recorded during the 'Joshua Tree Tour' of 1987.
The Joshua Tree Tour was a concert tour by the Irish rock band U2, which took place during 1987, in support of their album The Joshua Tree. The tour was depicted by the video and live album Live from Paris.
This tour's opening night was April 2 at Arizona State University's Activity Center in Tempe, Arizona. The first leg took place in American indoor arenas during April and May. The 29 concerts generated US$7,051,329 with a total of 465,452 tickets sold. 1,063 tickets from Las Vegas remained unsold equating to a 99.77% sellout for the 1st American leg. The first leg finished with 5 concerts at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford between 11 and 16 May.
The second leg in European arenas and outdoor stadiums ran from late May through to early August, starting at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome on 27 May. The final show of the European leg is at Pairc Ui Chaoimh in Cork on 8 August.
The third leg returned to American and Canadian arenas and stadiums in the autumn. The tour ended on 20 December back where it started in Tempe, Arizona, but this time at Sun Devil Stadium.
On 30 April, the band played the Pontiac Silverdome, their first headlining stadium show in the United States. While the show's reviews were positive, they said that a video screen is necessary for people at the back. U2 production manager, Willie Williams, recalls the debate within the band about the use of screens and whether they would divide the audience's attention between the stage and the screen. A video screen was installed behind the lighting tower at the 20 September show at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC so the back half of the stadium could better see the band, and screens were used at most stadium shows for the rest of the tour.
The Joshua Tree Tour sold out stadiums around the world, the first time the band had consistently played venues of that size. The Joshua Tree and its singles had become huge hits and the band was at an apex of their popularity. Tickets for shows were often very hard to get, especially on the first American leg when they only played in arenas.
That first leg was also organised around multiple-night stands in centres of U2 fan-dome along the two U.S. coasts, with only a very few dates in the middle of the country. These multiple-night stands also featured an unusual set list twist. All but the last night would begin in conventional concert fashion with the rousing pair of "Where the Streets Have No Name" into "I Will Follow", but the last night in each city would begin with the house lights fully up and the band performing the early 1960s classic "Stand By Me", with The Edge singing one verse, all intended as a friendly, informal opening.
The house lights would then stay up for "Pride (In the Name of Love)", only going off at the end of it; the rest of the set list would be consequently scrambled from the norm.
The new level of fame, exposure and the frantic nature of the tour put the U2 organisation under a large amount of stress.
The 79 North American shows on the tour sold over 2 million tickets and grossed $35 million.[extract from wikipedia]
The post consists of a mp3 rip (320kps) taken from CD and includes album artwork (plain as it might be) and various photos of the band relevant to the Joshua Tree Tour. The recording is excellent, probably a soundboard, and the tracks on this bootleg are as powerful as those on the official tour album 'Rattle and Hum'. "Bullet The Blue Sky" is my favourite track - just love it!
Note: The back cover of this CD has some typos. Bullet is misspelt 'Bullit', Unforgettable is spelt 'Unforgetable' and Track 12 is not listed at all.
Track Listing
01 - I Will Follow

02 - The Unforgettable Fire

03 - M.L.K

04 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

05 - God Part II

06 - Van Diemon's Land

07 - New Years Day

08 - Bullet The Blue Sky

09 - Running To Stand Still

10 - Pride (In The Name Of Love)

11 - With Or Without You

12 - 40

Band Members:
Bono (vocals and guitar)

The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals)

Adam Clayton (bass guitar)
Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion)

U2 Unapproved Live Link (103Mb) REPOST

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Home - Long Long Way To Nowhere (1974)

(Australian 1972-1975)
This album is one of the undiscovered gems of the 70's in my opinion.
Led by Glyn Mason following his departure from the famous Melbourne group Chain (and a short stint as leader of Copperwine when Jeff St. John left), this is what might be best described as country rock with some progressive elements. Mason went on to play with many other great Australian bands like Ariel, Richard Clapton and 'Stockley, See and Mason'.
Home had a connection to a variety of Oz and New Zealand Bands. The group members had been in several bands before producing their album 'Long Long Way To Nowhere' which featured the single “Bang, Bang, Bang”.
Mason's vocals sound very similar to Brian Cadd and Bob Dylan at times. Home played a sophisticated form of country rock, not dissimilar to the bands such as the Dingoes or early Little River Band or even the Savannah Silver Band.
The 4 minute single “Bang, Bang, Bang” is an edited version of the album release which is nearly 7 mins long and has the 3rd verse and other sections edited out.
Home released one other album in 1973, called 'At Last!' featuring a different bass player - Trevor Wilson and Mal Logan on keyboards.

Phil Lawson originally played bass for SCRA and then Bakery (1973) and then finally took over from Trevor Wilson to play bass for Home in 1974. He eventually joined Richard Clapton in 1975 for a short stint with Sloppy Morris (on Blue Bay Blues) and eventually went on to play with Max Merrit & The Meteors in 1980.
Nevin 'Loppy' Morris played drums for Hot Cottage in 1970-71 and Richard Clapton in 1975 (playing drums on "Girls On The Avenue") before joining Home,and then went on to play drums for the Deltoids (blues and rockabilly) in early 80's.
Ian 'Gunther' Gorman has been in many Australian bands - almost a Who's Who's of Aussie Rock. His first band was Reeb Revol in 1969 (consisting of Graham Patrick, Paul Reynolds, Digger Royal, Ron Shepherd, Peter Smith). He then joined Salty Dog in 1972 and eventually left to play with Australian icons Daddy Cool.
In January 1975, Daddy Cool appeared at the final Sunbury Festival, after which (Ian) Gunther Gorman was recruited to bolster the group's lineup, and although it was clear by this time that Daddy Cool was well and truly past its use-by date, they soldiered on for a few more months. He was eventually replaced by Wayne Burt before Daddy Cool called it quits.
Gunther Gorman played guitar on Goodbye Tiger for Clapton in 1976 and also filled in for Sherbet when Clive Shakespeare left the band but was eventually replaced by Harvey James.
He then formed the Gunther's G-Force in 1978-1979 with Don Miller-Robinson, and then joined forces with the 'The Fives' in 1982 alongside Frankie J. Holden, Rockpile Jones, Jim Manzie, Geoff Plummer and Wilbur Wilde.
For more info and a link to Gorman's one and only solo album, see Ozzie Music Man's website
There's not one bad track on this album, the music is very laid back and really easy to listen to. It is almost mesmorizing at times with most tracks running between 5 to 10 minutes long - my favourite is Mr. Blue. All tracks are Australian compositions written by the band and the strong vocal harmonies of Mason and Lawson along with the technically perfect guitar work by Gorman make this album a true 'lost classic' from the 70's.
This post consists of a 320kps rip of my 'near pristine' vinyl and includes full album artwork. I have also chosen to include the single version of "Bang, Bang, Bang" so you can compare it with the album version. Enjoy !
Track Listing
01 - Westward Bound

02 - Long Long Way To Nowhere

03 - Mr Blue

04 - Same Old Feeling Again

05 - Bang, Bang, Bang

06 - Always Over

07 - Riverflow

08 - Bang, Bang, Bang (Bonus Single)

Band Members:
'Loppy' Nevin Morris (Drums, Percussion)

Phil Lawson (Bass, Vocal Harmonies)

Glyn Mason (Vocals, Rhythmn Guitar)

'Gunther' Ian Gorman (Lead Guitar, Vocal Harmonies)

Home Link (110Mb) REPOST

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Monkees - Live (1967)

(U.S 1966–1971, 1986–1989, 1993–1997, 2001–Current)
The Monkees (Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork) were pulled together in order to star in a successful comedy television show first aired on NBC in 1966.
The music for the series had been created by Don Kirschner and throughout the life of the band, many more esteemed songwriters added their input to The Monkees phenomenon, including Neil Diamond ("A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You") and Carole King ("Pleasant Valley Sunday"). As time progressed the members of the band addressed the criticism which was leveled at them and began to exert more of a creative contribution; initially they had only provided vocals, by the third album Headquarters they were writing and playing much of their own stuff.

Pressure mounted for the fictional Monkees to tour, and by the British tour in 1967, they were sufficiently proficient to do so.
The band began to fracture in 1968 when Tork quit, exacerbated by Nesmith leaving the group in 1970. Shortly after that Dolenz and Jones lost the rights to call themselves The Monkees although they continued to tour. The whole band toured and reformed off and on throughout the ongoing years to varying degrees of success as their previous fame ebbed and flowed. Their 11th album Justus (1996) was, at last, their chance to create a 100% Monkees product.
Dismissing them as 'manufactured', seems harsh. Many other bands and singers have performed other people's music, lacing it with their own efforts. The Monkees did so with a certain amount of charisma, energy and humor; as a result they are, most certainly, entertainers in their own right. They released six albums with the full line-up, four of which hit No.1 on the Billboard chart, and several of their singles have found their place in public affections including "I'm a Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone", "Daydream Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville" [extract from Sound Unwound].
The 1967 Tour
The Monkees' 1967 summer tour commenced in Hollywood, California with a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. The instrumental lineup was similar to the first regional tour done a couple months earlier, with Micky on drums and tympani, Mike on lead guitar, Peter on bass guitar, keyboards and banjo, and Davy playing tambourine and the maracas. Davy would also occasionally play bass guitar when Peter moved to the keyboards and he would relieve Micky on drums during "Randy Scouse Git" and towards the end of “Mary, Mary.” Images of The Monkees performing and other selected footage were projected on large screens behind the band.

The 1967 concerts were critically acclaimed, and the crowds large and hysterical. The performances included a psychedelic light show, one of the first concert tours to feature such techniques. The last three North American dates (Seattle, Washington 25/8/67, Portland, Oregon 26/8/67 and Spokane, Washington 27/8/67) were recorded with the intent of releasing a live album. That album did not see the light of day until it was finally released as Live 1967 in 1987. The 12/8/67 performance at the Municipal Auditorium in Mobile, Alabama is a widely circulated bootleg recording. Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordings features four complete concerts from this tour, and was previously available as a limited edition release from Rhino Handmade.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was the opening act for several American cities on the summer tour. Hendrix joined the Monkees' tour in progress on July 8, 1967 in Jacksonville, Florida, continuing through Miami on July 9, Charlotte, North Carolina on July 11 and Greensboro, North Carolina on July 12. He departed after three shows in Forest Hills, New York on July 14, 15 and 16, 1967 (see ticket stub above). Hendrix, a star in England but relatively unknown in his native United States, was trying to gain notoriety in America. As the New York Times noted in 2006, “The Monkees wanted respect, and Hendrix wanted publicity."

."The Jimi Hendrix Experience were the apotheosis of ’60s psychedelic ribbon shirts and tie-dye—they had pinwheels for eyes and their hair was out to here. I thought, “Man, I gotta see this thing live.” So that night I stood in front of the stage and listened to Hendrix at soundcheck. And I thought, “Well, this guy’s from Mars; he’s from some other planet, but whatever it is, thank heaven for this visitation.” And I listened to him play at the soundchecks and the concert. I thought, “This is some of the best music I’ve heard in my life.” [Michael Nesmith, speaking about Jimi Hendrix]
Mike, when attending a dinner party in England with Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Eric Clapton, overheard a tape of Hendrix playing. Along with Micky and Peter, they became instant fans, and after watching Hendrix perform at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, the Monkees pushed for Hendrix to open their U.S. summer concerts. With the Monkees on the road to dispel the critical notion that they couldn't play live, adding an act as cutting edge and theatrical as the Jimi Hendrix Experience would further prove the seriousness of the Monkees as musicians and entertainers.
The musical pairing was an odd one, and various Monkees have recounted in the years since that their audience was less than interested in the guitar virtuoso, often chanting 'Monkees!' or 'We want Davy!' while Hendrix performed. As the arrangement didn't work with the crowds coming to the concerts, Hendrix and company eventually left the tour amicably.
.It was reported that both the Monkees and the Experience got along and even jammed. The exposure of being on tour with the hottest act in America propelled Hendrix to the next level as his music began to be noticed in the United States. There is no truth to the urban legend (originally reported by Australian rock critic Lillian Roxon, who traveled with the tour, as a tongue-in-cheek explanation for Hendrix's sudden departure) that Hendrix was dismissed after a complaint by the Daughters of the American Revolution of "lewd and indecent" conduct during his performances.

Other opening acts included The Sundowners, who provided instrumental backup during the solo segments, and Lynn Randell. British star Lulu opened the concerts at Wembley in London, England, and Epifocal Phringe supplied backup during the solo performances.
The 1967 concerts were a critical and commercial coup for the Monkees. This, combined with the previous success of gaining complete artistic control over the making of their music, solidified the Monkees as a musical force in 1967. After the tour, the band channeled these accomplishments in the studio (recording the "Pleasant Valley Sunday" single and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones LTD) while also resuming filming of their Emmy award-winning television show, now ready to enter into its second season.
Apparently, the Monkees used to not only fake their existence on TV and in the studio; they had to take a more active part in it by going out on tour and making nice fresh bucks for their employers. This was rendered all the more encumbering by the fact that, as we all know, the Monkees were just a wee bit inexperienced about playing their own instruments. To be more exact, urged on by Mike Nesmith, Talented Monkee #1, they'd finally started getting acquainted with man's musical instrument legacy in the studio, but that's one thing; quite another one is to be able to harness these instruments in a live setting, where you're not allowed to do double takes unless you're a comedy act or something.
Hey, wait a minute. This is a comedy act we're talking about. And the only saving grace for the Monkees, once they were pushed onto the stage and the curtains behind them locked and barred tight until they'd played the entire setlist, was to push on with the comedy - and pray comedy would be comic enough for the audience so as to avoid the rotten tomatoes. I haven't counted exactly, but I have a naggin' feeling that the stage banter during this one hour occupies at least as much time as the actual playing, if not more. (And, for the record, this is the entire length of the show I'm talking here: the new CD release of Rhino's 1987 album adds four "solo" tracks to the former LP, which constitutes the entire setlist for the band's mid-'67 live show).

The actual tour has, of course, long since gone down in history as the infamous "Hendrix opening for the Monkees" event, arguably the most absurd pairing in the history of rock music, with poor Jimi as the main victim of the situation: people were coming to see the well-established Monkees, not the barely-known Hendrix, and, naturally, it was a bit unusual to accept stuff like 'Purple Haze' as a substitute, or even as an aperitif before 'Forget That Girl' and 'I'm A Believer'. Nevertheless, as far as I know, there was little conflict between Jimi and the Monkees themselves; in fact, they even used to jam together a little bit, which, for Nesmith and Co., must have looked like a God-sent gift. Curiously enough, the hard-rocking version of '(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone' which closes the concert definitely has some Hendrix overtones to it, with its use of feedback, noise, and almost free-form soloing at times; I do, however, suspect that most of the actual music on that particular track is played by one of their several other supporting bands that, for a few numbers, took the playing over from the Monkees to give them more room for singing. And save them at least some embarrassment.
Highlights include a rabble-rousing Dolenz performance on 'Randy Scouse Git' and, unbelievable as it seems, 'I Wanna Be Free', which, with added volume, bombastic rhythm section, and Jones' inability to play it subtle and suave in a live setting (he almost literally has to shout out the lyrics), suddenly becomes a good-time folk anthem, perfectly singalongable, particularly if you're busy hiding from bad weather somewhere in your log cabin in North Dakota. Of course, the songs that were previously interesting from a musical point of view are butchered fair and square ('Last Train To Clarksville', 'I'm A Believer'), and the formerly sparkling vocal harmonies are completely out of tune, but here we go complaining again.
By far the most interesting part for fans and collectors will be the four bonus tracks, an integral part of the show that was left out in the LP age - the band's "solo" spots. Tork's country-western sendup has already been mentioned; Nesmith also has one with the equally fun and simplistic, but far more long-winded (and long-titled) 'You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover'; Jones gets himself the cute bouncy ballad 'Gonna Build A Mountain'; and Dolenz kicks the most ass with the lightning-speed rave-up of 'I Got A Woman', finally showing why he really was the best singer in the band and a good candidate for intoxicating frontman as well.
In other words, Live 1967 hangs somewhere in between historical document and independent entertainment - it's a bit too "unimportant" to be recommended as the former, and way too messy to be recommended as the latter, but if you're hunting for unique experiences, don't pass it by. It sounds like nothing else in the world. [Review by George Starostin at Only Solitare]
This post consists of a rip taken from CD (1987 - now deleted) and includes artwork for both CD and Vinyl. The CD release includes 4 bonus tracks (solo tracks by each of the four Monkees) which were not available on the vinyl release (due to length restraints).
Although this is not their best recording, the live renditions are quite good considering their age and the audience consisting primarily of 8 to 14 year old girls!
Note: The Monkees went on tour the following year in 1968, visiting Australia and Japan. For information regarding their tour 'Down Under', see the Monkees' official website.

Track Listing
01 - Last Train to Clarksville
02 - You May Be the One

03 - The Girl I Knew Somewhere

04 - I Wanna Be Free

05 - Sunny Girlfriend

06 - Your Auntie Grizelda

07 - Forget That Girl

08 - Sweet Young Thing

09 - Mary, Mary

10 - * Cripple Creek (Peter Tork solo spot)

11 - * You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover 
(Michael Nesmith solo spot)
12 - * Gonna Build A Mountain (Davy Jones solo spot)

13 - * I Got A Woman (Micky Dolenz solo spot)

14 - I'm a Believer

15 - Randy Scouse Git
16 - (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone

* Bonus tracks only on CD
The Monkees:
Peter Tork - bass, vocals, keyboards

Davy Jones - vocals, guitars

Micky Dolenz - drums, vocals

Michael Nesmith - guitars, vocals

RIP - This post is dedicated to Davy Jones who sadly passed away recently on Febuary 29th, 2012 at the age of 66. News sources indicate that he died of a heart attack.
The Monkees Live Link (115Mb) New Link 03/01/2024

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Various Artists - Bearsville Finds A New Home (1974-1980)

(Various Artists 1974-1980)
The record label 'Bearsville' was founded in 1970 by Albert Grossman and its artist roster included more Rock/Pop oriented acts like Todd Rundgren and Foghat.
After his group Nazz broke up, Todd Rundgren signed with Grossman's management and began producing records for others, including many of the early albums for the Ampex label. By late 1970, Bearsville was established as a label on its own, with Rundgren the main producer and ultimately, its most well known artist. The Bearsville label was brown, with a logo that resembled a cartoon bear's head. Most promotional labels were the same, with a "Promotion Not For Sale" overprint, although white-label promos are known to exist.
But more interesting for Disco lovers are the Funky Soul/Disco work of Tony Wilson and the solo releases by former Chic vocalist Norma Jean Wright, who recorded for Bearsville as just 'Norma Jean'. Actually Chic's Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards wrote and produced Norma's two 1978 hit songs; "Saturday" and "Sorcerer" as well as 1979's "High Society". The label finally folded in 1984.
Bearsville’s initial distributor was Ampex Records. From 1972 until its demise, the label was distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Today Rhino Records distributes the Bearsville catalog. For a complete listing of the Bearsville back catalogue see Warner Brothers Records Story
FOGHAT (Selftitled, Live, Boogie Motel)
Foghat were a British rock band that had their peak success in the mid- to late-1970s. Their style can be described as "blues-rock," or boogie-rock dominated by electric and electric slide guitar. The band has achieved five gold records. The group remained popular during the disco era, but their popularity waned in the early 1980s.
The band initially featured Dave Peverett ("Lonesome Dave") on guitar and vocal, Tony Stevens on bass, and Roger Earl on drums. After leaving Savoy Brown in December 1970, they added Rod Price on guitar/slide guitar and formed Foghat in January 1971. Their 1972 album 'Foghat' was produced by Dave Edmunds and included a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" which received much airplay, especially on FM stations, and is featured on this sampler.
The band's second self-titled album was also known as Rock and Roll for its cover photo of a rock and a bread roll, and it went gold. Energized came out in 1974, followed by Rock and Roll Outlaws and Fool for the City in 1975, the year that Stevens left the band after objecting to their endless touring schedule. Stevens was replaced temporarily by producer Nick Jameson in 1975 when the band recorded Fool For The City. In the next year, he was replaced by Craig MacGregor and the group produced Night Shift in 1976, a live album in 1977, and Stone Blue in 1978, each reaching "gold" record sales. Fool for the City spawned the hit single "Slow Ride" (which reached number 20 on the US charts), but the greatest sales figures were for Foghat Live, which sold over 2,000,000 copies. More hits followed: "Drivin' Wheel", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (from the live album), "Stone Blue" and "Third Time Lucky (The First Time I Was a Fool)". But Rod Price, unhappy with the group's still constant touring and the shift away from their hard boogie sound towards a more New Wave influenced Pop direction, left the band in November 1980. After months of auditions he was replaced by Erik Cartwright by February 1981.
After 1978, Foghat record sales began to slip, and their last album for the Bearsville label, Zig-Zag Walk in 1983, only briefly touched the charts at #192.
Note: Foghat Live eventually sold over two million copies and is certified 2x platinum in the United States.

Todd Rundgren (Hermit Of Mink Hollow)
Enigmatic whizz-kid, virtuoso guitarist and studio master Todd Rundgren was born in Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby in 1948. He began his band life in a local rock 'n' roll outfit, Woody's Truckstop, before forming English Mod-influenced flash-rock outfit The Nazz in 1968. The Nazz were unusual in Philadelphia for providing a viable alternative to the San Francisco sound dominating American music at time, as they attempted to personify everything "swinging London", from their clothes to their Beatle-influenced material. With Rundgren on guitar were Robert "Stewkey" Antoni (keyboards, vocals), Carson van Osten (baas) and Thorn Mooney (drums).
Nazz were characterised by recording and playing sophistication that heralded the end of the '60s era and a newer, more professional sound. Probably too advanced for their period they succeeded with two minor U.S. hit singles, though only Hello It's Me (Boston's most requested, four times re-released AM song) made it to the bottom rungs of national charts.
Among the huge number of acts that Rundgren has worked with in studio are The Band, Jesse Winchester, Butterfield Blues Band, New York Dolls, Fanny, Grand Funk, Halfnelson (later Sparks), Janis Joplin, Badfinger, Hello People and James Cotton.
Meanwhile his own solo career blossomed with Ballad Of Todd Rundgren (1971) assisted by the sons of New York society figure Soupy Sales, Hunt (bass) and Tony Sales (drums). Always attempting to push the barriers of rock to new heights Rundgren made an initial attempt to launch his Utopia Road Show with a lighting system and effects that could match visually his futuristic music.
A double, 'Something/Anything' (1972), contained Rundgren's most diverse styles to date; he had seemingly mastered every angle from soul to Beach Boys to raw daring of a Hendrix. Many of songs represent his finest hour in eyes of fanatical following that began to worship Rundgren as a rock 'n' roll saviour. Certainly, there is no doubting the appeal of numbers like "I Saw The Light", "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" or "Couldn't I Just Tell You?"
Todd Rundgren's career has produced a diverse range of recordings as solo artist, and during the seventies and eighties with the band Utopia. He has also been prolific as a producer and engineer on the recorded work of other musicians.
His 1976 album Faithful marked a return to the pop/rock genre, featuring one side of original songs and one side of covers of significant songs from 1966, including the Yardbirds' "Happening Ten Years Time Ago" (the B-side of that Yardbirds single gave Nazz its name) and a nearly identical re-creation of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations". Faithful was followed by Hermit of Mink Hollow (1978); this included the hit ballad "Can We Still Be Friends", which reached #29 in the U.S. and was accompanied by an innovative self-produced music video, and the album became the second most successful of his career (after Something? Anything!), reaching #36 in the U.S.
Randy Vanwarmer (Warmer)
Randy Vanwarmer (March 30, 1955 – January 12, 2004) was an American songwriter and guitarist. His biggest success was the pop hit, "Just When I Needed You Most". It reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart in September 1979 after peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart earlier that year. There are several cover versions of this song, including those by Dolly Parton, Daniel Selby and Smokie.
In 1979, after struggling in obscurity for a few years, Bearsville Records in New York released a VanWarmer single, "Gotta Get Out of Here," a mildly catchy pop tune. "Just When I Needed You Most" was the B-side of the single. Somewhere, on a whim, a DJ decided to play the flip side instead, and it slowly rose to the Top 10 in a market saturated with disco. As VanWarmer told Release, Albert Grossman, the head of Bearsville, who was acting as VanWarmer's manager, would not let him do television or tour the United States, a strategy that did not prove successful.
Utopia (Oops! Wrong Planet, Adventures In Utopia)
Utopia was an American progressive rock band, led by Todd Rundgren that toured and recorded from 1973 to 1986.
Utopia was initially an ensemble, formed by Todd Rungren as a counter-point to his solo work. Various musicians came and went, but the main stays of the band were Roger Powell (keyboards), Kasim Sulton (bass), and Jon "willie" Wilcox (drums), and of course Todd himself handling the guitar work, all four members supplied both lead and harmony vocals.
Despite its breadth of styles and strong talents, Utopia had only one Billboard top 40 hit. "Set Me Free", from their best selling album Adventures in Utopia, peaked at #27 in 1980. Poised on the verge of mainstream success, the band sidetracked for the next two LPs before returning to the head-on pop format by which time the momentum from Adventures had been lost.
They managed to hold cult status throughout the 1980s with their albums, concert performances and videos that were shown on MTV in its early years.

Jesse Winchester (Selftitled, A Touch On The Rainy Side)
Jesse Winchester is a musician and songwriter who was born and raised in the southern United States. To avoid the Vietnam War draft he moved to Canada in 1967, which is where and when he began his career as a solo artist.
After a few years of playing piano in Canadian bars and teaching himself to write songs, Jesse met Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist and main writer for The Band, the legendary quintet of former Dylan backing musicians, “through a friend of a friend.” Robertson produced Jesse’s self-titled debut album, enlisting fellow Band-mate Levon Helm on drums and mandolin and whiz-kid musician Todd Rundgren as engineer. That first album was released with the most low-key packaging possible – no printed lyrics and a gatefold cover with the same photo of Jesse on all four panels, resembling a 19th Century “Wanted Dead or Alive” poster.
Winchester’s self-titled debut (first released in 1970 on the Apmex label) still seems as fresh, perfect and balanced today as it did when first released. With Robbie Robertson of 'The Band' producing and playing guitar, accompanied by fellow Band-mate Levon Helm on drums and a whole host of excellent Canadian musicians, the accompaniment is first-rate. As a collection of songs, the album is still nearly without peer. Winchester covers all the bases here, with songs about God, sin, good times, casual attraction, and the fragility of love all fitting comfortably together, achieving an effortless thematic cohesion that more pretentious “concept” albums of the day could only strain for. From the dark and brooding “Black Dog” to a tale of lost love in "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz", nearly every song is a classic. And while many of these works achieved greater commercial success for the better-known singers who later recorded them, Winchester’s own singing on this album is remarkably strong, versatile and attractive, with unmatched intelligence and understanding gracing every interpretation.
The ampex label became defunct shortly afterwards and Winchester reverted to Ampex's parent company, Bearsville for the release of his next 7 albums.
Paul Butterfield (Better Days)
Paul Butterfield (17 December 1942 – 4 May 1987) was an American blues vocalist and harmonica player, who founded the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early 1960s and performed at the original Woodstock Festival.
Following the releases of 'Live in 1970' and 'Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smiling' in 1971, Butterfield broke up his blues/horn based Butterfield Band and formed a new group with Chris Parker on drums, guitarist Amos Garrett, Geoff Muldaur, pianist Ronnie Barron and bassist Billy Rich, naming the ensemble "Better Days." The group released Paul Butterfield's 'Better Days' and 'It All Comes Back in 1972 and 1973, respectively on the Bearsville label.
Although this is another record sampler by a major record company, it was not available for sale to the general public and was probably used for promotional purposes to showcase the Bearsville label throughout the 70's. I suspect Bearsville made it freely available to radio stations in an attempt to boost record sales, and appears to have been distributed through Festival Records here in Australia (see front cover). Anyhow, there are certainly some classic hits on this sampler although some artists like Elizabeth Barracough, Tony Wilson and Nick Jameson were unknowns here in the land of Oz.
Note: Bearsville released a second record sampler (pictured right) shortly after this one which was available for sale and is therefore more commonly found on eBay and alike. The record sampler featured in this post, however, is extremely rare as I have yet to see it anywhere else on the web.
The post consists of a rip taken from Vinyl at 320kps which has had any crackle or pops removed manually. Full album artwork is included, although the album cover isn't really anything to rave about !
Track Listing
01 - Just When I Needed You Most (Randy Vanwarmer)

02 - Third Time Lucky (Foghat)

03 - Use Your Heart (Elizabeth Barraclough)

04 - Having A Party (Norma Jean)

05 - The Politican (Tony Wilson)

06 - Home In My Hand "Live" (Foghat)

07 - I Ain't Searching (Nick Jameson)

08 - Can We Still Be Friends (Todd Rundgren)

09 - Call Me (Randy Vanwarmer)

10 - Sassy (Jesse Winchester)

11 - I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Foghat)

12 - My Angel (Utopia)

13 - Highway 28 (Paul Butterfield)
14 - The Brand New Tenessee Waltz (Jesse Winchester)

15 - Set Me Free (Utopia)

Bearsville Link (126Mb) New Link 04/11/2014

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Arlen Roth - Guitarist (1978)

(U.S 1978-Present)
Arlen Roth (born 1952) is an American guitarist. His first solo album won the Montreaux Critics' Award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year in 1978
Known as "The Master of the Telecaster," music lovers consider Arlen Roth "the guitarist's guitarist," a brilliant musician, but that's only one aspect of his remarkable 35-year career. He is a highly regarded authority concerning "all things guitar," from writing about guitar playing, to being the inspiration behind their creation, due to his fluent mastery, and rare ability to seamlessly cross over musical genres and playing styles.
His legendary guitar prowess crosses all genres, all styles, and all types of guitar playing, including one of his specialties, slide guitar. He fluidly moves from folk and blues to country tunes, and has played some of the most resounding rock ever recorded. He is as comfortable playing an acoustic ballad, (his acoustic version of Layla has been critically acclaimed as being better than Eric Clapton's version) as he is launching into the most powerful version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" ever recorded, which Guitar Player magazine called "likely the most intense workout ever recorded on a Telecaster."
His music and endless creativity seem to flow directly from him and through him, and no matter which guitar or style he is playing at any moment, there is an unmistakable combination of clarity, depth, and fluidity, exemplified by the song from which his current release takes its name, Landscape. This (12-track) recording showcases his hallmark genius, his ability to take any note, any nuance, any tool, anything he's ever heard, and somehow make it uniquely his own.
Since his remarkable range of talent defies distinct categorization, the best in the business call upon him when they want the best-- studio musician, sideman, songwriter, author, teacher, bandleader, film consultant, or to go on tour. He also produces his own, and other artists' music.
Every step of the way, since his first solo recording in 1978, Arlen Roth has received accolades and earned the highest acclaim. Vintage Guitar magazine ranked him One of the Top 100 Influential Guitarists of the Century, and he's also on their list for having performed one of The Top 10 Greatest Recorded Guitar Sounds. He recently was a contributing artist on Guitar Harvest , a compilation release featuring world-class guitarists, voted one of the Top Ten All-Time Best Guitar Recordings by Rolling Stone magazine.
Several best-selling guitars bear his name, with three more in production: a new Arlen Roth Archtop model by Curtis Guitars, the innovative Terraplane, a steel-bodied resonator guitar inspired by the classic Hudson Terraplane car, by Simon Guitars, and Warren Guitars' popular Arlen Roth Signature model.
His first of eight solo releases, Arlen Roth: Guitarist, won the Critics Award for "Best Instrumental Album" at Montreaux in 1978. Hot Pickups was No. 2 on the U.K. charts in 1979. His Toolin' Around CD (1993) has become a hard-to-find classic, and is being re-released in 2005 due to ongoing demand. On Toolin' Around , Arlen plays duets with legends such as Danny Gatton, Brian Setzer, Albert Lee, Duane Eddy, Duke Robillard, Jerry Douglas, and Sam Bush, as well as several solo pieces. A big bonus for fans is The Making of Toolin' Around, a film (recorded on DVD) available for the first time. He also contributed to Incarnation, a tribute to legendary blues man Robert Johnson , and performed on two recent Jimi Hendrix tribute CDs.
Arlen Roth has traversed a vast territory, as a musician and as a man.
'Drive It Home', a critically acclaimed all-acoustic recording, and the artist's most personal one, was dedicated to his late wife Deborah, and their oldest daughter, Gillian, both tragically lost to a car accident in 1998. (AussieRock: I nearly cried when I read this - such a tragedy)
He has toured with Simon and Garfunkel, individually, and together, from 1978 to the present. He appeared on-stage in a film with Bob Dylan , created and taught Ralph Macchio his guitar parts for the film Crossroads , played and directed most of the film's guitar scenes, and played an infamous "dueling guitar virtuosos" finale with Steve Vai and others, still generating substantial internet buzz 20 years later.
A few other artists with whom Arlen Roth has toured or recorded include John Prine, Phoebe Snow, Don McLean, Eric Andersen, Tony Bird, Janis Ian, Pete Seeger (Grammy nominated album), Jack Bruce, Duane Eddy, gospel great Marion Williams, as well as the Taylors: James, Livingston, and Kate.
He's also considered the single-most important influence on learning to play the guitar and other instruments around the world. In 1979, Arlen Roth and his late wife, Deborah, founded "Hot Licks", a guitar learning resources company, the first to videotape famous musicians demonstrating their techniques and individual styles, creating an important historical legacy. In many instances, the Hot Licks catalog contains the only video recordings ever performed by these master musicians. The company has shipped over two million videos worldwide, while producing an extensive library of books and guitar-related materials, including many Arlen Roth best sellers, covering guitar history, and lessons for specific guitars, genres, and playing styles.
In 1974, 20-year old Arlen Roth authored his first book, Slide Guitar, still considered the "gold standard." How to Play Blues Guitar followed a year later. Nashville Guitar, 1976, became a landmark reference, highly influencing the country music sound, owing to Arlen's introduction of his wholly original string-bending techniques. His Doubleday book, Complete Electric Guitar, was partially edited by the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Some additional titles include Masters of the Telecaster, Complete Acoustic Guitar, Rock Guitar for Future Stars , and others.
"Hot Guitar," Arlen Roth's column in Guitar Player magazine, was voted #1 by readers for ten consecutive years, and recently was compiled into a best selling book [Extract from Arlen Roth's website]
One of the many LP's that I bought as a youngster having heard only one track - that track was of course the classic "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky". I was already a big fan of Larry Carlton, Al Di Meola and Les Dudek at that time - but Arlen Roth still managed to blow me away with his astounding Telecaster licks that matched anything the mentioned trio could produce. The remaining tracks on the album span country rock, blue grass and raw blues which showcased Arlen's amazing dexterity and talent on guitar. The last track on side B "Laughing at the blues" completes the experience leaving you panting for more. Not bad for a debut album !
This post consists of a 320kps rip taken from my pristine LP (not a pop or crackle to be heard) and includes full album artwork, along with label scans.
Track Listing
01 - (Ghost) Riders In The Sky

02 - A Change Is Gonna Come

03 - Rooster

04 - Dreams Of Mexico

05 - A Fool Like Me

06 - Rocket 88

07 - Landslide

08 - Farther Along

09 - Laughing At The Blues

Arlen Roth (Electric & Acoustic Guitars, slide, hawaiian guitar, six-string bass)

Tony Brown (Bass)

Timmy Cappello (Tenor Sax)

Richard Crooks (Dru
Aubray Kelly (Harmonica)

Janey Schram (Lead vocals)

Ralph Schuckette (Piano & Organ)

Arlen Roth Link (92Mb) New Link 13/06/2014

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Budgie - Nightflight Into Guildford UK (1981) Bootleg

(U.K 1971 - Present)
This bootleg showcases Budgie during a period of transition in their musical career, moving away from their big power ballads and steering more towards heavier, riff orientated songs.
In 1979, John Thomas took over the axeman role from Budgie's temporary guitarist Rob Kendrick. An ex-George Hatcher player, "JT" injected the band with a new lease of life. Signing to RCA, their momentum was accelerated by the birth of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal which lead many younger rock fans to discover their back catalogue. In the next 3 years, Budgie released an E.P 'If Swallowed Do Not Induce Vomitting', three albums (Power Supply / Nightflight / Deliver Us From Evil), headlined the 1982 Reading Festival and took Poland by storm.
Incredibly, 1983 saw the band without a record deal and without a live album to encapsulate their stage delivery. They soldiered on until our last gig in 1988 with Jim Simpson (ex-UFO), Williams having departed in late '86.
In 1994, Shelley re-formed Budgie with Thomas and Robert
'Congo' Jones (ex-Love Sculpture) to headline the San Antonio music festival in front of 25,000 screaming Texans. Again, thanks to promoter Bill Lee, they returned to Texas in 1996 for another one-off show to celebrate 25 years since their first album.
A lavish double CD anthology, 'An Ecstacy Of Fumbling' came out in 1996. Via New Millennium Communications, a double live CD 'We Came, We Saw' featuring the entire Reading Festival Performances from 1980 and 1982 was released. To be honest, this material should have come out as a live album at the time of their popularity in the early 80's.
1997 and 1998 was a period of inactivity touring wise, and many fans thought Burke had called it a day once more. However, 'Heavier Than Air' was released, a double CD of rare live recordings spanning their career from 1972 to 1978. It gave fans the first official release of live guitar work by the hugely popular Tony Bourge.
Thanks to promotion from Ray Cordell and Alan Howard and management from Paul Cox, Letchworth 1999 and featured their first UK live performance in 11 years and the return of Steve Williams on drums. This was a warm-up show for the annual rock festival held in Sweden, with Budgie headlining on 12th June 1999. The 80's classic reformed line-up then played San Antonio for the 3rd time in April 2000.
Tragedy then struck with John Thomas suffering a cerebral aneurysm in June 2000. For a period, no one knew whether he would ever play guitar again. For those fans who were aware of John's illness, his return to the stage at the Legends of Welsh Rock was an emotional one. Budgie headlined this gig in Wales in September 2001. John Thomas, whilst not back to 100% top form, played a great show considering the treatment and recuperation he'd gone through.
At the start of 2002, Burke Shelley was in the mood to get back on the road once more and to engage the band into some serious touring. Andy Hart, a Birmingham based guitarist well known to JT was enlisted to replace him.
In 2002, Burke, Steve and Andy played over 30 dates, two of these being in the States. The show at San Antonio on 2nd August was recorded and released as a live CD entitled Life In San Antonio in November 2002. Due to commitments outside of Budgie, Andy Hart left the band in Feb 2003 to be replaced by Simon Lees who toured the US, Sweden, Holland, Poland and the UK with Budgie and also played on, and co wrote, much of the bands first studio album in over twenty years entitled 'You're All Living In Cuckoo Land'.
The following is a transcript of an newspaper article from the Birmingham Times (Dec 18, 1999) by Andy Coleman, who interviewed John Thomas just before his illness.
ROCK guitarist John Thomas is celebrating two 20th anniversaries this year. In 1979 he married his long time girlfriend Margaret - and joined cult heavy metal band Budgie. Both 'relationships' are still going strong. John, aged 47, and Margaret live in Birmingham with their two daughters Jayne, 17, and Joanne, 14, and pet dog Big Smudge, while Budgie are planning gigs in Sweden, America and Japan. In addition, Winson Green-born John runs JT's Guitars, a music shop in Bath Street, Birmingham city centre.
When he first joined Budgie from the George Hatcher Band John found life sweet as part of the power trio group, alongside Burke Shelley and Steve Williams. There were extensive tours of Europe and the UK and the release of three albums Power Supply
(1980), Night Flight (1981) and Deliver Us From Evil (1982).
But record company wrangling and a series of personal problems led to John losing interest in the band.
"We were doing the odd concert but I also got involved in a band called Phenomena with Cozy Powell, Glenn Hughes and Don Airey, among others," recalls John. "Budgie never broke up, we just left it alone." John had auditions to play with a variety from artists, ranging from Bob Geldof to Meatloaf, but his heart was really with Budgie. "Looking back, I've always been loyal to the band and I can see that it's hampered my career. I've tended to turn offers down in favour of staying with Budgie," he says. Within rock circles Budgie have always had a huge following and as young fans got older and formed bands of their own they never forgot the influence of the group. Metallica, Soundgarden and Iron Maiden have all covered Budgie songs, bringing their music to a whole new generation of fans.
In 1994 Burke Shelley contacted John, asking him to consider performing again. "I thought we'd be playing somewhere like Cardiff Top Rank but it was in San Antonio, Texas, so I said yes," says John. "We're only a trio but there were two limos waiting at the airport for us and when we did a record signing we broke all records for the number of fans turning up. We even attracted more than ZZ Top. "We headlined a show in front of 25,000 people and we were so loud the festival was cancelled for the next two years after complaints from residents!"
Budgie were later asked to take part in a Swedish rock festival with bands like Deep Purple, The Scorpions and Motorhead.
To prepare they arranged a low key gig in Letchworth but when Radio 1's Mark and Lard raved about the band and advertised the concert the venue was packed out with Budgie fans. "It was the first time I'd played in England for 11 years," John reveals.
Future plans for Budgie include the release of songs recorded between 1983 and 1988, a live CD and video of the San Antonio gig and possibly a show in England.
John says: "We'd love to do a British rock festival like Donington."
John opened his shop in 1995, financed by the sale of some of his collection of vintage gu
itars. Next year he plans to relocate to Rich Bitch recording studios in Selly Oak. "It's more of a hobby than anything else," he admits. "To be honest, you can never beat the excitement of standing on stage in front of a stack of Marshall amps and performing for thousands of people."

This post was taken from a very good audience recording (192kps) and includes full album artwork (source unknown). Although the recording starts off distant it quickly improves and the performance is outstanding - all three band members were on fire on this Nightflight concert.
Tracks featured come from their Power Supply and Nightflight albums (available from their website) but they still manage to squeeze in a classic and my favourite "Breadfan".
Track Listing
01. Intro

02. Panzer Division Destroyed

03. Crime Against The World

04. Gunslinger

05. She Used Me Up

06. I Turned To Stone

07. Superstar

08. Wildfire

09. Breadfan

Band Members:
Burke Shelley (Bass, Vocals)

John Thomas (Guitar)

Steve Williams (Drums)

Nightflight Into Guildford (60Mb)  New Link 24/10/2015