Monday, March 31, 2014

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Royal Guardsmen: Snoopy's Christmas (1967)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
A follow up to their earlier "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", "Snoopy's Christmas" is about the loveable Peanut's character 'Snoopy'  going out to fight the Red Baron on Christmas Eve. The Baron has Snoopy at his mercy after a long dogfight but, instead of shooting him down he forces Snoopy to land and offers Snoopy a holiday toast. Afterward, Snoopy and the Red Baron fly their separate ways, "each knowing they'd meet on some other day".
Although fictitious, the song recalls a historical event. During World War I, in 1914, "The Christmas Truce" was initiated not by German and British commanders, but by the soldiers themselves. The length of the cease-fire varied by location, and was reported to have been as brief as Christmas Day or as long as the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Trench-bound combatants exchanged small gifts across the lines, with Germans giving beer to the British, who sent tobacco and tinned meat back in return. No Man's Land was cleared of dead bodies, trenches were repaired and drained, and troops from both sides shared pictures of their families and, in some places, used No Man's Land for friendly games of football.
The song even has the initiator correct as it was generally the German soldiers who called over to the British and initiated the truce and, in the song, it is the Red Baron—a German WWI hero—who extends the hand of Christmas friendship to Snoopy.
"Snoopy's Christmas" reached the #1 position in the Australian pop charts in 1967, and continues to be played as a holiday favorite on most 'oldie' radio stations [extract from wikipedia]
I can clearly remember playing this single on the families large HSV record player at the tender age of 8 and listening in awe to the sounds of the dogfight between the Bloody Red Baron and our hero Snoopy in their biplanes. What wonderful memories came flooding back when I played this single for the first time in god knows how many years the other day. So I thought it was time that this Korny childhood tune resurfaced for this month's WOCK on Vinyl posting and I hope that it puts a smile on your face, and perhaps for some of you, bring back your own fond memories of growing up back in the 60's.

Because my single has seen better days (being played to death on a very worn stylus), I am providing a CD rip of "Snoopy's Christmas" taken from the The Royal Guardsmen's Anthology.
I have however ripped the B-Side of the single "It Kinda Looks Like Christmas" as this track does not appear to have been released on any of their albums. Perhaps this makes the post Obscure as well.
Both tracks have been ripped in MP3 format at 320kps and I've included label scans of the single.
Snoopy's Christmas  (13Mb)  New Link 01/07/2022

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Japan Tour '76 (1977)

(Canadian 1973-79, 1983-05, 2009-present)
Leader Randy Bachman was founder-member of Canadian hit singles band Guess Who which he left in 1970 after illness and inter-group friction. Returning to native Canada, Bachman cut solo album Axe for RCA before forming outfit Brave Belt with brother Robbie, singer/bassist Fred Turner and erstwhile Guess Who founder Chad Allan. Originally with Reprise, for whom they recorded two albums, became BTO when Allan quit and third Bachman brother, Tim, joined line-up as additional guitarist. Band switched labels to Mercury for release of their first album, the riff-happy Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
Although it might be open to debate as being formula cash-register boogie, BTO's rock is at least dexterously played and arranged, with dynamics reminiscent of mid-period Led Zeppelin.
Tim Bachman quit after second (gold) album to study engineering and production. He was replaced by Blair Thornton.

By now Canada's No. 1 band (supplanting Guess Who) had released 'Not Fragile' which provided a huge U.S. and U.K. single towards the end of 1974 with "You Ain't Seen Nuthin' Yet", a characteristically bombastic BTO title, and went on to become their first platinum album and the AOR favorite "Roll On Down the Highway". The band continued to steadily produce successful albums through the mid-1970s including 'Four Wheel Drive' and 'Head On' (both 1975). Each of these albums produced a hit single: "Hey You" (from Four Wheel Drive) and "Take It Like A Man" (from Head On). The latter song featured a guest appearance by Little Richard, who wailed away on his piano. Head On also featured the jazzy Randy Bachman composition "Lookin' Out for #1", which garnered considerable airplay on both traditional rock stations and also soft rock stations which normally did not play bands like B.T.O. In between the latter two albums, B.T.O. released their only non-album single "Down To The Line". This song would appear on some of the later compilation CD's, as well as on re-issues of the Head On album in CD format.
The first B.T.O. compilation album, 'Best of BTO (So Far)', was released in 1976 and featured songs from each of the band's first five studio albums. A single—a re-release of "Gimme Your Money Please"—was put out from this album, and it also charted well keeping B.T.O. on both the AM & FM airwaves. This compilation album became the best-selling Bachman–Turner Overdrive album to date, reaching Double Platinum status in the U.S.
Their only live album 'Japan Tour 1976' (as featured here) was only available in Canada and Japan for some strange reason. This is a shame as their sound on stage is as good as any studio recording they have made.
The group gradually wound down after Randy's departure in 1977,Jim Clench replacing him for three more uneventful albums. Randy himself cut a second unsuccessful solo album, 'Survivor', in 1978 before forming BTO soundalikes Ironhorse. Randy also wrote songs with Beach Boy Carl Wilson, and spent part of the eighties re-forming Guess Who. Randy Bachman also knows his way around a production console.
BTO's other claim to fame is that they are rock's best known Mormons (no alcohol, dope, tea, coffee, immorality etc) after The Osmonds. [extracts from The 'Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock', Salamandar Books, 1977 p16 and 'The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock', Carlton Books, 1994. p134]

Live In Japan
(Review by Pete Pardo)
Live-Japan Tour was the only ever official live release from those mighty Canadians Bachman-Turner Overdrive, better known by many as B.T.O. Documenting their 1976 tour of Japan (just a short time before acts like Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick made it commonplace to record live albums there), this spectacular, but short, live album shows just how powerful a live act the band were at this time. Ironically, B.T.O. Live-Japan Tour was only released in Canada and Japan at the time, which is surprising seeing as how popular the band were in the US and Australia.

As a representative live B.T.O. album goes, this one falls way short due to the very limited song selection. My guess is that the entire show is floating around there somewhere, or locked in some record label executives vaults, which is a shame because the 8 songs on display here are fiery and heavy rocking B.T.O. at their best. Classics like "Roll On Down the Highway", "Hold Back the Water", and "Takin' Care of Business" feature all the trademark heavy riffs and catchy hooks that the band were famous for, and "Welcome Home", "Four Wheel Drive", and "Don't Get Yourself in Trouble" are as heavy as any band going back in 1976. As good as these live versions are, "Slow Down Boogie" and "Thank You-Domo" are kind of throwaways, and I would have rather they included "Let It Ride" or "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" or any number of their excellent albums tracks instead, but as a 42 minute live album, it does rock, and rock hard. Imagine what a double album would have been like (like Frampton's Comes Alive)

If you've longed for an official B.T.O. live album from their heyday, this is it. The sound is pretty damn good. You'll wish there were more songs, but we can't have everything I guess. 
This post consists of a MP3 rip (256kps) taken from a CD release and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD.  Thanks to Chris Goes Rock for the rip.
Track Listing
01.  Roll on Down the Highway
02.  Hold Back the Water
03.  Welcome Home
04.  Don't Get Yourself in Trouble
05.  Four-Wheel Drive
06.  Takin' Care of Business
07.  Slow Down Boogie
08.  Thank You - Domo

BTO were:
Randy Bachman - Lead Guitar, Vocals
C.F. "Fred" Turner - Bass, Vocals
Blair Thornton - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Robbie Bachman - Drums
BTO Japan Tour Link (94Mb) New Link 26/10/2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bob Hudson - The Newcastle Song (1974) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975-1980)
Bob Hudson's twelve month stint as a teacher in the Riverina during 1968 was a far cry from the national recording success he was experiencing seven years later. It was after this brief teaching period that his interest in music became more serious.
At first it was difficult as Bob's folk singing contained too much humour for the purists, but he did manage to get some campus and club work.
Then, when Paul Hogan began to emerge as a successful comedian, Bob was hired as one of his writers. Ironically, although Bob was paid out under his contract, his services were never actually utilised. From there Bob appeared in the stage production of The Rocky Horror Show. Around the same time he made a demo tape of some of his material. He took the tape to a prominent record company, but they turned him down.
In fact, it wasn't until he began the Sit Yourself Down series for the ABC that musical director, Chris Neale, took a fancy to his songs and arranged for him to record the Newcastle Song Recorded Live album for the M7 label. The title track was edited down from its original ten minute duration and released as a single. The result was a national number one hit in March 1975.
Bob's songwriting ability also produced a sequel to the 'Newcastle Song' called 'Rak Off Normie' (recorded by Maureen Elkner) and Margret Roadknight's hit, 'Girls In Our Town'.
Meanwhile, as a follow-up to `The Newcastle Song’, Hudson issued the album "After Me Cat Left Home" and the single `Waltzing Matilda Rock’/`Heartsmasher’. Hudson issued his third album, Party Pieces, in 1980.
Despite his recording success, Bob maintained his job as producer at the ABC's radio station 2JJ in Sydney, and eventually became a disc jockey in 1978. He also did a stint as a music reporter for the Sydney National Times.
Norm and his F.J Holden
The Newcastle Song
The Newcastle Song was a 1975 hit for musician and comedian Bob Hudson. It poked fun at the working-class youth culture of the City of Newcastle in NSW. The song was recorded in front of a live audience in 1974. The basic story-line concerns a young man called Normie who goes out with his mates looking to pick up women in Newcastle's main street, Hunter Street, in their "hot - F.J. Holden".
They encounter a young lady and her Hells Angel date outside the "Parthenon Milk Bar". Apparently, the Parthenon Milk Bar survived in Hunter Street into the 1990s as a local business.
Bob Hudson captured Newcastle's car culture best in the chorus of his 1975 The Newcastle Song:

Anyway there was this mob of blokes driving down Hunter Street,
in the front seat of the hot FJ,
with chrome plated grease nipples,
and twin overhead foxtails,
and the coolest of them all,
who got to sit near the window,
was young Norm.

I can clearly remember hearing this song for the first time while driving my dad's H.R Holden Ute at the tender age 17 (L plates of course) down the back streets of Geelong and cranking up the volume on my newly purchased 'Clarion' Tape/Radio, much to the horror of the ol' man. Needless to say I was picturing myself as Norm, with arm hanging out the window and checking out the local chics on the sidewalk. Ah, those were the days !
Of course, I raced out down to my 'local record shop' the following day and got myself a copy of the single, and started playing it at home. My mother absolutely loved it and I can still remember her giggling at the part where Norm's gets picked on by the Big Burly Bikie.
So, here is the album from which this song originated, although the single release was a substantially shortened version of the album version, which is almost 10mins long.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from a CD release of the album (no longer available) and includes artwork for both Vinyl and CD releases.  Note that the order of the tracks on the CD release is different to that of the original LP, but the music is the same and still features the original 10min version of "The Newcastle Song", which was incidentally recorded in front of a live audience.  As a bonus, I have also included a rip of my trusty single which features the 'edited version' along with the non-album B-Side track "Ventriloquist Love". 
Tracklist (LP)
01 - J.L. Budgie  5:44
02 - Livin' It Up On The Dole   3:03
03 - R Certificate Song  2:21
04 - Clarissa    1:33
05 - Motor Car Song   4:41
06 - Christened My Dog     3:26
07 - Librarian Lady   2:30
08 - Teenage Cremation  2:53
09 - Who's Your Friend? 2:54
10 - I Never Was Born Like Mel     0:48
11 - The Girls In Our Town  3:16
12 - The Newcastle Song (extended version) 9:54

13 - No More Songs  5:05
14 - The Newcastle Song (Bonus A-Side Single Edit)  2:58
15 - Ventriloquist Love (Bonus B-Side Single)  4:33

Double Bass, Bass Guitar – Dave Ellis
Drums, Percussion – Doug Gallagher
Piano, Electric Piano,
Synthesizer, Mellotron, Mandolin,
Electric Guitar – Chris Neal
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Tin Whistle – Geoff Oakes
Vocals, Guitar [12-string], Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Tambourine – Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson Link (133Mb)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bryan Adams - Unauthorised Live Vol.1 (1993) Ex Bootleg

(Canadian 1976–present)
Bryan Adams is one of Canada’s most famous singers. He has also been very successful as a songwriter for other singers. His music is a mixture between rock and pop. His songs have been at the top of the charts for more than twenty years.

Bryan Adams was born in 1959 in Kingston, Ontario. His parents came to Canada in the 1950’s from England. Bryan’s father worked as a Canadian Diplomat and the family lived in many countries including Israel, Portugal, Austria, England and Canada. Bryan considers Vancouver, British Columbia as his hometown.

Adams was preoccupied with his music throughout his teenage years, and was not distracted easily. “In high school, I was too far into my music to even pay attention to girls.” Adams told Steve Pond in Rolling Stone. “I’d run after the occasional girl, but music and rock n’ roll bands were far more interesting to me.”

Bryan quit school at the age of 16 to play in a band called Shock. He worked for a year as a dishwasher in a local restaurant. He did not enjoy it, but he saved up $1,000 to buy an electric guitar that he still has.

He moved on from band to band throughout his teens. In the summer of 1976, he went to see a pop band called Sweeney Todd in Surrey, British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver. At the end of the show, he found the band’s manager and proclaimed himself four times better than the group’s singer. The band decided to let him audition, and hired him to take over the front man’s spot. The following year, he left Sweeney Todd to pursue songwriting. “I’ve been in awe of singer-songwriters from the days of first hearing Paul Simon,” Adams told Larry LeBlanc in Canadian Composer. “I knew then that if I was serious about a career in music, I had to be a writer.”

In 1980, Bryan recorded his first solo song but he was not very happy about it. The record company sped up his voice and changed the background to a disco beat. It sold 250,000 copies and it was played in discos all over the world. He also had his first solo album in 1980 called Bryan Adams, but it did not sell very well. He had to sing in radio commercials to pay his bills. Bryan started playing in small clubs and arenas to promote his second album You Want it, You Got It. The media finally began to notice him.

In 1981, Bryan recorded his third album called "Cuts Like A Knife", which did very well. He began to tour the world with the very popular band Journey. Bryan’s album Reckless in 1984 had six ‘top 20’ singles. "Run To You" was the first single from this album and it peaked at #6 on the Billboard charts. Another song "Heaven" became the most popular song in the United States and was also in a movie. Bryan Adams was now considered a superstar.

The song "Summer of ’69" is one of Bryan’s biggest hits and is about his memories of summer when he was younger. The opening lyrics to the song refer to when Bryan was 10 years old and bought his first guitar.

               I got my first real six-string
               Bought it at the five-and-dime
               Played it till my fingers bled
               It was the summer of ‘69

He and some boys from school formed a band and played in his parent’s basement. Bryan learned how to play a guitar and piano without ever taking lessons.

In 1987, his album Into the Fire sold one million copies and only had one top 10 song. Bryan spent over a year and a half doing concerts around the world. All of his concerts sold out.

Throughout his career, Bryan has spent a lot of his time helping charitable causes. In 1985, Bryan performed in the Live Aid concert where he sang a duet with Tina Turner called “It’s only love”. Bryan began touring with other famous singers to raise awareness and money for Amnesty International. He also sang with other famous Canadians in the song Tears are Not Enough to raise money to help people starving in Africa. He performed in a concert during apartheid in South Africa to support the release of political prisoner Nelson Mandela. He has also performed for many other causes such as Cancer and endangered animals.

In 1988, Bryan appeared as an actor in a move with Clint Eastwood called “Pink Cadillac”. Bryan has written many songs that have been in movies. Bryan’s hit song "Everything I Do, I Do It For You" from the movie Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner was released in 1991.  The song went to number 1 in its first week in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. The album called Waking up the Neighbours (Sept. 1991) was so popular that it was the number one album for 16 weeks in the United Kingdom. The album sold 5.5 million copies worldwide and was the number one album in ten different countries.

Bryan spent 1992 to 1994 touring the world doing concerts. He released a greatest hits package in 1993, which sold over 13 million copies. Bryan wrote and sang All for Love with fellow musicians Sting and Rod Stewart for the movie Three Musketeers. In 1995, his song Have you ever really loved a woman from the movie Don Juan de Marco was the number one song in the United States for four weeks. In 2002, Bryan Adams wrote all of the songs for the very successful animated movie Spirit.  Bryan’s songs are played throughout the movie.

In the fall of 2005 Bryan Adams celebrated his 25th anniversary as a recording artist with his first two-CD collection Anthology, the biggest retrospective of his multi-platinum career. The 36 selection Anthology spans Adams’ entire career from 1980 through to present day, offering the very best of one of the most popular rock singer-songwriters to ever don jeans and a t-shirt.

To this day, Bryan continues to sell out concerts and make new music. Bryan Adams has become one of the most popular singers and songwriters in the world.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my JOKER CD and includes full album artwork along with select photos as shown above. The sound quality of this Bootleg is nothing short of an A+ rating, and at one stage I thought JOKER may have sourced this from a studio release until it was apparent by the audience participation at the start of "Heaven" that it was in fact a great Soundboard recording.
The cover indicates that the concert was recorded in Los Angeles, California sometime in 1993, but because there is scant little information about Bryan Adams tour schedule during the 90's, I really can't confirm this.
Either way, this Bootleg is not to be missed and contains just about every big hit he has produced during the 80's and 90's.
Track Listing
01 - It's Only Love
02 - Cuts Like A Knife
03 - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
04 - Straight From The Heart
05 - Heaven
06 - Heat Of The Night
07 - Run To You
08 - Somebody
09 - Into The Fire
10 - Summer Of '69
11 - Remember
12 - One Good Reason
13 - Lonely Nights 
14 - Tonight
Bryan Adams Link (147Mb) New link 17/12/2023

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paul O'Gorman - Poet & The Painter (1978)

(Australian 1975-86)
Paul O’Gorman was an unknown quantity when he entered the 1976 Australian Popular Song Festival. He had only seriously begun writing songs a few years earlier while studying Law at University and had notched up a few talent quest victories along with a handful of appearances on TV in Victoria.

Former Cherokees guitarist Doug Trevor, who had recently returned from overseas where he’d been musical director for Davey Jones of the Monkees, believed in Paul’s abilities as a performer and the two began writing songs together. When they entered the Festival in '76 they thought they were in with a chance, though they faced stiff competition from some big names, including Steve Groves and Beeb Birtles.
So what hat happened to Paul after making the final that year was a short but great journey into the world of pop stardom. He enjoyed a couple of hit singles, played to international audiences and cut a lone LP, The Poet And The Painter, before leaving it all behind to work behind the scenes in publishing, management and entertainment law [extract from ABC Radio National Rare Collections]
Paul was the son of respected Melbourne radio veteran Kevin O'Gorman (currently of 3KZ). His interest in singing started at an early age and by 1976 he was appearing regularly around Melbourne bars.
He then performed on the New Faces television series and won the heat. Around this time, one of Paul's home-made demo tapes got into the hands of songwriter Doug Trevor and the two began a working relationship. Paul began appearing on television and presented Doug's composition of 'You're More To Me' at the 1976 Australian Pop Song Festival. They succeeded in winning second place.
In 1977 they re-entered the Festival and this time they won with a song entitled 'Ride, Ride America'. From there they took the number to the International Song Festival in Tokyo and took off two of the major prizes — Best Song and Best Song Performance.
Back home the song was released on the Infinity label and made the charts in December '77.
Despite the fact that Paul's obvious ability as a singer/song-writer has always been acknowledged, he still found it difficult to exist financially on his musical activities in 1978. Although he was voted Most Popular New Talent in the TV Week King of Pop Awards in October '78, he was forced to take on some part-time work with a law firm.
It was still an important year for Paul. He made regular television appearances including a spot on the Paul Hogan Show and, late in May, he toured as support for Cliff Richard and used a backing band for the first time.

Paul's debut album, The Poet and the Painter, was released on Infinity in May. (The LP was co-composed and produced by his musical director, Doug Trevor.) A single, '(You And Me And) Love In The Morning' was lifted from it and provided Paul with his second hit. A follow-up, 'You're More To Me' (which was the runner-up at the 1976 Australian Popular Song Festival) was released in September.

At the end of 1978, Paul began preparing for a new album, which was expected to be released midway through 1979 - but alas, never eventuated. However, he did manage to release a single "Getaway" in 1979, followed by three more singles, "Play the Music" in 1980, "Hate To say Goodbye" in 1981 and after a dry spell, "In The name Of Peace" in 1986. [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock: 1978, 1978-79 Yearbook, Outback Press]
This post consists of a Vinyl Rip in FLAC format and comes with full album artwork and label scans. I was very lucky to stumble across this album at a flee market, sitting in amongst a pile of 'rubbish' which could have been easily overlooked. Bonus !  The album was in super condition with just a few ring marks on the front cover.  Paul O'Gorman sounds a lot like Peter Allen and John Denver, and his song writing skills are certainly up there with the likes of Doug Ashdown and G.Wayne Thomas. Also interesting to see that Mario Millo (Sebastian Hardie) assisted Paul on this album along with the great John Lyle
Hope you enjoy this one and only debut album by a highly talented Aussie musician who simply slipped away without a trace, which is a real pity.
Track Listing
01 - You're More To Me
02 - Love Again
03 - Poet And The Painter
04 - Lisa
05 - Are You Travellin' With Me
06 - Leaving Love Behind
07 - (You And Me And) Love In The Morning
08 - Doesn't It Show
09 - Ramblin Old House

10 - Jacqueline
11 - Ride, Ride America
12 - May It All End With You

Vocals - Paul O'Gorman
Acoustic Guitar - Paul O'Gorman, Jonathan Coben

Electric Guitar - Jonathan Coben, Mario Millo
Bass - Chris Stafford, Roger Corbett
Drums & Percussion - Dave Hicks
Keyboards - Raddy Ferreira, Ian Hunt
Trumpet/Flugel Horns - Boof Thomsen, Ray Bensted
Trombones - Bob McIvor, Derek Long, Ron Spillett, Peter Haslam
Cellos - Hans Gyors, Donna Noble
Mandolin - Mario Millo
Flute - Errol Buddle
Harmonica - Greg Foster
String Leader - John Lyle
Backing Vocals - Alison MacCallum, Janice Slater, Sally Rogan, Peter Brandon, Mick Leyton, Joe Andre

. .

Paul O'Gorman FLAC Link (291Mb)