Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brian Cadd - Selftitled (1972)

(Australian 1965 - Present)
Brian Cadd is an Australian pianist, keyboardist, producer and singer/songwriter, and also known as Brian Caine, born November 29, 1946 in Perth, Western Australia. Brian has performed as a member of The Groop, Axiom, Flying Burrito Brothers and as a solo artist.

Brian released his first, selftitled album in October. It met with immediate success, as did the 'Ginger Man' single cut from it. His major breakthrough came in January 1972, when Ron Tudor, acting for Brian, obtained a contract for the release of the album in the US on the new Chelsea label.
Wes Farrell, the whiz-kid writer and record maker, owned the label. He showed immediate enthusiasm towards Brian. His first US single was 'Every Mother's Son' rather than 'Ginger Man'. But this may have been a tactical error as the latter track was probably stronger.
[extract from Noel McGrath's 'Australian Encyclopedia of Rock', Outback Press, 1978. p56]

The following is an extract from Brian's autobiography in which he talks about the making of his first solo album, as featured in this post. It certainly makes interesting reading and gives one a full appreciation of what goes into producing that 'debut album'.

And so I began my first solo album....... My diary shows that I usually booked time during the day for other projects and then recorded my own songs at night.
This album was a huge leap for me. Even though I had spent all those years performing and recording with The Groop and Axiom, I had only ever sung one song all the way though: 'Show Me the Way'. Admittedly, enough people liked it to make it a hit, but I was very much lacking in confidence starting out on this new scary adventure.

Recording in those days was usually accomplished with a reasonably large rhythm section: often several guitars, bass, drums, piano and maybe even percussion. Even though it was a long way from the everybody in at once' sessions of the '50s and '60s, much of the recording happened during the rhythm track. Overdubs were usually confined to vocals, solos and orchestral instruments.
In The Groop and Axiom, we always recorded pretty much live' band tracks and then added solos and vocals afterwards. That meant there was less control as each instrument strived to make a statement within the whole, often making for very full crowded tracks with not much light and shade.
For the album, as I always had, I wrote using a piano. I wanted the piano and vocal to be the centre point of the recording, which would leave opportunities later for interesting guitar lines and other performances to embellish rather than overpower the piano and vocals.

John Sayers started out as the engineer for the project. We had done so much recording together that I trusted him completely to help realise my dream. Early on in the project it became obvious that we were definitely working as a production team so John assumed a co-producer role.
I really loved the way Coxy and Barry Sullivan played together.
Barry is the finest bass player Australia has ever produced in my opinion and it was so sad for all of us when he passed away. On paper you wouldn't imagine that Coxy would particularly suit Barry, who came from a blues/soul background, while Coxy was pure rock'n'roll and pop. In fact, deep down where he lives, Coxy's favorite song is probably Ahab the Ayrab'. But there was a beautiful fluidity in whatever Barry played that seemed to marry perfectly with Coxy's powerful driving style—at least for the songs that I was writing.

So we just went in as a three-piece, which gave us so much space in each song to play together because there weren't any guitars grinding away to obstruct our view. I'm not being unkind here. Most great session guitar players will agree that often the best way to come up with functioning lines or rhythm patterns is after they hear what the rhythm section has laid down.
Certainly, this was the case with this album and each night we would get tracks that were relatively sparse and that could then accommodate vocals and solos and strings without cluttering.
The other thing that happened was that, because it was only the three of us and we became so tuned to each other's playing, we started to act almost as three parts of the one person. If Coxy and I went back to a basic structure at the beginning of a verse, it would allow Barry the space to play one of his beautiful, often spectacular bass runs without us disturbing or compromising it.

If I had to nominate which I thought was the purest and the most natural of all my recording experiences, I would say unconditionally that recording the band tracks for that first solo album was the one. Sayers helped so much by creating this amazing ambient world for us to play in each night.
Plus nobody, particularly me, knew what a Brian Cadd album should be like, so there were no rules. There were only the three of us and we went wherever the music took us. And it wasn't until all the band tracks were done that we even thought about overdubs. We never thought, 'oh, a guitar would be good here' or 'a sax would strengthen that line'. It was when we considered overdubs that we discovered how little else needed to happen to them. There really weren't enormous opportunities for guitars or other electric instruments. However, the two things the tracks screamed out for were vocals and strings.

In the pop corner, everyone in the recording industry had been bowled over by Elton John's first album, and none more than me. The space in the recordings, the prominent piano and vocals and the very cool rock-string arrangements were right there as an example of how a pop piano player made a record.
And over in the rock corner was the incredible Leon Russell who, with and without Joe Cocker, made stunning rock'n'roll records with so much power and groove. He showed us how to use serious rock'n'roll playing to make hip pop/ rock recordings. And he used women to sing behind the singer. I'd just spent eight years where the guys in the band did all the harmonies.
These two enormous forces met right in the middle of my head. Subconsciously, I was given the tools and shown the way.

Peter Jones was a jingler. He made lots of jingles, usually with his writing partner Bruce Smeaton. And he was an arranger whose time was about to arrive. He was also pretty crazy, which I considered somewhat of a bonus. When I first went out to his place, he was sitting at a piano in a makeshift music room surrounded by stacks of bottles of home brew. Somewhere around that period he crossed over the line and discovered grass. I met him during the transformation.
And Peter got it! He immediately heard the total difference in attitude and voicing that made Elton's strings different from traditional arrangers. So when we played him our band tracks with rough vocals, he became enthused and away he went with no basic brief for the arrangements other than to be non-traditional and to be cool.

Those string sessions were an epiphany to me. I had been cursed by traditionalism for so long that I'd stopped believing I was ever going to get anything new from an orchestra. But after the sessions were all over, everyone there realised that wed just taken a huge step forward.
Peter Jones has never received the credit he is due in my opinion. He changed the way we all thought about strings and during those few years, both with the various Bootleg albums and the arrangements for Morning of the Earth, Alvin and many other outside projects, he could always be depended on to add just the right amount of coolness to a track so that the strings never sounded cloyingly sweet. They always had a kind of rock integrity about them.

And those Leon Russell singers ... Americans had soul music. Their typical structure, even as far back as the black 'race' recordings and their subsequent white pop imitations, allowed for a separate singing group within the recording to sing the harmonies. Leon showed us how to do that. Particularly with the Cocker recordings, the background voices are so powerful that the choruses double in intensity from the verses just by virtue of the vocals.
I was solo now so I could have one of these singing groups if I chose to. And I chose to. So we formed a pool of great girl singers and hit the harmony trail. We had so much fun and we were simply making most of it up as we went. In fact, the whole record was like that. If you listen to it now, its principal parts are the three-piece rhythm section, the strings and the singers. Everything else is decoration in some form. I never achieved exactly that again, and in some respects I regret it.
John Sayers mixed it superbly and, although he has made some other wonderful recordings in his long and illustrious career, I think the mix on that album still stands up today as being extremely powerful and unique.

I remember when we finally agreed it was finished, we took a copy back to his flat where he had this wonderful set of speakers. As was the custom back then, we wound the system up, turned off the lights and listened all the way through. At the end, we both realised, maybe for the first time, what we had achieved. I know the album isn't to everyone's taste and music and, indeed, recordings have moved a long way since then in some regards, but I'm still most proud of that record and I believe that it is unique. And 'unique' has always been my yardstick. My favorite artists remain those who, when they arrived, were like no others around them up to that point in time. Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry. It could definitely be said of The Band, certainly of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. The Beatles, the Stones, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash. The list feels like it could go on forever but it's surprisingly short, given that we can now look at more than 50 years of pop music and rock'n'roll.

I'm not sure how much of the album Ron Tudor actually understood. His mantra was 'show me the single'. There were some hooky songs on there but there wasn't one that screamed 'single' to me. However, as we played it around to our industry mates, 'Ginger Man soon became the favourite, although 'Silver City' also got some serious votes.

In the end I think it got down to the radio guys Trevor Smith, John Torv and Rod Muir, with perhaps an additional, experienced level-headed vote by John Brennan, who decided on 'Ginger Man.
So it was released along with the album and, most luckily for me, 'Ginger Man' and 'Silver City' were both hit singles, and the album too. I say 'most luckily' because if they hadn't, I would probably not have made another recording and would have been satisfied to stay a record producer and writer. [extract from 'From This Side Of Things'by Brian Cadd, New Holland Books, 2010. p119-123]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my trusty vinyl which I bought as a teenager - and was my first record on the commercial 'Bootleg' label. Full album artwork and label scans are also included. As a bonus, I have chosen to include Brian's 1973 single "Every Mother's Son", but take note that the American release of his selftitled album (on the Chelsea label) actually included this track. (see alternative covers below)
This is a great debut album from Cadd and a must for any serious collector of Australian music.
Track Listing
01 - Fairweather Friend
02 - Tell The World To Go Away
03 - Where The Music Is Playing
04 - Josie McGinty
05 - Tell Me About Freedom Again
06 - Ginger Man
07 - Pappy's Got The Blues
08 - Silver City Birthday Celebration Day
09 - Suite For Life
10 - Every Mother's Son (Bonus A-Side Single)

Brian Cadd (Piano, VOcals)
Barry Sullivan (Bass)
Phil Manning, Billy Green (Guitars)
Geoff Cox (Drums)
Bruce Woodley (Acoustic Guitar)
Graham Lyall (Wood Winds)


Brian Cadd Link (256Mb)

Monday, January 26, 2015

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - John Williamson: True Blue (1986)

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788.

With respect to Australia's Music Industry, we can be very proud of the contributions that our Aussie Musos have made in entertaining people from every nation with music and song, with many of our artists achieving world wide acclaim. Therefore, I would like to celebrate Australia Day by posting this wonderful Australian Anthem recorded by one of our country's best musical artists. I hope you enjoy it and have a great Australia Day !

The 'True Blue' Aussie musician that I'd like to acknowledge this Australia Day / WOCK on Vinyl post is the Country singer John Williamson. 

In November 1986, John released his breakthrough album, Mallee Boy, which peaked in the Top 10 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. It remained in the top 50 for a year-and-a-half, and was awarded a triple platinum certificate.  The album had a re-recorded version of "True Blue" which was released as a single in December. Williamson was asked by the Australian Made Campaign whether they could use "True Blue" for their TV and radio ads. It became a career highlight and was adopted as a theme by the Australia national cricket team.  "True Blue" earned John a Golden Guitar for Male Vocalist of the Year at the 1987 CMAA (Country Music Awards of Australia) Awards at Tamworth Country Music Festival.
On 4 September 2006, Australian country music singer John Williamson performed True Blue at the public memorial service for Steve Irwin at Australia Zoo. 
"True Blue" was Steve's favourite song and so, I have chosen to post it for you this month as it is one of my favourite 'Australian Anthems'.
What the words mean: 
Smoko ~ take a break to have a cigarette
True Blue ~ totally Australian, honest, reliable, trustworthy
Fair Dinkum ~ telling the truth, honest statement

Hey True Blue
Don't say you've gone
Say you've knocked off for a smoko
And you'll be back later on
Hey True Blue

Hey True Blue
Give it to me straight
Face to face
Are you really disappearing
Just another dying race
Hey True Blue

True Blue
Is it me and you
Is it Mum and Dad
Is it a cockatoo
Is it standing by your mate
When he's in a fight
Or will she be right
True Blue
I'm asking you

Hey True Blue
Can you bear the load
Will you tie it up with wire

Just to keep the show on the road
Hey True Blue

Hey True Blue
Now be fair dinkum
Is your heart still there
If they sell us out like sponge cake
Do you really care
Hey True Blue

True Blue
Is it me and you
Is it Mum and Dad
Is it a cockatoo
Is it standing by your mate
When she's in a fight
Or will she be right
True Blue
I'm asking you

Finally,  I'd like to finish this post by highlighting a milestone for 'Rock On Vinyl'  - 1 Million Hits since it's conception in 2009.  So, thanks to my regular visitors for your support over the years and I look forward to seeing you back for the next exciting installment.  Happy Australia Day everyone

True Blue (MP3 / 320kps)  New Link 20/03/2023

Friday, January 23, 2015

Madonna - Unauthorised Live Vol 1. Torino, Italy (1987) Bootleg

(U.S  1979 - Present)
28 years ago on September 4th, Madonna performed in Torino, Italy. The concert performed at the Communale Stadium was a monumental television event. It was broadcast live on TV in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Austria. In Italy alone, the broadcast was watched by an estimated 14 million households. The Who's That Girl Tour ended 2 days later in Florence, Italy on September 6th.

In early summer 1987, two beautiful eyes started popping out from posters in the streets of major cities in the USA asking to the public: Who’s That Girl?
A few weeks later Madonna was on the road with her first world tour, the one that has consecrated her as the world’s leading female star of the ’80s.

Madonna surprised the world with extravagant clothes and accessories and a selection of songs from her first three albums in a heartfelt show that was broadcasted worldwide live from Torino, Italy on September 4, a show that later combined with footage from the other Italian show in Florence and bits from Tokyo, became the famous VHS tour souvenir Ciao Italia.

When Madonna closed her Who’s That Girl Tour in Italy, it became a national celebration. Tickets were immediately sold out and to prevent huge masses of people moving to Torino or Florence from other parts of the country, Rai, the Italian national tv channel contacted Madonna to broadcast her first Italian concert live on television. [extract from]
Dressed To Express Yourself
Madonna's second tour, appropriately named the 'Who's That Girl Tour', is built around the power of costume to invoke thought and ultimately pose the question 'Who's That Girl'. Madonna used seven costumes and a variety of roles and attitudes to compliment the moods of the songs. As the sequence of personas paraded across the stage, the audience
pondered the question and quite often discovered that the answer was more complicated than it seemed..

Madonna has always tried to be thought-provoking and entertaining and the image of Madonna attired in a brazen bustier while packing a pistol gave the sell out crowds at her Who's That Girl concerts plenty to think about (see left)
Dressed in a brazen black bustier, Madonna opened the show as the seductress. As the show progressed, she became alternately comical and thought-provoking. She poked fun at herself by dressing up in a goofy hat and glasses for a few songs, but then turned serious with 'Papa Don't Preach.' Surrounded by images of the pope, president and the White House, Madonna made it clear where she stood on the issue of a woman's right to control her own body.
Her performance of 'Live To Tell' didn't use a costume or other props to make a statement, instead drawing its strength from a single, powerful moment at the end of the song, when she slumped to the ground. For a brief moment, the pose suggested despair, and then the singer rose slowly but nonetheless triumphantly.
Madonna sizzles on stage
The Who's That Girl Tour was far more successful than the film of the same name. Approximately two million people on three continents paid top dollar to experience Madonna's musical extravaganza, which reportedly made as much as $500,000 per show. Madonna's challenge to herself was to make a stadium show personal. Anyone who has ever attended a concert at a stadium knows how far removed the audience feels from the performer(s) on stage. By keeping her show visually exciting, Madonna succeeded in making her performance more accessible to the people in the far reaches of the stadium.
An actress, a singer, a song writer and a world-class entertainer, Madonna is also a caring individual who has done benefit performances for a number of causes, from famine to AIDS to rain forests. While on her Who's That Girl Tour, Madonna's Madison Square Garden performance of 13 July 1987 raised over $400,000 for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR).
Madonna's 'Who's That Girl' 1987 Tour Dates
She was the first major star to stage a large-scale fundraiser for this fatal disease, and she would continue to lend her support to fight AIDS with another benefit three years later at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, where she received the AIDS Project Commitment to Life Award. [extract from Madonna, by Marie Cahill, Bison Group, 1991. p60-68]
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my Australian JOKER Bootleg CD - acquired from a Garage Sale some time ago when I started to take interest in what Madonna had to offer, other than provocative 'fashion statements' !  Also included is full artwork and a selection of tour photos, sourced from Marie Cahill's book on Madonna with thanks.
Please note that VOL 2 of the Unauthorised series is simply a reproduction of VOL 1 with a different title and cover, so the tracks are identical - very strange. Likewise, this bootleg has also been released by Turtle records under title 'Ti Amo, Bambini Part Two' (see cover below)
The only criticism I have of this bootleg is that the guitar and bass seem to be quite distant at times, indicating that the engineer sitting behind the soundboard did some pretty poor mixing on the night. 
Track Listing
01 - Like A Virgin / Can't Help Myself
02 - Where's The Party
03 - Live To Tell
04 - Into The Groove
05 - La Isla Bonita
06 - Who's That Girl?
07 - Holiday

Madonna (Vocals)

David Williams, James Harrah (Guitar)
Jai Winding, Patrick Leonard (Keyboards)
Kerry Hatch (Bass)
Jonathan Moffett (Drums)
Luis Conte (Percussion)
Debra Parson, Donna DeLory, Niki Haris (Backing Vocals)
Madonna Unauthorised Link (103Mb) New Link 25/12/2023

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Galapagos Duck - Magnum (1977)

(Australian 1969 - Present)
I know that we all have the question… What is the story behind this band's name?

They say the inspiration came from Spike Milligan and was somehow derived from one of his comedy sketches involving the auctioning of a “Giant Galapagos Turtle upon wheels with clockwork revolving eyes”.

Along with trailblazers like the late, great Graeme Bell and then stars like Don Burrows, George Golla and the Morrison brothers, Galapagos Duck put Australian Jazz / Funk on the map. They've won national and international awards... played throughout America, Asia and Europe...performed all the big jazz gigs from Montreux to the American Musexpo and the Singapore International Jazz Festival... and played and recorded with the likes of Nina Simone and Ray Charles, James Morrison, Tommy Emmanuel, Don Burrows, Winifred Atwell, The Australian Dance Theatre and The Australian Ballet.

The Duck’s musical style does not fall into any one catagory. They play songs dating back to Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton through to bebop, swing, latin, reggae, rock and roll, blues, funk, free form, and even current pop trends, yet all stamped with the Duck’s own unique style. This wide open approach has resulted in huge popularity in Australia, reaching far beyond the customary jazz audience.

Anyway,  Galapagos Duck is one of those bands that stays forever, could you believe they have been active since 1969, and they’re still making awesome music at these days. During this time, they have released 13 albums, the last one released in 2006. See their website for latest info on their gigs and band members.

Galapagos Duck has an extensive history in Australian Jazz

Galapagos Duck began in the late 1960's, while the members were engaged in a winter season at the New South Wales skiing resort 'The Kosciusko Chalet' Charlottes Pass. After returning to Sydney, the band continued to work and became well known in the Australian Jazz and music scene during the 1970's, when it was the house band at the emerging Jazz night club, 'The Basement', near Circular Quay.

Since these humble beginnings,'The Duck' - it has been suggested - has become the best known jazz band in Australia as well as a household name throughout the country.

The band has worked - and continues to work - in Concert Halls, Night Clubs, at Jazz Festivals, in the Recording Studio and on Radio and Television.

Although the membership has changed (out of necessity), the direction of the band has always remained the same: which is to create a performance experience that - while jazz oriented - is able to be appreciated and enjoyed by everybody. 
Based in Sydney, Galapagos Duck was an integral part of the foundation and success of the Jazz Club 'The Basement'. The band continuously performed in the club for 16 years - during which time 'The Basement' became known as one of the greatest Jazz Clubs in Australia and around the world. 'The Duck' also toured extensively all throughout Australia, visiting the capital cities and - on many occasions - performed in country areas including the remote areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

International performances include the following festivals:  
- Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland
- Jazz Yatra Festival in Bombay (Mumbai)
- Musexpo in U.S.A.
- Manilla Jazz Festival in the Phillipines
- Singapore International Jazz Festival
- Queenstown Jazz Festival in New Zealand
- Norfolk Island Jazz Festival
- Lord Howe Island
- Vanuatu Jazz Festival

Galapagos Duck On Stage 1976
Other than festivals, there have been highly successful performances in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Having always drawn members from the very best of Australian musicians, Galapagos Duck has shown its versatility through works within the Dance Industry including: 
- 'Superman' with the Australian Ballet
- 'Austorizon' with the Australian Dance Theatre (choreographed by Ross Coleman) in Adelaide
- A Work for the Comscapes Dance Company Malaysia, performed in Kuala Lumpur (which was very successful in raising money for the World Wide Fund For Nature).

Galapagos Duck Today
There have been frequent appearances on Television - including the Bi-Centennial TV spectacular and appearances on 'Hey Hey It's Saturday'. The Band has also been involved in Film - writing and performing the soundtrack for 'The Removalist' and appearing in the Australian films 'Rebel' and 'Emerald City'.
[extract from Galapagos Duck's Website]
This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my vinyl (acquired many moons ago when I started to become interested in jazz) and includes full album artwork. The cover's 'protective layer' has suffered the test of time I'm afraid, developing series of bubbles and ripples which have affected the cover scans - sorry folks.
Nevertheless, the recording is crystal clear and free from clicks and pops. Hope you enjoy this slice of jazz thanks to some of the best jazz musicians to have come out of Ausralia.
Track Listing
01 - Sesame Street
02 - Medley (Superstar-I'm A Woman-Feel Like Making Love)
03 - Child Is Born
04 - Ronda A La Turk
05 - Isn't She Lovely
06 - Nadia's Theme
07 - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
08 - Chop Sticks
09 - Chaser No Straight*

* Dedicated to Spike Milligan
Galapagos Duck were:
Tom Hare (Sax / Fluegelhorn / Trumpet)
Greg Foster (Trombone / Harmonica)
Ray Allridge (Keyboards)
Chris Qua (Bass / Violin / Trumpet)
Len  Barnard (Drums)

Galapagos Duck Link (92Mb)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Beatles & The Rolling Stones - At The Rarest (1973) Bootleg

(U.K 1960 - 1970, 1962 - Present)
This LP is a Bootleg on the Italian Joker label (1973) with 7 tracks by 'The Beatles' and 6 tracks by 'The Rolling Stones'. The recordings are primarily derived from BBC appearances by both bands with a few live songs by the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl show in 1964.
The Beatles / Stones Connection
By early September 1963, when Lennon & McCartney wrote - or more precisely finished - 'I Wanna Be Your Man' for the Stones, The Beatles were a huge source of national pride. Though they were yet to make that sensational and unprecedented inroad for a post-Elvis pop act into America, the fact that they had created an indigenous form of rock (a genuinely novel-seeming amalgam of rock 'n' roll, R&B, Brill Building pop and Everly Brothers/girl group harmonies) was already remarkable in itself. What was even more startling is that all of their three singles ('From Me To You' made its chart debut that very month) and half of their album (there was another due in November) were composed by band members. This wasn't actually that unusual for rock acts - Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry had written their own gear - but it was certainly novel for a band from the UK, a nation whose inferiority complex about their relationship to big, rich, glamorous America was deeply ingrained. The idea of a Briton presuming to write a song in an American form of music was thought to be slightly ridiculous. Hence, British artists had thus far sung the product of Americans or of freelance songsmiths. John Lennon and Paul McCartney, however, had recently proved that home-grown product could have as much artistic and - of sole interest to the music industry - commercial impact as the previous option of asking a Tin Pan Alley hack for material, or picking a hit from the American charts and hoping it made it to the shops before someone else got the same idea.
Oldham (The Stones Manager) bumped into Lennon and McCartney when the pair were on their way back from a Variety Club lunch at the Savoy hotel. When he told them that the Stones were having trouble finding material for their second single (Leiber & Stoller's 'Poison Ivy' b/w 'Fortune Teller' were mooted as their second release, good songs but lightweight pop), the pair mentioned they had something that might be suitable for their gritty style. "They were real hustlers then," Jagger later observed. Indeed, some insiders recall McCartney having his eye on the idea of become a Tin Pan Alley freelance songsmith himself when - as seemed inevitable to everybody at the time - his own and his colleagues' stardom began to wane.
When the party got to Studio 51 club in Soho, where the Stones were rehearsing. The Beatles pair explained that the song had a first verse and a chorus. They went into another room to finish it off. To the Stones' amazement, they returned about a quarter of an hour later, job done.
The Stones were hardly of the opinion that the song was a masterpiece (nor The Beatles - it was given to Ringo to sing on their second album) but that a middle eight and second verse could be completed so quickly was a revelation to them. It would be wrong to extrapolate from the light bulbs clicking on over their shaggy heads that they thought they could do it too, but it was certainly one of the things that would shortly lead to the band beginning to make their own transition to self-contained recording artists. Though Brian Jones' girlfriend of the time subsequently recalled the guitarist staying up, pre-fame, to the small hours to try to write songs, it was "Jagger/Richard(s)" that would be the credit to be found in parentheses beneath the song titles on the labels of Rolling Stones records when the composition did not originate elsewhere. Eventually that credit would be the sole one to be discerned, as the group became increasingly self-reliant.' Because of both the quality and the Zeitgeist-capturing nature of the joint compositions of Jagger & Richards, it was a short step from there to becoming legends. [extract from 'The Rough Guide to The Rolling Stones', by Dean Egan. Published by Rough Guides, 2006. p25]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl Italian bootleg, which I recently picked up at my local flee market (found in amongst a pile of Italian albums) and purchased for a 'song'. My copy has a white album cover, but further research on the web has  revealed an alternative cover which is somewhat more appealing to the eye (see above right, and directly left). Full album artwork is included for both releases along with label scans (JOKER).
The recordings are pretty average and I have added some bass enhancement to the files to improve the listening experience.

Track Listing
Side A - The Beatles
01 - Boys (live)
02 - Do You Want To Know A Secret
03 - All My Loving (Live)
04 - Please Please Me
05 - Misery
06 - Twist And Shout_You Can't Do That (Live)
Side B - The Rolling Stones
07 - Carol
08 - I Just Wanna Make Love To You
09 - Cry To Me
10 - Walking The Dog
11 - You Can Make It If You Try
12 - Route 66

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones  (FLAC) New Link 31/07/2016

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Richard Clapton - Dark Spaces (1980)

(Australian 1972 - Current)
Richard Clapton took his name from his two greatest inspirations — Keith Richard and Eric Clapton. In the early '70s he spent time playing avant-garde rock in Berlin but returned to Sydney. In 1970 he was broke and became a singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar.  It was a time for songwriters with a local eye to make good. Richard Clapton had been playing Van Morrison songs in Sydney folk clubs, despite the critical plaudits for his debut album Prussian Blue.
Festival Records then put the hard word on the poet to write a hit single. "They were going to drop me if I didn't come up with a hit single," says Clapton. "Because I was so artsy fartsy and precious my response was, "F*ck you!" Eventually, when I came skulking back I was given these Carole King and James Taylor albums and I took 'em home still sulking. I remember Festival at the time thought "Girls On The Avenue" was absolute rubbish. Their comment was, "We asked you to write a hit single. Where's the chorus? This is a pile of rubbish. It's just a myriad of ideas you've stuck together like a Frankenstein monster."

His single "Girls On The Avenue" was a major chart hit in 1975 and Clapton became the bard of the decade. The single reached #2 on the national chart. Its success powered the release of his second album which bore the song's name. Clapton almost overnight became Australia's premier singer-songwriter. The album Goodbye Tiger (1977) was one of the landmark records of the time and articulated the state of the nation. Clapton went to California to record 'Hearts On The Nightline' and turned political with the 'Dark Spaces' album. [extract from The Real Thing: 1957-Now, by Toby Creswell & Martin Fabinyi, Random House, 1999. p78-79]
Full Bio
Richard Clapton is one of Australia’s foremost singer/songwriters. Clapton paved the way for three generations of songwriters to write about the experience of being Australian.
When he began his recording career in 1974, Australia was still in vice-like grip of the cultural cringe. He plunged into the deep water and in his wake followed the Skyhooks and Paul Kelly, Cold Chisel, INXS, Midnight Oil and hundreds of others. Clapton’s songs are still omnipresent on the radio. His records chart the political landscape of the nation and the turbulent lives of two generations.
Clapton grew up in Sydney in the 1960s. He hopped a plane for London and then later to Germany where he wrote a first album, Prussian Blue (1973). It was the first major “singer-songwriter” album in Australia.

In 1975, Clapton had the critics on side, but Festival Records insisted on a hit single. However, it was the song they picked as a B-side called “Girls On the Avenue” that reached #1 on the national charts and put Clapton at the top of his class. Like Americans Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen, Richard Clapton developed a sound based on melodic rock while his lyrics were poetic musings on his state of mind or the state of the nation.

Richard Clapton At Sydney Opera House 1980
By 1975, Clapton had set the themes he was to explore for the coming three decades. There were frequent escapes to his spiritual second home in Berlin to recharge and get a fresh perspective on Australia; there was Clapton’s love/hate relationship with the pop music culture; his often-tormented sense of growing up and his eye for the political landscape and how it affected Australians. Clapton mastered that most difficult of show business acts – the high wire that requires the balance of radio-friendly tunes and candid, from-the-heart lyrics.

Richard Clapton Band 1981
These two came together on the 'Goodbye Tiger album'; at that time Clapton’s most successful to date. The record was a new highpoint and there was significant international interest in Richard as a recording artist. A period living overseas in Los Angeles brought forth the sophisticated 'Hearts on the Nightline'. Then back in Australia in 1980 he released the searing 'Dark Spaces', an indictment on the meanness and mendacity that would blow through the 1980s. Ten years after his first release, Richard Clapton was a tribal elder to whom younger artists like Jimmy Barnes, INXS and Cold Chisel turned as a mentor. INXS asked Clapton to produce their second album, Underneath the Colours, and they became firm friends. They, and Cold Chisel, returned the favour on Clapton’s The Great Escape album. INXS drummer Jon Farriss produced The Glory Road album, and few records capture the roller coaster ride of the late 1980s as well as Glory Road. These albums brought Clapton’s melodic gifts and his love of electric rock & roll into lockstep. There were always the words though. No one better documented the 1980s than Richard. Richard frequently went to the edge — emotionally, politically, financially — and sent back his incisive postcards.

In the 1990s Richard continued to write and record and tour .His 1990s songs reflect a hard-won maturity. Indeed, Richard counts 2003’s Diamond Mine as amongst his best albums – and the critics unanimously agreed. In 2005 he set about making the first acoustic album of his career. Clapton stripped back some of his favourite songs – re-imagining them in a different environment. The result is his 17th album – Rewired. This project was never intended to be a greatest hits record – and indeed many of his greatest hits aren’t here. It’s an experiment in hearing Richard Clapton in a new way. Richard Clapton is now in his 40th year, since his first album, “Prussian Blue” in 1974 but shows no signs of slowing down. He has released over 20 albums which have cumulatively sold over one million copies. He is the only rock artist to have received an Australia Council arts grant from the government which enabled him to travel around the world and write the songs for “Goodbye Tiger”. In 1999 he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

In 2008, he played his first sold out concert at Sydney’s iconic State Theatre, and on 2nd November 2013 he played his 7th concert in 6 years (selling out two full houses in 2009).

His latest release “Harlequin Nights” is his first album in 6 years and has been written and recorded over 4 years. After almost 40 years of honing his craft, this is arguably Clapton’s finest album and shows that Richard is now at the peak of his powers. The album features eleven brand new tracks. Some of the songs are simply “classic Clapton”, but there is also an ample serving of less predictable and innovative material – the combination that has made his albums famous.
“Harlequin Nights is in some ways a bookend to Goodbye Tiger,” he said. "Goodbye Tiger was a collection of songs written by a young man in his twenties in 1977 about the experiences of the world we lived in back in those days. This new album is a collection of songs written by the same songwriter some 35 years later about the world we live in today. There is a noticeable seismic shift between the two albums but this simply documents how much our lives have changed in all this time.” During the album’s long gestation, Clapton has endured a marriage breakdown, taking him on a personal journey which influenced his continuing musical evolution, culminating with a new relationship with his home studio and a songwriting partnership with guitarist Danny Spencer.

“Richard Clapton has never been rich. He has never had the pleasure of passing through life in a luxurious rock star bubble. In a career that now spans almost 40 years he has battled everything from bad managers and capricious record companies to debt, taxes, personal tragedy and a thousand room service dinners. The fact that he's come through it all with his sanity intact - and his abilities at the peak of his powers - surprises all who know and love him. [extract from]

This post consists of  FLACs ripped from my virgin vinyl (taped and rarely played) and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD. Please note that the CD release for this album is long deleted and currently unavailable. This is a long time favourite album of mine and I just love the title track, so I'm glad I can share this with you as my first post for 2015. I hope you can stick around for some more great Australian albums and the occasional bootleg.
Note: Richard Clapton dedicated this album to his long time friend Andy Durant who sadly passed away from cancer, shortly after the release of this album.  
Track Listing
01 - I Just Can't Make It
02 - High Society
03 - Shadows
04 - Sophisticated Girl
05 - Dark Spaces
06 - Get Back To The Shelter
07 - Le Club Des Fools
08 - The Working Class Life
09 - Metropolis

Richard Clapton Band are:
Richard Clapton (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals)
Andy Durant (Rhythm Guitar)
Mark Moffatt (Lead Guitar)
Clive Harrison (Bass)
Kerry Jacobsen (Drums)
Tony Ansell (Piano & Organ)
Sam McNally (Synthesiser on High Society)
Mark Meyer (Drums on Metropolis)
Ralph Tyrell (Synthesiser on Dark Spaces)
Tony Buchanan (Saxophone)
The Strutters: Ann, Michel & Kortni (Background Vocals)

Dark Spaces FLAC Link (258Mb)  New Link 30/08/2015