Monday, August 31, 2015

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Mad Disco: Disco Suicide (1980)

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
Still lampooning your favourite TV shows, satirising popular movies and lambasting popular junk culture. With over 50 years experience in the field of satire you think these idiots would know better! With so much popular culture in their face they are a difficult group to reach and even more difficult to influence because of their curious/cynical approach to consumer products and entertainment.
One magazine that stands out in this market segment, and has been influencing generations of teenagers since 1978 in Australia, is Mad Magazine. In fact the original import goes back to the 60s and Mad's influence is just as fresh today as it ever was. This zany publication takes a satirical sword to everything

For a complete run down on the history of the MAD magazine, see

This month's W.O.C.K on Vinyl looks at a flexi disk that was released with a MAD Magazine back in 1980.  The magazine itself was unique in many respects. It was the only issue of MAD without a number or cover date. It was the only issue of MAD devoted to a single subject to contain it’s own 33 1/3 floppy record. It was the only 32 page MAD ever published. And it’s the only issue of MAD to ever have: “MAD DISCO as an idea conceived by Dick DeBartolo” on the contents page. 

So here’s the back-story as told by Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer

I loved Disco.  Heck, I loved it so much I built a disco right inside my 50 foot houseboat complete with “infinity floor’, fog and bubble machines. And talk about a tough “door policy”. The only way to get into Disco Dick’s was to know it existed!
Meanwhile at MAD I wrote a lot of disco satires, which just kept piling up on the editor’s desk. Finally I told MAD Publisher Bill Gaines that if we didn’t do something with them soon, disco would be on its way out. So we could use all the material at one time, Gaines asked if I could get some of the other Usual Gang of Idiots to contribute enough to make MAD’s first (and only) Special Edition. I said I could, and I did! So MAD Disco was born. Features include: MAD'S Disco Owner of the Year / A MAD History of Dancing /MAD'S Disco Mother Goose Rhymes /Slipped Disco – The complete Disco Magazine /Don Martin's Guide to Disco Sounds / "Six Minutes" Looks at Disco.
 A 30 minute 331/3 rpm Flexi Disc titled "Mad Disco” was bound inside. It was a floppy vinyl record – with an emphasis on Flop.  Songs included:   "Disco Suicide"   /   "Sorry, No Words"  / "This Time, This Night" / "Barely Alive" / “The Disco Clap" / And a Disco Version of the World Famous MAD Song: "It's A Gas" -  Lyrics by Dick DeBartolo, Music By Norm Blagman PLUS: Music & Lyrics for all the songs (except It’s A Gas) are also in this issue! 

I just love MAD's theme track "It's A Gas" and the belches throughout the song can only place this disc in the Crazy and Korny categories. 
A1     Disco Suicide

A2     Sorry, No Words
A3     This Time, This Night
B1     Barely Alive
B2     The Disco Clap
B3     It's A Gas

MAD Link (67Mb)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ralph McTell - Ralph Albert & Sydney (1977)

(U.K 1965 – present)
One of the great storytellers, Ralph McTell, is now celebrating almost 50 years on the road. Known for his virtuoso guitar style, he is primarily a prolific and gifted songwriter. With a style that invites you into a unique world, he weaves a narrative that is both significant and poignant.

Ralph made his debut in 1968 with the album ‘Eight Frames a Second’ and in 1974 the release of "Streets of London" earned him an Ivor Novello Award. In 1993, Nanci Griffith recorded ‘From Clare to Here’ on her Grammy Award winning album and in 2002 he was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. [extract from Ralph's website]

All tracks on this album were recorded live and selected from two of the concerts performed by Raph during 1976; the first at London's Royal Albert Hall  in May and the second at the Sydney Opera House, Australia in August. It was recorded using the Stones Mobile both in London (Mick McKenna and Tapani Tapanainen) and in Sydney (David Connor and Chris Curtis). Mixing engineer was Mike Stavrou at Air Studios, London and was produced by Bruce May and Peter Swettenham.
The following is a review of Ralph's live album by Karl Dallas, published in Folk Roots Magazine in August, 1977 

Folk Roots Review
The Live "in concert" album is one of the oldest clich├ęs on the folk scene - indeed, there was a time in the early, populist, singalong days, when it was held to be the only viable form of folk recording. So we had a plethora of hootenannies and singaround albums, all of which actually failed to capture the elusive character of the music they were supposedly designed to trap on vinyl.
It is to Ralph McTell's credit that, with the eight albums under his belt, he has waited until now to do his live album. It's been worth waiting for.

The thing that makes most live albums such a bust is that the very nature of the medium makes for sloppy musicianship and a reliance upon phoney audience rapport to convey a sort of instant appeal. It takes a consummate artist like McTell to show how there are, indeed, things you can do with a live album that are impossible in the studio, how alternative readings of well-known lyrics can throw them into a new dimension.
The other thing that usually happens with a live album, especially when it comes this late in an artist's career, is that it becomes something of a "greatest hits" collection. This is, perhaps, inevitable, for a live performance by McTell that didn't include "Streets of London" would be somehow unbalanced - though he did, as a matter of fact, go off the song for a while. And though I haven't heard him do "Michael" in concert for quite a while, it is good to have it here again, with the added maturity that years have given this reminiscence of a disturbed childhood.

But Ralph has resisted the temptation to lean too heavily on the past, apart from the inclusion of some of the Blind Blake songs, which Ralph does so well, but which he has never committed to record before.
With the exception of "You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here" Ralph's albums have rarely been heavily produced. It's the sheer economy of his warm, light-toned voice and simple but clean guitar that is the thing that distinguishes this solo work, and makes one question the occasional flirtations with band accompaniments, which have given his live career such unpredictable ups and downs.
Among the new songs on the album are two apparent trifles, which repay more careful listening. "Big Tree" on side one is, at one level, another childhood reminiscence, a story of forbidden games between a boy and girl of kindergarten age, and of the loss of innocence resulting from an adult's prurient observation of them. But beneath the charm is an almost Biblical allergy.

"Winnie's Rag" is a gentle story of abandoned love among the Cockneys, for which Ralph makes quite an unnecessary apology in his introduction. Quite apart from its intrinsic charm, one thing this song underlines is the way ragtime struck deep into urban popular culture in this country, which throws Ralph's re-creations of traditional rags into a completely different light.
What this album really does, however, is to define the importance of McTell's talent. The undiscriminating may be tempted to write him off with the rest of the singer-songwriter breed, unconnected with any real meaning of the word folk. That may be true with the majority of such writers, few of whom are able to trace any legitimate ancestry back through the folk bards like Guthrie, Tommy Armstrong and Leadbelly, but in Ralph's case such a write-off does both him and the listener scant justice.
If the folk tradition is more than mere archaism, something in which bricks and mortar are as important to the landscape as cocks of hay. then a singer like McTell, who mirrors in almost every line what it has been like to be a working class kid in the post-war years, may consider himself to be its offspring, with no apologies at all.

Ralph's Famous Guitar Case
One cannot always identify with his feelings: for instance, my reaction to the strangled poetry of Sylvia Plath may not be his, which seems to me rather soggy, but what touches about this song, "Sylvia," is not that it gives any particular insight into her tortured soul, but the use that Ralph himself has made of reading her work to explore his own psyche. Another song, not included here, the moving "Ferryman," gives a similarly distorted view of the work of Herman Hesse, which is none the less valid because of its very sincerity.
Often that word, sincerity, is a misnomer for sentimentality and megalomania, characteristics which distinguish most dictators and superstars. Despite his high status in the crossover world of pop folk. McTell is no superstar, thank God. His lyrics speak directly and unaffectedly for the ordinary guy, much more unpretentiously than any Emerson, Lake and Palmer reworking of Aaron Copland, playing a gentle fanfare for the common man. [extract from Ralph's website]
Ralph McTell Today
Although his name is shackled to one song, Ralph McTell is certainly not a one-hit wonder. Several hundred high-calibre numbers written in the 40-odd years since "Streets of London" charged up the charts bear testimony to the singer and finger picking guitar stylist's enduring quality. Ralph's latest creations, to be heard on his first new studio album in a decade entitled 'Somewhere Down The Road', has been a long time coming, but fans will find it has been worth the wait.
Ralph only just recently toured Australia this year in April/May on his 'Farewell Tour'. Unfortunately, I have only just discovered this now while researching for this post, and would have loved to have seen him perform, if not only for that one amazing anthem!
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my newly acquired vinyl copy of this live album, found in amongst a pile of inconspicuous albums at the local flee market that no one else seemed interested in (it always pays to rummage just that little bit more in the search for vinyl gold). Full album artwork and label scans are also included, along with the alternative UK cover as shown below.
Track Listing
01. First Song
02. Grande Affaire
03. Big Tree
04. Michael In The Garden
05. Dry Bone Rag
06. Zimmerman Blues
07. Maginot Waltz
08. Five Knuckle Shuffle
09. When I Was a Cowboy
10. Let Me Down Easy
11. Naomi
12. Sylvia
13. Streets of London
14. Sweet Mystery
15. Winnie’s Rag
16. Waltzing Matilda

Ralph McTell Link (128Mb)  New Link 01/01/2024

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Colleen Hewett - Selftitled (1972) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1967-1997, 2006)
Colleen Hewett is an Australian theatre and TV actress, and a popular Australian singer. Her top 40 singles on the Kent Music Report include "Super Star", "Day by Day" (both 1971), "Carry That Weight" (1972), "Dreaming My Dreams with You" (1980), and "Gigolo" (1981). Her version of "Day by Day" peaked at No. 1 on the Go-Set National Top 40 Singles Chart and was certified as a gold record.
At the TV Week King of Pop Awards she was voted Queen of Pop in both 1972 and 1973.

Early Years
Colleen Hewett was born on 16th April, 1950 in Bendigo. She has an older sister, Glenys Hewett, who was a pop vocalist from the early sixties to mid-seventies. Hewett began her music career at the age of 12 when she sang with The Esquires at the Bendigo YMCA. At about 13 years old she appeared on TV pop music series, The Go!! Show, fifty years later she recalled "I wasn't of an age at that stage where I could go out on tour with anybody ... I came down from Bendigo with a band I was working with there ... then I came down again around my 14th birthday and did a solo spot on it ... they were just cover versions. I was just a little singer from Bendigo who came down on the train with the boys and did this amazing show that everybody watched".
 From 1964 to 1966 she regularly performed with The Esquires and, in 1967, she joined a vocal trio, The Creations, with her sister, Glenys, and Michelle Kennedy. That group also backed various solo singers including Billy Adams and then Buddy England, and thereby toured Australia. By April that year, with Kennedy, she joined a soul-based group 'Dice', which were renamed as Laurie Allen Revue. Other members were Laurie Allen (ex-Bobby & Laurie) on lead vocals, lead guitar and organ; Harry Henri on guitar (soon replaced by Phil Manning); Barry Rodgers on bass guitar (soon replaced by Wayne Duncan); and Gary Young on drums.
In April 1967, Allen had told Go-Set: "I realized just a three piece group couldn't give me the sound I wanted, so I added two girl vocalists, Hewett and Kennedy, they are an act in themselves and combined to give us a distinctive sound which can't be done by any Australian group". As a member of the Laurie Allen Revue, Hewett was recorded on three singles, "Beautiful Brown Eyes" (August 1967), "Any Little Bit" (April 1968) and "As Long as I Got You" (June).
By mid-1968, Hewett had joined Ian Saxon and the Sound, with Saxon on lead vocals; Geoff Oakes on saxophone; Graeme Trottman on drums. In 1969 Hewett left the group and was replaced on vocals by Marlene Richards (ex-Ivan Dayman Band) before the group recorded their debut single, "Home Cookin'" (1970).

"Day by Day" to Queen of Pop
Hewett started her solo music career in 1970, appearing regularly on TV pop music series, Bandstand. Her popularity with viewers resulted in her winning Best Newcomer Female Singer at the Bandstand Awards in December. She signed with Festival Records and her debut single, which was a cover version of Delaney and Bonnie's 1969 track, "Super Star" was released in June 1971. It reached No. 30 on the Go-Set National Top 40 Singles chart. The track was also covered by United States group, The Carpenters.
From 15 November 1971 to 22 July 1972 Hewett acted in the Australian musical theatre version of Godspell, at the Playbox Theatre, Melbourne. She recorded two versions of the show's tune, "Day by Day". The first on Godspell - Original Australian Cast had Johnny Young producing the cast album, which appeared in March 1972.

The second version was produced by Ian "Molly" Meldrum and was issued as her second single, in November 1971. It peaked at No. 1 on the Go-Set charts and was certified as a gold record with shipment of over 50,000 copies. In April 1972 Hewett was the featured artist on a half-hour TV special performing "Day by Day", "By My Side", "Hey Jude" and "Jesus Christ Superstar".
After leaving Godspell, Hewett toured Australia performing in clubs and during TV appearances. Her debut self-titled album appeared in October 1972 and provided her next single, "Carry That Weight" - a cover of The Beatles track - which reached No. 29. She toured the United States and United Kingdom at the end of the year. At the TV Week King of Pop Awards she was voted Queen of Pop in both 1972 and 1973.

Stage and Theatre
Hewett's other musical theatre credits include Pippin, the rock opera Tommy and Return to the Forbidden Planet. While performing in Pippin, she and her co-star John Farnham also hosted the television variety show It's Magic, moving between the studio during the day and the theatre at night.

During her music career in the 1970s, Hewett was also performing in a number of television dramas including Homicide, Matlock Police, The Truckies, Carson's Law, Division 4, Young Ramsay, Cop Shop and The Flying Doctors, many of which had an international release. She also appeared and sang on the Don Lane Show during the late seventies and during 1984 she guested as Sheila Brady in the TV series, Prisoner.


As of 2000, Hewett has been in semi-retirement, spending time in Melbourne, Bendigo and Fiji with family and friends. In 2006 she played Marion Woolnough, the mother of Peter Allen, in the Australian tour of The Boy From Oz headlined by Hugh Jackman. She also had a role as Matron "Mama" Morton in the musical Chicago with Caroline O'Conner and Craig McLachlan. In the 2011 movie The Cup she plays Pat Oliver, the mother of jockeys - Jason and Damian Oliver. [extract from MTV's website]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my priceless vinyl and also includes artwork and label scans to go.
I've also chosen to include her single version of "Day by Day" and the non-album B-side "By My Side" as bonus tracks.  This post was requested by Dave just recently, along with a couple of other Aussie rips in FLAC, which I will get to soon.  My favourite tracks on this album are Mother, Carry The Weight and of course Day by Day.

Track Listing 
01 - Day By Day
02 - Mother
03 - I've Got Love
04 - Don't Play That Song (You Lied)
05 - Danny Boy
06 - Carry The Weight
07 - Superstar
08 - Help
09 - Stay With Me Baby
10 - Reverend Lee
11 - So Long Ago
12 - I'll Be Seeing You
13 - By My Side (B-Side Single)

14 - Day By Day (A-Side Single)

Colleen Hewett FLACs (310Mb) New Link 08/04/2020



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Christie Allen - Magic Rhythm (1979) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1962–1998)
Born in 1954, Christie Allen was discovered by Mushroom Records while performing with her brothers in Perth in the late 1970s. she came to the attention of songwriter and record producer Terry Britten. Britten, a former member of The Twilights who would go on to a hugely successful song writing career, was impressed by Allen's vocal ability and bubbly personality. He began working with Christie and a recording contract with Michael Gudinski’s independent record label Mushroom Records resulted.

Mushroom Records made sure that their new pop artist got plenty of national radio support and television screen time on national iconic music television program; Countdown.

Christie Allen gave Countdown something it had been lacking - a local female artist to appeal to the teeny boppers. It is sometimes not appreciated just how successful Christie was. The first female artist to sign up to Mushroom Records since Renee Geyer, she released the single "Falling In Love" (April 79) which went top 20. Then came "Goosebumps" which went to number 3 nationally and was to that point Mushroom Records’ biggest-ever selling single. "He’s My Number One" (January 1980) outdid it and was the biggest-selling Mushroom single of all time until Split Enz ‘I Got You’ knocked it off three months later. Even as late as 1997, "He’s My Number One" was Mushroom Records 7th highest selling single with over 75,000 sales. Allen’s first album ‘Magic Rhythm’ went Gold. Christie was awarded the Most Popular Female Artist at the Countdown Music Awards in 1979 and in 1980’ - Dave Warner - 25 Years Of Mushroom Records

Also in 1979 and 1980, Allen was voted the country's most popular female performer at the Countdown Awards.

Christie went on to release another album ‘Detours’ and had a handful of singles in the early 1980s. A long illness prevented Allen from adequately promoting her career and forced her into subsequent retirement whilst she recovered. By the 1990s Christie had resurrected her singing career performing as a vocalist with country music bands.

1998 was a very happy year for Christie. In October, she married her partner Mark in October. Around the same time, Christie’s daughter Christa Lea heard an appeal on the Martin Molloy program on radio. Mushroom Records Michael Gudinski was trying to track down Christie to invite her to perform on the Mushroom Records 25th Anniversary concert. Christa Lea got in touch with them immediately and passed on Christie’s phone number. Michael Gudinski got straight on the phone and invited Christie to perform at the concert held on November 14th. Christie performed "Goosebumps" to a thrilled audience and a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground. Sadly this was to be the very last time Christie performed in public. She told her husband Mark that if the Mushroom 25th was to be her last public performance, what a huge high to go out on.

In 2006, Michael Gudinski asked Christie to participate in the Countdown Spectacular tour. Unfortunately, not being in the best of health at the time, Christie had to decline.

In March 2008, Christie was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. She was very ill and lost a lot of weight, but still kept her inner strength. She knew that she was unlikely to recover and went to great lengths to ensure that her husband and family would be OK. Sadly, Christie passed away later that year, survived by husband Mark and her much loved daughter Christa Lea.
This post consists of both FLACs  ripped from my BLUE vinyl and includes full album artwork. Also included are publicity shots of Christie (thanks to Greg Noakes) and a feature article published in Rolling Stone, Sept 1994 (see above).  I have also managed to source several B-Side singles which were not included on the album, and are included as Bonus Track.
Christie had an amazing voice, sounding a lot like Olivia Newton John and this album demonstrates what a talent she really was. I was sadden to hear that she is longer with us, but her music does live on and I still get Goosebumps when I listen to this album.
Track Listing
01 - Magic Rhythm
02 - All Australian Female
03 - Only Yes Will Do
04 - Goose Bumps
05 - Falling In Love Only With You *
06 - My Number One
07 - Count Me Out
08 - Fallin' In Luv
09 - You Know That I Love You *
10 - Ships That Pass Through The Night *
11 - Nashville Tennesee (Bonus B-Side Single)
12 - Under Lock And Key (Bonus B-Side Single) *


Musicians (UK Recordings):
Christie Allen - Vocals
Terry Britten - Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Billy Livesy - Keyboards
Graham Jarvis - Drums
Paul Westwood - Bass

Musicians (Aust. Recordings *):
Christie Allen - Vocals
Terry Britten - Guitar, Vocals
James Rigg, Geoff Skewes - Keyboards
Mike Clarke - Bass
Graham Morgan - Drums

Christie Allen FLACs (243Mb) New Link 15/10/2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons - Mainstreet Cabaret (1980) Bootleg

(Australian 1975–1984, 2001-present)
The hardest working man in Oz rock was Joe Camilleri, front man for Jo Jo Zep and The Falcons. Camilleri started with blues band King Bees while a teenager, moved to The Pelaco Bros and was a key figure in the Melbourne music scene in the '70's. He had tastes that ranged from Charles Parker through soul and reggae. His enthusiasm on stage was as boundless as his influences. Originally signed to Ross Wilson's label OZ in 1975, and then to Mushroom, The Falcons delivered inspired live performances and great records.
[Glenn A. Baker Archive]

Traveling back from touring in England, Jo Jo Zep called in at New Zealand on the 4th August, to play a one off concert at the Mainstreet Cabaret, while on their way back to Australia, finally arriving home on the 6th August. They then undertook a 7 week tour of Australia and then headed off to the States for another tour to promote their 'Hats Off Lively' album [ details from Countdown Interview with Jo Jo Zep, 3rd August London]. This post is a bootleg recording of this concert.
The Pelaco Brothers were the seminal Melbourne band. On their demise in 1975, they spawned Melbourne's response to the punk revolution — the frantic Joe Camilleri and the romantic Stephen Cummings (from the Sports). They helped make Melbourne the capital of Australian rock in the late '70s.
As a live act, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons were unbeatable. Joe Camilleri, is the son of Maltese immigrants. Camilleri could barely read when he quit school as a teenage bass guitarist to play the blues in The King Bees. Camilleri quickly moved to the horn section with his saxophone which put him in great demand with a number of Carlton rock bands in the early 1970s. When The Pelaco Brothers split he formed an R&B group called 'Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons'. The songwriting was from guitarist Wayne Burt while Daddy Cool alumnus Gary Young sat behind the kit.

Camilleri was like a man possessed by ambition. He was always somewhat modest, possibly to the point of insecurity, about his own abilities so he drove himself right to the limit of any opportunity. His knowledge of music was exhaustive from Charlie Parker's be-bop through the entire Rolling Stones catalogue, soul, jazz or anything with a melody. He expected the same standards of his bandmates.
On stage Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons were unbeatable, largely through the efforts of the group's singer. He jumped. He pounded. He stuck his head in the bass drum. He sweated and slaved for an audience. They never worked with a set list and could just as easily venture off into a fifteen-minute monologue about the nature of love during King of Fools or quite like a twenty-minute jazz improvisation. On a good night The Falcons could stretch the set to three hours of frantic R&B, but on a bad night Camilleri could just as easily throw a tantrum and march off the stage and into the Bondi night.
Having mastered the sax he moved on to guitar, keyboards and production. From playing R&B he went to disco, jazz, zydeco, pop.

In that sense Camilleri was a quintessential Victorian. Melbourne's music culture has always been more sophisticated than elsewhere in Australia. There is a place for almost any taste and an enjoyment of music's heritage that exists in Melbourne like nowhere else.
Mostly this phenomenon is due to the efforts of David Pepperell and Keith Glass who opened and operated import stores to cater to a wide variety of tastes. Throughout the '70s, Melbourne was an eclectic town where musicians dabbled in film and theatre and supported each other's bands. Anything was available from Ross Hannaford's mystic reggae band Billy-T, art-rock from The Bleeding Hearts to the feminist agit-pop of Stiletto, whose lyrics were penned by novelist Helen Garner. In the spirit of co-operation, Joe Camilleri and Martin Armiger helped out an old Adelaide friend, Paul Kelly, with his first album, Talk.
Original Pelaco Brothers Peter Lillie and Johnny Topper kept up the kitsch side of the Pelacos' style with a series of outfits that celebrated the kitsch side of modern Australia, generally to the tune of a country guitar. The style was dubbed 'ockerbilly' and some fine records (particularly from The Autodrifters) were made.
The other pillar of the Melbourne establishment was Keith Glass' partner in the Missing Link record store, Ross Wilson.

After the success of Daddy Cool and Skyhooks, Wilson was the king of Melbourne. His group Mighty Kong failed and he took a back seat from performance. EMI offered him his own record label, in partnership with Glenn Wheatley with the imaginative name of Oz Records. He signed the Falcons and produced their first album.

Their debut album 'Don't Waste It' is distinguished by the witty songwriting from Burt and the thoroughly polished performance from the band. Camilleri, however, hated the producer's studio perfectionism. He felt the record was stilted—and so did the public. The Falcons' real magic only ever came out on stage. Camilleri himself was a soulful dynamo, to match Johnny O'Keefe even, whose drive to succeed powered the group. A lack of chart success only drove him harder. Falcons' shows could be volatile, but the band meetings afterward could be far more so.
Camilleri's instincts paid off though as the group became one of the highest drawing acts of the decade on the basis of minimal airplay. [extract from The Real Thing, 1957-Now, by Toby Creswell & Martin Fabinyi, 1999. p114-116]

Despite the role call of bands Camilleri has led over the past few decades, and the rotating line-ups of each, he insists he not that restless musically.

“Not really. I think sometimes it’s pretty hard to play under the same badge, sometimes you wanna do something a little bit different. I cast a pretty wide net. I guess my interest in jazz music and free jazz, and pop music and all these things – maybe I’m a bit left of centre to a lot of people these days but I always thought it was part and parcel of what you do. Sometimes you’re playing with people who… for instance in Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons, I didn’t realise how good they were until recently. I always liked playing in that band, but they didn’t wanna go anywhere, they just wanted to play R&B music, and the only reason they had a few hits was ‘cos I wrote a few songs that were a bit different, with the reggae stuff and so on.

“But they didn’t really want to go there, I just dragged them there, and you can only drag people for so long before you say ‘look, I’m happy for the hits and all that, but I have to cut myself loose ‘cos it’s not really what I signed up for, you know.’

[Extract from Interview with Shane Pinnegar from the 100% Rock Magazine, 2013]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) taken from a taped radio broadcast of this one off concert at the Mainstreet Cabaret in New Zealand, on the 4th August 1980. Album artwork is provided, thanks to the artistic talents of WoodNet at Midoztouch2 (cheers Woody).  This is a great concert capturing the band firing on all barrels and features a full anthology of all their early hits and excellent sound quality. This is one bootleg not to be missed.

Track Listing
01 - Hit & Run
02 - Only The Lonely Hearted
03 - Puppet On A String
04 - Security
05 - Close To The Bone
06 - So Young
07 - Not A Woman, Not A Child
08 - Billy Baxter
09 - Rudy
10 - Shape I’m In
11 - All I Wanna Do
12 - Hand Me Down
13 - Don’t Keep It Up
14 - Don’t Go
15 - Don’t Wanna Come Down
16 - Open Hearted
17 - The Honeydripper

Jo Jo Zep were:
Joe Camilleri: Vocals, Sax, Guitar
Jeff Burstin: Guitar, Vocals
Tony Faehse: Guitar, Vocals
John Power: Bass, Vocals
Wilbur Wilde: Sax, Vocals
Gary Young: Drums, Vocals

Jo Jo Zep Link (159Mb)  New Link 23/12/2023

Saturday, August 8, 2015

England Dan & John Ford Coley - Dr Heckle And Mr Jive (1979)

(U.S 1970 - 1980)
Although considered a mid-'70s phenomenon, and often misidentified in peoples' memories as a one-hit act, England Dan & John Ford Coley actually charted six Top 40 pop singles, four of them Top Ten, in just four years. Their history actually goes back a decade prior to their first and biggest hit, "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight." The duo first met in high school in Dallas, TX, during the early '60s.

Dan Seals, as he was known formally and as he later re-established himself as a country artist in the 1980s, came from what, by anyone's definition, could be considered a musical family. Born in McCamey, TX, in 1948, he was the son of E.W. "Waylon" Seals, a pipe fitter and repairman for Shell Oil who also played guitar and bass, and was an alumnus of bands led by Ernest Tubb and Bob Wills. Dan learned to play upright bass at age four and soon after, he was playing in the family band founded by his father. His older brother, Jim Seals, enjoyed a considerable career of his own as a member of the Champs from 1958 through the mid-'60s. His other brother is successful country musician Eddie Seals (of Eddie & Joe), while his cousins included composers Chuck Seals (author of "Crazy Arms") and Troy Seals (who later married rock & roll singer Jo Ann Campbell), Brady Seals (of Little Texas), and country singer Johnny Duncan.

John Colley was a classically trained pianist and attended the same school. The two began working together as members of a series of local cover bands, including Playboys Five and Theze Few. They took an early run at recording success in association with Shane Keister in a series of demos done in Nashville as the Shimmers, but the death of their producer before he could secure a recording deal ended their prospects.
It was as members of a group called Southwest F.O.B. that the pair first emerged as a formal duo. The band, with Colley on keyboards and Seals playing sax and singing, played a mixture of rock and R&B and became popular locally in Dallas. They were signed to Hip Records, an imprint of Stax/Volt, and got to number 56 in 1968 with a single called "Smell of Incense," which later yielded an album of the same name.

Seals and Coley had begun writing songs together around this time and recognized that they were moving in a different direction from the rest of the band, more toward Paul Simon than Jimi Hendrix. They were soon opening shows for the band with an acoustic set featuring their harmony vocals, warming the crowd up before the entire Southwest F.O.B. took the stage, and it was from there that their formal work as a duo began. They remained with the group until 1969, when they decided to head to California and try and land a recording contract.

Originally known as Colley & Wayland (Seals' middle name), the name didn't quite work and a change was needed as proposed by Jim Seals. "England Dan" was a reference to the fact that Dan Seals, when the Beatles first hit in America in 1964, had fixated on the Liverpool quartet and briefly affected an English accent; "Ford" was added to John Colley's name, and the spelling of his last name shortened to "Coley" to assure its proper pronunciation. England Dan & John Ford Coley not only scanned well, but were unusual enough to merit a second look from programmers, reviewers, and promoters, as well as the general public, even if they'd never heard any of the duo's music.

England Dan & John Ford Coley were signed to A&M Records in 1970 with the assistance of guitarist Louis Shelton, who'd played with Jim Seals in the Dawnbreakers (and would be part of Seals & Crofts band), and who had brought the duo's demo to Herb Alpert. A pair of LPs, a self-titled debut album and Fables, both produced by Shelton, resulted in very modest sales, a minor chart entry with the song "New Jersey" at number 103, and a number one Japanese hit single ("Simone"). Those albums and singles featured a somewhat rough-textured version of the sound for which they would later become known and an array of Los Angeles session men, including Larry Knechtel, Tommy Morgan, and Hal Blaine, not to mention string arrangements by Marty Paich.

The pair were dropped by A&M in 1972 and for the next four years, they were without a recording contract. They busied themselves performing and Coley also played on a couple of Seals & Crofts albums during this period. Fate took a hand in 1976, however, when their manager heard a demo of a new song authored by a Mississippi-based composer named Parker McGee. The duo cut their own demo of the song with Shelton producing and began shopping it around to different record labels. Ironically, it was after an executive at Atlantic Records turned it down that Doug Morris of Big Tree Records, having heard it through the wall of his adjoining office, offered them a contract. The version of the song that was released was produced by Kyle Lehning, a Nashville-based engineer who had recorded McGee's demo. The result was a number two pop single (number one on the adult contemporary chart) in the spring and summer of 1976, which ultimately sold two million copies. It was the sheer ubiquitous nature of that song on the radio that, despite their subsequent Top Ten singles, leaves many people convinced that the duo were one-hit wonders.

July of 1976 saw the release of England Dan & John Ford Coley's debut Big Tree album, 'Nights Are Forever', also produced by Lehning. Their second Big Tree single, "Nights Are Forever Without You," also written by McGee, soared to number ten. They were now a hot commodity on radio and on tour, but neither of their hit singles did more than scratch the surface of their sound. A listen to their album gave a hint of the sheer diversity of music that they created. Along with the smooth harmony based pop/rock of their two hit singles, England Dan & John Ford Coley played and composed catchy country-rock ("Showboat Gambler"); serious topical songs ("The Prisoner," about the founder of the Baha'i faith, to which both belong); upbeat, effortlessly catchy mid-tempo rock ("Westward Wind"), and romantic pop/rock ("Lady").

They slipped with ease into the singer/songwriter ethos of the mid-'70s. Though they never had another hit as big as "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," they sold records by the hundreds of thousands, attracting not only older listeners (those "adult contemporary" chart placements) but many hundreds of thousands of younger listeners who didn't feel like waiting for the next time that either low bank balances or the stars and planets moving into the right position caused a Crosby, Stills & Nash reunion. Additionally, the two musicians' writing styles were just different enough, yet compatible, to make their music and their collaboration consistently interesting and enjoyable. Moreover, even if their biggest hits were authored by other composers, England Dan & John Ford Coley had a knack for capturing an elusive yet reassuring component of life in the 1970s. If one was in college or just out of it in the mid-'70s, their music seemed to say that life (and love) were these wonderful components of existence worth exploring and experiencing, slowly and not frantically. Their lyrics sang of an innocence in the air, before the Iran hostages, AIDS, the schisms of the Reagan era, and the open cultural warfare of the 1980s.

By 1977, they had a second album, 'Dowdy Ferry Road', which included a fascinating array of originals, among them the haunting "Soldier in the Rain," co-authored by Coley and lyricist Sunny Dalton, which was almost ahead of its time. Based not on the William Goldman novel of that name, "Soldier in the Rain," rather, dealt with the disillusionment and dislocation of returned Vietnam veterans. The album also yielded a pair of moderate hit singles ("It's Sad to Belong," "Gone Too Far") -- a self-penned Top 20 single such as the latter, however, didn't seem to satisfy the record label and the duo found themselves being pressured to find songs by other composers with which they could scale the Top Ten. They'd spent years perfecting a sound and two complementary styles of composition that would allow them to do things musically that were important to them, but both Seals and Coley found the most personal aspect of their work shunted aside and held out of the most prominent positions in their work.

Their third LP, 'Some Things Don't Come Easy', seemed to say more than was intended with its title. The 1978 album generated a Top Ten hit with "We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again," but it was the work of songwriter Jeffrey Comanor, rather than either Seals or Coley. Additionally, the album was mixed in New York, in contrast to their prior work, which was recorded and mixed out of Lee Hazen's studio in Hendersonville, TN, which pointed to the increasing need for a new sound and texture from the duo's work.
By the end of the 1970s, England Dan & John Ford Coley were beset by new pressures from all sides. The perception was that, between the burgeoning disco boom and the undercurrent of punk rock (which always got a lot more press than it actually sold records), their continuing with the brand of harmony based, melodic pop/rock in which they specialized was a losing battle. After some near-disastrous sessions in Los Angeles, they salvaged but a single song -- but that song proved to be their last Top Ten hit, "Love Is the Answer," written by Todd Rundgren. Released as part of a very regrettably titled album, 'Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive', it was a beautifully arranged (by Gene Page) and produced record, and just about their last attempt at anything new and lasting.

England Dan & Ford Coley with Lee Hazen - The Ponds 1978
The duo split up in 1980, following the release of a best-of album on Big Tree. They made one last effort at selling their sweetly harmonized music in the guise of the single "Why Is It Me," and contributed one song "Part of Me Part of You," to the movie Just Tell Me You Love Me. Dan Seals initially pursued a career in pop/rock as England Dan on Atlantic (which had bought up Big Tree Records), and managed a low placement in the Top 100 with "Late at Night."

It was around this time, however, that the Internal Revenue Service began an action against Seals that resulted in the seizure of virtually all of his assets. He re-emerged, still produced by Lehning, as Dan Seals and reinvented himself as a top country performer. After hitting the country charts three times in one year with "Everybody's Dream Girl," "After You," and "You Really Go for the Heart," he moved into high gear with a six-year string of major hits, including nine number one country hits in a row and a string of Country Music Association awards to go with them.

John Ford Coley withdrew from performing after the split in their partnership, although he did return to A&M Records in 1981 to cut an album, Leslie, Kelly & John Ford Coley with singers Leslie Bulkin and Kelly Bulkin, on which Jim Seals' longtime partner Dash Crofts did some singing. During the early to mid-'90s, he re-appeared as a performing artist in Southern California. In 1996, Rhino Records released 'The Very Best of England Dan & John Ford Coley', a 16-song compilation that remains in print. As far as each of them may go, and whatever success they enjoy in reshaping their images and music, England Dan & John Ford Coley will always draw smiles, sighs, and warm feelings about a simpler, more innocent age for which they wrote a good deal of the prettiest part of life's soundtrack.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD plus label scans.  I have very fond memories of playing this album over, and over, and over again while undertaking my University studies, and am sure that some of these tracks have been etched into the brains of some of my college buddies while we smoked and drank to the relaxing vibes on this classic album, plus all the other students who lived on campus nearby!
And that's What Forever's For.............
Track Listing
01 - Hollywood Heckle And Jive
02 - What Can I Do With This Broken Heart
03 - Another Golden Oldie Night For Wendy
04 - Broken Hearted Me
05 - Children Of The Half-Light
06 - Rolling Fever
07 - Love Is The Answer
08 - Only A Matter Of Time
09 - Caught Up In The Middle
10 - Running After You
11 - What's Forever For

Dr Heckle And Mr Jive FLAC's (246Mb) New Link 20/12/2023

Monday, August 3, 2015

Deep Purple - Unreasonably Loud (1977) Bootleg

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
Pioneers of heavy metal – together with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple were known as The Unholy Trinity of Hard Rock – Deep Purple have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. According to the 1975 Guinness Book of Records, they were also the loudest band in the world.
Their best-known anthem, "Smoke On The Water", has long been a favourite for air guitar aficionados, and the band are often cited as the primary inspiration behind heavy metal spoof film 'This Is Spinal Tap'.
Yet for more recent generations Deep Purple remain as associated with the Seventies as platform boots and lava lamps.

Ian Paice, the group’s drummer and the only original member left in the line-up says: “I am not sure why in the past we haven’t been invited to headline festivals or play at gigs such as the Jubilee celebrations or the Olympics. In the UK and the USA the music television stations decided we are not hip. We don’t fit in and are not asked to play. It may also be because the UK wants classic nostalgia from its bands and we are not interested in that. Whatever the reason we are very rarely invited to play in Britain.”

Deep Purple 1970
Yet for many slightly older fans, Deep Purple remain an object of deep affection. Many who were in their late teens or early 20s in the Seventies will remember Deep Purple 'In Rock', the album that was as influential as The Beatles’ 'Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band'.
No record collection was complete without the record, with its absurdly grandiose cover depicting the band members’ heads carved into the rock of Mount Rushmore. Stereo systems juddered to the 10-minute "Child In Time", a song that alienated every parent in the land and kicked off heavy metal and the cult of head banging. “Every band was doing things differently and we took the hard rock road,” recalls Ian, now 65, who insists he will continue drumming until he stops enjoying it. “It was extraordinary. Everything we did was having an effect on millions of people.”
Deep Purple - 1970
The group was put together in 1967 by businessman Tony Edwards who recruited Ian Paice, classically trained organist Jon Lord and respected guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, all of whom had been in a variety of Sixties pop bands before joining up.
They chose the psychedelic name Deep Purple (over the proposed alternative Concrete God) and recorded a debut album Shades Of Deep Purple. It did well in America but not in Britain and after a second under-
performing album the band introduced singer Ian Gillan and recorded Concerto For Group And Orchestra which – depending on one’s view – was either an innovative fusion of rock and classical music or pretentious folly. It turned out to be the group’s first UK chart success. It was a change of direction and the follow-up 1970 album Deep Purple In Rock which sent them into the rock stratosphere.
As Rolling Stone magazine later observed: “The interplay between Blackmore’s guitar and Lord’s distorted organ coupled with Gillan’s howling vocals gave Deep Purple a unique identity that codified the heavy metal genre.” Or as Jon Lord said: “Deep Purple is a damn good band and we’ve made a niche in rock and roll history.”
Glover & Gillan - Stuttgart, Germany. 1972
 For the next six years Deep Purple produced a series of chart-topping albums and toured relentlessly. But the departure of Blackmore in 1975, mixed reviews to their album Come Taste The Band and the arrival of punk spelled the beginning of the end. In July 1976 Deep Purple disbanded.
It was eight years before a reunion took place with the classic lineup of Gillan, Lord, Blackmore, Paice and bass guitarist Roger Glover. The tour that followed not only out-grossed every other artist in the world, with the single exception of Bruce Springsteen, but also played to 80,000 fans at Knebworth – their last massive British gig.
Since the late Eighties Deep Purple has, with a variety of different line-ups, continued to release albums and to tour, particularly in Europe and the Far East. “France has become a huge market in the past few years,” says Paice. “We are big in Germany, Japan, Asia and South America. It is only in the States and Britain that we are overlooked.”
Deep Purple - Stuttgart, Germany 1972
 Jon Lord died of pancreatic cancer last year aged 71. The keyboard player, who co-wrote many of the band’s greatest hits had retired in 2002 but his influence on the group remains to this day.
“Jon’s creativity can still be heard on the new album,” says Paice who is looking forward to linking up once more with old friends Gillan and Glover, both now 68. “Some musical interludes on the new album were created when Jon was in the band and his spirit is entrenched in it. It is a fresh album that we cut in just three months with an immediate sound.”

Deep Purple were finally nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in the US last year. This year it’s the new album Now What?! and a British tour. And next year? Perhaps the pensioners of Deep Purple could yet get to play Glastonbury. [extract from]

If any self respecting 'heavy rock' fan saw the following cover promo, they'd buy the bootleg in an instant - I did !

Image caption to the right reads: Richie Blackmore: “I yell and scream at home, too.”  The text below this reads: “Loudest Pop Group. The amplification for Deep Purple on their 10,000 watt Marshall P.A. system attained 117 decibels. This was sufficient in the Rainbow Theatre, London,  in 1972, to render three members of their audience unconscious.” 
This post consists  of MP3s (320kps) ripped from my near perfect vinyl bootleg which I bought as an impressionable teenager and have treasured ever since.  The cover is typical of the 'Amazing Kornyfone Label' (under the trading name of Rodan Records) with record labels exhibiting no distinguishable markings other than Side One & Two, This bootleg is a wonderful snapshot of what Deep Purple was doing on stage between 1970 and 1972.  Taken from three different concert dates and locations, this album is indicative of the powerhouse performances that they were producing at the time.  There have been other releases of this album by other Bootleg distributors (eg. Ducks Hits & Altintas to name but a few) but from what I can gather, this is the first pressing released.
The quality of the recordings is probably rated as Very Good Mono and confers with what 'Hotwacks' ranks this bootleg.   For the average listener, this bootleg is OK, but for the hardened Deep Purple enthusiast, this bootleg is priceless !   So get it while you can.
Track Listing
Side 1
01 - Lucille (5:25) - 12th Dec 1970, Stuttgart, Germany
02 - Mumblin’ Thing Blues (8:29) - Muelheim Sporthalle, Cologne, Germany, 4th April, 1970 (Progressive Pop Festival ’70)
03 - Into the fire (4:16) - 12th Dec 1970, Stuttgart, Germany

Side 2 
04 - Space Truckin’ (19:02) - Sporthalle, Stuttgart-Boeblingen, Germany, 10 Feb, 1972 
Deep Purple were:
Vocals – Ian Gillan
 Bass – Roger Glover
 Drums – Ian Paice
 Guitar – Ritchie Blackmore
 Keyboards – Jon Lord

Deep Purple Link (90Mb)