Tuesday, September 29, 2015

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Pauline Pantsdown: I Don't Like It (1998)

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.
Born in Brisbane, Australia on the 27th May 1954, Pauline Hanson became the face of "Racists" in Australia with her maiden Parliamentary speech on the 10 September 1996. Originally running a fish 'n' chip shop she became the independent member for Oxley, Queensland and held the seat until the next election in 1998. She started the "One Nation" which for a time had some support from a small minority of xenophobic Australians, especially in Queensland.

During her time as a politician she was also famous for the 60 Minutes interview with Tracey Curro who asked "Are you Xenophobic" to which she replied "Please Explain?" in a nasally voice. In the same interview she was asked her opinion on the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, to which she replied "I don't like it, because it’s promoting something that's not natural". The catch phrases "Please explain?" and "I don't like it" went on to become her trade marks and were used in television commercials and parodies (just like this month's W.O.C.K on Vinyl posting)

After the downfall of One Nation, her political career and a stint in jail she shot back onto our TV screens on Dancing with the Stars. A makeover and some dancing lessons didn't help her to a win but then again, she wasn't the first voted off. Rumors have it that Todd McKenney was heard back stage ranting "I Don't Like It" during rehearsals [extract from wikipedia]
In 1997, Simon Hunt (a lecturer in sound and film at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney) as Pauline Pantsdown released a song called "Backdoor Man", which had received a cult following and been played on Triple J, the youth network of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Hanson won an injunction to stop the ABC playing it, and in response to that, Hunt recorded another single titled "I Don't Like It".
The song features unauthorised vocals from Pauline Hanson, the former independent MP and later founder of One Nation, sampled from interviews and media clips. It peaked at number 10 on the Australian ARIA Charts and was ranked number 58 in the 1998 Triple J Hottest 100 countdown.
On 3 October 1998, Hunt, dressed as Pauline Pantsdown, campaigned on the streets of Sydney in an attempt to entice voters away from Pauline Hanson and the One Nation Party in the 1998 Australian federal election. On 7 March 2013 Hanson announced that she would stand in the 2013 federal election and Pantsdown reappeared with "I Don't Like It".
For your pleasure I have posted the funny and somewhat catchy parody "I Don't Like It" for this month's W.O.C.K posting.
Please Explain?
Well - it's Wacky and Korny to start with and "I Just Like It".  LOL
I Don't Like It Link (MP3/320kps)  New Link 08/04/2020

Friday, September 25, 2015

Deep Purple - Prisoners Of Rock (1971) Bootleg

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
When Deep Purple took the stage at the rock festival in Aachen, Germany on July 11 1970 an enterprising individual(s) had managed to run an extra line into the soundboard and a recorder was running out of sight. The resulting recording became the first DP bootleg:

Some information about the bootleg origin:
The first pressing was titled simply “Space” and was available in late 1970, either as a double (two discs in a single cover) or as two single discs. “Mandrake Root” was split over two sides of the second disc. The second pressing was called “H-Bomb”, which a more professionally produced single album which lacked “Mandrake Root” and also had slight edits to the other songs. “Kustom Records” (ASC 001) was the (Bootleg-) Label which distributed the disc across Europe and UK in early 1971.”

From what I have gathered so far, Kustom Records seems to have been a US bootleg label, so the above comment is perhaps a little exaggerated. Meanwhile in the US, the decent quality – for the time – made it an easy target for copying

The band officially released this title, mastered from a bootleg source, in 2001 as Space Vol. 1 & 2 – on the Sonic Zoom label no less, so CBM got a nod as well – and again in 2006 as Live in Aachen with a cover showing all the bootleg LP’s this appeared on earlier.  However, this release is no longer available.

The Recording
In 1970 bootlegging was still a relatively new phenomena in rock music. With the often imperfect PA systems and the limitations of tape machines, many recordings from the era are of poor quality. However, Aachen is in a different league altogether. History has it that the tapes were taken direct from a feed on the stage and recorded on a basic stereo machine hidden inside a Volkswagen camper van (which certainly accounts for the overloaded vocals). In some places the sound is actually panned from one channel to another, so they may even have mixed it live.
The first 1970/71 vinyl releases were digitally transferred and speed fluctuations evened out, before the best version of each number was cleaned up in the studio with levels tweaked where possible.

Concert Review
(by Martin Ashberry)
I know Aachen 1970 quite well, but throughout the opening few minutes of  'Wring That Neck' alone, I can pick out so much more of Jon's deft organ work that it might as well be a completely different show.
Jon and Ritchie are really battling throughout this. Jon's second solo is a lengthy affair, the usual expected combination of classic / humorous snippets, where the audience can be detected in the background applauding wildly. Blackmore's second solo then follows another burst of the riff, and again you can detect stuff that was clearly inaudible (hey, my first oxymoron!) on the original boots (to my cloth ears). And then, before you know it, it's over. Twenty minutes or so over in the blink of an eye. 
'Black Night' next, pumping with energy and enthusiasm, then 'Paint It Black' shambles in, the chaotic, almost anarchic beginning we're used to from this era quickly sharpening up, before Paice starts beating seven shades out of his drum kit.

Closer 'Mandrake Root' is a diabolically rude blast of sheer power, the vocals overloaded (as they are throughout the set), but when the musical performance is this good and the quality this unexpectedly sharp, you just have to sit back and let it all down to your knees. Clocking in at over 33 minutes, it's the expected musical tour de force that anyone with other recordings from the era will be familiar with, Ritchie exercising a restraint over his backing where you feel he is plotting to unleash something spectacular when he gets the chance, and eventually when his tremolo arm does come in for some heavy abuse, coupled with the thundering bass and pounding drums, signalling the beginning of the end. Things really do reach a caustic peak, willing you to visualize it in your mind's eye (and I can). A quick "thank you " and that's your lot.

Deep Purple 1970
Breathtaking! As soon as Ian Gillan starts to speak, you know that you're in for a good one. Clear, crisp and completely unmuffled, the sound restoration alone makes the purchase essential. I have six different boots of this show and wasn't expecting anything amazing, but I have to say that I'd arrest anyone on sight who claimed they were a Purple fan and didn't own a copy of this. Amazing, essential, brilliant. "Do you feel alright?". Most certainly! [extract from deep-purple.net]

Deep Purple Bootlegs
Undaunted by their overground popularity in 1970, Deep Purple continued courting the underground, their credos taking a major boost when a recording of a German festival performance, at the Aachen Reichstadion on July 11, was immortalized as the first ever Deep Purple bootleg, the appropriately titled 'H-Bombs', Bootlegging was still a novelty at that time. Barely two years had elapsed since Bob Dylan's 'Great White Wonder' first introduced the concept of illegally produced LP records to the rock industry (such things had long existed in the classical and jazz arenas), and only a mere handful of the heaviest hitters had thus far been honored — Dylan was followed by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who . . . and Deep Purple? Within weeks of H-Bombs' appearance on the record racks that catered for such releases, the album was nestling at the top of the bestselling bootleg chart that accompanied a Melody Maker investigation into the phenomenon, and Deep Purple were bracing to become one of the most-bootlegged bands in rock history.

Looking back in 1998, Roger Glover professed himself firmly in favor of such recordings, legitimacy be damned. "I could never understand our success," he said. "I could never understand why so many people bought our records, because they were so full of flaws! And then I started listening to bootlegs and to what we really were, and I came to reassess the whole thing. Listening to bootlegs from [the early 19705], I realized what a dangerous band we were, and how exciting it was not to know what was going to happen next. We walked a very thin line between chaos and order, and that was the magic, that was why people bought our records. I came from a pop band, and when you're a pop band you learn the song and you play it the same way every night. And now there's this band veering off and suddenly the solo's in E when it should be ... 'Hey, what's happening here?' That's the magic."

Neither did the traditional music-industry complaints against bootlegging hold any water for him: "I had a meeting with some bootleggers many years ago in Germany; we had a big discussion about bootlegs, and they said, 'Listen, bootleggers are not ripping you off, you're not losing money because of bootleggers. The fact that other people are making money from your music is indisputable, but you're not losing money, it's
not money out of your pocket. In fact, the people who buy these things have already bought your albums probably two or three times already.'

"It was a potent argument," Glover continued, "and I sympathize with that. Besides, they presented me with something I'd not heard in years, which was a recording of us doing [something] for a BBC session. It was
a song that was written on the spur of the moment, just a blues, very fast, and it's great, I love it. But it was never formally written and recorded, that's the only version of it, and I said, 'Wow, it's so wonderful to hear this, I'd forgotten all about it!' So it's through bootlegs, or at least bootleggers, that things like that even exist."
[extract from Smoke On The Water: The Deep Purple Story. By Dave Thompson. ECW Press - 2004, p102-103]
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' with record labels exhibiting no distinguishable markings other than Side 1 to .
Although limited artwork can be provided, I have sourced covers for all of the other titles which this bootleg has been released under, including the official 2001 CD release.
For anyone who loves their live set Made In Japan, this bootleg is a great insight into how Deep Purple's developed their stage act.
Track Listing

Side 1. Mandrake root (16.18)
Side 2. Mandrake root (17.02)
Side 3. Wring That Neck (19.31)

Side 4. Black Night (5:38) / Paint it black (10:59)
Deep Purple were:
Vocals – Ian Gillan
Bass – Roger Glover
Drums – Ian Paice
Guitar – Ritchie Blackmore
Keyboards – Jon Lord

Deep Purple Link (163Mb) New Link 08/07/2019

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mark Gillespie - Ring Of Truth (1983) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1977 - 1983, 1992)
If you've never heard of Mark Gillespie, you owe it to yourself to hunt down an album of his and experience what contemporary musical genius is all about.

Melbournites may best remember Mark Gillespie as the singer/songwriter/guitarist who enjoyed a cult following in the Victorian capital throughout the late 1970's. It was his emotive roots-rock style, incorporating soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and a dash of reggae that endeared him to fans of the Melbourne scene at the time.

Gillespie's first recordings appeared on a various artist's compilation called 'The Debutantes', released by the Oz label. The compilation featured two of his tracks, 'I'm A Kite (Won't You Be My Hurricane)' and 'The Joke's On You'. Around the same time Gillespie published a collection of prose and poetry through the small publishing company Outback Press.

In 1978 Mark Gillespie and the Victims released 'Savanorola', his first single. The Victims included Mick 'The Reverend' O'Connor on keyboards, Peter Reed on drums, and Bruno DeStanisio on bass.

Gillespie's big break was just around the corner. He signed to the Festival label and released the single 'Coming Back For More' in 1979. It was this release and his new label that scored Mark support slots for Tom Waits, Rodriguez and Maria Muldaur on their respective national tours of Australia. Gillespie and his touring band, Broderick Smith, Stephen Cooney, Clive Harrison, Trevor Courtney, Stewart Watson, and Pat and Gay L'Nane showed the rest of the nation the heart-felt performances Melbourne fans had been enjoying for the past few years.

The stage was set and Mark Gillespie, now signed to EMI, went into the studio with Joe Creighton, Mark Meyer, Ross Hannaford, Rex Bullen, Lisa Bade and a swag of other guest artists (some of whom went on to enjoy national stardom) to record his debut long player 'Only Human'. Four singles and countless performances to his expanding appreciative audience, Gillespie needed a break.

He traveled throughout Asia for a year or so before heading back to record the follow-up to 'Only Human'. In 1982 his second album 'Sweet Nothing' was released on the Glenn Wheatley's label through EMI. The album featured friends from his debut, Ross Hannaford, Mark Meyer and Lisa Bade, with the addition of saxophonist Andrew Thompson, bassist Tim Partridge, and Gary Lyon (not the ex-AFL player) and Nikki Nicholls on backing vocals.

The album produced three singles, 'Nothing Special', 'Traveller in the Night', and 'Night and Day'. On the Melbourne charts Gillespie's second album reached Number 9, but more importantly, it peaked at Number 32 on the national charts, the first time a Mark Gillespie release had featured in the national Top 40. Fans and critics alike lauded his releases and Gillespie was fast becoming recognised as Australia's premier songwriter. He followed up the success of 'Sweet Nothing' with his third album, a self-titled effort in 1983 that soon became more widely known as 'Ring of Truth' after the lead single. 'You' and 'Letting Go' were the other singles from the album that featured ex-Bee Gees and Groove drummer, Geoff Bridgeford and vocalist Renee Geyer.

Mark Gillespie, for whatever reason, had had enough. He returned to Asia where he set up an orphanage in Bangladesh, a gesture that was indicative of the heart and soul of Mark Gillespie. In the mean time Glenn Wheatley and EMI made the most of their signing when they released 'Best of Mark Gillespie (Small Mercies)' in 1985. It appeared Gillespie's contribution to Australian music was done when nothing was heard from him until 1992 when he returned to Australia to record and release 'Flame' in 1992 Gudinski's Mushroom label tied up with Festival, the label who had given Gillespie his first big break 13 years earlier. At this time he also released the CD single 'Long Time' and EP 'Don't Wait'. Old friends and musicians who'd long admired Gillespie's work gathered to record these comeback efforts. The artists involved included Joe Creighton and Ross Hannaford, along with ex-Mondo Rock keys man James Black, John Farnham band drummer Angus Burchill, ex-Aussie Crawl and Kevin Borich Express drummer John Watson, former Stephen Cummings Band guitarist Shane O'Mara, and Deborah Conway Band bassist Bill McDonald, among others.

But, so far, that's all she wrote as far as Mark Gillespie's contribution to Australian music is concerned. Since '92 Gillespie has had no further involvement. According to another Australian music legend, Broderick Smith, Mark is happy living with his wife north of Benalla in Victoria. Brod told us this week that Mark is "staying away from the scene and enjoys spending more time with farm animals than people".

Mark Gillespie's story truly is a humbling one for all us musicians. He seems to be a man who cares more about humanity, happiness, and music for music's sake than swimming through the sharks to "make it" in the business of music [sourced from a song facts forum]
Joe Creighton (ex-band member) recalls:

Around 1978 I met Mark Gillespie, singer songwriter, the man in black! 
Mark came across as a tortured soul and with an air of mystery around him; he was fast gaining a solid reputation for himself as a songwriter/poet and developing a good fan base in the live pub circuit.
He came to my flat one day and asked me if I would play bass for him. He was also trying to recruit Hannaford. I was confused that another artist would want me to play the bass for them as I had a picture of myself as a singer/songwriter who happened to play the bass and not as 'BASS PLAYER'. I said to him 'Why don't you get a real bass player'. He said 'I want your bass playing in my band'. I said 'OK' and little did I realise that I had made a fairly serious career decision. I became a 'hired gun' for the first time.

I did Mark's first album 'Only Human' up at The Music Farm in Coorabell, near Mullumbimby, in 1980. That album gave me much kudos as a musician. Mark's songs were always great for creating good grooves and dynamic bass lines in. I always had a lot of fun recording with him. I was able to have quite a bit creative input in his music; I played bass, sung backing vocals and helped with the arrangements.

When that album came out my phone didn't stop ringing everybody seemed to want me on their albums. It was an exciting time as it was rewarding but it did distract me a bit from my fundamental purpose as a singer/songwriter. I did however learn a great deal from all those artists I worked with.
Zev Eizik who, with Michael Coppel, promoted a lot of overseas artists in Australia managed Mark. We got to do the support for many of those acts i.e. Jackson Browne, Maria Muldaur, Tom Waits, Rodriguez, Joe Cocker, to name a few. This elevated us to the Concert stage which helped me hone my craft even more.
[taken from Joe Creighton's website]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from a newly acquired vinyl pressing which I picked up from a local second hand record shop 'bargin bin'. Just gotta love finds like this one - mint, mint condition for $5.  Full album artwork is included as usual along with Wheatley Records label scans.
To sweeten the deal, I'm also including some hard to get singles as bonus tracks - 3 tracks from his 1980 "Deep As You" E.P, the B-side to Ring Of Truth  "All Your Love" and his 1978 single "Comin' Back For More"  (thanks to Unc at Midoztouch for the E.P tracks)
If you're looking for Mark's two signature albums 'Only Human' and 'Sweet Nothing' you'll find them at Aztec Records.
Track Listing
01 - Ring Of Truth
02 - Thanks
03 - You
04 - Letting Go
05 - Look What You Got
06 - Lost In Wonder
07 - Here And Now
08 - Not Diamonds
09 - Scars
10 - Easy
11 - Deep As You (Bonus A-Side)
12 - Stronger Together (Bonus B-Side)
13 - Falling (Bonus B-Side)
14 - All Your Love (Bonus B-Side Single)
15 - Comin' Back For More (Bonus A-Side Single) 

All instruments by Mark Gillespie except
Drum & Percussion - Geoff Bridgeford

Backing Vocals - Renee Geyer, Vanetta Fields, Lisa Bade
Mark Gillespie FLAC's (331Mb) New Link 13/01/2018
Mark Gillespie MP3's (140Mb) New Link 29/01/2017

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Genesis - I Know What I Like (1992) On Stage Bootleg

(U.K 1967-1999, 2006-Present)
(Article from New Musical Express, Feb 1976)
Genesis haven't bothered to recruit a replacement for Peter Gabriel when he left the band last year - they've just brought Phil Collins out from behind the drum kit to handle the vocals on their new album, 'Trick Of The Tail'.
Casual fans might find it difficult to notice the difference. Collins' voice is unnervingly like Gabriel's. But critics have found the new album more accessible than the complex 'Lamb Lies Down On Broadway'.
'I think there was less friction between vocals and instrumentals,' explains Mike Rutherford. Peter's going has made us more of a band.'
They've also nailed the misconception that Gabriel wrote all Genesis' material. Rutherford and Tony Banks now have their contributions individually credited instead of being under the group banner. And they've already got a pile of material prepared for another album.
But first they'll be going on the road, adding ex-Yes and King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, so that Collins can divide his time between drumming and singing.
Marketed under the title 'I Know What I Like', this CD is a bootlegged release of Seconds Out minus the tracks "Supper's Ready" and "Cinema Show." Most likely, the two were not included in order to accommodate a single-disc package (Seconds Out is a double disc). Released in 1992 on the Italian 'On Stage' label, I Know What I Like has superb sound quality. The performances, recorded in Paris in 1976 and 1977, feature Collins in the role of lead vocalist for the first time on a live tour. While his voice excels on "Afterglow" and even on Gabriel's "Musical Box," it is barely adequate on other Gabriel classics, most notably "The Carpet Crawl" and the title cut. Despite these shortcomings, the music is always majestic. Chester Thompson, a one-man powerhouse, handles drum duty throughout. He and Collins double up on "Firth of Fifth," "The Musical Box," and, of course, "Los Endos." Collins also performs a keyboard solo on "Robbery, Assault and Battery." As always, Tony Banks' keyboards are the dominant force in the music, the backbone of the Genesis sound. The compositions on "I Know What I Like" are superior to anything the band accomplished thereafter.
The post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. I have also included a scan of the 'The Lamb Stands Up Again' article and the NME chronicle from which it was taken.
I must admit that when Gabriel left Genesis back in 1975 I lost a little interest in Genesis, and focused more on his solo efforts, but one still has to give credit to Phil Collins for being able to pick up the pieces with the lead vocals and kept the band alive well into the 90's before leaving the band himself.
01     Firth Of Fifth    
02     The Carpet Crawl    
03     Afterglow    

04     I Know What I Like    
05    Robbery, Assault And Battery    
06     Squonk

07     The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
08     The Musical Box (Closing Section)
09     Dance On A Volcano 
10     Los Endos

Genesis were:
Tony Banks – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals
Mike Rutherford – bass, guitar, backing vocals
Steve Hackett – guitar
Phil Collins – vocals, drums, percussion

Bill Bruford – drums, percussion (supporting)

Genesis Link (139Mb)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Eric Clapton - Unauthorised: Tears In Heaven (1992) Bootleg

(U.K 1962 – Present)
Back on 16 January 1992, 300 music fans boarded coaches in London that took them to Bray Studios, near Windsor. Little did they know music history would be made that night on Soundstage1 as MTV filmed the opening episode of Unplugged’s third season. It would turn out to be some of the finest music ever recorded by Eric.

When MTV Unplugged with Eric Clapton debuted on television in March, it became the series’ highest rated show. It proved to be so popular, a “Part 2” featuring a few songs not included in the original broadcast was put together for broadcast in June. The resulting live album, released in August, became the biggest selling album of Eric’s career. On the 20th Anniversary of the filming and recording of this landmark work, the Where’s Eric! Team takes a look back at Clapton’s one and only all-acoustic concert.

The premise of MTV Unplugged was simple: musicians associated with amplified music would “unplug” from their amps and effects and go acoustic performing stripped down and sometimes radically reworked songs. By the time MTV approached Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Don Henley, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Allman Brothers Band, Sting, Elvis Costello and others had been featured. With Eric’s episode, the show would have its finest moment. The music was minimalist, alternating between his pop songs and the traditional blues that influenced him as a youth. Eric would also debut five new songs, all penned in the months following the tragic death of his young son, Conor.

In an interview filmed the afternoon of the taping, Eric said, “When I first started playing, I played a lot of finger style. I could never really find the right combination of flat pick, finger picks or thumb picks so really the easiest way to learn to play – though it's quite strenuous on the fingertips – is finger-style. I think you get a nice tone that way; there’s a beautiful sound to be gained from the finger actually touching the string. I wouldn't mind trying it on electric. It's something I just recently started to work on again.” One of the outgrowths from Unplugged was that Eric did indeed begin to play finger style on the electric guitar and the style continues to feature prominently in his live shows and recordings.

Back on 6 January 1992, BBC Radio 1 gave away 150 pairs of tickets for the taping. The question asked was a no brainer, even for casual music fans, “Where did Eric stay whilst recording ‘I Shot The Sheriff’?” Competition winners were told the show would take place at a “secret location”. They were also given a letter that read in part: "You should all be aware that sitting is not on a 'first come first served basis.' The producers of the show will allocate everybody their seats. This will depend on various points eg. colours that you are wearing etc. Please be patient while this process is happening."

After everyone was seated and some directions were given by the stage manager, Eric walked out to loud applause. He sat center stage with 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars and a dobro within easy reach. New band recruit Andy Fairweather Low (rhythm guitar and mandolin) was to his right and Nathan East (bass) to his left. Behind them were Steve Ferrone (drums), Ray Cooper (percussion), Chuck Leavell (piano) and Katie Kissoon and Tessa Niles (backing vocalists). It was a typical television shoot with a lot of stopping and starting over the course of two hours. Some songs had to be redone due to technical concerns.

Music historian and author Marc Roberty recently told WE!, “Eric was in fine form that night and I especially recall how emotional he looked after playing the songs he had written in memory of Conor. The different arrangements of some of his classic songs made the evening so special for me as I was so familiar with those songs in an electric setting.”

Eric and his band opened the two hour taping with the bouncy samba, “Signe” (the song order would be changed for the television broadcast and again for the home video release and CD; the interview segments would also be cut from the home video release). On Eric’s hand-penned set list – which can be glimpsed taped to a table next to him – it’s listed as “instrumental”. It was also the first public indication of Eric’s love of Brazilian music. Eric later said he wrote it on a yacht named Signe, which he had charted the previous summer. It was also the first song he wrote as part of his healing process after the death of his young son, Conor, the previous March.

Bo Diddley’s 12-bar blues “Before You Accuse Me” and “Hey Hey” featured Eric and Andy on guitars without the rest of the band were next. Eric pointed out, “this show was a great opportunity for me to pay homage to the things that originally influenced me. "Hey Hey" is a semi-instrumental by Big Bill Broonzy, and that was probably one of the first blues albums I ever heard. It was a piece I used to play in pubs when I was very young.  I never felt that I mastered it, so that’s why we’re doing it with two guitars!”

Three new songs followed – “Circus Left Town”, “Tears In Heaven” and “Lonely Stranger“ – with the full band. Warmly received, they were also written during the summer of 1991 as Eric grieved. He said, “Some of the songs are still in a very early stage of development, but they will be on a record someday. “The Circus Left Town" is about my son and the last night I spent with him, which was, in fact, at the circus.  It's....there's not much I can say about it except that these songs helped me get through a very hard patch in my life and I wanted to make them public.” Over the next several years, fans heard “Circus Left Town” evolve on stage during Eric’s worldwide tours. In 1998, the title was shortened to “Circus” when Eric recorded it for his album, Pilgrim.

“Tears In Heaven” dealt with his loss in stark, powerful terms. Throughout his career, Eric’s most popular songs originated from emotions at the core of his very being. “Tears In Heaven” resonated with the public like no other. He said, “I think that with what happened to me last year – the loss of my son – my audience would have been very surprised if I didn't make some reference to it.  And I wouldn't want to insult them by not sharing my grief with them in some way. So I do intend to make these things known and I will play the songs in concert and put them on record. It is a healing process for me, and I think it's important to share that with people who love your music.” After the song was over, Eric was clearly moved by the audience’s response to it; a scene that would be repeated around the world in venues large and small during his 1992 Tour.

The taping continued with Jimmy Cox’s “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”. “I learned it and played it around the pubs, myself when I was 15, 16. It was part of my early repertoire. I played it unaccompanied and it was one of the first songs I felt I could sing because it was a melodramatic song. I could put all this angst into it. When I was with Derek and The Dominos, we did a version of it, but this is the way I originally used to do it with acoustic guitar,” Eric related in the between song comments.

The biggest surprise of the night was next. It was also a song that had been recorded by The Dominos. Eric had radically reworked one of his best-known songs, “Layla”, as a slow shuffle and it clicked. Saying to the audience, “See if you can spot this one,” Eric and the band launched into it. It took only a brief measure before one audience member shouted “yeah!” with the rest breaking into tumultuous applause, hoots and whistles a split second later. Eric said "Layla sort of mystified me I've done it the same all these years, and never considered trying to revamp it. A lot of artists do that. Bob Dylan, for instance, changes everything every time he plays a song. I thought this was another great opportunity to just take it off on a different path and make it into a shuffle. For a start, making it acoustic denied all the riffs which would have sounded a bit weak really on the acoustic. It just seemed to become jazzier somehow.  And, of course, I'm singing it a whole octave down, which gives it a nice atmosphere”. Reception was so favorable it was released as the album’s single, backed with the Unplugged version of "Tears In Heaven".

Throughout the taping, Eric’s keen sense of humor was at the fore. One of the most amusing moments came after “Layla”. A makeup girl scooted out to powder the shine from Eric’s and Nathan’s faces. The director then decided more makeup was a good idea prompting Eric to inquire,“what happens to the first part of the show as I didn’t have any on in the first place?” The makeup girl tried to cajole him saying “just the smallest, tiniest bit” but Eric playfully growled “I don’t want no makeup. Get off!” Seconds later, Eric wiped at his face and whined sotto voce, “I can’t play with it on," causing lighthearted laughter amongst the band and audience.

The Sun, in typical tabloid form, took a huge amount of poetic license with this moment when they reported it on 27 January 1992: "ERIC CLAPTON lost his cool with an MTV director who stopped him mid-song during an acoustic show in Windsor, Berks. to apply make-up to the band. 'I’m a f****** artist, not a bloody Barbie doll,' he raged." Talk about gilding the lily!

Following the re-worked “Layla”, Eric introduced another new song, “My Father’s Eyes”. He said, “It's a very personal matter, but I never met my father, and I realized that the closest I ever came to looking in my father's eyes was when I looked into my son's eyes.  So I wrote this song about that. It's a strange kind of cycle thing that occurred to me, and another thing I felt I would like to share”. Cut from the broadcast and omitted from official releases, Eric would perform it on stage regularly over the next several years. Like “Circus,” it too would be recorded for 1998’s Pilgrim.

“Running On Faith” was next, with Eric picking up a dobro and glass slide for the song. Eric recounted, “it was on Journeyman so I knew that that song was easily adaptable. It was an obvious choice and it’s also a fairly well known song and part of my usual stage repertoire. I thought it was good to include it.” He continued, “I played the dobro on that because I did on the record. I don’t play it on the stage so it was another opportunity. This program gives me all these opportunities to do things that I’ve always done at home but don’t do on stage.”

The main part of the taping was moving quickly towards its end and it would be nothing but the blues. “Walking Blues” – which was used as the opening song for the MTV Unplugged with Eric Clapton – Part 2 broadcast – featured Eric alone on dobro. Although it would become commonplace in succeeding years, this was the first time fans got to see and hear a song performed in this manner by Eric. “Walking Blues”, as done by Eric for Unplugged, was actually a hybrid song. Eric borrowed the guitar part from Muddy Waters' "Feel Like Going Home," and superimposed Robert Johnson's lyrics. Eric recalled, “It’s sort of my simultaneous tribute to both of them. It's a piece I've played since I was 14, but I only recently decided to start singing it.”

Next up was an old Snooks Eaglin song, “Alberta”, with its humorous false start (Eric forgot to remove the glass slide from his little finger) and tells the band to "hang on, hang on.". Like all of the cover songs in the set, it was another that Eric had heard during his youth that he always wanted to do. He said it was “accessible to me as a beginning guitar player, because it consists of three chords and just straight strumming. It’s just lodged in my head as a very sentimental song, and part of my early influences”.

“San Francisco Bay Blues” – performed with kazoo like Jesse Fuller’s original “one man band version” and “Malted Milk” (the second Robert Johnson cover of the night) wrapped things up.  But shortly after telling the studio audience “that’s it,” Eric said they needed to do two – no three - no five songs over again adding “if you don’t mind, I don’t mind.”  No one minded!

After the second take of “My Father’s Eyes” there was a brief break and cameras were off. Eric broke into an impromptu “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, which he had last performed with Cream. The seasoned musicians quickly picked up on it and the crowd clapped along. The director, realizing what a gem this was, signaled the crew., They only managed to capture part of it which is why there’s such an abrupt start to the song. In fact, Eric was so pleased with it that when the song ended, he asked the director, “did you get that?”

The second take of “Running On Faith” was next, but the first take was still used in the broadcast and the official releases. “Walking Blues”, “San Francisco Bay Blues”, and “Malted Milk” were then set down for the second time and these are the takes that were used. The final songs recorded were “Worried Life Blues” – which was cut from the broadcast and releases - and “Old Love” from 1989’s Journeyman. The latter is one of the high points of the night, with Eric taking his usual long improvised solo during the song. It was captured in one brilliant take at the very end of the evening.

What was surprising to many at the time was the rich sound of Eric’s voice. He said, “it's such a joy to sing with a full band acoustically and be able to hear your voice; I find it so much more easy to adjust the volume of my own voice. On stage, I seem to be singing flat out all the time. Here, I could sing quietly, and have more dynamic range.”

Nathan East, a long-time member of Clapton’s band, reminisced with WE! about the recording of Unplugged. Nathan said, “It's always an honor to be on stage with Eric and this became a very special performance for many reasons. The new arrangements of songs like ‘Layla’, ‘Old Love’ and ‘Running On Faith’ turned these songs into classics all over again. Of course, ‘Tears in Heaven’ had a powerful impact on the overall concert being such an emotional tribute to little Conor whose spirit definitely filled the room. I loved the entire experience and the challenge of presenting Eric’s music in a truly unplugged fashion!  The vibe on stage was so relaxed, the band was amazing and it just felt like a room full of friends sharing music together one afternoon out in the country." When asked what his favorite track was, Nathan told us, "‘Tears In Heaven’, ‘Alberta’, ‘Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out’, ‘Running On Faith’, ‘Layla’, ‘Before You Accuse Me’, ‘San Francisco Bay Blues’, ‘Old  Love’, ‘Hey Hey’ and ‘Walkin' Blues’.”

Guitarist Andy Fairweather Low, who still tours and records with Eric, told WE!, " I have only one thought - 'Hey Eric, we should do this again!' It was the most unbelievable moment in my life. No more no less. Unbelievable."

At the time, nobody realized how successful the album would become. In fact, Eric did not even want to release it because he felt it would not do as well as a studio album of new material. After some cajoling, the album was released on 25 August 1992 to some of the best reviews of his career.
[Extract from whereseric.com MTV "Unplugged" With Eric Clapton]
This bootleg was taken from the Unplugged MTV broadcast and features 4 tracks not included on the official release "Eric Clapton Unplugged".  The post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from the Australian Grapefruit CD release and includes the usual generic artwork and featured photos. The quality of the recording is as good as the official release and is a must for the 'Clapton Is God' collector.
I gotta say that when I first heard Clapton's tribute song "Tears In Heaven" back in 91', shortly after the loss of his son, I shed more than a few tears and promised God that I would never take my family for granted, ever.  So this post is dedicated to my two beautiful kids and wife.
Track Listing
01 - Signe
02 - Tears in Heaven
03 - Circus Has Left Town
04 - My Fathers Eyes
05 - Running on Faith
06 - Walking Blues
07 - San Francisco Bay Blues
08 - Malted Milk
09 - Worried Life Blues
10 - Old Love
11 - My Fathers Eyes #2

Eric Clapton (Guitar, Vocals)
Chuck Leavell (Keyboards)
Andy Fairweather-Low (Guitar)
Nathan East (Bass)
Steve Ferrone (Drums)
Ray Cooper (Percussion)
Tessa Niles & Katie Kassoon (Backing Vocals)

Eric Clapton Link (147Mb)  New Link 11/12/2019

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The La De Das - Rock 'n' Roll Sandwich (1973)

(New Zealand 1964-74)
The New Zealand band The La De Das were first formed in 1965, but by 1973 Kevin Borich was the only original member of the  band remaining. He retained Keith Barber and brought in another old friend of his, Ronnie Peel who was better known as 'Rockwell T James'. Ronnie had been with a number of groups since 1965, including the Pleazers, the Mystics and the Missing Links. In addition, former member Phil Key was not replaced as Kevin now decided to take total control as guitarist, vocalist, electric pianist and frontman. With Kevin now recognised as Australia's guitar hero supremo, the group was now a power trio.

The trio returned to New Zealand in February 1973 to be part of the Ngaruawahia Music Festival. Their performance left the audience wishing for more and in May they returned to do a series of concerts in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. 1973 was a year of consolidation for the trio. They did a lot of touring throughout Australia, either headlining concerts with Sherbet or providing support to a number of visiting international acts. During this traveling they were involved in a road accident that put Ronnie Peel and their roadie in hospital and completely destroyed all of their equipment. The two recovered and only through a benefit gig in Sydney did they raise enough money to replace their gear.

Borich, Barber, Peel - 1973
With the group now recovered and rearing to go, Kevin was anxious to record another album. It had been nearly five years since the last album, "The Happy Prince". EMI weren't keen and after a lot of pressure they finally agreed. Rod Coe again took the production role and the result was "Rock and Roll Sandwich". The album was released in November 1973 to acclaims of being one of Australia's finest rock albums.  'Rock'n'Roll Sandwich', was lauded by Glenn Baker as "one of Australia's finest rock albums, a fiery, cohesive work dominated by the superbly talented Kevin Borich and carried off by the reliable gutsiness of Peel and Barber."

Borich was by now firmly entrenched as Australia's guitar hero supremo; his superb rendition of Jimi Hendrix's workout on Dylan's `All Along the Watchtower' had become a signature song, and the band was never allowed to finish a gig until delivering it. The fiery Rock and Roll Sandwich (the band's first album in five years, issued November 1973 and probably the first Kevin Borich album) considered their best album and came nearest to capturing their admired live energy on vinyl. Kevin Borich wrote (or co-wrote) all the material, sang every song and backed them superbly with electric and/or acoustic guitars and piano. It remains a classic boogie rock album. The singles "I'll Never Stop Loving You"/ "It's the Beginning" (December 1972) and "The Place"/"No Law Against Having Fun" (March 1974) maintained the pace but were not chart hits. The band's final singles, punchy, commercial covers of Chuck Berry's "Too Pooped to Pop"/ "She Tell Me What to Do" (#26 in July 1974) and Hank Williams' "Honky Tonkin''/ "Temple Shuffle" (August 1974), were minor national hits. "Too Pooped to Pop" also peaked at #13 in Melbourne. 

La De Das - 1974
Most of these singles, along with other recorded leftovers, were culled together in 1975 to form the basis of the "Legend" album (see my earlier post). The La De Das supported UK glam-rocker Gary Glitter on his July 1974 Australian tour [extract from Kevin Borich Fan Website]

Now with an album to promote, EMI got behind the group and organised two major support roles, one for Elton John and the other for Suzi Quatro. The gigs and touring continued throughout 1974 and into 1975. In January 1975, they made another appearance at the final Sunbury Festival. Although the event wasn't as good as the 1973 event, the La De Da's performance was still one of the few high points of the concert.

As 1975 progressed, the problems were growing. Radio was ignoring them, the touring was taking its toll, Keith Barber was becoming increasingly erratic and difficult. After ten hard years, Kevin realised that nothing tangible had really been achieved and the only thing laying ahead was more of the same. In May 1975, Kevin officially announced that the the La De Da's would disband.  [extract from sergent.com.au]
Post consists of both FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prize possession vinyl LP that I picked up at a garage sale, over 20 years ago.  Full album artwork and label scans are included. This post was made in response to a request made by a loyal blog follower, Dave - hope ya enjoy the FLACs Dave.
The thing I like about this album is that none of the tracks appear on any other albums - including early and recent compilations of La De Das music.  This one's not to be missed folks and be assurred its no 'club sandwich'
01 - The Place     5:38
02 - To Get Enough     4:11
03 - Temple Shuffle     7:47
04 - No Law (Against Having Fun)     4:51

05 - Searchin'     4:47
05 - Who's The One You Love     4:47
06 - She Tell Me What To Do     2:12

Bass, Vocals – Ron Peel (alias: Rockwell T James)
Congas – Joe Whippy
Drums, Percussion, Harmonica – Keith Barber
Guitar, Vocals, Flute, Piano – Kevin Borich
Saxophone – Don Wright
Vocals [Backing] – Bobbie Marchini, Renee Geyer
Producer – Rod Coe

La De Das FLACs (221Mb)
La De Das MP3's  (82Mb)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Marcia Hines - Live Across Australia (1977)

(Australian 1970 - Present)
Review by Glenn Cizano

Marcia Hines is the hardest musical act to review in Australia. She is so nice. She works so hard. Everyone loves her. (There is even nearly five minutes of applause on Side 4 of this album to prove how much everyone loves her). But underneath all the adulation lies the unspoken question: "How good is she really?' And everyone knows the answer is; "Not as good as we like to pretend."
And the damn trouble is that she is good. Just not that good. Shit, not even Aretha is that good. Anyhow, you can hear exactly how good (warts and all) on this live double album. All the hits are here. What is missing is maybe a good reason for releasing the record. Like there is this audience participation bit on "I've Got The Music In Me" that is Pittsville. Either the audience didn't respond ("We love you Adelaide!") beyond clapping, or else the recording didn't capture it. In either case the attempt should never had made the record. And then we have at least one song per side that is "black" which would be all right except that "black" material is generally speaking, Marcia Hines' weakest point. Like Etla Fitzgerald, this lady is primarily a pop singer, not a soul singer. Even though she does a fantastic job with "More Than You'll Ever Know", a blue soul-jerker by grey brother Al Kooper.

The best moments are the hits — but we knew that already. The best track overall however, is probably the bonus studio track "Music Is My Life". The fact is, she sounds better in a studio Which is strange, because she is quite a performer in person. Live, her movement rivets attention. But on this album she sounds, if anything, cooler than we are used to hearing her. That could be because of the arrangements. Jackie Orzaczky's idea of a good arrangement is pedestrian — or so it seems here. If you have to make the orchestra come on like the Brian May Showband in order to keep attention on the singer there is something wrong. But at other times Hines has to yell to be heard, and she is given no space to be subtle and damn little sympathetic backing compared to what she gets in the studio. There doesn't seem to be much here to feed on, or interact with, musically speaking. And this means that she has to produce the excitement on her own, which is no good for a singer. If you have to do it all yourself you run the risk of ending up like Tony Bennett or Peggy Lee, both of whom are marvellous musos who pack all the punch of an apricot yoghurt.

This woman could be a really important pop singer. She hits hard with what she does. She phrases great. She understands, the music in what she has to sing. Look, she even has a trunkload of boss material. Robie G. Porter alone could keep her in velvet for the rest of her days, arid that doesn't count the ear (Hers? Porters?) that finds just the right songs from musicals and so on.
So why isn't she better right now? The album has some answers. On Side 1, she introduces "Maybe It's Time To Start Calling for Love" as a brand new song. The tune is her meat: it is sensitive, melodic, haunting. But she gives it a banal, superficial run-through. Maybe she hadn't had the time. I can't imagine that she still does the song in such a perfunctory way, if she still does it. By now she should have got inside it the way she got inside Shining and the rest. What I am saying is that the lady needs time right now even more than she needs her fans love.
She needs time to learn to curb that blitzkreig attack on songs like "Love Is Blue" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash". Going too far too fast is a cliche fault with pop singers, but overcoming it is what seems to eventually separate the stayers from those that don't last the course. But all her biggies sound good even in watered-down versions, and there's one other thing that to me, is the most exciting thing on both records.

That is the way she does "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? She does it bloody well. This is one of those simple songs people dug before the revolution, and it takes a lot of gentle hard work to make-it into anything personal. Most singers don't have the patience or maybe the sensitivity to do songs like this very well and the fact that she does (and she has been doing it for some time) suggests both that she is going to become tremendous as she goes on, and that when the time comes to put her in the plush nightclubs-where-you-pay-a-lot-of-money-just-to-sit-down she'll fit like a hand in a glove. A bit of a warning here,'this song probably has the worst arrangement on the album, rising to cyclone level before it is through, and full of 50's brasnicks.
Don't get me wrong - this is a good album. It might do for a "greatest hits" stand-in. But really, the only reason it exists is so that people can have a souvenir of the tour and like that funny paperweight you brought home last summer, it probably won't be long before 'Live Across Australia' is gathering dust in a corner somewhere  [Review from RAM Magazine, 'Vinylising', June 30, 1978. p26]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my double vinyl set that I purchased when Marcia was high in the Australian charts. In fact, I'm pretty sure I bought it at Readings Records in one of their stores located at La Trobe University were I was studying at the time.  Amazing what you can remember sometimes!  Full album artwork along with a restitched gatefold and label scans are included. A scan of the original RAM review article is also included along with select photos of Marcia.
Please note that I took the liberty of editing out some of the applause on various tracks, as it becomes rather tiresome after awhile and in my opinion, detracts the listener from the music. 

Track Listing
01 - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

02 - Once We Get Started
03 - You

04 - Maybe It's Time To Start Calling It Love
05 - Imagination
06 - Shining

07 - I Don't Know How To Love Him
08 - Whatever Goes Around
09 - Love Is Blue
10 - Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
11 - Fire And Rain
01 - Trilogy
02 - More Than You'll Ever Know
03 - Empty
04 - Jumpin' Jack Flash
05 - What I Did For Love

06 - Believe In Me
07 - I've Got The Music In Me
08 - From The Inside
09 - Music Is My Life (Studio Track)

Marcia Hines FLACs LP1 (292Mb) New Link 16/09/2018
Marcia Hines FLACs LP2 (319Mb) New Link 29/01/2017