Monday, November 30, 2015

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Wiggles with Ross Wilson: Eagle Rock (2003)

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.
There wouldn't be many people who haven't heard of the children's group The Wiggles unless they have being living under a mushroom for the past 25 years or don't think of Ross Wilson (from Daddy Cool) when they hear "Eagle Rock" been played on a Classic 70's radio show. 
What makes this Month's W.O.C.K on Vinyl post interesting is how these two pinnacles in the music industry have come together to produce a refreshing rendition of the #1 Daddy Cool hit - "Eagle Rock"

Have A Wiggley WOCK On Vinyl Folks
With a stellar career spanning more than 45 years and showing no signs of slowing, Mr 'Eagle Rock' Ross Wilson is one of  Australian rock music's most enduring and lauded talents.  Twice inducted in to the ARIA Hall of Fame (1989 Solo and 2006 with Daddy Cool), Wilson continues to win acclaim in 2003 thanks to the Wiggles and their tribute release of "Eagle Rock", his signature track which has been included in the National Film and Sound Archive 'Sounds of Australia Collection'

King Mondo "Ross Wilson"
"Eagle Rock" is a classic Australian song, released by Daddy Cool in May 1971 on the Sparmac Record Label. It went on to become the best selling Australian single of the year, achieving gold status in eleven weeks, and remaining at #1 on the national charts for a (then) record ten weeks. "Eagle Rock" also spent 17 weeks at the #1 spot on the Melbourne Top 40 Singles Chart. The song was re-released by Wizard Records in 1982, and reached #17 on the Australian singles charts
"Eagle Rock" was released in early 2003 by the Wiggles to promote the upcoming video, Space Dancing. It featured both the audio and video for the Eagle Rock song, as well as all of the other songs from the video minus "Fergus' Jig". Ross Wilson is depicted as "King Mondo" in the film clip which is also included in this post.
At first, when I saw this single released in the shops, I couldn't help but think that this was one Weird combination, the Wiggles and Ross Wilson. But when I listened to the track, I immediately understood the  connection - both the Wiggles (who started out as the pop band called the Cockroaches) and Wilson (lead singer from Daddy Cool) just love to move when they perform, as highlighted in the song's lyrics

Now listen
Oh, we're steppin' out
I'm gonna turn around
Gonna turn 'round once
And we'll do the eagle rock

For this month's post, I've not only included a FLAC rip of the 2003 release of Eagle Rock but also the video clip that was also included on the CD single ->  HERE    New Link 11/12/2019

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Master's Apprentices - Nickelodeon (1971) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1965–1972, 1987–1991, 1994–1997, 2001–2002)
Masters Apprentices were a highly-rated band who formed in Adelaide in 1965. Their diverse musical styles ranged from R'n'B to psychedelic rock to heavy rock. They were one of Australia's most popular bands of the sixties and their talent has continued to be recognised to this day.They formed out of the instrumental outfit The Mustangs who started playing raucous R'n'B material penned by their guitarist Mick Bower and took on vocalist Jim Keays at the same time. They pioneered use of distorted chords on rhythm guitar, paving the way for heavy rock. Their raw sound and wild stage act led top Australian radio DJ Stan Rofe to dub them "Australia's Rolling Stones".

In early 1967 they moved to Melbourne and put out their eponymous debut album, which contained both sides of their first two singles to name some of its fine original material. It also contained a splattering of cover versions like "I Feel Fine", "Johnny B. Goode" and "My Girl".They started out as one of Australia's top R'n'B bands in the sixties and had moved into psych-pop territory towards the end of the decade. They had veered towards progressivism by the start of the seventies and "Turn Up Your Radio" in 1970 gave them their first and only Top 10 hit. This was pure pop, but on the flip side was Jam It Up, a Led Zeppelin-style heavy metal raver that didn't appear on album, until Raven included it on their 1987 Jam It Up! rarities album.

The Masters were hugely popular throughout Australia, scored a string of hits and were consistently hailed as one of Australia's best live and recording acts. They started out as an instrumental band, rose to prominence during the mid-Sixties "Beat Boom", moved through psychedelia and bubblegum pop, finally becoming one the first and best Australian progressive/hard rock groups of the early Seventies. They went through many lineup changes, with vocalist Jim Keays being the only constant, and their membership also illustrates the intricate interconnections between so many Australian bands of that era.
By 1971 The Masters' had established themselves as one of Australia's finest progressive music acts. They were living in England in this era and that clearly helped keep them fully abreast of the latest trends. Their Choice Cuts album and "Because I Love You" 45 were both recorded at Abbey Road's No. 2 studio. The 45 gave them a No. 12 National hit.

 It was a strong song, superbly arranged and has stood the test of time well. The album could be termed hard progressive rock. Doug Ford's inventive guitar skills are in evidence on tracks like "I'm Your Satisfier", "Death Of A King" and "Song For A Lost Gypsy". Other songs which catch the ear are the haunting "Michael", the latin-flavoured "Rio De Camero", the pop classic "Because I Love You" and "Our Friend Owsley Stanley III", which at times recalls the style of Jethro Tull (and is about the legendary U.S. underground manufacturer of L.S.D.).

When the Master Apprentices returned to Australia in Dec 1970, they landed in Perth and waiting for them was EMI Records producer Howard Gable who had brought a portable recording unit and told the band he was recording the show that night for release.

The same year The Masters' also released a live album, Nickelodeon. It was recorded just after they arrived back from England for an Australian tour in December 1970. It's notable for being one of the first live albums recorded in Australia, but in truth is a little disappointing. The better moments include a spirited version of Because I Love You and Doug Ford's "Future Of Our Nation" which features a series of his lead solo's. This track was issued as a 45 with a non-album cut, the folksy "New Day" on the flip. A 19 minute run through Spooky Tooth’s “Evil Woman” outstays its welcome by five or six minutes but does have the band playing at almost speed metal pace during one section. Doug Ford’s wailing guitar never sounded better or heavier than it does here though he would’ve played better with a more developed set list.
Concert Review
Nickelodeon, was recorded live in Perth, December 1970, with a portable tape recorder, hardly the latest technology, but for Australian standards, it would do. This gives it a raw sound, but then the performance itself was no doubt pretty raw, so it likely wouldn’t have mattered what they used to record it, whether a modern 8 track deck or by some kid in the audience holding a reel to reel.

For some reason opener “Future of Our Nation” was never attempted in the studio (to my knowledge), so it’s likely that it was written during the group’s passage back to Oz (I’m guessing), where the band thought it must have been good enough to give it a test try in front of a live audience. And you know what, it works. Hailed by some as the first ‘hard-rock’ recording issued in Australia, whether this is true or not, some forty plus years later, probably doesn’t really matter. All that does matter however is the quality of the performance. Obviously the Masters were attempting to make some sort of political/social statement on this one, a common enough sentiment amongst the rock scene in England and America, but not yet as prevalent in the antipodes of the British Commonwealth. And by the way, what they’re stating here remains still relevant to this day.

The Masters Apprentices 1971
The inclusion of “Evil Women” in the band’s repertoire at this time seems to suggest that they had been listening to Spooky Tooth, another rock outfit of shaggy musical misfits, who recorded an inspired version of this tune on their second album Spooky Two. The song starts off slow, before building up to the famous riff we all know and love. It’s a perfect vehicle for Jim Keays, whose voice is simply tailor made for the sort of singing necessary for this style of white bluesy histrionics. But you better make a cup of tea, or pour yourself a tall drink, because the band have decided to show off some of their newly learned improvisational skills, a whopping nineteen minutes of it! Because once Keays has finished with his bitter wailings, it’s pretty much guitarist Doug Ford’s affair from here on, at least until about the eleven minute mark, where we have a repeat of the main chorus (probably to give the singer something to do), and then we’re off again with Ford as our bus driver, taking us on a six string excursion into his imagination (sometimes via Hendrix), which despite its length, never gets boring.

Judging by the short applause from the crowd “Because I Love You” was already familiar to their fans. Ford’s playing is exemplary, as is the rest of the band, but it lacks some of the punch and finesse which makes the studio version so memorable.
The Masters apprentices - Up Close and Personnel
“Light a Fire within Yourself” is pretty much your standard proto-hippie message song. Nothing remarkable, but nothing all that offensive either.

Things pick up with “When I’ve Got Your Soul”, a Ford driven number, which has blues licks aplenty, and a thumping Neanderthal rhythm section. The last track, on what would have been the original LP (the CD 'pirate copy' has four bonus tracks), is a Free inspired composition written by Ford, called “Fresh Air by the Ton”. The man obviously loved his blues, and here he lets loose like a demon possessed, and proves to be the real creative force behind much of the Master’s magic, and who was undoubtedly on an equal par with those other blues behemoths of Australian rock, Lobby Loyde and Billy Thorpe.

Masters Apprentices In London
Unfortunately the bonus tracks are nothing to transmit into outer space. “Tears of Sorrow” comes across as a clichéd attempt to cash in on the paisley crowd. “New Day” sounds like a Van Morrison out-take circa Moondance, replete with vibes, and Van-like intonations of coming home and connecting with nature. “Jam It Up” is an obvious rip off of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. Ford apes Jimmy Page’s crunchy riffs, while Keays howls like Robert Plant at his lemon squeezing best. Rip off or not, they obviously had a blast recording it.

I have no idea where “Freedom Seekers” fits into the picture, but it’s included here for you to either enjoy or press the stop button. For me it’s the latter.

Ultimately Nickelodeon remains a rare and obscure snapshot of where the band were at in 1970, whose star was obviously on the ascent in the progressive rock sphere, at least in Australia, where their fan base was strongest. Yet for some reason the album remains unavailable in remastered form. Let’s hope it is given its due respect sometime in the future. That is, if whoever owns the original reel to reel (if it still exists) eventually decides to pull it out from under his bed. [extract from]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy. I own the vinyl and I've only ever seen this album one other time, some 20 years ago in a record store in Toorak, in similar condition, selling for $100.  Well, I paid $1 for my copy at the flea market although it is alittle roached.  Still a bargain nevertheless.  I've included full album artwork for Vinyl and CD and also included four bonus tracks that were released with a 'pirated' release of the album. "Future Of Our Nation" is my favourite Masters Apprentices track with its heavy base riff and killer guitar solo. If they had continued to work as a band throughout the 70's, I believe they had the potential to be Australia's next Black Sabbath.
Track Listing
01. Future Of Our Nation
02. Evil Woman
03. Because I Love You
04. Light A Fire Within Yourself
05. When I´ve Got Your Soul
06. Fresh Air By The Ton
07. Tears Of Sorrow (Bonus)
08. New Day (Bonus)
09. Jam It Up (Bonus)
10. Freedom Seekers (Bonus)

Tracks 1 to 6 recorded live at The Nickelodeon, Perth, Australia, in January, 1970.
Track7: Recorded in Perth, November 1970.

Track 8: A Side of Single, 1971.
Track 9: B Side of Single, 1970.
Track 10: previously unreleased, 1972.

Glen Wheatley - Bass, Vocals
Doug Ford - Guitar, Vocals
Colin Burgess - Drums
Jim Keays - Vocals, Harmonica    

Masters Apprentices FLACs Link (416Mb)

Masters Apprentices MP3 Link (156Mb) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Beatles - Unlicensed The Beatles Live (1993) Bootleg

(U.K 1962 - 1970)
From their earliest bootlegs in the late 1960s, the Beatles have been one of the most bootlegged rock artists.
Beatles bootleg recordings have arisen from a multitude of sources, including broadcast performances, recordings of live shows, test discs, privately distributed copies of demos, and covertly copied studio session tapes. The largest single source of Beatles bootleg material is the set of Nagra audio tapes from the 1969 filming of the Get Back / Let It Be rehearsal and recording sessions. Performances for the BBC, stage and concert recordings, and studio outtakes have also been extensive sources for Beatles bootlegs.
This Mainline Music bootleg release contains no less than 7 different sources of recordings and covers a time span starting in 1963 up until 1968.  The following are brief accounts for each of these recording sessions, sourced from a variety of websites and Rolling Stones Magazine. Tracks included on this bootleg are listed in bold.

.Radio Broadcast, BBC Paris Studio, Regent Street, London, UK - 4th April 1963

Having taped sessions for two programs in the Light Program radio series, "Side by Side" only the previous Monday, the Beatles returned to the BBC on Thursday, 4th April, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to record a third. (An option for a fourth appearance in the series, to have been taped between 2:00 and 6:00 pm this day, was not taken up, however). 

The Beatles - 1963, April 4, 12 Regent St. Photo by Kevin Naill

The Beatles and the Karl Denver Trio did not bother to re-record their duet of "Side by Side", the BBC using the April 1st tape for this transmission, which took place between 5:00 and 5:29 pm on Monday, June 24th. (It was unusual for the Corporation to keep recordings so long before broadcast, and this was certainly the longest any Beatles tape remained "in the can"). Listeners to the show heard the group perform "Too Much Monkey Business", Love Me Do", "Boys", "I'll Be On My Way" and "From Me To You". [extract from]

The recording of  "I'll Be On My Way" is the only one by The Beatles known to exist. It was written by Lennon-McCartney for Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, another act managed by Brian Epstein. The group recorded it at Abbey Road on 14 March as the b-side to their cover of The Beatles' Do You Want To Know A Secret. Due to its rarity, I have included it on this bootleg as a Bonus Track.
After the BBC session, the Beatles attended photographic sessions with Dezo Hoffmann at mens-wear store Cecil Gee, London, and outside the BBC Paris Studio.

The Beatles - 1963, April 4, Photo session in Dezo Hoffman's studio
This episode of Side By Side was broadcast from 5pm on Monday 24 June 1963 on the BBC Light Programme. I'll Be On My Way, meanwhile, was released in 1994 on the Live At The BBC collection. [extract from]

Radio Broadcast, Karlaplansstudion, Karlaplan, Stockholm, Sweden - 24th Oct 1963

Start of Sweden Tour. Concert at the Karlaplansstudion, Karlaplan, Stockholm. Recorded for Swedish radio and for Swedish TV, through the programme `Drop In'. Beatles performance of She Loves You, Twist And Shout, Long Tall Sally and I Saw Her Standing There aired on Stockholm TV Show "Drop In" and recorded, later to be illegally included on Bootleg records like 'Sweden 1963', 'Stockholm 1964' and this boot 'Unlicensed'
The Beatles - 1963, October 23, London airport, on the way to Stockholm, Sweden
Although their short tour of Sweden didn't start until the following day, The Beatles recorded a radio appearance for producer Klas Burling's Sveriges Radio (Swedish National Radio) show Pop '63. In the morning they had attempted to do some sightseeing in Stockholm. Beatlemania had already broken out in Sweden, and they were soon swamped by hundreds of fans. They also held a press conference which was barely more orderly.

The recording took place at the Karlaplansstudion, later the Maximteatern - in Stockholm, in front of a studio audience of teenage girls. A hundred tickets were given away, but more than twice as many people turned up in the hope of seeing the performance. The Beatles played a spirited set of seven songs: I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You, Money (That's What I Want), Roll Over Beethoven, You Really Got A Hold On Me, She Loves You and Twist And Shout.  Between Money and Roll Over Beethoven the group took a short break, and local band Hasse Rosén and the Northmen performed three songs.

This edition of the radio show was subtitled 'Popgrupp från Liverpool på besök i Stockholm', which translates as 'Pop group from Liverpool visiting Stockholm'. It was recorded from 5pm and broadcast on Monday 11 November 1963 from 10.05-10.30pm. Studio engineer Hans Westman had trouble attempting to limit the distortion on The Beatles' recordings, a problem caused by the lack of a rehearsal and sound check. There were also problems converting the group's UK cables to Swedish electrical outlets.

Westman used six RCA and Velocity microphones to record The Beatles: two for vocals, one for the drums, a fourth by Paul McCartney's bass amplifier, and two more for John Lennon and George Harrison's guitar amps. Four more were used to pick up ambient noise including sounds from the audience. Although he later described it as "the worst recording I've ever made", The Beatles later expressed delight at the results.

Han's Westman comments.....I wasn't satisfied with the recording and I apologised The Beatles for the high distortion. But they seemed very delighted. I lost control over the height of the sound. The amplifiers couldn't make it when The Beatles started to play. It was the highest recording level I had seen and certainly the worst distortion I ever had heard.  Now, when I've seen the result, I can understand why The Beatles was so delighted. They had, already way back in 1963, started to use the distortion to create a very special sound.

Afterwards, The Beatles left the studio through the front doors, as there was no stage exit. They boarded a blue Fiat 1500 parked outside the studio, and were promptly besieged by fans. [extract from]

Festival Hall, Melbourne and filmed by Channel 9 TV for 'The Beatles Sing For Shell' June 15th 1964

The Beatles played two shows a night for three nights in Melbourne in June, 1964, and the sixth and last show was videotaped by Australia's Channel 9 for use in the hour-long special  "The Beatles Sing For Shell", first broadcast on July 1st and named after the oil company which sponsored the broadcast.

They played: I Saw Her Standing There, You Can`t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can`t Buy Me Love, Twist And Shout, This Boy and Long Tall Sally

This was The Beatles' last of three consecutive nights of shows in the city's Festival Hall, Each night they gave two concerts, which were enjoyed by a total of 45,000 people. After the night's shows, The Beatles attended a private party held in the city's affluent suburb Toorak.

The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein had initially agreed to allow Channel 9 to show just 12 minutes of the performance. However, after watching the recording an hour after the show he had a change of heart and increased the limit to 20 minutes. In the end 22 minutes of The Beatles were included, the rest of the hour being footage of Australian and international performers. The only song from the set not broadcast was This Boy. Full bootleg recordings exist of both concerts from this day. [extract from]

Radio (Top Gear) 14 July 1964

The Beatles made an appearance on the first edition of the BBC radio show Top Gear, a weekly late-night pop music programme, on this day.  Top Gear was produced by Bernie Andrews, who had worked on the Saturday Club radio show, and was presented by Brian Matthew. This first episode was broadcast two days after the recording, on the BBC Light Programme service, from 10pm on 16 July 1964.

Beatles with Brian Matthew
The Beatles recorded six songs between 7 and 11pm at London's Broadcasting House. They performed Long Tall Sally, Things We Said Today, A Hard Day's Night, And I Love Her, If I Fell and You Can't Do That.

This was the only occasion in which The Beatles performed "And I Love Her" outside EMI Studios. The song never made it into their stage repertoire, despite its popularity, and the group never performed it during their other numerous television and radio appearances.

Note:  BootlegZone indicate that the tracks I Feel Fine and I'm A Loser also came from the Top Gear Radio sessions but does not match the track listing provided by and  - so the jury is out on this one. 
Palais des Sports, Place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris, France 20 Jun 1965

The Beatles opened their short European tour at the Palais Des Sports in the Place de la Porte de Versailles on Sunday 20 June 1965. They appeared on two shows at the arena, the first at 3.00pm and the second at 9.00pm. The second show was broadcast by both French Television and radio and the two houses were full to the 6,000 capacity – something which hadn’t happened for several years.

The songs performed: Twist and Shout, She’s A Woman, I’m A Loser, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Rock And Roll Music, I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride and Long Tall Sally.

The group received a tremendous reception after their final number, "Long Tall Sally". Ringo had a solo spot with ""I Wanna Be Your Man and George had sung lead on "Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby". There was enthusiastic applause for Paul when he tried to introduce several songs in French.
After the show French chanteuse Francoise Hardy visited the group at the George V Hotel and later they visited Castell’s nightclub. [extract from]

Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan. 30 June 1966

The Beatles' long journey to Tokyo ended with their arrival at Haneda Airport at 3.40am on this morning. In the evening they played the first of five concerts at the Nippon Budokan Hall. The group and their entourage stayed at the Tokyo Hilton, where they occupied the Presidential Suite. Security at the hotel was so tight that they were unable to make unscheduled excursions around the city. They did, however, give a press conference from the hotel.

'Images Of A Woman' by the Beatles
Over the three nights they spent at the Tokyo Hilton, The Beatles collaborated on a painting which became known as 'Images Of A Woman' (see left). All four members of the group painted parts of the 30"x40" paper, working by the light of a lamp in the centre. When the painting was complete the lamp was removed, and The Beatles signed the empty space next to their contributions.
The paper and paints were provided by the Japanese promoter, Tats Nagashima, who suggested that the completed painting be auctioned for charity. It was bought by a cinema manager and local fan club president Tetsusaburo Shimoyama. In September 2012, it was put up for sale again through Philip Weiss Auctions and sold for $155,250 including the buyer's premium.

The evening's concert had support from Yuya Uchida and Isao Bitoh. The Beatles performed before 10,000 fans, with a set containing 11 songs: Rock And Roll Music, She's A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby's In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and I'm Down.

The concert, and their first on the following day, was video taped by Nippon Television. The two shows were edited together and broadcast during The Beatles Recital, From Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, which was screened on NTV Channel 4 on 1 July from 9pm.

The Rolling Stones 'Rock And Roll Circus'  11th December 1968

On 11th Dec 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were among guests performing on The Rolling Stones' television spectacular, 'Rock And Roll Circus'. The event was filmed on this day at InterTel, an independent video facility at Stonebridge House in Wembley, London. The footage was captured on video and film, with sound recorded by Glyn Johns and Jimmy Miller on Olympic's mobile studio.

The Stones enlisted a range of guests for the show, including Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull, Marianne Faithfull, The Who, drummer Mitch Mitchell, pianist Julius Katchen and blues singer Taj Mahal. The groups Traffic and Cream had also both been invited to perform, but had split up just before filming began. Lennon was part of a temporary supergroup known as The Dirty Mac, which also featured Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell. The group played a version of Yer Blues from the White Album.

It was followed by a piece known variously as Whole Lotta Yoko or Yer Blues. Yoko Ono emerged from a black bag on the stage, and she and violinist Ivry Gitlis performed an improvised 12-bar blues with the Dirty Mac.
Dirty Mac R-L (Clapton, Lennon, Mitchell, Richards)
A simple stage is set up for the Supergroup. John is wearing his Levi outfit, and Mitch Mitchell looks almost unrecognizable with his straight blond hair. Keith plays a simple bass line, and Eric performs with masterful imperturbability. John looks a little apprehensive, but once they start playing he relaxes, turns his back to the camera occasionally in the classic jamming position. Yoko gets up on the stage, climbs into her black bag, and during the breaks, holds John's hand. Even while you are watching, it is hard to believe all this is actually happening.

Mitch's drumming is a little brisker and he is more in control of the cymbals, but this is not a jam session, in fact, Yer Blues is almost identical to the album track. Why is Eric following the record so closely? It is a strange paradox, but simply the presence of all these magicians together is completely overwhelming. What more can you say?
Brian Jones, Yoko Ono with Julian, John Lennon
But the effect of Yer Blues live is very different to hearing it on the record. To begin with it is obvious that John means every word of this song. He has used the form because the blues is the ultimate expression of a down trip. "Even hate my rock and roll" screams at you like a nightmare. The day before at the rehearsal, John, Mick and Eric played Peggy Sue together and John did a wry version of Elvis' great hit, It's Now Or Never. After Yer Blues, Yoko gets in front of the microphone and wails, while virtuoso violinist Ivry Gitlis saws away like a country fiddler, and the Supergroup is playing behind them. The audience is totally awestruck; they do not move or talk. It was breathtaking. [extract from David Dalton, Rolling Stone, 19th  March 1970]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Australian 'Unlicensed' Bootleg and includes the signature 'red' artwork. I have also chosen to include as a bonus, the ultra-rare "I'll Be On My Way" track recorded at the BBC Paris Studios in Regent Street, London from 1963. Although the selection of tracks on this bootleg come from numerous recording sessions and time periods, they somehow compliment one another making it an enjoyable listen.
Track Listing
01 - Too Much Monkey Business
(Radio Broadcast, BBC Paris Studio, Regent Street, London, UK)

02 - I Saw Her Standing There
(Radio Broadcast, Karlaplansstudion, Karlaplan, Stockholm, Sweden)
03 - You Really Got A Hold On Me
(Radio Broadcast, Karlaplansstudion, Karlaplan, Stockholm, Sweden)
04 - This Boy
(Festival Hall, Melbourne and filmed by Channel 9 TV for "The Beatles Sing For Shell")
05 - Twist And Shout
(Festival Hall, Melbourne and filmed by Channel 9 TV for "The Beatles Sing For Shell")
06 - Money (That's What I Want)
(Radio Broadcast, Karlaplansstudion, Karlaplan, Stockholm, Sweden)
07 - Till There Was You
(Festival Hall, Melbourne and filmed by Channel 9 TV for "The Beatles Sing For Shell")
08 - And I Love Her
(Radio Top Gear)
09 - A Hard Day's Night    
(Radio Top Gear)

10 - I Feel Fine
(Radio Top Gear?)
11 - I'm A Loser
(Radio Top Gear?)
12 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
(Palais des Sports, Place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris, France)
13 - Baby's In Black
(Palais des Sports, Place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris, France)
14 - Can't Buy Me Love
(Palais des Sports, Place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris, France)
15 - If I Needed Someone
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
16 - Nowhere Man
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

17 - Yesterday
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
18 - Paperback Writer
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

19 - She's A Woman
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

20 - Day Tripper
(Nippon Budokan Hall, Daikan-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan)
21 - Yer Blues
(The Rolling Stones "Rock And Roll Circus")
22 - Dirty Mac Jam
(The Rolling Stones "Rock And Roll Circus")
23 - I'll Be On My Way (Bonus Track)
(Radio Broadcast, BBC Paris Studio, Regent Street, London, UK) 

The Beatles Unlicensed Link (142Mb)  New Link 08/07/2019

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stephen Stills - Selftitled (1970)

(U.S 1962 - Present)

Born in Dallas, Texas, Jan 3, 1945, Stephen Stills is a singer and something of a multi-instrumentalist - guitar, keyboards, drums. Back in the 60's, he played local folk-clubs, before dropping out of university to go to New York. There he performed with various groups, including Au Go Go Singers with Richie Furay, but was eventually lured to Los Angeles by what he felt was more creative musical environment.
He made abortive attempt to form a band with Van Dyke Parks, auditioned unsuccessfully for membership with the Monkees, and finally called the aforementioned Furay from New York to assist him in assembling a new band which became the legendary Buffalo Springfield. It was Stills who wrote Springfield's first U.S. hit in early 1967, the politically-conscious "For What It's Worth", plus other group stand-outs "Bluebird" and "Rock And Roll Woman".

When this group split in May 1968, Stills worked on a variety of projects: he turned down an offer to replace Al Kooper in Blood Sweat & Tears but he did cut a Super-session jam album, August 1968, with Kooper and Mike Bloomfield; and also played guitar for his girlfriend Judy Collins on her Who Knows Where The Time Goes? album (Nov 1968); and bass on Joni Mitchell's debut album (July 1968). He is also said during this period to have taken guitar lessons from Jimi Hendrix and cut a number of unreleased tracks with drummer Dallas Taylor.

Then in December 1968, Stills announced the team-up of Crosby Stills & Nash, which would produce an astonishing eponymous debut album evidencing Stills at peak of creativity. His epic-length Suite: "Judy Blue Eyes", written for Judy Collins, was that outfit's first U.S. hit (CSN&Y). Stills recorded his first solo album during latter days of this colossally-successful aggregation's traumatic life-span. When CSN&Y ended world tour at London's Royal Albeit Hall, February 1970, Stills stayed in England purchasing Ringo Stair's Surrey mansion for some £90,000. Employing a variety of stellar musicians - Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Sebastian, Crosby, Nash, Booker T., Cass Elliott, etc. - his selftitled solo album was cut at Island Studios, London, and Wally Heider's and Record Plant in Los Angeles and was an impressive solo debut. Hendrix had O.D.'d between recording and release in November 1970, and the set was dedicated to "James Marshall Hendrix".

Stills returned to CSN&Y for last few months of band's existence, then formed first own group line-ups using Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels (bass), Dallas Taylor (drums), both ex CSN&Y side-men, plus Paul Harris (keyboards), Stephen Fromhob (guitar) and Memphis Horns brass section for tour purposes. Nucleus of band came together at Stills' Surrey home and he embarked on 52-date U.S. tour to promote second album, the somewhat less assured Stephen Stills II (July 1971).

This band metamorphosed into Manassas in October 1971 via Miami recording sessions on which Stills used services of singer/ guitarist Chris Hillman (ex Byrds, Flying Burritos) and Al Perkins (pedal steel). Hillman was virtual second-in-command to Stills' often outstanding and widely-acclaimed outfit; other members being Samuels, Taylor and Harris, and newcomer Joe Lala. Samuels later replaced by Kenny Passarelli.
The   band   toured   extensively and recorded two albums, including the classic double-set Manassas (May 1972) and Down The Road (January 1973).

However, in September 1973, Hillman, Perkins and Harris split to form Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Stills, who had married French singer Veronique Sanson in spring 1973 and was by then living in Colorado, formed a second version of Stephen Stills Band retaining Lala, Passarelli, and bringing in guitarist Donnie Dacus, keyboardsman Jerry Aiello and noted session-drummer Russ Kunkel (James Taylor, etc.). This was only short-lived aggregation, however, because in May 1974 occurred the much-rumoured reunion of Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Lala and, briefly, Kunkel joined CSN&Y back-up squad for highly lucrative, widely-publicised one-off world tour ending in London February 1975.

By this time Stills had severed long-standing contract with Atlantic and signed to Columbia, who released Stills in June 1975. Something of a hotch-potch of material dating over previous five years, this failed to halt widespread opinion that Stills' talents were on decline - although the album was notable for record debut of aforementioned Donnie Dacus. Dacus, a young protege of Stills, co-wrote a number of tracks, and was important fixture in third incarnation of Steve Stills Band formed March 1975. Other personnel were Lala and Aiello, plus Ronald Ziegler (drums) and George Perry (bass).

Second Columbia album Illegal Stills (May 1976) was more spirited attempt to recapture former glory; later in '76 he teamed with Neil Young for a tour and album, and in 1977 recorded a reunion set with Crosby and Nash. [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock, by Nick Logan and Bob Woffindon, Salamander Books Limited, 1977 p225]

Album Review
Stephen Stills had nothing to prove, but he still did it anyway. A superstar of late Sixties California soft rock, Stills was already familiar with success by the time his first solo album came out. While in Buffalo Springfield he wrote the classic counterculture anthem "For What is Worth"; by 1970 he was a million-seller. At 25, the Texas-born musician had enjoyed a golden age few could touch.

However, critics underrated Stills in comparison with comrades Neil Young, David Crosby, and David Nash. With this album, he shut them all up.

Backed by an all-star lineup—including Jimi Hendrix (to whom the album is dedicated), Eric Clapton, BookerT, Crosby, Rita Coolidge, Nash, John Sebastian, and Cass Elliot—Stills' raspy voice and strumming guitar injects the standard singer-songwriter formula with his idiosyncratic combination of grit and melancholy. The album fuses CSN&Y high harmonies ("Do for The Others"), gospel-soaked R&B in the Leon Russell / Joe Cocker school (the splendorous "Church"), Latin rhythms (the passionately driven single "Love The One You're With," a radio favorite), folk blues (electric in "Go Back Home," acoustic in the live track "Black Queen"), and hard rock (funky, driven "Old Times Good Times"). A reflective quality is never far below the surface, though.

The song "We Are Not Helpless" was written in response to Neil Young's song "Helpless" from the Déjà Vu album and the song and "Black Queen" have remained in the performing repertoire of both Stills and CSN. "Love the One You're With," Stills' biggest solo hit single, peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 19, 1970, and another single pulled from the album, "Sit Yourself Down," went to #37 on March 27, 1971.

The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in the week of December 5, 1970. It was reissued by WEA after being digitally remastered using the HDCD process on December 5, 1995. "We Are Not Helpless" and "Love the One You're With" were first performed in concert on May 12, 1970 during Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Déjà Vu tour.

Ten superb songs sketch a soulful journey through a deeply personal Ecclesiastes of love, and the lack of it. With his debut album, Stephen Stills manages to imprint his own strong and lyrical signature on a vibrant mosaic of American music.

This album has been listed in Michael Lydon's well known book '1001 Albums you Must Hear Before You Die'

This post consists of FLACS ripped from my shrink wrapped vinyl which I purchased from Reading Records in Carlton back in 1978, for the pricely sum of $12.99 (US Print / Import) . As a poor Uni Student this was a considerable outlay, but my key objective was to own anything that was associated with Hendrix - in this case the track "Old Times Good Times" features him on guitar.  Full album artwork for both LP and CD are included along with several single picture covers for his infamous "Love The One You're With" .
So, this is one album you can strike off the list - only 1,000 to go.....
Track Listing
01. "Love the One You're With" – 3:04

02. "Do for the Others" – 2:52
03. "Church (Part of Someone) – 4:05
04. "Old Times Good Times"** – 3:39
05. "Go Back Home" – 5:54
06. "Sit Yourself Down" – 3:05
07. "To a Flame" – 3:08
08. "Black Queen" – 5:26
09. "Cherokee" – 3:23
10. "We Are Not Helpless" – 4:20
** Features Jimi Hendrix on guitar

Stephen Stills — vocals, guitars, bass, piano, organ, steel drum, percussion; horn and string arrangements on "Church," "To a Flame," and "Cherokee"
Jimi Hendrix — electric guitar on "Old Times Good Times"
Eric Clapton — electric guitar on "Go Back Home"
Booker T. Jones — organ on "Cherokee"; backing vocal on "We Are Not Helpless"
Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuel — bass on "Love the One You're With," "Church," "Old Times Good Times," "Go Back Home," and "Sit Yourself Down"
Conrad Isedor — drums on "Church" and "Old Times Good Times"
Johnny Barbata — drums on "Go Back Home" and "Sit Yourself Down"
Ringo Starr — drums on "To a Flame" and "We Are Not Helpless"
Dallas Taylor — drums on "Cherokee"
Jeff Whittaker — congas on "Love the One You're With" and "Old Times Good Times"
Sidney George — flute, alto saxophone on "Cherokee"
Rita Coolidge, David Crosby, Priscilla Jones, John Sebastian — backing vocals on "Love the One You're With," "Go Back Home," "Sit Yourself Down," and "We Are Not Helpless"

Graham Nash — backing vocals on "Love the One You're With," "Sit Yourself Down," and "We Are Not Helpless"

Stephen Stills FLACs Link (243Mb)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dragon - Body And The Beat (1984) plus Bonus B-Side Single

(New Zealand 1973 - Present)
Dragon helped put the drugs into sex, drugs and rock & roll. Fronted by wild man Marc Hunter with brother Todd on bass, Robert Taylor on guitar, Paul Hewson on keyboards and Neil Storey on drums, Dragon were the most exciting Australian band of the late 'yes. Fuelled by an uncompromising attitude and a string of chart hits their influence is still evident.

Dragon embraced a melodic rock approach in keeping with the times, yet still retaining the sound that propelled them to stardom all those years ago. 'Rain' was the comeback single and to this day one of the best singles released in Australasian rock history. This album marked a rebirth for New Zealand's legendary rockers.

Originally a six-piece, the group's lush and intricate pop songs had given them two hit albums in New Zealand—Universal Radio and Scented Gardens For The Blind. Dragon was run by the Hunter brothers, Todd and Marc; the former played bass and provided the group with whatever direction they had. Marc, the younger brother, was born to be a star and his extroverted presence and sense of danger made him the most charismatic performer of the time.

Dragon were looking for a new direction in a new land. Their relationship with Vertigo / PolyGram came to an end after one single, 'Starkissed', penned by guitarist Ray Goodwin who was soon replaced by keyboardist Paul Hewson. Dragon found their spiritual home at the Bondi Lifesaver and adopted a tougher sound. Their set at the time included Lou Reed's ode to outsiders, 'Sweet Jane', some Roxy Music and their own material including a song titled 'Spunk Drunk'.

In October 1976 Dragon announced their new direction with the light funk of 'Get That Jive', which dominated the radio. So much for the heavy metal direction they had taken. Dragon, however, was to be forever strung on the tension between their melodic pop instincts and their often wild lives.
Marc Hunter
Drugs were very popular around the band and in September of 1976 drummer Neil Storrey had died of a heroin overdose. Paul Hewson suffered from chronic osteo problems and tended to self-medicate with narcotics. Ed St. John's first assignment as a journalist was to interview Dragon on the release of their debut Australian album, Sunshine. 'This writer can remember vividly his first interview with the group during which singer Marc Hunter methodically picked up Mandrax tablets and crushed them with a spanner. Generally speaking, Dragon's ability to make people uncomfortable enhanced their image,' he wrote.
Their producer Peter Dawkins pushed for the group's pop side and Dragon pushed back. Nevertheless, the New Zealanders quickly became one of the most popular acts in Australia. By the end of the year Sunshine was double gold and there was interest from CBS internationally. [extract from 'The Real Thing 1957 - Now', by Toby Creswell & Martin Fabinyi, Random House 1999, p93-94]

Between 1975 and 1979, Dragon scored a string of major hits on the Australian pop charts with songs including “April Sun in Cuba,” “Are You Old Enough” and “Still In Love With You” and with the albums Sunshine and O Zambezi, making them one of the country’s most popular rock acts. Marc Hunter left Dragon in 1979 due to health problems which were, by then, seriously affecting his performances. Singer Billy Rogers formerly of the Perth group Last Chance Cafe and violinist Richard Lee from the Melbourne band Sidewinder were recruited and the group recorded the Powerplay LP before breaking up. In the intervening years Marc released two successful solo singles, “Island Nights” (1979) and “Big City Talk” (1981) Todd had meanwhile teamed up with his partner Johanna Pigott, formerly of group XL Capris, and together they became a successful songwriting team.

Dragon 1983 (LR) Robert Taylor, Terry Chambers, Todd Hunter, Marc Hunter, Paul Hewson
Dragon briefly reformed in 1982 to pay off outstanding debts, with the band then staying together to have another shot at success. Their second comeback single, “Rain”, proved to be a massive hit, and Jacobson left the band for health reasons and was replaced by British drummer Terry Chambers, formerly from the band XTC. American keyboard player and producer Alan Mansfield also joined at this point. The band’s 1984 album 'Body and the Beat' became one of the biggest-selling albums in Australia and New Zealand and Dragon was restored to something close to its late 70s glory. Its public profile was further raised at this time by the Marc Hunter solo album, Communication. Paul Hewson left Dragon and died in New Zealand in January 1985.

Dragon 1984 (LR) Terry Chambers, Marc Hunter (rear), Alan Mansfield (front), Todd Hunter, Paul Hewson (front) and Robert Taylor (rear)
Band members Terry Chambers and Robert Taylor left some time after. American drummer Doane Perry replaced Chambers, and Taylor was eventually succeeded by Sydney guitar ace Tommy Emmanuel. This line-up produced the Todd Rundgren-produced 'Dreams of Ordinary Men' album and later toured Europe with Tina Turner under the name Hunter (in 1987). In 1987 while on tour with Tina, John Farnham asked Todd and Johanna to write a song for his next album. They wrote “Age Of Reason“ which went to No.1 in Australia and was a hit in Germany and Canada.

Dragon again split up in 1988 although a year later the Hunter brothers and Mansfield had reconvened once again for the Bondi Road album, which also featured Tommy Emmanuel. Dragon continued to record and tour with varying line-ups centred around Todd and Marc Hunter and Mansfield. Todd Hunter retired from the band in 1995 and worked for six years on the soundtrack of Heartbreak High the television series, after the 1995 album ‘‘Incarnations’‘, which featured reworkings of earlier hits.  In 1997 Marc Hunter was diagnosed with throat cancer and died on 17 July 1998. [extract from the harbour agency website]

To read a more extensive account of the recording of the album and their 1984 Body And The Beat tour - see the audioculture website
Album Review
Few CDs scream summer to me the way most of the albums Dragon released in the eighties do.  I'd argue that no other band captured the overall atmosphere and spirit of summer in musical form the way Dragon did.

Marc Hunter - Solo Years
In 1979, after firing vocalist Marc Hunter and trying to continue without him Dragon split up and Marc Hunter released a couple of solo albums (Fiji Bitter and Big City Talk).  In the early 80s Dragon decided to have another go at it.  They updated their sound a bit and capitalized on the success of Hunter's Big City Talk album and single as the springboard to catapult them back onto the Aussie charts after a four year absence with the single "Rain".
Rain was so successful the band headed back to the studio to record a full album leaving enough space to include their latest hit... 'The Body and the Beat' was born.  Before even opening the LP, CD, or cassette sleeve the album cover suggests opening the windows to let the summer breeze flow through.

From the first bars of their hit single "Rain" through to the closing bars of "Fool" Dragon gives the listener a full on blast of that summer breeze.  The album is further augmented by the follow up hits "Cry" and "Magic".  But capturing the overall vibe of summer the best is "Cool Down".  You can see the heat shimmering off the pavement, the hot sun beating down on you, the sweat forming in droplets on your forehead.  This song so perfectly captures the heat of summer that even on the coldest days of winter listening to this song makes me want to crank up the Air Con.

The upbeat vibe of "Promises (So Far Away)" captures the magic and fun of summer nights and further establishes the whole summer vibe of the album:

    The moon is a sunlight
    It shines in the night

While it sounds dated today, the title track, "Body and the Beat" is a fun song with Todd Hunter's solid bass chops taking center stage.  The truth is, there's not really a bad track on the album-- there are good ones and great ones.  [extract from perplexio76]
30th Anniversary Tour
Iconic rockers Dragon are celebrating another milestone in 2015 with the 30th anniversary of their acclaimed 'Body and The Beat' album. To pay homage to this classic release, the band is hitting the road for a string of party tour dates that will see them not only play all their biggest hits, but also the album in its entirety. This is a rare chance for music fans to celebrate one of the most popular albums of the 1980s performed by one of the most revered bands.

When the classic Dragon line-up of Marc and Todd Hunter, Robert Taylor, Paul Hewson and Kerry Jacobson reunited in 1982, it was with the intention of clearing debts from the decade before. But a hit song with lyrics that grew from a children’s nursery rhyme, and the following album and tour, had them again scaling the highest reaches of the Australian charts.

In the early 80s Dragon took to the new Rhinoceros Studios in East Sydney and turned out a bunch of tracks too good to be ignored. Michael Crawley, the A&R man for Polygram Records, heard the band playing Rain from the corridor of the studio and famously stormed into the control room doors shouting "What's that song, I've got to have it" followed closely by "What band are you?" Luckily Crawley, a recent import from the UK, was not familiar with Dragon's wild ways and reputation!

Dragon's Body And The Beat Tour Plane
The resulting album was Body And The Beat?, a platinum selling record that dominated the charts in Australia in the mid-1980s. This was the album that kicked of Dragon's “Glory Years” and it was Paul Hewson, Kerry Jacobson and Robert Taylor's final recorded outing with the band after many productive and epic years.

When the album was released in the band toured Australia on the Body and The Beat Tour. They leased two planes to get around and the tour barnstormed through Adelaide, Tasmania, Melbourne, Sydney, provincial New South Wales, the Gold Coast, Cairns and Brisbane, virtually selling out everywhere. Their final show of the tour sold out the Sydney Entertainment Centre on 10th August 1985 and was filmed and recorded for later release as The Live One.

Fast forward three decades and Dragon now consists of founding member Todd Hunter (bass), fellow Kiwi Mark Williams (lead vocals / acoustic guitar), Bruce Reid (electric guitar) and Pete Drummond (drums). The four-piece have been touring solidly over the past few years, playing to packed houses and garnering new fans along the way.

Dragon Today
 Todd says the band is already enjoying preparing for the 30th anniversary tour. “It’s great fun to play these songs again,” he says. “We don’t play them in our current set because there just isn’t time, so it will be great to give these songs a run for a change. We’ve been working on replicating the original parts and harmonies so there will be a lot to recognise. There is amazing affection for the songs off this album and it’s very enjoyable to celebrate a very specific point in the band’s development. There must be something timeless about a number of these songs because whenever we play people of much later generations are down the front singing all the words! It just doesn’t get better than that!”

In the exclusive two hour show Dragon will play two-sets jam-packed with hits. The band will play the entire 'Body And The Beat' album in the first set and Dragon’s “top ten hits” as voted by the Dragon Facebook fans on in the second set.

This is a show not to be missed as Dragon storm their way through the hits from the record like "Wilder World", "Cry", "Magic", "Body and The Beat", "Rain" and finish the night with the crowd singing anthems like "April Sun In Cuba", "Celebrate", "Speak No Evil" and "Are You Old Enough".

To mark the 30th anniversary Dragon will release 'Body And The Beat Live'. This album will exclusively available at the shows and from iTunes. [extract from]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from a newly acquired vinyl, picked up at my local 2nd hand record store for the bargain price of $5. As usual, you will find full album artwork for both LP and CD releases and label scans. As a bonus, I have also included the impressive B-Side to the single Rain called "It's Too Late" (see pic above). As far as I know, this track has not been available on any albums or compilations.
Track Listing
01. Rain (3:39)
02. Promises (So Far Away) (4:15)
03. Wilder World (3:53)

04. Cry (3:47)
05. Cool Down (4:36)
06. Body and the Beat (4:27)
07. Witnessing (4:43)
08. Magic (3:59)
09. What am I Gonna Do? (3:42)
10. Fool (3:31)

11. It's Too Late (Bonus B-Side Single)
The Band:
Marc Hunter: Vocals
Todd Hunter: Bass
Robert Taylor: Guitar
Terry Chambers: Drums
Paul Hewson: Keyboards
Alan Mansfield: Keyboards, Guitar

Dragon MP3 Link (116Mb)  New Link 12/10/2019
Dragon FLACs Link (302Mb)