Sunday, January 31, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Peter Sellers: Sellers Sings The Beatles (1981)

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.

The late Peter Sellers was one of Britain’s major screen comedy stars, his most memorable character being the bungling Inspector Clouseau in the ‘Pink Panther’ films. As a young boy, I just loved watching the Pink Panther and seeing Inspector Clouseau bungle his way through all of the Pink Panther Movies.

Sellers, born on 8 September 1925, first rose to fame in Britain as a member of the Goons, who created an anarchic radio series which ran until 1960. The Goons comprised Peter, along with Spike Milligan, Harry Seacombe and Michael Bentine.

John Lennon was twelve years old when he first heard the Goons and listened avidly to their radio shows until he was sixteen. Their influence was evident in his books 'In His Own Write' and 'A Spaniard In The Works' and in 1973 the New York Times commissioned John to write a review of the recently published book ‘The Goon Show Scripts.’
The Goons were also the stars of ‘The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film’, directed by Dick Lester, who went on to direct the Beatles movies.

George Martin originally recorded Sellers, producing an album called ‘Songs For Swinging Sellers,’ which proved to be a talking point between George Martin and the Beatles when he first began recording them.

Martin also produced the singles ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and ‘Bangers And Mash’, duets between Sellers and Sophia Loren, both of which entered the British charts.

It was Peter who presented the Beatles with their Grammy Award at Twickenham Studios on Wednesday 28 April 1965. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had given the award for ‘A Hard Days’ Night’ as the ‘Best Performance of a Vocal Group’ for the year 1964. When presenting the Grammy, Sellers referred to it as the ‘Grandma Award.’ The presentation was filmed and a clip appeared on the NBC Grammy Awards programme ‘The Best of Record’ on Tuesday 18 May 1965.

Incidentally, the presentation was made on the studio set of ‘Help!’ and, interestingly, Sellers had originally been offered the script of ‘Help!’ (Obviously under a different title) but turned it down.
Sellers appeared as a guest of the Beatles on the Granada television special ‘The Music of Lennon & McCartney’ in which he dressed as Richard III and performed a cod Shakespearian rendition of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ His single of the number was issued on Parlophone R 5393 and reached No. 14 in the British charts in December 1965.   [extract from]

And as the Beatles had paid tribute to Sellers’ comedy, he would return the favor, covering three of their most popular songs as only he could. At the top of the post, see Sellers do a spoken word version of “A Hard Day’s Night” as Lawrence Olivier’s Richard III. And above and below, he gives us several renditions of “She Loves You,” in several different accents, “in the voice of Dr. Strangelove, again with cockney and upper-crusty accents, and finally with an Irish twist. The recordings were all released posthumously between 1981 and 1983 on albums no longer in circulation.”

Peter Sellers & Ringo Starr
There are many more Beatles/Sellers connections. Before taping his “Hard Day’s Night” skit for Granada television special “The Music of Lennon & McCartney,” Sellers had presented the band with a Grammy for the song, which won “Best Performance of a Vocal Group” in 1965. “Incidentally,” writes Mersey Beat’s Bill Harry, “the [Grammy] presentation was made on the studio set of ‘Help!’ and, interestingly, Sellers had originally been offered the script of ‘Help!’ (Obviously under a different title) but turned it down.” Sellers and the Goon Show cast had previously worked with Richard Lester, director of the Beatles films and the John Lennon-starring How I Won the War.

Completists out there may have also heard the recorded conversation between Sellers and the Beatles that appears at the end of a bootleg version of the White Album, which circulated for years under the title The Peter Sellers Tape. That the band and the comedian got along so famously is no great surprise, nor that Sellers had so much fun reworking the rather silly, and infectiously catchy, pop songs of the Beatles’ early career, bringing to them his battery of characters and voices. We’ve saved what may be Sellers’ best Beatles cover for last. Below, hear him—in the voice of a lecturing vicar and with a backing choir—deliver “Help!” as a 45 RPM sermon. [by Josh Jones at]

This Month's WOCK On Vinyl is pretty straight forward - Peter Seller's renditions of these Beatles hits are some of the funniest satirical works that I've heard - especially his ''Third Reight'  interpretation of "She Loves You", portrayed as Dr. Strangelove and his Shakespearian rendition of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ portrayed as Richard III.  Now the W definitely standards for Weird, as does the C for Crazy; but I really think the O this month should stand for Outstanding, as this satirical material is simply brilliant.
I do hope you enjoy it too.
Track Listing
01 - A Hard Day's Night
02 - Can't Buy Me Love
03 - Help
04 - She Loves You (Dr. Strangelove - Single Version)
05 - She Loves You (
Dr. Strangelove - LP Version)
06 - She Loves You (Cockney)
07 - She Loves You (Irish)
08 - She Loves You (Chinless Wonder Version)
09 - She Loves You (Twits Version)
10 - Yellow Submarine
11 - Yes It Is
12 - Peter Sellers Talks With The Beatles
13 - Spike Milligan - Yellow Submarine 

Peter Sellers Link (54Mb) New Link 19/04/24

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Small Faces - Rarities (1984) plus Tin Soldier (E.P)

(U.K 1965 - 1969, 1977 - 1978)
If  'The Who' were the mid-'60s heroes of West London's Mods, then The Small Faces sprang from their East London equivalent. In 1965 they broke into British charts with single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?" and the whole country picked up on this physically small and sharply-dressed group, led by a former child actor Steve Marriott who was later to admit that he could barely play guitar in early days.
Original group contained Jimmy Winston on keyboards, but he was replaced by MacLagan immediately after first success and above was best-known line-up of band which continued to dominate U.K. singles charts over next three years. "Sha La La La Lee" was a second smash, followed by "Hey Girl", "All Or Nothing" (their first No. 1), and "My Mind's Eye" in 1966; "Here Comes The Nice", "Itchycoo Park", "Tin Soldier" (1967); and "Lazy Sunday" and "The Universal" in 1968.
As time went by, group and Marriott in particular grew frustrated by label of Top 10 singles band. They tried hard with albums, but the results were never satisfying - not until the Ogden's Nut Gone Flake collection which charted at No. 1 in 1968. With its revolutionary circular cover, this has since been accorded quasi-classic status.
In 1969, Marriott left to form Humble Pie. Lane, Jones and MacLagan survived this near-fatal blow, eventually re-grouping as Faces with Ron Wood and Rod Stewart and going on to surpass Marriott's Pie in success and acclaim. Eventually both bands went sour.
Eight years later in March 1977, with Rick Wills in place of Ronnie Lane, Small Faces reconvened to make a fresh start. [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia Of Rock, Salander Press, 1977. p212-213]
.Rarities - Linear Notes
Here come the nice... - fourteen rare tracks recorded by the great Small Faces between 1967 and 1969.
Sources: The songs featured on side one were all previously released on the 'From The Beginning' LP (Decca LK4879; identical German edition: 'Musik fur alle', Teldec ND153), both of them being non-original albums then, and deleted for many years now. Later on some of the gems appeared strewn around on other compilations here and there.
The eight takes on side two are sort of a mystery. Track one to seven were released for the first time in 1975 on a US low-budget album, falsely credited to "Rod Stewart & The Faces" (Springboard SP-4030, deleted as well), though there was neither Roddie nor The Faces on those tracks. Furthermore nearly all of them had been given wrong
The Small Faces Discography
titles, like "Anything" or "Sparkey Rides", to name but two. It was obviously the Small Faces playing somewhat obscure versions of their well-known compositions that did not appear anywhere else on record up to now. If's mostly longer alternative cuts, varied mixes and even a rough instrumental take of 'Tin Soldier". Track No. 8 was found on an Italian cheapo album credited to Rod Stewart again ("Ridin' High", Joker SM 3985), though if's the Small Faces with a different, prolonged version of "Wide-Eyed Girl On The Wall".
Nobody seems to know where the songs hail from but it's a fact that they are available again. And that's what counts [Linear Notes written by Bemd Matheja]
This post consists of two parts: the first is a German only 14-track compilation LP of obscure and hard to find Small Faces rarities recorded between 1967 & 1969 with picture sleeve, featuring an instrumental take of their hit "Tin Soldier". The files are in MP3 (320kps) format, ripped from my "mint vinyl copy" which was still sealed in it's shrink wrap when I found it at a flea market some weeks ago, and full album artwork is included. 
The second part consists of FLACs ripped from my 'well worn copy' of their 1967 E.P entitled 'Tin Soldier' and again features full album artwork and label scans.
Track Listing
01. Come Back & Take this Hurt Off Me
02. Yesterday Today & Tomorrow
03. That Man
04. Baby Don't You Do It
05. Plum Nellie
06. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
07. Wham Bam Thank You Mam
08. Collibosher
09. Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass
10. The Hungry Intruder
11. Red Balloon
12. Tin Soldier (Instrumental)

13. The Autumn Stone
14. Wide-Eyed Girl On The Wall

The Small Faces:
Steve Marriott - vocals, guitar
Ronnie Lane - bass
lan MacLagan - organ
Kenny Jones - drums


Track Listing
01. Tin Soldier
02. Talk To You
03. Here Come The Nice 
04. Itchycoo Park
Tin Soldier EP Link (65Mb) New Link 04/01/2024

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mother Goose - Stuffed (1977) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975 - 1984)
In late 1975, six New Zealand rock musicians wanted to play rock music well, but found that modem music was made up of pomposity and pretentiousness. They decided to break down the artifice by mocking themselves, so they came up with a name they considered low-brow - "Mother Goose" - and took to wearing humiliating costumes. Each member of the band dressed as a distinctive character;

Craig Johnston was a sailor,
Marcel Rodeka was a pixie,
Denis Gibbins dressed as Minnie Mouse,
Peter Dickson a baby (complete with nappy),
Steve Young was a ballerina and
Kevin Collings was a Bumble Bee.

Moving to Australia, the band started playing at Cloudland in Brisbane and at the Playroom on the Gold Coast in Queensland in late 1976. They eventually came to the attention of Mushroom Records who signed them. Their debut album, Stuffed (1977), became Mushroom's fastest selling album, and the first single, Baked Beans was a hit across Australia.

By June 1978, the six original members of Mother Goose and Garry Spry their personal manager had moved to the USA and were living in Hollywood, with their own recording studio and signed to the hugely influential Scotti Brothers Records. After five months of writing and recording demo's they performed a Grand Showcase for the Scotti Brothers to the whole West Coast music industry and blew everyone away. But by staying true to their early Dunedin vision, the band refused to bow to the pressure to conform to the American pop rock culture so they left the Scotti Brothers and moved to New York.

There they signed with entertainment agents "Mecca Artists" and with help of the former The Beatles American manager, Sid Bernstein they quickly became the biggest rock club draw-card in the city, playing residencies at "The Other End", "Trax" and at "The Great Gildersleeves" where members of Kiss and Devo became fans of theirs amongst other well known bands. Contractual battles with the Scotti Brothers, coupled with Mother Goose's refusal to become a Pop rock or Disco Band prevented the band securing a major recording contract on their terms, but they and their audiences had a good time anyway in their six months in New York.

During that time lead guitarist Peter Dickson left the band in February 1979 and returned to Australia and was replaced by New York Guitarist Justin McCarthy who adopted the costume of a toy soldier. McCarthy stayed with the band until they broke up in 1984.
The original Mother Goose line-up reunited for a one-off gig in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 23 March 2007.
RAM Mag 30th June, 1978
(Article By Andrew McMillan, RAM Magazine 30th June, 1978. p32)
A couple of weeks ago. Mother Goose and her manager Gary Spry, boarded a Jumbo and flew north-east for the winter. And as they winged their way across the Pacific bound for America, the Geese knew they had a lot of problems to sort out. The biggest of them was that although they pulled crowds to most of their live shows they couldn't sell records. And the Geese realised it wasn't a problem confined to Australia. If they were to do anything in the States, Mother Goose would have to sell records. But that would be difficult - as their eighteen months in Australia had shown.
Mother Goose arrived in Australia in November 1976 with $28 in the bank and a primitive P.A system. Their first date was at Brisbane's Cloudland Ballroom, a prestige venue of old, where State receptions for dignitaries like Prince Charles are held in the midst of refined surroundings and tiaras. Mother Goose's first gig was at Cloudland— supporting The Saints.

After six weeks work around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, Mother Goose moved onto Adelaide, then Perth and, when they felt the time was right, they hit Melbourne and scored a recording contract with Mushroom. During their first five months in Australia, the New Zealand band gained fast acceptance because of the live shows which took on the zany effects of the theater, quite divorced from the roots of rock 'n' roll. And people came back for more because - it was - fresh entertainment under the guise of rock 'n' roll? But, as their record sales later showed; few people took the music as any thing, except background wallpaper. And who could blame them? It seemed to take a poor second place to the visual show, ended up as a piece meal collection of styles ranging from hard rock to Glen Miller toons with flashes of disjointed disco in between. Disjointed was the operative word. And basically, the only thing holding it together in any tangible way was the theatrical, visual side of it.

Mother Goose Countdown Promo
So, very soon. Mother Goose became known as a great live band to see, "That's not our fault though," says sailor-capped vocalist Craig Johnston. "We never put more emphasis on our theatrics than our music. But the public do. That's our problem. The result of that problem is that you don't sell as many records as straight bands, so being known as a visual band does cause a lot of problems. It's something we have to live with." And in the next breath, Johnston says. "No matter how many people try to talk us into it, we can't cut out the visuals, because that's what Mother Goose is!"
But the Geese will admit that the visuals make "people very suspicious of the music." Keyboards player Steve Young sums it up like this: "It's like you're selling soap. Because it's very visual, you shouldn't really buy it, it's all a big sham. They think you're tricking them because it's visual."

And that's the problem Mother Goose are up against wherever they go. People like what they see, but often go away thinking it's a cover up for poor music. Which in Mother Goose's case, just ain't true, because as a band they can cut it — or five or ten minutes in every show. The rest of the time? It does seem disjointed mood music for the let's-all-make-idiots-of-ourselves-and-make-the-folks-laugh theatrics.

But even the once entertaining visual side of it gets a bit been-there&een-that after a couple of performances.
Or after just one! As one guest at a press reception held for the band at Chequers in Sydney said, "Well, that was okay. But how many times can a singer jump off-stage and run around the tables like a goon with a rag turtle in his hand?" That was last September, and when I mentioned it to Johnston a couple of days before the band's last performance in Sydney in late May, where he did exactly the same thing, he wasn't impressed. "That's the rationalisation. If we'd just stood there, they probably would've gone away happy. But by the same token, you could say 'well there's only so many times Daryl Brithwaite, can pull his microphone stand out and have it - like that. Or only so many times Status Quo can get down and go. . .' but that's quite acceptable. Why? Why is that more acceptable? You can also say there's only so many times Gene Simmons can poke out his tongue and bite blood capsules, but he does it all the time."
But somehow, people seem to find those stage mannerisms to be a little less blatant than some dude charging up and down the aisle beating people with a rag turtle three or four times every night.
But, for both Kiss and Mother Goose, the punters come back for more the next time the band hits town. And they rolled up to the Regent Theatre in Sydney to see Mother Goose's farewell performance in late May. But, as noted in last week's Gigging column, the enthusiasm for the show seemed to plummet after the first twenty minutes, because people realised that although the repertoire had changed - and numbers like In The Mood had been dropped, they'd seen the whole damn thing before — last time the Geese hit town.
Earlier this year, the Geese's manager Gary Spry spent some time O/S and negotiated a recording contract with a new company called Atlantic Scotti. When they sign the contract. Mother Goose will become the first band on the label, a side-runner to the Warner Kerb label that sports Debbie Boone and Shaun Cassidy and was set up by Tony Scotti's brother.

One of the first things on Mother Goose's American itinerary is a long discussion with the Atlantic Scotti execs about the problem of not-being-able-to-sell-records-because-people-are-suspicious-of-the-music-because-of-the-visuals-bla-bla. Then, Mother Goose will do some recording and release a single. After that, it's back to the studio to record an album with an American producer interspersed with a few promotional nights in Los Angeles. No doubt we'll be hearing all about that in the future.
But right now, Steve Young is looking for a slogan to sell the band. Their live performances have already sold the band in Oz, but Steve wants more than that. He wants a slogan that will capture the band in one sentence. "It's like a new brand of toothpaste," he says. "You can't just put it out and expect it to sell. You've got to sum it up in a slogan and then, when people truly believe it's a different toothpaste, even though it's the same as the others/then they'll buy it."
Obviously the slogan for their first album didn't do the trick. Mother Goose's Album is "Stuffed" So be silly and buy it.     Obviously too many punters took it seriously.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my prized Vinyl copy which I purchased the first day it became available in the shops.  I had seen Mother Goose perform multiple times at La Trobe University in 1977 and immediately fell in love with their stage act and music. Even though the boys played complete fools while on stage, it was obvious from the quality of their music and overall performance that they were all highly accomplished musicians and as such, acquiring their records was a high priority.  So, in a way, I somewhat disagree with Andrew McMillian's conclusion about their poor record sales and their live shows not translating back onto vinyl. For me, hearing studio renditions of their song repertoire was icing on the cake, and would encourage anyone who hasn't heard these guys to give them a listen.
Full album artwork and label scans are included as usual, along with a copy of the RAM article and select band photos.
As a bonus, I have chosen to include a non-album single which they released not long after Stuffed was released. The B-Side "Ol' Blue" was a  regular  included in their stage act and when it finally became available on record, it was a no brainer.
Track Listing
01 - Moonshine Lady
02 - Somebody Broke My Heart
03 - Last Of The Fools
04 - (One day, you'll be sorry) Ann-Marie
05 - Land-Ho!
06 - See If I Care
07 - Only You
08 - Only A Phonecall Away
09 - Baked Beans
10 - I Think It's You (Bonus Single)
11 - Ol' Blue (Bonus Single)

The Band:

Steve Young - Keyboards
Craig Johnston - Vocals
Pete Dickson - Guitars And Vocals
Kevin 'Dwarf' Collings - Guitars
Denis Gibbins - Bass
Marcel Rodeka - Drums  

Mother Goose FLAC Link (310Mb)


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mike McClellan - Until The Song Is Done (1976)

(Australian 1966 - Current)
Mike McClellan: Strong Roots, new reflection  (Rolling Stone Magazine Feature Article)
A year ago I reviewed Graham Lowndes' excellent album 'Survival's A Song' and in the course of the review I attributed the song "Suzi Get Off This Train" to Graham. I was most embarrassed a couple of days later to hear that Suzi was written, not by Graham but by his friend Mike McClellan. What's more, I was informed, Mike was furious and intended to write and tell me of my error in no uncertain terms. I waited in trepidation.
Many months later much of the force of Mike's anger had dissipated - so much so that he laughed at the mention of the incident, though I did take the chance to apologise and offer a brief defense: how was I to have known that Australia had two brilliant songwriters secreted away in its coffee lounges, struggling to earn $15 a gig?

Well, at last it looks like things are changing for Mike. His current album 'Ask Any Dancer' has been released in the UK, its release looks imminent in the United States and towards the end of June this year he plans to go to England where he will record his next album "Until The Song Is Done". But he is taking it all in his stride: "The reaction from England and America has been very pleasing but I'm trying not to get to optimistic. If it happens,it's great, if it doesn't, I'll just keep going and continue to work at it."

My first encounter with Mike was at a crowded jostling EMI reception where conversation was limited to my shouted apology and Mike's rejoining laughter so it was with some relief that we met a day later in the quiet of the afternoon. Mike, a resident of Sydney, was in the midst of 'doing' Melbourne, from radio station to radio station, but he still acted like a man with time to spare and sat back, relaxed and easy, as our kitten played on his knee and he talked about his past and present, his influences and his future.
"My favourite single of all time came out in the early 60's: "You Can Have Her, I Don't Want Her' by George Hamilton. It was a magnificent single. It flattened me when I first heard it and I flogged it and flogged it"

On balance, however, rock music was a minor influence on the young McClellan. Coming from what he describes as a "very conventional family background" his love of music during his high school years was channeled away from rock and roll into the church choir, school concert productions and musical comedy. If fact during these years he turned his attention to straight drama, winning a scholarship to NIDA in '62. His family however, prevailed on him to postpone his acting career in favour of the relative security of a teachers' training course and in 1963 he wound up at Armidale Teacher's College for what he feels were the two most important years of his life.

"It was my first opportunity to get involved with music away from my home environment. I started playing guitar when I was even playing drums in the college band. I was a shithouse drummer - I had a good sense of rhythm but no technique at all. About that time Peter, Paul and Mary were making an impact and I was really keen on their guitar arrangements. I was also listening avidly to Doc Watson and an incredible 12 string acoustic guitarist and banjo player who was backing the Chad Mitchell Trio then, who turned out to be Jim (roger) McGuinn of the Byrds."

On vacations to Melbourne and Sydney, Mike extended his interest from folk and rock to blues. Those were the days of Trevor Lucas, Martin Wyndam-Reid, Brian Mooney, and most importantly for Mike, Paul Marks. "Paul was a fine guitarist", he says, "the best of his kind in Australia then and he was singing and playing the blues - he was using jazz arrangements and doing his own material as well as songs by Broonzey and others. It was Paul who was responsible for getting me into the blues."

By 1966 after a year's teaching in the country Mike was back in Sydney doing some fancy blues and country picking around the folk clubs. It was about this time that he came together with Graham Lowndes and with a third member, Derek Robinson, they formed the Currency Blues Co, a band they still remember with affection.
"Graham introduced himself one night in Sydney and asked if he could sing with me, he said he sang a bit of blues. Thin little weedy Graham. So I thought of yeah, and said alright, come and have a sing. I started to play and out comes this magnificent voice - I nearly fell off the floor, it was incredible."
Mike continued playing around the clubs and teaching until the end of '69 when he joined the chorus of Barry Crocker's TV Show, Sound Of Music. This rather amazing turn of fortune came about through New Faces.  My wife used to say go New Faces, you can do better than those mugs and I'd say oh no, so she sent my application form and I wound up winning about 1800 bucks which I didn't complain about. The show was a load of rubbish though and I go on to the Sound Of Music because they had to make it
look as if New Faces lead somewhere. When the show folded I went back to teaching."

Since then Mike has been singing and playing solo and he has finally given up teaching, this time for good. In the past few years his songwriting has gone from strength to strength. "My early songs were desperately self-conscious and terrible naive. In the 60's I depended mainly on other material."
He enjoys playing solo, primarily because his first love is the acoustic guitar which would tend to get lost in most electric bands. At present on stage Mike alternates between his sixteen year old Gibson Hummingbird and his two Martins, a D35 and a 1938 017. "I also rather like to be totally in control of a performance. I'm not a very strong singer and my songs work best in live performance with a limited accompaniment."  On record however these difficulties are easily overcome and both Mike's albums make use of accompaniment and orchestrations to further develop his songs.

His first album 'Mike McClellan'  was released in June 1972 and though it received some excellent reviews, nothing much came of it. "The record company ATA did nothing to promote it, although they did manage to get out a poster three months after it had been released but it received no airplay to speak of."  His second album, Ask Any Dancer was released by EMI in September 1974.

Unlike so many musicians, Mike's love of music extends beyond his own work and much of his free timer is spent in listening to and enjoying others, Two Australian musicians who sprang readily to mind as favourites of Mike's were Graham Lowndes: "he's the most electrifying singer I have ever heard" and Jean Lewis: "a fine fine singer". McClellan's name has long been associated in the public's mind with these two musicians as well as others like Margaret Roadknight and Bob Hudson, and I asked him what those musicians had in common.

"Apart from the shows that we have done together, I tend to think of us as survivors of an era that is long past. I think our main bond is that most of us started out in the folk era and through determination and a strong belief in what we are doing, we are still around.  It has been difficult for us all - survival would have been impossible for me if I hadn't had teaching as well as music to support my family. In that way I guess I'm different to the rest: I've got a family, a couple of Kids, a mortgage, I drive a car - I enjoy and in a way - need all the middle class trappings.

The list of overseas favourites could be endless but it includes Dobie Gray, "Drive Away" was the first single I bought in years", David Ackles, Paul and Mentor Williams, Joni Mitchell. Jerry Jeff Walker, Steely Dan (particularly Katy Lied), Randy Newman and most recently Martha Reeves and keyboards player and singer/songwriter Michael O'Martian.

As far as Mike is concerned, things are looking up for the Australian Musician. "No longer do you have to make excuses for Australian records. Our recording facilities are equal to those overseas and so are the cream of our musicians. If we spend the right amount of time and energy we can make a musical product that is as musically polished and valid as anything they can produce in America. I tend to think that the material that we send overseas has got to be not as good but just a little better than the overseas product, since the record company who will make or break it has got to be able to say obviously there is something here and we will spend a lot of money to get an unknown artist off the ground.

To add to his chance of success, Mike signed in February with a new manager Robin Britten, whose management of the Hollies has already proved his value. But if for any reason Mike's assault on the big time fails this time around, after almost 10 years in the business he is not likely to give up now. As he says in "One Man Band " (from his latest album), "...somethin' inside keeps pushin' me on/so I shuffle my blues through a worn out tune/and I carry on".   (Article written by Margaret MacIntryre, Rolling Stone Magazine, May 8, 1975. p43)
This post consists of FLACS ripped from my vinyl (ex condition) and includes full album artwork and label scans as per usual. This is a great album and if you liked his first album, then you're gonna love this one. My only criticism  is that the last track "Sail Tonight" wears a little thin after awhile, with the chorus being repeated over and over again for the last 3mins of the song. Although a catchy tune, this repetition spoils what could have been a great single, if he had shortened the chorus by several minutes..

Track Listing:
01 - Carry Me (Until The Song Is Done)
02 - The Gamble             
03 - Love Survives             
04 - Midnight Flight             
05 - Room Service             
06 - Now The Rodeos Are Gone             
07 - Takin' The Tide             
08 - Lovers Never Wind Up Friends

09 - My Old Guitar And Me             
10 - I Had An Old Dog             
11 - Sail Tonight

The Band:
Bass - Greg Lyons, Tim Partridge, Darcy Wright, Len Barnard
Drums - Doug Gallacher, Russell Dunlop, Len Barnard
Guitar - Mike McClellan, Jim Kelly, Peter Walker

Keyboards - Ian Mason, Judy Bailey
Percussion - John Sangster, Sunil da Silva

Pedal Steel - Ken Kitching
Harmonica - Richard Brooks
Banjo - Paul Trenwith
Mandolin - Graham Lovejoy
Trombone - Ken Herron
Backing Vocals - Brendan Kristen, Julie Amiet, Kristi Lane, Janice Slater, Barry Leef, Pate Aulton & Mike
String & Brass Arrangements - Graham Lyall

Mike McClellan FLAC Link (290Mb)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Who - Tangled Up In Who (1970) 2CD Bootleg

(U.K 1964–1982, 1989, 1996 – present)
During the summer of 1970, Bill Graham presented an extraordinary series of concerts at Tanglewood, the renowned classical music venue located in the scenic Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. In a year plentiful in memorable concerts, these Tanglewood performances truly stand out. Artists like The Who, Miles Davis, Santana, and Chicago all delivered inspired performances, several of which remain career-defining moments to this very day.

The Who's July 7th performance at Tanglewood was certainly one of the most highly anticipated of the three concerts that Graham presented during the 1970 series. Along with the Jefferson Airplane, the Who headlined Graham's one-off 1969 experiment at Tanglewood and the success of  that gig was indeed the inspiration for the 1970 series of concerts. By 1970, The Who were experiencing monumental success, having taken the musical world by storm with Peter Townshend's rock opera, Tommy, the previous year. Not since the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper had a rock album been so perceived as a "work of art," and the momentum of Tommy sustained the group throughout 1969 and 1970. The public and critical reaction to Townshend's rock opera had a profound effect on the group and Townshend in particular, raising the Who's profile to stratospheric proportions.

The group even booked several of their performances of Tommy into the most prestigious classical music venues in Europe and launched their 1970 American tour with two presentations at New York City's renowned Metropolitan Opera House. Although the group's 1970 performances were universally well received, the massive popularity and critical analysis of Tommy inevitably became a double-edged sword. The band was being embraced and criticized by the highbrow classical community as well as rock fans and critics. The new trappings of fame and the relentless media bombardment that now followed the group began to take its toll on Townshend. Partially motivated by anxiety at being perceived on a strictly artistic level, the band issued Live at Leeds, one of the rawest, loudest, most visceral live recordings ever (released seven weeks prior to this show). It was in this mode, balancing between the artistic aspirations of Tommy and the blistering hard rock of their other live repertoire, that the Who embarked on their 1970 American tour. The final night of this tour culminated in this now legendary concert at Tanglewood, where the Who headlined a bill that also included San Francisco's It's A Beautiful Day and Jethro Tull.

In Townshend's own words, the band would have "another bash at it," in terms of Tommy, in addition to introducing some intriguing new material. Unreleased at the time, three of the first five songs of this set ("Heaven And Hell," "Water," and "I Don't Even Know Myself") would appear as non-album b-sides, making their inclusion of particular interest here. The entire performance is quite remarkable and these new multi-track transfers reveal the Tanglewood gig to be a far better performance than any previous bootleg recordings revealed. Often as powerful as the legendary "Live at Leeds" material and generally superior to their Isle Of Wight performance days later, these new recordings will come as a revelation to hardcore fans, providing one of the finest examples of Keith Moon and John Entwistle's live prowess circa 1970 ever recorded.

Following Bill Graham's opening announcements and introductions of the individual band members, the Who launch into one of John Entwistle's most powerful songs, "Heaven And Hell," their standard opener during this era. Released as the b-side of "Summertime Blues" three days after this performance, "Heaven And Hell" is distinctly different from Townshend's writing. Entwistle's atheistic and at times acidic social commentaries, of which this song is a prime example, often relegated his songs to b-sides and non-album tracks. Nonetheless, it's a propulsive opener that provides an interesting contrast to Townshend's more spiritually-oriented writing of this era, while emphasizing the group's strength on stage. It is a clear signpost to where Entwistle would head on his first solo album, 'Smash Your Head Against The Wall', the following year. The oldest original number of the set, the Kinks-like "I Can't Explain," follows in fine form. Unlike his musical peers in the 1964/1965 era, most of whom were still writing love songs (including Lennon and McCartney), this first single by the Who focused on the frustration of being unable to articulate one's feelings and is an excellent example of what made Townshend's writing stand out from the very beginning.

The Who next treat the audience to two new songs back to back—material intended for their next studio EP, a project that was ultimately abandoned. These early live performances of "Water" and "I Don't Even Know Myself" show the band's mastery of dynamic control and reveal new diversity to Townshend's writing. "Water," a bluesy rocker about emptiness on every level, includes remarkable spontaneous jamming for so early in the set and is a perfect vehicle for Daltrey's belligerent vocals. This song wouldn't see the light of day until three years later, when it was issued as the b-side to the Quadrophenia single "5:15." This early live reading is delivered with power and punch and allows the band to stretch out a bit. "I Don't Even Know Myself," humorously introduced by Keith Moon, clearly expresses Townshend's growing frustration and confusion at this point in time. This new song provides another glimpse into his next opus, the ill-fated Lifehouse, which would be abandoned over the course of the following year, providing the songs for Who's Next in the process.

Eventually issued as the b-side of the "Won't Get Fooled Again" single, "I Don't Even Know Myself" is another electrifying performance that also features Daltrey blowing mouth harp early on. The structure of the song features starts-and-stops that truly showcase Keith Moon's ability to be in perpetual motion, yet capable of stopping on a dime. Throughout this set, Keith Moon's double bass drumming is astoundingly complicated, and he plays with a furious intensity that threatens to spin out of control, yet never does. The band's mastery of tension and release is impressive here but even better represented on the next tune, a searing version of Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues." Much like the furious performance on Live At Leeds, this is another vehicle for the group to expel more raw energy before tackling the long haul of Tommy.

At this point, Townshend addresses the Tanglewood audience, explaining that this will be the last gig in America for 1970; the final gig of this tour and the performances of Tommy will soon be retired. Townshend sounds genuinely happy and appreciative, no doubt in part due to the technical excellence of the show itself (i.e., great stage monitor mixes that allow these musicians to clearly hear each other and perform as one). Reflective of the ideas that would soon propel his Lifehouse project, which, at its core, addressed the symbiotic relationship between the group and its audience, Townshend makes a point to include the audience when stating that it's time to "have you and us have another bash at it" in terms of Tommy, which is greeted with exuberant applause. He then introduces Keith Moon as "the conductor of our particular orchestra" who, with the clicks of his drumstick baton, begins humorously assembling the musicians.

The Who On Stage at Tanglewood
The Who's distinctive first note of the "Overture" is a spine-tingling moment, and as the group introduces each of the interlocking Tommy themes in succession, the energy level gets increasingly exhilarating. Despite being the final night of the tour, the group shows little sign of fatigue, and they play as if reborn for this occasion. Toward the end of the "Overture," when Townshend is riffing alone, the recording is so clear one can actually hear the snare on Moon's drum kit vibrating. The excitement level of the audience and concentration level of the musicians is tangible, thanks to a recording that is crisp and well-balanced, revealing the nuances of Townshend's guitar tone and Entwistle's massive bass harmonics, which were rarely captured well during this era.

As the "Overture" gives way to the storyline, both "It's A Boy" and "1921" are well played and harmoniously sung, leading into the first true highlight of theTommy performance—"Amazing Journey" into "Sparks." Here, Entwistle and Moon are equally incredible, both playing with a burning intensity that never falters. "Sparks," a song with a self-explanatory title if there ever was one, is truly volcanic, with Moon playing at a superhuman level, Entwistle utilizing nearly every fret on his bass, and Townshend's wind-milling power chords and abrasive string scraping downright frightening. The ferocity of this performance is astounding, before Townshend eventually softens things down, leading the group to a gentle conclusion. This gives way to the only cover song in the Tommy opus, an urgent reading of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight To The Blind," followed by a hyper kinetic take on "Christmas" that sonically recreates the anxious excitement of a child on Christmas morning, despite its deceptively dark lyrical content.

These songs precede what is quite possibly the greatest live performance of "The Acid Queen" ever. Superior to both the Leeds and Isle of Wight performances, this not only features commanding vocals and spectacular drumming, but also serves as a prime example of Entwistle being the most original musician to ever pick up a bass guitar. The hook-laden "Pinball Wizard" that follows is nearly perfect, and unlike later renditions, still has a vitality that was rarely matched again. In contrast to just a year prior, when Tommy was first unveiled, Roger Daltrey displays remarkable growth as a singer, having become one of the most compelling vocalists in all of rock music.

Differing from the original album sequence, the segue way pieces, "Do You Think It's Alright," "Fiddle About" (in which Entwistle gets his second lead vocal as the wicked Uncle Ernie), "Tommy Can You Hear Me," and "There's A Doctor" are all played in rapid succession. These songs are less consequential, but they delightfully showcase the group's vocal abilities, which are often remarkably harmonious. This sequencing allows the band to perform "Go To The Mirror" and "Smash The Mirror" back to back, which is a great move as it provides the next outstanding sequence in this Tommy performance. "Go To The Mirror," which first introduces the "See Me Feel Me" and "Listening To You" vocal phrases, is met with enthusiastic applause. The entire band is fully engaged again here with Entwistle clearly serving as the propulsion. Without missing a beat, Moon delivers a flourish through his drum kit that next propels the group into "Smash The Mirror," an exercise in ratcheting up the tension level. The brief a cappella "Miracle Cure" is next and in the split second pause following it, one can hear Moon let out a joyous yelp. Townshend immediately slashes into the bone-crunching power chords that kick off "I'm Free," another outstanding performance that gradually releases all the tension built up in "Smash The Mirror."

Before heading into the home stretch, Townshend and Moon share the vocal spotlight on the humorously inviting "Tommy's Holiday Camp" which precedes the group's launch into "We're Not Gonna Take It." Although Daltrey's voice is beginning to show signs of strain here, it's another fine performance filled with rebellious spirit. One can clearly sense that the Who are enjoying this last American performance of Tommy, which finally culminates in an impassioned grand finale of "See Me Feel Me," which, by its end, has the band approaching the musical equivalent of nirvana. Now that it can finally be heard clearly and uninterrupted, this proves to be one of the tightest, more genuinely inspired live performances of Tommy ever committed to tape.

Needless to say, the Tanglewood audience isn't prepared to let this momentous evening end, and the band is still prepared to deliver one last blowout to cap off their final gig in America. Townshend again addresses the audience, ruminating on the tour, stating, "It has been the most enjoyable tour we've ever done in this country." To precede the encore Townshend's final words of the evening include "We'd like to thank you by playing you this song... a song that is very, very right for this particular moment... dedicated directly to you—'My Generation'."
And with those words, the group again explodes into their anthem with energetic exhilaration. Although the song proper is relatively short, it is crackling with raw energy, and the improvisational jam that follows is most impressive. It begins with Townshend and Daltrey reprising several themes from Tommy, which then segues into a truly jaw-dropping barrage of sounds. At times this equals the ferocity of "Sparks" earlier in the show, but it also serves as an exploration of riffs and themes that would be further developed into songs over the course of the following year, most notably "Naked Eye." At one point, Townshend begins playing chord washes with a lovely introspective feel and Entwistle and Moon immediately drop way down, intentionally emphasizing the beauty of Townshend's deeply resonating chords. Just when one may expect them to bring things to a delicate close, Townshend, Entwistle, and Moon launch into yet another pummeling jam that lays waste to all that preceded it.

This extended version of "My Generation" perfectly encapsulates what made Townshend such a unique and brilliant guitar player on stage. There is nothing superfluous in his improvising and the sheer aural power of his wind-milling riffs and power chords fill the empty spaces in a way that resonates deeply. Whether he is playing delicate and ethereal or blazing with heat and raw power (and he is quite capable of peeling off leads of searing intensity), his strength is in the way he enhances the thundering rhythm section of Entwistle and Moon, who consistently fuel his most compelling playing here. Townshend's ability at spontaneously creating distinctive chord riffs and then slamming them home has been copied by many, but rarely ever been equaled. The final minutes of this improvisation includes a surprising turn, as shortly after the seven-minute mark, Townshend spontaneously begins playing the distinctive opening riff to "Cinnamon Girl," Neil Young's new signature rocker with Crazy Horse, which had been released earlier that year. Entwistle and Moon pick up on it, fueling one final blast of fire to this blistering jam, culminating in a barrage of feedback and the final howling notes of the American tour.

Tanglewood Today - Outdoor Music Festival
The fire and passion of the Who in 1970 and the symbiosis that these four musicians achieve here is nothing short of astounding. The Leeds and Isle of Wight recordings will always remain as two of the Who's landmark 1970 recordings, and deservedly so, but thanks to this spectacular new transfer of Bill Graham's recordings, Tanglewood is now equally worthy of attention.  Written by Alan Bershaw [extract from]

Concert Review
I was looking for information on It’s A Beautiful Day when I can across your post.
July 7th, 1970. I was under the shed at Tanglewood – center 3rd section 80 something rows back.
I was 17. And I fell in love with Patty Santos from It’s A Beautiful Day that day. From what I could see through the haze, she had on a velvet purple dress that was so short that all I remember seeing were her legs. That, her long hair, and a neck band. Fantastic set.
Then Jethro Tull came out and brought the house down. They rocked the shed start to finish. They were freakin’ incredible. And they drained all the emotion out of the audience.
So much so that when the Who finally came on and played their first few numbers, the crowd was listless. Townshend was so pissed (I‘m guessing) that the warm up band received greater audience “love”, that he announced something to the effect that “We were never going to play Tommy again, but we are going to do it one last time for you. And then they did the rock opera, and killed the crowd.
What a night. Best concert I ever saw – and I saw a lot of them. [Review by Alex Phakos]

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from a Japanese Bootleg CD set that I picked up at the local flea market in amongst some other bootleg titles. What a find and at $2 each, I certainly got Tangled Up In Who. The quality of the recording is pretty good (I'll give it an 8/10) and the glossy digipak packaging was an added bonus.  Full album artwork is included as usual.
Note: that tracks 3-10 on CD2 are from other Who concerts, predominantly from Fillmore West, San Francisco in 1969.  Cover incorrectly lists 20 tracks on CD1 when if fact there are only 18, as shown below. 
Track Listing
1-1    Intro > Heaven And Hell   
1-2    I Can't Explain   
1-3    Water   
1-4    I Don't Even Know Myself   
1-5    Young Man Blues   
1-6    Overture/It's A Boy   
1-7    1921   
1-8    Amazing Journey   
1-9    Sparks   
1-10    Eyesight To The Blind   
1-11    Acid Queen   
1-12    Pinball Wizard   
1-13    Do You Think It's Alright?   
1-14    Tommy Can You Hear Me?   
1-15    There's A Doctor/Go To The Mirror   

1-16    Smash The Mirror   
1-17    Miracle Cure/I'm Free   
1-18    Tommy's Holiday Camp   
2-1    We're Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me   
2-2    My Generation   
2-3    Boris The Spider   
2-4    Summertime Blues   
2-5    Shakin' All Over   
2-6    Magic Bus   
2-7    Young Man Blues   
2-8    My Generation   
2-9    Naked Eye   
2-10  Too Much Of Anything

The Band:
Roger Daltrey - vocals, harmonica, tambourine;
Pete Townshend - guitar, vocals;
John Entwistle - bass, vocals;
Keith Moon - drums, percussion, vocals

The Who CD1  (163Mb)  New Link 02/01/2024
The Who CD2 (165Mb)  New Link 02/01/2024

Friday, January 8, 2016

Spectrum Indelible Murtceps - Testimonial (1973)

(Australian 1969 - 1973)
The Indelible Murtceps
The Indelible Murtceps was the alter-ego of 1970s Australian progressive rock band Spectrum. The name 'murtceps' is 'spectrum' spelled backwards. The Melbourne-based group developed an extensive repertoire of original experimental progressive rock music, intended for performance in a serious concert setting, using a large PA system and light show, as well as on occasion being augmented by Melbourne performance troupe 'The Tribe'. They commonly performed at larger concert halls, so-called 'head' venues like the T.F. Much Ballroom and at rock festivals.

During the early 1970s the Australian rock scene began to change, and the circuit of festivals, large concert and 'head' venues began to dwindle as the scene shifted towards a simpler, heavier and more accessible style, which has become known as "pub rock". Realising that their lengthy and complex material was precluding them from getting bookings on the lucrative local dance and pub circuit, Spectrum created a set of simpler, dancier music, using a reduced stage setup. They re-christened the band as "The Indelible Murtceps" for the purpose, allowing Spectrum to continue on its progressive course while enabling them to supplement their income with the Murtceps gigs.

In late 1972 they recorded the album Warts Up Your Nose, produced by Peter Dawkins. It featured a selection of the songs they performed as Murtceps, most of which featured satirical, scatological and sexual themes; the centre-piece was Mike Rudd's epic 13-minute ode to marijuana, "Some Good Advice". The album was packaged in a brown cardboard cover, intended to evoke the "plain brown wrapper" traditionally associated with pornographic publications. They released one single, "Esmeralda" which (like the song "Rene" by The Small Faces) was a lighthearted ode to a prostitute. They released two singles as Murtceps -- "Esmeralda" / "We Are Indelible" and "Indelible Shuffle" / "Ray's Boogie".  Warts has been recently released on CD by Aztec Records, and can be purchased from their website.

The Warts album was the last to feature original keyboard player Lee Neale. He suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after the album was completed and he left the band in September 1972, to be replaced by Canberra-born John Mills. Neale abandoned the music scene for good and dropped completely out of sight; to this day his former bandmates do not know of his whereabouts or what became of him after leaving Spectrum [extract from wikipedia]
Line-up: MIKE RUDD  (lead vocals, guitar); MARK KENNEDY (drums); BILL PUTT (bass guitar); LEE NEALE (organ).
Mike (ex-Sons Of A Vegetal Mother) and Bill (ex-Lost Souls) founded Spectrum in April, 1969. They stuck mainly to the Melbourne disco circuit and their early style was very much akin to English band Traffic.
Although they gained almost immediate respect from the pop fraternity, by early 1970 promoters were reluctant to hire them because of their image and original (perhaps a little uncommercial) material. By mid 1970 they were virtually broke and to top it off Mark left the band in August. He was replaced by RAY ARNOTT (ex-Genesis).

The single was followed by their debut album entitled Spectrum Part One. It was lavished with praise by the critics and managed a quick ascension into the LP charts in April '71. Their second single, 'Trust Me'/'Going Home' failed to sell well, although the band was always regarded more as an album band and it was in this area that they gained most of their success.
Despite their popularity their complex music made it difficult to please dance-type audiences and once again it was affecting them financially. So in October '71 they decided to develop the group as two separate entities. The result of this split personality concept was the creation of a new band they called Indelible Murtceps. This gave them the opportunity to continue their progressive style through Spectrum, yet promote a dance-sound through Murtceps.
Late in 1971 they released their second album, Milesago, which made the charts in January, 1972 and was even more successful than Spectrum Part One.

Mike Rudd & Bill Putt
Then in September '72 Lee left the band and his replacement caused a major problem. The situation compounded in March '73 when Ray announced that he was leaving to join Ross Wilson's new group. Bill and Mike decided that the task of re-constructing the unique Murtceps—Spectrum format would be impossible, so they dissolved the band.
Fortunately they had a collection of good tracks in the pipeline, which were released posthumously. They included a single 'Indelible Shuffle' (June '73), an album entitled Testimonial (July '73) and a double LP called Terminal Buzz (December '73) — featuring a live performance recorded at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne on April 15, 1973.
Of course Mike and Bill went on to form the legendary Ariel in May, 1973. [extract from Noel McGrath's 'Australian Encyclopedia Of Rock', Outback Press, 1978. p299-300]

Go Set Mag - Spectrum's Last Concert
Album Review
Although there was an attempt to keep the Spectrum and Indelible Murtceps personae separate, there was inevitably some confusion between the two bands, and so the next album was jointly credited to both entities. There was an attempt to keep a demarcation between the two though, each track being assigned to one name or the other, with clear instrumentation and genre differences. Instead of this diversity being a strength, as it was on Milesago, it becomes jarring. The Murtceps numbers are generally straight-forward boogie numbers (with apparently an ear to the success of Daddy Cool - the guitar riff in "Indelible Shuffle" is very reminiscent of their "Hi Honey Ho"), with keyboards restricted to piano. The Spectrum numbers are ponderous mid-tempo numbers with a fuller range of keyboard sounds (courtesy new member John Mills), including the first use of synthesizers, but little of the fire we used to get from Lee Neale - or from anyone else in the band. The best number on the album is the one Murtceps number to break the genre straightjacket imposed on each identity, "Real Meanie". The best of the Spectrum numbers are "I Think I Even Missed The Station" and Ray Arnott's grooving "It Would Be Nice". "Essay In Paranoia", apparently a stage favourite at the time, is the most overtly proggy in it's multiple sections and use of synthesizer.  [Simon From]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my prized Vinyl copy, which I have had for ever. My only regret is that I never purchased the Warts Up Your Nose album, but was consoled recently when I was able to purchase the CD release
Of course, full album artwork is included plus select photos of the band and label scans.  Although I never had the opportunity to see Spectrum_Indelible Murtceps play live, I did see Ariel many, many times while they gigged on the University circuit and have always thought they were an awesome band.  This album is a classic, and I only hope that Aztec can obtain the rights to release it on CD at some stage.
Thanks to Woodynet at Midoztouch for the Go Set Article featured above.
Track Listing
A1. Indelible Shuffle (Rudd) (3:44)
A2. It Would be Nice (Arnott) (3:08)
A3. Ray's Boogie (Arnott) (2:19)
A4. Singing the Blues (Rudd) (0:44)
A5. I Think I Missed the Station (Rudd) (6:28)
A6. Hot Rocket (Arnott/Rudd) (3:33)
B1. Real Meanie (Rudd) (4:25)
B2. Who is Bugging You? (Rudd) (4:34)
B3. Essay In Paranoia (Arnott/Rudd) (9:36)
B4. Homesick Valium Blues (Rudd) (4:21)

- Mike Rudd / acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
- Bill Putt / bass guitar
- Ray Arnott / drums, percussion, vocals
- John Mills / piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Optronics 1000 Series synthesizer