Wednesday, August 31, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favourites (1962)

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.
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the elder of two children in a middle-class family, Eastwood finished high school at the comparatively late age of 19 and worked odd jobs for several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College, from which he dropped out after two semesters to pursue acting. He found unaccredited bit parts in such nondescript B-films as Revenge of the Creature (1955) and Tarantula (1955) during the mid-'50s while simultaneously digging swimming pools for a living, until he got his first breakthrough in the long-running TV series Rawhide (1959) with Eric Fleming. Though only a secondary player in the first season, Clint made the show his own by end of its run and became a household name around the country.

Eastwood found even bigger and better things in Italy with the excellent spaghetti westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), but it was the third installment in the trilogy where he found one of his signature roles: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). The movie was a big hit and he became an instant international star. Clint's first American-made western, Hang 'Em High (1968), was yet again a success. [extract from]

With the rusty door-hinge of a voice he possesses today, it's hard to imagine a time when Clint Eastwood could have been groomed as a singing star, but in the early ‘60s, when he came to fame as the rebellious Rowdy in the hit Western TV series Rawhide, it wasn't such a crazy idea. In 1963, playing off the popularity of the show, Cameo-Parkway released an album featuring Eastwood's versions of classic cowboy-style tunes. While Eastwood is admittedly not an exceptional vocalist, he's not at all bad; this is by no means some Golden Throats-style celebrity train wreck. At the time, there were plenty of equally photogenic young men with no greater vocal ability than Eastwood being promoted as country singers, many with less of an actual musical background than the jazz-schooled actor.

Eastwood's soft, somewhat laconic croon might not possess the commanding quality that was de rigueur for the era's country stars, but he never strays off-key, and his style is a kind of cross between legendary cowboy singer Roy Rogers and Dean Martin. Most of the tunes he tackles here were already well-known in hit versions by other artists -- the Sons of the Pioneers' "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose," Gene Autry's "Mexicali Rose," etc. The loping rhythms, lonesome harmonica, lazy guitar licks, and male backing-vocal choruses are all in keeping with the production conventions of the day for cowboy artists.

While Cowboy Favorites didn't make Eastwood a C&W star, it wasn't his country music swan song -- years later he would record with Merle Haggard and sing in the films 'Paint Your Wagon' and 'Honky Tonk Man' [extract from]
Now, let's be really honest folks.  This album doesn't really fit my usual criteria for inclusion into the WOCK on Vinyl Hall of Fame - it's not really Wacky, nor is it Crazy or Korny, and having been released on CD, its not really Obscure either. But folks, it's all about Cowboys and Westerns and that's just good enough for me.
So here it is partners. A nice round up of rootin, tootin tunes that any city slicker would love to have in their personal corral, ripped from vinyl in MP3 (192kps) format.  Note: There is some discrepancy as to when this album was released - some sources saying 1962 while others state 1963. So if you know for certain, then 'go ahead and make my day' LOL by leaving a comment.
Track Listing
01. Bouquet Of Roses
02. Along The Santa Fe Trail
03. The Last Round Up
04. Sierra Nevada
05. Mexicali Rose
06. Searching For Somewhere
07. I'll Love You More
08. Tumbling Tumbleweeds
09. Twilight On The Trail
10. San Antonio Rose
11. Don't Fence Me In
12. Are You Satisfied

Clint Eastwood Link (45Mb)  New Link 18/12/2023

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jimi Hendrix - Atlanta Pop Festival, 4 July 1970 (Ex. Bootleg)

(U.S 1963-1970)
July 4, 1970. Middle Georgia Raceway - Byron, Georgia. 400,000 sunburned bodies. Jimi Hendrix headlines the Atlanta Pop Festival, a monster stop near the end of his last American Tour. With him are Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and Band of Gypsys bassist Billy Cox. Jimi and Billy were army buddies stationed in the South in '61. Nine years later they return as the Cry of Love Band. Their 'Band Of Gypsys' album is  in the US Top 5, and the tour yields some of Jimi's best playing. His combined Mitchell/Cox rhythm section defines the ultimate power trio.

It is the Summer of '70. Rock festivals are the height of fashion. Independence day is on a Saturday. Jimi hits Atlanta's stage in the evening and faces the largest crowd of his life. [extract taken from DVD Cover - Jimi At The Atlanta Pop Festival]

Cry Of Love are supported by B.B. King, John Sebastian, Mountain, Procol Harum, Poco, Jethro Tull, Johnny Winter and The Allman Brothers. Randy California attends the festival and jams with Jimi in his dressing room, just before he goes on stage. A french TV film crew film part of Jimi's set.

 Cry Of Love take the stage for their 02:30 (Sunday) performance. Jimi announces: "Thank you for waiting, I can't hear nothing, testing one, two three, testing, testing. I'd like to introduce the new members of the group, this is Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums and yours truly on public saxophone." Jimi starts the show off with 'Fire'. "Thank you, we really hope it isn't too loud for you, because if it is we can always turn it up. I'd like to do another thing goes something like this here. Hey dig, there's a whole lot of girls running around loose because [their] old man's in the army and so forth, and when he comes back he's gonna find you up there with your other man and somebody's gonna get [it]. It's called 'Here Comes Your Lover Man'." Following this number, and without any introduction, Jimi continues with 'Spanish Castle Magic'. Then: "Yeah we'd like to slow it down a little bit and quiet it down and... do a slow blues for the evening, a thing called 'Red House'."

There are more tuning problems, and Jimi addresses the audience: "Sorry for the tuning, it'll only take a second. I'd like to do a thing that, er, we're gonna have on our new LP, a thing called 'Room Full Of Mirrors'." After this song, Jimi continues the set with 'Getting My Heart Back Together Again', 'Message To Love', All Along The Watch tower' and 'Freedom'. He then says: "Thank you very much for the last four years... [this is] dedicated to the girl over there with the purple underwear on." Jimi continues with 'Foxy Lady".

Then: "I want everybody to stand up and get off... your thing and stand up on your feet because we'd like to do a happy birthday song to America. Thing goes something like... the thing they used to brainwash [us with]... at school. Well let's all, everybody stand up and sing it together with feeling." Jimi proceeds to play the introduction to 'Star Spangled Banner', but quickly changes it to 'Purple Haze'. During the song there is a huge firework display behind the stage which lights up the night sky.
After 'Purple Haze', Jimi comments: "Thank you very much for staying with us, thank you... and... I'd like to see you again soon." Jimi continues the set with 'Hey Joe'.

Next, the band play 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'. Afterwards he announces: "Thank you very much for staying with us, thank you. Thank you very much, you're all really, really kind. You know, if I could see you we could get it together, but that light is blinding me, man, it's hard to play when you can't see nobody, you know." The offending spotlight is switched off and Jimi comments: "Now I can see you, yeah, right. I'd like to do a thing called 'Stone Free' - we hope you remember that one." Jimi then continues with 'Star Spangled Banner' and 'Straight Ahead'. He closes the show with a very out-of-tune version of' Land Of The New Rising Sun' [extract from Jimi Hendrix Concert Files by Tony Brown, Omnibus Press, 1999. p162]

The Cry Of Love - Atlanta, 4th July 1970
About 100 miles south of Atlanta, next to a field on the outer fringes of the town Byron, in Georgia, is a plaque erected by the Georgia Historical Society marking the location of the second Atlanta International Pop Festival, which ran from July 3-5, 1970. It reads: "Over 30 musical acts performed, including rock icon Jimi Hendrix playing to the largest American audience of this career." Despite the overwhelming attendance—which some estimates actually put as high as 400,000—the festival, and Hendrix's performance in particular, have not received their due until now.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) which were found on the web many years ago, and includes full album artwork and photos taken at the festival. This bootleg is one of the better sources on offer for this iconic concert, and includes all bar 2 tracks performed by Hendrix and The Cry Of Love on the night (Freedom & Foxy Lady missing). Unlike the official 2015 release, entitled 'Freedom' (which by the way incorrectly credits the recording to The Jimi Hendrix Experience), this bootleg includes the closing track on Jimi's setlist, a very out-of-tune version of' 'Land Of The New Rising Sun.  Whether Hendrix was suffering from the effects of drugs at the end of his performance or he simply couldn't hear due to the poor acoustics, it was common practice by Hendrix at the time to close his performances with this very solemn piece, yet the track is missing from the official release making it incomplete also. So, even if you have purchased Freedom, you still need to grab this Bootleg to hear the full concert. Quality of the recording is an 8/10.
Track Listing:
01  - Fire   
02 -  Lover Man   
03 -  Spanish Castle Magic   
04 -  Red House   
05 -  Room Full Of Mirrors   
06 -  Hear My Train A Comin'   
07 -  Message Of Love   
08 -  All Along The Watchtower   
(Note:  Tracks missing are Freedom & Foxey Lady)
09 -  Purple Haze   
10 -  Hey Joe   
11 -  Voodoo Child (Slight Return)   
12 -  Stone Free
13 -  Straight Ahead   
14 -  Star Spangled Banner   
15 -  Hey Baby

Jimi Hendrix (Guitar, Vocals)
Billy Cox (Bass)
Mitch Mitchell (Drums)

Jimi Hendrix Atlanta Link (173Mb)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Leo Sayer - Have You Ever Been In Love (1983)

(U.K 1973 - Present)
Leo Sayer (born Gerard Sayer) had a string of highly polished mainstream pop hits in the late '70s. Sayer began his musical career as the leader of the London-based Terraplane Blues Band in the late '60s. 
He formed Patches with drummer Dave Courtney in 1971. Courtney used to play with British pop star Adam Faith. Faith was beginning a management career in the early '70's, so Courtney brought Patches to his former employer in hopes of securing a contract. Patches failed to impress Faith, yet he liked Sayer and chose to promote him as a solo artist. Sayer began recording some solo material written with David Courtney at Roger Daltrey's studio; the Who's lead singer liked the Sayer/Courtney originals enough to record a handful himself, including the hit "Giving It All Away." Sayer's debut single, "Why Is Everybody Going Home," failed to make any impact, yet 1973's "The Show Must Go On" hit number one in the U.K.; a cover by Three Dog Night stopped Sayer's version from charting in the U.S. The following year he released his first album, Silver Bird.

Just a BoySilver Bird was followed quickly by Just a Boy, which included two more British hit singles, "One Man Band" and "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)"; "Long Tall Glasses" managed to break Sayer into the American Top Ten in early 1975. Sayer's working relationship with Courtney was severed during the recording of his third album, Another Year (1975). The following year, he released Endless Flight, which was co-written with former Supertramp member Frank Furrell; featuring the number one singles "You Make Me Feel like Dancing" and "When I Need You," the record became his biggest hit in both the U.S. and the U.K., selling over a million copies in America. Following Endless Flight, Sayer became a fixture in the American Top 40, yet his hits began to dry up in England.

Sayer began the '80s with the American number two hit, "More Than I Can Say," yet it was his last big single in the U.S. His last chart entry in America was the early 1981 hit "Living in a Fantasy"; the U.K. hits didn't stop until 1983, after "Till You Come Back to Me" scraped the charts. After laying low for the rest of the decade, he attempted a comeback in 1990 with Cool Touch, however it fell on deaf ears. [extract from]
Have You Ever Been in Love is the tenth studio album by recording artist Leo Sayer. It was originally released in November 1983 by Chrysalis in the UK, and Warner the USA as the follow-up to his ninth album World Radio (1982). It was co-produced by the Grammy Award-winning Arif Mardin, in association with Alan Tarney, and Christopher Neil producing the other tracks. Sayer is credited as co-writer on the tracks "Don't Wait Until Tomorrow", and "Orchard Road".
The album reached #15 on the UK Albums Chart, making it (including the greatest hits compilation album, The Very Best of Leo Sayer) his eleventh successive Top 50 chart entry in the UK Albums Chart, in a period of a little over nine years. The album spawned three singles which all reached the top sixty on the UK Singles Chart, including "Orchard Road", which would become one of Sayer's most popular songs, this would also become the last Sayer single to make the Top 20.

When Sayer wrote most of the material for this album, he was going through a traumatic breakup with his longtime wife Janice and consequently many of the songs reflected the heartache that he was dealing with at the time. Tracks like "'Til You Come Back To Me", "Sea Of Heartbreak", "Your Love Still Brings Me To Your Knees", "Wounded Heart", and the gorgeous "Orchard Road" all give the listener an insight into the emotional turmoil he was living with at the time.

When Sayer and his first wife Janice finally divorced in 1985, the subsequent financial disclosure revealed that Adam Faith had badly mishandled his business affairs over the years, and most of the millions of pounds he had earned over the previous decade had been lost, through Faith's questionable investments and business expenses.

Sayer sued Faith for mismanagement; and the case was eventually settled out of court in 1992 with Sayer receiving a reported payout of £650,000.
On 12 February 2006, he made a return to number one in the UK Singles Chart, with Meck's remix of "Thunder In My Heart". It was his first appearance in the United Kingdom Top 10 for almost 24 years, and his second chart topper in the United Kingdom, almost three decades after his first. 'Leo Sayer: At His Very Best', a career spanning compilation album, was released in the United Kingdom on 6 March 2006. It featured the Meck single, alongside "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing".

In 2008, Sayer released a new album in Australia, Don't Wait Until Tomorrow. This album, produced by Garth Porter (from the Australian pop band Sherbet), and released by Universal Music Australia, featured selections from his catalogue re-arranged with strings and acoustic and jazz instrumentation.

In January 2009, Sayer became an Australian citizen, having lived in Sydney, New South Wales since 2005.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl album and includes full album artwork, along with all featured photos of Sayer from the early 80's.  Also included are several bonus tracks, the non-album B-Side to Orchard Road entitled "Gone Solo" and his first release while performing under the name of Patches - "Living In America".
It is also worth noting that the tracks on this album were written over  a three year time span with his 1980 single "More Than I Can Say" finally appearing on this 1983 album, while the title track and "Heart Stop Beating In Time" were written in 1982 and had previously appeared on his 1982 album release 'World Radio'.  The remainder were written and released in 1983. This is one of my favourite Sayer albums and I absolutely fell in love with his emotional "Orchard Road" when I first heard it on the radio, and it was his last single release to reach the Top 20 in the Charts.
Track Listing 
01 - 'Til You Come Back To Me
02 - Sea Of Heartbreak
03 - More Than I Can Say
04 - Darlin'
05 - Don't Wait Until Tomorrow
06 - How Beautiful Are You
07 - Orchard Road
08 - Aviation
09 - Heart (Stop Beating In Time)
10 - Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees
11 - Have You Ever Been In Love
12 - Wounded Heart
13 - Love Games14 - Never Had A Dream Come True
15 - Gone Solo (Bonus Single)
16 - Living In America (Patches) (Bonus Track)


Leo Sayer Link (150Mb)  New Link 24/12/2023

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Renee Geyer - Winner (1978)

(Australian 1970-Present)
Renee Geyer's quest for success overseas continued in January 1978, when she returned to Los Angeles where she spent a couple of months recording her seventh album 'Winner', at Crystal Studios with her former producer Frank Wilson (who had worked with her on Moving Along).
She also worked clubs around California with a back-up band including her basic rhythm section of Greg Tell, Mark Punch and Barry Sullivan.
Late in March, she returned for an April Australasian tour. To the delight of her fans it featured the original band with whom she recorded her third album, Ready To Deal.
Renee flew back to America in August (via Bangkok, where she did some gigs), and finalised 'Winner', which eventually was released in Australia (on RCA in December). One of the factors delaying the album's issue may have been the split earlier in the year between Renee and her US record company, Polydor, over poor promotion of her Moving Along album.
To round off 1978, Renee performed at a grand farewell concert held in Sydney's State Theatre on December 15th. The concert was recorded for a live album and filmed with a view to producing a television special. Renee returned to the US and a mammoth tour to promote 'Winner'.
1979 looked like being a big recording year for Renee. Apart from the planned live performance LP, she had recorded a blues album in Sydney during '78 with the Kevin Borich Express plus Mal Logan and Jim Partridge, and was to record a studio LP at Motown Records under the direction of Marvin Gaye in early '79. Her single releases for 1978 were 'Money (That's What I Want)' (April) and 'Baby Be Mine' (October).
Renee speaks out:
Gee I hated "I Am Woman" and because of it I did "It's A Man's World". I've met Helen Reddy since and she's actually a nice lady, but I wasn't crazy about the obviousness of that song of just the....anthemic thing of it, which is the very reason is was such a big hit. So that's how much I know, but it was one of the reasons I wanted to do "It's A Man's World". So it did good for me in the end.

I've had fans but never groupies. I gave off a feeling of 'don't come too close' and I still do. I don't want to get close to punters cause that's what I do on stage and it's not something you share with somebody from the audience. You're a different person to the person up there

No-one's ever tried to control my career as you could probably imagine - which is why I'm not more famous than I am. I've controlled or miss-controlled my own career. I had a manager for a while there who was a partner of the record company director, so it was all a bit of conflict of interest, but it was the wild west in those days. I pretty much have always done what I want to do and a lot of times to my detriment.

In the 70's there were very few women artists around. I've been pretty lucky,I've gotten along with the guys pretty good. But every now and again it gets a bit lonely 'cause you don't always have a lot in common with guys that are hankering after young screaming girls. You end up going back to the hotel while everyone is out drinking and parting. It can be lonely, but I wasn't whingeing about it. I was having a good time. When I was very young I was still a bit shy - believe it or not. Later on I discovered other ways to feel good. Nothing new there !
Most people in bands went through the odd substance in the 70's.

I confused a lot of people. People though I was either gay or really tough because a girl with a big voice up there with a band is considered pretty tough and self contained and assured. I was far from that, but I had a good facade.

In Australia it's an ageist thing. It's a given by certain industry people that once you hit 40 it's going over the old thing and that's not so with many artists. Steve Cummings, Paul Kelly - there's so many artists in Australia that are doing some of their best stuff now. For instance, the ARIA adult contemporary award in not televised.

[extracts from 'Love Is In The Air - Stories of Australian Pop Music' by Toby Creswell, ABC Books, 2003]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from vinyl, which I recently came across at a Salvos Opp Shop. Looks like the previous owner took care of their vinyl, 'cause this copy is pop & crackle free.  Some pretty typical disco / funk tracks on this album for that 70's era with no major hit singles but some great music non the less. I gotta admit I had a big crush on this lady when I was a teenager (and I guess I still have! ) and was lucky enough to see her perform on several occasions in the 70's in Geelong.  If you like this album, then don't forget to check out her previous album which I've posted on this blog entitled Moving Out.  As per normal, full album artwork and label scans are included.  Enjoy.
Track Listing
01 - Money (That's What I Want)
02 - I Miss You
03 - Save Me
04 - Baby I'm The One
05 - Baby Be Mine
06 - Sweet Kisses
07 - The Magic Is Still Here
08 - Bad Side Of The Blues
09 - Apartment C & D
10 - I Don't Wanna Lose A Good Thing

The Band:
Guitar - Mark Punch, Melvin Robinson
Bass - Tim Partridge
Drums - Greg Tell
Keyboards - Nate Morgan, Neil Larson
Synthesiser - Michael Boddicker
Saxophone - Ernie Watts
Percussion - Fred Lewis, Jack Ashford


Renee Geyer FLACs (267Mb)


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Paice Ashton Lord - Malice In Wonderland (1976)

(UK 1976–1978, 2000)
Paice Ashton Lord, henceforth to be known as affectionately as PAL, is the name of a new five piece band formed by a group of gentlemen who have enough musical credits to put the London Symphony Orchestra to shame.
The idea for the band came from Jon Lord and lan Paice who, after Deep Purple finally split forever in 1976, decided that they enjoyed working together. Not a bad discovery after playing for eight years in one of the world's biggest ever bands. To Paice's drumming and Jon Lord's keyboard work they decided to add the multi-talented singer and keyboardist Tony Ashton who, over the years, has wreaked his own brand of musical havoc among bands like Ashton, Gardner and Dyke and Family.
Then came ex-Stretch bass guitarist Paul Martinez, as cool, funky and subtle as you could want, and jovial Bernie Marsden on lead guitar. Martinez and Marsden were not added simply because they happened to be buddies of Paice Ashton and Lord. No. Our dynamic trio held a long and gruelling series of auditions before arriving at Martinez and Marsden.

In fact Bernie nearly missed the boat, as he told me one night when we were watching Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow at London's Hammersmith Odeon. He hadn't even seen the adverts asking for guitarists for the new band and it was Blackmore's drummer Cozy Powell who put him onto PAL. "Best move I've ever made" Marsden claimed from behind a huge and satisfied grin. And so the band was together and they whisked themselves off to Munich's Musicland recording studio, scene of some of Deep Purple's greatest vinyl triumphs, and the result is contained in this album.
Well, there's more of the same aggression, bite, integrity and sheer consummate musical ability. But above and beyond that there's a rhythm and style which is totally new. Would you believe funky brass sections super cool chick choruses and an r & b feel that most of us thought had been lost forever?
Just listen to Tony Ashton s rich and gravelly vocals, Jon Lord's cool and easy keyboard work, lan Paice's crisp and inventive drumming, Paul Martinez's relaxed and rolling bass and Bernie's stylish and composed guitar playing. [Brian Harrigan (Melody Maker) - Linear Notes]
How PAL was formed
Paice, Ashton, Lord emerged in August 1976 amidst much fanfare in the music press, though it had been no secret that drummer lan Paice and organist Jon Lord were forming a band together after the messy demise of Deep Purple in March.

In those days rock still had enough of a counter culture attraction about it to support a number of weekly music papers. The story both of Purple's split and the new band was big news, with speculation both as to who would be in the band and what they might sound like. For those with more than a passing knowledge of Jon Lord's career the announcement of Tony Ashton as the third member of the project hardly came as a big surprise and, while funding for the new band would come out of the somewhat deeper pockets of Lord and Paice, the musical direction can perhaps be traced more dearly through Ashton's musical lineage.

Tony Ashton had been brought up not far from Liverpool and got into rhythm & blues at an early age, he joined The Remo Four, who made enough of a name for themselves to back George Harrision on a solo album and support The Beatles on a U.S. tour. By 1967 Ashton and drummer Roy Dyke decided to form a new band; Ashton, Gardener & Dyke was the result. They were recommended to Tony Edwards who was managing Deep Purple. Edwards thought they sounded promising and took them on. His decision was proved right when the band scored a success with the hit single "Resurrection Shuffle". It was through Edwards that Ashton and Lord came to meet, the pair finding a rapport which saw them working together on a number of projects. Lord helped with arrangements on a couple of Ashton, Gardener & Dyke's albums, after which he and Ashton co-wrote the soundtrack for a movie called "The Last Rebel".

1971 found Ashton and Lord writing and recording material for the "First Of The Big Bands" album which, due to pressure of work, wasn't finished until 1974. The album leaned towards the heavy rock and blues pattern developed by Ashton, Gardener & Dyke. Released under the Ashton/Lord banner ("we decided against Lord Ashton!" recalls Tony), it was a precursor to what would follow. Tony again: "We had tried to get a Phil Spector sound with as many musicians as we could, with two drummers and five guitar players It was an expensive experiment". Tony and Jon's musical path's crossed again in 1975 when they were both involved in the live performance of Roger Glover's "Butterfly Ball" at the Albert Hall.

The demise of Deep Purple in 1976 was not entirely unexpected. Their last studio album had been fine but on the road things had rapidly gone down hill. With the split came a chance for the members to branch out. For Jon Lord there was very little hesitation and having discussed it with Ian Paice he decided to start a new band, with Ian Ashton top of his musicians wants list, 
"Ian and Jon approached me with the idea of forming a band. In fact Jon had approached me before and I hadn't liked the idea much because I couldn't see myself as a front man. I also thought that with Jon and me both being keyboard players, we'd get in each others way. I'd dropped out of playing with bonds. There were plenty of sessions to do. I was also into doing commercials and jingles for television which is interesting work. It's also quite lucrative as well. I was quite comfortable and I suppose I was in a bit of a rut". Tony was nevertheless persuaded to give it a go and the project began to take shape. " This is the second of the big bands!" quipped Jon Lord after Tony said yes.
Nothing was announced but mysterious adverts (see left) in major music papers during July 1976 were enough to give a hint, especially if you recognised the phone number of Purple's office In London! "British Band Requires British Bass Player and Lead Guitarist for formation of new rock band by three established musicians". It must have had every musician in the country wondering.

A semi-pro guitarist called Ernie Tull was one of those who dialed the number and found himself with an audition:  "I've no idea how many people applied, but it was a hell of an experience to play with those type of musicians and with the power they generate ", he told me afterwards. All the players did the some number, just a blues thing in A minor. You each went into the room, plugged in and after five minutes warm up did the number. It felt really great"

Ernie's friend saw Lord giving the thumbs up sign and they took his number but Ernie feels he was maybe too much of a Blackmore-type of player to get picked.

Lord described the auditions afterwards: "If you want to know what hell on earth is like, try conducting auditions! It's not that the musicians were bad or anything, it's just that there were so many of them. We had about sixty bass players to listen to and this came down to a short list of four. One of them was a great bass player but very much in the Glenn/Roger tradition and this didn't really fit in with what we saw the band as being. Paul Martinez fitted right in within four bars, it sounded as if he and Ian had been playing together for years and as Ian is the main driving force behind the band a rapport between these two was important". Martinez was at the time playing in a band called Stretch, which Tony Ashton already knew of. "Paul had played on (Stretch's version of) Elmer Gantry's "Why Did You Do it" which was really funky so we liked him".

On the lead scene things were proving more difficult as Lord remembered, "Paul was almost the first bass player that came and Bernie was the fast guitarist, we could have saved all that trouble in the middle ". Bernie Marsden was with Babe Ruth (remembered by some - alright, me - for their vocalist, the charismatic jenny Haan) but he'd done numerous sessions and played with UFO and Cozy Powell's Hammer. Marsden hadn't seen the ads in the papers, it was Powell who told him about the vacancy. 

Jon Lord; "We were already looking at two other guitarists, Chris West was one, he played a very jazzy style, but we wanted to keep the rock and roll element there. Another point in Bernie's favour was his ability to sing". A Sounds journalist collared Bemie down at the Nashville club shortly after the audition and asked about the band. "Who did you hear that from? I didn't know anybody knew, except for me and Purple management. I only told the rest of Babe Ruth about it yesterday. I've been blowing with them twice now and it's going very well. From what I've gathered it's going to be a bit more down to earth (than Purple), with some saxes and girl singers as well. Good old English rock and roll but with a bit of taste. I'll be the first to let you know if I actually get the gig". They phoned him the next day and he was in. "It was probably only because they were so knackered. My contribution just battered them into submission!"

On August 7th the papers announced that Lord and Paice were forming a new band and the line-up was made official on August 21st, After that there was a period of rehearsal; Paice and Lord (still tax exiles) had flown Ashton out to LA as soon as they'd decided to form the group, so the three could work undisturbed for a time, "We sat around a fender piano with ideas we all had and flung them together. This produced a lot of basic things which were later polished up in the studio". By the last week of September they were over in the Musicland studio's in Munich laying down the album (with Jon Lord's solo project "Sarabande" issued that same month).
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my imported vinyl (English Pressing) which I picked up many moons ago in Flinders Street (during my Uni days).  I was a huge fan of Deep Purple at the time, and bought anything that was related, even if I hadn't heard it beforehand. I wasn't disappointed with this album and felt that it had a similar sound to Deep Purples 'Come Taste The Band'.  Needless to say, this album has become one of my treasured possessions, and in near mint condition it has withstood the test of time.  Full album artwork and select photos are included, making this a ripper post. Enjoy
Track Listing
01. Ghost Story (05:45)
02. Remember The Good Times (05:46)
03. Arabella (04:07)
04. Silas And Jerome (03:24)
05. Dance With Me Baby (03:20)
06. On The Road Again, Again (03:59)
07. Sneaky Private Lee (06:09)
08. I'm Gonna Stop Drinking (05:16)
09. Malice In Wonderland (06:07)

PAL are:
Ian Paice (Drums & Percussion)
Tony Ashston (Vocals & Keyboards)
Jon Lord (Keyboards & Synthesizers)
Paul Martinez (Bas & Hilda)
Bernie Marsden (Guitar & Second Vocals)



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Noiseworks - Love Versus Money (1991)

(Australian 1985–1992, 2007–2011)
Noiseworks gave Aussie pub rock a sophisticated and contemporary edge in the late 80`s and early 90`s with a trifecta of earthy, rootsy but well polished albums starting with 'Noiseworks' (1987), then Touch in 1988 and finishing in 1991 with the more back to basics 'Love Versus Money' album, featured here.
Charismatic New Zealand born singer Jon Stevens was a second generation Marc Hunter (lead singer of the kiwi band Dragon), but a good one at that, much like comparing Steve Tyler from Aerosmith to Mick Jagger. Their debut  album was the most anthemic and straightforward, rough and ready pub rock one of the three, which produced the excellent hit "No Lies", the closest Noiseworks ever come to replicating hard rock or heavy rock guitar. Although it was always destined to become a live favourite for the average Noiseworks fan, it strangely was outsold greatly on the singles chart by the more downbeat and formulaic "Take Me Back". The only song off 'Touch' that achieved any singles chart success was the atmospheric and poignant title song, although the acoustic "Simple Man" is a great song and should have done a lot better on the charts.
 'Love Versus Money' lacked a bit of firepower, but the single "R.I.P (Millie)", a song Stevens wrote in memory of his mother who died of cancer, and the bluesy boogie R&B classic "Hot Chilli Woman", which made it to number 7 on the Australian rock chart, were two of the best songs Noiseworks ever recorded. The band disbanded in 1992, re-formed periodically over the years until when in 2008 they officially got back together again to tour with The Choirboys and some other acts around Australia.

Interview With Noiseworks
Noiseworks are hardly a household name over here in the UK. It's in sharp contrast to their status in Australia, where the guys have had eleven Top 40 hits and two multi-platinum Top 10 albums in the past five years. Love Versus Money looks set to be their third multi and perhaps a chance for them to make serious in-roads in the major record markets elsewhere in the World.

I won't pretend that their third vinyl Frisbee is one of my red-hot records of the year, but if you like sinewy, energetic Rock with a touch of distinctive Aussie panache, then Love Versus Money could well float your boat. One thing's for sure, they've certainly proved themselves in one of the most testing environments – the Aussie beer halls.

"You've gotta be good in the pubs otherwise they'll fu*kin' throw shit at ya," laughs rugged, no-nonsense singer Jon Stevens. But, hey, we're only skimming the surface here. So, let's put on the diving gear and go…uhm…down under. Strangely enough, I don't find myself on a coral reef or a sun-kissed golden beach with a fit lookin' Sheila but in a spare room in the labyrinth of the Sony building. Sitting opposite me, apart from the previously mentioned singer, is softly spoken guitarist, Stuart Fraser. For starters, did the two of them have any thoughts on the down-to-earth, good Aussie bloke syndrome?

"I dunno why that is," ponders Jon. "Maybe it's just because of our perspective. I guess it's a pretty realistic perspective rather than a glossy type. Y'know: 'now let's make a hit record, let's try and make some money.' In Australia and New Zealand [Jon's a New Zealander] it's sorta like 'the tall poppy syndrome.' It is very much a thing over there, where you can’t be seen to be too big for your boots. I'm sure it's the same in Glasgow [he's obviously twigged I’m Scottish]. So you've always gotta maintain that you’re still a bloke."

So, now that we've established that they're not narcissistic punks or Spinal Tap look-alikes, let's move on with haste to Love Versus Money. The songs on display range from the intensely personal through to full-blooded raunch.

To try and get an insight into Noiseworks' way of thinking, let's look at the two 'extremes' of their range. "R.I.P. (Millie)" was a song written about Jon's late mother. Did writing the song help him come to terms with his mother’s death?

"Yes, definitely helpful," he says. "It was something that I didn't intentionally write. It just came out." Jon also admits that "it was just too hard for me to initially to do the song." Despite the inherent sadness of the song, John feels its effect is essentially positive. "It's a negative thing but a very positive look at it. And for me, it was a song that could possibly help other people."

His experience allowed him "to let go of her. Seeing somebody deteriorate with cancer like that affects you for the rest of your life. As a songwriter able to release those tensions, those frustrations… You can fu*kin' iron it out. Then it's gone. You've released it."

By way of contrast, "Don't Lead Me On", simply reeks of sexual tension. The story behind it is that Noiseworks were mixing their record in LA with Randy (how apt) Jackson, and a couple of Randy's lady friends came into the studio, as Jon fondly recalls.

"I just had this flash, y'know: ‘'Does anybody speak French?' and one of them went, 'Yeah, I do.'" 

"I went, 'Do you speak French or do French!?'" wisecracks Stuart.

Not to be outdone, Jon quips: "I think they did French on each other! So, she said yeah," he continues. "Well, on ya go. Turn up the mic. I don't know what you're saying but just make sure it's fu*kin' dirty, sexy; because the set-up of the song is about walking into a bar, having a drink and seeing a lady…and being tempted. The bitch is doing the come-on and this shit, and you’re sorta like, 'hey, don't play games. I'm not here to play games."

To some people that might add credence to the theory that all men are potential rapists or that most Aussie men are sexist pigs. Hmm…bullshit! It's just an honest gut / groin reaction in that type of situation. Anyway, the end justifies the means. Work that one out. 

Another song on Love Versus Money that's worthy of mention is their octane-fuelled version of 'Sly And The Family Stones' Take You Higher, which features Oz sex god, INXS's Michael Hutchence adding to the vocals. The collaboration occurred, as Stuart recalls, by chance in a Sydney recording studio.

"We were downstairs and they were upstairs, and being the regular blokes that they are, you just see them and…play table-tennis. That was how the song came about. We did it as a jam in between recordings."

Jon chips in: "As you were saying before, the attitude of feet on the ground, head out of the clouds. Y'know Michael…he's the least like that. I mean he might have this big star trip but he certainly doesn’t put that across when he’s with us."

Noiseworks have recently been quoted as saying that Love Versus Money is "still very much a rock n' roll record," and that “anyone who thought we'd do something other than a rock n' roll record doesn't know us very well." They also went on to say that the definition of rock n' roll had changed in recent years. What exactly do they mean?
."I associated the word rock' roll with Elvis, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. That's rock n' roll," says Jon. "Rock n' roll in the '80s and '90s is just a word. There's so many different musical style that are available for people to listen to. You hear a dance record and some people call it a rock n' roll record. It's music. It's fu*kin’ music. If you like it, you like it. I think rock n' roll that's associated with Noiseworks is more from the live perspective 'cos that's definitely a rock n' roll thing. Y'know, it's live and sweaty and energetic. That's what rock n' roll is as well."   So now you know.

Noiseworks, for the foreseeable future, have won their creative freedom. They've worked at their own pace as well as producing themselves.

"We didn't have anyone saying stop, so basically we over-produced ourselves," says Jon, tongue firmly in cheek and with a glint in his eye. "It was great!"

Springtime should see them back in these Isles, "playing everywhere!" Catch them if you can. And remember when "Love" versus the "Money," love should win.    [Thanks to Mark Liddell  Riff Raff, January 1992]
Post consists of  FLACs ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. Enjoy
Track Listing
01 Jealousy (Is A Curse)
02 Hot Chilli Woman
03 Liberty Bell
04 R.I.P. (Millie)
05 Take You Higher
06 Day Will Come
07 Miles And Miles
08 Don't Lead Me On
09 Everyday People
10 Burning Cross
11 Love Versus Money
12 Freedom

Noiseworks FLAC Link (359Mb)