Sunday, October 30, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Clockwork Orange Soundtrack (1972)

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.
In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge (played by Malcolm McDowell) is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan. 

The movie was directed by 2001: A Space Odyssey film producer Stanley Kubrick. The soundtrack  features mostly classical music selections and Moog synthesizer compositions by Wendy Carlos (then known as Walter Carlos) after undergoing gender change.

Alex's first lines were: There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the "old ultra-violence". 

It was that expression "a bit of the old ultra-violence" that has stuck in my mind for over 40 years and has intrigued me so much with this controversial and confronting movie.  And so, I thought it appropriate to make Clockwork Orange the focus of this month's WOCK on Vinyl post. C for Clockwork and O for Orange of course, but also W for Wendy/Walter, C for Carlos and K for Kubrick.

Some Interesting Movie Facts
 According to author Anthony Burgess, the title of the book (and the movie) came from East London slang, deriving from the phrase, "as queer as a clockwork orange." No independent references are known, however, and it is thought that Burgess invented the phrase himself.  

Malcolm McDowell's eyes were anesthetized for the torture scenes so that he would film for periods of time without too much discomfort. Nevertheless his corneas got repeatedly scratched by the metal lid locks. After Malcolm McDowell's cornea was scratched during the filming of the Ludovico treatment scene, he insisted to Stanley Kubrick that the extreme closeup of his eye in lid-locks be postponed until the last day of production. 

The snake, Basil, was introduced into the film by Stanley Kubrick when he found out Malcolm McDowell had a fear of reptiles. This was to make McDowell's character seem more intimidating, and as a practical joke by Kubrick. 

Contrary to popular claims, this movie was never banned in the UK. It originally received an "X" rating in 1971 and was withdrawn from distribution in 1973 by Stanley Kubrick himself. One of Kubrick's reasons for withdrawing the movie in the UK was that, according to his wife Christiane Kubrick, he and his family received several death threats because of the film. In the 1980s and 1990s, British fans who wanted to see this movie would have to order it from video stores in other countries, usually France. 

Author 'Anthony Burgess' originally sold the movie rights to Mick Jagger for $500 when he needed quick cash. Jagger intended to make it with The Rolling Stones as the droogs, but then re-sold the rights for a much larger amount. Burgess also initially distrusted Kubrick as a director, but was happy with the results. 

In the music shop scene there is a list of Top Ten music bands up on the wall. One of the bands listed is Heaven 17, which one of the girls mentions to Alex. This name was used by a real band in the 1980s.

Some Interesting Soundtrack Facts
In the music shop scene where Alex asks the shopkeeper about an order he'd placed, there is a record cover clearly visible at the front that says 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick's previous film.

Clockwork Orange was the first movie to make use of Dolby sound, it used Dolby noise reduction on all pre-mixes and masters, but a conventional optical sound track on release prints.

Stanley Kubrick asked Pink Floyd if he could use their "Atom Heart Mother Suite" in the soundtrack. However, because Kubrick wanted unlimited license to determine what portions or edits of the song he used, the band turned him down. 

When Alex is in the record store, we can see the soundtrack of Kubrick's own movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) on a lower shelf with "Atom Heart Mother" above it (look for the cow in the field). Other records visible in the shop are Tim Buckley's "Lorca" (1970), on the Island shelf when Alex enters the shop. "Atom Heart Mother" is visible on this shelf as well as behind the counter. Also on this shelf is Rare Bird's "As Your Mind Flies By." Two records to the left of the "2001" in front of the counter is Crosby Stills Nash & Young's "Deja Vu" (1970). To the right of "2001" is "The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death" by John Fahey. Between The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Atom Heart Mother" on the wall behind the counter is Neil Young's "After The Goldrush" (1970). The first Chicago album "The Chicago Transit Authority" (1969) can also be seen. The blonde girl with the lollipop can be seen looking at a Mungo Jerry album, "In the Summertime" (1970). 

Wendy Carlos's (born Walter) synthesized score features the first ever use of a vocoder. The two pieces featuring Carlos's custom-built vocoder, "Timesteps" (an original composition, heard during the Ludovico sequence) and Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" from his Ninth Symphony (heard in the record shop) were recorded long before the film was made. The vocoder, according to Carlos, was a development from an earlier, unsuccessful voice synthesis method she'd used on her 1969 album "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer", and she'd implored synthesizer inventor Robert Moog to come up with something better using standard Moog Synthesizer modules. "Timesteps" and Beethoven's Ninth were recorded as test/demonstrations of the new device, and she brought them to "A Clockwork Orange" when Kubrick hired her to score the film. At Robert Moog's memorial service, Wendy Carlos admitted that the tracks were recorded at 1/2 speed (7.5 ips), then played back at 15 ips simply because she couldn't play a monophonic keyboard at full, standard tempo. This is actually not an uncommon recording technique. 
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped (with of course, a bit of the old ultra-violence) from CD and includes artwork for both CD and LP.  Alternative album cover is also depicted below.

Track Listing
01  Title Music From A Clockwork Orange  2:26
02  The Thieving Magpie    5:57
03  Theme From A Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana)  1:49
04  Ninth Symphony, Second Movement   3:52
05  March From A Clockwork Orange 

(Ninth Symphony,   Fourth    Movement )   7:06
06  William Tell Overture   1:20
07  Pomp And Circumstance March   No. 1   4:35
08  Pomp And Circumstance March   No. IV   1:38
09  Timesteps (Excerpt)   4:18
10  Overture To The Sun   1:47
11  I Want To Marry A Lighthouse Keeper   1:05
12  William Tell Overture   3:02
13  Suicide Scherzo (Ninth Symphony, Second Movement)  3:09
14  Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement   1:39
15  Singin' In The Rain   2:37

Clockwork Orange Link (109Mb)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Dragon - Power Play (1979) + Bonus Single

(New Zealand 1973 - 1979, 1982 - Present)
When Dragon arrived from New Zealand in 1976, having spent the previous 4 years building up a small following and releasing two progressive rock albums, they released the more commercial single "This Time" for CBS. The single found its way onto the the Sydney charts and after being picked up by other states it peaked at number 26 on the Australian national charts in November 1976. With the success of this single, their manager at the time Sebastian Chase sent them touring around the country. They tightened up as a group and along the way began gaining fans like never before.

In March 1977 they had a short break to record an album. With this complete it was back on the road, with a new single being released while the album was being put together. The single was Paul's "Get That Jive" with Robert's "On The Beachead" on the reverse. This single peaked at number 13 on the charts. In May the album was released. Called "Sunshine" it was not long before it went gold, reaching 24 on the albums chart. Although there were songs by the others, it was the Hewson songs that generated the most interest.

A third single from the album, "Sunshine"/"New Machine", both Hewson songs, was released in August, peaking at 36 on the charts.

Success was now with them. They soon became Australia's number one band. The sudden move from poverty to wealth meant that they had more cash to spend. An item on top of the shopping list was drugs. Meanwhile Peter Dawkins had secured an American deal with Portrait Records. Late in the year they were back in the recording studio to record another album. Anticipation of its release saw the album go gold on pre-release sales alone.

"Running Free" was released in November 1977 and went on to exceed double platinum status with sales, reaching number 6 on the album charts. Again a mixture of songs from the four songwriters, the standout release was "April Sun In Cuba". Written by Paul and Marc, the single reached number 2 on the charts, only to be held out of the number 1 spot by Paul McCartney's "Mull Of Kintyre".

The single was released in New Zealand to give them their first chart entry back home, making it to number 9 in March 1978. This was good timing as Dragon returned to New Zealand in January to headline the one-day Great Western Music Festival. Having not performed in New Zealand for nearly three years left them not as popular as some other locally based groups. They returned again in February to support Boz Scaggs at Western Springs, before returning to Australia to commence their largest national tour to date. A second single from the album "Shooting Stars"/"Some Strange Dream" barely touched the charts, rising to a poor #58 position.

Dragon toasting release of the Sunshine album at the Seven Network’s Sounds show.
Left to right, Paul Hewson, Robert Taylor, Sounds host Donnie Sutherland,
Kerry Jacobson, Todd Hunter, Marc Hunter
 The tour was one of their most successful ventures, although controversial at times, but the overheads were enormous, with the band members really living it up. Drugs and alcohol were becoming a major ingredient. By the end of the tour, Paul and Marc were the worst for wear. Paul had developed a serious drug habit, but through it all he still managed to churn out some further great songs. Marc had joined him with the drugs, while Robert and Kerry consumed the alcohol. The only one to stay reasonably responsible was Todd. While on tour they made the headlines around the country for reasons other than their music. While having a break during the tour at Magnetic Island, they managed to destroy the place.

On completion of the tour Dawkins had them back in the studio to record their third Australian album. While this was happening, another Hewson composition was released as a single in April 1978. "Konkaroo" backed with "Mr Thunder" also struggled on the charts, only making it to number 40. The new album "O'Zambesi" was released in September 1978. It was their biggest selling album, reaching number 3 on the album charts. From it came the single "Are You Old Enough" backed with "Company". It provided the group with their only number one single on the Australian charts.

Celebrating the gold certification of the Sunshine album with Countdown
host Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum. Left to right, Todd Hunter (rear), Marc Hunter,
Paul Hewson, Kerry Jacobson, Meldrum, Robert Taylor

 Dragon was scheduled to take their music to the USA. They left on November 11 and from the moment they arrived, they continued the antics that they had enjoyed during the tour of the previous few months. They were sent on a support tour that had them totally mismatched and their audiences were not impressed. At meetings with their American record company, they either didn't show up or when they did, they were totally off their faces. Relationships with their American record company became very cool. They had blown any chance of making it in the US.

On return to Australia, the second single from the album was released. It was "Still In Love With You"/"Politics". Dragon was still popular and the single reached #27 by the end of the year. A few more gigs were organised up and down the country but the level of support was fading. Marc's voice was suffering from over-abuse and his on-stage antics were worse. It was time to do something about it. Marc was officially sacked from the group in March 1979. Once his health was restored, he set forth on a solo career.

It was going to be difficult to replace the frontman, and they settled on using two friends, singer-saxophonist Billy Rogers from Perth band Hard Rock Cafe, and electric violinist Richard Lee, who had appeared on the O Zambezi album. This combination was different to what had been before. They aimed for a more sophisticated audience and even changed their musical style.

In June they undertook a tour with two other New Zealand bands, Hello Sailor and Mi-Sex, but left their former fans confused. To coincide with the tour they released another single "Love's Not Enough"/"Four Short Solos", but it was a failure, only reaching 37 on the charts.

To try and re-kindle interest, CBS released "Dragon's Greatest Hits Volume 1" in July. The old fans bought it and it ended up peaking at number 8 on the albums chart. Containing seven songs from their previous three albums and three singles, it was a great selection of their music, even if it was a bit presumptuous calling it Volume 1.

Dragon returned to New Zealand for their first national tour in September, but the trip was not successful. Back in Australia the new look Dragon entered the recording studio once more and the result was the album "Power Play". Two singles were released, "Counting Sheep"/"Now That Daddy's Home" and "Motor City Connection"/"Same Old Lies". Neither of these singles even made it to the charts. With the change in musical direction, there was not much room for Hewson's winning style. The album bombed miserably, struggling to 64 on the album charts, the worst position of any album they ever released.

 Power Play-era Dragon, 1979. Left to right, Robert Taylor (rear),
Kerry Jacobson, Paul Hewson, Richard Lee, Billy Rogers, Todd Hunter
With audience numbers dropping and debts going up, Dragon called it a day with a gig at Selina’s on New Year’s Eve 1979, with each member going their own separate way. The public had lost interest since the departure of Marc Hunter, although he had turned up as a guest at some shows later in the year, and the band’s writers were pulling in different directions. Marc pursued his solo career, Robert Taylor played with Sydney pub band the Magnetics. Kerry Jacobsen drummed with Mondo Rock in 1980, also Bill Miller and the Great Blokes in 1980, Kevin Borich Express in 1981 and DV8 in 1984. Todd played with the Headhunters and XL Capris in 1980. Paul had the greatest success, returning to New Zealand he joined the Pink Flamingos.

Two and half years later, Dragon reformed with the original lineup and made a huge comeback, but I might save that chapter for another post.  [extract from the New Zealand Music Of of the 60's & 70's website]
Dragon Discography
 This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy that I purchased second hand from a local record shop. The covers are not great, so I have included artwork sourced from a mate (thanks Micko) and the usual label scans.  Also included is the hard to find non-album single "Now Daddy's Home"  given to me by another mate (thanks Deutros), which was the B-side to "Counting Sheep".  Overall, this album holds its own, but the absence of Marc Hunter definitely didn't help album sales at the time.
All B&W photos were sourced from the Audio Culture of New Zealand Music website with thanks.
01 – Motor City Connection
02 – Counting Sheep
03 – Crying Shame

04 – Bus Stop
05 – Time Of The Year
06 – Gans En Farben
07 – Crooked Highway
08 – For Free
09 – 3.33
10 – Same Old Lies
11 - Now Daddy's Home (Bonus B-Side Single)

Dragon were:
Robert Taylor - Guitars / Vocals
Todd Hunter - Bass / Vocals
Keyy Jacobson - Drums
Paul Hewson -Keyboards / Vocals
Billy Rogers - Saxophone / Lead Vocals
Richard Lee - Electric Violin

 Dragon FLAC Link (248Mb)

Dragon MP3 Link (96Mb)  New Link 13/12/2019

Saturday, October 22, 2016

REPOST: Dragon - Live One (1985)

(New Zealand 1973 - Present)
Led by the late, great Marc Hunter, Dragon were a premiere live act in their heyday, and also released a stack of classic singles. As Australian rock historian Ian McFarlane writes, ‘Dragon were one of the most popular and notorious acts on the Australian scene … the band earned a reputation for fierce live shows, arrogant behaviour and a decadent lifestyle.’ Ah, real rock stars. But these larrikins created incredibly well-crafted pop/rock songs which, if anything, sound even better today than back in the late 1970s. Among the highlights of this compilation you will find Magic, Rain, Cry and their hit single April Sun In Cuba.

(External Combustion by Glenn A. Baker, Horwitz Grahame, 1990. p68-69)
Glenn writes: This piece, which appeared in the 4 November 1989 issue of The Australian Magazine, was the culmination of almost a decade of various chronicling of the band, which has long been in my personal top ten. Parts first appeared as the notes which graced both a 1983 CBS 'Best of album, Are You Old Enough?, and a Dragon songbook. Other sections were borrowed from a European biography I wrote for the band during their short stint as Hunter.

This version came together when BMG Records commissioned me to prepare an interview for the Bond! Road album, which necessitated a lengthy discourse with Todd and Marc in their Kings Cross management office.
Marc and Todd Hunter devote considerable energy to convincing people that they can't bear each other. Largely, the labour is wasted. It only takes a few minutes in their presence to recognise the benign nature of their sibling rivalry and feel the palpable empathy that flows between them. When this complementary pair earnestly tell you how opposite they are, you can only nod politely and stifle your smile.

Certainly there was a time when their blood ran in each others veins as acid, when they pulled so far apart that it seemed unlikely the rift could ever be healed. Like so many rock'n'roll siblings — the brothers Gibb (Bee Gees), Wilson (Beach Boys), Fogerty (Credence Glearwater Revival) and Davies (Kinks) among them — the Hunters did much of their growing up in public and passed through bitter phases of assimilation. But long after their heads had been turned and their hearts hardened by the rock'n'roll sycophants they came back to the security of each other. It just made sense.
"We're so totally different in any problem or any view," insists Todd. "We just come at things from a completely different direction, and end up at the same place." Marc essentially concurs: "We work so well now because we anticipate what the other is going to do...". "Anticipate and loath it in advance," interrupts Todd. Marc persists. "Musically we are totally opposed, and our polarisation results in a creative tension. Todd likes things in a certain way and 1 like them a certain way and whoever's in the middle is almost like a buffer. That's how our ideas get sort of mutated into a distinctive sound, without us even being aware of it at the time."
The Hunters have been seriously making music together, with some notable gaps, since 1973. That was the year that Marc joined elder brother Todd's aggressively experimental 'head' band Dragon; the vehicle through which the pair are still reaching an appreciative audience 16 years down the line. Those years have taken Dragon through the full spectrum of the 'rock'n'roll crazies', weaving them in and out of obscurity, fame, disillusionment, overindulgence and acclaimed accomplishment, finally depositing them in the rarely occupied elder statesman category of Australasian rock.

"The good thing about Dragon," contends Todd, "is that we've always been a bit unfashionable. That means you can enjoy periods of great success but not go out of fashion a year later. You just become a sort of hideous fact of life." That statement is concluded, like so many of Todd's, with a short, nervous laugh, sort of an apology for the transparency of the self deprecation.
Dragon may well be familiar, but it's the sort of familiarity achieved by bands like Genesis, the Angels, Pink Floyd, Mondo Rock and the Grateful Dead. The band seems to engender warmth and trust in the hearts and minds of those who have grown up with their passionate, full-bodied, fluid pop. "We've tried to take our audience with us" reveals Marc, "by staying true to the idea of pop music that we had when we first started playing. I guess we have always tried to do the best we could in that particular field and I would imagine that the people who liked us for that reason still have cause to like us. We're obviously getting better at what we do and we're still enjoying it — we couldn't keep doing it for 16 years if we didn't — but we still really don't give a shit about the fads, fashions and trends of rock music. To us, it's still pop music, that's always been the prime attraction. I like the idea of making basically disposable music which, through fluke or artistry, can last for a long time and become a part of people's consciousness. Pop doesn't receive enough honour. It can sometimes be a high art form."

The late 70s era of Australian contemporary music was dominated by Dragon's fire and ice. They arrived after the mega-platinum pop burst of Sherbet, Skyhooks, TMG and Ol'55 and reigned almost supreme until the rise of deliberately working class bands like Cold Chisel.'Australian Crawl and Men At Work, they were a union blessed with charisma, arrogant energy and an incisive yet disdainful rock vision. Their deftly structured music teetered between sweet lyricism and thinly veiled near-satanic sexuality, often projected from a chilling confrontational stance. They employed no gimmicks and made no promises. How one found them on a given night was basically how they felt that day. Thankfully, each performance was imbued with its own rare ingredients of mood and motivation, and there was rarely a truly poor one.

Through the brittle, tensile exhilaration of their early hits — This Time, Get That Jive, April Sun In Cuba and Are You Old Enough? among them — Dragon dominated the Australian charts for three intense years, from 1976 to 1978. In commercial terms they were unstoppable, the medals couldn't be minted fast enough — Band Of the Year, Album Of The Year, Most Popular New Group. They collected a stack of gold and platinum record plaques, toured America twice and, inevitably, collapsed under their own awesome weight. "We were incredible" boasted Marc Hunter during a 1986 interview. "I don't necessarily subscribe to that vision of Dragon as a dark. malevolent, destructive force but there used to be this composite energy that reared its head whenever we were together. I still don't know what it was or what caused it but I do know that it remains in the spirit of our music.
There are those who witnessed Dragon during their first peak who do subscribe to the impression that Marc dismisses. Those who saw him select sweet young things from the front rows at outdoor concerts and mock rape them on stage. And those who saw the loss of two members of the band from drug-related deaths. It is not something that the Hunters hide, nor is it something they choose to dwell upon. When Marc and Todd reunited at the end of 1982, after four basically lost years, they declared: "We're united in a common purpose and there's something seductive about that. We hadn't done what we set out to do — the drugs, drink and dissipation sidetracked us. We were too tired, we'd lost contact with reality."

Brothers Of Rock
INXS's Farriss brothers, Pseudo Echo's Leighs, Split Enz's Finns and Dragon's Hunter Brothers....Australian Music is like one big Family Tree. Chrissie Camp asks five sets of siblings (starting with the Hunters) about that special Brotherly Chemistry.
"The hardest thing to take about Marc is that he is such an incredible extremist. If he's feeling down, he is so down you can't believe it, but if he's up, he's incredibly positive. That can be wearing, but there's a million good things about him too.
We don't argue much these days. We used to in the '70's when we were much younger and it was more of a crusade type thing. We had huge fights. we came to blows often, but now it's great. We can finally see each others point of view even if we don't agree with it.
Our parents were very musical. Our father Stewart played sax and he'd say 'right,family band time' and the whole family would harmonise. That's a South Pacific sort of thing, island harmonies 'cos our mother is Fijian. We grew up listening to huge Maori choirs too, so Marc's and my harmonies happen completely automatically. We've never worked on it, it's instinctive for us.
I think our relationship has helped the band because there is a bond there that has made things stronger. I mean you couldn't get two more different people anywhere than us. On any issue we approach it from completely opposite degrees and I think the music benefits because of that. We're the only remaining members of Dragon, so I guess we've been the glue that keeps it together. Who's the boss?
Whoever is shouting the loudest!"
"Todd started first. He learn't how to play the piano and the guitar. I was the one who was always, I don't know, sneaking around chasing sheep. There was always music around when we were kids. We both got guitars for Xmas. I broke mine (laughs). I started playing the drums because it was easier to hit things rather than having to learn how they worked (massive laughs).
I definitely wouldn't have gone on to have the same career if Todd hadn't been there pushing me. He has a firm head.
We don't argue. We have minor differences about what is and is not pop music, but that's the dichotomy of the band. Todd and I have opposing points of view, and we always have strong people in the band between us to filter the ideas down.
What's the worse thing bout Todd? If you'd asked me five years ago I could have given you a list (more laughs). Nothing much really. He has the least enviable job as he's the older brother so he has to be fairly constant. He's two years older. He doesn't play the older brother role much though, only when he has to, when I do something stupid" [Extract from Countdown Annual, January, 1986. p72].
This post is a rip taken from my cassette tape in FLAC format and includes limited artwork. This live recording was made on 10th August, 1984 at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, at the end of Dragon's 'Body & The Beat' tour.  Not a bad concert I might add and as a bonus, I'm including their 1985 hit single "Speak No Evil" which had the live rendition of "Witnesses" from this concert as its B-Side.
For up todate information on Dragon, see their following website.

REPOST: At the request of a mate, I've now posted this album in FLAC format 
Track Listing
01 - Wilderworld
02 - Magic
03 - Still In Love
04 - Body And The Beat
05 - Witnesses
06 - Promises
07 - Cry
08 - April Sun In Cuba
09 - Are You Old Enough
10 - Rain
11 - Speak No Evil (Bonus A-Side Single)

Dragon were:Marc Hunter - Vocals
Todd Hunter - Bass, Vocals
Robert Taylor - Guitar
Terry Chambers - Drums
Paul Hewson - Keyboards

Dragon Live One FLACs Link (393Mb)  New Link 22/10/2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe (1965)

(U.S 1964 – 1977)
Sonny & Cher were an American pop music duo, actors, singers and entertainers made up of husband-and-wife team Sonny and Cher Bono in the 1960s and 1970s. The couple started their career in the mid-1960s as R&B backing singers for record producer Phil Spector.

Songwriter Salvatore "Sonny" Bono and his 19-year-old girlfriend Cherilyn "Cher" Sarkisian made No. 1 in the Billboard pop charts on August 14,1965 with "I Got You Babe." Bono may have borrowed the hipster term "babe" from Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe," a recent hit for The Turtles, but their songs were mid-tempo ballads and Sonny and Cher became the acceptable face of hippy culture. Sonny and Cher had the language, the uniform - all bangs, stripy trousers, and boas, clothes which still got you kicked out of restaurants in '65 -and the love anthem with none of the anarchism associated with "freaks" in the news around and shortly after this time like Ken Kesey and Timothy Leary. The fact that Bono was already 30 and that they were a married couple singing traditional love songs helped them seem less "dangerous" to the mainstream.

Signing with ATCO/Atlantic Records, they released three studio albums in the late 1960s, as well as the soundtrack recording for an unsuccessful movie, Good Times.

Until 1967, they could not miss but the hits then stopped until the couple won their own variety
television show in 1972. Their stage act translated perfectly to the screen - Cher playing the witty intellectual and Bono her stooge. In 1972, after four years of silence, the couple returned to the studio and released two other albums under the MCA/Kapp Records label. The hits returned, with Cher's parallel solo career proving as popular as the duo.

In the 1970s, they also positioned themselves as media personalities with two top ten TV shows in the US, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show. The couple's career as a duo ended not long after their divorce in 1975. In the decade they spent together, Sonny and Cher sold over 40 million records worldwide.

Performing under her first name, Cher went on to a highly successful career as a solo singer and actress, while Sonny Bono was eventually elected to Congress as a Republican U.S. Representative from California. The two performers were inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998, right after Sonny's death in a skiing accident.  [taken from Defining Moments in Music. Cassell Illustrated, 2007. p 322]

I Got You Babe (the album)
For their first album-length excursion in the wake of “I Got You Babe,” Sonny & Cher don’t tread too far outside the influence of Phil Spector, including covers of “Unchained Melody,” “Then He Kissed Me,” and “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love,” of which the latter shows off the most appealing elements of each singers’ voice. “It’s Gonna Rain,” which Ahmet Ertegun favored over “I Got You Babe,” is a sub-Rascals attempt at white electric soul, while “500 Miles” is Spectorized folk-rock that Sonny carries for one verse and a chorus longer than he should have.  Overall a solid album that established Sonny & Cher as a power duo and celebrity couple.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from a CD copy of this album. My vinyl was too far gone to rip but I have included label scans and original artwork. This album was re-released in CD format under the title 'Look At Us' for some strange reason, but the track listing is identical.  Hope you enjoy this 60's blast from the past. (Note: The track "The Letter" is not a cover version of the Box Top hit as one might suspect but rather an original penned by Harris & Terry - pity)

01 – I Got You Babe
02 – Unchained Melody
03 – Then He Kissed Me
04 – Sing C’est La Vie
05 – It’s Gonna Rain
06 – 500 Miles
07 – Just You
08 – The Letter
09 – Let It Be Me
10 – You Don’t Love Me
11 – You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me
12 – Why Don’t They Let Us Fall In Love 

Sonny and Cher Link (85Mb)  New Link 23/11/2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Various Artists - FM104 Homegrown Album Vol II

(Australian Artists 1983)
Welcome to FM104's second homegrown collection in support of emerging local talent. Earlier this year we invited unsigned bands based in South East Queensland to submit audition tapes of original material for the project. The result was over-whelming. Over 600 entries were submitted by some 200 bands and artists. While the sheer number of entries was daunting, the overall quality of the demo tapes made the selection of the final 13 a very tough job.
We asked Brisbane illustrator Simon McLean to create the cover art and he responded with the unique homegrown concept that you
Homegrown II was realised with the enthusiastic support of many individuals, but special thanks must go to Peter Blyton and Murray Lyons of Suite 16, ace timekeeper Don Lebler, and FM104's Terry Anthony.
Our aim was to produce a record, in the true sense of the word, of the new music of South East Queensland in 1983. As we celebrate our third anniversary as Brisbane's FM Stereo Rock Radio, we believe we've succeeded with local technology and local talent.
[Linear Notes by Bill Riner (Program Manager)]
Various Homegrown Vol 2 is a Australian-only FM 104 radio pressing 13-track LP, compiling music written and performed by Queensland Musicians exclusively for the Homegrown radio show, featuring such obscure names as The Jumpers, Delta 9, Skidmarks, Mindsweepers and more, housed in a unique picture sleeve with band photo insert.  The following is scant little information I have been able to find for each band.

Hungry Young Men
Featured Track:  Women & Children First

Band Members:  Peter Holzberger (Guitar/Lead Vocal), Ian Chamber (Guitars), Andrew Mathieson (Bass/Vocals), Tony Cambell (Drums).  John Gray played keyboards, guitar and vocals for them in 1984.

Released one 7" Single "Vista Vision"/"Elves in Bondage" (1983) and one LP 'Live On A Plate' (1984) on the Sundown Records label.

Delta 9 
Featured Track: Dangerous Romance

Band Members:  Damon Robinson (Guitar/Vocals), Mano Merlini (Drums/Vocals), Barry Walsh (Bass), Rob Merlini (Keyboards/Vocals)

Mario Merlini and Damon Robinson went on to form Hank Panky in 1987, releasing a single in November 1987, called "I Can See Clearly Now"

Featured Track:  Living

Band Members: Greta Barber (Lead Vocal), David Osbourne (Guitars), Mark Hilton (Guitars / Keyboards), Chris Neale (Drums), Nick Heraclides (Bass)

David Osbourne, Mark Hilton and Nicholas Heraclides moved onto The Naturals. Chris Neale eventually ended up playing for the Kate Meehan Blues Band

The Tim Gaze Band
Featured Track: Dreams
Band Members: Tim Gaze (Guitars / Lead Vocal), Peter Willersdorf (Bass / Vocals), John Barns (Drums / Percussion / Vocals), Peter Bolton (Keyboards)

Tim Gaze (born 8 August 1953) is an Australian rock and blues guitarist, songwriter, singer and producer. He was a member of several prominent Australian groups of the 1960s and 1970s including Tamam Shud, Kahvas Jute, Ariel and Rose Tattoo. Gaze joined his first major band, Tamam Shud, in late 1969, replacing founding member Zac Zytnic at the age of fifteen. He played with Shud for about six months but quit suddenly around June 1970, just after the recording of their second LP Goolutionites and The Real People (which was released in October 1970).


Gaze then joined a new band, Kahvas Jute and contributed his first compositions to their only album, Wide Open (released in January 1971). Soon after its release Gaze rejoined Tamam Shud, remaining with them until the band broke up in August 1972. During this period Gaze and the other members of Tamam Shud played on the sessions for the soundtrack of the landmark Australian surfing film Morning Of The Earth, which became the first Australian film soundtrack to earn a gold record award.
In 1976, this band, with the addition of keyboard player Peter Bolton, evolved into the Tim Gaze Rock Ensemble. Later personnel changes brought in bass player Harry Curtis and keyboard player Andy Cowan. For Infinity/Festival Records, the band recorded an unreleased album of music from the soundtrack of a 1979 film, 'Band On The Run'. In early 2000, this material was recovered and released on CD.

Concurrent with these activities, he also led the Tim Gaze Band, 1977-79, the personnel including bass player Peter Willersdorf and drummer John Barnes. From 1985 to the early 90s, Gaze played slide guitar with Rose Tattoo, teamed up once more with Barnes and Willersdorf in Made In Oz, and was with Skin Game, Brothers Of The Bell, Big Secret, Ardijah, the Sultans, Oasis, the Peter Wells Band and the Millionaires. 

With guitarist Phil Graham he co-wrote and recorded the soundtrack for Sultans 2: The Power Strikes Back (1990). In 1992 Gaze formed his own trio, which included Robbie France-Shaw. Through the 90s he was also with singer Gyan, Tamam Shud again, and the Bushwackers. 

Rose Tattoo - Tim Gaze (third right)
In 1998, Tim formed the Blues Doctors, with Mike Gubb (piano/organ), Jim Conway (harmonica), Graeme Gibb (bass), Rob Grosser (drums), and Daniel Barnett and Ralph Frankie (brass). He also worked with multi-instrumentalist Clare O’Meara and fiddler Mark Oats as Limestone, and with Rob Grosser (drums) and Bob Daisley (bass) as the Hoochie Coochie Men. 
 In 2005, Gaze toured with popular singer Jimmy Barnes and was active as session musician, record producer and was Field Operations manager for ACRO at the University of Queensland. [extract from]

Note:  During 1982-1983, his band was referred to as 'Troppo II / III' rather than the Tim Gaze Band [as reported at Oz Rock Database]

Company Bred
Featured Track:  Dreams Of Steel

Band Members: Richard Lawson (Guitar/Lead Vocal), Peter Danse (Keyboards), Peter Griffin (Bass), Paul Kent (Drums). 1982 - 1985

Released single on EMI Custom Records "Give Them What They Want, Black and White / Amberley Wives" (13687)

The Jumpers
Featured Track:  Believe In This

Band Members: John O'Dwyer (Lead Vocal), Phil Treby (Bass / Vocals), Kevin Walsh (Keyboards), Peter Benson(Guitars/Vocals), Ross Gwyther (Sax), Brian Beamisgh (Drums / Timbales)

Not to be confused with the Adelaide Reggae/Ska Band (1979-1982)

Released a single on Sundown Records "You Don't See It / Hey Sexy" (SUN 0046)

La Mode
Featured Track:  Jenny's Song

Band Members: Michael Whelan (Keyboards/Lead Vocal), Gerard Lacheca (Guitar / Vocals), Adam Cauper (Guitar/Vocals), John Lisignoli (Bass), Dave McDonald (Drums/Percussion), Vanessa Blocksidge (Vocals/Whisper)

Gerard Lacheca may have moved on to join the Brisbane/Sydney band 'Vicious Kites' in 1984 as lead singer. Vicious Kites released 2 singles and a mini LP

The Mindsweepers
Featured Track: Gotta Go Now

Band Members: Bryan Sweeper (Guitar / Lead Vocal), Cameron Giles ((Bass), Chris Potter (Drums), Greg Wildlife (Sax), Janice Abstract (Synthesiser)

Brisbane band who eventually moved to Sydney. A Mutant offspring of the Doors and Talking Heads.

Released a single in Oct, 1984 "Eygpt & France"  and another "I'm Thinking" See YouTube clip.

Greg Parker (sax/flute) joined in 1984 when the band moved to Sydney and commented on YouTube "We had a pretty good run in the early 80s playing in clubs around Sydney, North & central  Coast, Melbourne".

Note that the album back cover credits the Synthesiser player as Janice Abstract, however her correct name is Janice Jetson (see WHO's WHO Of Australian Rock, 2002. p255)

Bazzil at Prehistoric Rock reports that "4ZzZ Radio Station held a record launch gig for the "State Of Emergence" compilation album at the UQ refectory building.

If my memory is correct the girl in the photo is Janice Jetson from Brisbane band The Mindsweepers. See RAM Magazine 1986."

The Roostars

Featured Track: My Tree

Band Members: Raymond Gage (Guitar/Vocals), Steve Sykes (Guitar/Vocals), Glen Fox (Bass/Vocals), Greg Tesch (Drums)

The track "My Tree" features keyboard/synth sounds, yet no artist is credited for keyboards on the cover's band listing?  
Stop Press: Thanks to 'James' it would seem that Peter Blyton is the mystery keyboard player on this track
Neil Bryant
Featured Track:  Closest To Me

Band Members: Neil Bryant (Vocals), Peter Blyton (Guitar), Peter Willy (Bass), Don Lebler (Linn Drum), Michael Stowasser (Keyboards)

Neil may have moved on to join the Sydney band The Brakes in 1986 as lead singer.
See the Brakes single "Shake, Shake" on YouTube

Featured Track: Take Aim

Band Members: Gary Francis (Lead Vocal), Kevin Moloney (Guitar), Ken Cougan (Bass), John Spencer (Drums / Percussion)

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my ultra rare vinyl copy and includes full album artwork and label scans.
This radio sampler of Queensland bands is the second release by FM104 with first volume being released in 1982 . Only a few bands featured on this LP went on to greater things (ie. Tim Gaze and The MindSweepers), while most bands disappeared as quickly as they had emerged.  If you are an avid collector of Aussie Rock and New Wave, then you're gonna love this album.

Finally, I would be interested to hear from any band members featured on this sampler to fill in the gaps - especially the more obscure bands who deserve better publicity.   

Track Listing
01 - Michael Anthony - Aperture
02 - Delta 9 - Dangerous Romance
03 - Hungry Young Men - Women & Children First
04 - Skidmarks - Take Aim
05 - Kyro - Living
06 - The Jumpers - Believe In This
07 - Company Bred - Dreams Of Steel
08 - The Tim Gaze Band - Dreams
09 - Roostars - My Tree
10 - Neil Bryant - Closest To Me
11 - La Mode - Jenny's Song
12 - Mindsweepers - Gotta Go Now
13 - Andy Jenner - Good Morning 

FM104 Homegrown Vol II FLACs (281Mb)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes (1972)

(U.K 1969 - 1980)
Formed in 1969 and named after a character from a Willard Manus novel, Mott the Hoople were heavily influenced by both Bob Dylan and traditional rock'n'roll. They achieved only modest sales with their first four albums, but David Bowie's association with the band revived their fortunes in 1972, just as they were about to quit. 'All The Young Dudes', written and produced by Bowie, resulted in a US Top 40 and UK Top 5 hit.

Allen left following the 1972 US tour and was later replaced by ex-Love Affair keyboardist Morgan Fisher. 1973's 'Mott' went to Number 7 on the UK album chart and produced two Top 10 hits, 'Honaloochie Boogie' and 'Roll Away The Stone'.

Ralphs' decision to quit (he went on to form Bad Company), was precipitated by Hunter's rigid control over musical direction. Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor, ex-Spooky Tooth) was recruited to record 'The Hoople' (1974) which emulated its predecessor and provided two more hits - 'The Golden Age Of Rock'n'Roll' and 'Foxy Foxy'.

A live album followed, before internal disputes saw various line-up changes including the arrival of ex-Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson. The band split after recording the 1974 single 'Saturday Gigs'. Fisher, Watts and Griffin soldiered on with new recruits as Mott, recording two unsuccessful albums.
Hunter embarked on a solo career aided by Ronson (producing the classic "Once Bitten Twice Shy"), and was an on-off association that continued until Ronson's death in 1993. [ extract from The Encyclopedia Of Rock, by Michael Heatley, RD Press, 1996, p 80]
Mott The Hoople's 'Ian Hunter'

Mott The Hoople Split Up
On March 26,1972, Ian Hunter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist with English rock band Mott The Hoople, sat down to write a lyric expressing his anguish at the fact that the Hoople had just decided to split up. Despite a fanatical live following and four well-regarded, if inconsistent, albums, a commercial breakthrough for the ensemble had never materialized. "Rock 'n' roll's a loser's game" ran the mordant refrain of the composition in question, "The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople."
Then a miracle occurred. A fan heard of the split and decided to try to help them. That fan happened to be David Bowie, just about to become one of the biggest stars in the world via his ... Ziggy Stardust... album.

He gave them a song to record - "All The Young Dudes" - that finally gained them a genuine hit and also seemed to focus their minds. Many of their own songs now followed the template of"... Dudes," mythologizing rock in the way that Bowie's song did - although not glamorizing it. Their classic 1973 album Mott was a set almost exclusively dedicated to the subject of the trials and tribulations of being in a struggling rock band. The centerpiece of it was that cry of despair "The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople."

Hunter had a knack for the valediction. The next time the Hoople split - for good this time in 1974 - he penned the moving farewell and thank-you to Hoople fans "Saturday Gigs." [by Sean Egan,Defining Moments in Music, Cassell Illustrated, 2007. p428]
This post consists of  FLACs ripped from my trusty Ol' LP that has seen more parties and booze fests than I'd like to remember.  But be assured that it has survived better than I did and still plays really well (please read - it's still got character)
Full album artwork are included for LP and CD and I've taken the liberty of including their early cover version of the Kinks classic "You Really Got Me" from 1969.  Hope All You Young Dudes out there enjoy listening to this heavily influenced Bowie LP by some classic Glam Rockers
Track Listing
01- Sweet Jane 4:20
02- Momma's Little Jewel 4:26
03- All The Young Dudes 3:31
04- Sucker 4:58
05- Jerkin' Crocus 4:00
06- One Of The Boys 6:46
07- Soft Ground 3:16
08- Ready For Love/After Lights 6:46
09- Sea Diver 2:54
10- You Really Got Me (Bonus Track) 2:52

Moot The Hoople are:
Ian Hunter - Vocals, Piano
Mick Ralphs - vocals, guitar
Pete 'Overend' watts - bass
Dale 'Buffin' Griffin - drums
Verden Allen - vocals, organ
Guest Artist
David Bowie - Sax

Mott The Hoople FLACs  (291Mb)