Wednesday, October 31, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: The Sound Of Steam (Flexidisc)

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.

Released sometime in the late 60's on Ambassador Records, Australia by Australian Hoechst Limited Melbourne

The sounds you will hear on this record will soon be history. The age of the steam locomotive within Australia is rapidly disappearing and the sounds that once fired many a chiId's imagination will soon fade into obscurity. It is for this reason we present to you these sounds of a past era, in the sincere hope that you will find them interesting. This record was produced by Australian Hoechst Limited with the co-operation of the Australian Railway Historical Society, in appreciation of the support given by the Medical Profession to the preparations marketed by this Company.

P-Class  No.511
An important cross-country link connects Merredin on the West Australian Government Railways, Eastern Goldfields Railway with Narrogin on the Great Southern  line.  In this  recording,  P-Class locomotive No. 511 is heard leaving Corrigin with a goods train bound for Merredin. The P-Class were first introduced to the W.A.G.R. in 1924. They weigh 97 tons and are of the "Pacific" type with a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement. As the sequence opens, the exhaust of the Corrigin power station can be faintly heard. P-511 slips momentarily but the driver soon has the locomotive under his control again. As the train approaches, the driver opens his cylinder cocks, gives a short whistle for   a   level   crossing   and shuts the cocks again. After the   train   has   passed   the microphone a change in the exhaust   note   will   be   detected. A cow moos protesting as the train continues up the  steep gradient into the night.

PMR-Class No.734
Now a Pmr-Class locomotive, No. 734, is heard as it climbs the Leederville bank in the suburbs of Perth at the head of a passenger train. The Pmr-Class are a derivative of the earlier P-Class and were built by the North British Locomotive Works in 1949. All-up weight is 109 tons. The "Pacific" is working well as it briskly approaches our microphone, passes it, and shuts off at the top of the grade. The train, which carries workers from the W.A.G.R. Midland Workshops, prepares to stop at the next station.

PMR-Class No.731
In this sequence, Pmr-Class locomotive No. 731 is at the head of a night goods train between Bunbury and Perth. The train has slowed to ascertain whether a stop is necessary at Cookernup. Our microphone picks the train up just as the driver learns that a stop will not be required. He opens the throttle, whistles to the guard, and accelerates his long train on its journey towards Perth.

C-Class No.270
For many years, the West Australian Government Railways operated their own sawmill at Banksiadale, some 50 miles from Perth. A busy railway, carrying both logs and sawn timber, served the mill. C-Class locomotive No. 270 "Blackbutte" is heard hauling a rake of Jarrah logs up the last gradient into the sawmill itself. "Blackbutte" was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, U.S.A., in 1904. There is a quick recovery from a bad slip and as the train moves past the microphone, the locomotive bell— a feature very uncommon in Australia—is heard tolling. The train comes slowly to a halt in the sawmill yard. This line, 50 miles long, was closed in October, 1963.

Some two miles from Leonora, which is north of Kalgoorlie on the fringe of the semi-desert, stood the Sons of Gwalia goldmine. To bring in Mulga firewood for conversion to charcoal and subsequent use in its gas-producer-engineered power station, the mine constructed a 50 miles-long 20" gauge tramway. Two steam locomotives operated this unique line and they themselves burned Mulga wood in their furnaces. One of them, known as "Fowler", built in England in 1916, is heard in this sequence making a rush up the last gradient leading to the mine yard. So steep is this gradient that trains had to be divided into two or three portions at its foot. As the engine comes close to us the rattles of the loose motion gear will be noticed. "Fowler" weighed only 13 1/4 tons. The line and the mine were closed in December, 1963.

OK, I think I need to explain myself with this month's W.O.C.K on Vinyl post.  
Some 50 years ago my dad (a chemist) brought home this promotional flexidisc, given to him by one of the many pharmaceutical reps that visited his pharmacy, in search of  a sale (in this case an antibiotic called REVERIN). Of course, being the youngest boy in the family (7-8 years old), I was the lucky recipient of these wonderful steam train sound affects.  
Of course, I have treasured this nostalgic gem ever since, and have finally decided to share these Obscure recordings with you.  Because this flexidisc is so obscure and old, I doubt if any other copies still exist, let alone ripped and made available electronically.
I hope you appreciate these ultra rare recordings (MP3 / 320kps) from the magical era of 'Steam Trains' and if you're a real enthusiast, I'm sure these recordings will 'blow your whistle', big time!

Track Listing
01 - P-Class No.511
02 - PMR-Class No.734
03 - PMR-Class No.731
04 - C-Class No.270
05 - Fowler

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Colin James Hay - Looking For Jack (1986) + Bonus Track

(Australian 1987 - Present)
Two years after Men At Work went down in flames, front man Colin James Hay returned to the spotlight with his solo debut.   Released by Columbia (which happened to be Men At Work's label), the company clearly had big hopes for Hay's solo career.  Recorded in London with Robin Millar producing  "Looking for Jack" sported an extremely large supporting cast (by my count the liner notes listed 26 players.   (The title was reportedly a reflection of a brief post-concert meeting with Jack Nicholson.)  Anyhow, anyone expecting to hear the fifth Men At Work album was probably going to be slightly disappointed by this album.  While Hay's voice remained instantly recognizable, that also meant it was impossible to separate from his Men At Work catalog.   For better or worse Hay seemed interested in making certain the debut was not a solo Men At Work endeavor.   Sure, it was impossible to completely avoid the Men At Work comparison.   Tracks such as 'Can I Hold You?' and 'Master of Crime' had a distinctive Men At Work flavor, but those tracks were the exception to the rule.   Unfortunately Hay wasn't very successful in finding a new sound.  Musically it was quite diverse with stabs at early Sting ('Puerto Rico'), "Graceland" era Paul Simon ('Hold Me'), and a host of other genres.  Professional and serviceable, but probably not an album most folks were going to spin on a regular basis. [ review by RDTEN1 April, 2018]
Interview with SongFacts
"Looking for Jack" is the title track to Colin Hay's first solo album after disbanding his group Men At Work. When the group split up in 1986, he started work on the album in Los Angeles, which was a strange place for Hay, who was raised in Scotland before moving to Australia at age 14.

"When I was in Los Angeles I was driving around and I was aware of the fact that everyone was looking for something in Los Angeles," said Hay. "I wasn't sure what they were looking for, but I knew they were looking for something.

I couldn't sum it up: why people go to Los Angeles, why they take that trip. I knew a lot of people go there to realize their dreams and to get famous or whatever it is. People are drawn to that particular city for some reason and they all seem to be looking for something.

Jack Nicholson
I couldn't finish the song. I had that idea and I had a little bit of music for it. Then I went to a concert and I saw Jack Nicholson standing in the audience, and he was standing next to me at the mixing console. I said, 'Excuse me, Mr. Nicholson, my name's Colin Hay. I just want to say, I'm a great big fan of yours.' And he said, 'I can't hear you.'

I got a little bit embarrassed and I went into the green room. I was talking to these girls and Jack came into the green room and he came right up to me and said, 'I just want to say, I'm a great big fan of yours too.'

So, I got excited by that because I had just met Jack Nicholson and then he walked off. The girl was still talking to me but I was distracted and I kept looking over her shoulder. She said, 'What are you doing, Colin?' and I said, 'Oh, I'm sorry, you'll have to excuse me, I'm just looking for Jack.' And she said, 'Yeah, everybody's always looking for Jack.' So, I said: 'Excuse me, I have to go home and finish something.'"

This song aged well, finding space in Hay's setlists, but it fared poorly when it was released, making no chart impact. It was quite a comedown for Hay, who was a huge star with Men At Work, but couldn't find an audience with his solo material despite label support - the album was released on Men At Work's label Columbia, which commissioned a video to promote it.

Hay moved to MCA for his next album, Wayfaring Sons (1990), but was dropped after that one flopped. For much of the '90s, he battled alcohol addiction while playing small shows and releasing independent albums. The work paid off: he got sober and earned a deal with Compass Records, which helped him find a new audience. He never again came close to the heights he reached with his former band, but he earned enough acclaim to fill small venues on a regular basis and earn airplay on some eclectic radio stations. [extract from]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my newly acquired vinyl, yet another chance find at the local flee market when one searches through the piles of 'rubbish' vinyl releases that no one wants.  Full album artwork plus label scans are included. I have also included the B-Side non-album track Home Sweet Home which in its own right deserved a place on the album. Great track.
It is interesting to note that "Hold Me" was released as a single with a playable cover jacket (see left). The playable side features a medley of song exerts from the album. I've never seen this type of packaging before and would love to know if any other artist has released a record with a playable jacket.
Track Listing
01. Hold Me
02. Can I Hold You?
03. Looking for Jack
04. Master of Crime
05. These Are Our Finest Days
06. Puerto Rico
07. Ways of the World
08. I Don't Need You Anymore
09. Circles Erratica
10. Fisherman's Friend
11. Home Sweet Home (Bonus B-Side Single)

Band Members:
Colin Hay - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Jeremy Alsop - Bass, Keyboards
Chad Wackerman - Drums, Percussion
Robbie McIntosh - Electric Guitar
Linda Lewis, Dee Lewis, Morris Michael, Noel McCalla - Backing Vocals

Colin James Hay FLAC Link (296Mb) New Link 17/12/2023

Sunday, October 21, 2018

America - History: America's Greatest Hits (1975)

(U.K 1970 - Present)
Over a remarkable five year run starting in 1970, the trio called America proved the enduring appeal of clean harmonies, uncluttered arrangements and evocative lyrics with a nearly unbroken string of Top 10 singles and best-selling albums. Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek fashioned their distinctive, disarming sound from the simplest of musical elements, updating and enhancing the singer/songwriter tradition and, in the process, setting new standards in pop craftsmanship.

The trio first met at an American school in the U.K., the sons of Air Force officers stationed overseas. The fledgling musicians played separately and together in a variety of local bands. Choosing their name while listening to an Americana jukebox, they recorded a demo of a Dewey Bunnell original called "A Horse With No Name," showcasing the vocal skills that would become America's trademark. The song was released in England in January of 1972 and immediately shot into the Top 5. Encouraged by the results, the threesome embarked on a tour of North America as complete unknowns. Their first concert was in a lunchroom at an Ontario college.

America -  Dewey, Dan, Gerry
America's status in their namesake nation quickly changed when "A Horse With No Name" reached the top of the charts. It eventually sold more than a million copies and garnered the group a Grammy for Best New Artists of 1972. Their self-titled debut album, containing both their first hit and its Top 10 follow-up, "I Need You" topped the Stateside charts for more than a month. The follow-up, Homecoming, was another million-seller and highlighted one of America's best known songs, "Ventura Highway," along with the Top 40 hit "Don't Cross The River."

What followed was a string of million-selling albums: '73' Hat Trick, '74' Holiday and '75' Hearts (the later pair produced by Beatles producer George Martin). Each, in turn, yielded up more America classics: the Top 5 hits "Tin Man" and "Lonely People" and the number one single "Sister Golden Hair."

First released in October of 1975, History: America's Greatest Hits, chronicled America's extraordinary track record of two Number One, six Top 10 and eight Top 40 hits in less than three years. The package, also featuring an elegant cover of the Captain & Tennille's "Muskrat Love," was a hit in its own right, selling more than four million copies to date and still going strong.

The first seven tracks of the album, having been recorded prior to producer George Martin's involvement with the group, were remixed by Martin for this release, with several notable differences from the original mixes. Some of the remixed tracks, such as "A Horse with No Name" and "I Need You", feature a more prominent bass. A voice can briefly be heard in the background of "A Horse with No Name" about two minutes into the track - this voice is not on the original recording. The pitch on "I Need You" is slowed a quarter tone from the original version. "Sandman" runs about one minute shorter than the original mix. On "Ventura Highway", Dewey Bunnell's lead vocal is double-tracked and the guitars have significantly more reverb. "Don't Cross the River" adds a fiddle not heard in the original recording. In addition, several of the tracks are cross faded to eliminate the breaks between songs.

George Martin (Centre) with Gerry Beckley (Right)
Due to the commercial success and enduring popularity of this album, over time the remixed versions of America's hits on 'History' have become as recognizable in popular culture as the original singles themselves.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD copy (my vinyl has had one too many spins on the turntable I'm afraid) and includes artwork for both formats, along with label scans.
There have been many compilations of America music released over the years but in my opinion this 1975 release is the best as it contains all of their classic hits without the padding found in other 'greatest hit' releases. Oh, and guess what my favourite song is ?

01 - A Horse With No Name
02 - I Need You
03 - Sandman
04 - Ventura Highway
05 - Don't Cross The River
06 - Only In Your Heart
07 - Muskrat Love
08 - Tin Man
09 - Lonely People
10 - Sister Golden Hair
11 - Daisy Jane
12 - Woman Tonight

Dewey Bunnell - Guitar, Vocals
Dan Peek - Guitar, Vocals
Gerry Beckly - Bass, Piano, Vocals
with also
Dave Dickey - Bass
Dave Aatwood - Drums
America History FLAC Link (229Mb)
.New Link 15/12/2023

Monday, October 15, 2018

Atlanta Rhythm Section - Underdog (1979)

(U.S 1970 - Present)
Bringing their run during the high-times seventies to a close, Atlanta Rhythm Section (ARS) shipped the Underdog album in 1979. With original drummer and songwriter Robert Nix leaving ARS prior to the studio sessions for Underdog, the revamped line-up take several songs for a pronounced move in a mellow direction. Nevertheless, ARS continued to lean in with the-South-is-gonna-rise-again passion, as Underdog is introduced via the down-home tag-team of "Do It or Die" and "Born Ready". The seven-minute combo of "I Hate the Blues", and the Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson penned "Let's Go Get Stoned," takes the listener for a pipe dream ride, while the boys from Doraville, Georgia, trip back to their sixties roots in Classics IV with a reworked version of the smooth "Spooky". The updated cover of "Spooky" was issued as a single by Polydor Records, as was "Do It or Die", but neither number was a match for the previous chart success of "So Into You", "Imaginary Lover", and "I'm Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight".
Album Review  (taken from Atlanta Rhythm Section website)
 Released in 1979, this is another excellent album that continued ARS' popular success and documents the band continuing to make quality music-even though the critical and popular tide that had swelled through the late 1970s had reached its peak. The album features eight original songs, one of them incorporating a well known Ashford & Simpson song. The tone of this collection is softer, as only a couple of songs truly rock out, but the songwriting and musicianship continues at the superior levels the group had established previously. While two songs would break out as singles, overall it's another superior set of tunes.

The material and performances are consistently strong throughout the album, and along with a mix of tempos create a beautiful work from beginning to end. "Do It or Die" provides a pop musical mission statement to open and leads into the rock of "Born Ready" and the blues of "I Hate the Blues" / "Let's Go Get Stoned". "While Time is Left" is a musical masterpiece, and "It's Only Music" and "Spooky" gradually slow the pace and carry the set home to a personal close.

1. Do It Or Die
 The opener is a lovely tune with a melancholy sound that is a fitting follow up to the singles from the previous album. The vocals project both strength and resignation, and provide a great centerpiece, with the instrumentalists providing a beautiful background but never stepping forward.
2. Born Ready
 Guitars provide the lead in as the tempo picks up. This song features some trademark breaks in tempo, but overall the intensity builds to a polished but driving closing-top quality Southern rock with a pop finish.

3. I Hate The Blues
 This combination of songs, an approach unique in the ARS catalog, starts with a steady rolling, uptempo blues with a strong vocal and sharp, driving musical backing. Instead of shifting tempos within a song as they have done so often and well, this time there is one total tempo shift to a slower
paced cover that swells into soaring vocals and musical support, and builds to a classic blues finish.
4. Indigo Passion
 The band presents another beautiful ballad, with vocals sharing the twists and turns of life and love and a musical performances that provide a colorful background tableau.
5. While Time Is Left
 A beautiful mid-tempo song that combines many of the elements that have made ARS' music unique. From the beginning, the production sets a tone and the words create a picture. The tempos shift and the instruments break out through the course of this classic, timeless song..
6. It's Only Music
 The driving rhythm pushes the restrained sound at the beginning of the song to build throughout this examination of the band's success. A trademark break leads into guitar soloing and an uptempo verse that breaks briefly for the wishful utterance "disco go" before closing with a rousing guitar workout.
7. Spooky
 A re-recording of this song that had been a hit for the Classics IV, one of the groups that was the genesis for ARS. This version is largely true to the original with a slow but steady tempo. Upgraded production techniques give this version a brighter sound, and the powerful vocals lead into some extended guitar and keyboard soloing that make this remake a classic in its own right.
8. My Song
 The album closes with an acoustic ballad that's a rumination on how much the musician has to give of themselves as a performer on a stage. The acoustic guitar and vocal perfectly capture the desire to "let this be a song for me." After all, ARS had given musically up to this point, it was a request that deserved to be honored.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) taken from my A+ vinyl and includes full album artwork plus label scans. Not sure if this one has been released individually on CD but it has appeared alongside The Boys From Doraville as a double pack.  The killer track for me on this album is "Spooky" with its catchy groove and simple lyrics and although this album is not as strong as their previous two albums, it still shows why ARS were considered one of the best Southern Blues Bands in the 70's.
Track listing
01 - Do It or Die 3:27
02 - Born Ready 3:54
03 - I Hate the Blues / Let's Go Get Stoned 7:12
04 - Indigo Passion 3:56
05 - While Time Is Left 5:20
06 - It's Only Music 5:33
07 - Spooky 4:57
08 - My Song 3:15

ARS are:
Barry Bailey - Guitar
Robert Nix - Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Ronnie Hammond - Vocals, Background Vocals
Paul Goddard - Bass
Dean Daughtry - Keyboards
J.R. Cobb - Guitar, Background Vocals
Atlanta Rhythm Section Link (91Mb) New Link 15/12/2023

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Captain Beyond - Lost & Found 1972-1973 (2017)

(U.S 1971-79, 1998-2003)
Wow!… That is what I have to say. Wow!  
A collector's dream come true - vintage demo tracks, never heard before, from the space rock super group Captain Beyond including one unreleased song not found anywhere else!
The first Captain Beyond record is an all time classic and this companion release is a great find. 
The A side of this album opens with the totally unreleased and cool song called "Uranus" from the first recording sessions. Then you have a 20 min suite, which made up bands first demo, in a more raw in your face version. Side B starts with "Icarus" which appeared on the 3rd album but this is the demo version with Rod Evans on vocals! Then you have a more raw and aggressive version of "Raging River of Fear" that includes a slide solo not on the original version. The companion album ends with "Dancing Madly Backwards".  This is great stuff. The LP has a nice printed inner sleeve with the whole story and a lot of old pictures of the band and you get a card with the number of your LP. Limited to 1000 copies on vinyl but also available on CD [extract from writingaboutmusic]

Liner Notes:
The Music In This Collection Has Changed The World

If you're already a fan of Captain Beyond, you've been waiting to hear this for more than four decades. And if you're new to the band, then congratulations! You're not simply getting in on the ground floor of one of the early seventies' most legendary bands, you are hearing the self-same tape that so impressed the Allman Brothers when they first heard it that they demanded their manager sign its makers on the spot.

Not that Captain Beyond were ever likely to have any shortage of suitors. "'Supergroup" is not a particularly fashionable term these day - too many not-so-super groups have hopelessly devalued it over the years. Back in the early 1970s, though, it felt like every one-was waiting to be wowed by the next one, and Captain Beyond met every expectation.

Vocalist Rod Evans had been the frontman in the original Deep Purple, leading them through the first three albums that made the rest of I the band's career even feasible. Bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt flew with the almighty Iron Butterfly, and drummer Bobby Caldwell had most recently been sighted with the Johnny Winter Group, at a lime when— as Bobby puts it— "we were one of the biggest concert groups in the world, maybe not in terms of selling records, but live, we were huge."

He wasn't even sure whether he wanted to join a new group. When a telegram arrived from Dorman and Reinhardt, "saying Iron Butterfly is about to cave in and they'd like to do something with me" he simply laid it to one side.

"I wasn't about to quit what I was doing because it was as big as you could get. But then Johnny decided all of a sudden that he was going to take some time off, and I thought 'well, how long is this going to be? And nobody could give us an answer, so I went out to meet Lee and Rhino, and they had already contacted Rod and that's what happened. We were starting to put this band together"

What you are holding in your hand now is the story of what happened next.

"All of these tapes have been in my possession for a long lime, and for the Captain Beyond die-hard fans, they've never heard any of this before," says Bobby of the songs that make up this collection. I've been sitting on these songs for many years, and they go right back to the start, and the original demo that we made out at Rhino's house when we first got together.
"We recorded this twenty minute demo at Rhino's house on a four track Scully machine. He had this whole set up in his house, and we recorded this twenty minutes worth of music, which was the whole 'I Can't Feel Nothing" grouping of songs.

"I don't call it a medley or a suite or anything, but it's something. It's a group of songs— 'I Can't Feel Nothing Part1', 'As the Moon Speaks', 'Astral Lady', 'As the Moon Speaks {Return)' and 'I Can't Feel Nothing. Part2'— which we recorded, and this was the demo that we were going to use to get a deal.
Nobody's realty heard it. We took it and shopped it around to a number of people, but then, one fateful evening, I went over to meet with Duane and Greg Allman while they were in town, and I played it for them. Rhino and Lee were with me, and Duane and Greg flipped out. They totally freaked out.

"Duane, he just jumped out of his chair, 'man I've got to call Phil' — Phil Walden, the Allmans' manager—and he called him from the hotel that night, 'You've got to hear these people and this music.' In Duane's words, it was something along the lines of 'unbelievable".

Walden was already aware of Bobby and Rhino; in fact, Bobby describes himself as the Allmans' "third noisemaker," occasionally sitting in on shows to add further drums and percussion to the group's already formidable line-up.

"He knew me because I'd been playing with the Allman Brothers when I was with Johnny Winter, and he knew Rhino because he'd been hanging out with them in Macon. So he asked us to come down the next day and meet with him, then he signed us to his label, Capricorn, and it became this big energy vortex around everything. And that's what happened on that."
Twice the length of the version that would be recorded for Captain Beyond's self-titled debut album in 1972, "I Can't Feel Nothing" is the sound of the band at its most ambitious, and most impressive. In fact, across the board, Bobby admits, "the demos, I believe, are better than what we did on the album." And to prove "I Can't Feel Nothing"" was no fluke, he directs your ears to 'Raging River of Fear'.

"Raging River of Fear" is another demo that is a burning version, a blistering version. And it's very different to the one that's on our first album. If you listen, Rhino is playing slide guitar in the song, and that's not a part of the version we eventually recorded."

Released in 1972, Captain Beyond's self titled debut album remains one of the foundation stones of American prog, pointing out directions that the likes of Journey and Rush would later transform into FM radio gold but which, at this time, truly were the province of the British underground. Captain Beyond was the sound of the music crossing the ocean and firmly embedding itself into the American heartland. Who knows what might have happened had the band stayed together?

But the original Captain Beyond line-up fell apart following the first album, as Bobby headed off to join Rick Derringer. He rejoined for the tour that followed the release of the band's second album, 'Sufficiently Breathless', but then Rod Evans departed, and it would be four more years before the Captain returned for one final LP, 'Dawn Explosion'.

That's where this collection's, opening number, "Icarus" originally appeared. But, says Bobby, the song itself had been around for a long time before then, and here's the proof. "This is the original "Icarus" that we recorded, at the beginning, with Rod singing. And nobody has heard it.

"Yes, we later recorded it later on, when we were with Warners and Rod had left the band. Willy Daffern was the new singer. But this is the original version, the original demo, and it's an outstanding vocal. Rod wrote the lyrics to it and it's done very well."

So far as Bobby is concerned, however, the album's real find is a song that "nobody has heard outside of the band, and that's "Uranus Expressway". The other songs have been heard in different versions on record, but this is one that no-one has ever heard, period." He doesn't recall why it was never used, probably they just ran out of time on the records. But here it is in all its glory and it's magnificent.

Bobby himself is both proud, and thrilled, that these performances are finally seeing the light of day. Demos, after all, are rarely made for anybody's ears but the band and their record company; few musicians ever imagined a day when they might be asked to release them in their own right.

"But I had to play these for myself, just to listen to them, and they sound so great, especially as demos. The historic part of it is that they've never been heard, but musically, they hold up so well."

"Songs always turn out different from one lime to another, depending on all sorts of circumstances. But there's places on these recordings that I think are — and I'm the worst critic Of anything I do — they're really quite good and a lot better, in some places, than the album versions".

Listen, and you might well find yourself agreeing with him. — by Dave Thompson
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from a CD copy (thanks to Yeni Metin Belgesi) and includes full album artwork for both vinyl & CD releases.  From what I can gather, vinyl releases are in either red or purple - very cool indeed. 
I've said it before in previous Captain Beyond posts that this group blew me away when I first heard their debut album, and to now hear these demo's and unheard material from their 1972 era has left me, well, speechless. Absolutely mind blowing folks. I think I've died and gone to heaven !
01. Uranus Expressway
02. I Can’t Feel Nothing, Pt. 1 
03. As the Moon Speaks (To the Waves of the Sea)
04. Astral Lady
05. As the Moon Speaks (Return)
06. I Can’t Feel Nothing, Pt. 2
07. Icarus
08. Raging River of Fear
09. Dancing Madly Backwards (On a Sea of Air)
10. Myopic Void 
Bass – Lee Dorman
Drums, Vocals – Bobby Caldwell
Guitar – Rhino
Lead Vocals – Rod Evans
Captain Beyond Demo's Link (67Mb) New Link 17/12/2023

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Mark Holden - Moments (1979)

(Australian 1974 - Present)
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Mark Holden studied law for sometime before leaving law school to enter the Entertainment Business. He very quickly developed into one of Australia's most accomplished and respected stage and television entertainers during the early 70's.

Mark also commenced his recording career with EMI Records back in 1975, and just as quickly as he succeeded in the acting side of the business, did he succeed in the music charts. In just over 18 months Mark scored 5 Top Forty Hit Singles including; "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again" (reached No. 13),  "I Wanna Make You My Lady" (reached No. 11),  "Last Romance" (reached No. 11),  "Hey, My Love" (reached No. 32) and "Reach Out for the One Who Loves You" (reached No. 17).

From 1975 to 1976, Holden performed as Joseph in the first Australian production of  'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' at the Seymour Centre, Sydney. He was the first pop star in the world to play the lead role.

Mark also recorded 3 albums for EMI all of which accomplished chart success and earned him several Gold and Platinum album awards. In the early 80's Mark headed off to America to pursue his song writing/acting career, however, has had far more success writing for and developing other performers, singers and songwriters around the world.  In 1983, he released a self-titled album on the Mercury label, but it failed to launch his career in the US as planned. In 1984 Holden founded his own International Publishing Company "Dream Dealers Music".

Since that time, Mark has continued his successful artist development/songwriting with such artists as; Belinda Carlisle, Joey Lawrence,  The Temptations, Jose Feliciano, Kathy Sledge (Sister Sledge),  Vanessa Williams, Baywatch's David Hasselhoff (also a major recording artist in Germany), and recently has enjoyed success in the major German market via Jeremy Jackson's No. 1 Album, of which Holden wrote 8 tracks.
Mark Holden 1978
Mark Holden Sings Again!
(Article from Women's Weekly, 23 Jan, 2017)
The iconic pop star is staging a comeback after a life-changing health scare writes CRAIG BENNETT

Former '70s pop icon, turned Australian Idol judge Mark Holden is brimming with excitement on the eve of his comeback after a cancer scare.
"I lost about 80 per cent of my singing voice after surgery and intensive radiation for thyroid cancer in 2010. So to be singing again is a miracle," reveals Mark as he welcomed Woman's Day into his Melbourne home. Mark's cancer ordeal began in 2009, when he discovered a lump on his neck.

"It was initially thought to be a harmless cyst. After a second opinion, I was shocked to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer".
"The surgery and radiation knocked me around. My strong speaking voice had been reduced to a whisper following the op, and I was very quiet for months," the 62-year-old singer admits.
The dreaded disease has run in Mark's family: his beloved dad Ron died of prostate cancer at 61, while his sister Jennifer survived breast cancer before tragically succumbing to pancreatic cancer in 2011, also aged just 61.
"Jennifer's death was the most painful and shocking time of my life. We were so close," tells Mark
"My beautiful wife Anna, our daughter Katie, my son Cane [from a previous relationship] and my brother Craig were towers of strength", Mark says of dealing with his sister's death and his own diagnosis.

Once his speaking voice began to return, Mark was horrified to discover he could barely sing and feared his career would be over.
Luckily, his road to recovery came about thanks to his friend Dr Jonathan Welch. The former musical theatre star and voice teacher is also the founder of the School of Hard Knocks - a choir that is both a fundraising initiative and a group encouraging those who've suffered cancer to find their voice again,
Jonathon worked with Mark, and through persistence, his singing .. voice gradually began to return. However, Mark says his voice is now vastly different - he's lost some of his high range.

Adelaide-born Mark's life has been a non-stop rollercoaster. A professional singer from his early teens, after appearing on The Ernie Sigley Show in 1972 he signed a record deal and became an overnight pop sensation as "The Carnation Kid" on Countdown.

"My gimmick was giving red carnations to the pretty girls. I had a string of hit songs and I was the Justin Bieber of the day - minus the scandals!" says Mark,
Next came acting, with a stint as I hunky Dr Greg Mason in the 70's TV soapie 'The Young Doctors' working alongside alongside none other than the very 'sexy' Abigail (see below).

But hungry for a fresh start, Mark headed to Los Angeles in 1980 for songwriting.  "I wrote about 500 songs and became a record producer, working with some of the best, from The Temptations and Fleetwood Mac, to Belinda Carlisle and Donnie Osmond.
"There  were pinch-yourself moments. Once I inadvertently insulted Elton John, and never heard from him again! "I produced four of David Hasselhoff's albums," he adds. "We became great friends".

Mark Holden with Abigail (Young Doctors)
Mark met "the love of his life", wife Anna, now 57, at a club in LA. "Anna and I were together for 10 years before marrying in 1992," he says. "We always laugh when reliving the craziness of our wedding day". "We arrived so late we missed our slot at the registry office but eventually found another minister to marry us!"

The Holdens moved to Australia after their daughter Katie was born in 1995. Since his return, Mark has enjoyed many showbiz "touchdowns", helping to establish Vanessa Amorosi's career and writing songs for Delta Goodrem, among others, though he's best known for his time as a judge on Australian Idol. "I loved [the show], and was saddened to be fired in 2008;" he admits. "I had two years to go on my contract, so they paid me out. I kept a diary, and coming out this May will be a book, 'My Idol Years'." (see below)

Mark then went on to complete his law degree and has been a barrister for the past eight years, calling his career change unfinished business.
"I started out studying law, which derailed when I signed my first record deal," he smiles.
Now his health is back on track, the future is bright and he can't wait. [extract from Women's Weekly]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD copy and includes full album artwork. Finding a copy of this on vinyl is really hard and even eBay comes up blank. I have vivid memories of Mark Holden first appearing on Countdown back in its hey day, and Mark was certainly a hot item for the pre-pubescent young girls that swarmed the audience, as well as some of their mums !
He wasn't really my cup of tea of course but over the years I've grown to appreciate Mark's contribution to the Aussie music industry and launching other young hopefuls during his Australian Idol years.
1 Carry Me Down 2:06
2 Never Gonna Fall In Love Again 3:17
3 I Wanna Make You My Lady 2:40
4 Last Romance 2:49
5 Hey My Love 3:09
6 Took My Heart To The Party 4:07
7 Reach Out For The One Who Loves You 2:58
8 Let’s Go Dancing 3:26
9 Where Are You Girl 3:26
10 Sweet Morning Smile In Your Eyes/You Set My Dreams To Music 3:34
11 Firefly 3:21
12 Let Me Love You Once Before You Go 2:59
Mark Holden FLAC Link (237Mb) New Link 25/12/2023