Sunday, December 30, 2018

Jimi Hendrix - At The BEEB [remastered] (1967)

(U.S 1963 - 1970)
Jimi Hendrix was an American. Everyone knows that. His blues roots were deep and real, and his incredible craft was honed by years of working on the Chitlin' circuit backing artists from Little Richard to the Isley Brothers. But it wasn't until he came here to Britain, in the autumn of 1966, that he became a star in his own right and the full extent of his genius began to be realised, let alone recognised.
There were many factors that contributed to his swift success in this country. His English manager, Chas Chandler, was well-placed to help Hendrix put a sensational band together and secure a recording contract. His early live shows were like a bomb exploding in the heart of "swinging" London, and word of mouth among the tightly-knit English guitar-hero fraternity - including Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton - was quickly converted into supportive press coverage. And when Hendrix first appeared on the British TV shows Ready Steady Co! and Top Of The Pops singing "Hey Joe" in December 1966, the impact was instant and nationwide.
But one piece of the jigsaw, which has often gone unremarked, was the role of BBC radio, the state-owned, publicly-financed national broadcaster, in promoting, and more especially nurturing, such a radical talent.

Radio Caroline (1960's Pirate Radio Station)
It would be nice to report that, even back then, the BBC took an enlightened view of rock music, recognising its significance both as an artistic phenomenon, and as an articulation of the newly emerging youth culture. In fact, the most venerated broadcasting corporation in the world was initially baffled by pop music and unsure of what to do about it. It was only in response to the success in the mid-1960's of pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, broadcasting non-stop pop music from ships moored outside British territorial waters (in order to exploit a loophole in telecommunications law) that the BBC was reluctantly persuaded to set up its own pop station, Radio 1, which came on air in 1967, after the pirates had been outlawed.
But there were two factors which nevertheless enabled the BBC to become a key player in the development of British rock in the 19605 and, quite by accident, to build up a recorded archive from that era which is as priceless as it is unique.

One was the existence within the BBC of a small but dedicated cabal of rock enthusiasts, including DJs John Peel, Alexis Korner and Tommy Vance, producers Bernie Andrews, Jeff Griffin and John Walters and engineers such as Pete Ritzema and Bob Conduct, who actively sought out and endorsed all that was boldest and newest in contemporary music.
The acts they championed were frequently ahead of popular taste, the music they promoted on shows such as Saturday Club and Top Gear may not have been to the liking of the BBC suits. But it was part of the corporation's public service remit to make provision for music across the spectrum, and these programmes clearly met a need that was not being catered for elsewhere.
The other factor was the BBC's longstanding practice of recording musicians "in session", a procedure which falls half-way between making a "proper" studio recording and playing live, and which remains part of the fabric of music broadcasting in Britain to this day.

Pirate Radio DJ's
Radio sessions were the legacy of various restrictive practices instigated by the Musicians' Union (MU) dating back to the 1950's and beyond, but they gained fresh momentum during the beat boom of the 1960's as a way of getting round the "needletime" restrictions to which all British broadcasters were then subjected.
Bizarre as the idea now seems, in those days, playing records on the radio was perceived as a threat to the livelihood of working musicians. Not only did it mean that the radio station did not have to hire live musicians to play on its programmes, it was also widely believed that playing records on the radio too.
Thus was born the concept of needletime, which referred to the strictly limited number of hours of music on record which the BBC (and other broadcasters) were allowed to play per day. It was allocated by a rights-negotiating company called Phonograph Performance Limited (PPL) representing the record companies, who had an agreement with the MU as to how many hours broadcasters were entitled to have. To give an idea of how limiting this was, when the newly-formed Radios i and 2 first went on the air in 1967, the two stations were allowed just seven hours of needletime between them, per day. Incredibly, the needletime system was not abandoned until 1988.

In order to circumvent this situation, the BBC would record its own sessions; or in other words hire musicians to come in to its own studios and quickly record a batch of songs which could then be played on the radio (albeit only twice) without using up precious needletime. Most of these sessions were simply an expedient way of gaining access to the popular jazz, swing or light orchestral music of the day, but in the hands of the rock specialists they quickly became a means of discovering and exposing new talent. As far as John Peel was concerned, the brief of his programme Top Gear, was "to look beyond the horizons of pop," and the session gave him the perfect tool for doing just that.
Often rock artists would record a BBC session before they had recorded their first album, and sometimes even before they had signed a recording contract. Hendrix's first two sessions for Saturday Club, recorded on February 13, 1967 and March 28,1967, both took place before he had finished recording Are You Experienced, and for him and other future superstars such as Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie and Genesis, a BBC session was the first chance of exposing tracks other than hit singles to a mass audience.

But although a session at the BBC was an important step to take, it was not a place where a performance had to be cast in stone. Artists were encouraged to regard the session as an opportunity either to try out new songs, or rework old material in fresh and surprising ways, or simply to have a bit of fun. The best sessions, in other words, were those that brought a sense of occasion or were in some other way unique to that specific programme. As Ken Garner wrote in his book In Session Tonight (BBC Books, 1993): "Whatever it is, when you tune in and catch a new session, somewhere deep in the back of your mind, you know you are hearing something extraordinary; something you would not otherwise have heard were it not for the BBC, Radio 1 and DJs like John Peel."
The recording of these sessions was, of necessity, a quick, low-budget affair. At the height of its music recording activity in the 1960's and early 1970's, the BBC had fourteen studios at its disposal, most of which were converted theatres or cinemas. The Playhouse Theatre in Charing Cross where the Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded at least one of their Top Gear sessions (October 6, 1967), has since been refurbished and has become a fully functioning West End theatre again. The Camden Theatre in Camden Town is now an established live venue called the Music Machine. The most famous BBC recording facility, and the only one still in use for that purpose today is Maida Vale, a purpose built rock recording studio in North West London.

John Peel On The Deck Of Galaxy (Radio London)
The sessions were conducted in two, three-and-a-half-hour stretches with a break of an hour in between (from 15.00 to 23.00 hrs, all told), during which all equipment would have to be set up and miked, and five songs recorded (or so it was hoped; frequently only four songs would actually be completed). The sophisticated, multi-track recording equipment of today was barely dreamt of.
"We used to record a backing track, in mono," recalls former engineer Bob Conduct, "and that track maybe didn't have vocals or a guitar solo or whatever. Then you'd play the track back to the band, usually via very small communications headphones - high quality cans just didn't exist - and you couldn't vary the mix in any way at all, either for the band or for yourself. That was also copied onto a second tape and mixed live with whatever the band were adding to it which might be a first layer of backing vocals and a keyboard overdub. There was no chance to go back and alter the mix so you simply had to get it right in the first place. That process could happen up to a maximum of three times, after which you lost quality enormously."

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Half-way through the session, the musicians, producers and studio personnel would all repair to one of the local pubs, perhaps The Sherlock Holmes in Northumberland Avenue or the tiny Ship & Shovel under the arches at Charing Cross. "People don't believe me now when I tell them I went for a drink with Jimi Hendrix," Conduct says, wistfully, "But you've got to remember we were all quite young and it was really very relaxed and informal."
It is that never-to-be-repeated combination of youthful bonhomie and carefree sense of adventure which defines the special magic of the Jimi Hendrix Experience BBC Sessions which have been collected in their entirety for the first time on this album.

L-R: Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding
Take the day the group showed up at the Playhouse Theatre to record a session for Peel's Top Gear and found Stevie Wonder hanging around, waiting to be interviewed for another programme by Brian Matthew. As Noel Redding recalled, writing in his book, Are You Experienced? (Fourth Estate, 1990) "When Mitch nipped off to the loo, some enterprising person suggested an informal jam between Jimi and myself, with Stevie on drums. We jammed two segments of an old R&B song ["I Was Made To Love Her"] with Stevie, of course, they forgot to turn the tape machines off."

"It's not that wonderful," recalls engineer Pete Ritzema of the recording. "But it is one of those legendary things; Stevie Wonder did jam with Jimi Hendrix and it's there on tape."
Given that such connections often happened, perhaps it is not surprising that rumours have long abounded that the back-up vocals on "Day Tripper," a barnstorming version of the Beatles song recorded for a later Peel session, were sung by John Lennon. In fact it was Redding, rising to the occasion with his best Lennon impersonation. In that same session Hendrix came up with a jingle for Radio 1. Making it up on the spot, he responded by singing, in a giggly drawl, "Radio 1 you stole my gal but I love you just the same," surely the most off-the-wall station ident in the history of broadcasting.

There are other entertaining instances of Hendrix's humour at work, as on a version of the Elvis Presley hit, "Hound Dog," which comes complete with ludicrous howling and barking noises in the chorus. And clearly, if the party sounds in the background of "Hear My Train A Comin'" are anything to go by, Hendrix had a ball making these tapes.
It wasn't all plain sailing, however. When Hendrix turned up to do his first BBC session for Saturday Club the group was allocated S2, a tiny studio in the Broadcasting House sub-basement, three floors below street level. Producer Bill Bebb was aghast at the volume - "We could hear Jimi through the soundproof glass, and we could see the glass moving," he said - and he remembers fielding a complaint from the Concert Hall two floors above where a string quartet performance going out live on Radio 3 was being interrupted by the faint but unmistakable sound of Hendrix's guitar.

But along with the larking around and occasional volume crisis, the BBC Sessions also coaxed vintage performances of many Hendrix classics - "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," "Spanish Castle Magic" and "Stone Free" - alongside some blistering, off-the-cuff workouts of blues standards such as Muddy Waters' "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man" - featuring BBC presenter Alexis Korner on slide guitar - and Howlin' Wolfs "Killing Floor" taken at Hendrix's preferred breakneck pace.
Four tracks in particular stand out as an absolutely essential part of Hendrix's recorded legacy. "Drivin' South," a hefty instrumental groove, conjures astonishing performances from both Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell, while "Wait Until Tomorrow" and "The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" (with its neat new ending) are both exceptional performances of songs which the Experience hardly ever played live.

But perhaps the most exciting prospect of all Is the version of "Love Or Confusion" recorded for Saturday Club on February 13,1967. This was a particularly complicated song that Hendrix rarely attempted to play live, and here, although there has been some double-tracking, the recording exposes the bare bones of the song - Redding's lumpy bass riff clinging on for dear life to Mitchell's mutant-Latin drum pattern behind the solo - in a way that is both fascinating and incredibly dramatic.
While Hendrix's recordings for BBC radio make up an essential alternative portfolio of his best work, the legacy of his many appearances on BBC TV were not, generally speaking, of such intrinsic value. Often, as on programmes such as Top Of The Pops, he would either sing live vocals over a backing track or else mime to the record, and these appearances were nearly always to promote his latest single. There were, however, live performances of different material, such as the occasion on the Dusty Springfield Show when he sang an endearing duet with Dusty Springfield of the Charlie & Inez Foxx song "Mockingbird." Sadly this has been lost, along with recordings of many other TV appearances which have either been wiped, stolen or in some other way gone missing over the years.
But not everything has disappeared, and as a bonus, BBC Sessions also includes some of Hendrix's most memorable appearances on BBC TV. One is a version of "Manic Depression" played completely live on Late Night Line-Up, an arts discussion programme which had little, if anything, to do with high-voltage rock'n'roll.
"It was recorded in Studio B," recalls the show's producer Michael Appleton, "which was basically a studio that was built for the continuity announcers to sit in and say their links between programmes. It was basically made for one person and a camera and a vase of flowers. When Jimi came in, we did the session and it filtered in from Floor 4 all the way through to the ground floor, and there were complaints about the sound in the studio directly below us."

Jimi with Lulu
Hendrix's appearance on The Lulu Show caused even more havoc, only this time intentionally so. Lulu, having seen Jimi on her rival Dusty Springfield's show, had invited the Experience to appear on her show, but wanted to play safe by having the band simply trot out "Hey Joe." Hendrix had other ideas and as soon as she had announced the band he took off on a long, free-form "introduction" that was nothing like "Hey Joe," or anything else for that matter.
The show was being broadcast absolutely live and the producer and floor manager were growing increasingly agitated when, eventually, the first verse of "Hey Joe" emerged from the melee and the song settled into recognisable shape. Hendrix was in peak form, even tuning up his bottom E string on one of the verse turnarounds and giving Mitchell a wink of cheerful disbelief at his own audacity.

Then he suddenly abandoned the song altogether and announced that the band were instead going to play a tribute to Cream, who had recently decided to split up. The Experience launched into an unscripted instrumental version of "Sunshine Of Your Love" while behind the scenes pandemonium broke out, as the production team saw their carefully-planned and timed-to-the-second schedule spiraling out of control. The last thing you can hear on "Sunshine Of Your Love" is Hendrix calling out "We're being put off the air..." the perfect end to one of the most fondly-remembered live television appearances in the history of rock'n'roll.

Jimi Hendrix was a musician who changed the face of rock'n'roll, but he was also a personality who left his mark wherever he went. As well as offering many glorious insights into his music, The Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions, more than any other Hendrix collection, gives you a sense of the man and his group as they really were during that first, heady flush of success, breaking new ground on a daily basis and enjoying every minute of it.  [written by David Sinclair. 1998]
This set was compiled from the true mono BBC masters and not the poor fake stereo tape dubs used for "Radio 1" and "
BBC Sessions". The songs have been edited together to flow straight through like a radio broadcast or session tape. The extra session material included on "BBC Sessions" has been excluded, however, this bootleg is more complete than "Radio One". This set was designed for audiophiles, but even the casual listener will notice an improvement over the official releases. There was no compression or noise reduction added in the remastering process, however my source for this bootleg was presented in MP3 format (320kps), and so there is some compression. If anyone has a FLAC copy of this bootleg I'd love to hear from you. Full album artwork and associated photos are included (with choice photos of John Peel taken from his Auto-Biography entitled 'John Peel: Margrave Of The Marshes', which by the way is an excellent read). Some alternative covers for this release are shown below.
Track Listing
01. Interview 1
02. Hey Joe
03. Stone Free
04. Love Or Confusion
05. Foxy Lady
06. Purple Haze
07. Killing Floor
08. Fire
09. Interview 2
10. The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
11. Little Miss Lover
12. Drivin' South (Version 1)
13. Catfish Blues
14. Hound Dog
15. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
16. Hoochie Coochie Man
17. Drivin' South (Version 2)
18. Radio One Theme
19. Spanish Castle Magic
20. Wait Until Tomorrow
21. Day Tripper
22. Hear My Train A Comin'

Jimi Hendrix Experience:
Jimi Hendrix, Guitar, Vocals
Noel Redding - Bass, Backing Vocals
Mitch Mitchell - Drums, Backing Vocals

Tracks 1-5: February 13, 1967
Tracks 6-8: March 28, 1967
Tracks 9-14: October 6, 1967
Tracks 15-17: October 17, 1967
Tracks 18-22: December 15, 1967
Jim Hendrix At The BEEB Link (175Mb) New Link 25/02/2024

Monday, December 24, 2018

W.O.C.K on Vinyl: Cheap Trick - Christmas, Christmas (2017)

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.
Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers Cheap Trick rocked in the Yuletide season with the release of their first holiday-themed album, Christmas Christmas, released October 20, 2017 on Big Machine Records. Arriving mere months after their critically acclaimed eighteenth studio album, 'We're All Alright!', Cheap Trick co-produced the holiday collection alongside their longtime collaborator, Grammy Award winner Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Fastball). In addition to three-new original tunes, the album features the band's take on the standard, "Silent Night," along with such yuletide classics as the Kinks' "Father Christmas," Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run," the Eagles' "Please Come Home For Christmas," Harry Nilsson's "Remember (Christmas)" and the Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight), among others.

This isn't the first time Cheap Trick has spread holiday cheer. In 1996, the band released a holiday-themed fan club EP Gift featuring the songs "Come On Christmas" and "Christmas Christmas." In 2012, the band also and reworked their most famous song, "I Want You To Want Me," as "I Want You For Christmas" to commemorate the 25th anniversary of A Very Special Christmas album franchise, complete with a bizarre marionette-themed music video.

Asked about the band's creative drive, Petersson said: "It just seems very natural for us - I can't really explain it. People will ask for advice and I just don't have any. We love recording and writing together, and we always search for that perfect record you can never achieve, so I guess that might be one of those things that keeps us going. There's always room for improvement and change." 

Combining a love for British guitar pop songcraft with crunching power chords and a flair for the absurd, Cheap Trick provided the necessary links between '60s pop, heavy metal, and punk. Led by guitarist Rick Nielsen, the band's early albums were filled with highly melodic, well-written songs that drew equally from the crafted pop of the Beatles, the sonic assault of the Who, and the tongue-in-cheek musical eclecticism and humor of the Move. Their sound provided a blueprint for both power pop and arena rock; it also had a surprisingly long-lived effect on both alternative and heavy metal bands of the '80s and '90s, who also relied on the combination of loud riffs and catchy melodies.

So once again in December, the C in WOCK is for Christmas with a little bit of Cheap TricK thrown in for good measure, making this another well deserved candidate for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post. Ripped to MP3 (320kps) and including artwork, this post should fit nicely into your Christmas stocking this year. Merry Christmas everyone and have a Safe & Happy New Year.
01.  Merry Christmas Darlings (3:45)
02.  I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (3:35)
03.  I Wish It Was Christmas Today (3:13)
04.  Merry Xmas Everybody (3:17)
05.  Please Come Home For Christmas (3:29)
06.  Remember Christmas (3:00)
07.  Run Rudolph Run (3:58)
08.  Father Christmas (3:55)
09.  Silent Night (3:56)
10.  Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) (2:06)
11.  Our Father Of Life (3:16)
12.  Christmas Christmas (2:16)
Robin Zander - lead vocals, guitar
Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, background vocals
Tom Petersson - bass, background vocals
Daxx Nielsen - drums

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bruce Springsteen - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon (1975) Bootleg

(U.S 1964 - Present)
In 1975, Bruce Springsteen became one of the decade’s great success stories, but he remained plagued by self-doubt. While that year’s Born to Run is often perceived as his masterwork—the aural equivalent of the “rock and roll future” ad copy that’d been plastered above his face to boost sales of his previous two LPs—Springsteen was convinced upon completion that he’d produced a failure. The solution, he thought, was to shelve Born to Run and release a live album instead. His perfectionist tendencies in the studio and the high-pressure stakes of making a hit record amplified Bruce’s worst fear: that he, an artist steadily building his name on supposed authenticity, was in danger of being reduced to a product. But on stage, he was in control. From an early point in his career, Springsteen knew that nobody (no label, no management, no pull quote) could sell his music like he could.

Ironically, it would be decades before the first full-length Springsteen show was released as an album. That show would be his November 1975 performance at London’s Hammersmith Odeon theater—issued as a film accompaniment to 2005’s Born to Run reissue, a stand-alone 2CD set in 2006, and a vinyl box for  Record Store Day. Among the most celebrated nights in Springsteen’s career, Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 captures the potent combination of determination, ambition, and vulnerability that makes Bruce’s early years so fascinating. Taking place three months after the release of Born to Run and several weeks after he graced the cover of both Time and Newsweek, this show would be his first outside the U.S. Same goes for the E Street Band, now solidified into a sturdy six-man rock group, after stints from jazz musicians and a violinist. “Finally,” proclaimed posters splattered around the city (which Springsteen allegedly tore down in a fit of nervous rage before the show), “London is ready for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.”

While many of Springsteen’s 24 recorded songs at this point were precisely about breaking out of your hometown, proving yourself to the world, and never looking back, his Hammersmith performance feels gloriously unrehearsed. At the 3,500-seat venue, Springsteen effectively separated himself from the crowd—turning his back to them, pulling his thick wool cap over his eyes, and literally crawling into a hole during the breakdown in “Spirit in the Night.” When he tries to make conversation, his storied ability of connecting to an audience is not on display: “So, how’s things going over here in England and stuff, eh? Alright?” he asks, before doubling over in laughter: “I never been here before.”

Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band
His unrefined energy carries the show. It took Springsteen six months to record “Born to Run,” but it takes him just four minutes to blast through it, a mere six songs into the set. The band proceeds with a shaky, sloppy spirit, landing miles away from the arena workhorse the song would evolve into. More practiced tunes like “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City” are amplified and energized. When the songs reach their climaxes, Springsteen backs off the mic and lets his band overpower him, with massive waves of catharsis from Stevie Van Zandt’s lead guitar and Clarence Clemons’ saxophone.

On Stage at the Hammersmith Odeon
As a composer and bandleader, Springsteen began refitting his catalog to carry the load of increased expectations. “The E Street Shuffle” is slowed down to lament the innocence of bygone days, while a verse about a dead-end relationship with a waitress in “Sandy” is replaced with him whispering how “the angels have lost their desire for us.” From Roy Bittan’s austere piano introduction in “Thunder Road” to a proggy extension of “Kitty’s Back” that spans an entire side of vinyl, Springsteen’s catalogue feels big and dynamic enough to take on the world. As the show goes on, you can almost hear Springsteen realizing it.

While Bruce and his band were ready for London, the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual yet. A Cream review of the show read disappointingly, with Simon Frith describing the E Street Band as being “pretty crummy in its technical range and subtlety.” He even took issue with Springsteen’s physical presence: “I mean, he’s so bloody small!,” he seethed, “This is the future of rock’n’roll??” Writing for Sounds, Vivien Goldman was sympathetic but skeptical: “There was an immense feeling of strain about this show, following a press and publicity campaign of unparalleled intensity.” An NME writer, meanwhile, concluded his review assuredly: “Bob Dylan can relax.” The audience seemed similarly impassive, occasionally roaring with excitement (especially for the roots-rock covers in “Detroit Medley”), but more often clapping in awkward patches, filling the silence with heckles like, “Oi, turn the guitars up!”

Springsteen took it all to heart. After all, this is an artist who selected his rock critic manager after reading his mixed review of The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, calling out its poor production. Once Springsteen returned to the states, his setlists started including a cover of the Animals’ “It’s My Life,” a gnarly enactment of an artist taking control over his narrative. Bruce would evolve accordingly, turning the guitars up and sonically tearing down his label’s press posters with 1978’s righteous, unadorned Darkness on the Edge of Town. But for his desperate stand at the Hammersmith Odeon, Springsteen stood as far from home as he’d ever been, and—backed by a band swiftly ascending to the height of their powers—defined what he’d do for the rest of his career. For those two hours, his myth and his music were inseparable. [extract from]
Clemons & Springsteen
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my classic Ruthless Thymes bootleg, a single album release featuring 7 of the 16 tracks played at the Hammersmith Odeon concert on November 18th, 1975.  Because there is no song separation (typical of these 'Swingin' Pig' type bootlegs), I have chosen to provide the rips as two files (Side1 and Side2) to retain the continuity of the concert.  Although the sound quality is OK it starts off a bit shaky, probably because the recorder was still getting their sound levels right. And so, this is definitely an audience recording and not soundboard quality. Front cover artwork along with some select concert photos are included.
A1 10th Avenue Freeze-Out
A2 Spirit In The Night
A3 Lost In The Flood
A4 She's The One
B1 Born To Run
B2 E Street Shuffle
B3 Saint In The City
The E Street Band:
Bruce Springsteen - Guitar, Vocals
Roy Bittan - Piano, Vocals
Clarence Clemons - Saxophone, Percussion
Danny Federich - Keyboards
Garry Tallent - Bass Guitar
Steve Van Zandt - Guitar, Vocals
Max Weinberg - Drums
Bruce Springsteen Live Link (112Mb) New Link 17/12/2023

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Party Boys - Greatest Hits (Of Other People) 1983

(Australian 1982–1992, 1999, 2011)
The Party Boys were an Australian music group from Sydney that was formed in 1982, they were a popular band during the 80’s era. A talented young bass guitarist, Paul Christie formed this band in association with iconic legend Kevin Borich.

Both of them were already engaged in diverse music projects at that time. Thus, “The Party Boys” and its journey officially started  between Paul and Kevin.

True to their name this band was really “The Party Boys” and they really knew how to perform and have a rocking good time.

In the path of progressing, many talented musicians like Kevin Borich, Ross Wilson, Richard Clapton, James Reyne, Marc Hunter and Australia’s one and only Angry Anderson occasionally joined this band and helped them to produce various successful music creations. After consistently performing for a period of ten years, the journey of this well-known music band ended in 1992, they did get back together in some form during 1999 and 2011 for some performances..

The first line-up of this band comprised of two experienced music professionals – Paul Christie and Kevin Borich. In 1982, when Paul Christie decided to leave his earlier music band (Mondo Rock), he decided to form a new group and performed cover songs at the local Australian pub circuit.

By showcasing commendable music performances, they easily grabbed the attention of the Aussie audience. They performed hundreds of gigs at various local pubs. One of their live albums, named as “Live at Several 21sts” (released in 1983), witnessed massive popularity and great recognition with Aussie radio listeners. This album reached number # nine position on the Australian national charts. 

In November 1983, the band members issued another superior music production – their second live album – “Greatest Hits (of Other People)” - but this time with Richard Clapton at the helm singing lead vocals. Just like its predecessors, this album too gained a great acclaim from the proficient music critics. Furthermore, “Greatest Hits (of Other People)” achieved number # 25 position on Australian charts.

Richard Clapton and Harvey James QUICKLY moved on to other projects which opened the door for Skyhooks vocalist Shirley Strachan to join the project on vocals and with Rose Tattoo's Rockin' Rob Riley replacing Harvey James. [extract from]
Richard Clapton - The Best Years Of Our Lives
(a brief account off  Clapton's time with the Party Boys)

In 1983, I was recruited into The Party Boys, a so-called 'supergroup', a really popular live act. From the outset, this band was, as the name implied, the hardest-living group of musos in Australia. Talk about the party that never ended.

Harvey and Clapton
My first night with them took place at Tharen's, a very upmarket restaurant in Darlinghurst. EMI Records was hosting the night; the band's first album had just gone gold. What could have been a great meal was left untouched while band and label raised hell. We then moved on to James Reyne's room at the Sebel Townhouse—I was filling in for James in the band—and proceeded to trash it, doing silly rock star stuff like pulling paintings and mirrors off the walls, tossing things around, just wreaking havoc.

At the first rehearsal, I arrived and patiently waited for the rest of the band—Kevin Borich, Harvey James, bassist Paul Christie and Angels' drummer Graham 'Buzz' Bidstrup— who eventually arrived several hours late and then proceeded to party on. Before I knew it we were on stage at the Manly Vale Hotel, drunk as skunks and playing like maniacs to a full house.
I wasn't too enamoured with the band's music, which was all famous covers, because PC, the band demagogue, would insist everything we played be transposed. Consequently, as James had warned me, I had to struggle with ludicrously inappropriate keys, which left me sounding either like Mickey Mouse or Satan. The tour ran for two long weeks, and although we each made fantastic money, to me it felt like artistic prostitution.

There are two very funny stories from this period, however, which should be recounted. During that first tour, Buzz Bidstrup (the Angels drummer) and I became good friends and maintained each other's sanity throughout all that pressure. One night Buzz and his wife Kaye invited me and Jimmy and Jane Barnes around for a small, intimate dinner party. Everyone was drinking fine and expensive wine, but unfortunately I have always been very allergic to the histamines in wine. Jimmy began ribbing me for not partaking but I stood my ground because I knew that pretty soon I would go red in the face and become very inebriated. Nevertheless, much to my chagrin, I allowed myself to be talked into having a few glasses of wine. Just as the wine was taking effect, I realised that-it was unusually strong and immediately regretted drinking some. To make matters worse, Jimmy insisted we get stuck into the vodka.

Jimmy then produced a home video camera he had hidden away and methodically began setting it up on a tripod in front of me.
'Whaddya doin', Jimmy?' I asked, my brain turning to jelly.
Jimmy said nothing, then suddenly joined me on the lounge and introduced The Jimmy Barnes Tonight Show. My mouth was dry, and I could hardly speak. I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep.
Jimmy began doing takes of his Tonight Show, with me as his special guest, much to the hilarity of everyone else. Jimmy is actually fantastic at this stuff, and could very easily make a successful talk show host if he ever chooses that fork in the road. (He did have his own TV show in the new millennium.)
However, by this stage I was catatonic and we sat there doing take after take, with Jimmy intro'ing his show and me pissed out of my brain. The only words I could utter were: 'Whaaaaat are ya doin?', 'Why?', or 'Switch that fuckin' thing off, for Christsake.' I guess you had to be there but it sure was funny at the time.

A certain guitarist came out on my next outing with The Party Boys. The guitarist was renowned for leaping off a PA stack at the Newcastle Workers Club, and during the ensuing solo, exposing himself to the audience. His nickname was The Beast.

I'd planned a return trip to Berlin straight after the tour. The tour ended in the rural NSW town of Taree; we all woke up quite late in a seedy motel. I had an impressive camera, complete with an expensive motor drive. I took about a dozen shots of the band, then forgot all about it.
I arrived in Berlin some weeks later. I'd completely forgotten the photo shoot in Taree. Volker and I went out soon after my arrival, and I finished the roll of film by shooting the old Gestapo HQ, the Reichstag and other prominent Nazi buildings that I thought might be demolished. I was very serious about the shots, taking light readings and being careful with my exposures.

I left the film with a laboratory close by the apartment where we were living. A young, pretty Berlin girl was working behind the counter and insisted on going through every shot with me to ensure that I was satisfied with the processing. She worked her way backwards through the shots of Berlin, diligently asking for my approval of the colours and exposures.
Then she burst out laughing, and asked me who this was in the first dozen frames.
'Oh,' I said nonchalantly, flashing back to Taree, 'you see, I'm a rock musician from Australia, and this is a band I play with called The Party Boys.'
'Ach ja!' she said, then proceeded to giggle.

In the band shots, The Beast was progressively rolling up his short shorts to reveal his penis in the last half dozen shots. Here I was, 20,000 kilometres away, trying to explain (in German) about this amusing character, and how this wasn't common behaviour for Australian men. [extract from Richard Clapton - The Best Years Of Our Lives, Allen & Unwin Books, 2014. p220 - 224]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my OZ label vinyl (EMI) and includes full album artwork and label scans. Regrettably my copy did not come with an inner sleeve which I have seen on ebay (see right).
This is an interesting album as the 'hits' come from a diverse range of artists ranging from Bob Dylan, to Del Shannon, to Jimi Hendrix and not only features Clapton on lead vocals, but also showcases Borich, Christie and James taking the lead on a few tracks.
If you like this album and you're ready for a party, then you'll find their other 4 albums elsewhere on the blog - enjoy.

.Track Listing
01.  I’m A Rocker
02.  I Fought The Law
03.  Highway Chile
04.  Runaway
05.  Sweet Emotion
06.  Sugar Shack
07.  Stealer
08.  Street Fighting Man
09.  Mercury Blues
10.  Rainy Day Woman No’s 12 & 35

The Party Boys were:
Graham Buzz Bidstrup - Drums, Bass,
Kevin Borich - Guitar, Vocals
Paul Christie - Bass, Drums, Harmonica, Vocals
Harvey James - Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Richard Clapton - Lead Vocals
with Don Raffaele - Saxophone

The Party Boys FLAC Link (255Mb)
New Link 03/01/2024


Friday, December 7, 2018

Various Artists - Rock Explosion (1973) MAJESTIC

(Various Artists - 1973)
It all began with 25 Great American Country & Folk Artists Singing their Original Hits. Or did it…

To quote Majestic/K-Tel founder Philip Kives – who died 27 April 2016: 'Never has an album offered so much for so little. Here, on one record is a veritable treasure of “25” Country and Folk Hits representing a stellar group of artists ranging from the traditional era to modern times.'

Festival and W & G were offering compilations as early as the late 1950's. However, it was probably Philip Kives under the Majestic brand that began the As Advertised on TV phenomenon. By the late 1970's there was much competition for K-Tel, and by the late 1980's the majors had more or less taken control of the Original Hits / Original Stars market. The companies that tried to 'pass off' their albums of 'sound a likes' by anonymous session artist felt the full force of the majors and were soon shut down.
While K-Tel still offers a huge range of music, it is mostly re-recordings and covers.

I think the Majestic record label only used to put out one LP per year until about 1969, then we started seeing two or three in the same year. Super Bad, Rock Explosion and one other during 1973.

You'd think that by cutting back from 24 to 20 tracks, there'd be plenty of room for FULL versions of songs, but K-Tel and Majestic still edited many of the songs they included on their releases, and this volume is no different. One massacred recording on this MAJESTIC release is Madder Lake's "12 lb Toothbrush". Every time I hear the edited version on this Rock Explosion release, I cringe and squirm. It's just not on. So I've decided to include the full single version of this classic track, so you have the option of substituting it when listening to this great compilation.

Sherbet (Cassandra)
Sherbet was formed in Sydney in April 1969 by Dennis Laughlin on vocals, Doug Rea on bass guitar, Sammy See on organ, guitar and vocals, Clive Shakespeare on lead guitar and vocals and Danny Taylor on drums. Initially they were a soul band playing Motown covers and rock-based material. Alan Sandow replaced Taylor on drums by July. Sherbet signed to the Infinity Records label – a subsidiary of Festival Records. 
By March 1970, Daryl Braithwaite had joined, initially sharing lead vocals with Laughlin who left the band a few months later. Braithwaite's former band mate Bruce Worrall took over from Rea on bass guitar.

Sherbet's first chart hits on the Go-Set National Top 40 were covers of Blue Mink's "Can You Feel It Baby?" (September 1971), Delaney and Bonnie's "Free the People" (February 1972) and Ted Mulry's "You're All Woman" (September 1972).
In November of 1973 they released their second album 'On With The Show', which featured the track "Cassandra" and was issued as a single in in September. Also in 1973, they were dubbed Best Australian Group at the TV Week King Of Pop Awards, an honour which was bestowed on them each year thereafter during the 70's.
Albert Hammond (Free Electric Band)
Albert Hammond is a Gibraltarian singer, songwriter, and record producer. A prolific songwriter, he collaborated most notably with the songwriters Mike Hazlewood, The Hollies, Leo Sayer and Carole Bayer Sager.
He was also a solo singer in his own right. His biggest (and only Top 20) Billboard hit was "It Never Rains in Southern California", #5 US 1972. Other songs of his include "Down by the River", "The Free Electric Band", "I'm a Train", "When I'm Gone" and others. 
"The Free Electric Band" was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood and performed by Hammond as a solo venture. The song reached #19 on the UK Singles Chart and #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973.

Timmy Thomas (Why Can't We Live Together)
"Why Can't We Live Together" is a song by Timmy Thomas from the album Why Can't We Live Together. The song is notable for being recorded in mono; its sparse, stripped-down production, feature a Lowrey organ, bossa nova-style percussion from an early rhythm machine, and Thomas's passionate, soulful vocal.
Released as a single in late 1972, the song became a major hit in the U.S. during the early part of 1973, reaching the number one spot on the R&B chart, number three on the Billboard Pop Singles and eventually selling over two million copies. The song became his only hit single. It was also a hit in the UK as well, peaking at #12
Maureen McGovern (The Morning After)
"The Morning After" (also known as "The Song from The Poseidon Adventure") is a song written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn for the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure. It won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 45th Academy Awards in March 1973. After the film's release, it was recorded by Maureen McGovern and became a hit single for her following its release in May 1973. It was a number-one hit in the US for two weeks during August 1973, and became a Gold record.  The song is performed in the film by the character of Nonnie, played by Carol Lynley, but is actually sung by a vocal double, Renee Armand. The lyrics relate to the themes of the film, as a band of passengers survive the capsizing of the ship SS Poseidon and have to escape the sinking wreck.
Elton John (Rocket Man)
A true super-showman, Elton John has been called "the Liberace of Rock and Roll." Known almost as much for his outrageous stage costumes and sets as he is for his bluesy style on the piano, Elton John was the king of pop music in the mid-1970s, with such Number 1 hits as Philadelphia Freedom, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, and Don't Go Breaking My Heart. His stage performances remain hugely entertaining, and his talent as a pianist and his gift for melody have ensured him a place in the hearts of fans who enjoy his unique sound.

In 1969, Elton released his first hit single, Lady Samantha, from his debut album Empty Sky (he had started writing songs with lyricist Bernie Taupin at this time).

A truly impressive string of hit singles followed for several years, including "Rocket Man", "Honky Cat", "Crocodile Rock", "Daniel", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Bennie and the Jets", "Candle in the Wind", and, surprisingly, Lennon and McCartney's "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". 

"Rocket Man" captured the public imagination in rather the same way that Bowie's "Space Oddity" had done, and eclipsed "Your Song" as Elton's most successful British single. It soared to No. 2 (as did the album from which it came 'Honky Chateau'), only T Rex's 'Metal Guru' keeping it from the top spot. Surprisingly, it only reached No. 6 in America; perhaps the novelty of space flight was not quite as captivating there.

Mississippi (Early Morning)
Mississippi was an Australian band (1972-1975), which featured some big names in Australian rock music, Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and Kerryn Tolhurst. The band started as Alison Gros in Adelaide, South Australia in 1970 and moved to Melbourne in 1971 where they recorded as Allison Gros, Drummond. In 1972, they became Mississippi; eventually evolving into Little River Band (LRB) by 1975.
One of the group's important early appearances was their set at the 1973 Sunbury Rock Festival in January, where they were backed by a full orchestra. Their non-album single, "Early Morning" / "Sweet World" was released in July '73, and was co-written by Russ, Graham and Beeb. In October of the same year, they supported The Jackson Five on their Australian tour.

Charlie Rich (Behind Closed Doors)
"Behind Closed Doors" is a country song written by Kenny O'Dell. It was first recorded by Charlie Rich for his 1973 album Behind Closed Doors. The single was Rich's first number-one hit on the country charts, spent 20 weeks on this chart, and was also a crossover hit on the pop charts.
Released in 1973, country love songs didn't get much more suggestive than Charlie Rich's hit "Behind Closed Doors." But you'd never guess what first inspired Kenny O'Dell to write the song — it was infact the Watergate scandal.
“Behind Closed Doors” and “Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” also on the album, continued to be signature songs for Rich whenever he performed, until he passed away in 1995.

Barry Crocker (Suzie Darlin')
In the 70's Crocker (a lanky singer, actor and variety entertainer from Geelong in Victoria) famously appeared as Barry McKenzie, the gormless Aussie youth abroad, in two films based on the Private Eye comic strip written by Barry Humphreys. He is well rekowned for singing the original recording of the theme song for the "Aussie" soap opera 'Neighbours'.
In May 1973, he released the album "Music Makes My Day", featuring an updated version of American Rockabilly singer Robin Luke's "Susie Darlin'" on the Festival Records label. The recording featured Olivia Newton-John and Pat Carroll on backup vocals and enjoyed chart success, reaching Number 25 in Sydney, Number 7 in Melbourne, Number 3 in Brisbane and Adelaide.
Jim Stafford (Swamp Witch)
Best known for his humorous country novelty songs of the mid-'70s, multi-instrumentalist Jim Stafford also enjoyed a lengthy career as a television personality and live entertainer. He started playing in local bands as a teenager, including one, the Legends, that included future country-rock legend Gram Parsons, as well as Kent LaVoie, who would later become singer/songwriter Lobo. 

Some years later, Stafford was performing in Clearwater, Florida, when he ran into Lobo and asked if he would consider recording his original "The Swamp Witch." Lobo suggested that Stafford record it himself, and helped him land a contract with MGM; he would later produce many of Stafford's singles as well. 
Stafford's first chart hit was "Swamp Witch" (produced by Lobo), which cracked the U.S. Top 40 in July 1973. "Swamp Witch" was a mythological tale of the uneasy relationship between a town and its local witch. 
His sense of humor was also showcased on the follow-up hit "My Girl Bill" which was released in 1975.
Johnny Chester (The World's Greatest Mum)
"Johnny" Chester is an Australian singer-songwriter, who started his career in 1959 at the age of seventeen when he began running a dance in the St Cecilia's Church Hall in Melbourne's suburban West Preston and singing rock'n'roll. In 1969, he changed to country music. He has toured nationally with The Beatles, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette and Charley Pride. During his career he has led various groups including Johnny Chester and The Chessmen, Johnny Chester and Jigsaw, Johnny Chester and Hotspur. With Jigsaw he had five top 30 hit singles, "Gwen (Congratulations)" (1971), "Shame and Scandal", "Midnight Bus" (both 1972), "World's Greatest Mum" (Reaching No. 9 on the Australian Charts, 1973) and "She's My Kind of Woman" (1974).

Madder Lake (12lb Toothbrush)
The Melbourne band Madder Lake feratured Mick Fettes on vocals, Jack Kreemers on drums, Brendan Mason on guitar, Kerry McKenna on bass and John McKinnon on keyboards. With Melbourne based Michael Gudinski looking out for new acts to present to the public in this developing music genre, and Madder Lake looking to establish themselves wider than pubs, the match was made and by 1973 following them being they were the opening act at the inaugural 1972 Sunbury Pop Festival, they became the headline act!

In February of that year they released their first single with the unlikely title of "Goodbye Lollypop", which struck a chord in the groups growing band of followers and it went to number 15 in Melbourne and cracked the top 40 Australian singles chart. 

In April '73 Mushroom released their classic debut album, Stillpoint. This album was recorded at TCS Studios in January and March and produced by John French. It was another breakthrough success for the band and provided Mushroom with their first gold record. It reached #11 nationally and #2 in Melbourne, where they had become one of the top live draws. The album is beautifully framed by Drak's wonderful cover illustration, which complemented the music in much the same way as Roger Dean's famous covers for Yes. The distinctive Madder Lake logo, designed by Ian McCausland, completed the package.
In August another track from Stillpoint was released, and it showed the group had lost non of their penchant for evocative names, being "12 lb Toothbrush", which fast became one of the groups most recogniseable tracks. "12lb Toothbrush" also featured on Mushroom's live Sunbury 73' triple album and their raw rendition of the hit single demonstrated just how good they were as a live act. Note that the rendition included on this compilation was an 'edited version' of their single release and does no justice to the original release. As such, I am including the original 'single' for your reference (and potential swap)
Jud Strunk (Daisy A Day)
A native of New York, Strunk moved to Farmington, Maine in 1960 and started out singing at a local hotel. He then began a solo act on the U.S. Armed Forces circuit, appeared in the Broadway musical Beautiful Dreamer, and during the early '70s was a semi-regular on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Strunk also appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and did his signature song "Daisy A Day" which went to #14 in Billboard in early '73. 

Although much of Strunk's material was humorous, his most popular song was not. "Daisy A Day" which Strunk wrote and recorded in 1973, is a gentle, sentimental ballad describing the relationship between a boy and girl who ultimately grow old together. For every day of their lives, he gives her a daisy as a sign of their love. In the last verse, she has died, but her widower husband continues to make daily visits to her grave. The song made the Billboard Top 20 on both the country and pop music charts.
After leaving show business, he started a business restoring antique airplanes. In 1981, he died in a plane crash while test-flying one of the planes he was restoring.
On the Apollo 17 lunar mission, a tape copy of his hit single "Daisy A Day" was brought along by the astronauts, making it the first recorded song ever played on the moon.
Eric Weiss (Duelling Banjos)
Eric Weissberg (born August 16, 1939) is an American singer, banjo player and multi-instrumentalist, best known for playing solo in "Dueling Banjos," featured as the theme of the film Deliverance (1972) and released as a single that reached number 2 in the United States and Canada in 1973.
Weissberg released a related album, called Dueling Banjos: From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 'Deliverance' (1973), which also became a hit. The album was made up mostly of tracks which Weissberg had recorded on New Dimensions in Banjo and Bluegrass (1963), with Marshall Brickman and Clarence White.
Widely acclaimed as a landmark picture, the film is noted for a music scene near the beginning, with one of the city men playing "Dueling Banjos" on guitar with a banjo-strumming country boy, and for its visceral and notorious male rape scene.

Abigail (Je T'Aime)
Abigail Rogan (born 23 July 1946, in London) Known simply as Abigail, she became best known to Australians as a sex symbol, starting with the television soap opera Number 96 in the early 1970s. Despite common belief, she did not appear nude in the series. In fact it was fellow actor Vivienne Garrett who played Rose Godulfus from the same series who was the first to appear topless on Australian Television. In 1973, after leaving Number 96, she published her autobiography, Call Me Abigail which sold 150,000 copies in its first two weeks of sale. Also in 1973, Abigail made an attempt at a popular music career and scored a hit with a cover of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... moi non plus", which reached the top 10 in Australia. 
Tony Marshall (Pretty Maid)
In 1973 in Australia one of the biggest hits of the year was "Pretty Maid" by Tony Marshall. Tony's song was first a hit in 1971 in Germany (his homeland) where it was called "Schöne Maid". The original German version had tweeting birds at the start but the musical arrangement was basically the same. 

Pete Bellotte who wrote the English lyrics for "Pretty Maid" has been churning out hits for many years. Pete was a British lyricist and producer, most notable for his collaborations with Giorgio Moroder. His hits include "Hot Stuff", "I Feel Love", "Love To Love You Baby" and "Son Of My Father". 

Tony Marshall was born February 3, 1938 in Baden-Baden as Herbert Anton Bloeth. He changed his name to Herbert Anton Hilger before changing for a third time to Tony Marshall. He settled on the name Tony Marshall in about 1965 when he started training as an opera singer at Karlsruher College of Music. 

Before his opera career took off Tony made the German top 40 with his first single "Schöne Maid". Since then he has had many hits in Germany but is considered a one-hit-wonder in Oz.
Seals And Croft (Summer Breeze)
One of the signature soft-rock groups of the early Seventies, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were childhood buddies from Texas who moved to California and had a huge hit with this sublimely mellow, CSN&Y-style ode to lazy, June-time domesticity. "Summer Breeze" rolled through the jasmine of America's mind in 1972, with an innocent melody played on a toy piano. “Summer Breeze,” became a No. 1 hit in 1972 selling over one million copies. The lyrics are about a guy who is happy with his life, happy that it's summer, and happy with his wife and his home. 
In addition to being legendary soft rock singers, Seals and Crofts were both accomplished instrumentalists playing in their group with Seals on guitar, saxophone and violin, and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. When they performed during their heyday, their instrumental skills were so impressive that their music could stand alone even without using vocals.
Barry White (I'm Gonna Love You)
When I first heard Barry speak on a TV interview in the 1970s the TV actually shook as his voice was so low. The guy had the voice that every man would have loved to have as we all knew the ladies would love it. Add to that he could write and produce and sing and perform. Gosh this man was a love god.
Barry White was a five time Grammy award winner and Barry Eugene White was born in 1944 and died in 2003 from renal failure, plus other complications because of his weight.

Barry had been responsible in the 70s music for the Love Unlimited Orchestra who had a big hit with It My Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring) and Loves Theme, he also wrote the huge hit "Walking In The Rain, With The One I Love", later Barry went solo and became the "The Walrus of Love" to his fans.
But as a solo performer Barry had everything. Barry has his first UK single with the 1973 No.23 hit called "I’m Gonna Give You Just A Little More Love Baby" which had the Ghostbuster Ray Park Jnr on piano. 
Dr Hook And The Medicine Show (Cover Of The Rolling Stone)
An American group, Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show assembled over a gradual period in late '60s around a nucleus of Locorriere and Southerners Sawyer, George Cummings and Francis. Sawyer, an eye-patched, ex-soul singer from Chicksaw, Alabama, and Locorriere, a New Jersey folkie, were vocalist-leaders of the group which played bars and dives around New Jersey area until their "discovery" by  cartoonist / songwriter Shel Silverstein.

Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show were featured on the cover of the March 29 edition of Rolling Stone magazine in 1973, thus gaining a massive plug for their CBS single at the time, "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone", which entered the US Top 10 in its first week. The song was penned by Shel Silverstein, the Playboy writer and cartoonist, who also wrote most of Dr Hook's earlier material.
Jamie Redfern (Venus)
Jamie Redfern is a professional Australian entertainer and was the founding team member of Young Talent Time, which was one of the most successful phenomenon's in the history of Australian television.

Jamie was voted Australia's "King of Pop" and best male vocalist, and was on numerous occasions called the best young singer and performer in the world by such legendary entertainment icons as Elvis Presley, Sammy Davis Junior and Liberace. 

Johnny Young arranged to have Redfern signed with Festival Records, which issued his debut single in 1971. It was a cover version of "The Little White Cloud", which peaked in the Go-Set National Top 60.
In 1973, he released the single "Venus', a cover version of Frankie Avalon's song, and peaked at No. 8.on the Go-Set charts. 
John Francis (Play Mumma, Sing Me A Song)
John J. Francis (b. 1945) is an American-born singer-songwriter and producer who lived in Newcastle, NSW from childhood.

In the 60's he was with Newcastle bands The Sorrows (1963-1965), The John Francis Collexion (c.1966-1967) and Magic (1969-1970), each of which released at least one single. 

After releasing four solo albums, some singles and an E.P through Warner 1972-1974 John J. Francis quit the music business permanently. He was heard for several years as a presenter on the midnight-to-dawn shift in the early days of 2JJ, ABC Radio's youth station launched in Sydney in 1975.

John J. Francis is remembered for "Simple Ben", that was heard on the soundtrack to Albie Falzon’s surf film 'Morning Of The Earth- (1972), and the highly successful single "Play Mumma, Sing Me A Song" released in 1973, reaching #11 in a Australian National charts, both tracks coming from John's second album, 'Breaks, Works & Thoughts' - the most nominated album at the 1973 Australasian Radio Awards (the precursor to today's ARIA Awards) winning the coveted Best Song/Composer of the Year Award for "Play Mumma, Sing Me a Song". 
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320 kps) ripped from my 'well played and much loved' vinyl and includes full artwork and label scans (for both LP and featured 45's).
As mentioned previously I have also included a rip of the original single release of Madder Lake's "12 lb Toothbrush" for your pleasure and comparison.
A nice collection of early 70 hits, I must say - simply majestic !

Track Listing
01 - Casandra (Sherbet)
02 - Free Electric Band (Albert Hammond)
03 - Why Can't We Live Together (Timmy Thomas)
04 - The Morning After (Maureen McGovern)
05 - Rocket Man (Elton John)
06 - Early Morning (Mississippi)
07 - Behind Closed Doors (Charlie Rich)
08 - Suzie Darlin' (Barry Crocker)
09 - Swamp Witch (Jim Stafford)
10 - The World's Greatest Mum (Johnny Chester)
11 - 12lb Toothbrush (Madder Lake)
12 - Daisy A Day (Jud Strunk)
13 - Duelling Banjos (Eric Weiss)
14 - Je T'Aime (Abigail)
15 - Pretty Maid (Tony Marshall)
16 - Summer Breeze (Seals And Croft)
17 - I'm Gonna Love You (Barry White)
18 - Cover Of The Rolling Stone (Dr Hook And The Medicine Show)
19 - Venus (Jamie Redfern)
20 - Play Mumma, Sing Me A Song (John Francis)

Rock Explosion FLACs Link (351Mb)
.New Link 05/01/2024