Saturday, February 9, 2019

Various Artists - TRAX British Made (1989) with Bonus Track

(Various Artists 60-70's)
This is one in a series of compilation albums released by TRAX records (a subsidiary of EMI), namely British Made, Australian Made and American Made.  These compilations pay tribute to some of their most popular native artists and bands, showcasing some of the greatest songs every released during the 60's and 70's. The following post pays tribute some of the most popular and successful artists/bands from the U.K.
While looking at the 'Hall of Fame' listing on the back cover of this album, it was obvious that one name was missing, and so I have filled the gap by including Black Sabbath's mega hit "Paranoid" as a bonus track.
Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
When British heavy metal rockers Deep Purple arrived at the Montreux Casino, Switzerland, they were planning to record their album, Machine Head, in its concert area. On the eve of the recording session, Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention were performing at the venue, where a concertgoer - later dubbed "some stupid" in "Smoke On The Water" - let off a flare gun, igniting a fire that burnt the casino to the ground.
The fire started small, but after part of the ceiling collapsed, Zappa ordered the audience out of the hall, He later recalled in an interview, "The auditorium filled with smoke and shortly after, the band had to escape through the backstage tunnel, [and] the heating system exploded blowing several people through the window. Though no one was killed, Deep Purple were forced to find alternate recording space with the help of Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival and one of that the heroes of that night, who pulled several kids from the fire, which destroyed Zappa's equipment and put the venue out of commission until 1975.
Deep Purple's iconic track from their album Machine Head "Smoke On The Water," which chronicles the events of that night, "came to me in a dream one or two mornings after the fire," bassist Roger Glover once said. Meanwhile, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore did justice to the drama of the event by adorning the lyric with a menacing four-note blues lick that is now probably the most famous riff in hard rock history [by Sara Farr. Date December 4, 1971 Country Switzerland]

Free - "All Right Now"
Pure and unadulterated, Free emerged as keepers of the flickering flame jf the British blues in a quartet of beautiful balance. Paul Rodgers's Huskily yearning vocals, clothes courtesy of the small ads in Melody Maker; Paul Kossoff stretching his timeless guitar licks with his Les Paul's sustain; teenage Andy Fraser's mile-wide bass; rock-steady Simon Kirke 4/4'ing the whole together on drums. Their manifesto was nowhere better proclaimed than on their 1970 hit "All Right Now".
Alexis Korner had suggested that they call themselves Free after his own blues trio Free At Last, and seemingly erupting out of nowhere, they found themselves up amongst the headline acts at the Isle of Wight Festival of 1970. Yet they were never able to build completely on that success, not least through trying to keep Paul Kossoffs drug addiction under control. 1973's 'Wishing Well', Free's final single, was a heartfelt plea from Rodgers to Kossoff - he failed to heed the song's message, and was dead within three years.

Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
Named after an eighteenth century agriculturalist, Jethro Tull recorded a one-off single that unfortunately appeared under the name "Jethro Toe" before building a reputation on the club and university circuit in the U.K. Incorporating rock, blues, folk, and jazz elements, their excellent 1968 debut album 'This Was' reached the UK Top 10. Their second set, Stand Up, released on August 1,1969, was Jethro Tull's only British chart-topper The contagious "Living In The Past" was a Transatlantic hit.
Firmly installed at the forefront of the burgeoning progressive rock scene, Tull were the first rock band of note to feature the flute as lead instrument. Yet in direct ontrast to the introverted appearance that instrument might suggest, they possessed a strong visual image thanks to the onstage antics of their leaser,singer, chief songwriter, and flautist lan Anderson, whose persona can best be described as that of a hopping, bug-eyed tramp. The cover of their 1971 release Aqualung partially conveyed that. As the 70s progressed, the Tull became more popular in America than at home, with "Thick As A Brick" (1972) and "A Passion Play" (1973) both topping the U.S. album charts.
An erratic, wilfully perverse band, Jethro Tull have also embraced folk rock, hard rock, and world music at various stages in their lengthy career, indeed, that refusal to be categorized led to an unlikely triumph in the late '80s, when their album 'Crest Of A Knave' saw off Metallica to win a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance [by David Wells]

Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
Formed in 1969 with the progressive agenda of making rock music which aspired away from dancing teenagers towards sedentary students, Supertramp eventually became a pop band - in all but image. Their combination of facelessness and chart success was the kind of thing only possible before the age of MTV.
Keyboardist Rick Davies and guitarist Roger Hodgson dominated the songwriting and singing, the latter's talent for quirky tunes giving him the upper tend as, with each album they released from 1974's Crime Of The Century, their fan-base and expectations of selling more next time grew. As the band's success had waxed with Crisis? What Crisis? (1975) and Even In J^e Quietest Moments (1977), the Britons relocated to me U.S. Breakfast in America (1979) was made in Los Angeles, every note soaked in FM radio sunshine. With the band themselves lacking in star personality, record cover imagery - spread across the foot-square canvas
of an LP sleeve plus press and billboard advertising -mattered a lot for them. The Breakfast in America sleeve's spoof Manhattan with cereal box skyscrapers and a diner waitress statue of Liberty was both clever and sunny. The music matched, with the singles "The Logical Song" (an infectious and dazzling exercise in rhyming words ending with "-al"), "Take the Long Way Home," "Goodbye Stranger," and "Breakfast In America" propelling the album to No. 1 in the U.S. charts on May 19,1979, where it resided cumulatively for six weeks. [by Mat Snow]

The Kinks - "Lola"
Given Ray Davies' later dominance, it's worth recalling that it was the Kink's guitarist Dave Davies, his frenetic younger brother, who gave the group's first singles their substantial mettle: he ripped up the speakers in his practice amp and hooked them with a couple of his Vox amps for the raw sound of 'You Really Got Me'. Dave and Ray fought constantly, like all good brotherly bands, but Ray's songwriting skills held sway. By 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion' and 'Waterloo Sunset' the Kinks had segued to the very model of an English band, with their neatly observed cameos of life in Blighty, always serious but blessed with a twinkling, crinkled smile.
From there on it was but a sprightly stroll towards some concept albums, success in America following 'Lola' ('Celluloid Heroes' was the Hollywood parallel of 'Waterloo') and obeisance from Paul Weller, Supergrass and Blur - whose single 'Country House' was an undisguised tribute to the Kinks' 1966 'House In The Country'.
"Playing gives a great sense of self-expression, the energy you create by playing. I  used to get mad,
and I suppose I'm sort of schizophrenic at heart as well." [quote by  Dave Davies]
Interesting fact with their 1970 hit single "Lola".  The BBC banned the track for a different reason. The original song recorded in stereo had the word "Coca-Cola" in the lyrics, but because of BBC Radio's policy against product placement, Ray Davies was forced to make a 6000-mile round-trip flight from New York to London and back on June 3, 1970, interrupting the band's American tour, to change those words to the generic "cherry cola" for the single release, which is included on various compilation albums as well.

David Essex - "Rock On"
Rock On is the debut album of U.K singer/songwriter David Essex, released in 1973. Its lead single and title track, "Rock On", is still Essex's best known song in the United States. David Essex wrote this "rocker" to play at the end of the 1973 movie "That'll Be The Day."
Born David Albert Cook, in London in 1947, "Essex" loved playing soccer as a kid...and even dreamed of becoming a pro player. In his teens, he discovered music...playing drums in a local band before becoming a singer.
For the next two years, he toured England with the band 'David Essex And The Mood Indigo' releasing seven more singles in his native UK, before 1970! It was then that Essex also started honing his acting skills, grabbing small parts in small movies...and notably, he won the lead role in the London stage version of "Godspell" in 1971. His involvement with "Godspell" led to him being cast in the movie "That'll Be The Day," along with Ringo Starr and Keith Moon!!
Essex's movie character was a working class, aspiring rocker in pre-Beatles England...
He asked producer David Puttnam if he could write the movie's ending song...and Puttnam said....sure.
"Rock On" addressed the restless nature of his film character...a rock artist-wannabe, going through tough times. The song was also a tribute to the early days of Rock 'N' Roll...making mention of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran!
Puttnam listened to the finished song, and decided not to use it for the film...saying that it was 'too weird"!   Not to be discouraged, David Essex eventually used "Rock On" to secure a recording deal with the CBS Records. "Rock On" would be his first single on the CBS label.
And so, FINALLY, everything came together for Essex as both a singer and actor!

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" is a song by British rock band Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, released as the lead single from the band's 1975 album The Best Years of Our Lives. It was written by Harley, and produced by Harley and Alan Parsons. In February 1975, the song reached the number-one spot on the UK chart and received a UK Silver certification. It spent nine weeks in the Top 50. The track marked Harley’s first Number 1 hit single, entered the Top 10 in 15 countries and has sold around 1.5 million copies to date.
“People keep asking me, did I know at the time how successful Make Me Smile would become?,” Harley told Official “I was 23 years old and wouldn't have been considering the long-term future.
“But we all knew, in number two studio at Abbey Road, after we'd re-mixed it, that something special might just be in the air.”
“Alan Parsons, my co-producer and engineer, did a fantastic job,” he continued. “Which is why the record sounds so fresh and bright on the radio to this day, a full 40 years on!"

The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
Chrissie Hynde moved to England in the early 70's, looking for the kind of magic the British invasion had promised to an alienated girl in Akron, Ohio. What she found was punk, and she immersed herself in it. When in 1978, she founded The Pretenders with three Hereford lads - guitarist James Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers - something - to use a phrase from this song - so special was born: a rock band with a punk attitude and pop smarts.
The title "Brass In Pocket" came from an English northern expression for having money about one's person, although the song is concerned with matters carnal rather than financial. In Hynde's lyric and vocals, she adopts a masculine predatory approach, announcing, "There's nobody else here, no one like me," although a shadow of vulnerability reveals itself in the way every chorus rises in an indignant insistence that she has to have some of her quarry's attention.
The song - which at one point Hynde told producer Chris Thomas would be released over her dead body - became the first UK No. 1 of the '80s on January 19, 1980 helped on its way to the top by a slinky back beat, a clean guitar sound, Hynde's throaty but velvety voice, and the frisson generated by nobody being able to tell in her litany of what she was going to use to get her man whether she was singing "Gonna use my arms" or "arse." [by Ignacio Julia]

Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
When Thunderclap Newman made UK No. 1 on July 5,1969, during the last summer of the '60s, their song "Something In The Air" almost seemed like a hymn to the Sixties' revolutionary spirit. By 2000, its composer, John "Speedy" Keen, had sanctioned the track's use in a way the idealistic young man who wrote it would have been horrified by back in 1969: as background music in a commercial for the ultimate corporate airline British Airways.
The trio who formed Thunderclap Newman -drummer/vocalist Keen, conservative-looking barrel house pianist Andy Newman, and a precocious 15-year-old guitarist named Jimmy McCulloch - were originally recruited by The Who's Pete Townshend for a movie soundtrack. That this ad hoc group was mismatched was illustrated by the fact that their one album Hollywood Dream (1969) contained some good songs which collectively never seemed to gel. Even on "Something In The Air," Keen's ethereal, floating melody
was interrupted by an incongruous Newman honky-tonk piano break. However, on this track at least it worked and Keen's plaintive, reedy voice forewarning that the revolution was imminent and intoning the rousing refrain "We have got to get it together - now!" was all over the airwaves upon the record's release.
Little did Keen and his colleagues know that the song was really one last act of defiance by their generation before their ideals died with the start of a new, more cynical decade. [by Sean Egan]

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
Joe Cocker's flailing arms, parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live, always gave the impression of a man who was out of control, an impression sometimes heightened by Cocker's lifestyle: it belied a deep, respectful passion for R'n'B, and Ray Charles in particular. After paying hard-earned dues around northern clubs, his rise to fame was swift: a UK Number One single with his cover of 'With A Little Help From My Friends' (the friends included Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood), and notable appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. The rambling, shambling Mad Dogs ft Englishmen tour of the US, organised by Leon Russell in 1970, was a saga of exhaustion (sixty gigs in three months) and self-destruction, and the strain nearly did for him. But Cocker was made of Sheffield steel, re-emerging to duet with Jennifer Warnes on 'Up Where We Belong' and jump-start his career.

Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
In the '60s, The Beatles had topped UK and U.S.single and album charts all at the same time but never technically with the same product, it took Rod Stewart to achieve what even the mighty Fabs hadn't. Still the frontman of The Faces but increasingly becoming better known for his solo albums, in 1971 Stewart recorded his LP masterpiece, 'Every Picture Tells A story'. As usual, it was made up of a highly unusual mixture of folk, soul, and rock, an epic version of "I'm Losing You" rubbing shoulders with Stewarts beautiful rustic evocation of frontier life, "Mandolin Wind." It also featured a collaboration between Stewart and classical guitarist Martin Quittenton about the artist's first sexual conquest.
Despite a raunchy theme and a catchy, jangling melody set off by an arresting mandolin solo, all driven home by Stewart's unique emotional rasp, Mercury Records didn't think that the song was hit material, relegating it to a B-side, instead, "Reason To Believe" was chosen as the album's single. But fate in the form of DJ opinion intervened, and the single "Maggie May" was given the radio play she deserved; on October 9, 1971, the song topped the singles charts in the UK. it had made the top spot in the United States on October 2, the same day as the album had topped the U.S. album charts. With the album also lodged at NO. 1 in Britain, it made for an unprecedented double-double whammy. [by Melissa Blease]

Elton John - "Your Song"
Elton John is a superstar in the truest sense of the word. It might sound corny, but Elton is one of the few performers not only to survive the seventies but actually to blossom during their fickle years. Unlike most "stars" of this decade who have a nasty habit of disappearing within the span of three albums, John has risen from total obscurity to the top of the heap—outselling just about all the current competition. He is to the children of the seventies what the Beatles and the Stones were to the sixties' generation.
In 1969, Elton's first single, Lady Samantha, was released. It was a well-received but stiffed. By the time Elton's first album, 'Empty Sky', was released, the world was aware of his presence. The record, unreleased stateside until 1975, was fairly crude, produced on a four-track tape deck by Brown. But it proved that Taupin-John had talent. Brown allowed Gus Dudgeon to take over for his follow up LP and the hit single "Your Song" appeared at the top of the charts. Released as the B-Side to "Take me To The Pilot", U.S and disc jockeys preferred it to the A-Side and played "Your Song " instead.  Elton's career had started in earnest.  Your Song was also released as a single in the UK in 1971, but in this case it was the A-Side.
From that point onward, Elton and Bernie continued to grow in every musical respect and the hits kept on coming and coming. The rest of course is history.

Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich were a flamboyant quintet, named after the five friends' nicknames, formed in Salisbury in 1961. From 1965 to January 1970, the group spent more weeks in the UK singles charts than The Kinks or The Who. They first entered the UK charts in December 1965 with "You Make it Move".
A string of hits followed including Hold Tight!, Bend It! and Save Me and a UK number one single with the whip-cracking "Legend of Xanadu", in 1968. In fact, they were such hit-makers that they spent more time on the English singles charts in 1965 to 1969 than the Beatles!
Two of their albums charted - their eponymous debut, in 1966, followed a year later by If Music Be the Food of Love... Then Prepare for Indigestion.

T-Rex - "Get It On"
By March 1971, Marc Bolan was on the top of the world, and at the top of the charts. Just three months after his band T Rex's "Ride A White Swan" frustratingly stalled at No. 2, their latest single, "Hot Love' had risen to No. 1 and the band were back at Top Of The Pops, to perform the hit for the nation.
Marc was looking cool that afternoon. He'd just picked up a new silver lame jacket and matched it with hip-hugging white trousers. But, as he picked up his guitar to head out onto the soundstage, he felt a hand on his arm. He looked around; it was Chelita Secunda, a publicist friend of Bolan's wife June. "One thing before you go..." Deftly, Chelita daubed some eye-shadow "across his face, and then brought out some glitter, patting it across his cheekbones, tiny teardrops that shimmered in the light. Musicians had worn make-up onstage before, but this was something new, something bold. He now looked glamorous - but, shockingly, glamorous in the way that a woman would - something accentuated by his corkscrew curls, which always looked suspiciously like a lady's permanent. It didn't matter that the cameras didn't close in on Bolan's face until the final chorus of the performance, the "La la la" that chased "Hot Love" to its fade. One glimpse of it - a blinding sparkle beneath the studio lamps - was all it took to ignite glam rock, the dominant sartorial style of the UK charts over the following years.
Following the success of  "Hot Love",  Bolan released his next single soon after called "Get It On", taken from his highly acclaimed LP 'Electric Warrior', which shot to #1 on the charts, reaffirming that Glam Rock was the next big thing in pop music.   [by Dave Thompson]

The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
Having scored early successes with shamelessly teenybop-oriented singles like "Funny Funny" and "Co-Co" (penned by the prolific hit-making duo Micky Chinn and Mike Chapman), Sweet turned a corner with the heavy-riffing "Wig-Warn Bam," which entered the UK Top 75 on September 9,1972. Their following series of Top 10 entries, although still master-minded by the Chinnichap duo, saw them shift effortlessly into relentlessly pounding heavy rock, albeit shot through with a frivolity that was essentially pop ("Blockbuster," "Hellraiser," "Ballroom Blitz," "Teenage Rampage"). Simultaneously, Sweet's classic line-up of Brian Connolly (vocals), Andy Scott (guitar), Steve Priest (bass), and Mick Tucker (drums) left no stone unturned in their relentless search for new eye-catching costumes, exploring every possibility inherent in outrageous coiffure, glitter, sequins, face paint, loin cloths, and feathers, not to mention a penchant for shiny metallic thigh-length boots. This quest to go further out than T Rex, Slade, and the rest won them recognition as the band who had taken the glam look to the outer limits.
This accolade proved a two-edged sword, with many critics writing them off as little more than low-grade teen fodder. In retrospect, however, it's hard to deny that Connolly's expressive vocalizing, Tucker's imaginative powerhouse percussion, and Scott's all-round musicianship set them apart from most of the competition. Indeed, when Scott replaced Chinnichap as Sweet's songwriter, he delivered gems like "Fox On The Run" and the Ivor Novello Award-winning "Love Is Like Oxygen."

So, how did their 1973 hit "Ballroom Blitz" come about? It was art out of chaos. Pop art. The Sweet‘s “Ballrooom Blitz”, Glam Rock’s catchiest, trashiest, most lovable song, came from a riot that saw the band bottled off the stage, at the Grand Hall, Palace Theater, Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1973. Men spat, while women screamed to drown out the music. Not the response expected for a group famous for their string of chart hits, “Little Willy”, “Wig-Wag Bam” and the number 1, “Block Buster”.
Why it happened has since led to suggestions that the band’s appearance in eye-shadow, glitter and lippy (in particular the once gorgeous bass player Steve Priest) was all too much for the hard lads and lassies o’ Killie.   When the man at the back of the theatre said "everyone attack", and the room turned into a ballroom blitz. Whatever the cause of the chaos, it gave Glam Rock a work of art, and Sweet, one of their finest songs. [by Gavin Michie]

Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
Written by singer Roy Wood, who made his name in the 60s as co-founder of The Move, "See My Baby Jive" was among Wizzard’s six top 10 hits.
Wood performed with other local groups until forming The Move with Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, Ace Kefford and Trevor Burton in 1966. They secured a recording contract and their first single, Night Of Fear, reached number two while Blackberry Way topped the charts. The Move enjoyed five other top 10 hits, including Flowers In The Rain, the first song played on Radio 1.
“While still recording with The Move, Wood formed the Electric Light Orchestra with Bev and Jeff Lynne as he wanted to create pop songs with classical overtones. He co-wrote and co-produced the first album before forming Wizzard.

“Wizzard's first five singles were top 10 hits. Their debut song, "Ball Park Incident", climbed to number six in 1972, followed by two number ones, "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers".  After Wizzard, Wood concentrated on solo work and producing.

Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [bonus track]
Faced with the challenge of capitalizing on a successful first album, Black Sabbath responded with the soundtrack for an urban nightmare. Sabbath - bassist "Geezer" Butler, guitarist Tony lommi, drummer "Bill Ward, and vocalist John "Ozzy" Osbourne - specialised in dark, bluesy power chords and grinding sense of doom. Though common currency for today's heavy rockers, this sounded like nothing less than the Devil's playlist to listeners still grappling with the demise of The Beatles.
Sabbath's heaviness was distinct from Led Zeppelin's. The latter's music revolved around sex. Sabbath talked of anything but. On Paranoid, they addressed militarism ("War Pigs"), heroin abuse ("Hand if Doom"), comic book rumbles ("Iron Man"), and the aftermath of nuclear war ("Electric Funeral"). For a great many record buyers, however, Paranoid's most relevant numbers evoked horrors closer to home. On the title track, the band - at loggerheads with management, reeling from an exhaustive tour schedule - may have been speaking from the heart or simply posturing. Either way, the song "Paranoid" - an unexpected hit single and one so unusually uptempo as to make one think it was by their speedier metal rivals Deep Purple - remains one of rock's most harrowing depictions of mental anguish ("People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time").

Their eponymous debut of the previous February was the album that for many kick-started the whole heavy metal genre but Paranoid is Black Sabbath's masterpiece. [by Ralph Heibutzki]
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my CD copy of this EMI compilation and includes full album artwork for CD & Vinyl. I'd also like to acknowledge the inclusion of record label scans, kindly supplied by  Mr.Purser with thanks.  As mentioned, I've included Black Sabbath's mammoth hit "Paranoid" as a closing bonus track to counter balance the opening mega hit "Smoke On The Water " by Deep Purple. Hope you enjoy this great British sampler.

Track Listing
01. Deep Purple - "Smoke on the Water"
02. Free - "All Right Now"
03. Jethro Tull - "Thick As Brick [edited version]"
04. Supertramp - "Take The Long Way Home"
05. The Kinks - "Lola" 
06. David Essex - "Rock On"
07. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
08. The Pretenders - "Brass In Pocket"
09. Thunderclap Newman - "Something In The Air"
10. Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends"
11. Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"
12. Elton John - "Your Song"
13. Dave, Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "The Legend Of Xanadu"
14. T-Rex - "Get It On"
15. The Sweet - "Ballroom Blitz"
16. Roy Wood and Wizzard - "See My Baby Jive"
17. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" [Bonus Track] 
TRAX British Made Link (156Mb)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again!
    Brian Connolly was my hero way back in the days.....
    What a great(totally underrated) band!!!!!!

    Best wishes