Sunday, March 31, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Tiny Tim - Rock (1993)

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.

.Herbert Buckingham Khaury (April 12, 1932 - November 30, 1996), known professionally as 'Tiny Tim', was an American singer, most of the time ukulele player, and musical archivist. He is best remembered for his hit "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" sung in a high falsetto/vibrato voice.

Having heard Tiny Tim's cover of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell", I simply had to find the rest of Tiny Tim’s 'Rock' album, and consequently share it with you. I am forced to re-evaluate someone who I always dismissed as a token novelty freak that was just cashing in for all those times he got beaten up in school for being a freak by exploiting his freakishness. But no more. Tiny Tim is one of the great musical geniuses of our time.

The Album 'Rock' (released in 1993 by Regular Records, Australia) was produced by Martin Sharp, as was the cover, and includes a collection of rock and rock n' roll songs by Tiny Tim.

Tiny Tim - Rock (Regular/Festival Records)
By: Gary “Pig” Gold
I’ve often been criticised for being a bit too hard on those musicians who choose to toil in the, shall we say, heavy metal idiom. Well, with all due respects to Lord Lemmy of Motorhead, you know why I sometimes get down on metal? Coz I rarely, if ever, hear it done RIGHT anymore. Meaning a dark wardrobe and scary band logo can only cut it so far, now that a quarter century’s passed since the last decent Sabbath album did it all first. Meaning, basically, heavy metal’s been by and large just pissing lemonade into the wind for quite some time.

Imagine my shock, then, when a strange package from down-under arrived the other day, containing sounds so puerile and vicious that after one play through the first song I didn’t see my cat for three whole days (The true test of metal’s mettle, I’ll have you know). Each and every selection herein clocking in at well over the 15-minute mark (“Rebel Yell” hits a jaw-dropping 23:38 – could Mr.Idol ever keep it up for that long?) there are notes screeched throughout that Rob Plant may only dream of, and the entire cataclysm is topped off with a positively demonic reading of the classic “Eve Of Destruction”, appropriately enough.

45 Release (1993)
You may very well have to write off to far off Australia – to AC/DC’s people, in fact – to secure your very own copy of this masterwork– that is until some domestic so-called h/c label scrapes up sufficient balls to issue it here. In the meantime, I defy any of you heavy pansies out there to show me one other act, or one other record, Tiny Tim Rock couldn’t eat for breakfast. [Extract from]

Tiny Tim really rips it up here with AC/DC's classic "Highway To Hell" - so lock up ya daughters and get ready for some 'Kick Arse Rock'.
And so, for this very reason, Tiny Tim qualifies on all levels for this month's W.O.C.K On Vinyl post. It's Wild, it's Crazy, and above all, it really is  OK !
As a bonus, I've also included an earlier 'unplugged' rendition of "Highway To Hell" that Tiny Tim performed on MTV, this time on his beloved ukulele, both in MP3 and video formats (See screen shot below)
1  Highway To Hell  6:06
2  You Give Love A Bad Name  6:33
3  Rebel Yell  23:38
4  I Love Rock And Roll (The Medley): 16:20
- I Love Rock And Roll
- Great Balls Of Fire
- Whole Lotta Shakin Goin' On
- Shake Rattle And Roll
- Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay
- At The Hop
- Hound Dog
- Don't Be Cruel
- (Let Me Be) Your Teddy Bear
5  Eve Of Destruction  23.48
6  Highway To Hell (unplugged ukulele version)  1.00

Ukulele & Vocals - Tiny Tim
Bass Guitar – Denny Burgess
Drums – Colin Burgess
Guitar – John Botica

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Love - False Start (1970)

(U.S 1965 - 1996, 2002 - 2005, 2009 - Present)
False Start is the sixth album by the American rock band Love, released in December 1970. The second and final Love album for Blue Thumb Records saw bandleader Arthur Lee heavily influenced by his friend, Jimi Hendrix, with Hendrix appearing on the opening track, "The Everlasting First", one of several tracks that Hendrix recorded with Love at a March 1970 session.

Although Arthur Lee & Love established themselves as a premier California folk-rock-psychedelic group with their mid-to-late-1960s albums on Elektra, the two LPs they released after moving to the Blue Thumb label were much different from the material with which they'd first made their mark. In fact, the Blue Thumb LPs were considerably different from each other, both in sound and personnel.

The first of these, 'Out Here', was actually recorded at around the same time as their final Elektra album, 'Four Sail. Like Four Sail', it showed the group exploring different directions than they had on their first three LPs, with leader and chief singer-songwriter Arthur Lee the only remaining member from the previous Love lineups. 

Recorded in 1970, 'False Start' was another shift, going into a harder-rocking mode than any previous Love release. There was another lineup change between Out Here and False Start as well, with Gary Rowles replacing Jay Donnellan on lead guitar, though Lee, bassist Frank Fayad and drummer George Suranovich remained aboard the Love train.

Rowles's history with Fayad and Suranovich predated his enlistment into Love's ranks by some time. He was playing with Fayad in Las Vegas in 1967 when Nooney Rickett—"an amazing R&B singer and rhythm guitarist," as Rowles describes him today—approached Gary and Frank to be in a new band he was starting. Suranovich, who had drummed with Pittsburgh doo wop greats the Skyliners (famous for the classic 1959 smash "Since I Don't Have You"), joined to complete the quartet early the following year. As the Noon Express, they were playing the Brass Ring club in Encino in the San Fernando Valley in September 1968 when Arthur Lee, looking to form a new lineup of Love after his latest Elektra version had dissolved, checked them out.

Arthur Lee 1969
"Arthur wanted that band to be Love," Rowles explains. "So when Nooney's band broke up and I went up to San Francisco, Arthur hired Frank and George and Jay for the Out Here album." But Rowles did play on one
cut of the Out Here IP, as Lee "wanted something specific that was part of my style at the time. 1 went up to San Francisco to play with a band up there for a while, and when I came back to L.A., Arthur called me and said, 'I really would like you to be a part of this,' He mentioned something about a European tour and a record after that, so I was definitely interested."

Love's metamorphosis into a more hard rock-oriented outfit, Gary adds, "didn't come as a surprise to me because the band basically had transformed from this eclectic group of individuals that Love was before, [when] it seemed to me like there was some struggle for identity within the group. You had different people writing, different people saying 'this is how I want it to sound.' Certainly to a listener, that's very appealing, because it gives a lot of colors to the palette of the presentation. But Arthur realized that the future was a little bit more hard rock, because that was when Zeppelin came out, and all of a sudden, that was the beginnings of metal. It was also an outflowing of the Jimi Hendrix presentation, which really changed quite a bit of how guitar players thought and what the expanded capabilities of the instrument could be. So actually the change of direction was a result of Arthur being exposed to us—the Nooney Rickett band—and him wanting that to be what he could identify his songwriting and his presentation with."

Before most of the studio recordings were done for the record, Love embarked on their first European tour in early 1970. Indeed, Love were perhaps more popular in the UK than they were in their native US at this point, 1968's classic Forever Changes album having charted far higher there (peaking at #24) than any Love LP had in the States. It was. in England during this tour that Love would record two of the tracks to appear on its forthcoming album, one of them being the live concert recording "Stand Out." The other would be the most famous cut on the record, "The Everlasting First," for the simple reason that it featured some guest lead guitar by none other than Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix and Lee had first met in the mid-1960s before either musician became famous, Jimi even playing on an obscure soul single written by Arthur, Rosa Lee Brooks' "My Diary," On March 17, 1970, as Rowles tells it, he came back from a walk in London to find "Jimi Hendrix sitting on the couch in the apartment. I happened to have an old '54 Stratocaster, and I wanted him to see it. He looked at my guitar and played it a little bit, and then Arthur says, 'You know, we should go jam.' Everybody thought that was a great idea, SO Arthur called Olympic Studios, and it just so happened that they didn't have anything booked that night in the main room. I'd say we played a good eight or nine hours that night. I don't know what happened to all of the material. I do know that we did a version of 'Ezy Ryder' [Hendrix's own version later showing up on his first posthumous album, 1971's Cry of Love] that was quite spectacular. He wanted to show it to us, 'cause he liked our rhythm section a lot. We did some jamming—there was a percussionist friend of his there, I can't remember who it was— just two-chord stuff."

Arthur Lee & Jimi Hendrix
"The Everlasting First" itself, adds Gary, "represents a dream of any guitar player who's ever played a Stratocaster. I sat next to Jimi Hendrix, three feet away from him, for almost eight hours, and none of us even got up to go to the bathroom. When that song fades out, you have no idea what happened after that. No one does—I may be one of the only people left alive who knows. That thing went on for twenty minutes; I mean, we sat there for twenty minutes and just played that riff. The roof came off of the building several times that night."
Most of False Start, however, was recorded a few months later, in June and July, at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Here again, there was a strong Hendrix connection, as Record Plant co-founder and engineer Gary Kellgren had done a lot of work with Jimi, who visited Love to hang out with the band during the recording. Although Hendrix didn't play on any more tracks to find release on False Start, another old friend who did was
Nooney Rickett, who contributed some vocals and rhythm guitar. "Ride That Vibration" is a particular favorite of Rowles as it was "a chance for me to do my thing, and I loved the feel. There's that George Suranovich 16-bar phrases thing, and Frank Fayad's psychedelic bass thing, and my just kind of going out into my little place in outer space thing."

Arthur Lee Fillmore West 1970
False Start received a glowing review in Rolling Stone by Mike Saunders, who enthused, "Arthur Lee is now a good and unaffected singer, having both a soft and a screaming voice...[his] songs are engaging in their simple structure, this album is engaging in its whole, and I think I could rave on all day saying wonderful things about it." But despite the praise, it could only struggle to #184 in the charts, and the lineup that recorded it started to crumble soon after it was recorded. "There were substance abuse problems," admits Rowles. "Arthur had some issues, they're probably well known. It started getting to the point that when we would go to play a gig, he would basically almost have to be dragged on the stage. I couldn't be a part of that, so I left; I was the first one to quit." Though he was replaced by John Sterling, and Fayad and Suranovich carried on playing with Lee in Love for a while, no more albums were recorded before this version of the band broke up.

Rowles, who today runs Audio Media Services in Oregon, remains proud of his stint with Love. For all Arthur Lee's quirks, Gary emphasizes, "He was a very powerful singer, and his writing was very good, timely prose and lyrics for the culture at the time. He knew how to get good things out of people, and there were a lot of good times working with him." He's also thankful that "my opportunity to play with Arthur Lee afforded me probably one of the greatest opportunities that anyone of my era could have experienced, and that is the opportunity to play with Jimi Hendrix three times. Any guitar player on this earth that's ever heard that from me...immediately, their jaws drop."  [Liner Notes by Richie Unterberger]

Record Mirror February 6, 1971 - "Right from the Hendrix guitar solo on track one to the end of the album, you become more and more convinced that this is Love's best ever album. Arthur Lee's lyrics are just what you want to feel and Gary Rowles's guitar solos excite on every number. R&B name Nonny Rickett is featured as an addition to the group on all but three tracks and his voice blends well with the feel of the album. The whole album is splendid, but listen to Anytime or Slick Dick as samplers"

Mike Saunders in Rolling Stone February 4, 1971 - "Surprise! This is a fine album. Particularly so for this depressing year in rock, because if you wished for once that you could hear a band who actually plays good songs, has a little life for a change and maybe even a lotta zest and humor, well…./.../To begin with, there are ten good three minute songs. And, most surprising of all, probably, is that Arthur Lee is now a good and unaffected singer, having both a soft and a screaming voice. And these guys even do really neat group singing. And even more weird are the two main influences heard on False Start: Jimi Hendrix (who plays a bit on the LP) and the early Mothers /.../And so it goes, Arthur Lee's songs are engaging in their simple structure, this album is engaging in its whole, and I think I could rave on all day saying wonderful things about it. If you like happy music /.../ and just sorta love rock and roll in general, this album may well be right up your alley. It certainly knocked me out"

False Start – If Out Here was an album where Arthur Lee threw in everything making it a not very successful and mostly joyless mishmash of different styles, False Start is a tight funky and short album, in no way a masterpiece, but somewhat underrated. You get the feeling that Arthur Lee did exactly enough to produce the required album, not putting a lot of effort into it, but that vibe has a certain charm to it. Actually, I would say that (after Forever Changes), it was not until Reel to Real that Arthur put a substantial effort into making an album. That is not to say that the recordings between 1970 and 1973 (False Start, Love Lost, Vindicator and Black beauty) are bad, it’s more that during the early seventies, Arthur Lee and whatever band that was backing him sounded like a quite funky bar band playing in a bar in a less than stellar part of town, making a lot noise, some bad and some really good.

If  Da Capo and especially Forever Changes is the sound of the L.A canyons is in the late sixties where “the trees have leaves of prisms that break the light up into colors that no one knows the names of”, Arthur Lee/Love of the early seventies is the soundtrack to the motorways, junkyards, and pawn shops of the asphalt world of L.A, the same world that Warren Zevon would visit albeit from a completely different perspective. False Start kicks off that part of Arthur Lee’s career, most of the songs are quite joyful throwaways, even if Arthur Lee perhaps did not do “joy” in the Stevie Wonder sense. For what it’s worth (and not comparing it with the Elektra classics), I think that False Start is great little album. Not in anyway necessary, but as Steve E said above "I don't care about the specific songs as much as the vibe. And the craziness. It's a short (too short), funny record with great playing"
Track by Track Review: 

Arthur Lee with Jimi Hendrix, a heaven sent combo of talents are brought together to find some of the magic present in Love’s earlier work. Lee brings a great song that somehow feels incomplete, and Jimi brings a dynamite wah-wah guitar to light up the proceedings with much needed fire. Jimi’s long intro is great, but when this song was released years later on Jimi’s box as “Everlasting First”, we find that the true intro was cut and Jimi’s solo became the intro. Jimi therefore opens and closes the song on some tremendous soloing-almost average for Hendrix, but explosive fireworks for Love. 

Lyrically, again Lee takes a love song and blurs the focus so that by the end of the lyric, Lee is going to "play the feeling they all left behind"-then Hendrix's powerful somersaults work out another stellar moment-here syncopating his guitar to Lee's ad-libs; a definite bonding moment between the legendary black rock artists-used as the declaration for civil rights heroes like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Jesus who had all died tragically. Lee should have focused more on the legend/political aspect instead of including the 'love song' 1st verse. Still the song is better on the Hendrix box because it feels more complete.

“Flying” flies right in over top “The Everlasting First” as it takes that hard rock baton and softens it into a pleasant pop/rock song that shows some nice spirit despite the passive-aggressive lyrics. “He dropped in, and I dropped out”. It’s got a Beatlesque quality about it for some reason and the piano keeps it a bit joyous to contrast against Lee’s deceivingly bitter lyric.

More Hendrix influence here solidified Lee’s reputation as a Jimi-wannabe now-flying off into the hard rock direction as much as possible to maybe hide a drop in his songwriting. It’s never good to categorise Lee though, as he shifts with every album. There’s some decent elements going on here, but the song is around the mediocre level and feels incomplete. It feels appealing, like a few of the positive songs here. The stuttering funk guitar riff is one of the more memorable riffs on the album.

4. STAND OUT (Live version)
And here we go for another run of “Stand Out”, but without the stingy guitar riffs that permeate and stabilize the “Out Here” track. It feels looser, but never hits hard enough. The song is above average, but this is the 2nd time it gets a below average instrumental performance that doesn’t beef it up any. It seems standard-not a stand out, with a lack of energy though Suranovich works up a nice sweat. Rowles’ version of the song lacks any kind of logic or connection to the actual song. The solo is uninspired.

Lee is in a rare positive reaffirming state of mind here, comforting his friends/fans about how we can overcome rough lives. It also works as a plea to help Lee work out his own problems. It’s a nice reciprocal thought process that shows how humans can help each other. The gospel feel of the track reminds us of “I’ll Pray For You” but with a better melody and a more focused effort from the band. This became a favourite of Lee’s and it was included on “Love Story” as one of only two songs here that made that compilation. When he sings “you got to love love love everybody”, some say he almost feels trapped in the ‘love message’, screaming it like he can’t representing it anymore.

A song can grow on you, and this is ultimately catchy pop that Lee can write in his sleep, but it works well. It’s a less aggressive moment, again Lee asks a friend to rely on him if he needs help, like on “Keep On Shining”. I’ve read that some thought Lee was trying to gain sales by staying more positive on this album, and it is one of least bitter of the catalog. Lee speaks of dreaming again like on the similar sounding “Dream”. Lee has caught some knack for a cliched lyric and here it’s clear. He’s playing it too straight, but it wouldn’t be bad if we knew Lee couldn’t do better, but he can. This has one of the better guitar solos from Rowles.

Another political parody that is too obvious and lacks the subtlety of Lee’s best lyrics, this song feels like an assembly line anti-Richard Nixon song-this one is not a stand out either. Lee’s politics are once again hurt by some rudimentary tongue-in-cheek lyrics that show none of the intelligence of Lee’s best. He starts singing “Wooly Bully” midway through and “call my name” like he just lost focus out of nowhere. The “looky here looky there” verse is just ridiculous like Lee has run low on ideas once the wah-wah solo kicks in wandering to no effect. Again, Rowles is not showing that he is as capable a guitarist as Donnellan, or perhaps can not fit in to Lee’s vision even with his original band around him. This also feels dated like some of Love’s late 60’s work though that doesn’t matter here.

This does feel like a theme song for the band, a bit corny, a bit singalong, a bit jokey-it’s less than 2 minutes but feels strange sitting amongst the other songs. It has a bit of a hook, but its incomplete ultimately and feels like it belongs on “Out Here” as a quick excursion. Lee just repeats “you’re gonna get it, yeah” too much despite the short length of the song. Again, the idea starts off alright, but Lee has no idea on how to complete it. This song is typical of the more appealing imaginative Lee that morphs into a more generic blues rock singer. His personal stamp is losing ink.

LOVE still alive and well in L.A
Another song that has some nice elements to it, the melody and riff are good, but they feel unoriginal and ultimately not good enough to save this from sounding like filler. Again, the cliché-ridden lyric is disappointing- “I’ve got everything you need in the palm of my hand”. Just unemotional, inconsequential words sung here by Lee. The guitar tone is different and intriguing, but the arrangement bores.

Ah, a hidden nugget; here is the obscure Lee we know and love, ambiguous in this pseudo-positive sounding song. It’s got a stellar melody and nice organ work. It’s got spunk and spirit, with a beautiful Lee vocal, until the rave up shouting coda that demands we ‘ride the vibration’ over some nice guitar tones from Rowles and a chaotic finish.
Supposedly Jimi Hendrix watches Love record this after “The Everlasting First” and left after one of the lyrics totally 'creeped' him out. The lines were:

Ride that vibration down like a six foot grave
Don’t let it get you down

One of my favourite Lee couplets. But Hendrix thought it was too intense and left the studio immediately. Great story hey! 
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine vinyl and also comes with full album artwork for both vinyl and CD releases. My record cover is labelled with a release date of 1972, however the album was first released in 1970.  My copy must therefore be a second issue put out by Blue Thumb records is reaction to the high volume of sales the album experienced with its first pressing.  This album is special for me as it features Jimi Hendrix playing guitar on the opening track and was probably contributed to the success of this album for Love.  If you want to hear more music from the sessions that produced this awesome track, you'll find it available elsewhere on my blog -  Jimi Hendrix with Love & Stephen Stills - The Blue Thumb Acetate
01 - The Everlasting First*
02 - Flying
03 - Gimi A Little Break
04 - Stand Out
05 - Keep On Shining
06 - Anytime
07 - Slick Dick
08 - Love Is Coming
09 - Feel Daddy Feel Good
10 - Ride That Vibration

Love were:
Bass – Frank Fayad
Drums – George Suranovich
Lead Guitar – Gary Rowles
Lead Guitar - Jimi Hendrix *
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano – Arthur Lee
Rhythm Guitar – Noony Ricket (tracks: 2 to 10)
Vocals – Noony Ricket (tracks: 2, 3, 5 to 10)

False Start FLAC Link (205Mb) New Link 24/12/2023


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Meo 245 - Rites Of Passage (1982) + Bonus Live Track

(Australian 1979 - 1983)
MEO 245 were an Australian pop rock, new wave band which formed in 1978 in Tasmania with Paul Brickhill on keyboards, guitar and vocals; Campbell Laird on drums; Paul Northam on guitar and vocals; and Mick Wilson on bass guitar. Wilson was replaced on bass guitar by Mark Kellet, who in turn was replaced by Anthony Moore.

The story begins in the late 70s when four high school students created a group that played covers - Led Zeppelin and Uriah Heep. Once graduated, they decided to try their luck in Melbourne under the name MEO 245 , chosen with reference to the catalog numbers of a German Import Beatles EP.

They recorded their first album, Screen Memory, and the singles "Lady Love" and "Other Places", all of which made the mainstream charts in Australia, reaching the top 100 of the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. They appeared on ABC TV's pop show Countdown performing "Lady love" and "Jewels".

Paul Northam
During April and May 1982 they recorded a six-track EP, 'Rites of Passage' (September 1982), at Richmond Recorders with co-production by the group and John French (he also worked as its audio engineer). It provided two singles, "Sin City" (also September) and "Summer Girl" (November). It was a marked shift from the new wave pop of 'Screen Memory' with a more guitar-orientated sound coming to the fore.

Rites of Passage was their last record testimony, and it is without a doubt the darkest. After releasing their highly successful album in 1980 and some singles between 80 and 82, the adventure just seemed to stop. And even if, in their beginnings, they seem inspired by the seventies (Yes, Roxy Music, Bowie ...), the six tracks here compose a mixture of cold wave and romantic pop, which I would compare with Joy Division and XTC for the brighter and hopping part.

Campbell Laird
Ahead of the EP's release Kellet left and was replaced on bass guitar by Anthony Moore. In January of the following year Brickhill left to join Little Heroes and the group disbanded by March with Laird joining Soldier of Fortune and Northam going to Luxury Device. 'Screen Memory, Rites of Passage' and the non-album single, 'Lady Love", were released on CD as 'Screen Memory / Rites of Passage', for a compilation album in 1997 by Mushroom Records.

They were together from 1979 to 1983.

This post consists of FLACS ripped from my trusty vinyl which I purchased second hand many moons ago, when Synth Pop was the rage and my matching hairstyle was captured on my wedding video for prosperity and ridicule !
Although this follow up (mini) album was a disappointment compared to their highly successful LP  'Screen Memories', it is still a crucial recording to have if you collect Aussie Rock.  To sweeten the deal, I have added a rare live recording of their big hit "Lady Love", recorded Live at Storey Hall, RMIT, Melbourne, in 1980 on 24th December, as a bonus track
Full album artwork included (including high res scan of back cover) along with label scans and select band photos. 

Track Listing
01 Sin City
02 All Depends
03 The Waiting Room
04 Summer Girl
05 Sweethearts And Roses
06 Rites Of Passage
07 Lady Love (Bonus Live) 

MEO 245 were:
Vocals, Guitar – Paul Northam
Bass, Effects [Pedals] – Mark Kellett
Drums, Other [Et Cetera] – Campbell Laird
Guitar, Backing Vocals, Keyboards – Paul Brickhill
Rites Of Passage FLAC link (181Mb) New Link 25/12/2023

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Budgie - 1978-10-22 City Hall,Newcastle,U.K (Bootleg)

(U.K 1967-1988, 1995-1996, 1999-2010)
Late 1967, in Cardiff, John Burke Shelley bass/lead vocals) met up with Raymond Phillips (drums) and guitarist Tony Bourge to form Budgie establishing a substantial following within the South Wales college and club circuit. After a journalist commented Budgie's sound was more akin to a 'Six Ton' Budgie, their name became as heavyweight as their delivery. In 1970, Roger Bain was impressed by their raw energy and promise and via his company 'Hummingbird Productions', Dave Howels from MCA signed the band. Budgie were now back as Budgie with a five album deal.

Many claim The MCA albums were arguably their finest work, with openers Budgie and Squawk providing the backbone of heavy riffs and melodic interludes which was to characterise the bands' style. Shelley's high-pitched vocals were first aired on the charmingly titled single 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery'. Their sense of humour was often reflected in their song titles, 'Hot As A Docker's Armpit' proving Budgie didn't take life too seriously. In 1973, their 'Never Turn Your Back On A Friend' LP with its Roger Dean designed gatefold sleeve boasted some classic moments, from the thoughtful 11 minute epic 'Parents' to the blistering 'Breadfan', to be covered some 20 years later by Metallica.

Ray Phillips departed in late '73. Pete Boot was brought in quickly to honour a Spanish touring schedule and record 'In For The Kill', Budgie's first LP to chart. Once Steve Williams on Drums stepped in, Budgie were once again in full flight. In 1975 we provided their fans with the astounding 'Bandolier', considered by many to be the pinnacle of their achievement. With additional Welsh guitarist Myf Issacs touring with the band, their stage sound was also fuller. Retrospectively a bad decision, their management elected to take a deal offered by A&M rather than re-sign with MCA. The more melodic 'If I Were Britannia I'd Waive The Rules' followed, but it didn't chart. In 1977 Budgie re-located to Canada to crack the North American market and Budgie's seventh album, 'Impeckable', became their most mainstream effort to date arriving in January 1978.

Steve Williams
The following month saw a well attended clutch of UK theatre shows prior to engaging in their lengthiest US trek - quaintly entitled the 'Hide Your Pussy Tour', taking the band right through the summer months. Budgie had previously recruited the ex-Quest member as second guitarist Myf Isaacs. Their next foray stateside produced the much in demand 'Live At Atlantic Studios' live tapes and the a high quality bootleg set called 'The Electric Ballroom', material much sought after by collectors. Isaac also played on their 'Impeckage' album, although he is not listed in the album credits as a band member, but rather only listed with thanks.

Burke Shelley
Later in 1978, after their 'Hide Your Pussy' tour, the band flew out to Canada and then to Texas, a trip paid for by Don Smith who would later produce their final album in 1982 "Deliver Us From Evil".
After returning to the late May, Tony Bourge decided he'd had enough of touring and quit the band, after playing with the band for more than 10 years. Tony Bourge's last ever Budgie gig was played at the Welsh National Eisteddfod Pavilion, in Cardiff, Wales on 1st July, 1978.  Budgie quickly went into damage mode and enlisted Rob Kendrick (ex-Trapeze) as guitarist and after several months of intense practice, commenced the second half of their 'Hide Your Pussy Tour' in England and Scotland.  [Concert timelines from Budgies Fan Club]

Thanks to (
This bootleg comes from a concert played on 22nd October at City Hall, in Newcastle U.K and features some new material that never made it onto vinyl, making it highly collectable.  Unfortunately, the sound quality is only average / good as it is an audience recording (although it does improve towards the end of the show), but this bootleg still an important addition to any Budgie fan's collection.

This post consists of FLACs taken from a cassette tape recording and includes custom artwork and all photos shown above. The concert features Rob Kendrick on guitar and 'Strife' were also on the bill that night as support act. Now, I've always been a stalwart fan of Tony Bourge's guitar playing, every since I started following the band back in 1973 when I heard their NTYBOAF album for the first time, but having now heard Rob Kendrick's guitar work on this bootleg, I gotta say he comes pretty-damn close. He really fires up the show with both his attacking axe work and ongoing banter with the crowd. His guitar solo in Breadfan is simply stunning and I now understand why the other lads in the band signed him up when Bourge exited stage left. 

Track Listing
Disc One (44:21)
01 - Melt the Ice Away
02 - Breaking All the House Rules
03 - Cold Love (featuring Rob Kendrick)
04 - Don't Dilute the Water
05 - Fix On Rock & Roll
06 - Love For You and Me
07 - Can't Get Up In the Morning

Disc Two (45:45)
08 - Rainbow 
09 - In For The Kill
10 - Ocean Rider
11 - Breadfan 
12 - Do You Like It
13 - Zoom Club

Budgie were:
Bourke Shelley - Bass, Vocals
Rob Kendrick - Guitar
Steve Williams - Drums

Budgie Live At City Hall, Newcastle FLAC Link (602Mb)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Deep Purple - Scandinavian Nights (1988)

(U.K 1968 - 1976, 1984 - Present)
This classic Deep Purple concert was recorded by Sveriges Radio for a radio show called 'Tonkraft', held in Koncerthuset, Stockholm, on 12th.November 1970. This concert was originally released on vinyl in 1988 as 'Scandinavian Nights in Europe' and as 'Live and Rare' in the USA in 1992. The original master tapes were later discovered and are remixed for this release. The track order on this CD is different from the live set order.
Songs on the album are mainly from the 'Deep Purple In Rock' album - released early in 1970, and long instrumentals from earlier albums. The two songs "Mandrake Root" and "Wring that Neck" took up half the concert in the early days, until the Fireball tour.

Deep Purple Mark II
This double-LP has some really good moments; I especially enjoy parts of "Mandrake Root", but the sound quality is disappointing, and the group's performance is uneven (and on occasion painfully out of tune).
The highlight of course is their #2 hit single at the time - "Black Night", with its catchy riff and enticing lyrics, which finished off their set list at the time. It is interesting to note that Black Night was not included on their In Rock album, mainly to attract fans who simply enjoyed their single but weren't interested in hearing more Deep Purple material. And the stalwart fans would of course buy both. Smart hey!
Review [Dave Thompson]
Deep purple's follow up album to 'In Rock' was an especial bugbear. Despite the promising start to the sessions back in September 1970, the band's schedule didn't allow them to return to the studio; they'd scarcely even got any writing done. The only significant addition to their live repertoire in recent months was an improvisational leviathan built around the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," which itself was little more than the framework for a marathon drum solo.
It was certainly exciting in concert, but it neither said nor did anything for Deep Purple's hopes of advancing their own art. Increasingly, it seemed that the band had reached a creative impasse, finding it easier to allow existing numbers to grow in length than concoct new material.

A live recording made for Swedish radio broadcast at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, on November 12,1970, captured the dilemma. The band's classical excursions notwithstanding, this remains one of the earliest MarkII concert recordings to have been officially released, in 1988, as the 'Scandinavian Nights' album; it was, in fact, one of the earliest of their concerts to even be recorded (only a February 1970 BBC broadcast and a dynamic Aachen festival show from July predate it).

Scandinavian Nights highlights a live set that comprised just seven numbers, including a mere three from In Rock (admittedly volcanic assaults on "Child in Time" and "Into the Fire," and an impossibly overwrought "Speed King"), three that were little more than endless jams ("Mandrake Root," "Paint It Black," and a full thirty minutes of "Wring That Neck"), and, finally, the encore hit "Black Night." 
It is an exhausting listen and, in purely musical terms, an exhilarating one — the Bagshot Bullet, as the rest of Deep Purple nicknamed Blackmore's most frenetic playing, ricocheted wildly that night. But it is also the sound of a group that was swiftly vanishing up its own backside.[extract from Smoke On The Water: The Deep Purple Story. By Dave Thompson. ECW Press - 2004, p112]
Review 2
Good lord, this is pure hard rock heaven. This is the Deep Purple I fell in love with. The absolute best live rock band ever. Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord could jam and jam and jam and jam and......  Ian Paice may have been the heaviest rock drummer ever with the exception of Keith Moon. Catch a buzz, play this loud because this is what rock once was.
Seven tunes over 109 minutes, what hard rock band besides Deep Purple could do those kind of workouts and not bore you to death? There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe this monster "live" album.

Gillan, Glover, Lord 1970
Although most famous Made In Japan was released in 1972, the group performed at venues around the world and presented how they can make amazing show. The time between albums, "In Rock," and "Machine Head" was definitely the best in band's history and from this period of 1970's comes this album. Registered in Stockholm shows practically crazy and unbelievable energy of Deep Purple, along with the feats of individual musicians as solo and joint improvisations which reached its apogee in the nearly half-hour "Mandrake Root."

Paice, Blackmore 1970
Review 3
Scandinavian Nights is a double live album by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It was originally recorded by Swedish National Radio for a radio show called Tonkraft at the Stockholm Konserthuset on 12 November 1970, but not released until 1988. The tapes were re-mixed by Tom Leader at Angel Studios in London.
The US double CD, released in 1992, was titled 'Live and Rare' (see cover below), while the European double vinyl and double CD, released in 1988, were both titled 'Scandinavian Night's. The European vinyl release contained a limited edition picture booklet. 

The original master tapes were later discovered and remixed for a re-release as Live in Stockholm by Purple Records in 2005 (see cover below), with improved sound quality. On the original release the song running order was adjusted to fit the timing-restrictions of vinyl,and the CD edition unnecessarily mimicked this; Live in Stockholm features the set list in the correct order.
A new edition of the album, titled Stockholm 1970, was released in 2014 by EDEL as part of "The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series" with additional material: two songs recorded in Paris in 1970; contemporary Jon Lord interview; a bonus DVD with Deep Purple's performance at Granada TV in 1970, previously released on VHS as Doing Their Thing.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD copy and includes artwork both Vinyl and CD releases.  Deep Purple MKII is my favourite iteration of this legendary band, who I have followed my whole life, starting as a teenager. I still remember the first day I heard "Black Night" played on the radio, and immediately thought the song was about a medieval Knight, and my misunderstanding only became apparent once I had purchased the single from my local record shop. And of course, when I bought their LP 'In Rock',  I was totally hooked.
Track Listing
1. Wring That Neck (34:22)
2. Speed King (10:45)
3. Into The Fire (4:47)
4. Paint It Black (9:49)
1. Mandrake Root (28:40)
2. Child In Time (20:28)
3. Black Night (7:34)

Line-up / Musicians:
Jon Lord - Keyboards
Ian Gillan - Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore / guitars
Ian Paice / drums
Roger Glover - Bass
New Link 14/12/2023