Saturday, November 30, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Sally Field - The Flying Nun (1969) EP

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Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.....
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We all remember Sally Field for her exuberant Oscar acceptance speech in the 80’s: “I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it—and I can't deny the fact that you like me... right now... you LIKE me!" That infamous quote would go on to be one of the most parodied and recited lines in history (but misquoted as “you like me – you REALLY like me!”).

Born Sally Margaret Field on November 6, 1946, her career in Hollywood has spanned more than five decades; she has won two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among numerous other accolades. She directed as well as acted.

Field began her career in television, starring on the sitcoms Gidget from 1965 to 1966 and The Flying Nun from 1967 to 1970. Although she thoroughly enjoyed working on Gidget, she hated The Flying Nun because she was not treated with respect by the show's directors. Field was then typecast, finding respectable roles difficult to come by.



After numerous other television roles, Field ventured into film, starring in Norma Rae (1979), for which she received universal acclaim, receiving the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. She later received Golden Globe Award nominations for her performances in Absence of Malice (1981) and Kiss Me Goodbye (1982), before receiving her second Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Places in the Heart (1984). She also received further nominations for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Murphy's Romance (1985) and Steel Magnolias (1989).

In the late 1970’s, Field was romantically linked with Burt Reynolds for many years, during which time they co-starred in several films, including Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), The End and Hooper (both 1978).

Burt Reynolds & Sally Fields
But enough movie talk... now let’s take a trip back to ‘67 and talk about what songs she recorded for The Flying Nun. Her debut single that August, "Felicidad / Find Yourself A Rainbow" stalled at #94 on the U.S. Billboard chart. Both songs are featured on this Australian-made EP from 1969 (RCA 20503), sourced from Guitarzan's blog (thanks Tim).

In December, she completed her debut album: Star Of The Flying Nun (Colgems COS-106). Another song from the album, “The Louder I Sing (The Braver I Get)” including a non-album song from January 1968, “Golden Days”, are the last 2 tracks here on the EP.

So, on a final note, I’m sure everyone will join in showing Sally their respect and agree that we like her – we REALLY like her.

(2016)
And so, this month's W.O.C.K on Vinyl offering is a little Weird (whoever dreamed up the idea of creating a sitcom about a Flying Nun must have been taking some of those infamous hallucinogenic drugs from the 60's) but most certainly Obscure - good luck trying to find this E.P elsewhere.

Ripped from vinyl to MP3 (320kps) with full EP artwork and label scans included.

So don't delay.....download this gem quickly, before it flies out of this blog window - LOL.

Track Listing
01 - Felicidad
02 - Find Yourself A Rainbow
03 - The Louder I Sing (The Braver I Get)
04 - Golden Days

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Flying Nun Link (22Mb)
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Stone The Crows - Ontinuous Performances (1972) + Bonus Tracks

(U.K 1970 - 1973)
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Stone The Crows were:
Maggie Bell - vocals
Leslie Harvey - guitar
James Dewar - bass
John McGinnis - keyboards
Collin Alien - drums

Stone The Crows began out of Glasgow, Scotland, when a young Maggie Bell got up on stage to sing with Alex Harvey (Sensational Alex Harvey Band) and got £2 for her cheek. Harvey introduced her to his younger brother Leslie, then leading Kinning Park Ramblers.

Maggie later joined Les Harvey in band called Power which toured clubs and U.S. bases in Germany and was discovered and renamed Stone The Crows (line-up as above) by Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin).
Their first two albums, both released in 1970, were notable for tight, soul-based sound, Harvey's superb guitar work and Maggie's gut-bucket singing. However, public acclaim wasn't arriving as fast as was hoped, and McGinnis and Dewar quit in February 1971 to join Robin Trower's new band. The group were near to breaking up when Ronnie Leahy (keyboards) and Steve Thompson (bass) came in as replacements. Teenage Licks (1971) produced strong upsurge in group's fortunes, Maggie Bell winning first of many  awards as Britain's Top Girl Singer in 1972.


But, in same year, came tragic death of Les Harvey, killed on stage by a "live" microphone during gig at Swansea University. They attempted to carry on with Jimmy McCulloch (from Thunderclap Newman) as new guitarist-but the writing was on the wall. 'Ontinuous Performance', already half-completed, was finished by the new line-up and released to critical acclaim. But still there was no commercial success to sustain them, and in June 1973 the band broke up.

After Stone The Crows split up, Maggie established herself as a successful solo artist and recorded two stunning albums “Queen Of The Night” and “Suicide Sal” with a host of star studded supporting musicians including Jimmy Page, Phil May and Geoff Whitehorn.; while McCulloch joined Wings and Long-­serving drummer Colin Allen went on to play with Focus and John Mayall.
[extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock, by Nick Logan & Bob Woffinden, 1977. p225-226]
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Album Review 
(by P.F. O'Dea. Victoria University of Wellington Library)
The first indication that Stone the Crows could be set apart from average purveyors of heavy rock came with the release of their first album. The first side was a collection of competently-performed white blues, good but not exceptional. "I saw America", which occupied the entire other side with its impressionistic collage of an outsiders view of American Society, served notice that here was a group capable of bigger and better things.

The promise displayed on that first album was not, unfortunately, extended to its successor "Ode to John Law", and by any standards, the third album, "Teenage Licks", was a retrogression. Still the three albums contained just enough ideas to tantalise, and this together with the reputation the group enjoys as one of the most potent and memorable live acts on the English circuit, nurtured the hope that one of these days Stone The Crows would produce a real shit kicker. "Continuous Performance" isn't quite it, but it's two steps on the way. It has to be seen as a transitional album, following the death of their lead guitarist, Les Harvey, who electrocuted himself at a college gig, and to whom "Continuous Performance" is dedicated.

Leslie Harvey (Middle-Front)
Harvey plays on five of the tracks, but his former overpowering approach has been mellowed by the bringing forward of pianist Ronnie Leahy, resulting in more balance over which Bell's voice even out-Joplins Janis. The opener, "On the Highway", highlights the group's tendency towards the excessive, and should have been compressed.

Maggie Bell
"Penicillin Blues", a not-so-sublime sexual metaphor written by bluesmen Sonny Terry and Brownie Magee, has Harvey sympathetically counterpointing Bell's amazing gymnastics : "I promise not to scream or wriggle / I want it to last all night long", becomes more obvious and orgasmic as the lyric progresses.

Harvey's replacement Jimmy McCulloch, turns in creditable performances on two numbers, "Sunset Cowboy" and "Good Time Girl". During the latter his runs blend well with the pulsing undercurrents laid down by Colin Allen and Sieve Thompson, and the punchy brass work. McCul-lock should eventually fill the gap left by Harvey's demise, and lighten the group's approach.
Maggie Bell's finest moments to date are "Niagra", a ditty about selling one's soul to the devil and throwing rocks at policemen, and "Sunset Cowboy", an emotion charged, gospel-tinged tribute to Harvey.

One minor niggle : In their usual ham-fisted manner, Phonogram Records have mutilated what was originally a fold-out cover, removing the capital "C" from the title, so look for "Ontinuous Performance", The mistake is repeated on the label, but rectified in the small print on the spine. It's really nice to see a company take such an obvious pride in presenting its product to the public (NOT)
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Leslie Harvey
Harvey's Death and it's Impact on the Band
The band were dealt a massive blow on May 3, 1972. Les Harvey was electrocuted onstage at the Swansea Top Rank and died. "You can imagine what it did to us to see Leslie die." recalls Bell, still shaken by the memory. We were all there when it happened". The band elected to try and carry on. ("I don't remember any vibe about splitting up after that happened,' remarks Allen.. ''I believe we all thought that Leslie would have wanted us to continue"). And the man who seemed lined up to step in for Harvey was none other Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green.

'We were rehearsing at Ronnie Leahy's house, in the basement," explains Bell. "Peter had agreed to join us for a festival appearance (Friar Festival) we were committed to doing. I recall going to pick him up. and he'd cut all his hair off and had a sleeping bag and haversack slung over his shoulder. He was almost unrecognisable from the person we all knew. But we spent three weeks rehearsing with him for the festival slot. Then on the day before the gig, he called us up and said he couldn't do it. There was no explanation, he just pulled out."

I suppose in reality - Peter was light years away from joining us,' alleges Allen. "He was such a space cadet in those days. We were very excited by the possibility of him joining - he was playing really well, but I think he came along to rehearse just for something to do"
Faced with this crisis, the band turned to an old friend to help them out.
"We gotten to know Yes when we did out debut album at Advision Studios; says Bell. ' They were in the studio at the same time. So, we called up Steve Howe and asked it he could help us out. And he was amazing. Steve stayed up all night, learning the songs, did the gig and was superb. He really came thought for us that day,and I can't thank him enough for helping us out of the hole".
Obviously, though Howe wasn't about to turn in his position with Yes to join Stone The Crows. So, the band had to start their search all over again for a new guitarist. But this was where the band found allies coming to their rescue.

"Everyone used to hang out in London at the Speakeasy Club. We all knew each other, and we'd all help one another out. It was the way things were back then. We all wanted to see other bands do well. And someone suggested we should check out a guy called Jimmy McCulloch. He had just left Thunderclap Newman's band, and like Leslie was Scottish."
So, McCulloch duly joined the band in time to finish off the recording demands for new album 'Ontinuous Performance'.


Les had already done most of the guitar parts for the album." reveals Bell. So, Jimmy just came in and played on a couple of tracks." McCulloch is featured on the songs 'Good Time Girl' and 'Sunset Cowboy'. Harvey played the guitar parts on the other songs.
"I wrote the lyrics for 'Sunset Cowboy' in memory of Leslie," says Allen. "It's safe to say that we were all pretty shell shocked for a while (after the accident), but you just get on with things - not much else you can do."

Live at Friars Festival, 1972
The album title reflected the band's situation, as Allen explains.
"I think we were implying that, even though Leslie was gone, we were carrying on. The missing letter 'C' in the album title might have been a symbolic thing, relating to the fact that Leslie was also missing.
"I seem to remember Mark London sometimes called him Ches Chesney, or something like that. I was Collie Colsner, Maggie was Mags Magsler; it was a Mark thing. You'd have to have known him in those days to understand. He was Canadian and had done, among other things, stand-up comedy in the Jewish Alps - the Catskill Mountain resort."
Released later in 72, 'Ontinuous Performance'; actually charted at number 33 in the UK. But for Bell it sounded the death knell for the band.

"The fire had gone out of us. There was no energy anymore. When Les died we lost something, and the band couldn't ever be the same again. Jimmy wasn't a writer, so we were have faced a problem in the future anyway. To be honest, we were all shattered by the loss of Les and I felt I couldn't carry on with this band."

In 1973, Stone The Crows split up. "It was about two days after our last gig in Montreux - it was a management decision", reveals Allen The band  have left a legacy of four albums, all of which have their own character. And the ensuing decades have only added to the richness of their legacy and reputation. "We should have been bigger and more successful than we were", insists Bell, with good reason. Allen, though, is a little more philosophical.
"It was what it was - basically a good live band with a lot of fans. To raise yourselves above that you need a hit album or a single that got a lot of airplay. We had neither.'
However what Stone The Crows have left behind musically has ensured they've been lionised by many younger bands through the years. The gift of their values and creativity continues to inspire those who aspire.  [by Malcolm Dome, London, 2015]
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This post consists of MP3 (320kps) and FLACs ripped from my crispy clean vinyl along with full album artwork for both vinyl and CD media.
I heard this album for the first time back in 1977 while I was living on campus in Glenn College at La Trobe University, Melbourne.
At the time, the college had a modest collection of records available for loan for it's student residents and this Stone The Crow's LP was the first one I borrowed.  It was in rough condition but still playable enough to fully appreciate the music that it offered. More than 40 years later, I have located my own 'near mint' copy. Needless to say, my first words when I saw it again after so many years was 'Stone The Crows' !'
As a bonus, I am also including two live tracks taken from the CD re-issue of the album - 'Penicillin Blues' and 'Good Time Girl'.
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Track Listing
1) On the Highway
2) One More Chance
3) Penicillin Blues
4) King Tut
5) Good Time Girl *
6) Niagara
7) Sunset Cowboy *
BONUS TRACKS
8) Good Time Girl (Live)
9) Penicillin Blues (Live)

Stone The Crows:
Maggie Bell - vocals
Steve Thompson - bass
John McGinnis - keyboards
Collin Allen - drums
Leslie Harvey - guitar
Jimmy McCulloch - guitar *
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Stone The Crows MP3 Link (140Mb)

Stone The Crows FLAC Link (282)


Friday, November 22, 2019

Ray Burgess Band - Final Mix (1978) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1970 - Present)
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Ray Burgess was born on October 26, 1952 and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton. Whilst in his third year at Clayton Technical School, hre formed his own band and played at parties, local dances and school functions. After leaving school, Ray worked briefly as a bank teller before joining Melbourne band, Redtime. Initially the band's main claim to fame was the fact that they toured Australia as Johnny Farnham's backing group. However, in 1972, Redtime moved to Perth where they became resident band at one of the city's top night clubs. The group also became regulars on Perth television and achieved a high degree of popularity in the west before they returned to Melbourne in 1973.
Back in Victoria, the band experienced no shortage of work in clubs and hotels. However, early in 1974, Ray decided it was time to pursue a solo career.

Within a short period he had scored himself an energetic manager in Neville Kent. A host of bookings followed. Then came television appearances, and, by January 1975, his mammoth hit, 'Touch Me' had entered the charts. Ray's punchy rock style was particularly popular amongst teenagers. He became a regular on pop shows Countdown and Bandstand. His next single was 'Love Fever', which surfaced in July and enjoyed the same success as his first release.

Although Ray was absent from the charts over the next two years, his career was certainly not inactive. He became compere of the TV series Rock'n'Roll Circus, and in July 1976, he moved to Sydney to take over hosting the five day a week national show, Flashez. The show, which was screened via the ABC network, featured a pop news coverage as well as performances from a variety of rock artists. He was eventually nominated for a Logie in 1977 for hosting the show.

Meanwhile, another single, 'Little Boy Sad' (the old Johnny Burnette standard) came to light in May '76. It was followed with Ray's first album, Not So Pretty. The album was produced by Ross Wilson and was aimed at giving him a heavier image. One of the stronger tracks on the LP, 'Sad Rock'n'Roll' (a ballad written by Greg Macainsh), was lifted from it as a single. This was followed by a further single, 'Rock'n'Roll Lightning' in November 1976. Unfortunately, neither record made the charts.

Ray rounded off 1976 by touring as a compere with Status Quo. He then took a vacation-cum-look-around trip to England and the US. With no sign of his popularity waning, Ray moved into 1977, and in May came up with his third national hit single. The song was a remarkably close revival of the 1965 smash hit for Van Morrison's group, Them, entitled 'Gloria'. In the meantime, Flashez' popularity had reached a peak with over 1,000 fan letters being received each week.
As a supplement to the series, a Flashez' Roadshow was introduced to tour near country areas in the vicinity of Melbourne and Sydney. However, the show's frequency restricted Ray's personal appearances.

In July, another Burgess talent came to light with the release of a book of thirty poems by Ray called Love, Peace and Happiness. Another single, 'Midnight Cowboy', came in September. But, perhaps because it didn't follow his punchy rock style success formula, it failed to take off.
Finally, in November 1977, the Flashez series came to an end. Ray moved to Channel 0 in Melbourne where he did the beach shows over the '77/78 summer. [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock 1978-79 Yearbook p48-50]

Ray’s natural talent as a performer landed him many guest appearances in 1978. He appeared in Australia’s most respected live television shows including Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, Brian Henderson’s Bandstand, Midday with Mike Walsh, and The Don Lane Show. Furthermore, Ray has worked with other A-list celebrity hosts  with include Paul Hogan and Bert Newton, and he was a regular on game shows Blankety Blanks and Celebrity Squares. In addition to that, Ray hosted Young Talent Time on number of occasions, filling in for regular host, Johnny Young.

Johnny Farnham and Ray
During 1989-1990, Ray hosted the Sky network program After Dark. For more than 17 years now, Ray has been a regular guest celebrity on Perth’s TVW7 Telethon (the biggest fund raiser in the world!). On this platform, he has performed alongside international stars including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Vic Damone, and Gene Pitney. In June 2008, Ray made a guest appearance on ABC television’s hilarious and well-rated, Spicks & Specks.
Singer, musician, television presenter, host, MC and compĂ©re, Ray has undoubtedly left his mark in Australia’s entertainment industry. After 40 years in the industry, Ray Burgess has a lot to offer; he’s talented, funny, charismatic and, above all, versatile.

Ray Burgess 2012
In 2008, Ray’s daughter, singer Casey Burgess, was hand-picked from to replace Charli Delaney in the hugely popular group kid’s group, Hi-5. During Casey’s short time with Hi-5, she toured, recorder three series, and was featured in the Live H-5 DVD. In like manner, she is now pursuing a solo career. Ray and Casey continue to perform together whenever possible.

In  2013, Ray returned to the charts with a new rock anthem “Legends of the Southern Land”. He is joined by friends and fellow stars John St Peeters, John “Swanee” Swan, Marty Rhone and Tommy Emmanual sharing their love and pride for all Australians.

Interview with Ray (Extracts)
(by Sharyn Hamey / Rock Club 40 / April 12, 2012) 
Ray’s musical career began when he was one of the runners up on New Faces. “1969, I think it was. I got a job with a professional band and toured extensively. We worked as John Farnham’s backing band for probably eighteen months or two years.” Eventually, Ray was invited to venture out into a solo career. “I had a hit record within twelve months, which was more of a shock to me than anybody else,” he recalls.  “At that stage, we were working through the AMBO agency in Melbourne, which was the house of Kevin Lewis and Johnny Young and Young Talent Time. We didn’t have a recording contract. John and Kevin heard the single and they had a contract with Festival and they said ‘We’ll release it.’  And Boom! Boom! It was on the first colour Countdown and away it went!”  The song, of course, was "Touch Me" and, as Ray recalls, he was a bit of a regular on Countdown back then. Unfortunately, many of those episodes from the first two years of Countdown are now lost to us. “I think they reused the tapes and none of it ever got kept,” he explained. “I was lucky when I did "Touch Me" on that colour Countdown because that’s the reason they kept it. It was the first one.”

Then Ray decided to audition for another television show. That show was Flashez and, for the next 18 months or so, he was beamed into lounge rooms all around the country via the ABC. “It was extraordinary stuff.  I guess the television coverage was probably to the detriment of the recording because radio stations were loath to play your music if you were on TV every day.  That message came through quite clearly. From then on, there was a lot of television. There were all those Don Lane Shows. I was a regular on Kennedy’s Blankety Blanks. I just did a lot of TV and continued to work in different genres. I did kids’ shows and I toured and just kept working all over the shop, until about ten or so years ago.  I was working at a club in Sydney, doing a ballad or something,” he recalls “and the poker machines were roaring on the right hand side, people sitting with their backs to you and the band was sort of staring off into space as they were playing and I thought ‘This is not what I did it for.’  If people don’t want to listen, there’s no value in doing it.” And that was when he began to rethink what he was doing and which path he wanted to take.  “I started thinking  ‘what else in life is there to do?’

When Ray stopped performing in a full time capacity, he started working with long term unemployed people, doing community work. “I guess, as an artist, I’ve always been involved in community work, in a way, which led me to work at the community centre, Pole Depot, where I work now.”  About eighteen months ago, Ray was asked by Brian Cadd to become involved in Support Act which is a musician’s benevolent fund in Australia. “He was going overseas and I’d been involved in some fundraising activities and he asked if I’d fill his position on the board, which I was very surprised and honoured with. And when I asked him ‘Why me?’ he said because I’d been involved with community work and at that level in management and board level already. Brian’s overseas again at the moment so I’m again involved in the board.”

He is also involved in community radio. “I’d never done radio before. Radio was always the bane of recording artists,” he laughs, “because you were constantly begging them to play your stuff. There’s one major community radio station here: 90.1 on your dial. I think they cover about 23 to 24% of the Sydney market. And we specialise in 60s and 70s music which is right up my alley. I do play more modern music occasionally. It’s great and it gives me a platform to talk about the programs that Pole Depot run which are very important and relevant as well. And, in the wider music community, it also gives me a chance to talk to people who were my peers, my mates. I recently had a discussion with Darryl Cotton. He was here with Russell Morris and Jim Keays and I said ‘Guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to us on air.’ and Darryl said ‘No, thank you! There’s so few that want to know anymore and we’ve got to use all the resources we can to let the people know we’re still alive, still working and still around.’ ”

“There are other industry things I get involved with too. I sing occasionally. I did a gig recently with Marty Rhone, Dinah Lee and John Paul Young which was a couple of hours of hits which was mighty.” he smiles. “It’s great to be treading the boards again.”

Thinking back over his long and varied career, Ray considers what the highlights were for him. “I suppose,” he ponders, “a major highlight was when I first heard ‘Touch Me’ played on radio. It was released on 16th December 1974 and traditionally in the lead up week, playlists get locked in over the Christmas period and they don’t change until about the second week of February and I thought ’Well, if it doesn’t get picked up this week, it’s history. But who cares? Let’s do it anyway. If I’ve got a little piece of vinyl, then that’s great. It’s better than some have got!’  It got picked up by 3XY in Melbourne on Christmas Eve and I heard it when I was driving home on the South-Eastern Freeway that afternoon and it was such a buzz.”

He pauses for a moment. “But, really, it’s the people you met on the journey and the mates you make along the way.”  He relates a story to show me exactly what he is referring to. “You know, there’s a lady who comes to our shows here in Sydney who suffers from cerebral palsy. She’s about fifty and she gets herself in a wheelchair and gets a cab by herself and if you ask ‘Do you want us to help you?’ she says ‘No. I’m fine.’  She just lives and loves music and she can get out there to some of the shows… while we sometimes think ‘Oh should I do it?’ and you’ve got someone like that with such a restriction on what they can do, what an amazing person! People think it’s about the things they can’t do but people with a disability say ‘No, it’s about the things I can do!’

Ray is clearly very content with his life at the moment, and finds his work extremely rewarding. “The gamut of experiences is fantastic and it gives you a really good broad spectrum of life. It helps you appreciate what it is and what it should be. Life can be wonderful one minute and turn on its head the next. That’s what makes it interesting,” he smiles. “My life is never the same, two weeks in a row.”

For the full interview, see rockclub40.com

Ray's Countdown Years
Ray Burgess, another member of Countdown's melancholy chorus, also conveyed mixed messages to teenage girls. Half wanting to put his picture on their bedroom walls, they found that alongside the sexpots in Skyhooks and Sherbet, Ray offered less justification to burden the Blu-Tack.
Burgess, a former bankteller from the outer Melbourne suburb of Clayton, hosted the ABC pop show Flashez for the two years of its life. With his dimples and immovable hair. Burgess had a suburban charisma, the local boy made good. But his sexuality, like decaffeinated coffee and phone sex, just wasn't the real thing. His tight satin pants housed treasures that the Countdown generation wanted to excavate for a brief period only. It was certainly the first time in the short history of Countdown that teenage girls understood the word restraint. Ray was just too much of an all-round nice guy and not enough of a pop star. It was like trying to find a TV host sexy. But it must be said that his rendition of "Touch Me" (taken from his 'Not So Pretty' album) did cause several girls to reach Rayward.

Couldn 't get to sleep in my room last night 
Something wasn't quite the same
Just as I was reaching for the nearest light 
I heard someboy calling my name 
[Chorus] Touch me, Ooh, I get the feeling 
Huh, it feels good.'

Burgess now gives himself the benefit of the doubt. "I was a bit of a sex symbol, wasn't I? The wife didn't like it very much. But I was one of the good boys. The wife was either in the studio or on the road with me."
Hosting Flashez killed Burgess's pop career, just as Countdown, the steamroller, killed Flashez because it represented competition that was not appreciated. ABC management did not see the need for both shows. With the demise of his pop and TV career Burgess hit the Leagues Club circuit, doing Beatles and Billy Joel songs. He worked the casinos all around the country, including special nights among the high-rollers in Darwin.
[Extract from 'Glad All Over: The Countdown Years 1974-1987, Peter Wilmoth' p97-98]
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my recently acquired vinyl, sourced from another good day at the local flee market, and in mint, mint condition.  When I spotted the album, something rang in my ears....  'TOUCH ME, Ooh, I get the feeling, Huh, it feels good.', so I picked it up.
Full album artwork and label scans are also included.  To sweeten the deal, I've added as a bonus Ray's 1981 promotional single "The Golden City" (which pays homage to Bendigo's gold rush days) along with it's B-Side "Rachel's Song".   I really enjoy Ray's cover of Them's "Gloria" and Judas Priest's "The Ripper", although I don't think this album is as strong as his debut LP "Not So Pretty" which I might consider posting at a later date if there is enough interest.  That's a hint people -  so don't forget to comment.
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Track listing: 
01 - I Want You I Need You (Vanda-Young)
02 - Love Stealer (Wainman-Myhill)
03 - The Ripper (Tipton)
04 - Deeper and Deeper (Van Wormer)
05 - Stay Awhile Stay (Peter Jennings)
06 - Black Is Black (Wadley-Jones-Grainger)
07 - When You Lose Someone You Love (Burgess)
08 - Love Rustler (Linds-Cain)
09 - GLORIA (Morrison)
10 - Drift Away (Burgess) 
BONUS TRACKS
11 - The Golden City (Don Mudie)
12 - Rachel's Song (Ray Burgess)

The Album "Final Mix" was produced by Ross Burton 
The engineers were Ian McKenzie and Ross Cockle and the studio was Armstrongs in Melbourne

Musicians:
Guitars: Tony Naylor
Bass: Graham Thompson
Keyboards: Peter Sullivan
Drums: Barry Cram
Sax: Bill Harrower
Backing Vocals: Chrissie and Lindsay Hammond (Cheetah)/Ross Burton/Adrian Campbell/Tony Naylor/Barry Cram  

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Scandal - Selftitled (1978)

(Australian 1976-1978)
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Line-up: STUART KERRISON (lead vocals); CHRIS HARRIOT (keyboards, vocals); PETER WATSON (guitar, vocals); MICHAEL SMITH (bass guitar, vocals); ALDO CIVITICO (drums).

One hit single, one very smooth album and then suddenly Scandal was no more. A little over two years after their first appearance in June 1976, the boys felt they were stagnating and, in November, 1978, announced their break-up.

The band formed in Adelaide in February '76. Comprising four English migrants and a token Australian (drummer Aldo Civitico) the band’s stylish UK-centric sound drew on influences such as Supertramp, Bryan Ferry and David Bowie for inspiration. They spent their first four months rehearsing then things happened quickly. Late in 1976, they were signed by Mushroom Records, in January '77 their first single, 'Best Deal In Town'/'Mountain Legend' was released, followed by the very bizarre 'Harry' (which featured a 1930s type sound) .

The band then enjoyed its only national chart success with their third single, a cover of the smooth soul/pop track How Long (originally by British band Ace). Scandal’s version reached #23 in Australia in May 1978. As the disc climbed the charts in May, their debut album, simply titled Scandal, was issued. It included a re-recorded, heavier sounding version of 'Best Deal In Town' and a classy track called 'She's A Lady' — released as their next single in June.


The band continued to tour until November '78 when they went off the road to prepare their second album. But all was not well in the Scandal camp. By the end of the month it was confirmed that they had split up, feeling they had achieved all they could in their present form Their final performance was in December.


Kerrison, Harriott and Watson decided to start a new band called The Extractors to be launched early in 1979, while Smith resolved to settle in Sydney. By August 1979,  the three revived the Scandal name for a new band with Adrian Dessent on guitar, Greg Trennery on bass and Nat de Palma on drums. The new line-up was not successful and Kerrison left the music industry while Dessent went on to work with Wendy and the Rocketts. By 1983, Watson had joined Sydney band, The Venetians. [extracts from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock 1978-79 Yearbook p37-38  AND nostalgiacentral.com]


Article from 'The Haze' by Michael Smith
(Issue 16 - Autumn 2019. p 40-41)
With nearly 50 years in entertainment through performing onstage and writing about those who appear on one, the career of Katoomba's Michael Smith's is as long and dense as his white head of hair, lending him an appearance akin to a musical wizard. Corin Shearston reveals more ...

In a 2016 feature for Rhythms' Magazine, one of many in Michael's CV's of publications alongside The Music, the magazines Juke, Duke and RAM and the Journals Overland and Australian Musician, Smith recalls how his family lived in three different places in London before moving to the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, "the Mt Druitt of South Australia", for Michael to attend Elizabeth West Primary School. Throughout his schooling, Michael remained distantly aware of John 'Swanee' Swan, fellow student and older brother of Jimmy Barnes, in a connection to resurface in 1973 at Adelaide University in fourth year at Elizabeth High, Michael discovered guitar through the gift of a 'dodgy little acoustic' instrument making him fall from being a good student to barely scraping into Uni. His first of numerous bands, 'barely adequate' cover group 'Handle With Care assigned Smith with the position of singer and guitarist. 

Tarkus featuring Jimmy Barnes and Michael Smith
Things really clicked in December 1971 through meeting 'real' guitarist and singer John Pryer at a Christmas party, a young man engrossed in a garage jam With fellow English migrant and drummer Steve Prestwich, direct from Liverpool. As Michael tells me, "there was a bass in the corner. I picked it up and I found all that really bad lead guitar playing was perfect for really good bass playing." The jamming trio, dubbing themselves as Ice, went on to play about 20 gigs before disbanding - Fortunately Michael's time in Ice cemented his decision to be a bass player. The following year, a coincidental meeting with Swanee at a Blackfeather gig led to Michael signing up as bassist in the short lived group Tarkus (named after the LP released by the then popular Emerson, Lake and Palmer), 16 year old Jimmy Barnes' only covers group before joining what would become Cold Chisel. Or as Michael writes in Rhythms, 'just four young guys intent on making a racket together'.

After a stint in the group Slim Pickings one year before helping found his first nationally successful group in 1975, Smith was in yet another covers group, Roadwork. The band was fronted by singer Stuart Kerrison, who Michael had replaced as bassist in Tarkus two years prior. Towards the end of 1975, Kerrison and keyboardist Chris Harriott grew restless, deciding to redesign their act with a new name, gaining popularity that lead to a signing with Mushroom Records in 1976 as Scandal.


Thus began a three year career supporting the likes of ELO and 10CC over 550 gigs, while appearing on Countdown four times for each respective single from their self-titled and only album in 1978.
Helping their success was the fact that all the really good Adelaide bands left for Sydney in 1976, including Cold Chisel and The Angels leaving Scandal to rise to the top  of the heap. The group were an anomaly, "four migrant kids from England with an Italian drummer and typically ridiculous English humour", who also incorporated Flamboyant elements of pantomime into tracks like "Harry" and the album version of 'Best Deal In Town', which unlike the single was slow, sleazy, and featured ''alluring Parisian whistling' from Michael.

Despite the novelty, Scandal were a hit. In a charity event at the Adelaide Royal Children's Hospital, the group were totally hyped, performing at vigorous rock 'n' roll speed and simply powering through their set, all with four part harmonies and tight arrangements.

Coming off stage, MC Ian 'Molly' Meldrum was blown away, going back to Melbourne to tell some of his friends the news, including Michael Gudinsky, Australian music mogul and founder of Mushroom Records. Glenn Wheatley of Oz Records got wind of the same thing, and both Gudinsky and Wheatley flew back to Adelaide to check out Scandal, landing the group with a record deal from Mushroom by end of the year. As Michael recalls, Scandal got signed with five original songs under their belt.

Although "Best Deal In Town" and "Harry" both got to top 10 on the Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth charts, Scandal never really cracked it big, and Michael finished his Bachelor degree from Adelaide in Sydney, where the band had wound up.

Michael tells me, "after a year of floundering, trying to find a band that would work, I thought the best thing for me to do was go back to University, as a great way for me to clear my head." While completing a Masters Degree in English Literature in 1979, Michael was playing bass in indie groups No Traces and Phil de Void, the latter including Divinyls' rhythm guitarist Bjarne Ohlin. Michael's next group Pat Drummond's Skooldaze, was an academically-themed concept that

went on to spawn a mini musical and album with singer/songwriter and current Medlow Bath resident Pat Drummond at the helm. As Michael remembers, "Pat's a lovely guy and songwriter but he's not a rockstar, and he looks like a school teacher. So we turned the stage into a classroom."  Meanwhile, Scandal were still functioning under the name The Extractors, before ultimately falling apart. Funnily enough, keyboardist player Chris Harriott became a composer for TV shows like Bananas In Pyjamas, Hi-5 and McLeod's Daughters. Singer Stuart Kerrison ended up going to England to work as a sound man for such groups as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and now runs a Norwegian studio in 1985. Michael interviewed the group China Doll for Juke, who later invited him to be their bass player. Transforming the group into hard rock five  piece at the resignation of singer Shaylee Wilde in 1986.


One of the most important things that Michael gained through Scandal was his career as a music journalist. After taking his first steps into music journalism with a low budget journal called Australian Musician, Michael was able to contact artist's he'd met through  tours with Scandal and enquire on the possibility of articles, features, interviews and reviews, Building up the Australian Musician side of things, Michael then sent pieces to Duke and RAM, with the proposal of  'remember me', I was in Scandal, here's a review. So that's how I conned my way into rock journalism. And I'm still there".

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This post consists of FLACs ripped from vinyl (thanks to Sunshine) and includes full album artwork and label scans.  There are also a multitude of band photos included (not all displayed above) and a copy of the Haze Article.  One thing that I really enjoy about this album is the diversity of musical styles demonstrated in each track and the great vocal harmonies, not dissimilar to those of Mother Goose.   It is a shame that Scandal didn't go on to record a follow up album, as I'm sure their output would have been a lot more mature and a certain commercial success (in line with their hit single "How Long").
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Track Listing

01 - Matador Song
02 - Kidnap
03 - My Lady's Chamber
04 - How Long
05 - Suicide Rag / Colonel Bogey March
06 - She's A Lady
07 - Never Push A Door Marked Pull
08 - Best Deal In Town
09 - Mountain Legend
10 - What Am I Supposed to Do?
11 - Harry
12 - On A Wing & A Prayer

Credits:
Bass, Whistling, Backing Vocals – Michael Smith
Drums, Percussion, Timpani, Gong, Snare – Aldo Civitico
Guitar, Finger Cymbals, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Peter Watson
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bells [Tubular], Timpani, Percussion – Stuart Kerrison
Piano, Synthesizer, Organ, Clavinet, Spinet, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Chris Harriott
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Friday, November 8, 2019

John Denver - Live At The Sydney Opera House (1978) + Bonus Tracks

(U.S 1962 - 1997)
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Singer/songwriter/guitarist, born John Henry Deutschendorf in Roswell, New Mexico, on Dec 31, 1943. His father an air force pilot who held three world aviation records, the young John Denver travelled U.S. as his parents moved from one base to another. First performed as folk singer in Lubbock, Texas, where he attended college - majoring in architecture - in the early '60s.
Denver performed in Los Angeles from 1964 and successfully auditioned for gig with Chad Mitchell Trio, replacing the departing Mitchell. Toured with Trio between 1965-69 before embarking on solo career performing much of own material, notably "Leaving On A Jet Plane" which Peter Paul & Mary recorded in 1969 for huge hit.

Denver's version of song was included on his first solo album Rhymes & Reasons, released in U.S. Sept 1969 (Denver albums issued in different order in U.K.). By 1970 and two more albums, Take Me To Tomorrow and Whose Garden Was This?, Denver was still seeking widespread acceptance although the tenor of subsequent recordings had by then been established - saccharine acoustic melodies topped off with lyrics which plumbed the depths of naivete.

Ideal Easy Listening fodder, in fact, for those who felt urge to empathise with the "youth movement" (Denver has also milked ecology dry as a source for material) but couldn't handle the incisiveness of a Bob Dylan, Neil' Young or even Paul Simon - and in 1971 America eventually took country-boy Denver to its heart with the gold single "Take Me Home Country Roads" and the similarly million-selling 'Poems, Prayers & Promises' album.

"Friends With You" also made singles lists later same year, and Denver's buck-toothed grin and homespun banalities have dominated U.S. AM airwaves and charts ever since.
'Aerie' and 'Rocky Mountain High' became gold albums in 1972, the title track from the latter becoming his second million-seller. In 1973, "Farewell Andromeda" similarly went gold, as did "Annie's Song" single following year which saw Denver enter U.K. charts for first time.

In 1975, the Denver bandwagon accelerated into new gear with a series of U.S. TV specials and Lake Tahoe cabaret appearances back to back with Frank Sinatra. His album 'Windsong' racked up a million in advance orders alone, while "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" and "I'm Sorry" kept him at top of singles charts. Backed by coast-to-coast John Denver TV Special 'Rocky Mountain Christmas' watched by some 30 million viewers, Dec 1975 album of same name was guaranteed gold virtually on announcement of its release.


A measure of Denver's phenomenal commercial appeal is the fact that his 'Greatest Hits' collection had, by the end of 1975, racked up two consecutive years on the U.S. album charts.
'Live In London' (U.K. only) was recorded during spring 1976 concerts in the city and - in what is probably record time - rush-released within some ten days of Denver's last gig. In the same year, Mercury issued 'Beginnings', an album from Chad Mitchell Trio days.
In 1977, Denver co-founded The Hunger Project with Werner Erhard and Robert W. Fuller. He served for many years and supported the organisation until his death. Denver was also appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the President's Commission on World Hunger, writing the song "I Want to Live" as its theme song. In 1979, Denver performed "Rhymes & Reasons" at the Music for UNICEF Concert. Royalties from the concert performances were donated to UNICEF.

A longtime aviator, Denver died on October 12, 1997, when the experimental plane that he was piloting went down over Monterey Bay, California.

Advert  (Sydney Morning Herald 05 Nov, 1977)
Album Review
This recording contains the title track from what was at the time his latest release, "I Want to Live" and 1977 was the pinnacle of John's career; which is why this live offering is one of his best. The tracks on the LP are in the order performed except for, "Today", "Calypso" and "Me and My Uncle" which were not initially included, but I have chosen to include them here as bonus tracks (sourced from the 1999 CD release)

In my opinion the only enhancements which could be made, would be if they would have included more of the banter between John and the audience; which was a trademark of his concerts. One left his shows feeling as though you'd visited with an old friend, having spent the evening catching up and listening to music, he was a terrific story teller.
If dialog is not your preference, then the perfect renditions of the songs included will be well worth the purchase price.

Sydney Opera House
If you just want John Denver alone with his guitar, this performance is probably not for you. There are a couple of songs like that, but for the majority he has orchestra and vocal backups in this performance, as well as extra guitars, banjos, etc. The recording quality is crisp and clear, the songs are beautifully arranged. The female background singer’s voice blends so perfectly with John’s.

John takes me back to a simpler time, when honest felt love songs and songs of nature were on the radio,... and had a important place in our lives. If you love John Denver, you will love this live performance at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Inside The Concert Hall
Throughout his decade-spanning career, Denver’s works were portrayed across an array of mediums, from film to social activism, to politics, to music, where he would arguably have the most impact. Known for his love of the environment, and his disdain for fast paced, city living, Denver became a unique voice for an era, and one that’s all the more relevant today.

The John Denver Celebration Concert
A Night of John Denver’s Voice, Songs and Videos


The John Denver Celebration Concert tour was an innovative musical treat and unforgettable tribute show that toured Australia in December last year. It featured archival video footage of Denver performing classic songs backed by live performances from former members of his band with an accompanying string section!

Audiences were given a-close-as-they-could-get experience of seeing Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and Poet Laureate of Colorado John Denver in a concert setting, some 20 years after his passing.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my mint Vinyl and includes full album artwork, label scans and Tour Booklet. To enhance the experience, I have chosen to include 3 additional tracks that were released on the CD release but were not included on the original vinyl release due to the time limitations of the LP media. In addition, I thought I'd throw in a live of recording of "Amsterdam" taken from his 'Live At The London Palladium', a song which I really like. Hope you enjoy this offering.

.Track Listing
01 - Rocky Mountain High
02 - Back Home Again
03 - Fly Away
04 - Looking For Space
05 - I Want To Live
06 - It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
07 - Moreton Bay
08 - Grandma's Feather Bed
09 - Thank God I'm A Country Boy
10 - Take Me Home, Country Roads
11 - The Eagle And The Hawk
12 - Annie's Song
13 - Today (Bonus)
14 - Calypso (Bonus)
15 - Me And My Uncle (Bonus)
16 - Amsterdam (Bonus Live At London Palladium)

The Band:
John Denver - Vocals, 6 & 12 String Guitars
Hal Blaine - Drums & Percussion
James Burton - Dobro, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Emory Gordy - Bass, Mandiolin
Glen D.Hardin - Keyboards
Herb Pedersen - Banjo, Acoustic Guitar
Danny Wheatman - Mandoin, Fiddle
Background Vocals:
   -Renee Armand
   -Mike Crum
   -Herb Pedersen
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John Denver Live Link (147Mb)
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