Friday, January 31, 2020

Galapagos Duck - St James (1976)

(Australian 1969 - Present)
This is a fantastic jazz-funk LP from Australia featuring Oz jazz legend Don Burrows on clarinet.
Continuing the series of rare mid-70s Australian jazz albums (also see my previous "Crossfire" posts), this is the third album from Sydney-based band Galapagos Duck from 1975. Formed in 1969, they were initially the house band at "The Basement", the city's main jazz venue. I used to come across them in my teens, often playing at outdoor festivals. This album features guest woodwinds player Don Burrows, something of a stalwart in the jazz scene of the time. The album was produced by Horst Liepolt for his 44 Records label - Liepolt seems to have been behind most of the city's jazz releases, festivals and venues in the 60s and 70s.

Some parts are funky as hell. It features the ubiquitous rhodes and wah-wah woodwinds of the period and has a good loose, live feel on most tracks, with little overdubbing. Strange mix of tracks as an overall album, though - sometimes it's riffing on contemporary forms,  then suddenly lurches back to trad New Orleans, particularly when Burrows is on clarinet. Reading between the lines, this was a band that had to please many audiences to maintain a working lifestyle in a city that was just starting to develop  a jazz scene that went beyond the ageing of classic forms - so there's still a bit of crowd-pleasing going on here. Nevertheless, enough good stuff here to make it worthwhile, and I like McNamara's work on keyboards in particular. [thanks to Simon666]

The long “St James Infirmary” has a very funky part with wild breaks ! Hypnotic bass lines, then drum break (several bars) then electric piano. Terrific. And damn funky.! The Latin jazz “Hey Timbales” is wild too. Almost batucada jazz. But the best here is “Squeelers and Grunters”, a masterpiece of funk from Australia. Listen to the bass, drums, buzz flute, and punchy horns. Hope you enjoy it!

Review (by DR Kinetic)
44 Records was arguably the most important Australian Jazz record label operating in Australia during the 1970s. Owned and operated by the renowned Jazz aficionado Horst Liepolt, it released dozens of albums and also re-released some important albums form the 1960s. Amongst the label's releases are some of the best jazz and jazz-fusion releases Australia ever produced, namely Peter Boothman – For the Record (1975), David Fennell and Powerpoint – Alternate Route (1976) and of course Galapagos Duck - St. James.

To my ears, I prefer this album to their more rated The Removalists. It’s more consistently listenable in my opinion. The title number St. James’ Infirmary is a great long jazz number with a number of compelling changes. It begins with the tune of ‘house of the rising sun’ played by sax in a traditional jazz mode before dropping into a 2 minute bass solo. When the bass finally cools down the drums kick in and the jazz-funk fest begins. I used this bit in my ‘Aussie Funk’ mix. There are a few hokey jazz numbers, a few fusion cuts and another great sinister funky cut that rounds the album out: Squealers and Grunters, with a dark piano-led intro that’s pretty ripe for sampling, and a nice quirky flute solo halfway through. Finally, their cover of JJ Walker's "Mr Bojangles" is commendable.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my super clean vinyl and of course includes full album artwork and label scans.  Can't have enough of the 'duck' I say, so grab a copy now, before it flies away.
01. 'St James Infirmary' (Trad, arr. Galapagos Duck)
02. 'Flutin' ' (Galapagos Duck)
03. 'Ivory Moss' (Tom Hare, Chris Qua, Marty Mooney)
04. 'For Elizabeth' (Galapagos Duck)
05. 'Hey Timbales' (Marty Mooney, Tom Hare, Chris Qua ) 
06. 'That Particular Model' (Paul McNamara)
07. 'What Am I Doing Here' (Paul McNamara) 
08. 'Teo' (Paul McNamara) 
09. 'Mr Bojangles' (J. J. Walker)
10. 'Squeelers and Grunters' (Galapagos Duck)

The Duck were:
Tom Hare - trumpet, drums, saxaphones, flugelhorn
Don Burrows - clarinet, baritone sax, 5 key school flute, cabasaMarty Mooney - tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Paul McNamara - electric piano, acoustic piano
Chris Qua - bass, bass violin, flugelhorn
Willie Qua - drums, flute, electric flute

Galapagos Duck FLAC Link (214Mb) New Link 17/07/2020

Sunday, January 26, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Billy Thorpe - Sunshine Friends (Australia Day Tribute)

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. It's the day for us to re-commit to making Australia an even better place for the future. Australia Day, 26 January, is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788.

With respect to Australia's Music Industry, we can be very proud of the contributions that our Aussie Musos have made in entertaining people from every nation with music and song, with many of our artists achieving world wide acclaim. Therefore, I would like to celebrate this Australia Day by posting a lost tribute track recorded by one of our country's finest and most respected artist more the 40 years ago. None other than Billy Thorpe (and his Aztecs). I hope you enjoy it and have a great Australia Day !

Billy Thorpe - Sunshine Friends
Songwriters often say some songs take five minutes to write, while others can take five years to get right.  The late and great Aussie rocker Billy Thorpe and his band the Aztecs toiled away for three weeks on a track which never saw the light of day. Until now.
Original Aztecs rhythm guitarist Tony Barber recalls arguing with Thorpe over a new song they had written. It was called "Sunshine Friends".

"We were head to head, slogging away, arguing like crazy,'' Barber said. "And believe me, you had not argued until you'd argued with Billy.''
The reason why they were so fired up was because they realised this was not just another song.
It was a song about Australia, which had become home for the two Brits.
"It was a song about country, a place we'd come to as migrants and loved dearly. And we were trying to convey that in the song.
"We just wanted to say, `Thanks Australia'.''

Barber can't exactly remember when the track was recorded, but estimates it is more than 30 years old.
They put the song on a cassette, meaning to do something with it, but as does happen, says Barber, "life takes over''.
Barber and Thorpe went on to form a soft toy company called Sunshine Friends, but the track was buried.

Just a few months ago, Barber says he found the cassette bearing the tune in his shed.
"I was sifting through some stuff and I found it in my fishing bag,'' he said. "Well, where else would you put it?''
Barber approached Thorpe's widow Lynn Thorpe with the idea of releasing the song.
"I said to Lynn, `We should try and get this thing played on Australia Day, it would be nice gesture'.''
The track was then remastered in a studio.

Thorpe had a string of hits in `70s with the Aztecs, but is best known for the song, "Most People I Know Think That I'm Crazy". He died of a heart attack in February 2007.

Billy Thorpe's Aussie tune in time for Australia Day
By Stephen Downie, DailyTelegraph
January 26, 2010

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mountain - Live At Woodstock (1969) Day 2

(U.S 1969–74, 1981–85, 1992–98, 2001– present)
Bob Dylan once said that the ‘60s reminded him of a flying saucer landing – everybody heard about it, but only a handful ever saw it. Out of that handful who saw the decade up close, few had the view of the musicians who played the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The festival, long since pinned like a museum butterfly under history’s glass, misfired for some and cemented the reputations of others. The performance of Crosby, Stills & Nash marked only their second public appearance. Other bands such as The Grateful Dead still talk about how dissatisfied they were with their performance, while the great Alvin Lee and Ten Years After enjoyed, particularly after the concert film’s release, a considerable boost in popularity. Most famously, Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” filled more pages in the guitar great’s growing legend and lingers in public consciousness as the event’s defining moment.

Treading the boards in Max Yasgur’s field transformed Mountain’s career as well. The band’s close to classic lineup, minus soon-to-be-enlisted drummer Corky Laing with ND Smart still on drums, ripped through a set largely culled from guitarist Leslie West’s recently released solo album entitled “Mountain.” The wide-eyed, expressive and impressively built West manned center stage as if the fates conspired to place him there at that moment and time, while former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi stood semi-shadowed to his right unleashing furious bass runs in accompaniment. It is little stretch to say the massive crowd heard nothing quite like this before.

Mountain, L-R (Back) Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West, (Front) Corky Laing, Steve Knight.
It wasn’t the overpowering bluster or blues histrionics of West’s guitar. By 1969, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience spawned a host of imitators and influenced countless others to carry on their groundbreaking work to its logical conclusion. However, the public had yet to hear a guitarist capable of uniting accessibility, melody, power, fluent vibrato, and strong rhythm playing into one package. His imposing frame juxtaposed against the small size of his Les Paul Junior along with his surprisingly soulful and muscular vocals completed the picture. His torrid performances on “Beside the Sea” and “Southbound Train” impressed many and didn’t go unnoticed by record executives.
[By Jason Hillenburg for Goldmine Magazine, April 25, 2017]

Leslie West
Leslie West reminisces about Woodstock in an Interview with Rolling Stone:

Woodstock Remembered: Mountain Guitarist Leslie West on Playing the Fest
“When we flew over in the helicopter, it felt like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind“

Woodstock was just our third job, and it was quite a thrill. Mountain got on the show because our booking agent also handled Jimi Hendrix. I remember watching Creedence, Sly and the Family Stone, the Who. And I was thinking, “How can I top that?” It was one good band after another. It was a thrill, I’ll tell you.

We hired our own helicopter ’cause we had heard that it would be chaos getting up there. When we flew over in the helicopter, it felt like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There was a first-aid kit, and I opened it up and took out an amyl nitrite popper. I looked out at that crowd, and I almost fell out of the helicopter.

Felix Pappalardi
I think I had the most amplifiers of anybody there. It was paralyzing because that stage, that setting, was some kind of natural amphitheatre. The sound was so loud and shocking that I got scared. But once I started playing, I just kept going because I was afraid to stop.

There were bagels backstage, and they were going real quick. I remember that distinctly because our manager brought these barbecued chickens up in the helicopter — his wife had told him he’d better bring something to eat, and we were the only ones with food. Well, with all the smoke that was there, the appetites were crazy, and there was absolutely nothing to eat. We could have probably sold those chickens for like five grand apiece. [extract from]

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) (sourced on the web some time ago) and includes Mountain's full Woodstock setlist.   Limited artwork is also included along with select photos, with alternative front cover shown below.  As was for many of the bands who played Woodstock, Mountain owed their big break to the performance they made at this iconic festival.  In fact, they even subtitled one of their tracks in recognition to the festival's host, Max Yasgur.
01 Blood Of The Sun 3:00
02 Stormy Monday 7:18
03 Theme For An Imaginary Western 5:13
04 Long Red 5:45
05 Who Am I But You And The Sun (For Yasgur's Farm) 3:47
06 Besides The Sea 3:32
07 Waiting To Take You Away 4:50
08 Dreams Of Milk And Honey 16:11
09 Southbound Train 6:16
Mountain were:
Leslie West - Guitar & Vocals
Felix Papalardi - Bass & Vocals
N D Smart - Drums
Steve Knight - Keyboards

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Budgie - Suicidal Homicidal (1985)

(U.K 1969 - Present)
This German compilation, released by Cube Records in 1985 was originally released under the title of 'Best Of Budgie' in the UK in 1981. Both featuring the same track listing, all tracks are taken from Budgie's first two LP's ('Selftitled' and 'Squawk'). Of course, we all know that their third LP "Never Turn Your Back On Your Friends' was their swan song LP, but for some reason Cube Records ignored this and decided to focus on their first two LPs, referring to it as Pre-flight Budgie.
Never the less, this compilation still presents a 'nest' full of Budgie classics which highlight some of their best riffs, in particular one of my favourites "Homicidal Suicidal" and a band favourite "Guts" which they still play live today at their gigs. The only concern I have with this album is why Cube records decided to give the LP the reverse title 'Suicidal Homicidal'. I wonder if it was a 'lost in translation' error rather than intentional, being a German release?
Irrespective, a special highlight of this album are the liner notes (written by their producer Roger Bain) on the back cover. They go something like this.....

Pre-flight Budgie - an album containing the best, ie. the heaviest tracks from the first two seminal albums by this Welsh band.

I first saw Budgie when Kingsley Ward the mastermind behind Rockfield Studios, arranged  for Burke and the lads to audition in his studio. I had just completed some heavy recording sessions with 'The Earth Blues Band' who were later to change their name to 'Black Sabbath', and Kingsley thought I would be interested in hearing the Welsh answer to 'The Birmingham Bashers'. Kingsley was quite right, I was.

Roger Bain (Producer)
Apparently, the band had never met a "Record Producer" before, and expected me to arrive in a white Rolls Royce, smoking a foot long cigar and wearing a nine carat gold knuckle duster! When they were told that their roadies had to meet me off the train at Glouchester station, they were quite relieved. I knew straight away I wanted to work with this band, and we agreed there and then to record the first album, despite the fact that it was now the middle of winter and the snow lay two feet deep around the Welsh studio. Every playback was preceded by a fight for the best place in front of the parrafin stove, in fact Burke wore wooflen gloves for most of the takes (so that is the secret of his heavy bass sound!) and those 'cordon bleu' trained roadies - I have never tasted baked beans on toast like that before! (what a glamorous life it is in show business).

The personnel on these sessions reads as follows:
Burke Shelley - Bass Guitar & Vocals (studying to perfect a method of keeping his glasses on while poncing around on stage),
Tony Bourge - Lead Guitar, which he had stuffed with old newspapers in order to reduced feedback from his amp (you should have taken the fish and chips out of the newspaper first Tony!)
Ray Phillips - Drums   (An expert at a hundred miles per hour without recourse to unnatural substances)

And of course, Tom Allom, whizz engineer, who despite his constant complaining about ice in the loo, and double portions of baked beans for breakfast, went on to success as producer of 'Judas Priest' and 'The Tourists'!

We had fun recording these albums, and having been allowed to combine the best tracks, I feel that all dedicated Budgie fans (God help them!) will be in seventh heaven (that's just outside Cardiff you know) when they get this piece of recorded history onto their turntables. Roger Bain 1980
(Ten years after the event, and I still wake up screaming.)
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans.
Although I'm sure most Budgie fans will probably have these tracks already in one form or another, if not the earlier 'Best Of Album' from 1981 (see left), but like any typical record collector, one's collection is never complete without those numerous compilations that record companies release to squeeze every cent they can from their artists. Budgie is no exception, so grab this one before it literally Flies Away!
Track List
01. Whisky River 3:24
02. Guts 4:20
03. Rolling Home Again 1:46
04. Homicidal Suicidal 6:43
05. Hot As A Docker's Armpit 5:53
06. Drugstore Woman 3:16
07. Rocking Man 5:28
08. You And I 1:44
09. Rape Of The Locks 6:13
10. Stranded 6:17
Budgie Suicidal Homicidal FLACs (259Mb)

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Russell Morris - Bloodstone (1971) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1966 - Present)
Russell Morris's first experiences as a pop singer stemmed from his role of lead vocalist with the group, Somebody's Image , which was formed in 1966. His popularity with the band inspired him to go solo in September, 1968 and success came his way almost immediately.

He began recording virtually straight away and early sessions involved some of Hans Poulsen's compositions. But the song that really established Russell was "The Real Thing", written by Johnny Young. The record was produced by lan Meldrum (who also managed Russell) and was remarkably innovative. It was twice as long as other singles at the time and featured a choral-style backing, a variety of sound effects and even an excerpt from one of Hitler's speeches. The record soared to No. 1 on the charts and in August '69 Russell received a gold disc to commemorate its outstanding sales. In fact, it became the top selling single of 1969.

Russell's next release, 'The Girl That I Love'/'Part Three Into Paper Walls', became a double-sided success and also made No.l. Late in 1969 he set off for the UK following the release of 'The Real Thing' there. Just prior to his departure, Meldrum announced that he would no longer be handling Russell's management and that he would remain in Australia. Mike Barnett took over as manager.

Russell's enormous popularity was reflected in being voted Australia's most popular male vocalist in the Go-Set Pop Poll of 1969. He returned home just prior to Christmas with the news that he had recorded his new single, 'Rachel' (written by Raymond Froggatt), whilst in England. Its release was held back and in February, 1970 he decided to re-record the song in Australia.
Throughout the early part of 1970, Russell embarked on a whirlwind tour covering all states and the new version of 'Rachel' eventually made the charts in May. Russell's next single, 'Mr. America', was his own composition and it recaptured the success of his earlier releases.

Meanwhile, work was started on his Bloodstone album which featured a number of top musicians providing backing such as Matt Taylor, Billy Green, Beeb Birtles and Duncan McGuire. The album became one of the year's best sellers, as did the single lifted from it, 'Sweet Sweet Love'/'Jail Jonah's Daughter'.   Considered by many to be an Oz Classic, it reached Number 12 nationally and along with the single "Sweet Sweet Love", became a big seller in 1971. The single reached number seven nationally. The album featured the beautiful song "Sweet Sweet Love" plus other standout tracks O'Helly and Jail Jonah's Daughter, but also had a mixture of country and blues feels. Glenn A Baker wrote  (on Morris' Retrospective album notes) " Sweet Sweet Love" was the maturing of Morris' unique voice in a breathy nasally whine with a compelling romantic charm".

During 1971, Russell toured Australia and New Zealand with the Bee Gees. His back-up touring band was Cycle with Brian Cadd as musical director. Morris played a few clubs gigs in Sydney and Melboume such as Chequers (Sydney) with SCRA and Levi Smith Clefs, Lido (Russell St, Melbourne) with Doug Parkinson and Pyramid.

Following Bloodstone's release (June '71), Brian and Russell co-wrote "Live With Friends", which was released in March, 1972. The B-side was the country track "Alcohol Farm" which showed Morris' versatile songwriting. He spent the rest of 1972 song writing and later in the year released his final single for EMI/ HMV - the beautiful "Wings of an Eagle", produced this time by Peter Dawkins. The song only reached Number 13 nationally. EMI released a compilation album 'Wings of an Eagle and other Great Hits', which contained all his hits between 1969 and 1972, plus some B sides of his singles. During 1972, Russell concentrated more on his song writing and this, coupled with the fact that he had no permanent backing band, meant that personal appearances were reduced to a minimum.

In 1973, he moved to London and initially lay low writing songs. Paul Dainty handled Russell's management there and arrangements were made to record an album, which was to be released on Warner Brothers. However, problems arose and so he moved to the US, rerecorded the LP and signed with R.CA (apparently there had been no actual contract with Warner Brothers).

It wasn't until 1975 though that we saw the results of Russell's recording in the US, when in September a single, "Let's Do It", was released here on the Wizard label. It was followed in November by the album which was entitled Russell Morris. In the meantime he did two promotional tours of America and early in 1976 he married his childhood sweetheart, Paula Thiele.

Then in December, 1976 he returned to Australia and his second international album, 'Turn It On', was released at the same time. The LP had more of a rock'n'roll feel than its predecessor and a single, 'RJSS' (Running, Jumping, Standing Still), was lifted from it. Unfortunately both releases met with only mild success, as did his next single, "Cloudy Day".

Russell returned to the US and once again attempted his struggle for international recognition.  Russell returned to Australia from the US early in 1978. Midway through the year he formed a band with RALPH WHITE (keyboards, sax), JOEY AMENTA (ex-Taste and Redhouse — guitar), GRAHAM THOMPSON (bass) and BARRY CRAM (drums).

In October, he signed to the Wizard label with plans to record an album for 1979 release entitled 'Foot In The Door'. That same month, EMI released an LP entitled Retrospective (1968 - 72). The record, compiled by rock historian, Glenn Baker, included all Russell's hits, plus excellent liner notes. [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encylopedia of Rock, Outback Press, 1978. p206-208]

Morris Today
Move forward some 40 years, and you'll still find Morris gigging as strong as ever and still releasing new material.  In a recent article in the Australian (entitled 'Rock Of Ages' by Richard Guiliatt) only days ago, Morris is mentioned in a feature article on Brian Cadd:

“Humans by nature are nostalgic,” muses ­Russell Morris, who now performs 60-70 shows a year and is busier than he’s been in decades. “For most people the past is more romantic than where you are at the moment.” Morris performed on those Long Way To The Top tours, he’s on the APIA Good Times Tour this winter and then he’ll jump onto a Beatles tribute show with Glenn Shorrock, John Paul Young and Doug Parkinson in August. But he’s also wary of getting pigeonholed as an oldies act — his recent career revival went into overdrive after he recorded a blues album, 'Sharkmouth', steeped in Australian folklore. A major departure for him, it was rejected by every major record company but went on to sell more than 100,000 copies, when released by independent record label 'Fanfare Records' [extract from]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my precious vinyl and includes artwork for both CD and Vinyl, along with label scans. I have also decided to include the rare extended version of "Sweet Sweet Love" and his 1972 single "Live With Friends" which were both released on a Channel 7 Telethon LP from 1972 through HMV Records (thanks to Ozzie Musicman for these)

01 O Helley
02 Jail Johan's Daughter
03 Saints And Sinners
04 Our Hero Is Dead
05 Heaven Shines
06 The Cell
07 The Gambler's Lament
08 Goodbye
09 Ride Your Chariot
10 Lay In The Graveyard
11 Sweet Sweet Love
12 Live With Friends (Bonus A-Side Single)
13 Sweet Sweet Love (Bonus Extended Version)

Backing Band:
Guitar – Phil Manning, Rick Springfield, Billy Green, Brian Holloway, Charlie Gould
Steel Guitar - Dave Kelly
Bass - Barry Harvey, Bob Arrowsmith, Duncan MacGuire
Drums - Mark Kennedy, John Creech, Ron Sandilands
Percussion - Mark Kennedy, Duncan MacGuire
Harmonica – Matt Taylor
Piano – Brian Cadd, Warren Morgan, Peter Jones
Organ - Bruce Rolands
Backing Vocals - Rick Springfield, Beeb Birtles, John Creech, Brian Cadd, Matrcie  Jones, Howard Goble
Producer – Howard Gable

Russell Morris FLAC Link (293Mb) New Link 1/05/2020

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Tim Finn - Escapade (1983) + Bonus Tracks

(New Zealand 1972 - Present)
The life, much like the music, of Tim Finn has had both its ups and downs. Born in 1952 in New Zealand to working class parents Tim Finn started his passion for music at a young age.

He formed his first group 'Split Enz' in 1972, with a bunch of his university buddies. Split Enz were heavily influenced by a popular Australian band of the time, 'Skyhooks', and the crazy costumes, silly songs and other shenanigans were clearly taken directly from Skyhooks, which drew some nasty comparisons by critics. Tim originally planned on calling his band 'Split Ends' but changed it to the 'Enz' to point out where they were from, New Zealand.

Tim was the lead singer for Split Enz, and while they had minor hits in both Australia and New Zealand, they did not find the huge success they wanted until they recruited Tim's younger brother Neil, which made Tim feel both happy and slightly jealous of Neil's precociousness. Split Enz lasted for eleven years all up, from 1972 - 1983, and in 1983, Tim released his much acclaimed debut solo album 'Escapade'. This album received rave reviews from critics, and Tim focused on his solo career over the next few years.

In 1983 he started dating actress Greta Scacchi, and he started to write the scores for films, which he always had an avid interest in. His largest acting role is in The Coca-Cola Kid (1985) in which Tim is in for about 5 minutes, but girlfriend Greta helped him get a brief cameo in 'White Mischief' in a blink and you will miss role, as a Bandleader who taps on a few microphones before exiting the stage. In 1989 Tim's much publicised romance with Scacchi ended, much to his dismay. It did not help that his current self-titled solo album as a flop. This launched Tim into a year of depression, in which he claims alcohol was his only friend. However, Tim found his stride again with the help of his brother, Neil.

In 1985, after the break up of Split Enz, Neil formed another Band 'Crowded House' with Split Enz drummer Paul Hester and artist/bassist Nick Seymour. Neil and Tim always planned on doing an album together as the Finn Brothers, but had not yet got around to it. Neil claims he was suffering writers block, trying to come up with new songs for the new Crowded House album, and he was also trying to work out when to do the long planned Finn Brothers album.

He came up with a great idea: Why not put the Finn Brothers album on hold, and instead recruit Tim as the fourth member of Crowded House, for their new album. Tim loved the idea, as it would finally put him back in the spotlight with brother Neil, and together they wrote most of the songs for Crowded House's most acclaimed album 'Woodface'. This album was a huge hit, which made both Tim and Neil happy, and Tim finally had the confidence to return to his solo career. Crowded House released their final studio album in 1993 (not including compilations) which Tim had a minor involvement in, but not as a fourth member. Since 1993 Tim has mainly focused on his solo career, although in 1996 he helped out ex Split End Keyboarder Eddie Rayner with his critically acclaimed solo album.

In 1997, he married a New Zealand TV Personality, Marie Azcona, and they have two children, a son and daughter, together. Tim still records as a solo artist, although his recent releases have not had the same success as those of his early career.
This post consists of FLACS ripped from CD and includes full album artwork for both CD and Vinyl and label scans. Also included as bonus tracks are two B-Side singles, namely "Below The Belt" (B-Side to Fraction Too Much Friction) and "Another Chance" (B-Side to Made My Day).  Using this debut solo album, Tim was able to prove to his 'Enz' fans that he was a force to be reckoned with and could survive in the music industry without the Enz.  Both of the A-Side singles mentioned above were huge hits for him both in Australia and New Zealand, and he eventually left the Enz  the following year in June. I sometimes wonder if the track "Staring At The Embers" (another great track in my opinion) was Finn's way of saying that the Enz had lost their spark and that he was already considering leaving.

01 Fraction Too Much Friction
02 Made My Day
03 Not For Nothing
04 In A Minor Key
05 Grand Adventure
06 Staring At The Embers
07 Wait And See
08 I Only Want To Know
09 Growing Pains
10 Through The Years
11  Below The Belt (Bonus B-Side Single)
12 Another Chance (Bonus B-Side Single)

Vocals, Piano – Tim Finn
Backing Vocals – Venetta Fields
Bass – Chris Haig
Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Ricky Fataar
Guitar – Mark Moffatt
Mastered By – Paul Ibbotson
Saxophone – Joe Camilleri, Wilbur Wilde
Synthesizer – Amanda Vincent, Sam McNally
Trumpet – Peter Cross

Tim Finn FLAC Link (284Mb)  New Link 04/04/2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

U2: EIGHT 5 7 9 Baby -The Flame And The Fire (1992) Bootleg

(Irish 1976 - Present)
What better way to celebrate New Year's Day, than to post a Concert by U2, who had a mega hit with a song of the same name back in 1983. It was released as the lead single from the album "War." It was U2’s first international hit and altered their career trajectory forever. "New Year's Day" stormed the United Kingdom charts, hitting number 10 and was the band's first song to be featured on the United States Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone magazine also featured it among its "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
Although it is one of U2's best known tunes, many fans don’t realize that the song's lyrics are actually about the Polish Solidarity movement.   The lyrics, refer to the persecuted leader of the Polish Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa. Coincidentally, after the song was released Poland's Communist government announced that they would abolish martial law.  In 1980 the Solidarity movement in Poland, under the leadership of future Nobel Peace Prize winner and president Lech Walesa, challenged the oppressive rule of the Polish government. In December 1981, the Solidarity movement was outlawed and Walesa, together with the other leaders of the movement, was arrested and put in jail.

It is believed that "New Year’s Day" initially started out as a love song, dedicated to Bono’s high-school sweetheart, Ali, whom he had recently married, but this changed.
Bono told the Rolling Stone he made the lyrics up on the spot, as he often does. He said, "We improvise, and the things that came out; I let them come out."
"I must have been thinking about Lech Walesa being interned. Then, when we'd recorded the song, they announced that martial law would be lifted in Poland on New Year's Day. Incredible."

"New Year's Day" is U2's seventh most frequently performed live song, with the Edge switching back and forth between piano and guitar during the song. It has been a standard on every U2 tour since its debut on 1 December 1982 at the first  show of the War Tour's Pre-Tour, however the recent Innocence + Experience tour only featured three performances of the song for the entire tour. During the 1980s, the Edge used a Fender Stratocaster to perform this song, along with a Yamaha CP70 electric grand piano.

Here’s the beginning of the song:

"All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day.
I will be with you again
As the song continues, it further documents the growing movement of people clamoring for freedom and justice throughout Eastern Europe in the early 1980s.
"Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers say it's true
It's true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one."

The themes of understanding in a time of global unrest were a focal point for the album "War," the title of which was inspired by the various conflicts around the world at the time. "War" raced up the charts and became a huge commercial success, in the process knocking Michael Jackson's "Thriller" from the top of the charts. It became U2's first number-one album in the UK.

So, next time you hear "New Year’s Day" being played in a bar around the end of the year, you’ll know the real story behind the song. [extract from  Thanks to Kate Hickey]
Concert Review
Recorded during the U2 Unforgettable Fire Tour
5th Leg: North America, 21st March 1985
University Of Illinois, Chicago Pavillion - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Thursday's show got off to a good start with a performance by the Red Rockers, who share with U2 a sense of social commitment. The band is perhaps best known for their updated version of Barry McGuire's 1965 hit, "Eve of Destruction," a  highlight of the Rockers' entertaining set.

The last time Irish band U2 played Chicago was a scant three months ago, when the group headlined a show at the Aragon Ballroom. Thursday night, the quartet returned to Chicago, this time for the first of two concerts at the vastly larger Pavilion. This is a band that has come a long way in a relatively short time, in part due to the success of their recent hit single, "(Pride) In the Name of Love," and a current million-selling album, "The Unforgettable Fire."

U2 is suddenly hot--and its creative fire gives every evidence of being the enduring kind. A band to whom music and its potential as a medium for social message clearly matter, the group is known for its positive spirit and life-affirming stance. And while U2 is reluctant to categorize themselves as a "Christian band," their lyrics frequently reflect their strong religious beliefs and a moving version of "Amazing Grace" now figures in the band's shows. So do several anti-drug songs, at least one number about Northern Ireland's ongoing religious wars ("Sunday Bloody Sunday") and, in the case of the single, "Pride," a tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Noble sentiment, of course, can take a band only so far. Too much of it, in fact, can be a real turnoff if things get too preachy. But U2 does not preach.

The messages are there, both implicit and explicit, an integral part of the band's approach. But it's U2's guitar-driven sound that is initially appealing--soaring, anthemic rock and roll that is both distinctive and exhilarating. Lead singer Paul "Bono Vox" Hewson tends to use his voice as an instrument, his keening, evocative vocals riding atop the thick waves of sound turned out by guitarist Dave "The Edge" Evans, who occasionally doubles on keyboards, and a rhythm section composed of drummer Larry Mullen and bassist Adam Clayton. The results are both dance-able and downright inspirational.

Staging for the band's shows this time around is spare and clean, with occasional special lighting about all there is in the way of theatrical effects. Bono, a small, intense figure in black leather pants, black shirt and black boots, possesses a certain brooding charm, though refreshingly enough neither he nor other members of the band attempt to capitalize on any inherent sexiness; a female fan who made it onto the stage was sent on her way with a friendly, brotherly hug.

(Earlier, Bono helped a surprised television cameraman up on stage so that he could film the audience.) For those who find the values espoused by many of today's rock groups to be shallow and spiritually impoverished, U2 provides a powerful alternative.

Media Review by Chicago Tribune (Lynn Van Matre 03/23/1985)
'Irish Band U2 Brings Noble Message to Its Music' - March 23, 1985

This post consists of MP3's (320) ripped from my rare Italian Bootleg CD (released by Kiss The Stone records, this is CD1 from a 3CD set) and includes full album artwork and other ''Tour' related photos. (Alt bootleg release by Arriba shown below).
The recording itself is soundboard quality, although the mixing is a little inconsistent with varying volume levels. Irrespective, this is a great concert and highlight tracks are "New Year's Day" and the rare inclusion of "Knocking On Heaven's Door" as an encore.
01 - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
02 - I Will Follow
03 - Seconds
04 - MLK
05 - The Unforgettable Fire
06 - Wire / Give Me Some Truth (snippet)
07 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
08 - The Cry / The Electric Co. / Amazing Grace (snippet)
09 - A Sort Of Homecoming
10 - Bad / Ruby Tuesday (snippet) / Sympathy For The Devil (snippet)
11 - October
12 - New Year's Day
13 - Pride (In the Name of Love)
14 - Knockin' on Heaven's Door
15 - Gloria
16 - 40
U2 The Flame And The Fire Link (163Mb) New Link 04/04/2020