Saturday, February 29, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Nash The Slash - Children Of The Night (1980)

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.....

Nash The Slash was born of silent film. The name comes from a killer butler encountered by Laurel and Hardy in their first film 'Do Detectives Think?' in 1927. Nash the musician has gone on to create the music scores for such recent cult films as "Roadkill" and "Highway 61' - both directed by Bruce McDonald. Between experiments with film and music Nash The Slash became first a familiar name to music fans through his association with the pop electronic group FM. Having co-written the hit songs "Phasors on Stun " and "Just Like You" Nash established his credibility as a versatile artist. His talents have been recognized with a U-KNOW (later called CASBY) award for best instrumental artist as well as a JUNO nomination for best new male vocalist.

Nash's profile was raised on the international stage when he toured the world with the likes of Gary Numan and Iggy Pop. Other high- profile shows include opening for The Who at C.N.E. Stadium in Toronto to a crowd of 70,000 people, and opening for The Tubes at a sold-out Maple Leaf Gardens.

Unique gravel-voiced Canadian one-man electro band who came to Gary Numan's attention and rose to prominence as his support act on the 1980 Pleasure Principle tour. Ex-of prog band FM, Nash's heavy rock sensibility coupled with virtuosity on electric mandolin and violin, doused liberally in home-made analogue electronics, made him an instant hit among many Numanoids. The white tux and top hat with black piping, blind man's glasses and white face bandages preserved his anonymity and further fueled his myth. Nash's real name is Jeff Plewman, born March 29 1948, and he took his nom-de-plume from a villain in a Laurel & Hardy short film.

Alongside his horror-influenced original material, Nash had a penchant for cover versions including The Who's "Baba O'Reilly", The Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" and Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve". The icing on the cake was this irreverent poke at Deep Purple's touring excesses, with the title changed from "Smoke On the Water". It's very good quality, from the bootleg album Hammersmith Holocaust, recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon on September 15 1980.

Live In London
He started his own label, Cut-Throat Records, which was one of the very first Canadian independent labels and was also the first Canadian to use a Drum Machine on record when this was still considered illegal by laws of the Toronto Musician Association.

 Nash has released numerous solo albums, the best known being 1980's "Children of the Night" with the hit single "Dead Man's Curve". Other albums include "Decomposing" the first record playable at any speed (reviewed in Playboy Magazine 1982) and "American Bandages' a collection of all-American Rock classics.

Nash has recorded new music for the silent film classics "The cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) and "The Lost World "(1925) and for other silent film classics including "Nosferatu " and the original "Phantom of the Opera".
In 2012, he officially retired from composing and performing. Plewman died on May 10, 2014 at age 66.

Favourite Tracks:

"19th Nervous Breakdown"
The Rolling Stones wrote some great songs and this is one of them. In addition, it was written during the time of their best writing and playing. The scornful remarks to the woman addressed by the lyrics struck some people at the time as being cruel and unusual, while others responded to the attacks on social emptiness. This song comes from the same era of "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows?" and "Under My Thumb."  Jagger had never been more lyrically incisive, while Richards was more  structurally dynamic. And let's not forget how Brian Jones crowned the arrangements with his instrumental brilliance.
This is the most radically altered of the cover songs on this album. The tempo has been quickened. A simple bass sequencer pattern delineates. Most of the ornamentation has been revised, although the bass run at the very end has been retained from the original Stone's single. It was done on a mandolin going into an octavider. And keep in mind, there are no guitars to be heard. Amazing !

"Dopes On The Water" 
A take off of Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water', this is my favourite track on the album.
"Smoke" presents special problems for any artist wishing to cover the song. When Nash decided to perform the number, the question arose as to how he could gracefully deal with an autobiographical piece which did not involve him. At the suggestion of Steve Hillage, Nash wrote an off-the-wall satire of the song's lyrics employing the title "Dopes on the Water"
"It was the perfect target for a Parody," Ian Gillan stated during the course of an interview he granted CFNY-FM while visiting Toronto in 1980.
Some heavy metal fans think this is sacrilege, while art rockers label it low life bilge. Musical bigotry in its many forms holds no value for Nash The Slash.

Deep Purple were the best heavy metal band of the Seventies. "Smoke On The Water" is so catchy, so heavy, so vin ordinaire that it could not miss. The fun of four chord glee got threatened by the hundreds of bar bands the world over who missed the point of the song on both a musical and lyrical level. So it is clear to everyone, once and for all, the bar bands are the dopes referred to in the title and the lyrics.
The new lyrics are written from the point of view of a bar band who pretend that they are Deep Purple while they are playing the song. There is an overlapping of the two realities throughout.  The chorus refers to the tragic bar band pride in the fact that they are playing the song for money, as (they assume) Deep Purple did. This is what makes this particular bar band what they are: stupid and self-deluded.

"Dead Man's Curve"
The song was written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Jan Berry of Jan and Dean in 1963. The original was a regional hit in various parts of North America, and so Steve Hillage decided to release Nash's version as a single also, in the hope of reaching the same critical claim, but made like impact on the charts. It is interesting to note that the 45 release (see left) was a completely different version to that found on the LP.

Nash choose the cover songs on this album for their psychotic elements (ie. internal and / or external chaos and disaster).

Jan and Dean were never a great influence (unlike the Rolling Stones and Deep Purple), but Nash likes the sentiment of the lyrics in this song. There  have been minor changes to the original words. Specific references to California have been generalized to make the song more appealing to the broader audience intended for this album.

It's surprising the number of people who think that this is an original tune.
Some people have a hard time understanding the final line: "Hey Doc, how's my 'vett"

This refers to one of the greatest cars ever built in America. The Corvette Stingray. Hence the first line "I was cruisin' in my Stingray late one night...." The car isn't well known in the United Kingdom, but then again maybe it's because the Stingray wipes out the Jaguar XKE, and the Brits find that unfeasible.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my promo vinyl copy which I acquired in the 80's from an import shop in Flinders Street, Melbourne. I heard Dopes being played while I browsed to racks of inviting vinyl, and thought it deserved further investigation. When I inquired about the album, I was told that it was a promo copy and was produced by Steve Hillage.

As soon as I heard this I knew I had to have it.  To my surprise the album was selling for $7.99 which was almost half the price of most imports at that time.  I couldn't wait to get it on my turntable at home and listen to the other tracks, and I wasn't disappointed.  I am including full album artwork and label scans as usual.

Nash The Slash ticks most of the boxes for 'W.O.C.K on vinyl' status, particularly due to his bandage costume, sunny's and top hat. Weird and Wacky come to mind while the album is certainly Obscure - I've never seen another copy in 40 years. I think ya gonna like this one.
01 Wolf
02 Dead Man's Curve
03 Children Of The Night
04 Deep Forest
05 In A Glass Eye
06 19th Nervous Breakdown
07 Swing Shift (Soixante-Neuf)
08 Metropolis
09 Dopes On The Water
10 Danger Zone

Performed entirely by Nash The Slash using:
Electric mandolins, electric violins,
 electronic percussion, keyboards, pedal devices, voices
[there are no guitars]
Produced by Steve Hillage

Nash The Slash FLAC Link (275Mb)
New Link 26/12/2023

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Little River Band - Time Exposure [Radio Special] 1981

(Australian 1975 - Present)
The genesis of Little River Band's (LRB) formation can be traced back to London in late 1974, when former Twilights / Axiom lead singer Glenn Shorrock - about to return to Australia after five fairly fruitless years in England - received a call from former Zoot member Beeb Birtles, who was living in a house with the remnants of the Aussie soft-rock group Mississippi.

As Glenn remembers it, "he said they wanted to talk to me about starting a new group and I said, "no thanks, I've had enough, I need to get out of this business for a while". But they were very persuasive and had some great songs, so I jutted my jaw, gritted my teeth and agreed to get involved".

The Mississippi members floundering in London - Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles and Derek Pelicci - had begun to formulate ambitious plans for world domination with Masters Apprentices bassist Glenn Wheatley, who was proving to be more interested in the business side of music.

L-R Beeb Birtles, Graeham Goble, Glenn Shorrock - 1980
Named after a signpost on the freeway from Melbourne to Geelong, Little River Band snared classically trained guitarist arranger Ric Formosa and bassist Roger McLachlan from the Australian Godspell cast. Their aim, as highly competent adult rock musicians, was to create textured, harmony dominant mass appeal sound and within an eight month period they had 3 top twenty singles,2 top ten albums and a collective eye set on the lucrative American market.
The band's vocal strength was matched by a great songwriting depth, with at least four significant song sources within the band at any one time. The two main writers - Graeham Goble and Glenn Shorrock - were masters of song craft.

L-R David Briggs, Derek Pellicci, Sir George Martin (Producer), Graeham Goble, Beeb Birtles, Glenn Shorrock
Photo taken at AIR Studios Montserrat in the Caribbean
Time Exposure
'Time Exposure' was the sixth studio album by LRB, which was recorded with producer George Martin at Associated Independent Recording (AIR) in Montserrat and released in August 1981. It peaked at No. 9 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart, while it stayed in the 3XY's charts for an impressive 18 weeks. In the United States, it reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200.

It was the group's last album with Glenn Shorrock on lead vocals until 1988. In the interim John Farnham took over as main lead vocalist, staying with the band for the next three studio albums 'The Net' (May 1983), 'Playing to Win' (January 1985) and 'No Reins' (May 1986). 'Time Exposure' was also the last album with lead guitarist, David Briggs, who left prior to its release. He was replaced on tour by Stephen Housden, who later joined the group. The album had other band members on lead vocals: Beeb Birtles on two tracks, "Ballerina" and "Guiding Light", and Wayne Nelson on the hit single, "The Night Owls" (1981). Two other singles, "Take It Easy on Me" and "Man on Your Mind", were also top 20 hits in the US for the band.

The album opens with the Wayne Nelson sung Night Owls (peaked #6 in 1981) and follows with two more hit singles-- Man On Your Mind (peaked #14 in 1982), and Take It Easy On Me (peaked #10 in 1981). And while none of the other songs on the album were released as singles, many of them including "Full Circle" and "Just Say That You Love Me" could have easily been released as singles. In addition to Shorrock's lead vocals the vocal tandem of David Briggs, Beeb Birtles, and Graeham Goble provide harmonies so tight they sing as one. While the Eagles were likely better musicians, I'd argue that Little River Band's vocal harmonies were superior to those of the Eagles. There was a tightness, a cohesiveness that was pure vocal magic.

3XY Music Survey - Jan 20th 1981
What likely prevented this album from matching the success of the 2 previous LRB albums (1978's 'Sleeper Catcher' and 1979's 'First Under the Wire' both went platinum) was the disparity between the stronger and weaker songs on this album. While the strong material is as good as their best tracks on their previous albums, their weaker material on 'Time Exposure' feels uninspired and some might argue "phoned in."

In 1996, a CD re-issue featured the John Farnham sung "The Other Guy" (peaked #11 in 1982) as a bonus track. An enjoyable yet curious inclusion considering that song was recorded after Time Exposure was released.
This post consists of FLACS ripped from a special vinyl release (pressed for radio station use only).  Each track has an introduction by Glenn Shorrock discussing the origin of the track and lyric derivations. It came in the standard album cover with a "Radio Special" label stuck on the front.
Thanks to Sunshine for this excellent rip - cheers mate. This album is certainly a rarity and worth its weight in gold, especially to all LRB fans. Enjoy listening to the 'Real LRB' - unlike the impostors who currently tour under the LRB name.
Track List
1-01 Album Promo Spot _ Introduction
1-02 The Night Owls - Intro
1-03 The Night Owls
1-04 Man On Your Mind - Intro
1-05 Man On Your Mind
1-06 Take It Easy On Me - Intro
1-07 Take It Easy On Me
1-08 Ballerina - Intro
1-09 Ballerina
1-10 Love Will Survive - Intro
1-11 Love Will Survive
1-12 Album Promo
1-13 Full Circle - Introduction
1-14 Full Circle
1-15 Just Say That You Love Me
1-16 Suicide Boulevard - Introduction

1-17 Suicide Boulevard
1-18 Orbit Zero
1-19 Don't Let The Needle Win - Introduction
1-20 Don't Let The Needle Win
1-21 Guiding Light - Intro; Guiding Light
Vocals – Glenn Shorrock
Bass, Vocals – Wayne Nelson
Drums, Percussion – Derek Pellicci
Guitar [Lead, Acoustic] – David Briggs (3)
Guitar, Vocals – Beeb Birtles, Graeham Goble
Piano [Acoustic, Electric], Organ [Hammond] – Peter Jones (6)
Synthesizer [Prophet], Clavinet, Organ [Hammond] – Bill Cuomo
Producer – George Martin
LRB Time Exposure FLAC Link (431Mb) New Link 24/12/2023

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Mott The Hoople - Live (1974)

(U.K 1969 - 1980)
Mott The Hoople were always a crash-hot live band, and it took a while for technology to finally catch up and capture their live show. These performances go some way to redressing the balance, but are let down by other considerations.

CBS refused to release a double album, or even consider a "bonus" mini-LP (10-inch), so these magnificent performances were edited down to fit on a single LP. They also refused to allow any Hoople tracks to be included, which certainly affected the track selection of the Uris side, which were also presented out of real-time sequence for programming considerations. At over 50 minutes, it was still quite a long LP for 1974.

Although there are fans who do not like guitarist Ariel Bender's Ted Nugent-style noise making, this reviewer regards this as one of the best live albums ever made. While the Hammersmith performance included here captures that intangible "expect the unexpected" essence of the true live gig, there was always the feeling that the Broadway (Uris) side had something missing - tracks that have since surfaced suggest that the best tracks were left in the can.

The Uris show was recorded by the syndicated radio show King Biscuit Flower Hour who recorded the second night (8th May 1974) of a week-long run, and about half an hour was originally broadcast back in 1974. This show was re-broadcast in 1988, and a few transcription CDs found their way into the collector's market. The following tracks were broadcast: American Pie/Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll, Sucker, Born Late '58, One of the Boys, Marionette and All the Way From Memphis. The original master-tape was mixed in quadrophonic, and this (1988) broadcast sounds like one track front and one track rear from a quad master - there is an odd delay between the stereo channels.

There was another (20 minute) broadcast in 1989, and this found its way onto the Long Red unofficial release. The tracks broadcast this time were American Pie/Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll, One of the Boys, Marionette and All the Way From Memphis. This time, it seems, they took the correct tracks off the master.

A couple of rarities from these shows have surfaced over the years. The 1980 compilation Shades of Ian Hunter included a live performance of Marionette from Uris. Sadly, it seems to have been mixed by someone less than familiar with Mott's work - all the power and majesty of the live performance has been lost. This reviewer much prefers the mix available on the aforementioned Long Red disc.

Another rarity from these performances surfaced in 1987. Castle's The Collection featured the full ten-minute version of Walkin' With a Mountain, complete with all the solos which were edited out of the official live album. It's not on the CD version - this was on the 2-LP version only. Who says vinyl is dead?!

In 1998, of course, we had the excellent 3-CD Anthology, which included American Pie/Golden Age of Rock n Roll and Roll Away The Stone/Sweet Jane, together with the Blowin' In The Wind coda to Hymn For The Dudes.

The CD packaging is OK (same as the LP), except that the date of the Uris performance is given erroneously as 1975. In addition, the date given on the original vinyl (7th May 1974) was that of the show reviewed in Creem, not the recording date. Sound quality of the CD is average.

It is a shame that CBS have yet to take advantage of the CD format and re-issue CD with additional material. The rarities I've mentioned above prove the material is there (and strong) for an extended CD of the Uris show, and I'm sure the same must be true of the Hammersmith show. [extract from]

Broadway Show (Side A)
May 7, 1974. All the way from nowhere to the Uris Theatre in New York, where the ghost of Broadway tradition exchanged its top hat & tails for a pair of shades and a week long electric seizure. To my thinking, there could've been no better rock & roll band to open up Broadway's belly than Mott The Hoople. They earned the right to that much frosting on the cake with five years of diligently rendered services. And they further earned it by virtue and the fact that they could look all the pomp and circumstance full in the face and still giggle about it over in the corner: "Is That Really us?"
In retrospect, however, the Broadway aspect opf the situation comes up an also-ran; just another entry for Mr Guiness to note and file away. The deck was stacked with pop aristocracy on opening night, but the event was the string of performances that most of the gentry didn't bother to stick around for Nights when the people who'd been along for most of all of the ride could get down to the real celebration.

What was to celebrate? Five full years of ups, downs and somewhere-in-betweens that might be the story of any rock & roll band. But Mott the Hoople has not been just any rock & roll band. They may well be the consummate illustration of the old 'Do it yourself" principal of rock & roll: blue collar sensibilities and a mouth that actually works. Which meant that from the beginning Mott was always somehow nor special than any of the one-night superstars who measured their successes in the number of miles they could put between themselves and their audience.

Without any commensurate energy feedback from their audience, Mott's story would probably have lasted five minutes rather than five years. As you'll hear on these tales of two cities, the circuits were overloaded from both ends of the line, and this kind of artist-audience crossfire is about the closest you can come to a blueprint for rock & roll magic. It burns as brightly on "All The Way From Memphis" as it does on "Rock & Roll Queen" which says to me that this celebration is not of the past but the future.

Nothing stops here, least of all the changes, but one thing is certain the best is still ahead of us.
Now that's something worth celebrating! [Ben Edmonds - CREEM Magazine, October 1974]

Hammersmith Show (Side B)
Mott The Hoople returned to London with a sensational show that puts them right back amongst the swashbuckling few who close their shows with pandemonium, fighting on stage and all the makings of a genuine riot, though in keeping with the Christmas generosity everything seemed to be smoothed out quickly afterwards and the group and the stewards and the hall manager, who had seemed on the brink of fisticuffs with each other at the end of the show, were later drinking amicably together.
The aggro started during the encore. Mott were just battering their way through a brutal, aggressive version of "Walking with a Mountain" with the regular crowd milling away upfront, when the Safety Curtain started to drop and a grey-suited gentleman who looked like the hall manager started purposely towards centre-stage, where Ian Hunter abd Ariel Bender were letting it all hang out for the benefit of the audience.

Stan Tippins, the group's road manager, remonstrated with him and was eventually compelled to propel him out of view, but in the meantime the curtain had sunk to shoulder height, and Stan, giving up his wild gestures at the band to pack the show in and call it a day. This mind you was the second house, thrust a burly shoulder under the curtain.
Roadies pored on stage to aid him, Hunter and Bender sounding as if they would play for ever were wailing and roaring away and ducked under and advanced up a cat-walk bridging the orchestra pit. The lieutenants took this as the signal to advance, and with the energies of the stewards divided, swarmed over the cat-walk, the pit, mingling with photographers, one actually breaking through to embrace Ian Hunter.

The situation got increasingly heated with punches being flung, fans hurled off the stage, and threats and imprecations hurled between Hunter, the stage crew and the theatre manager.
Apart from one girl whose leg was broken trying to climb a drainpipe into the dressing room, everything turned out OK and the post gig party went ahead as planned, with various celebrities standing around and congratulating the band, and for once Mott The Hoople were admitted to the party, which was all to the good as it was Buffin's wedding reception too.
He, his bride Paula and Stan Tippins were lurching around arm in arm and looking pleased with themselves, though their wedding cake, by some oversight, had not been supplied with a knife, with the result that most of it was used in bits as missiles, and eventually a well known photographer deposited it unceremoniously on the floor and jumped on it, to the applause and encouragement of several equally cynical and irresponsible parties.

Celebrities included Mick Ralphs and Paul Rodgers (of Bad Company), Andy Mackay and Eddie Jobson of Roxy Music, Guy Stevens (Mott's first Manager), Andy Williams, and so I'm told Mick Jagger and David Bowie.

Mott delivered a set brightened by the genuine rush of adrenalin inspired by a real near riot. Not all their gigs are musically superb, but this was a real touch of the old Mott, the shambolic rebble-rousers. It's good that they're not falling into a cosy middle-age of success. It keeps you on the edge of your seat when you know such things can still blow up at a moment's notice. [Martin Hayman, Sounds Magazine Dec 1973]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my treasured vinyl. Purchased in the mid 70's this album was my first introduction to Mott The Hoople and was played many a time at parties and in my many Uni abodes. Full album artwork and label scans are included.  It was interesting to note while researching for this post, that Queen were Mott's support act at the time.  If only those Mott fans new how lucky they were to be watching such an epic double live act, at that time.  Hind sight is a wonderful thing, hey !
So glam up ya stereo and turn the dial all the way to 10 - 'cause Mott The Hoople are back.
A1 All The Way From Memphis 4:55
A2 Sucker 5:45
A3 Rest In Peace 5:48
A4 All The Young Dudes 3:45
A5 Walking With A Mountain 4:50
B1 Sweet Angeline 6:13
B2 Rose 4:05
B3 Medley: 15:13
B3.1 a) Jerkin' Crocus
B3.2 b) One Of The Boys
B3.3 c) Rock 'n' Roll Queen
B3.4 d) Get Back
B3.5 e) Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
B3.6 f) Violence

Mott The Hoople were:
Ian Hunter - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Overend Watts - Bass, Vocals
Ariel Bender - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Dale Griffin - Drums, Vocals
Morgan Fisher - Piano, Vocals
Blue Weaver & Mick Bolton - Organ 

Mott The Hoople Live Link (313Mb)
New Link 01/05/2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Daddy Cool - Daddy's Coolest (1982) + Bonus Single

(Australian 1970-72, 1974-75, 2005)
Wayne Duncan, Ross Hannaford, Ross Wilson and Gary Young formed Daddy Cool in 1970. All shared a love of 1950s music and initially played covers of songs from their record collections. One of these was "Daddy Cool" (written by Bob Crewe and Frank Slay) performed in 1957 by US Doo-wop band The Rays as the B side to their single "Silhouettes". Daddy Cool became a popular live fixture in Melbourne.
Their early 1971 appearance at the Myponga Festival in South Australia upstaged their parent group, Sons of the Vegetal Mother, which subsequently dissolved.

Daddy Cool may have been a colourful bunch of characters but their cartoon-like fa├žade belied their collective musical experience and acumen.  It was the combination of the group’s feel good vibe and their songwriting and musicianship that really made them click.  Although group leader Ross Wilson may have sometimes chafed at Daddy Cool’s sillier aspects, more ‘serious’ projects like Sons Of The Vegetal Mother fared comparatively worse – despite having a similar or better group of musicians – because they lacked a lighter touch.  Daddy Cool rediscovered the joy and innocence of the earliest days of rock ‘n’ roll and imparted those qualities to their best recordings.  Daddy Cool ‘were highly theatrical and animated [and] shook up the Australian concert scene.’  ‘On stage they provided a dance-able sound that was accessible and fun.’

Daddy Cool plays rock ‘n’ roll in its purest form.  They all ‘share a love of 1950s music.’  Vocalist Ross Wilson says, “We were revelling in the joy of that early doo-wop music, and revisiting some of the things we’d heard when we were kids.”  (In the 1950s, ‘doo-wop’ was a kind of early rock reliant on multi-part harmonies – mainly because they couldn’t afford a large backing group.  Accordingly, it was common for a deep-voiced ‘Mr Bass Man’ to repeat nonsense syllables – like ‘doo-wop’ – in place of a bass player while his compatriots’ vocals substituted for guitars or other instrumental colours.)  Daddy Cool ‘combine great musical strength, honed by years of experience playing around the traps, with an irreverent and ebullient stage presence.’  Daddy Cool is not the only 1950s revivalists.  Nostalgia for the early days of rock ‘n’ roll seems to be in the air.  At the same time in the United States there is the comical Sha-Na-Na and the more serious Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Vocalist and guitarist Ross Wilson becomes the leader of Daddy Cool.  He is nicknamed Ross ‘the Boss’ Wilson.  “It’s Ross’ baby,” acknowledges guitarist Ross Hannaford, bowing to Wilson’s leadership.  Ross Wilson states, “I see myself as sort of like the flagship, my voice is out front.  I’m powering it, you know.”

The 1972 DC line-up with Ian Winter (back left)
Guitarist Ross Hannaford’s ‘distinctive baritone voice’ provides contrast to Ross Wilson’s higher vocals.  Hannaford is also an accomplished guitarist turning in consistently engaging work.  There is a ‘Zen quality’ in his guitar playing.  Bassist Wayne Duncan says of Hannaford, “He was the Salvador Dali of Australian rock.
[Salvador Dali is a notable surrealist artist.]  Everything he did, he did his way.  Every guitar he had, he would adapt and change – he’d paint over it and make it a Ross Hannaford, an art object.”  Daddy Cool comes along in Hannaford’s last year of teacher’s training at RMIT art school.  For all his skills, Ross Hannaford says, “I enjoy myself most as the second man, giving support to the main guy.”  Hanna is ‘gangly and rather goofy looking.’

The rhythm section is the true foundation of Daddy Cool’s sound.  The pre-existing partnership between bassist Wayne Duncan and drummer Gary Young gives them an almost telepathic rapport.  Young’s dexterous and flexible drum patterns find easy sympathy and support from Duncan’s bass.

“We’re all unique individuals, that’s for sure,” concludes group leader Ross Wilson.

Over the years 1975 to 1993, the musical legacy of Daddy Cool is kept alive by compilation albums and re-releases.  The first of these is the 1975 EP ‘The D.C. Hits EP’ put out by Wizard.  (All recordings mentioned in this paragraph are on Wizard unless otherwise indicated.)  This is followed by ‘Greatest Hits’ (1976) (AUS no. 52).  ‘The Missing Masters’ (1980) assembles the three tracks recorded in 1974 – ‘All I Wanna Do Is Rock’, ‘The Boogie Man’ and ‘You Never Can Tell’ – for Daddy Cool’s aborted third studio album, adds some previously unreleased studio material, rare B sides for singles (e.g. ‘Don’t Ever Leave Me’, the flipside of ‘Hi Honey Ho’) and rounds out the package with a selection of live recordings.

In January 1981 ‘Eagle Rock’ (AUS no. 7) is released again as a single – and charts for the second time.  This probably helps the 'featured' compilation disc ‘Daddy’s Coolest’ (1982) (AUS no. 5) on its journey up the album chart.  A twelve-inch single edition of ‘Eagle Rock’ in June 1982, a re-released single of ‘Come Back Again’ in September 1982 and a twelve-inch edition of ‘Hi Honey Ho’ in November 1982 all follow – but none of them make it to the singles chart.  ‘Daddy’s Coolest Vol. 2’ (1984) and ‘The Daddy Cool Collection’ (1984) – the latter on the Axis label – continue to revisit the band’s past.  ‘Eagle Rock’ is reissued for the fourth time as a single in 1989.  ‘Totally Cool’ (1992) (AUS no. 67) is a three CD box set from Mega Records.

In 1994, Daddy Cool – Ross Wilson, Ross Hannaford, Wayne Duncan and Gary Young – reform for a tour with Skyhooks.  Like Daddy Cool, by this time Skyhooks has been inactive for many years and – again like Daddy Cool – their most celebrated line-up comes together again for this tour.  The two acts unite for a CD single containing four songs, two songs by Daddy Cool and two songs by Skyhooks.  Daddy Cool is represented by ‘Ballad Of Oz’ (AUS no. 36) and ‘$64,000 Question’ while Skyhooks offer ‘Happy Hippy Hut’ and revisit their 1974 song ‘You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed’.  This is the final Daddy Cool single to show up on the Australian popular singles chart.  The ‘reformation collapses when the single does not chart well and the tour is downgraded to the pub circuit.’  Daddy Cool disbands again. [extracts from]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my CD release. Even though I have this on vinyl and it's in great condition, the CD sounds much better so this is what is on offer here. As a bonus, I am also including two tracks taken from their 1994 single "The Ballad Of Oz" (see cover above). Of course, full album artwork is included for both media types along with label scans and select photos of the band. This compilation is one of their best and contains ALL of their most popular tracks.  Very Cool indeed !
Track Listing
01 - Eagle Rock 4:09
02 - Daddy Cool 2:32
03 - Come Back Again 3:33
04 - Lollypop 1:40
05 - Hi Honey Ho 3:41
06 - Sixty Minute Man 2:25
07 - Bom Bom 2:33
08 - At The Rockhouse 3:45
09 - Rock'N'Roll Lady 2:53
10 - I'll Never Smile Again 4:16
11 - Good Golly Miss Molly 2:19
12 - You Never Can Tell 2:29
13 - One Night 2:42
14 - Teenage Blues 3:38
15 - Boogie Man 3:18
16 - Cherry Pie 3:20

17 - Just As Long As We're Together 2:35
18 - Please, Please America (Hear My Plea) 3:12
19 - Baby Let Me Bang Your Box 3:24
20 - Daddy Rocks Off 4:34
[Bonus Tracks]
21 - The Ballad Of Oz 3:04
22 - 64,000 Dollar Question 2:10

Daddy Cool were:
Ross Wilson - Vocals, Guitar
Ross Hannaford - Guitar, Vocals
Wayne Duncan - Bass, Vocals
Gary Young - Drums, Vocals
(also with Jerry Noone on Sax / Keyboards and Ian 'Willy' Winter on Guitar)
Daddy Cool FLAC Link (433Mb) New Link 14/12/23

Friday, February 7, 2020

Leslie West - The Great Fatsby (1975)

(U.S 1964 - Present)
Leslie West first gained recognition as the lead guitarist for the Vagrants, a locally popular 1960s Long Island group. One of that group's singles was produced by Felix Pappalardi, a bass player who also produced Cream. After the Vagrants and Cream split up, Pappalardi played bass on and produced West's debut solo album, Mountain (July 1969). Following its release, the two teamed up with drummer Norman Smart (soon replaced by Corky Laing) and keyboard player Steve Knight to form the band Mountain, which cut the albums Climbing! (February 1970) (a gold-selling LP featuring the Top 40 single "Mississippi Queen"), Nantucket Sleighride (January 1971) (which also went gold), and Flowers of Evil (November 1971). In 1972, Pappalardi left Mountain to return to being a producer. (Posthumous record releases included Mountain Live (The Road Goes on Forever) [April 1972] and The Best of Mountain [February 1973].) West and Laing joined with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce to form West, Bruce & Laing.

The trio recorded two studio albums, Why Dontcha (October 1972) and Whatever Turns You On (July 1973). (A live album, Live 'N' Kickin', was released in April 1974.) Bruce quit in the summer of 1973, and West and Laing briefly formed Leslie West's Wild West Show. Then West, Pappalardi, Alan Schwartherg (drums), and Bob Mann (keyboards) re-formed Mountain, recording a double live album, Twin Peaks (February 1974), in Osaka, Japan, in August 1973. This was followed by a Mountain studio album, Avalanche (July 1974), made by West, Pappalardi, Laing, and Knight. Then Mountain split again, and West formed the Leslie West Band, releasing The Great Fatsby (April 1975) (which featured Mick Jagger) and The Leslie West Band (1976) (which featured Mick Jones, later of Foreigner).

Bedeviled by substance abuse problems, West retired from music for a time, then cleared up and again re-formed Mountain with Laing and bassist Mark Clarke (Pappalardi had died in 1983) for Go for Your Life (March 1985). The group broke up again, and West made Theme (1988), again teaming with Jack Bruce. West then participated in the Guitar Speaks (1988) and Night of the Guitar (1989) recordings of legendary rock guitarists for IRS Records' Illegal subsidiary. His next solo album was Alligator (August 1989), followed by Dodgin' the Dirt (1994). In 1994, West and Laing teamed with ex-Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding in another edition of Mountain, recording two tracks for the compilation Over the Top (1995). The solo As Phat as It Gets followed in 1999. After an album for Voiceprint, Guitarded, in 2004, West released two blues-inflected albums for Blues Bureau International, 2005's Got Blooze and 2006's Blue Me.

West & Laing
Leslie West is probably best known for his work with Mountain. Mountain grew out of the session for Leslie's debut solo album recorded in 1969. The album was produced by Felix Pappalardi who had more famously produced Cream. One of the first gigs Mountain ever played was at the celebrated Woodstock Festival in August 1969. From there the band recorded a number of influential and hugely successful albums. The band have gone through many ups and downs over the years including the death of Felix Pappalardi however they are still an incredibly popular draw and feature Leslie West alongside long time drummer Corky Laing. As a solo artist Leslie West continued his career during breaks from Mountain in the mid seventies and despite working extensively with Mountain Leslie manages to also keep his solo career a going concern.

Corky Laing
'The Great Fatsby' was Leslie's solo album originally released in 1975 and was completed following another bout of activity from Mountain. The album includes a number of guest players including Spooky Tooth's Gary Wright and Mick Jagger who plays guitar on the album rather than singing. The album is an eclectic affair including as it does a number of covers including "House Of The Rising Sun" (Animals), "A Little Bit Of Love" (Free), "Honky Tonk Women" (Rolling Stones) and "If I Were A Carpenter" (Tim Hardin). The album also includes the song "High Roller" which is co written by Leslie West, Corky Laing and Keith Richard /  Mick Jagger and also features Mick Jagger on guitar. The album was always a popular album in the Leslie West canon and has been out of print for a short period prior to this reissue. [extract from RecordHaven]
This post features FLACs ripped from my Phantom Vinyl which I purchased over 40 years ago while completing my Year 12 HSC. Full album artwork and label scans are included. I was a big Mountain fan at the time with Nantucket Sleighride (Live Version) and Mississippi Queen on repeat play, on my ONKO turntable. Although this album had a different sound to his Mountain material, it showed another side of West that was refreshing. I'm sure you will enjoy this album, if not just for the great covers that he plays with the help of Jagger, Wright and Laing
Track List
01. Don't Burn Me
02. House of the Rising Sun
03. High Roller
04. I'm Gonna Love You Thru the Night
05. E.S.P.
06. Honky Tonk Women
07. If I Still Had You
08. Doctor Love
09. If I Were a Carpenter
10. Little Bit of Love

Guitars: Leslie West, Mick Jagger, Joel Tepp
Pianos: Howie Wyeth, Gary Wright, Matry Simon
Mellotron: Howie Wyeth
drums & Percussion: Corky Laing, Nick Ferrantella
Bass Guitars: Don Kretmar, Ken Hinkle, "Buffalo" Bill Gelber, Leslie West
Horns: Frank Vicari
Woodwinds: Frank Vicari, Joel Tepp
Harmonica: Sredni Vollmer
Vocals: Leslie West
Backing Vocals: Dana Valery, Jay Traynor
Solo Female Vocals: Dana Valery
The Great Fatsby Link (215Mb)  New Link 13/10/2023