Friday, July 31, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Skyhooks - Guilty Until Proven Insane (1978) Radio Promo


Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
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This month's WOCK on Vinyl post is a rare, OOP Festival Radio Special Promo to advertise Skyhooks' Guilty Until Proven Insane album
Released in 1978 on beautiful rich red vinyl, Festival compiled and released this album to radio stations for broadcast. Included with the pristine vinyl is the original rundown sheet, which has since been marked up. If that wasn't rare enough for you, this album has been autographed by members of Skyhooks, including Greg Macainsh, Bongo Starkie, and Freddie Strauks, among others.


Their fourth effort, "Guilty Until Proven Insane" from 1978  saw Skyhooks sporting a heavier sound and more thinly veiled biting social commentary than ever before. It also spawned the band's monster hit, "Women in Uniform". I consider this the band's finest hour and despite a few mediocre tracks, the album is absolutely fantastic.  And if you don't agree with me, just have a listen to track 9 (literally)

The album marked the departure of founding guitarist, Red Symons, who was replaced by future Angels axeslinger Bob Spencer in 1977. When their subsequent tour reached its end, Shirley also departed, leaving the band in creative limbo. The band sensing there was still unfinished business to tend to, drafted Tony Williams to take over vocals, resulting in a total overhaul in the band's signature sound. The subsequent release, "Hot For the Orient" in 1980, failed to match the band's previous success and audiences were quick to reject the band's attempt to continue on. By the end of the year, Skyhooks were history.

Skyhooks 1978
Over the next two decades the band would reform sporadically for one off shows and abbreviated promotional tours, all with great success in their homeland. In 2001, Shirley was killed in an air crash, prompting a memorial concert the following month that would set a precedent for Skyhooks. Various members past and present participated in the event marking the first and last time an expanded Skyhooks lineup would be featured on the same stage. Another performance took place in 2004 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the band's debut album, also prompting high profile media coverage. The band's most recent activity took place in 2005 to benefit Greg Hill (guitar), who was battling cancer. 
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SKYHOOKS - GUILTY TILL PROVEN INSANE
(Album Review / RAM Magazine by Anthony O'Grady)

There's an old adage in the record biz the first two albums you've got years to write, the third is the watershed, by the fourth you know whether a band's gonna continue, and generally, in what form. That adage is helpful in evaluating 'Guilty Till Proven Insane'. The first two 'Hooks LP's were written over a period of years, and mumma! what a bonus that was to the publisher who signed them up as young, undiscovered talent. Those first two LP's are still the largest selling Australian albums ever.
By the third, 'Straight ln a Gay Gay World', Macainsh had used the best of his backlog and his new material was often skittish and unresolved. 

For every fully formed song like "This Is America" or "Crazy Heart", there seemed two song ideas seemly awaiting proper form, eg. "Straight In A Gay Gay World" or "The Girl Says She's Bored".  Still even that album had another 'Hook's trademark -a sort of thin-blooded, high-pitched nervous energy that got them through.


Then guitarist Red Symons left, Bob Spencer joined and after a not very marvellous single, "Party To End All Parties", the Hooks settled down to a long grind of pub gigs and small halls. Over the months they moulded into a performance-minded outfit that seemed more of a traditional power-rock outfit than the theatrical, satirical group that could rock they'd earlier seemed.

This is where 'Guilty Till Proven Insane' finds 'em. The performance importance of the band is emphasised by the change in producers. Under Ross Wilson the band performance was mostly directed to highlighting various key lines or illustrating the song concept. Under American Producer Tommy Leonetti, the idea is to present the band roaring and raging. And they are. For the first time ever drummer Fred Strauks is presented as the beefy wristed thumper he really is. Macainsh goes for straighter more Powerhouse bass lines than the idio syncratic directions previously.


Guitarists Spencer and Bongo Starkey revel in power housing off each other where the precious Symons/Starkey line up was more concerned with constructing jagged harmony lines. 'And this time round, Shirley Strachan eschews his usual Smart-arse/Little Boy Innocent axis and settles into delivering with traditional rock singer power. Yes, it's quite a performance from Strachan, and from the band.
There are places, like in "Meglomania" where the band explodes like a dynamited brick wall and Shirley roars through the fallout like a sonic matter-destructer.

Same goes for "Bbbbbboogie". Freddie Strauks song that once upon a time sounded like a send up of the form but under Leonetti turns around to become a raucous example of it. 
Even when they slow the pace to a calyso feel on "Twisted Innocence", the band are champing on the beat, unleashing a serious barrage of rocksound. Someone said when hearing Women In Uniform "Jesus, they're not writing the song anymore". Which is just another way of saying the Hooks don't sound like they used to.

The change in musical style is best illustrated by "Point In the Distance" a shimmery musical  creation that has Macainsh narrating the part of a robot in a futuristic cybernetic love story. The lyrics probably won't inspire Philip K. Dick's retirement though.

Of the material most in the Skyhooks' trad. mould, "Life In The Modern World" is the most well crafted. The music is concisely arranged and there's a clever development of the lyrical motif:
(When the sky meets the earth/that's the skyline . . . where the needle meets the skin/that's the mainline/and when today meets tomorrow/that's the deadline) All this plus a spirited call/response middle eight, and a lurching demented beat.

Then there's "Trouble With The Computer", performed powerfully, but the lyrics push the thought relentlessly till the whole point is blunted. In fact there's a fear here that Macainsh is starting to be a little harried by his own reputation as a social commentator.  The first two albums had songs polished to a relaxed conciseness, the songs here are often over-wordy and pushing for lyricist points instead of letting them either develop at their own pace, or make no point at all.

"Why Don't You All Get Fucked" for instance is a basic aggro song tied in with three social worker case histories. Only thing is, the case history section is virtually extraneous to the overwhelmingly important point of the song. aka: WHY DON'T YOU ALL GET FUCKED!!!


That's the interesting schism point in Skyhooks now-the balance between rock-band performance and song ideas. Funnily enough, previously the Hooks' tension point was the balance between being an ideas band or a rock-band.
ln the Hooks overall scheme of things, 'Guilty Till Proven Insane' is an affirmation of their status as a rock band who can deliver the goods in forthright fashion,

[Review by Anthony O'Grady. RAM 'Vinylising' April 7, 1978. p28]

Note the disclaimer notice above that was included with the Promo disk for program managers to request a censored version of "Why Don't You All Get ......"   I'm sure most of them declined the offer.
This post contains both versions.
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Skyhooks Live On Stage 1978
This post consists of FLACs ripped from a vinyl promo (a big thank you to Sunshine for providing this rip) and whatever artwork was available on the internet - mostly eBay.  Each track starts with intros and interviews with band members There are also scans of promotional materials included (Cue Sheet, Disclaimer) along with label scans and the RAM review presented in this post.
This post ticks the Obscure category this month, as copies were only distributed to radio stations and most promotional materials given to Radio Stations usually ended up in industrial waste bins..
To complete this rare find, I am also including two YouTube videos that I stumbled upon while researching this post, which present an intriguing insight into the making of the album. Plenty of band banter and humour make it compelling viewing.
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Tracklist
01 Women In Uniform 5:10
04 BBBBBBBBBBBBBoogie    2:32
07 Point In The Distance *      4:15
03 Trouble With The Computer 1:55
06 Hotel Hell+    4:40
02 Life In The Modern World 3:23
05 Trusted Innocence    3:46
08 Meglomania      1:00
09 Why Don'tcha All Get Fucked     1:37
09 Why Don'tcha All Get *ucked     3:18
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Credits:
Bass – Greg Macainsh
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Freddie Strauks
Guitar [Guitars] – Bob Starkie
Guitar [Guitars], Backing Vocals – Bob Spencer
Lead Vocals – Shirley Strachan
Extras:
Saxophone [Saxes] – Joe Camilleri, Wilbur Wilde +
Narrator [Robot Narration] – Gregory John Macainsh *
Synthesizer [String Machine] – Eddie 'Spag' Leonetti *
Organ – Eddie 'Spag' Leonetti, Tony Ansell
Piano – Tony Ansell
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Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Rolling Stones – August Children, Berlin-Weißensee Live (1991) [Bootleg]

(U.K 1962 - Present)
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The Rolling Stones had spent much of the '80s on the sidelines. Despite increasing friction between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the band kept putting out albums -- though to relatively lukewarm reactions. Touring, however, was another story. By 1989, the Rolling Stones hadn't played a live show in seven years.

Their longest concert drought (before or since) officially ended on Aug. 31, 1989, when the Stones launched the Steel Wheels North American Tour at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia -- though, technically, the drought ended a couple of weeks earlier at a warm-up show in New Haven, Conn.

This tour was named for their new album Steel Wheels, which was released to enthusiastic reviews two days earlier. Jagger and Richards had patched up things earlier in the year, then started to write and record a record that felt like "classic Stones." Meanwhile, Jagger (in his mid-forties at the time) was consistently pressed on whether this would his band's final tour -- a line of questioning that seems increasingly ridiculous decades later.

Besides, Jagger, Richards, Ron Wood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts had a ready answer in the form of a marathon, 28-song opening date. After kicking off the show with the one-two combo of "Start Me Up" and "Bitch," Jagger showed he could hold up better than the power equipment – which blew a generator during "Shattered," the third song of the evening. Within minutes, the power returned and the Rolling Stones regrouped, carrying on with the Steel Wheels cut "Sad, Sad, Sad." But they'd superstitiously drop "Shattered" from subsequent shows.

The set list represented just about every Stones era, from early blues covers (Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" from back in 1964) to psychedelic experimentation ("2000 Light Years From Home") to country rock ("Dead Flowers") and even some '80s material ("Undercover of the Night"). Richards gave Jagger a break down the stretch by fronting the band for a couple of his own songs ("Happy" and "Before They Make Me Run") before Jagger returned to take it home with wall-to-wall hits ("Brown Sugar," "Satisfaction," etc.).

This being the Stones' first big tour since 1982, spectacle wasn't sacrificed. The band took the stage amid crackling fireworks and roaring flame towers -- both of which would become derigueur on future tours. They also introduced what might be the most garish stage decorations in rock history: a pair of giant inflatable barflies that flanked the stage during "Honky Tonk Women."

As the mammoth tour continued, the Rolling Stones seemed to only gain momentum. "We're keeping our fingers crossed, and I'll hit the wood here,
but, yeah, they're getting better every day," he told Rolling Stone. "The band's really winding up now." He also called 1989 a "dream year" for the Stones, and predicted that the North American tour would become a worldwide one in 1990 . In fact, it did, although it was rechristened the Urban Jungle Tour before hitting Europe.

As dates flew by, the Rolling Stones recorded a live album (Flashpoint), broadcast a live pay-per-view special, one that was later edited into a prime-time concert special for Fox, and filmed an IMAX movie (Rolling Stones: Live at the Max) that was the first feature film completed with only IMAX cameras.

In some ways, the Steel Wheels dates marked the start of a new way of touring. It was the Stones' first tour with backing vocalists Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer and the first American trek with keyboardist and musical director Chuck Leavell. And, of course, it makes the first in a line of record-breaking, arena-sized blowouts that would continue into the new millennium.

None of those subsequent tours, however, would include the band's founding bassist Bill Wyman as a full-time member. Wyman decided he'd had enough and quit the band after the 1989-90 concerts. In this way, the Steel Wheels tour was both the beginning and the end of a Stones era.
[extract from ultimateclassicrock.com]


.This post consists of FLACs ripped from the Vinyl Bootleg released in 1991 by MM Extra Records, and is from their concert in Radrennbahn Weißensee, Berlin, Germany, held on the 13th August, 1990.   This bootleg is one of a limited edition hand-numbered of 300 with handmade silkscreen printed cover and inner sleeve, with the 1st edition having a dark red cover. This full concert was later released on CD in 1997 by Vinyl Gang Records (see cover above). Full album artwork and label scans are included. This one's rare folks, so grab it while you can.

.Tracklist
01 Fingerprint File Man (PA)
02 Sad, Sad, Sad
03 Harlem Shuffle
04 Tumbling Dice
05 Miss You
06 Almost Hear You Sigh...
07 Ruby Tuesday
08 Midnight (Rambler) Guru-Mick!
09 You Can't Always Get What You Want...
10 Cant't Be Seen
11 Happy
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The Stones were:
Mick Jagger - Vocals 
Keith Richards - Vocals, Guitar
Ronnie Wood - Vocals, Guitar
Bill Wyman - Bass
Charlie Watts - Drums
Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer  - Backing Vocals
Chuck Leavell - Keyboards
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Rolling Stones Link (427Mb)  Link Fixed

Rolling Stones Alt Link (427Mb)
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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

John Lee Hooker - Boogie Man: The Blues Collection (1993)

(U.S 1942 - 2001)
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Legendary blues guitarist John Lee Hooker, born in the American state of Mississippi was originally taught to play the guitar by his stepfather.

At the age of 14 he ran away from home and settled in Memphis, before moving on to Cincinnati where he lived for the next ten years. It was during this period that he sang with local gospel quartets.

In the early Forties Hooker moved on to Detroit and began to play in the jazz and blues bars and clubs that abounded in the Michigan city. He developed a destructive guitar style, which eventually brought him to the attention of several record company people, and in 1948 he made his first recording, "Boogie Chillun".

Young John Lee Hooker
Hooker recorded prolifically over the next few years, usually solo but occasionally duetting with other musicians. During the late Forties and early Fifties he recorded for Modern Records and released such classic records as "Crawling King Snake", "In The Mood", "Rock House Boogie" and "Shake Holler And Run". Hooker also made many recordings using pseudonyms including Johnny Williams, John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee Cooker and Texas Slim.

In the early Sixties John Lee Hooker's music was cited as a big influence by several of the up-and-coming pop groups of the day, including The Rolling Stones. This focused new interest on his career and he found himself in demand for tours and new recordings. In the early Seventies he teamed up with US boogie band Canned Heat to release an album called Hooker'N' Heat, which was well received by both the fans and critics.
John Lee Hooker with Carlos Santana
Hooker's popularity among the R&B fraternity continued through the Eighties. In 1989, he released 'The Healer', a critically acclaimed album that featured guest contributions from Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt and Los Lobos. lt helped introduce Hooker's music to a new generation of fans. The album has since become one of the biggest selling blues albums of all time.

His follow up album 'Mr Lucky' followed a similar musical formula, pairing Hooker with Van Morrison, Ry Cooder, Albert Collins and several other illustrious musicians. Mr Lucky reached number 3 on the British album charts, giving Hooker the distinction of being the oldest recording artist to reach the Top 10.

John Lee Hooker continues to command the respect of many of his younger fellow rock and blues artists. His music has timeless appeal and will be played for many more years to come, as this new collection proves. Listen to Hooker's interpretations of "One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer" & "Crawlin' King Snake" for example, and you will understand why he has become such a blues music legend.
It is also worth noting that George Thorogood did a great cover of "One Burbon, One Scotch , One Beer" while the Doors did their own brilliant take of  "Crawlin' King Snake" on their L.A Woman album.


This post consists of FLACS ripped from the CD release and sadly the 'Blues Collection' releases (#1 being Mr Boogie Man himself) were never released on vinyl.  However, because it was released on Cassette Tape, I figure it deserves a place on this blog and I hope you agree.   Full album artwork for both media are included along with heaps of Boogie & Blues.  Enjoy!
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Tracklist
01 Boom Boom 2:31
02 Crawlin' King Snake 2:42
03 Boogie Chillun 2:34
04 I'm In The Mood 2:43
05 Leave My Wife Alone 2:47
06 Time Is Marching 3:03
07 One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer 2:56
08 Ground Hog Blues 2:57
09 Dimples 2:13
10 Walkin' The Boogie 2:43
11 Hobo Blues 2:48
12 It Serves Me Right To Suffer 3:30
13 High Priced Woman 2:43
14 The Waterfront 5:19
15 This Is Hip 2:28
16 Goin' Mad Blues 3:37
17 Wandering Blues 2:52
18 House Rent Boogie 2:37
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John Lee Hooker Link (279Mb)
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Friday, July 17, 2020

Alvin Lee & Ten Years Later - Rocket Fuel (1978)

(U.K 1960 - 2013)
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Between 1967 and 1975, Ten Years After carved themselves a unique niche in rock history as the missing link between the blues-based power of mid-Sixties rock and the musical adventure of the burgeoning progressive movement. And the man who fronted them with fleet-fingered aplomb was vocalist and guitarist extraordinaire Alvin Lee.

The Years After went their separate ways in 1975, following a farewell US tour, and while all four members remained active in the music industry, it was naturally Alvin Lee, whose progress was followed with the greatest interest.  Yet, having 'been there, done that' and proved his abilities as an incendiary axeman, Lee was not about to clone past successes as a solo artist. He sought other musical byways to explore, resulting in a career under his own name that was as electric as TYA's had been single-minded.

Inevitably, this meant selling fewer records, but resulted in far more self satisfaction. And when he opened Space Studios at Hook End manor, his home in rural Bershire, he had the time and space to do exactly what he wanted. After all, he  had more than earned that right. Fans of his former persona were won round by the excellence of the music, rather than retreading former glories - and if a few fell by the wayside, he attracted the attention of many others.

Alvin had cut his first solo album while still in the band. 'On The Road To Freedom' (1973) was a joint effort with American singer Mylon LeFevre, the title track giving a flavour of the gospel-infected project.

He then formed Alvin Lee & Co and recorded 'In Flight' live at the Rainbow Theatre in London. 'It was a seven-piece band with the vocal group Kokomo, drummer Ian Wallace, keyboardist Tim Hinkley and saxophonist Mel Collins. "That was a great bad and that was me getting away from the heavy-rock flash kind of thing. I actually became a bit over-aware of the criticisms people were saying 'Oh. Alvin Le, he's all haste and no taste', things like that, and I wanted to show those people I could play other stuff. Perhaps I shouldn't have taken things that seriously...."

Various members of the band continued with Lee for his next two albums 'Pump Iron' and 'Let It Rock'. The latter was less muscular and brash than its predecessor as he tried another route to escape his 'guitar hero' reputation.

Alvin Plays The Rainbow
Alvin's two subsequent outfits enjoyed a longer life than '& Co'. First up was Ten Years Later, formed in 1978 and comprising Mick Hawsworth (bass) and Tom Compton (drums). Hawksworth's fretless bass proved an effective counterpoint to Lee's guitar on 'Rocket Fuel' and 'Ride On'. (see previous post) .
"I like the three-piece format, Alvin admits. 'It keeps me busy and keeps me honest". The album 'Ride On' mixed studio and live cuts while Rocket Fuel was purely studio takes and is featured in this post.  It is one of Alvin's first solo projects I'd heard after loosing contact with him when Ten Years After dissolved.  Hearing and liking what I heard, I promptly sort out his earlier solo material to play catchup.  I was literally refuelled again 10 years later!
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from cassette tape. Although not my ideal medium, this tape is in good condition and it's all that I've got. I have never been able to source the vinyl, so the hunt still continues! Full album artwork for CD and Vinyl is included along with label scans.  
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Tracklist
01 Rocket Fuel 3:18
02 Gonna Turn You On 4:59
03 Friday The 13th 4:56
04 Somebody Callin' Me 5:54
05 Ain't Nothin' Shakin' 5:02
06 Alvin's Blue Thing 0:27
07 Baby Don't You Cry 3:15
08 The Devil's Screaming 9:44

Alvin Lee (Guitars & Vocals)
Mick Hawsworth (Bass & Vocals)
Tom Crompton (Drums)


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Focus - In And Out Of Focus (1971)

(Dutch 1969-1978, 2001-Present)
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Focus is a band I have always admired. They have a way of delivering calm orchestral yet stunning and sharp pieces of music, as well as simple acoustic songs. Focus is a Dutch rock band, founded by classically trained organist/flautist Thijs van Leer in 1969, and is most famous for the songs "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia".

In 1971, the group released 'Moving Waves', which brought the band international acclaim and a hit on both sides of the Atlantic with the radio edit of the rock rondo "Hocus Pocus". This rock classic consists of Akkerman's guitar chord sequence used as a recurring theme, with quirky and energetic interludes that include alto flute riffs, accordion, guitar, and drum solos, whistling, nonsensical (Dutch) vocals, falsetto singing, and yodeling. 'Moving Waves' album established Thijs van Leer and Akkerman as composers who could appeal to progressive-rock album listeners (a large audience in the early 1970s) and radio single buyers. 

Thijs Van Leer
However, one must not disregard their first release, initially called "Focus Plays Focus", but was later changed globally to "In And Out Of Focus". Worlwide there were 4 different covers, and the track list changed also on several editions. The CD reissues would finally include all 8 tracks, only found together before on Polydor/Sire LP editions. My Polydor copy was released in 1973, but sadly contains only 7 tracks, missing the single taken from album called "House Of The King". I have however rectified this in the post provided.
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Knowing what Focus have accomplished (Hocus Pocus, Hamburger Concerto), it's really amazing to hear this album, because I don't hear many hints at their future ability to write concise rock or to create delicate, intricate prog, though there are notable exceptions. Uneven, at times uninspired, and in a few cases goofy, In and Out of Focus contains a fair amount of genuinely good music, but don't expect to hear a monumental statement regarding the potential of Focus.

"House of the King". This is the only real prog song on the album, and while short (under three minutes), it's a great example of the uniquely Focus sound. We've got a bouncy, medievalish melody, foot-tappingly played by flute, guitar, and accentuated by handclaps. I can picture dancing in the village square to this!

"Anonymous" and "Focus (instrumental)". Here Focus loosen up a bit and decide to throw down some great jam-rock. They really seem to be comfortable here, and the music reflects it - fun, at times virtuoso, and not too extended. The bass seems more lively here than in future Focus, which is most welcome. Both songs begin with melodies introduced in other songs and build to very satisfying crescendos, laying down some memorable grooves along the way.

Jan Akkerman
The rest... There really isn't much else of import on this album. Some of the songs remind me of a mellowed-out Syd Barrett--similar vocals and playful style. The most bizarre is "Sugar Island": this Castro makes the poor man rich, he makes the powers fail, followed by some 'daba-daba' scatting. Needless to say, none of it really works, though "Why Dream" does have a great guitar solo to look forward to.

Worthwhile for Focus fans, but probably passable for those just getting into the band. I strongly recommend Moving Waves or Hamburger Concerto before In and Out of Focus.
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This post consists of FLACs ripped from my near mint 1973 vinyl release and includes full album artwork for this and previous releases, plus label scans.  As mentioned, I have also included the missing single "House Of The King" as a bonus track to make this post complete (ripped from vinyl).
If you haven't heard this album then it is well worth doing so, and is an essential album for fans of the band, as it is a wonderful illustration of their beginnings. Enjoy.
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Tracklist
01 Focus (Instrumental) 9:39
02 Why Dream 3:54
03 Happy Nightmare 3:59
04 Anonymous 6:43
05 Black Beauty 3:09
06 Sugar Island 3:05
07 Focus... (Vocal) 2:43
08 House Of The King (Bonus) 2:51

Focus Were:
Thijs van Leer (Vocals, Flute, Keyboards)
Jan Akkerman (Guitar)
Martin Desden (Bass)
Hans Cleuver (Drums)


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Ted Mulry Gang - The TMG Album (1977) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1972 - 1989, 1998)
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When the Ted Mulry Gang (TMG) formed in 1972, Mulry was already a well-known pop balladeer. After getting tired of being backed by different backing bands, in 1972 he switched from acoustic guitar to bass and formed his own band, “Ted Mulry Gang”, with guitarist Les Hall & drummer Herman Kovacs. The band signed a recording deal with Albert Records in 1974 and released their first album “Here We Are”. Guitarist Gary Dixon joined around this time to complete the foursome. With his own band behind him, he adopted a more hard-rockin’ style.

Their first major hit, and the biggest of their career was the 1975 single Jump In My Car which spent 5 weeks at number one on the Australian singles charts. Over the next few years they achieved a string of hit singles including a rocked up version of the old jazz song, "Darktown Strutter’s Ball", "Crazy", "Jamaica Rum" and "My Little Girl". Many of TMG’s songs, including "Jump In My Car" (my personnel favourite), were co-written with guitarist Les Hall. By the early 1980s their chart success had ended but they remained popular performers on the Australian pub circuit throughout the decade.
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Album Review
This, the third TMG album will not shock, astonish or confuse previous TMG buyers. It' the same formula as before. A straightforward drum beat, straightforward bass lines, a chunga-chunga rhythm guitar, interspersed with snappy lead breaks and relaxed, almost casual, vocals with slight, fetching melodies.

Les Hall & Ted Mulry
I mean, no way are TMG hard rock, But they are pleasant ,sing-along, foot tapping, pub rock. Fortunately for their finances they can also play in front of younger audiences and draw shrieks for guitarist Gary Dixon and a rousing sing-along for Dyna (a stage number where everyone in the crowd gets a chance to shout Fuck!)

At this stage of the game, TMG have settled into their groove and are cruising their stated direction in easy-going; cheerful fashion. Besides, Ted Mulry has an undeniable gift for turning- out the well-penned, concisely balanced pop song. The gift deserted him on the previous Steppin' Out elpee, but on TMG Album he's returned to form.

Herm Kovac & Gary Dixon
There's "My Little Girl" for instance-nothing complicated, just a hummable melody and a simple chorus on top of a relaxed Quo type rock backing. Then there's a clutch of lead guitarist Les Hall's offerings. "Without You" builds a nice melody between a feedback guitar routine that (for reasons unknown) is mixed down to the level of politeness. "Having You Around" is a country-rocker-type-thingum bob. Side One ends with a rendition of "Sha-La-Ia-lee". Given the energy and exuberance with which the Small Faces tackled it back in the mid-sixties, the relaxed pace at which TMG take it points out these boys are more at home with easy-going boogie than actual hard edged rock 'n' roll.

Mulry wrote most of side two. "Too Bad", "You've Got It" and "Linda" are all tight songs with "You've Got It" actually peaking the energy meter for the entire album. "Linda" is a well-paced rock ballad with hints of a John Lennonish growl in Mulry's vocal. The band lay back on the beat for this one and build up creditable atmosphere. Gary Dixon weighs in with "I'm Your Man", another soft-line boogie song.

It's not an album that deserves lavish praise because the Gang really don't set their sights on achieving anything much beyond a guaranteed beat and an inoffensive pop song.
But it's hard to berate them either. They've got their groove and they travel it in competent, if unadventurous fashion.
[Review by Anthony O'Grady for RAM Magazine, Sept 9, 1977. #66]


This post consists of FLACs ripped from CD (thanks to Sunshine) and includes full album artwork for both CD and Vinyl media.   I have also chosen to include 4 live recordings as bonus tracks, taken from their 1976 Live On Tour EP .   A scan of Anthony O'Grady's review is also included.
As a always say, ya just can't get enough of TED.  

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Tracklist
01 My Little Girl 3:35
02 Without You 3:11
03 Having You Around    3:12
04 Having Fun 3:47
05 Sha-La-La-La-Lee 3:15
06 Too Bad 3:12
07 You've Got It 3:18
08 Linda 2:44
09 I'm Your Man 3:00
10 Naturally 4:31
11 I'm Free (Bonus Live)    4:06
12 Goodbye (Bonus Live)      2:40
13 Crazy (Bonus Live)      4:07
14 Darktown Strutters Ball  (Bonus Live)  4:01
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TMG were:
Ted Mulry (Vocals, Bass & Piano)
Les Hall (Guitar, Vocals)
Gary Dixon (Guitar, Vocals)
Herm Kovac (Drums, Percussion)
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TMG The Album Link (297Mb)
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