Monday, August 31, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Dread Zeppelin - Un-Led-Ed (1990)


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.

Now here's a thought......What if Elvis didn't actually exit the building? 
What if he chose to do something totally different and high-tailed it out of America and settled in Jamaica as a recluse. What if Elvis's drug addiction went to the next level and he got stuck into some of the local 'wacky weed'. And what if Robert Plant had decided to leave Led Zeppelin and Elvis was asked to step in.  
It's an interesting concept, but perhaps a little too crazy, even for WOCK on vinyl. 
But I did get your attention, didn't I !

I think this band's bio below might have the answer:

Dread Zeppelin is an American rock band best known for performing the songs of Led Zeppelin in a reggae style as sung by a 300-pound (140 kg) Las Vegas Elvis impersonator. Over the years they have also performed songs originally by Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and The Yardbirds. The group toured extensively around the world during their tenure with I.R.S. Records.

The nucleus of Dread Zeppelin, bassist Put-Mon (Gary Putman), drummer Cheese (Curt Lichter) and guitarist Jah Paul Jo (Joseph "Severs" Ramsey), were from a Pasadena, California group called The Prime Movers. Signed to Island Records in 1986, The Prime Movers had some success in the UK with singles "On The Trail" and "Dark Western Night."

When The Prime Movers ended in 1989, Jah Paul Jo hatched the idea for a new group that would call itself "Dread Zeppelin." Aside from the three original members, the band recruited guitarist Carl Jah (Carl Haasis) and 300-pound Vegas-era Elvis impersonator Tortelvis (Greg Tortell).

The first Dread Zeppelin recording was meant to be a goof on Led Zeppelin's 45 single "Immigrant Song" and its sought-after non-LP B-Side "Hey Hey What Can I Do". Produced by Jah Paul Jo and Rasta Li-Mon (Lee Manning) and released on their indie Birdcage Records label, the single sold amazingly well and represses featured the seven inch 45 RPM in a rasta rainbow of colors: red (original), green, yellow, blue, white and clear vinyl. All early Dread Zeppelin recordings and most of the band's first album Un-Led-Ed were recorded at the home studio of Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, where Rasta Li-Mon was a house engineer.

In 1990, Dread Zeppelin were signed to Miles Copeland III's IRS label. Their first album, Un-Led-Ed, consisted of more covers taken from Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II, plus "Black Dog" from Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album. Original drummer Cheese (Curt Lichter) left the band just after recording Un-Led-Ed. He was replaced by Fresh Cheese (Paul Maselli). Un-Led-Ed has been their most successful album release to date, selling over 1 million copies.

So folks, this post certainly ticks most of the WOCK boxes for this month's consignment - it's Weird, it's Crazy and definitely very Korny.  Mind you, some of the lead guitar work by Carl Jah is pretty damn good, and certainly gives his protege' Mr. Page a run for his money, so this album is not a total parody and worth the listen. But I'm still not sure about those Elvis vocals - thank you, thank you.
Ripped from CD in MP3 (320kps) format with full artwork

01   Black Dog    5:21
02   Heartbreaker (At The End Of Lonely Street)   4:47
03   Living Loving Maid   3:47
04   Your Time Is Gonna Come   5:11
05   Bring It On Home   4:38
06   Whole Lotta Love   4:37
07   Black Mountain Side   2:02
08   I Can't Quit You Baby   6:05
09   Immigrant Song   2:53
10   Moby Dick   4:19

Sunday, August 30, 2020

REPOST: Charlie - Selftitled (1983)

(U.K 1971 - 1986, 2009)
Charlie was a British rock band that was formed in 1971 by singer/songwriter Terry Thomas. A jazz-inflected, London-based group, Charlie was as well known for the sexy babes on their album covers as they were for their close, smooth harmonies and slick, catchy singles like "Turning" and "Watching TV."
The band's core lineup consisted of vocalist / guitarist Terry Thomas (who had also been in a band with Free and Bad Company's Simon Kirke), bassist/vocalist John Anderson (formerly of Axe), and drummer Steve Gadd, and a wide array of supporting players, including keyboardist Julian Colbeck, guitarist Martin Smith, auxiliary drummer Shep Lonsdale, and former Argent members Bob Henrit and John Verity.

Their radio-friendly sound debuted in 1976 with Fantasy Girls and the group managed a steady stream of moderate FM hits in the U.S. and the U.K., including 1978's "Killer Cut" and "She Loves to Be in Love."
However, Charlie's biggest success came with the 1983 hit "It's Inevitable," which received considerable airplay from MTV and was featured on their selftitled seventh album. Despite the added prominence this single and tours with the Doobie Brothers, Styx, BTO, and the Kinks brought them, the group remained primarily a cult favorite for their nearly decade-long career. Charlie's swan song came in with 'In Pursuit of Romance', which featured Thomas as the only original member.
Charlie, to most people in Oz were virtually unknown so it was tempting to treat their selftitled album as a debut.

In many ways it was — they had a new front man in Terry Slesser (sounding very much like Daryl Braithwaite or Steve Perry, and looked like Brian Mannix from the Uncanny X-Men), a new Production Team - Kevin Beamish and Terry Thomas and a new Record Label - Mirage, headed by Jerry Greenberg (ex Atlantic Records President).
Charlie's recording career began in 76 with their debut Album "Fantasy Girls" and they followed this up with one album per year - "No Second Chance" (77); "Lines" (78); "Fight Dirty" (79); "Here Comes Trouble" ('80) and "Good Morning America" ('81)
Of the above only "No Second Chance" and "Lines" were released in Australia. Both received good critical acclaim but failed to spawn that vital ingredient - a HIT Single. They did however have two Top 40 Hits in the States with "She Loves To Be In Love" and "Killer Cut".

Charlie in '83 undertook a new direction. As Terry Thomas the Band leader/Spokesman put it - "There was a lot of re-evaluation going on in the band after "Good Morning America". We had been working for a long time to attain the kind of success we all wanted but hadn't quite achieved. The frustration level for the whole band was very high at that point. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that a major change was needed to freshen up a stagnant situation. Hence, I stepped down from the role of Lead Singer and directed my energies into the Songwriting/ Producing and Guitar work. As soon as I took this approach the material I had written for the album took on a new clarity and direction about it".
The addition of Kevin Beamish as Co-Producer/Engineer as well as help from John "Mutt" Lange (Producer of Foreigner, AC/CD, Def Leppard) has really added depth and a knife like edge to all of Thomas'songs.

The Songs

"It's Inevitable" kicks it off, a song that deserved it's minor hit status. The song is an up tempo rocker with the great layered harmonies expected of the lads. The same can be said of "Tempted" which follows the same path with a superb chorus. "Spend My Life With You" is more mid tempo, but with a beautiful verse and if anything these guys were on a roll. "Never Too Late" features a highly dramatic bridge, with synth work that stabs over and over. Side one ends with another ultra melodic classic "Playing To Win". The buildup to the chorus is almost palpable in its tension, it fits perfectly. The background vocals are so rich in melody you might overdose of an AOR attack! And this is only side one! Not to worry because side two is every bit as memorable, notably "This Time" and "Can't Wait 'Til Tomorrow", undeniable AOR feasts which can be described as any of the previous songs.
The rip was taken from CD in FLAC format and includes full album artwork.
Track Listing
01 - It's Inevitable
02 - Tempted
03 - Spend My Life With You
04 - Never Too Late
05 - Playing To Win
06 - The Heartaches Begin
07 - You're Everything I Need
08 - This Time
09 - Can't Wait 'Til Tomorrow

Band Members
Terry Wilson Slesser - vocals
Terry Thomas - guitars, vocals
John Anderson - bass, vocals
Steve Gadd - drums
Bob Henrit - drums

Guest Artists:
Andy Clark - keyboards
Richard Cottle - saxophone, keyboards
Adrian Lee - keyboards
Chris Parren - keyboards
Nick Payne - saxophone

Charlie Link (254Mb)

Friday, August 28, 2020

Rush - Roll The Bones (1991) FLACs

(Canadian 1968 - 2018)

Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyricist). Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and classic lineup when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first tour of the United States.

Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. The band's musical style has changed several times over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, and including a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers.

As the '80s drew to a close, Rush were gradually been moving away from the keyboard-dominated sounds they had so embraced earlier in the decade. With 1989's Presto, they began to put the guitar back to the front of their sound, much to delight of older fans. That path became even more focused with Roll the Bones, which was released on Sept. 3, 1991

"The album is kind of based on the concept of chance," said Geddy Lee in a 1991 interview. "The way it affects our lives in obvious and not-so-obvious ways," and calling it "a new beginning" for the band. It's obvious from the start of "Dreamline" that the band were invigorated, and though keyboards are still in the mix, the guitar is back where it should be, especially when Alex Lifeson lets loose with a blistering solo mid-song.

"I'm pleased with the way the band has been able to streamline the sound over the past couple of records," Lee told U.S. Rocker upon the album's release. "I think it's a positive change. I'm also pleased with the way we've been able to utilize a stronger sense of melody and vocal harmony."

The title cut featured a surprise for fans, a "rap" section, performed by Lee, who had his voice electronically altered. In hindsight, it has less to do with rap music of the era, playing out with an almost sci-fi meets beatnik vibe. Ultimately, the song's lyrics zero in on common concerns and questions, with the semi-existentialist coupling, "Why are we here? Because we're here!"

Roll The Bones Tour
Lyricist/drummer Neil Peart was constantly revamping his approach to lyric writing. "It is the ultimate statement in spite of all these questionings and thinking about contingency and the accidents that can happen in life," summed up Peart on the idea behind the lyric. "You can't remain sort of helpless facing a universal futility; you gotta do something, really. Either do something or not do something, so I thought, choose the risk, choose the adventure."

"I think that it's a credit to Neil that he has been able to go from being a writer of broad abstractions, to being a writer of personal abstractions," added Lee. "Adding his point of view, and not being afraid to talk about some of his inner feelings has been a bold step for him."

Though "Face Up" and "The Big Wheel" are both straight-ahead guitar-centered rockers, they are still covered in that overly glossy '80s production style. "You Bet Your Life" ends the album on a very upbeat, powerful, and melodic note. The path from high gloss to harder edged sounds would be complete with 1993's Counterparts.

"Roll the Bones" was another big hit for Rush, hitting No. 3 in the U.S. and Top 10 in the U.K. and going on to sell more than a million copies. "This album had a real flow to it, a real strong, effortless flow," recalled Lee. "We spent a long time writing, probably longer than we've ever spent writing. We spent 10 weeks writing and rehearsing, which is probably why the recording went so quickly."
[extract from]

Roll The Bones Tour Review

"Older, Wiser And Still Rockin' Rush"
(By Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen, November 21, 1991)

When Rush is touring, drummer Neil Peart's peace of mind depends on giving a good performance. "My whole life hinges on how well I played last night," he says. "It's so important and so critical that a show day is like nothing else. I judge my whole reality based on how well that two hours on stage go." That's the kind of uncompromising professionalism that has propelled the trio to become the most respected of Canadian rockers.

Neal Peart
But 18 years ago, neither the band members - Peart, guitarist Alex Lifeson and singer-bassist Geddy Lee - nor the critics would have predicted that the band would become so firmly established. They've released 14 studio albums worldwide. They own their own record company, Anthem Records, and each band member makes a comfortable living. They even have a health and dental plan for their roadies. Not bad for a band that used to play every high school dance north of Toronto.

The band is three weeks into a world tour, backing the newly released 'Roll the Bones' album. They perform at the Civic Centre Tuesday. To some, the enduring appeal of the music lies in its consistency - complex lyrics over intricate bass and drum work, with Lee's soaring vocals providing a distinctive hook. But from Peart's perspective as a musician and songwriter, the playing and writing has changed enormously during the years. "To me, early things are like your fridge paintings from Grade 2 that your mom used to hang on the fridge. You grow out of them and you're either embarrassed or a bit nostalgic about them," he says. "That's probably a good analysis with the early stuff for me. For me, anything much before 1980, I don't honestly relate to in any direct way anymore. As with anybody, you look back at your adolescence and it could be, maybe not embarrassing, but uncomfortable at least. "I've become much better at communicating ideas and sensations and responses to things," he says.

Single - Dreamline

Although Peart sounds like a hard-to-please perfectionist when he talks about his work, he is happy with the new album. The song "Ghost of a Chance," for instance, is a rare Rush love song. The band usually shies away from love songs because they tend to sound shallow, Peart says. "Falling in love, as everyone knows, is a pretty common occurrence. But beyond the falling in love, to create a real enduring love is an effort of will and discipline and sacrifice and all those other things that are work in a sense." "I was able to address a nuance of love like that, just through having the technique of being able to think about it and then verbalize it with exactly the right words."

In the past few years, Rush has enjoyed a growing sense of respect from a wider audience. Peart speculates that it may be because of renewed interest in heavy metal. While Rush's music is more accurately termed progressive rock, it's often been lumped in with metal. And that used to bother Peart. "Three or four years ago, the definition of heavy metal was pretty lame," he says. "Now it's actually a very respectable genre. In fact, it's often attributed as the return to real music and real musicians. "Before we were guilty by association and now we're kind of heroic by association. We're still doing the same things and growing our own way but suddenly everything's changed around us."

Rush fans who discovered the band in the early days have grown up with the band. Many are now in their 30s with careers and families. Peart says he's beginning to see fans in the audience with their spouses and children.

Geedy Lee and Alex Lifeson
And the fans are definitely a devoted bunch. Rush has been bombarded with petitions from fans in certain Canadian cities, including Ottawa and Halifax, to bring the band to their town. Peart received the Ottawa petition, started by a local radio station, when the band was in rehearsal. After checking with the band's manager he faxed back a positive reply. "At the time, we didn't know exactly when but those things do matter. You hear about something like that and you want to respond to it." [extract from]

Roll The Bones T-Shirt Artwork
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my cassette tape, which has been rarely played. I'm not sure how I missed this one on vinyl, as I own everything they put out on the black plastic. Full artwork has been sourced for Vinyl and CD, and of course my cassette artwork is also included (containing an extensive foldout booklet)

I fell in love with Rush around the time when they released their 1st / 2nd albums, comparing them to another power trio called 'Budgie'. Geedy Lee even had a vocal range similar to Bourke Shelley).

I spotted their first 2 albums in the bargain bin at Brash Suttons in Geelong and was ecstatic when I played them for the first time. I was immediately hooked. It is sad that they weren't bigger in Australia, and in fact I can't remember ever hearing Rush on any of our Radio Stations in Victoria.

Although this release doesn't match their debut albums, it is still a decent album in my opinion and deserves a place on my blog. If I get time I think I might post their first two albums in a future post, so stay tuned.

01 Dreamline 4:38
02 Bravado 4:35
03 Roll The Bones 5:30
04 Face Up 3:54
05 Where's My Thing? (Part IV, "Gangster Of Boats" Trilogy) 3:49
06 The Big Wheel 5:13
07 Heresy 5:26
08 Ghost Of A Chance 5:19
09 Neurotica 4:40
10 You Bet Your Life 5:00

Rush are:
Geedy Lee (Vocals, Bass, Synthesizer)
Alex Lifeson (Guitar, Vocals)
Neal Peart (Drums, Cymbal)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bruce Springsteen - Not Authorised - Live Vol II (1993) Bootleg

 (U.S 1969 - Present )

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Darkness Tour was a concert tour of North America that ran from May 1978 through the rest of the year, in conjunction with the release of Springsteen's album Darkness on the Edge of Town. (Like most Springsteen tours it had no official name, but this is the most commonly used; it is also sometimes referred to as the Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour or most simply the 1978 Tour.)

One of the reasons the 1978 Tour is so well-remembered, and often viewed as the peak of Springsteen and the E Street Band in concert, is that several complete shows were broadcast live on album-oriented rock radio stations. These included the July 7 show at West Hollywood's The Roxy, broadcast on KMET; the August 9 show at Cleveland's Agora Ballroom, broadcast on WMMS and seven other Midwestern stations; the September 19 show at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, broadcast on WNEW-FM; the September 30 show from the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, broadcast on about 20 Southeastern stations; and the December 15 show from the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, broadcast on KSAN-FM. 

The Fox Theatre, Atlanta
These broadcasts were mixed by Jimmy Iovine and of high audio quality, and were listened to at the time by a larger audience than attended the concerts. Over the years the stations would play the broadcasts again, and many high-quality bootlegs were made and circulated of these shows.

Originally scheduled for 23rd July (but postponed due to Springsteen’s occurring throat infection), the 30th September 1978 performance in Atlanta offers a valuable snapshot of the boss in his energised, formative years. Maybe it’s the freshness and vitality so effectively displayed here that derives from a desire to impress a large radio audience largely unfamiliar with his work. Maybe it has something to do with the inspiring energy and enthusiasm that would become a Springsteen trademark or the anticipation of a welcome break following the next night’s performance. Whatever the reason, Springsteen’s 1978 'darkness...' shows are something to truly behold and survive as a joyous testament to his legacy.

Concert Review

The 30th September 1978 performance in  Atlanta was originally scheduled for 23rd July, but was one of two shows postponed due to Springsteen's re-occurring throat infection (two others were cancelled completely). The high demand for tickets led to a second show being added the following night before Springsteen and the band would take a month - long break. The show was broadcast on twenty FM radio stations in the southeastern states, one of five such broadcasts during the 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour'.

Springsteen opened many of the Darkness Tour shows with a classic rocker, a defiant stance from someone marking their own place in rock music as The Boss himself states: "you've got a lot to live up to when you walk out on that stage, a certain tradition from the early rockers that I believe in a lot". As on several other occasions, the chosen rocker is "Good Rocking Tonight", most famous in its incarnation as Elvis Presley's second single for Sun Records from 1954. Sadly this track and a majority of Sprinsteen's first set is not featured on this CD with the exception of the closing track "Fire", which acts as the opener on this bootleg.

Despite it still being September, he second set kicks off with the suitably boisterous "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". Springsteen justifies its inclusion by telling the audience; "it might be a little early for this next song, but we might not see you around Christmas time". The amassing fake snow that decorated the stage during the song causes a temporary halt to proceedings inspiring an impromptu instrumental number to accompany the clean up. This is probably why the track was not included here either.

Candy's Room, Because the Night, Point Blank and Backstreets cement the spirit of the show and dominate a poignant second performance whilst building up the anticipation of an eager Atlanta crowd.

The final set promises an eruption of rhythm and blues and revolution with the Latin romp of "Rosalita" inviting an explosive take on "Born To Run" both which are followed by an ebullient "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". An ecstatically applauded "Devil With The Blu Dress Medley" (including Good Golly Miss Molly, C.C Rider and Jenny take A Ride) brings Springsteen back on the stage for the final song, a wholly energised rendition of the Eddie Floyd number "Raise Your Hand" (sadly, not included here)

Maybe the freshness and vitality so effectively displayed here derives from a desire to impress a large radio audience from a region of the USA outside of the Springsteen fan base. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the inspiring energy and enthusiasm that would become a Springsteen trademark or the anticipation of a welcome break following the next night's performance, but whatever the reason, Springsteen's 1978 shows are something to truly behold.

This bootleg truly confirms the honest authenticity in his work and inspires further critical applause for the man they call "The Boss". 

This post consist of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my "Not Authorised" CD Bootleg, released in Australia in 1993 along with all the others that I acquired at that time. This release only represents half of the original concert due to the limitation of a single CD release. Quality of the recording is VG however the artwork is the usual generic artwork produced by AMCOS. 

This bootleg has also been released under the title "Fox Theatre Presents The Boss", "Everybody's Rockin' Tonight" and the full concert recently released by Echo Records in 2014 as a double CD set. Some covers are shown below.

Track Listing
01 - Fire 3:01
02 - Candy's Room 2:44
03 - Because The Night 8:02
04 - Point Blank 7:53
05 - Not Fade Away 5:09
06 - She's The One 7:22
07 - Backstreets 12:09
08 - Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) 13:26
09 - Born To Run 4:55
10 - Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out 4:57
11 - Devil With The Blue Dress 1:49
12 - Good Golly, Miss Molly 1:47
13 - C. C. Rider 1:52
14 - Jenny Take A Ride 5:51

E-Street band:
Bruce Springsteen - Lead Vocals / Guitar
Steve Van Zant - Guitars
Gary Tallent - Bass
Roy Bittan - Keyboards
Max Wienburg - Drums
Clarence Clemmons - Saxophone

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis (1970)

(U.S 1966–1971, 1974–1985, 1987–present)
After two solid years of fame and fortune, Iron Butterfly were rapidly losing ground in the rock and roll sweepstakes. The band had been unable to sustain the massive success of their 1968 sophomore offering, the legendary In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, despite releasing the rock solid Ball in 1969.

In 1970, Iron Butterfly issued a stop-gap live album that, of course, featured another lengthy rendition of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," a move which hinted at a lack of direction. Countless bands had followed Cream and Jimi Hendrix down the hard and heavy path, with Iron Butterfly among the first to venture there. For whatever reason, however, they were unable to capitalise on the preferred heaviness of the era.

Just a few months following the release of Live, however, Iron Butterfly burst forth with a new LP titled 'Metamorphosis' on Aug. 13, 1970. In keeping with the title, this project found Iron Butterfly trying to re-invent themselves. Perhaps more to the point, the band was concentrating on fine tuning their own strengths.

Iron Butterfly 1970

Metamorphosis begins with a short atmospheric piece, "Free Flight," which is really just a lead in to the driving "New Day" – not only a perfect album opener, but a mission statement of sorts for the band at this juncture. "Shady Lady" is a fairly lame, somewhat funky number that's best left forgotten at this point. A quick rebound comes in the form of "Best Years Of Our Lives," with its kick ass guitar and keyboard workouts.

"Slower Than Guns," a beautiful acoustic-based ballad focusing ecological perils, is very much of its time and place – yet listening to it decades years later, Iron Butterfly's theme still rings true, both lyrically and musically. Ditto for "Soldier on the Town." Meanwhile, "Stone Believer" is a heavy groover that, like much of Iron Butterfly catalog, deserved a better fate than being a forgotten album track.

Iron Butterfly 1970

Iron Butterfly wraps up things with another lengthy workout in the form of "Butterfly Bleu," a song that gets into all sorts of dynamics along its nearly 15 minute path before turning into gimmicks and nonsense. Eventually, the track rebounds from these meanderings, but by then it's too late.

Metamorphosis became the band's fourth straight Top 20 album, but remains the last to do so. It was, alas, no In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – a complaint that forever hung around Iron Butterfly's collective neck.
[Extract:  'How Iron Butterfly Reinvented Themselves With 'Metamorphosis' |    DAVE SWANSON Published: August 13, 2015]

Concert Poster From 1970

Album Review 1
(Review by Prog Sothoth)
 1970 was like a dark amorphous cloud that roamed across the musical landscape seeking out rock bands singing about flowers & beads to absorb, consume and spit out the bones. Iron Butterfly saw the cloud approaching, and weren't going down without a fight. The cloud did eventually win, but the Butterfly's attempt to undergo metamorphosis was nothing to be ashamed of and in retrospect they released a pretty solid piece of work that deserved more notice, considering the band was one of the biggest selling acts in the game just two years prior.

With this effort, Iron Butterfly ditched the fuzzy guitar tones and embraced a funkier and bluesier approach to rock music, basically following the tide so to speak. There's a bit of Grand Funk, a sprinkle of Three Dog Night, some lingering tripped-out acid rock and Doug's mighty baritone telling us that shady ladies are cool. His voice has improved technically and suits the music well. The man is absolutely drenched in soul, sounding like a more earnest and less obnoxious Michael McDonald with no fear of rockin' out.

Musically the band is pretty tight, and the production values for its time sound crisp and surprisingly stellar. These dudes may not have been the big cheese anymore, but they still had a sweet budget to lay down these tracks. There's no real "hooky" tune to latch onto as a potential big single release, but what's bad for the casual rock fan can be good for the prog fan as there's some interesting things going about this disc musically. A song like "Shady Ladies" shouldn't be as complex as it is, but...there you go. In fact, I really dig this tune with its cute keyboard ditties & surprising shifts from happy grooviness to haunting space rock and back again. 

The opening main track "New Day" (after a silly intro) sounds like a sort of Steppenwolf number, which isn't a bad thing, but keep listening, and eventually you'll get to some 'out there' music, especially the final juggernaut "Butterfly Bleu". As a long track, it doesn't meander too far away from the rest of the album's overall arch, but man at one point things do get pretty weird with the goofy vocal chants, mumblings and interactions with a guitar voice box whining "help me!" It's silly and dated, but fun as a one-off listen.

Metamorphosis requires a few listens to get into (at least for me it did), but if you're not looking for something too progressive but with talent and some great manly vocals, this bugger may do the trick.

Album Review 2
(Review by aglasshouse)
Every time I've seen Iron Butterfly's history, their profile has a whole, and the music they've created, I've always thought of them as steadfast. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, for all intents and purposes, should not have been as successful as it was. An 18-minute long acid trip jam? Many others at the time tried to achieve the same thing and failed, but these Californians somehow managed to turn such a product of the times into a product that stands the test of time (and made a boat-load at that). Something as miraculous as this is hard for anyone to followup, let alone a half-stoned shit rock band like Iron Butterfly was. They managed it though, the following album Ball (1969) charting even higher than it's predecessor in the U.S.

Iron Butterfly managed to make magic happen twice. I guess the obvious question that should and was asked was: "can they do it again?" Yes and no.

There's a difference this time around. Metamorphosis, released the following year after Ball, charted at 16 in the U.S. Now, in any other circumstance this would be laudable, because obviously it's not easy to whip up a record that charts in the first place. But for Iron Butterfly, this was practically dismal. Granted, 'Easy Rider' did chart 66 on Billboard, being I.B.'s biggest hit since 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida', although I personally owe this more to the success of the latter and name recognition as opposed to song quality (who knows, the 70's were easily pleased). So, financially-wise, Iron Butterfly were sort of able to hit the gold once more. However, musically-wise, Metamorphosis is different from all of it's predecessors, even including Heavy. 

What I was saying about Iron Butterfly's seeming fragility comes into play here, because the band slowly started going downhill after their monster-hit, and Metamorphosis was the last album regarded at least decently by critics. On this particular album, the original line-up is broken, with guitarist Erik Brann parting ways due to band conflicts. Replacing him, flatteringly enough, was four different session guitarists. Mike Pinera of Blues Image and Alice Cooper (as well as Ramadam, a supergroup formed with Mitch Mitchell of Jimi Hendrix Experience), Larry Reinhardt (future Captain Beyond along with Dorman), Bill Cooper, and even producer Richard Podolor on the twelve-string.

Concert Poster
Metamorphosis is really the culmination of Iron Butterfly's slowly building up musical consistency since In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. This applies for musicianship (because honestly they weren't the greatest players), production, and songwriting. The production is much higher, and allows for a more dynamic sound in both the experimental and traditional departments. Speaking of experimental, critics tend to refer to Iron Butterfly post-Vida as being more and more musically adventurous, and I would tend to agree. Metamorphosis puts a much greater emphasis on the progressive/space rock side of the band, something I've always found remarkably endearing when it comes to them in particular. Mostly this is on the smash epic 'Butterfly Bleu', a masterpiece of proto-metal and prog music that rivals even I-A-G-D-V (except is much more structured and, dare I say, intelligent?). Still retaining a spaced-out, pseudo complex attitude, 'Butterfly Bleu' manages to be heavy, emotional, and eclectic all in on package. It also funnily enough features one of the earliest uses of a talk-box (yeah, that thing Bon Jovi used on 'Livin' On a Prayer' to make his guitar go "rwoworwowrwow") during a gritty section on the latter half of the epic. 

Alternate Cover
Of the traditional we have 'New Day', a Steppenwolf-esque song headed off by a disarmingly good catchy riff. 'Shady Lady' is, at times, your standard brand of funky blues-rock, but it delves into extremely dark tonal shifts at certain areas. The rest of the album is rather expected of Iron Butterfly, being basically cheesy rock n' roll tunes molded by quasi-hippie zeitgeist ('Soldier In Our Town'), but I suppose the big single 'Easy Rider' has it's moments as well.

The band itself does very well for itself on this particular album. As aforementioned, four different multi-talented guitarist make themselves well-known on Metamorphosis. Mike Pinera's (presumably) part on 'Butterfly Bleu' with the talk-box always makes me smile ever time I hear it. It really makes the song have a bigger personality (of course his vocals on the rest of the song is good as well, putting on a zealous, emotional performance). The Iron Butterfly themselves are nothing to scoff about of course, But it's clear that the talents of Ingle, Dorman, and Bushy are not without merit. The band's made their abilities clear ever since 'Vida' in '68, and here they meld almost perfectly with their session musicians.

Some may get turned off by Iron Butterfly's material, but for me Metamorphosis is nothing short of a wonderful surprise. People wanted the Butterfly, and they got the Butterfly.

Wish these were my tickets!

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl copy. Although I have this album on CD, I decided to rip my vinyl instead because I still think the progressive/space rock sound of the 60/70's is best heard from the media it was originally released on, warts and all, typical of this medium (crackles & pops).  In this case, my copy is in excellent condition, so you won't be disappointed.
Full album artwork and label scans are included along with all featured photos.
I love this album because it has essences of the classic 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' sound mixed with some more mature progressive sounds, but also because I'm a big fan of Captain Beyond and the connection between these two bands is extensive.

Track Listing:
1. Free Flight (0:50)
2. New Day (3:20)
3. Shady Lady (3:57)
4. Best Years Of Our Life (4:00)
5. Slower Than Guns (3:50)
6. Stone Believer (4:25)
7. Soldier In Our Town (3:22)
8. Easy Rider (Let The Wind Pay The Way) (3:07)
9. Butterfly Bleu (13:58)

Line-up / Musicians
- Larry 'El Rhino' Rheinhart / guitars
- Mike Pinera / guitar, lead vocals (3,4,6,9)
- Doug Ingle / organ, lead vocals (1-3,5-8)
- Lee Dorman / bass, backing vocals
- Ron Bushy / drums
Also with:
- Richard Podolor / 12-string guitar, sitar, arrangements, producer
- Bill Cooper / 12-string guitar, engineer

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Paul Kelly And The Dots - Talk (1981) plus Bonus Single

(Australian 1978 - 1982)

While travelling around Australia, Paul Kelly made his first public performance as a singer/song writer in 1974 in Hobart. He later recalled:

His first published song, "It's the Falling Apart that Makes You", was written after listening to Van Morrison's Astral Weeks at the age of 19, although in an interview with Drum Media he recalled writing his first unpublished song: "It was an open-tuning and had four lines about catching trains. I have got a recording of it somewhere. It was called 'Catching a Train'. I wrote a lot of songs about trains early on, trains and fires, and then I moved on to water". In 1976, Kelly played with the Adelaide band 'The Debutantes' before joining pub-rockers The High Rise Bombers from 1977 to 1978.  The High Rise Bombers included Kelly (vocals, guitar, songwriter), Martin Armiger (guitar, vocals, songwriter), Lee Cass (bass guitar), Chris Dyson (guitar), Sally Ford (saxophone, songwriter), John Lloyd (drums), and Keith Shadwick (saxophone). Chris Langman (guitar, vocals) replaced Dyson in early 1978. In August, after Armiger left for The Sports and Ford for The Kevins, Kelly formed Paul Kelly and the Dots with Langman and Lloyd. The High Rise Bombers recorded two tracks, "She's Got It" and "Domestic Criminal", which appeared on The Melbourne Club, a 1981 compilation by various artists on Missing Link Records.

Kelly had already established himself as a respected songwriter and other Melbourne musicians would go to see him on their nights off. He was introduced to Hilary Brown at one of the Dots' gigs and they later married the relationship is described in "When I First Met Your Ma" (1992). Brown's father supplied Kelly with a gravy recipe used on "How to Make Gravy" (1996). Their son, Declan, was born in 1980.

The Dots included various line-ups from 1978 to 1982. The band released their debut single "Recognition" in 1979, which did not reach the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart top 50. Paul Kelly and the Dots signed to Mushroom Records and issued "Billy Baxter" in November 1980, which peaked at No. 38. Rock music historian, Ian McFarlane described it as a "delightful, ska-tinged" track. Kelly's first television performance was "Billy Baxter" on the national pop show Countdown. Their debut album, Talk, followed in March 1981, which reached No. 44 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. Late in 1981 Paul Kelly and the Dots recorded their second album, Manila, in the Philippines' capital. It was issued in August 1982, but had no chart success. Release was delayed by line-up changes and because Kelly was assaulted in Melbourne he had his jaw broken.

In an October 1982 interview with Australian Women's Weekly, Kelly indicated he was more pleased with Manila than Talk as "It has more unity ... with this one we didn't have people dropping into the studio to play." Years later Kelly disavowed both Dots albums: "I wish I could grab the other two and put 'em in a big hole". The 1982 film, Starstruck, was directed by Gillian Armstrong and starred Jo Kennedy. Paul Kelly and the Dots supplied "Rocking Institution" for its soundtrack and Kelly added to the score. Kennedy released "Body and Soul", a cover of Split Enz' "She Got Body, She Got Soul" as a shared single with "Rocking Institution". Acting in a minor role in Starstruck was Kaarin Fairfax, who later became Kelly's second wife. Kelly was without a recording contract after the Dots folded in 1982. [extract from radioswissjazz]

(Review from Tharunka (Kensington, NSW : 1953 - 2010), Tuesday 3 March 1981, page 17)

The most commonly used excuse for people not frequenting many music venues is the cost involved -- and understandably so. Cover charges usually range from three to five dollars — then the expense is tripled after a few drinks.

Well, this time there's no excuse. Friday the 13th need not be unlucky if you show up on the PERC Lawn, with whatever you care to inebriate yourself with (or alternatively, the luxury of the bar balcony). Three bands for the price it takes you to get out-of-it.

The concert commences with multi-racial, reggae band Untabu-X.followed by Sydney band The Brix, then Paul Kelly and the Dots. For those unfamiliar with the headlining band, maybe the following will convince the more apathetic, that the concert is a bargain at half the price (?).

Paul Kelly and The Dots base themselves in Melbourne and if you haven't seen them on one of their rare Sydney excursions, you may have heard the single "Billy Baxter", which included Joe Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep) and Wilbur Wilde also from the Falcons and OL'55 on saxophone. Actually, Joe Camilleri, as well as including two of Kelly's songs on his own albums, has recently finished producing The Dots debut album entitled "Talk", The album has attracted quite a bit of controversy due to the length of time it's taken to record. Recording began in June last year. Line-up changes postponed the completion date then Joe went overseas with the Falcons. The release date is now set for March 13th!!

When asked if satisfied with the end product, Kelly was less than enthusiastic. The band has been through many line- up changes and he has "enough new material for a double album".

Delving into Kelly's past, he began as a solo act playing his material in Sydney pubs on acoustic. He changed from acoustic in Sydney to electric in Melbourne four years ago. The High Rise Bombers were formed with Sports this point, a song smith only, and his voice and words were lost in the volume of electrics and brass.

Kelly's image changed with the forming of The Dots. Instead of the music drowning his lyrics, he learnt to project power that transformed his poetic lines into raging dance songs. Paul Kelly is now regarded as Australia's Bruce Springsteen. He wrote the title track from the movie Hard Knocks and recorded the vocal tracks lying on the studio floor (he'd put his back out)And the Falcons aren't the only ones to realise Kelly's talent as a song writer. Flowers have also recorded Kelly's "Leaps and Bounds".

The line-up you'll see on the 13th includes Chris Dyson and Chris Wilde on guitars, Alan Brooker on bass and drums, courtesy of Tony Thornton.
So Friday 13th may have more in store for you than being run down by a bus!

This post consists of FLACs ripped from CD (thanks to RAM) and includes full album artwork for both Vinyl and CD. In addition you will find two bonus tracks taken from their earlier single "Seeing Is Believing" / "Angel In Me" (1980) which were not included on 'Talk' (many thanks to Crossocean for making this rare single available). As we all know, Paul Kelly moved onto bigger and better things as a solo artist when the Dots dissolved in 1982, however his contribution to Aussie Rock and helping to make Melbourne the centre of the pub rock circuit must not be overlooked.

Irrespective of what Kelly's thinks about this release, I would encourage you to listen to it yourself to pass judgement.

01 Promise Not To Tell 3:20
02 The Lowdown 3:32
03 Want You Back 3:10
04 Fall Guy 3:36
05 Hard Knocks 3:54
06 Billy Baxter * 2:43
07 Recognition 3:04
08 Cherry 4:30
09 The Way Used To 3:08
10 I Have To Watch You Loving Him 3:16
11 Please Send Me 2:52
12 Seeing Is Believing (Bonus Single) 2:48
13 Angel In Me (Bonus Single) 2:42

Paul Kelly - Vocals, Guitar
Chris Dyson, Chris Worrall - Guitars, Vocals
Alan Brooker, Paul Gadsby - Bass
Tony Thornton - Drums
* Wilbur Wilde, Joe Camilleri - Saxophone

Note: Used the new Blogger Editor Interface for this time and I hate it!  Formatting commands are horrible and just don't work properly.
What have you done Blogger !

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

REPOST: Captain Beyond - Frozen Over (Live In Arlington, Texas 1973) Bootleg

(U.S 1971-79, 1998-2003)
'Far Beyond a Distant Sun - Live in Arlington Texas' is the best Captain Beyond live bootleg album to date. It was recorded in 1973 (but wasn't officially released until 2002), after the release of their 2nd LP Sufficiently Breathless, with the four original member reuniting for a brief tour before Rod Evans leaves. The album was recorded at the University of Texas at Arlington in support of King Crimson.
With the original line-up, this live album features all classic Captain Beyond tracks like "Dancing Madly Backwards", "Distant Sun", "Mypopic Void" etc. plus an excellent guitar solo from Rhino and a fantastic drum solo by Bobby Caldwell and lastly, a rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free". This is definitive Captain Beyond live in concert and by far, the best sounding live bootleg by them (there's no official live album of Captain Beyond). Rod Evans reaps through this set while Rhino and Bobby Caldwell are consistent as ever. This gig shows the real dynamics of the band and proves how great they were in live settings. What a combination of energy and sophistication! The music is well thought out--it's classy, but tailored... knock your socks off. Sad that Captain Beyond didn't last long, but their impact on today's heavy prog/stoner rock revivalists is evident..
Captain Beyond 1973
After leaving Deep Purple, Rod Evans recorded a solo single for Capitol, then went on to form Captain Beyond, along with former Johnny Winter drummer Bobby Caldwell, former Iron Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt, who also was part of the last incarnation of Iron Butterfly. This band proved to be very influential, but sales never reflected their musical achievements. Lack of commercial success ended the group after three albums.
The original line-up for Captain Beyond were singer Rod Evans (ex-Deep Purple), drummer Bobby Caldwell (ex-Johnny Winter), guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt (ex-Iron Butterfly), bassist Lee Dorman (ex-Iron Butterfly) and keyboardist Lewie Gold. Gold left due to personal reasons before the first album was recorded. The remaining line-up recorded the self-titled debut album, released in 1972. Following this album Caldwell left the band to join Derringer and was replaced by drummer Brian Glascock. Also joining the band around this time were Reese Wynans on keyboards and Guille Garcia on congas. The record company's chosen producer, Giorgio Gomelsky, did not like Glascock's drumming and requested a new drummer. Glascock was released and Marty Rodriguez was brought in on drums on the recommendation of Garcia. This six man lineup recorded the group's second album, Sufficiently Breathless. Tension during the recording led to Evans quitting. The original lineup reformed later in 1973 for a US tour but the band split up at the end of the year.
Live on stage at Arlington, Texas
The band reformed in 1976 with Willy Daffern on vocals, and Bobby Caldwell, Rhino and Lee Dorman completing the line-up. They recorded the band's third album Dawn Explosion on Warner Bros., but broke up in 1978.
Reinhardt and Caldwell reformed Captain Beyond in 1998 with Jimi Interval on vocals, Dan Frye on keyboards, and Jeff Artabasy on bass. Since then they have been performing at shows and have released a four track EP. In 1999, Swedish record label Record Heaven released a tribute to Captain Beyond entitled Thousand Days of Yesterday. The album features fellow 1970s rockers Pentagram playing "Dancing Madly Backwards".
Captain Beyond once again disbanded in 2003 when lead guitarist Larry Reinhardt developed cancer. Following treatment, Reinhardt continued to perform music until late 2011, when he again fell ill. He died on January 2, 2012. Bassist Lee Dorman died on December 21, 2012.

Rod Evans
Arlington Concert
The concert was taped on October 6, 1973 at the University of Texas in Arlington, as Captain Beyond toured to promote their second album, 'Sufficiently Breathless', in the company of King Crimson. It was Caldwell's birthday too, and it must have been a good one because Caldwell laughed while being interviewed, saying "I Don't Remember a Thing!"

The album second album was in the stores and selling well, but Captain Beyond did not feel the need to push it to the forefront of the show. They opened the set with the record's "Distant Sun" and the so evocative "Drifting In Space" pops up later in the show - two Rod Evans Lyrics, incidentally, that Caldwell cites among the most revealing and exciting of all the vocalist's writings.

The heart of the show, however, remains locked within the expanses of their debut album: the exquisite "Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air)", "Armsworth" and "Myopic Void", the so-expansive "Mesmerization Eclipse", and the epic "Thousand Days of Yesterday". Reinhardt's guitar solo is breathtaking, Caldwell's drum solo is exhilarating. Then the closing roar through Jimi Hendrix's "Stone Free" leaves the audience sufficiently breathless, gasping for more!

Why the Arlington show itself was taped, Caldwell admit's he doesn't know. " I have no idea. Somebody out there, somebody in the sound company, recorded it [the headliner's set was also taped]. I just remember captain Beyond was playing very well, and the audience  were getting bigger and more vocal, because we were attracting not just the fans, but the musicians as well. We didn't get just one general audience, we got a cross section of the die hard musicians as well and so it just kept rolling and getting bigger and bigger. Everywhere we played we were getting it down. It was a pretty impressive group..." [Extract from Liner Notes, 2013]

There have been two releases for this Live Texas show, this bootleg entitled 'Frozen Over' and another later release called 'Far Beyond A Distant Sun - Live in Texas' by Dream Clinic records. The difference between these two releases is the track listing with this release been more complete.

The post consists of FLACs ripped from a 2013 CD release and includes full album artwork (thanks to Deutros) . I have also included the artwork for the alternative release for comparison (see right). This is a great bootleg, and although there is some background hiss and tape gurgles, the recording isn't too bad.
So sit back, crank up the volume, and prepare to be Frozen Over !
01 Taped Intro / Distant Sun – 6:33
02 Dancing Madly Backwards On A Sea Of Air – 5:52
03 Armworth – 1:46
04 Myopic Void – 5:02
05 Drifting In Space – 3:02
06 Pandora's Box (It's War) – 8:50
07 Thousand Days Of Yesterdays - 1:34
08 Frozen Over - 4:31
09 Butterfly Bleu (Rhino Guitar jam) - 6:40
10 Mesmerization Eclipse / Drum Solo - 18:44
11 Stone Free - 5:43

Captain Beyond are:
Rod Evans – Lead vocals, Tambourine 
Larry 'Rhino' Reinhardt – Lead guitar, Backing vocals 
Lee Dorman – Bass guitar, Backing vocals 
Bobby Caldwell – Drums

Captain Beyond Live Link (428Mb)

* Improved RIP