Saturday, October 31, 2020

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: The Meating - Bad Luck Feeling (1970) Single

 

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.

The earliest Carson recordings date from 1970. As Carson County Band, they issued a single on the independent Rebel label, 'On The Highway' b/w 'Resting Place' (August, 1970). The clattering A-side was a good example of the band's earthy Chicago blues / Canned Heat-influenced sound. 

During May, Greg 'Sleepy' Laurie and John Capek, also collaborated with Genesis members Matt Taylor (vocals, harp), Tim Piper (guitar) and John 'Yuk' Harrison (bass), plus drummer Trevor Courtney, on a one-off recording session as 'The Meating'.

The resultant single, 'Bad Luck Feeling' b/w 'Back Home', also appeared on the Rebel label in August, 'Bad Luck Feeling' remains one of the purest examples of early 1970's Australian hard blues. It highlights Taylor's voice, full of resignation and regret ("Bad luck feeling in my life / It's a cut that just won't heal"), set in counterpoint to Piper and Sleepy's diamond-hard interplay of acoustic guitar/electric slide guitar modes. [extract from Aztec's expanded 'Blown' liner notes by Ian MacFarlane. 2018]


The A side is available on Raven's excellent Carson retrospective "Travelling Highway Blues" However the B side "Back Home" had never appeared anywhere else, until recently when Aztec Records made it available on their expanded release of Carson's album 'Blown' in 2016.

For a more in depth coverage of the Meating and the evolution of  Broderick Smith's band Carson, take a look at Harmonica's Riff Raff's blog 

So, this month's WOCK post pays tribute to the very rare and Obscure recording made by the Meating, an the early inception of the better known blues Aussie band - Carson.

I have included both MP3 (320kps) rips (taken from the 45) and FLACs (taken from the Aztec CD)

Meating were:
Greg 'Sleepy' Lawrie - Bottleneck Guitar
John Capek - Piano
Matt Taylor - Vocals & Harp
Tim Piper - Guitar
John 'Yuk' Harrison - Bass
Trevor Courtney - Drums

Download Here  (60Mb)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Doors - Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine (1972)

(U.S 1965 - 1973)

Originally released in 1972, Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine was one of the earliest "best-of" Doors collections, compiling 22 tracks (on double LP) and 19 tracks (Cassette), not just limited to their many ubiquitous hits but including some more experimental tunes and a few obscure B-sides. This strange and sprawling playlist is heavy on material from L.A. Woman, and seems particularly invested in the darker, more sinister side of the band.

Lesser-known songs here include "Who Scared You" and the goofy, awkward blues run "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further" sung by keyboardist Ray Manzarek. With the exception of a few pop moments, this lengthy collection sets a heavy and sometimes menacing mood, highlighting the Doors' most depraved, shamanistic moments in tracks like the brooding "The End," "Maggie McGill," and the absolutely evil groove of "When the Music's Over."

Two of the songs on the compilation, "Who Scared You" and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further," were originally released as B-sides to 1969's "Wishful Sinful" and 1971's "Love Her Madly," respectively. They were not available again until "Who Scared You" appeared in The Doors: Box Set in 1997 and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further" appeared in the 2006 Perception box set.

The version of "Who Scared You" that was released on The Doors: Box Set is an edited version, as part of the last verse is omitted. The full length song was released in 1999 on Essential Rarities and later on the 2006 remastered release of The Soft Parade as a bonus track.

Unlike the previous compilation "13", this collection focuses less on obvious hits but more on the band's musical diversity, avant-garde and "progressive" leaning. Only the song "The Soft Parade" is missing from the picture that was supposed to present more artistic and less commercial aspect of The Doors. Irrespective, this is an excellent compilation and together with "13" can offer a compact package of this band's musical importance in the context of 20th century popular culture, for those who had no wish to collect individual albums.

Official Band Member Biographies

Robbie Krieger (Guitar)
FULL REAL NAME: Robert Alan Krieger
BIRTH DATE & PLACE: January 8, 1946, in Los Angeles

The first music I heard that I liked was Peter and the Wolf. I accidentally sat and broke the record (I was about seven). Then I listened to rock'n'roll - l listened to the radio a lot - Fats
Domino, Elvis, The Platters.
I started surfing at fourteen. There was lots of classical music in my house. My father liked march music. There was a piano at home. I studied trumpet at ten, but nothing come of it.
Then I started playing blues on the piano - no lessons though. When I was seventeen, I started playing guitar. I used my friend's guitar. I didn't get my own until I was eighteen. It was a Mexican flamenco guitar. I took flamenco lessons for a few months. I switched around from folk to flamenco to blues to rock 'n' roll.

Records got me into the blues. Some of the newer rock 'n' roll, such as The Paul Butterfield Blues
Band. lf it hadn't been for Butterfield going electric, I probably wouldn't have gone rock 'n' roll.
I didn't plan on rock 'n' roll. I wanted to learn jazz; I got to know some people doing
rock 'n' roll with jazz, and I thought I could make money playing music.
In rock 'n' roll you can realize anything that you can in Jazz or anything. There's no
limitation other than the beat. You have more freedom than you do in anything except Jazz-
which is dying - as far as making any money is concerned.

In The Doors we have both musicians and poets, and both know of each other's art, so
we can effect a synthesis. In the case of Tim Buckley or Dylan you have one man's ideas. Most
groups today aren't groups. ln a true group all the members create the arrangements among
themselves.

John Densmore (Drums)
FULL REAL NAME, John Paul Densmore
BIRTH DATE & PLACE, December 1, 1944, in Santa Monica, California

I've been playing for six years. l don't really have too much to say about all of this. l took piano lessons when l was ten. My parents tried to get me to play Bach. They tried for two years.
When I was in junior high I got my first set of drums. I played symphonic music in high school (tympani snare), then I played jazz for three years. I used to play sessions in Compton and Topanga Canyon. Since last year it's been rock 'n' roll and these creeps.

Ray Manzarek   (Organ) 
FULL REAL NAM:  Raymond Daniel Manzarek
BIRTH DATE & PLACE: February 12, l939, in Chicago

I grew up in Chicago and left when I was 21 for Los Angeles. My parents gave me piano lessons when I was around nine or ten. I hated it for the first four years - until I learned how to do it - then it became fun, which is about the same time I first heard Negro music. I was about 12 or 13, playing baseball in a playground; someone had a radio tuned into a Negro station.

From then on l was hooked, I used to listen to Al Benson and Big Bill Hill - they were disk jockeys in Chicago. From then on all the music I listened to was on the radio. My piano playing
changed; I became influenced by Jazz. I learned how to play that stride piano with my left hand, and I knew that was it: stuff with a beat - jazz, blues, rock.
At school l was primarily interested in film. It seemed to combine my interests in drama,
visual art, music and the profit motive. Before I left Chicago I was interested in theatre. These
days, I think we want our theatre, our entertainment to be larger than life. I think the total
environmental thing will come in. Probably Cinerama will develop further.

I think The Doors is a representative American group. America is a melting pot and so
are we. Our influences spring from a myriad of sources which we have amalgamated, blending
divergent styles into our own thing. We're like the country itself. America must seem to be a
ridiculous hodgepodge to an outsider. It's like The Doors. We come from different areas,
different musical areas. We're put together with a lot of sweat, a lot of fighting. All of the
things people say about America can be said about The Doors.
All of us have the freedom to explore ond improvise within a framework. Jim is an
improviser with words.

Jim Morrison (Vocals / Lyrics)
FULL REAL NAME, James Douglas Morrison
BIRTH DATE & PLACE, December 8, 1943, Melbourne, Florida

You could say it's an that I was ideally suited for the work I am doing. It's the feeling of a bowstring being pulled back for 22 years and suddenly being let go. I am primarily an American, second, a Californian, third, a Los Angeles resident. I've always been attracted to ideas that were about revolt against authority. I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing of established order. 

I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos - especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom - external revolt is a way to bring about internal freedom. Rather than starting inside, I start outside - reach the mental through the physical.
I am a Sagittarian - if astrology has anything to do with it - the Centaur - the Archer - The Hunt - But the main thing is that we are The Doors.


This post consists of FLACs ripped from my trusty Elektra Cassette Tape release. This one was played countless times in my first car - an Orange VW (Beetle) and kept me company while driving around during my Uni Days. I'm amazed it has lasted as long as it has, and actually outlived my beloved Beetle.    It was only years later that I realised that the cassette playlist was 3 tracks short of the Double LP set that was released at the same time. Consequently, I have included these 3 missing tracks  - "L.A Woman", "Spanish Caravan" and "The Spy". to make this post complete.
Full album artwork is included for CD, Vinyl and of course Cassette Tape
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Cassette Tracklist
A1 Break On Through 2:25
A2 Strange Days 3:05
A3 Shaman's Blues 4:45
A4 Love Street 3:06
A5 Peace Frog / Blue Sunday 5:00
A6 The Wasp (Texas Radio & The Big Beat) 4:12
A7 End Of The Night 2:49
A8 Love Her Madly 3:18
A10 Ship Of Fools 3:06
A11 The End 11:35
B1 Take It As It Comes 2:13
B2 Running Blue 2:27
B3 Five To One 4:22
B4 Who Scared You 3:51
B5 (You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further 3:37
B6 Riders On The Storm 7:14
B7 Maggie McGill 4:25
B8 Horse Latitudes 1:30
B9 When The Music's Over 11:00

The Doors Link (623Mb)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Pearl Jam - Unauthorised Alive - Live In Atlanta (1994) Bootleg

 (U.S 1990 - Present)


Nirvana's "smells Like Teen Spirit" and album Nevermind brought the pacific Northwest music scene into the spotlight, but it was pearl Jam's Ten and its attendant singles that assured the spotlight would stay there and focus on a hotbed of  talent that also included Alice h Chains, Soundgarden, and Sir Mix-a-Lot.

"Alive", Ten's first single, released worldwide on September 1, 1991, was key not just to Pearl Jam's breakthrough but to Pearl Jam becoming a band in 1990, bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard had seen their previous band dissolve due to a drug fatality. 

They recorded demos with new guitarist Mike McCready, which were passed on to singer Eddie Vedder then living in San Diego, by a mutual friend. Vedder provided lyrics and vocals for three songs, the first of which was 'Alive." That fall, Vedder relocated to Seattle and Pearl Jam were on their way.


Though seen as a celebratory anthem due to its stirring chorus,"Alive" is more a painful journey of self-discovery. Vedder later revealed the song's dark inspiration, based on his troubled youth.
As a teen, Vedder learned that his father was actually his step-father and his biological father had died years before.

Eddie Vedder
The second verse hints at incest, underscored by McCready's searing guitar solo. Despite its darkness, the song struck a nerve, hitting the Top 20 on both the Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts even though only available in the U.S. on import. [by Gillian G.Gaar]

Most major rock acts go on tour and play the same exact set every night, sometimes even repeating their stage banter verbatim like they’re reading from a script. Pearl Jam have always taken a different path. Their set list is like the complete Pearl Jam catalog on shuffle where any song can surface at any point. Back in the 1990s, it caused their hardcore fans to feverishly trade bootlegs on cassette tapes and burned CDs, but in 2000 the group began selling pristine recordings of every show. This is one of their better bootleg releases

By the end of the Vs. tour, Pearl Jam were playing at absolute peak form. This widely bootlegged live radio broadcast contains nearly all of Vs. and Ten, mixed with snippets of covers like “Angie” by the Rolling Stones and even Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City.” The show came just as news broke that Kurt Cobain was missing after walking out of a rehab facility. “Hope he’s all right,” Vedder says. “Please be all right.”

This bootleg recording is taken from an FM broadcast of Pearl Jam live at Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia, USA on 3rd April 1994., and was ripped to MP3 (320) format from my Grapefruit Australian CD release. This concert is also available as "Atlanta" from the Kiss The Stone label.

Full album artwork is included plus some choice photos taken from the Kiss The Stone release.
Note that this release features only half of the Atlanta concert set list while the other half is available on the Grapefruit release entitled 'Daughter' (regrettably, I have yet to source this one). Bummer !
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Track Listing
01. State Of Love And Trust 4:09
02. Black 5:36
03. Alive 6:02
04. Blood 3:56
05. W.M.A. 7:04
06. Better Man / Introductions 6:02
07. Elderly Woman 4:18
08. Medley: Rats / Ben 4:25 
09. Satan's Bed 4:30  
(Listed as "Already In Love")
10. Once 5:40
11. Sonic Reducer 4:00
12. Indifference 4:57

Pearl Jam Unauthorised (143Mb)  Link Fixed


Friday, October 16, 2020

Various Artists - The Vertigo Trip (1971)

 (U.K Artists 1970-1971)

A now ultra rare sampler issued by Vertigo during the early 'swirl' years, this features a fine selection of British underground acts. Included amongst the eclectic set-list are heavy rockers Black Sabbath circa the early years of their burgeoning career, Ian Carr's fusion greats Nucleus, who offer up the title track of their superb second album 'We'll Talk About It Later', and the country-inflected folk-rock whimsy of Daddy Longlegs and their infectious 'Gambling Man'. Its a highly enjoyable listen for those who appreciate the labels early-seventies output, though actual progressive rock is in short supply. Gentle Giant appear, well represented by their entrancing slow-burner 'Funny Ways', as do Gravy Train, Patto and The Keith Tippett Group, though special mention must be made of Catapilla, whose 'Promises' serves up a tantalising glimpse of their incendiary studio debut of a year earlier. 

However, the majority of 'The Vertigo Trip' highlights the growing diversity taking place at the label, and four sides of vinyl featuring a medley of sonic flavours ranging between folk, pop, country, prog, psychedelia and heavy rock. Despite Nirvana's 'Home' proving a little too stodgy, the the rest of this sample offers up yet more goodies, led the brazen proto-metal of Warhorse, who open the album with 'St Louis'. Aptly-named pub-rockers Legend lend the strut-blues of 'Hole In My Pocket', mystical folk legends Magna Carta appear with 'Time For Leaving' whilst there are some welcome nuggets from Graham Bond and Scottish symphonic-prog veterans Beggars Opera's (very) early days.

So, all very good then but the problem, of course, is actually finding the album in the first place. 'The Vertigo Trip' is seriously rare (not that many copies were produced), though thankfully virtually every single track on this item can be found on Repertoire Records excellent series of special edition Vertigo album reissues, which features many albums by the groups listed here. However, if you do come across a copy of 'The Vertigo Trip', you should try your very best to get hold of it. It's a smartly-chosen selection, and manages to showcase just how many great acts Vertigo were producing during this great musical period. And who knows? Maybe one day even 'The Vertigo Trip' may enjoy a deserved reissue.... [review by Stefan Turner at progarchives.com]

The Cover

Someone at the art-department must have gone ape over the ''Vertigo Trip 1970'' cover from Britain. The symbolism of horse and lady is adopted, but simultaneously stripped to the bare core. Now, it is a purely sexual symbiosis and this shows strongly on the photographs. The blonde lady on front is now stark naked and rocks her horse with a lewd grin. The horse's mane stands in for pubic hair, not very subtle, we think. On the inside horse and lady are seen from below, as though from inside a water-well, even though its walls seem to belong to a church ruin. She holds the reins as if they would be involved in an erotic game with leather. The gigantic poster that was given away with this record (see left) shows another, this time dark-haired, lady on the horse. She is naked too and rejoices climactic feelings on the horse's back. Another shot is in black and white and shows her kissing the cheek of her mount. Furthermore there is a large advertising section with small pictures of ever so many Vertigo albums. Only Black Sabbath's Master of reality shows any difference to the British issue: the bottom lettering is outlined in white. 

I bought this double LP from my brother when I was a young impressionable teenager back in the early 70's, and needless to say the cover had a big part to play in my desire to own this now 'iconic' compilation of Vertigo artists. Mind you, another reason why I wanted it was because it featured one of my favourite Sabbath tracks at that time "After Forever", which still remains at the top of my most memorable songs. As for the remaining tracks, it wasn't until much later that I began to appreciate the diversity and obscurity of the music it contained. Maybe I was too mesmerised by the swirling Vertigo label to appreciate them at the time. 

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes full album artwork and label scans.
I am sure that this is the only post available on the net at the moment of this rare double LP set but is selling on eBay for $300 for anyone interested in having their own copy. Hopefully, one day it might be re-released on CD.
.
Songs / Tracks Listing
A1 Warhorse - St.Louis
A2 Legend - Hole in My Pocket
A3 Magna Carta - Time for the Leaving
A4 Nucleus - We'll Talk About It Later
B1 Ian Matthews - Reno, Nevada
B2 May Blitz - High Beech
B3 Clear Blue Sky - Bird Catcher
B4 Daddy Longlegs - Gambling Man
B5 Graham Bond - My Archangel Mikael
C1 Black Sabbath - After Forever
C2 Gravy Train - The New One
C3 Beggar's Opera - Memory
C4 Patto - Hold Me Back
D1 Gentle Giant - Funny Ways
D2 Catapilla - Promises
D3 Keith Tippett Group - This Is What Happens
D4 Nirvana - Home (Salutation) 6:03
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Friday, October 9, 2020

REPOST: Jan Akkerman - Live At Montreux Jazz Festival (1978)

(Dutch 1968 - Current)
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Dutch guitar player Jan Akkerman (1946) did almost anything a musician could possibly do. He worked with many different musicians like BB King, Charlie Byrd, Cozy Powell, Claus Ogerman and Ice-T, besides being a former member of international acclaimed bands such as Brainbox and Focus and made more than a dozen solo records that showed his versatile playing without any boundaries or limitations. Whether it’s ‘Tabernakel’ (1973), the famous guitar-in-bed album ‘Jan Akkerman’ (1977) or his latest release ‘Live in Concert at The Hague, he explores and combines elements of rock, jazz, blues, classical or modern dance music and give those his own signature.

On stage, Akkerman has been touring all around the world. Besides several appearances at the Swiss Montreux Jazz Festival (and this post comes from one of them), the Dutch North Sea Jazz Festival, his countless tours around theatres and different stages, the guitarist also performed far beyond Western Europe, in countries like Japan, Russia, North & South America and Australia. He also has a long-time fan base in many parts of the world. In his own country, Akkerman received a Golden Harp in 2005 for his complete oeuvre and again gained recognition and sympathy for his distinctive role in guitar music by many people.
This Jan Akkerman record is a real gem! After the first spin, I was convinced this was by far his best live album. The material comes mainly from his self-titled record (1977), though Tommy (of the Eruption suite) of Focus is added and two new compositions in the spirit of the self-titled Jan Akkerman album. The recording of this live album is perfect, nothing more can be expected, not even today. The first Dutch pressing of this album was released as a limited white vinyl edition, and is a collectors item.

For newcomers. Jan Akkerman is ex-guitarist of Dutch progressive band Focus. In his solo career he concentrated on jazz-rock/fusion and some historical lute-guitar playing. Though at first (Profile, Tabernakel) Jan Akkerman would use his rockin' electric guitars most of the time, in 1977 Jan decided to become the master of the clean jazz-guitar. This resulted in the 1977 self-titled album with clean guitars, a great band and the best of string arrangements. The compositions had a relaxing but slightly magical vibe and some up-tempo moments. Most of the compositions of this record were played on this live album.

Now, the problem Akkerman and band had to face was that on the seltitled album these unbelievable string arrangements made a big contribution to the end result, but they weren't able to get such an arrangement for their tour. The problem was solved by adding an inspired percussionist (I love his contribution) and some synths that both helped to establish a more progressive climate, though the main genre would still be fusion. The two minuted atmospheric synthesiser opening track by Jasper Van 't Hoff really gets me warm for the rest of the album!

A nice track from the Focus era, Tommy, is played with precision but the great vocals of Thijs van Leer are a loss. Still the band makes a great symphonic jazz track with that magical feel and the great guitar solo's (this time clean) of Jan Akkerman.

Conclusion. This recording is perfect, the tracks are great, there's a magical progressive climate on this concert, all instruments are played perfectly, some problems concerning the arrangements were solved very intelligently and Jan Akkerman plays beautifully. There's only one letdown: the album is too short.

Running for 35 minutes this doesn't live up to today's standards. Still, this album is highly recommended to basically every-one who can hear the difference between elevator music and great Fusion. A big four star. [review by Frisco at progarchives.com]
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Rip taken from vinyl in FLAC and includes full album artwork and label scans. This is one of my favourite live albums and it was recorded at a time when I believe he was playing at his best.
Even if you are not a Focus fan, you will enjoy this progressive jazz rock masterpiece.

Update: Improved FLAC Rip
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Track Listing
01. Transitory (2:07)

02. Skydancer (8:35)

03. Pavane (7:15)

04. Crackers (6:50)

05. Tommy (3:36)

06. Azimuth (6:09)

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Band members:
Jan Akkerman (guitars)
Jasper Van't Hoff (keyboards)
Cees Van Der Laarse (bass)

Bruno Castelucci (drums)

Tom Barlage (Saxes and keyboards)

Neppe Noya (percussion)

Willem Ennes (keyboards)

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Jan Akkerman Link (221Mb) New Link 09/10/2020

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Helen Reddy - Greatest Hits (1976) + Bonus Debut Single

(Australian 1968–2002, 2011–2020)
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Helen Reddy
was born on October 25, 1942 in Melbourne. She was the daughter of veteran entertainers, Max Reddy and Stella Lamond. Her debut as an entertainer happened at the age of four and from that point on her parents concentrated on, grooming her for stardom. Although Helen wasn't convinced that she wanted to be an entertainer, by the late fifties she was appearing on local television shows such as Swallows Juniors. The early sixties were not particularly eventful except for the fact that she entered into a short-lived marriage which produced a daughter, Traci.

The event that prompted Helen's eventual success in the US was her  winning of a TV talent contest. As a result she left Australia in 1966 with only a small amount of money and the promise of an audition with a Mercury record company. The audition didn't eventuate and Helen was forced to sing wherever she could get work which usually meant small clubs and bars.

At this point she was very broke and having trouble paying the rent for her New York apartment. Then she met Jeff Wald from the William Morris Agency at a party organised by her friends. The two took an instant shine to each other and the association which was to lead to their marriage and Helen's attaining star status had begun. They moved to Chicago and then on to Los Angeles where they settled. This was a frustrating period for Helen. She spent most of her time at home writing songs and in order to keep her spirits up she enrolled at the University of California where she obtained a degree.

Finally, after Jeff's constant hounding of Capitol Records they relented and gave Helen the opportunity to record 'I Don't Know How To Love Him' from the rock musical, 'Jesus Christ superstar'. The single made the us charts on the 20th February, 1971 and climbed to the No. 13 position. In Australia it reached No. 2 on the national charts.


Suddenly, the singer that had been long forgotten in her own country had become an international star. Two more moderate hits followed, "Crazy Love" and "No Sad Song", and two best-selling albums, 'I Don't Know How To Love Him' and 'Helen Reddy', were released. In the meantime, Helen had met up with fellow Australian, Ray Burton, and together they wrote "l Am Woman" (which was also included in her first LP). It was released as a single midway through 1972 and it soared to the No. 1 spot on the US charts in November. The record was also a smash in Australia where it peaked at No. 2. four months later. An album of the same name was released and the song virtually became Helen's signature tune.

Her next hit in the US was a song called "Peaceful" which made the charts there around March, 1973. Helen became a very busy person with her recording commitments, her hectic touring schedule with the Helen Reddy Show and the additional responsibility of rearing her second child, Jordan who was born in December, 1972.

The Helen Reddy Show 1973

Then in August, 1973 she achieved her second number one hit in the US with "Delta Dawn" and in Australia she hit the number two spot for the third time. Helen made a triumphant return to Australia in November and appeared at all the capital cities. Coinciding with her return was the release of her fourth album, 'Long Hard Climb', and a single entitled "Leave Me Alone", which became her first number one hit in Australia. 

The same year she was voted Best Female Pop Vocalist Of 1973 in the American Music Awards, received a Grammy for "l Am Woman" and was recognised as the Most Played Artist by the Music Operators of America. By now Helen was headlining her own music-variety series, Flip Wilson Presents The Helen Reddy Show .

Her next chart entry came early in 1974 with "Keep On Singing" (the lyrics of which seemed to echo her rise to stardom). Helen's debut as a movie actress came during the year when she played the part of a nun in Airport '75. Her fifth album, 'Love Song For Jeffrey' was released in June '74. In December Helen obtained her American citizenship. Late in the year she came up with a weird, but brilliant single called "Angie Baby" which, once again, made the charts here and in the States, as well as becoming her first big hit in the UK.


In 1975 Helen was signed to compere the weekly television series Midnight Special, and apparently her connection with the show caused the ratings to triple. Two more albums were issued in
the interim, 'Free And Easy' (early '75) and 'No Way To Treat A Lady' (September '75). The year probably represented the peak of her career as she was voted No. 1 Female Pop Vocalist by the record industry's top three magazines - Billboard, Casbbox and Record World.

One brilliant single, 'I Can't Hear You No More' emerged in September, 1976 and two more albums hit the stores (Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits and Music Music). At this point also, it was announced that Helen would play her first starring role in a movie for the Disney organisation to be titled Pete's Dragon.


By midway through 1976 she had sold 15 million albums, 10 million singles and had attained eight gold albums, four gold singles and three platinum albums. Once again she received awards from Cash Box and Record World in 1976, this time as Top Female Album Artist.

Of course Helen has managed to conquer the pinnacle of entertainment splendour, Las Vegas, with a multi-million dollar contract to perform at the MGM Grand Hotel. In 1977, she broadened her act there to feature dance routines and aerobatics which had been choreographed by veteran Melbourne performer, Joe Latona, whom Helen had especially flown out from Australia.

After a brief absence from the best seller lists, 'Helen's Ear Candy' album was released in Australia in April 1977. Its new sound was the result of her engaging rock producer Kim Fowley, who helped develop the updated image. Helen had ascended to a level that very few entertainers reach, in that she has achieved recognition not only from her devoted fans, but also from musicians (for her technical singing ability and intricate vocal gymnastics) and the critics (because of her imaginative and demanding stage performances). [Extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, Outback Press, 1978. p252-254]


Three of her songs reached No. 1, and she'd go on to win a Grammy Award for best female vocal pop performance for the feminist anthem "I Am Woman."   

Sadly, Helen passed away this year on the 30th September at the aged 78. Reddy had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015 and had been living in a Los Angeles nursing home for retired Hollywood talent. Helen is survived by her two children Traci Donat and Jordan Sommers.


This post consists of FLACs ripped from my treasured vinyl and includes cover and label scans. This album still finds its way onto my turntable, especially when I'm reminiscing about my late mum, who absolutely adored Reddy's music. This post is for you mum, I miss you.  
I have also taken the liberty of including Helen's debut single "One Way Ticket"/"Go" released on Philip Records in 1968 as bonus tracks, and is as rare as hen's teeth (thanks to Ozzie Musicman for this single)

RIP Helen Reddy (1942-2020)

Tracklist
01 I Am Woman 3:34
02 I Don't Know How To Love Him 3:15
03 Leave Me Alone 3:26
04 Delta Dawn 3:08
05 You And Me Against The World 3:08
06 Angie Baby 3:29
07 Emotion 2:52
08 Keep On Singing 3:03
09 Peaceful 2:50
10 Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady 3:26
11 One Way Ticket (Bonus A-Side Single)    2:36
12 Go (Bonus B-Side Single)    2:54