Sunday, February 28, 2021

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Jacko - My Brain Hurts (1985)

 

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..

With the start of the 2021 AFL season just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to post something 'footy' related for this months WOCK on Vinyl, and who best to feature but one of the craziest yet best loved ex-footy players, turned music celebrity.

Yes, I'm talking about Mark (Jacko) Jackson, a former AFL player for St Kilda, the Melbourne Demons and Geelong and commonly referred to as the 'Clown Prince of Football' - hence Wacko Jacko!  Jackson made a splash outside the field with a few records in the mid-80s. Following his retirement from football, Jacko used his fame to launch a singing career. His first single “I’m An Individual” was a number one hit (see previous post). 

But his not so successful single “My Brain Hurts” (K-9788) didn't do so well, however I think it's worth bringing this Raw Prawn release to your attention, as it ticks all the boxes for this WOCK On Vinyl's posting: Jacko was Wacko and definitely a little Crazy, the song is Oh so Korny and the single is definitely obscure (as it bombed, so there would not be many copies in circulation).


Nevertheless, Jacko went on to greater fame as the guy in the Energizer Battery advertisements, which were a stroke of larrikin genius back in the day, and amused the Americans no end, even though they had no idea about Jacko's footy heritage - he was just a crazy Aussie. Funny how things pan out hey.


Jacko has also appeared in various television sitcoms and movies – one of the most notable as a survival expert "Jetto" in the short lived action-adventure series The Highwayman (1988) and a U.S  TV series called Signal One – as well as being on talk back radio and in various children's programs and talk shows. During 2005, Jackson embarked on a tour with author and renowned criminal Mark "Chopper" Read. In 2014, Jackson was featured on 7mate's Bogan Hunters as a celebrity judge.

Before I close, I think I should warn you that listening to this single repeatably could have the same affect on ya brain as leaving a Raw Prawn out in the Hot Sun!

Included in this post are MP3's (320kps) taken from vinyl (thanks to Ozzie Musicman for the rip) and full artwork, along with select photos (thanks to Clown Prince Facebook Pages

Track Listing
01 - My Brain Hurts
02 - Like I Want You


Friday, February 26, 2021

Ted Nugent - Selftitled (1975) + Bonus Track

 (U.S 1964 - Present)

The Motor City Madman was self-styled. when a career with Detroit garage band the Amboy Dukes started to stutter in the early 1970s, Ted Nugent invented a cartoon personality for himself as a wild outdoorsman with guitar chops. He challenged other axe heroes - Wayne Kramer of MC5, Frank Marino of Mahogany - to go mano a mano in electric sparring contests. The caricature, though a gimmick to boost his profile, masked a man of sincerely held beliefs. Most of the rest of the music industry might not have shared them. 

Nugent was a member of the National Rifle Association, he hunted, and disdained drugs and drink - but he wavered not in his convictions: his autobiography was titled God, Guns & Rock 'n' Roll. The music that he captured and skinned was pure bred heavy metal; he was a proponent of the "If it's too loud, you're too old" philosophy. At 50 years and then some, Nugent is still cranking up the volume. [Extract from The Book Of Rock by Philip Dodd, 2001. p322]


Nugent's Guitar
THE SELF-PROCLAIMED "loudest guitarist in history," Ted Nugent plays guitars that would seem totally unfit for high-decibel rock: hollow-bodied Gibson Byrdland archtop electrics.

The model was co-designed by two first-call '50s session players, Billy Byrd and Hank Garland, and was aimed primarily at jazz, country, and dance-band guitarists of the day. In addition to being fully hollow rather than semi-hollow like an ES-335, the Byrdland is also a short-scale design at 23.5 inches, which takes a significant chunk out of the standard Gibson 24.75 inches (or 25.5 inches for many full-sized jazz guitars of the day); it also has a slimmer, narrower neck than usual.

Despite the seeming incongruities in the guitar's design, Nugent applied his '60s Byrdlands to an unholy maelstrom of metalesque exploits. In the late '60s and early '70s the Detroit rocker ramped up the fury with the Amboy Dukes and launched his solo career proper with the Ted Nugent album of 1975. His first real commercial hit single was "Stormtroopin" from this self-titled album, while his best-known hit, "Cat Scratch Fever," appeared on the 1977 album of the same name.

Although Nugent used a little early-'60s tan Tolex Fender Deluxe amp, cranked to the max, to record the single, as Aspen Pittman notes in his The Tube Amp Book, he is known for playing through massive stacks on the live stage, piling up Twin Reverbs in the early days, then Marshalls, and, most recently, Peavey 5150s.

Except for a dalliance with PRS, the Gibson Byrdland has remained a constant with Nugent-and
if we can't find any documentation for the claim of "loudest guitarist on earth," we can probably concede the Motor City Madman the title of "loudest guitarist on a hollow-body archtop" with few reservations. [extract from Star Guitars, 101 Guitars That Rocked the World by Dave Hunter]

This post is very special to me as is my vinyl copy of his debut self-titled album as a sole artist. Side-A is definitely the better side although the B-Side kicks off with "Snakeskin Cowboy" and the popular "Motor City Madhouse" which have been almost signature tracks for Nugent's charisma.  Of course full album artwork is also included with the FLAC audio files. As a bonus I've taken the liberty of including a live rendition of "Stormtroppin' which was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in St. Antonio,Texas in 1977.
Hope ya enjoy Ted's ripper debut and if your patient, there's plenty more of his albums still to come - a Free For All so to speak  LOL

Tracklist
01 Stranglehold 8:22
02 Stormtroopin' 3:07
03 Hey Baby 3:59
04 Just What The Doctor Ordered 3:39
05 Snakeskin Cowboys 4:30
06 Motor City Madhouse 4:28
07 Where Have You Been All My Life 4:03
08 You Make Me Feel Right At Home 2:51
09 Queen Of The Forest 3:34
10 Stormtroopin' (King Biscuit Flower Hour - St Antonio - TX 1977) [Bonus Track]



Guitar, Vocals, Percussion – Ted Nugent
Bass – Rob Grange
Drums, Vibraphone [Vibes], Vocals – Cliff Davies
Keyboards – Steve McRay
Percussion – Brian Staffeld, Tom Werman
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals – Derek St. Holmes





Friday, February 19, 2021

Mick Fleetwood's Zoo - I'm Not Me (1983)

(U.K 1963 - Present)

Having played with Peter Green in an early conception of of Fleetwood Mac playing R & B and then later with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the more contemporary group, Mick Fleetwood formed his own band called  'Mick Fleetwood's Zoo' in 1983 and recorded the LP 'I'm Not Me'. The album featured a minor hit, "I Want You Back", and a cover version of the Beach Boys' "Angel Come Home". A later version of the group featured Bekka Bramlett on vocals and Billy Thorpe on guitar and recorded 1991's Shakin The Cage.

This home-recorded Mick Fleetwood project, is neither a solo effort nor a Fleetwood Mac knockoff — though, admittedly, there are moments when I’m Not Me can sound like his main group. Instead, more often than not, this short-lived quartet has its very own feel — well, a bunch of them, really.

Of course, Fleetwood Mac diehards appreciated the long-awaited reissue on CD in 2012 through Real Gone Music, because it includes “I Want You Back” — a lost minor hit that Lindsey Buckingham co-wrote and shared lead vocals on. Three tunes also feature lead vocals by Billy Burnette, who recorded and toured with the band for eight years during a Buckingham hiatus. “This Love” was co-written by producer Richard Dashut, who worked in a similar role on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Mirage, Tango in the Night and Time — and co-produced a pair of solo projects with Buckingham, as well. Christine McVie also adds background vocals.

The main group, which included Fleetwood, Burnette, guitarist/vocalist Steve Ross (Men at Work,
Beach Boys) and bassist Roger Hawkins (Kenny Loggins, Aretha Franklin) had, in fact, initially
been assembled to back Buckingham during a February 1982 solo appearance on “Saturday Night
Live.” 

Something clicked, and the group repaired to the studio to knock out some tracks. In keeping, “I Want You Back,” arriving as it does between Mirage and Tango in the Night, could have
easily fit into either of those contemporary Fleetwood Mac efforts. But, really, I’m Not Me is far too
layered and complex, too much of its very own thing, to be lumped together with Fleetwood’s more
celebrated work there.

Zoo -  After Performing Live On Saturday Night, 1982

Zoo, in fact, had three of its own credible frontmen — and each of them adds his own texture and
personality to the proceedings: Ross’ sleek take on “You Might Need Somebody,” an amiably
grooving slice of blue-eyed soul, segues into Hawkins’ snarling stadium-rock number “Tonight.”

Burnette’s country-blues title track sits alongside “State of the Art,” a riffy pop-rocker from Hawkins, which is then followed by Burnette’s brawny take on the mid-1950s gem “Tear It Up” — co-written by Burnette’s father Dorsey, an early-rock pioneer.

Burnette’s sensitive rendition of “Angel Come Home,” a tune Dennis Wilson wrote for the Beach
Boys, frames up the album’s low-key vibe perfectly, with its ear-tickling, off-the-cuff combination
of rough rockabilly, soaring So-Cal backing vocals and propulsive power pop. Heck, Ross steals away from his own emotional ballad “I Give” at one point to front a galloping version of Lloyd Price’s “Just Because.” It’s that kind of record — loose and lots of fun. In fact, Fleetwood doesn’t even play on “I Give,” and only adds the lightest of percussion to “Put Me Right,” Hawkins’ album-closing tune. That’s how little ego there was surrounding I’m Not Me.

Unfortunately, this was the only album this quirky, deeply underappreciated quartet ever managed.
Fleetwood Mac resumed a few years later, and when Fleetwood jump started Zoo again in the early 1990s, it was with Billy Thorpe, Bekka Bramlett and Greg Wright, among others.
[extract from somethingelsereviews.com]

Gig Review from 1983

(By Howard Wuelfing November 9, 1983)

A few years ago Mick Fleetwood was playing to sold-out stadiums as drummer of the band named after him, Fleetwood Mac. Last night, however, Mr. Fleetwood's Zoo barely drew enough fans to fill one of the Bayou's two levels.

After what seemed an interminable wait, during which the audience was subjected to an unrelenting string of new wave dross and the testing and retesting of the group's equipment, the band took the stage to understandably ambiguous responses. Within moments, though, the crowd was won over completely by this four-piece outfit's catchy synthesis of blues and folk-rock influences.

The other three members provided tight, tuneful vocal harmonies and impressive, no-nonsense guitar and bass. Fleetwood was content doing what he's done best for so long--supplying supple, sympathetic percussion. When called for, his drumming was punchy and to the point, pure primal stomping Charlie Watts would envy. Whenever possible, though, he added sprays of tubular bells, herky-jerky counterpoint rhythms and Third World beats that made the ordinary tunes sound special and the extraordinary ones seem even more so.

Most of the selections taken from the new album, succeeded exceptionally well, mixing a strong sense of rock tradition with the sort of colorful, crowd-pleasing flair you'd expect from an artist of
Fleetwood's status and caliber. [www,washingtonpost.com]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from Cassette Tape release (plays like a charm without any sound  degradation or speed issues).  Of course, full LP artwork  is included (thanks to the best that DISCOGS can offer) and of course a scan of the cassette cover.  I had to laugh when doing this as i thought there were imperfection marks on my cassette cover until I saw scans of the vinyl equivalent, and released they were part of the design.  Hope you enjoy this 'interlude' in Mick's musical career and find it as refreshing as I did when I first listened to it many, many moons ago.

Track Listing
A1 Angel Come Home 4:15
A2 You Might Need Somebody 3:26
A3 Tonight 3:56
A4 I Want You Back 2:51
A5 I'm Not Me 3:41
B1 State Of The Art 4:04
B2 Tear It Up                 3:09
B3 This Love  4:16
B4 I Give 2:46
B5 Just Because 2:38
B6 Put Me Right 4:03

Mick's Zoo were:
Drums – Mick Fleetwood
Bass – George Hawkins
Guitar – Billy Burnette, George Hawkins, Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Ross, Todd Sharp
Keyboards – Christine McVie, George Hawkins, Lindsey Buckingham
Rhythm Guitar – Ron Thompson
Lead Vocals – Billy Burnette, George Hawkins, Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Ross
Backing Vocals – Billy Burnette, Christine McVie, George Hawkins, Lindsey Buckingham
Saxophone – Jon Clarke, Vince Denham
Slide Guitar – Ron Thompson
Tenor Saxophone – Don Roberts


Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Manhattan Transfer & Gene Pistilli- Jukin' (1975)

 (U.S 1969 - Present)

The Manhattan Transfer
are one of the more unique and innovative vocal groups of the last several decades, the quartet flitting from genre to genre with even more frequency than Joe Jackson, doing everything from jazz, R&B, and straightforward adult-contemporary pop to doo-wop, swing, and even world music, yet having a trademark four-part-harmony sound that keeps even their most left-field stylistic excursions still very much identifiable as an album from the group. 

Though they peaked commercially in the early Eighties and haven’t scored a major crossover hit since 1983’s “Spice of Life,” sadly rendering them mostly little-known among younger music listeners, they continue to release fabulous discs and they remain highly-respected in the music industry, attracting such high-profile legends on their albums as Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Smokey Robinson, and even the late, great Laura Nyro. They’ve garnered twenty Grammy nominations over the years, winning ten of those trophies, and they’ve also been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.


Their first album Jukin’ received little notice, and the group soon dissolved. However, after meeting vocalists Laurel Massé and Siegel, Hauser decided to reform the act. Once mutual friend Paul joined, they relaunched Manhattan Transfer in 1972. A car accident led to Massé’s departure; Bentyne replaced her in 1979, and the lineup remained intact throughout the rest of their careers. While they had some minor hits with Massé (including the gospel tune “Operator”), it was their 1979 vocalese cover of the Weather Report’s “Birdland” that brought them international acclaim.

Album Review

No be forewarned: this debut LP from the group is quite literally the work of almost an entirely different group. Tim Hauser is the only band member here who would go on to appear on any of the albums that would follow, and even he plays a relatively minor role here, the disc serving as more of a showcase for singer/songwriter Gene Pistilli, who had a hand in writing five of the ten tracks and takes most of the lead vocals. Nothing on this album would be kept in the band’s later stage repertoire with the exception of “Java Jive.” 

There’s also little on this LP that qualifies as jazz except for possibly “You’re a Viper.” Instead, the band tries on a variety of styles from the country-rock of “Rosianna,” the pure country of “Fair and Tender Ladies,” and the soft-rock of “One More Time around Rosie” to the doo-wop of “Guided Missiles,” the vaudeville of “Sunny Disposish,” and the Bobby Sherman-like pop of “Chicken Bone Bone.” It’s awfully schizophrenic, and the band doesn’t seem to have any clear idea what they are. Hauser would wisely bring a greater focus to the group upon re-forming it, dispensing with the experiments in country and rock and placing a greater emphasis on doo-wop, pop, and jazz without any of the irony that crops up on this disc, and the change gave the group a much more distinct and unique identity. Naturally, this is an unbelievably strange disc to listen to if you’re already familiar with the group’s later work, but it’s not dreadful – just different. Very different.
[extract from thegreatalbums.com]

Jukin' has been described as "a bit rugged and unpolished but with a sense of humour". It is a collection of eclectic styles (primarily big band swing plus country, rock, pop) featuring a tremendous range of vocals and instrumentation. The production of this album is beyond words. In my opinion, it presents a great opportunity for young musicians to experience music that they would never be exposed to through the normal mediums of radio and video. I'' let you be the judge.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my vinyl, another amazing find at my local flee market. Although I had heard of this band I'd never really explored their music until now. I'm glad I picked this LP up (for a bargain I might add) as the diversity in musical styles on this album is amazing and so refreshing. If you are looking for something different, then JUKIN' is for you. Full album artwork and label scans included.

Note: Although the album was recorded in 1971, it wasn't released until 1975.

Tracklist
01 Chicken Bone Bone    3:17
02 I Need A Man 3:07
03 You'se A Viper 1:57
04 Fair And Tender Ladies    2:37
05 Rosianna   3:01
06 Sunny Disposish 1:36
07 Java Jive 2:32
08 One More Time Around Rosie   4:18
09 Guided Missiles 3:22
10 Roll Daddy, Roll 2:19


Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Honeydrippers - Volume One E.P (1984)

 (U.S 1984 - 1985)


Originally formed in Worcestershire by Robert Plant, the Honeydrippers was also composed of fellow former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page; Jeff Beck (a former Yardbirds member like Page); close friend Robbie Blunt and others.

The band released only one recording, a 12" E.P entitled 'The Honeydrippers: Volume One', on the 12th November 1984. They performed in a concert at Keele University in 1981. The Honeydrippers peaked at number 3 in early 1985 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a remake of the Phil Phillips' tune "Sea of Love", and hit number 25 with "Rockin' at Midnight", originally a Roy Brown recording and a rewrite of "Good Rockin' Tonight."

With the 12" EP's success, Plant stated that a full album would be recorded, but it never was. The band appeared on Saturday Night Live on 15 December 1984, performing "Rockin' at Midnight" and "Santa Claus Is Back in Town." The band featured Brian Setzer and George Wadenius on guitar, Tom Barney on bass, Paul Shaffer on piano, Buddy Williams on drums, Michael Brecker, Lou Marini, and Ronnie Cuber on saxophones, Jon Faddis on trumpet and Tom Malone on trombone.On 23 December 2006, Plant performed a charity show at Kidderminster Town Hall under the title 'The Return of the Honeydrippers' to raise money for his neighbour Jackie Jennings, who was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. [extract from live.wdrv.com]

The Honeydrippers - Saturday Night Live

"Revisiting the Day Robert Plant Debuted the Honeydrippers"


Once you’ve been to the mountaintop, where can you go for a follow-up? That’s the question the surviving members of Led Zeppelin had to ask themselves when they disbanded following drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980. After you’ve become the biggest band in the world, defining over-the-top rock stardom, what do you do next?

For a hot minute, it looked like the band’s front line might merge with the rhythm section of another iconic ‘70s band that had come to a fork in the road. Jimmy Page was cozying up to bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White of Yes in a band tentatively dubbed XYZ (for Ex-Yes and Zeppelin, of course) – and he wanted Robert Plant to join in.

The leonine lead singer, however, ultimately demurred. It would have been easy for Plant to go from Zeppelin to another big, flashy bunch of arena rockers, but the singer would spend much of his post-Zep career flouting expectations at every opportunity. And that practice began in 1981, when Plant put together the Honeydrippers.

Now, these weren’t the Honeydrippers that most of the world would come to know through the 1984 album Honeydrippers Vol. 1, which contained two Top 40 hits. That all-star outfit – which featured Plant, Page, Jeff Beck, Paul Shaffer and other heavyweights – came into existence at the behest of Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegun, who had caught a concert by the short-lived, considerably less star-studded 1981 lineup.

Reeling from both the death of his longtime friend Bonham, with whom he’d played in the Band of Joy before Led Zeppelin, Plant sought out a place of comfort, both musically and personally. In order to escape his recent past he pursued a more distant, almost mythological past. He began convening with musicians he’d known since he was a schoolboy hanging around Midlands blues clubs, and together they proceeded to jam on the kind of early rock & roll/R&B tunes that Plant loved when he was a kid.

Instead of storming the stage amid lengthy solos and epic tunes, Plant began bopping atop bouncy ‘50s-style jump blues and rockabilly rhythms, and having the time of his life doing it. He first brought guitarists Robbie Blunt (ex-Bronco and Silverhead) and Andy Silvester (formerly of Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown) over to his home at Jennings farm, followed in due course by bassist Jim Hickman, drummer Kevin O’Neill, harmonica player Ricky Cool and saxophonist Keith Evans.

The man who had become an avatar of everything larger-than-life in the ‘70s rock scene was now engaging in a shocking about-face. Ironically, Plant shook off the psychological shackles of the last decade by returning to the same well of post-World War II American music that inspired Led Zeppelin, but instead of amping those sounds up to gargantuan stature, he and his Honeydrippers – whose name came from either from the nickname of bluesman Roosevelt Sykes or the song and backing band of ‘40s R&B star Joe Liggins, depending on who you ask – stuck to the material’s original sonic dimensions.

Plant and his pals worked up a rootsy repertoire that encompassed not only rockabilly romps like Gene Vincent’s “She She Little Sheila,” Carl Perkins’ “Your True Love,” and the Elvis Presley classic “Little Sister,” but old-school R&B wailers like Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford’s “I Need Your Loving,” blues stompers like Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and Lazy Lester’s “Sugar Coated Love,” and even the Western swing standard “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” And when it was time to take it on the road, the Honeydrippers’ modus operandi was just as lean as their sound.

Starting either at Keele University in Staffordshire on March 3 or at a bar in Stourbridge on March 9, depending on the source, the Honeydrippers hit a string of small venues including pubs, colleges and small clubs, each show unadvertised – and all well clear of London, either in the Midlands or points north. It wasn't just that they took the stage with their amps stacked on beer crates, in stark contrast to the convoy of trucks that hauled Led Zeppelin’s gear around, or that Zep’s outsized hard-rock extravaganzas been replaced by the two-and-a-half-minute wham-bam of classic blues and rock ‘n’ roll tunes. A more symbolic but equally striking alteration had occurred.

Even Plant’s long, curly locks (surely one of the most legendary heads of hair in rock history) had gone under the chopper. Granted, he wasn’t sporting a crew cut or spiky New Wave ‘do, but the sweeping changes he was instituting to put the past behind him clearly extended all the way to his stylist. And in rock ‘n’ roll, of course, image counts as much as anything – maybe even more.

The original Honeydrippers’ lifespan would be brief. By 1982, Plant (with Robbie Blunt by his side), would return to a mainstream rock feel for his first solo album, Pictures at Eleven, but the precedent had been established for the kind of mercurial moves Plant would continue to make throughout his career. From his Alison Krauss collaboration to his repeated refusals to reunite with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, no one would ever accuse Robert Plant of resting on his laurels [Article taken from  ultimateclassicrock.com]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine Vinyl, purchased the same day I heard Sea Of Love being played on my local radio station 3XY in December of 1984. If it were not for the radio publicity, I probably would not have known who the Honeydrippers were and the association with Robert Plant, as the album artwork contains no credits or band details. Needless to say, I was surprised with the musical path that Plant had chosen to take post Zeppelin, but still enjoyed the E.P immensely.
Full album artwork for both vinyl and CD is included along with label scans and alternative covers.

Tracklist:
I Get A Thrill 2:39
Sea Of Love 3:03
I Got A Woman 2:58
Young Boy Blues 3:30
Rockin' At Midnight 5:57

The Honeydrippers were:
Lead Vocals – Robert Plant
Bass – Wayne Pedziwiatr
Drums – Dave Weckl
Guitar – Jeff Beck (tracks: 3, 5), Jimmy Page (tracks: 1, 2), Robbie Blunt ?
Piano – Paul Shaffer
Rhythm Guitar – Nile Rodgers
Saxophone – Keith Evans (tracks: 5)

The Honeydrippers Link (120Mb)