Thursday, September 30, 2021

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Norman Gunston - Singled Out


Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song or album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

The `Little Aussie Bleeder' Norman Gunston (played by actor Garry McDonald) was one of the most famous Australian media personalities of the 1970s. The original Norman Gunston Show (circa 1975 and 1976) remains a genuinely funny and innovative television variety show. Gunston's hysterical interviews with the likes of Frank Zappa, Paul and Linda McCartney, Sally Struthers (from US sitcom All in the Family), Keith Moon (where Moon's response was to pour champagne over Norman's head) and later on Kiss are the stuff of legend.

McDonald was an accomplished character actor; he played Dave Rudd in the ABC-TV comedy series Snake Gully with Dad and Dave during 1972. He first developed the Norman Gunston character while a member of the cast of ABC-TV's The Aunty Jack Show. Norman's What's on in Wollongong segment became a popular part of the show. Norman appeared on the Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong album (see previous post), along with McDonald's other character Kid Eager. In 1975, McDonald starred in his own television variety series The Norman Gunston Show.

McDonald was never afraid to make Norman the fall guy, the sap who always managed to send himself up, as well as all those around him. Norman's real talent was in being able to bamboozle and confound his interview subjects. His interviewees were either completely dumbstruck, or caught on and joined in all the fun. Another of Norman's specialties was musical satire. Norman's debut single, "Salute to ABBA/Hors D'Oeuvre", reached #12 on the national charts in December 1976. Norman's debut album, 'The Popular Ballad Animal', also included his reworkings of Tom Jones' "Delilah", Shirley Bassey's "I (Who Have Nothing)", Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock'" Billy Joel's "Piano Man" among others.

Mushroom Records issued Norman's topical "I Might Be a Punk (But I Love You Baby!)/Love Me Tender" in May 1977. The A-side was co-written by Ross Wilson and David `Dr Pepper' Pepperell. 'Nylon Degrees' featured live performances from Norman's tours over the previous year when he was backed by The Gunstonettes and The Norman Tabernacle Choir (i.e. Cheetah). A cover of Sherbet's "Howzat" was issued as a single (June 1978). "Kiss Army"/Normdrum" was a national #13 hit single during November 1980 (see previous post). Comedy writer Trevor Farrant wrote much of Gunston's material (such as "Normdrum"), which McDonald delivered with impeccable timing and madcap style.

Norman & Effie
McDonald then `retired' the Norman Gunston character to concentrate on his acting career (two of his best roles were in the movie Ginger Meggs and as the hapless Arthur in the ABC-TV show Mother and Son). Norman re-emerged in 1990. His first triumph was performing a version of INXS's "Suicide Blonde" with the Salvation Army Band at a variety extravaganza. Next Norman recorded a send-up of "Amigos Para Siempre" (the theme song to the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games) as a duet with Effie (Mary Coustas) from television sitcom Acropolis Now. McDonald commenced a new series of  'The Norman Gunston Show', but after only a few episodes he suffered a much publicised nervous breakdown. McDonald finally laid the Norman Gunston character to rest [taken from Wammo ].

So, this post consists of most of Gunston's single releases - some I own and some I found on the internet. One that I don't have is his rendition of "Suicide Blonde" so if anyone out there has it, I'd love to hear from ya.  I've decided to bundle these together into one download (some in FLAC /  some in MP3) and most have full artwork.  

As this is a WOCK posting and it features Norman Gunston, I think I can safely tick off all criterium boxes (no question there). But all jokes aside, I've always had the greatest respect for McDonald as both an actor and very funny comedian. I'm thankful for all the laughs and hysteria that he provided me during my adolescent years. And thus, the reason why I chose to 'single him out' this month.  The singles contained in this post are as follows:

A - I Might Be A Punk (But I Love You Baby)
B - Love Me Tender

Released on Mushroom Records in 1977


A - Salute To Abba (Medley):   Fernando, Ring Ring, Mama Mia, Rock Me, S.O.S, I Do I Do I Do, Waterloo
B - Hors D'oeuvre

Released on Lamington Records in 1976

A - Howzat
B - Delilah

Released on Mushroom Records in 1978

A - Amigos Para Siempre (Friends For Life) with Effie
B - Venereal Girl (Tribute to Madonna)

Released on BMG Records in 1992

01 - Carnal Chameleon 
02 - Thriller
03 - Bop Girl

Released on Plaza Records in 1994

A - Kiss Army
B - Normdrum

Released on 7 Records in 1980

See Earlier Post For this Single

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Guns 'n' Roses - Unlicensed Live Vol.1 & 2 (1993) Bootleg

 (U.S 1985 - Present)

Guns N' Roses
(sometimes abbreviated as GN' R or GnR) is an American hard rock band. The band formed in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California in 1985. Led by front man and co-founder Axl Rose, the band has released six studio albums, three EPs, and one live album while going through numerous line-up changes and controversies since its formation.

One of the most 'bootlegged' bands, these two 'Unlicensed' recordings come from two distinctly different periods in the bands musical career.  Vol 2 is a collection of early recordings from 1986/87 while Vol 1 is most likely a portion of one of their concerts from 1992 when they toured the US with Metallica.

To kick off, the following is an extract from a1992 tour review, published by the Classic Rock Magazine in July, 2012. It provides an in depth account of what it was like to tour with two of the biggest named rock acts in the US at the time. The article was entitled 'Get In The Ring - Guns N' Roses Vs Metallica'.

When Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica announced that they would be hitting the road together in the Summer of 1992, on paper it looked like the ultimate rock 'n' roll dream time. But it didn't take long for the apparent bromance between two of the world's biggest bands to fall apart. The three-ring circus was plagued with scorched flesh, riots in the streets and thunderous clash of massive egos, as the thrash metal titans fought to prove themselves superior to their Hollywood rivals, and Axl Rose's supremely self-absorbed arrogance crushed everything in front of it. The tour became a pressure cooker whose lid was sure to blow. The only questions were where and when...

May 12, 1992. Lars Ulrich of Metallica and Slash of Guns 'n' Roses hold a press conference in Los Angeles to announce a joint co-headlining tour between the two bands, set to begin July. 

James Hetfield (guitar-Metallica): Here's the battle - heads down heavy metal versus L.A pomp and pumped-up hair. That's what it is. Bling versus dirt.

Axl Rose: We wanted to do a tour with Metallica since the day we started. We worked real hard to pull this thing together. We paid them a few million dollars more than they deserved because they wouldn't do it unless they got paid a certain amount. Okay. And the only way we could get 'em to do it was if we called it 'co-headlining'. So, fine, we call it 'co-headlining'. But when the shit all went down, the motherfuckers couldn't live with it.

James Hetfield: It was pretty difficult getting the 50/50 thing together, agreeing on a stage, times, where we're playing. there was a lot of shit that had to go back and forth

Lars Ulrich (drummer-Metallica): If it was left to the managers, agents and accountants, this would never have got off the ground. Whenever we had a stumbling block, we'd all sit down and work it out.

James Hetfield: Me and Lars went out with Slash and Axl, had a little dinner and had a little talk, sorting it out. We had two different ideas, it turned out. We wanted to just go out and fucking play loud, but they wanted this Lollapalooza thing.

Lars Urlich: We probably got to a point where we were being too petty about every detail but, to make it work, the shirts and the passes and whatever all had separate Metallica and Guns versions, with each on the left or on the top. If that's the kind of stuff it takes to get the tour off the ground...

July 17. The tour begins at RFK stadium in Washington DC, USA with Faith No More as the opening band.
Life magazine reported: The crew accompanying Guns 'n' Rose is made up of about 80 people, including four bodyguards hired, in part, to keep the drug pushers and sex-crazed fans out of temptation's path. They've formed a family. For some of these people it is the only family they have ever really known.

Los Angeles Daily News: Guns 'n' Roses took more than 90 minutes to set up, which was more than enough time for restless throng of concert goers to make mischief. But not everyone was amused by the debauchery or Guns 'n' Roses' tardiness. Some fans had to leave the stadium early. Those who could stay were treated the usual uneven Guns 'n' Roses set. The momentum was severely diminished by lengthy and pointless solos by guitarist Slash and Gilby Clarke, as well as drummer Matt Sorum. The band never gained its footing and the crowd slowly thinned. Some of the remaining fans were spied sleeping or just sitting, with bored expressions on their faces. Unlike Guns 'n' Roses, Metallica seems fully aware that this tour presents a marvelous opportunity. In a performance that could only be compared to Attila The Hun's tour of Mongolia, Metallica storm-trooped its way to the hearts of the crowd. Their set was simply superb - more than 90 minutes of non-stop musical mayhem.

Slash: Axl apologised to the crowd for technical difficulties that resulted in GN'R starting late. We've put our audiences through a lot of shit, but it's not that we don't care. Each show is a completely different trip for us, depending on our mental state. We try to approach each one as a unique event - almost like it was our last show. It's hard to regulate something like that. It's hard to say that it will start exactly at 9pm.

July 30. After Axl is diagnosed as having damaged his vocal chords, the next three shows have to be rescheduled. 

Bill Gould (Bassist, Faith No More): Every band in the world might think they want to open for Guns 'n' Roses but, lemme tell you, it's been a real ugly personal experience having to deal with all the shit that surrounds this fucking circus.

Mike Patton (Singer, Faith No More): They were playing one night, and Duff walks up to Axl and pats him on the head, like a loving comrade type thing, and Axl Rose immediately brings the show to a halt. This is in front of 80,000 people and Axl screams: "Don't you ever touch my head again, motherfucker". Duff just walked away, wounded. We found out later that it was because he's going bald and he's worried that if you touch his hair it'll fall out. Every little follicle counts.

August 8: The tour resumes at the Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada. Metallica are forced to end their set prematurely when James Hetfield suffers third-degree burns to his left hand when he accidentally steps in front of a stage pyrotechnic flame jet. Nevertheless, Guns 'n' Roses make fans wait several hours before they finally take to stage. A few songs into their set, problems with the sound surface, so Axl storms off stage, sparking a huge riot. The next seven shows are rescheduled.

August 27: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Axl asks the crowd how many people there are from Las Cruces. After some cheers and raised hands, he then asks how many people would actually admit to being from Las Cruces. The question is answered with many bottles thrown at the stage, raised middle fingers, and screams of: "Fuck you, Axl!"

August 29. The Louisana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisana. 

Life Magazine Review: When the band finally leaves the stage, a big red sign flashes 'GUNS N' ROSES,GUNS N' ROSES,GUNS N' ROSES', like an APPLAUSE sign, suggesting in no uncertain terms that it would be okay for their fans to ask for an encore. Which they do. The band comes out, sings Paradise City and exits, returning one last time for a bow, arm-in-arm, as in a Broadway show. Axl tosses roses into the crowd, the other guys throw guitar picks and drumsticks. And then more explosions - 20 bangs, four fireballs and 100 fireworks - and as the band leaves for the last time the red lights flash: "THANK YOU WE LOVE YOU, THANK YOU WE LOVE YOU"
After, there is the usual backstage party with the usual hors d'oeuvres, open bar, pinball machines, pool table, hot tub and strippers.

Jeanne Marie Laskas continues: There was almost zero interaction between the two bands that I saw. GN'R seemed to be having a lot more fun than Metallica, except everyone was so sick of Axl. Slash was a delight - to everyone. Duff was a delight also and sort of lovable in a goofy way. Those are the two I really remember. Axl was nocturnal and freaked out when the sun came up. I spent very little time with Metallica because they seemed so cranky. Maybe they were just mad that GN'R was getting all the attention. I don't remember GN'R caring one whit about Metallica, and Metallica looking on and scowling.

September 15. Hubert H Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(Reviewer, Minneapolis Star Tribune): The best selling T-Shirts last night were the $23 models with both GN'R and Metallica on them, according to the vendors. As for individual band shirts, the GN'R ones were outselling Metallica's. Vendors expected to sell more than $500,000 worth of souvenirs.

October 6, 1992. The tour comes to and end with the final show at the Kingdome, Seattle, Washington, having grossed over $32m from a total audience of almost 1.2m people.

Axl Rose: Let me tell you a couple of things about Metallica. First off, they do a lot of bitchin' for a band that got paid about 20% or 30% more than what they fucking deserved at a show, because they didn't...I thought I was friends with these people. I don't know how long they were on the road, but there was nobody in their crew that had ever got a bonus or paid anything extra for workin' their fucking ass off.

James Hetfield: It [the tour] was different. It was a good idea. We really had no idea what was going to come with it. We were out to show people that there was something a little more progressive and hard-core than Guns 'n' Roses. And to go about it our way. But it was hard going on, dealing with Axl and his attitude. It's not something we'd want to do again.
[Extracts from 'Get In The Ring - Guns N' Roses Vs Metallica' 1992 Tour Smackdown, Classic Rock #172, July 2012 p68-75]

The second bootleg (Vol 2) is a compilation of earlier recordings taken from 1987-10-30 - CBGB's, New York, NY (An acoustic set as reported by gunsnrosesbootlegs) and three tracks from the infamous 1986 City Sound Sessions from their 'Appetite for Destruction' album.  A highlight of the set is their very early piano version of "November Rain".
These tracks feature Axl Rose: vocals / Slash: lead guitar / Izzy Stradlin': rhythm guitar / Duff McKagan: bass / Steven Adler: drums. The Acoustic set also thought to be the first live performances of  "One In A Million" and "Patience".  Oh, and listen out for Axl when he tells the crowd that he hasn't been asleep for 2 days, at the end of "Patience"!

The piano/vocal demo for the band’s 1991 epic “November Rain” was recorded in 1986 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, Los Angeles (one of 25 unreleased tracks from sessions there), and showcases a pretty fully formed version of the song based largely around Rose’s piano and vocals. There are some light moments of percussion to hint at the form of the full band arrangement that would coalesce later. 

The band had laid down a few different versions of “November Rain” during the Appetite sessions, including an acoustic-guitar take, but even during the 1986 recordings, it was clear that the song worked best on piano — and stretched out to a length that commercial radio would balk at. (Anything around five minutes tends to make programmers antsy.) The 10-minute version that eventually surfaced on an Appetite deluxe anniversary edition in 2018 is pretty stunning, avoiding the bombast that would later appear when the song was included on Use Your Illusion I. It’s stripped-down and direct, Rose singing to a distant lover with raw hurt in his voice.

The original ‘November Rain’ eventually appeared on Guns N’ Roses’ third studio album ‘Use Your Illusion I’ in 1991 and was released as single the following year, charting at no.4 in the UK.

The ballad “Sweet Child o’ Mine” had been Appetite’s biggest hit to date, and remains the group’s only No. 1 — but Rose thought he could top it with “November Rain.” It had been a song he’d been chasing for nearly a decade, first conceiving the epic piano anthem when he was still a kid living in Indiana, dreaming of moving to L.A. and pursuing rock stardom. By the time GNR finally recorded “November Rain,” they were probably the biggest band in the world and Rose most definitely was trying to come up with a pull-out-your-lighter power ballad that would demolish anything their competition could conceive. “November Rain” was a monster and also ridiculous — and that goes double for the video that emerged in its wake. It’s one of their most indelible love songs. It was also, according to guitarist Slash, “the sound of our band breaking up.”

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my two Australian AMCOS Bootlegs, released in 1993 and distributed legally by most major Aussie Record Resellers for a short period, due to a legal loop hole.
Vol 1 is a far superior recording than Vol 2, which sounds like it suffers from tape timing issues on the first couple of tracks.  
Nevertheless, I'm sure the die hard Guns 'N Roses collectors will still be interested in both of these titles.  I spent hours trawling through Guns 'N Roses bootleg listing sites, trying to identify the source of Vol 1 without any luck. I suspect the track order on this bootleg has been tampered with by AMCOS, however the set list is typical of their 1992 concerts. If anyone can identify the exact origin of these recordings, I'd be very interested in hearing from you. Both posts include full album artwork of course.

Unlicensed Live Vol 1 
01 - Night Train
02 - Welcome To The Jungle
03 - Don't Cry
04 - Double Talkin' M.F
05 - Civil War
06 - So Fine
07 - It's So Easy
08 - Mr. Brownstone
09 - You Could be Mine
10 - Paradise City
11 - Knockin' On Heavens Door

Unlicensed Live Vol 2
01 Jumpin' Jack Flash *
02 November Rain (Acoustic) *
03 You're Crazy
04 One In A Million
05 I Used To Love Her
06 Patience
07 Mr. Brownstone
08 Move To The City
09 November Rain (Piano Version) *

* Taken from 1986 Sound City Sessions

Monday, September 20, 2021

Ted Nugent - Scream Dream (1980)

(U.S 1964 - Present)

Self-styled 'wild man of rock', Ted Nugent's antics include hunting with bow and arrow and wearing a loin cloth over his decade and a half of recording have almost justified epithet. He acquired first guitar at the age of eight and made his first performance at the Polish Arts Festival in Detroit in 1958 when he was just 10 years old. He played professionally with the 'Royal Hardboys' between 1960 - 1962, and later in the band called the 'Laurds'. He joined his first major band, the Amboy Dukes in 1964. The Amboy Dukes played quasi-psychedelic music appropriate to times, but with extra Detroit metal quotient. This group scored US Top 20 hit in summer 1968 with "Journey To The Centre of The Mind", later included on notable Nuggets double LP. Early LPs became collectors' items when greater '60s consciousness returned in late'70s.

This Group continued through the '60s, eventually adopting the name of Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes - Nugent in typical manner had altered the nature of band from democracy to dictatorship, with himself as dictator. Band's most famous member (other than Nugent) was probably Rusty Day, later in Cactus, although perhaps 10 people were members at one time or another.

Ted Nugent And The Amboy Dukes

Despite label changes, the group had little success and even a two-year period without a record deal. After signing with Epic in 1975, fortunes improved. The Amboy Dukes tag was dropped. First LP for new label was Nugent's first self-titled album which made the US Top 30 using the long-lived band (by Nugent standards): Derek St Holmes, rhythm guitar & vocals; Rob Grange on bass; and Cliff Davies on drums.

His 1976 LP 'Free For All' featured Meat Loaf (then less than a household name) as guest vocalist and again reached Top 30. By the time Nugent had released his third LP 'Cat Scratch Fever' in 1977, his albums were reaching Platinum status and he was the highest grossing tour act in the United States at the time. By 1978 his LP 'Weekend Warriors' band was beginning to change again, although Cliff Davies remained as drummer and sometime producer through the 1981 live LP 'Intensities ln Ten Cities'.

During 1982, Nugent changed labels after seven successful years with Epic and formed new band of previous members Dave Kiswrney (bass) and Derek St Holmes (lead vocals).

plus noted drummer Carmine Apprice (ex Vanilla Fudge) etc With his lengthy experience and nearly 20 LPs behind him, Nugent is difficult to criticise, especially as his guitar playing is exemplary, if not ear-splitting

Nugent has continued to record throughout the 80s, hardly modifying his style. He maintains faithful fan following, although many of them may now be close to deafness (like Nugent himself). Although recently mad axeman has kept relatively low profile by his standards, his bank manager is no doubt comforted by recent achievement of multiplatinum status by Epic's self-titled album Ted Nugent.

Album Review
'Scream Dream’ is the sixth studio album by American hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent, released by Epic Records in 1980, and debuted at #13 on the US Billboard Charts. The album-opening track "Wango Tango" became an instant Nugent standard, including a humorous middle breakdown section in which he shows off with a carnival barker-esque rap.

From my point of view, there are four standout tracks on ‘Scream Dream’ with the remaining songs being just so, so IMHO. Standout tracks are, in increasing order:

Hard As Nails - Ted Nugent has never being known for brilliant lyrics and this song doesn't change this trend for his simple minded discussions about sex. Ted apparently has quite a reputation backstage with the ladies although oddly enough he was a Tee-totaller. So he only engaged in 2/3 of the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle. This mid-tempo song has a great driving and chunky guitar riff which really makes you want to pound your fist. The guitar solo on this song leaves a little to be desired but is still good and I wish there wasn't a fade out at the end. A hard rock song like this should have an abrupt ending.

Terminus Eldorardo
- this track has a ZZ Top feel about it, and the reference to the 'Eldoprardo' been driven by a crazed young girl puts some credibility to this notion. It too is a mid-tempo song with another driving guitar riff, and the use of the Whamy bar to produce a sound affect not unlike that in middle section of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" makes it interesting.  The unfortunate storyline of the girl killing herself in a car accident is a little disturbing, however.

Scream Dream - On this song, Ted's vocals are being pumped though some sort of Phase Shifter and sounds really creepy at times. Ted's lyrics appear to be about the violent perils of the big cities like Chicago, New York and Detroit and how they give him bad dreams at night, making him want to Scream. Once again, there is another classic driving Nugent guitar riff on the verses and Chorus. This track is a faster tempo than the previous 2 tracks however there is a nice little key change bridge in the middle, just before an absolutely blistering guitar solo, which starts off Chuck Berry Style. At the end of the song, he is actually screaming 'Scream Dream' over and over again, instead of singing it, and it sounds as if he's gonna blow his vocal cords out. This doesn't stop until you hear a sinister half tone laugh at the end. Nice one Ted

Wango Tango
- of course this is my favourite track and was the only single taken from the album (with Scream Dream on the B-Side). It quickly became a staple part of his live act and a favourite amongst his fans. The urban dictionary says that Wango Tango is a crude way of describing 'sexual intercourse', and its no surprise that Nugent quickly popularised this term.
This song is an upbeat rocker with a really good guitar solo, but for some reason was ranked #7 on Guitar World's List of the 100 worst guitar solos!  Very strange indeed. In the middle of the song, he breaks into verbal rap of crazed words where he describes Wango Tango as a 'crazed gyration of the rock generation', and it’s his 'motivation to avoid the nauseation, frustration when he needs some lubrication'. This is all classic Ted. He definitely gives David Lee Roth a run for his money with regards to his gift of the gab. There are also some typical 50's background vocals going on at the same time, credited to the "Immaculate Wangettes" in the liner notes (Curtis Lanclos, Rectro Zest Podscast)

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my trusty vinyl which sparkles more today than when I first bought it back in the 80's.  Of course, full album artwork for both vinyl and CD is included along with some EPIC label scans. LOL

01 - Wango Tango – 4:50 *
02 - Scream Dream – 3:18
03 - Hard as Nails – 3:39
04 - I Gotta Move – 2:18
05 - Violent Love – 2:54
06 - Flesh and Blood – 4:44
07 - Spit It Out – 3:53
08 - Come and Get It – 3:18
09 - Terminus El Dorado – 4:13
10 - Don't Cry (I'll Be Back Before You Know It Baby) – 2:21

The Band:
Ted Nugent - Axe and Vocals
Dave Kiswiney - Bass and Vocals
Cliff Davies - Drums and Vocals
Charlie Hun - Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
* Immaculate Wangettes - Backing Vocals

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Yes - Yesterdays (1974)

(U.K 1968 –2004, 2008–present)

Yesterdays is the first compilation album by the English progressive rock band YES, released in February 1975 on Atlantic Records. It is formed of material previously recorded for first two studio albums, YES (1969) and Time and a Word (1970), their 1970 B-side "Dear Father", and a the full version of their cover of  "America" by Simon & Garfunkel. Yesterdays is the last YES album to feature cover artwork by Roger Dean until 1980. It reached No.27 on the UK charts and No.17 on Billboard Pop Albums in 1975.

This was a big selling compilation at the time and although all cuts on it have shown up numbers of subsequent LP and CD collections, I still see it as a necessary compliment to my YES collection. You get the former B-side to the 1970 "Sweet Dreams" single - "Dear Father" - for the first time on LP and also the full length killer cover version of Simon & Garfunkel's "America", earlier only released on the 1972 "New Age Of Atlantic" sampler and as a 4.12 US single edit. That is the only cut including Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, the rest is by the band's first setting with Peter Banks on guitar and Tony Kaye on keyboards. 

Apart from the B-side two tracks from the debut and four from "Time And A Word". Listening to those songs from the pre-Howe and pre-synth days it's obvious the band's special idiom that later would lead to world wide success was there already from the start. The songwriting, Jon Anderson's vocals and Chris Squire's melodic bass set the mode early and Peter Banks does not stand back to Steve Howe. Tony Kaye has a less prominent role than later Wakeman, but not less important. In all very good listening with top audio. If you're one of those who got deep into the group first with "Yes Album" or later this may be an ear opener and reason to look beyond.

The combination of great song choices from the band's early period, to the addition of Simon & Garfunkel's America, I believe any fan of YES or progressive rock in general will find enjoyment in this album. [extract from]

Roger Dean Album Covers

Now, one of YES's biggest draw cards have been their psychedelic album covers, produced by the multi-talented artist Roger Dean.  Yesterdays cover caused some controversy for some people with the back cover of 'Yesterdays' featuring two young naked characters, a boy urinating and a girl displaying her genitalia. But over time the imagery has been accepted for its real worth, artistic creation - and not something smutty.

Roger Dean was born in Ashford Kent, England in 1944. He is internationally renowned for his unique style of album cover paintings, logos, typefaces, and organic architectural designs. 

The album covers of bands such as YES and Asia became windows into Dean's world. The covers portrayed richly coloured landscapes where continuously cascading waterfalls and pools flow upon floating islands, are recurring themes.

When Dean left the Royal College of Art in 1968 his first commission was to design furniture for Ronnie Scott's Jazz club in London, this eventually lead him to produce a cover painting
and logo for Osibisa, a Ghanaian and Caribbean band producing Afrobeat music.

The painting that Dean created for Osibisa's cover, depicted a brilliantly coloured, winged flying elephant and an equally elaborate and colourful logo for Osibisa (see below).  This image and logo were a dramatic contrast to the generally more conservative portraits usually seen on the cover of albums of that time. Dean's brightly coloured record covers for Osibisa were often used to decorate the windows of record shops, bringing, 'Happy Music' music to the grey city streets of seventies London.

Following on from his successful collaboration with Osibisa, Dean was commissioned to produce a painting for an album cover for a band called YES.

The YES logo became the visual signature of the group and was recognisable, not only from YES's record covers, but it was also imitated in style, in graffiti across the world.

The first painting Dean produced for Yes became the cover for their Fragile album and marked the beginning of a forty seven year association with Roger Dean and Yes. Amongst Dean's most well known paintings for YES, are the covers for: Fragile, Relayer, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Yessongs and Yesterdays.

In fact, the cover painting for 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' was voted the best album cover of all time, in a Rolling Stone readers online poll.

Some have regarded the collaboration between Yes and Dean as his most successful however. Dean is continuing to create paintings for bands such as Asia, and more recently for Steve Hackett's album 'Premonitions'. It has been estimated that over a hundred million people have, at one time, owned a piece of Dean's art, either as an album cover or as one of the many posters that were made of his cover paintings.

Other bands that have featured Roger Deans artwork are Budgie, Greenslade, Gun, Badger, Uriah Heep, Paladin and Nitro Function. Dean is also known for his logo designs for companies including, Tetris, Virgin, Harvest, Vertigo and Psygnosis. 

His career as a painter and typeface designer, are just two aspects of Dean's multi-faceted career. Roger, his brother, Martyn and the printing company, Chevalier of Rotterdam
collaborated in publishing over a hundred fully illustrated books for the same price and format as a record album. Their company, 'Dragon's Dream' became a market pioneer in the publishing business, bringing the work of many brilliant artists to the attention of an international audience.  It was also responsible for publishing his own works under the title 'Views' in 1975, followed by 'Magnetic Storms' in 1984. [extract from Roger Deans website ]

Roger Dean is often asked about the nature of the relationship between his pictures and the music.
He says that he has very rarely heard the music before doing an album cover. "l cannot say that the music is ever a direct inspiration for my work. However, the music, the title, and the art work are all related, and must all affect each other to some degree. It's like the relation between a picture and its title. For example, if a picture was entitled "Peace" and the image was of a poppy field the significance would be different than if it was of a wrecked tank or a waterfall. The picture changes the title and the title changes the picture!

Dean has not titled any of the pictures in his book "Views" but he is fascinated by the consequences of "naming" images. However, he does not want an arbitrary title to interfere with the chain of associations the image evokes in each observer.

There is an unavoidable working relationship between the music and the images associated with it, and this tends to increase when the association is carried through over several albums. This has become most apparent in the work Dean has done with YES.
The connection between music and visual imagery is much more flexible than that between words and pictures, since it has its basis in mood and atmosphere.

Roger today holding his favourite Yes cover 'Relayer'
During the late 60's and early 70's some bands were working towards the idea of a concert being a total experience in which the emotional intensity of electronic music was enhanced by its combination with visual effects. The stage-sets that Roger Dean designed for YES with his brother Martyn allowed him to exploit the overlapping of visual and auditory sensations, and to try out the effect of a fantasy landscape in three dimensions. Roger Dean says "to consider that people come to concerts for music alone would imply a very limited idea of what music is capable of. Songs can tell a story music can create moods or atmospheres and obviously, emotional responses; it can also enhance and be enhanced by images' Lighting alone can contribute a great deal to atmosphere. [Extract from Roger Dean's Views (1974) ]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'much treasured' vinyl - bought at a time in my life when Yes albums were on my playlist 24 hours a day.  Not having their first 2 albums at the time, this compilation gave me a good insight into where YES had emerged. Full album artwork for both LP and CD in included along with label scans. 
Absolutely love Atlantic's custom YES picture label used on this release - priceless. 

Track List
A1 America    10:35 *
A2 Looking Around   4:04
A3 Time And A Word  4:26
A4 Sweet Dreams   3:50
B1 Then    5:49
B2 Survival  6:23
B3 Astral Traveller  5:56
B4 Dear Father   4:21

Yes were:
Jon Anderson - Vocals
Chris Squire - Bass
Peter Banks - Guitar
Tony Kaye - Keyboards
Bill Bruford - Drums

* Steve Howe - Guitar
* Rick Wakeman - Keyboards

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Jimi Hendrix - Never Fade (1979) Bootleg

 (U.S 1963 - 1970)

This is another prized bootleg in my Hendrix collection that I've not seen available on any other blogs. The 'Never Fade' cover states that it was manufactured by Phoenix Records and Tapes Ltd. in Sydney New South Wales and was Printed In Australia. However, Phoenix records was not made in Australia as it is unofficial, and the manufacturer put the wrong information on the cover to fool people. 

Sides 1 & 2 are in fact a re-release of "Primal Keys" (Impossible Recordworks IMP 1-02), "Guitar Hero" (K&S Records 011) and is an excellent BBC recording, made by Top Gear (London), on the 17th and 26th of October in 1967.

I originally posted this recording 12 years ago (see Guitar Hero), and I suspect the source is exactly the same for this 'Never Fade' release. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, in session for John Peel with a Radio 1 intro and a version of Day Tripper to savor, along with many other Hendrix staples. A great session from an artist who took the entire world by storm – and who changed the playing field almost overnight.

Hendrix fans have probably heard this session and most likely have it in their own collections. But if you’re just getting acquainted with Jimi Hendrix and want to hear more – have a listen to this session (along with the large quantity of live material currently floating around) for a taste of one of the greatest guitarists of all time.   I don’t have to prompt you to play this loud – you already know this I'm sure. For more information about this recording, see my early post HERE

Sides 3 & 4 are a re-release of "Pipe Dreams" (TARKL 1959) and is a combination of recordings made in Stockholm in 1967 and 1969.  Again, the quality of the recordings is Excellent. The first 8 tracks were recorded at the Radiohuset, in Stockholm on Tuesday, 5th September, 1967 while the last 2 tracks were taken from their Konserthuset concert, in Stockholm on the 9th January in 1969. The following are brief accounts made by Tony Brown for each of these concerts:

Radiohuset, Stockholm Concert , 1967

The Experience record a live radio recording at the Radiohuset, Studio 4 in Stockholm before a live audience.

The Experience again open with 'Sergeant Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band'. "Yeah, thank you very much that was our own little thing. I'd like to do this song that really got us into something, a little song called 'Hey Joe"'... 

"Thank you very much, now while your ears are still ringing, we'd like to go on and do another little tune called "I Don't Live Today" dedicated to the American Indian."... 

"So right now we'd like to slow it down a little bit and do one of the tunes we recorded as a single. It's a little thing called 'The Wind Cries Mary'....

"Yeah okay than, we'd like to proceed on with a little tune from our LP... it's named Foxy Lady.".... "Thank you very much, we'd like to go ahead on with this tune named Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire."... 

"We'd like to do our latest release... it's a thing called 'The Burning of the Midnight Lamp'... it's the first time we ever did it in front of people."...

"So right now we'd like to do our last number and say thanks a lot for coming and listening. It's a song named 'Purple Haze'." Jimi is now adding the wild feedback introduction to the song at almost all of his concerts around this time .

Jimi and the boys are interviewed by Klaes Borlin and the interview is broadcast on Sept 10 as Pop 67 Special. A second radio interview with Leif Andersson is broadcast Sept 6 as Pop 67 Amenrikalistan  [extract from Jimi Hendrix Concert Files by Tony Brown. Omnibus Press, 1999 p61]

Konserthuset, Stockholm Concert, 1969

The Experience arrive in Stockholm at 14:25 and book into the Hotel Carlton. Jimi is interviewed by UIla Lundstrom in his hotel room. They attend a press reception at 16:00 and are interviewed by Margareta Klinberg for Aftonbladet, published January 10, Peter Himmelstrand for Expressen, published January 10, Dagens Nyheter, published January 10, and Benny Moller for Bildjoumalen, published January10.

In the evening they play two shows at the Konserthuset at 19:00 and 21:30, supported by Jethro Tull. 

During the first show The Experience perform "Killing Floor", "Spanish Castle Magic", "Fire", "Hey Joe", "Voodoo Child", "Red House" and "Sunshine Of Your Love"

During the second show, "I Don't Live Today", "Spanish Castle Magic", "Hey Joe", "Voodoo Child", "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Red House", "Fire", "Purple Haze" and "Star Spangled Banner".

At the start of Hey Joe, Jimi stops playing and enters in the following dialogue with the Swedish audience:

"We're having, er, technical difficulties, so either it'll be too low or too loud for you that forgot to bring... your ears muffs... Dedicated to oldies but goodies, to Wally's case, I think that it'll pertain to that thing called "Hey Joe"." When Hey Joe is finished he then shouts out: "Is it too loud?" The audience shouts "No!" and Jimi replies "Too bad. Okay then we'll make it louder for you then, all right? Yeah, okay then, what do we do next? Oh yeah, I'll tell you what we'll do... we've got this LP out called [Electric Ladyland) and there's only one song that we remember from it because, I don't know... it's like a diary all these LPs, you know. 

So that's why we don't do them necessarily on stage all the time, we just like jam on stage, you know, because we haven't been playing together for about six weeks anyway. I d like to dedicate this song to all the people who can actually feel and think for themselves and feel free for themselves, a thing called 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'..." Jimi continues with 'Voodoo Child' and then 'The Sunshine Of Your Love'. 

The second show is videotaped for Swedish TV Number 9 programme. Jimi is interviewed by Lennart Wretlind for Swedish radio, broadcast January 12 Pop 68 Special, Channel P3. [extract from Hendrix: The Visual Documentary by Tony Brown Omnibus Press 1992.  p97]

This post features FLACs ripped from my pristine 'still in shrink wrap' bootleg which I purchased at the Victoria Market back in the early 80's for the pricey sum of $25.  The stall I purchased it from had racks and racks bootlegs which I drooled over for hours. These sellers were only short lived at the time as the sale of bootlegs was totally illegal and the sellers never stayed in the one spot, for fear of being caught by the authorities.  Ah, the good ol', where was I ?, oh yes....Full album artwork and label scans are also included of course.  

And don't forget to block your ears..... Jimi plays loud !

Live at the BBC, London, Top Gear 1967
A1 Radio One Theme
A2 Experiencing The Blues
A3 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window ?
A4 Hoochie Coochie Man
A5 Drivin' South
A6 Spanish Castle Magic
A7 Day Tripper
B1 Wait Until Tomorrow
B2 Stone Free
B3 Foxy Lady
B4 Little Miss Lover
B5 Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
B6 Hound Dog
B7 Hey Joe
B8 Getting My Heart Back Again

Live at Radiohuest, Stockholm 1967
C1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
C2 Hey Joe
C3 I Don't Live Today
C4 The Wind Cries Mary
C5 Foxy Lady
C6 Fire
D1 Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
D2 Purple Haze
D3 Sunshine Of Your Love +
D4 Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) +
+ Live at Konserthuset, Stockholm 1969

Never Fade FLACs (556Mb) Fixed Rip 10/9/21