Monday, February 28, 2022

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Various Artists - Sounds Fantastic Volume 4, Channel 7 Telethon (1974)


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.

This is one of nine albums released in the 70's as part of Channel 7's Telethon fund raising for children with disabilities in Western Australia, all sponsored by Shell Petroleum, Australia. 
The Channel 7 Telethon Trust is a registered charity, governed by a Board of Trustees. Telethon's small team is based at The West Australian and Channel 7 in Perth (see here for a listing of these releases).

The Channel Seven Perth Telethon, known simply as Telethon, is an annual telethon which was established in 1968 by philanthropist Sir James Cruthers and Brian Treasure and was produced by TVW 7, a television station in Perth, Western Australia. Money raised through Telethon is currently granted to 65 charity beneficiaries, all united with their mission to improve children’s’ health and wellbeing in Western Australia. It’s the highest donating Telethon (per capita) in the world, with it surpassing A$457 million in total in 2021 (Extract from the official Telethon website)

This particular fund raising album (sponsored by Shell Petroleum) was released in 1974, and features not only some of the most popular Australian artists at the time like Johnny Farnham, Helen Reddy and Ross Ryan but also some overseas stalwarts including Roger Whittaker, Glenn Campbell and Diana Ross. 

When it comes to fund raising for disadvantaged or sick children, Australians have a wonderful trait of opening their purses and donating. The Good Friday appeal is another huge Aussie fundraiser that raises millions of $$ annually for the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria.

Although this 4th release features some great artists and is quite rare, I am actually keen to get hold of Volume 2 which was released in 1972 (see right).  This particular Telethon release featured Russell Morris singing an extended version of "Sweet Sweet Love".  This alternative and quite different version is 6.30 long while his single release was 4:19 and the version on the 'Russell Morris' album is 4:04. Nevertheless, I digress.

I have chosen to post this Volume 4 Telethon release for this month's WOCK on Vinyl, as it easily ticks the Obscure box. I will continue to keep my eyes peeled for that infamous Volume 2 telethon release and if successful, promise to post it for ya on the blog. And so the hunt continues.  Ripped from almost mint vinyl, I have posted this in MP3 format (320kps) and included full album artwork and label scans.

Track List
01 L.A International Airport (Susan Raye)
02 Anytime (Des O'Connor)
03 You Don't Own Me (Ormsby Bros)
04 Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy)
05 If You Would Stay (Johnny Farnham)
06 Elusive Butterfly (Val Doonican)
07 New World In The Morning (Roger Whittaker)
08 I Am Pegasus (Ross Ryan)
09 The Old fashioned Way (Helen Reddy)
10 And You Smiled (Matt Monro)
11 Touch me In The Morning (Diana Ross)
12 It's Up To You (Johnny Farnham)
13 What Now My Love (Shirley Bassey)
14 Try A Little Kindness (Glen Campbell)

New Link 26/03/22

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Uriah Heep - Live (1973)

 (U.K 1969 - Present)

Named after one of the most odious characters in literature (thanks to Charles Dickens), Britain’s Uriah Heep have been churning out records and touring relentlessly for over forty years. The Allmusic guide lists more than three dozen albums and informs us that there have been over 30 members of the band formed by the wonderfully monikered Mick Box and singer David Byron in the late sixties. Though Mr Byron died in sad circumstances in 1985, Mr Box still carries the flame, toting it around the world with unflagging energy.

By early 1973, Uriah Heep had released five studio albums and had already made a name for themselves, with a sound all of their own, fusing elements of progressive rock and hard rock. They were one of the most unique bands of their era, and remain revered by fans of the genre all these decades later.

By 1973, the next thing on the radar for the legendary band was a live record, which fans got in the form of Uriah Heep Live in the spring of 1973. Featuring the legendary lineup of vocalist David Byron (RIP), guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Ken Hensley, bassist Gary Thain (RIP), and drummer Lee Kerslake, the double album was recorded in January of 1973 in Birmingham. Initial CD releases of the record omitted the closing track due to the constraints of the day, but it was reinstated for later CD issues. A more recent expanded edition of the album, released in 2004, includes bonus US radio show and film mix songs on a second disc.

Although you are not going to see Uriah Heep's Live album mentioned on the lists of great 70s live albums like KISS’ Alive! Or Deep Purple’s Made in Japan, this live album still holds great respect amongst 'Heep Fans'.

Uriah Heep Live might just be the best moment of the band’s classic 70s era, with their ultimate lineup in fine form. Why this record does not get more recognition from classic hard rock fans all these years later is a complete mystery; the record shows off just how great these guys were on a live stage back in their initial prime. Essentially, this is the greatest lineup the band ever had, showing off their musical prowess in a high energy setting, pulling out all the stops for the fans. This is the way the band was meant to be remembered, captured on album. To Heep fans the record is sacred, and rightfully so.

This is not simply a “greatest hits live” album, nor are the cuts here copycats of the studio versions either. The group plays a wide assortment of tracks covering most of their first five records, including the well-known cuts and deeper gems alike. Each member of the band gets more than a few chances to shine; Ken Hensley’s organ never sounded better than it does on this release, and the late, great David Byron gives a vocal performance for the ages.

In addition to a ripping version of the band's hit "Easy Livin'", the record includes classic live cuts such as "Sweet Lorraine", "Sunrise" and an extended live version of "July Morning".

The classic “Gypsy” also gets the “extended” treatment, turned into a 13 minute plus jam! The wide variety of tracks keeps things interesting throughout; even with the extended jam versions of many of the songs, there are no dull moments in sight. The “Rock and Roll Medley” shows off the band’s more humorous side while at the same time paying homage to their early rock and roll heroes, and it makes for a comical yet appropriate finish to it all. 

While on tour in the States, Live 73 reached #13 in the UK charts. The original album packaging was a lavish affair, typical of the early-1970s. Being a 2-LP set it was a gatefold sleeve, with center pages featuring photographs of the band members.

The album was recorded by the Pye Mobile Unit, engineer Alan Perkins. Uriah Heep Live was certified Gold by the RIAA on 12 October 1973. Mercury Records initially released the album on CD without the medley, due to time constraints. This was later restored on the 2004 Sanctuary release by releasing a double CD set.

The band released several commercially successful albums in the 1970s (ie. 'Demons and Wizards and The Magicians Birthday), but their audience finally declined by the 1980s, to the point where they became essentially a cult band in the United States and United Kingdom. Uriah Heep maintain a significant following in Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the Balkans, Japan and Russia, where they still perform at stadium-sized venues [extracts from and wikipedia]

It's a shame that Gary Thain succumbed to drug use and misfortune, what a talent and force he was on the bass! Ken Hensley assumed the role of band leader, which resulted in bickering and fighting with lead singer David Byron, whose own voice defined the sound of the group along with Mick Box's worthy, compelling guitar work and Lee Kerslake's driving, forceful backbeat.

Footnote: Heep fans were recently saddened to hear of the death of Ken Hensley, organist and core member of Uriah Heep. He was previously in The Gods and brought his heavy organ riffing to the fledgling outfit, who had their most successful albums with Ken on the keys.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my treasured vinyl (which I bought secondhand several years after its release for the pricey sum of $7.50) which is still in immaculate condition.  I have also included full cover scans for vinyl and CD along with label scans.
My only criticism of this live album was the inclusion of the somewhat 'daggy'  rock 'n' roll medley at the expense of not including classic tracks like "The Wizard", "Rainbow Demon" and "Bird of Prey".   
I have consequently included live versions of these 3 tracks for those of you who who might feel the same way and might consider substituting them if burning to CD.
I must confess that my interest in the band faded after "Firefly" and have always thought that they peaked with their twin masterpieces 'Demons & Wizards' and 'Magicians Birthday'. These two albums are still regular items on my play list, even 50 years later; and I still enjoy the mystical atmosphere they create.
A future post me thinks - a double treat. 

A1 Introduction  :48
A2 Sunrise 4:18
A3 Sweet Lorraine 4:27
A4 Traveller In Time 3:20
A5 Easy Livin' 2:43
B1 July Morning 11:23
B2 Tears In My Eyes 4:34
C1 Gypsy 13:32
C2 Circle Of Hands 8:47
D1 Look At Yourself 5:57
D2 Magician's Birthday 1:15
D3 Love Machine 3:07
D4 Rock 'n' Roll Medley:
-Roll Over Beethoven 1:51
-Blue Suede Shoes 1:13
-Mean Woman Blues 0:28
-Hound Dog 0:56
-At The Hop 1:32
-Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On 0:40
-Blue Suede Shoes 1:37
Bonus Tracks
E1  The Wizard [Live 1972]
E2  Bird Of Prey [Live 1972]
E3  Rainbow Demon [Live 1972]

David Byron - Lead vocals
Mick Box - Guitars and vocals
Ken Hensley - Keyboards, guitar and vocals
Lee Kerslake - Drums
Gary Thain - Bass and vocals

Uriah Heep Live Link (546Mb)  New Link 17/10/2023

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Depeche Mode - I Feel You - Unauthorised (1994) Bootleg

 (U.K 1980 - Present)

Depeche Mode is an English band and released their album debut 'Speak & Spell' in the U.S. in November, 1981. A prelude to the band's first European tour, the LP contained their first commercial single, "Dreaming Of Me," their first major U.K chart success, "New Life," and their first U.S. underground hit, "Just Can't Get Enough."

Coining a name that means "fast fashion" in French, Depeche Mode formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex, where guitarist/vocalist Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore and keyboardist Vince Clarke attended the same school. After some experimental live performances, the group dispensed with their guitars, recruited singer David Gahan and became an all-electronic band, utilising mostly keyboards to create their sound.

A series of early demo tapes generated little interest in Depeche Mode until they began playing in London, opening for such groups as Fad Gadget at the "futurist night" shows in the famed Bridge House pub. As word of Depeche Mode's unique musical approach began to spread, one of the band's early songs, "Photographic," found its way on to the influential 'Some Bizarre' compilation LP.

With the help of music entrepreneur Daniel Miller, the group was signed to England's Mute Records in late 1980. Miller co-produced Speak & Spell with Depeche Mode. 

The first single off the record, a minor U.K. hit, was "Dreaming Of Me." It was followed by "New Life," which reached No. 11 on the U.K. charts. The band then broke the British Top Ten with "Just Can't Get Enough."

Signed to Sire Records in the U.S., Depeche Mode found initial exposure for their music with club audiences. "Just can't get Enough," a major dance hit, also became a favorite on American alternative radio stations.

In addition co "Photographic," Speak & Spell featured eight other songs by Vince Clarke, with Martin Gore penning "Tora!Tora! Tora!" and "Big Muff". A substantial underground success in the U.S., Speak & Spell was a Top Ten hit in England. 

1993 Devotional Tour

The album cover on this Bootleg mistakenly says Live in Chicago USA 1992 but this live recording was actually at the Crystal Palace Sports Ground in London in July 1993.

The recording was made by Depeche Mode during their multi-leg 1993 Devotional Tour in support of their eighth studio album 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion'. It began its European leg on 19 May 1993 in Lille that concluded with the Crystal Palace concert on 31 July. Following a month-long break and a 6th September rehearsal, the tour kicked off its North American leg in Quebec City and toured across Canada, the United States, and Mexico before returning to the United Kingdom for an additional string of shows in December.

After a two month break, the tour was extended with a named second leg through which the group (minus Andrew Fletcher, who took a leave of absence and was replaced by tour manager and longtime band associate Daryl Bamonte for thirty-nine of its sixty shows) played to countries and territories they had never previously visited, including South Africa, Australia, East Asia, and South America as well as additional shows in the United States and Canada.

The Devotional Tour is the first Depeche Mode tour to utilise live female backing vocalists in Hildia Campbell and Samantha Smith, and is the only tour to feature backing vocalists who have also performed vocal duties on studio albums by Depeche Mode and Recoil.

Fourteen out of nineteen songs were broadcast on BBC Radio 1, originally on 1993-08-30. There were two different broadcasts of the concert, one of which included Walking In My Shoes which was not part of the other broadcast. Steve Lyon confirmed that he mixed the audio for the FM broadcast in Dublin, at the same time he mixed the audio for the "Devotional" video release.

Dave Gahan

According to BONG magazine issue #22, 36.131 people were at this show. You can watch a video taken from this concert, on their official site archives here. You can read some concert reports from the July 28 - August 4, 1993 issue of "Time Out" magazine here.

Dave said something like "We bought the full moon commissioned especially for you vampires tonight. Only joking, cost too much [laughs]" upon seeing the full moon; he also said "I'll need a little help with this one (Stripped). You should know the words by now", but then when nobody sang along he said "Oh, come on"; then during I Feel You he said "Now I can hear you! just takes a while sometimes, you know!" Furthermore, Dave also said "At least it's not fucking raining" after World In My Eyes as well as "Let's hear you make some fucking noise" at the beginning of Never Let Me Down Again. Dave also climbed on the front barrier during Enjoy The Silence. This was the third time that One Caress (with string quartet) was played on this tour.

Sunscreem, Dreadzone, Dub Syndicate, Marxmen and Sisters Of Mercy were the support acts. The Sisters Of Mercy famously said to the crowd "Enjoy the puppet show" at the end of their set, supposedly a dig at Depeche Mode.

The following is Daryl Bamonte's entry for the famous Devotional Tour Diary, published in Bong magazine in 1994:

Crystal Palace. Finally home after 3 months. 36,000+ people at this show, 1,000 with passes, and I know all of them, so backstage was chaos. My son had a good day. He definitely preferred Dub Syndicate to The Sisters Of Mercy. I used to think that Andrew Eldritch was really cool. A god-like quasi-Darth Vader figure. He’s actually like Rigsby.


It appears that Dave's vocals for the prepared FM broadcast of this concert are overdubs from the concert filmed two nights prior at 1993-07-29 Stade Couvert Régional, Liévin, France, with some gaps filled with vocals presumed to be from Crystal Palace. Examples of such fills which presumably use Crystal Palace audio would be the vast majority of Dave's banter and shouts during and between songs, some sections from Liévin where Dave did not sing the chorus (for instance, the first chorus of Stripped where the "proper" chorus vocal is fairly obviously different sounding), and the ending of "Everything Counts" with the memorable audience singalong, to give the impression of a different concert. Whether the music and backing vocals in general were also reused from Liévin is yet to be determined.

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from my Grapefruit CD which was sourced some years ago at a flee market. The quality of the recording of this bootleg is surprisingly good and I have not had to tweak any of the audio settings. As a bonus I am also including their first hit single "Just Can't Get Enough" which first brought my attention to this 80's band. This is yet another typical Grapefruit release with its standard generic artwork and incorrect recording details on the cover. As mentioned above, the cover mistakenly says Live in Chicago USA 1992 but this live recording was actually at the Crystal Palace Sports Ground in London in July 1993. It has also been released under the title 'Europe 1993' (see above)

01 Higher Love 6:23
02 Policy Of Truth 4:58
03 Halo 4:37
04 Stripped 5:05
05 Condemnation 3:47
06 Judas 5:06
07 I Feel You 7:10
08 Never Let Me Down Again 4:51
09 Rush 4:40
10 In Your Room 6:36
11 Personal Jesus 5:44
12 Enjoy The Silence 6:37
13 Everything Counts 5:12
14 Just Can't Get Enough (Bonus Single) 3:44

Line up
Dave Gahan - lead vocals
Martin L. Gore - keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals
Andrew Fletcher - keyboards
Alan Wilder - keyboards, drums, backing vocals
Hildia Campbell - backing vocals
Samantha Smith - backing vocals

Depeche Mode Unauthorised Link (162Mb)  Link Fixed  06/02/2024

Monday, February 7, 2022

Jimi Hendrix - Loose Ends (1973)

 (U.S 1963 - 1970)

'Loose Ends' is a posthumous compilation album by American guitarist Jimi Hendrix, released in February 1974 in the UK. It was the fourth and last Hendrix studio album released posthumously by manager Michael Jeffery. The album features a collection of outtakes and jams, with the exception of "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" which is the sole authorized track by Hendrix, in a new stereo mix by Eddie Kramer. 

The album was engineered, mixed and compiled by John Jansen, who is listed on the record's sleeve as "Alex Trevor" because he did not wish his name to be on the album's credits. Additional engineering was provided by Eddie Kramer, Dave Palmer, Kim King, Gary Kellgren, Jack Adams, Tom Flye and Jim Robinson. Reprise Records (Jimi Hendrix' label at the time), declined to issue this album in the US and Canada as they considered the material below standard. 

Jimi With Eddie Kramer
All the tracks on this album have been subsequently re-released on other official albums, in some form, except "Blue Suede Shoes". The UK, French, and German releases had different covers, as shown at the bottom of this post.

I bought this LP in the late 1970's after wanting it for a long time (seemed like I looked forever at the local new & used record shop), I eventually found a Japanese pressing at Reading Records in Carlton, Melbourne and paid a small fortune for it at the time but was not disappointed after playing it.

Mostly outtakes and loose jams with one authorized track that came out in Jimi's lifetime (The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice). The main reason I bought Loose Ends was to get this track. I loved that track back then, probably because it was rare. There wasn't a lot of posthumous releases at that point in time so any Hendrix album that had some decent tracks would be snapped up by fans. I believe "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" was originally going to be on 'War Heroes' but was pulled and added to Loose Ends to flesh out the weaker album. Another outstanding track on this for me is "Drifter's Escape". 

I prefer the mix on this lp rather than the one on the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set. I think it's a tighter mix, and the fuzz guitar part at the end was just striking the way it came to an abrupt end (much like Jimi's too short life), and on the box set it gets marred by Billy Cox's bass.

Michael Jeffrey (see left with Jimi backstage), who was Jimi's manager during the later part of his career, was still able to put out product to make money off of Jimi's name. Considered by some to be an awful release, it was only put out in the U.K. in February, 1974 on the Polydor label because Warner Bros. (who were Jimi's record company at the time) refused to release it in the U.S & Canada, saying it was of inferior quality. This was the last Michael Jeffrey release.

Most of this LP has been put out on different Experience Hendrix releases, since it's release back in 1974:

  • "Come Down Hard on Me Baby" appears on the The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set in a slightly different version
  • "Jam 292" appears on Hear My Music in a longer version
  • "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" appears on South Saturn Delta
  • "The Drifter's Escape" appears on South Saturn Delta in Hendrix' own mix
  • "Burning Desire" appears on The Baggy's Rehearsal Sessions
  • "Born A Hoochie Coochie Man" appears on The Baggy's Rehearsal Sessions
  • "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" appears on the The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set
John Jansen (Studio Assistant)
I think the problem with Loose Ends was that the tapes were in the hands of sound engineers and a twat (read: Mike Jeffrey). None of them were musicians, producers or visionaries. Jansen was Kramer's studio assistant for cryin' out loud. There was nobody with any musical knowledge or integrity to put an album together correctly, particularly as Eddie Kramer refused to participate after "War Heroes" (which according to him was "really scraping the barrel"!)

The left-over tapes needed Jimi to sort them out or someone like Chas. Jeffrey didn't have a clue or a care apart from making a buck. Tragically, after the disaster that was "Loose Ends" they brought in Douglas who simply further massacred what was left in the vault (he did redeemed himself with some of the live releases of later on though, before finally crashing with 'Voodoo Soup')

Alan Douglas (Producer)

I believe that Jeffrey did not have access to some of the tapes when Loose Ends was compiled. When Alan Douglas gained access to more tapes of course he was unhappy with some of the original contributions of Redding, Mitchell , Cox and Miles so he overdubbed new musicians instead of utilizing the original tracks.

I agree these posthumous albums could have been compiled better and Jeffrey actually ordered Kramer and Mitchell to hold some better tracks back for future albums. "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice" is just one example as it was replaced with tracks like Three Little Bears or Peter Gun Catastrophe on 'War Heroes'.

There is also the possibility that both Kramer and Jansen had not combed all the tapes to the degree one would expect. Douglas subsequently had access to additional tapes, but it appears Kramer and Jansen still had access to plenty of tapes and simply missed and overlooked viable release possibilities. Ironically, the last couple of Experience Hendrix single disc archival compilations very much have a "loose ends" vibe.

While Jeffery was working on 'War Heroes' and 'Loose Ends', I don't think it dawned him what a goldmine he was sitting on with all the live soundboard he had the rights to. But then again, back in the early 70's most of the rock consumers wanted studio recordings, not live ones.

Loose Ends was first released back when there was no internet, wealth of choice in legitimate issues and before the Hendrix estate got it's house in order. I bought it as a rare import and it was to me, entertaining and I think valued by most fans. I can still listen to it today and enjoy it and I still prefer it to the only other options of the day: crappy sounding bootlegs on crappy normal bias tapes.

Jimi with Buddy Miles

I actually love this album.  It may not be the best stuff ever put to tape, but it still shows the talent that Hendrix was. And, how does one not love "Blue Suede Shoes"?, even with it's flaws and somewhat embarrassing dialogue by Jimi with Buddy.  I look at this release as basically a legitimate bootleg release with excellent sound quality and gives the fans an opportunity to hear things that were never intended for release, but shows an artist in a more relaxed setting playing with ideas and just having fun in the studio.

In summary, I find 'Loose Ends' to be an enjoyable listen. It's not a major work, by any means, but it was never presented as a major work, hence the title. I tend to have a more favorable opinion of the early (70's -80's) Hendrix archival releases over the recent Electric Hendrix  releases. Some of this may be due to nostalgia, but I'll take the original 'Hendrix in the West' over the Frankenstein version released by Electric Hendrix any day of the week.

I looked upon this collection of out-takes to be a cool rarity - it was only available as an import after all - back then, imports were quite cool! This was true particularly for releases that were not available domestically. Musically I also liked Loose Ends for providing a fly on the wall view into the Hendrix experience along with the rare tracks. 

Finally, one HUGE bonus with the my Japanese pressing was the inclusion of an amazing poster inside the cover, that shows every musical connection that Hendrix made during his short musical career. (See right - select and open image to view full display)

This post consists of freshly ripped FLACS from my prized Japanese Vinyl which is still in its original shrink wrap (almost 50 years old) 
Full album artwork for vinyl and CD are included along with label scans and post photos.   

Please also note the alternative front covers for this release on the right

Track Listing
01 Come Down Hard On Me Baby  2:58
02 Blue Suede Shoes  3:56
03 Jam 292   3:47
04 The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice   4:20
05 The Drifter's Escape   3:02
06 Burning Desire   9:30
07 Born A Hootchie Kootchie Man   5:57
08 Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)   1:31

Jimi Hendrix - Guitar, Vocals
Mitch Mitchell - Drums
Billy Cox - Bass
Noel Redding - Bass on (The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice)
Buddy Miles - Drums & Background Vocals on (Burning Desire, Hoochie Kootchie Man, Blue Suede Shoes)