Thursday, June 30, 2022

W.O.C.K on Vinyl: Jingle Factory - Australia II (1983)

 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.

On 26 September 1983, the yacht Australia II made history when the oldest sporting trophy in the world, the America’s Cup, was wrested from the Americans after 132 years.
The Australia II was owned and built by a syndicate Western Australians headed by former businessman Alan Bond. The syndicate had unsuccessfully challenged for the Cup three times, which had been held by the New York Yacht Club since 1851, but the syndicate was determined to bring home the ‘auld mug’ in 1983.

The designer of Australia II, Ben Lexcen, had conceived a winged keel that under secret testing in the Netherlands had out-performed conventional keels. The yacht was built in Cottesloe by local boatbuilder Steve Ward. The crew was based in Perth and undertook a rigorous training program to prepare them for the series of races that would determine the challenger for the America’s Cup, held in Newport, Rhode Island.

Following the success of Australia II in the Round Robin series to select a challenger for the Cup, the yacht raced in the best of seven races to determine the ultimate winner. At the end of four races, with the score 3-1 against them, the crew of Australia II faced an enormous challenge. Against all the odds Australia II went on to win the remaining three races, becoming the first non-American yacht to win the Cup.

In 1988, the yacht and associated material was bought by the Australian government for $2,000,000, and accessioned into the National Museum of Australia collection. The yacht was subsequently displayed in Fremantle before a new home in Sydney, the Australian National Maritime Museum, was prepared.

Winged Keel
In 1995, the Australian government offered the yacht back to the Western Australian community, recognising the value of conserving objects in their original place. A purpose-built facility to house the yacht was proposed. The museum, located at the western end of Victoria Quay in Fremantle, was completed in May 2002 and installation of the Museum’s exhibition completed for opening in December of the same year.

The yacht Australia II is displayed in a defining moment of the final race. Having just passed the American boat Liberty on the last downwind leg, Australia II is fast approaching the last rounding mark, the America’s cup buoy. The yacht is heeled to approximately 9 degrees as it approaches the mark, to begin the final leg to the finish. During the final windward beat Australia II tacked many times to defend their precious lead. At 5.21pm the yacht crossed the line to win the America’s Cup.
[extract from Western Australia Museum Website]

This months WOCK on vinyl post features a relatively Obscure single (jingle) that was released to celebrate the monumental win of the America's Cup by Australia in 1983. The song itself wasn't a Number #1 hit, but it does grow on you the more times you listen to it. The B-side is simply a replica of the A-side, so I haven't bothered including it here.   

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Jimi Hendrix - 10 Years After (1981) Bootleg

 (U.S 1963 - 1970)

10 Years After is is a re-release of one of the first Hendrix bootlegs ever released - Live Experience, 67-68 which was itself released in 1970. Other titles have been Broadcasts (1971)and Goodbye, Jimi (1973). This is an '81 stereo bootleg with good to average audio quality. Record cover photos and text (front/back) are all in black and white which credits the release as printed in Japan by Record Man. However, the record label credits the music as 'Weird Sounds' originating from the USA.   Go Figure?

I suspect the vinyl was brought into the country separately from the covers which may have been printed locally. This was probably done to get the bootleg vinyl through customs.

This compilation of Hendrix live material comes from four separate broadcasts, covering a three year time span between 1967-1969. These broadcasts are partially from a show in Worcester, MA 1968, some cuts from the Lulu and Top Gear Shows and BBC Saturday Club 1967. Jimi was absolutely ahead of his time.  You can also hear how much more fluid and improvisational his playing became from his early days on British radio to his T.V appearance two years later. The following are brief accounts of each source, as described in Tony Brown's 'Jimi Hendrix Concert Files'


Friday March 15, 1968
Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Experience perform two shows supported by Soft Machine.
They perform 'Are You Experienced', 'Fire', 'Hey Joe', 'The Star Spangled Banner' (performed here for the first known time), 'Foxy Lady', Purple Haze' and 'Wild Thing'.

Filmmaker Tony Palmer is at the hall. He has set up his equipment to film part of the Experience's show for a new documentary he is making for the BBC, called 'All My Loving' which was broadcast by the BBC on November 3. Tony films the Experience in the dressing room and also parts of their performances of 'Foxy Lady', 'Purple Haze' and 'Wild Thing'.


Saturday January 4, 1969
BBC Television Studio.
Wood Lane, London.

Video Footage from this show can be seen HERE

The experience appear on Happening For Lulu, which is broadcast live from the BBC's TV Studios in Shepherd's Bush. They perform 'Voodoo Child', 'Hey Joe' and 'Sunshine Of Your Love'.
Lulu introduces the group on her BBC television show, with the following words: "He came over to Britain and wowed everyone here, then went back to America and became like Elvis Presley, only wilder. He got a few guys together in England and they call themselves The Jimi Hendrix Experience." The group opens with 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'.
After this, Lulu tells the audience, "'Well ladies and gentlemen, in case you didn't know, Jimi and the boys won in a big American magazine" (at this point Jimi lets out a very loud squeal from his guitar) "called Billboard, the group of the year. And they're gonna sing for you now the song that absolutely made them in this country' and I love to hear them sing it, 'Hey Joe'."

Jimi warns the audience to "Plug your ears, plug your ears", and laughs. He proceeds to play a wild introduction and then the more familiar introduction to the song. After the first line he discovers that his guitar is slightly out of tune and brings it back into tune with a smile. During the song, Jimi exclaims that he's forgotten the words but still manages to carry on. After the first verse the whole band stops playing and Jimi announces: "We'd like to stop playing this rubbish and, er, dedicate a song to The Cream, regardless of what kind of group they might be. And we'd like to dedicate it to Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce." With that, the Experience launch into 'The Sunshine Of Your Love".
By this time, producer Stanley Dorfmann is down on the studio floor desperately trying to get the band to stop playing' But Jimi looks over at him, screws up his face and gestures to him with his hand'. He comments "'We're being put off the air", before slowing the song down gradually and ending it. The show was being broadcast live and Jimi was originally down to sing a duet with Lulu at the end of the show.
After the broadcast, everyone returns to Maurice Gibb's flat to watch the show on his new video recorder.


Friday October 6, 1967
BBC playhouse Theatre, London

The Experience are at the BBC playhouse Theatre in Northumberland Avenue, London, to record a programme for BBC Radio One's Top Gear. The show is introduced by Pete Drummond and Tommy Vance and broadcast on October 15 between 14:00pm and 17:00pm.
Jimi uses this session to play the kind of blues he really enjoys. They record their own arrangement of Muddy Waters 'Catfish Blues', loosely titled 'Experiencing The Blues'. Next Jimi records two alternate versions of 'Driving South, which he last played in Greenwich Village with Curtis Knight. He takes the opportunity to play 'Little Miss Lover', that was recorded in the studio only a few days earlier. Jimi would only play this song live one further time, during his concert in Toronto in 1969.
After an interview with Brian Matthews, Jimi then proceeds to play 'The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, and finally concludes the session with his own version of Elvis's 'Hound Dog, complete with everyone barking and howling like dogs throughout. The session ends with everyone falling about laughing.

Visiting the BBC on the same day is Stevie Wonder. Jimi and Noel Redding take part in an informal jam session with Stevie playing drums. They jam loosely around the Stevie's song 'I Was Made To Love Her'. Fortunately the session was recorded but did nor get aired until May 25, 1979, on BBC Radio One's Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance.


Monday February 13, 1967
BBC Broadcasting House,
Great Portland Place, London

The Experience are back at the BBC to record a live radio recording for Saturday Club. The show is introduced by Brian Matthews and is broadcast on February 18. After an interview with Brian Matthews, The Experience then record 'Hey Joe', 'Stone Free' and 'Foxy Lady' but the song breaks down after the guitar solo and Jimi brings the song to a crashing end. They decide to record a second take of 'Foxy Lady', which is perfect. The last song they record is 'Love or Confusion', performed here live for the first and only time.

Bill Beeb: "We did a session in Studio 52 with is the sub-basement of Broadcasting House. And it's a relatively small studio and it really wasn't designed for Jimi Hendrix because the only way Jimi could get that kind of sound was to - in those days - was to wind everything up to absolutely full Power to get rid of screaming buzzes and clicks and feedback.

And so it was all hammering away, I mean when we turned everything off we could actually hear it coming through the glass, I mean it was soundproof glass. 'We got steaming into the first one and suddenly I was aware that somebody was standing behind me. There was this little old lady'.
She said I'm a radio three producer, well I'm actually doing a string quartet in the concert hall, which is two floors above you in this building. 'We keep hearing guitar sounds all the time. So I said can you wait and record when we've finished because we've only got a couple of numbers to do, she said no it's live. So Jimi Hendrix was going out live on Radio 3 at the same time ! [sourced from Jimi Hendrix, Concert Files by Tony Brown. Omnibus Press, 1999]

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl boot which I purchased from Reading Records in Carlton, back in the mid-80's. Readings was my favourite go-to outlet for bootlegs at the time, but I had to pay premium prices for the service.  On reflection, I'm glad I did because my Hendrix collection wouldn't be anywhere near what it is today if I hadn't. Although this Hendrix bootleg isn't the greatest quality, sound wise; it does showcase Jimi's growth in guitar style and musical appreciation over a three year time span.  This is clearly evident when Jimi stops playing 'Hey Joe' on the Lulu Show and exclaims "We'd like to stop playing this rubbish and, er, dedicate a song to The Cream...." 

As far as I can tell, this is the only post of this Bootleg available at this time. I choose to provide this in MP3 format as posting it in FLAC would have been a wasted venture in my opinion, based on the quality of the of the original pressing.  This bootleg is a must for all Hendrix enthusiasts, if not just for the cover artwork. 
Full album artwork is included along with album covers for all other bootleg releases for this release (see right).

Attwood Hall, Clark University, Worcester (MA), United States. 15th March 1968, 1st show:
Side A
1. Purple Haze
2. Wild Thing

Happening For Lulu, BBC Television Centre, Studio 4, London, United Kingdom. 4th January 1969:
3. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
4. Hey Joe
5. Sunshine Of Your Love

Side B
Top Gear, BBC radio, London, United Kingdom. 6th October 1967:
1. Drivin' South
2. Catfish Blues
3. Hound Dog
4. Little Miss Lover

Saturday Club, BBC radio, London, United Kingdom. 13th February 1967:
5. Love Or Confusion
6. Foxy Lady
7. Hey Joe
8. Stone Free

Jimi Hendrix - Guitar, Vocals
Noel Redding - Bass, Backing Vocals
Mitch Mitchell - Drums

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Jeannie Lewis - Free Fall Through Featherless Flight (1973)

 (Australian 1964 - Present)

Jeannie Lewis is widely acknowledged as one of our most accomplished, versatile and passionate Australian vocal artists, and a performer whose work crosses many musical boundaries.

Jeannie started her singing career on the Sydney folk and jazz circuit in the mid-1960's then moved into the rock scene in the early 70s, establishing a strong reputation through her dynamic performances and powerful interpretations of songs both on stage and on the outstanding recordings she made in those years. During the 80's and 90's she continued to develop and broaden her career, with roles in musical theatre and the unique one-woman cabaret shows that reflected her growing love of Latin music, and her commitment to the often-underrated role of women's voices in music. Jeannie can adapt her voice to a large and eclectic range of material -- folk, rock, blues, opera, torch songs, Broadway tunes, tango and jazz -- and she is recognised both here and overseas as a peerless interpreter, with a rare ability to make almost any material her own.

Jeannie In The 70's
In 1970, Lewis performed with Tully in an ambitious rock performance named Love 200 which involved 2 vocalists, a rock band, a Lightshow from Roger Foley-Fogg aka Ellis D Fogg and a Symphony Orchestra. Created by Peter Sculthorpe it was written to commemorate the Captain Cook bicentennial and explored themes of Captain Cook's journey to plot the transit of Venus in 1770, the voyage that led to his "discovery" of Australia. Also in 1970 Lewis had a band named Gypsy Train. In March 1971 Love 200 travelled to Adelaide and this time Lewis performed with Fraternity, fronted by Bon Scott, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Lewis also appeared on the Ray Price Jazz Quintet album Spectrum, and in April performed at the Timeless Trip at Fairlight with eight other performers.

Jeannie Lewis performing with the Foreday Riders at French's Tavern

In 1972, Lewis performed the songs for an Australian B-grade rock musical/science fiction/fantasy movie Shirley Thompson vs. the Aliens, directed by Jim Sharman and noted for being "loathed by underground art-house and commercial managements alike", and in an ill-fated rock opera Terry and Frankie.

In 1973, EMI issued Jeannie's classic debut album, Free Fall Through Featherless Flight, arranged and directed by Carlos. Its cover was designed by renowned Australian artist Martin Sharp whose first record designs were the classic psychedelic covers for Cream's Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire LP's). The superb list songs included some fine Australian compositions like Jeannie's inimitable renditions of Graham Lowndes' "Till Time Brings Change", Company Caine's "It's Up to You" and Billy Green's setting of the Dylan Thomas poem "Do Not Go Gentle" (which Billy revisited the following year with Doug Parkinson on vocals, for the soundtrack of Sandy Harbutt's movie Stone). Other tracks include Some Book of Life" (a collaboration between Patrick Flynn and Reg Livermore) and "It'll rise again", an excerpt from Love 200, co-written by Peter Sculthorpe and Tony Morphett.

According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, "[it] included a breathtaking array of material like Graham Lowndes' 'Till Time Brings Change', Gulliver Smith and Jeremy Noone's 'It's Up to You' and Billy Green's adaptation of the Dylan Thomas poem 'Do not Go Gentle'." Fellow singer-songwriter, Bob Hudson, observed, "her appeal lies in the fact that when she is singing, what's happening up there on stage is for you, the audience, and you can feel it. She bleeds for the people she's singing to — she expresses the human condition."

Backing Jeannie on the album was an all-star lineup including Michael Carlos on Moog, organ and harpsichord, Mike Wade and Mike Reid (guitars), Ken Firth (bass; ex-Tully), Jamie McKinley (ex-Cool Bananas, piano), Greg Henson (drums), Alan Lee (percussion), Marcia Hines (backing vocals), Shayna Stewart (backing vocals, ex-Extradition, Tully), The Fidelio String Quartet and a wind section. The album won the Australian Radio Record Award for the Best Australian LP of 1974, despite receiving virtually no radio support whatsoever outside the ABC, although it was featured on Chris Winter's pioneering show Room To Move, and gained further airplay in the early days of radio station 2JJ (Double Jay) in Sydney.

Jeannie's second album was the live-set Looking Backwards to Tomorrow (In and Out of Concert), featuring another wide-ranging set of material, included her versions of Ray Davies "Celluloid Heroes" (also covered a couple of years later by Reg Livermore in Betty Blokk Buster Follies), Dory Previn's "Scared to Be Alone", Stephen Sondheim's droll "Ladies Who Lunch", another powerful Graham Lowndes song, "The House is Burning", and the Reverend Gary Davis' "Cocaine Blues", on which Jeannie was backed by The Foreday Riders. "Celluloid Heroes" b/w "Rocelli Kaharunta" was issued as a single, and the American label Mainstream released the album in the USA.

Jeannie's next record was an ambitious double-album set Tears of Steel & The Clowning Calaveras (1976) which recreated her famous series of concerts held in November 1975. She drew the initial inspiration for the project from the poem Tears of Steel by Chilean writer Pablo Neruda, and from the 'Day of the Dead' ceremony, held annually in Mexico on the Catholic feast of All Soul's Day. This unique festival, in which people parade with `calaveras' (mock skeletons) in "a burlesque parody of life and death", is ostensibly a Catholic ritual, but is in fact a remnant of ancient pre-Columbian Aztec ceremonies. 

Again, Lewis and musical director Carlos put together an powerful and eclectic set of songs, including Phil Ochs' "The Crucifixion", Graham Lowndes' "Rising of the Tide", the Jimmy Webb classic "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress", The Fugs' "When the Mode of the Music Changes", Bowie's "All the Madmen" and Dory Previn's "The Game".

In 1975, Lewis was awarded a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to study overseas and spent two years in Central and South America. In 1979, with her band Jeannie Lewis and the Company She Keeps she created and performed a series of shows titled From Maroubra to Mexico. Later that year she supported John McLaughlin on his Australian tour. 'Krazy For You' was the cabaret Jeannie devised and performed in 1979–80 (see billboard poster left)

Till Time Brings Change came out in 1980, and Lewis appeared in the leading role of Piaf at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne.
[extracts from Milesago and]

This post consists of FLACS ripped from vinyl and includes excellent hi-res album artwork with label scans.   Although I have a vinyl copy of this album (along with most of her other releases) it is not in the greatest condition, and so I have used a mate's rip and artwork. [A big thankyou to Sunshine for this excellent post].   I first heard this album when I borrowed a copy from the Geelong Library back in the mid 70's. I had no idea who Jeannie Lewis was but I think I was initially attracted to the great album cover and title.  Although the music was very different to what I was normally listening to at that time, I was blown away by the track "Do Not Go Gently" with its catchy riff (played on harpsichord and moog synth) and vocals. Over time, I have come to fully appreciate the remaining tracks on this album and now listen to it from start to finish, having tracked down my own copy back in the 80's.  
So if you haven't heard this album then I suggest you give it a listen and 'Do Not Go Gently' - you won't be disappointed

Track List
A1  a. Feathers b. Donna c.Wing Clippers
A2  Gary's Song
A3  Till The Time Brings Change
A4  Getting Yourself In A Mess
A5  Some Book Of Life
A6  Only Time Will Tell
A7  Fasten Your Wings With Love
B1  a. Motherless Child b. It's Up To You
B2  The Stream Will Never Stop Flowing
B3  a. Quote b. Do Not Go Gentle
B4  It'll Rise Again
B5  a. You Like The Sun b. Musee Des Beaux Arts c. Bits And Pieces Of Falling Feathers
Acoustic Guitar – Mike Reid
Bass – Ken Firth
Drums – Greg Henson
Guitar – Mike Wade
Keyboards – Michael Carlos
Percussion – Alan Lee
Piano – Jamie McKinley
Producer – Les Hodge
Vocals – Jeannie Lewis, Marcia Hines (tracks: A6), Shayna Stewart (tracks: A5)

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Graham Lowndes - Survival's A Song (1973)

(Australian 1972 - 1975)

Graham Lowndes is an Australian singer-songwriter that started out in the early 70s and is fondly remembered by many folkie enthusiasts. He recorded two albums in Melbourne, 'Survival's a Song' and 'Mouthmusic'. Like Eric Clapton, he combined personal and social commentary to his songs.  His style of music compares with that of other Aussie artists like Glenn Cardier, Greg Sneddon, Greg Quill and even Mike McClellan.

His debut album Survival’s a Song (1973), was released on Albert Productions, so it sits beside early recordings from John Paul Young and Ted Mulry. Even with Lowndes' bluesy voice and thought provoking lyrics, the record failed to impress the general public and consequently failed to chart.

His album 'Mouthmusic' made the Top 100 Australian Albums as judged by music writers John O'Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson, in their published book The Best 100 Australian Albums. Graham Lowndes, now lives in Fremantle, and despite health problems, is still singing brilliantly.   

I was originally drawn to his music through one of this country's most inspirational singers and performers, Jeannie Lewis, who covered his "Till Time Brings Change" on her 1973 debut album 'Free Fall Through Featherless Flight'. Lewis made albums a performance art and still does. Her Tears of Steel and the Clowning Calaveras included works by Jimmy Webb, Loudon Wainwright III, Graham Lowndes, Victor Jara, Mikis Theodorakis, The Fugs, David Bowie and Dory Previn. Lowndes also sang on Lobby Lloyd's classic Plays With George Guitar album.

At time of writing, Lowndes was on Facebook, but his musical activities had been limited by his being disabled by a damaged spine, though he still manages to play the piano and sing. [extract from]

This post consists of FLACS ripped from my near mint vinyl copy and includes full album artwork and label scans.  Based on prices listed by eBay and Popsike, this album is extremely rare and has never been released on CD. In fact, I suspect this post will be the only digital copy available on the web at this point in time. One thing to note: the album cover, especially the back cover reminds me of the 1972 Yes album 'Close To The Edge'. There are so many similarities, I wonder whether the cover artist John Stewart was a Yes fan which influenced his design. Either way, I love this aspect of the album, in addition to the great music. My favourite track is the album closer "The House Is Burning". 

Track List
A1 Lazy Bones (Survival's A Song)
A2 Town Of Fear
A3 Bundeena Sands
A4 Sweet Sunny World
A5 Visions From The Gallery
B1 Till Time Brings Change
B2 The Rising Of The Tide
B3 To Rosalind
B4 The House Is Burning

Note: Track B3 is "To Rosalind" on the back cover and inner sleeve lyrics but "For Roslyn" on the Side B label

Vocals & Guitar - Graham Lowndes
Acoustic Guitar – Peggy Daroesman (tracks: A5)
Alto Flute, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Donnie Reid
Backing Vocals – Bobbi Marchini (tracks: A1), Fay Lewis* (tracks: A1), Jeannie Lewis (tracks: B3), RenĂ©e Geyer (tracks: A1)
Bass – Dave Ellis
Drums – Laurie Prior, Russel Dunlop
French Horn – Rick Solis
Guitar – Dave Donovan, Mark Punch
Organ – Claude Papesch
Pedal Steel Guitar – Ken Kitching
Piano, Electric Piano – Ian Mawson
Tenor Saxophone – Geoff Oakes
Trombone – George Brodbeck
Trumpet – Larry Elam