Friday, September 30, 2022

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Haven't I Heard That Riff Before? #2

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.

For this WOCK on vinyl post, I thought I might revisit some of the 'Riff Ripoffs' that have occurred in the music industry, which probably makes it a ROCK on Vinyl post after all!

Firstly, the correct term for Rip Off is of course Plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of copying someone else's written work and claiming it as your own. While the act can be illegal, as well as unethical, the term plagiarism is not used in law. Legally, it is one form of copyright infringement, so it enters into the arcane world of Intellectual Property law. When a musical composition is plagiarized, it's the copyright on the written musical score or arrangement that is being violated.

While accusations of music usurping show up in the news quite often, less than 100 cases have actually gone through the federal courts in the United States since the 1850s, according to the UCLA Copyright Infringement Project. As a plaintiff, you have to prove the other person copied a "substantial part" of your original work and you need to show a "substantial similarity" between the two works.
Consequently, I will let you be the judge for the following 3 ripoff cases:

"You Need Loving" (Small Faces, 1969) V's "Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin, 1969)

“Whole Lotta Love” is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It is featured as the opening track on the band’s second album, Led Zeppelin II, and was released in the US and Japan as a single.
Most people think it is a Led Zeppelin original but they actually nicked two versions of two songs to make “Whole Lotta Love”.  Here’s the breakdown…

In 1962, Muddy Waters recorded a blues vocal, "You Need Love", for Chess Records. As he had done with "You Shook Me", Waters overdubbed vocals on an instrumental track previously recorded by blues guitarist Earl Hooker and his band. Willie Dixon wrote the lyrics, which Dixon biographer Mitsutoshi Inaba describes as being "about the necessity of love":

You've got yearnin' and I got burnin'
Baby you look so ho sweet and cunnin'
Baby way down inside, woman you need love
Woman you need love, you've got to have some love
I'm gon' give you some love, I know you need love

In 1966, British band the Small Faces recorded the song as "You Need Loving" for their eponymous debut Decca album. According to Steve Marriott, the group's vocalist and guitarist, Page and Plant attended several Small Faces gigs, where they expressed their interest in the song. Plant's phrasing is particularly similar to that of Marriott's, who added "he [Plant] sang it the same, phrased it the same, even the stops at the end were the same". Similarities with "You Need Love" led to a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin in 1985, settled out of court in favour of Dixon for an undisclosed amount. On subsequent releases, Dixon's name is included on the credits for "Whole Lotta Love". Plant explained in an interview with Musician magazine:

Page's riff was Page's riff. It was there before anything else. I just thought, 'well, what am I going to sing?' That was it, a nick. Now happily paid for. At the time, there was a lot of conversation about what to do. It was decided that it was so far away in time and influence that ... well, you only get caught when you're successful. That's the game. [Robert Plant]

"Little Games" (Yardbirds, 1967)  V's  "Seven Stars" (Uriah Heep, 1973)

""Little Games" was a single released by the Yardbirds in 1967, and also appeared on their album of same name. It was their first album recorded after becoming a quartet with Jimmy Page as the sole guitarist and Chris Dreja switching to bass. It was also the only Yardbirds album produced by Mickie Most. The first Mickie Most-involved recordings took place at Olympic Studios in London on 5 March 1967. This session produced the single "Little Games" backed with "Puzzles".  Although Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty were present to record "Little Games", Most used studio musicians John Paul Jones (bass and cello arrangement) and Dougie Wright (drums) for their parts to cut down on studio time.

Step forward six years, and popular UK band Uriah Heep were working on their sixth studio album entitled 'Sweet Freedom', released on 3rd September, 1973. I distinctly remember the time when I bought this album, as I had only just discovered this band after listening to their 'Demons and Wizards' and 'Magician's Birthday' albums.  I couldn't wait to get the copy onto my turntable, and it was everything I'd hoped for. Every track on the album had its unique riff and sound, but one track in particular stood out for me - and that track was "Seven Stars".  Starting with its first 5secs of high pitched screeching and then its distinct 'galloping guitar riff' and Hammond organ interludes accompanying David Byron's vocals, this track had me hooked immediately.
My obsession with the band eventually faded once Byron and Hensley had left the band, but it was only recently that I stumbled upon the Yardbirds track "Little Games", and my heart sank even further. That magical riff in Seven Stars was the same as the one in "Little Games".

Ironically, the most popular track on Uriah Heep's 'Sweet Freedom' album was 'Stealin' which was also written by Ken Hensley! Hmmm.......Anyhow, have a I wrong or right?

Lady Of Light (Autumn, 1971) V's  Ventura Highway (America, 1972)

Finally, I'd like to share the similarity between an earlier release by Australian band Autumn entitled "Lady Of Light" and the later hit "Ventura Highway" by popular duo America. Although the tracks differ in their sound (keyboard v's acoustic guitar) and speed, the general beat and riff along with vocal phrasing are too similar in my opinion.  Autumn's track is heavier and more labored than America's song I admit, but I find myself hearing the more popular Ventura Highway when listening to their track.
As the Autumn track was released more than 12months early than America's mega hit, it makes we wonder whether Dewey Bunell had heard this song, which inspired his writing of Ventura Highway. 
"Ventura Highway" was lifted from Homecoming, their second studio album which was released on November 15, 1972 through Warner Bros. Records. Acoustic guitar-based, with a more pronounced electric guitar and keyboard section than their first album.  Homecoming peaked at number 9 on Billboard's Pop Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It produced three hit singles, one of which was "Ventura Highway", which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard singles chart.

Well, there you have it - more 'ripoffs' that have occurred in the music industry, and of course I'm sure there are many more. If you have some examples that you would like to share with other visitors at Rock On Vinyl, then feel free to list them in the Comments.

I have included all of the tracks mentioned above as MP3 (320kps) in the download, so you can make your own judgment about each Rip Off.  If you found this post interesting, then you'll probably enjoy my first Rip Off post back in 2010.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Church - Of Skins And Hearts (1981) plus Bonus Single

 (Australian 1980 - Present)

In 1980, the smart money was on edgy new wave. If you looked like Blondie, sounded like the Knack, and wore those “energy dome” hats made popular by Devo, you’d be on the cover of Rolling Stone faster than you could say, “Skinny tie”. Even Billy Joel had a go via his new-wave-lite “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”. Strange days indeed, and yet, bizarrely, in various locations across the world, young musicians turned away from all that and toward a previously off-limits area for musical inspiration.

After the punk-inspired embargo on the 1960s was finally lifted, a new generation discovered the Byrds, Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, and 1967-1968 Beatles. Love’s Forever Changes was spoken about in hushed whispers, and everybody coveted that fringed jacket that Neil Young wore in the Buffalo Springfield. New Wave was about black and white; the sound that these musicians wanted to make was Technicolor.

Early shot of The Church

If you could name more than five Australian artists in 1980, you were in the top 5% of pop music know-it-alls. Of course, music was happening on the island, but very rarely did it manage to escape the Antipodes. Does anyone remember The Divinyls? I thought not. This lack of international profile didn’t deter Steve Kilbey — a British-born musician who left the UK with his parents at the age of five — from making music. After a couple of false starts with “nearly-but-not-quite” outfits, he formed the Church in 1980 alongside long-time cohort Peter Koppes, drummer Nick Ward, and traveling Liverpool-born guitarist Marty Willson-Piper.

Bound by a love of jangle, paisley, and mind-altering substances, the band was signed to EMI after a four-track demo recorded in Kilbey’s bedroom caught the attention of a publishing company. Their debut record, Of Skins and Heart, came out in April 1981; the first single from it, the rather pedestrian “She Never Said”, was a flop. Luckily, it was followed quickly by “The Unguarded Moment”, a Top 30 single in Australia and New Zealand. Honestly, that’s where it should have ended, but it didn’t. Forty years later, the band has a unique place in popular music and a voracious and fiercely loyal fanbase. How did that happen?

European Release of The Unguarded Moment

Of Skins and Heart is a curious record. It plays lip service to the prevailing winds of new wave but still manages to contain the ringing Rickenbacker jangle of 1966. Across its original nine songs (the track listing was reconfigured in the US and again in the UK), you get Dylanesque balladry, quality pop-rock, a couple of brave attempts at grandeur, and a bonafide classic in “Bel-Air”. Produced by the unlikely pairing of Chris Gilbey (AC/DC) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen), it’s obvious that the band were not so gently nudged/shoved into making a record that sounded like the kind of thing the Cars would have recorded if they’d have been born a few thousand miles to the right of the map and fallen out with their keyboard player. Nevertheless, there’s just something in these songs that hints at great things to come.

It’s all about the guitars, really. Peter Koppes’ playing was built on classic lines—carefully structured solos and a neat, measured approach to rhythm work. In contrast, Willson-Piper jangled on his 12-string and had a slightly more blatantly “rock” style. Together, they meshed beautifully, like a classic Verlaine/Lloyd pairing for the new decade.

Although Of Skins and Hearts is a solid record, it does hold some weaknesses. The new-wave trappings imposed upon them suck a little life out of a few songs. Likewise, Nick Ward does an adequate job driving the band, but his meat-and-potatoes approach to drumming gives the band little room to breathe. The fact that he was replaced by Richard Ploog shortly after the recording says it all. As a hit single, “The Unguarded Moment” was both a blessing and a curse, as the band quickly tired of playing the song live. It’s easy to see why, too, since the arrangement lacks interest, and the whole piece is saved by some interesting guitar lines and Nick Ward’s mournful backing vocal.

It was a staple of the band’s live set for years, but it was often played perfunctorily as if the band was eager to move on to the next song. “Bel-Air”, however, is a gem. This is the first real example of Kilbey’s unique lyricism, combining a cinematic approach with an insightful, impressionistic touch. Throughout their career, the Church ensured that their words were always worth paying attention to (even if the rest of the tune was a little lackluster).

The centerpiece of Of Skins and Heart is “Is This Where You Live”. Written as an epic stage piece, it gets the full treatment, from the brooding synth and bass opening to the backward guitars and “Hey Jude” style chorus. Whereas the official studio version is a little stiff, the live renditions would take on a life of their own, ramping up the intensity and piling on the pressure. It was a joyous thing to behold.

I don’t think that Australian music television show Countdown could have picked a better backdrop for The Church to perform in front of for one of their most memorable songs—“The Unguarded Moment” from their 1981 album Of Skins and Heart—than a stage rigged with lighting that resembled church-style stained glass. This 40 year-old footage is really quite surreal

In his 2014 autobiography, 'Something Quite Peculiar', Church vocalist Steve Kilbey, (who also hosted Countdown himself a few times) recalls how that very performance on made such an impact overnight that people were turned away at the door of at their gig the following eveing, as the venue was quickly (and quite unexpectedly) packed to capacity. Kilbey also fondly refers to the early days of The Church’s career as his “halcyon days” thanks to the rather sudden fame the band experienced back in 1981 (as they had only formed the year before).

In 2011, the Church joined up with a 40 piece orchestra to breathe new life into their #1 hit 'The Unguarded Moment" and is brilliant!

In 2022, the Church appears to be thriving again (despite only Kilbey and Koppes surviving from the band that trooped into Studio 301 in 1980 to record Of Skins and Heart). Twenty-four albums later, the band is soon to embark on a short tour and a dedicated and loyal fanbase is rubbing their hands together in glee. They have had messy fallouts, critical acclaim, and critical damnation in the interim, not to mention a gold album with 1988’s Starfish (their breathtaking international breakthrough record). 

Of course, that first album turned 40 last year, which was cause for celebration. The band has carved out a unique place in popular music from an unlikely location and with the most unlikely set of influences. Long may they swim against the tide. [Extracts from Popmatters, By Ian Rushbury 21 April 2021] 

This post features FLACs ripped from my 'Orange Label' Parlophone vinyl and also includes full artwork for CD and vinyl media. As a bonus, I have also include the non-album B-Side to The Unguarded Moment single, "Bus Driver". In my opinion, this album deserves a place in the 'Top 10' Aussie albums of all time.

01 For A Moment We're Strangers 3:52
02 Chrome Injury 4:02
03 The Unguarded Moment 4:17
04 Memories In Future Tense 4:44
05 Bel-Air 3:56
06 Is This Where You Live    7:38
07 She Never Said 3:16
08 Fighter Pilot 4:23
09 Don't Open The Door To Strangers 3:24
10 Bus Driver (Bonus B-Side Single)   4:03

The Church were:
Steve Kilbey - Lead Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Nick Ward - Drums, Percussion, Backing vocals
Marty Willson-Piper - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing vocals
Peter Koppes - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, backing vocals

The Church Link (263Mb) New Link 05/09/2023

Saturday, September 17, 2022

REPOST: Kevin Borich Express - Celebration (1977) + Bonus Tracks

(New Zealand/Australian 1969-Present)
Kevin Borich is a New Zealand-born Australian guitarist and singer- songwriter. He was a founding member and of 'The La De Das', the leader of 'Kevin Borich Express', and a member of 'The Party Boys', as well as a session musician for numerous acts. Borich wrote "Gonna See My Baby Tonight", for The La De Das, which became a top 10 hit in 1971 on the Australian singles chart. He performed at some of Australia's biggest Rock events including the 1972 Sunbury Pop Festival and the late 1970s Rockarena tours with 60,000 people, featuring Fleetwood Mac, Santana and The Little River Band.
Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane has described Borich as "one of the most celebrated guitar players in the history of Australian rock. He also remains an underrated songwriter, and his live reputation has rarely been reflected in record sales".

Borich is now firmly entrenched as Australia's guitar hero supremo; his superb rendition of Jimi Hendrix's workout on Dylan's 'All Along the Watchtower' became a signature song, and his band was never allowed to finish a gig until they delivered it [extract from wikipedia]

After the La De Das folded, Borich formed his own band 'The Kevin Borich Express' in 1975 playing University's, pubs and other small venues and quickly established a following.

.I saw Borich play more times than I can remember while attending La Trobe University in 1977, and as a big fan of 'axemen' at the time, Borich's guitar work floored me every time.
He was the next best thing to Hendrix and his material at the time was taken from his then current album 'Celebration'. I can still remember sitting in the outside auditorium at lunchtimes listening to the thunderous wall of sound of "Snowball King" or his screeching guitar solos in "Celebration". In fact, Celebration follows the same formula that Robin Trower followed on his classic track "Too Rolling Stoned", where he starts of at a fast pace and then breaks into a slow guitar solo that simply blows your mind! (without the use of any illicit drugs).  Awesome stuff.
RAM magazine ran the following article on Borich in their March edition (1977) around the time he released the Celebration album, entitled 'Burning Rubber'

Kevin Borich has just finished a gig with the Little River Band at the Haymarket, one of the 'Festival of Sydney' bashes. His roadie, who was acting as soundman for the band, got busted for having things 46-decibels too loud. That's emphatically beyond the legal limit of 92 dbs. Hang on, mumble mumble, 138 decibels ... that's louder than the one in the Guinness Book of Records. When Kevin says he likes volume, you'd better believe him. He's got a particular mad giggle reserved for the subject of aural power; it makes him look like a glamorous mad scientist, aged twelve. 

Right at the moment, Mr. Borich is weary. Not that he admits it, but the luggage lurking under his eyes gives him away. This interview is being dispensed in the comparative quiet of a banana yellow hire car; the tyres of Kevin's own elegant white Rover have fallen victim to the dreaded Hume Highway, that runs between The Express home base in Melbourne, and Sydney. "Starting to think it's me fuckin home", he mutters, "spend my life dodging fuckin semi-trailers ..." Back to band events. 

The Kevin Borich Express has had a population turnover as rapid as the staff of a trendy boutique, but the current bass player and drummer have been there for some months and look like staying that way. Tim Partridge, bass, and John Annis, drums, with Kevin and his guitar wardrobe have just finished an album. The band s solidified now, I guess because we've got a bit of product out. More things can be said about us over the airwaves. Kevin slips into his ten-years-on-the-road jive voice; "Something to sell. baby." 

album was made over a period of three weeks at Armstrong studios in Melbourne. It's all original material; some of it Kevin has been playing for over a year now. The arrangements have stuck to the basic trio, with the exception of a moonlighting Wilbur Wilde playing sax on a beautiful track called "Mon Ami". "There's some lady backup singers on a few tracks — one of them was a beautiful blonde. They're the surprise. Among other things you also get what have become Borich classics; "Going Downtown", "Rainbows" and "Celebration". That last song has been released as a single. It's had some airplay in Melbourne but hardly any in Sydney. Which is a pity, because it's a ripper. 

"It's all very new, this recording." Kevin muses. "I've done two or three albums before (with the La De Das) but I've never been so involved in them as with this one. I'd just walk in and play, sit the
re and not say anything ... maybe curse later when I heard it back, because it was something I should have changed at the time. But there was no pressure on the shoulders with this one. Well, we had to get it finished quickly, which I suppose is pressure, but it didn't feel like it. If that sounds a trifle wandering, put it down to post-concert depression. The kind you get when you've just played in front of eight thousand people and your car needs new tyres, something to do with odd proportions. When you've been acknowledged as one of the best, and definitely the flashiest guitarist in the country for years and the goddam radio won't play your single you're entitled to feel fatigue now and then. Borich could be comfortably settled in someone else's band, earning a fat salary, but he's elected to take the risk of leading his own three piece. He says he still likes the edge work of it all being up to him. of having his head on the chopping block as lone guitarist. The risks, apparently, are worth the gratification. 

The album Kevin Borich Express, should be released by the end of this month. If it's as hot as their live playing can be. it'll burn your ears. Or whatever it is guitar freaks singe in the process of ecstatic expansion.... tyres, maybe [Article by Annie Burton, RAM #53 March 11, 1977]
The rip was taken from my 'out of print' CD in glorious FLAC and includes both the CD artwork and scans from my vinyl album. The CD cover is very different to the original LP cover (see below), and I much prefer the original (as shown at the top and its associated back cover on the right). 

I have also included the instrumental B-side to "Goin' Somewhere" entitled "Scene From Star Crossed Lovers", the single (edit) release of "Goin' Downtown", and a scan of the RAM article. Play this one LOUD folks!

Track Listing
01 - Snowball King
02 - Goin' Somewhere

03 - Mon Ami

04 - Celebration

05 - I Just Wanna Love You
06 - Rainbows
07 - Goin' Downtown
08 - Love My Love (Will Carry On)

[Bonus Tracks]

09 - Scene From Star Crossed Lovers (B-Side Single 1976)

10 - Goin' Downtown (Edit Single Release 1977)

Band Members:
Kevin Borich (Guitar, Flute, Vocals)
Tim Partridge (Bass)

John Annas (Drums, Timbales, Percussion, Vocals)
Guest Artists: Wilbur Wilde (Saxes)
Larry Duryea (Congas)

Uncle (Harp)

Lou Lincoln, Shirley Reed (Backing Vocals)

Reuden San Fiansco (bass on Goin' Somewhere)

Celebration Link (269Mb) New Link 13/10/2023

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Kevin Borich Express - Live (1979) + Bonus Track

 (New Zealand / Australian 1969 - Present)

Kevin Borich
began his professional career with The La De Das in New Zealand where they experienced five top 10 hits during the 60s. They moved to Australia in 1968 and Kevin wrote their most successful hit, ‘Gonna See My Baby Tonight’ which was a Top 10 single in Australia in 1971. Kevin established quite a reputation as a ‘guitar virtuoso’ in Australia. During the 70s’ they played at most of Australia’s large rock events including the Sunbury Pop festival, the Rockarena tours to a crowd of 60,000 with Fleetwood Mac and Santana, and New Year’s eve celebrations at the Sydney Opera House to 70,000.

In 1976, The Kevin Borich Express formed and was a support act for many international artist tours such as, Elton John, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and Status Quo. The band was signed by Image Records and in October 1976 the first single "I'm Going Somewhere"/"Scene From Star Crossed Lovers" was released. The song was introduced by a train whistle sound and it became the band's signature tune. Tim Partridge took over from San Fiansco and the new line-up completed the debut album "Celebration". Released in March 1977, a second single "Goin' Down Town" was issued.

In July 1977 they recorded the "Lonely One" album. On its completion, Tim Partridge left the trio. He was initially replaced by Tim Ayers from the Renee Geyer Band and then Bob Jackson. The single "Tango Queen" was released in November. Bob only lasted until March 1978, when he was replaced by Paul Christie. Following a farewell concert in Melbourne late in May, the Kevin Borich Express headed for the US where they toured extensively. In the US, keyboardist Tim Schafer was added.

They toured the U.S. with AC/DC and Jeff Beck, and successfully toured Europe in their own shows. Kevin included session playing in his career, appearing on many artists’ albums including Renee Geyer, Dutch Tilders, Richard Clapton and Mark Hunter.

The bands last single for Image was "Tell Me Why" in February 1978 and their first for Mercury / Polygram was "No Turning Back" in November 1978, followed by an album of the same name in January 1979.

CD Cover
Early in 1979 the band returned to Australia. Tim Schafer returned to the US making the band a three piece again. Paul Christie also left (later to join Mondo Rock) and was replaced initially by Lindsay Osbourne before original member Tim Partridge returned. This line-up toured Europe and England and recorded the album "Live" before John Annas left upon their return. He was replaced by John Watson.

More singles were released during 1979 before moving to Festival, where the recorded album "Live" was released in November. Borich recorded 'Live!', using the 2JJ mobile studio equipment over performances in Melbourne and Wollongong. 'Live!' contains one of the most incendiary and atmospheric versions of Little Red Rooster ever recorded along with a number of Borich standards.

One of Kevin Borich's biggest moments was in 1979 when he jammed with Carlos Santana before 80,000 at the Rock Arena megashows in Sydney and Melbourne. Santana would say of the Australian, "He's amazing. He sounds so much like Jimi Hendrix yet has an individual style. He presents his music honestly and is one of the best guitarists I've heard."

Santana & Borich On Stage
The 80s’ saw Kevin join a side project, The Party Boys who had unexpected chart success with the number 1 single, ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again,’ and ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and two Top 10 albums. Kevin left The Party Boys in 1989 and joined Jimmy Barnes on his 1990 Two Fires tour. Simultaneously, Kev continued to write and tour his own Kevin Borich Express.

Kevin has performed alongside many famous and wonderful musicians including Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Richie Blackmore (Deep Purple), Ronny Wood (Rolling Stones), Taj Mahal, Living Colour, Joe Walsh (The Eagles), Carlos Santana, Tony Joe White, and John Mayall to name a few. The Kevin Borich Express has been thrilling ‘blues enthusiasts’ as well as winning new music fans, young and old at festivals around Australia. His current shows start off with cool, laid back acoustic blues on his beautiful 1930s Dobro steel guitar. Then then fires up with his ‘electric blues – rockin’ funk’ sets! The electric set displays his array of guitars from the classic custom Fender Strat to his gorgeous Gibson Firebird Slide Guitar. [extracts from and]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my Avenue vinyl and includes full album artwork for both CD and Vinyl.  Another treasured release in my Borich collection, this album brings back fond memories of seeing him play live on many occasions during the 70's, in particular at La Trobe and Melbourne University and live music venues such as Bombay Rock and The Billboard. 

My favourite track is definitely "Little Red Rooster", although I have a soft spot for his classic La De Das track "Gonna See My Baby Tonight".   

As a bonus, I have included a scorching rendition of "Snowball King" which was recorded at the Parramatta Gaol in the same year of this live album (and was taken from the rare compilation album  Canned Rock)

This album was released on CD for a short time by Fable records.

01  Not Fade Away 4:58
02  The Place 4:41
03  Goin' Down Town 7:05
04  Little Red Rooster 6:34
05  Gonna See My Baby Tonight 4:16
06  Bellhop Blues 3:31
07  K.B's Boogie 5:03
08  Good To See You Again 5:59
09  Goin' Somewhere 5:15
10  Snowball King (Bonus Live at Parramatta Gaol)

Band Members:
Kevin Borich (Guitar, Lead Vocals)
Tim Partridge (Bass, Vocals)
John Annas (Drums, Vocals)
John Watson  (Drums)

Kevin Borich Live (355Mb) New Link 13/10/2023

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Carol Lloyd Band - Mother Was Asleep At The Time (1976) plus Bonus Single

 (Australian 1976-1980, 2014)

Carol Lloyd was born on October 17, 1948 and had a successful career in both Australia and the United Kingdom either as a singer, creative director, producer, not only in the world of music but also in film, television, radio, or entertainment management. Endowed with a great voice, they called her 'Wild Woman of Rock'. She was part of the band Railroad Gin until the mid-seventies where she created her own combo, a mixture of funk rock and some psychedelia.

In 1969, she worked in London on television and radio. She returned to Queensland to work in advertising and began to sing professionally. She joined the band Railroad Gin created in 1968 in Brisbane and in 1973 was composed by Carol Lloyd (vocals), two bassists Dim Janson and Jim Dickson, Bob Brown (percussion), Gary Evans (drums), Peter Evans ( flute, brass, percussion), Phil Shields (guitar) and Laurie Stone (keyboards). They signed with Polydor and released a couple of singles  "Do Ya 'Love Me" or "A Matter Of Time", which also appeared on their first album entitled 'A Matter Of Time" (see previous post).

Carol Lloyd Band 1977

 In August 1975, Lloyd left Railroad Gin due to throat problems and to pursue her solo career. She was replaced by Judee Ford. By the end of the year she had formed Tonnage, which was soon renamed as The Carol Lloyd Band. The line-up was Lloyd on lead vocals and percussion, Gary Broadhurst on bass guitar, Peter Harvey on guitar and keyboards, Mark Moffatt on lead guitar and pedal steel guitar, and Danny Simpson on drums. They signed a worldwide recording contract with EMI Records - a first for an Australian artist. They had a hit in Queensland with "Storm in My Soul" and promptly commenced work on their debut album.

The album 'Mother Was Asleep At The Time', having taken only nine days to record, was released on Oct 18, 1976. Censors had a field day over-reacting to the original cover artwork for the album which showed a bowie knife severing the umbilical cord of an unborn foetus. The album was only permitted a release date once the offending knife was removed from the picture. Released in 17 countries the album sold quite well reaching #46 on the Australian Charts and it was therefore a huge surprise to everyone when less than a year later the band announced that it was splitting up.

Carol Lloyd (with Mark Moffatt in background)

Tony Catterall of The Canberra Times was impressed by Lloyd "[who] is a blues singer and, being part of the seventies, she's singing in the most acceptable blues style of today; the southern US sound pioneered by the Allman Brothers Band." The album was produced by Clive Shakespeare (ex-Sherbet), Catterall observed "on many of the 10 tracks – [Shakespeare is] refusing to let her be out front where a blues shouter belongs or by use of double tracking or echo chamber. The resultant sound isn't exactly displeasing, but it isn't true, either... her power and that of her band, has been too often diluted on 'Mother' by Shakespeare's wrong-headed approach."

A fan of Lloyd's (winifredatwellZ) recently wrote on Kimbo's blog:

The Carol Lloyd Band rocked my sleepy hometown of Coolangatta on New Year's Eve 1977, as the featured entertainer to herald the new year She and her band delivered a rip-roaring set that provoked the longest congo line I have ever seen as literally thousands con-joined to form a vast snaking mass that seemed to stretch up the southern beaches. She worked with in the musical television industry in Brisbane, where her gifts at writing catchy advertising jingles and copy set to music gave her a second lucrative career. When I met her, she was of very different appearance, and gave concerts that were musical cabaret reminiscent of 1930's Berlin. She was an honest, warm woman who gave audiences, especially here in Brisbane, unforgettable musical memories.


Carol Lloyd later issued a solo album, "Take It or Leave It", in 1980 on RCA, which provided the title track as its lead single in January of the following year.

After an extended hiatus of more than 30 years, Lloyd performed a series of shows at the Brisbane Powerhouse: "It Takes Two, Baby" with Sue Ray in January 2014, "It Takes Two Baby" with Pearly Black in July 2014, and "It's Time: the No.1 hits of Railroad Gin and The Carol Lloyd Band" in December 2014, at which the All The Good Things live album was recorded.

Sadly, Carol Lloyd [singer, former advertising executive and a long-time mentor to young singers] died in Feb 2017 in the Wesley Hospital, Queensland after a long illness with pulmonary fibrosis. The disease was first diagnosed in April 2013.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from Vinyl (thanks to Bondie) and includes full album artwork and label scans. As a bonus, I have included the single (edit) release of "All The Good Times" and the non-album B-Side "Don't Do Me Any Favours" (thanks to Sunshine) This post is my tribute to Australia's original 'rock chick' - I hope you enjoy the album.

01 All Up To You 3:12
02 In That Magazine 3:19
03 All The Good Things 3:59
04 Blue McKenzie 2:38
05 Storm In My Soul 2:52
06 Come And See Me After The Rain 3:45
07 Coast To Coast 3:46
08 Shotgun 2:42
09 Work 3:12
10 Cards And Letters 3:24
11 Don't Do Me Any Favours (Bonus B-Side Single)  3:13
12 All The Good Things [Bonus Single Edit]   3:33

Band Members:
Carol Lloyd (vocals) 
Mark Moffat (guitar) 
Danny Simpson (drums) 
Gary Broadhurst (bass)
Peter Harvey (guitar & keyboards)

New Link 25/02/2024

Saturday, September 3, 2022

REPOST: Railroad Gin - A Matter Of Time (1974) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1969 - 1976)
Anyone with an interest in rock music in Queensland in the early '70s will almost certainly be familiar with Railroad Gin. They formed in Brisbane in 1969 more as a jazz and blues outfit the band.
In the early days the band performed at venues such as "The Open Door", "The Red Orb" and "Quentins", a cellar disco opposite Centennial Park in Wickham Street Brisbane playing material like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", the Beatles hit "You Can't Do That", and songs by Spooky Tooth, Santana, Albatross and Black Fox.
Geoffrey Fitzgibbon was the original lead singer with Railroad Gin. By day he was working at the same advertising agency as Carol Lloyd. Legend has it that he heard her around the office humming at about ten octaves above the average person and invited her to try out with the band. For the next few months she appeared on stage as backing vocalist for them every Sunday night at "The Red Orb", most times to an audience of 20 or so. On some of the slower nights they'd kill time with Dylan poetry readings and Carol, it seems, was quite fond getting out front to perform a noteworthy recitation of 'Rindercella'.  
September 1971 is flagged as the first major gig for the band with Carol taking center stage as lead vocalist. At an open air concert presented as part of Brisbane's Warana Festival, Carol, in her own words was 'petrified'.
Carol Lloyd and Railroal Gin, Gladstone 1970s
By the end of the following year the band was really showing signs of developing some direction. They had won the finals of the University Bands Contest at Festival Hall with a selection of songs which included the Rita Coolidge hit "Superstar"; they'd also taken up a performing residency at "Quentins"; played at the opening of the luxurious new Pacesetters Club at Lennons Plaza Hotel and more importantly gotten a taste of what they were capable of in a recording studio.
          Definitely one of the great triumphs in Railroad Gin's career is the incredible Rock Mass they performed with the Queensland Youth Orchestra in 1973 in front of 7000 people at St. John's Cathedral in Brisbane. Some weeks later they performed an interdenominational church service which packed a city fringe church in Brisbane's West End.

By late 1973 the band included Bob Brown (percussion), Gary Evans (Drums), Peter Evans (flute, brass), Dim Jansons (bass), Laurie Stone (keyboards) and Phil Shields (guitar). This line-up blazed many musical trails in their short time together. They were signed to an international record label, were pioneers of multi-track recording, performed Rock Masses, enjoyed number one singles and their Matter Of Time LP stands up as one of the great Australian releases of the era.
L-R: Dim Jansons (bass guitar) • Laurie Stone (keyboards, brass, percussion) • Gary Evans (drums) • Bob Brown (percussion, brass) • Phil Shields (lead guitar, brass, percussion) • Carol Lloyd (vocals) • Peter Evans (flute, brass, percussion)
Other memorable moments for the band would have to include the occasion of their support gig for rocker Suzi Quatro at Festival Hall in 1974. Suzi, as expected, performed in black leathers but allegedly made certain stipulations as to where and how Carol was to sing. Carol, suitably offended and very much the individual defiantly marched on stage clad in Chinese brocade knickerbockers, silver tights and platform shoes, topped off by some strategically placed sequins and an old red fox cape leaving a fuming Quatro to watch from the wings. Co-incidentally this particular evening was the public debut of the Gin song "Don't Rile Me" and given the imposing atmosphere was probably never a more appropriate inclusion.
This 1974 album captured the groove heavy rock that the group had become famous for while touring extensively throughout the East Coast and South Australia.
By September 1975 Carol, who had reportedly been having major throat problems, had decided to quit the band. Her replacement, if only by chance, was 19yr old session singer Judee Ford.  Not long afterwards Lloyd cut another great LP with the Carol Lloyd Band. It was released internationally and sold well in Europe and South East Asia.      
Gin's management had put an ad in the papers seeking a new vocalist but Judee didn't see it. Later, whilst she was talking to the drummer's brother over drinks, she mentioned that she had done some singing in a now defunct, straight rock 'n' roll band, Tramway. Gary Evans' brother took her phone number, the band rang her the next day, an audition was arranged and Judee Ford was consequently promoted into the band and stayed with them then until their demise in 1977.

Press releases for November 1975 triumphantly announced the signing of a new 3 year recording contract with Phonogram giving them a budget of $10,000 to record, package and promote their next album. During subsequent recording sessions the album was given the working title of "69,000 Hours" but by the time it was released in November 1976 most of the key band members had quit and it was given the more ominus title of "Journey's End". Unable to match the success of the 'A Matter Of Time' album and with such upheaval within the group it was fairly obvious that the end was nigh. The band headed south to Sydney around December of that year and was managing to get up to 3 nights work a week around the booming Sydney disco-bistro scene. It is believed the group disbanded not too long after.
Railroad Gin have a plaque on Queensland’s Walk of Fame on Brunswick Street in the Fortitude Valley along with The Bee Gees, Savage Garden, Keith Urban and Powderfinger. [extracts from and Railroadgin.tripod]
Carol Lloyd (left) with singer-songwriter Sue Ray

Carol Lloyd, Queensland’s original “rock chick” may see a new irony in her most famous 1974 song, It’s Only a Matter of Time as she has been contemplating her own mortality for more than a year, after being diagnosed with a terminal lung disease in April, 2013.Let's hope this is just a play on words and she makes a full recovery.

Lloyd has thrown herself into her work as a mentor and producer for a number of younger artists, including Brisbane nouveau-classical band Topology and singer-songwriter Sue Ray (pictured above).
Lloyd is also 7000 words into a memoir about her time in the hedonistic rock world of the 70s and 80s, with Railroad Gin, The Carol Lloyd Band and other projects.

In an interview with Natalie Bochenski (reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald), Lloyd had this to say:  
“I’m certainly going to give people a little window into certain aspects of my life which they’d have no idea about,” she said. 

One aspect will be her drug and alcohol addiction, sparked by getting hooked on a bizarre drug cocktail in her early 20s.

“I had no idea what I was smoking ... it turned out to be mescaline-dipped, heroin-injected hash,” she recalled.
“I was doing this a couple of times a week for nearly a year, so yeah, I wasn’t in great nick.”

To withdraw, she turned to whiskey, consuming over two bottles a day.

“I didn’t expect to see 25, let alone 65, so I’ve done pretty well to be around this long.”

Update:  Sadly, Carol Lloyd lost her battle with cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, passing away on 13th February, 2017.  
This post consists of a CD rip in FLAC format which was kindly supplied by Stacky (thanks mate). I'm posting this rip because of a request I received some time ago. Full album artwork for both LP and CD are included. This is certainly a lost gem that needs to be circulated again.

**  Updated Post in FLAC  **

Track Listing
01 - Intro
02 - Turn To Me
03 - Once Or Twice
04 - A Matter Of Time
05 - Come Together
06 - Still Water
07 - African Queen
08 - Ruby Tuesday
09 - The End
10 - You Told The World (bonus track)

11 - Do Ya' Love Me (bonus track)
Railroad Gin Band Members:
• Bob Brown (percussion. 1971-1977)
• Carol Brown (backing vocals. 1974)
• Debbie Doak (drums. 1994-1997)
• Jim Dickson (bass. then with Deniz Tek from 1994)
• Gary Evans (drums. March? 1973-Oct 1976)
• Margie Evans (backing vocals. 1974)
• Peter Evans (harmonica.flute.sax. Sept? 1971-1977)
• Trevor Fielding (drums. 1971 - 1973
formerly with "The Theory")
• Geoffrey Fitzgibbon (lead vocals.multi-instrumentalist. 1970-1971)
• Judee Ford (lead vocals. Oct 1975-1977
formerly with "Paranova" and "Tramway")
• John Hunter (drums. 1969-early 1970's then with "The Wake"
and "Ash" and many others in Melbourne after that)
• Dim Jansons (bass guitar. 1969-Feb 1976)
• Sudz Jansons (keyboards.percussion. 1974
brother of bass player Dim Jansons)
• Carol Lloyd (vocals. 1971-1975)
• Frank Millward (cornet.piano. 1971-19….?
formerly with "Anthem")
• Paul Murphy (vocals. March? 1971 ...formerly
with the band "Thursday's Children")
• Glen Rickwood (guitar. 1970?-June 1971)
• Phil Shields (guitar. 1969-1977)
• Annie Stone (backing vocals. 1974)
• Laurie Stone (organ.sax. 1970-Oct 1976)
• Colin Wilson (drums. Oct 1976 formerly with "Wish")
• Selwyn Wright (drums. 1970 formerly with "Parade")
(thanks to for this extensive listing)

Railroad Gin FLAC Link (334Mb)  New Link 15/10/2023