Friday, March 31, 2023

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: John Lennon - Unfinished Music No. 1 Two Virgins (1968) with bonus track

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

The Lennon/Ono collaborative albums were a critical part of their take on celebrity coupledom. Their first two LPs carried the series title “Unfinished Music,” a conceptual gambit with deeper roots in the aesthetic of the Fluxus art movement than in that of the British Invasion. The first set to be issued, subtitled Two Virgins, was a sound-collage set reportedly produced during their first night together. The album’s name, and the full-frontal nudity of its cover, referenced the couple’s sense of innocence in approaching a new beginning—as well as the fact that the recording took place just prior to the consummation of their relationship.

Back Cover
As the product of a first date, Two Virgins is fascinating. As a sound artifact from the initial decade of Fluxus-inspired activity, it has plenty of competition. Casual clips of the couple’s conversations—mixed in alongside Lennon’s tape loops—blur the distinction between the private and the public-facing. This approach recalls efforts by some of Ono’s contemporaries, like Charlotte Moorman and Benjamin Patterson. But what makes Two Virgins distinct is the range of Ono’s voice. In the opening moments, she contributes some pure-tone humming, which sounds downright companionable amid Lennon’s meandering keyboard motifs and reverb tape-effects. Four-and-a-half-minutes in, Ono unleashes the first of her extended yelps, from the top of her range. Even if you know it’s coming, this sound always registers as shocking.

Lennon & Ono's Bed-In
This aspect of Ono’s musicianship confused (and enraged) large portions of Lennon’s audience. Despite her purposeful variations of timbre and her ability to hit notes cleanly, Ono’s recourse to this proto-punk wail was often decried as unmusical. And after the White Album’s “Revolution 9”—a much tighter collage created by Lennon, Ono and George Harrison, now sometimes interpreted by classical musicians—she was often accused of being the driving agent behind the Beatles’ breakup. [extract from]

Rolling Stone Reissue Review

It's questionable whether anybody - other than perhaps John Lennon and Yoko Ono - has listened to Lennon and Ono's Wedding Album for fun at any point in the 50 years since it was first released, but that doesn't mean the album is without merit. It's interesting firstly as an audio version of an artistic happening, but it also acts as an intensely personal record of the era and their union. Originally released to celebrate the couple's March 1969 marriage, it features two tracks:

Side One is Lennon and Ono reciting each other's names in a variety of voices - whispers, screams, chuckles, wheezes - while their heartbeats form a minimal rhythm track. It's full of love and some humour, but it's also strangely aggravating.

Side Two contains snippets of song and conversation recorded at the Amsterdam bed-in. These have more of a political theme - in fact you could say Side One is love and Side Two is peace.

The album was originally packaged ornately by Apple designer John Kosh with photographs (see above), drawings, wedding certificates and more. This has been lovingly recreated by Sean Ono Lennon in the albums CD re-release - he even found the original company to reproduce the box it all came in.

There are copious reissues and pirates of this release. Genuine brown outer bags are full sized, covering the entire jacket within, and do not have a die-cut hole through which John and Yoko's faces can be seen. Nearly all copies were 'sealed' with a circular WHITE STICKER at the center of the brown bag's side-opening edge, which is usually split on open copies. Authentic brown bags with no trace of ever having been stickered exist, but are very rare - copies without the white sticker are almost certainly reissues or counterfeit issues from the 1970's or later.

This release includes a bonus track (previously unreleased) "Remember Love" (4:03)
Some Albums also came with 24" x 24" Black & White poster of John & Yoko planting a tree and an 8" x 8 ' Booklet with 6 pages that includes a drawing by John and 4 Pages of pictures of John & Yoko

This month's WOCK on vinyl post certainly belongs in the Weird category (musos call it Avantgarde) and should only be listened to once, in case permanent brain damage occurs. Download at your own risk.  LOL
MP3 & Artwork:  Two Virgins Link (44Mb)

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

REPOST: Various Artists - Garrison: The Final Blow Unit 1 & 2 (1973)

(Various Australian Artists 1973)
The Garrison discotheque was a small two-storey building sandwiched between a chemist shop and a billiard parlour in High Street, Prahran (Melbourne). Thursday to Sunday nights it rocked through the early hours of the morning to the sounds of the best rock bands in Australia. Against strong opposition, the local council forced its closure in June 1973. 

Two albums were recorded over Garrison's last five nights - Wednesday 6th to Sunday 10th of June. The three groups featured on Unit (volume) 1 are "Ray Brown's One Ton Gypsy", "Madder Lake", and the group "Friends," who would later be known as "Ayers Rock". Friends contributed two songs, an early version of "Lady Montego" (as featured on Big Red Rock) and "Freedom Train", with it's incredibly long break / solo by drummer Mark Kennedy. "Boy You Shot Me Down" by Ray Brown is also worth a listen. Unit (volume) 2 is worth grabbing for the collection, but Unit 1 is the better complilation.
This four-piece version of Friends only lasted until the middle of the year. In early June 1973 they were one of the groups that played at the closing nights of the Garrison venue in Melbourne and the group folded soon after the Garrison farewell, with Burton Kennedy and McGuire all leaving to form their eponymous trio, which evolved into the original lineup of Ayers Rock, who re-recorded "Lady Montego" on their debut album.
This is a unique, live Australian rock'n'roll album that is certain to stand the test of time. Garrison has gone but because of this album the music will last forever - we had the final blow.

I've split the downloads into two (in case you already have one of the units), rips were taken from my recently acquired vinyl (thanks to market seller John Tait) in glorious FLAC format and includes full album artwork (sourced from Midoztouch with thanks) and label scans.
                                     **  NEW FLAC FORMAT **

Track Listing
Unit 1
01 - Madder Lake - Bumper Bar Song
02 - Madder Lake - When Is A Mouse
03 - Madder Lake - Rodney's Birthday
04 - Ray Brown - Covered Wagon
05 - Friends - Lady Montego
06 - Friends - Freedom Train
07 - Ray Brown 's One Ton Gypsy - Boy You Shot Me Down

Garrison Unit 1 Link (254Mb)  New Link 29/03/2023

Track Listing
Unit 2
01 - Chain With Matt Taylor - Grab A Snatch And Hold It
02 - Sid Rumpo - Now I`m Free
03 - Sid Rumpo - Forty Days And Forty Nights
04 - Dutch Tilders - Sweet Marie
05 - Chain - Do What You Wanna Do
06 - Matt Taylor - Roberta
07 - Alta Mira - My Soul`s On Fire

Garrison Unit 2 Link (268Mb) New Link 28/03/2023

Friday, March 24, 2023

The Guess Who - The Best Of The Guess Who (1971) and The Guess Who 'EP' (1973)

 (Canadian 1962 - 1975)

When these hard-working Winnipeg, Manitoba natives started their recording career in the mid '60's they seemed like potential one-hit wonders, but in less than five years they became household names in their native country. The Guess Who managed to keep up with the rapidly evolving pop culture, from the British invasion to the Woodstock Nation, and made a crucial, late '60's leap from AM popularity to acceptance on the FM dial. When they finally conquered America, they did it in the most surprisingly subversive way, with an anthemic number that not-so-subtly gave the finger to U.S culture yet still managed to reach the top of the American charts.

For U.S. fans, "American Woman," a #1 pop hit in 1970, is where the Guess Who's story really takes off. For their Canadian faithful, however, it began about five years earlier, with the release of "Shakin' All Over," a low-budget, hastily put-together cover of a British hit that makes up in garage-rockin' attitude what it might lack in studio finesse. At that point, singer and keyboardist Burton Cummings hadn't even joined the band. It was fronted by vocalist Chad Allan, who'd enlisted local guitar whiz Bachman, bassist Jim Kale, pianist Bob Ashley and drummer Garry Peterson to back him up. The combo had already gone through a few names - the Silvertones, the Reflections - before settling on Chad Allan and the Expressions.

The Canadian prairie may not seem like the kind of place where you'd stumble across a happening rock and roll scene, but there were actually plenty of places for young bands to play, especially at local community centers where teenagers would gather. It wasn't difficult to keep up with current trends, either; the long reach of the AM airwaves brought sounds from all over North America up to Winnipeg and you could always get the latest sides from England via mail order.

"Shakin' All Over" wasn't the first track Chad Allan and the Expressions ever cut, but it was the one that got their Toronto-based record label, Quality, excited enough to believe they had a hit on their hands.

Except the label guys felt they couldn't release it with that old-school band name on the sleeve. They wanted something that would link the track directly to the burgeoning British Invasion, not to a quintet of guys who'd already been gigging around the provinces for a few years. So Quality did away with the band's original moniker and any other biographical data. They simply attributed the tune to The Guess Who, hoping programmers, listeners and record buyers would think that bonafide British stars had decided to sneak something out incognito. The gambit worked, undoubtedly due to the band's go-for-broke performance rather than any sort of marketing coup. The upside for the Expressions: they had a hit. The downside: the new band name stuck. They had become The Guess Who. They even got a deal in the States with the New York-based Scepter Records, best known as the home of Dionne Warwick and the Shirelles, and the band was dispatched to some of those fabled package tours that traveled the U.S. in the early to mid-'60s.

The Guess Who 1966
The teenage Cummings entered the picture when pianist Ashley tired of all the touring. A flamboyant performer, Cummings already had a good local following with his band The Deverons and an appealing bad-boy reputation. As Bachman told Maclean's, "He had an incredibly strong voice and had once desecrated a piano at the Winnipeg Arena while opening for some British band. We needed his kind of sassy, cheeky attitude." The piano that Cummings allegedly danced on in his Bearles boots belonged to Gerry and the Pacemakers, so you almost could say that Cummings had made a name for himself - his own name - as part of the British Invasion. Although he was originally brought in as a keyboard player, Cummings quickly assumed the role of main vocalist alongside the smoother-sounding Allan. That was an awkward alliance, and it precipitated Allan's departure.

Further national success initially eluded this reconstituted Guess Who, and a trip to London for an English tour that never materialized left them broke, stuck together in a single hotel room. Back on the familiar Winnipeg circuit, however, the Guess Who continued to find support and opportunity.

They also reunited, in a fashion, with Allan. He was hosting a weekly pop music TV show, Let's Go, and the Guess Who were hired as the house band. In the meantime, Cummings and Bachman were evolving into a natural songwriting team. Together they explored a wide range of sounds and moods, from Bearlesque pop to jazz-like melodies to heavier blues rock. The Guess Who got one step closer to their big break when they were hired to compose and cut some jingles for Coke, part of a radio campaign that spotlighted promising Canadian talent, dreamed up by producer Jack Richardson of the McCann-Erickson ad agency.

Richardson had an even cooler promotional scheme. He suggested that Coca Cola underwrite an album that would feature two of the artists from their jingles (and keep their brand name in view of fans), and he decided that the Guess Who should be one of the acts. A wild Pair, which Richardson produced, was a success for everyone involved, and the experience convinced Richardson to keep working with The Guess Who - but not as an ad man. Next time it was going to be just about the music. He enlisted two colleagues from his agency, plus an accountant, and they created a production company/record label, Nimbus 9, as a vehicle for the band.

The first Nimbus 9 side was a single featuring "When Friends Fall Out," a song that many listeners will recall from the American Woman album. Richardson, who'd already bought our the band's quality contract, showed extraordinary commitment to the Guess Who, going so far as to mortgage his Toronto home to finance the recording of an album at Phil Ramone's state-of-the-art studio in New York city during fall '68. That album, the evocatively titled Wheatfield Soul, cost just under $10,000 to make and became the Guess Who's calling card at U.S.-based major labels. RCA signed them to a modest deal, and within months discovered just how soulful these wheatfield boys could be, thanks to the almost instantaneous success of "These Eyes."

It was in early '69 when "These Eyes" hit the American airwaves and pretty soon you could hear it everywhere. The instrumental arrangement was coolly restrained, with a jazzy R&B feel, but Cummings provided plenty of drama in a vocal performance that alternated between rueful and anguished. (Another track from Wheatfield sessions, "A Wednesday In Your Garden," ventures even farther into jazz-rock territory.) The double A-sided single that followed, "Laughing" b/w "Undun," displayed an equal amount of sophisticated pop craft, and amazing versatility to boot. But it wasn't until they cut "American Woman" that the Guess Who clearly came into focus as a band with a provocative point of view and a sound all its own.

"American Woman" was a ballsy, Vietnam War-era anthem. The Guess Who played it with a confident swagger and an offhand, almost punk-ish snottiness. It had started out as a live instrumental

jam that the band reshaped in the studio, and its roots showed the stripped-down guitar hooks were even more powerful than the cynical lyrics. Although it was emblematic of its era, the sound of "American Woman" is too cool to ever feel dated. Its theme of a corrupting U.S. influence in the world is probably even more relevant today. In 1999, the producers of the Austin Powers movies stole some of its mojo, getting Lenny Kravitz to do a cover for 'The Spy Who Shagged Me'.

However, it was more than just one startling single that attracted a wider, hipper audience and gained the band entry onto cuming-edge FM stations. American Woman, their third LP released in two years' time, was essential listening in its entirety, a career-defining work that truly felt like a seamless album rather than a mere collection of songs, which was exactly what the band had set our to accomplish. The production was bracingly to-the-point, the sequencing very smart, and no one could go "Unh!" to punctuate a break quite like Cummings. Two other outstanding cuts from this LP are included on this Best Of: "No Time," a streamlined re-recording of a number from their sophomore album, Canned Wheat, and "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature," two disparate tunes - the first by Bachman, the second by Cummings - fused together for dramatic effect. Back in the day, many a record needle was dropped on the middle of that track so the cool segue could be reheard again and again.

The Guess Who's artistic and commercial triumph had been a long time coming, but it was undercut by a growing tension between the more conservative Bachman and his hard-partying bandmates. They had hung together through years of grueling work; being thrown headfirst into the major label maelstrom proved far tougher to cope with.

And so, in the summer of 1970 Randy Bachman, sick and in need of hospitalisation and a rest from touring, quit the group. A converted Mormon (no alcohol, tea, coffee, dope, immorality) he had always had difficulty in stomaching his band's on-tour lifestyle.

Bachman went on to form Brave Belt with old band member Chad Allan, out of which emerged the enormously-successful Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO). Although the parting was at first amicable, it became less so with the passing of time - and in the early '70s there existed considerable animosity between BTO and The Guess Who.

Two more Canadians, guitarists Kurt Winter and Greg Leskiw, came in to replace Bachman and, despite the loss of Bachman's compositional ability, The Guess Who continued to dominate the albums and singles markets. Share The Land (1970) and this compilation 'Best Of The Guess Who' (197I) both went gold, while the title track from the former made the U.S. singles lists, along with Raindance and Hang On To Your Life.

Further Personnel changes followed in 1972 when Leskiw and original bass player Kale quit the line-up to be replaced respectively by Don McDougall and Billy Wallace, both from Winnipeg.

Winter stayed around longer but was eventually replaced by Domenic Troiano (ex James Gang).

From 1973 onwards, the fortunes of The Guess Who drifted gradually into decline as Bachman's BTO took over their former position as Canada's hottest commercial rock group.

In late 1975, Billy Wallace left the band and, as the year ended, The Guess Who ended industry speculation by announcing their final dissolution. After a 75-concert North Americarn tour, they had played their last date in Montreal on Sept 7. At the height of their popularity, in 1970, Guess Who record sales had grossed an estimated five million dollars.

Burton Cummings was immediately successful with his first eponymous, solo album in 1976 - produced by Richard Perry. From this, "Stand Tall" was a sizeable America hit and also hit the top 10 in the Australian Charts  [extracts from 'Liner Notes: The Guess Who Anthology' and 'The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock', 1977 p99-100]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine vinyl (LP & EP) and includes full artwork for both vinyl and CD.  My first introduction to The Guess Who was an impulse purchase of a budget release of their 'Born In Canada' LP (1970), which featured their early hit 'Shakin' All Over'. I think it was the strange cover that drew me to the LP while browsing the record shelves at K-Mart. 
Sadly this na├»ve young teenager did not realise the value of this gem at the time, and stupidly sold it several years later for a pittance. 

Anyhow, I finally came to my senses and started to collect their albums, 'The Best Of' being my favourite. I also acquired their 1973 Selftitled EP which I am also sharing here. This EP is of particular interest as it contains the full version of "American Woman" (unlike the short version on the Best Of ) and a live version of "Albert Flasher" (which I think was recorded at the Paramount).   Finally, I have included 4 bonus tracks for this Best Of release, unable to be included on vinyl due to time restrictions, but essential for this CD collection.
In fact, you might also consider swapping the edited version of "American Woman" with the EP version, to really make it The BEST !

Track List
01  These Eyes   3:43
02  Laughing 2:44
03  Undun 3:25
04  No Time 3:45
05  American Woman (Edit)   3:50
06  No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature  4:50
07  Hand Me Down World 3:26
08  Bus Rider 2:56
09  Share The Land 3:53
10  Do You Miss Me Darlin'? 3:55
11  Hang On To Your Life 4:08
Bonus Tracks
12  Albert Flasher   2:25  
13  Broken   3:08
14  Raindance   2:45
15  Shakin' All Over  2:41

New Link 06/02/2024

The Guess Who (EP)
01  American Woman (LP Version)  5:03
02  Albert Flasher (Live)  2:31
03  Heartbroken Bopper   4:53
04  Raindance   2:45 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Slade - Live at the Randwick Racecourse , Sydney, Australia - 1973-01-28 (1973) - Bootleg

 (UK 1966 - Present)

(Review by Waz from Oz)At the time of this show I was a few weeks away from turning 17, so I was allowed to attend without supervision. I went with long-time schoolfriend Ruby, making me the older one this time around.

I have fond memories of this show as this is where we met Recy (Maree) & Roger, two fellow music lovers a year or so younger than us. The four of us attended many of the same concerts over the years, remaining friends off & on up to the present day.

Also, at this show but unknown to me at the time was Big Knob. Over the years I’d spot him at many concerts, we were finally introduced in the early 1980 & we got to talking. I’d mentioned I’d taped a number of shows he’d been at, running off some names, among those names happened to be his most loved band, of which I am also a fan. He mentioned he had taped a few shows himself in the 1970’s.

I asked who, he replied all four overseas acts at Randwick 28th January 1973, which were still on the original reel to reel tapes, he hadn’t played them in years. Not long after I transferred his master reels onto cassettes for both of us, this was before CD-R’s were on the market.

Last week I caught up with Big Knob, he refreshed me about how he recorded that concert which as of this writing is now 47 years ago. He’d lugged an Akai portable stereo reel-to-reel recorder to the show, he & his party where seated further back up in the stands. Once an act was about to kick off he would hold one mic, his wife the other. While each group was performing he’d hand his mic over to his mate and make his way down to the front section to take some photos of the bands. These photos appear on the CD artwork included here.

Estimates for the audience at this show range from 20,000 to 26,000, I’d say it was somewhere in the middle. Some brave souls even managed to get themselves up onto the roof of the stands.

The line-up for this show was supposed to be some Australian bands first, followed by English acts Caravan, Lindisfarne, Status Quo & Slade. All but Caravan were familiar to me as I’d brought singles & LPs by the others especially Slade. Slade being the most well-known of the bunch having by this time various Top 40 hit singles in Australia plus the extremely popular Slade Alive LP.

The night before the show it had pissed down, continuing overnight & only stopping a short time before the show, making the grounds something akin to a paddy field. Remember this was a racecourse so in front of the covered stands it was grass plus the actual dirt racetrack. I remember my platform shoes often sinking into the mud as well as the bottoms of my fetching flared jeans becoming mud catchers. I don’t recall that it rained again after the first act of the day was underway.

As the rain had soaked the stage plus everything on & around it, it had to be cleaned up & dried off before any act could go ahead. So the starting time of 1.PM was pushed back to 2.30 PM.

Because of this delay the Australian bands didn’t get to play. They were supposed to be Buffalo, Sherbet, Mother Earth and Robin Sinclair.

Newspaper reports state that no Australian acts played at this show due to the delay, however online I’ve read comments from people that attended this show that Aussie band Blackfeather (who had a No 1 hit 1972) did play but I don’t remember them doing so. Their name does not appear in any ads or review of the show.

After the clean-up finished, it was time for the first international act, Caravan unknown to us & probably the vast majority of the 20,000 spectators.

Sorry Caravan fans but to this 16 year old, Ruby, Recy, Roger and I’m sure countless thousands there that day their brand of music didn’t generate much interest. Lindisfarne, the 2nd act of the day ignited the audience from the start of their short set to the finish. The audience demanded an encore, but time restrictions put an end to that, but their performance set the tone for the rest of the day.

The 3rd act of the day were the headliners Slade, whom because of the fear of more inclement weather had swapped places with Status Quo. So that band closed the day’s activities. Slade were whom the bulk of the audience had dead set come to Randwick to see. Slade were extremely popular down under.

The Slade LP had been in the charts for 6 months, it was actually No. 1 when they arrived on these shores and stayed in the No. 1 position for three weeks.

From the end of February 1972 up to January 1973, they had 4 singles in the Australian Top 40, the highest reaching No 11. I would have bet money that they’d scored No 1’s to top 10 chart success, but no they hadn’t. T. Rex funny enough had higher chart success than Slade. But the latter had plenty of airplay all the same.

Slade - Backstage View

It should be noted that the band's singer / guitarist Noddy Holder can be heard making many vulgar comments. His comments were greeted warmly by the crowd who lapped them up. Noddy’s comments didn’t bother me at the time nor do they now, they were part & parcel of Slade’s live performances, like it or lump it I say!.

The band walked on, Noddy acknowledged the audience for having earlier sat out in the rain, then straight into "Hear Me Calling", the audience participation started from the get-go.

Ruby and myself were halfway between the stage & the grandstand, we were dead set packed tighter than a fish’s arsehole. It was even a task at times to raise one’s arms about one’s head to perform beat clapping

Slade were one of the loudest bands I’d ever heard in concert, Noddy’s voice was especially powerful it went right through you. This recording is just under being distorted because the band were so loud.

Noddy’s rude comments commenced after the first song finishes “If there’s any young ladies in the audience what’s feeling a bit warm by now, we wanna see them dropping their knickers (for Americans that’s panties) & we wanna see all the fellers having a quick feel” which is greeted by audience cheers.

He’s at it again after "Move Over" suggesting because it’s become even warmer that females should take their clothes off so see we can see a few tits. Then he asks the males in the audience to put their hands up if they want to see some tits. Countless hands went up accompanied by another roar of approval.

In "Darling Be Home Soon", he tries to get the audience to sing some football team songs, a popular exercise back in the UK but not so much here. He asks, gets a pretty lukewarm response, telling us he can hear fuck all, so it’s quickly dropped. Aussie audiences are somewhat shy when it comes to group singing at gigs, not so much beat clapping. Noddy had more luck getting the audience singing along in the last few numbers.

Another thing I remember was during Jim Leas violin solo right up on the roof of the grandstand a guy in a kilt (he must have been a true Scotsman because one 'n' all could see his meat & two veg) performed a jig for everyone’s entertainment. He was a brave soul as not only was he doing this on a roof, it must still have been wet from the earlier rain, it’s a wonder he didn’t highland fling himself right off. The same goes for Dave Hill who in his platform boots would get up on his stage monitors & buggerize around.

A few songs in we noticed a disturbance in the crowd nearer the stage in front of us. I knew it was a blue (Aussie slang for a fight, blue is also the Aussie slang for a person with red, ginger hair). I didn’t know it at the time, but it turned that we knew two of those involved in that blue.

After Slade & between Status Quo we wandered around, we came across two young person’s somewhat distressed & we spoke to them to see if they were ok. This was our first meeting with Recy & Roger who both became long-time friends of mine. They told us what had happened.

Once Slade were underway their Sydney skinhead fans started wading thru the crowd, pushing & shoving all in their way to get to the front of the stage. Unfortunately, Recy & Roger were two of the people in their way, Roger was first elbowed out the way, when he turned around to see what was going on he was punched a number of times. He’s a mild person & wouldn’t be able to defend himself against one person let alone a few of them. His assailants were probably pissed off even further because at the time he sported long curly hair plus was wearing an Hawaiian shirt.

Recy being of Greek-Cypriot heritage could get dead set fiery at times & she jumped on the back of one of Rogers attackers. While she was flailing away on the back of the skinhead it distracted attention away from Roger, who had managed to drop to the ground, crawling away to safety through the legs of audience members, a feat in itself seeing how packed it was. He watched the rest of the show from the side.

Some of the skinheads not only made it to the front of the stage but were invited up to dance with Slade. They can be seen dancing onstage in one of the you tube links at the bottom of this post.

Listening to this recording with fresh ears it struck me at just how many excellent singles Slade released in the period ranging from 1971 to 1973.

In the early CD-R period I traded copies of this show, which has been on DIME in the past but equ’ed from the CD-R. As this is from the master tape it will be superior to all previous versions.

Ruby & myself also attended the Slade / Caravan show at the Hordern Pavilion on the 6th February 1973.

On Slade’s 1974 Australian tour we fronted up at the two Sydney shows also held at the Hordern on the 21st & 24th February 1974. I didn’t tape any of these shows, the reason being we usually ended up in the front sections at the Hordern. With Slade audiences being rather overtly enthusiastic it would have been a chore to record a show amongst a non-stop moving audience plus we wanted to enjoy ourselves.

Please remember sensitive souls who abhor beat clapping that this practice can be heard quite regularly in this recording! Thanks to Big Knob for the recordings & photos, thanks as always to audiowhore.

Enjoy - Waz

Gold Record Presentation Sydney (taken from YouTube Clip)

This post consists of FLACs ripped from master audio tape (thanks to Big Knob) and includes various Artwork sets. This is a great recording folks and it was captured Down Under. Also included below are some rare YouTube clips featuring concert promotional footage taken from GTK / ABC camera crews.

Track Listing:
01. Noddy Holder's Introduction
02. Hear Me Calling
03. Look Wot You Dun
04. Move Over
05. Gudbuy T’ Jane
06. Darling Be Home Soon
07. Keep On Rockin’
08. Jimmy Lea Lady Be Good Violin Solo
09. Coz I Luv You
10. Take Me Back ‘Ome
11. Get Down & Get With It
12. Mama Weer All Crazee Now

Slade were:
Noddy Holder - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & Rude Comments!
Dave Hill - Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jimmy Lea - Bass Guitar, Violin & Backing Vocals
Don Powell – Drums

Live Randwick footage 1973
"Get Down & Get With It"

Interview with skinheads & audience members,
Slade’s Sydney Press Conference & Gold Records Presentation

Live Randwick footage with dubbed sound
Interview with skinheads dancing on stage

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Slade - Slade Alive ! (1972) & Slade Alive Vol 2 (1978)

 (UK 1966 - Present)

Slade started out as The 'N Betweens, in Wolverhampton, England, in 1966, with Noddy Holder on vocals and guitar, Dave Hill on lead guitar, Jim Lea on bass, keyboards, and violin, and Don Powell on drums.

In 1969, The 'N Betweens became Ambrose Slade, and began to record tracks for an album. The first LP by Ambrose Slade, Beginnings, was released on Fontana Records in April of 1969. At the same time, Chas Chandler, a former member of The Animals and the manager of Jimi Hendrix, assumed the duties of manager and producer for the band. He firmly believed that Ambrose Slade had the potential to make it to the top. Their name was soon shortened from Ambrose Slade to Slade, and at the behest of Chas Chandler, the four musicians had their long hair cut off, briefly taking on the look of skinheads as a means of promoting their music. 

Their first album as Slade, 'Play It Loud', was released on Polydor Records in 1970. Slade are probably best described as a "band of (and for) the people". Hated by critics, loved by the average Joe record buyer, they wore their working class, northern British roots loudly and proudly on their gawdy glittery sleeves.

Although 'Play It Loud' did not sell in great numbers, it did establish the musical style that later would make Slade famous. Slade let their hair grow long again and finally broke through in November of 1971, when their newest single, "Coz I Luv You," swiftly became a hit in the UK.

Slade are probably best described as a "band of (and for) the people". Hated by critics, loved by the average Joe record buyer, they wore their working class, northern British roots loudly and proudly on their gawdy glittery sleeves.

Lumped in with the Glitter/Glam Rock movement with Bowie, Marc Bolan and T.Rex and even Gary Glitter, Slade looked and sounded like none of them (big hats and awful sparkly outfits notwithstandin). Their sound was loud guitars and boot-stomping heavy beats with basic songs (deliberately misspelt) delivered in a voice that would strip the paint from an old Holden.

Any discussion of glam rock requires a mention of Slade, more as a result of their appearance than their sound. Dave Hill, in particular, gained a reputation for taking the gaudier aspects of glam rock to a cheeky extreme. He always went out of his way to appear as colorful as he could, adorning himself with shiny outfits, platform boots, and plenty of glitter. The other members of Slade were slightly less colorful, but still quite flashy. Their songs, however, were completely down-to-earth: loud, driving, and cheerful, with an impudent tunefulness that was hard to resist.

The remarkable thing about this album is that there is a remarkable lack of pretense. The audience love the experience and make the vibe of the show (and this recording) almost tangible.

Slade Alive! was a record that was recorded live to tape without any studio altering. It was done live in a purpose built studio in front of 100 fan club members and was a fortune changer much like "Alive!" was for Kiss. Slade's previous few albums flopped and the live album gave them a big hit that they were desperately looking for. The band were already a big live draw, so it was a canny move to capture that on record.

Again, artistry and technique are not matters of contention here. Songwriting prowess is not a feature here. Most of the seven songs are covers, along with two originals never recorded in studio form, but they are done with the same big voiced, stomping feel that drove audiences wild back then. Noddy Holder's vocals are ear splitting but yet it sounds compelling. His charm in conversing with the audience between songs just highlights how much fun the whole experience is.

Slade's fortunes soured in the late 70s as the gimmick wore off. They picked up again in the 80s and tailed off again post 1985 until they split up in the 1990s. This album has been cited as an influence by countless bands, but in recent years this album seems to have gone out of favour with writers and collators of "best of" lists.

Slade Alive ! Review  (by Dave Graham: Attendee)

Released on the 24th March 1972, the group's critically acclaimed and most loved live album, instantly recognisable in it's bright red 'negative image', gatefold sleeve. This album became a Rock Icon almost overnight and even the following years of teeny-bopper mania could not erase the impact made.

In October 1971, Slade played at the Command Theatre Studio in London, to an audience of a hundred or so, mostly fan club members. Of the three nights recording, most of the album comes from the second nights recording. The set-list would have been the same as their touring set, kicking off, as always, with Hear Me Calling. It included Coz I Love You, Coming Home, Good Golly Miss Molly & Nights In White Satin (none of which made the release) before culminating in eight minutes of unbridled mayhem. Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf's best known song is given the Slade treatment (complete with air raid siren hand-cranked by one of the roadies) and is far better for it. The result, coarse, raw and gritty... just how you like 'em!

"Nights In White Satin was played during the recording but omitted from Slade Alive due to contractual stuff with the Moodies record company, Chandler was toying with idea of making it a double LP. The rumours about those master tapes persisted for decades, they don't exist, nothing was kept."

Recorded at a cost of £600, Slade Alive! not only broke the band in the UK, it went on to be the biggest selling album in Australia since Sgt.Pepper. Hence AC/DC..."

Noddy Holder's recollects: Classic Rock 2011

"Chas Chandler come up with the idea of us doing a live album because he'd been Jimi Hendrix's manager, and he'd seen how some of Hendrix's live performances had been turning points in his career. So we booked a little studio-cum-theatre down on Piccadilly for three nights- the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

''The bulk of the album was from the Wednesday night, which was mayhem. Coz I Luv U was Number 1, and we'd come straight from doing Top Of The Pops. We were still wearing our clobber from the telly, and we went pretty much straight onstage. There was only about 100-odd people in there. A lot of them were fan club members but some of them had walked in off the streets as well.

''Our aim onstage was to hit the crowds between the eyes and grab them by the balls. Make a show that people would remember forever. Most bands thought it was uncool to have audience participiation, so back then it was only us doing that. We've never been cool. But when people saw the reaction we were getting, they started nicking our ideas.

''One thing I do remember about those shows is that we'd been on the road for a week or two before that, and Dave had got some of his old stage clobber in a suitcase in the dressing room, and it stank to high heaven. The whole dressing room stank of his sweat. Chas said, 'I'm gonna turn that fucking case into a bonfire outside ! You can't have record company people coming in here with that stink.' So there's Dave, trying to guard his precious clothes before we covered them in lighter fuel to stop them stinking the place out.."

Chris Selby (Slade Historian) talks about the album

Despite Noddy's recollections, it's unlikely that they came direct from TOTP's when "Cos I Love You" was #1 because on the 20th October it was at #26. Of course, they could still have performed on TOTP's because "Cos I Love You" had been released.

The 1st "Coz I Love You" performance on TOTP is listed to date 21.10.71, the next week it was audio only that the audience grooved to, as the record slowly climbed the chart to the top subsequent performances would later be reshown.

The sleeve art was designed by a fan. Chas decided to run a competition, held by The Sun newspaper and the band chose the winner from thousands of entries. Thankfully, it was used on the inside coz only God knows what the Teddy Bears have to do with Slade but surprisingly, the 1971 artwork by M. Webb has become as much a part of Slade as Noddy's topper?

Album Gatefold

"I have always thought the release of Slade Alive was both, a brave and strange choice for Chas Chandler and the group to have made. Considering at that stage in their career Slade had a few 45s, one of which had just managed to make the Top 20 and a studio LP which did nothing.

To build on the modest success of "Get Down With It", the accepted step would be another single and another studio album. The 45 would be Coz I Love You but they then release a Live album. I can't think of any other group who have done that.

In the meantime, following the accepted path of a studio album and the lack of original material the group had (as we are led to believe), I would suggest Chas got them to record their 'live' act as a studio album but for some reason the decision was made to go with a live album."

It is also strange in the fact that it was a single album. Most live albums, especially during the seventies, were double or sometimes even triple albums. It would have made perfect sense to include another disc which could have included Coz I Love You, as that was the groups #1 single at the time and Coming Home which Noddy referred to as "on our new album" on French TV. It's certainly food for thought?

The album cover has become an icon in Slade history. Instantly recognisable though not immediately obvious that it is in fact a posterized image of the band at a live performance. The photo was part of a shoot taken by Chris Walter at The Marquee Club in London's Wardour Street.

Slade Alive Vol II

The band's second Live Album, and titled "the follow-up to the commercially and critically successful 1972 Album, 'Slade Alive!' ", this collection, taken from the USA Autumn Tour of 1976 and the UK Spring Tour of 1977, also failed to make a chart appearance in the UK, as with the previous year's album, "Whatever Happened To Slade".

Nevertheless, "Slade Alive! 2" is an excellent live. Different from the first, the group having evolved and the public too. Slade goes from the club atmosphere to that of a concert hall.

In March 1976, the album “ Nobody's Fools ” was released, recorded in New York the previous year. Slade were performing concerts in the country to try to break into the American market which still remained closed to the glam-rocker group. Back from the United States, Slade lost popularity, the punk-rock fashion swept away everything in its path and glam rock gave up the ghost. Groups like Sweet , Wizzard or the old rocker Gary Glitter will fall by the wayside. Slade will continue on the voice of a more pure and hard rock by adding a hard rock to their sauce ( Worcestershire obviously! ) and the whole will give the album " Whatever Happened to Slade ". It will be a commercial failure despite good reviews, it will be considered the precursor album of the Grunge movement, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana will cite it as an influential album.

Following the commercial failure of the last album, Slade will continue to set fire in the concert halls and a new live album is born in 1978 with a melting pot of the titles of the tour in the United States in 1976 and in Great Britain in 1977 . The advantage of this live is that we find the group's hits that had not yet been released at the time of the first “ Alive! ". 

Slade's New Look 1978

Hyper boosted versions of " Take Me Back 'Ome ", " Mama Weer All Crazee Now " and " Cum On Feel The Noize ". Between each hits, the group will slip more recent songs, "Get On Up" with its drum riff and its short bass solo is the perfect title to attack the set, "Burning In The Heats Of Love" huge title which will be covered by Girlschool on their album 'Play Dirty' produced by Holder and Lea . "One Eyed Jack With Moustaches" with its wild boogie would knock the panes off the windows and the cover of "My Baby Left Me" rushes like an unbridled heavyweight and has nothing to do with the original version of Big Boy Crudup . 

Slade demonstrates well in this live album that they could unleash the small rooms and that they could master the biggest ones. Mind you, its a a live album that could have been longer with other hits like “ Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me ”, “ Coz I Luv You ” or even titles from the album 'Slade in Flame'. [extract from edeblocnot.]

This Slade post has been a long time coming. It has always been my intention to add some Slade to the blog, in particular their career breaking live album which introduced me to the band for the first time. Slade Alive! was nothing like other live albums being released at that time (some of which were either dubbed with studio enhancements or even worse, studio recordings with added fake audience interludes) and the raw energy in Slade's performances were breath taking for me.  Needless to say, Slade Alive! was on my turntable 24/7 for a long time. I think it was Peter Frampton's Comes Alive that finally broke the spell. 
Although Slade Alive Vol 2 didn't have the same affect on me as their first, I have always looked upon these two live albums as a pigeon pair, so how could I not post Alive Vol 2 here as well.

Both ripped from CD in FLAC, full album artwork for CD and Vinyl is included, along with artwork for a special CD release which included both albums (see above).    

Slade Alive!
A1 Hear Me Calling 5:20
A2 In Like A Shot From My Gun 3:10
A3 Darling Be Home Soon 5:35
A4 Know Who You Are 3:30
B1 Keep On Rocking 6:20
B2 Get Down With It 5:15
B3 Born To Be Wild 7:10

Slade Alive! Vol II
A1 Get On Up 5:39
A2 Take Me Bak 'Ome 4:14
A3 My Baby Left Me 2:32
A4 Be 3:50
A5 Mama Weer All Crazee Now 3:34
B1 Burnin' In The Heat Of Love 3:30
B2 Everyday 3:30
B3 Gudbuy T' Jane 4:42
B4 One-Eyed Jacks 3:20
B5 C'mon Feel The Noize 3:57

New Link 06/09/2023

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Bengal Tigers - Metal Fetish E.P (1982,1984) + Live at the Central Club, Richmond, Australia (26-03-1984) Bootleg

 (Australian 1979-1983, 1989-1999, 2014-present)

Bengal Tigers is a heavy metal band that formed in Melbourne in 1979 and were quickly signed to the emerging Mushroom label in Australia, and the famous Heavy Metal Records in the UK. The band has released a couple of EP's, one album, and despite a cult following have never achieved the crossover success they deserved.

They have split and reformed a few times throughout their existence. The band's style immediately reminds me of 80's hard rock, with its simple guitar-riffs and solos, slightly pouty vocals and rock-anthem choruses. Anything from AC/DC to Judas Priest applies as far as style is concerned. They continue to gig to this day and are regarded as pioneers of Aussie heavy metal.

Enduring early Australian metal pioneers who started pedaling their wares in the late 70's. A sound comparable to Judas Priest (Point Of Entry / Killing Machine era), the distinctive vocal vibrato of singer Gordon Heals, & razor edge riffs Barney Fakhouri will connect with fans of later 70's and early 80's Scorpions & Priest. Mid pace hard rock workouts "Break And Bend" & "Fallen Idol" has pumping bass & solid driving beat while "Nine Lives" and "Pounding Energy" pick up the pace for some solid workman like metal. Leather, studs & hair this is unquestionably pure traditional metal which is a very good thing indeed. [Written by Dave Harrison]

There wasn't a lot of metal in Australia in the early 80's, but Bengal Tigers were one such band, debuting in 1982 with the Metal Fetish EP. They toured quite a bit in their home country for years and years, even though they didn't get another release put out until the mid-nineties. Metal Fetish displayed a basic NWOBHM / Judas Priest style, not bad at all for the time.

Bengal Tigers Today

Bengal Tigers split-up in 1983, perhaps before their 1984 Cheat On single was released. However, in 1989 the band reformed. In 1999, Peter-Budge left the band. They reformed in 2014 and are still gigging today. (For more recent information about the band, see

Metal Fetish E.P (1982) V's Metal Fetish E.P (1984)

This post contains both the original Australian pressing from 1982 with 4 tracks. and the worldwide release from 1984 which has 5 tracks. It sounds to me that the two different pressings are also completely different recordings too. I'm not sure, but I sort of prefer the worldwide press recordings, but they are both really good no matter how you look at it. People are under the impression that the first track, Nine Lives, is actually a mistake and that it should be titled Got To Deliver. However, from what I have found out from talking to various people who knew the band in the early 80's, this is false. Yes, it's title is "Got To Deliver", but at the time in 1982 it was actually referred to as "Nine Lives" by the band. Later on, it was renamed to "Got To Deliver" and consequently released under that name on the 1984 release. Hopefully that clears that up.

I've also added photos of the worldwide press record itself and the German ZYX pressing which is the same as the Heavy Metal Worldwide release. [Written by Brown-Sock]

This post consists of MP3 (320kps) ripped from vinyl (E.P) and audiotape (Bootleg) which were kindly provided by Brown-Sock and Skids (from Ausrock) respectively.  The Bootleg is taken from an audience recording and sound quality is pretty average, however it is what it is and for metal enthusiasts it is better than nothing.
The EP's are a much more enjoyable listening experience by far.   Play them LOUD folks ! 

Metal Fetish (1982) Track Listing
01 Nine Lives *
02 Break And Bend
03 Fallen Idol
04 Pounding Energy

Metal Fetish (1984) Track Listing
01 Break And Bend
02 Heavin'
03 Got To Deliver *
04 Fallen Idol
05 Pounding Energy

* Same Track

Live @ Central Club, Richmond, Aust (26.03.1984)
01 Eletric eye
02 Fallen Idol
03 Got To Deliver
04 Burnin'
05 Heads Are Gonna Roll
06 Wishing Well
07 Strike While The Irons hot
08 Live Wire
09 Heavin'
10 Desert Plains
11 Break and Bend
12 Heavy Handed
13. Pounding Energy