Friday, June 30, 2023

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Weird Al Yankovic - Jurassic Park (1993)

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

"Jurassic Park" is a parody of Richard Harris's version of Jimmy Webb's song "MacArthur Park", written and performed by "Weird Al" Yankovic; it was released both as a single and as part of Yankovic's Alapalooza album in October 1993. "Jurassic Park" was penned by Yankovic after he remembered the enjoyment he had when he combined a classic rock track with a recent movie topic with his 1985 song "Yoda". Yankovic decided to combine the plot of the recent movie Jurassic Park—a film about a park on a fictional island where geneticists have succeeded in cloning dinosaurs—with the classic Richard Harris track "MacArthur Park".

The song was paired with an elaborately animated music video, which was created by Mark Osborne and Scott Nordlund almost entirely via claymation. The video did not receive extensive play on MTV, although it was popular on The Box, VH1, and in Canada, where it was played on Much Music. The video, due to its animation, also later went on to be praised at various animation festivals worldwide.

"Jurassic Park" was met with mixed to positive reviews; while many reviewers enjoyed Yankovic's humor, others felt that the song did not satirize the source material, but instead merely recounted the plot to the movie. Webb himself was very pleased with the final result and has been known to sing the parody lyrics in concert. Although the single did not chart in the United States, it peaked at number 5 on the Canadian magazine The Record's single chart. The video was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video at the 37th Grammy Awards, although it did not win.

Early versions of the cover artwork had a red background to better resemble the Jurassic Park logo. The design was later changed to feature a yellow background out of fear that retail shoppers would confuse Alapalooza with the Jurassic Park movie soundtrack, despite the fact that Alapalooza had a sticker reading "No, this is NOT the 'Jurassic Park' soundtrack" glued to the shrinkwrap. When Warner/Elektra/Atlantic reissued Alapalooza in mid-1996, the original red-background artwork started to resurface.

This months WOCK on vinyl presents another clever parody by Mr Weird himself Al Yankovic.  I thought it appropriate to showcase his Jurassic Park musical take off, as the original movie Jurassic Park celebrated its 30th Birthday this month.  The Weirdness that applies to all Al Yankovic 's musical parodies definitely makes him a candidate for the WOCK on vinyl hall of fame. Hope you enjoy this one and if you are looking for more, why not take a look at these as well.

Ripped to FLAC, this post also includes full CD artwork, the lyrics and the humour which it brings.

Track List
1. Jurassic Park (3:53)
2. Frank's 2000" TV (4:04)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist (1978)

(U.K 1962 - Present)

The 1970s were made for such an eclectic and open-eared musician as guitarist John McLaughlin. As blues, rock, free jazz, Eastern scales and psychedelia merged at the end of the previous decade, McLaughlin was perfectly placed to cash in with his distinctive brand of fusion and the world was ready to listen.

Cutting his teeth in the mid to late-‘60s around the jazz clubs of Soho and on the periphery of the British Blues Boom (as well as playing pop sessions for the likes of David Bowie), McLaughlin emerged as a formidable solo artist at the beginning of the ‘70s.

Of course, a stint at Miles Davis University didn’t exactly hamper him either – McLaughlin played on Bitches Brew and several other albums but declined the offer to join Davis’s live touring band.

Following a period playing with another ex-Miles man Tony Williams in Lifetime, McLaughlin – armed with a very loud Les Paul (and bizarre double-necked axe pictured right) – assembled the critically and commercially viable Mahavishnu Orchestra which featured the likes of drummers Billy Cobham and Narada Michael Walden, keyboardist Jan Hammer and violinists Jean-Luc Ponty and Jerry Goodman in its three incarnations. In 1975, McLaughlin ditched the electric guitar for two years to play an all-acoustic mixture of jazz, classical Indian music, flamenco and blues in Shakti alongside violinist L Shankar and percussionist Zakir Hussain.

Always searching, he took stock at the end of 1977 and decided to plug in again. Recorded in New York and Los Angeles, Johnny McLaughlin Electric Guitarist took shape as a tribute to the electric guitar featuring McLaughlin’s key past collaborators. Every track would feature a different lineup and different idiom, from fusion to post-bop. Two years of playing acoustic guitar had helped improve McLaughlin’s touch on the electric and widened his artistic horizons too. [by Matt Phillips, 2015 at Sound of Surprise]

Album Review

If you listen to McLaughlin's version of "My Foolish Heart" from 1978's Johnny McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist, it's hard to logically explain how the same guitarist had also produced the sounds found on so many of his earlier records. It's hard to reconcile this tune with his approach on his debut Extrapolation, Miles' Tribute to Jack Johnson, Larry Coryell's Spaces, and various recordings by the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti. None of those earlier performances would have prepared you for McLaughlin's beautiful treatment of Victor Young and Nat Washington's jazz standard. His warm and serene arrangement sounds like the antithesis of what McLaughlin was known for.

Electric Guitarist was meant to be a comeback record for McLaughlin. Columbia Records was none too pleased that McLaughlin had produced three straight records with his Indian acoustic world music group Shakti. These records would eventually reach legendary status, but at the time they sold embarrassingly poorly. There was hope at Columbia that Electric Guitarist would bring John McLaughlin back to the top of the record sales heap. In the end, although it sold well, it did not sell as many records as Columbia had hoped.

This album features many of McLaughlin's contemporaries, including Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Narada Michael Walden, Carlos Santana, Jerry Goodman, and David Sanborn. There is not one weak cut on the entire album. Electric Guitarist also marks the first recorded use of McLaughlin's scalloped fretboard electric guitar, an idea from his Shakti experience that gave him a brand new sound. McLaughlin was able to bend notes and even chords beyond limits. This technique opened up a whole new vocabulary for his compositions.

Key cuts to play really loud include a duet with Billy Cobham, "Phenomenon-Compulsion," and "Are You the One? Are You the One?," featuring Tony Williams and Jack Bruce. This tune harkens back to the great Tony Williams Lifetime that featured McLaughlin, Bruce and the late Larry Young on organ. Even though, for obvious reasons, Young couldn't make this gig, he would have loved this tune. "Do You Hear The Voices You Left Behind," based upon the changes of Coltrane's "Giant Steps," is an unrelenting jazz force that McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jack DeJohnette play for all they are worth.

Many all-star recordings do not live up to their promise. This album is not one of them. Johnny McLaughlin- Electric Guitarist was the last important recording of the initial jazz-fusion movement.[review by Walter Kolosky, 2002 at All About Jazz]

Album Promo Poster


This hard to find original 45 year old poster for the legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist John McLaughlin is considered by collectors as the "holy grail" of John McLaughlin posters. It is his very best poster visually and also the most desirable. One recently sold on eBay for $200. Apparently, it was printed in extremely small quantities and distributed to select radio stations, distributors and retailers.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 'first pressing' vinyl which I bought in the year of its release, along with the usual high class artwork and label scans. I was a huge fan of Mahavishnu at the time and purchased this album when I sighted it in the record shelves at Melbourne University's Book Emporium. It should be noted that the title of the album actually attributes the album to 'Johnny McLaughlin'.

Track List
A1. New York On My Mind (5:46)
A2. Friendship (7:01)
A3. Every Tear From Every Eye (6:51)
B1. Do You Hear The Voices That You Left Behind? (7:40)
B2. Are You The One? Are You The One? (4:41)
B3. Phenomenon: Compulsion (3:21)
B4. My Foolish Heart (3:26)

The Players
John McLaughlin (guitar) with Jack Bruce (bass on B2), Stanley Clarke (acoustic bass on B1), Bill Cobham (drums on A1/B3), Chick Corea (piano and mini-moog on B1), Tom Coster (organ on A2), Jack DeJohnette (drums on B1), Stu Goldberg (electric piano, organ & mini-moog synthesizer on A1), Jerry Goodman (violon on A1), Neil Jason (bass on A2), Alphonso Johnson (Taurus bass pedals and bass on A3), Alyrio Lima (percussion on A2), Armando Peraza (congas on A2), Patrice Rushen (piano on A3), David Sanborn (alto sax on A3), Devadip Carlos Santana (guitar on A2), Fernando Saunders (bass on A1), Tony Smith (drums on A3), Narada Michael Walden (drums on A2), Tony Williams (drums on B2)

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

REPOST: Moscos & Stone - Selftitled (1978) + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1977 - 1980)
Laurie Stone, after his time with the Carol Lloyd Band and Railroad Gin, went on to form a musical partnership with local musician Peter Moscos who had previously been with the successful groups The Sect, Burke & Wills and Chicks Incorporated. Together as Moscos & Stone they recorded a string of singles and two albums. There is also thought to be a solo recording by Laurie Stone entitled "Life's A Carnival" done sometime in 1977 but this recording has yet to surface and is thought by some to be simply rumour. It is  around this same time he co-produced singles for local acts Moonlight, Jamie Dunn and Chicks Incorporated. In more recent years Stone has stepped out of the performing spotlight to carve a name for himself as a composer of film and television themes and scores with fellow Brisbane musician Garry MacDonald (no relation to the actor Gary McDonald a.k.a.
'Norman Gunston'). Garry who had been musically involved on both Moscos & Stone albums had also worked on two albums for radio identity Russ Tyson. Some of their credits to date include music for TV shows / films such as "Ocean Girl", "The Flying Doctors", "Thunderstone", "The Henderson Kids", "Sahara", "Tales Of The South Seas", "The New Adventures Of Flipper" & "Cybergirl" [extract from Carol Lloyd's tribute website]
Peter Moscos and Laurie Stone had a great music partnership and by 1980 were destined to spread out across Australia with their catchy melodies which they had crafted in their home town of Brisbane. They were on Countdown and other shows promoting their first single “Captain Captain” which was a hit and has since been released on C.D. But their glory days were short lived. The second single “Trouble In The City” was a minor hit but their string of subsequent lesser singles sank quickly. Peter Moscos had been one of the members of the pop group The Sect and had participated in hits such as "Lonely Road" and "St. John's Wood".

Moscos & Stone On Countdown

He was next in a group called the Platterpushers who evolved into another group called Burke and Wills. They had the singles "Thank You" and "Come With Me". Peter was a member of the group Hands Down with Tony Worsley and a drummer called Jamie Dunn. Jamie Dunn went onto fame as the voice of Agro (the TV puppet and singing star). Peter Moscos wrote and produced songs for the Agro show and albums as well as the TV show Pugwall. Since Peter’s pop career stalled in the 1980s he worked behind the scenes and wrote songs for many Australian artists and TV productions. One of his most memorable was the theme for the TV drama "Flying Doctors". In the early 90's his soundtrack work took him to L.A. Peter born 1948 died in 2003 of cancer in Sydney.

.This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine vinyl, picked up at a garage sale back in 2015. As usual, full album artwork and label scans are included. I bought their "Captain, Captain (Part I)" single when it was first released in 1979 and always regretted not pursuing the album, so I thought I'd share my lucky find with you.  As an extra bonus, I have included two B-Side singles "Stoned On Love" and "The Girl's In Love" which did not appear on the album.

Note: This post is dedicated to a long departed friend, Dennis Cherry, who absolutely loved the "Captain, Captain" single.  I'm sure he's singing along to the chorus at this very moment.....

New Improved RIP (Remastered)

Track Listing
01 - Empty Horses
02 - Trouble In The City
03 Saturday Night In Mexico
04 - Baby What's The Matter
05 - A Little Bit Easier
06 - Make You Mine
07 - Tropic Line
08 - Captain, Captain (Part 1)
09 - Captain, Captain (Part 2)
10 - Loving You Ain't Easy
11 - Caught In A Heatwave12 - Song For You

13 - Strike Up The Band
14 - Captain, Captain (Reprise)
15 - Stoned On Love (Bonus B-Side Single)
16 - The Girl's In Love (Bonus B-Side Single)

Peter Moscos - Guitar, Vocals
Laurie Stone - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Trombone, Vocals
Garry Mc Donald - Guitar
Don Lebler - Drums, Percussion
Paul Doo - Drums
Buzzi & Friends - Percussion
Jenny Clark, Louise Art, Maree Goon, Andrea Lees - Backing Vocals

Moscos & Stone FLACs  (260Mb) New Link 20/06/2023

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Jimi Hendrix - Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (1977) Bootleg

 (U.S 1963 - 1970)

This French compilation Bootleg is housed in a white jacket with a Pink and Black cover sheet. Other releases have featured Tan and Pale Green covers, while others feature Lemon with Black writing.   

"While other Jimi Hendrix Bootlegs focus on a particular concert, rehearsal, or studio session, 'Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?' is a collection Of odds and ends that spans 1967-1970. The Bootleg ranges from BBC broadcasts of The Jimi Hendrix Experience ("Burning Of The Midnight Lamp," "Drivin' South," And The Title Song) to studio rarities with The Band Of Gypsys (Including "Auld Lang Syne," and "Little Drummer Boy")

Note that the listed track "Silent Night" is not actually on this bootleg and is in fact introductory dialogue to the Ronnie Scott tracks - "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road". On these two tracks, Hendrix And Eric Burdon share the stage at the Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London only days before Hendrix's death on September 18, 1970. This bootleg also contains an interview with Paul McCartney, who briefly discusses Hendrix's contributions to the music scene. The Sound Quality on this LP ranges from Excellent to Poor, which isn't really recommended for casual listeners but is a must if you're a serious Hendrix fanatic." Alex Henderson, (All Music Guide).

Jimi with Eric Burdon & War
Jimi's Last Stage Performance

Eric Burdon and War were continuing a week residency at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club on Wednesday, 16th September in 1970. Jimi and Monika Danneman watched as they played their recent hits of "Paint It Black", "Spill The Wine" and "Train". After the interval Jimi decided to sit in with the group on "Mother Earth" and "Tobacco Road". Jimi loved to jam like this, just playing quietly in the background, playing mostly Rhythm guitar. Eric Burdon later told Rolling Stone "He really got into Tobacco Road".

Sadly, this was to be the last time that Jimi Hendrix would ever play his guitar in public. [Extract from Jimi Hendrix: The Concert Files by Tony Brown, Omnibus Press, 1999. p175]

I remember purchasing this bootleg from a Trash & Treasure Market in Fawkner - Melbourne, back in the 80's for the pricey sum of $9. I originally thought it was a TMOQ release with its basic two tone cover, until I opened it up to find a Dragonfly labelled vinyl. I already had the BBC recordings multiple times on other bootlegs in my collection (see Never Fade, Guitar Hero) but was drawn to the live Ronnie Scott recordings and the three Band Of Gypsy's studio tracks. Although disappointed with the quality of the live recordings, I found them to be intriguing - if not just because they represented the last thing that Jimi recorded before his death. I was particularly intrigued to find the newspaper article (see below) titled 'Jimi's last gig - by Burdon' and found it to be fascinating reading. I have included a copy of this in my post.

I wasn't surprised either when I realised that there were only two Band Of Gypsy tracks (not three as stated), as I'd already come across other bootlegs with misinformation on their covers. The sound quality of these two track are good.

As an avid Hendrix collector, this bootleg still stands as an important component in my vinyl collection, even with its flaws. I hope you take the time to have a listen and accept it for what it is: a brief snippet of Jimi's genius.

This post contains FLACS ripped from my pristine vinyl and have removed the occasional crackle and pop that came with this bootleg quality vinyl.
Side One:
01 Auld Lang Syne (Band of Gypsies) - Studio
02 Interview With Alan Douglas
03 Little Drummer Boy (Band of Gypsies) - Studio
04 Silent Night (Band of Gypsies)
05 Mother Earth (Jimi Hendrix with Eric Burdon and War)
06 Interview with Paul McCartney
Side Two:
01 Burning The Midnight Lamp (Experience)- Live on BBC
02 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Experience)- Live on BBC
03 Drivin' South (Experience)- Live on BBC
04 Tobacco Road (Jimi Hendrix with Eric Bourdon and War)

Eric Burdon and War:
Eric Burdon – vocals
Jimi Hendrix – guitar
Howard Scott – guitar
Dee Allen – percussion
Harold Brown – drums
B.B.Dickerson – bass
Lonnie Jordan – organ & piano
Charles Miller – sax & flute
Lee Oskar – harmonica

Friday, June 9, 2023

Duck - Laid (1972)

 (Australian 1972)

In 1972 Bobbi Marcini, John Robinson (ex-Dave Miller Set, Blackfeather) and Steve Webb became the core a new supergroup called Duck, with the lineup completed by renowned jazzer and session pianist Bobby Gebert (who worked with many well-known rock bands including Tully), bassist Teddy Toi (ex-Aztecs, Fanny Adams) and percussionist Larry Duryea (ex Tamam Shud). They recorded 16 tracks at Melbourne's TCS Studios, although only 12 were eventually released. Singer Jon English (ex-Sebastian Hardie) performed lead vocals on several songs, alternating with Bobbi. The resulting LP released on Warner Brothers, 'Laid', released in July 1972, was a mixed bag, but included some strong tracks including Neil Young's ''Southern Man'', Bill Withers' ''Ain't No Sunshine'', Frank Zappa's ''Dog Breath'' and Nick Gravenites' ''Buried Alive in the Blues''.

Two Duck singles were issued the first, ''Sweet Inspiration/Southern Man'' came out before the LP in May 1972, followed by their version of Paul McCartney's ''Maybe I'm Amazed'' and on the flip side Bob Dylan's ''The Man in Me'' in September. Encouraged by the results of the project, the core members of the band decided to become a permanent outfit and hit the boards. But by the time they premiered as a live act, Jon English was already ensconced as 'Judas' in Harry M. Miller's production of Jesus Christ Superstar so his place was taken by former Wild Cherries lead singer Danny Robinson for touring. Guitarist Russell Smith (ex-Company Caine, Mighty Kong) also toured with them.

According to contemporary reports, the group suffered from the all-too-familiar management woes, and both Bobbi and and John have confirmed that the group's relationship with producer G. Wayne Thomas was part of the problem. Clearly this was not an isolated incident, since it is known that the members of Tamam Shud, who featured prominently on the 'Morning Of The Earth' soundtrack, were never paid for their contributions to that album and have never seen a cent from it to this day. When Bobbi fell ill in late 1972, she went into hospital for an appendectomy and when she came out, Duck had folded. Percussionist Larry Taylor, also known as Larry Duryea, passed away on 9 December 2003 in Los Angeles, California, after a long struggle with cancer. Jon English died following post-operative complications late in the evening of 9 March 2016.
[Extract from history of aussie music - thanks to Kimbo]

Album Review (by Resevoir_dog - 2022)

An interesting range of cover versions are found on this rare Australian LP, including a Zappa tune and also Lucille Has Messed Up My Mind which Zappa covered on Joe's Garage about 7 years later when Jeff Simmons was in the Mothers. There are also some more predictable covers of Dylan, Lennon, Bill Withers and McCartney tunes. Another interesting cover choice was the Stones' "Memo From Turner" (wrongly called Memo To Turner) which originally appeared in the cult Mick Jagger-James Fox film Performance. It was only ever released as a split single and also appeared on their Metamorphosis compilation. The album flopped commercially - perhaps Duck was a rather lame name, but interestingly at least 23 other groups decided to call themselves Duck.

Newspaper Article: Have The days of the Supergroup gone?

For the past three months six Sydney musicians, under the name of DUCK, have been constantly rehearsing together in an attempt to give Australian audiences back some entertainment.

Strong words, but with Duck's impressive line-up they have proved to be such the band to present these aims properly. Their live performances are energetic, very exciting and musically astonishing.

Duck are Bobbi Marchini (ex-Hunger) vocals and percussion, Teddy Toi (ex-Wild Cherries and Fanny Adams) bass and vocals, John Robinson (ex Blackfeatrher and Hunger) guitar, Bob Gebbert (ex Tully) electric piano, Steve Webb (ex Blackfeather) drums and Larry Duryes (ex Tamam Shud) congas and percussion. Besides these musicians, Jon English will feature in the Sydney performances and Danny Robinson will perform with the band in Melbourne.

"The Australian music scene today is dull, with only a handful of groups who give the audience what they want, good music and entertainment, so Duck was formed to play good rock and roll and also to entertain the audience at the same time". With this statement John Robinson named the Aztecs and Blackfeather as examples of groups who fall into this handful.

Duck is the brainchild of Isis Productions (G. Wayne Thomas and others). Since it's inception, the band has been financially backed thus enabling them to rehearse as much as possible. John explained further. "With our backing, together with session work as a band and as individuals. Duck has been kept alive".

Besides Duck doing gigs and recording as a band, each member is able to pursue their own solo projects in recording or whatever. Asked about the material that they'll be doing, John replied "mostly cover versions, but once the band is fully established we will do more original material by members of the band. At present our repertoire consists of about ten percent original material.

Material on their album includes McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed". Jeff Symmon's "Lucille", The Hollies' "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress", Joplin's "Buried Alive In The Blues" and John Lennon's "Mother".

Duck recently recorded 16 tracks at TCS but picked 12 tracks for the album. The release date is planned for October.

Danny Robinson sings Dylan's "Man And Me" on the LP, this was also planned for a single but was retracted because G. Wayne Thomas thought it wasn't commercial enough. Duck haven't had any success with their single release because they don't seem to be able to actually get one released. Not because the record isn't good enough, it's just that they believe they can do better.

The days of the super-groups have gone, perhaps not with the formation of Duck. The band plan to do their first concert in Sydney at the end of this month. Duck are finally in flight, watch for them as their live performances are really something else. [Sydney Newspaper article, 1972 by D. Nugent]

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (not my rip) and includes album artwork and label scans. As a cover band Duck were a highly professional and talented group, however it is a shame that they didn't go on to record their own material. 

Sadly, like most supergroups they didn't stay together for very long and one can only wonder what 'might have been'.  

A1 Maybe I'm Amazed (Jon English)  3:28
A2 Southern Man (Bobbi Marchini) 2:24
A3 Anyway You Want Me (Jon English & Bobbi Marchini) 3:45
A4 Dog Breath (Jon English & Bobbi Marchini) 2:41
A5 Burned Alive In The Blues (Bobbi Marchini) 2:38
A6 Memo To Turner (Jon English) 3:41
B1 The Man In Me (Jon English) 3:20
B2 How Long Before I'm Gone (Bobbi Marchini) 3:59
B3 Ain't No Sunshine (Bobbi Marchini) 3:22
B4 Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress (Jon English) 3:07
B5 Mother  4:25
B6 Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up (Jon English) 3:26
B7 Do Right Woman (Danny Robinson & The Virgil Brothers) 3:26

Band Members:
Jon English (vocals), 
Bobbi Marchini (vocals), 
Danny Robinson (vocals), 
John Robinson (guitar), 
Russell Smith (guitar), 
Bobby Gebert (keyboards), 
Teddy Toi (bass), 
Larry Duryea (percussion)
Steve Webb (drums)

Duck Link (102Mb)

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Procol Harum - Live in Concert With The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (1972) + Bonus Single

(U.K 1967 - 1977, 1991 - Present)

Recorded on 18th November 1971 at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada, the album captured a truly magical performance by Gary Brooker (vocals, piano), B.J. Wilson (drums), Chris Copping (organ and harpsichord), Alan Cartwright (bass) and Dave Ball (guitar), the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Da Camera Singers. Classic Procol Harum material such as ‘Conquistador’, ‘Whaling Stories’, ‘A Salty Dog’ and the epic ‘In Held ‘Twas in I’ were beautifully arranged by Gary Brooker and the resulting album was one of Procol’s most successful and spawned a hit single in ‘Conquistador’. It remains one of the finest collaborations between a rock band, orchestra and choir. 

This release also includes an illustrated booklet featuring material from Gary Brooker’s personal archive and an essay by Procol Harum authority Roland Clare, as well as a bonus track "Luskus Delph" which was the B-Side of their "Conquistador" single.

Procol Harum 1972

This whole album was an afterthought -- Procol Harum had been invited to play a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Da Camera Singers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in August of 1971, at the tail-end of their last tour with Robin Trower in the lineup. Amid all of the preparation -- including the writing of new orchestral arrangements by Gary Brooker and with a new lead guitarist, Dave Ball, just joining the lineup -- Brooker decided that it might be a good idea to preserve a professionally made tape of the show and suggested that A&M Records, to which they were signed, might want to record the performance; the label agreed with just a week to go until the concert. Even "Conquistador," the song on which the resulting album's commercial success was built, was added at the last minute, with no time for the orchestra to rehearse the arrangement that Brooker wrote on the flight from England. 

They did it coldly, opening the concert, and the eventual album featured a performance -- highlighted by the orchestra's brass in a Spanish mode, running scales on the strings, and B.J. Wilson's powerful drumming -- helped loft the single to number 16 in America. The group's second-biggest hit record (after "A Whiter Shade of Pale"), in turn, helped lift the album into the American Top Five. Ironically, the success of the LP also left Procol Harum's image slightly askew, with the presence of the orchestra and choir and the selection of songs, from the most ambitious part of the band's repertory, all combining to present the group as more of a progressive rock act than they actually were. 

"Conquistador" was the most accessible song on the album, and nothing else here matches it for sheer, bracing excitement, but the rest -- especially "Whaling Stories", "A Salty Dog" and the multi-part "In Held 'Twas I" -- were all opened up by the vast canvas provided by the orchestra, and the group didn't wimp out in their own performance; Wilson, Ball, Brooker, and company all played hard and heavy where the songs required it.

If anyone who wants to get into the music and history of Procol Harum, this is an excellent start to understand how much the band were ahead of their time and both Gary Brooker and Keith Reid were the Mount Rushmore of singer-songwriters in the realms of Lennon/McCartney. 

Concert Review
"In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Da Camera Singers"
Of all the rock-orchestral fusions this one really does work primarily because Procol have used the technique before, and because they use it with arrogance, assurance and don't set out to compromise.
From the very beginning when the guitar and strings play together on "Conquistador" with perfect balance, this is a success.

This album really brings home just how good Procol are on sea songs. "Whaling Stories" makes brilliant use of the orchestra to heighten the effect of a sea battle with a whale, working up from just string-backed vocals to a terrific crescendo.

"Salty Dog" is also impressive in its grandeur, complete with quadrophonic seagull noises. In contrast, "Twas Teatime At The Circus" from the long "In Held 'Twas I" on side two, captures all the rumbustious humph of the circus, and then plunges into the eerie thunder-opening of "In The Autumn Of My Madness" , a chilling number with good use of flute and organ.
A very complete and highly talented album which should help dispel this group's image of the the 1967 one-hit wonders. C.B

Chris Copping and B.J Wilson

Ripped from my vinyl, this post consists of FLACS and includes full album artwork for both CD and vinyl media, plus label scans.  I distinctly remember when this album was released in Australia.  A school mate of mine brought the LP to school one day, and we played side one on a brilliant sound system that was located in the school's Music Centre. The Director of Music at the time was rather impressed with our selection of music, although he wasn't as impressed several years later, when we played Sabbath Bloody Sabbath at full blast !

Track Listing
01. Conquistador
02. Whaling Stories
03. A Salty Dog
04. All This and More
05. In Held 'Twas in I
06. Luskus Delph (Bonus B-side single)

Procol Harum were:
Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)
B.J. Wilson (drums)
Chris Copping (organ and harpsichord)
Alan Cartwright (bass)
Dave Ball (guitar)  

Procol Harum Live Link (287Mb) New Link 05/09/2023