Thursday, November 30, 2023

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Goldie Hawn - Goldie (1972)

 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.

Goldie Hawn is an American actress who rose to fame on the NBC sketch comedy program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968–1970), before going on to receive the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Cactus Flower (1969). She later appeared in a string of successful films during the 70's, 80's and 90's - but my favourite is her starring role with Kurt Russell (who she later married) in the 1987 Comedy 'Overboard'.

My first recollections of seeing her on T.V was watching her Go Go Dancing on Laugh In. Being an impressionable and young hormonal teenager at the time, her skimpy bikini and body paint was the highlight of the show, and it was 'lust at first sight'. 

And then later, what a hidden talent - who would have guessed that Goldie could sing?
In 1972, Reprise Records released a country album from Goldie Hawn. The album is country tinged folk pop (Buck Owen's band The Buckaroos play on a few tracks (I'll Be Your Baby Tonight), rounded out by session musicians.)

Review by Stewart Mason (AllMusic Review)
It's a tragedy of pop culture in the new millennium that starlets don't rush willy-nilly into the recording studio anywhere near as much as they used to. Goldie Hawn's sole foray into pop music -- originally released in 1972 on Warner Bros. after Laugh-In but before her appearance in Steven Spielberg's Sugarland Express revealed her dramatic range as an actress -- isn't Golden Throats-level bad, surely to the disappointment of hipsters everywhere. Although Hawn's helium-pitched voice is a trifle thin and limited, the selection of material wisely plays to her strengths, with Dolly Parton's "My Blue Tears" and -- believe it or not -- Joni Mitchell's "Carey" both well-suited to her soprano vocals.

In fact, the only really egregious errors aren't really her fault: the Frenchified "Butterfly," with its absurdly cheesy choral backing, wouldn't have sounded good sung by anybody, and the countrified take on Van Morrison's "I Wanna Roo You" has a botched arrangement that slaps on a vaguely oompah-style waltz-time arrangement that suits neither singer nor song. Other than that, though, Goldie is a sweetly endearing country-tinged middle of the road pop record of a style that just isn't being made anymore.

Sidenote: "Golden Throats 3, Sweethearts of Rodeo Drive" was the third Golden Throats collection released by Rhino, this time featuring clueless celebrities warbling country songs. The cover image was based on the cover of the Byrd's country-rock album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", and features Goldie Hawn sporting her Laugh-In tattoos.

And Now For Something Weird

Goldie Hawn has recalled being "touched" by aliens.
The 77-year-old Hollywood star suddenly remembered hearing a "high pitched sound" outside of her window and claimed that a few extraterrestrial beings came forward to feel her face in a move she likened to being touched by God.
Speaking on Apple+ 'Time to Walk' audio experience, she said: “It was kind of like regression therapy or something. I am, like, almost in a trance. And suddenly I remembered something.
"They touched my face, and it felt like the finger of God. I got this high-pitched sound in my ear. It was this high, high frequency. And I looked out the window, and I saw these two or three triangular-shaped heads. It was the most benevolent, loving feeling. This was powerful. It was filled with light."[Extract from The Daily Sentinel]

This month's WOCK on Vinyl post started off fitting into the Obscure box (thanks to Tony Angel for this rare rip) however after reading the above article from The Daily Sentinel, I've decided to tick the Weird Box as well.  I'm starting to think that Goldie may have been using more than paint with her body during her 'Laugh In Days' - but then, didn't we all? Say no more.   Hope you enjoy her album. Ripped to MP3 (320kps) and includes album artwork.

Track List
A1 - My Blue Tears  2:14
Written-By – Dolly Parton
A2 - Wynken, Blynken And Nod   2:32
Written-By – Donovan Leitch, Eugene Field
A3 - Butterfly   3:20
Written-By – Danyel GĂ©rard
A4 - Uncle Pen    2:40
Written-By – Bill Monroe
A5 - The House Song    4:02
Written-By – Paul Stookey, Robert Bannard
A6 - I'll Be Your Baby Tonight   3:00
Written-By – Bob Dylan
B1 - Carey    2:46
Written-By – Joni Mitchell
B2 - Cloudy Summer Afternoon   2:45
Written-By – Travis Edmonson
B3 - Ring Bell    3:00
Written-By – George David Weiss, Jerry Ragovoy
B4 - I Wanna Woo You    2:30
Written-By – Van Morrison
B5 - Pasadena    2:45
Written-By – Edgar Leslie, Grant Clarke, Harry Warren

Sunday, November 26, 2023

REPOST: Finch - Beyond Expression (1976)

(Dutch 1974-78)
Foundation of Dutch progrock band Finch was laid by bass player Peter Vink and drummer Beer Klaasse (both ex-Q65 and The Kjoe). They were eager to play progressive music: Peter was impressed by the symphonic rock of Yes and Beer by the improvised rock of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Cream. After some sessions and failed efforts to find a good singer, the new band switched to instrumental music with this line-up: Peter Vink, Beer Klaasse, the 19 year old "guitar virtuoso" Joop van Nimwegen and keyboard player Paul Vink. With two Vink’s in the band the name became Finch, the English translation from this Dutch name. The EMI sub-label Negram was willing to invest in the new progrock band, in ’75 this resulted in the debut-album "Glory of the Inner Force" (worldwide sold 20,000 copies). New keyboard player Cleem Determeijer’s interplay with guitarist Joop sounded captivating and the first album was hailed by the music press. The single "Colossus" (’75) wasn’t successful but it’s now a hugh collector’s item. In ’76 the second album "Beyond Expression" was released, it was acclaimed as Album of the week by radio and the broadcasting company Veronica and known music magazines were very positive.

The future looked bright for Finch: sold out concerts, worldwide sales (15,000 copies) and in Japan Finch became almost as popular as other Dutch progrock bands Focus and Earth & Fire! Unfortunately Cleem was no longer able to combine the music with his classical study, he was replaced by Ad Wammes and, due to musical disagreement, Hans Borsboom replaced Beer Klaasse. This new Finch line-up released the third album entitled "Galleons of Passion" in ’77, it was not received very well though the sales flagged around the 11,000 copies. It turned out to be the band’s swansong until in ’99 the Dutch record company Pseudonym Records released a 2-CD, including fine demos of the "Galleons of Passion" album and exciting live material from ’76.

Peter Vink
Slightly less frantic and a bit more challenging, Finch’s second album rounds off some of the sharp edges, but it’s no less adventurous than the debut. The 20-minute “A Passion Condensed” will probably stand for all time as their defining masterpiece, its mood changes and structural layers revealing themselves after many attentive listens. Each passage merges easily into the next, showing Finch at the top of their game, each member completely dialed-in and making this huge piece work. The are times when one is almost tricked into thinking that it is Focus playing rather than Finch, so and so their Dutch counterparts have obviously been a big influence. 

In particular the interplay between Joop’s complex guitar work and Cleem’s keyboard runs is very reminiscent of work of Jan Akerman and This Van Leer.“Scars On The Ego” smashes through next, standing as their heaviest-ever track. Based around a riff that feels like pure epic metal, the middle of the song settles into a hypnotic cosmic caress before erupting in a fury of sparks and fire (thanks to the wailing punishment keyboardist Cleem Determeijer and guitarist JoopVan Nimwegen dish out to their instruments).While the title of third track “Beyond The Bizarre” would seem to indicate a wilder ride ahead, it is simply 14 minutes of typical Finch. It bounces between mellow and manic, highlighted by a joyous lightning-speed workout from the stringed instrumentalists. 

Joop Van Nimwegen
About 2/3 of the way through the song they break into a cosmic interlude which sounds so much like a section from Yes’s ‘Close To The Edge’ that you’d swear you were at a Yes concert. But credit to Finch – 'Yes' are a band that anyone would like to be mistaken for. Beyond Expression is not as direct as their first album, nor as refined as their third, but this second album can probably be considered the most challenging and diverse of the three Finch albums. I intend to post the other two albums when time allows.
The only disappointment is the albums front cover – what were they thinking of. A fiery heart attached to what looks like an umbilical cord is not what I would describe as Beyond Expression – perhaps they should have called it Beyond Belief !

The rip included here was taken from Vinyl in FLAC format and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD. Harvest label scans are also included.
Track List :
01. A Passion Condensed - 20:08
02. Scars On The Ego - 8:54
03. Beyond The Bizarre - 14:24
Band Members:
Cleem Determeijer (keyboards)
Beer Klaasse (drums)
Joop Van Nimwegen (guitars)
Peter Vink (bass)

Finch Link (242Mb) REPOST

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

REPOST: Electric Sun - Earthquake (1979)

(German 1978-1986)
Uli Jon Roth (a.k.a. Ulrich Roth) is a German-born virtuoso guitarist who has been in bands such as Scorpions, Electric Sun, and Sky of Avalon. While maintaining a cult status, he has influenced and inspired the likes of other great guitarists such as "Eddie Van Halen" and "Yngwie Malmsteen". He played with Scorpions in the mid-70's for 5 years, recording 4 studio albums and 1 live album. After departing from Scorpions, he went to form his own band Electric Sun and recorded three albums. Then he disappeared from the music scene for more than 10 years before coming back with a new band called Sky of Avalon, which resulted in Roth's departure from Rock N' Roll and embracing more of a classically-oriented sound. 

In 2000 he released the unique album Transcendental Sky Guitar, which displays his virtuosity and appreciation for both rock and classical music. He continued his classical experiments with his rendition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, titled Metamorphosis and then followed up with Symphonic Legend Volume Number I - Under A Dark Sky.
Being a huge fan of the "Master of the Stratocaster" Jimi Hendrix, I easily gravitated to the sounds of Robin Trower & Frank Marino in the early-mid 70's to fill the void. They were the closest thing to Jimi's spirit as you could get. Enter Uli Jon Roth, Scorpions axe man (first heard him on the track 'Speed Is Coming') and felt the Hendrix vibes throughout and then was taken to the max on "Fly to the Rainbow".

I picked up the "Earthquake" Electric Sun album back in the late 70's from an import shop in city central (Melbourne) and was stunned by some of the best virtuoso and technical guitar playing I have heard in awhile. If you love that Hendrix sound, Uli delivers the goods and puts a smile in your ears. From the opening track "Electric Sun" to the closing title track of "Earthquake" Uli Jon Roth paints a melodic soundscape of guitar "meisterwerk" that would influence the next crop of rock guitarists to come in the 80's. 

This album is an instant guitar hero classic and it takes you to another level. Favourite tracks are 'Sundown' and of course the epic title track 'Earthquake' where Uli pulls out all of the stops on his amplifier and puts his guitar through a masterful workout.

The only downside are the vocals but they'll grow on you after awhile and don't take away from his monster guitarwork. Keep your rap and alternative crap.....just give me a real musician, a stratocaster and a stack of Marshalls and I'm one happy rock 'n' roll camper!

The rip included here was taken from my vinyl in FLAC format and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD, along with label scans.


Track Listing
01 - Electric Sun
02 - Lilac
03 - Burning Wheels Turning
04 - Japanese Dream
05 - Sundown
06 - Winterdays
07 - Still So Many Lives Away
08 - Earthquake

Band Members
Uli Jon Roth (Guitar, Vocals)Ule Ritgen (Bass)
Clive Edwards (Drums)

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Ralph McTell - You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here (1971)

(U.K 1969 - Present)

On Ralph McTell's website, he talks about the events leading up to the recording of this album and the various songs featured, including a remake of his hit "Streets of London".

Ralph: Between this album and the last, my life had changed rapidly in terms of how I was perceived or how I thought I was perceived. I was now managed by the legendary Jo Lustig, a hard but totally loyal New Yorker who was managing Pentangle and had worked for Nat King Cole and (inadvertently) for the mafia. Jo had big plans for me but we did not always see eye to eye. I filled a vacant night for him at the Royal festival hall and we all were surprised by how many people came. Jo made his pitch for me on the same night and after consulting at length with my brother Bruce I signed up with him.

The song "Streets of London" was picking up cover versions everywhere and the huge record company Paramount had negotiated my contract from Transatlantic Records and a re mix of various tracks was released as an LP called “Revisited.” I was oblivious as to what was going on but it became clear that this whole exercise was a bit of a smoke screen to get hold of “that” song for the USA. It was proposed that I embark on my most ambitious album production to date with dear Gus Dudgeon once again at the helm. I was annoyed at the prospect of having to re record “Streets” again but in so doing I met Danny Thompson who has been a life long friend.

In the intervening years Gus’s reputation had grown and he was a brilliant talent spotter of musicians. He had assembled a mega cast of players for this enterprise and I cannot imagine the studio bills if it were to be done today. Musicians included Rick Wakeman, Roger Pope, Davey Johnson, Caleb Quaye, and the entire London Symphony Orchestra!

My young family and I were still living in a council flat in the back end of Croydon and I was meeting acclaimed musicians and big record company people. My friend’s lives had not changed much and I was adrift on a sea of self-doubt and questioning that gave rise to many of the songs on the new album. especially the title track. (Dear old Jo thought I had written it for him and thanked me with tears running down his face, I had to gently explain that I had not.)

I had decided to get a piano and spent hours noodling away with a simple accompanying technique that I had learned from my friend Gary Petersen. I have always thought that the blues were my teachers but as has been pointed out to me by musical friends, I am more influenced by hymn tunes than almost anything else when it comes to the keyboard. I suppose the prime examples would be "Old Brown Dog" and "You Well Meaning Brought Me Here". "Pick up a Gun" also came about through the piano.

In spite of recording most of the album at the state of the art studios Trident at St Anne’s Ct in Soho, Gus still wanted me to do live vocals. In the end we compromised with me giving guide vocals and then repairing both guitar and vocal parts afterwards. Gus was developing his style of totally immaculate tight perfect multi tracks to give him maximum mixing potential. The only trouble was that he had me and I am a specialist in the rattle and hum department. I began to get pissed off with this search for perfection as it often meant that because the vocal was going on later, the musicians would not know what the song was about and the feel might not be there. Somehow it worked out but not before some tantrums and hurling of the cans (headphones) at the control room glass partition had occurred from me.

"Old Brown Dog" featured a blinding solo from the genius of Caleb Quaye and it was on his solo at the end of the song that I believe a Leslie cabinet was used for the first time. This device is what gives a Hammond organ its distinctive sound. It just happened to be in the control room and with the help of Robin Cable the studio engineer it was rigged to receive the signal from the guitar. Caleb was knocked out and the solo went on for minutes. If you listen carefully you can hear an edit after the second chorus. Caleb, Davey Johnson and Roger Pope the drummer went on to become the backing musicians to a certain up and coming piano player called Elton John. It was Gus who brought them together and introduced Ray Cooper – who played on "In Some Way I Loved You" – to Elton too.

Rick Wakeman played some piano on this record and I think Hammond as well. He went on to become a mega star but he was such a great bloke and though we don’t see each other often it’s always nice to meet up, most recently at the Lonnie Donnegan tribute at the Royal Albert Hall.

Rick Wakeman Was A Session Player For Ralph McTell
Tony Visconti was called in to arrange the "Ballad of Dancing Doreen" but the principal arranger on this record was Robert Kirby. Robert was a school friend of Nick Drake and had done the arrangements on Nick’s albums. His string parts were absolutely gorgeous to my ear and he was such a terrific man. What I did not know was that Gus had persuaded the record Company to let him use the London Symphony orchestra to play his parts. These were done at Air Studios and the entire orchestra plus the Garibaldi Brass Ensemble an eight-piece choir and a harpist that was dressed as a teddy boy were pressed into Studio One for the recordings.

Robert conducted and I sat speechless in the control room overwhelmed by the majesty of the sound. The orchestra could not hear the part I was playing as they were following the conductor’s baton. After each take they all tried to get into the control room to listen.

The clock was ticking as it came to the last song: "The Ferryman". It is a long number and it necessitated bringing a speaker out into the room with just my guitar and voice on it for the orchestra to pay to. The first take broke down as the clock moved to one o’clock. This meant the entire orchestra would be on overtime, which would have pushed the budget well over the limit. However they volunteered to do it at no extra charge and got it in one take. I always remember the clock at 1.20pm when they all trooped in to listen to the take. I thought it the most exciting thing I had ever recorded. Everything went down live – including the Teddy-boy harpist and the choir. [Side Note: This album was re-released in 1987 under the name 'The Ferryman' and the cover is pictured above].

However the number that seemed to be the most popular on this record was "First and Last Man". Gus and his wife Shelia were the backing singers and Gus got me to play my old harmonium as well. We used that instrument on "Lay your Money Down" as well. I played all the instruments on that little piece and had a lot of fun doing it. "Genesis 1 v20" was recorded with just two guitars and Mike Hugg brought in his Moog Synthesiser on which I played the solo.

1971 Concert Programme Booklet
I had been rehearsing for months with a bass player called Steve Bonnett and we recorded "Chalkdust" together with me overdubbing piano later. This was the song that was substituted for "Streets of London" on the releases elsewhere in the world. Paramount released an album with just that song on it and wrote on the cover something about being so excited about my new album they could not wait for the rest of the songs to be recorded. I think it may have turned as many people off as it turned on to the album. A few months after the release of the record the label was ought out by the Gulf and Western Conglomerate and the artist Melanie (who had also recently signed to the company) and I were lost in a sea of bureaucracy. But by this time I was on tour in the states and more confused than ever about where I was going. [Extract from Ralph McTell's Website]

Album Releases

The American release of McTell’s LP, “You Well-Meaning, Brought Me Here.” McTell's LP was not destined for airplay on many U.S. stations

Fortunately, the American (and Australian) release of the LP on the Paramount record label featured the song “Streets of London.” This song is missing from the British and European release of this same album, as it had been available on a previous LP in the UK.

Although McTell recorded “Streets of London” for his 1969 album “Spiral Staircase,” it was not released as a single in the UK until 1974, where his third recording of the song topped the charts at number 2. The version released outside the UK on the album “You Well Meaning, Brought Me Here” was a second recording of the song and actually charted at 9 in Holland. This second version is roughly 20secs longer than the original on his Spiral Suitcases LP

While the song illustrates the plight of the homeless and forgotten in Britain’s capital city, McTell actually wrote the lyrics about scenes he witnessed in Paris. He thought that London sounded better and used it instead. Over 200 artists have recorded this tune to date.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my Australian vinyl, which features "Streets of London" in place of "Chalkdust". Full album artwork for vinyl and CD is included, along with label scans.
It was only when  I was researching this album that I discovered that the U.K / European releases had a different track listing to the U.S / Australian releases. I have managed to source "Chalkdust" and am including it here as a supplementary track for my 'completist' blog followers.  
One a side note, I feel compelled to comment on the strange album title and its associated track lyric. I've always thought that the title should've been "Your Well-Meaning Brought Me Here" rather than the grammatically awkward "You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here".  However, this is not necessarily a typographical mistake as it is incorrect in 3 places (Album Title, Song Title and within the lyrics). Perhaps a blog follower might be able to enlighten me.

Track Listing
01 Genesis I Verse 20 4:28
02 First And Last Man 3:35
03 In Some Way I Loved You 2:54
04 Lay Your Money Down 2:48
05 Old Brown Dog 4:25
06 Pick Up A Gun 4:19
07 You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here 3:15
08 Streets Of London      3:30
09 The Ballad Of Dancing Doreen 3:08
10 Claudia 3:46
11 The Ferryman 7:04
12 Chalkdust (Bonus) 3:15

Ralph McTell - Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, 
Flute, Harmonium, Vocals
Steve Bonnett - Bass
Roger Pope - Drums
Rick Wakeman - Piano, Organ
Mick Vickers - Moog Synth
Davey Johnson - Mandolin
Danny Thompson - Double Bass
Caleb Quaye - Electric Guitar
Johnny van Derek - Violin
Christine Holmes, Barry St. John, Judy Powell, Liza Strike, 
Gus & Sheila Dudgeon - Backing Vocals
Complete London Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Jimi Hendrix - Isle Of Wight (1971) Vinyl

(U.S 1963 - 1970)

lsle Of Wight Festival,
August 30, 1970
East Afton Farm, Isle Of Wight

Jimi's band 'Cry Of Love' are supported by Joan Baez, Donovan & Open Road, Leonard Cohen & The Army, Richie Havens, Moody Blues, Pentangle, Good News, Jethro Tull and Ralph McTell, with MC Jeff Dexter.

On the day of his appearance at The Isle of Wight Festival, Jimi travels from London to Stapelton Aerodrome, then flies to Bembridge Airport on the Isle Of Wight at 20:30 and books into the Seagrove Hotel. Friends of Jimi, Kirsten Nefer and Karen Davis drive down from London to meet him.

Before the concert Jimi is interviewed by Steve Clackson and filmed giving an interview to a lady from French radio as Jimi is walking to the stage. [extract from Hendrix: The Visual Documentary by Tony Brown. Omnibus Press, 1992. p116]

Jimi finally starts making his way to the stage with the other members of the band and various guests in the early hours of Monday 3lst. While Jimi walks up the steps to the stage he looks back and announces: "l got a gig, waiting for me in the Laundromat."

Jeff Dexter introduces the band, opening with an aside to a technician: 'A bit more volume on this one, Charlie, it's gonna need it. Let's have a welcome for Billy Cox on bass, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and the man with the guitar, Jimi Hendrix."

Jimi walks to the microphone and announces: "Yeah, thank you very much for showing up man, you all look really beautiful and outta site and thanks for waiting. It has been a long time, hasn't it?" Jimi then flashes a peace sign. "That does mean peace, not this," reversing it to a V sign, reversing it again to the peace sign. "Peace. Okay, give us about a minute to tune up all right... It's so good to be back in England. We'd like to... start off with a thing that everybody knows out there. You can join in and start singing. Matter of fact, it'll sound better if you'd stand up for your country and your beliefs and start singing. And if you don't, fuck yer!"

He then calls out, "Nice and loud, nice and loud" to the band, before starting the set off with a short feedback rendition of 'God Save The Queen'. Mitch Mitchell then plays the introduction to 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', but the squeals coming from Jimi's guitar indicate that he already seems to be experiencing some equipment trouble.

Jimi only sings the first verse of the song before bringing it to an end. This was a song that Jimi had used extensively as a show opener back in 1968, but which he rarely played now.

Without any introduction the band then launch into 'Spanish Castle Magic', which Jimi ends in howls of feedback. His amp is now being plagued by a foreign voice and xylophone music comes from his speakers. "As I said before, thanks a lot for coming. We'd like to get into another song that we did about, er, in the year of 1883. And, er, I think it's pretty [true]... today, if you can dig it." Meanwhile the crews are trying desperately to eliminate the radio signals, a problem that annoyed Jimi more than anything. Trying not to let it bother him too much, he proceeds to count up the guitar neck with his fingers, looking for the chord that would start his next song - a little joke that he often did to amuse his audience. He then proceeds with 'All Along The Watchtower', but is still experiencing equipment trouble. "Er, we're having a tiny bit [of] trouble with the equipment, hold on a moment, one more second, buy your hot dogs or whatever."

The crowd start shouting for 'Voodoo Child', Jimi replies: "Yeah, we'll do that towards the... next time." Adjusting the uni-vibe for the next number, 'Machine Gun', he comments:

"Yeah, there's a whole lot of head games go along sometimes, and sometimes they leak out, as a word they use their powers and so forth, and put it on header games on other people, which we call WAR. And so I'd like to dedicate this one to, er, all the soldiers that are fighting in Birmingham, all the skinheads" which evokes a reaction from the audience.

"... All the, yeah, well, you know what I mean, you know, yeah right, Amen. All the soldiers fighting in Bournemouth, London. Oh yeah, all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam, like I almost forgot, man. So many wars going on."

Three minutes into the 'Machine Gun', the radio interference re-emerges - this time because of the security walkie-talkies: "Security personnel, security personnel, are you receiving over?" However, Jimi seems unconcerned at the interruption this time. and continues to play. Indeed, in a strange way, the voice seemed to fit in with the song. After about nine minutes, Jimi stops playing and Mitch fills in with a four-minute drum solo. Jimi comes back in, and for the following ten minutes there is a jam which features some incredible guitar work. However, this version of the song remains inferior to the one played during Jimi's Band Of Gypsys concert, back on New Years Day at the Fillmore, when 'Machine Gun' received its live debut. As the song comes to a close and the decibel level lowers, it becomes clear that the radio interference problem has still not been solved. This time, Jimi has to contend with a male opera singer coming through the bank of speakers! Looking back at his amplifiers in disgust, he brings the song to a sharp stop.

Gerry Stickells and Gene McFadden race around the stage trying to locate the problem. Jimi apologises to the audience: "Listen, it's gonna take a time er, to, like, get into it, because we're having little difficulties here and there. But, like, if you can hold on a little bit, I think we can all get it together, all right? 'Cause I'm gonna stay here all night until somebody moves." "Yeah, right!" shouts the audience, with a cheer.

Somebody shouts to shut the camera off. Jimi remarks: "I just want to get to my old lady at three o'clock." Confusion reigns, with the camera crews shouting at each other and amplifiers frantically being changed. Jimi changes guitars to his Gibson Flying V and, after a slight delay and tune up, continues with 'Lover Man'. The crew seems to have finally managed to sort out the problem and Jimi feels much happier with the sound. He dismisses the last forty minutes and decides to start the whole concert again. "Okay we ought to start all over again. Hello, how are you doing England? Glad to see you.

'We'll do a thing called 'Freedom'." Jimi has now settled down to engage in some fine playing and was starting to sound more fluent. Without a pause he goes straight into 'Red House,' which was possibly the highlight of the entire concert. The audience start to react favourable, now that the equipment had been sorted out, and Jimi is able to really play for the first time since the concert started. The crowd show their appreciation and all of the first few rows take to their feet cheering and clapping at the end of the song. Turning to Mitch, Jimi says: "Try that Dolly Dagger, okay?" We're gonna try to do this song now, it's called, um, 'Dolly Dagger' and it's, er, one of the things that we'll try to put on our new LP."

Festival Booklet

Meanwhile the audience at the front of the stage are still standing. Jimi is asked to request that they all sit down: "Oh yeah, somebody wants, er, people in the front row to sit down. I think it's compliments of the hills. Don't forget, you can't fly off the top of those hills, don't forget that." The band then launch into 'Dolly Dagger' - a completely new song that had only been performed once before during Jimi's concert in Maui, Hawaii.

At the end of the song, he changes guitars, back to his Stratocaster, and tells Mitch and Billy: "'We'll try to do that, er, rock 'n' roll tune, okay?" Then, to the audience: "Very sorry for tuning up, but, er, you know we do that... to protect your ears. That's why we don't play so loud, you know. And, er, cowboys are the only ones who wanna stay in tune anyway.

I'm so glad you all have patience though, cause I don't. I'd like to do this slow blues." Again, Jimi tries out a relatively new song, 'Midnight Lightning'. As the song ends, Jimi immediately hits the long feedback note for the more familiar 'Foxy Lady'. "This is dedicated to Linda. To the cat right there with the silver face... (Nik Tirrner of Hawkwind) Dedicated to Kirsten, Karen and that little four-year-old girl over there with the yellow panties on.

And I'd like to say thank you for the last three years. One of these days we'll get it together again. Thanks for showing up and you're outta site. If you had the same old songs, you'd be ready to stop." Halfway through the song, the radio interference comes back with a vengeance. Now Jimi is getting all kind of voices coming through the speakers. He stops playing while Mitch and Billy carry on with the beat.
The Cry Of Love
The problem again seems to be solved and Jimi continues to play. He doesn't seem to let it bother him, riding the song out with some theatrical showmanship, playing the guitar between his legs and performing an extended solo with his teeth. "You all wanna hear all those little songs, man? Damn man, we was trying to get some other things together. I just woke up about two minutes ago... I think we'll play, play something a little more familiar. 'Cause I ain't came yet myself, I don't know about you, but I ain't came, you know. There, I came, thank you very much, good night!" Jimi continues with 'Message To Love', after which he adjusts his uni-vibe for 'Land Of The New Rising Sun'. In the second verse, his improvised lines, "Coming back to England, thank you baby for making so easy," suggest that he must have been pleased with his first concert in England for almost 18 months.

Festival Weekend Ticket
Bringing the song to a rather abrupt end, Mitch starts the drum intro for 'Ezy Ryder', after which it's straight into a real crowd-pleaser - 'Hey Joe' - which included snatches of 'Satisfaction' and English Country Garden'. Jimi draws the concert to a close with 'Purple Haze' and Voodoo Child (Slight Return)' and, finally, another relatively new song, 'ln From The Storm'. During this song, Jimi was looking very tired as he tried to squeeze notes from his guitar. Then, after an hour and fifty minutes, it was all over.

"Thank you for being so patient. Maybe one of these days [we'll] smoke a joint again, I really hope so, right? Thank you very much. And peace and happiness and all the other good shit." With that, Jimi takes his guitar off over his head and lets it fall to the floor with a crash.
[taken from Jimi Hendrix: Concert Files by Tony Brown. Omnibus Press, 199. p166-169]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from my prized vinyl and includes full album artwork for bot vinyl and CD release.  This was one of the few live recordings of Hendrix available during the 70's and it became my go to album when I wanted to hear the rawer side of Jimi.  Remember, there was no Internet back in these days and Hendrix did not tour 'Down Under', so hearing him play live on this album was pretty much all that I had.

I am not adding any bonus tracks to this album this time, as I want to preserve the integrity of this release and keep it true to the time.  Anyhow, you can find the full concert released on CD in most reputable music stores or purchase it online.  Of course the track order on this LP is not true to the actual concert, however for me it has been the only one I have known for more than 40 years.  I hope you enjoy this condensed version of his full concert and can fully appreciate the sound of this vinyl rip.

Track Listing
01 - Midnight Lightning
02 - Foxy Lady
03 - Lover Man
04 - Freedom
05 - All Along The Watchtower
06 - In From The Storm

Jimi Hendrix - Vocals, Guitar
Billy Cox - Bass
Mitch Mitchell - Drums


Friday, November 10, 2023

The Who - The Who By Numbers (1975) + Bonus Live Tracks

(U.K 1962 - Present)

The Who By Numbers was released in October, 1975. By this time a non-concept album by The Who was a concept in itself and on this album the ten new songs were linked thematically by Pete Townsend's growing concern with age and disillusionment. Several tracks - notably "However Much I Booze", ""In A Hand Or A Face" and "How Many Friends" - were explicitly connected with Pete's anxiety in this direction, and John Entwistle's sole contribution "Success Story" ran along similar lines. Elsewhere, "Slip Kid" was a neat, latter-day teen anthem, "Squeeze Box" was a jaunty, semi-humorous song (with Pete on accordion) chosen as a single and "Blue, Red and Grey", virtually a solo track by Pete, movingly recounts disenchantment with the rock 'n' roll lifestyle so enjoyed by Keith Moon and many of his peers.

In Johnny Black's book 'Eyewitness: The Who", he writes about Townsend's initial demos for the album: At his studio in Goring-on-Thames, Berkshire, Townsend begins demoing songs that will become the album 'The Who By Numbers'.

Pete Townsend: "They were written with me stoned out of my brain in my living room, crying my eyes out. All the songs were different, some more aggressive than others, but they were all somehow negative in direction. I felt detached from my own work and from the whole project...I felt empty".

During 27-30 May, recording sessions for the album took place at Shepperton Studios Sound Stage, London.

Pete Townsend: "I forced the band into a corner with that material. When I first played the demos, Keith burst into tears. He came and put his arms around me. I suppose he was thinking, 'Poor Pete', but that was the kind of material I was dishing up. The band recoiled from the stuff".

Keith & John
Clad in a sleeve designed by John Entwistle and incorporating a join-up-the-dots caricature picture of The Who on the front, the record was also noticeable for a complete lack of synthesizer parts that had been such a notable feature of the group's two previous albums.

Instead Nicky Hopkins added a generous amount of gentle piano. Instrumentally The Who showed no signs of flagging: Roger's vocals - particularly on "Dreaming From The Waist" and "Imagine A Man" - were both melodic and inspiring, while Keith's usual bombastic drumming belied the physical deterioration brought about by his alcoholic tendencies. "Dreaming From The Waist" included some popping bass lines that are among the finest John Entwistle has ever recorded and which would be further spotlighted in The Who's upcoming live performances.

While the standard of composition reached just short of that attained on 'Who's Next', 'The Who By Numbers' opened the doors to an overt autobiographical style that served to emphasise Pete Townsend's honest approach to his work. By expressing his anxieties through the music of The Who, he acknowledged the fact that the group are - and always will be - a band of the people whose problems could be shared with those people.

According to the old adage, a problem shared is a problem halved and thus the tour that followed the release of 'The Who By Numbers' saw the group return to the kind of form they displayed in pre-Quadrophenia days.

'The Who By Numbers' was the first album (aside from Roger Daltrey's 'Ride A Rock Horse') to appear on the Polydor label, and was thus the first public indication of the severance of The Who's long-standing relationship with manager Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp and their jointly owned Track Records. The litigation between The Who and their former managers was settled out of court shortly after the release of this album and the two former film directors who had played such a crucial role in The Who's career went their own way from this point onwards.

They had, by this time, fallen out with each other over financial matters and when Lambert issued a badly phrased press release that to some extent brought the squabbling out in the open, the split became irreversible. For the remainder of the decade Stamp involved himself in film work and quietly enjoyed his fortune, while Lambert spiraled downhill, squandering his fortune on drink and drugs.

"Kit bought a palace in Venice on the Grand Canal and tried to cultivate high society friends there," says Chris Welch who has written a biography of Lambert. "He was eventually forced to leave Venice. He set fire to the palace and he ended up owing money all over town. He was an alcoholic and he was hooked on heroin and was forced to undergo treatment for this in a Swiss clinic. Back in London he was busted for cocaine after being shopped to the police by a pusher that he owed money to. He always felt very bitter that he didn't receive the credit he deserved for his work with Pete Townsend on Tommy".

Various people, including Pete Townsend, offered Kit Lambert a helping hand as his condition worsened but to no avail. Lambert died aged forty-five in April, 1981, after falling down the stairs at his mother's house in Fulham.

That night, by all accounts, he had been involved in a drunken brawl at a night club in Kensington and had returned home injured from the beating he received. It was a sad and ignominious end for a man whose creative guidance and exploitive vision had done so much to promote the career of the group he loved.

In September, 1975, The Who regrouped to rehearse for a lengthy series of tours that would take in Britain, Europe and, in three separate visits, the United States. Fresh from his trip to America on soothing Meher Baba business, a refreshed and spiritually rejuvenated Pete Townsend walked into the first rehearsal smiling, a fact noted by Keith Moon as both unusual yet indicative of happier times to come.

Though only two new songs from 'The Who By Numbers' - "Squeeze Box" and "Dreaming From The Waist" appeared in their sets, The Who displayed an almost boyish enthusiasm for their older material.

At the end of the tour Variety, the US entertainment industry magazine, reported that the twenty dates had grossed just over 3 million dollars of which The Who netted 1.59 million dollars.
[extract from 'The Illustrated Biography-The Who' by Chris Charlesworth, Omnibus Press, 1982]

Chart Success

'The Who By Numbers' album was certified gold in the U.S on the 10th December, 1975. On January, 6th 1976.

"Squeeze Box" entered the US Top 40 singles chart on 3rd January, 1976 and the UK singles charts on 24th January. It finally peaked at No. 16 in the US Charts on 14th February and No. 10 on the UK charts on the 28th February.

In 'Eyewitness: The Who' Pete Townsend commented: I wrote this song called Squeeze Box. I went out and bought an accordion and learned to play it in about 10 minutes, so it's a devastatingly simple song.

John Entwistle added: That was just a kind of fun thing. We all knew it was about tits. I thought Joe Walsh's song "I Like Big Tits" was more to the point.

If you are interested in hearing recordings from there Variety tour, take a look at my 'The Who - Boris The Spider: Live in Ludwigshafen, 7-11-1975 (Bootleg)' post from 2018 (link is still active

The Album Cover

Clad in a sleeve designed by John Entwistle , the front cover incorporated a join-up-the-dots picture of The Who.   In the book Eyewitness: The Who by Johnny Black, Entwistle states:

The cover drawing only took me hour, but the dots took about three hours. I took it down to the studio while we were mixing and got the worst artist in the room to fill it in. Discovered I'd left two inside legs out.

We were talking it in turns to do the covers. It was Pete's turn before me and he did the Quadrophenia cover, which cost about the same as a small house back then, about $16,000. My cover cost $32.

Dots Joined
This post contains FLACs ripped from my vinyl which I purchased from Brash Suttons in Geelong back in 1976. I know this because I distinctly remember it being in their $1.99 clearance bin, along with some other popular titles, including Eric Clapton's 'E.C was Here' and Dragon's  'Scented Gardens For The Blind' & 'Universal Radio' (which are now highly collectable).   
Like most people, I was tempted to join the numbered dots on the front cover, however something at the back of my brain told me to resist and I'm now glad that I did. You never find this album with a virgin cover and suspect my copy is worth big $$.   

I've always liked this album and still play it occasionally.  Squeeze Box is my favourite track - it is such a catchy tune with great 'suggestive' lyrics.
As usual full album artwork is included for both vinyl and CD. I have also chosen to include bonus live renditions of "Squeeze Box" and "Dreaming From The Waist" which were recorded at the Swansea Football Ground on June 12, 1976.  

Track List
01 Slip Kid
02 However Much I Booze
03 Squeeze Box
04 Dreaming From The Waist
05 Imagine A Man
06 Success Story
07 They Are All In Love
08 Blue Red And Grey
09 How Many Friends
10 In A Hand Or A Face
11 Squeeze Box (Bonus Live)
12 Dreaming From The Waist (Bonus Live)

Roger Daltrey – lead vocals
Pete Townshend – guitar, keyboards, banjo, accordion, ukulele, backing vocals, lead vocals on "However Much I Booze" and "Blue, Red And Grey"
John Entwistle – bass, French horn, trumpet, backing vocals, 2nd lead vocal on "Success Story" 
Keith Moon – drums
* Nicky Hopkins – piano

Friday, November 3, 2023

REPOST: Joe Satriani - King Biscuit Flower Hour (Silver Surfin' Satriani) 1988 - Bootleg

(U.S 1978 - Present)
Along with teaching some of the top rock guitar players of the '80s and '90s, Joe Satriani is one of the most technically accomplished and widely respected guitarists to emerge in recent times.
Satriani was inspired to play guitar at age fourteen soon after learning of the death of Jimi Hendrix. He has been said to have heard the news during a football training session, where he confronted his coach and announced that he was quitting to become a guitarist. Quickly learning the instrument, Satriani began teaching guitar to others and found a kindred spirit in one of his students, Steve Vai. By the late '70s, however, Satriani had relocated to Berkeley, CA. With his sights set on his own musical career, "Satch" kept teaching others, including such future rock notables as Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry La Londe (Primus), David Bryson (Counting Crows), and jazz fusion player Charlie Hunter.
In the early '80s, Satriani got a gig playing guitar with power popster Greg Kihn, doing some session work and touring with the group (an archival release recorded around this time, King Biscuit Flower Hour, was later issued in 1996), and issuing his own solo self-titled EP in 1984, financing and releasing the project entirely on his own. But when Vai hit the big time as the guitarist of David Lee Roth's solo band in 1986, he offered praise for his good friend and former teacher in several major guitar publications, leading to widespread interest in Satriani's playing. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for Satch, as he'd just issued his first full-length solo album, Not of This Earth, which automatically made ripples in the rock guitar community.
But the best was still to come, in the form of his sophomore release, 1987's Surfing with the Alien. Almost overnight, Satriani was widely regarded as one of rock's top guitarists, as the album earned gold certification and the guitarist would finish at the top of guitar magazine polls for years afterward. He was even handpicked by Mick Jagger to accompany the famous singer on a tour of Australia and Japan around this time. A stopgap EP, Dreaming 11, combed both studio and live tracks and was issued a year later, and in 1989, Satriani issued his third solo full-length, Flying in a Blue Dream. Another sizeable hit, the album also marked Satch's debut as a vocalist on several tracks.
King Biscuit Flower Hour (Rare 1988 US promo-only 8-track radio show CD, first broadcast on 7/31/88 - recorded at The California Theatre in San Diego) also released on vinyl under the title 'Silver Surfin' Satriani' by Red Robin Records; features great live versions of Circles & Surfing With The Alien, with card cue sheet in back of CD case.
This bootleg is one of the best live performances I have heard from Satriani and indeed matches any of his official live releases. The quality of the recording is excellent and the track listing features all his earlier hits including "Hordes of Locust" (my favourite) and of course his classic "Surfin' With The Alien". In fact, Satriani makes reference to the multitude of audience members who had brought along their surfboards to the concert - a sight that must have been quite extraordinary to see.

Ripped to FLAC, the quality of this Soundboard recording is exceptional and typical of all KBFH recordings.  The only shortcoming is the limited artwork associated with this bootleg release but don't let this put you off - have a listen - I'm sure you will be blown away with this 'brilliant' performance by one of the best axemen in the business.

Improved rip quality with song separation just posted

Track Listing
01. Ice 9 (4:08)
02. Memories (9:00)
03. Circles (4:21)
04. Drum Solo (2:02)
05. Lords Of Karma (5:36 )
06. Hordes Of Locusts (5:18)
07. Always With Me, Always With You (3:36)
08. Satch Boogie (4:12)
09. Crowd / Chat (1:22)
10. Surfing With The Alien (8:20)

Band Members:
Joe Satriani - Guitar
Stuart Hamm - Bass
Jonathan Mover - Drums
Joe Satriani Link (279Mb)