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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Fantasy - Beyond The Beyond Plus... (1974 uk, remarkable prog rock, 2015 remastered edition)

Hailing from Gravesend in Kent, Fantasy formed in 1970 and were originally known as Chapel Farm, after their rehearsal space. The original line-up was Dave Metcalfe (keyboards), Paul Lawrence (guitar / vocals), Bob Vann (guitar), Dave Read (bass) and Brian Chatham (drums). Initially they focused on cover versions, then began to develop their own material, and decided to enter themselves in Melody Maker's annual 'Search' talent contest. On the day of their heat at a hotel in nearby Cliftonville, the band became concerned when they lost sight of Vann, who had been celebrating his 18th birthday with various drinks. To their horror they realized that he had fallen off a cliff and was lying on the beach below. An ambulance was summoned, but he died on the way to hospital.

Following that blow Chatham also departed their ranks, but the band decided to persevere with new members Pete James (guitar) and Jon Webster (drums), both recruited from a local band named Joy. With a new name of Firequeen, they rehearsed hard and scored support slots with bands including
the Pink Fairies and the Edgar Broughton Band. When they sent a demo tape to numerous labels, Polydor expressed an interest, on the understanding that they changed their name to Fantasy – a name they never liked, but decided to put up with. 

A contract was duly signed in the spring of 1973, and the band set about recording their LP in Chipping Norton Studios, Oxfordshire, with producer Peter Sames (who'd recently overseen another cult favourite, Bored Civilians by Cross & Ross, as well as collaborating with hitmaker Peter Skellern).

The album they cut was a superb piece of Moody Blues-inspired prog rock, featuring beautifully textured songs with strong melodies and sublime Mellotron flourishes. Especially notable was The Award', a tribute to their late guitarist Vann. Trailed by an equally rare brass-laden 45, 'Politely Insane' / 'I Was Once Aware' (Polydor 2058 405), which appeared in October (and features a non-LP B-side), the album appeared that winter as Polydor 2383 246, clad in a colourful gatefold sleeve. Its working title was Virgin On The Ridiculous, but fortunately they ended up retitling it. It could have done very well, but Polydor chose not to promote it - perhaps because the band had not committed to music full-time (they still had day-jobs).

Following its release they played a few gigs, including one at the Marquee supporting Queen, but momentum failed to build. Nonetheless, they remained upbeat, returning to the studio with Sames in July 1974  The sessions, The tracks finally emerged two however, did not go smoothly, decades later, as Beyond The and when Polydor rejected the Beyond, confirming that justice is tapes, Metcalfe decided to quit, rarely done in the music business...
CD Liner Notes

1. Introduction - 2:12
2. Beyond The Beyond - 5:38
3. Reality - 2:59
4. Alanderie - 9:01
5. Afterthought (David Metcalfe, David Read, Geoff Whitehorn, Paul Petley) - 5:52
6. Worried Man - 2:57
7. Just A Dream - 3:34
8. Winter Rose - 3:29
9. Church Clock - 3:51
10.Fire-Fire (Bonus Track) (Geoff Whitehorn) - 6:47
11.Vacuum (Bonus Track) (David Read) - 4:09
12.Alone (Bonus Track) (David Read)  - 4:38
13.Afterthought (Original Version) (David Metcalfe, David Read, Geoff Whitehorn, Paul Petley) - 7:30
14.Church Clock (Original Version) - 3:38
All songs by David Metcalfe, David Read, Paul Lawrence except where stated

*Paul Lawrence - 12 String Guitar, Lead Vocals
*David Read - Bass, Double Bass, Vocals
*David Metcalfe - Keyboards, Clarinet, Vocals
*Peter James - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Jon Webster - Drums, Vocals
*Geoff Whitehorn - Lead Guitar (Tracks 10-13)
*Paul Petley - Lead Vocals (Tracks 10-13)
*Brian Chattam - Drums (Tracks 10-13)

1973  Fantasy - Paint A Picture (2005 remaster with bonus tracks) 

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Humble Pie - Street Rats (1975 uk, great groovy classic rock, 2016 japan SHM remaster with extra tracks)

Humble Pie endured their share of turbulent times early in the band's existence, overcoming the early departure of guitarist Peter Frampton through a steady diet of regular album releases and a seemingly never-ending series of tours arranged by manager Dee Anthony. By the mid-'70s, they'd attained a measure of commercial success, sending a string of LPs into the American Top 40 and notching a handful of hit singles along the way -- but they were also flat broke, tired of life on the road, and coming apart at the seams.

The band's eighth studio LP, Street Rats, captures Humble Pie mid-implosion; in fact, according to the group's members, it wasn't even supposed to be a Humble Pie record at all. Bandleader Steve Marriott, burned out after one too many tours, wanted to take a break from making the band his top priority, and although their label, A&M Records, was impatient for more Pie product, he opted instead to begin work on three LPs -- a solo album, a duo record with the group's bassist Greg Ridley, and a proper Pie release. Unsurprisingly, between this scattershot creative approach and the musicians' overall burnout, the results weren't exactly coherent.

"Everything was so self-destructive at that point," pointed out drummer Jerry Shirley years later in Dan Muise's book, Gallagher, Marriott, Derringer & Trower: Their Lives and Music. "Everybody was doing everything in a dozen different directions and nothing was getting done." Adding to the band's dire financial straits was their ironclad contract with Anthony, who, as Shirley put it, "had us truly locked up ... it was a nightmare of a time."

Marriott, who ultimately ended up writing or co-writing five of the 11 tracks on Street Rats, dealt with the drama through overindulgence. "Steve's way of dealing with things was buying an ounce of coke every other day and burying himself in his studio," Shirley continued. "When you've got nothing but carte blanche studio time and all the coke in the world, all you do is record." Quantity doesn't necessarily constitute quality, however, especially when you're too addled to make sound decisions about the stuff coming out of the speakers, and so it was with the Street Rats sessions. "There were great bits here and there," argued Shirley, "but there was no one focus on one record."

Ridley, who described himself and Marriott in Muise's book as "two lonely souls," looked back on that period as a sort of sleepless musical haze. "We'd just sit there for almost a week at a time without sleeping," he recalled. "He and I would just go through different things. He'd say, 'Let's try this chord,' and then we'd go off from that."

Eventually, A&M execs grew tired of footing the bill for what appeared to be an increasingly aimless trio of projects and mandated that Marriott and the band bring in a producer to help shepherd the sessions. Their choice, flamboyant former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, had name value -- and experience with wrangling drugged-out musicians -- but he wasn't really the rough hand that Humble Pie needed at that point. Although he ended up doing a lot of work salvaging the recordings, Street Rats -- and the band itself -- was probably already a lost cause before he even walked through the door of the studio.

"The rot had long since set in," admitted Shirley. "He tried, he failed, let's put it like that. There was all kinds of nonsense going on."

Not that the band were the only parties guilty of nonsense. Insistent on releasing a Humble Pie album and steadfastly disinterested in Marriott's other plans, the label ultimately commandeered the tapes, demanding that an LP's worth of tracks from the period later dubbed the Scrubbers Sessions be cobbled together into the "band's" next effort. Under duress and fairly shady circumstances, Street Rats was born.

In the months after the album's February 1975 release date, Marriott and his bandmates would publicly disavow the results, with Marriott going so far as to insist that the label "stole" the tapes for the title track, which was played with people outside the band and had "nothing to do" with Humble Pie. Prior to the album's completion, however, the members of the group were more resigned than angry.

"No one cared. No one was talking. We'd already broken up," shrugged Shirley. "We'd agreed to allow the album to be released and to do a farewell tour. Other than that we were pretty much done."

And that's essentially the way it went down for Humble Pie during the Street Rats period. When a last-ditch effort to get Marriott and Ridley to clean up and redouble their commitment to the group failed -- along with an attempt to lure Who manager Bill Curbishley into their camp and ditch Anthony -- Shirley and guitarist Clem Clempson felt there was no choice but to walk away.

While Street Rats fared poorly in comparison to its predecessors, peaking at an unimpressive No. 100 on the Billboard albums chart, there was still plenty of demand for Humble Pie -- something that became abundantly clear during the farewell tour, which drew healthy crowds even if Shirley and Clempson were playing with one foot out the door. And although Marriott and Shirley would revive the band name in later years, both together and apart, the group's glory years were firmly behind them. After Marriott died in a house fire in April of 1991, all hopes for any kind of real reunion were permanently quashed.

Although it's easy to paint Humble Pie's story as another tragic tale of bad behavior and financial tomfoolery splitting up a once-promising band, not all of the group's former members agreed with that point of view. Years later, Clempson gave Muise a more philosophical take on what drove the Pie apart, speculating that the lineup might have dissolved no matter what.

"There are hundreds of Humble Pies and they may all have their personal reasons that they attribute to their downfall," he mused. "But it's usually just because they have a creative period and they get popular. They get some hit songs and everybody wants to hear them. And they just fail to live up to it for whatever reasons. The pressures of touring, the internal conflicts of egos, believing their own hype -- all these things are contributing factors."
by Jeff Giles, February 13, 2015

1. Street Rat (Steve Marriott) - 2:51
2. Rock And Roll Music (Chuck Berry) - 2:31
3. We Can Work It Out (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:20
4. Scored Out (Clem Clempson, Steve Marriott) - 2:34
5. Road Hog (Steve Marriott) - 3:09
6. Rain (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 4:02
7. Funky To The Bone (Fred Gowdy, Larry Wilkins) - 4:12
8. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker (Betty Wright, Clarence Reid, Willie Clarke) - 5:57
9. Countryman Stomp (Clem Clempson, Greg Ridley, Tim Hinkley) - 2:20
10.Drive My Car (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:42
11.Queens And Nuns (Unknown) - 3:05
12.Big Black Dog (Peter Frampton) - 4:05
13.Mister Ring (Greg Ridley) - 4:24
14.The Outcrowd (Jerry Shirley) - 2:51
15.I Don't Need No Doctor (Single Version) (Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, Jo Armstead) - 3:58

The Humble Pie
*Steve Marriott - Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals
*Clem Clempson - Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Greg Ridley - Bass, Vocals
*Jerry Shirley - Drums
*Mel Collins - Saxophones
*Tim Hinkley - Keyboards

1969  Humble Pie - As Safe As Yesterday Is (Japan edition)
1969  Humble Pie - Town and Country (2007 remaster and expanded)
1970  Humble Pie (Japan edition)
1971  Humble Pie - Rock On
1971  Humble Pie - Performance, Rockin’ The Fillmore (2013 issue, 4 discs set)
1972  Humble Pie - Smoikin' (Japan edition)
1973  Humble Pie - Eat It (Japan edition)
1973  Humble Pie - In Concert / King Biscuit Flower Hour
1974  Humble Pie - Thunderbox (2011 japan SHM remaster)
Related Act 
1967  Small Faces - Green Circles / First Immediate Album 
1968  The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (3 discs set)
1965-69  Small Faces - The Immediate Years (four discs box, 1st edition)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dry Ice - Dry Ice (1969 uk, outstanding hard acid psych rock, 2018 remaster)

The roots of Dry Ice go back to 1965, when guitarist Paul Gardner's band, The Select, were recording at Joe Meek's Holloway Road studios. In a legendary fit of pique Joe announced that if this partnership was to progress then the drummer had to go ...enter Terry.

Terry's first live gig was the Tiger's Head, Catford, which was a big gig on the rock circuit mid 60's. Later that year the other guitarist, Pat Allen quit, taking the PA with him. Paul and Terry then embarked on a musical journey with various bass players, including cousin Johnny Crooks and brother Derek.

Jack's Union was the first outfit. They had a residency at the Kew Boathouse, where a mention in Melody Maker's Raver column sealed their instant notoriety with the local mod community". Who influenced Jack's Union have smashing time at Kew Boathouse." An axe and a tailor's dummy were allegedly involved.!!!

It was around late '66 after a Marquee gig that the lads were approached by Phil Carson (later to be CEO at Atlantic Records, signing Led Zep). He was at this stage in charge of Olga Records, a Swedish Co. Impressed by the band's bizarre stage antics he offered his services. Paul and Terry also did session work for bands on the label like The Hep Stars (Bjorn's band pre-Abba) mainly cleaning and beefing up backing tracks.

In spite of Phil encouraging the band to be as outrageous as possible on gigs, one of which was a support slot to The Easybeats at the California Ballroom, Dunstable and another at Hastings' Pier Ballroom with Episode6  ...where singer Ian Gillan and bass player Roger Glover called the band "nutcases." ...he dropped them like a hot potato when the complaints, bills and barrings poured in from  various venues... Even dear old John Gee barred them from the Marquee. He relented later, bless him. 

As Psychedelica reared its head, the band morphed into Rainbow Reflection, playing at Middle Earth many times and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Arthur Brown, Joe Cocker, The Who, Dantalian's Chariot, Bowie, Bolan and an apocryphal gig with The Yardbirds. It was at Covent Garden's King St venue that they met Nick Butt, Middle Earth's resident electrician, Electric Nick as he was known.

As Nick recalls, the Dry Ice name was dreamed up over breakfast in Camden Town after an all-nighter. Enter Lee Gopthall of B&C and Stable Records. He gave Nick a small advance for the band and the promise of making an album. Mk1 lineup was Paul, Terry, Pete Bendall (keyboard) and Phil Griffiths (bass) (brother of Ron, Iveys/Badfinger). This line -up only played half a dozen or so gigs but one, on a Middle Earth night at The Roundhouse, was a real goody. Bendall went back to his native Minehead, but keyboard never really sat easy here and he was replaced by vocalist Jeff Novak.

It is now late '68 and the band also has an offer of a gig at the Royal Albert Hall on Festival '69. Out of the blue, Phil quits just after the photo session for The Albert Hall gig. The band had been rehearsing in Nick Butt's basement Studio in Portobello Road beneath Simon Stable's record shop. Dear Simon....hippy legend, DJ, music journo and good friend to the band. It was Simon that introduced them to Ian McDonald of King Crimson, who plays flute on the album track Lalia.

Thus the band are forced into overdrive to find a new bass player with only a couple of weeks before the big gig. Bass player John Gibson turns up to audition with his mate Chris in tow. It doesn't take long before they are both offered the job, with Chris joining on guitar. So there we are....the line-up Mk3 - that is on the records. Paul Gardner, Terry Sullivan, John Gibson, Chris Hyrenewitz* and Jeff Novak. *Never sure about the spelling...sorry Chris.

The album was recorded at IBC in Portland Place, London, home of many a legendary release. Nick Butt produced. By now the band was with Marquee Martin Management / Agency under the guidance of Mike Dolan, who also managed Hard Meat. They played lots of high profile gigs, including a stint at The Star Club, Hamburg with Rory Gallagher's Taste and at The Marquee, Midnight Court and The Country Club, Hampstead.

As there was no obvious single on the album, Paul was asked to write something. "Running to the Convent" ensued ...written in about 10 minutes in Nick's Portobello Road flat. The band recorded it in Trident Studio in Soho, produced by Mike Dolan. On Mike's suggestion the band recorded a Hard Meat song"Walking up Down Street" as the B side. Eventually however, it was not used and"Nowhere to Go" from the IBC sessions was used. The 45rpm single on B&C was released in November '69 . It was playlisted by Radio 1 and reviewed and played by Annie Nightingale. It is now rarer than a rare hen's toothy thing. So ...for whatever reason(s) the album was never released and the masters were left to gather dust for 49 years.
CD Liner Notes

1. Clear White Light - 3:34
2. She Gave - 3:11
3. Running To The Convent (Single Version) - 2:20
4. Fake It - 3:39
5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan) - 4:36
6. Chinese House - 5:35
7. Falling Down - 3:30
8. Good Friday - 3:35
9. Laila - 5:33
10.Nowhere To Go - 2:49
11.Untitled '67 - 3:30
12.Ashes (Demo) - 4:02
13.Running To The Convent (Demo) - 3:38
14.It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Alternative Mix) (Bob Dylan) - 4:31
All songs by Paul Gardner except where noted

The Dry Ice 
*Jeff Novak - Vocals
*Paul Gardner - Guitar, Vocals
*Chris Hyrenwicz - Guitar
*John Gibson - Bass
*Terry Sullivan - Drums
*Ian McDonald - Flute (Track 9)

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Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Floating Opera - The Floating Opera (1971 us, exceptional psych bluesy rock, 2018 korean remaster)

The Floating Opera is into a Blues-Rock sound made unique by guitarist Steve Welkom's persuasive singing in "Vision", he's joined by Gary Munce on bass, and Artie Alinikoff on excellent drums/vocals, while Carol Less provided driving keyboard counterpoint which consistently defined their sound.

The Floating Opera Self-Titled Original 1971 Embryo Records SD-730, has some real moments where the guitar takes off into the stratosphere. They do a nice job with the ballads, and it's cleanly produced. The album is packaged in a nice looking gatefold cover with the lyrics inside, and the group's picture on the front.

1. Song Of The Suicides - 4:54
2. The Vision - 6:09
3. Midnight - 3:25
4. Buckwheat Gal - 3:56
5. Fever Day (Carol Lees, John Nemerovski, Steve Welkom) - 4:32
6. Age Of Onan - 4:33
7. Crack On The Wall - 2:46
8. Back On The Street Again - 4:06
9. Angelfood Cake Song (Gary Munce, John Nemerovski, Steve Welkom) - 4:21
10.Soulful Feeling - 5:14
All songs by John Nemerovski, Steve Welkom except where stated

The Floating Opera
*John Nemerovski - Piano
*Steve Welkom - Vocals, Guitar
*Artie Alinikoff - Drums, Vocals
*Carol Lees - Keyboards, Vocals
*Gary Munce - Bass

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Bonnie Dobson - Bonnie Dobson (1969 canada, divine baroque folk psych, 2006 remaster)

Bonnie Dobson Had already acquired legendary; status by the time she recorded this, her eponymous album in 1969. In the ten years since she wrote it, her song "Morning Dew" had long taken on a life of its own and flown far beyond the cafes of Greenwich Village, where the era's emergent troubadours turned out to see her play. Joan Baez may have taken inspiration from Bob Dylan; but Dylan dug Dobson the flame-haired Canuck who had toured with Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee. He even turned out to see her at Gerde's Folk City, using her arrangement of "The Ballad Of Peter Amberly" for his own "Ballad Of Donald White". Fred Neil unleashed his wild fret board mercury on "Morning Dew", in the process creating an arrangement that Tim Rose took and turned into his signature song.

By the time Dobson got around to putting this collection of songs together, The Grateful Dead had also recorded "Morning Dew" for their debut album. It made sense for her to reclaim it. Hence the appearance of Dobson's most famous tune, re recorded for her first album in five years, with Ben McPeek's elegant strings rising with the threat of imminent devastation. "When I saw a film called On The Beach," she said, explaining the song's genesis, "it made a tremendous impression on me, particularly at that time because everyone was very worried about the bomb and whether we were going to get through the next ten years. I was singing in Los Angeles and staying with a girl named Joyce. She went to bed or something and I just say and suddenly I just started writing this song. I had never written anything in my life. Really it was a kind of re-enactment of that film in a way where at the end, there is nobody left and it was a conversation between these two people trying to explain what's happening."

Reconfigured by producer Jack Richardson for a world in which folk had forged myriad tributaries into pop and rock, Bonnie Dobson never sounded better than she does here. In what amounted to a soft-rock setting, her new songs held their own magnificently. "Rainy Windows" is a pensive itinerant's paean to heartbreak in the windy city: "Chicago seen through rainy windows/Always makes me wanna cry."

 "I'm Your Woman" ventures more emotional uncertainty before giving way to a baroque pop sunburst. Less than twenty seconds into "Winter's Going", a sitar serves notice of its arrival with soft, strident chords of portent. Dobson steers a straight course through her own paean to the decay of nature and, with it, romance while the inspired arrangement envelopes her It isn't difficult to see why RCA saw manifold pop possibilities in Dobson's return. Her cut-glass tones made the sort of sublime sense that calls to mind similar practitioners of the art: Eclection's Kerrilee Male, The Sunshine Company's Mary Nance.

In terms of releasing a single from the album, "I Got Stung" picked itself. Framed by tumbling drums, bonkers strings and dive-bar piano, this potent dose of woman scorned was none the worse for its passing resemblance to "He Quit Me", the song written by a then-unknown Warren Zevon and sung by Leslie Miller for the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack. Also featured on that soundtrack, of course, was Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" a song Dobson would have known through her association with its writer Fred Neil. Thanks to its bustling rhythmic clatter, her version on the song here has long been a bona fide "results" record for clued-up DJs.

If "Morning Dew" instantly established Dobson as a songwriter, it does no harm to reiterate her credentials as a fine interpreter of other people's material. Her version of Jackson C Frank's "You Never Wanted Me" radiates warm empathy. No less arresting are Dobson's versions of J P Bourtavie and Hal Shape's "Time", the sort of fragrant pop chanson that loaf-haired lovelies of the French-speaking countries used to sing on '60s Eurovision Song Contests. Better still is Gilles Vigneault's "Pendant Que", an exquisite study in autumnal sadness piloted from floral harpsichord intro to sitar freakout in exactly three minutes.

Thirty-seven years on, Dobson's own ambivalent feelings towards the album may be informed by the fact that, ultimately these songs, offered no new commercial dawn for her. Of Richardson's opulent production, she says, "I suppose that's what I wanted [at the time]". But by the time Bonnie Dobson made its way into the world, the pop climate was already getting hostile to soft rock, no matter what the pedigree of its creator. Dobson herself raised her kids and settled down in London where she became head administrator in the Philosophy department at the University Of London's Birkbeck College. Thanks to that one song, her place in the corpus of popular music is assured. Bonnie Dobson gives you eleven more reasons to keep her name alive.
by Pete Paphides, London August 2006

1. I Got Stung - 2:57
2. Morning Dew - 3:20
3. Let's Get Together (Dino Valenti) - 3:08
4. I'm Your Woman - 3:00
5. Time (Hal Shaper, Jean Pierre Bourtayre) - 3:09
6. Rainy Windows - 2:40
7. Everybody's Talking (Fred Neil) - 3:26
8. Bird Of Space (Ben McPeek) - 2:50
9. You Never Wanted Me (Jackwon Carey Frank) - 3:11
10.Pendant Que (Gilles Vigneault) - 3:01
11.Elevator Man (Chad Allan) - 2:53
12.Winter's Going - 2:41
All compositions by Bonnie Dobson except where indicated

Bonnie Dobson - Guitar, Vocals

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Hollies - Bus Stop (1966 uk, fabulous beat roots 'n' roll, 2012 japan remaster)

When the Hollies -- one of the best and most commercially successful pop/rock acts of the British Invasion -- began recording in 1963, they relied heavily upon the R&B/early rock & roll covers that provided the staple diet for countless British bands of the time. They quickly developed a more distinctive style featuring three-part harmonies (heavily influenced by the Everly Brothers), ringing guitars, and hook-happy material, penned by both outside writers (especially future 10cc member Graham Gouldman) and themselves, eventually composing most of their repertoire on their own. The best early Hollies records evoke an infectious, melodic cheer similar to that of the early Beatles, although the Hollies were neither in their class (not an insult: nobody else was) nor demonstrated a similar capacity for artistic growth. They tried, though, easing into somewhat more sophisticated folk-rock and mildly psychedelic sounds as the decade wore on, especially on their albums (which contain quite a few overlooked highlights).

Allan Clarke (lead singer) and Graham Nash (vocals, guitar) had been friends since childhood in Manchester, and they formed the nucleus of the Hollies in the early '60s with bassist Eric Haydock. In early 1963, EMI producer Ron Richards signed the group after seeing them at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool. Guitarist Vic Steele left before the first session, to be replaced by 17-year-old Tony Hicks. Drummer Don Rathbone only lasted for a couple of singles before being replaced by Bobby Elliott, who had played with Hicks in his pre-Hollies group, the Dolphins. The lineup changes were most fortuitous: Hicks contributed a lot to the group with his ringing guitar work and songwriting, and Elliott was one of the very finest drummers in all of pop/rock. Although their first singles were R&B covers, the Hollies were no match for the Rolling Stones (or, for that matter, the Beatles) in this department, and they sounded much more at home with pop/rock material that provided a sympathetic complement to their glittering harmonies. They ran off an awesome series of hits in the U.K. in the '60s, making the Top 20 almost 20 times. Some of their best mid-'60s singles, like "Here I Go Again," "We're Through," and the British number one "I'm Alive," passed virtually unnoticed in the United States, where they didn't make the Top 40 until early 1966, when Graham Gouldman's "Look Through Any Window" did the trick. In 1966, Eric Haydock left the group under cloudy circumstances, replaced by Bernie Calvert.

The Hollies really didn't break in America in a big way until "Bus Stop" (1966), their first Stateside Top Tenner; "On a Carousel," "Carrie Ann," and "Stop Stop Stop" were also big hits. Here the Hollies were providing something of a satisfying option for pop-oriented listeners that found the increasingly experimental outings of groups like the Beatles and Kinks too difficult to follow. At the same time, the production and harmonies were sophisticated enough to maintain a broader audience than more teen- and bubblegum-oriented British Invasion acts like Herman's Hermits. Their albums showed a more serious and ambitious side, particularly on the part of Graham Nash, without ever escaping the truth that their forte was well-executed pop/rock, not serious statements.
by Richie Unterberger

1. Bus Stop (Graham Gouldman) - 2:55
2. The Very Last Day (Paul Stooky, Peter Yarrow) - 2:57
3. Hard Hard Year (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:17
4. Sweet Little Sixteen (Chuck Berry) - 2:25
5. That's How Strong My Love Is (Roosevelt Jamison) - 2:47
6. Oriental Sadness (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:39
7. I Am A Rock (Paul Simon) - 2:52
8. Stop Stop Stop (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:50
9. I Can't Let Go (Chip Taylor, Al Gorgoni) - 2:27
10.Fifi The Flea (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:09
11.Stewball (Traditional) - 3:07
12.I've Got A Way Of My Own (Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash) - 2:15
13.Take Your Time (Buddy Holly, Norman Petty) - 2:23
14.Don't You Even Care (Clint Jr Ballard) - 2:28
15.If I Needed Someone (Saturday Club 13th December 1965) (George Harrison) - 2:18
16.He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Top Of The Pops Tv 2nd October 1969) (Bob Russell, Bobby Scott) - 4:11

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Choir - Artifact The Unreleased Album (1969 us, brilliant beat psych, 2018 remaster)

During the British Invasion years, a Cleveland, Ohio band called The Choir ploughed a Brit-focussed furrow from late 1964. Initially and tellingly, they were named The Mods. Their prime mover, Dann Klawon, was a subscriber the switched-on UK monthly Rave, had missed a Mods show to hitch-hike to a Rolling Stones concert and was the first Clevelander to own a copy of “Purple Haze”. His band became The Choir in 1966, played on Who and Yardbirds’ bills, and went through continuous line-up changes. Even so, they issued three singles over 1966 to 1968 beginning with the classic “It’s Cold Outside”. Their music had a moody, minor-key, Zombies-leaning slant.

In February 1969, with founder Dann Klawon gone but his brother Randy on board and with the ethos of the band intact, The Choir recorded an album’s worth of material in the hope of securing a contract with Mercury Records. The new CD Artifact: The Unreleased Album is the first-ever release of this album. Some of its tracks – “Anyway I Can”, “Boris Lament”, a cover of The Kinks’ “David Watts” and “If These Are Men” – have come out before in varying grades of fidelity but Artifact is sourced from recently unearthed masters found in the archive of the late Ken Hamman () - best known for his work with Pere Ubu, the owner of the Ohio studio Suma.

Artifact is a major release and helps fill out the narrative in a figurative chapter of the story of America’s popular music: one dedicated to late-Sixties bands drawing from the hard-edged side of British pop rather than a Band-inspired rootsiness, blues-influenced heaviness or other au courant templates. Similarly minded fellow travellers included Todd Rundgren’s The Nazz and California’s Powder. Artifact places The Choir as central to this narrative.

At this point, The Choir were on the their fifth. The presence of two keyboards acknowledges a Procol Harum influence but the recordings reveal the band as having, to varying degrees, ears open to The Bee Gees, The Kinks, Small Faces and The Who. They did not score a deal with Mercury and, after another couple of line-up changes and a further single, packed it in during June 1970. Bonfanti soon went on to The Raspberries, whose leader Eric Carmen was also from Cleveland and had been in other local bands while The Choir were active.

The Choir were important not just because they were a great band in their own right but also as they impacted on The Raspberries, one of America’s greatest Seventies bands. Eric Carmen has long acknowledged his enthusiasm for The Choir. Some of Artifact could pass for early Raspberries recordings.

Track one is “Anyway I Can”, which first surfaced in murky quality on a 1976 EP issued by the Bomp label and reappeared in slightly better fidelity on CD in 1994 . Though it is the same recording, the new version is a revelation. It is pin-sharp, sports edgy dynamics and is thrillingly immediate. Practically, whether intentionally or not, “Anyway I Can” is the core essence of The Left Banke’s “Walk Away Renee” made over by enthusiasts for the 1968 Small Faces. While possible to detect the ingredients, the track sounds like nothing else. In part, this is due a sturdiness and drumming so powerful it’s as if Bonfanti is trying to hammer his kit through the studio floor.

If that were not enough to make the case for the 1969 Choir as one of America’s great bands, the excitement continues with the driving mod-rocker “If These Are Men” () - more amazing drumming and the fantastic “Ladybug”, a rolling ballad suggesting Procol Harum’s “She Wandered Through the Garden Fence” but infused with power chords and even more of that assertive drumming. On the relatively subdued yet intense ballad “Have I no Love to Offer”, the band get close the emotive force of Robin Gibb in full flow. The powerful “It’s All Over” also brings The Bee Gees to mind.

This configuration of The Choir, though, was more than the sum of it what it drew from. The unique identity shining through seamlessly melds high-pitched, yearning vocals, minor-key melodies and a lacerating power-pop attack. Exactly what The Raspberries took into the American charts in 1972.

Unfortunately, although the booklet with Artifact includes a couple of short reminiscences and a note on the source tape it lacks a contextualising essay. Thankfully, the extraordinary music says it all. This is one of the Sixties’ great lost albums and its appearance is to be greeted with, as The Raspberries sang in 1973, ecstasy.
by Kieron Tyler, Sunday, 18 February 2018

1. Anyway I Can (Phil Giallombardo) - 3:30
2. If These Are Men (Denny Carleton) - 2:58
3. Ladybug (Phil Giallombardo) - 3:21
4. I Can't Stay In Your Life (Kenny Margolis) - 3:44
5. David Watts (Ray Davies) - 2:42
6. Have I No Love To Offer (Phil Giallombardo) - 5:42
7. For Eric (Kenny Margolis) - 6:39
8. It's All Over (Kenny Margolis) - 4:30
9. Boris' Lament (Phil Giallombardo) - 2:50
10.Mummer Band (Denny Carleton) - 2:38

The Choir
*Denny Carleton - Bass, Vocals
*Jim Bonfanti - Drums, Vocals
*Randy Klawon - Guitar, Vocals
*Phil Giallombardo - Organ, Vocals
*Kenny Margolis - Piano, Vocals

1966-68  The Choir - Choir Practice 

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Marc Jonson - Years (1972 us, splendid baroque folk rock, 2017 remaster and expanded)

The Real Gone Music label has just rereleased the out-of-print 1972 cult album Years by Marc Jonson. Real Gone touted the work as one of the most obscure cult albums ever as its initial vinyl release was quite limited. The newly remastered edition was sourced from original tapes dug out of the Vanguard label vaults. Years is difficult to classify by genre, roughly fitting into the category of psych-folk. The album has a transcendental, brooding feel that incorporates the intimacy of the singer-songwriter era with baroque elements prevalent in some 1960s recordings, but ultimately sounds ahead of its time - 1972 in a way that looks forward to the alternative music of the 1980s and ‘90s.

At 21 years old Jonson sang, played guitar, drums, keyboards, produced, and wrote all the songs on Years. The album cover art features a black and white photo of Jonson with long hair, a somber expression, and facial features that resemble Neil Young, who in 1972 released his legendary Harvest album. Years sounds at times like Harvest, particularly the two songs on which Young was accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. According to Jonson, there was a classical recording session going on in the studio where he was working so he decided to incorporate some harpsichords that were left lying around and hired some of the classical musicians to play on string arrangements.

The baroque elements on Years, complemented occasionally by a few good solid drum whacks, bring to mind sounds that an early Elton John explored on works like his 1970 self-titled album. Jonson’s melodic intonations and quasi-classical accompaniment sound at times like an early Leonard Cohen, as do his impressive, often dark, lyrics, which are probably not quite Cohen’s level since nothing really reaches that standard, but are impressive nonetheless.

Jonson said he was influenced in the making of Years by Van Morrison’s 1968 classic, Astral Weeks. The classical styling and unusual time signatures on both of the albums could certainly be compared, but Morrison is apparently also an influence on Jonson’s vocals. Jonson’s voice is very different from Morrison’s, but Jonson puts his own take on Morrison’s soaring wails. Jonson’s vocal style is similar to that of Chris Bell, a member of Big Star. Years has frequently been compared with the work of Big Star and indeed has the spirit of angst that characterizes much of the power pop genre that the band pioneered. But while the album fits in with the melancholic, reflective side of Big Star, there is not much in the way of the hard rock riffing side of the band captured on songs like “In the Street.”

Years kicks off with “Rainy Dues,” a song that begins with an acoustic guitar riff that is very similar to the riff in the Bruce Springsteen song “Growin’ Up.” Jonson’s release, however, slightly predates Springsteen’s and in the liner notes to Years, Jonson claims he was playing the Gaslight in Greenwich Village with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell in 1972, and it is very possible that a young Springsteen heard “Rainy Dues” at one of those gigs. The beautifully melancholic piece builds from its acoustic beginning in a dramatic Springsteen-like fashion into its bridge as Jonson’s vocals become increasingly intense right before the mid-tempo rhythm comes in with drums and a few John Entwistle-like audible melodic bass notes. The song ends with Jonson moaning a few transcendent “oohs” before one final anguished scream similar to Springsteen’s vocals at the end of “Jungleland.”

Later in the album, “Mary” provides a showcase for a powerful vocal from Jonson backed initially by nothing but a funky drum beat that Jody Stephens could have laid down for Big Star. Even though Jonson is American, Years often sounds like the dreary British symphonic rock of the era. His voice sounds a lot like Elton John on “Mary,” and the instrumentation and time on the song are highly unusual as harpsichords and string orchestrations make up the bridge before the song closes with Jonson’s high wailing, which sounds similar to John’s higher range.

“Mother Jane,” a subtle, smart antiwar song features acoustic picking similar to Neil Young’s “Old Man.” However, it seriously diverges from the musical path of “Old Man” when it reaches the middle of the song in which the bridge is signaled by the beautiful strum of harps. The song contains the powerful line, “England’s at war oh my it’s 1805/To print the news you have to risk your life,” possibly in reference to the then current publishing of the Pentagon Papers that showed that the American government covered up the truth about the Vietnam War.

“A Long Song” features interesting classical accompaniment of flute. The album title comes from a lyric in the song, “Years pass as they grow out.” A bizarre chorus of “bum-bum-bum” sang by a few men or multi-tracked vocals starts as the song winds to a close before the chorus fades and the flute closes it out.

“The Return To The Relief” features a jingle-jangle, Byrds influenced riff at the beginning. The lyrics are particularly strong, including at a certain point a creepily repeated goblin-like phrasing of “and then kill you,” in reference to what the speaker will do to the people who have destroyed the world if he is the first person born after the world is destroyed. The song is ultimately hopeful, though, preaching love as an alternative. It has a few movements that segue into each other, but ends with an uplifting, sweeping orchestration. “Munich” is an odd song that features a lot of outlandish studio tricks with vocals. The song is particularly eerie because it features what sounds like an abrupt gunshot. The Real Gone reissue features a non-LP bonus track, “I’m Coming Up To Boston,” a beautiful Tim Buckley-like song with a hazy, harmonized chorus that sounds like the alternative music of later decades.

Years is a worthy rerelease from the Real Gone label. Its baroque orchestration references the most sophisticated sounds of the ‘60s in a psych-folk vibe, which was a bit anachronistic to 1972 as a few years are a lifetime in the music industry. By drawing on the best influences of the then recent past and fusing it with the subtly expressive singer-songwriter idiom, Jonson made an album that was years ahead of its time and a classic, cult or otherwise.
by Jeremy Goldstein,  Apr 30, 2017 

1. Rainy Dues - 3:52
2. Mary - 5:52
3. Mother Jane - 2:11
4. Fly - 3:35
5. A Long Song - 5:10
6. Autopsy - 1:41
7. The Return To Relief - 5:50
8. Munich - 2:40
9. The Tredmill - 2:51
10.I’M Coming Up To Boston - 3:07
11.Rainy Dues - 3:56
12.Mother Jane - 2:11
13.Fly - 3:35
Lyrics and Music by Marc Jonson

*Marc Jonson - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Organ, Harpsichord, Autoharp, Timpani
*Blair Lew - Electric Bass, Electric Guitar
*Scott Lang - Percussion
*George Duvivier - Acoustic Bass
*Fred Mollin - Drums
*Jonathan Bart - Piano, Hammond Organ
*H. Wayne Ashdown - Acoustic Guitar
*John Frangipane - Strings Arrangements
*Timothy Brady - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Fred Mollin - Vocals
*Maynard Solomon - Vocals
*Jeff Wayne - Drums
*Hurling - Bass

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Crosby Stills Nash And Young - 4 Way Street (1971 canada / us / uk, superb folk psych classic rock, 2016 japan double disc remaster)

Seldom in rock history have four guys who seemingly couldn’t stand each other sounded so good together as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young did on their 1971 double live album 4 Way Street. There have been plenty of great bands that thrived on creative and personal conflict, from the Kinks to the Ramones and beyond, but in most cases the battles were mainly between two of the members, usually the ones occupying the front line. But with CSNY there were four frontmen, and at various points during their time together, they apparently longed to defenestrate each other.

For a band of SoCal hippies, they sure were a fractious bunch; there were feuds between just about every member at one point or another. All these years later, Graham Nash dropped the F-bomb in reference to David Crosby during an interview, declaring the walrus-mustached balladeer persona non grata. So it’s amazing the extra-fragile four-man version of the lineup stayed together long enough to play the concerts captured on 4 Way Street, let alone the fact that they contain some of the strongest music any of them ever made, alone or together.

Against the odds, CSN had managed to improve upon the wheel by adding Y for the follow-up to their debut album. Déjà Vu managed to up the ante considerably thanks to Neil Young’s contributions. Three months after that record’s release, the quartet was out on tour playing the dates documented on 4 Way Street. Songs from shows at New York’s Fillmore East and Los Angeles' Forum in June 1970 and one at the Chicago Auditorium in July ended up on the album, capturing the band in all its fringe-jacketed glory as they opened up the throttle on album cuts and trotted out some still-unrecorded material.

With Young on board, everything got ratcheted up a notch or two. The vocal harmonies went from glistening and pristine to a more ragged-but-right feel, and songs that felt like friendly folk-rockers gained some serious edge and electric bite.

Stephen Stills and Young had been rivals ever since their time together in Buffalo Springfield, but they had always spurred each other on to greater creative heights. That’s the way it worked out here too. The epic six-string firefights they get into on tunes like “Southern Man” (which wouldn’t be heard on a studio record until Young’s After the Gold Rush was released in September) and “Carry On” were unlike anything on either of the band’s first two albums.

It’s the Bay Area bands of the era -- like the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Moby Grape -- who are always credited with the mightiest guitar firepower, but when Stills and Young started swinging their axes around onstage, they gave their friends to the north a run for their money.

Half the material on this record would never see the inside of a CSN(Y) studio album at all, such was the roll the members were on at that time; and a number of those cuts were among the strongest in the repertoire, not to mention on the record. Young’s heart-stopping ballad “On the Way Home,” Crosby’s lecherous but hypnotic tale of instigating a ménage a trois, “Triad,” and Nash’s indignant broadside “Chicago” all fall under that category.

The band was at its most politically charged at that point too, which was only natural considering the turmoil the country was in at the time. It was late 1969 when Bobby Seale was bound and gagged in a courtroom during his trial for inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, an event that inspired the aforementioned Nash song. And the horrific Kent State University killings of four students by National Guardsmen had just occurred in May 1970, moving young to pen the raging “Ohio.”

Stills gets his political licks in too, if a little less specifically, with the crowd-pleasing, piano-pumping clap-along medley “49 Bye-Byes/For What It’s Worth/America’s Children,” name-checking Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew and Chicago mayor Richard Daley and shifting the Springfield-era “For What It’s Worth”’s focus from the Sunset Strip to something more all-encompassing.

4 Way Street was a huge hit, topping the album charts and earning an even bigger audience for the band. But it was also the beginning of the end, at least for a while. By the time the tour was over, the foursome had had enough of each other, splitting to pursue various solo and duo projects. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young didn’t perform together again until 1974, and it wasn’t until 1977 that another studio album (minus Young) was released.

But for all the acrimony fouling the band’s artistic ecosystem, there’s no denying the fact that they followed one of the finest studio albums of the era with a live album that was arguably even better, setting a high bar for the many double-length concert albums to come over the course of the decade.
by Jim Allen, April 5, 2016

Disc 1
1. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Stephen Stills) - 0:34
2. On The Way Home (Neil Young) - 3:48
3. Teach Your Children (Graham Nash) - 3:02
4. Triad (David Crosby) - 6:55
5. The Lee Shore (David Crosby) - 4:29
6. Chicago (Graham Nash) - 3:11
7. Right Between The Eyes (Graham Nash) - 3:37
8. Cowgirl In The Sand (Neil Young) - 3:59
9. Don't Let Bring You Down (Neil Young) - 3:30
10.49 Bye-Byes-America's Children (Stephen Stills) - 6:35
11.Love The One You're With (Stephen Stills) - 3:25
12.King Midas In Reverse (Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks) - 3:43
13.Laughing (David Crosby) - 3:36
14.Black Queen (Stephen Stills) - 6:45
15.Medley: The Loner-Cinnamon Girl-Down By The River (Neil Young) - 9:42

Disc 2
1. Pre-Road Downs (Graham Nash) - 3:05
2. Long Time Gone (David Crosby) - 5:59
3. Southern Man (Neil Young) - 13:45
4. Ohio (Neil Young) - 3:34
5. Carry On (Stephen Stills) - 14:19
6. Find The Cost Of Freedom (Stephen Stills) - 2:22)

*David Crosby - Vocals, Guitar
*Stephen Stills - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ
*Graham Nash - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ
*Neil Young - Vocals, Guitar
*Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels - Bass
*Johnny Barbata - Drums

1974  Crosby Stills Nash And Young - Live (2013 four discs box set)
1972  Graham Nash David Crosby - Graham Nash David Crosby (2008 remaster)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 double disc edition)
1973  Byrds (Reunion Album, 2004 issue) 
1971  Graham Nash - Songs For Beginners (2008 digipak remaster)
1973  Graham Nash - Wild Tales
1968  Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills - The Super Sessions (2014 Hybrid Multichannel SACD 24/88)
1970  Stephen Stills - Stephen Stills (debut album, 2008 japan SHM remaster)
1972  Stephen Stills - Manassas (2006 HDCD)
1971-73  Manassas - Pieces (2009 release)
1973  Stephen Stills And Manassas - Down The Road (Japan issue)
1975-76/78  Stephen Stills - Stills / Illegal Stills / Thoroughfare Gap
1976  The Stills Young Band - Long May You Run

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Rose Garden - A Trip Through The Garden (1967-68 us, amazing sunny folk psych, 2018 bonus tracks remaster)

A Trip Through The Garden, a first-time Rose Garden anthology, is a companion piece to the Clark release and, as such, it illuminates the relationship and tells the band’s story.

A Trip Through The Garden includes the ten tracks from The Rose Garden, the band’s non-album A- and B-sides, previously unheard studio recordings, demos, live tracks and a band rehearsal of “Till Today” which was, extraordinarily, taped in Noreen’s bedroom with Gene Clark.

In the liner notes, The Rose Garden is described as “steeped in jingle-jangle Byrdsy folk rock (done well but arguably passé by 1968) and lush folk-inspired vocal harmonies” which nails it. The band were not writers – though they took arrangement credits for the folk songs “Flower Town” (their rewrite of “Portland Town”) and “Rider”.

The Rose Garden hangs together and is a prime example of West Coast pop of the period. Nonetheless it was, indeed, a little behind the times. A fair guess for a release date made after hearing the album for the first time would be Summer 1967: an assumption supported by the very 1967 song title “Flower Town” and the cover of The Giant Sunflower’s April 1967 single “February Sunshine”. Even so, five decades on it remains a fresh, winning album.

What led up to it being recorded, the deal with Greene and Stone and the contract with ATCO (also The Buffalo Springfield and Sonny & Cher’s label) is detailed. The roots of The Rose Garden lay in the suburbs outside Los Angeles (not West Virginia as has been said elsewhere) and in a band variously named The Marauders, The PF Flyers and the magnificently handled The Blokes: the latter after a line in Herman’s Hermits’ “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter”. Initially, The Beatles were the inspiration, especially the Rickenbacker guitar sound permeating the A Hard Day’s Night album.

Then, The Byrds arrived on the scene and swiftly became The Blokes’ prime influence. A Trip Through The Garden’s live tracks include fine versions of “She Don’t Care About Time” and “So You Want To Be A Rock ’N’ Roll Star”. Playing a late 1966 afternoon show at the Ash Grove venue, they saw the by-then former Byrd Gene Clark at the bar. They did a few Byrds covers, he applauded and was duly invited onto the stage where they ran-through “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” and “‘Eight Miles High” with him. The relationship with Clark did not end there and, ultimately, the band recorded a pair of his post-Byrds songs.

Following their initial encounter with Clark, the all-male, mostly teenage band added singer Diana De Rose, attracted Green and Stone’s attention and changed their name from The Blokes to The Rose Garden. Despite the infrastructure now surrounding them, they had just the one hit. Clark joining them in the studio to help record his compositions, play tambourine and offer advice did not help. Neither did the presence of Neil Young, also there  when they recorded the album (he is not on it). Their strong version of Young’s then-unreleased “Down To The Wire” is heard here for the first time. The end came soon after ATCO divisively credited one of their singles to “The Rose Garden Featuring Diana De Rose.”

Listening to this fine band raises the what-if of whether they might have evolved into a self-determining unit: could they have begun generating their own songs? But the question is moot. The Rose Garden were what they were, and the music they left behind is uniformly great. And, as the hugely enjoyable A Trip Through The Garden amply demonstrates, they were about much more than “Next Plane To London”.
by Kieron Tyler, Sunday, 17 June 2018

1. Next Plane To London (Kenny Gist Jr.) - 2:32
2. I'm Only Second (Charles W. Higgins, Pat Vegas) - 3:14
3. February Sunshine (Pat Vegas, Val Geary) - 2:39
4. Coins Of Fun (Leonard A. Metzger, Pat Vegas) - 3:01
5. Rider (Traditional) - 2:59
6. She Belongs To Me (Bob Dylan) - 3:57
7. Flower Town (Bruce Bowdin, Diana DeRose, James Groshong, John Noreen, William Fleming) - 3:19
8. Till Today (Gene Clark) - 3:16
9. Look What You've Done (Bob Johnston, Wes Farrell) - 3:08
10.Long Time (Gene Clark) - 2:02
11.If My World Falls Through (Kenny O'Dell) - 2:41
12.Here's Today (John Noreen, Phil Vickery) - 2:33
13.Down To The Wire (Neil Young) - 2:38
14.Charlie The Fer De Lance (Dann Lottermoser, Donald Lewis Dunn, Tony McCashen) - 3:00
15.The World Is A Great Big Playground (Al Kooper, Bob Crewe, Irwin Levine) - 3:50
16.Here's Today (John Noreen, Phil Vickery) - 2:42
17.If My World Fall's Through (Kenny O'Dell) - 3:28
18.Dead Men Never Die (Take 2) (Leon Rosselson) - 2:58
19.I'm Only Second (Acetate Version) (Charles W. Higgins, Pat Vegas) - 3:10
20.Till Today (Rehearsel) (Gene Clark) - 3:21
21.Till Today (Acetate Version) (Gene Clark) - 3:16
22.Next Plane To London (Kenny Gist Jr.) - 2:35
23.So You Want To Be A Rock N Roll Star (Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn) - 2:25
24.She Don't Care About Time (Gene Clark) - 2:38
25.It's The Little Things (Sonny Bono) - 3:00
26.You Don't Love Me (Bo Diddley, Willie Cobbs) - 4:01
Tracks 11-12 Mono Single Version
Tracks 16-17 Stereo Mix
TYracks 22-26 Live recordings

The Rose Garden
*Diana De Rose - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
*John Noreen - Lead 12 String Guitar, Vocals
*James Groshong - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*William Fleming - Bass
*Bruce Bowdin - Drums
*Gene Clark - Vocals

Related Acts
1967  Gene Clark - Sings For You (2018 digipak with unreleased material)
1964-90  Gene Clark - Flying High
1964-82  Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (2016 audiophile double Vinyl set) 
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)

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