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Friday, October 15, 2010

Quicksilver Messenger Service - What About Me (1970 us, awesome west coast psych, 2012 audiophile Vinyl replica)

A suitable follow-up to the group's seminal (fourth) album, "Just For Love", the album, "What About Me", produced soon after its release with its title song a widely-played anthem of sorts for the early 1970's. The title song was aired repeatedly over the radio on numerous progressive-rock FM stations from coast to coast. It was written by Dino Valente; the song's lyrics reflected the songwriter's concern for the environment as well as his strong distaste for certain laws of the land at that time, specifically, laws prohibiting the use of some recreational drugs. The song, "What About Me", was a forceful, and yet a typical, protest song of the late 1960's and early 1970's, played over the airwaves during a period of time when the country was engulfed in numerous protests that took on a wide range of issues, including protests against our nation's involvement in faraway Vietnam, an unjust war that, for a good number of years, had no visible end in sight. Fortunately, with the eventual passage of time, positive change did come!!

Certain tracks on this particular album were recorded during the same sessions in Hawaii that produced its predecessor. As a result, the lineup of the band, in essence, remained unchanged on this album with the heart of the group's driving force consisting of two(2) competent lead guitarists in John Cipollina and Gary Duncan, and the infamous piano player, Nicky Hopkins. The rest of the band consisted of David Freiberg on bass, Greg Elmore on drums, and the late Dino Valente as singer and songwriter.

Soon after the recording of these "twin" albums, namely, "Just For Love" and "What About Me", the band's lineup began gradually to change. With the arrival of Dino Valente at this particular time during the group's history, and just in time to inject some much-needed energy, there appeared to be a sudden shift in power within the group and thereupon, a slight change in its musical direction, too. Mr. Valente's immediate background, prior to rejoining the band, had been as a solo artist in New York City. Consequently, the band now began to record an occasional ballad or two sung by Mr. Valente, in contrast to the band's other tracks that reflected San Francisco's brand of harder (and at times, psychedelic) rock. Having had rejoined the band as lead singer, Dino Valente became the group's frontman on stage and, for better or worse, the band's de facto leader, as oftentimes was the case within a rock band at that time when the lead singer and writer of most of a band's songs took the helm.

The title song of this album, "What About Me", was similar in its intensity and stance (critical of society's ills) to another song that Dino Valente had recorded during his days in New York City while he sang as a lone troubadour. The song, "Children of the Sun", likewise became popular, and with time, it grew to become another anthem of sorts for its day. As such, it received its share of airplay on the radio, too, but predominantly in California and on the West Coast. (The song can still be heard on Dino Valente's only solo album, "Dino Valente.") 
by  Sharpphoto "Sharp" 

1. What About Me (Jesse Oris Farrow) - 6:40
2. Local Color (John Cipollina) - 2:56
3. Baby Baby (Jesse Oris Farrow) - 4:40
4. Won't Kill Me (David Freiberg) - 2:30
5. Long Haired Lady (Jesse Oris Farrow) - 5:52
6. Subway (Gary Duncan, Jesse Oris Farrow) - 4:25
7. Spindrifter (Nicky Hopkins) - 4:33
8. Good Old Rock and Roll (Jesse Oris Farrow) - 2:29
9. All in My Mind (Gary Duncan, Jesse Oris Farrow) - 3:44
10.Call On Me (Jesse Oris Farrow) - 7:35

*Dino Valenti - Vocals, Guitar, Flute, Percussion
*Gary Duncan - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Organ
*John Cipollina - Guitar, Percussion
*David Freiberg - Vocals, Bass, Guitar
*Greg Elmore - Drums, Percussion
*Nicky Hopkins - Piano, Keyboards
Guest Musicians
*Martin Fierro - Flute, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Winds
*Frank Morin - Saxophone, Tenor Sax
*Mark Naftalin - Piano
*Pat O'Hara - Trombone
*Jose Reyes - Percussion, Conga, Vocals
*Ron Taormina - Saxophone, Baritone Sax, Soprano Sax

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Humble Pie - As Safe As Yesterday Is (1969 uk, stunning classic rock, 1st album, japan edition)

When Humble Pie was formed in 1969, the act immediately garnered attention as one of the first "supergroups," as its leading members, Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton, had already attained stardom in other rock bands. Marriott had played guitar and sang with the Small Faces, a successful rock act that had achieved a string of hits around the world, and Frampton had played guitar with the Herd, a pop-rock group that was popular in England. Dissatisfied with the direction their respective bands were taking, Marriott and Frampton decided to form Humble Pie as a rock band with a blues-oriented sound.

The band was an immediate hit with critics and started to build solid sales when Frampton left the band in 1970. Humble Pie subsequently released its most successful album, Smokin’, in 1972; following this commercial peak, the group disbanded in 1974. Marriott re-formed the band for a couple of years in the early 1980s, but it again broke up after releasing two more albums. In 1991 Marriott and Frampton decided to work together again. Although their collaboration was not officially called a reunion, Humble Pie fans eagerly awaited the outcome of the duo’s recording sessions. Tragically, after recording a handful of tracks, Marriott died in a house fire in April of 1991 at the age of 44.

Humble Pie started out with one of the most distinguished pedigrees among rock bands of the late 1960s. London native Steve Marriott started his entertainment career as a child actor and singer and appeared in the musical Oliver! in the early 1960s. After a short-lived stint as a pop singer, Marriott worked in a music instrument shop, where he met bassist Ronnie Lane.

Bonded by a love of R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, the two formed the Small Faces with Marriott as its lead singer. The band was immediately popular in England and, with the release of the top-20 single "Itchycoo Park," in the United States as well. Despite the band’s success, Marriott was increasingly unhappy with its musical direction and in 1969 decided that he wanted to leave the group. Intent on forming his own band, one of the first people he contacted was guitarist Peter Frampton.

Frampton had just left the lineup of the Herd, another London-based band. Although the group was not quite as successful as the Small Faces, it had made Frampton into something of a teen idol in England, a status that made the guitarist and singer uncomfortable. Frampton was also unhappy with the Herd’s increasingly pop-oriented direction. After leaving the Herd in early 1969, he was determined to pursue a harder-edged sound with another band. Marriott and Frampton thus had a common goal in mind when they announced that they were looking for some bandmates to round out the lineup of the group that Marriott christened Humble Pie. They recruited teenage drummer Jerry Shirley and bassist Greg Ridley and moved to Essex, England, to start rehearsing.

After making some preview concert appearances, the group was acclaimed by critics even before it entered the recording studio. The single "Natural Bom Boogie" hit the British top five in September of 1969, and the band’s first album, As Safe As Yesterday Is, was released later that year on the Immediate label, owned by Andrew Oldham.

As Safe as Yesterday Is, is a visionary blend of hard blues, crushing rock, pastoral folk, and post-mod pop. It would be even more impressive if the group had written songs to support its sound, but it seemed to have overlooked that element of the equation. Still, there's no denying that the sound of the band isn't just good, it's quite engaging, as the band bring disparate elements together, letting them bump up against each other, forming a wildly rich blend of hippie folk and deeply sexy blues.

Musically, this set a template for a lot of bands that followed later -- Led Zeppelin seemed to directly lift parts of this, and Paul Weller  would later rely heavily on this for his '90s comeback -- and it's very intriguing, even rewarding, on that level. But it falls short of a genuine classic, even with its originality and influence, because the songwriting is rarely more than a structure for the playing and the album often sounds more like a period piece than an album that defined its times.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1. Desperation (Kay) - 6:27
2. Stick Shift (Frampton) - 2:25
3. Buttermilk Boy (Marriott) - 4:21
4. Growing Closer (McLagan) - 3:12
5. As Safe as Yesterday Is (Frampton, Marriott) - 6:07
6. Bang! (Marriott) - 3:25
7. Alabama 69 (Marriott) - 6:57
8. I'll Go Alone (Frampton) - 3:55
9. A Nifty Little Number Like You (Marriott) - 6:13
10. What You Will (Marriott) - 4:22
11. Natural Boy Boogie (Marriott) - 4:14
12. Wrist Job (Marriott) - 4:15

Humble Pie
* Steve Marriott  - Vocals, Guitar , Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Organ, Tablas, Piano
* Peter Frampton - Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Organ, Tablas, Piano
* Greg Ridley - Bass, Vocals, Percussion
* Jerry Shirley - Drums, Percussion, Tablas, Harpsichord, Piano,
* Lyn Dobson - Flute, Sitar

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