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Music gives soul to universe, wings to mind, flight to imagination, charm to sadness, and life to everything.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Listening - Listening (1968 us, skillful heavy psychedelic rock)

Michael Tschudin led the Boston-based band Listening, but it is the contributions by former Velvet Underground bassist Walter Powers and guitarist Peter Malick which make this album historic. Powers performed over the years with keyboardist Willie Alexander as members of Capitol Recording Artist the Lost, the aforementioned Velvets, and on Autre Chose, a live album from Alexander released on New Rose in Paris. Peter Malick is best known for being Otis Spann's guitarist and a member of the James Montgomery Band on Capricorn.

Their legendary status in Boston rock & roll history brings positive notoriety to the fine music on this Vanguard release. "So Happy" is the poppiest tune, a cross between the Monkees and the Mojo Men, which is quite misleading. The album runs the gamut from pop to blues to jazz. "Baby Where Are You" is some strange fusion of Motown and the Spencer Davis Group which then veers off in a frenzy of effects and musical jam. Eight of the 11 tracks are written by keyboard/vocalist Michael Tschudin, with three titles attributed to the group. "See You Again," one of the group efforts, is another jam with riffs the Who would greatly appreciate. Phish's success validates how ahead of its time Listening truly was.

There is certainly an identity here as Tschudin takes the boys through all sorts of styles inside the tune "Laugh at the Stars." Elements of Jimi Hendrix, the Band, and the Vanilla Fudge swirl around in the pretty decent production by Michael Chechik. Listening has punch and creativity which deserved a better fate.
by Joe Viglione

1. You're Not There - 4:06
2. Laugh at the Stars - 4:15
3. 9/8 Song - 4:28
4. Stoned Is (M. Tschudin, W. Powers, P. Malick, E. Kamanis, G. Moses) - 4:51
5. Forget It, Man! - 3:24
6. I Can Teach You - 2:23
7. So Happy - 2:33
8. Cuando (M. Tschudin, W. Powers, P. Malick, E. Kamanis) - 2:51
9. Baby: Where Are You? - 6:23
10. Fantasy - 1:02
11. See You Again (M. Tschudin, W. Powers, P. Malick, E. Kamanis) - 3:45
All songs by Michael Tschudin except where stated.


 *Michael Tschudin - Vocals, Vibes, Keyboards, Conga Drum
*Walter Powers - Bass
*Peter Malick - Guitars
*Ernie Kamanis - Vocals, Drums

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Robin Trower - Tale Untold, Chrysalis Years (1973-76 uk, impressive guitar rock, 3 disc box-set, 2010 remaster bonus tracks issue)

Guitarist Robin Trower made his name playing R&B with the Paramounts and classically-tinged art rock with Procol Harum, but wanted no part of either when he launched his solo career in 1972. As the focal point in a guitar-dominated power trio, Trower stretched out, experimented, and, as many have noted, paid homage to Jimi Hendrix in his own way.

Other than his reliance on the reverb of a Fender Stratocaster for tone and atmosphere and the trio format, however, Trower was far from a Hendrix clone. For one, whereas Hendrix’s music always had rough edges in spite of its virtuosity, Trower epitomized precision—from the tight arrangements (owing to his background in Procol Harum) and structured solos, right down to the cleaner tone of his guitar. While Hendrix’s R&B influence came from playing loose, uptempo blues and soul, Trower’s background (with the Paramounts) was in uptown white British R&B. What Trower was doing with Hendrix wasn’t any different than what the Rolling Stones were doing with Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters: updating it and expanding upon it.

While revered by guitar aficionados, Trower didn’t earn nearly as much respect from critics, and if past reissues are any indication, record labels. Of his first five solo albums, included in their entirety on this three-CD compilation, only Bridge of Sighs has ever gotten a decent remaster, the rest left to wallow in straight transfers with flat sound—or worse, in the case of the original ‘80s CD reissues of Live and Long Misty Days. While short on liner notes and packaging, A Tale Untold at last gives all of Trower’s first five the mastering they deserve.

Twice Removed from Yesterday (1973) kicked things off in prodigious fashion, displaying all the elements that would manifest throughout Trower’s early works: bassist James Dewar’s rich, soulful vocals, spacey arrangements, and of course, incredible guitar playing. The dreamy title track and “Daydream” in particular lay the groundwork for the future, and the more laid-back “Ballerina” was the first of many ballads that fit comfortably beside harder-rocking material. That said, the debut rocks harder than most later works, with Trower playing in a slightly more distorted tone on riffs like “I Can’t Stand It”, “Sinner’s Song”, and “I Can’t Wait Much Longer”. (The hardest rocking track of the sessions, “Take a Fast Train”, a killer non-LP B-side ignored by reissue labels for years, is included here.)

Trower’s tone on 1974’s career-defining Bridge of Sighs replaced the slight distortion with echo and effects as the music took another step forward (with commercial success to boot; this was one of four Trower albums to go gold). As fine a debut as Twice Removed was, Bridge of Sighs was even better—including the monumental title track (an FM staple) and rocking stage favorites like “Day of the Eagle”, “Too Rolling Stoned”, and “Little Bit of Sympathy”—all delivered with Trower’s trademark fluidity. Two ballads—“About to Begin” and “In This Place”—were just as good, and the funky edge of “Lady Love” would point the way to Trower’s next stylistic foray.

To get there, the late Reg Isidore was replaced in late 1974 by former of Gypsy and Sly and the Family Stone drummer Bill Lordan, who immediately added another dimension. Isidore may have had a great feel, but not nearly the chops of his successor. On live versions of songs from the first two albums, Lordan replaced Isidore’s more rudimentary (albeit effective) fills and backbeats with a fantastic array of hi-hat action, snare-ride cymbal interplay, polyrhythms executed simultaneously on different parts of the kit, a funky bottom, and, above all, a drive that the trio never had.

The difference can be heard on various bootlegs, as well as 1975’s Live, a strong set recorded on February 3, 1975, for Swedish radio. Being unaware that they were being taped made the band “loose and uninhibited”, according to Trower—and it shows on ripping versions of “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Lady Love”, and “Alethea”. Unlike many such sets, Trower’s live album adds to the studio versions—and would make a great candidate for an expanded edition since it’s a truncated version of the full set.

Before that album saw release, however, the new lineup would make a disappointing third studio album, 1975’s For Earth Below. Recorded at the Record Plant in LA, the album has the cocaine studio feel all over it: trebly highs, slightly too much bass, and more languid tempos. The material isn’t necessarily the problem—“Gonna Be More Suspicious”, “Alethea”, and “Shame the Devil” are fine tracks—but the execution is, particularly from a band capable of much better.

Though sometimes maligned as a Bridge of Sighs clone, 1976’s Long Misty Days was a return to form. Here, the funky edge spearheaded by Lordan finally appears in the studio on wah-wah enhanced tracks like “Caledonia”, “S.M.O.”, and “Pride”, and Trower revisits the blues on “Same Rain Falls” and “Messin’ the Blues”. The psychedelic title track, replete with Trower’s brilliant sustain and also included in an edited single version, is another winner—rounding out a fine run. (A Tale Untold includes a previously unreleased song from the Long Misty Days sessions, “Let Me Be the One”, which is OK.) Like previous albums, the changes were subtle, and innovation not necessarily a strong point, but Trower and band more than made up for it with strong performances and material.

Long Misty Days is the end of this set, but by no means the end of the story. Not counting two early ‘80s collaborations with Jack Bruce, Trower would go on to make four more solo albums on Chrysalis—one great (1980’s Victims of the Fury), two very good (1977’s In City Dreams and 1983’s Back It Up), one not so great (1978’s Caravan to Midnight), but all ripe for remastering.
By Doug Sheppard

Disc 1
1973 Twice Removed From Yesterday
1. I Can't Wait Much Longer (Trower, Dewar) - 5:26
2. Daydream (Trower, Dewar) - 6:28
3. Hannah (Trower, Dewar, Isidore) - 5:30
4. Man Of The World (Trower, Dewar) - 2:44
5. I Can't Stand It (Trower, Dewar) - 3:43
6. Rock Me Baby (Joe Josea, B.B. King) - 4:21
7. Twice Removed From Yesterday (Trower, Dewar) - 3:58
8. Sinner's Song (Trower, Dewar) - 5:25
9. Ballerina (Trower, Dewar) - 3:47
10. Take A Fast Train (Bonus Track, B Side) (Trower, Dewar) - 3:16
1974 Bridge Of Sights
11. Day Of The Eagle - 5:02
12. Bridge Of Sighs - 5:01
13. In This Place - 4:30
14. Fool And Me (Trower, Dewar) - 3:56

Disc 2
1974 Bridge Of Sights
1. Too Rolling Stoned - 7:34
2. About To Begin - 3:45
3. Lady Love (Trower, Dewar) - 3:20
4. Little Bit Of Sympathy (Trower, Dewar) - 4:19
5. Day Of The Eagle (Bonus Track, Single Edit) (Trower, Dewar) - 2:53
1975 For Earth Below
6. Shame The Devil - 3:27
7. It's Only Money (Trower, Dewar) - 5:30
8. Confessin' Midnight - 5:53
9. Fine Day - 3:36
10. Alethea - 3:06
11. A Tale Untold - 5:28
12. Gonna Be More Suspicious - 3:06
13. For Earth Below - 6:06
1975 Live
14. Too Rolling Stoned - 6:40
15. Daydream - 8:00
16. Rock Me Baby (KJoe Josea, B.B. King) - 5:58

Disc 3
1975 Live
1. Lady Love (Trower, Dewar) - 3:07
2. I Can't Wait Much Longer - 6:58
3. Alethea (Trower, Dewar) - 4:10
4. Little Bit Of Sympathy - 5:55
1976 Long Misty Days
5. Same Rain Falls (Trower, Dewar) - 3:15
6. Long Misty Days (Trower, Dewar) - 5:43
7. Hold Me (Trower, Dewar) - 3:36
8. Caledonia (Trower, Dewar) - 3:41
9. Pride (Trower, Dewar) - 3:10
10. Sailing (Gavin Sutherland) - 3:45
11. SMO (Dewar, Lordan, Trower) - 3:44
12. I Can't Live Without You (Dewar, Frankie Miller, Trower) - 4:25
13. Messin' The Blues (Dewar, Lordan, Trower) - 3:58
14. Long Misty Days (Bonus Track, Single Edit) (Trower, Dewar) - 4:45
15. Let Me Be The One (Bonus Track, Previously Unreleased) (Trower, Dewar) - 4:33
All songs by Robin Trower except otherwise.

*Robin Trower - Guitar
*Jemas Dewar - Bass, Vocals
*Reg Isidore - Drums (Disc1 & Disc 2 tracks 1-5)
*Bill Lordan - Drums (Disc 2 tracks 6-16 & Disc 3)

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Stray - Stray (1970 uk, great heavy rock)

Reissue from the June 1970 original release on the Transatlantic label, Stray's eponymously titled debut album is widely acknowledged as their masterpiece. This compilation has been remastered and features them10 previously unreleased sides 'Change Your Mind', 'Answer In Love', 'Send Out A Smile',' I Am What I Am', 'Love In Your Heart', 'Loving You Is Sweeter Than Four', 'The Man Who Paints Pictures', 'In The Night', 'Outcast' & 'All In Your Mind'. Stray made their mark in the late 60s by owning lighting rigs, pyrotechnics and transport in a time when most bands were content to just get up onstage and play.

Stray dated back to 1966 when teenagers vocalist Steve Gadd, guitarist Del Bromham, bass player Gary Giles and drummer Steve Crutchley formed the band whilst all were attending the local Christopher Wren School in London. At this point the average age of Stray members was 14. Steve Crutchley quit to pursue traditional Jazz and was duly replaced by Richie Cole as Stray became regulars on the London club circuit, performing at such venues as Shepherds Bush Goldhawk Club and Covent Garden's Middle Earth. In May 1969 Stray supported The Groundhogs at Southall Farx Club and signed to Transatlantic Records in January 1970.

Stray appeared at their first Reading Festival in 1971, alongside such acts as Rory Gallagher, Medicine Head and Van Der Graaf Generator. Later that year the group also made their debut TV appearance on the show 'Disco 2', although a gig the same year at the Weeley Festival found Stray in bother with the coastguard when stage flares were mistaken for a distress call by the local lifeboat! Stray's first British headline tour in the winter of 1971 had Red Dirt and Steve Tilston supporting. The band would also tour Europe as support to Ten Years After. They would promptly return to the UK for more support shows to the likes of Status Quo before touring nationwide with The Groundhogs.

At this point Stray took on the services of manager Wilf Pine. Securing another Reading Festival slot in 1972 - appearing with Status Quo, Ten Years After and Wizzard - Stray supported The Groundhogs once more in August 1973, experimenting with additional live musicians; including keyboard player Andy Powell, backing vocalists and brass section. Stray also opened for Black Sabbath at Alexandra Palace in the same month.
Stray (Official site)

1. All In Your Mind - 9:21
2. Taken All The Good Things - 5:30
3. Around The World In Eighty Days - 3:37
4. Time Machine - 4:41
5. Only What You Make It - 4:00
6. Yesterday's Promises (Gadd) - 4:19
7. Move On (Bromham, Gadd, Cole, Giles) - 5:46
8. In Reverse / Some Say (Bromham, Gadd, Cole, Giles) - 8:58
9. Change Your Mind (Bromham, Gadd) - 5:11
10.The Man Who Paints The Pictures (Holtzman, Holtzman, Knust) - 2:33
11.In The Night (Unknown) - 4:01
12.Outcast - 4:00
13.All In Your Mind (Single Version) - 2:59
All songs by Del Bromham except where stated.

*Del Bromham - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
*Ritchie Cole - Drums
*Steve Gadd - Harmonica, Guitar, Vocals
*Gary G. Giles - Bass
*Pete Dyer - Guitar, Vocals

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Alquin - The Mountain Queen (1973 holland, outstanding progressive rock with blues and jazz shades, 2009 esoteric remaster issue)

A few students in Delft start a group in 1968. It is called Threshold Fear and they mainly play rhytmn and blues. In 1970 the band members are: Hein Mars (bass, vocals), Job Tarenskeen (vocal, sax, percussion), Ronald Ottenhof (sax, flute), Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Dick Franssen (keyboards) and Bart Terlaak (drums). A single is released on Negram: Sally Saddlepain/Thank me not, the track was produced by Peter Vink who later on would form Finch

At the end of 1971 the group changes the drummer:Terlaak goes and Paul Weststrate comes. In January 1972 they perform in Paradiso for the first time, under their old name. Shortly thereafter (February 1972) the group changes its name to Alquin, after the student society and rehearsal room Alcuin.Due to their growing reputation, May 1972 a record deal with Polydor is closed for 2 albums and 4 singles, and they record their debut album Marks, produced by Hans van Oosterhout. He was also the producer of Supersister. The album is mainly a mix of rock, jazz and classical influences; “symphonic rock”. As a single You always can change is released with on the flip side the non album track Hard royce.

The popularity of the band is growing in 1973 The readers of Oor magazine vote Alquin as the ‘number 1 trendsetter’ of 1973. Alquin tours Great Britain in April and May (17 performances), on stages like Liverpool University, Cavern Club, Greyhound and Marquee Club (London) and including a live TV performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test. They also give a good performance as the one and only Dutch act at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands. A second album, The Mountain Queen is recorded at the DeLane Lea studio’s in London, with the help of producer Derek Lawrence. He was also the producer of Deep Purple and Wishbone Ash. For fans of progressive rock, this is probably their best effort.

1. The Dance - 13:00
2. Soft-Eyed Woman - 2:38
3. Convicts Of The Air - 3:50
4. Mountain Queen - 14:45
5. Don And Dewey - 1:27
6. Mr. Banum's JR's Maginificent And Fabulous City (part one) - 8:25

*Hein Mars - Bass
*Paul Westrate - Drums
*Job Tarenskeen - Saxophone, Percussion, Vocals
*Ronald Ottenhoff - Saxophone, Flute
*Ferdinand Bakker - Guitar, Electric Violin, Piano, Vocals
*Dick Franssen - Organ, Piano, E-Piano

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Douglas Fir - Hard Heartsingin' (1970 us, excellent psychedelic blues rock, Gear Fab edition)

It was an incredible like we'll never see again. Howdy, I'm Douglas A. Snider (AKA Douglas Fir). The band was formed as a complete foursome after many of the tracks on the album had already been cut. The original band was a trio comprised of myself on drums and lead vocals, Tim Doyle on Hammond B-3, and Richie Moore on guitar. We went by the name of "The Sun Trio".

We played alot of "Meat Marketn Bars" in order to pay for the studio time and worked day jobs as well. I worked the high timber industry as a logger and fire fighter. Tim worked in construction, and Richie (the smart one in retrospect) drove a liquor delivery truck. We had a cut an album and hit the big time...and we damned near did it!! We were totally committed to the project!! It was our dream...the only thing we thought of day and night. We were fortunate in that a couple of guys named Mike Carter and Russ Gorsline, two great recording engineers, also got caught up in the energy of the project.

They fronted us alot of studio time, and when we couldn't pay at times, they shuffled alot of paper around so the studio's owners didn't see the bills. We wrote and recorded some of the songs on the studio floor, and others took more planning and time (obviously the cuts with strings, horns, etc.).After laboring for two long years, we finally decided that we had enough to show the record companies. SO...The big plunge...broke and owing studios, I sold my Honda 305 Scrambler and bought a one-way ticket to Hollywood.

Many hours pounding the pavement and dealing with rejection....Until I met a man by accident in an elevator in the Sunset Vine Towers. Serendipity! The man turned out to be one of Hollywood's hottest arrangers at the time. After a few beers (quite a few) he took me down to the third floor and introduced me to executives from MGM/QUAD Records and we played the tape...Magic...a deal was struck immediately,  the studio bills were paid off, and we added Bruce Bye on bass making the final composite of Douglas Fir.

MGM released a single titled "Smokey Joe's" which received a great deal of airplay, and we toured briefly before the label folded. That's showbiz, folks. But hey...we had a great time making these tracks, playing the 60's bars and Groovin'. And By God, we sold the album even if we didn't get the big hit. Thanks for listening in!!
by Douglas A. Snider,  Hendersonville, Tennessee

1. Hard Heartsingin (D. T. Jay, D. A. Snider) - 4:23
2. Jersey Thursday (Donovan P. Leitch) - 2:18
3. I Didn't Try (D.T. Jay, R.L. Moore, D.A. Snider) - 3:40
4. Early In The Morning Rain (Jay, Moore, Snider) - 3:51
5. New Orleans Queen (Snider, Bye, Fetsch, Gorsline) - 3:17
6. Moratorium Waltz (Douglas A. Snider) - 3:05
7. Smokey Joe's (Bye/Fetsch, Moore, Snider) - 2:19
8. Comin' Back Home (Douglas A. Snider) - 3:52
9. Tom's Song (Fetsch, Ford, Snider) - 3:01
10.21 Years (Moore, Snider) - 2:54

Douglas Fir
*Richie Moore - Guitar
*Tim Doyle - Keyboards
*Douglas A. Snider - Drums, Vocals
*Bruce Bye - Bass

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Paul Kossoff - Kossoff Kirke Tetsu Rabbit / Back Street Crawler / The Band Plays On / 2nd Street (1972/73/75/76 uk, superb guitar work, four albums, 2005 double disc edition)

Throughout the years, rock music has been littered with talented musicians whose lives were cut short due to drug-related deaths. Free/Back Street Crawler guitarist Paul Kossoff was one such casualty. Kossoff was born in London, England, on September 14, 1950, and early on studied classical guitar (before giving up on the instrument by his teenaged years). But upon discovering the British blues-rock movement of the '60s, Kossoff's interest in guitar perked up once again, especially after catching a John Mayall's Bluesbreakers live show with Eric Clapton.

Kossoff soon purchased an electric guitar (a vintage Gibson Les Paul, which eventually become his trademark guitar) and began playing in local bands. Through one such band, Black Cat Bones, Kossoff became good friends with their drummer, Simon Kirke, who would serve a prominent part in Kossoff's musical future. Eventually feeling that the band had reached its zenith, the band broke up after the Black Cat Bones backed bluesman Champion Jack Dupree on a song called "When You Feel the Feeling."

Kossoff and Kirke set out to form another group, hooking up with vocalist Paul Rodgers and bassist Andy Fraser, the quartet decided to go by the name Free (which was supposedly christened by British blues icon Alexis Korner). Just as the new band signed a deal with Island/A&M Records, Kossoff had fully blossomed into an outstanding guitarist, renowned for his fluid, slow, and melodic leads and bluesy riffs. Free issued a pair of albums in the late '60s that went largely unnoticed -- 1968's Tons of Sobs and 1969's self-titled release -- as Kossoff grew slightly disillusioned by the group's lack of commercial progress and tried out for guitar openings in such groups as the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull.

But big-time success would prove to be just around the corner for Free as their 1970 release Fire and Water spawned the massive hit single (and eventual classic rock standard) "All Right Now" and helped secure the group a spot at the esteemed 1970 Isle of Wight Festival (which also included performances by the Who and Sly & the Family Stone, as well as one of the final performances ever by both Jimi Hendrix and the Doors).

But, this would prove to be Free's commercial apex as after one more release, 1971's underappreciated Highway, the group brokeup. In the wake of their split, Free's record label issued the concert set Free Live, while its members indulged in other projects. Both Kirke and Kossoff decided to stay together, forming the short-lived Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu & Rabbit, along with bassist Tetsu Yamauchi and keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, issuing a lone self-titled release the same year. To the delight of fans, Free's split was short-lived as the quartet reunited in 1972, offering a strong "comeback" album, Free at Last. But behind the scenes, things were in disarray:

Kossoff, by this time, had developed a dangerous drug dependency, which led to Fraser's exit from the band. With Yamauchi taking Fraser's place in the lineup (and Bundrick on board for good measure), the new lineup of Free attempted to record a sixth studio album, but due to his problems, Kossoff's input was minimal (with Rodgers and another guitarist subbing in for Kossoff). When Free supported the resulting album, 1973's Heartbreaker, with a tour, Kossoff was replaced with Wendell Richardson and upon the tour's completion, Free split up once more, but this time for good (as both Rodgers and Kirke would go on to form Bad Company).

The same year as Free's swan song, Kossoff was able to pull himself together long enough to record a solo album, Back Street Crawler, which surprisingly featured contributions from his former Free bandmates (as well as Yes drummer Alan White). Happy with the results, Kossoff decided to form a full-time solo outfit, named after the title of his solo debut.

In addition to Kossoff, Back Street Crawler featured singer Terry Wilson-Slesser, keyboard player Mike Montgomery, bassist Terry Wilson, and drummer Tony Braunagel and the lineup signed on with Atlantic Records to issue a total of two releases -- 1975's The Band Plays On and 1976's Second Street. But Kossoff's health kept worsening; while in a London drug rehab in 1975, Kossoff narrowly escaped death when his heart stopped beating and he had to be revived. Undeterred, Kossoff continued on his destructive path and on March 19, 1976, Kossoff died from a drug-induced heart attack while on a plane flight from Los Angeles to New York at the age of 25.

In the wake of his tragic death, a 16-track career retrospective of Kossoff's, titled Koss (after his nickname), was issued in 1977. Subsequently, several British Kossoff releases were issued in the '80s on the Street Tunes label: 1981's The Hunter, 1982's Leaves in the Wind, 1983's Mr. Big, and 1984's Croydon June 15th, 1975. The late '90s saw a renewed interest in Kossoff and another career retrospective was issued, 1997's 14-track Blue Blue Soul, as well as five-disc Free box set Songs of Yesterday, and a Free biography entitled Heavy Load -- The Story of Free.
by Greg Prato

Disc 1
- 1975 The Band Plays On
1. Hoo Doo Woman (Braunagel, Kossoff, Montgomery, Slesser, Wilson) - 4:18
2. New York, New York (Montgomery) - 4:40
3. Stealing My Way (Kossoff, Montgomery) - 4:22
4. Survivor (Montgomery) - 3:36
5. It's A Long Way Down To The Top (Montgomery) - 5:59
6. All The Girls Are Crazy (Braunagel) - 3:34
7. Jason Blue (Montgomery) - 4:57
8. Train Song (Braunagel, T. Wilson) - 4:36
9. Rock & Roll Junkie (Montgomery) - 3:18
10.The Band Plays On (T. Wilson) - 5:00
1973 Back Street Crawler
11.Tuesday Morning (Kossoff) - 16:50
12.I'm Ready (Roden, Roussel ) - 2:20
13.Time Away (Kossoff, Martyn) - 5:40
14.Molten Gold (Kossoff) - 6:48
15.Back Street Crawler (Don't Need You No More) (Kossoff) - 4:11

Disc 2 
- 1976 2nd Street 
1. Selfish Lover - 3:26
2. Blue Soul - 3:46
3. Stop Doing What You're Doing - 3:26
4. Raging River - 3:16
5. Some Kind of Happy - 5:00
6. Sweet, Sweet Beauty - 3:14
7. Just For You - 6:18
8. On Your Life - 3:54
9. Leaves In The Wind - 5:12
- 1972 Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit
10.Blue Grass (Bundrick) - 5:10
11.Sammy's Alright (Bundrick) - 4:08
12.Anna (Kirke) - 3:43
13.Just for the Box (Kossoff) - 3:33
14.Hold On (Kirke, Kossoff) - 5:26
15.Fool's Life (Bundrick) - 4:29
16.Yellow House (Bundrick) - 3:26
17.Dying Fire (Kirke) - 4:31
18.I'm on the Run (Bundrick) - 4:38
19.Colours (Elliott Burgess, Kossoff) - 4:47

 - 1972 Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit
*Paul Kossoff - Guitars
*John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Electric Piano, Mellotron, Piano, Organ, Vocals
*Tetsu Yamauchi - Bass
*Simon Kirke - Drums, Vocals
*B.J. Cole - Steel Guitar

 - 1973 Back Street Crawler
*Paul Kossoff - Lead Guitar
*Trevor Burton - Bass Guitar
*Alan White - Drums
*Rabbit – Keyboards
*Alan Spencer - Bass Guitar
*Jean Roussel - Keyboards
*Jess Roden - Vocals
*Tetsu Yamauchi - Bass Guitar
*Simon Kirke - Drums
*John Martyn - Guitar
*Paul Rodgers - Vocals
*Andy Fraser - Bass Guitar
*Conrad Isidore - Drums
*Clive Chaman - Bass Guitar

- 1975 The Band Plays On
*Paul Kossoff - Guitar
*Terry Wilson Slesser - Vocals
*Terry Wilson - Guitar, Bass Guitar
*Tony Braunagel - Drums
*Mike Montgomery - Keyboards, Vocals
*Pete Van - Baritone Saxophone
*Eddie Quansah - Trumpet, Flugel Horn
*George Lee - Flutes, Tenor, Soprano Saxophones

- 1976 2nd Street
*Terry Wilson Slesser - Lead Vocals
*Paul Kossoff - Lead Guitar
*Terry Wilson - Bass, Acoustic, Electric Guitars
*John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Keyboard, Vocals
*Tony Braunagel - Drums, Vocals

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Gun - Gunsight (1969 uk, great hard rock, 2nd album, japan 2008 remaster)

The orchestral arrangements from the debut were gone on "Gunsight", resulting in a more basic and less intricate sound. The material was not of the same standard either, but still good enough to make the album a worthy encore to Gun's short career. The opener "Head in the Clouds" is probably the best song here, being a simple and straightforward hard rocker, but with a good melody and punch.

The partly acoustic blues of "Drown Yourself in the River" is less interesting, even when it powers up to a much more electric rocker in the middle. The strings on the ballad "Angeline" are the only remains of the orchestral arrangements from the debut. The hardest, most aggressive and noisiest track the band recorded comes in "Dreams and Screams" where Farrell hits the drums like it's the last thing he'll ever do in his life. "Situation Vacant" features interestingly enough a riff that Hawkwind later would borrow in "Sea of Holes" from their masterpiece "Warrior on the Edge of Time".

"Hobo" is a nice little pop tune with slight country and blues influences. The trio also went into pure folk-territory in the acoustic "Oh Lady You" that is sandwiched in between the two parts of the instrumental "Lady Link" where Adrian Curtis again delivers some flamenco-styled playing. The closer "Long Hair Wild Man" is basically a hard rocker with a pop melody and showed that the band perhaps was starting to occasionally be a bit dated and stagnated, especially when Led Zeppelin released their two first albums the same year. Still, Gun were far more interesting and sophisticated than most others of the many late 60's power trios. "Gunsight" is not a bad album at all, but be sure to start with the debut.

1. Head in the clouds - 4:40
2. Drown yourself in the river - 2:56
3. Angeline - 5:36
4. Dreams and screams - 5:16
5. Situation vacant - 4:07
6. Hobo - 3:39
7. Lady link pt. 1 - 0:51
8. Oh lady you - 5:27
9 .Lady link pt. 2 - 0:38
10.Long hair wildman - 3:52

*Adrian Curtiss-Gurvitz - Guitar, Vocals
*Paul Curtiss-Gurvitz - Bass
*Louis Farrell - Drums

Gun 1st album 1968

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blast Furnace - Blast Furnace (1971 denmark, awesome progressive rock, 2002 bonus track edition)

The Danish music scene is often underestimated but Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm and Blues and the Beatles had also arrived in Denmark Apart from this there was a small but good Jazz and Folk scene. At the end of the 60s Progressive- and Psychedelic rock bands developed from these differing styles with an unmistakeable individuality Danish bands were also brave enough to sing in their own language as well as English. Dag Erik Asbjornsen's book 'Scented Gardens Of The Mind' (Borderline) gives an overview of the Danish Beat and Rock scene and is recommended reading for music fans.

The widespread interest in Danish and Scandinavian Progressive and Psychedelic music led LONG HAIR to release a new series from these bands whose music deserves a second listen. BLAST FURNACE'S eponymous debut album was released in 1971 on Polydor/Denmark and is our first in the series with the original album on CD plus their single from 1971 "Lister Du Omkring Hjorner" as a bonus track BLAST FURNACE were 3 lads from Copenhagen and a singing drummer from Britain called Tom McEwan who ended up in the Danish capital.

Arne Wiirgler (bass, cello) played previously in Jazz formations and also, interesting for Progressive Rock fans, with PAN who released a wonderful LP on Sonet in 1970, Thor Backhausen (organ, piano, flute) a multitalented musician and the then 18-year-old Niels Vangkilde (guitar) completed BLAST FURNACE. This was the 1971 line-up who recorded the eponymous album in Copenhagen's Rosenberg studios for Polydor/Denrnark. "Lister Du Omkring Hjorner" was also recorded for a planned single release.

Album sales did not match the high musical quality of the record and the fact that everyone in Copenhagen's small music scene played and jammed with everyone else meant that the band's life was short-lived. Bands came and went and the musicians found themselves in other groups. Tom McEvvan and Niels Vangkilde joined the cult band Culpeper's Orchard and played on their third LP, 1972's ''Going for a Song" on Polydor/Denmark; also a good and recommendable Album. Arne Wurgler worked with Benny Hoist and Thor Backhausen carried on with Delta Blues Band and Culpeper's Orchard. BLAST FURNACE'S music shines through excellent song writing and musical competence.

Balanced instrumental passages with razor edged guitars, harmonious Hammond organ and flute with a touch of aggressive singing are the ingredients for an impressive and pleasureable listening experience. Contrary to their counterparts, BLAST FURNACE chose not to indulge in long instrumental or long drawn out improvisation. The songs are clearly structured, lively and rounded off with intelligent and critical lyrics.

They are a product of their time and still, even with their clear structuring, definitely to be categorised under the label "Progressive-Rock''. Dag Erik Asbjornsen praised the LP as one of the best Danish productions, a classic album in the tradition of the Beatles, Traffic and Jethro Tull.
Translation by Trevor Wilson

1. First and Last (Arne Wurgler, Tom McEwan) - 4:08
2. Ginger Cake (Niels Vangkilde, Tom McEwan) - 5:34
3. Jaywalker (Arne Wurgler, Tom McEwan) - 4:14
4. B-MajOr Blast (Arne Wikgler) - 0:20
5. This Time of Year (Ole Kjaer, Arne Wiirgler, Ken Tindall) - 4:14
6. Toy Town (Thor Backhausen, Tom McEwan) - 7:17
7. Man bites Dog (Tom Me Ewan) - 2:07
8. Long Distance (Niels Vangkilde, Tom McEwan) - 4:03
9. Goodbye Mr. Bobo (Thor Backhausen, Tom McEwan) - 2:41
10.Dr. Night (Thor Backhausen, Tom McEwan) - 4:59
11.Bye Bye Bobo (Thor Backhausen, John McEwan) - 1:28
12.Lister Du Omkring Hjorner (Bonus track) (Arne Wurgler) - 4:23

Blast Furnace

*Thor Backhausen - Organ, Piano, Flute, Vocals
*Tom McEwan - Drums, Congas, Percussion, Piano, Lead Vocals
*Niels Vangkilde - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Background Vocals
*Arne Wurgler - Bass, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Terese Damsholt - Background Vocals
*Anne-Lise Rosberg - Background Vocals

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jungle - Jungle (1969 us, amazing and fluid heavy fuzz psychedelic rock)

This is one of the best and most sought after psychedelic gems ever recorded, with amazing and fluid heavy fuzz guitars, superb organ, drums and fantastic songwriting. Recorded in New York in 1969 while the band was living in a farm in Vermont.

The original was pressed in a run of 50 demo copy/s only! No names or hints are given on the original LP but after over a decade of excrutiating search, Miguel Rodriguez, the man behind finding DARIUS, GARRETT LUND, STONEWALL and many more, finally found the band members!

So here is your chance to listen to one of the great mystical Albums of the Psychedelic Private Press Collectors realm at the fraction of the cost of the original, in AMAZING sound. This gem comes in a gatefold cover with unseen pictures and full band history, released in full colaboration with the surviving Band members.

1. House Of Rooms - 7:09
2. Somewhere Sweet Memories - 4:35
3. Gray Picnic - 8:05
4. Changes I'm Going Through - 3:40
5. Early Morning Rising - 9:13
6. Slave Ship - 8:11

*Virgil "Butch" Daniels - Guitars
*Jay Mierly - Vocals
*John Dawson - Bass
*James Ryan Clark - Lead Guitar
*Delbert Lang - Drums

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Savoy Brown - Boogie Brothers (1974 uk, super blues rock with Stan Webb, Miller Anderson and Kim Simmonds)

Although the membership of Savoy Brown had always been a somewhat unstable institution - guitarist Kim Simmonds excepted - when the latter announced in 1973 that he was finaiy laying the group to rest there were many glum faces among blues enthusiasts around the world. Few believed that workaholic Kim would cease to function as a musician, but just before Christmas that term and when the Savoyians last album, LION'S SHARE (U.K.: Decca TXS 112. Re!.: 7th September 1973; U.S.: Parrot XPAS 71059), had barely departed the American Top 200, there were numerous shocked – and delighted - aficionados who heard that a new S.B. was about to be bom.

As expected. Simmonds was its leading light, but now the band would boast no less than three top-drawer axmen and frontlines with the recruitment of one-time Chicken Shack leader Stan Webb and Scot Miller Anderson. For most of their lifetime Savoy Brown had concentrated, very successfully, on the Stateside market, but as they built their act this time around Britain benefitted by receiving their early concert dates; indeed two of their five London gigs set box-office records with hundreds of fans having to be turned away as the “House Full” notices were erected. Kim was exuberant in his press conferences: "We re-formed to create a stronger image and more forceful music.

With this unit, I've already been told that I'm playing better than I've done for years. This is because members of the group are working for each other. The current band has possibilities that are boundless, a defined image. At last I believe Savoy Brown wilt achieve all the things I have always wanted it to." This latest incarnation was a quintet completed by bassist Jimmy Leverton and trap-rattier Eric Dillon, but how did it come about? Kim's brother/manager, Harry, approached the Glaswegian Anderson who, with Jimmy and Eric amongst others bitted as Hemlock, acted as a support act for one of Savoy Brown's recent cross-state crusades on the other side of the Atlantic.

Anderson's pedigree already included playing on such as Dave Cousins* TWO WEEKS LAST SUMMER (A&M. 1972). and being a long-time kingpin of Keef Hartley's entourage, as well as issuing a solo album on Deram, BRIGHT CITY (U.K.: SOL 3. 10th September 1971; U.S.: DES 18062, April 1972), while Hemlock had been similarly-blessed by the Decca U.KTLondon Records U.S.A. offshoot when their eponymous LP effort was unveiled in Britain only as SML 1102 on 12th October 1973. Harry Simmonds took over the reigns for their business affairs also but, as Miter was wont to point out, the seven-piece Hemlock while being an excellent band technically somehow lacked excitement.

Since the three compatriots wished to stay together and hopefully progress, Simmonds proposal of Savoy Brown incumbency was soon accepted. Difton and Leverton had been in harness as a rhythm section for a long time, the former beginning his drumming obsession at 13 and being expelled from school for pursuing stick work at the expense of all else. At 15 he was signed by Gerry Dorsey - later to find superstardom as Engelbert Humperdinck - as skin-beater in the singer's regular backing crew, and from there he and Leverton liaised after becoming members of ex- Jimi Hendrix four-stringer Noel Redding's prefect.

Fat Mattress, which took them to see Uncle Sam. As Mattress failed to emulate the Hendrix Experience's acclaim, so both quit to spend two years in session work prior to throwing in their lot with Anderson. Leverton's pedigree was not dissimilar to Dillon's, both having served an apprenticeship in the seething hotbed of talent that was the German bierkellers of the 1960's; performing with Redding in The Loving Kind and clinching a spelt in Engetoert's band, so that when Noel requested he join Fat Mattress Jimmy recommended Eric too.

Keeping it in the family, eh? Anyway, by this means having restored Savoy Brown to a four-piece, it seemed a great idea to go the whole hog and get Stan Webb in on the act, since Chicken Shack were also in a state of turbulence and indecision. Webb, who was always somehow bigger than the group he fronted, but which he declined to headline his name over during their lengthy existence, liked the idea of pooling resources with his 'rival' Stmmonds when courted, and thus Savoy Brown Mk. Heaven-Knows-What bounced into view. Stiff signed to Decca/London, they wasted no time in getting the contents of their proposed long-player down on tape, the prolific Anderson penning most of the numbers to be promoted along with one from Stan, a brace from Kim and a tilt at Bias McDaniel - alias Bo Diddley's - YOU DON'T LOVE ME.

Cut in London at Island Records' Basing Street establishment, the whole shebang was christened, aptly, BOOGIE BROTHERS, and rush-released in America as London XPS 638, thereby removing them from the subsidiary Parrot imprint which had played host to Savoy wares to date. A single was pulled in EVERYBODY LOVES A DRINKING MAN - coupled with RIDE ON BABE from JACK THE TOAD - as 45-206, which failed to breach the best-setters, but on April 20th 1974 B.B. entered the chart to initiate an 8-week stay whose high point would be No. 101.

An accompanying tour there was greeted with the usual euphoric reception as Webb later recalled in print: 'Yen, it went well - we took Madison Square Garden in New York by storm...' In the United Kingdom Decca responded by scheduling their identical BOOGIE BROTHERS for May 24th unveiling as SKL 5186, thereby relegating the combo once again to the label's standard full-price series from the luxury TXS line which they'd latterly occupied.

Missing this time also was the attendant expansive gatefold sleeve. Decca declined to pull a seven-inch extract from the parent, but were exasperated that even with this powerful personnel a notation on the published hot sates register eluded the Brown's yet again. Sadly, future company policy would ensure this could never be bettered, for BOOGIE was to be the last of their 'official' albums ever accorded U.K. issue by The Supreme Record Company'; from that point onwards they became a truly American - and elsewhere - phenomenon.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, bearing in mind that Simmonds, Webb and Anderson were ail forthright figures, this Savoy Brown remained together for almost a year before fragmenting. In 1975 Stan and Miller went off to form Broken Glass with keyboarder Tony Ashton; Jimmy ensconced himself on Henry McCuHough's album for George Harrison's Dark Horse set-up, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, and Eric found himself playing with Dog Soldier - where Miller Anderson and Keef Hartley would at one time or another also put in an appearance.

And Kim? in '75 Mr. Simmonds re-united with ex-Savoyians Paul Raymond (Keyboards, Guitar. Vocate) and drummer/percussionist Dave Bidwell, bringing in also Andy Rae (Bass. Vocals) and, following Bidwll's tragic drug-related demise. Tommy Fame* as replacement, and headed back on down the road towards an LP billed as WIRE FIRE. That wheel was turning once more...
by John Tracy, London 1991

1. Highway Blues (Kim Simmonds) - 4:04
2. Me And The Preacher (Miller Anderson) - 3:34
3. My Love's Lying Down (Stan Webb) - 5:53
4. You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care) (E. McDaniel) - 4:56
5. Always The Same (Miller Anderson) - 2:00
6. Everybody Loves A Drinking Man (Miller Anderson) - 3:04
7. Rock 'N' Roll Star (Miller Anderson) - 7:08
8. Boogie Brothers (Miller Anderson) - 5:20
9. Threegy Blues (Kim Simmonds) - 2:12

Savoy Brown
*Jimmy Leverton - Bass, Vocals
*Miller Anderson - Lead, Rhythm, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
*Kim Simmonds - Lead, Rhythm, Slide, Steel, Acoustic Guitar
*Stan Webb - Slide, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
*Eric Dillon - Drums

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Satisfaction - Satisfaction (1971 uk, splendid progressive jazz rock, extra tracks esoteric remaster release)

In the early I970's the musical changes taking place within the world of rock seemed to be in a constant state of evolution. For those musicians schooled in a background of blues, jazz or R&B the advent of "progressive" music lead to a re-thinking of direction. As a result many short-lived bands appeared, recording albums for the newly established "underground" imprints such as Pye's Dawn label, Philips* Vertigo label and Decca's own identity and their offshoot, Deram.

A plethora of these bands could be deemed as being "jazz influenced progressive", fusing brass sections with the traditional guitar, bass, drums and keyboards line-up of the typical rock band. Of these groups, acts such as Colosseum, Keef Hartley Band and Juicy Lucy achieved notable success. Alongside these bands there were those who succeeded in recording a solitary album before breaking up due to a lack of commercial success. Of these Heaven,Walrus and Galliard have since caught the attention of record collectors focussing on this classic era.

Another such outfit was Satisfaction. In many ways, Satisfaction were typical of their contemporaries, having a line-up firmly rooted in the British blues and beat boom of the mid-!960s.The group was formed by trumpet player Mike Cotton, a musician who had fronted bands since the late 1950's. Cotton began his musical life as leader of the Mike Cotton Jazzmen, but changed musical direction with the advent of the Rhythm and Blues explosion in 1963.The Jazzmen soon became the Mike Cotton Band and within months were known as the Mike Cotton Sound. Signing to EMI's Columbia label, the band recorded two EP's, a string of singles and an album over the next two years.

Aside from a UK top forty single, the real reputation of the Mike Cotton Sound lay in the fact that they were one of the hardest working acts on the British live circuit in the mid-1960*5. Not only did they perform in their own right, they also acted as a backing group for visiting American musicians such as Solomon Burke, Gene Pitney, the Four Tops and Stevie Wonder. By 1966 the Mike Cotton Sound had evolved into an accomplished Soul outfit, recording cover versions of US R&B classics such as "Harlem Shuffle" for Polydor, before moving to Pye records for their final single.

The group then teamed up with American singer (and ex-serviceman) Bruce MacPherson Lucas to record a further single for Pye, followed by two singles for MGM Records. The emergence of Psychedelia and "underground" music soon caused a downturn in the band's fortunes. Soul music was no longer a popular attraction on the live music scene in Britain and, like countless other acts; this led to the disbanding of the Mike Cotton Sound. Cotton remained a noted session player, but by 1970 he had taken note of the changing musical climate and assembled a group of musicians to head in a new and progressive direction.

Together with former Artwoods guitarist Derek Griffiths, Cotton created Satisfaction, featuring John Beecham on trombone, Lem Lubin and Nick Newell (saxophones) and Bernie Higginson (drums).This new band, although jazz influenced, also had a stronger rock edge to their approach and soon secured a contract with Decca records in 1970. The CD you hold in your hands features the fruits of a series of recording sessions for Decca, all produced by staff A&R man David Hitchcock (who would later find acclaim as producer of Caravan, Camel and Genesis).

The album "Satisfaction" (released as Decca SKL 5075) gained very favourable reviews upon its release. The record featured excellent musicianship and imaginative compositions. Highlights included the excellent "Sharing", "Call You Liar, Liar" and the superb closing track "Go through Changes", all of which highlighted the musical dexterity of the band. Sufficiently enthused by the response to the release of their eponymous album, Decca released two singles in quick succession in an attempt to try to break the band into the UK singles chart.The first of these, "Love it is" b/w "Cold Summer" enjoyed a very positive response from the British music press but failed to secure a chart placing. "Don't Rag the Lady" b/w "Gregory Shan't" shared a similar fate, gaining good notices but attaining few sales.

Within months of the appearance of the album and singles, Satisfaction had ceased to exist, leaving behind them the recorded legacy you can hear on this CD. For the first time the "Satisfaction" album and the band's non-album singles have been remastered from the original Decca master tapes and are now available in the digital form. Savour the Satisfaction.
by Mark Powell

1. Just Lay Back And Enjoy It (M. Cotton, D. Griffiths) - 7:35
2. She Follows The Band (L. Lubin) - 3:50
3. Cold Summer (B. Higginson) - 5:09
4. Sharing (J. Beecham, D. Griffiths) - 6:15
5. Call You Liar Liar (L. Lubin) - 4:16
6. You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie (T. Hardin) - 6:24
7. Just Like Friends (D. Griffiths) - 4:01
8. Go Through Changes (L. Lubin, D. Griffiths) - 7:13
9. Love It Is (Bonus Track) - 3:00
10.Dont Rag The Lady (Bonus Track) - 3:16
11.Gregory Shan't (Bonus Track) - 4:21

*Mike Cotton - Vocals, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Pocket Cornet, Harmonica
*John Beecham - Trombone, Tuba
*Derek Griffiths - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Bernie Higginson- Drums, Vocals, Bongos
*Lem Lubin - Vocals, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Nick Newell - Flute, Alto, Tenos Saxophone, Trumpet

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hunt And Turner - Magic Landscape (1972 uk, fabulous groovy folk rock, 2007 korean remaster)

Fabulous grooving folk rock sounds with plenty of atmosphere, first released by the much beloved Village Thing label in 1972. Ian Hunt and John Turner first teamed-up in the late summer of 1970, the inevitable collaboration of two of the West Country's most sought-after session musicians.

String bassist and guitarist Turner had just left the infamous Pigsty Hill Light Orchestra and Hunt, a wizard guitarist and song writer who was already a 'big-name' on the Bristol scene, was looking for a new vehicle for his talents. Both had been spawned by the legendary Bristol Troubadour Club, which Turner had run for several years, and within months the new duo was picking up fans and followers around the UK and in Europe.

This album went straight to number six in the Melody Maker folk charts upon its original release. Years later, Ian Hunt is still making stunning music and is rated amongst the finest guitarists in the land, while John Turner, ever the entertainer and entrepreneur, as well as being in his own words a "part-time rake and bon viveur," was until recently one of Britain's most respected BBC radio and television presenters.

Crystalline acoustic and electric guitars and delicious vocals, backed with electric and string bass and bongos; imagine if you will British band Magna Carta with a guitarist as skilled as Wizz Jones or John Martyn: acoustic instrumentation and strong songs.

1. Hold Me Now - 3:14
2. Silver Lady - 4:11
3. We Say We're Sorry - 4:04
4. Magic Landscape - 2:04
5. Mr. Bojangles - 5:21
6. Living Without You - 3:21
7. Man Of Rings - 2:28
8. Older Now and Younger Then - 6:09
9. Morning For Eve - 4:14
10.Rockfield Rag - 1:24
All songs by John Turner and Ian Hunt.

*Ian Hunt - Vocals, Acoustic, Electric Fuitar, Bongos
*John Turner - Vocals, Guitar, Electric Bass
*Rodney Matthews - Percussion

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rex Foster - Roads Of Tomorrow (1970 us, marvelous texas acid folk psych, 2007 korean remaster edition)

My name is REX FOSTER, I am from Texas. Came via caravan movie of Francois Reichenbach, who got dosed, heard my music and introduced me to Herve Mille, who, being a lover of strange people introduced me to Eddie Barclay, and Leo Missir, and the next day I met Jean Fernandez who has spent time in the USA with people of a familiar background and after hearing one bar of "Don't throw your life away" knew he wanted to produce this album. So we did, and got my musical alter ego from Texas, a fellow name DON HARDING (now, this may be my album, because my energy brought it into being – but he and I have been together for five years and willn be together for years ahead).

We both came from a family of people named Rachel's Children and MERRILY WEEBER through years of hiding come to say hello, to sing, to cry (and the Elephant Lady is getting it together). We live and record at Michel Magne's studio which is a chateau in the country near Paris, an ashram, a peaceful break from the bullshit. "Odie", an English lad (Keith Harwood) comes to sit at the combine hine thing on the machine. This album was recorded during the period when the Burgos trial and the north Poland riots were happening.

P.S. Thanks to Andre, Haedrich, my good friend of words, and to Ed Swan, Lucia Foster, and Judy Thomasson for their help in writing "Lemon Aide Ditty". The final mtx of this album was made in London at Olympic studios by Keith Harwood and Jeremy Jee.
Rex Foster

1. Roads of Tomorrow - 3:13
2. Today's a Sunny Day - 1:32
3. Turn the Page Over - 2:37
4. In the Spring - 3:27
5. Guadalupe River Song (Will Bellamy, Rex Foster) - 6:56
6. Lighted Window Lady - 5:15
7. Lemon Aid Ditty - 1:59
8. Busted in the Grass Blues - 2:36
9. Dont Throw Your Life Away - 3:08
10.Climb - 2:57
11.Friend - 1:52
All songs by Rex Foster, except otherwise.


*Rex Foster - Vocals, Guitar
*Don Earl - Guitar, Vocals
*Merrily Bellamy - Vocals
*Will Bellamy - Guitar, Bass. Vocals
*Christian Devaux - Drums
*Andre Herve - Keyboard
*Michel Herve - Bass

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Freak Out - Life (1971 austria, fine progressive fusion jazz/blues rock, 2002 bonus tracks edition)

Freak Out, named after the first Mothers of Invention record, came from Knittelfeld, located in the Aichfeld on the banks of the river Mur in the Austrian region of Steiermark. The band was formed in the late 1960s by Robert Musenbichler (born m Knittelfeld on 17 January 1955) on guitar and vocals, Mike Gartner on bass and occasional saxophone, and Karl-Michael "Charly" Dienes on drums.

Knittelfeld also saw their first gig with self-made amplifiers in front of 400 people and stopped by the police, which rather helped the band establish a certain reputation. Subsequently, Max WeiBenback joined on saxophone, giving the band a slight jazzy touch, in the spring of 1970, Robert's brother Peter (born in Knittelfeld on 8 August 1949) joined the outfit on guitar and vocals after having spent some time with Feelin'. Ivan Miholic. the only member not to come from Knitteifeld, was the last addition on percussion.

Freak Out had meanwhile become so popular that Gerd Kernmayer from Friesach m Karnten became interested and suggested recording a 7 single and an LP on his small Cosmos label The band agreed And recorded two tracks written by the Musenbichler brothers in a Klagenfurt studio, in the spring 1971. The single entitled "Jaming brother/"Crazy colours of life'' was released in June 1971 with a very small circulation. Unfortunately, the spelling error in gaming" was never corrected. The sides of the cover were neither folded nor glued but remained open in the Swedish style of that time, which meant that it was put into a transparent plastic cover for selling purposes.

The photos on the back cover feature Peter Musenbichler, Charly Dienes and Ivan Miholic on top from left to right, with Robert Musenbichler, Max Weissenback and Mike Gartner below. The single was even presented by Meinrad Nell on QRF (Austrian Radio) on 3 July 1971. Recordings for their live LP had meanwhile been completed produced by Georg Regatschnig. it was recorded in front of around 1000 people in auditorium of the Klagenfurt Concert Hall, about 80 kilometers south of Knittelfeld near the Slovenian border on Saturday, 24 April 1971.

During the two-hour gig, they played mainly well-known cover versions in the following sequence: "Evil ways" (Santana), Same old story" (Blodwyn Pig). "See my way'; (Blodwyn Pig). "Sing me a song that I know" (Blodwyn Pig), "Crazy colours of life" (their own song), "To rassman" (Blodv Pig), ''Leaping beauties for Rudy" (East of Eden), '"Jamming brother" (by themselves) "Oye como va" (Tito Puente/Santana), "Looking back" (Jonn Mayall), "Fresh garbage” (Spirit), "Livin' trunk' (Keef Hartley Band), "Paint it, b!ack;' (Rolling Stones), "It's happened before, it'll happen again* (Taste), Sinning for you" (Keef Hartley Band), "Son of Mr. Green Genes'1 (Mothers of Invention), "Everybody needs somebody to love" (Solomon Burke/Roiling Stones) and "Ramadhan part hi" (East of Eden).

Nine of these eighteen tracks were selected for the LR which appeared with a circulation of a few hundred copies on 1 August 1971 as "Life" (Cosmos 2235). Just like in the case of the single, precise information is no longer available, but expert opinion puts the number at around 200 copies, which makes one wonder how such a small circulation could have been financially viable. According to the band members, money was not the primary thought behind the venture; the publication itself was the objective, designed to increase the degree of the band's popularity. On top of that, they wanted to have something solid to show to the organizers of concerts.

Nobody knows what Gerd Kernmayer had In mind when he decided on the title. This time at least they got the spelling of "jamming" right. Both the single and the LP were manufactured {n Austria, with the publishing rights for the band's own compositions still belonging to GKMV (Gerd Kernmayer Musik- und Schallplattenverfag). in spite of such a small equation of their records. Freak Out gradually managed to strengthen their popularity in the Steiermark and in Karnten ) by playing about 100 gigs. As a result. they appealed various times on Austrian television and radio, Gerd Kernmayer had arranged for most of these gigs, a sign of his dedication. At some stage.

Mike Gainer left the band and Peter Musenbichler took over on bass. Freak Out finally dissolved in 1974. At the end of 2001. on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the band's first record release, they came together again for one gig in Rachau near Knittelfeld. The line-up was: Peter Musenbichler, Robert Musenbichler Max Weiftenback. Reinhara Hormann (former Feelin guitarist) and four other musicians. Today. Mike Gartner works as a lawyer Peter Musenbichler is a teacher and Gerd Kernmayer has gone into old-age retirement. Robert Musenbichler is the only one still active as a musician.

Apart from his own band named Robby & The Splash (Lenny Kravrtz style) he plays guitar with Reinhard Fendrich and occasionally with Steve Lukather. He also runs his own studio, Due to the fact that their records are real rarities, Freak Out became known to very few collectors only. The second edition of "Die deutschen Beatbands" by Heinz Dietz and Mathias Buck (Rockenberg/Bad Nauheim 2002), which is not strictly limited to beat music, at least features the single as a sleeve repro Hans Pokora's "1001 record collector dreams" (Vienna 1997) only shows the label of the LR which means that even this probably most accomplished of all Austrian record collectors did not have the cover.

He awards the LP four units, which, in prime condition, corresponds to a collectors1 value of 650 DM (US$300) to 1150 DM (US$550). The next edition foresees five units. Complete IPs with cover all m mint condition, are sold for a price of 1200 DM to 1300 DM (US$600), The well-known anthologies on German progressive rock by Dag Erik •Asbjenwan'.-and the Freeman brothers do not mention Freak Out at all because collectors have simply failed to discover the band so far, Even the price catalogue of the "Oldie-Markt” record collectors1 magazine does not mention them, nor does the otherwise very complete and competent "Austro-Rock-Lexikon" by Wolfgang Zmk (Hirm 1989).

All of this seemed to be a very good reason to make the band's music available to a larger audience today. All licenses have been obtained from Gerd Kernmayer. Who has also kept the master tapes in perfect condition. Unfortunately, the remaining nine tracks of the live concert were recorded over so that this CD can only offer the two songs from the single as bonus tracks. This means that "Jamming brother" is now available as a live recording taken from the LP and in its studio version taken from the single.

Unfortunately, the master tapes of the two bonus tracks have also been lost in the course of time, which means that an LP in prime condition was used and subjected to the Cedar NoNoise System, the best available on the market, to get rid of all crackling groove noise without changing the sound in any considerable way As usual, the cover design of the original LP although quite plain in its glossy outfit, was adopted for this GO production without any changes, Some critics may doubt the musical quality of this CD since eight of the eleven tracks were cover versions.

The performance, however, was very good and not lacking in original arrangements. Apart from that, the extreme rarity of these records alone would justify a re-issue on CD, Many thanks to Peter Musenbichler, Gerd Kernmayer and Wolfgang Zmk for their friendly help,
by M. Thurn

1. Evil Ways - 3:40.
2. See My Way - 3:33
3. Sing Me A Song That I Know - 2:07
4. Leaping Beauties For Rudy - 4:43
5. Jamming Brother - 3:53
6. Son Of Mr. Green Genes - 4:41
7. Fresh Garbage - 9:56
8. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love - 10:57
9. Ramadhan Part III - 0:25
10.Jaming Brother - 3:24
11.Crazy Colours Of Life - 3:15

Freak Out

*Robert Musenbichler - Guitar, Vocals
*Peter Musenbichler – Guitar, Lead Vocals
*Max Weibenback – Sax
*Charly Dienes – Drums
*Mike Gartner – Bass
*Ivan Miholic - Percussion

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gun - Gun (1968 uk, classic heavy rock, debut album, repertoire edition with bonus tracks)

Led by brothers, Adrian and Paul Curtis nee Gurvitz, Gun was a shortlived hard rock trio in the vein of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Comprised of guitarist/songwriter Adrian, bassist/lead vocalist Paul, and drummer Louis Farrell, Gun recorded only two albums in their short career-span of 1968-69, and Beat Goes On Records has compiled both lps onto this single 18 track, 75 minute disc.

 Opening with the bands UK hit Race With The Devil the disc immediately lets the listener know that they are in for an all out assault on their auditory senses. Ranging from straight-out rock and roll to rather reserved ballads, and filled with plenty of psychedelic tinges, Guns recordings are never boring, and through the entire 75 minutes, Adrians guitar work remains crisp and interesting.

The highlight of the disc may well be Yellow Cab Man from the groups debut album, while the extended jam Take Off has lots of tasty bits from Adrian. The groups second album may be somewhat less inspired than the debut, but it still contains loads of interesting guitar work.

The Curtis brothers began using their birthname Gurvitz not long after the demise of Gun, and went on to record 3 albums as the Three Man Army and later an additional 3 lps with former Cream drummer Ginger Baker, as the Baker Gurvitz Army. While the Gun albums may not be the work of the most original band, the guitar work of Adrian Curtis (Gurvitz) alone makes for enough listening pleasure to make the purchase of this disc worthwhile.

This album's front cover was the first designed by Roger Dean. Musically, it was very much part of the first wave of British hard-rock.

1. Race With the Devil - 3:36
2. The Sad Saga of the Boy and the Bee - 4:51
3. Rupert's Travels - 2:15
4. Yellow Cab Man (Adrian Curtis, Jimmy Parsons) - 4:17
5. It Won't Be Long (Heartbeat) - 4:29
6. Sunshine - 4:27
7. Rat Race - 3:58
8. Take Off - 11:02
9. Drives You Mad (Bonus Track) - 2:39
10.Don't Look Back (Bonus Track) - 3:06
11. Runnin' Wild (Bonus Track) - 2:49
All tracks by Adrian Curtis except where indicated

*Adrian Curtiss-Gurvitz - Guitar, Vocals
*Paul Curtiss-Gurvitz - Bass
*Louis Farrell - Drums

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