This was actually my first Jackson Browne's LP in my records collection, since the day of it's first release back in 1977, (I had some cassettes with his previous releases but not a vinyl record), I was in my late teenage years, and I loved this album from the first spin, still do 40 years later, his magnificent voice, the melodies, music, lyrics, the all atmosphere, the band, the arragements and the production, all these classify it as a masterpiece (in my humble opinion).
Happy new year to everybody.
Jackson Browne said:
“I thought making a live record would be something to do while I tried to come up with another LP of songs like The Pretender. That’s what happens when you get recognition. You go, ‘OK, great, let’s try to do something more like that.’ But that’s not what you were doing when you did it in the first place. You were just doing what you wanted to do next. And Running On Empty became my most successful record.
For the first time I was getting paid enough to take this band who’d been on my albums [Russ Kunkel, Lee Sklar, Craig Doerge and guitarist Danny Kortchmar] on tour. They were huge fans of David Lindley, and they’d been on recording dates with him, so they were the most accommodating of bands with what David and I already had going on. My favourite thing was recording in motel rooms… we actually sang in the shower. That album was about a shared common experience that we all had touring, that we all knew pretty well. Most of those ideas came from us touring with different people. Stagehands to this day come up and say, ‘”The Load-Out” is our anthem.’
1. Running On Empty (Jackson Browne) - 5:31
2. The Road (Danny O'Keefe) - 4:46
3. Rosie (Donald Miller, Jackson Browne) - 3:41
4. You Love The Thunder (Jackson Browne) - 3:55
5. Cocaine (Rev. Gary Davis) - 4:56
6. Shaky Town (Daniel Kortchmar) - 3:41
7. Love Needs A Heart (Jackson Browne, Lowell George, Valerie Carter) - 3:30
8. Nothin' But Time (Howard Burke, Jackson Browne) - 3:37
9. The Load Out (Bryan Garofalo, Jackson Browne) - 5:36
10.Stay (Maurice Williams) - 3:22
Collection of the Ducks Deluxe mainman Sean Tyla’s follow-up late 70s band, featuring both the officially released albums, plus singles, demos and live tracks. Ian Canty revisits that time when Pub Rockers magically trans-morphed into New Wavers and wonders why the Gang were left behind….
Shortly after the final demise of Ducks Deluxe towards the end of 1975, Sean Tyla convened a new group to go back to the original, “no-holds barred” idea of the Ducks, which had been rather smoothed over on their two albums for RCA. The stripped-down, tough street rock that the Tyla Gang specialised in seemed purpose-built to run alongside the coming Punk explosion and their meaty, slightly Beefhearty debut single “Styrofoam” was one of the first few records issued on Stiff into the bargain. Sean himself was insulting bone-idle hippy audiences while John Lydon was still a lank-haired Hawkwind fan and by the first LP the line up included veterans of pioneering Glam/ProtoPunk/Pub Rock group the Winkies in bassist Brian Turrington and drummer Mike Desmarais.
The Tyla Gang received favourable mentions in “Sniffin’ Glue” but as was his want, Tyla shied away from any active engagement with the UK New Wave, apart from the necessary rubbing shoulders on the live circuit. Their two tracks from the fondly remembered “Hope And Anchor Front Row” comp LP, which are a more than fair demonstration of their live power of the time, end this collection on a fitting note. One can’t help but feel that the live arena was their natural habitat – their no-nonsense, thoroughly authentic aggression combined with great playing and catchy tunes would have marked them out as “difficult to follow” I’m sure.
First album “Yachtless”, released on Matthew Kaufman’s Beserkley label in 1977, makes up part of the first disc presented here and definitely marked them out as contenders even if it didn’t sell that much. Here they threw an occasional twelve bar boogie and Velvets’ rhythm guitar chug into the already potent, hard rockin’ brew. With strong numbers like “On The Street” and “The Young Lords”, it “ticked all the right boxes” as current parlance would have it. Possibly lacking quite the lyrical finesse of his Pub Rock contemporaries like Nick Lowe or Graham Parker, this may have possibly thwarted Sean and the Tyla Gang reaching the same level of success they attained during this period. Maybe the beard didn’t help either? We were living in fashion-conscious times then that was for sure. But the LP itself is very good and the early singles tracks are also a delight, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre Boogie” tapping into the kind of “sick joke” side of Punk and “The Young Lords” focussing on those heady greaser gang days of the late 50s for imagery and inspiration.
The follow up “Moonproof” (which follows on here on Disc 2) was not quite as strong as the debut, it appeared that now Tyla coverted the US audience via adding a strong Springsteen influence to the formula. You can understand why he choose to look to America, as there were few takers unfortunately for his brand of Rock n Roll in the rapidly changing UK Pop environment of 1978. It didn’t come off sadly, though “Suicide Jockey” is effective (though probably not as tough as on the original Skydog outing, featured as an extra on disc one here).
Though this second LP didn’t meet with a great deal of commercial success, the Gang was made of stern stuff and started demoing material for a projected third long player and some of these tracks that were salvageable are presented here on disc 2 as part of this collection. These offerings do not deviate much from their standard sound with perhaps a little extra in the way of slide guitar and although they have their merits they are more low-key than their fiery recordings of a couple of years earlier. One exception is when they delve right back to their very early days for “Amsterdam Dog”, though on the whole it is the sound of a band out of time. Around this time they also recorded incognito as Speedballs and Spitballs (both of which figure amongst the bonus tracks), but the response was the same and as Beserkley closed up shop in 79 so did the Tyla Gang with Sean opting for a solo career mostly based stateside.
A third disc here brings together the three John Peel sessions from 77/78 that still crackle with raw energy. With a similar vim and vitality to Eddie The Hot Rods’ work at around the same time and a hint of Thin Lizzy, the Tyla Gang here bring home the feeling of the importance of life right now, the break from the normal that only Rock n Roll allows, that hot night when anything was possible in perfect vivid, live colour. Perhaps there was not quite the killer hit single track among the material like the Rods’ “Do Anything You Wanna Do”, but the spirit is there in spades. With a little luck who knows what they could have done? At this point they certainly appeared a better option than another bar room band of the time, Dire Straits, who went onto global fame with their torpid VHS symphonies.
Along with the surfeit of bonus tracks, this all adds up to a great collection of everything the Tyla Gang recorded in their original incarnation (but they did have a well received revival just a few years back). They may not have been the first word in originality, but in 1977 at least they were very close to being the last word in unpretentious Hard Rock.
by Ian Canty
Tracks Disc 1 Yachtless 1976-77
1. Hurricane (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:18
2. Dust On The Needle - 4:37
3. On The Street - 2:57
4. New York Sun - 3:16
5. Speedball Morning - 3:04
6. Don't Shift A Gear - 3:03
7. Lost Angels - 3:45
8. The Young Lords (Version 2) - 3:20
9. Whizz Kids (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:31
10.Don't Turn Your Radio On - 3:45
11.Styrofoam - 2:38
12.Texas Chainsaw Massacre Boogie - 3:32
13.The Young Lords (Version 1) - 3:28
14.Suicide Jockey - 4:53
15.Cannons Of The Boogie Night - 3:29
16.It's Only Rock And Roll (But It Gets Up Your Nose) - 4:30
17.Mad Muchachos - 4:10
18.Pool Hall Punks - 2:59
19.I Don't Want Your Love (Live In France 1977) - 3:21
20.Fireball (Live In France 1977) - 4:11
21.Gonna Take Me Away (Live In France 1977) (Sean Tyla, Brian Turrington) - 4:48
All songs by Sean Tyla except where stated
Disc 2 Moonproof 1978-79
1. Tropical Love - 3:25
2. Oakland Red - 3:03
3. It's Gonna Rain - 3:28
4. Did You Hear It On The Radio - 2:54
5. Rodeo (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:00
6. Spanish Street - 3:04
7. No Roses (Michael Dasmarais, Sean Tyla) - 3:19
8. American Mother (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:18
9. Suicide Jockey - 3:05
10.Flashing In The Subway (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 2:34
11.Speedball Jive - 1:44
12.Jungle Of Love - 3:40
13.Bar Du Telefon - 5:04
14.Amsterdam Dog - 4:20
15.Chasing The Dragon - 3:38
16.Out On The Run - 3:47
17.Whaleback Boogie (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:50
18.Moonlight Ambulance - 3:38
19.On The Street - 2:46
All songs by Sean Tyla except where noted
Track 11 as The Speedball
Track 19 by Das Luftwaffegaschaft
Disc 3 BBC Sessions And Rarities 1977-78
1. The Young Lords - 3:30
2. Don't Shift A Gea - 3:06
3. Whizz Kids (Sean Tyla, Bruce Irvine) - 3:33
4. Speedball Morning - 3:22
5. On The Street - 3:13
6. Don't Turn Your Radio On - 3:23
7. Styrofoam - 1:57
8. Dust On The Needle - 4:32
9. No Roses (Michael Dasmarais, Sean Tyla) - 3:55
10.It's Gonna Rain - 3:07
11.Spanish Streets - 3:07
12.Moonlight Ambulance - 3:40
13.Paris Boogie - 3:28
14.Hold On To My Love - 2:58
15.Keep From Movin' On - 2:09
16.Bad Moon Rising (John Fogerty) - 2:24
17.Knock On Wood (Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd) - 1:48
18.Walking The Dog (Rufus Thomas) - 6:34
19.Don't Shift A Gear - 2:56
20.Young Lords - 3:27
21.On The Street - 2:58
22.Styrofoam - 2:05
All songs by Sean Tyla except where indicated
Tracks 16-17 by The Spitballs
The Tyla Gang
*Sean Tyla - Guitar, Vocals
*Michael Desmarais - Drums, Percussion
*Bruce Irvine - Guitar
*Brian Turrington - Bass, Mandolin Additional Members
*Peter O'Sullivan - Bass
*Deke Leonard - Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
*Ken Whaley - Bass
Back in the stone age of rock ‘n’ roll – the year 1969, to be exact – Phil May (vocals) and Wally Waller (bass) of British rock legends the Pretty Things were approached with an unusual offer. Flown to St. Tropez by rich French playboy Philippe DeBarge, the bandmates met with the young millionaire at the DeBarge family estate. DeBarge had long harbored dreams of rock ‘n’ roll stardom, and he wanted to record an album with the Pretty Things as his backing band.
In December 1968, the Pretty Things released S.F. Sorrow, the album that has since become known as the band’s psychedelic-era masterpiece. By the following August, however, the album was selling slowly, founding guitarist Dick Taylor had left the band, and the PTs’ future was uncertain. So May and Waller took DeBarge up on his offer, writing songs for and recording DeBarge’s album at Nova Studios in London during September 1969 with DeBarge singing lead vocals, May on backing vocals, and the band – including Waller, keyboardist Jon Povey, drummer ‘Twink’, and new guitarist Vic Unitt (from the Edgar Broughton Band) providing the music.
When S.F. Sorrow sales picked up months after its release, EMI wanted to follow up with a new album from the band, who subsequently put the DeBarge project on the back burner in order to work on what would become their 1970 album, Parachute. The album remained lost for almost 40 years when it was discovered by musician and Ugly Things zine publisher Mike Stax, who had found two acetates of the album and had it mixed and mastered, releasing it in 2009 on his own Ugly Things label. Stax even enlisted the classic Pretty Things line-up – including guitarist Dick Taylor – to record a new song titled “Monsieur Rock (Ballad of Philippe)” as a bonus track for The Pretty Things/Phillip DeBarge CD.
On September 1st, 2017 Madfish released this obscure album as Rock St. Trop, billed to Phillipe DeBarge with the Pretty Things. Remastered for CD and featuring rare photos and new liner notes by Waller, the album features a 20-page booklet and bonus songs, including “Monsieur Rock.” Influential far beyond their often meager album sales, the Pretty Things seldom made a musical mistake during the 1960s and ‘70s and aside from being chummy with superstars like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, the PT’s influenced bands as diverse as the Clash and the Libertines, among others, and this long-lost album is a welcome addition to the band’s catalog.
by Rev. Keith A. Gordon
Philippe DeBarge passed away on February 3rd 1999, on the front cover photo of this release, he sits on the left side, with a guitar in his hands, next to him is Johnny Hallyday who also left to join heaven's big band, few days ago (December 6th 2017), and the charming girl sitting in front of them is the one and only one, Brigitte Bardot.
Merry Christmas my friends with health and lots of music in your life. Keep on Rockin'.
1. Hello, How Do You Do - 4:06
2. You Might Even Say - 4:03
3. Alexander (Dick Taylor, John Povey, Phil May, Wally Waller) - 2:59
4. Send You With Loving - 3:05
5. You're Running You And Me - 4:55
6. Peace - 1:44
7. Eagles Son (Dick Taylor, John Povey, Phil May, Wally Waller) - 3:21
8. Graves Of Grey - 0:48
9. New Day - 4:09
10.It'll Never Be Me (Dick Taylor, John Charles Alder, John Povey, Phil May, Wally Waller) - 4:35
11.I'm Checking Out - 3:45
12.All Gone Now - 2:18
13.Monsieur Rock (Ballad Of Philippe) - 5:41
14.Lover - 1:41
15.Silver Stars - 3:35
All compositions by Phil May, Wally Waller except where stated
Bonus Tracks 13-15
Paul Brett is well known as an exponent of the 12-string guitar. The list of people he has played with is impressive indeed - much in demand for sessions, tours etc., he has played for a host of folks, from Max Bygraves to Status Quo, from Barclay James Harvest to Lonnie Donegan, from Crazy World of Arthur Brown to short-lived psych-pop outfit Tintern Abbey. With the latter he recorded the highly collectable single which is their only output.
From a Strawbs' point of view he has circled round the band - playing with various soon-to-be Strawbs - without ever actually joining.
Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera had grown out of r'n'b band Five Proud Walkers and recorded their first album and their first two singles, with the eponymous leader on guitar and vocals. In early 1969, Elmer left the band, as did guitarist Colin Forster, and Hud and John recruited Paul and Johnny Joyce (formerly with the Levee Breakers) to join them as a slightly more acoustically oriented outfit. They later shortened their name to simply the Velvet Opera and recorded the band's second album Ride A Hustler's Dreamand a number of singles. It was that incarnation which played at the opening night of Dave Cousins' White Bear-based Hounslow Arts Lab on 1 July 1969.
In late 1969, he recorded the lead guitar on Strawbs' "The Vision Of The Lady Of The Lake" for the Dragonfly album.
After Velvet Opera, Paul was involved in the recording of The Magic Shoemaker album by Fire - Dave Lambert, Dick Dufall and Bob Voice. Dave Cousins guested too, on banjo. The album was disappointing sales and production-wise and Lambert decided to split with long-time associates Dufall and Voice, who promptly hooked up with Paul to form Paul Brett's Sage, adding Stuart Cowell as lead guitarist which recorded three albums for Pye and Dawn (Pye's progressive label). Dave Lambert guested on piano and organ on several tracks on Schizophrenia, and Rod Coombes drummed on one track. Paul King, later to play alongside Lambert in the King Earl Boogie Band, played harmonica on a track on Jubliation Foundry.
From 1973 onwards Paul began to concentrate on a solo career, releasing a couple of attractive song-based solo albums on Bradleys Records, backed by violinist/guitarist Mike Piggott, adding multi-instrumentalist Dave Griffiths for the second. Rod Coombes popped up again on drums on the first. Bradleys made a push to establish him, releasing several singles from the albums.
A privately pressed album Phoenix Future followed in 1975, before Brett turned to the genre which is now his trademark, the twelve string guitar instrumental. Earth Birth, his critically-acclaimed first 12 string guitar suite, was released first released on his own label, then led to a 4 album deal with RCA, where it was the first release in 1977. Rod Coombes guests again on Interlife (1978), and Johnny Joyce plaus on two tracks on Eclipse (1979).
He then released some high-selling "easy listening" guitar albums on the K-Tel label and a number of music library releases, before concentrating on other activities - live show production including holiday/cruise work, music journalism. His longtime interest in collecting guitars led to his becoming a Marketing Consultant for Aria Guitars, who went on to develop a range of Paul Brett signature guitars.
1. The Ant - 2:17
2. Mr. Custer - 3:07
3. Goodtimes, Hardtimes - 3:31
4. 18 Years - 2:41
5. Handful Of Rain - 4:55
6. Atiques, Flowers And Music Box Dancers - 2:52
7. The Spanish Main - 4:34
8. Jim Crow - 3:22
9. Motherless Child On A Merry-Go-Round - 2:34
10.Here Comes The Sun (George Harrison) - 2:50
11.Who Am I - 3:47
12.March Of The Giant Hedgehogs - 3:28
All songs written by Paul Brett except where indicated
*Paul Brett - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Timpani
*Mike Piggott - Violin, Acoustic Guitar
*Delyle Harper - Electric Bass, Double Bass
*Rob Young - Flute, Piano, Organ
*Jim Toomey - Percussion
*Rod Coombs - Percussion
*Geoffrey MacClean - Percussion
The credits on Taylor’s album reveal one heck of an all-star cast assembled to help him get his first set of songs recorded. Backing vocals are by Bonnie Bramlett and Joni Mitchell; guitarists include Ry Cooder, Jesse Ed Davis and Andrew Gold; bassists Lee Sklar and former Stone Poney Kenny Edwards; drums by Jim Keltner and Russ Kunkel; pedal steel by Red Rhodes; organ by Little Feat’s Bill Payne; and that’s probably only half the familiar names here.
Happily, Taylor’s songs measure up to his backing cast. It’s a set of mostly laid-back country rock, led by Taylor’s bluesy, lived-in sounding vocals, but also dressed up with the occasional horn chart or psyched-out fiddling by folks such as David LaFlamme. And on a label unafraid to release records by distinctive and/or non-“pop” singing voices (at this point Asylum had already issued albums by Tom Waits and David Blue, along with Joni Mitchell, Judee Sill and J.D. Souther), Taylor is right at home.
It’s well worth it for fans of early ’70s singer-songwriters folk or country rock.
by Bob Koch, May 17, 2016
1. I Ought To Know - 3:11
2. Crossroads Of The World - 3:40
3. Railroad Blood - 2:46
4. Double Life - 2:14
5. Making A Way - 2:42
6. Sweet Inspiration - 3:45
7. Livin' Dangerous Blues - 2:43
8. Something Old - 4:03
9. Man Who Made It Fall - 2:23
10.Lost Iron Man - 4:25
11.For Me - 2:45
12.The Last Song - 3:26
All songs written by Rod Taylor
Mick returned to the UK, and more touring with bands like Soft Machine and Curved Air, and performing at the Hammersmith Odeon with Jose Feliciano. The band underwent further changes with the addition of drummer Alan Eden and ex-John Mayall guitarist, Roger Dean. Mick then spent a little time away with an ancient tribe of musicians called Jajouka in the Moroccan mountains, visited previously by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and Ornett Coleman, before writing material for his third album, Midnight Dreamer.
This time around, Mick was holding the reigns of producer along with his engineer Vic Gamm at Sound Techniques. This now celebrated album with Mick on vocals, piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, also features Pat Donaldson on bass guitar, drummers William A. Murray, Gerry Conway and Barry De Souza, and backing vocals from Barry St.John, Sue Glover, Liza Strike, Bonny Hamilton and Kay Garner. Also featured are Kenny Wheeler on trumpet, Chris Hughs on Tenor Sax, Graham Smith on harmonica, and a further brass section comprising Eddie Mordue, Rex Morris, Duncan Lamont, Wally Smith, Rick Kennedy, Chris Smith, Creg Bowen and Johnny Huckridge. Superb arrangements by Steve Hamilton and Richard Hewson (who arranged the strings on The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby).
Through a chain of events, Greenwood became involved with the same record company and management as Fleetwood Mac, was inadvertently caught up in the political and legal wars of their separation, as witnessed by the tabloid coverage of the Old Bailey case. Even though the album was recognised, sadly the launch of Midnight Dreamer suffered as a result.
"Midnight Dreamer" originally released on Warner Brothers, charters Mick’s solid progression as he stepped into the role of producer/artist/writer. This celebrated album with Mick on vocals, piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, also features a star-studded lineup; Pat Donaldson, William A. Murray, Gerry Conway and Barry De Souza, and backing vocals from Barry St.John, Sue Glover, Liza Strike, Bonny Hamilton and Kay Garner.
What other talents does Mick Greenwood have up his sleeve? Not only does this album contain sensitive well written songs from across the spectrum, delivered and performed with authority by himself and a host of top musos, but Mick has also produced with his engineer a rock solid piece of product with soul. Midnight Dreamer is a great third album by this guy. Highly recommended.
by Jonathon Teller, PlayTime Review
1. Black Roses - 2:56
2. Captain Life - 4:09
3. Writing On The Wall - 4:25
4. Easy Street - 4:43
5. Miss Morning - 3:52
6. Lady Midnight - 3:23
7. Diana Demons - 4:36
8. Deep Water - 3:48
9. Open Road - 2:12
All compositions by Mick Greenwood
Less often than not, a sound recording will reach your ears that turns speculation into confirmation and leaves you wondering if it all really happened. TWS is usually the case when the bold soul finds itself face to face with the Daily Dance. The unlikely town of Washington Court House, between Columbus and Cincinnati in southern Ohio, was obviously the atmosphere needed to generate a document of such solidarity and perspective.
Snyder and Thompson were a guitarist and drummer respectively, and this is their vibratory postcard from nowhere. This duet has nothing to do with anything that has gone before, as even today it seems to dodge categorization. To the unseasoned ear, it might initially sound like a dilapidated cathedral of noise, but upon closer investigation you begin to realize the lack of pretension and sheer dazzle of its being.
The duo tear through seven "songs" with titles such as "Time Overlaps Itself," :'Soul And Universe" and "Truth Is A Pathless Land.'' They generate waves of energy through cascading feedback squall and drnrnbo bash and shimmer. A few tracks will start with something vaguely resembling a "groove," before they quickly deteriorate into their lonely Buckeye din. Daily Dance has much more in common with '90s groups like Fushitshusha or the Dead C than anyone operating in the US in the '70s.
Ya Ho Wa 13 and the likes included. This type of recording eventually achieves a sort of religious quality, where what was only thought of as a possibility becomes an undeniable reality pressed into a dark black circle of wax. An adventurous outing to say the least, and one that could only exist within the private press cosmos. Carefully repackaged and remastered by Cantor Records and Lion Productions, a greater andience now has the opportunity to reach what are indeed New Frontiers.
by Dante Carfagna, January 2009
1. Daily Dance - 10:29
2. Living With Crocodiles - 1:29
3. Time Overlaps Itself - 8:06
4. Unseen, Unheard - Rec. For 'daily Dance' - Prev. Unrel. - 1:56
5. Soul And Universe - 4:54
6. Hit And Run - 5:34
7. Truth Is A Painless Land - 2:47
8. Teenage Emergency - 8:28
All compositions by Doug Snyder, Bob Thompson
*Doug Snyder - Electric Guitar
*Bob Thompson - Drums, Percussion
The Marshall Brothers Band are lesser-known Aussie proggers, quite possibly due to their lounge-act name, but also quite possibly due to their lounge-act music, certainly when compared to the likes of Aleph or the mighty Sebastian Hardie. The Marshall Brothers Band (produced by noted 'Tronnist Chris Neal).
There aren't any Marshall Brothers on the band, their name came after Rob Scott's wish to use the word "Brothers" like Allman Bros or Doobie Bros, so they called the band after Dave’s amplifier brand!
Classical rock music influenced by King Crimson, Vanilla Fudge and Rick Wakeman. Their 1975 sole album sold quite well, spending eight weeks in the charts.
1. Falcon 1959-1912 - 5:42
2. Bright Light Lady (David Hinds, Chris Browne) - 2:35
3. Pioneer Suite - 4:27
4. Mr. 'l' - 5:11
5. Come Out With Your Hands Up, Baby (Chris Neil) - 2:48
6. Flying High - 5:56
7. Summer Love (Chris Browne) - 5:28
8. Younger Now - 11:18
All songs written by Robert Scott except where indicated
Recorded over forty years ago by the original five-piece band, these insanely rare Wooden Lion tracks have, regrettably, been locked away for an eternity - until now that is. This dastardly and calculated act of betrayal compelled us to free the beast once and for all. In fact it is our sworn and solemn duty at AA Towers to bring you the best and the rarest recordings from the UK Underground of the late 60s and early 70s no matter how challenging the task.
Not only was the vault securely locked but all keys were mercilessly destroved such is the breathtaking rarity of the sounds you are about to hear Mention the name Wooden Lion to most collectors of 70s prog and psych and more often than not you will be met with a baffled look.
For some though the name may trigger a garbled recital of weird and wonderful names; characters like The Captain, The Mad Molecule and Cardinal Biggies with tales of on-stage frippery and dark delight from long ago. The name fell into place when Roy Wood and Johnny Lyons disbanded Grope, their former band. The first Wooden Lion line-up comprised Roy Wood (electric guitar/6 and 12 string guitars), John Phillips (vocals), Johnny Lyons (bass), Gareth Kiddier (12 string guitar) and Wai Mansfield (drums).
It is this original quintet that was responsible for laying down the five tracks on this CD having been painstakingly re-mastered from a beyond rare acetate of which only one known copy exists. Housed in an adapted gatefold sleeve and customized to include rare pasted on photos and hand written lyrics the relic is an unsurpassed rarity.
As can be heard on these embryonic demos an early Hawkwind influence is apparent here and there whilst the gloomy vocal delivery is very much akin to the late 60s Basildon doom-metal merchants The Iron Maiden. Wooden Lion unleashed their melancholic theatrics and dark cosmic energy to captivated audiences across southern England on the pub and club circuit securing some useful support slots along the way especially at venues like the Dagenham Roundhouse where they opened up for SAHB.
By 1974 when the personnel had changed the band introduced some on stage gimmicks most notably a giant inflatable tube in a bid to gain increased attention not least from a record company or two. With appearances at various open air festivals including Windsor and Watchfield under their belts and another in a park in Basingstoke where they were banned due to excessive volume (yeah right), there was still no sign of a recording deal which only serves to make the earlier session in Hitchin all the more significant now.
A session incidentally whereby the studio operatives were proposing to enter the tapes into a competition. Heard that one somewhere before! As the line-up continued to chop and change the band experimented by bringing in a synth player namely Alan Essex aka Cardinal Biggies who had occasionally performed with Hawkwind but things finally petered out as the punk scene reared its snotty nose in 1976 by which time the only two original members left were Roy and long standing drummer Wal. Roy then changed his name to Weard and joined circuit band Dogwatch who signed to Terry Murphy's Bridgehouse label.
The gods may have denied Wooden Lion their forty minutes of vinyl glory first time around but four decades on you can at last trip out to the very rarest UK cosmic doom album of the early 70s. This is the original Wooden Lion my friends, rescued from oblivion for you.
1. She Paints Strange Pictures - 5:36
2. Hero - 1,11,111 - 5:36
3. Now The Day Is Over (Roy Wood, Gareth Kiddier, Johnny Lyons) - 5:34
4. Ice Maiden - 6:47
5. McAlistaire's Phantom - Parts 1,11,111 - 9:30
All songs by Roy Wood except track #3
I request that you take down the post for The Dave Miller Set CD as released by RPM/Frenzy. It has taken 5 years to coordinate this release from Warner Music in Australia and ensure that Dave gets a good deal. Dave has had numerous problems in the last few years and is relying on healthy sales of this CD to help him through a difficult time. Thanking you in advance. Grant Gillanders (Frenzy Music) and Mark Stratford (RPM).
After leaving Bloodrock in '72, Lee Pickens put LPG together, and it certainly wasn't a commercial success. It was more of an artistic success. Comparing LPG to Trower's and Beck's as a better listening experience, it falls in between. LPG had all original songs written by the band, one titled "I Can't Stand it" has the same title as Trower's, both different but great tunes. LPG had a better vocalist then BBA, but James Dewar's vocals were miles ahead of both.
Lee Pickens guitar work is great, and the songs the band wrote, give him plenty of room to explore his unique style and great tone. Lee's band is tight throughout, and all the players, Bass, Keyboard and Drummer add to the mix of funk, hard rock and country rock. One song, my favorite on LPG "It's Not Right" is a Funk Jazz-rock Monster. LPG may not have been a commercial success, but it was solid and Rockin', unfortunately , Capitol Records pulled the plug on Lee and LPG. A shame really, Lee was/is a great guitarist and that was the last time most of us heard his guitar sing.
by K. M. Barker
1. You'd Better Stop (Milton Walters) - 3:16
2. Sail Away (Lee Pickens) - 3:17
3. She's My Lover (Eddie Deston) - 4:16
4. It's Not Right (Milton Walters, Eddie Deston) - 5:28
5. I Can't Stand It (Eddie Deston) - 3:05
6. Hold On To Me (Eddie Deston) - 6:59
7. 2 Degress South (Charlie Bassman, Milton Walters) - 4:41
8. Ten After Never (Lee Pickens) - 3:13
9. Thumbs Up (Gary Owen) - 4:46
Southern Comfort haven t found the going easy since Ian Matthews left them 18 months ago, but they are anxious not to let it get them down. Their main problem is that the public have taken a long time to forget Matthews, and think of the split as being quite recent. They brought out one hasty album, Frog City, to offset Matthews' departure, but the new one has obviously had a lot more thought and planning out into it.
Gordon Huritley's pedal steel guitar and Mark Griffiths on mandolin do much to add to the individual charm of the album, and probably save it from becoming too near to pop. However, the group don't see themselves in that light at all. "We did some dates in Scotland recently," Mark Griffiths says, "but they weren't too good because it was obvious the audience were expecting a pop group, and didn't know what to make of us."
They did better in the States, where their type of music is going down well at the moment. Their first album was released there just before the tour with the Faces and Deep Purple, and sold well. To support the new album in Britain, they are making a short documentary film, playing some numbers from the album, to be shown in cinemas between the feature films. But they are still worrying about their receptions in this country.
"It's a really strange situation here. It's been a long time trying to forget about Ian, and we've found it hard trying to find a path for ourselves and be accepted. We don't see Ian as any opposition, although there must be some split loyalties among any fans we had. There was never any doubt about us carrying on when Ian left, although his departure was sudden. We've changed a lot, added different instruments. Now we use keyboards and mandolin, when before we depended more on the pedal steel.
We got over the voice difficulty. Too. Ian has a distinctive voice, but we think that Carl Barnwell has a good one too. Carl writes most of the material with me.
So now Southern Comfort are working their way round Britain, trying to build up their name, and face life without Ian Matthews. Ian is currently working with a new unit called Plainsong, and doesn’t see Southern Comfort as any kind of opposition or competition, because he is not choosing to look at things that way, although other might. In fact, his music with Plainsong is surprisingly different from what you might expect from him, after being conditioned to Southern Comfort.
Disc, January 22nd 1972
1. River Woman (Carl Barnwell) - 4:21
2. I Wanna Be Your Mama Again (Doug Sahm) - 3:46
3. Josephine's Biscuit (Carl Barnwell, Mark Griffiths) - 4:32
4. Moganbo/Devil's Canyon (Mark Griffiths) - 5:02
5. Cosmic Jig (Mark Griffiths) - 3:06
6. Lily Brown (Carl Barnwell) - 4:48
7. Russian River (Mark Griffiths) - 2:29
8. Ol' Rudd (Carl Barnwell) - 3:35
9. Harlem Girl (Carl Barnwell) - 4:12
10.I Don't Know (Mark Griffiths) - 2:50
11.Good Ol' 2-6-2 (Mark Griffiths) - 4:50