Frank Aiello and Steve Jameson were mods, but did they make mod music? Aiello and Jameson were the singers who comprised the British vocal group the Truth, and they were faces on the mid-'60s U.K. mod scene, frequenting the right clothing stores and hitting the right nightspots. But just as there wasn't a firmly codified mod sound in the '60s (it was often said that the Who were never really mods, though mods clearly liked them, and most of the kids on the scene were into R'n'B and bluebeat rather than rock), the record industry didn't put much stock in the Truth's mod persona, and ended up treating them like any other pop group trying to make their way onto the charts.
While Aiello and Jameson wanted to model the Truth after Sam and Dave or the Righteous Brothers, the closest they got to a hit was a polished cover of the Beatles' "Girl," and though they could handle pop as well as blue-eyed soul (in some cases better), their belated reputation as mod heroes is the product of a few stray tracks rather than the entirety of their catalog.
The Truth released just seven singles during their five-year lifespan, and Who's Wrong? Mod Bedlam 1965-1969 collects all 14 tunes on one disc, along with two unreleased numbers and a pair of songs released under the name Shere Khan. The sequence front-loads the tougher R&B numbers at the start with the more pop-oriented tunes following, but "Baby You've Got It," "She's a Roller," and "Baby Don't You Know" suggest the Truth were not at their best trying to sound like soul shouters, though the bluesy "Jailer Bring Me Water" gets over and "Who's Wrong" boasts some gutsy guitar work and a good melodic hook. Meanwhile, Aiello and Jameson sounded very much at home harmonizing on slicker pop productions, and their covers of "I Go to Sleep," "Walk Away Renee," and "I Can't Make It Alone" are more than satisfying.
If you're expecting some serious Mod Bedlam from this collection of the Truth's recordings, well, you might be a trifle disappointed, but as a compact look at one band's adventures in the U.K. music business in the mid- to late '60s, this certainly has its merits, and shows Aiello and Jameson deserved better treatment (and luck) than they got.
by Mark Deming
1. Baby You've Got It (Jeff Cooper, Daniels) - 2:11
2. She's A Roller (Jeff Cooper, Stephen Jameson) - 1:54
3. Baby Don't You Know (Jeff Cooper) - 2:36
4. Come On Home (Jeff Cooper) - 2:26
5. Jailer Bring Me Water (Bobby Darin) - 3:41
6. Who's Wrong (George Fischoff, Tony Powers) - 3:09
7. Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness) (Donovan Leitch) - 2:00
8. I Go To Sleep (Ray Davies) - 2:22
9. Girl (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:36
10.Jingle Jangle (Reg Presley) - 2:28
11.Walk Away Renee (Bob Calilli, Michael Brown, Tony Sansone) - 2:25
12.Fly Away Bird (Stephen Jameson) - 2:25
13.Busker Bill (Stephen Jameson) - 3:00
14.Old Ma Brown (Stephen Jameson) - 1:55
15.Sueno (Eddie Brigati, Felix Cavaliere) - 2:59
16.I Can't Make It Alone (Carole King, Gerry Goffin) - 4:48
17.Little Louise (A. Blake) - 2:48
18.No Reason (P. Yelland) - 2:54
Tracks 17-18 as Shere Khan
Originally called Mudd, (probably to distinguish themselves from Mud, an English band that had been around since 1966 and finally enjoyed a spell of success once they teamed up with glam rock producers Nicky Chinn & Mike Chapman) Mudd was Albuquerque's first rock super group Steve (Miller) D'Coda lead guitar Arnold Bodmer- keys Chuck Klingbeil- keys, sax Vic Gabriele- bass and Randy Castillo on drums. Each one the best at his instrument on the local scene and with Tommy G on lead vocals... it goes without saying. Mudd signed on with Al Klein's Buffalo Bill Productions, who in turn secured a recording contract with Uni Records for the band.
This resulted in two albums, the first Mud on Mudd released in 1970. Mudd did fare better on their own songs, especially “If We Try” (a Vic Gabrielle composition and one of many that Al Klein latched onto as co-writer) “Mud on Mudd” wasn't groundbreaking by any means, but it did provide an avenue for Tommy G to make a smooth transition into rock music.
On the second album “Mud” (down one d) the band neither regressed nor progressed. Same Mud channel, same Mud station. Zap! Pow! Biff! Released in 1971, a handful of songs on “Mud” jump right out at you “I Go Crazy” “She” and a cover of The Beatles “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” the rest ain't froggy at all. Mudd was the most ferocious NM band of the day.
Dirt City Chronicles, Albuquerque New Mexico
1. Carry That Weight (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 4:14
2. Better Days Are Coming (B. Arvon) - 3:01
3. She (Vic Gabrielle, Chuck Klingbeil) - 2:28
4. Cruel Ruler (Vic Gabrielle, Chuck Klingbeil) - 10:15
5. Nobody's Fault (Otis Redding) - 3:56
6. Who Owns The Park (L. Yellowcorn, Vic Gabriele) - 3:44
7. Pictures (Vic Gabrielle, Chuck Klingbeil) - 3:38
8. I'll Go Crazy (James Brown) - 4:24
9. Smacking Cowboy (Vic Gabrielle, Chuck Klingbeil) - 8:31
*Arnold Bodmer - Electric Piano
*Tommy "G" Gonzales - Vocals, Trumpet, Congas
*Chuck Klingbeil - Keyboards, Flute
*Randy Castillo - Drums, Percussion
*Steve D'Coda (aka Steve Miller) - Guitar
*Vic Gabrielle - Bass
By late 1971 Fludd was picked up by Frank Davies' upstart label Daffodil Records later that year and released the highly controversial ... ON in early '72, recorded in Toronto with new producer Lee DeCarlo. Determined to cause a ruckus, the album was initially called COCK ON, including a scantily clad group on the inside cover. With the execs sensing this might be disasterous, the photo was scrapped and the record's title changed. Despite the furor, three singles were released, including "Always Be Thinking Of You", which cracked Canada's Top 40. Also on the lp were "Yes" and "C'mon C'mon".
In a deliberate attempt to incorporate a more 'British sound", the band went to England to do their third album. They began recording at Richard Branson's (Virgin Records & Airlines) Manor Studios in Oxfordshire in the spring of '73. Soon after however, Csanky quit the band, to be replaced by Peter Rochon. The recording of Mike Oldfield's album TUBULAR BELLS was by this time also getting in the way. Added to the rising cost of keeping the band in England and Godovitz's growing dislike for fish and chips, Daffodil pulled the plug on the deal and brought them back to Canada.
To bolster fading interest in the band, Daffodil went back to the previous record and released "Cousin Mary" in time for the Christmas rush of '73, the first single from Fludd in a year and a half. Ironically, though it wasn't initially intended to be a single, "Cousin Mary" would go on to become one of the band's biggest hits, cracking the top 20, and eventually finding its way on to several Canadian compilations over the years. The re-found interest resulted in them going back to the Toronto studios with DeCarlo, where they recorded three tracks.
Apparently not entirely committed to the group anymore, Daffodil released one of them as the new single. But the lacklustre radio response to "I Held Out" found Fludd again without a record deal. About the same time Brian Pilling was diagnosed with cancer, further setting back the band. Following the news, Godovitz jumped ship and formed Toronto legend Goddo. He was replaced by Doni Underhill (later of both Brutus and Trooper), bringing guitarist Gord Waszek with him.
by Frank Davies and Greg Godovitz
1. C'mon C'mon - 3:35
2. Yes! - 3:10
3. Alway Be Think Of You - 3:24
4. Down! Down! Down! - 4:16
5. Cousin Mary - 2:41
6. Home- Made Lady - 3:18
7. Ticket To Nowhere - 4:31
8. Can You Be Easy - 3:27
9. All Sing Togethere - 5:44
10.Gratitude - 0:44
All songs by Brian Pilling, Ed Pilling
Patrick Campbell Lyons formed Nirvana in the still-swinging London of the late-60s, together with Alex Spryropoulos. In 1968, signed to Island Records, they charted with 'Rainbow Chaser', a classic slice of pop psychedelia.
This was originally released in 1973 as a solo album featuring several friends and studio musicians, but was reissued in 2001 as a Nirvana (UK) CD in the wake of a renewed interest in the band. This was partially a result of an earlier temporary reunion of Campbell-Lyons and original member Alex Spyropoulos, but in all honesty was probably just as much a byproduct of lingering confusion between this band and the much more well-known grunge group Nirvana (US) following the sensational death of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana (UK) had even succumbed to the temptation of capitalizing on their second 15 minutes of fame by recording an acid folk version of Cobain's "Lithium" on their 'Orange and Blue' collection shortly after Cobain's passing.
Campbell-Lyons put together this collection of original songs during a hiatus of island living off the coast of Spain in the early seventies, and following the dissolution of the original Nirvana lineup. The themes are mostly about relationships and experiences during this period, including the poppish acid folk ditty "Friends" in tribute to several acquaintances he made during this time; "Look Out For Cassius Clay" for John Conteh, a boxer he befriended while in Spain; and the organ-laden "Mother England" on which he put a poem of the late Dominic Behan by the same name to music.
The mood on these tracks is decidedly more upbeat and light-hearted than the last couple of Nirvana albums, and the arrangements are considerably closer to pop than most of the stuff he Campbell-Lyons and Spyropoulos recorded together. But at the same time there isn't nearly as much going on musically as there was on those records either, not surprising considering acid folk was rather passé by the mid-seventies and anyone from that period with hopes of still getting records released needed to move much closer to the center of the musical spectrum. Campbell-Lyons shopped these tracks to Capitol and British labels, eventually getting a nod from the fledgling Sovereign Records. Unfortunately for him, the label folding shortly after this release leading to a quick deletion of the album from any active catalog or distribution vehicle.
After achieving short-lived success, Patrick decided to pursue a less structured direction and signed to the fledgling Vertigo label. In 1970 his solo album 'Local Anaesthetic' was released.
In spite of this, and also work as a talent scout and producer for the label, Patrick remained restless and in 1972 sailed to Majorca on a friend's boat where he got together songs to be featured on his second solo album 'Me And My Friend'.
Released in 1973 on EMI's Sovereign label, it features Bobby Harrison and Micky Moody (who formed the band Snafu) and former Nirvana cellist Sylvie Schuster. The 2017 is re-mastered and expanded (with 2 extra tracks), and booklet features an essay by Malcolm Dome including an exclusive interview with Patrick Campbell Lyons.
1. Out Of Nowhere (Bobby Harrison, Frank Dennis, Jim Gannon, Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 2:05
2. Friends (Dominic Behan, Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 4:23
3. Mother Of England - 3:44
4. Everybody Should Fly A Kite - 4:20
5. Tomorrow I'll Make You Smile - 2:09
6. Me And My Friend - 4:01
7. Jesus Christ Junior - 4:30
8. I Think I Want Him Too - 2:36
9. 1974 - 2:36
10.Watch Out Cassius Clay - 3:14
11.Out On The Road - 3:20
12.Everybody Should Fly A Kite (Single Version)- 4:26
All songs by Patrick Campbell-Lyons except where indicated
Original Album 1-10
Extra Tracks 11-12 The 2001 Edition Bonus Tracks
11.Out On The Road - 3:11
12.Please Believe Me - 2:56
13.Lord Up Above - 4:08
14.She's Lost It - 4:59
15.Nova Sketch - 1:47
16.I Need Your Love Tonight - 3:27
17.Will There Be Me (Cas Thomas, Patrick Campbell-Lyons) - 2:15
18.Stadium - 7:09
All songs by Patrick Campbell-Lyons except where stated
The Soul Survivors flamed out quite quickly, but their second album was a superb slice of blue-eyed R'n'B. They could do effective hard-driving dance tunes or decent ballads, and while Gamble and Huff hadn't yet become legends, they provided workmanlike production and arrangements.
Even though they generate great songs
like "Expressway To Your Heart" or "Mama Soul", soon after
their second release "Take Another Look" band broke up in 1970.
Although the Ingui brothers
eventually performed under the name again, as well as with other groups. Gamble
and Huff went on to great fame, producing massive hits by the O’Jays, Billy
Paul, Lou Rawls, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and many others, and building
their label and studio into one of the most important of the era.
1. Funky Way To Treat Somebody (Calvin Arnold) - 2:49
2. Baby, Please Don't Stop (Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Mikki Farrow) - 2:28
3. Jesse - 3:18
4. Mama Soul - 2:39
5. Darkness - 2:57
6. We Got A Job To Do - 2:32
7. Keep Your Faith, Brother - 3:01
8. Tell Daddy (Clarence Carter, Marcus Daniel, Wilbur Terrell) - 2:31
9. Got Down On Saturday (Mickey Newbury) - 3:10
10.(Why Don't You) Go Out Walking - 2:19
11.Turn Out My Fire (Kenneth Gamble, Mikki Farrow, Theresa Bell, Thom Bell) - 2:49
All compositions by Charles Ingui, Richard Ingui except where indicated
Detroit? Chicago? Well, no not at all. This 1968 release comes from a German band playing some lush and dynamic soul pop with an emotionally exalted vocal style that reminds a bit of Tom Jones at times. The songs range from powerfully onward grooving booty shakers to striking melodic tunes with great chorus lines that enlighten your spirit.
When you take a listen you will realize these folks had a sense for the classic beat music of just a few years priori to this release and they really manage to lay down a steaming performance on this style actually already outdated back then. But since The Soul Explosion spice up everything with a dark and brooding back street club atmosphere at the right moment, they could do what they want and always sounded exciting and fresh.
I could not have told the difference between these krauts and any popular British or North American act in their genre. There is passion, sheer lust, a wild and animalistic drive and an ongoing groove that will mesmerize you. Technically this is a really solid group that knows to let loose when it is time to but mostly keeps the energy flow under control. I am certain that 60s fanatics who love the soul and early rock fusion of thisera will go insane.
It might be one of these typical exploito bands that were only studio projects done by the same musicians on several occasions for good money to be sold in the bargain bin to a willing audience. Well, we rather do not think further into that direction since the music that appears on "Soul fire" strikes your deepest inner self and sets your spirit aflame.
The melodies are amazing and if you go and check the rhythms you will end up shaking wit lout a chance to escape the everlasting pulse. This should have been enormously big. Think of later day Animals, The Four Tops and the Equals all thrown into a mixer on full throttle, you might get something of a similar quality.
One of the great mysteries of late '60s psychedelic soul music! Though only released on the German exploitation market in 1968, this exceptional album may very well be the work of an American studio outfit (or Americans living in Germany?), performing exclusive songs written by well known US composers s.a. Martin Siegel and Scott English. The material is rather diverse, but most of the music here is high quality soul music, often -especially on Side 2- with scorching psychedelic guitarwork and/or swirling organ parts. But there also are traces of pop and you even get a Dylan-esque slice of folk-rock. Odd, exciting and unique!
1. Save Me Save Me (Kenny Young, Scott English) - 2:40
2. Don't Wait Up For Me At Night (Scott English, Vic Millrose) - 2:35
3. See How They Run (Martin Siegel) - 2:24
4. Oh Baby Please (Martin Siegel) - 2:35
5. That Ain't Where It's At (Martin Siegel) - 2:26
6. You Let Me Live (Sal Trimachi) - 2:17
7. Good Time Woman (Laurence Weiss, Mark Barkan) - 2:42
8. We Can't Be Friends (Mark Barkan, Scott English) - 2:17
9. You Turned Your Back On Love (Laurence Weiss, Scott English) - 2:12
10.Only With You (Martin Siegel) - 2:47
11.I Didn't Trip You Baby (Martin Siegel, Scott English) - 2:05
12.You Made A Man Out Of Me (Fred Anisfield, Scott English) - 2:43
Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys, Guthrie's sixth album, was released in April 1973. It was another effort largely given over to cover material and performed with the cream of Los Angeles session musicians. The single "Gypsy Davy" (another Woody Guthrie song) reached the Easy Listening chart, and the LP peaked at number 87 in Billboard, number 63 in Cash Box.
With the decline of the singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s and the rise of disco, Guthrie's record sales fell off after Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys, which became his final album to hit the upper half of the Top 200 bestsellers. Subsequent releases struggled to spend a few weeks in the bottom half of that list, or did not chart at all. This commercial decline was first apparent with the release of his seventh album, Arlo Guthrie, in May 1974.
The sales were especially disappointing given the quality of the LP, which increased the number of Guthrie originals to include the scathing "Presidential Rag," a reflection on the current Watergate scandal about to drive President Nixon from office; "Children of Abraham," an examination of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and "Last to Leave," a personal expression by a man who had spent his entire life wondering whether he carried the disease that killed his father. (Guthrie refused to be tested to determine whether he had the gene that causes Huntington's disease, but as he aged and showed no symptoms, it became apparent that he did not.) Despite his dropping record sales, Guthrie remained a potent concert attraction. He teamed with Pete Seeger for a series of concerts that resulted in a double-LP live album, Together in Concert, released in May 1975. That fall, he hired a local Massachusetts band, Shenandoah, as his regular backup group for shows.
by William Ruhlmann
1. Farrell O'Gara (Traditional) - 2:50
2. Gypsy Davy (Traditional, Woody Guthrie) - 3:44
3. This Troubled Mind Of Mine (Ernest Tubb, Johnny Tyler) - 2:27
4. Week On The Rag (Arlo Guthrie) - 2:23
5. Miss The Mississippi And You (Bill Halley) - 2:56
6. Lovesick Blues (Irving Mills, Cliff Friend) - 2:36
7. Uncle Jeff (Arlo Guthrie) - 0:56
8. Gates Of Eden (Bob Dylan) - 5:16
9. Last Train (Arlo Guthrie) - 3:06
10.Cowboy Song (Arlo Guthrie) - 3:42
11.Sailor's Bonnett (Traditional) - 1:24
12.Cooper's Lament (Arlo Guthrie) - 2:47
13.Ramblin' 'Round (Woody Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter, John Lomax) - 3:14
"1973 began with us retreating to a cottage on the island of Anglesey, North Wales, to put together music for our fourth album. Writing in the countryside was pretty much the done thing at the time – bands such as Traffic, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple had prepared for albums in similar settings. We rented a holiday cottage and because we went there out of season we got it fairly cheap. The weather was brutal, but getting away from our normal everyday routines allowed us to devote twenty four hours a day to our music without any distractions. As usual I came to the project with various ideas for melodies and lyrics. I was the one guy in the band who was fascinated by the process of recording and all the paraphernalia involved and by this time I was beginning to amass my own recording equipment so that I could record sketches of songs at home. Typically these would contain just acoustic guitar, vocals, and bass. Sometimes I would have a few guitar licks already mapped out. This was great for presenting my songs to the band and giving them a snapshot of what I was aiming for. Of course, once we got into rehearsals and worked on the songs as a full band, then everyone would contribute to the arrangements and it would become a group effort.
We decided to produce the album ourselves, with Keith Harwood engineering. We spent the months of February/March 1973 recording the album at Olympic, with some additional work at Apple Studios. I think we felt we’d learned enough to be able to produce ourselves. In retrospect that was maybe a bit naive and I was really disappointed at how the album eventually turned out, mainly because something went seriously wrong at the mastering stage. When we were recording it in the studio it sounded really good, but all the balls and hi-fidelity got lost during the mastering, making it sound very mid-rangey.
Upon its release, Wishbone Four was well and truly slated by the music press, and to a certain degree, an element of our fanbase. I think that was mainly for two reasons. Firstly, it was not what people were expecting to hear after Argus. They wanted more of the same and we were quite stubborn in not wanting to do that. We wanted to move in another direction – a more straight forward, mainstream rock approach. Secondly, for the album to have had any chance of acceptance, it needed to have sounded better. I would like to think that the fact that the material went off on a tangent would have been more accepted had the album sounded right. However, I will stand by the quality of the songs, many of which have, with the passing of time, become fan favourites and have found their way back into live shows in recent times."
adapted from the book "No Easy Road - My Life and Times With Wishbone Ash"
1. So Many Things To Say - 5:02
2. Ballad Of The Beacon - 4:59
3. No Easy Road - 3:46
4. Everybody Needs A Friend - 8:23
5. Doctor - 5:49
6. Sorrel - 5:00
7. Sing Out The Song - 4:22
8. Rock 'n Roll Widow - 5:50
All compositions by Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Ted Turner, Steve Upton
Released in November, 1973, Sefronia was the eighth album in the recording career of Tim Buckley. Originally released on the DiscReet label, an imprint set up by Buckley's manager, Herb Cohen, and another of his managerial charges, Frank Zappa, it is an eleven-track set that has few long-time Buckley fans willing to extol its virtues. None of which reads like a promising start to an album sleeve note, but, at over forty years' remove, and looking at other posthumous releases, it's now possible to view Sefronia in a somewhat kinder light.
On the front cover photo, Buckley wears an odd, slightly bemused expression, which might shed some light on his state of mind, and may also provide a key to the content of the album. Rock pundits and long-term Buckley fans have, on balance, regarded this, and the succeeding album, Look At The Fool, as the dying embers of a once-great artist's career, low on inspiration, luck, and decent album sales. Long gone are the vocal ululations and wordless soundscapes of Lorca and Starsailor; in their place shorter, more concise songs and excursions into funky musical terrain.
His previous album, 1972's Greetings From LA, had Buckley dig deep into an at times brutally frank carnality, the Romanticism of yore giving way to celebrations of creaking bedsprings and cruising singles bars. It was very good, though, and his musical and lyrical re-invention was an artistic success, even if the sales were, frankly, poor, and his then recording home, Warner Brothers, declined to pursue any further interest in him. Maybe manager Cohen had said "well, we've tried it your way, now let's try it this way..." Or perhaps Buckley was biding his time, with his eyes on other projects. He had been considering, with his lyricist friend Larry Beckett, a musical treatment of the Joseph Conrad novel, The Outcast of the Islands, and was even considering acting roles. After all, he was hardly old - in his mid-twenties, and he'd already released such a fine body of often tremendous music. That refused to sell.
A study of the compositional credits on Sefronia reveals that five of the album's eleven tracks are non-originals. And, for Buckley fans, herein lies the rub. Whether it was at the insistence of his manager, Herb Cohen, or having a producer, Denny Randell, imposed on him, and the demands of bringing an album of usable material in time and on budget for a label where Cohen held the purse strings was putting a brake on Buckley's creative energies. Or maybe it was his growing immersion in booze and drugs - it is impossible to say, but I would suggest that these were all forces at work here. To give Cohen his due, he had supported Buckley throughout the 'difficult' Lorca and Starsailor periods, in which he produced music that some would say was easier to admire than to truly love, and it could be that he was wanting to press the 'reset' button on Buckley's career. Furthermore, Randell's production does at least gift Sefronia with a cohesive sound, not quite the fat funk of Greetings From LA, but it has solid production values in an era when a rock and roll audience was wanting to get more out of the expensive hi-fi equipment they were investing in.
Sefronia opens with a step back to his early troubadour days for Buckley, with a cover of 'Dolphins', penned by former Greenwich Village Folkie and troublemaker, Fred Neil. It's a song that had been in Buckley's repertoire for many a year — it is included in the epochal, posthumously-released live album, Dream Letter, recorded at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in October 1968, but Neil's influence on Buckley goes way beyond that. Neil added his hectoring baritone to 12-string acoustic guitar, and Buckley had done the same whilst establishing his presence on the New York coffeehouse circuit, although on the Sefronia take, TB favours his trusty Fender electric XII. Neil was, by the early seventies, living in seclusion in Cocoanut Grove in Florida, devoting his time to studying the dolphins he once sang about, and freeing himself from the yoke of substance abuse (his self-imposed exile was no doubt softened by the arrival of substantial songwriting royalties accruing from the global success of 'Everybody's Talkin", a Neil cover by Harry Nilsson as featured in the soundtrack of the smash hit movie Midnight Cowboy, in 1969). Buckley clearly enjoys singing the song; there's no dialled-in vocal here, with TB thoroughly investing himself in the wistful lyrics. The arrangement is on the slightly over-egged side of good, with Buckley's twelve string chords providing a ringing harmonic pad for Joe Falsia adding melodic curlicues of guitar. The jazz waltz-time rhythm is perfectly judged, and it's a pretty fine way to kick things off.
There is great footage of Buckley performing the song on the longrunning British rock music show, The Old Grey Whistle Test, from 1974, where he is backed by a pick-up band of British musicians - Buckley is in superb vocal shape, and it is easily found on a web search.
Setting rather more of a tone for the rest of the album is 'Honey Man', which wouldn't have been out of place on Greetings, and Buckley ups his vocal game here, supported by a muscular funk backing and real sense of purpose. It's one of four tracks penned by Buckley and his sporadic lyric collaborator, Larry Beckett, and has slightly more of the poetic in its libretto. 'Because Of You1 is cast in a funk setting, and is graced with another excellent Buckley vocal, the track building up a pretty good head of steam over its four minutes plus duration. The demo of'Because of You', released on The Dream Belongs To Me collection reveals an even more busier Funk take, which would imply that this move into funkier waters was Buckley's aim, and not thrust upon him by producer Randell.
The most ambitious piece on the album is the title track, which is in two halves - 'Sefronia: After Asklepiades, After Kafka, and 'Sefronia: The King's Chain', and is a partial reprise of Buckley's more dreamier early days, incorporating marimba, his own electric 12-string chords, congas and a thin string arrangement that is redolent of what Willie Mitchell did on contemporary Al Green recordings. It was a pleasant reminder of the more musical and lyrical ambitions of his 'Blue Afternoon' era, although it seems somewhat unfinished, and perhaps with a little more work, could have been polished up into something even more substantial. As it is, it is still a fine piece.
'Quicksand' and 'Stone In Love', the two tracks which bear Buckley's sole writing credit, are pretty good, the former being a taut, edgy piece of funky rock, with some excellent chord changes and an energized vocal, and the latter being an insistent, busy piece that's perhaps a little padded out - excellent vocal again. 'Martha' is a Tom Waits song from his first album, Closing Time (also released in 1973), and its deep vein of sentimentality is an emotional plain that Buckley had never really explored up until now. Buckley offers up a pretty decent interpretation of the song, and the string / woodwind arrangement is luxuriant even though it's slightly out of kilter with the album's often earthier feel.
One online critic has likened Buckley's vocal to that of later era Neil Diamond! It's a very sweet song, but there's a rather more prosaic reason behind Buckley's recording of it; Waits and Buckley shared management back then in the shape of Herb Cohen, and he was always keen on pushing his artists through having them pick up cover versions. He had rather more luck, sales-wise, with Waits Oil’55, which was covered by The Eagles on their 1974 album, On The Border.
Of all the brought-in material, it is “I Know I’d Recognize Your Face' that is perhaps the most contentious here. A rather limp duet, lame of rhyme and dull of lyric, with vocalist Marcia Waldorf, Buckley is on autopilot, and this is forgettable stuff. Waldorf would go on to record a pretty decent solo album for Capricorn Records, by the way. 'Peanut Man', penned by Fred Freeman and Harry Nehls, is pretty poor, too, and seems to have been an attempt to write a song in the vein of 'Coconut', by Harry Nilsson, with equally dispiriting results.
However, accentuating the positive, the album closer, a cover of the old Jaynetts hit, 'Sally Go Round The Roses', is very good indeed, and far from the throwaway that its presence may suggest, Buckley using the original as a base upon to wrote his own interpretation, skewing the lyrics into outre territory – he switches the lyric from "Sally don't you go, don't you go downtown; saddest thing in the whole wide world is to see your baby with another girl" replaced with "Oh Sally don't you go down, oh darlin' don't you go downtown; Honey the saddest thing in the whole wide world is to find your woman been with another girl." The song became a strong part of his live set – indeed.
The critical response to Sefronia wasn't too savage, as it turned out, but there was no discernible upswing in Buckley's sales, and his relationship with his manager, Herb Cohen, was becoming increasingly strained. Buckley was drinking heavily, and had been edging deeper into drug abuse, as he searched for a way out of his career impasse. Buckley promoted the UK release of Sefronia with an opening slot on the very first Knebworth Festival (dubbed the 'Bucolic Frolic') on a bill that featured The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers, The Allman Brothers Band, on July 20th 1974. His band consisted of Art Johnson (guitar), Jim Fielder (bass), Mark Tiernan (keyboards) and Buddy Helm (drums), and the set featured 'Nightkawkin", 'Dolphins', 'Get On Top Of Me Woman', 'Devil Eyes', 'Buzzin'Fly', 'Sweet Surrender' and 'Honeyman', and a four minute improvisational section at the end of the set - bootlegs of the show do exist. Despite the fact that Buckley was essentially performing whilst the crowd was arriving and setting up their place for the day, he performed very well, and those who paid attention were very impressed by his dynamic performance.
by Alan Robinson, July 2017
1. Dolphins (Fred Neil) - 3:12
2. Honey Man (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley) - 4:12
3. Because Of You (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley) - 4:28
4. Peanut Man (Fred Freeman, Harry Nehls) - 2:53
5. Martha (Tom Waits) - 3:20
6. Quicksand (Tim Buckley) - 3:25
7. I Know I'd Recognize Your Face (Letty Jo Baron, Denny Randell) - 4:01
8. Stone In Love (Tim Buckley) - 3:30
9. Sefronia- After Asklepiades, After Kafka (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley) - 3:11
10.Sefronia- The King's Chain (Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley) - 2:30
11.Sally, Go 'Round The Roses (Lona Stevens, Zell Sanders) - 3:43
Crowbar’s “Bad Manors” was released in the spring of '71. Bad Manors was the name of a six bedroom hundred years old Georgian mansion, a brick palace that ruled twenty five acres of farmland on Hamilton Mountain in Ancaster Ontario. There was a huge barn where they rehearsed and partied. Band members and some of their families lived there for twelve years. The sequence of events thta brought the band to Bad Manors was a stop and go, hurry up and wait process.
The first single came from the album, epitomized the care-free hippie generation of the day, and "Oh What A Feeling" soared up the charts. This was the first single released after government regulations requiring Canadian radio stations to play one-third homegrown material had come into effect and would go down as one of Canadian rock's most recognizable songs of the era.
The single quickly reached gold here, but due to the drug annotations in the song, it didn't receive airplay in the US. Other noteable songs included the 'b' side "Murder In The First Degree", the cover of The Yardbirds' "Train Kept a Rollin'" and the other singles "Happy People" and "Too True Mama". The band toured extensively in Canada and made their US debut at LA's Whiskey A Go Go the next year.
by Frank Davies
1. Frenchman's Filler #1 (Rheal Lanthier) - 1:14
2. Too True Mama (Kelly Jay) - 2:57
3. Let The Four Winds Blow (Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino) - 2:25
4. House Of Blue Lights (Don Raye, Freddie Slack) - 2:50
5. The Frenchman's Cherokee Boogie Incident (Moon Mullican, W. Chief Redbird) - 0:29
6. Train Keep Rollin' (Roly Greenway) - 2:53
7. Baby, Let's Play House (Arthur Gunter) - 3:06
8. Oh Never Be A Dodo (Kelly Jay) - 0:21
9. Oh What A Feeling (Kelly Jay, Roly Greenway) - 4:23
10.Frenchman's Filler #2 (Rheal Lanthier) - 0:35
11.Frenchman's Filler #3 (Rheal Lanthier) - 0:39
12.Murder In The First Degree (Kelly Jay, Sonnie Bernardi) - 5:16
13.In The Dancing Hold (Kelly Jay) - 3:54
14.Mountain Fire (Roly Greenway) - 4:02
15.Prince Of Peace (John Rutter) - 4:12
16.Frenchman's Filler #1 (Rheal Lanthier) - 0:47 The Crowbar
*Roly Greenway - Bass, Percussion, Vocals
*Sonnie Bernardi - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Jozef Chirowski - Piano, Organ, Vocals
*John Gibbard - Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals
*Kelly Jay "Blake Fordham" - Vocals, Piano
*Rheal Lanthier - Lead Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Is it possible to be a one-hit wonder three times? The question is provoked by the recording career of Arlo Guthrie, which is best remembered for three songs in three different contexts. There is "The City of New Orleans," Guthrie's only Top 40 hit, which earns him an entry in Wayne Jancik's The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders. There is also "Coming into Los Angeles," which Guthrie sang at the legendary Woodstock music festival, and which featured prominently in both the Woodstock movie and multi-platinum soundtrack album. And there is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," the comic-monologue-in-song that gave him his initial fame and took up the first side of his debut LP, the million-selling Alice's Restaurant. Whether these successful tracks make him a one-, two-, or three-hit wonder, they were arguably both flukes in a performing career that was still going strong a full 40 years after Guthrie first gained national recognition and facilitators of that career. With their help, he spent 15 years signed to a major record label, charting 11 LPs, after which he was able to set up his own label and go on issuing albums. More significant, he maintained a steady following as a live performer, touring worldwide year after year to play before audiences delighted by his humorous persona and his musical mixture of folk, rock, country, blues, and gospel styles in songs almost equally divided between his own originals and well-chosen cover tunes.
Arlo Davy Guthrie was born July 10, 1947, in the Coney Island section of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City and grew up there. He was the fifth child of Woody Guthrie, the famous folksinger and songwriter, but the second child born to his father's second wife, Marjorie Greenblatt Mazia Guthrie, a former dancer with the Martha Graham dance troupe who had become a dance teacher; his older sister, Cathy Ann Guthrie, had died in a fire at the age of four five months earlier. After having two more children, Joady and Nora, Guthrie's parents separated when he was four and later divorced; his mother remarried. His father remained an important presence in his life, however, giving him his first guitar for his sixth birthday in 1953. By then, Woody Guthrie had been diagnosed with Huntington's disease, an incurable, hereditary illness; he was hospitalized permanently in 1954, and Guthrie's mother supervised his care.
Guthrie grew up surrounded by his father's friends, including such folksingers as Pete Seeger and Cisco Houston. (Houston brought him up on-stage at the Greenwich Village nightclub Gerde's Folk City for an impromptu performance when he was only ten.) Guthrie later said that he had been unaware of his father's fame until he switched from public school to a progressive private school in the sixth grade and found that students there were singing Woody Guthrie songs like "This Land Is Your Land." Only then did he begin learning his father's music. Nevertheless, he did not expect to become a performer himself, feeling that his introspective personality was not suited to such a career. When he graduated from high school at the Stockbridge School in Massachusetts in 1965, he enrolled at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT, to study forestry with the intention of becoming a forest ranger. He dropped out after only six weeks, however. Returning to Massachusetts, he stayed at the home of Alice and Ray Brock, a deconsecrated church. The Brocks were former faculty members of the Stockbridge School who had opened a restaurant called the Back Room. Celebrating Thanksgiving with them, Guthrie and his friend Rick Robbins undertook what he later called the "friendly gesture" of attempting to dispose of a large amount of accumulated garbage for them. Finding the city dump closed, they threw it down a hillside. As a result, they were arrested for littering. Convicted of the offense, they paid fines of $25 each and retrieved the garbage. This proved fortuitous shortly afterward, when Guthrie was summoned for the military draft and judged unfit for service because of his criminal record.
Guthrie took up performing, turning professional in February 1966 with a debut at Club 47 in Cambridge, MA. His repertoire included a 16-bar ditty he had written that constituted a musical commercial for the Brocks' eatery, with a chorus that went, "You can get anything you want/At Alice's restaurant." The song, however, was the least of the performance, as Guthrie told a fanciful and comic version of his adventures in littering and at the draft board, spinning it out to what amounted to a 20-minute comedy routine with a tune wrapped around it. He performed what he called "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" (idiosyncratically pronouncing the last word "mas'e-kree" instead of "mas'e-ker," hence the extra "e") at Carnegie Hall as part of a folk song festival sponsored by New York radio station WNYC, and another local station, WBAI, began airing a tape of the song in the spring of 1967, to popular response.
Guthrie attended the Newport Folk Festival and found himself promoted to the closing-night concert on the main stage, performing "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" to 20,000 folk fans on July 16, 1967. That provoked interest from Warner Bros. Records, which signed him and issued Alice's Restaurant on its Reprise subsidiary in September 1967, only weeks before Woody Guthrie's death on October 3. The album entered the Billboard magazine Top LP's chart on November 18 and rose steadily, peaking at number 29 on March 2, 1968, and staying on the chart 65 weeks. (Although the title song dominated attention, the LP also contained a second side of original Guthrie compositions including "Highway in the Wind," which was covered by Hearts and Flowers and Noel Harrison soon after, and by Kate Wolf later.)
The success of the album and of "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" went well beyond sales, however. First, it established Guthrie not only as a star, but also as a figure separate from his father, always a tricky thing to accomplish for a child following in the footsteps of a famous parent. Despite Woody Guthrie's renown as a progenitor of the 1960s folk revival, he himself did not perform after the early '50s, and his son presented a distinct, if related persona to a young audience that only vaguely recalled his father, if at all. Second, as a highly entertaining live recording, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" immediately transformed Guthrie into a concert attraction; he came off as a wry, yet gentle and charming hippie able to puncture the pretensions of "the establishment" with comic hyperbole.
Guthrie appeared at a memorial concert for his father held on January 20, 1968, at Carnegie Hall that was later released on disc as A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Pt. 1, featuring his performances of "Do Re Mi" and "Oklahoma Hills," and reached the charts. (A second concert at the Hollywood Bowl on August 12, 1970, produced another LP, A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Pt. 2, on which Guthrie performed "Jesus Christ" and participated in a version of "This Land Is Your Land"; it also charted.) Alice's Restaurant was still selling when Reprise released Guthrie's second LP, Arlo, in October 1968. It was a live album recorded at the Bitter End nightclub in Greenwich Village, and it featured more of Guthrie's zany humor, along with original songs. Overshadowed by Alice's Restaurant, it peaked at number 100 in Billboard, although it got to number 40 in rival Cash Box magazine.
Guthrie agreed to have "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" adapted into a motion picture and to star as himself in the film. Veteran director Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker, Bonnie and Clyde) was brought in, and he co-wrote the screenplay with Venable Herndon, elaborating on the song's story to create a virtual screen biography of the 21-year-old Guthrie. Alice's Restaurant the movie premiered at the New York Film Festival on August 24, 1969, to favorable reviews, earning Penn an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Alice's Restaurant the album promptly jumped back into the charts. It was certified gold on September 29 (the same day that Guthrie appeared on the cover of Time magazine) and achieved a new peak in Billboard at number 17 on November 15. Ultimately, it spent a total of 99 weeks in the Billboard chart, and it was certified platinum in 1986.
United Artists, the distributor of the film, released a soundtrack album featuring a different, two-part version of "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" along with instrumental music by Guthrie on its record label in September. Simultaneously, Reprise released Guthrie's third album, Running Down the Road. Given this glut of product, it is striking that both albums sold fairly well. The soundtrack album peaked at number 63 (number 58 in Cash Box), and Running Down the Road got to 54 (33 in Cash Box). (Reprise also released as a one-off single "Alice's Rock & Roll Restaurant," a shortened, re-recorded version of the famous song, and it charted briefly.) Nevertheless, Running Down the Road did not attract as much attention as it deserved.
Produced by Lenny Waronker and Van Dyke Parks and featuring such prominent session musicians as James Burton, Ry Cooder, and Clarence White, it was Guthrie's first album without any comic monologues, and it combined some excellent new originals, including the psychedelic rocker "Coming into Los Angeles" (a tale of dope smuggling) and the tender ballad "Oh, in the Morning" (later covered by McKendree Spring), with covers of old folk and blues standards like Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" and Mississippi John Hurt's "My Creole Belle." (Whether due to his own inclinations or the demanding one-album-a-year schedule of his record contract, Guthrie from this point on would cut as many covers as original songs for his LPs.) Prior to the release of Running Down the Road, Guthrie had appeared at the Woodstock festival on August 15, 1969, where, as part of his set, he performed the then-unreleased "Coming into Los Angeles." When that performance turned up in the Woodstock movie and soundtrack album in May 1970, the tune became one of his signature songs.
In October 1969, Guthrie, who had bought a 250-acre farm in Stockbridge, MA, married Alice "Jackie" Hyde, with whom he would have four children: Abraham (Abe), Annie, Sarah Lee, and Cathy. Abe Guthrie became a musician and worked with his father. Sarah Lee Guthrie also went into music and became a recording artist.
by William Ruhlmann
1. Oklahoma Hills (Woody Guthrie, Jack Guthrie) - 3:27
2. Every Hand In The Land - 2:20
3. My Creole Belle (Mississippi John Hurt) - 3:46
4. Wheel Of Fortune - 2:30
5. Oh, In The Morning - 4:54
6. Coming Into Los Angeles - 3:07
7. Stealin' (Gus Cannon) - 2:49
8. My Front Pages - 3:47
9. Living In The Country (Pete Seeger) - 3:18
10.Running Down The Road - 4:30
All songs by Arlo Guthrie except where stated