4/17/15

John Lee Hooker - Motor City Burning fake EP (1967)


Strange coincidence I decided to re-up this fake EP collecting the 4 songs John Lee Hooker recorded about the Detroit riot and burning building when a vast fire is ravaging the town not far from where I write these lines. More about this true gem below. More JLH to come. I'll never have finished with him until I die. Catch it here

When John Lee Hooker enters the Chicago studio on 27th September 1967, it's been 1 year he did not record any session and 2 months before there was a 5 day riot in Detroit causing 43 dead among whom 33 were black people. John Lee Hooker composed a song about it and sang 3 others in this session, one of the best of the decade. On guitar, rarely mentioned for a reason I ignore, there was Buddy Guy. Two singles will be released from this session. Two months later, he'll record another one with the same band minus Buddy Guy, but the session will be very weak. All the songs from both sessions will be gathered on an LP released in 1968 under the name of Urban Blues. An uneven one for sure. More problematic, only the BGO CD version will feature the song "Want Ad Blues", the more widely known and easy to find MCA one withdrawing this song for the strange inclusion of 3 songs from the session John Lee Hooker did with Earl Hooker in 1969 and entitled If You Miss 'Im... I Got 'Im (you can get this almost complete session here). So, here's the only way to listen to the 27th September session: on a specific EP consisting of the 4 songs recorded this day. And the atmosphere is quite heavy and showed that this old blues man was as relevant to modern times than younger rockers such as the MC5, Jefferson Airplane or the Stones. Pictures are from the Detroit 1967 riots.



The Motor City Is Burning
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4/16/15

Alex Harvey - The London Sessions (1969-71)

A re-up of this weird collection of disparate songs recorded in London between 1969 and 70, not a glorious period for Alex Harvey, trying things and others. He would finally find his band 2 years later, the famous sensational himself band. I give more details below. In a comment following this post, you'll read that the drummer is called George Butler. I changed the colours of the do-it-myself cover sleeve cos' it was really ugly. This one is a little bit better. Catch this document here.

This "album", in fact, a collection of songs from various sessions recorded in London studios in late sixties, probably 1969-1971, is better known as The Joker Is Wild, an album released in 1972 when Alex Harvey had just formed the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and was about to record with them his first album, Framed. He didn't appreciate for sure, to see this old material released and considered it was a quite a bad joke by the music industry (there'll be more). But now time has passed and this collection of songs is interesting, some are gems that any Alex fan must know such as the great version of "Make Love To You" or the mad medley with "Willie the Pimp" from Zappa, a song covered by Ainsley Dunbar Blue Whale and much later by Alternative TV. I decided to create a new cover for this LP, the official one being really ugly and too much associated with the vile nature of the operation. If you don't have The Joker Is Wild (or in poor sound quality), enjoy the same content.

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4/15/15

John Cale - Carribean Sunset (1984)

A welcome re-up (after request) of this under-rated John Cale album. The more I listen to it, the more I like it actually, and f... off the sometimes awful 80's instrumentation. Incidentally, it was the most dl album posted on this blog since its creation, surely because I don't think there is any numeric version. Catch it here.

No, Carribean Sunset is not a bad album, and even if 1984 was not the best period for sound, instrumentation and production (actually it was not far to be the worst in whole rock history), this album overcomes this trash barrier and succeeds in contaminating our today's ears. This due to the conviction of John Cale and the whole energy that emerges from this collection of songs. Lyrics are rather paranoiac, dealing with some obscure plotting forces everywhere in the world (we travel a lot in this album). Claustrophobic too. John Cale is here the visceral singer he was often in his middle age. Never reissued in CD, this vinyl rip is not mine (I don't have the LP) and could have been better but it's good enough to appreciate this album full of weird moments (such as in "Experiment Number 1" where he seems to drive his band in direct on the mike, with lyrics like "She talks too much to know much about anything / Christmas comes, like breakfast, but once a year / She does, seems just tired of living / Like a wall broke around her spell). And "Carribean Sunset" is a great song. A welcome add in your Cale collection. Enjoy it.





















4/11/15

Groundhogs - Live in US 72 (1972)

Not a re-up but a new one this time. And not an easy one to find one since it's the only sonor testimony of the only US tour that Groundhogs have done in their life-timespan. It was in the summer of 1972, between the 8th of June and the 9th of July to be precise, the tour being shortened because Tony McPhee broke his arm. Thus, this radio concert recorded at WCM in Memphis was the first set they play on the land that provided the music TS McPhee cherished so much. First, be aware than this is really a recording from the Groundhogs in the US, contrary to the so-called US Tour 72 LP released by Akarma in 1999 and that consisted in the BBC Radio 1 Sessions recorded in the early 70's. Second, this recording was issued on a bootleg LP called Split Shadow. This is the source of this post but I attempted to improve the sound quality with MP3 Doctor and actually it's much better than the bootleg sound. Last, I can't say this is the Groundhogs side I like the best. It seems that landing on the Hendrix native land, Tony McPhee tries to show he's an English Hendrix and the songs are drowned in larsens, wah wah and uninterrupted guitar solos that would have deserved to be more concise (the 22 min of "Still A Fool" are too much for me). Only "Groundhog Blues" reaches summits and it's a great opportunity to listen to "Music Is The Food Of Thought" one of the rare songs from Who Will Save The World played live. Quite weird that for a tour supporting their new album, the band played none but one song from it. It seems that Tony McPhee did not like it as much as critics and fans did. So, I'm proud to offer this new document to all those who still find some interest in this uncommon band. Catch it here. PS. I created the cover sleeve with a picture (stolen here) of a Wiarton Willie stone statue (in Wiarton). An ironic way to show that Groundhogs were celebrated on the other side of Atlantic.
























4/10/15

Roy Wood - Mustard (1975)



















Last Roy Wood LP re-up for today with Boulders follow-up. Not so good but a great one anyway. More below about it. Catch it here.

Two things. First, I hate mustard. Second, I love Mustard. I hate (and never ate) the food but love the album sharing the same name. Unfortunately, we were not so many at the times since this album is the Wood's swansong (swanalbum should we say), cos' it was the end of a non-stop presence in the charts (in solo or with Wizzard after a presence with the Move and ELO) and the first failure of a non-stopping one until today. Not really surprising after all when listening to this album. How could a wide audience ingest and digest such a strange sonor pudding (more than mustard, this could have been the name of it). In the same cooking you got girl-groups of the fifties (Chordettes style) mixed with the Beach Boys (all the album is under the strong influence of Brian Wilson, not far from plagiarism here and there) mixed with the Led Zeppelin drumbeat, rock 'n' roll of the late fifties and Lully. It was quite impossible that the whole succeeds to make any impact in the year soul and funk were gangrening UK rock (and the cover sleeve was we must admit, rather awful). Sad cos' now, it's quite obvious that this is a great album. Not perfect, sometimes totally out of control and out of good taste, but the sort we like we, like me, we like weirdoes using music to propose something else (as was the name of a Move EP). Sad cos' "Looking Thru The Eyes Of A Fool", released in single, would have deserved to be a hit. And because "The Song" is a hell of romantic and tear-extracting song. On it, you can hear the then (or future) Roy girlfriend, Annie Haslam, yes the Renaissance singer, and Phil Everly. Roy Wood plays almost everything on it as he use to do on his solo stuff. I was not in the idea to post this album previously because I thought it was quite easy and unexpensive to get it, but a visitor called KDNYfm told me it was actually expensive and difficult (I checked it and it's true) so here it is, not letting this gem drown in oblivion.





























Wizzard - Introducing Eddy and the Falcons (1974)





















Second re-up for this exercice-de-style that damaged I think the image that Roy Wood had installed with Wizzard and that he should have digged deeper rather than making this entity a kind of versatile hommage band. But that's the way he wanted it. Some good thing on it anyway. Catch it here

Here is the second album Roy Wood did with Wizzard. More than anything, it's an hommage, even a pastiche, of 50's rock 'n' roll (and in particular Duane Eddy, Del Shannon, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, and of course Elvis but there's surely plenty more) Honestly this is far to be one of my fave Roy Wood work being rather allergic to this music style. Of course there's enough of Wood genius to make it sapid and songs like "Everyday I Wonder", with its Beach Boys flavor or of course the fantastic "This Is The Story Of My Love", released in single and a small hit (and totally out of place here), deserve to be heard and possessed. Of course too, those who have a certain Spectoresque idea of Wizzard can be surprised since here there's no more this wall of sound going everywhere with the Bonhamesque drumming. So you could ask me why I posted it. Because this LP has not been ever released in CD format (except in Japan it seems) and is now quite difficult to hear for those not possessing something to hear a vinyl cos' ever the MP3 format is not provided on main web sellers. And many have asked me, seeing my interest for Wood, to post it, so I do it. It must be noted that if this album falls a little short as a whole, it was conceived initially as only half of a double LP with what would become Mainstreet (posted here) as the second one (I would like Wood to confirm this but this is what is most frequently said in various sources). Note that the UK and US versions do not have the same colour of the tablecloth. Brown-orange in US, blue in UK (at least my US version of the LP is brown-orange). I chose the illustration on the basis of its quality. Enjoy this strangely weird LP.






Roy Wood - Main Street LP (1976)



A series of re-ups inspired by jfg who posted some songs from Boulders on his facebook page. It's an opportunity to re-up Roy Wood material and notably this label-refused LP that could have helped the bearded master not to fade away from view during the further years after a rare series of hits. But that's the way musicians careers are. So catch this first one here. Details about it below.

Who could have imagined in 1972, when Roy Wood was the leader of ELO after being the leader of the Move, when all he touched turned gold and finished at the top of the charts, that 4 years later, his colleague Jeff Lynne would reach superstardom with ELO and that he would see his new album Main Street refused by his label, beginning a never ending fall in oblivion. Not that Roy Wood was as inspired than he had been before but listening to this rejected album, only released in 2000, it's difficult to understand why this was considered so impossible to publish it. Actually, Roy Wood is still backed by most of his Wizzard orchestra and this is not far from what the band proposed on the B-sides of the numerous hit singles they released between 1972 and 1973. There is something quite outdated in the way Roy Wood arranged his songs, something that recalls the music played on cruise ships and this is not what is the most interesting on this album. The influence on this album is primary the Brian Wilson's one and sometimes it sounds as the Beach Boys with John Bonham on drums and a whole brass in the background (and on "The Fire In His Guitar" as the ghost of Jimi Hendrix). Actually, I don't know why I have such a great affection for Roy Wood but this is the case. And even if I think anybody should begin with Boulders or Wizzard' Brew, this is a fine way to complete the exploration. Have a try for this uncommon artist.

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No lyrics to provide, just a nice pic of Roy Wood with Wizzard at the peak of their glory


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4/7/15

Billie Holiday - If the Moon Turns Green / Autumn in New York (alt. take) 78 rpm (1954)


Second re-up, much later this time. A mellower atmosphere. Details why I chose this couple of songs. Catch it here.

I listen a lot to Billie Holiday these days (and nights). Often the case when my (senti)mental mood becomes cloudy. I'm not a specialist of her discography and I realize that there are some forgotten songs also in it. Or, in the present case, forgotten versions of songs. So, the classic "Autumn in New York", taken from the second session she recorded for Verve, is usually found on albums (the original one and the numerous compilations) in the first she recorded. But it seems there was a mistake in her singing that she wanted to correct, and she recorded the song again. This is this second version that would be found on the B-side of the single of that times (78 rpm), 2 years laters, backing "If the Moon Turns Green" (not a specially good song but I respected the A and B-sides and this provided me the opportunity to use this beautiful picture for the fake sleeve). The second (alt. take) of "Autumn in New York" is all the more interesting that on it she sounds quite different than on the first one. Like the happiness of the lyrics was fake and that actually she only saw the other ones having good time in New York, not her. She seems tired, surely because the session had been long but now we have a stranger version to hear. The sound quality is not as good as the official one (surely the master was lost) but that's not a problem with Billie.



Autumn in New York. Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting? Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first knighting Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel They're making me feel, I'm home It's autumn in New York that brings the promise of new love Autumn in New York is often mingled with pain Dreamers with empty hands, may sigh for exotic lands It's autumn in New York, it's good to live it again Autumn in New York, the gleaming rooftops at sundown Autumn in New York, it lifts you up when you're run down Jaded roués and gay divorces who lunch at the Ritz Will tell you that it's divine This autumn in New York transforms the slums into Mayfair Autumn in New York, you'll need no castle in Spain Lovers that bless the dark on benches in Central Park Great autumn in New York, it's good to live it again



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4/6/15

Billie Holiday - Sings 2 songs from Shall We Dance (1937)

For the first century of her birth, here a re-up of this very old "single" (details below). Strange that her voice will never finish to haunt us until the end of our lives. Catch this first re-up here.

Sorry, I'm listening a lot to Billie Holiday these days, and mainly to the Columbia recordings she did during the thirties. All is not stunning, many songs are your usual "he broke my heart / he's my man" kind of, and the music is often stereotyped and not very relevant today. But there are some sessions during which the choice of songs or the instrumental are winners This is the case in this session recorded in New York with her own orchestra and not the sometimes tedious Teddy Wilson one, on April 1 1937. She covered 4 songs from 2 musicals, Shall we Dance with Fred Astaire and Cotton Club Parade. She succeeds in recreating these songs and make them hers, in particular the gorgeous and moving "They Can't Take That Away From Me" that I chose for the fake A-side of this single containing the 2 songs from Shall We Dance. Actually it's not really a fake one since the 78 rpm was really released. I've added the alternate take of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" as bonus track. I'll post the 2 other songs from this superb session (the following ones of the same year won't be so good for reasons I ignore) later on. Meanwhile, enjoy Billie when she was still a young singer full of hope.

They Can't Take That Away From Me. The way you wear your hat The way you sip your tea The memory of all that No, no they can't take that away from me The way your smile just beams The way you sing off key The way you haunt my dreams No, no they can't take that away from me We may never, never meet again On the bumpy road to love Still I'll always, always keep the memory of The way you hold your knife The way we danced till three The way you changed my life No, no they can't take that away from me No, they can't take that away from me We may never, never meet again On that bumpy road to love Still I'll always, always keep the memory of The way you hold your knife The way we danced till three The way you change my life No, no they can't take that away from me No, they can't take that away from me
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4/5/15

Melanie - Live in Belgium (1995)


From time to time, according to requests, I'll re-up all Melanie stuff. Here a great Live set recorded in Belgium during her artistic and public re-born period. Catch it here.

This is one of my fave testimony of Melanie playing live. First because the playing is tight and sober, maybe the presence of a second guitar player (don't know who, I put the picture of one of them below, maybe I've the chance that it's him) is for something in this, but also the presence of her 2 daughters on backing vocals. Second for the playlist, really different from most of the live sets recorded on albums. Rare to hear songs such as "Summer of Love" "Good Book" or "Something Warm" live, and even covers such as "Estate Sale", "Purple Haze" (fantastic version), "Silence Is King" (superb), "Arrow" or "These Nights" are rarely heard on stage, or at least have rarely been included in live set released on LPs. Even the unavoidable hits are provided with a supplement of soul here, just like if she was singing them for the first time. A good night actually. This concert has been released on a low-cost and cheaply wrapped double CD compilation called Her Greatest Hits Live and New, with an awful cover sleeve (it was the second CD, the first being primary Silver Anniversary extracts). Here it is in a more respectful situation, as a real live LP (and I think a correct sleeve). On the LP, they say this concert was recorded un 1992 but on a well-informed site (here) it is said that it is more likely to be 1995, so I considered this last date the good one. 

Silence is King. She tests every word like a fine wine She holds every thought like her last dime You could hear a pin drop from miles away You could hear a heart stop as plain as day We live in land where silence is king whispers have all disappeared Cry for an echo you won't hear a thing Silence is king around here Silence is king around here Where are the dreams we were after Where is the joy and the laughter Were they only habits we were doomed to lose Or is destiny not ours to choose We live in world where silence is king whispers have all disappeared Cry for an echo you won't hear a thing Silence is king around here Silence is king around here Desperate measures come from desperate times I don't regret what I have done If my actions make you speak your mind Angry words are better than none We live in world where silence is king whispers have all disappeared Cry for an echo you won't hear a thing Silence is king around here We live in land where silence is king whispers have all disappeared Cry for an echo you won't hear a thing Silence is king around here Silence is king around here



4/4/15

Fuchsia - Self titled (1971)



I'm glad to re-up this fantastic underrated and forgotten album that my below text seems to have stimulated a visitor's curiosity. I'm not anxious about the fact it will be highly appreciated. the bands I cited below or more recently in The Only Truth Is Music, don't hesitate, catch this LP full of strings and weird harmonies here. A great recent interview with Tony Durant, the man behind Fuchsia here. And strangely, a follow-up to this classic was given by the same TD 2 years ago there. Last you can have a remastered version of this classic on Bandcamp with 2 bonus tracks and a flac version, here.

With Mandy Morton's Magic Lady, String Driven Thing's Machine That Cried, Comus' First Utterance, Jethro Tull's Stand Up, and some of the Strawbs albums (old or recent), Fuchsia (unfortunately, this is their only album) stands at the top of my favorite ones in the folk genre (I don't consider Melanie as folk, the reason why I don't include her here). This UK combo had a splendid approach of folk, with a virtuosity that, contrary to many folk bands of that time (and I think I know them almost all), does not turn in a boring demonstration (boring for me, I know many who get a kind of orgasm listening to virtuosity but "très peu pour moi", acoustic guitar can rapidly become a pain in the ass). Fuchsia had the great idea to have at least 3 string instruments in them, and this gives them an Electric Light Orchestra flavor (ELO with Roy Wood, not the Jeff Lynne vehicle) or I'd say a "Penny Lane"'s savor. But most of all, they had Tony Durant (interestingly, it's been said that he began his career with Henry Cow's Chris Cutler in a band called Louise), who composed great great songs. Honestly, he could rivalised with any Roy Wood or Ian Anderson (the folk side of Jethro Tull is often a comparison that comes to mind). Just drop an ear to "Shoes and Ships" to verify it. Medolies are gorgeous, constantly unexpected in their ability to change, anticipating Prefab Sprout by 15 years. There is moreover a darkness here that allows to say that they belong to this doomish seventies folk in which all the above cited bands belong. Their ability to mix styles of music reaches its peak in the instrumental part of "Nothing Song" where Shostakovitch seems to invade the place (this is the song I chosed to put below in streaming but I could have chosen any of them, they are all fantastics). When I say "folk", don't fear a soporific experience, drums are always there and it's punchy as evil. I don't know why this album is not considered as an uncontestable classic. All those who love this LP must keep the energy to write again and again how great it is. Buy it afterwards to benefit of the sound quality cos' it's been reissued on Night Wing records. This is a rip from ChrisGoesRock, now Drop Out Boogie (see in my fave blogs at the right of the screen). Hope he will forgive me.


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3/29/15

Groundhogs - Singles As and Bs (1968-76)

I'm beginning to read Eccentric Man, the definitive biography about Tony McPhee written by Paul Freestone (great name) that I encourage any visitor to buy (eg. here) since it's more than only the musical life of a man, but the description of how a little English boy falls in love with blues (the roughest one, the one played in particular by John Lee Hooker or Howling Wolf) and travels through the muddy and changing musical fashions of UK, trying to stay true to his passion and creative. This is the occasion to compile all the A and B sides of the singles that Tony McPhee (or sometimes some bosses in his label) released under the band name during its glorious days. Sad that neither Who Will Save The World or Hogwash provided any single, since there were some possible standards on it. But it's true Groundhogs were not a singles band. Sometimes, solo Tony McPhee tracks were thrown on the B side. Not a good idea to help the singles buyers, unfamiliar with the band, to discover the musical universe of this unusual trio. Last, I can't help to think that Tony McPhee could have touched stardom with "Pastoral Future", his last single in 1976. Totally different from all the band's repertoire, it sounds as a crossover between "Europa"'s Santana (released in 1976) and Dire Strait (whose 1st album was not released in 1976). Tony McPhee's life would have been totally changed if this instrumental had been a hit. But not sure it would have been for the better since he surely would have some difficulty to adopt definitively this style. So, no regret. Catch this fantastic collection here. PS. I did the cover sleeve with a picture from the French photographer Jonathan Abbou (a post about him here).