7/31/15

Alain Z Kan - Inédits & Versions Alternatives (1979-86)



I realize that I didn't re-up this Alain Kan's one, although it consists in real rarities. It's the opportunity to do it for those that discovered this gigantic artist throughout the world via this blog (I know there are many). More time flies away, more it appears that he was one of the most important French singer and composer of the second part of the XXth century. Catch it here.

This fake LP compiles 6 tracks consisting of pre-official versions of songs later released in Whatever Happened To... ("Clichés") or Parfums de Nuit ("BB For Brigitte" and "the absolutely mad and gigantic "Schwartz Market"), an alternate version of "City Palace" (a single released in 1974 but here in a version that surely was recorded after 1979) and 2 songs that were never released (to my knowledge) and that I don't ever know the name, but i called the first "Allons Enfants" and the second one "Je t'attendrai". If I ignore the name of these songs, it's because these unreleased tracks were given to me on a CD-R by pdumber, a friend (and a Alain Kan's fan) that had ripped all his vinyls on CD. That was before the release of a 3 CD box (by Dreyfus Eds) that gathered the 3 first Alain Kan's LPs (and omitted Parfums de Nuit that you can find here but the number of dl shows me that many of you have found the way of this LP). On the CD-R containing these bonus tracks (and there are extraordinary live songs that I'll post later on a fake Live EP), there was no title so I have to imagine ones from the lyrics. I ignore when these songs were recorded but I think they were in different periods. "Allons Enfants", that could have been a massive scandalous single (and maybe a Hit that would have changed the face of French music as had done Serge Gainsbourg 10 years before) because of its crude and explicit lyrics mixing politics and sex, sureley dates from the 1978-1980 period, with a punk smell in its arrangements. "Je t'attendrai" (unfortunately a rather weak and too long song), is maybe an attempt of Alain Kan to release what we would call in France "une chanson de variété punk". It seems that nobody felt it would work. "BB For Brigitte"is played and sang in a much lighter south american vein than on the LP and does not succeed, Alain Kan being right in reworking it profoundy, the Parfums de Nuit version veing much more satisfying. It is not possible to give an appreciation on "Schwartz Market" since this piece of madness takes you by the bollocks (or the ovaries) and doesn't let you any critical sense to develop. This is unbelievable. Honestly, real borderline approach of music is here, not in the experimental world in which cognitive processes and conceptual shit command. "Clichés" is a reggaeing version and although interesting has not the strongness of the LP version.


Here's below a stage picture of Alain Kan. There's not a lot taken in this period to post unfortunately.


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7/25/15

Alternative TV - Best Wishes 7" (1991)



My request has been heard, Mark Perry recorded a new studio album, and it's great, my critic (in French) here. So here I satisfy a visitor's request in re-uping this single. Didn't find a better ripped version. And I don't have the material to improve the sound. So here it is.

Since the great Mark Perry posted the cover sleeve today on his facebook page, it's an opportunity to reup this lovely single. The link was not dead so it's really just a reup for pleasure to put ATV back on the top of this blog. And another good news is that the band will be back on stage in Brighton on the 21st of February. One of the best news of this raising year. Do another LP Mark please, it's one of my best wish.

Recorded 1 year after the lo-key Sol EP (to be posted one day) and 3 years before My Life As A Child Star LP (here), this is actually a split single for Mark Perry, sharing the single with James Kyllo, the second member of the new-look ATV. The Mark Perry song is a fine one although the production has too much echo and the drums are a little bit too loud. But it's impossible for me to be severe with a Mark Perry song. The Kyllo one is not bad but of course I would have liked better at the times (news of him being rare in these years) that he would have offered both songs. I don't think these have been put on CD and neither on any compilation so this is one more rare ripped from my vinyl.



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7/20/15

Peter Perrett & The One - Cultured Palate (1994)


A missed re-up from the most underrated and undeserved forgotten period of Perrett's career, since none of the songs he composed for the One were to pale compare to previous ones. Catch it here. I'm using this post to wonder when Perrett will offer us his new songs on a studio LP. Time's passing man.

Twelve years after The Only Ones died in a total mess, Peter Perrett was finally out from nowhere and back among the livings with a new band called The One. Not that a possible Perry-Perrett come-back had not been on the way, actually they had recorded several tracks together (where are they and who will one day release them por favor?) but it seemed Peter Perrett and the people around him preferred to start from nothing and try a palingenesis. Musically, it will be a complete success, but commercially unfortunately not. This first EP was not intended to be released and was only a demo. It will be the weakest release of the band (there will be 2 EPs and 1 LP) but it's still a collection of 4 great songs and it was clear that Peter Perrett was still one of the most gifted and touching songwriter of his generation (in this period, there was Dave Kusworth who was in a same mood). The sound is not polluted by any bad production habits of the times, but the bad era was over, killed by grunge. The band is competent even if not brilliant, playing often as the Who (on "Twilight World" for example). And the shivering machine always in the voice's modulation of our hero.



7/9/15

Alex Fergusson - Perverse Ballads (1996)

After Mike Montgomery (here), here's for the second time what I would call a "completely forgotten and underrated masterpiece". Not at all in a similar style, since here we are in lo-fi Bolanian pop, but this is an incredible collection of songs for anyone cherishing this kind of music. First, some words about the author. It's Alex Fergusson, yes the guitarist and composer of the first and second line-up of Alternative TV. He was the writer of cult songs such as "Action Time and Vision" for the band. Between the 2 Alternative TV formations, he was in Psychic TV and afterwards rather vanished from public view, but in 1992 he recorded and released a 500 limited white vinyl with no name, label or cover sleeve and 10 more or less acoustic-made-in-a-bedroom songs. This doesn't mean it was bad. Actually it was no less than gorgeous, somewhere between Marc Bolan and Syd Barrett when played on acoustic guitar, and with something of Sparks and Eno when he was more poppy with keyboards (listen to "Sophie French" if you want to be sure). I surely miss some other influences (Peter Perrett) but you see which style I'm talking about. Four years later, Overground had the good idea to release the Alex Fergusson album posted here, called Perverse Ballads (also in 500 ex), and featuring 8 songs for the White vinyl album (sad 2 were left out for unknown reasons) and 7 new ones (sometimes a little too much synth but the whole makes a consistent load). When listening to this collection of songs, you get out with the same impression than after listening to some Dan Treacy albums. A sense of close intimacy you rarely have while listening to an album. It's always a mystery that someone is able to put so much of private innerself in songs. But to treat them as unfinished pieces of music certainly helps. That's why Dan Treacy is so unique. But this Alex Fergusson buch of songs would deserve to be considered as a great lost treasure of music. Catch it here.


7/8/15

Melanie - In concert at Montreux (1971)



A re-up of this live LP. I had re-uped it some times ago but forgot to post it. So here it is. The cover sleeve is rather ugly but I do not have the courage to do a new one. Xcuse me.

Here is a very interesting, and quite rare, live recording of Melanie (few know if it was actualy released or not). Recorded in June 1971 at Montreux, a place every performer was proud to play due to the reputation of its Jazz festival, some months after the release of her Good Book LP, this live recording is quite different from the former (Leftover Wine recorded in September 1970) and from the next (At Carnegie Hall, recorded in February 1973). Here, she is less at home and therefore is less volubile, and I must say, quite better, yelling and joking less than usual. The only strange thing is that her guitar is quite out of tune, which is funny when one of the first songs of your set is usually "Tuning My Guitar" but she didn't play it here, so... Among the good versions, there is one of "Lay Down" which every Melanie's amateur should have heard at least once. Below a video that seems to have been taken from this show.

Sorry, on the back cover, I forgot to credit Phil Ochs for Chord of Fame

7/5/15

Procol Harum - Live At Rockpalast TV show LP (1976)

Second Procol Harum re-up for tonight, with an improved cover sleeve (from a sketch by the Argentina-born Santiago Caruso). Catch it here.

Recorded at the famous Rockpalast TV show on the 17th of January 1976, this is often proposed in DVD format but here only in audio file. The sound is quite deceiving for a TV show but I never found a better one (even on the payment sites). The setlist is much better than the Faithfield Halls one (no awful "Blue Danube" here, neither the weak "I Keep Forgetting"). And the playing is also much better (strange since a TV show should decrease the individual involvement of musicians compared to a stage) with in particular a fantastic organ work done by Chris Copping and a great Mick Grabham (listen to him on "The Unquiet Zone" and tell me if he's not an axe master). A shame that the sound doesn't allow to taste the revived quality of the band. Even if this seems to contradicts what I wrote about the band in my previous post, I still created a cover sleeve with skeletons (actually only one). More a joke than anything else.

Below a picture of the band in a TV show but I don't think it's the Rockpalast one. Since it's the same personal, it's OK.
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Procol Harum - Live At Fairfield Halls LP (1976)

To celebrate the Greek OXI (no relation but I'm glad it happened), this Procol re-up with a new cover sleeve (from a fantastic painting by Joos Van Craesbeeck), much better than the previous one I did. All details below, notably the uncertainty about the place where this concert was captured. Catch it here.

It's not certain that this recording was made at the Fairfield Halls of Croydon, but it's rather sure that it was not made, as often announced on bootlegs, in London since the setlist is not consistent with the London show from January 1976. On the Beyond The Pale site, it's said that Chris Copping thinks this is the Fairfield Halls set and I decided to keep this version and modified the title of the LP accordingly. Unfortunately, Procol was quite the skeleton of what it had been only 2 years before. The spark of life seemed to have vanished and you can hardly find any of the emotions the band provided at his peak. Mick Grabham reported that playing in the band had became a job such as any other job and dissatisfied, he would soon leave. Here is a way to verify this assertion. The unstoppable and boring version of the "Blue Danube" is one example of the wayloss attitude of Gary Brooker but most of the versions of old songs are rather weak. Don't expect in this recording the same sound quality than in the previous live ones. It's rather lo-fi but I thought it was a good adjonction. If you're enough interested in Procol's career and don't have the bootlegs proposing this collection (one is Five and Dime, the other is Live in London), try it.


In streaming, one of the best thing on this set, "The Unquiet Zone" version, a song from the weak Procol's Ninth album, much better live than with the Leiber & Stoller production. I did not chose it because it features "doom" as last word neither because the text could have been perfect lyrics for any doom or sludge band (a description of how humans are hunted like animals, maybe about WWII and the jews situation), but it surely contributes.

The Unquiet Zone. They seek us in this unquiet zone They chase us on from hole to hole They hunt us down like carrion crows They search us out like frightened moles This surely is a dreadful war An awful waste of guts and gore An awful waste of human life This senseless, bloody, bitter strife We huddled close against the ground Scared to make the slightest sound And all around the great guns boom The constant march of pending doom


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7/4/15

Alternative TV - Sex Love EP (1986)



Yes my own self-made cover sleeve was very good but there was an actual one and it's more appropriate to illustrate this re-up with its true cover sleeve (although I post below mine). The same for the back sleeve. This EP is still better than the previous one and it was really a great time for Alternative TV. Soon a new album as you may know (a trailer here). Catch this re-up here.

One more Mark Perry offer for your collection. This is the second EP from the 4th incarnation of Alternative TV (the 1st one with Alex Fergusson, the 2nd without him, the 3rd with him again and this one after a 2 years gap during which Mark Perry went back to the normal life, doing modest jobs and facing the sarcasms of his ex-punk mates and of the press). This incarnation produced a rather different music than the ATV we all cherish, the 1st and 2nd ones. Actually, with this EP and the previous one (Welcome To The End Of Fun, that i'll post here too) are more in a Felt, Wire, Cure style, I'm talking about what these bands recorded during the eighties of course. This was a fine return although not so essential than before. This EP contained 3 songs. "Victory" was quite maintream indie rock but with Mark Perry on vocals, mainstream is not the right word. The musical arrangements are much more sophisticated they were with the previous ATV releases. My favorite track is "Repulsion", the one I put in streaming and where I find what I like so much in Marl Perry, an intensity, a presence, a proximity I hardly find in most others. Last was the long and unusual "You Never Know", based on a Shocking Blue riff (a kind of ATV plays "Venus") and on which Alison Phillips (a female drummer) showed her skill and inventivity. Although there was a sleeve with this EP, it was actually so poor (unfortunately it has been the case with Mark Perry except during the punk area) that I propose mine. I know it may be not everybody's taste, but it's my own way of seeing things. These songs have been captured on CD for the edition of Peep Show, and, strangely, mixed with other songs of the LP, a bad idea I think, since the rest of the LP is not quite in the same mood. So, here are they in their original context. One more contribution to make Mark Perry heritage lives.




Here above, the sleeve I had conceived for the EP when I first posted it 6 years ago (God, 6!!!!). You can listen to "Repulsion" in looking at the woman vomiting on a target drawn on the floor (don't try this at home... or try it, it's not really dangerous after all).

7/2/15

Alternative TV - Welcome to the End of Fun EP (1985)



To help my dear visitors to wait for the new Alternative TV album Opposing Forces (to be released at the end of July, a teaser with the eponymous titre track here) here a new re-up, this stunning EP from 1985 with my cover sleeve pictured by my own small-self. I'll do the same with the next one, Sex/Love in some days. Meanwhile, listen to this gem, more depressing than most doom would never be but a one that gives you a sort of delicate and exquisite pleasure. Catch it here.

I should have posted this prior to the Sex/Love EP since it was released some months before. Actually it was the first thing released under the Alternative TV name since the (not quite successfull either in commercial or musical terms) Strange Kicks experience 4 years earlier. Nothing here in common either with the punk, the exprimental or the pop versions of Alternative TV. We are in the eighties and there is a New Wave perfume in it, but not the synthetic new wave, we're more in the Wire, PIL and Killing Joke universe. In fact, it's only Mark Perry following his own path throughout the fashions, only adapting the current sound trend to his idiosyncrasy. And it's, once again, great. Particularly the 2 non-titles songs. "Anti" has this same power of evocation than in the punk days, and "Death Time" is in line with the reggaeing songs that were so cathartic in the first Alternative TV days. Except Mark Perry, the personal of this formation is entirely new, and will feature on the Sex/Love EP and on the excellent Peep Show LP released 1 year and a half later. Yes, when talking about Alternative TV, it must be remembered that there was more than the 77-78 punk era, and this is one more example you can find here.







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7/1/15

Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (22-track putative double-LP version, 1968)



Strange I had to wait so long before someone asked me for this one. A putative version of what this album should have been if the times had been different and the external pressure for having a hit album not so heavy. Maybe I'm wrong but this may have done of this album a direct cult contender to the White Album or Pet Sounds. Catch it here.

From the automn of 1967 to the summer of 1968, Ray Davies was not far to live what Brian Wilson had lived the year before when trying to achieve what should have been his masterpiece: Smile. Moreover, he didn't really know whether the songs he was composing really fitted for the Kinks. The failure of "Wonderboy" and "Days" when released as singles in spring 1968 seemed to confirm that his material did not match exactly what the fans were waiting from the Kinks. But the question was: did the Kinks still had fans? In 1968 the music was completely changing (Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd had modified the perception of music) and Ray Davies was composing his most nostalgic and passeist songs since his beginnings. Things got worse when the American label asked for a record to release. He gave them at the onset of summer a strange mix of 14 songs, without much homogeneity, and the record was briefly released under the name of Four More Respected Gentlemen after 3 songs were withdrawn for unknown reasons. In september, Ray Davies finally provided to the English label the result of his cogitations, the famous and long-awaited Village Green Preservation Society project finally achieved but containing only 12 songs. This version was actually released in some countries with various sleeves but it is said that Ray Davies suddenly changed his mind and asked the label to release a 20-track double LP sold at budget price. The label refused but gave him the authorization to edit a 15-track single LP. Strangely, instead of adding 3 songs to the 12-track version he had proposed, he removed "Days" and "Mr Songbird" and added "All Of My Friends Were There", "Sitting By The Riverside" and "Animal Farm" that he had recorded during the previous months. Moreover, he decided to compose and record 2 new songs, "Big Sky" and "The Last Of The Steam Powered Train", that belong to a different musical universe, much more in the American vein that the band will develop 2 years later, and they sounded quite out of place here. Maybe the fact that Ray Davies felt that the music was quick changing and that his album might appear as too 60's led him to do that. I've read several books about the Kinks and particulartly the chapters about this record, and none provided a list of songs that might have been the director's cut for Ray Davies. Actually, there is no reason that all the songs that, at a time or another featured in the selection of Village Green, would not have been in this double LP version. But in taking all the songs Ray Davies and the Kinks really finished during these 12 months, the sum is 22 and not 20. So, I decided to imagine what would have been a Village Green Preservation Society on which all the wonderful songs that the Kinks had recorded during this period were included. The problem was to chose an order for the songs. In the various versions that Ray Davies had proposed, it is clear that some were considered as openings and other as endings. Moreover, "Village Green" had to cut the album in the middle. Although some song sequences were the sames in the 12 and 15-track versions, some were not. I usually respected the sequences that did not change in the various versions. I tried several sequences for the whole album and finally opted for this one. The major liberty I took with the original choice was to conclude the album with "Berkeley Mews". Actually, all Ray Davies versions closed with "People Take Pictures Of Each Other" but honestly, I never found this song a good one to close such an album. "Berkeley Mews" has for me something of the classic ironic quality that the Kinks showed in their closing tracks. But this can be debated. Since I play to create fake vinyl LPs, I separated the 22 tracks in 4 sides, trying also to chose songs for opening and closing each side that seemed appropriate for these roles. Not an easy thing to do but Ray helped me a lot since his sequences were sometimes perfect for 5 or 6 songs a side with a perfect choice for opening and closing it. I'm happy that some songs so underrated and forgotten ("Lavender Hill", "Rosemary Rose", "Misty Water") can integrate here their place among the classics associated with Village Green. I generally chose to put the mono version rather than the stereo one to respect the original concept but it's not the case everywhere I fear. The lyrics of all the songs are included in a rtf file. This was mandatory for this post to be respectfull of the work of Ray Davies. Getting older, this is the only thing I feel remains important to do: respect the achievement of great artists. Enjoy this experimental album.



Rosemary Rose.Rosemary rose,Nature sure gave you such a beautiful nose.'though you're not beautiful as someone would know,That rosemary rose,Has eyes of blue,And someone is treasuring a picture of you,Taken on a holiday when you were just three,My sweet rosemary.You look nothing like a child,Yet you're such a little baby.Chewing on your liquorish gum, and cigarettes.Rosemary rose,Carefully sewing on your buttons and bows.Hoping that someone will be wanting to know,Of rosemary rose. You look nothing like a child,Yet you're such a little baby.Chewing on your liquorish gum, and cigarettes.Rosemary rose,Carefully sewing on your buttons and bows.Hoping that someone will be wanting to know,Of rosemary rose



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6/28/15

Procol Harum - Live At Golder's Green Hippodrome (1977)



Third and last Procol Harum re-up for tonight. We discussed with Gary Brooker yesterday about the feelings he had about the band during this tour and why they all decided to quit. They were maybe no more the sparkling band that they were 3 years before but they could still provide high class music on stage. Catch it here.

A fucking good surprise to have discovered this late London concert, not far from the end of the band. I don't want to put too many live recordings on this blog but for my fave bands and if the sound quality is good enough (a pre-requisite), I find interesting to offer some of them. And although my memory of a concert seen in Paris during the same tour, left me a very bad impression (I quitted before the end of the set), I didn't find on this recording what annoyed me, the band playing wonderfully. Moreover, the live versions of the 2 tracks of the very bad Something Magic album, fit totally well.



No streaming cos the concert is in one part.

Procol Harum - Welcome At The Grand Hotel / Live At The Hollywood Bowl (1973)






















Second re-up for tonight. One of the many highlights of the band. If you want to hear a proof that this association can lead to something else than embarrassing failure, listen to this here.

This is an upload of the same concert than previously posted here under the name of Delicado, which is the famous symphonic show at the Hollywood Bowl of Los Angeles with the LA Philharmonic and the Roger Wake Chorale. The difference is the much improved sound on this version, not far to be equivalent to an official release. And since the setlist and the playings are still better than with the Edmonton Orchestra 2 years before (that gave the still more famous official live LP), it's not far to be one of the best LP ever released in history, even if non officially. Note that there is a mystery which is the usual mistake done about the date of the show, often said to be on the 4th of August when it was on the 21st of September. I did the mistake on my Delicado's post (but the mistake is on the cover too) but I'll change it right after this one. If I called the show and the LP Welcome In The Grand Hotel, it's because it was the poster announcement for the further shows (the one I created the cover sleeve with) and that it's true that 4 of the songs are from Grand Hotel which had been released 6 months earlier. The title suits after all quite perfectly to the general atmosphere of this incredible performance in which  BJ Wilson and Mick Grabham are particularly brilliant. Note that this version has been released last year on CD (actually a bootleg) by a French label called On the air. I would like to deeply thank Jean Marc Devaux, leader, singer, guitarist and composer of the band Astral Quest (see here, notably for his superb version of Procol's "Long Gone Geek", and more to come) to have sent it to me. Pictures of the show come from here. Below I selected 4 songs for the  streaming sample (I'm too generous with you, you should dl it without even listening to it beforehand).