Procol Harum - Live At Stockholm (1971)

A visitor left a comment that the rar file contained only 13 and not 14 songs. Don't know why the file omitted the last song. So I fixed it and now you have the Grand Finale in the one here.

Re-up and much improved sound of this other radio set recorded the same year than the WPLJ one. What a great thing all these bands who gave radio concerts. I think that with the new mix I did, it's much more pleasant to listen to this concert. The streaming below is with the original sounding bootleg. I can assure that the sound is better on the dl version. I also improved the cover sleeve (not mine).

Six months after the WPLJ concert in New York, we find a new Procol Harum. New because Robin Trower is now gone and his place has been taken by Dave Ball, new because they have now a full-time bassist (Alan Cartwright), and new because the band, probably a Brooker's wish, goes back to the music they played before Home, more keyboards driven than the one they played the 2 former years due to the Trower's influence toward a more straight rock sound. Honestly, it doesn't work so good here. The band does not find the magical atmosphere that these songs from the first 3 album deserved. In particular, Gary Brooker seems quite not at his most confortable on the oldest tracks, often missing the beginning of the words. The tracks from Home are the best, leaving Dave Ball show his style, quite different from the Trower's one, and who did not fit well with the Procol's style, in particular when he had only to be a discrete companion of the piano-keyboards duo. The frustration of Ball will be that he has no proper song to play and this must have been quite uneasy to deal with. But of course, any live set from Procol can be listened with pleasure for BJ Wilson, as good as ever here. Actually, it's a precious document of the transformation of the band from the rock era of Home and Broken Barricades to the classical ear of Live with the Edmonton Orchestra and Grand Hotel. This live set is here recorded from a good source apparently and is due to theultimatebootlegexperience blog, which is no more active it seems but maybe I don't have the new link. One of the best moments here is the extracts of the "In Held Twas I" suite, haunted and rough as rarely and from which I put in streaming "In the Autumn of my Madness" which was sung originally by Matthew Fisher but fits well to Gary Brooker. The end is pure doom and even Black Sabbath did not play so funeral music.

In the Autumn of my Madness. In the autumn of my madness when my hair is turning grey For the milk has finally curdled and I've nothing left to say When all my thoughts are spoken (save my last departing birds) Bring all my friends unto me and I'll strangle them with words In the autumn of my madness which in coming won't be long For the nights are now much darker and the daylight's not so strong And the things which I believed in are no longer quite enough For the knowing is much harder and the going's getting rough



Melanie - alternative Unchained Melanie EP (1996)

Second re-up requested by the visitor called Nathalie. Strange I hadn't re-up all the collection of actual and personally conceived album, this one belonging to the latter for reasons I explain below. Catch it here.

When I feel like a shit that even flies have better to do than to come to visit (as tonight), Melanie's always here to peace my sick and putrefied mind. So here we go again. This collection of songs could have been entitled "Acoustic covers of sad love songs" since it's quite monothematic: absence, separation, unhappy love, sentimental dereliction and that half of the record consists in non Melanie's songs (one from Cat Stevens, one from Sting, one from John Waite and one that was covered by hundred of people most notably by the Righteous Brothers). Recorded at her home in Connecticut probably in 1996, with her children (her two daughters on backing vocals and her gifted son on guitar), these are the only 8 songs from the limited available Unchained Melanie LP, sold only to her shows and filled with 5 songs from Silver Anniversary recorded 3 years before and that you can find here, and one song from Silence Is King (3 years before too) that I'll post maybe one day. I think useless to include songs from other albums in new albums and that's what unfortunately Melanie has done during most of the nineties. So I will only put the unreleased ones on the posts. In this collection, some songs are her owns, and they are the best since nobody's a better songwriter than she is (this is my blog, I write what I want, even if you think I'm a sucker). Among them, some will appear on other further albums in various versions, often less acoustic, but I don't think the beautiful "I Never Had A Clue" is on another record (even a lo-fi compilation) than this one. If you want to know more about it click here, you'll know everything. I decided to cut the album in 2 different sides, the first with covers from others, and the second with Melanie's own songs. Do the flies for me and enjoy.


Melanie - Please Love Me (Soundtrack songs 1969-71) (1973)

Re-up on request by Nathalie, a nice visitor, this compilation. I tell everything about it below. Catch it here. More to come (albums that I haven't re-up since then).

I usually don't like compilations very much, but this one is interesting since it compiles all the songs sung by Melanie in the 2 soundtracks where she was involved in 1970-71 i.e., RPM and All The Right Noises. And they were far from being weak. Some are even gems . This LP was surely released for bad reasons, I mean commercial ones. After Garden in the City, 4 Faces of and The Very Best, Buddha tried to cash on their ex-star gone with her own wings in 1972 to drive her own label. But nobody can blame them cos' it's cool to have all these songs spread on quite dispensable soundtracks LPs gathered here. Can't explain why there is "Momma Momma", a song from her first album on it (but the sublime "In The Hour" was too, except it was the first track on the All The Right Noises soundtrack LP). But since it's a great one, so who can complain? And the final surprise is to find "God's Only Daughter", the B-side of her first single ("Beautiful People") on it. I omitted to add the "Please Love Me" instrumental cos I would have been forced to take it from my vinyl and the sound would have sounded rubbish compared to there fine quality versions of the songs. Morever, it was only an instrumental so not really interesting for any Melanie fan. In brief, an indispensable addi(c)tion to your Melanie's collection if you don't have it. For me, the records that often help me to survive troubled times such as these ones. 


Jim Carroll - People Who Died 7" (1980)

A re-up of one of my fave songs anytime anyplace. All is detailed below in the original post (at least 6 1/2 years ago, God time is a killer). One day we are a people who die. Catch it here.

Now an hommage to a man who sang "People Who Died" and who died last september. I wanted to make something here the day after he died, but many blogs did it so I found it unnecessary. But since I imagined that he would become the Steve Harley of the eighties when this single appeared, it seems to me not possible to omit this single after the Singles As  and Bs from Steve Harley I posted 2 days ago. Jim Carroll was a poet. I can't judge if I like or not his poetry since poetry is not easy to appreciate in an other language than our native one. At least I know his lyrics talked to me more, much more than a whole Springsteen lyric book. And this song was a revelation for me. I hoped the album would be a gem but it was only a good one, not exceptional. No more to add. Jim Carroll had physically changed a lot in the last decade. Over was the time he was an adonis, a young and attractive rocker and charismatic writer. He looked more like a human spectre. Each of us must face physical entropy and to deal with it. We can try to attenuate some marks but some don't care and live what they have to live, whatever the consequences on their image. And then death comes. For each of us. Now Jim could enter in his song and become one of this doomed destiny he sang about. So long.

People who died.
Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old. Fell from the roof on East Two-nine. Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug. On 26 reds and a bottle of wine. Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old. He looked like 65 when he died. He was a friend of mine. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten. So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan. Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head. Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed. They were two more friends of mine. Two more friends that died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room. Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs. Judy jumped in front of a subway train. Eddie got slit in the jugular vein. And Eddie, I miss you more than all the others. And I salute you brother. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Herbie pushed Tony from the Boys' Club roof. Tony thought that his rage was just some goof. But Herbie sure gave Tony some bitchen proof. "Hey," Herbie said, "Tony, can you fly?". But Tony couldn't fly, Tony died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Brian got busted on a narco rap. He beat the rap by rattin' on some bikers. He said, "Hey, I know it's dangerous, but it sure beats Riker's". But the next day he got offed by the very same bikers. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died

This is a strange picture of Jim carroll I found on the blog of an American journalist (and a Jim Carroll fan) I forgot the link to. It has a ghost quality that perfectly fits the funeral atmosphere of this post.


Kinks - Plastic Man / King Kong 7" (1969)

Another Kinks re-up. More details below. Catch it here.

This single is a bad souvenir for Ray Davies who dislikes it a lot. After the total failure of the Village Green Preservation Society album in the winter 1968-69, the Kinks quicky went back in studio to record a "hit", issued in March 1969. The hit will be a miss since "Plastic Man" failed to get higher than the 31th range in the charts. You may say "who care?" but in these times, there was no much hope to survive for such a band without some kind of commercial achievement in the charts. Moreover, Ray Davied was not very proud of the song, not one of his finest for sure, but honestly a good one with his characteristic sarcastic lyrics about well-thinking citizens. And the B-side is astonishing cos' on the beginning you'd believe to hear what will be the future T. Rex. The reason I put it in streaming. The riff is quite "You Really Got Me"-inspired but they were the creators of it so what the hell. These 2 songs will be forgotten a long time, only included in the Great Lost Kinks album and finally included in the latest reissue of Arthur in 1998. There are 2 versions of "Plastic Man", a mono (as on the single) and a stereo, and I put them both on the single.

Plastic Man. A man lives at the corner of the street,And his neighbors think he’s helpful and he’s sweet,’cause he never swears and he always shakes you by the hand,But no one knows he really is a plastic man.He’s got plastic heart, plastic teeth and toes,(yeah, he’s plastic man)He’s got plastic knees and a perfect plastic nose.(yeah, he’s plastic man)He’s got plastic lips that hide his plastic teeth and gums,And plastic legs that reach up to his plastic bum.(plastic bum)Plastic man got no brain,Plastic man don’t feel no pain,Plastic people look the same,Yeah, yeah, yeah.Kick his shin or tread on his face,Pull his nose all over the place,He can’t disfigure, or disgrace,Plastic man (plastic man).He’s got plastic flowers growing up the walls,He eats plastic food with a plastic knife and fork,He likes plastic cups and saucers ’cause they never break,And he likes to lick his gravy off a plastic plate.Plastic man got no brain,Plastic man don’t feel no pain,Plastic people look the same,Yeah, yeah, yeah.Kick his shin or tread on his face,Pull his nose all over the place,He can’t disfigure, or disgrace,Plastic man (plastic man).He’s got a plastic wife who wears a plastic mac,(yeah, he’s plastic man)And his children wanna be plastic like their dad,(yeah, he’s plastic man)He’s got a phony smile that makes you think he understands,But no one ever gets the truth from plastic man (plastic man)Plastic man (plastic man).


Kinks - Mountain Woman / Kentucky Moon fake 7" (1972)

Nobody asked me to, but I decided to re-up the Kinks singles (real or fake). Here a 2-unreleased songs that I had put on a fake single with a nice did-it-myself cover sleeve. I think it deserves to be dl. Catch it here. More to come.

When the reissue of the Kinks catalogue was released more than 10 years ago, I was surprised to find these 2 unreleased tracks from the Muswell Hillbillies sessions in the eponymous album. Not that they could be hits, but honestly they are both good songs that could have found their way in the album. Don't know why Ray Davies did not include them. Maybe their US trad. influence was too much for the times. So, I created this fake single for these 2 forgotten Kinks songs. For the cover sleeve, I digitally worked on a picture of Catwoman (see Scoptophilia blog here to see who she is) in a mountain landscape since it's a nice illustration of the "Mountain Woman" song. Of course, it's too sex to have been a cover at the time and even today but here we are free (at least for some times) to avoid all this prudishness bullshit.


Kinks - Live at the Hippodrome / The Complete Concert (1974)

Strange that I never re-uped this one previously since it's an important testimony of the band during a whole live set in a rather debated period of their career, finally more interesting than what they did later to my eyes. Thanks to the visitor who reminded me to re-up it on M. Here it is. Details below.

This is not a simple update, neither a simple reup, it's the real complete version of this set played for the BBC in front of an audience. The new BBC boxset released this month features the 14 songs (I forgot to remove the Dj speech that takes the place of a song), but the 2 new are small musical trait-d'union, nothing essentiel but it's normal to substitute this one to the incomplete 12-song version I had posted. Moreover the sound quality is improved. Not very improved, but sensibly improved. Below what I wrote in the initial post.

In July 1974, 1 month after a session in the BBC studios, and whilst releasing their rather weak Preservation Act II double LP (Ray Davies said it was released "yesterday" before on the "Money Talks" intro), the band played a show at the Hippodrome, London, mixing songs from their Preservation saga with older ones. But in no way, at that times, the Kinks were requested to play "You Really Got Me" or "Waterloo Sunset" such as it will be the case in the eighties and in the present concerts of Ray Davies. At that times, the Kinks were maybe not as wondrous as they were (the version of "Lola" is particularly a wreck and sometimes the band seems not to be on the same boat), but they were a living band, and we were waiting for their next musical change. It was unfortunately the last that will inspire some excitation, even if some further albums will be better. In this set, very well recorded (nothing here of the awful sounding bootleg concerts you can find here or there), the band is really impressive, in particular Mick Avory on drums (listen to him on "Here Comes Flash" below). And all the songs from the Part II of Preservation are very superior to their album version. The audience seems very receptive. All in all, bands such as Polyphonic Spree make me think of the Kinks of that era. Just that Tim de Laughter has better songs than the ones Ray Davies composed at the times. The songs from this concert can be found for 6 of them ("Victoria", "Here Comes Yet Another Day", "Money Talks", "Mirror Of Love", "Celluloid Heroes" and "Skin And Bone") on the BBC Sessions 1964-1977 double CD, and the 6 other ones on a bootleg CD called Kinks in Concert with a RCA logo on it but it is no way an official LP. Nobody seems to have pooled the 2 6-song sets in one LP, this is therefore what I do in this post with a cover sleeve taken from a gallery here. They are from a show played 2 months before but it's OK.


Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Star Truckin' 75 Live at Leiden (1975)

Hello I'm back again after 10 days off. Hope you appreciated the VDGG stuff. More to come, but tonight a re-up requested by some visitors: Steve Harley with Cockney Rebel. Details about this live set in the first post below. If you dl-ed it some years ago on this site, do it again since I've much improved the sound and now it's like a real live album (approximately). If the playing can't be compared to the one the first CR line-up offered (what's the fuck this guitar si doing on Psychomodo's songs), it's however rather good to listen to this testimony. Catch it here. Of course the cover sleeve is mine. I improved it a little bit too with some effects to give the fake impression it's a real solid cover.

Thanx to Derek from Paris (same town than me but I don't know him) who sent me recently this bootleg relatively well known by the Steve Harley aficionados, judging by what I found on the net, but that I didn't know. So here it is. It must be noted that even if the setlist consists mainly in songs from Human Menagerie and Psychomodo, this is not the original line-up who plays them (except the greater than great Stuart Elliott on drums) but the Mk II line-up, the one who would record The Best Years Of Our Lives (2 songs from it on this live recording). I never found this second line-up was the real Cockney Rebel and the way they play songs from Psychomodo are sometimes not far from a complete slaughter. To the so singular musical approach of the previous formation, they substitute a sort of strange and unconsistent mix of style that could be a sort of british Steely Dan if they could be a little more concise and focus. Sometimes they are a sort of sad version of SAHB. On "Sebastian" and "Death Trip", things work a little better. The strongest thing here are Steve Harley's vocals. He really lives each word he sings and makes me shivers today (I'm no more a teenager and this band was supposed to be for teenagers) than at the time. Listen to his "Sebastian" dodobatabata impro to see what an English Artaud he could have been if only he had stayed this crazy (but he became very wise some years later). All in all, an interesting document of a band mutating in something else. They would reach other summits 1 year later with Love's A Prima Donna so I won't be too severe. This concert was recorded in Netherland (in Leiden) during a collective tour with Wishbone Ash, Caravan, Mahavishnu Orchestra and The Climax Blues Band (what a strange team). The sound is rather good. You know that I don't post here this sort of shitty document you can't even listen to one time without having your ears bleeding ichor. Below a document of "Sebastian" played by the same formation (actually no, I think there is another guitarist backwards) some months before (April) at the Hammersmith Odeon.


Van Der Graaf Generator - Live at Belgium TV (1972)

I usually don't like much making an album with a TV set easily found on Youtube but honestly this one is so stunningly good that it deserves to be proposed as a MP3 format LP here. The band, at its peak, plays their most incredible track, "A plague of lighthouse-keepers". Their studio version is one of the great masterpieces of rock music and to see and hear them play this live (even in a TV studio) is a fantastic visual and aural experience. If I decided to put these 2 tracks (I don't think they played something else at this show) it's because one Youtuber (named Bruno Samppa) provided 2 years ago a remastered improved sound version that makes it now nice for an independant self-made mini-album. For those who want to watch the set, I posted it at the end. Catch the sound version here. I created a mediocre cover sleeve but did not find anything that would fit better than this one. Sorry.


Van der Graaf Generator - Theme One / W 7" (1972)

Re-up of this 4th single of the band. Everything about here below. More to come notably the almost complete BBC sessions added of several rare to find songs with improved sound. I'm in a VDGG phase these days. Try this one here.

There was a 2 year gap before another VDGG single was issued, but was it really a VDGG single since on "Theme One" Peter Hammill was not even here when they recorded this Georges Martin tune. And it has not much to do with the usual musical world of the band we love. It was issued mainly because the band felt it was a way to keep in touch with a new audience (this instrumental was part of their live set and worked quite well on stage). But it would not be the case. The single is worth the listen for it's B-side, "w" (for waves), a real VDGG song this one, and a good one. The lyrics are particularily relevant to what happens in life (at least mine but surely yours if you love Peter Hammill). Since on the Pawn Hearts reissue, they included the first version of the song (quite better than the one on the single), I included both in the rar file. It is to note that the UK cover sleeve (see above) of the single is the inner picture of Pawn Hearts and that today, it surely would be considered as totally scandalous. Time goes by.

"w"(single version)
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W. Life is an endless succession of waves, you're happy and you're sad and you don't appreciate the good times until you're in the bad.... You wake up one morning - w -and you're twice as unhappy as you've ever been before in your life. You wake up, go to the window and see smoke billowing across the lawn. You pick your feet up, drag yourself downstairs and you're gone. You wake up one morning - w - and you're twice as unhappy as you've ever been before in your life. You wake up, look to your left but you see no reassuring head. You stay in bed all day. At six o'clock you realise you're dead.


Van der Graaf Generator - Refugees / The Boat of Millions of Years 7" (1970)

Re-up of the 3rd single of the band. The version is not the album one, shorter and with different arrangements. Don't have to add anything to the text I had written initially. This is a hell (heaven) of a song. Catch it here (I'm a little bit concern since M has removed one link yesterday, I hope they don't follow the bad example of rs and so many more).

This is one of the 5 most wonderful and moving songs from Peter Hammill (therefore in history). About 2 of his best friends (Mike and Susie) emigrating and leaving him alone, it becomes a song about all refugees over the planet. The melody, the lyrics, the voice, the arrangements, all makes this song an immortal standard. That it was not a massive hit à-la "Whiter Shade of Pale" (and it's much better) is a mystery (and a misery) to me. Surely that in 1970, people wanted roughier stuff (it was Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin that succeded). "Refugees" was extracted from The Least We Can Do... LP but this single version is different from the LP one. Moreover, there is a remix on the reissue of the album but I think the mix lacks the rudimentary charm of the original version. So I included both in the rar file. The B-side is a non-album track and a good one (but the band has never done a bad one). It could have been a track in the LP. It is too in both versions. The remix versions are in flac so you can appreciate all the sound quality of the CD (if you like that, I personally don't). If, for any reason, you never heard "Refugees", please do me the favour to taste its flavour  The cover sleeve, I've found it here. It was a long job to find a one that pleased me but this one surely does justice to the song.

Refugees (single version)
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North was somewhere years ago and cold:Ice locked the people's hearts and made them old.South was birth to pleasant lands, but dry:I walked the waters' depths and played my mind.East was dawn, coming alive in the golden sun:the winds came, gently, several heads became one in the summertime, though august people sneered;we were at peace, and we cheered.We walked alone, sometimes hand in hand,between the thin lines marking sea and sand;smiling very peacefully,we began to notice that we could be free,and we moved together to the West.West is where all days will someday end;where the colours turn from grey to gold,and you can be with the friends.And light flakes the golden clouds above all;West is Mike and Susie,West is where I love.There we shall spend our final days of our lives;tell the same old stories: yeah well,at least we tried.Into the West, smiles on our faces, we'll go;oh, yes, and our apologies to those who'll never really know the way.We're refugees, walking away from the life that we've known and loved;nothing to do or say, nowhere to stay;now we are alone.We're refugees, carrying all we ownin brown bags, tied up with string;nothing to think, it doesn't mean a thing,but we'll be happy on our own.West is Mike and Susie;West is where I love,West is refugees' home.

Below, 2 testimonies from the band in this part of year 1970 (Nic Potter was still with thme on bass but he would leave shortly afterwards. These two videos have a great emotional power for me. I was a kid back there, but this was the kind of stuff that decided to the kind of music I would like to hear in my life.


Van der Graaf Generator - Afterwards / Necromancer 7" (1969)

In April 1969, the second Van Der Graaf Generator single was released. Apparently not on a large scale, sometimes considered as a promo single only but actually it was released. More about it below (always the text of the first post). On this one  the line-up is not yet the classic Hammill-Banton-Evans-Jackson that we all cherish but it's great music anyway. Catch it here.

This single is drawn (A and B-sides) from the Aerosol Grey Machine LP with Hugh Banton (on keyboards), Guy Evans (on drums) and Keith Ellis (on guitar). Actually it was intended to be a Peter Hammill solo album but it finished as a band LP. The single extracted from it has still something of the solo intention. And thinking back, even if I shock, I must say that Bowie was quite a joke compared to Hammill when the time came to compose moving and eternal melodies with wonderful arrangements. It's not in "Afterwards" one can best measure this difference but it was the beginning of an extraordinary decade of masterpieces. To do the cover sleeve (don't think there was any), I took a piece of the intended Aerosol Grey Machine one (in UK). The complete one (see below) would have been a better choice for the LP than the official one. The B-side, "Necromancer" is excellent and shows the direction (progressive doom I'd said) that the band would take sometimes later.

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Afterwards. You stare out in yellow eyes larger than my mind; in viscous pools of joy, relaxing, we glide... it's all too beautiful for my mind to bear. and, as we shimmer into sleep, something's unshared. But, seeing the flower that was there yesterday, a tear forms just behind the soft peace of your shades...The world's too lonelyfor a message to slip but between the dying rails of peace you trip. The petals that were blooming are just paper in your hand; your eyes, which were clear in the night, are opaque as you stand...It was too beautifulfor it to last... These visions shimmer and fade out of the glass.