Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Billie Marten - The Ontsofa Sessions (2011-2014)

I first became aware of Billie Marten when I discovered a couple of Youtube videos of songs that she'd recorded in 2011 for Ontsofa, a local studio that specialised in acoustic sessions. I'd been drawn to them after hearing that there was a 12-year old singer performing covers and original material online, and I wanted to hear if she could possibly be as good as everyone was saying. The short answer is that yes, she was - in fact she was even better then I expected. In the four years since I first discovered her, Marten has released a couple of well-received EPs, and her first album of original material came out in 2016. I honestly believe that she could be as big as Laura Marling, given a push in the right direction, and I'm eagerly awaiting her next album to see if she develops a maturity in her songwriting which will propel her into the big-time. This collection is the beginning of what I hope will be a long and successful career for her, with the first six songs from the Ontsofa sessions, the next two from Soundcloud, 'Heathens' is from Radio One's Piano Sessions, and the last two are from her first EP, released when she was just 15 years old.



Track Listing

01 Book Of Love (Magnetic Girls)
02 Paper Thin (Billie Marten)
03 Middle Of The Bed (Lucy Rose)
04 Headlights (Billie Marten)
05 You Make My Dreams (Hall & Oates)
06 Too Close (Alex Clare)
07 Winter Song (Sara Bareilles/Ingrid Michaelson)
08 In For The Kill (La Roux)
09 Heathens (Twenty One Pilots)
10 Unaware (Billie Marten)
11 Ribbons (Billie Marten)

Enjoy

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

The Electric Light Orchestra - The Lost Planet (1972)

I knew nothing about the story of ELO's second album until I saw a post on Albums Back From The Dead, but that inspired me to investigate further and I discovered an intriguing story. Following the successful debut album by the group, they reconvened in early 1972 in order to start work on their second record, which was to be called 'The Lost Planet'. Part-way through the recording Roy Wood announced that he was leaving the group to form a new band called Wizzard, which would have a more retro take on rock 'n' roll - keeping the horns but losing the lush orchestral arrangements. Before he left he'd completed work on two songs - 'In Old England Town (Boogie No. 2)' and 'From The Sun To The World' - but Jeff Lynne then had to decide how to complete the album. He quietly dumped the 'Lost Planet' idea, and while looking for replacement musicians he asked ex-Move vocalist Carl Wayne to come in and sing on some tracks, and although they were perfectly fine recordings they weren't right for the album. Eventually Lynne recruited some extra players,  took over vocal duties himself, and 'ELO 2' was released in 1973. This album is not a 'what if...' as that's been done by Albums Back From The Dead, but it's a companion-piece to the released album, showing what the band could have sounded like if Carl Wayne had got the vocalist job. There are also a few other unreleased songs and rarities, such as a violin solo by Wilf Gibson which I've edited so that it becomes a prelude to 'Showdown', and an alternate take of 'Ma-Ma-Ma Belle' which rivals the released version. Add in a guest appearance from Marc Bolan and you have a nice little 40 minute album. 



Track listing

01 In Old English Town (Instrumental)
02 Everyone's Born To Die (with Marc Bolan)
03 Wilf's Solo >
04 Showdown
05 Your World (vocal Carl Wayne)
06 Get A Hold Of Myself (vocal Carl Wayne)
07 Baby I Apologise
08 Mama (vocal Carl Wayne)
09 Mambo (Dreaming Of 4000) (with Marc Bolan)
10 Auntie (Ma-Ma-Ma Belle)

Enjoy

Santana - Folsom Street (1971)

Between November 1970 and January 1971 Santana visited various studios to record tracks for their third album. The sessions were productive, and as well as the songs that appeared on the album, a number of tracks were recorded that never made it onto the eventually released 'Santana III'. The band recorded the songs differently at each studio, with flute more noticable on the Columbia Studios sessions, and the Wally Heider Studios sessions having a harder, dark edge to the recordings, which are the takes that I've used here. All of the tracks are instrumentals, including the versions of 'Gumbo' and 'Everybody's Everything', but they all include superb playing from the whole band, and from Carlos Santana and new recruit Neil Schon in particular. It's also rumoured that Eric Clapton sat in with the band for some jams, and 'Batuka (Jam With Blues)' is one of those. 



Track listing

01 Ballin'
02 Folsom Street
03 Everybody's Everything
04 Batuka (Jam With Blues)
05 Fried Neckbones And Home Fries
06 Gumbo
07 Banbeye

Enjoy

Monday, 28 May 2018

Rory Gallagher - A Taste Of Rory (1987)

Rory Gallagher was beloved by both fans and fellow musicians, not only as a gifted guitarist and songwriter, but also as a genuinely nice guy, and I'm sure we were all shocked and saddened at the news of his death in 1995, at the age of just 47. He'd been a prolific recording artist since disbanding his first group Taste just before their storming set at the Isle Of Wight festival, and had released eleven studio and three live albums before his death. These have been remastered and reissued over the years, and in most cases have had unreleased tracks added to them, so this album is a collection of those previously unheard songs. All of them are as good as anything that was officially released, and just listening to 'Persuasion' from the 'Deuce' album sessions in 1971 makes you wonder how on earth that could have been left off the album.  



Track listing

01 Persuasion
02 Gypsy Woman
03 It Takes Time
04 Stompin' Ground
05 Treat Her Right
06 Tuscon, Arizona
07 Just A Little Bit
08 Cluney Blues
09 My Baby, Sure
10 Rue The Day
11 Early Warning
12 Juke Box Annie
13 Hell Cat
14 The Watcher
15 Nothin' But The Devil
16 Lonely Mile
17 Seems To Me
18 No Peace For The Wicked


Saturday, 26 May 2018

Eric Clapton - A Reason To Cry (1976)

In March 1975 Eric Clapton booked Shangri-La Studios, owned and run by The Band, to record songs for the follow-up to 'There's One In Every Crowd'. He wanted the sessions to be produced by Tom Dowd, but Atlantic refused to let Dowd work with any RSO act after Robert Stigwood had severed all ties with the label, so Clapton decided to co-produce it himself, with help from engineer Rob Fraboni and Dominos band-mate Carl Radle. During the course of the sessions many of Clapton's friends dropped in to help out, including all of the members of The Band - the first time that they'd got together for over a year - as well as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Billy Preston, Ron Wood, Georgie Fame, and Jesse Ed Davies. In all, 25 songs were recorded, and the ones chosen for 'No Reason To Cry' were taken away and remixed for eventual release, while the rest were hidden away in the vaults. Admittedly, a lot of them were throw-away jams and drunken sing-alongs from an all-night party for Clapton's birthday, but a few of them are definitely worth hearing, and there are enough of those to piece together a companion album to 'No Reason To Cry', which, as it's mostly blues songs, I've called 'A Reason To Cry'.



The Band:

Eric Clapton               guitar, vocals
Carl Radle                 bass
George Terry             guitar
Jamie Oldaker           drums
Dick Sims                  keyboards
Yvonne Elliman         vocals
Marcy Levy                vocals
Sergio Pastora          percussion
Bob Dylan                 vocals, guitar
Georgie Fame           organ
Ron Wood                 guitar
Van Morrison             vocals
Rick Danko                bass, vocals
Robbie Robertson     guitar
Jesse Ed Davis         guitar
Billy Preston              vocals, keyboards
Garth Hudson            organ
Richard Manuel         vocals, piano
Levon Helm               vocals, drums
Wah Wah Watson      guitar


Track Listing

01 What Would I Do (vocal Richard Manuel)
02 Won't Somebody Tell Me (vocal Eric Clapton)
03 Stormy Monday (vocal Van Morrison)
04 Right Now (vocal Eric Clapton / Billy Preston)
05 It's Eric's Birthday (vocal Billy Preston)
06 Who Do You Love (vocal Van Morrison)
07 Hard Times (vocal Rick Danko)
08 What Would I Do (Reprise) (vocal Richard Manuel)

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bob Dylan - Abandoned Desire (1976)

When Bob Dylan released 'Desire' in 1976 it immediately joined the record books for being one of the longest ever single vinyl albums, at over 56 minutes. In order to cram so much music onto a single disc the grooves had to be much closer together than normal, resulting in a loss of audio fidelity. If he'd just added in a couple of the out-takes from the 'Desire' sessions then he could have released a double album of four standard length sides, with the resultant increase in the audio quality. The songs on 'Desire' were written during the Rolling Thunder Review tour, with some of them being co-writes with Jacques Levy, and they were recorded in mid-1975. The story goes that on the way to the studio Dylan spotted Scarlet Rivera walking along with her violin case, and he stopped to talk to her, following which he invited her to the rehearsal studio to play violin on some of his songs. She later said that if she'd crossed the road a little earlier she would never have met him and her life would have been very different.
I've gathered together all the out-takes from the sessions and scattered them throughout the released version of the album. There was one song which Dylan wrote but never recorded, as he offered it to Eric Clapton first, who accepted it and put it on his 'No Reason To Cry' album. Dylan helped out on vocals when it was recorded, so that version of 'Sign Language' is also included. The version of 'Seven Days' is a live one, as it's much better than the demo that is doing the rounds. So this is what 'Desire' could have sounded like if Dylan had decided to go down the double-album route, instead of compressing his generally lengthy songs onto a single disc. 



Track listing

01 Hurricane
02 Isis
03 Abandoned Love
04 Mozambique
05 Catfish
06 One More Cup Of Coffee
07 Golden Loom
08 Oh, Sister
09 Sign Language
10 Seven Days
11 Joey
12 Rita May
13 Romance In Durango
14 Black Diamond Bay
15 Sara

Thanks to Album Fixer for the original concept in July 2016.

Enjoy

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Aphex Twin - Melodies From Mars (1995)

'Melodies From Mars' is a collection of unreleased tracks by Richard David James, better known as Aphex Twin, which was put together in 1995 and was leaked online a few years later. Although James did not admit authorship until 2014, fans have always suspected that he was behind it, as at least two of its tracks - 'Fingerbib' and  'Logan Rock Witch' - are demos of tracks featured on the subsequently released 'Richard D. James Album' in 1996. It's commonly believed that 'Melodies From Mars' was given to some of James' friends on cassette tapes, and an alternate version was illegally released in Russia by Unreal Records a few years ago, but no-one really knows who was behind the leak. James also said in an interview in 2010 that he'd redone the album in 2007, but it still remains unreleased.



Track listing

01 Mr. Flumpy
02 Fingerbib
03 Lannermort
04 Transmission One
05 Malcohol
06 Steam Funk
07 Tot's Dance
08 Logan Rock Witch
09 Crater Dub
10 Mr. Flumpy's Dog
11 There's No Martians
12 Crantock

Apart from 'Fingerbib' and 'Logan Rock Witch' all the tracks have been titled by fans, based on what they think they sound like. The actual titles for all the tracks is 'Untitled'.

If there are any Aphex Twin fans out there who want to hear more unreleased stuff, then I downloaded all 173 tracks that he uploaded to Soundcloud three years ago, and have them all saved in six folders of around 25 tracks each. They are only 192 bitrate as they were a Soundcloud download, but if anyone wants me to post them then just leave a comment.

Enjoy

Monday, 21 May 2018

Fairport Convention - The Manor Album (1972)

By early 1972 Fairport Convention were in a state of flux, with Simon Nicol and Dave Mattacks both leaving, to be replaced by Roger Hill and Tom Farnell. Hill didn't last long, with American guitarist David Rae taking his place, and the band now felt ready to record. Things didn't go smoothly, though, and most songs were canned almost as soon as they were recorded. Eventually they had enough good songs for an album and 'Rosie' was released in 1973, including just four tracks from the aborted sessions, but in different versions, and some with a different vocalist as well. The unused songs were not completely scrapped, and eventually turned up on the 'Come All Ye' box set, so now we can hear what the album might have sounded like if the band had been happy enough with the results to release it in 1972.   


Track listing

01 Maverick Child
02 Sad Song (As Long As It Is Mine)
03 Matthew, Mark, Luke And John
04 Rattle Trap
05 Sheep In The Meadow
06 Rosie
07 Country Judy Jane
08 Me With You
09 My Girl
10 To Althea From Prison

Enjoy

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Judas Priest - Twin Turbos (1986)

I'm not a massive fan of heavy metal, although I do still consider the first two Judas Priest albums to be classics of the genre, but as my tastes have changed over the years I've listened to less and less, with the last JP album that I got being 'British Steel'. I'd therefore never heard 'Turbo' when I started to see people mentioning a proposed album from the band called 'Twin Turbos', and so I decided to investigate. When Judas Priest were recording songs for the follow-up to the highly-rated 'Defenders Of The Faith', their idea was to issue a double album which traced the different sorts of metal that Priest had played throughout their career, right up the current album, which was their first to be recorded digitally, and also the first to feature guitar synths. Eighteen songs were written and recorded, and the album was all set to go when the record company put a stop to it, saying that double albums were too expensive and were reserved for live records and compilations. They even turned down the band's suggestion of pricing it as a single disc, and told them that they wanted a regular record full of potential singles. The band therefore picked out the most commercial songs and 'Turbo' was issued in 1986. Of course, rumours soon spread about the aborted double album, and the fact that the songs left off the eventual release were much heavier than those that were issued, which proved to be true when some of them appeared on the next album, the return to form 'Ram It Down', in 1988. This reconstruction pulls together 16 of the 18 songs recorded for 'Twin Turbos', as 'Under The Gun' and 'Fighting For Your Love' remain unreleased, despite other tracks appearing on remastered re-issues.



Track listing

01 All Fired Up
02 Reckless
03 Hard As Iron
04 Hot For Love
05 Rock You Around The World
06 Out In The Cold
07 Love You To Death
08 Private Property
09 Locked In
10 Monsters Of Rock
11 Turbo Lover
12 Parental Guidance
13 Ram It Down
14 Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days
15 Red, White & Blue
16 Prisoner Of Your Eyes

Enjoy

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Confrontation Demos (1981)

The death of Bob Marley in 1981 robbed the world of a giant of reggae music. In the two years before his death he recorded the first two albums of a proposed trilogy, with 'Survival' coming out in 1979, followed by 'Uprising' in 1980, and 'Confrontation' would have followed a year or so later. Marley had recorded more songs than were needed for 'Survival' and 'Uprising', and so by adding in a few single releases Island Records had enough material to complete Marley's trilogy, and spent the next two years overdubbing and adding to the raw tracks. A few years ago I saw a comment on another blog suggesting a re-imagined version of the album using the raw demos, and recalling how much better the Jamaican mix of 'Catch A Fire' sounded before the rock overdubs were added, I've sought out those original demos and singles to hear the album in it's raw state, had it come out in 1981. 



Track listing

01 Burn Down Babylon
02 Buffalo Soldier
03 Jump Nyabinghi
04 Mix Up Mix Up
05 Give Thanks And Praises
06 Blackman Redemption
07 Trench Town
08 Stiff Necked Fools
09 I Know
10 Rastaman Live Up (Don't Give Up)

Bonus tracks

11 Burn Down Babylon (Slow Version)
12 Give Thanks And Praises (Slow Version)

Not all the recordings are top quality, but there's enough raw energy in them to make up for that.

Enjoy

The Byrds - Phoenix (1970)

For most of 1969 Roger McGuinn was busy writing songs for a country-rock stage production of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, but after writing twenty-six songs the project was eventually abandoned. Of those songs, just four turned up on The Byrds 1970 album '(Untitled)', with a few more being held over for 'Byrdmaniax', and the rest being locked away in the vaults. When the time came to start recording their next album proper, the band thought that it was about time they released a live album, and so two New York concerts in February and March 1970 were recorded, including a sixteen minute version of 'Eight Miles High', which would eventually take up one complete side of the double album. It was to be titled 'Phoenix', to signify the artistic rebirth that the band felt this album represented, but because they still hadn't made up their mind about a title when producer Terry Melcher had to submit paperwork to the record company, he put the placeholder '(Untitled)' on it, and due to a misunderstanding at the pressing plant that became the album's official title. For this reconstruction I've replaced the live 'Lover Of The Bayou' with the studio version, added in some of those songs from the aborted Gene Tryp stage show, and completed it with some alternate versions and out-takes recorded at the same sessions. I've also included a live recording of 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)', as this was recorded in the studio sessions, but has yet to appears on record. It's a shortish double album, but it does indicate that 'Phoenix' would have been an apt title.



Track listing

01 Lover Of The Bayou
02 Chestnut Mare
03 Truck Stop Girl
04 All The Things
05 Yesterday's Train
06 Hungry Planet
07 Just A Season
08 Take A Whiff On Me
09 Willin'
10 You All Look Alike
11 Kathleen's Song
12 Just Like A Woman
13 White's Lighting #1
14 Welcome Back Home
15 It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
16 White's Lightning #2
17 Amazing Grace

Enjoy
 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Love - Gethsemene (1968)

Shortly after the classic 'Forever Changes' was released, Love effectively broke up, but despite this there have been rumours ever since that a follow-up album called 'Gethsemene' was due for release but was shelved by the band. Subsequent interviews with Arthur Lee and Johnny Echols have pretty much disproved the rumours, as neither of them recognised any of the songs that were supposedly recorded, so it must just have been wishful thinking on the part of some fervent fans. There was a post-'Forever Changes' single released in 1968, in the form of 'Your Mind And We Belong Together' / 'Laughing Stock', but that was the last thing that the classic line-up recorded together. However, if we take that single and add in the b-side to '7 And 7 Is', a few choice out-takes, some songs from Bryan McLean's solo album which might have made the cut, and a few tracks which later turned up on 'Four Sail', then we can piece together a reasonable approximation of what the follow-up to 'Forever Changes' could have sounded like. 



Track listing

01 Wonder People (I Do Wonder)
02 Laughing Stock
03 Tired Of Sitting
04 Your Friend And Mine (Neil's Song)
05 I'm With You
06 Your Mind And We Belong Together
07 Robert Mongomery
08 People
09 No. Fourteen
10 Dream
11 Always See Your Face
12 The Everlasting First

Enjoy

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Paul McCartney - Return To Pepperland (1987)

Between March and April 1987 Paul McCartney recorded a number of songs with producer Phil Ramone, while he was going through a phase of trying out new material with various producers following the disappointing flop of 'Give My Regards To Broad Street'. It wasn't necessarily aimed at producing an album, but was just testing the waters for future projects. Some of the Ramone tracks used Billy Joel's band as backing musicians, and the songs were a mixture of ballads, classic pop, and some more experimental dance-based music. Some of them have since turned up on b-sides and rare Japanese albums, and sixteen of them have been bootlegged as the 'Return To Pepperland' album, but not every track was classic McCartney, and there are a few songs which are generally considered to be well below par. I've therefore taken the best of the recordings and compiled a nine track album, which at 41 minutes is exactly the right length for a record of the period. I felt that 'Beautiful Night' went on a bit too long so I've edited that, but all the rest are direct from the '...Pepperland' bootleg.



Track listing

01 Lindiana
02 Beautiful Night
03 Loveliest Thing
04 Squid
05 This One
06 Love Came Tumbling Down
07 Love Mix
08 Same Love
09 Return To Pepperland

Enjoy

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Grateful Dead - Solar Anthem (1968)

It was an interesting project putting together the Dead's 'Earthquake Country' album from the 'Aoxomoxoa' out-takes, and so i thought that I'd attempt a similar thing with their previous album 'Anthem of The Sun'. This was one of their most experimental albums, as the recording process involved the band recording all the songs in the studio, and then Garcia and the band mixing it with parts taken from live recordings that the band taped from concerts in late 1967 and early 1968, as well as slotting in weird electronic tape effects from Tom Constanren, a friend of Phil Lesh, who'd been drafted in to provide piano, treated piano, and John Cage-influenced sounds. For this reconstruction I've found some out-takes which have for years been considered to be the original studio recordings, although some people now believe them to be from a live concert in late 1967. I admit that they do sound live, but if they are then someone's done a great job of editing out every piece of crowd noise from the tapes, but either way they sound great, and include some sublime soloing. I've used the studio version of 'Born Cross-Eyed' from the b-side of the 'Dark Star' single, and as a bonus there's a rare studio version of 'Turn On Your Lovelight' and a take of 'Caution' (Do Not Stop On The Tracks)' from 1966. The cover is an alternate one that housed a remixed version of the album in 1972, and I've renamed it 'Solar Anthem'.



Track listing

01 That's It For The Other One
02 New Potato Caboose
03 Born Cross-Eyed
04 Alligator >
05 Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)

Bonus

06 Turn On Your Lovelight
07 Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks) 

Enjoy

Monday, 14 May 2018

Halfnelson - A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing (1968)

Fans of Sparks will know 'A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing' as the title of their debut album, which included the single 'Girl From Germany'. But real fans of Sparks will know that before they changed their name to Sparks they were known as Halfnelson, and that album title had already been used way back in 1968 for a collection of demos that preceded their actual debut release as Halfnelson in 1971. Back then the band was a trio, with the Mael brothers being joined by guitarist and electronics whizz-kid Earle Mankey. All three of them were in thrall of British pop of the time, from bands such as The Stones, The Kinks and The Who, but these songs also show traces of The Doors, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, and Captain Beefheart, among many others, so their tastes were very eclectic. The band recruited a rhythm section so that they could professionally record their songs, and Ron even designed a cover for it, of a man surfboarding in front of the Eiffel Tower, with a bright moon behind him, and although this was never made, it's been lovingly recreated by DKelvin over at Forgotten Songs blog.



Track listing

01 Chile Farm Farney
02 Johnny's Adventure
03 Roger
04 Arts & Crafts Spectacular
05 Landlady
06 The Animals At Jason's Bar & Grill 
07 Big Rock Candy Mountain
08 Mille
09 Saccharin And The War
10 Join The Firm
11 Jane Church
12 The Factory

Enjoy / Enjoy

Manassas - Down The Road Apiece (1973)

Manassas released a debut album in 1972 that more than lived up to the promise of the coming together of Stephen Stills, Chris Hillman, Dallas Taylor and Al Perkins among others, and so expectations were high for the follow-up. When it arrived, it was a solid, but generally unexceptional album - some have even classed it as poor. There are certainly some fine songs on there, but it just didn't live up to the potential of that debut, and so suffered in comparison. With the release of the 'Pieces' mopping up operation in 2009, we found that there were more songs recorded for those two albums which didn't make the cut at the time, but were actually better than some of the songs on the released versions. Fans have been proposing revised tracks lists for quite a few years, and so I've taken the general consensus of what would be the best songs to include, tracked them down on 'Pieces' and an out-takes bootleg that's doing the rounds, and put together this reconstruction, which hopefully is now the definitive version of Manassas' second album. I've titled it 'Down The Road Apiece' as it's a combination of songs from 'Down The Road' and 'Pieces'. 



Track listing

01 Witching Hour
02 Isn't It About Time
03 Lies
04 Pensamiento
05 So Many Times
06 Like A Fox
07 Down The Road
08 Do You Remember The Americans
09 Guaguanco De Vero
10 Love And Satisfy
11 Rollin' My Stone
12 Thoroughfare Gap
13 High And Dry
14 I Am My Brother

Enjoy

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Jean Michel Jarre - Music For Supermarkets (1983)

This really is an album that I wish existed, as once it did, and now it doesn't. I'm sure most people know the story of this recording, but for those who don't I'll recap. Jean Michel Jarre had received massive acclaim in 1976 and 1978 for his 'Oxygene' and 'Equinox' albums and after the follow-up 'The Magnetic Fields' album and a live recording from a concert in China, he was at the height of his success. Some artist friends of his were putting together an exhibition, where items from an ordinary shop would be shown in a different light and then auctioned off, and they needed some music for the exhibition, which Jarre agreed to compose for them. Somewhere along the line, he realised that he too could participate in the exhibition if he released an album of the music in a single copy, which could be auctioned off like the other pieces. Francis Dreyfus, president of Jarre's record company, agreed to do this - a lone voice amongst the horrified protests of the rest of the company - and Jarre announced the auction. Immediately there was a clamour from the press and public to hear at least some of the music before it was sold, and so Jarre agreed to play the album once on the radio before the master plates were destroyed, but he chose to play it on an AM radio station, which is why all bootleg copies are such poor quality, and when the DJ announced side one of the album Jarre played side two(!) - it's never been decided it this was a deliberate joke or not. The album was sold for $9,000.00 in 1983, and has never been heard properly since, although a couple of pieces have turned up on subsequent albums in a reworked form.



Track listing

01 Music For Supermarkets 1
02 Music For Supermarkets 2
03 Music For Supermarkets 3
04 Music For Supermarkets 4
05 Music For Supermarkets 5
06 Music For Supermarkets 6
07 Music For Supermarkets 7
08 Music For Supermarkets 8

Now for the surprise.......this isn't the badly recorded AM broadcast of the album, but a note-for-note remake by Nordlead313 which was posted online some time ago, and which I've only just discovered. It's highly regarded by fan blogs as the closest to the original 'Music For Supermarkets' that's yet been attempted, and at last we can hear in pristine quality what that successful buyer hears when he plays it (as if!). 

If you do want to hear the original broadcast to compare it then that's posted as well. Someone's done a good job in trying to clean it up, but it's still not that great.

....and when Discogs lists this as a limited edition, for once they are telling the literal truth.

Enjoy


AM Broadcast

Band Of Gypsys - Band Of Gypsys (1970)

An intriguing suggestion for reconstructing an unreleased album was suggested by someone a while back, who wanted to hear a studio version of Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys live album from 1970. I wasn't entirely sure that it was possible, but after looking into all the out-takes from the period, it is possible to achieve by changing the concept of the band from Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys to just the Band Of Gypsys. This allows us to use the Buddy Miles version of 'We Got To Live Together', as no full Hendrix studio recording of this song exists. In the end we have three studio jams, two actual Hendrix studio recordings, and one from Buddy Miles from the same year, giving the best approximation of a studio version of the live album. It's no great revelation, but it was fun to do, and good to hear the Buddy Miles version of his great 'We Got To Live Together'.


Track listing

01 Message Of Love
02 Who Knows
03 Changes
04 Power To Soul
05 Machine Gun
06 We Got To Live Together

After I posted this it was pointed out to me (thanks Paul) that a studio version of 'Changes' does exist, whereas I originally said that it didn't, so the link has now been updated to include it. 

Enjoy

Friday, 11 May 2018

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash - The Nashville Sessions (1969)

When Bob Dylan arrived on the folk scene in 1962, Johnny Cash was immediately a fan, which was reciprocated by Dylan, who had admired Cash in the 50's. Cash even wrote a fan letter to the young Dylan, which started a correspondence between them. Moving on to 1969 and Dylan was in Nashville recording his 'Nashville Skyline' album, while Cash was in the studio next door, and he decided to drop in. The two of them decided to record some songs together, and laid down over a dozen duets - some of Dylan's songs, some of Cash's, and some old favourites of them both. 'Girl From The North Country' made it onto the 'Nashville Skyline' album, but the rest have remained officially unreleased, although they've circulated on bootlegs for years.


Track listing

01 One Too Many Mornings
02 Good Ol' Mountain Dew
03 I Still Miss Someone
04 Careless Love
05 Matchbox
06 That's Alright Mama
07 Big River
08 Girl From The North Country
09 I Walk The Line
10 You Are My Sunshine
11 Ring Of Fire
12 Guess Things Happen That Way
13 Just A Closer Walk With Thee
14 Blue Yodel
15 Blue Yodel No 5

Enjoy

Dave Davies - Lincoln County (1969)

In 1967 Dave Davies released his first solo single. 'Death Of A Clown' was a co-write with his brother Ray, and although Dave had been writing songs for years, they tended to be overshadowed by his brother's, and ended up as B-sides and album filler. This was his shot at the big time, and it was a surprise hit, reaching number two in the charts. A second single was released the same year, but 'Susannah's Still Alive' only reached number 20, and so although Pye had started to ready things for an album to be released in 1968 or 1969, they wanted one more single to be released to make sure the record would sell. However, 'Lincoln County' failed to chart, and after a couple more flops both Davies and the record company lost interest, and so the album, jokingly referred to by Ray in an interview as being called 'A Hole In The Sock of Dave Davies' (possibly referring to an amalgamation of 'A Day In The Life' and 'Hole In My Shoe') was shelved. Davies had recorded enough demos for the proposed release, and along with his songs that were used by The Kinks, we're able to piece together what it might have sounded like, based on a track listing proposed by Doug Hinman, and retitled as the less jokey 'Lincoln County'.



Track listing

01 Susannah's Still Alive
02 There Is No Life Without Love
03 This Man He Weeps Tonight
04 Mindless Child Of Motherhood
05 Hold My Hand
06 Do You Wish To Be A Man
07 Are You Ready
08 Creeping Jean
09 I'm Crying
10 Lincoln County
11 Mr. Shoemaker's Daughter
12 Mr. Reporter
13 Groovy Movies

Enjoy / Enjoy

Badfinger - A Complete Ass (1972)

Badfinger must be one of the unluckiest bands around. Despite being signed to The Beatles' Apple label and Paul McCartney writing a hit single for them, they were dogged with misfortunes throughout their career, and it's only now that we realise just what a great band they were. They had a promising start, with a minor hit single in 'Maybe Tomorrow', and after a couple of rejected single offerings, McCartney gave them 'Come And Get It', which he'd written for the 'Magic Christian' soundtrack, and it was their biggest hit. Just before releasing it they changed their name from The Iveys (which they felt was a bit trite in 1969) to Badfinger, and after the song charted they started work on their debut album 'No Dice', which was to include their next single 'No Matter What', as well as the soon to become classic 'Without You'. Things seemed to be going well for them, and while in the US they signed a management contract with businessman Stan Polley. This was the start of their downfall, with the contracts tying them up in so much red tape they they hardly saw any money from their success, and were even put on a salary, while all the profits from their records and tours ended up in companies controlled by Polley. 
In 1971 they recorded their third album (if you include the 'Magic Christian' soundtrack which they had taken over from McCartney), but the tapes were rejected by Apple as they wanted a big name producer and so gave George Harrison the job. It didn't work out, and he had to quit after only four songs were recorded to concentrate on his Concert For Bangladesh, and so Todd Rundgren was called in to salvage the album, which was eventually released as 'Straight Up'. Rundgren was due to produce their next and final album for Apple as well, but quit following a financial dispute, so the band produced it themselves. However, this was rejected by Apple, and Chris Thomas was called in to complete 'Ass' (the cover being a barbed comment on their financial mis-management). You really feel for a band who've had this much trouble in their short career, but it didn't end there, with two of the members committing suicide - Pete Ham in 1975 and Tom Evans in 1983 - both following arguments over the band's management .
This album is the band's self-produced offering to Apple. Some tracks were eventually used for 'Ass' in different forms, and others were just shelved, but we can now hear that this  album is not the disaster that Apple envisaged, and they should have been given a chance to show what they could do with their own music.



Track listing

01 Get Away
02 When I Say
03 Apple Of My Eye
04 The Winner
05 Blind Owl
06 Do You Mind
07 Piano Red
08 Cowboy
09 Regular
10 I Can Love You
11 Timeless

Enjoy

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

David Bowie - Toy (2001)

I've been a fan of David Bowie since the mid-70's, and have all the early solo singles and band efforts with the King Bees and The Lower Third, either on vinyl or on compilations, and so this album was aimed squarely at fans like me. In 2001 David Bowie decided to go into the studio and re-record some of his very earliest songs, with new arrangements and a modern backing band. He chose songs that he'd originally written between 1964 and 1970, and the album was also to include three new songs. However, scheduling issues with EMI/Virgin meant that it didn't appear in 2002 as planned, and recording continued and eventually became the 'Heathen' album, with 'Uncle Floyd' and 'Afraid' being remixed for inclusion. In 2011 the album leaked onto the internet, but it's still never been officially released, which is a great shame as I think some of these remakes are brilliant versions of the songs. 



Track listing

01 Uncle Floyd
02 Afraid
03 Baby Loves That Way
04 I Dig Everything
05 Conversation Piece
06 Let Me Sleep Beside You
07 Toy (Your Turn To Drive)
08 Hole In The Ground
09 Shadow Man
10 In The Heat Of The Morning
11 You've Got A Habit Of Leaving Me
12 Silly Blue Blue
13 Liza Jane
14 The London Boys

Enjoy

Grateful Dead - Earthquake Country (1969)

Following the success of their second album 'Anthem Of The Sun', The Grateful Dead regrouped in 1969 with pianist Tom Constanten and lyricist Robert Hunter as new members, and started work on their next studio album. Recording went well and a number of new songs were laid down, with the 'Earthquake Country' album looking set for imminent release. Just as things seemed to be going so well, Ampex manufactured and released a new 16-track multitrack recording machine, and the Dead were so keen to try it out that they dumped all the songs that they'd already recorded and spent the next eight months experimenting and re-recording all the music again from scratch. Being able to utilize twice as many tracks as they were used to gave the band room to add more and more sounds to their recordings, but this sometimes meant that the music got lost in the dense and cumbersome mix. Luckily the original recordings were not lost completely, and so this is a reconstruction of what the album that eventually became 'Aoxomoxoa' might have sounded like if that Ampex machine had not made an appearance.



Track listing

01 Dark Star
02 Saint Stephen >
03 The Eleven
04 Clementine
05 China Cat Sunflower
06 Mountains Of The Moon
07 The Barbed Wire Whipping Party
08 Doin' That Rag
09 What's Become Of The Baby
10 Cosmic Charlie

Enjoy