Saturday, 30 June 2018

Simon & Garfunkel - Overs (1970)

There are a number of out-takes collections by Simon & Garfunkel floating about online, but this one had quite a few songs that I'd never heard before, so I thought it was worth investigation. It includes demos, out-takes and live tracks from 1964 to 1970, all in reasonably good sound quality. The original double CD has 55 tracks, but a lot of them were multiple takes of the same song, or instrumental versions of released songs, so I've picked out the best sixteen songs for a more compact 41 minute album. It's a mixture of unreleased Simon originals and choice covers, with a five track live section. Paul over at Albumsthatshouldexist has had a similar idea for a S&G post at the same time (great minds think alike), and this should be a nice companion piece to his collection of unreleased Paul Simon compositions.

Track listing

01 Bleecker Street (demo 1964)
02 Sparrow (BBC session 1965)
03 Somewhere They Can't Find Me ('Sounds Of Silence' out-take 1966)
04 Bad News Feeling ('Sounds Of Silence' rehearsal 1966)
05 I Wish You Could Be Here ('Sounds Of Silence' rehearsal 1966)
06 Blues Run The Game ('Sounds Of Silence' out-take 1966)
07 You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies ('Bookends' out-take 1968)
08 A Poem On The Underground Wall (Live At Carnegie Hall 1967)
09 Red Rubber Ball (Live At Carnegie Hall 1967)
10 Anji (Live At Carnegie Hall 1967)
11 Blessed (Live At Carnegie Hall 1967)
12 A Church Is Burning (Live At Carnegie Hall 1967)
13 Feuilles-Oh ('Bridge Over Troubled Water' out-take 1970)
14 Hey Schoolgirl (Live At Carnegie Hall 1969)
15 That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine (Live At Carnegie Hall 1969)
16 Lightnin' Express (Live In Paris 1970)

It's called 'Overs' as it contains songs that were 'left over', but also because it includes six takes of the 'Bookends' songs 'Overs'. If you really want to hear them, along with twelve takes of 'For Emily....' then the original bootleg is fairly easy to find. I've left the back cover in the folder so that you can see exactly what was on the original 2xCDs.


Juliana Hatfield - God's Foot (1997)

In 1996 Juliana Hatfield had released two acclaimed albums, and was looking to start work on her third. Working largely on her own, playing all the instruments apart from the drums, and producing herself, she set about recording a batch of songs that she'd recently written. When the album was more or less complete she took it to her record label Atlantic, who promptly rejected it out of hand. This was a major blow for Hatfield, who went into a period of depression, culminating in her begging to leave the label, which Atlantic eventually agreed to. Once again, the general public can see what the record company couldn't, and the consensus of opinion is that this would have been one of Hatfield's best albums, so it's fortunate that the songs have leaked online and we can hear for ourselves. In 2014 Hatfield herself released demos of some of the 'God's Foot' songs as part of a Pledgemusic campaign, but not all of these songs were included. However, I've used that track listing for this album, as it's probably the closest we'll get to how Hatfield wanted it to sound, never getting as far as the mixing and sequencing stage in 1997. The rejection of 'God's Foot' hit her hard, sending her to bed in a state of depression, only rousing out of it in 1998 when she released the raw and emotive 'Bed', named after that experience. Perhaps she needed that catharsis to come out the other side and continue her career, releasing a dozen more excellent albums since then.

Track listing

01 How Would You Know
02 Mountains Of Love
03 Fade Away
04 Eye To Eye
05 What Have I Done To You
06 Don't Need A Reason
07 You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Melody
08 Chance Is Waiting
09 Charity
10 Jake's
11 Takin' It Easy
12 Perfection
13 Losing Your Looks


Saturday, 23 June 2018

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Live (1967)

As I said in the last post, by the time that Quicksilver Messenger Service released their debut album in May 1968, they'd already been gigging around the circuit for nearly two years, and a lot of those concerts had been professionally or semi-professionally recorded, resulting in there being quite a lot of good quality live material from the band fairly freely available. I could propose this album as a very similar one to the previous post, and say that the band could easily have released a live album as their debut in 1967, but I don't think that would have been very likely, so this collection of live recordings of songs which never appeared on their studio albums is more of a companion piece to 'Q.M.S. 1968', which included studio takes of songs which never appeared on the official albums. Quicksilver Messenger Service were always at their best in the live environment, and even though a lot of these recordings are covers, the band put their unique twist on them, and you can't help but be impressed at just how good they were as a live unit (and also at the quality of these recordings from 1966 and 1967).

Track listing

01 If You Live (Your Time Will Come)
02 Hair Like Sunshine (Long Distance Call)
03 Got My Mojo Workin'
04 All Night Worker
05 Don't Tell Me You're Sorry (I Can't Believe It)
06 You Don't Love Me
07 A Strange, Funny World (Look Around)
08 Susie Q
09 Duncan And Brady
10 Hoochie Coochie Man

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Q.M.S. (1968)

Quicksilver Messenger Service were one of the best West Coast psychedelic bands of the late 60s', and released two classic albums in 1968/69 with their eponymous debut and the classic 'Happy Trails'. When they released 'Quicksilver Messenger Service' in May 1968 they'd already been around for a couple of years playing local clubs, and even laying down some tracks in the studio, but they'd held off committing to a record deal until late 1967, when they eventually signed with Capitol. By this time they actually had enough material in the can to release their first album straight away, although it would have been mostly made up of covers rather than the self-penned songs that they eventually issued. However, it would still have been an impressive record, as they put their own stamp on every song they recorded (and don't forget that The Grateful Dead's first album had a lot of covers on it, so it's not unprecedented for a debut). If they had decided to start their recorded career a little earlier then this is what their first album could have sounded like. I admit that it's nowhere near as good as their real first record, but it's nice to hear it anyway.

Track listing

01 Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You
02 Codine
03 I Hear You Knockin' (It's Too Late)
04 Your Time Will Come
05 Back Door Man
06 Walkin' Blues
07 Bears
08 Stand By Me
09 Smokestack Lightning

The first two songs were recorded for the soundtrack to the 1967 film 'Revolution', tracks 7 and 8 were a stand-alone single released in 1968, and the rest are out-takes from the first album sessions.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Jethro Tull - Chateau D'Isaster (1973)

After the financial success of 'Thick As A Brick', Jethro Tull found themselves as tax exiles in France, and so it was at the Chateau D'Herouville that they began work on the highly anticipated 'A Passion Play'. The sessions ended up mysteriously abandoned, due to 'ill health, technical and production problems, and the sudden decision to return to the U.K.'. Ian Anderson would later re-evaluate and re-record some of these songs, but the sessions' original concept seemed to be a construct around man's relationship with the animal kingdom, and one of these themes would later morph into 'War Child's 'Bungle In The Jungle'. The music is progressive rock at its best, but in a more palatable, abbreviated form that on 'A Passion Play', and mostly comes from 1993's 'Nightcap: The Unreleased Masters'. However, while compiling this album I found that some recorded tracks were missing, and a number of others had been incorrectly titled, so there was a bit of work to do, and I've also edited a few tracks so that they segued smoothly, to give a bit of coherence to the individual sides. The track listing has come from Yesstiles over at the site, who has tried to knock the three sides of the proposed double album into some sort of shape. The three recorded sides all have similar lyrical content - Side 1 carries the God and Theatre concept, Side 2 has the Man and Animal concept, and Side 3 has the Man and Critic concept. Side 4 - who knows? It's likely that 'Bungle in the Jungle' was written for this album, but possibly not recorded until the 'War Child' sessions, so may have been placed on Side 4 if they hadn't abandoned the project. Obviously, since it contains the word 'bungle', like two other songs on this album, it must have been meant to be placed somewhere, so I've put it with the other two 'bungle' songs. 'A Passion Play' contains many musical elements of this album, so the final side of the album could be composed of the last 19 minutes of that release (Side 2 following the Hare story), so I've added that as Side 4, but as it's already released material then feel free to delete it if you want. 

Track listing

Side One
01 Prelude
02 Scenario
03 Audition
04 Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of A New Day
05 Sailor
06 No Rehearsal

Side Two
07 First Post
08 Animelee
09 Tiger Toon
10 Look At The Animals
11 Law Of The Bungle Part I
12 Law Of The Bungle Part II
13 Bungle In The Jungle

Side Three
14 Left Right
15 Solitaire
16 Critique Oblique
17 Post Last

Side Four
A Passion Play - Part II

Steven Wilson has recently done a new stereo mix of these tapes, and I was going to use those mixes, but he's removed nearly all the flute from most of the recordings, so as far as I'm concerned they are not worth hearing. The only one I was forced to use was 'Skating Away....' as I couldn't find the original source tape.

Thanks to Willard's Wormholes (R.I.P.) and Yesstiles for information and concept.


Saturday, 16 June 2018

Lindsey Buckingham - Gift Of Screws (2001)

I've seen quite a few online requests from people who want to hear Lindsey Buckingham's 'Gift Of Screws' album. Not being a fan, I didn't really understand what they were asking, as Buckingham did in fact release an album called 'Gift Of Screws' in 2008, but after a bit of investigation I found out exactly why they were all desperate to hear this earlier album. Buckingham actually recorded a bunch of songs between 1995 and 2000 for a projected solo album, and the general opinion is that if it had come out in 2001 it would have been his best ever release. When he presented it to the record company they advised him to keep some of the songs back for a forthcoming Fleetwood Mac album, and so 2003's 'Say You Will' contained some of his work which was originally destined for 'Gift Of Screws'. The official 2008 'Gift Of Screws' album only included one track from these demos, notably the title track, inspired by an Emily Dickinson poem. Having now heard this album I'm amazed at just how good it is, and it's shown Buckingham to me in a whole new light.

Track listing

01 Someone's Gotta Change Your Mind
02 Miranda
03 Steal Your Heart Away
04 Red Rover
05 She Smiled Sweetly
06 Come
07 Down On Rodeo
08 Gotta Get Away
09 Try For The Sun
10 Shuffle Riff
11 Murrow
12 Gift Of Screws
13 Bleed To Love Her
14 Twist Of Fate
15 Wear You Down (Steve's Riff)
16 Say Goodbye
17 The Singer Not The Song
18 Given Thing
19 Deep Dense
20 Blue Turns To Grey


The Supremes - Stoned Love (1973)

Diana Ross And The Supremes reigned supreme (!) throughout the 60's, and when Ross left for a solo career in 1970 the three remaining members - Mary Wilson, Jean Terrell and Cindy Birdsong (later replaced by Linda Laurence) - embarked on a new stage of their career, and in my opinion issued some of their finest work. Singles such as 'Nathan Jones', 'Stoned Love' and 'Automatically Sunshine' all graced the upper reaches of the charts, and some of their album tracks were just as good. So that I could hear all my favourite songs in one place I've put together an album containing all of their singles from 1970 to 1973, along with some choice b-sides and a couple of rarities.

Track listing

01 Life Beats (withdrawn single 1970)
02 Up The Ladder To The Roof
03 Everybody's Got The Right To Love
04 Stoned Love (extended version)
05 Nathan Jones
06 Touch
07 Floy Joy
08 This Is The Story
09 Bad Weather
10 Automatically Sunshine
11 Precious Little Things
12 Love Train (unreleased)
13  Your Wonderful, Sweet Sweet Love
14 The Wisdom Of Time

Friday, 15 June 2018

Eric Clapton - The Delaney Mix of the First Album (1970)

In late 1969 and early 1970 Eric Clapton recorded a number of songs in Los Angeles and London, in preparation for his first solo album release. His backing band for most of the sessions was the one used by his good friends Delaney and Bonnie when they toured with Blind Faith - one of whom was a pre- Derek And The Dominos Bobby Whitlock. Once the recordings were complete he asked Delaney Bramlett to mix the album for him, and waited for the results. Due to a misunderstanding between them, Delaney was waiting for Clapton to send over one more song to be added to the mix, while Clapton was waiting for the mixed album to be sent back before sendng the final song. After waiting a few weeks and hearing nothing, Clapton mixed it himself, but was very unsatisfied with the results, so the record company employed Tom Down to mix it, and that is the version which was released. When Clapton eventually got to hear Delaney's mix he said that it was by far his favourite, but it was too late to change as the record had been pressed. The Delaney mix is significantly different in a number of areas, with more reverb on Clapton's voice - which he always thought was too thin on Dowd's mix - and the guitars and horns being more prominent on some songs. It's probably only the super-fan who will notice the differences straight away, and they've most likely already heard this mix on the Deluxe re-issue, but for the casual fan the whole album seems to have a bit more punch to it. 

Track listing

01 Slunky
02 Bad Boy
03 Lonesome And A Long Way From Home
04 After Midnight
05 Easy Now
06 Blues Power
07 Bottle Of Red Wine
08 Lovin' You Lovin' Me
09 Told You For The Last Time
10 Don't Know Why
11 Let It Rain

For some unknown reason the cover of the original bootleg had a picture of Bob Seger on it instead of Eric (they both had beards?...who knows) so I've replaced it with an alternate picture from the first album photo session. 


The Beach Boys - California Feeling (1981)

Back in the eighties, before the advent of the internet, if you wanted to make an imaginary album you literally had to press up a vinyl record and sell in under the counter of a record shop. I know there will be people saying 'vinyl?' and 'record shop?' 'what are they?', but it's how we lived back then. In 1981, this is what happened with The Beach Boys, when an enterprising fan gathered together a number of unreleased tracks and made an album which he called 'California Feeling'. He titled it after a track which the band had recorded as the title song for what would later become the 'M.I.U. Album', with not only the title changing, but the song being omitted from the track listing as well. Along with a few other out-takes and demos making up the running time, we had a very enjoyable Beach Boys' album, possibly even better than some of the officially released records at this turbulent time in their career. The best Beach Boys blog - Alternative Albums And More - never actually got around to piecing this one together, and as my old Youtube rip was not the best quality I've sourced the best recordings of the songs to put it back together. I have left off a couple of distinctly below-standard demos, and re-jigged the running order a bit, and I still think it stands up very well for a bootleg of some 35 years ago. The album cover is the original which housed the vinyl back in 1981. 

Track listing

01 California Feelin'
02 We're Together Again
03 How's About A Little Bit Of Your Sweet Lovin'
04 Our Team
05 Brian's Back
06 Santa Ana Winds
07 Lookin' Down The Coast
08 Stevie
09 California Dreamin'
10 Sherry She Needs Me
11 River Song
12 Marilyn Rovell
13 We Gotta Groove
14 Carry Me Home

Wilson is famous for his 'girl' songs ('Help Me Rhonda', 'Caroline No', 'Wendy' etc etc) and this album is no different, with 'Stevie' being written for Stevie Nicks, and 'Marilyn Rovell' being the maiden name of his wife-to-be. 'River Song' and 'Carry Me Home' are two of Dennis Wilson's best songs, 'California Dreamin'' is a rare (for them) cover version, 'Santa Ana Winds' was completely re-written for inclusion on 1980's 'Keepin' The Summer Alive', while 'Sherry She Needs Me' was an instrumental titled 'Sandy She Needs Me' from 1965, which didn't have a vocal for over a decade.


Meat Loaf with Bonnie Tyler - Midnight At The Lost And Found (1983)

Following a comment from WestVirginiaRebel on Paul's Albumsthatshouldexist site, I thought I'd give his suggestion a try, and attempt to construct a 1983 Meat Loaf album if he hadn't fallen out with Jim Steinman. Their acrimony was so bad that they ended up suing each other, and as they couldn't bear to work together then Meat Loaf had to find other writers for the 'Midnight At The Lost And Found' album that he owed to the record company. He was also involved in the writing of some of the songs himself. and possibly because of this change in style and material, it was generally received as one of his poorer releases. Some sources insist that Steinman had intended that the songs 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' and 'Making Love (Out Of Nothing at All)' were to be given to Meat Loaf for this album, but as his record company refused to pay Steinman for them, they were passed on to Bonnie Tyler instead, who then had a massive hit with the former. Other sources say that neither of these songs were actually offered to Meat Loaf, but whatever the truth, he never recorded either of them. Therefore, in order to put together a coherent album of the period, the answer is to make it a collaboration with Bonnie Tyler, and allow her to sing both of her songs. Even though Steinman was not involved in the writing of any of the songs from the released 'Midnight At The Lost And Found' album, I've used WestVirginiaRebel's suggested track listing anyway, as it includes most of the songs that Meat Loaf co-wrote, plus a couple of Steinman songs which he did later record. The only one I've omitted is 'All Of The Good Ones Are Taken', as this was only ever recorded by Ian Hunter, and I wanted to keep the collaboration just between Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler.

Track listing

01 Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Steinman)
02 Razor's Edge (Buslowe, Christie, Doyle, Mark Aday)
03 Midnight At The Lost And Found (Buslowe, Christie, Mark Aday, Peyronel)
04 Read 'Em And Weep (Steinman)
05 Wolf At Your Door (Buslowe, Leslie Aday)
06 Making Love (Out Of Nothing At All) (Steinman)
07 Keep Driving (Christie, Jacobs, Mark Aday)
08 Left In The Dark (Steinman)
09 If You Really Want To (Meyer, Neeley)

I hope that this is something like WestVirginaRebel envisaged, and if so, then

Neil Young - Buffalo Alone (1967) Upgrade

On a recent holiday I took a few of my reconstructions to listen to, and on hearing this one some years after I put it together, I felt that a couple of things prevented it from working as well as it could. The main one was the inclusion of the song 'Broken Arrow', which, while it is undoubtedly one of Young's finest pieces, includes parts from two other tracks which are also on the album, and so I felt that it probably wouldn't have been included if he was going to have the studio version of 'Mr Soul' on there, as well as 'Down Down Down', which uses the main melody of 'Broken Arrow'. I've also removed the closing 'I'm Your Kind Of Guy' as it was rather short, as Young admitted at the end of the recording, and didn't really fit with the reflective mood of most of the other songs, and I've rejigged the running order slightly. This leaves us with a concise 36 minute album, which still includes 13 tracks, and is closer to the length of the average record of the period, making what I feel that Young's debut could have sounded like in 1967. 

Track listing

01 Slowly Burning 
02 Expecting To Fly
03 Old Laughing Lady
04 I Am a Child 
05 One More Sign
06 Sugar Mountain 
07 Mr. Soul
08 Down, Down, Down
09 Sell Out 
10 Round and Round and Round
11 Flying on the Ground is Wrong
12 Falcon Lake
13 Down To The Wire


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

The Eagles - Sunset Grill (1982)

Following the success of their last album, 'Dirty Laundry', and bouyed by the success of the title track as a single, the band would have been keen to consolidate that success. Don Henley and Glen Frey seemed to be on a roll with their writing, and contributed a couple of songs each which could easily be hit singles, and the rest of the band chipped in with some nice rockers and ballads, resulting in a 1982 follow-up album called 'Sunset Grill'. 
In reality, all the songs are taken from solo albums by the band members, and once again soundtracks come to the rescue, with Frey's 'You Belong To The City' appearing on the 'Miami Vice' TV Series soundtrack, and 'The Heat Is On' coming from 'Beverley Hills Cop'. Don Felder also released a solo album in 1983, including songs written in 1982, but there's nothing from it here as the general consensus of opinion is that it was a very poor effort, and Timothy B. Schmit's solo album didn't appear until two years later, so there's nothing from him here either. Even without contributions from Felder and Schmit, I think that this is a stronger album than 'Dirty Laundry', and a very enjoyable listen.

Track listing

01 Smuggler's Blues
02 The Boys Of Summer
03 You Belong To The City
04 I Can Play That Rock & Roll
05 All She Wants To Do Is Dance
06 The Heat Is On
07 Not Enough Love In The World
08 Rosewood Bitters
09 Sexy Girl
10 Sunset Grill

Once again, thanks to The Album Fixer for the concept and album cover.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Band - Tombstone (1990)

Following their iconic Last Waltz tour in 1978, The Band went their separate ways. By the mid-80's they were missing touring enough to regroup and start playing again, but Robbie Robertson had found a new career in the movies writing soundtracks, and so decided not to join the rest of the group on the tour. Before long the studio beckoned for a new album, and as Robertson was the main songwriter they needed a producer, and eventually chose songwriter Jules Shear, most famous at that time for writing Cyndi Lauper's hit 'All Through The Night'. An album was recorded, with Shear writing some of the songs, but it was rejected by their new label Sony - in fact they never issued anything on the label, with their next official record being 1993's 'Jericho', on the small Pyramid Label. The rustic Americana that The Band are known for is still in evidence, and Rick Danko's vocals as good as ever, but it sounds like Shear also sang on a number of the songs, which could be part of the reason that the album was rejected, as the label might not have been keen on a Robertson-less Band. 'You Don't Know Me' is a live recording from Tokyo in 1983, sung by Richard Manuel.

Track listing

01 Tombstone, Tombstone
02 River Of Honey
03 All Creation
04 Baby Don't You Cry No More
05 The High Price Of Love
06 Long Ways To Tennessee
07 Too Soon Gone
08 Money Whipped
09 Never Again Or Forever
10 You Don't Know Me


Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Eagles - Dirty Laundry (1981)

The Eagles broke up in 1980, and by all accounts it was an acrimonious dissolution. So much so, that when Don Henley was once asked if the band would ever get back together, he replied 'When Hell freezes over'. Inevitably they did reform, and the resultant live album was called 'Hell Freezes Over'. But what if they hadn't broken up after the disappointing 'The Long Run' album, and had buckled down and written some better songs. The resultant album could have been the one to put them back at the top of their game, and this is what it could have sounded like. It seemed that in 1981, most of the members of the band were happy to give up songs here and there to soundtrack albums, and so a lot of these songs are quite hard to find, but when they are all put together they do form a coherent whole, and don't at all sound like they've come from such disparate sources. For the record, Don Felder's 'Heavy Metal' comes from the soundtrack of the movie of the same name, as does his 'All Of You'. Joe Walsh's party anthem 'All Night Long' comes from the 'Urban Cowboy' soundtrack, and 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' provides Henley's ballad 'Love Rules,' Felder's 'Never Surrender', and Timothy B. Schmit's 'So Much In Love'. 'Leather And Lace' is a duet by Don Henley and Stevie Nicks, from her 'Bella Donna' album, and the rest of the songs come from the band member's 1981 solo albums. It's a far cry from the exquisite country-rock of their early records, but it's the direction that they were heading in following the massive success of 'Hotel California', and to a lesser extent 'The Long Run', so this this is a reasonable representation of where they were at in 1981.

Track Listing

01 Heavy Metal (Takin' A Ride)
02 Dirty Laundry 
03 So Much In Love 
04 All Night Long 
05 The One You Love 
06 A Life of Illusion 
07 Leather and Lace (with Stevie Nicks)
08 I Found Somebody 
09 Hearts Of Fire
10 Love Rules
11 Never Surrender 
12 All Of You

The concept and (quite literal) album cover are from the now deleted archive of The Album Fixer.


Friday, 1 June 2018

KISS - Snow Blind (1978)

In 1978, each of the individual members of KISS decided that they would record a solo album. Off they went and made their records, and they were then all released on the same day. KISS fans must have been estatic - it was just like the band had recorded a quadrupal album........until they listened to them. It was inevitable that the quality of the songs would be variable, and the general opinion is that the order they should be listened to is Ace, Paul, Gene, and lastly Peter (if at all)
This album is what Album Fixer imagined an actual 1978 KISS record might have sounded like if the band had brought their best songs to the table instead of recording them on their own, and if, like me, you haven't actually heard the solo albums, then as a KISS album it hangs together pretty well.

Track listing

01 Move On
02 Radioactive
03 New York Groove 
04 See You Tonite 
05 Ozone 
06 Tonight You Belong to Me 
07 Rip It Out 
08 Don't You Let Me Down 
09 Tunnel of Love 
10 Snow Blind 
11 Living in Sin 
12 It's Alright

This post is a requiem for the Album Fixer site, as I had managed to access some pages using the webcache option, and I'd saved them for future reference, but it appears that if they're not viewed after a certain period then they are deleted for good, and they've now all gone. Hopefully I've posted most of his better efforts.