Friday, 31 August 2018

Bob Dylan & The Hawks - New York Blonde (1965)

I was about to post this album when I checked out the albumsthatneverwere site and found that he's just posted a very similar collection. We've both used the abandoned New York recordings, but he has a slightly different track listing, and has also edited and mixed some of the songs himself, so the two resulting albums will be slightly different, and I hope that both will be worth a listen. So, on with the post.
In late 1965 Bob Dylan and The Hawks held two sessions in New York, with further recording taking place in January of the following year, but after failing to complete a new album to his satisfaction, he relocated to Nashville and their limitless pool of studio musicians. There he completed 'Blonde On Blonde', the first double album in rock history, and which included only one track recorded in New York with The Hawks. While they were there, though, they did record enough material to make an album, which we'll call 'New York Blonde' for lack of any better ideas, and which would be entirely comprised of songs recorded with The Hawks at the sessions held in New York between October 5th, 1965, and January 27th, 1966. During the sessions and a concurrent tour, various members of The Hawks quit and were replaced by sessioneers, until eventually only Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko remained.  While Dylan would take Robertson with him to Nashville, the rest of the Hawks were left behind to wait for their next gig.
The album opens with the powerful 'I Wanna Be Your Lover', which was supposed to be his next single but which was inexplicably never issued at the time, not even as a b-side.  A laid back R&B version of 'Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat' comes next, followed by 'One of Us Must Know'; which was the only New York track to make the final cut for 'Blonde on Blonde', taking them 24 takes to get right. This is take 15, which is played in a straight country style with slightly different lyrics. A rehearsal take of 'I'll Keep It With Mine' is next, and then we have 'Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?', a single that failed to make a dent in the charts. The incomplete 'She's Your Lover Now' breaks down before the last verse, but luckily Dylan ran down the entire song on the next take for demo purposes. I've slotted is a cool instrumental before the classic 'Visions of Johanna', a song that started out as a straight-up rock and roll number in New York and became a lethargic ballad in Nashville. This is take 7, which has a bit more depth than the barnstorming take 5, and is also the longest take that he did. So this is what 'Blonde On Blonde' could have sounded like if the sessions with The Hawks had worked out to Dylan's satisfaction, but then we would have missed out on that era-defining double album. This one is still worth hearing, though.



Track listing

01 I Wanna Be Your Lover (Take 6 Mis-Slate)  
02 Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat (Take 1) 
03 One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later) (Take 15 Complete) 
04 I'll Keep It With Mine (Rehearsal)
05 Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Take 10) 
06 She's Your Lover Now (Take 15)
07 Instrumental (Take 2 Complete) 
08 Visions of Johanna (Take 7 Complete)

From The Album Fixer November 2015


Peter Gabriel - At The Movies (2016)

This is the second of the three albums that I compiled from the 4CD bootleg 'Rare', and this one features songs that Gabriel wrote for films, and which remained exclusive to the subsequent soundtrack album. For about a decade from the mid-90's on, he contributed to a number of film soundtracks, and then took an extended break before he returned in 2016 to write 'The Veil' for the Edward Snowden biopic 'Snowden'. As would be expected from Gabriel, none of these songs are filler, and they all stand up as great songs in their own right, so this collection doesn't sound like a mish-mash of oddments and throwaways, but flows pretty well as a listening experience.  



Track listing 


01 Walk Through The Fire ('Against All Odds' 1984)

02 Out Out ('Gremilns' 1984)
03 Lovetown ('Philadelphia' 1993)
04 Taboo ('Natural Born Killers' 1994)
05 While The Earth Sleeps ('Strange Days' 1995)
06 Party Man ('Virtuosity' 1995)
07 That'll Do ('Babe 2: Pigs In The City' 1998)
08 Animal Nation ('The Wild Thornberries Movie' 2002)
09 Down To Earth ('Wall-E' 2008)
10 The Veil ('Snowden' 2016)

Enjoy


Barry Gibb - The Kid's No Good (1970)

As mentioned in the Robin Gibb post, all three brother took time out in 1970 to record solo albums, none of which were ever released. Barry began recording his album on 15th February 1970, completing four songs: 'The Victim', the country-styled 'I'll Kiss Your Memory', 'Moonlight' and 'Summer Ends', with the last two being held back and instead offered to other artists for later release. On 20th February Gibb recorded 'It's Over', also known as 'I Just Want To Take Care Of You', and two days later laid down 'Mando Bay', 'Born', 'Clyde O'Reilly', and 'Peace In My Mind'. On 9th March he recorded 'What's It All About', 'This Time' and 'The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine', and a couple of weeks later he recorded the last two songs, the upbeat pop number 'One Bad Thing' and the soft ballad 'Happiness'. 'I'll Kiss Your Memory' / 'This Time' were released as a single but didn't chart, and a follow-up was mooted in 'One Bad Thing' / 'The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine', but Atco's initial batch of this were destroyed, and the few surviving copies are now considered collectors items. Before the album could be released Barry reconciled with Maurice and the two of them recorded the 'Cucumber Castle' album as The Bee Gees, and so both this record and Maurice's 'The Loner' were shelved. Of the two posts so far, this is the more varied, with the songs including some nice pop/rock numbers, whereas Robin's album was rather heavy on the ballads. 



Track listing

01 Mando Bay
02 One Bad Thing
03 The Day Your Eyes Meet Mine
04 Happiness
05 Peace in My Mind
06 Clyde O'Reilly
07 I Just Want to Take Care of You
08 I'll Kiss Your Memory
09 The Victim
10 This Time
11 What's It All About
12 Born

Enjoy

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Rutles - Shabby Road (2017)

I was in two minds whether to post this one, but I thought I would anyway and see what sort of reaction I got to it.
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on some Youtube videos where fans of the Pre-Fab Four - Ron Nasty, Dirk McQuickly, Stig O'Hara, and Barry Wom - had pieced together actual 'records' of the ones mentioned in the classic 'All You Need Is Cash' film, such as 'Ouch', 'Sgt. Rutters Only Darts Club Band', 'Let It Rot', and 'Semi-Automatic' (work it out). I grabbed them to see what they were like, and they were all surprisingly good, so I managed to piece together the ones which weren't posted using track listings that I found on the Rutles Wiki page  http://rutlesriki.wikia.com/wiki/The_Rutles_ discography, and I can post them all if this one proves popular. As The Rutles didn't record that many songs themselves, these fans have taken music from any band in which the individual members were involved in real life, so there are contributions from Neil Innes solo, as well as with The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, GRIMMS, The World, and Brian Patten, Ricky Fataar with The Flames and The Beach Boys, John Halsey and Ollie Halsall with Timebox, Boxer, and Patto, and also one small piece from Eric Idle. They then looked for songs which resembled those from the actual Beatles albums and put them together, resulting in some intriguing combinations. I'm posting 'Shabby Road' first as it think it works really well, with the superb 'No Reply (She's Too Heavy)' on "side one" and the lovely medley of shorter songs on "side two", just like the album that it's parodying. 




Track listing

SIDE ONE
01 Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik
02 Don't Worry, BIll
03 Say Sorry Again
04 If You Need Me
05 Easy Listening
06 No Reply (She's Too Heavy)

SIDE TWO
07 Here Comes The Sun (Live)
08 Dove
09 Sail Away
10 Postcard
11 Angelina
12 Hexachlorophene Sham
13 Not The First Time
14 Now You're Asleep
15 Plenty Of Time
16 Lullaby

PERFORMERS
* The Rutles - 01, 05, 16
* The Flame(s) - 02, 04, 08
* Neil Innes - 03
* Boxer - 06
* The Beatles [Moog hiss sample] - 06
* Eric Idle - 07
* The World - 09, 11, 13
* The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 10, 12, 14
* GRIMMS - 15

The Man In The Magenta Wig, a.k.a. TheLazenby has put a lot of work into these, and inspired other to follow in his steps, and so thanks to them all. If this one proves popular then I can post more, although I think I'm going to anyway whether you like it or not!

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 24 August 2018

Meat Loaf - Renegade Angel (1981)

'Bat Out Of Hell' was a surprise hit for Meat Loaf in 1977, and the following year Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf began working on the follow-up, to be called 'Renegade Angel'. The sessions were plagued by bad luck, including the theft of Steinman's lyrics and Meat Loaf losing his voice. As Meat Loaf couldn't sing his songs, Steinman had no choice but to sing them himself, finally releasing the retitled 'Bad for Good' album in 1981. Although fans knew of Steinman's involvement in 'Bat Out Of Hell', they didn't buy his new record, and it failed to even make a dent in the charts. Over the next couple of decades Meat Loaf did record all but two of those songs for his albums, and so here they all are collected together, for a Meat Loaf version of 'Renegade Angel'. I've kept the same running order as the original Steinman album, and substituted Meat Loaf's versions for Steinman's wherever possible, with just Steinman's take of 'Stark Raving Love' remaining, as Meat Loaf never recorded this song. 'Bad for Good' included an additional 7" single of 'The Storm' and 'Rock and Roll Dreams Come True', intended to act as a prelude and epilogue, and so they are now used to bookend the album. 'Dance in My Pants' featured a duet with Karla DeVito, and as Meat Loaf never recorded this song, either as a duet or on his own, I've left it off this reimagining as it didn't really fit, and for 'Left in the Dark' I've grafted Jim Steinman's spoken word intro onto Meat Loaf's vocal. These edits have allowed me to keep the length of the album to a reasonable 52 minutes.



Track listing

01 The Storm 
02 Bad For Good
03 Lost Boys And Golden Girls
04 Love And Death And An American Guitar
05 Stark Raving Love
06 Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire)
07 Surf's Up
08 Left In The Dark
09 Rock And Roll Dreams Come True


Coldplay - If You Never Try, Then You'll Never Know (2002)

When Coldplay's debut album 'Parachutes' came out in 2000 it passed me by, and they didn't really come to my attention until their second one was released, and 'Yellow', from the first one, started getting some belated airplay. I loved 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head', and so quickly bought 'Parachutes', and then waited for the next one to arrive. After a couple of years with no sign of a new album I started looking around to see if there were any unreleased tracks that would tide me over, and I was surprised to find that before 'Parachutes' the band had released three E.P.s, and so I quickly tracked them down and found that, although the style was a little different to 'A Rush Of Blood...', I actually thought the songs themselves were very impressive. That prompted me to keep looking, and before long I had enough unreleased material to burn to a CD, with well over an hour's worth of music on it. Once again, it's sat on a shelf for sixteen years, so it's time to dig it out and share it. To be honest I've gone off the band a bit since 'Viva La Vida', so I don't know if any of this has ever been officially released on a compilation, but even if it has this is still a great summary of the first four years of the band's existence.




Track listing

01 Brothers & Sisters (from the 'Safety' E.P. 1998)
02 Bigger Stronger (from the 'Safety' E.P. 1998)
03 No More Keeping My Feet On The Ground (from the 'Safety' E.P. 1998)
04 Such A Rush (from the 'Blue Room' E.P. 1999)
05 Easy To Please (from the 'Brothers & Sisters' EP 1999)
06 See You Soon (from the 'Blue Room' E.P. 1999)
07 Only Superstition (from the 'Brothers & Sisters' EP 1999)
08 Careful Where You Stand (b-side of 'Shiver' 2000)
09 For You (b-side of 'Shiver' 2000)
10 Help Is Round The Corner (b-side of 'Yellow' 2000)
11 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Jo Whiley BBC Session 2001)
12 One I Love (b-side of 'In My Place' 2002)
13 I Bloom Blaum (b-side of 'In My Place' 2002)
14 1.36 (b-side of 'The Scientist' 2002)
15 I Ran Away (b-side of 'The Scientist' 2002)
16 Crest Of Waves (b-side of 'Clocks' 2002)
17 Animals (b-side of 'Clocks' 2002)

If you're wondering about the odd title, it's because the picture that I found for the back cover of the CD had this written under the band's name, and I thought that it was enigmatic enough to use it.

Enjoy

Mike Oldfield - Mike Oldfield's Singles (1980)

Although Mike Oldfield is best know for his lengthy side-long compositions such as 'Tubular Bells', 'Hergest Ridge', and 'Ommadawn', he's also released quite a few shorter pieces on 7" singles throughout career. They vary from the truly awful ('Froggy Went A-Courting', 'Don Alphonso') to actual top ten hits ('In Dulce Jubilo', 'Portsmouth') and covers which shouldn't work but somehow do ('Blue Peter', 'William Tell Overture'). This is a collection of all his singles between 1975 and 1979 which weren't taken from albums, along with non-album b-sides from these and other singles. It's an eclectic mixture of original compositions and his arrangements of traditional songs, and includes one track which still remains a firm favourite of mine to this day, in 'Guilty'. The album got its title simply because one of Mike's first 7" singles was literally called 'Mike Oldfield's Single'.



Track listing

01 Mike Oldfield's Single (single 1974)
02 Froggy Went A-Courting (single 1974)
03 In Dulce Jubilo (For Maureen) (single 1975)
04 Don Alphonso (single 1975)
05 Portsmouth (single 1976)
06 Argiers (b-side of 'Portsmouth')
07 William Tell Overture (single 1977)
08 Cuckoo Song (single 1977)
09 Pipe Tune (b-side of 'Cuckoo Song' 1977)
10 Wreckorder Wrondo (from 'Take 4' EP 1978)
11 Sailor's Hornpipe (from 'Take 4' EP 1978)
12 Guilty (12" single 1979)
13 Blue Peter (single 1979)

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 17 August 2018

Supertramp - Sleeping With The Enemy (1985)

Following the massive success of 1978's 'Breakfast In America', which propelled Supertramp into the big time after many, many years of hard slog, the band had the unenviable task of coming up with an album as good as, or preferably better than, their breakthrough record. The hit singles extracted from it - 'The Logical Song', 'Take The Long Way Home', 'Goodbye Stranger', and the title track - set the bar very high, and so to give Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies time to come up with suitable material, the record company released the live album 'Paris' in 1980. Before the two writers even began work on the next record, Hodgson moved his family from Los Angeles to northern California, and began work on a solo album, which put something of a strain on the working relationship of the two men, but they managed to complete the next album, and '...Famous Last Words...' was released in 1982. The difficulties which were  evident during the recording of that record finally caused Hodgson to leave the band, as he wanted to spend more time with his family and work on his solo album, and Davies was left in charge of the group. Three years later 'Brother Where You Bound' was released, containing songs which moved away from the commercial pop success of their late 70's records, and included a sixteen minute exposition on the Cold War, with guitar solos from David Gilmour. Hodgson's solo album had come out the previous year, and to my ears was the better of the two sets, sounding more like Supertramp than the actual Supertramp record. But what if the band hadn't split, and the two writers had brought their best songs to the table for the follow-up to '...Famous Last Words...', with Hogdson's classic Supertramp sound being a counterpoint to Davies' new direction. It's quite possible that the resultant album could have sounded something like this, and even though a lot of these songs are quite long, we are now well into the CD era, so a sixty minute album is not that unusual. 



Track listing

01 Had A Dream (Sleeping With The Enemy)
02 Cannonball
03 Give Me Love, Give Me Life
04 Lovers In The Wind
05 No Inbetween
06 Better Days
07 Only Because Of You
08 Brother Where You Bound


Thanks to Stenn for the idea.

Enjoy

The Clash - This Is Dub Clash (2000)

Following on from the 'Kingston Calling' post, the logical next step is collating the dub versions of tracks from that album. This is a collection put together and pressed up on vinyl in the late 90's, which contained six dub remixes of Clash songs, and which was expanded for a CD release in 2000 by adding a further eight tracks. This took the running time to one hour and thirteen minutes, which I felt was a bit too long, so I looked at what was included, and removed a couple of tracks that weren't actually by The Clash - Futura 2000's 'The Escapades Of Futura 2000' and Mikey Dread's 'Radio One' - and I also deleted 'Outside Broadcast / Radio 5' and 'Mensforth Dub' , neither of which I felt were entirely successful, leaving a more palatable 46 minute album. We've already established that 'The Magnificent Seven' is not really a reggae song, but it really does lend itself extremely well to a dub treatment, and so the album opens with the superb 'The Magnificent Dance', and in a similar vein it also includes a dub version of 'Rock The Casbah', in 'Mustapha Dance'. If you want to hear the full CD album then it's not too difficult to find on the net.



Track listing

01 The Magnificent Dance
02 Justice Tonight / Kick It Over
03 Robber Dub
04 The Cool Out
05 One More Dub
06 Version Pardner
07 Mustapha Dance
08 Silicone On Sapphire
09 Return To Brixton (SW2 Dub)

Enjoy

Band Of Gypsys - Stepping Stone (1969)

In late 1969, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles agreed to help Jimi make a new album in order to settle an old contract dispute with PPX Industries, with whom Jimi had signed a contract in 1965 giving him only a 1% royalty rate. PPX had come after him with a vengeance after he became famous, and a settlement was finally reached where Jimi would give them a new album to be distributed by Capitol Records in the US. Recording started in October 1969 at an old run down rehearsal space called Juggy Sound, before moving into The Record Plant in November, where they made considerable progress on a new studio album. In December, they decided that the quickest way to honour their obligation was to record their New Years gigs at the Fillmore and give a live album to PPX. This meant that they could save the studio recordings for an album later in 1970, but in January Jimi's manager suddenly fired the band in order to reunite the original Jimi Hendrix Experience.  By that point they'd recorded enough material for a studio album, and so with a view to releasing a new Experience record, Mitchell overdubbed his own drums over Buddy's tracks, although luckily the original tapes with Miles on drums were saved. 
Some of these songs have since turned up on albums such as 'Cry Of Love' and 'Rainbow Bridge', but 'Bleeding Heart' actually comes from an informal jam session held by the trio back on May 21st, 1969, before they ever officially formed a band. 'Stepping Stone'/'Izabella' was released as a single briefly in April 1970, before being recalled for reasons unclear, and although it took some doing, I did manage to track down the original 7" Band Of Gypsys versions of these two songs. 'Hey Gypsy Boy' is an early version of 'Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)', and the album ends with 'Hear My Train A Comin'', which is another song from that May 21st jam session. 
This album was a stepping stone between the break-up of the original Experience and Mitchell's return to the fold a year or so later, and so I think that's an apt title. 



Track listing


01 Ezy Ryder  

02 Power Of Soul
03 Bleeding Heart 
04 Izabella  
05 Room Full Of Mirrors  
06 Stepping Stone 
07 Message To Love
08 Hey Gypsy Boy 
09 Earth Blues 
10 Hear My Train A Comin'  

From The Album Fixer October 2015.

Enjoy

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Aretha Franklin - Soul '71 (1971)

After hearing about Aretha's poor health today, I thought I'd make a special post to wish her well.

In January and February 1971, Aretha travelled to Miami to record at Criterion Studios with the house band The Dixie Flyers. The resultant recordings formed the basis of the 'Young, Gifted, and Black' album, as well as providing some non-album singles, b-sides, out-takes, and some new songs which were later added onto a greatest hits compilation. This re-imagining is a compilation of the best of those album tracks, b-sides and out-takes to make a record that could have eclipsed 'Young, Gifted, And Black' had it been released instead. A longer and funkier version of 'Rock Steady' starts the disc, followed by a stunning new version of 'You're All I Need to Get By' that was tucked away as a non-album b-side to 'Spanish Harlem'. This song and 'Day Dreamer' were both hit singles, and so deserve their place on the album, as do 'I Need A Strong Man' and 'Lean On Me', which were consigned to the vaults until resurrected for rarities compilations, and other tracks recorded in New York later in the year also remained unreleased at the time.
In 1972, Aretha went back to her gospel roots and recorded her most successful album, 'Amazing Grace', live at a church service.  It became the best selling gospel album ever made, but for pure soul and pop numbers this album takes some beating.



Track listing

01 Rock Steady
02 Day Dreaming 
03 You're All I Need To Get By
04 All The King's Horses 
05 I've Been Loving You Too Long
06 Spanish Harlem
07 I Need A Strong Man (The To-To Song)
08 First Snow In Kokomo
09 Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time 
10 Lean On Me

I've managed to find an archive of The Album Fixer's site (thanks Stenn) and so this is the first of half a dozen or so of his old posts.

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 10 August 2018

Peter Gabriel - The Non Album (1997)

I've had a Peter Gabriel bootleg called 'The Non Album' for a number of years, containing rare b-sides and songs offered to film soundtracks, and so I thought it would be a good post for the site. However, I wanted to upgrade my low-bitrate copy, and on searching the net I discovered that it was no longer anywhere to be found, so as an alternative I grabbed the four CD rarities bootleg 'Rare', with the intention of re-compiling it for the site. When I had a good look at what was available on this collection I found that I was actually able to make three albums - one solely of rare b-sides, one just of songs from film soundtracks, and a third compilation of live collaborations, and so this is now the first of a trilogy of posts. Gabriel's first half dozen singles took their b-sides from his then current albums, and so these tracks date from 1980's 'Biko' to 1992's 'Digging The Dirt', and I've also included 'In The Sun' from the 'Diana, Princess Of Wales: Tribute' album of 1997 - a song written by Gabriel's Real World label-mate Joseph Arthur, and which he allowed Gabriel to record before he'd even taped his own version for his 'Come To Where I'm From' album. 'Gaga', the b-side to 'Red Rain', is an instrumental version of an old song called 'I Go Swimming', and I've included the demo for that song as a bonus track.   



Track listing

01 Shosholoza (b-side to 'Biko')
02 Across The River (b-side to 'I Have The Touch')
03 Soft Dog (b-side to 'Shock The Monkey')
04 Don't Break This Rhythm (b-side to 'Sledgehammer')
05 Gaga (I Go Swimming' instrumental) (b-side to 'Red Rain')
06 Curtains (b-side to 'Big Time')
07 In The Sun (from 'Diana: A Tribute')
08 Bashi Bazouk (b-side to 'Digging In The Dirt')
09 I Go Swimming (Previously unreleased)

Enjoy

Robin Gibb - Sing Slowly Sisters (1970)

Towards the end of the 60's, following the release of their three classic pop albums and the experimental 'Odessa', the Bee Gee broke up, after all three brothers decided that they wanted to release solo albums. Maurice recorded 'The Loner' album, Barry did the same with his 'The Kids No Good', while Robin's album was to be called 'Sing Slowly Sisters'. In the end none of the three albums were ever released, but songs from each proposed record have leaked onto the net, and so it's just possible to piece together what the albums might have sounded like. Robin seemed to progress faster than his brothers, and had an album pretty much ready to go in 1970, but then Barry and Maurice got back together as a duo for the 'Cucumber Castle' album and accompanying film - if you get a chance to watch this on Youtube then do spare the time as although it is very, very bad, the cast list is stellar, including Frankie Howard, Spike Milligan, Vincent Price, Lulu, and all of Blind Faith, as well as uncredited appearances from Mick Jagger, Donovan and Marianne Faithful. Although 'Cucumber Castle' wasn't one of their best albums, it did well enough to tempt Robin back into the fold for the follow-up '2 Years On', and once that happened then the solo albums were permanently put on the back-burner. Robin's album is fairly easy to piece together, and so here it is, as it would have sounded back in 1970.



Track listing

01 Life
02 I've Been Hurt
03 Irons On The Fire
04 Cold Be My Days
05 Avalanche
06 It's Only Make Believe
07 All's Well That Ends Well
08 A Very Special Day
09 Sky West And Crooked
10 Sing Slowly Sisters
11 C'est La Vie, Au Revoir

Enjoy

Strawbs - Why And Wherefore (1976)

Strawbs were one of the best progressive folk-rock bands of the 70's, and included a number of great songwriters in their ranks, such as Dave Lambert, Dave Cousins, and Richard Hudson and John Ford, later to have considerable chart success as Hudson Ford. They started out in 1964 as a bluegrass band called The Strawberry Hill Boys, but by 1967 they'd moved into folk, and their first foray into a recording studio was in Denmark, where they recorded some folk songs with Sandy Denny, later of Fairport Convention, for an album that was never issued at the time. Following 1970's 'Dragonfly' album they recruited Rick Wakeman as their keyboard player, and were more of a folk-rock band, but when Dave Lambert joined in 1972 their music took on a harder rock sound. They had a couple of massive hits with 'Lay Down' and 'Part Of The Union', although the latter was not really representative of their music. Throughout their career they released numerous singles, and some of them had exclusive b-sides, which I've collected together here, along with a cracking live track, and some other out-takes which surfaced when their original albums were remastered and reisued.  



Track listing

01 Keep The Devil Outside (b-side of withdrawn 'Witchwood' single 1971)
02 We'll Meet Again Sometime (b-side of withdrawn 'Witchwood' single 1971)
03 Forever (single 1971)
04 Backside (b-side of 'Lay Down')
05 Changes Arranges (b-side of 'Grace Darling')
06 Why > (b-side of 'Hero And Heroine')
07 And Wherefore (b-side of 'Shine On Silver Sun')
08 Will Ye Go (b-side of 'Part Of The Union')
09 Where Is This Dream Of Your Youth (Live) (Previously unreleased) 
10 Still Small Voice (Previously unreleased)
11 It's Good To See The Sun (Previously unreleased)
12 You Won't See The Light (Previously unreleased)

'Backside' is a David Bowie parody, and was credited to Ciggy Barlust And The Whales From Venus, and 'Will Ye Go' is their take on the traditional 'Wild Mountain Thyme'. 'Why And Wherefore' was a live favourite, and was made up of two parts, usually with an instrumental bridge in the middle. The studio recording was split in two, to be put on the b-sides of a couple of the band's singles, so I've split it into separate tracks, but there's no gap between them and so it will play as one long piece. 

Enjoy

Friday, 3 August 2018

Elvis Presley - I'm Leavin' (1971)

For this year's Record Store Day, a limited edition Elvis Presley album was released called 'I'm Leavin'', consisting of the best of his folk and country recordings from 1966 to 1973. It included masters from Elvis' session at RCA Victor's Studio B in Nashville from May 1971, where during the recording of some gospel and holiday songs, he taped a number of contemporary folk tunes. The session has attained legendary status over the years, and although some of the songs did eventually turn up, randomly scattered onto subsequent releases over the following few years, there are still some that are unheard. So while it's great to hear five of those songs on the Record Store Day release, I feel that they missed an opportunity there, as they could have released an album consisting of just the songs recorded in Nashville in 1971. As they didn't, then I'll have to, and so this it what the RSD album should have been, with all of the tracks taken from the May 1971 session. I've edited a couple of the tracks, but mostly these are just as they were recorded, and even though I'm not that much of an Elvis fan (heresy, I know, but I love the 1956 stuff and not much else) I do really like this album, and that has to be down to the superb selection of songs which were chosen to cover.



Track listing

01 I'm Leavin'
02 Early Morning Rain
03 I'm Still Here
04 Until It's Time For You To Go
05 Help Me Make It Through The Night
06 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
07 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
08 It's Only Love
09 I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
10 Amazing Grace
11 (That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me
12 I Will Be True

Enjoy / Enjoy

Free - Songs Of The Free (1976)

Free have always been a favourite band of mine, and how could they not be when the had arguably the best rock vocalist ever in Paul Rodgers, and a guitarist of the calibre of Paul Kossoff, alongside the superlative rhythm section of Andy Fraser and Simon Kirke. I still have all their albums on vinyl, but never really classed them as a singles band, even though 'All Right Now' was a massive hit, while 'Wishing Well' and 'My Brother Jake' were also successes for them in the singles charts. Consequently I missed out on some great songs which were hidden away as b-sides of some of their singles, and so this album rectifies that omission by collecting them all together, and adding in a few choice out-takes and a live BBC session recording. Even a collection of offcuts and out-takes like this only reinforces the band's reputation as one of the greatest rock groups of all time. 



Track listing

01 Woman By The Sea (Previously unreleased)
02 Guy Stevens Blues (Previously unreleased)
03 Visions Of Hell (Previously unreleased)
04 Let Me Show You (b-side of 'Wishing Well' 1972)
05 Rain (Previously unreleased)
06 Only My Soul (b-side of 'My Brother Jake' 1971)
07 The Worm (b-side of 'Broad Daylight' 1969)
08 Spring Dawn (Previously unreleased)
09 Sugar For Mr. Morrison (b-side of 'I'll Be Creeping' 1969)
10 Molten Gold (Previously unreleased)
11 Lady (Previously unreleased)
12 Waiting On You (BBC Session 1972)

Enjoy

Manfred Mann - Cubist Town (1968)

In 1966, during the recording of what was to become the 'As Is' album, Mike Hugg turned up clutching a copy of the new Beach Boys album 'Pet Sounds'. He'd grown increasingly tired of the rut that the band had fallen into, of recording a collection of singles and b-sides, adding in a few fillers and releasing it as an album, and he wanted the band to move more in the direction that the Beach Boys had with their latest record. The rest of the group were up for it, but felt that it was too late to change what they'd already recorded for 'As is', so they decided to compete the album and then go away and digest 'Pet Sounds', and then see what new songs they could come up with. Mike D'Abo presented 'No Better No Worse', Hugg contributed 'Harry The One Man Band', 'It's So Easy Falling' and 'Too Many People', and Tom McGuinness wrote 'There Is A Man', and what was to become the title track of the album 'Cubist Town'. Recording began in early 1967, with the band adding harpsicord and mellotron to their usual instruments, and filling any gaps there were left with harmony vocals. During the sessions Gerry Bron took a call from film director Peter Collinson, who wanted the band to provide the soundtrack to his new movie, and after much deliberation the band eventually agreed. One of the songs they'd written, 'Floating In A Dream', was renamed 'Up The Junction' in preparation for the  recording of the soundtrack, and another couple of completed songs were put to one side to be used in the film. However, because of this extra workload 'Cubist Town' ground to a halt, and when Hugg heard that the Zombies were also recording an album in a similar vein, he gave up his quest for this elusive masterpiece, and the band took some of the songs they'd recorded, added a few more in their old style, such as 'Ha Ha Said The Clown', and released the 'Mighty Garvey' album. 'Cubist Town' was never to be, and was consigned to the vaults.


Unfortunately none of the above is true, as this back story was put together by Joe Wiltshire, to go with this collection of Manfred Mann tracks that he'd compiled into an album that he'd like to have seen come out in 1968. It's apparently something of a hobby of his, with him also designing the cover and coming up with the track listing, but it all sounds so believable that you wonder if it isn't that far from the truth. Listen to the album and decide for yourself.


Track listing

01 No Better No Worse
02 It's So Easy Falling
03 Cubist Town
04 Harry The One Man Band
05 Up The Junction
06 Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey
07 The Funniest Gig
08 Budgie
09 Too Many People
10 There Is A Man
11 Just For Me
12 Eastern Street
13 Sleepy Hollow

I added the last two songs to make the album up to 36 minutes, and I've tried to segue them in the same style as the rest of the album, so I hope you don't spot the joins When I first heard this album I didn't know if I liked the segues, with each track running into the next, so I split them out and faded them, but now I understand the concept It's grown on me. Rather than waste my efforts, I've included both versions in the download for you to make your own choice.

Enjoy / Enjoy