Thursday, 30 April 2020

The Monkees - Can You Dig It? (1968) UPDATE

One little comment from EasilyConfused has opened up a can of worms here. He asked if the album was called 'Can You Dig It?' or 'Drum', as the file and the tags both call it 'Drum'. The reason I put this together was that I found that great sleeve online, and wanted an album to go with it, and on the drumhead was the word DRUM, so originally I was going to call the album that. Thinking about it, though, I didn't get it, so decided to title it after one of the songs instead. However, while I was doing that I was also rejigging the running order, and eventually I decided to remove the track 'Ticket On A Ferry Ride' as it didn't really fit, and was two years older than all of the other songs, so that reduced the number of songs to 14. I've now discovered that the old file was not only incorrectly titled but also included 'Ticket...', so it doesn't tie up at all with the track listing. I've updated the links, so for anyone who's already downloaded it you can either grab it again, remove 'Ticket...' yourself and renumber the other songs , or just keep it as it is. I personally think it sounds better without the later song, but you might like it. I'm kicking myself for this cock-up, as I was really pleased with the result, and now nobody has actually heard the finished album yet!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Phish - Waiting For Columbus (2010)

In 2010, fans were laser-focused on one band and one band only for Phish’s Halloween costume: Led Zeppelin. Rumors of 'Led Zeppelin II' or 'Led Zeppelin IV' were flying as the band descended on Atlantic City for a three-night run. The band put the Zeppelin rumors to bed by performing an epic 'Chalkdust Torture' -> 'Whole Lotta Love' -> 'Chalk Dust Torture' on 30th October, and they played 'Ha Ha Ha' afterwards, essentially laughing at the crowd for all the rumors, and marking one of the Phishiest moments in the band’s history. The show’s second set would go on to feature snippets of 'Heartbreaker', 'Ramble On', 'Thank You', and 'Stairway To Heaven', further cementing the joke for fans and band alike. The following evening, on Halloween proper, Phish performed 'Waiting For Columbus' by Little Feat - an out-of-left-field choice for sure, but one that perfectly fitted the band’s vibe. Phish was joined by a five-piece horn section that evening as well as legendary percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo, who expertly added to the sound. The band switched instruments on 'Willin'', with Page McConnell picking up the bass, Mike Gordon moving to piano, Trey Anastasio playing drums and Jon Fishman singing lead vocals, and the four musicians then moved to the front of the stage for an a cappella arrangement of 'Don’t Bogart That Joint'. The show also featured many standout moments, including excellent renditions of 'Fat Man In The Bathtub', 'Dixie Chicken', and 'Time Loves A Hero', but the clear winner of the evening was a raging version of 'Spanish Moon' that left the Boardwalk Hall in awe of Phish’s abilities. The band have since said that when performing this album in its entirety they weren't so much trying to make note-perfect renditions of the songs, but their aim was to engender the same sort of vibe that Little Feat used to get at their concerts, and if that was they wanted then I think they pulled it off. 



Track listing

01 Join The Band
02 Fat Man In The Bathtub
03 All That You Dream
04 Oh Atlanta
05 Old Folks Boogie
06 Time Loves A Hero
07 Day Or Night
08 Mercenary Territory
09 Spanish Moon
10 Dixie Chicken
11 Tripe Face Boogie
12 Rocket In My Pocket
13 Willin’
14 Don’t Bogart That Joint
15 A Apolitical Blues
16 Sailin’ Shoes
17 Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 24 April 2020

The Monkees - Can You Dig It? (1968)

I was browsing the Steve Hoffman site the other day when I came across a thread inviting suggestions for albums from bands in another timeline, and member Chimbica from Brazil suggested an album by The Monkees, which they would have released when their attempt at a full-blown psychedelic album was shelved following disagreement within the band. Instead they decided to record a parody of The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper', and Chimbica posted the cover which would have housed the album. It's a stunning piece of work, and must have taken him ages to complete, deciding who to include and putting together the montage, and I felt that it was too good to be lost on the site so decided to compile an album which could use it. This post is therefore The Monkees psychedelic album which they never made, compiled from the best psyche-pop that they recorded in 1967 and 1968. Most people just think of The Monkees as a bubblegum pop band, but later in their career they were really pushing the boundaries of what they could achieve, culminating in one of the most overtly psychedelic films ever made, 'Head'. Strangely enough, only a couple of tracks on here come from the 'Head' soundtrack, as they were producing some fine acid-tinged music way before that, so sit back, tune in and drop out to the psychedelic sound of The Monkees. I've cross-faded some of the tracks, like they used to do back then, but if anyone wants to hear an unedited version then I can post that later. And no, I don't know why Johnny Rotten is standing next to Peter Tork!



Track listing

01 Porpoise Song
02 The Door Into Summer
03 Auntie's Municipal Court
04 Daily Nightly
05 Can You Dig It?
06 Little Red Rider
07 Tapioca Tundra
08 Love Is Only Sleeping
09 Circle Sky
10 As We Go Along
11 Writing Wrongs
12 Pleasant Valley Sunday
13 All Of Your Toys
14 Zor And Zam

Enjoy / Enjoy

Unedited version


Can - Ege Bamyasi (1972)

My previous Can post attracted a comment from flippikat suggesting that it might a nice idea to put together an expanded edition of the band's fourth studio album 'Ege Bamyasi', using tracks from the same year which could be found on their 'Lost Tapes' album. The original album contains the single 'Spoon', which charted in the Top 10 in Germany, largely because of its use as the theme of a German TV thriller mini-series called 'Das Messer' (The Knife). With the single being added to the album at the last minute as the band were short of material and had a deadline looming, it helped to make 'Ege Bamyasi' one of Can's most popular releases, and over the years its reputation has grown, with it now being considered their artistic high-point as well. It was a good idea, so I dug out my copies of both albums, selected the 'Lost Tapes' tracks from 1972 and set about slotting them into the original album. After a bit of mixing and matching I'd come up with a track listing that seemed to work, so I started thinking about a cover for it. While googling 'Can', I came across a post by flippikat on the Steve Hoffman site where they'd actually put together a possible track listing for an expanded 'Ege Bamyasi', and not surprisingly it was very close to mine. We'd even both omitted one track, 'Evening All Day', in my case because I considered it a bit dull compared to the other tracks, and in flippikat's case I believe it was so that they could compile it into four vinyl sides of around eighteen minutes each. Whatever our reasons, we agreed on the final song selection, so I decided to use flippikat's sequencing for the final album. I think it works well, as some tracks in the final quarter use themes from the original album, calling back to earlier pieces as a sort of reprise. I did find a cover for it from the excellent Behance Gallery site, which has cartoon versions of a large selection of classic album sleeves (do check it out), and so here is a double-album version of one of the classic Krautrock albums of the early 70's.



Track listing

01 Pinch
02 Messer, Scissors, Fork & Light
03 Sing Swan Song
04 Vitamin C
05 Spoon
06 One More Night
07 Bubble Rap
08 Soup
09 I'm so Green
10 A Swan is Born 
11 Dead Pigeon Suite


Soft Machine - Rivmic Melodies (1969)

Soft Machine were formed in mid-1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals), Daevid Allen (guitar) and Mike Ratledge (organ) plus, for the first few gigs only, American guitarist Larry Nowlin. This first Soft Machine line-up was involved in the early UK underground, performing at the UFO Club, the Speakeasy Club and Middle Earth, and their first single 'Love Makes Sweet Music' / 'Feelin' Reelin' Squeelin' was released in early 1967. They toured the Netherlands, Germany, and the French Riviera, and were highly regarded in Paris, as part of "in" crowd, resulting in invitations to appear on television shows and at the Paris Biennale in October 1967. After their return from France, Allen (an Australian) was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom, so he returned to Paris to form Gong, and the group continued as a trio. The band's first album had been recorded in New York City in April 1968, at the end of the first leg of an American tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and to promote the album another tour of America was arranged, with Andy Summers, formerly of Dantalion's Chariot, joining the band on guitar. During the tour Summers was fired at the insistence of Ayers, who himself departed amicably after the final tour date at the Hollywood Bowl, and for the remainder of 1968 Soft Machine were no more. Wyatt stayed in the U.S. to record solo demos, while Ratledge returned to London and began composing in earnest. 
In December 1968, to fulfill contractual obligations, Soft Machine re-formed with former road manager and composer Hugh Hopper on bass, and recorded their second album 'Volume Two' in 1969, which started a transition toward jazz fusion. However, for this post we're imagining that when Soft Machine reformed in 1969, all three original members agreed to get back together, and so their second album 'Rivmic Melodies' included songs from all three composers, and was a mixture of first album-style songs and the new jazz-fusion direction that the band was experimenting with. There is a fascinating alternate timeline for Soft Machine here https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/the-soft-machine-rigmarole-a-soft-machine-timeline.484978/, from which I've borrowed the album title and cover, but their idea for the 'third' (in their timeline) album was for it to be a double, which included most of 'Volume Two' and Kevin Ayers' 'Joy Of A Toy'. However, on listening to it I felt that a few of Ayers' songs didn't really fit with the more avant garde Soft Machine sound, so I've condensed it down to a single album. It does include his 'Joy Of A Toy' out-take 'Soon, Soon, Soon', renamed for this album by the alternate timeline site as 'Pataphysical Conclusion', as a counterpoint to the opening 'Pataphysical Introduction', and whereas I'd loved to have used the original, slower mix of Ayer's 'The Lady Rachel', the orchestration sounded out of place so I've stuck with the original take. Ayers' 'Song For Insane Times' actually has Hopper, Ratledge and Wyatt as the backing band, so is in effect a Soft Machine recording, and so by adding these to a choice selection of tracks from 'Volume Two', we have the album that the Ayers/Ratledge/Wyatt lineup could have made in 1969. I've edited and cross-faded the tracks, as on the original 'Volume Two', and so enjoy the second album from the original line-up of Soft Machine.     



Track listing

01 Pataphysical Introduction  
02 Hibou Anemone and Bear  
03 Song for Insane Times  
04 Dada Was Here
05 The Lady Rachel
06 Hulloder  
07 Pataphysical Conclusion  
08 As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still  
09 Eleanor’s Cake (Which Ate Her) 
10 Dedicated to You But You Weren’t Listening  
11 Stop This Train (Again Doing It)  
12 A Door Opens and Closes  
13 10:30 Returns to the Bedroom  

Enjoy / Enjoy

Passage - Time Delay (1981)

Passage were a post-punk band from Manchester, who released singles on a variety of independent labels, such as Object Music, Cherry Red Records, and their own label Night & Day. The band was formed in 1978 as a trio by songwriter and former Hallé Orchestra percussionist Richard Witts, with former founder member of The Fall Tony Friel on bass, and Magazine's original keyboardist Bob Dickinson, who was later replaced by Lorraine Hilton. They released the 4 track EP 'New Love Songs' on Object Records in 1978, quickly followed by a second 4 track EP 'About Time' the following year, this time produced by David Cunningham of The Flying Lizards. After an audience altercation at a London gig, Freil quit the band, and was replaced by Hilton's sister Martine on bass, and John Snowdon was added on vocals for live work. The band recorded their debut album in July 1980, but before it could be released Witts was involved in a car accident and his arm was injured, leaving him out of action, and putting the band on hold indefinitely. Object Music released 'Pindrop' as by The Passage in November 1980 to critical acclaim, but a dispute with the record company caused the album to be deleted after just 5000 copies were pressed. Now without a label, they formed their own, Night & Day Records, releasing two singles and their second album 'For All And None', before signing to Cherry Red Records for the 'Taboos' 12" single in 1981. Their first album for the label, 'Degenerates', and the 'XOYO' single from it, were their biggest successes, helped enormously by the single being included on Cherry Red's hugely popular 'Pillows And Prayers' compilation album. After providing Cherry Red with one more album 'Enflame', which the label didn't offer to promote with a tour, they decided that they were unhappy with the way that their records were being handled, and so in 1983 they quit the label. After an abortive attempt at a new project, The Passage finally disbanded later that year. This collection concentrates on their early days from 1978 to 1981, as fans who came to them off the back of the 'XOYO' single in 1982 might not have realised that they'd already released a lot of music on small labels, much of which never appeared on their albums.



Track listing

01 Love Song (from the 'New Love Songs' EP 1978)  
02 Competition (from the 'New Love Songs' EP 1978)  
03 $lit Machine (from the 'New Love Songs' EP 1978)  
04 New Kind Of Love (from the 'New Love Songs' EP 1978)  
05 Taking My Time (from the 'About Time' EP 1979)  
06 Clock Paradox (from the 'About Time' EP 1979)  
07 16 Hours (from the 'About Time' EP 1979)  
08 Time Delay (from the 'About Time' EP 1979)  
09 Troops Out (single 1981)
10 Hip Rebels (b-side of 'Troops Out')
11 Devils And Angels (single 1981)
12 Watching You Dance (b-side of 'Devils And Angels')
13 Taboos/Taboodub (12" single 1981 - exclusive mix)
14 Mr. Terror, Chief Of Police (Piccadilly Radio session 1981)  
15 My One Request (Piccadilly Radio session 1981)  
16 The Beginning, The Dawn (Piccadilly Radio session 1981)  
17 A Man Set Out (Piccadilly Radio session 1981)

Enjoy / Enjoy

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Phish - Exile On Main Street (2009)

With an eleven year gap between Halloweens, a lot had happened in the world of Phish, with the band going on hiatus, reunited, officially breaking up, and then reunited again. 2009 marked the ultimate comeback, kicking off the new era by hitting many of their old favorite venues, including combining their festival and Halloween traditions into one giant extravaganza dubbed Festival 8. The three-day Halloween event took place at the Empire Polo Club (also known as the home of Coachella), drawing in smiling crowds as far as the eye could see. The anticipation for what album they band would cover was turned into a full-on Phish event, and the band launched a website with 99 albums that would get whittled down each day as Festival 8 drew nearer. Finally, ten albums remained, and the festival housed themed campgrounds based on each remaining album, and on the day of Halloween proper, fans were handed a Phishbill upon entry, announcing that The Rolling Stones' 'Exile On Main Street' was the winner. When the band hit the stage, they were joined by Sharon Jones and a few of her Dap Kings horns for a truly special performance and nailed the album, with 'Loving Cup' and 'Shine A Light' remaining two of the most beloved songs in Phish’s repertoire of covers to this day.



Track listing

01 Rocks Off 
02 Rip This Joint  
03 Shake Your Hips 
04 Casino Boogie 
05 Tumbling Dice  
06 Sweet Virginia 
07 Torn And Frayed 
08 Sweet Black Angel 
09 Loving Cup  
10 Happy  
11 Turd On The Run  
12 Ventilator Blues 
13 I Just Want To See His Face  
14 Let It Loose 
15 All Down The Line  
16 Stop Breaking Down 
17 Shine A Light 
18 Soul Survivor 


Friday, 17 April 2020

Jimi Hendrix - ...and on guitar (1970)

Considering the many, many hours of Jimi Hendrix recordings that exists, including both studio and live tapes, it's surprising at just how little there is of him collaborating with other artists in the later years of his career. There's the famed bootleg of him jamming with members of Traffic, and one album from Irish psyche-poppers Eire Apparent, for which he acted as producer and played guitar, but apart from those his guest appearances were limited to helping out friends Robert Wyatt, Arthur Lee and Stephen Stills, doing a favour for Paul McCartney, and appearing with a stellar cast of mates on two sessions, for Lighting Rod and Timothy Leary. 
Eire Apparent (a pun on their Irish heritage) hailed from Northern Ireland, and launched the careers of both Henry McCullough and Ernie Graham, but their main claim to fame is getting Hendrix to act as producer and play guitar on their sole album 'Sunrise' in 1968. The link is that both artists were managed by ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler, and at one point both were signed to Track Records, for whom Eire Apparent recorded one single. Following this the band were sent to tour America, firstly with The Animals, and then later with Soft Machine and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and while in Los Angeles they recorded songs for their debut album 'Sunrise', with Hendrix producing and playing on the record. 'Sunrise' went the way of a lot of albums of the late 60's, selling a moderate number at the time, but being re-discovered in the 80's as a 'lost classic', and original copies now go for large sums, helped quite a bit by the Hendrix connection. 
Also is 1968, Roger McGough and Mike McGear were members of hit Liverpool art/rock/poetry band The Scaffold, and fancied doing a duo album of their own stuff. They roped in Mike's brother Paul McCartney to produce it, and between them they managed to engage the services of Hendrix to provide guitar on two of the more song-orientated tracks, both of them mid-to-late 60's pop/psyche offerings.
At the end of the tour, on which Eire Apparent supported Hendrix and The Soft Machine, The Experience gave Robert Wyatt access to their recording studios after hours, so that he could record some demos, and Hendrix added guitar to one of them, 'Slow Walkin' Talk'. 
In 1969, The Last Poet's member Lighting Rod was perfecting one of the earliest example of rapping, and wanted to record his outlandish tale of the prostitute 'Doriella Du Fontaine', so persuaded Buddy Miles and Hendrix to improvise in the studio with him. They recorded a basic 8 minute take which was eventually released as a 12" single in 1984, together with an edited four minute instrumental version of the track.
In 1970, Hendrix provided guitar on one song from Stephen Stills' debut solo album. The pair had known each other for years, and there's an hour-long jam session of the two of them in Stills' basement in 1968 available on Youtube, and during the sessions for the album the pair also recorded a jam called 'White Nigger', which Stills later turned into 'High And Dry' for his Manassas project. This was actually a re-acquaintance of the two in a recording studio, as the previous year Hendrix had invited Stills to a session at New York’s Record Plant, and it was there that Stills performed the Joni Mitchell song 'Woodstock' for the first time, a year before it would appear on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's album ‘Déjà vu’. Stills and Hendrix then recorded a version of the song, along with a take on Stills' '$20 Fine', both with Stills on vocals. 
Also in 1970, Hendrix was invited by Love's Arthur Lee to contribute to his band's album 'False Start'. Hendrix returned to Olympic Studios, the recording facility where he'd recorded 'Are You Experienced' and 'Axis: Bold As Love', and he and percussionist Remi Kabaka joined Love in recording 'The Everlasting First'. The three musicians recorded sixteen takes before a basic track met Lee's approval, and they also taped two takes of Hendrix's own 'Ezy Rider', before they took part in an extended instrumental jam session, later titled 'Loon', before departing. This album doesn't aim to include everything that Hendrix was involved in outside The Experience or Band Of Gypsys, but it's more of an overview of his collaborations, so I've picked just two songs from Eire Apparent's album, on which his guitar-playing is particularly up-front, along with the two 'McGough & McGear' songs, three with Stephen Stills, the Robert Wyatt demo, and the recording with Love. The Timothy Leary recording is nice to hear once, but doesn't really warrant repeated plays, so if you want to hear it you can do so here. I  haven't included the Love versions of 'Ezy Rider', as Hendrix sings on them and so they just sound like normal Hendrix out-takes, and 'Loon' is just a ten-minute jam, and I've also omitted '$20 Dollar Fine' which is available on the 'Both Sides Of The Sky' album. If you like the two Eire Apparent tracks then do check out their album as it really is excellent stuff.  



Track listing

01 The Clown (from 'Sunrise' by Eire Apparent 1968)
02 Mr. Guy Fawkes (from 'Sunrise' by Eire Apparent 1968)
03 So Much (from 'McGough & McGear' by McGough & McGear 1968)
04 Ex Art Student (from 'McGough & McGear' by McGough & McGear 1968)
05 Doriella Du Fontaine (by Lightning Rod 1969)
06 Old Times Good Times (from 'Stephen Stills' by Stephen Stills 1970)
07 White Nigger ('Stephen Stills' out-take 1970)
08 Woodstock (out-take with Stephen Stills 1969)
09 Slow Walkin' Talk (from ''68' by Robert Wyatt 1968)
10 The Everlasting First (from 'False Start' by Love 1970)

Enjoy / Enjoy

Now that this has turned into a series, I've updated the artwork on this post to match the others, although I've left the original cover in the file. If you want this cover then just right-click and save it from the post.

For Mac users: after the file is unzipped the folder will appear empty inside. Press command+shift+period (to show hidden files) and a grayed out folder '...and on guitar' will appear and the mp3s will be inside. Either drag those to another folder or rename the folder to 'and on guitar'. Press command+shift+period to once again hide the hidden files.

Treebound Story - My Life's Example (1989)

If Treebound Story are known for anything, it's for including a very young Richard Hawley in their line-up. Hawley formed the band while still at school, with the help of Paul Infanti (vocals, guitar), Paul Currie (bass) and Rob Gregory (drums), and the jangly pop that they played in their hometown of Sheffield was very much in the style of Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Smiths. At the age of 19 Hawley and the band were invited to record a session for John Peel, which led to a record deal with Fon Records, who released two EP's in 1986. Two more EP's followed in 1989 on Native Records, after which the band broke up and Hawley moved on to form The Longpigs with Crispin Hunt in 1993. After playing with them for seven years the band split in 2000, and he was asked to join Pulp by his friend Jarvis Cocker, as a touring guitarist. While with Pulp he perfected his songwriting, and was encouraged by Cocker to record some of his songs for a solo album, which was released in 2001 to acclaim from both press and public alike, and he is now feted as one of the UK's best singer/songwriters. This collection includes everything that Treebound Story ever recorded, including all the songs from their records, and one otherwise unavailable recording from the Peel session. You can tell from listening to these songs that Hawley was definitely an emerging talent, and it's a shame that the band never released an album, as tracks like 'My Life's Example', 'Hunger Mountain High', and 'Take It' are great songs.  



Track listing

01 My Life's Example (single 1986)
02 Forever Green (b-side of 'My Life's Example')
03 I Remember (12" single 1986)
04 Like A Fool (b-side of 'I Remember')
05 Hunger Mountain High (b-side of 'I Remember') 
06 If I'd Known (b-side of 'I Remember')
07 My Life's Example (Cement Mix) (b-side of 'My Life's Example')
08 Your Kind (John Peel Session 1986)
09 Something (John Peel session 1986)
10 Swimming In The Heart Of Jane (12" single 1989)
11 On The Rocks (b-side of 'Swimming In The Heart Of Jane')
12 The Butterfly Dies (b-side of 'Swimming In The Heart Of Jane')
13 Rain, Rain, Rain (b-side of 'Swimming In The Heart Of Jane')
14 Trains And Boats And Planes (b-side of 'Take It')
15 Take It (12" single 1989)


Gene Simmons - Alter Ego (1978)

In 2017 Gene Simmons released 'The Vault', which was a collection of his musical 'Alter-Ego', and contained 50 years of unreleased solo recordings created between 1966 and 2016 on 11 CDs, packaged in a hardcover coffee table book featuring 50,000 words and 160 pages of unseen photos, all housed in a 40lb deluxe safe made of metal and wood. It also features collectables available exclusively to the box set, including the first ever non-makeup Gene Simmons action figure and a two sided gold medallion. If you have a spare $1,500.00 then go for it, or you could choose to have have Simmons personally make the delivery to your home, for just $50,000.00. For those of us who don't have that kind of cash, I decided to extract some of the songs to make up an album which could have followed his 'Gene Simmons' release from 1978, where all four members of Kiss issued a solo album at the same time. There were a number of songs in 'The Vault' which dated from 1978 and which weren't on that album, so they were either recorded during, or just after, the sessions for 'Gene Simmons', and with the addition of three tracks recorded with Eddie and Alex Van Halen in 1977 (which I particularly wanted to include) there was exactly enough material for a 40-minute album. The sound quality is variable, but I've tried to make all the songs sound like they were recorded together, and listening to this collection you can't help but admit that the man knows a good hook when he hears it.   



Track listing

01 Got Love For Sale (with Eddie and Alex Van Halen)
02 Love By Invitation
03 Eat Your Heart Out
04 X Ray Eyes
05 Obnoxious
06 Tunnel Of Love (with Eddie and Alex Van Halen)
07 Just Begun To Fight
08 Mongoloid Man (with Joe Perry and Michael Desbarres)
09 Gypsy Eyes
10 Bad Bad Lovin'
11 Fourever
12 Christine Sixteen (with Eddie and Alex Van Halen)
13 It's Funny, But It Ain't No Joke

Enjoy / Enjoy 

You might also like 
KISS - Snow Blind                                    Wicked Lester - Wicked Lester                         


The Style Council - Modernism - A New Decade (1989)

'Modernism: A New Decade' was supposed to be the fifth and final studio album by The Style Council, but it represented such a departure from the band's core genre of pop/soul, that when it was presented to Polydor they hated it so much that they rejected it out of hand and refused to release it. They were concerned that the group's fanbase might not react kindly to their drastic change in style, to the new one of deep house, which was then being referred to as "garage" (as in Paradise Garage) music by the UK press. The rejection actually led to the band breaking up, with Paul Weller embarking on a massively successful solo career after returning to guitar-orientated rock. Fans had always wanted to hear what this ground-breaking album sounded like, so Polydor finally relented in 1998 and included it on 'The Complete Adventures of The Style Council' box set, with a separate release being authorised three years later, but for Japan only. If you're a fan of the band but managed to miss that limited re-issue then you can now hear the album that broke the band. 



Track listing

01 A New Decade
02 Love of the World
03 The World Must Come Together
04 Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha)
05 Can You Still Love Me?
06 That Spiritual Feeling
07 Everybody's on the Run
08 Sure Is Sure

Suggested by 'The Greatest Albums You'll Never Hear' by Bruno MacDonald

Enjoy / Enjoy

Adam Ant - Persuasion (1993)

'Persuasion' was to be the fifth studio solo album by Adam Ant, planned for 1992-3, but never released. It featured a collaboration between the Adam Ant/Marco Pirroni partnership and Bernard Edwards, longtime bass player with the disco group Chic. Edwards' Chic bandmate Tony Thompson played drums on most of the album, except for 'Headgear', 'Survival Of The Fetish', and the title track, which utilised Dave Ruffy, who had previously worked with Pirroni on Sinéad O'Connor's 1990 'The Year Of The Horse' concert. Cameo guitarist Larry Blackmon featured on the track 'Little Devil', and former Adam and the Ants bassist Leigh Gorman also helped out. Despite the US Top 20 success of the single 'Room At The Top' from previous MCA album 'Manners & Physique', the label rejected the album and dropped Ant, as they felt that 'Manners & Physique' had not performed as well as they'd hoped, and had failed to achieve gold status in the US. Following the rejection of the album by MCA, Ant formed a new band with Pirroni and Ruffy, and embarked on the 1993 Persuasion Tour to try to attract a new label for the album. Although he managed to persuade Capitol Records to sign him up in the US and EMI for the UK, MCA refused to let go of the 'Persuasion' master tapes, and so Ant and the band had to record a brand new album for the new labels, releasing 'Wonderful' in 1995. Here's 'Persuasion' for you to decide if you think that MCA made the right decision.  



Track listing

01 Persuasion
02 Headgear
03 All Girl Action
04 Brain Candy
05 Obsession
06 Little Devil
07 Sexatise You
08 Survival Of The Fetish
09 Charge Of The Heavy Brigade
10 Don't Knock It ('Til You Got It) 
11 Seems To Me

Enjoy / Enjoy

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Phish - Loaded / The Dark Side Of The Moon (1998)

After taking a year off from Halloween in 1997, Phish returned to their Halloween tradition the following year with a performance at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. With heavy rumours of Pink Floyd‘s 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' circulating, the band surprised everyone when they instead performed 'Loaded' by The Velvet Underground. This performance lacked any guest musicians, focusing instead on the four members of Phish as they performed the classic art-rock album, and 'Rock And Roll' remains the true standout from the night, having  found a home in Phish’s rotation of covers ever since.



Track listing

01 Who Loves The Sun
02 Sweet Jane
03 Rock & Roll
04 Cool It Down
05 New Age
06 Head Held High
07 Lonesome Cowboy Bill
08 I Found A Reason
09 Train Round The Bend
10 Oh! Sweet Nothin'

Enjoy / Enjoy


Funnily enough (or not so funnily enough depending on who you talk to), Phish would deliver on 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' rumours just two nights later, performing the album in its entirety at an undersold “E” Center in West Valley City, Utah, as an unofficial entry into their Halloween catalogue.



Track listing

01 Speak To Me /Breathe
02 On The Run
03 Time
04 The Great Gig In The Sky
05 Money
06 Us And Them
07 Any Colour You Like
08 Brain Damage
09 Eclipse

Enjoy / Enjoy

Ryan Adams - Orion (2010) UPDATE

Thanks to the generosity of Zigzag Wanderer I've now been able to add the two missing songs from the free 7" single to the post, to make up the complete album. Links are now updated, so dive in. 

Friday, 10 April 2020

Can - Soup (1973)

I don't tend to post live albums on the site, leaving that to others who concentrate on live bootlegs, but I'm posting this one as it's an important recording and there doesn't seem to be a definitive version of it out there, with some just having two tracks, and others with varying song titles. The band's gig at Edinburgh's Empire Theatre on 25th August 1973 was the last with vocalist Damo Suzuki, and so was a significant concert for the band. Luckily it was recorded in very good quality, and the most authoritative notes I found suggest that some of it might have come from Holger Czukay's own recording, which he made of most of the band's live performances. There is also an audience recording, noticeably different as you can hear audience talk and applause, and the best quality version looks to be a skillfully edited combination of the two sources. Both agree that the first song is 'Soup', but the second track has a couple of titles, either 'Bel Air' or 'Stone Strike', but I tend to favour the former as you can clearly hear this in the lyrics. The third track is 'Hakucho No Uto (Swan No Song)', but while the final two pieces are from the concert, they have vocals over-dubbed on them by Michiko Nakao. It appears that Nakao was Brian Eno's partner from 1971-1974, and she struck up a relationship with Can as a result of Eno's friendship with them. Holger Czukay invited her to the Wellerwist Studio in August 1975 to overdub some studio recordings, and she also added her vocals to these two songs. Unfortunately the un-dubbed versions don't seem to exist, so this is the best that we will get. I've made a few edits and crossfades to make the recording flow smoothly, and so hopefully this is the definitive version of one of the most important documents of the band's career. I first found this on the Ace Bootlegs site, where he'd made a clever cover for it, and so I've adapted his idea for mine, which has come out really well.    



Track listing 

01 Soup
02 Bel Air
03 Hakucho No Uta (Swan No Song)
04 Hot Day in Koeln
05 I'm Your Doll

Enjoy / Enjoy

Joe Jackson - Arms And Legs (1979)

In a comment this week, GW asked if I'd ever come across the demo of 'Look Sharp' that Joe Jackson hawked around in 1978, and which led to him getting a record deal with A&M Records. Unfortunately I haven't, but to make up for that here's some early work from Jackson, both before and after he hit the big-time. David Ian Jackson was born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, and grew up near Portsmouth. He learned to play the violin as a child, but soon switched to piano, and began playing piano in bars at the age of 16. In 1974 he joined his first band, Edward Bear, who secured a recording contract with MAM Records the following year, and on being told that there was already a Canadian group using the name, they first changed it to Edwin Bear, and then to Arms and Legs. Under this name they released three singles on MAM in 1976 and 1977, but had already broken up by the time the third one was released. Because his bandmates decided that he resembled a puppet called Joe (either Joe 90 or Joe Piano - sources vary) they started to call him 'Joe', and although he mainly played piano in the band, he did write and sing one of the single b-sides 'She'll Surprise You'. After he left Arms And Legs he took Mark Andrews (guitar) and Gary Maby (bass) with him to form The Joe Jackson Band, while at the same time becoming pianist and musical director for cabaret act Koffee 'n' Kream, who were starting a tour following their success on UK TV talent show 'Opportunity Knocks'. The money that he made from this enabled him to record a demo album in Portsmouth, which led to the deal with A&M Records, who immediately re-recorded the album professionally and issued it as 'Look Sharp' in 1979. The record was an instant success, boosted by the now-classic single 'Is She Really Going Out With Him?', leading to a request to record a session for the John Peel Show, which was broadcast in February 1979, just one month after the album came out. The 'I'm The Man' album and 'It's Different For Girls' single cemented Jackson's reputation as a major talent, and were the start of a long and varied musical career for him, effortlessly switching between genres on subsequent albums. This collection comprises the five songs released by Arms And Legs, the full John Peel session, and three non-album b-sides from early singles. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed the first four Arms And Legs recordings, which are all well-crafted songs from Mark Andrews. 



Track listing

01 Heat Of The Night (Arms And Legs single 1976)
02 Good Times (b-side of 'Heat Of The Night')
03 Janie (Arms And Legs single 1976)
04 She'll Surprise You (b-side of 'Janie')
05 Is The Anymore Wine (Arms And Legs single 1977)
06 I'm The Man (John Peel session 1979)
07 Got The Time (John Peel session 1979)
08 Fools In Love (John Peel session 1979)
09 One More Time (John Peel session 1979)
10 Don't Ask Me (b-side of 'One More Time' 1979)
11 You Got The Fever (b-side of 'Is She Really Going Out With Him?' 1979)
12 Come On (b-side of 'I'm The Man' 1979)

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The Sex Pistols - Spunk (1977)

'Spunk' is a bootleg demo album by The Sex Pistols, which was originally released in the UK during September or October 1977. The album comprises studio demos recorded with Dave Goodman during 1976 and early 1977, while original bass player Glen Matlock was still a member of the band. Most of the songs would later be re-recorded and officially released on the group's debut album 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols', although some fans concur with manager Malcolm McLaren and producer Goodman that the raw versions of the songs on 'Spunk' are superior to the officially released ones, particularly since they approximate a faithful reproduction of the original Sex Pistols line-up's live sound. The album actually features the bass-lines of Glen Matlock, whereas for the re-recorded versions guitarist Steve Jones took over bass duties. Several parties, including some journalists in the British music press, suspected that McLaren was responsible for the original 'Spunk' bootleg, which would have been in breach of the band's record contract with Virgin, and once word got out about it, it quickly became extremely hard to find. It's often cited as the Sex Pistols' de facto alternative debut album, making it ideal fodder for bootleggers, who have issued it in a number of editions over the years. Track titles are what the songs were called when they were taped, and a number of them were later re-named when they were re-recorded for Virgin. This is an excellent quality version, and so fans who haven't already heard it can decide if McLaren and Goodman were right. 



Track listing

01 Lazy Sod
02 Satellite
03 Feelings
04 Just Me
05 Submission
06 Nookie
07 No Future
08 Problems
09 Lots of Fun
10 Liar
11 Who Was It
12 New York (Looking for a Kiss)

Suggested by 'The Greatest Albums You'll Never Hear' by Bruno MacDonald


3D (A Fish In Sea) - Nearer (1985)

As I mentioned in my post of 3D's 'Sleeping Gods' album, I kept back a few tracks that they recorded for the album so as not to make it too long, and they were the three songs that they released as singles in 1984 and 1985, as a taster for an album that sadly never appeared. I've added in their b-sides, a Capital Radio session recording, a 12" remix of one of the singles, and a few tracks from the original band from 1982, to make up the final post in this trilogy, which brings together every song that they recorded in their all-to-brief career.  


Track listing

01 Nearer (single 1984)
02 The Club (b-side of 'Nearer')
03 Break The Fix(Ation) (single 1984)
04 Centre 70 (I'll Never Let You Go) (b-side of 'Break The Fix(Ation)')
05 This Night (Capital Radio session 1984)
06 Dance To Believe (single 1985)
07 I Hear The Rhythm (b-side of 'Break The Fix(Ation)' 7" single)
08 A Child's Play (original 3D A Fish In Sea recording 1982)
09 Birthday Present (original 3D A Fish In Sea recording 1982)
10 Hidden Feelings (original 3D A Fish In Sea recording 1982)
11 Dance To Believe (12" Remix)

Enjoy / Enjoy

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Phish - Remain In Light (1996)

When Halloween came around in 1996, Phish eschewed the fan-vote process and decided to simply pick their own musical costume. It’s a great thing that they did, because, in 1996, the world was blessed with Phish’s full-album cover of The Talking Heads' 'Remain In Light'. With two huge albums under their belt with 'The White Album' and 'Quadrophenia', perhaps the band wanted to pick a shorter album that they could really perfect. Adding horns and a percussionist to the mix, the band absolutely nailed the album, especially their version of 'Crosseyed And Painless', which remains a standout jam-vehicle for the band to this day.
Phish would go on to say that the work they put into perfecting their cover of 'Remain In Light' had a major impact on them moving forward, and you can hear on the albums that they released in the late 90’s. As if the Halloween tradition couldn’t get any more exciting, it started to become clear to the band and fans alike that this yearly process was helping launch Phish in new and exciting directions.



Track listing

01 Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
02 Crosseyed And Painless
03 The Great Curve
04 Once In A Lifetime
05 Houses In Motion
06 Seen And Not Seen
07 Listening Wind
08 The Overload


Friday, 3 April 2020

Madonna - 12"ers + 2 (1985)

As a side-bar to the article in Bruno MacDonald's book about the unreleased Madonna album 'Veronica Electronica', he mentioned that in 1985 Warner Brothers subsidiary Sire had proposed a stop-gap mini-album which would collect together some of her singles re-mixes and soundtrack work. Madonna was at the height of her fame at this time, with the 'Like A Virgin' album and tour, supported by a then unknown Beastie Boys, being a resounding worldwide success. '12"ers + 2' would have comprised six remixed 12" singles, plus 'Into The Groove' from the 'Desperately Seeking Susan' soundtrack and 'Ain't No Big Deal', which might have been her debut single had the label not preferred 'Everybody'. However, because 'Like A Virgin' continued to sell in huge numbers, and the follow-up 'True Blue' was looming on the horizon, the release was cancelled after a few promo cassette copies were issued in Japan. Original copies of this cassette are now the holy grail among Madonna collectors, and so although none of the tracks are actually unreleased I thought it would be fun to reconstruct the album and post it here, along with updated artwork. The cover is based on the original cassette, but as only low-resolution copies of it appear on the net I've cleaned it up as much as possible without losing the original concept.     



Track listing

01 Ain't No Big Deal
02 Dress You Up (The 12" Formal Mix)
03 Angel (Extended Dance Remix)
04 Lucky Star (U.S. Remix)
05 Into The Groove
06 Material Girl (Extended Dance Remix)
07 Borderline (U.S. Remix)
08 Like a Virgin (Extended Dance Remix)

Enjoy / Enjoy

The Groundhogs - Groundhog Daze (1970)

The Groundhogs are a British blues trio who were founded in late 1963 by Tony (T.S.) McPhee (guitar and vocals) as The Dollar Bills by brothers Pete and John Cruickshank, and Tony (T.S.) McPhee, who was the lead guitarist in an instrumental group called the Shcenuals. McPhee steered them towards the blues and renamed them after a John Lee Hooker song 'Groundhog's Blues'. John Cruickshank suggested they became John Lee's Groundhogs when they backed John Lee Hooker on his 1964 UK tour, and they became to go-to backing band for visiting U.S. blues musicians, supplementing Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Champion Jack Dupree when they toured the UK. The first single by The Groundhogs was 'Shake It' b/w 'Rock Me' in January 1965, and after a few further singles under various names they recorded their debut album 'Scratchin' The Surface' in 1968 on Liberty Records. For this album they'd replace John Cruickshank with Ken Pustelnik on drums, and added Steve Rye on harmonica, although they later reverted to the trio format. Further albums followed, with 'Thank Christ For The Bomb' (1970), 'Split' (1971) and 'Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs' (1972) propelling them into the albums charts and establishing their reputation as a hard-working rock band. This post concentrates on their early, hard to find singles and b-sides, a few T.S. McPhee solo sides and some unreleased tracks, all from their classic blues period between 1965 and 1970. Incidentally, the T.S. was added to McPhee's name by famed producer Mike Vernon, as he felt it made him sound like an old American blues veteran, and reputedly stands for Tough Shit.



Track listing

01 Shake It (single 1965)
02 Rock Me Baby (b-side of 'Shake It')
03 Someone To Love (single 1965)
04 Hallelujah (b-side of 'Someone To Love')
05 Someone To Love Me (T.S. McPhee single 1966)
06 Ain't Gonna Cry No Mo' (b-side of 'Someone To Love Me')
07 I'll Never Fall In Love Again (John Lee's Groundhogs single 1966)
08 Over You Baby (b-side of 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again')
09 When You Got A Good Friend (b-side of 'You Don't Love Me')
10 You Don't Love Me (T.S. McPhee single 1968)
11 Don't Pass The Hat Around (previously unreleased 1969)
12 Oh Death (previously unreleased 1969)
13 Rock Me (previously unreleased 1969)
14 Gasoline (b-side of 'BDD' 1970)

Enjoy / Enjoy