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 2016.

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

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