Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Aphex Twin - Melodies From Mars (1995)

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



Track listing

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

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

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

Enjoy

Monday, 21 May 2018

Fairport Convention - The Manor Album (1972)

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


Track listing

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

Enjoy

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Judas Priest - Twin Turbos (1986)

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



Track listing

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

Enjoy

Bob Marley & The Wailers - Confrontation Demos (1981)

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



Track listing

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

Bonus tracks

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

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

Enjoy

The Byrds - Phoenix (1970)

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



Track listing

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

Enjoy
 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Love - Gethsemene (1968)

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



Track listing

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

Enjoy

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Paul McCartney - Return To Pepperland (1987)

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



Track listing

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

Enjoy