Sunday, 5 July 2020

Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34 - There And Back (1993) UPDATE

Listening to this again today I found that I wasn't entirely happy with a couple of the edits, and while this might just be me being too much of a perfectionist, I decided to have another go. I'm much happier with the fades between parts 1 and 2 and parts 3 and 4 on this one, especially the last one which now sounds as if it's just one continuous piece of music, so grab this updated version and see if you agree.

P.S. If the edit between parts 2 and 3 (at about 29 minutes) is different to the original download then get it again as I accidentally used an old file for the new edits, which I've now corrected.

Voyage 34

Friday, 3 July 2020

Robert Fripp - ...and on guitar (1980)

Robert Fripp was born in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, the second child of a working class family, and at age ten he received a guitar for Christmas from his parents. After taking guitar lessons, by age 11 he was playing rock, moving on to traditional jazz at 13 and modern jazz at 15. In 1961, the fifteen-year-old Fripp joined his first band, The Ravens, which also included Gordon Haskell on bass. After they split the following year, Fripp considered a job at his father's estate agency, but at seventeen, he decided to become a professional musician. He became the guitarist in the jazz outfit The Douglas Ward Trio, followed by a stint in the rock and roll band The League of Gentlemen, which included two former Ravens members. In 1965, Fripp left the group to attend Bournemouth College, which was where he met future musical collaborators John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James, and Greg Lake. In 1967, Fripp responded to an advertisement placed by Bournemouth-born brothers Peter and Michael Giles, who wanted to work with a singing organist. Though Fripp was not what they wanted, his audition with them was a success and the trio relocated to London and became Giles, Giles And Fripp, with their sole studio album 'The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles And Fripp' being released in 1968. Despite the recruitment of two further members, singer Judy Dyble (formerly with Fairport Convention and later of Trader Horne) and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, Fripp felt that he was outgrowing the eccentric pop approach favoured by Peter Giles, preferring the more ambitious compositions being written by McDonald, and so the band broke up in 1968. Almost immediately, Fripp, McDonald and Michael Giles formed the first lineup of King Crimson in mid-1968, recruiting Fripp's old Bournemouth College friend Greg Lake as lead singer and bass player, and McDonald's writing partner Peter Sinfield as lyricist, light show designer and general creative consultant. King Crimson's debut album 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' was released in late 1969 to great success, and Fripp's long and illustrious career was off to a great start. 
During King Crimson's less active periods Fripp collaborated with other artists, such as Keith Tippett, on projects far from rock music, playing with and producing jazz-progressive rock big band Centipede's 'Septober Energy' album in 1971 and 'Ovary Lodge' in 1973. During this period he also worked with Van der Graaf Generator, playing on the 1970 album 'H To He, Who Am The Only One', and in 1971 on 'Pawn Hearts'. In 1972 he produced Matching Mole's 'Matching Mole's Little Red Record', and then later that year teamed up with Brian Eno to record the classic electronic album 'No Pussyfooting', reconvening two years later for 1974's 'Evening Star'. In 1973 Fripp performed the guitar solo on Brian Eno's 'Baby's On Fire', from his first solo album 'Here Come The Warm Jets', and later contributed to his 'Another Green World' album in 1975. After a one year sabbatical he returned to musical work as a studio guitarist in 1976, working on Peter Gabriel's first self-titled album, which was released the following year, and he also toured with Gabriel to support the album, but remained out of sight (either in the wings or behind a curtain) and used the pseudonym 'Dusty Rhodes'. He assisted Gabriel again in 1978 on his second album, producing and playing on it, adding solos to 'On The Air' and 'White Shadow', and musically enhancing 'Exposure'. In 1977 Fripp reconnected with Daryl Hall, who he'd first met in 1974, when Hall asked him to produce his debut solo album, on which he also provided guitar and co-wrote two of the songs. The recording was completed in 1977, but the record company didn't feel that it would be a commercial success and so refused to release it for three years, with it finally seeing the light of day in 1980. Also in 1977 he added his distinctive guitar sound to the b-side of Bryan Ferry's 'This Is Tomorrow' single, and while living in New York in 1978 Fripp contributed to albums and live performances by Blondie, most noticeably to 'Fade Away And Radiate' from their 'Parallel Lines' album. The same year he worked with Talking Heads on their 'Fear of Music' record, and he also produced The Roches' first and third albums, which featured several of his characteristic guitar solos. A second set of creative sessions with David Bowie in 1980 produced distinctive guitar parts on songs from 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)', and he also appeared on Peter Gabriel's third solo album the same year. To be honest I'd never really thought of Robert Fripp as the sort of artist to guest on other people's records, although obviously I knew that he was on Bowie's 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)', but I was amazed to find that he played on a Blondie record, or collaborated with Daryl Hall. Unfortunately the Van Der Graaf Generator tracks that he played on were too long to include here, and you couldn't really hear him on them anyway, but I have included a track from Peter Hamill's solo album 'Fool's Mate' as an example of his work a member of VDGG. We all know that Fripp is an outstanding guitarist from his work with King Crimson, but I hope that this album shows another side to him that people might not have known about.  



Track listing

01 Sunshine (from 'Fool's Mate' by Peter Hammill 1971) 
02 St Elmo's Fire (from 'Another Green World' by Brian Eno 1975)
03 As The World Turns (b-side of 'This Is Tomorrow' single by Bryan Ferry 1977)
04 Fade Away And Radiate (from 'Parallel Lines' by Blondie 1978)
05 Babs And Babs (from 'Sacred Songs' by Daryl Hall recorded 1977)
06 Exposure (from 'Peter Gabriel II' by Peter Gabriel 1978)
07 I Zimbra (from 'Fear Of Music' by Talking Heads 1979)
08 Teenage Wildlife (from 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)' by David Bowie 1980)
09 Hammond Song (from 'The Roches' by The Roches 1979)
10 No Self Control (from 'Peter Gabriel III' by Peter Gabriel 1980)

Enjoy / Enjoy

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.

Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34 There And Back (1993)

In 1992 Porcupine Tree issued their second single, following the 'Love, Death & Mussolini' cassette EP two years earlier, and this time they decided to make it an extended 12" single based around the LSD experiments carried out by scientists in the 60's. 'Voyage 34 - Phases One and Two' is a piece of pulsating space rock, spread over two sides of vinyl, with the first side clocking in at 12 minutes, and the flip at 17 minutes. I loved it, and having missed out on the vinyl issue I got the CD, and played it constantly. The following year they issued another 12" single, consisting of 'Phase III (Astralasia Dreamstate)' and 'Phase IV (A New Civilisation)', both lasting for nineteen minutes each. While not as immediate as the first release, it was still an intriguing experiment, as at this point in their career their albums were comprised of shorter, punchier progressive rock songs. In 2000 their record label Delerium Records complied both 12" singles onto one CD, but for reasons that I've never been able to work out they used a thirteen minute edit of 'Phase IV' instead of the full nineteen minute version. This is one of the main reasons that I've decided to mix all four tracks together into one long 68-minute piece of music, making sure I use the full takes of each Phase. If you've been enjoying my Porcupine Tree posts so far then you will have had a taster of the 1992 A-side on the live cassette tape 'Spiral Circus', and although this type of music is quite different to what they are now known for, if you think you'll like an ambient/trance/prog-rock crossover then give this a try. 



Track Listing

01 Voyage 34  


Planet - Northern Skyline (2020)

Planet are an alt/indie four-piece from Sydney, Australia, who posted the excellent 'Northern Skyline' on Soundcloud back in February 2016, and right from that first song I knew they were a band to watch. Now signed to Dew Process, they've released a number of singles since, some of which have been compiled on the extremely hard-to-find 'Singles' mini-album, but by adding in the rest of their songs I now have enough for a full-length album. I've named it after that first single, and the artwork is based on 'Darwin Skyline' by Michael Tompsett.



Track listing

01 Northern Skyline
02 Disaster Caster
03 Frosty
04 Undermine
05 Can't Connect
06 Aimless
07 For You
08 Aching Dream
09 Save.Sold
10 Waking Eight
11 You, Just A Little More
12 Reason Why
13 Never Knew
14 Imaginary
15 Outright

Enjoy / Enjoy


Butthole Surfers - After The Astronaut (1998)

The genesis of Butthole Surfers happened at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas during the late 1970's, when students Gibson 'Gibby' Haynes and Paul Leary Walthall (later just Paul Leary) met for the first time, through their overall strangeness and shared taste in non-mainstream music. In 1981, Haynes and Leary published the magazine Strange V.D., which featured photos of abnormal medical ailments, coupled with fictitious, humorous explanations for the diseases. After being caught with one of these pictures at work, Haynes had to leave the accounting firm he was working for and he moved to Southern California. At the time, with only one semester left to obtaining his degree, Leary dropped out of college and followed Haynes. After a brief period spent selling homemade clothes and linens emblazoned with Lee Harvey Oswald's image, the pair returned to San Antonio, and launched the band that would eventually become Butthole Surfers. During a brief concert at the Tool and Die club in San Francisco, Dead Kennedys frontman and Alternative Tentacles overseer Jello Biafra witnessed their performance and became a fervent fan. Biafra invited the group to open for Dead Kennedys at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, and soon made an offer that would launch their recording career, telling them that if they could get someone to lend them studio time, Alternative Tentacles would reimburse the studio when the album was complete. The band then returned to San Antonio to record at BOSS Studios, although they'd lost their rhythm section after a disagreement, so the bass was taken over by Bill Jolly, who would play on Butthole Surfers' next two releases, and a number of drummers participated, the last of which, King Coffey, is still with the band to this day. Released on Alternative Tentacles in July 1983, the 'Butthole Surfers' EP (also known as 'Brown Reason To Live And Pee Pee The Sailor'), offered songs with provocatively absurd titles like 'The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave' and 'Bar-B-Q Pope', alternately sung by Haynes and Leary. 
Soon after the release of 'Butthole Surfers', the band recruited a second drummer, Teresa Nervosa, who had played with Coffey in a number of high school marching bands in the Texas' Fort Worth and Austin areas. In 1984, the band returned to BOSS Studios to record enough material for two full-length albums. Both were originally offered to Alternative Tentacles, with the first being 'Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac', but before either album could be released, Alternative Tentacles had to acquire the master tapes from BOSS Studios' owner Bob O'Neill, who refused to release them until he'd been reimbursed for the sessions. Alternative Tentacles couldn't immediately afford to pay, and so after months of waiting, and out of financial desperation, the band issued the concert recording 'Live PCPPEP' on Alternative Tentacles in 1984. Meanwhile, Bob O'Neill was preparing to release 'Psychic...' on his own Ward 9 label to recoup his expenses, but the group was unhappy about this, and so their East Coast booking agent Terry Tolkin signed the band to Corey Rusk's then-nascent Touch And Go Records in Detroit, and 'Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac' was released by them in 1984. Meanwhile, the second LP which had been submitted to Alternative Tentacles as 'Rembrandt Pussy Horse' was still in limbo, although the reasons for Alternative Tentacles' actions are still unclear. While waiting, the band released the four-song 'Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis' EP on Touch And Go in late 1985, and after Alternative Tentacles finally declined to release their album, the group went back into the studio to record two new tracks to replace 'Two Part' and 'Tornadoes', which were to appear on 'Rembrandt Pussy Horse', but which were used as b-sides for the 'Cream Corn...' EP. 
Their second LP was finally issued as 'Rembrandt Pussyhorse' on Touch And Go in April 1986, featuring a different mix and song selection from the Alternative Tentacles' unreleased version. 'Locust Abortion Technician' came out in 1987, and was the first time that I became aware of the band, with the opening 'Sweat Loaf' still being one of my very favourite pieces of music. The album is often considered their finest work, harnessing aspects of punk, heavy metal, and psychedelia, and I would tend to agree with that. 'Hairway To Steven' followed in April 1988, and marked a midway point between the band's experimental roots, and the more accessible recordings that would follow, although they still played with convention by having no song titles, and instead each track was represented with an absurdist, often scatological, cartoon. In 1992 the band shocked many fans and critics by signing with the major label Capitol Records, who immediately released 'Piouhgd', and then paired the band with their first big-name producer, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. 1993's 'Independent Worm Saloon' featured a more straightforward rock approach, probably due to Jones' involvement, and in 1996, Capitol released 'Electriclarryland', which climbed to number 31 on the Billboard 200. Their songs started appearing on the soundtracks of major Hollywood movies, and so while this should have been the high point in the band's career, their relationship with Capitol was increasingly troubled, and a planned 1998 project, 'After The Astronaut', was scrapped, following which the band acrimoniously split with their manager, Tom Bunch. 'Weird Revolution' was released in 2001, using original takes and re-recordings of some of the songs from 'After The Astronaut', so here is the abandoned album for fans to see if it would have been a better follow-up to 'Electriclarryland' than 'Weird Revolution' was three years later. 



Track listing

01 The Weird Revolution
02 Intelligent Guy
03 Jet Fighter
04 Imbuya
05 Mexico
06 Venus
07 The Last Astronaut
08 Yentel
09 Junkie Jenny In Gaytown
10 They Came In
11 I Don't Have A Problem
12 Turkey & Dressing

Enjoy / Enjoy

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Pet Shop Boys - Seize The Opportunity (1983)

While Neil Tennant was working for ITV Books (shortly before starting his tenure at Smash Hits) and Chris Lowe had an apprenticeship in architecture, they struck up a conversation about musicians and synthesizers in a London hi-fi shop on King's Road in 1981. After going their separate ways from the hi-fi shop, they kept in touch and soon became friends and musical collaborators, writing songs together in Tennant's apartment on his synthesizer. Although in general they had different musical tastes, they found they shared a passion for Euro-disco and hi-NRG music, and a fondness in particular for the American dance producer Bobby 'O' Orlando. In 1982 they made their first demo tape in a studio they rented for £6 per hour, and deciding that their duo needed a name, they tentatively decided to call themselves West End. In the summer of 1983, Smash Hits assigned Tennant the task of traveling to New York City to review a Police concert and to interview Sting. As it happened, the building in which he was scheduled to meet Sting was the same building in which Bobby O had his offices, so he arranged to meet Bobby O, which was not a particularly difficult thing to do considering his credentials as a British pop music journalist. 
Tennant and Bobby O wound up having lunch together, and during the course of their conversation, Tennant mentioned that he was a member of a songwriting duo interested in making music somewhat influenced by Bobby O himself. The producer immediately agreed to get involved, without having heard a single song or demo tape, so Tennant returned to London to file his articles with Smash Hits, and a few weeks later he was back in New York, this time accompanied by Lowe, and with Bobby O producing they recorded several of their newer songs, including 'West End Girls', 'Opportunities', and 'One More Chance'. It was also apparently around this time that Tennant and Lowe decided to change the name of their duo to Pet Shop Boys. Although these initial recordings with Bobby O achieved only limited success, it was enough to get the band noticed, and two years later a re-arrangement and re-recording of 'West End Girls' launched their career. Only a few of the Bobby O recordings ever made it to official release, as b-sides to early singles, although most of the others were eventually re-recorded for the 'Please' and 'Actually' albums. Some of the songs on the bootleg of these sessions have since been proved to have been recorded the previous year at Ray Robert's London studio, and so this album consists of just the Bobby O demos, including the extremely rare 'Pet Shops Boys' song, which I don't believe has ever been included on any of their anthology releases.  



Track listing

01 West End Girls
02 Pet Shop Boys
03 Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)
04 I Get Excited
05 One More Chance
06 Rent
07 Two Divided By Zero 
08 A Man Could Get Arrested
09 I Want A Lover
10 Later Tonight
11 That's My Impression
12 It's A Sin 

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 26 June 2020

Jeff Beck - ...and on guitar (1977)

Geoffrey Arnold Beck was born on 24 June 1944, and as a teenager he learned to play on a borrowed guitar, while making several attempts to build his own instrument. While still attending Wimbledon College of Art, he was playing in a succession of groups, including Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages during 1962, when they recorded 'Dracula's Daughter'/'Come Back Baby' for Oriole Records. In 1963, after Ian Stewart of The Rolling Stones introduced him to R&B, he formed the Nightshift, with whom he recorded a single, 'Stormy Monday'/'That's My Story', for the Piccadilly label. Other groups followed, including The Rumbles and The Tridents, and he acted as a session guitarist on a 1964 Parlophone single by the Fitz and Startz entitled 'I'm Not Running Away'. In March 1965, Beck was recruited by The Yardbirds to succeed Eric Clapton on the recommendation of fellow session musician (and original choice for the job) Jimmy Page. The Yardbirds recorded most of their Top 40 hits during Beck's short but significant 20-month tenure with the band, but he only appears on one of their albums, the legendary 'Roger The Engineer' in 1966. In June Page joined the Yardbirds, at first on bass and later on second lead guitar, but this dual lead-guitar line-up only lasted a short while, as Beck was fired during a US tour for being a consistent no-show. 
Now at a loose end, he recorded a couple of singles for Mickie Most, and then formed the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano and Aynsley Dunbar on drums. The group produced two superb albums for Columbia Records, 'Truth' in 1968, and 'Beck-Ola' the following year, and it was about this time that Beck started to collaborate with oher astists. In May 1969 The Jeff Beck Group recorded some songs with Donovan for his seventh studio album 'Barabajagal', and a slightly retitled 'Goo Goo Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)' / 'Trudi (Bed With Me)' made the UK Top Twenty. Some of the songs recorded at that session were held back, with 'Homesickness' eventually appearing on 1971's 'HMS Donovan', and most of the other tracks being added to the CD re-issue of 'Barabajagal'. Also in 1969, Beck and Stewart were visiting a US recording studio where Frank Zappa's protégés The GTOs were recording an album, and they were persuaded to join in. Beck added some guitar to a couple of tracks, and Stewart also sings on 'Shock Treatment'. 
In 1970 Vanilla Fudge recorded a couple of adverts for Coca Cola, which included Beck on guitar, probably because of his connection with Carmine Appice, who he would later form a group with. A couple of years later Stevie Wonder was recording his 'Talking Book' album, and invited a select group of musicians to help him out, including Ray Parker Jnr., David Sanborn, Buzz Feiten, and Beck. The agreement was that Beck would get involved in the sessions in return for Wonder writing him a song, which turned out to be the classic 'Superstition', which they wrote together. Originally, the plan was for Beck to release his version of the song first, with his newly formed power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. However, due to the combination of the trio's debut album getting delayed and Motown CEO Berry Gordy's prediction that 'Superstition' would be a huge hit, Wonder released the song as the album's lead single months ahead of Beck's version. Oddly enough, despite Beck co-writing the song, he didn't play on Wonder's version, only appearing on 'Lookin' For Another Pure Love', where you can hear Wonder say 'Do it, Jeff' during the solo. 
Over the next couple of years Beck contributed his guitar to recordings by Pete Brown, prog-rockers Badger (formed by Tony Kaye after he left Yes), US singer/songwriter Michael Fennelly (ex The Millenium and Crabby Appleton), and British/African jazz-fusion band Zzebra. In 1975 he produced the debut album for British jazz-rockers Upp, playing uncredited guitar on it as well, and doing the same production/guitarist job on the follow-up 'This Way Upp' in 1976. That same year he was invited to play on Stanley Clarke's third solo album 'Journey To Love', and Clarke wrote 'Hello Jeff' for him as a showcase. In 1976 Beck played on Billy Preston's self-titled album, although his solo is somewhat diluted as Preston caries on singing over it, but his work on Narada Michael Walden's 'Saint And The Rascal' is just sublime. The album closes with the most obscure track here, where he played guitar on the 1977 album 'Dorian', by Kenneth Dorian Passante, a veteran of the glam-rock scene and pals with Jobriath, and who financed the album himself, roping in Beck along the way. If there's one thing Jeff Beck is known for its spanning the genres, and this album is no exception, so enjoy his pop, rock, prog, soul, jazz-rock, fusion, and glam-rock guest appearances from the early to mid 70's.    



Track listing

01 Homesickness (from 'HMS Donovan' by Donovan recorded 1969, released 1971)
02 Shock Treatment (from 'Permanent Damage' by The GTO's 1969)
03 Coca Cola Commercial (with Vanilla Fudge 1970)
04 Lookin' For Another Pure Love (from 'Talking Book' by Stevie Wonder 1972)
05 Spend My Nights In Armour (from 'Before Singing Lessons' by Pete Brown 1973)
06 Watch Yerself (from 'Lane Changer' by Michael Fennelly 1974)
07 White Lady (from 'White Lady' by Badger 1974)
08 Put A Light On Me (from 'Panic' by Zzebra 1975)
09 Get Down In The Dirt (from 'Upp' by Upp 1975)
10 Hello Jeff (from 'Journey To Love' by Stanley Clarke 1975)
11 Bad Case Of Ego (from 'Billy Preston' by Billy Preston 1976)
12 Saint And The Rascal (from 'Garden Of Love Light' by Narada Michael Walden 1976)
13 Destination Nowhere (from 'Dorian' by Dorian Passante 1977)

Enjoy / Enjoy

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.

May Jailer - Sirens (2006)

Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, was born on 21 June 1985 in New York City, and raised in Upstate New York. She returned to New York City in 2005 to begin her music career, and following numerous projects, including releasing her self-titled debut studio album, her breakthrough came after the viral success of her debut single 'Video Games' in 2011. Signing with Interscope and Polydor later that year, her major label debut was 'Born to Die' in 2012, and she continues to have a successful recording career today. But before that success she did in fact perform under a number of pseudonyms, such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen and Lizzy Grant, and in 2006, under the name of May Jailer, she recorded an album called 'Sirens'. It's more of a demo, being just the singer and her acoustic guitar, and the songs are folky and fragile, and nothing at all like the synthesizer-heavy music on 'Born to Die', but they do have a certain charm to them. Only a few of these songs have actual titles, with the rest being given to them by fans after listening to the lyrics, but it's interesting that there is a song on her proper debut album entitled 'For K Part 2', which echoes one of the later tracks on this collection.  



Track listing

01 River Road (Next To Me)
02 My Momma
03 Bad Disease
04 Out With A Bang
05 Westbound 
06 Try Tonight
07 All You Need
08 I'm Indebted To You
09 Pretty Baby
10 Aviation
11 Find My Own Way
12 Pride
13 Birds Of A Feather
14 Drive By (For K, Part 1)
15 A Star For Nick

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

Enjoy / Enjoy

Paris Youth Foundation - Missing The Mark (2020)

On my other blog amplifiedreview.blogspot.com I review a few indie albums every few months, and also pick out six bands that I've found online that I think are worth keeping an eye out for. The Little Indie blog is an invaluable reference point for these, which can then take you to Soundcloud, Youtube or Spotify to hear the music, and often the same bands keep turning up with a new song, but never get signed up to make an album. Before long there are enough songs scattered around online to make the album that they were striving for, and so when a group has released around a dozen songs and still don't look like ever getting an record deal, I'm going to do it for them and make the album, so that you can hear some of these criminally under-rated bands. The Paris Youth Foundation are a Liverpool five-piece who have been uploading songs to Soundcloud since around 2016, and they are all of a consistently high quality, so here is the album that they should have made.  



Track listing

01 If You Wanna
02 Losing Your Love
03 Lost Cause
04 Missing The Mark
05 London
06 The Off Button
07 Jessica
08 Look What You Started
09 Home Is Where The Heart Is
10 You Haven't Loved Until You've Lost
11 I Can't Keep Up With Your Love
12 Hold On To Your Heart

Enjoy / Enjoy


David Essex - That Takes Me Back (1969)

David Essex (born David Albert Cook in 1947) is a musician, singer-songwriter, and actor, well-known in the UK for a string of hit singles in the 70's, starring as Che in the stage production of 'Evita', and latterly appearing as Eddie Moon in 'Eastenders'. In the mid 1960's he joined a band called the Everons as the drummer, and also worked in a factory during that time. He later left the band, became a singer and renamed himself David Essex, and by the mid 60's he was recording with Decca Records, as well as working for other labels. Unfortunately, his first ten singles flopped, and, feeling discouraged, he switched to acting, working in small theatre productions, while earning a living driving trucks and cleaning windows. Things began to progress when he met theatre writer Derek Bowman, who became his manager, and they began working on refining his singing and acting techniques, and also encouraging him to take dance lessons. The hard work paid off and he was cast as Jesus in the original London cast of 'Godspell', with Jeremy Irons as John the Baptist. It was an incredible success and Essex won the Variety Club of Great Britain’s award for Most Promising Newcomer, and in 1971, age 24, Essex was a star of the stage and decided to set his sights on film. Having made his movie debut as an uncredited beatnik in ‘Smashing Time’, he had yet to do some noteworthy film acting, and his big break came with his starring roles in 'That’ll Be The Day' and 'Stardust'. Now wanting to rekindle his singing career, Essex hired producer Jeff Wayne from the US to help him obtain an edge that set him apart from the 1970's teen pop sound, and it worked, with the unconventional 'Rock On' becoming his first hit single in 1973, followed by the equally quirky 'Lamplight' later the same year. That was the beginning of a long and extremely successful career in music, film, TV, and on the stage, and to show that everyone had to start somewhere, this album collects together those early, unsuccessful singles, a brace of unreleased tracks, and a collaboration with Jeff Wayne as the band The Us from 1969. The style back then was predominantly soul/mod, but you can still recognise the distinctive voice, and some of these songs perhaps deserved to have made a dent in the charts of the time. 



Track listing 

01 And The Tears Came Tumbling Down (single 1965)
02 You Can't Stop Me From Loving You (b-side of 'And The Tears Came Tumbling Down')
03 Can't Nobody Love You (single 1965)
04 Baby I Don't Mind (b-side of 'Can't Nobody Love You')
05 Thigh High (single 1966)
06 De Boom Lay Boom (b-side of 'Thigh High')
07 She's Leaving Home (single 1967)
08 He's A Better Man Than Me (b-side of 'She's Leaving Home')
09 Love Story (single 1968)
10 Just For Tonight (single 1968)
11 The Day The Earth Stood Still (single 1969)
12 Is It So Strange (b-side of 'The Day The Earth Stood Still')
13 That Takes Me Back (single 1969)
14 Lost Without Linda (b-side of 'That Takes Me Back')
15 So Called Loving (previously unreleased 1969)
16 Never Mind, It's Only Love (previously unreleased 1969)
17 You're OK With Us (single with Jeff Wayne as 'The Us' 1969)