Sunday, 14 October 2018

Van Morrison - Mechanical Bliss (1975) New cover art

Paul over at Albums That Should Exist has recently posted a different take of this album, and in the course of doing so we've both discovered that although we knew that the cover art which was rejected by Morrison was later sold to Steely Dan for their 'Royal Scam' album, we didn't realise that it was changed before they used it. Apparently the man sleeping on the bench was added at a later date for use on the Dan album, and a bit of searching has led me to the original painting before the addition of the sleeping man, so this is possibly what the sleeve could have looked like had Morrison's album ever been officially issued.

I'm not posting a link to the new art as you can save it from this page, and I'm leaving the original cover that I used in the download.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Green Day - Cigarettes & Valentines (2003)

'Cigarettes & Valentines' was to have been the follow-up to 2000's 'Warning', but in November 2002, with the album nearly finished, the master tapes were mysteriously stolen from the band's studio. Instead of re-recording the album, the band decided to start from scratch, leading to the creation of the classic 'American Idiot'. They were later able to relocate and recover some material, and reworked this for b-sides to their singles. Green Day fan bskert has had a go at reconstructing the original 'Cigarettes & Valentines' album from possible track listings which he found on the net, and also his knowledge of the band in general, and this is what he's come up with. Some songs were later renamed for release on other albums, and so 'Dropout' is actually 'Brutal Love', 'Sleepyhead' later became 'Lazy Bones', 'Clusterbomb' was renamed 'Letterbomb', and 'Wasteaway' ended up as 'Oh Love'. The title track was only ever performed live and no studio recording of it exists. 

Track listing

01 Cigarettes & Valentines
02 Hearts Collide
03 Clusterbomb
04 Walk Away
05 Sleepyhead
06 Dropout
07 Too Much Too Soon
08 Favourite Son
09 Youngblood
10 Lights Out
11 Olivia
12 Governator

Family - Strange Band (1973)

Family are another great band who never really got the acclaim that they deserved until they'd broken up. Their debut album 'Music From A Doll's House' was a classic of the psychedelic era, and the first three songs from their second release 'Family Entertainment' were as good as rock music ever got in the 70's. Roger Chapman's idiosyncratic vocals could take a bit of getting used to, but once you embraced them he was a stunning frontman, and the rest of the band provided a musical backing which more than lived up to their talents, including during their lifetime such luminaries as John "Charlie" Whitney, Ric Grech, John Wetton, Jim Cregan, Poli Palmer, and Tony Ashton. Their debut single 'Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens' was produced by Jimmy Miller, but failed to make an impact on the charts, and so it wasn't even included on their first album, although these days it's heralded as a superb example of British psychedelia. As they progressed through their career they subtly changed their sound to include a folk element on their 'A Song For Me' album, although never overbearingly, and by the time they released their penultimate, and in my opinion their finest, album 'Bandstand' they'd moprhed into a great hard rock band. Along the way they issued a number of non-album singles, and also recorded some songs for use as exclusive b-sides, and so this album collects them all together so that fans of the group don't miss out on any of the music recorded by this 'strange band'. 

Track listing

01 Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens (single 1967)
02 Gypsy Woman (b-side of 'Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens')
03 Home Town (b-side of 'Second Generation Woman' 1968)
04 No Mules Fool (single 1969)
05 Good Friend Of Mine (b-side of 'No Mule's Fool')
06 Strange Band (single 1970)
07 Today (single 1970)
08 Song For Lots (b-side of 'Today')
09 In My Own Time (single 1971)
10 Seasons (b-side of 'In My Own Time')
11 Rockin' R's (b-side of 'Burlesque' 1972)
12 Stop The Car (b-side of 'Boom Bang' 1973)
13 Drink To You (b-side to 'Sweet Desiree' 1973)


Supertramp - Free As A Bird (1987)

(......and in an alternate universe.....) Following the massive success of their last album 'Sleeping With The Enemy', which gained praise from both critics and fans alike as their best work in years, Supertramp had the unenviable task of recording a follow-up that didn't disappoint. Roger Hodgson had written some songs which were fairly similar to the ones that he'd contributed to the previous album, but Rick Davies wanted to have a more modern sound on the album by using drum machines and computers, and so they had to compromise and split the recording between Hodgson's more organic sound and Davies' modern direction. Despite this mixture of styles the resultant album worked surprisingly well, although it was to be the last for a while, as the band broke up shortly after it's release in 1987.  

Track listing

01 Puppet Dance
02 You Can Never Tell With Friends
03 Desert Love
04 Thing For You
05 Hai Hai
06 It Doesn't Matter
07 Free As A Bird
08 You Make Me Love You
09 An Awful Thing To Waste


Marmalade - Radancer (1971)

Marmalade will probably forever be remembered as the band that took The Beatles' 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La Da' to number one in 1969, but that song was in no way typical of the music that they were producing both before and after that hit. Their previous releases were the up-tempo 60's pop of 'Lovin' Things' and 'Wait For Me Mary-Anne', while they followed it with the classic 'Reflections Of My Life', and from then on they never looked back. As they moved into the 70's they took on a very slight hint of the glam rock of the time, and produced two of my favourite singles of the era in 'Cousin Norman' in 1971 and 'Radancer' the following year. As 1972 wore on the band recorded some demos which hinted that they might be moving in a more progressive direction, as they included the lengthy three part 'Middle Of A Night', and the extended guitar rock of the seven-minute 'Out On A Dark Night'. This album therefore gives us an idea of what their next release could have sounded like if they'd stuck to this new direction, rather than go down the heavy rock route that they did with their 1973 singles 'Our House Is Rocking' and 'The Wishing Well'.

Track listing

01 Cousin Norman (single 1971)
02 Lonely Man (b-side of 'Cousin Norman')
03 Love Is Hard To Rearrange (b-side of 'Back On The Road' 1971)
04 Radancer (single 1972)
05 Just One Woman (b-side of 'Radancer')
06 Jody (1972 demo)
07 Middle Of A Night - Parts I, II & III (1972 demo)
08 Mr Heartbreaker (1972 demo)
09 Out On A Dark Night (1972 demo)
10 Sunset Regret (1972 demo)


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Rutles - Ouch! (2017)

This week's post was going to be the last one in the series, as I'd exhausted the ones that I'd found on Youtube, and had used the couple that I'd made up myself based on track listings by TheLazenby and Rutles' Vinyls, and so I thought that was enough. However, after seeing how well-received the series has been I decided to see it through to the end, and so have now completed the whole discography. Working backwards, the next album released by the Pre-Fab Four was 'Ouch!', and now that we are getting towards the end of the series I've noticed that a few duplications of songs were starting to creep in, so where the same song is on two albums quite close together I've made a substitution, and I hope the compilers don't mind. Just a couple on here, as 'Now She's Left You' is also on 'Rutles For Sale' (next week's post), and 'Time To Kill' was on 'Semi-Automatic'. As 'I Must Be In Love' will appear on 'A Hard Day's Rut' in a few weeks I've used a 'live' version for this album.

Track listing

01 Ouch!  
02 It's Looking Good  
03 I Want To Be With You 
04 If You Need Me 
05 Baby Let Me Be 
06 Living In Hope
07 I Can't Help Myself

08 Act Naturally 
09 Tubas In The Moonlight 
10 That's Enough 
11 I Must Be In Love (live)
12 Mr. Sheene  
13 L'amour Perdu  

* The Rutles - 01, 02, 05, 06, 08, 11
* The Flame(s) - 04, 07, 10
* Neil Innes - 13
* The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 03, 09
* Dirk & Stig (Fataar/Idle) - 12

'Act Naturally' is a rehearsal take featuring Neil Innes and John Halsey.


Sunday, 7 October 2018

Maurice Gibb - The Loner (1970) UPGRADE

I've been sent a rip of this complete album including bonus tracks, courtesy of TheLazenby, and so I now have the two missing instrumentals that I couldn't find earlier, and also some additional bonus tracks to flesh out the running time. 'Danny' and 'Till I Try' were both recorded in 1971 after Maurice announced that he'd been offered the chance to score the Richard Harris film 'Bloomfield'. However, the film's musical director Johnny Harris denied this, and said Maurice could submit one song, so he chose instead to re-record 'The Loner' as his contribution, and these two songs remained unreleased. I've now realised that I had the wrong version of 'Silly Little Girl', being the one which had been amalgamated with parts of 'Danny' by producer Stephen Morgan, and I've removed the track from the 'Sing A Rude Song' musical, as I've since discovered that even though Maurice sang on it, he didn't write it, so it didn't really belong here. Lastly, I've boosted the bass on a couple of the thinner sounding songs so that they better match the rest of the album, so all in all this is a major upgrade on my original post, and even if you've already grabbed it then it's worth upgrading to this version.

Track listing

01 Journey To The Misty Mountains (Instrumental) >
02 The Loner 
03 Please Lock Me Away 
04 I've Come Back
05 Soldier Johnny
06 She's The One You Love
07 Ping Pong
08 Railroad 
09 Laughin' Child
10 Something's Blowing 
11 Silly Little Girl
12 Insight
13 Danny
14 Till I Try
15 Touch And Understand Love
16 This Time