Monday, 30 April 2018

Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home Acoustically (1965)

1965 was a transitional year for Bob Dylan. 'Another Side Of Bob Dylan' had been released in August the previous year, and by early 1965 thoughts had turned to a new album. Dylan went into the studio on 13th January and laid down enough songs with just guitar or piano accompaniment to complete an album, but then had an idea that he'd like to try some of the songs with an electric backing. He gathered together a rock 'n' roll band and went back into the studio the following day and re-recorded a number of the songs with a rock backing. The results were what he wanted to hear, and so 'Bringing It All Back Home' was released in March 1965 in the form that we know and love - side one electric and side two acoustic. But what if the electric sessions hadn't turned out as he'd hoped,and he'd gone with another all-acoustic album as a follow-up to 'Another Side Of...'? 

Track listing

01 Subterranean Homesick Blues
02 She Belongs To Me
03 Farewell, Angelina
04 Love Minus Zero / No Limit
05 Outlaw Blues
06 On The Road Again
07 Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
08 I'll Keep It With Mine
09 Mr. Tambourine Man
10 Gates Of Eden
11 It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
12 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
13 If You Gotta Go, Go Now

Side one uses the acoustic versions of the songs that were recorded on 13th January. 'Maggie's Farm' was never attempted acoustically, possibly as it was only written a few days earlier, and was recorded by the electric band on 15th January, so I've substituted 'Farewell Angelina', and also added 'I'll Keep It With Mine' at the end of side one, as both of these were recorded on the 13th's session. Side two is taken directly from the released album, and I've closed it with the take of 'If You Gotta Go, Go Now' from the first session, as this was only ever released as a Dutch 7" single.

From The Album Fixer site July 2016

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Cheap Trick - In Color (Steve Albini mix) (1997)

Cheap Trick's 1977 album 'In Color' is widely regarded as one of the best power-pop albums ever. Steve Albini  is a fan, and in 1997 he invited the band to his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, and asked them to re-record the entire album. General opinion was that the production of the original album was a bit saccharine, and Albini wanted to give the songs a raw edge, more in line with the band's live performances of the time. The band were apparently pleased with the results, and even recorded five extra songs, but they mainly treated the experience as a bit of a laugh, and there were no plans to commercially release the recordings. It's a shame, as this would appeal to both fans of Cheap Trick and Steve Albini, and might even get the band a whole new younger fanbase.

Track listing

01 Hello There
02 Big Eyes
03 Downed
04 I Want You To Want Me
05 You're All Talk
06 Oh Caroline
07 Clock Strikes Ten
08 Southern Girls
09 Come On, Come On
10 So Good To See You

Bonus recordings
11 Fan Club (rework of unreleased demo  from 'Sex, America, Cheap Trick')
12 I Want To Want Me (Alternate)
13 Can't Hold On (rework of track from 'Found All The Parts' EP)
14 I'm Losing You (John Lennon cover)
15 Oh Caroline (Alternate)


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Electric Light Orchestra - Secret Messages (1983)

Jeff Lynne's final album with the Electric Light Orchestra for the Jet label was originally intended to be a double album, but once again the record company interfered with the artist's vision, saying that it would be too expensive to produce a double vinyl album. 'Out Of The Blue' anyone? The title was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the furore regarding supposed secret messages hidden in music with back-masking, and there was even a blurb on the back saying exactly this, until panicky bosses at the American distributor CBS insisted that it was removed. The secret messages, however, remained in the music, and are fun for fans to try to find. Lynne was forced to removed eight of his songs from the album, and these later appeared on B-sides and remastered versions of later albums. However, one of these songs, 'Beatles Forever', has become something of a holy grail as it's never appeared on any album, and has only ever been played once in public, at an ELO fan club convention, on the understanding that no-one recorded it. Of course they did, and low quality copies have since leaked onto Youtube, so I've cleaned it up as best I could to include here. 

Track listing

01 Secret Messages
02 Loser Gone Wild
03 Bluebird
04 Take Me On And On
05 Stranger
06 No Way Out
07 Beatles Forever
08 Letter From Spain
09 Danger Ahead
10 Four Little Diamonds
11 Train Of Gold
12 Endless Lies
13 Buildings Have Eyes
14 Rock 'n' Roll Is King
15 Mandalay
16 Time After Time
17 After All
18 Hello My Old Friend


Nirvana - Ashamed To Be Human (1988)

In January 1988 a young Kurt Cobain took his band Ted Ed Fred into Reciprocal Studios to record some demos. The band were a trio at the time with Kris Novoselik already on board covering bass duties and The Melvins' Dale Crover helping out on drums. Jack Endino was the producer for these sessions, and I'm sure he saw something in the raw energy of Cobain's screamed vocals over the bass-heavy selection of riffs, as he sent copies of the demo to various record companies in the hope of getting them a deal. It's well known from Cobain's notebooks that he used to plan out the band's career in minute detail, proposing album titles, track listings, and even drawing basic cover art. Around the time of the demo, his idea of the debut album's title evolved from 'Humans Are Dumb' via 'All Humans Are Stupid' to eventually end up as 'Ashamed To Be Human'.

Track listing

01 Floyd The Barber
02 Mexican Seafood
03 Paper Cuts
04 Spank Thru
05 Downer
06 Pen Cap Chew
07 Aero Zeppelin
08 Hairspray Queen
09 Beeswax
10 If You Must
11 Mr. Moustache
12 Blandest

When 'Bleach' eventually surfaced in 1989 only three of these songs made the cut, although versions of the others have appeared on numerous bootlegs over the years. These versions are all from the master tape of the 1988 demo produced by Jack Endino, and could be what the debut album might have sounded like if someone had picked up that demo that Endino hawked around and decided to issue it as it was.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Beck Bogert & Appice - Beck Bogert & Appice II (1974)

Following the success of the eponymous debut album in 1973, and the lengthy world tour which followed, the band went into the studio in January 1974 to record songs for a second album. In May that year it was announced that the band had split, and so this follow-up never materialised. It turns out the they did actually record enough material to make up an album, and the songs were surprisingly good as well, so it seems strange that the record company didn't try to cash in and release it anyway, but they didn't and it's stayed in the vaults ever since. I think this actually sounds better than their debut, as they seem to have found their style on the tour and stuck to it, whereas the songs on the first album lacked cohesion, including as it did hard rock, blues, funk and the odd MOR moment.

Track listing

01 Jizz Whizz
02 Laughing Lady
03 Prayin'
04 (Get Ready) Yar Lovemakers
05 Livin' Life Backwards
06 Solid Lifter
07 Satisfied
08 All In Your Mind
09 Time Is A Lady
10 Morning Dew

To flesh out the album to around 40 minutes I've included an edited live version of 'Morning Dew', which they used to perform live but which never had a studio recording.


Simon & Garfunkel - Think Too Much (1983)

In late 1982 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were completing the last leg of a very successful reunion tour, and there was talk of recording a new album together. Their on again/off again partnership was going through an 'on' stage, and fans were clamouring for a new record to follow the tour. It was never going to be an easy ride, as Simon had already written all the songs as a follow-up to his 'One Trick Pony' album, and as they weren't written with Garfunkel in mind, then he would have to write his own vocal parts to slot into the tracks. This took longer than expected, and Simon had already finished recording all his vocals before Garfunkel had even written his parts. Eventually recording began and continued throughout 1983, with Garfunkel adding his vocals to the mostly already completed songs. Things then took a strange turn, when in August 1983 Simon called Garfunkel to tell him that the album wasn't turning out as he'd wanted and that he was going to issue it as a solo album called 'Hearts And Bones'. He then set about meticulously erasing every note of Garfunkel's voice from the tapes, and 'Hearts And Bones' duly appeared in 1983, featuring all of the songs that they'd both worked on, but with only Simon's voice audible. The relationship was now 'off' again. All that remains of Garfunkel's vocals are some hard to find rough mixes, but it does hint at what the album could have sounded like, as nearly all the songs are radically different from the 'Hearts And Bones' versions, and although Garfunkel can't be heard on all of them, where he is evident then the old magic is still there.

Track listing

01 Cars Are Cars (with Art Garfunkel)
02 Train In The Distance (with Art Garfunkel)
03 Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War (with additional coda)
04 Think Too Much (A)
05 The Late Great Johnny Ace
06 Song About The Moon (with Art Garfunkel)
07 Allergies (with Art Garfunkel)
08 Hearts And Bones (with additional introduction)
09 When Numbers Get Serious
10 Citizen Of The Planet (with Art Garfunkel)
11 Think Too Much (B)

Oddly enough, I don't hear much of Art on the two tracks which everyone agrees he is on - 'Train In The Distance' and 'Song About The Moon' - but his contributions to 'Cars Are Cars' and 'Allergies' are unmistakable..

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Genesis - Abacab (Double album version 1981)

I've always been into progressive rock, and I loved Gabriel-era Genesis, and even stuck with them for a couple of albums after he left, but I felt that they went for the commercial buck from 'Follow You, Follow Me' onwards, and despite a couple of songs that I did like in 'Illegal Alien' and 'Land Of Confusion' I've given them a pretty wide berth since then. Consequently I've never heard 'Abacab', and was intrigued to learn that when they were recording it in 1981 they actually taped enough music for a (shortish) double album, but it was decided to just release the single album that eventually came out. A couple of the tracks were just extended versions of songs which showed up on the album, but there were also songs which were shelved completely. If they had have released a double album they would probably have had to include the extended 12" versions on there just to make up eighteen minute sides, so perhaps it was never really a viable proposition. However, I decided to give it a go to see what it might have sounded like, and this is the result, including the legendary 'Dodo Suite', made up of tracks four to six. 

Track listing

01 Abacab
02 No Reply At All
03 Me & Sarah Jane
04 Naminanu
05 Dodo/Lurker
06 Submarine
07 Paperlate
08 You Might Recall
09 Man On The Corner
10 Like It Or Not
11 Keep It Dark
12 Whodunnit
13 Me & Virgil
14 Another Record


Monday, 23 April 2018

Elbow - Arse (a b-sides collection) (2006)

When Elbow first appeared around 1999 I was captivated by their sound, especially on the 'Newborn' single which I bought straight away. 'Red' and 'The Any Day Now' EP followed, and when I bought the album on the day of release I realised that a lot of the songs on those early singles weren't on the album. This turned out to be a regular occurrence, with many, many songs being tucked away on b-sides, and most never saw the light of day until deluxe re-issues of the albums some twenty years later. Obviously I knew I couldn't wait that long, so around 2006 I collected all my singles and EPs together and complied a double CD collection of b-sides and rare session tracks. I called it 'Arse' (arse, elbow, geddit?) and I played it to death back then. Most of these songs are still extremely hard to find, so now's the time to share it.

Track listing


01 One Thing That Was Bothering Me
02 Press Your Lips
03 Suffer
04 The Crow
05 Kisses
06 None One
07 About Time
08 Wurzel
09 Lucky With Disease
10 Asleep In The Back
11 Puckfair
12 Indepedent Woman
13 Stumble
14 Love Blown Down
15 Brave New Shave
16 Loss


01 Something In The Air
02 Whisper Grass
03 George Lassoes The Moon
04 Live On My Mind
05 Lay Down Your Cross
06 Teardrop
07 Waving From Windows
08 My Finger
09 Strangeways To Holcombe Hill In 4:20
10 McGreggor
11 The Good Day
12 The Drunken Engineer
13 The Long War Shuffle
14 Gentle As
15 Snowball

Enjoy / Enjoy

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Links update II

All links have now been updated to 320 bitrate, inlcuding the Yes album and Neil Young's 'Homegrown' which I didn't think I'd be able to, following help from a couple of colleagues who still had my original uploads. I did discover that the link to 'Homegrown' wasn't actually my version, but the one put together by Albums That Never Were, as I'd accidentally saved his copy over my own, deleting mine forever. Now that I have it back my version has been uploaded to tie in with the notes. 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Led Zeppelin - Out Through The In Door (1982)

I think that even the most avid Zep fan would have to admit that 'In Through The Out Door' and 'Coda' were not among the best of the band's output, but knock them together and dump the chaff and you end up with a reasonable swansong (!) to the band's career. 
'In Through The Out Door' was predominantly recorded by Jones and Plant, with Page and Bonham dropping by when their addictions allowed, and 'Coda' was mostly made up of out-takes from the latter album. Compiling them into one good album makes more sense than having two mediocre ones, so that's what Album Fixer did. I've used one of the alternative 'In Through The Out Door' sleeves for my cover, so it's still recogisable as the Zep album, but with a bit of a twist.

Track listing

01 In The Evening 
02 Darlene
03 All My Love (long version)
04 South Bound Suarez 
05 Ozone Baby 
06 Hot Dog 
07 Bonzo's Montreux 
08 Wearing and Tearing 
09 I'm Gonna Crawl 
10 Fire (Say You're Gonna Leave Me)


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Bob Dylan - Down In The Flood (1971)

It seems I'm not the only one with fond memories of Album Fixer's site, and the good news is that I've managed to access some of the pages using the Cache option on Google, so I've been able to put together an updated 320 version of his take on Bob Dylan's 'Down In The Flood'.
The premise of this one was that 1971's 'Greatest Hits Vol. 2' wasn't really a greatest hits package at all, but a collection of songs recorded in 1971, along with some live versions of older songs. Dylan's idea might have been to release some older songs that hadn't appeared yet, alongside some new versions of older songs, and some that he'd only just written, but the record company weren't keen with what he offered and so we ended up with GHV2.
This version of the album contains a mixture of old songs, new songs and some live tracks, recorded from his surprise appearance at George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh, playing new arrangements of his songs on just guitar and harmonica, and from the New Years Eve concerts where he joined The Band for a raucous run through of some of his hits. 
'Song For Woody' is a jam with George Harrison, 'George Jackson' was a single about the activist, who had just died, 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time' is an out-take from the 'New Morning' sessions, and 'If Not For You' is a rehearsal for the Bangladesh concert with George Harrison. The rest are rare and alternate versions of more well-known songs.

Track listing

01 When I Paint My Masterpiece
02 Watching the River Flow
03 Wallflower 
04 Down In The Flood 
05 Song To Woody 
06 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere 
07 Tomorrow Is A Long Time 
08 George Jackson 
09 Only A Hobo
10 I Shall Be Released
11 If Not for You 
12 A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall 
13 It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry 
14 Blowin' In The Wind 
15 Mr. Tambourine Man
16 Just Like A Woman
17 Down In The Flood 
18 When I Paint My Masterpiece
19 Don't Ya Tell Henry
20 Like A Rolling Stone 

If Album Fixer didn't make a cover for his albums I sometimes use to make one and post it on his site. This was one of my first efforts with Microsoft Paint and I always thought it came out rather well. 

For anyone who had download CSNY's 'War Songs' I've just found a much better version of 'Soldier', so the link has now been updated.

Enjoy / Enjoy

Monday, 16 April 2018

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - War Songs (1972)

With the sad demise of Album Fixer's site we've lost a massive library of great imagined and reconstructed albums. He always put a lot of work into the concepts and sequencing of his posts, and although he didn't include links to the albums, part of the fun was tracking down the songs and compiling them yourself. In doing this I've always found the Russian site invaluable, as it has a database of literally millions of albums, and they are split out into album tracks, so that you can download a song at a time if that's all you need. It's great not to have to download a whole album just to get one song, and so this one was relatively easy to put together.
The story behind the album is that in May 1972 Neil Young called up Graham Nash and asked him to come over and sing on a new song he'd written called 'War Song', which was written to support George McGovern's anti-Vietnam War presidential campaign. It didn't help as McGovern lost in a landslide defeat, but the premise was - what if Young and Nash had called in Crosby and Stills to record some more protest/political songs for an album named after the single.
CSNY have always had a lot to say for themselves, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that this could have happened, and this is what it could have sounded like.

 Track listing

01 Immigration Man 
02 Johnny's Garden 
03 War Song 
04 Games 
05 Military Madness 
06 Where Will I Be?
07 Change Partners 
08 Chicago/We Can Change The World 
09 Page 43 
10 Stranger's Room 
11 Soldier
12 Sugar Babe
13 Southbound Train 

In memory of Album Fixer I might post a few more of his reconstructions later, with links to my attempts to compile them. Bob Dylan's 'Down In The Flood' was one of his better efforts, and also one of mine in doing the cover, so I might do that one next.


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Updated links

I've recompiled a lot of the early, lower bitrated posts using higher quality sources, and all links have now been updated in 320. The only ones that I can't do are Yes's 'Works' and Neil Young's 'Homegrown', as they both involved a lot of editing which I probably won't be able to reproduce, so they will have to stay in 128 for the moment.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Stranglers - Nice Numbers 'n' Sleazy Songs (1981)

The Stranglers were always the outsiders of the original punk movement - they were much older than all the other bands, and could actually play their instruments, and that included a keyboard player with a moustache!. Another thing which stood them apart was the amount of material they produced, so it's no surprise to find that they released a lot of non-album singles and b-sides. Enough, in fact, to put together a nice compilation of songs which never made it to album. It's a telling point that two of my favourites of theirs - 'Walk On By' and 'Five Minutes' - were never considered as album material, even though they would have enhanced any record they appeared on.

Track listing

01 Straighten Out (b-side to 'Something Better Change' 1977)
02 Go Buddy Go (b-side to 'Peaches' 1977)
03 Shut Up (b-side to 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' 1978)
04 Walk On By (free 7" with 'Black And White')
05 Mean To Me (b-side to 'Walk On By')
06 Tits (b-side to 'Walk On By')
07 Old Codger (b-side to commercial release of 'Walk On By')
08 Sverige (Jag Ar Insnoad Pa Ostfronten) ('Sweden' in Swedish 7" single 1978)
09 Five Minutes (7" single 1978)
10 Rok It To The Moon (b-side to 'Five Minutes')
11 Yellowcake UF6 (b-side to 'Nuclear Device' 1979)
12 Fools Rush Out (b-side to 'Duchess' 1979)
13 Tomorrow Was The Hereafter (7" single 1980)
14 Bear Cage (7" single 1980)
15 Choosey Susie (b-side to 'Peasant In The Big Shitty' 1980)
16 Top Secret (b-side to 'Thrown Away' 1981)
17 Maninwhite (b-side to 'Just Like Nothing On Earth' 1981) 


Bob Dylan & The Band - The Genuine Basement Tapes (1967)

I put this one together back in 2013, and so recent 'Bootleg Series' releases might have made it a bit redundant, but it was one of my very first efforts, so I've decided to post it anyway. My original notes are below.
I was listening to the excellent Radio 4 documentary on Bootlegs recently, and as I was listening to stories about Dylan's Great White Wonder I got to thinking if there was still a rip of it around anywhere so that I could hear it. Well, the short answer is no, there isn't. I found half of it, but the sound quality was atrocious, so I turned my attention to The Basement Tapes instead. Some investigation revealed that when they were officially released by CBS in 1975 they missed off a number of the best songs, so ever up for a challenge I decided to track them down. I managed to find all the missing tracks in pretty good sound quality, and with a little fading and patching, I don't think it came out too bad.
So what we have here are The Original Basement Tapes, running in the order of the original bootleg, but in the best sound quality available. I have to say, speaking as someone who likes Dylan but is not mad on him, that this is currently my favourite of his albums, just for the fact that him and The Band seem to having so much fun singing these songs.

Track listing

01 Odds And Ends
02 Nothing Was Delivered
03 Get Your Rocks Off
04 Clothes Line Saga
05 Apple Suckling Tree
06 Goin' To Acapulco
07 Tears Of Rage
08 Quinn The Eskimo
09 Open The Door, Homer
10 I'm Not There
11 Million Dollar Bash
12 Yea! Heavy And A Bottle Of Bread
13 Please, Mrs. Henry
14 Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)
15 Lo And Behold!
16 Tiny Montgomery
17 This Wheel's On Fire
18 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
19 I Shall Be Released
20 Too Much Of Nothin'
21 Silent Weekend
22 Sign On The Cross


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Damned - Neat Neat Neat (1978)

I've loved The Damned from day one, and 'New Rose' and 'Neat Neat Neat' are still two of my all-time favourite singles, but I realised recently that I'd never heard their version of 'Help', which was the b-side of 'New Rose', or 'Singalonga-Scabies' from the 'Neat Neat Neat' 7", so I decided to gather them up, along with the rare 'Stretcher Case Baby' giveaway single, and the original issues of 'Don't Cry Wolf' and 'Problem Child'. To flesh out this compilation I've added a few tracks from their early Peel sessions.

Track listing

01 New Rose (original 7" version)
02 Help (b-side to 'New Rose')
03 Don't Cry Wolf (original 7" version)
04 One Way Love (b-side to 'Don't Cry Wolf')
05 Neat Neat Neat (original 7" version)
06 Stab Your Back (b-side to 'Neat Neat Neat')
07 Singalonga-Scabies (b-side to 'Neat Neat Neat')
08 Problem Child (original 7" version)
09 You Take My Money (b-side to 'Problem Child')
10 Stretcher Case Baby (giveaway 7")
11 Sick Of Being Sick (b-side to 'Stretcher Case Baby')
12 So Messed Up (Peel Session)
13 I Fall (Peel Session)
14 Fan Club (Peel Session)
15 Feel The Pain (Peel Session)


Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Faces - A Fifth Of The Faces (1975)

I've always thought that 'Pool Hall Richard' and 'You Can Make Me Dance...' were two of the best things that The Faces ever did, and if they had managed to complete an album while they were producing songs of that quality then it would have been their best ever. For a number of reasons - Ronnie Lane leaving, Stewart's solo career taking off, etc - the band broke up and so the album was not to be. Here we have all the tracks that they recorded before the split, as well as those two singles, and a couple of solo tracks from Stewart, Wood and Lane where the rest of the Faces helped them out. As this would have been their fifth album, and they were notoriously fond of a tipple, I've called it 'A Fifth Of The Faces'

Track listing

01 Pool Hall Richard
02 Open To Ideas
03 You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything
04 Rock Me
05 Bye & Bye (Gonna See The King)
06 Take A Look At The Guy
07 Gettin' Hungry
08 As Long As You Tell Him
09 Sailor
10 Mystifies Me
11 Dixie Toot

Paul McCartney & Wings - Hot Hitz & Cold Cutz (1978)

Rumours circulated throughout the 80's and 90's that Paul McCartney was going to release an album called 'Hot Hits And Cold Cuts', which would have been a collection of hit singles and some rarer tracks. For whatever reason, this never happened, and so it was up to us to put together our own compilations. My own personal one collected early non-album singles and b-sides, together with a few later hits which which I didn't have in my collection, so this was really just for me. However, I think there's enough rare stuff on here for the average fan to enjoy.

Track Listing

01 Another Day
02 Maybe I'm Amazed
03 Mary Had A Little Lamb
04 Give Ireland Back To The Irish
05 Hi Hi Hi
06 C Moon
07 My Love
08 Rockestra Theme
09 Live And Let Die
10 Helen Wheels
11 Sally G
12 Junior's Farm
13 The Zoo Gang
14 With A Little Luck
15 London Town
16 Goodnight Tonight
17 Comin' Up
18 Old Siam, Sir
19 Waterfalls


Wire - Play The B-Sides (1983)

I've always been a massive fan of Wire, and have all the original albums and 7" singles. Some of those early singles were great songs, but were left off the subsequent album release, so rather than have to dig them out to hear them I thought I collect them all together in one place. To flesh out the album I've added in 'Crazy About Love' from a Peel session, plus the b-sides from its 12" release, and both sides of the 'Our Swimmer' single. The cover is a take-off of the 'Wire Play Pop' album. 


Track Listing

01 Dot Dash (7" single 1978)
02 Options R (b-side to 'Dot Dash')
03 A Question Of Degree (7" single 1979)
04 Former Airline (b-side to 'A Question Of Degree')
05 Go Ahead (b-side to 'Map Ref 41°N 93°W')
06 Our Swimmer (7" single 1981)
07 Midnight Bahnhoff Cafe (b-side to 'Our Swimmer')
08 Crazy About Love (Peel Session 1983)
09 Second Length (Our Swimmer) (b-side to 'Crazy About Love' 12")
10 Catapult 30 (b-side to 'Crazy About Love' 12")


The Hollies - Listen To Us (1968)

This album should have should have followed the release of 'Butterfly' in 1968, but following the release of that album Graham Nash started experimenting with drugs, and under their influence he produced a flurry of new songs. When he took them to the band, however, they were less than impressed, but recorded some of them anyway. Shortly after this Nash left the band (supposedly because he didn't want to record covers of Dylan songs, although he seemed happy enough to play on 'Blowing In The Wind') and moved to the US, where he joined up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills to form CSN. The songs that the Hollies recorded with him were all shelved, and they recorded a collection of Dylan covers for their next release 'Hollies Sing Dylan'.
This reconstruction is what that album could have sounded like had it been released as intended, and includes nearly all the songs recorded with Nash before he left the band. As an added bonus there is an extremely rare instrumental version of Nash's 'Marrakesh Express', which the Hollies did record, and a fan has synced this up with the vocal demo that Nash took to CSN, to make the only Hollies version of this song in existence. It's not perfect, but it's the only place you'll hear it

Track Listing

01 Open Up Your Eyes
02 Do The Best You Can
03 Relax
04 Tomorrow When It Comes
05 Man With No Expression
06 Like Every Time Before
07 The Times They Are A-Changin' (live)
08 Wings
09 Jennifer Eccles
10 A Taste Of Honey
11 Blowing In The Wind
12 Listen To Me
13 Marrakesh Express (Hollies backing track synced with Nash's demo vocal)

A couple of these songs slipped out as singles during 1968 - 'Jennifer Eccles' and 'Listen To Me' -  but the rest were kept under wraps until some of them turned up on the 'Abbey Road' and 'Rarities' albums. I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place, so that you can hear great songs like 'Man With No Expression' and 'Tomorrow When It Comes', the full orchestral version of 'A Taste Of Honey', the 'lounge' version of 'Blowing In The Wind', and the superb live recording of 'The Times They Are A-Changing'.


Gram Parsons & The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (1968)

I saw a suggestion recently for a reconstructed album that piqued my interest, and that was what 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' would have sounded like if Gram Parsons hadn't left the band before it was released, resulting in nearly all his vocals being wiped and replaced by other members of The Byrds. 
In the end we only heard him on three of the songs on the album, but as the original idea of the album was his, he did actually sing nearly all the songs as they were recorded, with the exception of the two Dylan covers, Woody Guthrie's 'Pretty Boy Floyd', and the traditional 'I Am A Pilgrim'. Luckily these tapes still exist, and so this version of the classic album that started the whole Country/Rock sound can now be heard pretty much as Parsons intended.

Track Listing

01 You Ain't Going Nowhere
02 I Am A Pilgrim
03 The Christian Life
04 You Don't Miss Your Water
05 You're Still On My Mind
06 Pretty Boy Floyd
07 Hickory Wind
08 One Hundred Years From Now
09 Blue Canadian Rockies
10 Life In Prison
11 Nothing Was Delivered

Bonus tracks

12 All I Have Are Memories
13 Reputation
14 Pretty Polly
15 Lazy Days

Although Parsons sang his own composition 'Hickory Wind' on the original album, this is a stripped back version without the harmony vocals, but it's still a fine take. 'Lazy Days' is a Parsons original that didn't make the cut, while he'd been performing Tim Hardin's 'You Got A Reputation' for a couple of years before bringing it to the sessions.  


Elton John - The 1968 Debut Album

Record Collector has once again prompted me to trawl the net following one of their articles, and this time it is the news that Elton John had recorded a number of songs in 1968 for a proposed psychedelic debut album. It was mixed and given a running order, but then shelved, possibly because by the time of its proposed release psychedelia had become a bit passe. Some of these tracks have since surfaced on bootleg CDs of Dick James demos, but not all of them have yet appeared on the net, so my searches have only managed to find ten of the 12 tracks. To make up the running time I've bolstered the album with a few other demos from the same period which I felt fitted the running order, including a killer instrumental '71-75 New Oxford Street'. 

Track Listing

01 When I Was Tealby Abbey
02 And The Clocks Go Round
03 Sitting Doing Nothing
04 Turn To Me
05 The Angel Tree
06 Regimental Sgt. Zippo
07 A Dandelion Dies In The Wind
08 You'll Be Sorry To See Me Go
09 71-75 New Oxford Street
10 Tartan Coloured Ladies
11 Hour Glass
12 Taking The Sun From My Eyes
13 Sing Me No Sad Songs

The missing songs are track number 9 'You're My Woman' and track number 12 'Watching The Planes Go By', but I hope the ones I have replaced them with fit with the rest of the album.

To be honest, the most psychedelic thing about these songs are some of the titles, but they do show that Elton and Bernie Taupin had something together even back then, with just 'Sitting Doing Nothing' being a co-write with Caleb Quaye, and 'Hour Glass' coming from outside writers. Elton is in fine voice, and a couple of the ballads do point to what was to come a few years down the line, while 'Turn To Me' is my current fave.


Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Who - The Who Sell Out Some More (1968)

On a recent visit to one of my favourite blogs - - where unreleased albums are lovingly reconstructed from various sources to give us an idea of what was shelved by the bands and record companies if they didn't think they were up to scratch, there was a reconstruction was of The Who's aborted 1968 release 'Who's For Tennis', which was eventually replaced by the 'Direct Hits' album in the UK and the 'Magic Bus - The Who On Tour' album in the US. In the copious notes there were a few song titles mentioned that I had never heard of - and I thought I had almost everything the band had released - but some of these didn't make it onto the album. Oh well, I thought, c'est la vie. At least I have the 'Who's For Tennis' album to listen to.
A couple of weeks later I stumbled across a blog that I hadn't found before, and tucked away at the back was a post which had the raw tapes that the '...Tennis' album had been constructed from, and in there were all the other tracks that were mentioned in those notes. In a matter of minutes (alright, a couple of hours) I had gathered together all the missing songs into a companion-piece to the '... Tennis' album, designed a cover and given it a punning title (as they were mostly out-takes from the 'Sell Out' album).

Track listing

01 Doctor, Doctor (mono)
02 Summertime Blues
03 Jaguar
04 Under My Thumb (mono)
05 Politician
06 Someone's Coming
07 Signal 30 (Sodding About)
08 Goin' Fishin'
09 The Last Time
10 Glittering Girl
11 In The Hall Of The Mountain King
12 That Motherland Feeling / Rael

I left a couple of tracks in there that were already available, but these might be mono versions or different takes, but mostly these are songs that I'd heard rumours about but had always assumed had been wiped, and these include a studio version of the live favourite 'Summertime Blues', covers of 'Under My Thumb' and 'The Last Time', the original 'Rael' suite, and many more. I think it holds together really well as an album in its own right, with only the final track sounding out of place due to the slightly poorer sound quality. I hope that there's something here that even the most fervent Who fan might not have heard before.

If you want to check out the 'Who's For Tennis' album then it's here,
and take the time to read the notes as they are always fascinating stuff. 

Enjoy / Enjoy