Friday, 27 July 2018

Nazareth - Storm Warning (1977)

I've always had a soft spot for Nazareth, as they were pretty much my introduction to heavy rock in the early 70's. They had one of the great rock singers in Dan McCafferty, and their music was heavy, but with enough pop nous to get them into the singles chart on a regular basis. I didn't buy many of their singles, as nearly all of the songs were available on the albums, so I may have missed out on the odd exclusive b-side at the time, but the band actually did do a lot of recycling, with many of the b-sides of their singles in 1973 and 1974 being songs from their first two album from 1971 and 1972. However, they did release a few songs as b-sides which never made it to album, as well as a couple of stand-alone singles, and so I've gathered them all together, along with a couple of previously unreleased songs from the same period which appeared on the excellent Naz Box album, and we have a reasonable approximation of a new Nazareth album from somewhere between 1975 and 1977.  



Track Listing

01 If You See My Baby (debut single 1973)
02 Hard Living (b-side of 'If You See My Baby')
03 Spinning Top (b-side of 'Morning Dew')
04 Friends (b-side of 'Dear John')
05 Down (b-side of 'Love Hurts')
06 Holy Roller (single 1975)
07 Railroad Boy (b-side of 'Holy Roller')
08 My White Bicycle (single 1975)
09 Greens (b-side of 'Gone Dead Train')
10 Snaefell (Previously unreleased)
11 Desolation Road (b-side of 'Gone Dead Train')
12 Paper Sun (Previously unreleased)
13 Storm Warning (Previously unreleased)

Enjoy

Stevie Wonder - What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eyes (1996)

Having seen a rumour online that Stevie Wonder had planned a follow-up to 'Fullfillingness First Finale', to be called 'Fullfillingness Second Finale', I set about trying to locate the songs mentioned in the proposed track listing. The first thing I found is that there is very little unreleased Stevie Wonder out there - I've only ever come across two or three live bootlegs from the classic 70's period, and unreleased studio recordings are almost non-existent. Having abandoned my quest and pretty much given up on the idea, I stumbled across an album which had apparently been pressed up on vinyl some years ago, and found that it actually contained one of the songs that I was after, as well as a number of live and demo recordings which are definitely worth hearing. 'Livin' Off The Love Of The Land' and 'Reflections Of You' (renamed as 'Sky Blue Afternoon') might have appeared on 'Fullfillingness Second Finale', but the rest are mostly live renditions of songs that were never recorded in a studio, with just Stevie and his piano. There are also a couple of his contributions to film soundtracks and a rare single from 1990, so obviously the sound quality will vary considerably between the live and studio recordings. I've left off a few of the less successful recordings, cleaned up the rest to make for a more evenly flowing album, and added in a rare cut from 1964 to close the album. 



Track listing

01 Can't Imagine Love Without You (Piano Version)
02 Livin' Off The Love Of The Land (Unreleased)
03 My Mother's Eyes (Live)
04 Overjoyed (Live on 'Saturday Night Live')
05 Kiss Lonely Goodbye (Orchestral Version)
06 Breeze Whispering (excerpt)
07 I Can Only Be Me (Live)
08 Deep Inside Your Heart (excerpt)
09 Keep Our Love Alive (1990 single)
10 Ms. And Mr. Little Ones (Live)
11 Stay Gold (Alternate recording)
12 Why (Live)
13 Reflections Of You (a.k.a. 'Blue Sky Afternoon') (Live)
14 Just Enough To Ease The Pain (1964 Recording)

Enjoy

Friday, 20 July 2018

The Clash - Kingston Calling (1980)

From the very start of their career, The Clash have never been shy about proclaiming their love of reggae, even including a lengthy cover of Junior Murvin's 'Police And Thieves' on their debut album. Over the next few years they covered a variety of classic and lesser known reggae songs, as well as incorporating the style into their own songwriting, and so I thought it would be interesting to collect together the best of their reggae songs onto one album. I've chosen my favourite songs from their first four albums, both covers and originals, as well as some stand-alone singles and the odd b-side to make a great 50 minute reggae album - slightly longer than I'd liked, but I just couldn't pick one song to leave off.



Track listing

01 Police & Thieves
02 Revolution Rock
03 Pressure Drop
04 Rudie Can't Fail
05 Armagideon Time
06 The Guns Of Brixton
07 (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
08 Wrong 'Em Boyo
09 Junco Partner
10 Bankrobber
11 One More Time
12 The Magnificent Seven

Enjoy

Frank Sinatra - SinatraJobin (1970)

In 1967 Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim collaborated together on a Latin-influenced jazz/vocal album, which was released later that year to much positive acclaim. It was a new direction for Sinatra, and after it proved successful they teamed up again to record some more songs. The 'SinatraJobim' album was released in 1970 on 8-track cassette, but before the vinyl version was issued both Sinatra and the record company had doubts about the commercial viability of the record, and so they shelved the vinyl release. The 8-track version of the album is now one of Sinatra's most sought-after rarities (although who has an 8-track these days?), and although these songs have since turned up spread over a variety of albums, it's nice to have them all together again in one place, how they should be heard. There was a rumour that Sinatra shelved the album because he didn't like the cover, but that's unlikely to be true as that's the easiest thing to fix, and it's really not that bad.



Track listing

01 Song Of The Saboa
02 Bonita
03 Drinking Water (Agua De Beber)
04 One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota So)
05 Don't Ever Go Away (Por Causa De Voco)
06 Someone To Light Up My Life
07 Triste
08 Wave
09 This Happy Madness (Estrada Branca)
10 Off Key (Desafinado)

Enjoy

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Yes - The Golden Age (1979)

Following the completion of their tour to promote 'Tormato', Yes decamped to Paris to record some material with producer Roy Thomas Baker. Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman had decided together that they wanted the band to move in a more New Age or pop direction, in keeping with the musical trends of the time, but the rest of the band were not so keen, and wanted to keep their classic, recognisable progressive rock sound. These tensions were evident in the music that was recorded in Paris, and it seemed like fate was intervening when Alan White broke his foot in a roller-skating accident, forcing the recording sessions to be abandoned. Howe, Squire and White returned to London, leaving Anderson and Wakeman to carry on working on their new ideas in Paris. When White's foot had healed and the band got back together, they set about recording what would become the 'Drama' album, and the Paris sessions were consigned to the vaults. What we have here, then, is an album that could have slotted in between 'Tormato' and 'Drama', if Anderson and Wakeman had got their way with a new direction for the group. Some of the songs were reworked later for member's solo albums, but most of these recordings have only ever been heard on bootlegs, and more recently on remastered re-issues of 'Tormato' and 'Drama'. 



Track listing

01 Golden Age
02 Tango
03 Everybody Loves You
04 In The Tower
05 Friend Of A Friend
06 Richard
07 Dancing Through The Night
08 Some Are Born
09 Picasso
10 You Can Be Saved
11 Countryside

Enjoy

Friday, 13 July 2018

Honeybus - Recital (1973)

Honeybus are probably best remembered for their classic 1968 single 'I Can't Let Maggie Go', and their debut album 'Story', released in 1970, firmly established them as one of the UK's best pop groups. The band included two exceptional songwriters in Pete Dello and Colin Hare, but Dello then left the band in 1968, and Ray Cane took over some of the songwriting duties, as well as contributing lead vocals. Shortly before the release of 'Story' the band broke up, and so the album was released without a band to promote it, and it failed to chart. In 1971 Dello recruited some of the former members for a Honeybus revival, and they recorded some songs which would eventually become the 'Recital' album. Test pressings were made, but a change in the management of their record label Warners meant that the release was cancelled. Colin Hare issued some CD-R copies of the album in 2005, but they are now long gone, and although there's been talk for years of a re-issue of 'Recital', I've yet to see it. So at the moment the only way to hear the album is to piece it together from the various compilations that are around. Others have tried this in the past, but it's been impossible for anyone to find two of the songs - 'Writing's On The Wall' and 'Lovely Vanessa' - so I've substituted another song from the same era to flesh out the record to a standard length vinyl release of the period. The cover is from Colin Hare's CD-R re-issue.



Track listing

01 For You
02 Be Thou By My Side
03 Julie In My Heart
04 Big Ship
05 Cross Chanel Ferry
06 Lady's Not For Burning
07 She's A Lady
08 Little Lovely One
09 Lute Girl
10 Throw My Love Away
11 Baroque'n Roll Star

Strangely enough, just after I finished this post, I found that Hanky Panky/Mapache records are looking to re-issue 'Recital' shortly, so if that does happen, and you like what you hear here, then rush out and get a copy so that you can hear the full album, including those missing songs.

Enjoy

Saturday, 7 July 2018

John Fogerty - Hoodoo (1976)

Following the release of his eponymous debut solo album in 1975, Fogerty was eager to start recording the next one, so he gathered together some of his favourite musicians and set to work. A taster single was released, in the form of 'You Got The Magic'/'Evil Thing', and a tour was being mooted to promote the record. Unfortunately the single failed to sell, but even so, when Fogerty offered the album to Asylum Records, plans were put in place for its release. It was given a catalogue number, and cover art was commissioned, but on the eve of shipping it out the whole thing was cancelled. It's been said that this was a joint decision by Joe Smith of the record label and Fogerty himself, as both agreed that the songs were not up to his usual high standard, and even though the decision to cancel was partly Fogerty's, it hit him hard, and he was disappointed that the record didn't come out. He's since confirmed that he didn't think the material was his best, and that he instructed Asylum to destroy the master tapes, but a bootleg did leak out, showing that even sub-standard Fogerty is better than most people, and that this is well worth hearing. One of the issues that the record company might have had is that it was a very short album, with just nine songs running to some 30 minutes, so I've fleshed out this post with a couple of rare singles from 1973. There isn't really a good quality scan of the proposed cover, and I liked the original bootleg sleeve, so i'm using that instead.



Track listing

01 You Got The Magic
02 Between The Lines
03 Leave My Woman Alone
04 Marchin' To Blarney
05 Hoodoo Man
06 Telephone
07 Evil Thing
08 Henrietta
09 On The Run
10 You Don't Owe Me
11 Back In The Hills
12 Comin' Down The Road
13 Richocet

Enjoy

The Bee Gees - A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In The Pants (1973)

At the end of 1972 The Bee Gees had recorded enough songs for two new albums. The first to be released, in January 1973, was 'Life In A Tin Can', with 'Saw A New Morning' being issued as the lead single. This wasn't as big a hit a some of their previous offerings, only reaching No. 94 in the US chart, and the parent album didn't fare much better, peaking at No. 69. When the time came to release the second of the two records, a single was floated as a taster, but 'Wouldn't I Be Someone' was no more successful than its predecessor, and so Robert Stigwood and RSO Records decided not to issue the record. Some tracks have since appeared as b-sides or singles in their own right, but the album as a whole has only ever been heard on leaked bootlegs. Although the band have confirmed that it will never be officially released, it's really not that bad, and has a number of fine songs on it. Obviously it doesn't reach the dizzy heights of their trio of late 60's albums, but fans of the group deserve to be able to hear it and make up their own mind.



Track listing

01 Elisa
02 Wouldn't I Be Someone
03 A Lonely Violin
04 Losers And Lovers
05 Home Again Rivers
06 Dear Mr. Kissinger
07 Jesus In Heaven
08 Harry's Gate
09 Rocky L.A.
10 Castles In The Air
11 Where Is Your Sister
12 It Doesn't Matter Much To Me
13 King And Country
14 (Life) Am I Wasting My Time

Enjoy