Friday, 28 September 2018

Peter Gabriel - I/O (2004)

My next post by Peter Gabriel was going to be the final album in the trio that I derived from the 'Rare' collection, but I happened to come across mention of a proposed release made up of songs recorded during the sessions for 'Up', and so decided to see what this album could have sounded like. One of the songs has already turned up on my 'At The Movies' collection, so all I had to do was track down the rest to piece together the unreleased 'I/O' album. It was originally planned for a 2004 release, but his two tours of 2003 and 2004 pushed this date back further and further, until eventually it was abandoned altogether. Some of the songs were used for other projects, with 'Animal Nation' turning up on 'The Wild Thornberries Movie' soundtrack, and 'I'm Amazing', which was inspired by the life of Muhammad Ali, being released as a single in 2016, even though it had been written around 2002/2003. 'Courage' also came out as a digital download in 2013, and with these as a starting point I discovered that 'Feed The Flame' was also known as 'Downside Up', and a demo of that had leaked online, along with a number of the other songs that I was looking for. Of the 18 suggestions for tracks that might have made it to 'I/O', I've managed to find nine, which make up a perfectly acceptable 44 minutes album, and on listening to the result it sounded so good that I just had to share it ahead of my planned Gabriel post. 


Track listing

01 I'm Amazing
02 Nocturnals
03 Feed The Flame
04 Animal Nation
05 Quiet Steam
06 Courage
07 Baby Man
08 Wild
09 This Is The Road


Status Quo - Tune To The Music (1976)

When Status Quo transformed themselves from a psychedelic pop group, with hits like 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' and 'Ice In The Sun', into a no-nonsense heads-down boogie band, they introduced their new sound with a couple of fine singles. Both 'Down The Dustpipe' and 'In My Chair' hit the top 20 in the British chart, and so it's always surprised me that neither of them were included on their debut album in their new guise, 'Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon'. Not only that, but their next single 'Tune To The Music' (one of the best things they'd done up to that point) never made it onto 'Dog Of Two Heads', and so for many years the only way to keep these tracks in my collection was to hang on to my battered vinyl copy of 1971's 'Best Of Status Quo'. I think it's now time for an upgrade, and so I've started with those three singles, added in some exclusive b-sides, a stand-alone single and a couple of out-takes to make up a nice collection from my favourite period of the band's history - 1970-1976.



Track listing

01 Down The Dustpipe (single 1970)
02 In My Chair (single 1970)
03 Tune To The Music (single 1971)
04 Good Thinking (Batman) (b-side of 'Tune To The Music')
05 So Is It Really Me (Previously unreleased early version)
06 Joanne (b-side of 'Caroline' 1973)
07 Time To Fly (Previously unreleased)
08 Lonely Night (b-side of 'Break The Rules' 1974)
09 You Lost The Love (b-side of 'Rain' 1976)
10 Wild Side Of Life (single 1976)
11 All Through The Night (b-side of 'Wild Side Of Life')

Enjoy

Kate Bush - Something Like A Song (1973)

There are a number of bootlegs doing the rounds which purport to be Kate's demos recorded at her house in 1972 and 1973, and looking at the song titles you'd think that she'd recorded around 60 or 70 songs, but my investigations while putting together this album have discovered that she was notorious for giving her songs more than one title - sometimes two or three for the same song. Once I'd listened to them all and worked out which ones were duplicates under a different name, I found that there were actually around 22 good quality recordings to choose from, so I've whittled them down by removing songs which were eventually re-recorded for her official released albums, and have just left songs which are unique to these tapes. These are all just Kate and her piano, with the sound quality being generally quite good for home recordings, so although this album could sound a bit repetitive due to the lack of other instrumentation, it's still worth hearing to see just what a precocious talent she was at such an early age. These songs were broadcast by Phoenix Radio in 1976, and so have become known as 'The Phoenix Tapes', although they were actually recorded some years earlier. I've used a contemporary photo of a 14 year-old Kate sitting at her piano, taken by her brother in 1972, for the cover.


Track listing

01 It Hurts Me
02 Come Closer To Me Babe
03 Frightened Eyes
04 Something Like A Song
05 Rinfy The Gypsy
06 Where Are The Lionhearts
07 Oh To Be In Love
08 Camilla
09 The Gay Farewell
10 Organic Acid
11 Pick The Rare Flower
12 On Fire Inside A Snowball
13 Dali
14 While Davy Dozed
15 Stranded At The Moonbase
16 So Soft
17 The Disbelieving Angel
18 Nevertheless You'll Do
19 The Craft Of Life

'Organic Acid' is based on a poem by Kate's brother John Carder Bush, and features him reciting it, with Kate's accompaniment. I've also included a list of alternative song titles in the folder, so that you know which songs are included here that might be on bootlegs under another name.


Herman's Hermits - '65/66 (1966)

I've never really been a fan of Herman's Hermits, and there are two main reasons - Peter Noone's voice, which never sounded convnicing, and 'I'm Henery The Eighth, I Am' / 'Mrs Brown, You Got a Lovely Daughter'. I hated these novelty songs - and these weren't the only ones they did - and so although I grew up hearing their singles on the radio, I never got any of their albums until someone pointed me in the direction of 1967's 'Blaze' a few years ago, which did contain some good late 60's pop. As well as the novelty songs, a number of their singles were slushy ballads, which I was also not keen on, and yet despite this I kept seeing online comments saying 'this band were very under-rated and should have been much bigger', so I thought I'd investigate to see if they were right. I got their first four albums, 'Introducing', 'Both Sides', 'Silhouettes' and 'There's A Kind Of Hush', and the first thing I found was there's an awful lot of duplication on them. This could well be because the UK and US versions are dramatically different, as in America they took tracks from a couple of the UK releases to make up one of their own, and I don't think 'Silhouettes' was even issued in the UK. The second thing I discovered is that there is a massive amount of filler on the albums, and it's really only the singles that stand out. So I've picked out what I consider to be the best songs from those four albums, along with the many accompanying bonus tracks, and yet I really struggled to come up with a 38 minute album which I could listen to more than once. But I think I did it, and it's telling that nearly all of these songs date from 1966, which seems to have been their golden year, and every one was released as a single somewhere in the world. There's some nice R'n'B on here, which you don't normally associate with the group, and I've kept the singles that I did like back in the 60's, so it makes for a nice mixture of pop and rock. There is an album called 'Herman's Hermits '66' (which is only partially successful as it still includes a lot of dross), so I've adapted that cover.



Track listing

01 Can't You Hear My Heartbeat (single 1964)
02 Just A Little Bit Better (single 1965)
03 Listen People (single 1966)
04 Got A Feeling (b-side of 'Listen People')
05 Silhouettes (single 1965)
06 A Must To Avoid (single 1965)
07 You Won't Be Leaving (single 1966)
08 This Door Swings Both Ways (single 1966)
09 For Love (b-side of 'This Door Swings Both Ways')
10 No Milk Today (single 1966)
11 My Reservation's Been Confirmed (b-side of 'No Milk Today')
12 East West (single 1966)
13 What Is Wrong, What Is Right (b-side to 'East West')
14 Hold On! (single 1966)
15 Where Were You When I Needed You (single 1966)
16 Gotta Get Away (b-side of 'Where Were You When I Needed You')

Enjoy

Friday, 21 September 2018

Prince - Purple Rain (1984)

Prince recorded a lot more material during the making of the 'Purple Rain' album and film than appeared on the record, and so it's possible to get a better idea of what he wad doing at the time by expanding the soundtrack album into a double. The original unedited version of 'Let's Go Crazy' starts the album, more or less how it was played by the band in the film. 'Take Me With U' was originally intended for Apollonia 6 before being added to 'Purple Rain', but as it wasn't even on the first two album configurations and seems a bit too mainstream compared to the other tracks, I've replaced it with the superior 'Erotic City'. 'God' is the original instrumental version  which is used in the film during the scenes showing his dysfunctional family life. The long instrumental sections of 'Computer Blue' in the film were edited out from the album to  make room for 'Take Me With U', so I'll use the 7:30 edit they were originally planning to use before it got chopped down to 4 minutes. Apollonia comes to the fore on 'Sex Shooter', a song written by Prince who also played all the instruments. I've used the rehearsal take of 'Electric Intercourse' as this has better audio quality than the concert version, and the album ends with the vocal version of 'God' that was used as the b-side to the title track, as it contains the same melody as the 'Love Theme' instrumental, and nicely ties everything together.



Track listing

01 Let's Go Crazy 
02 Erotic City 
03 The Beautiful Ones 
04 God (Love Theme From Purple Rain)  
05 When Doves Cry 
06 Computer Blue #4  
07 G-Spot 
08 Darling Nikki 
09 Sex Shooter 
10 Irresistible Bitch 
11 She's Always In My Hair  
12 Another Lonely Christmas  
13 17 Days 
14 Electric Intercourse  
15 I Would Die 4 U 
16 Baby I'm A Star 
17 Purple Rain  
18 God  

From The Album Fixer May 2016, and all notes and opinions are his.

Enjoy

Colosseum - Bonus Carminum (1970)

Colosseum were one of the first bands to fuse jazz, rock and blues, and were formed in Spring 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman and tenor sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, after they'd both previously worked together in the New Jazz Orchestra and in The Graham Bond Organisation. They met up again early in 1968 when they both played on John Mayall's Bluesbreakers' 'Bare Wires' album, and with the addition of Dave Greenslade on organ, James Litherland on guitar and Tony Reeves on bass, Colosseum was formed. They released a trio of outstanding jazz-rock albums, plus a live record to close their career when they disbanded in 1971. During the recording sessions they taped a few songs which wouldn't fit onto the albums, and this album collects them all together, alongside a few tracks recorded for the BBC 'Top Gear' radio show. Latin scholars will know that the title translates as 'bonus songs'. 



Track listing

01 I Can't Live Without You (Previously unreleased)
02 Arthur's Moustache (BBC 'Top Gear' session)
03 Lot Angeles (BBC 'Top Gear' session) 
04 In The Heat Of The Night (Previously unreleased)
05 Tell Me Now (Previously unreleased)
06 A Whiter Spade Than Mayall (BBC 'Top Gear' session)
07 The Pirate's Dream (Previously unreleased)

Enjoy

Brian Wilson - Sweet Insanity (1991)

I thought I knew nearly everything there was to know about Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, but this album took me by surprise when I stumbled on it quite by chance. 'Sweet Insanity' is an unauthorized Brian Wilson studio album that was originally planned for release in 1991, but Wilson has said that the master tapes were stolen, preventing an official release, although the songs are available on numerous bootlegs, so not sure if that is exactly the case. Five of the songs were re-recorded over a decade later and released on Wilson’s 2004 album 'Gettin' In Over My Head', although some critics believe the remakes weren't as good as the originals. In 2015, Wilson spoke about 'Sweet Insanity', saying "it was never really released. You’ve got bootlegs, but it was never released. And I thought some of the stuff was pretty good. It wasn’t the best album I ever wrote. We just didn’t think it was good enough. They were just like demos. We recorded about 10-12 songs, and we decided not to put it out because we thought that maybe people wouldn’t like it, so we junked it". 'Hotter' was recorded between 1987–1988, and produced by Brian Wilson and Russ Titelman and was released as a single, so I've added it here as a bonus. 'The Spirit of Rock and Roll' featured Bob Dylan on co-lead vocals, and was recorded between August 1986 and January 1987 and produced by Brian and Gary Usher. If there's one song which does stand out, however, It's 'Smart Girls', but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. It's not just that Brian raps(!), but the fact that he randomly throws in samples of Beach Boys tracks from the 60's with absolutely no thought for the flow of the song or the relevance of the sample. It's just a mess from start to finish, and yet the rest of the album is really surprisingly good for late-period Wilson, and there are some great songs on here. I don't normally bother with bonus tracks, but in this case I've made an exception as I honestly cannot listen to 'Smart Girls' ever again, so I've removed it from the running order and quarantined it in its own folder. If you want to add it back in that's entirely up to you.



Track listing

01 Intro (Concert Tonite) 
02 Someone To Love 
03 Water Builds Up 
04 Don't Let Her Know She's An Angel 
05 Do You Have Any Regrets? 
06 Brian 
07 The Spirit Of Rock & Roll (featuring Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne) 
08 Rainbow Eyes 
09 Love Ya 
10 Make A Wish
11 Country Feelin' 
12 Hotter 

Bonus track 
13 Smart Girls 

Enjoy

23 Skidoo - The Gospel According To 23 Skidoo (1983)

After listening to some A Certain Ratio a while back while researching a future post by them, I thought about 23 Skidoo, who were a band very much in the same vein, but who never really got past a loyal cult following. I fancied hearing their classic 12" singles 'The Gospel According To New Guinea' and 'Coup' again, but I couldn't find them anywhere on the net, and so as I was at my record buying peak during the punk and New Wave era in the UK, and still had a lot of the original records that I bought at the time, I went up into the loft and brought down all my 12" singles to rip to mp3. Their first 7" single was more of a post/punk effort, very much like A Certain Ratio's 'All Night Party', after which both bands went down the indie/dance route for their subsequent releases. Following a couple of well received 12" singles and some experimental music that incorporated Burundi drumming or Gamelan percussion, they employed the services of Peter 'Sketch' Martin from the recently disbanded Linx to become a superb indie/funk band. The fact that 'The Gospel...' 12" was produced by Cabaret Voltaire, their debut album 'Seven Songs' was co-produced by Genesis P. Orridge, and 'Coup' utilised the services of Aswad's horn section, showed they certainly had a diverse range of influences, and they could pen a commercial dance track when they wanted to. This collection is from their first five releases, from 1980 to 1984, which is also my favourite period from the band, and although I know a lot of people will never have heard of them, please give them a try as they were a very under-rated part of the whole indie/dance/funk scene of the early 80's.



Track listing

01 Ethics
02 Another Baby's Face
03 The Gospel Comes To New Guinea
04 Last Words
05 Tearing Up The Plans I
06 Tearing Up The Plans II
07 Just Like Everybody
08 Gregouka
09 Coup
10 Version (In The Palace)
11 Language

Enjoy / Enjoy

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Peter Gabriel - At The Movies (2016) Update

This is the second of the three albums that I compiled from the 4CD bootleg 'Rare', and this one features songs that Gabriel wrote for films, and which remained exclusive to the subsequent soundtrack album. For about a decade from the mid-90's on, he contributed to a number of film soundtracks, and then took an extended break before he returned in 2016 to write 'The Veil' for the Edward Snowden biopic 'Snowden'. As would be expected from Gabriel, none of these tracks are filler, and they all stand up as great songs in their own right, so this collection doesn't sound like a mish-mash of oddments and throwaways, but flows pretty well as a listening experience.  
UPDATE - I thought I'd tracked down all the exclusive songs that Peter Gabriel gave away to film companies, but I found today that I'd missed the excellent 'Down To Earth' which was gifted to the 'Wall-E' soundtrack, so I've added it to the album and updated the link. 



Track listing 


01 Walk Through The Fire ('Against All Odds' 1984)

02 Out Out ('Gremilns' 1984)
03 Lovetown ('Philadelphia' 1993)
04 Taboo ('Natural Born Killers' 1994)
05 While The Earth Sleeps ('Strange Days' 1995)
06 Party Man ('Virtuosity' 1995)
07 That'll Do ('Babe 2: Pigs In The City' 1998)
08 Animal Nation ('The Wild Thornberries Movie' 2002)
09 Down To Earth ('Wall-E' 2008)
10 The Veil ('Snowden' 2016)

Enjoy


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The Rutles - Let It Rot (2017)

It's Wednesday - it's Rutles day. This week's post is 'Let It Rot', which is still in their psychedelic pop phase and so the opportunity is here for some great pastiches from the Rutles and their connected bands and artists.



Track listing

SIDE ONE
01 Bandwagon (Live)
02 Don't Get Me Wrong 
03 All Alone 
04 Hey Mister! 
05 Stig It 
06 Imitation Song 

SIDE TWO
07 Slaves Of Freedom 
08 Concrete Jungle Boy 
09 Momma Bee 
10 How Sweet To Be An Idiot 
11 Blackest of Blues 
12 Get Up And Go 

PERFORMERS
* The Rutles - 04, 12
* Neil Innes - 01, 03, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10
* The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 02
* GRIMMS - 11
* Rutles Song Performed By Neil Innes On The BBC - 05

Enjoy / Enjoy

Friday, 14 September 2018

U2 - The Desert Songs (1987)

When U2 convened to start recording what was eventually to become 'The Joshua Tree', Bono's original vision was for a double album titled 'The Desert Songs', having basically written a concept album about the desert. However, The Edge and possibly the record company insisted on a single album, and so, unhappy at this, Bono tried to cancel the release, thinking it wasn't good enough, but they had already spent a lot of money on promotion and couldn't pull the plug. As we now know, the album was a massive success, and reinvigorated the band's reputation, but we did end up missing out on the underlying story as it was originally written. The songs were all recorded, and the ones which didn't make the album were released as b-sides, and most were added to the 20th Anniversary Edition in 2007 as a bonus disc, but this is obviously not what the sequencing of the double album would have been, as by putting the songs in a certain order, we get closer to the original concept of the album, which is the hero's journey through the desert of his soul to find water, or the meaning and purpose of his life.
One of the first songs was called 'Desert of Our Love', which morphed into 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', and as Bono was having some difficulties in his marriage at that time, most likely these songs were written from a very personal point of view, reflecting his inner emotional landscape. A lot of the songs feature heavy desert imagery, and the characters are always searching for water, representing a quest for God, Love, Quan, the source of life, or whatever you want to call it. While the story and characters are a bit murky, I have pieced together a rough image of what a concept album might have looked like, and similar to The Who's Lifehouse, it now sounds like the unreleased soundtrack to a movie that was never made.
The original album was sequenced by one of the producer's wives, who was only told what the opening and closing tracks would be, so I'll leave those two where they are but rearrange everything else. I get the sense that she simply put her favorite songs in order, which also happen to be many of the singles that her husband did the mixes on. For me, there are too many mid-tempo numbers all in a row, all hit singles, which kind of takes the mystery out of it, so the first order of business is to add a rock song closer to the beginning, and also to establish the setting for our story.
The opening track stays the same with 'Where the Streets Have No Name', both musically the best opener and it also introduces the themes of disillusionment and the call to begin his odyssey. His soul is thirsty and he longs for something more than the things found in the material world. 'Silver and Gold' describes the corruption and greed he encounters at his job and in society in general, and 'With or Without You' paints the picture of a desperately unhappy relationship that has no chance of getting better. He finally makes his decision to leave her in the sad and ironic 'Sweetest Thing'. where he sings 'I'm losing you, ain't love the sweetest thing', set to happy music but with lyrics describing his cold-hearted love interest, indicating that he is happy to be moving on but still bitter about the whole experience. Then the plot thickens when the military industrial complex suddenly bombs the city with their bullets lighting up the blue sky, sending our protagonist fleeing out into the desert. The follows the ominous 'Race Against Time' as our hero escapes into the desert, where he begins his journey. At first he is happy to be free, but soon grows tired, weary, and thirsty.  He walks, trudges, and crawls across the desert sand as the scathing sun burns down on his peeling skin. He begins to hallucinate, the mirages appearing as angels at first, and then demons, dancing amongst the fragmented memories of a world he left behind. A temptress with Spanish eyes visits him, awakening his lust and distracting him from his journey as he descends into the dark side. The demons continue to haunt him and he loses his sanity completely. His former lover appears, and he violently murders her in a fit of rage. It was only an illusion, but he is shocked to discover the evil within his own heart. We fade to black as he collapses in despair at the break of night.
He wakes up the next day and taking stock of his journey so far, concludes that he still hasn't found what he is looking for. Eventually he comes across a troubled woman who is also wandering alone in the desert on 'Running to Stand Still'. He feels empathy and connection with something greater than himself for the first time, and together they walk on. Something awakens deep inside of him, giving his life a new meaning and purpose, all because of this woman, celebrated on .Trip Through Your Wires.. 'Heartland' takes us deeper into this new spiritual and emotional connection with both the world around him and also within his own heart. (Although this track was released on Rattle and Hum, it originated in 1984, and was worked on at the main Joshua Tree sessions in 1986 and possibly into 1987). Armed with a new meaning and purpose, it is now time to rejoin society.  The woman leads him back to a band of rebels who have taken refuge out in the desert after the evil empire invaded their town and stole their water supply.
The final act begins with the regime kidnapping the girl and holding her hostage at the top of Red Hill, where they hold all the other political prisoners.  Our protagonist joins the resistance and they mount an attack, but this time it's personal. They win the battle and he rescues the girl, but he is seriously wounded during the process. As our hero lays bleeding on top of the hill, his final message is to hold on to love. His blood runs down the hill and turns into a raging river. They rename the place One Tree Hill in honor of our hero, who is now called Joshua, the one who sacrificed his life to save others, and in doing so, fulfilled his destiny and discovered what life was all about. He finally found the water that quenched his thirst, and it spilled over into the world and into other people's hearts as well, ending with everyone singing 'Oh, great ocean, oh grand sea, run to the ocean, run to the sea'. They have finally found water, and it even begins to rain. The final song pays homage to all the freedom fighters who have been killed by the evil empire in the struggle for freedom, ending with the lyrics 'see their tears in the rainfall'.
......or something like that. The exact sequence is debatable and maybe Album Fixer was reading too much into this, and the details may be skewed towards his own personal neurosis, but there does seem to be the general outline of a story that follows the mythical 'Hero's Journey' found throughout the ages. It contains the three stages of departure, initiation, and return. The hero wanders through the desert, is tempted, then guided, finally returning to society as a transformed human being with a new purpose and outlook on life, only to be killed. There's a bit of a Hollywood twist at the end with the girl being held hostage, as that might not actually be on the album, but it's a fresh way of looking at a classic album, and having now played it a number of times it really does hang together very well. 



Track lising

01 Where The Streets Have No Name
02 Silver And Gold
03 With Or Without You
04 Sweetest Thing 
05 Bullet the Blue Sky
06 Race Against Time 
07 In God's Country
08 Walk To The Water 
09 Spanish Eyes 
10 Exit
11 I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
12 Running To Stand Still
13 Trip Through Your Wires
14 Heartland
15 Red Hill Mining Town
16 Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)
17 One Tree Hill
18 Mothers Of The Disappeared

From The Album Fixer April 2015. All ideas and opinions in the notes are his.

Enjoy

Spooky Tooth - The Weight (1969)

Spooky Tooth were one of the best progressive rock bands of he late 60's and early 70's, although they never really had the massive success that they deserved. Most of the band started out in a combo called Art, and when they broke up Spooky Tooth was formed from the ashes. Their line-up was a breeding ground for musicians who went on to greater fame later in their career, with Luther Grosvenor changing his name to Ariel Bender and joining Mott The Hoople, Mike Kellie teaming up with Peter Perrett in The Only Ones, Greg Ridley joining Humble Pie and Mike Harrison and Gary Wright going on to considerable solo success, with Wright having a huge hit with his 'Dream Weaver' single. Their first two albums are classics of the psychedelic rock genre, and as the 70's drew on they became more experimental, culminating in a collaboration with French music concrete artist Pierre Henry on the generally well-received 'Ceremony', before regrouping and turning to a heavier sound as the 70's wore on. During their career they released a number of singles, some of which never featured on their albums, and some also had exclusive b-sides, while they also recorded a number of sessions for the BBC, playing songs that only ever appeared in their live sets. Of those recordings, the take of 'I Can't Quit Her' wasn't taped that well, with a jagged fade in at the beginning and an unconvincing fade at the end, and so in my first attempt at patching I've tried to make a more convincing version of the song. This post collects the best of their hard to find songs into an album which shows just what a great band they were, even from material not considered worthy of inclusion on their album releases.



Track listing

01 Weird (b-side of 'Sunshine Help Me' 1967 - reworking of Art song)
02 The Weight (single 1968)
03 Do Right People (b-side of 'The Weight')
04 Sunshine Help Me (Original version)
05 I Can't Quit Her (BBC 'Top Gear' session 1968)
06 Blues Town (BBC 'Top Gear' session 1968)
07 When I Get Home (Previously unreleased 1968)
08 Something Got Into Your Life (Previously unreleased 1968)
09 Too Much Of Nothing (BBC 'Top Gear' session 1968)
10 Luger's Groove (b-side of 'Love Really Changed Me' 1968)
11 Oh! Pretty Woman (b-side of 'That Was Only Yesterday' 1969)

Enjoy

Maurice Gibb - The Loner (1970)

Towards the end of the 60's, following the release of their three classic pop albums and the experimental 'Odessa', the Bee Gees broke up, after all three brothers decided that they wanted to release solo albums. Robin recorded some songs for his 'Sing Slowly Sisters' album, Barry did the same for his 'The Kids No Good', while Maurice's album was to be called 'The Loner'. The first song to be recorded was 'Railroad' which was also released as a single, and although it didn't fare that well, he carried on recording until he had enough material for an album. In the end none of the three albums were ever released, after Maurice and Barry reunited as The Bee Gees for the 'Cucumber Castle' album, with Robin also re-joining them later, but songs from each proposed record have leaked onto the net, and so it's just possible to piece together what the albums might have sounded like. For Maurice's album, the songs were scattered over a number of sites, and while some were easy to find, I'd almost given up ever tracking down the opening instrumental 'Journey To The Misty Mountains' until I stumbled upon it on one of the very last sites I tried, and discovered that it actually segues into the title track, which I hadn't realised from the other recordings of it that I'd found up to then. We have a rough track listing, and so I've managed to find nearly all the songs, apart from one instrumental, and by substituting two other songs from the same period, and adding one that he wrote for a 1970 stage musical starring Barbara Windsor, I've pieced together a 40 minute reconstruction of what the album could have sounded like. The cover doing the rounds on the bootleg version (no longer available) was awful, making his nose look massive, and showing way too many teeth, so I've used the sleeve of the single version of the title track, which is still not great, but much better than the other one. 



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

This is an upgraded version of the original post, with a slightly different track listing and better sound quality on some songs. 

Enjoy

Coldplay - Death Will Never Conquer (2014)

I was very much a fan of Coldplay in their early days, and was straight down the record shop whenever they released an album, but around 2009 I felt that they were getting just a bit too commercial for me, and so my attentions shifted to other, edgier new bands, and I didn't really pay much attention to them anymore. The last album of theirs that I bought was 'Viva La Vida', and I didn't get any of their singles from that period onwards either, which means that I missed out on a number of surprisingly good songs tucked away on b-sides. This collection rectifies that by gathering together all those rare tracks from 2003 to 2014, and it serves as a companion-piece to their earlier post 'If You Never Try, Then You'll Never Know'. I think the songs on 'If You Never Try....' just have edge over the ones on here, but there is still some good stuff on this set, so I'm sure that fans of the band will find something to enjoy.   



Track listing

01 Murder (b-side of 'God Put A Smile Upon Your Face' 2003)
02 The World Turned Upside Down (b-side of 'Fix You' 2005)
03 Sleeping Sun (b-side of 'Talk' 2005)
04 Gravity (Coldplay version of the song written for Embrace 2005)
05 Things I Don't Understand (b-side of 'Speed Of Sound' 2005)
06 Proof (b-side of 'Speed Of Sound' 2005)
07 Death Will Never Conquer (b-side of 'Viva La Vida' 2008)
08 A Spell A Rebel Yell (b-side of NME freebie single of 'Violet Hill' 2008)
09 Lost (b-side of 'Violet Hill' 2008)
10 The Goldrush (b-side of 'Life In Technicolor II' 2009)
11 Moving To Mars (b-side to 'Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall' EP 2011)
12 All Your Friends (from 'A Sky Full Of Stars' EP 2014)
13 Ghost Story (from 'A Sky Full Of Stars' EP 2014)
14 O (Reprise) (from 'A Sky Full Of Stars' EP 2014)

Enjoy

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Rutles - Tragical History Tour (2017)

It's time for your mid-week Rutles treat, and this time it's the 'Tragical History Tour' album, containing another great batch of psychedelic-style Beatles pastiches. This one has some of my favourite Rutles songs in 'Doubleback Alley', 'Piggy In The Middle' and 'Love Life'.



Track listing

SIDE ONE
01 Shangri La
02 Questionnaire
03 Lying
04 Purple Haze
05 Piggy Bank Love

SIDE TWO
06 Piggy In The Middle
07 Raggy Dolls
08 Montana Cafe
09 Doubleback Alley
10 What Do You Do
11 Love Life

PERFORMERS
* The Rutles - 01, 02, 03, 06, 09, 11
* The Flame(s) - 04
* Neil Innes - 07, 08
* The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 05, 10

And no, I don't know what 'Purple Haze' is doing on there!

Enjoy / Enjoy

Supertramp - Sleeping With The Enemy (1985) Update

I was listening to this recently and noticed a rather harsh transition between 'Cannonball' and 'Give me Love, Give Me Life' so I've edited it to sound smoother, and I've updated the link. For anyone who has already downloaded it here's the adjusted 'Cannonball' to slot into your album.

Friday, 7 September 2018

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Church (1968)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience began working on their fourth album during the last two weeks of October 1968, at an old rundown studio called TTG in Hollywood, where Jimi was also producing an album by Irish band Eire Apparent. Despite the party atmosphere and a host of groupies and musicians stopping by to jam, they did somehow manage to complete some recording. The tapes were then sent to the Record Plant in New York where they just gathered dust. and so here is an album made up of those somewhat chaotic sessions. If these tracks had been polished in the studio this could have formed the basis for a fourth Experience album, being made only six weeks after they finished working on 'Electric Ladyland'. It starts with a song that Jimi tried numerous times to get right in the studio but never captured to his satisfaction, 'Here He Comes', otherwise known as 'Lover Man'. The title track is next, and is actually a version of 'Red House', featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums and Buddy Miles on percussion. The explosive version of Van Morrison's 'Gloria' is a highlight, and remained unheard for over a decade until it was released as a bonus 7" single with 'The Essential Jimi Hendrix Vol. 2' in 1979. Another elusive track is 'Look Over Yonder', also called 'Mr. Bad Luck', as despite having already recorded a decent version back in May of '67, Jimi wanted to try again, possibly an indication that he was running out of new ideas. 'New Rising Sun' is a nice guitar piece that Jimi was working on, and which to my ears sounds very much like an extended take on the introduction to 'Angel', while 'Hear My Freedom' is another unstructured blues jam, and we conclude with the heavy and somewhat ridiculous 'Calling All the Devil's Children', one of the few songs that were actually completed at TTG.. This could very well have been the band's fourth album if they'd managed to get their act together and kept on at the Record Plant to do something with the raw tapes, but they didn't, and so only now can we hear what it might have sounded like.



Track listing

01 Here He Comes (Lover Man) 
02 Electric Church Red House
03 Gloria
04 Look Over Yonder 
05 New Rising Sun 
06 Hear My Freedom
07 Calling All the Devil's Children 

From The Album Fixer September 2015.

Enjoy

The Beatles - Tuned To A Natural E (2009)

Back in 2003 a band of Beatles fans got together and formed the Beatles Remixers Group, with the intention of producing some radical remixes of Beatles songs for their own amusement. Some time later they'd amassed enough material to produce a seven CD box set of what they'd done, and being the massive Beatles fan that I am I grabbed them when I saw them, which was just as well as they now seemed to have vanished completely from the net. After ploughing my way through all seven CD's I found that some of the tracks were brilliantly inventive, while other didn't work quite so well, so eventually I decided to take my favourite tracks from the set and put them all on one CD, which is what you have here. So if you are a Beatles fan who wants to hear 'Help' with a mariachi backing, 'Eleanor Rigby' with panpipes, 'Fixing A Hole' and 'It's Getting Better' interlaced, or a full version of the 'Abbey Road' medley section 'Nowhere To Go' then you're in the right place. However, the piece de resistance is the final track, 'The End Megamix', which is quite simply one of best remixes that I've ever heard. It's ten and half minutes of magic, which flys by so quickly that you won't believe it when it's over, and you just want to put it on again straight away. The person who made this deserves a medal. Full notes about all the samples are included in the download.



Track listing

01 Tuned To A Natural E
02 There's A Place
03 Drive My What You're Doing Car  
04 HELP!
05 Crazy Girl  
06 You've Got To Hide Your Love Away          
07 Fixing To Get Better          
08 12-Bar Un-Original                 
09 Carnival Of Lights         
10 Eleanor Rigby
11 Tomorrow Never Knoise           
12 For No One In My Life     
13 Blue Jay Way
14 Revolution 1 - Ultimate Mix
15 Pepperland Time
16 Here Comes The Sun
17 Wah Wah Instrumental     
18 Nowhere To Go
19 Gone Are Tomorrow's Days
20 Lennon Recollections
21 Real Love
22 She's Leaving Yesterday   
23 Tax My Car   
24 Pity Jude   
25 The End (Megamix)  

Enjoy / Enjoy
     

Brian Eno - The Pop Album (1977)

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno is of course best known for his work on the first two Roxy Music albums, but when he left the group after the release of 1973's 'For Your Pleasure', few people could have imagined that he would become one of the best-known names in the music industry, both for his innovative and experimental music, and for producing albums by some of the biggest bands of the last 40 years, such as Talking Heads, U2 and Devo. He brought ambient music to the mainstream, and invented the concept of oblique strategies, but tucked away on his albums have been some surprisingly commercial pop songs. I first found a compilation of these pop songs at the Music For Manics site here http://musicformaniacs.blogspot.com/2012/12/album-du-jour-9-eno-lost-70s-pop-album.html, and after downloading it I made a cover for the site, and on checking recently I found that the link is still live. However, he decided to use rare and live takes of the songs, which I was originally going to do, before I thought that there's no reason not to use the studio versions and make a more polished album. So here they are collected together onto a record which would undoubtedly have surprised many people, who at the time considered him a pretentious and artsy auteur.   



Track listing

01 The Seven Deadly Finns  
02 The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) 
03 Needles In The Camel's Eye
04 Baby's On Fire
05 I'll Come Running
06 Some Of Them Are Old
07 St. Elmo's Fire
08 No One Receiving
09 Backwater
10 Spider & I
11 King's Lead Hat

Enjoy

Bad Company - Easy On My Soul (1976)

When Free broke up and both Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke formed a new band then hopes were high for group that could produce music as good as their former band's. With the addition of ex-Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and King Crimson's bassist Boz Burrell then how could they fail, and succeed they certainly did. Their first single 'Can't Get Enough' was a massive hit, as was the follow-up 'Feel Like Makin' Love', and before long they were one of the best British rock bands of the 70's, with a debut album that topped the Billboard chart. During their career they released a number of great singles, and a few of them had exclusive b-sides, which are all collected here, along with some tasty unreleased out-takes, and a rare version of that second single, which includes a cool harmonica solo. 



Track listing

01 Superstar Woman (Previously unreleased)
02 Little Miss Fortune (b-side of 'Can't Get Enough' 1974)
03 Easy On My Soul (b-side of 'Movin' On' 1974)
04 Whisky Bottle (b-side of 'Good Lovin' Gone Bad' 1975)
05 See The Sunlight (Previously unreleased)
06 All Night Long (Previously unreleased)
07 Smokin' 45 (Previously unreleased)
08 Feel Like Makin' Love (Harmonica version)
09 Easy On My Soul (Slow version)

Enjoy / Enjoy

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Rutles - Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band (2017)

I guess it's only logical to post this one next, as it's probably the one most fans would want to hear how it turned out. Pretty well, as it happens, with another good selection of songs from the various member's careers, so without further ado, here it is.



Track listing

SIDE ONE
01 Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band
02 Rendezvous
03 Good Times Roll
04 The Knicker Elastic King
05 Equestrian Statue
06 She's Leaving Home
07 Being For The Benefit Of Mankind!

SIDE TWO
08 Solitude
09 Back In Sixty-Four
10 Rockaliser Baby
11 Major Happy's Up And Coming Once Upon A Good Time Band (Reprise)
12 Cheese And Onions

PERFORMERS
* The Rutles - 01, 02, 03, 04, 09, 11, 12
* The Flame(s) - 08
* The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 05, 07, 10
* GRIMMS - 06

Enjoy / Enjoy