Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Kaiser Chiefs - Badges Of Honour (2008)

Nick Hodgson, Nick Baines and Simon Rix first met in the same class at St. Mary's Catholic High School, in Menston, West Yorkshire when they were around 11 years old. After leaving school in 1996, Rix and Baines left for university while Hodgson remained in the Leeds area, meeting both Andrew White and Ricky Wilson, and the three of them formed the band Runston Parva, its name a deliberate misspelling of a small East Yorkshire hamlet called Ruston Parva. After Runston Parva failed to secure a record deal, the group re-formed as Parva on the return of Rix and Baines from university, and the band were able to obtain both a record and publishing deal with Mantra Records, but following the release of an album '22', and three singles, Beggars Banquet closed the Mantra label, and Parva were dropped and left desolate and without any direction. Feeling that a band dropped by a label had a certain stigma which might prevent them being picked up by another label, they decided that they would start afresh with new songs and a new name: Kaiser Chiefs, with the name being taken from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs. In July 2004, while still relatively unknown inside the UK, the band performed at their first festival in Moscow, and in November they released their first single 'Oh, My God'/'Born To Be A Dancer'/'Caroline,Yes' on the Drowned In Sound label, followed swiftly by 'I Predict A Riot'/'Take My Temperature' on B-Unique. Their debut album 'Employment' appeared in March 2005, with the music being primarily inspired by new wave and punk rock of the late 70's and 80', and it was well received by music critics and the public alike, reaching number two in the UK albums chart. The band's second album 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' was released in February 2007, with the track listing picked from 22 songs that they'd recorded throughout September and October 2006 at Hookend Recording Studios. The album reached number one on the UK albums chart, and contained their UK number one single 'Ruby', as well as three more songs which were later released as singles. Third album 'Off With Their Heads' was released on 20 October 2008, and following a UK arena tour in 2008/2009 and a brief rest, they released 'The Future Is Medieval' in June 2011 as a 'create-your-own album', where fans were able to choose 10 of the 20 songs to create "their album" for £7.50, before the official track listing was released a month later. In their early days they recorded much more material than was needed for their albums, as evidenced by the 22 tracks they taped for 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob', and so all of the singles from 2004 to 2008 have exclusive b-sides, which are collected here for your enjoyment. The badges on the sleeve are all taken from the covers of their singles, which was a theme that the band ran with for most of their single releases.  

Track listing

Disc One: 2004-2005
01 Oh, My God (original recording, single 2004) 
02 Born To Be A Dancer (b-side of 'Oh, My God')
03 Caroline, Yes (b-side of 'Oh, My God')
04 Take My Temperature (b-side of 'I Predict A  Riot' 2004)
05 Less Is More (b-side of 'I Predict A  Riot')
06 Wrecking Ball (b-side of 'I Predict A  Riot')
07 Sink That Ship (b-side of 'I Predict A  Riot')
08 Run Again (b-side of 'Modern Way' 2005)
09 Moon (b-side of 'Modern Way' 2005)
10 It Ain't Easy (b-side of 'Modern Way' 2005)
11 People Need Light (b-side of 'Modern Way' 2005)
12 Brightest Star (b-side of re-released 'Oh, My God' 2005)
13 Think About You (And I Like It) (b-side of re-released 'Oh, My God' 2005)
14 I Predict Some Quiet (b-side of 'You Can Have It All (Light Orchestral)' 2005) 

Disc Two: 2005-2008
01 Seventeen Cups (b-side of 'Everyday I Love You Less And Less' 2005)
02 Not Surprised (b-side of 'Everyday I Love You Less And Less' 2005)
03 Another Number (b-side of 'Everyday I Love You Less And Less' 2005)
04 The Letter Song (b-side of 'Everyday I Love You Less And Less' 2005)
05 Hard Times Sent Me (from the 'Lap Of Honour' EP 2005)
06 I Like To Fight (b-side of 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' 2007)
07 Out Of My Depth (b-side of 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' 2007)
08 Telling Me To Go (b-side of 'Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)' 2007)
09 From The Neck Down (b-side of 'Ruby' 2007)
10 Admire You (b-side of 'Ruby' 2007)
11 Addicted To Drugs (Appendix I) (b-side of 'Good Days Bad Days' 2008)
12 Sooner Or Later (b-side of 'Never Miss A Beat' 2008)

'I Predict Some Quiet' was put on the b-side of their Christmas release 'You Can Have It All (Light Orchestral)' so that fans could put the record on for a couple of minutes of peace. 

You might also like '22' by Parva (2003)

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Rolling Stones - Necrophilia (1972)

I've collected a few Rolling Stones bootlegs over the past few years, with some tracks appearing on more than one of them, and I needed to go through them and knock them into some sort of shape, but have only just got around to doing it. The easiest thing was to start with one that was already complied, which is the legendary 'Necrophilia' album from 1972, which was personally compiled by Bill Wyman, before being scrapped and replaced by 'More Hot Rocks'. Apparently it was vetoed by Allen Klein as he didn't think there were enough Jagger/Richard compositions on there, so putting profit over artistic integrity once again.   

Track listing

01 Out Of Time (Pye Studios, London 1966)
02 Don't Lie To Me (Chess Studios, Chicago 1964)
03 Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow (RCA Studios, Hollywood 1966)
04 Think (RCA Studios, Hollywood 1965)
05 Hear It (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
06 Something Just Stuck In Your Mind (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
07 Aftermath (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
08 I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys (Decca Studios, London 1965)
09 Andrew's Blues (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964) 
10 Pay Your Dues (Olympic Sound Studios, London 1968) 
11 Let The Good Times Roll (RCA Studios, Hollywood 1965)
12 Heart Of Stone (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
13 Each & Every Day Of The Year (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
14 (Walkin' Thru The) Sleepy City (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
15 Try A Little Harder (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
16 Blue Turns To Grey (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)
17 We're Wasting Time (Regent Sound Studios, London 1964)

Shallow Waters - Catharsis (2021)

Shallow Waters are a Manchester three-piece who are carving a sonic path through an unexplored landscape of tone, style and sound, breathing in inspiration from their Northern predecessors such as The Verve, Oasis, Joy Division, The Stone Roses and The Smiths, as well drawing influence from the Seattle grunge scene, favouring bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains & Soundgarden. Laced with a lustful tone and doused with a fiery Northern attitude, it's a tidal wave of sonic bliss rolling through a spiral of huge, smooth grooves. They are at their best live, taking you on a journey, from chest-pounding mountain tops to deep valleys dripping with psychedelic swells, and their off the cuff jams really evoke the sense that you’re experiencing something completely unprecedented and unique. The band's studio work parallels the strength of their live performances, with a number of songs appearing on Soundcloud over the past three years, with the most recent single coming out just a few months ago, and they have now amassed enough songs to release their debut album if they'd wanted to, so as they haven't got around to it yet, here it is. 

Track listing

01 Be My Lord
02 Concept
03 Going Nowhere Fast
04 Wake Up To What Is Real
05 Leech
06 Sex Is All That Matters Now
07 237
08 Odessa
09 Inside Out
10 Bluepine
11 The God You Know You Are
12 Catharsis

Andee Silver - Sterling Silver (1972)

Andrea Hilary Silverstein (aka Andee Silver) was born on 12 May 1951 in London, and is a singer and actress, best known for her acting role in the 1968 film 'The Libertine', although before that she had recorded a number of singles for HMV and Decca, with her 1964 debut 'Too Young To Go Steady' being perhaps her best-known recording. She also released the terrific 'You’re Just What I Was Looking For' in 1969, but inbetween those two stompers, a lot of her music was aimed at the foreign market. She married record producer David Pardo, who produced a number of singles for his brother Juan Pardo in the 60's, and so as he knew the Spanish music scene he tried to establish Silver in Spain and Italy by getting her to record a number of Spanish and Italian language singles, some of which were released in the UK on the Decca label. Because a lot of her songs were not specifically for the UK or American market, even though she did release the 'A Handful Of Silver' album in the UK in 1970, she is often unfairly overlooked when lists of the best UK girl singers of the 60's are compiled, but I hope that this collection shows that she deserves to be up there with the best of them.

Track listing

01 Too Young To Go Steady (single 1964)
02 Sleeping Beauty (b-side of 'Too Young To Go Steady')
03 A Boy I Used To Know (single 1964)
04 What Do You Do (b-side of 'A Boy I Used To Know')
05 Only Your Love Can Save Me (single 1966)
06 L'Amore Dice Ciao (single, theme from the film 'The Libertine' 1968)
07 Te Quiero, I Love You (single 1969)
08 You're Just What I Was Looking For Today (single 1969)
09 No Digas Nada (single 1969)
10 Qualcuno Ti Ama (Love Me) (single 1969)
11 You're Breaking My Heart (single 1970)
12 Soledades (single 1971)
13 Mina Terra (single 1972)
14 Jimmy (b-side of 'Mina Terra')
15 Non C'e Domani (single 1972) 

The Tremeloes - Suddenly You Love Me (1968)

For my second post by The Tremeloes I've extracted a number of rare recordings which have appeared over the years on expanded re-issues of their albums and their box sets. It turns out that 1968 was a very productive year for them, recording over two dozen songs, which they raided for singles and b-sides over the next couple of years, and they also used another dozen of them for their 'World Explosion' album in 1968, but that still left a number of unused songs, so by taking them and adding in a few of the singles, we can make up another album that could have been issued in 1968. 

Track listing

01 Suddenly You Love Me
02 I Miss My Baby
03 You Don't Know Like I Do
04 Reach Out I'll Be There
05 All The World To Me
06 Every Little Bit Hurts
07 No No No
08 As You Are
09 I Shall Be Released
10 I'm Gonna Try
11 Even The Bad Times Are Good
12 Show Me
13 I Take What I Want

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Portishead - (Interlude) (2009)

Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons met during a coffee break at an Enterprise Allowance course in February 1991, and before long they were recording their first song together. They then met Adrian Utley while they were recording at the Coach House Studios in Bristol, and when Utley heard 'It Could Be Sweet' they began to exchange ideas on music. They decided to work together and they called themselves Portishead, named after the nearby town of the same name, eight miles west of Bristol. Their debut album 'Dummy' was released in 1994, with the cover featuring a still from the band's own short film 'To Kill a Dead Man', and at this point Portishead was a duo of Geoff Barrow and Beth Gibbons, with Adrian Utley, who co-produced the album with them, as well as playing on nine of the tracks and co-writing eight, only becoming an official band member shortly after its release. Despite the band's aversion to press coverage, the album was successful in both Europe and the United States (where it sold more than 150,000 copies even before the band toured there), and it received almost universal praise from critics. It spawned three singles: 'Numb', 'Sour Times' and 'Glory Box', and each of them was issued in a variety of formats, and with numerous remixes appearing on all of them. The success of the album saw the band nominated for Best British Newcomer at the 1995 Brit Awards, and the album is often considered one of the greatest trip hop albums to date, and is a milestone in the definition of the genre. After their initial success, Portishead withdrew from the spotlight for three years until their second album 'Portishead' was released in 1997, featuring a harsher, grainy sound, and once again three singles were extracted from it. Despite most of their singles just having remixes of the song as extra tracks, some of them did contain exclusive recordings, in particular the 'Theme From 'To Kill A Dead Man'' on one of the 'Numb' discs, and a bonus track on the Australian, American and Euro CD's of 'Dummy', which we in the UK never got to hear. In 1999 they collaborated with Tom Jones on his 'Reload' album, backing him on his rendition of 'Motherless Child', and in 2006 they contributed to a tribute album to Serge Gainsbourg, as well as posting a couple of 'doodles' on their My Space page the same year. It wasn't until 2008 that 'Third' finally appeared, and since then the only thing we've heard from them is a song released for Humans Rights Day to raise money for Amnesty International. Even though they released just three albums in 14 years, they were so ground-breaking that they forged a new genre of music almost single-handedly.

Track listing

01 It's A Fire (bonus track on Australian, American & Euro CD of 'Dummy' 1994)
02 Theme From 'To Kill A Dead Man' (b-side of 'Numb' 1994)
03 A Tribute To Monk & Canatella (b-side of 'Numb' 1994)
04 Mourning Air (War Child) (from the 'Help' charity compilation album 1995)
05 Untitled (from the 'Help' charity compilation EP 1995)
06 Revenge Of The Number (from 'The Rebirth Of Cool Phive' compilation 1995)
07 Cowboys (Instrumental) (b-side of 'Cowboys' 1997)
08 Motherless Child (from 'Reload' by Tom Jones 1999)
09 Interlude (from 'Trip-Hop Reconstruction' compilation 1995)
10 Requiem For Anna (from 'Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited' 2006)
11 Key Bored 299 03 (released on MySpace 2006)
12 Greek Jam (released on MySpace 2006)
13 Chase The Tear (released 2009 to raise money for Amnesty International)

Friday, April 23, 2021

Lee Ritenour - ...and on guitar (1976)

Lee Mack Ritenour was born on 11 January 1952, in Los Angeles, and being musically precocious, he began playing the guitar when he was five years old. At eight his interest in the instrument went beyond the ordinary, and with support from his parents, they found him new and better instructors, so that by the age of 12 he was under the tutelage of Duke Miller, future head of the guitar department at the University of Southern California, and purported at the time to be the finest guitar teacher in Los Angeles. As an adolescent he played in his first group the Esquires, which was the beginning of his time in a number of teenage bands, and when he was just 15 years old John Phillips, leader of The Mamas and the Papas, heard one of his bands and then hired him to play in a studio session. Although he was talented enough at the age of 18 to become a session guitarist, he made the choice to continue his education, and enrolled into the University of Southern California, where he studied classical guitar with another musician first in his field, Christopher Parkening. He remained at the university for two and a half years, until he got the opportunity to play with Brazilian pop-jazz musician Sergio Mendes, and touring with Mendes was Ritenour’s introduction to Latin music, also developing a love of jazz from listening to guitarist Wes Montgomery. By the age of 17 he'd worked with Lena Horne and Tony Bennett, and had been noticed by jazz pianist and producer Dave Grusin. Highly recommended on the studio circuit by Grusin and others, Ritenour was working 15 to 20 sessions a week in a lucrative business during the early seventies. When he started working the studio dates, he was often asked to sound like all the other guitar players, but he wanted to go beyond that, and established an identity which was instantly recognisable. Because of the speed of is playing he was nick-named Captain Fingers, later the title of one of his albums, and so was the first choice for any jazz-fusion musician who needed some intricate guitar-work on their tracks, resulting in him featuring on a wide variety of jazz-fusion recording in the early 70's. At the same time he was also playing on records by pop and rock artists, showing his versatility in a wide variety of genres, including soul with Aretha Franklin, The Impressions, and The Four Tops, and straight-forward pop/rock with Cyndi Greco, Carly Simon and Anne Murray. For this collection I've just picked tracks from the couple of years before the release of his debut solo album 'First Course' in 1976, and I've split them between his jazz-fusion recordings and his pop/rock sessions, with the jazz-fusion part running to two volumes because of the length of some of the tracks.  

Track listing

Disc One: Some Jazz
01 Soulution (from 'Black Miracle' by Joe Henderson 1975) 
02 Haply-Happy (from 'Saudade' by Moacir Santos 1974)
03 Back At The Chicken Shack (from 'Brass Fever' by Brass Fever 1975) 
04 Razzia (from 'Before The Dawn' by Patrice Rushen 1975)
05 Chariot (from 'I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry' by George Duke 1975)
06 Wild Rice (from 'Marching In The Streets' by Harvey Mason 1975) 
07 Happiness Is Loving You (from 'Mind Transplant' by Alphonse Mouzon 1975)
08 Fight For Freedom (from 'Skull Session' by Oliver Nelson 1975)

Disc Two: More Jazz
01 Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow (from 'Discovered Again!' by Dave Grusin 1976)
02 Sugar Loaf Sunrise (from 'Metamorphosis' by Wade Marcus 1976)
03 On The Case (from 'Moonshadows' by Alphonso Johnson 1976) 
04 Kickin' Back (from 'People Moving' by Azar Lawrence 1976) 
05 Sweet Summer Breeze (from 'Warm And Sonny' by Sonny Criss 1976)
06 Simbora (from 'Agora' by Paulinho Da Costa 1976)
07 Island Lady (from 'The Way I Feel' by Sonny Rollins 1976)
Disc Three: Some Songs
01 You (from 'Farewell Fairbanks' by Randy Edelman 1975)
02 Steamboat (from 'Smilin' Memories' by Eric Tagg 1975) 
03 Waterfall (from 'Playing Possum' by Carly Simon 1975)
04 Wish That Love Was Magic (from 'Harmony Grits' by Street Corner Symphony 1975)
05 Player In The Band (from 'Together' by Anne Murray 1975)
06 Baby Blue (from 'Get Closer' by Seals & Crofts 1976)
07 100 Different Ways (b-side of 'Nobody Likes Lovin' More Than I Do' by Lisa Hartman 1976)
08 Fantasy Woman (from 'Lovelock' by Gene Page 1976)
09 Imaginary Girl (from 'Diggin' It' by Dunn And Rubini 1976)
10 Hurly-Burly (from 'Angelo' by Angelo 1976)
11 Raining In The City (from 'I'm Easy' by Keith Carradine 1976)
12 The Dancer (from 'Nadia's Theme' by Barry De Vorzon 1976)
13 Where The Hot Wind Blows (from 'Pictures & Rhymes' by Jim Weatherly 1976)

For MAC users
Press command+shift+period (to show hidden files) and a grayed out folder '...and on guitar" will appear and the mp3s will be inside. Either drag those to another folder OR rename the folder without any periods at the beginning. Press command+shift+period to once again hide the hidden files.

CaStLeS - Mountaineering (2016)

CaStLeS are a psychedelic pop trio from a village at the foot of Mount Snowdon, which is just 20 minutes from Portmeirion, the village in Gwynedd where the classic 60's TV series 'The Prisoner' was filmed. The three members, Dion Hamer (drums, vocals), Cynyr Hamer (vocals, synth, guitar), Calvin Thomas (bass, synth), like the area so much they interrupted their day jobs in 2016 to record a concept album about the joys of living there titled 'Fforesteering', delivering a paean to the beautiful countryside of Snowdonia. The song titles are mostly Welsh-language, including 'Ar Agor' (Open), 'Argau' (Dam) and 'Tynnu Tuag At y Diffeithwch' (Drawn Towards the Wilderness), but the music transcends language barriers. Before that I'd discovered them through their 'PartDepart' EP, and after that from a few songs that they posted on Soundcloud, some of which later turned up on 'Fforesteering', although in different forms. Their music is a blend of warped Welsh indie, 60's west coast jangle and 70's Cologne motorik, which somehow seems to work perfectly. I haven't heard anything new from the band since that 2016 album, so I fear that they've now broken up, but luckily they've left behind enough material to compile an album of songs which didn't make it to 'Fforesteering', plus early versions of some tracks that did, all of which shows that CaStLeS had a promising career ahead of them if they'd stuck it out.   

Track listing

01 Mountaineering
02 PartDepart
03 Nightingale
04 Foresteering
05 Look Through The Keyhole
06 Time Slips Away So Suddenly
07 Argua
08 Ar Agor
09 Here Comes The Moonshadow
10 Mule In The Mill
11 Amcanu

Julie Driscoll - Stay Away From Me (1969)

Julie Driscoll was born on 8 June 1947 in London, and her first taste of the music business was when she was employed by producer/manager Giorgio Gomelsky as administrator of the Yardbirds' fan club in the early 60's. Spotting something about her, Gomelssy suggested a singing career, and her first single was 'Take Me By The Hand', which was recorded with The Harold Geller Group and released on the Columbia label in 1963. Two years later she released 'Don't Do It No More', and the following year saw a cover of The Lovin' Spoonful's 'I Didn't Want To Have To Do It'. In 1967 she recorded an early Randy Newman composition 'If You Should Ever Leave Me', which appeared on the b-side of her 'I Know You Love Me Not' single, although this period is better known for her membership of Steam Packet, an R&B-styled revue band which also featured Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart and the Brian Auger Trinity. She used the Trinity as the backing band for her 'Save Me' single in 1967, which was split into two parts and spread over both sides of a 7", and sticking with the Trinity she scored her biggest hit with their version of Bob Dylan's 'This Wheel's On Fire', hitting the top 5 of the UK charts. Two more singles with the Trinity followed that success, with 'Road To Cairo' appearing in 1968, and 'Take Me To The Water', backed with Richie Havens' 'Indian Rope Man' in 1969. Following a couple of albums with Brian Auger and The Trinity in 1967 and 1969, she released the jazz-rock album '1969' (recorded in that year with The Keith Tippett Group, later going on to marry Tippett in 1970) in 1971. In the late 60's her striking appearance engendered much publicity, and a cool, almost disinterested vocal style formed the ideal counterpoint to Auger's jazz-based ambitions, but as you can hear from these early singles, Gomelsky was right to suggest a career in music, as she had that 'cool' image right from the beginning. 

Track listing

01 Take Me By The Hand (single with The Harold Geller Group 1963)
02 Stay Away From Me (b-side of 'Take Me By The Hand')
03 Don't Do It No More (single 1965)
04 I Know You (b-side of 'Don't Do It No More')
05 I Didn't Want To Have To Do It (single 1966)
06 I Know You Love Me Not (single 1967)
07 If You Should Ever Leave Me (b-side of 'I Know You Love Me Not')
08 Save Me (Parts 1 & 2) (single 1967)
09 I Don't Know Where You Are (Giorgio Gomelsky session 1967)
10 This Wheel's On Fire (single version 1968)
11 A Kind Of Love In (b-side of 'This Wheel's On Fire')
12 Road To Cairo (single 1968)
13 Shadows Of You (b-side of 'Road To Cairo')
14 Take Me To The Water (single version 1969)

Paul over at albumsthatshouldexist has just posted a couple of albums from Julie Driscoll with Brian Auger and the Trinity, but only a few songs actually overlap, and so this will be a nice companion to his posts. 

The Tremeloes - Yellow River (1972)

On New Year's Day, 1962, Decca Records auditioned two promising young bands: Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and another combo (also heavily influenced by Buddy Holly) from Liverpool, the Beatles, and in a decision which defies belief in hindsight, Decca chose Brian Poole and the Tremeloes over the Beatles, reportedly based on location – the Tremeloes were from the London area, making them more accessible than the Liverpool-based Beatles. The original quintet consisted of lead vocalist Brian Poole, lead guitarist Rick West (born Richard Westwood), rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Alan Blakley, bassist Alan Howard and drummer Dave Munden, and after they signed to Decca it didn't take long for them to have their first UK chart hit with a cover of 'Twist And Shout' in July 1963. They followed that with another cover, this time of The Contours' US million-seller 'Do You Love Me', and from then on the hits just kept coming - 'I Can Dance', 'Candy Man', 'Someone, Someone', 'Three Bells' and a version of 'I Want Candy'. With Poole leaving to attempt a solo career (which proved unsuccessful) in 1966, the Tremeloes continued as a four-piece with a revised line-up after Howard left to be replaced by Len "Chip" Hawkes. Remaining with Decca, their first single as a four piece was a cover of Paul Simon's 'Blessed', but this failed to chart, so the band switched from Decca to CBS Records, with Mike Smith producing, and although their cover of The Beatles 'Good Day Sunshine' also failed to chart, it established them as a group with a more contemporary sound and image. From 1967 onwards they had a run of chart hits, starting with Cat Stevens' 'Here Comes My Baby', then 'Hello World', 'Suddenly You Love Me', 'I'm Gonna Try', and 'My Little Lady', as well as their classic number one single 'Silence Is Golden'. All members shared vocals, though most of the songs featured either Hawkes or drummer Dave Munden as the lead singer, and while their style of music proved popular with both younger music fans and parents rather than rock music fans, their albums and b-sides included more rock-styled tracks such as band compositions 'Try Me' and the instrumental 'Instant Whip. One of these more ambitious group-composed numbers was '(Call Me) Number One', which reached no. 2 in the UK in 1969, and remains one of my favourite ever tracks. Their cover version of Jeff Christie's song 'Yellow River' was shelved at the time, but when Christie wanted to release it himself he used The Tremloes backing track and just laid his vocal over the top, earning himself a number one hit single with his band Christie. 'Me And My Life' (another favourite of mine) was a no. 4 UK chart hit in 1970, while 'By the Way' reached no. 35 that year. Their album 'Master' was released a few weeks later, but failed to sell despite being a strong record, and the hits also dried up after 'Hello Buddy' just missed the UK top 30 in 1971, but they did continue to score big in the European charts throughout the 70's. Three more albums of original material were released in the 70's, one of them the belatedly-released soundtrack to the film 'May Morning', but in the first of two posts from the band I've collected all my favourite singles and b-sides that never appeared on an album, along with a few out-takes, and they all go to show that, in my opinion, splitting with Brian Poole was the best thing they ever did. 

Track listing

01 Hello Buddy (single 1971)
02 No More Sad Songs (previously unreleased 1971)
03 No No No (previously unreleased 1971)
04 Yellow River (previously unreleased 1970)
05 Instant Whip (b-side of '(Call Me) Number One')
06 Right Wheel, Left Hammer, Sham (single 1970)
07 Take It Easy (b-side of 'Right Wheel, Left Hammer, Sham')
08 (Call Me) Number One (single 1969)
09 If You Ever (b-side of 'Too Late (To Be Saved)')
10 How Can You Say Goodbye (previously unreleased 1972)
11 I Like It That Way (single 1972)
12 Too Late (To Be Saved) (single 1971)
13 Heaven Knows Why (previously unreleased 1972)
14 Wakamaker (b-side of 'I Like It That Way')

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Genesis - In The Beginning (1970)

I would think that most fans of Genesis have a fairly good idea of how they formed, but it's worth repeating for anyone who isn't aware of how they all met at Chaterhouse School, with the original line-up of the band, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Anthony 'Ant' Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart, meeting at the public school in Godalming, Surrey. Banks and Gabriel arrived at the school in September 1963, Rutherford in September 1964, and Phillips in April 1965, and all five played in two of school's bands; Phillips and Rutherford were in Anon with singer Richard Macphail, bassist Rivers Jobe, and drummer Rob Tyrrell, while Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart made up Garden Wall. In January 1967, after both groups had split, Phillips and Rutherford continued to write together and proceeded to make a demo tape at a friend's home-made studio, inviting Banks, Gabriel, and Stewart to record with them in the process. The group recorded six songs: 'Don't Want You Back', 'Try A Little Sadness', 'She's Beautiful', 'That's Me', 'Listen On Five', and 'Patricia', an instrumental. They wanted to have them professionally recorded and so they sought out Charterhouse alumnus Jonathan King, who seemed a natural choice as their publisher and producer following the success of his 1965 UK top five single 'Everyone's Gone To The Moon'. After a friend of the group gave the tape to King, he was immediately enthusiastic about becoming involved, and under King's direction, the group, still only aged between 15 and 17, signed a one-year recording contract with Decca Records. From August to December 1967 they recorded a selection of potential singles at Regent Sound Studios on Denmark Street, attempting longer and more complex compositions, but King advised them to stick to more straightforward pop songs. In response. Banks and Gabriel wrote 'The Silent Sun', a pastiche of the Bee Gees, who were one of King's favourite bands, and it was recorded with orchestral arrangements added by Arthur Greenslade. The band considered various names for themselves, including King's suggestion of Gabriel's Angels, before agreeing to his offering of Genesis, indicating the start of his production career. King chose 'The Silent Sun' as their first single, with 'That's Me' on the b-side, and it was released in February 1968, achieving some airplay on BBC Radio One and Radio Caroline, but failing to sell. 
A second single, 'A Winter's Tale' / 'One-Eyed Hound', followed in May 1968 with the same result, and three months later Stewart left the group to continue with his studies, being replaced by fellow Charterhouse pupil John Silver. King believed that the group would achieve greater success with an album, and so 'From Genesis To Revelation' was recorded at Regent Sound in ten days during their school's summer break in August 1968. King assembled the tracks as a concept album, which he produced, and Greenslade added further orchestral arrangements to the songs - a fact which was kept from the band until after the album was released, and which particularly upset Phillips. When Decca found that there was already an American band named Genesis, King refused to change his group's name, but reached a compromise by removing their name from the album cover, resulting in a minimalist design with the album title printed on a plain black background. This actually backfired on him, as when the album was released in March 1969 it was a commercial failure because many record shops filed it in the religious music section upon seeing the title. A third single 'Where The Sour Turns To Sweet' / 'In Hiding' was released in June 1969, following the others into obscurity, and this eventually led to the band's split with King and Decca, although King retained the rights to the album, and has re-issued it numerous times to cash in on the band's subsequent success. After the album was recorded, the band went their separate ways for a year, with Gabriel and Phillips staying at Charterhouse to finish exams, Banks enrolling at Sussex University, and Rutherford studying at Farnborough College of Technology. They regrouped in mid-1969 to discuss their future, and Phillips and Rutherford decided to make music their full-time career, as they were starting to write more complex music than their earlier songs with King. After Banks and Gabriel chose to follow suit, the four returned to Regent Sound in August 1969 and recorded four more demos with Silver: 'Family' (later known as 'Dusk'), 'White Mountain', 'Going Out to Get You', and 'Pacidy'. 
The tape was rejected by every record label that heard it, and so Silver then left the group to study leisure management in the United States, and he was replaced by drummer and carpenter John Mayhew. In late 1969, Genesis retreated to a cottage that Macphail's parents owned in Wotton, Surrey to write, rehearse, and develop their stage performance. They took their work seriously, playing together for as much as eleven hours a day, and their first live gig as Genesis followed in September 1969 at a teenager's birthday party. It was the start of a series of live shows in small venues across the UK, which included a radio performance broadcast on BBC's Night Ride show on 22 February 1970, and a spot at the Atomic Sunrise Festival held at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm a month later. During this time the band met with various record labels, including Chris Blackwell of Island and Chris Wright of Chrysalis, but nothing came of them, and in March 1970 they were recommended to John Anthony of Charisma Records by members of Rare Bird, who they had previously supported live. Anthony attended one of their shows and enjoyed them enough to convince his boss, label owner Tony Stratton-Smith, to watch their next performance, at which he was so impressed that he agreed to a record and management deal within two weeks, paying Genesis an initial sum of £10 a week (equivalent to £200 in 2021). Genesis stayed at Wotton until April 1970, by which time they had enough new material for a second album, recording 'Trespass' in June at Trident Studios in London, but that's where this story ends, as this is all about those early days, and the music that they recorded in their first couple of years as a band which didn't appear on the 'From Genesis To Revelation' album. As well as the singles, b-sides and demos already mentioned, we have that BBC radio session from 1970, and some previously unreleased demos of songs that never made it into a proper recording studio, and bearing in mind that they were all still in their late teens when most of these were recorded, the confidence and assurance of the music points to the legendary band that they would become. 

Track listing

01 Try A Little Sadness (demo 1967)
02 That's Me (b-side of 'Silent Sun' 1968)
03 She Is Beautiful (demo 1967 - later 'The Serpent' with different lyrics)
04 A Winter's Tale (single 1968)
05 Hey! (demo 1968)
06 One-Eyed Hound (b-side of 'A Winter's Tale')
07 The Mystery Of The Flannan Isle Lighthouse (demo 1968)
08 Build Me A Mountain (rough mix 1968)
09 Hair On The Arms and Legs (demo 1968)
10 Image Blown Out (rough mix 1968)
11 The Magic Of Time (demo 1968)
12 Shepherd (BBC radio session 1970)
13 Hidden In The World of Dawn (demo 1968)
14 Pacidy (BBC radio session 1970)
15 Sea Bee (demo 1968)
16 Let Us Now Make Love (BBC radio session 1970)
17 Going Out To Get You (demo 1969)

Friday, April 16, 2021

Steve Luthaker - ...and on guitar (1979)

Steven Lee Lukather was born on 21 October 1957 in the San Fernando Valley, California, and from an early age he was playing keyboards and drums, teaching himself how to play the guitar starting at age seven. His father had bought him a Kay acoustic guitar and a copy of 'Meet The Beatles', and it was an album which he later said changed his life, being particularly influenced by the guitar playing of George Harrison. At Grant High School he met David Paich, and the Porcaro brothers Jeff, Steve, and Mike, all of whom eventually became members of Toto, but by the early 70's he became interested in the idea of becoming a session musician, a vocation that provided opportunities to play with a variety of famous artists. Jeff Porcaro had been playing drums with Steely Dan since 1973, and became a mentor to Lukather, furthering his interest in session work. His first job in the music industry was studio work with Boz Scaggs, after which Paich and Jeff Porcaro asked Lukather to join them in forming a band with his brother Steve, Bobby Kimball, and David Hungate, naming themselves Toto, either after the dog in 'The Wizard Of Oz', or according to an urban myth, after writing 'toto' on their demo tapes to distinguish them from other bands, they then adopted the name, as 'in toto'  was Latin for "all-encompassing", referring to the band members playing on so many records and in so many musical genres. During the 70' and 80's Lukather achieved notability as one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Los Angeles, reputedly playing guitar tracks on more than 1500 albums in his 36 years as a session musician. Named by Gibson Guitar Corporation as one of the Top 10 session guitarists of all time, he has performed on many notable tracks, including Earth, Wind & Fire's 'Faces' album, soloing on the tracks 'Back On The Road' and 'You Went Away', two tracks from the Lionel Richie album 'Can't Slow Down', and on 'Richard Marx's 'Repeat Offender', as well recording virtually all of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' with Jeff Porcaro. With such a massive back-catalogue to choose from, compiling a representative album took quite a while, but in the end I decided just to concentrate of the period between the formation of Toto and the release of their first album, so all of these tracks are from just the two years from 1977 to 1978, with a couple from 1979 to flesh out the second disc. While I was collecting these recordings I noticed that he'd played on quite a lot of sessions for female artists, and in the end it was logical to split them into two discs, one for the guys and one for the gals. Most of the male artists were US singer/songwriters, not always well-known, but generally able to knock out a good song, and so while the original track listing also included songs from Alice Cooper, Peter Criss of KISS, and Japanese songsmith Tahao Kisugi, by excising those songs, it ends up a very cohesive, laid-back singer/songwriter album, so much so that it almost sounds like the work on one artist. The female singers are a more diverse bunch, ranging from Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand to Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy, and while he isn't always given the chance of a solo on some of the tracks, his work is nevertheless integral to the song. So enjoy this very small selection of the session-work of Steve Luthaker, amounting to less that 1/50th of his total recorded output.  

Track listing

Disc One: The Guys
01 The War Was Over (from 'Terence Boylan' by Terence Boylan 1977)
02 Brother Of Mine (from 'Heart And Soul' by Danny Peck 1977) 
03 A Clue (from 'Down Two Then Left' by Boz Scaggs 1977)
04 But Love Me (from 'A Song Between Us' by Kenny Nolan 1978)
05 Back In Business (from 'Blue Virgin Isles' by Ted Gärdestad 1978)
06 Let The Fire Burn All Night (from 'Craig Fuller & Eric Kaz' by Craig Fuller & Eric Kaz 1978)
07 Can't Be Seen (from 'Dane Donohue' by Dane Donohue 1978)
08 Fly With Me (from 'Single' by Bill Champlin 1978)
09 Lady Of The Night (from 'A Long Time Coming' by David McCluskey 1978) 
10 Change Of Heart (from 'Touch Me' by Cory Wells 1978)
11 Long Time Till The First Time (from 'Yesterdaydreams' by Brian Cadd 1978)
12 Something's Missing (In My Life) From 'Keeping Time' by Paul Jabara 1978)
13 Sons And Daughters (from 'West Coast Confidential' by Steven T. 1978)

Disc Two: The Gals
01 Top Of The World (from 'Baby It's Me' by Diana Ross 1977)
02 Daydream (from 'Lisa Dal Bello' by Lisa Dal Bello 1977)
03 Love Breakdown (from 'Songbird' by Barbra Streisand 1978)
04 It's The Falling In Love (from '...Too' by Carole Bayer Sager 1978)
05 A Little More Love (from 'Totally Hot' by Olivia Newton-John 1978)
06 One After 909 (from 'We'll Sing In The Sunshine' by Helen Reddy 1978)
07 It's Not Impossible (from 'Well Kept Secret' by Juice Newton 1978)
08 Lady In The Dark (from 'Wild Child' by Valerie Carter 1978) 
09 You're The One (from 'Cheryl Lynn' by Cheryl Lynn 1978)
10 Love Is A Crazy Feeling (from 'Kiki Dee' by Kiki Dee 1978)
11 Think It Over (from 'Dance Forever' by Cheryl Ladd 1978)
12 Get Up (from 'Suspended Animations' by Evie Sands 1979)
13 Git Down (Guitar Groupie) (from 'Take Me Home' by Cher 1979)

For MAC users
Press command+shift+period (to show hidden files) and a grayed out folder '...and on guitar" will appear and the mp3s will be inside. Either drag those to another folder OR rename the folder without any periods at the beginning. Press command+shift+period to once again hide the hidden files.

Anita Harris - London Life (1967)

Anita Harris was born on 3 June 1942 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, and was the great niece of music hall entertainer Ida Barr. She began her professional career at the age of 8 as an ice skater, working seasons in Naples and Las Vegas, before joining the vocal harmony group The Cliff Adams Singers. In 1961, while still in her teens, she recorded her first single 'I Haven't Got You' with the John Barry Orchestra, going on to audition for Mike Margolis, who agreed to manage her, and who has produced her records almost exclusively ever since, with the couple marrying in 1973. She signed to Vocalion in 1964 to record the Margolis composition 'Lies', switching to Decca the following year, and then to Pye Records, where she stayed for a couple of years. While at Decca, she took part in the 1965 San Remo song contest in Italy, appearing alongside Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee and Petula Clark, and performed her entry 'L’amore è Partito', later releasing it as a single to little success. Her time at Pye showcased her range, from the melancholy 'I Don't Know Anymore', to the more laid-back Bacharach/David compositions 'Trains And Boats And Planes' and 'London Life, while 'Something Must Be Done' was an upbeat stomper, and a fan favourite. In 1966 she moved from Pye to CBS, and as well as releasing singles with them, they also issued her first album 'Somebody's In My Orchard', which won the Music Critics' Album of the Year for 1966. The four-track EP 'Nursery Rhymes For Our Times' was a collection of modern fables for adults, and was a charming diversion for Harris, featuring covers of The Beatles' 'Eleanor Rigby' and Cher's 'Bang Bang', alongside two original jazz-themed compositions, 'Old Queenie Cole' and the superb 'B.A.D For Me'. Her first major chart success came in 1967 with 'Just Loving You', written by Tom Springfield at the suggestion of his sister Dusty, and it reached number 6 in the UK top 40, earning a double gold disc and staying in the charts for over a year. The follow up 'The Playground' stalled just outside the top 40, but has since become a northern soul dance floor filler, while 'Anniversary Waltz' proved more successful, reaching number 21 in the UK in early 1968. Saucy lead roles in two Carry on films, 'Carry On Doctor' and 'Follow That Camel', cemented her stardom, and she appeared on radio, TV, cinema and in theatres over the following years, but the chart success changed the focus of her music, and she became a strictly middle-of-the-road singer, abandoning the superb jazz stylings of some of her earlier recordings, which was a great shame as she was a fine jazz vocalist. She was still releasing records up to 2003, but this collection concentrates on her early work, and if you do remember her from her TV appearances in the 70's then you might be surprised at just what a gifted jazz singer she was when she started out. 


01 I Haven't Got You (single 1961)
02 Mr. One And Only (b-side of 'I Haven't Got You')
03 Lies (single 1964)
04 Don't Think About Love (b-side of 'Lies')
05 L'amore 
è Partito (single 1965)  
06 Trains And Boats And Planes (single 1965) 
07 Upside Down (b-side of 'Trains And Boats And Planes')
08 I Don't Know Anymore (single 1965)
09 When I Look At You ‎(b-side of 'I Don't Know Anymore')
10 London Life (single 1965)
11 I Run To Hide (b-side of 'London Life')
12 Who's Foolish (single 1966, from the film 'Death Of A Woman')
13 Something Must Be Done (single 1966) 
14 Funny Kind Of Feeling (b-side of 'Something Must Be Done')
15 B-A-D For Me (b-side of 'The Playground' 1967)
16 Danger Route (from the film 'Danger Route' 1967)
17 Old Queenie Cole (from the EP 'Nursery Rhymes For Our Times' 1967)
18 Men (from the Marble Arch compilation 'Anita Harris' 1967)
19 Moody Soul (from the Marble Arch compilation 'Anita Harris' 1967)