Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Age of Man - About Time (Great Retro Hardrock US 2015)

Size: 81.2 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Age of Man are an El Dorado-based rock trio comprised of Matt Benson on lead guitar and vocals, Brandon Borden on drums, and Eric Stone on bass. Their thick and muddy brand of blues-steeped guitar rock is reminiscent of a simpler time, stripped of modern musical conventions and cleverly re-imagined from its very core.

Taking us for a trip through electric-rock…and through their own catalogue as the revitalise and come out swinging with the updated production on the tunes from their Ebeneezer EP, released back in 2013. What a trip to be able to hear these tunes again with the tweaks and improvements…they might have a ‘garage-rock’ sound to them, but the overall tightness in About Time has certainly shown that they’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the studio too. Considering the name of the album…I’d say just on the border of ‘too much’ time for the El-Dorado based three-piece!

So maybe it all took a little longer to get recorded & put out than they would have liked…it’s here…About Time…and besides, isn’t it like that for all of us? AND…when the end result is getting something that captures the vision and sound of a band as you’ve always pictured it sounding in your heads…well…that’s worth waiting for right? From where Age Of Man started with Ebeneezer way back when, it was completely rad to hear them tighten the corners on their loose-feeling music and put out the record I can only imagine they’ve been wanting to all along.

Awesome it was, to head back into the live-sound of Age Of Man, recorded so strongly. It begins with the punched-up “Gimme A Sigh” – a tune that has single written all over it. Guitars cut through the air from every angle and the drums come out ready, willing and able to take on the complexity of this opening cut. It really is a confident sound created by Age Of Man – they own their badass & rad-rock completely.

The first of the new-tunes on About Time, “Blind” takes a slide guitar for a wicked run…you can just hear the strings all bending away perfectly finding their way to the right notes and riffing it up with outright passion overtop of this clever stop/start beat. The guitar sounds around the 2:15-2:20-ish mark are basically the musical form of the exact reason I do what I do – what a SOUND! I’m honestly not sure if it’s even repeatable…there might be a couple of terrifically happy accidents through the amazing tones that come from the guitar; personally I don’t care how they got there…I’m just glad they EXIST when it comes right down to it! First new song from Age Of Man has certainly got me excited for the others to follow – “Blind” has a wicked amount of crunch & deep, deep hooks to pull you into the sound.

Rolling back through their past & updating them into the present, the middle of About Time is largely filled-out with cuts from the Ebeneezer EP. Solid bass-tones fill “No Woman” to the brim around the crisp & clear guitar, styled-up vocals and steady beat. I’d say it’s a healthy mix between The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd… Keeping the bass rolling along, Eric Stone puts the smoothness into “You Sea” and really puts the blues influence into this rock music of Age Of Man. “You Sea” has that kind of wonderfully-loose feel to the way the lyrics come out…you can hear that this would be the perfect song for Benson to talk & sing-out anything on his mind in, pump-up the crowd…or maybe just not even sing at all at times and just let the solid groove take him where it may.

“I Found You,” at least for my ears…probably couldn’t have come out ANY better this time around. Not are the guitars from Matt Benson some of the craziest and best you’ll hear recorded this year, but the surrounding bass from Eric Stone and steady beat from Brandon Borden have really gelled this track perfectly together. Letting Benson wander wherever in the hell his guitar will take him, the approach and attack on this performance is astounding, straight-up. I know I’ve been on and on about the movie Frank in a recent review of the band TKO…but this is like the rock version of that band of my big-headed buddy. Both “I Found You” and “Whatchado” still manage to retain their looseness within very coordinated & complex parts. 

Like – listen to the amount of shifts & changes Stone makes as this cut rolls through! The last minute of “Whatchado” becomes a solid highlight with an extremely tight-solo bringing out the best in Benson at his most focused & controlled as opposed to the best of his psychedelic-influences taking hold of the massive solos in “I Found You.” In any event – these songs do end up sounding tighter, but not out of place in amongst the new tunes; they’ve updated them perfectly in production to match, and have four brand-new tunes that carry the vibe right on.

Here comes one of them now! “Been Stuck Blues” is a wicked run through a rock-blues style, more so than the rest as the title implies. Short & stuck right where they want to be, this track grooves & rocks with the blues-element running throughout but never fully giving in. For being ‘stuck’ anything, this track does nothing but MOVE ya! This is an absolutely killer addition to the new line-up of songs that make up the rest of About Time…I appreciate its shortness…but damn do I want MORE of this right away every time I hear it come on again!

I’m a big-fan of FUZZ. Honestly…I don’t have much of a choice…I’m covered in the stuff, so it was either learn to love it or be fully consumed by it slowly taking over my skin and hate life. But in this particular case, I’m talking about guitar-fuzz…and just LISTEN to the sound & tone that Benson gets going on in “Better Half.” Definitely one of the best of the new tunes; recorded, produced & performed as immaculately as you could ever hope for – the mini-explosion just before a-minute in that will repeat and come back later on as the instruments drift in and punch back…just an absolutely awesome idea carried out with flawless execution…NBD! Age Of Man have found themselves some real moments on About Time – another notable being the re-cut on “Needles In Hay.” 

I freakin love this tune…it sounds like Benson sitting atop of a tiny amplifier barely on and just riffing this one out for all to hear – only the mic is set up way across the room and just picks him up enough to get it in the mix. Really, really well done, smart recording on this tune; so radically different than the rest of the album that it can’t help but pull you in and creates a perfect set-up for the final tune & last new-song on the record, “Sun & Rain.”

Age Of Man creates a highly memorable ending by switching up the vibe just a little more on this final-cut. Incorporating a tinge of funk and grunge in amongst the blues, the rock, the psychedelic…”Sun & Rain” could easily be the titular synonym for ‘we just went ahead and added like, EVERY sound and everything we do RIGHT, we added the kitchen sink even.’ I’d also go as far as to say that this last song also really shows some growth, progression and passion – and that it’s still on the rise for Age Of Man as far as their career is concerned. It’s an awesome final dose of Age Of Man’s powerful new output with a collection of ten wild songs that will really hit the mark for blues-rock fans. About Time indeed!

Bass Guitar, Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Eric Stone
 Drums, Percussion – Brandon Borden
 Guitar, Vocals – Matt Benson 
 Mixed By, Mastered By – Jason Tedford

01. Gimme a Sigh  02:06
02. Blind  03:23
03. No Woman  03:51
04. You Sea  03:25
05. I Found You  04:51
06. Whatchado  04:35
07. Been Stuck Blues  01:53
08. Better Half  03:23
09. Needles in Hay  03:04
10. Sun & Rain  03:19

1. Age of Man
2. Age of Man
3. Age of Man

Arrowhead - Desert Cult Ritual (Classic Rock Aussie 2016)

Size: 108 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Aussie trio Arrowhead have announced that their new album ‘Desert Cult Ritual’ is released worldwide on vinyl/digital on 21st October and on CD on 4th November via Ripple Music. Their new single of the same title has been unleashed in anticipation of the new album.

Rising from the underground of Sydney’s stoner rock scene, the brotherhood of Arrowhead fire an explosive, all killer/no filler triptych of volume, attitude and down-tuned grooves.

Having paid their dues as a band since late 2009, the iniquitously titled ‘Desert Cult Ritual’ is the latest addition to the power trio’s quiver and first for the Californian label Ripple Music, following the release of their self-titled EP in 2010 and ‘Atomsmasher’, their storming full-length debut from 2013.

Hitting you harder than a Frank Frazetta-airbrushed panel van travelling at 100mph, Arrowhead is very much a band defined by the riffs that raised them. Fronted by guitar player, vocalist and chief songwriter Brett Pearl – the son of a self-confessed “hippy-dippy mom” with a record collection to die for – Brett was brought up on a staple diet of classic rock with Hendrix, Zeppelin, Floyd and Sabbath rarely leaving the turntable. Joined by fellow purveyor of low-end grind in bass player/Viking Dave Lopez and steel backbone, Matt Cramp on drums, all three feed into the Arrowhead-approved vision of hard rock reverie via Hollywood monsters and science fiction cinema.

Rising to the cream of the crop of the Sydney stoner rock scene is Arrowhead. Arrowhead – the deadly triangular ammunition of the bow. Or in this case a triumvirate, a brotherhood, a heavy rawkin’ power trio. Whether on stage or recording, Arrowhead is equally explosive. Purveying a powerful blend of infectious riffs and raw, down-tuned grooves, Arrowhead has the proverbial proof in the pudding to soar to the top of the international influx of retro hard rock bands. Having paid their dues in the Sydney pubs, Arrowhead delivers the goods and is poised to garner global attention.

Birthed in 2009, Arrowhead has battered listeners with a self-titled EP and a full-length album, Atomsmasher. They have grasped the attention and positive reviews from sites such as Planet Fuzz and Hellride Music. On the live front, Arrowhead has shared the stage with Monster Magnet Earthless, Acid King, Unida, Atomic Bitchwax,Cough and Dave Tice’s Buffalo Revisited.

At the forefront of Arrowhead is guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter, Brett Pearl. The obligatory comparison of half Osbourne and half Iommi is there, but Arrowhead do far more than ape the founding fathers of heaviness. No frills, but plenty of thrills. That’s what you can expect from Brett’s 6-string slinging and solid singing. No gimmicks, no trends, just straight-up riffage and vocals that are sure to remind you of the aforementioned Ozzy. 

Brett is at home whether heaving heavy rhythms or wah-drenched leads. Brett was fortunate to have his mum’s record collection at his fingertips while growing up. Through his hippie-dippy mum, Brett was exposed to a staple diet of die-hard rockers such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and mainstays, Black Sabbath. In Brett’s formative playing years he also cut his teeth on more contemporary acts such as Soundgarden, Monster Magnet and Kyuss . Being a tattoo artist, Brett brings with him the experience to illustrate what Arrowhead is all about – visions of space suited chicks with pointy breast plates, Frankenstein monsters, time machines and other quirks of classic B or Z grade horror and science fiction film and literature.

Next in line is bassist Dave Lopez, a massive Viking of a muso. Smiling away as he lays down a fat slab of bass guitar. Dave’s low-end grind holds the fort together for Brett to unleash still more fuzzy flurries. Dave is the super glue bridging the gap between Brett’s guitar and Matt Cramp’s mauling and masterful drumming. Dave cites late Blue Cheer bassist Dickie Peterson as a personal fave.

The always energetic Matt Cramp is the backbone and arranger of Arrowhead, the man behind the drum skins. Matt’s cranking limbs do far more than just keep time. His furious hands and feet plough through rolls and fills effortlessly. Always returning to the backbeat of the song. Among Matt’s big influences are Thin Lizzy’s Brian Downey, Zeppelin’s John Bonham and Sabbath’s Bill Ward.

Brett Pearl – Guitar/Vocals
 Matt Cramp – Drums
 Dave Lopez – Bass

01. Desert Cult Ritual  05:22
02. Hell Fire  05:39
03. Hypnotiser  05:23
04. Bone Mountain  05:28
05. Maneater Blues  07:26
06. Weed Lord  07:12
07. Rogue Asteroid  03:31
08. Dragon Whips it's Tail  06:34

1. Arrowhead
2. Arrowhead
3. Arrowhead

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Kadavar - Abra Kadavar (Retro Hardrock, early 70's sound) Germany 2013

Size: 90.3
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

The world’s leading scientists recently declared in unison: time travel can no longer be considered fiction but reality! Neither did their certainty originate from hypothetical thought experiments, nor from years of testing in isolated laboratories. It was the record of a rock trio from Berlin, Germany, that had dropped into the professors’ laps out of the blue and led them to proclaim joyfully: “Warm, intense, authentic – doubtlessly a gift from bygone times!” 

It was already with 2012’s eponymous debut album that KADAVAR casted a spell on all fans of solid riff-driven yet doom-like 70’s hard rock à la BLACK SABBATH or PENTAGRAM. Marrying this with the spacy psychedelic approach of early HAWKWIND and mixing in a distinct own touch while preserving their icon’s warm vintage charm can doubtlessly be considered the trio’s key to success – astoundingly high vinyl sales and support shows for bands such as SLEEP, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM and ELECTRIC WIZARD as well as stunning festival gigs at “Stoned From The Underground”, “Yellowstock” and “Fusion Festival”, among others, underline KADAVAR’s status as one of the scene’s most exciting acts. 

Carrying the experiences of dozens of played live shows as a source of inspiration inside them, KADAVAR entered the timeless space of their studio end of last year to procure supplies for their ever growing fan base that was starving for more – in the form of their second full-length album and debut on Nuclear Blast. “After last year’s final show had been played in mid-December, we started writing new songs”, drummer and studio owner Tiger recalls.

“We’ve already had a couple of finished tracks in May 2012, but those were eventually released on a split-LP with AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR in November 2012, which is why we started at square one again. As we knew that there was no procrastination and no going back for us, we sat down for two weeks straight to finish composing with total commitment. We’re perfectly happy with the outcome – I’d even say that “Abra Kadavar” comprises the best compositions we’ve created to date. The songs are more diversified, the ideas feel more spontaneous. Moreover, we’ve tried to capture much more of our live energy, which is why we’ve recorded almost everything all together in one room, with the amps turned up to the max – solely the vocals and a handful of guitar solos were added afterwards.”

There’s time until April 12, 2013 to grow a full beard, resole your platform shoes and iron your bell-bottoms. From then on, KADAVAR invite us to escape the 21st century’s soulless musical mishmash once again by entering the realms of “Abra Kadavar“ – down-to-earth handmade classic rock from a time when music still used to be true art!

01. Come Back Life  05:02
02. Doomsday Machine  04:47
03. Eye Of The Storm  06:04
04. Black Snake  04:24
05. Dust  04:12
06. Fire  05:18
07. Liquid Dream  04:12
08. Rhythm For Endless Minds  04:16
09. Abra Kadabra  03:02

10. The Man i Shot (Japan Only)  07:04

1. Abra Kadavar
2. Abra Kadavar
3. Abra Kadavar

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Jonathan Kelly - Selftitled (Folkrock UK 1970)

Size: 154MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Jonathan Kelly will be familiar to some of you as the Irish folk singer who made waves in Britain in the first half of the 1970s, following an apprenticeship on the Dublin scene in the previous decade. His absence from the charts, and his disappearance after 1976, has hidden his story from the mainstream while at the same time fostered a cult following for the handful of albums he recorded. To call him a folk singer is to miss the broad progression of his style, from whimsical pop through lush folk and unexpectedly delving into funk rock late in his career. One characteristic of his song-writing, which remained remarkably consistent through all these changes, was his finely tuned social conscience. As frontman of The Boomerangs in 1966, at a time when his contemporaries were singing about lovely girls and hucklebucks, Jonathan’s first single, ‘Dream World’, instead looked at Cold War tensions and the hope that “east and west did reunite / and Mars did cease his endless flight.” Earnest without being pretentious, Jonathan’s lyrics became increasingly angry and political during the next decade before abruptly halting at the peak of his talents. There’s more to his story which can be found elsewhere, but this article will look at his still-relevant and still-stirring lyrics on war, religion and inequality.

Jonathan Kelly was really Jonathan Ledingham from Drogheda. Although he never addressed it directly during his recording career, it seems his experience as a Protestant growing up in a Catholic state left him somewhat alienated and perhaps gave him an outsider’s perspective. At the end of 2013 a new CD collected demo versions of unreleased songs recorded during his years in musical exile. One of these songs, ‘Eileen’, recounts the pressure of having to separate from an early sweetheart because of religion: “I was your secret boyfriend when you were just seventeen. / Eileen, my sister was right when she said we could never be, / I was all in orange and you were all in green” (incidentally, Jonathan’s manager informs me that he is still trying to track down the long-lost Eileen, who worked at a department store in Dublin). Another recent song, ‘I Wanted To Be’, states: “I lived in a land where I never belonged, / where I was mistreated and where I was wronged.” He added in a 2006 interview, “I just looked around the world as a young man, I saw all the institutions that I was told to revere, religious institutions and nationalist institutions, and I saw so much hypocrisy and so much self-pleasing and so much violence and hatred” and “I began to question the rather racist teachings that I received from older people in my growing and nurturing environment regarding people of other races who were meant to be inferior, that certain nations were better than others and that war is justified.” Finding an outlet in Rock & Roll, Jonathan played guitar or drums in several short-lived bands, including The Saracens and The Boomerangs. Already influenced by protest singers like Bob Dylan, Jon Ledingham embarked on a solo career with his 1967 single ‘Without An E’ (the odd title apparently refers to the lack of an E string on his guitar) and ‘Love Is A Toy’ in 1968, also writing songs for Johnny McEvoy, The Johnstons and The Greenbeats. The B-side of ‘Love Is A Toy’ was ‘Thank You Mrs. Gilbert’, a jaunty anti-war song worthy of Donovan, in which an army officer writes a letter to the mother of a new recruit: “He says that he is fighting for peace throughout the world. / It’s an interesting thought, though it’s really quite absurd. / He’ll soon find out the reason why we have so many wars. / Without them our economy would fall right through the floor.”

At this point Jonathan’s career entered another phase. Although popular in Dublin, where he often played in Liberty Hall, he decided like so many other Irish acts that there were limited opportunities in Ireland, and after a farewell concert in the Gresham Hotel in 1968 he moved to London, where he was playing in a hotel in 1969 when he was spotted by Colin Petersen, the soon-to-be-fired drummer of The Bee Gees. Colin offered to produce him, with his wife Joanne Petersen becoming Jonathan’s manager. He adopted the surname Kelly, perhaps (as with Eire Apparent) to use his Irishness as a selling point. A deal with Parlophone was quickly followed by the single ‘Denver’, with the B-side the heartbreaking ‘Son Jon’, in which worried parents reach out to their faraway son. Colin called in some of his industry contacts for the follow-up single ‘Make A Stranger Your Friend’, recorded in January 1970 by a chorus including Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Mick Taylor, Klaus Voorman, Madeline Bell, Carl Wayne and members of The Family Dogg. The well-intentioned song asked, “How can it matter what country I’m from? / What colour’s my skin? To what faith I belong? / If all the world were one nation, one people, one race, / there’d be no-one to say ‘man, you’re in the wrong place’”. Jonathan described it as “just about ending human conflicts and racism. Racism is the ugliest face of mankind that people express.” As part of the promotion, management asked Jonathan to write letters to Ian Paisley and Enoch Powell pleading for tolerance.

The next single in a busy 1970 was ‘Don’t You Believe It’, a song about the hypocrisy of parental morality which featured Eric Clapton. Tim Staffell attempted to recreate Clapton’s part for a live Top of the Pops appearance. Staffell had been bass player and singer with London band Smile but had since left and been replaced by Freddie Mercury as the group evolved into Queen. As none of these singles charted, Petersen’s next move was to form a trio of himself, Kelly and Staffell, named ‘Humpy Bong’ after an Australian school he attended with the Gibb brothers. The group recorded one single and another Top of the Pops appearance before fizzling out. 

Jonathan’s self-titled debut album featured many of the earlier single sides, including a new version of ‘Mrs. Gilbert’, and was a mixture of protest and pop. Among the new tracks was ‘That Grand Old Uniform Of Mine’, written from the viewpoint of a conscripted soldier: “If only everyone from home would write me everyday, / when I return I can kid myself I’ve never been away, / and that’s the day I’ll celebrate and watch the flames grow higher / from that damned old uniform of mine.”

The contract with Parlophone ended here and Jonathan spent 1971 gigging and writing before returning with the ‘Twice Around The Houses’ LP, released on RCA in 1972 (after a deal with Warner Brothers fell through). His writing had matured greatly in this short time and tracks like ‘Madeleine’, ‘Sligo Fair’ and the wonderful ‘Ballad Of Cursed Anna’ would prove to be some of his most popular and enduring songs. Elsewhere, ‘We Are The People’ contained his most directly political lyrics to date: “Do you hear the brass band playing? / Do you hear the tramp of feet? / Twenty thousand working men / are coming down the street. / Will you listen to what they’re saying? / Will you listen to their song? / One man may not be right / but can all of these be wrong?” It has been suggested that the lines “now I hear the prison walls / are growing without relief / for locking up people without a trial, / jailed for their beliefs” are in reference to internment in Northern Ireland at the time, although Kelly’s political standpoint was by now more concerned with radical socialism rather than nationalism or patriotism, which he equated with “bloodshed and violence”. In the frantic ‘The Train Song’ he seems to takes a subtle dig at religion with the line “I was friends with the vicar, his mother and son, / till one day I rolled up with a time machine gun / and blew them all back to around 20 BC / to show them the traitors that they’d turn out to be.”

1973’s ‘Wait Till They Change The Backdrop’ continued in the same style, blending ballads like ‘Down On Me’, the folk fairy-tale ‘Godas’, and more pointed material such as ‘Turn Your Eye On Me’, in which he characterises political leaders who, forty years later, are still sadly familiar: “Heard of a man, lost in his notions, / sent out his bombers far across the oceans / to kill and to maim his brothers and sisters. / What you doin’? What you doin’ to me, mister? // You make the poor on this world pay / for how you live and what you say. / Only time you make your move / is when your business friends approve.” ‘Turn Your Eye On Me’, ‘Down On Me’ and other tracks on this album notably featured Gary Moore on guitar. After this it was time for another change in direction. Quoted in ‘The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb. (2009), Kelly recalls separating from his management: “Colin and Joanne were different to me; different, different, different! They loved the fame and glory and being in the midst of the pop industry. I hated the pop industry actually. I saw it as totally ruthless and callous.” He goes on to recount an incident where a restaurant owner was giving his partisan opinions on the Arab-Israeli conflict to Kelly and the Petersens: “they weren’t political at all, I don’t think they thought politically. I did! I couldn’t help it, and this guy was talking all this racism at my table… I said, ‘Can you please go away from this table’. I will not sit joined to somebody who is talking racial hatred… But I was awkward and a troublemaker and I understand from their point of view that was a real problem.”

To mark his new direction he formed the group ‘Jonathan Kelly’s Outside’, with Chas Jankel (later of Ian Dury & The Blockheads) on lead guitar, Trevor Williams on bass and Dave Sheen on drums. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s The Blockheads’ gritty British funk that bears the closest resemblance to the music of ‘Outside’ (although Jankel was replaced by Snowy White, later of Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd, before their album was completed). In fact, Jonathan had been nurturing a love of funk music for some time and cites Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davies, Curtis Mayfield, Sly & The Family Stone and Funkadelic as big influences on this period of his career. Released in early 1974, ‘…Waiting On You’ (a personal favourite) features an inner illustration by Tim Staffell and some wonderfully passionate funk rock on tracks like ‘Sensation Street’ as well as the plaintive, Van Morrison-esque, ‘Great Northern Railroad’. It also marked the high point of Jonathan’s social commentary. ‘Misery’ takes on workers’ rights and predicts revolution: “Working all our lives / getting coal dust in our eyes / spending all the days God gives us underground. / We can’t live on what you pay. / You make us strike so you can say / ‘They’re beggars trying to bring this nation down’.” ‘Tell Me People’, meanwhile, scornfully confronts a range of issues, from war (“The leaders watch you fight it out but their blood never spills. / Think of all the children, born of love, their hatred kills. / Tell me people, ‘specially brothers, what are you gonna do? / You gonna let those sons of darkness make a killer out of you?”), religion (“Tell me preacher, what is your plan? / Is it really for Jesus Christ that you stand? / You say that love is infinite and all souls are as one, / but then you preach division in the pulpit Sunday morn. / Remember when your leader kicked the short change across the floor? / Today the church is wealthy but the people still are poor.”) and poverty (“Someone tells you charity is better kept at home, / so you set up all your boundaries and you keep it for your own. / By day you serve the nation and you cause prosperity. / By night you sit at home and watch the famine on TV.”).

Despite the quality on offer, the album wasn’t a success, largely because his existing fan-base and the music press were expecting another folk album. By this time Jonathan had developed a drug habit that was taking a toll on his health, his judgement and his performances. Nevertheless, he seems to look back very fondly on the camaraderie of touring with a band and the excitement of playing music that people could dance to. On tour, ‘Outside’ comprised Kelly, Sheen, White, Tim Staffell on backing vocals and percussion, Kuma Harada on bass and Darryl Lee Que on congas. Kelly also became involved with Gerry Healy’s Workers Revolutionary Party, which at that point was actively recruiting high-profile converts such as actors Vanessa Redgrave, Corin Redgrave and Frances de la Tour. Today, he explains, “I saw the sad victims in the parts of the world not favoured by the current world-dominant economic system. Because they were outside the pale they were deprived or they weren’t meant to benefit from Earth’s resources as much as others were… I’m thinking, there’s a lot wrong here, and some people thought it was fine, that’s the way it is. I couldn’t deal with that, I couldn’t let myself off the hook so easy. I could see that the way that the economic system is structured is to favour those favoured by the economic system, so that was very self-serving, and I could see how much damage and carnage it produced as a result. I could only think that the only way that the world was going to be put to rights is if the power was wrested out of the hands of those who had shown such disregard for humanity and for the survival of the planet, and the ecology, and this whole beautiful planet. I thought that’s the only way, so I became a communist.” The breaking point for his involvement with the WRP was when he was told he should be prepared for armed revolution, something incompatible with his pacifist principles. Jonathan recorded one more solo LP, the rather subdued ‘Two Days In Winter’ in 1975, with some of his former bandmates and a cover design by Staffell. The fragile album reverted to gentler styles, including an unsubtle ode to ‘Mary Jane’.

At a low ebb personally and financially, and disillusioned with both politics and the music industry, Jonathan lost interest in performing in 1976 and took a job in a London record store, although his official website (which preserves a vast array of photos, clippings and flyers from his time in Drogheda and Dublin) notes that he played drums for the group ‘Instant Whip’ in the Phoenix Park around this time with Tim Booth, Ed Deane and Steve Bullock. Looking back on his time as a professional musician via the same website, Jonathan reflects, “I hated capitalism. How could an artist do his work for monetary reward? Art is unselfish and seeks no reward save the joy of creating works of art that are honest and innocent of greed and done only to add beauty and reason to our beautiful earthly home.” Jonathan recalls what happened next: “A man came to my door and said ‘I’m looking to talk with people who’d like to see a change in the world. What I mean is, an end to war and poverty and hunger. Do those things concern you?’ I said, ‘Come in.’” Despite his previous animosity – “I certainly didn’t think religion had any answer, in fact, like many people say today, I saw religious institutions of the world as being the most reprehensible element in the whole universe, for the hypocrisy of them.” – Jonathan became a Jehovah’s Witness and found some of the peace of mind he had been looking for. “You see, when you find the answer to all your questions, why go on searching anymore?” As Jonathan Ledingham, he started a family and a carpet cleaning business in rural England. He effectively vanished until tracked down by long-time fan Gerald Sables in 2002, who reconnected him with his die-hard fans and persuaded him to come out of retirement for a series of small solo acoustic shows between 2004 and 2008, following which he returned to his private life.

This renewed activity, and CD reissues of Kelly’s RCA albums, led to talk of a new Jonathan Kelly studio album, but as those plans seem to have been put on ice, the ‘Home Demos’ collection was released a few months ago with demos of the new songs recorded over recent years. On these, Jonathan’s youthful rage has largely given way to contemplation of life experiences. In ‘I’ve Been Down That Road You’re On’, he remembers, “So you join the revolution, you’re tired of sitting on the fence, / you never did like the bourgeoisie and all their fake pretence / so you join the cause for freedom and you start setting up some tents / and learning the philosophy and it all makes so much sense / till your friend comes ’round and says ‘here’s your guns and armaments’ / and you turn around to him and say I didn’t know there’d be violence.” Yet there remain flashes of his earlier moral outrage; in ‘No Words’ he describes seeing a man accused on TV of treachery to his country, and the ‘poisoned words’ used to condemn him: “I thought about that man, that revolutionary, / and his defiance in the face of a nations animosity, / and I thought of his accusers, seemed like church folk to me, / singing hymns and praying on bended knee, / and reading their bible and their liturgy, / but I don’t think they’ve learned a single thing, you see.” It seems that Jonathan’s current faith is based more on making a positive contribution to society through voluntary work than on joining the conformist establishment he had railed against in his youth; rather than doing a simple about-turn on religion he retains his deep ethical principles. Sables recounts that one of Jonathan’s oldest friends once remarked to him that “Jonathan was the most well balanced person I ever met….. he had a chip on both shoulders!” When asked if this was true, Jonathan replied, “Oh Yeah!…Still is!”

01. Denver
02. Son Jon
03. Tom Bodey
04. Sailor
05. Mrs. Gilbert
06. Don’t You Be Too Long
07. Don’t You Believe It
08. Julia
09. That Grand Old Uniform Of Mine
10. Another Man’s Wife
11. Daddy Don’t Take Me Down Fishing
12. Sunday Saddle

Jonathan Kelly - Twice Around The Houses (UK 1972) (@256)

01. Madeleine 
02. Silgo Fair 
03. Were All Right Till Then 
04. Ballad Of Cursed Anna 
05. Leave Them Go 
06. We Are The People 
07. Rainy Town 
08. The Train Song 
09. I Used To Know You 
10. Hyde Park Angels 
11. Rock You To Sleep

1. J. Kelly
2. J. Kelly
3. J. Kelly

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

To you from Willard's Wormholes: ART JACKSON'S ATROCITY Live In Europe (1975)

The long-lost second LP from Art Jackson's Atrocity. Recorded live in Germany, just months after Gout (the band's 1974 debut album for Columbia Records) was shelved, deemed unsellable by the label's corporate hierarchy. Turning down a January, 1975 invitation to support Miles Davis in Tokyo, The Atrocity decided instead to blitzkrieg Germany, finding a receptive audience for their incendiary style of improvisational jazz/noise/rock. 

First issued as an independent LP in St. Louis, circa 1975, Live In Europe is the only known live document of Art Jackson's Atrocity - though… all of the Atrocity's work was recorded live as it happened. Live In Europe, however, captures the frenetic energy that can only be found in a live setting, as artist and audience face off for an anticipatory clash of unknown expectations and improvisational possibilities. The enthusiastic response from the jazz-hungry Germans in both Düsseldorf and Berlin provides an exhilarating backdrop to The Atrocity's only overseas performances. 

Now, for the first time in 42 years, a new generation of listeners have the opportunity to hear the musical madness of a close-knit collective of anti-social misfits with no corporate goals. What might have been... had label indifference, drug abuse and multiple incarcerations not derailed one of the 1970's more unpredictable forebears of a futuristic musical dystopia few were willing to believe could possibly exist.


#31994 (4:22)
The Continuum (4:55)
Death Train To Nuremberg (4:06)

Birds On Fire (7:59)
Birds On Fire, Part 2 (11:14)

Art Jackson: guitar 
Artis Killins: bass, vox 
Pharaoh Keyes: keyboards 
Pete Jay: guitar, percussion 
Eric Gaye: saxophone, clarinet 
Joseph Mix: saxophone, flute, effects 
Kurtis Snider: drums

#31994 (4:22)
"#31994" was the opening number whenever Art Jackson's Atrocity performed live during the mid-'70's. One of the group's few structured "compositions," it’s a brazen slice of hard bop jazz, filtered through an apocalyptic drug haze, and anchored by Art Jackson’s mutated guitar lines. The then 22-year-old anti-guitarist echoes the saxophone's signature riff, before breaking out a short, maniacal solo that defies explanation. Part barbed wire tension, part angular noise, and sounding not unlike he’s pulling the strings off his guitar. The response to the group's explosive introduction to European audiences, however, was instantaneous and unanimous... a testament to the Atrocity's sheer power in performance. Not long after this 1975 recording, both Jackson and bassist Artis Killins would be incarcerated in Stockholm for heroin possession, putting an end to the Atrocity's European tour, and inspiring the independently released 1975 LP's front cover art.

A uniquely subdued, druggy anti-drug track, featuring the unlikely duet of Art Jackson's spacey psych guitar explorations and Eric Gaye's wandering clarinet improvisations. Bassist Artis Killins greets the audience with a call-to-arms... to join together and combat the scourge of Angel Dust. Not so ironically, the band's drug of choice. But the intro-ending laughter and the music that follows is a clear repudiation of that notion, as The Atrocity bass-walks into a psychedelic mist of intertwining improv, featuring another uniquely bizarre Jackson guitar solo… one with little contemporary precedent in the 1970's.

A balls-out, free-form, demolition derby of instrumentation that's solemnly punctuated by the ghostly, atmospheric effects of German transport trains. A crashing, chaotic collision of sound whose theme confronts the Deutschland head on... on its own turf. The master tape of the original 1975 LP accidentally cut off the last 20 seconds of this recording (as does this reissue), so we don't get a chance to hear the audience response to this repudiation of Germany's past, though "#31994" and side two's "Birds On Fire" suite were both enthusiastically received by the same German crowd.

"Birds On Fire" and "Birds On Fire, Part 2" may have gotten their names, in part, from Mahavishnu Orchestra's "Birds Of Fire," but each tracks' auspicious characteristic is Art Jackson's unhinged, feedback-laden guitar work, which punctuates both halves of this two-part suite. That and the frantic, schitzo co-soloing from Atrocity keyboardist, Pharaoh Keyes, whose keyboard work is astounding. These performances pull out each and every possible stop, as The Atrocity careens from swing-driven bastard-jazz to hard-blowin' free-form noisemaking, all tempered by dizzying shifts in tone and tenor. Together, the two performances are tour de force examples of the avant-jazz that was typical of Art Jackson's Atrocity's live, brutal and raw audacity.

Link: Art Jackson

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To you from Willard's Wormholes by ChrisGoesRock

Monday, 22 May 2017

Retrorock of The Week: KADAVAR Live at Resurrection Fest Spain

"Kadavar" are a rock band from Berlin, Germany, founded in 2010. Their retro sound, incorporating psychedelic rock and stoner rock, has been compared to bands of the 1970s hard rock/heavy metal era such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Kadavar currently consists of three members: guitarist and lead vocalist Christoph "Lupus" Lindemann, drummer Christoph "Tiger" Bartelt and bassist Simon "Dragon" Bouteloup.

In 2010, drummer Bartelt and guitarist Philipp "Mammut" Lippitz began playing together. They became a band when Lindemann joined as bassist and vocalist. Lindemann decided to switch to guitar, allowing Lippitz to switch to bass.Their first recording, an eponymous two-song CDR, was self-released on August 25, 2011.

On July 12, 2012, Kadavar's self-titled debut album was released on This Charming Man Records/ Tee Pee Records.
A collaboration with the band Aqua Nebula Oscillat elease of the White Ring album in November 2012.

Due to visa problems, a planned U.S. tour could not take place, although the band did appear at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on March 15, 2013. While in Texas, the band recorded various video clips of themselves which were later used to create the music video for their song "Come Back Life",which was produced by Bartelt.

In July 2013, Lippitz left the band, replaced by Bouteloup, previously of metal band The Oath. After several live performances, Bouteloup was officially announced as a new member.

Their second album, Abra Kadavar, was released on April 12, 2013 by Nuclear Blast, and debuted at No. 42 on the German charts.

In early 2014, Kadavar started touring with fellow retro-style hard rock band Wolfmother. In July 2014, Wolfmother jammed and recorded a few songs in Kadavar's studio. On June 6, 2014, Kadavar released a live album, Live in Antwerp.
In June 2015, Kadavar announced their third album, Berlin, on their page. It was released by Nuclear Blast on August 21, and included a cover of Nico's "Reich der Träume" as a bonus track. The album entered the charts in several countries, hitting No. 18 in Germany and No. 40 in Belgium.

In 2015, drummer Bartelt co-wrote the song "Wedding" with Andrew Stockdale. It was released on 19 February 2016 as a bonus track on Wolfmother's fourth album, Victorious.

Kadavar (2012, This Charming Man Records/Tee Pee Records)
Abra Kadavar (2013, Nuclear Blast)
Berlin (2015, Nuclear Blast)
Live in Antwerp (2014, Nuclear Blast)

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Yardbirds - Golden Eggs 1973 (Bootleg)

Size: 160 MB
Bitrate: 320
Found in OuterSpace
Some Artwork Included

Golden Eggs is an unlicensed compilation of previously released recordings by English rock group the Yardbirds. The LP record album was originally issued in 1975 by Trademark of Quality (TMQ), a Los Angeles-based enterprise that specialised in bootleg recordings.

The albums contains studio recordings by the group between 1964 and 1968. About half of the tracks had been issued as the A-side and B-sides of singles (including two solo songs by singer Keith Relf), but remained unreleased on albums at the time. The balance is made up of album tracks, most of which were unreleased in the UK.

The material, which was largely out of print in 1975, draws heavily on the Jimmy Page-era Yardbirds, plus a few recordings with Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Due to its popularity, a sequel, More Golden Eggs, was issued by TMQ. Both albums featured cover artwork by William Stout.

The Yardbirds were the band that guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page first found commercial success. By 1975, all three had achieved superstar status, and consequently there was a strong interest in their former group's recorded output. Much of the Yardbirds' catalogue was out-of-print by 1975. The bootleg manufacturer Trademark of Quality (TMQ) saw the opportunity for a commercially-viable re-release of this material.

Golden Eggs was something of a first – up until that point, rock bootlegs had been the domain of only the most successful acts, such as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. Golden Eggs was the first big selling bootleg that dealt with a disbanded group who had had reasonable but not great chart success. At a time where reissues of old material were not commonplace, the bootleg became a success.

Most of the songs that appear on the album were considered rarities at the time. They included songs which had only been released on singles or out-of-print albums, such as Little Games, the only album the Yardbirds recorded with Page. Two songs from a solo single by lead singer Keith Relf were added to the album, although they did not reflect the Yardbirds' sound or style.

"Stroll On", which had only been available on the Blow-Up soundtrack album, was included. It is one of the few recordings to feature both Beck and Page on dual lead guitars. "Think About It", B-side of the last Yardbirds' single, was released only months before Led Zeppelin was formed. Page later used the guitar solo from the song for his solo in "Dazed and Confused", one of Zeppelin's signature songs.

The cover artwork was drawn by William Stout, who had already designed several TMQ album covers. Stout was keen to do the cover, since he was a fan of the group and gave thanks to them on the back cover for "inspiration". He also designed the back cover as a family tree, showing the careers of the various ex-members of the group up until that point.

The weasel on the cover is, according to Stout, killing off the goose that laid the golden egg, and supposed to represent the producer Mickie Most. According to Stout, he felt that Most steered the group away from their blues rock origins towards recording pop material, which, in Stout's opinion, was detrimental towards their career and did not illustrate their full potential.

Golden Eggs was released by TMQ in 1975. Almost immediately, it was copied by Phony Graf, another bootlegger. Their release used black and white inserts of the front and rear covers, instead of Stout's colour artwork.

All of the songs were later made available on authorized CD compilations, such as Little Games Sessions and More (1992), Train Kept A-Rollin' - The Complete Giorgio Gomelsky Productions (1993) (re-released in 2002 as The Yardbirds Story), and Ultimate! (2001).

In a review for AllMusic, music critic Richie Unterberger gave the album three out of five stars. He noted that "this did collectors quite a service at the time, assembling 17 of the Yardbirds' rarest tracks – from non-LP singles, soundtracks, and rare LPs – onto one LP". However, he added that more recent Yardbirds reissues and compilations have made the album "virtually useless".

01. "Steeled Blues" B-side of "Heart Full of Soul"  02:37
02. "Putty in Your Hands" For Your Love (US)  02:17
03. "Mr. Zero" A-side Keith Relf solo  02:45
04. "No Excess Baggage" Little Games (US)  02:29
05. "Think About It" B-side of "Goodnight Sweet Josephine" (US)  03:47
06. "Stroll On" Blow-Up 2:43
07. "The Nazz Are Blue" Yardbirds a.k.a. Roger the Engineer (UK)  03:00
08. "Knowing" B-side Relf solo  01:53
09. "Little Soldier Boy" Little Games  02:33
10. "Puzzles" B-side of "Little Games"  02:01
11. "Stealing Stealing" Little Games  02:21
12. "Sweet Music" For Your Love  02:28
13. "Ha Ha Said the Clown" A-side single (US)  02:23
14. "Rack My Mind" Yardbirds a.k.a. Roger the Engineer  03:10
15. "Ten Little Indians" A-side single (US)  02:13
16. "Goodnight Sweet Josephine" A-side single (US)  02:44
17. "Glimpses" Little Games  04:22

Bonus Tracks:
18. The Nazz are Blue - 03.06
19. Ever since the World began - 02.04
20. Drinking Muddy Water - 02.53
21. Dazed and Confused - 6.41
21. You Shook Me - 10.19

1. Golden Eggs
2. Golden Eggs
3. Golden Eggs

Sunday, 14 May 2017

We Are The Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like

Size: 110MB
Bitrate: 320
Found in OuterSpace
Artwork Included 

Composer, guitarist, singer, and bandleader Frank Zappa was a singular musical figure during a performing and recording career that lasted from the 1960s to the '90s. His disparate influences included doo wop music and avant-garde classical music; although he led groups that could be called rock & roll bands for much of his career, he used them to create a hybrid style that bordered on jazz and complicated, modern serious music, sometimes inducing orchestras to play along. As if his music were not challenging enough, he overlay it with highly satirical and sometimes abstractly humorous lyrics and song titles that marked him as coming out of a provocative literary tradition that included Beat poets like Allen Ginsberg and edgy comedians like Lenny Bruce. Nominally, he was a popular musician, but his recordings rarely earned significant airplay or sales, yet he was able to gain control of his recorded work and issue it successfully through his own labels while also touring internationally, in part because of the respect he earned from a dedicated cult of fans and many serious musicians, and also because he was an articulate spokesman who promoted himself into a media star through extensive interviews he considered to be a part of his creative effort just like his music. The Mothers of Invention, the '60s group he led, often seemed to offer a parody of popular music and the counterculture (although he affected long hair and jeans, Zappa was openly scornful of hippies and drug use). By the '80s, he was testifying before Congress in opposition to censorship (and editing his testimony into one of his albums). But these comic and serious sides were complementary, not contradictory. In statement and in practice, Zappa was an iconoclastic defender of the freest possible expression of ideas. And most of all, he was a composer far more ambitious than any other rock musician of his time and most classical musicians, as well.

Zappa was born Frank Vincent Zappa in Baltimore, MD, on December 21, 1940. For most of his life, he was under the mistaken impression that he had been named exactly after his father, a Sicilian immigrant who was a high school teacher at the time of his son's birth, that he was "Francis Vincent Zappa, Jr." That was what he told interviewers, and it was extensively reported. It was only many years later that Zappa examined his birth certificate and discovered that, in fact, his first name was Frank, not Francis. The real Francis Zappa took a job with the Navy during World War II, and he spent the rest of his career working in one capacity or another for the government or in the defense industry, resulting in many family moves. Zappa's mother, Rose Marie (Colimore) Zappa, was a former librarian and typist. During his early childhood, the family lived in Baltimore, Opa-Locka, FL, and Edgewood, MD. In December 1951, they moved to California when Zappa's father took a job teaching metallurgy at the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey. The same year, Zappa had first shown an interest in becoming a musician, joining the school band and playing the snare drum.

Although the Zappa family continued to live in California for the rest of Zappa's childhood, they still moved frequently; by the time Zappa graduated from Antelope Valley Joint Union High School in Lancaster in June 1958, it was the seventh high school he had attended. Meanwhile, his interest in music had grown. He had become particularly attracted to R&B, joining a band as a drummer in 1955. Simultaneously, he had become a fan of avant-garde classical music, particularly the work of Edgard Varèse. After his high school graduation, Zappa studied music at several local colleges off and on. He also switched to playing the guitar.

Zappa married Kathryn J. Sherman on December 28, 1960; the marriage ended in divorce in 1964. Meanwhile, he played in bands and worked on the scores of low-budget films. It was in seeking to record his score for one of these films, The World's Greatest Sinner, that he began working at the tiny Pal recording studio in Cucamonga, CA, run by Paul Buff, in November 1961. He and Buff began writing and recording pop music with studio groups and licensing the results to such labels as Del-Fi Records and Original Sound Records. On August 1, 1964, Zappa bought the studio from Buff and renamed it Studio Z. On March 26, 1965, he was arrested by a local undercover police officer who had entrapped him by asking him to record a pornographic audiotape. Convicted of a misdemeanor, he spent ten days in jail, an experience that embittered him. After completing his sentence, he closed the studio, moved into Los Angeles, and joined a band called the Soul Giants that featured his friend, singer Ray Collins, along with bass player Roy Estrada and drummer Jimmy Carl Black. In short order, he induced the group to play his original compositions instead of covers, and to change their name to the Mothers (reportedly on Mother's Day, May 10, 1965).

Freak Out! In Los Angeles, the Mothers were able to obtain a manager, Herb Cohen, and audition successfully to appear in popular nightclubs such as the Whiskey Go-Go by the fall of 1965. There they were seen by record executive Tom Wilson, who signed them to the Verve Records subsidiary of MGM Records on March 1, 1966. (Verve required that the suggestive name "The Mothers" be modified to "The Mothers of Invention.") The contract called for the group to submit five albums in two years, and they immediately went into the studio to record the first of those albums, Freak Out! By this time, Elliot Ingber had joined the group on guitar, making it a quintet. An excess of material and Zappa's agreement to accept a reduced publishing royalty led to the highly unusual decision to release it as a double-LP, an unprecedented indulgence for a debut act that was practically unheard, much less for an established one. (Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde appeared during the same period, but it was his seventh album.)

Freak Out! was released on June 27, 1966. It was not an immediate success commercially, but it entered the Billboard chart for the week ending February 11, 1967, and eventually spent 23 weeks in the charts. In July 1966, Zappa met Adelaide Gail Sloatman; they married in September 1967, prior to the birth, on September 28, 1967, of their first child, a daughter named Moon Unit Zappa who would record with her father. She was followed by a son, Dweezil, on September 5, 1969. He, too, would become a recording artist, as would Ahmet Zappa, born May 15, 1974. A fourth child, Diva, was born in August 1979. During the summer of 1966, Zappa hired drummer Denny Bruce and keyboardist Don Preston, making the Mothers of Invention a septet, but by November 1966, when the Mothers of Invention went back into the studio to record their second album, Absolutely Free, Bruce had been replaced by Billy Mundi; Ingber had been replaced by Jim Fielder; and Zappa had hired two horn players, Bunk Gardner on wind instruments and Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood on saxophone, bringing the band up to a nine-piece unit. The album was recorded in four days and released in June 1967. It entered the charts in July and reached the Top 50.

Lumpy Gravy The Mothers of Invention moved to New York City in November 1966 for a booking at a Greenwich Village club called the Balloon Farm that began on Thanksgiving Day and ran through New Year's Day, 1967. After a two-week stint in Montreal, they returned to California, where Fielder left the group in February. In March, Zappa began recording his first solo album, Lumpy Gravy, having signed to Capitol Records under the impression that he was not signed as an individual to Verve, a position Verve would dispute. Later that month, the Mothers of Invention returned to New York City for another extended engagement at the Garrick Theater in Greenwich Village that ran during Easter week and was sufficiently successful that Herb Cohen booked the theater for the summer. That run began on May 24, 1967, and ran off and on through September 5. During this period, Ian Underwood joined the band, playing saxophone and piano. In August, the group began recording its third album, We're Only in It for the Money.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band In September 1967, the Mothers of Invention toured Europe for the first time, playing in the U.K., Sweden, and Denmark. On October 1, Verve failed to exercise its option to extend the band's contract, although they still owed the label three more LPs. They finished recording We're Only in It for the Money in October, but its release was held up because of legal concerns about its proposed cover photograph, an elaborate parody of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was finally resolved by putting the picture on the inside of the fold-out LP sleeve. We're Only in It for the Money was released on March 4, 1968, and it reached the Top 30. Another legal dispute was resolved when Verve purchased the tapes of Lumpy Gravy from Capitol. Zappa then finished recording this orchestral work, and Verve released it under his name (and that of "the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra and Chorus") on May 13, 1968; it spent five weeks in the charts.

Uncle Meat Although the Mothers of Invention still owed one more LP to Verve, Zappa already was thinking ahead. In the fall of 1967, he began recording Uncle Meat, the soundtrack for a proposed film, with work continuing through February 1968. During this period, Billy Mundi left the band and was replaced on drums by Arthur Dyer Tripp III. In March, Zappa and Herb Cohen announced that they were setting up their own record label, Bizarre Records, to be distributed by the Reprise Records subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records. The label was intended to record not only the Mothers of Invention, but also acts Zappa discovered. Early in the summer, Ray Collins quit the Mothers of Invention, who continued to tour. Their performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London on October 25, 1968, was released in 1991 as the album Ahead of Their Time. That month, Bizarre was formally launched with the release of the single "The Circle," by Los Angeles street singer Wild Man Fischer. In November, guitarist Lowell George joined the Mothers of Invention. In December, Verve released the band's final album on its contract, Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets, on which Zappa for once played it straight, leading the group through a set of apparently sincere doo wop and R&B material. The LP spent 12 weeks in the charts. (Zappa was then free of Verve, although his disputes with the company were not over. Verve put out a compilation, Mothermania: The Best of the Mothers, in March 1969, and it spent nine weeks in the charts.)

Pretties for You The ambitious double-LP Uncle Meat, the fifth Mothers of Invention album, was released by Bizarre on April 21, 1969. It reached the Top 50. (The movie it was supposed to accompany did not appear until a home video release in 1989.) In May, Bizarre released Pretties for You, the debut album by Alice Cooper, the only act discovered by the label that would go on to substantial success (after switching to Warner Bros. Records proper, that is).The same month, Lowell George left the band; later, he and Roy Estrada would form Little Feat. Zappa began working on a second solo album, Hot Rats, in July 1969. On August 19, the Mothers of Invention gave their final performance in their original form, playing on Canadian TV at the end of a tour. One week later, Zappa announced that he was breaking up the band, although, as it turned out, this did not mean that he would not use the name "the Mothers of Invention" for groups he led in the future. Hot Rats, the second album to be credited to Frank Zappa, was released on October 10, 1969. It spent only six weeks in the charts at the time, but it would become one of Zappa's best-loved collections, with the instrumental "Peaches en Regalia" a particular favorite. Although the Mothers of Invention no longer existed as a performing unit, Zappa possessed extensive tapes of them, live and in the studio, and using that material, he assembled a new album, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, released in February 1970; it made the Top 100.

200 Motels At the invitation of Zubin Mehta, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Zappa assembled a new group of rock musicians dubbed the Mothers for the performance, with the orchestra, of a work called 200 Motels at UCLA on May 15, 1970. Adding singers Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, formerly of the Turtles, Zappa launched a tour with this version of the Mothers in June 1970. (Also included were a returning Ian Underwood, keyboardist George Duke, drummer Aynsley Dunbar, and guitarist Jeff Simmons.) In August, Bizarre released another archival Mothers of Invention album, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, which charted. Chunga's Revenge, released in October, was billed as a Zappa solo album, even though it featured the current lineup of the Mothers; it spent 14 weeks in the charts. After touring the U.S. that fall, the group went to Europe on December 1. From January 28 to February 5, 1971, they were in Pinewood Studios in the U.K. making a movie version of 200 Motels with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and co-stars Theodore Bikel, Ringo Starr, and Keith Moon of the Who. Zappa had planned a concert with the Royal Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall on February 8 as a money-saving tactic, since according to union rules, he could then pay them for the filming/recording session as if it were rehearsals for the concert. But this strategy backfired when the Royal Albert Hall canceled the concert, alleging that Zappa's lyrics were too vulgar. He added to his expenses by suing the Royal Albert Hall, eventually losing in court.

Fillmore East: June 1971 On June 5 and 6, 1971, the Mothers appeared during the closing week of the Fillmore East theater in New York City, recording their shows for a live album, Fillmore East, June 1971, quickly released on August 2. It became Zappa's first album to reach the Top 40 since We're Only in It for the Money three years earlier. John Lennon and Yoko Ono had appeared as guests during the June 6 show, and they used their performance on their 1972 album Some Time in New York City. The Mothers gave a concert at the Pauley Pavilion at UCLA on August 7, 1971, and the show was recorded for the album Just Another Band from L.A., released in May 1972, which made the Top 100. They continued to tour into the fall. 200 Motels premiered in movie theaters on October 29, 1971, with a double-LP soundtrack album released by United Artists that made the Top 100. Meanwhile, the Mothers' European tour was eventful, to say the least. On December 4, 1971, the group appeared at the Montreux Casino in Geneva, Switzerland, but their show stopped when a fan fired off a flare gun that set the venue on fire. The incident was the inspiration for Deep Purple's song "Smoke on the Water." Six days later, as the Mothers were performing at the Rainbow Theatre in London on December 10, a deranged fan jumped on-stage and pushed Zappa into the orchestra pit. He suffered a broken ankle, among other injuries, and was forced to recuperate for months. This was the end both of the tour and of this edition of the Mothers.

Waka/Jawaka While convalescing at home in Los Angeles, Zappa organized a new big band to play jazz-fusion music; he dubbed it the Grand Wazoo Orchestra and recorded two albums with it. Waka/Jawaka, billed as a Zappa solo album, came out in July 1972 and spent seven weeks in the charts. The Grand Wazoo, credited to the Mothers, appeared in December and missed the charts. By September 10, Zappa felt well enough to play two weeks of dates with the group, now billed as the Mothers, starting at the Hollywood Bowl. He then cut the personnel down to ten pieces (the "Petit Wazoo" band) and toured from late October to mid-December.

Over-Nite Sensation The start of 1973 marked a new and surprisingly popular phase in Zappa's career. He assembled a new lineup of Mothers, made a batch of new recordings on which he himself sang lead vocals (his voice having dropped half an octave as a result of injuring his neck when he was thrown from the stage), and hit the road for the most extensive touring of his career. Inaugurating the new band in Fayetteville, NC, on February 23, he spent 183 days of 1973 on the road, including tours of the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Meanwhile, the Bizarre Records deal with Reprise/Warner had run out, and he launched a new label, also distributed by Warner, DiscReet Records, its first release being Over-Nite Sensation in September 1973. The album reached the Top 40, stayed in the charts nearly a year, and went gold. It was followed in April 1974 by a Zappa solo album, Apostrophe (‘). Much to Zappa's surprise, radio stations began playing a track called "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow." A single edit of the song actually spent several weeks in the lower reaches of the Hot 100, and Apostrophe (‘) peaked at number ten for the week ending June 29, 1974, the highest chart position ever achieved by a Zappa album. The LP also went gold.

Roxy & ElsewhereZappa continued to tour extensively in 1974. His next album, the double-LP live collection Roxy & Elsewhere, credited to "Zappa/Mothers," appeared in September 1974 and made the Top 30. Adding his old friend Captain Beefheart to the band, he played shows at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, TX, on May 20 and 21, 1975, that he recorded for the album Bongo Fury, credited to Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart/The Mothers, released in October; it made the Top 100. Prior to that had come One Size Fits All, credited to Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, released in June; it made the Top 30. On September 17 and 18, 1975, two concerts of Zappa's orchestral music were performed by a group dubbed the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra (in memory of Lumpy Gravy) and conducted by Michael Zearott at Royce Hall, UCLA. The shows were recorded, but the material was not released until May 1979 as Orchestral Favorites, which spent several weeks in the charts. Starting on September 27, 1975, Zappa launched another extended period of touring, staying in the U.S. through a New Years concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, then playing in Australia, Japan, and Europe, finishing on March 17, 1976. This ended another phase in his career. He split with his longtime manager Herb Cohen and disbanded his group, which, because of legal disputes with Cohen, would turn out to have been the last one called the Mothers or the Mothers of Invention. Hereafter, he would perform and record simply as Frank Zappa. There were also other legal issues. In October 1976, he reached an out-of-court settlement in a suit he had waged against MGM/Verve that resulted in his winning the rights to the masters of his early albums.

Good Singin', Good Playin'Zappa surprised fans when his name turned up as the producer of a new album by Grand Funk Railroad, Good Singin', Good Playin', in August 1976. In September, he launched his first world tour under his own name, playing in the U.S., the Far East, and Europe through February 1977. Zoot Allures, the last album to be credited to the Mothers, was released on Warner Bros. Records on October 29, 1976, the DiscReet label apparently being claimed by Cohen; it reached the Top 100. Zappa was also seeking to end his deal with Warner. In March 1977, he delivered four albums to the label simultaneously (the initial titles were Studio Tan, Hot Rats III [Waka/Jawaka having counted as Hot Rats II], Zappa's Orchestral Favorites, and the double album Live in New York, recorded in December 1976); he demanded the four $60,000 advances the albums called for, and sued Warner for breach of contract when it did not pay. In the summer of 1977, he announced that he had concluded his contract with Warner. He declared that the four albums really constituted a single work called Leather (later spelled Läther), which he sold to Mercury/Phonogram Records. Warner then sued to block its release.

Zappa in New York On September 8, 1977, Zappa launched another North American tour, staying on the road until New Year's Eve. His shows from October 28-31 at the Palladium in New York City were filmed and recorded, the material later emerging in the movie Baby Snakes. The European leg of the tour opened in London on January 24, 1978. The resolutions of Zappa's legal disputes led to an unusually large number of releases over the next year. Zappa in New York (originally called Live in New York) was released on DiscReet in March 1978 and made the Top 100. Studio Tan appeared in September 1978 and charted. Sleep Dirt (originally called Hot Rats III) was released in January 1979 and charted. Orchestral Favorites completed the releases of the material Zappa had delivered to Warner in March 1977. With these matters settled, Zappa launched Zappa Records, with distribution through Mercury/Phonogram in the U.S. and CBS Records in the rest of the world, releasing the double-LP Sheik Yerbouti on March 3, 1979. The album managed to distinguish itself from all the other Zappa albums in the record bins and peaked at number 21, Zappa's best showing in five years, promoted by the single "Dancin' Fool," which made the Top 50. That track was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance (Male), and "Rat Tomago," another track on the album, got a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

Joe's Garage: Act IZappa toured Europe and Japan in the spring of 1979, then returned to the U.S., where he completed work on his home studio, called the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, on September 1. The home studio and his continuing practice of recording his shows, along with greater control over his record releases, seemed to free Zappa to issue more records. Joe's Garage Act I was released in September 1979 and made the Top 30; it was followed in November by the double-LP Joe's Garage Acts II & III, which made the Top 100. Baby Snakes, the film of the 1977 Halloween shows in New York, opened on December 21, 1979. A soundtrack album did not appear until 1983. Zappa spent much of 1980 on the road, beginning a tour of North America and Europe on March 25, with dates continuing through July 3, and then touring again from October 10 through Christmas.

Tinseltown Rebellion Amazingly, Zappa did not release an album during 1980. (A single, "I Don't Wanna Get Drafter," just missed making the Hot 100 in May.) But he made up for that in 1981. In May, yet another new label, Barking Pumpkin Records, was launched with the release of a double-LP, Tinseltown Rebellion, which made the Top 100. By now, Zappa had perfected a method of melding studio and live performances on his records, such that the finished versions were a combination of the two. Also in May 1981, he simultaneously released three instrumental albums via mail order: Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar Some More, and Return of the Son of Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar. In September came another double album, You Are What You Is, that made the Top 100.

Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning WitchZappa's spring/summer tour of Europe in 1982 was plagued with problems including canceled dates and even a riot at one show; after finishing the stint on July 14, he did not tour again for two years. Meanwhile, on May 3, 1982, he released a new album, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch, and it featured another of his surprise hit singles, as radio picked up on "Valley Girl," a track featuring a vocal by his daughter Moon Unit Zappa, imitating the character and employing the slang of a typical Southern California valley girl. The song peaked at number 32 on September 11, 1982, making it the most successful single of Zappa's career. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album made the Top 30. After coming off the road, Zappa concentrated on recording and on his orchestral music. On January 11, 1983, conductor Kent Nagano led the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert of Zappa's works at the Barbican Arts Centre in London, preparatory to three days of recordings that resulted, initially, in the album London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1, released in June 1983. (A second volume followed in September 1987.) Prior to that, Zappa had released a new rock album, The Man from Utopia, on March 28, 1983, which charted for several weeks.

Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger As he had the year before, Zappa saw some of his orchestral music recorded in January 1984, this time by the Ensemble InterContemporain of conductor Pierre Boulez. With other material, these recordings would be released by Angel Records on August 23, 1984, as Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger. The other material was Zappa's own recording on an advanced synthesizer instrument he had purchased called the Synclavier, capable of replicating orchestral arrangements. The Synclavier freed Zappa from the technical limitations (and, in some cases, the objections) of live musicians, especially classical musicians, and he turned to it increasingly from this point on. Having discovered manuscripts of music composed in the 18th century by an ancestor of his, Francesco Zappa, he recorded an album of it on the Synclavier in March 1984, releasing the results on an LP called Francesco Zappa on November 21, 1984.

Them or Us On July 18, 1984, two years after the end of his last tour, Zappa went back on the road for an extensive, worldwide trek that ran through December 23. On October 18, he released a two-LP set, Them or Us. A month later came the triple-LP box set, Thing-Fish, on the same day as the Francesco Zappa album. By this time, Zappa's records were no longer reaching the charts, as he focused on his existing fan base, heavily marketing to them through mail order. Having re-acquired the masters to his Verve/MGM albums, he had found the tapes in dire condition and had re-recorded the bass and drum parts for the albums We're Only in It for the Money and Cruisin' with Ruben and the Jets, which were part of a box set he offered to his mailing list, The Old Masters Box 1, in April 1985. (The Old Masters Box 2 followed in 1986, and the series was completed with The Old Masters Box 3 in 1987.)

Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention During the year 1985, a group of wives of prominent politicians in Washington, D.C., formed the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) and lobbed Congress for restrictions on what they saw as obscenity in popular music. Zappa, long an opponent of censorship, became a leader of the opposition to the PMRC, and on September 19, 1985, he testified before the Senate Commerce Technology and Transportation Committee to voice his opinions. Of course, his testimony was a matter of public record, and he quickly used the recordings in an album he assembled called Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention, released in November 1985. In January 1986, it became his 33rd and last album to reach the Billboard chart.

Jazz from Hell In January 1986, a Zappa live album drawn from the 1984 tour, Does Humor Belong in Music?, was released in Europe, but quickly withdrawn. It was an accompaniment to a home video of the same name that was taken from a single date on the tour. The album was later reissued with a new mix. Meanwhile, Zappa signed a contract with the independent CD label Rykodisc to reissue his albums on CD. The reissue program was launched in the fall of the year. At the same time, Zappa released a new instrumental album largely consisting of material recorded on the Synclavier, Jazz from Hell. The album won him his first Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance (Orchestra, Group or Soloist), and the track "Jazz from Hell" itself earned a nomination for Best Instrumental Composition.

Guitar On February 2, 1988, Zappa launched what would prove to be his final tour, playing 81 dates in North America and Europe through June 9. Meanwhile, he continued to issue new recordings. In April came a double album of guitar solos in the manner of the Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar series, simply called Guitar, and the first in a series of double-CD archival live recordings, You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1. In typically unusual Zappa style, the series found him editing together live performances by different configurations of the Mothers and his backup bands at different times. By 1992, the series extended to six volumes. The second volume, which actually replicated a single concert performed in Helsinki in 1974, appeared in October 1988 at the same time as an album of recordings from the 1988 tour, Broadway the Hard Way. Launching a home video line, Honker, in 1989, Zappa finally issued Uncle Meat on VHS tape, along with the documentary The True Story of 200 Motels and Video from Hell. (The following year, Honker issued The Amazing Mr. Bickford, a documentary about the animator responsible for the clay animation work seen in Baby Snakes.) In May 1989, Zappa published his autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book, co-authored with Peter Occhiogrosso. And in another surprising non-musical career development in 1989, Zappa began traveling to Russia as a business liaison. These efforts were extended in January 1990, when he went to Czechoslovakia, where he met the recently installed president, playwright and Zappa fan Václav Havel, and agreed to become a trade representative for the country. Understandably, this ran afoul of the Administration of American President George Bush, however, and Zappa's role became unofficial.

The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life It's hard to say what might have come of Zappa's trade efforts with the former Soviet Union and the former Iron Curtain countries, where he was something of a cultural hero. In May 1990, he suddenly canceled scheduled appearances in Europe and returned to the U.S. due to illness. He managed to go to Czechoslovakia and Hungary in June 1991, however. In the meantime, he continued to issue volumes of the You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore series and albums drawn from the 1988 tour, The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life in April 1991, and Make a Jazz Noise Here in June 1991. In July 1991, in yet another unusual marketing move, he assembled a collection of eight bootleg albums that had appeared over the years and offered his own version of them (mastered directly from the bootleg LPs themselves) as a box set called Beat the Boots; the albums were also released individually, and a second Beat the Boots box was released in June 1992.

The  Yellow SharkZappa was scheduled to appear in New York for a performance by a group of alumni from his bands called "Zappa's Universe" on November 7, 1991. When he was unable to attend due to illness, his children explained publicly for the first time that he was suffering from prostate cancer. He managed to fly to Germany on July 13, 1992, to work with the Ensemble Modern on a piece it had commissioned from him, The Yellow Shark, and he was present for concerts it performed in September. In October, Zappa released Playground Psychotics, an archival album of previously unreleased material from the 1970-1971 edition of the Mothers. 

The Yellow Shark was released in November 1993. Zappa died at age 52 on December 4, 1993.

Civilization Phaze III After Zappa's death, his widow sold his existing catalog outright to Rykodisc. But, like such well-established rock artists as the Grateful Dead, he had produced a tremendous archive of studio and live recordings that Gail Zappa was able to assemble into posthumous albums for his legions of fans. The first of these was the ambitious Civilization Phaze III, which Zappa was working on in the period up to his death, released in December 1994, and other albums, either containing concerts or other material, have also appeared, along with expanded versions of previously released albums such as Freak Out! Decades after Zappa's death, this stream of releases showed no evidence of stopping, as long as Zappa fans were interested in buying.


01. Anyway The Wind Blows  02:24
02. Fountain Of Love  02:10
03. Opus 5  03:40
04. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance  03:52

05. Hey Nelda  01:17
06. Mothers At KPFK  03:26
07. Lowell George Whips It Out  03:44
08. Right There  04:08
09. Kung Fu #1  02:04
10. Igor's Boogie, Little Doo-Wop  01:40
11. Bunk Gardner Whips It Out  03:02
12. Studio Piece  02:09

1. Frank Zappa
2. Frank Zappa
3. Frank Zappa