Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Guestbook Added Yesterday

NEWS: A new similar guestbook was added yesterday. >> Bookmark << it so you can see my new blog adress if this is shutdown. I always add my new name & adress in the guestbook.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Johnny Ace - Memorial Album (Early R&B Compilation 1961)

Size: 77.0 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

The senseless death of young pianist Johnny Ace while indulging in a round of Russian roulette backstage at Houston's City Auditorium on Christmas Day of 1954 tends to overshadow his relatively brief but illustrious recording career on Duke Records. That's a pity, for Ace's gentle, plaintive vocal balladry deserves reverence on its own merit, not because of the scandalous fallout resulting from his tragic demise.

John Marshall Alexander was a member in good standing of the Beale Streeters, a loosely knit crew of Memphis young bloods that variously included B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and Earl Forest. Signing with local DJ Mattis' fledgling Duke logo in 1952, the re-christened Ace hit the top of the R&B charts his very first time out with the mellow ballad "My Song." From then on, Ace could do no musical wrong, racking up hit after hit for Duke in the same smooth, urbane style. "Cross My Heart," "The Clock," "Saving My Love for You," "Please Forgive Me," and "Never Let Me Go" all dented the uppermost reaches of the charts. And then, with one fatal gunshot, all that talent was lost forever (weepy tribute records quickly emerged by Frankie Ervin, Johnny Fuller, Varetta Dillard, and the Five Wings).

Ace scored his biggest hit of all posthumously. His haunting "Pledging My Love" (cut with Johnny Otis & His Orchestra in support) remained atop Billboard's R&B lists for ten weeks in early 1955. One further hit, "Anymore," exhausted Duke's stockpile of Ace masters, so they tried to clone the late pianist's success by recruiting Johnny's younger brother (St. Clair Alexander) to record as Buddy Ace. When that didn't work out, Duke boss Don Robey took singer Jimmy Lee Land, renamed him Buddy Ace, and recorded him all the way into the late '60s.

The senseless demise of Johnny Ace has historically overshadowed everything the young Memphis pianist accomplished while he was alive. That’s a tragedy unto itself. 

Ace’s plaintive way of crooning an intimate blues ballad made him a fast-rising R&B star during the early 1950s. But his bright future evaporated with a single self-inflicted gunshot to the head backstage at Houston’s City Auditorium on Christmas night of 1954, an impromptu act that spawned an instant legend.

Born John Marshall Alexander Jr. on June 9, 1929 in Memphis, Johnny hailed from a large family headed by a Baptist preacher and a mother who never approved of her son’s blues exploits. According to James M. Salem’s book The Late Great Johnny Ace and the Transition From R&B to Rock ‘n’ Roll, the youth dropped out of eleventh grade to join the Navy (that tactic didn’t work out either). What Johnny enjoyed most was playing music. With wide-open Beale Street beckoning, he gravitated to its neon-lit nightspots during the late 1940s.

Johnny joined a loose-knit combo revolving around guitarist B.B. King; other key members were drummer Earl Forest and saxman Adolph “Billy” Duncan. “The group first was mine, and then it was called the Beale Streeters after that,” said B.B., then a local star thanks to his daily WDIA radio shift. “Johnny Ace was the piano player. His name was John Alexander, but he later started making records under his own name with the Beale Streeters. In fact, the whole group was the group that I put together when we made ‘Three O’Clock Blues.’” 

The young pianist cut his first number as a leader in 1951 for Los Angeles-based Modern Records, the same label B.B. was on (co-owner Joe Bihari produced it at a session held at the Memphis YMCA), but “Midnight Hours Journey” wouldn’t see issue on their Flair subsidiary until after Ace began scoring hits for Duke. Since John waxed only one song for Modern, Forest’s “Trouble And Me” adorned the flip side. 

King’s expanding popularity catapulted Johnny into a bandleading role. “When ‘Three O’ Clock Blues’ became a hit and I started to work out of a booking agency called Shaw Artists Corporation and Universal, they didn’t want me to have a band,” said King in 1979. “They wanted me alone. So I left the band, and when I did, I gave it to Johnny Ace. And that’s when he changed it. Instead of calling it the Blues Boys as it had been, he started calling it the Beale Streeters.”

Convinced that Memphis boasted a wealth of unrecorded black talent, WDIA program director David James Mattis inaugurated Duke Records in the spring of 1952. He selected Bland as one of his initial artists, but Bobby showed up at the ‘DIA studios unprepared to record. Mattis turned to Johnny, who was there to back Bland on the 88s. Johnny was fooling around with a blues ballad entitled “So Long” that had been a 1949 hit for Ruth Brown. Mattis and Alexander lyrically transformed it into “My Song.” Before issuing the 78 on his purple-and-yellow-hued Duke logo for local consumption, Mattis changed John’s stage handle to the sportier Johnny Ace. 

The melancholy “My Song” wasn’t straight blues. Its chord structure was closer to that of stereotypical doo-wop, complete with a bridge, and the Beale Streeters’ stark backing–Duncan’s lonesome horn and unobtrusive drummer Forest abetting Johnny’s ivories–created a smoky after-hours ambiance. Though Dinah Washington and Hadda Brooks weighed in with covers, Ace’s “My Song” paced Billboard’s R&B charts for nine weeks in the fall of ‘52, establishing him as a prominent blues balladeer (the flip “Follow the Rule” was a raucous jump). Its national success was in great part due to the marketing efforts of African-American entrepreneur Don Robey, who had partnered with Mattis that July (Robey already owned Peacock Records, a Houston R&B/ gospel label whose acts included blues guitarist Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and the Dixie Hummingbirds). Robey bought Duke outright in November and made Ace a top promotional priority, sending him on national tour through his affiliated Buffalo Booking Agency.

Versions of Johnny’s first hit follow-up “Cross My Heart” were apparently cut in both Memphis and at Bill Holford’s Audio Company of America studios in Houston, but it appears that the Houston rendition was the one that climbed to #3 R&B on Duke in early ‘53. It was a mellow variation on “My Song” credited to Mattis and Robey, with Forest and bassist George Joyner accompanying Ace’s velvety vocal and flowery organ (he’d reportedly never played one prior to cutting “Cross My Heart” the first time at WDIA). Its B side “Angel” restored Ace to the piano bench but followed the same attractive late-night formula.

Johnny’s second R&B chart-topper “The Clock,” credited to Ace and Mattis, was waxed in January of ‘53 in Houston. The mournful ballad’s deliberate tick-tock percussion was courtesy of prolific bandleader Johnny Otis. Ace flexed his piano chops on the sax-led instrumental flip, “Aces Wild.” Otis’ octet backed Ace’s next chart entry, the intimate ballad “Saving My Love For You,” with Otis playing vibes at the August ‘53 Los Angeles date. Writer Sherman “Blues” Johnson was a Meridian, Mississippi product that had recently waxed two 78s for Lillian McMurry’s Trumpet Records with his Clouds of Joy. “Saving My Love For You” rose to #2 R&B in early 1954, coupled with “Yes Baby,” a rousing duet with labelmate Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, who had paced the R&B hit parade in the spring of 1953 with her snarling “Hound Dog” (Pete Lewis contributed the stinging T-Bone Walker-style guitar solo to “Yes Baby”).

New Orleans blues shouter Joe “Mr. Google Eyes” August–one of Ace’s fellow Duke artists–came up with “Please Forgive Me,” a #6 R&B seller in the summer of ‘54 that deposited Ace behind the organ again as Otis’ L.A. outfit cruised behind him (Ace wrote the swinging B side “You’ve Been Gone So Long,” Lewis returning on slashing guitar). Duke/Peacock house trumpeter Joe Scott, soon to emerge as Bobby Bland’s musical mentor, composed the gentle pleader “Never Let Me Go,” Ace’s #9 R&B hit late that year. The swinging instrumental “Burley Cutie” was two years old by the time it was pressed into service as its flip. 

Sadly, Johnny wouldn’t live long enough to bask in the monumental success of his next Duke platter. Credited to Ferdinand “Fats” Washington (he also co-penned the Flamingos’ “I’ll Be Home”) and Robey, “Pledging My Love” was a spine-chilling blues ballad that attained immortality in the shocking wake of Ace’s untimely death (an estimated 4500 mourners packed Clayborn Temple AME church in Memphis for his funeral services). Johnny’s tinkling piano introduction is answered note-for-note by Otis’ vibes before Ace’s warm baritone croon confidently enters to promise eternal devotion. Cut on January 27, 1954 in Houston with a smaller edition of Otis’ combo in support, “Pledging My Love” rocketed to the peak of the R&B hit parade in early 1955, managing a highly respectable #17 pop showing despite chirpy Teresa Brewer’s cover. A romping “No Money,” from Ace’s final Houston date in July of ‘54, supplied a mood-lightening contrast on the flip side.

A flood of maudlin tribute songs hit the market after Ace’s death, most notably Varetta Dillard’s “Johnny Has Gone” and Johnny Fuller’s “Johnny Ace’s Last Letter.” But the late Ace wasn’t done scoring hits of his own; “Anymore,” a Robey copyright waxed at the same January ‘54 session that generated “Pledging My Love,” rose to #7 R&B that summer (the torrid Ace original “How Can You Be So Mean” adorned the opposite side, its relentless horn section led by Johnny’s road band leader, saxist Johnny Board). Robey emptied his vaults to satisfy an ongoing clamor for more Ace product; “So Lonely”(an Ace composition that bore echoes of Charles Brown) and the classy “I’m Crazy Baby” were paired for one single (the latter was penned by C.C. Pinkston, who doubled on drums and vibes at Johnny’s final session), while a brokenhearted “Still Love You So” (another Washington/Robey collaboration) and the brassy Ace-penned strut “Don’t You Know” constituted Johnny’s last Duke outing. Robey wasn’t content to retire Ace’s franchise. He signed Texas singer Jimmy Lee Land and presented him as Johnny’s brother Buddy Ace (Buddy stayed on Duke for more than a decade and enjoyed a pair of mid-‘60s R&B hits). 

In the end, Johnny Ace’s legacy shouldn’t be defined by a tragic game of Russian roulette. Remember him by these 20 splendid songs instead.

01. Pledging My Love 2:29 (1955)
02. Don't You Know 2:41 (1954)
03. Never Let Me Go 2:52 (1954)
04. So Lonely 2:33 (1956)
05. I'm Crazy Baby 2:16 (1956)
06. My Song 3:04 (1952)
07. Saving My Love For You 2:37 (1953)
08. The Clock 2:59 (1953)
09. How Can You Be So Mean 2:30 (1955)
10. Still Love You So 2:43 (1954)
11. Cross My Heart 2:46 (1953)
12. Anymore 2:58 (1955)

Bonus Tracks:
13. Yes Baby (With Big Mama Thornton) 2:46 (1953)
14. Please Forgive Me (1954)
15. No Money 2:45 (1955)

1. Johnny Ace
2. Johnny Ace

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hour Glass - Power of Love (Great 2nd Album US 1968)

Size: 111 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Power of Love was the second studio album by Hour Glass, issued in March 1968 on Liberty Records, the final by the group with the namesakes of The Allman Brothers Band. After the failure of their first album, Liberty Records allowed a greater independence for the group, who had been virtually shut out of the decision making for their first album by the label and producer Dallas Smith. However, with the label's decision to retain Smith as producer, the group, especially Duane Allman, once again felt constricted by their label's expectations for the album.

With Smith behind the boards, Gregg Allman was still the focus. The younger Allman, who had seen only one of his compositions on the previous album, contributed seven of the twelve tracks. The remainder were two from Marlon Greene and Eddie Hinton and one each from the teams of Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn, John Berry and Don Covay, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The group performed all of the instrumentation, with Duane Allman adding electric sitar to their cover of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", a staple of their live act.

Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield wrote the liner notes, describing his experience sitting in on the session for the album track "To Things Before", watching Gregg Allman leading the group through the number.

After the failure of the album to enter the chart, the Hour Glass traveled to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in an attempt to further refine their sound. However, Dallas Smith and Liberty Records were displeased with the group-produced blues-fueled rock tracks that the group returned to Los Angeles with, as they were light years away from the pop music Smith envisioned them performing. Additionally, seeing himself cut out of the group's picture was not ideal for Smith, even if his relations with the group had been strained.

Hour Glass disbanded shortly thereafter, with Gregg Allman returning to California to satisfy the terms of the group's contract with Liberty. Paired with a studio band, Allman recorded roughly an album's worth of material, though it took nearly a quarter of a century for it to surface. [Wikipedia]

Now this is a little more like it. The group really isn't sounding like they did at the Whiskey, but the playing by the band is pretty ballsy, and Duane's guitar is right up front and close, and he's showing some real invention within the restrictions of the pop sound that the producer was aiming for. He also plays an electric sitar on the strangest cut here, an instrumental cover of Beatles' "Norwegian Wood." From the opening bars of the title tune, one gets the message that this is a group with something to say musically, even if this particular message isn't it -- the guitar flourishes, the bold organ and piano by Paul Hornsby, and Gregg Allman's charismatic vocals all pull the listener better than 98% of the psychedelic pop and soul-pop of the period. 

The outtakes that are included as bonus tracks are much more important, consisting of songs cut for a never-issued Gregg Allman solo album (intended to keep Liberty from suing over the group's breakup and departure), where he sounded a lot more like the lead singer of the Allman Brothers Band than he'd ever been given a chance to with the Hour Glass, on songs that included the future Allman Brothers classic "It's Not My Cross to Bear." [AMG]

Gregg Allman – organ, piano, guitar, vocal (all tracks)
 Duane Allman – guitars, electric sitar (tracks 1-6, 8-12)
 Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
 Johnny Sandlin – drums, guitar, gong (tracks 1-12)
 Pete Carr – bass guitar, guitar (track 7), vocal (tracks 1-12)
 Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, keyboards and percussion (tracks 13-18)
 Bruce Ellison - Engineer (all tracks)

01. "Power of Love" (Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn) - 2:50
02. "Changing of the Guard" - 2:33
03. "To Things Before" - 2:33
04. "I'm Not Afraid" - 2:41
05. "I Can Stand Alone" - 2:13
06. "Down in Texas" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 3:07
07. "I Still Want Your Love" - 2:20
08. "Home for the Summer" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:44
09. "I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You" (John Berry, Don Covay) - 3:09
10. "Going Nowhere" - 2:43
11. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:59
12. "Now Is The Time" - 3:59

Bonus Tracks:
13. "Down in Texas" (alternate version) (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:21
14. "It's Not My Cross to Bear" - 3:36
15. "Southbound" - 3:41
16. "God Rest His Soul" (Steve Alaimo) - 4:02
17. "February 3rd" (Composer Unknown) - 2:56
18. "Apollo 8" (Composer Unknown) - 2:37
All songs by Gregg Allman, unless noted.

Tracks 1-12 constitute the original album.

Tracks 13-18 from the 1969 sessions for Gregg Allman's unreleased first solo album for Liberty (present on 1992 re-release only).

1. Link
2. Link

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts (Progressive Rock UK 1971)

Size: 129 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Pawn Hearts is the fourth album by English progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, released in October 1971. The album reached number one on the Italian album charts.

The original vinyl release in the United States and Canada (for example on Buddah Records) contained a fourth track, squeezed between "Lemmings" and "Man-Erg", which was the band's arrangement of the BBC Radio 1 opening and closing theme. This instrumental, called "Theme One", was originally composed by George Martin and released on record in 1967. In Europe, where Pawn Hearts only contained the three tracks, "Theme One" was released as a single in February 1972, with the song "W" as its b-side.

Later North American reissues used the European version of the album, without "Theme One". The 2005 remastered CD contains versions of both "W" and "Theme One" that both are different from the North American album and the European single.

Two of the released versions of "Theme One" appear to have the same backing tracks, but feature completely different overdubs and mixes. These can be found on the compilation CD First Generation – 1968–1971 and the remastered Pawn Hearts. There is also a third version (an entirely different studio take) of "Theme One" included on the 2003 various artists compilation CD The Best Prog Rock Album in the World... Ever.

Pawn Hearts was originally conceived as a double album somewhat along the lines of Pink Floyd's album Ummagumma. The first half of this concept was the album as it came to be released, but the second half was to be divided between personal projects and live-in-studio versions of older Van der Graaf Generator songs like "Killer" and "Octopus".

When the Van der Graaf Generator catalogue was remastered for reissue in 2005, several of the tracks from the missing half of the album were found and added as bonus tracks. A live, in-studio version of "Squid/Octopus" was added to the H to He, Who Am the Only One reissue, while the Pawn Hearts reissue contains three of the band members' personal projects, "Angle of Incidents", "Ponker's Theme", and "Diminutions", credited to Evans, Jackson, and Banton, respectively.

The title of the album resulted from a spoonerism by Jackson, who said one time: "I'll go down to the studio and dub on some more porn hearts", of course meaning to say 'horn parts'. [Wikipedia]

Van Der Graaf Generator's third album, Pawn Hearts was also its second most popular; at one time this record was a major King Crimson cult item due to the presence of Robert Fripp on guitar, but Pawn Hearts has more to offer than that. The opening track, "Lemmings," calls to mind early Gentle Giant, with its eerie vocal passages (including harmonies) set up against extended sax, keyboard, and guitar-driven instrumental passages, and also with its weird keyboard and percussion interlude, though this band is also much more contemporary in its focus than Gentle Giant. 

Van Der Graaf Generator - Advertise Poster 1971
Peter Hammill vocalizes in a more traditional way on "Man-Erg," against shimmering organ swells and Guy Evans' very expressive drumming, before the song goes off on a tangent by way of David Jackson's saxes and some really weird time signatures -- plus some very pretty acoustic and electric guitar work by Hammill himself and Fripp. The monumental "Plague of Lighthouse Keepers," taking up an entire side of the LP, shows the same kind of innovation that characterized Crimson's first two albums, but without the discipline and restraint needed to make the music manageable. 

The punning titles of the individual sections of this piece (which may have been done for the same reason that Crimson gave those little subtitles to its early extended tracks, to protect the full royalties for the composer) only add to the confusion. As for the piece itself, it features enough virtuoso posturing by everyone (especially drummer Guy Evans) to fill an Emerson, Lake & Palmer album of the same era, with a little more subtlety and some time wasted between the interludes. 

The 23-minute conceptual work could easily have been trimmed to, say, 18 or 19 minutes without any major sacrifices, which doesn't mean that what's here is bad, just not as concise as it might've been. 

But the almost operatic intensity of the singing and the overall performance also carries you past the stretches that don't absolutely need to be here. The band was trying for something midway between King Crimson and Genesis, and came out closer to the former, at least instrumentally. 

Hammill's vocals are impassioned and involving, almost like an acting performance, similar to Peter Gabriel's singing with Genesis, but the lack of any obviously cohesive ideas in the lyrics makes this more obscure and obtuse than any Genesis release.[AMG]

♫♪ Peter Hammill – lead vocals, acoustic and slide guitar, electric piano, piano
♫♪ Hugh Banton – Hammond and Farfisa organs, piano, mellotron, ARP synthesizer, bass pedals, bass guitar, backing vocals
♫♪ Guy Evans – drums, tympani, percussion, piano
♫♪ David Jackson – alto, tenor, and soprano saxophones, flute, and backing vocals

Additional personnel:
♫♪ Robert Fripp – electric guitar ("Man-Erg" [5:55–7:10] and "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" [8:10–10:20 and near the end of the song])

01. "Lemmings (Including Cog)" – 11:37
02. "Man-Erg" – 10:20
03. "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" – 23:04, including
- Eyewitness" (2:25)
- Pictures/Lighthouse" (Hammill, Banton) (3:10)
- Eyewitness" (0:54)
- S.H.M." (1:57)
- Presence of the Night" (3:51)
- Kosmos Tours" (Evans) (1:17)
- (Custard's) Last Stand" (2:48)
- The Clot Thickens" (Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson) (2:51)
- Land's End (Sineline)" (Jackson) (2:01)
- We Go Now" (Jackson, Banton) (1:51)

Bonus Tracks:
04. "Theme One" (George Martin) – 2:55
(A different mix from the version on the US and Canadian LPs or the UK single.)
05. "W" (first version) – 5:04
(The February 1972 single used the second version.)
06. "Angle of Incidents" (Evans) – 4:48
07. "Ponker's Theme" (Jackson) – 1:28
08. "Diminutions" (Banton) – 6:00
09. "Necromancer" [BBC Live UK 1968] - 04:02
10. "What Ever Would Robert Have Said" [Beat Club 1970] - 05:54

1. Link
2. Link

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Family - Music in a Doll's House (1st Album UK 1968) + Extra BBC Bonus Tracks

Size: 93.9 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped By ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Music in a Doll's House is the debut album by progressive rock group Family, released on 19 July 1968. The album, co-produced by Dave Mason of Traffic, features a number of complex musical arrangements contributing to its ambitious psychedelic sound.

The Beatles had originally intended to use the title A Doll's House for the album they were recording during 1968. The release of Family's similarly titled debut then prompted them to adopt the minimalist title The Beatles for what is now more commonly referred to as The White Album due to its plain white sleeve.

"Old Songs, New Songs" features a cameo from the Tubby Hayes group.

This album was initially issued in the US using the UK import and sold in the US as a domestic album (with an extra piece of cardboard to stiffen up the sleeve). Around the time the second album was issued in the US, US pressings of this album started to appear.

The non-LP single "Scene Through the Eye of a Lens" b/w "Gypsy Woman" not withstanding, Music in a Doll's House (1968) is the debut full-length release from the earliest incarnation of Family, featuring Roger Chapman (harmonica/tenor sax/vocals), Rick Grech (violin/ cello/bass guitar/vocals), Rob Townsend (percussion/drums), John "Charlie" Whitney (guitar/pedal steel guitar/keyboards), and Jim King (harmonica/keyboards/soprano sax/tenor sax/vocals). 

Their highly original sound has often been compared to Traffic, which may be in part due to the production skills of Jimmy Miller and Dave Mason, the latter also contributing the organic and rootsy rocker "Never Like This." Additionally, neither band was overtly psychedelic or progressive, contrasting them from the other burgeoning combos such as Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, and Caravan. 

Family's deceptively involved arrangements are coupled with an equally unique blend of Chapman's commanding vocals driving through the jazz and folk-rooted tunes. "The Chase" is a spirited opener that immediately establishes their unmistakable vibe, which is furthered on the sides "Old Songs for New Songs" and the aggressive rocker "Peace of Mind." The antithesis can be heard on the rural-flavored "Mellowing Grey" and "Winter," or perhaps the almost blatantly trippy "See Through Windows." 

BIOGRAPHY: Family were an English rock band that formed in late 1966 and disbanded in October 1973. Their style has been characterised as progressive rock, as their sound often explored other genres, incorporating elements of styles such as folk, psychedelia, acid, jazz fusion and rock and roll. The band achieved recognition in the United Kingdom through their albums, club and concert tours and appearances at festivals.

The band's rotating membership throughout its relatively short existence led to a diversity in sound throughout their different albums. Family are also often seen as an unjustly forgotten act, when compared with other bands from the same period and have been described as an "odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans". Despite most of their recordings being issued in the US, the band never achieved any appreciable success there. 

Family formed in Late 1966 in Leicester, England from the remaining members of a group that was previously known as The Farinas and later briefly The Roaring Sixties, whose sound was grounded in R&B. The Farinas originally consisted of John "Charlie" Whitney, Tim Kirchin, Harry Ovenall (born Richard Harry Ovenall, 12 September 1943, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire) and Jim King, forming at Leicester Art College in 1962. Ric Grech replaced Kirchin on bass in 1965 and Roger Chapman joined the following year on vocals. The American record producer Kim Fowley suggested they call themselves "The Family" as they regularly wore double-breasted suits in performances, giving themselves a mafia appearance, a look they soon abandoned in favour a more casual dress code. They played the famous Marquee Club regularly and other London clubs including The Hundred Club and the famous Sybilla's in Swallow Street where they met Henrietta Guinness who introduced them into society. On meeting Mim Scala who they had known before, Mim asked if there was anything he could do for them. Because they were looking for material at the time, and probably a producer, Harry Ovenall asked Mim if he could arrange for Jimmy Miller to produce the first single which Mim duly did, and also introduced them to John Gilbert, who from then on took over managing the band. Thanks to Jimmy Miller, Steve Winwood and other members of Traffic participated in the recording. Shortly after the recording and before the release, Harry Ovenall voiced his concern over the movement away from their black musical roots i.e. blues, R&B, soul. 

In fact around 1965 The Farinas had publicity cards saying "Farinas Soul and Roll". The single seemed to be going towards psychedelia, emphasised by the use of a phono fiddle borrowed from an Oxford Street busker, and played by Ric Grech. His concerns also included the role of management in the band. A meeting of the band was called, during which it was suggested that Harry's heart was no longer in the band and as a consequence he walked away from the band. Contrary to several reports he was not asked to leave the band. Family's debut single "Scene Through The Eye of a Lens/Gypsy Woman", produced by Jimmy Miller and released by Liberty Records in October 1967, was not a success. Drummer Harry Ovenall was replaced by Rob Townsend.

The band signed with the Reprise Records label (the first UK band signed directly to UK and US Reprise) and their debut album Music in a Doll's House, was recorded during early 1968. Jimmy Miller was originally slated to produce it but he was tied up with production of The Rolling Stones' album Beggar's Banquet and he is credited as co-producer on only two tracks, "The Breeze" and "Peace of Mind". The bulk of the album was produced by former Traffic member Dave Mason, and recorded at London's Olympic Studios with engineers Eddie Kramer and George Chkiantz. Mason also contributed one composition to the album, "Never Like This", the only song recorded by Family not written by a band member, and the group also backed Mason on the b-side of his February 1968 single "Just For You".

Family made their London debut at the Royal Albert Hall in July 1968, supporting Tim Hardin. Alongside Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Move and The Nice, Family quickly became one of the premier attractions on the burgeoning UK psychedelic/progressive "underground" scene. Their lifestyle and exploits during this period provided some of the inspiration for the 1969 novel, Groupie, by Jenny Fabian (who lived in the group's Chelsea house for some time) and Johnny Byrne. Family featured in the book under the pseudonym, 'Relation'.

Music in a Doll's House was released in July 1968 and charted at No. 35 in the UK to critical acclaim, thanks to strong support from BBC Radio 1's John Peel. Now widely acknowledged as a classic of British psychedelic rock, it showcased many of the stylistic and production features that are archetypal of the genre. The album's highly original sound was characterised by Chapman's vocals, rooted in the blues and R&B, combined with several unusual instruments for a rock band, courtesy of the presence of multi-instrumentalists Grech and King, including saxophones, violin, cello and harmonica.

Family's 1969 follow-up, Family Entertainment, toned down the psychedelic experimentation of their previous offering to some extent, reaching No. 6 in the UK Albums Chart, and featured the single "The Weaver's Answer", although the group reportedly had no control over the mixing and choice of tracks, or the running order of the songs.

With the UK success of Family's first two albums, the band undertook a tour of the United States in April 1969, but it was beset by problems. Halfway through the tour, Grech unexpectedly left the band to join the new supergroup Blind Faith; on the recommendation of tour manager Peter Grant, Grech was replaced by John Weider, previously of Eric Burdon and The Animals. 

A further setback occurred during their first concert at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, whilst sharing the bill with Ten Years After and The Nice – during his stage routine, Chapman lost control of his microphone stand, which flew in Graham's direction, an act Graham took to be deliberate; Chapman performed the following shows with his hands by his sides, and by the end of the tour he had lost his voice; Family's reputation in the US never recovered and they ultimately never achieved great recognition there.

Returning to the UK, the band performed at The Rolling Stones' Hyde Park gig and the Isle of Wight Festival that summer. In late 1969, Jim King was asked to leave Family due to "erratic behaviour" and was replaced by multi-instrumentalist John "Poli" Palmer.

Roger Chapman – lead vocals, harmonica, tenor saxophone
 John "Charlie" Whitney – lead guitar, steel guitar
 Jim King – tenor and soprano saxophone, harmonica, vocals
 Ric Grech – bass guitar, violin, cello, vocals
 Rob Townsend – drums, percussion

 Dave Mason – producer, mellotron
 Jimmy Miller – co-producer on "The Breeze" and "Peace of Mind"
 John Gilbert – executive producer
 Eddie Kramer – engineer
 George Chiantz – second engineer
 Peter Duval – album design
 Julian Cottrell – front cover photography
 Jac Remise – back cover photography

01. "The Chase"  02:16
02. "Mellowing Grey"  02:48
03. "Never Like This" (Dave Mason)  02:20
04. "Me My Friend"   02:01
05. "Variation on a theme of Hey Mr. Policeman" (instrumental) 00:25
06. "Winter"  02:26
07. "Old Songs New Songs"  04:18
08. "Variation on a theme of The Breeze" (instrumental) 00:39
09. "Hey Mr. Policeman" (Whitney, Ric Grech, Chapman) 03:14
10. "See Through Windows"  03:44
11. "Variation on a theme of Me My Friend" (instrumental)  (Whitney)  00:22
12. "Peace of Mind"  02:26
13. "Voyage"  03:31
14. "The Breeze"  02:52
15. "3 x Time"  03:35

Bonus Tracks:
16. "Scene Through the Eye of a Lens [Bonus Track]  02.52
17. "Gypsy Woman [Bonus Track]  03.25

This is the first volume containing Family's previously unreleased BBC Radio 1 sessions. Featured here are several versions of tracks never before available on CD. This includes the only official release of their interpretation of the old blues number, 'I Sing Um The Way I Feel'.

Covering the period from late 1968 up to mid-1969 these recorded sessions are mastered from the original BBC transcription tapes and feature one of Britain's finest bands playing in the studio, but with an extra edge that is normally only captured at live performances.These 16 tracks are almost wholly composed of BBC versions of songs from Family's first three albums, though one ("Holding the Compass") didn't turn up until their fourth LP; another ("No Mule's Fool") was a 1969 single; and another, "I Sing 'Um the Way I Feel," was a J.B. Lenoir blues tune the band never put on their official records. Some of this material has come out on bootlegs, but the sound on this is notably superior -- it's quite good for a BBC archive release from any era, in fact. 

And while the arrangements don't differ too drastically from the studio versions, these performances are excellent. There's a bit of a loose live feel, but they demonstrate that the band -- unlike some others of the early progressive rock era -- were capable of re-creating their intricate, disciplined rock-blues-jazz-folk-miscellany interplay in a live setting, without sacrificing any of their gritty energy. Some of these renditions predate the release of the studio versions, sometimes by quite a bit; in the case of "Holding the Compass," in fact, the lyrics would change by the time it made it onto the Anyway album. Some might lament the absence of some particular favorites from their early days; there's no "Hey Mr. Policeman," for example. But really there's nothing to complain about considering the strong selection of songs here, which include such highlights of their early repertoire as "See Through Windows," "Drowned in Wine," the distressingly haunting folk-rockish "The Weaver's Answer," and the wistful "Observations From a Hill." 

BBC Radio 1968-69 Extra Bonus Tracks:
(Previously unreleased BBC Radio 1 Sessions never before available.)

Recorded 3.9.68 Saturday Club Session:
01. "See Through Windows"  04.05 [1968] 
02. "Weaver's Answer"  04.52 [1968]   
03. "Breeze"  02.38 [1968]

Recorded 11.11.68 Top Gear:  
04. "Second Generation Woman"  02.36 [1968]    
05. "Observations from a Hill"  02.57 [1968]   
06. "Dim"  02.23 [1968]

Recorded 3.3.69 Symonds On Sunday:   
07. "Holding the Compass"  02.31 [1969]    
08. "Procession"  02.45 [1969]   
09. "How Hi the Li"  03.06 [1969]

Recorded 11.3.69 Top Gear:   
10. "Love Is a Sleeper"  03.50 [1969]  
11. "I Sing 'Um the Way I Feel"  04.34 [1969]   
12. "Song for Me"  07.48 [1969] 

Recorded 28.7.69 Top Gear:  
13. "Drowned in Wine"  04.15 [1969]   
14. "Wheels"  06.54 [1969]   
15. "No Mule's Fool  03.05    
16. "Cat and the Rat  02.52

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Van Der Graaf Generator - H to He, Who Am The Only One (Progressive Rock UK 1970)

Size: 135 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

H to He, Who Am the Only One is the third album by the British progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. It was released in 1970.

During the recording of the album, bassist Nic Potter quit the band. Organist Hugh Banton offered to play bass guitar on the two tracks that had not yet been finished. In concert, Banton would play bass pedals to substitute for the lack of a bassist à la Ray Manzarek, but he would continue to record bass guitar parts on subsequent albums. H to He, Who Am the Only One also featured Robert Fripp of King Crimson playing lead guitar on one track, "The Emperor In His War Room". Fripp would collaborate again with Van der Graaf Generator on their next album, Pawn Hearts.

The album contains several references to modern physics: "H to He" in the title refers to "the fusion of hydrogen nuclei to form helium nuclei"; c in 'Pioneers over c.' refers to the speed of light.

The foreboding crawl of the Hammond organ is what made Van Der Graaf Generator one of the darkest and most engrossing of all the early progressive bands. On H to He Who Am the Only One, the brooding tones of synthesizer and oscillator along with Peter Hammil's distinct and overly ominous voice make it one of this British band's best efforts. Kicking off with the prog classic "Killer," an eight minute synthesized feast of menacing tones and threatening lyrics, the album slowly becomes shadowed with Van Der Graaf's sinister instrumental moodiness. 

With superb percussion work via Guy Evans, who utilizes the tympani drum to its full extent, tracks like "The Emperor in His War-Room" and "Lost" are embraced with a blackened texture that never fades. The effective use of saxophone (both alto and tenor) and baritone from David Jackson gives the somberness some life without taking away any of the instrumental petulance. H to He is carpeted with a science fiction theme, bolstered by the bleak but extremely compelling use of heavy tones and the absence of rhythms and flighty pulsations. 

This album, which represents Van Der Graaf in their most illustrious stage, is a pristine example of how dark progressive rock should sound. 

BIOGRAPHY: An eye-opening trip to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury during the summer of 1967 inspired British-born drummer Chris Judge Smith to compose a list of possible names for the rock group he wished to form. Upon his return to Manchester University, he began performing with singer/songwriter Peter Hammill and keyboardist Nick Peame; employing one of the names from Judge Smith's list, the band dubbed itself Van der Graaf Generator (after a machine which creates static electricity), eventually earning an intense cult following as one of the era's preeminent art rock groups.

The Aerosol Grey Machine Despite the early involvement of Judge Smith and Peame, the group found true success as a vehicle for Hammill, whose dark, existentialist lyrics made him the focus of considerable attention. After the release of the 1968 single "People You Were Going To," Judge Smith left Van der Graaf Generator, which by then consisted of Hammill, keyboardist Hugh Banton, bassist Keith Ellis and drummer Guy Evans. The group soon split, and in 1968 Hammill entered the studio, ostensibly to record a solo album; however, he ultimately called in his ex-bandmates for assistance, and when The Aerosol Grey Machine appeared, it did so under the Van der Graaf Generator name.

The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other Although Ellis was replaced by Nic Potter and woodwind player David Jackson, the reconstituted group continued on for 1969's Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other. After 1970's H to He, Who Am the Only One, Potter departed; the Generator recorded one more LP, 1971's Pawn Hearts, before Hammill left for a solo career, putting an end to the group. After five solo efforts, however, Hammill again re-formed Van der Graaf Generator in 1975 for Godbluff. Following a pair of 1976 albums, Still Life and World Record, Banton and Jackson exited; as simply Van der Graaf, the band recorded The Quiet Zone with new violinist Graham Smith. After a 1978 live set, Vital, the group officially disbanded, although most members made appearances on Hammill's subsequent solo records.

Present Twice during the '90s, Van der Graaf reunited for one-off gigs, and in 2005 released a reunion album, Present. Without Jackson, the trio of Hammill, Banton, and Evans recorded Trisector, which appeared in 2008. They appeared in concert frequently during 2009, and released another studio album, A Grounding in Numbers, in 2011. An album of studio jams and outtakes, titled ALT, followed one year later.

Peter Hammill - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano (3) 
 Hugh Banton - organs, oscillator, piano, bass (2,5), vocals 
 Guy Evans - drums, tympani, percussion 
 David Jackson - saxes, flute, vocals 

 Nic Potter - bass (1,3,4)
 Robert Fripp - electric guitar (3) 

01. Killer (8:07)
02. House With No Door (6:03)
03. The Emperor In His War-Room (9:04)
- a) The Emperor
- b) The Room
04. Lost (11:13)
- a) The Dance In Sand And Sea
- b) The Dance In The Frost
05. Pioneers Over C. (12:05)

Bonus tracks:
6. Squid 1, Squid 2, Octopus [Trident Studios Unreleased] (15:24)
7. The Emperor In His War-Room [first version] (8:50)

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Bunch of Rock Recordings Alive 1967-2006

Size: 1.1GB
Bitrate: 320                                                              
Various Artist
Found Everywhere
Very Good SoundQuality
Some Artwork Included


★★★ Cream - Swedish Radio Sessions 1967 (Bootleg) ★★★

Live Session, Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden 
3 March 1967. Broadcast on Swedish Radio.

♣ Ginger Baker
♣ Jack Bruce
♣ Eric Clapton

01. NSU  04:24
02. Steppin' Out 03:55
03. Traintime  05:53
04. Toad  07:34
05. I'm So Glad  05:17


★★★ Edgar Broughton Band - Live At Rockpalast 2006 (Bootleg) ★★★

01. Introduction
02. Evening Over Rooftops
03. Anthem
04. Speak Down The Wire
05. The Moth
06. Why Can't Somebody Love Me
07. Refugee
08. Momma's Reward
09. American Boy Soldier
10. Home Fit For Heroes
11. Dr Spock
12. Love In The Rain
13. Revelations
14. Hotel Room
15. Last Electioneer
16. Out Demons Out 
17. Backstage Talk
18. Green Lights (Acoustic) 


★★★ Janis Joplin & The Kozmic Blues Band - 1969-04-01 (Bootleg) ★★★

Janis Joplin & The Kozmic Blues Band 
April 1, 1969 Amsterdam, Netherland

★ Janis Joplin - Vocals
★ Sam Andrew - Guitar
★ Brad Cambell - Bass
★ Richard Kermode - Organ
★ Terry Hensley - Trumpet
★ Terry Clements - Tenor Sax
★ Roy Markowitz - Drums
★ Cornelius "Snooky" 
★ Flowers - Baritone Sax

01. Instrumental
02. Maybe
03. Summertime
04. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
05. Can't Turn You Loose
06. Combination of the Two
07. Ball and Chain
08. Piece of My Heart


★★★ Jethro Tull - Aragon Ballroom 1970-08-16 (Bootleg) ★★★ 

Jethro Tull 1970-08-16  
Aragon Ballroom, Chicago 
Illinios, USA

01. Intro 1:35
02. My sunday feeling 4:58
03. My God 11:07
04. To cry you a song 6:19
05. with you there to help me 13:19
06. Sossity-reasons for waiting 6:44
07. Nothing is easy 6:28
08. Dharma for one 10:08
09. MC 0:21
10. We used to know-for a thousand mothers 12:54


★★★ Nazareth - BBC Radio Sessions 1973-74 FM (Bootleg) ★★★ 

Nazareth - BBC Radio Sessions 1973/74
Re-broadcast on Alan "Fluff" Freeman's Saturday Rock Show

01. Razamanaz
02. Night Woman
03. Broken Down Angel
04. Vigilante Man
05. Shapes Of Things
06. Silver Dollar Forger
07. Glad When You're Gone
08. Jet Lag
09. Light My Way

Runtime: 44:43
Produced by Roger Glover


★★★ Nils Lofgren - The Stone Pony, Asbury Park 1985-11-01 (Bootleg) ★★★

Nils Lofgren. Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ
November 1, 1985, WNEW 102.7 FM Broadcast

01. DJ Introductions 
02. Beggars Day 
03. Secrets In The Street 
04. Dreams Die Hard 
05. Little Bit O'Time
06. Sun Hasn't Set On This Boy Yet 
07. Code Of The Road 
08. Moon Tears 
09. Cry Tough 
10. New Holes in Old Shoes 
11. No Mercy 
12. Big Tears Fall 
13. Any Time At All 
14. Empty Heart 
15. Like Rain 
16. Moon Tears 
17. Sweet Midnight 
18. Flip Ya Flip 
19. I Don't Want To Talk About It 
20. Back It Up 
21. Shine Silently 
22. I Came To Dance 
23. DJ Radio Credits  


★★★ Rory Gallagher - BBC Radio Sessions 1970-74 FM (Bootleg) ★★★ 

Rory Gallagher - BBC Radio Sessions 1970-74 
Alan Fluff Freeman's FM Saturday Rock Show 

01. Tattood Lady
02. Cradle Rock
03. A Million Miles Away
04. For The Last Time
05. Laundromat
06. It Takes Time
07. I Fall Apart
08. Used To Be
09. Crest Of A Wave
10. Messing With The Kid
11. I Could Of Had Religion
12. They Don't Make Them Like You
13. Back On My Stomping Ground


★★★ The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 'Diggin' In the Dust' 1969-70 (Bootleg) ★★★ 

Jimi Hendrix - "Diggin' In The Dust"
A collection of best quality unreleased 
studio recordings 1969-70

01. Izabella I       
02. Message to Love        
03. Crash Landing        
04. Freedom        
05. Bleeding Heart        
06. Dolly Digger        
07. Power of Soul        
08. Izabella II        
09. Stepping Stone        
10. Easy Blues        
11. Earth Blues 

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