Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rare R&B: Bobby Marchan - There's Something on Your Mind (R&B US 1965) (Recorded 1959-61)

Size: 95.3 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Bobby Marchan (born Oscar James Gibson) (April 30, 1930 in Youngstown Ohio – December 5, 1999) was a well-respected American rhythm and blues bandleader, MC, singer-performer, recording artist, and female impersonator, who initially began performing in New Orleans nightclubs, specifically the Dew Drop Inn and the Club Tijuana in the mid-1950s.

Marchan also toured with the band of Huey "Piano" Smith, sometimes performing as lead singer / bandleader and substituting vocally for Huey Smith (who reputedly often would stay in New Orleans to write and record while his namesake band "Huey Smith and the Clowns" played clubs and toured on the road). The touring band included James Booker on piano.

One of Marchan's vocal performances with Huey Smith and the Clowns can be heard on the New Orleans R&B recording, "Don't You Just Know It", which was released in 1958. Marchan also had a solo #1 hit on the national R&B charts in 1960 with the tune "There is Something on your Mind," a cover of a song performed by Big Jay McNeely.

Marchan recorded for a handful of small soul labels such as Fire Records, Volt, Dial, Cameo, and Gamble as well as Ace Records, which had released the Clowns' records.

Marchan regularly performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

In the 1990s his company Manicure Productions was involved in hip hop music booking and promotion including Take Fo' Records bounce music artist DJ Jubilee. He was involved with the formation of Cash Money Records.

Bobby Marchan - US Single 1960
A larger-than-life performer best remembered for his 1960 R&B chart-topper "There Is Something on Your Mind," singer Bobby Marchan was born Oscar James Gibson in Youngstown, OH, on April 30, 1930. As a child he became fascinated by the female impersonators who appeared on the so-called "chitlin circuit" of black nightclubs, and began singing and performing comedy in drag while in his teens. 

In 1953 Marchan organized his own drag troupe, the Powder Box Revue; during a booking at New Orleans' Dew Drop Inn, he became enamored with the city, making it his home for the remainder of his life. There he accepted a job as MC at the Club Tijuana, where he was discovered by Aladdin Records president Eddie Meisner. Marchan cut his debut single, "Have Mercy," for producer Cosimo Matassa in 1954, but Aladdin dropped him soon after, and he landed at Dot for the follow-up, "Just a Little Ol' Wine."

He then signed to Ace after label head Johnny Vincent caught his drag show, offering Marchan a contract in the mistaken belief he was a woman; 1955's "Give a Helping Hand" appeared under the alias Bobby Fields, with the Marchan surname restored for his next effort, the regional smash "Chickee Wah-Wah." In 1957 he joined Huey "Piano" Smith as the original lead vocalist with Smith's legendary band the Clowns -- in addition to appearing on classics including "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie-Woogie Flu," "Don't You Just Know It," "You Don't Know Yockomo," and "Havin' a Good Time" (not to mention popularizing the Smith composition "Sea Cruise," a hit on wax for singer Frankie Ford), Marchan also continued his solo career, issuing "I'll Never Let You Go." He left the Clowns in early 1959, issuing his final Ace single, "Rockin' Behind the Iron Curtain," later that same year. He then returned to the road and resumed his drag career, signing to Fire Records to issue "Snoopin' and Accusin'."

Bobby Marchan - US Single 1961
With 1960's reading of the Big Jay McNeely song "There Is Something on Your Mind," Marchan finally scored the solo hit that had for so long eluded him, reaching number one on the R&B charts. A series of Fire singles followed in rapid succession, among them "Booty Green," "All in My Mind," "What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You," and "Yes, It's Written All Over Your Face," but none earned much attention on the national charts. On the recommendation of Otis Redding he was signed to Stax Records in 1963, adopting a more contemporary soul approach and making his label debut with "What Can I Do." Within a year Marchan was recording for yet another label, Dial, cutting "Get Down With It," a hit for British glam icons Slade in 1971. He spent much of the mid-'60s recording for Cameo, debuting in 1966 with "There's Something About You, Baby" and returning to the R&B Top 20 with the follow-up, "Shake Your Tambourine."

Subsequent efforts, including 1967's "Meet Me in Church" and "You Better Hold On," received scant attention, however, and after 1968's "(Ain't No Reason) For Girls to Be Lonely" -- a one-shot for Gamble -- Marchan spent nearly a decade without a record deal, returning to his drag roots yet again. By 1977 he was installed as the MC at New Orleans' Club Alhambra, resurfacing that same year on Mercury with "I Wanna Bump With the Big Fat Woman," soon followed by another novelty effort, "Disco Rabbit." Around 1983 Marchan founded his own production company, Manicure, to scout and promote up-and-coming hip-hop acts. In 1987 he recorded his final single, an updated version of "There Is Something on Your Mind," and later helped found the Cash Money label. After a long battle with liver cancer, he died December 5, 1999, at the age of 69.

(All tracks recorded between 1959-61)

01. There's Something On Your Mind (Pt.1)
02. There's Something On Your Mind (Pt.2)
03. Booty Green
04. It Hurts Me To My Heart
05. Snoopin' And Accusin'
06. All In My Mind
07. The Things I Used To Do (Pt.1)
08. The Things I Used To Do (Pt.2)
09. What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You
10. This Is The Life
11. I Need Someone (I Need You)
12. I Miss You So
13. Yes, It's Written All Over Your Face
14. You're Still My Baby (Pt.2)
15. You're Still My Baby (Pt.1)
16. Look At My Heart
17. Yes, It's Written All Over Your Face (Pt.1): Unreleased
18. Yes, It's Written All Over Your Face (Pt.2): Unreleased

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Yes - Something's Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 (2CD)

Size: 189 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoeRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan BLU-Spec Remaster

Yes' early years, up until The Yes Album, are usually perceived as a formative period, primarily of interest to hardcore fans. This double-CD set of live BBC and other radio-related tracks from 1969-70, however, forces the listener to take this era of the group's history on its own terms. The performances and repertory all date from the tail end of the psychedelic era, and a time when the Nice were the only fully functioning progressive rock unit in England -- one can hear the early incarnation of Yes catching up fast with Keith Emerson and company, throwing in progressive influences of their own and generally playing like there was no tomorrow. 

The fact that the BBC sessions never permitted retakes, and were never intended for commercial release, gave them a raw, spontaneous quality that was missing from the studio equivalents. 

The drawback is that the singing is sometimes a lot rougher than the group would have preferred -- so "Dear Father," for example, is vibrant but a little raw; on the other hand, "Every Little Thing" is practically worth the price of the disc by itself, as the most exciting track here. Disc two features more live performances of the era off of radio, including a completely different but equally impressive version of "Every Little Thing" and more amazing work by Bill Bruford. 

Overall, it's the perfect early Yes companion to Yessongs, with notes by Peter Banks, the band's co-founder and lead guitarist during this era, that reveal a lot about what the band was like during this era and some of the rivalries and alleged unfairness in the divvying up of credits and revenues.

Something's Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 is a compilation of live recordings by the progressive rock band, Yes. They are the only live recordings to feature the band's original lineup. It is a compilation of the band's early performances on BBC radio. The two-disc set features liner notes from original guitarist Peter Banks, who was fired from the band shortly after these recordings were made.

Legally released, but without the knowledge of the band, this two-CD compilation of early Yes appearances on British, French, and German radio shows is perhaps the best that fans can hope for; except for the title track of "Time and a Word," Yes has never bothered to release live versions of songs off its first two albums. 

Most of these early songs turn up here, and there's even an prototype of "Starship Trooper" in the previously unreleased "For Everyone." Stripped raw of their studio padding, the Time and a Word cuts attain a ragged beauty, especially in redlining versions of "Dear Father" and "No Opportunity Necessary." 

The liner notes were clearly a labor of love, with newspaper clippings, posters, recording notes, unpublished photos, and dishy notes by a thoroughly unrepentant Peter Banks. Despite variable sound quality, and an inevitable garage band grittiness, it's a fine artifact. Released in the U.S. in 1998 as Beyond & Before.

Band members:
Jon Anderson - vocals
 Chris Squire - bass, vocals
 Peter Banks - guitars
 Tony Kaye - keyboards
 Bill Bruford - drums

Disc one 
01. "Something's Coming"  Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim  7:38
02. "Everydays"  Stephen Stills  5:12
03. "Sweetness"  Jon Anderson/Clive Bailey/Chris Squire 4:14
04. "Dear Father"  Anderson/Squire  5:33
05. "Every Little Thing"  Lennon–McCartney  5:31
06. "Looking Around"  Anderson/Squire  3:40
07. "Sweet Dreams"  Anderson/David Foster  3:26
08. "Then"  Anderson  4:19

Bonus Track:
09. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed"  Richie Havens  4:18

Disc two  
01. "Astral Traveller"  Anderson  6:01
02. "Then"  Anderson  5:15
03. "Every Little Thing"  Lennon–McCartney  6:49
04. "Everydays"  Stills  6:06
05. "For Everyone"  Anderson/Squire  4:35
06. "Sweetness"  Anderson/Bailey/Squire  5:16
07. "Something's Coming"  Bernstein/Sondheim  7:58
08. "Sweet Dreams"  Anderson/Foster  4:14

Bonus Track:
09. "Beyond & Before"  Squire/Bailey  5:28

+ Picture Sleeve Mini CD Single:
01. "Astral Traveller" BBC Live

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Yes - Japan Single 1972
Yes - Netherland Single 1970

Stealers Wheel - Selftitled (Scottish Folkrock UK 1972)

Size: 70.9 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Stealers Wheel is the debut 1972 album by the Scottish folk rock band Stealers Wheel.

Encased in a classy sleeve painted by Scottish playwright John "Patrick" Byrne, the first LP from the tumultuous Stealers Wheel is a debonair affair comprised of the kind of accomplished and polished pub pop for which impetus Gerry Rafferty would become known as he subsequently rode out the decade on the sublime radio single "Baker Street ." Rafferty released his first solo slab, Can I Have My Money Back? (the title already showing signs of unrest) in 1971, and brought amigo Joe Egan from those sessions to the princely proceeding here. 

Worthy musical moments abound, all forever overshadowed by the clever corporate-snub "Stuck in the Middle With You" which branded the duo a one-hit wonder when the track took on a life of its own. Sadly, the song also foreshadowed the premature end of Stealers Wheel, and Rafferty and Egan continued to document the personal and professional turmoil of their short time together throughout their respective solo careers, even re-recording some of these early jewels. And though only Rafferty's star continued to rise, Egan harbors considerable talent as well, shining brightly on his Rubber Soul-influenced tapestry "Another Meaning"; however, he keeps bland company with Bad Company with the dumb thud of "I Get By." 

Meanwhile, Rafferty creates one of those oh-so-cosmic '70s grooves for "Outside Looking In," before being unfortunately caught in one of those oh-so-abrupt '70s fades at the end of side one. This vibe wouldn't be broken so drastically on CD, but for now, and seemingly forever, the platter must be flipped for the unique "Johnny's Song" wherein mountain-rock breaks surround Rafferty's wry life observations. Hidden nugget "Next to Me" extols mellow melancholy meditations exclusive to the West Coast and the Have a Nice Day Decade. 

Closing pastorale "You Put Something Better Inside of Me" inspired renditions by Ted Neeley and Raphael Ravenscroft. Ultimately, this very solid outing casts a somber shadow because of unfulfilled expectations. And any record this carefully crafted doesn't deserve to languish in the bins of obscurity, but such seems to be the fate of Stealers Wheel. At least the band will always be remembered through the cinematic revival of that supreme FM staple "Stuck in the Middle With You." 

Stealers Wheel are a Scottish folk rock/rock band formed in Paisley, Renfrewshire in 1972 by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty.

Rafferty and Egan first met when they were teenagers in Paisley and they became the core of Stealers Wheel. In the early 1970s, the band was considered to be the British version of American folk/rock supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. They were initially joined by Roger Brown, Rab Noakes and Ian Campbell in 1972. However, that line-up only lasted a few months and by the time the band were signed to A&M Records later that same year, Brown, Noakes and Campbell had been replaced by Paul Pilnick, Tony Williams and Rod Coombes. This line-up recorded their self-titled debut album, Stealers Wheel and was produced by the influential American songwriters and producers Leiber & Stoller. The album was a critical and commercial success, reaching #50 in the US Billboard 200 album chart, with their million selling hit single "Stuck in the Middle with You", coming from the album.

Stealers Wheel - Italy Single 1972
By the time the first album was released Rafferty had left the band to be replaced by Luther Grosvenor, who remained with the band for much of 1973 on tour. DeLisle Harper also replaced Tony Williams on tour. "Stuck in the Middle With You" reached #6 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and #8 in the UK Singles Chart in 1973, and sold over one million copies worldwide, and with the album also selling well, Rafferty was persuaded to return. However, Grosvenor, Coombes and Pilnick all left the band. With so many changes in the band's line-up they officially became a duo, with backing musicians as needed on tour and in the studio. Later in 1973 the single "Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" had modest chart success (the single version is different from the album version and all subsequent CD's) and, in 1974, the single "Star" reached the Top 30 of both the UK and US charts. Reviewing the single "Star", David Middleton at PopRockNation wrote:

"A catchy shuffle of the Lennonesque variety, "Star" is 3 minutes of pure shimmering acoustic-guitar pop loveliness and honey-throated vocal harmonies, punctuated with spikes of harmonica, kazoo, woodblock, and bawdy barrelhouse piano."

A second album Ferguslie Park was released in 1974, with the duo backed up by nine backing musicians. The album, named after an area of Paisley, just reached the US Billboard 200 and was a commercial failure. With increasing tension between Rafferty and Egan they could not agree on which studio musicians to use on the third album, and with Leiber & Stoller also having business problems, Stealers Wheel disappeared for eighteen months. By the time the album Right Or Wrong was released in 1975, Stealers Wheel had ceased to exist.

The last album, because of disagreements and managerial problems, was produced by Mentor Williams. All three albums had sleeve designs by artist John Byrne.

After 1975 the group was hardly known, and the two last single releases faded away in the charts. Both Rafferty and Egan recorded songs which included lyrics referring to the acrimonious history of Stealers Wheel and a Best of Stealers Wheel album was released in 1990. In 1992 director Quentin Tarantino used the track "Stuck in the Middle with You" in the soundtrack of his debut film Reservoir Dogs, bringing new attention to the band.

Stealers Wheel - Netherland Single 1972
In September 2001 a dance version of "Stuck in the Middle with You" was a UK Top 10 hit for Louise, with a music video that drew heavily on the original song's appearance in the soundtrack of Reservoir Dogs.

All three albums have been unavailable for a number of years, although in 2004 and 2005 the British independent record label Lemon Recordings, of Cherry Red, re-released them with remastered sound and new liner-notes.

After being contacted by iTunes and K-tel records in California, Tony Williams re-formed Stealers Wheel in Blackpool in 2008 with two other original band members, Rod Coombes and Paul Pilnick, together with locally based musician and songwriter Tony Mitchell. On 10 November 2008 they started filming a music video for a re-release of "Stuck in the Middle" on the Fylde coast. They also began writing songs for an album due to have been released in 2009, although they have no plans to go on tour. Luther Grosvenor has expressed his interest in joining the band should they tour.

Gerry Rafferty died on 4 January 2011 after suffering liver failure.

Gerry Rafferty - guitar, lead vocals
Joe Egan - keyboards, lead vocals
 Paul Pilnick - lead guitar
 Tony Williams - bass
 Rod Coombes - drums

01. "Late Again"  Joe Egan, Gerry Rafferty  3:16
02. "Stuck in the Middle with You"  Egan, Rafferty  3:23
03. "Another Meaning"   Egan  3:01
04. "I Get By"  Egan  3:16
05. "Outside Looking In"  Rafferty  3:54
06. "Johnny's Song"  Rafferty  3:45
07. "Next to Me"  Egan, Rafferty  3:37
08. "José"  Egan  3:23
09. "Gets So Lonely"  Egan  2:57
10. "You Put Something Better Inside Me"  Egan, Rafferty  3:50

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