Friday, April 25, 2014

Nils Lofgren - Back it Up!!, Live (Great Album US 1975)

Size: 84.5 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Back It Up!! is a promotional "live" album from Nils Lofgren initially released 1975. The title of the original vinyl LP was Back It Up!! – Nils Lofgren Live – An Authorized Bootleg. Although the recording was officially released by A&M Records, the artwork was designed to give the appearance of a live bootleg recording, similar to Decca Records' original vinyl release of the Who's Live at Leeds in 1970, which was a legitimate live album designed to look like a bootleg. Back It Up!! was not officially available to the public until it was issued on CD in 2007, 32 years after its original release.

The songs were recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, on October 31, 1975, and primarily features material from Lofgren's first solo album which had been released earlier in the year. At the time of the recording, Lofgren had recently signed with A&M and had just begun a solo career following the dissolution of his previous group, Grin. Despite its limited release, songs from Back It Up!! were featured on FM radio broadcasts during the 1970s and had been generally praised by the musical press as worthy of a proper release.

Before backing Bruce Springsteen, Nils Lofgren’s 1975 “authorized” bootleg guaranteed more than a Grin.

Nils Lofgren was already a Rock & Roll Renaissance Man by the time he turned twenty. He worked with Neil Young on After The Gold Rush, with Neil’s band Crazy Horse, appeared on Stephen Stills 2 and even had his own band – the aptly named Grin. And, that was just the beginning. After a few albums with Grin, Nils went solo in 1975 and released a brilliant, self-titled album featuring the soon-to-be-classic track, “Back It Up.” 

Label on side 1
Even though the critics and the audiences for his live shows knew the magic was there, the record-buying public was still largely unaware of Lofgren. The question became how to get everyone else on board. The answer was to take a radio concert, press it up, disguise it as an “authorized bootleg” and do a then unheard of commando run on the masses. 1,000 records with hand-pasted, photocopied cover art found their way to rock radio, and the legend of Nils Lofgren became a reality.

Featuring the iconic Al Kooper on keyboards (who just happened to be producing Nils’ follow-up studio release at the time), former Grin-mate (and brother) Tommy on guitar and the rhythm section of Mike Zack and Scott Ball, Back It Up!! Live…An Authorized Bootleg showcased tracks from Nils’ current release and four Grin classics. This band was truly on top of their game, and while the listener may not have been able to see Nils do his back-flips, they felt them in blistering versions of tracks like “Keith Don’t Go”, “I Don’t Want To Know” and the Goffin/King penned “Goin’ Back.”

Most who’ve heard this record place it near, if not at the top of Nils’ recorded achievements. In fact, were it not for Nils not wanting to potentially divert attention from his upcoming, second solo release, it might have seen the light as an “official” album. 

♦ Nils Lofgren – guitars, piano, vocals
♦ Tom Lofgren – guitar, backing vocals
♦ Scotty Ball – bass
♦ Michael Zak – drums
♦ Al Kooper – electric piano (special guest)

01. "Take You To The Movies Tonight/Back It Up" – 6:59
02. "Keith Don't Go (Ode to the Glimmer Twin)" – 6:26
03. "I Don't Want to Know" – 3:48
04. "The Sun Hasn't Set on This Boy Yet" – 3:41
05. "Goin' Back" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) – 6:04
06. "Like Rain" – 6:21
07. "Beggar's Day/Soft Fun" – 10:53

1. Link
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Nils Lofgren and GRIN

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bram Stoker - Heavy Rock Spectacular (Heavy Progresive UK 1972)

Size: 98.4 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster

Bram Stoker is an interesting band from the Early British Progressive Rock Movement (like Julian's Treatment, Gracious, Fantasy, Rare Bird, etc.) featuring great Hammond organ work and fiery electric guitar play. The climates often have dark overtones.

Who were BRAM STOKER and the mysterious T. Brodson who composed all the tracks? This enigmatic 1972 release was recorded for Woolworths generic Windmill label and recorded presumably by session players to cash in on the early seventies success of bands like Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster and Black Widow

The BRAM STOKER moniker evokes macabre gothic atmospheres, and so does their music with tracks like "Blitz" conjuring up a doom laden sound. The LP "Heavy Rock Spectacular" is a true lost pearl of original prog, dominated by moody Hammond organ that owes much to keith Emerson's influence. There are NICE overtones too with their own "Fingals Cave" whilst the sounds on "Poltergeist" seem to come straight from a gothic 'Hammer Horror'.

Bram Stoker was one of the first prog rock bands on the music scene in the 1970s, often compared to early Genesis and Yes. The band was formed by Keyboard player Tony Bronsdon in 1969; they soon built up a strong and devoted following at live shows. Playing the Marquee in London, they were supported by a little known band called ‘Queen’. They played regularly in London at The Roundhouse, The Marquee, The Heavy Rock Spectacular Greyhound – Croydon and The Speakeasy. Touring clubs, colleges and University in the UK and Holland they were appreciated by many well known artists of the time and their bootlegged releases became collector’s items.

Bram Stoker music is pure, classic, symphonic prog composed and played by some of the first original artists of the time. Two original band members – keyboard player Tony Bronsdon, whose classically influenced Hammond organ led Bram Stoker’s trademark sound, and guitarist / bassist Tony Lowe – recruited talented drummer / vocalist Will Hack to co-write and record ‘Cold Reading’. Original bassist Jon Bavin also collaborated in writing two of the new compositions. 

‘Cold Reading’ was produced by Tony Lowe, who subsequently worked as a musician with the likes of Julian Lennon, Roger Daltrey, Simon Townshend, Visage, Pet Shop Boys and Phil Ramone, plus has produced artists such as Flying Colours, Toyah, John Foxx since the band broke up in 1972. Tony Lowe has also just completed work on an album with David Cross (King Crimson). David’s wonderfully evocative instrumental work is grown from the famous ‘Starless’ theme and is due for release later this year.

He Gothic drone of Bournemouth band Bram Stoker is singularly England’s most ignored Prog entity. The fundamental core of Bram Stoker was organist Tony Bronsdon who started out with Renaissance Fare in 1968 later fusing with ex Feel guitarist Pete Ballam and ex Feel drummer Rob Haines freshly defected from Freedom Village. A remarkable bassist called John Bavin from the floral village of The Incredible String Band joined the combo, replacing Jet Harris and Tony Lowe after a defunct Harris Tweed basically evolved into Bram Stoker. 

Bram Stoker 1972
In 1972 Bram Stoker launched their Heavy Rock Spectacular which holds more emotive stirrings than any ELP refrain, harking to the tremors of Julian’s Treatment or Dr Z. The Bram Stoker live performances were sensational largely due to Ballam’s legendary "Doppler" (spinning speaker cabinet) and Bronsdon’s stirring organ tones and changing tempos. Bram Stoker stand next to Van Der Graaf as one of the first Gothic Prog groups, often supporting The Who and even booked to play the ‘Isle Of Wight Festival’. Who vocalist Roger Daltrey helped the group to record a home demo which got them a contract with the ‘Woolworth’s budget label ‘Windmill Records’. Bavin’s eerie vox is sheer rupture on the fuzz riffing “Extensive Corrosion” while Bavin’s bass rumbles superbly on “Ants” and the Wakeman styled “Fast Decay”. 

Bavin’s production skills later infiltrated Dave Stewart and Kiki Dee. Haines is best heard on the cymbal signatures that embellish “Poltergeist” while Bronsdon’s classical virtues power through Felix Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave”, severed sensitively by Ballam’s exquisite breaks. Stoker’s post apocalyptic “Blitz” is the epic highlight with Ballam conjuring drone lead that evokes visions of misty bomb shelters and nuclear rain. Bram Stoker re-formed in 2004 with added Pat Flynn (guitar) & Pete Rumble (drums) for Rock Paranoia (includes unreleased material).

Tony Bronsdon (organ) 
 Pete Ballam (guitars) 
 Rob Haines (drums) 
 Jon Bavin (bass) 

Original Album Windmill UK 1972
01. Born to be free (3:43)
02. Ants (3:48)
03. Fast decay (3:49)
04. Blitz (5:33)
05. Idiot (4:28)
06. Fingal's cave (7:42)
07. Extensive corrosion (4:19)
08. Poltergeist (4:35)

Bonus Disc 
01. Collusion Illusion (4:50)
02. Scarborough Fair (3:10)
03. Queen of Sheeba (2:38)
04. Faith Healer (1:47)

1. Link
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Some Black Sabbath...

Mapledurham Watermill,  Oxfordshire, England
Advertise for Black Sabbath's 1st album NME 1970
(Open pictures in a new window for bigger sizes)