Saturday, December 12, 2015

Carole King - Writer (Great First Album US 1970)

Size: 93.9 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Writer is the debut album by Carole King and was released in 1970. King already had a successful career as a songwriter, and been a part of The City, a short-lived group she formed after moving to Los Angeles in 1968. Tracks on the album include "Up on the Roof" which was a number 4 hit for the Drifters in 1962, and "Child of Mine", which has been recorded by Billy Joe Royal, among others. The album did not receive much attention upon its release, though it entered the chart following the success of King's next album, Tapestry, in 1971.

Reviewers rate it positively if not as highly as Tapestry, one noting that it was the "most underrated of all [her] original albums". And, in a review that also covered Tapestry in Rolling Stone, Jon Landau wrote, "Writer was a blessing despite its faults" and that though the "production was poor", King herself made the album "very worthwhile".

Writer is the most underrated of all of Carole King's original albums, in that it was completely ignored when it came out in 1971 and didn't really start to sell until Tapestry whetted everyone's appetite for her work. It's an album of its time, in both King's life and career, and the music of its era -- singer/songwriters were still something new, and in 1970, it was assumed that anyone in rock had to tend toward the extrovert and flashy to attract attention. Thus, Writer has a somewhat louder sound than the relatively lean, introspective strains of Tapestry which followed. 

"Spaceship Races," which opens the record, features Danny Kootch Kortchmar playing full-out electric guitar, chopping and crunching away with his amp turned way up, and King belting out a number behind his bluesy licks that makes her sound like Grace Slick and the song come off like a pounding (and good) Jefferson Airplane number of the same era, with a great vocal hook at the end of the verses. "No Easy Way Down," with its soulful instrumental and backing arrangement, calls to mind not only her own "Natural Woman" as done by Aretha Franklin, but also (in terms of New York white women belting out soul) Laura Nyro at her best, and it's also a great tune with a killer performance by King, whose wailing voice is extraordinarily powerful here.

"Child of Mine" is the closest that the album gets to the voice that she found on Tapestry, while "Goin' Back" gives a more personal and elegant take to a song that is otherwise thoroughly identified with the Byrds; and "To Love" has King diving into country music, which she pulls off with exceptional grace, the song's title referring to a beguilingly innocent and free-spirited chorus that, once heard, stays with you. Even the least interesting of the songs here, "What Have You Got to Lose," is unusual in the context of King's overall work, with its heavy acoustic rhythm guitar, soaring backing vocals, and King's bold near-falsetto on the choruses. 

And that's just Side One of the original LP -- Side Two opens a little more slackly with the beautiful, reflective, but slightly too languid "Eventually," and the delightful "Raspberry Jam," which offers a soaring guitar showcase for Kortchmar (whose playing intersects the sounds of Roger McGuinn and David Crosby off of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High"), and a head-spinning, swirling organ from Ralph Schuckett weaving below and around King's piano, plus one of King's most playful vocals on record. The album ends on a special high note, King's singer/songwriter-styled reinterpretation of "Up on the Roof," which anticipates the sound she would perfect for Tapestry, emphasizing words and their feeling and meaning as much as music, and expressing herself principally through her voice and piano, moving the band out of the way. 

Ironically enough, if Writer had been released by almost any other artist, it would command a near-top rating and probably be a fondly remembered period cult item today; instead, for all of its merits, it must stand in the shadow of King's more accomplished and distinctive work that followed -- but even slightly "off-brand," under-developed Carole King music from 1970 is still worth hearing today.

Carole King - piano, vocals, backing vocals, and arrangements
 Ralph Schuckett - organ
 John Fischbach - Moog synthesizer
 James Taylor - acoustic guitar and backing vocals
 Daniel Kortchmar - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, conga
 Charles Larkey - Fender bass
 Joel O'Brien - drums, percussion, vibes
 Abigale Haness and Delores Hall - backing vocals

01. "Spaceship Races" – 3:09
02. "No Easy Way Down" – 4:36
03. "Child of Mine" – 4:05
04. "Goin' Back" – 3:20
05. "To Love" – 3:39
06. "What Have You Got to Lose" – 3:33
07. "Eventually" – 5:01
08. "Raspberry Jam" – 4:35
09. "Can't You Be Real" – 3:00
10. "I Can't Hear You No More" – 2:46
11. "Sweet Sweetheart" – 2:46
12. "Up on the Roof" – 3:37

1. Carole King 1970
2. Carole King 1970

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Grateful Dead - Soldier's Field 2015-07-04 FM (Bootleg)

Size: 454 MB
Bitrate: 320
Found on the Radio
Some Artwork Included

Twenty years after the Grateful Dead wrapped up their 1995 summer tour at the same venue, the group took the stage at Soldier Field for the second of three Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago. The band showed they’d come a long way in just one week.

Joined again by guests Bruce Hornsby, Jeff Chimenti, and Phish‘s Trey Anastasio, the Grateful Dead was tighter, brighter and more dynamic last night (July 4) than their tentative start in Santa Clara. Anastasio continued to impress in his role as lead guitarist, but everyone in the Grateful Dead got their chance to shine, especially Bob Weir.

The “core four” of Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Weir kicked off an energetic first set with the funky groove of “Shakedown Street.” Weir nailed the vocal while Anastasio emulated Jerry Garcia’s old “Mutron” guitar sound. 

“Liberty” was an obvious choice, considering the date. A much later entry in the Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia songbook, “Liberty” was one of the new batch of songs that the Grateful Dead played in 1993-1994. Weir’s vocal delivery was strong as the band delivered a near-flawless backing.

The Jerry Garcia ballad “Standing on the Moon” was next. Anastasio took the lead vocal, and while very competent, it lacked the emotive weight that one of the elder statesmen could have brought to the delivery. After “Moon,” the Grateful Dead dipped into its road-tested songbook with “Me and My Uncle,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Friend of the Devil” and the first repeat from last weekend’s shows in Santa Clara – “Cumberland Blues.”

Bob Weir led the band through an impressive rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster,” a staple of the Grateful Dead’s repertoire that did their host city proud with a sleek slide guitar from Weir and bluesy licks from Anastasio. Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti then stole their thunder as he lit up the crowd with a smoky organ solo.

The second set opened with a sublime version of “Bird Song,” a song that Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter originally wrote upon the death of Janis Joplin. 

Phil Lesh changed the original lyric – “all I know is something like a bird within her sang …” – to the masculine pronoun for the entire song. There was a brief jam in the center of the tune, comprised of rolling guitar notes over Lesh’s bass and Hornsby’s delicate piano.

The band’s 1967 party hit “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” followed. The entire band were grinning ear to ear as they harmonized the classic “Hey hey! Come right away!” refrain. Bruce Hornsby and Anastasio took the lead vocals and the band fired on all cylinders until its spacey finale.

Bob Weir’s two-parter “Lost Sailor” / “Saint of Circumstance” followed. Weir quickly swapped guitars for the custom Stratocaster design that he’s been using for the majority of these concerts. The dour “Sailor” had been booted from Grateful Dead setlists in the mid-1980s (others in the band reportedly hated it), but its sister composition – the joyful and upbeat “Saint of Circumstance” – stuck around.

In the hands of Bob Weir’s longtime Ratdog project, “Lost Sailor” would have been just a fan-service curio. On this night, however, “Sailor” became nothing short of mesmerizing. This was the tightest we have heard the band yet. The Grateful Dead dropped into “Saint of Circumstance” without missing a beat. While it wasn’t played with the frenetic pace of shows in the 1980s, it still had plenty of power and drive.

Bruce Hornsby took the reins on a snarling rendition of “West L.A. Fadeaway.” The Grateful Dead had stumbled across the riff the previous night coming out of the “Playing in the Band” jam, but tonight’s payoff was an absolute delight punctuated by Hornsby hammering the piano keys and Chimenti following with that funky Hammond sound.

Before the “Drums” and “Space” improvisations of the night, the band launched into another later-period Garcia song, “Foolish Heart” from 1989’s Built to Last.

Coming out of “Space,” Bob Weir tried several times to get the rest of the band to follow his lead into “Stella Blue,” but it seemed like everyone else was having way too much fun utilizing their guitar-effects boxes. 

Finally, “Stella” began with Weir at the lead. If Trey Anastasio shone the night before, July 4th was Bob Weir’s turn. His voice sounded fairly ragged, but he delivered this beloved Garcia ballad with so much emotion and grace that it was hard to find fault.

The show-closing “One More Saturday Night” and “U.S. Blues” encore weren’t surprises to anyone, but both songs were bursting with energy. 

As “U.S. Blues” reached its climax, fireworks filled the night sky over Soldier Field just as they had done 20 years prior.

The Grateful Dead - Fare Thee Well Show 4
Soldier's Field Chicago, Illinois
July 4, 2015 WXRT FM 

Disc 1 
01. WXRT Intro
02. Shakedown Street
03. Liberty
04. Standing on the Moon
05. Me & My Uncle
06. Tennessee Jed
07. Cumberland Blues
08. Little Red Rooster

Disc 2 
01. Friend of the Devil
02. Deal
03. WXRT Outro
04. WXRT Intro
05. Bird Song
06. The Golden Road
07. Lost Sailor >
08. St. of Circumstance

Disc 3 
01. West L.A. Fadeaway
02. Foolish Heart >
03. Drums >
04. Space >
05. Stella Blue
06. One More Saturday Night

07. Donor Rap
08. U.S. Blues
09. Fireworks (Stars and Stripes Forever)
10. WXRT Outro

Part 1: Grateful 2015
Part 2: Grateful 2015
Part 3: Grateful 2015 (changed, thank you)
Part 1: Grateful 2015
Part 2: Grateful 2015
Part 3: Grateful 2015

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Chris Youlden - Nowhere Road (ex. Savoy Brown UK 1973)

Size: 75 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
Artwork Included

The album featured a number of well-known session musicians. Nowhere Road is the first solo album by ex- Savoy Brown vocalist Chris Youlden.

Nowhere Road is the first solo album by ex-Savoy Brown vocalist Chris Youlden, released in 1973. The album featured a number of well-known session musicians including Chris Spedding, Ray Fenwick, Roy Babbington and ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan.

A single was released in March 1973 to accompany the album: "Nowhere Road" / "Standing on the Corner".

01. "Nowhere Road" – 4:51
02. "One October Day" – 2:25
03. "Chink of Sanity" – 4:01
04. "Crying in the Road" – 3:38
05. "Mamma Don't You Talk So Loud" – 3:13
06. "Standing on the Corner" – 3:29
07. "In the Wood" – 4:14
08. "Wake Up Neighbour" – 2:39
09. "Street Sounds" – 4:31
10. "Time Will Tell" – 2:43
11. "Pick Up My Dogs" – 2:40

1. Chris Youlden
2. Chris Youlden