Friday, May 05, 2017

Request: Cross Country - Selftitled (Great and Hard to Find Rock Album US 1973)

Size: 77 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Cross Country is a band formed in 1973 by three fourths of the musical group The Tokens- Jay Siegel, Mitch Margo and Phil Margo. The group released one self-titled album.

Compared to those who know about Intercourse by The Tokens, only few will know about this hidden gem. Somehow hidden away by Atlantic Records, this may be the most incredible effort ever by Phil and Mitch Margo, and Jay Siegel of the original "The Tokens" who helped create the smash hit The Lion Sleeps Tonight in 1961. 

If you can find a Cross Country CD consider yourself lucky! If you can find a vinyl you might want to check it into a museum. There are very few originally issued. These are gorgeous, haunting and original songs mostly by Mitch Margo, the mastermind behind Intercourse.

Fantastic album. Harmony vocals are very reminiscient of the Beach Boys but with a subtle touch of country music. Don't know anything about these guys, but it's a shame they didn't make any more records.

The song titles may lack imagination, but the music more than makes up for it. I'm a huge 70s country rock fan, & though I wouldn't call this country rock, it gets regular plays @ my house right between the Band, Byrds & Burritos.

Cross Country are a bit like Crosby Stills Nash & Young, at least in the tight harmonies and rural folky hippie rock they produce. 

Nice laid back sip on iced tea and smoke some herb type o' stuff. Every now and then they do give rocking out a shot so it's not all mellow. This was released in 1973 on Atco records and is their only LP. 

01. Today - 2:52
02. Just A Thought - 3:22
03. Cross Country - 3:49
04. In The Midnight Hour - 3:16
05. Thing With Wings - 4:35
06. Tastes So Good To Me - 3:13
07. A Fall Song - 2:48
08. Choirboy - 3:18
09. A Ball Song - 2:52
10. A Smile Song - 4:26

1. Cross Country
2. Cross Country
3. Cross Country
German Single 1973

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Prog-Psych Bands from the UK & The Mary Long Story

Open picture in a NEW WINDOW for 100% size

Open picture in a NEW WINDOW for 100% size

Audience - Audience (1st Album Progressive Rock UK 1969)

Size: 97.4 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Howard Werth was born and raised in East London. The fledgling Werth was hooked on rock’n’roll from its inception, at an age when he was barely able to do more than eat, sleep and listen. 

His earliest influences were drawn from the wide spectrum of rock’n’roll stars of the fifties; from Fats Domino, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Little Richard, to Presley, Johnny Cash, The Everlys and Buddy Holly through to The Coasters, The Drifters and many others of that period. 

His musical taste buds were further tickled by his introduction to the jazz world of Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and Miles Davis, along with his first introduction to the incredible voice of Ray Charles. In his early teens he was deeply drawn to the music of James Brown. 

It’s hardly surprising that Howard’s early semi-pro outfits displayed a mixture of all these influences, especially those of Charles and Brown. 

In the sixties Howard went to art school at the outset of the pop-art era and was trained by some of the major British exponents of that movement. Musically at the time Howard was indulging in the blues and r’n’b, which ran into his Motown / psychedelia period. At the same time Howard’s art & design skills had secured him a job at Pye Records designing album covers for The Kinks, Sandie Shaw, Marlene Dietrich and the Gerry Anderson Thunderbirds (and related) EP series, among countless other projects. 

Towards the end of the decade Howard was working for IPC magazines as well as gigging at the Flamingo and various other London clubs of that era, and spending much of his spare time at the UFO Club, the Electric Garden, or the Drury Lane Arts Lab, where the notion of forming what was to become Audience first started to take form and nag at his creative nodes. 

In early 1969 Audience took off and recorded the first of four albums, gigging in many and various corners of planet earth, creating merry and influencing the hippest, whilst charting in Europe, Australia and the U.S. along the way, as well as playing shows with Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, touring with Rod Stewart & The Faces and Jeff Beck (to name but a few), and being supported on a regular basis by bands such as Genesis. 

When Howard brought Audience to a close in late 1972 he got to work on his first solo album “King Brilliant” (now reissued on Luminous Records) and it was around the time of this album that Howard was approached by The Doors and asked to fill the space left by Jim Morrison. Howard spent some time rehearsing with them, but after some agonising and deliberation, Ray Manzarek decided against The Doors reforming. However Howard was later to reunite with Ray in Hollywood, where they worked together extensively on Howard’s songs, some of which would later be re-worked to form the basis of the album “Six Of One and Half a Dozen of the other”, which was originally released on Howard’s own METAbop! label, in conjuction with Jake Riviera, Elvis Costello’s manager and business partner, the man who started Stiff Records.

Howard has also worked extensively in Los Angeles with members of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, as well as producing the first recordings by X, L.A’s proto-punk outfit, who were later (coincidentally) to be produced by Ray Manzarek. Howard also recorded some of his own work on the Dangerhouse label during this period, two tracks of which - “Obsolete” and “Mangoman” - have been added to his album “Six Of One and Half a Dozen of the other”. 

A London-based band who were popular on the club and college circuit. After an album for Polydor, which is now rare and sought-after because it was withdrawn soon after its release, they were signed to Charisma after they were spotted by the label's boss Tony Stratton-Smith supporting Led Zeppelin at the Lyceum in London. 

Friend's Friend's Friend and The House On The Hill were both creative and worthwhile rock albums. Both, especially the former, are dominated by the outstanding sax and flute playing of Keith Gemmell and Werth's strong and rather unusual vocals. Shel Talmy was lined up to produce the Friend's Friend's Friend album but declined at the last moment because he didn't like some of the material. He was looking for a big commercial album and while tracks like Belladonna Moonshine and It Brings A Tear probably appealed to him many of the others (e.g. Raid) were more experimental and didn't. As a result the band ended up producing the album themselves. Their Indian Summer 45, which sold quite well in the States, and the House On The Hill album were produced by Gus Dudgeon. This had a cover version (I've Put A Spell On You) but otherwise, like the first two, was made up of self-penned material including the R&B Jackdaw and the gentler I Had A Dream. 

The band toured America with The Faces and built up a good underground following there. The line-up was augmented for the Lunch album by Nick Judd and American sessionmen Bobby Keys and Jim Price. This was probably their magnum opus but after its release personality rifts, particularly between Keith Gemmell and the rest of the band, ripped them apart. 

They also performed the score for the 'Bronco Bullfrog' movie (also released under the name 'Angel Lane') which was written by Howard Werth. It was a film shot in the East End with a team of kids from a theatre, none of whom were professional actors. 

After the band split, Gemmel joined Sammy; Werth apparently went to the US in an attempt to make music with the surviving Doors members, before returning to the UK. In 1975 he recorded as Howard Werth and The Moonbeams. Trevor Williams went on to Jonathan Kelly's Outside, and then The Nashville Teens; Connor first joined Jackson Heights and then Hot Chocolate; and Judd joined first Sharks (May '73 - Jul '74), then The Andy Fraser Band, eventually becoming a session musician.

01. Banquet  03:47
02. Poet  03:05
03. Waverley Stage Coach  02:59
04. River Boat Queen  02:57
05. Harlequin  02:35
06. Heaven Was An Island  04:18
07. Too Late Im Gone  02:37
08. Maidens Cry  04:47
09. Pleasant Convalescence  02:30
10. Leave It Unsaid  04:10
11. Man On Box  03:05
12. House On The Hill  04:06

Bonus tracks 
13. Paper Round  03:42 
14. The Going Song  01:42
15. Troubles  01:22
16. Indian Summer  03:16