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

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Alice Cooper - Various songs from the early 70's

"Halo of Flies" is a 1973 single by rock band Alice Cooper taken from their 1971 album Killer. The single was only released in the Netherlands, two years after the song appeared on the album.

From the Album "Billion Dollar Babies" 1973

Alice Cooper - School's Out (1972 UK TV Top Of The Pops Performance)

Size: 113MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
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Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton (lead guitar), Michael Bruce (rhythm guitar, keyboards), Dennis Dunaway (bass guitar), and Neal Smith (drums). Furnier legally changed his name to Alice Cooper and has had a solo career under that name since the band became inactive in 1975. The band was notorious for their elaborate, theatrical shock rock stage shows. In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

After several years of little success, the Alice Cooper band rose to fame in 1971 with the success of the single "I'm Eighteen" and the album Love It to Death. The band peaked in popularity in 1973 with the album Billion Dollar Babies and its tour, which broke box-office records previously held by The Rolling Stones.

The band consisted of former members from the previous 60s garage rock band, the Spiders. They created everything as a group and wrote virtually the lion's share of what was to become the classic Alice Cooper canon. Neal Smith's sister Cindy Smith Dunaway (Dennis Dunaway's wife) designed the band's costumes and also performed in the stage show (she was the "dancing tooth" during the band's Billion Dollar Babies tour).

The Alice Cooper band was the subject of media criticism after Furnier (Alice Cooper) threw a live chicken into the audience during the 1969 Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival Festival. The audience ripped the chicken to shreds.

The band was featured on a Warner Bros sampler album Zapped of bands produced by Frank Zappa for the label, and then went on to release several chart-topping albums and headlining major tours before breaking up in 1975. Vincent Furnier took "Alice Cooper" as his own name and carried on with a new group of musicians, the original band becoming officially defunct. The band played their final show on April 8, 1974 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In autumn 1970, the Alice Cooper group teamed with producer Bob Ezrin for the recording of their third album, Love It to Death. This was the final album in their Straight Records contract and the band's last chance to create a hit. That first success came with the single "I'm Eighteen", released in November 1970, which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1971. Not long after the album's release in January 1971, Warner Bros. Records purchased Alice Cooper's contract from Straight and re-issued the album, giving the group a higher level of promotion.

Love It to Death proved to be their breakthrough album, reaching number 35 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts. It would be the first of eleven[fn 5] Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being pivotal in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound.

The group's 1971 tour featured a stage show involving mock fights and gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, climaxing in a staged execution by electric chair, with the band sporting tight, sequined, color-contrasting glam rock-style costumes made by prominent rock-fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway). Cooper's androgynous stage role had developed to present a villainous side, portraying a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single and album, and their tour of 1971, which included their first tour of Europe (audience members reportedly included Elton John and a pre-Ziggy David Bowie), provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros. to offer the band a new multi-album contract.

Their follow-up album Killer, released in late 1971, continued the commercial success of Love It to Death and included further single success with "Under My Wheels", "Be My Lover" in early 1972, and "Halo of Flies", which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1972. Thematically, Killer expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor hugging Cooper on-stage, the murderous axe chopping of bloodied baby dolls, and execution by hanging at the gallows. In January 1972, Cooper was again asked about his peculiar name, and told talk-show hostess Dinah Shore that he took the name from a "Mayberry RFD" character.

The summer of 1972 saw the release of the single "School's Out". It went Top 10 in the USA and to number 1 in the UK, and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. The album School's Out reached No. 2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies. The band relocated to their new mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. With Cooper's on-stage androgynous persona completely replaced with brattiness and machismo, the band solidified their success with subsequent tours in the United States and Europe, and won over devoted fans in droves while at the same time horrifying parents and outraging the social establishment. In the United Kingdom, Mary Whitehouse, a Christian morality campaigner, persuaded the BBC to ban the video for "School's Out", although Whitehouse's campaign did not prevent the single also reaching number one in the UK. Cooper sent her a bunch of flowers in gratitude for the publicity. Meanwhile, British Labour Member of Parliament Leo Abse petitioned Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to have the group banned altogether from performing in the country.

In February 1973, Billion Dollar Babies was released worldwide and became the band's most commercially successful album, reaching No. 1 in both the US and UK. "Elected", a late-1972 Top 10 UK hit from the album, which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promotional video for "Bohemian Rhapsody"), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, "Hello Hooray" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached No. 25 in the US. The title track, featuring guest vocals by Donovan, was also a US hit single. Around this time Glen Buxton left Alice Cooper briefly because of waning health.

With a string of successful concept albums and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the United States again. Continued attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper further and generate even greater public interest. Their 1973 US tour broke box-office records previously set by The Rolling Stones and raised rock theatrics to new heights; the multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects, including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show: the guillotine. 

The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi, who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner. The Alice Cooper group had now reached its peak and it was among the most visible and successful acts in the industry. Beneath the surface, however, the repetitive schedule of recording and touring had begun to take its toll on the band, and Cooper, who was under the constant pressure of getting into character for that night's show, was consistently sighted nursing a can of beer.

"Billion Dollar Babies Live in Houston 1973"

Alice Cooper band
Alice Cooper – vocals, harmonica
 Glen Buxton – guitar
 Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
 Dennis Dunaway – bass, backing vocals
 Neal Smith – drums, backing vocals

 Donovan – vocals on the song "Billion Dollar Babies"
 Steve "The Deacon" Hunter – guitar - Solos on "Generation Landslide", "Billion Dollar Babies", "Sick Things", "Raped and Freezing", "Unfinished Sweet" and pedal steel on "Hello Hurray"
 Mick Mashbir – guitar
 Dick Wagner – guitar
 Bob Dolin – keyboards
 David Libert – backing vocals
 Bob Ezrin – keyboards, producer

01. "Hello Hooray" (Live) (Kempf) - 03:04 
02. "Billion Dollar Babies" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Smith) - 03:47 
03. "Elected" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 02:28 
04. "I'm Eighteen" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 04:50 
05. "Raped and Freezin'" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce) - 03:14 
06. "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce) - 03:07 
07. "My Stars" (Live) (Cooper, Ezrin) - 07:32 
08. "Unfinished Sweet" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Smith) - 06:01 
09. "Sick Things" (Live) (Cooper, Bruce, Ezrin) - 03:16 
10. "Dead Babies" (Live) (Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith) - 02:58 
11. "I Love the Dead" (Live) (Cooper, Ezrin) - 04:48 
12. "Coal Black Model T" - 02:28 
13. "Son of Billion Dollar Babies" - 03:45 
14. "Slick Black Limousine" (Cooper, Dunaway) - 04:26

Track 1 to 11 are recorded live in Houston 1973, previously unreleased on CD 
Track 12 is an early version of "Slick Black Limousine", previously unreleased 
Track 13 is a "Generation Landslide" outtake, previously unreleased 
Track 14 was previously released in the UK only in 1973 as a free Flexi disc in NME magazine

1. Alice Live 1973
2. Alice Live 1973
3. Alice Live 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
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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