Thursday, July 23, 2020

Request: Neil Young - The Ranch Rehearsals w. Crazy Horse 1990 (Bootleg) (Superb Quality!)

Size: 164 MB
Bitrate: 320
Found in Cyber Space
Artwork Included
Superb Sound Quality

These live recordings of Neil Young & Crazy Horse may be old news in trader’s circles, but… they never get old. Here are some of the raw rehearsals leading up to the recording of Ragged Glory, taped at Neil’s Broken Arrow Ranch in the summer of 1990. 

Great sound quality, with a few false starts mixed in and the group’s ringing guitars lingering in the fade outs. Some actually prefer a few of these takes to the official versions, but that’s hardly worth debating. If you want to know what it’s like to hang with Neil and the boys at the ranch, this is what you need.

Ragged Glory (Recorded in April 1990 at Plywood Digital, Woodside, CA (except "Mother Earth": The Hoosier Dome) is the nineteenth studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, his sixth with Crazy Horse, released on September 9, 1990. It was voted album of the year in the annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll and in 2010 was selected by Rolling Stone as the 77th best album of the 1990s.

The album revisits the hard-rock style previously explored on Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Zuma. The first two tracks are songs Young and Crazy Horse originally wrote and performed live in the 1970s with "Country Home" notably being performed on their 1976 tour. 

"Farmer John" is a cover of a 60s song, written and performed by R&B duo Don and Dewey and also performed by garage band The Premiers. Young revealed that the song "Days that Used to Be" is inspired by Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages". The album features many extended guitar jams, with two songs stretching out to more than ten minutes.

The album was very well received by critics with Kurt Loder in Rolling Stone raving that it was "a monument to the spirit of the garage - to the pursuit of passion over precision" and calling it "a great one". The CD single culled from the album, "Mansion on the Hill", included the otherwise unreleased song "Don't Spook the Horse" (7:36).

"F*!#in' Up" (pronounced "Fuckin' Up") is frequently covered by Pearl Jam live  and was performed by Bush in their headlining set at Woodstock 1999. Toronto-based band Constantines recorded a version of "F*!#in' Up" in Winnipeg, which surfaced as the b-side to their "Our Age" 7" in November 2008. 

Scottish heavy metal band The Almighty recorded the song and included it as a B-side (with an uncensored title) to their "Out of Season" single in 1992. An outtake from the sessions for the album, "Interstate," was released on the vinyl version of the 1996 album Broken Arrow and on the CD single for the track "Big Time."

Having re-established his reputation with the musically varied, lyrically enraged Freedom, Neil Young returned to being the lead guitarist of Crazy Horse for the musically homogenous, lyrically hopeful Ragged Glory. The album's dominant sound was made by Young's noisy guitar, which bordered on and sometimes slipped over into distortion, while Crazy Horse kept up the songs' bright tempos. 

Despite the volume, the tunes were catchy, with strong melodies and good choruses, and they were given over to love, humor, and warm reminiscence. They were also platforms for often extended guitar excursions: "Love to Burn" and "Love and Only Love" ran over ten minutes each, and the album as a whole lasted nearly 63 minutes with only ten songs. 

Much about the record had a retrospective feel -- the first two tracks, "Country Home" and "White Line," were newly recorded versions of songs Young had played with Crazy Horse but never released in the '70s; "Mansion on the Hill," the album's most accessible track, celebrated a place where "psychedelic music fills the air" and "peace and love live there still"; 

there was a cover of the Premiers' garage rock oldie "Farmer John"; and "Days That Used to Be," in addition to its backward-looking theme, borrowed the melody from Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages" (by way of the Byrds' arrangement), while "Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)" was the folk standard "The Water Is Wide" with new, environmentally aware lyrics. Young was not generally known as an artist who evoked the past this much, but if he could extend his creative rebirth with music this exhilarating, no one was likely to complain.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - The Ranch Rehearsals. Recorded at Broken Arrow Ranch June thru July, 1990

♫♪ Neil Young - guitar, vocals
♫♪ Frank Sampedro - guitar, vocals
♫♪ Billy Talbot - bass guitar, vocals
♫♪ Ralph Molina - drums, vocals

01. Mansion On The Hill - 09.02
02. White Line (1) - 03.37
03. White Line (2) - 00.59
04. Love To Burn (1) - 03.40
05. Love To Burn (false start) - 00.18
06. Love To Burn (2) - 09.50
07. The Days That Used To Be - 04.47
08. Love And Only Love - 09.56

Bonus Tracks (the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium April 1, 1990)
09. Everything's Broken - 04.15
10. Pocahontas - 04.07
11. Crime In The City - 07.39
12. After The Gold Rush - 04.20
13. The Needle And The Damage Done - 02.09
14. No More - 04.54

1. Neil Young
2. Neil Young
3. Neil Young

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Favourite Band: Sweet Heat - Demos (Retro-Rock US 2016)

Size: 57.9 MB
Bitrate: 320
Rippeed by: ChrisGoesRock
Some Artwork Included

The story of Sweet Heat begins in 2015 with the demise of Rhode Island-based doom traditionalists Balam. With some impressive local momentum behind them, Balam released their Days of Old full-length early last year, and by the time 2016 rolled around, the band was done. Sort of. Vocalist Alexander Blackhound, guitarist Jonny Sage, bassist Nicholas Arruda and drummer Zigmond Coffey — four-fifths of Balam‘s lineup — were quick to regroup under the banner of Sweet Heat (also sometimes preceded by a “the”) and set to writing new material. And while one might be tempted to think of the new band simply as an extension of the old, the adoption of a different moniker is very clearly a purposeful move on their part.

They may be the same players, but the ground they’re exploring on Sweet Heat‘s four-song debut demo, aptly-titled Demo or Sweet Heat Demo, differs greatly from the darkened and moody tonality of the prior outfit. Of course, they’re just starting out, so where they might end up after these 18 minutes remains to be seen — they may well return to the dark side — but as a debut offering, Sweet Heat‘s first skillfully blends impulses out of classic heavy rock with a riffy foundation. There are some flashes of doom or at very least proto-metal on opener “Night Crawler,” but even as “The Enticer” digs into Sabbathian roll, Sage‘s guitar scorches in a manner altogether more rocking.

Likewise, “How it’s Done” seems to owe as much to Radio Moscow as Pentagram, and one can hear some residual Uncle Acid influence in the buzz and shuffle of “Night Crawler,” though Blackhound‘s vocals — his presence as a frontman was a major factor in Balam as well — assures the overall feel doesn’t come too close to anyone else. It’s a demo, of course, so basically Sweet Heat are showing off an initial batch of songs trying to encourage people to investigate further, be it at a show or their inevitable next release. But even that feeds into their aesthetic. In a day where a band doesn’t have to do anything more than slap a cover together and post it on Bandcamp, a demo easily becomes a “first EP,” but it’s telling that Sweet Heat embrace the rougher-feeling impression that even the word “demo” gives off. Cassette-ready.

And the music follows suit (though actually the release is on CD). There is a noticeable shift in production and volume between “Night Crawler” and “The Enticer,” and though the feel remains live and energetic into “How it’s Done” and the eponymous closer “Sweet Heat,” the actual sound is cleaner. On an album that might be jarring, but here it just feeds into the notion that Sweet Heat are exploring a new style and coming together as songwriters in a new way. It is laced with attitude. In the swagger of “The Enticer” and “How it’s Done,” the foursome build on the swing of “Night Crawler” and as they close out with “Sweet Heat,” they do so with classically metallic defiance: fist-pumping, a pervasive self-othering, and chug. Righteous and crisply, efficiently executed.

As “Sweet Heat” moves into its chorus, “We are the ones that you fear/You don’t like us?/We don’t care/We are who we are,” the band not only once more reinforce the perspective of the Demo as a whole, but provide their first outing with its most landmark hook while showing an ability to fluidly turn from one side to another in their play between rock and metal. From Blackhound‘s convicted recitation through Coffey‘s cymbal work and Arruda holding the rhythm together under Sage‘s blazing multi-layered solo in the second half, Sweet Heat live little to wonder as to why the finale of their demo wound up being the song that took their name. I wouldn’t be surprised if, on whatever kind of offering comes next for them, the track didn’t show up again, though of course one never knows.

In any case, Sweet Heat‘s Demo more than lives up to the tasks before it in establishing the group as an entity separate from their past work together, giving listeners a glimpse of their ample chops in songwriting and performance delivery, and setting a foundation on which they can continue to build as they move forward. There isn’t much more one could ask of it on the whole than it delivers, but the punch Sweet Heat‘s first batch of material packs goes beyond “band starting out” and finds their potential all the more bolstered by the chemistry they so clearly and so rightly wanted to preserve.

01. Smoke On The Plain  05.41
02. Night Crawler  03.58
03. The Enticer  05.35
04. How Its Done  03.24
05. Sweet Heat  05.34

1. Sweet Heat
2. Sweet Heat
3. Sweet Heat