fredag 24 mars 2017

Carol Grimes and The Delivery - Fools Meeting (Great Bluesbased Progressive Rock UK 1970)

330:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Bra bluesbaserad Progressive Rock. Mycket svår att hitta nu.)

Fools Meeting is an album by Carol Grimes with the british blues/progressive rock band Delivery, founded in the late 1968. The band was one of the wellsprings of the progressive rock Canterbury scene.

Fools Meeting was their only album, originally released on vinyl in 1970. A CD re-release with additional tracks was released by Cuneiform Records.

Carol Grimes (born Carol Ann Grimes, 7 April 1944, Lewisham, London) is a smooth jazz and world music singer.

Grimes came to prominence in 1969 as a member of Delivery, associated with the Canterbury Scene. During the 1970s she performed regularly on the London blues circuit with her band The London Boogie Band. At the same time she released her first solo album Warm Blood, the first release on the Virgin's Caroline label (CA2001), backed by session musicians in London and Nashville. The cover was taken in her Notting Hill flat. The following year saw the release of a follow-up blues album recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis and Goodyear Studios in Nashville which pictured her on the cover alongside her son Sam.

By the end of the decade, Grimes had moved to a more jazz-inspired style, including a lot of scat singing. In 1984 she formed Eyes Wide Open. Now known mainly as a solo artist she also does theatrical work and teaches voice.

Delivery was formed during the British blues boom of the late '60s. However, its sound is jazzier and more progressive than most of the music that emanated from that era. Rhythm & blues serves as a springboard for forward-looking tracks like "Blind to Your Light" and "Harry Lucky." Singer Carol Grimes is frequently compared to Janis Joplin. While Grimes has a powerful voice, she does not reach the level of histrionics that were a showcase of Joplin's. 

It should come as no surprise that Delivery members joined Canterbury related bands upon Delivery's demise. The reissue CD of Fools Meeting features several live bonus tracks, as well as a post-breakup demo recording featuring Caravan bassist Richard Sinclair. That demo session, one of the highlights of the collection, spurred the musicians to form Hatfield and the North. Fools Meeting is an essential part of any Canterbury collection, and should also appeal to progressive jazz fans. Jim Powers

Founded in 1966 as Bruno's Blues Band by guitarist Phil Miller, his elder brother, pianist Steve Miller, drummer Pip Pyle and bassist Jack Monck, the band gigged around London for a few years. In 1968, saxophonist Lol Coxhill joined them, and the band's name was changed to Steve Miller's Delivery. In 1969, the band teamed up with blues singer Carol Grimes and bassist Roy Babbington replaced Monck. 

The resulting line-up recorded and released one album: Fools Meeting. Although Grimes wanted to appear as a band member, the record company released the album under "Carol Grimes and Delivery". In 1971, Pyle left the band to join Gong and was replaced by Laurie Allan (who also later joined Gong). Soon after that, the band broke up.

01."Blind To Your Light" - 5:05 (Carol Grimes, Phil Miller)
02."Miserable Man" - 8:28 (Carol Grimes, Delivery)
03."Home Made Ruin" - 3:23 (Phil Miller)
04."It Is Really The Same" - 5:44 (Keith Jarrett)
05."We Were Satisfied" - 4:02 (Phil Miller)
06."The Wrong Time" - 7:50 (Carol Grimes, Delivery)
07."Fighting It Out" - 5:48 (Phil Miller)
08."Fools Meeting" - 5:27 (Carol Grimes, Delivery)

Bonus Tracks:
09."Harry Lucky" (Single A-side) - 3:41 (Pip Pyle, A.Benge, Steve Miller)
10."Home Made Ruin" (Single B-side) - 2:56
11."Is It Really The Same?" (Boz Burrell; C Sunday Concert, 3 December 1970) - 5:19
12."Blind To Your Light" (Boz Burrell; C Sunday Concert, 3 December 1970)
13."One For You" - 7:43 (from the Coxhill-Miller album, with Richard Sinclair) - 5:29 (Steve Miller)
14."Miserable Man" (Boz Burrell; C Sunday Concert, 3 December 1970) - 8:15

T.2. - It´ll All Work Out In Boomland (Suverän Hårdrock UK 1970)

340:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Superb Hårdrock. Gruppen släppte endast ett Album.

An obscure but now rare and quite sought-after album by a short-lived progressive rock trio. Formed in 1970, drummer Peter Dunton had previously been with Gun and Keith Cross and Bernard Jinks had been in Bulldog Breed. Some likened Cross to Eric Clapton and the group made a successful appearance at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival and had a residency at the Marquee for a while.

Their album contained an epic, 21-minute power rock cut, Morning, and is certainly one of the better early seventies progressive rock efforts. Another of its cuts, No More White Horses, had a great freaky ending.

Along with Clear Blue Sky and Bachbendel, T2 has enjoyed the status of true and forgotten gems of early 70's hard progressive rock, and like the other groups mentioned, their specialty is a hard guitar dominated rock with plenty of riffs. 

Another similarity between the three groups is that all members were particularly young at the time of recording, particularly guitarist/composer Keith Cross just being 15 or 16. Needless to say that the vinyls (of all three groups) fetched small fortunes until the records received a Cd issue in the mid-90's.

What we have here is a power trio that was so common from the Cream/JH Experience days, where the guitar plays the main role, but Cross also handling whatever KB parts present on the album. Drummer Dunton (no slouch at his instrument either) handles also the vocals (which are nothing out of the ordinary) and bassist Jinks provides a solid base to work upon. Needless to say that with the perpetrators being so young, this disc is not perfect and sometimes-downright naïve, but the results are truly impressive for novices such as them.

Opening track is a sizzling guitar-dominated lenghty hard-driven 100MPH track with great riffs (early Frank Marino style) and wild drumming underlining the semi improvised solos. The second track JLT is actually a showcase for Cross's keyboard works, he has quite a palette of them at hand and again, the results are surprisingly good. 

But the real highlight is No More White Horses - a track that was covered (and completely rekindled T2's legend) by Landberk in their first album (English version) - is close to being a masterpiece of its genre and it alone being worth the price of the Cd re-issue and is ending in total chaos.

Side 2 is made of one sidelong track, Morning, starting out as an acoustic, but slowly evolving into a frenzied hard rock track somewhere between Budgie, Wishbone Ash and Cressida. There are some lengths in this epic and it is overstaying its welcome just a tad, but this is a minor remark.

If you are now in your fourties and discovered this some 10-12 years ago, you should find this a rather good album, but nothing worth yelling over the rooftops its merits. If you are younger, chances are that your natural enthusiasm will make you love this beyond what normal wisdom should allow, and if you are contemplating investigating the album, beware of its rather overdone reputation. A good solid small gem, maybe but hardly a cornerstone either. 

01. In Circles  08:37
02. J. L. T.  05:55
03. No More White Horses  08:37
04. Morning  21:12

måndag 13 mars 2017

Black Sabbath - Never Say Die (SHM-CD, Super High Material CD) UK 1978

280:- (SHM-CD Limited Remaster Edition. Original innerpåse medföljer samt att konvolutet är "laminerat" som original albumet från 1978.)

No one could hold a candle to Black Sabbath for their first six albums, but in 1976 the knots frayed by bad contracts, fraudulent bookkeeping, alcohol and drug addiction and complete mental and physical exhaustion started to rapidly unravel. 1976’s Technical Ecstasy was an unfocused record without much bite. The end of an era came less than two years later when Black Sabbath released their final ‘70s album with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Never Say Die!, which came out Sept. 28, 1978.

The band started working on Never Say Die! in January 1978 at a time when few of the band members were capable of playing “Louie, Louie,” let alone writing a new album. In an effort to be progressive and innovative, they brought in horns, piano, clean guitars. The entire scene was a recipe for disaster, and it was a dish that would take a while to prepare even the initial stages of, since vocalist Ozzy Osbourne was nowhere to be found.

“We’d make plans to get together and he’d pull these disappearing acts,” guitarist Tony Iommi told me in 2010. “We were so far gone it would take us a while to notice he was missing. Someone would say, ‘Well, where’s Ozzy?’ And then we’d go, ‘Oh, well I guess he’s f—ed off again. He’ll be back soon.’ And that just meant me and Bill [Ward] would return to what we were doing, which wasn’t good for anybody, especially us – lots of drugs and drinking, mostly.”

One day Osbourne showed up, told his band mates he was quitting and then disappeared again. At that point Black Sabbath didn’t want to continue without their singer. But when Osbourne didn’t come back or even call, they hired ex-Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker to work with them on Never Say Die! After writing a handful of songs, Osbourne contacted Sabbath and said he wanted to work on the record but he wouldn’t sing on anything they wrote with Walker.

“The situation was a mess,” Iommi said. “We were already behind. So the record label was bothering us and we didn’t have anything to show them. Ozzy wants us to start all over. We’re writing in the day and trying to record at night. I think there was some good stuff there, but it’s hard to keep your footing when you feel like things are falling apart.”

Black Sabbath took three months off after Osbourne’s father died. The rest of Black Sabbath sympathized with Osbourne but didn’t want to wait six more months to finish. They did what they could during that time and even had drummer Bill Ward sing lead vocals on the album closer “Swinging the Chain.”
Finally Osbourne reconvened with his band mates at Sound Interchange Studios in Toronto, Ontario and tracked most of his vocals for Never Say Die!. When the final overdubs were done in May 1978, no one could have been happier than the band. “Let’s just say, well, it definitely wasn’t our finest hour,” Iommi said. “I can tell you that.”

While many have criticized the meandering composition and lack of aggression of Never Say Die!, Ward defended the album, claiming the adventurous forays into jazz on “Johnny Blade” and “Air Dance” were innovative and original.

Thanks in part to the hard rock self-titled single, which was propulsive, upbeat and free or horns and keys, Never Say Die! received a brief push at rock radio and debuted at No. 69 on the Billboard album chart. But the boost didn’t last and a tour with Van Halen was a wakeup call for Black Sabbath, whose groundbreaking sound was being usurped by a new breed of guitar heroes led by Eddie Van Halen.

Never Say Die! went gold in November 1997, more than 19 years after it was released and is still widely considered the least successful album of the original Ozzy era right above or below (depending on who you talk to) Technical Ecstasy. In 2013, Black Sabbath released 13, their first studio album with Osbourne on vocals in 35 year

01. "Never Say Die" 03:50
02. "Johnny Blade" 06:28
03. "Junior's Eyes" 06:42
04. "Hard Road" 06:04
05. "Shock Wave" 05:15
06. "Air Dance" 05:17
07. "Over to You" 05:22
08. "Breakout" (Instrumental) 02:35
09. "Swinging the Chain" 04:06

The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main ST (Ett Måste i Samlingen, UK 1972)

270:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Tillbehör medföljer såsom den långa bildsekvensen.)

Exile on Main St. is the tenth studio album by The Rolling Stones. Released as a double LP in May 1972, it draws on many genres including rock & roll, blues, country and soul and calypso. Exile on Main St. was initially greeted by reviewers with condemnation or high praise, but it has since become almost universally regarded as a masterpiece.

A remastered version of the album was released in Europe on 17 May 2010 and in the United States on 18 May 2010, featuring 10 new tracks, including "Plundered My Soul", "Dancing in the Light", "Following the River" and "Pass the Wine" as well as alternate versions of "Soul Survivor" and "Loving Cup".

Exile on Main St. is an album composed of songs written and recorded between 1968 and 1972. Of the earlier songs, the band's singer Mick Jagger said in 2003, "After we got out of our contract with Allen Klein, we didn't want to give him [those earlier tracks]," as they were forced to do with the songs "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses" from Sticky Fingers. Most were recorded between 1969 and 1971 at Olympic Studios and Jagger's Stargroves country house in England during sessions for Sticky Fingers.

By the spring of 1971, the Rolling Stones, who owed more taxes than they could pay, left England before the government would seize their assets. Mick Jagger settled in Paris with his new bride Bianca, and guitarist Keith Richards rented a luxurious villa, Nellcôte, in Villefranche-sur-Mer, near Nice. The other members settled in various places in the south of France. After unsuccessfully looking for a recording studio in France that would be suitable for the next Rolling Stones album, it was decided they would record at Nellcôte using the band's remote recording truck brought in from England.

Nellcôte Recording began in earnest sometime near the middle of June. The bassist Bill Wyman recalls the band working all night, every night, from eight in the evening until three the following morning for the rest of the month. Wyman said of that period, "Not everyone turned up every night. This was, for me, one of the major frustrations of this whole period. For our previous two albums we had worked well and listened to producer Jimmy Miller. At Nellcôte things were very different and it took me a while to understand why." By this time Richards had begun a daily habit of using heroin. Thousands of dollars of heroin flowed through the mansion each week in addition to a contingent of visitors that included William S. Burroughs, Terry Southern, Gram Parsons and Marshall Chess (who was running the Rolling Stones' new label). Parsons was asked to leave Nellcôte in early July, 1971, the result of his obnoxious behaviour and an attempt by Richards to clean the house of drug users as the result of pressure from the French police.

Richards' substance abuse prevented him from attending the sessions that continued in his basement, while Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman were often unable to attend sessions for other reasons. This often left the band in the position of having to record in altered forms. A notable instance was the recording of one of Richards' most famous songs, "Happy". Recorded in the basement, Richards said in 1982, "'Happy' was something I did because I was for one time early for a session. There was Bobby Keys and Jimmy Miller. We had nothing to do and had suddenly picked up the guitar and played this riff. So we cut it and it's the record, it's the same. We cut the original track with a baritone sax, a guitar and Jimmy Miller on drums. And the rest of it is built up over that track. It was just an afternoon jam that everybody said, 'Wow, yeah, work on it'".

The basic band for the Nellcôte sessions consisted of Richards, Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Miller (a skilled drummer in his own right who covered for the absent Watts on the aforementioned "Happy" and "Shine a Light"), and Jagger when he was available. Wyman did not like the ambience of Richards' villa and sat out many of the French sessions. As Wyman appeared on only eight songs of the released album, the other bass parts were played by Taylor, Richards and on four tracks, the upright bassist Bill Plummer. Wyman noted in his memoir Stone Alone that there was a dichotomy between the band members who freely indulged in drugs (Richards, Miller, Keys, Taylor, the engineer Andy Johns) and those who abstained to varying degrees (Wyman, Watts and Jagger).

Los Angeles Additional basic tracks (probably only "Rip this Joint", "Shake Your Hips", "Casino Boogie", "Happy", "Rocks Off", "Turd on the Run" and "Ventilator Blues") were begun in the basement of Nellcôte and taken to Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles where numerous overdubs (all piano and keyboard parts, all lead and backing vocals, all guitar and bass overdubs) were added during sessions that meandered from December 1971 until May 1972. Some tracks (such as "Torn and Frayed" and "Loving Cup") were freshly recorded in Los Angeles. Although Jagger (who had recently wed Bianca Jagger) was frequently missing from Nellcôte, he took charge during the second stage of recording in Los Angeles, arranging for the keyboardists Billy Preston and Dr John and the cream of the city's session backup vocalists to record layers of overdubs. The final gospel-inflected arrangements of "Tumbling Dice", "Loving Cup", "Let It Loose" and "Shine a Light" were inspired by Jagger and Preston's visit to a local evangelical church.

The extended recording sessions and differing methods on the part of Jagger and Richards reflected the growing disparity in their personal lives. During the making of the album, Jagger had married which was followed by the birth of their only child, Jade in October 1971. Richards was firmly attached to his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, yet both were in the throes of heroin addiction, which Richards would not overcome until the turn of the decade. Even though the album is often described as being Richards' finest moment, as Exile is often thought to reflect his vision for a raw, rootsy rock sound, Jagger was already expressing his boredom with rock and roll in several interviews at the time of the album's release. With Richards' effectiveness seriously undermined by his dependence on heroin, the group's subsequent 1970s releases—directed largely by Jagger—would experiment in varying degrees with other musical genres, moving away from the roots-based sound of Exile on Main St.

Release and reception
Preceded by the UK and US Top 10 hit "Tumbling Dice", Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. It was an immediate commercial success, reaching #1 worldwide just as the band embarked on their celebrated 1972 American Tour. Their first American tour in three years, it featured many songs from the new album. "Happy", sung by Richards, would be a Top 30 US hit later that summer.

Many critics judged Exile on Main St. to be a ragged and impenetrable record at the time of its release. Lenny Kaye, writing in Rolling Stone magazine, was typical of contemporary critics who did not consider the album as anything special. According to Kaye, "[t]here are songs that are better, there are songs that are worse, and others you'll probably lift the needle for when the time is due." Kaye concludes by assuring his readers that "the great Stones album of their mature period is yet to come".

On the initial critical and commercial reaction, Richards said, "When [Exile] came out it didn't sell particularly well at the beginning, and it was also pretty much universally panned. But within a few years the people who had written the reviews saying it was a piece of crap were extolling it as the best frigging album in the world."

Other critics praised the album's rawness and different styles, from blues to country to soul. The music critic Robert Christgau concluded in 1972: "Incontrovertibly the year’s best, this fagged-out masterpiece is the summum of Rock ’72. Exile explores new depths of record-studio murk, burying Mick's voice under layers of cynicism, angst, and ennui."

In 1994 Exile on Main St. was remastered and reissued by Virgin Records.

The original double album contained 12 black-and-white postcards featuring the Rolling Stones in the company of two unidentified women.

Band appraisal
At the time of Exile's release, Jagger said, "This new album is fucking mad. There's so many different tracks. It's very rock & roll, you know. I didn't want it to be like that. I'm the more experimental person in the group, you see I like to experiment. Not go over the same thing over and over. Since I've left England, I've had this thing I've wanted to do. I'm not against rock & roll, but I really want to experiment. The new album's very rock & roll and it's good. I mean, I'm very bored with rock & roll. The revival. Everyone knows what their roots are, but you've got to explore everywhere. You've got to explore the sky too."

In 2003, Jagger said, "Exile is not one of my favourite albums, although I think the record does have a particular feeling. I'm not too sure how great the songs are, but put together it's a nice piece. However, when I listen to Exile it has some of the worst mixes I've ever heard. I'd love to remix the record, not just because of the vocals, but because generally I think it sounds lousy. At the time Jimmy Miller was not functioning properly. I had to finish the whole record myself, because otherwise there were just these drunks and junkies. Of course I'm ultimately responsible for it, but it's really not good and there's no concerted effort or intention." Jagger also stated he didn't understand the praise amongst Rolling Stones' fans because the album did not yield very many hits.[According to the Rolling Stones, the Rolling Stones, Chronicle Books, October 2003.]

Of the album, Richards said, "Exile was a double album. And because it's a double album you're going to be hitting different areas, including 'D for Down', and the Stones really felt like exiles. We didn't start off intending to make a double album; we just went down to the south of France to make an album and by the time we'd finished we said, 'We want to put it all out.' The point is that the Stones had reached a point where we no longer had to do what we were told to do. Around the time Andrew Oldham left us, we'd done our time, things were changing and I was no longer interested in hitting Number One in the charts every time. What I want to do is good shit--if it's good they'll get it some time down the road."

Greeted with decidedly mixed reviews upon its original release, Exile on Main St. has become generally regarded as the Rolling Stones' finest album. Part of the reason why the record was initially greeted with hesitant reviews is that it takes a while to assimilate. A sprawling, weary double album encompassing rock & roll, blues, soul, and country, Exile doesn't try anything new on the surface, but the substance is new. Taking the bleakness that underpinned Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers to an extreme, Exile is a weary record, and not just lyrically. Jagger's vocals are buried in the mix, and the music is a series of dark, dense jams, with Keith Richards and Mick Taylor spinning off incredible riffs and solos. And the songs continue the breakthroughs of their three previous albums.

No longer does their country sound forced or kitschy — it's lived-in and complex, just like the group's forays into soul and gospel. While the songs, including the masterpieces "Rocks Off," "Tumbling Dice," "Torn and Frayed," "Happy," "Let It Loose," and "Shine a Light," are all terrific, they blend together, with only certain lyrics and guitar lines emerging from the murk. It's the kind of record that's gripping on the very first listen, but each subsequent listen reveals something new. Few other albums, let alone double albums, have been so rich and masterful as Exile on Main St., and it stands not only as one of the Stones' best records, but sets a remarkably high standard for all of hard rock.

01. "Rocks Off" 4:31
02. "Rip This Joint" 2:22
03. "Shake Your Hips" (Slim Harpo) 2:59
04. "Casino Boogie" 3:33
05. "Tumbling Dice" 3:45
06. "Sweet Virginia" 4:25
07. "Torn and Frayed" 4:17
08. "Sweet Black Angel" 2:54
09. "Loving Cup" 4:25
10. "Happy" 3:04
11. "Turd on the Run" 2:36
12. "Ventilator Blues" (Jagger/Richards/Taylor) 3:24
13. "I Just Want to See His Face" 2:52
14. "Let It Loose" 5:16
15. "All Down the Line" 3:49
16. "Stop Breaking Down" (Robert Johnson) 4:34
17. "Shine a Light" 4:14
18. "Soul Survivor" 3:49

lördag 11 mars 2017

Bridget St. John - Hello Again, A Collection of Rare Tracks 1968-72

260:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. John Peel Recordings, Demos & BBC Recordings 1968-72)

For several years in the late '60s and early '70s, Bridget St. John was one of the leading lights of the British folk scene, a gifted vocalist and guitarist who also wrote intelligent, impressionistic songs that impressed many of her contemporaries and made a fan of legendary BBC disc jockey John Peel, who once described her as "the best lady singer/songwriter in the country." She was born Bridget Hobbs in South London on October 4, 1946, and grew up in a musical household where her mother and sisters were all accomplished pianists. St. John took piano lessons at her mother's behest, but she didn't get along with her teacher and quit when she was 11. After studying the viola for a while, St. John bought a guitar with 20 pounds her grandmother gave her shortly before she finished high school. While attending Sheffield University, she learned to play her guitar and fell in with the budding British folk music community, making friends with guitarist and songwriter John Martyn. St. John soon began appearing at leading folk venues in the U.K., where she crossed paths with Nick Drake, Paul Simon, and David Bowie, among others.

Ask Me No Questions As her reputation grew, she met John Peel, who was immediately impressed with her talent. St. John made her first appearance on BBC Radio in 1968, and when Peel launched his Dandelion Records label, she was one of the first acts signed. St. John recorded three albums for Dandelion -- 1969's Ask Me No Questions, 1971's Songs for a Gentle Man, and 1972's Thank You For … -- and while they received strong reviews, sales were middling, and St. John was forced to look for a new label when Dandelion went under in late 1972. She recorded a fourth album for Chrysalis Records, 1974's Jumblequeen, and provided backing vocals on albums by Mike Oldfield, Kevin Ayers, and Michael Chapman. 

But St. John's career took a dramatic left turn when she traveled to the United States in 1976 and opted to stay, making a new home in New York's Greenwich Village. While she played occasional club shows during her first few years in New York, she soon retired as a performer, and was rarely heard from in the '80s. St. John began to re-emerge in the '90s, appearing with the Strawbs at a New York performance in 1993, performing a handful of U.K. club gigs, releasing a collection of rare and unreleased recordings (Take the 5ifth) in 1995, and appearing at a Nick Drake tribute show in 1999. 

Since then, St. John has performed occasionally in the United States, Britain, and Japan, though on a leisurely schedule. In 2010, Cherry Red Records released a single-disc compilation, A Pocketful of Starlight: The Best of Bridget St. John, that included some newly recorded songs alongside her best-known recordings, and the same label in 2015 issued The Dandelion Albums & BBC Recordings Collection, which featured all three albums St. John recorded for Dandelion (with bonus tracks) and highlights from her BBC radio sessions.

01. Bridget St. John - Moody

02. Elisa Randazzo & Bridget St. John - He Faded
03. Bridget St. John - Come Up And See Me Sometime
04. Phosphene featuring Bridget St. John - See A Sign Defined
05. Bridget St. John - Pig 'N' Peel
06. Elisa Randazzo & Bridget St. John - Goodbye
07. Bridget St. John - Ask Me No Questions
08. Bridget St. John - Lizard Long Tongue Boy
09. Bridget St. John & Robin Frederick - This Is The Story
10. Bridget St. John - Easy-Come, Easy-Go
11. Bridget St. John - Hello Again (Of Course)
12. Bridget St. John - To B. Without A Hitch
13. Bridget St. John - Curious And Woolly
14. Bridget St. John - The Hole In Your Heart

Gravy Train - Ballad of a Peaceful Man (2nd Album UK Hardrock 1971)

270:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Endast utgiven i denna version. Laminerat konvolut. Svår att få tag i då den släpptes år 2000.)

Released in late 1971, (A Ballad of) A Peaceful Man was Gravy Train's second - and probably their most praised - album. Unlike their heavier debut, this album sports some lovely string arrangements, provided by Nick Harrison.

A unique feature of the album is that it splits the heavy tracks from the lighter tracks: all the ballads are on side 1, while all the rockers are on side 2.

Among the lesser-feted jewels released by the Vertigo label during its swirly-logo purple patch, Gravy Train's restful hybrid of jazz-tinged virtuosity, folky pastorals, and heartfelt vocalizing peaks on this, their second album, and that despite A Ballad of a Peaceful Man doing little more than treading water when compared to the experimental peaks of its predecessor. 

Part of the album's appeal lies in the then-novel concept of splitting its contents neatly in half, the hard rockers on one side, the softer material on the other. On the whole, the ballads have dated a lot better than the monsters, particularly "Alone in Georgia," which clashes sweet soul with (of all things!) Southern rock and, for some reason, sounds a lot like the Heavy Metal Kids. 

But that is not to denounce the sheer power of the band in full flood. The title track postulates an unholy collision of Uriah Heep and Atomic Rooster, and shows off Norman Barrett's vocals to maximum effect, while "Won't Talk About It" is almost stubbornly likable, and that despite prophesying every yowling power ballad of the '80s and beyond. Best of all, though, is the spookily atmospheric "Home Again," all throbbing percussion, primal flute, and timeless melancholy. On an album that flirts across a variety of moods, the moodiest track of all makes for a breathtaking finale. 


♦ Norman Barrett – Guitar, Vocals 
♦ Barry Davenport – Drums 
♦ J.D. Hughes – Keyboards, Vocals, Wind 
♦ Lester Williams – Bass, Vocals 

01. "Alone in Georgia" – 4:35 

02. "(A Ballad Of) A Peaceful Man" – 7:06 
03. "Julie's Delight" – 6:58 
04. "Messenger" – 5:58 
05. "Can Anybody Hear Me" – 2:59 
06. "Old Tin Box" – 4:45 
07. "Won't Talk about It" – 3:00 
08. "Home Again" – 3:25 

Mountain - Climbing (Outstanding 1st Album US 1970)

280:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Släpptes 2008 och är det mest efterfrågade albumet. Deras bästa album.)

Climbing! is the formal debut album by American hard rock band Mountain, although Leslie West had released Mountain a year earlier with a similar personnel. It was certified gold after only five months, and contains several of the group's most memorable songs, including "Never in My Life""For Yasgur's Farm", the Jack Bruce-composed "Theme From An Imaginary Western", and their signature "Mississippi Queen", which has been covered by many artists, including Ozzy Osbourne.

Some consider Led Zeppelin IV, Black Sabbath's Paranoid and Deep Purple's Machine Head as hard rock's holy trinity, but I think "Mountain Climbing" belongs right there with them. Leslie West's fat guitar and powerful vocals along with Corky Lang's pounding drums and Felix Pappalardi's smooth voice, heavy bass and production skills makes this album a primer in what hard rock should be. The songwriting and performances are exuisite throughout. There is not a dead spot on this album. Felix Pappalardi's production, which helped make Cream's albums so great, is carried on in Mountain.

Besides the cowbell laden hit "Mississippi Queen," this album also has the grinding "Never In My Life" and the beautiful "Theme From An Imaginary Western." In contrast, Leslie West has the solo acoustic song "To My Friend" and Pappalardi the soft trance like "The Laird" to add different dynamics to the album, and both succeed. The Cream-like "Boys In The Band" rounds out the album with glorious "woman tone" ala Disreali Gears, from West's guitar. "Climbing" is one of hard rock's finest moments.

01."Mississippi Queen" - 2:32
02."Theme For an Imaginary Western" - 5:07
03."Never in My Life" – 3:53
04."Silver Paper" – 3:18
05."For Yasgur's Farm" – 3:23
06."To My Friend" - 3:38
07."Laird" - 4:39
08."Sittin' on a Rainbow" - 2:22
09."The Boys in the Band" – 3:43
10."For Yasgur's Farm" (Live) – 4:18

lördag 4 mars 2017

Jimmy "Handyman" Jones - Good Timin' (Rare R&B US 1960)

240:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Mycket bra R&B. Litet japanskt skivbolag med en liten upplaga.)

James "Jimmy" Jones (June 2, 1937 – August 2, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter who moved to New York while a teenager. According to Allmusic journalist Steve Huey, "best known for his 1960 R&B smash, 'Handy Man,' Jones sang in a smooth yet soulful falsetto modeled on the likes of Clyde McPhatter and Sam Cooke."

Jones was born in Birmingham, Alabama. His first job in the entertainment industry was as a tap dancer. He joined a doo-wop group named the Berliners in 1954. They later changed their name to Sparks Of Rhythm. In 1955 Jones co-wrote "Handy Man", which was recorded by the Sparks Of Rhythm in 1956 (after Jones left the group). After recording with other groups, Jones went solo and, in 1959, teamed up with Otis Blackwell who reworked "Handy Man" which Jones recorded on the subsidiary MGM record label, Cub. 

Jimmy Jones - UK Single June 1960
When the flute player did not show up for the session, Blackwell famously whistled on the recording. "Handy Man", released in 1959, gave Jones his first US and UK hit single. "Handy Man" went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, and peaked at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. "Handy Man", which introduced a rock falsetto singing style to the British audience, later scored hits for Del Shannon and James Taylor. A few months later in 1960, Jones' recording of "Good Timin'" climbed to No. 1 in the UK and No. 3 in the US. Both "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'" were million sellers, earning Jones two gold discs.

Although Jones had only the two million-selling Top 40 hits, he nevertheless kept active in the music industry as both a songwriter and recording artist and made personal appearances as he saw fit. Jones' subsequent career was low key, although it included three more UK chart entries in the following twelve months. Jones remained with Cub until 1962, and then recorded for the next decade for a variety of labels, including Bell, Parkway, Roulette, and Vee-Jay.

Del Shannon cited Jones and Bill Kenny as influences on his falsetto style. Later singers who used falsetto included Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons, Lou Christie, Robert John, and Barry Gibb. Gibb cited Shannon, in turn, as an influence for his disco vocalizations with the Bee Gees. He released Grandma's Rock & Roll Party in the 1990s on CD, perhaps, in part due to his popularity in the UK Northern soul circles. It included new versions of "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'". 

01. Good Timin'
02. A Wondrous Place
03. Never Had It So Good
04. For You
05. Where In The World
06. Then I'll Know
07. Handy Man
08. Too Long Will Be Too Late
09. My Precious Angel
10. Ready For Love
11. The Search Is Over
12. I Just Go For You

John Little John's - Chicago Blues Stars (Bra Bluesalbum US 1969)

250:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Bra amerikansk blues från 1969 med två bonusspår. Gavs ut av P-Vine Japan, 1012)

This November 14, 1968, session was recorded in Chicago, co-produced by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and Willie Dixon. It's decent, though journeyman, '60s electric Chicago blues augmented by a couple of tenor saxes. Littlejohn has a pleasant voice and is a skilled guitarist, but does not have the fire or individuality that leaps from some of the musicians to whom one might compare him. 

Those might include figures like Buddy Guy, say, or Elmore James' more fully produced sides, or on something like "Catfish Blues," the Muddy Waters approach. Littlejohn did write most of the dozen tunes, interspersed with covers of songs by James, Dixon, Brook Benton (a refreshingly unusual choice for a mainstream '60s Chicago bluesman), and J.B. Lenoir.

John Littlejohn's stunning mastery of the slide guitar somehow never launched him into the major leagues of bluesdom. Only on a handful of occasions was the Chicago veteran's vicious bottleneck attack captured effectively on wax, but anyone who experienced one of his late-night sessions as a special musical guest on the Windy City circuit will never forget the crashing passion in his delivery. Delta-bred John Funchess first heard the blues just before he reached his teens at a fish fry where a friend of his father's named Henry Martin was playing guitar. He left home in 1946, pausing in Jackson, Mississippi; Arkansas; and Rochester, New York before winding up in Gary, Indiana. In 1951, he began inching his way into the Gary blues scene, his Elmore James-influenced slide style making him a favorite around Chicago's south suburbs in addition to steel mill-fired Gary.

Littlejohn waited an unconscionably long time to wax his debut singles for Margaret (his trademark treatment of Brook Benton's "Kiddio"), T-D-S, and Weis in 1968. But before the year was out, Littlejohn had also cut his debut album, Chicago Blues Stars, for Chris Strachwitz's Arhoolie logo. It was a magnificent debut, the guitarist blasting out a savage Chicago/Delta hybrid rooted in the early '50s rather than its actual timeframe. 

Unfortunately, a four-song 1969 Chess date remained in the can. After that, another long dry spell preceded Littlejohn's 1985 album So-Called Friends for Rooster Blues, an ambitious but not altogether convincing collaboration between the guitarist and a humongous horn section that sometimes grew to eight pieces. The guitarist had been in poor health for some time prior to his 1994 passing.

01. What In The World You Goin' To Do

02. Treat Me Wrong
03. Catfish Blues
04. Kiddeo
05. Slidin' Home
06. Dream
07. Reelin' And Rockin'
08. Been Around The World
09. How Much More Long
10. Shake Your Money Maker


11. I'm Tired
12. Nowhere To Lay My Head

tisdag 28 februari 2017

Colosseum - Collosseum Live (Great Album UK 1971)

320:- (Blu-Spec CD Limited Remaster Edition. (Original innerfodral i röd plast. Senaste remasteringen från WaSabi Records.)

Colosseum Live is a live album by Colosseum, released in 1971.

This album was recorded at Manchester University (March 18, 1971) and the Big Apple, Brighton (March 27, 1971), on the "Daughter of Time" tour. After "Colosseum Live", the band broke up for 23 years and reunited in 1994.

Colosseum is a British progressive jazz-rock band formed in 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman, tenor sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith and bass player Tony Reeves, who had previously worked together in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Dave Greenslade, on (organ), was immediately recruited, and the line-up was completed by Jim Roche on (guitar). Roche only recorded one track before being replaced by James Litherland, (guitar and vocals).

Colosseum made their live debut in Newcastle and were promptly recorded by influential BBC Radio One DJ John Peel for his Top Gear Radio program. This appearance gained them valuable exposure and critical acclaim.

Colosseum's first album, Those Who Are About To Die Salute You, was released by the Fontana label in 1969. Colosseum's second album, also in 1969, was Valentyne Suite, notable as the first release from Vertigo Records, the first label to sign heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. Vertigo Records was a branch of Philips, established to sign and develop artists that did not fit the main Philips Records brand.

Dave "Clem" Clempson replaced James Litherland for the third album, The Grass Is Greener, released in 1970 and only in the United States. Louis Cennamo then replaced Tony Reeves on bass, but was replaced by Mark Clarke within a month, and Hiseman recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe to enable Clempson to concentrate on guitar. This is considered to be the definitive Colosseum line-up, which partly already recorded the 1970 album Daughter of Time.

In March 1971, the band recorded its concerts at the Big Apple in Brighton and at Manchester University. Hiseman was impressed with the atmosphere at the Manchester show, and the band returned five days later for a free concert that was also recorded. The recordings were released as a live double album in 1971, Colosseum Live, shortly before the original band broke up.

After the band split, Jon Hiseman formed Tempest with bassist Mark Clarke; Dave Greenslade formed Greenslade with Tony Reeves; Clem Clempson joined Humble Pie; Chris Farlowe joined Atomic Rooster; and Dick Heckstall-Smith embarked on a solo career.

Hiseman reformed the group as Colosseum II in 1975, with a stronger orientation towards jazz-fusion rock and a new lineup, featuring guitarist Gary Moore, and Don Airey on keyboards. Colosseum II released four albums before disbanding in 1978.

Colosseum reunited for a tour in 1994, the catalyst for a live CD, DVD releases, and new studio releases. Expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live were also released, as well as several compilation albums.

Hiseman's wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, joined the band on various occasions after the 2004 death of Dick Heckstall-Smith and is now a permanent member of the band.

01."Rope Ladder to the Moon" (Pete Brown/Jack Bruce) – 9:43
02."Walking in the Park" (Graham Bond) – 8:21
03."Skelington" (Dave Clempson/Jon Hiseman) – 14:52
04."Tanglewood '63" (Mike Gibbs) – 10:12
05."Encore...Stormy Monday Blues" (T-Bone Walker) – 7:29
06."Lost Angeles" (Dave Greenslade/Dick Heckstall-Smith/Chris Farlowe) – 15:43
07."I Can't Live Without You" (James Litherland) – 7:28  

Yoko Ono - Plastic Ono Band (UK 1970) (Canadian Edition w. Foldout Cover)

280:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. (Canada utgåva med utvik omslag + bonus tracks. Ovanlig utgåva från Japan som Mini LP.)

Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is the avant-garde debut studio album by Yoko Ono. The album came after recording three experimental releases with John Lennon and a live album as a member of The Plastic Ono Band.


With the exception of "AOS", a 1968 live recording, the entire album was recorded in one afternoon in October 1970 during the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band sessions at Ascot Sound Studios and Abbey Road Studios, using the same musicians and production team. Also recorded on this day were "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)" which ended up on the next album Fly, and "Between the Takes" which was released on Fly's 1998 CD reissue. 

Foldout Atwork

"Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City" was based around a sample from a discarded tape of George Harrison playing a sitar and a Ringo Starr drum break with an added echo effect plus Ono's vocals with a lyric referencing a miscarriage. Ono's vocalisations on tracks such as "Why" and "Why Not" mixed hetai, a Japanese vocal technique from kabuki theatre, with modern rock 'n roll and raw aggression influenced by the then-popular primal therapy that Lennon and Ono had been undertaking. According to Ono, the recording engineers were in the habit of turning off the recording equipment when she began to perform-- which is why, at the end of "Why", Lennon can be heard asking "Were you gettin' that?".

Initially on Apple Records, through EMI, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band was released to considerable critical disdain in 1970, at a time when Ono was being widely blamed for disbanding The Beatles. Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band failed to chart in the UK but reached number 182 in the US. Notable exceptions were the estimations of Billboard who called it 'visionary' and critic Lester Bangs who supported it in Rolling Stone. More recently, the album has been credited (like those of The Velvet Underground) with having an influence, particularly on musicians, grossly disproportionate to its sales and visibility. Critic David Browne of Entertainment Weekly has credited the album with "launching a hundred or more female alternative rockers, like Kate Pierson & Cindy Wilson of the B-52s to current thrashers like L7 and Courtney Love of Hole".


The covers of Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band and John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band albums are nearly identical; Lennon pointed out the difference in their 1980 Playboy interview ("In Yoko's, she's leaning back on me; in mine, I'm leaning on her"). The photos were taken with a cheap Instamatic camera on the grounds of Tittenhurst Park (their home at the time) by actor Daniel Richter (as listed in the album's credits), who was working as their assistant.

01. Why 05:37 [An edited version became the B-side to Lennon's single "Mother"]
02. Why Not 09:55 [Excerpted in a 1980 RKO Radio tribute, featuring Lennon's last recorded interview]
03. Greenfield Morning... 05:38 [The title and lyrics come from Ono's book Grapefruit]
04. AOS 07:06 [Featuring Ornette Coleman, recorded on 29 February 1968, predating the rest of the material]
05. Touch Me 04:37 [Also selected as a B-side, to "Power to the People", replacing Ono's "Open Your Box" for the US market]
06. Paper Shoes 07:26 [Referenced by Lennon during the 1980 RKO interview]

Bonus Tracks
07. Open Your Box 07:35
08. Something More Abstract 00:44
09. Why (Extended Version) 08:40
10. The South Wind 16:41