12/14/14

Melanie - At Central Park (1974)

You may think I already said that a million times before about other Melanie live sets but honestly this is my favorite. Never she has been so intense, intimate, moving, thrilling, concentrate, subtile in her voice. Don't know why to play at Central Park on this 15th of June 1974 gave her so much qualities, maybe the fact that it was open air and in her city. Each song is here in one of its best version (listen to "Do You Believe", someone can't help to applause in the middle of the song) and the setlist has nothing to do with the too often "greatest hits" she delivered (and still does) in her shows. Many covers (most of them were in Madrugada, the LP she released the same year) but all in the same mood, reflective, melancholic, deep and personal. The "Wild Horses" cover is particularly extraordinary. The way Melanie takes the Stones songs (the previous one was "Ruby Tuesday" and not only make them her own but also gave them a new depth is unique, except of course Billie Holiday and Nina Simone). This has, to my knowledge, never been released on any vinyl, CD or MP3 files. I found these songs on youtube, posted by Ian Walker. I only converted the MP4 files in MP3 and did a fake cover (with a Central Park concert picture shot in the period and on the back side a picture of Melanie at the relevant concert but I'm not certain) to wrap these 10 gems. A way to have them with you on any support. Don't know why nobody has ever released this on record? Maybe it was too early after the (much less good) Carnegie Hall double live LP released the previous year. And it's even better than the Paris Theatre concert released in only 100 vinyl pieces but that you can find here (I have to re-up it). Played after the Madrugada LP, her second commercial fail, Melanie seemed to still have the crowd affection but her star was fading. A shame when listening to this fantastic set. Catch it here. Still more diamonds from this beloved singer to be found later on FS. All the youtube versions are below.


12/13/14

Dave Cousins - Plays Strawbs Demos (1972 - 77)

If I re-up this compilation of Strawbs demos by Dave Cousins, it's not because anyone asked me to, but because I'm reading Exorcizing Ghosts, the Dave Cousins autobiography and for the first time of my life, I feel in complete empathy with the man behind the words. Most of these books are informative and evocative but rarely provide a sense of proximity with the author. This does. So, among the numerous Strawbs posts on FS (since it is as usual visitors may know), I decided to re-up this one cos' it's the one in which we actually feel the tightest proximity with Dave Cousins. Strange I posted it pratically 2 years ago (Dec 15th). A wonderful piece of music and a testimony of what sounded prog Strawbs songs before their band treatment. Catch it here.

Another compilation I'm very proud of. Demos by Dave Cousins playing songs he would try with Strawbs between 1972 and 1977 (actually, only the "Rip It Off Blues" made me included 1972 in the time frame since most of these demos were for the period from Hero and Heroine to Deadlines). Of course there are surely much more demos to be released in future reissues but there's enough to propose a first compilation. Cos' I don't believe that these demos are only for historical purposes. On the contrary, Dave Cousins' playing and singing are so strong, and his songs so much appropriate to an alone-acoustic format that this fake LP can be listened to as to a real solo album. And moreover, some songs (such as "Lemon Pie" and most of the Deadlines ones), are here in much better versions than once played by the band and (most importantly) badly produced. What's incredible is to realize that during his so-called progressive period, Dave Cousins was composing songs that could have been played 5 or 6 years earlier when Strawbs were an all trad. folk acoustic band (just listen to "So Shall Our Love Die", here in a totally sublime version). And even the Deadlines demos show that he had lost none of his previous talent and was still writing classic Strawbs songs. Of course there's "Deadly Nightshade", one of his best, here played to the bone and still better than with the band's skin. If ever the production and the instrumental choices (linked to this awful 1975-77 period) had not destroyed the songs, we could have appreciated it much more when they had been released on the official albums. So, I don't hesitate to say that this compilation is one of the best thing ever recorded during the seventies. Hope future reissues (of Deep Cuts and Burning For You) will give us some more of these acoustic demo gems. For the cover sleeve, I used a nice picture of a strawberry  tattooe, but I don't remember where I found it so I can't credit either the photographer or the skin owner. Sorry. Hope this will provide some beauty to those coming here to get something to hear.


12/12/14

Vic Chesnutt - Live at the Lido - Berlin (2007)



Nobody asked me for this re-up but I do it anyway cos' tonight it's the only music I can listen to (specially the At The Cut album) and it's a shame that this Berlin live set is no more available on FS. Don't forget these artists who put into words and music the tragedy of human condition. Catch it here.

I must say that I have been quite late to find how I appreciated Vic Chesnutt, a sort of contempory Kevin Coyne with something of the doomest Neil Young in him and Peter Hammill's too. His last (in all senses of the term since he died soon after) album in 2009 was a true coup-de-coeur. And now I feel a little dumb to revisit his career. But this is how things are. Here is a concert that he played in Berlin on the 28 November of 2007 and you won't hear something more moving, intense and touching than this. And moreover with a rather excellent sound. The version of "Coward" played here is simply one of the most moving song you'll hear in your entier life, even if, like me you're an Alex Harvey, Peter Hammill, Kevin Coyne, Mark Perry and Jacques Brel fan. There is also a version of the Melanie-revised Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" (mispelled on the self-made back cover, excuse me, it's too often these days) in an absolutely stunning version. Very happy that he introduces it saying it's a Melanie song. However most of the songs are from the North Star Deserter album. The format is in wma since when I put it in mp3 it becomes monstruously big. PS. I've also forgotten to add the last song, "Over" on the back cover sleeve. It's time to let this blog a little on the halt.



"Marathon", extracted from this concert


Some days before, in Vienna, the exceptional "Coward"



12/11/14

Kim Fowley - Sunset Boulevard (1978)



Some of you ask for a pooled re-up of all the material I previously posted about one artist/band, but my choice is to re-up stuff one by one (with some new things inbetweens) and make of each re-up a day post. So, sorry, but it'll take some time to have all Alain Kan, Melanie or Kim Fowley songs available again. Here is an excellent and underrated Kim Fowley LP released in 1978. All details are in the text I wrote for the initial post. Catch here this re-up on M that, hitherto, never failed and never caused me or visitors any problem.

Recorded between 1976 and 1978 in Hamburg (the 3 first songs of side 1), London (the 3 first songs of side 2) and LA-West Hollywood (the rest), this album has always been one of my KF fave although I admit that the Hamburg songs are rather weak and dated. But all in all, there's enough to make it a wonderful sonor companion to "International Heroes". Styles are incredibly varied, from a sort of late 70's soul-disco (the Hamburg songs) to the Dylanesque style of "In My Garage", via the splendid rough rock of Earl Mankey's "Negative", the Motownesque "North American Man", the glorious "Teenage Death Girl" (could have been a Runaway track) and of course talk-over experimental pieces such as "Sunset Boulevard". There's also a reworked version "Control" that seems to be directly out of the 'I'm Bad" LP. And you can find a delicately musically backed tale half-sung half-talked "Black Camels of Lavender Hill". One of his best success in this rather risky style. Tom Waits comes to mind when listening to this piece. And the album closes with one of his most extraordinary track, the fast-as-an-evil-car "Blow Up". Released by Illegal Record, it's a shame (and a guilty one) that it had never been reissued in CD version. Here is an official vinyl rip off that can be bought on some commercial sites. Rather better than the ones you can find on the net on various blogs, and better than the one I could have done (I'm not the king of vinyl rip-off I must say). Hope some day, a correct reedition will be out. Meanwhile, you got this if you don't own the vinyl LP. It's, for any KF amateur, an unavoidable link in the long chain of records created by the master of space glam and cosmos madness. I would like to add that all the real KF fans feel clearly than under his provocative fake megalomania and chaotic lyrical world there's a true melancholic and modest way of seeing the world (and himself). Trying to do everyday a larger than life day is the manifestation of how he considers boring usual life. Sorry for the weak resolution of the cover sleeves, my large format scan is out for months and I got no money to buy a new one. If you buy the vinyl, you'll have the lyrics in, and KF's words to explain each song. Below a picture of Kim Fowley with the same girl than on the cover sleeve, actually his then wife Cindy X Fowley, and below with Diane Diamond, who co-wrote 3 songs on the album ("In My Garage", "Love Is A Game" and "Blow Up").








Alain Z Kan - Live(s) EP (1979 ?)


A re-up of some live recordings by Alain Kan. One song is a Piaf cover and another one a musical adaptation of the famous Artaud text about drug legislation. There's some other rare material from this artist I have to er-up in the future but here's one. Keep patience. Catch it here.

This is a rare and essential testimony (withouth enough "mony" for him I fear) of Alain Z. Kan on stage. I got this recording by the same pathway than the unreleased ones posted earlier so I don't know which year this was recorded. I suppose it is around the Whatever Happened To LP, i.e., 1979, since "Le Charter" was on it. The 2 other "songs" are still more extra-ordinary than is this one. You won't find anything like this in entire anglo-american music (even Peter Hammill, Alex Harvey, Kevin Coyne, Nick Cave, David Yow or Eugene Robinson did not offer such a personal dilaceration) but you can in France (and Belgium) since only Edith Piaf, Léo Ferré and Jacques Brel were able to go that far in the representation of extreme feelings. The first is a musical transcription of the letter Antonin Artaud wrote to the politics who voted the law forbidding to sell drugs (and in particular opium) in drugstores (in fact pharmacies as we say here in France). It was called "Lettre au Législateur de la Loi sur les Stupéfiants" ("Letter to the legislator of the law on the narcotics"). No mystery than Alain Kan's interpretation is not only an historical and artistical one. His evocation of anguish takes your guts upside down. Do the experience. And if you are not French speaking, try to find an English translation of this letter (I did not find it on the net). The other song was initially sung by... Edith Piaf (what a surprise) and it's "Les Blouses Blanches" ("White Scrubs", a game on the same word designing in French the medical scrub and a little white dress). It was an audacious song by Edith Piaf at the time, and Alain Kan sings it with an intensity that is as provocative for today's times (at least at the end of the seventies) that it was in 1960. It was on the Heureusement qu'en France on ne se drogue pas LP in 1976 that you can find on the CD-box compiling his 3 first albums. I could go on and on for hours about Alain Kan, even in my poor English, but it is useless.




Lettre au Législateur de la Loi sur les Stupéfiants, par Antonin Artaud. Monsieur le législateur, Monsieur le législateur de la loi de 1916, agrémentée du décret de juillet 1917 sur les stupéfiants, tu es un con. Ta loi ne sert qu'à embêter la pharmacie mondiale sans profit pour l'étiage toxicomanique de la nation parce que : 1° Le nombre des toxicomanes qui s'approvisionnent chez le pharmacien est infime ; 2° Les vrais toxicomanes ne s'approvisionnent pas chez le pharmacien ; 3° Les toxicomanes qui s'approvisionnent chez le pharmacien sont tous des malades ; 4° Le nombre des toxicomanes malades est infime par rapport à celui des toxicomanes voluptueux ; 5° Les restrictions pharmaceutiques de la drogue ne gêneront jamais les toxicomanes voluptueux et organisés ; 6° Il y aura toujours des fraudeurs ; 7° Il y aura toujours des toxicomanes par vice de forme, par passion ; 8° Les toxicomanes malades ont sur la société un droit imprescriptible, qui est celui qu'on leur foute la paix. C'est avant tout une question de conscience. La loi sur les stupéfiants met entre les mains de l'inspecteur-usurpateur de la santé publique le droit de disposer de la douleur des hommes ; c'est une prétention singulière de la médecine moderne que de vouloir dicter ses devoirs à la conscience de chacun.Tous les bêlements de la charte officielle sont sans pouvoir d'action contre ce fait de conscience : à savoir, que, plus encore que de la mort, je suis le maître de ma douleur. Tout homme est juge, et juge exclusif, de la quantité de douleur physique, ou encore de vacuité mentale qu'il peut honnêtement supporter. Lucidité ou non lucidité, il y a une lucidité que nulle maladie ne m'enlèvera jamais, c'est celle qui me dicte le sentiment de ma vie physique *. Et si j'ai perdu ma lucidité, la médecine n'a qu'une chose à faire, c'est de me donner les substances qui me permettent de recouvrer l'usage de cette lucidité. Messieurs les dictateurs de l'école pharmaceutique de France, vous êtes des cuistres rognés : il y a une chose que vous devriez mieux mesurer ; c'est que l'opium est cette imprescriptible et impérieuse substance qui permet de rentrer dans la vie de leur âme à ceux qui ont eu le malheur de l'avoir perdue. Il y a un mal contre lequel l'opium est souverain et ce mal s'appelle l'Angoisse, dans sa forme mentale, médicale, physiologique, logique ou pharmaceutique,comme vous voudrez. L'Angoisse qui fait les fous. L'Angoisse qui fait les suicidés. L'Angoisse qui fait les damnés. L'Angoisse que la médecine ne connaît pas. L'Angoisse que votre docteur n'entend pas. L'Angoisse qui lèse la vie. L'Angoisse qui pince la corde ombilicale de la vie. Par votre 1oi inique vous mettez entre les mains de gens en qui je n'ai aucune espèce de confiance, cons en médecine, pharmaciens en fumier, juges en mal-façon, docteurs, sages-femmes, inspecteurs-doctoraux, le droit de disposer de mon angoisse, d'une angoisse en moi aussi fine que les aiguilles de toutes les boussoles de l'enfer. Tremblements du corps ou de l'âme, il n'existe pas de sismographe humain qui permette à qui me regarde d'arriver à une évaluation de ma douleur plus précise, que celle, foudroyante, de mon esprit ! Toute la science hasardeuse des hommes n'est pas supérieure à la connaissance immédiate que je puis avoir de mon être. Je suis seul juge de ce qui est en moi. Rentrez dans vos greniers, médicales punaises, et toi aussi, Monsieur le Législateur Moutonnier, ce n'est pas par amour des hommes que tu délires, c'est par tradition d'imbécillité. Ton ignorance de ce que c'est qu'un homme n'a d'égale que ta sottise à le limiter.Je te souhaite que ta loi retombe sur ton père, ta mère, ta femme, tes enfants, et toute ta postérité. Et maintenant avale ta loi.

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12/8/14

Barry Ryan - The Hunt (1969)



A re-up as requested by a newly charmed-by-the-underrated-genius-of-the-Ryan-bros visitor (at least that's what I understood). All the details about this second LP are written below (I always keep the text I had written in the initial post). I'll re-up all the Barry Ryan albums (except the first one, Barry Ryan sings Paul Ryan, easily affordable) but I'll do some work on the sound quality for those I used vinyl sources to create the MP3 version. Actually, only the first and the second (this one) were issued on CD (a total scandal) and even in digital version, so we have to use vinyl sources with a somewhat loss of quality according to the rip technic (and mine is not top prime). Meanwhile, catch this prey here.

This is the second album by Barry Ryan. It's not far from being a masterpiece but unfortunately the cover sleeve was totally awful (see below) as will be the further ones. Too bad. There are so much gems here (notably "Sea of Tranquillity" that you can hear on streaming below) you will be stunned to discover that it's not considered as a great one as the previous one has been recently. You may say that this post is not as essential as the previous ones since this LP can be found on the Rev-Ola reissue of the first album. But strangely, the tracklist on this CD is quite different than the one I have on my vinyl LP. Two songs, included on the CD as bonus tracks were actually on the album whereas 2 other ones ("Swallow Fly Away" and "No Love Without Her Love" were not). So, the LP is here on its original form. I'll post the 2 excluded tracks later in their actual format. I also changed the title since "The Hunt" was actually the hit of the album and should have been chosen to increase the commercial potential of the LP. So I gave it a "Diana and Actaeon" representation by the great Titian for sleeve. I hope some of you have found in Paul and Barry Ryan oeuvre a source of sonor joy (I doubt this is English but tonight I'm tired).





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12/7/14

Shawn Phillips - Transcendence (1978)



A re-up of this splendid and underrated album. Catch it here. The new Shawn Phillips site is here. Lyrics from the album there.

Somewhere between Donovan and Marvin Gaye but with something/anything of Zappa meets Todd Rundgren, was (and is still) Shawn Phillips. This LP, that can be considered as his dawn one, is for me his masterpiece. Terrible that such a gem was so overlooked and forgotten. It contains some of the most moving of his songs and more largely, of the rock history. He might have been suddenly under a divine influence since his previous efforts were at best uneven. But here, he touches something essential in music, helped by the superb orchestral arrangements of Michael Kamen (with a Barry Ryan flavor sometimes). Among the whole setlist, "American Child", "Implications", "Lament" and "Motes of Dust" are fave of mine and are not far each time I listen to them (at least once a year) to draw tears from my old and tired eyes. So, it seems unavoidable for me to post this LP here since it really belongs to the long list of forgotten ones. I hope to help it to be back in everyone's memory. In streaming, 2 totally opposed climaxes. But both wonderful.



American Child. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas with a silver spoon / The war was rollin,' and the deaths were tollin' and Crosby crooned / The year was '43, I started learnin' how to be and I was on my way / Partisans in Italy were fighting Mussolini's team and making hay / Then another two years of people shedding tears and it had all begun / This bludgeon of insanity, power into vanity, to make the sun / I started comprehending the beginning of the ending of the human race / Now all I want to do is stop the follow-through I want to save my face / 'Cause I'm an American child on a nuclear pile / I been pampered, I been hampered, now I'm slandered, yeah! / Children of the twenty-first haven't got sense enough to raise their minds / Too busy gettin' crazy, or learnin' to be lazy, or tryin' to find / A way of bein' funny so to make a lot of money off another man's spine / Capitalist prigs and communist pigs, well you are all so fine / Always hypocritical, I think you're hypothetical, I will not climb / Cannot get in here, can't get out of there and there is no more time / And like the man said it's a pity he is dead, that all the world's a stage / So if you want to keep it for the next performance, you had better rage / Now I got a feelin' that what we're really needin' is a lot of love / And the little man to say he can, regardless of the master plan or velvet glove / Stand up his integrity, and fight the things that he can see are oh so wrong / There is a good solution, and it's not a revolution, and it won't take long / Let loose that want to fight go slobber through the night with their neutron bombs / There is more creation in the face of devastation, there are just more slums / And if you want utopia, you cannot have myopia, it must be clear / And a little isolation, so to prop a falling nation, from its only fear.

Implications. She brought me love like no one else has ever / Brought me through these many years / She made me sound and took me 'round in ever upward swirling chandeliers / At the pain of an ending is like a cauldron seething in fire / For no one else could ever take me higher The roses sent were never meant as offerings of peace for all the tears / Nor solace for the years alone / I cannot bring myself to voice my fears / Oh, but life you are sacred, you are the only the we bear / You are adamant implication that we care / The winds of life have brought me strife, I must face up to what / I think is real, and if she wants to go to him I will not hold her back from what she feels / Ah the love gives me courage, it stops the pain and heals me inside / My very soul is a thing I cannot hide / The windows in her eyes are dark / The stars are never there as they appeared and gone is all the joy for me / She's found another man and I am here / Ah the pain of an ending is like a cauldron seething fire / For no one else could ever take me higher / In the sky to the blue of God's eye where the winds begin to blow / And the earth is brown and green and gold / With the universe above and I must not lose my love / No I must not lose my love again.

12/6/14

Free - Live at Sunderland (1970)

After the recent re-up of the Croydon show, here's the Sunderland one. both providing the material for the official Free Live album. Don't remember where I found the songs from this show since only 6 were released on the Island Remasters 12 in 2002. Anyway, this is great stuff for sure. Free always in my heart until death will free me from life. Catch this Live LP here.

In January 1970, 4 months before they became superstars with "All Right Now", Free was a band with a strong following, but considered a serious and respectable heavy blues à-la-Cream band, not a pop one. All that will contribute to their considerable success is here, ready to explode, so idiosyncrasic, so palatable, so unique. This concert was apparently splitted in 2 sets, with "All Right Now", not released in single as I said above, played twice, in 2 very different versions. It was a sign that the song was to become something since the audience requested it again. But there are so many gems here (and songs that would disappear from their live setlists soon after, although they were prime cuts for the stage) that it would be totally absurd to reduce Free to this song, not played at its best in this concert. This concert would provide 2 years later 2 tracks of their posthumous Live album (before the reformation): the 1st version of "All Right Now" (on the vinyl you could hear the end of a T. Rex song ("Ride A White Swan") but no more on CD, too sad) although the second is much more energy-fueled and the audience goes crazy, and "The Hunter" in a devastating version. The other songs would be taken from a later concert that I'll post here also in its more complete version, but not too soon, you need time to appreciate each one. However, Paul Kossoff is here in great form and take some incredible solo (listen to the one in "Songs Of Yesterday" for example, and the amazing one on "Moonshine", that he co-wrote, the greatest economist in notes who ever played guitar). What's fabulous in this band, it's that they are strong enough to propose such a doom blues track like "Moonshine" that is surely the cradle of depressing rock. It's crazy the Island bosses didn't put it on the Live album, it would have became a classic to place near "Since I've Been Loving You". And the emotion is otherwise more striking that in Led Zeppelin. PS. Sorry, I did a mistake. "Trouble on Double Time" follows "Moonshine". But too late to change. Change the order yourself if you want to respect the order of the setlist. PPS. The sound is excellent.


Moonshine.
Sitting in a graveyard Waiting for the dawn Leaning on my tombstone Till the night is gone Oh how the moon Hangs in black sky Wish i could find out The reason why I sit here alone And cry My woman was so lovely Together we were one No sunshine in my weary eyes Now that she has gone Oh how the moon Hangs in black sky Wish I could find out The reason why I sit here alone And cry Palm trees whisper to me From your spreading height Tell me all the loney stories Of the world at night Oh how the moon Hangs in black sky Wish I could find out The reason why I sit here alone And cry

11/30/14

Free - Live at Croydon (1970)

Nobody asked me to re-up this one but I seeing this post has been recently often visited, I suppose it was for dling this extraordinary live set. And since it was removed with the big amount of other stuff in my rs account wreck, it is a good opportunity to re-up it. Time is flying away and these Free era seems archeology now when some years ago it seemed so present. It's what we call feeling old. But the genius of this band is still intact. Catch it here.

The band that plays these 2 shows in September 1970 here has nothing in common with the one who played in Sunderland in January the same year (see here). "All Right Now" has been a massive hit worldwide and the 4 young musicians (they hardly reach 20 years) have now a new audience full of female teenagers and live a quite strange situation, with their muddy and bleak hard blues for people waiting to dance to hard rock standards with a pop quality, that neither Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath had. Here, they suspended some days their studio sessions for the Highway LP, and play in Croydon in front of an hysteric audience. Songs from these 2 shows gave most of the Free Live LP the following year, and some more songs from this concert were added on the 2002 reissued/remastered version but only on the Songs of Yesterday boxset was the information if songs were recorded on the 1st or the 2nd show (how were they able to play 2 so intense sets in a row, it's a mystery for me). To compile this fake LP, I chose to include the versions from the boxset (most of the 2nd show) when there was another version on the Free Live LP. It's better to have rarest versions I think. I respected the order of the setlist (and the wrong announces at the end of some songs are surely due to a fake addition on the boxset to imitate a true concert since they are not listed this way on the setlists I got from various sources, note for example that they didn't play "Moonshine" at Croydon and it's announced at the end of "The Stealer"). Only missing "Songs of Yesterday" and "The Hunter", the latter closing the concert (sad they didn't put them both in the boxset). But all in all, it's an absolute gem to listen and listen to again. A precious band for eternity.


11/22/14

Melanie - The Creative Workshop Sessions (1975)





















This is one of the most stunning post since the beginning of this blog. Of course, I posted some very rare and precious stuff beforehand, from Alain Kan, Alternative TV, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Steve Harley, Nikki Sudden, Peter Perrett, Television Personalities and some more, even from Melanie, but it was often some songs when here we got 31 ones. Yes, 31 demos actually, from the sessions she recorded at the famous Creative Workshop studio in Nashville for what would become Sunset and Other Beginnings. A little bit the Melanie's Basement Tapes. The main comment I can do is that it's a shame the selection of songs and the arrangements that were done for the official album were so poor compared to these sessions. I don't know if Peter Schekeryk can be considered the guilty one and it's too late and useless to establish his responsability, but it's a fact that there was in these sessions, enough diamonds to provide the material for a fantastic album when it was (at least for me, I know some Melanie fans don't share my views) uneven and one of her weakest in the seventies. Why such a wonderful song as "White Man Sings The Blues" (sometimes called "White Man's Blues" on various Melanie fans' blogs), although being tried twice on these sessions (both versions being stunning) was not included on the final album? Why the version of "Perceive It" is so moving here and so middle of the road on the album (listen to the different tone Melanie sings it, and the arrangements too)? Even "Nobody's Business" would have been a better choice that several of the songs that made the cut. Another strange discovery is that Melanie and the band rehearsed "Deep Down Low" 3 times on these sessions, an old song featuring on Affectionately, but didn't use it finally. Maybe she did not want to put old material on her new releases, feared to give opportunities to the press to put her in the case of "past celebrities". But it's sad co's the song was wonderfully reworked and would have deserved to be offered this way, much better than its original version. It's on such reworked songs that it was clear that she acquired maturity and a grown up way to share her emotions. It would have been a good idea too to put her nice version of the Seekers song "I'll Never Find Another You" that she makes her so perfectly. We had to wait until 2002 to have a revised version of this song, but it is here still better. Actually, these sessions were so creative that they could have offered a double LP allowing to include everything on it. But limited to one LP only, the choice of songs could have really been more judicious. But what is clear is that Melanie is never better than when she is captured in the most nature way, and this is the case here, some of the songs that were finally heavily (I may have written "evil-y") orchestrated, being at least heard in their stripped version. I can't say who sent me these legendary recordings but she must know I deeply thank her. The cover sleeve I created for this fake double LP may seem a little deceiving compared to some I did in the past for Melanie stuff I posted here, but I wanted to use a picture of her shot during this period of her life (and I hope in 1975) and there was not much that could be the source of a front cover sleeve after being digitally manipulated. And I must confess that I like the result quite well. Strange but I feel it gives the impression it's really a double LP. Enough words, now let the music talks. Hope you'll savour this wonderful collection with the same delight and excitation I have when listening for the first time these sessions. Catch it here.






11/21/14

Tony McPhee - Live in Zielona Gora (2000)



A not re-quested re-up (but I don't care) of an accoustic set Tony McPhee played in a little Polish place. A wonderful selection of blues played by the spiritual son of John Lee Hooker. Perfect to hear on a misty and cold autumn. Sad that he's no more able to sing after his stroke. But he still plays guitar with friends under the Groundhogs name. Our youth is only an old souvenir. And thinking of it, we got the blues. Catch this set here. PS. I'm still very happy of the cover sleeve I created for this live LP.

Recorded in a blues club of a Polish town called Zielona Gora (the pictures I chose for the sleeve I did myself), this is a fine collection of blues played by Tony McPhee in his usual Hookering style. I prefer when he plays with Groundhogs and when he plays his songs but here, the collection is quite sapid and there is a nice accoustic version of "Garden". It's a rather rare recording issued by a Polish label under a really ugly cover sleeve, the reason why I did one myself. The picture is from a Polish photograph called Alcove and I'll very soon post some of his works on Scoptophilia since he is more than talented.



Garden
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11/16/14

Groundhogs - Hogwash Live (1972)

Another Groundhogs re-up. Not that I listen much to the band these days but as you know, I re-up according to requests, and "prince charly" asked me for this live set to be available again thus, although I'm not a royalist, I obeyed. He told me that I did a sort of audacious comparison between Groundhogs and Gang of Four in one post. Maybe it may seem a little bit outrageous, but I mean there was something common in their rough approach of rock. See by yourself here.

This tour was planned at the onset of winter 1972 to support the release of Hogwash, the 6th album of the band. But it was a changed band that the audience watched. First Ken Pustelnik, the original drummer, had been fired since he was really no more manageable due to a strong drug addiction, and then Tony McPhee had integrated more synth than ever in the band sound. A success, in musical terms, since he was able to conserve the rough edge of his style, but creating a great mix between blues and prog. Honestly, nobody reached such a level in quality when adding progressive in their initial style (except Strawbs maybe). So, this concert, recorded by the BBC, was quite different from the others you can find from the band in the 2 previous years. Less hard blues, more.... actually more Groundhogs. I chose to create a new cover sleeve since the official is totally inane (I used it to write the titles, that's all). My image choice is about the obession of McPhee at the time against hunters. And with a hog, it perfectly fits the thing. The title is justified by the fact that they play here 5 from the 8 Hogwash tracks. Enjoy it here. More Groundhogs to come soon, I'm in the mood for it (sad, angry and hunted).



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11/15/14

Groundhogs - Solid Live (1974)

Saw that this post was amongst the most viewed last week so I suppose some were looking for the upload album. I hope this re-up will please them. All I had to say about this concert capture and its compilation from various sources is detailed below. Catch it here.

Some weeks ago, a 3-CD compilation was released with the 3 LPs the band recorded for UA between 1972 and 1976 (Hogwash, Crosscut Saw and Black Diamond) and in which I had the surprise to find songs played at the Playhouse Theatre on the 23rd May 1974 that allowed me to complete the previously released songs from this concert. Thus, I added them to this live LP I had called Solid Live since most of the tracks I had gathered were from Solid, the album the band had released some weeks before the concert. Strangely, Solid was not issued on UA and it's the reason it is not on this 3-CD compilation. This additional songs are what we'd called band classics, with the famous parts 1 and 2 of "Split", "Ship On The Ocean" and "I Love Miss Ogyny" from Hogwash. It's now more than one hour of live music from one of the most abrasive and unclassifiable band of the seventies. And one that still talks to us today (at least to me). Enjoy it here. Below what I wrote in the first post.

Here we find the Groundhogs 2 years after the previous concert posted here. They became bleaker than ever and their Solid album explores the darkest sides of human brain associated with a really oppressive music. The blues is back again but makes a strange bridge between Hendrix and Gang of Four. On stage, in the tour to promote the LP, the band is much more compact and focussed on songs than they were and McPhee's solos are much noiser and less virtuoso than before. Here they play 4 songs from Solid and it's maybe my fave live recording of the band (but some done in 1976 are also great). These tracks were released on a 2-set album issued in 1994 and compiling a 1972 concert (with the old formation) and this one, reunited because recorded for BBC Radio One. But the 15 min version of "Soldier" was not included and could only be found on the remastered CD version of Thanks Christ For The Bomb. Here, I gathered all the available tracks from this concert. If you know other ones I would have missed, thanks to tell in comments, I'd tried to add them. This is really great testimony of the band, playing in 1974 a style that would have surely been more popular in 1977 or in the onset of grunge.


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11/14/14

Melanie - Stoneground Words (1972)







Another re-up, on M this time. Not sure it's a good idea to post this LP since it is sold on various sites and I wouldn' like that it robs Melanie.  Not the album that fulfilled the wait after the gorgeous Gather Me but anyway an album with several great moments. Catch it here.

A reup of this LP after a visitor left a comment to inform me that the link was dead. Note, dear visitor that it's not a badly ripped vinyl version but a real CD one, although I doubt the quality is the best that could be drained from the original master but it's unfortunately often the case with much of the less successful Melanie's material. Hope one day she'll be considered such an important artist that none of her recording will be considered not interesting enough to benefit of a respectful sound treatment. Below what I wrote in the initial post.

This album was planned to be the first of the Melanie new free career since she was now the master of her destiny, via Neighboorhood, the label she created with Peter Shekeryk her husband,, having stopped to be in the Buddha hands, but it would be finally her swansong, only reaching  70 in the US charts and not even charting in the land that made her successful, I mean UK. Why? Surely because there's not the luxury of easy-to-remember tunes that made Gather Me such a classic. But when listening to this album, there were enough goodies to make it a hit LP if only the whole mood hadn't been so sad, nostalgic, introspective, fatalist and in one word, melancholic. And the times were not waiting for such songs. Maybe one year later, it would have been better. Cos' yes, this a much more folk, ballad-oriented and mellow album than Gather Me and even than the previous ones. Some orchestral arrangements are rather gorgeous, but not enough to make the whole album sounding as a sort of must for lovers of such music. Although they are very good songs, "Together Alone" and "Do You Believe" will be released, without success, in singles. Among the highlights, there's "Here I Am" where Melanie shows that she's one of the most moving singers any periods, a Billie Holiday for the seventies (and the next decades). A total gem for Cabaret songs amateurs. But there's enough in this album to make it one of your sonor companion for the rest of your life. Melanie, wherever you are, we love you.


















11/11/14

Kim Fowley- International Heroes (1973)



Kim Fowley had rough times this year, his bladder cancer tried to kill him and maybe it finally will win, but he recently married with Kara Wright and after all it's a way to keep death quiet some time. Since I saw that visitors came on this post, I decided to re-up this wonderful album on M. It's an overlooked masterpiece. Since I discovered him in 1972, I've never abandoned Kim Fowley, I'm rather proud of that. Catch it here.

This is what everyone calls the "glam" or "glitter" LP of Kim Fowley. It's true that once in London, he certainly was influenced by the climax of the year (actually 1972) which was all for Bolan & Bowie. Since these 2 glam stars were an adaptation of Dylan, it's no surprise this album is what Kim Fowley tried to do with Dylan to produce his own glam identity. Actually, it's still very Dylanian and rarely goes in the real glam (except the T. Rex-influenced "Born Dancer" and "Dancing All Night"). But the fact is this album is surely his best (with Outrageous) cos' songs are really prime cuts and have supported the test of time more than many of those released at this period. It's true that Kim Fowley was backed and helped (for composition) by a strong team of musicians among whom Kerry Scott (where is this man, what has he done afterwards?) and Glen Turner, both on guitars. They provide a first class support and Kim Fowley seems exceptionnally concerned and focused. Only on the Ralph Shuckett co-penned "So Good Wish You Would", the madness Kim was used to, emerges again. But the most incredible song is "I Hate You", totally under the influence of Procol Harum, and most notably their Shine On Brightly period, with the doomest and darkest songs. The text is terrible (if you want to send a hate letter to an ex-lover, take it) and the song remains one of the highlights of the seventies. A perfect great forgotten song although it cannot be denied it's a Procol rip-off. Other gems are "World Wide Love" (a sure hit, why nobody released this on a single?), "International Heroes" or "Ugly Stories About Rock Stars", not forgetting "Something New", but actually there is no really weak track here. So, that nobody released this masterpiece on CD properly shows how the record industry only deserves to be despised until they die. 



Vic Godard & Subway Sect - Peel Sessions 77-78


A re-up, not re-quested, but I saw this post was visited last week so I suppose visitors were disappointed that the links were dead (rs and mf). So here it is again on M. Vic Godard, a man to remember, one of these numerous geniuses drowned in the shit machine of the rock business.

Subway Sect is surely one of the bands who was the most victim of the stupidity and the incompetence of one man: Bernie Rhodes, more interested in promoting the rock'n'roll-as-usual stuff of the Clash (never been a punk band although what everybody says, shit, I lived that period) than the genius of Vic Godard. Everybody knows now the incredible story of this first Subway Sect LP never released by the above named individual, and that Godard had to re-recorded some years ago in order to allow his fans to hear the songs that were on it. Some (but not all) of these songs can be found on various compilations. But here, I gathered the 2 Peel Sessions recorded by the band during this sad times. When I say "the band", it seems there were 2 bands: the almost original line-up for the 1977 session, but a completely new one for the 1978 session. Unfortunately, I didn't find the names of thi session's musicians so I didn't write anything on the rear cover sleeve I created. When you know that What's The Matter Boy? released some times later was recorded with a 3rd line up, you see that it was quite hard to follow. What's easy to follow, is Godard's music since these songs are as fresh and palatable than at the time of their creation. No many in that case. Versions of the What's The Matter Boy? LP are much better here to my eyes. The sound is very good and the versions stunning. I respected the order of the tracklist played, actually I respected what's written on the BBC site. Below some clips from the band in this period. Interesting even if the sound is shitty. One is a nice video montage with pictures of Anna Karina in Vivre sa vie from Jean Luc... Godard, on the Peel session version of "Chain Smoking".










11/5/14

Let's Active - Singles 84-88

I'm in an obsessive Let's Active period these days. I listened again to Mitch Easter discography when I learned he had played with the original formation, minus Faye Hunter who committed suicide one year ago (in July 2013). All this is sad and  funny at the same time. And nostalgia grabs me by the feet when I listened to the songs I so much loved between 1984 and 1988. God heaven and devil together I was young in these days. And Mitch Easter too. And contrary to so many bands and records, Let's Active first EP and 2 LPs (minus the 3rd one, Every dog has his day, ruined by John Leckie production), all this has travelled through time and years without losing anything of its charm, freshness and thrilling qualities. Here I gathered the promo and official singles the band released during its short life. So few singles when so many of Easter songs were perfect pop standards. Too sad the times were not kind for such music (people usually like loads of shitty music in these days and geniuses such as Mark Perry, Dan Treacy or Nikki Sudden were totally overlooked). I added the original version of "Horizon" with Faye Hunter singing and much better than the Every Dog Has His Day version, and "Invisible Hills", a song Mitch Easter considered too bleak for including it in the fabulous Big Plans For Everybody LP. I did the cover sleeve, using a quite overused picture, but I like it so much I couldn't resist. If this could help to restore the admiration Mitch Easter deserves, I would not have lost my time.  Enjoy it here. PS. "Water Parts" is one of my fave pop songs all periods.


11/1/14

Jack Bruce Band - Live at Manchester Free Trade Hall '75 (1975)


Requested, a new re-up of a Jack Bruce album. His recent death was not unexpected but was a shock. We were used to live on a planet where such a man existed. We'll have to live without. And then we'll follow him. Catch it here.

These days I'm listening much to Marc Bolan and I'm near to post some acoustic demos that gave songs to albums from Slider to Futuristic Dragon. But Rough posted today "One" by Jack Bruce Band on his facebook page and suddenly I realized there was much Bruce stuff I expected to post here that is still lingering in my computer vaults. So here one, not rare but an essential testimony of how sounded this strange team united under the JBB banner. Carla Bley and Mick Taylor backing Jack Bruce could seem a winner ticket but things did not turn this way. The band in this line-up can be heard on the BBC 3-CD compilation in a concert given for the Old Grey Whistlin' Test (and the thing can be seen on youtube even if I'll post here too). It was on the 6th of June 1975. Six days earlier, they had given this concert in Manchester. Much longer (111'), but with more or less the same playlist it's interesting to realize how the band was not so much in a self-indulgent approach that it may have seemed. Even the long "suites" of the second CD are played with a sense of tension that has nothing to do with a lot of experimental stuff of that times. Of course it's sometimes a bit dated but Bruce material is so strong that it overpasses the jazzy and prog useless complexity that spoils the music here and there. Just listen to "One" or "Pieces of Mind" if you don't believe me. They are jewels for eternity. I would have dreamed to hear Billie Holiday sing it. The Mellotron is more pregnant than the moog, it's important to note for those who, like me, have a strong problem with the later (and a big love for the former). But stop bullshitting with words, here the great Jack Bruce at the beginning of a very rude time for him.