John Locke is a dramatically underrated musician and composer. He was in charge of the keyboards in the band Spirit and was even the only one to stay with Ed Cassidy when the band disbanded in 1971 before a brief reincarnation without Randy California. It's easy to find which songs he composed since they were always instrumental and completely different from the music Spirit is known for. John Locke was inspired by jazz, the one that developped Miles Davies and more largely free jazz, but what he did with jazz was totally visionnary, much more in the vein of the sample-based music of the nineties than of the esoteric virtuosity of the seventies. There is something of Todd Rundgren in Locke's approach of music and to listen to all the tracks he composed for Spirit between 1967 and 1972 is to find that he should have tried a career of his own. Unfortunately it was not the case and he always stayed the ex-Spirit keyboardman. He died 4 years ago and I would have liked that he saw that he was not forgotten. This compilation (with a cover sleeve that suits well the mystical aura of the music and due to an artist you can find the work here) says it all. Enjoy it here.
In streaming, "Trancas Fog-Out", an instrumental from the Feedback Spirit album (the one with a totally new band). Below some videos from Spirit on which you can see John Locke plays (or simulating). And the first to hear the great "Space Child" from Dr Sardonicus.
I must say I know each Shocking Blue song and "Rock in the Sea" (their 11th single A-side) has always been my favorite. When I was in a band (long ago, between 1977 and 1982), just before we disbanded, I was working on an adaptation of this song and it's a great regret not to have sung it. There's something very metaphysical in this song. These moments you'd like to leave your heavy human condition to become just a part of the nature. Not an ecological point of view but more a desperate one. Anything but something else would have said Baudelaire. You can find a good analysis of the songs that influenced the lyrics of of this song here. One could add the wonderful "Til I Die" from Brian Wilson in which he sang he is a cork on the ocean and a rock in a landslide. Musically, it's a thrilling tune and a perfect orchestration. Simple, direct, unmarked by the period it was composed. It could be a hit today. Maybe they should have stopped with this one. It was a moderate hit in NL but nowhere else. A shame. No video from this song, neither a TV show. So I decided to post a clip made by an amateur, based on a BBC documentary on eagles. It's quite impressive to see and music fits perfectly. The B-side, (streaming below) more US-rock flavored is also a good one and made of this single a perfect 7" to have (except for the poor sleeve cover of course). It seems that during the winter of 1972 (the single was released in August), Mariska Veres curled her hair again. I always thought this haircut was not appropriate but anyway. Enjoy this gem here.
I wish I was a bird in the sky I wish I was a bird in the sky Like a bird in the sky I stay high and dry I wish I was a bird in the sky I wish I was a bird in the sky I wish I was a mole in the ground I wish I was a mole in the ground Like a mole in the ground I'd root this mountain down I wish I was a mole in the ground I wish I was a mole in the ground I'm so glad I can sing I don't want furs and rings Only the beauty of nature Matters to me, yeah I wish I was a rock in the sea I wish I was a rock in the sea Like a rock in the sea Nothing could torture me I wish I was a rock in the sea I wish I was a rock in the sea I wish I was a rock in the sea I wish I was a rock in the sea
This year, as last year, the winner of the French version of Pop Idol is a nice and talented young lady called Luce. She won and deserved it. It's better to see her singing these covers than only listening to it since she sometimes has not the technical skill that one could hope but if you imagine she had never sang elsewhere than in her bathroom beforehand, you'll be surprised. Nothing to do with Susan Boyle. She's a mix between Catherine Ringer (from Rita Mitsouko) and Beth Ditto (Gossip). Some of her covers are real gems to my ears, either old and classic French songs (Brel's "Ne me quitte pas" or " Piaf's "La vie en rose") or international standards ("Beautiful", "Dream a little dream of me" and the splendid version of "Over the rainbow"). Sometimes she really reincarnates the song ("Mad About You"). And when she's doing the mad girl, she's doing with such a candid way no-one can resist (on "Luxor j'adore" for example). I did not include all her covers cos' sometimes she failed (such as on "Miss you" from the Rolling Stones) but there are here almost all she sang at Baltard (the place these sets are) before winning the competition. You might think I'm not serious but now you saw that between doom and sludge I listen to Barry Ryan and Shocking Blue, it's likely you won't be so surprised. Enjoy it here. Below, some of the videos from the show. You can find all on the Nouvelle Star site here.
Eibon is one of the best sludgy doom band of the world (and I listen to a lot). Their new album is a must you should get as soon as possible (their myspace's here). But their previous EP, in a more dirty genre, was a gem too and it was one of my fave piece of shit of the year 08. If you are in Omega Massif, Ramesses and Electric Wizard, you will add this band to your palette of heavy and loud sounds. Enjoy it here.
Below, 2 videos from my good friend shinju gumi (I was there too, it was before EyeHateGod). The sound's not prime cut but the image is very fine and the atmosphere well restituted. Thanks to him.
This 10th single by Shocking Blue was a hit in Nederland (as all the previous ones) but reached again the highest ranges in German charts, what had not been the case of the previous ones. Nothing in UK or US unfortunately. It's true that it's a great standard, going back to the style Shocking Blue was known for in 1969. Rockier, more JeffersonAirplane-like, but as always, quite bubble gum (too much I think, it precluded them to be taken seriously in the rock history). You can listen to it on the youtube video below. The B-side (the streaming below) is a fine indian-like ballad and is worth the listening. The band began quite well the 1972 year. Enjoy here.
I don't recognise the language on this one. But the sleeve is funny
One of the finest band's pic, in a rather poor iconography for such a band.
You got no time to waste? You want to be sure that a new album posted will feature in the 5 bests of the year? No problem, you can trust me, this will be the case with this last (afraid it'll be the last and that the band disbanded, but not sure of that) LP from the fantastic Daughters. With Tinsel Teeth, but in a complete different way, they are among the proud successors of the Jesus Lizard. But never JL produced such a sonic storm. You'll never hear something like that anywhere else. Even if you're in the 70's shit, please lend an hear to this gem here. And then buy the LP, it's sold with 5 different drawings and moreover you got it in a true listening format.
A nice way to quench audience's thirst
A little effort to be as naked as Stephanie or David Yow
Autopsy is a death band I know (and Chris Reifert was the drummer of Death), but with this EP, Autopsy has been a sludge band, yes. And sometimes it was in their LPs. The 3 tracks here are prime cut and the cadaveric pestilence can be smelled from the music played. An "avant-goût" of what the destiny reserves to our stupid hopes and "appétit de vivre". As I post this fantastic EP here, I read that they reform. If they could be influenced by this period of their career, it would be a dead good news. Enjoy this decomposed pleasure here.
In The Grip Of Winter in studio
In The Grip Of Winter live on stage the same year
Here the 9th Shocking Blue single, released in November 1971, with a change of line-up (no more 2 guitarists and a new bassist) and a kind of glaming of their music (horns sound a bit like the ones in the English glam). But the song (not a great success, the first not to chart in Germany, but a Hit in NL) is not stunning and this single is better for its unusual B-side, a simple and gentle song in which Mariska is only backed by a piano (who plays?). That's this B-side that made me chose the picture below, unusual too in this quite ugly pop iconography of the seventies. Enjoy this single here.
You won't find something more tense, exciting, funny and relevant to our times than Tinsel Teeth (see video below). Do what you want but you should buy their last LP Trash as a Trophy, it's great. I won't post it cos' they really need you buy it.
(Sanctus, Sanctus) Hallelujah, I finally found, bought and received the 3rd album of Barry Ryan and I ripped it for you because visitors of this blog deserve the best and the rarest (even if you do not leave much comments compared to the dl rate but no matter, when I went on blogs, I rarely left comments, thinking it was useless... it's not). This album is quite good and some songs are prime meat (even if I prefer to eat vegan) but unfortunately only 8 among the 12 songs are from Paul Ryan, and the non-Paul ones are not really a success. It's on this album there is "Kitsch", a quite fantastic orchestral pop hymn that would merit to be a massive hit, that would have helped to reveal that Queen drank some of this juice to make their own cocktail (and even if it's not my personal beverage). Although I have the real cover sleeve (see below), I created a do-it-myself one (and you can do what you want with this virtual cover, I consider that when I've posted something here, it's belonging to anyone likes it) cos' really Barry Ryan did not benefit of decent sleeves you'll admit. The painting is from a doom-lover called ForlornExistence (something tells me it's not his real name) and you can find more on DeviantArt. This painting fits quite well with the general emphasis of the Ryans music on this album. Enjoy here this rarity I'm proud to take out forgottenland to put under the bloglight. More to come (I hope I'll be able to post all Barry Ryan songs in the future).
As soon as their first demo posted here, it was clear that Omega Massif was one of the best Doom band of the planet, in a post-rock style that gives birth to more and more boring bands these late years (such as Isis, Cult of Luna, Tides etc.). These 4 tracks, all intrumental since there is no voice in this band, paved the way of the fantastic Geisterstadt LP released 2 years later. It's a real pleasure to see that this style can still provide surprises and this band reaches unexpected peaks with a contemplative music that succeeds to keep its doom melancholy and not sacrifice it to a kind of naïve vision of nature. Don't hesitate to discover this great band with their first release here. Their myspace's here and their site's there.
A live version of this title below.
During the summer 1971 is released this 8th Shocking Blue single. It is not as strong as the previous one and seems to search to find the way to Venus (the identical bridge) but failed. The brass section is a good idea but the lyrics are really bad and the whole seems to be a bit wayloss. Surprisingly, this song will hit higher than "Shocking You" in the Nederland charts (n°2). The B-side ("Is It A Dream", that I posted below in streaming) is better, and seems to belong to the 1969 sound of the band with its Californian psychedelic flavor. At this time, the band is still a 5 piece entity for some months. Enjoy it here.
On the TV show below, you can see that Mariska had decided, some months later, to curl her hairs. Not a good idea I must say
This "album", in fact, a collection of songs from various sessions recorded in London studios in late sixties, probably 1969-1971, is better known as The Joker Is Wild, an album released in 1972 when Alex Harvey had just formed the Sensational Alex Harvey Band and was about to record with them his first album, Framed. He didn't appreciate for sure, to see this old material released and considered it was a quite a bad joke by the music industry (there'll be more). But now time has passed and this collection of songs is interesting, some are gems that any Alex fan must know such as the great version of "Make Love To You" or the mad medley with "Willie the Pimp" from Zappa, a song covered by Ainsley Dunbar Blue Whale and much later by Alternative TV. I decided to create a new cover for this LP, the official one being really ugly and too much associated with the vile nature of the operation. If you don't have The Joker Is Wild (or in poor sound quality), enjoy the same content here.
This band is nothing less than frightening. If you were in Anal Cunt (it's an image, don't take it 1st degree) like I was, you will climb on the walls of your small death room (can't call this a living room isn't it?) and will howl like a wounded wolf on a winning night (if you can tell me what's this sentence exactly means, I will post on this blog the record of your choice). It seems they are from Australia but who cares. It's rare I listen to grind these late years but 1) tonight I feel like killing almost everyone, 2) this band is great. I can understand that if you come here for Alex Harvey, Shocking Blue or Barry Ryan, you may think this rubbish should be posted on a specialized blog, but I want to post here what for me is great music any style it is (I can be wrong, no-one is right or wrong in the domain) and this is. Released 3 years ago, this EP is a painfull experience but when you are in hate mood, you goes out of it with a regenerated and peacefull mind. It's therapeutic in a sense. But maybe you will murder someone after it. How predict. The last trax ("Spat Out Rotten", in streaming below) is nothing less than a masterpiece. Try it here.
Another of my favorite singers, all styles mixed. She was the first lady of Motown, recruited with her own composition ("Bye Bye Baby" in 1962) but then she became the toygirl of Berry Gordy and she left Motown early 1965, a sort of crime of what we call in France "lèse-majesté" for Gordy. He'll never forgive her and she'll never succeed to find again the way to a large audience. She went from labels to labels during the rest of the sixties, and here the post focus on the most successful, Jubilee, where she stayed 3 years (between 1968 and 1971) and, more importantly, where she partnershipped with her (new husband), the future star of the charts Cecil Womack (yes, the Womack & Womack one), doing here finally the first attempt to a Womack & Womack duo. He wrote a great amount of songs for her during these 3 years (more than 20) and some of them were released on singles, 7 exactly (all were published under the name of Mary Wells, but I think more faithfull to the project of the couple to put the 2 names on the cover). Only the first was a small hit in USA: "The Doctor". The further ones failed to repeat this return in the spotlight. It's sad since listening to these songs and the brilliant and touching interpretation of Mary Wells, they have aged well, often better than the more legendary R&B of these times. Mary always find a different way to approach songs and this may have deserved it since people want to quicky recognize their stars when they hear it on the radio. During the Jubilee years, she was able to release an album (Servin' Up Some Soul), but the next one (called Come Together or Love & Tranquillity according to sources) was unissued, the label surely believing not anymore to her chance to reach stardom. Sad again cos it would have been in phase with what Marvin Gaye was doing at the times (What's Going On). You can find all these songs and albums on a double compilation called the Complete Jubilee Years released in 1993. The next 20 years would be low profile for Mary Wells (she separated from Cecil Womack some years later after having children with him) and she died of throat cancer in 1992. After PP Arnold, I would appreciate if you don't know her, that you throw an hear here. The DIM front & back cover sleeve is from 2 present black artist that could have made them in the late sixties I feel.
Below, the streaming is the only non-Womack song, but the interpretation of the Peter, Paul & Mary (not Wells) "500 Miles" is so good, I could not choose another one.
If you miss the train I'm on, You will know that I am gone. You can hear the whistle blow, A hundred miles. Lord, I'm one, Lord I'm two,Lord, I'm three, Lord I'm four, Lord, I'm 500 miles, From my home. Not a shirt on my back, Not a penny to my name. Lord, I can't go a-home, This a-way.
In the studio in 1970 (as you can see, Getty Images).
In the studio in 1970 again (GI too).