I try to post again a Str.... record. Try cos' my last posts of this band were removed after a request by "don't know who" under the DMCA banner. Here is the first of concert series released on this blog. The sound is exceptionally good since it is taken from a radio take. This is the band in it's first period line-up, that means with Hudson & Ford (but also with Dave Lambert), caught 4 months after the release of their Bursting at the Seams successful LP. But the band had only weeks to live before splitting. It's an interesting testimony of the songs as they were played with this formation, to be compared with their interpretation with the next one. Personally, I find that the concert is weakened by the Hudson & Ford songs, such a different climax than the intense and oppressive Cousins ones. It would have been a benediction if Cousins had been more tyrannic like a, for example, Ian Anderson or Peter Hammill. Nevermind, this is a prime choice to taste here.
The Hangman & The Papist. The village square stands quiet The curfew still enforced The streets are even clear of dogs and whores Like some evil bird-of-prey The scaffold spreads its wings The people build their fires and bolt their doors The mayor is giving dinner to the officers’ wives His eldest son is learning how to fawn The barrick block is hushed and tense The soldiers drawing lots Who will be the hangman in the dawn? The lot falls on a young man Who has served for but a year His home is in the village close nearby He shivers at the thought of what He’s forced to do next day He wonders who it is who has to die? And the full moon casts a cold light On the gloomy prison walls The papist walks his cell He cannot sleep He hears the waiting gallows creaking Just beyond that door He prays for he has no more tears to weep The day begins to break A muffled drums begins to sound A crowd begins to gather in the square The presence of the hangman In his terrifying mask Weighs heavy on the minds of all those there The colonel reads the sentence Which the papist knows by heart: He has failed to show alliegence to the king His crime is thus with God himself And in his name he must hang The papist, head held high Says not a thing The jailer binds his handsAnd puts his blindfold to his eyes He leads him through the door before the crowd The hangman sees his victim And the blood drains from his face: He sees his younger brother standing proud The hangman tries to protest But is ordered to proceed His trembling hands begin to take the strain His eyes are blind with streaming tearsAnd he cries for all to hear: Forgive me God we hang him in thy name!Forgive me God we hang him in thy name!Forgive me God we hang him in thy name!Oh please forgive me God we hang him in thy name! Forgive me God we hang him in thy name!
The Hangman & The Papist
How many more fantastic bands in the further months? Iit's a real paradise time for hell's music lovers as I am (for 20 years now, quite a part of my life actually). Here again an ear orgasm with this US band and this 3 tracks EP. All the Sleep heritage mixed with the Neurosis one in a sapid and terrific mixture with something of Khanate in the vocal's approach. There's even something of the best math-rock (old Don Caballero, not the boring descendants). You see it's not the usual "let's doom as others did before us" style (so many, and often congratulated by unexplainable positive critics by specialized blogs and webzines). Nothing to add that this is a necessary EP to have. Go on their bandcamp page to hear it and support them. Meanwhile enjoy it here.
In November 1972, after difficult recording sessions with a new Free line-up (Andy Fraser went cos' of too much arguing with Paul Rodgers and was replaced by Tetsu on bass and Rabbit on keyboards) and a less and less present-to-the-world Paul Kossoff, the band released this fantastic song on a A-side of a single. It will be quite a hit, announcing one of the most cursed, bleak and stunning album of rock history: Heartbreaker. The lyrics (see below, are maybe, like most of the album lyrics, about Paul Kossoff, but nothing's sure). The B-side is a rather weak track that won't feature on the album. This Free line up will be short-lived, the fight between Rabbit and Paul Rodgers becoming too violent. The future will be Bad Company (for Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke), Sharks (for Andy Fraser) and Back Street Crawler (for Paul Kossoff), nothing to stand up next to this awesome band that was Free. Enjoy this last gem here.
PS (personal side). I did this upload from work, the reason it worked, but I won't be able to do that too often)
Wishing Well. Throw down your hat, kick off your shoes I know you ain't goin' anywhere Run 'round the town singin' your blues I know you ain't goin' anywhere. You've always been a good friend of mine, But you're always sayin' "Farewell" And the only time that you're satisfied Is with your feet in the wishing well. Throw down your gun, you might shoot yourself...Or is that what you're tryin' to do? Put up a fight you believe to be right And someday the sun will shine through. You've always got something to hide Something you just can't tell And the only time that you're satisfied Is with your feet in the wishing well. And I know what you're wishing for Time in a peaceful world Time in a peaceful world Time in a peaceful world Time in a peaceful world You've always been a good friend of mine, But you're always sayin' "Farewell" And the only time that you're satisfied Is with your feet in the wishing well.
Released more than 1 yr ago, this LP is stunning and I missed it for a reason I ignore. It's a gem. If you like your doom as it was played by Sleep in their formative years but also bands like Switchblade, the whole with a stoner feeling, you will love this more than anything else cos' this band success in mixing these 3 styles (don't forget the Melvins on "Ammonia for Sweat"). You can travel far, far away with such a powerful music. Leave all the filth behind you and fly in cold but peaceful places. It's at the same time introspective and cosmogonic, a kind of quality that you can't find in other styles than stoner doom. Strangely this US band sounds sometimes more like a Nordic one but I doubt any band could be so bluesy when they get stoner and still reach such a high level when they are atmospheric. The 22 min of the last track ("Back To Muro") is really fantastic, growing in your ears like a snake, one of the best doom sound creature since "Jerusalem/Dopethrone" with a Khanate influence that gives it something totally terrifying. This is apparently their first LP and they deserve to be strongly supported. Get it here and go to their myspace to buy it in CD for only 8$ there.
Back To Muro
In 1970, Alex Harvey formed Rock Workshop with Ray Russell. The band became an expansive band of 13 musicians who played a sort of Chicago Transit Authority meets Blood Sweat & Tears crossover with more madness than these 2 US bands, you can trust Alex for that. It was also much more jazz influenced than could be these US bands (a UK trend with bands such as Nucleus), and surely this limited the commercial success of their first album although it's full of energy and Alex is vocally exactly the Alex we would all love 3 years later with SAHB. Unfortunately the album consisted only in 5 songs with Alex on vocals and is quite unsatisfactory for his fans. Here, I decided to gather all the songs, and all the versions of the songs I found on the CD reissued of the 2 Rock Workshop LPs (on the second Alex was no more here but they included some alt versions of songs recorded for the first one and also a new one "Let my Bluebird Sing"). I added an instrumental "Ashen Besher", cos', real or not, I think it's an Alex one. The whole is a 14 songs pack I think is a welcome addition for Alex addicts. Enjoy it here. I did the cover sleeve. On the back sleeve, it's an Alex picture, although he's difficult to recognise him.
Wade in the Water (album version)
After failed attempts to form new bands, Peace for Paul Rodgers, Toby for Andy Fraser and Kossoff, Kirke Tetsu & Rabbit (strangely the most successful of the 3), they reformed Free mainly (they said) for Paul Kossoff who was drowning more deeply in his psycho-pharmacologic ocean. They recorded a really great but totally depressing album called Free At Last that was rather a success too (n°9 in the charts) and some weeks later "A Little Bit Of Love" was also a hit (n°13) and it deserved to be cos' it's really a fantastic rhythm and riff agencement. So many bands copied Free but none understood the magical touch of this band. On B-side, there was one of the most moving and depressing song of the LP (not an unissued one) called "Sail On". Free was able to win on both sides, the emotive and the efficient ones. I put both songs in streaming cos' they deserve it both. And get the single here.
Sail on. Sail on my brother Sail on through the night Sail on my sister Sail on through the night Beautiful as the day is long Beautiful as the day is long Sail on your troubles Sail on through your doubts Sail on your worries Sail on soon you'll work it out Beautiful as the day is long Beautiful as the day is long I've always been a believer In the good things of life But they don't all come wrapped in cellophane And they don't always seem to turn out right They don't always seen to turn out right I've always been a believer In the good things of life But they don't all come wrapped in cellophane And they don't always seem to turn out right No, no, no, They don't always seen to turn out right Sometimes they do not Humm.... sail on.
Contrary to what the cover sleeve may suggest, this is not desert stoner rock à-la-Kyuss but real heavy Melvino-doom with something actually less urban indeed and more, much more melodic. The vocals are very clever, using a vast spectrum of modulation. The guitars sometimes find the mysterious sonority of the best Paranoid LP tracks (eg. on "Waiting For The Fall") and it's jubilatory. All in all, a superb way to mix the Sabbath heritage with something more tribal, with a warrior dimension that make you want to get your fingers out of your ass and do the revolution. Maybe one day before leaving my bones or ashes (did not choose) to posterity. Enjoy this masterpiece here. Hope they'll do another one soon. Their myspace here. If you like it, please support them and buy the dl version or more likely, the CD version ont heir bandcamp page there.
Promised this one long ago. Never had the real motivation to do it prior to yesterday. So here it is. The third album from Jean Claude Vannier, better known for his work as arranger for artists such as Serge Gainsbourg (he is responsible for the special sound of the Melody Nelson album) or Veronique Sanson (her symphonic work) but so much more. However, it's his solo career I have a deep affection for. From 1975 to 1990, the time period he released 5 studio LP and 1 live (the latter you can find here) he would be my song companion, the only one in France with Christophe and Elli Medeiros to be honest. As most of his albums (except the first, L'assassin des mouches released in 1972 and much more experimental than his later work), this one has never been released in CD (and some would like that I share a tear for these fucking bastards of the record industry). It's my fave of his whole discography. Less influenced by Barbara than the previous one and more by Serge Gainsbourg and Procol Harum, it's the last before he would become more tied to a strict song format. There are some of the best songs ever written in French here such as "Des coups de poing dans la gueule", "La chanson de la pluie" (but the live version is much more moving), "Browning" and "Bécon-les-Bruyères". It was unfortunately not a good time to release such an album in 1976, a year people had their ears elsewhere and on more artificial sounds and I'm sure he was quite desillusioned (but it's not a man to have much illusion on anything, even on him, when you listen to his lyrics). Among his discography, you can find the first LP (1975) here, the 4th (1980) there and now the second just there. One of these records explaining why I created this blog.
Des coups de poing dans la gueule
Habitants de Bécon-Les-Bruyères
In March 1971, after the failure of Highway in the charts and a tour raising oppositions between Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers while Paul Kossoff was slowly drowning in addiction (mandrax, heroine and alcohol it seems), the band was back in studio but after lying some new songs it was clear that the magic was over and that they had to split. Strangely, the destiny of a song "My Brother Jake" (surely a text about Paul Kossoff), would contribute to bring them back together some months later. Actually it reached n°4 in British charts in May 1971 and stayed there 2 weeks. It was backed with "Only My Soul", 2 songs that would only stay on singles and on various compilations. Difficult to say what would have been the album if they recorded one in March 1971 but it seems rock was progressively getting out of their mind. More to come. Enjoy it here quick before it's withdrawn.
My brother Jake. My brother Jake, hat, shades, head in a daze My brother Jake, have you thought about changin' your ways? He goes out, he don't have no doubt He don't have to know what the world's about My brother Jake, head, down, it's a scrapin' the ground Jake, stay away, you know you can't always be down He goes out, he don't have no doubt He don't have to know what the world's about I said Jake, now won't you wait What's got into you Your candle is burning, the wheels are turning What you gonna do? My brother Jake, won't you start again try makin' some friends Jake, it's not too late to start again by making amends He goes out, he don't have no doubt He don't have to know what the world's about I said Jake, now won't you wait What's gone wrong with you Your candle is burning, the wheels are turning What you gonna do? Hey, I said Jake, don't you wait What's gone wrong with you? Your candle is burning, the wheels of time are turning What you gonna do? Yeah I said Jake, Jake, Jake, won't you wait What's got into you - oh Your candle is burning, the wheels of time are turning What you gonna do? Listen, I'm gonna break you Jake Because you got what it takes To give a whole lotta people some soul
As the title says, this is the last session John Lee Hooker recorded for Vee Jay, in Chicago, surely at the Universal Sound studio, but unfortunately musicians are unknowns. Since only 4 of the 10 songs/tracks recorded for the session were released, and on 2 45 T, without album to find the whole, it could seem that Vee Jay was no more interested by the old bluesman, but let's not forget that the label would be in bankrupt 2 years later and it's more likely that they couldn't afford to issue a JLH album anymore. So here's the LP that could have been. This session, that I thought to call Pretty Women, Sweet Babes and Big Girls since all the songs are about problems JLH seems to have with the female genre (with the quite old-fashion misogynistic view of these times), either on a sexual or sentimental plan, is interesting cos' it shows that John Lee Hooker was in a "band mood" at the time, and it's no surprise that some months later he would be touring and recording with the Groundhogs in England. Actually the session is not totally satisfying cos' songs miss the dereliction dimension I love so much in this genre, but all in all it's a welcome addition to any John Lee Hooker collection, and since only some songs were spread in various compilations and others not available at all, it's good to have them all in one homogenous set here or there. Sorry, I mispelled the title, it should have "skirt" and not "skirts", but impossible to get back so I leave it this way. After all it's only a virtual cover sleeve.
Big Legs, Tight Skirt
If you think not possible to mix the best of Black Sabbath, High Tide, Iron Butterfly and Pink Floyd with sludge and doom (more specifically Yob, Sons of Otis, Boris) without sounding old time boring nostalgic stuff, listen to this record, one of the best things to emerge in the late months. There are so many strenghts in the music of this Boston trio that it would need a long long text to describe it correctly. All I can say it's that it will become one of these records that you can't get off during days and days for many of you. Unfortunately it seems they don't propose any other way to get this EP than on itunes (?). Hope they will offer the opportunity to buy it in vinyl or CD format. If you want to support the band, please dl it in a payment way, it's in better compression than the one I found (181 kb). Enjoy here.
Let's try again to post a Free single. The next after biiiiiiiiiiip Right Now. It was a big disappointment for the band who was sure to have a gem (and it is) but it failed to reach the same chart altitude than All biiiiiiiiiip Now. Worst of all, the B-side was a weak track from the Free LP whereas it would have been better to put another song from Highway, the album following the single some weeks later, with still less success. We were in the Autumn of 1970 and it was the end of a incredibly brief honeymoon between Free and success. It's true that the band seemed to suicide with a bunch of so desperate songs full of regrets, tears and melancholy. But this was as they were. Authentic. If they let it on, get it here. Not like All Right biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.
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It's about "All Right Now" from Free. They want to still win the cash on it. Even if I'm sure I contribute more in posting this single to encourage many to buy Free stuff than I steal them. So OK, I'll withdraw it. And will post the next one. It's called "The Stealer". I'm not sure it will stay longer. Not sure too that this blog will still resist a long time before being forbidden. Take all you can the quickest you can.
Here's maybe the record that sent to the dustbin the career of Jack Bruce, another album rejected by a label (RSO), showing how these bastards had the power to refuse shamelessly to issue great albums from geniuses. Cos' Jet Set Jewel is a much better album than was the previous one, How's Trick recorded and issued 2 years before. But let's consider the situation. We are in 1978, for the last 2 years Jack Bruce has a band, and seems to recover from the sudden dismiss of Mick Taylor 3 years before, who ended his former Jack Bruce Band (with Carla Bley), without any album recorded or released. In this new band there's Simon Phillips on drums, Tony Hymas on keyboards and Hughie Burns on guitars. Their first album (How's Trick) was quite uneven and frankly weak (production and compositions). After a long year touring (with a mixed response of the crowd, waiting for old Cream songs when the band only offered his new repertoire), they took a year off followed by the recording of an album entitled Jet Set Jewel (from the eponymous song featuring a sarcastic text on the rockstars life on tour). The recording was difficult because Jack Bruce was hard on heroine and was never happy with what he heard. But after long weeks of studio it was completed and ready to be presented to the bosses of RSO, who hated what they heard and refused to release it. It was the end of hopes for Jack Bruce to have a full time band with him and a correct solo career. Listening to this album today (it was actually released in 2005 with an awful cover sleeve, see below, the reason I did another one from a digital Max Sauco picture I find more fitting to the LP content) it's difficult to understand why they didn't like it cos' it's quite obvious it was a great album that could have found its audience. In streaming, one of the 3 Pete Brown-Jack Bruce penned songs, "The Best Is Still To Come", the last track of the album, a difficult lyrics to write, said Pete Brown in the Jack Bruce recent biography, cos' it was clear that the best was not to come, but Jack Bruce wanted an optimistic song to close the album. It's one of the 3 masterpieces we can find on ot (with "Jet Set Jewel" and "She's Moving On"). Enjoy this forgotten gem here.
The Best Is Still To Come
The Best is Still to Come Getting into some new ways And out of the old Left the seasons of regret Changing my role Getting over the dark blue Maybe feeling something new Giving up is harder than living Into the new year And out of the old Saw a vision of the stars Coming out of the cold Getting over the hard greys Finding new days Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy And the best is still to come Found a season to sail on Into the gail Found a reason to press on Those hounds on my tail Runnig away/ got time to pay/ so much to say Giving myself the hardest sell Keeping it on Finding myself a hard shell That shines in the dawn Making a start/ taking some heart/ playing my part I'm taking the straight line I'm making my list I'm catching that train The chances I missed I'm getting past the fear And out into the clear Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy And the best is still to come There's a time to go through the lights When they say red There's a time to let crazy games Move in instead Making that play/ blows you away/ can't always pay A time to go walking on Threatening waves A time to call a stop Be nobody's slave Out into the air/ through with the pat/ giving my share Not coming last/ sun in your hair/ gaining so fast/ Now you are there -In shaking skies we fly alone Out into the lead Our wings are so near burning Keeping up speed Falling behind . . . feeling so blind . . . walking that line . . . so fine . . . I'm into some new waysAnd out of the old I'm leaving the sadness I'm changing my role Leaving out the blue Feeling so new Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy But the best is still to come . .
A great US band mixing noise and sludge in a stunning way (not sure the name is really a good one but we'll do with it). It's one of the best surprise of the last weeks and I'm sure it will stand quite a long time. If you're in Converge you'll surely appreciate. But for me, it's more sapid since the sludgy dimension is much more present. If you're in a quite disgusted mood and full of hate for humankind, it's quite a good thing to listen to I assure. Buy the solid version if you like the LP here please. They deserve it and we need bands like this to survive. Try it beforehand here.
A nice video for an older song
When John Lee Hooker enters the Chicago studio on 27th September 1967, it's been 1 year he did not record any session and 2 months there was a 5 day riot in Detroit causing 43 dead among whom 33 were black people. John Lee Hooker composed a song about it and sang 3 others in this session, one of the best of the decade. On guitar, rarely mentioned for a reason I ignore, there was Buddy Guy. Two singles will be released from this session. Two months later, he'll record another one with the same band minus Buddy Guy, but the session will be very weak. All the songs from both sessions will be gathered on an LP released in 1968 under the name of Urban Blues. An uneven one for sure. More problematic, only the BGO CD version will feature the song "Want Ad Blues", the more widely known and easy to find MCA one withdrawing this song for the strange inclusion of 3 songs from the session John Lee Hooker did with Earl Hooker in 1969 and entitled If You Miss 'Im... I Got 'Im (you can get this almost complete session here). So, here's the only way to listen to the 27th September session: on a specific EP consisting of the 4 songs recorded this day. And the atmosphere is quite heavy and showed that this old blues man was as relevant to modern times than younger rockers such as the MC5, Jefferson Airplane or the Stones. Savor it here. Pictures are from the Detroit 1967 riots.
The Motor City Is Burning
Shit. Discovered some days earlier, this fantastic LP would have been in my list of the best LPs of the year and at least one of the tracks among the selected for my Bloody Hell Faves. This Finish band apparently led by a young man plays the best atmospheric doom since Omega Massif. Moreover, they dare to use totally unusual instruments and sounds (electric piano, sax) that seem strangely completely natural. And they create (I thought it was no more possible) new and sublime riffs and themas, in a genre that has been quite overcrowded by post-Mogwai & Pelican imitators. Their last album should really be possible to buy given its quality, but it's freely dl on their bandcamp site here (they decided some days ago to shut their myspace, it seems the new one is a nightmare for users, stupid idea of all these space providers to always change for worse, are they totally dumbass or what?). Sorry for those who come here for oldies, I'll post some soon, but during these awfull X-mas and New-Y festivities, doom is the only thing I can listen to if I want to still be alive next week. Enjoy this masterpiece here.
Let's begin the year with strong stoner doom from a US based trio called Romero. This is their first single but there's a 3-song EP version of it. Try to buy it if you like these 2 ones. And I'm sure you will if you come on this blog for sludgy doom (but it's not the majority of visitors I must admit). I hope 2011 will reach the level of quality in this genre of music than the 3 previous years which have been quite exceptional I must say. And I'm an old dumb bastard sliding toward death and who have lived quite a lot of periods in music, so believe me (or not after all, I don't deserve it just cos' I'm old). Enjoy this new gem here. And their myspace there.