Ronnie Lane began 1976 with this song that honestly could have made it if the time was not at funk and disco, but here there was not even a slim chance. Companion of the wonderful One For The Road album (soon to be posted here cos' it's full of great forgotten songs), this single had a non-LP song on B-side. Not a bad one (very Beatles-influenced) so a reason more to consider this single as a good addition to the previous ones. Once again it's in flac so the quality is maximal. Enjoy it here. PS. Cover by my own since this single was again issued without any. I add the lyrics cos' it's a honest and interesting way to declare to your lover we have felt in love with someone else even if we don't know where and how all this will end.
Don't try to change my mind I ain't nobody I just been where I been And I seen what I seen Nothing more Don't try to change my mind I don't want no secrets The answers don't ask All the questions there are anymore One thing that I know Where she takes me That's where I'll go The answers don't ask All the questions there are anymore Don't try to change my mind It's just a story Just a stage, just a scene Just a dream in a dream nothing more I've seen her come and go She comes like sunshine She goes like snow Just a stage just a scene Just a dream in a dream nothing more One thing that I know Where she takes me That's where I'll go Don't try to change my mind When you come all alone And you go on your own Out that door
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. Enjoy it here.
We are in April 1975 and the situation becomes dramatic for Ronnie Lane. His burlesque and circus-like tour with Slim Chance has been a financial disaster, his last album (called Slim Chance and released in January, not really satisfying musically) failed to sell as failed his previous single "What Went Down". So here he tried a cover of a very old song composed and played during the Great US depression (in 1931) and featuring in the play called New Americana. The idea was not really a good one when one remember 1975 was this awful year every band wanted to sound soul and funky (and actually didn't sound either). Maybe the SAHB success and their inclination toward revival of old songs could have helped (the Kinks beginning their rock turn) but the modest and roots approach of Ronnie Lane would have been more appropriate in the US where Randy Newman and Nillson could do that with some success. So here is another failed attempt. Not a gem but a nice version that was not included on any LP, contrary to "Ain't No Lady", the B-side (rather weak this one, sounding quite like the Mungo Jerry) which was on the Slim Chance album. Enjoy it here. Once again, since the 7" had no cover, I did one with a picture taken at the time of the Great Depression and that I think fits Lane's universe.
Lyrics. They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread? Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime; Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum! Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime? Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell, Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum, Half a million boots went slogging through Hell, And I was the kid with the drum! Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time. Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?
Recorded on the stage of the Skinnys Noho on last April 3rd, it was said that "the audience beheld a "Giant Baby Doll" version of Bettie Page interacting with a "Nuclear Frankenstein" backed by a surf garage band version of The Doors featuring Mike Wolf, Cosmo Topper & Steve Darrow". Actually, it seems pure impro based on "Gloria"'s and "Wild Thing"'s riffs played approximately and on which, during never more than 1 min 1/2, Kim and his "dame" talk about naughty things. Not one of the best thing to hear at home that has been done by the great man but after all, the important is to participate. It's short and simple and shows the man has decided to fill the year with (virtual) albums. He can go on, I love it. Hope an LP with jfg (he played last month with him in Bordeaux and in Nantes, you can listen to his solo and band stuff here) will be released this year, sure it would be one of 2012's highlight. Meanwhile, listen here to this piece of experimental 60's garage by mister Kim and miss Mercy. And then, as usual, go to buy it here or there. Kim needs it. You would be naughty not to do it (except if you don't have the money for).
Some years ago, sessions (live or in studio) recorded by Family during their "career" were at last issued in 3 volumes (1968-69, 1970 and 1971-73). Quite expensive and a little arbitrarily released in 3 different CDs, it was a fine way to listen to the entirety of what the band has done for this radio. Rather uneven, there are some gems that deserved to be available. Another strange point one of this CD (the 1971-73) has been rather hard to find lately. Of course the band changed so much during these 5 years that it's a travel across styles. Here all these recordings are gathered in 3 volumes too (mf doesn't allow me to dl them in one file only). The last one must be read by VLC (ogg format). So find part 1 (1968-69) here, part 2 (1970) here and part 3 (1971-73) there.
I'm really in love with the last Emily Wells LP called Mama. I don't really dig her previous works (the last LP was released in 2008 I think) but this later one is totally thrilling, stunning, moving. And among the 10 songs, "Passenger", the first single will be without a doubt one of my fave song of the year. I don't stop listening to it and each time I shiver like a young teenager although I'm not one for a long long time now (but in my inner self, I can't really say I'm feeling so far from my teen years). Somewhere between Bolan, Kate Bush and Danielle Dax (personal choice of influences, maybe I'm wrong but I hear them in her), but with a lo-fi and experimental approaches that none of these brilliant masters adopted, she shows that all the female singer-songwriters are not naive muppets playing the romantic, evanescent and sexy (and silly) creatures. She would deserve to have the same success than Lana Del Rey (and I rather appreciate Miss Rey) but sure she doesn't fit in the mainstream instrumental codes to reach such a notoriety. I post this single (with a do-it-myself cover sleeve taken from the first picture of her clip), only a virtual one I think, to which I added a B-side with one of the other highlights of her LP, the wonderful "Let Your Guard Down". If you don't fall for these, it's quite desperating. Hope I won't be forced to remove the link. I'm sure that I help her in posting this here but I know many don't agree.
Is there a special climate in Australia that make sludge bands the best of the world these days? I dunno but after Iron Worzel here's another one (from Canberra). Rather different, much more Black Sabbath-influenced, but the voice is guttural as could be a real bear singing. Once again, Acid Bath is floating around like a sonor ghost. Another reference is Yob, but since they are more than ever Sabbath sons, the circle is closed. It's full of Iommi's riffs but tightly stuck and sent in our face like a gun its bullet. Never boring although a little bit repetitive on the lenght, it's a fantastic piece of metal shit you can't miss if you want to say that you've heard the best of the year. Strange as it is never really heavy in the bad meaning of the term. There's something dancing in the way they play it. A band to follow, encourage and support. You can dl freely their LP here or if you want there.
This recording could have been included in the BBC sessions (here) but it's quality is incredibly superior and moreover I only found it recently on the Flawed Gems reissue of the great Roll'em Smoke 'em LP (there for the original LP setlist and album). "The Man" is missing but I prefer not to add the low quality I have (and included in BBC sessions). So here we have the band at their debuts (they had only their first self-titled LP out) and sounding as a raw-jazz version of Family. The complexity of their melody lines is still really fascinating today and leaves them unaltered by the decades (just listen to "Sittin' Back Easy" below, you'll hear Steely Dan and Prefab Sprout's foundations). Some may be a little bored by the jazz guitar solo parts from Ollie Halsall (and I am) but all in all, it's still a wonderful testimony of how great could be prog-jazz UK rock at this period. Enjoy it here. I promise the sound quality is stunning. And there are 2 songs never put on studio LPs. The cover sleeve was done (by me with drawings from Phyllis Bramson, a site here)
This late weeks I begun to be quite desillusioned with what I heard in the doom-sludge-stoner style. Too much of similar gimmicks, not much credibility. But suddenly, Iron Worzel filled my room and it was clear there was something special coming here. The brutality of this band is totally stunning. It's sludge at its best. Imagine the best of EyeHateGod and UpsideDownCross with a bit of Acid Bath and even Brutal Truth or Obituary and you got the incredible sonor tempest that will drown your bitter suicidal mind better than any Mort Brutale and any other strong stuff made to stone you and get you out of this mess. What's incredible is that it's only a demo, free to dl (here) and without even a cover sleeve (usually, even for demos, bands try to propose a visual for a possible hard version of their virtual version). So I did one (sorry for the band if they don't like it) with a painting/picture I find absolutely fantastic and done by the great Ivan Sloyaev (here). I find it fits well with the music. This band deserves to find a label releasing this 6-track set fast that we can have a CD or vinyl version. One of the most ear-destructive band of the year. Enjoy it here.
Latest tracks by Iron Worzel
This 4th single didn't do better than the previous one in the charts. Strangely, both songs (the B-side is called "Lovely") are not on the LP that was released in the same period (and called Slim Chance), showing that Ronnie was not short of ideas when it came to songwriting. Both are really good and it's a shame nobody seemed to notice at the time. Both are of course very influenced by Georges Harrison but Ronnie Lane's personnality was now quite enough installed to be a style in his own. Although the name of the band was the same, the crew was totally different with Steve Simpson on guitar, mandolin, violin, keyboards, harmonica, Ruan O'Lochlainn on organ, piano, saxophone, Charlie Hart on violin, keyboards, piano, accordion, Brian Belshaw on bass, Glen LeFleur on drums and Jim Frank on drums (but it is written Colin Davey and Steve Simpson on the Ain't No One Like Ronnie Lane compilation for the credits of this session so I'm not sure). The important is that these songs on this underrated and forgotten single can be listened to 35 years later with the same pleasure. Since there was no cover sleeve, I did one the best I could. Enjoy it here.
Released in September 1970, this double vinyl LP is again a great underrated one from Al Kooper, the first of a long series of albums on which time finally does no harm (it's also the case with Leon Russell, Dr John, Todd Rundgren or Randy Newman). A wide variety of styles are treated but there's something special in Al (the mark of great musicians) that makes the whole homogeneous and consistent. Strangely the album is cut in its middle. The 8 first and the 13rd and 14th songs are recorded with the same musicians (Stu Woods, Rick Marotta and David Bromberg), when from the 9th to the 12th (and on the 15th) you have various backing musicians. It would have been a better idea to put all the songs recorded with different musicians on the same side but it was not Al's choice. There are several gems in this set but I leave you to choose which ones. Note an incredible version of "Baby Please Don't Go" totally forgotten by completists who cite the covers of this song. A shame. Enjoy all this here.
Some months after the half-succesful "The Poacher", another single is issued from the album Anymore for Anymore, and this one will fail miserably, signing the end of the Pandora's box in which hope is kept deep inside. Sad since once again it's a delicious couple of songs. "Roll on Babe" was written and sung by an American folk singer called Derrold Adams (in the 60's) and was covered some years ago by a band called Vetiver (apparently pals of Devendra Banhart) in a version that honestly is nothing else than a pure (and boring) plagiarism of the Ronnie Lane version. The B-side is (strangely) the song title of the eponymous album and a very good one too. Of course, it's mainly a George-Harrison-goes-accoustic approach of music but who cares if it's played and sung with such elegance, emotion and beauty. Enjoy it here.