Shocking Blue - Let Me Carry Your Bag / I Saw You In June 7" (1973)

It's almost finish with this 14th single that was no more successful than the previous one. Sad cos' it was a good song although a little bit dated, in 1973 things had changed and the it could have been easily released in 1970 as a follow-up of "Venus". What was surely true was that Robbie Van Leeuwen was at the border or the burn-up after all the songs he had written in only 4 years. There's only one left. Catch it here.

With their 14th single, released 5 months later, in September 1973, Shocking Blue failed for the first time to reach their home charts and it was clearly the end of the story if they didn't find the way to it. Unfair since the song is quite good, the most Grace Slick-like of their whole career, strange idea when you know that in 1973 the Airplane was an old souvenir. But it's true there was the Starship. The B-side is an unconvincing attempt to mix mandoline and reggae. Robbie van Leeuwen was not scared by the most extreme cocktail.


Shocking Blue - Oh Lord / Everything That's Mine 7" (1973)

Sorry for those who would like that I stop to re-up these Shocking Blue singles but there's still some to add. This one is from 1973 and is quite audacious with its depressive pre-americana style. It was, as you imagine, not a chart success. Catch it here.

In April 1973 was released the last single of the band (their 13th) to chart in Nederland. It could have been a miss since although musically it's back to the Creedence Clearwater Revival basics (more "Proud Mary" than "Born on the Bayou"), vocally, Mariska Veres adopts a whining and plaintive tone that is quite unusual. Maybe she was trying to Bolanise her voice. I like it but not sure their public was not a little confused by this new style. The B-side is better than the A one, a kind of T.Rex-plays-the-blues kind that is rather sapid. But the ambition of the previous year seems to vanished for a poorer approach of arrangements. Moreover, the clothes and hair styles of the band are less and less consistent with a serious consideration by mainstream rock. They'll pay it soon. Don't know why they were not aware of that at the time.


Black Sabbath - Montreux 1970 (1970)

I'm more than happy to post this concert, not in its bootleg and lo-fi version but in its high-quality sound version (from the Paranoid Deluxe ed. but keep that for you) cos' it's really one of the most extraordinary live testimony, not only from this band, but from any band. Those who said that Black Sabbath couldn't play and were bad musicians (and there were a lot of these silly dumbheads at the times, and as a kid, I was quite disturbed to hear and read that my fave band was considered so weak and wondered whether I had the worst tastes of the world or if it was a bunch of old-assholes, now I know this is the second option that was the good one) had apparently never heard them play live. Here they show what a great band they were. Recorded 18 days prior to the release of their mythic Paranoid album (actually it should have been called War Pigs but the label didn't want, "War Pigs" a song that was to be called "Walpurgis", but once again the label didn't want, weird isn't it?) it is captured in these wonderful moments when a band defends his new songs on stage and play them as they were conceived, not in different versions because they become bored to play them. And you discover how "Hand of Doom" (that established "doom" as a genre, you can hear there all the basic structure of doom) and "Fairies Wear Boots" were fabulous pieces of music. Now that the band is over forever, listening to this is like history but exciting as if you lived and felt things like you were here when they happened. Catch it here. The Brussels concert (recorded 2 months later) soon. No need to put a video below since none has the high sound quality of the file I post.


Man - The Single (I'm Dreaming) / The Symbol Who Came To Dinner aborted 7" (1973)

I'm in a Man period these days. Surely the recent death of Deke Leonard that made me jump again in their so hypnotic and interesting music. I forgot to re-up this aborted single so I do it. Note that I'll post some other ones in the next future when they had non-album tracks on A or B-sides. This one is really great (see the first presentation below) with a splendid and floating guitar riff while the B-side sounds very strangely as Steely Dan. Micky Jones won't dig this path again but it may have provided him some major success if he had. Note that I changed the cover sleeve since the first one I had made. I think this one is much better. Note also that some sites (eg. here) sell this (fake) single using my sleeve (actually they surely stole the file and make money with it). This makes me quite angry. So grab it for free here. Since there was no video still available for this song I decided to make one quickly (see below).

This should have been the single issued some months after the Back To The Future album but it was not released for a reason I ignore. Shame cos' it was again a splendid song by Micky Jones (his style is quite obvious here) and this may have helped the band to improve his success which was quite good with the charting of their double LP. The 2 songs of this aborted single were issued only 2 years ago in the Back To The Future CD box. Here they are in their supposed initial situation. Taste them, they're great.


Black Sabbath - Live in Asbury Park (1975)

It was impossible for me tonight not to post any Black Sabbath material since they play while I'm writing these words their last concert ever, in their native town of Birmingham, and I should have been there but I failed to find any ticket or more exactly to decide myself to spend so much money to go there and back. I think I was quite pusillanimous but that's too late for regrets. So here's a rare testimony of the band live in their heyday (although they are still good on stage but they don't compose classics anymore). I'll re-up the California Jam but I would like to find a source with the correct speed, the ones I found are usually fasten. And I'll post their Peel Sessions too. Meanwhile catch it here. And thanks to Ozzy, Tony, Geezer and the unfortunately absent Bill for having brought one of the most crucial music style in the history, being surely more influential than any other rock band or musician.

The release of a real new Black Sabbath is for all the poor fools like me a kind of major event, and that it's a fine, sometimes great piece of music, is a sort of miracle. A revenge for the insults and mockeries I endured when I was a 13-y (yes 13) kid discovering a band that would totally rearrange my vision of music (and some of some thousands of musicians and bands, notably the Melvins of course). BS was missing in this blog and it's time to feed it with some of their stuff. Actually, I'm not rich in rarities so I'll keep to some live recordings, the first being this one captured at Asbury Park (New Jersey) during the US arm of their Sabotage tour on the 5th of August 1975, and with a sound wuality not far from an official live. The band is in no way the pale version of his recent past some said it was. It's even closer to punk than to the WHOBHM (listen to the 12 min of instrumental that conclude "Sabracadabra" and tell me if it has anything to do with heavy metal in its most mainstream acception, and the link between "Orchid" and "Rock 'n' Roll Doctor" is pure Melvins). And it's mainly close to what'll become grunge, noise, thrash, sludge, stoner and of course doom, all movements that were strongly influenced by the masters of Birmingham. The version of "Black Sabbath" the song, is particularly impressive, much better it even was at their beginnings. It's today quite difficult to understand that so few of the press critics realized the importance of this band. It's strange too that between 1977 and 1987, I lost touch with this music (although I never sold a BS album in my life) because I felt this music was no more relevant. Thanx to the Melvins to have brought them back in my universe. So here is an exceptional testimony of the grandeur that could produce these 4 british guys on stage. Sabotage was of course largely played but there are also many tracks from previous albums. I chose the cover sleeve (with a work by Hans Baldung Grien, 1485-1545) I like the most among the various bootlegs released with this recording. I could have done one myself as I often do but I think this one fits perfectly. So, between 2 listenings to 13, a little bit of nostalgia. Below the complete show as posted on youtube.


The Saints - Know Your Product / Run Down (1978)

Don't panic, nobody's dead, it's only that Ed Kuepper on his fb page has stated that this single was released on the 3th of February 1978, 39 years ago, and looking at the promo clip and listening to the song, I couldn't believe it was almost 40 years I had listened to this song for the first time. Given that it seems like yesterday and that it is likely that in 40 years I'll be dead for long, it is like to discover I'm already dead. But wtf this personal statement. The important is that I hadn't re-up the Saints singles I had posted and it's an opportunity to do it. This single is, as most of Saints ones, a complete gem, an eternal standard and must be everything but forgotten. Cath it here (the B-side is great again although not unissued). Below what I wrote in the first post 6 years ago.

This single was the one associated with the Eternally Yours album (in February 1978). The brass addition shows that the Saints were running away from their punk roots (actually their Stooges roots) to incline toward their R 'n' B influences, more the Kuepper's than the Bailey's ones. The song is really a gem and is now a complete classic (lyrics below). How Ed Kuepper did to write so many standards in 2 years, it's a mystery? The B-side (unfortunately not a non-album track, featuring on Eternally Yours) is also a good one with a superb harp work. A very rare video shot below with the opening seconds in which the band presents the song.

Know Your Product. I'm just sitting in my chair when a voice comes on the air Says "Why don't you try it? You'll feel allright!" Got some great new brand of smokes "Cool your head and clear your throat "Keeps you young and so in touch." Cheap advertising, you're lying Never gonna get me what I want I said, smooth talking, brain washing Ain't never gonna get me what I need "Our new soap that's peachy keen saves your soul and keeps you clean "It's recommended, used by the queen "Gonna improve your IQ, help in everything you do "It's economic, don't cost too much." Said advertising, you're lying Never gonna give me what I want I said, smooth talking, brain washing Ain't never gonna get me what I need (I said take it, Come on, Soul man. Let's shoot the professor! Alright!) I'm just sitting in my chair when a voice comes on the air Says "Why don't you try it? You'll feel allright!" "It's a great new brand of smokes "Cool your head and clears your throat "Keeps you young and so in touch." Said advertising, you're lying You're never gonna give me what I want I said smooth talking, brain washing You're never gonna get me what I need (What do I care? Yeah! Hey man, Where's the professor? We need him now! Gonna tell you 'bout them Yeah we take it all the way 'round the world For that west coast feel Yeah man. Yeah everything, let it out It's not what you love Look out on the radio


Man - Peel Session (1974)

So, now that Deke Leonard has left forever, the two leading heads of Man are no more. I thought I had some material to re-up but actually I had all re-up already. So I add a splendid John Peel sessions were the band, featuring 5 members including Micky Jones et Deke Leonard, recorded in October 1974, the same month they released Slow Motion (the reason I chose this typography on the did-it-myself cover sleeve). It's one of the strongest versions of the songs you can find but, of course, I do not know all of them. What is always surprising with this band is the fact that they do not belong to any category, or more wisely, they belong to several. Here, the late bridge is not far to be doom when other parts are progressive or other pre-americana. It's always unexpected, the reason it travelled through years so easily, although it's clear that it belongs to the seventies. I'm glad this blog allows many to discover such bands that would stay for happy few and elderly without this attempt to keep the flame alive. Catch it here. And so long to poor old Deke. Another victory for cancer, this fucking serial killer. Below, a Youtube capture of the session.


Shocking Blue - Eve And The Apple / When I Was A Girl 7" (1972)

Let's go back to our Shocking Blue singles re-up series. Third single of 1972 and third great A-side. If musically the singles' year was a complete success, commercially the band failed to regain their previous year level. The single made quite well in Netherland, France and Belgium but the other countries were no more promised land for our dutch heroes. Anyway, now the importance is what remains of that, and that's 2 good and unfortunately forgotten songs. The reason they are here tonight.

In december 1972, Shocking Blue released this 12th single A-sided by an excellent song called "Eve & the Apple". This will allow them to stay in the Nederland charts but not to get back in the charts anywhere else. Sad once again because the production is strong and this track could have been a Xmas hit. But it seemed the Shocking Blue times were over and that they would stay a national glory. This is all the more a pity that the B-side is a song full of pathos showing Robbie van Leeuwen could succeed even in a more melodramatic domain. So, in brief, another forgotten treasure from this great band.


Cactus - Live at Mar y Sol (1972)

For months and months I wanted to post this fake EP of the live tracks captured at the Mar y Sol festival and played by Cactus, here in their late line-up featuring Peter French (an incredibly good singer that had been in Leaf Hound and Atomic Rooster), Dave Hichings and Werner Fritzschings. An incredible set that was, for the first 3 songs, the A-side of the 'Ot 'n' Sweaty LP. One track was missing, "Bedroom Mazurka". Easy to understand since it was a new composition and therefore featured on the B-side of the album. It was difficult to put one live version and one studio version of the same song on the same album during the vinyl era. This live version was added on the Fully Unleashed double CD released by Rhino records in 2004. Thus I added it to the 3 other ones to provide an homogenous record, although much shorter than 'Ot 'n' Sweaty of course. This is one of the hottest and most exciting live moment captured on record I ever heard. Notably "Bad Mother Boogie" (the video below), a complete rip-off of John Lee Hooker but played in such an intense way that never the king of the boogie would have been able to offer. This line-up was short-lived and Appice and Bogert teamed with Jeff Beck for an uneven experience of a supergroup called BBA (from the initials of their names). For their part, the 3 new members tried to go on under The New Cactus name but here also, the project was not fruitful (I may post their album here one day). So, let's shake our head and butt on this hottest than hot 21 minutes. Be careful if you listen to it while walking, you may show signs of the famous "silly walks". Catch it here.


Shocking Blue - Rock in the Sea / Broken Heart 7" (1972)

This 11th single was a sort of beginning of the end for the band, reaching only n°12 in Netherland where they would never reach their anterior levels anymore. But this is of no importance since, as I wrote in the first post almost 7 years ago, this my fave Shocking Blue song either for the lyrics than for the beat and melody. Posterity should have made it an eternal standard, this is what this blog is aimed to for some songs posted on it. This is one of them. Catch it here. The B-side is unfortunately rather weak. PS. As for all this re-up series, I added the cover sleeve of the Netherland single at the top of the post. Below the German one.

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.

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


John Lee Hooker - Live at the Wise Fool's Club (1976)

Let interrupt our Shocking Blue singles series with this fantastic live recording by John Lee Hooker, captured in a rather empty discographic period (1975-1989) where he was mainly budy touring with various bands under the name of Coast to Coast band. Sad I did not find the precise line-up of the band that backed him this night cos' they are really great. All I could find, it's that the long-time old pal Eddie Taylor and her vocal friend Beverley Underwood were with him on stage. Musically, it's the logical continuation of the Endless Boogie style but with a catching feeling that takes your feet off the ground. Note that this live set is not difficult to find on the net since it features in a rather common bootleg called Bedroom Boogie with a long track from the 1983 Montreux show and 2 songs from 1962 (!!!). I do not like this heterogenous albums and prefer to have only one source on an album (54 min of music is not bad). The reason why I changed everything from the title to the cover sleeve (mine is better I think, based on a picture took by a photographer called Ilia Lavreshkin, see a post about him on my other blog here). So let's have some boogie tonight. And if you want to read some words by the king of boogie, you can read his interview in the book The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews from Living Blues Magazine, which was recorded the night Hooker played this concert or, if you are French, in the new book from Christophe Goffette Blues, Country… folks ! (here to buy it). Last, I included 2 versions of this recording. One where each songs are separated and one with all songs on the same track since a concert is better to listen without this artificial cuts between songs. It's up to you. Catch it here.


Shocking Blue - Inkpot / Give My Love To The Sunrise 7" (1972)

Weird to say that for a band that was going downside on a commercial plan, but 1972 was a great year musically, and it began with this fantastic song that (see below) reached new heights in some countries. It is said it was n°1 in France but I've no souvenir of that and didn't find any confirmation of this, seen on wikipedia. Anyway, catch this great one here.

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.

I don't recognise the language on this one. But the sleeve is funny