Groundhogs - Singles As and Bs (1968-76)

I'm beginning to read Eccentric Man, the definitive biography about Tony McPhee written by Paul Freestone (great name) that I encourage any visitor to buy (eg. here) since it's more than only the musical life of a man, but the description of how a little English boy falls in love with blues (the roughest one, the one played in particular by John Lee Hooker or Howling Wolf) and travels through the muddy and changing musical fashions of UK, trying to stay true to his passion and creative. This is the occasion to compile all the A and B sides of the singles that Tony McPhee (or sometimes some bosses in his label) released under the band name during its glorious days. Sad that neither Who Will Save The World or Hogwash provided any single, since there were some possible standards on it. But it's true Groundhogs were not a singles band. Sometimes, solo Tony McPhee tracks were thrown on the B side. Not a good idea to help the singles buyers, unfamiliar with the band, to discover the musical universe of this unusual trio. Last, I can't help to think that Tony McPhee could have touched stardom with "Pastoral Future", his last single in 1976. Totally different from all the band's repertoire, it sounds as a crossover between "Europa"'s Santana (released in 1976) and Dire Strait (whose 1st album was not released in 1976). Tony McPhee's life would have been totally changed if this instrumental had been a hit. But not sure it would have been for the better since he surely would have some difficulty to adopt definitively this style. So, no regret. Catch this fantastic collection here. PS. I did the cover sleeve with a picture from the French photographer Jonathan Abbou (a post about him here).

John Lee Hooker - The "That's Where It's At" session (1953)

My fave JLH session any period any style. Gathered on one LP. If you had to have one Hooker album, it should be this one. Catch it here.

This is the first post of a series about John Lee Hooker, my favorite bluesman so far. His discography is really a nighmare for those who want to listen in chronological order to his sessions since recordings are spread on various compilations, often wrongly dated, as (surely) the one presented today. If I begin with this one, it's because it's one of my favorites and considered so by many Hookers amateurs. Released in LP format in 1969 on Stax under the title of That's Where It's At (I kept the title but changed the cover sleeve I did myself), it was said to be recorded in Miami in 1961, but many connoisseurs thought Stax had only bought this session to the produced Henry Stone and, judging by the music John Lee Hooker plays on it, was more probably recorded during summer 1953, just after another session in Miami released by Atlantic under the name of Don't Turn Me From Your Door. Actually, 4 songs of this Atlantic album, and in particular the eponymous song, were from this second sessions and missed on the Stax album. So here are the 14 (in the order of recording such as stated by some reliable sources) that should have been on the Stax LP of 1969 and not even included in the CD version. Is still missing "Talking about my baby", which features only on a split album with Lightnin' Hopkins I never localized. I must say I have almost a hundred CDs or LPs from John Lee Hooker but this is not enough to cover all his sessions. But back to the music. Here John Lee is only backed by a bassist (maybe Steve Alaimo but not sure he's the only one throughout the session) and he provides the quintessence of muddy and swamp blues, nothing less that what Creedence Clearwater Revival would cultivate 15 years later. I even see something as the beginning of sludge in this dirty sound and slow pace. If blues has to be modern, it's here I find it to be, not in pale copies of white guys playing the rock 'n roll stars.

John Lee Hooker - Let Me Play My Blues Alone Fake EP (1959)

A re-up of the second session JLH did for Vee Jay. Used this wonderful picture as cover sleeve. Catch it here.

Here's the next session John Lee Hooker did for Vee Jay, I mean the next after this one here. We are 6 months later, in January 1959. And once again, he came in the studio to record 2 rather commercial songs ("Maudie" and "Tennessee Blues") with the rock 'n roll flavor of the moment, backed by a 2nd guitar and drums. But then, when the "job"'s done, he stays and plays his style, more lonely with each song, even leaving his electric guitar for the accoustic one on "Hobo Blues", and covering no less than 4 blues styles in 4 songs (the reason I chose the cover sleeve). And it's really magical. This session will actually be released the same year, first on three 2-song 78 rpm and then compiled with songs recorded for Vee Jay over the previous 2 years on an album called I'm John Lee Hooker. The irony is that with the old rural blues style that he played on "Hobo Blues"(and in which Vee Jay was not interested), he would reach success among white University students the same year, with sessions recorded for the label Riverside and which provided the famous Country Blues and That's My Story album. I long thought that this neo-rural blues revival was not sincere and only a way to win some more money for him (and many Hooker's experts wrote that) but actually, hearing that he would end some of his 1958 and 59 sessions with these kind of songs when he came in to record some bandwagonned songs make me think it's maybe wrong. The fact is this fake EP makes us participate during some rare minutes to the more intimate part of the singer, alone in the studio, singing for none than him, and seeming to ask that he's left to play his blues alone. PS. If I knew the bastard in charge of the recording who faded the end of each song, I would punch him to death.

Below, John Lee takes his accoustic guitar and offers a great version of "Hobo Blues". And some said he didn't know to play guitar.

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John Lee Hooker - Shake It Baby EP (1962)

A re-up of this fantastic set of JLH at the American Folk Blues Festival in 1962. Not surprising that young teenagers such as Tony McPhee became Hooker addicts when listening such excitating gems. Catch it here.

While the little whitey called the Beatles were singing"Love Me Do" or "She Loves You" (and the further year "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", what a joke) for young virgins wetting their underwear for the first time, John Lee Hooker sang the real thing for women who knew what it was to have a male sex in them, how to shake their butt to make it grow or how to shake it with hands if needed. This extraordinary hot version of "Shake It Baby" with Willie Dixon, T-Bone Walker and Jump Jackson smells the spontaneity but was a big hit in the European charts. Who say best? I never a more sexual incitation in all music history. The 3 other songs are from the same concert, actually a travelling festival with bluesmen freshly rediscovered by little white students in USA and by those of working class in UK (they will be the bluesboom). Not so hot but nice too. Enjoy it here.

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John Lee Hooker - Big Legs Tight Skirts (The Last Vee Jay Session) fake LP (1964)

A re-up of the 1964 session. More details below. Catch it here.

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. 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
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John Lee Hooker - Live at Casino de Montreux (1983)

Re-up of this late career concert of JLH. Catch it here.

You can find this recording of the great John Lee playing 30 years ago at the Casino de Montreux under various cover sleeves (I added mine to this collection, but included all the other ones in the file) and on several other blogs but I decided to post it on this blog cos' it was my sonor companion during my recent Xmas running sessions (I try to maintain my fitness level and to delay the unavoidable damage of time, a hopeless project but it makes me some good on a strictly mental plan so I go on) and I felt the need that this LP featured on Forgotten Songs. I thought that this set was routine as ever but it's not the case and listening to it with all the attention you can develop when music is your only encouraging friend, I found that JLH was much more concerned than in must of the recordings done during this timespan. In particular the last songs of the show are quite something (listen to Boogie Chillen below) and excitation is back again with a fantastic supporting band (with Willie Dixon on bass, Luther Allison and John Hammond on guitar, Sugar Blue on drums and Melvin Jones on keyboards, what can you expect less than exciting boogie). I'll post a little bit more often in the next weeks, having some new material (John Cale, Groundhogs and more JLH) to post. Have the best 2014 year you can dream of.

John Lee Hooker - Sittin' Here Thinkin' (1954)

Re-up of a session he recorded in 1954 before being signed by Vee Jay. Contrary to what I write in the previous post, I decided to create a cover sleeve since the one released in 1979 shows an older John Lee Hooker who is totally out of context with what's on the album. Catch it here.

Released in 1979, this session was the last John Lee Hooker recorded (in 1954) without stable label contract before being recruited by Vee Jay where he stayed during 10 years (with some infidelities at the beginning of the sixties). On this session, Ed Kirkland is on guitar but the bass and drums are played by unknown musicians (maybe Tom Whitehead on drums but the drumming here a little better than the one Whitehead was able to). A CD version was released in 1990 on the French label Vogue, with a song not featuring on the vinyl version: "When My Wife Quits Me". This is this version I posted here. Most of songs are actually about recriminations about male-female relationship and separation, but it was not a rare thema in Hooker's lyrics it's true. And it's an important question I must admit. Not sure things have changed a lot in 60 years. I've tried to find an alternative cover sleeve but didn't find a picture appropriate enough to justify not using the official CD one. It's not the best he did in his life (I mean the session, not the cover sleeve), but an interesting one deserving to feature in each Hooker discography.

John Lee Hooker - The "Lou Della" session (1958)

I re-up all the John Lee Hooker material I posted on FS. Here's the first Vee Jay session he recorded about which I tell all about below. Catch it here.

From 1955 to 1964, John Lee Hooker was mainly under contract with Vee Jay, although he recorded some sessions for other labels in the meantime. This partnership will bring him some success but his production will be uneven, Vee Jay often trying to make of him a follower of fashion, leading to some industrial disaster in the sixties. The relationship began with a little difficulty, as with this session, recorded on the 10th of June 1958 at Chicago, in which, for the first time, he recorded enough songs in a one session to make an LP, beginning with 2 intended hits ("I Love You Honey" (a cover and a quite bad result) and "You've Taken My Woman" (a not better original, miming more than being rock 'n roll)). After this bad preamble, John Lee did what he did best, play his raw and rough blues with a backing band that seemed to understand his idiosyncrasic conception of beat. These songs will be spread on various compilations years later (on House Rent Boogie and Travellin' for example). So here's is the album (I gave it the name of "Lou Della" cos' it's an occasion to honor women) that could have been at the end of 1958. The first album Vee Jay will release will be I'm John Lee Hooker in 1959, but only after John Lee Hooker will record a rural blues one for Riverside, due to a sudden interest by young white students for the roots of blues. Whether John Lee has played this old style for a white audience with pleasure or for money is a question that remained unanswered. The fact is that his true music at the time was what he recorded in this session, and appreciated mainly by a black audience. In the further ones for Vee Jay, it is not impossible that there was some kind of pressure for recording more commercial songs. And I'm quite proud of the cover sleeve I chose.

Below one of the many superb and forgotten Hooker's masterpieces: "Nightmare"



Peace - BBC Session Fake 7" (1971)

An improved sound quality (not perfect but more audible) with the 3 songs played at the BBC session (with the missing John Peel who speaks). A re-up of this brief but so interesting period during which Paul Rodgers tried to reinvent himself with a shirt-lived other band. A testimony how this man had became a great composer in 1971. Unfortunately he won't keep this magic touch throughout the rest of his musical life and his post-Free career has been quite a waste of talent. Catch it here. More details about the content below.

It's not really the whole BBC session (the 22th December 1971, with John Peel talking of course, this is THE man) that Peace (the band Paul Rodgers formed between may and december 1971 during the Free breakup) since contrary to what is said on the sleeves (not the one posted here, that I did myself from a montage here) "Like Water" is cut after only some seconds for a reason I ignore, so I didn't put it in the rar file. Actually, a visitor sent me the link to this source but after, that I actually found another one with the abhorted "Like Water" version. So here is a fake single with 2 songs that Paul Rodgers will take back more than one year later on the Heartbreaker LP but that he did not propose apparently for the Free At Last one at the beginning of 1972. Since they are two undying classics, to listen to them in their initial version is moving. "Heartbreaker" didn't change much once in the Free hands, whereas the fantastic "Seven Angels" is less bleak here than he will be in its final version, and the voice not totally finalised. Don't forget that Paul Rodgers played all the guitar parts here and is quite good at it. The sound is not top quality but can be listened to without too much pain. A welcome addition to the studio EP I posted here.


Free - Live at Tampa Stadium (1972)

Recorded in Florida on the 30th April 1972, this is the end of the legendary Free line-up. Andy Fraser would leave soon after whereas Paul Kossoff collaboration to Free would become more and more erratic although he would create his strongest guitar playing during these months (and sometimes his worst). Initially released with quite an awful sound, I postponed the inclusion of this live bootleg to the FS collection, but I took the time to improve somewhat the sound quality and now, although far from the usual threshold I adopted for posting a concert here, I though it is a document deserving to be available next to the other live sources. Hope you'll share my opinion too. There's the full concert posted on Youtube but I don't post it below since the sound is still weaker than the one you'll have in dl it here. Of course the cover sleeve's mine.


Free - UK Singles As and Bs fake LP (1968-73)

To finish this great series (still one live set to come in further days), a compilation of A and B sides of all the UK singles released by the band during its tormented life. Although for many Free seems a very easy band to recognize, it's fascinating how they changed throughout a so short timespan (only 4 years actually). In these times, 4 years were not far to be the life expectancy of a band before it became to be short of renewal and inspiration. Blessed times when now (let's say since the 90's) it seems bands stick to their bone for decades. This compilation will be used to re-up all these singles posted individually some years ago. So I'll put the link in each of them. A way to reduce the number of dead links. Note that I chose to include the mono versions of the songs when they were edited this way on the single (only the first 2 actually). Of course some B-sides are of interest although all have been released on various compilations and none is a real rarity (and none is a forgotten gem). Catch this sum here. PS. For the cover sleeve (my guilty pleasure), I used a picture from one of my favorite photographer, Jan Saudek since I think it fits well with the band imagery. Interestingly this picture was taken in 1971 so it could have been used for a Free record. Let's do this association more than 40 years later. Since Andy Fraser recently died (and Paul Kossoff long ago), this compilation is of course dedicated to their memory. Sad that Paul Rodgers did not sustain his composer's gift after Free. Catch it here. Below some TV appearances of Free for supporting some of these songs in the charts. Note that they play real and not playback on TOTP for "All Right Now", not usual in this famous TV show.

Free - Stockholm Radio Show (1970)

Third re-up, this poorly played set is provided here in a much better sound quality than the ones you can find here or there on various places. Another document, more interesting historically than musically (but it's still Free, so nothing bad of course). Catch it here.

This is the last of the 3 well-recorded live sets of Free in 1970. The 2 previous (Sunderland Locarno and Croydon) have been posted previously. Don't expect the intensity of these live shows. This one is strangely weak and rather soporific. A day off it seems. Probably the fact that the radio studio with a small audience doesn't stimulate their adrenals enough. At the begining of the set, Paul Rodgers says they have been relax in Sweden, and unfortunately, it's quite obvious when listening to the show. Everything seems to be taken on a slow pace and chosen songs are mainly the sad and melancholic ones. Paul Kossoff is fantastic on one song ("Be My Friend", in streaming below) but rather catastrophic on many songs, notably "Mr Big" that is the shittiest version I heard by Free. All in all, an interesting but rather deceiving testimony of the well-known uneven quality of their prestations.

Free - Live at Coatham (1972)

Second Free re-up (double free actually, the band and it gratuitous). As I wrote below, it's a very bad set Free gave this night. But as a testimony of how the band could sometimes be in great danger of losing itself, it's fascinating. Catch it here.

Here's one of the worst and pathetic concert, not only by Free but maybe by any band I've heard. Played in Coatham the 12th October 1972, Free has lost Andy Fraser (replaced by Tetsu on bass and Rabbit on keyboards) but also Paul Kossoff, although on stage, but totally elsewhere. I've never heard a guitarist so out of it in my life. It's like he doesn't know how to play, not only the songs, but more largely, to play guitar. It's pathetic and difficult to listen to until the end. If I post this disastered show, it's because it's an historic document that proves how this great guitarist was a wreck some nights, because the sound is correct (an important parameter for me) and because 2 days later, in Berkshire (next post), Koss would be operational again, and it's fascinating that he could be so different in a so small interval of time. The only track that was not totally ruined was "Child" since Paul Kossoff was not really necessary. But all the rest is a pain to hear. Listening to this document, it's not difficult to understand that Andy Fraser decided to be out and that Paul Rodgers decided to rent someone on guitar to supply his lost friend. Can't say enjoy it, so have an ear to it.

Child you're talking of freedom Painted on your garden wall It's not there at all Child you're talking of wisdom You say wisdom is a golden rule You ain't no fool But you don't know who it is Who calls you name In the light of the golden moon You don't know who it is who brought you here And chained up your heart So soon Child you're life is a fairytale And it's not the same And the clouds You're hiding behind In your misty mind have disappeared Like a sailor far from the shores of your dreams And far from the love of your home Sailor lost on your own misty seas And the chains on your heart, baby Might be my love Might be my love It's so confusing And you feel that you're loosing yourself But, there over the mountain You thought you'd never have to climb There's a road Reaching and stretching To the corner of your mind Like a river casts aside the dust And grows and grows as it flows The feeling deep inside of you Must break like a dam So set you free So set you free So set you free

Free - Live at Berkshire (1972)

Tonight, I re-up all Free stuff previously posted on FS. First this live show from Autumn 1972. All is explained below. Don't miss these great documents, some of them being moreover, like this one, great music to listen to. Catch it here.

Totally opposed to the Coatham show disaster (listen here at your own risks), this live show 2 days later is quite a winner with a Koss back in (I mean guitaristically) and a band proposing a new Free style that would give their fabulous Heartbreaker album some months later (they were in studio rehearsals at the time of this concert). It is to remembered that 2 songs from their future new LP ("Heartbreaker" and "Seven Angels") were composed by Paul Rodgers for Peace 2 years before (if someone has a recorded testimony for that, I'm a taker). Actually, this band was more or less his own now that Andy Fraser was gone and Paul Kossoff was in or out according to his mental state (and the negative action drugs did in it). But the important is that in this show, after the wreck of the previous night, the band is in rather in form, Kossoff remembers how to play the songs and even take some nice solos, and the recorded quality is good enough to be something one can listen too like a normal album (don't expect an official LP quality one but it's not the shit 95% of bootlegs propose). I'm not sure the setlist is the best they could do ("I'm On The Run" composed and sung by Rabbit is a nonsense in a Free set and comes much too soon in the concert, the blues one could be OK for a closer but has nothing to do in the middle of the set) but this was their choice. In conclusion, I really think this one is one to enjoy the listen.


Leon Russell - Live in Houston (1971)

Last of Leon Russell re-ups for tonight. Enjoy. Here.

A reup (one of my uncountable deleted mf files), so I repost. Thx to the visitor for telling me the link was dead. Strange so few among you leave such messages. I don't even ask you to write something kind (you surely suppose I win a lot of money doing that, and you're wrong), just to tell the link is not leading to nowhere.Below what I wrote in the original post more than 1 year ago.

Among the 4 Leon Russell shows I'll post on this blog, the first (chronologically) in 1970 when he shared the set with Elton John, the third in 1972, the shows that will make the Leon Live content, and the fourth in Japan recorded in 1973, this one is the second, and is, although the weakest on the sound level, my favorite. Less gospel oriented and much rockier (with "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash", you aren't surprised), Leon Russell is just at the top of his art, still not too much in confidence and over-indulgent (although I love all his live recordings of this period, don't misunderstand me). But honestly, the last medley of this recording (released for the first time on the CD issue of Live in Japan as bonus tracks) is simply stunning and shows how Russell could be a sort of screaming guru putting in transe his adepts (in streaming below, put the furnitures off). But enough words, savor this last offer of the bearded master.

Hung up in a Pennsylvania mining town
Got down to Boston in time for tea
Don't know exactly just what's going down
Better hang around until I see.
She uses beauty like a knife
She cuts me even more, she changes
Right before my eyes into something ugly and sore.
Beauty like a knife
She cuts me even more, she changes
Right before my eyes into something strange and more.
Don't bomb the inn, I'm on a holiday
But Oklahoma's just a jet away
And the blood is on the books in Ohio
So badly stained, what can I say?


Leon Russell - Live in Japan (1973)

Second in this today series of Leon Russell re-up. Hope I'll put some new live stuff from him here someday. Meanwhile, if you missed the previous posts, take it on the new link here and you'll have long hours of pure hearing pleasure to come.

Another Leon Russel reup. Don't know why the rs link didn't work. It's fixed. A good opportunity to remind how this guy was (and still is time to time) great to shake a sleeping audience and makes it reach some trance. Below what I wrote in the original post.

One year and a half after his show at Long Beach Arena (August 1972) that will provide the soundtrack for the 3-LP Leon Live album, Leon Russell is in Japan and a concert is recorded in November 1973 at Budokan and will provide a Japan-only release, an habit in these times. This concert shows a Leon Russell tranformed in a sort of preacher leading his flocks to the trance in a sort of cosmic gospel ceremony that never any other would ever create again on this planet. And to drive Japanese to the trance with music is quite a challenge. If the LP takes quite a time to start (the 2 first songs could have been replaced with other ones), then the trance is growing and culminating in an incredible medley after which you wonder if you were still on earth while hearing it. On the CD version there is an earlier show (with a weaker sound but interesting however) that I'll post here on its own. Meanwhile, put yourself in trance.

Leon Russell - Live at the Fillmore East (1970)

Re-up on request. Happy to see that this underrated artist is still appreciated. New link to this great live set here. PS. It seems I was wrong. It was Elton John who opened for Leon Russell. It's true that it was more logical in 1970 and I should have known. Thanks to the visitor (see comment) to have corrected.

This concert was recorded before the Elton John's one at the Fillmore East. John was a great fan of Leon Russell and logically invited him to open his shows. When comparing this concert to the one recorded, 3 years later, for Leon Live (here), similarities and differences are striking. Similiraties since it's the gospel-that-rocks that all Leon's admirers love to hear, but differences since the set was more sober and tighter that the quite indulgent later ones. I doubt any Dr John - Elton John or any-John-you-want won't be enthusiasts in listening to such a great performance. Nothing better to listen to when you're down and out. It makes you imagine life's worth the living. Measure the miracle. Note that this set was never released officially but that the sound is very good. It's in one part only and I don't have the patience to cut it in songs but I doubt that anyone wants to listen to songs separately. I tried to do a correct cover sleeve. I admit I used a "Best of" to create it. Below, the concert in streaming.


Cockney Rebel - In live and on radio (1974)

A third re-up following a visitor's request. Happy to see that these old-times bands are not totally forgotten. I fear that when my generation will be reduced in ashes, not much will survive of all this fantastic music the seventies offered. But that's the way things go. Most rock stuff will disappear in oblivion. Meanwhile, let's taste this famous testimony of what a great band Cockney Rebel was in its first configuration. Not much has been better for me. Here.

I reup this post with another version of the recordings, enhanced, and with a missing track from the live set at the Hippodrome for the BBC, "Hideaway". They are from the new 4 CD boxset released some weeks ago. Much more on this boxset, I encourage everybody to buy it, it's cheap and features the B-sides from the band's singles and, most of all, the Human Menagerie demo (I think I will post here since it fits well with the philosophy of this blog). Of course, this is a gem and I can't feel anything but sad that Steve Harley disbanded so quickly this Cockney Rebel's first incarnation. What a special thing this band was, it's incredible.

Bloody hell, the devil knows I've loved this band in 1974. I was 16 (it's the best age for loving music I think) and I discovered the band with "Mr Soft" (on Tops of the Pops) while in England. But at this time, the great line-up was over and I always thought it was one of the greatest loss in rock history to have disbanded this 5 boys band who invented such a novative way of doing something of this old suit that was rock. I always considered Cockney Rebel to be better than Roxy, Bowie, Mott or Sparks. But it was only a flash in the pan. Here the rare documents of them playing tracks from their 2 1st albums outside of a studio. Actually, the second recording was made in a studio, but the one used by John Peel for his Peel Sessions. The songs played are 5 from Psychomodo (one of my 5 best albums of all time) and it's a tremendous feeling to hear them played by their creators and not by the mercenary band that would back Steve Harley the year later. The 4 1st tracks are from a concert (which one, I dunno) recorded by the BBC. The versions of "Sebastian" and "Death Trip" (in streaming below) are totally devastating and make me shivering each time I listened to them. Was there better lyrics in rock history than the ones in "Death Trip"? I don't think so. Each line is written in my own cortex for the rest of my life. And "Can you think of one good reason to remain" will surely be my last thought before I die. Why the rest of the concert has never been released, it's a mystery (and a shame)? These recordings were issued some years ago on an album called Live at the BBC, but with a bad order, and coupled with recordings done in the nineties by Steve Harley, and I really hate that. So here are they in their owns, with a (virtual) side for each. It is totally delicious, a must-hear.

So now we're on a death trip listen to the blood drip oozing from a curled lip ever thought of dying slowly ever thought of dying totally unholy someone's trying to fool us maybe it's their daughters can you hear the Walrus offering a sad solution he's calling out for teenage revolution and "Can you think of one good reason to remain?" to you, afficianados fooling with bravado to keep me on my guard-o and cause a consciousness explosion it's getting difficult to keep my mind in motion images of sunshine lease to make the words rhyme let me die in eight time let me write a tale to no-one let me write a tale to make you think you're someone and "Can you think of one good reason to remain?" We'll grow Sweet Ipomoea to make us feel much freer then take a pinch of Schemeland and turn it into Dreamland "softly, Lautrec," she whispered in awe, "build me a picture of children at war"


Groundhogs - Live UK Tour '76 (1976)

Another live set captured in England. The same can be said than in the re-up of the Radio Stockholm live document I posted just before. So get it here.

Two years later (I mean 2 yrs after the Solid tour you can find here), it was again a totally changed band that the audience saw on stage. Actually, Tony McPhee had disbanded Groundhogs (he thought for ever) in 1975 and wanted to tour under his name such as had done Rory Gallagher after Taste. But it seemed it was too late and to tour he had to use again the name of the band. The main change was that Groundhogs was for the first time (and the last) a 4-member band, with a second guitar (the young and talented Dave Wellbelove, great name). And honestly, it's maybe the best live incarnation of the band you got here (yes, I know I also wrote that for the previous one, but let's say they're both are). Still less bluesy and more and more noisy, the music played here will surprise many who may imagine the band to be late bluesboomers. You'll be less surprised why Jack Endino has always been a fan of Tony McPhee). Another main change is the drumming. Mick Cook has often strange choices of drumming (not far from Terry Williams from Man) and this totally transforms the old Groundhogs repertoire, making them having a new youth. But actually, this live LP (released in 2004) could have been called Crosscut Saw Live since the band plays 5 songs from this album they had just recorded some weeks before and which is another underrated masterpiece. As insane as Solid was, but somewhat less muddy in its production and composition, lyrics are some of the best of Tony McPhee and all deal about bitter sentimental separation and are often quite hard. There are some Tony McPhee's peaks here (in the studio and the live LPs) such as "Eleventh Hour" (one highlight of all his career and one of the most moving song ever) and the extremely noisy and derelicted "Fulfilment" (listen to the grande finale and tell me that it's not thrilling). I put them both in streaming. And buy it then to get the booklets (with notes from Tony McPhee and the good sound, although I take care of ripping it in 320 kb).

First the thrilling "Eleventh Hour" with its incredible anxious climax

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Then the oppressing and incredibly symphonoisic "Fulfilment"

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Groundhogs - The Stockholm Radio Session (1976)

I'm so down that Free and Groundhogs music can enter again in my life. In particular this rude, raw and angry side of Groundhogs, when the band has ceased to be a blues-band with virtuoso-guitar player and had become an unidentified and weird rock-vehicle playing a bitter and sharp rock that will provide the foundations of grunge 10 years later. This testimony, captured at Stockholm (great Danish-radios who had the idea to record concerts and provided a lot of important live documents) shows how the band sounded in these post-glory days. Catch it here

Six months after their spring UK tour, they begin Autumn with a radio session in Sweden. But meanwhile, the band has still changed. First, of guitarist, Wellbelove being changed for Rick Adams, then of album since they recorded and released the rather weak Black Diamond, and last of style, not that they now played prog or punk (the latter that will eject them from the club circuit some weeks later after a last UK tour in November and December) but they were a more mainstream band than they used to be the previous years. So, this session is a little disapointing compared to the previous live testimonies. Strangely, Mick Cook, the drummer, ceased to display his strange style and was there much more conventional. The 2 new songs do not reach the level of quality than McPhee had achieved for the last 4 years and it was clear than these were his swan songs. Nothing will be heard from him during the 7 further years. Sorry for the sound quality of this document (released on the double CD Hoggin' the Stage, the reason the cover sleeve was made just for this post) but I didn't find better one. Enjoy (at least for documentary) this set here.

Instreaming "Live Right", a song from Black Diamond played for the first time live during this session

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Peace - Like Water fake EP (1971)

Third re-up with "Seven Angels" on it (but didn't find "Heartbreaker"). Moreover I improved a little bit the mix and it's now more a finalized document. Once again "Zero BC" is a complete masterpiece any Free fan should know and will surely cherish. Catch it here. I'll post the EP sessions with "Like Water" on it and improved sound soon.

Between May and December 1971, a period Free had disbanded, each member tried to put something on feet, Andy Fraser a trio called Toby and Paul Rodgers another one called Peace, assuming vocals, guitar and songwriting. In this (badly named) band, there was an ex-Quatermass (Mick Underwood, a drummer that will back Ian Gillan solo career during 30 years) and an ex-Killing Floor (Stewart McDonald). The trio will recorded 5 songs in studio during his short-lived existence. Here are the only 3 I have ("Like Water" and "Zero BC" are from the Songs of Yesterday boxset, "Lady" from the Free Story album). A shame I did not localise the 2 other ones since it's the initial versions of 2 masterpieces: "Heartbreaker" and the heartbreaking and soul shaking doom "Seven Angels" that will both feature on the last Free LP (Heartbreaker). It's true that, although Peace was an interesting band, it's lacking the spark Free would put in the Rodgers songs. However, I find that "Zero BC" is one of the greatest songs Paul Rodgers composed and even in this quite naked version it's a gem. So, here's a fake EP with some forgotten songs that deserve to feature in the Free-derived heritage. PS. The cover is mine. No record has never been released during these 9 months.


Nikki Sudden & Last Bandits - Live in Moscow (2003)

A requested re-up. I don't listen to Nikki Sudden much these times (except now, while uploading this live set and writing this little paragraph). I have my NS periods. It will come back surely. I say much about this live concert below. Catch it here. I'll try to re-up all NS stuff in the next few months. Ask if you want one in particular being re-up.

 At least a new post. Recorded 10 years ago in Russia (at the Central House of Artists of moscow, with a Hard Rock Cafe logo on the wall) this concert took place during the Treasure Island LP period (issued the next year) so it's a rocky Nikki you got here. The backing band is competent but sometimes we would have liked a little bit more subtility and efficacy. However, the sound is not far from an official live and the setlist is full of beloved faves (with a cover of the Faces' "Stay With Me" and a moving "Death Is Hanging Over Me" version). Nikki Sudden seems happy to play there (more than in some other shows captured in Europe in the early 2000s). The cover sleeve is not mine (and quite ugly I think) but I don't have the patience and envy to do another one so you'll have to do with this official one (for a bootleg it's a weird way to call it). More NS to come I hope. It'll depend on my oscillating mood.


The Kinks - The Great Lost Kinks Album (1973)

A welcome re-up request since this compilation of lost gems is a seminal album for any Kinks fan (and even the others). So here it is. Not much to add. More in the previous post below. Catch it here.

As strange as it may seem, this venal compilation released by Reprise (the US label, in England it was Pye) to make some cash on The Kinks' back after they had left for RCA (2 years before, Reprise had released the double Kinks Kronikles the previous year), is one of the best Kinks LP. Yes, these 14 songs, recorded between 1966 and 1970, 5 among them for a putative version of Village Green Preservation Society (and that I had included in the complete version of this LP I posted on this blog previously) stand proudly together and honestly could have been gathered by the band for a single album although they were recorded on a 4 year timespan (except "I'm not like everybody else", great but rather unfitting with the rest and in the first Kinks style). Ray Davies tried too much to be a storyteller after 1967, and most of the Kinks albums between 1967 and 1975 suffered from this ambition (after that, it was the US-influenced sound that ruined the band's offerings). Here, it's a modest but geniusly composed-played-sung series of instant standards songs. Only the Beach Boys and the Beatles were able to achieve this, and Ray Davies had nothing to envy to Brian Wilson or to the Lennon-McCartney tandem. Yes, even if Arthur is one of my favourite Kinks album, this one has always had a particular place in my heart. Since it was shelved in 1975 after Ray Davies instituted legal action and never was reissued on CD, the album became a very rare collector. Songs were for most of them released as bonus tracks on the albums official CD various reissues (you can have details on the wikipedia page here) except for "Til Death Do Us Part" and "Pictures In The Sand". A shame since they both deserve to be included in every CD collection. Even if I got the vinyl, this is not a personal rip. I found it on the net. It seems it's not from the CD versions but directly from the vinyl although the quality is very good and it must sound weird but for me this album should not sound too clean. It's the analogic scratching atmosphere I got in my head and that I want to keep until my last moment. I'm not sure to post often here in the future and if this blog would close with this album, it would not be a bad swansong.