Strawbs - Live at the Calderone (1975)

With another cover sleeve conceived with a picture by Alison Scarpulla, another concert from the classic Strabs line-up except that the precious John Hawken was no more in the album neither on this tour. But as I said in the first post (see below) this is a very good set and deserved to be possessed by any amateur of the band. Catch it here.

We find here the band at the turn of its career, leaving his progressive folk-doom for a more mainstream rock style, having just released an LP called No Madness (the back of the self-made cover sleeve), the first without keyboards (John Hawken had leaved before the studio sessions of the LP) and a rather weak one. Surprisingly, this live set seems totally under the Ghosts LP influence and not so much of their last one (only 3 songs from it). And it's really stunning to hear live "The Life Auction". Maybe the fact that Ghosts was quite a success in the USA led the band to play a large part of the setlist with it on his US tour. The sound is quite good but not enough to justify the release of this concert as an official LP sent full price (with a different cover sleeve so out of subject that I decided to do another one with once again an Alison Scarpulla picture). Enjoy this new testimony of the band's genius on stage.


Strawbs - Live at Sight and Sound (1978)

Fed up of this silly Str... appellation, I decided to keep on the real name from now, whatever will be the consequences. As requested by a visitor, here a late live recording of the band in a totally different line-up than in the Lyceum concert. I give more details about the content in the first post below. Catch it here. I think the cover sleeve I did is rather good but maybe I'm too much self-indulgent. I used a picture shot by Alison Scarpulla.

This is one of the last concerts the band did before splitting. The line-up was quite different from the classic Hero and Heroine one, only Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk being of the journey. This set was recorded for the BBC, for a show coupling radio and TV (if someone has videos from that, please post it on youtube). The main problem of this Strawbs period and line-up is some sound options, too dated today, with rather boring synths where mellotron was previously used. Moreover, the songs from the 3 previous LPs do not match the grandeur of the ancient ones. But the interest is that Dave Cousins has never sang with more anger and intensity than in this live testimony and this makes this recording a seminal one. It was released under 2 CD versions: a first called Live in London 1977 (with an additional song, "Lay Down"), but both omitted ""Sealed With A Traitor's Kiss" that was played on the show (why, I don't know). Sorry, I forgot to write "Cut Like A Diamond" on my self-made cover sleeve, but it was played, linked with "Simple Visions". All this makes a great addition to your Strawbs collections.


Strawbs - In Concert at the Lyceum (1970)

Quite a long time I did not show interest for Strawbs, but the re-up request of this album gives me the opportunity to feed the blog with something from them (they are still active actually, often in their accoustics trio line-up). Catch this interesting document here. More details below in the initial post.

This concert has probably been recorded in July 1970, some days prior to the Queen Elizabeth Hall one that gave the Antiques & Curios LP. Didn't find the precise day. Think it was before Roy Harper. What's important is that it is almost better than the QEH set, and features more songs on the record. What's better is the sound (the bass and percussions are less prominent and they were a little cheapy I think) and the versions are tighter and more focus than some days later. It's also much better than the concert recorded 1 year later (here) with a laid back and prog attitude that didn't fit what I love the best in this band. This set has been released in 2006 under the name of Recollection with a rather dull picture sleeve that I changed. A little more from this band I cherish more and more with age. 


Marc Bolan & T. Rex - The Soul Sessions (1973-75)

After Slade, T. Rex. But something special since it is a batch of 8 songs recorded during various sessions that the T. Rex recorded as backing band for 3 different black singers i.e., Gloria Jones, Richard Jones and Sister Pat Hall. It seems most of the sessions were recorded during November 1973, February to April 1974 but some were recorded later around July 1975. During these sessions Marc Bolan recorded some songs for him (here are 8) and some (at least 6 among these ones) would find their place in his albums or singles. It is the case for "The Leopards" in Zinc Alloy (released in February 1974) , for "I Really Love You Babe" and "Golden Belt" in Bolan's Zip Gun (released in February 1975) and for "Dawn Storm" and "Casual Agent" in Futuristic Dragon (released in January 1976) and finally to the great "City Port" as a single B-side issued as Marc Bolan and Gloria Jones. Neither "Savage Beethoven" or "Sky Church Music" will be retained. These songs can be found on various more or less complete compilations of these sessions (Pure Magic or The Soul Sessions) but melted with tracks not sung by Marc Bolan and I think it's good to have them all gathered on the same fake LP in a 8 song-format. Of course, I know there are alternate takes of some of these songs on the double LP The Soul Sessions but honestly I don't think they are so interesting to be added here. Did the cover sleeve with a 1976 photo shoot I think. But it's a nice one. Catch it here. More to come from Bolan.


Slade - Mama Weer All Crazee Now / Man Who Speeks Evil (1972)

Last of the Slade early singles re-ups. Once again for the B-side. The A-side is the Beatles ("Get Back", "Birthday", "Everybody's got something to hide") arranged for the glam taste (initially I thought "Telegram Sam" was used as the paradigm but now I feel the Beatles were more the main influence of the song even if one must be deaf not to hear that the T. Rexmania was at its peak and that Slade wanted to share some of the glitters. I'll gather them on a single compilation if I've some courage but nothing sure so it's safer to catch it here.

In August 1972, Chas Chandler decided to send in the charts the new single of his "protégés" directly to n°1. So, he provided the single to the radios before releasing it (a common way to do since this time) but it failed and the single reached n°2 the 1st week, having to wait for a week more to get to n°1. Actually, it's the beginning of the Slade routine, the song being a T. Rex rip off (of "Telegram Sam") with a little Beatles flavour (of "Savoy Truffle"), and the formula would then become a little tedious. But I still post it for the B-side, a non-album track being here a rip off of ... "Rip Off" from T. Rex too !!! Although it is played in a sort of Led Zeppelin goes glam way. A good one indeed with a rather dark lyrical content about politicians. One of the last time Slade would be a normal rock band.

His mind is hurt so with grief He sits and watches the grass or leaves He can tell when a new one grows he can And watches as maggots flee from the throat of a dead man Across two seas he can hear, And grabs your words before you speak them He hears the sound of drinking grass he does An the Arctic moves its gigantic load for his owner's sake? He's a man who speeks evil, he's a man who is evil He looks on evil as a good thing He can speek evil, he can hear evil, he really really lives it He can feel that all his thoughts are changing That all his thoughts are changing by the hour, he can feel This man is hurt so with grief, he sits and watches the grass or leaves He talks to them all an' they grow, he does And wanders like a God, made deep inside-out, down below you know He's a man who speeks evil, he's a man who is evil He looks on evil as a good thing He can speek evil, he can hear evil, he really really lives it


Slade - Tak Me Bak 'Ome / Wonderin' Y (1972)

And another one for the road to fame with this 7th single re-up, more Beatles' oriented that the previous one, even the A-side since it's easy to feel the influence of "Paperback Writer" and "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey". Rather strange this one was also a hit cos' honestly it got nothing really noticeable to deserve to be a hit but Slade seemed in a no-mistake path at the time. However, it spent much less weeks in the charts than "Cuz I Luv You". Catch it here.

Some weeks after the success of their live LP (a challenge to release a live LP so soon for a band, but a real good idea in the case of Slade), the band releases their 7th single in May 1972, their 7th but the first of what will become their "marque de fabrique" as we say in France, in other words their style, stompin' rock 'n' roll quite screamy and easy listening. This is a rather good one (I mean "Tak Me Bak "Ome") but the interest is the B-side again, a Beatles-flavoured song (more specifically Paul McCartney) that shows that in 1972 the band had not lost all its musical ambition (actually they never totally lost it but it became more and more difficult to see where it was on their production). A classic for those who love fine 4 fab-influenced melodies. PS. Sorry its hard to post these days cos' m y connexion is slower than a snail (thx numericable, the stealers that provide shit connexions). Hope it'll improve soon. Don't abandon the blog.

Wonderin' Y. Here I am in the same old clothes Looking back on my life 'cos I'm left alone Left out here without a home Take no chance, read between the lines Don't accept a way When she always cries Just read between the lines I tried to love you, now I'm here Taking things as I find them Now I'm here wasting time Thinking of me Looking back on my life Wonderin' Y It's hard to see and to understand Just a what it's like To be pushed around Kicking stones along the ground I don't think it will ever change Can I find a way To the front again And have another chance to spend My life with you and now I'm here Taking things as I find them Now I'm here wasting time Thinking of me Looking back on my life Wonderin' y


Slade - Look Wot You Dun - Candidate (1972)

The 6th offer from Slade singles discography. What I think of it in the text from the first version of the post. Catch this excellent-again one here.

In January 1972, contrary to the expected Cuz I Luv You album, there was another single. And if this was not the same major hit than its predecessor, it still reached n°4 in the UK charts, not bad for sure. It's true the song had not the catchy power of "Cuz I Luv You" but it's nevertheless one of the best of the band, with something of the Beatles' greatness in it. But the single, once again, is now a must-have for it's B-side, a Lea/Powell song which not less laid the foundations of what the Undertones would play on their 2 last albums. Moreover, it has one of the rare political content in the whole band's career. Although the Beatles influences are clear (some say Lennon's, I'd said Harrison's), it paved the way for the new wave in it's pop development. It will surprise all those of you who think Slade was only able to play they stomping rock 'n' roll funny stuff. 

See him all alone, No one seems to like him, he's uncool, No one seems to like the way he rules, See them all alone, Talking of the secrets of the moon, Spending hard-earned money they'll just lose.Chorus What we really want is some way to adjust, All the values that we have been left to trust, I just can't believe they are real, very real, Far from real[2] See them on their own, See their cartoon faves in the news, Storming from the house in ones and twos, Can you hear them cry, Making accustions to each other, Campaigning for the mark of a young mother.Chorus R E P E A T[3] What we really want is some way to adjust, All the values that we have been left to trust, I just can't believe They're real, very real, Far from real, See them all alone See them all alone.


Slade - Coz I Luv You / My Life Is Natural (1971)

If I listed my 100 fave songs sure "Cuz I Luv You" would be in. Far to be representative of what the band was and more of a one-shot (a little bit like Gerdundula for Status Quo), more String Driven Thing (but anterior) than Glam rock, maybe we can find in the Turtles' "Happy Together" some of the influence in the bacground riff and melody and East of Eden for the violin. It seems that the initial idea was a Django Reinhardt/Stephan Grapelli "Hot Club" sound and the quested flavour T. Rex's "Hot Love". Note that it's a Lea/Holder song, the 2 missing members in the post-91 Slade line-up, so not sure it's totally legitimous to sing it anymore but since most of the songs were Lea/Holde compostions, it's true it seems difficult for the band to play anything from Slade anymore. Brief, this masterpiece could last 10 min I would not find it long enough. So this 5th single is the one for me to have. And the B-side is another great song too. Catch it here.

This is no less than one of my fave single of last century. If only for the A-side, a classic among the classics, for a reason I couldn't explain, the genius of the simplicity, the evidence of the arrangements, the kind of songs you feel you could find joy to live listening it with a beer in one hand, your beloved next to you and a crowd of singing drinkers around you. But the B-side, "My Life Is Natural" is also a masterpiece, not in the same discipline since here we have the mix between Led Zeppelin (the acoustic guitar), the Who (the electric guitar), Humble Pie (the voice) and the Beatles (the bridges). What else to require from a so-called unidimensional band such as Slade. I doubt any of you will still have the heart to call them a second-zone band once the song finished. We were in October 1971. The band was breaking the charts for the first time and culminated at the top. Strangely, the associated studio album was posponed, shelved and finally never released. Don't know why but there must be an explanation in some biography maybe. Meanwhile, enjoy this great single.

I won't laugh at you when you boo-hoo-hoo coz I luv you I can turn my back on the things you lack coz I luv you I just like the things you do mmm, don't you change the things you do mmm You get me in a spot and smile the smile you got and I luv you You make me out a clown then you put me down I still luv you I just like the things you do mmm, don't you change the things you do mmmm When you bite your lip you're gonna flip your flip but I luv you When we're miles apart you still reach my heart how I love you I just like the things you do mmm, don't you change the things you do mmm, Only time can tell if we get on well coz I luv you All that's passed us by we can only sigh hihi coz I luv you I just like the things you do mmm, don't you change the things you do mmm

I played the sands of time and I loved and lost They give their bodies to two time whores They gambled every thing they got A greedy mind cut out the cards They even loved with another man's wife They even loved her with other men They've also drank a lot of wine Some men have even had a good time My life is natural, hey, hey, hey My life is natural, I said, I said, I said My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa My life is natural Maybe tomorrow a change in the life Of the man in the street's gonna come Maybe tomorrow hope it`s tomorrow You got the sands of time and got 'em high They've done their best to wreck their mind Instead of joke they told a lie They started wars so men could die now They try to sus their bodies evil And what is good will take a mind brighter than mine To start to setting the world to right Would take another Christ now My life is natural, hey, hey, hey My life is natural, I said, I said, I said My life is natural, whoa, whoa, whoa My life is natural Maybe tomorrow a change in the life Of the man in the streets gonna come Maybe tomorrow - hope it`s tomorrow


Slade - Get Down And Get With It / Do You Want Me / Gospel According To Raspoutin (1971)

Here we go for the 4th Slade single. A very good one, not primary for the A side but for the 2-song B-side. In changing their Beatles inclination for a Jerry Lee Lewis one, the band reached the charts and would understand that here was the road for fame. Catch it here.

With this 4th single and it's A-side sounding as the Beatles playing Little Richard, Slade will find the path to the charts in May 1971 (n°16 in UK). But the interest is the couple of songs on B-side. Actually, there are 2, and really great ones. The first is a doomy blues in the vein of Ten Years After and the Beatles. The second is a heavy rock prog that would have been cherished by fans of all the obscure bands that became cult in the late 20 years. Not far from the Groundhogs approach of this genre but one can hear a lot of Led Zeppelin too (it seems Jim Lea would have loved to have been in Led Zep). All in all, a great offer. The band succeeded in entering the charts with it's more ambitious single to date. Unfortunately, it wouldn't last. 


Slade - Know Who You Are / Dapple Rose (1970)

Re-up of the 3rd Slade single. Details below. Catch it here. It'll be in the compilation I'll gather some time later but I don't really know when.

Released in September 1970, 2 months before their Play It Loud album, this single is maybe one of their most forgotten ones although the songs are not rare, both included on the album. In this single, the Beatles influence is very pregnant, but the Cream and Ten Years After influences are easy to find on "Know Who You Are". On the B-side, it's not being rude to say the song is a plagiarism of McCartney but with a Bee Gees flavour (the band of the sixties, not what they became once turned disco). All in all, a totally commercial miss but a testimony of the ability of the band not to be only a stomping and funny bunch of glamsters. To note that during these months, the band had a skinhead look that would have allowed them to play unnoticed during the punk's era. PS. The single was released without cover sleeve so I did one with a picture of the times


Slade - Shape of Things to Come / C'mon C'mon (1970)

Second Slade single re-up. More details below. Catch it here.

When you look at Slade's look in the beginning of 1970, you could believe a skin or an oi band from 1977. Now managed by Chas Chandler, they are in their skinheads period and release this Mann/Weil song from the Wild in the Streets motion picture. It was not a hit (in March 1970) but they had a TV exposure on Top of the Pops. The version is rather good, quite Cream inclined. The B-side is totally under the Beatles influence with its "Paperback Writer" riff, and once again, it's rather good although it seemed unlikely that the band may make long lasted impression with a so 60's music. Enjoy this piece of history.


Slade - Wild Winds Are Blowing / One Way Hotel (1969)

A visitor asked for the re-up of the early Slade singles I had posted. Not a bad idea. Actually he asked for a singles compilation and I'll do one but not in the next weeks cos' I've not all the softwares I need to do one where I'm presently. But I'll re-up the 8 first singles one by one. Many nice songs to reactivate. First one here.

Quite a change of style with the previous posts I agree. But there is quite a time I want to post the first singles by Slade. I'll stop around 1973, but I think these little vinyl circles showed that Slade was much more than a stupid stomping band for teenagers and that their Beatles heritage made them composed and played really good songs that they often put on B-sides. Not on this first single (at least the first under the Slade name, since before they were the In-Be-Tweens and then Ambrose Slade and had released some singles and one album), released in Oct. 1969, the B-side will be included on their further album (Play It Loud), released one year later. It's a great song and deserves to be not forgotten. The A-side is a little more dispensable and failed to chart. In late 69, Slade was still a somewhat skinhead band (see the video and the pix below) and not yet this successful bunch of working class glam boys that they'll be 2 years later. Enjoy this first shot (the version of "One Way Hotel" seems a little different that on the album actually).

They asked me to sleep on the floor The people were running galore They asked for the time to make a number of changes and I let them I sat on my case in the hall The window and ceiling looked tall How long does it take to make a number of changes when you let them The case of another man was open and the contents were lying on the floor I could tell by his face he's a man like myself that's for sure I was there for a fortnight or more The place is full up to the door My mind was deranged and my habits were changed since I let them I finished my job nine till four I thought that my boss knew the score It makes you feel sick when you think of the tricks they get up to The locks on the windows were made by yourself not to open (by yourself not to open) Come to think of it now that if I were a child they'd be broken I've now spend a year behind this door The doctors would see me no more They asked me to sign with a pen on the line I was done for