Bob Crewe Generation - Barbarella (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:29 AM 0 comments

One of the most well known kitsch films of the 1960s spawned a great soundtrack album by Bob Crewe and The Glitterhouse, with assistance from Charles Fox. A real 1960s party album with a great pop sound.
Tracks
1. Barbarella
2. Goodnight Alfie
3. Spaceship Out Of Control
4. Ski Ride
5. The Hungry Dolls
6. Love, Love, Love Drags Me Down
7. Pygar Finds Barbarella
8. I Love All The Love In You
9. The Labyrinth
10. Pygar's New Wings
11. Fight In Flight
12. Entrance Into Sogo
13. Hello Pretty Pretty
14. Pygar's Persecution
15. The Black Queen's Beads
16. Dead Duck
17. The Pill
18. Smoke (Viper Vapor)
19. The Sex Machine
20. The Chamber of Dreams
21. The Destruction of Sogo
22. An Angel is Love
Listen.

Roky Erickson - The Evil One (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:06 AM 0 comments

Roky Erickson was very much a changed man when he re-emerged on the music scene in the late '70s after a deeply troubling stay in a mental institution following an arrest for drugs in 1969. The graceful but energetic proto-psychedelia of Erickson's music with the 13th Floor Elevators was replaced by a hot-wired straight-ahead rock sound which suggested an updated version of the teenaged garage pounders Roky recorded with his early group the Spades, and the charming psychobabble of Tommy Hall's lyrics with the Elevators gave way to twisted narratives documenting Roky's obsessive enthusiasm for cheezoid horror movies of the 1950s. It wasn't until 1980 that Erickson released his first solo album, and that disc has had a rather eventful history. Stu Cook (ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival) produced the sessions over a period of two years, and the album appeared in Europe as Roky Erickson & the Aliens (released by CBS in England, making it Roky's only major-label release to date), while in America it came out as The Evil One on the San Francisco indie 415 Records. The British and American releases featured different track lineups, and each version featured songs which didn't show up on the other; to complicate matters all the more, early versions of three of the songs were released on a small-label EP in France. His band, the Aliens, are in sharp, precise form; Erickson's vocals confirm he's a blues-rock belter of the first order (even when he's raving about creatures with atom brains, two-headed dogs, or the Evil One himself), and if the songs are a bit odd lyrically (which you would expect from the titles), the tunes are clever and punchy and rock on out. While the serene and evocative folk-rock of All That May Do My Rhyme represents Roky Erickson's strongest solo work, The Evil One shows just how strong a rocker he could be — and how good a band he could put together. Great stuff, and certainly the best representation of Roky's "latter-day punk" period.
Tracks
01. Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)
02. I Think of Demons
03. Creature with the Atom Brain
04. The wind and more
05. Don't shake me Lucifer
06. Bloody hammer
07. Stand for the fire demon
08. Click your fingers applauding the play
09. If you have ghosts
10. I walked with a zombie
11. Night of the vampire
12. It's a cold night for alligators
13. Mine mine mind
14. Sputnik
15. White faces
Listen

Maze - Armageddon (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:25 AM 0 comments

An obscure San Francisco-area group that cut one extremely rare album in 1968, Armageddon (recorded at Leo Kulka's Golden State Recorders, and issued on MTA), which is highly valued in some collector circles. Actually, they don't rank as a very impressive find, in fact epitomizing some of the period's least enduring excesses. They originally recorded under the name Stonehenge, with a female vocalist, before assuming their more familiar name, and left behind a good deal more than an album's worth of tracks, some of which turned up on the 1995 Sundazed CD reissue of Armageddon. Their all-original material emphasized heavy organ, long drawn-out fuzzy guitar solos, despondent stoned vocals, and minor-key melodies, somewhat in the mold of Iron Butterfly, though not as bombastic. An alternate take of "Whispering Shadows," written by Wayne Gardner-who composed all but two of the 10 songs on Armageddon, fellow members Jensen, Boyd, and Eitrreim dividing two songs between the three of them-was included on Gear Fab's 1997 Psychedelic Crown Jewels Vol. 1
Tracks
1. Armageddon
2. I'm So Sad
3. Happiness
4. Whispering Shadows
5. Kissy Face
6. Dejected Soul
7. As For Now
8. Right Time - (previously unreleased)
9. Rumours
Listen

Joey Heatherton - The Joey Heatherton Album (1972)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:08 AM 0 comments

Singer, dancer, actress; stage, screen, television: Joey Heatherton is a multi-faceted jewel of a performer. She first came into public view right at the end of the Fifties, when she joined the Broadway cast of The Sound Of Music. In the Sixties, she was on television all the time. Route 66. I Spy. Mr. Novak. The Virginian. It Takes A Thief. Hullabaloo. The Dean Martin Show. And of course, all those Bob Hope USO tours. She also hit the big screen with the likes of Bette Davis, Susan Hayward, Richard Chamberlain, and Troy Donahue. She also recorded singles in the Sixties for Decca and Coral Records, platters that frequently trade in the three-figure range on eBay when they show up. And if you find one with a picture sleeve... forget it. Her first album came for MGM in 1972, and it is re-released here in its entirety, with covers of Patsy Cline's Crazy and the Beach Boys' God Only Knows among its 10 tracks.
Tracks
1. Crazy
2. God Only Knows
3. Shake-A-Hand
4. It's Not Easy
5. Right or Wrong
6. I'm Sorry
7. Gone
8. Say Hello
9. Road I Took to You (Pieces)
10. Someone to Watch Over Me
Listen

Ultimate Spinach - Behold and see (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:53 AM 0 comments

Ultimate Spinach's second album The Penultimate Spinach (as they would make only one more LP) is a slightly more subdued continuation of the derivative psychedelia in their debut. Again, it's like a hack take on West Coast groups. There's Country Joe & the Fish in Ian Bruce-Douglas' electric keyboards (which don't play anything as good as his solos on "Sacrifice of the Moon" from the first album); Jefferson Airplane-like female vocals (by guest singer Carol Lee Britt) and songwriting on "Where You're At"; some Quicksilver Messenger Service-type guitar arrangements on "Mind Flowers"; a melody and vocal reminiscent of Kaleidoscope's "Keep Your Mind Open" on "Fragmentary March of Green"; and more. Songwriter Bruce-Douglas' lyrics are unintentional hippie parodies without any irony or humor, whether solemnly aspiring to a beatnik state ("take a trip to the center of your mind") or indicting the straight world ("he has an ulcer in his brain, from thinking of how to divorce his wife"). When the album turns to social critiques, it's uncertain whether the band is trying to mimic the Mothers of Invention without the wit, or whether they're unwittingly embodying the very kinds of groups whom the Mothers took the piss out of on We're Only in It for the Money.
Tracks
1 Gilded Lamp of the Cosmos
2 Visions of Your Reality
3 Jazz Thing
4 Mind Flowers
5 Where You're At
6 Suite: Genesis of Beauty (In Four Parts)
7 Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse
Listen.

Fever Tree - Fever Tree (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:40 AM 0 comments

The self-titled debut album of this unfairly neglected psychedelic band is an odd mix of slick studio work laced with surprising moments of eclecticism, from soundtrack references to hard rock worthy of the best bands of the time. They open up with a pretty good piece of musical prestidigitation, melding Johann Sebastian Bach and Ennio Morricone into the album's first track, which segues neatly into a hard rock style that's their own on the spaced-out, Ravel-laced "Where Do You Go," which sounds like the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience jamming together. They also roll over "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out," squeezed into a two-song medley, like a proto-metal steamroller while quoting "Norwegian Wood" and "Eleanor Rigby"; then switch gears into a beautifully elegant, gently orchestrated pop/rock rendition of Neil Young's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" that's worth the price of admission by itself. The harder rocking numbers (especially "San Francisco Girls") are highly diverting artifacts of their time, while the last two songs, "Unlock My Door" and "Come with Me (Rainsong)," show off a totally unexpected and beautifully reflective folk-rock side to their sound that's strongly reminiscent of Phil Ochs' work on Pleasures of the Harbor and Tape from California. The variations in sound and content, plus the fact that the only keyboard player, Rob Landes, made any large contribution to the in-house songwriting (mostly the work of their producers, Scott & Vivian Holtzman), makes it difficult to pin down precisely what Fever Tree was about, beyond the evidence at hand; but taken on its own terms, the album ought to be better known than it is, which is probably also true of the band itself
Tracks
1 Imitation Situation 1
2 Where Do You Go? Holtzman, Holtzman
3 San Francisco Girls (Return of the Native) Holtzman, Holtzman, Knust
4 Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do) Cropper, Floyd, Pickett
5 Man Who Paints the Pictures Holtzman, Holtzman
6 Filigree and Shadow Holtzman, Holtzman
7 The Sun Also Rises Holtzman, Holtzman
8 Day Tripper Lennon, McCartney
9 We Can Work It Out Lennon, McCartney
10 Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing Young
11 Unlock My Door Holtzman, Holtzman, Landes
12 Come With Me (Rainsong)
Listen

Bruce Haack - Haackula (1978)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:20 AM 0 comments

Bruce haack's 'haackula' is the record you've dreamt of and the stuff of nightmares. Deemed to be too dark and too offensive for release when it was recorded in 1978, it has languished unheard in the vault ever since. Haack's anger with a society he sees as too straight and too claustrophobic is palpable as he hisses and cusses his way over astoundingly elastic electro backings. Already respected as one of the pioneers of twentieth century electronic music, haackula strikes out on this disc into dark, yet playful territory where few have gone before. Imagine a very, very bummed out kraftwerk scowling as they play childlike melodies and sing under their breath of fear and abandonment. One listen to haackula's "blow job" is sure to change the way you view electronic music forever.
Tracks
1. Lie Back
2. Blow Job
3. Man Kind
4. Play Me Your Album
5. Invocation
6. Death Machine
7. Sun Sukd
8. Tit For Tat
9. Haackula
10. Party Machine
Listen

The Flaming Lips - Christmas on Mars (2008)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:37 AM 0 comments

The Flaming Lips are one of the few alt-rock bands you might conceivably want to hear a Christmas album by. A suitably festive combination of wide-eyed wonder and goodwill-to-all-men warmth is at the heart of their work anyway, and they've already recorded one of the great alternative Yuletide songs in Christmas at the Zoo, a life-affirming collision of chiming bells, frazzled psych guitar and festive animal liberation.

But anyone hoping for more of the same here is likely to be disappointed. Entirely instrumental, the Christmas On Mars soundtrack allows Drozd to indulge his longstanding love of composer Bernard Herrmann, as well as the soundtracks to David Lynch's movies and the extraterrestrial experimentation of Joe Meek. The results are variously eerie, beautiful, confrontationally experimental in a way the Flaming Lips haven't been for some time - Your Spaceship Comes From Within is an oddly entrancing 90-second burst of electronic noise - and more accessible and beguiling than you might expect from tracks called The Gleaming Armament of Marching Genitalia and Space Bible With Volume Lumps. The latter is a lovely blend of softly glowing electronics and triumphal brass that, despite the absence of Wayne Coyne's distinctive vocals, couldn't be anyone other than the Flaming Lips.

The songs also make much more sense than the film. In fairness, it's hard to imagine anything making much less sense than the film, but Once Beyond Hopelessness and In Excelsior Vaginalistic capture a sense of chilly isolation magnified by the festivities - that nagging Christmas feeling that everyone else is having a better time than you are - far better than the jerry-built sets and stilted dialogue can hope to.

The Flaming Lips have spent the last few years in a creative holding pattern, albeit an entertaining one. While not a bad album, At War With the Mystics essentially offered an etiolated, proggy version of musical ideas that were kicked around to greater effect on its predecessors. Similarly, their concerts remain hugely enjoyable, but there's no escaping the fact that the Flaming Lips live experience remains a slightly more elaborate version of a show they have been touring since the late 90s. The jolting sense of shock that once accompanied the fake blood, the puppets, the animal costumes and the films has been replaced by a sense of cosy familiarity.

And that may be the best thing about the Christmas On Mars soundtrack. It sees the Flaming Lips reacquainting themselves with their ability to startle: like all the best Christmas surprises, it isn't what you expect
Tracks
1. Once Beyond Hopelessness
2. The Distance Between Mars And The Earth-Part One
3. The Horrors Of Isolation: The Celestial Dissolve, Triumphant Hallucination, Light Being Absorbed
4. In Excelsior Vaginalistic
5. Your Spaceship Comes From Within
6. Suicide And Extraordinary Mistakes
7. The Distance Between Mars And The Earth-Part Two
8. The Secret Of Immortality: This Strange Feeling, This Impossible World
9. The Gleaming Armament Of Marching Genitalia
10. The Distress Signals Of Celestial Objects
11. Space Bible With Volume Lumps
12. Once Beyond Hopelessness
Listen

Kraftwerk - Kraftwerk II (1972)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:01 AM 0 comments

The album was entirely written and performed by Hütter and Schneider in late 1971, released in January 1972, with the sessions produced by the influential Konrad "Conny" Plank.

“ Nobody wanted to play with us because we did all kinds of strange things… feedbacks and overtones and sounds and rhythms. No drummer wanted to work with us because we had these electronic gadgets. ”
—Ralf Hütter

Perhaps the least characteristic album of their output, it features little obvious use of synthesizers, the instrumentation being largely electric guitar, bass guitar, flute and violin. The electronics on display is generally in the realm of 1960s tape-based music more usually produced in academia, with much use of tape echo (for example the massed looping flute layers of "Strom"), reverse & altered speed tape effects. Overall the sound has a rather muted, twilit, dusky feel, similar in feel to "Megaherz" on Kraftwerk's debut album.

The lengthy, almost side-long "Kling-Klang" which opens the album is notable for its use of a preset organ beatbox to provide the percussion track. It opens with a clangourous Stockhausen-like metallic percussion montage and gives rise to the unmistakable Kraftwerk sound. Later, the song title also became the name of the band's own self-built studio, in Düsseldorf.

"Atem" is a recording of breathing, while "Harmonika" features a tape-manipulated mouth organ.

The cover design, credited to Ralf and Florian, further hints at a deliberate association with conceptualist art, being a virtual repeat of the first album's Pop Art design – except printed this time in fluorescent green and with slight modification by the number '2'.

It was eventually released in the UK, combined with the first Kraftwerk album as a double LP package, by the Vertigo label in March 1973.

No material from this album has been performed in the band's live set since the Autobahn tour of 1975, and to date, the album has not been officially reissued on compact disc. The band is seemingly reluctant to consider the release as a part of their canon; in later interviews, Schneider described the first three Kraftwerk albums as "archaeology".
Tracks
01. Kling Klang
02. Atem
03. Strom
04. Spule 4
05. Wellenlänge
06. Harmonika
Listen

Bit a Sweet - Hypnotic (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:45 AM 0 comments

This band were from the Plainedge and Massapequa area of Nassau County, Long Island, New York.Bit a Sweet was reportedly a top draw at the big discotheques in New York City. Their only album, Hypnotic -- released by ABC in 1968 -- is a rare, and often over-looked, high-concept pop-psych album of the first degree. Today it is highly praised by collectors who are interested in psych-pop
Tracks
1.Speak Softly
2.2086
3.If I Needed Someone
4.With Love
5.Monday - Tuesday
6.Diamond Studded Eyes
7.How Can I Make You See
8.Travel
9.A Second Time
Listen

Gardening by Moonlight - Method in the Madness (1983)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:35 AM 0 comments

Rich, pure and astonishingly subtle, Gardening by Moonlight's first album offers layer upon layer of magical invention. Crescendos of percussive symmetry form a backdrop for cleverly twisting atmospheric tangents that elevate GBM to the status of Thomas Leer and bands like Shriekback and The Cocteau Twins.

Astonishingly clever innovations and a more tongue-in- cheek rejection of the saturated neo-disco funk invasion forges a strong identity for GBM. John Johnson on drums and vocals is the musical dice man who traces the revolving, percussive patterns for Duncan Bridgemans pumping synth to decorate. A founder member of Wayne County and The Electric Chairs (I kid you not) and a veteran of The Flying lizards and the Skids, Johnson,s vocal talents have long been overlooked. "Diction and Fiction", a superbly orchestrated swinging sub-funk jigsaw, forms a tantalising matrix, with mysteriously understated vocals sweeping in and around the music.

Gardening by Moonlight succeed where other purveyors of a "new dance" mode fall short - they offer more than a simple re-juxtaposition of old tricks and much more than mere quality beat. Sculpting almost visual images in the air their only serious rivals at the art must be Swiss electronic eccentrics Yello, whose wackiness shadows their boldly innovative talent. But "Method in the Madness", a self-explanatory title, surpasses even Yello's convoluted progressions by combining the polarities of seriousness and fun. Elemental rhythms will give twitching bodies an ecstatic thrill...Camden Palace clones will drool to the beat, but GBM offer the more sedate audience enough intricate delicacy and intrigue to warrant hours of pleasurable discovery. The kaleidoscope Mardi Gras urgency of "Letters" and the warmly embracing fluidity of the title track owe much to Thomas Leer's pioneering developments with synthesiser combinations, but GBM successfully avoid plagiarism. If any criticism must be levelled (and they're hard to fault), its target must be their almost over clever obsession with technique. the production (credit GBM) is wide and deep but seems in places to dally with intricacies rather than ambience.

But this album is more about overall feel than technique and falls not one inch short of creating a new in-road in intelligent dance-orientated music. GBM have made their point - it can be done.
Tracks
01. Method in the madness
02. Letters
03. Diction & Fiction
04. Whistling in the Dark
05. Weights & Measures
06. Strange Views (is it safe)
06. Chance
07. Strange News
08. Method Again (instrumental)
Listen

Parlet - Invasion of the Booty snatchers (1979)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:04 AM 0 comments

Parlet's second album, Invasion of the Booty Snatchers, found Parliament/Funkadelic leader George Clinton supervising a new edition of the female trio. Jeanette Washington was still on board, but this time, she joined forces with Shirley Hayden and Janice Evans instead of Debbie Wright and Mallia Franklin. However, Invasion of the Booty Snatchers (whose title is based on the 1950s sci-fi/horror movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers) isn't a radical departure from Parlet's first album, Pleasure Principle. Clinton (who produced this 1979 LP with Ron Dunbar) still goes for variety, and Parlet's sophomore album is as unpredictable as their first. While goofy numbers like "No Rump to Bump" and "Huff-N-Puff" are very Parliament-sounding, "Ridin' High" (a minor hit) and the glossy "Booty Snatchers" have more of a disco influence -- "Ridin' High," in fact, almost sounds like a marriage of P-Funk and Chic. Meanwhile, the pleasing "Don't Ever Stop (Lovin' Me, Needin' Me)" is a conventional Northern soul ballad -- conventional by Clinton's standards, that is. As strong as Invasion of the Booty Snatchers is, the LP wasn't a huge multi-platinum seller; many of the P-Funk addicts who bought Parliament and Funkadelic's albums religiously didn't spend a lot of dollars on Parlet. Nonetheless, Invasion of the Booty Snatchers is arguably the group's finest and most impressive release.
Tracks
01. Ridin' High (7:40)
02. No Rump To Bump (6:10)
03. Don't Ever Stop (Lovin' Me, Needin' Me) (7:13)
04. Booty Snatchers (5:50)
05. You're Leaving (6:26)
06. Huff-N-Puff (7:17)
Listen

Adelbert von Deyen - Nordborg (1979)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:58 AM 0 comments

Adelbert von Deyen is a relatively obscure electronic artist whose style is very similar to the famed Klaus Schulze, even down to the album covers (both artists use paintings by surrealist painter Urs Amann for the album covers). Rightfully so, he claims Schulze as his main influence. His career lasted from the 1978 to the early to 1987. His first album, Sternzeit, is perhaps his most famous Schulze-like release. On later albums, like Eclipse, there was a definite spacey, Pink Floyd feeling present throughout. On this album, he even decided to incorporate vocals. Today, von Deyen no longer records and instead has become a painter.
Tracks
1. Moonrise (21:18)
2. Iceland (20:00)
Listen

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Wake Up It's Tomorow (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:47 AM 0 comments

The group, originally named Thee Sixpence, initially consisted of Ed King (lead guitar), Mark Weitz (keyboards), Lee Freeman (rhythm guitar), Gary Lovetro (bass), and Randy Seol (drums). On their first and most famous single, "Incense and Peppermints", none of the band wanted to sing songwriter John Carter's lyrics, so lead vocals were sung by Greg Munford, a 16-year-old friend of the band, although the regular vocalists sang backup. The song reached #1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in late 1967. Mark Weitz and Ed King were denied songwriting credit by the band's producer because they did not write the melody line or the lyrics, though the song was built on an instrumental by Weitz with a bridge by King originally intended as a B-side to "Birdman of Alkatrash," which ultimately became the B-side to "Incense and Peppermints." The single stayed at #1 for two weeks with 16 weeks in total on the chart. A gold disc was awarded for one million sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 19 December 1967. The original composition that became "Incense and Peppermints" was titled "The Happy Whistler."

Shortly after recording Incense and Peppermints the band added George Bunnell (bass and rhythm guitar, mini mando) before making their first LP in 1967, also titled Incense and Peppermints, which hit #11 on the album charts. Bunnell would also become their main songwriter. Some early Strawberry Alarm Clock songs were penned by George Bunnell and Steve Bartek (who would much later join Oingo Boingo, as well as orchestrate Danny Elfman's film scores). Bartek played flute on the first two albums, but could not join the band because of school.

During the band's short life, it saw many lineup changes. Gary Lovetro left the band before the second album, Wake Up... It's Tomorrow, (also 1967). He was briefly replaced by ex-Electric Prunes bassist Mark Tulin, but it didn't work out. The single "Tomorrow" from this album was a minor hit and their only other top 40 appearance, reaching #23 in early 1968. "Sit with the Guru" charted at #65 and "Barefoot in Baltimore" charted at #67, but both had lyrics that were written for them, the latter song being particularly annoying to the band, turning what they considered a challenging rock instrumental into an embarrassing pop song. Finally, "Good Morning Starshine" from Galt MacDermot's Hair, which was forced onto the band by the producers, charted at #87. "Tomorrow" was the only hit that was fully the band's. Bunnell and Seol left the band in 1968 and original "Incense and Peppermints" drummer, Gene Gunnels, rejoined along with new lead singer, Jim Pitman. In 1969, Pitman left, and was replaced by Paul Marshall, who remained with the group until they disbanded in 1971. For a short time Jeremy Levine, after his departure from The Seeds, briefly replaced Lee Freeman on rhythm guitar during the summer of 1968. Although the group followed up with more LPs in 1968 (The World in a Seashell, with two songs Carole King was hired to write by the band's producer) and 1969 (Good Morning Starshine, a bluesier album with its title track derived from Hair) the band had begun to fall apart and the audience was mostly gone. In various forms the group managed to keep performing until 1971, when it finally broke up and the remaining band members went the way of the four winds, to so-named "real jobs."

Strawberry Alarm Clock made two notable appearances in films, first in the 1968 Jack Nicholson movie Psych-Out, where they played several songs, including "Incense and Peppermints", "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow", "The World's on Fire", and "The Pretty Song From Psych-Out", and then in the 1970 Russ Meyer camp classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls where they played "Incense and Peppermints", "I'm Comin' Home", and "Girl From The City", both written by Paul Marshall.

Ed King went on to join Lynyrd Skynyrd. Several members of Strawberry Alarm Clock reunited in the 1980s to perform on oldies concert tours. The first reunion occurred when guitarist Lee Freeman spotted a newspaper ad promoting an appearance by the Strawberry Alarm Clock at a Los Angeles music club. Original member Freeman knew nothing about this gig, and went to the club to investigate. There he discovered that the advertisement had actually been a plot by the club's owners to get the real band to reunite.

The original band lineup reunited to perform an approximately one-hour set at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL, on April 29, 2007. The event was part of the last day of Roger Ebert's ninth annual Overlooked Film Festival and was preceded by a screening of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The band, including Steve Bartek as a full member on both lead guitar and flute, has gone on to play several other gigs in 2007.
Tracks
1. Nightmare of Percussion
2. Soft Skies, No Lies
3. Tomorrow
4. They Saw the Fat One Coming
5. Curse of the Witches
6. Sit With the Guru
7. Go Back, You're Going the Wrong Way
8. Pretty Song from Psych-Out
9. Sitting on a Star
10. Black Butter, Past
11. Black Butter, Present
12. Black Butter, Future
bonus
13. Tomorrow [Alt Version]
14. Sit With the Guru
Listen

Lalo Schiffrin - Bullit (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:49 AM 0 comments

Yes, this is the theme music you will be thinking of everytime you see McQueen up on the silver screen. Even when he is kissing Natalie Wood in "Love With A Proper Stranger" you'll be asking yourself when he will pull out his pistol or ride off in his 1968 Ford Mustang.

The heart of this album is "Shifting Gears" because it leads into the famous streets of Frisco car chase scene that made this movie so famous. But you cannot forget the theme music that opens the film. There is a cool nonchalance about it that boils over into moments of heat but then, without much effort, drifts right back into a ruminating cool that was/is the perfect compliment to Steve McQueen's on screen persona.

Frankly, this is late 1960's acid jazz at its peak and somehow, after all of these years, it does not veer off into absurdity (or cliche) the way many of its contemporaries did. Who knows what will remain stylish several decades after its debut? Apparently Schifrin had good instincts. . . And while the movie's staying power has certainly helped the soundtrack one could argue rather persuasively that the music enhanced the film's reputation as well.

If you like greasy horns, clomping bongos, rolling maracca lines and lots of high hat stings accentuating the measures, this is your kind of music. It will make you wish you had your own cop drama where you had the time and money to become your own stunt driver
Tracks
01 Bullitt (Main Title)
02 Room "26"
03 Hotel Daniels
04 The Aftermath Of Love
05 Music To Interrogate By
06 On The Way To San Mateo
07 Ice Pick Mike
08 Song For Cathy
09 Shifting Gears
10 Cantata For Combo
11 The First Snowfall
12 Bullitt (End Title)
Listen

Faust - Faust IV (1974)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:29 AM 0 comments

Opener "Krautrock" is a drone-based instrumental where the drums kick in only after seven minutes, whilst later tracks such as "The Sad Skinhead" and "Jennifer" employ more conventional songwriting techniques. The medley including "Picnic on a Frozen River, deuxième tableau" is a rework of a track from the previous album Faust So Far. The closing track "It's a Bit of a Pain" combines both styles, utilising noise during its chorus. In "It's a Bit of a Pain" the band samples a sound clip, starting at 1:38, with a Swedish speaking woman saying "Den enkla sanningen är att en del män är håriga och andra inte är det. En del kvinnor har mycket hår och andra har det inte. Olika raser har olika mönster för hårets fördelning. Den virilaste av alla mänskliga varelser, den unge negerhanen, har nästan inget kroppshår alls." which roughly translates into "The simple truth is that some men are hairy and some are not. Some women have lots of hair and others don't. Different races have different patterns of distribution of hair on their bodies. The most sexually active specimen of all human creatures, the young negro male, have almost no body hair at all.".

The album was recorded at the Manor Studios in England. As sessions took too long to complete, producer Nettelbeck opted to complete the album with material that was recorded at previous sessions in Wümme, Germany. These additions include "Krautrock" (previously aired on the John Peel show) and "It's a Bit of a Pain" (previously released as a single in Germany).
Tracks
01. Krautroct
02. The Sad Skinhead
03. Jennifer
04. Just a Second (Starts Like That!) / Picnic on a Frozen River, Deuxième Tableau
05. Giggy Smile
06. Läuft...Heißt das es läuft oder es kommt bald...Läuft
07. It's a Bit of a Pain
Listen

Deviants - Disposable (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:26 AM 0 comments

Originally released in 1968,as this was their follow-up to their debut 'Ptooff' lp and nearly as good.'Disposable' simply continues the feat of showing off Mick Farren's off beat sense of humor.With cuts like "Sparrows And Wires","Let's Loot The Supermarket",the notable "Slum Lord" and "Normality",I personally thought that 'Disposable' was a true keeper.Line-up:Farren-vocals,Duncan Sanderson-bass,Sid Bishop-guitar and Russell Hunter-drums.Another outstanding late '60's UK piece of psychedelia to fully take in.
Tracks
1. Somewhere To Go
2. Sparrows And Wires
3. Jamies Song
4. You've Got To Hold On
5. Fire In The City
6. Let's Loot The Supermarket
7. Pappa-Oo-Mao-Mao
8. Slum Lord
9. Blind Joe 'Mcturks Last Session
10. Normality
11. Guaranteed To Bleed
12. Sidney B. Goode
13. Last Man
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Brainticket - Cottonwoodhill (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:19 AM 0 comments

Line-up/Musicians
- Ron Bryer / guitar
- Werner Fröhlich / bass
- Helmuth Kolbe / keyboards
- Cosimo Lampis / drums
- Dawn Muir / vocals
- Wolfgang Paap / percussion
- Werni Prahlach / bass
- Joel Vandroogenbroeck / keyboards, flute, vocals
BRAINTICKET's debut album as a great psychedelic kraut record full of mind bending experimentation (if not structually), it's particularly great if you're in the mood for it but it has to be acknowledged that it's certainly not for everyone and is very much a love it or hate it affair. The primary reason for this is that the songwriting is fairly primitive in that all the songs are generally one riff or progression with various instrumentation and vocal wailings over the top which isn't a bad thing at all because it perfectly suits the music.

The album starts with 'Black Sand' with a pounding rhyhthmic drum and bass section with great organ and guitar wailing over the top and heavily effected vocals over the top. 'Places of Light' is more of the same this time with more of funky foundation and some female vocals. The three part 'Brainticket' will either make or break the album for you, it's pretty much the same riff over all 3 parts (and what a riff) with paranoid frantic female spoken word craziness (she sounds like she's about to climax) and all kinds of effects and samples over the top, a great soundtrack of an acid trip.

Cottonwoodhill is not for the faint of heart you'll either love it or hate it, in my case I love it, I think it's a great psychedelic album for chilling out, fans of kraut and psychedelia should definitely check this out. By Frump
Tracks
01. Black Sand
02. Places of Light
03. Brainticket, Pt. 1
04. Brainticket, Pt. 1: Conclusion
05. Brainticket, Pt. 2
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Brainbox - Brainbox (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:54 AM 0 comments

Brainbox was a dutch rock band, originating from Amsterdam.Guitar player Jan Akkerman and drummer Pierre van der Linden, both future members of Focus, were part of the original line up. Other members were singer Kaz Lux and bass player André Reijnen. Their debut single "Down Man" was a huge hit in the States. it was also a blue print for their style,progressive sounding bluesrock with the unique voice of Lux. They scored several hits in Holland but eventually disbanded in 1972
Tracks
01. Dark Rose
02. Reason to believe
03. Baby, what you want me to do
04. Scarborough fair
05. Summertime
06. Sinner's prayer
07. Sea of delight
08. Down man
09. Woman's gone
bonus tracks
10. Sea of delight (try-out)
11. Sea of delight (take 1)
12. Amsterdam, the first days
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Salvation - Gypsy Carnival Caravan (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:44 AM 0 comments

legendary album from this late 60s San Francisco acid rock outfit. Long acid-soaked workouts featuring ripping fuzz guitars, organ and occasional reeds (supplied by a young Tom Scott) and sitar.
San Francisco psychedelic band Salvation was formed in 1967 by singer Al Linde and guitarist Joe Tate, who first met while students at the University of Washington. Bassist Artie McLean, keyboardist Art Resnick, and drummer Teddy Stewart later completed the original lineup, which at first called itself the New Salvation Army Banned. After earning featured spots in a series of concerts in Golden Gate Park, the band signed to ABC Records, albeit on the condition they abbreviate their name for fear of legal action from the actual Salvation Army. Salvation's self-titled debut LP followed in 1968, boasting an expansive, eclectic sound highlighted by the first single, "Think Twice." Opening slots for bands including the Doors, Big Brother & the Holding Company, and Canned Heat followed, and around the time of their second album, 1969's Gypsy Carnival Caravan, Salvation traveled to New York City to headline the Fillmore East and the Village Gate. But their future was jeopardized after the group's management reputedly ran off with their ABC advance, and in 1970 Salvation dissolved; Resnick later resurfaced in jazz circles with a handful of solo recordings as well as sideman dates behind Nat Adderley, Freddie Hubbard, and others
Tracks
01. Hollywood 1923
02. Handles of care
03. yuk yuk
04. In the evening
05. Salvation jam
06. Come on over here
07. What'll I do #42
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Rolling Stones - 12x5 (1964)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:32 AM 0 comments

12 X 5 is the second US album by The Rolling Stones released in 1964 following the massive success of their debut The Rolling Stones in the UK and the promising sales of its American substitute England's Newest Hit Makers .

Not surprisingly, 12 X 5 followed its predecessor's tendency to largely feature R&B covers, however it does contain three compositions from the still-developing Mick Jagger/Keith Richards songwriting team, as well as two group compositions under the pseudonym of "Nanker Phelge".

After a series of sessions in Chicago in June 1964, The Rolling Stones' UK label Decca Records released the five song EP Five by Five. Because EPs were never a lucrative format in the US, London Records - their American distributor at the time - spread the EP songs across an entire album, adding seven new recordings to create a release of 12 songs by 5 musicians, hence the album's title. Decca would use the same cover (minus the lettering) for The Rolling Stones' second UK album The Rolling Stones No. 2 in early 1965.

12 X 5 proved to be a faster seller than England's Newest Hit Makers, reaching #3 and going gold quickly
Tracks
1. Around and Around
2. Confessin' the Blues
3. Empty Heart
4. Time Is on My Side
5. Good Times, Bad Times
6. It's All Over Now
7. 2120 South Michigan Avenue
8. Under the Boardwalk
9. Congradulations
10. Grown Up Wrong
11. If You Need Me
12. Susie Q
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H2O - Faith (1983)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:28 AM 0 comments

H2O scored a big hit in 1982 with ‘Dream To Sleep’ appearing several times on Top of The Pops, filling dance floors across the land and enjoying lot’s of radio play. They released several more successful singles and in 1983 released a vastly underrated album Faith. They produced an album of sophisticated and well written pop songs all lead by singer Ian Donaldson’s deep rich baritone.
Tracks
1. Success
2. Dream To Sleep
3. Wholl Stop The Rain
4. Just Outside Heaven
5. Leonard
6. Action
7. Sundays Are Blue
8. All That Glitters
9. Another Face
10. Its In You
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Neu - Neu 2 (1973)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:22 AM 0 comments

It was recorded in January 1973 at Windrose-Dumont-Time Studios, Hamburg, Germany, mixed in February 1973 at Windrose-Dumont-Time Studios, Hamburg, Germany, and released in 1973 by Brain Records. It was officially reissued by Astralwerks on May 29th 2001. Illegal bootleg CDs (with the audio taken from vinyl) from the 'Germanofon' label were widely available in the late 1990s.

This album further focused the classic Neu! 'Krautrock' sound, with 11 minute Für immer in particular being the archetypal example of their style—a seemingly endless forward-driving vamping, propelled by Dinger's 4/4 drumming and Rother's layered guitar with its fluid lines and droning harmonic structure.

Side 2 of the record caused consternation at the time: Neu! had quite simply run out of money to finish recording the album, so side 2 is made up entirely of their previously released single "Neuschnee/Super", manipulated at various playback speeds on a recordplayer, or mangled in a cassette recorder. Critics at the time dismissed this as a cheap gimmick and a rip-off. Whilst it was indeed an experiment born of desperation and necessity, it was entirely in keeping with Neu's pop art aesthetics, taking a 'ready-made' sound object and re-presenting it with a series of stylized manipulations, and also quite in keeping with the way Neu's music deconstructed and pared down the form of rock music. Dinger has since pointed to side 2 of this album as being a prototype of the now ubiquitous multiple 'remixes' which typically accompany any pop single release.
Tracks
01 Für immer (Forever) 11:00
02 Spitzenqualität 4:58
03 Gedenkminute (Für a + k) 1:00
04 Lila Engel (Lilac Angel) 4:35
05 Neuschnee 78 2:30
06 Super 16 3:37
07 Neuschnee 3:59
08 Cassetto 1:50
09 Super 78 1:35
10 Hallo Excentrico 3:43
11 Super 3:07
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Electric Prunes - Underground (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:52 AM 0 comments

The Electric Prunes' second album was just as uneven as their debut, and lacking the obvious hit material its predecessor had boasted in "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" and "Get Me to the World on Time." However, at least a more consistent tone and recognizable group identity asserted itself, as the band wrote half of the material. In addition, the periodic airy-fairy vaudevillian misfires that had dotted the first LP were thankfully abolished. Many of the tunes, whether from the band or their frequent outside contributors Annette Tucker and Nancie Mantz, had floridly inscrutable lyrics -- "The Great Banana Hoax," "Children of Rain," "Dr. Do-Good," "Antique Doll" -- of the kind that some hip critics like to scorn as dated and naive flower-power relics. At the best points of this album, though, the Prunes conjured a menacing psychedelic pop atmosphere that, in conjunction with their flair for unusual guitar reverb and sundry special effects, sounded fetchingly spooky and seductive. "Hideaway," with its killer bass riff, and the demented "Dr. Do-Good," a crazed children's hour theme gone amok, were standouts in this regard, while "Long Day's Flight" is one of their best psych-garage tracks. On a more straightforward level, "I Happen to Love You" is one of the best obscure Goffin-King covers you're likely to hear, and one of the bluesiest too
Tracks
1. Great Banana Hoax, The
2. Children of Rain
3. Wind-up Toys
4. Antique Doll
5. It's Not Fair
6. I Happen to Love You
7. Dr. Do-Good
8. I
9. Hideaway
10. Big City
11. Capt. Glory
12. Long Day's Flight
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Serge Gainsbourg - L'homme A Tete De Chou (1976)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:13 AM 0 comments

Originally released in 1976, L' Homme À Tête de Chou is Serge Gainsbourg's second concept record. His first was the stone classic Histoire de Melody Nelson, released five years prior. Translating as "The Man with the Cabbage Head," L' Homme À Tête de Chou is a brutal story of lust and obsession in which, over the course of the album, the narrator falls in love with a black shampoo girl (Marilou), beats her to death with a fire extinguisher, and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Featuring lush orchestration and a variety of influences from reggae to funk to country, L' Homme À Tête de Chou is a crucial part of the musical history of one of France's most famous and certainly most controversial stars.
Tracks
1. L' Homme À Tête De Chou
2. Chez Max Coiffur Pour Hommes
3. Marilou Reggae
4. Transit À Marilou
5. Flash Forward
6. Aéroplanes
7. Premiers Symptômes
8. Ma Lou Marilou
9. Variations Sur Marilou
10. Meurtre À L'extincteur
11. Marilou Sous La Neige
12. Lunatic Asylum
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BeeGees - Odessa (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:06 AM 0 comments

During 1967 and 1968, the Bee Gees became an international phenomenon with three albums and many more singles of folky balladry, most of them smashes. That stopped when their lavish 1969 double LP, Odessa, produced zero hits; guitarist Vince Melouney left, and Robin Gibb temporarily followed suit. The stereo (disc 1) and mono (disc 2) mixes included in the three-disc reissue of this disruptive opus present the Gibb brothers' arrangements at their most opulent: The string-laden instrumentals and soulful baroque pop evoke the splendor of the Moody Blues. And a third disc with demos suggests the unpolished sprawl of the Beatles' White Album. Stripped of window dressing, baubles like "Melody Fair" prove the Gibbs' effusive melodies and aching harmonies are ends in themselves.
Tracks
Disc 1
1. Odessa (City On The Black Sea)
2. You'll Never See My Face Again
3. Black Diamond
4. Marley Purt Drive
5. Edison
6. Melody Fair
7. Suddenly
8. Whisper Whisper
9. Lamplight
10. Sound Of Love
11. Give Your Best
12. Seven Seas Symphony
13. With All Nations (International Anthem)
14. I Laugh In Your Face
15. Never Say Never Again
16. First Of May
17. The British Opera
Disc 2
1. Odessa (City On The Black Sea)
2. You'll Never See My Face Again
3. Black Diamond
4. Marley Purt Drive
5. Edison
6. Melody Fair
7. Suddenly
8. Whisper Whisper
9. Lamplight
10. Sound Of Love
11. Give Your Best
12. Seven Seas Symphony
13. With All Nations (International Anthem)
14. I Laugh In Your Face
15. Never Say Never Again
16. First Of May
17. The British Opera
Disc 3
1. Odessa [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
2. You'll Never See My Face Again [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
3. Black Diamond [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
4. Marley Purt Drive [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
5. Barbara Came To Stay - (previously unreleased)
6. Edison [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
7. Melody Fair [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
8. Melody Fair [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
9. Suddenly [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
10. Whisper Whisper [Part Two] [Alternate Version] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
11. Lamplight [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
12. Lamplight [Alternate Version] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
13. Sound Of Love [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
14. Give Your Best [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
15. Seven Seas Symphony [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
16. With All Nations (International Anthem) [Vocal Version] - (previously unreleased)
17. I Laugh In Your Face [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
18. Never Say Never Again [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
19. First Of May [Demo] - (previously unreleased)
20. First Of May [Alternate Mix] - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
21. Nobody's Someone - (previously unreleased)
22. Pity - (previously unreleased)
23. Odessa Promotional Spot - (previously unreleased)

The Sound - Jeopardy (1980)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:40 AM 0 comments

Despite the production's rough edges, the limited budget that fostered it, and the feeling that it sounds more like several A-sides and a couple decent B-sides thrown together than a singular body, Jeopardy is a caustic jolt of a debut that startles and fascinates. With the plaintive intro of the rhythm section, a spidery guitar, and incidental synth wobbles (which all sounds surprisingly Neu!-like), "I Can't Escape Myself" begins the album unassumingly enough until reaching the terse, one-line chorus that echoes the title of the song; suddenly, from out of the blue, all the instruments make a quick, violent, collective stab and retreat back into the following verse as singer Adrian Borland catches his breath. The reverb placed on his voice is heightened at just the right moments to exacerbate the song's claustrophobic slant. The ecstatic onward rush of "Heartland" forms the back end of a dynamic one-two opening punch, with a charging rhythm and blaring keyboards leading the way. It seems to be the spawn of XTC and U2, just as giddy as something from the former (think Go 2) and almost as anthemic as something from the latter (think Boy). Much later on, near the end, "Unwritten Law" comes along as one of the Sound's best mid-tempo mood pieces -- one of their greatest strengths. It also shows how much a simple shading of synth can affect a song, as it affects it with a melancholic smear that no other instrument could possibly provide. In all honesty, they weren't breaking any new ground here. Their influences were just as apparent as the ones donned by the other bands who inhabited similar post-punk territory. Smart journalists of the time -- meaning the ones who truly listened and were aware of the band's past -- knew well enough that the Sound belonged in the same league as the bands they were compared to and not somewhere in the bushes. Hardly coattail jockeying, the Sound were developing and growing alongside them. If you're thinking this sounds like someone's telling you that you need Jeopardy just as much as you need Kilimanjaro or Unknown Pleasures or Crocodiles, you're right again.
Tracks
1 I Can't Escape Myself 3:54
2 Heartland 3:33
3 Hour of Need 3:01
4 Words Fail Me 2:57
5 Missiles 5:26
6 Heyday 3:01
7 Jeopardy 3:37
8 Night Versus Day 3:15
9 Resistance 2:47
10 Unwritten Law 3:39
11 Desire 3:13
12 Heartland (live)
13 Brute Force (live)
14 Jeopardy (live)
15 Coldbeat (live)
Listen

Comsat Angels - Waiting for a Miracle (1980)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:27 AM 0 comments

Waiting for a Miracle is a sorcerous first album, at least once it sinks in, after short-to-long phases of puzzlement, bemusement, and fascination. Its songs of romantic ruin, paranoia, and doubt are spare, inelastic, and ceaselessly on edge. Even when the songs are at their bounciest and most alluring, they have an insular and alien quality. The instruments are played with intrepid simplicity, but when they're heard as one, they sound peculiar and complex -- the results aren't unlike slow, stern spins on Pere Ubu's "The Modern Dance" and "Street Waves" -- albeit with insidious lyrical hooks that are innocuous to the eye and startling to the ear, like "This is total war, girl," "Sometimes I feel out of control," and "I can't relax 'cause I haven't done a thing and I can't do a thing 'cause I can't relax." Acting as something like a minimalist garage band with one foot in the past and the other in the future, with Andy Peake's memory-triggering organ bleats offset by structural abnormalities and twists, the band does come across as a little timid from time to time, unsure of how far to take its uniqueness, but it's only another factor that fosters the album's insistent nerviness. "Total War," a razor-sharp examination of a relationship snapping under the pressure of buried mutual contempt, threatens to stop as often as it appears to be on the verge of taking off, carries a circular arrangement, and provides no release. It was the album's "other" single, nearly as conventions-stripped as PiL's more venomous "Flowers of Romance" (released the following year). "Independence Day," on the other hand, gave the band its greatest commercial success, wrapping all the band's strengths in one concise package, from the brilliantly paced shifts between the sparse and the dense to the balance between the direct and the indirect. Apart from the barren, ominous kiss-off that is "Postcard," each of the remaining songs sound like singles, even if they never had a chance at putting the band on Top of the Pops. (This is a band that called itself "doomsteady" with a hint of seriousness, after all.) While there are crucial differences that reveal themselves after deep listening, this album can be appreciated by anyone touched by other maverick post-punk albums released the same year, such as Joy Division's Closer, Associates' The Affectionate Punch, Magazine's The Correct Use of Soap, the Sound's Jeopardy, and Simple Minds' Empires and Dance.
Tracks
1 Missing in Action
2 'Baby'
3 Independence Day
4 Waiting for a Miracle
5 Total War
6 On the Beach
7 Monkey Pilot
8 Real Story
9 Map of the World
10 Postcard
11 Home is the Range
12 We Were
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Curtis Mayfield - Give, Get, Take and Have (1976)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:57 AM 0 comments

With Give, Get, Take and Have, Curtis Mayfield has fashioned the apotheosis of a musical genre he has just invented. That genre consists, skeletally, of the interaction between disco and the Sixties soul-music sensibility. It also places far more importance on wordplay than most current disco. It is, bluntly, unique, and this album is Curtis Mayfield's masterpiece.

From its initial song, "In Your Arms Again (Shake It)," we are thoroughly insinuated into Mayfield's environment: erotic, eloquent, black. The music is smooth, catchy, repetitious, and yet different enough to be both eminently danceable and sit-and-ponderable. Mayfield's impossibly high, quintessentially slinky voice is, of course, ideally suited to the moaning of sexy dance-floor exhortations, but placed between these solid dance chants are equally wonderful lines like "It's a sizzlin' romance, when I kiss your finger ... From my heart on to my feet are temperature and heat."

So to the matter of lyrics first: on this album Mayfield sketches black people and their situations in such unorthodox, funny and affecting ways that the only writer to whom he can be compared is novelist Ishmael Reed.

Throughout his solo career, Mayfield has always dealt with current events and fads, and those subjects have provoked both his best music (the Superfly and Claudine soundtracks) and his worst (the laborious pickling of gung fu, Sweet Exorcist, and a Reverend Ike-ish spiritualism on his last two efforts). His conscience is still working overtime on GGT&H, and with good results: "Soul Music" describes a storefront discotheque that is obviously meant to be a joyful oasis in its ghetto desert. His remake of "Mr. Welfare Man" is sensibly different from Gladys Knight's version—Mayfield's version centers on the rueful powerlessness that can make a man, desiring to support "a woman true and a baby too," feel strangled.

Mayfield's verbal dexterity is expressed in several ways. For example, while revitalizing what from anyone else would be tired slogans ("Hustle party down.... Groovin', everybody was movin'"), he employs nearly nonsensical but perfectly expressive quasi chanting, as in the repeated line from "Soul Music": "Shucky, shucky, funky set your baby on fire." And black street poetry—fusing, as it does, popular slang, euphemisms and black syntax—becomes for Mayfield a most effective shorthand for telling complicated stories. The most obvious example of the latter on GGT&H is "Party Night," but it is a strength common to all of Mayfield's recent songs.

As a producer, Mayfield uses well-oiled disco music as a centerpiece and embroiders around it horn breaks, choruses and punctuational riffs that strongly recall classic Sixties soul singles by people like the Temptations, the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and Mayfield's Impressions. Nearly as important as Mayfield's vocals are Kitty Haywood and the Haywood Singers' backup voices, which provide a passionate female counterpoint to Mayfield's aroused male posturing.

Throughout, the blatant, omnipresent rhythm of disco is equated with physical love. Mayfield is both earthy and subtle: moans and cries and lines like "The natural smells of love are strong/Fingers all in your hair, fruit to bear/Need your lovin', baby. Do! Do! Do!" In the recent past, Mayfield's literal approach to his subject matter has been so obvious as to be embarrassing; on GGT&H, however, it is perfect, because everything else is so well constructed and spare that the thematic simplicity glides dreamily into Mayfield's overall plan and creation.

With Give, Get, Take and Have, Curtis Mayfield has looked disco in the eye and blinded it. We, in turn, are dazzled. (original Rolling Stone review from 1976)
Tracks
1. In Your Arms Again (Shake It)
2. This Love Is Sweet
3. P.S. I Love You
4. Party Night
5. Get a Little Bit (Give, Get, Take and Have)
6. Soul Music
7. Only You Babe
8. Mr. Welfare Man
Listen

Modern Eon - Fiction (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:29 AM 0 comments

Like the better-known Teardrop Explodes and Echo & the Bunnymen, the post-punk band Modern Eon was based in Liverpool, England. Fitting somewhere between the odd rhythms and textured turmoil of the Comsat Angels and the aggressive side of Sad Lovers and Giants, the band released only one studio LP, 1981's excellent Fiction Tales. Alix Plain (Alex Johnson) and Danny Hampson started the group in the late '70s, initially calling their band Luglo Slugs. After two more name changes, they became Modern Eon and made their recorded debut in 1978 on Street to Street: A Liverpool Album. A handful of singles for labels like Inevitable, DinDisc, and their own Eon predated Fiction Tales, which quickly -- and disappointingly -- didn't so much register on the commercial radar as it went down the drain with little notice. Prior to the recording of the album, the band's lineup changed significantly; guitarist/saxophonist Tim Lever, keyboardist/percussionist Bob Wakelin, and drummer Cliff Hewitt came in at various points to replace Ged Allen and Joey McKechnie. Aside from the overlooked status of Fiction Tales, another factor that threw a wrench into the band's progress was the injuring of drummer Hewitt's wrist. Hewitt, who resembled the Comsat Angels' Mik Glaisher with his off-kilter, toms-heavy playing, proved impossible to replace. The group went on with the tour, using tapes of Hewitt's playing to accompany them. After the tour, demos for a second album weren't completed and the band dissolved. Sans Plain, the group continued briefly as This Time Next Year, who released one record in 1982. Lever played a number of years with Dead or Alive and eventually went into producing; Hewitt became a member of Apollo 440; Wakelin worked as an artist in the video game industry and then did work for Marvel comics for well over a decade; Plain worked briefly as a solo artist under the name Che.
Tracks
01. Second Still (4:16)
02. The Grass Still Grows (3:38)
03. Playwrite (3:25)
04. Watching the Dancers (3:35)
05. Real Hymn (2:47)
06. Waiting for the Cavalry (3:08)
07. High Noon (3:29)
08. Child's Play (3:59)
09. Choreography (3:27)
10. Euthenics (3:07)
11. In a Strange Way (3:46)
12. Mechanic (4:26)
13. Second Still [7" Mix] * (2:58)
14. Special Patrol * (3:06)
15. Choreography [7" Mix] * (2:47)
16. The Look a Smack * (2:37)
17. Euthenics [7" Mix] * (2:52)
18. Waiting for the Cavalry [7" Mix] * (3:11)
19. Cardinal Signs * (3:17)
20. Child's Play [7" Mix] * (4:10)
21. Visionary * (3:27)
22. Mechanic [7" Mix] * (3:16)
Listen

The Hollies - Would you believe (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:23 AM 0 comments

One of the less essential '60s albums by the Hollies, whose capabilities were arguably stretched by the two-album-a-year-pace-in-addition-to-three-hit-singles model established by the Beatles during this time. Their version of Paul Simon's "I Am a Rock" is nice, but the soul and early rock covers of Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, and Chuck Berry are pretty dispensable; the Hollies were not the Stones or the Animals, lacking their soul and interpretative imagination. Some of the originals are pretty ho-hum too (including the pathetic "Fifi the Flea," which was covered by the Everly Brothers). But every Hollies album of the '60s has some strong overlooked tracks. On this one, they're the surprisingly tough folk-rockers "Hard, Hard Year" and "I've Got a Way of My Own." The ultra-catchy "Don't You Even Care," written by Clint Ballard, Jr. (also responsible for their number one British hit "I'm Alive," as well as "The Game of Love" and "You're No Good"), is the real obscure gem here and could have well been a hit under its own steam. The album's last song, "I Can't Let Go," was a big hit in Britain (and a small one in the U.S.) and one of the Hollies' best performances. The record was issued in America, in a slightly amended version, as Beat Group!
Tracks
01. I Take What I Want
02. Hard Hard Year
03. That's How Strong My Love Is
04. Sweet Little Sixteen
05. Oriental Sadness
06. I Am A Rock
07. Take Your Time
08. Don't You Even Care (What's Gonna Happen To Me?)
09. Fifi The Flea
10. Stewball
11. I've Got A Way Of My Own
12. I Can't Let Go
Listen

Iron Butterfly - In a gadda da vida (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:17 AM 0 comments

Iron Butterfly's 1968 album veritably defined the burgeoning genre of hard-rock, primarily by way of its utterly over-the-top title cut. Reportedly composed by keyboardist/lead singer Doug Ingle in such a stoned-out, numb-tongued condition that he couldn't properly pronounce its intended title--"In the Garden of Eden"--the track seemed almost a parody of every excessive inclination of psychedelia. Melodramatic vocals, repetitive riffing, aimless solos--you name it, this 17-minute behemoth had it. Aided by FM DJs who loved to program it in its entirety so they could take "legitimate" breaks, it became an unavoidable hit--and an anthem of its era.
Tracks
1.: Most Anything You Want
2.: Flowers and beads
3.: My mirage
4.: Terminator
5.: Are you happy
6.: In-a-gadda-da-vida
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