Lucifer - Black Mass (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:02 AM 0 comments

The concept of this album showed the Moog delivering sounds sinister and exciting to a degree the lurid horror films of the day never matched. All the titles related to occult phenomenons and themes, and seemed to focus mainly on the darker side of occultism. With it's breakbeats galore, intense synthesizer, hip original themes, this was really a unifying concept. An occult Moog-album! The man behind this recording was a somewhat obscure solo artist; Mort Garson.

Mort Grason was born in Canada in 1924, as a graduate from the Juilliard School, he began writing musical scores in the 1940s, and worked as an arranger / composer / engineer in the late 1940s / early 1950s. He got highly acclaimed as the orchestral arranger for Glen Campbell's 1968 "By The Time I Get To Phoenix". Garson also had production credits on records by vocalists and other artists, including Mel Torme, Doris Day, Ed Ames, and Leslie Uggams. He wrote, arranged, and directed for many years on many labels in many styles. He also made music for TV and movies. But he recorded some albums too, each more strange than the other.
This bizarre collection of Moog compositions is credited to a band/artist named Lucifer (or is it "Black Mass?"), but the man behind the machine is better known by his more ordinary given name of Mort Garson. Along with scoring films, producing easy listening records, and co-writing the hit tune "Our Day Will Come," Garson released several electronic music LPs with themes like the Zodiac, the Wizard of Oz, and plant growth stimulation. Black Mass/Lucifer (the cover art is ambiguous as to title) is Garson's exploration of the dark arts, an all-instrumental soundtrack for a horror film that never existed. Garson conjures up a sinister, minor-key atmosphere on tracks with titles like "Incubus," "Witch Trial," and "The Evil Eye" often achieving a tone similar to the scores that Italian horror-rock band Goblin would record for Dario Argento films later in the decade. The technology available to Garson in 1971 was still being developed, and the record occasionally sounds dated, particularly when some very corny synthetic drums ruin the mood. There's some evocative music on Black Mass/Lucifer, to be sure, but ultimately it's just not as wild of a recording as legend has painted, perfectly rendered for a psychedelic Halloween party but hardly strong enough to raise evil spirits on its own. Garson's Wozard of Iz album is a freakier Moog ride, a kaleidoscopic retelling of the L. Frank Baum tale
Tracks
1. Solomon's Ring (3.20)
2. The Ride of Aida (Voodoo) (3.07)
3. Incubus (3.29)
4. Black Mass (3.39)
5. The Evil Eye (2.10)
6. Exorcism (3.45)
7. The Philosopher's Stone (3.27)
8. Voices of the Dead (The Medium) (2.05)
9. Witch Trial (3.00)
10. ESP (1.01)
Listen


In the end everything you love and cherish will be bastardized for the sake of profit. Just take a look at all the cartoons you adored as a child; the Chipmunks have been hip-hopified, the Transformers have been used as a tool to sell General Motors vehicles, and soon the studios will put out Thundercats, He-Man, and G.I. Joe films. For in this capitalist society dead dogs never lie, their corpses are just strung up like Marionettes and used to sell vacuum cleaners. And music is no different.

For in the late sixties aspects of the “hippie” fashion and music were being co-oped by “The Man” (The Man is always capitalized). I know near to nothing when it comes to fashion and considering this is a music blog I should probably talk about psychedelica’s bastard child, bubblegum pop. Bubblegum pop really took hold in about 1968, coincidentally this was only a year after many seminal psychedelic albums were released; like Da Capo, The Doors, Surrealistic Pillow, Are You Experienced?, and The Piper At the Gates of Dawn. Bubblegum pop acts, especially those from Buddah Records, started compiling contrived pop songs using elements from psychedelic groups, like echo and reverb, to give tracks an illusion of creativity (some songs were basically knock-offs of classic hits). This didn’t go unseen though, for The Zig Zag People, a mysterious band, decided to take bubble gum music to a place it hasn’t been prior or since, the underground.

The Zig Zag People Take Bubble Gum Music Underground is an album that truly baffles me, not the music itself but the fact that it was actually made. This record is almost entirely covers, covers from bands that they insult throughout this album and sometimes with some venom (they insult Buddah Records on “Sally Goes to the Dentist”). But, don’t be afraid though for the Zig Zag People give each of these songs some well needed soul, which was an item that the original artists forgot. Along with the passionate performances, an array of numerous diverse influences can be seen throughout the entire album ranging from jazz, blues, and r&b to acid rock and the more experimental aspects of psychedelic music. The reason the Zig Zag People can touch upon so many genres is that they are extremely talent musicians, the guitarist wails on each and every song. And with everything the Zig Zag People take songs that I would avoid like a genital disease and turn them into tracks that I really enjoy. For the Zig Zag People turned the table on the world, for they took a cookie-cutter corporate form and turned it cool. But, my childhood has still been stolen. Review found on revolutionary sounds.
Tracks
01 - little bit of soul. 4:45
02 - hanky panky. 5:55
03 - simon says. 4:52
04 - yummy, yummy, yummy. 5:36
05 - sally goes to the dentist. 5:05
06 - 123 red light. 5:37
07 - chewy chewy. 8:18
08 - indian giver. 6:07
09 - peel it off your face. 4:49
Listen

Der Moderne Man - 80 Tage auf See (1980)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:06 AM 0 comments

Der Moderne Man was a german experimental band hailing from Hannover. The band sprung form punk band "the Worst".
Arranged By, Producer - Der Moderne Man
Bass, Backing Vocals - Mattus
Drums, Piano - Claudi H.*
Guitar, Backing Vocals - E. K. T.
Lyrics By [Texte] - Ziggy XY
Music By - E. K. T. (tracks: A1 to B5)
Music By [Klavierteile] - Claudi H.*
Vocals, Synthesizer - Ziggy XY
Tracks
01. Der Unbekannte
02. Telefonlied
03. Dreizehn
04. Haarschnitt
05. Dauerlauf
06. Gib Mir Den Tod (Fortsetzung Und Schluß)
07. Licht Und Dunkelheit
08. Mitternacht
09. Farblich Gesehen
10. Heute
11. Vergesslichkeit
12. Flucht
Listen

The Sound - All Fall Down (1982)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:10 AM 0 comments

Don't listen to those who maintain this record is a dark, bleak, un-pop-friendly departure from their previous work. Legend has it that their record company, WEA, wanted accessible pop tunes, and the Sound responded to the pressure with "All Fall Down." Offended, WEA then sent the band packing, while the record was said to have polarized even the most hardcore Sound fans. While there's nothing here that would've really dented the top 40 charts, there's also little to suggest that this is anything but the next logical progression from their 2nd record, the stunning post-punk "From the Lion's Mouth." "All Fall Down" is a bit more challenging in some ways, but the handful of such moments are balanced nicely with some musically upbeat, poppy, melodic songs. To put it simply, this just isn't the challenging, cold beast most critics would have you believe.
The poppier element here is best exemplified by "Calling the New Tune" and "Party of the Mind," two upbeat, hooky songs, while "We Could Go Far" ends on a beautifully melancholy note with chimey melodic guitars and soothing synths. Other songs like the dissonant "Glass and Smoke" and the title track hint at the kind of bleakness critics often point to, but those are only the darker numbers that are apart of a much more varied whole. "In Suspence," and "Red Paint" straddle the line between pop and bleakness quite effectively.

Ultimately, this record displays a better, more texturally interesting (and appropriate - with alternately lush and harsh minimalist atmospherics) production than "Lion's Mouth," which in turns displays the varied and seemingly conflicting moods the band effortlessly throws out. I always thought "Lion's Mouth," despite great songs, suffered a bit from relatively dry, artless production, while "All Fall Down" remedies that problem. Song for song it's not their best record (in my opinion that title belongs to their following ep, "Shock of Daylight"), but a strong and satisfying one nonetheless, where the whole is perhaps greater than the sum of its parts. Basically, if you like the Sound, there's absolutely no reason not to buy this record. By Lypo Suck
Tracks
1.All Fall Down (2:28)
2.Party of the Mind (3:56)
3.Monument (5:07)
4.In Suspense (4:04)
5.Where the Love Is (4:09)
6.Song and Dance (3:56)
7.Calling the New Tune (3:30)
8.Red Paint (3:15)
9.Glass and Smoke (6:53)
10.We Could Go Far (4:20)
11.The One and a Half Minute Song * (1:32)
12.Sorry * (3:47)
13.As Feeling Dies * (4:38)
Listen

Zipps - Be Stoned! Dig The Zipps (60's)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:00 AM 0 comments

Though the Zipps didn't release many records, their scant official discography -- all of nine tracks -- is contained on this reissue, which is boosted to a running time of more than an hour with the addition of some demos, previously unreleased live recordings, a couple previously unissued stereo versions, a couple cuts on which they backed French singer Philippe Salerne, and an interview. While the cocky beat-punk rebellion of their most famous single, "Kicks and Chicks," has a deserved reputation among '60s Eurobeat collectors (and a place on the Nuggets, Vol. 2 box set), it's not entirely typical of the group's recorded repertoire. Their previous single, "Highway Gambler"/"Roll the Cotton Down," has a more pronounced folk-blues influence, albeit with a similar punkiness. As more of a contrast, their two-part epic "Beat & Poetry" seems like a stream of consciousness narrative, much of whose artistry will be lost on international listeners as much of it's related in Dutch. Things take a more Baroque psychedelic direction on "Marie Juana," with risqué (if quite ambivalent) lyrics about marijuana -- the group, interestingly, tells the evil weed to go back to where it belongs, rejecting it in favor of music. This and other late-period songs like "The Struggle for Ice-Cold Milk of Benzi the Bassplayer" or "How to Promote Original Dutch Milk" indicate these guys might have had a surreal sense of humor that doesn't wholly translate well decades down the line, especially as they have heavier Dutch accents than the average '60s group from Holland. All of this might be a longwinded way of saying that this isn't such a fine or consistent listen, and that there isn't anything else here as memorable as "Kicks and Chicks." But it's OK if you go for this sort of rebellious attitude-heavy Eurobeat thing, and if you do like "Kicks and Chicks" prepare yourself for three versions (the original, the previously unreleased stereo variation, and a live recording).
Tracks
01. Highway Gambler (2:10)
02. Roll the Cotton Down (2:44)
03. Kicks and Chicks (3:13)
04. Hipsterism (3:09)
05. Beat & Poetry, Pt. 1 (7:06)
06. Beat & Poetry, Pt. 2 (7:42)
07. Marie Juana (3:16)
08. The Struggle for Ice-Cold Milk of Benzi the Bassplayer or How to Promote Or (2:25)
09. When You Tell It, Tell It Well! (3:11)
10. Lotus Love (2:52)
11. Walking on This Road to Mine Town (2:47)
12. The Beer Hall Song (4:54)
13. Kicks and Chicks [Live] (3:37)
14. Avec de l'Italie (2:10)
15. Venez Voire Comme on S'Aime (1:32)
16. Lotus Love [Instrumental Demo] (2:57)
17. The Struggle for Ice-Cold Milk of Benzi the Bassplayer or How to Promote Or (2:23)
18. Kicks and Chicks [Stereo Version] (3:14)
19. LSD 25 Interview
Listen

Le Orme - Ad Gloriam (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:56 AM 0 comments

Don't buy this expecting another "Uomo di Pezza" or "Felona e Sorona", especially since this album isn't particularly progressive. After all, Italy was about two or three years behind Great Britain as far as prog was concerned (but of course, once the prog scene started in Italy, be prepared for tons of great albums, especially by 1973). What you have here is an album more in the late '60s psychedelic pop vein. The trio of Aldo Tagliapietra, Michi dei Rossi, and Toni Pagliuca were augmented by two other guys here, making them a five piece band at that time. Here, the band also included some horns and strings on some of the pieces. Also they were recording for a small label called Car Jukebox, apparently a label a bit behind the times (which prompted them to move to Philips and move to prog rock), meaning for 1969, this album does sound a bit behind the times. Still, not a bad album, and if you fancy the idea of psychedelia Italian style, go for this. For prog rock fans, heed the warning: it's not a prog album, so obviously go for the albums they did in 1971-74. By Proghead
Tracks
1. Introduzione (1:45)
2. Ad Gloriam (5:31)
3. Oggi Verrà (2:32)
4. Milano 1968 (3:12)
5. I Miei Sogni (3:00)
6. Mita Mita (2:53)
7. Fumo (3:39)
8. Senti L'Estate Che Torna (2:47)
9. Fiori Di Giglio (3:07)
10. Non So Restare Solo (5:28)
11. Conclusione (1:42)
Listen

Nazz - Nazz III (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:50 AM 0 comments

Fungo Bat was scrapped for a variety of reasons, among them Todd Rundgren's insistence on singing lead vocals on his newer songs. Nazz Nazz was released instead, leaving the second half of the proposed LP temporarily in the vaults. Rundgren left the group before it was released. Taking hold of uncontested leadership of the group, lead vocalist Robert "Stewkey" Antoni erased Rundgren's lead vocals, replacing them with his own and releasing the entire project as Nazz III. This is, at the very least, sour grapes, but the situation is made all the more peculiar since much of the material finds Rundgren's songwriting moving toward the signature pop style that dominated his first solo records. Stewkey has publicly stated his distaste for Rundgren's Laura Nyro infatuation, so it's a little odd to hear him sing such finely crafted songs as "Only One Winner" and "Some People." That aside, Nazz III is an impressive effort that, if taken in conjunction, would have resulted in a very good double record. Sure, there's some clutter, but such detours as "Loosen Up," a po-faced parody of Archie Bell & the Drells' "Tighten Up," reveal the snotty side of Rundgren's humor. More importantly, the bulk of the record indicates how rapidly he was developing as a songwriter and a producer. Where he proved himself as a gifted mimic on Nazz, the group's second two albums found him assimilating those influences and developing a signature style. If anything, Nazz III demonstrates that better than its predecessor, which often seemed a little disjointed. There still isn't anything as immediate and indelible as "Open My Eyes," yet the best moments easily provide the road map for Rundgren's solo career. Even if he doesn't sing on it.
Tracks
1. Some People
2. Only One Winner
3. Kicks
4. Resolution
5. It's Not That Easy
6. Old Time Lovemaking
7. Magic Me
8. Loosen Up
9. Take the Hand
10. How Can You Call That Beautiful
11. Plenty of Lovin'
12. Christopher Columbus
13. You Are My Window
Listen

Time - Before There Was (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:39 AM 0 comments

Replace the Great Man theory of rock with a social history approach, and the narrative changes dramatically. Instead of Elvis, Jimi, Kurt and the Hall of Fame gang, we get an endless series of basements and garages inhabited by young people who went on to be teachers, steel workers, architects, anything but rock stars. We get Guided by Voices pressing 500 copies of albums for an audience one tenth that size in 1980s Ohio. We get Quietus and Hyperplastic, whose respective Slayer-inspired riffs and genius anthem "Smoldering Resentment" were heard by approximately no one outside LaCrescent, Minnesota (population 5,000), where I went to high school in the 1990s. And we get Time, a group of guys who graduated from college in Champaign-Urbana in 1967 and turned down Fulbright scholarships and grad school fellowships to move to Buffalo, New York and play in a rock band.

They never made it, of course. A move to the Big Apple, a name change to Think Dog!, and a few gigs later the band went kaput, as its members drifted into careers in academia, computer programming, and whatever else responsible adults do. The band left not so much as a lipstick trace on music history, releasing exactly nothing during its brief incarnation. It did, however, stare down severe snowstorms and drive into Toronto in early 1968 to record an album that has only just now been released, nearly four decades after the fact, by Shadoks, the veritable Indiana Jones of rock archeology, a label that digs not into Egyptian tombs but into mildewy garages and stacks of dusty old reels to bring us the music that time (and probably even members of Time) has forgotten.

As such, Before There Was... is a fascinating window into a specific time and place, the late '60s Buffalo underground (of which Time constituted exactly one half, according to member Lynn David Newton's copious liner notes). It is not, alas, particularly distinguished music. Opening track "A Song For You" may be the album's most interesting effort, lulling listeners into a pacific state for two and a half minutes before launching into a bizarre, recorder-driven experimental breakdown as lumpy as any gravy the Mothers of Invention had yet poured by that point, then finally returning to its dopey love sentiments at the end. This is followed-in album sequencing seemingly structured less by any musical flow than by when the acid kicked in-by "Kemp's Jig," a 45-second long Renaissance lute piece. Go figure.

Elsewhere, Time offers trippy hippie tales of "cornucopias full of mirrors" on "Introductory Lines", which ends with a spoken stream-of-consciousness rant about "becoming and approaching Being" that sounds lifted from a cursory perusal of whichever Alan Watts or Ram Dass book happened to be lying around the Time house that evening. The band has no real group dynamic, but instead feels like a hodgepodge collection of three very different musicians. Liner-note curator Newton plays bass and brings the experimental ambitions, setting e.e. cummings' "Lily Has a Rose" to a convoluted 18/16 time signature and adding electronic tape chaos to another song. Richard Stanley, a music professor at SUNY somehow roped into this amateur hour, carries the lute and adds some pleasant instrumentals, including the nifty bluegrass ditty "Ma's Pan". Finally, Tom McFaul contributes the beatnik poetry and actual rock, forgetting only the concept of melody in such shouted efforts as "At Shadow's Eye".

Every now and then Time stumble into memorable moments. "A Song for You" must have raised some eyebrows in conservative Buffalo, where Newton claims audiences wanted nothing more challenging than Young Rascals covers. "Green Fields" carries a gently persuasive melody, as does "Dover Beach", even despite McFaul's resolute refusal to sing instead of shout. Newton's notes are a hoot, more engaging than much of the album. He's somewhat pompous, discussing his own songs in great detail while giving brief, often dismissive comments to other members' songs (one McFaul composition was intended for two vocalists, but Time never played it live because Newton couldn't be bothered to memorize the lyrics), and his notion of masculinity is retrograde at best ("Guys don't like to fall asleep touching each other," he declares; "In fact, real men prefer not to sleep in the same room as another guy." He also confesses feeling uncomfortable with the cummings line "If I let him kiss me twice"). But somehow this adds to the antiquated charm; Newton's description of Time's utter lack of success is a compelling story, and Shadoks affords him admirable space to tell it.

Mostly, Before There Was... works better as historical document than as art, reminding us (Like Beth Bailey's wonderful monograph Sex in the Heartland, about the sexual revolution in Kansas) that the counterculture was not monopolized by the Sunset Strip, Haight-Ashbury, and the East Village but extended into nooks and crannies across the American landscape. Its songs give us a pretty good clue as to why Time never hit the big time, but they make for a good complement to the notes in delivering a vivid portrait of the small time that too often goes overlooked and forgotten
Tracks
1. Song for You
2. Kemp's Jig [Instrumental]
3. Introductory Lines
4. Sad Benjamin
5. Lily Has a Rose
6. At Shadow's Eye
7. Green Fields
8. Waking
9. Ma's Pan [Instrumental]
10. Dover Beach
11. Elin Experience
Listen

The Attack - Magic in the air (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:34 AM 0 comments

You can say that the Attack were in fact, at least a couple different groups for the fact that vocalist Richard Sherman had to regroup Attack from almost scratch 3 times. The Attack's beginnings lie in a group called The Soul System. With members coming and going, once a stabilized 5 piece arouse, the band came attention to Don Arden, a top agent who signed them, found their first single (Try It, a Standells tune), and changed their name to Attack. Issued in January 1967, the single didn't do much on the charts. However with it's heavy garage sound, it is considered a minor Freakbeat classic. The flip side We Don't Know is a rather strange jazz/soul and freakbeat hybrid with some silly lyrics. This same lineup stayed for the recording of their next single Hi-Ho Silver Lining before disbanding due to the lack of success with both 45's. Hi-Ho Silver Lining was met with fierce competition as Jeff Beck, who presumably heard The Attack's version and rushed out his own version as his first single after only a few days of The Attack's single. The result was Jeff Beck getting the hit with Hi-Ho. The B side to Hi-Ho was an awesome piece of freakbeat, Any More Than I Do. This number, apart from being featured in recent compilations of the years, was used by John Peel for a radio jingle for the pirate Radio London. The guitarist responsible for the powerful riffing on Any More Than I Do, David O'List left to join the Nice in breaking new ground for a while, whilst drummer Alan Whitehead went back to the Marmalade and the others faded into obscurity. Richard Sherman, now the only one left, regrouped The Attack with Scottish organist George Watt, drummer Chris Allen, guitarist Geoff Richardson and bassist Kenny Harold. Their follow up to Hi-Ho was another kinda cheeky and very English affair, Created By Clive. In a very ironic coincidence, two versions of Created By Clive were released the same day, by The Attack and The Syn! The result was neither got any attention that the song was meant for which was probably better off as the liner notes of their posthumous compilation Magic In The Air notes "Clive, a fashion designer who specialized in dressing debs in see-through mini-dresses, would have probably sued anyway". The new guitarist Geoff Richardson penned their B side, the slow tamped raga Colour Of My Mind. With the single just barely in the shops, a new guitarist John DuCann was added and the drummer and keyboard player were replaced too. With this lineup, The Attack went about playing all the venues available, Middle Earth, Tiles, the Speakeasy etc. However personnel changes shifted once more in the summer of 1967, and Geoff Richardson and Kenny Harold left being replaced by Jim Avery. The recorded the two sides of their next single, Magic In The Air/Lady Orange Peel but the A side was rejected by Decca for being too heavy and the band were sent in to record the harmless Neville Thumbcatch. Two more tracks were recorded in October 1967, covers of Morning Dew and Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, but the single that was eventually released in January 1968 was Neville Thumbcatch backed with Lady Orange Peel. Thumbcatch was very similar to Cream's Pressed Rat And Warthog with it's narrative verses and trumpet melodies. With this single, the group disbanded again. DuCann and Sherman kept Attack alive, recruiting bassist Roger Deane and drummer Keith Hodge and continued on as a four piece. This last lineup recorded tracks for a future album and single, all left in the can. Before their split in mid 1968, the group recorded many songs, including Winding Up Clocks, Feel Like Flying, Strange House, Just Waiting, Freedom For You, etc. Unfortunately, not all of these tracks survived when the Magic In The Air album was being compiled. But featuring all their singles (with one exception, Created By Clive) and a handful of unreleased tracks from their 1968 album sessions, the compilation gives a better look at who The Attack were really about. Tracks like Magic In The Air, Strange House, Freedom For You & Colour Of My Mind justify their high place in British freakbeat/psych history. Perhaps with a more stable lineup, the band would have reached farther than they did.
Tracks
1 Magic In The Air
2 Colour Of My Mind
3 Mr. Pinnodomy's Dilema
4 Hi Ho Silver Lining
5 Try It
6 Freedom For You
7 Any More Than I Do
8 Strange House
9 Neville Thiumbcatch
10 Feel Like Flying
11 Lady Orange Peel
12 We Don't Know
13 Too Old
14 Go Your Own Way
Listen

Arzachel - Arzachel (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:29 AM 0 comments

An excellent album from this British progressive group recorded in 1969 by a band of mysterious pseudonyms. In fact, this was a formation of some of the biggest names in UK progressive rock including Simeon Sasparella & Njerogi Gategaka (aka Steve Hillage from Gong). The other 3 members Dave Stewart, Clive Brooks and Mont Campbell formed Egg. Originally released on Evolution this heavy, spacey keyboarddriven album is often compared to Pink Floyd's Saucer Full of Secrets. For fans of Egg, Gong, National Health and Caravan
Tracks
1. Garden of Earthly Delights
2. Azathoth
3. Queen St. Gang
4. Leg
5. Clean Innocent Fun
6. Metempsychosis
Listen

Daughters of Albion - Daughters of Albion (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:26 AM 0 comments

Inspired by the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Daughters of the Albion took a hook-laden, harmony-filled approach to late-'60s rock. Representing the combined efforts of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Greg Dempsey and vocalist Kathy Yesse, the Daughters of the Albion failed to match critical expectations. Billboard described the duo as "a striking voice but uneven material." Featuring original songs by Dempsey, some written with Dave Luff, the Daughters of the Albion's sole self-titled album was produced and arranged by Leon Russell. After the duo's breakup, Yesse went to record a solo album, Boogie Bands & One Night Stands, as Kathy Dalton, in 1973. Produced by Dempsey, and featuring accompaniment by Van Dyke Parks, Carl Wilson, and members of Little Feat, the album was later renamed Amazing and reissued, with one different track by Frank Zappa's Discreet label.
Tracks
01 I Love Her and She Loves My
02 Still Care About You
03 Yes, Our Love Is Growing
04 Candle Song
05 Ladyfingers
06 Sweet Susan Constantine
07 Hats Off, Arms Out, Ronnie
08 Good to Have You
09 Well Wired
10 Hey, You, Wait, Stay
11 Story of Sad
12 1968: John Flip Lockup (Medley)
Listen

Faine Jade - Introspection (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:32 AM 0 comments

The Introspection LP comprises 10 songs that make up a minimalist psychedelic masterpiece. Using a few overdubs, the recording relies on the five-piece instrumental lineup behind Jade's decidedly Anglicized Long Island accent. The opening "Doctor Paul Overture" sets the stage for an album bursting with curiously of-center British-influenced psychedelic pop. "People Play Games" reveals Jade's hippie-era lyricism magic lanterns, scarlet scissors, and crystal cornucopia, while its percussive intro and jungle play-out suggests The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." "Ballad Of The Bad Guys" has a garage attack that benefits its title; A Brand New Groove" features a guitar riff that could have worked for the Rolling Stones; "Don't Hassle Me" proclaims the generation- gap chorus; "No-o-o! Don't you hassle me/ I'm trying to be young/ I'm trying to be free." The title track "Introspection" leans toward a catchy folk rock, while "Cold Winter Sun" allows Manzi to repeat a lick echoing "Than He Kissed Me" before launching into a clearly mismatched power trio vamp. Jade enshrines his Brit-pop-folk-garage rock influences in the imaginative "I Live Tomorrow Yesterday," an upbeat number that sounds like a hit single. "Grand Finale", a five-minute instrumental experiment, closes the LP with a layered mix of effects, backward tracking, and studio dissonance.
Tracks
1. Doctor Paul Overture
2. People Games Play
3. Cold Winter Sun Symphony In D Major
4. I Lived Tomorrow Yesterday
5. Ballad Of The Bad Guys
6. Introspection
7. A Brand New Groove
8. On The Inside There's A Middle
9. Don't Hassle Me
10. Grand Finale
1. It Ain't True
12. Love On A Candy Apple Day
Listen.

Juicy Lucy - Juicy Lucy (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:00 AM 0 comments

If any one performance can be said to encapsulate all that Juicy Lucy portended, as their career got underway with the new decade of the '70s, it was "Who Do You Love?" The band's first single, spinning off their debut album, it was as fast and mean and dirty as any record could have been, a breakneck tour through the bayou swamps and dirt-track roads of the American South, powered by a guitar to make your fingers bleed. And it gave the band a U.K. hit that still sounds fresh today. But Juicy Lucy were no one-trick ponies. True, their debut album is remembered as much for its artwork (a mostly naked, fruit-draped lady) as for its content, but step inside and the group was locked firmly, and gleefully into the free-freak movement of the age — while Chuck Berry's "Nadine" was fed through a Hell's Angels nightclub jukebox "Are You Satisfied" emerged a festival chant spread out over six-and-one-half minutes, as mantric as (almost) anything the Edgar Broughton Band was doing at the time. The band's American roots are seldom far from the surface, of course: "Mississippi Woman" dripped oozing, cracked croak blues, and "Chicago North-Western" essentially offers up a history of the Midwestern railroads, while Glen Campbell's steel guitar breathed Americana over everything it touched.

But no matter how powerful Juicy Lucy may have been, it could not paper over the cracks that were already forming across the lineup, and by the time the band came to record its next album, the group that cut this one was already long gone. One can only dream of what they might have achieved, had they stuck together.
Tracks
1 Mississippi Woman
2 Who Do You Love?
3 She's Mine/She's Yours
4 Just One Time
5 Chicago North-Western
6 Train
7 Nadine
8 Are You Satisfied
Listen

Wah - Nah = Poo -- The Art of Bluff (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:05 AM 0 comments

Pete Wylie's first album as/with Wah is his finest work, filled to the brim with passionate post-punk and blitzkrieg funk that holds an impressive level of focused intensity from front to back -- no doubt the result of having listened to Clash records over and over and over and over again. There's little of the Clash's melodic sensibility to be found, memorable guitar riffs might not be evident ever, but there's an infectiously blistered pace to the proceedings, if a bit overbearingly shouty and mushy mixing-wise. Wylie sing-shouts everything with ferocious vigor, giving the record a rare sense of immediacy. Wah! literally sounds like they're playing with the knowledge that there will be no tomorrow. Off to an iffy start, tribal drums and from the depths vocals on "The Wind Up" do exactly that. One gets wound up because they want the record to actually start. Maybe that was the point. After that, it refuses to let up, kicked off by the "Do It Clean"-meets-"Break on Through" of "Other Boys." An album sequenced for maximum impact, instrumental "The Seven Thousand Names of Wah!" (no kidding) sets the table for "Seven Minutes to Midnight," Wah's signature song. The instrumental serves the same purpose as Mission of Burma barnburners like "Secrets" and "All World Cowboy Romance," holding together the rest of the album's songs while upping the intensity (as if it needed upping).
1. Wind Up
2. Otherboys
3. Why'd You Imitate The Cut Out
4. Mission Impossible
5. Somesay
6. Seven Thousand Names Of Wah
7. Sleep (A Lullaby For Josie)
8. Seven Minutes To Midnight
9. Death Of Wah
Listen

A Certain Ratio - To Each (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:21 AM 0 comments

A Certain Ratio's 'To Each' was their first full studio album and was produced by the legendary Martin Hannett and originally released on Factory Records in 1981.
On 'To Each' ACR mixed Funk, Dub, Percussion and Electronics to create a truly unique sound and the album was instantly hailed a classic.
Sandwiched in between their rough round the edges but excellent debut The Graveyard And The Ballroom and their best album Sextet, A Certain Ratio's first proper studio album To Each... is often unfairly maligned. It was released shortly after the suicide of Ian Curtis, and the band were immediately pounced upon for allegedly trying to step into Joy Division's shoes (and take their sizable audience with them). Bearing in mind that Joy Division comparisons plague ACR to this day, this comes as no surprise. However, listening to the album today with an open mind reveals it as something of a flawed masterpiece.

Joy Division seem to be an inescapable reference point when describing the music of A Certain Ratio. Both bands were from Manchester, both were signed to Factory Records and both played dark post-punk music. The similarities between Simon Topping's and Ian Curtis' singing voices are also unavoidable. However, To Each... is really the sound of a band branching out and finding it's own sound.

Dense and claustrophobic, it is ACR's darkest album, and there are definite hints of Joy Division within the songs, but there is also a strong industrial undercurrent to some of the tracks and the effects-heavy production combined with the ethereal, slightly alien vocals sometimes call to mind Throbbing Gristle and Coil. It is also the first album where they fully explored their Latin influences, best heard on the lengthy percussion jams 'Back To The Start' and 'Winter Hill'. However, whilst later albums would reveal a lighter, more playful side to the band, on To Each... the sound is uniformly dark and challenging.

The album's biggest flaw is undoubtedly the production. Even when compared to the demos and live tracks of The Graveyard And The Ballroom, the production sounds flat and lifeless. The bass - which is really the driving force of ACR's sound - suffers especially from this. It was recorded at E.A.R.S in New Jersey with Martin Hannett at the production desk. However, when it came the time to mix the album, after four weeks of Hannett getting the sound just right, the studio engineer zeroed the settings on the recording desk and ruined a months worth of work! Hannett had to mix the album back in England at his studio du jour, Strawberry in Stockport. According to the band the new mix never came close to the original sound intended for the album, making it one of the great "What if..." albums.

Overall, To Each... is definitely not the 5 star classic that it might have been, but it is also far from the clunky derivative stinker that it has often been made out to be. Listeners expecting a more straight-forward, bouncy punk-funk album in the style of The Graveyard And The Ballroom will most likely be left scratching their heads. Those expecting a dark, challenging, brave recording from a band not quite yet at their creative peak will be richly rewarded.by Secretlymancunian
Tracks
01 Felch 3:45
02 My Spirit 2:28
03 Forced Laugh 5:53
04 Choir 2:51
05 Back to the Start 7:49
06 The Fox 3:46
07 Loss 3:23
08 Oceans 3:30
09 Winter Hill 12:45
Listen

Saddhu Brand - Whole Earth Rhythm (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:07 AM 0 comments

Peter van Gelder - Sitar One of the first American disciples of India's great Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Peter van Gelder first appeared on the San Francisco music scene playing bass guitar and soprano sax in the seminal Great Society rock band with then unknown Grace Slick. He began his study of Sitar with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan in California and later in India where he spent years learning from the Khan family, notably Smt. Annapurna Devi (sister of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan.) Returning to California he resumed his study with Maestro Khan and became junior instructor at the newly formed Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. In 1989 he was awarded the prestigious A.I.I.S. Performance Fellowship from University of Chicago. He was Artist in Residence at Allauddin School of Music in Canada, and in 1991 he initiated a Music of India course at World College West. He continues to give sitar instruction at Ali Akbar College of Music. A well known figure to Bay Area concertgoers, he has performed with world famous musicians including Zakir Hussain, Chitresh Das, and Lalgudi Krishnan. He has composed and collaborated on music for films and dance dramas, and his lucid sitar style has won praise from audiences around the world, from Europe to the Fiji Islands as well as India and China. He has given concerts and lectures in universities throughout America.
check out their myspace: http://www.myspace.com/saddhubrand
Tracks
01 Whole Earth Rhythm 3:20
02 Dhun 4:20
03 Babu Shoda 8:20
04 Ha Ha Modi 5:55
05 People Brittle 4:30
06 I Give You Johnnee the Truth 5:40
07 Dabi Das’ Song 12:15
Listen

Left Banke - Walk Away Renee / Pretty Ballerina (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:48 AM 0 comments

The Left Banke was a band from New York City in the 1960s. They only had a couple of bona fide "hits" before sadly self-destructing, but their unique style, dubbed "baroque rock" by critics, is still admired and influential among pop musicians to this day. What amazes me is that among the many "few hit wonder" bands of the 60s, most showed little depth in their album tracks. This is not true of The Left Banke, whose output was always of high quality
Tracks
1. Walk Away Renee
2. I Haven't Got The Nerve
3. Pretty Ballerina
4. She May Call You Up Tonight
5. I've Got Something On My Mind
6. Barterers and Their Wives
7. Let Go Of You Girl
8. What Do You Know
9. Evening Gown
10. Lazy Day
11. Shadows Breaking Over My Head
Listen

Camel - Mirage (1974)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:18 AM 0 comments

Mirage is Camel's second album, released in 1974. Their self-titled debut Camel came before this one in 1973, and The Snow Goose came after it in 1975.

Mirage is one of the group's most remembered albums. It features their best-known song, "Lady Fantasy", and is also a showplace for Andrew Latimer's flute, notably on "Supertwister".

There are only 5 tracks on this record, two over 9 minutes. Those two are multi-part epics: "Lady Fantasy" and "Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider", the latter being about The Lord of the Rings. It was released on Deram Records. The album's cover art very closely resembles the cover of the Camel cigarettes packet.
Tracks
01. Freefall
02. Supertwister
03. Nimrodel/The procession/The white rider
04. Earthrise
05. Lady fantasy
Bonus
06. Supertwister (Live at the Marquee)
07. Mystic Queen (Live at the Marquee)
08. Arubaluba (Live at the Marquee)
09. Lady Fantasy (unreleased version)
Listen

Nico - Chelsea Girl (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:57 AM 0 comments

After collaborating as a singer with The Velvet Underground on their debut The Velvet Underground and Nico (recorded during 1966, released in March 1967), Warhol superstar Nico toured with the band in Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia roadshow. Before the EPI came to an end in 1967, Nico took up residence in a New York City coffeehouse as solo folk chanteuse, accompanied in turn by acquainted guitarists, such as Tim Hardin, Jackson Browne and Leonard Cohen, but also her Velvet Underground colleagues Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and John Cale.

Some of her accompanists wrote songs for her to sing, and these form the backbone of Chelsea Girl. Browne and Hardin contributed some songs, Lou Reed gave her one of his early Velvet Underground songs, "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" (which did not surface as a Velvet Underground recording until it was included in the 1995 box set Peel Slowly and See), and Reed, Cale and Morrison in various combinations contributed four more songs. Additionally, Bob Dylan gave her one of his songs to record: "I'll Keep It with Mine".

Musically, Chelsea Girl is best described as a cross between chamber folk and Sixties pop. The musical backing is relatively simple, consisting of one or two guitars or, alternatively, a keyboard instrument, played by either Browne or (a combination of) her Velvet Underground colleagues. There are no drums or bass instruments. Adding to the chamber folk feel of the music is the strings and flute arrangement superimposed over the initial recordings by producer Tom Wilson and arranger Larry Fallon without involving or consulting Nico.

Nico was dissatisfied with the finished product. Looking back in 1981, she stated:

“ I still cannot listen to it, because everything I wanted for that record, they took it away. I asked for drums, they said no. I asked for more guitars, they said no. And I asked for simplicity, and they covered it in flutes! [...] They added strings and – I didn't like them, but I could live with them. But the flute! The first time I heard the album, I cried and it was all because of the flute."

Because of the Velvet Underground band members involvement and the similarities with the softer The Velvet Underground and Nico tracks, Chelsea Girl is sometimes seen by fans as a companion record to that album. "Little Sister" and "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," and perhaps others included here, had also been played live by The Velvet Underground during Nico's time with the band. Polydor (the record label that oversees The Velvet Underground's Universal Music Group back catalogue) tends to agree, adding Chelsea Girl tracks to Peel Slowly and See, the 2002 Deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground and Nico and the 2005 Velvet Underground compilation album Gold.
Tracks
01. The Fairest of the Seasons (4:09)
02. These Days (3:33)
03. Little Sister (4:26)
04. Winter Song (3:21)
05. It Was a Pleasure Then (8:05)
06. Chelsea Girls (7:25)
07. I'll Keep It with Mine (3:20)
08. Somewhere There's a Feather (2:20)
09. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (5:10)
10. Eulogy to Lenny Bruce (3:45)
Listen

The Monkees - Head (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:11 AM 0 comments

Head is the soundtrack to the band's first and only theatrical release, Head. It was The Monkees' sixth album and their last to feature Peter Tork, until 1987's Pool It!.

The original issue of the record featured a front cover with a surface of aluminized PET film, meant to reflect the listener's "head" (face) back at them. With the movie having only a limited release (and virtually no publicity), the point was largely lost, and while the cover was innovative for its time, manufacturing was problematic; Micky Dolenz recalled years later that the cover was "actually ruining the printing presses at RCA!" A 1980s reissue from Rhino Records was less problematic by using foil paper instead, the end result less reflective than the original. The presently in-print CD from Rhino has a grey cover that is not reflective at all.

Showing the growing influence of Frank Zappa on the Monkees' circle (Zappa even has a cameo role as "The Critic" in the film itself), the soundtrack album intersperses the six proper songs ("Porpoise Song," "Circle Sky," "Can You Dig It?," "As We Go Along," "Daddy's Song" and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?") with bits of Ken Thorne's incidental music, dialogue fragments and oddball sound effects, for an overall effect surprisingly close to Zappa's Lumpy Gravy.

The selection of music and dialogue approximates the flow of the movie itself, and was compiled by actor Jack Nicholson, who cowrote the film's shooting script. Nicholson recalled in Monkee Mania how he observed Michael Nesmith working on the album in the studio, asked if he could try some editing, and Nesmith let Nicholson take over the session, because "I just want to go home!".
Tracks
01. Opening Ceremony 1:20
02. Porpoise Song 2:53
03. Ditty Diego-war Chant 0:50
04. Circle Sky (live Version) 2:18
05. Supplicio 0:48
06. Can You Dig It 3:25
07. Gravy 0:07
08. Superstitious 0:08
09. As We Go Along 3:53
10. Dandruff? 0:40
11. Daddy's Song 2:07
12. Poll 1:14
13. Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again 2:38
14. Swami-plus Strings 5:22
15. Ditty Diego-war Chant #2 4:31
16. Circle Sky (live Version) 2:18
17. Happy Birthday To You 1:02
18. Can You Dig It (alternate Version) 3:25
19. Daddy's Song (alternate Version) 2:07
20. Head Radio Spot 2:03
Listen

Rascals - Once upon a dream (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:46 AM 0 comments

Once Upon A Dream is a 1968 album by rock band The Rascals. It was the band's first album billed under this name; they had, for legal reasons, been known as The Young Rascals until this time. The album rose to #9 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.

Once Upon A Dream was received differently by fans and critics. Many consider this album to be the band's best work, while others insist that it was too different from their traditionally rhythm and blues influenced music. Lead vocals came from both Eddie Brigati and Felix Cavaliere, as well as from Eddie's brother and unofficial band member David Brigati (on "Finale: Once Upon a Dream") and Gene Cornish on his own number, "I'm Gonna Love You."

The album was re-released on August 28, 2007.
Tracks
01. Intro: Easy Rollin'
02. Rainy Day
03. Please Love Me
04. Sound Effect
05. It's Wonderful
06. I'm Gonna Love You
07. Dave & Eddie
08. My Hawaii
09. My World
10. Silly Girl
11. Singin' The Blues Too Long
12. Bells
13. Sattva
14. (Finale): Once Upon a Dream
Listen

The Doors - Live in Pittsburgh (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:58 AM 0 comments

The single-disc performance presents over an hour of incendiary and soulful live music from the late Jim Morrison and surviving Doors John Densmore, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek.Highlights include a version of “When The Music's Over,” during which Morrison improvises with the musical dialogue and leads the band into bits of songs they'd never played live before. Also featured are Doors classics including “Break On Through,” “Five To One,” and an extended, tracklist-closing version of “Light My Fire,” plus takes on Robert Johnson's “Crossroad Blues,” Howlin' Wolf's “Back Door Man” and Willie Dixon's “Close To You” (with Manzarek on lead vocal and Morrison on backup).


LIVE IN PITTSBURGH 1970 was mixed and mastered by The Doors' longtime engineer/producer Bruce Botnick, who recorded several concerts from the band's now-historic 1970 tour on multitrack tape for the Absolutely Live album('70). The concert would have been released sooner save for two small missing sections from the original 8-track masters. Instead of allowing that to prevent the release of this show, the band decided to insert the missing snippets from one of the other 1970 concerts, a process facilitated by Botnick's expertise and familiarity with the tapes.
Tracks
01. Back Door Man
02. Love Hides
03. Five To One
04. Roadhouse Blues
05. Mystery Train
06. Away In India
07. Crossroads Blues
08. Universal Mind
09. Someday Soon
10. When The Music's Over
11. Break On Through
12. Push Push
13. The Soft Parade Vamp
14. Tonight You're In For A Special Treat
15. Close To You
16. Light My Fire
Listen.

Dark Shadows - Cold Sun (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:16 AM 0 comments

Never seeing an actual release until 1989, Cold Sun is a devastating slab of Texas psych and the sickest of lost gems.
The record is sometimes referred to as just Cold Sun; years later the band was unofficially renamed Dark Shadows which was printed on the sleeve as a pseudo album title. Interestingly, both names are derived from the same mythology that inspired the band Mu. Many of the details to the Cold Sun story have been lost in the cracks but Patrick the Lama’s (Acid Archives) essay is a noble piece of research and comes highly recommended for those interested in the history of this band
Tracks
1 South Texas
2 Twisted Flower
3 Here in the Year
4 For Ever
5 See What You Cause
6 Fall
7 Ra Ma
Listen.


The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is a 1963 jazz composition and album by bassist and composer Charles Mingus. The piece consists of a single six-part suite performed by an eleven-piece band. An intensely emotional work, it displays Mingus's skills as musician, composer and band leader.
Tracks
01. Solo Dancer
02. Duet Solo Dancers
03. Group Dancers
04. Trio and Group Dancers
Listen.

Alain Goraguer - La Planete Sauvage (1973)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:44 AM 0 comments

The classic soundtrack to the fantastic cult trippy French animated movie. Laid-back grooves and funky tracks make this an incredible listening experience. Sampled by hip-hop favourite Quasimoto on the album "The Unseen".
La Planète Sauvage was the original French title for the 1973 movie Fantastic Planet (although the actual translation of "La Planète Sauvage" is "The Wild Planet"). The great news was there was a soundtrack album to the movie that also came out, originally on the EMI/Pathé Marconi label. The original LP has became quite a rare and sought after item, only now it's been reissued. Anyway, the music is by Alain Goraguer, same guy who did music for other French films, including two other animateds that I'm aware of, The Dead Times (Les Temps Morts) (1964) and The Snails (Les Escargots) (1965), both by the same makers of Fantastic Planet (René Laloux, Roland Topor). While both of these films tended to have a more avant-garde jazzy score, the music to Fantastic Planet has a more progressive funky score. If you can imagine Pink Floyd meets Shaft, you get sort of an idea. The music consists of synthesizers, flute, Hohner clavinet, guitar (with lots of wah-wah effects), bass, and drums. Variations of themes do recur, which makes more sense when you've seen the film. It's hard to believe that a soundtrack album to a movie that's known by so few was ever made available, but its true. If you like the movie and enjoyed its music, you'll like the album, but the music on the album is a bit different from the movie itself.
Tracks
1. Deshominisation (II)
2. Deshominisation (I)
3. Generique
4. Le Bracelet
5. Ten et Tiwa
6. Maquillage de Tiwa
7. Course de Ten
8. Ten et Medor
9. Ten et Tiwa Dormet
10. Ten est Assome
11. Abite
12. Conseil des Draags
13. Les Hommes - La Grande Co-existence
14. La Femme
15. Mira et Ten
16. Morte de Draag
17. L'Oiseau
18. La Cite des Hommes Libres
19. Attaque des Robots
20. La Longue Marche - Valse Des Statues
21. Les Fusees
22. Generique
23. Strip Tease
24. Meditation des Enfants
25. La Vielle Meurt
Listen

Stevie Wonder - Innervisions (1973)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:37 AM 0 comments

Innervisions is an album by Stevie Wonder, released on Tamla/Motown on August 3, 1973 (see 1973 in music). It was the third of five consecutive albums widely hailed as his "classic period", along with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. The nine tracks that make up Innervisions encompass a wide range of themes and issues: from drug references in "Too High" and "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing"; social anger in "Higher Ground" and "Living for the City"; to love in the ballads "All in Love is Fair" and "Golden Lady." The album's closer, "He's Misstra Know-It-All", is a scathing attack on then-US President Richard Nixon, similar to his song "You Haven't Done Nothin'".

As with many of Stevie Wonder's albums the lyrics, composition and production are almost entirely his own work, with the synthesizer used prominently throughout the album. He also played all or virtually all instruments on "Too High", "Living for the City", "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing", "Higher Ground", "Jesus Children of America", and "He's Misstra Know-It-All".

Innervisions won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording in 1974, while "Living for the City" won the Grammy for Best R&B Song. Innervisions has been considered by many fans, critics, and colleagues to be Stevie Wonder's magnum opus and one of the greatest albums in pop music history. In 2001, VH1 named it the 31st greatest album of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 23 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Tracks
01. Too High (4:36)
02. Visions (5:23)
03. Living for the City (7:21)
04. Golden Lady (5:00)
05. Higher Ground (3:42)
06. Jesus Children of America (4:10)
07. All in Love Is Fair (3:41)
08. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (4:44)
Listen

Beach Boys - Smiley Smile (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:25 AM 0 comments

After "Good Vibrations" topped the singles charts in late 1966, the reported Smile project was eagerly anticipated. However, in May 1967, the album was cancelled, and The Beach Boys pulled out of their headlining spot at the Monterey Pop Festival. The original project (which took longer to record than any other Beach Boys album) was scrapped. Cut largely at Brian Wilson's new home studio in Bel Air during June and July, the album includes alternate versions of songs originally intended for Smile ("Heroes and Villains", "Wind Chimes", "Vegetables", and "Wonderful") and quickly recorded new material. Only "Good Vibrations" appears in its original version. "Good Vibrations" was included to help bolster sales, even though Brian was strongly against its inclusion.

When Smiley Smile was finally released in September, after months of hype, its critical reception was unenthusiastic, peaking at only #41 in the US. Its commercial reception a few months later in the UK was better; it reached #9 on British charts. Carl Wilson is reported to have called it "a bunt instead of a grand slam" comparing Smiley Smile to the much-fabled unreleased album that it eventually replaced.

Smiley Smile is generally considered the most controversial Beach Boys album; many fans consider it a massive failure while others consider it among the most distinctive albums of the sixties. Pete Townshend of The Who is a known admirer of the record.

Smiley Smile marked the beginning of the end of Brian Wilson as the creative leader of The Beach Boys. Although the album was mostly produced by him, the production was for the first time credited to the group. The following years and albums had Wilson less and less involved in music production. It would not be until 1976's 15 Big Ones that Wilson was credited as producer.
Tracks
1. Heroes & Villains
2. Vegetables
3. Fall Breaks and Back To Winter (W. Woodpecker Symphony)
4. She's Goin' Bald
5. Little Pad
6. Good Vibrations
7. With Me Tonight
8. Wind Chimes
9. Wonderful
10. Whistle In
Listen

France Gall - 1968 (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:52 AM 0 comments

France Gall, a staple in the French music scene for nearly forty years, has been gaining a reputation recently in America for her early pop Go-Go music (or as the french called it, ye-ye music). Most people wanting to indulge their sweet tooth in such fare would be well suited to buy one of the many collections, most of which go by the name "Poupée de son."

I take it if you are looking at this album, you have already sampled her wares and are looking for more. Fear not. You have come to the right place.

This album probably seemed like a pitiful attempt to come up with some response to "Sergeant Pepper," an album that upped the ante for every artist and claimed the careers of many. So, at least for a while, with France Gall. After a long streak of successful singles, EPs and LPs, this is the last of the ye-ye albums and France went away for a while to retool with some rather bizarre hits in Germany before coming back with more "serious" work in collaberation with her husband, Michel Berger, in the 70's and 80's.

But to all people who love the Summer of Love, the "Nuggets" collections and all things psychedelic, the kitchier, the better, this album is a must. The mixture of France's squeaky freshly pubescent voice over the most lavish over-the-top psychedelic production makes for songs Petula Clark or Nancy Sinatra would beg for. And in French! (I'll admit it. Every time she uses le sujonctif, I get goosepimples.)

The songwriting is top-notch if a little, ahem, familiar. "C'est toi que je veux" starts with a nice string quartet kidnapped from "Yesterday" before Dusty Springfield's brass section bowls them over then returns to a plucked bass line plucked from "Good Vibrations." "Chanson indienne" is as over-the-top as "Can You Dig It?" from the Monkees' ill-fated "Head."

But the star tunes on this album are the ones found on the collections. "Bébé requin" is seductive. "Teeny Weeny Boppie" chugs into strange lands. "Avant la bagarre" starts with a switch so out of left field, you'll have to reverse and listen to it again a couple times before you can finish the song.

"La petite" is the only clunker, a duet with a man who sounds three times her age and harks back to childish songs she put on her early albums because, well, she was only 14 back then. It's the last track. Just skip it.

No, it's not the Beatles. Not even the Monkees. If you want a better singer, Françoise Hardy blows her away. But if you want a museum piece of pure 1967 (which is when 1968 was released) this is for you.
France Gall is hard to resist. People who I play her to might hate it on the first listen. Then later they all ask if they can borrow it. Then "sans que tu le sache" France Gall will devour your heart. By Kenneth S Rose
Tracks
1. Toi Que Je Veux
2. Chanson Indienne
3. Gare a Toi... Gargantua
4. Avant la Bagarre
5. Chanson Pour Que Tu M'Aimes un Peu
6. Néfertiti
7. Fille d'Un Garcon
8. Bébé Requin
9. Teenie Weenie Boppie
10. Les Yeux Bleus
11. Made in France
12. Petite (Avec M. Biraud)
Listen