David Axelrod - Songs of Experience (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:08 AM 0 comments

With this album Axlerod based the songs upon the poetry of William Blake, definately a concept type piece.
The album's one of Axelrod's first on his own, cut for Capitol Records at a time when he was working with some of the label's biggest selling soul acts, like Cannonball Adderley and Lou Rawls turning their already-successful sounds into super-hit material by adding some nice funky touches, and excellent baroque production.

"A Poison Tree" and "A Little Girl Lost" are the first two tracks and show Axelrod’s usual heavy orchestration with strings, a loud violin, harpsichord and a strong Chamber Music sound.

"London" is much better with its keys playing and Carol Kaye’s walking bass. The "Sick Rose" goes through a number of parts, each led by a different instrument beginning with the guitar, then strings, and finally an organ joins in at the end. I like the second side much better with the harpsichord and light melody of "SchoolBoy", and bass again "Human Abstract", "The Fly", and the slow developing "A Divine image".
Tracks
01 The Poison Tree 3:10
02 A Little Girl Lost 3:29
03 London 2:49
04 The Sick Rose 4:49
05 The School Boy 2:31
06 The Human Abstract 5:33
07 The Fly 4:52
08 A Divine Image 4:36
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Françoise Hardy - If you listen (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:22 AM 0 comments

The LP, originally released in 1971, is the sultry French songstress' only English language album.
Sung (except for one track) in English, this 1972 album (originally titled just Françoise Hardy) was reissued on CD by Virgin France in 2000 under the title If You Listen, and issued in some foreign territories under yet different titles in the 1970s. However it was titled, it was a good, tasteful, and subdued set of folk-rock- and singer/songwriter-influenced covers (though the one French song, "Brulure," was the sole original Hardy composition). It's no surprise that the mood here is dignified rainy-day sorrow. But that was Hardy's forte, and the arrangements, emphasizing acoustic guitar and light strings, seem to indicate she was doing some listening to British folk-rock and American singer/songwriters. So does the choice of covers, including songs by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Neil Young ("Till the Morning Comes"), Beverley Martyn, and Randy Newman ("I Think It's Gonna Rain Today"). There's also the quite obscure "The Garden of Jane Delawnay," a misspelled interpretation of "The Garden of Jane Delawney" by the British folk-rock band the Trees; "Let My Name Be Sorrow," originally done by Mary Hopkin; and a couple of tunes co-written by Mick Jones, later of Foreigner. None of songs rate among her best work, but it's still a good album, often overlooked even by Hardy fans and notable in that just one of the English songs ("Bown Bown Bown") was also recorded by Hardy in a French version. It's also much superior to her album of English cover versions of just three years before, Françoise Hardy en Anglais, which was over-produced and far heavier on the syrup.
She grew up in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, the daughter of an unmarried mother. She received a guitar on her sixteenth birthday as a reward for passing her baccalaureat. After a year at the Sorbonne she answered a newspaper advertisement looking for young singers. Hardy signed her first contract with the record label Vogue in November 1961. In April 1962, shortly after finishing school, her first record "Oh Oh Chéri" appeared, written by Johnny Hallyday's writing duo. Her own flip side of the record, "Tous les garçons et les filles" became a success, riding the wave of Yé-yé music in France, with two million sales. She first appeared on television in 1962 during an interlude in a programme reporting the results of a presidential referendum.

Hardy sings in French, English, Italian, Spanish, and German. In 1963 she came fifth for Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest with "L'amour s'en va". In 1963, she was awarded the Grand Prix Du Disque of the Charles Cros Academy.

In 1981, she married her long-time companion Jacques Dutronc, with whom she had had a son, Thomas Dutronc, in 1973. In 1994, she collaborated with the British pop group Blur for their "La Comedie" version of "To The End". In May 2000, she made a comeback with the album Clair Obscur. Her son played guitar and her husband sang the duet "Puisque Vous Partez En Voyage." Iggy Pop and Étienne Daho also took part. She has also recorded a duet with Perry Blake who wrote two songs for her award winning Tant de belles choses album. Hardy lives near Paris and Dutronc lives in Monticello, Corsica, although they remain a couple
Tracks
1. If You Listen
2. Ocean
3. Until It's Time For You to Go
4. Garden of Jane Delawnay, The
5. Sometimes
6. Let My Name Be Sorrow
7. Brulure
8. Can't Get the One I Want
9. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today
10. Take My Hand For a While
11. Bown Bown Bown
12. Till Morning Comes
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Kaleidoscope - Tangerine Dream (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 12:57 AM 0 comments

On first listen, this is light, throwaway pop psychedelia, and it's easy to see why it sold in such low quantities - and hence is so incredibly rare. Think of the black and white video of Spinal Tap in their earliest incarnation singing "Listen to the Flower People", and you've just about got it.

So it seems to be a complete joke at the expense of record collectors - because the humour in the delivery seems almost non existent - the sincerity makes your jaw drop, aghast, and the lightweight music makes you think of Barrett Pink Floyd without the overdrive.

But then you listen again, and things start popping out at you. You listen again, and your attention is even more strongly held - and so it goes on. For this is an album crammed with subtleties almost hidden behind songs that border on the twee, but in actual fact are full of poetic depth and disturbing imagery.

In the year that saw "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band", "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" and "Forever Changes" (among others), it's not hard to see how this gem got overlooked.

The character of this album is peculiarly English - in much the same way that "Piper..." is, but different... kind of musty, and filled with visions of middle class Victorian houses with manicured lawns and slightly overgrown borders, tea and cakes at 4, that sort of thing - giving more a warped yet perspicacious view of a solid reality, than some befuddled LSD-fuelled fantasy.

It's not really Prog Rock - but it IS incredibly progressive, even for 1967, when everything was progressive for the time, or so it seems.

THE MUSIC:

The introduction gives little clue as to the nature of the song that will follow; "Relax your eyes, for after all, we can but share these minutes", over an urgent "tick tocking" guitar... but then it all goes kinda Pete Tong. "Kaleidoscope, kaliedoscope, kaleida...". All very quaint and archetypally flower power - and that is it's strength.

The highlight of this track is the drumming, which has some superb "moments", but the overall arrangement is subtle, and the details are easily missed.

But it gets better... Much better. I'd guess the main issue here is that the opening track sets you off in the wrong direction, and every track can end up sounding like a dippy hippy tree-hug fest.

But "Tangerine Dream" is an album to discover, little bit by little bit - you simply need to allow the music to breadcrumb you into the depths of the forest, never to return...

"Please Excuse My Face" is an entertaining psychedelic pop tune, distinguished by the intro, which is remarkably similar to "Old Friends (Bookends Theme)" by Simon and Garfunkel. The open, airy arrangement is pleasing - but there are several songs by Love, The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane that are more imaginative and progressive.

"Dive Into Yesterday" is a lot more like it - possibly because by now I'm longing fo rsomething even half overdriven - with an imaginative introduction, nice drive and odd overall arrangement - largely caused, it would seem, by a bassist who is not too sure of what's happening, man. The riffing is cool, and there are some nice production touches and tangible psychedelic madness. Again, the drumming particularly stands out.

At 2:00 there are references to the lyrics of "Kaleidoscope", maintaining a subtle continuity that is easily missed, and around 2:55 there is a nice surprise - a return to the introduction of "Kaleidoscope", then some nice Floyd style development - along the lines of "The Gnome", but with some seriously odd experimentation on the guitar. The scooping attack on the word "Dive..." gives added propulsion to the most interesting track so far - although why water pistols should be filled with lemonade, and why that shuold interest the jester and the goldfish I'm still not sure...

"Mr Small The Watch Repairer Man" has even more production details verging on psychedelic (reefer?) madness - and quite insane drumming - it's like the stops are being slowly pulled out further and further as the album progressses. The vocals are practlcally Syd Barrett to a T.

"Flight From Ashiya" is much more experimental in terms of structure, with bass pedals a plenty to up the drama - and I get flavours of the Small Faces' "Ogden's Nut Gone", with added Nut Gone... A wall of sound is produced with a jangling Byrds-style guitar propelling the whole artifice in a disturbingly controlled way to the edge of oblivion.

"The murder of Lewis Tollani" begins with a drum heartbeat, then the story is narrated over slithering guitars - this is no ordinary song. For the next verse, the guitars undulate uncomfortably, and pauses add tension to the drama. This use of space in the music is what makes this really stand out.

"(Further Reflections) In the Room Of Percussion" seems like a return to standard song form - I was hoping for some great things from the very talented and precise Danny Bridgman, but this is, nonetheless, an enjoyable but very dark song; "My God - the spiders are everywhere!!!".

"Dear Nellie Goodrich" and "Holiday Maker" are great entertaining and startlingly observant songs, with more hidden depths, and "A Lesson Perhaps" is a poignant story of the King with no Kingdom, told in an appropriate style, with nice Mediaeval-flavoured guitar accompaniement.

But it's the 8:00 "The Sky Children" that I really wanted to get stuck into - all Proggers like the long tracks ;o). This is a strong that's very strong in melody - which is fortunate, as it's also very well endowed with lyrics...

For this song, a lyric sheet is very helpful for the first few listens, as it helps you realise that this is an incredibly well constructed and orcestrated piece, and highlights the main difference between Kaleidoscope and other 1960s psychedelic bands.

THE SUMMARY:

A wonderful, dreamy set of songs with a surprising bite that passes almost unnoticed on the first few listens. The bonus tracks are a nice addition, but the album is best taken in its original form to get a feel for how it was conceived (bearing in mind that some tracks were recorded considerably earlier than the album recording sessions)

This is not an album for those who want "hits", nor is it one for fans of the impossibly complex or crushingly heavy. It's not even real Prog Rock... although we are talking about 1967 here - so it could be.... Review thanks to Certif1ed
Tracks
1.Kaleidoscope
2.Please Excuse My Face
3.Dive Into Yesterday
4.Mr.Small the Watch Repairer Man
5.Flight From Ashiya
6.The murder of Lewis Tollani
7.In the Room Of Percussion
8.Dear Nellie Goodrich
9.Holiday Maker
10.A Lesson Perhaps
11.The Sky Children
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Brian Wilson did quite a bit of production work outside of his main gig with the Beach Boys, especially in the early to mid-'60s. This 23-track collection — entirely drawn from pre-1966 releases, except for a 1969 single by the Honeys and a 1973 single by American Spring — doesn't round up all of them, as some were unavailable for contractual reasons. But it's a good anthology of this facet of Wilson's career, with many obscure songs that are difficult to find and have been seldom reissued. As is usually the case for outside production/songwriting ventures by major stars, few of Wilson's non-Beach Boys ventures were hits, and in fact none of the items on this CD were. As is also usually the case in these situations, the material (frequently though not always written or co-written by Wilson) was more lightweight than what was being devised for the figure's principal project, the Beach Boys in Wilson's case. But this disc is still pretty enjoyable, featuring as it does a few genuinely outstanding cuts in which Wilson got to tinker with some production approaches. Foremost among these is Sharon Marie's 1964 Ronettes sound-alike single "Thinkin' Bout You Baby," which has a verse that was reworked with some changes to provide the Beach Boys' 1968 hit "Darlin'." Also of special note is Glen Campbell's 1965 single "Guess I'm Dumb," which has a confessional lyric and orchestral pop/rock production on par with the Beach Boys' own best album tracks of the period. Only slightly below this level is Gary Usher's 1964 single "Sacramento," which actually sounds a little more personal than much of the Beach Boys' output of that year. Brian Wilson himself is heard on the one-off 1964 single by the Survivors, with an A-side ("Pamela Jean") with an identical melody to that used for the Beach Boys' "Car Crazy Cutie," and an instrumental B-side ("After the Game") that's a vague forerunner of the lush instrumentals on Pet Sounds. The other tracks on this compilation are more frivolous, but they do testify to the large influence Phil Spector had on Wilson in the mid-'60s (particularly in the tracks by the Honeys). Other oddities of note are the Little Eva imitation by Rachel & the Revolvers; the 1973 Columbia single by American Spring, the band featuring Marilyn Rovell and Diane Rovell of the Honeys; and the cover of "Vegetables" (from the Beach Boys' Smiley Smile album) by the Laughing Gravy, a pseudonym for Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean.
1. Run Around Lover - Sharon Marie
2. Thinkin Bout You Baby - Sharon Marie
3. Pamela Jean - The Survivors
4. After The Game - The Survivors
5. Sacramento - Gary Usher
6. That's The Way I Feel - Gary Usher
7. Teh One You Can't Have - The Honeys
8. Surfin' Down The Swanne River - The Honey
9. Summertime - Sharon Marie
10. Hide Go Seek - The Honeys
11. Shyin Away - American Spring
12. Pray For Surf - The Honeys
13. Shoot The Curl - The Honeys
14. Vegetables - The Laughing Gravy
15. The Revo-Lution - Rachel & The Revolvers
16. Number One - Rachel & The Revolvers
17. She Rides With Me - Paul Petersen
18. Guess I'm Dumb - Glen Campbell
19. Story Of My Life - Sharon Marie
20. He's A Doll - The Honeys
21. Tonight You Belong To Me - The Honeys
22. Goodnight My Love - The Honeys
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The Cretones - Snap! Snap! (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:11 AM 0 comments

The Cretones were a United States, Los Angeles-based new wave and power pop group in the early 1980s. Led by singer/guitarist and former Eddie Boy Band member Mark Goldenberg (who also wrote the bulk of The Cretones' material), the group had a strong sense of melody and a lyrical wit that placed them a cut above most of their new wave peers. Other members were Peter Bernstein (bass, vocals), Steve Beers (percussion) and Steve Leonard (keyboards, vocals).

Both their albums were released on Richard Perry's Planet Records label. They had one single that charted on the Billboard Magazine Hot 100: Real Love, in the spring of 1980, which was from their first album, Thin Red Line. The song Empty Heart, from their second album Snap Snap, was their only other song to receive significant airplay on album rock stations, but it did not chart as a single.

They are perhaps best-known as the group that provided three of the songs on Linda Ronstadt's platinum-selling 1980's new wave album, Mad Love. Ronstadt's effort served to introduce and highlight Mark Goldenberg's tuneful melodies.

After the band broke up, Mark Goldenberg went on to write the song Automatic for the Pointer Sisters, which was a hit in 1984. He later toured with artists such as Peter Frampton and Chris Isaak and had moderate success as a new age instrumental artist in Japan. Since 1994, he has been lead guitarist for Jackson Browne and continues to write, play, and produce. Cretones members Steve Beers and Peter Bernstein helped produce and compose the score to the TV show 21 Jump Street. Steve Beers has been producing television ever since, while Peter Bernstein has gone on to write numerous film and TV scores
Tracks
01 Empty Heart
02 Hanging on to No One
03 Swinging Divorcee
04 Lonely Street
05 I Can't Get Over You
06 One Kiss
07 Love is Turning
08 Girls! Girls! Girls!
09 Snap! Snap!
10 Mood vertigo
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Miles Davis - Miles in the sky (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:48 AM 0 comments

Miles in the Sky is an album recorded in January and May 1968 by the Miles Davis quintet. It is notable for the first use of electric piano and electric guitar on an issued recording by Davis, a foreshadowing of his move into fusion music over the next few years.

Although the album was released shortly after recording, the tracks come from different sessions which show different stages of Miles Davis's evolution from acoustic jazz to electric "fusion" music. "Paraphernalia" features George Benson's electric guitar, although it is more conservative in style than the earlier "Circle in the Round", which was not released until the late seventies. "Black Comedy" and "Country Son" are Davis's last return to the acoustic quintet format in the studio. "Stuff", with its electric bass, Fender Rhodes piano and binary rhythm, is in yet another idiom, that of the forthcoming Filles de Kilimanjaro.

"Paraphernalia" was the only composition from this album to enter Davis's live book.
Tracks
01. Stuff
02. Paraphernalia
03. Black Comedy
04. Country Son
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Serge Gainsbourg - Initials B.B. (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:01 AM 0 comments

A fantastic Serge Gainsbourg album -- and the BB initials in the title belong to Brigitte Bardot! This rare gem from 1968 is a second set of tracks that Serge cut with Brigitte Bardot -- and it's a doozy! The record repeats a few tracks from their other effort (Bonnie & Clyde) -- but it's also got some incredible cuts that are exclusive to this album, and which have that stone funky groove that makes the best late 60s work of Serge so in-demand these days! The best tracks include "Mustang", "Initials BB", and "Black And White" -- all of which have incredible funky intros that are totally sampleable.
As it was still the case in pre-album era, this is a collection from various sessions in 1965, 1967 and 1968 (in full May Events, Mr. Gainsbourg was recording in London ...). Despite of this, this album is stylistically quite homogeneous.

"Initials B.B." is dedicated to his former lover, Brigitte Bardot. The song is inspired by Edgar Poe's "the Raven", Almeria is the town where B.B. went after seeing Gainsbourg for the last time (to shoot "Shalako"). The music uses a bit of Dvorak's "New World Symphony". Recorded in London in May 1968.

"Comic Strip" was recorded in June 1967. The onomatopoeias are by Bardot. An English version of the song was recorded following the diffusion of an American version of "the Brigitte Bardot Show" by NBC-TV in December 1968.

"Bloody Jack" was recorded in May 1968 in London. Inspired by Jack the Ripper.

"Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde" pursues on British myths. It was recorded in December ... 1965 !

"Torrey Canyon" refers to the biggest tanker in the world, who sank in 1967. The song was recorded in June 1967.

"Shu ba du ba loo ba" was recorded in December 1965.

"Bonnie and Clyde" was recorded in December 1967, with Bardot, and, as two other songs from this album, appears also in their "Bonnie and Clyde" album (which is also a loose collection from various sessions).

"Black and White" is from the May 1968 session in London.

"Qui est "in" qui est"out"" was from December 1965.

"Hold-up" was recorded in December 1967.

And, finally, "Marilu" is from December 1965. Possibly inspired by Italian actress Marilu Tolo ...
Tracks
Initials B.B. (3:36)
2.Comic Strip (2:13)
3.Bloody Jack (2:07)
4.Docteur Jekyll et Monsieur Hyde (1:59)
5.Torrey Canyon (2:45)
6.Shu Ba du Ba Loo Ba (2:08)
7.Ford Mustang (2:43)
8.Bonnie and Clyde (4:17)
9.Black and White (2:11)
10.Qui Est "In" Qui Est "Out" (2:16)
11.Hold-Up (2:39)
12.Marilu (2:32)
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Mort Garson - The Wozard of Iz (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:03 AM 0 comments

Mort Garson was a hippie-ish electronic music scientist and guru, who specialized in the more extreme possibilities of the moog. One of his most ambitious projects was a single spoken word LP for each sign of the zodiac, set to an electronic score. He also recorded the moog album "Electronic Hair Pieces" - that one with the great cover. "The Wozard of Iz" was one of his later recordings, and was a collaboration with Jacques Wilson (who apparently wrote and conceived the project). The musical, which might have been intended to go beyond just a recorded album, is a psycho-electronic re-working of "The Wizard of Oz" that sounds like the soundtrack to the greatest LSD/freak-out/moog/synth/electronic musical that never was. This oddity is a hysterical and typical leftist/hippie commentary on the socioeconomic human condition of the average American in 1968, and uses the analogy of Dorothy taking a "trip" from Kansas for a brighter and better world where one can really be "free."
The record begins over a kooky electronic score, while a male voice (with a deep Brooklyn accent) intones:
"This is the story of why Dorothy began her search for the Wonderful Wozard of Iz! Or somewhere... over... what rainbow? Our Dorothy... locked into one suburban acre of negative vibrations... boxed in with a pair of authority symbols; a hypnotized aunt, and a mesmerized uncle, who had turned life off... and turned the television set... on... and on ...AND ON!!!"
Then the music builds and builds as another voice commands Dorothy:
"Congratulations Dorothy, you're about to join the ranks of other famous teenage drop-outs... like Shirley Temple, Candy, and Tallulah Bankhead!"
To which a synthesized male voice in the background repeats over and over:
"Leave the driving to us! Leave the driving to ussssss!"
...to which the voice of Dorothy makes it's first appearance and sexily coos:
"I'm out of the coffin... I'm out of the box... Kansas City isn't where it's at... it's a place where people throw rocks at dreams, and the dreams shouldn't be stoned... only the dreamer. I want to be in a place where I can see a stranger, and offer him a flower. I want that kind of power!"
And that's just in the first few minutes. The record goes on and on and on like that. Dorothy meets a bag lady "on a bus" who tries to hand her some pamphlets written by an army general from "Normalville" ... but Dorothy convinces the army general to "...trade his dog tags in for love beads..." and the lady on the bus eventually gets attacked by some "free press" pamphlets, and becomes The Wicked Old Witch in protest. Dorothy eventually decides to "...find the Great Wozard of Iz... because if I find out where the Woz was, I'd find out where it's at!" Then she gets advised by some more witches on busses to leave "Upset Strip" road in search of "the yellow green road" past the land of "surf and muscle tan" where she notes "...everyone has sunburned teeth from smiling so much." The scarecrow she eventually meets is an excessive consumer who buys too many American gas-guzzling cars and who has substituted "things" for "zing" and decides to follow Dorothy on her quest for the Wozard who can perhaps help him "think" instead of "thing." All the while, insanity-inducing electronic sounds bloop, swerve, echo and boom in the background. This LP is a (fractured) MASTERPIECE!
The rest of the album goes all over the place... using plenty of instruments and a whole chorus of vocalists. The songs sound like they could be in ANY musical... and it's a wonder that the production never made it anywhere past an LP recording. The voice of Dorothy is provided by sometime Lee Hazelwood vocalist/partner Suzie Jane Hokum. There are rumors that this woman is actually Nancy Sinatra (it certainly sounds like her)... but looking at some of the discussions about this album on the web... it looks like the verdict is still undecided as to whether it is her or not. It could be... or it may be just a vinyl compleatist nerd's urban legend. Review found here.
Tracks
1. Prologue - 3:05
2. Leave the Driving to Us - 2:50
3. Upset Strip - 2:25
4. Never Follow the Yellow Green Road - 2:40
5. Thing a Ling (Scared Crow) - 2:21
6. In-Man - 1:28
7. Man With the Word (Lyin' Coward) - 2:00
8. They're Off to Find the Wozard - 1:40
9. Blue Poppy - 6:27
10. I've Been Over the Rainbow - 2:10
11. Big Sur - 3:20
12. Killing of the Witch - 3:35
13. Finale - 1:04
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Flying Teapot is an album by Gong, originally released in 1973. Co-titled "Radio Gnome Invisible Part 1", it is the first of the Radio Gnome Trilogy of albums, and was followed by Angel's Egg and You. The Trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology.

Recorded at The Manor, Oxfordshire, it was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and engineered by "Simon Sandwitch 2 aided by Tom Zen" (presumably Simon Heyworth and Tom Newman).
1973's Flying Teapot is a Gong milestone. It's the first installment in their legendary "Radio Gnome Trilogy" and a transitional point between the underground psychedelia of Camembert Electrique and the artier, more ethereal sound they later developed. Teapot is more visceral, less cerebral than its successors, and the catchy ensemble riffs of Camembert are still present. The arrival of virtuoso guitarist Steve Hillage and synth wizard Tim Blake represented a great leap forward, though. Blake concentrated exclusively on ambient electronic effects and soundscapes a la early Hawkind, leaving harmonic development to the other band members. Hillage's fleet-fingered jazz-rock solos and arsenal of effects upped the musicianship a notch and reinforced the spacy jazz elements already in place. Whether you're able to follow the willfully confusing storyline or not, the elaborate mythological world created by Daevid Allen is loads of fun when wrapped around music as inspired as this psychedelic art-jazz-space rock amalgam. The key players are a group of gnomes from another planet who arrive in a flying teapot (stoner imagery plays heavily in hippie Allen's vision) to save the world (or something). Actually, some surprisingly intellectual/philosophical messages were contained in the trilogy, leavened heartily by the irrepressible Allen's healthy sense of humor.
The story:
Gong mythology is a collection of recurring characters, themes, and ideas that permeate the rock albums of Daevid Allen and Gong and to a lesser extent the early works of Steve Hillage. The story is based on a vision Allen had during the full moon of Easter, 1966 in which he claims he could see his future laid out before him. The mythology is hinted at through all of Gong's earlier albums but is not the central theme until the "Radio Gnome Trilogy" (1973-1974).

The story begins on the album Flying Teapot (1973) when a pig-farming Egyptologist called Mista T Being is sold a "magick ear ring" by an "antique teapot street vendor & tea label collector" called Fred the Fish. The ear ring is capable of receiving messages from the Planet Gong via a pirate radio station called Radio Gnome Invisible. Being and Fish head off to the hymnalayas of Tibet (sic) where they meet the "great beer yogi" Banana Ananda in a cave. Ananda tends to chant "Banana Nirvana Mañana" a lot and gets drunk on Foster's Australian Lager.

This latter development mirrors the real-life experience of band members Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth who met their saxophonist, Didier Malherbe, in a cave in Majorca.

Meanwhile, the mythology's central character, Zero the Hero, is going about his everyday life when he suddenly has a vision in Charing Cross Road. He is compelled to seek heroes and starts worshipping the Cock Pot Pixie, one of a number of Pot Head Pixies from the Planet Gong. These pixies are green with propellers on their heads, and they fly around in teapots.

Zero is soon distracted by a cat which he offers his fish and chips to. The cat is actually the Good Witch Yoni, who gives Zero a potion. This concludes the first album of the Radio Gnome Trilogy
Tracks
1. Radio Gnome Invisible
2. Flying Teapot
3. The Pot Head Pixies
4. The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine
5. Zero The Hero And The Witch's Spell
6. Witch's Song/I Am Your Pussy
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Naked Eyes - Fuel for Fire (1984)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:18 AM 0 comments

Fuel for the Fire was Naked Eyes' 1984 follow-up album to their successful début. However, it was met with far less critical success and subsequently flopped. The band did have minor success with one single off the album, "(What) In the Name of Love" which reached #39 in the US on the Billboard 100.

Naked Eyes disbanded following the disappointment of Fuel for the Fire. The album has never been officially released on CD.
Band:
Naked Eyes was one of the first bands to make significant use of the Fairlight CMI sampling synthesizer on a pop recording. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush had used the instrument on prior efforts, but the usage had been far less than Naked Eyes would employ on their debut effort. The debut album Burning Bridges was produced by Tony Mansfield, along with the follow up album Fuel for the Fire, which also featured two titles produced by Arthur Baker.

Naked Eyes consisted of childhood friends from Bath, England: Pete Byrne on vocals and Rob Fisher on keyboards. The two had formerly played in a band called Neon with future members of Tears for Fears and stayed together as a duo after the group broke up. Naked Eyes are one of the few acts to have enjoyed significant success outside their country of origin, notably in the U.S. and in Canada, yet remain almost unknown in their homeland.

Their second and third singles, "Promises, Promises" (which appears in an episode of the TV series, Knight Rider, and the 12" mix of which features vocals from Madonna) and "When the Lights Go Out", were also hit singles, mainly in the U.S. and in Canada. However, their second album Fuel for the Fire and the single "(What) In the Name of Love", were not as well-received, and the group broke up soon after its release. Byrne ended up doing session work (he is heard on Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover", and wrote and produced "I Am the Cute One" for Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in 1992) while Fisher joined another duo, Climie Fisher.

Fisher died on 25 August 1999, aged 39, following surgery for an illness which turned out to be bowel cancer.

Byrne released a solo album The Real Illusion in 2001, which featured some of the last tracks he wrote with Fisher for a proposed third Naked Eyes album.

More recently, the Naked Eyes version of "Always Something There to Remind Me" was used in the trailers of the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston comedy, The Break-Up.

On 31 July 2007, Naked Eyes, featuring Byrne, released Fumbling with the Covers, which consisted of covers of Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Elvis Costello songs, along with Naked Eyes hits.

In the summer of 2008, Naked Eyes completed a U.S. tour along with Belinda Carlisle, ABC and The Human League.

Currently, Naked Eyes is working on Piccadilly, its first album of original songs in more than 25 years
Tracks
A1 (What) In The Name Of Love 4:25
A2 New Hearts 3:37
A3 Sacrifice 4:07
A4 Eyes Of A Child 3:35
A5 Once Is Enough 4:08
B1 No Flowers Please 4:00
B2 Answering Service 3:42
B3 Me I See In You 3:34
B4 Flying Solo 4:31
B5 Flag Of Convenience 4:13
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The Motions - Their Own Way (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:29 AM 0 comments

In comparison with their brasher debut album, Their Own Way was disappointingly sluggish and subdued. The emphasis was on rather lethargic soul-rock ballads, as if songwriter Ronnie van Leeuwen was trying to find something that would get the same chart success as (better) British singers of the time such as the Walker Brothers. "Why Don't You Take It" was a pretty obvious attempt to capture a Drifters-like mood, and though the group occasionally got into a bluesy mode, the sound was surprisingly thin and the execution rather perfunctory. The biggest problem was that the songs weren't memorable, with the notable exception of the scorching "Everything That's Mine," now enshrined on the Nuggets 2 box set. That track is a mod masterpiece with screeching guitar that's just as exciting as the early Who or Small Faces, and its appearance at the very end of the album is downright shocking, blowing the rest of the set out the window. The bonus tracks aren't too exciting or notable; the only one not taken from a non-LP 45 is a previously unreleased stereo version of a song from Their Own Way, "You've Hurt Yourself."
The Band:
The Motions from The Hague were one of the bigger groups of the 1960s Dutch beat explosion. They were formed in 1964 from the remnants of Ritchie Clark and the Ricochets and went on to become hitmakers for the next several years. The Walker Brothers even recorded "My Love Is Growing", a song The Motions' Robbie van Leeuwen had written (the Motions had recorded it as a flipside to "Why Don't You Take It") and the Walkers' manager John Stewart produced The Motions' second LP, "In Their Own Way". The single, "Freedom", reached the lower regions of the American charts in 1969. This song was sampled in the 1990s by Japanese band Tokyo No.1 Soul Set on their track "Sunday". Although the group disbanded in 1971, the most important members have met each other again & again in new bands such as Crossroad, Greenhorn, Jupiter and Galaxy Lin.

From 1964 to 1967, the line-up was stable: Rudy Bennett (i.r.l. Ruud van de Berg - vocals, earlier as Ritchie Clark and the Ricochets), Robbie van Leeuwen (guitar, ex-Atmospheres & Ricochets, later the founder of both Shocking Blue and Galaxy Lin), Henk Smitskamp (bass, ex-Willy & Giants, later to Livin' Blues) & Sieb Warner (i.r.l. Siebolt Warntjes - drums, ex-Ricochets, later to Golden Earring). This line-up had a string of hits in The Netherlands during 1965 and 1966 with singles like "Wasted Words" and "It's The Same Old Song". Their first album, "Introduction To The Motions", is considered one of the best albums of the era.

Early 1967, Robbie left to form Shocking Blue and was replaced by Gerard Romeyn (ex-Tee-Set, later with Nico Haak, Image). Late 1967, Henk Smitskamp was ousted in favour of Leo Bennink (ex-Mack and Jay-Jays). A fifth member was found in multi-instrumentalist Jan Vennik (sax, flute & organ, also ex-Jay-Jays, later to Rob Hoeke & Ekseption). When in mid-1968 Gerard Romeyn and Jan Vennik were busted for posession of marijuana and incarcerated, the band took in Paul van Melzen (ex-Haigs, later in the Mailer McKenzie Band) on bass and Bobby Green, (i.r.l. Bob van der Vaart - organ, ex-Bobby Green Selection, also to Fisher & Friends). Bennink switched to guitar. This line up recorded the album "Electric Baby" for Decca in 1969. The band then suffered another setback by the departure of drummer Sieb Warner to rivals Golden Earring (who'd by then just dropped the 's' off Earrings). His replacement was Han Cooper (i.r.l. Han Gordinou de Gouberville). The last line-up of the group (up until 1971) was: Rudy, Leo, Paul, Bobby and Han. They did a few gigs in England and went on a trip to the USA (only playing at The Scene Club in New York), but international success eluded them. They recorded one more album for the Simogram label of supermarket chain Simon de Wit, but split up soon afterwards.

After the breakup, Rudy Bennett, Bobby Green and Gerard Romeyn all released solo singles. Bennett later joined Robbie van Leeuwen in Galaxy Lin. In 1992, The Motions did a one-off reunion gig for Veronica television with the original line-up, joined by Leo Bennink on guitar and keyboards. Rudy Bennett regularly does Golden Oldies gigs with pick-up bands under the moniker of The Motions, often including Leo Bennink. Henk Smitskamp still plays with Willy & his Giants.
Tracks
01. My babe
02. You've hurt yourself
03. My love is growing
04. Hard time blues
05. Late last night
06. Why don't you take it
07. Sittin' on top of the roof
08. Too late to be sorry
09. You can't fight it
10. There's no place to hide
11. Everything that's mine
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Steppeulvene - Hip (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:13 AM 0 comments

Steppeulvene (Danish language for Steppenwolf) was a Danish rock band which despite its short life has become the icon for the Danish hippie music scene. The name of the group was taken from the 1928 novel Steppenwolf by German Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse. Also in 1967, in California, the band Steppenwolf named itself after the novel.

Their only album Hip (1967) was the first rock album with original Danish lyrics, and has attained near-mythological status in the history of Danish rock.

The group was the result of a collaboration between lead singer Eik Skal?e, who had traveled in the Orient in the early 1960's and wrote the Bob Dylan-inspired, highly symbolic and almost surreal lyrics, and Stig M?ller (guitar, vocal), who wrote the drawling, psychedelic, folk-influenced music. The other members were S?ren Seirup (bass) and Preben Devantier (drums).

A tour in October 1967 came to a chaotic end when a concert was cut short by the police and the group members were arrested for cannabis use. Shortly after being released, Eik Skal?e went on a journey to Afghanistan/Nepal (on the so-called "hippie trail") and was found dead outside the city of Ferozepore near the Indian/Pakistani border in October 1968, apparently after a drug-induced suicide. Back in Denmark the rest of the group attempted to carry on, but, lacking the characteristic Skal?e as a front figure, quickly dissolved
Tracks
A1 Dunhammeraften 5:25
A2 Itsi-bitsi 4:54
A3 Til nashet 5:23
A4 Jensen 6:40
B1 0-0-0 5:02
B2 Lykkens pamfil 5:44
B3 Kvinde kom ud 4:03
B4 Kun for forrykte 5:19
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Donovan - Sunshine Superman (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 3:39 AM 0 comments

These recordings mark a distinct change in Donovan's music, representing some of the first psychedelia released. A full rock band backs up Donovan on many of the songs, and the instrumentation has been expanded to include sitar and other unique musical instruments. This change is partially the result of working with producer Mickie Most, whose pop sensibilities led to chart hits for many other artists at the time.

Donovan's lyrics began to encompass his increasing ability to portray "Swinging London" and give listeners an insider's look into the mid-sixties pop scene. He was known to be close to The Beatles and Brian Jones at this time, and he became widely known after "Sunshine Superman" became a chart-topper in the US, and hit #2 in the UK. Donovan's penchant for name-dropping in songs such as "The Trip" and "The Fat Angel" (written for Mama Cass) coupled with his chart success helped elevate him to superstar status. In addition to noting the people in the pop scene, Donovan recorded "Bert's Blues" for his friend and folk music notable Bert Jansch.

Contrasting this modern bent was Donovan's fascination with medieval themes in such songs as "Legend of a Girl Child Linda" (written for Brian Jones' girlfriend Linda Lawrence) and "Guinevere". The rich descriptions of color and environment that Donovan developed in individual songs on Fairytale were now evident throughout his writing.

Several other songs were recorded for Sunshine Superman, but did not make the cut. These include "Museum" (later rerecorded and released on Mellow Yellow), "Superlungs My Supergirl" (later rerecorded and released on Barabajagal) and "Breezes of Patchulie" (originally called "Darkness of My Night" and released on Donovan's 1964 demo collection Sixty Four). The Sunshine Superman recordings of these songs were all included on Troubadour The Definitive Collection 1964–1976.

In the video for the Beatles' "A Day in the Life", a close up of a spinning turntable shows the Epic Records version of Sunshine Superman playing. The film was shot at the recording sessions for the song, which was included on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

A cover version of "The Fat Angel" was recorded, approprietly, by Jefferson Airplane for their 1968 live album Bless Its Pointed Little Head.
Tracks
1.Sunshine Superman (3:14)
2.Legend of a Girl Child Linda (6:51)
3.Three King Fishers (3:15)
4.Ferris Wheel (4:12)
5.Bert's Blues (3:57)
6.Season of the Witch (4:56)
7.The Trip (4:34)
8.Guinevere (3:39)
9.The Fat Angel (4:10)
10.Celeste (4:08)
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Eric Burdon & War - Eric Burdon declares War (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:05 AM 0 comments

"We the people have declared war against the people for the right to love each other". Personally I prefer the second title, but then record companies can be such picky people. Eric Burdon & War was one of those unstable combinations that throws out sparks and heat even as it heads toward meltdown. Looking back it seems amazing that the team up of a British Blues / rock singer, a freaked out Danish harmonica player and an L.A. - based R & B / Jazz / Latin sextet came together at all. Their mixture of ethnic background & musical influences created a sound that was as hard to classify as exciting as it was to listen too. Eric Burden & War ran that fine line between genius & total excess as their star blazed a fluorescent trail across the musical stratosphere. The brief career only lasted two years & two albums, (1969 - 71) during this brief time together they performed with a sense of daring, risk, imagination, & adventure. "Eric Burdon declares War" was the first & most successful of the two albums, (the other "Black Man's Burdon" being released the following year) recorded after nearly a year of touring, the band went in and laid down what they were playing on stage with very little overdubs & plenty of ad-libbing. The music captures the kinetic inter play between Burdon & his band mates. Their ability to communicate with and improvise off each other gives "Declares War" its power & its glory. The tension between Burdon's unpredictable nature, War's polished instrumental skills, and Lee Oskar's reckless jamming harmonica runs through the music. Burdon was an artist with a definite message, and working with a multi-racial band was part of his statement. "War" wasn't a name to be chosen lightly in 1969 (or now come to that) it acknowledged both cultural & artistic conflicts & challenged audiences to deal with such issues, at least that's my slant looking at the monikers meaning. The free flowing approach of the album starts immediately with first cut "The Vision Of Rassan" with its name checks to Charlie Parker & John Coltrane, this was the bands tribute to jazz reed player Roland Kirk, and wets the musical palate for what is to come. From there, Burdon leads the band into an expanded exploratory version of Tobacco Road, that had previously been a hit for the Nashville Teens, but not much of their version remains as Burdon uses the lyric as a springboard for an odd erotic sermon, nailed down by War's tight supporting play.
The albums best known track "Spill The Wine" is a Latin tinged daydream of a song which became a number 3 in the U.S.A & a number one in the rest of the world. "Mother Earth" an old blues standard gives us the main theme for the 13 minutes of "Blues For Memphis Slim". As the band coasts along, Burdon expounds upon sex, birth, & morality, stepping aside to allow Charles Miller & then Lee Oskar to strut their stuff. The albums concludes with the vocal workout "Your No Stranger" a nice return to normality after what has gone before. The following year the partnership dissolved, fortunately the music they recorded survives, a remarkable combination of divergent ancestries and united talents. review courtesy Mott the Dog.
Tracks
1. Vision of Rasson: Dedication / Roll On Kirk
2. Tobacco Road: Tobacco Road / I Have A Dream / Tobacco Road
3. Spill the Wine
4. Blues For Memphis Slim: Birth / Mother Earth / Mr. Charlie / Danish Pastry / Mother Earth
5. You're No Stranger
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Eric Burdon & The Animals - Winds of Change (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:27 AM 0 comments

The original band, The Animals, broke up in 1966 and this band was entirely new except for lead singer Eric Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins, who joined the original lineup when John Steel left in February 1966. With the new band, featuring guitarist Vic Briggs, bassist Danny McCulloch and electric violinist John Weider, Burdon began to transition from the gritty blues sound of the original mid-1960s group and moved into the pyschedelic era of music.

The album opened with the sound of waves washing over the title track, "Winds of Change." "Poem by the Sea" is a spoken word piece by Burdon with a swirl of echo-drenched instruments. "Good Times" and "San Franciscan Nights," were two of the most popular tracks, with the latter breaking into the Top 10 in 1967. Burdon was a fan and friend of Jimi Hendrix and wrote the fifth track as an answer song to Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?" from earlier that year.
Tracks
1. Winds of Change
2. Poem by the Sea
3. Paint It Black
4. Black Plague
5. Yes I'm Experienced
6. San Franciscan Nights
7. Man-Woman
8. Hotel Hell
9. Good Times
10. Anything
11. It's All Meat
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Beaver & Krause - Ragnarok (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:15 AM 0 comments

Composers and synth players Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause were among the most high-profile electronic music acts of the late '60s, recording a series of LPs distinguished not only by their groundbreaking studio advances but also by the presence of notables including Gerry Mulligan and Mike Bloomfield. Krause -- a onetime member of the legendary folk group the Weavers -- was working as a staff producer at Elektra Records when he met Beaver, a former jazz musician; under the name Beaver & Krause, they began assembling electronic pieces employing spoken-word passages, acoustic instruments, tape loops and improvisational techniques, debuting in 1968 with The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music. After 1969's Ragnarok Electric Funk, the duo issued In a Wild Sanctuary a year later; 1971's Gandharva -- recorded live in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and featuring cameos from Mulligan and Bloomfield as well as Bud Shank and Ronnie Montrose -- was the most popular of their releases. After 1972's All Good Men, Beaver recorded the solo LP Perchance to Dream; sadly, it was his final work -- he suffered a fatal heart attack on January 16, 1975 at the age of 49. Krause later resurfaced as a noted expert in environmental sound recording.
Tracks
01. Ragnarock
02. The Fisherman
03. Circle X
04. Dill Picolo (Try Not to Twitch)
05. Dr. Fox
06. Moogy Blues Funk, As I Hear it
07. 33rd Stanza of a Hymn to Sancho Panza
08. Fountains of the Dept. of Water & Power
09. Changes
10. Interplay
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Manfred Mann - Mighty Garvey (1968)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:53 AM 0 comments

Mighty Garvey! is an album released in 1968 by Manfred Mann. It was the second and last recorded by the band (not including compilations and the soundtrack album to the film Up The Junction) after the change of direction and personnel of the previous As Is. It continued a transition away from jazz and blues and towards self-composed art-pop.

Despite including two UK 'Top 5' hit singles (Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" and Tony Hazzard's "Ha! Ha! Said The Clown"), the album did not chart and the band split up the year after. The group's continued pop success with material by established songwriters such as Dylan and Hazzard made it averse to the risk of releasing self-written singles, a state of affairs that had prevailed ever since the success of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", even though the group's first hits had been self-composed, at least one example of drummer Mike Hugg's new-found productivity had been seen as potentially chart-worthy and singer Mike d'Abo was able to provide other artists with hits such as "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Handbags and Gladrags". The resultant pop image did not encourage album sales to "serious" listeners, particularly when trends were turning from baroque pop to hard rock. So, like contemporary releases by The Kinks and The Zombies, Mighty Garvey became a record esteemed more in retrospect than at the time. It was later re-issued in 2003, with bonus tracks.

The group's commercial compromises also led to "self-knocking", and its recordings developed an ironic distance that on Mighty Garvey sometimes invites comparison with The Kinks, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, Frank Zappa or The Bonzo Dog Band. Even on Hugg's intricate and sentimental "Harry the One Man Band" the vocal track finally dissolves into schoolboy mirth and silly noises.
The group made full use of the new possibilities of multi-tracking, overlaying complex and inventive textures of flutes, keyboards and vibraphones, while the group's backing vocals, originally limited to a tribal unison, began to take on an almost Pet Sounds complexity
Tracks
01. Happy Families – 2:18
02. No Better, No Worse – 3:02
03. Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey – 2:54
04. Country Dancing – 2:53
05. It's So Easy Falling – 3:20
06. Happy Families – 2:09
07. The Mighty Quinn – 2:52
08. Big Betty – 3:06
09. The Vicar's Daughter – 2:18
10. Each and Every Day – 2:47
11. Cubist Town – 3:21
12. Ha! Ha! Said the Clown – 2:27
13. Harry the One-Man Band – 3:11
14. Happy Families – 2:16
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Jackie McLean - 'Bout Soul (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:38 AM 0 comments

'Bout Soul does not mean the same thing as soul-jazz, as the opening track "Soul" makes abundantly clear. Written by Grachan Moncur III and poet Barbara Simmons, "Soul" is a tonally free tone-poem that features Simmons' spoken recital. It's about what the concept of soul is, not what soul music is, and that should not come as a surprise to anyone acquainted with Jackie McLean's work. Even as his Blue Note contemporaries were working commercial soul-jazz grooves, McLean pushed the borders of jazz, embracing the avant-garde and free jazz. 'Bout Soul is one of his most explicit free albums, finding the alto saxophonist pushing a quintet -- trumpeter Woody Shaw (who sits out "Dear Nick, Dear John"), pianist Lamont Johnson, bassist Scotty Holt, drummer Rashied Ali -- into uncompromising, tonally free territory. This is intensely cerebral music that is nevertheless played with a fiery passion. Although the music was all composed, it is played as if it was invented on the spot. Fans of McLean's straight-ahead hard bop, or even of his adventurous mid-'60s sessions, might find this a little off-putting at first, but 'Bout Soul rewards close listening. It is one of McLean's finest modern contemporary sessions
Tracks
1.Soul (10:15)
2.Conversion Point (9:45)
3.Big Ben's Voice (10:06)
4.Dear Nick, Dear John (4:53)
5.Erdu (5:54
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Moondog - Moondog (1969)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:32 AM 0 comments

While his first albums featured Moondog on the streets, performing solo, this album barely contains any of Moondog’s actual playing. While the first albums had a few guest musicians here and there, playing “instruments” like tap shoes, this album has over half an orchestra, playing flutes, bassoons, cellos and all that fancy stuff. While the first three albums were charming, homemade, do-it-yourself performances, this is a posh classical album. But none of that means you won’t like this record if you loved the first three, because quite honestly, this album is impossible to hate.

I’m not sure what happened in those twelve years between “The Story of Moondog” and this release…I don’t know if it was living on the streets, or his sometimes residence in his cabin upstate with no electricity, or his divorce, or what, but, damn…what a change of pace. I know nothing of classical or jazz music, so I have no idea if this album is clever or breaks any new ground, but it is just about the most catchy and stylish orchestrated music I have heard. Listening to it is like watching a movie: the layers of sound, all fitting together, telling some kind of beautiful, but slightly reckless story. It only lasts a shade over thirty minutes, but there are hardly any wasted notes, and each tune really does capture your attention. I know it sounds corny, but for a virtual homeless, blind, basically self taught, Viking lover of a man to come up with such an impressive, gripping album just makes the album sound that much more cool…you know?

The opening “Theme” begins as a typical Moondog percussion piece, seemingly no different from any of his other records, but slowly the orchestration builds, swirling, rising towards a point just out of reach. To me it sounds like a struggle… and the song ends before the mêlée is decided, leaving you feeling both unfulfilled, but eager for the resolution. “Stomping Ground” doesn’t bring you any closer to closure though. After some brief street noises and a quick spoken word section by Moondog, the orchestration enters on a marching beat. This isn’t military marching though; it is much too loose. Instead it sounds like a city gang; some punk kids swaying down the streets—scheming, spying, and getting ready…creating an extraordinary edginess.

Unfortunately, “Symphonique #3 (Ode to Venus)” brings an end to the tension, with a five-minute, elegant moan, sounding like the scene when Juliet wakes to see Romeo dead and decides to kill herself. Dark and attractive, it is not really something that gets my juices flowing (although I’m no classical connoisseur, so maybe it will really speak to you). “Symphonique #6 (Good for Goodie)” is definitely more my style though, beginning with a bass solo that sounds like the White Stripes. Soon some horns come jiving in, be-bopping and head knobbing their way through a cool riff with swagger and purpose. The song gradually finds dimension, adding instrument after instrument, with the bass getting fortified by a tuba, and all the instruments just groove—they hit it, you know…making this just about the coolest little classical/jazz piece: melodic, tough, and funky!

Another short Moondog poem opens the six-minute “Minisym #1.” At the beginning, this piece sounds like some fantasyland epic movie (like Willow or Lord of the Rings), all bombastic, but with some Medieval, elfin charm. The middle though, is a more introspective section where the horns sound like they are having a deep conversation with themselves, a little cheesy, but tolerable because it leads to the intense closing, taken at breakneck speed, with Moondog’s crazy percussion keeping beat. It has a great rock riff, with the horns taking the place of an electric solo…absolutely smoking.

And the pace doesn’t let up with “Lament 1 "Bird's Lament".” This piece was written for jazz great Charlie Parker when Moondog heard of his friend’s death. But instead of being remorseful, this song cooks as well, having more of a restrained party sound that is outright ear candy. It was used in some minivan commercials in the early part of this decade, so it will probably sound familiar, and it might just be the catchiest thing Moondog ever released…two-minutes of happy horn hooks.

“Witch of Endor” is something completely different, a mini opera done in six-minutes. Each sectioned title perfectly depicts the music, with the opening and closing sounding like some sort of dance ceremony, and the middle going from a prophesy, to a battle, to the main character’s death. Of course, this piece was the inspiration behind George Lucas having both Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader die on the planet Endor! Seriously though, the music strangely could be used to explain that story perfectly…eerie, but cool J The closing “Symphonique #1 (Portrait of a Monarch)” is the most cartoonish arrangement on the album, with a more bouncy feel…it is still slightly dark, but the humor can be heard here easily. It isn’t my favorite tune on the record, not reaching the standards set by the previous selections until the beautiful coda. Still though, it is goofy and fun and a great change of pace for the closer.

Overall this is fantastic in a way that fairy tales are fantastic: loveable, innocent, touching, but with a slightly dark atmosphere. The brevity does bother me a little, but it only makes me want to play the album over and over again. As I have said a few times, this might not be a great album to the ears of an expert of classical or jazz, but trust me, it is accessible beyond belief, charming, melodic, fun, gorgeous, and a gem that you really need to uncover.Tracks
01 Theme 2:34
02 Stamping Ground 2:39
03 Symphonique #3 (Ode to Venus) 5:51
04 Symphonique #6 (Good for Goodie) 2:47
05 Cuplet 0:09
06 Minisym #1 5:45
07 Lament 1, "Bird's Lament" 1:43
08 Witch of Endor 6:30
09 Symphonique #1 (Portrait of a Monarch) 2:37
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Fifth Flight - Into smoke tree village (1970)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 2:05 AM 0 comments

Century Records was a California custom record label which pressed tens of thousands of small-run records for schools, church groups and obscure local bands and fifth flight's into smoke tree village, with its rustic mill whee cover, was a garage psych album consisting mostly of covers, delivered with lashing of fuzz guitar and heavy, spooky organ.The stand - out track is surely the band's jawdroppingly awesome version o neil young's sugar Mountain which over the years has gained a deseved reputation as a psych masterpiece.
Tracks
1. Can't See You
2. I'd Like to Make It With You
3. Devil With a Blue Dress
4. Celebrate
5. Midnight Hour
6. Summertime
7. It's All Over Now
8. Sugar Mountain
9. Try a Little Tenderness
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Tortilla - Little Heroes (1971)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:54 AM 0 comments

Players: Jelle Jeltema, Gerard, Jan-Piet den Tex, Jaap van Beusekom, Emile den Tex and Jaap van der Sluys. The band were founded in 1670 in the place Bergen.
Quite mellow sounding folk rock from the Netherlands. Inspired by the sounds of Neil Young, The Byrds and The Band.
Tracks
01. Patient woman
02. Dreams take me away
03. Man woman dog
04. Old friends
05. May be maybe
06. Wild pony
07. Back to the roots
08. Sometimes
09. In this room
10. Every angel
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Contents Are - Through You (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:37 AM 0 comments

The Through You lp was little more than rumor til a copy mysteriously appeared at a 2005 Austin record show. Contents Are were a garage folk-rock band from Quad City, Iowa that released two good 45’s and this 1967 private press album. It’s remarkable that the band were still in high school when they cut this lp as both the lyrics and musicianship are quite advanced.

In true DIY fashion the band pressed 100 copies of Through You and gave the lp’s away to eager fans who came to Contents Are live events. It’s a solid record to say the least, with influences coming from early Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds and Rubber Soul era Beatles. Through You is full of good, 3 minute pop songs and it’s the kind of record that saw the beat/garage and folk-rock sounds merge. One song, Peace At Last, has complex lyrics and a wonderful mid period Beatles-like chorus. No Chance To Choose is another excellent, dark folk-rocker that strongly recalls John Lennon’s Rubber Soul compositions and hints at psychedelia. There are a few hard rocking tracks such as the opening, fuzzy Country Roads but most of this record is predominately folk-rock. Other good standouts are the folk-rock downers Dream Of My Predictions and Reccuring Changes, which feel like lost Gene Clark compositions in lyrical content and sound.

For many the highlight was In Trouble. This track is notable for beautiful back porch harmonies, jangly guitar and a distinct, rural Buffalo Springfield sound. It’s the kind of song that makes searching for private press records worth all the trouble and grief. Through You’s sound quality is a little muddy and probably will not be of interest to those who like clean, sparkling major label glitz. But to those wanting to explore buried local sounds, this is a great record that’s bound to grow on you.
Tracks
01. Country Roads
02. The Dream Of My Predictions
03. Uni-Love
04. Peace At Last
05. In Trouble
06. No Chance To Choose
07. Tonight In Venice
08. Unconcerned
09. Don't Take My Freedom
10. Recurring Changes
11. No Need To Be Blamed
12. If You're Relaxing
13. Brother Abbot
14. I Don't Know
15. Direction Of Mind
16. Future Days
17. New Mexico
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The Seeds - A web of sound (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:28 AM 0 comments

‘A Web of Sounds’ shows THE SEEDS continuing with the same caliber tracey Garage Rock they injected into the California rock & roll circuit with their debut. Though it was not much of a progression, it is easy to hear their influence on the upcoming psychedelic scene of 1967.

Apart from the inclusion of instant Garage Rock classic ‘Mr. Farmer’, one of the most important, yet least impressive tracks on ‘A Web of Sound’ is ‘Up in Her Room’. THE SEEDS did have the longest recorded extended jam on a Rock & Roll LP on their debut with the 6 minute ‘Evil Hoodoo’. Since then, THE ROLLING STONES released their own extended jam titled ‘Goin’ Home’ on the LP ‘Aftermath’. Sky was obviously not satisfied with THE STONES retort and extended ‘Up in Her Room’ to 14.5 minutes. Their title would be taken forever a mere 4 months later when LOVE dedicated an entire side of their upcoming sophomore release ‘Da Capo’ to one song (‘Revelation’).

THE SEEDS were an incredible and original band. Their music was a big influence on many popular bands of the day including THE DOORS. THE SEEDS are often lumped into the NUGGETS crowd of 'One-Flop-Wonders' but with a little more awareness these guys could easily attain the current status that a band like, say, the MC5 have today. They were equally as important & ‘A Web of Sound’ makes that obvious.
Tracks
01 Mr. Farmer 2:58
02 Pictures and Designs 2:40
03 Tripmaker 2:40
04 I Tell Myself 2:25
05 A Faded Picture 5:14
06 Rollin' Machine 2:28
07 Just Let Go 4:04
08 Up in Her Room 14:27
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13th Floor Elevators - Live in San Francisco (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:46 AM 0 comments

While much of the 13th Floor Elevators’ popularity today rests upon their studio albums and 45s, this wasn’t always the case. Especially not in Texas, where the Elevators first became famous as an outstanding live act, with a combination of ferocious drive and dark mystique that was unlike anything seen before. When the Psychedelic Sounds LP was released in late ‘66, some fans in their hometown Austin felt it was missing a bit of the captivating energy they associated with the band. Even Tommy Hall, the band’s lyricist and intellectual nexus, stated in a 1989 interview that “our real show was live”.
The ’66 set sounds fantastic – in a raw, semi blown out/distorted way, but this isn’t a random audience tape…there is a little tape phase, but basically all instuments are loud & proud & Roky’s vox are even more manic & helium infused than on the first album. The set is mostly the first album plus some covers: Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, the Beatles, the Kinks – they get into an extended workout with Tommy Hall jug treatment of “You Really Got Me,” & this song might be the highlight of the set, which overall resides on the garage side of the garage/psych spectrum, mostly due to the covers.
Tracks
01. Everybody needs somebody to love
02. Before you accuse me
03. You don't know
04. I'm gonna love you too
05. You really got me
06. Splash I
07. Fire engine
08. Roll over Beethoven
09. The word
10. Monkey island
11. Roller coaster
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Holy Toy - Warszawa (1982)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 6:20 AM 0 comments

Heavily experimental array of stuff going on this one, from electro to ambient to ethnic to jazz. Andrej Nebb sings in Polish and English, his vocalizing being a prominent part of this unique electronic music. Sounds a bit like a Sound/Joy Division meets Ensemble Pittoresque.
Even in 1982, post-punk was still progressing, as Holy Toy proved.

"Down in Japan" is a weird fusion of synth-wave (a la Suicide) and discordant jazz. "Warszawa" features a noir-ish bassline, dissonant perscussion and free-jazz brass squelches. "Marmur" uses an even more frenetic rhythm and an anthemic melodic progression. Then "Dwa Portrety" tones things down with a menacing synthesizer line and an elegiac Middle-Eastern interlude (Joy Division crossed with Minimal Compact).

At times the album veers towards even more experimental territories. In "Niebieska Patelnia" the singer recites his lyrics against a collage of deformed brass and voices, and ethereal flutes; then a soaring melody appears (worthy of a religious hymn), before the song returns to an even more abstract collage of sound-effects. In "Bells", they juxtapose a militant march, sonorous chants and moody brass. The logical progression is "Buntowniki", where the singer's zombified monotone is set against an aquatic guitar pattern. Here Holy Toy turn the ethereal upside-down.

They still exhibit a rare elegance though, as shown in the melancholy jazz of "Wojtek" (worthy of Tuxedomoon).
Tracks
01 Down in japan - i
02 Warszawa
03 Marmur
04 Dwa portrety - i
05 Niebieska patelnia
06 Lada vada
07 Wojtek
08 Bells
09 Buntowniki
10 Planet of violence
11 Dada
12 Do wroga
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Various Artists - Achili Funk (1969 - 1979)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:57 AM 0 comments

15 Spanish Gipsy songs from 1969-1979, sandwiched between two recent songs.
At first, when the disc begins to play, you have the customary tourist vision of Gypsy music: dancers with their nose up, handclaps and heels beats, Flamenco guitars ... Then you realize there is something more: funky and groovy sounds from that time, completely mixed with the traditional ones. The effect is exhilarating, and it sounds really like nothing else.
The presentation is awesome: the disc is inserted in a gatefold sleeve, and goes with a 112 (!) page booklet, in Spanish, English and Japanese, which includes hundreds of 45s images, artists pictures, complete tracklists, a detailed history of the music ... And the design of the set is absolutely gorgeous, too. I have rarely seen such a beautiful and informative package. If you are looking for something unusual, look no further ... It might not be love at first listening, but it will grow on you. By chrismass61.
Tracks
1. Los Fulanos (Feat. Peret) - Gato
2. Encarnita Polo - Paco, Paco, Paco
3. Chacho - Bum Bum
4. Smash - El Garrotín
5. Los Amaya - Que Mala Suerte La Mía
6. Dolores Vargas - Anana Hip
7. Peret - Si Fulano
8. Dolores Vargas - La Hawaiana
9. Peret - Chaví
10. Rabbit Rumba - Caramelos
11. Rumba Tres - Rumba Tru, La, La
12. Los Chorbos - Sones De Chicharro
13. Los Marismeños - Pares O Nones
14. Los Chunguitos - Baila Mi Ritmo
15. Trigal - Gol
16. Gato Pérez - Tiene Sabor
17. Mantecao Y Su Combo - Achili Funk
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The Seeds - The Seeds (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 5:38 AM 0 comments

Lead singer Sky Saxon had a musical career that went back to pre-Beatle music days, when he recorded a few 45s under the name Richie Marsh. Born in Salt Lake City, he was based in Los Angeles from the early 1960s. The Seeds were formed in 1965 with Saxon joining as a response to an advertisement. Keyboardist Daryl Hooper was a major factor in the band's sound; the band was one of the first to utilize keyboard bass. Guitarists Jan Savage and Jeremy Levine with drummer Rick Andridge completed the original quintet, but Levine left shortly after the first recording sessions for personal reasons. Although Sky Saxon is usually credited as bass player, he did not play bass on any of the Seeds' recordings. This was handled by session men, usually one Harvey Sharpe. On stage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper would handle the bass parts via a separate bass keyboard, in the same way as Ray Manzarek did with the Doors.

The Seeds' first single, "Can't Seem To Make You Mine", was a regional hit in southern California in 1965. The song was also played regularly on AM rock stations in northern California (and probably elsewhere), where it was well received by listeners. The band had their only national Top 40 hit, "Pushin' Too Hard", in 1966 (#44 in Canada). Three subsequent singles, "Mr. Farmer" (also 1966), a re-release of "Can't Seem To Make You Mine" (1967) (#33 in Canada), and "A Thousand Shadows" (1968) achieved more modest success, although all were most popular in southern California. Musically uncomplicated and dominated by Saxon's vocal style and flair for simple melodic hooks, their first two albums are today considered classics of '60s garage music. A later album was devoted to the blues (with liner notes by Muddy Waters), and another (Future, 1967) was full-blown psychedelic rock, with ornate flower-themed graphics to match.

By mid-1968, with their commercial popularity flagging, the group's personnel began to change; the band was renamed "Sky Saxon and the Seeds" in 1969, by which point Bob Norsoph, guitar, and Don Boomer, drums, had replaced Savage and Andridge. Saxon continued to use the name "The Seeds", using various backup musicians, at least through 1972; the last major-label records of new material by The Seeds—two non-charting singles on MGM records—were released in 1970.
Tracks
01. Can't Seem to Make You Mine
02. No Escape
03. Lose Your Mind
04. Evil Hoodoo
05. Girl I Want You
06. Pushin' Too Hard
07. Try to Understand
08. Nobody Spoil My Fun
09. It's a Hard Life
10. You Can't Be Trusted
11. Excuse, Excuse
12. Fallin' in Love
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