TOM WAITS - Under the Covers [The Songs He Didn't Write] (2017)
While Tom Waits has been responsible for some of the finest compositions of the past 40 years, his regular interpretations - particularly when performing live - of songs written by others often remain as enticing and delightful as his delivery of his self-penned numbers. This splendid collection includes 24 such renditions, recorded live in concert for FM broadcast at various points in his career thus far. Including songs originally, or most famously, performed by artists and groups as eclectic and diverse as The Doors, James Brown, Peggy Lee, Ewan MacColl, Elvis Presley and many others, this CD will delight Tom Waits enormous fan base as it catalogues the very best of this skilled translator s readings of many great compositions.
THE STEVE MILLER BAND - The first 4... (1968/69) [Japanese 2007 Edition]
Children of the Future is the debut album by American rock band Steve Miller Band, released in 1968 by Capitol Records. The album was produced by notable British record producer/engineer, Glyn Johns, who would go on to produce another successful American band: The Eagles. The style is a mixture of blues and psychedelic rock reflecting the ambience of the British blues revival, not surprisingly considering the album was recorded in London (at Olympic Studios). Rolling Stone described the first side as being "constructed like Sgt Pepper". Writing in Crawdaddy!, Peter Knobler called the album "a triple moment of experience, knowledge, inspiration." However, many of the songs had been written earlier when Miller was working as a janitor at a Texas music studio. "Baby's Callin' Me Home" was written by Boz Scaggs who later rose to considerable global fame in his own right.
Sailor is the second studio album by American rock group The Steve Miller Band (thus credited), released in October 1968 by Capitol Records. Like The Steve Miller Band's previous album, Children of the Future, Sailor was produced by Glyn Johns. Unlike its predecessor which was recorded in London, England, Sailor was recorded in Los Angeles, California. It was the last Steve Miller Band album to feature contributions by original members Boz Scaggs and Jim Peterman. Scaggs went on to a successful solo career. The album features a psychedelic blues rock sound. Tracks "Living in the U.S.A." and "Quicksilver Girl" later received additional notice when the former was covered in 1969 by Wilmer & the Dukes and the latter was included in the popular 1984 movie The Big Chill.
Brave New World is the third album by American rock band Steve Miller Band, released in 1969. It is the band's first album following the departure of founding members Boz Scaggs and Jim Peterman, with Ben Sidran replacing Peterman on keyboards. The track "My Dark Hour" featured Paul McCartney (credited as "Paul Ramon") on backing vocals, drums, guitar and bass guitar, and he performed additional backing vocals on "Celebration Song". "My Dark Hour" was recorded in a late-night session on 9 May 1969 after an acrimonious argument between McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr over signing a contract appointing Allen Klein as The Beatles' financial manager. Lennon, Harrison and Starr walked out, while McCartney remained at Olympic Studios. Miller was the only member of the band to attend the session, and the song emerged from him and McCartney jamming.
Your Saving Grace is a much more earthy collection of tunes when compared to the band's previous three long-players. While there are distinct psychedelic remnants of the Boz Scaggs (guitar/vocals) and Jim Peterman (keyboards) era, the addition of keyboardists Ben Sidran and Nicky Hopkins which began on the Steve Miller Band's previous effort, Brave New World adds a jazzier facet to this second incarnation of the group. Harking back to the band's blues roots, Your Saving Grace includes a couple of distinct blues originals such as the up-tempo and gospel-doused "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around" and a somewhat uninspired arrangement of "Motherless Children," which sounds more synchronous with the Sailor or Brave New World albums. The funky "Little Girl," the elegantly pensive "Baby's House," and the title track which is oddly programmed as the LP's final cut are among the highlights of this disc.
JETHRO TULL - Heavy Horses - New Shoes Edition (2018)
2018 marks 50 years since progressive folk-rock band Jethro Tull jumped onto the British music scene. To kick off this exciting anniversary year, we present you with the 40th anniversary ‘New Shoes Edition’ of Heavy Horses, a 3CD/ 2DVD boxset released by Parlophone Records. Released between Songs From The Wood (1977) and Stormwatch (1979), Heavy Horses was the second of a trilogy of folk rock albums from Jethro Tull. Lead singer and flautist Ian Anderson explained its particular focus on horses and agricultural life saying, “As a child, my big passion was to get off the leash and explore the local wooded and leafy suburbs. So it didn’t suddenly become new in 1977, it was just that the subject matter fitted what I wanted to write about at the time.” Upon release, Heavy Horses was a top 20 album on both sides of the Atlantic. Commercial success was met equally with critical praise for its melodies, instrumentation and Anderson’s signature flute playing. More recently, critics have described the album as “daring, experimental, literate, and often thrilling”, and a “testament to the men who made it”. This anniversary edition features the original album with nine additional bonus tracks, seven of which are previously unreleased. The ‘New Shoes Edition’ also contains a live concert from May 1978, and two DVDs which feature the original, bonus and live tracks all mixed to surround sound by Steven Wilson and Jakko Jakszyk.
Ian Anderson explains its particular focus on horses and agricultural life saying, “As a child, my big passion was to get off the leash and explore the local wooded and leafy suburbs. So it didn’t suddenly become new in 1977, it was just that the subject matter fitted what I wanted to write about at the time.”
JEFFERSON STARSHIP - Gold (1991)
Jefferson Starship is an American rock band from San Francisco, California that evolved out of the group Jefferson Airplane following the departure of bassist Jack Casady and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. The band has undergone several major changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the same Jefferson Starship name. The band name was retired in 1985, but picked up again in the early '90s by a Paul Kantner-led revival of the group.
Gold is a 1979 compilation album by Jefferson Starship. The tracks come from their 1974 - 1978 albums, Dragon Fly, Red Octopus, Spitfire, and Earth. The album originally had a shortened single version of "Miracles"; early pressings of the CD repeated this, but later editions had the full-length version from the album Red Octopus. The original record release also contained a 7-inch 45 RPM single, "Light the Sky on Fire", that was recorded for Star Wars Holiday Special, along with an extra track from Dragon Fly. This single is included in the later CD releases as tracks 6 and 12. "Light the Sky on Fire" reached #66 and Gold reached #20 on the Billboard charts.
ARMAGEDDON - Armageddon (1975)
Armageddon was a self-described 'super-group' formed by drummer Bobby Caldwell (previously a member of Captain Beyond), singer Keith Relf (who had fronted the enormously influential Yardbirds as well as having been a co-founder of Renaissance), guitarist Martin Pugh (from Steamhammer), and bassist Louis Cennamo (also formerly of Renaissance and Steamhammer). Armageddon formed in L.A. when Steamhammer broke up and moved to L.A. at the hehest of Relf with an eye to forming a new group. Armageddon came to life after enlisting Caldwell on drums and catching the attention of Peter Frampton who got Armageddon signed to his record label. The group's promising future was side-tracked by Relf's bad health and drug problems and only performed live twice which didn't allow their self-titled album to gain traction despite positive reviews and exposure on FM radio. The group soon collapsed and Relf died several months later leaving only their self titled album as their only recorded output.
TRACKS: 01. Buzzard 02. Silver Tightrope 03. Paths And Planes And Future Gains 04. Last Stand Before 05. Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun a) Warning Coming On b) Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun c) Brother Ego d) Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun (Reprise)
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS - Long Train Runnin' 1970-2000 (1999)
There's little question that the four-disc box set Long Train Runnin' 1971-2000 is only for hardcore Doobie Brothers fans, since it not only spans 79 tracks, but it also contains a full disc of rarities. The sheer abundance of material makes it unnecessary for anyone that isn't already a dedicated fan, either of the Doobies or of album rock, and even those listeners may find Long Train Runnin' a little long. After all, the Doobies' hit-making years end around the end of disc two, even though a few hits spill over to the beginning of disc three. That means the first half of the box is essentially an expanded greatest hits, featuring all the '70s singles -- from "Listen to the Music" to "Dependin' on You" -- balanced by a handful of album tracks. There is some elaboration of these years on disc four, but it takes a while to get there, since disc three chronicles the '80s and beyond. In the early '80s, the Doobies had only one Top Ten hit with "Real Love" before going on hiatus. They reunited in 1989 and continued to tour and record throughout the '90s. Those two decades comprise disc three and while it has its moments, it pales considerably next to the Doobies' prime material. The rarities disc is similarly uneven, but more interesting because much of the music dates from the '70s. Also, the mix of solo songs, alternate mixes, and demos illuminates those classic years somewhat, throwing out a handful of gems along the way. It's a nice bonus for the dedicated, but they really are the only audience for this set.
CARAVAN - The World Is Yours: An Anthology 1968-1976 (2010)
Although they are intricately entwined into the DNA of that sub-genre of progressive music known as the Canterbury scene, there’s nevertheless always been something of the “bridesmaid but never the bride” syndrome about Caravan. Quite why this should be is slightly baffling given that their sound has always been on the light and accessible end of the progressive rock spectrum. Their straightforward songs and bright, unfussy noodling was the sunshine to the oft-dark complexities of their close Canterbury cousins, Soft Machine. Whereas the Softs veered far from their shared pop roots, ploughing an acerbic, often ground-breaking furrow into improvisation, jazz-rock fusion and beyond, Caravan pretty much bumbled along on their old straight track in a benign, slightly sleepy but agreeable manner. This handsomely appointed four-CD box set, whilst being skimpy on unreleased or rare material (only boasting a couple of previously-unreleased extras), offers a pleasantly winding stroll through their classic period, from which 1971’s In The Land of Grey and Pink remains their most enduring work.
All but one of its original studio tracks are presented here; filled with flutes, fuzz-pedalled organ and dreamy vocals about girls, freedom, and finding yourself, these agreeable, sun-dappled pastoral tunes are as English as Elgar. Gracefully structured long-form suites were essential ingredients in the Caravan brew, but whilst Nine Feet Underground (1971), Nothing At All (1972) Memory Lain (1973) and several other notable epics all clocked up the minutes, these were genteel, subtle undertakings rather than vulgar exhibitions of technique. Though they recruited a dedicated following it was never wide or deep enough to deliver them real commercial success. It always seemed that Caravan were only ever one album away cracking the market, but much to the frustration of the band and its supporters that happy event always eluded them. At a time when bands like ELP seemed hell-bent on world domination via bombastic rock symphonics, Caravan generally opted for a kinder, whimsical non-competitive mode of expression when soloing, and perhaps it was precisely the lack of extrovert showmanship that prevented them from attracting wider attention. Yet, as this set demonstrates, given that they sound a good deal less-arch and cliché-free than many of their more illustrious and fęted contemporaries, this was probably a good thing. A worthy introduction to a likeable but often unfairly neglected English institution. - BBC Review
ROBERT WYATT - Robert Wyatt Box Set [14 CD Box Set] (2009)
An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter. Born in Bristol, England, Wyatt came to Soft Machine during the exciting, slightly post-psychedelic Canterbury Scene of the mid-'60s that produced bands like Gong and Pink Floyd. Unlike many of the art rock bands that would come later (Jethro Tull, Yes, King Crimson), Soft Machine eschewed bloated theatrical excess, preferring a standard rock format that interpolated jazz riffing, extended soloing, and some forays into experimental noise. Wyatt, then Soft Machine's drummer, left the band during its initial wave of popularity. His solo career was built less around his abilities as a percussionist and more around his frail tenor voice, capable of breaking hearts with its falsetto range. It was not long after his first solo release, End of an Ear, that Wyatt fell from an open window during a party, fracturing his back and permanently paralyzing him from the waist down. After months of painful recuperation, Wyatt reemerged with the harrowing Rock Bottom (1974) and the bizarre Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), the former dealing explicitly with his post-accident life, the latter a series of surreal fables. And while the music on these records is trance-like and experimental, Wyatt shockingly recorded a straight version of the Monkees' "I'm a Believer" in 1974 that became a big British hit. Controversy ensued when the BBC's long-running weekly pop music program Top of the Pops refused to allow Wyatt to perform the song in his wheelchair. After a significant protest played out in the music trade papers, Wyatt did perform.
Despite his success, Wyatt remained quiet for much of the rest of the decade, breaking his silence during the punk era with a handful of singles recorded for the great English indie label Rough Trade. Again, going against audience expectations, he recorded a beautiful version of Chic's "At Last I Am Free." This signaled the start of a full-fledged career renaissance that included numerous albums and artists such as Elvis Costello writing songs for him. His albums were lush, at times almost meditative, and Wyatt's voice -- clear, emotionally charged, and always on the verge of breaking -- brought great depth and soul to songs that, if recorded by a lesser artist, would have sounded terse and tired. Always on the political left, Wyatt's radicalism increased exponentially during Margaret Thatcher's years as prime minister, as he maintained an unwavering support for Communism even as glasnost was nigh. Wyatt has comfortably worked in and out of the music business. He records when he feels like it, paints, writes, devotes time to political work, and continues to show no interest in the machinations of the music industry. He resumed recording with 1997's Shleep, for Thirsty Ear, and resumed his non-music-making activities such as painting, while supervising the remastering and reissue of his '80s catalog. In 2003, Wyatt returned to recording and released Cuckooland, a musically ambitious, loosely conceptual project that saw him collaborating with a large group of players including Annie Whitehead, Brian Eno, Gilad Atzmon, David Gilmour, Tomo Hayakawa, Karen Mantler, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Weller. In 2007, Wyatt signed with the independent Domino imprint and released Comicopera, again with a large group, but whose core group included Anja Garbarek, Orphy Robinson, Yaron Stavi, Mônica Vasconcelos, Atzmon, Chucho Merchán, Maurizio Camardi, and Alfonso Santimone, with Paul Weller once more guesting; songwriting contributions came from Wyatt's companion, poet Alfie Benge, Garbarek, and Eno. After a three-year hiatus from recording, he cut ...For the Ghosts Within, also for Domino -- with the Sigamos String Quartet led by Rod Stephens, and Atzmon. It was released in 2010. In 2013, Cuneiform Records issued '68, a four-song set of Wyatt tracks that included two demos that had never been heard before with two other pieces that were later appended to appear on official recordings.
This very special box set comprises all of Robert Wyatt's 9 solo albums to date plus the eps set.
JIMI HENDRIX & LITTLE RICHARD - Friends From The Beginning (1972)
Friends from the Beginning – Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix is an album with songs purportedly recorded by Little Richard between 1964 and its 1972 release date. This '72 release on a small label, Ala, featured long, stereo versions of tracks originally released Vee jay - particularly important were the slow blues from fats Domino, "Goin' Home Tomorrow" (aka "Goin' Home"), featuring Don and Dewey, with Don on electric violin!; and "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy", the best cover" ofthis legendary number, originated by the man who urged Little Richard to contact his label, Specialty Records. These two tunes, along with "Hound Dog", "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "Money Honey", and "Goodnight, Irene", featured Don and Dewey, who often gigged with a guy mnamed Maurice James, who also played fill-in Upsetter for Richard's band! Jimi sname may not be found in the company files for the June 30, 1964 session in Los Angeles, but the "evidence" is on the side of...yes, Jimi's here. And he can be *heard*! (Listen to the high notes on guitar on "Tomorrow"). The reamining tracks were, strangely, recently recorded tracks for Reprise records, which came out in 2005, under different songtitles, and in two cases, markedly different mixes (on instrumentals), and in another take on Hank Williams' "Why Don't You Love Me?".
THE DOORS - Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 (2018)
The Doors are without a doubt one of the most unique and important Rock bands to emerge from 1960s. A time of change in America, the anti-Vietnam war movement was only part the story. Essentially, the music of the time encapsulates the feeling and emotion of the country, and The Doors were right at the forefront of it all. One part Blues, another part Jazz, and full of unpredictable Rock-n-Roll, The Doors sound was all their own. Unfortunately Lead Vocalist/Lyricist Jim Morrison’s addictions took over his life, and thus would lead to the demise of The Doors’ success. Yes, the talents and vision of Ray Manzarek (keyboards, vocals), John Densmore (drums), and Robby Krieger (lead guitar, vocals) would keep the band going strong, but following the untimely passing of Morrison in 1971, at only 27 years of age, things would never be the same for The Doors.
Of course it was a tragic loss for the music world to find Morrison gone in his prime, and the future was looking up for he and The Doors despite his strle with addiction and legal issues. The band had just released an epic comeback record in the form of L.A. Woman months before Morrison’s passing. An album that saw the band clicking once again musically, who knows what would have been, had Morrison not passed. In spite of Morrison’s legal troubles in the year prior to his death, 1970, the band continued to tour. Unsure what the future held, August 29th of 1970 would become a bold marker in the band’s history, it would be the very last time they would perform live with Morrison. There final filmed show together would be held at The Isle Of Wight Festival off the south coast of England. Really taking place on August 30th, because the band hit the stage at 2 AM the next morning, it would be a performance those in attendance would never forget. Where has that footage been all these years? Would it ever be released to fans? Well, maybe the fact that there was minimal lighting due to communication error that the footage has never been released. In fact, the band performed with a singular red spotlight.
SANDY DENNY - The North Star Grassman and The Ravens (1971) [Deluxe Edition, 2011]
One could argue Sandy Denny left Fairport Convention at just the right time, her final album with the group, 1969's Liege & Lief, was both a masterpiece and a millstone, a brilliant work they would never top, but her instincts were not as keen in terms of launching her solo career. Denny not unreasonably wanted a showcase for her own songwriting, but after leaving Fairport she opted to join Fotheringay, a talented folk-rock band but one that was neither as interesting nor as visionary as Fairport. Fotheringay splintered during the recording of their second LP, and Denny seemed to still be finding her footing as she set out to make her first solo album. The North Star Grassman and the Ravens was co-produced by Denny, fellow Fairport alumnus Richard Thompson and John Wood, and the interplay between Denny's vocals and Thompson's understated but striking lead guitar work is one of the best things about the record. With a gifted crew of U.K. folk-rockers backing her up, the sessions confirmed that Denny was still one of the most gifted and thoughtful vocalists to emerge from the British folk community, and she was also a talent to be reckoned with as a songwriter: "John the Gun," "Late November, and the title tune are only a little short of brilliant. But as good as the original songs were, and as compelling as Denny's vocals may have been, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens feels tentative and uneven. While Denny had the strength to do rock-oriented material, the covers of Bob Dylan's "Down in the Flood" and Brenda Lee's "Let's Jump the Broomstick" sound sloppy and meandering, and as sympathetic and expert as the production may be, the deference to Denny's vocals leaves the music a bit pale in comparison, while most of the tracks lack the personality they deserve. By any standards, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens is a fine album full of great songs and inspired vocal performances, but considering the excellence of Denny's music in Fairport Convention, it was a genuine disappointment, and seems pale in comparison to her next two solo efforts, Sandy and Like an Old-Fashioned Waltz.
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