WILD TURKEY - Battle Hymn (1971) & Turkey (1972)
Bass-player Glenn Cornick then known as Glenn Barnard, began his musical career as a member of the mid-60s outfit, Joey And The Jailbreakers. He also worked with a number of similarly underachieving outfits, such as the Vikings, Formula One, the Hobos and the Executives. Eventually he graduated into Blackpool’s John Evan’s Smash, soon to become known as Jethro Tull. Famous as much for his psychedelic costumes as his musicianship, Cornick spent three successful years with the band until quitting in 1970.
Cornick recruited Jon Blackmore (guitar), Graham Williams (lead guitar), John ‘Pugwash’ Weathers (drums, ex-Eyes Of Blue) and Gary Pickford Hopkins (guitar, vocals, ex-Eyes Of Blue) to become Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey. However, within months of the band’s first rehearsals, Williams and Weathers had both defected to Graham Bond’s group. Their replacements were Man’s original drummer, Jeff Jones, and lead guitarist Alan ‘Tweke’ Lewis. The band had also shortened its name simply to Wild Turkey by the time its debut, Battle Hymn, was released for Chrysalis Records in 1971. Reviews were good and the band seemed to be in the ascendancy as they played regularly to audiences of up to 20, 000 as support to Black Sabbath. Soon after a successful support to Jethro Tull in America, Jon Blackmore deserted the band for a writing career with the New Musical Express, and Cornick recruited former roadie Steve Gurl (keyboards) and Mick Dyche (drums). The new line up’s only single, ‘Good Old Days’, preceded the release of Turkey in 1972. However, it failed to match the impact of the debut and the band imploded.
GYPSY - Discography 1970/74
Progressive rock outfit Gypsy began its existence as the Minneapolis-based pop band the Underbeats, formed in 1964 by guitarist James Johnson, bassist Doni Larson, and drummer Tom Green. With the subsequent addition of singer/guitarist Enrico Rosenbaum, the group regularly performed throughout the Twin Cities circuit, scoring a handful of local hits including "Footstompin'," "Annie Do the Dog" and "Book of Love." Keyboardist James "Owl" Walsh was recruited after Johnson was drafted for military service in 1969; upon his discharge, Johnson returned to the Underbeats lineup, and the quintet relocated to Los Angeles soon after, where they landed a gig as the house band at the famed Whiskey-a-Go-Go. Rechristened Gypsy, they began pursuing a heavier, more complex sound inspired by the rise of British progressive rock, though often compared to the music of Santana. After replacing Green with drummer Jay Epstein, the band signed to the Metromedia label, issuing their self-titled double-album debut in 1970 and earned considerable FM airplay with the tracks "Gypsy Queen" and "Dead and Gone." Larson and Epstein exited Gypsy prior to recording the follow-up, 1971's In the Garden, cut with bassist Willie Weeks - who later resurfaced in the Doobie Brothers - and drummer Bill Lordan. Randy Cates assumed bass duties for 1972's Antithesis, Gypsy's first album for new label RCA; however, upon releasing 1973's Unlock the Gates, the group dissolved, reforming just long enough to play the Super Jam '77 concert at St. Louis' Busch Stadium. A year later Walsh formed a new Gypsy lineup, issuing The James Walsh Gypsy Band on RCA to little notice; in 1996 - once again the sole original member - he assembled another Gypsy unit, releasing 20 Years Ago Today. While Lordan went on to play with Robin Trower, Rosenbaum died September 10, 1979 after a long battle with drug abuse; he was just 36 years old.
Their eponymous first album (70) was a double LP made up of jazz, prog rock and pop elements, featuring fantastic harmonies with vocalist/keyboardist James Walsh in the lead. The more polished "In the Garden", released a year later, is in the same vein with Walsh really cooking at the keyboards. With the release of "Antithesis" (72) and "Unlock the Gates" (73), however, the band took a downslide into bubble-gum pop. Sole member of the original line-up, Walsh gathered some musicians in 1996 and tried to revive the GYPSY sound with an album called "20 Years Ago Today"; an average-to-good album mostly made up of new compositions plus a couple of nicely reworked classics.
PRISCILLA COOLIDGE - Gypsy Queen (1970)
Priscilla Coolidge (1941 – 2014) was an American recording artist and sister of singer Rita Coolidge. Coolidge was born in Lafayette, Tennessee. Between 1969 and 1979, she was married to Booker T. Jones, who produced Coolidge's first solo album, 1970's Gypsy Queen. Then the pair collaborated as a duo on three albums: 1971's Booker T. & Priscilla; 1972's Home Grown; and 1973's Chronicles, which included the song "Time", written by her sister Rita, which was allegedly "borrowed" by drummer Jim Gordon (formerly of Eric Clapton's band Derek and the Dominos and Rita's former boyfriend) and became the famous instrumental piano coda at the end of "Layla"). Jones produced Priscilla's final solo album, Flying, in 1979; their marriage ended that year. In 1981 Coolidge married TV journalist/broadcaster/reporter Ed Bradley. Her marriage to Bradley ended in divorce, and she later married Michael Seibert. In 1997, Coolidge was one of the founding members of Walela, a Native American music trio, that also included Coolidge's sister Rita, plus Priscilla's daughter Laura Satterfield. The trio released studio albums in 1997 (Walela) and 2000 (Unbearable Love), a live album and DVD (Live in Concert) in 2004 and a compilation album (The Best of Walela) in 2007. Walela means hummingbird in Cherokee. Coolidge considered this group important not only in honoring her Cherokee ancestors, but also in bringing their culture to others. Seibert and Coolidge were found dead in their home in Thousand Oaks, California. On October 2, 2014, in what the local police later described as a murder–suicide, after the couple were heard by neighbors in a heated argument. Seibert shot Priscilla in the head, and soon after killed himself.
MOTT THE HOOPLE - Mental Train: The Island Years 1969-1971 (2018)
You know Mott The Hoople... All The Young Dudes, Roll Away The Stone, All The Way From Memphis, Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll, Honaloochie Boogie... Hit singles, Top of the Pops, glam rock... right? Wrong, completely wrong. Mott effectively had a career of two halves. All of the above was the second half. Before all that, before the hits and the fame Mott were an albums band rather than a singles band. A band with an enviable reputation as a must-see band thanks to their exposive live shows, with a following who showed a devotion few bands get. But despite recording four albums for Island they couldn't translate their live drawing power into record sales (necessary in those days to make a living). Hence a temporary split in 1972, a hook-up with David Bowie and the second half. This box set neatly packages their four albums for Island in the period 1969 to 1971. Their self-titled debut showed their diverse Stones and Dylan influences, while Mad Shadows demonstrated Mott establishing an identity of their own. With sales poor (see above) Wildlife showcased guitarist Mick Ralphs' country-rock influences (just think Neil Young at his most mellow). Fearing they would soon be dropped by Island they recorded the hard-rocking take-no-prisoners Brain Capers, easily a fan's favourite from the pre-fame period. But this set is much more than their first four albums. We have more rarities and previously-unreleased tracks than you can shake a stick at. Fans thought the rarities pool was pretty much fished out... well, how wrong can you be? The unreleased material (demos, works-in-progress and alternate versions) is astonishingly good. The full take of You Really Got Me for example is a revelation - fans knew the band kept on playing after the album's fade-out (culminating in the jam fragment Wrath And Wroll) so it is great to hear the full take for the first time, hearing the band having fun and just rocking out. Mott were more than just a bunch of rockers - their ballads are just as sensitive (as evidenced on Disc 5 of this set) and would often be listened to in rapt silence. It is a shame that not much live material survives from this period in Mott's career. We do, however, have Disc 6 which is taken from two previously-available releases. We have (most of) their show at Fairfield Halls, Croydon in September 1970 (when they blew headliners Free off the stage) and a BBC In Concert show from December 1971. The BBC tracks are presented in the correct running order and so are an improvement on the previous release (Original Mixed Up Kids.) The package comes complete with a book written by Kris Needs (who ran the fan club back in the 70's) which chronicles this period in Mott's career and contains many rare/previously unseen photos. Pete Frame (who wrote the 'Rock family Trees' you may have seen) was an early champion and of the opinion that the early Mott were, on a good night, untouchable and the best live band in the world. This collection goes some way to showing why. All in all, an excellent collection and quite possibly unsurpassable.
FREDDIE MERCURY - The Solo Collection (2000)
Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. Mercury defied the conventions of a rock frontman, with his highly theatrical style influencing the artistic direction of Queen. Born in 1946 in Zanzibar to Parsi-Indian parents, he attended English-style boarding schools in India from the age of eight and returned to Zanzibar after secondary school. In 1964, his family fled the Zanzibar Revolution, moving to Middlesex, England. Having studied and written music for years, he formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Mercury wrote numerous hits for Queen, including "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Somebody to Love", "We Are the Champions", "Don't Stop Me Now", and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". His charismatic stage performances often saw him interact with the audience, as displayed at the 1985 Live Aid concert. He also led a solo career and served as a producer and guest musician for other artists. Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS. He confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease, having been diagnosed in 1987. Mercury had continued to record with Queen following his diagnosis, and he was posthumously featured on the band's final album, Made in Heaven (1995). In 1992, his tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium. As a member of Queen, Mercury was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 1990, he and the other Queen members were awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and one year after his death Mercury was awarded it individually. In 2005, Queen were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2002, Mercury ranked number 58 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. His career with Queen was dramatised in the 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
UK/European Limited Edition 10CD / 2DVD box set of Freddie Mercury - The Solo Collection. Long deleted 2000 Limited Edition box set featuring 10 CDs and 2 DVDs. This incredible package includes albums, singles, rarities and interviews on CD, The Video Collection DVD and The Untold Story documentary DVD plus a 120-page book (cannot be scanned due to book shape) featuring unpublished photographs. The whole thing comes in a deluxe 16" x 12" silver embossed slipcase hard-back book .
RUBY STARR - The First Four... (1971/77)
Ruby Starr, born Constance Henrietta Mierzwiak (1949 - 1995) was a rock singer and recording artist who attained national prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, including for her work with Black Oak Arkansas. Ruby Starr was born to parents Richard Joseph “Dick” Mierzwiak and Henrietta. Her siblings were Richard Jr., and Suzanne Bonita. Known as "Connie" to her family, Starr began performing at the age of nine, singing country music under the stage name Connie Little. Her early bands included Connie and the Blu-Beats, The Downtowners and the Blue Grange Ramblers.
She joined the band Ruby Jones in 1969. In 1971 they were signed to Curtom Records and recorded their first album, Ruby Jones. Shortly after that album's release, Black Oak Arkansas lead vocalist Jim "Dandy" Mangrum was partying after a concert in Evansville, Indiana at a club called the Golden Record, where she was performing. He asked her on the spot to join the band. At this point she assumed the stage name of Ruby Starr. Starr toured with Black Oak Arkansas for several years at the height of their success. She was featured in their 1973 Top 30 single "Jim Dandy". In 1974, she began touring on her own again as Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost (members: Gary Levin, Marius Penczner, David Mayo and Joel Williams) and released an eponymous album in 1975, on Capitol Records. Her second album, Scene Stealer, also on Capitol Records, was released in 1976. During this time she continued to open for Black Oak Arkansas and other acts such as Black Sabbath and Edgar Winter. Starr also toured with Blackfoot from 1977 to 1978. Her third and last album for Capitol, Smoky Places, was released in 1977.
By the late 1970s, Starr had made Milwaukee her home town and was a popular act in clubs in the region. By the early 1980s, Starr had formed a new band called "Grey Star" by joining with a band that performed in and around Mayville, Wisconsin called "Lucy Grey", featuring Dave "Mud Slide" Gruenewaldt on the drums. They issued several recordings which included 1981's Grey Star and 1983's Telephone Sex. Starr formed her final road band, "Henrietta Kahn", in the late 1980s. After being diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor, Starr returned home to her family in Toledo where she died at age 45. After her death, several archival releases that featured Starr were issued, including the live Black Oak Arkansas recording, Live On The King Biscuit Flower Hour 1976, and a reissue of Ruby Jones's debut album, retitled as Stone Junkie. The song "Ruby", by Raging Slab, is in memory of her.
L.A. GUNS - Checkered Past (2021)
L.A. Guns are an American glam metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1983. The lineup currently consists of Tracii Guns (lead guitar), Phil Lewis (lead vocals), Ace Von Johnson (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Johnny Martin (bass, backing vocals) and Scot Coogan (drums). The first incarnation of the group was formed by Tracii Guns and Rob Gardner in 1983 and merged with fellow Los Angeles group, Hollywood Rose, to form Guns N' Roses in March 1985. After only a brief tenure in that band, Guns reformed L.A. Guns with a new lineup, consisting of Paul Black, Mick Cripps, Robert Stoddard, and Nickey Alexander. Black would soon be replaced by former Girl singer Phil Lewis while former Faster Pussycat bassist Kelly Nickels was added to the group. Later, Alexander would be replaced by former W.A.S.P. drummer Steve Riley with this being known as the "classic lineup" of L.A. Guns. They achieved moderate chart success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, the group went through numerous lineup changes (with Riley being the most consistent member) and failed to regain mainstream attention.
Written and recorded during late 2020 and early 2021, "Checkered Past" sees Tracii Guns, Phil Lewis and company continuing with the darker lyrical tone of the preceding studio albums, "The Devil You Know" and "The Missing Peace", while incorporating their classic rock influences into the mix. Heavier songs are mixed with bluesier, boogie inducing tracks and dark, introspective ballads, often harkening back to the first three albums the band made, but also pushing the band forward.
NANCY WILSON - You and Me (2021)
Nancy Wilson is well known as Heart’s guitarist and composer of key songs like Barracuda, Magic Man and Crazy on You, but as a singer she has inevitably been in second line behind her sister Ann. Yes, Nancy released a live album under her own name -1999’s Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop - but it has taken nearly five decades for her to release her first solo studio album, You and Me. Understandably having sold over 35 million records with her elder sister as principal singer, Nancy felt a little apprehensive about stepping forward as a lead vocalist. But Ann quelled her doubts by advising her not to get anxious about pitch or perfection.“She told me ‘Just tell the story, like you’re talking, and don’t stress the details.’ That advice was the perfect perspective I took with me for making this record,” says Nancy. The result is a very touching, authentic and intimate record that finds its perfect expression in the album’s title. “Whether you’re performing onstage, or in the studio, it’s always about that relationship, and that conversation. It’s always been ‘you’ and ‘me,’ ” Nancy explains. And there could hardly be a more personal way to start the album but with the title track about her close and loving relationship with her now-deceased mother, Lois, which is reinforced by family photos and 8mm film on the accompanying video. This poignant ballad - which was co-written and recorded with her lifetime friend and collaborator Sue Ennis - is a good example of how Nancy has taken on board her sister’s advice of singing as if she was chatting with a friend, and the result is very powerful...
DION - Stomping Ground (2021)
Following Dion’s critically acclaimed Blues With Friends (2020), once again an all-star cast joins him on his new album, Stomping Ground out November 19 on Keeping the Blues Alive Records (KTBA), produced by Wayne Wood and Dion. Recorded during the pandemic, the album features guests Boz Scaggs, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen, Billy F Gibbons, Keb’ Mo’, Sonny Landreth, Joe Menza, Mike Menza, Marcia Ball, Jimmy Vivino, Rickie Lee Jones, Wayne Wood, Joe Bonamassa, and G.E. Smith. Stomping Ground also includes liner notes by Pete Townshend. With 14 tracks, mostly co-written by Dion and Mike Aquilina, Stomping Ground finds the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer in his authentic blues/rock & roll element with famed musicians joining in. A smooth, soulful vocalist, Dion allows space for guest artists to lend their unique style to each song. Their contributions ultimately serve the songs, never overpowering what are innately great tracks. Dion is the hub of this blues celebration. Dion is perhaps the only artist who has remained relevant and innovative from the 1950’s through to the present. In his teens, Dion sang on Bronx street corners and in local bars, gathering other singers, using their voices instead of instruments and in 1957 he formed Dion and The Belmonts. They created hit after hit with doo-wop and became a national sensation. Thereafter, his solo career in the 1960s, 70s and 80s produced a string of #1 hits. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, Dion helped ring in the age of rock and roll. He is cited as a major influence on such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Lou Reed and more. The Blues are Dion’s stomping ground. With influences of rock and R&B, the songs on the album are varied and interesting, from rock & roll to blues to slow burning and soulful. Stomping Ground furthers Dion’s amazing and continuing musical journey.
THE RONNIE WOOD BAND - Mr Luck - A Tribute To Jimmy Reed: Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2021)
The Ronnie Wood Band return to the blues this month with the second installment of his live album trilogy -‘Mr. Luck - A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’. The 18-track album features The Ronnie Wood Band including Mick Taylor with incredible special guests, Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall, and Paul Weller, and pays tribute to one of Ronnie’s musical heroes and major influences, the Mississippi electric blues pioneer Jimmy Reed. The album is recorded live on a memorable night at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1st, 2013. It features stunning tracks including “Good Lover,” “Ghost of A Man,” and “Shame, Shame, Shame.” With unique album artwork specially created by Ronnie, Mr. Luck will be available digitally, on CD, as a vinyl release, and as a beautiful limited-edition dual-tone smoky blue vinyl. When self-taught guitarist Eddie Taylor imparted his skills onto his friend Jimmy Reed, he surely couldn’t have imagined the effect this was to have on the Chicago blues scene. Backing up such luminaries as John Lee Hooker, he is best remembered for his work with his former student. Sweet coincidence, then, that in 1974 another Taylor, Mick, would make way for Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones, paving the way for these two friends and celebrated guitarists to work on projects ever since. The culmination of this to date is Taylor’s place in The Ronnie Wood Band at the Royal Albert Hall for 2013’s Bluesfest, where they played the now-legendary set that would come to birth to this recording. Ronnie comments: “Jimmy Reed was one of the premier influences on the Rolling Stones and all the bands that love American blues from that era until the present day. It is my honor to have the opportunity to celebrate his life and legacy with this tribute.” This album marks the second iteration in a trilogy of special and personal albums by Wood and the band, celebrating Ronnie’s musical heroes. The first album, Mad Lad explored the work of Chuck Berry as an emotional commemoration after Berry’s passing just over two years ago. Ronnie toured with Berry and was a lifelong fan.
ROD STEWART - The Tears of Hercules (2021)
At 76, Rod Stewart isn't about to let go of his rapscallion ways - at least not in song. But as he cries The Tears of Hercules on his 31st studio album, and first set of new material in three years, Stewart is both rascal and rhapsodist, taking in across its 12 songs the full measure of a life that ranges from a schoolboy doing time with "Maggie May" to a senior who's comfortably moving to the rhythm of his rock 'n' roll heart. Coproduced and mostly cowritten with longtime band member Kevin Savigar, with a kind of sterile garage-y/GarageBand sound, Hercules ticks off most of the boxes that Stewart has made his musical stocks in trade over the course of more than five decades. He kicks up a libidinous storm in tracks such as "One More Time," "Gabriella" and "Kookooaramabama" - the latter a kind of slapdash take on George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" that's as gleefully silly as its title suggests. His take on Soul Brothers Six's "Some Kind of Wonderful" is faithful and buoyant, and "Born to Boogie (A Tribute to Marc Bolan)" name-checks T. Rex's biggest hits before declaring that "when I die, I'll be rockin' up in heaven beside him." If those leave you wiping a bit of sweat off the brow, then hang on to the hanky for Hercules' second half to take care of the tears. Stewart shifts, somewhat abruptly, into sentimental territory, loving on his wife Penny Lancaster in "I Can't Imagine" and saluting his late father in the album-closing "Touchline." The title track, though written by Marc Jordan for his own version in 2004, is a Celtic-flavored stock-taking about the eternal conflict between home and wanderlust. Stewart treads, lightly, into sociopolitical terrain with "Hold On" and a cover of Johnny Cash's "These Are My People," while "Precious Memories" breaks the sobriety with some lighthearted doo-wop. The Tears of Hercules' blend and spirit certainly recalls classics such as Every Picture Tells a Story and Never a Dull Moment without replacing them or necessarily offering songs that will find a place in the upper echelon of Stewart's catalog. That's a tough task anyway, so let's be satisfied and perhaps even a little surprised by 45 or so minutes of solid listening, and revel in the fact that even this far down the road this blonde still wants to have more fun.
JOHN MAYER - John Mayer (2013)
John Mayer is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Mayer attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, but left and moved to Atlanta in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs, refining his skills and gaining a following. After his appearance at a 2001 South by Southwest Festival, he was signed to Aware Records, and eventually to Columbia Records, which released his first extended play Inside Wants Out. After making his introduction as a sensitive, acoustic-styled songwriter on 2001's Room for Squares, John Mayer steadily widened his approach over the subsequent years, encompassing everything from blues-rock to adult contemporary in the process. As adept a guitarist as a singer, Mayer gained widespread attention, spiking his songcraft with jazz chords and literate turns of phrase. The combination proved to be quite popular, as Room for Squares went triple-platinum before its follow-up release, Heavier Things, arrived in 2003 at the top of the Billboard 200. Accolades followed, including Grammys for hits like "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and "Daughters." He reached number two on the Billboard 200 with 2006's Continuum, an album that earned him further Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Mayer continued to transform his sound with each album, moving beyond the material that had launched his career and adopting elements of rock, blues, and soul. Moreover, he partnered with legends of several genres, making guest appearances on albums by Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King while touring with jazz icon Herbie Hancock. Mayer has retained enough of a pop/rock foundation to continue his reign of the charts, releasing more Top Five Billboard 200 albums, including 2009's Battle Studies, 2012's Born and Raised, and 2017's The Search for Everything; all of which has made him one of the era's most popular songwriters. In 2021, he further explored his love of classic '80s production aesthetics with Sob Rock.
Five CDs chronicle the incredible solo career of John Mayer, featuring music from the Blues, Rock and Acoustic eras of his career. The set features 4 of his legendary studio albums, each includes Bonus Tracks. Try, is Mayers Live Album, featuring performances with Steve Mayer and Pino Palladino. And a 78 page booklet with extensive Liner Notes and Photos.
JOE BONAMASSA - Time Clocks (2021)
Time Clocks is the fifteenth solo studio album by American blues rock musician Joe Bonamassa, released through J&R Adventures in North America and Provogue Records in Europe on October 29, 2021. Time Clocks slowly comes into focus after the short atmospheric instrumental "Pilgrimage" sets the stage for a moody, cinematic record. In its brief minute, Joe Bonamassa plays a fat, melodic phrase that sounds uncannily like David Gilmour, a tone and aesthetic he'll return to throughout Time Clocks. Other blues and classic rock greats are alluded to on the album – the winding riff propelling "Notches" harkens back to Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Clapton is always lurking around the corner – but at this stage of his career Bonamassa is a stylist, tying together recognizable influences into something distinctively his own. Here, he's leaning toward somber introspection, filtering his musings on life and society through a Pink Floyd prism. Listen to the title track, where the stately tempo, backing vocals and stair-stepping minor-key riff all recall Floyd, yet he adds flourishes in his arrangements and solos that steer these astral sounds right down to earth. Much of Time Clocks rambles – six of its ten songs are over six minutes, with another coming close to that mark – but the blustering "Questions and Answers" shows that this wandering provides for a more interesting listen than when Bonamassa keeps things on the straight and narrow.
GARY MOORE - 5 Album Set (2012)
Gary Moore (1952 – 2011) was a Northern Irish musician, singer and songwriter. Over the course of his career he played in various groups and performed an eclectic range of music including blues, hard rock, heavy metal, and jazz fusion. Influenced by Peter Green and Eric Clapton, Moore began his career in the late 1960s when he joined Skid Row, with whom he released two albums. After Moore left the group he joined Thin Lizzy, featuring his former Skid Row bandmate and frequent collaborator Phil Lynott. Moore began his solo career in the 1970s and achieved major success with 1978's "Parisienne Walkways", which is considered his signature song. During the 1980s, Moore transitioned into playing hard rock and heavy metal with varying degrees of international success. In 1990, he returned to his roots with Still Got the Blues, which became the most successful album of his career. Moore continued to release new music throughout his later career, collaborating with other artists from time to time. Moore died on 6 February 2011 from a heart attack while on holiday in Spain. Moore was often described as a virtuoso and has been cited as an influence by many other guitar players. He was voted one of the greatest guitarists of all time on respective lists by Total Guitar and Louder. Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof said that "without question, [Moore] was one of the great Irish bluesmen". For most of his career, Moore was heavily associated with Peter Green's famed 1959 Gibson Les Paul guitar. Later he was honoured by Gibson and Fender with several signature model guitars.
EU-only five CD set containing a quintet of albums from the late Irish guitarist: Run for Cover, After the War, Still Got the Blues, After Hours and Blues for Greeny.
GOV'T MULE - Heavy Load Blues [Deluxe Edition] (2021)
Gov't Mule (pronounced Government Mule) is an American Southern rock jam band, formed in 1994 as a side project of the Allman Brothers Band by guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody. Fans often refer to Gov't Mule simply as Mule. The band released their debut album, Gov't Mule, in 1995, and have since released an additional nine studio albums, plus numerous EPs and live releases. Gov't Mule has become a staple act at music festivals across North America, with both its members and frequent guests from other notable bands adding various funk and blues rock elements to the band's sound.
Even though you can hear the blues influence in some of their recordings, this is the first time the band has recorded (with the addition of horns on two tracks and harmonica on three tracks) what would be termed a blues album. A mix of blues covers and band originals (several which are lengthy that the band uses to explore the music), there's songs by Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and others. The original songs make a good blend of older and newer blues songs. But this isn't mere copying of blues music, the Mule puts their own stamp on these tunes, old or new. Recorded live in the studio using analog equipment, vintage guitars and amps, there's an honest feel to these tracks that shows the band are good interpreters of older blues tunes while slipping in some new material. The ten page booklet has some atmospheric photos , a track list, and recording information. The discs slip into pockets in the wallet style cardboard package which has a two panel photo of the studio.
VANDENBERG - The Complete ATCO Recordings 1982-2004 (2021)
Dutch guitarist and songwriter Adrian Vandenberg formed the band Teaser in 1977. Joining forces with lead vocalist Bert Heerink, bassist Dick Kemper, and drummer Jos Zoomer, the new band’s demo led to a worldwide deal with Atlantic Records. The band – now named band after their guitarist and songwriter – released their eponymous debut Vandenberg (CD1) via Atlantic imprint ATCO in 1982. Produced by Vandenberg and recording engineer Stuart Epps at Jimmy Page’s Sol Studios in the UK, the album featured the power ballad ‘Burning Heart’, the track making an impressive dent on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1983. The track ‘Wait’ was also issued as a single. Vandenberg became a big concert draw, with major tours supporting Ozzy Osbourne and KISS, as well as shows in Japan, where the band had grown popular enough to headline in their own right. Following hot on the heels of their debut, 1983’s Heading For A Storm (CD2) was released the following year, cementing the success of the first record. Again co-produced with Stuart Epps at Sol Studios, the singles ‘Friday Night’, ‘Waiting For The Night’ and ‘Different Worlds’ further broadened their appeal. Fans had to wait until the end of 1985 before they could hear more Vandenberg, with the release of Alibi (CD3). The biggest change for Vandenberg’s third record was the production duties were now handled by pop producer and former Golden Earring drummer, Jaap Eggermont. An accomplished and respected artist, Adrian Vandenberg also produced the album cover artwork for ‘Alibi’, ‘Heading For A Storm’ and the self-titled debut. Shortly after ‘Alibi’, Vandenberg effectively split up, with Adrian joining Whitesnake for the remainder of the 1980s. CD4 collects together the officially released rarities, including demos of ‘Back On My Feet’, ‘Ready For You’, ‘Nothing To Lose’, ‘I’m On Fire’, ‘Out In The Streets’, ‘Out Of Cash’ and ‘Help Me Thru The Night’. Also included here are both mono and stereo edits for the ‘Burning Heart’ single, plus ‘Once In A Lifetime’ (Special Mix). The set finishes with the live tracks ‘Ready For You’, ‘Lost In A City’, ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Welcome To The Club’ (both recorded in Japan), ‘Roll Through The Night’ (Live in the U.S.A.) and ‘Too Late’. The fourth CD ends with the 2004 Unplugged version ‘Burning Heart’. In 2004, Vandenberg recorded a new version of ‘Burning Heart’, included here. Thankfully, a brand new version of Vandenberg formed in 2020, releasing the 2020 album, with a line-up featuring Rainbow vocalist Ronnie Romero, with Randy van der Elsen on bass and Koen Herfst on drums. This collection is completed by an extensive, new essay from Adrian Vandenberg himself, detailing the history of the band.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN WITH THE SESSIONS BAND - Live In Dublin (2007)
Live in Dublin by Bruce Springsteen with the Seeger Sessions band documents the final show of the group's long tour in support of the album that took them across the U.S. and Europe. Along with performances from the album itself, the show is peppered with readings of Springsteen's own tunes. The deluxe double-CD contains 23 songs performed by a 17-piece band that included a full horn section and backing chorus, numerous guitars, dobro, banjo, keyboards, accordion, field drums, sousaphone, euphonium, pedal steel, fiddles, standup bass and more. We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions was recorded by a band that captured immediacy: a certain raw savoir faire and a bristling kind of joyous energy that a large group of musicians who were getting to know one another recorded at Springsteen's home studio. In this package, these songs, most of which come from out of history and time, are performed by a band that is a spit-shined, polished, and utterly prepared and professional unit. It's not surprising. Springsteen's a perfectionist anyway, and some of the rough edges left on the studio album were a surprise (a welcome one), here they've been honed and sharpened and this band could play with anybody. There is something cooler about this performance but its sheer musicality is a wonder. The horn charts are brilliant; there is room in some of these tunes - such as "Erie Canal" - for old New Orleans jazz-styled soloing and interplay; the time keeping as rhythm is captured not only by drums and bass, but by the chorus, and in lead and duet vocals. "Atlantic City" opens the show. It's radically rearranged as a monotone blues song. Other utterly reworked versions of Springsteen tunes, such as "If I Should Fall Behind" (a 19th century waltz that becomes a communal sing); a country version of "Highway Patrolman" and "Long Time Comin'" from Devils & Dust. There's an overly long, radical redo of "Open All Night" as a late-'50s rock & roll song with a very polished Andrews Sisters-styled female chorus which is joined a male one in call and response - it's like you're hearing something from Pump Boys at the Dinette. And there are more surprises with other tunes from Springsteen's past. From The Seeger Sessions material there's a new version of Blind Alfred Reed's "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live" complete with added lyrics; it's raucous and forceful. "O Mary Don't You Weep" is better than the take on the studio album. "Jacob's Ladder" (a Seeger original) is a wild gospel romp with full-on horns and popping snare. Springsteen's inventive folk song treatment of "When the Saints Go Marching In," and the rowdy gospel number "This Little Light of Mine" close the show. While there are many more notable moments here, there are three bonus tracks: a Cuban son version of "Blinded by the Light," and live versions of "Love of the Common People" and "We Shall Overcome," recorded for The Seeger Sessions but not used on the final disc. They add to the great sense of musical heritage that gave birth to the project in the first place. The latter tune is a defining moment: it's an underspoken element of surprise that closes the entire release with a moving, communal and spiritual dignity. It's also the only song here that doesn't feel like a number Springsteen has remade in his own musical image. Ultimately, this set feels not so much like a recording of the music of the "people" any longer, but more like another live - and far more musically adventurous - Bruce Springsteen record. Not that there is anything wrong with that. With Live in Dublin, something is lost as well as gained: it feels as if all of these songs - not just the ones he penned - have now become a part of Springsteen's catalog rather than a part of his repertoire.
THE MOODY BLUES - Caught Live +5 (1977)
Caught Live +5 is a live album by The Moody Blues, consisting of a 12 December 1969 live show at the Royal Albert Hall and five previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967 to 1968. The band's performance was a popular and critical success at the time. In his newspaper review of the event, music critic Jack Scott called the concert a "knockout victory for progressive pop," having a "rich, full sound that combined sensitivity with sheer popular punch." The "+5" studio tracks were re-released on their 1987 album Prelude. he 8-track tape version of this album has the distinction of being one of the few 8-tracks that is arranged exactly like the albTum, with no song breaks. While Caught Live + 5 managed to reach #26 during its American chart run, it missed the British listings completely, the first time this had occurred for The Moody Blues since their 1965 debut The Magnificent Moodies (although that album had reached number 5 on the NME album chart). This is the first Moody Blues album since Days of Future Passed not to feature cover artwork by Philip Travers. Decca Records instead used British art design group Hipgnosis.
MOUNTAIN - Greatest Hits Live (2000)
This album contains a live recording made for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio series of a concert by Mountain held at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, on November 3, 1974. In a six-minute interview conducted 25 years later especially for this release, singer/lead guitarist Leslie West recalled the show as the first American date of Mountain's reunion. (The group had disbanded in 1972 and re-formed in 1973.) It seems more likely that it was one of the band's last performances, since Mountain had recorded its comeback album Avalanche the previous winter and released it in the summer of 1974. In any case, the sound quality is terrific and the show is a lively one, with bandmembers West, singer/bassist Felix Pappalardi, drummer Corky Laing, and new rhythm guitarist David Perry energetically working their way through favorites like "Mississippi Queen," "Theme for an Imaginary Western," and "Nantucket Sleighride." Two songs written by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, the 1966 Lee Dorsey hit "Get out of My Life Woman" and an instrumental version of "It's for You," are surprise additions to a set that also includes a timely performance of "Jingle Bells" to mark the holiday season and a concluding medley of "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On." There is plenty of affection expressed in the stage remarks, but that didn't keep the band from breaking up soon after this show was recorded.
THREE DOG NIGHT - Captured Live At The Forum (1969) & Around The World With Three Dog Night (1973)
Captured Live at the Forum is the third album by American rock band Three Dog Night, released in 1969. The album was recorded at The Forum in Los Angeles. Original pressings of the album bore the headline "In front of an audience over 18,000 on September 12, 1969 in Los Angeles, Three Dog Night was Captured Live at the Forum." Future pressings would remove September 12 date, however, and lead singer Chuck Negron's autobiography Three Dog Nightmare would subsequently list the concert's performance date as July 14, 1969. According to Three Dog Nightmare, Three Dog Night opened this show in support of Steppenwolf, who were recording various shows on their 1969–70 tour for an upcoming live album (Steppenwolf Live, released 1970). Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night both recorded for the ABC/Dunhill label and shared the same production team, so it was decided to record Three Dog Night on this occasion as well, despite the band's having only released two albums to date. The choice was a fruitful one, as Captured Live at the Forum reached #6 on the Billboard album chart. All the songs featured on Captured Live at the Forum were previously issued in studio versions by Three Dog Night; specifically, "Feelin' Alright", "Eli's Coming", and "Easy to Be Hard" were included on the band's second album Suitable for Framing, and the remainder on their eponymous first album.
After six studio albums, beginning in 1969, a single "in concert" disc Captured Live at the Forum, from Los Angeles, September 12, 1969, and the first of many "greatest hits" packages (Golden Biscuits), came the superstar band's ninth album, the double-disc live album from 1973, Around the World With Three Dog Night. Recorded on the tour that supported the 1972 Seven Separate Fools LP, the record label this time gives no indication of the place or date of recording (more cryptic than 1972's Steppenwolf Live), though that album at least informed the listener it was "recorded live at various concerts during early 1970." Around the World With Three Dog Night has most of the major classics in the band's life before the release of "Shambala," "The Show Must Go On," and the group's other four final hit recordings. This is the same crew that created Captured Live at the Forum -- the same band lineup, Bill Cooper still engineering, Richard Podolor producing, even photographer Ed Caraeff's work continuing to grace the cover and gatefold. The recording is much clearer than Captured Live at the Forum, and the band is totally on. The Laura Nyro tune "Eli's Coming" is the only duplicate from the previous live LP, and along with the majority of their hits not included on the Forum live album, there's the Ted Myers/Jaiananda song "Going in Circles" from the 1972 film X, Y and Zee, as well as "Midnight Runaway," "Good Feelin' 1957," a Floyd Sneed drum solo, keyboard riffing from Jimmy Greenspoon, and the concluding number written by all seven members of the group, "Jam," which rocks, but is an odd way to end a very good LP from an important Top 40 group. By this time, Three Dog Night had become superstars, and the slick recording and performance reflects that, making the previous disc almost underground by comparison. Gabriel Mekler's production of Steppenwolf Live and Jack Richardson's brilliant presentation of The Guess Who Live at the Paramount were classic "peer" albums from this time period to go along with this effort from producer Richard Podolor. Not the definitive live disc from this group, the sublime "Celebrate" is strangely missing, it does contain 11 of their hit songs and six additional tracks. Would be nice to see it expanded to a double CD with more material and maybe some credits as to where it was recorded. There are some great photos of all of the bandmembers inside, and it does remain a snapshot of this vital hit group before they went in different directions.
THE GRAEME EDGE BAND featuring ADRIAN GURVITZ - Kick Off Your Muddy Boots (1975) & Paradise Ballroom (1977)
Graeme Edge (30 March 1941 – 11 November 2021) was an English musician, songwriter, and poet, best known as the co-founder and drummer of the English band the Moody Blues. In addition to his work with the Moody Blues, Edge worked as the bandleader of his own outfit, the Graeme Edge Band. He contributed his talents to a variety of other projects throughout his career. In 2018, Edge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Moody Blues. - RIP
A solo album from a drummer is rarely cause to celebrate, for invariably it arrives stillborn. But Kick Off Your Muddy Boots is a solo set from Moody Blues' skin basher Graeme Edge in name only, and instead is really a showcase for the Gurvitz brothers, or more precisely singer/guitarist Adrian. Edge contributed only three songs to his set; the dreamy "Lost in Space," the introspective "Have You Ever Wondered," and dramatic "Somethin' We'd Like to Say," providing very tentative links to the Blues' own sound. The rest of the album, composed by Adrian Gurvitz, goes very much its own way. The fabulously funky instrumental "The Tunnel" flies furthest from the mothership, while a guesting Ginger Baker edges Edge into the shadows on the Chicago blues spectacular "Gew Janna Woman," the set's apotheosis. "My Life's Not Wasted" is nearly as epic, meandering from funk to blues, soul to orchestral overkill in one fell swoop. Swinging from the C&W-tinged rocker "Shotgun" to the sunny California-styled "Bareback Rider," Muddy Boots treads into as many musical pastures as possible, with the bonus "We Like to Do It" (the band's 1974 single) tossing ragtime into the mix. Keyboardist Mickey Gallagher provides excellent work throughout, his lovely soundscapes and delicate melody lines providing a perfect foil to Gurvitz's soaring leads and hefty riffs. The rhythm section is strong of course, but in the end, this is Gurvitz and Gallagher's show from start to finish, and what a show it is.
Having been pushed to the periphery on his sophomore solo album, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots, Moody Blues drummer Graeme Edge wrestled back control for the follow-up, Paradise Ballroom. On Boots, singer/guitarist Adrian Gurvitz shared the limelight only with keyboardist Mickey Gallagher, leaving his own brother, bassist Paul, and his putative employer, Edge, to languish in the shadows. Now the tables were turned, as Edge insisting on co-writing all the tracks with Gurvitz (the drummer contributed only three on his debut), and promoted Paul to lead vocalist. This resulted in a much more coherent set, and a far funkier one, throwing the spotlight directly onto the rhythm section, bolstered by guesting Traffic percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah. Of course, Gurvitz's lead guitar still splays across the album, but so does a full horn section, as the set sashays around disco, reggae, Motown, funk, and soul, the upbeat songs counterbalanced by gorgeous, introspective numbers. The discofied adaptation of "Everybody Needs Somebody" is inspired, the breezy "In the Light of Night" a delight, and the funky title track a soul-filled extravaganza.
THE BEATLES - Let It Be (Super Deluxe) 
The only Beatles album to occasion negative, even hostile reviews, there are few other rock records as controversial as Let It Be. First off, several facts need to be explained: although released in May 1970, this was not their final album, but largely recorded in early 1969, way before Abbey Road. Phil Spector was enlisted in early 1970 to do some post-production work, but did not work with the band as a unit, as George Martin and Glyn Johns had on the sessions themselves; Spector's work was limited to mixing and some overdubs. And, although his use of strings has generated much criticism, by and large he left the original performances to stand as is: only "The Long and Winding Road" and (to a lesser degree) "Across the Universe" and "I Me Mine" get the wall-of-sound layers of strings and female choruses. Although most of the album, then, has a live-in-the-studio feel, the main problem was that the material wasn't uniformly strong, and that the Beatles themselves were in fairly lousy moods due to inter-group tension. All that said, the album is on the whole underrated, even discounting the fact that a sub-standard Beatles record is better than almost any other group's best work. McCartney in particular offers several gems: the gospelish "Let It Be," which has some of his best lyrics; "Get Back," one of his hardest rockers; and the melodic "The Long and Winding Road," ruined by Spector's heavy-handed overdubs (the superior string-less, choir-less version was finally released on Anthology Vol. 3). The folky "Two of Us," with John and Paul harmonizing together, was also a highlight. Most of the rest of the material, by contrast, was going through the motions to some degree, although there are some good moments of straight hard rock in "I've Got a Feeling" and "Dig a Pony." As flawed and bumpy as it is, it's an album well worth having, as when the Beatles were in top form here, they were as good as ever.
The new stereo mix of the album was guided by the original “reproduced for disc” version by Phil Spector. The Super Deluxe Edition includes 27 unreleased session recordings, a 4-track Let It Be EP, the 1969 unreleased 14-track “Get Back” stereo mix by Glyn Johns, and a 100-page hardback book with an intro by Paul McCartney, track-by-track recording information, and many unseen photos, notes, and more.
SMOKIE - Gold (2020)
UK three CD set, the only Smokie compilation you'll ever need. Formed in Bradford, Yorkshire, Smokie rose to fame in the 1970s and found chart success with their signature glam-pop sound. This career compilation includes all of the group's biggest hits including 'Living Next Door To Alice', 'It's Your Life', ' Oh Carol', 'Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone' and 'Have You Ever Seen The Rain'. Disc One covers the period of 1975-1976 including classics tracks 'Don't Play Your Rock 'N' Roll To Me' and 'If You Think You Know How To Love Me' which both peaked at #3 in the UK singles chart. Disc Two opens with Smokie's international hit 'Living Next Door To Alice' which was a #1 hit in 7 countries. Other hits included on this disc include 'Oh Carol' and 'Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone'. Disc Three concludes the set with tracks from the end of Smokie's classic era, including the singles 'Take Good Care Of My Baby', 'Little Town Flirt' and 'Jet Lagged'.
RICHIE HAVENS - Richard P. Havens 1983 (1969)
Richie Havens (1941 - 2013) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music encompassed elements of folk, soul, and rhythm and blues. He had an intense and rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), and played soulful covers of pop and folk songs. He was the opening act at Woodstock.
Richard P. Havens, 1983 is a 1969 double album set by folk rock musician Richie Havens featuring a combination of studio recordings and live material recorded in concert during July 1968. The album combined original material with several of the covers for which Havens is known. Notable songs include the singles "Stop Pushing and Pulling Me" and "Indian Rope Man", the latter of which has been multiply covered under its own name and in retooled identity as "African Herbsman." The genre-bending album was critically and commercially well-received, reaching #80 on the Billboard "Pop Albums" chart. Initially released on the Verve label, it has been reissued multiple times in various formats, including by Verve subsidiary Verver Forecast/PolyGram and Australian label Raven Records. It has also been compiled with albums Mixed Bag and Something Else Again in multi-cd set Flyin' Bird: The Verve Forecast Years on the Hip-O Select/Universal label.
COLD BLOOD - The First Four... (1969/73)
Cold Blood was one of the Bay Area's non-psychedelic contributions to pop music in the late '60s and early '70s. Their R&B-influenced combination of rock, blues, and jazz stood out from the guitar-driven acid rock bands most identified with that scene. After establishing themselves at dancehalls such as the Avalon or Bill Graham's Winterland Ballroom, Cold Blood became one of the first acts signed to Graham's Fillmore record label - which was named after another one of his venerable venues. Their 1969 self-titled debut - although somewhat contained in comparison to their live shows - is a good representation of their soulful, horn-driven funk. One of the major reasons for the band's success is the unadulterated and otherwise raw vocal style of Lydia Pense. The album features a mixture of dramatic ballads - such as the medley of "I'm a Good Woman" and "Let Me Down Easy" - as well as full-blown R&B rave-ups on the cover of Sam & Dave's "You Got Me Hummin'" or their freewheeling version of "I Just Want to Make Love To You." Keyboardist Raul Matute's contribution, "If You Will," is a perfect vehicle for Pense's vocals as it glides between licks from lead guitarist Larry Fields and the five-piece brass section. Inevitable comparisons have been made between Pense, Janis Joplin, and Lynn Hughes - of another San Fran rock and soul combo, Stoneground. However, there is a smoky scintillation to Pense's approach - particularly potent on the gospel-tinged opener, "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" - that is downplayed or altogether lacking from her contemporaries. This intangible quality would become increasingly pronounced and evident on Cold Blood's follow-up LP, the classic Sisyphus(1971). In 2001 Collectables reissued this album along with Sisyphus as part of two LPs on one CD collection. Although marred by sloppy mastering, it is recommended as the only place to hear this album in its entirety.
SIsyphus - Cold Blood's second release for Bill Graham's San Francisco label - was a shift to a more aggressive and decidedly funkier sound. Taking their cues as much from James Brown's J.B.'s as from their Bay Area contemporaries and labelmates Tower of Power, Sisyphus is a much more cohesive and concentrated effort compared to their 1969 eponymous debut. The infusion of strong original material certainly did not hurt either - as five of the disc's six tracks are credited as original band compositions. From the opening edgy/up-tempo instrumental "Shop Talk," the change in Cold Blood's direction is evident. This extended jam showcases the entire ensemble - sans vocalist Lydia Pense - including the band's latest addition, Sandy McKee (drums/percussion). The track also features notable assistance from original Santana bandmember Chepito Areas (congas/timbales). The driving rhythms are punctuated by the three-piece brass section, whose contributions are infinitely less obtrusive, especially during the dramatic segue into "Funky on My Back" - one of Cold Blood's most definitive compositions. Highlighted by Pense's dramatic and sensual vocals, the track recalls the laid-back, soulful style of their first album. Another throwback is the slightly gospel-influenced cover of "Your Good Thing" - originally performed by Stax diva Mable John -- which also features background vocals from the Pointer Sisters. The second half of Sisyphus consists of up-tempo groovers "Too Many People," "Understanding," and "I Can't Stay," which is not only the hardest-rocking track on the disc, it also features a lead vocal from percussionist McKee. The song actually comes off sounding like an early Santana cut rather than anything else on the album. This probably has to do more with the frenetically inspired fretwork of Larry Fields than the absence of Pense. In 2001 the Collectables label reissued Sisyphus - along with their first self-titled album - as part of two LPs on one CD set. Although the release is marred by sloppy mastering, it is recommended as the only place to hear much of these albums.
First Taste Of Sin - Founding guitarist Larry Field left before this album was recorded, resulting in an emphasis on keyboardist Raul Matute and sax player Danny Hull. The result is, surprisingly, somewhat tighter playing by the band, with the horn section reined in to provide percussive punches on guitar and keyboard-driven songs. The Escovedos drop in to provide Latin percussion on such funk monsters as "Down to the Bone," and the band sounds both confident and aggressive in the tightly wound rave-up of "All My Honey." The album takes an unusual turn toward soulfully bittersweet blues on "You Had to Know"; while the song takes entirely too long to resolve, it's still an admirable showcase for Lydia Pense's bruised vocals. Trumpeter Max Haskett also steps in to provide vocals on a couple tracks, but they're an unavoidable letdown after the explosive power of Pense's singing.
Thriller! - Cold Blood's fourth LP is a continuation on the brass-intensive funky R&B that drove their previous efforts. In contrast to those discs, however, there is very little in the way of original material here, the singular exception being Max Haskett's rollicking "Live Your Dream," which features the Pointer Sisters on backing vocals. This was not the first collaborative effort between the two either, as the vocal trio had also made a few notable contributions to the Sisyphus album. One of the primary distinctions between Cold Blood and their Bay Area contemporaries the Tower of Power is lead vocalist Lydia Pense. She has developed from simply belting out the blues - ŕ la Janis Joplin - to becoming an increasingly sensitive lyrical interpreter without diminishing her prowess or guttural growl. One prime example is her ease and agility on the cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" - which likewise includes some of the finest and most tasteful contributions from the horn section. The same can also be said of their cover of the Band's "Sleeping" - retaining much of the same charm as the original. Cold Blood contrasts the mellow with a few loud funkified fusion numbers, such as the lead track, "Baby I Love You," and "Kissing My Love" - which hearkens directly back to the double-jointed rhythms found in the band's eponymously titled debut album. Another highlight is Raul Matute's Hammond-organ on the classic blues "Feel So Bad" - which is similar to Ray Charles' original reading.
GRAM PARSONS - A Song For You (2017) [7CD Box Set]
American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Gram Parsons is best known for his work with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. He also popularized what he called “Cosmic American Music”, a hybrid of country, rhythm and blues, soul, folk, and rock. He recorded as a solo artist and with the International Submarine Band, the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers. His relatively short career was described by AllMusic as “enormously influential” for country and rock, “blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other.” His health deteriorated due to several years of drug abuse and he died in 1973 at the age of 26. The official cause of death was an overdose of morphine and alcohol.
Limited Edition 7CD box set featuring rare live performances of GP with the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. Also features Gram's songs performed by Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Jerry Garcia. Plus a disc of influences/original versions. Includes booklet. Disc 1. - Influences and Original Versions Disc 2 - The Byrds - Piper Club, Roma 2nd May 1968, VPRO Broadcast Disc 3. Flying Burrito Brothers - Palomino Club, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, 8th June 1969, KMET-FM Set One Disc 4. Flying Burrito Brothers - Palomino Club, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, 8th June 1969, KMET-FM Set Two Disc 5. Flying Burrito Brothers - Seattle Pop Festival, 27th July 1969, Gold Creek Park, Woodinville, Washington KOL-FM Disc 6. A Live Tribute Part One Disc 7 A Live Tribute Part Two All tracks sourced from U.S FM broadcasts.
DAVID GILMOUR - Yes, I Have Ghosts (2021)
David Gilmour is finally giving a wide release to his first new song in five years, “Yes, I Have Ghosts.” Previously, the former Pink Floyd frontman released the tune via the audiobook edition of his wife and long-time collaborator Polly Samson’s novel, A Theatre for Dreamers. Over a waltzing acoustic guitar line and harp played by Gilmour’s daughter, Romany, he sings about “specters of strangers” and fleeting faces in a crowd. “Yes, I have ghosts,” he sings, “Not all of them dead/Making dust of my dreams/Spinning round and around, around in my head.” With its folky textures and lilting melodies, the track bears strong echoes of the music of Leonard Cohen, who appears as a character in A Theatre for Dreamers. It also benefits from Romany’s backup vocals, which combine beautifully with her father’s soft crooning. Until now, the song has been available only on A Theatre for Dreamers, which is not currently available in the U.S. The book is set on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960 when Cohen visited and befriended other poets, painters and musicians. To complement Samson’s story, Gilmour also recorded more score music for the audio release.
HORSE - For Twisted Minds Only (2016)
Rise Above Relics are delighted to announced the first ever official reissue of this cult 1970 (recorded in 1969) album by UK heavies, Horse. Mixing occult imagery with heavy riffs and psychedelic twists, Horse were a proto-metal/proto prog outfit from South London, ahead of their time.
Their self-titled only album has been bootlegged countless times from scratchy sources. For Twisted Minds Only brings together the original album (currently valued at Ł400+), CD mastered and vinyl cut directly from the original production tapes and includes a 20 PAGE detailed booklet of the bands history, as well as a tasty selection of previously unheard tracks.
ABBA - Voyage (2021)
Voyage is the ninth studio album by Swedish group ABBA, released on 5 November 2021. It is the group's first album of new material in 40 years following The Visitors (1981) and contains 10 songs all composed by ABBA's songwriters, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. The album was supported by a double A-sided single release, "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down", released alongside the album announcement on 2 September 2021. A digital concert residency, also called ABBA Voyage, will take place in London beginning May of 2022.
ABBA unofficially split up in 1982 following the release of their eighth studio album, The Visitors, on 30 November 1981. Renewed interest in the band grew from the 1990s onwards following the worldwide success of their greatest hits album ABBA Gold, the ABBA-based musical Mamma Mia! and the subsequent film of the same name, and the use of their songs in some other film soundtracks such as Muriel's Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. However, the members steadfastly refused to reunite. In 2000, they reportedly turned down an offer of $1 billion to perform again. In July 2008, Björn Ulvaeus categorically stated to The Sunday Telegraph, "We will never appear on stage again. There is simply no motivation to re-group." Ulvaeus reiterated this in a 2014 interview while promoting the publication of ABBA: The Official Photo Book. On 6 June 2016, however, ABBA did informally reunite, singing "The Way Old Friends Do" at a private party in Stockholm. This led to a more formal reunion. Two years later, in April 2018, they announced they had recorded two new songs, "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down". During the album announcement live stream, ABBA also announced that a concert residency, known as ABBA Voyage, is scheduled to begin in May 2022 and last until December 2022 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
BADFINGER - Timeless: The Musical Legacy (2013)
This 16-track Badfinger compilation is mostly concerned with the band's Apple years, although a couple of later period tracks are thrown in for good measure. All digitally remastered, classic singles like "Come and Get It," "No Matter What," and "Day After Day" are all here along with songs like the early single "Maybe Tomorrow," from the group's pre-Badfinger days as the Iveys, and the 1979 post-Pete Ham reunion track "Love Is Gonna Come at Last." Their 1974 Warner Bros. albums are all but ignored except for the Ham-penned track "Dennis" from their final opus Wish You Were Here. Other compilations go into greater depth, but in terms of a good-sounding highlight reel from the legendary British rockers, Timeless is a great place to start.
Originally known as The Iveys, Badfinger were label mates of The Beatles on Apple in the late 1960s and Paul McCartney famously wrote Come And Get It for them – one of their best known songs. This new release combines two tracks licensed from Warner Music and fourteen recently remastered tracks (from 2010) for the first time. It includes the US Single Mix of Baby Blue, the track used memorably on the closing scene of the last episode of Breaking Bad.
SANTANA - Santana's Greatest Hits (1974) [+ Full Score Transcriptions, Guitar Chords in PDF
Santana's Greatest Hits is a 1974 compilation album by Santana. It offers highlights from the group's first three albums. It is the band's best-selling compilation album, selling over 7 million copies in the U.S. Three of the tracks are the edited single versions, as annotated below. This ten-song sampler presents the best of Santana, 1969-71, the period of its greatest popularity. The hits include "Black Magic Woman," "Evil Ways," "Everybody's Everything," and "Oye Como Va." But note that this is a bare minimum of prime Santana. Not only does the sampler choose from only Santana's first three albums, but it leaves out such seminal numbers as "Nobody to Depend On" and "Soul Sacrifice." Those looking for a more extensive overview should consider Viva Santana!
If you want a succinct distillation of highlights from Santana's first 3 albums, Santana, Abraxas, and Santana III, you really can't top Santana's Greatest Hits released in July of 1974. Mind you, there are a few essential tracks missing from this time period, but this best-selling compilation offers more meat than potatoes. Frankly, it's a refreshing release because it highlights only the band's best singles and that's what makes it definitive. Far too often, collections seem to miss the point: Give the people what they want. This collection most certainly delivers.
PAUL KANTNER, GRACE SLICK, DAVID FREIBERG - Baron Von Tollbooth And The Chrome Nun (1973)
Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun is a collaborative studio album by Jefferson Airplane members Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg, released in May 1973. All of the trio's then-fellow Jefferson Airplane members, John Barbata, Jack Casady, Papa John Creach, and Jorma Kaukonen, are featured on the album. Also appearing are David Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, The Pointer Sisters, and Craig Chaquico (the future lead guitarist of Jefferson Starship). The record was issued at the same time as Thirty Seconds Over Winterland. However, on most of the tracks, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead performs lead guitar and Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers performs bass. "Your Mind Has Left Your Body" was the final studio track to feature Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady until the 1989 Jefferson Airplane reunion album. The album cover was illustrated by Drew Struzan under the direction of Ernie Cefalu.
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