Los Shakers – Same (1965)

LPFrontCover1Los Shakers were a popular rock band in 1960s and was a part of the Uruguayan Invasion in Latin America. They were heavily influenced by the look and sound of the Beatles.[1][2] In the late 1960s they would broaden and expand their musical direction before breaking up at the end of the decade.

The band was formed in 1964 in Montevideo, Uruguay by brothers, Hugo Fattoruso (lead guitar and keyboards) and Osvaldo Fattoruso (rhythm guitar), after watching the movie, A Hard Days Night, by the Beatles. They were modeled after The Beatles and even adopted similar haircuts and clothing, as can be seen in their record cover. The band sang many songs in English, despite their location, and gained their greatest popularity in Argentina.

They signed with the Odeon label of EMI in Argentina. The first single recorded as The Shakers was “Break it All”, in 1965, followed by self-titled album later that year. For obvious reasons, the band focused their attentions almost exclusively on Latin America, but did they did take one crack at the English-speaking market when they released the album Break it All, on the US-based Audio Fidelity label in 1966.

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The record (which featured re-recorded versions of many of the songs on their original LP and even a Spanish-language version of Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride”) was little more than a curiosity in America and was not a hit, but became a collector’s item decades later, as would their second album, Shakers For You (released in 1968).

Reflecting the move towards psychedelia, their music went in a new direction. Their last studio album with the original line up, La Conferencia Secreta del Toto’s Bar, released in 1968,[12] mixed psychedelic influences with candombe and some tango sounds; the album has been described as a Latin American Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. However, their recording label (EMI) did not approve of this new sound, and left them without any promotion or support; it led to the band’s split up. In 2005, the original lineup re-united, and recorded a CD Bonus Tracks and played in Argentina and Uruguay. Los Shakers would break up shortly thereafter.

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Osvaldo Fattoruso, guitarist and drummer, died on July 29, 2012 due to cancer at the age of 64.

And this is the first studio album by this Uruguayan beat band. It was released in July 1965 on the Odeon Pops label. (by wikipedia)

And we hear pretty good beat music … this time not from the Merseyside in UK, but from Uruguay … and the guys knows how to play this exciting music !

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Personnel:
Roberto “Pelín” Capobianco (bass, bandoneon, background vocals)
Hugo Fattoruso (vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica)
Osvaldo Fattoruso (guitar, vocals)
Carlos “Caio” Vila (drums, backing vocals

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Tracklist:
01. Rompan Todo (Break It All) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.30
02. Que Amor (What A Love) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 3.05
03. Nena Si, Si (Baby Yeah, Yeah) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.21
04. No Fuimos (Forgive Me) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.29
05. Corran Todos (Everybody Shake) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.14
06. Estoy Pensando (I’m Thinking) (Vila) 2.20
07. Esta Es Mi Fiesta (It’s My Party) (Gold/Gluck Jr./Weiner/Gottlieb) 2.14
08. Sigue Buscando (Keep Searching) (Shannon) 2.00
09. Para Ti Y Para Mi (For You And Me) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.15
10. Corro Por Las Calles (Shake In The Streets) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.31
11. La Larga Noche (The Longest Night) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.12
12. Nena Baila Shake (Baby Do The Shake) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.13
13. No Me Pidas Amor (Don’t Ask Me Love) (O.Fattoruso/Capobianco) 2.03
14. Dame (Give Me) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.27
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15. My Bonnie (Traditional/Sheridan) 2.00
16. Solo En Tus Ojos (Only In Your Eyes) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.15
17. Mas (More) (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.07
18. Boleto Para Pasear (Ticket To Ride) [sung in Spanish] (Lennon/McCartney) 2.13
19. Hasta Luego Cocodrilo (See You Later Alligator) (Guidry) 1.57
20. Solo Quiero Estar Contigo (I Only Want To Be With You) [sung in Spanish] (Hawker/Raymonde) 2.34
21. No Fuimos (Forgive Me) [Spanish version] (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.32
22. Nena Baila Shake (Baby Do The Shake) [Spanish version] (H.Fattoruso/O.Fattoruso) 2.18

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Beggars Opera – Get Your Dog Off Me (1973)

FrontCover1Get Your Dog off Me, the final real studio album of Scots prog band Beggars Opera, was a disappointment when it came out — and it remains one decades later. Indeed, they never captured the spirit of Act One in any of their further releases, and it’s easy to see why they called this the end of the road (although guitarist Ricky Gardiner and mellotronist Virginia Scott kept the band name going with two German albums later in the decade). The dramatics, which had been quite sly before, descend into melodrama here, and there’s a dearth of songwriting ideas (which was also true on the previous record, where the standout was a cover of “MacArthur Park”). They can still slip in a good hook here and there, and there’s no fault in the playing, with Gardiner in particular showing himself to be an excellent, thoughtful soloist. But on the evidence of the material and arrangements here, this was a band past its sell-by date. The newer harmony style — influenced by bands like the Eagles, is quite at odds with any kind of grandeur. This is really one just for the die-hard fans and obsessives. (by Chris Nickson)

And maybe I´m a die-hard fan, because this album is a pretty good one … listen to “Requiem” the titeltrack or to “Two Timing Woman”).

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Personnel:
Colin Fairlie (drums, percussion, vocals)
Ricky Gardiner (guitar, vocals)
Alan Park (keyboards, harpsichord, synthesizer)
Linnie Paterson (vocals)
Gordon Sellar (bass, vocals)
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Raymond Wilson (drums, on 01., 02., 04. 07., 08. + 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Get Your Dog Off Me (Park/Ainsworth) 3.43
02. Freestyle Ladies (Scott) 4.20
03. Open Letter (Smith) 4.34
04. Morning Day (Scott) 4.34
05. Requiem (Gardiner) 2.17
06. Classical Gas (Williams) 4.30
07. Sweet Blossom Woman (Grabham) 4.09
08. Turn Your Money Green (Park/Ainsworth) 4.08
09. La Di-Da (Park/Fairlie/Sellar/Paterson/Gardiner) 2.53
10. Working Man (Ainsworth/Sellar) 4.34
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11. Two Timing Woman (Singe A-Side, 1973) (Fairley) 3.47
12. Lady Of Hell Fire (Singe B-Side, 1973) (Park/Fairlie/Sellar/Paterson/Gardiner) 3.43

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Various Artists – Beat, Beat, Beat! Volume One – The Mersey Sound & Other Mop Top Rarities 1962 – 1963 (2001)

FrontCover1Castle Music deserves some kind of an award for their Beat, Beat, Beat series — and even more honor because it’s unique; no other label, including EMI and English Decca, would have the courage or ambition to go up through three years of the British beat and British Invasion booms, single by single, and B-sides, focused on a single label. There are about 150 minutes of eminently enjoyable, delightfully danceable British Invasion-style music on this two-CD set, filling it to overflowing, and don’t let the fact that most listeners have only heard of maybe three of the three dozen acts featured put you off. Usually, with a compilation like this, covering the complete generic output of a particular label — in this case, England’s Pye Records — for a specific period, there are lots of apologies to be made and explanations to be given about why various tracks should be tolerated. Not so here — every track on this set has value precisely as what it was in 1962-1963: eminently listenable, usually exciting and diverting rock & roll. For starters, any Dave Clark Five fans worthy of the name are probably going to have to own this set because of the two early tracks by the group, “That’s What I Said” and “I Knew It All the Time,” which open these two CDs — they’re about as good as anything else the band ever recorded, and very catchy.

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A pair of early dance cuts by the Roulettes at the outset of their career are no less compelling. Erky Grant & the Earwigs may have been a less-compelling talent, but even they had a rhythm section that could pound out a solid dance beat, and generated one solidly memorable song in “I’m a Hog for You Baby.” Nelson Keene, Bobby Shafto, and Dickie Pride, all late-’50s popsters, didn’t do a bad beat-style single in “The Kissing Had to Stop,” masquerading as the Guv’ners. Much more interesting is the harmony-based trio the Kestrels and their cover of “There’s a Place,” which attempts (successfully) to lay a more ornate and soulful vocal take on the early Lennon/McCartney original. In this company, the Searchers sound like world-class talents, but they’re not that far above, say, Danny Stormthe Viscounts (featuring future songwriter/manager Gordon Mills), who tried for a Merseybeat/harmony approach on “It’s You” and “I’ll Never Get Over You.” Johnny Sandon & the Remo Four show why both singer and band were able to endure as potential breakout talents for years on the enjoyably frantic “Lies” and the ballad “On the Horizon.” Those who are curious about the Undertakers, a top soul outfit from Liverpool who somehow never made it despite enjoying the publicly stated fandom of the Beatles, can start here, and folkish, harmony-based the Overlanders are similarly well represented. Future Graham Nash collaborator and Threshold Records artist Gregory Phillips is also here, doing the Billy J. Kramer-style “Angie,” and the disc ends with the Brian Epstein client Tommy Quickly and reliable Pye mainstays Joe Brown & the Bruvvers. Enjoyable as the first disc is, disc two is even better, showing off the label’s slightly more sophisticated later-1963 vintage efforts at emulating the Mersey sound as it became established, with serious and more compelling talents, including the Puppets (produced by Joe Meek), the Chants (superb singers who not only were based in Liverpool, but were black as well), and the Migil 4 (soon to become the Migil 5, a top bluebeat outfit).

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There are several examples of good early versions of songs that would later manifest themselves as hits in the hands of other bands, including Johnny Sandon & the Remo Four’s recording of “Magic Potion,” the Sundowners’ interpretation (complete with electric guitar) of “House of the Rising Sun,” and Pat Harris & the Blackjacks’ “Hippy Hippy Shake,” done in a high-energy Brenda Lee style. The sound is excellent throughout, giving good, solid, even pumped-up play to the bass and rhythm sections that will tell you why many of these groups came off so well when they played live. (by Bruce Eder)

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Oh boys and girls … what a great, sentimental trip in the very earlydays of British Beat …

And I will dedicate this entry to all these unknown heroes of teh times of Merseybeat:

The Roulettes – Buddy Britten & The Regents – Carter-Lewis – Joe Brown – Erkey Grant & The Eerwigs – The Guv’ners – The Kestrels – The Viscounts – Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four – The Hi-Fi’s – The Undertakers – The Overlanders – Gregory Phillips – The Bruvvers – The Puppets – The Chants – Nicky James – The Sundowners – Danny Storm & The Strollers – Pat Harris & The Blackjacks – The Migil 4 – Jeannie & The Big Guys – Dickie Rock & Miami Showband

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Tracklist:

CD 1:

Dave Clark Five feat. Mike Smith:
01. That’s What I Said (Clark/Ryan) 2.19
02. I Knew It All The Time (Murray) 2.25

The Roulettes:
03. Hully Gully Slip ‘N’ Slide (Vandyke) 2.09
04. La Bamba (Traditional) 2.31

Buddy Britten & The Regents:
05. My Pride, My Joy (Britten) 1.54

Carter-Lewis:
06. Here’s Hopin’ (Reed/Stephens) 1.59

Joe Brown:
07. What’s The Name Of The Game (Westlake/Subotsky) 2.34

Erkey Grant & The Eerwigs:
08. I Can’t Get Enough Of You (Mills)  2:22
09. I’m A Hog For You Baby (Leiber/Stoller) 2.08

The Guv’ners:
10. Lat’s Make A Habit Of This (Reed/Murray) 2.02
11. The Kissing Had To Stop (Howard/John) 2.00

The Kestrels:
12. There’s A Place (Lennon/McCartney) 2.16

The Searchers:
13. Sweets For My Sweet (Pomus/Shuman) 2.28
14. It’s All Been A Dream (Crummy) 1.50

The Viscounts:
15. It’s You (Mills/Paul/Wells) 2.11
16. I’ll Never Get Over You (Mills) 1.55

Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four:
17. Lies (Manley) 2.08
18. On The Horizon (Leiber/Stoller) 2:23

The Hi-Fi’s:
19, Take Me Or Leave Me (Bennett/Higgins) 2.01
20. I’m Struck (Bennett/Higgins) 2:51

The Undertakers:
21. (Do The) Mashed Potatoes (Rozier) 2.14
22. Everybody Loves A Lover (AdlerAllen) 2.17

The Overlanders:
23. Summer Skies & Golden Sands (Mason/Friswell/Bartholomew) 2.32
24. Call Of The Wild (Mason/Friswell/Bartholomew) 3.07

Gregory Phillips:
25. Angie (Springfield/Slater) 2.00
26. Please Believe Me (Beveridge/Oakman) 1.52

Tommy Quickly:
27. Tip Of My Tongue (Lennon/McCartney) 2.09
28. Heaven Only Knows (Rapaport/Murray) 2.21

Joe Brown & The Bruvvers;
29. Sally Ann (Klein) 1.57
30. There’s Only One Of You (Klein/Brown) 2:35

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CD 2:

The Puppets:
01. Everybody’s Talking (Cap) 2.01
02. Poison Ivy (Leiber/Stoller) 2.09

The Chants:
03. I Don’t Care (Amoo) 1.57
04. Come Go With Me (Quick) 2.32

Johnny Sandon & Remo Four:
05. Yes (Leiber/Stoller) 2.35
06. Magic Potion (Bacharach/David) 2.19

Nicky James:
07. My Colour Is Blue (James) 2.18

The Undertakers:
08. What About Us (Leiber/Stoller) 2.40
09. Money (That’s What I Want) (Bradfod/Gordy) 2.53

The Sundowners:
10. Baby, Baby (Takes) 2.12
11. House Of The Rising Sun (Traditional) 2:54

Danny Storm & The Strollers:
12. Say You Do (Storm/Pritchard) 2.10
13. Let The Sun Shine In (Barberis/Weinstein/Randazzo) 2.27

Pat Harris & The Blackjacks:
14. Hippy, Hippy Shake (Romero) 2.25
15. You Gotta See Your Mama Ev’ry Night (Rose/Conrad) 2.10

The Overlanders:
16. Movin’  (Mason/Friswell/Bartholomew) 2.31
17. Rainbow (Mason/Friswell/Bartholomew) 2.30

The Migil 4;
18. Maybe (Flynn/Madden) 2.24
19. Can’t I ? (Lovett) 2.29

The Searchers:
20. Sugar & Spice (Nightingale) 2.16
21. Saints & Searchers (Traditional) 3.18

Jeannie & The Big Guys:
22. Don’t Lie To Me (Dawson/Ford/Hiller) 2.19
23. Boys (Farrell) 2.06

Tommy Quickly & Remo Four:
24. Kiss Me Now (Martin) 1.55
25. No Other Love (Could Ever Be The Same) (Leonard) 2.00

The Chants:
26. I Could Write A Book (Rodgers/Hart) 2.02
27. A Thousand Stars (Pearson) 1.56

Dickie Rock & Miami Showband:
28. Boys (Farrell) 2.40

The Searchers:
29. Needles & Pins (Nitzsche/Bone) 2.14
30. Saturday Night Out (Anthony/Richards) 1.47

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Ca. 1963 excerpt from Mersey documentary on the music scene, featuring The Undertakers (Jackie Lomax, Chris Huston, Geoff Nugent, Brian Jones, Bugs Pemberton) at the Iron Door Club in Liverpool.

Mick Taylor – A Stone´s Throw (1999)

FrontCover1Michael Kevin Taylor (born 17 January 1949) is an English musician, best known as a former member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (1966–69) and the Rolling Stones (1969–74). He has appeared on some of the Stones’ classic albums including Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St..

Since leaving the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Taylor has worked with numerous other artists and released several solo albums. From November 2012 onwards he participated in the Stones’ 50th-Anniversary shows in London and Newark, and in the band’s 50 & Counting World Tour, which included North America, Glastonbury Festival and Hyde Park in 2013. The band decided to continue in 2014 with concerts in the UAE, Far East & Australia and Europe for the 14 On Fire tour. He was ranked 37th in Rolling Stone magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash states that Taylor had the biggest influence on him.

After spending two years as a resident of Miami, during which time he played with a band called ‘Tumbling Dice’ featuring Bobby Keys, Nicky Hopkins and others, Taylor moved back to England in the mid-1990s. He released a new album in 1998 entitled “A Stone’s Throw.” Playing at clubs and theaters as well as appearing at festivals has kept Taylor connected with an appreciative audience and fan base (by wikipedia)

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Former Stone and John Mayall alumnus cuts loose on this 1999 session in the company of English stalwarts Max Middleton and Rabbit Bundrick. Taylor is a more than capable vocalist, and his playing as always walks the fine line between blues and rock bombast. Most revealing is the laid-back “Never Fall in Love Again,” a wistful change of pace from the stronger electric side of this very rock-oriented blues album. Other highlights include “Lost in the Desert,” “Late at Night,” and “Blind Willie McTell.” (by Cub Koda)

Mick Taylor gave so much to the Rolling Stones when he was with them. Some of their most beautiful, layered music happened when he was in the band, including perhaps their greatest guitar solo track, “Time Waits for No One” on ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’. Though I love all the Stones’ stuff, there is something extra in the Mick Taylor years. Whereas after he left, the Stones developed a lean sound, with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood practicing the ancient art of weaving, Mick Taylor did his own bluesy riffs on top of Richards. At times, it borders on symphonic.

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On this solo album, Taylor has put together a solid cadre of rock and blues musicians and produced a beautiful work that can be listened to over and over. I have only had it a few days and have already listened to it three times. There really is not a weak track on the album, which leans towards a rock/blues sound that highlights Mick’s blues guitar skills. It proves to anyone who has listend to the Stones from the Taylor years that Taylor wrote a few songs that ended up being credited to the Glimmer Twins instead. Eight of the ten songs are written by Taylor himself, demonstrating his wide-ranging abilities in the songwriter department. Too bad he never got the credit (or royalties) he deserved from his contributions in the Stones.

It’s the kind of album you can listen to any time. And I disagree with some reviewers about Taylor’s voice. It’s not great, but it’s got that smoky, rough sound that works with the blues, comparable to Clapton’s. It works with the material. (by R. Morris)

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Personnel:
Robert Ahwai (guitar)
Jeff Allen (drums)
Michael Bailey (bass)
Richard Bailey (drums)
Hillary Briggs (organ, synthesizer)
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (organ)
Lisa Daniel (background vocals)
Martin Ditcham (percussion)
Kuma Harada (bass)
Andy Macintosh (saxophone)
Max Middleton (clavinet, piano)
Mick Taylor (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Secret Affair (Taylor) 5.18
02. Twisted Sister (Allen/Briggs/Taylor) 6.20
03. Never Fall in Love Again (Taylor) 4.20
04. Losing My Faith (Briggs/Taylor) 4.28
05. Morning Comes (Taylor) 3.40
06. Lost In The Desert (Taylor) 5.55
07. Blues In The Morning (Taylor) 6.33
08. Late At Night (Taylor) 6.45
09. Here Comes The Rain (Williams) 5:50
10. Blind Willie McTell (Dylan) 8.38

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John McLaughlin & Carlos Santana – Live In Chicago (1973)

FrontCover1Recorded after their collaboration, this recording has appeared under different facets (as have many of Santana’s records) sometimes as a single disc, some others as a double, covering the entire concert. The major difference in the line-up is that Billy Cobham holds the drum stool instead of Shrieve on the studio album.

As you’d expect, such an improvisational studio album could only give out an even more improvised and extended version of those songs. Indeed extended wailing soaring & searing guitar solos, extended drums and percussion duos, and many more indulgent musical traits are all part of this album. Particularly enjoyable is the Coltrane track Naima that gets a brilliant interpretation, but does indeed stray a little away from the original. All four tracks are very interesting but not fundamentally different that on the studio album.

In general the sound quality is acceptable, although I’ve heard some different quality in different versions, you can bet that some non-legit ones are most likely least likely to be proper-sounding. The opening minutes of Live Divine are not always well recorded because of the extreme dynamics of the band on stage. The Jazz-Door label (German) version (JD 1250) has a satisfactory sound and should please many fans. (by Sean Trane)

This is the edition from the legendary “Oh Boy” Label (Luxembourg/Europe)

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Personnel:
Billy Cobham (drums)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Armando Peraza (percussion)
Doug Rauch (bass)
Carlos Santana (guitar)
Larry Young (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Flame Sky (McLaughlin/Rauch/Santana) 16.02
02. Let’s Us Go Into The House Of The Lord (Smith/Sanders/Traditional) 26.02
03. The Life Divine (McLaughlin) 17.16
04. A Love Supreme (Coltrane) 19.02
05. Follow Your Heart (McLauglin) 26.50
06. Naima (Coltrane) 5.41

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Cat Stevens – Songbook (1971)

FrontCoverYusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His 1967 debut album reached the top 10 in the UK, and the album’s title song “Matthew and Son” charted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Stevens’ albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were both certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and Islamic music.

His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, and fifteen weeks at number one in the Australian ARIA Charts. He earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, and the song has been a hit for four artists.[8] His other hit songs include “Father and Son”, “Wild World”, “Peace Train”, “Moonshadow”, and “Morning Has Broken”. In 2007 he received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam, and he adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all of his guitars for charity and left his musical career in order to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He was embroiled in a long-running controversy regarding comments which he made in 1989 about the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace from two organisations founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

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In 2006, he returned to pop music – releasing his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, titled An Other Cup. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf as a mononym. In 2009, he released the album Roadsinger, and in 2014, he released the album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, and began his first US tour since 1978. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. His second North American tour since his resurgence, featuring 12 shows in intimate venues, began on 12 September 2016 (by wikipedia)

And here´s a rare songbook from his early days ,,. including all song from his albums “Mona Bone Jakon” and “Tea For The Tillerman”.:

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One of my favorite Cat Stevens song

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I got this very rare item from a serious record collector … I will call him Mister Sleeve … thanks a lot !

Steppenwolf – Fillmore West (1968)

FrontCover1This performance captures Steppenwolf at a pivotal time, early in their career, as the band was experiencing their first tastes of commercial success from the single off their debut album: the blazing biker anthem “Born To Be Wild.” They had recorded but not yet released their second album (which contained the single “Magic Carpet Ride”), and were beginning to perform the more adventurous and experimental material to be included on that album, in addition to staples from their debut LP. This is an excellent performance that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Steppenwolf headlined the Fillmore West on this night, with an early, pre-signed incarnation of Santana opening, followed by The Staple Singers. This performance captures Steppenwolf at a pivotal time, early in their career, as the band was experiencing their first tastes of commercial success from the single off their debut album: the blazing biker anthem “Born To Be Wild.” They had recorded but not yet released their second album (which contained the single “Magic Carpet Ride”), and were beginning to perform the more adventurous and experimental material to be included on that album, in addition to staples from their debut LP.

Following the introduction, the set begins with a highly expanded version of “Your Wall’s Too High,” a popular track from their first album. John Kay then proceeds to speak to the audience about the band’s experiences traveling through the United States; the monologue is evocative, and speaks volumes about the social and political climate of the times. Fans of the pre-Steppenwolf blues band the Sparrow, who were transplants from Toronto but became popular during the early Bay Area music scene, are catered to with the cover “Hoochie Coochie Man.” A strong supporter of his former bandmates, Kay clues the audience in to the other Sparrow members’ current situations following the tune. This open-minded attitude would foster many great collaborations a few years later, when many of the San Francisco bands were dissolving.

Steppenwolf01Next up is the classic “Born To Be Wild,” here expanded to over twice its original length, giving the group another chance to jam a bit before they slow things down with the introspective “Desperation.” They continue with another Sparrow-era song that closed the first Steppenwolf LP, “The Ostrich,” featuring lyrics with political commentary, a common thread that would continue in Steppenwolf’s future material. Next up is “Tighten Up Your Wig,” a song that is essentially Junior Wells’ “Messin’ With The Kid,” with new lyrics by Kay.

At this point the audience is treated to a four song sequence from the group’s yet to be released second album. This is quite interesting as it shows the group becoming more adventurous with their music, and like many bands in 1968, beginning to think of albums as a whole, rather than a collection of single songs. They close the set by going back to their blues roots with “Baby Please Don’t Go,” another song often played by the Sparrow and used as a vehicle for jamming. This leaves the audience demanding more and the band obliges with a cover of Hoyt Axton’s anti-hard drug song, “The Pusher,” to end the night.

In 1968 Steppenwolf had an undeniable flair for creating music that was heavier than the usual AM radio fare, yet transcended those limitations and became hugely popular in both AM and FM radio formats. They were highly original and were one of the pioneers of the “hard rock” that would eventually be known as “heavy metal” – a term, in fact, that was coined directly from the “heavy metal thunder” phrase in the lyrics to “Born To Be Wild.”

Indeed, a thunderous set from an accomplished, influential group. )by

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Personnel:
Jerry Edmonton (drums, background vocals)
John Kay (vocals, guitar, harmonica
Goldy McJohn (keyboards)
Michael Monarch (guitar)
Rushton Moreve (aka John Russell Morgan) (bass, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Your Wall’s Too High (Kay) 12.22
02. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 5.42
05. Born To Be Wild (Bonfire) 7.09
06. Desperation (Kay) 6.03
07. The Ostrich (Kay) 8.51
08. Tighten Up Your Wig (Kay) 3.47
09. Disappointment Number (Unknown) (Kay) 4.02
10. Lost And Found By Trial And Error (Kay) 2.22
11. Hodge Podge, Strained Through A Leslie (Kay) 9.59
12. Resurrection (Kay) 3.21
13. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 9.40
14. The Pusher (Axton) 5.47

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