Various Artists – 60´s Back Beat (1985)

FrontCover1And here´s a great compilation fro, See For Miles Reords:

See for Miles Records (SFM) was a British record label which was one of the first British re-issue specialists predating the emergence of compact discs.

See for Miles reissued most of the records of many labels including Dandelion Records on CD in the 1990s. The name hints both to its co-owner Colin Miles and The Who’s “I Can See for Miles”. Miles worked for his SFM partner Mark Rye at EMI on their re-issue programme, and they reunited after Miles had established the label upon leaving EMI. The company went into administration and in 2007 the label rights were sold to Phoenix Music International. Rye then went on to form Pucka Records, GVC Records and the project as well as continuing the Magpie Direct mail order company that he had created whilst at See For Miles. (wikipedia)

SinglePack1Whoever put together this compilation must have been operating on the theory that its target audience was indiscriminately interested in rare British ’60s rock singles, whatever their style or quality. There’s no thematic coherence at the heart of these 20 tracks, licensed from EMI, except that they weren’t hits. Mostly, they didn’t deserve to be; it’s below-average pop-rock, usually (but not always) in the British Invasion style.


Highlights are provided by the Fairies’ “Don’t Mind” (which sounds like the Denny Laine-era Moody Blues), and the Toggery Five’s “I’d Much Rather Be with the Boys,” perhaps the best cover of a Jagger-Richards tune that the Stones themselves never recorded. Collectors might want to note the presence of two sides by the N’Betweens (later to evolve into Slade) and the Bunch of Fives’ “Go Home Baby,” which has ex-Pretty Thing Viv Prince on drums. (by Richie Unterberger)


In other words: a real nice trip to the very early days of British Beat !


Personnel (as far as known):

Bobby Shafto
Bobby Shafto (vocals)

The Whirlwinds:
Bernard Basso (bass)
Graham Gouldman (guitar)
Steve Jacobson (guitar, percussion)
Maurice Sperling (drums)
Malcolm Wagner (organ)

The Federals:
Tony Bolton (vocals)
Michael Bush (bass)
Brian Hawkins (guitar)
Tony Selvidge (organ)
Guy Sheppard (drums)
Frank Milne (trumpet)

The Three Quarters:
unknown musicians

Deke Arlon:
Deke Arlon: (vocals)

The N’ Betweens:
Dave Hill (guitar, vocals)
Noddy Holder (vocals, guitar)
Jimmy Lea (bass)
Don Powell (drums)
Kim Fowley (vocals on 08.)

Original Dyaks:
unknown musicians

Barry Lee Show:
Mick Dyble – Tony Dyble – Angus Jarvis – Barry Lee – Roger Reynolds

Steve Flynn:
Steve Flynn (vocals)

The Five Chesternuts:
Pete Chester (drums)
Jerald Hurst (vocals)
Kneil Johnson (bass)
Hank Marvin (guitar)
Bruce Welch (guitar)

Danny King:
Danny King (vocals)

Dean Ford And The Gaylords:
Junior Campbell (guitar)
Raymond Duffy (drums)
Pat Fairlie (guitar)
Dean Ford (vocals)
Graham Knight (bass)

The Toggery Five:
Alan Doyle (bass)
Keith Meredith (guitar),
Frank Renshaw (guitar)
Graham Smith (drums)

West Five:
Colin Charles (guitar)
Michael Snow (keyboards, vocals)

The Bunch Of Fives:
Richard Dalling (bass)
Mike Docker (vocals)
Viv Prince (drums)
Dave Stewart (piano)
Mick Wayne (guitar)

The Fairies:
John Acutt (guitar)
John ‘Twink’ Alder (drums)
John Gandy (bass)
Douggie Ord (vocals)
Mick Weaver (keyboards)

Tim Andrews & Paul Korda:
Tim “Chris” Andrews (vocals)
Paul Korda (?)

Hans Christian::
Hans Christian (Jon Anderson) (vocals)

Lemon Tree:
Derek Arnold (bass)
Mike Hopkins (guitar)
Keith Smart (drums)
Mick Taylor (vocals)
Gary Wortley (organ)

The Federals

01. Bobby Shafto: She’s My Girl (Beadle/Conrad) 2.02
02. The Whirlwinds: Look At Me (Holly/Allison/Petty) 1.56
03. The Federals: Marlena (Gaudio) 2.03
04. The Three Quarters: Little People (Rainwater/Stough) 2.15
05. Deke Arlon: Hard Times For Young Lovers (Brooks)
06. The N’ Betweens (pre-Slade): Hold Tight (Blaikley) 2.41
07. Original Dyaks: Gotta Get A Good Thing Going (Oliver/Wilson) 2.14
08. The N’ Betweens with Kim Fowley: Ugly Girl (Fowley) 2.19
09. Barry Lee Show: I Don’t Want To Love You (D. Everly/P. Everly) 3.24
10. Steve Flynn: Mr Rainbow (Hopkins/Burgess/Philwit) 2.29
11. The Five Chesternuts: Teenage Love (Rankin/Chester) 2.23
12. Danny King: Pretty Things (Stevens/Reed) 2.28
13. Dean Ford And The Gaylords: He’s A Good Face, But He’s Down And Out (Kooper/ Levine) 2.26
14. The Toggery Five: I’d Much Rather Be With The Boys (Oldham/Richards) 2.32
15. West Five: Congratulations (Jagger/Richards) 2.28
16. The Bunch Of Fives: Go Home Baby (Worm) 2.12
17. The Fairies: Don’t Mind (Hawkshawe)
18. Tim Andrews & Paul Korda: Angel Face (Korda/Andrews) 3.03
19. Hans Christian: Never My Love (Don Adrissi/Dick Adrissi) 2.21
20. Lemon Tree:  William Chalker’s Time Machine (Kefford) 2.39



Guru – Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (1993)

FrontCover1Keith Edward Elam (July 17, 1961 – April 19, 2010), better known by his stage name Guru (a backronym for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), was an American rapper and record producer. He was a member of the hip hop duo Gang Starr, along with DJ Premier. He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. placed him on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time,[3] while The Source ranked him #30 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time, saying “Guru dropped some of the most thoughtful rhymes on wax”.

Guru died on 19 April 2010 from myeloma at age 48.

Jazzmatazz Volume 1 (An Experimental Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz) is the debut solo studio album by American hip hop recording artist Guru. It was released on May 18, 1993 through Chrysalis Records. Recording sessions took place at D&D Studios in New York. Production was handled by Guru himself, who also served as executive producer together with Duff Marlowe and Patrick Moxey.

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The album combines a live jazz band performance with hip hop production and rapping. It features contributions from singers N’Dea Davenport, Carleen Anderson, Dee C Lee, French rapper MC Solaar, and musicians Simon Law, Branford Marsalis, Courtney Pine, Donald Byrd, Gary Barnacle, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronny Jordan, Roy Ayers and Zachary Breaux, which adds diversity and originality to each track and gives the album a distinct jazz feel.

Guru, quoted in the album’s liner notes, talked about his natural affinity for both jazz and rap. “Jazz’s mellow tracks, along with the hard rap beat, go hand-in-glove with my voice”, he said.

The album made it to number 94 on the Billboard 200 and number 15 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in the United States. In spite of the lagging American sales, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 was a commercial success in Europe, where jazz was much more popular in the 1990s. It peaked at No. 24 in New Zealand, No. 43 in Germany, No. 49 in Sweden, No. 58 in the UK, No. 67 in the Netherlands, and No. 139 in France. Its lead single “Trust Me” peaked at #34 on the UK Singles Chart and #105 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Its second single, “No Time to Play”, peaked at #25 in the UK. SPIN ranked the album at number 20 on their ‘The 20 Best Albums of 1993’ list.

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Though it can reasonably be argued that rap grew almost directly out of funk and its particular beat, there are a lot of overlaps with jazz, particularly the bop and post-bop eras: the uninhibited expression, the depiction of urban life, just to name two. Jazz samples have also had a large role in hip-hop, but the idea of rapping over actual live jazz wasn’t truly fully realized until Gang Starr MC Guru created and released the first in his Jazzmatazz series in 1993, with guest musicians who included saxophonist Branford Marsalis (who had previously collaborated with DJ Premier and Guru for the track “Jazz Thing” on the Mo’ Better Blues soundtrack), trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, as well as vocalist N’Dea Davenport (also of the acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar.


While Guru’s rhymes can occasionally be a little weak (“Think they won’t harm you? Well they might/And that ain’t right, but every day is like a fight” are the lines he chooses to describe kids on the subway in Brooklyn in “Transit Ride”), he delves into a variety of subject matter, from the problems of inner-city life to his own verbal prowess to self-improvement without ever sounding too repetitive, and his well-practiced flow fits well with the overall smooth, sultry, and intelligent feel of the album. From Jordan’s solo on “No Time to Play” to Ayers’ vibes expertise on “Take a Look (At Yourself)” to MC Solaar’s quick and syllabic rhymes on “Le Bien, le Mal,” Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (and what turned out to be the best of the series) is a rap album for jazz fans and a jazz album for rap fans, skillful and smart, clean when it needs to be and gritty when that’s more effective, helping to legitimize hip-hop to those who doubted it, and making for an altogether important release. (by Marisa Brown)


Carleen Anderson (vocals on 12.)
Roy Ayers (vibraslap, vibraphone on 08.)
Gary Barnacle (flute, saxophone on 10.)
Zachary Breaux (guitar on 04.)
Donald Byrd (trumpet, piano on 12.)
The Cutthroats (vocals on 10.) (track 10)
N’Dea Davenport (vocals on 03. + 09.)
Keith “GuRu” Elam (vocals)
Cary “Big Shug” Guy (vocals on 05.)
James “Lil’ Dap” Heath (drums on 06.)
Black Jack (vocals on 11.)
Simon “The Funky Ginger” Law (keyboards on 03 + 12.)
Branford Marsalis (saxophone on 04.)
Claude “MC Solaar” M’Barali (vocals on 11.)
Mickey “Mus Mus” Mosman (vocals on 11.)
DJ Jazzy Nice (scratches on 04.)
Courtney Pine (flute, saxophone on 12.)
Diane “Dee C Lee” Sealy (vocals on 05.)
Robert “Ronny Jordan” Simpson (guitar on 05.)
Lonnie Liston Smith (piano on 06.)
Christophe “Jimmy Jay” Viguier (scratches on 11.)


01. Introduction /Elam) 1.21
02. Loungin’ (featuring Donald Byrd) (Elam) 4.40
03. When You’re Near (featuring N’Dea Davenport and Simon Law) (Elam) 4.03
04. Transit Ride (featuring Branford Marsalis and Zachary Breaux) (Elam) 3.58
05. No Time To Play (featuring Dee C Lee, Ronny Jordan and Big Shug) (Elam) 4.54
06. Down The Backstreets (featuring Lonnie Liston Smith) (Elam) 4.48
07. Respectful Dedications (Elam) Guru 0.54
08. Take A Look (At Yourself) (featuring Roy Ayers) (Elam) 3.59
09. Trust Me (featuring N’Dea Davenport) (Elam) 4.28
10. Slicker Than Most (featuring Gary Barnacle and the Cutthroats) (Elam) 2.38
11. Le Bien, Le Mal (featuring MC Solaar, Black Jack and Mickey “Mus Mus”) (Elam) 3.22
12. Sights In The City (featuring Carleen Anderson, Courtney Pine and Simon Law)   (Elam /Pine) 5.10



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Ry Cooder – Bop Till You Drop (1979)

LPFrontCover1Ryland Peter Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer and record producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with John Lee Hooker, Captain Beefheart, Gordon Lightfoot, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson & the Textones (on record and film). He formed the band Little Village. He also produced the Buena Vista Social Club album (1997), which became a worldwide hit. Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

Cooder was ranked eighth on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” (David Fricke’s Picks). A 2010 ranking by Gibson placed him at number 32.

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Bop Till You Drop is Ry Cooder’s eighth album, released in 1979. The album was the first digitally recorded major-label album in popular music. Bop Till You Drop was recorded on a digital 32-track machine built by 3M.

The album consists almost entirely of covers of earlier rhythm and blues and rock and roll classics, including Elvis Presley’s “Little Sister” and the 1965 Fontella Bass-Bobby McClure hit “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing”, on which Cooder duetted with soul star Chaka Khan. Khan also performed on the only original track on the album, “Down in Hollywood”. (wikipedia)


Following his conceptual 1978 release, Jazz, Ry Cooder returned the next year with the R&B/soul-based Bop Till You Drop. The first major-label, digitally recorded album, Bop is a nice set of moderately known to obscure tunes from the ’50s and ’60s (along with a Cooder/Tim Drummond original) that doesn’t always live up to its promise. Cooder and his excellent band, which includes the rhythm section of Tim Drummond and Jim Keltner along with guitarist David Lindley, understand the material and are more than capable of laying down a decent groove, but something must have gotten lost in translation from what was played to what came across on the recording. There’s a thinness to the tracks that undermines the performances, which according to Cooder is due to the digital recording.

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If you check out the live version of Bop Till You Drop’s opener, “Little Sister,” from the No Nukes record (using the same band), you can see what surely could have been. Still, Bop is worthwhile given Cooder’s penchant for choosing great tunes, as well as the tight performances, brilliant guitar work, and a handful of great guest vocalists (including Chaka Khan). A few of the highlights include his arrangement of the early-’60s Elvis hit “Little Sister,” the soulful “The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor),” an instrumental take on Ike & Tina Turner’s “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine,” and “I Can’t Win,” featuring Cooder’s longtime cohort Bobby King on lead vocal. (by Brett Hartenbach)

Ry Cooder (guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Tim Drummond (bass)
Milt Holland (drums, percussion)
Jim Keltner (drums)
David Lindley (guitar, mandolin)
Ronnie Barron (organ on 05., guitar on 08.)
Rev. Patrick Henderson (organ on 02.)
Chaka Khan (vocals on 05. + 08.)
Bobby King (vocals on 05. + 09.)
background vocals:
Jimmy Adams – Cliff Givens – Bill Johnson – Herman Johnson – Bobby King – Randy Lorenzo – George McFadden – Simon Pico Payne – Greg Prestopino


01. Little Sister (Pomus/Shuman) 3.53
02. Go Home, Girl (Alexander) 5.14
03. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor) (Bailey) 5.33
04. I Think It’s Going To Work Out Fine (McCoy/McKinney) 4.44
05. Down in Hollywood (Cooder/Drummond) 4.20
06. Look At Granny Run Run (Ragovoy/Shuman) 3.12
07. Trouble, You Can’t Fool Me (Knight/Varnell) 4.57
08. Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing” Oliver Sain 4:08
09. I Can’t Win (Johnson/Richardson) 4.16


More from Ry Cooder:

Steve Lacy – Anthem (1990)

FrontCover1Steve Lacy (July 23, 1934 – June 4, 2004), born Steven Norman Lackritz in New York City, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer recognized as one of the important players of soprano saxophone.[1] Coming to prominence in the 1950s as a progressive dixieland musician, Lacy went on to a long and prolific career. He worked extensively in experimental jazz and to a lesser extent in free improvisation, but Lacy’s music was typically melodic and tightly-structured. Lacy also became a highly distinctive composer, with compositions often built out of little more than a single questioning phrase, repeated several times.

The music of Thelonious Monk became a permanent part of Lacy’s repertoire after a stint in the pianist’s band, with Monk’s songs appearing on virtually every Lacy album and concert program; Lacy often partnered with trombonist Roswell Rudd in exploring Monk’s work. Beyond Monk, Lacy performed the work of jazz composers such as Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Herbie Nichols; unlike many jazz musicians he rarely played standard popular or show tunes.

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Anthem is an album by Steve Lacy released on the Arista Novus label in 1990. It features five of Lacy’s compositions (and one by Jean-Jacques Avenel) with texts by Osip Mandelstam and Mary Frazee performed by Lacy, Bobby Few, Steve Potts, Jean-Jacques Avenel, John Betsh, Sam Kelly, Glenn Ferris, La Velle and Irene Aebi. (wikipedia)

On Anthem, Steve Lacy enhances his core sextet with trombone, percussion, and extra vocals, producing a wider array of sonic textures than heard on previous releases. And this comes as a bonus on top of a very strong set of Lacy compositions, the centerpiece of which is a commissioned work for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution called “Prelude and Anthem.” This jauntily angular theme unfolds into a free-form, unison improvisation, with reeds, trombone, percussion, and piano continuously overlapping in vociferous interplay (the cacophonous collaboration at once debunking ceremony and evoking the revolution’s communal spirit). Sextet regular Irene Aibei contributes her earnestly deep-throated vocals here, while also adding to the melancholic cut “The Mantle” and the enigmatic, Mingus-inspired ballad “Prayer” (dedicated to onetime Thelonious Monk sideman, the late tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse). In a livelier mode, there’s the set opener, “Number One,” a James Brown homage that dresses up the funk in a New Orleans shuffle-blues groove, with some Caribbean beats added for good measure.

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Guest percussionist Sam Kelly adds tasty accents throughout the cut, while trombonist Glen Ferris evokes the great Ellington bone players (“Tricky” Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown) with an array of growls and swoops. Mirroring this joyous beginning, the ensemble closes the album with the art-house mambo swinger “The Rent,” featuring more unison playing from the group. Special mention must also be made of bassist Jean Jacques Avenel’s mellifluous, West African-inspired number “J.J.’s Jam,” which features him on the Malinese string instrument the kora. Along with Aibei and Avenel, Lacy band regulars alto saxophonist Steve Potts and pianist Bobby Few make fine contributions throughout the recording. With more composition and performance highlights than most jazz albums ever muster, Anthem is essential listening for Lacy fans and all other adventurous listeners out there. (by Stephen Cook)

Recorded June 27–28, 1989 at Family Sound Studios, Paris/France


Irene Aebi (vocals)
Jean-Jacques Avenel (bass)
John Betsch (drums)
Glenn Ferris (trombone)
Bobby Few (piano)
Sam Kelly (percussion)
Steve Lacy (saxophone)
Steve Potts (saxophone)
La Velle (vocals)


01. Number One 9.03
02. Prayer (Lacy) 9.21
03. J. J.’s Jam (Lacy/Avenel) 6.54
04. Prelude And Anthem (Lacy/Mandelstam) 15.48
05. The Mantle (Lacy/Frazee) 9.22
06. The Rent (Lacy) 7.17




The Bee Gees – Sing And Play 16 Barry Gibbs Songs (1965)

FrontCover1The Bee Gees were a music group formed in 1958, featuring brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were especially successful as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and later as prominent performers of the disco music era in the mid- to late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the mid- to late 1970s and 1980s. The Bee Gees wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists. The Bee Gees have occasionally been referred to as The Disco Kings.

Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England until the late 1950s. There, in 1955, they formed the skiffle/rock and roll group the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in the Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island.

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After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with “Spicks and Specks” (their 12th single), they returned to the UK in January 1967, when producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience. The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (1977) was the turning point of their career, with both the film and soundtrack having a cultural impact throughout the world, enhancing the disco scene’s mainstream appeal. They won five Grammy Awards for Saturday Night Fever, including Album of the Year.

The Bee Gees have sold over 120 million records worldwide (with estimates as high as over 220 million), making them among the best-selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; the presenter of the award to “Britain’s First Family of Harmony” was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, another “family act” featuring three harmonising brothers.

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The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says, “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”[8] With nine #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 The Bee Gees are the third-most successful band in Billboard charts history behind only The Beatles and The Supremes.

Following Maurice’s sudden death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years of activity. In 2009, Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again. Robin died in May 2012, aged 62, after a prolonged period of failing health, leaving Barry as the only surviving member of the group.

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Born on the Isle of Man during the 1940s, the Gibb brothers moved to their father Hugh Gibb’s hometown of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Greater Manchester, England in 1955. They formed a skiffle/rock-and-roll group, the Rattlesnakes, which consisted of Barry on guitar and vocals, Robin and Maurice on vocals and friends Paul Frost on drums and Kenny Horrocks on tea-chest bass. In December 1957 the boys began to sing in harmony. The story is told that they were going to lip-sync to a record in the local Gaumont cinema (as other children had done on previous weeks), but as they were running to the theatre, the fragile shellac 78-RPM record broke. The brothers had to sing live, but received such a positive response from the audience that they decided to pursue a singing career. In May 1958 the Rattlesnakes disbanded when Frost and Horrocks left, so the Gibb brothers then formed Wee Johnny Hayes and the Blue Cats, with Barry as “Johnny Hayes”.

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In August 1958, the Gibb family, including older sister Lesley and infant brother Andy (born in March 1958), emigrated to Australia and settled in Redcliffe, Queensland, just north-east of Brisbane. The young brothers began performing to raise pocket money. Speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, who had hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960, introduced them to Brisbane radio-presenter jockey Bill Gates. The crowd at the speedway would throw money onto the track for the boys, who generally performed during the interval of meetings (usually on the back of a truck that drove around the track) and, in a deal with Goode, any money they collected from the crowd they were allowed to keep. Gates named the group the “BGs” (later changed to “Bee Gees”) after his, Goode’s and Barry Gibb’s initials. The name was not specifically a reference to “Brothers Gibb”, despite popular belief.

During the next few years, they began working regularly at resorts on the Queensland coast. Through his songwriting, Barry sparked the interest of Australian star Col Joye, who helped the brothers get a recording deal in 1963 with Festival Records subsidiary Leedon Records under the name “Bee Gees”. The three released two or three singles a year, while Barry supplied additional songs to other Australian artists. In 1962 the Bee Gees were chosen as the supporting act for Chubby Checker’s concert at the Sydney Stadium.

The very first single from 1963:

From 1963 to 1966, the Gibb family lived at 171 Bunnerong Road, Maroubra, in Sydney. Just prior to his death, Robin Gibb recorded the song “Sydney” about the brothers’ experience of living in that city. It was released on his posthumous album 50 St. Catherine’s Drive. The house was demolished in 2016.

A minor hit in 1965, “Wine and Women”, led to the group’s first LP, The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs. By 1966 Festival Records was, however, on the verge of dropping them from the Leedon roster because of their perceived lack of commercial success. At this time the brothers met the American-born songwriter, producer and entrepreneur Nat Kipner, who had just been appointed A&R manager of a new independent label, Spin Records. Kipner briefly took over as the group’s manager and successfully negotiated their transfer to Spin in exchange for granting Festival the Australian distribution-rights to the group’s recordings.

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Through Kipner the Bee Gees met engineer-producer, Ossie Byrne, who produced (or co-produced with Kipner) many of the earlier Spin recordings, most of which were cut at his own small, self-built St Clair Studio in the Sydney suburb of Hurstville. Byrne gave the Gibb brothers virtually unlimited access to St Clair Studio over a period of several months in mid-1966. The group later acknowledged that this enabled them to greatly improve their skills as recording artists. During this productive time they recorded a large batch of original material—including the song that became their first major hit, “Spicks and Specks” (on which Byrne played the trumpet coda)—as well as cover versions of current hits by overseas acts such as the Beatles. They regularly collaborated with other local musicians, including members of beat band Steve & The Board, led by Steve Kipner, Nat’s teenage son.

Frustrated by their lack of success, the Gibbs began their return journey to England on 4 January 1967, with Ossie Byrne travelling with them. While at sea in January 1967, the Gibbs learned that Go-Set, Australia’s most popular and influential music newspaper, had declared “Spicks and Specks” the “Best Single of the Year”.

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The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs is the debut studio album by the Bee Gees. Credited to Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees, it was released in November 1965 on the Australian Leedon label (1967’s Bee Gees’ 1st would be their international debut album). It is a compilation of most of the Gibb brothers’ singles that had been released over the previous three years in Australia, which accounts for the many different styles of music on it.

Only five new songs were recorded for the album: “I Was a Lover, a Leader of Men”, “And the Children Laughing”, “I Don’t Think It’s Funny”, “How Love Was True” and “To Be or Not to Be”. Barry had more than enough unrecorded songs for an all-new LP, but the rest of the album was instead made up of nine lesser-known singles. Bill Shepherd set the order of the songs.


Barry plays rhythm guitar, and Maurice probably plays the other guitars, like the leads in “I Was a Lover, a Leader of Men” and “How Love Was True”; whether Maurice managed to play the acoustic lead guitar in “I Don’t Think It’s Funny” or the fast piano in “To Be or Not to Be” is less certain, and the organ on “I Was a Lover, a Leader of Men” and “And the Children Laughing” is either Robin or Maurice. Though uncredited on the back of this album, it is confirmed that the Gibbs’ friend Trevor Gordon played lead guitar on “Peace of Mind”, “Wine and Women” and “Follow the Wind”. Gordon later released several recordings under the name Trevor Gordon and the Bee Gees. Gordon went on to find success with Graham Bonnet in the UK-based duo the Marbles, who had a hit with “Only One Woman” written by the Bee Gees and produced by Barry and Maurice with Robert Stigwood.

The original issue of the LP on Leedon is extremely rare. Even the 1967 reissue on the Calendar label is rarely seen in Australia. This album package was not issued elsewhere and was not issued on CD until it was released as part of a 2013 box set, Festival Album Collection: 1965-1967.

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Curiously, the “Bee Gees” are spelled with an apostrophe on the front cover, but not on the rear sleeve or labels – and unlike on any of their single releases.

Earlier tracks, like “Peace of Mind”, “Claustrophobia” and “Could It Be”, are in the beat vein that was popular throughout 1964, while later singles like “Follow the Wind” and “And the Children Laughing” reflect the more folky sounds of 1965. Of the new tracks that were recorded specifically for the album, “To Be or Not to Be” was probably the biggest departure, being a blues-based hard rocker. In the compilation Brilliant from Birth, “You Wouldn’t Know” is faded early to 2:03, losing the shouting and laughing in the longer original fade. (wikipedia)

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An Australian only release which was mainly a collection of their previous three years of singles. Fairly typical mish mash of late Fifties / early Sixties ballads. Quite folky, yet some songs, such as the opener, “I Was A Lover, A Leader Of Men”, have that grand CinemaScope baroque feel which would become a feature of the Bee Gees music. (by Silk Tork)

Yes … folky ballads and they were of course influenced by The Beatles (“Could It Be”)


Barry Gibb (vocals, guitar)
Maurice Gibb (vocals, guitar, organ.)
Robin Gibb (vocals, organ, melodica
Bruce Davis (guitar on 06. + 07.)
Trevor Gordon (guitar on 09., 11. + 14.).
Leith Ryan (guitar on 06. + 07.)
Bill Swindells (bass on 06. + 07.)
Laurie Wardman (drums 06. + 07.)

all other studio musicians are uncredited

Bee Gees09

01. I Was A Lover, A Leader Of Men 3.32
02. I Don’t Think It’s Funny 2.56
03. How Love Was True 2.19
04. To Be Or Not To Be 2.16
05. Timber! 1.48
06. Claustrophobia 2.16
07. Could It Be 2.06
08. And The Children Laughing 3.23
09. Wine And Women 2.54
10. Don’t Say Goodbye 2.25
11. Peace Of Mind 2.18
12. Take Hold Of That Star 2.43
13. You Wouldn’t Know 2.05
14. Follow The Wind 2.12

All songs written by Barry Gibb



More from The Bee Gees:

Status Quo – Picturesque Matchstickable Messages From The Status Quo (1968)


Status Quo are an English rock band that formed in 1962. The group originated as The Spectres and was founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster while they were still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.

They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock band, including “Rockin’ All Over the World”, “Whatever You Want” and “In the Army Now”. Twenty-two of these reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with “Rockin’ All Over the World”. In 1991, Status Quo received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

Status Quo appeared on the BBC’s Top of the Pops more than any other band. They have released over 100 singles and 33 albums, many of which were best-sellers. Since reaching number 5 on the UK albums chart in 1972 with Piledriver, Status Quo have achieved a career total of 25 UK top ten albums, extending all the way up to their most recent release, Backbone, in 2019.

Status Quo01

Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo is the debut studio album by the English rock band Status Quo, released in September 1968. It features several covers, including “Green Tambourine” by The Lemon Pipers.

The album’s lead single was originally intended to be “Gentleman Joe’s Sidewalk Café”, with the original Francis Rossi composition “Pictures of Matchstick Men” as the b-side, but these songs were eventually swapped round. It reached #7 in the UK, and remains the band’s only major hit single in the US, where it reached #12. It also reached #8 in Canada. A second single, Rossi’s “Black Veils of Melancholy” (with organist Roy Lynes’ non-album track “To Be Free” as the b-side), flopped and has even been called “a carbon copy of “Pictures of Matchstick Men””. The third single, “Ice in the Sun”, was written for the band by Marty Wilde and Ronnie Scott (not the jazz musician), with the Rossi/Parfitt composition “When My Mind Is Not Live” as the b-side. It reached #8 in the UK, and #29 in Canada.


The album itself was released on 27 September 1968, and failed to make the UK album charts. The band planned to release a fourth single from the album – “Technicolour Dreams” backed with the Wilde/Scott composition “Paradise Flat” – but this was withdrawn after a few days in favour of a non-album single release early the following year. The new single, Rossi and Parfitt’s “Make Me Stay a Bit Longer”, with bassist Alan Lancaster’s “Auntie Nellie” as the b-side, was released on 31 January 1969. As well as getting the “thumbs up” from a majority of the record reviewers, this single was also something of a landmark for the group, as it would be their final release to credit them as “the” Status Quo. (wikipedia)

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Status Quo’s debut album featured none of the band’s better-known boogie rock of the mid-’70s. Picturesque… is a psychedelic effort that tries to imitate the sound bands like the Bee Gees or the Beatles were doing at the moment. With this record, Status Quo surprisingly had its first (and last) hit in America, the single “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” which peaked at number 12 (it reached number seven on the British charts). Other highlights from the album are the second single, “Ice in the Sun,” and the Bee Gees cover “Spicks and Specks.” Even if this is not the most representative album from Status Quo, it is a good psychedelic pop exercise that sometimes includes very imaginative guitar phrases (“Ice in the Sun”), and some brilliantly unusual sounds (the epic “Paradise Flat”). (by Robert Aniento)

A real nice Psychedelic Pop album … and the rest is history …


John Coghlan (drums)
by Robert Aniento
Roy Lynes (organ, vocals)

Francis Rossi – lead guitar, vocals
Rick Parfitt – rhythm guitar, vocals
Alan Lancaster (bass)

Status Quo03Tracklist:
01. Black Veils Of Melancholy (Rossi) 3.13
02. When My Mind Is Not Live (Rossi/Parfitt) 2.59
03. Ice In The Sun (Wilde/Scott) 3.45
04. Elizabeth Dreams (Wilde/Scott) 2.59
05. Gentleman Joe’s Sidewalk Café (Young) 3.01
06. Paradise Flat (Wilde/Scott) 3.15
07. Technicolour Dreams (King) 3.12
08, Spicks And Specks (Gibb) 2.53
09. Sheila (Roe) 1.56
10. Sunny Cellophane Skies (Lancaster) 2.47
11. Green Tambourine (Leka/Pinz) 2.17
12. Pictures Of Matchstick Men (Rossi) 3.14



More from Status Quo:

The Rolling Stones – Flowers (1967)

FrontCover1The Rolling Stones: no introduction nessecary.

Flowers is the second compilation album by the Rolling Stones, released in the summer of 1967. The group recorded the songs at various studios dating back to 1965. Three of the songs had never been released: “My Girl”, “Ride On, Baby” and “Sittin’ on a Fence”, the first of which was recorded in May 1965 during the sessions for “Satisfaction”, and the other two of which were recorded in December 1965 during the first lot of Aftermath sessions. The rest of the album tracks either appeared as singles or had been omitted from the American versions of Aftermath and Between the Buttons.

The title refers to the album’s cover, with flower stems underneath the portrait of each of the band members. Bassist Bill Wyman claims that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards deliberately arranged the stem of Brian Jones’s flower so that it had no leaves, as a prank.[citation needed] The portraits are from the British version of Aftermath. Flowers reached number three in the US during the late summer of 1967 and was certified gold. In August 2002 it was remastered and reissued on CD and SACD digipak by ABKCO Records.

Rolling Stones01

Because of its assorted compilation, Flowers was originally disregarded by some music critics as a promotional ploy aimed at American listeners. Critic Robert Christgau, on the other hand, suggested that managers Andrew Loog Oldham and Lou Adler released the album as a “potshot at Sergeant Pepper itself, as if to say, ‘Come off this bullshit, boys. You’re only in it for the money.” He wrote in 1970 in The Village Voice:

With its dumb cover art (as bad as the Mainstream Big Brother jacket, only bad on purpose), its cheap song selection (half repeated from previous albums), and its incongruous use of the already meaningless ‘flower music’ idea […] the tendency was to half-dismiss it as another London Records exploitation. Only later did we realize how strong and unflowery the new songs were.

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Richie Unterberger gave Flowers four-and-a-half out of five stars and said that the music it compiles is exceptional enough not to be dismissed as a marketing “rip-off”: “There’s some outstanding material you can’t get anywhere else, and the album as a whole plays very well from end to end.”[5] Tom Moon gave it five stars in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) and wrote that “it holds together as one of the Stones’ best records, a concept album about the social scene that gathers around five rich young men with an appetite for sex, drugs, and gossip.” (wikipedia)


Brian Jones (guitar, keyboards, bass. koto on 10. + 11., dulcimer on 04., recorder on 01.)
Mick Jagger (vocals, percussion)
Keith Richards (guitar, bass on 01. + 03.,  background vocals)
Charlie Watts (drums, percussion)
Bill Wyman (bass, organ, percussion, background vocals)

Alternate frontcovers:

01. Ruby Tuesday (January 1967 single) 3.20
02. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow? (September 1966 single) 2.37
03. Let’s Spend The Night Together (January 1967 single) 3.40
04. Lady Jane (Aftermath LP 1966 UK) 3.12
05. Out Of Time (abridged alternate mix of Aftermath UK, 1966) 3.45
06. My Girl (recorded May 1965, with strings added in autumn 1966) 2.43
07. Back Street Girl (Between The Buttons LP UK) 3.29
08. Please Go Home  (Between The Buttons LP UK) 3.20
09. Mother’s Little Helper (Aftermath LP 1966 UK) 2.49
10. Take It Or Leave It” Aftermath (UK) 2:46
11. Ride On, Baby (recorded during the 1965 sessions for Aftermath) 2.57
12. Sittin’ On A Fence (recorded during the 1965 sessions for Aftermath) 3.04

All songs written  by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
except 06. written by by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White.



More from The Rolling Stones:

Robert Hunter – Promontory Rider – A Retrospective Collection (1982)

FrontCover1Robert C. Christie Hunter (born Robert Burns; June 23, 1941 – September 23, 2019) was an American lyricist, singer-songwriter, translator, and poet, best known for his work with the Grateful Dead. Born near San Luis Obispo, California, Hunter spent some time in his childhood in foster homes, as a result of his father’s abandoning his family, and took refuge in reading and writing. He attended the University of Connecticut for a year before returning to Palo Alto, where he became friends with Jerry Garcia. Garcia and Hunter began a collaboration that lasted through the remainder of Garcia’s life.

Garcia and others formed the Grateful Dead in 1965, and some time later began working with lyrics that Hunter had written. Garcia invited him to join the band as a lyricist, and Hunter contributed substantially to many of their albums, beginning with Aoxomoxoa in 1969. Over the years Hunter wrote lyrics to a number of the band’s signature pieces, including “Dark Star”, “Ripple”, “Truckin'”, “China Cat Sunflower”, and “Terrapin Station”. Hunter was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Grateful Dead in 1994, and is the only non-performer to be inducted as a member of a band. Upon his death, Rolling Stone described him as “one of rock’s most ambitious and dazzling lyricists” (wikipedia)

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And here´s a very nice sampler with music from Robert Hunter:

Robert Hunter’s first U.S. release in seven years was this “retrospective collection,” gathering five tracks from the 1974 Tales Of The Great Rum Runners album, one from the 1975 Tiger Rose album, three from the unreleased Alligator Moon album, two from the U.K.-only 1980 album Jack O’ Roses, and the newly recorded “Touch Of Darkness.” Most interesting was the Alligator Moon material, which found Hunter fronting the band Comfort, which played tight rock ‘n’ roll and provided a more organized musical format for Hunter’s work than he had been able to achieve on his albums so far. (by William Ruhlmann)

Such a beautiful compilation !


Robert Hunter (guitar, vocals)
Peter Albin (bass)
Rodney Albin (fiddle, vina, vocals)
Maureen Aylett (spoons, vocals)
Buddy Cage (pedal steel-guitar)
T. Will Claire (vocals)
David Freiberg (bass)
Jerry Garcia (guitar, piano, synthesizer)
Donna Godchaux (vocals)
Keith Godchaux (keyboards)
Mickey Hart (drums)
Kathleen Klein (vocals)
Larry Klein (bass)
Pat Lorenzano (drums)
Richard McNees (keyboards)
Barry Melton (guitar, harmonica)
Maureen Molle (vocals)
Kevin Morgenstern (guitar)
Markee Shubb (mandolin)
Rick Shubb (banjo)
David Torbert (bass)
The Steve Schuster Horns:
Mario Cipollina – Bruce Gapinski – John Farey – Milt Farrow – David Kessner – Ray Scott – Jeff Slattery – Randall Smith – Bill Steel – Hadi El Sadoon


01. Boys In The Bar Room (Hunter) 1.09
02. That Train Don’t Run Here Anymore (Hunter) 4.28
03. Tiger Rose (Hunter) 3.15
04. Hooker’s Ball (Hunter) 2.47
05. Standing At Your Door (Hunter) 4.29
06. Promontory Rider (Hunter) 4.50
07. Touch Of Darkness (live) (Hunter) 5.27
08. It Must Have Been The Roses (Hunter) 3.29
09. Rum Runners (Hunter) 3.00
10. Drunkard’s Carol (Hunter) 1.05
11.Lady Of Carlisle (Traditional) 4.11
12. Prodigal Town (Traditional) 1.41



More from Robert Hunter:

Robert Hunter02

Brewers Droop (featuring Mark Knopfler, Dave Edmunds) – The Booze Brothers (1989)

FrontCover1Brewers Droop was a Southern English pub rock band of the early 1970s. Though they did not chart, they are notable as an early exponent of the pub rock style, as well as for their connections with Dire Straits, as both Mark Knopfler and Pick Withers played with the group for a few months in 1973.

The band formed out of the ashes of Mahogany, a UK blues-based band that had released one self-titled album in the US for Epic Records in 1969. Mahogany’s original material was composed by the team of singer/guitarist John Mackay and keyboard player Steve Darrington; this duo helped assemble a new group in 1971 that continued playing blues-based music, and gigged extensively in the early days of the UK’s pub rock scene. The band’s name “Brewer’s Droop” is a slang expression for erectile dysfunction brought on by heavy drinking.

Signed to the UK division of RCA in 1972, at the time of their first album (Opening Time) Brewer’s Droop consisted of Ron Watts (vocals, percussion), John “Alimony Slim” Mackay (guitars, vocals), Steve Darrington (keyboards, reeds), Malcolm Barrett (bass), and Bob Walker (drums). A non-LP single, “Sweet Thing”, also appeared in 1972.

Brewers Droop01

By the following year, Barrett had been replaced by Derrick Timms on bass. This lineup amended their name to “The Droop” and with Dave Edmunds and Kingsley Ward producing, issued another non-LP single (“Louise” b/w “Caught Us Doin’ It”) in September 1973.

Throughout 1973, The Droop continued to record a proposed second album while undergoing various line-up changes. Pick Withers took over on drums for a short spell before Walker returned. Shortly thereafter, Timms left and was replaced by new bassist Steve Nachi. Around the same time, Mark Knopfler was recruited as the group’s primary guitarist, allowing Mackay to come to the fore more as a co-lead vocalist with Watts. Knopfler split his time between teaching part-time, and playing with the band.

This line-up only lasted a few months before dissolving by the end of 1973.

Brewers Droop02

Knopfler and Withers (who had not actually been in The Droop at the same time) went on to great success in the band Dire Straits. As perhaps a bit of an in-joke, the Dire Straits song “Industrial Disease” (which Knopfler wrote and sang, and Withers drummed on) mentions “Brewer’s Droop” in the context of a diagnosed malady, alongside smoker’s cough.

Watts became a successful concert promoter, while Darrington played in numerous live bands and issued the solo album London Picker in 1981.

After Knopfler’s later success with Dire Straits, the long-unreleased second Droop album was issued in 1989. It was given the title The Booze Brothers and was credited to “Brewer’s Droop featuring Mark Knopfler and Dave Edmunds”, although Knopfler only played on three of the album’s tracks, and Edmunds (as a guest musician) played on only one.

Concert AD

The Booze Brothers, featuring Mark Knopfler & Dave Edmunds, is the second album released by Brewers Droop, an English blues band. Although most of the tracks were recorded back in 1973 the album was only released in 1989 when it was discovered that the album had involved the renowned producer/rocker Dave Edmunds and the line-up had included Pick Withers and Mark Knopfler, later of Dire Straits. Ron Watts, the founder of the band, became much better known later in the ’70s as a punk rock promoter at venues such as 100 Club. Steve Darrington continued as a professional musician, appearing on over 50 albums, and is the organizer of the Swanage Blues Festival. (wikipedia)

Produced by Dave Edmunds, the material on The Booze Brothers was recorded in 1973 after a young guitarist named Mark Knopfler joined Brewers Droop. The roots of Knopfler’s innovative guitar style, perfected with Dire Straits, are quite interesting to hear, even if many of the songs themselves aren’t quite up to snuff. (by Steve Huey)

That´s not my opinion ! They played an Anglicised form of Cajun, mixed with a bluesy feeling … in other words: Brewers Droop were a real fine Pub-Rok band !


Steve Darrington (accordion, organ, saxophone, clarinet, piano, background vocals)
John “Alimony Slim” Mackay (guitar, vocals)
Steve Norchi (bass on 01., 04., 06. + 08.)
Bobby O’Walker (drums)
“Big Ron” Watts (vocals)
Dave Edmunds (harp, banjo, bass, pedal steel-guitar, background vocals on 10.)
Gerry Hogan (pedal steel-guitar on 03.)
Mark Knopfler (guitar on 01.,.04. + 06.)
Steve Norchi (bass on 01., 04., 06. + 08.)
Pick Withers (drums, percussion (on 03., + 08.)
Single Label ATracklist:
01. Where Are You Tonight (MacKay/Darrington) 4.04
02. Roller Coaster (MacKay/Watts/Darrington) 3.30
03. You Make Me Feel So Good (MacKay/Watts/Darrington) 3.39
04. My Old Lady (Nick Gravenites) 3.39
05. Sugar Baby (Lewis/McCain/Tanner) 2.35
06. Rock Steady Woman (MacKay/Watts/Darrington) 4.07
07. Louise (MacKay/Watts/Darrington) 3.20
08. What’s The Time (MacKay/Darrington) 2.25
09. Midnight Special (Smith) / Dreaming (MacKay) 9.20