Spooky Tooth – Live In Oldenburg 1973 (2015)

FrontCover1Spooky Tooth were an English rock band originally formed in Carlisle in 1967. Principally active between 1967 and 1974, the band re-formed several times in later years.

Prior to Spooky Tooth, four of the band’s five founding members had performed in the band Art (formerly known as the V.I.P.’s). Following the dissolution of Art, the members of that band’s final line-up (guitarist Luther Grosvenor, vocalist Mike Harrison, drummer Mike Kellie and bassist Greg Ridley) joined forces with American keyboardist/vocalist Gary Wright in October 1967 and formed Spooky Tooth. Wright was introduced to the members of Art by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.

The VIPs

Their debut, It’s All About, was released in June 1968 on Island Records[3] and was produced by Jimmy Miller, who was also behind the boards for Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the Rolling Stones and Blind Faith.

The second album, Spooky Two (March 1969), also produced by Miller, gained some attention in the rock press but, like the debut, failed to sell. It was the last album release by the original lineup and included their now classic version of the Larry Weiss penned “Evil Woman” and “Better by You, Better than Me”, which was covered by Judas Priest on their release Stained Class (1978).

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Ridley joined Humble Pie in 1969 and was replaced by Andy Leigh for the album Ceremony (December 1969).[3] The experimental nature of Ceremony received mixed reviews and despite the project being instigated by Gary Wright,[4] the album is considered by him to have ended the band’s career. The record is described by another as being “one of the great screw-ups in rock history”.[4] As Wright describes it, “…We did a project that wasn’t our album. It was with this French electronic music composer named Pierre Henry. We just told the label, ‘You know this is his album, not our album. We’ll play on it just like musicians.’ And then when the album was finished, they said, ‘Oh no no — it’s great. We’re gonna release this as your next album.’ We said, ‘You can’t do that. It doesn’t have anything to do with the direction of Spooky Two and it will ruin our career.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”

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Wright left the band following the release of the album. Harrison, Grosvenor and Kellie remained and recorded The Last Puff (July 1970) with members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band (guitarist Henry McCullough, keyboardist Chris Stainton and bassist Alan Spenner).[3]
Singer Mike Harrison on stage with the band in the 1970s

In the autumn of 1970 the band embarked on a European tour that was undertaken with a line-up of Harrison, Grosvenor, Kellie, keyboardist John Hawken (ex-Nashville Teens) and bassist Steve Thompson. After this, the group disbanded, though Harrison and Wright reformed Spooky Tooth in September 1972 with a different line-up.

You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw was the first album by the reunited band, released in May 1973 on Island Records. Founding guitarist Grosvenor did not rejoin the band, as he had teamed up with Mott the Hoople, adopting the stage name of Ariel Bender. Grosvenor was succeeded by Mick Jones, while founding drummer Kellie was replaced by Bryson Graham. The bassist was Ian Herbert, then Chris Stewart.

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For their next album, Witness (November 1973), original drummer Mike Kellie returned in place of Graham. Wright remained the dominant songwriter at this stage of the band’s history. But co-lead singer Harrison left following the album’s release and Mike Patto was the new vocalist, alongside Wright, when they recorded The Mirror (October 1974), which also included new bass player Val Burke and Bryson Graham back on drums. But the album’s failure led to Wright leaving once again for a solo career and the group disbanding in November 1974.

Jon Milward summarized the band in The Rolling Stone Record Guide in 1979: “If ever there was a heavy band, Spooky Tooth had to be it. Featuring two vocalists prone to blues-wrenching extremes, and an instrumental attack comprising awesomely loud keyboards and guitars, Spooky Tooth came on like an overwhelming vat of premedicated goo.” Noting their lack of commercial success, Milward concluded that the group “would remain the right band at the wrong time. (wikipedia)

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And in 2015 Island Records released a superb 9 CD Box called “The Island Years (An Anthology) 1967-1974” … Part of this box was a rare live recording from 1973:

The final disc in the set was recorded live in Oldenburg, Germany on 7 April 1973 and although it is not the original band, thus Mick Jones is on lead guitar rather than Luther Grosvenor, 3 original members of the band, Wright, Harrison and Kellie are joined by long time members Mick Jones and Chris Stewart and in just under an hour they run through 9 of Spooky Tooth’s finest, including ‘I Am The Walrus’ ‘Evil Woman’ ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘Sunshine Help Me’. The sound was captured by the Island Mobile unit and sounds wonderful. (Kevin Rathert)

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This is a recommended live album containing their very best material. I am totally impressed by their rendition of Old as I was born (From You broke my heart, so…) and Sunshine help me (from their first). The interplay between the vocals and the keyboards by Harrison and Wright sounds as pure bliss. Good old days… (by GAZHOO117)

Indeed … a great live recording … and for every first-time fan and collector of Spooky Tooth … a must have !

Recorded live at the Weser Ems Halle, Oldenburg/Germany, 7th April, 1973


Mike Harrison (vocals, keyboards)
Mick Jones (guitar)
Mike Kellie (drums, percussion)
Chris Stewart (bass)
Gary Wright (organ, vocals)


01. Waitin’ For The Wind (Grosvenor/Harrison/Wright) 4.13
02. I Am The Walrus (Lennon/McCartney) 5.53
03. The Wrong Time (Wright) 4.03
04. Cotton Growing Man (Wright) 4.22
05. Old As I Was Born (Wright) 9.28
06. Better By You, Better Than Me (Wright) 5.03
07. Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) 5.42
08. Evil Woman (Weiss) 7.21
09. Sunshine Help Me (Wright) 8.38



(I add the complete booklet from the Anthology Box as a bonus)

Greg Ridley
(23 October 1947 – 19 November 2003)

Mike Kellie
(24 March 1947, Birmingham, England -18 January 2017)

Mike Harrison
((3 September 1942 – 25 March 2018 in Carlisle)


More from Spooky Tooth:

Various Artists – 25 Hits Of The Sixties – Volume Two – Disc 3 (late 80´s)

FrontCover1Compilations of UK hits from the “roaring sixties” have been very popular for a long time … and that’s a good thing … because the “roaring sixties” were a very important phase in the history of popular music.

They can be used to get an overview of this decade.

But these are not the original recordings of the time, but cheap re-recordings with unknown studio musicians !

Unfortunately, this happens again and again … just to rake in a little money again.
So: Attention please !

This article only serves to show how the music industry wants to cheat us.

I have three more CDs from this series … I will present them here in the course of the next weeks … before I throw them all away.

But: So I have at least discovered some artists I didn’t know before, such as Clodagh Rodgers, The Bachelors and Polly Brown.

Listen to the original … they are so much better !


Many, many unknown studio musicians


01. Mike Pender´s The Searchers: Needles And Spins (Nitzsche/Bono) 2.42
02. The Foundations: Build Me Up Buttercup (d’Abo/Macaulay) 2.55
03. The Equals: Michael And The Slipper Tree (Grant/Gordon) 3.05
04. The Fortunes: The Guitar Plays (Pritchard/Baingridge) 3.41
05. Gerry & The Pacemakers: I Like It (Murray) 2.12
06. The Merseybeats: Within’ And Hopin’ (Bacharach/David) 2.40
07. Clodagh Rodgers: Shake Me, Wake Me (Young) 2.25
08. Georgie Fame: Yeh Yeh (Grant/Patrick/Hendricks) 4.04
09. The Fortunes: Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again (MacAulay/Cook/ Greenaway) 2.44
10. Herman’s Hermits: Can You Hear My Heart Beat (Carter/Lewis) 2.15
11. The Fortunes: Don’t Throw Your Love Away (Wisner/Jackson) 2.18
12. Brian Poole: Someone Someone (Petty/Graines) 3.19
13. Mike Pender´s The Searchers: Sweets For My Sweet (Shuman/Pomus) 2.18
14. P.J. Proby: Hold Me (Oppenheim/Schuster/Little) 2.37
15. Brian Poole: Candiman (Ross/Neil) 2.33
16. Gerry & The Pacemakers: Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying (G.Marsden/F.Marsden/ Chadwick/Maguire) 2.30
17. The Bachelors: Marie (Berlin) 2.18
18. Mary Hopkin: Goodbye (Lennon/McCartney) 2.14
19. Freddie & The Dreamers: I Understand (Westberry/Wilkin) 2.39
20. Petula Clark: A Sign Of The Times (Hatch/Trent) 2.56
21. Billy J. Kramer: Trains And Boats And Planes (Bacharach/David) 2.28
22. The Fortunes: You’ve Got Your Troubles (Greenaway/Cook) 3.28
23. Polly Brown: Honey Honey (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 3.11
24. Heinz: Country Boy (Goddard) 2.06
25. Georgie Fame: Rosetta (Snow) 2.53



Jerry Lee Lewis – Last Man Standing (2006)

FrontCover1Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935 – October 28, 2022) was an American pianist, singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “the Killer”, he was described as “Rock and roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.” A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. “Crazy Arms” sold 300,000 copies in the South, and his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with the major hits “Great Balls of Fire”, “Breathless”, and “High School Confidential”. His rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin once removed.

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His popularity quickly eroded following the scandal and with few exceptions such as a cover of Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say”, he did not have much chart success in the early 1960s. His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic. His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by many music journalists and fans in general as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever. In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as “Another Place, Another Time”. This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis had 30 songs reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Chart. His No. 1 country hits included “To Make Love Sweeter for You”, “There Must Be More to Love Than This”, “Would You Take Another Chance on Me”, and “Me and Bobby McGee”.

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Lewis’s successes continued throughout the decades and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace” and Mack Vickery’s “Rockin’ My Life Away”. In the 21st century, Lewis continued to tour around the world and released new albums. His 2006 album Last Man Standing was his best selling release, with over a million copies worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man in 2010, another of his best-selling albums.

Lewis had a dozen gold records in rock and country. He won four Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022.

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In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid. In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology at number 242 on their list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2004, they ranked him No. 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Lewis was the last surviving member of Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet and the album Class of ’55, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley.

Music critic Robert Christgau said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.” (wikipedia)

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Last Man Standing is the 39th studio album released by American recording artist, pianist, and rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in September 2006. The album consists of duets between Lewis and some of the biggest names in both rock and country music, past and present. The title derives from the generation of 1950s Sun Studios recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley, all of whom have died, leaving Lewis the “last man standing”. Following the success of the album, a DVD Last Man Standing Live was released featuring similar duets with famous artists.

Last Man Standing received very positive reviews from critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called the recording, “a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring” and the editorial team of the site gave it four out of five stars.[1] The same score was awarded by Gavin Edwards in Rolling Stone, praising the performance by writing, “his throat is in better shape than you might expect, most of his command now comes from the slamming, swinging passion of his barrelhouse piano”.[4] For PopMatters, Vladimir Wormwood gave the album seven out of 10, summing up his review by focusing on the Merle Haggard duet “Just Bummin’ Around”: “It is a portrait of the aging musician with the showmanship removed. Long live Jerry Lee Lewis”.(wikipedia)

L-r: Keith Allison, Nils Lofgren, Jimmy Rip, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hutch Hutchinson, Ivan Neville and Kenny Lovelace. From Last Man Standing sessions, The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, March 2005:Jerry Lee Lewis03

It often seems like there are only two ways for rock, country, and blues veterans to launch comebacks when they’re senior citizens: confront mortality head on or surround yourself with superstar guests to help carry you through a half-hearted stroll through your back catalog, scattering a few new tunes along the way. At first glance, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Last Man Standing seems to fall into both categories: the title suggests that Jerry Lee is in the mood to take a long look back, and certainly the very concept of the album — pairing Lewis with 21 other stars for a succession of duets, often on material that his guests either wrote or made famous — seems like a typical superstar duet record. But the Killer has never been predictable, and nowhere is that truer than it is here, where Jerry Lee treats Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, and 16 other stars as he treated the Nashville Teens at the Star Club in 1964 — as game amateurs who have to sprint to keep up with the master.

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This is the only guest-studded superstar album where all the guests bend to the will of the main act, who dominates the proceedings in every conceivable way. Jerry Lee doesn’t just run the guests ragged; he turns their songs inside out, too — and nowhere is that clearer than on the opening “Rock and Roll,” the Led Zeppelin classic that is now stripped of its signature riff and sounds as if it were a lost gem dug out of the Sun vaults. Far from struggling with this, Jimmy Page embraces it, following the Killer as he runs off on his own course — he turns into support, and the rest of other 20 guests follow suit (with the possible exception of Kid Rock, who sounds like the party guest who won’t go home on an otherwise strong version of “Honky Tonk Woman”).

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The label might sell Last Man Standing on the backs of the duet partners — after all, it’s awful hard to drum up interest in a record by a 71-year-old man no matter how great he is, so you need a hook like superstars — but the album by no stretch of the imagination belongs to them. This is completely Jerry Lee’s show from the second that he calls out, “It’s been a long time since I rock & rolled,” at the beginning of the record — and those are true words, since he hasn’t rocked on record in a long, long time. Ten years ago he cut the Andy Paley-produced Young Blood, but that was a typically tasteful self-conscious comeback record; it was driven as much by the producer’s conception of the artist as it was the artist himself. The opposite is true here, where the production is simple and transparent, never interfering with the performances; it has the welcome effect of making it sound like there is simply no way to tame Jerry Lee, even though he’s now in his seventies. And that doesn’t mean that this is merely a hard-rocking record, although “Rock and Roll,” “Pink Cadillac,” and “Travelin’ Band” do indeed rock harder than anything he’s done since the ’70s — so hard that they stand proudly next to his classic Sun records, even if they don’t have the unbridled fire of those peerless sides.

Merle Haggard, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis & Kid Rock:
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No, this album touches on everything that Jerry Lee has done musically through his career, as the furious rock & roll is balanced by pure hardcore country, piledriving boogie-woogie, rambling blues, old-timey folk songs, and, especially, reinterpretations of familiar songs that are so thoroughly reimagined they seem like they were written specifically for Jerry Lee. And he does this the same way he’s always done it: by singing and playing the hell out of the songs. His phrasing remains original and unpredictable, twisting phrases in unexpected ways — and, yes, throwing his name into the mix frequently, too — and his piano is equally vigorous and vital. This is a record that stays true to his music, and in doing so, it’s not so much a comeback as it is a summation: a final testament from a true American original, one that explains exactly why he’s important. But that makes Last Man Standing sound too serious, as if it were one of those self-consciously morbid Johnny Cash records — no, this is a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


B.B. Cunningham (bass on 01., 06.. 11., 19.)
Robert Hall (drums on 01., 06., 19.)
Hutch Hutchinson (bass on 02.- 05., 07., – 10., 14. -17., 20. + 21.)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 05.. 07. – 10.,13. – 17., 20. + 21. percussion on 06., 07.)
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals, keyboards)
Ken Lovelace (guitar on 02., 03.. 04., 06., 08. – 11., 13. – 16.,19., 20. + 21., fiddle on 20.)
Jimmy Rip (guitar on 01. – 11, 13. – 21.)
Keith Allison (guitar on 09.)
Delaney Bramlett (vocals on 18.)
Eric Clapton (lead guitar on 16.)
John Fogerty (vocals on 07.)
Buddy Guy (vocals on 19.)
Merle Haggard (vocals on 10.)
Don Henley (vocals on 20.)
Mick Jagger (vocals on 04.)
George Jones (vocals, bass on 13.)
B.B. King (lead guitar on 02.)
Jimmy Page (lead guitar on 01.)
Toby Keith (vocals on 15.)
Kris Kristofferson (vocals on 21.)
Greg Lieze (pedal steel-guitar on 08., 15. + 21.)
Nils Lofgren (pedal steel-guitar on 09.)
Paddy Maloney (pipe, whistle on 20.)
Willie Nelson (vocals on 14.)
Ivan Neville (organ on 05., 09.)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica on 12.)
Keith Richards (vocals, lead guitar on 08.)
Little Richard (vocals on 17.)
Robbie Robertson (lead guitar on 06.)
Kid Rock (vocals on 11.)
Bruce Springsteen 8vocals on 03.)
Ringo Starr (vocals on 09.)
Bill Strom (organ on 06. + 19.)
James Stroud (drums on 11.)
Ronnie Wood (pedal steel-guitar on 04.)
Dave Woodruff (saxophone on 03., 07.)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals on 05.)
background vocals (on 06.):
Brandy Jones Bernard Fowler – Bambi Jones – Stacy Michelle

background  vocals (on 11.)
Jewel Jones – Phyllis Duncan – Stacy Michelle


01. w/Jimmy Page: Rock And Roll (Page/Baldwin/Bonham/Plant) 2.15
02. w/B.B. King: Before The Night Is Over (Peters) 3.39
03. w/Bruce Springsteen: Pink Cadillac (Springsteen) 3.52
04. w/Mick Jagger & Ron Wood: Evening Gown (Jagger) 3.57
05. w/Neil Young: You Don’t Have To Go (Reed) 3.59
06. w/Robbie Robertson: Twilight (Robertson) 2.48
07. w/John Fogerty: Travelin’ Band (Fogerty) 2.01
08. w/Keith Richards: That Kind Of Fool (Vickery) 4.15
09. w/Ringo Starr: Little Sixteen (Berry) 3.05
10. w/Merle Haggard: Just A Bummin’ Around (Graves) 2.43
11. w/Kid Rock: Honky Tonk Woman (Jagger/Richards) 2.22
12. w/Rod Stewart: What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Sutton) 2.39
13. w/George Jones: Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Age (Wills/Walker) 2.00
14. w/Willie Nelson: Couple More Years (Locorriere/Silverstein) 5.12
15. w/Toby Keith: Ol’ Glory (Lewis/Roberts/Darnell) 2.04
16. w/Eric Clapton: Trouble In Mind (Jones)
17. w/Little Richard: I Saw Her Standing There (Lennon/McCartney) 2.21
18. w/Delaney Bramlett: Lost Highway (Payne) 3.00
19. w/Buddy Guy: Hadacol Boogie (Nettles) 3.19
20. w/Don Henley: What Makes The Irish Heart Beat (Morrison) 4.10
21. w/Kris Kristofferson: The Pilgrim (Kristofferson) 3.00



More from Jerry Lee Lewis:

The official website:

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His third marriage was to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, on December 12, 1957. His divorce from Jane Mitchum was not finalized before the ceremony took place, so he remarried Brown on June 4, 1958. In 1970, Brown filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and abuse, charging that she had been “subject to every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.” (wikipedia)

A man fucking a 13-year-old girl … is an asshole  … There is no excuse for that !

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – Forgotten Peoples (Veljo Tormis) (1992)

FrontCover1Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is a professional choir based in Estonia. It was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was its conductor for twenty years. In 2001, Paul Hillier followed Kaljuste’s tenure, becoming the EPCC’s principal conductor and artistic director until September 2008, when Daniel Reuss took over the task. Since 2014 the choir’s principal conductor has been Kaspars Putniņš. The repertoire of the EPCC ranges from Gregorian Chant to modern works, particularly those of the Estonian composers Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis.

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The group has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, and has won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance twice: in 2007 with Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem and in 2014 with Pärt’s Adam’s Lament, the latter was shared with Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu, Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis. In 2018 Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir won the prestigious Gramophone Award with its recording of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Arvo Pärt and Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke (conductor Kaspars Putniņš). (wikipedia)

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Veljo Tormis (7 August 1930 – 21 January 2017) was an Estonian composer, regarded as one of the great contemporary choral composers[1][2] and one of the most important composers of the 20th century in Estonia.[3] Internationally, his fame arises chiefly from his extensive body of choral music, which exceeds 500 individual choral songs, most of it a cappella. The great majority of these pieces are based on traditional ancient Estonian folksongs (regilaulud), either textually, melodically, or merely stylistically.

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His composition most often performed outside Estonia, Curse Upon Iron (Raua needmine) (1972), invokes ancient Shamanistic traditions to construct an allegory about the evils of war. Some of his works were banned by the Soviet government, but because folk music was fundamental to his style most of his compositions were accepted by the censors.

More recently, Tormis’ works have been performed and recorded by Tõnu Kaljuste with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and others. In the 1990s, Tormis began to receive commissions from some a cappella groups in the West such as the King’s Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble.

Tormis famously said of his settings of traditional melodies and verse: “It is not I who makes use of folk music, it is folk music that makes use of me.” His work demonstrates his conviction that traditional Estonian and other Balto-Finnic music represents a treasure which must be guarded and nourished, and that culture may be kept alive through the medium of song.

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Born in Kuusalu in 1930, Tormis had a profound experience with choral music starting at an early age. His father was a choral director, organist, and music teacher. His delight in the contrasting timbres provided by the organ stops may also be connected to his later orchestration of choral textures, a hallmark of his mature style.[3]

Tormis began his formal musical education in 1943 at the Tallinn Music School, but was interrupted by World War II and illness. In 1949, he entered the Tallinn Conservatory and continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory (1951–1956). He quickly acquired teaching positions at the Tallinn Music School (1955–60) and the Tallinn Music High School (1962–66), but by 1969 was supporting himself exclusively as a freelance composer. One of his pupils was composer Kuldar Sink.

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From his student days until his retirement from composition in 2000, Tormis composed over 500 individual choral songs, as well as other vocal and instrumental pieces, 35 film scores, and an opera. Despite the censorship of several of his more politically provocative works in the late 1970s and the 1980s, he remained an incredibly celebrated composer whose works were performed throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, he is regarded as one of the great contributors to the 20th century repertory of choral music. Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has allowed increased access to the Soviet censored compositional output. The music of Tormis, along with other composers in the region, is experiencing increased rates of programing and publishing, allowing for increased appreciation of the choral and vocal music traditions. (wikipedia)

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And here´s  real highlight of his work:

“I do not use folk song, it is folk song that uses me,” said Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). Tormis’ grasp of folk song and the intensity of the performance lend a shamanistic quality to Forgotten Peoples. This set of six song cycles aims to preserve the song heritage of peoples in the area from Estonia through Karelia and towards Finland, peoples whose language and songs have all but disappeared – “forgotten” peoples. There are, then, important socio-political concerns behind this work. And, as producer Paul Hillier noted, “The music of Veljo Tormis taps the most ancient of roots in a fluid, powerful idiom, and offers a fascinating counterpart to the work of another Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.” In general one could say that Tormis as composer is extrovert, where Pärt is introvert.

The song cycles that make up Forgotten Peoples were composed over a twenty-year period, beginning in 1970, and had become widely known through the performances of the Estonian Chamber Choir under the direction of Tonu Kaljuste. in Forgotten Peoples, subtitled “The Ancient Songs of my Balto-Finnic Kinsfolk”, there are echoes of Bartok and the Stravinsky of “Les Noces” but the dominant impression is of the folksong-shamanistic essence. It is tonal music, based on modal idioms of traditional songs, and its repetitive nature frequently attains an almost hypnotic power. (taken from the original liner notes)

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The Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis, has long pursued a mission to preserve the musical heritage of the minority groups—the Forgotten Peoples—who live along the shores of the Gulf of Finland from Lithuania in the south to Karelia on the Russian-Finnish border. Over a period of years, he has composed six song-cycles for mixed chorus based on the folk music and poetry of these peoples who are now dying out or losing their separate identity. In an informative note, the composer points out that Estonian and Finnish folk-song is part of an ancient culture which these people brought with them from the Danube basin, from a pre-Christian, shamanistic civilization which was very close to nature.
Tormis integrates folk-material into his own style in much the same way as Bartok does. As a result, there is a great variety of timbres and textures in the songs that make up these six cycles. Pedals, ostinatos and dance-rhythms abound as does frequent alternation of solo and choral singing. He makes extensive use of accompanied Sprechstimme to narrate some of the lengthy ballads in Izhorian Epic. These ten songs are settings of creation stories (similar to the Kalevala epic) or poems which point moral dilemmas in either a sad or a humorous way.
Many of these delightful and attractive songs are about the natural world around us: birds, animals, the seasons of the year, life and death in the country. Each cycle is based on the folk music of the particular region and each cycle has an overall theme. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under their conductor Tonu Kaljuste have been associated with these settings from the beginning and they sing them most beautifully. In fact, many good amateur choirs would find these songs a most rewarding challenge if they could manage to pronounce the words or if they could find someone to provide singable translations. (gramophone.co.uk)


Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste



CD 1:

Livonian Heritage 16:16:
01. Waking The Birds 5.20
02. Day Of A Herdsboy 3,23
03, Shrove Tuesday 1.38
04. Wee Winky Mouse 2.53
05. Sang The Father, Sang His Son 3.19

Votic Wedding Songs 11:36:
06. The Ritual Whisking Of The Bridge 1.06
07. The Arrival Of Wedding Guests 1.59
08. Mockery Singing 1.28
09. Distributing The Dowry Chest 1.26
10. Instructing The Newly-Weds 1.40
11. Praising The Cook 1.06
12. When I, Chick, Was Growing Up 2.59

Izhorian Epic 31:25:
13. Creation Of The World 3.09
14. The Call Of Three Cuckoos 4.24
15. The Wedding Song 1.56
16. A Son Or A Daughter 3.18
17. Recruitment 3.30
18. Oh, I’m A Luckless Lad 1.20
19, My Mouth Was Singing, My Heart Was Worrying 3.39
20. A Sword From The Sea 3.32
21. Incantation Of Snakes 0.49
22. Undarmoi And Kalervoi 5.52

CD 2:

Ingrian Evenings 19.04:
01. Röntuska I (A Dance Song) 3.07
02. Röntuska II 1.46
03. Röntuska III 1.52
04. Chastushka I (A Village Party Song) 1.25
05. Chastushka II 1.25
06. A Roundelay 2.03
07. Röntuska IV 2.33
08. Röntuska V 1.24
09. Ending And Going Home 3.33

Vepsian Paths 20.06:
10. My Sister, My Little Cricket 1.50
11. Urging Her Into The Boat 1.41
12. Heavenly Suitors 1.50
13. I Went To Kikoila 0.34
14. Cuckoo And Cuckoo 0.58
15. I Went To Fetch Some Water 0.15
16. Pussy-Cat, Pussy-Cat 0.36
17. I’d Like To Sing You A Song 0.36
18. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? 0.44
19. What Are They Doing At Your Place? 0.31
20.The Ox Climbed A Fir Tree 0.44
21. Forced To Get Married 2.05
22. A Cradle Song 1.47
23. The Only Son 1.56
24. Toot-Toot, Herdsboy 4.04

Karelian Destiny 26.40:
25. A Weeping Maiden 4.34
26. Suitors From The Sea 5.04
27. A Thrall In Viru 5.14
28. The Oak Cutter 5.28
29. A Lullaby 6.23

Music: Traditional/Veljo Tormis

Adapted By [Text] – Ada Ambus (Titel: 2-1 to 2-9), Arvo Laanest (Titel: 1-13 to 1-22), Elna Adler (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Herbert Tampere (Titel: 1-1 to 1-5), Jaan Õispuu (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Kari Laukkanen (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Maare Joalaid (Titel: 2-10 to 2-24), Tõnu Seilenthal (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Ulo Tedre (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29)



Veljo Tormis02

Steely Dan – Remastered – The Best Of Steely Dan, Then and Now (1993)

FrontCover1After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured steadily and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 listed Steely Dan at #82 as one of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Becker died on September 3, 2017, leaving Fagen as the only official member. (by wikipedia


There’s a reason why “remastered” is part of the title of Then and Now: The Best of Steely Dan Remastered. Steely Dan’s fans are notorious for their love of pristine audio quality; they loved virgin vinyl pressings of the Dan’s classic studio work and they loved the CD reissues. So the distinction that this 1993 collection is remastered is important, since it gives the hardcore a reason to check it out. Of course, in the years since, the remasters have been replaced by new remasters, most notably the Fagen and Becker-endorsed 1999 reissues, but this was still an improvement over the issues in the marketplace in 1993.


More importantly, at least to the general audience, is that the compilation is a good overview of the band’s work. It doesn’t follow chronological order and there are omissions that are easy to spot, especially since it decides to balance singles with album tracks from “Midnite Cruiser” to “Josie.” Still, this is a really entertaining sampling, heavy on their big hits yet still an accurate portrait of their breadth and depth. Nothing that the hardcore fan needs to add — unless they don’t have “FM” somewhere in their collection or are a completist or an audiophile circa 1993 — but casual fans will enjoy it (though it’s not much better than the easily available A Decade of Steely Dan, so it’s not necessarily worth an extensive search for this British collection). Best of all, the auto-Stonehenge makes for the coolest cover ever for a Dan compilation. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

The album cover is a photograph of Carhenge in Nebraska.


Walter Becker (guitar, bass, background vocals)
Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards)
many, many studio musicians

01. Reelin’ In The Years 4.39
02 Rikki Don’t Lose That Number 4.34
03. Peg 3.57
04. FM 5.07
05. Hey Nineteen 5.06
06. Deacon Blues 7.32
07. Black Friday 3.41
08. Bodhisattva 5.19
09. Do It Again 5.57
10. Haitian Divorce 5.52
11. My Old School 5.48
12. Midnite Cruiser 4.09
13. Babylon Sisters 5.51
14. Kid Charlemagne 4.40
15. Dirty Work 3.10
16. Josie 4.29

All songs written by:
Walter Becker – Donald Fagen



More from Steely Dan:

The official website:

Walter Becker01

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Southern Knights (1996)

FrontCover1Lynyrd Skynyrd  is an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida. The group originally formed as My Backyard in 1964 and comprised Ronnie Van Zant (lead vocalist), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar), Larry Junstrom (bass guitar) and Bob Burns (drums). The band spent five years touring small venues under various names and with several lineup changes before deciding on “Lynyrd Skynyrd” in 1969. The band released its first album in 1973, having settled on a lineup that included bassist Leon Wilkeson, keyboardist Billy Powell and guitarist Ed King. Burns left and was replaced by Artimus Pyle in 1974. King left in 1975 and was replaced by Steve Gaines in 1976. At the height of their fame in the 1970s, the band popularized the Southern rock genre with songs such as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird”. After releasing five studio albums and one live album, the band’s career was abruptly halted on October 20, 1977, when their chartered airplane crashed, killing Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines, and seriously injuring the rest of the band.

Lynyrd Skynyrd01

Lynyrd Skynyrd reformed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Ronnie’s brother Johnny Van Zant as lead vocalist. They continue to tour and record with co-founder Rossington (the band’s sole continuous member), Johnny Van Zant, and Rickey Medlocke, who first wrote and recorded with the band from 1971 to 1972 before his return in 1996. In January 2018, Lynyrd Skynyrd announced its farewell tour, and continues touring as of October 2019. Members are also working on their fifteenth album.

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Lynyrd Skynyrd No. 95 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006. To date, the band has sold more than 28 million records in the United States. (wikipedia)


And here´s another fine live album:

Lynyrd Skynyrd are the kings of Southern Rock and one of the biggest constants in rock scene. Despite the tragic plane crash, when in ’77 killed almost half the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd have sweetened millions of people with their straight, soulful songs the gray everyday life. Southern Knights, recorded in various locations throughout the mid 90s in the United States, includes “Workin ‘For MCA,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “Free Bird,” the key skynyrd discography essentials, as well as some lesser known numbers , which should provide also with inveterate fans for the necessary change before the domestic plant.


The beautiful three-dimensional sound leaves no questions unanswered, as the Southern Rock compulsory long guitar solos always remain within the acceptable range, and power tube Johnny Van Zant proves to be a worthy successor to his deceased brother Ronnie. If you would like to get to know handmade rock from its very down-to-earth side, you can buy this double CD as an introduction to the Skynyrd world with a clear conscience. (by oparin 1954)


Mike Estes (guitar)
Owen Hale (drums)
Ed King (guitar)
Billy Powell (keyboards)
Leon Wilkinson (bass)
Johnny van Zant (vocals)
background vocals:
Debbie Davis-Estes – Dale Krantz-Rossington



CD 1:
01. Workin’ For MCA (King, R. van Zant) 5.24
02. I Ain’t The One (Rossington/R. van Zant) 4.11
03. Saturday Night Special (KIng/R. van Zant) 5.46
04. Down South Jukin’ (Rossington/R. van Zant) 2.46
05. Double Trouble (R. van Zant/Collins) 4.19
06. Devil In The Bottle (Rossington/Krantz-Rossington) 3.56
07. T For Texas (Rodgers) 8.39
08. What’s Your Name (Rossington, R. van Zant) 4.05
09. That Smell (R. van Zant/Collins) 7.26

CD 2:
01. Simple Man (Rossington/R. van Zant) 7.55
02. Gimme Three Steps (R. van Zant/Collins) 6.17
03. Sweet Home Alabama (King/Rossington/R. van Zant) 7.49
04. Freebird (Collins/R. van Zant) 13.45





More from Lynyrd Skynyrd:

The official website:

Genesis – From Genesis To Revelation (1969)

LPFrontCover1Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band’s most commercially successful line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. The 1970s line-up, featuring singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett, was among the pioneers of progressive rock.

The group were formed by five Charterhouse pupils, including Banks, Rutherford, Gabriel, and Anthony Phillips, and named by former Charterhouse pupil Jonathan King, who arranged for them to record several singles and their debut album From Genesis to Revelation in 1968. After splitting from King, the band began touring, signed with Charisma Records and became a progressive rock band on Trespass (1970). Following Phillips’ departure, Genesis recruited Collins and Hackett and recorded Nursery Cryme (1971). Their live shows began to feature Gabriel’s theatrical costumes and performances. Foxtrot (1972) was their first hit in the UK and Selling England by the Pound (1973) reached number three there, featuring their first UK hit “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”. The concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) was promoted with a transatlantic tour and an elaborate stage show, before Gabriel left the group.

BBC Technical College in Evesham (10.-15.10.1968):

Collins took over as lead singer, and the group released A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering (both 1976) with continued success. Hackett left Genesis in 1977, reducing the band to Banks, Rutherford, and Collins. Their ninth studio album, …And Then There Were Three… (1978), contained the band’s first major hit “Follow You Follow Me”. Their next five albums – Duke (1980), Abacab (1981), Genesis (1983), Invisible Touch (1986) and We Can’t Dance (1991) – were also successful. Collins left Genesis in 1996, and Banks and Rutherford replaced him with Ray Wilson, who appeared on their final album Calling All Stations (1997). The commercial failure of the album led to a group hiatus. Banks, Rutherford and Collins reunited for the Turn It On Again Tour in 2007, and again in 2021 for The Last Domino? Tour.


With between 100 million and 150 million albums sold worldwide, Genesis are one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Their discography includes 15 studio and six live albums. They have won numerous awards (including a Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video with “Land of Confusion”) and have inspired a number of tribute bands recreating Genesis shows from various stages of the band’s career. In 2010, Genesis were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (wikipedia)


And here´s their debut album:

From Genesis to Revelation is the debut studio album by English rock band Genesis, released on 7 March 1969 on Decca Records. The album originated from a collection of demos recorded in 1967 while the members of Genesis were pupils of Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey. It caught the attention of Jonathan King who named the group, organised deals with his publishing company and Decca, and studio time at Regent Sound Studios to record a series of singles and a full album. A string section arranged and conducted by Arthur Greenslade was added later on some songs. By the time Genesis had finished recording, John Silver had replaced original drummer Chris Stewart.


The album and its singles were a commercial flop, and received a mixed to negative reaction from critics. By mid-1969, the group had severed ties with King and resumed education until they reformed and turned Genesis into a full-time band. The album spawned three singles; “The Silent Sun” and “A Winter’s Tale” were released in 1968, followed by “Where the Sour Turns to Sweet” in 1969. In October 1974, after the group had grown in popularity, it peaked at No. 170 on the Billboard 200 in the US. King retains the rights to the album which has been reissued multiple times since, including a 1974 release as In the Beginning and a 1987 release as And the Word Was…. A reissue in 1990 and 2005 included a bonus disc with extra tracks.

SessionLogSheet 1968

The founding line-up of Genesis consisted of guitarist Anthony Phillips, bassist Mike Rutherford, lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, and drummer Chris Stewart, all pupils of Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey. The five had played in the school’s two active bands; Rutherford and Phillips were in Anon while Gabriel, Banks, and Stewart made up Garden Wall. In January 1967, after both groups had split, Phillips and Rutherford continued to write songs and invited Gabriel and Banks to participate. During the Easter school holiday the five entered a primitive recording studio run by Brian Roberts in Chiswick to record the material. They assembled a tape of six songs originally intended for someone else to perform as the group saw themselves foremost as a collection of songwriters. This included five songs from Phillips and Rutherford: “Don’t Want You Back”, “Try a Little Sadness”, “That’s Me”, “Listen on Five”, and “Patricia”, an instrumental, plus one from Gabriel and Banks, “She Is Beautiful”. “Patricia” was later reworked into “In Hiding” and “She Is Beautiful” was later known as “The Serpent”. Banks described the material as “straight pop music” as it was the direction the band wanted to explore. At this point, the group were known as The New Anon.


The group sent the demo tape to two people, one being BBC radio presenter David Jacobs. The second was sent to former Charterhouse pupil Jonathan King who had scored commercial success as a singer-songwriter and producer with his UK top five single “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” in 1965, and therefore seemed a natural choice.[10] King visited the school during Old Boys Day, so the group had a friend give the tape to him. He listened to the tape in his car on his drive home and, despite its roughness, was immediately enthusiastic, particularly about Gabriel’s vocals.


King offered his support to the band and paid them £40 to record four songs. He pressed for more simple arrangements, but maintained that his suggestion for the group to avoid playing electric instruments was because acoustic instruments were cheaper, rather than his personal taste.[11] These early sessions took place between August and December 1967 at Regent Sound Studios on Denmark Street, London, with the intent on releasing them as singles.[12] The four tracks put down were new arrangements of “She’s Beautiful” and “Try a Little Sadness”, with “Where the Sour Turns to Sweet” and “The Image Blown Out”, the latter ultimately rejected from the album. King was happy with the results enough to sign them, offering a ten-year deal with his publishing company JonJo Music with a five-year option and 2% of the royalties, and a five-year recording deal with Decca Records with an optional second year. However, the group’s parents expressed concern as they were aged between 15 and 17 at the time and preferred their children to pursue careers away from music. Upon their intervention, family solicitors took charge and arranged for a new, one-year deal with an optional second.


King noticed the band’s tendency to expand and complicate their arrangements, which he disliked and suggested they stick to straightforward pop songs. This culminated in King either trimming Banks’s solo spots or removing them entirely, much to his annoyance.[9][14] In response, Gabriel and Banks wrote “The Silent Sun” as a pastiche of the Bee Gees, one of King’s favourite bands, though King later clarified the Bee Gees pastiche description as inaccurate. The song was recorded at Regent Sound studio A in December 1967, with a section arranged and conducted by Arthur Greenslade added later in production. It was released on 22 February 1968 with “That’s Me” on the B-side as the first Genesis single. King came up with the group’s name, thinking it marked the beginning of a “new sound and a new feeling”, and that it was the true start of his career as a producer.[9] Other names included King’s suggestion of Gabriel’s Angels and Phillips’s idea, Champagne Meadow. In May 1968, the second single of “A Winter’s Tale” with “One-Eyed Hound”, was released and, like their first, also flopped. Stewart then left the group to continue with his studies.

Despite their lack of success King continued to support the group and, by mid-1968, suggested that a studio album might reverse their fortunes. The group were a little overwhelmed in working with a greater amount of available time on an LP, so King suggested the idea of a loose concept album that told a story about the Book of Genesis at the start and the Book of Revelation at the end, with linked instrumental tracks. The idea worked, and the group began to write at a faster pace.[20] The band recruited fellow Charterhouse pupil John Silver on the drums, and wrote and rehearsed their new material at his parents’ country home in Oxford and the parents of school friend David Thomas.


In August 1968, during the school summer holidays, the band returned to Regent Sound studio 2 to record From Genesis to Revelation. The music was recorded within two days, and the album was put together in ten. King was the producer, and brought in Brian Roberts and former Charterhouse pupil Tom Allom as recording engineers. The sessions involved two four-track recording machines, and marked Banks’s first time playing an organ. The material put down, Greenslade and Lou Warburton then added more string and horn arrangements to one stereo channel while mixing the band’s performance on the other. This was done without the band’s knowledge, which they thought compromised the strength of the songs. Phillips was particularly angered at the decision and was the only member to express his feelings towards it by stomping out of the studio on the last day.

The album was released in March 1969 and failed to chart. “Where the Sour Turns to Sweet” was released as a single on 27 June 1969 in an attempt to stimulate new interest. The album was released in the U.S. in 1974 after the group had grown in popularity, and peaked at No. 170 on the Billboard 200 in October of that year.

Review in The Evening Standards (1968):

Prior to its release, Decca discovered that an American act had also called themselves Genesis and asked the band to change its name to avoid confusion. King reached a compromise so the band’s name would be omitted from the sleeve, leaving the album’s title written in gold text in a Gothic style in order to evoke mystery when presented in music shops. The American Genesis in question was likely a Los Angeles-based group that released In the Beginning on the Mercury label in 1967. Banks later said that they remained Genesis in the UK and put themselves down as Revelat

Noel Gallagher is a fan of the album, saying, “I became obsessed with early Genesis” despite being a frequent critic of the group’s later work, particularly the Phil Collins-led era. The track “If Love Is the Law” from his album Who Built the Moon? was written as a pastiche of “The Conqueror”. (wikipedia)


This debut Genesis album, which has appeared under license to various labels in addition to Decca and London in different configurations, is largely of historical interest. The group was still in its formative stages, the members barely past their 18th birthdays and still working out what they wanted to sound like. Mostly they sound like the Bee Gees trying to be the Moody Blues (picture something similar to the sound of the former group’s Odessa album). “The Silent Sun” and “Where the Sour Turns to Sweet” are pleasant enough, but scarcely indicate the true potential of the group or its members. A pleasant enough piece of pop-psychedelia/art rock, but not a critically important release, except to the truly dedicated. (by Bruce Eder)

OK, not everyone gets this album, but pay close enough attention to it and you will discover a treasure. True, there area some influences here and there, Moody Blues being the most obvious (I have not noticed any Bee Gees) , but it’s 99% Genesis, the embryo of many good things to come. But apart from that, it stands on its own as a wonderful blend of psychedelic rock, with early stages prog. Peter is in fine form, Phillips also, but the sound is quite cohesive, resulting in a mesmerizing, almost hypnotic and addictive, unique sound. (by Dan Duran)


Tony Banks (keyboards, background vocals)
Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute)
Anthony Phillips (guitar, background vocals)
Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar, background vocals)
John Silver (drums)
Chris Stewart (drums on 12.)

Alternate front+backcover form a re-issue (1974):
Front+BackCover (Re-Issue)

01. The Silent Sun 2.14
02. That´s Me 2.39
03. Where The Sour Turns To Sweet 3.14
04. In The Beginning 3.45
05. Fireside Song 4.18
06. The Serpent 4.38
07. Am I Very Wrong? 3.31
08. In The Wilderness 3.30
09. The Conqueror 3.40
10. In Hiding 2.37
11. One Day 3.21
12. Window 3.33
13. In Limbo 3.30
12. Silent Sun 2.13
14. A Place To Call My Own 2.00
14. A Winter’s Tale (single track) 3.31
15. One Eyed Hound (single track) 2.33
16. Image Blown Out (single track) 2.48
17. She Is So Beautiful (single track) 3.42

All songs written by Tony Banks, Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips, and Mike Rutherford.



More alternate frontcovers:

More from Genesis:

The official website:

Green Day – American Idiot (2004)

FrontCover1Green Day is an American rock band formed in the East Bay of California in 1987 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, together with bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt. For most of the band’s career, they have been a power trio[1] with drummer Tré Cool, who replaced John Kiffmeyer in 1990 before the recording of the band’s second studio album, Kerplunk (1991). Touring guitarist Jason White became a full-time member in 2012, but returned to his touring role in 2016. Before taking its current name in 1989, Green Day was called Sweet Children, and they were part of the late 1980s/early 1990s Bay Area punk scene that emerged from the 924 Gilman Street club in Berkeley, California. The band’s early releases were with the independent record label Lookout! Records. In 1994, their major-label debut Dookie, released through Reprise Records, became a breakout success and eventually shipped over 10 million copies in the U.S. Alongside fellow California punk bands Bad Religion, the Offspring, Rancid, and Social Distortion, Green Day is credited with popularizing mainstream interest in punk rock in the U.S.

Green Day01

Though the albums Insomniac (1995), Nimrod (1997), and Warning (2000) did not match the success of Dookie, they were still successful, with the former two reaching double platinum status, while the latter achieved gold. Green Day’s seventh album, a rock opera called American Idiot (2004), found popularity with a younger generation, selling six million copies in the U.S. Their next album, 21st Century Breakdown, was released in 2009 and achieved the band’s best chart performance. It was followed by a trilogy of albums, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!, released in September, November, and December 2012, respectively. The trilogy did not perform as well as expected commercially, in comparison to their previous albums, largely due to lack of promotion and Armstrong entering rehab. Their twelfth studio album, Revolution Radio, was released in October 2016 and became their third to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The band’s thirteenth studio album, Father of All Motherfuckers, was released on February 7, 2020.

Green Day02

Green Day has sold more than 75 million records worldwide,[2] making them one of the world’s best-selling artists. The group has been nominated for 20 Grammy awards and has won five of them with Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, and Best Musical Show Album for American Idiot: The Original Broadway Cast Recording.

In 2010, a stage adaptation of American Idiot debuted on Broadway. The musical was nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design, winning the latter two. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, their first year of eligibility. Members of the band have collaborated on the side projects Pinhead Gunpowder, The Network, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Longshot, and The Coverups. They have also worked on solo careers. (wikipedia)

Green Day03

American Idiot is the seventh studio album by American rock band Green Day, released on September 21, 2004, by Reprise Records. The album was produced by Rob Cavallo in collaboration with Green Day, an arrangement the group have been using since they signed with a major label. Recording sessions for American Idiot were made at Studio 880, in Oakland and Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, both in California, between 2003 and 2004. A concept album, dubbed a “punk rock opera” by the band members, American Idiot follows the story of Jesus of Suburbia, a lower-middle-class American adolescent anti-hero. The album expresses the disillusionment and dissent of a generation that came of age in a period shaped by tumultuous events such as 9/11 and the Iraq War. In order to accomplish this, the band used unconventional techniques for themselves, including transitions between connected songs and some long, chaptered, creative compositions presenting the album themes.


Following the disappointing sales of their previous album Warning (2000), the band took a break before beginning what they had planned to be their next album, Cigarettes and Valentines. However, recording was cut short when the master tapes were stolen; following this, the band made the decision to start their next album from scratch. The result was a more societally critical, politically charged record which returned to the band’s punk rock sound following the more folk- and pop-inspired Warning, with additional influences that were not explored on their older punk albums. Additionally, the band underwent an “image change”, wearing red and black uniforms onstage, to add more theatrical presence to the album.


American Idiot became one of the most anticipated releases of 2004. It marked a career comeback for Green Day, charting in 27 countries, reaching for the first time the top spot on the Billboard 200 for the group and peaking at number one in 18 other countries. It has sold over 16 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling album for the band (behind their 1994 major-label debut, Dookie) and one of the best-selling albums of the decade. It was later certified 6× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2013. The album spawned five successful singles: the titular track, “American Idiot”, “Holiday”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, “Jesus of Suburbia” and the Grammy Award for Record of the Year winner “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.

American Idiot was very well received critically. It was nominated for Album of the Year and won the Award for Best Rock Album at the 2005 Grammy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Album at the Europe Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards, winning the former. Its success inspired a Broadway musical, a documentary and a planned feature film adaptation. Rolling Stone placed it at 225 on their 2012 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, and again in 2020, at 248. (wikipedia)


It’s a bit tempting to peg Green Day’s sprawling, ambitious, brilliant seventh album, American Idiot, as their version of a Who album, the next logical step forward from the Kinks-inspired popcraft of their underrated 2000 effort, Warning, but things aren’t quite that simple. American Idiot is an unapologetic, unabashed rock opera, a form that Pete Townshend pioneered with Tommy, but Green Day doesn’t use that for a blueprint as much as they use the Who’s mini-opera “A Quick One, While He’s Away,” whose whirlwind succession of 90-second songs isn’t only emulated on two song suites here, but provides the template for the larger 13-song cycle. But the Who are only one of many inspirations on this audacious, immensely entertaining album.

Green Day04A

The story of St. Jimmy has an arc similar to Hüsker Dü’s landmark punk-opera Zen Arcade, while the music has grandiose flourishes straight out of both Queen and Rocky Horror Picture Show (the ’50s pastiche “Rock and Roll Girlfriend” is punk rock Meat Loaf), all tied together with a nervy urgency and a political passion reminiscent of the Clash, or all the anti-Reagan American hardcore bands of the ’80s. These are just the clearest touchstones for American Idiot, but reducing the album to its influences gives the inaccurate impression that this is no more than a patchwork quilt of familiar sounds, when it’s an idiosyncratic, visionary work in its own right. First of all, part of Green Day’s appeal is how they have personalized the sounds of the past, making time-honored guitar rock traditions seem fresh, even vital. With their first albums, they styled themselves after first-generation punk they were too young to hear firsthand, and as their career progressed, the group not only synthesized these influences into something distinctive, but chief songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong turned into a muscular, versatile songwriter in his own right.

Green Day05

Warning illustrated their growing musical acumen quite impressively, but here, the music isn’t only tougher, it’s fluid and, better still, it fuels the anger, disillusionment, heartbreak, frustration, and scathing wit at the core of American Idiot. And one of the truly startling things about American Idiot is how the increased musicality of the band is matched by Armstrong’s incisive, cutting lyrics, which effectively convey the paranoia and fear of living in American in days after 9/11, but also veer into moving, intimate small-scale character sketches. There’s a lot to absorb here, and cynics might dismiss it after one listen as a bit of a mess when it’s really a rich, multi-faceted work, one that is bracing upon the first spin and grows in stature and becomes more addictive with each repeated play. Like all great concept albums, American Idiot works on several different levels.

Green Day06A

It can be taken as a collection of great songs — songs that are as visceral or as poignant as Green Day at their best, songs that resonate outside of the larger canvas of the story, as the fiery anti-Dubya title anthem proves — but these songs have a different, more lasting impact when taken as a whole. While its breakneck, freewheeling musicality has many inspirations, there really aren’t many records like American Idiot (bizarrely enough, the Fiery Furnaces’ Blueberry Boat is one of the closest, at least on a sonic level, largely because both groups draw deeply from the kaleidoscopic “A Quick One”). In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it’s something of a masterpiece, and one of the few — if not the only — records of 2004 to convey what it feels like to live in the strange, bewildering America of the early 2000s. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Billie Joe Armstrong (guitar, vocals, piano)
Tré Cool (drums, percussion, background vocals; vocals on 12.4.)
Mike Dirnt (bass, background vocals, vocals on 12.3.)
Rob Cavallo (piano)
Jason Freese (saxophone)
Kathleen Hanna (vocals on 10.)


01. American Idiot 2.54
02. Jesus Of Suburbia 9.07
02.1. Jesus Of Suburbia 1.51
02.2. City Of The Damned 1.51
02.3. I Don’t Care 1.43
02.4. Dearly Beloved 1.05
02.5. Tales Of Another Broken Home 2.38
03. Holiday 3.52
04. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams 4.20
05. Are We The Waiting 2.42
06. St. Jimmy 2.55
07. Give Me Novacaine 3.25
08. She’s A Rebel 2.00
09. Extraordinary Girl 3.33
10. Letterbomb 4.05
11. Wake Me Up When September Ends 4.45
12. Homecoming 9.17
12.1. The Death Of St. Jimmy 2.24
12.2. East 12th St.1.38
12.3. Nobody Likes You 1.21
12.4. Rock And Roll Girlfriend 0.44
12.5. We’re Coming Home Again 3.11
13. Whatsername 4.12
14. Shoplifter (single track) 1.51
15. Governator (single track) 2.32

Music: Billie Joe Armstrong – Tré Cool – Mike Dirnt
Lyrics: Billie Joe Armstrong, except
Mike Dirnt on 12.3. and Tré Cool on 12.4.



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Ella Fitzgerald – The Essential Ella (1991)

FrontCover1Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the “First Lady of Song”, “Queen of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella”. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career. Her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretations of the Great American Songbook.


While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”. In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Her accolades included 14 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, the NAACP’s inaugural President’s Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.(wikipedia)

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And here´s another official compüilation from Verve Records, a rare release from Australia.

Recognized worldwide as “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald is arguably the finest female jazz vocalist of all time. Blessed with a highly resonant voice, wide range, and near-perfect elocution, Fitzgerald also possessed a deft sense of swing, and with her brilliant scat technique, could hold her own against any of her instrumental contemporaries. She came to initial popularity as a member of drummer Chick Webb’s band in the 1930s, scoring a hit with a “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” before ascending to wide acclaim in the 1940s with Jazz at the Philharmonic and Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band, and issuing landmark performances like “Flying Home” and “How High the Moon.”

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Working with producer/manager Norman Granz, she gained even more acclaim with her series of albums on Verve, recording definitive versions of the music of the Great American Songbook composers, including 1956’s Sings the Cole Porter Songbook. Over her 50-year career, she earned 13 Grammy Awards, sold over 40 million albums, and picked up numerous accolades including a National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A hugely important cultural figure, Fitzgerald made an immeasurable impact on the development of jazz and popular music, and remains a touchstone for fans and artists decades after her passing. (by Matt Collar)

Another chance to discover “The First Lady of Song” !


Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)
The Buddy Bregman Orchestra (on 01,, 02, 06, 14. – 16)
Billy May And His Orchestra (on 03. – 05. 08., 17., 20. + 21.)
Nelson Riddle And His Orchestra (on 07., 13. + 19.)
Max Bennett (bass on 10.)
Ray Brown (bass on 10.)
Herb Ellis (guitar on 10.)
Jim Hall (guitar on 09. 11. + 12.)
Gus Johnson (drums on 09., 11., 12. + 22.)
“Philly” Joe Jones (drums on 10.)
Lou Levy (piano on 09. + 12.)
Wilfred Middlebrooks (bass on 09., 11. + 22.)
Oscar Peterson (piano on 10.)
Paul Smith (piano on 11. + 22.)


01. The Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers/Hart) (1956) 3.24
02. Manhattan (Rodgers/Hart) (1956) 2.51
03. The Very Thought Of You (Noble) (1962) 2.46
04. From This Moment On (Porter) (1956) 3.20
05. A Foggy Day (G.Gershwin/I.Geshwin) (1959) 3.33
06. With A Song In My Heart (Rodgers/Hart) (1959) 2.46
07. Cheek To Cheek (Berlin) 1958) 3.48
08. I’ve Got A Crush On You (G.Gershwin/I.Geshwin) (1959) 3.30
09. A-Tisket A-Tasket (live) (Fitzgerald /Feldman) (1951) 1.55
10. These Foolish Things (Strachey/Link/Marvell) (1957) 3.49
11. Mack The Knife (live) (Weill/Brecht/Blitzstein) (1960) 5.06
12. Caravan (live) (Ellington/Tizol/Mills) (1958) 2.44
13. I Can’t Get Started (Duke/Gershwin) (1962) 3.33
14. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Porter) (1956) 2.45
15. Night And Day (Porter) (1956) 3.05
16. Everytime Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) (1956) 3.34
17. It’s Only A Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) (1960) 3.35
18. I Get A Kick Out Of You (Porter) (1956) 4.05
19. I Got Rhythm (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) (1959) 3.07
20.  My Funny Valentine (Rodgers/Hart) (1956) 3.53
21. That Old Black Magic (Arlen/Mercer) (1961) 4.11
22. Misty (live) (Gamer/Burke) (1960) 2.42



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