Nigel Kennedy – Brahms – Violin Concerto (1991)

FrontCover1Nigel Kennedy (born 28 December 1956) is an English violinist and violist.

His early career was primarily spent performing classical music, and he has since expanded into jazz, klezmer, and other music genres.

Kennedy’s grandfather was Lauri Kennedy, principal cellist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra,[1] and his grandmother was Dorothy Kennedy, a pianist. Lauri and Dorothy Kennedy were Australian, while their son, the cellist John Kennedy, was born in England. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in London, at age 22, John joined the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, later becoming the principal cellist of Sir Thomas Beecham’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. While in England, John developed a relationship with an English pianist, Scylla Stoner, with whom he eventually toured in 1952 as part of the Llewellyn-Kennedy Piano Trio (with the violinist Ernest Llewellyn; Stoner was billed as “Scylla Kennedy” after she and John married). But they ultimately divorced, and John returned to Australia.

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Kennedy was born in Brighton. A boy prodigy, as a 10-year-old he picked out Fats Waller tunes on the piano after hearing his stepfather’s jazz records.[3] At the age of 7, he became a pupil at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music.[4] He later studied at the Juilliard School in New York City with Dorothy DeLay. While there he helped to pay for his studies by busking with fellow student and cellist Thomas Demenga.

Kennedy has about 30 close relatives in Australia, whom he visits whenever he tours there. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 16th album:

Cards on the table: I don’t greatly care how Nigel Kennedy chooses to present himself, either on the concert platform or on his record covers, provided he plays musically. I remember his reading of the Berg Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra last year, when he appeared looking like a misplaced extra for the Rocky Horror Show—and delivered a very creditable performance. Nor does the discovery that this disc bears the UK number NIGE3 send my blood-pressure soaring. That Kennedy’s name should be set in larger, bolder type than that of the composer on the front of the booklet (and on the disc) is a minor irritation, but anyone who is hoping that this review will turn into an extended rebuke Nigel Kennedy03for frivolity before the throne of high art is going to be disappointed.
So too, I have to say, are those who are hoping for a critical rave. Technically Kennedy’s playing as represented on this disc is beyond reproach—anyone who can play the finale’s flying thirds and sixths with such dash and precision plainly knows how to get what he wants out of the instrument. The performance is, as you would expect, highly idiosyncratic, though fortunately there’s nothing to match the controversial stylistic excursions of his Four Seasons (EMI, 11/89). Kennedy supplies his own cadenza for the first movement, but restricts himself to material already heard, and the working-out contains no big surprises—though I admit I expected something a little flashier.
But while there are no shocks, there are passages which require some indulgence. It isn’t just the very slow tempo of the first movement that bothers me—Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic put up a very good case for it—but the way that in places where the orchestral contribution becomes less obviously important, Kennedy seems inclined to treat the movement as a kind of colossal accompanied cadenza. He pulls the tempo about pretty freely, and brings his full resources of colour and expression to bear in a way that can yield beautiful passing details but more often saps passages of any sense of forward movement. Perhaps the most striking example comes in the coda. Many other violinists have taken Brahms’s tranquillo to imply a broadening out, but in his concern to wring the juices from every note, Kennedy brings the music near to stasis. Two other young players, Xue-Wei on ASV (see below) and Anne-Sophie Mutter on DG, are both fairly expansive here, but in both versions what really holds the attention is the way the high-soaring violin line seems to emerge in a single flight—it makes you want to hold your breath until the D major resolution at the animato. Hold your breath for Kennedy and you risk suffocation.

Booklet04AAfter this very slow first movement, the equally expansive Adagio (Kennedy takes two minutes longer than Xue-Wei, who isn’t exactly pacey himself) sounds dangerously close to more of the same. Nevertheless, there’s a stronger sense of shape and flow, and Kennedy’s plaintive soliloquizing can be effective. His direct, passionate manner in the F sharp minor central episode is quite stirring. I have to say though that there’s still a great deal here that I find over-coloured or over-characterized. Again, both Xue-Wei and Anne-Sophie Mutter present an ardent, young person’s view of this music, but they also manage to make of it something dramatically tauter. My ideal here—and in that wonderful first movement coda—is Oistrakh: less inclined to wear his heart on his sleeve, but leaving one in absolutely no doubt that he has one. Any of his three currently available versions (with Konwitschny for DG, Klemperer for EMI and Kondrashin for Le Chant du Monde/Harmonia Mundi) will show how restraint and expressive power can be a deadly combination. All the same there’s more than one way of approaching this music, and both Xue-Wei and Mutter show that you can be generous without giving too much away. Kennedy, for all his evident conviction, often weakens his expressive effects by working too hard at them.

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In the finale Kennedy comes rather closer to his two young rivals. There’s brilliance, zest and—at last—real drive. But while Xue-Wei doesn’t sound quite as polished, and the ASV recording is less pleasing, his is the performance that seems to take the risks—and to bring them off. In fact, the ASV disc feels more like a performance: not without its rough edges, but genuinely alive, and the coupling adds greatly to the appeal. Mutter’s disc is even shorter than Kennedy’s (a mere 40’13”), and again the sound falls short of the EMI refinement, but musically it’s better value. Having just listened to the Kennedy again for the fourth time, I’m more convinced than ever that what it lacks most of all is what Xue-Wei, Mutter and Oistrakh all—in their different ways—embody triumphantly. For want of a better expression, I’d call it a sense of wholeness. Kennedy’s recording has its good things, particularly in the second and third movements, but the feeling grows with each successive hearing that the overall impression is significantly less than the sum of the parts.’ (by Stephen Johnson)

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Personnel:
Nigel Kennedy (violin)
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The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Klaus Tennstedt

Personnel

Tracklist:
01. Allegro non troppo 26.12
02. Adagio 11.18
03. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace 9.16

Music composed by Johannes Brahms

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Liner Notes

More from Nigel Kennedy:
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Loretta Lynn – Fist City (1968)

FrontCover1Few performers in country music have proved as influential and iconic as Loretta Lynn. At a time when women usually took a back seat to men in Nashville, Lynn was a voice of strength, independence, and sometimes defiance, writing and singing songs that spoke to the concerns of working-class women with unapologetic honesty. She could sing of her hardscrabble childhood (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”), deal with the realities of relationships (“Fist City,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough”), deliver proto-feminist anthems (“The Pill”), and explore mature romance (her series of duets with Conway Twitty) and sound perfectly authentic at every turn.

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Lynn’s voice, strong but naturalistic and matched to tough, lively honky tonk arrangements, reinforced the home truths of her songs, and her success blazed trails for other female country artists.

As a member of the Grand Ol’ Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, she’s been honored by the country music establishment while still doing things her own way. She was a frequent presence on the country charts from 1960 to 1981, and even as tastes changed and her record sales faded, she continued to be a potent live attraction and a major influence on other artists.

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And at the age of 72, Lynn was discovered by a new generation of music fans when alternative rock star Jack White, a longtime fan, produced her 2004 album, Van Lear Rose. It wasn’t Lynn’s last hurrah, however. A few years later, she entered the studio with daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash to record hundreds of songs that would come out as a series of albums in the 2010s and beyond, starting with 2016’s Full Circle. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Fist City is the twelfth solo studio album by American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn. It was released on April 15, 1968, by Decca Records.

In the issue dated May 4, 1968, Billboard magazine published a review of the album, saying, “Loretta Lynn couples potent lyrics with intense emotion on this LP. Call it county soul. “You Never Were Mine” is a tear jerker. An excellent LP.”

The April 27, 1968 issue of Cashbox featured a review which said, “Highlighted by her No. 1 smash, “Fist City”, Loretta Lynn’s latest album is a powerhouse effort that’s bound to be climbing the charts in short order. Lorett’’s warm, sincere singing has long made her the uncontested Queen of Country Music, and she seems only to get better with each successive disk.” The review highlighted “Fist City”, “A Satisfied Mind”, “I Don’t Wanna Play House”, and “What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am?)” as the best songs on the album.

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The album peaked at No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot Country LP’s chart, becoming Lynn’s second album to top the chart.

The first single, “What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am)” was released in August 1967[5] and peaked at No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. The second single, “Fist City”, was released in January 1968[6] and peaked at No. 1 on the chart, making it Lynn’s second No. 1 hit.

Recording sessions for the album began on January 9, 1968, at Bradley’s Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Two additional sessions followed on March 21 and March 22. “What Kind of a Girl (Do You Think I Am)” was recorded during the April 20, 1967 session for 1967’s Singin’ with Feelin’. (wikipedia)

What a great Lady !

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Personnel:
Loretta Lynn (vocals)
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Harold Bradley (bass)
Floyd Cramer (piano)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Larry Estes (drums)
Buddy Harman (drums)
Junior Huskey (bass)
Grady Martin (guitar)
Harold Morrison (banjo)
Hal Rugg (steel guitar)
Pete Wade (guitar)
Joe Zinkan (bass)
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The Jordanaires (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Fist City (Lynn) 2.14
02. Jackson Ain’t A Very Big Town (McAlpin) 2.23
03. You Didn’t Like My Lovin’ (Hayes/Lynn/Wilburn) 1.54
04. I’ve Got Texas In My Heart (M.Burk/R.Burk) 2.16
05. You Never Were Mine (Webb) 2.13
06. Somebody’s Back In Town (Lynn/D.Wilburn/T.Wilburn) 2.37
07. A Satisfied Mind (Hayes/Rhodes) 2.45
08. How Long Will It Take (McPherson) 2.25
09. I Don’t Wanna Play House (Sherrill/Sutton) 2.34
10. I’m Shootin’ For Tomorrow (Lynn) 1.54
11. What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am ?) (Lynn/Wilburn) 2.50

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The official website:
Website

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Lou Reed – Transformer (1972)

FrontCover1Lewis Allan Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and poet. He was the guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. Although not commercially successful during its existence, the Velvet Underground became regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music. Reed’s distinctive deadpan voice, poetic and transgressive lyrics, and experimental guitar playing were trademarks throughout his long career.

Having played guitar and sung in doo-wop groups in high school, Reed studied poetry at Syracuse University under Delmore Schwartz, and had served as a radio DJ, hosting a late-night avant garde music program while at college. After graduating from Syracuse, he went to work for Pickwick Records in New York City, a low-budget record company that Lou Reed03specialized in sound-alike recordings, as a songwriter and session musician. A fellow session player at Pickwick was John Cale; together with Sterling Morrison and Angus MacLise, they would form the Velvet Underground in 1965. After building a reputation on the avant garde music scene, they gained the attention of Andy Warhol, who became the band’s manager; they in turn became something of a fixture at The Factory, Warhol’s art studio, and served as his “house band” for various projects. The band released their first album, now with drummer Moe Tucker and featuring German singer Nico, in 1967, and parted ways with Warhol shortly thereafter. Following several line-up changes and three more mostly unsuccessful albums, Reed quit the band in 1970.

After leaving the band, Reed would go on to a much more commercially successful solo career, releasing twenty solo studio albums.

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His second, Transformer (1972), was produced by David Bowie and arranged by Mick Ronson, and brought him mainstream recognition. The album is considered an influential landmark of the glam rock genre, anchored by Reed’s most successful single, “Walk on the Wild Side”. After Transformer, the less commercial but critically acclaimed Berlin peaked at No. 7 on the UK Albums Chart. Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal (a live album released in 1974) sold strongly, and Sally Can’t Dance (1974) peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200; but for a long period after, Reed’s work did not translate into sales, leading him deeper into drug addiction and alcoholism. Reed cleaned up in the early 1980s, and gradually returned to prominence with The Blue Mask (1982) and New Sensations (1984), reaching a critical and commercial career peak with his 1989 album New York.

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Reed participated in the re-formation of the Velvet Underground in the 1990s, and made several more albums, including a collaboration album with John Cale titled Songs for Drella which was a tribute to their former mentor Andy Warhol. Magic and Loss (1992) would become Reed’s highest-charting album on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at No. 6.

He contributed music to two theatrical interpretations of 19th century writers, one of which he developed into an album titled The Raven. He married his third wife Laurie Anderson in 2008, and recorded the collaboration album Lulu with Metallica. He died in 2013 of liver disease. Reed has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice; as a member of the Velvet Underground in 1996 and as a solo act in 2015.

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Reed had suffered from hepatitis and diabetes for several years. He practiced tai chi during the last part of his life. He was treated with interferon but developed liver cancer. In May 2013, he underwent a liver transplant at the Cleveland Clinic. Afterward, on his website, he wrote of feeling “bigger and stronger” than ever, but on October 27, 2013, he died from liver disease at his home in East Hampton, New York, at the age of 71. He was cremated and the ashes were given to his family.

His widow, Laurie Anderson, said his last days were peaceful, and described him as a “prince and a fighter”. David Byrne, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Morrissey, Iggy Pop, Courtney Love, Lenny Kravitz, and many others also paid tribute to Reed. Former Velvet Underground members Moe Tucker and John Cale made statements on Reed’s death, and those from outside the music industry paid their respects such as Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

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Transformer is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Lou Reed. Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, the album was released in November 1972 by RCA Records. It is considered an influential landmark of the glam rock genre, anchored by Reed’s most successful single, “Walk on the Wild Side”, which touched on then-controversial topics of sexual orientation, gender identity, prostitution, and drug use. Though Reed’s self-titled debut solo album had been unsuccessful, Bowie had been an early fan of Reed’s former band The Velvet Underground, and used his own fame to promote Reed, who had not yet achieved mainstream success.

Singles

As with its predecessor Lou Reed, Transformer contains songs Reed composed while in the Velvet Underground (here, four out of eleven). “Andy’s Chest” was first recorded by the band in 1969 and “Satellite of Love” demoed in 1970; these versions were released on VU and Peel Slowly and See, respectively. For Transformer, the original up-tempo pace of these songs was slowed down.

“New York Telephone Conversation” and “Goodnight Ladies”[3] were played live during the band’s summer 1970 residency at Max’s Kansas City; the latter takes its title refrain from the last line of the second section (“A Game of Chess”) of T. S. Eliot’s modernist poem, The Waste Land: “Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night”, which is itself a quote from Ophelia in Hamlet.

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As in Reed’s Velvet Underground days, the connection to artist Andy Warhol remained strong. According to Reed, Warhol told him he should write a song about someone vicious. When Reed asked what he meant by vicious, Warhol replied, “Oh, you know, like I hit you with a flower”, resulting in the song “Vicious”.

Transformer was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, both of whom had been strongly influenced by Reed’s work with the Velvet Underground. Bowie had obliquely referenced the Velvet Underground in the cover notes for his album Hunky Dory and regularly performed both “White Light/White Heat” and “I’m Waiting for the Man” in concerts and on the BBC during 1971–1973. He even began recording “White Light/White Heat” for inclusion on Pin Ups[citation needed], but it was never completed; Ronson ended up using the backing track for his solo album Play Don’t Worry in 1974.

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Mick Ronson (who was at the time the lead guitarist with Bowie’s band, the Spiders from Mars) played a major role in the recording of the album at Trident Studios, London,[5] serving as the co-producer and primary session musician (contributing guitar, piano, recorder and backing vocals), as well as arranger, contributing the string arrangement for “Perfect Day”. Reed lauded Ronson’s contribution in the Transformer episode of the documentary series Classic Albums, praising the beauty of his work and keeping down the vocal to highlight the strings. The songs on the album are now among Reed’s best-known works, including “Walk on the Wild Side”, “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love”, and the album’s commercial success elevated him from cult status to become an international star.
Artwork

The cover art was from a Mick Rock photograph that inadvertently became over-exposed as he was printing it in the darkroom. Rock noticed the flaw but decided he liked the fortuitous effect enough to submit the image for the album cover.

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According to Rock, “When I showed Lou the contact sheets, he zeroed in on the transformer shot. I made the print myself – as I usually did in those days. The first test I made fell out of focus in the exposure. Lou loved the result. It took me twelve attempts to reproduce this accident for the final larger print for the album cover”.

Karl Stoecker (who also shot the first three Roxy Music album covers) took the back cover photo of a woman and a man. The woman is 1960s London supermodel Gala Mitchel. The man is portrayed by Ernie Thormahlen (a friend of Reed). The man appears to have a noticeable erection, although Reed has said this was actually a banana which Thormahlen had stuffed down his jeans before the photo shoot.

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The first single from the album, “Walk on the Wild Side”, became an international success, despite its controversial subject matter. The song’s lyrics mention transgender issues, sex acts, and drugs, causing it to be edited in some countries and banned in others. It is now generally regarded by fans and critics as Reed’s signature tune. “Satellite of Love” was issued as the second single in February 1973. In 2002, a 30th anniversary edition of the album was released; in addition to demos of “Hangin’ Round” and “Perfect Day”, it includes a hidden track featuring an advert for the album. Following Reed’s death in October 2013, digital sales of Transformer, “Walk on the Wild Side”, and “Perfect Day” all rose more than 300%, and “Walk on the Wild Side” cracked the new Billboard Rock Digital Songs chart at No. 38.

In a mixed review for Rolling Stone, Nick Tosches noted the songs “Satellite of Love”, “Vicious”, “Walk on the Wild Side” and “Hangin’ ‘Round” which he felt expressed a stimulating sexuality saying “Reed himself says he thinks the album’s great. I don’t think it’s nearly as good as he’s capable of doing.

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He seems to have the abilities to come up with some really dangerous, powerful music, stuff that people like Jagger and Bowie have only rubbed knees with.” In a retrospective review for The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Tom Hull remarked that Reed “wrote a bunch of clever new songs and tried to cash in on producer David Bowie’s trendily androgynous glam rock, which worked well enough to break ‘Walk on the Wild Side.'”

In 1997, Transformer was named the 44th greatest album of all time in a “Music of the Millennium” poll conducted in the United Kingdom by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 2000, it was voted number 58 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums. Transformer is also ranked at number 55 on NME’s list of “Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2003, the album was ranked at number 194 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list, and is ranked 109 on the 2020 list. It is also on Q magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Albums Ever”.

In 2018, 33⅓ published a book by musician Ezra Furman about Transformer.(wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Ritchie Dharma (drums)
Herbie Flowers (bass, tuba)
John Halsey (drums)
Lou Reed (vocals, guitar)
Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, recorder, background vocals)
Ronnie Ross (saxophone)
Barry de Souza (drums)
Klaus Voormann (bass)
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background vocals:
David Bowie
The Thunder Thighs

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Tracklist:
01. Vicious 2:55
02. Andy’s Chest 3:17
03. Perfect Day 3:43
04. Hangin’ Round 3:39
05. Walk On The Wild Side 4:12
06. Make Up 2:58
07. Satellite Of Love 3:40
08. Wagon Wheel 3:19
09.New York Telephone Conversation 1:31
10. I’m So Free 3:07
11. Goodnight Ladies 4:19
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12. Hangin’ Round (previously unreleased acoustic demo)
13. Perfect Day (previously unreleased acoustic demo)

All songs written by Lou Reed

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More from Lou Reed:
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A fan website:
Website

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Della Reese – Della (1960)

FrontCover1Renowned as both a television star and a top-flight interpreter of jazz, blues, R&B, gospel, and straight-ahead pop music, Della Reese’s many talents ensured a long, varied, and legendary show biz career. In addition to being nominated for both an Emmy and a Grammy, and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Reese was also an ordained minister in the Universal Foundation for Better Living, an association of churches she helped found in the early ’80s.

Born Deloreese Patricia Early on July 6, 1931, she began singing in the Baptist church choir in her hometown of Detroit at age six. In 1945, having developed quite rapidly, she caught the ear of legendary gospel queen Mahalia Jackson, who invited her to join her touring choir; Reese did so for the next five summers. Upon entering Wayne State University to study psychology, Reese formed a women’s gospel group, the Meditation Singers, but her college career was cut short by the death of her mother and her father’s serious illness.

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Reese worked odd jobs to help support the rest of her family; she also continued to perform with the Meditation Singers and various other gospel groups. Encouraged by her pastor, Reese began singing in nightclubs in the hopes of getting a singing career off the ground; recently married to a factory worker named Vermont Adolphus Bon Taliaferro, her name was too long to fit on marquees, and she eventually arrived at her performing alias by splitting up her first name. After impressing a New York agent who promptly signed her, Reese moved to New York and joined the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra in 1953. A year later, she had a recording contract with Jubilee, for which she scored hits like “And That Reminds Me,” a 1957 million-seller.

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Switching to RCA Victor, Reese landed her biggest hit in 1959 with “Don’t You Know?,” a song adapted from Puccini’s La Bohème, which cemented her career, leading not only to plentiful appearances on variety shows, but successful nightclub tours of the country and eventually nine years of performances in Las Vegas, as well as recording contracts with a variety of labels over the next few decades.

Building on her previous variety show experience, Reese made a small bit of television history in 1969 when she became the first woman to guest-host The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Later that year, she became the first Black woman to host her own variety show, the syndicated Della, which ran until 1970. Following its cancellation, Reese returned to her nightclub tours, often putting in guest appearances on television shows like The Mod Squad, Sanford and Son, and Chico and the Man; after three prior failed marriages, Reese also found a lasting relationship with producer Franklin Lett, whom she married in 1978.

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On October 3, 1980, while taping a song for The Tonight Show, Reese suffered a brain aneurysm that nearly proved fatal; however, thanks to a successful operation, she was able to make a full recovery. She kept up her singing career and appeared on television shows like Designing Women, L.A. Law, and Picket Fences, as well as the Eddie Murphy films Harlem Nights and The Distinguished Gentleman. Reese also starred in the Redd Foxx sitcom The Royal Family from 1991 to 1992, and garnered what was undoubtedly her highest level of recognition in the inspirational drama series Touched by an Angel, a popular program that ran for nine years, between 1994 and 2003, on the CBS network. After Touched by an Angel finished its run, Reese continued to act intermittently on television until 2014. She died at her home in Encino, California in November 2017 at the age of 86. (by Steve Huey)

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And here´s her 9th album:

Della Reese was never a hardcore jazz singer. Her specialty was traditional pre-rock pop, and unlike jazz-oriented singers — Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Carmen McRae, among many others — she was not improvisation-minded. Therefore, her work must be judged by pop standards instead of jazz standards. Anyone who isn’t a myopic jazz snob realizes that pop standards aren’t necessarily low standards; in fact, traditional pop singers like Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Tony Bennett, and the seminal Bing Crosby have had very high standards. And similarly, Reese brings high pop standards to Della. Recorded in 1959, this excellent album finds Reese backed by an orchestra that Neal Hefti arranged and conducted. Hefti’s presence doesn’t automatically make Della a jazz session, but he provides tasteful arrangements for a pop singer who has jazz, blues, and gospel influences. In 1959, Reese was very much in her prime, and she is quite soulful on performances of “Blue Skies,” “Thou Swell,” and other standards. The singer also tackles “The Lady Is a Tramp,” one of the many gems that Sinatra defined. Reese, to her credit, doesn’t even try to emulate Sinatra’s version; instead, she provides a playful interpretation that is rewarding in its own right. (by Alex Henderson)

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Personnel:
Della Reese (vocals)
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Unknown orchestra conducted by Neil Hefti

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Tracklist:
01. The Lady Is A Tramp (Rodger/Hart) 2.38
02. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (Creamer/Johnson) 2.51
03. Let’s Get Away From It All (Dennis/Adair) 2.29
04. Thou Swell (Rodger/Hart) 2.28
05. You’re Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 2.31
06. Goody Goody (Mercer/Malneck) 3.36
07. And The Angels Sing (Mercer/Elman) 2.42
08. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (Warfield/Williams) 3.11
09. I’m Beginning To See The Light (George/Ellington/James/Hodges) 2.27
10. I’ll Get By (Ahlert/Turk) 2.28
11. Blue Skies (Berlin) 1.49
12. Someday (You’ll Want Me To Want You) (Hodges) 5.16

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The official website:
Website

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Luciano Pavarotti – Gala Concert At The Royal Albert Hall (1982)

LPFrontCover1Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (/ˌpævəˈrɒti/, US also /ˌpɑːv-/, Italian: [luˈtʃaːno pavaˈrɔtti]; 12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed and loved tenors of all time.

He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for his tone, and achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs”.

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As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Madama Butterfly. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007. (wikipedia)

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This recording was made in April 1982 during a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I’ve bought many Pavarotti concert recordings, but this concert is definitely one of my favourites, with a very nice atmosphere. Pavarotti sings (inter alia) ‘Il Lamento di Federico’, ‘Torna a Surriento’, ‘Nessun Dorma’, ‘Recondita Armonia’ and ‘E lucevan le Stelle’. I especially like ‘Il Lamento di Federico’, because Pavarotti succeeds extremely well in expressing Federico’s extreme desire. The interpretation of ‘E lucevan le Stelle’ is extraordinary. It’s very macabre, even for the great tenor himself. Unfortunately the orchestra doesn’t always play with the same compassion as Pavarotti sings, but that’s not a serious disadvantage for a Pavarotti-fan! (Bjorn)

This is not my kind of music … but: An impressive performance !

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Personnel:
Luciano Pavarotti (vocals)
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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kurt Herbert Adler

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Tracklist:
01. Recondita Armonia (from “Tosca) (Puccini) 2.44
02, Ah, La Paterna Mano (from “Macbeth” (Verdi) 3.52
03. Un Giorno Di Regno Overture (Verdi) 5.43
04. La Mia Letizia Indondere (from “I Lombardi”) (Verdi) 2.48
05. Quando Le Sere Al Placido (from “Luisa Miller”) (Verdi) 6.01
06. Fra Poco A Me Recovero (from “Lucia Di Lammermoor”) (Donizetti) 7.41
07. E La Solita Storia (Lamendo Di Federico) (from “L’Arlesiana”) (Cilea) 4.44
08. Royal Hunt And Storm (from “Les Troyens”) (Berlioz) 10.27
09. E Lucevan Le Stelle (from “Tosca”) (Puccini) 3.22
10. Nessun Dorma (from “Turandot”) (Puccini) 3.45
11. Torna A Surriento (De Curtis) 3.41

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Kurt Herbert Adler (2 April 1905 – 9 February 1988) was an Austrian-born American conductor and opera house director.

Adler was born in Vienna, Austria, to a Jewish family; his mother, Ida Bauer, was one of the first patients of Sigmund Freud. His work in the field of music led him to become the assistant to Arturo Toscanini at the Salzburg Festival in 1936 and he also worked in Italy. Following the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, as a Jew he was forced to leave and went to the Chicago City Opera Company as assistant chorus director where he worked for five years.

Gaetano Merola, then General Director of the San Francisco Opera, heard of him and, over the telephone, invited him to the San Francisco Opera in 1943 as chorus director.

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In the following ten years, he took on more and more administrative details as Merola’s health and energy diminished. While Adler was not the Board’s natural choice to replace Merola at the time of his death in 1953, after three months of acting as Artistic Director and with the help of its president, Robert Watt Miller, Adler was confirmed as General Director.

Adler’s aims in taking over the company were several. One was to expand the season and, by the 1969 season, eleven operas were given five or six performances each on average while the season ran to late November. He was tireless in seeking out up-and-coming new singers, whether American or European, by attending performances in both major and minor opera houses. Thirdly, his interest in developing stronger connections to opera stage directors in an attempt to strengthen the dramatic and theatrical elements of the works, led to a long relationship with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

Other innovations included the Merola Opera Program named after the founder of the San Francisco Opera, and “Opera in the Park”, which, from 1971, has been an annual free concert in Golden Gate Park on the Sunday following opening night of the fall season.

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He was not always regarded as an easy person to work for, but his principal achievements in San Francisco were to greatly raise the standards of the opera company and “to attract a stunning galaxy of European stars, some at the beginning of their careers, to a small city at the other end of the world, often at significantly lower salaries than New York or Chicago would offer”.

He retired in late December 1981 and continued to conduct and be involved with music until his death in Ross, California in 1988.

The Adler Fellowship program was started in his name by Terence A. McEwen to support young singers managed by the San Francisco Opera.

His son Ronald H. Adler is an opera director and has been artistic director at the Bavarian State Opera (2001–08) and the Berlin State Opera (2008–11). (wikipedia)

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Peter Green & Kolors – Live At Sinkasten Arts Club (1984)

FrontCover1Peter Allen Greenbaum (29 October 1946 – 25 July 2020), known professionally as Peter Green, was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 after a stint in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and quickly established the new band as a popular live act in addition to a successful recording act, before departing in 1970. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oh Well”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World”, appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians.

Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing, and B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” His trademark sound included string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.

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In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Green’s tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player in 2004.

Green formed the Peter Green Splinter Group in the late 1990s, with the assistance of Nigel Watson and Cozy Powell. The group released nine blues albums, mostly written by Watson,[2] between 1997 and 2004.[46] Early in 2004, a tour was cancelled and the recording of a new studio album stopped when Green left the band and moved to Sweden. Shortly thereafter he signed on to a tour with the British Blues All Stars scheduled for the following year. In February 2009, Green began playing and touring again, this time as Peter Green and Friends.

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Robin Denselow in The Guardian described Green as being “interested in expressing emotion in his songs, rather than showing off how fast he could play”.[48] He has been praised for his swinging shuffle grooves and soulful phrases and favoured the minor mode and its darker blues implications. His distinct tone can be heard on “The Supernatural”, an instrumental written by Green for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers’ 1967 album A Hard Road. This song demonstrates Green’s control of harmonic feedback. The sound is characterised by a shivering vibrato, clean cutting tones and a series of ten-second sustained notes. These tones were achieved by Green controlling feedback on a Les Paul guitar.

Many rock guitarists have cited Green as an influence, including Gary Moore, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash,[53] and more recently, Mark Knopfler, Noel Gallagher, and Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood. Green was The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson’s pick in Guitar World’s “30 on 30: The Greatest Guitarists Picked by the Greatest Guitarists” (2010).

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In the same article Robinson cites Jimmy Page, with whom the Crowes toured: “he told us so many Peter Green stories. It was clear that Jimmy loves the man’s talent”. Green’s songs have been recorded by artists such as Santana, Aerosmith, Status Quo, Black Crowes, Midge Ure, Tom Petty, Judas Priest and Gary Moore, who recorded Blues for Greeny, an album of Green compositions.

Enduring periods of mental illness and destitution throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Green moved in with his older brother Len and Len’s wife Gloria, and his mother in their house in Gorleston near Great Yarmouth, where a process of recovery began. He lived for a period on Canvey Island, Essex.

Green married Jane Samuels in January 1978; the couple divorced in 1979. They had a daughter, Rosebud (born 1978).

Green died on 25 July 2020 at the age of 73 (wikipedia)

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Peter Green had left Fleetwood Mac in 1970 and faded into obscurity due to drugs and mental illness. He resurfaced in 1979 with his 2nd solo album, In The Skies. By 1983, he was playing with Kolors. Broadcast on German FM radio, probably NDR. This concert is a rare treat and a high quality audio recording. (Paris-Portland)

Frankfurt, Germany (). This is a valuable document about the final days of the second, very underappreciated period of Green’s career

A beautiful early performance of Peter Green with Kolors in stunning recording quality!
In my opinion the best pre dat audience I heard yet!

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I remember that magic evening very well:
The venue is quite small and about 200 people were there! For some reason the sound equipment fitted perfect to that room and it sounded like Peter and the boys had built up their stuff in someones livingroom in front of an inspired listening crowd!!
They played absolutely relaxed, but managed to rebuild the great atmosphere and music from Peter´s first solo album. “In the Skies”!
Many, Many thanks, for doing such a great recording, to my friend Gerhard, well known in Dylan circles, who taped the show with his Sony professional cass. deck and gave me the masters as as an incredible present after the show!!! (plumdusty)

Recorrded live at the Sinkasten, Frankfurt, Germany, December 13th 1984
(excellent audience recording)

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Personnel:
Alfred Bannermann (guitar, vocals)
Willie Bath (bass)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
Emmanuel Rentzos (keyboards)
Jeff Whittaker (drums, percussion)

Alternate front+backcover:
AlternateFront+BackCover

Tracklist:
01. Womanizer (unknown) 7.02
02. Peter Green Instrumental (Green) 6.27
03. White Sky (Green) 6.17
04. Shining Star (Green) 4.40
05. A Loser Two Times (P.Green/M.Green) 5.21
06. In The Skies (P.Green/J.Green) 6.35
07. Love That Burns (Green/Adams) 8.13
08. Man Of The World (Green) 4.42
09. I´m A Free Boy Now (Big Boy Now) (Green) 5.48
10. Oh Well (Green) 6.05
11. Black Magic Woman (Green) 10.17
12. Albatros (Green) 6.19
13. Stay Out (Green) 7.04
14. Green Manalishi (Green) 8.53
15. Need Your Love So Bad (W.John/M.John) 7.38

The legendary Sinkkasten in Frankfurt/Germany:
Sinkkasten Frankfurt

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Pete Brown & Piblokto ! – Thousands On A Raft (1970)

LPFrontCover1Peter Ronald Brown (born 25 December 1940) is an English performance poet, lyricist, and singer best known for his collaborations with Cream and Jack Bruce. Brown formed the bands Pete Brown & His Battered Ornaments and Pete Brown & Piblokto! and worked with Graham Bond and Phil Ryan. Brown also writes film scripts and formed a film production company.

Brown was born in Ashtead, Surrey, England. Before his involvement with music, he was a poet, having his first poem published in the U.S. magazine Evergreen Review when he was 14 years old. He then became part of the poetry scene in Liverpool during the 1960s, and in 1964 was the first poet to perform at Morden Tower in Newcastle. He did poetry and music events, including a tour with guitarist Davey Graham.

Brown formed The First Real Poetry Band with John McLaughlin (guitar), Binky McKenzie (bass), Laurie Allan (drums) and Pete Bailey (percussion).

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The First Real Poetry Band brought Brown to the attention of the band Cream. Originally, he was seen as a writing partner for drummer Ginger Baker, but the group quickly discovered that he worked better with bassist Jack Bruce. Of the situation, Bruce later remarked: “Ginger and Pete were at my flat trying to work on a song but it wasn’t happening. My wife Janet then got with Ginger and they wrote ‘Sweet Wine’ while I started working with Pete.”

Together, Brown and Bruce wrote many of Cream’s songs, including the hits “I Feel Free”, “White Room” and “SWLABR” and (with Clapton) “Sunshine of Your Love”

After the break-up of Cream, Bruce and Brown continued to write songs together. Brown wrote the lyrics for most of Bruce’s solo albums.

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Brown formed Pete Brown and His Battered Ornaments in 1968, and in 1969 the band recorded two albums: A Meal You Can Shake Hands With in the Dark and Mantlepiece, with a line-up including Pete Bailey (percussion), Charlie Hart (keyboards), Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax), George Kahn (sax), Roger Potter (bass), Chris Spedding (guitar) and Rob Tait (drums). Brown then suffered the ignominy of being thrown out of his own band, the day before they were due to support the Rolling Stones at Hyde Park. His vocals were subsequently removed from Mantlepiece and re-recorded by Chris Spedding, and the band was renamed The Battered Ornaments.

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“Piblokto!” was formed after Brown’s dismissal from the Battered Ornaments, and was active between 1969 and 1971. The original Piblokto! members were; Brown on vocals, Laurie Allan on drums, Jim Mullen on guitar, Roger Bunn on bass and Dave Thompson on organ. Most of their releases were for Harvest Records.

Allan left to join The Battered Ornaments and was replaced by their drummer Rob Tait. They released their first single “Living Life Backwards” / “High Flying Electric Bird”, (the A-side later covered by Jeff Beck), followed by the album Things May Come and Things May Go but the Art School Dance Goes on Forever (1970). Bunn was replaced by Steve Glover for their second single, “Can’t Get Off The Planet” / “Broken Magic” and the LP Thousands on a Raft (1970).

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Mullen, Thompson and Tait left, so Brown and Glover were joined by Phil Ryan on keyboards, John “Pugwash” Weathers on drums (both formerly from The Eyes of Blue) and Brian Breeze on guitar. This line-up only recorded one single, “Flying Hero Sandwich”/”My Last Band”. Weathers and Breeze both departed, to be replaced by guitarist Taff Williams (also formerly in The Eyes of Blue) and drummer Ed Spevock, before finally disbanding in Autumn 1971, and Brown went on to work with Graham Bond. Both albums, all three singles and several bonus tracks were reissued on the double album CD BGOCD522 in 2001.

The band’s name was taken from the Inuit word for “Arctic Hysteria”, Piblokto, with symptoms including hysteria (screaming, uncontrolled wild behaviour), depression and echolalia (senseless repetition of words).

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After Piblokto!, Brown started to work with Graham Bond,[1] with input from Jack Bruce and Bond’s wife, Diane Stewart. In 1972 they recorded one album, Two Heads Are Better Than One, a single, “Lost Tribe”, and much of the soundtrack to the short experimental documentary film Maltamour,[6] before Bond left to form Magus in 1973.

Brown then formed Brown and Friends, and Flying Tigers, though neither group got beyond producing demos. In 1973, he recorded an album of his early poems, The Not Forgotten Association, before recording with members of Back to the Front, including an album, Party in The Rain, which was recorded in 1976 but not released until 1982.

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On the rise of punk, he left the music scene in 1977 and wrote film scripts. He then wrote a film score for a BBC TV film, with Phil Ryan, who had been in a late Piblokto! line-up. They collaborated for 12 years, and Brown formed his own label Interoceter, which issued two Pete Brown/Phil Ryan albums: Ardours of the Lost Rake and Coals to Jerusalem. They began touring in 1993, and a compilation of the two albums was issued on CD as The Land That Cream Forgot (Vintage, VIN 8031-2).[7] In the 1990s Brown also appeared with The Interoceters, performing his earlier material.

A new Brown/Ryan album Road of Cobras, including Maggie Bell, Arthur Brown, Mick Taylor and Jim Mullen, was released in 2010.

In 2004, he formed Brown Waters, a film production company,[9] with Mark A. J. Waters and Miran Hawke.

In 2010, he published his autobiography White Rooms and Imaginary Westerns (JR Books, London).

Pete Brown partnered with Gary Brooker writing lyrics for songs in Procol Harum’s 2017 album, Novum. (wikipedia)

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Thousands On A Raft is the second album by Pete Brown and Piblokto!, released in 1970 on Harvest Records.

The album was the second one on which Brown and guitarist Jim Mullen collaborated.[1] The album was the first to be released in the US in January 1972 on Blue Horizon.[2]
Cover

The album cover shows a model of the Mauretania and Concorde sinking into water alongside beans on toast. (wikipedia)

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Thousands on a Raft is remembered as much for its cover as anything else — a picture of a model Titanic and a model Concorde sinking in a puddle, as rafts of toast ferry thousands of baked beans to the shore. Musically it was some good jazz-rock, with the emphasis not always on Brown’s vocals and elliptical lyrics, as Jim Mullen’s “Highland Song” offered an inventive, lengthy instrumental as the disc’s centerpiece. The title cut has a Pink Floyd edge, surprising given Brown’s predilection for jazz and blues, but it works well in the context. Guitarist Mullen is co-writer throughout, while the rhythm section of Rob Tait and Steve Glover swing rather than plod. “Station Song Platform Two” employs Mellotron to full prog rock effect, while “Got a Letter from a Computer” seems eerily ahead of its time for the early ’70s. This was the last gasp of this incarnation of Piblokto!, but there’s no doubt they went out on a high note. (by Chris Nickson)

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Personnel:
Pete Brown (vocals, talking drum, percussion)
Steve Glover (bass, percussion)
Jim Mullen (guitar, bass on 02., percussion)
Dave Thompson (keyboards, saxophone, mellotron on 02.,  percussion)
Rob Tait (drums, percussion)

Booklet 04A

Tracklist:
01. Aeroplane Head Woman 6.45
02. Station Song Platform Two 3.43
03. Highland Song Mullen 17.05
04. If They Could Only See Me Now, Parts 1–2 Mullen 12.08
05. Got A Letter From A Computer 5.52
06. Thousands On A Raft 7.08

All songs written by Pete Brown and Jim Mullen,
except 04.: written by Jim Mullen
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