Various Artists – That´s Underground – The Rock Machine Turns You On (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgDuring the Sixties, “underground music” became very popuilar all over the world.

So many record companies decided to release sampler to push this exciting sound.

That’s Underground, The Rock Machine Turns You On (original 1968 CBS pressing), is one of the most treasured records not only for featuring some big names of the era but because of its spectacular psychedelic splatter multicoloured vinyl. Made before they became fashionable and they hardly get more coloured than this.

The West German album has on the rear sleeve the familiar words “The Rock Machine Turns You On” (not the same compilation as the UK, Dutch and French albums The Rock Machine Turns You On above). The West German records are on distinctive “psychedelic” multicoloured vinyl, but both records shown have orange CBS labels. The rear sleeve shows pictures of other contemporary CBS releases.

This album was for many people a very important album:

“This must have been the first colored vinyl I saw in my life. Not only the splashing colors blew my mind, but also the music heard on this album must have blown the brains out of the 16 year old boy I was then. Still love each and every track on this album.” (Leonard)

“Blown my mind just looking at it. It sure is one hell of a production, the vinyl and song selection all look great. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen or heard of this before but then looked it up and found it was only issued in Germany, Italy and South Africa. Surely, it deserved a much wider release and I can see why it would have been a totally mind-bending experience to a youngster in the 60’s. 50 years on and it’s freaking me out right now.” (Lee Wrecker)

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Alternate front + back cover from South Africa

This LP was  reissued of released in Germany by Repertoire in 2005 under licence from Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH. It dates the original release as 1970 (!) …

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I´m sure, that this compilation was for many, many people a very important part of their life … you can call it … a soundrack of their youth …

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Tracklist:
01. The Electric Flag: Killing Floor (Burnett) 4.14
02. Spirit: Mechanical World (Andes/Ferguson) 5.19
03. The Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today (J. Chambers/W. Chambers) 4.53
04. Leonard Cohen: Suzanne (Cohen) 3.49
05. Moby Grape: Can’t Be So Bad (Miller)
06. Big Brother And The Holding Company: Piece Of My Heart (Ragovoy/Berns) 4.15
07. The United States Of America: Hard Coming Love (Moskowitz/Byrd) 4.44
08. Blood, Sweat And Tears: My Days Are Numbered (Kooper) 3.19
09. Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Dylan) 3.28
10. Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills: You Don’t Love Me (Cobb) 4.08

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Many fantastic colors … 

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I got this sampler from Mr. Sleeve … thank you very much !!!

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Big Brother & The Holding Company – Same (1967)

2ndFrontCover1The debut, self-titled album from Big Brother & the Holding Company is an evolving paradigm, ten tracks initially issued on Mainstream Records, a label that would have success in 1968 with “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes. Unfortunately for Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Company, the respectable performances and all of the material on this disc are undercut by a weak production that sounds rushed. Recorded on December 12, 13, and 14 of 1966, it’s quite telling that perhaps the best two songs from the sessions, Peter Albin’s tribal-sounding “Coo Coo,” and Janis Joplin’s fiery “The Last Time,” were only available on a 45 RPM and played as treats on FM radio “rare tape” nights. Those two songs have an intensity and drama missing from laid-back album cuts like “Easy Rider” and “Intruder.” Big Brother’s strength sans Janis was their ability to experiment and rely heavily on ideas to make up for their lack of musical prowess. Sad to say, there is little of that experimentation here. Even a potential science fiction Peter Albin composition, “Light Is Faster Than Sound,” comes off like an audition tape instead of the hit it could have been had it the cosmic explosion of a “Journey to the Center of the Mind.” The album does contain interesting studies of future classics, like Moondog’s “All Is Loneliness” (the street poet eventually signing with Columbia himself), and Joplin’s creative arrangement of “Down on Me,” making it more of an entertaining textbook than a deep musical experience.

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It was the lack of product from superstar Janis Joplin which kept putting an emphasis on this release with little else available to satisfy rabid fans who couldn’t get enough Janis. Columbia picked up the album and re-issued it in its original form, then reissued it again with “The Last Time” and “Coo Coo” added. In 1999, former Cars’ manager Steve Berkowitz coordinated a superb 14-track re-release with invaluable Sam Andrew liner notes and an eight-page booklet, alternate takes of “Call on Me” and “Bye, Bye Baby” opening up the vaults and giving more insight. Almost four decades after their release, these naive recordings remain a precious snapshot because of the spirit and enthusiasm of the superstar just emerging from the grooves. (by Joe Viglione)

And this was the start of the short but great career of Janis Joplin … one of the best female singers in the rock history !!

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Personnel:
Sam Andrew (guitar)
Peter Albin (bass)
David Getz (drums)
James Gurley (guitar)
Janis Joplin (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Bye, Bye Baby (John) 2.40
02. Easy Rider (Gurley) 2.26
03. Intruder (Joplin) 2.30
04. Light Is Faster Than Sound (Albin) 2.33
05. Call On Me (Andrew) 2.35
06. Women Is Losers (Joplin) 2.06
07. Blindman (Getz/Gurley/Joplin/Albin/Andrew) 2.26
08. Down On Me (Traditional) 2.07
09. Caterpillar (Albin) 2.21
10. All Is Loneliness (Moondog) 2.32
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11. Coo Coo (Single) (Albin) 1.59
12. The Last Time (Single) (Joplin) 2.17
13. Call On Me (alternate take) (Andrew) 2.42
14. Bye, Bye Baby (alternate take) (John) 2.39

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