Bo Diddley – The Black Gladiator (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgSans, say, drugs, the closest you’ll ever come to hearing an album again for the first time is through the ears of another – i.e. their reaction. In this case the album in question is Bo Diddley’s 1970 psych-funk monster, The Black Gladiator – the ears on loan from my wife. While spinning the new Light In The Attic Records reissue en route to pick her up, she stepped into the car just as “Funky Fly’ was fading out – seconds before “I Don’t Like You” kicks in. If you’ve never had the pleasure, the most efficient way to describe the track is surrealist operatic-r&b-funk. Truly. It also holds the distinction as one the first recorded appearances of the Dozens. Some choice examples: “you gonna play football and get kicked” and, my personal favorite, “you gonna play mountain and get climbed on” – to which Diddley lasciviously retorts “start climbing, baybeh.” Touche’. My wife’s reaction to the album was something akin to “this is Bo Diddley??” and in an instant I suddenly heard it again for the catalog outlier it is.

Born Ellas Otha Bates, Diddley unloaded The Black Gladiator on the masses in 1970. A fuzzed out, funked out gutbucket of psychedelic garage, it’s one of Bo Diddley’s strangest full-lengths. It may also be his most fun. Like Muddy Waters‘ Electric Mud, and Howlin’ Wolf’s dogshit album, Diddley’s Gladiator was largely met with confusion and derision at the time of its release. Contextually, it’s important to note that just a couple of years prior Diddley was still performing chestnuts like “Road Runner” and cutting standard blues sides with the likes of Little Walter, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. In that respect The Black Gladiator came off like the left-field discography oddity that it is. Here, 40 years later, that same sound is anything but. Taking the long view, Gladiator stands tall next to sounds as similar and disparate as Black Merda, early Funkadelic, Sly Stone and (insert another dozen examples of your own here). And that’s just considering the seventies.

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It was four years between the release of Bo’s last album of all-new cuts, 500% More Man, and this album, during which time he’d spent time recording with Chess’ top bluesmen, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. The death of Leonard Chess in October of 1969 resulted in the sale of the label to the GRT corporation, and cost the company what little artistic guidance it had. The result was The Black Gladiator, an attempt to reshape Bo into a funk artist, in the manner of Sly and the Family Stone. As an experiment it’s understandable, and Bo tries very hard (even making another song-length sexual boast on “You, Bo Diddley,” which also ends with a great guitar/organ duet between Bo and Bobby Alexis), but he finally fails to find a groove that works. Despite some good guitar here and there, this record falls into the same category as Muddy’s Electric Mud and After the Rain albums, and Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album, all of which attempted to transform each into a psychedelic rocker. “Power House” is a pretty good cut, using a modified Muddy Waters-“I’m a Man”/”Mannish Boy” beat and lyrics. Much of the rest is for absolute completists only, however. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Bobby Alexis (organ)
Bo Diddley (vocals, guitar)
Clifton James (drums)
Chester Lindsey (bass)
Cookie Vee (tambourine, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Elephant Man 4.33
02. You, Bo Diddley 3.19
03. Black Soul 2.52
04. Power House 2.54
05. If The Bible’s Right 3.12
06. I’ve Got A Feeling 2.50
07. Shut Up, Woman 3.48
08. Hot Buttered Blues 3.59
09. Funky Fly 3.13
10. I Don’t Like You 3.09

All songs written by  Cornelia Redmond – Bobby Alexis & Kay McDanial

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Various Artists – The Many Faces Of The Rolling Stones (2015)

FrontCover1This is a great sampler from Mexico !

The Rolling Stones have become the reincarnation of rock itself, being the representation, both musically and in terms of image and behavior, what rock & roll represents. In The Many Faces Of The Rolling Stones, we will highlight their side-projects, their roots, their favorite songs and even a brand new song, which becomes and event in itself, for all the Stones’ fans around the world. The idea sounds wonderful right?. Well, The Many Faces Of The Rolling Stones will meet the expectations of even the most demanding Stones fan. We have a lost recording by Leslie West (Mountain’s guitarist) with Mick Jagger playing guitar, a duet by Keith Richards with Ian McLagan (Faces’ keyboardist), and also the hard-to-find single versions of Bill Wyman’s solo hits.

Also we have Mick Jagger and Keith Richards all time favorite songs (handpicked by themselves), and an extremely rare track titled Catch As Catch Can, that was released only in a limited edition in France as a 7″ and never previously available on CD single, by musician and producer Robin Millar (Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, Sade) recorded in 1973 along with Mick Taylor, Bobby Keys and Mick Jagger!!!.

Finally, we have the originals versions of the best songs the Stones covered during his long and illustrious career. This is a marvelous project that with remastered sound, beautiful cover art extended liner notes is an essential addition to your collection. (promo text)

Yes, yes, yes … a real great and intersting Project … Listen and discover the many faces of The Rolling Stones !
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Tracklist:

CD 1:
The Adventures Of The Stones:
01. Leslie West feat. Mick Jagger:High Roller (Jagger/Richards/Laing/Palmer) 4.13
02. Ron Wood & Ian McLagan: She Stole It (McLagan) 3.45
03. Bill Wyman: Monkey Grip (single edition) (Wyman) 3.17
04. Ian McLagan & Keith Richards: Truly (McLagan) 5.58
05. Toots & The Maytals feat. Keith Richards:- Careless Ethiopians (Hibbert) 3.22
06. Ron Wood & The Jones Gang: Had Me A Real Good Time (Lane/Wood) 4.45
07. Ian McLagan feat. Bobby Keys: Somebody (McLagan) 3.00
08 .British Invasion All-Stars feat. Dick Taylor: Gimme Some Loving (Winwood) 4.15
09. Bill  Wyman: (Si Si) Je Suis Un Rock Star (single edit) (Wyman) 3.23
10. Robin Millar feat. Mick Taylor, Nicky Hopkins & Bobby Keys: Catch As Catch Can (Millar)  3.33
11. John Phillips feat. Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor & Keith Richards:- Zulu Warrior (Phillips/Jagger) 3.30
12. Ron Wood & The Jones Gang: Stay With Me (Wood/Stewart) 5.09
13. Chris Farlowe produced by Mick Jagger: Out Of Time (Jagger/Richards) 3.15
14. Johnny Winter: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Jagger/Richards) 4.42
CD 2:
Mick & Keith’s Favourite Tracks:
01. Little Walter: I Go To Go (Walter)  2.41
02. Muddy Waters: Forty Days And Forty Nights (Roth) 2.50
03. Robert Johnson: Stones In My Passway (Johnson) 2.28
04. Ray Charles: Lonely Avenue (Pomus) 2.34
05. Z.Z. Hill: Everybody Knows About My Good Thing (Grayson /Horton) 4.57
06. Blind Willie Johnson: Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground) (Johnson) 3.20
07. Howlin’ Wolf: Forty Four (Burnett) 2.48
08. Jesse Fuller: Stagolee (Traditional) 3.44
09. Bill Broonzy: When Did You Leave Heaven (Bullock/Whiting) 3.29
10. Elmore James:- It Hurts Me Too (Red/James/London)  3.19
11. Little Walter: Key To The Highway (Segar) 2.45
12. Erna Franklin: Piece Of My Heart (Ragovoy/Berns) 2.38
13. Chuck Berry: Memphis (Berry) 2.14
14. Robert Johnson: 32-20 Blues (Johnson) 2.52
CD 3:
The  Originals:
01. Chuck Berry: Around And Around (Berry) 2.40
02. Larry Williams: She Said Yeah (Jackson/Williams) 1.50
03. Nat King Cole Trio: Route  66 (Troup) 3.01
04. Muddy Waters:  Just Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 2.51
05. Howlin’ Wolf: Little Red Rooster (Burnett/Dixon) 2.26
06. Buddy Holly: Not Fade Away (Holly/Petty) 2.23
07. Jimmy  Reed: Honest I Do (Reed/Abner) 2.42
08. Dale Hawkins: Suzie Q (Hawkins/Lewis/Broadwater)  2.19
09. The Coasters: Poison Ivy (Leiber/Stoller) 2.42
10. Jim Harpo: I’m A King Bee (Harpo) 3.04
11. Robertt Johnson: Love In Vain (Johnson) 3.20
12. Bo Diddley: Mona (McDaniel) 3.39
13. Gene Allison: You Can Make It If You Try (Jarrett) 2.09
14. Eric Donaldson: Cherry Oh, Baby (Donaldson) 3.07
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