Melanie – Paled by Dimmer Light (2004)

FrontCover1Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk (born February 3, 1947), professionally known as Melanie or Melanie Safka, is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for the 1971–72 global hit “Brand New Key”,” plus her 1970 version of “Ruby Tuesday” which was originally written and recorded by the Rolling Stones, her composition “What Have They Done to My Song Ma”, and her 1970 international breakthrough hit “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” (inspired by her experience of performing at the 1969 Woodstock music festival). (wikipedia)


No talent who came out of Woodstock and who continued actively performing more than a quarter century later remained as closely associated with the 1960s and “flower power” than Melanie. (by Bruce Eder)


In 2004 Melanie succeeded with “Paled by dimmer light”, which was released Europe-wide, probably the best CD in more than 10 years. This CD contains some new songs and some songs from the “Crazy Love” CD, which was withheld from a wide audience. (Michael Friede)

I read a lot of praise for this album,it’s now obvious why,stunning!
Starting off with the beautiful ELEMENTS,onto TO BE THE ONE,also something special,then the sublime AND WE FALL. You’d think come THE BALLAD OF CRAZY LOVE this album might start becoming less impressive,not so,it still remains top notch. And it it goes from one magical track to another,then we get to I TRIED TO DIE YOUNG which blew me away first time i heard it and i still consider it to be one of her best ever songs,the lyrics are stunning and the music fits it brilliantly. We get nicely to the likes of YOU CALL YOURSELF A WRITER and a cracking cover of U2’s I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR,which might not please some fans of the original,but many others will love it i’m sure. And onto the final track DESERTS OF BLUE,a nice guitar track by her son BEAU,clearly a very talented man,he finishes off a stunning album perfectly. Don’t be in two minds,this one is a must have for fans of a woman who does not fear a changing voice but embraces it and delivers something special with her more mature vocals. (BAZ316)


Melanie Safka (vocals, guitar)
Beau Jarred Schekeryk (guitar, background vocals)
a bunch of unknown studio musicians
Rick McComas (piano on 12.)
background vocals on 06.:
Chrissy Leary – Jess Leary – Laura Darling – Melissa Mathes

Alternate frontcover:

01. Elements (Safka) 2.41
02. To Be The One (Schekeryk/Safka) 4.03
03. And We Fall (Safka) 3.53
04. Jamming Alone () 4.03
05. The Ballad Of Crazy Love (Safka) 4.32
06. Smile () 4.46
07. Nothing Is Real (Schekeryk/Safka) 3.25
08. Make It Work For Me (Safka) 3.32
09. Extraordinary (Safka) 4.57
10. I Tried To Die Young (Safka) 4.31
11. You Call Yourself A Writer (Safka) 3.54
12. Lover Of My Friend (Schekeryk/Safka) 3.42
13. They Can Find You In Your Dreams (Safka) 3.33
14. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Clayton/Evens/Mullen/Hewson) 4.06
15. Deserts Of Blue (Instrumental) (Schekeryk) 6.23



Liner Notes

More from Melanie:

The now deleted official website:
Website1A fan website from Germany

Bob Dylan & The Band – Isle Of Wight (1969)

OriginalFrontCover1Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning more than 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and antiwar movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture. 8wikipedia)


Bob Dylan’s influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist’s role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. And that’s just the tip of his achievements. Dylan’s force was evident enough during his height of popularity in the 1960s — the Beatles’ shift toward introspective songwriting in the mid-’60s never would have happened without him — but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations, as many of his songs became popular standards and his best albums became undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon.

Bob Dylan03

Dylan’s influence on folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. Even when his sales declined in the ’80s and ’90s, Dylan’s presence rarely lagged, and his commercial revival in the 2000s proved his staying power. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Bobl Dylan2022

And here´s a very interesting bootleg LP from Dylan and the Band’s concert on Isle of Wight, UK, 31 Aug 69. This 1972 LP contains the complete concert. All photos on the cover are from the actual show.

There are several other bootlegs with the same or other titles, and about the same content, e.g. Isle of Wight, UK 1970 (Blank Labels, CT A(B), GWA 44A), Isle of Wight, US 1970 (Isle 509A/B – white cover with insert), Isle of Wight, USA 1972 (TMQ GWA45,), Belle Isle, Europe 1983, Island Man, Germany 1986, Isle of Wight, CD 1994 (Wanted Man Music WMM 39), Bob Dylan in Concert, and Minstrel Boy.

Sound quality basically sucked big time on all of the boots from the Isle of Wight. Following the Great White Wonder, boots of this concert understandably turned a lot of people off to bootlegs.(


Bob Dylan (guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals)
The Band:
Rick Danko (bass, background vocals)
Levon Helm (drums)
Garth Hudson (organ)
Richard Manuel (piano, drums)
Robbie Robertson (guitar)

So many alternate frontcovers:

01. She Belongs To Me 2.48
02. I Threw It All Away 3.07
03. Maggie’s Farm 4.34
04. The Wild Mountain Thyme 3.07
05. It Ain’t Me Babe 3.18
06. To Ramona 2.19
07. Lay Lady Lay 3.40
08. Highway 61 Revisited 3.39
09. One Too Many Mornings 2.27
10. I Pity The Poor Immigrant 3.45
11. Like A Rolling Stone 4.56
12. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight 3.16
13. The Mighty Quinn 2.53
14. Minstrel Boy 3.20
15. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 1.01
16. Mr. Tambourine Man 3.37
17. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine 3.19

All songs written by Bob Dylan



George Harrison was perhaps the biggest Bob Dylan fan of all the Beatles and he remained friends with the American throughout his life. It was George, his wife Pattie Boyd and Beatles roadie Mal Evans who travelled to Portsmouth in late August 1969 to greet Dylan upon his arrival to the UK. The initial meeting was only short as that evening Dylan and his family took the ferry over to the Isle of Wight, to Forelands Farm in Bembridge where they were staying and rehearsing. George, Pattie and Mal in the meantime returned to London to take care of some business before joining up with Bob and his family on the island two days later.

GH + JL Isle Of Wight

On 30th August 1969, the day before Dylan’s scheduled headline performance, John Lennon and Ringo Starr arrived on the island along with their wives Yoko and Maureen and a number of other celebrity attendees including Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, all eager to see Dylan perform. (

More from Bob Dylan:

Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016:
Nobel Prize

The official website:

Strawbs – The Ferryman’s Curse (2017)

FrontCover1Strawbs (or The Strawbs) are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. The band started out as a bluegrass group, but eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock and progressive rock.

They are best known for their hit “Part of the Union”, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in February 1973, as well as for “Lay Down”, a popular progressive rock hit from the same LP. Strawbs toured with Supertramp in their “Crime of the Century” tour, doing their own “Hero and Heroine” tour, which drew musical similarities and themes.


The November 2012 tour featured a line-up of Cousins, Lambert, Cronk, Adam Wakeman and Adam Falkner. In February 2014 the band gigged with a line-up of Cousins, Lambert, Cronk, Wakeman and Fernandez. Their album Prognostic was issued in October 2014.

In 2017, the band released The Ferryman’s Curse with a line-up of Cousins, Lambert, Cronk, Fernandez and Dave Bainbridge.

The band toured the US in 2019 as part of their 50th Anniversary Celebration. The tour included a special three day event in Lakewood, New Jersey, featuring former members along with special guests/friends appearing (Annie Haslam, Larry Fast, Tony Visconti, Wesley Stace among others).

The Strawbs were among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

The band released Settlement on 26 February 2021. (wikipedia)

The Strawbs01

The new album The Ferryman’s Curse is the first new Strawbs album since 2009’s Dancing To the Devil’s Beat, and it features a solid version of the electric five-piece band. In addition to the stalwart three, this includes long-time on-and-off-again-but-mostly-on-member Tony Fernandez (occasional drums from 1977 onward) and Dave Bainbridge (keyboards since 2015). This is a reasonably consistent band and I would have no problems with this being the line-up of the band for the rest of their careers (unless Wakeman should very unexpectedly offer up his services again).

Tony Fernandez01

This version of the band draw on all of their previous musical incarnations, mixing them together to create that unique Strawbs sound. They have one foot firmly in their past, never forgetting where they come from. While they aren’t necessarily trying to sound like it is 1972 any longer, they certainly remember what they used to sound like and draw from that while updating it to a present day version.

The music on The Ferryman’s Curse is ranging from progressive rockers to slow building epics. Some delve into emotional/spiritual ballads, and others are very guitar driven. Often a song will change character mid-stream to support the narrative. A Strawbs song is never pedestrian. It always does what it needs to do for the sake of the narrative.

Dave Bainbridge01

Legendary producer Chris Tsangarides (previous productions include Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Helloween, Angra, Depeche Mode, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tom Jones, and… well, Anvil) is as experienced as they come. His production is fantastic, making sure the music stays imaginative with very satisfying arrangements throughout. His biggest contribution may still be the lovely sound. There is a warm glow throughout this album, with each track having an immediate and warm sonic appeal.

The band is allowed to evolve and play naturally. This album sounds very Strawbs-y from the get-go, and they seriously mean business. I think this is the best album they have produced in decades.

Dave Lambert01

The title track deserves a special mention. The Ferryman’s Curse is the much-heralded sequel to the 28-verse epic Vision of the Lady of the Lake on the 1970 album Dragonfly. This is a chilling and sinister tale with many lyrical and musical twists over the course of its nine minutes. It builds tension as it works it way into an electric break, more atmospheric wailing, and a lot of musical and lyrical tension.

Dave Cousins is my favourite lyric writer in the world, with Stuart Adamson from Big Country being the closest to being on par with him. Adamson was ultimately slightly less consistent than Cousins over the course of his full career. Cousins never stopped being consistently brilliant from the first album all the way up to now. Even if I should dislike a song musically, or find the performances pedestrian (it happens), the lyrics can be enjoyed on their own and hardly ever lets me down. Cousins’ writing is insightful, inspiring, poetic, deep, often emotional, and contains a lot of life wisdom.

Chas Cronk01

Cousins has always written like that – this is after all the guy who when he was 21 wrote a song called Of Growing Old, making it feel like a credible poem written by a 90-year old. Some years earlier, he wrote Where Is the Dream of Our Youth.

While I really enjoy this album, lyrically is where it shines the brightest. This album is bursting at the seams with very interesting subject matter, as is evident from song titles like The Nails From the Hands of Christ, The Familiarity of Two Lovers and The Song of Infinite Sadness. If there is one person you will never see write songs called I Love You Baby or Yeah Yeah Yeah it is our Dave.

Dave Cousins01

This is a deep album which yields incredible returns if you invest in it. For me, it has been impossible not to dig deep. This is one of my favourite bands, and they have delivered an incredibly strong statement with The Ferryman’s Curse.

If you are new to Strawbs the new album is well worth checking out, but you should definitely investigate the classics too. I would start with From the Witchwood (1970), Grave New World (1972), Ghosts (1974) and Burning For You (1978).(


Dave Bainbridge (keyboards, guitar, bouzouki)
Dave Cousins (guitar, vocals, autoharp, dulcimer)
Chas Cronk (bass, guitar, vocals)
Tony Fernandez (drums, percussion)
Dave Lambert (leadguitar, vocals)


01. In the Beginning (Bainbridge/Cousins/Cronk) 2.01
02. The Nails From The Hands Of Christ (Bainbridge/Cousins/Cronk) 6.08
03. The Song Of Infinite Sadness (Cousins) 5.02
04. The Familiarity Of Old Lovers (Cousins/Cronk) 6.09
05. When The Spirit Moves (Bainbridge/Cousins/Cronk) 6.50
06. The Ten Commandments (Lambert) 5.34
07. The Reckoning (Bainbridge/Cousins) 1.54
08. The Ferryman’s Curse (Bainbridge/Cousins) 8.59
09. Bats And Swallows (Cousins) .03
10. We Have The Power (Cousins/Cronk) 3.59





The boatman lived in a stone-built house
Three score years and ten on earth
His wife was younger by several years
They lost their only child at birth

Father raised the house with his bare hands
Mother toiled the fields by day
He never spoke of the lady of the lake
The brush with death which caused him sway

The boatman made an honest living
Along the river’s south-side bank
Family gatherings, household trips
From time to time the river grew dank

One such day when the river was foul
The boatman took his wife to town
Breathing heavy on the journey home
Fever struck as the sun went down

The sickness raged for several days
The doctor rambled in despair
The old priest read the sacraments
Decay and death hung in the air

A coin for the mouth of his dying wife
Was duly placed beside the bed
A knock on the door on that moonless night
The boatman feared the word had spread

A stranger stood on the front porch step
Stovepipe hat and long black coat
“I come from the other side” he whispered
“I carry souls in the ferryman’s boat”

The ferryman growled, “I’ve come for your wife”
The boatman said, “She ain’t dead yet”
The ferryman raged, “I need her now
It’s time that you repaid your debt”

The boatman tried to make the peace
The ferryman spat and cursed and swore
As evil speaks as evil must
He called the boatman’s wife a whore

“You lusted for my daughter fair
Betrayed her in a mire of sin
You married, knowing of her fate
Time has come for the reckoning”

The boatman said “No debt is due”
The ferryman’s rage could get no worse
“It was me who caused you suffering
The still-born child of the ferryman’s curse”

“I ain’t yet put the coin in her mouth”
The boatman said with rising fear
“That job is mine” the ferryman said
And slashed the boatman on the ear

The ferryman held a wicked knife
Razor sharp, serrated blade
Stabbed at the boatman’s arms and face
Terrifying were the screams he made

The boatman reached for his Bible
To shield him in the violent fight
He reached for a log from the open fire
And set the ferryman’s hair alight

The ferryman fell to the floor in agony
Dropped the knife on the boatman’s bed
The boatman stabbed him in the gut
The screams died as the floor turned red

The boatman sat beside the bed
Holding his young wife’s tiny hand
Her eyes opened wide as the fever left
He gently stroked the wedding band

She sat up slow, looked all around
Bared her pointed teeth and smiled
Flung herself in the boatman’s arms
“I am with child, I am with child”

They dragged the ferryman to his boat
Placed the coin in the deadman’s mouth
They silently rowed to the other side
The ferryman’s curse was the boatman’s prize

More from The Strawbs:

The official website:

David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971)

FrontCover1David Van Cortlandt Crosby (August 14, 1941 – January 18, 2023) was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Crosby joined the Byrds in 1964. They had their first number-one hit in April 1965 with a cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan. Crosby appeared on the Byrds’ first five albums and produced the original lineup’s 1973 reunion album. He subsequently formed Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1968 with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.

David Crosby01

After the release of their debut album, CSN won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1969. Neil Young joined the group for live appearances, their second concert being Woodstock, before recording their second album Déjà Vu. Meant to be a group that could collaborate freely, Crosby and Nash recorded three gold albums in the 1970s, while the core trio of CSN remained active from 1976 until 2016. CSNY reunions took place in each decade from the 1970s through the 2000s.

David Crosby03

Songs Crosby wrote or co-wrote include “Lady Friend”, “Everybody’s Been Burned”, “Why”, and “Eight Miles High” with the Byrds and “Guinnevere”, “Wooden Ships”, “Shadow Captain”, and “In My Dreams” with Crosby, Stills & Nash. He wrote “Almost Cut My Hair” and the title track “Déjà Vu” for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 album of the same name. He is known for having employed alternative guitar tunings and jazz influences. He released six solo albums, five of which charted. Additionally, he formed a jazz-influenced trio with his son James Raymond and guitarist Jeff Pevar in CPR. Crosby’s work with the Byrds and CSNY has sold over 35 million albums.

David Crosby04

Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for his work in the Byrds and again for his work with CSN. Five albums to which he contributed are included in Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”, three with the Byrds and two with CSN(Y). He was outspoken politically and was sometimes depicted as emblematic of the counterculture of the 1960s.

David Crosby02

If I Could Only Remember My Name is the debut solo album by American singer-songwriter David Crosby, released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. A number of guest musicians appear on the record, including Graham Nash, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and members of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and the Grateful Dead. The ensemble was given the informal moniker of The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. It was one of four high-profile albums (all charting within the top fifteen) released by each member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping Déjà Vu album, along with After the Gold Rush (Neil Young, September 1970), Stephen Stills (Stephen Stills, November 1970) and Songs for Beginners (Graham Nash, May 1971). It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and earned a RIAA gold record certification in the United States.

Crosby’s song “Laughing” had been written earlier in his time with CSNY, while a demo version of “Song with No Words” had been tried out during the sessions for Déjà Vu and would appear on the 1991 CSN retrospective package. “Cowboy Movie” recounted the tale of a group of Old West outlaws torn apart by a femme fatale; in actuality a recounting in thinly-veiled form of the encounter by the quartet with Rita Coolidge and her effect on the romantic aspirations of at least two of them, as identified immediately by Nash.

Graham Nash & David Crosby

Recording sessions took place at the recently opened Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco. Many prominent musicians of that era appear on the record, including Nash, Young, Joni Mitchell, members of the Grateful Dead (most notably Jerry Garcia, who helped to arrange and produce the album)[citation needed], Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Santana. The ensemble was given the informal moniker of The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Jefferson Airplane bandleader, longtime Crosby associate and fellow science fiction fan Paul Kantner; many from this agglomeration, including recording engineer Stephen Barncard, also worked on Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire, Songs for Beginners by Nash, and the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, all recorded in part concurrently with the Crosby album at Wally Heider Studios. Even with the star-studded guest line-up, the final two songs feature Crosby alone, and only five songs have actual lyrics, “Orléans” being a 15th Century round listing various French cathedrals.


If I Could Only Remember My Name was released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. Two singles were taken from the album, including the minor hit “Music Is Love”, a collaboration with Nash and Young that was released in April 1971 and peaked at No. 95 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5][6] The album has remained continuously in print.

In October 1990, a compact disc version was released, having been digitally remastered from the original master tapes, using the equipment and techniques of the day, by Barncard. A double-compact disc version appeared in November 2006, with an audio disc remastered in HDCD, including a bonus track (the hitherto unreleased “Kids and Dogs”, previously earmarked for an unreleased Crosby solo album slated to appear on Capitol Records in the early 1980s) and a second DVD Audio disc of the original album remixed for 5.1 digital Surround Sound.

On October 15, 2021, a 50th anniversary re-issue of the album was released with numerous out-takes and demos, as well as liner notes by Steve Silberman.


If I Could Only Remember My Name was initially panned by many music critics.[12] Writing for Rolling Stone, Lester Bangs deemed it “a perfect aural aid to digestion when you’re having guests over for dinner”. Village Voice critic Robert Christgau gave the album a D− rating and dismissed it as a “disgraceful performance”. Crosby has said of the contemporaneous reviews: “They were looking for another record that was full of big, flashy lead guitar and blues licks and screaming lyrics … [If I Could Only Remember My Name] was not where everything else was going, so they thought it was irrelevant.”

The album went on to achieve cult status and praise from latter-day critics for its austere mood, eclectic improvisation and otherworldly harmony singing. In 2000, it was voted number 156 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s book All Time Top 1000 Albums. He stated “if you are not familiar with this miraculous record, please take the risk.”

David Crosby & Joni Mitchell

Some reviews of the 2006 reissue compare the album with Nick Drake and Meddle-era Pink Floyd, and discuss it as a progenitor of the freak folk and New Weird America subgenres of indie rock. Other writers cite the album as belonging to the sub-genre of freak-folk or psychedelic folk, and being an early progenitor of the form.

In 2010, Crosby’s album was listed second, behind the Beatles’ Revolver, on the “Top 10 Pop Albums of All Time” published in the Vatican City newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

On 18 November 2013, Crosby appeared on an edition of the BBC Radio 4 program Mastertapes, which was dedicated to the making of the album. The following day, he took part in the program’s “B-side” edition, answering audience questions and performing songs from the album. In 2016, Japanese musician Cornelius included If I Could Only Remember My Name in his list of “10 Albums Everyone Needs to Hear”.

In 2019, the album’s title was partly adopted for the Cameron Crowe documentary on Crosby, David Crosby: Remember My Name. (wikipedia)

David Crosby05

David Crosby’s debut solo album was the second release in a trilogy of albums (the others being Paul Kantner’s Blows Against the Empire and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder) involving the indefinite aggregation of Bay Area friends and musical peers that informally christened itself the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. Everyone from the members of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane to Crosby’s mates in CSNY, Neil Young and Graham Nash, dropped by the studio to make significant contributions to the proceedings. (Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Bill Kreutzman, primarily, act as the ad hoc studio band, with other notables adding bits of flavor to other individual tracks.) Crosby, however, is the obvious captain of this ship. With his ringing, velvety voice — the epitome of hippie crooning — and inspired songwriting, he turns If I Could Only Remember My Name into a one-shot wonder of dreamy but ominous California ambience.


The songs range from brief snapshots of inspiration (the angelic chorale-vocal showcase on “Orleans” and the a cappella closer, “I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here”) to the full-blown, rambling Western epic “Cowboy Movie,” and there are absolutely no false notes struck or missteps taken. No one before or since has gotten as much mileage out of a wordless vocal as Crosby does on “Tamalpais High (At About 3)” and “Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves),” and because the music is so relaxed, each song turns into its own panoramic vista. Those who don’t go for trippy Aquarian sentiment, however, may be slightly put off by the obscure, cosmic storytelling of the gorgeous “Laughing” or the ambiguous (but pointed) social questioning of “What Are Their Names,” but in actuality it is an incredibly focused album. There is little or no fat despite the general looseness of the undertaking, while a countercultural intensity runs taut through the entire album, and ultimately there is no denying the excellence of the melodies and the messy beauty of the languid, loping instrumental backing. Even when a song as pretty as “Traction in the Rain” shimmers with its picked guitars and autoharp, the album is coated in a distinct, persistent menace that is impossible to shake. It is a shame that Crosby would continue to descend throughout the remainder of the decade and the beginning of the next into aimless drug addiction, and that he would not issue another solo album until 18 years later. As it is, If I Could Only Remember My Name is a shambolic masterpiece, meandering but transcendently so, full of frayed threads. Not only is it among the finest splinter albums out of the CSNY diaspora, it is one of the defining moments of hung-over spirituality from the era. (by Stanton Swihart)


Laura Allan (autoharp, background vocals  on 06.)
Jack Casady (bass on 07.)
David Crosby (vocals, guitar)
Jerry Garcia (guitar (on 02., 03., 05., 07., pedal steel-guitar, vocals on 05.)
Mickey Hart (drums on 02.)
Jorma Kaukonen (guitar on 03. + 07.)
Bill Kreutzmann (drums on 03. + 04.,  tambourine on 02.)
Phil Lesh (bass on 02, – 05., background vocals on 05.)
Joni Mitchell (background vocals on 04. + 05.)
Graham Nash (guitar, background vocals on 01., 03. – 07.)
Gregg Rolie (piano on 07.)
Michael Shrieve (drums on 05. + 07.)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals on 01. + 05., bass. vibraphone, percussion on 01.)
background vocals on 05.:
David Freiberg – Paul Kantner – Grace Slick


01. Music Is Love (Nash/Young/Crosby) 3.19
02. Cowboy Movie (Crosby) 8.09
03.Tamalpais High (At About 3) (Crosby) 3.27
04. Laughing (Crosby) 5.21
05. What Are Their Names (Young/Garcia/Lesh/Shrieve/Crosby) 4.10
06. Traction In The Rain (Crosby) 3.42
07. Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves) (Crosby) 5.54
08. Orleans (Traditional) 1.57
09. I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here (Crosby) 1.21



David Crosby06

The official website:

J.J. Cale – Troubadour (1976)


John Weldon “J. J.” Cale (December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013) was an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and sound engineer. Though he avoided the limelight his influence as a musical artist has been acknowledged by figures such as Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, Waylon Jennings, and Eric Clapton, who described him as “one of the most important artists in the history of rock”. He is one of the originators of the Tulsa sound, a loose genre drawing on blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz.

In 2008, Cale and Clapton received a Grammy Award for their album The Road to Escondido.

Cale died at the age of 74 in San Diego, California, on July 26, 2013, following a heart attack. (wikipedia)


With his laid-back rootsy style, J.J. Cale was best-known for writing “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” songs that Eric Clapton later made into hits. But Cale’s influence wasn’t only through songwriting — his distinctly loping sense of rhythm and shuffling boogie became the blueprint for the adult-oriented roots rock of Clapton and Mark Knopfler, among others. Cale’s refusal to vary the sound of his music over the course of his career caused some critics to label him as a one-trick pony, but he managed to build a dedicated following with his sporadically released recordings, several of which, including four singles between 1972 and 1976, entered the Top 100.


While Naturally, his 1972 full-length, placed a respectable number 51 on the Top 200, it was The Road to Escondido, his 2006 collaborative album with Clapton, that charted highest at 23, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and was Cale’s first RIAA-certified gold record. Cale’s songs have been covered by everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Clapton to Neil Young and the Allman Brothers, to Beck, John Mayer, and Band of Horses, to name a few, and have been used extensively in film and television. After Cale passed in 2013, Clapton gathered a group of like-minded friends and musicians for The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. The album, released one year later, was loaded with high-profile guests and charted inside the Top Ten in seven countries. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Troubadour is a 1976 album by J. J. Cale, his fourth studio album since his debut in 1971. Eric Clapton covered the song “Cocaine” on his 1977 album Slowhand, turning it into one of his biggest hits.

Troubadour was produced by Audie Ashworth, who produced Cale’s first three studio albums. It sees Cale introducing new instruments to his sound, such as synthesizer on “Ride Me High”, with William Ruhlmann of AllMusic noting, “Producer Audie Ashworth introduced some different instruments, notably vibes and what sound like horns (although none are credited), for a slightly altered sound on Troubadour. But J.J. Cale’s albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you’ll want to have them all.” Several noted musicians play on the album, including Ken Buttrey, Buddy Emmons, and Reggie Young.


In the 2004 documentary To Tulsa and Back, Cale recalled, “I wrote ‘Cocaine’, and I’m a big fan of Mose Allison…So I had written the song in a Mose Allison bag, kind of cocktail jazz kind of swing…And Audie said, ‘That’s really a good song, John, but you oughta make that a little more rock and roll, a little more commercial.’ I said, ‘Great, man.’ So I went back and recut it again as the thing you heard.” The song’s meaning is ambiguous, although Eric Clapton describes it as an anti-drug song. He has called the song “quite cleverly anti-cocaine”, noting:


It’s no good to write a deliberate anti-drug song and hope that it will catch. Because the general thing is that people will be upset by that. It would disturb them to have someone else shoving something down their throat. So the best thing to do is offer something that seems ambiguous—that on study or on reflection actually can be seen to be “anti”—which the song “Cocaine” is actually an anti-cocaine song. If you study it or look at it with a little bit of thought … from a distance … or as it goes by … it just sounds like a song about cocaine. But actually, it is quite cleverly anti-cocaine


Although “Cocaine” would be a major hit for Clapton in 1977, the first single released by Cale from Troubadour in 1976 was the restless “Travelin’ Light” with “Hey Baby” as the B-side. Critics from the music website Alltime Records reviewed the recording: “‘Travelin’ Light’, with its funky James Burton–style guitar that Jimmy Page tried to copy on “The Crunge”, along with great xylophones to fill out the sound – it moves and cooks and rolls and rocks and has just an absolutely earthy quality”.[6] The song was released as a part of various compilation albums, including 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of J.J. Cale in 2002, The Ultimate Collection in 2004 and Classic Album Selection in 2013. Clapton later covered “Travelin’ Light” for his 2001 studio album Reptile. “Travelin’ Light” was also recorded by Widespread Panic for their album Space Wrangler in 1988.

Cale’s own version of “Travelin’ Light” was played to awaken the crews of the Atlantis Space Shuttle and International Space Station preceding their spacewalk early on Friday May 21, 2010. (wikipedia)


Producer Audie Ashworth introduced some different instruments, notably vibes and what sound like horns (although none are credited), for a slightly altered sound on Troubadour. But J.J. Cale’s albums are so steeped in his introspective style that they become interchangeable. If you like one of them, chances are you’ll want to have them all. This one is notable for introducing “Cocaine,” which Eric Clapton covered on his Slowhand album a year later. (by William Ruhlmann)


J.I. Allison (percussion on 07.)
Audie Ashworth (percussion on 03.)
Doug Bartenfeld (guitar)
Bill Boatman (guitar on 07.)
Harold Bradley (guitar on 02.)
Chuck Browning (guitar on 08.)
Kenny Buttrey (drums on 03., 06., 08. + 10.)
J. J. Cale (vocals, guitar, piano)
Tommy Cogbill (bass)
Charles Dungey (bass on 01. + 09.)
Buddy Emmons (pedal steel-guitar on 05.)
Dennis Goode (trombone on 10.)
Lloyd Green (pedal steel-guitar on 01. + 09.)
Buddy Harman (drums on 05. + 12.)
Karl Himmel (drums on 01., 02., 04. + 09.)
Jimmy Karstein (drums on 07.)
Kenny Malone (drums on 11.)
Farrell Morris (percussion on 02., 09. + 11.)
Joe Osborn (bass on 03.)
Gordon Payne (guitar on 08.)
Billy Puett (saxophone on 10.)
Bill Purcell (piano on 12.)
Bill Raffensperger (bass guitar on 07.)
George Tidwell (trumpet on 10.)
Don Tweedy (synthesizer)
Bobby Woods (piano on 08.)
Reggie Young (guitar on 01., 06. + 09.)

01. Hey Baby 3.12
02. Travelin’ Light 2.51
03. You Got Something 4.00
04. Ride Me High 3.34
05. Hold On 1.59
06. Cocaine 2.49
07. I’m A Gypsy Man 2.43
08. The Woman That Got Away 2.53
09. Super Blue 2.42
10. Let Me Do It To You 2.59
11. Cherry 3.22
12. You Got Me On So Bad 3.17

All songs written by J. J. Cale,
except 07., written by Sonny Curtis.




The official website:

James Taylor – Classic Songs (1987)

LPFrontCover1James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A six-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single “Fire and Rain” and had his first No. 1 hit in 1971 with his recording of “You’ve Got a Friend”, written by Carole King in the same year. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million copies in the US alone. Following his 1977 album JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over 1 million copies. He enjoyed a resurgence in chart performance during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number-one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

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Taylor is also known for his covers, such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” and “Handy Man”, as well as originals such as “Sweet Baby James”. He played the leading role in Monte Hellman’s 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop.

James Tayor02

Classic Songs is the second compilation album by James Taylor. Only available in Europe it was, for a long time, the only compilation album to feature original versions of Taylor’s classics. It spanned from his original work to his That’s Why I’m Here album from 1985. (wikipedia)

For a long time, Classic Songs was the only compilation to feature the original versions of all of James Taylor’s classics from his debut up through 1985’s That’s Why I’m Here. Unfortunately, it was only available in Europe, yet it long remained the best, most comprehensive collection of his work. (by Chris Woodstraby Chris Woodstra)


James Taylor (vocals, guitar)
many, many studio musicians


01. Fire And Rain (Taylor) 3.24
02, Mexico (Taylor) 3:00
03, You’ve Got a Friend (King) 4.30
04. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (Hollan/Dozier/Holland) 3.36
05. Carolina In My Mind (Taylor) 4.00
06. Something In The Way She Moves (Taylor) 3.09
07. Shower The People (Taylor) 4.31
08. Sweet Baby James (Taylor) 2.52
09. That’s Why I’m Here (Taylor) 3.38
10. Everyday (Holly/Petty) 3.12
11. Up On The Roof (Goffin/King) 4.20
12. Your Smiling Face (Taylor) 2.43
13. Her Town Too (Souther/Taylor/Wachtel) 4.25
14. Handy Man (Blackwell/Jones) 3.17
15. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Taylor) 2.36
16. Only A Dream In Rio (Taylor) 4.57



A low budget reissue from 1992:

More from James Taylor:

The official website:

Roger McGuinn – Peace On You (1974)

FrontCover1As the frontman of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn and his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker guitar pioneered folk-rock and, by extension, country-rock, influencing everyone from contemporaries like the Beatles to acolytes like Tom Petty and R.E.M. in the process. James Joseph McGuinn was born on July 13, 1942, in Chicago, where by his teenage years he was already something of a folk music prodigy. After touring with the Limelighters, in 1960 he signed on as an accompanist with the Chad Mitchell Trio, appearing on the LPs Mighty Day on Campus and At the Bitter End; frustrated with his limited role in the group, he soon joined Bobby Darin’s group when the singer moved from pop to folk.


After appearing on sessions for Hoyt Axton, Judy Collins, and Tom & Jerry (soon to be known as Simon & Garfunkel), McGuinn began playing solo dates around the Los Angeles area, where he soon formed the Jet Set with area musicians David Crosby and Gene Clark. After a failed single under the name the Beefeaters, the group recruited bassist Chris Hillman and drummer Michael Clarke, changed their name to the Byrds, and set about crystallizing McGuinn’s vision of merging the poetic folk music of Bob Dylan with the miraculous pop sounds heard via the British Invasion. McGuinn was the only member of the Byrds to play on their landmark debut single “Mr. Tambourine Man,” but his jangly guitar work quickly became the very definition of the burgeoning folk-rock form; still, despite the Byrds’ immediate success, both commercially and critically, the group was plagued by internal strife, and following the release of their 1968 country-rock breakthrough Sweetheart of the Rodeo, McGuinn was the only founding member still in the band.


Under the direction of McGuinn — who had changed his first name to Roger after a flirtation with the Subud religion — the Byrds soldiered on, delving further and further into country and roots music before finally dissolving in February 1973. That same year, McGuinn issued his self-titled solo debut, an ambitious, eclectic affair which explored not only folk and country but surf and even space rock. 1974’s Peace on You and 1975’s Roger McGuinn & His Band preceded a stint with Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, which helped revitalize his standing within the musical community. 1976’s Cardiff Rose was regarded as his best solo effort to date, but the next year’s Thunderbyrd, which featured a cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” failed to connect with audiences.


In late 1977, McGuinn reunited with Byrds mates Chris Hillman and Gene Clark; the resulting LP, 1979’s McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, notched a Top 40 pop hit with the McGuinn-penned “Don’t You Write Her Off.” Midway through recording the follow-up, 1980’s City, Clark departed, and the album was released under the name “Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman Featuring Gene Clark.” Following another effort, 1981’s McGuinn/Hillman, they went their separate ways. After undergoing another religious conversion, this time becoming a born-again Christian, McGuinn spent the remainder of the 1980s without a recording contract and performing solo dates.

The appearance of a faux Byrds led by Michael Clarke prompted McGuinn to reform the group with Hillman and David Crosby in 1989, resulting in a series of club performances, an appearance at a Roy Orbison tribute, and a handful of new recordings for inclusion on a box set retrospective. In 1991 — the same year the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — McGuinn issued his first new solo recordings in over a decade, the all-star Back to Rio, which was met with great public and critical acclaim. Live From Mars, a retrospective of songs and stories, appeared in 1996. (by Jason Ankeny)


Peace on You was Roger McGuinn’s second full-length solo album, released in 1974. The album peaked at number 92 in the US in October 1974.

The solo career of this great rock artist took a while to gather some steam; his 1976 album, Cardiff Rose, showed that with at least some consistent production and a tight backing ensemble, he could put across a powerful musical vision without having to rely totally on re-creating the sound of the Byrds. For this 1974 album his focus is as wandering as a glaucoma patient who has just gone through a two-hour field test. Many different influences come into his musical world, like strange cooks passing through a kitchen and dropping odd things into the stew. There is heavy collaborating with songwriter Jacques Levy, who like McGuinn was part of Bob Dylan’s chaotic music world during this period.


While Levy has fans who feel he brought great riches to the kingdoms of artists such as McGuinn, the offerings from the McGuinn and Levy songwriting team on this album, such as “Together” and “The Lady,” are packed with corny images and shallow sentiments — in other words, not exactly what one is used to hearing from McGuinn in his practically angelic role as a lead vocal spokesman for the Byrds. A bit of Turtles sauce goes in courtesy of vocal contributions from Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman — it doesn’t add much, but at least doesn’t detract, which is more than can be said for the song contributions of session pro Al Kooper or the wimpy Dan Fogelberg. The title of the former artist’s tune is a gift to critics and the public alike: “(Please Not) One More Time.” One Donnie Dacus offers another pair of nothing songs, while the album’s title number, courtesy of country singer Charlie Rich and hyped to the hilt via the album’s artwork, is also pretty much a disappointment, a one-idea song that badly muddles the all-important opening track parade. (by Eugene Chadbourne)


Donnie Dacus (guitar, vocals)
Dan Fogelberg (guitar, vocals)
Paul “Harry” Harris (keyboards)
Al Kooper (guitar, piano, clavinet)
Russ Kunkel (drums, percussion)
Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar, bass)
Al Perkins (pedal steel-guitar)
Leland Sklar (bass)
Tommy Tedesco (flamenco guitar)
background vocals:
Jorge Calderón – Brian Russell – Tim Coulter – Brooks Hunnicutt – Mark Volman – William McLeish Smith -Gwendolyn Edwards – Brenda Gordon – Howard Kaylan – Paul Stallworth


01. Peace On You (Charlie Rich) 4.02
02. Without You (McGuinn/Levy) 4.07
03. Going To The Country (Dacus) 3.16
04. (Please Not) One More Time (Kooper) 3.23
05. Same Old Sound (McGuinn) 3.31
06. Do What You Want To Do (Dacus) 3.01
07. Together (McGuinn/Levy) 3.40
08. Better Change (Fogelberg) 2.58
09. Gate Of Horn (McGuinn/Levy) 2.47
10. The Lady (McGuinn/Levy) 4.17



More from Roger McGuinn:

The official website:

Road Me – Strings Out Of Control (2019)

FrontCover1A real fine street musician from the next generation:

I am a singer, guitarist and songwriter. I have been involved in music since I was about 14 years old, in 12 years of active work in the music industry I have been in 4 bands. Nowadays I am most devoted to solo performing only with acoustic guitar and looper, busking and composing and producing music. Since the year I completed my university studies (2019, CTU, FEE, field of Biomedical Engineering, Prague, Czech Republic), I have been devoting myself to music full-time.

Petr Kocis01

You will meet me in clubs, at parties, at weddings and on the streets all over the world. When I’m not traveling, I live in Prague, Czech Republic. My repertoire consists of imaginative acoustic cover versions of world-famous hits interspersed with my own songs. In the summer of 2019, I released my debut album Strings Out Of Control. (press release)

Petr Kocis & Stepanka Moudra01

And here´s their debut album …

The debut CD Strings Out Of Control brings a mix of specially crafted well-known pieces of world popular music as well as original songs. The album emphasizes colorful, unusual mostly acoustic arrangements, various percussion and beat-box. (press release)

Indeed, a great mixture between own songs (with some great flute sounds !) and cover versions of bands and musicians like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, The Rembrandts … and …

… Paul Simon !

Enjoy this rarity !


Petr Kocis (vocals, guitar)
Jakub Mejstřík (drums, percussion)
Stepanka Moudra (vocals, flute)
Tomáš Tóth (violin, bass)

Petr Kocis & Stepanka Moudra02

01. I´ll Be There For You (Skloff/Crane/Kauffman/Willis/Wilde/Sōlem) 2.55
02. Lada fährt so schnell (Kocis/Moudra) 2.15
03. Under The Bridge (Kiedis/Flea/Frusciante/Smith) 3.52
04. Uptown Funk (Ronson/Mars/Lawrence/Bhasker) 3.46
05. Zazpívej jak Bůh (Kocis/Moudra) 4.36
06. Bienvenidos (Kocis/Moudra) 2.51
07. Mrs. Robinson (Simon) 3.29
08. Slečna ze Smečna (Kocis/Moudra) 3.24
09. Get Lucky (de Homem-Christo/Williams) 3.42
10. Write The Answer Back (Kocis/Moudra) 3.35
11. God Damn (Kocis/Moudra) 3.08
12. Kvido (Kocis/Moudra) 4.38
13. Good Night My Baby (Kocis/Moudra) 4.26



Petr Kocis01

The official website:

Cat Stevens – Teaser And The Firecat (1971)

FrontCover1Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948), commonly known by his stage names Cat Stevens, Yusuf, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and, later in his career, Islamic music. He returned to making secular music in 2006. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

His 1967 debut album and its title song “Matthew and Son” both reached top ten in the UK charts. Stevens’ albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were certified triple platinum in the US. His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four went to No.1 on Billboard Pop Albums and spent weeks at the top of several major charts. He earned ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, which has been a hit for four artists. His other hit songs include “Father and Son”, “Wild World”, “Moonshadow”, “Peace Train”, and “Morning Has Broken”.

Cat Stevens02

In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all of his guitars for charity, and left his musical career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has since bought back at least one of these guitars as a result of the efforts of his son Yoriyos. He was embroiled in a long-running controversy regarding comments he made in 1989 about the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. His current stance is that he never supported the fatwa: “I was cleverly framed by certain questions. I never supported the fatwa.” He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace as well as other humanitarian awards.

Cat Stevens03

In 2006, he returned to pop music by releasing his first new studio album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf as a mononym. In 2009, he released the album Roadsinger and, in 2014, he released the album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone and began his first US tour since 1978. His second North American tour since his resurgence, featuring 12 shows in intimate venues, ran from 12 September to 7 October 2016. In 2017, he released the album The Laughing Apple, now using the stage name Yusuf / Cat Stevens, using the Cat Stevens name for the first time in 39 years. In September 2020, he released Tea for the Tillerman 2, a reimagining of his classic album Tea for the Tillerman to celebrate its 50th anniversary. (wikipedia)

Cat Stevens01

Teaser and the Firecat is the fifth studio album by Cat Stevens, released in October 1971. English keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano on “Morning Has Broken” and English musician Linda Lewis also contributed vocals on “How Can I Tell You”.

The album contains 10 songs, including the hits “Morning Has Broken”, “Moonshadow” and “Peace Train”. It is also the title of a children’s book written and illustrated by Stevens. The story features the title characters from the album cover, top-hatted young Teaser and his pet, Firecat, who attempt to put the moon back in its place after it falls from the sky. Published in 1972, the book has been out of print since the mid-1970s.

The album was a commercial success, surpassing the heights achieved by Stevens’ previous album, Tea for the Tillerman, reaching both the UK and US top 3 and also spending fifteen weeks at the top of the Australian charts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the country in 1972.


In 1977 an animated version, narrated by comedian Spike Milligan, using the song “Moonshadow”, was a segment in Fantastic Animation Festival. In November 2008, a “deluxe edition” was released featuring a second disc of demos and live recordings.

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, music critic Timothy Crouse praised Stevens’ distinctive musical style and introspective songs such as “Tuesday’s Dead” and “The Wind”, but felt that he lacks Van Morrison’s evocative quality and James Taylor’s refined lyrics: “Cat has become a dependable artist, a good artist, but he appears to be one of those composers who does not develop, who holds no surprises.”

It was voted number 539 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). (wikipedia)


Even as a serious-minded singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens never stopped being a pop singer at heart, and with Teaser and the Firecat he reconciled his philosophical interests with his pop instincts. Basically, Teaser’s songs came in two modes: gentle ballads that usually found Stevens and second guitarist Alun Davies playing delicate lines over sensitive love lyrics, and up-tempo numbers on which the guitarists strummed away and thundering drums played in stop-start rhythms. There were also more exotic styles, such as the Greek-styled “Rubylove,” with its twin bouzoukis and a verse sung in Greek, and “Tuesday’s Dead,” with its Caribbean feel. Stevens seemed to have worked out some of his big questions, to the point of wanting to proselytize on songs like “Changes IV” and “Peace Train,” both stirring tunes in which he urged social and spiritual improvement. Meanwhile, his love songs had become simpler and more plaintive.


And while there had always been a charming, childlike quality to some of his lyrics, there were songs here that worked as nursery rhymes, and these were among the album’s most memorable tracks and its biggest hits: “Moonshadow” and “Morning Has Broken,” the latter adapted from a hymn with words by English author Eleanor Farjeon. The overall result was an album that was musically more interesting than ever, but lyrically dumbed-down. Stevens continued to look for satisfaction in romance, despite its disappointment, but he found more fulfillment in a still-unspecified religious pursuit that he was ready to tout to others. And they were at least nominally ready to listen: the album produced three hit singles and just missed topping the charts. Tea for the Tillerman may have been the more impressive effort, but Teaser and the Firecat was the Cat Stevens album that gave more surface pleasures to more people, which in pop music is the name of the game. (by William Ruhlmann)


Harvey Burns (drums, percussion)
Gerry Conway (drums, percussion)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
Larry Steele (bass, percussion)
Cat Stevens (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Angelos Hatzipavli (bouzouki on 02.)
Linda Lewis (vocal on 05.)
Andy Roberts (kriwaczek string organ on 05.)
Jean Alain Roussel (organ on 10.)
Andreas Toumazis (bouzouki on 02.)
Rick Wakeman (piano on 07.)


01. The Wind 1.42
02. Rubylove 2.38
03. If I Laugh 3.20
04. Changes IV 3.32
05. How Can I Tell You 4.27
06. Tuesday’s Dead 3.37
07. Morning Has Broken 3.20
08. Bitterblue 3.12
09. Moonshadow 2.52
10. Peace Train 4.11

All songs written by Cat Stevens
except 07.: Traditional with words by Eleanor Farjeon



Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come

‘Cause I’m on the edge of darkness
There ride the Peace Train
Oh, Peace Train take this country
Come take me home again

Now I’ve been smiling lately,
Thinkin’ about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
Something good has begun

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train

Get your bags together,
Go bring your good friends, too
‘Cause it’s getting nearer,
It soon will be with you

Now come and join the living,
It’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
Soon it will all be true

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Peace Train

Now I’ve been crying lately,
Thinkin’ about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
Why can’t we live in bliss

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a Peace Train
Oh Peace Train take this country,
Come take me home again

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on, come on, come on
Yes, come on, peace train
Yes, it’s the peace train

Come on now, peace train
Oh, peace train

More from Cat Stevens:

The official website:

Strawbs – From The Witchwood (1971)

FrontCover1Strawbs (or The Strawbs) are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. The band started out as a bluegrass group, but eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock, progressive rock, and (briefly) glam rock.

They are best known for their hit “Part of the Union”, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in February 1973, as well as for “Lay Down”, a popular progressive rock hit from the same LP. Strawbs toured with Supertramp in their “Crime of the Century” tour, doing their own “Hero and Heroine” tour, which drew musical similarities and themes.

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The Strawbs formed in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys while the founder members were at St Mary’s Teacher Training College, Strawberry Hill, London. The name was shortened to ‘The Strawbs’ for a June 1967 concert in which they wanted to display the band name on stage. Their long-time leader and most active songwriter is guitarist and singer Dave Cousins (guitar, dulcimer, banjo, vocals) (born David Joseph Hindson, 7 January 1945, Hounslow, Middlesex). In the early days Strawbs played with Sandy Denny (later lead singer of Fairport Convention and Fotheringay).


Although they started out in the 1960s as a bluegrass band the band’s repertoire shifted to favour their own (mainly Cousins’) material. While in Denmark in 1967, the Strawbs (Cousins, Tony Hooper and Ron Chesterman) with Sandy Denny recorded 13 songs for a proposed first album, All Our Own Work. It was apparently not issued in Denmark and the fledgling band could not get a UK record deal. (Meanwhile, Denny left to join Fairport Convention and the album was forgotten until it was issued on Pickwick Hallmark in the UK in the mid-1970s.)

They were the first UK group signing to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and recorded their first single, “Oh How She Changed” in 1968, which was produced and arranged by Gus Dudgeon and Tony Visconti, who also worked on their critically acclaimed first album, Strawbs (1969). Between the first and second A&M albums, in 1969, a sampler, Strawberry Music Sampler No. 1 was recorded. According to the 2001 CD reissue, only 99 copies of the original vinyl LP were pressed up.


After the folk-tinged Dragonfly, Cousins and Hooper added Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Richard Hudson on drums, and John Ford on bass. The new line-up had their London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where they recorded their third album, Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios; the Melody Maker reported on the concert with the headline “Tomorrow’s superstar” in reference to Wakeman. Wakeman stayed with them for one further album, From the Witchwood, then departed to join Yes, remarking to the press that “I’m sure we’ll all benefit from the split because we were beginning to compromise a lot on ideas – like we’d use half of my ideas and half of theirs – and I don’t think it was helping what was eventually coming out. We ended up lacking challenge. Complacency set in, and for the last couple of months we just weren’t working.” (wikipedia)


From the Witchwood is the third album by the English band Strawbs. It was recorded at Air Studios in London during February and March 1971 and reached number 39 in the UK Albums Chart on 17 July 1971.

The album is the third and final album to include Rick Wakeman, including his appearance as a session musician on the 1970 album Dragonfly. The sleeve illustration was “The Vision of St. Jerome”, a tapestry from the Spanish Royal Collection. (wikipedia)


This album was originally the weak link in the transition of the Strawbs from an acoustic folk-rock outfit to a progressive folk band, being neither fish nor fowl and suffering from an anemic mix. The 1998 British reissue (A&M 540-939-2), however, solves some inherent problems that plagued both the original vinyl edition and the first CD reissues. The new remastering toughens up the bass sound, and brings out more of the sheer power of Rick Wakeman’s organ and synthesizer playing, accenting the harder side of the group’s sound that was obviously there in the studio but lacking in the analog mix. “A Glimpse of Heaven” and “The Hangman and the Papist,” in particular, benefit from the remastering, and “Sheep” finally has the musical fury to match its lyrics.


Dave Cousins’ voice also comes off as really close, and the effect is to make this a much more potent album than it previously seemed. Overall, it’s now far easier to visualize this recording as the step leading to full-blown progressive rock releases such as Grave New World, which followed. The disc includes one bonus track, John Ford’s “Keep the Devil Outside,” which has an acoustic opening and a hard rock break and finale, which was cut at these same sessions, and which turned up months later as the B-side of “Benedictus,” a single drawn from the next album. (by Bruce Eder)


Dave Cousins (guitar, vocals, dulcimer, banjo, recorder)
John Ford (bass, vocals)
Tony Hooper (guitar, autoharp, percussion,vocals)
Richard Hudson (drums, sitar, vocals)
Rick Wakeman (keyboards, synthesizer)
The Choir and Congregation of Air Strawb (choir on 01.)


01. A Glimpse Of Heaven (Cousins) 3.50
02. Witchwood (Cousins) 3.24
03. Thirty Days (Ford) 2.53
04. Flight (Hudson) 4.24
05. The Hangman And The Papist (Cousins) 4.12
06. Sheep (Cousins) 4.16
07. Canon Dale (Hudson) 3.46
08. The Shepherd’s Song (Cousins) 4.33
09. In Amongst The Roses (Cousins) 3.48
10. I’ll Carry On Beside You (Cousins) 3.10
11. Keep The Devil Outside (Ford) 3.02



More from The Stawbs:

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