Placebo – 1973 (1973)

FrontCover1.jpgThis Jazz-Rock group from Belgium was founded by Marc Moulin:

Marc Moulin (16 August 1942 – 26 September 2008) was a Belgian musician and journalist (print, radio, TV). In the early-mid seventies, he was the leader of the jazz-rock group Placebo (not to be confused with the English alternative rock band with the same name). He went on to become a member of the avant-rock band Aksak Maboul in 1977 and also formed the pop group Telex in 1978. Moulin was one of Belgium’s jazz legends, making jazz-influenced records for over 30 years.

Marc Moulin was born in Ixelles, Brussels in 1942 and was the son of Léo Moulin, a sociologist and writer, and Jeanine Moulin, a Belgian poet and literary critic. Moulin began his career in the 1960s playing the piano throughout Europe and in 1961 won the Bobby Jaspar trophy for Best Soloist at the Comblain-la-Tour festival. Moulin made his first recording, the Jazz Goes Swinging LP with The Saint-Tropez Jazz Octet (also known as Johnny Dover Octet) in 1969. Two years later, he formed the band Placebo with his close friend, guitar player Philip Catherine. Placebo recorded three albums (‘Ball Of Eyes’, ‘1973’ and ‘Placebo’) and one 45 rpm single from 1971 until the group split up in 1976.

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After Placebo disbanded, Moulin formed Telex with Michel Moers (vocals) and Dan Lacksman (synthesizer) in 1978 and his style shifted to electro pop.[2] He also began working as producer for artists such as Lio, Michel Moers, Sparks, Philip Catherine, French crooner Alain Chamfort and left-field artists such as Anna Domino and Kid Montana. During the ’80s, Moulin worked as a radio producer, appeared regularly on radio shows, and wrote for various Belgian publications, including ‘Télémoustique’.[4][5]

Moulin died of throat cancer on 26 September 2008. He was 66 years old. (by wikipedia)

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This is studio album number two for this Jazz/Rock band from Belgium. A nine piece here with plenty of horns including tenor sax, soprano sax, trumpet, trombone, bass clarinet and flugelhorn. We also get flute, bass, guitar, drums and a variety of keyboards including synths from band leader Marc Moulin.

“Bolkwush” is a great opener as we get keys, drums and bass right away as horns arrive blasting and they will come and go. Love that trumpet just before a minute as other horns continue to come and go. I also like the low end sounding keys and bass along with the steady, punchy sounding drums. “Temse” has intricate drum work as horns and flute kick in briefly. The electric piano takes over as the horns return. Such a good groove to this one as the horns come and go over top. Some clavinet too after 2 minutes.

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“Phalene” has a relaxed sound to it of electric piano, drums and a horn to start. Bass joins in as well to this lazy and smokey sounding song. Such a chilled-out track as it drifts along with different sounds coming and going over top. Love that electric piano. “Balek” might be my favourite though. We get these deep sounds that pulse as drums help out. Melancholic synths and horns start to come and go. Electric piano after a minute. The melancholic synths are back after 2 1/2 minutes to the end.

“Polk” is kind of funky as electric piano joins in. Horns before 1 1/2 minutes replace the piano but the latter returns a minute later. “Only Nineteen” opens with bass and drums and they create an excellent sound here as the electric piano joins in quickly. Some brief blasting horns before 2 1/2 minutes before they turn steady playing over top.

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“Red Net” has relaxed electric piano as slowly played horns join in. This is really laid back. Electric piano leads the way for the most part other than early on and late. “Re-Union” is different from the rest. Atmosphere hums and hovers as it floats along throughout. Sounds like electronics over the final minute which is kind of cool. (Mellotron Storm)

In other words: Excellent and hypnotic Jazz-Rock !!!

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Personnel:
Frans Van Dijk (trombone)
Johnny Dover (horns)
Nick Fissette (trumpet)
Nick Kletchkovski (bass)
Marc Moulin (keyboards)
Freddy Rottier (drums, percussion)
Richard Rousselet (trumpet)
Alex Scorier (saxophone, flute)
Francis Weyer (guitar, bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Bolkwush 5.44
02. Temse 3.45
03. Phalene 7.52
04. Balek 4.22
05. Polk 3.22
06. Only Nineteen 3.51
07. Red Net 5.41
08. Re-Union 5.24

Music composed by Marc Moulin

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Chick Corea & Return To Forever – No Mystery (1975)

LPFrontCover1No Mystery (1975) is the fifth studio album by jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever.

All members of the group contributed compositions to this album. Side A contains heavily funk-influenced material composed by each member of the group, whereas Side B is filled by Chick Corea compositions. Chick Corea won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, Individual or Group Grammy Award in 1975 for this album. (by wikipedia)

The fourth edition of Return to Forever was a band that emphasized the screaming wah-wah guitar of Al Di Meola and every electric keyboard Chick Corea could get his hands on to play furiously fast runs. Where the initial, airy Flora Purim/Airto/Joe Farrell edition gave way to the second undocumented group featuring Earl Klugh, and the third band with electric guitarist Bill Connors, this RTF was resplendently and unapologetically indulgent, ripping through riffs and charted, rehearsed melodies, and polyrhythms like a circular saw through a thin tree branch. Their immediacy and visceral power is why rock audiences were drawn to them, impressed by their speed-demon vagaries as much as their concern for musicality. Thank goodness No Mystery had more than its share of toned-down acoustic moments, as well as the powerhouse fighter jet stance that most of their fans craved. It’s not nearly as balanced as the previous album Where Have I Known You Before?, but expounds on those themes — inspired by Neville not Harry Potter — in a more progressive though louder manner.

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The bold, dancing, and funky “Dayride” in a higher octave and vocal-type keyboard range perfectly identifies the group sound in a scant three-plus minutes. The two-part, 14-minute “Celebration Suite” gives you a larger view of the classical Bartok/Chopin influence of Corea, and the dramatic medieval or regal stance they alchemized with so many keyboard sounds. It’s pseudo-funky, Spanish in a 6/8 rhythm, wailing with Di Meola leaping forth in true guitar hero form, with some group-oriented perfunctory subtleties and complex lines. The title track is the jewel, an acoustic romp through fields of flowers with Lenny White on marimba buoyed by a beautiful, lilting, memorable melody and shifting loud and soft dynamics — a classic in the repertoire and a fan favorite. The tromping beat of “Jungle Waterfall” supersedes Stanley Clarke’s lithe lines, while noise keyboards dominate the silly “Sofistifunk.” Corea’s acoustic piano is featured on the chordal, grandiose solo “Excerpt from the First Movement of Heavy Metal,” and in duet with Clarke. the improvised “Interplay” shows a more spontaneous rather than rehearsed side of these brilliant musicians. Over time, No Mystery yields mixed results, where initially they were viscerally driven and ultimately impressive. The next phase of the group, as indicated by this recording, would take them into even more technologically dominated music. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Stanley Clarke (bass, organ, synthesizer, vocals)
Chick Corea  (keyboards, vocals, syntesizer, snare drum, marimba)
Al Di Meola (guitar)
Lenny White (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Dayride (Clarke) 3.25
02. Jungle Waterfall (Corea/Clarke) 3.03
03. Flight Of The Newborn (Di Meola) 7.24
04. Sofistifunk (White) 3.54
05. Excerpt From The First Movement Of Heavy Metal (Corea/Clarke/White/Di Meola) 2.45
06. No Mystery (Corea) 6.13
07. Interplay (Corea/Clarke) 2.17
08. Celebration Suite, Part I (Corea) 8.19
09. Celebration Suite, Part II (Corea) 4.37

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L to R: Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea –  Return To Forever performing in 1974 at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York.

Chicago – Chicago VIII (1975)

FrontCover1Chicago VIII is the seventh studio album, and eighth album overall, by American rock band Chicago, released in 1975. Following the experimental jazz/pop stylings of Chicago VII, the band returned to a more streamlined sound on this follow-up.

After five consecutive years of constant activity, the members of Chicago were feeling drained as they came to record Chicago VIII at producer James William Guercio’s Caribou Ranch in Colorado in the summer of 1974. While the variety in styles explored on Chicago VIII were reminiscent of Chicago VI, this particular album had a more distinct rock feel, as exemplified on Peter Cetera’s “Anyway You Want” (later covered by Canadian singer Charity Brown) and “Hideaway”, as well as Terry Kath’s Hendrix tribute “Oh, Thank You Great Spirit” and James Pankow’s hit “Old Days” (#5). The ballad “Brand New Love Affair, Part I & II” charted at #61.

Preceded by Lamm’s nostalgic “Harry Truman” (#13) as lead single, Chicago VIII was held over for release until March 1975 as Chicago VII was still riding high in the charts. While it easily reached #1 in the US, the album had a lukewarm critical reception — still commonly considered, by some, as one of their weakest albums from the original lineup, resulting in the briefest chart stay of any Chicago album thus far. It was also the first album to feature session percussionist Laudir de Oliveira as a full-fledged band member rather than merely a sideman, the first addition to the original lineup.

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Inside the original LP package was an iron-on t-shirt decal of the album cover and a poster of the band in a station wagon being pulled over by a policeman.

This album was mixed and released in both stereo and quadraphonic. In 2002, Chicago VIII was remastered and reissued by Rhino Records with two unreleased songs: “Sixth Sense” (an instrumental, or possibly a backing track) by Kath and “Bright Eyes” by Lamm, as well as a version of “Satin Doll” recorded for a Dick Clark’s “Rockin’ New Year’s Eve” special – all as bonus tracks. (by wikipedia)

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Road-weary and running low on steam, the members of Chicago began tinkering with their formula on the nostalgic Chicago VIII. Robert Lamm continued to loosen his grip on the songwriting, allowing Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, and James Pankow to pen the majority of the album. The enthusiasm and drive that the band had displayed on their previous efforts was audibly escaping them, best exemplified by the lazy drawl that Cetera affects on his otherwise rocking “Anyway You Want.” Finally, the jazz tinges continued to appear less and less, replaced by a brassy R&B approach that provides a more rigid structure for their tunes. But these factors don’t necessarily count against the band, as many songs have a lazy, late-afternoon feel that provides a few feel-good moments. Pankow’s “Brand New Love Affair — Part I & II” is a smooth, light rock ballad that Terry Kath wraps his soulful voice around, transforming it into a brooding lament on lost love. This track also begins to incorporate the multi-vocalist approach that would become the trademark of their ’80s work, as the second half of the song is sung by Cetera and Lamm as well. Kath’s “Oh, Thank You Great Spirit” is another winner, as his delicate vocals drift along on a sparse and psychedelic (for Chicago at least) sea of guitars. Pankow’s “Old Days” may be the only other notable track, a powerful rocker that showcases his tight compositional skills and provided the band with the only memorable hit song from the record. Lamm’s contributions are the least-commercial songs, as his arty and dynamic tracks are nostalgic entries that show him moving in an atypical direction lyrically and musically. Only his “Harry Truman” really connects, and the instrumental tributes to Depression-era jazz and the goofy singalong ending manage to render the song silly before it can really sink in. Although not terrible by any means, Chicago VIII is heavily burdened by their obvious desire to take a break. The band hits upon some wonderful ideas here, but they are simply too weary to follow them up, and the resulting album has none of the tight orchestration that reigns in their more ridiculous tendencies. (by Bradley Torreano)

Oh no, no … this is a pretty good album by Chicago … listen to “Oh, Thank You Great Spirit” or “Hideaway” and you´ll know, what I mean.

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Personnel:
Peter Cetera (bass, vocals)
Terry Kath (guitar, vocals)
Robert Lamm (keyboards, vocals)
Lee Loughnane (trumpet, background vocals)
Laudir de Oliveira (percussion, background vocals)
Walter Parazaider (saxophones, flute, clarinet, background vocals)
James Pankow (trombone, background vocals)
Danny Seraphine (drums)
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background vocals on 06.:
Caribou Kitchenettes
John Carsello – Donna Conroy – Bob Eberhardt – Steve Fagin – Kristy Ferguson – Linda Greene – Brandy Maitland – Katherine Ogden – Joanne Rocconi – Richard Torres – Angele Warner

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Tracklist:
01. Anyway You Want (Cetera) 3.39
02. Brand New Love Affair, Part I & II (Pankow) 4.28
03. Never Been in Love Before (Lamm) 4.10
04. Hideaway (Cetera) 4.44
05. Till We Meet Again (Kath) 2.03
06. Harry Truman (Lamm) 3.00
07. Oh, Thank You Great Spirit (Kath) 7.19
08. Long Time No See (Lamm) 2.47
09. Ain’t It Blue? (Lamm) 3.29
10. Old Days (Pankow) 3.32

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Jeff Beck – Live At The Palais, Melbourne (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgIt was 1977, when Jeff Beck made his first and only trip to Australia, 32 long years ago for his legion of fans.
I am one of those fans and can proudly boast that I saw him play (alongside the Jan Hammer Group) when he performed at Festival Hall, Melbourne. I was 18 at the time and was heavily influenced by his ‘Blow By Blow’ and ‘Wired’ albums.
Finally, in 2009 guitar legend Jeff Beck returned to Australia for a series of rare and very special performances. Regrettably, I was unable to make the concert, but did managed to acquire a live recording of his concert played at the Palais Theatre in St.Kilda, Melbourne.
According to Guitar World Magazine “Beck and his group turned in rapturous performances on material that covers every portion of the guitarist’s career… Beck’s finger-picking technique, tone and touch have always been astounding, but this bootleg demonstrates that, some 40 years into his career, he is a peerless master of his craft”.
Earlier this year in London, 64 year-old Beck was awarded the Blues Artist of the Year Award, and has been nominated for 2009 induction into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame as a solo artist (by wots-on.info)

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Jeff Beck last toured Australia half a lifetime ago. In 1977, Beck, one of the great electric guitar virtuosos, was a 32-year-old who was spending a year outside Britain to change his tax status. These days, the 64-year-old is happily ensconced in his homeland.
Most of the band that played at Ronnie Scott’s will be joining Beck in Australia, most notably Tal Wilkenfeld, the 22-year-old Sydney bass prodigy who has rapidly built an international reputation. “She has the adult phrasing of a mature black funk bass player coming out of a child. It’s bizarre,” says Beck, who took it as a compliment when Wilkenfeld first started gigging with him and fans assumed she was his daughter.
“I never thought there would be anybody like her, this little figure standing around my kitchen just wanting to play.” (by Craig Mathieson)
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And here´s a concert review:
Poster.jpgThe night started off with Australian guitar virtuoso Jeff Lang and his bass player, a fine choice of support for Jeff Beck. It’s easy to draw parallels between the two Jeffs, both possessing outstanding guitar technique and, of course, the same first name, but it’s more important than that. Both are songwriters and they use their virtuosity to enhance their songs. This shows through for Jeff Lang on tracks like “The Road is Not Your Only Friend”, inspired by banjo players to the point where his guitar sounded like a banjo, and the nice steel lap guitar work on “Some Memories Never Die”.
After Jeff Lang departed, Jeff Beck and his group took to the stage, opening with Jeff’s “Bolero” (anyone else sick of seeing the word – œJeff’?), which made for a pretty fine opener. Speaking of Beck, for a guy in his sixties he’s in pretty good shape, but more importantly he plays just as good as ever. Speaking of his playing, it’s just like Eric – œCaptain Boring’ Clapton says; it’s all in his hands. In fact I even saw him continuing a solo while shaking out a cramp in his right hand. But the important difference between Beck and other so-called guitar virtuosos is that Beck knows when to show off and when to play melody, he doesn’t fill every second with a torrent of notes. When he does it’s not to excess, i.e. soloing with his teeth every five minutes. Such as in the cover of Goodbye Porkpie Hat , in which he took a solo with just his left hand, he had this big old happy grin which was just adorable. His band mates have the same mentality as Beck, they’re there mainly to entertain and have fun, not just to show off.

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Of special note was bass player Tal Wilkenfeld, acting more like a rhythm guitarist that just a bassist on songs like “Led Boots”; although the drummer and keyboardist were both quite good, with the keyboardist playing a fine solo during “Blue Wind”. Speaking of his band mates, he’s clearly enthralled by them; at one point getting down on his knees and faux-worshiping the bassist, and during the final bow out he stepped aside and applauded them.
Alas the night had to come to an end, and perhaps as a reference to Neil Young’s choice of ending song at BDO, Beck & Co. also finished with an amazing version of “A Day In The Life”. After a standing ovation, and two encores with one song apiece, finally Beck and Co huddled together and took a bow, with Beck thanking the audience (the third time of the night in which he spoke, not that he needs to, he could probably order a cup of coffee using nothing but his guitar and left hand), and departed the stage.
In short and without so much of my verbose Jeff Beck ass-worshiping, he’s still got it.

This is a excellent soundboard recording

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Personnel:
Jeff Beck (guitar)
Vinnie Colaiuta (drums)
David Sancious (keyboards)
Tal Wilkenfeld (bass)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
101. Beck’s Bolero (Beck) 3.38
102. The Pump (Hymas/Phillips) 4.08
103. Eternity’s Breath (McLaughlin) 1.29
104. You Never Know (Hammer) 3.23
105. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (Wonder) 5.13
106. Behind The Veil (Hymas) 5.06
107. Blast From The East (Hymas) 3.25
108. Stratus (Cobham) 5.20
109. Angels (Footsteps) (unknown) 5.43
110. Drum Solo (Colaiuta ) 1.17
111. Led Boots (Middelton) 4.25

CD 2:
201. Nadia (Sawhney) 3.31
202. Bass Solo (Wilkenfeld) 2.26
203. Snake Oil (Newton) 4.25
204. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Mingus) 1.16
205. Brush With The Blues (Beck/Hymas) 5.26
206. Big Block (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 5.59
207. Blue Wind (Hammer) 4.53
208. A Day In The Life (Lennon/McCartney) 7.16
209. Scottish One (unknown) 5.58
210. Where Were You (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 3.20

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Gong – Angel’s Egg (Radio Gnome Invisible Part II) (1973)

LPFrontCover1Angels Egg is the fourth studio album by the progressive rock band Gong, released on Virgin Records in December 1973.

It was recorded using the Manor Mobile studio at Gong’s communal home, Pavillon du Hay, Voisines, France, and mixed at The Manor, Oxfordshire, England. The album was produced by “Gong under the direction of Giorgio Gomelsky”.

Angels Egg is the second in Gong’s Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy of albums, following Flying Teapot and preceding You. The trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. The original album did not have an apostrophe in the title.

The original vinyl edition came with a booklet containing an extensive explanation of the mythology, including lyrics, a glossary of terms, and profiles of characters in the story and band members. This edition also had a gatefold cover (omitted in later pressings), a plain inky blue innersleeve to match the gatefold and booklet, and had the original black and white Virgin label which was discontinued after 1973; it was one of the last albums to use the original label. Some copies had a sticker over top of the female nude in the moon on the cover..

The CD version released by Virgin Records, and later reissued on Charly Records contains an extra track: “Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-day DJ’s Got the D.D.T. Blues”, that ends with a male voice choir glissando (questionably regarded by some as a parody on Pink Floyd’s “Echoes”), starting with “Ahhhh” and ending with “Chooo”, mimicking a sneeze. The track was originally released on the Live Etc. album but was excluded from the CD release (which reissued that double album as one disc), and included on this album instead. (by wikipedia)

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The companion piece to The Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg is not your usual progressive rock album. Very quirky, with many, mostly brief compositions, the album is a tad less spacy than Teapot, with just a few psychedelic-inspired lyrics, and it’s very technically adept. Angel’s Egg opens with a true space rock cut (one of the few on the album), filled with the usual Gilli Smyth space whispering and Daevid Allen voicings, then leads into the cleverly titled “Sold to the Highest Buddha,” with Steve Hillage and Didier Malherbe prominent figures. The instrumental “Castle in the Clouds” finds Hillage coming into his own, with a sound identical to his solo work. “Givin’ My Love to You” sounds like a bar song, with no music and a cluster of seemingly drunken fellas trying to sing. The instrumental “Flute Salad” gives way to “Oily Way,” a showcase for Malherbe’s jazzy flute. “Inner Temple,” an instrumental space rock track, moves along with a jazz edge, provided by Malherbe’s sax.

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The final three tracks are the real highlights on Angel’s Egg. “I Never Glid Before” is a fantastic prog rock tune, replete with blistering Hillage solo, primo Allen lyrics and vocal, and the precise percussion of new bandmember Pierre Moerlen. This eclectic composition travels through several movements and time changes, and comes across as a perpetually progressing piece. The imaginative and jazzy “Eat That Phone Book Coda” brings the album to a close. (by David Ross Smith)

Attention please: This is a real strange trip …

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Personnel:
Daevid Allen (guitar, vocals)
Mireille Bauer (glockenspiel)
Tim Blake (synthesizer, vocals)
Steve Hillage (lead guitar)
Mike Howlett (bass)
Didier Malherbe (saxophone, flute, background vocals)
Pierre Moerlen (drums, percussion, vibraphone)
Gilli Smyth (vocals)

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Tracklist:

Side one (Yin / Side of the Goddess):
01. Other Side Of The Sky (Blake/Allen) 7.39
02. Sold To The Highest Buddha (Howlett/Allen) 4.28
03. Castle In The Clouds (Hillage) 1.10
04. Prostitute Poem (Smyth/Hillage) 4.54
05. Givin My Luv To You (Allen) 0.44
06. Selene (Allen) 3.43

Side two (Yang / Side of the Fun Gods / The Masculaing Side);
07. Flute Salad (Malherbe) 2.10
08. Oily Way (Allen/Malherbe) 3.38
09. Outer Temple (Blake/Hillage) 1.09
10. Inner Temple (Allen/Malherbe) 2.34
11. Percolations (Moerlen) 0.46
12. Love Is How U Make It (Moerlen/Allen) 3.29
13. I Never Glid Before (Hillage) 5.38
14. Eat That Phone Book Coda (Malherbe) 3.09
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15. Other Side Of The Sky (Single version) (Blake/Allen) 4.29
16. Ooby-Scooby Doomsday or The D-Day DJs Got the D.D.T. Blues (Allen) 5.09
17. Love Is How Y Make It (1973 vocal mix) (Moerlen/Allen) 2.30
18. Eat That Phone Book Coda (early version) (Malherbe) 3.09

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Marc Johnson – Bass Desires (1986)

LPFrontCover1Bass Desires is a 1985 studio album by jazz bassist Marc Johnson released on the ECM label.

The pairing of electric guitarists Bill Frisell and John Scofield had to be one of the most auspicious since John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana. Acoustic bassist Marc Johnson’s stroke of genius in bringing the two together on Bass Desires resulted in a sound that demonstrated both compatibility between the guitarists and the distinctiveness of the two when heard in combination. Add drummer Peter Erskine and you had a bona fide supergroup, albeit in retrospect a short-lived one, before Frisell and Scofield would establish their own substantial careers as leaders. The guitarists revealed symmetry, spaciousness, and a soaring stance, buoyed by the simplicity of their rhythm mates. This is immediately achieved on the introductory track, “Samurai Hee-Haw,” as hummable, head-swimming, and memorable a melody as there ever has been, and a definite signature sound. A perfect country & eastern fusion, the guitarists lope along on wafting white clouds of resonant twang, singing to themselves while also playing stinging notes, supported by the insistent two-note funk of Johnson and the rolling thunder of Erskine.

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The title track is a one-note ostinato from the bassist with a popping, driven drum rhythm and the guitars more unified in their lines, but broadening their individualistic voices. The light reggae funk of “Mojo Highway” sounds more conversational and jam-like, while “Thanks Again” is a relaxed, unforced waltz, again eschewing Asian-Missouri folkloric alchemy fired by Frisell’s wah-wah and Scofield’s stairstep strums. Ethereal and effusive sky church inflections lead to loose associations, especially from Frisell’s moon-walking guitar synthesizer on “A Wishing Doll.” There are three covers: a take on Elmer Bernstein’s “A Wishing Doll;” “Resolution,” the second movement from John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme suite, with a more spiky bass and spacy lead melody played only once; and the standard “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,” floating and eerie, held together by silk and lace threads. One of two Bass Desires albums, this debut has stood the test of time — it is priceless, timeless, and still far from being dated. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Peter Erskine (drums)
Bill Frisell (guitar, guitar synthesizer)
Marc Johnson (bass)
John Scofield (guitar)

Tracklist:
01. Samurai Hee-Haw (Johnson) 7.45
02. Resolution (Coltrane) 10.31
03. Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair (Traditional) 7.10
04. Bass Desires (Erskine) 6.12
05. A Wishing Doll (Bernstein/David) 6.17
“Mojo Highway” (Johnson) – 8:44
“Thanks Again” (Scofield) – 7:15

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Various Artists – The Vertigo Annual (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgVertigo Records was the late 60s progressive rock arm of the Philips Records empire.

Vertigo Records is a record company, which originated in the United Kingdom. It was a subsidiary of the Philips/Phonogram record label, launched in 1969 to specialise in progressive rock and other non-mainstream musical styles. Today it is operated by Universal Music UK.

Vertigo was the brainchild of Olav Wyper when he was Creative Director at Phonogram. It was launched as a competitor to labels such as Harvest (a prog subsidiary of EMI) and Deram (Decca). It was the home to bands such as Colosseum, Jade Warrior, Affinity, Ben and other bands from ‘the “cutting edge” of the early-’70s British prog-folk-post-psych circuit’. The first Vertigo releases came with a distinctive black and white spiral label, which was replaced with Roger Dean’s spaceship design in 1973.

Vertigo later became the European home to various hard rock bands signed to Mercury in North America, such as Bon Jovi, Rush and Kiss.

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Vertigo is a division of Island Records in the United States and operates as Virgin EMI Records in the UK, which in turn is a frontline music group operation of Universal Music UK. In Germany, Vertigo has merged with Capitol Records and is mainly used for German rock artists. The label’s legacy artists include Metallica (outside the US and Canada), Razorlight, Rush (Europe) and Dire Straits (except the US). More recent signings include The Rapture, The Killers (UK/Ireland), One Night Only, Amy Macdonald, Noisettes and Thee Unstrung 2004-2005 and Kassidy in 2009. Black Sabbath returned to the label in 2013 (including the US and Canada for the first time via sister label Republic) until their dissolution in 2017 although former sister label Sanctuary Records Group acquired international rights to their back catalogue in the interim (the band were last on Vertigo in 1987). (by wikipedia)

And here´s a damn good sampler, the first sampler of the legendary Vertigo Label:

A two-LP label sampler from the nascent Vertigo label — Polygram’s answer to EMI’s Bookprogressive — psychedelic boutique, Harvest. Overall, for a label sampler, this was a better than average double slab of vinyl, with tried-and-true heavy cuts (from Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Juicy Lucy, May Blitz) jostling for space with lighter stuff (Magna Carta, Dr. Strangely Strange). Rod Stewart turns up as well, with an early solo outing on “Handbags and Gladrags.” (by Steven McDonald)

The title of this double label sampler leads one to believe that there were plans for an annual release, but Vertigo never got any further than 1970. Contrary to the ‘Heads together’ sampler, this one contains previously released material only and so serves quite succeedingly as an introduction to Vertigo’s miracles.The contents are chosen with taste: almost every track is among the best from the respective album and therefore this sampler comes recommended for anyone who wants to start to explore what the fuzz is all about.Red foliage surely is a favourite of Keef the album designer. This time a naked lady on a dotted hobby-horse fronts the landscape. A small boy dressed in parade uniform plays the drum and looks at her. Quite striking.

The lettering is chosen in accordance to the ‘annual’ idea and could have been taken from any children’s annual of the times.

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Inside the horse’s head is displayed in a coloured negative photograph and also proudly quotes underground magazine ‘it’: Vertigo is the least pretentiously and most happily married of the ‘progressive’ labels to emerge from ‘neath the wings of the large record companies.

One of those indispensable samplers, with so much going for it – label design, musical quality, rare tracks, top audio and alluring cover pics – it has become a collectors item by own merits. One cut each from the sixteen first albums realeased by the label. Most represented here didn’t sell a lot back then and the originals can sometimes be hard to find or afford. I haven’t had or heard all of those so I can’t compare, but get the impression they picked the better or best from each.

MC

Some compilations have at least one downer regarding track choice or audio. On here I can’t find one thing less than marvelous. From the happy-go-luckys Fairfield Parlour “In My Box” and Magna Carta “Going My Way” over the heavy Sabbath, Juicy Lucy and Uriah Heep cuts to the jazzier Nucleus, Colosseum and May Blitz it’s all tophole.

Vertigo was a highly collectable label . and this sampler is the best way to start with this cult label…

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Tracklist:
01. Colosseum; Elegy (from “Valentyne Suite VO1”) (Litherland) 3.10
02. Rod Stewart: Handbags And Gladrags (from “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down VO4”) (d’Abo) 4.26
03. Jimmy Campbell: Half Baked (from “Half Baked 6360010”) (Campbell) 4.43
04. May Blitz: I Don’t Know (from “May Blitz 6360007”) (Black/Hudson/Newman) 4.50
05. Juicy Lucy: Mississippi Woman (from “Juicy Lucy VO2”) (Hubbart/Campbell/Mercer/ Ellis/Owen/Dobson) 3.49
06. Fairfield Parlour: In My Box (from “From Home To Home 6360001”) (Pumer/Daltrey) 2.00
07. Magna Carta: Goin’ My Way (Road Song) (from “Seasons 6360003”) (Simpson) 2.55
08. Affinity: Three Sisters (from “Affinity 6360004”) (Hoile/Naiff) 5.01
09. Black Sabbath: Behind The Wall Of Sleep (from “Black Sabbath VO6”) (Ward/Butler/ Osbourne/Iommi) 3.41
10. Gracious; Introduction (from “Gracious! 6360002” (Kitcat/Davis) 5.56
11. Cressida: To Play Your Little Game (from “Cressida VO7”) (Heyworth) 3.22
12. Nucleus: Elastic Rock (from “Elastic Rock 6360008”) (Jenkins) 4.06
13. Manfred Mann Chapter Three: One Way Glass (from “Manfred Mann Chapter Three VO3”) (Mann/Thomas) 3.36
14. Bob Downes: No Time Like The Present (from “Electric City 6360005”) (Downes) 3.05
15. Dr. Strangely Strange: Summer Breeze (from “Heavy Petting 6360009”) (Booth) 3.42
16. Uriah Heep: Gypsy (from “…Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble… 6360006”) (Byron/Box) 6.57
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17. Catapilla: Changes (from “Changes 6360 074”) (Wilson/Calvert/Meek) 12.05
18. Gravy Train: Think Of Life (from “Gravy Train 6360 023”) (Davenport/Hughes/Barratt /Cordwell/Williams) 5.10
19. Jade Warrior: May Queen (from ” Last Autumn’s Dream 6360 079″) (Havard/ Field/ Duhig) 5.24
20. Mike Absalom: Frightened Of The Dark (from “Mike Absalom 6360 053 “) (Absalom) 3.25
21. Ramases: Life Child (from “Space Hymns 6360 046”) (Godley/GouldmanCreme/ Raphael ) 6.39
22. Patto: Give It All Away (from “Hold Your Fire 6360 032 ) (Patto/Halsall) 4.10

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