The Beatles – Anthology 1 (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgAnthology 1 is a compilation album by the Beatles, released on 20 November 1995 by Apple Records as part of The Beatles Anthology series. It features rarities, outtakes and live performances from the period 1958–1964, including songs with original bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. It is the first in a trilogy of albums with Anthology 2 and Anthology 3, all of which tie in with the televised special The Beatles Anthology. It contains “Free as a Bird”, billed as the first new Beatles song in 25 years. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA.

The album includes material from the Beatles’ days as the Quarrymen, through the Decca audition to sessions for the album Beatles for Sale. It is of historical interest as the only official release of performances with Best and Sutcliffe in the band. Sutcliffe, the band’s original bass player during 1960, and sporadically during the group’s second Hamburg season, appears on the disc-one tracks “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”, “You’ll Be Mine” and “Cayenne”. Best, who was the band’s drummer from just prior to the group’s first departure for Hamburg in August 1960 until 15 August 1962 when he was replaced by Ringo Starr, is on disc one, tracks 10–12, 15–19 and 21–22.

Disc one tracks 10–12 were recorded at a session in Hamburg where the Beatles served as the back-up band to the English rock and roll musician Tony Sheridan. Some songs from this session were released on the 1962 LP My Bonnie, credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers. The song “My Bonnie” would be their introductory single in England, featuring Sheridan on lead vocal and guitar. Disc one tracks 21–22 are the only surviving recordings of the Beatles’ first EMI session. Track 22 is the original recording of “Love Me Do”, which would be re-recorded by the group four months later for their first single. Disc one track 24 features EMI session drummer Andy White in place of Starr.

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Disc two contains performances from comedy duo Morecambe and Wise’s popular television programme, Two of a Kind, as well as the opening song from their famed performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which introduced the band to most of the US in 1964.

The flashpoint for the album came with the song “Free as a Bird” – the three remaining Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr re-working a John Lennon demo recording given to McCartney by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono. Produced by Harrison’s Traveling Wilburys band-mate Jeff Lynne, the three added additional music and lyrics, instrumentation and backing vocals, with McCartney and Harrison both taking a turn at a lead vocal.

The live BBC Radio recording of “Lend Me Your Comb” was held back from Live at the BBC for inclusion on this album, but it was later also included on On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2.

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The cover of Anthology 1 is the first third of the Anthology collage made by Klaus Voormann. Various photographs and album covers are torn and collected together. Pete Best’s face was torn away from the Savage Young Beatles record jacket in the centre of the album cover, revealing the face of his successor, Ringo Starr, below. The missing piece was subsequently used on the cover of Best’s Haymans Green album in 2008.

The album was a large success throughout the world. It was the first Beatles album to enter the Billboard 200 album chart at number one. It sold 855,473 copies in its first week, the 27th largest one-week sales in the Soundscan history, succeeding Fresh Horses by Garth Brooks. In its second week, Anthology 1 sold 453,000 copies and maintained the top spot. This was repeated the following week, with 435,000 copies sold. In its fourth week, the same quantity was sold, but the album fell to number two, behind Mariah Carey’s Daydream. In the following week, the album fell to number three but with 601,000 sales. Anthology 1 was certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA after six weeks in the US market. In all, the album spent 29 weeks on the Billboard 200, reaching cumulative sales of 3,639,000 scans as of April 2001. In the UK, reaction was similar, but the album peaked at number two, behind Robson & Jerome’s eponymous album. In Australia, the album spent two weeks at number one in December 1995. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
George Harrison (vocals, lead guitar)
John Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica)
Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar)
Ringo Starr (vocals, drums, Percussion)
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Pete Best – drums on “My Bonnie”, “Ain’t She Sweet”, “Cry for a Shadow”, “Searchin'”, “Three Cool Cats”, “The Sheik of Araby”, “Like Dreamers Do”, “Hello Little Girl”, “Bésame Mucho”, “Love Me Do”
Stuart Sutcliffe – bass guitar on “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”, “You’ll Be Mine”, “Cayenne”Colin Hanton – drums on “That’ll Be the Day”, “In Spite of All the Danger”
John Lowe – piano on “That’ll Be the Day”, “In Spite of All the Danger”
Tony Sheridan (vocalsm guitar on 10.)
Andy White – drums on “Please Please Me”

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Free As A Bird (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr ) 4.25
02. We were four guys … that’s all (Lennon speaking to Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone) 8 December 1970, New York City 0.12
03. That’ll Be The Day (by the Quarrymen) (Allison/Holly(Petty) 2.08
04. In Spite of All The Danger (by the Quarrymen) (McCartney/Harrison) 2.45
05. Sometimes I’d borrow … those still exist (McCartney speaking to Mark Lewisohn – 3 November 1994 London, UK) 0.18
06. Hallelujah, I Love Her So (home demo, 1960) (Charles) 1.13
07. You’ll Be Mine (home demo, 1960) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.39
08. Cayenne (home demo, 1960) (McCartney) 1.14
09. First of all … it didn’t do a thing here (McCartney speaking to Malcom Threadgill – 27 October 1962)0.07
10. My Bonnie (by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers – 22 June 1961
Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany) (Traditional) 2.42
11. Ain’t She Sweet (by the Beat Brothers) Milton Ager, Jack Yellen 22 June 1961
Friedrich-Ebert-Halle( (Ager/Yellen) 2:13
12. Cry For A Shadow (by the Beat Brothers – 22 June 1961
Friedrich-Ebert-Halle) (Lennon/Harrison)  2.22
13. Brian was a beautiful guy … he presented us well (Lennon speaking to David Wigg for BBC Radio 1’s Scene and Heard – October 1971 New York City) 0.10
14. I secured them … a Beatle drink even then (Brian Epstein reading from A Cellarful of Noise) Brian Epstein 13 October 1964) 0.18
15. Searchin’ (Decca Audition – 1 January 1962 Decca Studios, London ) (Leiber/Stoller) 3.00
16. Three Cool Cats (Decca Audition – 1 January 1962 Decca Studios, London) (Leiber/Stoller) 2.25
17. The Sheik Of Araby” (Decca Audition – 1 January 1962 Decca Studios, London) (Smith,/Wheeler/Snyder) 1.43
18. Like Dreamers Do (Decca Audition – 1 January 1962 Decca Studios, London)  (Lennon/McCartney) 2.36
19. Hello Little Girl (Decca Audition – 1 January 1962 Decca Studios, London(Lennon/McCartney)1 1.40
20. Well, the recording test … by my artists” (Epstein reading from A Cellarful of Noise – Epstein 13 October 1964) 0.32
21. Besame Mucho (6 June 1962 EMI Studios) (Velázquez/Skylar) 2.37
22. Love Me Do (Lennon/McCartney) 2.32
23. How Do You Do It (Murray) 1.57
24. Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney) 1.59
25. One After 909 (sequence) (Takes 3, 4 & 5 – 5 March 1963 (Lennon/McCartney) 2.23
26. One After 909 (complete) (Takes 4 & 5 – 5 March 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.56
27. Lend Me Your Comb (live at the BBC for Pop Go the Beatles – 2 July 1963, Maida Vale Studios, London) (Twomey/Wise/Weisman) 1.50
28. I’ll Get You (live on Sunday Night at the London Palladium – 13 October 1963
The London Palladium, London) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.08
29. We were performers … in Britain (Lennon speaking to Wenner – 8 December 1970
New York City) 0.12
30. I Saw Her Standing There (live for The Beatles, Pop Group from Liverpool Visiting Stockholm, The Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 24 October 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.49
31. From Me To You (live for The Beatles, Pop Group from Liverpool Visiting Stockholm, The Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 24 October 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.05
32. Money (That’s What I Want) (live for The Beatles, Pop Group from Liverpool Visiting Stockholm, The Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 24 October 1963) /Bradford/Gordy) 2.52
33. You Really Got A Hold On Me (live for The Beatles, Pop Group from Liverpool Visiting Stockholm, The Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 24 October 1963) (Robinson) 2.58
34. Roll Over Beethoven (live for The Beatles, Pop Group from Liverpool Visiting Stockholm, The Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, Sweden – 24 October 1963) (Berry) 24 2.22

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CD 2:
01. She Loves You (live on the Royal Variety Performance – The Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 4 November 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.50
02. Till There Was You (live on the Royal Variety Performance – The Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 4 November 1963) (Willson) 2.54
03. Twist And Shout (live on the Royal Variety Performance – The Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 4 November 1963) (Russell/Medley) 3:05
04. This Boy (live on Two of a Kind; ATV Studios, London, 2 December 1963)(Lennon/McCartney) 2.22
05. I Want To Hold Your Hand (live on Two of a Kind; ATV Studios, London, 2 December 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.37
06. Boys, what I was thinking… (Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise speaking to the Beatles live on Two of a Kind – ATV Studios, 2 December 1963) 2.06
07. Moonlight Bay (live on Two of a Kind; ATV Studios, London, 2 December 1963) (Lennon/McCartney) 0.50
08. Can’t Buy Me Love (Takes 1 & 2 – 29 January 1964 Pathé Marconi, Paris, France) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.10
09. All My Loving (live on The Ed Sullivan Show –CBS-TV Studio 50, New York City, 9 February 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.19
10. You Can’t Do That (Take 6) (EMI Studios – 25 February 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.42
11. And I Love Her (Take 2) (EMI Studios – 25 February 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.52
12. A Hard Day’s Night (Take 1) (EMI Studios – 25 February 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.44
13. I Wanna Be Your Man (live for Around the Beatles – IBC Studios, London, 19 April 1964) (Lennon/McCartney)  1.48
14. Long Tall Sally (live for Around the Beatles – IBC Studios, London, 19 April 1964)  (Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell) 1.45
15. Boys (live for Around the Beatles – IBC Studios, London, 19 April 1964) (Dixon/Farrell) 1:50
16. Shout (live for Around the Beatles – IBC Studios, London, 19 April 1964) (R.Isley/R.Isley(K.Isley) 1.31
17. I’ll Be Back (Take 2) (EMI Studios – 1 June 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.13
18. I’ll Be Back (Take 3) (EMI Studios – 1 June 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.58
19. You Know What To Do (demo) (EMI Studios, 3 June 1964) (Harrison) 1.59
20. No Reply (demo) (EMI Studios, 3 June 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.46
21. Mr. Moonlight (Takes 1 & 4) (EMI Studios, 14 August 1964) (Johnson) 2.47
22. Leave My Kitten Alone (Take 5) (EMI Studios, 14 August 1964) (John(Turner/McDougal) 2.57
23. No Reply (Take 2) (EMI Studios, 30 September 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.29
24. Eight Days A Week (sequence) (Takes 1, 2 & 4) (EMI Studios, 6 October 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 1.25
25. Eight Days A Week (complete) (Take 5) (EMI Studios, 6 October 1964) (Lennon/McCartney) 2.48
26. Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Take 2) (EMI Studios, 18 October 1964) (Leiber/Stoller/Penniman) 2.44

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Willie And The Poor Boys – Same (1985)

FrontCover1With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards bickering back and forth in the press during the mid-’80s (leading many to assume that the Stones were kaput), bassist Bill Wyman decided to fill up his newly acquired spare time by forming an all-star band, Willie and the Poor Boys. The group’s roots lay in the series of high-profile 1983 ARMS Concerts (which raised money for multiple sclerosis research), which led to several of the tour’s participants taking it a step further and laying down some tracks in the studio. Included in this stellar lineup were Wyman’s Stones mates Ron Wood and Charlie Watts, as well as Jimmy Page, Mel Collins, Andy Fairweather Low, Kenny Jones, and Ringo Starr, among others, while Wyman also served as the album’s producer. The resulting 1985 self-titled album was a pleasant enough set of 12 rock & roll/R&B standards (including “Baby Please Don’t Go,” which a promo video was filmed for), but certainly not anything musically earth-shattering. (by Greg Prato)

These were not academic sessions made to bring some new light to bear on nuggets of rock and soul’s golden age. They are what they are: a great group of players who could care less — on either of these dates — about showing off their individual chops, but in simply getting together for real fun playing the music that drew them in the first place. As such, these loose, raggedy, blast-off albums work here shockingly well. Paul Rodgers’ guest vocals on Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine,” and Little Richard’s “Slippin’ and Slidin'” (with killer roots guitar work from Jimmy Page), are among the most convincing of Rodgers’ career.

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Likewise, moody rocker Chris Rea’s vocal read of “Baby Please Don’t Go,” is astonishing. Geraint Watkins, known by many as Van Morrison’s keyboard ace (and producer of Tres Chicas) turns in a killer lead vocal on “Saturday Night” and “Chicken Shack Boogie,” (not bad for a guy who everybody thought couldn’t sing). Ray Cooper, percussionist to the stars — and some regular blokes, too — sings his skinny ass off on Lee Dorsey’s nugget “Can You Hear Me?.” But it’s not just the singers who provide satisfaction here. Guitarists Andy Fairweather Low and Mickey Gee are killer throughout. The horn section of Steve Gregory and Willie Garnet add heft and weight to this entire orgy of rock and rhythm. Speaking of rhythm, the drummers here are none other than fellow Rolling Stone Charlie Watts, ex-Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones, Eric Clapton skinman Henry Spinetti, and Rockpile’s rhythm ace Terry Williams. These cats push the proceedings into the red, with splattering hi hat work and popping snares. With Wyman manning the bass with finger-popping groove and grit, guests in the chair were utterly unnecessary. Fairweather Low is also a smashing vocalist, as evidenced on a burning read of Hudson Whittaker’s “Let’s Talk It Over (Don’t You Lie to Me).” The awesome thing about the set, brief as it is, is that despite the many players, it sounds like a band, a whole band, experienced, rehearsed, and smashing.

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The final and title cut on the Poor Boy Boogie studio album is a great pastiche/medley written by Wyman. Lyrics from all the songs are used and so are themes; it’s a seamless, wooly monster. The remastering job is terrific and if ever there were a record to take the roots sound and make it fun again, this is it. (by Thom Jurek)

Hey boys and girls … let´s have some fun tonight !

Bill Wyman

Personnel:
Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar, vocals)
Mickey Gee (guitar)
Geraint Watkins (keyboards, vocals)
Charlie Watts (drums)
Bill Wyman (bass, vocals)
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Ray Cooper (percussion)
Willie Garnett (horns)
Steve Gregory (horns)
Kenney Jones (drums)
Jimmy Page (guitar on 06.)
Chris Rea (vocals on 01.)
Paul Rodgers (vocals on 03. + 06.)
Henry Spinetti (drums)
Terry Williams (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 2.37
02. Can You Hear Me (Toussaint) 3.13
03. These Arms Of Mine (Redding) 3.31
04. Revenue Man (White Lightening) (Richardson) 2.35
05. You Never Can Tell (Berry) 3.54
06. Slippin’ And Slidin’ (Collins/Bocage/Smith/Penniman) 2.33
07. Saturday Night (Brown) 2.51
08. Let’s Talk It Over (Whittaker) 2.58
09. All Night Long (Chenier) 2.31
10. Chicken Shack Boogie (Milburn/Cullum) 3.12
11. Sugar Bee (Shuler) 3.12
12. Poor Boy Boogie (Fairweather-Low/Wyman) 3.26

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Eddie Cochran – The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album (1960)

FrontCover1The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album is the second album by Eddie Cochran, released on Liberty Records in mono, LRP 3172, in May 1960. It had previously been issued as 12 of His Biggest Hits in April 1960 with the same catalogue number, but after Cochran’s death on April 17 it was retitled and reissued, and has remained so titled ever since. It is currently in print on the Magic Records label in France, on CD on EMI-Toshiba in Japan, and on BGO in the UK as a twofer with “Singin’ To My Baby.”The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album is the second album by Eddie Cochran, released on Liberty Records in mono, LRP 3172, in May 1960. It had previously been issued as 12 of His Biggest Hits in April 1960 with the same catalogue number, but after Cochran’s death on April 17 it was retitled and reissued, and has remained so titled ever since.

Eight tracks were released as singles, with “Three Steps to Heaven” appearing as a b-side. Three additional tracks “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” “Lovin’ Time,” and “Tell Me Why” had been released on his first album, Singin’ to My Baby in 1957. All five singles that appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 are included, with the teen anthem “Summertime Blues” being the only time Cochran made the top ten. No Cochran album has ever charted in the United States (by wikipedia)

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This compilation was released by Liberty Records in 1960, shortly after Eddie Cochran’s death that spring, the first of several memorial albums (including one called Memorial Album) to come out on Cochran. And while it doesn’t really live up to its title — sad to say, Cochran never had a dozen hits, big or otherwise, to compile — it is a surprisingly good collection as an overview of Cochran’s career and sound (flaws and all), the hits included. At the time of its release, this album would have presented the very first chance that anyone would have had for an overview of Cochran’s career — the problem with the record, as with most early Cochran compilations, lies in the errors made by Liberty Daily MirrorRecords in handling Cochran’s career in the first place; the label apparently saw him developing in the same manner as Elvis Presley (which was understandable, as Elvis was the quintessential white rock & roll star of the era), and, like Presley, doing ballads as often as rockers, and found nothing incongruous in the fact that Cochran just didn’t have the voice to pull that off the way that Elvis did. It wasn’t that Cochran couldn’t do it — he could — but it was more of a stretch, and became an impossible one when he was saddled with second-rate material, as was often the case (where Elvis, until he started doing the movies full-time, never had that problem). But this album starts off on the right foot, with “C’mon Everybody” — one of Cochran’s best songs but never a huge hit in the U.S. — leading off the set, which proceeds with the deceptively complex rocker “Three Steps to Heaven.” We jump back to Cochran’s country roots with “Cut Across Shorty” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” the latter a ballad that Cochran handled surprisingly well — trying for a sound akin to what Elvis was doing on slow numbers — given his relative antipathy to the form. “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” puts us back in the heart of Cochran’s mature sound, showcasing his guitar amid its string accompaniment and some very strong singing as well. The first side closes with the obligatory “Sittin’ in the Balcony” — which, in fairness, was his first Liberty single, and does have a more than decent guitar break even if the song is a little wimpy. Side two storms out with “Summertime Blues,” as powerful a song as any white rock & roller charted in 1957.

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But listeners who skip the sappy “Lovin’ Time” and jump to “Somethin’ Else” will be doing Cochran’s memory a world of good. “Tell Me Why” is another slowie, but it shows some power to Cochran’s singing, even if he doesn’t pull off what the record label wanted. “Teenage Heaven” was probably obligatory, as it was featured in the then relatively recent movie Go Johnny Go, and it avoids being totally lame by virtue of Cochran’s raspy vocalizing and a reasonably hot sax solo. And “Drive In Show” closes the set out in a manner that probably ought to be skipped, except out of curiosity over some of the more absurd numbers that Cochran was made to record in his tragically brief career. It’s not an ideal collection, by any means, but it is an honest snapshot of his music, warts and all.  (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Jerry Allison (drums)
Perry Botkin, Jr. (guitar)
Sonny Curtis (guitar)
Mike Deasy (saxophone)
Eddie Cochran (guitar, ukulele, bass, piano, percussion, vocals)
Mike Henderson (saxophone)
Ray Johnson (piano)
Earl Palmer (drums)
Gene Riggio (drums)
Sharon Sheeley (percussion)
Dave Shriver (bass)
Connie “Guybo” Smith (bass)
Jim Stivers (piano)
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The Johnny Mann Chorus (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. C’mon Everybody (Cochran/Capehart) 1.58
ß2. Three Steps to Heaven (Cochran) 2.25
03. Cut Across Shorty (Wilkin/Walker) 1.53
04. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (Wiseman) 2.38
05. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Charles) 2.21
06. Sittin’ In The Balcony (Loudermilk) 2.02
07. Summertime Blues (Cochran/Capehart) 1.59
08. Lovin’ Time (Woolsey) 2.09
09. Somethin’ Else (B.Cochran/Sheeley 2.10
10. Tell Me Why (Cochran) 2.20
11. Teenage Heaven (Cochran/Capehart) 2.07
12. Drive In Show (Dexter) 2.05

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Edward Raymond Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960)

Chuck Berry – The London Chuck Berry Session (1972)

FrontCover1The London Chuck Berry Sessions is an album of studio recordings and live recordings by Chuck Berry, released by Chess Records in October 1972. Side one of the album consists of studio recordings, engineered by Geoff Calver; side two features three live performances recorded by the Pye Mobile Unit, engineered by Alan Perkins, on February 3, 1972, at the Lanchester Arts Festival in Coventry, England. At the end of the live section, the recording includes the sounds of festival management trying in vain to get the audience to leave so that the next performers, Pink Floyd, can take the stage; the crowd begins chanting “We want Chuck!”

“My Ding-a-Ling”, from the live side of the album, was edited to approximately 4 minutes for release as a single. It was Berry’s first and only single to reach number 1 in both the US and the UK.

In May 1970, Howlin’ Wolf traveled to Olympic Sound Studios in London, England, to record songs for The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions. The album was released in August 1971[6] and peaked at number 28 on Billboard magazine’s R&B Albums chart and number 79 on the Billboard 200.[7] Because of Wolf’s success, Muddy Waters recorded his own London Sessions album in December 1971, and Berry did the same in 1972.

The album was not even out for a month, when on October 27, 1972, The London Chuck Berry Sessions was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America with sales of 1,000,000 units. It is Berry’s only album to be certified by the RIAA  (by wikipedia)

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One-half of this album is a studio recording featuring Ian McLagan and Kenny Jones of the Faces. The other half is a live recording from the Lancaster Arts Festival in Coventry, England, featuring performances of “My Ding-a-Ling” and “Reelin’ and Rockin'” that, in edited form, became the first hit singles for Chuck Berry in many years. (“My Ding-a-Ling” went gold and hit #1.) This gold-selling, Top Ten album represents Berry’s commercial, if not artistic, peak. (by William Ruhlmann)

But .. on this album we can hear the best version of “Reelin’ And Rockin'” … a male fantasy of omnipotence …

And his version of “My Ding-a-Ling” is another song by Chuck Berry … and his version is very hot:

The lyrics with their sly tone and innuendo (and the enthusiasm of Berry and the audience) caused many radio stations to refuse to play it. British morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse tried unsuccessfully to get the song banned. “One teacher,” Whitehouse wrote to the BBC’s Director General, “told us of how she found a class of small boys with their trousers undone, singing the song and giving it the indecent interpretation which—in spite of all the hullabaloo—is so obvious … We trust you will agree with us that it is no part of the function of the BBC to be the vehicle of songs which stimulate this kind of behaviour—indeed quite the reverse.”

In Icons of Rock, Scott Schinder calls the song “a sophomoric, double-entendre-laden ode to masturbation”. Robert Christgau remarked that the song “permitted a lot of twelve-year-olds new insight into the moribund concept of ‘dirty'”.

Berry refers to the song on the recording as “our alma mater

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Personnel:
Chuck Berry (vocals, guitar)
Derek Griffiths (guitar on 01. – 05.)
Kenney Jones (drums on 01. – 05.)
Dave Kaffinetti (piano on 06. -09.)
Robbie McIntosh (drums on 06. – 09.)
Onnie Owen McIntyre (guitar on 06. – 09.)
Ian McLagan (piano on 06. – 09.)
Nic Potter (bass on 06. – 09.)

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Tracklist:

Side one (studio recordings):
01. Let’s Boogie (Berry) 3.11
02. Mean Old World (Walter) 5.48
03. I Will Not Let You Go (Berry) 2.51
04. London Berry Blues (Berry) 6.00
05. I Love You (Berry) 3.26

Side two (live recordings):
06. Reelin’ And Rockin’ (Berry) 7.07
07. My Ding-a-Ling (Bartholomew) 11.34
08. Johnny B. Goode (& Closing) (Berry) 4.21
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09. My Ding-a-Ling (single edition) (Bartholomew) 4.22

(This version of “Johnny B. Goode” replaces the first verse of the original with the first verse of “Bye Bye Johnny”.)

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Singles

Various Artists – Jingle Bell Rock (1987)

FrontCover1And here´s a nice sampler withRok N Roll and Soul songs about Christmas, publish  by Time Life. And this sampler was a part of the “The Rock N Roll Era”.

Time-Life’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Era: Jingle Bell Rock collects 25 classic tracks of the holiday genre including “Run, Rudolph, Run” (Chuck Berry), “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (the Jackson 5), “Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms), “Sleigh Ride” (the Ventures) and “Step into Christmas” (Elton John). Many of these artists will appeal to a broad range of ages, making it perfect for family gatherings. (by Al Campbell)

in 1987, I guess I was bitten by the same CD buying bug that many were: I bought into the Time-Life “Rock ‘n’ Roll Era” series of CDs. Thankfully I found that the musical selection on these were fine for my purposes, although the sound often suffered a bit. It did enable me to amass a good collection of “oldies” that I otherwise never would have bought. One surprising favorite came my way during the holidays–the compilation Jingle Bell Rock. A couple of the Motown tracks need to be skipped (the Temptations’ “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is narcoleptic at best), but for the most part it is a very enjoyable and crowd-pleasing collection of holiday favorites.

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On here are tracks by Jan and Dean (“Frosty the Snowman”, rescued from obscurity), The Ventures (“Sleigh Ride”), Jack Scott (“There’s Trouble Brewin’”), The O’Jays (“Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love”) and Dodie Stevens (“Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”). The usual suspects are here also (“JIngle Bell Rock”, “Run, Rudolph Run” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”) and Elton John’s “Step into Christmas” finishes out the disc with the most recent song in the collection. (by rudyscorner.com)

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Tracklist:
01. Bobby Helms: Jingle Bell Rock (Boothe/Beal) 2.08
02. Chuck Berry: Run, Rudolph, Run (Berry) 2.43
03. Otis Redding: Merry Christmas Baby (Moore/Baxter) 2.29
04. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Go Tell It On The Mountain (Traditional) 3.40
05. The Supremes: My Favorite Things (Hammerstein/Rodgers) 2.45
06. The Drifters: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.35
07. The Beach Boys: The Man With All The Toys (Wilson) 1.30
08. Booker T. And The MG’s: Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.27
09. The Temptations: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.55
10. Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas (Thomas/Cropper) 2.38
11. The Jackson 5: Someday At Christmas (Wells/Mills) 2.38
12. Jan And Dean: Frosty The Snow Man (Rollins/Nelson) 2.04
13. King Curtis: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 2.55
14. Brenda Lee: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (Marks) 2.03
15. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Medley: Deck The Halls / Bring A Torch (Traditional) 3.55
16. Marvin & Johnny: It’s Christmas (Josea/Phillips) 2.14
17. The Temptations: My Christmas Tree (Webb) 3.05
18. The Ventures: Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.20
19. The O’Jays: Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love (Gamble/Huff) 2.12
20. The Jackson 5: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) 2.59
21. Jack Scott: There’s Trouble Brewin’ (Veronica) 2.22
22. Dodie Stevens: Merry, Merry Christmas Baby (Lopez/Sylvia) 2.11
23. Aretha Franklin: Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 2.09
24. Donny Hathaway: This Christmas (Hathaway/McKinnor) 3.26
25. Elton John: Step Into Christmas (John/Taupin) 4.22

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Swinging Blue Jeans – Blue Jeans à Swinging (1964)

LPFrontCover1Blue Jeans a’Swinging is the first UK studio album by British Merseybeat band the Swinging Blue Jeans, released in November 1964 on HMV.

The Swinging Blue Jeans were near the top of Liverpool’s rock & roll bands, although Americans who’ve only heard their pile-driver-textured Top 30 version of “Hippy Hippy Shake” (utterly unrepresentative of their sound or range) might wonder at that statement. This album provides the evidence — ironically, with a little better choice of material, it would rate very close behind the With the Beatles LP as a fresh and brilliant piece of music-making, and even as it stands, it’s not too far behind. In order to fully appreciate Blue Jeans a’ Swinging, you have to put yourself back in 1964. Liverpool and the rest of the north are filled with acts that can thump away hard, or harmonize pleasingly, but only a handful that can do both, and even fewer that can do both well, and most of those, apart from the Beatles, can’t decide if they want to be the Everly Brothers or Chuck Berry. The Beatles knew that with a little care, they could be both — and based on the evidence on this album, the Swinging Blue Jeans were of the same mind and had the talent to pull it off.

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Blue Jeans a’ Swinging features punchy, crunchy rhythm guitar, jangling lead guitar, some pretty raw singing by all four bandmembers alternating with decent harmonizing. There are also a few offbeat song choices, starting with the opening track, “Ol’ Man Mose.” Their cover of “Save the Last Dance for Me” is a credible rendition of a contemporary Drifters hit, and their versions of “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” and “Long Tall Sally” are solid pieces of rock & roll. Their Buddy Holly-like versions of the Hank Marvin-Bruce Welch songs “That’s the Way It Goes” and “Don’t It Make You Feel Good” have enough hooks that either could’ve been a single and a hit; the ballad “All I Want Is You,” dominated by the quartet’s harmony vocals, sounding even more like Holly.

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The band reaches back further than the Shadows, covering, “It’s All Over Now,” an offbeat lament written by Wally Whyton of the Vipers Skiffle Group-this is their “Ringo Starr number, ” slightly goofy, with a vague country-ish tint. Even the one original here, a group composition called “It So Right,” is a good rock & roll number with acceptably clever wordplay. Only their version of the Boudleaux Bryant “Some Sweet Day” seems flaccid and second-rate. That flaw aside, this is one of the best rock & roll albums of its era to come out of Liverpool. (by Bruce Eder)

Many songs are from the innocent side of the early Beat music (like “Save The Last Dance For Me”)  … but on this album you can some real hightlights from this period of music like “TuttiFrutti”, a great version of “Around And Around” by Chuck Berry and of course “Long Tall Sally” … one of the est versions ever recorded …

Oh … let´s have some fun tonight …

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Personnel:
Les Braid (bass, keyboards)
Ray Ennis (lead guitar, vocals)
Ralph Ellis (guitar)
Norman Kuhlke (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Ol’Man Mose (Armstrong/Randolph) 3.07
02. Save The Last Dance For Me (Pomus/Shuman) 2.53
03. That’s The Way It Goes (Marvin/Welch) 2.38
04. Around And Around (Berry) 2.09
05. It’s All Over Now (B.Womack/S.Womack) 1.58
06. Long Tall Sally (Johnson/Blackwell/Penniman) 1.45
07. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Price) 1.42
08. Some Sweet Day (F.Bryant/B.Bryant) 2.07
09. It’s So Right (Braid/Kuhlke/Ellis/Ennis) 1.58
10. Don’t It Make You Feel Good (Welch/Marvin) 1.42
11. All I Want Is You (Ireland/Chilton) 2.11
12. Tutti Frutti (LaBostrie/Lubin/Penniman) 1.58

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They say the joint was rocking
Going round and round
Yeah reeling and a rocking
What a crazy sound
Well they never stop a rocking
Until the moon went down

Oh it sound so sweet
Gotta take me a chance
Rose out of my seat
Just had to dance
Started moving ma feet
Well and clapping my hands

Well the joint started rocking
Going round and round
Yeah reeling and a rocking
What a crazy sound
Well they never stoped rocking
Until the moon went down

Twelve o’clock
Well the place was packed
Front doors was locked
Well the place was packed
When the police knocked
Both doors flew back

Well they kept on rocking
Going round and round
Yeah reeling and a rocking
What a crazy sound
Well you never stop rocking
Until the moon went down

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The Swinging Blue Jeans, live in 2013 !!!

The Allisons – Are You Sure (1961)

FrontCover1The Allisons held similarities to American duo the Kalin Twins of a few years earlier. They harmonised their voices beautifully, had one enormous smash hit, and then struggled to get recognition for much else. Perhaps it was being so successful too quickly that ultimately proved to be a handicap by raising expectations too high. Whatever the reason for their very short spell at the top, the quality of their recordings would seem to indicate that they should have done better.

Although Brian Alford had been singing in the choir of Saint Dionis Church in Parsons Green, Fulham, since an early age, it wasn’t until around 1956 that it occurred to him that he might be good enough to become a professional. Although he came from a poor background, he managed to raise the sum of £2 2s (£2.10p) with which he purchased his first guitar. He was fortunate to find a local jazz musician willing to teach him how to play it. Like so many youngsters in the UK at that time he became a skiffle enthusiast. It wasn’t long before he had formed his own group, “The Shadows”, at his local church youth club. Despite starting work as a trainee draughtsman, Brian began writing his own songs- an activity that would have a huge influence on his future.

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By 1958, Brian and a fellow member of the Shadows, John White formed a duet- calling themselves the ‘Shadows Brothers’. The gigs they did were mostly unpaid, but they longed to try their talents in the burgeoning coffee bars of London. However, parental approval for taking themselves to Soho to do this was not forthcoming. They entered an audition in Finsbury Park- and from this became Carroll Levis “Television Discoveries”- they performed in two shows which were the highlights of their careers up to that time.

In January 1959 John White decided to quit, and Brian Alford carried on as a soloist until August when he began a new partnership with Colin Day- somebody he sang with in the church choir. At this point the act was renamed “The Allisons”. They each adopted a new name- Brian became John Allison and Colin became Bob Allison. This they thought would strengthen their professional image as “brothers”. This new pairing worked well and by 1960, they had managed to obtain a residency at ‘The Breadbasket’ coffee bar in Cleveland Street. Other famous stars had precursed their careers here- notably Emile Ford, Wally Whyton, and Jimmy Justice.

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They entered a national talent competition co-sponsored by the pop newspaper DISC and a tape recorder manufacturer. They reached the finals at the ATV studio in Wembley despite a roster of 600 entries, and went on to win- then being invited to sing on Bert Weedon’s TV programme “Lucky Dip” that same day. They also won a record test and taped several of the songs that John had previously written earlier during 1957 and 1958. These were submitted to Fontana Records in the hope of obtaining a full recording contract. Fontana were impressed and selected “Are You Sure” for submission to the UK heats to decide Britain’s entry to the Eurovision song contest.

Despite having turned professional less than a month earlier, the Allisons won the British heats and narrowly missed the top spot in the actual contest in Cannes.

However, despite their near miss, the record became a massive hit all over Europe eclipsing the other entries and reached the UK #1 spot in all the major versions of the chart, including NME which was regarded widely as the most definitive at the time. [From March 1960 Guinness adopted a chart compiled by Record Retailer for their “British Hit Singles”- now accepted as the de facto standard. This has meant the Allisons are strangely absent from most lists of UK #1s. This web page is no exception.]

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Sadly, the Allisons’ follow ups to “Are You Sure” largely went unnoticed by record buyers. Doubtless, the Allisons were poorly prepared for the highly commercial world they had entered and management disputes, poor promotion and naivety took their toll. They achieved only two further minor chart placings in the UK.

As the sixties progressed the pair eventually decided to split up and leave foreground pop music. At first, John turned to full time songwriting but the yearn to perform became too great and he soon found himself keeping the Allisons name alive whenever he could. He and Bob would reunite occasionally for short tours, but during the 1970s and 1980s John teamed up with other “brothers”- notably Mike “Allison” and Tony “Allison”.

Ultimately, the Allisons, in common with many of the musicians whose popularity peaked in the 1960s have found themselves in great demand again. Although now 50 years have elapsed since he first felt compelled to sing, John Allison is still at it- and “Are You Sure” is still going strong. John and Bob now reunite regularly and they still harmonise their voices beautifully. (by 45-rpm.org.uk)

And here´s their debut album … a real charming one … a nice mixture between Buddy holly and Tom & Jerry (pre-Simon & Garfunkel)

Bob Allison died on 25 November 2013, aged 72, after a long illnes.

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Personnel:
Bob Allison (guitar, vocals)
John Allison (guitar, vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Anka) 2.04
02. There’s One Thing More (B-Allison/J.Allison) 1.53
03. Darling Trust In Me (B-Allison/J.Allison) 1.50
04. Never Be Anyone Else But You (Knight) 2.33
05. Be My Guest (Domino(Marascalo/Boyce) 2.01
06. Are You Sure (B-Allison/J.Allison) 2.03
07. Blue Tears (J.Allison) 2.02
08. From Now On (B-Allison/J.Allison) 1.47
09. Lightning Express (Kincaid) 5.53
10. That’ll Be The Day (Holly/Petty) 2.06
11. Fool’s Paradise (Petty/Linsley/Claire) 2.17
12. Be Bop A Lu La (Vincent/Davis) 2.11

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