Hot Tuna – America’s Choice (1975)

FrontCover1Hot Tuna is an American blues rock band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen (guitarist/vocals) and Jack Casady (bassist). Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band’s center has always been Kaukonen and Casady’s ongoing collaboration.

As the band prepared for its 1974 tour in support of The Phosphorescent Rat, Kaukonen laid off Piazza after deciding to have the band return to its semi-acoustic repertoire. Kaukonen and Casady then proceeded to record Kaukonen’s first solo album, Quah. However, July 1974 marked a departure from their primarily bluesy, acoustic style when Hot Tuna dropped their acoustic sets completely and morphed into a heavy rock band. In October 1974, the group performed on The Midnight Special.

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The albums America’s Choice (1975), Yellow Fever (1975), and Hoppkorv (1976) showcase a power trio with the addition of new drummer Bob Steeler. Jeff Tamarkin’s liner notes on the RCA “Platinum Gold Hot Tuna Collection” characterize this trilogy as being emblematic of the band’s “rampage years.” Kaukonen is quoted as saying the change of focus was due to the fact that “it was just fun to be loud.” During this period, Kaukonen’s electric guitar playing was multi-layered, prominently showcasing such effects as the Roland Jet phaser. His “rampage” style is typified by the solos on “Funky #7” and “Serpent of Dreams” on America’s Choice and “Song for the Fire Maiden,” “Sunrise Dance with the Devil,” and “Surphase Tension” on Yellow Fever. Live performances throughout the epoch were distinguished by free-flow improvisational jams and very long sets (up to six hours uninterrupted) with extended versions of their studio material.

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A November 1976 concert at the Palladium in New York City featured a 16-minute version of “Invitation.” However, producer Harry Maslin did not appreciate the group’s style and held them to a more traditional rock format (including several cover songs) for Hoppkorv. In 1977, Kaukonen began to perform solo sets before the band would perform. The trio stopped touring at the end of 1977 and performed its final concert at the Palladium on November 26, with keyboardist Nick Buck and saxophonist “Buffalo” Bob Roberts.

Although live performances from all iterations of the group enjoyed a notable cult following for much of the 1970s, Hot Tuna failed to rival or eclipse Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship from a commercial standpoint. All but two Hot Tuna albums from the era reached the Billboard Top 100, America’s Choice was their only post-1972 album to chart for more than ten weeks, peaking at No. 75.

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America’s Choice is the fifth album by the American blues rock band Hot Tuna, recorded in 1974, and released in 1975 as Grunt BFL1-0820. The album was also released in Quadraphonic as Grunt BFD1-0820. The first of the “Rampage” trilogy albums (the others being Yellow Fever and Hoppkorv) recorded by the now power trio, it marked a major shift in musical direction by the group. With new drummer Bob Steeler, Tuna now performed in a predominantly hard rock style, leaving the earlier band’s mixture of electric and acoustic material.

The album rose to No. 75 on the Billboard charts. One of the tracks is named “Hit Single #1”. Despite its title, it was not released as a single.

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The album cover art depicts a box of laundry detergent, complete with dripping suds, labeled “America’s Choice: Hot Tuna”. The lettering and color scheme are loosely based on the style of Tide. On one side of the detergent box, a contents label lists the musicians as the “active ingredients”, and also says, “Pure, unadulterated sounds with amplified additives and the necessary polytonal ingredients to handle heavy loads.” On another side of the box is a “warning” stating, “This album to be played at full volume for maximum effect.” Unedited extended live versions of “Invitation” recorded at the New York York Palladium November 26, 1976, and Santa Clara University May 28, 1977, are available. In 1996, RCA released the CD box set Hot Tuna in a Can which included a remastered version of this album, along with remasters of the albums Hot Tuna, First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, Burgers, and Hoppkorv. (wikipedia)

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Hot Tuna returned to a heavier sound on their fifth album, which, although it again was dominated by Jorma Kaukonen’s compositions, leaned more heavily on extended electric-guitar solos and even included a Robert Johnson classic, “Walkin’ Blues.” Drummer Bob Steeler replaced Sammy Piazza as of this release. The result was a modest recovery from the disappointing sales of The Phosphorescent Rat, although not a complete return to form. (by William Ruhlmann)

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What it suffers from most is Jorma’s cringy mixed-down/double-tracked/reverbed studio vocals, something that old Tuna fans would find strange and unappealing because they and in direct contrast to how he sang in live setting. These are bad production elements that marred this record in a few spots (Funky #7 and Great Divide, notably)
But each fault (and there are more) is offset by a plethora of musical brilliance that make me chuckle and say, “damn”. When this is on all cylinders, it’s really on, and that is most of the time.
A favorite Tuna record. (Sancho Wobbivitz)

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Personnel:
Jack Casady (bass)
Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals)
Bob Steeler (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Sleep Song (Kaukonen) 4.25
02. 
Funky #7 (Casady/Kaukonen) 5.49
03. Walkin’ Blues (Johnson) 5.22
04. Invitation (Kaukonen) 6.55
05. Hit Single #1 (Kaukonen) 5.16
06. Serpent Of Dreams (Kaukonen) 6.53
07. I Don’t Wanna Go (Kaukonen) 4.57
08. Great Divide: Revisited (Kaukonen) 5.17

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The official website:
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Australia – Maiden Australia (1976)

FrontCover1And here is a really mysterious LP … I’ve never heard of Ban Australia, nor have I found any relevant information.
But yes, the band really existed and of course they came from Australia.
This album was recorded at Trafalgar Studios, Sydney (A once leading Australian studio located at 74B Trafalgar Street, Annandale, in Sydney now closed and demolished. Owned and operated by Charles Fisher. Designed and built from June 1973 to October 1974)

And we hear some good Pop-Rock and sometimes the album reminds me a bit of the Eagles (“Knowing That You’re There”)

It´s AOR with lot´s of keyboards, with great harmony vocals.

Hey guys…where ar you know ?

Does anybody knows more ?

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Personnel:
Emile T’Boom (vocals, keyboards. synthesizer)
Rick Dakin (keyboards, synthesizer,  background vocals)
Ace Follington (drums, percussion)
Andy MacDonald (bass, background vocals)
Ross McInnes (guitar, background vocals)
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Dave Scott (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Captain Magic (McInnes/Theeboom) 3.28
02. Make Me Fly (McInnes/Dakin) 4.33
03. Knowing That You’re There (McInnes/Theeboom) 3.37
04. Questions (McInnes/Theeboom) 3.51
05. Rock And Roll (McInnes/Theeboom) 2.49
06. Going Up (McInnes/Theeboom) 2:42
07. Give Me A Sign (McInnes/Theeboom) 3.08
08. You Never Get An Answer (McInnes/Theeboom) 3.54
09. As Long As I’m Free (McInnes/Theeboom/Dakin) 3.18
10. Jupiter Starship (McInnes/Theeboom) 4.44

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Attila – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Attila was an American rock band, most notable for having featured a young Billy Joel as a member.

Joel was a member of a band called The Hassles; he and the drummer Jon Small broke away from the Hassles and formed Attila in 1969. The instrumentation was organ and drums, with Joel also handling the bass lines with a keyboard, similar to the Doors’ Ray Manzarek. Their creative partnership ended in 1970 when Joel ran off with Small’s wife, Elizabeth, whom he later married, although this did not end their collaborations, as Small produced Joel’s Концерт video as well as the Live at Shea Stadium performance.

Their only album, Attila, was released on July 27, 1970. Joel himself has gone on record as describing the album as “psychedelic bullshit”.

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End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like “Godzilla”, “March of the Huns”, “Brain Invasion”. A lot of people think  just came out of the piano bar… I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. “It was great, but we can’t stay in the club.” (Billy Joel, Interview with Billy Joel by Dan Neer in 1985)

Differently, a review on headheritage.co.uk ends on a positive note: “But it’s just too over-the-top… the album cover, the vocals, the lyrics, it just ends up being an extremely entertaining joke that Billy wasn’t in on. But I’ve gotta say, I dug his trip, and the record still puts me in a good mood every time.”

One track from the album, “Amplifier Fire, Part 1 (Godzilla),” appears on Joel’s 2005 boxed set, My Lives. (wikipedia)

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1970 was truly a great year for heavy metal and proto-metal alike, the two most obvious releases of the year coming from the UK, Black Sabbath’s debut, and Deep Purple’s “In Rock”. Across, the Atlantic however, something was a-cookin’ in the Northeast. Acid, grass, reds, and speed must have been fairly free-flowing in the Big Apple at the time, clearly displayed on Brooklyn combo Sir Lord Baltimore’s “Kingdom Come” through sonic fierceness alone. Over in Long Island, what would become Blue Öyster Cult was still tooling around as Soft White Underbelly and/or Stalk-Forrest group, and when they would finally crystallize into B.Ö.C. and release their eponymous debut in 1972, the lyrics (if you could make out what the hell Eric Bloom was saying) made subtle references to grass (Then Came The Last Days of May) and reds (Transmaniacon MC, Before the Kiss, A Redcap).

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But back to 1970 – Billy Joel and Jon Small of Long Island combo the Hassels are sensing this new vibration. Billy Joel’s had his eardrums seared by “In Rock”, but his his megalomaniacal acid visions speak to him: “BILLY! YOU ARE THE PRIMAL GOD OF THE HAMMOND ORGAN! YOU CAN OUT SQUEAL JON LORD! YOU DON’T NEED NO RITCHIE BLACKMORE, YOU DON’T NEED NO ROGER GLOVER!” Hence the birth of Attila, a heavy-rock/proto-metal organ and drums duo of mammoth proportions. The cover features longhairs Joel and Small dressed as huns in furs and armor standing in the middle of a meat locker. Billy Joel pounds out some of the most heavily distorted, wah-wahed to fuck, MONSTER riffs I’ve ever heard, occasionally breaking out into leads that may not out-finesse Jon Lord, but certainly out-punk Jon Lord with noisy, ham-fisted ferocity. I’m not a keyboard player, but I believe he may also be using his feet to play the bass lines with bass pedals. Ham-fisted really is the word to describe Joel’s organ on the whole record, and regarding Jon Small’s drumming, let’s just say on this record, Billy Joel is to Jon Lord as Jon Small is to Ian Paice. He lacks Paice’s finesse and dexterity, but is a harder and meaner pounder. SO HAM-FUCKING-FISTED, I just can’t get enough. As far as vocals are concerned, the only comparison I can even think of would be S.L.B.’s John Garner, so my guess is seeing S.L.B. endowed Joel with a hefty sense of competition. Not exactly what you were expecting from a pre-fame Billy Joel is it? Well, me neither!

Side One opens with exactly what you want, a bracingly heavy organ riff, Billy pounding his keys like Jon Lord ripped on several reds and a lethal dose of speed, and screaming a lust-driven tribute to a certain “Wonder Woman” (“WONDER WOMAN! You have got me in a spin! JESUS CHRIST, I can’t believe the shape I’m in!”) It’s quite a doozy, and there’s a moment of respite in the mid-tempo “California Flash,” a tale about a rock and roller with a “twenty-foot mustache” who drives the crowd wild stripping nude on stage until he’s busted by the fuzz (“Suddenly we all heard a crash, everybody hid all their hash, the door caved in with a smash, and 99 policemen busted California Flash”).

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My favorite cut on the first side is probably “Revenge Is Sweet,” featuring another pounder of an organ riff almost as good as that on “Wonder Woman.” Billy is rambling about how people called him names and treated him like a loser, but now that he’s taken a trip and realized his purpose on the planet, he will have the last laugh. “People laughed at me and said I’d never win, now I turn around and KICK YOUR FACES IN! KICK-YOUR-FACES-INNNNN!” Billy belts out with a punk-sneer, later letting us know “I could spit on those who called me names, I’m a phoenix rising from the flames!” You tell ’em Billy! Of course the irony is this album was such a critical and commerical disaster, that after it’s failure (and after breaking up the band by stealing Jon Small’s wife) Joel guzzled an entire bottle of furniture polish hoping for an easy way out. If that had been his end, this album’s legacy would be oh-so-much greater without Billy tainting the memory with his solo career. I mean, at this point, could he be considered anything less than a hack? But we must move on…

Completing side one is the brilliantly titled two-part instrumental “Amplifier Fire”. Part I, Godzilla, is a pretty un-exciting jazz styled solo vamp. Part II – March of the Huns, is one of the highlights of the album, and certainly its most “evil” moment. Billy pounds out a raw, ultra-heavy riff, and Joel and Small chant primitively over a march beat, definitely worthy enough for actual Huns off to march off war to. It seriously comes off like a raw, organ based version of Black Sabbath’s “Supertzar,” and Sabbath couldn’t even reach that territory until 1975.

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Side Two opens with what is probably the album’s finest moment, “Rollin’ Home”. Structurally similar to “Wonder Woman,” this number concerns the simple yet universal drama of a man coming home from a hard day with one thing on his mind: bedding his woman. This track is exceptional because it is probably the most honest and explicit explanation of the male sex drive since the Troggs “I Can’t Control Myself”. Just check out these lyrics: “I’m coming to you baby like I’ve never come to you before, I’ve been away so long and I’ve been feeling lovin’ more and more, Sitting in the movies I got a feeling I just couldn’t ignore, AH! You know EXACTLY what I mean!” Yes, Billy, I absolutely do, but it gets even better, “I’m having such a hassle with the ladies going through my head, I’m trying to keep my hands from doing all the things you did instead, I’ve got some new ideas – I’m gonna have to try ’em out in bed, oooh I’ve got it in for you baby – HEY HEY!” That’s gotta be one of the best lyrical couplings of all time, I don’t believe that anyone other than Blowfly and Billy Joel have ever sung about trying not to beat off so perhaps they could get laid instead. And it’s all delivered at an intense, amphetamine-fueled, needles-in-the-red pace, with Billy shouting in John Garner style and here beating Mr. Garner at his own game, at least lyrically.

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The rest of the album ain’t too shabby either. “Tear This Castle Down” seems to document the death of the ego on an acid trip, and I think Budgie was listening in to the line “You have let them twist your mind – and cut off all your hair!” when they wrote “Rape Of The Locks” a year later. “Holy Moses” seems to be about a midnight trip with some chick who turns out not to be right for Billy, but he’s got Attila now and he’s going to take over the world, so he’s alright. It all comes to a head with “Brain Invasion” (Not a bad song title in the lot!) which comes off like a much cooler, complex, and longer version of Part I of Amplifier Fire from the first side.

Through sheer ham-handed gusto, Billy Joel comes fairly close to beating Deep Purple at their game with just an organ and drums. But it’s just too over-the-top… the album cover, the vocals, the lyrics, it just ends up being an extremely entertaining joke that Billy wasn’t in on. But I’ve gotta say, I dug his trip, and the record still puts me in a good mood every time. (by boy howdy)

And my favourite track is “Tear This Castle Down” … a real killer song !

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Personnel:
Billy Joel (credited as William Joel) (keyboards, vocals)
Jon Small (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Wonder Woman 3.36
02. California Flash 3.33
03. Revenge Is Sweet 4.02
04. Amplifier Fire 7.44
04.1. Part I: Godzilla
04.2. Part II: March Of The Huns)
05. Rollin’ Home 4.56
06. Tear This Castle Down 5.50
07. Holy Moses 4.45
08. Brain Invasion 5.45

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LinerNotes

Thanks to Glenn Evans: road manager and creator of the direct input of a Hammond organ to Marshall amplifiers.

Ironhorse – Same (1979)

FrontCover1Ironhorse was a Canadian rock band from Vancouver, formed by Randy Bachman, the former The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist and singer. The initial incarnation of the band also included Tom Sparks (vocals, guitars), John Pierce (bass) and Mike Baird (drums).

This line-up of Ironhorse released 1979’s Ironhorse album on the Scotti Brothers label, and had a minor U.S. hit single in April 1979 with “Sweet Lui-Louise”, which peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In Canada, the song peaked slightly higher at #26. The same track reached #60 in the UK Singles Chart.

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Ironhorse then had an almost complete line-up change, retaining only Bachman. The second incarnation of Ironhorse consisted of Frank Ludwig (lead vocals, guitars); Bachman (guitars, vocals); Ron Foos (bass) and Chris Leighton (drums). This line-up issued 1980’s Everything is Grey, also on Scotti Brothers Records. One of its singles, “What’s Your Hurry Darlin’,” peaked at #84 in Canada. In the U.S., the song peaked at #89 in May 1980.[3]

Foos then left the group to rejoin Paul Revere and the Raiders. In 1980, Ironhorse disbanded, with the remaining members (Bachman/Leighton/Ludwig) forming Union with Bachman’s former Bachman-Turner Overdrive band-mate Fred Turner. Union put out one album On Strike on the CBS subsidiary Portrait Records, and had a minor hit with the track “Mainstreet U.S.A.”

As of May 2013, Randy Bachman has been able to secure the rights to the two Ironhorse albums.

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And here´s their debut album:

A lovable, teddy bear’s picnic of unabashed pop sprinkled with synths and the kind of meaty-fingered riffs you’d expect from Bachman, Ironhorse is an album giddy with delight, from the hiccuping “Sweet Lui-Louise” through the sun-drenched “One and Only,” helium-headed “Watch Me Fly,” the atmospheric “You Gotta Let Go” and Tom Sparks’ “She’s Got It.” Only really getting heavy for the Clapton dedicated “Old Fashioned,” and “There Ain’t No Cure,” those looking for a traditional BTO boot-stomper might be disappointed, but Ironhorse is indeed a dark horse entry in the corpulent Canuck’s discography. (by bpnicast)

SinglesThe death of Bachman Turner Overdrive was a bitter pill to swallow. They were never within throwing distance of being great but they unearthed a rich vein of musical appreciation within me which still hasn’t been played out today. Almost in gratitude, I followed Randy Bachman through his biographic album Survivor which was far too personal and divorced from heavy rock to be anything other than indulgent. My hopes were higher for Ironhorse as within the close-knit environment of a band was how I was used to seeing him work and the preceding single, “Sweet Lui-Louise”, bolstered that belief. Unfortunately, whilst not as tame as Survivor, this is more akin to pleasant rock and roll rather than raucous rawk.

The only tracks remotely like Bachman Turner Overdrive are “There Ain’t No Cure” and “Old Fashioned”, dedicated to “Slowhand” Clapton but with a vocal performance reminiscent of Hendrix. The rest are a likeable mix of rock-cum-pop with all the big guns appearing on side one: “Sweet Lui-Louise”, “Jump Back In The Light”, “One And Only” and “You Gotta Let Go”. The three tracks penned by Tom Sparks are more blues orientated and fine in themselves but it’s a mistake for Bachman to step down from lead vocals.

Not a thoroughbred but certainly worth a bit of a flutter. (by Grampus)

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Personnel:
Randy Bachman (guitar, vocals. guitar synthesizer)
Mike Baird (drums)
John Pierce (bass)
Tom Sparks (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. One And Only (Bachman) 3.32
02. Sweet Lui-Louise (Bachman) 3.11
03. Jump Back In The Light (Bachman) 3.12
04. You Gotta Let Go (Bachman) 3.59
05. Tumbleweed (Bachman) 3.19
06. Stateline Blues (Sparks) 3.46
07. Watch Me Fly (Sparks) 3.41
08. Old Fashioned (Dedicated To Slowhand) (Bachman) 3-14
09. She’s Got It (Sparks) 3.11
10. There Ain’t No Cure (Bachman) 3.57

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Solution – Fully Interlocking (1977)

FrontCover1Solution were a Dutch progressive rock band that existed from 1970 to 1983, during which time they released six studio albums and one live album. They incorporated jazz, rock, pop and soul influences, becoming more commercial on their fifth and sixth albums.

Their first eponymous LP comprised mainly instrumental pieces, complex yet repetitive in structure, with bassist Peter van der Sande singing on one track. He was succeeded by Guus Willemse around the time of its release, and immediately the band began recording more vocal songs; three of the tracks on second album Divergence featured lyrics.

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The third album Cordon Bleu (1975) was released on Elton John’s own label named The Rocket Record Company, as was its follow-up Fully Interlocking (1977). Both albums were produced by John’s producer Gus Dudgeon, and featured a crisper sound and more concise songwriting.

Despite some criticism for a more commercial direction, the next two albums, It’s Only Just Begun (1980) and Runaway (1982) continued this trend. The two title tracks from these albums became hit singles in Europe.

Solution signing the conract with CBS Records in 1979:
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Solution split in 1983, playing a final concert at Paradiso in Amsterdam and releasing a double live album. They regrouped in March 2006 for two concerts at Panama, Amsterdam (released as a DVD in July 2007), while a triple CD compilation (The Ultimate Collection, comprising almost every track they released) was issued in 2005. Also, a 1976 pairing of Solution and Divergence (simply titled Solution) was reissued by EMI in February 2007, featuring “Fever” (left off the original CD edition) and “Divergence”, the studio version of which was omitted from The Ultimate Collection in favour of the 1983 live recording.

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Fully Interlocking is the fourth album by the Dutch symphonic rock group Solution. It was released in 1977 by The Rocket Record Company. The line “Fully interlocking” appears on jigsaw puzzle boxes, as referenced on the album cover.

Like the preceding album Cordon Bleu, Fully Interlocking was produced by Gus Dudgeon and released on the label he set up with Elton John. Another name reappearing from Cordon Bleu was engineer Phil Dunne, while Hipgnosis again did the artwork. This time the recording location was switched from Wales to The Sol in Cookham, England.

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Fully Interlocking comprised four jazzy instrumental pieces sandwiched by two vocal songs, the lyrics of which were written by singer Guus Willemse. This album shares the highest quantity of instrumental tracks with their first album Solution (1971); the other four albums they released included more songs with lyrics. “Give Some More” was released as a single in Europe, backed by an edit of “Chappaqua” from Cordon Bleu. “Empty Faces” was also a 45, with “French Melodie” as the B-side.

Fully Interlocking charted in the Netherlands on 5 November 1977, reaching #30 and spending 7 weeks on the chart.

The album was re-released by CBS in 1980 (again on vinyl) and 1988 (on CD). (wikipeda)

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The Dutch fusion band here took a more accessible way to produce easier tracks, still having some lead vocals. The saxes, keyboards, bass and drums are well balanced, and it sounds melodic, joyful, fresh and good. The ensemble is rather catchy, pleasant to listen. I would say it is definitely romantic: the saxophones are greatly responsible of that. The keyboards are varied and often floating, while there are different kinds of pianos. The best track is definitely “Carousel”, a beautiful sentimental masterpiece, totally jazzy and progressive, full of Fender Rhodes: you absolutely have to enjoy the intense quintessential bit, where intense sax solo, heavily floating keyboards, punchy bass and expert drums suddenly take the maximum room available, creating an unbelievable extreme dynamic romantic passage. WOW! (by greenback)

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Personnel:
Tom Barlage: (saxophone, flutes, string-ensemble, keyboards. background vocals)
Willem Ennes (keyboards, string-ensemble, background vocals)
Hans Waterman (drums)
Guus Willemse (bass, vocals)
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Ray Cooper – congas and percussion on “Give Some More” and “Free Inside”
Stuart Epps – additional backing vocal on “Empty Faces”

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Tracklist:
01. Give Some More (Barlage/Ennes/Willemse) 5.23
02. Carousel (Barlage/Ennes/Willemse(Waterman) 7.19
03. Sonic Sea (Barlage/Ennes) 7.19
04. Free Inside (Barlage/Ennes/Willemse(Waterman) 6.22
05. French Melodie (Barlage) 4.36
06. Empty Faces (Willemse) 6.32

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The Kinks – To The Bone (1994)

FrontCover1The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat, and were briefly part of the British Invasion of the United States until their touring ban in 1965. Their third single, the Ray Davies-penned “You Really Got Me”, became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States.

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The Kinks’ music drew from a wide range of influences, including American R&B and rock and roll initially, and later adopting British music hall, folk, and country. The band gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies’ wittily observational writing style, and made apparent in albums such as Face to Face (1966), Something Else (1967), The Village Green Preservation Society (1968), Arthur (1969), Lola Versus Powerman (1970), and Muswell Hillbillies (1971), along with their accompanying singles including the transatlantic hit “Lola” (1970). After a fallow period in the mid-1970s, the band experienced a revival during the late 1970s and early 1980s with their albums Sleepwalker (1977), Misfits (1978), Low Budget (1979), Give the People What They Want (1981) and State of Confusion (1983), the last of which produced one of the band’s most successful US hits, “Come Dancing”. In addition, groups such as Van Halen, the Jam, the Knack, the Pretenders and the Romantics covered their songs, helping to boost the Kinks’ record sales. In the 1990s, Britpop acts such as Blur and Oasis cited the band as a major influence.

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Ray Davies (rhythm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals) remained members throughout the band’s 33-year run. The next longest-serving member, Mick Avory (drums and percussion), was replaced by Bob Henrit, formerly of Argent, in 1984. Original bass guitarist Pete Quaife was replaced by John Dalton in 1969. After Dalton’s 1976 departure, Andy Pyle briefly served as the band’s bassist before being replaced by Argent bassist Jim Rodford in 1978. Session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins accompanied the band in the studio for many of their recordings in the mid-to-late 1960s. The band became an official five-piece in 1970, when keyboardist John Gosling joined them. Gosling quit in 1978; he was first replaced by ex-Pretty Things member Gordon Edwards, then more permanently by Ian Gibbons in 1979. The band gave its last public performance in 1996 and broke up in 1997 as a result of creative tension between the Davies brothers.

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The Kinks have had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, they have had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums.[10] Four Kinks albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and the band have sold 50 million records worldwide. Among numerous honours, they received the Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Service to British Music”. In 1990, the original four members of the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005. In 2018, after years of ruling out a reunion due to the brothers’ animosity[12] and the difficult relationship between longtime drummer Mick Avory and Dave, Ray and Dave Davies finally announced they were working to reform the Kinks, with Avory also on board. However, comments made by each of the Davies brothers in 2020 and 2021 would indicate that in the years since the initial announcement, little (if any) progress has been made towards an actual Kinks reunion for a new studio band album. (wikipedia)

Two well respected men: Ray & Dave Davies in 2020:
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To the Bone is a 1994 live album by the Kinks. Recorded partly at Konk Studios with a small audience, and partly during their 1993 American tour and the 1994 UK tour, it was the band’s final release before their breakup in 1996.

Some tracks were recorded at Konk Studios during April 1994 with a small audience in an Unplugged style, other tracks were recorded live in Portsmouth in March 1994, and “You Really Got Me” was recorded live in Philadelphia in August 1993.[2] All the songs had been previously released as studio recordings.

Released 3 October 1994 in the U.K. on the band’s own Konk label.[1] An EP-single was released off the album to promote its release, “Waterloo Sunset ’94”, which in addition to a live take of “You Really Got Me” featured the unreleased demos “Elevator Man” and “On the Outside”, both recorded in 1976.

In 1996, an expanded double CD-version with 29 tracks was released in the U.S. on Guardian/Konk. Two new studio tracks – “To The Bone” and “Animal” – were included on the double-disc U.S. version, while two tracks on the shorter U.K. issue – “Waterloo Sunset” and “Autumn Almanac” – were omitted. (wikipedia)

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Since the mid-’70s, the Kinks have not been able to stop themselves from attempting their own variations on pop music trends, taking stabs at everything from bombastic heavy metal to sleek disco-flavored pop. On To the Bone, the group became another one of the scores of veteran rock acts to record an acoustic, “unplugged” album. However, the group’s American popularity was at an all-time low in the mid-’90s and the band wasn’t able to score a major-label record deal, let alone land a spot on MTV’s prime-time ratings bonanza, Unplugged.

Ray & Dave Davies

So, the bandmembers financed their acoustic greatest-hits record To the Bone themselves, releasing it on the U.K. independent label Grapevine. Naturally, Ray Davies’ songs work well in such a stripped-back setting, but the album is nothing more than a pleasant diversion, featuring a lovely version of “Waterloo Sunset,” possibly the most beautiful song of the rock & roll era. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Dave Davies (guitar, vocals)
Ray Davies (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Ian Gibbons (keyboards, background vocals)
Bob Henrit (drums, percussion)
Jim Rodford (bass, background vocals)

Booklet 04+05

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. All Day And All Of The Night 4.27
02. Apeman 4.06
03. Tired Of Waiting 1.49
04. See My Friends 3.25
05. Death Of A Clown 2.35
06. Muswell Hillbillies 3.20
07. Better Things 3.06
08. Don’t Forget To Dance 4.50
09. Sunny Afternoon 2.39
10.Dedicated Follower Of Fashion 1.55
11. Do It Again (acoustic version) 1.47
12, Do It Again  3.54

CD 2:
01 Celluloid Heroes 5.3
02. Picture Book 2.35
03. Village Green Preservation Society 2.26
04. Do You Remember Walter 3.44
05. Set Me Free 2.34
06. Lola 4.29
07. Come Dancing 3.39
08. I’m Not Like Everybody Else 5.42
09. Till The End Of The Day 2.37
10. Give The People What They Want 3.57
11. State Of Confusion 3.25
12. Dead End Street 2.30
13. A Gallon Of Gas 5,21
14. Days 3.18
15. You Really Got Me 3,41
16. Animal 3.38
17. To The Bone 4,30

All songs written by Ray Davies
except CD 1, 05, written by Dave Davies

CD2A

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More from The Kinks.
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James Walter Rodford (7 July 1941 – 20 January 2018):
Jim Rodford07

The official website:
Website

Nazareth – Same (1971)

FrontCover1Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band formed in Dunfermline in 1968 that had several hits in the United Kingdom, as well as in several other Western European countries in the early 1970s. They established an international audience with their 1975 album Hair of the Dog, which featured their hits “Hair of the Dog” and a cover of the ballad “Love Hurts”. The band continues to record and tour.

Nazareth formed in December 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, from the remaining members of semi-professional local group The Shadettes (formed in 1961) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. They were inspired by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Nazareth took their name from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which is cited in the first line of The Band’s classic song “The Weight” (“I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead…”).

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The band moved to London, England in 1970 and released their eponymous debut album in 1971.[6] After getting some attention with their second album Exercises, released in 1972, Nazareth supported Deep Purple on tour, and issued the Roger Glover-produced Razamanaz, in early 1973.[6] This collection spawned two UK Top Ten hits, “Broken Down Angel” and “Bad Bad Boy”.[6] This was followed by Loud ‘N’ Proud in late 1973, which contained another hit single with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song “This Flight Tonight”. Then came another album Rampant, in 1974, that was equally successful although its only single, “Shanghai’d in Shanghai”, narrowly missed the British Top 40. A non-album song, again a cover version, this time of Tomorrow’s “My White Bicycle”, was a UK Top 20 entry in 1975.

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Hair of the Dog was released in April 1975 and was produced by Manny Charlton, ending Roger Glover’s association with the band. The title track of that album (popularly, though incorrectly, known as “Son of a Bitch” due to its hook lyric) became a staple of 1970s rock radio. The American version of the album included a song originally recorded by The Everly Brothers, the melodic Boudleaux Bryant-penned ballad “Love Hurts”, that was released as a hit single in the UK and in the US, where it went platinum. The track became the band’s only US Top Ten hit[8] and was also a top 10 hit in nine other countries, reaching number 1 in six of them. The song was on the Norwegian chart for 60 weeks.

In 1979, second guitarist Zal Cleminson was added to the line-up, remaining for two albums, No Mean City and Malice in Wonderland, and contributing numerous compositions. Malice in Wonderland contained the single “Holiday”. In 1981, they contributed the song “Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)” to the soundtrack to the film, Heavy Metal.

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Various Nazareth line-ups continued to make studio albums and tour throughout the 1980s and 1990s, although their popularity had declined such that some albums no longer received either a UK or a US release. They remained popular in Europe, particularly Germany, where “Dream On” became a hit single. In 1991, Billy Rankin returned to replace Manny Charlton on the No Jive album, remaining with the band until 1994.

A tribute came in 1993 when Guns N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” on “The Spaghetti Incident?”, consolation after they turned down Axl Rose’s request for the group to play at his wedding. Rankin departed again in 1994, but with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy, Nazareth maintained a live following in Europe and the US.

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Nazareth continued touring after Rankin’s departure, with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy. While on tour in 1999, original drummer Darrell Sweet died at age 51 of a heart attack. He was replaced by bassist Pete Agnew’s son Lee for later editions of the band.

On 4 August 2006, John Locke, the former keyboardist of the band, died from cancer at the age of 62.

In February 2008, The Newz was released on the Hamburg-based label, Edel Entertainment. The release of the album coincided with Nazareth’s fortieth anniversary tour, which started on 25 January in Sweden and visited most of Europe, finished on 4 November 2008 in Norway. A follow up album, Big Dogz, was released on 15 April 2011.

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Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from the band due to ill health on 28 August 2013, leaving Pete Agnew as the last remaining original member of the band. On 22 February 2014, it was announced that Scottish singer Linton Osborne was chosen as McCafferty’s replacement, with the former singer’s blessing. In December 2014, Nazareth announced the cancellation of several shows, and later postponement of their UK tour, due to Osborne contracting a virus that left him unable to perform. In a post on his Facebook page 16 January 2015, Osborne announced his departure from the band.

On 13 February 2015, the band announced that Carl Sentance, formerly of Persian Risk, Geezer Butler Band, and Krokus, was their new lead vocalist.

In October 2018, the album Tattooed on My Brain, was released via Frontiers Records.[16] ‘The 50th Anniversary Tour’ followed, spanning 2018 and 2019, along with German hard rock band Formosa as support. Original guitarist Manny Charlton died on 5 July 2022, aged 80.

On 8 November 2022, Dan McCafferty died at the age of 76.

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William Daniel McCafferty (14 October 1946 – 8 November 2022) was a Scottish vocalist, best known as the lead singer for the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth from its founding in 1968 to his retirement from touring with the band in 2013.

Dan McCafferty was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Under the influence of artists such as Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, he became one of the founding members of Nazareth in 1968. He appeared on all of Nazareth’s albums up to 2014 and toured with them for 45 years. He co-wrote some of the big Nazareth hits, including “Broken Down Angel”, and “Bad Bad Boy”. He released three solo albums.

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On 29 August 2013, Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from touring with the band due to health issues. He elaborated on the specifics of the health issues and the state of his situation in an interview with the UK music magazine, Classic Rock. He stated that he had not suffered a stroke as had been reported in the press. He said that his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that has “worsened in recent years” had made him leave the stage in Switzerland in late August 2013 after only three songs, indicating that, “You don’t know when it’s going to come on, but suddenly you can’t breathe.” Commenting about his most recent episode, at the Swiss festival, McCafferty maintained, “if you can’t do the job you shouldn’t be there — Nazareth’s too big for that.” McCafferty also revealed that another health problem was responsible for his onstage collapse at a concert in Canada in July 2013 – a burst stomach ulcer. He stated reflecting back on the incident, “I thought I’d be fine, but you lose so much blood when that happens.” In addition McCafferty said that he expected Nazareth to continue on without him. “I really hope they get someone else,” he declared. “I’m sure they will.”

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Although McCafferty retired from performing, Nazareth fans can still hear his voice on their 2014 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone. The singer also revealed that he could record more new music, either with Nazareth or as a solo artist. He clarified: “To go into a studio and sing isn’t like doing a gig. I could always make another record, but getting up to do an hour and three-quarters, and get people to pay money to come and see me — I can’t do that.” McCafferty expressed his appreciation to his fans near the end of the interview by saying: “Let everyone know I appreciate they’ve been there for all these years.”[3][10] He continued to sing live around the world and record on occasion. On 21 June 2019, he released a new music video titled “Tell Me”. It was from the solo album Last Testament, released on 18 October 2019, McCafferty’s first solo album since 1987’s Into The Ring.

McCafferty was married and had two children. He died on 8 November 2022, at the age of 76. wikipedia)

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Nazareth is the debut album by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, released in 1971. The album featured the hit single “Dear John,” and a cover of “Morning Dew.”

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This 1971 self-titled debut may stun fans who are accustomed to the hard-driving rock and gritty power ballads that characterize Nazareth’s more popular work. Nazareth is a diverse collection of songs that points the way towards the pop leanings that would dominate the group’s later output. Although it lacks the consistency of later albums like Hair of the Dog and Expect No Mercy, fans of 1970s rock will find plenty to enjoy on this surprisingly adventurous disc. The overall sound is softer than the hard rock the group is best known for, but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t lacking in good old-fashioned rock & roll. “Witchdoctor Woman” is a moody rocker built on a slow, spooky fuzz guitar riff, and the group’s sinister cover of “Morning Dew” transforms this folk classic into a hard rock epic that provides a powerful showcase for Manny Charlton’s powerful but imaginative guitar work.

Singles

A lot of time is also devoted to country-styled ballads like “I Had a Dream” and “Country Girl,” which set dreamy melodies against a gentle backdrop of keyboards and steel guitar. The most surprising thing about Nazareth is the experimental, effects-laden approach used to bring the songs to life; the best example is the use of a voice box guitar for the much of the vocal on “Fat Man,” which enhances the loneliness of the lyrics. There are also touches of orchestration, the most interesting use appearing on “Red Light Lady,” a song that starts off as a steamy, guitar-heavy rocker but transforms midway through into a stately ballad driven by a powerful string arrangement. All in all, Nazareth tries out too many different styles to ever cohere, but it does effectively show off the chops and songwriting skills of this oft-underrated band. It is a necessary listen for the group’s fans and may even win over ’70s rock fans who wouldn’t normally go for the Nazareth sound. (by Donald A. Guarisco )

But … “Witchdoctor Woman” is a killer and their version of “Morning Dew” is one of the best versions I have ever heard !

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Personnel:
Pete Agnew (bass, guitar, background vocals, vocals on 04.)
Manny Charlton (guitar, backgrond vocals)
Dan McCafferty (vocals)
Darrell Sweet (drums, background vocals)
+
B.J. Cole (slide guitar on 07.)
Dave Stewart (organ on 05.)
Pete Wingfield (piano on 02. + 07.)
Pete York (percussion on 08.)

PromoSheet03

Tracklist:
01. Witchdoctor Woman 4.07
02. Dear John 3.46
03. Empty Arms, Empty Heart 3.13
04. I Had A Dream 3.25
05. Red Light Lady (Part 2 & 2) 5.59
06. Fat Man 3.27
07. Country Girl 4.04
08. Morning Dew 7.04
09. King Is Dead 4.46
+
10. Friends (single B-side) 3.24
11. Dear John (single edit) 2.42
12. Morning Dew (alternate edited version) 4.50
13. Friends (alternate edit of single B-side) 3.24
14. Morning Dew (extended single version) 8.06
15. Witchdoctor Woman (previously unreleased version) 4.32
+
16. This Flight Tonight 3.24

All songs written by Manny Charlton, Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet
except:
“Morning Dew” written by Bonnie Dobson
“This Flight Tonight” written by Joni Mitchell
Labels

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Dan McCafferty01

Manny Charlton

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The  official website:
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Led Zeppelin – Fort Worth 1973 (2022)

FrontCover1Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.

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Originally named the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin signed a deal with Atlantic Records that gave them considerable artistic freedom. Initially unpopular with critics, they achieved significant commercial success with eight studio albums over ten years. Their 1969 debut, Led Zeppelin, was a top-ten album in several countries and featured such tracks as “Good Times Bad Times”, “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown”. Led Zeppelin II (1969) was their first number-one album, and yielded “Ramble On” and “Whole Lotta Love”. In 1970, they released Led Zeppelin III which featured “Immigrant Song”. Their untitled fourth album, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV (1971), is one of the best-selling albums in history with 37 million copies sold. The album includes “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll” and “Stairway to Heaven”, with the latter being among the most popular and influential works in rock history. Houses of the Holy (1973) yielded “The Ocean”, “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “The Rain Song”. Physical Graffiti (1975), a double album, featured “Trampled Under Foot” and “Kashmir”.

LedZeppelin1970

Page wrote most of Led Zeppelin’s music, particularly early in their career, while Plant wrote most of the lyrics. Jones’s keyboard-based compositions later became central to their music, which featured increasing experimentation. The latter half of their career saw a series of record-breaking tours that earned the group a reputation for excess and debauchery. Although they remained commercially and critically successful, their touring and output, which included Presence (1976) and In Through the Out Door (1979), grew limited, and the group disbanded following Bonham’s death in 1980. Since then, the surviving former members have sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off reunions. The most successful of these was the 2007 Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London, with Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums.

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Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling music artists of all time; their total record sales are estimated to be between 200 to 300 million units worldwide. They achieved eight consecutive UK number-one albums and six number-one albums on the US Billboard 200, with five of their albums certified Diamond in the US. Rolling Stone magazine described them as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the Seventies”, and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995; the museum’s biography of the band states that they were “as influential” during the 1970s as the Beatles were during the 1960s. (wikipedia)

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And here´s he legendary bootleg from Fort Worth, 1971.

But to be honest … their “Dazed And Confused” does not have the punch as on the studio recording from 1969 ….

… Regardless, this is probably one of the best Led Zeppelin bootlegs.

Thanks to dadgad for sharing the show at Dime.

Recorded live at the Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas; May 19, 1973. Very good soundboard. New 2022 Remaster.

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Personnel:
John Bonham (drums, percussion)
John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards)
Jimmy Page (guitar)
Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Rock And Roll (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 4:39
02. Celebration Day (Page/Plant/Jones) 3:55
03. Black Dog (Jones/Page/Plant) 6:36
04. Over The Hills And Far Away (Page/Plant) 7:06
05. Misty Mountain Hop (Jones/Page/Plant)  4:47
06. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones/Page/Plant) 8:50
07. No Quarter  (Jones/Page/Plant) 11:41
08. The Song Remains The Same (Page/Plant) 5:44
09. The Rain Song (Page/Plant)  9:15
10. Dazed And Confused  (Page) 31:36
11. Stairway To Heaven (Page/Plant) 11:48

Alternate edition:
Alternate Edition

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More from Led Zeppelin:
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The official website:
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Joan Armatrading – Live In London (1977)

FrontCover1Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading is a Kittitian-English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.

In a recording career spanning nearly 50 years, Armatrading has released 20 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.

She’s a little long-winded, but that’s mostly because she puts so much thought into her relationships, which in turn is because she puts so much feeling into them; this is one of those rare pop stars who’s invariably serious but never pompous, which is why she isn’t a bigger star. (Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s (1990))Armatrading possesses the vocal range of a contralto. Her music draws on a wide range of influences including rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul, and reggae.

Joan Armatrading01

Her songs have been described as “some of the most deeply personal and emotionally naked … of our times”. In a 2003 interview, she said: “My songs aren’t about me at all. They’re always about love, the pain and anguish of it. But the way I’ve always written is from observation. They’re about what I see other people going through. If the songs were about me I’d be so embarrassed I don’t think I’d be able to walk out the front door.” She went on to say: “the optimistic songs reveal a bit more of me because that’s how I feel. I’m definitely a ‘glass is half full’ kind of a person.” Many of her lyrics do not specify the gender of their subjects and she frequently uses the word “you” rather than a gender pronoun. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a low-budget sampler, but a real nice and good sampler.

Over thirty years after this show was captured for  the King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, the music of singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading still stands the test of time. This was the dawn of her career when, after becoming a press darling in her native U.K. in 1976, she embarked on a campaign to break out in the states. This recording marks her return to London, after Armatrading had finished her first U.S. tour and done extensive promotion for her current LP on A&M Records.

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It is clear from these tracks that she is home and happy to be there. She performs with incredible emotion and zest, especially on the up-tempo tracks “Help Yourself,” “Show Some Emotion,” and “Love and Affection,” which were among the biggest tracks for her outside of the U.K. Other songs in this set, performed with her band of excellent musicians, include “Cool Blue Stole My Heart” and the coy number “Kissin’ and Huggin’.”

Joan Armatrading would never break through to big audiences outside of the U.K., but she built enough of a core audience to allow her to tour worldwide for more than two decades after this show was recorded. Of course, in England Armatrading remained a big star, and still performs regularly today, often playing sold out U.K. tours and large summer music festivals.

Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK; November 5, 1977:

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Personnel:
Joan Armatrading (vocals, guitar, piano)
Quitman Dennis (saxophone, flute)
Jerry Donahue (guitar)
Brian Garfalo (bass)
David Kemper (drums)

Joan Armatrading04Tracklist:
01. Never Is Too Late 7.37
02. Show Some Emotion 4.28
03. Willow 6.16
04. Opportunity 3.43
05. Won’t You Come On Home 4.06
06. Steppin’ Out 4.12
07. Love And Affection 5.13
08. Cool Blue Stole My Heart 6.23
09. Mama Mercy 4.41
10. Kissin’ And A Huggin’ 4.55
11. Tall In The Saddle 7.22

All songs written by Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading05

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The official website:
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Spooky Tooth – Live In Oldenburg 1973 (2015)

FrontCover1Spooky Tooth were an English rock band originally formed in Carlisle in 1967. Principally active between 1967 and 1974, the band re-formed several times in later years.

Prior to Spooky Tooth, four of the band’s five founding members had performed in the band Art (formerly known as the V.I.P.’s). Following the dissolution of Art, the members of that band’s final line-up (guitarist Luther Grosvenor, vocalist Mike Harrison, drummer Mike Kellie and bassist Greg Ridley) joined forces with American keyboardist/vocalist Gary Wright in October 1967 and formed Spooky Tooth. Wright was introduced to the members of Art by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.

The VIPs

Their debut, It’s All About, was released in June 1968 on Island Records[3] and was produced by Jimmy Miller, who was also behind the boards for Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, the Rolling Stones and Blind Faith.

The second album, Spooky Two (March 1969), also produced by Miller, gained some attention in the rock press but, like the debut, failed to sell. It was the last album release by the original lineup and included their now classic version of the Larry Weiss penned “Evil Woman” and “Better by You, Better than Me”, which was covered by Judas Priest on their release Stained Class (1978).

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Ridley joined Humble Pie in 1969 and was replaced by Andy Leigh for the album Ceremony (December 1969).[3] The experimental nature of Ceremony received mixed reviews and despite the project being instigated by Gary Wright,[4] the album is considered by him to have ended the band’s career. The record is described by another as being “one of the great screw-ups in rock history”.[4] As Wright describes it, “…We did a project that wasn’t our album. It was with this French electronic music composer named Pierre Henry. We just told the label, ‘You know this is his album, not our album. We’ll play on it just like musicians.’ And then when the album was finished, they said, ‘Oh no no — it’s great. We’re gonna release this as your next album.’ We said, ‘You can’t do that. It doesn’t have anything to do with the direction of Spooky Two and it will ruin our career.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”

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Wright left the band following the release of the album. Harrison, Grosvenor and Kellie remained and recorded The Last Puff (July 1970) with members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band (guitarist Henry McCullough, keyboardist Chris Stainton and bassist Alan Spenner).[3]
Singer Mike Harrison on stage with the band in the 1970s

In the autumn of 1970 the band embarked on a European tour that was undertaken with a line-up of Harrison, Grosvenor, Kellie, keyboardist John Hawken (ex-Nashville Teens) and bassist Steve Thompson. After this, the group disbanded, though Harrison and Wright reformed Spooky Tooth in September 1972 with a different line-up.

You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw was the first album by the reunited band, released in May 1973 on Island Records. Founding guitarist Grosvenor did not rejoin the band, as he had teamed up with Mott the Hoople, adopting the stage name of Ariel Bender. Grosvenor was succeeded by Mick Jones, while founding drummer Kellie was replaced by Bryson Graham. The bassist was Ian Herbert, then Chris Stewart.

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For their next album, Witness (November 1973), original drummer Mike Kellie returned in place of Graham. Wright remained the dominant songwriter at this stage of the band’s history. But co-lead singer Harrison left following the album’s release and Mike Patto was the new vocalist, alongside Wright, when they recorded The Mirror (October 1974), which also included new bass player Val Burke and Bryson Graham back on drums. But the album’s failure led to Wright leaving once again for a solo career and the group disbanding in November 1974.

Jon Milward summarized the band in The Rolling Stone Record Guide in 1979: “If ever there was a heavy band, Spooky Tooth had to be it. Featuring two vocalists prone to blues-wrenching extremes, and an instrumental attack comprising awesomely loud keyboards and guitars, Spooky Tooth came on like an overwhelming vat of premedicated goo.” Noting their lack of commercial success, Milward concluded that the group “would remain the right band at the wrong time. (wikipedia)

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And in 2015 Island Records released a superb 9 CD Box called “The Island Years (An Anthology) 1967-1974” … Part of this box was a rare live recording from 1973:

The final disc in the set was recorded live in Oldenburg, Germany on 7 April 1973 and although it is not the original band, thus Mick Jones is on lead guitar rather than Luther Grosvenor, 3 original members of the band, Wright, Harrison and Kellie are joined by long time members Mick Jones and Chris Stewart and in just under an hour they run through 9 of Spooky Tooth’s finest, including ‘I Am The Walrus’ ‘Evil Woman’ ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘Sunshine Help Me’. The sound was captured by the Island Mobile unit and sounds wonderful. (Kevin Rathert)

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This is a recommended live album containing their very best material. I am totally impressed by their rendition of Old as I was born (From You broke my heart, so…) and Sunshine help me (from their first). The interplay between the vocals and the keyboards by Harrison and Wright sounds as pure bliss. Good old days… (by GAZHOO117)

Indeed … a great live recording … and for every first-time fan and collector of Spooky Tooth … a must have !

Recorded live at the Weser Ems Halle, Oldenburg/Germany, 7th April, 1973

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Personnel:
Mike Harrison (vocals, keyboards)
Mick Jones (guitar)
Mike Kellie (drums, percussion)
Chris Stewart (bass)
Gary Wright (organ, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Waitin’ For The Wind (Grosvenor/Harrison/Wright) 4.13
02. I Am The Walrus (Lennon/McCartney) 5.53
03. The Wrong Time (Wright) 4.03
04. Cotton Growing Man (Wright) 4.22
05. Old As I Was Born (Wright) 9.28
06. Better By You, Better Than Me (Wright) 5.03
07. Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) 5.42
08. Evil Woman (Weiss) 7.21
09. Sunshine Help Me (Wright) 8.38

CD1

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(I add the complete booklet from the Anthology Box as a bonus)

Greg Ridley
(23 October 1947 – 19 November 2003)

Mike Kellie
(24 March 1947, Birmingham, England -18 January 2017)

Mike Harrison
((3 September 1942 – 25 March 2018 in Carlisle)

 

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