Barock Project – Skyline (2015)

FrontCover1Barock Project was born in 2003 and have the goal to match classic music (mainly baroque), rock and a few jazz, substained by a pop structure to renew the beloved Progressive Rock of 70s. The head of project is the keyboard player Luca Zabbini, piano player and composer, affected by the passion for the famous keyboardist Keith Emerson (ELP). In the summer of 2004 Giambattista Giorgi, a young bass player, the drummer Giacomo Calabria and the voice of Luca Pancaldi joined to the band.
In January 2007 they performed live in Bologna with a string quartet. The arrangements are made by Zabbini and Rock In Theater is the DVD of the concert. In the end of the same year come out the first album Misteriose Voci under the label Musea Records and in the summer of 2009 the second record, Rebus under the italian label Mellow Records, gained good reviews both.

In March 2012 the french label Musea Records publish their third album Coffee in Neukölln, wrote totally in english.

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Was the work which consacrate Barock Project such as Symphonic Prog Rock international band with a nomination to the Prog Awards 2012.
In the same year joined to the band Eric Ombelli (drum) and Marco Mazzuoccolo (guitar) and in 2014 started recording of the fourth and more complex album. At the end of 2014 the bassist Giorgi left the group and Francesco Caliendo took his place.

In January 2015 Barock Project announce the exit of Skyline,edited by Artalia with the help of a fundraising campaign and with partecipation of two big name of prog: Vittorio De Scalzi (New Trolls) and Paul Whitehead (first cover artist of Genesis).

In November of the same year Alex Mari take the place of Luca Pancaldi.
In May 2016 came out the live Vivo,a double cd of two hours of music, recorded during the tour played in 2015.
In March 2017 the sixth album Detachment saw the light, and the band performed in Holland and at Symphonic Night Festival at Tsutaya O-East in Tokyo.

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In 2018 Barock Project was in tour in Holland, in USA at RosFest festival and one more time in Japan at Tsutaya O-West in Tokyo. The band completes the year with a concert to Auditorium Parco della Musica in Roma.
On August 2019 the band signs with the label Immaginifica by Aereostella and in September the band release the new album Seven Seas. /taken from their website)

This is a well-made album with complex compositions and very competent performances on all instruments but, like Dan Brittan’s various highly regarded projects, the music of Skyline simply fails to lure me in. I do like it that Barock’s songs have a distinct if slightly JTULL sound to them, but, like last year’s impressive FREDDEGREDDE album, complexity does not always make for enjoyable or engaging listening. The problem here with Skyline is that even with repeated listens over months none of the songs are making their way into my brain, none of these songs are songs that I want to seek out or push repeat for. Once again: Maybe if I were more lyric oriented . . . (BrufordFreak)

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I may have only just come across this Italian outfit with their latest album, ‘Detachment’, but I am determined to make up for lost time so am now listening to their latest studio album, which was actually their fourth. Released in 2015, this is very much the forerunner to the most recent, and although it isn’t quite in the same league is still an incredibly impressive piece of work. The flute only appears on a couple of songs this time, although there is also some cello and viola at times. From the a capella opening, through to the very last note, this is an incredibly polished and controlled album: one that takes the listener on a journey that they are sure to enjoy.

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I’m not quite sure why, but there does appear to be a much heavier Jethro Tull feeling to parts of this album, and this has nothing to do with the use of flute, but rather the way that some of the acoustic numbers seem to flow and sweep. I have seen them likened to Echolyn in some places, and I can see why, but to be honest although I always enjoyed Echolyn I don’t think they were quite in the same league as these guys. This the second studio album I have heard, and am still getting to grips with the fact that up to a few months ago I had never heard of them! Still, like finding a good author after he has been going a while (I first read Stephen Donaldson as he was about to release the sixth volume of ‘Thomas Covenant’ novels), it does give one the opportunity to go back and see what else they have been doing over time, and that is something I fully intend to do.

Barock Project are easily one of the most impressive bands currently operating within the progressive scene and I heartily recommend this to anyone who enjoys the more melodic and less challenging forms. (by Kev Rowland)

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Personnel:
Marco Mazzuoccolo (guitar)
Eric Ombelli (drums, percussion, loops)
Luca Pancaldi (vocals)
Luca Zabbini (keyboards, bass, guitar, background vocals)
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Giuseppe Franchellucci (cello, viola)
Vittorio De Scalzi (vocals, flute on 03.)
Onelio Zabbini (flute on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Gold 8.40
02. Overture 3.39
03. Skyline 10.20
04. Roadkill 5.59
05. The Silence Of Our Wake 10.48
06. The Sounds Of Dreams 2.23
07. Spinning Away 6.05
08. Tired 9.57
09. A Winter’s Night 4.37
10. The Longest Sigh 7.52

Music: Luca Zabbini
Lyrics: Antonio de Sarno

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Russ Ballard – The Fire Still Burns (1985)

FrontCover1Russell Glyn Ballard (born 31 October 1945) is an English singer, songwriter and musician.

Originally coming to prominence as the lead singer and guitarist for the band Argent, Ballard became known by the late 1970s as a songwriter and producer. His compositions “New York Groove”, “You Can Do Magic”, “Since You Been Gone”, “Liar”, “Winning”, “I Know There’s Something Going On”, “So You Win Again” and “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” were hits for other artists during the 1970s and 1980s. He also scored several minor hits under his own name in the early and mid-1980s. (wikipedia)

And here´s his 5th solo album:

This man literally has written hundreds of great single hits for other people, but never really succeeded as a solo artist, although he is a more than decent singer and instrumentalist.

The Fire Still Burns brought him close to the breakthrough in 1985. It is a typical AOR rock record with some very nice songs; for example “Hey Bernadette” and the title track, which both sound so similar, that it is almost the same, whether Russ sings “Hey Bernadette …” or “The fire still burns …”. (by Communique)

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In my book, making a rock album that stands out from the pack is quite an accomplishment, and here Ballard at least partially succeeds. At their best, his songs offer a new take on old subjects, as when he somehow combines the supernatural and heartbreak in one song. At their worst, they are at least polished, with the kind of upbeat, lightly-driving feel that Tony Carey’s music of this period shares. (by szarka Mar )

This album didn’t turn me into a Russ Ballard fanatic; but at least it wasn’t a waste of money.
Fine follow up to the previous album. Same style, same standard. Quite why EMI America never released a UK single to take advantage of the interest achieved with “Voices” I’ll never know. “Searching” would have been a natural follow-up, being in the same vein. Also “Your Time Is Gonna Come” had considerable commercial potential. (by UKDave)

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Personnel:
Russ Ballard (vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, electronic drums)
Mo Foster (bass)
Stuart Elliott (drums)
Peter Van Hooke (electronic drums)
Mike Richardson (drums)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Once A Rebel 5.33
02. The Omen 4.30
03. Hey Bernadette 5.48
04. Searching 6.10
05. Time 1.53
06. Your Time Is Gonna Come 4.39
07. Dream On 5.02
08. The Fire Still Burns 5.37

All songs written by Russ Ballard

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Ten Years After – Rock And Roll Music To The World (1972)

LPFrontCover1Ten Years After are a British blues rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200, and are best known for tracks such as “I’m Going Home”, “Hear Me Calling”, “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Love Like a Man”. Their musical style consisted of blues rock and hard rock.

Rock & Roll Music to the World is the seventh studio album by the English blues rock band Ten Years After, released in 1972. It includes several Ten Years After standards, including “Standing at the Station”, “Choo Choo Mama”, and the title track. (wikipedia)

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Here, Ten Years After expanded on their boogie base and continued the hits. The title cut was the hit, and while they continued to groove along in the boogie atmosphere, things on Rock & Roll Music to the World sounded a bit too tame for the thundering hordes to chant along to at the time. “Turned Off T.V. Blues” showed just how tiring touring was getting for the band, and there wasn’t much else here to bring out the beast to party with. A little too much of the same thing was starting to stunt this band’s growth, except in their wallets. (by James Chrispell)

Singles

After the inspired songwriting and more acoustic feel of A Space in Time, TYA got back to solid rock ‘n roll on this album. And while it’s true they’re not breaking any new ground with cuts like Choo Choo Mama, Tomorrow I’ll Be Out of Town and Rock ‘n Roll Music to the World, no one ever did boogie better than Alvin Lee and company, except maybe Savoy Brown. When you’ve got a first-class rhythm section like Leo Lyons on bass and Ric Lee on drums—as capable of occasional jazz stylings as of blues and rock—you can’t ask for much more. Chick Churchill turns in some of his best keyboard work ever on this album, pushing the boundaries with haunting barn burners like Standing at the Station and adding just the right ambience to Religion, one of Alvin Lee’s best lyrics. When it comes to blues, the band has never sounded so gritty and all-out as on Turned Off TV Blues; Lee pushes his voice to the limit, sounding more like John Fogerty than himself. And of course Lee’s blistering guitar work here keeps him firmly in guitar hero territory. This is a quintessential album for lovers of blues-based rock, one of the best of its era. (Sean Arthur Joyce)

LPBackCover1Personnel:
Chick Churchill (organ)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)

LPBookletTracklist:
01. You Give Me Loving 6.31
02. Convention Prevention 4.23
03. Turned-Off TV Blues 5.13
04. Standing At The Station 7.09
05. You Can’t Win Them All 4.04
06. Religion 5.46
07. Choo Choo Mama 3.59
08. Tomorrow I’ll Be Out Of Town 4.28
09. Rock & Roll Music To The World 3.47

All songs written by Alvin Lee.

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Steve Winwood – Arc Of A Diver (1980)

LPFrontCover1Stephen Lawrence Winwood (born 12 May 1948) is an English singer, songwriter and musician whose genres include progressive rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz. Though primarily a vocalist and keyboard player, Winwood also plays a wide variety of other instruments; on several of his solo albums he has played all instrumentation, including drums, mandolin, guitars, bass and saxophone.

Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including “While You See a Chance”, “Valerie”, “Back in the High Life Again” and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones, “Higher Love” and “Roll with It” charting 20 years after the start of his recording career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.

In 2005 Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his “enduring influence on generations of music makers”. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Winwood No. 33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards. He was nominated twice for a Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989. In 2011 he received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.

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Arc of a Diver is the second solo studio album by singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood, released in 1980. Winwood played all of the instruments on the album.

Featuring his first solo hit, “While You See a Chance” (which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States), this was Winwood’s breakthrough album as a solo artist. It peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200 album chart, establishing him as a commercially viable act.

The cover artwork for the album is by Tony Wright. He took inspiration from Jazz by Henri Matisse, notably VIII: Icarus.

The album was recorded at Winwood’s Netherturkdonic Studios, built at his farm in Gloucestershire; he played all the instruments, wrote all the music, and produced and engineered it himself.

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Reviewing for The Village Voice in June 1981, Robert Christgau credited Winwood for overdubbing all his self-performed instruments, but still found his brand of “British-international groove” more atmospheric than song-oriented and ultimately “lulling”. Robert Palmer was more enthusiastic in The New York Times, saying that Winwood has transformed himself into a “rock traditionalist” with the album. While highlighting “Dust” and the album’s title track as “first-rate lyrics”, Palmer said that “Winwood’s impressive playing and arranging and utterly distinctive vocals make several of his collaborations with Will Jennings, especially the brooding ‘Night Train,’ almost as memorable.” In a retrospective review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann wrote of the album, “Utterly unencumbered by the baggage of his long years in the music business, Winwood reinvents himself as a completely contemporary artist on this outstanding album, leading off with his best solo song, “While You See a Chance.””

The album was also included in the books 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. and it was voted number 455 in Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). (wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Steve Winwood (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, mandolin, bass, drums, percussion, drum machines)

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Tracklist:
01. While You See A Chance (Winwood/Jennings) 5:12
2. “Arc of a Diver” Winwood, Vivian Stanshall 5:28
3. “Second-Hand Woman” Winwood, George Fleming 3:41
4. “Slowdown Sundown (Winwood/Jennings) 5:27
Side twoNo. Title Writer(s) Length
5. “Spanish Dancer (Winwood/Jennings) 5:58
6. “Night Train (Winwood/Jennings) 7:51
7. “Dust” Winwood, Fleming 6:20

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Illusion – Same (1978)

LPFrontCover1Illusion were a British progressive rock band formed in 1977.[1] They released two albums, Out of the Mist (1977) and Illusion (1978) on Island Records, before folding in 1979. A third release titled Enchanted Caress (made up of demos for a proposed 3rd album, from the late 1970s) was released in 1990.

Illusion were intended to be a reunion of the original line-up of Renaissance (whose second 1971 album was titled Illusion), but singer and guitarist Keith Relf died before the project was realised. Thereafter, the band’s new lineup featured Louis Cennamo on bass, John Hawken on keyboards, Jim McCarty moved from drums to play acoustic guitar and share vocals with Jane Relf, while Eddie McNeill replaced him on drums and John Knightsbridge (from Third World War, and later of Ruthless Blues) played lead guitar.

In 2001, McCarty, Cennamo, Hawken and Jane Relf reunited once again to record Through the Fire, an album of new material, under the bandname Renaissance Illusion. (wikipedia)

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After the encouraging results of their debut album, Illusion went back the following year to record their second effort, the self-titled album that came with a superb artwork, much reminiscent of the Renaissance debut album and we also see the return of another ex-Yardbirds, Paul Samwell-Smith on production. One of the main difference between the rival line-ups is that Illusion has a real electric guitarist, even if his presence is less felt in this album than on Out Of The Mist.

Opening on the superb almost 7-mins Madonna Blue, with its absolutely fabulous instrumental second part and a superb guitar solo, the album is off to a great start. McCarthy sings the following the west-coast CSN&Y-ish Never Be The Same track, while the soft-spoken Wings Across The Sea is a double vocal effort and is right in the usual target’s bull’s eye. Starting almost like a Tangerine Dream track, Cruising Nowhere is a splendid track that could’ve been a future avenue to venture on, showing that Illusion had indeed more songwriting tricks and talent in their bag than their rivals did.

Singles

There is quite a difference in the with Louis’s Theme – a very mellow/soft and lengthy track, somewhat even quieter than any then-contemporary Renaissance track- and Man of Miracle that could’ve hinted to what a third album might have sounded but Punk killed that idea. Man Of Miracles (a track going back to the early Renaissance days) is again starting on unusual synth sounds and is again superbly soft-spoken, much like Louis’ Theme. The closing 8-mis+ Revolutionary is another escape into a different symphonic realm, and a rather successful one, even if you have to raise the volume to get most of its beauty

If their debut OOTM was definitely ogling in the Renaissance direction, this second self-titled album is definitely aiming well beyond that restricted spectrum that their rivals were trapping themselves in. Indeed Illusion’s second album is anything but soporific, despite having half of its album in a very quiet and soft atmosphere that requires full attention and a good set of headphones. Renaissance fans might prefer the Mist album, but this one is definitely more adventurous. (by Sean Trane)

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Personnel:
Louis Cennamo (bass)
John Hawken (keyboards, synthesizer, harpsichord)
John Knightsbridge (guitar)
Jim McCarty (vocals, guitar, percussion)
Eddie McNeil (drums, percussion)
Jane Relf – vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Madonna Blue (McCarty) 6.47
02. Never Be The Same (McCarty) 3.18
03. Louis’ Theme (Cennamo/J.Relf) 7.43
04. Wings Across The Sea (McCarty) 4.49
05. Cruising Nowhere McCarty 5:01
06. Man Of Miracles (K.Relf/McCarty/Hawken) 3.28
07. The Revolutionary (McCarty/Hawken) 6.15

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The Connells – Ring (1994)

FrontCover1The Connells are an American band from Raleigh, North Carolina. They play a guitar-oriented, melodic, jangle pop style of rock music with introspective lyrics that reflect the American South. Though mostly dormant, the band continues to play to this day. The band is best known for their song “’74–’75”, which was successful across Europe, topping the charts in Sweden and Norway and becoming a UK Top 20 hit in 1995.

Ring is the fifth studio album by the American alternative rock band The Connells, released in 1993.

The album (and band)’s biggest hit was the single “’74–’75,” which also appeared on the soundtrack of the 1995 film Heavy. In the UK, the album reached #36 on the UK Albums Chart while “’74-’75” peaked at #14 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, the album reached #199 on the Billboard 200 with the single “Slackjawed” reaching #9 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.

“The record contains some brilliant pieces of pop songcraft (‘Carry My Picture,’ ‘Eyes on the Ground’) and some bittersweet lyrical ruminations, but slower numbers like ‘’74-’75’ are so sweet they border on cloying.” (Trouser Press)

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After scoring a college radio hit with “Stone Cold Yesterday” from 1990’s One Simple Word, the Connells followed up with their strongest effort to date, the radio-ready Ring. While muddy production and underdeveloped songs occasionally plagued their earlier releases, Ring is an album aimed squarely at the mainstream, and is a clear attempt to pick up on fans of R.E.M., alt-country like Uncle Tupelo, and rootsy power pop like Marshall Crenshaw. The album’s first single, a lilting and seemingly unassuming acoustic ballad entitled “’74-’75” became an unexpected smash hit in Europe, topping the pop charts in many countries across the continent. The song was equally indebted to acoustic-based roots rock as it was to Celtic music (as witnessed in the ornate backing vocals) and was one of the band’s most successful concoctions.

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Subsequent singles, such as the poppy “Slackjawed” and the nostalgic “New Boy” (which sounds like it was written as musical accompaniment to a James Thurber story) each managed to garner some alternative radio attention as well. The album tracks were equally as strong, especially the tense “Carry My Picture,” a stark portrait of a vindictive relationship. Ring established the Connells as the forerunners in the group of jangle pop bands that had previously lived largely in the shadow of R.E.M. and helped the band become a moderate commercial success. While time has not been kind to the band or this album, the Connells clearly held some influence. In 2000, Fran Healy of the British guitar pop band Travis admitted that his band’s 1999 hit “Writing to Reach You” was written while listening to “’74-’75” on the radio, and was, in effect, a bit of a rip-off. The songs sound unmistakably similar, and it’s enough proof that the Connells deserve much more credit for their contributions to guitar-based pop than they have previously been given. (by Jason Damas)

In other words: A forgotten masterpiece !

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Personnel:
David Connell (bass)
Mike Connell (guitar, vocals on 07. + 11., background vocals)
George Huntley (guitar, mandolin, vocals on 04., background vocals)
Doug MacMillan (vocals, guitar)
Steve Potak (keyboards)
Peele Wimberley (drums, percussion)
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Tim Harper (keyboards, background vocals)
Caro Giordano (cello)

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Tracklist:
01. Slackjawed (M.Connell) 4.00
02. Carry My Picture (M.Connell) 3.58
03. ’74–’75 (M.Connell) 4.39
04. Doin’ You (Huntley) 3.33
05. Find Out (MacMillan) 3.31
06. Eyes On The Ground (MacMillan) 3.03
07. Spiral (M.Connell) 3.07
08. Hey You (D.Connell/M.Connell/MacMillan) 3.23
09. New Boy (M.Connell) 4.39
10. Disappointed (M.Connell) 5.04
11. Burden (M.Connell) 4.00
12. Any Day Now (MacMillan) 2.39
13. Running Mary (M.Connell) 4.36
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European bonus tracks:
14. Logan Street (M.Connell) 3.39
15. Wonder Why (M.Connell) 3.14
16. Living In The Past (Anderson) 2.43

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The Only Ones – Live At The Paradiso (1979)

FrontCover1The Only Ones were an English rock band formed in London in 1976, whose original band members are Peter Perrett, Alan Mair, John Perry and Mike Kellie, they first disbanded in 1982. They were associated with punk rock, yet straddled the musical territory in between punk, power pop and hard rock, with noticeable influences from psychedelia.

The Only Ones reformed in 2007 after their biggest hit “Another Girl, Another Planet” experienced a resurgence of public interest. The band completed a comeback UK tour in June 2007, and continued touring throughout 2008 and 2009. New material was recorded in 2009 and played live, but was never released.

The Only Ones were originally formed in August 1976 in South London by Peter Perrett. Perrett had been recording demos since 1972, and in late 1975 he was looking for a bass player. He was introduced to John Perry as a possible candidate, but Perry wanted to concentrate on playing guitar instead. By August 1976, Perry and Perrett had found drummer Mike Kellie (ex-Spooky Tooth) and bass guitarist Alan Mair, who previously had huge success with the Scottish band The Beatstalkers. Their first single, “Lovers of Today”, self-released on the Vengeance record label, was immediately made “record of the week” by three of the four main music papers. A year later they signed to CBS. Their next single “Another Girl, Another Planet” became a popular and influential song, and remains the band’s best-known song. It is often featured on various musical box-sets featuring a punk rock or new wave theme. After its inclusion on the 1991 compilation album The Sound of the Suburbs, it was re-released as a single and reached no. 57 in the UK singles chart.

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The band released their debut studio album The Only Ones in 1978, which was well received by both reviewers and fans.[3] The band’s follow-up album, Even Serpents Shine, was released the following year. A year later, they released their final studio album, Baby’s Got a Gun. In the summer of 1980, they supported the Who on their tour of the United States, and in 1982 the band officially disbanded. In subsequent years, the Only Ones retained a following and their posthumously released records – live performances, BBC Television and radio shows, and compilation albums – now outnumber their studio albums. Unusually, The Only Ones’ discs were never deleted from the CBS catalogue and remain in-print.

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In an interview published in the 10 November 2006 issue of the tabloid newspaper, The Daily Record, Alan Mair commented that he was set to reform The Only Ones after “Another Girl, Another Planet” was used in a Vodafone ad campaign in 2006, and picked up as the introduction theme to Irish DJ Dave Fanning’s radio show.[4] On 21 February 2007, Perry confirmed via his MySpace page that the band would reform for a five-date UK tour in June. Besides these dates, they played a number of festivals, debuting at All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead, England, on 27 April. During the summer, they also played at the two-part Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London, Harewood House, (near Leeds), and the Connect Music Festival at Inveraray Castle in Scotland on 1 September.

News of the tour prompted coverage in several UK national newspapers and the dates were met with positive reviews. During these gigs, the band played a new song called “Dreamt She Could Fly”.

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The press also reported that three of the band were keen to record a new studio album following the tour, but that Perrett seemed hesitant. In April 2008, the band were seen on Later… with Jools Holland performing their song, “Another Girl, Another Planet”, and a new song entitled “Black Operations”. The band also played other new songs including “Is This How Much You Care” and “Magic Tablet” live on a Canal+ TV special in Paris and an acoustic/unplugged session for Radio 6 Queens of Noize. A live DVD of the Shepherds Bush Empire show was released in March 2008. Other rumoured releases included DVDs from a show on the band’s last US tour, and a re-release of Faster Than Lightning, which was released on VHS in 1991 and on DVD in 2012.

All three CBS studio albums, remastered by Alan Mair, were re-released with bonus tracks in February 2009. “Another Girl, Another Planet” was used in the film D.E.B.S. (2004), as well as in the 2010 hit film Paul. Sony BMG announced a January 2012 release date for an Only Ones box set in the “Original Album Classics” series. The set comprised the three remastered studio albums, plus various B-sides and out-takes. The Only Ones topped the bill at the 2012 Rebellion Festival in Blackpool on 4 August of that year.

TheOnlyOnes02In late 2014 the Only Ones (minus Mike Kellie) played some gigs in Tokyo, co-headlining with the Flamin’ Groovies. In August 2014 Perrett began playing solo shows (Felipop festival, Spain) using his sons’ band Strangefruit, followed by more dates in 2015 (Hebden Bridge, Bristol, London etc.) with the same formation. The band ceased activity after the death of drummer Mike Kellie, but Perrett, Mair and Perry reunited to play a three-song set in summer 2019.

The band members’ musical proficiency distinguished them from most of their peers. Their dominant drug-related lyrical themes on songs such as “Another Girl, Another Planet,” and “The Big Sleep,” also fit in with the Zeitgeist of the era on both sides of the Atlantic. Perrett and Kellie caught the eye of Johnny Thunders, founding member of the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers, and worked as sidemen on Thunders’ solo debut album, So Alone, notably appearing together on the classic “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory”. However, drug addiction, particularly heroin use,[11] derailed their career, and singer/guitarist/songwriter Perrett has only sporadically been heard from since the band split in 1982. He briefly resurfaced in the mid 1990s with the album, Woke Up Sticky, and released his debut solo album, How The West Was Won in 2017.

Lead guitarist Perry went on to play as a session guitarist for artists including The Sisters of Mercy, Evan Dando and Marianne Faithfull. More recently, he has written several well received music biographies on the Who’s seminal hits compilation Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, the Rolling Stones’ double album Exile on Main Street and in 2004, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. During 2005–2006, he played and recorded with singer-songwriter Freddie Stevenson.

The Only Ones have been influential on the indie rock and alternative rock scenes ever since their initial success, on bands such as The Replacements, Blur, Nirvana, and more recently The Libertines. Several bands have covered their song “Another Girl, Another Planet”, including The Libertines (at London Forum with Perrett guesting),[13] The Replacements and Blink 182. Their song “The Whole of the Law” was covered by Yo La Tengo on their album, Painful. (wikipedia)

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And here´s is an excellent bootleg:

This show was recorded at the Paradiso, the famous Amsterdam concert hall, and captured on the 3rd of November 1979, some months before their last LP Baby’s Got A Gun was released. It was apparently broadcasted by a Dutch radio but I don’t know which one. If the playing is far from being perfect and often Peter Perrett seems a little elsewhere (not too much vocally, but his guitar is quite erratic , there are some stunning versions of “Big Sleep” or “The Beast” where one can understand why for some of us the Only Ones will remain among the greatest and most exciting and moving band of our lives. (thefatangelsings.com)

Recorded live at The Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland  November 3, 1979
(excellent broadcast recording)

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Personnel:
Mike Kellie (drums)
Alan Mair (bass)
John Perry (guitar)
Peter Perrett (vocals, guitar)

Alternate frontcover:
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Tracklist:
01. As My Wife Says 3.27
02. In Betweens 4.43
03. Programme 2.17
04. Oh Lucinda Love Becomes A Habitb 3.31
05. Big Sleep 5.27
06. Language Problem 3.02
07. Miles From Nowhere 4.10
08. The Beast 6.09
09. Another Girl, Another Planet 3.11
10. Peter And The Pets 3.17
11. City Of Fun 3.43
12. Trouble In The World 3.20
13. Me And My Shadow 4.39
14. The Immortal Story 3.05

All songs written by Peter Perrett

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Michael Alexander Kellie (24 March 1947 – 18 January 2017):

…from the iconic introduction of “Waiting For The Wind” by Spooky Tooth to the manic psychedelic rhythm pictures of “Another Girl, Another Planet” by The Only Ones, Mike Kellie’s career has spanned over 3 decades & his picturesque drumming accompanied some of contemporary music’s most successful artists…..

Paradiso World Aids Night, Amsterdam

The Paradiso is a Dutch music venue and cultural centre located in Amsterdam.

It is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century and that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch religious group known as the “Vrije Gemeente” (Free Congregation). It is located on de Weteringschans, near the Leidseplein, one of the nightlife and tourism centers of the city. The main concert hall in the former church interior has high ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large illuminated church windows above the stage. The acoustics are rather echoey, but improvements have been made over the years. In addition to the main concert hall, there are two smaller cafe stages, on an upper floor and in the basement.

Paradiso was squatted by hippies in 1967 who wanted to convert the church to an entertainment and leisure club. The police ended the festivities the same year. In 1968, the city opened Paradiso as a publicly subsidized youth entertainment center. Along with the nearby Melkweg (Milky Way), it soon became synonymous with the hippie counterculture and the rock music of that era. It was one of the first locations in which the use and sale of soft drugs was tolerated. From the mid-1970s, Paradiso became increasingly associated with punk and new wave music, although it continued to program a wide variety of artists. Starting in the late 1980s, raves and themed dance parties became frequent.

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In 1994, Paradiso, along with the Institute for Sonology and The ArtScience Interfaculty (Amsterdam), initiated Sonic Acts together. In recent years, the venue has settled into an eclectic range of programming, which, besides rock, can include lectures, plays, classical music, and crossover artists. Long associated with clouds of tobacco and hashish smoke, Paradiso banned smoking in its public areas (except for a small smoking room) in 2008 in accordance with a nationwide ban on smoking in public venues. (wikipedia)

Adrian Snell – Song Of An Exile (1989)

FrontCover1Adrian Snell (born 1954) is an English pianist, keyboard player, singer and composer.

Classically trained at the Leeds College of Music and with a music diploma to his name (LGSM), Adrian’s musical career spans nearly four decades. During this time he has produced twenty-three original albums: seventeen solo albums and six major concept works. His major commissions include: ‘The Virgin’ from the BBC, ‘The Passion’, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and premièred on BBC Radio One, ‘The Cry: A Requiem for the Lost Child’, premièred at St Paul’s Cathedral in aid of Save the Children, and numerous Dutch commissions including HTV’s special musical documentary ‘Song of an Exile’ recorded at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem. He has performed extensively in the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States, Australia, and throughout Europe, and has had many TV and radio performances worldwide.

In the late 1990s Adrian semi-retired as a professional musician to train as a music therapist. This was a bold move by an artist whose albums and concerts attracted audiences across Europe. He completed the post graduate diploma in Music Therapy Adrian Snell 3(Dip. Mus. Th.) awarded by the University of Bristol through the Faculty of Medicine. Adrian now works as a Music Therapist and Arts Therapy Consultant for children with special needs at Three Ways School, Bath, and regularly visits a school in Korce, Albania.

June 1995 saw the premier release of Adrian’s major, two album concept work ‘City of Peace’. The work explores the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, drawing on poems written by Jewish authors spanning from six thousand years ago to the present day. City of Peace also comes as a climax to eleven years of searching and discovery that began with a journey into the lives of Jewish men, women, and children caught up in the Nazi Holocaust.

It is eleven years since I walked through the gates of Bergen Belsen. I shall never forget that day; it changed me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Music is, in the end, the language of my heart, so not surprisingly much of my writing since then expresses the search for answers and meaning in all that the Holocaust and Jewish history opens up in us.

Through his work as a music therapist Adrian has drawn inspiration to record a new album, ‘Fierce Love’. The album draws inspiration both from the relationships he has formed, and the extraordinary range of instruments that are central to his work and now contribute to the unique soundscape of the album. ‘Fierce love’ has all the hallmarks of an Adrian Snell album: rich sound textures, haunting melodies, intelligent lyrics – and a remarkable ability to connect the listener with the subject of the songs at a profound level. ‘Fierce Love’ was released on 28 September 2013. You can purchase a copy from this website, iTunes and Amazon.

His daughter, Carla Jae, has followed in her father’s footsteps and is now an accomplished singer/songwriter with ‘The Carla Jae Band’ also featuring William Rutherford and Blain Weller. His son Jamie has also pursued a music career and is currently part of the London-based band ‘Bird of Prey’. (wikipedia)

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After Adrian’s ‘life changing’ experience in Bergen-Belsen, it was no surprise that his journey continued with this beautiful and moving exploration of Jewish Poetry. ‘Song of an Exile’ contains two interpretations of poems written by children who died in Auschwitz, and these form the beginning of a very significant chapter in Adrian’s work, as he seeks to give a voice to children who have lost their childhood. (press-release)

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“Song of an exile” takes Jewish poetry through the centuries from Psalms to a poem by a girl trying to survive in the Warshaw ghetto during WO II and puts it to contemporary music. The result is an overwhelming journey through Jewish history, though rather through an emotional and spiritual perspective then a strictly historical.
“Song of an exile” shows a lot of empathy with a people which endured many struggles through the centuries.
Apart from that it is – in my opinion – a musical masterpiece. (J. vd Hoef)

I concur with J Vd Hoef. Some of the transitions between pieces are less than smooth, and Snell’s voice is more like a good musical actor than a great professional singer. The emotion he puts into singing these poems, though, is spot-on perfect. But the music–very well done and varied– provides the perfect space between some very powerful exile and labor-camp poems, and short pieces of Scripture. Prepare to be gripped. And, strangely, uplifted (I love collections that save the best for last!). This poetry needs to be remembered. (R. Miller)

I´m impressed, too  … a real important album !

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Personnel:
Paul Allen (bass)
Dave Bainbridge (guitar, keyboards, drum programming)
Debbie Bainbridge (oboe)
Paul Burgess (drums)
David Fitzgerald (ssaxophone, flute, flageolet, recorder)
Tim Hines (percussion)
Adrian Snell (keyboards, vocals)
Melanie Williams (vocals on 05. + 07.)
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background vocals:
Barrington Stewart – Vivienne Dixon – Melanie Williams

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Tracklist:
01. Roads To Zion 4.41
02. The Song Of An Exile (Shir Golah) 3.16
03. Lament For Jerusalem (How Deserted Lies The City) 6.10
04. Terezin 8.34
05. Fear
B2 Roads To Zion (Part 2)
B3 God’s Beloved
B4 If I Were

Music & lyrics by Adrian Snell

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Pat Travers – Makin’ Magic (1977)

FrontCover1Patrick Henry Travers (born April 12, 1954) is a Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer who began his recording career in the mid-1970s.

Pat Travers was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Soon after picking up the guitar at age 12, he saw Jimi Hendrix perform in Ottawa. Travers began playing in bands early in his teens; his first bands were the Music Machine (not to be confused with the Californian psychedelic/garage band of the same name), Red Hot, and Merge, which played in clubs in the Quebec area.

While performing with Merge, he was noticed by rock artist Ronnie Hawkins, who invited Travers to perform with him. In his early twenties Travers moved to London and signed a recording contract with the Polydor label. His self-titled debut album was released in 1976, and featured bassist Peter “Mars” Cowling, who would become a mainstay in Travers’ band for several years. An appearance on the German TV show Rockpalast in November 1976 was later released on DVD under the title Hooked on Music. This performance showcases an early version of Travers’ band featuring Cowling and drummer Nicko McBrain. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his second solo-album:

What a revelation “Making Magic” was after Pat’s first sincere, but pedestrian & hurried (Ten days) effort “Pat Travers”. No one could have expected the wonderful music that was to come from this visionary Canadian guitarist. “Making Magic” just jumped off the vinyl through the speakers into my head like some sort of sonic train that I could ride on the rest of my life! The album starts off with the funky intense namesake song filled with snaking snarling leads & intricate time changes that were to become a Pat Travers signature. Next came “Rock’N’Roll Susie” & “You Don’t Love Me,” showing PT’s roots in the blues, but faster & more high energy than most artist have ever dreamed of at that time or since. “Stevie” is a moving song dedicated to PT’s little brother that shows what a sense of beautiful melody PT has & how he could sonicly build a song structure to epic purportion. “Statesoro Blues,” retools the old blues tune in everyway made famous by The Allman Brothers. “Need Love” & Hooked on Music” are the real crown jewls of this album for me. Killer, killer, fast funky rock that would inspire later bands like Extreme. “Need Love” starts with funk that is just pure groove & seamlessly runs into the fast & furious metal tinged funk of “Hooked on Music”! The all instrumental ending tune “What You Mean to Me” is another prime example of Pat’s melodic sense, & serves as a taste of even better songs to come on the next album, “Putting it Straight.” (James McCormick)

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Personnel:
Peter “Mars” Cowling (bass)
Nico McBrain (drums, percussion)
Pat Travers (guitar, vocals
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Roy Dyke (drums on 05.)
Glenn Hughes (background vocals on 04.)
Brian Robertson (guitar on 05.)
Peter Solley (keyboards on 03., 04. + 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Makin’ Magic 4.58
02. Rock ‘N’ Roll Susie 3.39
03. You Don’t Love Me 3.28
04. Stevie 7.14
05. Statesboro Blues 3.47
06. Need Love 5:04
07. Hooked On Music 6.19
B4 What You Mean To Me 4.34

All songs written by Pat Travers,
except 05, written by Blind Willie McTell

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Al Kooper – Black Coffee (2005)

FrontCover1Al Kooper (born Alan Peter Kuperschmidt, February 5, 1944) is an American songwriter, record producer and musician, known for organizing Blood, Sweat & Tears, although he did not stay with the group long enough to share its popularity. Throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s, he was a prolific studio musician, playing organ on the Bob Dylan song “Like A Rolling Stone”, French horn on the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, and lead guitar on Rita Coolidge’s “The Lady’s Not for Sale”, among many other appearances. He also produced a number of one-off collaboration albums, such as the Super Session album that brought together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills. In the 1970s he was a successful manager and producer, notably recording Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first three albums. He has also had a successful solo career, written music for film soundtracks, and has lectured in musical composition. He continues to perform live. (wikipedia)

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Black Coffee is Al Kooper’s first new recording of solo material in more than 30 years. While Kooper, rock music’s most infamous polymath, has never been entirely idle (he has continued to sporadically produce, write, arrange, perform, and hustle), he has been living in semi-retirement in Nash Vegas since the 1990s and this is a major re-entry. The good news is that Black Coffee is a heady brew of loose, rootsy rock, soul, and funky R&B. Kooper and “the Funky Faculty” — drummer Larry Finn, guitarist Bob Doezma, and bassist Tim Stein — along with some select guests, turn up the inspiration dial to 10 and cut loose with a batch of solidly written originals that accent the gritty, immediate and timeless heart of a popular music that hasn’t been so in decades, and a couple of crafty covers. Kooper produced and arranged the set and plays multiple instruments. The opener “My Hands Are Tied” is classically written soul in the Stax/ Volt vein. With a horn section, a trio of backing vocalists, and his B3 carrying the melody, Kooper also plays mandolin on the tune and it sounds like it was meant to be in the mix. He may be adding the first new instrument to the soul canon in decades. His singing voice is in fine shape here as well, turning in a tough, emotive performance underscored by Doerzma’s ragged lead work in the break.

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This is followed by Keb’ Mo”s “Am I Wrong,” on which Kooper plays everything (and the mandolin is present here as well). This is a gritty, high lonesome blues that drips with emotion and atmosphere. The faux lounge swing of “How Am I Ever Gonna Get Over You,” is tainted just a bit because Kooper’s voice is not particularly well suited to the tune (think Leon Russell singing Sinatra), but it’s a minor complaint and the arrangement is stellar. Longtime compadre Dan Penn co-wrote “Going, Going, Gone,” with its slow, deliberate, and humorous look at getting old. Drummer Anton Fig joins him (he plays everything else) on a stomping rock & roll cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Get Ready,” that underscores the blues in the melody. There’s also a smoking live version of “Green Onions,” a rare instrumental here. The steamy reggae-meets-R&B mode on Hal Linden’s “Got My Ion Hue,” is quirky yet utterly gimmick free. And while Kooper’s voice may not be ideally right for Lil Armstrong’s classic “Just for a Thrill,” he pulls it off seamlessly — and his organ and piano work on the tune are stellar. Another live selection is “Comin’ Back in a Cadillac,” that goes on for nearly ten minutes with smoking horn and guitar grooves before closing with the soulful ballad “(I Want You To) Tell Me the Truth.” Black Coffee is consistent and engaging; it is a better album than anyone had any right to expect. But as iconoclastic and unpredictable as Kooper has been in his nearly 50-year career, expectations themselves are suspect. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Larry Finn (drums)
Al Kooper (keyboards, vocals, guitar, french horn, oboe, Organ, percussion, pizzicato)
Daryl Lowery (saxophone)
Tom Baird Stein (bass)
Jeff Stout (trumpet)
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Anton Fig (drums)
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background vocals:
Curtis King – Sherryl Marshal – Catherine Russell – Jimmy Vivino

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Tracklist:
01. My Hands Are Tied (Kooper) 4.52
02. Am I Wrong (Moore) 3.29
03. How My Ever Gonna Get Over You (Kooper) 5.35
04. Going, Going, Gone (Kooper/Penn) 4.58
05. Keep It To Yourself (Kooper) 5.20
06. Get Ready (Robinson) 3.14
07. Imaginary Lover (Kooper/Stewart) 3.38
08. Green Onions (live) (Jones/Cropper/Jackson/Steinberg) 6.23
09. Another Man’s Prize (Kooper) 6.07
10. Childish Love (Kooper) 3.26
11. Got My Ion Hue (Lindes) 4.18
12. Just For A Thrill (Raye/Armstrong) 3.54
13. Back In A Cadillac (live) (Kooper) 9.54
14. (I Want You To) Tell The Truth (Kooper) 3.55

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