The Rolling Stones – Hampton Coliseum Decmber 18, 1981

FrontCover1.jpgRecorded on the same tour that produced both the 1982 live album Still Life and Hal Ashby’s 1983 theatrical film Let’s Spend the Night Together, the archival project From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum (Live in 1981) — released digitally in 2012 with a video and physical release following in 2014 — captures a gig the Stones gave in Virginia on December 18, 1981. The tour was winding down — only one other show remained — and it was the day guitarist Keith Richards turned 38, so perhaps that’s the reason why the band seemed to be in a celebratory mood. No matter the reason, the Stones are on fire here, charging through their 1981 set, a set that was heavy on oldies (there’s a three-song sequence of “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me),” “Twenty Flight Rock,” and “Going to A Go Go”) and nasty rockers (it opens with “Under My Thumb” and “When the Whip Comes Down,” effectively setting up the slide into Undercover in the next year). Perhaps it was this palpable sense of sleaze that possessed a fan to bum rush the stage during “Satisfaction,” a move that required Keith to weaponize his Telecaster and attack the invader, providing an appropriate capper to a night when the old pros could still seem dangerous. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

And here´s an early bootleg version of this show, taken from my bootleg colletcion …

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Personnel:
Mick Jagger (vocals)
Keith Richards (guitar, vocals on 14.)
Charlie Watts (drums)
Ronnie Wood (guitar, vocals)
Bill Wyman (bass)
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Ian McLagan (keyboards, vocals)
Ian “Stu” Stewart (keyboards)
Ernie Watts (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Under My Thumb 5.26
02 When The Whip Comes Down 5.16
03. Let’s Spend The Night Together 4.48
04. Shattered 4.39
05. Neighbours 4.20
06. Black Limousine 4.26
07. Just My Imagination 7.10
08. Let Me Go 4.02
09. Time Is On My Side 4.11
10. Beast Of Burden 8.00
11. Waiting On A Friend 5.59
12. Let It Bleed 6.53
13. You Can’t Always Get What You Want + Band introduction + Happy Birthday Keith 11.51
14. Little T & A 4.11
15. Tumbling Dice 4:49
16. She’s So Cold 4.30
17. Hang Fire 2.48
18. Miss You 7.42
19. Honky Tonk Women + Brown Sugar 7.27
20. Start Me Up 5.08
21. Jumpin’ Jack Flash 9.14
22. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 7.19

All songs written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

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Patti Smith – Dream Of Life (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgDream of Life is the fifth studio album by Patti Smith, released in June 1988 on Arista Records. It was her first album after the dissolution of The Patti Smith Group. Lead single “People Have the Power” received some album-oriented rock airplay at the time, and later was revived by Bruce Springsteen as a theme song for the 2004 Vote for Change concerts. Songs from this album were performed live for the first time in a show on December 29, 2006 in New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. “Paths That Cross” is dedicated to the memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff. The cover photograph is by Robert Mapplethorpe.

The album was ranked number 49 on Sounds magazine list of the best albums of the year.

The big difference between Patti Smith’s four 1970s albums and this return to action after nine years lies in the choice of collaborator. Where Smith’s main associate earlier had been Lenny Kaye, a deliberately simple guitarist, here her co-writer and co-producer (with Jimmy Iovine) was her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, formerly of the MC5, who played guitar with a conventional rock competence and who lent his talents to each of the tracks, giving them a mainstream flavor. In a sense, however, these polished love songs, lullabies, and political statements are not to be compared to the poetic ramblings of Smith’s first decade of music-making — she’s so much…calmer this time out.

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But you can’t help it. Where the Patti Smith of Horses inspired a generation of female rockers, the Patti Smith of Dream of Life sounds like she’s been listening to later Pretenders albums and taking tips from Chrissie Hynde, one of her spiritual daughters. Dream of Life is the record of someone who is simply showing the flag, trying to keep her hand in, rather than announcing her comeback. Not surprisingly, having made it, Smith retreated from the public eye again until the ’90s. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, keyboards)
Fred “Sonic” Smith – guitar)
Patti Smith (vocals)
Richard Sohl (keyboards)
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Errol “Crusher” Bennett (percussion on 07.)
Hearn Gadbois (percussion)
Bob Glaub (bass on 06.)
Jesse Levy (cello on 08.)
Robin Nash (background vocals on 06.)
Andi Ostrowe (background vocals)
Gary Rasmussen (bass)
Margaret Ross (harp on 08.)
Kasim Sulton (bass)
Malcolm West (bass on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. People Have The Power 5.10
02. Up There Down There 4.47
03. Paths That Cross 4.20
04. Dream Of Life 4.37
05. Where Duty Calls 7.45
06. Going Under 5.57
07. Looking For You (I Was) 4.04
08. The Jackson Song 5.23
09. As the Night Goes By (bonus track) – 5:04

All songs were written by Patti Smith and Fred “Sonic” Smith

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Graham Parker & The Rumour – The Up Escalator (1980)

FrontCover1The Up Escalator is an album by Graham Parker and The Rumour and was released on May 23, 1980 by Stiff Records. In the USA, the album was released by Arista.

While it was something short of a hit, Squeezing Out Sparks did win a measure of richly deserved American recognition for Graham Parker & the Rumour, and for the follow-up, Parker’s American record label, Arista, paired him up with hotshot producer Jimmy Iovine. The idea looked good on paper; Iovine had produced or engineered great sounding hard rock records for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Patti Smith, and his tough but vibrant sound would seem the perfect match for Parker and his band. But one listen to The Up Escalator reveals that Iovine’s trademark sound somehow escaped him for this project; the recording and mix are flat and poorly detailed (Brinsley Schwarz’s lead guitar and Stephen Goulding’s drums suffer the most), and the often mushy audio manages the remarkable feat of making the Rumour, one of the most exciting rock bands of their day, sound just a bit dull. But Parker fights the muddy sound every step of the way, and if his batting average as a songwriter is a shade lower than on Squeezing Out Sparks, he certainly offers up his share of A-list material, including the incendiary “Empty Lives,” the passionate “The Beating of Another Heart,” and “Endless Night,” which features one Bruce Springsteen on backing vocals. Parker’s singing is sharp and commanding, and even though the mix lets them down, the Rumour’s performances are tough and precise throughout. The Up Escalator failed to catch the ears of the mass audience, and Parker would soon part ways with the Rumour, but if this album doesn’t present them in the best light, it shows that they could play tough, passionate rock & roll that could survive even the most adverse recording conditions. (by Mark Deming)

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Graham Parker’s last record with The Rumour is one of his most underrated albums. As Mark Deming says, the production is muddy and lacks detail which mars what is otherwise an excellent collection of songs, some of GP’s best. Bursting open with the upbeat No Holding Back the album stays consistent throughout with some real gems like the beautiful The Beating of Another Heart, the hard-rocking Endless Night and the super catchy Stupefaction. If this album had a more powerful hard-hitting production then it would have been a total classic. As it stands, it’s a fine album from one of the best songwriters and backing bands of the late seventies closing out their golden era. (by Richard Henderson)

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Personnel:
Martin Belmont (guitar)
Andrew Bodnar (bass)
Danny Federici (organ)
Steve Goulding (drums)
Graham Parker (guitar, vocals)
Brinsley Schwarz (guitar, background vocals)
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Nicky Hopkins (piano)
Jimmy Maelen (percussion)
Bruce Springsteen (background vocals on 06.)
Peter Wood (synthesizer)

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Tracklist:
01. No Holding Back 3.22
02. Devil’s Sidewalk 3.13
03. Stupefaction 3.32
04. Empty Lives 5.12
05. The Beating Of Another Heart 4.32
06. Endless Night 3.39
07. Paralyzed 3.16
08. Maneuvers 3.35
09. Jolie Jolie 3.03
10. Love Without Greed 3.28
11. Woman In Charge 3.32
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12. Hey Lord, Don’t Ask Me Questions (live 1981) 4.49

All songs composed by Graham Parker

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John Cipollina – Nick Gravenites Band – At Rockpalast (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgOn November 28, 1980, guitarist John Cipollina and singer/guitarist Nick Gravenites performed together at the Kleine Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany; the four-man band they co-led was billed as the John Cipollina/Nick Gravenites Band and also included Al Staehely on bass and Marcus David on drums. It isn’t hard to understand why Cipollina and Gravenites got along well musically. Both had been part of the dynamic Bay Area rock scene of the 1960s, although Gravenites was originally from Chicago; Cipollina was a founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service, whose self-titled debut album was produced by Gravenites in 1968. Cipollina and Gravenites had blues-rock credentials as well as hard rock credentials, and both blues-rock and hard rock (along with some psychedelic rock) are important parts of the equation on this 73-minute CD (which focuses on the November 28, 1980 show in Germany).

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Cipollina and Gravenites’ compatibility is never in question in Dortmund, where they clearly enjoy a strong rapport on smokers like “Southside,” “My Party,” “Hot Rods and Cool Women,” and “Bad Luck Baby.” Cipollina sounds inspired by Gravenites’ lead vocals, and Gravenites sounds inspired by Cipollina’s electric guitar playing. That is not to say that Gravenites sings lead on all of the material; “Small Walking Box” is an instrumental, but even when Gravenites doesn’t sing, Cipollina is obviously enjoying his guitar playing. This CD is a lively example of the sort of excitement that can come about when musicians who have a lot of common ground get together. (by Alex Henderson)

In other words: A hell of a record and these guys really knew how to party …

Recorded live at the Westfalenhalle, Dortmund/Germany
November 28, 1980

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Personnel:
John Cippollina (guitar)
Marcus David (drums)
Nick Gravenites (vocals, guitar)
Al Staehely (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Rockpalast Intro (Mayfield) 0.15
02. Southside (Gravenites) 2.53
03. Junkyard In Malibu 7:45
04. Signs Of Life (Staehely) 4.11
05. My Party (Gravenites) 4:07
06. Small Walking Box (Gravenites) 10.16
07. Pride Of Man (Cipollina) 4.39
08. Bad Luck Baby (Gravenites) 7:09
09. Hot Rods And Cool Women (Staehely) 4.11
10. I’ll Pull The Trigger (Gravenites) 3.52
11. Keep On Running (Edwards) 4.28
12. Buried Alive In The Blues (Gravenites) 8.14
13. Who Do You Love (McDaniels) 11.26

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John Cipollina (August 24, 1943 – May 29, 1989)

Robin Lane & The Chartbuster – Same (1980)

FrontCover1Robin Lane (born 1947, Los Angeles, California) is an American rock singer and songwriter. Her band, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, released three albums on Warner Bros. Records in the early 1980s, and was best known for its single “When Things Go Wrong”.

Robin Lane grew up in Los Angeles. Her father was Ken Lane, songwriter and pianist for Dean Martin; her mother was a model. While in her teens, Robin began singing and performing in folk-rock clubs in southern California. From 1968 to 1970 she was married to future Police lead guitarist Andy Summers. In 1969, she sang backing vocals on the song “Round & Round” on Neil Young’s album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. In the 1970s, Lane moved to eastern Pennsylvania and then to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her musical interests turned from folk-rock to a harder sound influenced by the growing punk rock and new wave genres.

In 1978, Lane formed the Chartbusters with Asa Brebner and Leroy Radcliffe (of The Modern Lovers), Scott Baerenwald and Tim Jackson. She had signed with Private Stock Records, which shortly afterward went out of business. After Jerry Wexler saw a Chartbusters show, however, he signed the band to Warner Brothers.

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Their first album, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters (1980) featured the singles “When Things Go Wrong” and “Why Do You Tell Lies?”, earned favorable reviews, and received widespread airplay; the music video for “When Things Go Wrong” was the 11th song shown on MTV’s first American broadcast day, August 1, 1981. The band had two more releases on Warner, the EP “5 Live” (1980) and “Imitation Life” (1981). The limited commercial success of these records, combined with business disputes and Lane’s desire to have a child, led to the breakup of the Chartbusters in 1983.

Lane continued writing and recording music, and released the independent EP “Heart Connection” (1984), the self-produced cassette In Concert (1989), and the full-length Catbird Seat (1995). She co-wrote the song “Wishing On Telstar” for the 1991 Susanna Hoffs album When You’re a Boy.

In 2001, Lane and several of the Chartbusters regrouped for two reunion concerts, and decided to continue recording and performing; they released “Piece of Mind” in 2003. Since then, Lane has moved to western Massachusetts, where she works with the Turners Falls, Massachusetts Women’s Resource Center, using music therapy to aid survivors of abuse. On 4 April 2014 Tim Jackson premiered his film of Lane’s life and career, When Things Go Wrong, followed by a Q & A and a set by Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts. (by wikipedia)

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Her three song EP on manager Mike Lembo’s Deli Platters label, featuring “The Letter” (an original not recorded for this album), “Why Do You Tell Lies,” and “When Things Go Wrong,” reportedly sold in excess of 10,000 units, many in the Northeast. Robin Lane’s Warner Brothers debut was produced by Joe Wissert and features the musicianship of Asa Brebner and Leroy Radcliffe on guitars, Tim Jackson on drums, and Scott Baerenwald on bass. With alum from Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers and all band members singing, they had the elements for mega success. These songs are all great, but the Wissert production stripped the band of what made them so popular in the Boston area. The three guitar attack onstage sounded like The Byrds with a superb female vocalist. The lack of guitar in the middle of “Don’t Cry” with just an annoying cymbal ride is the kind of sparse production which turned a powerful act into a low-key Pretenders on record. That’s the problem when a record label doesn’t understand the nuances of great musicians and the are they are creating. Warner released a five song EP of the band recorded live at the Orpheum Theater in Boston in 1980, sold at a special price — kind of admitting that the first album lacked the magic the band generated in performance.

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The live EP, produced by Michael Golub, captures some of that sparkle, but it too misses the mark with the guitars mixed way down. Hearing a song like “Why Do You Tell Lies” on the studio recording, without the lush guitar sound it cries out for, is discouraging. This is a band that deserved to craft pop hits for radio and were never given the proper chance. The songwriting and musicianship breaks through the thin production, and you can hear the potential. “Many Years Ago” and “Waiting in Line” actually sound very ’90s, the high end and the hollow sound would actually come into vogue years later. But that’s not what this band was about. There are some great songs here, especially “When Things Go Wrong.” One can only hope someone comes along to record this material in a way that it can be appreciated by the masses. “Be Mine Tonite” is heavier, but still feels restrained. The inner sleeve contains the lyrics and some very cool snapshots of the band. (by Joe Viglione)

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Personnel:
Scott Baerenwald (bass, vocals)
Asa Brebner (guitar, vocals)
Tim Jackson (drums, vocals)
Robin Lane (vocals, guitar)
Leroy Radcliffe (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. When Things Go Wrong (Lane/Cipolla) 3.14
02. It’ll Only Hurt A Little While (Lane) 3.13
03 .Don’t Cry (Lane) 3.23
04 .Without You (Lane) 3.10
05. Why Do You Tell Me Lies (Lane) 2.56
06. I Don’t Want To Know (Lane) 3.03
07. Many Years Ago (Lane) 3.31
08. Waitin’ In Line (Lane) 3.21
09. Be Mine Tonight (Lane) 4.18
10. Kathy Lee (Lane/Cipolla) 3.27
11. Don’t Wait Till Tomorrow (Lane/Jackson/Radcliffe) 3.33

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Scorpions – In Trance (1975)

FrontCover1.jpgIn Trance is the third studio album by German rock band Scorpions, released by RCA Records in 1975. The album’s music was a complete departure from the progressive krautrock of the two previous albums in favor of a hard rock sound of shorter and tighter arrangements with which the band would achieve their later global success and fame; extended suites in the vein of songs such as “Lonesome Crow” and “Fly to the Rainbow” are absent altogether. It is the first album by the band to contain the now-famous logo and controversial artwork.

The original version of the album cover, photographed by Michael von Gimbut,[4] was censored for clearly showing the cover model’s exposed breast hanging down towards the guitar. Later releases have the breast blacked out so that it is not visible. This is the first of many Scorpions album covers that have been censored. The band’s former lead guitarist Uli Jon Roth claimed he may have come up with the “idea to do the thing with the guitar for the cover of In Trance”.

However, in a 2008 interview Roth claimed that early Scorpions album covers in general were “the record company’s idea, but we certainly didn’t object. And so shame on us. Those covers were probably the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever been involved with.” He did, though, classify the In Trance cover as “borderline”.

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The White Stratocaster shown on the cover belonged to Roth and he can be seen playing the same guitar on the cover of the Electric Sun album Fire Wind. This is the guitar that Roth used on all subsequent Scorpions and Electric Sun albums on which he played.

This was the band’s first album to feature the band’s name written in the now-familiar font used on nearly all subsequent album covers, as well as their first collaboration with producer Dieter Dierks. (by wikipedia)

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The Scorpions’ third release, In Trance, continues to display their high-energy music, which is impossible to ignore. With the eyebrow-lifting “Dark Lady” as the opening track, the album immediately captures the listener’s attention and keeps it all the way until the end. The interesting title track is clearly the best song of the album, but singles such as the fast-paced “Robot Man” and the hard-rocking “Top of the Bill” also stand out as highlights. Excellent singing and powerful music make this the best Scorpions recording working with Uli Jon Roth. (by Barry Weber)

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Personnel:
Francis Buchholz (bass, background vocals)
Rudy Lenners (drums, percussion)
Klaus Meine (vocals)
Uli Jon Roth – lead guitar, background vocals, vocals on 01. + 08.)
Rudolf Schenker (guitar, background vocals)
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Achim Kirschning (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Dark Lady (Roth) 3.29
02. In Trance (Schenker/Meine 4.45
03. Life’s Like A River (Roth/Schenker/Fortmann) 3.51
04. Top Of The Bill (Schenker/Meine) 3.24
05. Living And Dying (Schenker/Meine) 3.22
06. Robot Man (Schenker/Meine) 2.45
07. Evening Wind (Roth) 5.05
08. Sun In My Hand (Roth) 4.23
09. Longing For Fire (Schenker/Roth) 2.45
10. Night Lights (Instrumental) (Roth) 3.13

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Doobie Brothers – Livin´ On The Fault Line (1977)

FrontCover1.jpgLivin’ on the Fault Line is the seventh studio album by the American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 1977. It is one of the few Doobie Brothers albums of the 1970s which did not produce a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (although “You Belong to Me” was a hit as recorded by co-author Carly Simon). Still, the album received modest critical acclaim. Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals) left the band early in the sessions. He is listed as part of the band (appearing in the inside group photo) but appears on little or none of the actual album; despite writing and singing five songs during the sessions for the album, they were not included on the final release. Much of this consistently mellow album has a jazz tinge, and the influences of R&B are palpable throughout. The track “Little Darling (I Need You)” is a remake of the Marvin Gaye 1966 hit. (by wikipedia)

Livin’ on the Fault Line fell between two of the Doobie Brothers’ biggest-selling records. The album had no hit singles, and one-time leader Tom Johnston kept a markedly low profile (this would be his last record with the group, not including a later reunion). Despite this, Livin’ on the Fault Line contains some of the most challenging and well-developed music of the band’s career, with Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald really stepping to the fore.

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There’s a vague mood of melancholia running through the songs, as well as a definite jazz influence. This is most obvious on the title track, which has several instrumental passages that showcase the guitar abilities of Simmons and Jeff Baxter. Similarly, “Chinatown” is a spooky mood piece not unlike the smooth fusion of late-period Steely Dan or Little Feat. But “Echoes of Love” and “Nothin’ But a Heartache” are both intelligent, glistening pop songs that confirm Simmons and McDonald as first-rate tunesmiths. The record slips a little at the end, with a plodding R&B song and a Piedmont guitar instrumental thrown in as filler. Overall, though, this is a chapter in the Doobie Brothers’ history that deserves a second look. (by Peter Kurtz)

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Personnel:
Jeff Baxter (guitar, steel guitar)
John Hartman (drums)
Keith Knudsen (drums, vocals)
Michael McDonald (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
Tiran Porter (bass, vocals)
Patrick Simmons (guitar, vocals)
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Dan Armstrong (electric sitar solo on 09.)
Norton Buffalo (harmonica on 08.)
Rosemary Butler (background vocals on 03., 04. + 08.)
Victor Feldman (vibraphone on 05.)
Bobby LaKind (congas, vocals)
Maureen McDonald (background vocals on 01.)
Ted Templeman (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. You’re Made That Way (McDonald/Baxter/Knudsen) 3.30
02. Echoes Of Love (Simmons/Mitchell/Randle) 2.57
03. Little Darling (I Need You) (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 3.24
04. You Belong To Me (Simon/McDonald) 3.04
05. Livin’ On The Fault Line (Simmons) 4.42
06. Nothin’ But A Heartache (McDonald) 3.05
07. Chinatown (Simmons) 4.55
08. There’s A Light (McDonald) 4.12
09. Need A Lady (Porter) 3.21
10. Larry The Logger Two-Step (Simmons) 1.16

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