The Troll – Animated Music (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgPart of the whole Chicago late-60s psych scene alongside their similarly well-produced Dunwich stablemates H.P. Lovecraft, The Troll released a few near-hit singles before this album. Originally released on Mercury’s Smash sublabel, this got not a whole lot of attention in its day…and that’s sad, because there was a goodly bit of psychedelia that probably shouldn’t have made it to the surface before this. It’s quality, although one definitely can tell it’s a ‘period piece’. Still, if it’s a fine 60s flashback you need, just drop this one on…

…and you’re greeted with fine fuzz and ticktocking percussion from the start of side one, with “Satin City News”. Now, it should be noted that the lyrics here tend toward a political and cynical bent…which is about par for much of the album. In amongst the psychedelia, there’s a certain darkness on “Animated Music”, although nothing that would tend to bum one out.

That same acerbic political tack continues on “Mr. Abernathy”, with its classic trem-guitar and poppy horns. While the tale on this track is certainly one of American political scandal, etc, the sound…in fact, the sound throughout the album…is very British. It’s not the sound you’d associate with Chicago at all, really…but something more Abbey Road-ish, with tinges of early Floyd here, a dash of Moodies there, and lots of tape spooling around ala Sir George Martin’s production methods circa “Sgt. Pepper”. (by Lugia)

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The Troll’s sole album is extremely diverse late-’60s psychedelia. It’s one of those records you can play over and over again without getting a grip on what exactly the group identity is. For many bands, such a description might be interpreted as a major compliment. The thing is, though, it’s not a record you want to play over and over again, because the material isn’t that good, and the eclecticism is not so much admirable versatility as contrived freakiness. At various times they sniff around hard rock, fruity pop-psychedelia, arch vaudevillian good-time music (“Professor Pott’s Pornographic Projector” and “Have You Seen the Queen?”), and slightly bittersweet folk-rock-flavored pop-psych. The influences of Beatlesque melody and vocal harmonies are strongly felt at times, and there are some periodic interjections of the kind of varispeed vocals and odd effects that major labels only tolerated for a few years or so around the late ’60s. There are glints of appealing fairytale aura pop-psychedelia here and there, as on “A Winter’s Song,” with its pseudo-British orchestration. Overall, it’s an unmemorable mish-mash, however, and the far-out jollity and menace it seems to often aim for is more forced than inspired. (by Ritchie Unterberger)

This entry is dedicated to all these crazy little bands from the Psch-Rock scene in the late Sixties including all these funny covers …

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Personnel:
Richard Clark (organ, vocals)
Ken Cortese (aka Ken Apples) (drums)
Richard Gallagher (guitar, vocals)
Max Jordan, Jr. (bass, vocals)
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Skeep Bushor (horns)

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Tracklist:
01. Satin City News 2.38
02. Mr. Abernathy 3.17
03. Fritz And Sweeney 4.47
04. Everybody’s Child 2.52
05. Solitude 0.32
06. I’ve Only Myself To Blame 3.47
07. Professor Pott’s Pornographic Projector 2.58
08. Have You Seen The Queen 2.20
09. Mourning Of Day 5.09
10. A Winter’s Song 3.59
11. Werewolf And Witchbreath 5.13

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Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgMaster of Reality is the third studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 21 July 1971. It is widely regarded as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It was certified double platinum after having sold over 2 million copies. Master of Reality was Black Sabbath’s first and only top 10 album in the US until 13, forty-two years later. (by wikipedia)

The shortest album of Black Sabbath’s glory years, Master of Reality is also their most sonically influential work. Here Tony Iommi began to experiment with tuning his guitar down three half-steps to C#, producing a sound that was darker, deeper, and sludgier than anything they’d yet committed to record. (This trick was still being copied 25 years later by every metal band looking to push the limits of heaviness, from trendy nu-metallers to Swedish deathsters.) Much more than that, Master of Reality essentially created multiple metal subgenres all by itself, laying the sonic foundations for doom, stoner and sludge metal, all in the space of just over half an hour. Classic opener “Sweet Leaf” certainly ranks as a defining stoner metal song, making its drug references far more overt (and adoring) than the preceding album’s “Fairies Wear Boots.”

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The album’s other signature song, “Children of the Grave,” is driven by a galloping rhythm that would later pop up on a slew of Iron Maiden tunes, among many others. Aside from “Sweet Leaf,” much of Master of Reality finds the band displaying a stronger moral sense, in part an attempt to counteract the growing perception that they were Satanists. “Children of the Grave” posits a stark choice between love and nuclear annihilation, while “After Forever” philosophizes about death and the afterlife in an openly religious (but, of course, superficially morbid) fashion that offered a blueprint for the career of Christian doom band Trouble.

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And although the alternately sinister and jaunty “Lord of This World” is sung from Satan’s point of view, he clearly doesn’t think much of his own followers (and neither, by extension, does the band). It’s all handled much like a horror movie with a clear moral message, for example The Exorcist. Past those four tracks, listeners get sharply contrasting tempos in the rumbling sci-fi tale “Into the Void,” which shortens the distances between the multiple sections of the band’s previous epics. And there’s the core of the album — all that’s left is a couple of brief instrumental interludes, plus the quiet, brooding loneliness of “Solitude,” a mostly textural piece that frames Osbourne’s phased vocals with acoustic guitars and flutes. But, if a core of five songs seems slight for a classic album, it’s also important to note that those five songs represent a nearly bottomless bag of tricks, many of which are still being imitated and explored decades later. If Paranoid has more widely known songs, the suffocating and oppressive Master of Reality was the Sabbath record that die-hard metalheads took most closely to heart. (by Steve Huey)

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Personnel:
Geezer Butler (bass)
Tony Iommi (guitar, synthesizer on 02., flute, piano on 07.)
Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Bill Ward (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Sweet Leaf (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 5.05
02. After Forever (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 5:27
03. Embryo (Iommi) 0.28
04. Children Of The Grave (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 5.18
05. Orchid (Iommi) 1.31
06. Lord Of This World (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 5.27
07. Solitude (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 5.02
08. Into The Void (Iommi/Butler/Osbourne/Ward) 6.12

All lyrics written by Geezer Butler

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Solitude:

My name it means nothing, my fortune is less
My future is shrouded in dark wilderness
Sunshine is far away, clouds linger on
Everything I possessed, now, they are gone
They are gone, they are gone…

Oh, where can I go to and what can I do?
Nothing can please me, only thoughts are of you
You just laughed when I begged you to stay
I’ve not stopped crying since you went away
Went away, you went away…

The world is a lonely place, you’re on your own
Guess I will go home, sit down and moan
Crying and thinking is all that I do
Memories I have remind me of you
Of you, of you…

 

Katie Melua – Call Off The Search (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgKetevan “Katie” Melua (born 16 September 1984) is a British-Georgian singer and songwriter. She moved to the United Kingdom at the age of eight – first to Belfast and then to London in 1999. Melua is signed to the small Dramatico record label, under the management of composer Mike Batt, and made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom’s best-selling female artist and Europe’s highest selling European female artist.

In November 2003, at the age of nineteen, Melua released her first album, Call Off the Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release. Her second album, Piece by Piece, was released in September 2005 and to date has gone platinum (one million units sold) four times. Melua released her third studio album Pictures in October 2007.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, Melua had a fortune of £18 million, making her the seventh richest British musician under thirty.

And Call Off the Search is the debut studio album by Georgian-British jazz and blues singer Katie Melua, released in 2003.

KatieMelua03British songwriter, producer and arranger Mike Batt signed Melua to his Dramatico recording and management label after she performed at a showcase at the Brit School for the Performing Arts in early 2003. Batt was looking for a young artist capable of “performing jazz and blues in an interesting way”. Melua went into the studio soon after with Batt as the producer. She recorded songs written by Batt, John Mayall, Delores J. Silver, herself, Randy Newman, and James Shelton. Melua wrote “Faraway Voice” about singer Eva Cassidy. “Belfast (Penguins and Cats)” refers to Melua’s upbringing in Belfast, Northern Ireland: “Penguins” referring to Protestants and “Cats” to Catholics.

Call Off the Search was released in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2003. It became a hit, reaching number one on the UK album chart in January 2004 and the top twenty of the Australian album chart in June 2004. It spent 87 weeks in the ARIA Top 100, certified Platinum for shipments of 70,000+. First single “The Closest Thing to Crazy”, written by Batt, reached the top five in Ireland, top ten in the UK, top twenty in Norway, and top fifty in Australia. The second single from the album was the title track, “Call Off the Search”, which gave Melua her second UK top twenty hit. The third single, a cover of Mayall’s “Crawling up a Hill”, was released on 18 July as the third single in the UK. In the UK the album sold 1.2 million copies within its first five months of release, making it four times platinum. It spent six weeks at the top of the chart.
Chart performance

In the United Kingdom, Call Off the Search was the 5th best selling album of 2004 with 1,356,962 copies sold, and has sold over 1.9 million copies in the UK as of January 2013. (by wikipedia)

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English listeners went mad for Katie Melua with the release of her debut album in late 2003. Issued domestically in June 2004, Call Off the Search posits the lovely Melua pristinely in between pop, adult contemporary, and traditional American musical forms, with savvy marketing handling the finishing touches. (Think Norah Jones.) It’s a comfortable, lightly melodic affair that drinks red wine safely in the middle of the road. Raised in Soviet Georgia and the United Kingdom, Melua has a beguiling accent that colors the ends of her phrases, adding character to her velvety, if occasionally only satisfactory singing voice. She has a nice time with the understated R&B sashay of John Mayall’s “Crawling Up a Hill,” as well as Mike Batt’s “My Aphrodisiac Is You,” which is spiced up with barrelhouse piano, muted trumpet, and sly references to opium and the Kama Sutra.

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The singer’s own “Belfast (Penguins and Cats)” opens nicely with a few measures of solo acoustic guitar before it’s joined by the orchestral maneuvers that sweep through the majority of Call Off the Search’s after-dark cabaret. (Melua also penned a dedication to Eva Cassidy, who she’s been compared to vocally.) While the instrumentation is never overbearing, a stoic version of Randy Newman’s “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” and a couple of late-album pop vocal entries do dawdle a bit in the soft-focus halo that hovers over Search’s more easygoing stretches. These selections are perfectly capable, yet pretty obvious, as if the decision was made to sprinkle Melua’s debut equally with safety and variety, in case a particular style didn’t stick. Still, despite a few detours down easy street, Call Off the Search is a promising debut, and comfortable like the first drink of the evening. (by Johnny Loftus)

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Personnel:
Mike Batt (keyboards)
Jim Cregan (guitar)
Tim Harries (bass)
Michael Kruk (drums)
Katie Melua (guitar, vocals)
Chris Spedding (guitar)
Henry Spinetti (drums)
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The Irish Film Orchestra conducted by Alan Smale

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Tracklist:
01. Call Off The Search (Batt) 3.27
02. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 3.27
03. The Closest Thing To Crazy (Batt) 4.14
04. My Aphrodisiac Is You (Batt) 3:34
05. Learnin’ The Blues (Silver) 3.25
06. Blame It On The Moon (Batt) 3.49
07. Belfast (Penguins And Cats) (Melua) 3.24
08. I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (Newman) 2.32
09. Mockingbird Song (Batt) 3.08
10. Tiger In The Night (Batt) 3.10
11. Faraway Voice (Melua) 3.16
12. Lilac Wine (Shelton) 4.12
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13. Katie Melua video clip from the album 6.34

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Broken windows and empty hallways
A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today

Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles
With frozen smiles to chase love away
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today

Lonely, lonely
Tin can at my feet
Think I’ll kick it down the street
That’s the way to treat a friend

Bright before me the signs implore me
Help the needy and show them the way
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today

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Katie Melua today

Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet (1968)

OriginalFrontCover1It´s time to celebrate one of the most important albums of the Sixites:

Beggars Banquet is the seventh British and ninth American studio album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released in December 1968 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States. The album marked a change in direction for the band following the psychedelic pop of their previous two albums, Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request. Styles such as roots rock and a return to the blues rock sound that had marked early Stones recordings dominate the record, and the album is among the most instrumentally experimental of the band’s career, as they infuse Latin beats and instruments like the claves along side South Asian sounds from the sitar, tabla and shehnai and African-influnced conga rhythms. The album has frequently been ranked highly on many retrospective “great albums” lists, and forms the beginning of the most critically acclaimed time period of the Rolling Stones career.

Brian Jones, the band’s founder and early leader, had become increasingly unreliable in the studio due to his drug use, and it was the last Rolling Stones album to be released during his lifetime, though he also contributed to two songs on their next album Let It Bleed, which was released after his death.

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Glyn Johns, the album’s recording engineer and longtime collaborator of the band, said that Beggars Banquet signaled “the Rolling Stones’ coming of age … I think that the material was far better than anything they’d ever done before. The whole mood of the record was far stronger to me musically.” Producer Jimmy Miller described guitarist Keith Richards as “a real workhorse” while recording the album, mostly due to the infrequent presence of Brian Jones. When he did show up at the sessions, Jones behaved erratically due to his drug use and emotional problems. Miller said that Jones would “show up occasionally when he was in the mood to play, and he could never really be relied on:

When he would show up at a session—let’s say he had just bought a sitar that day, he’d feel like playing it, so he’d look in his calendar to see if the Stones were in. Now he may have missed the previous four sessions. We’d be doing let’s say, a blues thing. He’d walk in with a sitar, which was totally irrelevant to what we were doing, and want to play it. I used to try to accommodate him. I would isolate him, put him in a booth and not record him onto any track that we really needed. And the others, particularly Mick and Keith, would often say to me, ‘Just tell him to piss off and get the hell out of here’.

Brian Jones

Jones played sitar and tanpura on “Street Fighting Man”, acoustic guitar on “Parachute Woman”, slide guitar on “No Expectations”, harmonica on “Dear Doctor” and “Prodigal Son”, and Mellotron on “Jigsaw Puzzle” and “Stray Cat Blues”. In a television interview Jagger recalled that Brian’s slide guitar performance on “No Expectations” was the last time he contributed something with care. Other than Jones, the principle band members appeared extensively, with Keith Richards providing nearly all of the lead and rhythm guitar work, as well as playing bass on two others, in the place of Bill Wyman, who appears on the rest. Drummer Charlie Watts plays the drum kit on all but two tracks, as well as other percussion on the tracks that do not feature a full drum kit. Additional parts were played by keyboardist and frequent Stones collaborator Nicky Hopkins and percussionist Rocky Dijon, among others.

Ev’rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right
for fighting in the street, boy
But what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
‘Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a street fighting man
No

Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution
‘Cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution
Well, then what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
‘Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a street fighting man
No

Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king,
I’ll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
‘Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a street fighting man
No

Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king,
I’ll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
‘Cause in sleepy London town
There’s just no place for a street fighting man
No

The basic track of “Street Fighting Man” was recorded on an early Philips cassette deck at London’s Olympic Sound Studios, where Richards played a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, and Charlie Watts played on an antique, portable practice drum kit. Richards and Mick Jagger were mistakenly credited as writers on “Prodigal Son”, a cover of Robert Wilkins’s Biblical blues song.

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According to Keith Richards, the album’s title was thought up by British art dealer Christopher Gibbs. On 7 June 1968, a photoshoot for the album’s gatefold, with photographer Michael Joseph, was held at Sarum Chase, a mansion in Hampstead, London. Previously unseen images from the shoot were exhibited at the Blink Gallery in London in November and December 2008. The album’s original cover art, depicting a bathroom wall covered with graffiti, was rejected by the band’s record company, and their unsuccessful dispute delayed the album’s release for months. The “toilet” cover was later featured on most compact disc reissues.

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Beggars Banquet was first released in the United Kingdom by Decca Records on 6 December 1968, and in the United States by London Records the following day.[15] Like the band’s previous album, it reached number three on the British albums chart, but remained on the chart for less weeks. The album peaked at number five on the American chart.

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On 11–12 December 1968 the band filmed a television extravaganza titled The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton, The Who, Jethro Tull and Marianne Faithfull among the musical guests. One of the original aims of the project was to promote Beggars Banquet, but the film was shelved by the Rolling Stones until 1996, when their former manager, Allen Klein, gave it an official release.

Beggars Banquet received a highly favourable response from music critics, who considered it a return to form for the Stones. Author Stephen Davis writes of its impact: “[The album was] a sharp reflection of the convulsive psychic currents coursing through the Western world. Nothing else captured the youthful spirit of Europe in 1968 like Beggar’s Banquet.”

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul and faith

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Tsar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

I shouted out,
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
When after all
It was you and me

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer

Cause I’m in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste

Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah

But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down

Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name

Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame
Ooo, who

Oh, yeah
What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name

Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name
Ooo, who, who

According to music journalist Anthony DeCurtis, the “political correctness” of “Street Fighting Man”, particularly the lyrics “What can a poor boy do/’Cept sing in a rock and roll band”, sparked intense debate in the underground media In the description of author and critic Ian MacDonald, French director Jean-Luc Godard’s filming of the sessions for “Sympathy for the Devil” contributed to the band’s image as “Left Bank heroes of the European Maoist underground”, with the song’s “Luciferian iconoclasm” interpreted as a political message.

Bill Wyman

Time magazine described the Stones as “England’s most subversive roisterers since Fagin’s gang in Oliver Twist” and added: “In keeping with a widespread mood in the pop world, Beggars Banquet turns back to the raw vitality of Negro R&B and the authentic simplicity of country music.”[26] Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone considered that the band’s regeneration marked the return of rock’n’roll, while the Chicago Sun-Times declared: “The Stones have unleashed their rawest, rudest, most arrogant, most savage record yet. And it’s beautiful.”

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Less impressed, the writer of Melody Maker’s initial review dismissed Beggars Banquet as “mediocre” and said that, since “The Stones are Mick Jagger”, it was only the singer’s “remarkable recording presence that makes this LP”. Geoffrey Cannon of The Guardian found that the album “demonstrates [the group’s] primal power at its greatest strength” and wrote admiringly of Jagger’s ability to fully engage the listener on “Sympathy for the Devil”, saying: “We feel horror because, at full volume, he makes us ride his carrier wave with him, experience his sensations, and awaken us to ours.” In his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine’s annual critics poll, Robert Christgau ranked it as the third best album of the year, and “Salt of the Earth” the best pop song of the year.

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In a retrospective review for Wondering Sound, Ben Fong-Torres called Beggars Banquet “an album flush with masterful and growling instant classics”, and said that it “responds more to the chaos of ’68 and to themselves than to any fellow artists … the mood is one of dissolution and resignation, in the guise of a voice of an ambivalent authority.” Colin Larkin, in his Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006), viewed the album as “a return to strength” which included “the socio-political ‘Street Fighting Man’ and the brilliantly macabre ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, in which Jagger’s seductive vocal was backed by hypnotic Afro-rhythms and dervish yelps”. Writing for MusicHound in 1999, Greg Kot opined that the same two songs were the “weakest cuts”, adding: “Otherwise, the disc is a tour de force of acoustic-tinged savagery and slumming sexuality, particularly the gleefully flippant ‘Stray Cat Blues.'” Larry Katz from the Boston Herald called Beggars Banquet “both a return to basics and leap forward”.

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In his 1997 review for Rolling Stone, DeCurtis said the album was “filled with distinctive and original touches”, and remarked on its legacy: “For the album, the Stones had gone to great lengths to toughen their sound and banish the haze of psychedelia, and in doing so, they launched a five-year period in which they would produce their very greatest records.” Author Martin C. Strong similarly considers Beggars Banquet to be the first album in the band’s “staggering burst of creativity” over 1968–72 that ultimately comprised four of the best rock albums of all time. Writing in 2007, Daryl Easlea of BBC Music said that, although in places it fails to maintain the quality of its opening song, Beggars Banquet was the album where the Rolling Stones gained their enduring status as “the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World”.

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The legendary censored front + back cover

In 2003, the album was ranked at number 58 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In the same year, the TV network VH1 named Beggars Banquet the 67th greatest album of all time. The album is also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. (by wikipedia)

In other words: One of the most important albums by The Rolling Stones !

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Personnel:
Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica, maracas)
Brian Jones (guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, mellotron, sitar, tambura, background vocals)
Keith Richards (guitar, bass on 01. + 06., vocals on 10., background vocals)
Charlie Watts (drums, percussion claves,  background vocals, tabla)
Bill Wyman (bass, synthesizer, background vocals, maracas)
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Rocky Dijon (percussion on 01. 08. + 09.)
Ric Grech (fiddle on 09.)
Nicky Hopkins –(piano, mellotron on 09.)
Dave Mason (shehnai on 06.)
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background vocals on 01.:
Anita Pallenberg – Marianne Faithfull – Himmy Miller
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background vocals on 10.:
Watts Street Gospel Choir

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Tracklist:
01. Sympathy For The Devil (Jagger/Richards) 6.26
02. No Expectations (Jagger/Richards) 4.01
03. Dear Doctor (Jagger/Richards) 3.25
04. Parachute Woman (Jagger/Richards) 2.19
05. Jigsaw Puzzle (Jagger/Richards) 6.16
06. Street Fighting Man (Jagger/Richards) 3.15
07. Prodigal Son (Wilkins) 2.54
08. Stray Cat Blues (Jagger/Richards) 4.40
09. Factory Girl (Jagger/Richards) 2.09
10. Salt Of The Earth (Jagger/Richards) 4.50

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Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the lowly of birth
Raise your glass to the good and the evil
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Say a prayer for the common foot soldier
Spare a thought for his back breaking work
Say a prayer for his wife and his children
Who burn the fires and who still till the earth

And when I search a faceless crowd
A swirling mass of gray and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
In fact, they look so strange

Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead

Spare a thought for the stay-at-home voter
His empty eyes gaze at strange beauty shows
And a parade of the gray suited grafters
A choice of cancer or polio

And when I look in the faceless crowd
A swirling mass of grays and
Black and white
They don’t look real to me
Or don’t they look so strange

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s think of the lowly of birth
Spare a thought for the rag taggy people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth

Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the two thousand million
Let’s think of the humble of birth

Jimi Hendrix – The Rainbow Bridge Concert (2002)

FrontCover1.jpgRainbow Bridge is a 1971 film directed by Chuck Wein about different countercultural figures interacting on the Hawaiian island of Maui. He described it as “a kind of space-age Candid Camera. We’re going to place Pat [New York model Pat Hartley, the protagonist] in all kinds of real-life situtations, and film what happens. We’re going to shoot a lot of film and just see what comes out of it.” Harry Shapiro adds, “the idea was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider, showing the positive side of the youth movement.”

Filmed with non-professional actors and without a script, it features improvised scenes with a variety of characters. When it became apparent that it was floundering, producer Michael Jeffery brought in his client Jimi Hendrix to film an outdoor concert (July 30, 1970). Hendrix’s heavily edited (no complete songs) performance appears near the end of the film. Rainbow Bridge was a critical failure and has been re-released on video tape and DVD formats. Although it only contains 17 minutes of Hendrix performing, it continues to attract attention as his second-to-last American concert and the last one filmed.

TheRainbowBridgePosterFaced with a serious cash flow problem, Jeffery approached Reprise Records parent Warner Bros. with an idea for a youth film. He was able to secure a $450,000 advance with the promise of a soundtrack by Hendrix. While in Maui, Jeffery met Mike Hynson, star of The Endless Summer surf epic, and wanted to develop a film. With the proposed title Wave, it would be centered on the Maui countercultural community. Jeffery enlisted Chuck Wein, who had produced three Andy Warhol Factory films. Wein brought in Pat Hartley as the star, who had appeared in some of his films.

Wein and art director Melinda Merryweather “invited outrageous people to portray themselves in Rainbow Bridge. They included dope smugglers, priests and nuns, acidheads, gays, groupies, environmentalists, and a group who claimed to be from Venus”, according to Hendrix biographer Steven Roby.[6] Before long, Warner’s advance was used up with little to show for it.[7] Although there was no plan for a Hendrix concert, Jeffery decided that a filmed performance was needed to rescue his investment. Later record producer John Jansen recalled, “Jeffery had to talk Hendrix into performing. Up to that point, he had refused to write a note of music for the film.”

The loosely documentary-style film is centered on the experiences of a New York model, who travels from San Diego, California, to an occult center on the island of Maui, Hawaii. While there, “she encounters various devotees of surfing, clairvoyance, zen, yoga, meditation, Tai-Chi and the odd ufoloist”. As it unfolds, a free concert by Jimi Hendrix is staged in a former pasture in the upcountry region (2,000 feet above sea level) near Hendrix01.jpgOlinda, southeast of the center of the town of Makawao, on the northwest, upcountry slope of Haleakalā. A few hundred island hippies, surfers, and local residents show up to witness the event. Hendrix performed with the post–Jimi Hendrix Experience “Cry of Love” tour group, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. A group of Hare Krishnas chanted “Om” for a few minutes and Wein introduced the group. Although Hendrix played two full sets (approximately 50 minutes each), due to technical problems, only about 17 minutes of film footage was deemed usable.

Rainbow Bridge premiered at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood in the fall of 1971. The original length of the theatrical release of was 123 minutes. However, it was soon edited to cut down on the acting scenes, with one version lasting 70 minutes. The 2000 re-release by Rhino Video restored the original full-length version. Although Wein claimed that all of the usable footage of Hendrix was included in the film, full-length performances of “Dolly Dagger” and “Villanova Junction” (both from the second set) have appeared on bootleg videos.

The response to Rainbow Bridge is uniformly negative. Shadwick calls it “a snafu of impressive dimensions even for the hippie generation.” He adds that it was “so drug-addled, pseudo-mystical and stuffed with narcissistic, self-important onscreen hippies that the only hope of saving it indeed was to put Hendrix on celluloid”. Shapiro describes it as “a ludicrous farrago of pseudo-mystical acid babble devoid of sincerity … Overall, the best thing that can be said about Rainbow Bridge is that, after seventy-one minutes, it finishes”.[12] Writing for AllMusic, critic Bruce Eder comments, “Hendrix plays some superb music in the concert sequence that concludes this documentary—the rest is all devoted to pre-new-age mumbo-jumbo at a Hawaiian retreat”. Later Hendrix producer John McDermott calls it a “disastrous, embarrassing failure … Jeffery’s attempt to rescue his own personal finances via Hendrix’s memory was disgraceful.”

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Original front + back cover

A soundtrack album, also titled Rainbow Bridge, was released in October 1971. Although it contains some incidental studio recordings by Hendrix used in the film, the album does not include any of the recorded performances from the Maui concert. Hendrix’s performances are edited for the film. Complete recordings of both sets (about 20 songs) have been released on several bootleg albums, sometimes being mistaken for official releases. (by wikipedia)

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The originals labels from 1971

And here´s the best bootleg versin these two concerts in Hawaii:

This 2-CD set contains most of both of Jimi’s sets as recorded at Haleakala Crater in Hawaii, the 30th of July, 1970; the first set (as only partially heard in the film, but not the LP’s soundtrack Rainbow Bridge – Original Movie Soundtrack (Vinyl Record)) and most tracks of the never-released second set. This show, especially the 2nd set, was for years rather a “Holy Grail” amongst collectors. Minimally remastered, although unfortunately edited, this was Hendrix’ pentultimate U.S. show; it’s far from being an audiophile-grade recording, (especially the 2nd set, when the winds were blowing rather high) but Jimi’s performance still shines through. According to Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts & Sessions, three songs, “Midnight Lightning,” “Drum Solo,” and “Stone Free” finish the 2nd Set, but those tracks are nowhere to be found on this release. In 2008, the Mike Jeffrey estate put out an even more complete version with these tracks as “Complete Rainbow Bridge” on the Rock Of Ages Label.

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Jimi played great that day. It was an outdoor show and the wind detracts from the quality of the recording, but who cares, its Jimi playing his ass off. Mitchell redid the drums for the songs used in the movie, so those sound much clearer.

For the second set, Hendrix played new material exclusively, except for “Red House.” He also played a Gibson Flying-V instead of his near-trademark Fender Stratocaster, giving him a thicker guitar tone. Hendrix starts strong on “Dolly Dagger” and goes straight into “Villanova Juction” (here simply titled “Instrumental”). This is followed by one of the better live versions of “Ezy Rider,” with Billy Cox lending strong support on bass.

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After an excellent version of “Red House,” Hendrix loses his way a bit, drifting into “Straight Ahead” during “Jam Back at the House,” but finished the tune strong with all his effect pedals working nicely together. The set ends with an up-tempo jam tacked onto the end of “New Rising Sun.” This is quite an interesting live set, because the intimate venue and relative lack of commercial pressure allowed Hendrix to relax on-stage with a lot of his newer material. Sound quality is quite good, although the drums are a bit distant. Some critics have said that Hendrix’s playing declined after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but this set shows that Hendrix was always moving forward, incorporating new tones and effects as well as Spanish scales into his playing. There were certainly some lackluster performances during that time period, but the Rainbow Bridge concerts show that Hendrix still had some excellent playing left in him. (by jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)

And I include a very intensive interview with Interview Melinda Merryweather From The Rainbow Bridge Film as a pdf file.

Highly recommended !

Recorded live at Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii, July 30th 1970.

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Personnel:
Billy Cox (bass)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Lover Man 2.33
02. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) 4.36
03. In From The Storm 4.59
04. Message To Love 4.52
05. Foxy Lady 4.45
06. Hear My Train A Comin’ 9.08
07. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 7.17
08. Fire 3.43
09. Purple Haze 4:35

CD 2: The Late Show:
01. Dolly Dagger 5.09
02. Instrumental 5.28
03. Ezy Rider 4.54
04. Red House 6.47
05. Freedom 4.21
06. Jam Back At The House 7.00
07. Land Of The New Rising Sun 4:47

All songs written by Jimi Hendrix

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Hendrix02Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)

31 Flavors – Hair (1969)

This is a real rare and strange collector´s item from the era of heavy psych rock:

FrontCover1.jpgFor some reason, this album seems to be constantly overshadowed by the Firebirds release. However hard it may be to believe, this album is actually far heavier. The only huge difference is that it’s not nearly as consistent.

Every song here comes in pairs. The first pair, “Hair” and “Aquarius”, is complete garbage and should be avoided as much as possible. Just like the previous album, the label decided to start it off with something that won’t offend people (unoffencive as in not heavy), but it’s far worse this time around. Just like before these two songs weren’t even recorded by this band, and I’m assuming there’s two of them because there wasn’t enough material for one extra Firebirds song.
The next pair, “Free Fuzz” and “Free Drum”, is just tying up loose ends from the previous album. Although the previous album has these two tracks listed, they weren’t actually on that record, so the label put them here instead. These tracks are much better if you listen to them in succession, starting with “Free Bass” from the previous album, because they were indeed recorded in one continuous take.

The penultimate pair is “Protest” and “One-Two-Three-Four”. Finally we get to the new material that was actually recorded by The Firebirds in a completely different session than on the previous album. These two tracks are very good, but they’re really odd when you compare them to the Light My Fire songs. You can tell that the band really matured here. The singing sounds so much better, and it actually sounds like the guy has his own style, instead of the poor Jack Bruce rip-off he did before. The lyrics are no longer corny Hendrix rip-offs. They now sound like serious song-writing attempts, and the singer’s improved style gives me an impression of sincerity. The drummer settled down, and sounds much more professional. The bassist is the only member who didn’t necessarily clean up his style. His tone is now really heavy, in that it sounds like it’s been detuned to a really low octave. And the guitarist now plays with hardly any distortion compared with the last album (relax, only in this pair of songs). He uses just enough to give his riffs a cool, dark feeling (and it somehow manages to be heavy), and it complements the singing pretty well I think. He even changes to a smooth guitar tone at the end of “One-Two-Three-Four” for a nice little blues solo, which is unlike any of his sloppy blues solos from the previous album. And although I’m not really an expert in the intricacies of guitar tuning, it really sounds like the guitarist detuned his strings along with the bassist, which I guess could be a reason that it sounds so dark, and it makes even more sense when you listen to the last pair of songs, because he reaches a low frequency of fuzz I never even thought was possible in the 60’s.

Which brings me to the the last pair, “Real Far Out” and “Distortions of Darkness”. This pair is such a masterpiece of stoned sludge, I just cannot comprehend how I’m the only person who seems to rave about it. Unlike the last pair, these are pure instrumental tracks, and the guitarist finally uses his fuzz-box, seemingly to its highest setting. The first one is a blues workout, namely the song “Steppin’ Out” which I associate with Eric Clapton, but for all I know it’s probably originally performed by somebody else. It starts off as nice and fuzzy heavy blues, but as the song progresses the guitarist delves deeper and deeper into some sort of nightmarish acid trip, and his guitar follows him into some really sloppy sludge. It really does sound real far out.
And finally, they save the best song for last. They really could not have come up with a name as accurate as “Distortions of Darkness”. This shit is pure fucking evil. It’s actually an instrumental form of “Reflections” from the previous album, but as I mentioned earlier, the detuned bass and guitar just bring this song to what I strongly argue as the heaviest levels of the 60’s. An essential track for anybody who considers themselves a fan of proto-metal.

That first pair of tracks is so damn grotesque that ideally this album should be rated much lower than I have it, but I maintain that these aren’t even from the same band, so just delete them and add the rest of the tracks onto the end of the Firebirds album. This is a great solution, because not only do you never have to hear this excellent band being smeared with association to that shit, but you can order the “Free” songs together for a far better listening experience.
Undoubtedly among the best musicians of the decade, too bad nobody has any idea who they even are.. Oh, and it’s not Jerry Cole, so please stop spreading that misinformation if you happen to see somebody telling you that. (Andrupchik)

And yes … these unknown guys knews how to play … listen to Real Far Out (Steppin´ Out) !

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
A bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Hair (*) 4.40
02. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (*) 4.14
03. Protest 3.57
04. Free Fuzz 2.25
05. One-Two-Three-Four 4.04
06. Real Far Out (Steppin´ Out) (**) 3.02
07. Free Drum 3.09
08. Distortions Of Darkness 5.03

(*) written by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, James Rado
(**) written by L.Z. Frazier aka Memphis Slim

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Gary Moore – Back On The Streets (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgBack on the Streets is an album by Northern Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore, released in 1978, and his first authentic solo record (1973’s Grinding Stone album being credited to The Gary Moore Band). Thin Lizzy bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey appear on four songs, including “Don’t Believe A Word” (which originally appeared on the 1976 Thin Lizzy album Johnny the Fox) and the UK top 10 single “Parisienne Walkways”. On the album’s sleeve, Moore is depicted leaving notorious prison Wormwood Scrubs in the Inner London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in a photograph by Chalkie Davies.

The album was re-issued in 1989 by Grand Slam Records with a revised playing order and an additional track (“Spanish Guitar”). More bonus tracks were available for download and on the Universal Music Group Remastered CD edition of 2013. The tracks “Road of Pain” and “Track Ten” recorded in the same sessions, remain at the moment unreleased. Yet another release with title Back on the Streets, but no other apparent connection to the original album, is a 2003 compilation of Gary Moore’s greatest hits. (by wikipedia)

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1979 was a busy year for Irish guitarist Gary Moore, who after years of seemingly aimless wandering across the musical landscape (including a flirtation with jazz-rock fusion while fronting G-Force) simultaneously re-launched his long-dormant solo career and became a full-time member of Thin Lizzy. Moore had originally agreed to help his old partner in crime Phil Lynott only temporarily, while longtime Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson recovered from a broken hand incurred in a barroom brawl. But due to Robbo’s increasing unreliability, Moore was persuaded to stay on and record Lizzy’s Black Rose album in exchange for Lynott’s help in shaping his own solo effort, Back on the Streets. And a good trade it was, too, as with the exception of the title track’s gutsy hard rock, Lynott’s singing and songwriting contributions wound up providing the album with its most coherent and satisfying moments.

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These included the highly amusing “Fanatical Fascists,” a mellow reworking of Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word,” a whimsical acoustic ballad called “Spanish Guitar,” and the simply exquisite Moore tour de force “Parisienne Walkways.” Unfortunately, these are rudely interrupted by a number of misplaced instrumental fusion workouts (no doubt G-Force leftovers) and a terribly saccharine ballad called “Song for Donna.” Half winner, half dud, the album would at least serve notice of Moore’s rebirth as a solo artist, and he would show marked improvement on his next album, Corridors of Power. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards)
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Phil Lynott (bass, guitar on 03, vocals on 02., 03., background vocals)
Gary Moore (guitar, vocals, bass on 01., guitar synthesizer, mandolin, accordion on 08.)
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John Mole (bass on 04. – 07.)
Simon Phillips (drums, percussion on 01., 04. – 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Back On The Streets (Moore/Campbell) 4.26
02. Don’t Believe A Word (Lynott) 3.54
03. Fanatical Fascists (Lynott) 3.06
04. Flight Of The Snow Moose (Moore/Campbell) 7.26
05. Hurricane (Moore/Campbell) 4.54
06. Song For Donna (Moore/Campbell) 5.32
07. What Would You Rather Bee Or A Wasp (Moore/Campbell) 4.56
08. Parisienne Walkways (Lynott/Moore) 3.21

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