Tarantula AD – Book Of Sand (2005)

FrontCover1A’right; first things first: The album cover for New York trio Tarantula A.D.’s Book of Sand is one of the worst in recent history. While it’s no secret to anyone who has heard their comp tracks and E.P. that the band has serious art/music-school pretentiousness woven tightly into its sound, the cover is just plain silly, bordering on laughable. And then there’s the music. For those unaware, Tarantula A.D. are an instrumental unit. They play everything from violins and cellos (Danny Bensi), to electric guitars and basses (Saunder Jurrians), to drums, glockenspiels, pianos, and weird percussion instruments (Greg Rogove). Book of Sand is one outrageous recording. It opens with the first of a three-part suite (“The Century Trilogy, Part One: Conquest”) that winds throughout the album. Bensi’s violin enters the fray slowly and deliberately, playing a flamenco figure as Rogove slithers in on tom toms before Jurrians’ electric guitar crashes in with the first of many crescendos.

TarantulaAD_01
It’s bombastic, metallic, and to be honest, quite convincing. This is art rock with a capital “R.” The band uses classical themes, flamenco sketches, folk music from around the globe, prog rock, Dirty Three-like interludes, and Debussy-esque preludes, all of them encased and wrapped in heavy metal. And while this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it works so well you have to wonder why no one’s really done it this way before. There are vocals on the album; they come from Sierra Casady (CocoRosie) on “Sealake,” and “Empire”; from Alexander and Damon McMahon (of Inouk) on the first part of another suite called “Who Took Berlin,” and from the ubiquitous Devendra Banhart on “The Century Trilogy Part III: The Fall.”

TarantulaAD_02

It’s a tightly conceived mess that gets more expansive as it goes; there are refined dynamics that whisper and float before exploding into one’s ears, and gorgeous passages of detailed beauty juxtaposed against bone-crunching mayhem. The tension written into these pieces is sublime, and the sheer abandon with which this music is played is not only admirable; it’s remarkable. Fans of the Dirty Three and Hungry Ghosts will (though Tarantula A.D. sounds nothing like either of them) will find a common reference point, though fans of lo-fi indie rock will, most likely, find Book of Sand an utterly horrifying concept. Either way, it’s a recording that stands on its own as original, iconoclastic, and brave. (The import version of the record comes with a hidden bonus track entitled “If You Deny Me I’ll Be Lost,” which was kept off domestic releases because it may offend some religious sensibilities. It is available for free as a download form the band’s website.) (by Thom Jurek)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Danny Bensi (violin, cello)
Saunder Jurrians (guitar, bass)
Greg Rogove (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, piano)
+
Devendra Banhart (guitar on 06.)
Sierra Casady (vocals on 04. + 05.)
Alexander McMahon (keyboards on 02.)
Damon McMahon (guitar on 02.)

Booklet01A
Tracklist:
01. The Century Trilogy I: Conquest 6.35
02. Who Took Berlin (Part I) 5.11
03. Who Took Berlin (Part II) 3.32
04. Sealake 3.36
05. The Century Trilogy II: Empire 6.30
06. Prelude To The Fall 3.30
07. The Lost Waltz 6-05
08. Riverpond 2.03
09. Palo Borracho 5.47
10. The Century Trilogy III: The Fall 9.41

Music written by Danny Bensi – Saunder Jurrians – Greg Rogove

CD1

*
**

Booklet03A

Advertisements

Status Quo – Quo (1974)

LPFrontCover1Quo is the seventh studio album by Status Quo from 1974. Featuring Francis Rossi, Richard Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan. Like the previous album Hello!, it consisted entirely of songs written or co-written by the group. The only guest musicians featured were Bob Young and Tom Parker, who played harmonica and piano respectively on “Break the Rules”.

Despite the band believing the album’s opening track, “Backwater”, was the most suitable candidate for release as a single, the only track to actually be released as a single was “Break the Rules”, in April 1974, and it peaked in the UK at #8.

The album itself was released in May the same year. Its highest position was #2. In retrospect this album is regarded as one of their heaviest, possibly due to the influence of bassist Alan Lancaster, who is credited with co-writing six of the eight tracks.

The UK LP contained a gatefold insert with a picture of the band playing live on one side, backed with the lyrics on the other. (by wikipedia)

Booklet-5A

By spring 1974 and the release of Status Quo’s seventh album, the band was already regarded as among the most reliable institutions in British rock, denim-clad purveyors of a rocking, rolling boogie beat that never knew when to quit. And, when “Break the Rules” peeled off the still unreleased LP to give the group its fourth Top 20 hit in little more than a year, it was clear that Quo would be business as usual. Eight tracks followed the now standard format for a new Quo album, a neat division between the two sets of songwriters (Rossi/Young, Parfitt/Lancaster), a final track that went on forever, and — best of all — a couple of intros that sounded nothing at all like Status Quo. Only the intros, though, and it quickly become one of the best games of the age, trying to predict how long it would last before the bandmembers ripped off their disguises and unleashed the boogie.

Booklet-7A

“Backwater” keeps the mask on for one minute and eight seconds, but it’s a hallmark of Status Quo’s genius that, all these years later, it can still keep you guessing. “Just Take Me,” too, packs more than its fair share of surprises, rolling in on a drum solo that itself grows out of “Backwater”‘s back end. And if “Break the Rules” contrarily doesn’t break a single one, that’s probably just as well; there have been enough shocks already. Elsewhere, Quo indeed settles down to the status quo, with even the ballad “Lonely Man” holding onto the spirit of the band’s earliest boogie excursions (“In My Chair” and “Gerdundula” spring to mind). The pièce de résistance, however, is the closing “Slow Train,” an eight-minute epic that confusingly drives like an express, then collides with a Gaelic jig. The Chieftains would do such things a lot better — but Status Quo did it louder. (by Dave Thompson)

Singles

Personnel:
John Coghlan (drums)
Alan Lancaster (bass, vocals)
Rick Parfitt (guitar, vocals)
Francis Rossi (guitar, vocals)
+
Tom Parker (keyboards)
Bob Young (harmonica)

LPInlet02

Tracklist:
01. Backwater (Parfitt/Lancaster) 4.23
02. Just Take Me (Parfitt/Lancaster) 3.32
03. Break The Rules (Rossi/Parfitt/Lancaster/Coghlan/Young) 3,38
04. Drifting Away (Parfitt/Lancaster) 5.00
05. Don’t Think It Matters (Parfitt/Lancaster) 4.49
06. Fine Fine Fine (Rossi/Young) 2.32
07. Lonely Man (Parfitt/Lancaster) 5.05
08. Slow Train (Rossi/Young) 7.56

LabelB1

*
**

InlayA

MC

 

AC/DC – T.N.T. (Australia only) (1975)

FrontCover1T.N.T. is the second studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released only in Australia, on 1 December 1975.

After the success of the single “Baby, Please Don’t Go” and the album High Voltage, AC/DC returned to Albert Studios in Sydney to record their second LP with producers George Young and Harry Vanda. George is the older brother of guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young and had enjoyed his own success in the group the Easybeats. T.N.T. marked a change in direction from AC/DC’s debut album, High Voltage, which was released on 17 February 1975; whereas High Voltage featured some experimentation with the styles of its songs and had a variety of personnel filling multiple roles, T.N.T. saw the band fully embrace the formula for which they would become famous: hard-edged, rhythm and blues-based rock and roll. They also simplified their personnel system and would use it from then on out, which was Angus strictly playing lead guitar, Malcolm Young playing rhythm guitar, and the drummer and bassist being the only ones to play drums and bass guitar respectively on the albums. In Murray Engleheart’s book AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, producer Harry Vanda states, “I suppose there might have been one or two tracks on the first album, a few things that they were experimenting with, which probably later on they wouldn’t have done anymore. So I suppose you could say that T.N.T was the one that really pulled the identity; like, this is AC/DC, there’s no doubt about it, that’s who it’s going to be and that’s how it’s going to stay.”

ACDC01

In Clifton Walker’s 1994 book Highway to Hell: The Life and Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott, bassist Mark Evans speaks about the band’s creative process during this period:

Malcolm and Angus would come up with riffs and all that, and then we’d go into the studio. Malcolm and George would sit down at the piano and work it out. Malcolm and Angus would have the barest bones of a song, the riff and different bits, and George would hammer it into a tune. Bon would be in and out when the band was recording backing tracks. Once the backing track was done, he would literally be locked in the kitchen there at Alberts, and come out with a finished song.

T.N.T. contains some of the band’s best-known songs, including the title track, “It’s a Long Way to the Top”, “The Jack”, and “Rocker.” (by wikipedia)

ACDC02

Originally unveiled in December 1975, T.N.T. was the second AC/DC album released in their native Australia, but is often overlooked outside the Land Down Under because its best tracks were later combined with those from the band’s first domestic album, High Voltage, for reissue as their international debut from 1976 — also entitled High Voltage. Confused? That’s actually quite understandable, since the songs culled from T.N.T. also formed the backbone of that international release, including the entire, flawless first album side, made up of such all-time classics as “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer,” “The Jack,” and “Live Wire.” T.N.T.’s B-side was nearly as formidable: boasting both of those Australian album title tracks — the proto-punk crunch of “T.N.T.” and the suitably electrifying “High Voltage” — as well as a much-needed remake of the group’s very first single, “Can I Sit Next to You Girl,” recorded two years earlier with original singer Dave Evans.

All three also made it into the international edition of High Voltage, and as for the two tracks that did not: one was concert favorite, “Rocker,” which would be duly unearthed for the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap LP, a short time later; and the other was a reverential but not exactly life-altering cover of Chuck Berry’s “School Days,” which eventually surfaced on the Bonfire box set. In other words, T.N.T., though largely lost to ancient history, was a stellar album in its own right, and especially crucial in that it marked AC/DC’s definitive break with their now seemingly heretical glam rock inclinations, in order to embrace the blue collar hard rock hat would forever after be their trademark. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

Malcom Young

Personnel:
Mark Evans (bass)
Phil Rudd (drums, percussion)
Bon Scott (vocals, bagpipes on 01.)
Angus Young lead guitar)
Malcolm Young (guitar, background vocals)
+
George Young (bass on 08.)
Tony Currenti – drums on 08.)

BackCover1
Tracklist:
01. It’s A Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.16
02. Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5,04
03. The Jack (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.52
04. Live Wire (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.49
05. T.N.T. (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 3.34
06. Rocker (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 2.49
07. Can I Sit Next To You Girl (A.Young/M.Young) 4.12
08. High Voltage (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 4.02
09. School Days (Berry) 5.23

LabelA1

*
**

AC/DC’s co-founder and creator Malcolm Young has died aged 64.

The legendary guitarist passed away surrounded by family, following a long battle with dementia.

Born 6 January 1953 in Glasgow, Scotland, before emigrating with his family to Australia in 1963, Young was best known for being the driving force behind the band he co-founded with his younger brother Angus in 1973.

He wrote the band’s material and came up with many of their biggest and best guitar riffs. AC/DC would go on to become one of the biggest rock bands in history, racking up hits including “Back In Black”, “Highway to Hell”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and many more. The brothers were credited as co-writers on every song they recorded, from their 1975 debut High Voltage to 2014’s Rock or Bust.

In April 2014 it was announced that Young would take a temporary leave of absence to receive treatment for dementia, before retiring permanently in September that same year.

Malcom Young2

He was replaced by his nephew Stevie for the band’s last tour promoting the 2014 album Rock Or Bust, with his blessing.

Stevie, the son of Young’s oldest brother Stephen, previously filled in for Malcolm during the band’s Blow Up Your Video world tour in 1988 when he was struggling with alcohol issues. Some fans apparently did not notice the switch, due to Stevie’s striking resemblance to Malcolm and similar style of playing.

An official statement was posted on the band’s Facebook page confirming the news of Young’s death.

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” it read.

“Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. (by independent.co.uk)

Malcom Young3

Malcolm Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017)
Thanks a lot for all these High Voltage Rock N Roll !
RIP

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969)

FrontCover1And here´s the soundtrack to the comic book (*smile*)

Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 13 January 1969 in the United States and on 17 January 1969 in the United Kingdom. It was issued as the soundtrack to the animated film of the same name, which premiered in London in July 1968. The album contains six songs by the Beatles, including four new songs and the previously released “Yellow Submarine” (1966) and “All You Need Is Love” (1967). The remainder of the album was a re-recording of the film’s orchestral soundtrack by the band’s producer, George Martin.

The project was regarded as a contractual obligation by the Beatles, who were asked to supply four new songs for the film. Some songs were written and recorded specifically for the soundtrack, while others were unreleased tracks from other projects. The album was issued two months after the band’s self-titled double LP (also known as the “White Album”) and was therefore not viewed by the band as a significant release. Yellow Submarine has since been afforded a mixed reception from music critics, some of whom consider that it falls short of the high standard generally associated with the Beatles’ work. It reached the top 5 in the UK and the US, and has been reissued on compact disc several times.

Beatles01

The album arose from contractual obligations for the Beatles to supply new songs to the soundtrack to United Artists’ animated film Yellow Submarine.[1] Having recently completed their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in April 1967,[2] the group showed minimal enthusiasm for the project.[3] Along with the music for their Magical Mystery Tour TV film, the Yellow Submarine soundtrack was part of a period that author Ian MacDonald later described as the band’s “regime of continuous low-intensity recording … it had a workaday quality about it – an intrinsic lack of tension which was bound to colour the resulting material.”

There was a commitment for The Beatles to do four songs for the film. Apparently, they would say, this is a lousy song, let’s give it to Brodax.

Lego

Only one side of the album contains songs performed by the Beatles; of the six, four were previously unreleased. “Yellow Submarine” had been issued in August 1966 as a single, topping the UK chart for four weeks,[6] and had also been released on the album Revolver. Following the Beatles’ performance of the song on the Our World international television broadcast, “All You Need Is Love” had also been issued as a single, in July 1967.

Of the unreleased tracks, the first to be recorded was George Harrison’s “Only a Northern Song”, taped in February 1967 but rejected for inclusion on Sgt. Pepper. The group performed overdubs on this basic track in April, immediately after completing the stereo mixes for that album. Among the sounds added during what Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn describes as “a curious session”, were trumpet, glockenspiel and spoken voices. Harrison’s lyrics reflect his displeasure at being merely a contracted songwriter to the Beatles’ publishing company, Northern Songs.

“All Together Now” was recorded in a single session on 12 May 1967, specifically for the film project. The title came from a phrase Paul McCartney had heard as a child, to encourage everyone to sing music hall songs. He later described the song as “a throwaway”.

Beatles02

The band recorded Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much” in late May 1967 at De Lane Lea Studios in central London.[18] Inspired by its author’s experimentation with the drug LSD, and originally running to over eight minutes in length, the song reflects the Summer of Love philosophy of 1967 and makes extensive use of guitar feedback.[20] As with the later recorded “All You Need Is Love”, the track includes musical and lyrical quotations from other works – in this case, a trumpet passage from Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March” and a lyric from the Merseys’ 1966 hit “Sorrow”.

John Lennon’s “Hey Bulldog” was recorded on 11 February 1968 and evolved from an initial intent to shoot a promotional film for the single “Lady Madonna”. Like “All Together Now”, it was specifically recorded with the film soundtrack in mind. The track’s ending featured a jam session after the point where a fade-out was intended in the final mix, which was kept in the finished version. Lennon later described the song as “a good-sounding record that means nothing”.

Side two of the album contained George Martin’s orchestral score for the film, leading with “Pepperland”.

Beatles03

Side two features a re-recording of the symphonic film score composed by the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, specifically for the album. The recording took place with a 41-piece orchestra over two three-hour sessions on 22 and 23 October 1968 in Abbey Road, and edited down to the length on the LP on 22 November.

In some of his arrangements, Martin referenced his past work with the Beatles; for example, “Sea of Time” includes what MacDonald terms “an affectionate quotation” from the Indian-styled “Within You Without You”, from Sgt. Pepper, and “Yellow Submarine in Pepperland” reprises the film’s title track. In “Sea of Monsters”, Martin adapted part of Bach’s Air on the G String, while in other selections he parodies works by Stravinsky. MacDonald also detects the influence of Mozart and Webern among the “classical allusions” in Martin’s score. (by wikipedia)

Beatles04

The only Beatles album that could really be classified as inessential, mostly because it wasn’t really a proper album at all, but a soundtrack that only utilized four new Beatles songs. (The rest of the album was filled out with “Yellow Submarine,” “All You Need Is Love,” and a George Martin score.) What’s more, two of the four new tracks were little more than pleasant throwaways that had been recorded during 1967 and early 1968. These aren’t all that bad; “All Together Now” is a cute, kiddie-ish McCartney singalong, while “Hey Bulldog” has some mild Lennon nastiness and a great beat and central piano riff, with some fine playing all around — each is memorable in its way, and the inclusion of the Lennon song here was all the more important, as the sequence from the movie in which it was used was deleted from the original U.S. release of the movie (which had no success whatever in the U.K. and quickly disappeared, thus making the U.S. version the established cut of the film for decades. George Harrison’s two contributions were the more striking of the new entries — “Only a Northern Song” was a leftover from the Sgt. Pepper’s sessions, generated from a period in which the guitarist became increasingly fascinated with keyboards, especially the organ and the Mellotron (and, later, the synthesizer). It’s an odd piece of psychedelic ersatz, mixing trippiness and some personal comments. Its lyrics (and title) on the one hand express the guitarist/singer/composer’s displeasure at being tied in his publishing to Northern Songs, a company in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the majority shareholders; and, on the other, they present Harrison’s vision of how music and recording sounded, from the inside-out and the outside-in, during the psychedelic era — the song thus provided a rare glimpse inside the doors of perception of being a Beatle (or, at least, one aspect of being this particular Beatle) circa 1967. And then there was the jewel of the new songs, “It’s All Too Much.” Coming from the second half of 1967, the song — resplendent in swirling Mellotron, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar — was a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia, and was actually superior in some respects to “Blue Jay Way,” Harrison’s songwriting contribution to The Magical Mystery Tour; the song also later rated a dazzling cover by Steve Hillage in the middle of the following decade.

Beatles05

The very fact that George Harrison was afforded two song slots and a relatively uncompetitive canvas for his music shows how little the project meant to Lennon and McCartney — as did the cutting of the “Hey Bulldog” sequence from the movie, apparently with no resistance from Lennon, who had other, more important artistic fish to fry in 1968. What is here, however, is a good enough reason for owning the record, though nothing rates it as anything near a high-priority purchase. The album would have been far better value if it had been released as a four-song EP (an idea the Beatles even considered at one point, with the addition of a bonus track in “Across the Universe” but ultimately discarded). (by Richie Unterberger)

Beatles06

Personnel:
George Harrison (vocals, guitar, organ, percussion, handclaps, violin)
John Lennon (vocals, guitars, piano, handclaps
Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, guitars, trumpet, handclaps, percussion)
Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, handclaps, background vocals, vocals on 01.)

George Martin (piano on 06.)
+
Unknown orchestra conducted by George Martin

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Yellow Submarine (Lennon/McCartney) 2.35
02. Only A Northern Song (Harrison) 3.20
03. All Together Now (Lennon/McCartney) 2.08
04. Hey Bulldog (Lennon/McCartney) 3.09
05. It’s All Too Much (Harrison) 6.17
06. All You Need Is Love (Lennon/McCartney) 3.42
07. Pepperland (Martin) 2.18
08. Sea Of Time (Martin) 2.59
09. Sea Of Holes (Martin) 2.15
10. Sea Of Monsters (Martin) 3.34
11. March Of The Meanies (Martin) 2.16
12. Pepperland Laid Waste (Martin) 2.08
13. Yellow Submarine In Pepperland (Lennon/McCartney) 2.09

LabelB1

*
**

Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)

FrontCover1AThere Goes Rhymin’ Simon is the third solo studio album by American musician Paul Simon rush-released on May 5, 1973. It contains songs covering several styles and genres, such as gospel (“Loves Me Like a Rock”) and Dixieland (“Take Me to the Mardi Gras”). It received two nominations at the Grammy Awards of 1974, including Best Male Pop Vocal performance and Album of the Year.

As foreshadowed by the feel-good lead single “Kodachrome” (which reached #2 on the Billboard charts, blocked by Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles”), There Goes Rhymin’ Simon proved to be a bigger hit than its predecessor, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart (kept off the top spot by George Harrison’s Living in the Material World), and #1 on Cashbox Magazine for one week on June 30, 1973.[4] In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at #4. Subsequent singles were also the #2 single “Loves Me Like a Rock” (knocked off by Cher’s “Half-Breed”, but reaching #1 on Cashbox on September 29, 1973), and the Top 40 hit “American Tune”. Also “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” was released in the UK reaching the Top 20.

The song “Kodachrome” is named after the Kodak film of the same name. Kodak required the album to note that Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak. The song was not released as a single in Britain, where it could not be played on BBC radio due to its trademarked name. The song “Was a Sunny Day” has an interesting reference to early rock and roll in the line “She called him Speedo but his Christian name was Mr. Earl” which echoes the chorus from the 1955 song “Speedo” by The Cadillacs: “They often call me Speedo but my real name is Mr. Earl,” referring to lead singer, Earl “Speedo” Carroll.

CoverIllustration

Critical praise was practically universal for this album. The Denver Post’s Jared Johnson called it “a brilliantly executed masterpiece, and surely the finest album in three years,” citing such 1970 releases as Bridge Over Troubled Water and After the Gold Rush.

Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times said, “Combining a variety of musical textures (from a touch of gospel to an infectious trace of Jamaican rhythm to a hint of the old Simon and Garfunkel grandeur), Simon’s new album firmly establishes him as one of our most valuable and accessible artists.”

But Stereo Review’s Noel Coppage found much to complain about. Though he gave it an “excellent” rating, he added that it was “deficient in spontaneity, excitement, strain…I don’t know how it could sound so cut-and-dried, having been recorded in four different locations (New York, London, Muscle Shoals, and Jackson, Mississippi), but although the arrangements are clean and sensible, they are oddly predictable.” (by wikipedia)

In other words: Another classic album by Paul Simon,

PaulSimon1973

Personnel:
Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
+
Barry Beckett (piano 01., 06. + 09.,  organ on 03., vibraphone on 09.)
Pete Carr (guitar on 01. 03., 06. + 09.)
Bob Cranshaw (bass on 05., 06. + 07.)
Richard Davis (bass on 04.)
Cornell Dupree (guitar on 02.)
Gordon Edwards (bass on 02.)
Don Elliott (vibraphone on 04.)
Alexander Gafa (guitar on 04.)
Paul Griffin (piano on 02.)
Roger Hawkins (drums on 01., 03., 06., + 10., percussion on 09. + 10.)
David Hood (bass on 01., 03., 06., 09. +10.)
Bob James (piano on 04., keyboards on 06.)
Rev. Claude Jeter (vocals on 03.)
Jimmy Johnson (guitar on 01. + 03.)
Rick Marotta (drums on 02.)
Airto Moreira (percussion on 07.)
Jerry Puckett (guitar on 08.)
Vernie Robbins (bass on 08,)
Bobby Scott (piano on 04.)
David Spinozza (guitar on 04.)
James Stroud (drums on 08,)
Grady Tate (drums on 04. + 06.)
Carson Witsett (organ on 08.)
+
The Onward Brass Band (horns on 03.)
The Dixie Hummingbirds (group vocals on 02. + 10.)
Maggie and Terre Roche (background vocals on 07.)
+
Quincy Jones – string arrangements on 04.)
Del Newman (string arrangements on 06.)
Allen Toussaint (horn arrangements on 02.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Kodachrome 3.32
02. Tenderness 2.53
03. Take Me To The Mardi Gras 3.27
04. Something So Right 4.33
06. One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor 3.44
06. American Tune 3.43
07. Was A Sunny Day 3.41
08. Learn How To Fall 2.44
09. St. Judy’s Comet 3.19
10. Loves Me Like A Rock 3.31

All songs were written by Paul Simon. The melody of “American Tune” was almost note-for-note written by Johann Sebastian Bach (St Matthew Passion), who was not credited on the album. In turn, Bach had imitated the melody of Mein G’mueth ist mir verwirret by Hans Leo Hassler.

LabelB1

*
**

Front+BackCover

Pekka Pohjola – Urban Tango (1982)

FrontCover1Jussi Pekka Pohjola (13 January 1952 – 27 November 2008)[1] was a Finnish multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. Best known as a bass player, Pohjola was also a classically trained pianist and violinist.

Originally Pohjola rose to fame as the bass player of the Finnish progressive rock band Wigwam, but he soon departed on a solo career, initially releasing Frank Zappa-influenced progressive rock albums. As his career progressed Pohjola developed a more novel musical style that could best be described as fusion jazz. In addition to Wigwam and his solo albums, Pohjola also played with Made in Sweden, The Group (fi) and the bands of Jukka Tolonen and Mike Oldfield.

Pohjola belonged to one of the most prominent musical families in Finland. Conductor Sakari Oramo is Pohjola’s cousin.

Pohjola studied classical piano and violin at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. After a stint with The Boys (the seminal Finnish band led by brothers Eero and Jussi Raittinen), he joined Wigwam in 1970, contributing on two of their albums before leaving the group in 1972 to pursue a solo career (although Pohjola did again contribute on Wigwam’s Being in 1974). Pohjola’s first solo album Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva (Resin Eye Bark Ear), released 1972, bears notable resemblance to the works of Frank Zappa.

Pekka02

After leaving Wigwam, Pohjola also played with the Jukka Tolonen Band for a short time. In 1974 his second solo album, Harakka Bialoipokku (fi) (Bialoipokku the Magpie), was released in Finland. The album saw Pohjola’s sound developing to a more distinctive direction, with heavy usage of trumpets, saxophones and piano. The somewhat jazz-influenced album piqued the interest of Virgin Records executive Richard Branson enough to release it in the United Kingdom the following year under the name B the Magpie. (In October 2010 the album was re-released by Cherry Red Records.[2])

By the request of Virgin, Pohjola teamed up with Mike Oldfield to record and produce his third solo album, released in 1977 in Finland as Keesojen Lehto (Grove of the Keeso) and in the UK as Mathematician’s Air Display. The album was released, in Germany (1981, album and cassette) and Italy (1987) as simply Mike & Sally Oldfield / Pekka Pohjola. The album was also released in 1981 on the Happy Bird label, in the Netherlands, under the name The Consequences of Indecisions and credited to Oldfield instead of Pohjola. Oldfield was sufficiently impressed with Pohjola, however, to ask him join him on his 1978 tour. As a result, Pohjola can also be heard on Oldfield’s live album Exposed, released in 1979.

Pekka03

Pekka Pohjola with Wigwam, 1974

In 1978 Pohjola formed The Group, who released a self-titled album the same year. In 1979, Pohjola released Visitation, his fourth solo album. All of Pohjola’s solo albums from the 70s had exhibited fantasy influences, but these were undoubtedly strongest on Visitation.

In 1980 The Group changed its name to Pekka Pohjola Group and released the album Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme (The Dragon of Kätkävaara), with musicians Pekka Pohjola (bass), Ippe Kätkä (drums), Pekka Tyni (keyboards) and Seppo Tyni (guitars). The group disbanded soon after the release of their second album.

Pohjola’s next solo album, Urban Tango, was released in 1982. It was a radical departure from fantasy- and nature-inspired works of the 70s. It was also the first Pekka Pohjola album to feature comprehensible singing, the vocals provided by Kassu Halonen. Urban Tango was also the first of Pohjola’s albums to be released on his own Pohjola Records label. His next album was the soundtrack to Hannu Heikinheimo’s 1983 movie Jokamies (released in 1984 under the title Everyman in the United States and Germany). The album was notable for an abundant use of synthesizers. Space Waltz, released 1985, further explored the themes first heard on Urban Tango (1982). 1986’s Flight of the Angel was to be Pohjola’s last album of the 80s. The following year a compilation of his material was released under the name New Impressionist.

Pekka04

Pekka Pohjola’s record label in the United States during the 1980s was Breakthru’ Records, a pioneering audiophile record company started by Robert Silverstein in 1983. The advent of the compact disc in 1984 made it very difficult for independent American record labels to make CD pressings in the U.S. as the first plants, aside from the Sony plant in Indiana, were in Germany and Japan. As a result, Breakthru’ scrambled and forfeited away its rights to unscrupulous distributors in an effort to adapt to the fast changing audio landscape of the music business during 1984 and 1986. With the 1985 release of Space Waltz, Breakthru’ Records became the first label ever to release a compact disc by Pekka Pohjola. The first Pekka Pohjola album to be released on CD, Space Waltz was mastered in New York City by mastering engineer legend Greg Calbi. Pressed on CD in Switzerland, Space Waltz was also released by Breakthru’ Records on audiophile vinyl and cassette. Robert Silverstein’s 1980 interview with Pekka Pohjola can be found on the Music Web Express 3000 (www.mwe3.com) web site.

Pekka05

During the late 80s Pohjola composed Sinfonia No 1 (“Symphony No. 1”), which premiered live in 1989 and was released on CD in 1990, performed by the AVANTI! music group. Returning to the music scene in 1992, Pohjola released his ninth solo album Changing Waters. The album’s sound differed greatly from Pohjola’s guitar-driven works of the 80s, offering a softer, more piano-based soundscape. Changing Waters was given in an international release in spring 1993. The album featured Finnish top musicians Seppo Kantonen (keyboards), Markku Kanerva (guitar) and Anssi Nykänen (drums), who became Pohjola’s regular band. In May 1995, Pohjola released Live in Japan, a recording from three shows in Tokyo in November 1994. Later that year, Pohjola released a double-CD Heavy Jazz – Live in Helsinki and Tokyo. His next studio album, Pewit, followed in September 1997. In May 2001 Pekka Pohjola released Views, on which he toned down the rock-solid guitar-based sound of Urban Tango (1982) and Space Waltz (1985), instead focusing more on jazz and pop-classical arrangements, leaning heavily on strings and brass arrangements. The only song on Views to feature a guitar is “The Red Porsche”, after a poem written by Charles Bukowski.

Pekka06

Pohjola’s piece “The Madness Subsides” from B the Magpie (1974) was sampled by DJ Shadow as the main bass line in his song “Midnight in a Perfect World”, from the wildly successful debut album Endtroducing….. (1996).

On 27 November 2008, Pohjola died of alcoholism at the age of 56. (by wikipedia)

And this is his 5th album:

The opening Imppu’s Tango have some serious peak with pekka playing some obscure hard bass play. It took me some time to be used to the tango part in the beginning, but now I love it. It evolves to become the best car music, you picture yourself just speeding through landscape and feel the high momentum 🙂 (by Skink_123 )

Pekka01g

Personnel:
Jussi Liski (keyboards)
Leevi Leppänen (drums)
Pekka Pohjola (bass, keyboards)
+
Kassu Halonen (vocals on 04.)
Esa Kaartamo (vocals on 05.)
Peter Lerche (guitar, mandolin (on 03.)
Timo Tapani Oksala (synth guitar on 01.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Imppu’s Tango 9.23
2. New Impressionist 15.21
3. Heavy Jazz 10.47
4. Urban Caravan 11.47
+
05. Silent Decade 4-13

Music: Pekka Pohjola
Lyrics: Edu Kettunen

LabelB1

*
**

Blue Oyster Cult – Secret Treaties (1974)

FrontCover1Secret Treaties is the third studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in 1974 by Columbia Records. The album spent 14 weeks in the US album charts, peaking at No. 53. It was certified gold by the RIAA in 1992.

In 1975, a poll of critics of the British magazine Melody Maker voted Secret Treaties as the “Top Rock Album of All Time”. In 2010, Rhapsody called it one of the all-time best “proto-metal” albums.

Many songs from this album found their way into BÖC playlists over the following years, including “Career of Evil”, “Subhuman”, “Astronomy” and “Harvester of Eyes”. It is the only Blue Öyster Cult album that does not feature any track with lead vocals by guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. The band also did not write any of the lyrics to the album, handing that duty off to producer Sandy Pearlman, rock critic Richard Meltzer and Patti Smith.

 

The cover, with art by Ron Lesser, depicts the band standing beside and sitting on a German Me-262 fighter aircraft; this scene is inspired by the song of the same name.

While the LP cover has the band name in red (a darker red on the Japanese LP), on the CD it is in lime green.

Lyrics to the lead-off track “Career of Evil” were written by future punk poet Patti Smith, a longtime contributor to the band (and, at the time, the girlfriend of BÖC keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier).

BOC01

A few changes were made to “Career of Evil” on the single version. The vocals are different: only Eric Bloom is heard for most of the song, instead of Bloom and Albert Bouchard singing together. Also, one verse was removed (“Pay me…” to “…kneeling in the rain”). Part of the bridge was changed also, presumably to make the song more acceptable to radio: “do it to your daughter” became “do it like you oughtta.” The line “I want your wife to be my baby tonight” was changed to “I want your life to be mine, maybe tonight”.

“Career of Evil” was the inspiration for the title of the 2015 novel of the same name written by J.K. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith.[9]

The compilation Don’t Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult contains a version of “Flaming Telepaths” without the music box intro. The original version with the complete sound effects is on the collection Workshop of the Telescopes.

The psychedelic folk group Espers covers “Flaming Telepaths” on their CD, The Weed Tree in 2005. (by wikipedia)

BOC02While the speed-freak adrenaline heaviness and shrouded occult mystery of Tyranny and Mutation is the watermark for Blue Öyster Cult’s creative invention, it is Secret Treaties that is widely and critically regarded as the band’s classic. Issued in 1974, Secret Treaties is the purest distillation of all of BÖC’s strengths. Here the songs are expansive, and lush in their textures. The flamboyance is all here, and so are the overdriven guitar riffs provided by Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom. But there is something else, texturally, that moves these songs out from the blackness and into the shadows. Perhaps it’s the bottom-heavy mix by producer and lyricist Sandy Pearlman, with Allen Lanier’s electric piano and Joe Bouchard’s bass coming to rest in an uneasy balance with the twin-guitar attack. Perhaps it’s in the tautness of songwriting and instrumental architectures created by drummer Albert Bouchard, Bloom, and Don Roeser (Buck Dharma). Whatever it is, it offers the Cult a new depth and breadth. While elements of psychedelia have always been a part of the band’s sound, it was always enfolded in proto-metal heaviness and biker boogie. Here, BÖC created their own brand of heavy psychedelic noir to diversify their considerably aggressive attack. Listen to “Subhuman” or “Dominance and Submission.” Their minor chord flourishes and multi-tracked layered guitars and Bouchard’s constantly shimmering cymbals and snare work (he is the most underrated drummer in rock history) and elliptical lyrics — that Pearlman put out in front of the mix for a change — added to the fathomless dread and mystery at the heart of the music. Elsewhere, on “Cagey Cretins” and “Harvester of Eyes” (both with lyrics by critic Richard Meltzer), the razor-wire guitar riffs were underscored by Lanier’s organ, and their sci-fi urgency heightened by vocal harmonies.

BOC03

But it is on “Flaming Telepaths,” with its single-chord hypnotic piano line that brings the lyric “Well, I’ve opened up my veins too many times/And the poison’s in my heart in my heart and in my mind/Poison’s in my bloodstream/Poison’s in my pride/I’m after rebellion/I’ll settle for lives/Is it any wonder that my mind is on fire?” down into the maelstrom and wreaks havoc on the listener. It’s a stunner, full of crossing guitar lines and an insistent, demanding rhythmic throb. The set closes with the quark strangeness of “Astronomy,” full of melancholy, dread, and loss that leaves the listener unsettled and in an entirely new terrain, having traveled a long way from the boasting rockery of “Career of Evil” that began the journey. It’s a breathless rock monolith that is all dark delight and sinister pleasure. While the Cult went on to well-deserved commercial success with Agents of Fortune an album later, the freaky inspiration that was offered on their debut, and brought to shine like a black jewel on Tyranny and Mutation, was fully articulated as visionary on Secret Treaties. /by Thom Jurek)

Inlet01A

Personnel:
Eric Bloom (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Albert Bouchard (drums, vocals)
Joe Bouchard (bass, vocals)
Allen Lanier (keyboards, guitar, synthesizer)
Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (guitar)

BackCover1
Tracklist:
01. Career Of Evil (Smith/A.Bouchar/Bloom) 3.58
02. Subhuman (Pearlman/Bloom) 4.30
03. Dominance And Submission (Pearlman/Bloom/A. Bouchard) 5.22
04. ME 262 (Pearlman/Bloom/Roeser) 4.41
05. Cagey Cretins (Meltze/A. Bouchard) 3.14
06. Harvester Of Eyes (Meltzer/Bloom/Roeser) 4.15
07. Flaming Telepaths (Pearlman/Bloom/A. Bouchard/Roeser) 5.37
08. Astronomy (Pearlman/A. Bouchard/J. Bouchard) 6.21

LabelB1

*
**

Inlet02A