Various Artists – The Vertigo Annual (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgVertigo Records was the late 60s progressive rock arm of the Philips Records empire.

Vertigo Records is a record company, which originated in the United Kingdom. It was a subsidiary of the Philips/Phonogram record label, launched in 1969 to specialise in progressive rock and other non-mainstream musical styles. Today it is operated by Universal Music UK.

Vertigo was the brainchild of Olav Wyper when he was Creative Director at Phonogram. It was launched as a competitor to labels such as Harvest (a prog subsidiary of EMI) and Deram (Decca). It was the home to bands such as Colosseum, Jade Warrior, Affinity, Ben and other bands from ‘the “cutting edge” of the early-’70s British prog-folk-post-psych circuit’. The first Vertigo releases came with a distinctive black and white spiral label, which was replaced with Roger Dean’s spaceship design in 1973.

Vertigo later became the European home to various hard rock bands signed to Mercury in North America, such as Bon Jovi, Rush and Kiss.

Olav Wyper01

Vertigo is a division of Island Records in the United States and operates as Virgin EMI Records in the UK, which in turn is a frontline music group operation of Universal Music UK. In Germany, Vertigo has merged with Capitol Records and is mainly used for German rock artists. The label’s legacy artists include Metallica (outside the US and Canada), Razorlight, Rush (Europe) and Dire Straits (except the US). More recent signings include The Rapture, The Killers (UK/Ireland), One Night Only, Amy Macdonald, Noisettes and Thee Unstrung 2004-2005 and Kassidy in 2009. Black Sabbath returned to the label in 2013 (including the US and Canada for the first time via sister label Republic) until their dissolution in 2017 although former sister label Sanctuary Records Group acquired international rights to their back catalogue in the interim (the band were last on Vertigo in 1987). (by wikipedia)

And here´s a damn good sampler, the first sampler of the legendary Vertigo Label:

A two-LP label sampler from the nascent Vertigo label — Polygram’s answer to EMI’s Bookprogressive — psychedelic boutique, Harvest. Overall, for a label sampler, this was a better than average double slab of vinyl, with tried-and-true heavy cuts (from Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Juicy Lucy, May Blitz) jostling for space with lighter stuff (Magna Carta, Dr. Strangely Strange). Rod Stewart turns up as well, with an early solo outing on “Handbags and Gladrags.” (by Steven McDonald)

The title of this double label sampler leads one to believe that there were plans for an annual release, but Vertigo never got any further than 1970. Contrary to the ‘Heads together’ sampler, this one contains previously released material only and so serves quite succeedingly as an introduction to Vertigo’s miracles.The contents are chosen with taste: almost every track is among the best from the respective album and therefore this sampler comes recommended for anyone who wants to start to explore what the fuzz is all about.Red foliage surely is a favourite of Keef the album designer. This time a naked lady on a dotted hobby-horse fronts the landscape. A small boy dressed in parade uniform plays the drum and looks at her. Quite striking.

The lettering is chosen in accordance to the ‘annual’ idea and could have been taken from any children’s annual of the times.


Inside the horse’s head is displayed in a coloured negative photograph and also proudly quotes underground magazine ‘it’: Vertigo is the least pretentiously and most happily married of the ‘progressive’ labels to emerge from ‘neath the wings of the large record companies.

One of those indispensable samplers, with so much going for it – label design, musical quality, rare tracks, top audio and alluring cover pics – it has become a collectors item by own merits. One cut each from the sixteen first albums realeased by the label. Most represented here didn’t sell a lot back then and the originals can sometimes be hard to find or afford. I haven’t had or heard all of those so I can’t compare, but get the impression they picked the better or best from each.


Some compilations have at least one downer regarding track choice or audio. On here I can’t find one thing less than marvelous. From the happy-go-luckys Fairfield Parlour “In My Box” and Magna Carta “Going My Way” over the heavy Sabbath, Juicy Lucy and Uriah Heep cuts to the jazzier Nucleus, Colosseum and May Blitz it’s all tophole.

Vertigo was a highly collectable label . and this sampler is the best way to start with this cult label…


01. Colosseum; Elegy (from “Valentyne Suite VO1”) (Litherland) 3.10
02. Rod Stewart: Handbags And Gladrags (from “An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down VO4”) (d’Abo) 4.26
03. Jimmy Campbell: Half Baked (from “Half Baked 6360010”) (Campbell) 4.43
04. May Blitz: I Don’t Know (from “May Blitz 6360007”) (Black/Hudson/Newman) 4.50
05. Juicy Lucy: Mississippi Woman (from “Juicy Lucy VO2”) (Hubbart/Campbell/Mercer/ Ellis/Owen/Dobson) 3.49
06. Fairfield Parlour: In My Box (from “From Home To Home 6360001”) (Pumer/Daltrey) 2.00
07. Magna Carta: Goin’ My Way (Road Song) (from “Seasons 6360003”) (Simpson) 2.55
08. Affinity: Three Sisters (from “Affinity 6360004”) (Hoile/Naiff) 5.01
09. Black Sabbath: Behind The Wall Of Sleep (from “Black Sabbath VO6”) (Ward/Butler/ Osbourne/Iommi) 3.41
10. Gracious; Introduction (from “Gracious! 6360002” (Kitcat/Davis) 5.56
11. Cressida: To Play Your Little Game (from “Cressida VO7”) (Heyworth) 3.22
12. Nucleus: Elastic Rock (from “Elastic Rock 6360008”) (Jenkins) 4.06
13. Manfred Mann Chapter Three: One Way Glass (from “Manfred Mann Chapter Three VO3”) (Mann/Thomas) 3.36
14. Bob Downes: No Time Like The Present (from “Electric City 6360005”) (Downes) 3.05
15. Dr. Strangely Strange: Summer Breeze (from “Heavy Petting 6360009”) (Booth) 3.42
16. Uriah Heep: Gypsy (from “…Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble… 6360006”) (Byron/Box) 6.57
17. Catapilla: Changes (from “Changes 6360 074”) (Wilson/Calvert/Meek) 12.05
18. Gravy Train: Think Of Life (from “Gravy Train 6360 023”) (Davenport/Hughes/Barratt /Cordwell/Williams) 5.10
19. Jade Warrior: May Queen (from ” Last Autumn’s Dream 6360 079″) (Havard/ Field/ Duhig) 5.24
20. Mike Absalom: Frightened Of The Dark (from “Mike Absalom 6360 053 “) (Absalom) 3.25
21. Ramases: Life Child (from “Space Hymns 6360 046”) (Godley/GouldmanCreme/ Raphael ) 6.39
22. Patto: Give It All Away (from “Hold Your Fire 6360 032 ) (Patto/Halsall) 4.10




Rod Stewart – Unplugged … And Seated (1993)

FrontCover1Unplugged…and Seated is a live album released by British musician Rod Stewart on 24 May 1993. It is Stewart’s second live album and his first (and only) appearance on MTV Unplugged. The album was released by Warner Bros. Records (WEA 9362-45289-1/2). The unplugged versions of “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison, “Reason to Believe”, “Having a Party”, and “People Get Ready” were released as singles, with “Have I Told You Lately” and “Having a Party” reaching success as singles. A special collector’s edition was released in March 2009 on Rhino Records. This two-disc package included the DVD of the MTV performance with 13 songs while the CD contained 17 tracks including two songs (“Gasoline Alley” and “Forever Young”) not on the original 1993 release.

The album was recorded on 5 February 1993 at Universal Studios, Los Angeles as part of MTV’s Unplugged series. The event aired on television on 5 May of the same year. Unplugged finds Stewart reunited, for the first time in nearly twenty years, with Ronnie Wood, a fellow Faces band member. Stewart performs some of the classics from his repertoire such as “Tonight’s the Night” and “Maggie May”, but also adds some new material such as “Having a Party” and “Highgate Shuffle”. The album title comes from a joke Stewart made during the taping about “Stay With Me” being difficult to perform while sitting down. Six songs were taped but not included on the subsequent album release, though “It’s All Over Now” was included as the B-side to the single for “Reason to Believe”. (by wikpedia)


Eric Clapton’s Unplugged turned the MTV series into a pop culture phenomenon, one that was especially appealing to veteran rockers because all they had to do was dust off their old hits and give them a nice, relaxed reading — the perfect re-imagining for middle-aged rock stars. Rod Stewart leaped at the opportunity and, in many ways, he seemed even better suited for the gig than Clapton as much of his ’70s prime prominently featured acoustic guitars, including “Maggie May” and “Every Picture Tells a Story.” Stewart upped the ante by reuniting with his old friend and Faces bandmate Ron Wood, giving Unplugged…and Seated the appearance of an event…an appearance that was entirely intentional. That Unplugged…and Seated falls well short of actually being an event is a disappointment but also inevitable. Where Clapton’s Unplugged was a natural phenomenon, a blockbuster delivered with no preconceived notions, Unplugged…and Seated is designed as a hits revue, playing upon nostalgia while delivering mellow sounds for middle age.

Rod Steward01.jpg

This is no bad thing, necessarily, particularly when the song selection is so strong — all the big hits from that early-’70s golden age, plus Rod’s recent cover of Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately,” Tom Waits’ “Tom Traubert’s Blues,” and a reworked version of the folk standard “Highgate Shuffle” thrown in for good measure — and the chemistry between Stewart and Wood is still so cheerful. Occasionally, this frivolity is a wee bit forced but that’s not quite as big of a problem as the punchy, professional production; these are ultimately nothing more than mild signs of road wear on a record that’s a nice night out with the boys, nothing more, nothing less. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

And for me this album is a very sentimental trip … from “Tonight´s The Night” (Spread your wings and let me come inside) to “The First Cut Is The Deepest” … many songs from this album was very important songs … I guess … they told the story of my life …

Rod Stewart … what a a voice !


Jim Cregan (guitar)
Jeff Golub (guitar)
Charles Kentiss III (keyboards)
Phil Parlapiano (accordion, mandolin)
Carmine Rojas (bass)
Kevin Savigar (keyboards, accordion)
Rod Stewart (vocals, banjo)
Don Teschner (guitar, mandolin, violin)
Ronnie Wood (guitar)
background vocals:
Dorian Holley – Darryl Phinnessee – Fred White
string section conducted by Jeremy Lubbock:
Marilyn Baker – Haim Shtrum – Mari Tsumura – Jay Rosen – Kwihee Shamban – Miran Kojian- Brian Leonard – Jean Hugo – Joel Derouin – Bruce Dukov – Joseph Meyer – Ronald Clark – Joan Elardo – David Shostac – Norman Ludwin – Drew Dembowski – David Shamban – Suzie Katayama – James Ross – Larry Corbett.


01. Hot Legs (Rod Stewart/Grainger) 4.25
02. Tonight’s The Night (Stewart) 4.04
03. Handbags And Gladrags (d’Abo) 4.25
04. Cut Across Shorty (Walker/Wilkin) 4.58
05. Every Picture Tells A Story (Stewart/Wood) 4.45
06. Maggie May (Stewart/Quittenton) 5.45
07. Reason To Believe (Hardin) 4.07
08. People Get Ready (Mayfield) 4.59
09. Have I Told You Lately (Morrison) 4.08
10. Tom Traubert’s Blues (Waltzing Matilda) (Waits) 4.40
11. The First Cut Is The Deepest (Stevens) 4.12
12. Mandolin Wind (Stewart) 5.23
13. Highgate Shuffle (Traditional)) 4.04
14. Stay With Me (Stewart/Wood) 5.27
15. Having A Party (Cooke) 4.44





Ron Wood & Rod Stewart

Various Artists – The Prince´s Trust 10th Anniversary Birthday Party (1987)

FrontCover1The Prince’s Trust celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in 1986 with a concert at Wembley Arena attended by the then Prince and Princess of Wales. It is a more of a curiosity concert now in light of the fact that most of the stars and groups on show have either split up, moved on, or have shuffled off this planet (Stuart Adamson committed suicide years later) Inevitably, the performances are some of the big names at the time, for example, Suzanne Vega and Level 42 were top ten in England and Mark Knopfler was riding high post-BROTHERS IN ARMS with Dire Straits. Tina Turner and Eric Clapton duetted on “Better Be Good To Me”, Rod Stewart performed his classic “Sailing” …. and the concert culminates in Paul McCartney singing “Long Tall Sally” and “Get Back”with Tina Turner.

Professionally done with some good music to boot, THE PRINCES TRUST BIRTHDAY PARTY is more of interest now to fans of the decade.(by Doom Templer)

Nothing special in term of performances,it’s only a curious relic piece on collector’s shelve like mine to satisfy our addiction of music performed by our darling masterclas. (by Guitar Kiko)


Bryan Adams, Eric Clapton, Francis Rossi, George Chandler, Jimmy Chambers, Jimmy Helms, John Illsley, Mark King, Paul Young, Ray Cooper, Rick Parfitt, Samantha Brown*, Sting, Trevor Morais, Vicki Brown and much more


01. Dire Straits: Money For Nothing (Knopfler) 5.20
02. Midge Ure: Call Of The Wild (King/Mitchell/Ure) 4.21
03. Suzanne Vega: Marlene On The Wall (Vega) 3.16
04. Phil Collins: In The Air Tonight (Collins) 4.58
05. Big Country: Fields Of Fire (Adamson/Brzezicki/Butler/Watson) 4.26
06. Howard Jones: No One Is To Blame (Jones) 4.12
07. Level 42: Something About You (Gould/King/Lindup/Gould/Badarou) 5.07
08. Elton John: I’m Still Standing (John/Taupin) 3.47
09. Joan Armatrading: Reach Out (Armatrading) 4.40
10. Tina Turner: Better Be Good To Me (Chinn/Chapman/Knight) 5.02
11. Rod Stewart: Sailing (Sutherland) 5.25
12. Paul McCartney: Get Back (Lennon/McCartney) 3.33
13. Paul McCartney: Long Tall Sally (Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell) 2.36



The Steampacket – The First Supergroup (1977)

FrontCover1Steampacket (sometimes shown as Steam Packet)[1] were a British blues band formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry with Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, and organist Brian Auger. The band were operational as a live act during 1965 and 1966, supporting the Rolling Stones on their 1965 tour. Due to contractual difficulties, they did not release any recordings during their lifetime; however, some demos they recorded would later be released under the deceptive titles, First of the Supergroups: Early Days and The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart, to cash in on Stewart’s success.

The group was formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry after the break-up of his previous group the Hoochie Coochie Men. It included Rod Stewart who had been with Baldry in the Hoochie Coochie Men, vocalist Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger and guitarist Vic Briggs. They were managed by Giorgio Gomelsky, who had previously been involved with the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.

Steampacket01Steampacket played at various clubs, theatres and student unions around the country, including supporting the Rolling Stones on their 1965 British tour.[6][7] Because of contractual difficulties, however, they never formally recorded a studio or live album. Tracks from some demo tapes they recorded at a rehearsal in the Marquee Club would later be released under the deceptive titles, First of the Supergroups: Early Days and The First Supergroup: Steampacket Featuring Rod Stewart, to cash in on Stewart’s success.[

Stewart left in 1966, and the group disbanded soon after. Long John Baldry then joined Bluesology which included a then unknown Elton John on keyboards, before pursuing a solo career, having a number 1 hit record in the UK Singles Chart in 1967 with “Let the Heartaches Begin”. Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and Vic Briggs formed Trinity, and had a UK hit in 1968 with This Wheel’s on Fire; Briggs was also a member of the Animals. Rod Stewart later sang with the Jeff Beck Group, the Faces and as a solo artist. There is an urban legend that Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood, later of Fleetwood Mac, played with Steampacket. In fact Steampacket, with the exception of Rod Stewart’s departure, had the same personnel from its inception to its disintegration. The group that Green and Fleetwood played in alongside Rod Stewart was Shotgun Express.

Steampacket02Also packaged (with equal exploitation) as The First Supergroup, it’s unfair to judge the Steampacket on the basis of these demos, which were never intended for release. Still, what exists is a fair but unremarkable vestige of a typical mid-’60s British club band, perhaps more soul-oriented than most, heavily reliant upon American covers. Their most distinguishing feature was Brian Auger’s bubbly organ, whose style was indebted to American soul-jazz keyboardists like Ramsey Lewis and Jimmy Smith. Despite the title, Stewart only sings lead on one track, “Can I Get a Witness,” which is available on Rod’s Storyteller boxed set. The much inferior Baldry is heard much more often, and the program also includes some instrumental showcases for Auger. ( by Richie Unterberger)

Brian Auger (organ)
Long John Baldry (vocals)
Vic Briggs (guitar)
Richard Brown (aka Ricky Fenson) (bass)
Julie Driscoll (vocals)
Rod Stewart (vocals)
Micky Waller (drums)

01. Back At The Chicken Shack (Smith) 3.53
02. The In-Crowd (Page)
03. Baby Baby (Baby Dpn´tYou  Do) (unknown) 2.12
04. Can I Get A Witness (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 3.36
05. Baby Take Me (Ashford(Simpson/Armshead) 2. 26
06. Holy Smoke (inknown) 3.28
07. Cry Me A River (Hamilton) 2.46
08. Oh Baby, Don’t You Do It (unknown) 3.29
09. Lord Remember Me (unknown) 4.18


AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby (2012)

FrontCover1Hard as it may be to believe, but Rod Stewart has gotten through five decades without succumbing to a holiday album. That streak ends in 2012 with the release of Merry Christmas, Baby, an easygoing and chipper collection of secular seasonal standards. A couple of carols are thrown in for good measure but these songs — “Silent Night,” “We Three Kings” presented as a duet with Mary J. Blige — along with a mildly incongruous “When You Wish Upon a Star,” slide by easily on the mellow big-band swing of the rest of the record. Song for song, Merry Christmas, Baby is very much of a piece with Rod’s ongoing Great American Songbook series, with Stewart not straying from the familiar form of these songs and producer David Foster laying on all manner of soft, soothing sounds, whether it’s acoustic guitars, synthesizers, strings, or a children’s choir on “Silent Night.” Very rarely does this hint at the Rod of the ’70s — and when it does on the closing “Auld Lang Syne,” its intro given a spare folky treatment reminiscent of his Mercury work, it’s a bracing, effective reminder of Stewart’s skill as a singer — and instead relies on a gladhanding charm that suits the season, not to mention Stewart in his crooning dotage. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Keith Allen (background vocals)
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews (trombone, trumpet on 09.)
Chuck Berghofer (bass)
Madeline Bernstein (children’s chorus)
Carson Billingsley (children’s chorus)
Sam Bindschadler (children’s chorus)
Mary J. Blige (vocals on 11. + 12.)
Emme Lehmann Boddicker (children’s chorus)
Chris Botti (trumpet on 07.)
Michael Bublé (vocals on 03.)
Bridget Cady (background vocals)
Mabvuto Carpenter (backgrpund vocals)
Bryan Terrell Clark (background vocals)
David Daughtry (background vocals)
Jeff Driskill (saxophone)
Peter Erskine (drums)
Angela Fisher (background vocals)
Ella Fitzgerald (vocals on 07.)
Melanie Fontana (background vocals)
David Foster (keyboards)
Cee Lo Green (vocals on 05.)
Jackson Hatwan (children’s chorus)
Katherine Ho (children’s chorus)
J’Anna Jacoby (violin)
Kimberly Johnson (background vocals)
Krystal Johnson (background vocals)
Dave Koz (saxophone on 06.)
Brandon Large (children’s chorus)
Karissa Lee (children’s chorus)
Michelle Lewis (background vocals)
Bob McChesney (trombone)
Tim McFatter (saxophone)
Claire McNeely (children’s chorus)
Jason Morales (background vocals)
Dan Oestreicher (saxophone)
Page LA Children’s Chorus (children’s chorus)
Bobbi Page (children’s chorus)
Holly Palmer (guitar)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Steve Price     Engineer
Dieyelle Reed (background vocals)
Jimmy Roberts (saxophone)
Jochem van der Saag (synthesizer)
Jordan Santamaria (children’s chorus)
Kevin Savigar (keyboards)
Emerson Swinford (guitar)
Chris Walden (trombone, trumpet)
Willie Wheaton (background vocals)
Brandon Winbush (background vocals)
Lucy Woodward (background vocals)

01. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Blane/Martin) 4.32
02. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.47
03. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 2.26
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.49
05. Merry Christmas, Baby (Baxter/Moore) 3.53
06. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 2.51
07. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (Loesser) 3.43
08. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 3.30
09. Red-Suited Super Man (A.Foster/D.Foster/Stewart) 3.11
10. When You Wish Upon a Star (Harline/Washington) 3.47
11. We Three Kings (Traditional) 3.27
12. Silent Night (Traditional) 4.24
13. Auld Lang Syne (Traditional) 3.45



Various Artists – Rock Invasion (1956 – 1969) (1978)

FrontCover1This is a very rare sampler from 1978 released by London Records (I guess this album should promote their “Collectors Edition; in this edition London Records published many samplers of British acts like “Savoy Brown”, “Ten Years After”, David Bowie, “Them”, John Mayall or “Thin Lizzy” amongst others.

You can hear more or less rare recordings by musicians like Joe Cocker (“I’ll Cry Instead”), Rod Stewart (“Good Morning Little School Girl “), “Unit Four + Two” (“Concrete And Clay”) or “The Graham Bond Organisation” (“Long Tall Shorty”).

Listen and enjoy this music, from the days when we were young … Reflections of my life … And songs like ” Watcha Gonna Do About It”, “Long Tall Shorty” or “Tobacco Road” stands the test of time ! And maybe it´s time, to discover this period of music again … who knows ?

01. Rod Stewart: Good Morning Little School Girl (Williamson) (1964) 2.12
02. The Fortunes: You’ve Got Your Troubles (Greenaway/Cook) (1965)  3.28
03. Lonnie Donegan: Rock Island Line (Donnegan) (1956) 2.34
04. Los Bravos: Black Is Black (Hayes/Wadey/Grainger) (1966)
05. Graham Bond Organisation: Long Tall Shorty (Covay/Abramson) (1964) 2.27
06. The Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra: Da Doo Ron Ron (Spector/Greenwich/Barry) (1964) 2.28
07. The Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) (1964) 2.32
08. Joe Cocker: I’ll Cry Instead (Lennon/McCartney) (1964)1.47
09. Small Faces: Watcha Gonna Do About It (Samwell/Porter) (1965) 2.04
10. The Marmalade: Reflections Of My Life (Campbell/McAleese) (1969) 4.21
11. Unit Four + Two: Concrete And Clay (Parker/Moeller) (1965) 2.23
12. The Zombies: Tell Her No (Argent) (1965) 2.11


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