Wishbone Ash – First Light (2007)

frontcover1First Light is the first album by rock band Wishbone Ash. The recording was made to get a record deal but as the band signed to MCA Records with the well-known help from Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in early 1970, they decided to re-record most of them.

In 2006 a Wishbone Ash aficionado from America named Dr. John managed to purchase the acetate from a Christie’s auction and in 2007 the re-discovered recordings were released by Talking Elephant and so the Wishbone Ash fans finally got the opportunity to experience the very original versions of tracks from the debut-album as well as two never before heard songs “Roads Of Day To Day”, and “Joshua” and a vocalized version of “Alone” (which appeared as an instrumental on the second album Pilgrimage). The album as a whole represents the band in their first stages of their creation. During the sessions of recording, the band used homemade instruments – Martin Turner used a homemade bass guitar which he had bought for £5. (by wikipedia)

Back in late 1969 or early 1970, a very young Wishbone  Ash (Andy Powell,
Ted Turner, Martin Turner and Steve Upton) made an album of  songs in hopes of
securing a record deal with a major label. This album was  recorded in the dead
of night at AdVision Studios in the UK. Upon completion it  was then sent
over to Apple Corps LTD in London for mastering

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For over 35  years, these recordings have remained forgotten in the Apple
vaults gathering  dust. Recently, however, Christie’s Auctions put this acetate
of these  recordings up for purchase through their online auction house where
it was bid  on and won by collector extraordinaire, Dr. John. Dr. John then
contacted Andy  Powell about the find and offered them back to him to do with as
he pleased in  hopes that they would be released for all the fans of the band
to enjoy.

What makes these recordings so special is the energy and enthusiasm
displayed on every song played. “First Light” has a rawness and edge that the  first
official recording on MCA lacks. Plus it contains two songs never released
anywhere before.

This special artifact contains the first known  recordings of: Lady Whiskey,
Roads of Day to Day, Blind Eye, Joshua, Queen of  Torture, Alone, Handy, and
Errors of My Way. The recording of Handy on this disk  is worth the price of
admission alone. (by talkawhile.co.uk)

What a brilliant album !

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Personnel:
Andy Powell (guitar, vocals)
Martin Turner (bass, vocals)
Ted Turner (guitar, vocals)
Steve Upton (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Whiskey 3.11
02. Roads Of Day To Day 5.51
03. Blind Eye 3.35
04. Joshua 2.13
05. Queen Of Torture 3.09
06. Alone (with vocals) 3.09
07. Handy 12.41
08. Errors Of My Way 6.24

All songs composed by Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Ted Turner, and Steve Upton

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Peter, Paul & Mary – A Holiday Celebration (1988)

frontcover1One of the most successful folk groups of the 1960s (“Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”), Peter, Paul & Mary reunited in 1978 and have pretty much continued playing together for people of all ages. This celebration is helped along by the New York Choral Society and includes many familiar Christmas songs. While none of them possess an extraordinary singing voice or dexterous musicianship, their talents combined make for a sound greater than the sum of its parts. Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” is their one concession to their success as topical performers. The rest is festive and often moving. (by Rob O’Connor)

Always a favorite holiday album, “A Holiday Celebration” has not only the warmly familiar harmonies of Peter, Paul and Mary, but also the vocal support of the New York Choral Society. This 1988 album was recorded live, which has always been the best way to listen to this particular trio of folk singers sing. Most importantly, this is a “holiday” album, which means it is not limited to just Christmas songs, but covers the entire spectrum of the season. There are conventional Christmas songs (“We Wish You A Merry Christmas”), religious songs (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”), Jewish Songs (“Hayo, Haya”), Children’s Songs (“The Friendly Beasts”), familiar poems set to music (“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”), old PP&M classics (“A Soalin'”) and even the obligatory protest song (“Blowin’ In the Wind”). Truly, there is something for everybody on this album. Mary Travers is featured on a beautiful song you have probably never heard before, “I Wonder As I Wander.” This is just a lovely album and as soon as I listen to it each year I am in the mood for the holidays. This is also the first album I put on each year when it is time to trim the tree. (by  Lawrance Bernabo)

I add the complete show without edita and a nice Christmas single by Peter, Paul & Mary from 1969.

Recorded live, and chosen from the PBS Television Special
“A Peter, Paul and Mary Holiday Concert.”

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Personnel:
Noel „Paul“ Stookey (vocals, guitar)
Mary Travers (vocals)
Peter Yarrow (vocls, guitar)
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Dick Kniss (bass)
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New York Choral Society conducted by John Daly Goodwin
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Orchestra conducted by Robert DeCormier

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Tracklist:
01. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Campbell) 2.45
02. A Soalin’ (Mezzetti/Stookey) 3.45
03. The Friendly Beasts (DeCormier) 3.26
04. O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Stookey/DeCormier) 3.04
05. I Wonder As I Wander (Niles) 3.46
06. The Magi (The Heart Of A Man’s Palace) (Henry/Yarrow) 3.52
07. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 5.12
08. The Cherry Tree Carol (Travers/Stookey/Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.19
09. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Moore/Quinn/Stookey) 4.32
10. Hayo, Haya (Yarrow/DeCormier) 3.57
11. Light One Candle (Yarrow) 3.10
12. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 4.08
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13. A Holiday Celebration (full album -no edits) 45-65
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14. Christmas Dinner (single, 1969) (Stookey) 2.57

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Chicago – Christmas With Chicago (1998)

frontcover1In 1998 Chicago released their 25th album, called “The Christmas Album”.

And William Ruhlmann wrote about this album in “All Music Guide” (12/1999):

When Chicago first achieved national recognition in the late 1960s and early ’70s, it wasn’t hip for rock bands to make Christmas albums. Things changed, of course, but it took until 1998 for Chicago finally to fill this missing item in its catalog, at a time when the group seemed to have entered that phase of its career when it wanted to keep putting out records but didn’t want to risk releasing new material. (Chicago’s three previous releases had consisted of an album of big band standards and two greatest hits sets.) Whatever the circumstances, however, it was good to hear the Chicago style applied to seasonal standards. As ever, the group was a cooperative unit, with the three lead singers-Bill Champlin, Robert Lamm, and Jason Scheff-taking turns on the different songs, arranged by various band members and always allowing for generous contributions by the horn players Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, and Walt Parazaider. The songs were all seasonal favorites except for Loughnane and John Durrill’s “Child’s Prayer, ” featuring a choir dominated by the musicians’ children, which sounded so much like a Middle Ages English hymn that it fit right in. Highlights included a particularly moving vocal on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by the gruff-voiced Champlin, a wonderful doubled flute passage by Parazaider on “O Come All Ye Faithful, ” and a rare lead vocal by Loughnane on “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” But the whole album, pristinely produced by E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, was well performed. It sounded exactly like you would expect a Chicago Christmas album to sound, and if you liked the band and holiday music, you’d like the record, too.

And here ist a very rare live performance from Chicgo, to promote this album, recorded live at the House Of Blues, Los Angeles, CA, December 8, 1998 —  it´s a broadcast recording … so, we can hear the sound of Chicago in an excellent quality …

Enjoy this album … but I have to say …  the early incarnation of Chicago (Transit Authority) was much better !

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Personnel:
Bill Champlin (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Keith Howland (guitar, keyboards)
Tris Imboden (drums)
Robert Lamm (vocals, piano)
Lee Loughnane (trumpet, flügelhorn, vocals)
James Pankow (trombone)
Walter Parazaider (woodwinds)
Jason Scheff (vocals, bass)

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The Christmas studio album (coming soon in this blog)

Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.23
02.Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) 4.39
03. You´re The Inspiration () 4.30
04. Hard Habit To Break () 3.49
05. The Christmas Song () 3.59
06. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Kahn/Styne) 4.03
07. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Traditional) 3.43
08. Saturday In The Park () 2.55
09. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane) 4.17
10.  Just You N Me () 6.04
11. Hard To Say Sorry + Get Away () 5.31
12. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Gillespie/Coots) 4.11
13. Outro 1.18

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Various Artists – An Easy Christmas (2001)

frontcover1This is just a sampler, full with 20 old and classic christmas songs, performed by many stars in the easy listening style.
You can hear singers like Don McLean, David Bowie, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Perry Como and Al Green.

“This is my most favourite christmas album ever-I had to order a second copy as the first had a scratch on. I listen to it all the time. Not your average Christmas album!”(by miss r aughton)

“Great to listen to while wrapping presents” (by Zoe Bell)

And I guess, I will play this album (amongst others) on December 24, 2016 … Enjoy this romantic and sentimental sampler.

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Tracklist:
01. Andy Williams: Most Wonderful Time Of Year (2001) (Pola/Wyle) 2.34
02. Nat King Cole: Christmas Song (1963) (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.14
03. Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby (1953) (Javits/Springer) 3.26
04. Dean Martin: Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1965) (Cahn/Styne) 1.58
05. Judy Garland: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) (Martin/Blane) 2.45
06. Harry Belafonte: Mary’s Boy Child (1957) (Hairston) 2.59
07. Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1954) (Berlin) 3.04
08. Al Green: Silent Night (1963) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.19
09. Crystal Gayle: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (1996) (Marks) 2.57
10. Anne Murray: Snowbird (1978) (MacLellan) 2.11
11. Don McLean: Winter Wonderland (1991) (Bernard/Smith) 2.54
12. Charles Brown: Please Come Home For Christmas (Christmas Finds Me Oh So Sad) (1961) (Brown/Redd) 3.18
13. Doris Day: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1964) (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.27
14. Andy Williams: Sleigh Ride (live) (2001) (Anderson) 2.22
15. Crystal Gayle: Silver Bells (1996) (Livingston/Evans) 4.09
16. Don McLean: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1991) (Coots/Gillespie) 3.06
17. Perry Como: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1959)(Traditional) 2.56
18. Al Green: What Christmas Means To Me (1963) (Story/Gaye/ Gordy) 3.44
19. Bing Crosby + David Bowie: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1977) (Fraser/Grossman/Alan Kohan/Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 2.38
20. Michael Ball: Happy New Year (1999) (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 4.18

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Eddie Hardin – Circumstantial Evidence (1982)

frontcover1Taken from the original liner notes of a reissue, published in 1998 by Angel Air Records:

In 1967, the successful R&B combo the Spencer Davis Group lost their key member Stevie Winwood who went on to form Traffic. He was replaced by the then completely unknown Eddie Hardin.

Straight out of school and only 18 years old Eddie was already showing signs of becoming a true master off mighty Hammond organ. He had a strong and bluesy voice, and he could also write good songs. A brief spell with the Mod group, The Wild Uncertainty, had produced the impressive single “Man With Money”. It seemed destined that Eddie Hardin would not only fill out the empty hole left by Winwood but also create a completely new image for Spencer Davis and his cohorts. Their first album featuring Eddie Hardin was titled “With Their New Face On”. There was also a string of brilliant and innovative singles such as ‘Mr. Second Class’ and ‘Time Seller’ which became huge hits, particularly on the Continent. Following, this, however, there were disagreements of various kinds and it wasn’t long before Eddie had left the group along with drummer Peter York.

They both embarked on a year or so of working separately as session musicians, playing in lesser known line-ups and for Eddie’s part, writing songs, before getting together again to form organ/drums duo Hardin & York – billed as “The World’s Smallest Big Band”.

Hardin & York were darlings with the press overnight. To those who refused to believe in the idea of an organ/drum duo the advice would quite simply be, “hearing is believing”. Perhaps the most incredible thing was that all this sound, though it obviously grew out of very high musicianship, was completely rid of empty flamboyance and the tendency to overstate.

Peter York was a jazz drummer, heavily into Buddy Rich. Eddie Hardin also had an affinity for jazz but furthermore had a background in classical music. Obviously, they complimented each other well.

From the outset, Hardin and York were destined to become press pets, a musicians’ act – and wildly popular on the Continent, where they scored a number of huge hits and toured large venues. During their brief but immensely successful career is a duo (1969-71), they recorded three magnificent studio albums: “Tomorrow Today”, “The World’s Smallest Big Band” and “For The World”. Since then a compact disc of live performances and unreleased demos has been released under the title, “Live in Europe”.

Both Eddie and Pete embarked on solo projects during 1971. Eddie Hardin released a solo album in 1972, “Home Is Where You Find It”, but they were soon seen working together again in the reformed Spencer Davis Group. After that lineup folded, Pete York was particularly active and successful as a studio musician. He moved to the Continent and worked several years for German television as a creative manager.

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Eddie Hardin got involved with ex-Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover and his “Butterfly Ball” project. Eddie co-wrote “Love is all”, the beautiful song which went hand in hand with an equally charming cartoon and became a huge hit all over the world. At one time it was the best-selling record in Holland ever, and went recently re-released it became a huge hit in France. The song is presented here in the form of a rare demo!

Eddie also wrote and produced the first “Wizards Convention” album and worked as a producer for Iris Williams and Mike D’Abo. A number of highly successful solo albums in the New Age genre established his name in Japan during the 1980s, where he also released the “Wizards Convention 2” album in 1995 (now available in the rest of the world as SJPCD009). He currently lives in France. Still active is a composer, keyboard player and singer he has written a musical score for “The Wind In The Willows”, which was broadcast by German television in the ’80s.

This current release, recorded in 1982, is Eddie Hardin’s second solo album. Eddie chose to make an album in perhaps the most difficult of styles. Like some of Paul McCartney’s solo efforts (and there is certainly a McCartney inspiration here) this is in album with the words “recorded at home” written all over it. Luckily Eddie was more or less living in a recording studio at the time, so the sound quality is perfect. However, there’s an intense “living room” atmosphere about this record which – along with its highly demanding “less is more” attitude, its precision in playing and arranging – makes it stand out.

Paul McCartney started the ball rolling in this department and there certainly are lots of fine gems to be found hiding on his solo records. However, none of his albums are as consistent and artistically successful as Eddie Hardin’s “Circumstantial Evidence”. No wonder this is Eddie’s own favourite among all the LPs he has made! (by Claes Johansen)

A very laid-back album by one of my favourite keyboards players …

And … the wonderful frontcover was drawn by the daughter of Eddie Hardin, Emma Elizabeth Hardin at the the age of three !

Recorded at Herne Place Studios 1981/82
All bonus tracks were recorded prior to Circumstantial Evidence
Produced by Eddie Hardin, Roger Glover & John Acock

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Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015)

Personnel:
Bimbo Acock (saxophone)
Ray Fenwick (guitar,vocals)
Mo Foster (bass)
Roger Glover (guitar,bass,keyboards,vocals)
Kim Goody (vocals)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards,bass,vocals(
Michael O’Donnell (bass)
Mickey Lee Soule (vocals)
Rob Townsend (drums)
Pete York (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Little Teaser (Gosling/Hardin) 3.28
02. Mine Tonight (Hardin) 3.06
03. Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney) 4.21
04. That’s What The Lady Said (Hardin) 2.51
05. Long Tall Sally (Blackwell/Johnson/Penniman) 3.35
06. California (Hardin) 3.33
07. It Won’t Be Long (Lennon/McCartney) 3.46
08. Universal Dream (Fenwick/Hardin) 4.07
09. Maybe Baby (Fenwick) 3.53
10. Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman) 3.15
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11. Accidental Instrumental (Glover/Hardin) 3.03
12. Strawberry Fields Forever (Lennon/McCartney) 3.58
13. Isolated Lady (Glover/Hardin) 2.58
14. Love Is All (demo version) (Glover/Hardin) 3.06
15. Move In The Right Place (Hardin) 3.11
16. Resurrection Shuffle (Ashton) 3.21
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Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England

 

Gregg Allman – One Way Out (1989) (VHS rip)

frontcoverAnd here´s another VHS rip from my collection:

“I had this originally many years ago on VHS video. I have been a fan for a long time, and this was a little productive spurt by Gregg Allman, Two albums and a Video in 3 or four years.
The show covers the I’m No Angel album and the line up includes the Toler brothers on Dums and Guitar, Chaz Trippy on percussion Bruce Waibel ion Bass and Tim Heading on Keyboards, as well as Gregg on Hammond Organ and Vocals.
The set is short at just under an hour and is pretty good covering a mix of Allman Brothers songs ‘It’s Not My Cross To Bear’ , ‘Statesboro’ Blues’ and ‘One way out ‘and Gregg Allman solo song from the period ‘I’m No Angel’, ‘Demons’ and ‘Just Before the Bullets Fly’. The show is short at just under 1 hour.
The picture quality is not ‘hi-def’ by any means and may be a very good dub from the original Video. Sound is slightly better though only Dolby and not LPCM.
Overall an ‘honest presentation’ of a Gregg Allman Band show of the time. Recommended for fans and those nostalgic for eighties production.” (by Fletch-a-sketch)

Enjoy this rare concert … And without any doubts … Gregg Allmann was one of the most impotant musicians of Southern Rock !

Personnel:
Gregg Allman (keyboards, vocals)
Tim Heading (keyboards)
Dan Toler (guitar)
David Toler (drums)
Chaz Trippy (percussion)
Bruce Waibel (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Want You No More (Davis/Hardin)
02. It’s My Cross To Bear (
03. Sweet Feeling
04. Just Before The Bullets Fly
05. Fear Of Falling
06. Demons
07. I’m No Angel
08. Statesboro’ Blues
09. Slip Away
10. One Way Out

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Leslie West – Theme (with Jack Bruce & Joe Franco) (1988)

lpfrontcover1Buried under an avalanche of criticism, Mountain activities were scaled down again while Leslie West tried in vain to resurrect his somewhat patchy solo career. Co-credited as a “Leslie, Jack & Joe” recording (alongside buddy Jack Bruce  and ex-Twisted Sister drummer Joe Franco), “Theme” was a part retrospective set of songs, showcasing a splendid reading of `Theme For An Imaginary Western’, and gritty but gruelling renditions of Jimi Hendrix’s `Red House’, Willie Dixon’s `Spoonful’ and a closing instrumental cover of `Love Me Tender’.

This album features a number of tracks closely associated with Leslie West. Original copies of this album sell for up top $150.

And fine mix of old and new songs … and  “Love Is Forever” is another highlight in Leslie´s career and to hear songs like “Spoonful” or “Theme For An Imaginary Western” is wonderful !

And this is another pretty good album by Leslie West, one of my favourite guitar players … I guess he´s one of the best we ever had !

As a bonus I add a very special recording:

From a June 1988 appearance at a Howard Stern Show taping in England, former Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Mountain guitarist Leslie West perform a trans-atlantic rendition of the Bruce-penned song. Jack plays piano and sings from Abbey Road studios with Leslie on guitar over the phone from his home in Long Island. The audio is from a 24kbps mono mp3 taped from radio.

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Joe Franco (drums)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
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Alan St. Jon (keyboards, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Talk Dirty (Carp) 3.38
02. Motherload (West/Franco) 3.10
03. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 4.42
04. I’m Crying (West) 3.27
05. Red House (Hendrix) 4.39
06. Love Is Forever (West/Laing) 3.52
07. I Ate It (West) 2.49
08. Spoonful (Dixon) 7.38
09. Love Me Tender (Presley/Matson) 1.30
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10. Theme For An Imaginary Western  (Leslie West & Jack Bruce) (Howard Stern Show, 1987)

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My album was signed by Leslie West