John Mayall – The Blues Alone (1967)

FrontCover1The Blues Alone is a 1967 electric blues album recorded by John Mayall on which he recorded all the parts himself, with the exception of percussion which was provided by longtime collaborator Keef Hartley.

The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by John Mayall. Sleeve notes, including track notes, were written by noted DJ John Peel. The following quote is of interest regarding the album concept.

I was featuring his LP A Hard Road on the air and was amazed that, in addition to writing 8 of the 12 numbers on the record, playing 5 [sic] and 9 string guitar, organ, piano, harmonica and singing, he had written the sleeve notes and painted the portrait of the group on the front cover.
With this new LP, he has carried all of this to its logical conclusion and has produced a record featuring no other musician than himself except for the occasional aid of his drummer Keef Hartley.

“Down the Line” is a sparse lament featuring vocals over a cold-sounding slide guitar and piano accompaniment. “Sonny Boy Blow” is a harmonica-driven boogie tribute to the then-recently deceased Sonny Boy Williamson. “Marsha’s Mood” is a slow, deliberate and passionate piano solo constructed over a descending bass figure. “No More Tears” features rare examples of Mayall’s solo lead guitar playing. “Catch That Train” is a “train” harmonica solo over accelerating rhythms provided by a recorded steam locomotive beginning a journey. “Harp Man” is also an instrumental, adding celesta to the more traditional blues instruments of harmonica and bass. In the sleeve notes, John Peel commented: “There is no truth to the rumours that the Bluesbreakers will be using dulcimer, sackbut and psaltery. Let’s face it, guttural cries of “Let’s hear your sackbut, son!” can only lead to violence.” In fact the instrument had previously been used in jazz and piano boogie pieces by artists such as Meade Lux Lewis. “Brown Sugar” is another slide guitar piece, not related to the famous Rolling Stones track of the same name, although both songs use the expression to mean the same thing. The slow, tender track “Broken Wings”, accompanied by organ, elicited particular praise from Peel. (by wikipedia)

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With a release coming only two months after Crusade, The Blues Alone, the first Mayall “solo” album (i.e. without The Bluesbreakers), was John Mayall’s third album of 1967, or fourth, if you count the various artists compilation Raw Blues. Like Raw Blues, it was released initially on Decca’s discount Ace of Clubs label to distinguish it from a regular Mayall album, although the distinction has been lost over time. It was actually recorded prior to Crusade on May 1, 1967. Mayall played and overdubbed all instruments except drums, which were handled by Bluesbreaker Keef Hartley, which was one way of dealing with his ongoing personnel difficulties (by this time, his bassist, John McVie, had left to join Fleetwood Mac). It also served notice that, despite his band being a spawning ground for several British stars by now, the real star of the group was its leader. But it didn’t quite prove that, since Mayall, while certainly competent on harmonica, keyboards, and guitars, doesn’t display the flair of an Eric Clapton or Peter Green, and the overdubbing, as is so often the case, robs the recording of any real sense of interplay. (The Blues Alone hit #24 in the U.K. and #128 in the U.S.) (by William Ruhlmann)

“Broken Wings” was later recorded by the great Atomic Rooster !

John Mayall (1967)

Personnel:
John Mayall (vocals, guitars, harmonica, keyboards, celeste (on 09.) (track 9), drums (on 01. + 05.)
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Keef Hartley (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Brand New Start 3.27
02. Please Don’t Tell 2.33
03. Down The Line 3.44
04. Sonny Boy Blow 3.50
05. Marsha’s Mood 3.15
06. No More Tears 3.12
07. Catch That Train 2.19
08. Cancelling Out 4.20
09. Harp Man 2.44
10. Brown Sugar 3.44
11. Broken Wings 1.59
12. Don’t Kick Me 3.11

All songs written by John Mayall

 

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More John Mayall

 

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Procol Harum – Same (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgProcol Harum is the debut studio album by English rock band Procol Harum. It was released in September 1967 by record label Regal Zonophone following their breakthrough and immensely popular single “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. The track doesn’t appear on the original album but was included in the US issue of the album.

All songs were originally credited written to Gary Brooker (music) and Keith Reid (lyrics), except “Repent Walpurgis” written by Matthew Fisher, after works by French organist Charles-Marie Widor and German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

In 2005, Matthew Fisher filed suit in the Royal Courts of Justice against Gary Brooker and his publisher, claiming that Fisher co-wrote the music for “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. On 30 July 2009, the House of Lords issued a final verdict on the case in Fisher’s favour. A lower court had ruled in Fisher’s favour in 2006, granting him co-writing credits and a share of the royalties. A higher court partly overturned the ruling in 2008, giving Fisher co-writing credit but no money. The Court of Appeal had previously held that Fisher had waited too long to bring his claim to court. The House of Lords disagreed, stating there was no time limitation for such claims. Lord David Neuberger of Abbotsbury’s opinion stated: “Fisher’s subsequent contribution was significant, and, especially the introductory eight bars, an important factor in the work’s success…”.

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Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid told Songfacts that the music for “Conquistador” was written before the lyrics. He added that this was unusual as “99 out of 100” of the Procol Harum songs, back then, “were written the words first, and then were set to music.”

The track “Salad Days (Are Here Again)” is credited as being from the film Separation.

Procol Harum was released in September 1967. Though the album was recorded on multitrack, it was issued as mono-only in the UK, and in mono and rechannelled stereo in the US. Despite extensive searching, the original multitrack tapes have not been located and thus a stereo mix of the original ten tracks may never be possible.

The album was included on Classic Rock magazine’s list “50 Albums That Built Prog Rock”. It was included in Rolling Stone’s 2007 list of “The 40 Essential Albums of 1967”. (by wikipedia)

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Procol Harum’s self-titled debut album bombed in England, appearing six months after “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Homburg” with neither hit song on it. The LP was successful in America, where albums sold more easily, but especially since it did include “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and was reissued with a sticker emphasizing the presence of the original “Conquistador,” a re-recording that became a hit in 1972. The music is an engaging meld of psychedelic rock, blues, and classical influences, filled with phantasmagorical lyrics, bold (but not flashy) organ by Matthew Fisher, and Robin Trower’s most tasteful and restrained guitar. “Conquistador,” “Kaleidoscope,” “A Christmas Camel,” and the Bach-influenced “Repent Walpurgis” are superb tracks, and “Good Captain Clack” is great, almost Kinks-like fun. Not everything here works, but it holds up better than most psychedelic or progressive rock. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Gary Brooker  (vocals, piano)
Matthew Fisher (organ)
Dave Knights (bass)
Robin Trower (guitar)
B.J. Wilson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. A White Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 4.05
02. Conquistador (Brooker/Reid) 2.39
03. . She Wandered Through the Garden Fence (Brooker/Reid) 3.25
04. Something Following Me (Brooker/Reid) 3.39
05. Mabel (Brooker/Reid) 1.54
06. Cerdes (Outside the Gates Of) (Brooker/Reid) 5.02
07. A Christmas Camel (Brooker/Reid) 4.49
08. Kleidoscope (Brooker/Reid) 2.54
09. Salad Days (Are Here Again) (from the film Separation, 1968) (Brooker/Reid) 3.39
10. Good Captain Clack (Brooker/Reid) 1.31
11. Repent Walpurgis (Fisher) 5.ß2

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Does anybody know, what this lyrics means ?

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, ‘there is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.’
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as we’ve been closed

She said, I’m home on shore leave,’
Though in truth we were at sea
So I took her by the looking glass
And forced her to agree

Saying, ‘you must be the mermaid

Who took Neptune for a ride.’
But she smiled at me so sadly
That my anger straightway died
If music be the food of love
Then laughter is its queen
And likewise if behind is in front
Then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
Seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
And attacked the ocean bed

 

Van Morrison – Blowing Your Mind (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgBlowin’ Your Mind! is the debut album by Northern Irish musician Van Morrison, released in 1967. It was recorded 28–29 March 1967 and contained his first solo pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl”. It was included by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 Essential Albums of 1967.

Morrison does not regard this record as a true album, as Bert Berns compiled and released it without his consent. A few months previously, Morrison had carelessly signed a contract that he had not fully studied and it stipulated that he would surrender virtually all control of the material he would record with Bang Records. The songs were recorded in March 1967 and had been intended to be released on four separate singles. The album jacket became notorious as a model of bad taste. It featured a strange swirl of circling brown vines (and drug connotation) surrounding a sweaty looking Morrison. Greil Marcus described it as a “monstrously offensive, super psychedelic far out out-of-sight exploding” design. Morrison’s then-wife, Janet Planet, said “He never has been, never will be anything approaching a psychedelic user – wants VanMorrsion01nothing to do with it, wants nothing to do with any drug of any kind”. As the singer recalls, “I got a call saying it was an album coming out and this is the cover. And I saw the cover and I almost threw up, you know.” Later, after Berns’ death, Morrison would express his displeasure on a couple of “nonsense songs” he included on the contractual obligation recording session. One was entitled “Blow in Your Nose,” and another was titled “Nose in Your Blow.”

Of the eight songs on the album, all were composed by Morrison except “Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye)” and the last song, “Midnight Special”. Clinton Heylin contends that the first side of the album “makes for one of the great single-sided albums in rock”, whereas Greil Marcus, the album’s most hostile critic, found it “painfully boring, made up of three sweet minutes of ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and… the sprawling, sensation-dulling ‘T.B. Sheets'”.[8] “He Ain’t Give You None” is an urban tale of “lust, jealousy and sexual disgust.” It references Notting Hill Gate and Curzon Street in London, England, places Morrison would have been familiar with when he lived there during his earlier touring days. It contains the words, “You can leave now if you don’t like what is happening.” Brian Hinton compares “the delighted contempt of the singer, the song’s graveyard pace, the stately organ and stinging guitar” to the Highway 61 period of Bob Dylan.

Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-rating, noting that it “displays the pitfalls of late-’60s blues rock: meandering solos, hippie sentiments, and the occasional fuzz-tone guitar. But BertBernsin the hand of Van the Man, those vices are virtues, and what could have been tedious is often hypnotic.” (by wikipedia)

Although Van Morrison’s first solo album is remembered for containing the immortal pop hit “Brown Eyed Girl,” Blowin’ Your Mind! is actually a dry run for his masterpiece, Astral Weeks. Songs like “Who Drove the Red Sports Car” look to that song cycle, even as “Midnight Special” nods to Morrison’s R&B past. But it’s the agonizing “T.B. Sheets” — all nine-plus minutes of it — that dominates this record and belies its trendy title and pop association. “T.B. Sheets” takes the blues and reinvents it as noble tragedy and humiliating mortality. It’s where Van Morrison emerges as an artist. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Gary Chester (drums)
Eric Gale (bass)
Al Gorgoni (guitar)
Paul Griffin (keyboards)
Hugh McCracken (guitar)
Van Morrison (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
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unknown female background singers

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Tracklist:
01. Brown Eyed Girl (Morrison) 3.0
02. He Ain’t Give You None (Morrison) 5.14
03. T.B. Sheets (Morrison) 9.45
04. Spanish Rose (Morrison) 3.08
05. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) (Farrell/Russell) 2.59
06. Ro Ro Rosey (Morrison) 3,03
07. Who Drove The Red Sports Car? (Morrison) 5.34
08- Midnight Special (Traditional) 2.51
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09. Spanish Rose (alternate take) (Morrison) 3.38
10. Ro Ro Rosey  (alternate take) (Morrison) 3.08
11. Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye) (alternate take) (Farrell/Russell) 2.40
12. Who Drove The Red Sports Car?  (alternate take) (Morrison) 3.49
13. Midnight Special  (alternate take) (Traditional) 2.46

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John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Crusade (1967)

FrontCover1Crusade is the fourth album and third studio album by the British blues rock band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released on 1 September 1967 on Decca Records. It was the follow-up to A Hard Road, also released in 1967. As with their two previous albums, Crusade was produced by Mike Vernon. The album was the first recordings of the then-18-year-old guitarist, Mick Taylor. (by wikipedia)

The final album of an (unintentional) trilogy, Crusade is most notable for the appearance of a very young, pre-Rolling Stones Mick Taylor on lead guitar. Taylor’s performance is indeed the highlight, just as Eric Clapton and Peter Green’s playing was on the previous album. The centerpiece of the album is a beautiful instrumental by Taylor titled “Snowy Wood,” which, while wholly original, seems to combine both Green and Clapton’s influence with great style and sensibility. The rest of the record, while very enjoyable, is standard blues-rock fare of the day, but somewhat behind the then-progressive flavor of 1967. Mayall, while being one of the great bandleaders of London, simply wasn’t really the frontman that the group needed so desperately, especially then. Nevertheless, Crusade is important listening for Mick Taylor aficionados,)

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Personnel:
Keef Hartley (drums)
John Mayall – vocals, keyboards, harmonica, bottleneck guitar)
Mick Taylor (guitar)
John McVie (bass)
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Rip Kant (saxophone)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
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Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 13. – 18.)
Mick Fleetwood (drums on 19. – 20.)
Peter Green (guitar on 13. – 18.)
Paul Schaeffer (bass on 22.)
Paul Williams (bass on 21.)

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Tracklist:
01. Oh, Pretty Woman (Williams) 3.35
02. Stand Back Baby (Mayall) 1.46
03. My Time After Awhile (Badger/Feinberg/Geddins) 5.10
04. Snowy Wood (Mayall/Taylor) 3.37
05. Man Of Stone (Kirkland) 2.26
06. Tears In My Eyes (Mayall) 4.17
07. Driving Sideways (King/Thompson) 3.59
08. The Death Of J. B. Lenoir (Mayall) 4.24
09. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.32
10. Streamline (Mayall) 3.15
11. Me And My Woman (Barge) 4.01
12. Checkin’ Up On My Baby (Williamson II) 3.59
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13. Curly (Green) 3.25
14. Rubber Duck (Green/Dunbar) 3.47
15. Greeny (Green) 3.56
16. Missing You (Green) 1.59
17. Please Don’t Tell (Mayall) 2.28
18. Your Funeral And My Trial (Williamson II) 3-57
19. Double Trouble (Rush) 3-22
20. It Hurts Me Too (London) 2.56
21. Suspicions (Part One) (Mayall) 2.48
22. Suspicions (Part Two) (Mayall) 5.31

 

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Mick Taylor

A very young Mick Taylor

Marc-Antoine Charpentier ‎– Te Deum + Messe De Minuit Pour Noël (1989)

FrontCover1Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed his grand polyphonic motet Te Deum (H. 146) in D major probably between 1688 and 1698, during his stay at the Jesuit Church of Saint-Louis in Paris, where he held the position of musical director. The work is written for the group of soloists, choir, and instrumental accompaniment.

Charpentier authored six Te Deum settings, although only four of them have survived. It is thought that the composition was performed to mark the victory celebrations and the Battle of Steinkirk in August, 1692.

Charpentier considered the key D-major as “bright and very warlike”. The instrumental introduction, composed in the form of rondo, precedes the first verset, led by the bass soloist. The choir and other soloists join gradually. Charpentier apparently intended to orchestrate the work according to the traditional exegesis of the Latin text. The choir thus predominates in the first part (verset 1-10, praise of God, heavenly dimension), and individual soloists in the second part (verset 10-20, Christological section, secular dimension). In subsequent versets, nos. 21-25, both soloists and choir alternate, and the final verset is a large-scale fugue written for choir, with a short trio for soloists in the middle.

The composition is scored for five soloists (SSATB) and choir (SATB), accompanied with an instrumental ensemble of 2 nonspecified recorders or flutes, 2 oboes, 2 trumpets (second trumpet in unison with timpani), timpani, 2 violins, 2 violas (“haute-contres de violon” and “tailles de violon”) and basso continuo.

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Typical continuo instruments used in French baroque music are “basses de violon” (a cello-like, large scaled instrument often replaced by the cello in modern performances), organ, harpsichord, theorbo, bass viol and bassoon or “basse de cromorne” (a kind of bass oboe). Furthermore, serpents were frequently used to double the bass line of vocal choirs in 17th century France.

Since the instrumental ensemble is mostly constricted to 4 parts only (wind instruments and violins playing the same line), it is very easy to reduce the instrumentation if needed.

After the work’s rediscovery in 1953 by French musicologist Carl de Nys, the instrumental prelude, Marche en rondeau, was chosen in 1954 as the theme music preceding the broadcasts of the European Broadcasting Union. After over sixty years of use notably before EBU programs such as the popular Eurovision Song Contest and Jeux Sans Frontières, the prelude, as arranged by Guy Lambert and directed by Louis Martini, has become Charpentier’s best-known work. (by wikipedia)

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Probably composed in 1690, the Messe de Minuït pour Noël, H 9, is perhaps Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s best-known composition after the Te Deum, H 146. The special appeal of this “Mass for the Midnight Service on Christmas Eve” lies in its use of no fewer than ten traditional French carols while impressively revealing Charpentier’s mastery of the concertante style.

The eight solo vocalists (SSAATTBB) can easily be taken from the chorus. They are divided into three groups – one group of two sopranos and two groups each comprising alto, tenor and bass – which interact with the chorus and instruments. This new edition represents the current state of scholarship and offers a completely revised Urtext of Charpentier’s masterpiece. (by musicroom.com)

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Personnel:

Te Deum:
Charles Brett (alto)
Eiddwen Harrhy (soprano)
Felicity Lott (soprano)
Ian Partridge (tenor)
Stephen Roberts (bass)
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Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Philip Ledger
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Choir Of King’s College, Cambridge

Messe De Minuit Pour Noël:
James Bowman (alto)
April Cantelo (soprano)
Helen Gelmar (soprano)
Christopher Keyte (bass)
Ian Partridge (tenor)
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English Chamber Orchestra conducted by David Willocks
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Choir Of King’s College, Cambridge conducted by David Willocks
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Andrew Davis (organ)

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Tracklist

Te Deum (recorded 1977):
01. Prélude 1.45
02. Te Deum Laudamus 1.18
03. Te Aeternum Patrem 1.55
04. Pleni Sunt Coeli Et Terra 2.20
05. Te Per Orbem Terrarum 3.19
06. Tu Devicto Mortis Aculeo 1.07
07. Judex Crederis 0.51
08. Te Ergo Quaesumus 2.08
09. Aeterna Fac Cum Sanctis 3.12
10. Dignare Domine 2.03
11. Fiat Misericordia 1.51
12. In Te Domine Speravi 3.21

Messe De Minuit Pour Noël (recorded: 1967):
13. Kyrie 6.27
14. Gloria 6.11
15. Credo 11.25
16. Offertoire 4.45
17. Sanctus 2.49
18. Agnus Dei 2.54

Music composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier

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Grateful Dead – Anthem Of The Sun (1968)

FrontCover1Anthem of the Sun is the second album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. Released in 1968, it is the first album to feature second drummer Mickey Hart, who joined the band in September 1967. In 2003, the album was ranked number 287 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The mix of the album combines multiple studio and live recordings of each song. The result is an experimental amalgam that is neither a studio album nor a live album, but both at the same time (though it is usually classified as a studio album).

Drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s description of the production process describes the listening experience of the album as well: “…Jerry [Garcia] and Phil [Lesh] went into the studio with [Dan] Healy and, like mad scientists, they started splicing all the versions together, creating hybrids that contained the studio tracks and various live parts, stitched together from different shows, all in the same song — one rendition would dissolve into another and sometimes they were even stacked on top of each other… It was easily our most experimental record, it was groundbreaking in its time, and it remains a psychedelic listening experience to this day.” (by wikipedia)

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As the second long-player by the Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun (1968) pushed the limits of both the music as well as the medium. General dissatisfaction with their self-titled debut necessitated the search for a methodology to seamlessly juxtapose the more inspired segments of their live performances with the necessary conventions of a single LP. Since issuing their first album, the Dead welcomed lyricist Robert Hunter into the fold — freeing the performing members to focus on the execution and taking the music to the next level. Another addition was second percussionist Mickey Hart, whose methodical timekeeping would become a staple in the Dead’s ability to stop on the proverbial rhythmic dime. Likewise, Tom Constanten (keyboards) added an avant-garde twist to the proceedings with various sonic enhancements that were more akin to John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen than anything else coming from the burgeoning Bay Area music scene.

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Their extended family also began to incorporate folks like Dan Healy — whose non-musical contributions and innovations ranged from concert PA amplification to meeting the technical challenges that the band presented off the road as well. On this record Healy’s involvement cannot be overstated, as the band were essentially given carte blanche and simultaneous on-the-job training with regards to the ins and outs of the still unfamiliar recording process. The idea to create an aural pastiche from numerous sources — often running simultaneously — was a radical concept that allowed consumers worldwide to experience a simulated Dead performance firsthand. One significant pattern which began developing saw the band continuing to re

fine the same material that they were concurrently playing live night after night prior to entering the studio.

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The extended “That’s It for the Other One” suite is nothing short of a psychedelic roller coaster. The wild ride weaves what begins as a typical song into several divergent performances — taken from tapes of live shows — ultimately returning to the home base upon occasion, presumably as a built-in reality check. Lyrically, Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) includes references to their 1967 pot bust (“…the heat came ’round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day”) as well as the band’s spiritual figurehead Neal Cassidy (“…there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel on a bus to never ever land”). Although this version smokes from tip to smouldering tail, the piece truly developed a persona all its own and became a rip-roaring monster in concert. The tracks “New Potato Caboose” and Weir’s admittedly autobiographically titled “Born Cross-Eyed” are fascinatingly intricate side trips that had developed organically during the extended work’s on-stage performance life. “Alligator” is a no-nonsense Ron “Pigpen” McKernan workout that motors the second extended sonic collage on Anthem of the Sun. His straight-ahead driving blues ethos careens headlong into the Dead’s innate improvisational psychedelia. The results are uniformly brilliant as the band thrash and churn behind his rock-solid lead vocals. Musically, the Dead’s instrumental excursions wind in and out of the primary theme, ultimately ending up in the equally frenetic “Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks).” Although the uninitiated might find the album unnervingly difficult to follow, it obliterated the pretension of the post-Sgt. Pepper’s “concept album” while reinventing the musical parameters of the 12″ LP medium. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Tom Constanten (piano, electronic tape)
Jerry Garcia (guitar, kazoo, vibraslap, vocals)
Mickey Hart – drums, orchestra bells, gong, chimes, crotales, piano)
Bill Kreutzmann (drums, glockenspiel, percussion)
Phil Lesh (bass, trumpet, harpsichord, kazoo, piano, timpani, vocals)
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (organs, celesta, claves, vocals)
Bob Weir (guitar, kazoo, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. That’s It For The Other  7.57:
01.1. Cryptical Envelopment (Garcia)
01.2. Quadlibet for Tenderfeet (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)
01.3. The Faster We Go, the Rounder We Get (Kreutzmann/Weir)
01.4. We Leave the Castle (Constanten)
02. New Potato Caboose (Lesh/Petersen) 8.26
03. Born Cross-Eyed (Weir) 2.04
04. Alligator (Lesh/McKernan/Hunter) 11.20
05. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir) 9.37
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06. Alligator (live) (Lesh/McKernan/Hunter) 18.43
07. Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) (live) (Garcia/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir)  11.38
08. Feedback (live) (Constanten/Garcia/Hart/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir) 6.58
09. Born Cross-Eyed (single version) (Weir) 2.55

06 – 08.: recorded August 23, 1968

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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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)

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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.

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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)

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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.)
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Unknown orchestra conducted by George Martin

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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

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