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)

GratefulDead01

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.

GratefulDead02
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.

GratefulDead03
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)

GratefulDead04

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)

BackCover

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
+
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

LabelB1

*
**

Advertisements

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

*
**

Mišo Kovač – San Francisco + 3 (1967)

FrontCover1And here´s a very rare single from Yugoslavia from 1967 !

Mišo Kovač a.k.a. Mate Mišo Kovač (born 16 July 1941), is a Croatian singer of pop-folk and schlager music. He is the biggest selling artist from the former Yugoslavia, with well over 20 million records, cassettes and compact discs sold to date.

 

Mišo Kovač was born to Zrinka and Jakov Kovač on July 16, 1941, in Tribunj, a modern-day Croatian town near Šibenik, at a time when the region was under Italian occupation during World War II. He had a sister named Blanka and a brother named Ratko. His paternal family is of distant Sicilian origin.

During his youth Mišo Kovač lived in the same street in Šibenik as Vice Vukov (b. August 3, 1936 in Šibenik; d. September 24, 2008 in Zagreb) and Arsen Dedić (b. July 28, 1938 in Šibenik; d. August 17, 2015 in Zagreb). Mišo made the HNK Šibenik (Founded in 1921, they were in the Yugoslav Second Division at the time) junior team as a goal-keeper and also barracked for HNK Hajduk Split (Established in 1911, they were in the Yugoslav First Division at the time), often travelling by boat from Šibenik to Split on game day to see HNK Hajduk Split play. His earliest goals in life were to eventually represent HNK Hajduk Miso02Split, but that changed at age 16 when he heard Ljube Lučev sing and then devoted himself entirely to music. His early musical influences were Italian artists Luciana Tajolija, Tony Dellaga and Adriano Celentano, as well as American singers, Johnnie Ray, Elvis Presley, and later Willie Nelson. In 1961 he shared equal first place with Mirko Vukšić, future guitarist with Croatian group Mi [We], in a talent contest called “Prvi glas Šibenika” (First voice of Šibenik), where he covered an Elvis Presley hit.

 

He then served in the Yugoslav Army, being stationed at Belgrade, where he sang every Saturday night to his fellow conscripts and friends. After military service he went to live in Zagreb, hoping to develop his career. His first big break came in 1964 at a talent contest in Karlovac, where he was noticed by leading music producers after singing “Ne mogu prestat da te volim” (his rendition of I can’t stop loving you by Ray Charles), which also became his first recording soon after.

In very short time four of his singles/EP’s were certified Silver (with sales of over 50,000) – they included: “Ja odlazim” (I’m Leavin’) (1966 EP), “Vrijeme plakanja” (Crying time) (1967 EP), San Francisko (San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)) (1968 EP) and “Da je duži moj dan” (If I only had time) (1968).

His first huge hit came in 1969 with the song, “Više se nećeš vratiti” (You won’t be coming back), written by Đorđe Novković and selling well over 400,000 copies (later re-recorded in 1985), as well as a Gold disc award for “Čemu da živim” (What should I live for), and in 1970 he earned another Silver disc award with “Serenada” (Seranade).

Miso03

In 1971, he won his first prestigious Split Festival with the song, “Proplakat će zora” (Dawn will cry), which went on to sell well over half a million copies and could be the best selling single ever in the former Yugoslavia (but very difficult to prove since the war). Mišo donated all his earnings from the song to building a new highway from Zagreb to Split. He also gained two other Silver disc awards in 1971 with the hits, “Mornaru za sretan put” (Sailor have a safe trip) and “Za mene sreće nema” (There is no luck for me). He also released his first album in 1971, self-titled, and it eventually earned him a Platinum award for sales of well over 200,000 copies.

He nearly died in a car accident near Zadar in 1971 when his car was completely destroyed and as a result he had a scar above his upper lip. During his recovery Mišo decided to let his moustache grow to hide his scar, and the moustache later became his trademark.

In 1972, Mišo went to see one of his idols, Elvis Presley, perform live at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and the King’s rendition of Frank Sinatra hit, “My Way” left a lasting impression on him. In the same year back at home he was awarded another Gold disc award with, “Zalij to cvijeće suzama sreće” (Pour this flower with tears of happiness).

Miso04

Another Gold Disc award came in 1974 with the hit, “Drugi joj raspliće kosu a ja je volim” (Somebody else untangles her hair but I love her) (with sales of well over 100,000). The following year he recorded “Ostala si uvjek ista” (You remained always the same), which Mišo later claimed was his personal best recording of his career. That song was re-issued ten years later on an album with the same title which sold well over 400,000 copies (certified Diamond award and his best selling album ever).

Further gold discs followed, with “Noćas ćemo zemlji k’o materi reći” (Tonight our homeland will be spoken of like our mothers) in 1977, “Dobra ti večer, mati moja” (Good evening, to my mother) in 1980, “Dalmacija u mom oku” (Dalmatia in my eyes) in 1982 [which is still seen as a semi-official anthem of Dalmatia, although it didn’t even make the national charts when first released but a live version hit #2 in 1988], and “Šibenske kale” (Streets of Šibenik) in 1982. Then, between 1985-88 he issued some of his biggest hits and well known songs like, “Ako me ostaviš” (If you leave me), “Jedan dan života” (One day of life), Sutra mi sude (Tomorrow they will judge me), “Odavno više ne plačem zbog tebe” (I stopped crying long ago about you), “Ja nemam više razloga da živim” (I don’t have any reason to live), “Ti si pjesma moje duše” (Seven Spanish Angels, title translates as “You’re the song of my soul’), “Svi pjevaju, ja ne čujem” (Everybody’s singing, but I can’t hear) and many others.

Miso01

 

Four of his albums released in the 1980s earned Platinum awards with sales of over 200,000, with “Dalmacija u mom oku” (Dalmatia in my eyes) in 1982, “Zajedno smo” (We are together) in 1984, “Mali mi je jedan život” (One life is too short) in 1987 and “Mišo! Koncert” (Mišo! Concert, recorded live) in 1988.

In the next two decades, Mišo Kovač won many prestigious festival awards, topped music charts (albeit not so much the national Yugoslavian charts) and sold well over 20 million records during his long and successful career (making him the biggest ever selling artist in the former Yugoslavia).

Mišo Kovač divorced his first wife Ljubica Komadina after four years of marriage, and in 1973 he married former Miss Teen Yugoslavia of 1970, Anita Baturina (b. June 1, 1953 in Split), they had two children, son Eduard ‘Edi’ Kovač (b. June 3, 1975 in Split; d. April 9, 1992 in Zagreb) and daughter Ivana Kovač (b. September 1, 1977 in Zagreb, she’s also a renowned singer in her own right).

His life and career turned sour with the outbreak of war in Croatia and his first appearance on Croatian television after the collapse of Yugoslavia occurred in 1991 during Croatian War of Independence when Mišo Kovač showed his reluctant patriotism with a song inspired by attacks from the Krajina Serbs and JNA on his native Šibenik, “Grobovi im nikad oprostiti neće” (The graves will never forgive them).

At the same time Mišo Kovač’s son, ‘Edi’, joined the special unit of Croatian Army called Škorpioni [the Scorpions] and in 1992 he was fatally shot in Zagreb in controversial circumstances, with his death being officially declared as an accident. Mišo Kovač was deeply affected by the tragedy and refused to believe the official reason for his sons death. He claimed that his son was murdered and his quest to find his son’s killers got him involved with the far right Croatian Party of Rights. He began to support the party and appear at their rallies, dressing in the black uniform of the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS), the party’s militia. He also changed his first name from Mišo to Mate.

The death of his son had a devastating effect on his personal life and marriage, and in 1996 he divorced Anita Baturina, followed by years of alcohol abuse and severe depression caused him to try and commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest in 1999. After fully recovering and returning to the music scene, he married Lydia Pintarić. Kovač often spoke about his loyalty and gratitude to Lydia and the importance of their relationship and marriage she had towards his recovery.

Miso06

He’s also been quoted saying that he still only needs “a carton of tobacco, 5 coffees, half a pizza and one coca cola drink to survive each day”, which he made when the media in Croatia issued reports that all the money he earned during his fame has been spent on the many women he loved in his life and that he was penniless.

In 2012, Institut hrvatske glazbe [Institute of Croatian Music] presented Mišo Kovač with the Porin za životno djelo [Porin award for life achievement], and he still enjoys the reputation and fame of a musical legend and has many loyal fans all over the former Yugoslavia.

In 2016, he released a new single, “Takav Sam Rođen”.

Also in 2016, his 1987 hit “Poljubi zemlju” was played on the Mars rover Opportunity, the first ever pop song from Croatia (and probably any Eastern European country for that matter) to be played on an alien planet. (by wikipedia)

You´ll hear the Yugoslavian version of the monster hit “San Francisco” (you know … Scott McKenzie) and three more songs … pretty good pop songs …

Miso05

Personnel:
Mišo Kovač (vocals)
+
Orchestra under the direction of Stjepan Mihaljinec

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. San Francisco (Phillips/Krajac) 2.47
02. Ne zuguj, Ljubavi (Mihaljinec/Britvic) 2.36
03. Daj da odem (Release Me) (Miller/Yount/Williams/Krajac) 3.03
04. Htjela to ti ili ne (Dann/Selebaj) 2.25

LabelA1

*
**

The London Jazz Four – Take A New Look At The Beatles (1967)

FrontCover1This Brit quartet made the songs of the Fab Four their own, taking a lot of risk in reinterpreting many timeless classics but also approaching lesser-known Lennon-McCartney tunes (sadly, there are no Harrison compositions on the album). The result is a collection of songs on this disc (originally released in 1967) that sound almost if they were completely new. For instance, “I Feel Fine receives a Bach-like harpsichord riff that repeats itself throughout the track, the rest of the instruments basically improvising around the song’s original melody.

John Lennon’s Dylan-esque “Rain gives a lot of space for vibes player Ron Forbes and pianist Mike McNaught alternately to showcase their visions on each song. Gone is the song’s original dark feel, which is replaced by a slow, peaceful one. The early tune “Yes It Is is barely recognizable, featuring percussion, finger cymbals, and a triangle as backdrop for the piano, which sounds as if McNaught’s fingers had a hard time moving over the keys, giving an otherwise simple song an eerie, almost ghostly feel.

The quartet swings through “Please Please Me and “Things We Said Today, but the latter has more of a Latin jazz sound with some Afro undertones. “A Hard Day’s Night turns out to be one of the best tracks on the CD. The song morphs into a jazz waltz, which is an interesting development. Also pay close attention to the playfulness and simplicity of the musicians’ take on “Yellow Submarine. (by Ernest Barteldes)

AlternateFrontCover

Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
Len Clarke (drums)
Ron Forbes (vibraphone)
Mike McNaught (piano)
Brian Moore (bass)

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. I Feel Fine 3.10
02. Paperback Writer 3.02
03. Rain 3.34
04. Michelle 2.58
05. Yes It Is 3.56
06. Please Please Me 3.12
07. Things We Said Today 2.51
08. From Me To You 5.23
09. A Hard Day’s Night 3.02
10. Ticket To Ride 4.07
11. Yellow Submarine 2.36

All songs written by Pul McCartney & John Lennon

LabelB1

*
**

Beatles

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Fire & Fleet & Candlelight (1967)

OriginalFrontCover1Fire & Fleet & Candlelight is the fourth album by Cree singer and songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

More than its predecessor Little Wheel Spin and Spin, it marked a significant departure from the simple folk songs of her first two albums. Following the same path that Joan Baez and Judy Collins were taking at the time, Sainte-Marie relies on the orchestration of Peter Schickele on “Summer Boy”, “The Carousel” and “Hey Little Bird”. In contrast, “The Circle Game” and “97 Men in This Town Would Give a Half a Grand in Silver Just to Follow Me Down” feature for the first time a full rock band consisting of Bruce Langhorne on electric guitar, Alexis Rogers on drums and Russ Savakus on bass. “Song to a Seagull”, the other Joni Mitchell song, is a much simpler voice-and-guitar rendition.

Her version of the traditional hymn “Lyke Wake Dirge” predates the version by Pentangle by over two years and the album’s title is taken from one of the lines in that song’s chorus. “T’Es Pas un Autre” is a French language reworking of her well-known composition “Until It’s Time for You to Go” that she originally recorded on her second album Many a Mile.

Buffy01g

Fire & Fleet & Candlelight was ridiculously over-eclectic, so much so that it comes as a surprise when the 14 songs have finished to find that the total length of the album is a mere 37 minutes. That doesn’t mean there’s not some worthy material, but the arrangements and material are all over the place. Variety is a good thing, but only when the quality is extremely consistent, and this 1967 album is erratic. “The Seeds of Brotherhood” is so in line with the kind of utopian singalong common to the folk revival that it inadvertently sounds like a parody of itself. Yet songs with orchestral arrangement by Peter Schickele are entirely different, with “Summer Boy” and “The Carousel” going into the Baroque-folk that Judy Collins was mastering during the same era.

Buffy02g

Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” and “Song to a Seagull” both predate Mitchell’s release of her own versions, and “The Circle Game” sounds like Sainte-Marie’s shot at making it into a hit single, with more straightforward pop/rock production than anything else she cut at the time. “Song to a Seagull,” by contrast, is quite close in arrangement and vocal delivery to the treatment Mitchell gave it on her 1968 debut album. Her interpretation of the traditional “Lyke Wake Dirge” verges on the creepy; her cover of Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s “Doggett’s Gap” goes way back to her earliest folk roots, complete with mouth-bow; “97 Men in This Here Town Would Give a Half a Grand in Silver Just to Follow Me Down” is her fling at good-timey rock. There are yet more cuts that catch you off-guard, like the French-language pop reworking of her “Until It’s Time for You to Go”; “Reynardine — A Vampire Legend,” a traditional song with only vocals and mouth-bow; and “Hey, Little Bird,” whose upbeat symphonic pop vaguely foreshadows her songs for Sesame Street. Though not without its rewards, on the whole it’s an unnerving record. (by by Richie Unterberger)

Single1.jpg

Personnel:
Buffy Sainte-Marie
+
on “The Circle Game” and “97 Men in This Town Would Give a Half a Grand in Silver Just to Follow Me Down”:

Bruce Langhorne (guitar)
Alexis Rogers (drums)
Russ Savakus (bass)

OriginalBackCover
Tracklist:
01. The Seeds Of Brotherhood (Sainte-Marie) 1.28
02. Summer Boy (Sainte-Marie)  2.41
03. The Circle Game (Mitchell) 3.02
04. Lyke Wake Dirge (Britten/Traditional) 3.47
05. Song To A Seagull (Mitchell) 3.22
06. Doggett’s Gap (Lamar/Lunsford) 1.39
07. The Wedding Song (Sainte-Marie) 2.18
08. 97 Men in This Here Town Would Give a Half a Grand in Silver Just to Follow Me Down (Sainte-Marie) 3.07
09. Lord Randall (Traditional) 3.30
10. The Carousel (Sainte-Marie) 2.34
11. T’es Pas un Autre (Sainte-Marie) 2.56
12. Little Boy Dark Eyes (Sainte-Marie) 1.38
13. Reynardine (A Vampire Legend) (Traditional) 2.58
14. Hey Little Bird (Sainte-Marie) 2.13

LabelB1,jpg

*
**

Country Joe &The Fish – Electric Music For The Mind And Body (1967)

FrontCover1Electric Music for the Mind and Body is Country Joe and the Fish’s debut album. Released in May 1967 on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco.Electric Music for the Mind and Body is Country Joe and the Fish’s debut album. Released in May 1967 on the Vanguard label, it was one of the first psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco.
Tracks from the LP, especially “Section 43”, “Grace”, and “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” were played on progressive FM rock stations like KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco, often back-to-back. A version of the song “Love” was performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
“Grace” is a tribute to Jefferson Airplane’s lead singer, Grace Slick.

The album was recorded during the first week of February 1967 at Sierra Sound Laboratories, Berkeley, California, by Robert DeSouza, with production by Samuel Charters. It was released on May 11, 1967, on the Vanguard label.  (by wikipedia)

CountryJoe&TheFish01

Their full-length debut is their most joyous and cohesive statement and one of the most important and enduring documents of the psychedelic era, the band’s swirl of distorted guitar and organ at its most inventive. In contrast to Jefferson Airplane, who were at their best working within conventional song structures, and the Grateful Dead, who hadn’t quite yet figured out how to transpose their music to the recording studio, Country Joe & the Fish delivered a fully formed, uncompromising, and yet utterly accessible — in fact, often delightfully witty — body of psychedelic music the first time out. Ranging in mood from good-timey to downright apocalyptic, it embraced all of the facets of the band’s music, which were startling in their diversity: soaring guitar and keyboard excursions (“Flying High,” “Section 43,” “Bass Strings,” “The Masked Marauder”), the group’s folk roots (“Sad and Lonely Times”), McDonald’s personal ode to Grace Slick (“Grace”), and their in-your-face politics (“Superbird”). Hardly any band since the Beatles had ever come up with such a perfect and perfectly bold introduction to who and what they were, and the results — given the prodigious talents and wide-ranging orientation of this group — might’ve scared off most major record labels. Additionally, this is one of the best-performed records of its period, most of it so bracing and exciting that one gets some of the intensity of a live performance. (by Richie Unterberger)

CountryJoe&TheFish02

Personnel:
Bruce Barthol (bass, harmonica)
David Cohen (guitar, organ)
Gary “Chicken” Hirsh (drums)
Country Joe McDonald (vocals, guitar, bells, tambourine)
Barry Melton (vocals, guitar)

BackCover1
Tracklist:
01. Flying High (McDonald) 2.37
02. Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine (McDonald) 4.20
03. Death Sound Blues (McDonald) 4.22
04. Porpoise Mouth (McDonald) 2.47
05. Section 43 (McDonald) 7.22
06. Super Bird (McDonald) 2.02
07. Sad And Lonely Times (McDonald) 2.22
08. Love (McDonald/Melton/Cohen/Barthol/Gunning/Hirsh) 2.19
09. Bass Strings (McDonald) 4.58
10. The Masked Marauder (McDonald) 3.08
11. Grace (McDonald) 7.02

LabelB1

*
**

Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The Resurection Of PigboyCrabshaw (1967)

FrontCover1The 1968 edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band featured a larger ensemble with a horn section, allowing for a jazzier feeling while retaining its Chicago blues core. They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover. Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you’d find in this time period. Butterfield’s most well-known song “One More Heartache” kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns.

The band covers “Born Under a Bad Sign” at a time when Cream also did it. “Driftin’ & Driftin'” is another well-known tune, and at over nine minutes stretches out with the horns cryin’ and sighin’, including a definitive solo from Sanborn over the choruses. There’s the Otis Rush tune “Double Trouble,” and “Drivin’ Wheel” penned by Roosevelt Sykes; Butterfield wrote two tunes, including “Run Out of Time” and the somewhat psychedelic “Tollin’ Bells,” where Bishop’s guitar and Naftalin’s slow, ringing, resonant keyboard evokes a haunting feeling. This is likely the single best Butterfield album of this time period and you’d be well served to pick this one up. (by Michael G. Nastos)

PaulButterfield

Personnel:
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (harmonica, vocals)
Gene Dinwiddie (saxophone)
Keith Johnson (trumpet)
Bugsy Maugh (bass, vocals on 07.)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)
Dave Sanborne (saxophone)
Phil Wilson (drums)

OriginalBackCover

 

Tracklist:
01. One More Heartache (Tarplin/Rogers/White/Robinson/Moore) 3.42
02. Driftin’ And Driftin’ (Brown/Williams/Moore) 9.10
03. Pity The Fool (Malone) 6.06
04. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 4.11
05. Run Out Of Time (Dinwiddie/Peterson/Butterfield) 3.05
06. Double Trouble (Rush) 5.42
07. Drivin’ Wheel (Sykes) 5.59
08. Droppin’ Out (Butterfield/Zimmerman) 2.21
09. Tollin’ Bells (Dixon) 4.22

Label

*
**