Steppenwolf – Fillmore West (1968)

FrontCover1This performance captures Steppenwolf at a pivotal time, early in their career, as the band was experiencing their first tastes of commercial success from the single off their debut album: the blazing biker anthem “Born To Be Wild.” They had recorded but not yet released their second album (which contained the single “Magic Carpet Ride”), and were beginning to perform the more adventurous and experimental material to be included on that album, in addition to staples from their debut LP. This is an excellent performance that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Steppenwolf headlined the Fillmore West on this night, with an early, pre-signed incarnation of Santana opening, followed by The Staple Singers. This performance captures Steppenwolf at a pivotal time, early in their career, as the band was experiencing their first tastes of commercial success from the single off their debut album: the blazing biker anthem “Born To Be Wild.” They had recorded but not yet released their second album (which contained the single “Magic Carpet Ride”), and were beginning to perform the more adventurous and experimental material to be included on that album, in addition to staples from their debut LP.

Following the introduction, the set begins with a highly expanded version of “Your Wall’s Too High,” a popular track from their first album. John Kay then proceeds to speak to the audience about the band’s experiences traveling through the United States; the monologue is evocative, and speaks volumes about the social and political climate of the times. Fans of the pre-Steppenwolf blues band the Sparrow, who were transplants from Toronto but became popular during the early Bay Area music scene, are catered to with the cover “Hoochie Coochie Man.” A strong supporter of his former bandmates, Kay clues the audience in to the other Sparrow members’ current situations following the tune. This open-minded attitude would foster many great collaborations a few years later, when many of the San Francisco bands were dissolving.

Steppenwolf01Next up is the classic “Born To Be Wild,” here expanded to over twice its original length, giving the group another chance to jam a bit before they slow things down with the introspective “Desperation.” They continue with another Sparrow-era song that closed the first Steppenwolf LP, “The Ostrich,” featuring lyrics with political commentary, a common thread that would continue in Steppenwolf’s future material. Next up is “Tighten Up Your Wig,” a song that is essentially Junior Wells’ “Messin’ With The Kid,” with new lyrics by Kay.

At this point the audience is treated to a four song sequence from the group’s yet to be released second album. This is quite interesting as it shows the group becoming more adventurous with their music, and like many bands in 1968, beginning to think of albums as a whole, rather than a collection of single songs. They close the set by going back to their blues roots with “Baby Please Don’t Go,” another song often played by the Sparrow and used as a vehicle for jamming. This leaves the audience demanding more and the band obliges with a cover of Hoyt Axton’s anti-hard drug song, “The Pusher,” to end the night.

In 1968 Steppenwolf had an undeniable flair for creating music that was heavier than the usual AM radio fare, yet transcended those limitations and became hugely popular in both AM and FM radio formats. They were highly original and were one of the pioneers of the “hard rock” that would eventually be known as “heavy metal” – a term, in fact, that was coined directly from the “heavy metal thunder” phrase in the lyrics to “Born To Be Wild.”

Indeed, a thunderous set from an accomplished, influential group. )by

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
Jerry Edmonton (drums, background vocals)
John Kay (vocals, guitar, harmonica
Goldy McJohn (keyboards)
Michael Monarch (guitar)
Rushton Moreve (aka John Russell Morgan) (bass, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Your Wall’s Too High (Kay) 12.22
02. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 5.42
05. Born To Be Wild (Bonfire) 7.09
06. Desperation (Kay) 6.03
07. The Ostrich (Kay) 8.51
08. Tighten Up Your Wig (Kay) 3.47
09. Disappointment Number (Unknown) (Kay) 4.02
10. Lost And Found By Trial And Error (Kay) 2.22
11. Hodge Podge, Strained Through A Leslie (Kay) 9.59
12. Resurrection (Kay) 3.21
13. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 9.40
14. The Pusher (Axton) 5.47

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More Steppenwolf:

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Hugh Masekela – The Americanization of Ooga Booga (The Lasting Impressions Of Ooga Booga) (1966)

OriginalFrontCover1The Americanization of Ooga Booga is an album by South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela. The album is a blend of American jazz themes and traditional South African musical influences. It was recorded live in November 1965 at The Village Gate night club in New York City and released in June, 1966 via MGM Records label. MGM’s president was convinced that Masekela’s albums were too African for American tastes, so soon after Masekela moved to Chisa/Blue Thumb labels.The Americanization of Ooga Booga is an album by South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela. The album is a blend of American jazz themes and traditional South African musical influences. It was recorded live in November 1965 at The Village Gate night club in New York City and released in June, 1966 via MGM Records label. MGM’s president was convinced that Masekela’s albums were too African for American tastes, so soon after Masekela moved to Chisa/Blue Thumb labels.
Verve Records re-released the album in 1996 as a CD named The Lasting Impression of Ooga-Booga, adding five more tracks from his 1968 album The Lasting Impression of Hugh Masekela. (by wikipedia)

HughMasekela02Getting Americanization of Ooga Booga released was evidently akin to pulling teeth, because MGM Records’ president was convinced it would be a bomb — what Hugh Masekela and his band had played at this early 1965 gig at the Village Gate was jazz, but it was too African-based for American tastes, or so the label chief maintained. What he missed was the infectious joy woven through every note of music here, which was enough to carry any kind of music from anyplace in the world over any unfamiliar patches, including the language, melodies, references to events, and places on the other side of the world; if this was to be New Yorkers’ (and the recording world’s) introduction to South African music, it was made incredibly genial and accessible, even from a jazz standpoint. The influence of Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard can be heard, along with McCoy Tyner in the playing of pianist Larry Willis, and he shows his debt to John Coltrane as an inspiration on “Mixolydia” as well as his affinity for Brazilian music on “Mas Que Nada.” But the core sound was what Masekela called “township bop” — his short trumpet bursts, sometimes seemingly approaching microtonal territory, are engrossing celebrations of the melodies of his repertory, which is mostly of South African origin (including a pair written by his then-wife, Miriam Makeba).

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Among the latter, the opening number, “Bajabula Bonke,” aka “Healing Song,” got its first airing on record here — it would later receive a bolder performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, comprising one of that event’s numerous musical highlights, but where that later performance streaked and soared, this one starts out slowly and quietly, exquisitely harmonized and rising gradually and gently like a glider catching rising winds; it’s impossible to fully appreciate the Monterey performance without hearing this one. With Herbie Hancock’s “Cantelope Island” providing one firm reference point in the American jazz idiom, the set really wasn’t that removed from 1965 listeners, as its stronger-than-expected sales proved. (by Bruce Eder)

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As we all knew, Hugh Masakela died on  23 January 2018

Taken from the official website:

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Personnel:
Hal Dotson (bass)
Henry Jenkins (drums)
Hugh Masekela (cornet, flugelhorn, vocals)
Larry Willis (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Bajabula Bonke (Healing Song) (M.Makeba) 8.06
02. Dzinorabiro (The Good Old Days) (M.Makeba) 5.38
03. Unhlanhla (Lucky Boy) (A,Makeba) 5:01
04. Cantelope Island (Hancock) 5.30
05. U-Dwi (Song To My Mother) (Masekela) 5.26
06. Masquenada (Ben) 7.43
07. Abangoma (Song of Praise) (M.Makeba) 4.04
08. Myxolydia (Masekela) 7.01
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09. Con Mucho Carino (With Much Love) (Willis) 4.41
10. Where Are You Going? (Masekela) 7.43
11. Moroloa (Masekela) 5.07
12. Bo Masekela (Semenya)
13, Unohilo (The Bird, aka Ntyilo, Ntyilo) (Salenga) 6.49

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Hugh Ramapolo Masekela (4 April 1939 – 23 January 2018)

The Edwin Hawkins Singers – Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord (1968)

SAMSUNG CSCEdwin Reuben Hawkins (August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018) was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger. He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He (as leader of the Edwin Hawkins Singers) was probably best known for his arrangement of “Oh Happy Day” (1968–69), which was included on the Songs of the Century list. The Edwin Hawkins Singers made a second foray into the charts exactly one year later, backing folk singer Melanie on “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”.

Hawkins was born in Oakland, California, on August 19, 1943. At the age of seven Hawkins was already the keyboardist to accompany the family’s gospel choir. Together with Betty Watson, he was the co-founder of the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ, which included almost fifty members. This ensemble recorded its first album Let Us Go into the House of the Lord at the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California privately (on the Century 70 custom label), hoping to sell 500 copies. “Oh Happy Day” was just one of the eight songs on the album. The soloists in the album were Elaine Kelly, Margarette Branch, Dorothy Combs Morrison (the lead singer on “Oh Happy Day”), Tramaine Davis (Hawkins), Reuben Franklin, Donald Cashmere, Betty Watson, and Ruth Lyons.

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When radio stations of the San Francisco Bay area started playing “Oh Happy Day”, it became very popular. Featuring the lead vocal of Dorothy Combs Morrison, the subsequently released single (on the newly created Pavilion label distributed by Buddah) rocketed to sales of over a million copies within two months. It crossed over to the pop charts making U.S. No.4, UK No.2,[3] No.2 on the Irish Singles Chart, and No.1 on the French Singles Charts and the German Singles Charts in 1969. It then became an international success, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide, and Hawkins was awarded his first Grammy for it. Hawkins’ arrangement of the song was eventually covered by The Four Seasons on their 1970 album Half & Half.

Their second Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts was the 1970 Melanie single “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” on which the label listed the performers as Melanie with The Edwin Hawkins Singers. The song peaked at No. 6 in the U.S. In 1990, Hawkins, credited as a solo performer, had a number 89 hit on the R&B chart with “If At First You Don’t Succeed (Try Again)”.[5] In the 1992 movie Leap of Faith, Hawkins is the choir master for the gospel songs.

Hawkins died of pancreatic cancer on January 15, 2018, in Pleasanton, California, at the age of 74 (by wkipedia)

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And here´s the first album of Edwin Hawkins:

You don´t have to believe in Jesus to hear the power of Gospel music … this is music directly from the heart …

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Personnel:
The Edwin Hawkins Singers:

Elaine Kelly – Margarette Branch – Dorothy Combs Morrison – Tramaine Davis (Hawkins), Reuben Franklin – Donald Cashmere – Betty Watson – Ruth Lyons.

Directed by Edwin Hawkins (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord 2.14
02. Jesus, Lover Of My Soul 4.06
03. To My Father’s House (solo vocals: Elaine Kelly) 5.31
04. I’m Going Through 4.56
05. Oh Happy Day (solo vocals: Dorothy Combs Morrison) 5.14
06. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus (solo vocals: Donald Cashmere, Rueben Franklin, Trumaine Davis) 6.00
07. Early In The Morning (solo vocals: Betty Watson) 3.06
08. Joy, Joy (solo vocals: Ruth Lyons, Trumaine Davis) 5.21
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09. Oh Happy Day (Single version1969) 5.01
10. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) (with Melanie) (Safka) 9.28

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Edwin Reuben Hawkins (August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018)

John Fahey – The New Possibility – John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album (1968)

FrontCover1The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album is a 1968 album by American folk musician John Fahey. It is a collection of solo-guitar arrangements of familiar Christmas songs and has been Fahey’s best selling recording, remaining in print since it was first released. The album is especially noteworthy since holiday music had never before been played in Fahey’s acoustic-steel string blues guitar style.

As Fahey recounts, “I was in the back of a record store in July and I saw all these cartons of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas albums. The clerk said it always sells out. So I got the idea to do a Christmas album that would sell every year.” The New Possibility has been one of Fahey’s best selling recordings, selling over 100,000 copies initially, and has been continually in print.

Fahey’s original liner notes discuss the German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher Paul Tillich’s reference to the birth of Jesus Christ as “The New Possibility”. Fahey notes the scholarly research on the secular and mythological/superstitious ideas connected with the “Christmas Story”. These liner notes were removed in later reissues. When asked why, Fahey said, “I just didn’t feel that way any more.”

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In 1979, Fahey said, “Well, the arrangements are pretty good, but on the other hand there are more mistakes on this album than on any of the other 17 albums I’ve recorded. And yet, here’s the paradox… this album has not only sold more than any of my others, I meet people all the time who are crazy about it. I mean really love it. What can I say. I’m confused.”

Fahey recorded three more Christmas albums, as well as re-recording the tracks of The New Possibility. There were numerous reissues on LP, 8-track tape, and cassette. Some later reissues confusingly used the cover art from the 1975 album Christmas with John Fahey Vol. II. A 2000 CD reissue of The New Possibility includes the entire contents of both that album and Christmas with John Fahey Vol. II.

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In his Mojo magazine review, critic Andrew Male wrote “This beautiful collection of the American steel-string guitarist’s festive efforts, from 1968 and 1975, possesses a deliciously deep and spooky ambience, a disjointed jauntiness coupled with a frost-fall morning melancholy, Fahey’s guitar somehow sounding like an Elizabethan harpsichord grown wild and mad out in the Appalachian mountains.” However, another Mojo article, “How To Buy Fahey”, dismisses these recordings as “Cliff-territory bland”.

Jonathan Widran, writing for Allmusic writes it “reminds one of the simple charms of the season and how easy it is to capture that when you keep a no-frills approach. Because he rarely varies the tempos among the tracks—he’s mostly in the slow to gently loping ballad mode—the songs have a slight tendency to run into each other. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
John Fahey (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Joy To The World (Mason/Watts) 1.52
02. What Child Is This? (Dix/Traditional) 3.02
03. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful (Mendelssohn/Traditional) 3.10
04. Auld Lang Syne (Burns/Traditional) 2.01
05. The Bells Of St. Mary’s (Adams/Furber) 2.10
06. Good King Wenceslas (Neale) 1.10
07. We Three Kings of Orient Are (Hopkins, Jr.) 1.50
08. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Fantasy (Traditional) 3.00
09. The First Noel (Sandys) 2.12
10. Christ’s Saints Of God Fantasy (Hopkins/Traditional) 10.12
11. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Sears/Willis) 1.28
12. Go I Will Send Thee (Traditional) 3.00
13. o, How a Rose E’er Blooming (Praetorius/Traditional) 3.45
14. Silent Night (Gruber) 1.14

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Blood, Sweat & Tears – Child Is Father To The Man (1968)

FrontCover1Child Is Father to the Man is the debut album by Blood, Sweat & Tears, released in February 1968. It reached number 47 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart in the United States.

 

A teenaged Al Kooper went to a concert for jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson in 1960. Ferguson’s performance served as the catalyst to start a rock band with a horn section. Originally in a band called The Blues Project, Kooper left after the band leader rejected his idea of bringing in a horn section. He then left for the West Coast and found bassist Jim Fielder who believed in the songs that Kooper wrote. Though Kooper had big ideas for his next project, he didn’t have the money to bring his ideas to fruition. He then threw a benefit for himself and invited several musicians he previously worked with, such as Judy Collins, Simon & Garfunkel, David Blue, Eric Andersen and Richie Havens. All of the performances were sold out, which led Kooper to believe that the gigs helped him. Unfortunately, the owner of the Au Go Go added numerous expenses to the gross receipts that the net receipts after the performance wasn’t enough to get a plane ticket or a taxi to the airport.

He later called Fielder and convinced him to come to New York. He also asked Bobby Colomby, Anderson and Steve Katz, who was his bandmate in his former band The Blues Project. Colomby called Fred Lipsius and the band placed an ad in The Village Voice for more horn players. Within a month, the band assembled an eight piece which also contained Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss and Dick Halligan. Kooper then asked John Simon to produce them, after being fresh off from producing Simon & Garfunkel’s album Bookends. The album was recorded in two weeks in December 1967. Simon asked all of the members to record their material in one take so he could study songs and make useful suggestions to the arrangements.

BS&T01

After a brief promotional tour, Colomby and Katz ousted Kooper from the band, which led to Child is Father to the Man being the only BS&T album on which Kooper ever appeared. The band would later have a number one album and several Grammys, although Kooper felt they were playing music that he didn’t agree with. Despite being asked to leave Blood, Sweat & Tears, Kooper felt everything worked out well for him and the band.

In the United States Child Is Father to the Man peaked at #47 on Billboard’s Pop Albums chart. It failed to generate any Top 40 singles, although “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “I Can’t Quit Her” found some play on progressive rock radio.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 264 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The title is a quotation from a similarly titled poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, slightly misquoting a poem by William Wordsworth called “My Heart Leaps Up”. (by wikipedia)

BS&T02

Child Is Father to the Man is keyboard player/singer/arranger Al Kooper’s finest work, an album on which he moves the folk-blues-rock amalgamation of the Blues Project into even wider pastures, taking in classical and jazz elements (including strings and horns), all without losing the pop essence that makes the hybrid work. This is one of the great albums of the eclectic post-Sgt. Pepper era of the late ’60s, a time when you could borrow styles from Greenwich Village contemporary folk to San Francisco acid rock and mix them into what seemed to have the potential to become a new American musical form. It’s Kooper’s bluesy songs, such as “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “I Can’t Quit Her,” and his singing that are the primary focus, but the album is an aural delight; listen to the way the bass guitar interacts with the horns on “My Days Are Numbered” or the charming arrangement and Steve Katz’s vocal on Tim Buckley’s “Morning Glory.” Then Kooper sings Harry Nilsson’s “Without Her” over a delicate, jazzy backing with flügelhorn/alto saxophone interplay by Randy Brecker and Fred Lipsius. This is the sound of a group of virtuosos enjoying itself in the newly open possibilities of pop music. Maybe it couldn’t have lasted; anyway, it didn’t. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Bobby Colomby (drums, percussion, vocals)
Jim Fielder (bass)
Dick Halligan (trombone)
Steve Katz (guitar, lute, vocals)
Al Kooper (keyboards, ondioline, vocals)
Fred Lipsius (piano, saxophone)
Jerry Weiss (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals)
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Anahid Ajemian (violin)
Fred Catero (sound effects)
Harold Coletta (viola)
Paul Gershman (violin)
Al Gorgoni (organ, guitar, vocals)
Manny Green (violin)
Julie Held (violin)
Doug James (shaker)
Harry Katzman (violin)
Leo Kruczek (violin)
Harry Lookofsky (violin)
Charles McCracken (cello)
Melba Moorman (background vocals)
Gene Orloff (violin)
Valerie Simpson (background vocals)
Alan Schulman (cello)
John Simon (keyboards, cowbell)
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The Manny Vardi Strings

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Tracklist:
01. Overture (Kooper) 1.32
02. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Kooper) 5.57
03. Morning Glory (Beckett/Buckley) 4.16
04. My Days Are Numbered (Kooper) 3.19
05. Without Her (Nilsson) 2.41
06. Just One Smile (Newman) 4.38
07. I Can’t Quit Her (Kooper/Levine) 3.38
08. Meagan’s Gypsy Eyes (Katz) 3.24
09. Somethin’ Goin’ On (Kooper) 8.00
10. House In The Country (Kooper) 3.04
11. The Modern Adventures Of Plato, Diogenes And Freud (Kooper) 4.12
12. So Much Love/Underture (Goffin/King/Kooper) 4.47

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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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