John Fahey – Zabriskie Point Sessions (1969)

FrontCover1The Story, basically… In 1969, John Fahey was asked (and paid) to compose music for director Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, Zabriskie Point. Fahey flew to Rome, tinkered around, recorded some solo guitar, and had some additional recording sessions with various musicians. Fahey got into a fight with Antonioni during a dinner, and his recordings were scrapped in favor of other artists – although an edited version of an old Fahey song was included in the film. History aside, here we have John Fahey playing some nice solo guitar for 50 minutes. It’s good stuff, enjoy. (by badpainter)

Zabriekie Notes, from John Fahey:
(from John Fahey’s book “How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life”)

“If I had to do it all over again, I honestly don’t know whether I would do it or not. I did make a lot of money. But it wasn’t any fun. I’ll tell you that.”

MoviePoster“I played and improvised and worked out on the guitar for many, many hours. I had the guitar fixed so the low A string was where the B string should be and vice versa, and I put it at a random tuning. It was harmonicallly in tune but was scordatura, that is, detuned. That way I would get a unique sound. And furthermore nobody would ever be able to figure out how I did it. And I played and played and played until I came up with a reasonable facsimile of some desert young-death-love music”

“I had a closed session of just me and an engineer. And with my detuned guitar, I made three takes of Antonioni gangbang, young-love obscenity music out on the desert…”

“When I first recorded with just my guitar, the third take was just what I think the Big Ant (Antionioni) wants. I have listened to it again and again and it’s really good… I had a copy of the third take made, see, and I’ve heard it time and time again and it’s great.”

The Antonioni Fiasco, by Byron Coley (Spin magazine, 1994):

“To assemble the soundtrack, Michaelangelo Antonioni (the director) reportedly asked various American hippies what music they liked.

‘Zabrieski Point’ features one particularly long sequence with couples making love in the desert, and this is the one Antonioni wanted Fahey to score.”

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Fahey, 1994: “Antonioni says ‘What I want you to do is to compose some music that will go along with the porno scene.’ I kept saying, ‘Yes, sir.’ Then he starts this, ‘Now John, this is young love. Young love.’ I mean, that’s young love? All these bodies? ‘Young love. But John, it’s in the desert, where there’s death. But it’s young love.’

He kept going ‘young love/death’ faster and faster. I was sure I was talking to a madman.

So I experimented. I had instrumentalists come in and I told them just to play whatever they felt like. They had to pretend to understand what I was talking about, especially if Antonioni came in the room.

I came up with some sections of music that sounded more like death than young love. I played it for Michaelangelo and he thought it was great.”

John Fahey

Alas, it seems that after the music was all agreed, there was a celebratory dinner, and as the wine flowed the discussion turned heated. Antonioni began explaining to Fahey how he hated the USA. Fahey made him govern his Marxist malevolence.

Antonioni took offence and couldn’t understand why Fahey wasn’t part of the revolution which was engulfing the nation at the time. They had reached the point of no return.

Fahey left, and Antonioni, strangely, ditched the composed music and just used the first 3 minutes of “Dance of Death” instead.

What happened to the stuff with the instrumentalists playing whatever they felt like, and who were they anyway? What we have left to us is just Fahey alone, as usual, but sounding very subdued.

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Elsewhere, Fahey has said: “This stupid film is in the book ‘The 100 Worst Ever Films Made’. It deserves inclusion.”

Thanks to badpainter for sharing the tracks at Dime.

Michaelangelo Antonioni


Personnel:

John Fahey (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Track 1 10.49
02. Track 2 18.39
03. Track 3 17.18

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Music composed by John Fahey

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Al Kooper – You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)

FrontCover1You Never Know Who Your Friends Are is the second solo album by American multi-instrumentalist Al Kooper, issued in 1969 on Columbia Records.

Kooper wasted no time recording this album, coming just seven months after his debut release. It is a continuation of sorts of his debut; the album contains another eclectic mix of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, and blues, though without the psychedelics that had somewhat permeated through I Stand Alone. Utilizing a large group of musicians under the direction of Charlie Calello, known collectively as “The Al Kooper Big Band”, Kooper also strayed away from the heavy string orchestrations of his debut.

Relying on more original compositions, with nine of twelve tracks by Kooper, and the remaining three by Harry Nilsson and Motown Records staff songwriters, the album further helped to cement Kooper’s reputation. The album reached #125 on the Billboard 200 on October 25, 1969, and was on the charts for six weeks. (by wikipedia)

AlKooper02Al Kooper’s second solo album is a bit more uneven than its predecessor, I Stand Alone, for understandable reasons — it would have been nothing less than a miracle for Kooper to have matched the consistency and daring of that album, and he doesn’t have quite the same array of memorable tunes here. He’s still ranging freely, however, through pop, jazz, R&B, and soul, with some songs that are among the most glorious of his output. “Magic in My Sock” is a good enough opener, making up in its virtuoso horn parts and guitar for what it lacks in melodic invention; “Lucille” is hardly the best ballad that Kooper has ever written, but it forms a good bridge to “Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby,” a Motown cover that’s one of the highlights of Kooper’s entire output — from a black singer this track would be a priceless gem, but coming from Kooper it’s extraordinary in its every nuance. You get some blues instrumental (principally piano-based) and an abortive but entertaining effort at pop/rock with the title tune, and then Kooper plunges into arty balladry with the hauntingly beautiful “The Great American Marriage/Nothing.” He goes back into Motown territory, just as successful as before, on “I Don’t Know Why I Love You,” and back to moody art-song with Harry Nilsson’s “Mourning Glory Story.” Kooper returns to the soulful side of rock on “Anna Lee (What Can I Do for You)” and finishes with “I’m Never Gonna Let You Down” — the latter would be worth the price of the album by itself, a soaring, more lyrical and moody original classic that manages to be unpretentious yet epic in its treatment. by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Ralph Casale (guitar)
Eric Gale (guitar)
Paul Griffin (keyboards)
Ernie Hayes (keyboards)
Jerry Jemmott (bass)
Al Kooper (keyboards, guitar, ondioline, vocals)
John Miller (bass)
Frank Owens (keyboards)
“Pretty” Purdie (drums)
Chuck Rainey (bass)
Al Rodgers (drums)
Stu Scharf (guitar)
Walter Sears (synthesizer)
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trumpet:
Bernie Glow – Ernie Royal – Marvin Stamm

trombone:
Ray Desio – Jimmy Knepper – Bill Watrous – Tony Studd

saxophone:
George Young – Sol Schlinger – Seldon Powell – Joe Farrell

background vocals:
Hilda Harris – Connie Zimet – Albertine Harris – Lois Winter – Mike Gately – Lou Christie – Robert John – Charlie Calello

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Tracklist:
01. Magic In My Socks (Kooper) 3,57
02. Lucille )Kooper) 3.29
03. Too Busy Thinkin’ ’bout My Baby (Whitfield/Bradford) 3.24
04. First Time Around (Kooper) 2.52
05. Loretta (Union Turnpike Eulogy) (Kooper) 3.51
06. Blues, Part IV (Blues) 5.08
07. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Kooper) 2.56
08. The Great American Marriage / Nothing (Kooper) 4.51
09. I Don’t Know Why I Love You (Hardaway/Hunter/Riser/Wonder) 3.25
10. Mourning Glory Story (Nilsson) 2.19
11. Anna Lee (What Can I Do for You) (Kooper) 3.20
12. I’m Never Gonna Let You Down (Kooper) 4.38

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Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Swiss Movement (1969)

FrontCover1Swiss Movement is a soul jazz live album recorded on June 21, 1969 at The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland by the Les McCann trio with saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey.[2][3] The album was a hit record, as was the accompanying single “Compared to What”, with both selling millions of units.

The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best jazz performance, small group.[6] It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz album chart, No. 2 on the R&B chart, and No. 29 on the LP chart.
A Billboard writer commented in 2006 that “what put Montreux on the recorded-live-in-concert map was the legendary Swiss Movement album”.
The tapes of this impromptu concert were originally recorded by the festival’s organisers and then passed on to Atlantic, who decided to release them after paying a fee of less than 100 dollars. (by wikipedia)

Something of a happy accident, this recording from the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival has actually become one of the most talked about, exhilarating and fun live jazz performances ever captured on wax.

The session (on the last night of the festival) was a truly impromptu event – this particular line up had never played together before and at least half of the group had no idea what material they were going to play as they took the stage!

Kicking off with Gene McDaniels’; ‘Compared To What’, vocalist & pianist Les McCann sings this topical rant against Nixon and the Vietnam war over a funky backbeat. Horn men Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey take turns to blow some down home blues in between verses, surprisingly holding together brilliantly what was nothing more than a jam session to great effect.

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The Harris original “Cold Duck Time” continues with a similar feel, an extrapolated blues vamp in the key of F. This simple good-time approach may not have pleased those with more critical ears, but the sound of the enthusiastic crowd prove that an up-tempo groove with some spirited blowing was exactly what the audience wanted to hear.

‘Kathleen’s Theme’ swings in a more straight ahead approach and gives Harris’s tenor the opportunity to investigate the intricacies of the melody – before the gospel based ‘You Got It In Your Soulness’ takes us right back to funky soul-jazz territory. McCann probes into the piece with his spiky, articulated piano chords and solo lines whilst drummer Donald Dean provides a sanctified back beat that reminds us of the church roots of much jazz & blues music.

Montreux1969The more contemplative and modal piece “The Generation Gap” provides a brief respite from the blues before the final track (not included on the original vinyl issue of the date). ‘Kaftan’ written by bassist Leroy Vinnegar is a pleasing if not overwhelming jaunt with a mildly afro-Cuban feel. Swiss Movement has long been a sought after collectors piece and the addition of expansive sleeve notes and anecdotes from the musicians involved makes this anniversary edition a great live recording to enjoy once again – 35 years after this very happening event. (by Greg Boraman)

One of the most popular soul jazz albums of all time, and one of the best, although Harris (and trumpeter Benny Bailey) had never played or rehearsed with the Les McCann Trio before, and indeed wasn’t even given the music. Perhaps that’s what sparked the spontaneous funk coming through clearly on the tape of this show, recorded at the Montreux Festival in 1969. It’s actually much more of a showcase for McCann than Harris, although the tenor saxist’s contributions are significant. The sole vocal, a version of Gene McDaniels’ “Compared to What,” remains McCann’s signature tune. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Benny Bailey (trumpet)
Donald Dean (drums)
Eddie Harris (saxophone)
Les McCann (piano, vocals on 01.)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)

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 Tracklist:
01: Compared to What (McDaniels)
02. Cold Duck Time (Harris)
03. Kathleen’s Theme (McCann)
04. You Got It In Your Soulness (McCann)
05. The Generation Gap (McCann)
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06. Kaftan (Vinnegar)

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Lee Michaels – Same (1969)

LPFrontCover1An eclectic singer, songwriter, and performer, Lee Michaels made music that had the physical impact of hard rock, the creative ambition of psychedelia and progressive rock, and the passion and grit of rhythm & blues, the latter facet reinforced by Michaels’ vocals, which could swing from sweet to soulfully gritty at a moment’s notice. Michaels was also a gifted keyboard player, and often played full concerts at the organ with only a drummer to accompany him. (Michaels was also a sure hand at the piano and harpsichord.) One could argue that Michaels’ wide-ranging sound was one of the reasons he didn’t enjoy greater commercial success despite the loyalty of his audience, though Michaels did enjoy a Top Ten hit in 1971 with “Do You Know What I Mean.”

Lee Eugene Michaels was born on November 24, 1945, in Los Angeles, California. By the mid-’60s, Michaels was already a fixture on the California music scene; he was playing keyboards with the Sentinels, a surf rock band with an R&B influence that also featured John Barbata (who later played with the Turtles), and he wrote a tune that appeared on LeeMichaels04the debut album of the sunshine pop band the Holy Mackerel (featuring songwriter and media personality Paul Williams). Michaels later moved on to play in the band the Strangers, led by future Canned Heat guitarist Joel Scott Hill. Michaels soon bowed out of the Strangers, and his tenure in the Family Tree, a San Francisco band featuring future power pop icon Bob Segarini, was also short-lived, though Michaels opted to stay in the Bay Area. In time, Michaels struck out as a solo artist, and he landed a record deal with A&M Records, which released his debut album, Carnival of Life, in 1968. The psychedelic-influenced effort produced only marginal sales, and Michaels returned with the tougher-sounding Recital before the year was out.

Musically, Michaels hit his stride with his self-titled third album, released in 1969, which paired him with drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith and featured “Heighty Hi,” which became an FM radio staple, and Michaels’ signature cover of “Stormy Monday.” Frosty became Michaels’ on-stage foil, and his super-amped organ setup and Frosty’s drumming LeeMichaels03made for a power duo with enough muscle to share stages with the leading hard rock acts of the day. (by Mark Deming)

One of the masterpieces of the period, Lee Michaels was essentially recorded live in the studio by only Michaels (organ/bass pedals) and Frosty on drums. It’s a fabulous performance and one of the finest R&B/rock sets of the period. The first side is comprised of a medley of soulful workouts that come out sounding not unlike Led Zeppelin. Here, Michaels pulls out all the stops (literally) and showcases the organ as a bona fide rock instrument. Despite the lengthy drum solo, it’s one of the finest sides of Los Angeles rock & roll. Michaels also reprises “My Friends,” a song from his first album, to great effect. Lee Michaels is also home to the good-time, pro-drug anthem “Highty Hi,” as well as an awesome cover of “Stormy Monday.” A true party platter. (by Matthew Greenwald)

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Personnel:
Lee Michaels (keyboards, vocals, bass)
Bartholomew Smith Frost (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Tell Me How Do You Feel (Mayfield/Charles) 5.59
02. (Don’t Want No) Woman (Smith-Frost) 1.57
03. My Friends (Smith-Frost) 5.59
04. Frosty’s + Think I’ll Go Back (Smih-Frost/Michaels) 9.14
05. Stormy Monday (Walker) 5.11
06. Who Could Want More (Michaels) 3.41
07. Want My Baby (Michaels) 2.56
08. Heighty Hi (Michaels) 5.57
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09. Tell Me How Do You Feel (complete session uncut version) 20.2

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Single from Germany (1969)

 

More Lee Michaels:

MoreLeeMichaels

The Who – Live At Woodstock (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgLadies and gentlemen … The Who … live at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969;

The Who were scheduled as the second to last act (before Jefferson Airplane) to play on Saturday, August 16th. When they actually started playing it was already Sunday morning around 5:00. They played their exceptional Tommy album, a Rock Opera dealing with the struggle of a deaf, dumb and blind boy who later finds a cure and gains stardom with his messianic movement. The finale of this performance took place during sunrise which occured at 6:05 AM

The Who were touring in support of their Rock Opera album Tommy which was released the same year. The Woodstock performance is not as long as others during this period but powerful and insane given the time The Who were performing. Songs not played from the album are: “Overture”, “Cousin Kevin”, “Underture”, “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?”, “Miracle Cure”, “Sensation”, “Sally Simpson”, “Welcome”.

The setlist is a pretty standard example of their 1969 tour program, just a little shortened at times. For instance they didn’t play “A Quick One While He’s Away”, “Magic Bus” or a longer medley around “My Generation” which sometimes reached a length of 15 minutes. Nevertheless the presentation of the chosen songs was impressive and the magic and spirit of the music grew as Tommy reached its grande final with “See Me, Feel Me”. The dawn was coming up and the first daylight hit the stage. The Who closed with “My Generation”, an old hit dating back to the year 1965, and “Naked Eye”. There were only a few sleepless people in the audience left who finally witnessed the ritual guitar smashing of Pete Townshend pointing out that the gig has really come to an end.

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The Abbie Hoffman Incident  was an incident that happened during The Who’s set right after the song “Pinball Wizard”. Abbie Hoffman was able to get on stage and grab a microphone while Pete Townshend tuned his guitar. He said: “I think this is a pile of shit! While John Sinclair rots in prison…”. Hoffman was protesting against the imprisonment of John Sinclair (leader of the White Panther Party and manager of the left-wing hard-rock band MC5) who had been convicted and sentenced to nine years of prison because of marijuana possession. Townshend, angry that someone took the stage, yelled: “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage!”, hit him with his guitar and sending him off stage again. Townshend then added: “I can dig it!”; And after the song “Do You Think It’s Alright?”: “The next fuckin’ person that walks across this stage is gonna get fuckin’ killed! [crowd cheers] You can laugh, I mean it!. A 16 second sound bite of the incident can be heard on The Who compilation set entitled Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Disc 2, Track 20, “Abbie Hoffman Incident”).

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At the end of their set, Pete Townshend tossed his banged-up Gibson SG guitar into the crowd, but according to The Kids Are Alright DVD liner notes the guitar was promptly retrieved by one of the band’s roadies. Close inspection of film from both the Woodstock movie and the bonus DVD from the 40th anniversary issue confirms this (by woodstock.wikia.com)

What a night, what a concert …. Ladies and gentlemenThe Who … live at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969  … hot & nasty, loud & proud !

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Personnel:
Roger Daltrey (vocals)
John Entwistle (bass, vocals)
Keith Moon (drums)
Pete Townshend (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Heaven And Hell (Entwistle) 3.48
02. I Can’t Explain (Townshend) 2.26
03. It’s A Boy (Townshend) 0.37
04. 1921 (Townshend) 2.31
05. Amazing Journey (Townshend) 3.18
06. Sparks (Townshend) 5.27
07. Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker) (Williamson) 2.05
08. Christmas (Townshend) 3.15
09. Acid Queen (Townshend) 3.32
10. Pinball Wizard (Townshend) 2.44
11. The Abbie Hoffman Incident 0.41
12. Do You Think It’s Alright? (Townshend) 0.46
13. Fiddle About (Entwistle) 1.14
14. There’s A Doctor (Townshend) 0.22
15. Go To The Mirror (Townshend) 3.20
16. Smash The Mirror (Townshend) 1.05
17. I´m Free (Townshend) 2.23
18. Tommy’s Holiday Camp (Townshend) 0.59
19. We’re Not Gonna Take It (Townshend) 3.32
20. See Me, Feel Me (Townshend) 5.12
21. Summertime Blues (Cochran/Capehart) 3.47
22. Shakin’ All Over (Kidd/Robinson) 4.41
23. My Generation/Naked Eye (Townshend) 7.21

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Jeff Beck – Beck-Ola (1969)

LPFrontCover1Beck-Ola is the second album by Jeff Beck, released in 1969 in the United Kingdom on Columbia Records and in the United States on Epic Records. It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and at No. 39 on the British album chart. The album’s title puns on the name of the Rock-Ola jukebox company.

 

After the release of their previous album Truth, by the end of 1968 drummer Micky Waller was replaced by Tony Newman, as Jeff Beck wanted to take the music in a heavier direction and he viewed Waller as more of a finesse drummer in the style of Motown.[3] Pianist Nicky Hopkins, who had also played on Truth, was asked to join the band full-time for their work in the studio.

Recording sessions for the album took place over six days in April 1969 – the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 19th. Two covers of Elvis Presley tunes were chosen, “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock”, as well as “Girl From Mill Valley”, an instrumental by and prominently featuring Hopkins. The remaining four tracks consist of band originals, with the instrumental “Rice Pudding” ending the album with a hard edit mid-song. The cover features a reproduction of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte’s The Listening Room. On the back cover to the original vinyl issue, beside “Beck-Ola” is written the tag “Cosa Nostra”, Italian for “Our Thing”.

JeffBeckLiveFollowing the sessions for this album, the Jeff Beck Group toured the United States. They were scheduled to play Woodstock and are listed on posters promoting the festival, but by then internal friction had reached the breaking point and both Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart were out of the band. Stewart and Wood would join the Faces in 1969, while Hopkins played Woodstock with Jefferson Airplane, joined Quicksilver Messenger Service, and would tour with The Rolling Stones in 1971, 1972 and 1973. Beck himself would be out of commission by December due to an automobile accident.
In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau was unimpressed by the album and facetiously remarked that Stewart and Beck had encouraged Hopkins’ overblown playing. At the time, Beck commented on the album cover the impossibility of coming up with anything original, and that Beck-Ola indeed was not.[4] Although a short album at half an hour, along with its predecessor it is regarded as a seminal work of heavy metal due to its use of blues toward a hard rock approach and the squaring off of Beck’s guitar against Stewart’s vocals, and claims that it was duplicated the same year by Beck’s confederate Jimmy Page with his singer Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin, although in actual fact Zeppelin had been displaying such style since the summer of 1968.

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On 10 October 2006, Legacy Recordings remastered and reissued the album for compact disc with four bonus tracks, all of which had been previously unreleased. Included were two early takes of the Presley covers, one done at Abbey Road Studios in January, a jam on “Sweet Little Angel” by B.B. King done the previous November with the Waller edition of the band, and a song intended as a single by producer Mickie Most but never issued. (by wikpedia)

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When it was originally released in June 1969, Beck-Ola, the Jeff Beck Group’s second album, featured a famous sleeve note on its back cover: “Today, with all the hard competition in the music business, it’s almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So we haven’t. However, this LP was made with the accent on heavy music. So sit back and listen and try and decide if you can find a small place in your heads for it.” Beck was reacting to the success of peers and competitors like Cream and Led Zeppelin here, bands that had been all over the charts with a hard rock sound soon to be dubbed heavy metal, and indeed, his sound employs much the same brand of “heavy music” as theirs, with deliberate rhythms anchoring the beat, over which the guitar solos fiercely and the lead singer emotes. But he was also preparing listeners for the weakness of the material on an album that sounds somewhat thrown together. Two songs are rehauls of Elvis Presley standards (“All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock”) and one is an instrumental interlude contributed by pianist Nicky Hopkins, promoted from sideman to group member, with the rest being band-written songs that basically serve as platforms for Beck’s improvisations.

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But that doesn’t detract from the album’s overall quality, due both to the guitar work and the distinctive vocals of Rod Stewart, and Beck-Ola easily could have been the album to establish the Jeff Beck Group as the equal of the other heavy bands of the day. Unfortunately, a series of misfortunes occurred. Beck canceled out of a scheduled appearance at Woodstock; he was in a car accident that sidelined him for over a year, and Stewart and bass player Ron Wood decamped to join Faces, breaking up the group. Nevertheless, Beck-Ola stands as a prime example of late-’60s British blues-rock and one of Beck’s best records. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jeff Beck (guitar, background vocals on “Throw Down a Line”
Nicky Hopkins (keyboards)
Tony Newman (drums)
Rod Stewart (vocals)
Ronnie Wood (bass)
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Micky Waller (drums on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 4.50
02. Spanish Boots (Wood/Beck/Stewart) 3.34
03. Girl From Mill Valley (Hopkins) 3.45
04. Jailhouse Rock (Leiber/Stoller) 3.14
05. Plynth (Water Down The Drain) (Hopkins/Wood/Stewart) 3.05
06. The Hangman’s Knee (Newman/Beck/Hopkins/Stewart/Wood) 4.47
07. Rice Pudding (Hopkins/Wood/Beck/Newman) 7.22
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08. Sweet Little Angel (King/Taub) 7.57
09. Throw Down A Line (Marvin) 2.54
10. All Shook Up (early version) (Blackwell/Presley) 3.18
11. Jailhouse Rock (early version) (Leiber/Stoller) 3.11

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Billie Joe Becoat – Reflections From A Cracked Mirror (1969)

FrontCover1Becoat made a little-known 1969 folk-rock album for Fantasy that leaned closer to folk than rock, although it did use a light rhythm section. Reflections From a Cracked Mirror was an apt title considering the rather scrambled, earnest reflections of the singer/songwriter. His vocal delivery is like a cross between Van Morrison and Dino Valenti, as odd as that combination might sound. Although there are full-band arrangements, the impression is that of a folky troubadour being dragged into the modern era, with bluesy and reasonably tuneful, well-sung compositions whose lyrics are considerably more downcast than the relatively upbeat music. The songs are those of a man approaching the edge, hounded by some internal demons and an external society with which he’s finding hard to cope. It wouldn’t have been at all surprising to come across him a few years later, scraping a living on the street as a busker, unable to adjust to any other job, after his album sold virtually nothing.

“I’ve got everything I need to drive me on out of my feeble mind,” sings Becoat in “I’ve Got Everything I Need,” and that’s a fair signal that we’re dealing with a fellow whose worldview is both self-aware and skewed. Becoat sings — without undue self-pity, it should be noted — about crumbling relationships, the failure of anyone to take responsibility for inner city rioting (“Who Struck the Match?”), chaotic domestic situations, and the inability of educational and social institutions to meet his needs and expectations.

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It’s the sound of a man who could be just a few months away from becoming a junkie or dropout, fleeing his wife and children, or suffering a nervous breakdown, but managing to keep a fairly level if anguished head for the moment. It’s a peculiar and somewhat interesting recording, but not so musically excellent as to merit a belated cult following, on the order of other cracked late-1960s acid folkies like Skip Spence or Dino Valenti. It’s also not as fully served by the production as it could be, the skeletal arrangements favoring acoustic guitar, the accompanying bass and drums tentatively running through and adjusting to the offbeat tunes, rather than confidently complementing them. (by Richie Unterberger)

What a great album from one of these loosers of music history … lisen to “Caledonia, The Second” and you´ll know what I mean … a singer/songwriter with such a strong blues and soul power in his voice …

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Personnel:
Billie Joe Becoat (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
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unknown bassplayer and drummer

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Tracklist:
01. And I Was Gone 2.43
02.  Caledonia, The Second 4.09
03. Hi Fiddle Dee Fee 2.11
04. Hold On, Boy 4.14
05. I Guess I’ll Have To Learn To Fly 2.55
06. I’m A Good Man, A Sweet Man 2.58
07. I’ve Got Everything I Need 3.32
08. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep 2.46
09. Sheepskin Blues 2.59
10. Who Struck The Match? 2.09

All songs written by Billie Joe Becoat

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