Cactus – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Cactus is the debut album by the American hard rock band Cactus, released in 1970 under the Atco label. It includes original songs as well as cover of Mose Allison’s version of a blues standard, “Parchman Farm” and another one, Willie Dixon’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover”. (by wikipedia)

Cactus may have never amounted to anything more than a half-hearted, last-minute improvised supergroup, but that don’t mean their eponymous 1970 debut didn’t rock like a mofo. The already quasi-legendary Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of Bogert and Appice may have provided the backbone of the band’s business cards, and soulful, ex-Amboy Duke Rusty Day brought the voice, but it was arguably former Detroit Wheels guitarist Jim McCarty who was the true star in the Cactus galaxy, spraying notes and shredding solos all over album highlights such as “You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover,” “Let Me Swim,” and, most notably, a manic, turbocharged version of “Parchman Farm.”

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The fact that Cactus chose to tackle this classic blues song just a year after it’d been blasted into the fuzz-distortion stratosphere by Blue Cheer betrays — at best — a healthy competitive spirit within the early-’70s hard rock milieu, and at worst it suggests something of a mercenary nature to Cactus’ motives, but that’s an issue for the surviving bandmembers to duke it out over in the retirement home. And we digress — for the blistering closing duo of “Oleo” and “Feel So Good” (complete with bass and drum solo slots) easily certifies the Cactus LP as one of the best hard rock albums of the then brand-new decade, bar none. Too bad the illustrious members of Cactus would quickly lose interest in this band project and deliver increasingly mediocre efforts in the years that followed. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Carmine Appice (drums, background vocals)
Tim Bogert (bass, background vocals)
Rusty Day (vocals, harmonica)
Jim McCarty (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Parchman Farm (Allison) 3.06
02. My Lady From South Of Detroit (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 4.26
03. Bro. Bill (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 5.10
04. You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover (Dixon) 6.30
05. Let Me Swim (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 3.50
06. No Need To Worry (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 6.14
07. Oleo (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 4.51
08. Feel So Good (Appice/Bogert/Day/McCarty) 6.03

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Canned Heat – 70 Concert Recorded Live In Europe (1970)

LPFrontCover1Canned Heat ’70 Concert Recorded Live in Europe is a 1970 live album by Canned Heat. The album is taken from various locations on live concert European tour right before Alan Wilson’s death and is the band’s first officially released live album. (by wikipedia)

This platter captures the 1970 incarnation of Canned Heat with Bob “The Bear” Hite (vocals), Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (guitar/vocals/harmonica), Larry “The Mole” Taylor (bass), Aldolfo “Fito” de la Parra (drums), and newest addition Harvey Mandel (guitar), who had replaced Henry “Sunflower” Vestine (guitar) in 1969. They headed across the Atlantic in the spring of 1970 on the heels of “Let’s Work Together” — a Wilbert Harrison cover that charted within the Top Five in Europe. That outing yielded the combo’s first concert disc, Live in Europe (1971) — which had been issued almost a year earlier in the U.K. as Canned Heat Concert (Recorded Live in Europe) (1970). These are also among the final recordings to feature Wilson, whose increasing substance abuse and depression would result in an overdose prior to having re-joined the band for another stint in Europe in the fall of the same year.

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Indeed the brooding “Pulling Hair Blues” from this effort is marked not only by some decidedly dark and strung-out contributions, but more subtly, Hite’s tentative introduction of Wilson — indicating he had not been playing for the duration of the set. The Heat’s performance style has shifted from the aggressive rhythm and blues of their earliest sides to a looser and more improvisational technique. The opener, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right Mama,” is given a greasy mid-tempo groove over Hite’s vocals . Mandel shines as his guitar leads dart in and out of the languid boogie. Although presented as a medley, “Back on the Road” is more or less an inclusive number with only brief lyrical references to “On the Road Again.” Mandel’s sinuous fretwork melds flawlessly with Wilson’s harmonica blows. The powerful rendering of the aforementioned “Let’s Work Together” is a highlight, with Canned Heat in top form as Wilson’s electric slide riffs recall their seminal sound. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Bob Hite (vocals)
Harvey Mandel (guitar)
Fito de la Parra (drums)
Larry Taylor (bass)
Alan Wilson (slide guitar, vocals, harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. That’s All Right Mama (Crudup) 9.03
02. Bring It On Home (Dixon) 6.18
03. Pulling Hair Blues (Wilson/Taylor) 9.21
04. Medley:
04.1.Back Out On The Road (Hite)
04.2.On The Road Again (Jones/Wilson/Johnson) 6.01
05. London Blues (Wilson) 7.54
06. Let’s Work Together (Harrison) 4.51
07. Goodbye For Now”(de la Parra/Mandel) 3.26

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Focus – III (1972)

FrontCover1Focus 3 or Focus III is the third studio album from the Dutch rock band Focus, released as a double album in November 1972 on Imperial Records in the Netherlands, Polydor Records in the UK, and Sire Records in the US. Recorded after touring in supporting their previous album, Focus II (1971), the album saw the band write extended pieces and is their first with bassist Bert Ruiter in the group’s line-up.Focus 3 or Focus III is the third studio album from the Dutch rock band Focus, released as a double album in November 1972 on Imperial Records in the Netherlands, Polydor Records in the UK, and Sire Records in the US. Recorded after touring in supporting their previous album, Focus II (1971), the album saw the band write extended pieces and is their first with bassist Bert Ruiter in the group’s line-up.
Focus 3 received a positive reception upon its release. It went to No. 1 in the Netherlands for one week and reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 35 on the US Billboard 200. “Sylvia” was released as the album’s sole single, which reached No. 4 in the UK and No. 89 in the US. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling in excess of 500,000 copies.

In July 1972, after touring in supporting their previous album, Focus II (1971), the band retreated to Olympic Studios in Barnes, south west London, to record their next album. Initially a single LP was intended to be recorded but the group had written a considerable amount of new material, so the group opted to release a double album.

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Mike Vernon reprised his role as the record’s producer with George Chkiantz assigned as recording engineer.[ Two versions of the album’s sleeve design exist; its North American release features each member photographed during a performance on the BBC music television show The Old Grey Whistle Test with a black background. The second, designed by Hamish Grimes, depicts a close-up of van Leer playing the flute with the title over his face.

“Round Goes the Gossip” features five lines from the poem Aeneid by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, sung in Latin by van Leer and its chorus hook, “Round goes the gossip”, also sung by Vernon. The five lines from the poem are printed on the album’s sleeve in Latin and English[1] with the 1916 translation by Henry Fairclough.

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“Love Remembered” is a track written by Akkerman, playing an acoustic guitar with van Leer’s flute, which is based on a young couple’s morning walk. Van Leer wrote “Sylvia” in 1968 when he was a member of his previous theatre group Shaffy Chantat, formed by singer and actor Ramses Shaffy. He was not fond of a composition that singer Sylvia Alberts was given to sing for her solo performance, so he wrote the instrumental with a set of lyrics in English written by Linda van Dyck. Its original title was a long one: “I Thought I Could Do Everything on My Own, I Was Always Stripping the Town Alone”, and concerned an independent young woman who fell apart after she met the love of her life. van Leer kept the music, re-arranging it as an instrumental track when it came to selecting material for the album.

He renamed it “Sylvia” after Alberts “to tease [her] a little”. The track includes a guitar introduction written by van Leer’s brother Frank.

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Peet Johnson, one of the group’s biographers, highlights several musical references and similarities that van Leer incorporates in “Focus III”, including riffs from Bernard Hermann, “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” made famous by Petula Clark in 1967, Tchaikovsky, and Schubert. The track’s end segues into “Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers!”, titled by Akkerman, featuring extended flute and guitar solos. Ruiter came up with its basic riff, with Akkerman coming up with the “second part”.[8] Akkerman wrote “Elspeth of Nottingham” after driving around England for a holiday in 1967, stopping in a town in the Cotswolds where he first heard Julian Bream play the lute which inspired him to learn the instrument. Akkerman requested to include birdsong on the recording; Vernon suggested to include sounds of cows mooing and the song’s title, the “Elspeth” being an old Scottish variant of the name Elizabeth.[8][9] “Carnival Fugue” borrows from Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier before venturing into cool jazz territory, then culminates in a rock finale with piccolo improvisations and a hint of Calypso rhythms on guitar. “Anonymous II” borrows its theme from “Anonymous” from the band’s first album and features a solo spot for all four members, lasting for 26 minutes.
The vinyl pressings of the album includes “House of the King”, a track Focus recorded for their first album, Focus Plays Focus (1970), intended to fill up space on side four. The two former members who perform on the recording, bassist Martin Dresden and drummer Hans Cleuver, are not credited on the album sleeve.

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Released in November 1972, Focus 3 was a commercial success for the band, reaching No. 1 in the Netherlands for one week.[11] It reached a peak of No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart[12] in March 1973 during a 16-week stay on the chart.[10] In the US, it reached No. 35 on the Billboard 200. “Sylvia” was released as the album’s sole single, which reached No. 4 in the UK and No. 89 in the US. In November 1973, Billboard announced the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling in excess of 500,000 copies. The album reached the same certification in the Netherlands and the UK. (by wikipedia)

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Riding on the success of their hit single “Hocus Pocus” from the revolutionary Moving Waves album, Focus got to work on this, their third LP in four years. While the debut album featured a style not too dissimilar to the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Focus’ second LP, Moving Waves, was purely instrumental and wholly serious-minded. Focus III kept this same sound, but approached it with a jollier, more accessible tone. As with its predecessor, Focus III featured only one tune that would have a chance of being a hit single. The enjoyable rhythm of “Sylvia,” partnered with Jan Akkerman’s victorious guitar solo, some of Van Leer’s finest organ work, Bert Ruiter’s tight basslines, and Pierre Van Der Linden’s mellow drumming, assured the track classic status.

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“Sylvia” found worldwide success and gained the band valuable radio and press exposure. The song remains one of the most loved and best remembered songs from Focus’ catalog. The consistency in musical quality throughout Focus III is enough to merit any listeners’ respect. To be frank, this LP has it all: diverse songs, astounding musicianship, one of the finest singles ever released — Focus III should unquestionably be ranked alongside the likes of Revolver, Dark Side of the Moon, and any others of rock’s greatest. (by Ben Davies)
In other words: A masterpiece !

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Personnel:
Jan Akkerman (guitar, lute)
Thijy van Leer (keyboards, flute, harpsichord, vocals)
Pierre van der Linden (drums)
Bert Ruiter (bass)
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Hans Cleuver (drums on 09.)
Martin Dresden (bass on 09.=
Mike Vernon (background vocals on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Round Goes The Gossip (van Leer) 5.14
02. Love Remembered (Akkerman) 2.49
03. Sylvia (van Leer) 3.32
04. Carnival Fugue (van Leer) 6.09
05. Focus III (van Leer) 6.04
06. Answers? Questions! Questions? Answers! (Akkerman/Ruiter) 13.50
07. Anonymus II(van Leer/Akkerman/Ruiter/ v.d.Linden) 26.21
07.1. Anonymus II (Part 1) 19.28
07.2. Anonymus II (Conclusion) 7.30
08. Elspeth of Nottingham (Akkerman) 3.11
09. House Of The King (Akkerman) 2.51

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Jimi Hendrix – Rainbow Bridge (1971)

FrontCover1Rainbow Bridge is a compilation album by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix. It was the second posthumous album release by his official record company and is mostly composed of recordings Hendrix made in 1969 and 1970 after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite the cover photo and subtitle Original Motion Picture Sound Track, it does not contain any songs recorded during his concert appearance for the 1971 film Rainbow Bridge.Rainbow Bridge is a compilation album by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix. It was the second posthumous album release by his official record company and is mostly composed of recordings Hendrix made in 1969 and 1970 after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite the cover photo and subtitle Original Motion Picture Sound Track, it does not contain any songs recorded during his concert appearance for the 1971 film Rainbow Bridge.
Continuing in the vein of The Cry of Love, the first official posthumous Hendrix album, Rainbow Bridge explores new guitar styles and textures. All the songs, except for a solo studio version of “The Star Spangled Banner”, are written by Hendrix and mostly performed with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass.
The songs on Rainbow Bridge represent material in various stages of development and were never finalized or approved for release by Hendrix. Four of the songs on the album, along with the ten songs from The Cry of Love and three from War Heroes, were planned for Hendrix’s follow-up album to the live Band of Gypsys, released in March 1970. These songs were later included on Voodoo Soup in 1995 and First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997, which were attempts at completing the double album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death.

Despite the title, Rainbow Bridge was not a soundtrack to the film of the same name but rather a compilation of one live song and studio recordings from a number of sources between 1968 and 1970, including some for his planned but unfinished double album Hendrix01First Rays of the New Rising Sun. “Look Over Yonder” began as “Mr. Bad Luck” while Hendrix was performing in Greenwich Village, New York City, with his group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in the summer of 1966. The version included on Rainbow Bridge was recorded by the Experience in 1968.[5] Two songs by the Band of Gypsys, “Room full of Mirrors” and “Earth Blues” date from 1969, although the latter has subsequent drum overdubs by Mitchell. “The Star Spangled Banner” is a 1969 solo studio recording by Hendrix. The remainder of the songs were recorded with the “Cry of Love” group (Mitchell and Cox) in 1970: “Dolly Dagger”, “Pali Gap”, and “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)”. “Hear My Train A Comin'” is a live recording from the first show on May 30, 1970, at the Berkeley Community Theatre. An edited version appears in the 1971 concert film Jimi Plays Berkeley.
The album was the second to be produced by Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell, with John Jansen assisting. It was released in October 1971 in the US, and the following month in the UK where it reached numbers 15 and 16 respectively in the album charts. “Dolly Dagger” with “The Star Spangled Banner” as the B-side was released as a single in the US in October 1971. It appeared at number 74 in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. In 2014, the original Rainbow Bridge album was reissued in both CD and LP formats.
According to Setting The Record Straight by John McDermott with Eddie Kramer, Izabella and Stepping Stone were pulled from the track listing in the final stages and replaced with the live version of Hear My Train A Comin’ from Berkeley. Izabella and Stepping Stone were instead used the improve the next posthumous release War Heroes per Mike Jeffery. Bleeding Heart was also considered but ultimately used on War Heroes. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, Tony Glover wrote favorably of the songs on side one, particularly the “really majestic version” of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Robert Christgau said in a retrospective review that The Cry of Love (1971) had highlighted Hendrix’s abilities as a songwriter, but Rainbow Bridge showcased his guitar playing:
Rich stuff, exploring territory that as always with Hendrix consists not merely of notes but of undifferentiated sound, a sound he shapes with a virtuosity no one else has ever achieved on an electric instrument. (by wikipedia)

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Back when Rainbow Bridge was originally released, it was actually among the best of the posthumous Hendrix releases. Billed as “the original motion picture soundtrack” (it wasn’t, really), it was a mix of excellent, finished studio tracks and a couple of live tracks. Despite this, it’s understandable why it didn’t appeared in the digital realm until 2014 (officially, at least).

Once the estate went back to the Hendrix family in the ’90s, three of the tracks from Rainbow Bridge were used on the album First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which had previously only existed as Jimi’s hand-written track listing. The remaining tracks were orphaned out on various box sets and compilations. So while all the tracks on Rainbow Bridge have been made available elsewhere, it’s nice to finally have it assembled the way the original LP was, with excellent remastered sound (not just for the old-timers who had the LP the first time around, but for others who don’t necessarily want to shell out for the box set needed to gather these tracks). Highlights include overlooked gems like “Pali Gap” and Jimi’s rarely heard studio version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which is made of multi-tracked guitars and basses. (by Sean Westergaard)

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Personnel:
Billy Cox (bass)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals) backing vocals
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
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Buddy Miles (drums on 04., background vocals on 02.)
Noel Redding (bass on 06.)
Juma Sultan (percussion on 01., 03. + 06.)
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background vocals:
The Ghetto Fighters (Albert Allen and Arthur Allen) on 01.
The Ronettes (Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley) on 02.

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Tracklist:
01. Dolly Dagger (Hendrix) 4:45
02. Earth Blues (Hendrix)  4:20
03. Pali Gap (Hendrix) 5:05
04. Room Full Of Mirrors (Hendrix) 3:17
05. Star Spangled Banner (studio version) (Smith)  4:07
06. Look Over Yonder (Hendrix) 3:28
07. Hear My Train A Comin’ (live) (Hendrix) 11:15
08. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) (Hendrix) 6:05

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Recording details:
Tracks 1, 3 and 8:
recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, July 1, 1970

Track 2:
recorded at Record Plant Studios, New York City, December 19, 1969 and Electric Lady Studios, July 1970

Track 4:
recorded at Record Plant Studios, November 17, 1969 and Electric Lady Studios, July 1970

Track 5;
recorded at Record Plant Studios, March 18, 1969

Track 6:
recorded at TTG Studios, Hollywood, October 22, 1968

Track 7:
recorded at Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California, May 30, 1970 (first show)

 

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Tony Williams Lifetime – (Turn It Over) (1970)

LPFrontCover1The Tony Williams Lifetime was a jazz fusion group led by jazz drummer Tony Williams.

The Tony Williams Lifetime was founded in 1969 as a power trio with John McLaughlin on electric guitar, and Larry Young (a.k.a. Khalid Yasin) on organ. The band was possibly named for Williams’ debut album as a bandleader, Life Time, released on Blue Note in 1964. Its debut album was Emergency!, a double album released on Polydor/PolyGram Records in 1969. It was largely rejected by jazz listeners at the time of its release because of its heavy rock influences, but it is now looked upon as a fusion classic. Jack Bruce joined the group to provide bass and vocals on its second album, Turn it Over, released in 1970 (by wikipedia)

The better of the two albums the Tony Williams Lifetime recorded in 1970, Turn It Over, is a far more focused and powerful album than the loose, experimental Ego, and one of the more intense pieces of early jazz-rock fusion around. In parts, it’s like Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys with much better chops. It’s more rock-oriented and darker-hued than their debut, 1969’s Emergency!, and the temporary addition of ex-Cream member Jack Bruce on bass and vocals alongside stalwart guitarist John McLaughlin makes this something of a milestone of British progressive jazz.

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The album’s primary flaw is that unlike the expansive double album Emergency!, these ten songs are tightly constricted into pop-song forms — only a swinging cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Once I Loved” breaks the five-minute mark, and then only barely — which reins in these marvelous soloists too much. This is particularly frustrating since pieces like the two-part “To Whom It May Concern” feature some outstanding solos (especially from McLaughlin and organist Larry Young, the group’s secret weapon) that are frustratingly, tantalizingly short. Expanded to a double album, Turn It Over would probably surpass Emergency! as a pioneering jazz-rock fusion release; as it is, it’s an exciting but mildly maddening session. (by Stewart Mason)

What a line-up ! Including a very fine bass solo by Jack Bruce on “Right On”. The solo was called “Powerhouse Sod” and you can hear on the West, Bruce Laing live album, too.

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
John McLaughlin (guitar, vocals)
Tony Williams (drums, vocals)
Larry Young (organ)

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Tracklist:
01. Vuelta Abajo (Williams) 6.34
02. To Whom It May Concern: Us/Them (Corea) 7.16
03. This Night This Song (Williams) 3.52
04. Do That (Williams) 2.56
05. Big Nick (Coltrane) 3.17
06. Once I Loved (Jobim/Demoraes/Gilbert) 5-10
07. To Whom (Williams) 2.20
08. Allah Be Praised (Young) 6.13
09. Right On (Williams) 8.05
10. A Famous Blues (McLaughlin) 4.16
11. New Piece (Williams) 6.16

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Black Sabbath – Montreux (1970)

FrontCover1When this new title was announced and a sample was posted online it became a must have, a very early soundboard recording from Sabbath. The No Label company has had some stellar releases and this one is no different. The recording is excellent sound board with virtually no hiss to speak of and all instruments are well balanced and to this reviewers ears easily the best sounding document to come from 1970.
Obviously there has to be cuts in the tape since five of the seven songs played are from the not yet released Paranoid record and the signature song, Black Sabbath, is not present but fear not listener there is much to be enjoyed here.
The recording begins with some audience noise and the sound of music being played over the sound system, this leads into some guitar tuning, drum checks, and bass check before Ozzy saying “we’d like to start of with a number of our new album, its a number entitled Paranoid”. The song is very close musically and lyrically to the recorded version. The vocals dominate the mix but is quickly corrected and from here on out the mix is perfect.

The next song is a classic, N.I.B. the song about Satan in love is well honed by their time on the road and does not have any kind of bass intro, the band just kicks into it. After Ozzy introduces the next song you can clear hear Bill Ward count in the intro to Behind The Wall Of Sleep. With a more jazzy feel and a little more improvisation than the originally recorded version bill gets a little longer drum fill and Ozzy says “smokin” and the band rolls into the really jazzy part, interesting to hear the band playing their roots.
The song ends kind of abruptly as Bill Ward has broken his bass drum petal and is fixing it, Iommi’s toys with song notes that sound like The Wall Of Sleep.and someone speaks into the mic in what sounds like French and Ozzy introduces Iron Man. Musically similar to the recorded version the difference hear is lyrically with the “Is he alive or dead” versus coming first. It is obvious there order of the lyrics is still being worked on some on different parts of the song some different.

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War Pigs is next and the beginning chords are just so heavy, the lyrics are the Walpurgis version about black masses that would be changed in favor of the war mongering lyrics. Interestingly enough its Ozzy’s tale of getting beat up by skin heads that is identical lyrically and musically to the recorded version.
Afterwards Ozzy can be heard saying good night and the crowd cheers for close to three minutes before Ozzy introduces another new song, Hand Of Doom and goes through some P.A. checks before Geezer can be heard playing the introductory bass notes. As with most of the other new tracks lyrically there are more differences and similarities but musically it is very close to the recorded, or soon to be, version. quiet them bombastic at its very best.
To have such and early show in this quality is a treat, we have an excellent performance from the band and since the band were in the stages of recording / preparing the material for what is arguably their most famous album make this a must have. From what I am told Bondage is also releasing the title and would not be surprised given its fantastic quality this is a title no fan of the band should be with out. The packaging is simple, great relevant art work in a slim line jewel case, get this title and do it justice by TURNING IT UP LOUD !

Recorded live at the Montreux Casino, Montreux, Switzerland – August 31st, 1970

BlackSabbathLive1970Personnel:
Geezer Butler (bass)
Tony Iommi (guitar)
Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Bill Ward (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.23
02  Paranoid 2.59
03  N.I.B. 5.54
04  Behind The Wall Of Sleep 6.04
05  Iron Man 6.24
06  War Pigs 7.44
07  Fairies Wear Boots 8.43
08  Hand Of Doom 8.31

All songs written by Geezer Butler – Tony Iommi – Ozzy Osbourne – Bill Ward

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One of the best Black Sabbath bootlegs ever !

 

Dr. John – Remedies (1970)

FrontCover1Remedies is the third album released by New Orleans R&B artist Dr. John. The photography was by Steve LaVere, taken in 1969 at the Whisky a Go Go.
In his interview with Uncut magazine (October 2010), Dr. John explained the “bad trip” environment which led to the epic closing track “Angola Anthem”:

“My managers put me in a psych ward. These guys were very bad people – I had gotten busted on a deal, and they got me bonded out of jail, and so when they did I could have got a parole violation. All of this stuff was so unconnected to music that it’s hard to relate it.

A friend of mine had just come out of doing 40-something years in Angola [the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary], he was just someone special in my heart – called Tangleye. And Tangleye says, ‘I’m gonna sell you this song. Got it in Angola, but ain’t nobody ever cut this song…’ Even now guys I know getting out of Angola know this song. It’s still a horrible place to be.” (by wikipedia)

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Break out the hash pipe and heat up the gumbo — Dr. John is back again with music from that steamy, swampy place in your mind that only Dr. John can reach. Remedies is not get-it-on rock music; it’s too loose and languid for that. The rhythms — by far the best part of Dr. John’s music — are lyrical and liquid; they flow and throb, like blood, like fucking. Dr. John’s music is not mind-music, not body-music — at its best, it is emotional — beyond words, almost beyond form. It is ecstasy without pleasure, misery without pain.
Remedies is Dr. John’s third album, and his music has gone through some changes. Dr. John’s long-time collaborator, Mac Rebbenack, seems to have taken over the musical direction. He wrote and arranged all the songs. The choir of heavy ladies that haunted the first two albums has been replaced by a horn section. The sound is more solid, more predictable, almost rock-and-roll. Dr. John sings better than ever; his voice is rougher, raspier, meaner. In Dr. John’s mouth, a seemingly innocent song takes on a sinister and almost nasty edge; the melodies never seem quite solid. The singing sounds like a blood ritual made crude by a dark kind of dope. Satanic, the Kenneth Anger or Charlie Manson image.

DrJohn02The songs on Side One — the commercial side — are loose and rappy, full of funny rhymes, street slang, and double meanings. The opener, “Loop Garoo” is most like the songs on the first Dr. John album. The lyrics are magic incantations, incomprehensible, evocative. The rhythms are slinky and wet, and the horns sound like Wilson Pickett’s horn section lost in a swamp and stoned on belladonna. “Wash, Mama, Wash” is great — about a funky washerwoman who drinks too much and blows the family food money playing the numbers. The lyrics are just as funky as the subject; the chorus goes “Rub-adubba-dubba-mama, bustin’ suds/Scrub, mama, scrub.” After that, it just gets better. And the piano, the piano! “Chippy, chippy” is about: chippying. “Everybody in the neighborhood loves to chippy, and they chippy goooood.” And chippying is … well, if you don’t know, don’t mess with it. These songs are the most successful pieces on the album — they are so clever, so right-on.
Side Two consists of a 17-minute voo-doo aria called “Angola Anthem.” It is a long, meandering lyric on top of some good but aimless Afro drumming. The instrumental parts are sparse, weak, and easily lost. The lyrics, where they can be heard, do little to redeem the piece. They try to invoke the terror of living under a fascist regime in Angola, but the piece fails. And in a 17-minute piece, if you do not succeed, you really fail. Despite an occasional interesting part, the piece lacks drama, lacks words, lacks music. You can’t listen to it, and you can’t even dance to it.
Remedies is good Dr. John, but Dr. John is not for everyone. His audience is an esoteric bunch. If you dig jive, pure jive; if you dig dreaming, if you dig Wolfman Jack, if you ever order barbecue at 4 AM; if you get stoned to watch TV commercials while eating Colonel Sanders fried chicken and drinking warm Ripple — then you are weird enough for Dr. John. And he is, sure as sin and rain, weird enough for you. (by  By David Gancher, June 11, 1970 – Rolling Stone)

And because I´m still crazy after all these years … I love this album ….

DrJohn03

Personnel:
Shirley Goodman (background vocals)
Cold Grits (guitar, bass, drums)
Jessie Hill (backgroundvocals, percussion)
Dr. John (vocals, piano, guitar)
Tami Lynn (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Loop Garoo 4.42
02. What Goes Around Comes Around 2.57
03. Wash, Mama, Wash 3.42
04. Chippy, Chippy 3.32
05. Mardi Gras Day 8.11
06. Angola Anthem 17.35

All songs written by Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack

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