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 ….

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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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Allman Brothers Band – Idlewild South (1970)

OriginalFrontCover1Idlewild South is the second album by American Southern rock band the Allman Brothers Band. Produced by Tom Dowd, the album was released on September 23, 1970, in the United States by Atco Records and Capricorn Records.
Following the release of their 1969 debut, the Allman Brothers Band toured the United States extensively to promote the album, which had little commercial success. Their performances, however, did create positive word of mouth exposure that extended to more famous musicians, such as Eric Clapton, who invited group leader Duane Allman to contribute to his 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

As a result of the band’s relentless touring schedule, Idlewild South was recorded gradually over a period of five months in various cities, including New York, Miami, and Macon, Georgia, the band’s home. Tom Dowd had previously been sought to record the group’s debut but had been unavailable. The material presented on Idlewild South was written during this period and tested out on the road at shows. The album’s title comes from the band’s nickname for a rustic cabin the band rented out and used for rehearsals, as well as parties. Idlewild South contains two of the band’s best-known songs, “Midnight Rider” (later a hit for various artists) and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, which became one of the band’s famous concert numbers.

The album was released in September 1970 but again failed to achieve significant success. Sales began to grow, however, due to over 300 shows the band put on in 1970, setting the stage for their artistic and commercial breakthrough with 1971’s live follow-up album, At Fillmore East.
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The Allman Brothers Band formed in March 1969, and began writing music and touring together. By that August, the group had recorded their self-titled debut album, which was released that November on Capricorn Records, a division of Atlantic Records.[1] The record received a poor commercial response, selling less than 35,000 copies upon initial release.[2] Executives suggested to the band’s manager and Capricorn president, Phil Walden, that he relocate the band to New York or Los Angeles to increase their exposure. “They wanted us to act “like a rock band” and we just told them to “fuck themselves,” remembered Trucks.[3] For their part, the members of the band remained optimistic, electing to stay in the South. “Everyone told us we’d fall by the wayside down there,” said Gregg Allman,[3] but the collaboration between the band and Capricorn Records “transformed Macon from this sleepy little town into a very hip, wild, and crazy place filled with bikers and rockers.” In March 1970, Oakley’s wife rented a large Victorian home on 2321 Vineville Avenue in Macon, which they dubbed “the Big House”.

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Idlewild South was the band’s first effort with Tom Dowd, known for his work with Cream and John Coltrane. Dowd first heard the band rehearsing while visiting Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, asking their name and remarking to Walden, “Get them the hell out of there and give them to me in the studio. They don’t need to rehearse; they’re ready to record” Dowd was initially scheduled to work with the band on their debut album but was called away at the last minute. Initially, the band had asked friend and colleague Johnny Sandlin to produce their second album, but as recording inched closer, it became obvious they wanted him to co-produce with Dowd. In one of their first sessions, Sandlin was giving suggestions and acting as a co-producer, though no one had informed Dowd; Sandlin was embarrassed and did not return to the studio

They had to get on the road to support themselves. They were working 300 days a year. So they would just blow in and do some songs and blow out. That was it — in and out — just like that.
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The first recording sessions for Idlewild South took place in mid-February 1970 at the newly built Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon. Subsequently, the band moved to Criteria Studios in Miami in mid-March, where Dowd felt more comfortable producing albums; he viewed the then-new Capricorn studio as still a work-in-progress and unfit to record in. The band was constantly on the road while Idlewild South was developed, leading to a fractured recording process completed in fits and stops. They reconvened with Dowd during short breaks from shows. In addition, group leader Duane Allman still received invitations to play as a session musician elsewhere; on the “rare instances when [the band] could return to Macon for a short break”, Allman would hit the road for New York, Miami, or Muscle Shoals to contribute to other artists’ sessions. On days that the band would be available, manager Walden phoned Dowd to inform him; he would often catch their show and spend the rest of the night in the studio. After nearly half a year and over three different recording studios, production wrapped up by July 1970.

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Instead of using multitrack recording (which was quickly gaining popularity), the Allman Brothers Band opted to cut most of Idlewild South live, with all of the musicians performing together. On rare occasions, they would go back to overdub sections that weren’t up to standard. “The idea is that part of the thing of the Allman Brothers is the spontaneity — the elasticity. The parts and tempos vary in a way that only they are sensitive to”, said Dowd. Duane often left a song alone for more work and testing out on the road. “They would record maybe five songs. Then they might say, ‘I don’t think that song was good enough,’ or, ‘I don’t think that song was ready to record,”, remembered Dowd.[10] Joel Dorn, predominantly a jazz producer for Atlantic, stepped in to produce one song on the album, “Please Call Home”, which was recorded at Regency Sound Studios on July 14, 1970.[12] The band were in New York at the time and Dowd was unavailable.[13]
Following the recording process, Duane was invited to join Eric Clapton and his new group Derek & the Dominos on the recording of their debut album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Clapton later formally invited Allman to join the group, but he reluctantly declined, expressing loyalty to the members of the Allman Brothers and musical concept that had birthed it.
Idlewild South was issued by Atco and Capricorn Records on September 23, 1970, less than a year after the band’s debut album. It sold only “marginally better, in spite of the band’s growing national reputation, and included songs that would become staples of its repertoire—and eventually of rock radio.”[27] Jim Hawkins, engineer of the album, remembered that Walden informed him that Idlewild South opened to 50,000 copies in its first week, before settling in at 1,000 per week.[28] While the album did help boost the band’s popularity, the Allman Brothers’ name really grew in fame due to their live performances. Walden doubted the band’s future, worrying whether they would ever catch on, but word of mouth spread due to the band’s relentless touring schedule, and crowds got larger.

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Rolling Stone’s Ed Leimbacher wrote that Idlewild South “augurs well for the Allmans’ future,” calling it “a big step forward from the Allmans’ first” but considered the second side of the LP a disappointment. Robert Christgau at The Village Voice gave the album a “B+” and considered it a companion piece to Duane Allman’s work on Layla, noting that “a lot of people think that Duane Allman is already a ranking titan of the electric guitar.”[31] A retrospective five-star review from Bruce Eder at Allmusic deemed it “the best studio album in the group’s history, electric blues with an acoustic texture, virtuoso lead, slide, and organ playing, and a killer selection of songs.”

In 2014 Rolling Stone listed it among the most “groundbreaking” albums, covering its impact on Southern rock: “On their second album, the Allman Brothers transmogrified from mere blues-rockers to an assemblage creating an entirely new kind of Southern music.” (by wikipedia)
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Personnel:
Duane Allman (slide guitar, guitar)
Gregg Allman  (keyboards, vocals)
Dickey Betts (guitar)
Jai Johanny Johanson (drums, percussion congas, timbales)
Berry Oakley (bass, vocals on 05., background vocals on 03.)
Butch Trucks (drums, Timpani)

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Thom Doucette (harmonica, Percussion)
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Tracklist:
01. Revival (Betts) 4.06
02. Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ (G.Allman) 3.30
03. Midnight Rider (Allman/Payne) 3.00
04. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Betts) 6.56
05. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 4.59
06. Please Call Home (G.Allman) 4.04
07. Leave My Blues At Home (G.Allman) 4.18
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Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson – Lycka (1970)

frontcover1Lycka is a 1970 album released by folk/rock duo Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson, who later became the male half of ABBA. Most of the songs feature lead vocals by Björn. The songs show the influence of Brian Wilson, “Ticket to Ride”-era Beatles and traditional Swedish folk music.
Lycka was produced by Björn and Benny with Bengt Bernhag and engineered by Michael B. Tretow. Benny and Björn played on the tracks with two Swiss musicians, drummer John Counz and bassist Gus Horn. Sven-Olof Walldoff was responsible for the orchestral arrangements, and on the 2006 re-release a few bonus tracks were added, notably early recordings with the two-girl half of the future group ABBA on backing vocals, Anni-Frid Lyngstad who was engaged to Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog who was married to Björn Ulvaeus.
Three years later, Ring Ring became the first proper album release of what would become the most famous Swedish pop band ever (though the original album did not use ABBA as the main name of the group).(by wikipedia)
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ABBA emerged from the Swedish music scene in the early 1970’s.
ABBA were a “Supergroup’. In a “Supergroup” each of the group members has had a prior successful recording career. The group name, ABBA is an acronym of the first intials from each of the group members names (A-Agnetha,B-jorn, B-enny,A-nni-frid). That’s why capital letters are used when spelling out ABBA.
Singer-guitarist Björn Ulvaeus and keyboardist Benny Andersson’s
partnership as a recording duo, writing and production team began in late 1969.
As the duo, Björn and Benny, they released one album, LYCKA, and five Swedish singles. The romantic involvement between Björn & Agnetha and Benny & Frida was a key reason why the four would work together both as a group and a solo artists.

The first recording with all four eventual members of ABBA was called “Hej Gamle Man”, it dates from Mid 1970 and was actually a credited to , Björn and Benny as a duo.
Although Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-frid Lyngstad would sing on many of the songs recorded by Björn and Benny , it wasn’t till 1972 that the first single was released with all four of their names on it. That song was “People Need Love” which would be released on ABBA’s RING RING album.

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On stage, the story was slightly different. the four eventual ABBA members first played on stage together in November 1970 as the group FESTFOLK. It did not go well, but they tried performing together again in 1971 and worked together at other concerts between 1970-1972. They can be seen in this incarnation in 1970 doing “California Here I Come”on TV.This clip can be seen on the Super Troupers documentary. The clip is fascinating , but it perfectly illustrates what was wrong with the FESTFOLK approach,. Instead of doing cabaret style/variety show music they needed to be doing original fresh self-written pop songs that featured the girls singing…..this they soon discovered!…

The cross pollination between the future members of ABBA was a common thing in the years before ABBA. Björn produced some of Agnetha’s early 1970’s albums. Benny produced Frida between 1969-1972. During 1969-72 Frida would sing on some Agnetha’s songs and Agnetha sang on some of Frida’s singles. Many of these early efforts can be found on the PA SVENSKA compilation or on the various solo albums

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Björn and Benny-Lycka Fall 1970 Available on Swedish CD Reissued on Cd 1991, 2006
In some ways this is the birth of ABBA.The title means Happiness!
This is a very interesting album. Björn and Benny wrote the music to all of the songs and some of the lyrics. The whole album is sung in Swedish . Björn doing most of the lead vocals, with Benny providing some backing vocals. The original album featured eleven songs.

This album features the first track to have all future members of ABBA on it and this
is the very first album to have all the music written by Björn and Benny.
Acoustic and Electric Guitar feature prominently here, The electric guitar in particular dominates on “Kalles Visa” .This album is a bit more serious in tone than some of the later B&B songs and early ABBA songs that would follow in the early
and mid-Seventies. None of the songs here (even in translation) have a bubble gum lyrics or sound.
“Hej Gamle Man” (Hello Old Man) was released as the single from this album and proved to be successful, though the album was not overly successful. “Hej Gamle Man” features Agnetha and Frida on backing vocals. It was the first song to feature all four members of Abba. “Kara Gamla Sol” is the only song on the album sung by Benny.
More impressive to me is the great acoustic
guitar workout “Liselotte ” (it features lyrics by Agnetha and Björn); The anthemic “Ge Oss En Chans” has some soulful singing and some great organ. A nice little touch can be found at the beginning of “Lilla Du, Lilla Van’ which has Benny’s piano come in at a low volume. As a whole, this album features some of Björn’s best work.
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The stark brown cover is telling. It’s clear that their is seriousness of purpose and intent in these two young man. Benny’s soon-to-be trademark beard puts in it’s first appearence on a album cover (Benny never had a beard on the Hep Stars album covers). Björn looks a little smug but the trademark smile is there. The Swedish flag on the Guitar seems to say ,”We represent Sweden to the world”.
The LYCKA album was recorded in the Summer of 1970. It was Produced by Björn and Benny with Bengt Bernhag and engineered by Michael B.Tretow.

There was supposed to be a followup album released by Björn and Benny but before
it was anywhere near completion , Agnetha and Frida had joined up with Björn and Benny to change the group from a duo to a quartet. (by felpin80.tripod.com)

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Personnel:
Benny Anderson (vocals, keyboards)
John Cúonz (drums)
Gus Horn (bass)
Björn Ulvaeus (vocals, guitar)
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background vocals (on 07.)
Agnetha Fältskog – Anni-Frid Lyngstad
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Tracklist:
01. Lycka (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.07
02. Nånting Är På Väg  2:19
03  Kära Gamla Sol (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 2.27
04. Det Där Med Kärlek (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/Himmelstrand) 3.02
05. Välkommen In I Gänget (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/Himmelstrand) 3.10
06. Lilla Du, Lilla Vän (Fugelstad/B. Andersson/Ulvaeus) 2.51
07. Hej Gamle Man! (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/A.Anderson) 3.22
08. Liselott (Fältskog/B. Andersson/Ulvaeus) 2.59
09. Kalles Visa (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/Himmelstrand) 2.37
10. Ge Oss En Chans (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus) 3.41
11. Livet Går Sin Gång (B. Andersson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.55
abba

Don Lowes – Party Piano Favourites (1970)

frontcover1Don Lowes was Born in (Wallasey) Liverpool where he studied at the Mathay School of Music before abandoning academic pursuits to become a jazz Pianist.

Before Long he formed and led a jazz Group which became the house band and ha a Long and sucessful run at Liverpool´s “Cavern”  – a venue later noted for a certain not-unheard-of quartet.

Coming to London , Don joined the Cy Laurie Jazz Band and later played with Harry Gold´s Oices Of Eight. He has paid working visits  to twenty-two different countries, his most recent overseas Engagement being a five week Season in Sydney, Australia as Vera Lynn´s Musical director and accomponist.

At present Don, who is married to singer Betty Taylor, lives in London and divides his time between working as a session Pianist and Musical director and his nightly appearances at London´s famous Royal Garden Hotel.

Don, who appeared in a T.V. Play as a “Pub” Pianist, was a natural choice for this Album. His happy and disctinctive style makes this L.P. a unique experience in Sound (taken from the original liner notes)

You can popular melodies from movies and Musicals … played in a nice Ragtime style .. ok … it´s fun and fun only !

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Personnel:
Don Lowes (piano)
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unknown musicians on bass and drums

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Tracklist:
01. April Showers (Silvers/DeSylva) 2.07
02. Thank Heaven For The Little Girls (Lerner/Loewe) 1.49
03. O Sole Mio (Capua) 2.26
04. Boom Boom Bang (Moorhouse/Warne) 2.07
05. Wand’rin’ Star (Lerner/Loewe) 2.21
06. I’ll See You Again (Coward) 2.12
07. If I Were A Rich Man (Bock/Harnick) 2.04
08. My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean (Traditional)  1.58
09. Santa Lucia (Traditional) 1.48
10. Edelweiss (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 1.45
11. Rose Of Picardy (Wood/Weatherley) 2.21
12. Look For The Silver Linning (Kern/DeSylva) 2.18

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