Quatermass – The John Peel BBC Session (1970)

QuatermaFrontCover1ss were a British progressive rock band from London, active between 1969 and 1971. A related band, Quatermass II, was active in the mid-1990s.

The trio consisted of bass player and vocalist John Gustafson, keyboardist J. Peter Robinson and Mick Underwood on drums. Underwood had previously played with Ritchie Blackmore in the Outlaws, while Gustafson had been a member of Cass and the Casanovas, the Big Three, the Seniors, and the Merseybeats. Underwood later became drummer with Episode Six, and was joined by Gustafson after Roger Glover (and Ian Gillan) left to join Deep Purple. The band took its name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional scientist who had been the hero of three science fiction serials produced by BBC Television in the 1950s, and were signed to Harvest Records.


The group formed as a power trio with Hammond organ as the main instrument. Their first and only album sold itself through “…compactness, wealth of ideas, forceful lead vocals and complicated arrangements, enriched by pianist Robinson’s tasteful use of classical strings which are on display along with spacious keyboard passages at their height in the mold of The Nice.” One track, “Laughin’ Tackle”, includes 16 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 3 double bass, arranged by Robinson, and a drum solo by Underwood. Underwood remained in close contact with Blackmore, and visited Deep Purple in the studio while they were recording In Rock.

The group split in early 1971. Gustafson formed a new band, Hard Stuff (Bullet) with ex-members of Atomic Rooster.


The band’s song “Black Sheep of the Family”, a cover of Chris Farlowe, was the first track to be recorded by Rainbow, having been rejected for the Deep Purple album Stormbringer.[6]

In 1994, Underwood, and founding Deep Purple member Nick Simper joined in a project titled Quatermass II. Gustafson contributed two songs on their album, Long Road (1997), which also involved Gary Davis and Bart Foley on guitars, with Don Airey on keyboards.

And here´s a wonderful BBC broadcast recording (one of these legendayry John Peel Sessions !) inclduing this heavy and hissing organ by Peter Robinson.

What a great group … criminally underrated … one of the finest bands from this period … if you like organ/bass/drums trios !


John Gustafson (bass, vocals)
Peter Robinson (keyboards)
Mick Underwood (drums)


01. Black Sheep Of The Family (Hammond) 3.19
02. Laughing Tackle (Robinson) 10.49
03. Make Up Your Mind Now (Hammond) 9.09
04. One Blind Mice (Gustafson/Robinson/Underwood) 6.16



More from Quatermass:

Parish Hall – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Parish Hall was a power trio from the California Bay Area. The band consisted of Gary Wagner (guitar, piano, vocals), John Haden (bass), and Steve Adams (drums). Specializing in a hard rock/blues rock sound, their album was originally released near the end of 1970 on a small local California record label. Reminiscent of the sound of another popular trio of the day, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Parish Hall had begun to gain the recognition of some European collectors by the late 1990s, and originals have fetched high prices in collector’s markets. All songs on this album are originals written by Wagner and hold up well when compared to other hard rock acts.Reissues now appear on the Akarma Label with the original artwork.

This, Parish Hall’s lone album is ten songs of well played hard soulful blues. There are a few good hard rock blasters in “My Eyes Are Getting Heavy,” “Skid Row Runner” and “Lucanna” with some impressive guitar work from Gary Wagner.

I know the pensive sleeve makes this one look like a folk rock release or some kind of singer-songwriter production full of introspective thoughts about the nature of existence. But fear not, it’s actually some quite strong heavy rock with damn good guitar work and a dark, blues feel. This album delivers some fine stuff…it is one of the Rock world’s well kept secrets that has begun finally to get out there.

Original labels:

Parish Hall was a power trio from the California Bay Area. The band consisted of Gary Wagner (guitar, piano, vocals), John Haden (bass), and Steve Adams (drums). Specializing in a hard rock/blues rock sound, their album was originally released near the end of 1970 on a small local California record label.

Reminiscent of the sound of another popular trio of the day, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Parish Hall had begun to gain the recognition of some European collectors by the late 1990s, and originals have fetched high prices in collector’s markets. All songs on this album are originals written by Wagner and hold up well when compared to other hard rock acts.
(by Keith Pettipas)


Steve Adams (drums)
John Haden (bass)
Gary Wagner (guitar, vocals, keyboards)

German labels:

01. My Eyes Are Getting Heavy 5.16
02. Dynaflow 3.06
03. Ain’t Feelin’ Too Bad 2.49
04. Silver Ghost 2.51
05. Skid Row Runner 3.21
06. Lucanna 2.34
07. We’re Gonna Burn Together 2.38
08. Somebody Got the Blues 3.03
09. How Can You Win? 2.54
10 Take Me with You When You Go 2.55

All songs written by Gary Wagner
11. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Dylan)



Alternate labels:

John Haden passed away on July 4, 2011:

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” which will be played at John’s memorial service this weekend. John plays all the guitar parts, all lead vocals and he wrote a third verse for the song (the verse after the guitar solo).

James Brown with the Louie Bellson Orchestra – Soul On Top (1970)

FrontCover1James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century music and dance, he is often referred to by the honorific nicknames “Godfather of Soul”,”Mr. Dynamite”, and “Soul Brother No. 1”. In a career that lasted over 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres.

Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia.[3] He joined a rhythm and blues vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Famous Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer.[4][5] First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads “Please, Please, Please” and “Try Me”, Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.

During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music-making, emphasizing stripped-down and interlocking rhythms, that influenced the development of funk James Brown01music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback”. He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006.

Brown recorded 17 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts.He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach No. 1. Brown was inducted into 1st class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist and then in 2017 as a songwriter. He also received honors from many other institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn’s analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, Brown is ranked No. 1 in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.

Soul on Top is the 28th studio album by American musician James Brown. The album was released in April 1970, by King. Brown and saxophonist Maceo Parker worked with arranger/conductor Oliver Nelson to record a big band, funk and jazz vocal album. It was recorded with Louie Bellson and his 18-piece jazz orchestra at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, California in November 1969, and features jazz standards, show tunes, and middle of the road hits, as well as a new arrangement of Brown’s funk hit “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”.

James Brown02

The album was reissued in 2004 with one previously unreleased bonus track, a big band version of Brown’s 1967 hit “There Was a Time”, and new liner notes by jazz critic Will Friedwald.

Reviewing the Verve reissue for The Village Voice in September 2004, Tom Hull said, “This extends Ray Charles’s omnivorous big-band soul, with Brown reinventing standards—’That’s My Desire,’ ‘September Song,’ ‘Every Day I Have the Blues,’ ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’—in front of Louie Bellson’s orchestra, which arranger-conductor Oliver Nelson barely manages to discipline, so caught up is the band in the singer’s excitement. In Brown’s discography, just a curio. But in the whole history of big band jazz, there’s never been a singer like him.” (wikipedia)


If Count Basie had hired James Brown to replace Joe Williams as his featured male vocalist, what would the results have sounded like? Brown offers some suggestions on Soul on Top, which finds the Godfather of Soul making an intriguing detour into jazz-minded big-band territory. Recorded in 1969, Soul on Top unites Brown with the Basie-influenced orchestra of jazz drummer Louie Bellson, and stylistically, the results are somewhere between soul-funk and the funkier side of big-band jazz. This Brown/Bellson collaboration isn’t straight-ahead jazz, nor is it typical of Brown’s late-’60s output. But if recording a big-band project with Bellson was a surprising and unexpected thing for the Godfather of Soul to do in 1969, it was hardly illogical or bizarre — Brown, after all, grew up listening to jazz (as well as blues and gospel) and was well aware of the legacies of Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and others.

Louis Bellson01

While some jazz snobs would have listeners believe that jazz and R&B have little, if anything, in common, the fact is that they’re close relatives that get much of their energy and feeling from the blues. So it makes perfect sense for Brown to combine soul, funk, and jazz on this album, which finds him revisiting some major hits (including “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”) in addition to embracing “September Song,” “That’s My Desire,” and other standards typically associated with jazz and traditional pop. Although not among the Godfather’s better-known efforts, this fine album is happily recommended to anyone who holds R&B and jazz in equally high regard. (by Alex Henderson)


Al Aarons (trumpet)
Jack Arnold (percussion)
John Audino (trumpet)
Louis Bellson (drums)
James Brown (vocals)
Ray Brown (bass)
Pete Christlieb (saxophone)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Buddy Collette (saxophone)
Chuck Findley (trumpet)
Nick DiMaio (trombone)
Jim Mulidore (saxophone)
Maceo Parker (saxophone)
Bill Pitman (guitar)
Tom Porello (trumpet)
Joe Romano (saxophone)
Louis Shelton (guitar)
Kenny Shroyer (trombone)
Bill Tole (trombone)
Frank Vincent (piano)
Ernie Watts (saxophone)

Arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson


01. That’s My Desire (Kressa/Loveday) 4.10
02. Your Cheatin’ Heart (Williams) 3.00
03. What Kind Of Fool Am I? (Bricusse/Newley) 3.06
04. It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World (Unedited Version) (Brown/Newsome) 6.41
05. The Man In The Glass (Hobgood) 5.56
06. It’s Magic (Cahn/Styne) 3.14
07. September Song (Unedited Version) (Anderson/Weill) 5.03
08. For Once In My Life (Unedited Version) (Miller/Murden) 4.44
09. Every Day I Have The Blues” (Unedited Version) (Chatman) 4.29
10. I Need Your Key (To Turn Me On) (Bellson) 3.47
11. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Brown) 4.42
12. There Was A Time (Brown/Hobgood) 3.05



This is a man’s world
This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing
Nothing without a woman or a girl

You see man made the cars
To take us over the road
Man made the train
To carry the heavy load
Man made the electric light
To take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water
Like Noah made the ark

Man think about a little bit of baby girls
And a baby boys
Man makes them happy
‘Cause man makes them toys
And after man make everything everything he can
Even though the man makes money
To buy from other man

Oh how, how man needs a woman
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
He’s lost in loneliness

Renaissance – Illusion (1971)

FrontCover1Renaissance are an English progressive rock band, best known for their 1978 UK top 10 hit “Northern Lights” and progressive rock classics like “Carpet of the Sun”, “Mother Russia”, and “Ashes Are Burning”. They developed a unique sound, combining a female lead vocal with a fusion of classical, folk, rock, and jazz influences. Characteristic elements of the Renaissance sound are Annie Haslam’s wide vocal range, prominent piano accompaniment, orchestral arrangements, vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, synthesiser, and versatile drum work. The band created a significant following in the northeast United States in the 1970s, and that region remains their strongest fan base.

The original line-up included two former members of The Yardbirds, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, along with John Hawken, Louis Cennamo and Relf’s sister Jane Relf. They intended to put “something together with more of a classical influence”. Renaissance was born, and the band released a studio album in 1969, and another in 1971. Subsequently, John Tout replaced Hawken on keyboards, followed by a period of high turnover of musicians until the “classic line-up” of Annie Haslam, John Tout, Michael Dunford, Jon Camp, and Terry Sullivan was established, although none of them were in the original band. They were assisted with lyrics on many songs from Cornish poet Betty Thatcher-Newsinger. From 1972 to 1979 Renaissance released seven successful studio albums, toured extensively, and sold out three nights in a row at Carnegie Hall with Tony Cox conducting the New York Philharmonic.

The 1980s were a lean time for them, with personnel changes, and two relatively unsuccessful studio albums, leading to disbandment in 1987. Two different offshoots of Renaissance existed at the same time at one stage in the mid-1990s. The band re-formed in 1998 to record Tuscany, which was eventually released in 2001; however, they disbanded again the next year.


2009 heralded a new line-up for Renaissance, led by Haslam and Dunford, and since then the band has continued to record and tour. They were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Dunford in November 2012. Later, Haslam stated that the band would continue touring. The current line-up is not as English as the band’s early period, with five U.S.-born members and one English-born member who lives in the United States. In April 2014, Renaissance released the studio album Symphony of Light.

Illusion is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band Renaissance, released in 1971. It was originally released only in Germany and did not receive a wider release until 1973. It was first released in the UK in 1977, with a cover that had the original front and rear cover artwork swapped.

The original Renaissance line-up fell apart during the recording of this, their second album. Jim McCarty was the first to leave in 1970, when the band was about to start a European tour, because he hated to fly. Keith Relf and Louis Cennamo left next, subsequently forming the new group Armageddon. McCarty continued to be associated with Renaissance as a songwriter, however, receiving writing credits on the new band’s first, second and third albums.


John Hawken kept the band going by recruiting new members, including Michael Dunford and Terry Crowe, former bandmates of his from The Nashville Teens. New bassist Neil Korner had previously been part of The New Vaudeville Band (though he did not appear on their big hit, “Winchester Cathedral”.) This new line-up, which recorded “Mr. Pine”, was one of several short-lived transitional line-ups that existed between the original one and the classic one featuring Annie Haslam.

“Mr. Pine” is the only track on a Renaissance album where members of the original line-up (Hawken, Jane Relf) are heard together with a member of the classic line-up (Dunford). It includes a theme that was later used in the far better-known Renaissance song “Running Hard” (from Turn of the Cards, 1974).

To complete the album, the (already disbanded) original line-up got back together, minus Hawken and plus guest keyboardist Don Shinn, to record “Past Orbits of Dust”.

One track recorded during the Illusion sessions, a fairly short song called “Statues”, was not used on the album. It was eventually released in 2002 on the album Live + Direct.[5] The original album was re-issued on CD in 1995 by Repertoire Records.

Illusion was the first Renaissance album to feature lyrics by Betty Thatcher, who would work with the band throughout its entire “classic” period (1972–79) and beyond. Thatcher was brought to the band by her friend Jane Relf.


When the four surviving members of the original Renaissance reunited in 1976, after the death of Keith Relf, the Renaissance name was already being retained in use by their successors in the band. Henceforth they named their new reunion band as “Illusion”, alluding to the album they had recorded as the previous group. Their first album under this bandname, entitled Out of the Mist, included a reworking of the song “Face of Yesterday”; while their second album was eponymously titled Illusion. (by wikipedia)


The second Renaissance album is the least-known in the group’s entire output, having originally failed to get released anywhere except Germany. Although it is a much less bold, more smoothly commercial album, Illusion was also the work of at least three distinctly different lineups representing the group, Jim McCarty dropping out from playing after an illness, and Keith Relf and Louis Cennamo exiting the performing lineup soon after, while Jane Relf played some gigs with John Hawken acting as leader of a new ensemble. It was around this time that the words of lyricist Betty Thatcher started turning up in the group’s work and on this album, and guitarist Michael Dunford started writing as well. The results here aren’t quite as hard rocking as the previous album — acoustic guitars supplant electric and Jane Relf’s vocals are hooked around a mix of art rock and art pop melodies, without any trace of the psychedelic or freakbeat echoes of the previous album’s work. One song, “Mr. Pine,” contains an instrumental bridge that Dunford later folded into “Running Hard” in a more developed guise. The lighter textures anticipate the sound of the later lineup of the group, while some of the pop-oriented material harkens back to what Relf and McCarty had in mind for a sound in 1969. (by Bruce Eder)


Louis Cennamo (bass)
John Hawken (keyboards)
Jim McCarty (drums, vocals on 02., background vocals)
Jane Relf (vocals on 01., 05 and 06., percussion)
Keith Relf (guitar, vocals on 03., background vocals)
Terry Crowe (vocals on 04.)
Michael Dunford (guitars on 04.)
Neil Korner (bass on 04.)
Terry Slade (drums on 04.)
Don Shinn (keyboards on 06.)


01. Love Goes On (K.Relf) 2.42
02. Golden Thread (McCarty) 8.07
03. Love Is All (McCarty/Thatcher) 3.35
04. Mr. Pine (Dunford) 6.57
05. Face Of Yesterday (McCarty) 6.00
06. Past Orbits Of Dust (McCarty/Relf/Thatcher) 14.37



Mott The Hoople – Two Miles From Heaven (1980)

FrontCover1Mott the Hoople are an English rock band, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid-1970s. They are best known for the song “All the Young Dudes”, written for them by David Bowie and appearing on their 1972 album of the same name.

Two Miles From Heaven is a compilation album of tracks recorded by British rock band Mott the Hoople during their period with Island Records from 1969 to 1972. It features the original band line-up of Ian Hunter (vocals, piano, guitar), Mick Ralphs (guitar, vocals), Peter Watts (bass guitar, vocals), Dale Griffin (drums) and Verden Allen (organ). Incomplete tracks from original sessions were supplemented by overdubs of vocals, keyboards (by later Mott the Hoople and Mott member Morgan Fisher) and guitar (including contributions from Mott guitarist Ray Majors).

Of significance to followers of the group were the inclusion of alternative versions of extant Mott the Hoople songs (a vocal version of “You Really Got Me”, the discarded mix of “Thunderbuck Ram” and early demo tapes of songs that were later recorded for their All the Young Dudes album once the band had left Island and signed to Columbia Records: “One of the Boys”, “Ride on the Sun” (better known as “Sea Diver”) and “Black Scorpio” (Momma’s Little Jewel). “Until I’m Gone” was an otherwise unreleased Ralphs track.


The initial vinyl release was on Island’s German label (202 429-270), in 1980, but it has subsequently been re-released on Angel Air SJPCD 161 in 2003 with additional bonus tracks. (by wikipedia)

After British Lions broke up, Dale Griffin, Overend Watts, Ray Majors and Morgan Fisher went in the studios to put together this compilation of rare and unreleased Mott The Hoople material from Island’s vaults. Mott recorded virtually everything they wrote, and just about any day not spent gigging was spent in the studio. As a result, there is a lot of unreleased (and unfinished) material in there.

What an absolute peach this collection is. Unreleased tracks, rare b-sides and early versions of songs that would be recorded later on… this album has long been sought after by fans, and is now at long last available on CD.


It starts with a rare vocal version of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me. Next up is Ian’s first stab at social commentary, Road To Birmingham which was the b-side to Rock And Roll Queen, Mott’s first single. Then there’s the alternate version of Thunderbuck Ram, with Verden’s organ featuring much higher in the mix. The studio version of Keep a Knockin’ is fast and furious, and an absolute belter.

Movin’ On is next – slated for the original vinyl but withdrawn at the last minute is a medium-paced rocker that Mick Ralphs would eventually re-record with Bad Company. Ride On The Sun is beautiful – this again would be re-recorded (as Sea Diver) later on – and is possibly one of Ian’s best ballads. Growin’ Man Blues is another fast rocker which I never grow tired of hearing. Till I’m Gone is another ballad, beautifully sung by Mick Ralphs (for a version of him sharing the vocals with Ian, check out the Anthology). One Of The Boys is an acoustic version of the song that would be re-recorded later on. Black Scorpio (Momma’s Little Jewel) is faster than the version that would be recorded for the Dudes album.


Two more bonus tracks close the album, The Debt (which was the b-side to Midnight Lady) and the non-LP single Downtown, with Mick Ralphs again supplying the vocals for this Neil Young/Crazy Horse cover.

Sound quality throughout is excellent (a lot better than the original LP). Strangely, tho’ the running order on the “Bald At The Station” side is different from the original LP. No matter – this is an important album in Mott’s history, and I for one am glad it’s finally available on CD! (hunter-mott.com)

An even more overlooked album from an already overlooked band, this was released at the beginning of the 80’s without too much fanfare. Having heard the album I have no idea why; this is so much more than just a collection of B-Sides and out-takes. 75% of this album is made up of songs that could have been on albums in their present state. I hardly know where to begin; “The Road to Birmingham” for example is a song that should have been on “Brain Capers” or “Wildlife” and the re-mix of “Thunderbuck Ram” actually outshines the original and it’s interesting to hear the pre-Bad Company version of “Movin’ On” and a few of the covers thrown in as well. This was such an interesting band and this is a real gem of a collection that would do YOUR collection well. (by Jacob Koehler)


Verden Allen (organ, background vocals)
Dale “Buffin” Griffin (drums, background vocals)
Ian Hunter (vocals, piano, guitar)
Mick Ralphs (guitar, background vocals)
Pete “Overend” Watts (bass, background vocals)
Guy Stevens (piano, percussion)


01. You Really Got Me (Davies) 3.08
02. The Road To Birmingham (Hunter) 3.30
03. Thunderbuck Ram (Ralphs) 4.41
04. Going Home (Ralphs) 3.00
05. Little Christine (Ralphs) 3.06
06. Keep A Knockin'” (Richard Penniman) 3.25
07. Black Hills (Ralphs) 1.32
08. Movin’ On (Ralphs) 2.44
09. Ride On The Sun (Hunter) 3.38
10. Growin’ Man Blues (Hunter) 2.46
11. Until I’m Gone (Ralphs) 3.14
12. One Of The Boys (Ralphs, Hunter) 4.19
13. Surfin’ U.K. (Ralphs) 2.37
14. Black Scorpio (Hunter/Watts) 3.36
15. I´ll Wind Blowing (Hunter) 3.53
16. The Debt (Hunter) 4.15
17. Downtown (Whitten/Young) 3.03

Dale Griffin tried hard during the production process to improve on the original recordings. All material was transferred from the original 8- and 16-track tapes to 24-track tape. All were remixed, and many were overdubbed, as follows:

The Road to Birmingham: extra acoustic and electric guitars were added by Overend Watts, together with a few minor edits
Thunderbuck Ram: some keyboard fills were added by Morgan Fisher
Going Home: Overend Watts and Dale Griffin added backing vocals
Keep a Knockin’: Morgan Fisher added piano
Black Hills: Morgan Fisher added piano and mellotron
Ride On The Sun: Morgan Fisher added Hammond organ and mellotron
Growin’ Man Blues: in reality only a minute and a half long, they had to do two dub edits and some covering vocals and instrumental fills
Till I’m Gone: Overend Watts added acoustic guitar
One Of The Boys: Overend Watts added guitar; Dale griffin and Overend added backing vocals
Surfin’ UK: Dale Griffin added backing vocals and percussion
Black Scorpio: Ray Majors added slide guitar, Dale Griffin added backing vocals and percussion
Ill Wind Blowing: Dale Griffin added backing vocals and percussion ((hunter-mott.com))




More from Mott The Hoople:

Waterloo – First Battle (1970)

LPFrontCover1There’s an old gag particularly prevalent in Britain that goes along the lines of “I bet you can’t name five famous Belgians”. In fact this small bilingual, bicultural European country has produced more celebrities than you’d think: Gérard Mercator, designer of the universal map projection that bears his name; Adolphe Sax, who invented the saxophone; and Georges Simenon, creator of classic fictional detective Maigret, are just three. Perhaps thinner on the ground are famous Belgian musicians: poetic songwriter Jacques Brel is certainly the best known, and then there’s Jean “Toots” Thielemans who uniquely plays jazz on chromatic harmonica . . . and of course Plastic Bertrand.

Prior to 1980 or thereabouts, home-grown Belgian rock bands were certainly a select species, at least in terms of penetration outside their homeland and France. Waterloo was a fine, sturdy prog-rock outfit in the English mould of the late 1960s, coming together in ’69 with members from two just-folded Belgian pop-psych groups, releasing their sole album the following year and folding themselves about a year later after precious little commercial success. Their musical pedigree was beyond doubt; organist Marc Malyster was a conservatoire-trained keyboard player, whilst lead vocalist/flautist Dirk Bogaert had been an operatic boy soprano and drummer Jacky Mauer was steeped in jazz. With the workmanlike rock chops of guitarist Gus Roan who also doubled on flute, and bass guitarist Jean-Paul Janssens, they covered all the bases.


First Battle was recorded in England with all the lyrics in English; given this plus the band’s propensity for driving three-four rhythms and breathy flute accompaniments, it’s no surprise they frequently recall Mick Abrahams-period Jethro Tull. However Malyster’s organ work marks them out from the Brit combo, favouring a churchy drawbar setting on his Hammond and incorporating plenty of Bach-like touches in the style of his main rock influence, Keith Emerson.

The album offers nine tightly-composed, tightly-performed songs, none breaching the four-minute barrier, all with tuneful pop sensibility and lyrical hooks and featuring fine harmony vocals and terse, pithy solos. Only on the ten-minute closing opus “Diary Of An Old Man” is each player is given the chance to feature more extensively, with excellent expositions by Bogaert on simultaneous flute and scat vocal and by Roan who finally gets to really stretch out on guitar.


Pick of the other tracks are the Tullish “Why May I Not Know” which sets out the band’s stall for the following numbers; the jazzy, socially aware “Black Born Children” which thematically if not musically recalls the Nice’s “Daddy, Where Did I Come From”; and the splendid classically-harmonised riff of “Life” which also features a vocal dialogue, fruity flute obbligati and muscular bass guitar work. In all honesty there are no weak tracks anywhere on this album. The record was cut at an unidentified Soho eight-track studio under producer David McKay (who also masterminded Belgium’s other high-profile group of the day, Wallace Collection) and the sound quality, at least on the CD reissue, is exemplary, being powerful and clean with each lead instrument deftly forefronted.

Tensions within the band must have surfaced soon after the recording, because Janssens was gone by July ’70 and Malyster bailed soon after. Replacements were found but the tight, virtuosic sound of the original lineup was never emulated; the band struggled on for another year or so, cutting a couple of singles that strangely reverted to a pop-psych template. These were included as bonus cuts on the first (vinyl) reissue of First Battle by French musicians’ cooperative label Musea, now long out of print, and also appear on the excellent CD reissue by Spanish imprint Guerszen which is still available. Devotees of the Nice, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and other early progressive rockers will find a lot to like on this collection. (by Len “The Rising Storm”)


One of the rarest (and most expensive) vinyls of Belgium, First Battle is also Waterloo’s only battle, but they won it brilliantly. This quintet was made from the remains of two established groups, Adam’s Recital and Today’s Version (the former even managing a spot in the Windsor Festival) and soon enough Waterloo was born in October 69. After a few months composing and touring, their album was recorded in Soho during the Christmas break and released early the next year with a Napoleon-ian artwork on the French label Vogue, where the group would tour extensively along with Belgium.

Sonically Waterloo is a mix of short (under 4-mins) psych rock and jazzy proto-prog tracks (except for the 11-mins finale), often reminiscent of jazzier early Tull albums (especially This Was). Opening on the single Meet Again (which through an amazing succession of feats got some major French airplay under the Waterloo moniker from an unknown group), but it is hardly the album’s best piece with its 60’s aura, even if you can hear Malyster’s Emerson influence on organ. Much stronger are the superb Why May I Not Know with some heavy Anderson-ian flute, which coupled with Malyster’s organ could lead to think of Aqualung tracks and the frantic Black-Born Children with its constant breaks. Further down the album (past the bluesy Problems), the dramatic Wrong Neighbourhood and the hard- rocking Heep-ian Lonesome Road are also much worthy of the proghead’s attention. Of course the alnum’s cornerstone is the lengthy Diary Of An Old Man, which an awesome progressive jazzy blues rock track with plenty of excellent solos and interplay between all concerned, but particularly Roan’s guitar, but Bogaert’s flute has its Tull-ian say as well.

Dirk Bogaert

Some bonus tracks are tagged on the original album, and they consist of the non-album singles that were following or preceding the First Battle release, but most feature a changed line-up as Malyster and Janssens leaving and being replaced by Wuyts (ex- Wallace Collection) and Musette respectively, and the addition of saxman and bookstore owner Van Rymenant, thus creating a slight jazzier shift in the group’s sound. If Plastic Man and Smile are very 60’s bubblegum, Nobody But You gives a slight brassy ELP feel, at least in its first part, before very Colosseum-like. Clearly the major gift in these bonus tracks is the 7-mins+ Youngest Day, an outstanding prog track that shows that the group was sliding towards their future Pazop-style of fusion. The Heep-ian Bobo’s Dream (reminiscent of Gypsy and Hensley in some ways) and Bad Time show that the band was ready to move further into uncharted territories.


Long available on the great Musea label (and maybe long OOP), Waterloo’s only album now receives a Guerssen label release with the same bonus tracks as before and the same group’s history texts, courtesy of Musea’s Francis Grosse. Singer Bogaert, drummer Mauser and keyboardist Wuyts would surface two years later in Pazop and record another superb album (but apparently never-released), this one still available on the Musea label. Much worth it, if you’re into late-60’s & early-70’s proto-prog. (by Sean Trane)

And YES … I´m into late-60’s & early-70’s proto-prog  … and this was the first and last battle Of Waterloo !


Dirk Bogaert (vocals, flute)
Jean Paul Janssens (bass)
Marc Malyster (organ)
Jacky Mauer (drums)
Gus Roan (guitar)
Jean-Paul Musette (bass on 13. – 16.)
John van Rymenant (saxophone on 13. – 16.)
Frank Wuyts (organ on 13. – 16.)


01. Meet Again 3.05
02. Why May I Not Know 3.09
03. Tumblin’ Jack 2.36
04. Black Born Children 3.45
05. Life 2.49
06. Problems 3.02
07. Why Don’t You Follow Me 3.33
08. Guy In The Neighbourhood 2.57
09. Lonesome Road 2.51
10. Diary Of An Old Man 11.01
11. Plastic Mind 4.29
12. Smile 3.53
13. I Can’t Live With Nobody But You 3.45
14. The Youngest Day 7.38
15. Bobo’s Dream 5.03
16. Bad Time 3.21

All songs written by Gus Roan & Igor Minarief

Tracks 1 to 10 comprise original album released by Disques Vogue ‎CLPVB 016.
Track 11 taken from 7″ “Plastic Mind/Tumblin’ Jack” released by Disques Vogue ‎VB 151.
Tracks 12 & 13 taken from 7″ “I Can’t Live With Nobody But You/Smile” released by Disques Vogue ‎VB.172.
Tracks 15 & 16 taken from 7″ “A Bad Time/Bobo’s Dream” released by Disques Vogue ‎VB.161.
Track 14 – previously unreleased.



Rhinoceros – Better Times Are Coming (1970)

FrontCover1Rhinoceros was an American rock band established in 1967 through auditions conducted by Elektra Records, rather than organic formation by musicians. The band, while well respected in many circles, did not live up to the record label’s expectations. It was also poorly received by fans, producing a slow selling debut album and two even less successful LPs before breaking up. One reviewer commented, “Despite the fact that the band could not live up to the expectations that were raised by Elektra Records’ publicity machine, Rhinoceros’ contributions to rock still deserve more credit than subsequent rock histories give it.”

Paul A. Rothchild, then Elektra Records’ talent scout and house producer, and fellow producer Frazier Mohawk (formerly Barry Friedman), decided to individually sign talented young musicians and form them together into a group in this fashion. While Mohawk had been instrumental in coordinating band membership for what became Buffalo Springfield (encouraging Stills to form Buffalo Springfield following his Monkees audition), the establishment of what became Rhinoceros involved a more formal third party role.


Rothchild and Mohawk initially invited twelve musicians to audition in September 1967, at Mohawk’s house in Laurel Canyon. Included in this initial group were Doug Hastings (guitar) and Alan Gerber (keyboards and vocals). A second audition was held at a Los Angeles motel in November 1967, where approximately twenty musicians were reviewed. After this meeting, John Finley (vocals) and Danny Weis (guitar) were chosen to work with Hastings and Gerber. Finley and Hodgson were both former members of Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, a band which Rothchild had expressed an interest in signing as early as 1965 that had broken up in September 1967.

Weis had been an original member of Iron Butterfly and played on their debut album. Hastings had been a member of Seattle’s Daily Flash, and briefly served as Neil Young’s replacement in Buffalo Springfield, during one of Young’s departures from the group. Other members of the Daily Flash were invited to audition for Rhinoceros, though only Hastings was chosen.

Weis then suggested former Iron Butterfly bandmate Jerry Penrod as the bass player for Rhinoceros; his suggestion was accepted. Former Checkmate keyboard player Michael Fonfara was then invited to join the lineup. Fonfara had joined The Electric Flag in mid-November 1967, for sessions and a brief tour of the northeast U.S. and California. During mid-December, he ran into Finley and Hodgson at the Tropicana Motel in Los Angeles, and was encouraged by Finley to sign on to the Rhinoceros project. Based on Finley’s recommendation, Fonfara was brought into Rhinoceros, following the completion of his obligations to the Electric Flag. John Keleihor, former drummer for The Daily Flash, contributed to some of the group’s early recordings, but departed early on.[3][3][5] The final member chosen, in early 1968, was Billy Mundi, former drummer for the Mothers of Invention.


The band first recorded together as the backing musicians for David Ackles debut album, released in 1968. Rhinoceros’ self-titled debut album, produced by Paul Rothchild, was also released in 1968. Despite heavy promotion and critical acclaim it did not sell well. However, the instrumental “Apricot Brandy”, written by Weis and Fonfara, reached #46 on the Billboard Charts and was later used as a signature tune by BBC radio, and covered by Danny Gatton for the 1990 compilation Rubáiyát. Another of the album’s songs, “I Will Serenade You”, written by John Finley, was covered by Three Dog Night as “Let Me Serenade You” and went to #17 in the US in 1973. In addition, their cover of “You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want To Discuss It)” was covered in 1969 by Amen Corner on their National Welsh Coast Live Explosion Company album, and in 1970 by Rod Stewart, on his Gasoline Alley album. “I Will Serenade You” was the debut single of Rhinoceros in the United States, while “You’re My Girl” was the debut single in the United Kingdom, both being released in 1968.Both songs were released on the same single, with each song being the “B-side” of the other, depending on the country of release.


The next two years saw many changes of the line-up and two more albums. From the time of their second album Satin Chickens (1969), Rothchild and Mohawk were no longer involved with production. The album was instead produced by David Anderle. Bassist Jerry Penrod abruptly departed from the band after the album’s completion; he was briefly replaced by Danny Weis’ brother, Steve, and later by Finley’s cousin and former bandmate in Jon & Lee & The Checkmates Peter Hodgson. Hodgson had lost out to Jerry Penrod in the initial auditions and had then joined David Clayton-Thomas in Toronto for his “David Clayton-Thomas Combine”. He later returned to Los Angeles to work with Jackson Browne before finally joining Rhinoceros in April 1969. Three more band members would leave before the recording of the third album: first was guitarist Doug Hastings, who left that summer to be replaced by another Checkmate, Larry Leishman, who had played with “Freedom Fair” and “The Power Project” until mid-1968 and then with Bobby Kris & The Imperials. A bit later Alan Gerber left the band due to disagreements over band manager Billy Fields’ decision to not have them perform at Woodstock; Billy Mundi would follow him shortly after. The two roles of singer and drummer were taken up by The Checkmates’ manager/drummer Duke Edwards, who had also played with Rhinoceros newcomer Leishman in The Duke Edwards Cycle in early 1969[7]. The lineup of John Finley (vocals), Danny Weis (guitars), Michael Fonfara (organ), Peter Hodgson (bass), Larry Leishman (guitars) and Duke Edwards (drums, vocals) moved to New York and recorded the third and last Rhinoceros album, “Better Times Are Coming”, in 1970.[1] Then the band did some shows at Fillmore East, after which Edwards was replaced by Dr. John drummer Richard Crooks, who in turn would be replaced by Malcolm Tomlinson, who stayed with the band until their dissolution, before mid 1971.


In 1971, after the breakup of Rhinoceros, John Finley, Michael Fonfara, Peter Hodgson, Danny Weis and Larry Leishman formed a new group called Blackstone, later referred to by Weis as “an attempt to re-capture some of the fun we had in Rhinoceros”.[8] They recorded an album for Canadian label GRT, produced by Paul Rothchild. The musicians then went their separate ways.

On 7 August 2009, original members John Finley, Alan Gerber, Danny Weis and Michael Fonfara reunited at the Kitchener Blues Festival in Ontario, Canada with bass player Peter Hodgson, along with Bernie LaBarge (replacing original guitarist Doug Hastings), and Mike Sloski on drums. (by wikipedia)

Despite the fact that the band could not live up to the expectations that were raised by Elektra Records’ publicity machine, Rhinoceros’ contributions to rock still deserve more credit than subsequent rock histories give it. (by Linda Seida)

All in all it´s a really nice album, but … Rhinoceros was never a real super group !


Duke Edwards (drums, vocals)
John Finley (vocals)
Michael Fonfara (organ)
Peter Hodgson (bass)
Larry Leishman (guitar)


01. Better Times (Edwards/Finley/Fonfara) 2.46
02. Old Age (Edwards/Leishman) 3.02
03. Sweet, Nice ‘N’ High (Edwards/Leishman) 3.33
04. Just Me (Draper) 2.13
05. Happiness (Draper) 2.34
06. Somewhere (Weis/Finley) 3.43
07. It’s A Groovy World (Draper) 2.55
08. Insanity (Draper) 2.22
09. Lady Of Fortune (Edwards/Leishman) 3.06
10. Let’s Party (Draper) 3.06
11. Rain Child (Edwards/Leishman) 5.27



Billboard review, June 3, 1970:BillboardReview13June1970

Keef Hartley Band – British Radio Sessions 1969 – 1971 (2013)

FrontCover1And here´s the story of a forgotten but really great musician, Keef Hartley:

Keith “Keef” Hartley (8 April 1944 – 26 November 2011) was an English drummer and bandleader. He fronted his own eponymous band, known as the Keef Hartley Band or Keef Hartley’s Big Band, and played at Woodstock. He was later a member of Dog Soldier, and variously worked with Rory Storm, The Artwoods and John Mayall.

born in Plungington, north-west Preston, Lancashire. He studied drumming under Lloyd Ryan, who also taught Phil Collins the drum rudiments. His career began as the replacement for Ringo Starr as a drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, a Liverpool-based band, after Ringo joined The Beatles. Subsequently he played and recorded with The Artwoods, then achieved some notability as John Mayall’s drummer (including his role as the only musician, other than Mayall, to play on Mayall’s 1967 “solo” record The Blues Alone). He then formed The Keef Hartley (Big) Band, mixing elements of jazz, blues, and rock and roll; the group played at Woodstock in 1969. However, the band was the only artist that played at the festival whose set was never included on any officially released album (prior to 2019), nor on the soundtrack of the film.

They released five albums, including Halfbreed and The Battle of North West Six (characterised by a reviewer for the Vancouver Sun as “an amazing display of virtuosity”).

Keef Hartley Band01

While in John Mayall, Mayall had pushed Hartley to form his own group. A mock-up of the “firing” of Hartley was heard on the Halfbreed album’s opening track, “Sacked.” The band for the first album comprised: Miller Anderson, guitar and vocals, Gary Thain (bass), later with Uriah Heep; Peter Dines (organ) and Ian Cruickshank (as “Spit James”) (guitar). Later members to join Hartley’s fluid lineup included Mick Weaver (aka Wynder K. Frog) organ, Henry Lowther (b. 11 July 1941, Leicester, England; trumpet/violin), Jimmy Jewell (saxophone), Johnny Almond (flute), Jon Hiseman and Harry Beckett. Hartley, often dressed as an American Indian sometimes in full head-dress and war-paint, was a popular attraction on the small club scene.

Keef Hartley Band

His was one of the few British bands to play the Woodstock Festival, where his critics compared him favourably with Blood Sweat And Tears. “The Battle Of NW6” in 1969 further enhanced his club reputation, although chart success still eluded him. By the time of the third album both Lowther and Jewell had departed; however, Hartley always maintained that his band was like a jazz band, in that musicians could come and go and would be free to play with other aggregations.

Keef Hartley Band02

After that Hartley released a ‘solo’ album (Lancashire Hustler, 1973) and then he formed Dog Soldier with Miller Anderson (guitar), Paul Bliss (bass), Derek Griffiths (guitar) and Mel Simpson (keyboards). They released an eponymous album in 1975, which had a remastered release in early 2011 on CD on the Esoteric label.

In 2007, Hartley released a ghostwritten autobiography, Halfbreed (A Rock and Roll Journey That Happened Against All the Odds). Hartley wrote about his life growing up in Preston, and his career as a drummer and bandleader, including the Keef Hartley Band’s appearance at Woodstock.

Hartley died on 26 November 2011, aged 67, at Royal Preston Hospital in Fulwood, north Preston (by wikipedia)

Gary Thain & Keef Hartley

Jazz/Rock perfection !
In its pomp, the Keef Hartley Band was an extraordinarily powerful combination of rock and jazz. These sessions recapture the excitement of their live performances. A laconic introduction by John Peel gives way to the wonderfully driving medley Overdog/Roundabout/Just to Cry/Sinning for you, where the musicianship and sheer musical exuberance leave you gasping. Congratulations to whoever dug these forgotten gems out of the lockers. The BBC sound engineers did a top job. If you want to understand why some many modern sound so pallid, just sit back and enjoy this amazing collection. (Amazon Customer)

Jimmy Jewell
I wasn’t expecting much. Despite Keef Hartley being a superb drummer, always surrounded by incredible musicians – including Henry Lowther on trumpet and Gary Thain on bass and making some seminally robust albums- I wasn’t expecting much. Of course the musicianship is always top-notch but what about the sound quality…? Well, I needn’t have worried. The musicianship is amazing and the sound quality excellent (and on the latter point, I am very fussy). The release includes material from their best albums (the first four – where Miller Anderson provided lead vocals) with the tracks being extended (particularly with more brass) than the original studio versions. the very small downside is that Spit James doesn’t appear anywhere on this platter. [He was the lead guitarist on the incredible first album Halfbreed and a bit on the second…]. Anyway an essential purchase for any Keef fan which includes two tracks at the end from the Miller Anderson Band which fit in perfect. Essential !  (by Camarillo Brillo)


Another of those great BBC recordings that make one wish they had been around in those days. John Mayall really knew how to pick guitar players and drummers. Keef Hartley band along with Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum are just two of the many fine bands that came from the Mayall school of band leading. We also get to hear the fantastic Miller Anderson on this album (by Peter Hodgson)

Miller Anderson01

Indeed: What a wonderful way to discover the fanststic sound, that great power of the Keef Hartley Band … and if you love Colosseum … than ist his album a must !!!

And I add the story of Keef Hartley by the deleted ammoniterecords.demon.co.uk


Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals)
Harry Beckett (trumpet)
Mike Davis (trumpet)
Peter Dines (organ)
Lyn Dobson (saxophone, flute)
Dave Gaswell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Keef Hartley (drums, percussion)
Spit James (guitar)
Lyle Jenkins (saxophone, flute)
Jimmy Jewell (saxophone)
Henry Lowther (trumpet, violin)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
Gary Thain (bass)
Mick Weaver (keyboards)

Alternate front + backcover:

01. Medley 25.12
01.1. Overdog (Anderson)
01.2. Roundabout (Anderson)
01.3. Just To Cry’ (Lowther/Finnegan)
01.4. Sinnin’ For You (Anderson/Hartley/Dines/Finnegan) 3.20
02. You Can’t Choose (Anderson) 5.56
03. You Can’t Take It With You (Anderson) 8.00
04. Sinnin’ For You (Anderson/Hartley/Dines/Finnegan) 3:40
05. Inerview with Keef Hartley 1.09
06. Me And My Woman (Barge) 3.37
07. Too Much Thinkin’ # 1 (studio reccording) 5.43
08. Waiting Around (Anderson/Hartley/Thain) 2.24
09. Just To Cry (Lowther/Finnegan) 3.40
16. Shadows Across The Wall (Anderson) 4.36
17. To Whom It May Concern (Live Miller Anderson Band) (Anderson) 3.19
18. High Tide, High Water (Live Miller Anderson Band) (Anderson) 7.27

Track 01.: Recorded Live At The Paris Theatre London For “Sunday Concert” On 25th March 1971
Tracks 02. – 03.: Recorded Live In London For “Sunday Concert” On 23rd January 1970
Tracks 04. – 05: Recorded In London For “Top Gear” On 29th April 1969
Tracks 06. – 11.: Recorded In London For “Sunday Concert” On 12th November 1970
Track 12.: Recorded In London For “Top Gear” On 29th April 1969
Tracks 13. – 14.: Recorded In London For “Top Gear” On 14th November 1969
Tracks 15. – 16.: Recorded In London For “Sounds Of The Seventies” On 17th June 1971
Tracks 17. – 18.: Recorded Live At The Paris Theatre London On 13th September 1971



Keith “Keef” Hartley (8 April 1944 – 26 November 2011)

Dallas County – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Unfortunately I don´t know verymuch abot this real good group.

I know,  that this was their first and last album, released by Enterprise Records:

Enterprise Records is an American soul and jazz label founded as a subsidiary of Stax, which released Isaac Hayes’ early solo material. The label was named after the spaceship on Star Trek, which was label president Al Bell’s favorite TV show.  (by discogs.com)

And this album was produced by the one and only Don Nix:

Don Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, producer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being “obscure” (Steve Kurutz does so on the website allmusic.com), he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He played “Memphis soul” sound. (by wikipeda)


And on this album you can some of his real beauiful compostions.

And Dallas Country was a Jazz Rock Band similar to Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears or rather The Mob. Very rich sound with much winds. (by jlkyn)

So, if you like this fantastic brass-rock sound from this period of music (including a Jazz-Rock version of “Blowing In The Wind”) this album ist a pretty good addtion for your collection.

Hey guys, where are you now ?

Or: Who knows more ???


Ernie Chapman (bass, horns)
Vic Fouquet (bass, horns)
Ramsey Horton (keyboards)
Sammy Jaramilio (vocals)
Galen Jeeter (trumpet)
Jim Jeeter (reeds)
Byron Parks (trumpet)
Ken Pugh (guitar)
Ron Sprouse (trombone)
Ray Windt (percussion)

Dallas County
01. The Toll (Nix/Pruitt) 3.01
02. Mad Dog (Nix/Pruitt) 2.03
03. Small Vacation (Nix/Pruitt) 2.30
04. Roads (Nix/Pruitt) 2.58
05. Reflections (Puckett/Horton) 3.49
06. If We Try (Pugh) 3.50
07. Love’s Not Hard To Find (Nix/Horton) 3.13
08. Blowing In The Wind (Dylan) 3.36
09. She Didn’t Say Just Why (Pruitt) 2.18
10. It Shall Pass (Corerro) 3.00



Their first single on Stax Records:

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – So Far (1974)

FrontCover1So Far is the fourth album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, their third as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the first compilation album released by the group. Shipping as a gold record and peaking at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, it was the band’s third chart-topping album in a row. It has been certified six times platinum by the RIAA, and is the second best-selling album by any configuration of the quartet in tandem after their 1970 studio album, Déjà Vu.

The album contains five of the band’s six singles to date, omitting “Marrakesh Express”, all of which had reached the Top 40. It is the first release on long-playing album of the single “Ohio” as well as its b-side “Find the Cost of Freedom”, and the only place both can be found on one compact disc. The other five tracks were taken from the band’s two studio albums, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Déjà Vu, although the other singles appear here in their album-length versions and mixes.

The album’s 11 studio tracks derived from a group that had only issued 22 to date. Graham Nash later insisted that the group was against the album’s release, calling the concoction of a greatest-hits album from two LPs and one non-LP single “absurd.” Atlantic Records wished to capitalize on the highly publicized and anticipated reunion tour of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1974, however, and such was the demand for any new product by the quartet that So Far topped the charts anyway and went gold immediately.


Young appears on only four of the album’s 11 songs: “Ohio”; “Find the Cost of Freedom”; “Woodstock”; and “Helpless.” He had only appeared on half the tracks of the Déjà Vu LP. The remaining songs without Young, with the exception of “Déjà Vu”, also appear on Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Greatest Hits compact disc of 2005.

The cover art was painted by the group’s friend and colleague Joni Mitchell. The album was reissued on compact disc some time in the 1980s, and again on September 20, 1994, after being remastered by Joe Gastwirt at Ocean View Digital using the original master tapes. It was reissued yet again, with no apparent additional remastering, on September 30, 2008. The album has been rendered relatively superfluous with the appearance of the Crosby, Stills & Nash box set in 1991, which contains all of these tracks with the exceptions of “Helplessly Hoping,” “Woodstock,” “Guinnevere,” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which are in either different versions or different mixes. (by wikipedia)


Unbeknown to most fans, So Far was a stopgap release, undertaken by Atlantic Records in the absence of a new Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album to accompany the reunited quartet’s summer 1974 tour. At the time, the members thought it was ridiculous to release a greatest-hits/best-of compilation distilled down from two in-print LPs plus the single sides “Ohio” and “Find the Cost of Freedom”; but propelled by the publicity surrounding the group’s massive stadium tour (the first exclusive stadium tour ever done in rock), So Far topped the charts and sold hundreds of thousands of copies, all without containing so much as a single new note of music. Ironically, the quartet had been working on what would have been, by all accounts, the best album in their history; as with so many other projects attempted by the four-man lineup, however, that album fell apart halfway through, amid clashes of egos and creative differences, and so there was So Far. Taken on its own terms, the album manages to be both enjoyable and frustrating, as well as virtually obsolete in the 21st century — the Joni Mitchell cover art is cool, and the presence of “Ohio” and “Find the Cost of Freedom” makes it attractive (until the 1990s, So Far was the only album to contain both songs); and a case can be made that it contains some of the better moments from Crosby, Stills & Nash and Déjà Vu.


The problem is that those were two virtually perfect albums, and the idea of excerpting parts of them for a compilation makes no more sense than, say, excerpting the first two Beatles albums for a “best of” on that band. Further, it’s not even a true greatest-hits or best-of compilation, with “Marrakesh Express” not present. And it is difficult to imagine anyone who enjoys this disc not enjoying the two complete albums even more. So, essentially, owning So Far serves no purpose except to get “Ohio” and “Find the Cost of Freedom,” which are also on Carry On and the Crosby, Stills & Nash box, both of which offer a lot more, dollar for dollar and song for song. For those inclined to buy it, however, the 1994 reissue (Atlantic 82648) of So Far is to be preferred for sound quality over the earlier edition. (by Bruce Eder)

Music from a period, long time ago … but not forgotten !


David Crosby (vocals, guitar)
Graham Nash (vocals, piano on 07. + 08., guitar, tambourine on 04.)
Stephen Stills (vocals, guitar, piano on 01. + 09., organ on 03. + 07., bass on 01., 03., 04. + 11.)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals)
Johnny Barbata (drums on 05.)
Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar on 04.)
Greg Reeves (bass on 07. – 09.)
Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels (bass on 05.)
John Sebastian (harmonica on 01.)
Dallas Taylor (drums )

01. Déjà Vu (Déjà Vu, 1970) (Crosby) 4.13
02. Helplessly Hoping  (Stills) 2.39
03. Wooden Ships (Crosby, Stills & Nash, 1969) (Crosby/Stills/Kantner) 5.28
04. Teach Your Children (Déjà Vu, 1970) (Nash) 2.55
05. Ohio (non-album single, A-side, 1970) (Young) .05
06. Find The Cost Of Freedom (non-album single, B-side, 1970) (Stills) 1,58
07. Woodstock  (Déjà Vu, 1970) (Mitchell) 3.55
08. Our House (Déjà Vu, 1970) (Nash) 3.01
09. Helpless (Déjà Vu, 1970) (Young) 3.38
10. Guinnevere (Crosby, Stills & Nash, 1969) (Crosby) 4.39
11. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills & Nash, 1969) (Stills) 7.26