Jack Bruce & Friends – Fillmore West (1970)

FrontCover1Apart from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, who passed away on November 12, 2008 at the age of 61, had a varied professional career. According to the wikipedia, “another noteworthy musical collaboration in the late ’60s was with the Jack Bruce And Friends band featuring Mitchell along with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist Mike Mandel and jazz-fusion guitar legend and future The Eleventh House frontman Larry Coryell.”

A third-generation (?) cassette recording of this spirited show had been circulating among fans and now there is a very nice-sounding (but not pristine) upgrade, thanks to Olvator, who shared the tracks on the internet.

Olvator notes: “This is the best and most complete version of this show. I uploaded another version of this concert a few years ago. Same source, but from my 3rd (?) gen cassette. I have received these files some time ago and they are straight from the master. Sound is much better! This is a raw transfer.”

While Jack Bruce’s vocals are fairly dominant, it is Larry Coryell’s guitar work and, to a slightly lesser extent, Mike Mandell’s organ that take centrestage, so to speak. Coryell might have been going through a rock-guitar phase so this is not wholly the jazz-fusion playing that fans tend to associate with the guitarist.

Framed

But it is on the Smiles & Grins jam that indicate the direction both Coryell and Mitch Mitchell would take in the subsequent years. After all, as the wikipedia notes, “Mitchell pioneered a style of drumming which would later become known as fusion.”

Still, in memory of Mitchell, he gets the spotlight in the opening of The Clearout where he does a thundering solo. And to remind fans of their earlier days, the band drags out Sunshine Of Your Love which, not surprisingly, gets the loudest applause.

Recorded live at the Fillmore East, New York, January 31, 1970 (late show)
Very good audience recording.

 

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (vocals, bass)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Mike Mandell (organ)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 7.32
02. Weird of Hermiston/Tickets To Waterfalls/Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 9.30
03. HCKHH (Hayseed Country Kicking Ho Ho) Blues (Bruce) 9.02
04. We’re Going Wrong (Bruce) 8.17
05. The Clearout (Bruce/Brown) 7.02
06. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 15.57
07. Smiles & Grins jam (Bruce/Brown) 4.32

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Procol Harum – Home (1970)

FrontCover1Home is Procol Harum’s fourth album, released in 1970. With the departure of organist Matthew Fisher and bassist David Knights and the addition of the remaining musicians’ (Gary Brooker, B.J. Wilson and Robin Trower) former bandmate bassist/organist Chris Copping from The Paramounts, Procol Harum was, for all intents and purposes, The Paramounts again in all but name. The purpose of bringing in Copping was to return some of the R&B sound to the band that they had with their previous incarnation.

The initial sessions were performed in London at Trident Studios under the supervision of former organist Matthew Fisher who had also produced the band’s previous album. Unhappy with the sound and performances, the band scrapped the Trident sessions and began again with producer Chris Thomas and engineer Jeff Jarratt at Abbey Road Studios. Once the album was completed it was decided that the cover would be a parody of the British board game Snakes and Ladders featuring members of the band.

When the album was released in June 1970 it charted at No. 34 in the United States and No. 49 in the United Kingdom, making the Danish Top 10 peaking at #6.[4] The album was preceded by the single “Whiskey Train” written by guitarist Robin Trower with lyricist Keith Reid. (by wikipedia)

Gary Brooker

The group’s hardest-rocking classic album is, beyond some superb vocalizing by Gary Brooker, principally a showcase for Robin Trower’s high-powered guitar and a rock-hard rhythm section, with B.J. Wilson only a little less animated than Ginger Baker on some of the music. Procol Harum had a split personality by this time, the band juxtaposing straight-ahead rock & roll numbers like “Still There’ll Be More” and the Elvis Presley-influenced “Whisky Train” with darker, more dramatic pieces like “Nothing That I Didn’t Know” and “Barnyard Story.” Chris Copping doubles on organ, replacing Matthew Fisher, but the overall sound is that of a leaner Procol Harum, all except for the ambitious “Whaling Stories” — even it was a compromise that nearly worked, showcasing Trower’s larger-than-life guitar sound (coming off here like King Crimson’s Robert Fripp in one of his heavier moments) within a somewhat pretentious art rock concept. It shows the strains within their lineup that the producers chose the lighter, more obviously accessible “Your Own Choice” — on which Gary Brooker’s piano is the lead instrument — to end the album after “Whaling Stories”‘ pyrotechnic finish. (y Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Gary Brooker (piano, vocals)
Chris Copping (organ, bass guitar)
Robin Trower (guitar)
B.J. Wilson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Whisky Train (Trower/Reid) 4.31
02. The Dead Man’s Dream (Brooker/Reid) 4.46
03. Still There’ll Be More (Brooker/Reid) 4.53
04. Nothing That I Didn’t Know (Brooker/Reid) 3.38
05. About To Die (Trower/Reid) 3.35
06. Barnyard Story (Brooker/Reid) 2.46
07. Piggy Pig Pig (Brooker/Reid) 4.47
08. Whaling Stories (Brooker/Reid) 7.06
09. Your Own Choice (Brooker/Reid) 3.13

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Bloodrock – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Bloodrock was an American hard rock band, based in Fort Worth, Texas, that had considerable success in the 1970s, and was one of the earliest of a number of significant bands to emerge from the Fort Worth club and music scene during the early to mid-1970s.

Bloodrock initially formed in Fort Worth in 1963, under the name The Naturals. This first lineup featured Jim Rutledge (b. January 24, 1947) – drums/vocals, Nick Taylor (b. October 29, 1946 – d. March 10, 2010) – guitar/vocals, Ed Grundy (b. March 10, 1948) – bass/vocals, and Dean Parks – guitar. They released their first single in 1965 “Hey Girl” b/w “I Want You” (Rebel MME 1003). Shortly thereafter they changed their name to Crowd + 1 and released three more singles: “Mary Ann Regrets” b/w “Whatcha Tryin’ to Do to Me” (BOX 6604), “Don’t Hold Back” b/w “Try,” and “Circles” b/w “Most Peculiar Things.”

In 1967, Parks left Crowd +1 to become the musical director for The Sonny & Cher Show (the beginning of a long career as a session musician). He was replaced by Lee Pickens (b. December 8, 194?) – guitar. It was also at this time that Stevie Hill (b. Tulsa, Oklahoma) – keyboards/vocals joined the group. They continued as Crowd + 1 until 1969 (though some fans of the band recall the band briefly calling themselves Texas) when they changed their name to Bloodrock, conceived by Grand Funk Railroad manager/producer Terry Knight. They also recorded their first album, the Terry Knight produced, Bloodrock (Capitol ST-435). The album, released in March 1970, peaked at 160 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Bloodrock is the self-titled debut from the Fort Worth, Texas hard rock band Bloodrock, released under Capitol Records in 1970. The cover art was designed by producer Terry Knight.

The song “Gotta Find a Way” contains one of the earliest instances of backmasking.[citation needed] Near the beginning of the song, the following message is played backwards, “Anyone who is stupid enough to play this record backwards deserves what he is about to hear,” followed by an excerpt from the poem Jabberwocky. (by wikipedia)

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1969 saw the first rumblings of heavy metal with debut releases from bands likes of Mott the Hoople and Grand Funk Railroad. Bloodrock, a Texas-based quintet, also released their debut during this time (and like Grand Funk Railroad, they were managed and produced by Terry Knight). Bloodrock may not be as well remembered today as the aforementioned groups, but their first release remains a cult favorite among fans of hard rock. Their sound is reminiscent of Deep Purple, with electric guitar and organ dueling over a throbbing beat. However, Jim Rutledge’s gruff, whiskey-throated vocals lend a rural tinge to the group’s music that sets them apart. As expected for a heavy metal band, the songwriting themes tend to be pretty ominous: “Double Cross” is a gleeful hymn to revenge, and “Timepiece” recounts the final thoughts of a death row prisoner about to be sent to the gallows. The band doesn’t always know when to edit their jams (“Timepiece”), and some of the songs feel more like a collection of riffs than fully thought-out compositions (“Wicked Truth”), but the group’s powerful attack helps smooth over the rough spots to make an engaging slab of proto-metal. The album’s highlights are the final two songs: “Fantastic Piece of Architecture” uses a combination of Doors-like funereal organ and piano to create a creepy atmosphere, and “Melvin Laid an Egg” blends pile-driving riffs with gentle bridges of piano, and harmony vocals to bring its surreal lyric about a freak-show-dwelling capitalist to life. Overall, Bloodrock lacks the crossover appeal to win fans outside of its cult reputation, but it remains an interesting listen for those interested in the development of heavy metal. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

Bloodrock

Personnel:
Ed Grundy (bass, vocals)
Stephen Hill (keyboards, vocals)
Lee Pickens (guitar, vocals)
Jim Rutledge (drums, vocals)
Nick Taylor (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Gotta Find A Way 6.34
02. Castle Of Thoughts  3.31
03. Fatback 3.24
04. Double Cross 5.19
05. Timepiece 6.00
06. Wicked Truth 4.48
07. Gimmie Your Head 2.44
08. Fantastic Piece Of Architecture 8.49
09. Melvin Laid An Egg 7.27

All songs written by Rick Cobb, Ed Grundy, Lee Pickens, Steve Rutledge and Nick Taylor.

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Atomic Rooster – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Atomic Rooster were an English rock band, originally formed by members of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer. Throughout their history, keyboardist Vincent Crane was the only constant member, and wrote the majority of their material. Their history is defined by two periods: the early-mid-1970s and the early 1980s. The band went through radical style changes, however they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, “Tomorrow Night” (UK No. 11) and “The Devil’s Answer” (UK No. 4), both in 1971.

In summer 1969, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown had to cease touring in the middle of their second U.S. tour because of keyboardist Vincent Crane’s mental illness. When he recovered, he and drummer Carl Palmer took the step to leave Arthur Brown and return to England, the return date being Friday, 13 June 1969, which was the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar, and arranged a meeting with Brian Jones to discuss a collaboration. After Jones’s death, they adopted the name Atomic Rooster (with influence from the US band Rhinoceros), and soon recruited Nick Graham on bass and vocals. They followed with what had emerged as The Crazy World of Arthur Brown formula of vocals, organ, bass, and drums.

They soon undertook live dates around London; at their first headlining gig at the London Lyceum on Friday, August 29, 1969, the opening act was Deep Purple.[4] They eventually struck a deal with B & C Records and began recording their debut album in December 1969. Their first LP, Atomic Roooster, was released in February 1970, along with a single, “Friday the 13th”. By March, Crane felt it was best that they add a guitarist, and recruited John Du Cann from acid-progressive rock band Andromeda. However, just as Du Cann joined, bassist-vocalist Graham left. Du Cann (who played guitar and sang for Andromeda) took over vocal duties, whilst Crane overdubbed the bass lines on his Hammond organ with a combination of left hand and foot pedals. Atomic Rooster resumed gigging until the end of June 1970, when Carl Palmer announced his departure to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer. (by wikipedia)

And of course … Friday The Thirteenth was not only one the finest songs, Atomic Rooster ever recorded, but – read the lyrics – a song about Vincent Crane and his tragedy.

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Atomic Rooster (with Carl Palmer)

Personnel:
Vincent Crane (keyboards)
Nick Graham (bass, guitar, flute, vocals)
Carl Palmer (drums, percussion, glockenspiel)

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Tracklist:
01. Friday The Thirteenth (Crane) 3.28
02. And So To Bed (Crane) 4.08
03. Broken Wings (Mayall) 5.44
04. Before Tomorrow (Crane) 5.48
05. Banstead (Crane//Palmer/Graham) 3.30
06. S.L.Y. (Crane) 4.54
07. Winter (Crane) 6.55
08. Decline & Fall (Crane//Palmer/Graham) 5.46
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09. Play The Game (Cann) 4.46

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Save me, save me, save me, save me
Wake up in the night, stare into the dark
You can feel your fear,tearing at your heart

Trying to lock your door,there is no escape
I’ll be watching you,every move you make
Someone please, please save me

No one will save you – they won’t try
Someone please, please help me
Everyone’s lonely when they die
Everyone’s lonely when they die

No one in the world will want you – save me!
No one in the world will need you – save me!
No one in the world will love you – save me!
No one in the world will miss you – save me!

Walking down the street, footsteps close behind
Dare not turn your head, don’t know what you’ll find
Trying to shout for help, your words turn to dust
Looking for a friend, no one you can trust

Someone please, please save me
No one will save you, they won’t try
Someone please, please help me
Everyone’s lonely when they die
Everyone’s lonely when they die

 

Little John – Up And Down (1970)

FrontCover1Little John is a band from Oakland, California. Oakland is truly an experience-similar to the experience of Newark, East St. Louis or Philadelphia. Living in the urban nothingness of Oakland has done much to shape Little John’s music. Their music is not about living in the city; it comes from living in the city.

All stages of time exist openly in the city, and Little John’s music is reliant on the past, aware of today and curious about the future. Full of the drive, clamor, brashness, sadness and elation of the city, it is serious music, without any unnecessary trappings. And, Little John is serious musicians and serious people. They want you to listen to the album-in sequence, please-and if you like them-beautiful-buy their next album. Besides, they could use the money. (taken from the original liner-notes written by the producer of this album)
Ironically this was their second and last album !
This group isnot to be confused with the reggae Little John, this was actually a band (from Oakland, CA) rather than a person. Their single cruelly shortened from 7 minutes plus to a mere 2:17.
This is a typical Jazz-Rock” album from the early Seventies and if you like group like “Chicago” or “Blood, Sweat & Tears” …than you should listen to this album … it´s a superb Jazz-Rock album !
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Personnel:
John Hart (guitar, vocals)
Mike Pia (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Sal Saccardo (drums, percussion, vocals)
Lex Boyd Silva (bass)
Vince Wallace  (saxophone)
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Tracklist:
01. Lonely Years (Hart) 3.08
02. Grey-Blue (Pia) 2.50
03. Up And Down (Pia) 7.00
04. Wood Grain Alcohol (Hart) 4.09
05. Bombay Calling (Wallace) 3.22
06. Whirled Piece (Hart) 4.15
07. New Day/It Appears To Be (Pia) 8.54
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08. Up And Down (single version) (Pia) 2.17

 

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Focus – Focus Plays Focus (In And Out Of Focus) (1970)

FocusPlaysFocusFC1Focus are a Dutch progressive rock band formed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1969 by Thijs van Leer. The band have undergone numerous formations in its history. Since 2011 it has comprised van Leer on vocals, keyboards, and flute, Pierre van der Linden on drums, Bobby Jacobs on bass, and Menno Gootjes on guitar.

Formed of members of the pit band for the Dutch production of the rock musical Hair, Focus gained popularity following the success of Focus II (1971) which contained the hit single “Hocus Pocus”. Their success continued with Focus 3 (1972) and Hamburger Concerto (1974). Following their break up in 1978, Focus reunited in 1985, 1990, and 1999 before reforming in 2002. They continue to tour and release albums.

In 2010, “Hocus Pocus” was used as the theme for Nike’s 2010 World Cup commercial Write The Future which renewed interest in the band.

At the release of their first album Focus Plays Focus (re-released with a different track sequence as In and Out of Focus) (1970), Focus comprised keyboardist and flutist Thijs van Leer, guitarist Jan Akkerman, bassist Martijn Dresden, and drummer Hans Cleuver. The album was little noticed outside the Netherlands, where a small but avid fan base developed. In the United Kingdom the single “House of the King” initially garnered attention as a Jethro Tull sound-alike. Akkerman left the group to form another band with Pierre van der Linden, a drummer he had previously performed with in Johnny and the Cellar Rockers, The Hunters, and Brainbox. Van Leer made the difficult decision of leaving behind his bandmates Cleuver and Dresden to join Akkerman’s new group which, after enlisting bassist Cyril Havermans, retained the name of Focus. (by wikipedia)

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Focus’ debut album is gentler and more low-key and vocal-oriented than their subsequent efforts; fans of Jan Akkerman’s pyrotechnics may be disappointed by his relatively restrained presence, but others may be pleasantly surprised to find a more economic group than they remember. A fair collection of progressive rock tunes without a clear focus, the material is dominated by Thijs Van Leer, often introducing classical sensibilities. But at least as often, it sticks with fairly conventional period folk-rock and blues influences, with occasional jazzy shadings. Akkerman’s “House of the King” is the most accurate Jethro Tull imitation ever recorded. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Jan Akkerman (guitar)
Hans Cleuver (drums, percussion)
Martijn Dresden (bass)
Thijs van Leer (organ, flute, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Focus I (vocal) (Cleuver/v.Leer) 2.44
02. Black Beauty (Akkerman/Dresden/v.Leer) 3.06
03. Sugar Island (Staal/Dresden(v.Leer) 3.05
04. Anonymous (Akkerman/Dresden/v.Leer) 6.33
05. House Of The King (Akkerman) 2.51
06. Happy Nightmare (Mescaline) (Dresden/Hayes/v.Leer) 3.59
07. Why Dream (Cleuver/v.Leer) 3.58
08. Focus (instrumental) (Cleuver/v.Leer) 9.44

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Focus1970

Free – Live Stockholm 1970 / 2015)

FrontCover1Thishis poorly played set is provided here in a much better sound quality than the ones you can find here or there on various places. Another document, more interesting historically than musically (but it’s still Free, so nothing bad of course).

This is the last of the 3 well-recorded live sets of Free in 1970. The 2 previous (Sunderland Locarno and Croydon) have been posted previously. Don’t expect the intensity of these live shows. This one is strangely weak and rather soporific. A day off it seems. Probably the fact that the radio studio with a small audience doesn’t stimulate their adrenals enough. At the begining of the set, Paul Rodgers says they have been relax in Sweden, and unfortunately, it’s quite obvious when listening to the show. Everything seems to be taken on a slow pace and chosen songs are mainly the sad and melancholic ones. Paul Kossoff is fantastic on one song (“Be My Friend”, in streaming below) but rather catastrophic on many songs, notably “Mr Big” that is the shittiest version I heard by Free. All in all, an interesting but rather deceiving testimony of the well-known uneven quality of their prestations. (by dkandroughmix-forgottensongs.blogspot.de)

Recorded live at Radiohuset, Stockholm, Sweden, December 1970.

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Personnel:
Andy Fraser (bass)
Simon Kirke (drums)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Paul Rodgers (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The Stealer (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.09
02. Fire And Water (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.23
03. Ride On Pony (Fraser/Rodgers) 5.08
04. Heavy Load (Fraser/Rodgers) 6.11
05. Woman (Kossoff/Rodgers) 4.48
06. Love You So (Kirke/Rodgers) 5.46
07. All Right Now (Fraser/Rodgers) 5.14
08. Be My Friend (Fraser/Rodgers) 6.06
09. Mr. Big (Fraser/Kossoff/Rodgers/Kirke) 7.04

Paul Kossoff

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