Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman (1970)

FrontCover1Tea for the Tillerman is the fourth studio album by the singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. This album, Stevens’ second during 1970, includes many of Stevens’ best-known songs including “Where Do the Children Play?”, “Hard Headed Woman”, “Wild World”, “Sad Lisa”, “Into White”, and “Father and Son”. Four of the tracks (“Where Do the Children Play?”, “On the Road to Find Out”, “Tea for the Tillerman”, and “Miles from Nowhere”) were featured in the Hal Ashby and Colin Higgins’ black comedy film Harold and Maude, in 1971. The track “But I Might Die Tonight” was featured in the film Deep End directed by Jerzy Skolimowski in 1970. Stevens, a former art student, created the artwork featured on the record’s cover. “Tea for the Tillerman” was also used over the end credits for the BBC TV show Extras. “Miles From Nowhere” also appeared in the A-Team episode, “Alive at Five” while Templeton Peck is running away.

With “Wild World” as an advance single, this was the album that brought Stevens worldwide fame.[citation needed] The album itself charted into the top 10 in the United States, where he had previously had few listeners.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a “B–” and found the music monotonous and lacking the “dry delicacy” Stevens exhibited on Mona Bone Jakon (1970). Rolling Stone magazine’s Ben Gerson said that Stevens’ songs effortlessly resonate beyond their artfully simple lyrics and hooks, despite his occasional overuse of dynamics “for dramatic effect.”

On 18 November 2003, Rolling Stone included this album in its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list at number 206.[5] In 2006, the album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[6] In 2007, the album was included in the list of “The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time”, released by The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.(by wikipedia)

Cat Stevens 1972

Cat Stevens, (centre, in long sleeve shirt), and his nine-man band at the Singapore airport, where he stopped over on the way to perform in Tokyo in 1972.

Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens’ comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, “Where Do the Children Play?,” in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. “Wild World” found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him. “Sad Lisa” might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life’s questions. Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man’s search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn’t yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace. The album’s rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn’t hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn’t hard to sing along to. As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star.(by William Ruhlmann)

BackCover

Personnel:
Harvey Burns (drums)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
John Rostein (violin)
John Ryan (bass)
Cat Stevens (guitar, keyboards, vocals

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Where Do The Children Play? 3.51
02. Hard Headed Woman 3.47
03. Wild World 3.18
04. Sad Lisa 3.40
05. Miles From Nowhere 3.32
06. But I Might Die Tonight 1.52
07. Longer Boats 3.11
08. Into White 3.24
09. On The Road To Find Out 5.07
10. Father And Son 3.38
11. Tea For The Tillerman 1.00

All songs written by Cat Stevens

LabelB1

*
**

Mastertapes

 

John Renbourn – The Lady And The Unicorn (1970)

FrontCover1The Lady and the Unicorn is the 1970 solo album by British folk musician John Renbourn. On this release, Renbourn ventures into folk rock and medieval music territory. The first four tracks are arranged from the Add MS 29987 manuscript. The cover was taken from The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry. (by wikipedia)

Renbourn’s last solo album for the next six years overlaps with his Pentangle work, featuring Terry Cox playing hand drums and glockenspiel, with future John Renbourn band member Tony Roberts and violinist Dave Swarbrick. The repertory consists of medieval and early classical pieces, interspersed with the expected folk material — keyboard works from the Fitzwilliam virginal book (transcribed for guitar) stand alongside traditional tunes such as “Scarborough Fair,” which turns up as part of an 11-minute track that also incorporates “My Johnny Was a Shoemaker,” with Swarbrick at the top of his form on violin. The album is entirely instrumental, but as with other Renbourn releases, one hardly misses the vocals. (by Bruce Eder)

John Renbourn

Taken from the original liner-notes:

This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes and early classical music. The oldest are probably the English dance tune ‘Trotto’ and the Italian ‘Saltarello’, to which I have added a drone accompaniment, tuning the guitar to DGDGCD. ‘Lamento di Tristan’ and ‘La Rotta’ are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They too are without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel.
The three part conductus ‘Veri Floris’, composed during the Notre Dame period, is a setting for the words ‘Under the figure of the true flower which the pure root produced, the loving devotion of our clergy has made a mystical flower constructing an allegorical meaning beyond ordinary useage from the nature of a flower”.
This is followed by the triple ballade ‘Sancuer-Armordolens-Dameparvous’ of Guillaume de Machaut.
‘Bransle Gay’ and ‘Bransle de Bourgogne’ are from the danceries of Claude Gervaise, composed in about 1550. The first is played on solo guitar but the second uses flute, fiddle and has a second guitar line added. The anonymous ‘Alman’ is taken from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is followed by ‘Melancholy Galliard’ by the English lutanist John Dowland. The sequence concludes with the ‘Sarabande’ in B Minor by J. S. Bach.
The album ends with two short guitar pieces, ‘The Lady And The Unicorn’ and an arrangement of the sixteenth century song ‘Westron Wynde’, and arrangements for flute, viola and guitar of two folk songs: ‘My Johnny Was A Shoemaker’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’.
I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted on more recent instruments. (John Rebourn)

Such a beautiful album … a timeless classic recording !

John Renbourn2

Personnel:
Don Harper (violin)
Lea Nicholson (concertina)
John Renbourn (guitar)
Tony Roberts (flute)
Dave Swarbrick (violin)
Ray Warleigh (flute)

BackCover1
Tracklist:
01.1. Trotto (Anonymous) 0.40
01.2. Saltarrello (Anonymous) 1.53
02.1.Lamento di Tristan (Anonymous) 1.58
02.2.La Rotta (Anonymous) 0.55
03.1.Veri Floris (Anonymous) 0.44
03.2. Triple Ballade (Sanscuer-Amordolens-Dameparvous) (de Machaut) 2.00
04.1.Bransle Gay (Gervaise) 1.13
04.2.Bransle de Bourgogne (Johnson) 1.34
05.1.Alman (Anonymous)1.25
05.2.Melancholy Galliard (Dowland) 2.47
06.Sarabande (Bach) 2.41
07.The Lady And The Unicorn (Renbourn) 3.21
08.1.My Johnny Was A Shoemaker (Traditional) 4.16
08.2.Westron Wynde (Traditional) 1.25
08.3.Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 7.22

Labels

*
**

 

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.

 

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate front covers

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

JackBruceAndFriends

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

Poster
*
**

 

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)

ProcolHarum1970_01

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

BackCover1
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

LabelB!

*
**

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)

Bloodrock2

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)

BackCover

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.

LabelB1

*
**

 

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.

AtomicRooster

Atomic Rooster (with Carl Palmer)

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

BackCover1

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
+
09. Play The Game (Cann) 4.46

LabelB

*
**

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 !
Single
Personnel:
John Hart (guitar, vocals)
Mike Pia (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Sal Saccardo (drums, percussion, vocals)
Lex Boyd Silva (bass)
Vince Wallace  (saxophone)
BackCover1

 

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
+
08. Up And Down (single version) (Pia) 2.17

 

LabelB1

*
**