Nazareth – Same (1971)

FrontCover1Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band formed in Dunfermline in 1968 that had several hits in the United Kingdom, as well as in several other Western European countries in the early 1970s. They established an international audience with their 1975 album Hair of the Dog, which featured their hits “Hair of the Dog” and a cover of the ballad “Love Hurts”. The band continues to record and tour.

Nazareth formed in December 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, from the remaining members of semi-professional local group The Shadettes (formed in 1961) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. They were inspired by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Nazareth took their name from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which is cited in the first line of The Band’s classic song “The Weight” (“I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead…”).

Nazareth02

The band moved to London, England in 1970 and released their eponymous debut album in 1971.[6] After getting some attention with their second album Exercises, released in 1972, Nazareth supported Deep Purple on tour, and issued the Roger Glover-produced Razamanaz, in early 1973.[6] This collection spawned two UK Top Ten hits, “Broken Down Angel” and “Bad Bad Boy”.[6] This was followed by Loud ‘N’ Proud in late 1973, which contained another hit single with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song “This Flight Tonight”. Then came another album Rampant, in 1974, that was equally successful although its only single, “Shanghai’d in Shanghai”, narrowly missed the British Top 40. A non-album song, again a cover version, this time of Tomorrow’s “My White Bicycle”, was a UK Top 20 entry in 1975.

Nazareth01

Hair of the Dog was released in April 1975 and was produced by Manny Charlton, ending Roger Glover’s association with the band. The title track of that album (popularly, though incorrectly, known as “Son of a Bitch” due to its hook lyric) became a staple of 1970s rock radio. The American version of the album included a song originally recorded by The Everly Brothers, the melodic Boudleaux Bryant-penned ballad “Love Hurts”, that was released as a hit single in the UK and in the US, where it went platinum. The track became the band’s only US Top Ten hit[8] and was also a top 10 hit in nine other countries, reaching number 1 in six of them. The song was on the Norwegian chart for 60 weeks.

In 1979, second guitarist Zal Cleminson was added to the line-up, remaining for two albums, No Mean City and Malice in Wonderland, and contributing numerous compositions. Malice in Wonderland contained the single “Holiday”. In 1981, they contributed the song “Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)” to the soundtrack to the film, Heavy Metal.

Nazareth04

Various Nazareth line-ups continued to make studio albums and tour throughout the 1980s and 1990s, although their popularity had declined such that some albums no longer received either a UK or a US release. They remained popular in Europe, particularly Germany, where “Dream On” became a hit single. In 1991, Billy Rankin returned to replace Manny Charlton on the No Jive album, remaining with the band until 1994.

A tribute came in 1993 when Guns N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” on “The Spaghetti Incident?”, consolation after they turned down Axl Rose’s request for the group to play at his wedding. Rankin departed again in 1994, but with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy, Nazareth maintained a live following in Europe and the US.

Nazareth05

Nazareth continued touring after Rankin’s departure, with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy. While on tour in 1999, original drummer Darrell Sweet died at age 51 of a heart attack. He was replaced by bassist Pete Agnew’s son Lee for later editions of the band.

On 4 August 2006, John Locke, the former keyboardist of the band, died from cancer at the age of 62.

In February 2008, The Newz was released on the Hamburg-based label, Edel Entertainment. The release of the album coincided with Nazareth’s fortieth anniversary tour, which started on 25 January in Sweden and visited most of Europe, finished on 4 November 2008 in Norway. A follow up album, Big Dogz, was released on 15 April 2011.

Nazareth06

Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from the band due to ill health on 28 August 2013, leaving Pete Agnew as the last remaining original member of the band. On 22 February 2014, it was announced that Scottish singer Linton Osborne was chosen as McCafferty’s replacement, with the former singer’s blessing. In December 2014, Nazareth announced the cancellation of several shows, and later postponement of their UK tour, due to Osborne contracting a virus that left him unable to perform. In a post on his Facebook page 16 January 2015, Osborne announced his departure from the band.

On 13 February 2015, the band announced that Carl Sentance, formerly of Persian Risk, Geezer Butler Band, and Krokus, was their new lead vocalist.

In October 2018, the album Tattooed on My Brain, was released via Frontiers Records.[16] ‘The 50th Anniversary Tour’ followed, spanning 2018 and 2019, along with German hard rock band Formosa as support. Original guitarist Manny Charlton died on 5 July 2022, aged 80.

On 8 November 2022, Dan McCafferty died at the age of 76.

Nazareth03

William Daniel McCafferty (14 October 1946 – 8 November 2022) was a Scottish vocalist, best known as the lead singer for the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth from its founding in 1968 to his retirement from touring with the band in 2013.

Dan McCafferty was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Under the influence of artists such as Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, he became one of the founding members of Nazareth in 1968. He appeared on all of Nazareth’s albums up to 2014 and toured with them for 45 years. He co-wrote some of the big Nazareth hits, including “Broken Down Angel”, and “Bad Bad Boy”. He released three solo albums.

Dan McCafferty01

On 29 August 2013, Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from touring with the band due to health issues. He elaborated on the specifics of the health issues and the state of his situation in an interview with the UK music magazine, Classic Rock. He stated that he had not suffered a stroke as had been reported in the press. He said that his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that has “worsened in recent years” had made him leave the stage in Switzerland in late August 2013 after only three songs, indicating that, “You don’t know when it’s going to come on, but suddenly you can’t breathe.” Commenting about his most recent episode, at the Swiss festival, McCafferty maintained, “if you can’t do the job you shouldn’t be there — Nazareth’s too big for that.” McCafferty also revealed that another health problem was responsible for his onstage collapse at a concert in Canada in July 2013 – a burst stomach ulcer. He stated reflecting back on the incident, “I thought I’d be fine, but you lose so much blood when that happens.” In addition McCafferty said that he expected Nazareth to continue on without him. “I really hope they get someone else,” he declared. “I’m sure they will.”

Dan McCafferty02

Although McCafferty retired from performing, Nazareth fans can still hear his voice on their 2014 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone. The singer also revealed that he could record more new music, either with Nazareth or as a solo artist. He clarified: “To go into a studio and sing isn’t like doing a gig. I could always make another record, but getting up to do an hour and three-quarters, and get people to pay money to come and see me — I can’t do that.” McCafferty expressed his appreciation to his fans near the end of the interview by saying: “Let everyone know I appreciate they’ve been there for all these years.”[3][10] He continued to sing live around the world and record on occasion. On 21 June 2019, he released a new music video titled “Tell Me”. It was from the solo album Last Testament, released on 18 October 2019, McCafferty’s first solo album since 1987’s Into The Ring.

McCafferty was married and had two children. He died on 8 November 2022, at the age of 76. wikipedia)

Dan McCafferty03

Nazareth is the debut album by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, released in 1971. The album featured the hit single “Dear John,” and a cover of “Morning Dew.”

Ad1

This 1971 self-titled debut may stun fans who are accustomed to the hard-driving rock and gritty power ballads that characterize Nazareth’s more popular work. Nazareth is a diverse collection of songs that points the way towards the pop leanings that would dominate the group’s later output. Although it lacks the consistency of later albums like Hair of the Dog and Expect No Mercy, fans of 1970s rock will find plenty to enjoy on this surprisingly adventurous disc. The overall sound is softer than the hard rock the group is best known for, but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t lacking in good old-fashioned rock & roll. “Witchdoctor Woman” is a moody rocker built on a slow, spooky fuzz guitar riff, and the group’s sinister cover of “Morning Dew” transforms this folk classic into a hard rock epic that provides a powerful showcase for Manny Charlton’s powerful but imaginative guitar work.

Singles

A lot of time is also devoted to country-styled ballads like “I Had a Dream” and “Country Girl,” which set dreamy melodies against a gentle backdrop of keyboards and steel guitar. The most surprising thing about Nazareth is the experimental, effects-laden approach used to bring the songs to life; the best example is the use of a voice box guitar for the much of the vocal on “Fat Man,” which enhances the loneliness of the lyrics. There are also touches of orchestration, the most interesting use appearing on “Red Light Lady,” a song that starts off as a steamy, guitar-heavy rocker but transforms midway through into a stately ballad driven by a powerful string arrangement. All in all, Nazareth tries out too many different styles to ever cohere, but it does effectively show off the chops and songwriting skills of this oft-underrated band. It is a necessary listen for the group’s fans and may even win over ’70s rock fans who wouldn’t normally go for the Nazareth sound. (by Donald A. Guarisco )

But … “Witchdoctor Woman” is a killer and their version of “Morning Dew” is one of the best versions I have ever heard !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Pete Agnew (bass, guitar, background vocals, vocals on 04.)
Manny Charlton (guitar, backgrond vocals)
Dan McCafferty (vocals)
Darrell Sweet (drums, background vocals)
+
B.J. Cole (slide guitar on 07.)
Dave Stewart (organ on 05.)
Pete Wingfield (piano on 02. + 07.)
Pete York (percussion on 08.)

PromoSheet03

Tracklist:
01. Witchdoctor Woman 4.07
02. Dear John 3.46
03. Empty Arms, Empty Heart 3.13
04. I Had A Dream 3.25
05. Red Light Lady (Part 2 & 2) 5.59
06. Fat Man 3.27
07. Country Girl 4.04
08. Morning Dew 7.04
09. King Is Dead 4.46
+
10. Friends (single B-side) 3.24
11. Dear John (single edit) 2.42
12. Morning Dew (alternate edited version) 4.50
13. Friends (alternate edit of single B-side) 3.24
14. Morning Dew (extended single version) 8.06
15. Witchdoctor Woman (previously unreleased version) 4.32
+
16. This Flight Tonight 3.24

All songs written by Manny Charlton, Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet
except:
“Morning Dew” written by Bonnie Dobson
“This Flight Tonight” written by Joni Mitchell
Labels

*
**

Dan McCafferty01

Manny Charlton

More from Nazareth:
More

The  official website:
Website

Alan Stivell – Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp (1971)

FrenchLPFrontCover1Alan Stivell ( born Alan Cochevelou on 6 January 1944) is a French, Breton and Celtic musician and singer, songwriter, recording artist, and master of the Celtic harp. From the early 1970s, he revived global interest in the Celtic (specifically Breton) harp and Celtic music as part of world music. As a bagpiper and bombard player, he modernized traditional Breton music and singing in the Breton language. A precursor of Celtic rock, he is inspired by the union of the Celtic cultures and is a keeper of the Breton culture.

Alan Stivell was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom. His father, Georges (Jord in Breton) Cochevelou, was a civil servant in the French Ministry of Finance who achieved his dream of recreating a Celtic or Breton harp in the small town of Gourin, Brittany and his mother Fanny-Julienne Dobroushkess was of Lithuanian-Jewish descent.

Alan Stivell02

In 1953, Alan began playing the instrument at the age of nine under the tutelage of his father and Denise Megevand, a concert harpist. Alan also learned Celtic mythology, art, and history, as well as the Breton language, traditional Breton dance, and the Scottish bagpipe and the bombarde, a traditional Breton instrument, from the oboe family. Alan began playing concerts at the age of eleven and studied traditional Breton, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh folk music, also learning the drum, Irish flute, and tin whistle. He competed in, and won, several Breton traditional music competitions in the Bleimor Pipe band. Alan spent his childhood in Paris, with its cosmopolitan influences. But he fell in love with Breton music and Celtic culture, in general, and often went back in his teens to Brittany.

Alan Stivell01

Stivell’s first recording came in 1960 (“Musique gaelique”), a single that was followed by the LP Telenn Geltiek in 1964. He already recorded solo harp and harp backing singers in 1959 with Breiz ma bro (“Brittany my country”) and a Mouez Breiz EP (“Voice of Brittany”) with the female singer Andrea Ar Gouilh. His stage name, Stivell, means “fountain” or “spring” in Breton. The name refers both to the Breton renewal and to his surname Cochevelou (an evolution of kozh stivelloù, “the old fountains”).

With a new bardic harp with bronze strings, Stivell began experimenting with modernized styles of music that became known as Celtic rock. In 1966, Alan Stivell began to perform and record as a singer. The following year, he was signed by Philips Records. This was during the birth of the New Breton and Celtic music movement.

Alan Stivell04

In 1968, after two years of touring and regular appearances at the American Students and Artists Center in Paris, Alan joined the Moody Blues onstage to perform in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In 1970, Stivell released his first hits, the single “Broceliande” and the album Reflets, both on the Philips record label. He became closely associated with the burgeoning Breton roots revival, especially after the release of the purely instrumental 1971 album Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, which won one of the most famous awards in France, the prize of the Académie Charles Cros. (wikipedia)

Alan Stivell03

And here´s is his second album;

People who hear this record are never the same again. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made, introduced the Celtic harp to many thousands of listeners around the world. To call this music gorgeous and ravishing would be the height of understatement; indeed, there are barely words in the English language to describe it adequately.

The US Edition from 1982:
US Edition1982

The opening work, “Ys,” is a piece inspired by the legend of the fifth century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall, which was engulfed by a flood as punishment for its sins. (Debussy wrote one of his finest works, The Engulfed Cathedral, later adapted by the group Renaissance into “The Harbor” on Ashes Are Burning, based on the same legend). The reflective “Marv Pontkellec” is every bit as sublimely beautiful, but the highlight of this record is “Gaeltacht,” a 19-minute musical journey by Stivell’s harp across the Gaelic lands of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. (by Bruce Eder)

FrenchLPBackCover1

Personnel:
Mig Ar Biz (bombarde)
Dan Ar Bras (guitar)
Guy Cascales (drums)
Michel Delaporte (percussion, tabla)
Jean-Marc Dollez (bass)
Alan Kloatr (bombarde)
Gérard Levavsseur (bass)
Yann-Fanch Ar Merdy (scottish drums)
Gérard Salkowsky (bass)
Alan Stivell (harp)
Gilles Tinayjre (organ)
viola:
Gabriel Beauvais – Paul Hadjaje – Pierre Cheval – Stéphane Weiner

cello:
Henri Delagarde – Jean Huchot – Manuel Recasens

FrenchBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Ys (Stivell) 8.55
02. Marv Pontkalleg (Traditional) 3.38
03. Extracts From Welsh Manuscripts (Traditional) 3.01
03.1. Ap Huw
03.2. Penllyn
04. Eliz Iza (Traditional) 3.04
05. Gaeltacht (Traditional) 18.55
05.01. Caitlin Triall
05.02. Port Ui Mhuirgheasa
05.03. Airde Cuan
05.04. Na Reubairean
05.05. Manx Melody
05.06. Heman Dubh
05.07. Gaelic Waltz
05.08. Struan Robertson (Strathspey)
05.09. The Little Cascade
05.10. Braigh Loch Lall
05.11. Port An Deorai

FrenchLabelB1

*
**

More from Alan Stivell:
More

The official website:
Website

Willie Nelson – Yesterday´s Wine (1971)

FrontCover1

Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American country musician. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

WillieNelson1961A

Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was succeeding in music. He worked as a disc jockey at radio stations in his native Texas, and in several radio stations in the Pacific Northwest, all the while working as a singer and songwriter throughout the late 1950s. During that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Hello Walls”, “Pretty Paper”, and “Crazy”. In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price’s band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, …And Then I Wrote. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Nelson grew weary of the corporate Nashville music scene, and in 1972 he moved to Austin, Texas. The ongoing music scene of Austin motivated Nelson to return to performing, appearing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.

CoverIllustration

In 1973, after signing with Atlantic Records, Nelson turned to outlaw country, including albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed album Red Headed Stranger. The same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid-1980s, while creating hit albums like Honeysuckle Rose and recording hit songs like “On the Road Again”, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, and “Pancho and Lefty”, he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. In 1985, he helped organize the first Farm Aid concert to benefit American farmers; the concerts have been held annually ever since and Nelson has been a fixture, appearing at every one.

Willie Nelson02

In 1990, Nelson’s assets were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, which claimed that he owed $32 million. The difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the 1980s. In 1992, Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?; the profits of the double album—destined to the IRS—and the auction of Nelson’s assets cleared his debt. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson continued touring extensively, and released albums every year. Reviews ranged from positive to mixed. He explored genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk.

Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman, followed by other appearances in movies and on television. Nelson is a major liberal activist and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the biodiesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, whose product is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the advisory board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.

Willie Nelson01

Yesterday’s Wine is the thirteenth studio album and a concept album by country singer Willie Nelson. Nelson had been recording for RCA Victor since the early 1960s, and had no significant hits. By 1970, his recordings had reached mid-chart positions. Nelson lost the money from his song-writing royalties by financing unsuccessful concert tours that were generally unprofitable. In addition to problems with his music career, Nelson had problems in his personal life. He had divorced his wife, Shirley Collie, and his Tennessee ranch had been destroyed by a fire.

After moving to a new home in Bandera, Texas, Nelson was called by RCA producer Felton Jarvis about the upcoming scheduled recording sessions. At the time, Nelson had not written any new material. He returned to Nashville, where he wrote new songs to use with others from his old repertoire. These new concept songs were recorded at the RCA studio in Nashville in just two days.

Considered one of the first concept albums in Country music, Yesterday’s Wine is the story of the “Imperfect Man”, from the moment he is born to the day of his death. RCA originally released the singles “Yesterday’s Wine” and “Me and Paul”. The former peaked at number 62 in Billboard’s Hot Country Singles. The album failed to reach the charts, and a frustrated Nelson decided to temporarily retire from music, while still under contract to RCA Records. Later with his musical style revitalized, he returned to music in 1972.

LinerNotes

By the fall of 1964, Nelson had moved from Monument Records to RCA Victor, under the leadership of Chet Atkins, signing a contract for US $10,000 per year. During his first few years at RCA Victor, Nelson had no significant hits, but from November 1966 through March 1969 his singles reached the top 25 consistently: “One In a Row” (number 19, 1966), “The Party’s Over” (number 24 during a 16-week chart run in 1967), and his cover of Morecambe & Wise’s “Bring Me Sunshine” (number 13, March 1969).[2] Up to 1970, Nelson had no major success. His royalties were invested in tours that did not produce significant profits. In addition to the problems in his career, Nelson divorced Shirley Collie in 1970. In December, his ranch in Ridgetop, Tennessee burned down. He interpreted the incident as a signal for a change. He moved to a ranch near Bandera, Texas and married Connie Koepke.[3] In early 1971 his single “I’m a Memory” reached the top 30. Felton Jarvis contacted Nelson for the recording of his next album.

Nelson had not written any material for the sessions by the time he arrived in Nashville in April 1971. While living in the new ranch, Nelson read the Bible, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, the works of Edgar Cayce and Episcopal priest A.A Taliaferro’s work. Inspired by his readings, Nelson decided to work in new material. On May 1–2, he wrote nine songs, combining new ones with previous material from his repertoire, such as “Family Bible”, to create the concept for the album. He recorded Yesterday’s Wine in four sessions, backed by David Zettner and the studio session players, beginning with two sessions on May 3 and finishing with the last two on May 4.

Single

In his 2015 autobiography, Nelson reminisced about this turbulent time in his life: “I looked up and simply began asking questions. Rather than keep those questions to myself, I put them into songs. The songs became my own particular prayers, my own personal reflections. I strung those prayers and reflections together in a loose-fitting suite of songs. Music critics were throwing around the term “concept album”…I guess you could say that this new notion of mine came together as a concept album. Rather than try to write a bunch of hit singles, I simply followed the natural path taken by my mind”. According to Nelson’s biographer, Joe Nick Patoski, the new material portrayed “an idea that was so far-out that when it came time to record in early May 1971 producer Felton Jarvis had no choice but to let the tapes roll”.

The album describes the life of a man, called “The Imperfect Man”, from the beginning to the day of his death.[4][9] The story begins with a dialog between two characters. The first asks the other “You do know why you’re here?”, and the second replies: “Yes, there’s great confusion on earth, and the power that is has concluded the following: Perfect man has visited earth already and His voice was heard; The voice of imperfect man must now be made manifest; and I have been selected as the most likely candidate.” This statement is followed by “Where’s the Show” and “Let Me Be a Man”. In the medley, Nelson depicts the birth of the character, who implores God to become a man. The song is followed by “In God’s Eyes”, depicting the character learning to act as a good Samaritan. In “Family Bible”, the character describes his memories of and nostalgia for his childhood, the times with his family and the reading of the family Bible. “It’s Not for Me to Understand” depicts the character praying, after watching a blind child listening to other children playing and finding himself unable to understand why God allowed that to happen. God replies to the Imperfect Man, “It’s not for you to reason why, you too are blind without my eyes, so question not what I command”. In the last stanza, the character now expresses his fear of the Lord and his reluctance to question the unfairness of the world again. The medley “These Are Difficult Times / Remember the Good Times”, describes the character’s bad times and his recovery by remembering the good times. “Summer of Roses” depicts the character falling in love and in the prime of his life. It is followed by the anticipation of the beginning of the end in “December Day”, as the character announces “This looks like a December day. It looks like we’ve come to the end of the way”. “Yesterday’s Wine” finds the character drinking in a bar, talking to the regulars about his life, and reflecting on aging. In “Me and Paul”, the Imperfect Man remembers the circumstances in which he lived with a friend in past times. The album ends with “Goin’ Home”, as the character watches his own funeral.

Willie Nelson02

Of the writing of “December Day” and “Summer of Roses,” with Nelson remembered, “I couldn’t write a suite of songs, no matter how spiritual, without reference to romance,” he deemed “Summer of Roses” and “December Day” “love poems. In the first song, love was fleeting, tragically brief; in the second, love was remembered…” “December Day” had been recorded previously for Nelson’s 1969 LP Good Times. “Family Bible” was another old tune that Nelson, a struggling songwriter at the time, sold to Paul Buskirk for fifty dollars; Buskirk took it to Claude Gray, whose version charted at number 7 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs in 1960. A song based on his own youth, Nelson later insisted, “There could be no Yesterday’s Wine without ‘Family Bible.'” In his memoir Nelson wrote that “Me and Paul” was a song “that described the road that my drummer and best friend, Paul English, and I had been riding together”. The cover art was designed by Hartsel Gray and the liner notes written by Dee Moeller.

The RCA Records marketing department considered the album difficult to promote. In 2015, Nelson recalled the opinion of one of the label’s executives, who told the singer “It’s your fuckin’ worst album to date”. Nelson further added that another member of the label felt that the release was “some far-out shit that maybe the hippies high on dope can understand, but the average music lover is gonna think you’ve lost your cotton-pickin’ mind.” RCA released a single containing “Yesterday’s Wine” and “Me and Paul” on the flipside in October 1971. The single peaked at number 62 in Billboard’s Country Singles. The label pressed 10,000 units of the album, which was released in August 1971.

Willie Nelson03

Yesterday’s Wine failed to chart, and did not satisfy RCA’s expectations. Although his contract was not over, Nelson decided to retire because of the number of failures he had had. Nelson later wrote in his autobiography, “I think it’s one of my best albums, but Yesterday’s Wine was regarded by RCA as way too spooky and far out to waste promotion money on.”[9] In 2015 he added: “I was tempted to say something, to show how the songs fit together in one cohesive story, but I stuck to my guns and stayed silent…Nashville and I had been trying damn hard but we hadn’t really seen eye to eye for most of the sixties. I felt like I had shown goodwill and patience. I’d given the Music City establishment a fair chance. After Yesterday’s Wine, I cut other albums for RCA, but the story was always the same. The sales were slow and the producers lukewarm about my output. My career had stalled.” The album was later considered one of the first concept albums in country music. Meanwhile, author Michael Streissguth felt that Yesterday’s Wine “tried to be a concept album, but it lacked a clear thread, despite Willie’s claim to the contrary.”

Nelson moved to Austin, Texas and returned to music in the following year. He formed a new band and performed in local venues, as his act was rejuvenated by the burgeoning hippie scene of the city.

Music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a B+. Christgau observed: “The great Nashville songsmith has never bowled anyone over with his singing, and here he finds the concept to match.” The Reviewer felt that the “religious themes” present in the songs “tends to limit their general relevance.” Nathan Bush described Yesterday’s Wine for The New York Times as “the last and best of [Nelson’s] Nashville albums”, saying that it was “Organized in the manner of an epic poem, each cut a metaphor in the journey through life … it was Nashville’s first fully conceived concept album, and nobody knew what to make of it. It soon disappeared quietly and utterly.” Rolling Stone wrote: “[Yesterdays Wine] is the first of his bold, conceptual departures from country’s hits-plus-filler norm. Rather than tack rock guitar riffs onto modern honky-tonk sagas, Nelson absorbed the innovations of Bob Dylan and the singer-songwriters into his own distinct style. Even if the narrative concepts don’t always hold together, Willie hangs his most ambitious albums on some of his catchiest tunes.”

Willie Nelson04

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram welcomed it as “the usual heady stuff expected from this unique song stylist.” The Dayton Daily News gave it an A. The reviewer considered it “the most touching piece” that he “came across in many years”. San Antonio Express-News considered that Nelson’s “tearful voice” did #an excellent job in getting the message driven across in a collection of soft ballads”. The review described Nelson’s songwriting as “deft of handling meaningful words” in “Family Bible”, and his “mastery of the lyrics” on “Summer of Roses” and “December Day”. The piece concluded that it represented “a showcase for Nelson’s talents” and that it was “worthy of general listening, and listening again”.

AllMusic gave Yesterday’s Wine five stars out of five. Critic Nathan Bush compared it to Nelson’s subsequent album Red Headed Stranger, suggesting that while the story on Yesterday’s Wine “isn’t as tightly constructed”, it gave the album “a feeling of malleability that adds to its power”. Bush concluded that “Yesterday’s Wine provides further insight into the development of his art during this prolific period.”

In their book, The Listener’s Guide to Country Music, Robert Oermann and Douglas B. Green compared the album with Nelson’s later recordings for Columbia Records: “All of those are beautiful records. They’re all on Columbia and are made just the way Willie wanted them. It was not always so at his previous record label, RCA. Nevertheless, he made a few landmark recordings while he was with that company … Few of the songs on Yesterday’s Wine are well-known Nelson compositions, but all are minor masterpieces”. (wikipedia)

BackCover1

Personnel:
William Paul Ackerman (drums)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Roy M. “Junior” Huskey (bass)
Dave Kirby (guitar)
Charlie McCoy (harmonica)
Weldon Myrick (pedal steel.guitar)
Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar)
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (keyboards)
Jerry Dean Smith (piano)
Buddy Spicher (fiddle)
Bobby Thompson (banjo)
Herman Wade, Jr. (guitar)
Chip Young (guitar)
Dave Zettner (guitar)

Inlet1

Tracklist:
01. Intro: Willie Nelson and Band / Medley: Where’s The Show; Let Me Be A Man 3.42
02. In God’s Eyes 2.24
03. Family Bible 3.13
04. It’s Not For Me To Understand 3.07
05. Medley: These Are Difficult Times / Remember The Good Times 3.17
06. Summer Of Roses 2.05
07. December Day 2.20
08. Yesterday’s Wine 3.16
09. Me And Paul 3.51
10. Goin’ Home 3.07

All songs written by Willie Nelson
except 03, written by Claude Gray, Paul Buskirk & Walter Breeland

LabelA1

*
**

It’s been rough and rocky travelin’
But I’m finally standin’ upright on the ground
After takin’ several readings
I’m surprised to find my mind’s still fairly sound
I guess Nashville was the roughest
But I know I’ve said the same about them all
We received our education
In the cities of the nation, me and Paul

Almost busted in Laredo
But for reasons that I’d rather not disclose
But if you’re stayin’ in a motel there and leave
Just don’t leave nothin’ in your clothes
And at the airport in Milwaukee
They refused to let us board the plane at all
They said we looked suspicious
But I believe they like to pick on me and Paul

On a package show in Buffalo
Wth us and Kitty Wells and Charlie Pride
The show was long and we’re just sittin’ there
And we’d come to play and not just for the ride
Well we drank a lot of whiskey
So I don’t know if we went on that night at all
But I don’t think they even missed us
I guess Buffalo ain’t geared for me and Paul

Well it’s been rough and rocky travelin’
But I’m finally standin’ upright on the ground
And after takin’ several readings
I’m surprised to find my mind’s still fairly sound
I guess Nashville was the roughest
But I know I’ve said the same about them all
We received our education
In the cities of the nation, me and Paul

More from Willie Nelson:
More

The official website:
Website

Hardin & York – For The World (1971)

FrontCover1Hardin & York was a British rock duo that had great success around 1970, especially in Germany.

Eddie Hardin (keyboards) and Pete York (drums) became known with the Spencer Davis Group, which they both left in October 1968. Initially, the two pursued various other projects before joining forces to form a duo.

Hardin & York’s first gig was at London’s Marquee Club on 31 August 1969. After that they had engagements at the Star Club in Hamburg and at a festival in Essen. Their success was unstoppable.

Hardin&York01

The first album Tomorrow Today was released at the end of 1969. A critic judged Hardin & York to be a mixture of Procol Harum and Traffic. The album sold well, especially in mainland Europe, but also in America, but surprisingly not in England. The album featured Herbie Flowers (bass), Vic Flick (guitar) and background singers Sue and Sunny, the wives of two of Hardin & York’s roadies.

Hardin & York01

The recording of a 1970 performance in Germany was released as a bootleg album in 1971 without the band’s knowledge. At the beginning of 1971 Hardin & York performed as support band for Deep Purple. At that time both musicians had their own bands besides Hardin & York, York the Pete York Percussion Band, Hardin the formation Hardin/Fenwick/Newman. A solo album by Eddie Hardin was also released in 1971.

Hardin & York02

In 1972 Ray Fenwick (guitar) joined Hardin & York and they performed as Hardin, York & Fenwick. In 1973 there was a revival of the Spencer Davis Group. In 1974/75 they played again as a trio together with Charlie McCracken (bass, ex key). After that, Hardin & York performed only occasionally at festivals under this name. In 1995 they released the album Still A Few Pages Left. From 2008 to 2012, Pete York played in Helge Schneider’s band, among others. Hardin & York then reunited for regular performances until Eddie Hardin’s death on 22 July 2015.

HardinYork01

Hardin & York’s third and final album, For the World (1971), put a greater emphasis on orchestration and slower tracks.

On this album we hear many of Eddie Hardin´s romantic and sentiental compoitions but although the real power of Hardin & York … exciting Rock & Jazz Rock tunes … like “Extension 345 ” or “David Difficult”.

Liner Notes01

Other highlights are “Have Mercy Woman”, “Cowboy” (another imaginary western tune) or “Little Miss Blue” … a damn hot mixture of this brilliant organ/drums duo.

Another chance to discover “The world´s smallest big band” !

Enjoy it !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Pete York (drums, percussion)
+
Ray Fenwick (guitar)
+
unknown orchestra

Booklet01A

Tracklist:
01. Deep In My Despair (Hardin) 3.37
02 Have Mercy Woman (Hardin) 4.00
03 For The World (Hardin) 2.41
04 Some Places Are Better To Be (Hardin) 2.49
05 Extension 345 (Hardin/York) 5.42
06. Cowboy (Hardin/York) 4.22
07 I’ll Be Back Again (Hardin) 3.03
08 Feeling, Seeing, Hearing (Hardin) 2.36
09 Natural Gas (Hardin) 2.39
10 Take Away Today (Hardin) 6.03
+
11 All I See Is You (Hardin) 3.23
12 Mulberry Place  (Hardin) 4.30
13 Sunday Morning (Hardin) 3.35
14 Rock ‘N’ Roll Music (Berry) 3.52
15 David Difficult (Hardin) 6.10
16 Little Miss Blue (Hardin) 3.54

Labels

*
**

Hardin & York03

More from Hardin & York:
MoreThe official Eddie Hardin website:
EddieHardin Website

The official Pete York website:

Pete York Website

Eddie Hardin02

Cat Stevens – Teaser And The Firecat (1971)

FrontCover1Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948), commonly known by his stage names Cat Stevens, Yusuf, and Yusuf / Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and, later in his career, Islamic music. He returned to making secular music in 2006. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

His 1967 debut album and its title song “Matthew and Son” both reached top ten in the UK charts. Stevens’ albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were certified triple platinum in the US. His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four went to No.1 on Billboard Pop Albums and spent weeks at the top of several major charts. He earned ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, which has been a hit for four artists. His other hit songs include “Father and Son”, “Wild World”, “Moonshadow”, “Peace Train”, and “Morning Has Broken”.

Cat Stevens02

In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all of his guitars for charity, and left his musical career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has since bought back at least one of these guitars as a result of the efforts of his son Yoriyos. He was embroiled in a long-running controversy regarding comments he made in 1989 about the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. His current stance is that he never supported the fatwa: “I was cleverly framed by certain questions. I never supported the fatwa.” He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace as well as other humanitarian awards.

Cat Stevens03

In 2006, he returned to pop music by releasing his first new studio album of new pop songs in 28 years, entitled An Other Cup. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf as a mononym. In 2009, he released the album Roadsinger and, in 2014, he released the album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone and began his first US tour since 1978. His second North American tour since his resurgence, featuring 12 shows in intimate venues, ran from 12 September to 7 October 2016. In 2017, he released the album The Laughing Apple, now using the stage name Yusuf / Cat Stevens, using the Cat Stevens name for the first time in 39 years. In September 2020, he released Tea for the Tillerman 2, a reimagining of his classic album Tea for the Tillerman to celebrate its 50th anniversary. (wikipedia)

Cat Stevens01

Teaser and the Firecat is the fifth studio album by Cat Stevens, released in October 1971. English keyboardist Rick Wakeman played piano on “Morning Has Broken” and English musician Linda Lewis also contributed vocals on “How Can I Tell You”.

The album contains 10 songs, including the hits “Morning Has Broken”, “Moonshadow” and “Peace Train”. It is also the title of a children’s book written and illustrated by Stevens. The story features the title characters from the album cover, top-hatted young Teaser and his pet, Firecat, who attempt to put the moon back in its place after it falls from the sky. Published in 1972, the book has been out of print since the mid-1970s.

The album was a commercial success, surpassing the heights achieved by Stevens’ previous album, Tea for the Tillerman, reaching both the UK and US top 3 and also spending fifteen weeks at the top of the Australian charts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the country in 1972.

Singles

In 1977 an animated version, narrated by comedian Spike Milligan, using the song “Moonshadow”, was a segment in Fantastic Animation Festival. In November 2008, a “deluxe edition” was released featuring a second disc of demos and live recordings.

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, music critic Timothy Crouse praised Stevens’ distinctive musical style and introspective songs such as “Tuesday’s Dead” and “The Wind”, but felt that he lacks Van Morrison’s evocative quality and James Taylor’s refined lyrics: “Cat has become a dependable artist, a good artist, but he appears to be one of those composers who does not develop, who holds no surprises.”

It was voted number 539 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). (wikipedia)

CDBooklet03A

Even as a serious-minded singer/songwriter, Cat Stevens never stopped being a pop singer at heart, and with Teaser and the Firecat he reconciled his philosophical interests with his pop instincts. Basically, Teaser’s songs came in two modes: gentle ballads that usually found Stevens and second guitarist Alun Davies playing delicate lines over sensitive love lyrics, and up-tempo numbers on which the guitarists strummed away and thundering drums played in stop-start rhythms. There were also more exotic styles, such as the Greek-styled “Rubylove,” with its twin bouzoukis and a verse sung in Greek, and “Tuesday’s Dead,” with its Caribbean feel. Stevens seemed to have worked out some of his big questions, to the point of wanting to proselytize on songs like “Changes IV” and “Peace Train,” both stirring tunes in which he urged social and spiritual improvement. Meanwhile, his love songs had become simpler and more plaintive.

Illustration

And while there had always been a charming, childlike quality to some of his lyrics, there were songs here that worked as nursery rhymes, and these were among the album’s most memorable tracks and its biggest hits: “Moonshadow” and “Morning Has Broken,” the latter adapted from a hymn with words by English author Eleanor Farjeon. The overall result was an album that was musically more interesting than ever, but lyrically dumbed-down. Stevens continued to look for satisfaction in romance, despite its disappointment, but he found more fulfillment in a still-unspecified religious pursuit that he was ready to tout to others. And they were at least nominally ready to listen: the album produced three hit singles and just missed topping the charts. Tea for the Tillerman may have been the more impressive effort, but Teaser and the Firecat was the Cat Stevens album that gave more surface pleasures to more people, which in pop music is the name of the game. (by William Ruhlmann)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Harvey Burns (drums, percussion)
Gerry Conway (drums, percussion)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
Larry Steele (bass, percussion)
Cat Stevens (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
+
Angelos Hatzipavli (bouzouki on 02.)
Linda Lewis (vocal on 05.)
Andy Roberts (kriwaczek string organ on 05.)
Jean Alain Roussel (organ on 10.)
Andreas Toumazis (bouzouki on 02.)
Rick Wakeman (piano on 07.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. The Wind 1.42
02. Rubylove 2.38
03. If I Laugh 3.20
04. Changes IV 3.32
05. How Can I Tell You 4.27
06. Tuesday’s Dead 3.37
07. Morning Has Broken 3.20
08. Bitterblue 3.12
09. Moonshadow 2.52
10. Peace Train 4.11

All songs written by Cat Stevens
except 07.: Traditional with words by Eleanor Farjeon

LabelB1
*
**

MC

Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come

‘Cause I’m on the edge of darkness
There ride the Peace Train
Oh, Peace Train take this country
Come take me home again

Now I’ve been smiling lately,
Thinkin’ about the good things to come
And I believe it could be,
Something good has begun

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train

Get your bags together,
Go bring your good friends, too
‘Cause it’s getting nearer,
It soon will be with you

Now come and join the living,
It’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer,
Soon it will all be true

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now Peace Train
Peace Train

Now I’ve been crying lately,
Thinkin’ about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating,
Why can’t we live in bliss

‘Cause out on the edge of darkness,
There rides a Peace Train
Oh Peace Train take this country,
Come take me home again

Oh Peace Train sounding louder
Glide on the Peace Train
Come on now, Peace Train
Yes, Peace Train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Come on, come on, come on
Yes, come on, peace train
Yes, it’s the peace train

Come on now, peace train
Oh, peace train

More from Cat Stevens:
More

The official website:
Website

Gary Wright – Footprint (1971)

FrontCover1Gary Malcolm Wright (born April 26, 1943) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and composer best known for his 1976 hit songs “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive”, and for his role in helping establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in rock and pop music. Wright’s breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver (1975), came after he had spent seven years in London as, alternately, a member of the British blues rock band Spooky Tooth and a solo artist on A&M Records. While in England, he played keyboards on former Beatle George Harrison’s triple album All Things Must Pass (1970), so beginning a friendship that inspired the Indian religious themes and spirituality inherent in Wright’s subsequent songwriting. His work since the late 1980s has embraced world music and the new age genre, although none of his post-1976 releases has matched the popularity of The Dream Weaver. (wikipedia)

GaryWright01

For more informations click here.

Footprint is the second solo album by American musician Gary Wright, released in 1971 on A&M Records. It contains “Stand for Our Rights”, an anthem-like song calling for social unity that was issued as a single in advance of the album. Wright recorded the majority of Footprint in London with a large cast of musicians – including George Harrison, Hugh McCracken, Alan White, Klaus Voormann, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner and Bobby Keys – many of whom, like Wright, had played on Harrison’s All Things Must Pass triple album in 1970. Harrison’s contributions included an uncredited role as producer, and serve as an example of his support for Wright during the early stages of the latter’s solo career. The ballad “Love to Survive” is one of three tracks that feature an orchestral arrangement by John Barham.

To promote Footprint in America, Wright performed the song “Two Faced Man” on The Dick Cavett Show, backed by his short-lived band Wonderwheel, with Harrison as guest guitarist. Although it received favorable reviews from some music critics, the album failed to chart in the US or Britain. After recording and touring with Wonderwheel through 1972, Wright rejoined his former band Spooky Tooth, before returning as a solo artist with his breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver (1975).

Footprint was issued on CD in 2005, coupled on a two-disc set with Wright’s debut, Extraction (1970). “Stand for Our Rights” and “Two Faced Man” also appeared on the 1998 compilation Best of Gary Wright: The Dream Weaver. The song “Give Me the Good Earth” was covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and provided the title for their 1974 album The Good Earth.

Gary Wright01

Recorded in 1971, the album was engineered by Andy Johns, Wright’s co-producer on Extraction,[16] and Chris Kimsey, and again featured McCracken. Although only Wright received a production credit on the album, he has since stated that Harrison produced part of Footprint,[5][19] and has variously named “Two Faced Man” and “Stand for Your Rights”[13] as having been produced by the former Beatle. Harrison’s contributions were credited to his pseudonym “George O’Hara” and included slide guitar on some of the tracks. Other musicians at the sessions were drummers Jim Keltner and Colin Allen, along with Mick Jones (guitar) and Bryson Graham (drums), both members of Wright’s new back-up band, Wonderwheel.

In his 2014 autobiography, Wright says he considers Footprint to be “a far more melodic album than Extraction”, adding: “I felt my songwriting was beginning to blossom.” John Barham, Harrison’s regular orchestral arranger, provided string arrangements on some of the album’s songs. One such track was the ballad “Love to Survive”, which Barham later described as “one of the most emotionally powerful love songs that I have ever worked on”. In his biography of Harrison, Leng notes the influence of “Love to Survive” on the ex-Beatle’s subsequent songwriting, particularly “That Is All”, released on Living in the Material World (1973).

Gary Wright02

Wright has described “Stand for Your Rights”, the album’s advance single, as “a call for people to change their paradigms and unite, a reaction to the Vietnam War, and the upheaval of social values at the time”. According to Wright, he and Harrison “structured the track together”, with Harrison suggesting they add a gospel chorus “to get the right vibe” for the song, and also coming up with Keys and Price’s horn parts.[29] Supporting Wright on the basic track, which was taped at Olympic Studios,[29] Gordon and Keltner played drums, with Jerry Donahue and Allen on percussion, Harrison and McCracken on guitars, White on harpsichord and Voormann playing bass. London-based American soul singers Doris Troy, Madeline Bell, Nanette Newman and P.P. Arnold were among the backing vocalists, who recorded their parts the following day. Wright says he was confident that the song already sounded like a “smash hit”, but “the icing on the cake” was King Curtis’ overdubbed saxophone solo. Curtis recorded his contribution in New York, playing various parts from which Wright and Johns then edited a composite solo.

The opening track on Footprint, “Give Me the Good Earth”, also featured Keltner, whose style of drumming impressed Wright and would feature again on the latter’s 1975 single “Dream Weaver”. In Wright’s recollection, White was the drummer on the majority of Footprint, and he highlights McCracken’s “special touch” as a guitarist on “Fascinating Things”.

Gary Wright03

A&M Records released “Stand for Our Rights”, backed with the non-album B-side “Can’t See the Reason”, on May 28, 1971 in Britain. Footprint was issued in America on November 1 (as A&M SP 4296), with a UK release following on January 21, 1972 (AMLS 64296). The album cover consisted of a photo of Wright taken by Ethan Russell, with a painting by Joe Garnett on the back cover. The US release coincided with that of B.B. King in London, an album by blues guitarist B.B. King on which Wright played piano and organ. As a second single off Footprint, A&M issued “Fascinating Things” backed with “Love to Survive”, on November 30, 1971.

On November 23, as part of his promotion for the album, Wright and Wonderwheel performed “Two Faced Man” on The Dick Cavett Show in New York. Introduced by host Dick Cavett as “Gary Wright and Wonderwheel – and friend”,[40] this performance featured Harrison on slide guitar. Harrison was on Cavett’s show primarily to promote the Ravi Shankar documentary Raga (1971), but he had arranged for Wright’s band to make its US television debut. In a 2009 interview with vintagerock.com, Wright acknowledged Harrison’s efforts to help him during this period of his solo career, and cited the former Beatle’s assistance on Footprint and “having me on the Dick Cavett Show”. Wright and Wonderwheel’s appearance was included on the third disc of The Dick Cavett Show – Rock Icons DVD, released in 2005.

Wright recalls in his autobiography that, despite A&M and the music press being enthusiastic about the potential of “Stand for Our Rights” and Harrison’s involvement, neither the single nor the album met with any commercial success – a situation that “stunned” him after the failure of Extraction the previous year. In the magazine’s 1971 album review, Billboard described “Stand for Our Rights” and “Whether It’s Right or Wrong” as, respectively, “excellent” and “musically superb”. Together with “Love to Survive”, the reviewer continued, “These powerful cuts warrant heavy airplay on progressive rock stations and will lend considerable impact to the sales impact of this LP.” Simon Leng writes of Wright’s second solo album: “Although Footprint saw no chart action, it provided evidence of Wright’s songwriting talents. One of the highlights was the rousing ‘Stand for Our Rights.'”

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau wrote: “Like his mentor, George O’Hara, Gary makes his spiritual home right next to his musical one, close by that great echo chamber in the sky. But unlike George he writes anthems that are forthright and tuneful … The ecology-minded will also approve of ‘Love to Survive’ and ‘Stand for Our Rights,’ both of which are vague enough to appeal to every constituency. Cosmic-commercial lives.” James Chrispell of AllMusic describes Footprint as a “superstar-filled record” containing “some fine music”, and views it as “[a] much stronger effort” than Extraction. (wikipedia)

Gary Wright04

Following a year after his first solo release, Gary Wright put out this superstar-filled record, boasting amongst the credits one George O’Hara, also known as George Harrison. Harrison lent his slide guitar stylings to several of the tracks, most notably “Two-Faced Man,” which he also performed with Wright on the Dick Cavett Show. A much stronger effort, it still failed to set the charts on fire. That’s a shame, because there’s some fine music to be found here. If you get a chance, check out Footprint for yourself. (by James Chrispell)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Colin Allen (drums, percussion)
King Curtis (saxophone)
Jerry Donahue (guitar, percussion)
Tom Duffy (bass)
Jim Gordon (drums)
Bryson Graham (drums)
George Harrison (guitar)
Mick Jones (guitar)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Bobby Keys (saxophone)
Hugh McCracken (guitar)
Jim Price (trumpet, trombone)
Klaus Voormann (bass)
Alan White (drums, percussion, harpsichord)
Gary Wright (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
+
background vocals:
Doris Troy – Nanette Newman – Madeline Bell – Liza Strike – Barry St John – P. P. Arnold –  Jimmy Thomas

Single

Tracklist:
01. Give Me The Good Earth 3.17
02. Two Faced Man 3.38
03. Love To Survive 4.22
04. Whether It’s Right Or Wrong 5.07
05. Stand For Our Rights 3.31
06. Fascinating Things 5.05
07. Forgotten 4.03
08. If You Treat Someone Right 3.59

All songs written by Gary Wright.

LabelB1

*
**

Illustration

More from Gary Wright:
FrontCover1

Strawbs – From The Witchwood (1971)

FrontCover1Strawbs (or The Strawbs) are an English rock band founded in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys. The band started out as a bluegrass group, but eventually moved on to other styles such as folk rock, progressive rock, and (briefly) glam rock.

They are best known for their hit “Part of the Union”, which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in February 1973, as well as for “Lay Down”, a popular progressive rock hit from the same LP. Strawbs toured with Supertramp in their “Crime of the Century” tour, doing their own “Hero and Heroine” tour, which drew musical similarities and themes.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Find sources: “Strawbs” – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The Strawbs formed in 1964 as the Strawberry Hill Boys while the founder members were at St Mary’s Teacher Training College, Strawberry Hill, London. The name was shortened to ‘The Strawbs’ for a June 1967 concert in which they wanted to display the band name on stage. Their long-time leader and most active songwriter is guitarist and singer Dave Cousins (guitar, dulcimer, banjo, vocals) (born David Joseph Hindson, 7 January 1945, Hounslow, Middlesex). In the early days Strawbs played with Sandy Denny (later lead singer of Fairport Convention and Fotheringay).

Strawbs02

Although they started out in the 1960s as a bluegrass band the band’s repertoire shifted to favour their own (mainly Cousins’) material. While in Denmark in 1967, the Strawbs (Cousins, Tony Hooper and Ron Chesterman) with Sandy Denny recorded 13 songs for a proposed first album, All Our Own Work. It was apparently not issued in Denmark and the fledgling band could not get a UK record deal. (Meanwhile, Denny left to join Fairport Convention and the album was forgotten until it was issued on Pickwick Hallmark in the UK in the mid-1970s.)

They were the first UK group signing to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and recorded their first single, “Oh How She Changed” in 1968, which was produced and arranged by Gus Dudgeon and Tony Visconti, who also worked on their critically acclaimed first album, Strawbs (1969). Between the first and second A&M albums, in 1969, a sampler, Strawberry Music Sampler No. 1 was recorded. According to the 2001 CD reissue, only 99 copies of the original vinyl LP were pressed up.

Stawbs01A

After the folk-tinged Dragonfly, Cousins and Hooper added Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Richard Hudson on drums, and John Ford on bass. The new line-up had their London debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where they recorded their third album, Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios; the Melody Maker reported on the concert with the headline “Tomorrow’s superstar” in reference to Wakeman. Wakeman stayed with them for one further album, From the Witchwood, then departed to join Yes, remarking to the press that “I’m sure we’ll all benefit from the split because we were beginning to compromise a lot on ideas – like we’d use half of my ideas and half of theirs – and I don’t think it was helping what was eventually coming out. We ended up lacking challenge. Complacency set in, and for the last couple of months we just weren’t working.” (wikipedia)

Strawbs01

From the Witchwood is the third album by the English band Strawbs. It was recorded at Air Studios in London during February and March 1971 and reached number 39 in the UK Albums Chart on 17 July 1971.

The album is the third and final album to include Rick Wakeman, including his appearance as a session musician on the 1970 album Dragonfly. The sleeve illustration was “The Vision of St. Jerome”, a tapestry from the Spanish Royal Collection. (wikipedia)

CDBooklet03+04

This album was originally the weak link in the transition of the Strawbs from an acoustic folk-rock outfit to a progressive folk band, being neither fish nor fowl and suffering from an anemic mix. The 1998 British reissue (A&M 540-939-2), however, solves some inherent problems that plagued both the original vinyl edition and the first CD reissues. The new remastering toughens up the bass sound, and brings out more of the sheer power of Rick Wakeman’s organ and synthesizer playing, accenting the harder side of the group’s sound that was obviously there in the studio but lacking in the analog mix. “A Glimpse of Heaven” and “The Hangman and the Papist,” in particular, benefit from the remastering, and “Sheep” finally has the musical fury to match its lyrics.

Strawbs03

Dave Cousins’ voice also comes off as really close, and the effect is to make this a much more potent album than it previously seemed. Overall, it’s now far easier to visualize this recording as the step leading to full-blown progressive rock releases such as Grave New World, which followed. The disc includes one bonus track, John Ford’s “Keep the Devil Outside,” which has an acoustic opening and a hard rock break and finale, which was cut at these same sessions, and which turned up months later as the B-side of “Benedictus,” a single drawn from the next album. (by Bruce Eder)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Dave Cousins (guitar, vocals, dulcimer, banjo, recorder)
John Ford (bass, vocals)
Tony Hooper (guitar, autoharp, percussion,vocals)
Richard Hudson (drums, sitar, vocals)
Rick Wakeman (keyboards, synthesizer)
+
The Choir and Congregation of Air Strawb (choir on 01.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. A Glimpse Of Heaven (Cousins) 3.50
02. Witchwood (Cousins) 3.24
03. Thirty Days (Ford) 2.53
04. Flight (Hudson) 4.24
05. The Hangman And The Papist (Cousins) 4.12
06. Sheep (Cousins) 4.16
07. Canon Dale (Hudson) 3.46
08. The Shepherd’s Song (Cousins) 4.33
09. In Amongst The Roses (Cousins) 3.48
10. I’ll Carry On Beside You (Cousins) 3.10
+
11. Keep The Devil Outside (Ford) 3.02

LabelB1

*
**

More from The Stawbs:
More

The official website:
Website

Atomic Rooster – In Hearing Of (1971)

FrontCover1Atomic Rooster are a British 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, but they are best known for the hard, progressive rock sound of their hit singles, “Tomorrow Night” (UK No. 11) and “Devil’s Answer” (UK No. 4), both in 1971.

In 2016 Atomic Rooster reformed with permission from Crane’s widow, with the new line-up featuring two members from the various 1970s incarnations of the band.

In the summer of 1969, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown split in the middle of a second US tour. Keyboardist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer decided to leave Arthur Brown and return to England — their date of travel being Friday 13 June 1969, which was the year of the rooster in the Chinese calendar — and arranged a meeting with Brian Jones, who had just been let go from the Rolling Stones, to discuss a collaboration. After Jones’s death on 3 July 1969, 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 been the Crazy World of Arthur Brown arrangement of vocals, organ, bass and drums.

AtomicRooster

They soon undertook live dates around London; at their first headlining gig at the London Lyceum on 29 August 1969, the opening act was Deep Purple. 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 Cann from acid/progressive rock band Andromeda. However, just as Cann joined, bassist-vocalist Graham left. Cann (who played guitar and sang for Andromeda) took over vocal duties, while the bass lines were overdubbed on Crane’s Hammond organ with a combination of left hand and pedals, and the vocals were replaced with Cann’s vocals and some guitar on four tracks.

Atomic Rooster resumed gigging until the end of June 1970, when Carl Palmer announced his departure to join Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Ric Parnell filled the drum spot until August, when Paul Hammond was recruited from Farm. They then recorded their second album, Death Walks Behind You, released in September 1970. Originally it was not commercially successful, as with the first album, but by February 1971, the single “Tomorrow Night” reached No. 11 in the UK Singles Chart, with the album reaching No. 12 in the UK Albums Chart. Atomic Rooster made an appearance on the Top of the Pops, and toured to support the album.

Vincent Crane1

In June 1971, just before they began configuring their line-up once again, the single “Devil’s Answer” hit No. 4 in the UK.[6] Atomic Rooster began recording In Hearing of Atomic Rooster (UK No. 18). Crane felt the band needed a singer who could “project” to an audience and asked Leaf Hound vocalist Pete French to audition for the band. Not long after French came into the studio, Cann began to feel increasingly marginalised, having been relieved of vocal duties and especially after hearing how much Crane had mixed out most of his guitar work on the album. He promptly left the band. Paul Hammond followed him to form Bullet, later renamed Hard Stuff. French recorded all the vocals on the album (save for “Black Snake”, sung by Crane), and the album was released in August 1971.

AtomicRooster03

The Atomic Rooster line-up featuring Pete French on vocals, Steve Bolton on guitar, a returning Ric Parnell on drums and Crane on keyboards toured Italy, then across America and Canada. This line-up played at a benefit gig in September 1971 at The Oval cricket ground, appearing in front of some 65,000 people, supporting The Faces and The Who. They continued touring into at least December of 1971, but French then moved on to sign with Atlantic Records and joined the American rock band Cactus and appeared on their 1972 album, ‘Ot ‘n’ Sweaty.

In February 1972 Crane recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe, at that time with Colosseum, to take the place of French. They went on tour and recorded their first album together in the spring of 1972. They then released the album Made in England along with the single “Stand by Me”, on Dawn Records. They were more into soul at this point, and the progressive and heavy rock leanings from the other releases had receded. The single did not chart and the album just barely caught any attention, even though touring followed through.

AtomicRooster

Guitarist Steve Bolton left at the end of 1972 and was replaced by John Goodsall, appearing under the name Johnny Mandala. They released the album Nice ‘n’ Greasy in 1973, along with the single “Save Me”, a re-working of “Friday the 13th”. This time, it was in a complete funk style. After nearly two years without any hits, Dawn Records dropped the group and Atomic Rooster began to unravel. After a tour, Farlowe, Mandala and Parnell left. The single “Tell Your Story, Sing Your Song” was released in March 1974 by “Vincent Crane’s Atomic Rooster” on Decca. All subsequent gigs were played by Crane along with members of the blues band Sam Apple Pie. A final concert was played in February 1975, a benefit gig for the RSPCA; Crane afterward disbanded Atomic Rooster.

Vincent Crane01

Vincent Crane went on to put together the music for a number of plays and musicals in England between 1976 and 1977, including two of Peter Green’s radio broadcasts. Crane teamed up with Arthur Brown again to play on his album Chisholm In My Bosom, and in 1979 they released the album Faster Than the Speed of Light. Crane and Brown would also perform a rendition of “Green Door”, dressed in top hat and tails.

Arthur Brown & Vincent Crane

During 1980, Crane contacted Du Cann and after some discussion, got an Atomic Rooster reformation under way. They recruited session drummer Preston Heyman and recorded an album, along with one 7/12″ single, on EMI Records. The album, Atomic Rooster (1980), was followed by a tour, but Heyman left in October and Paul Hammond returned to play drums after Ginger Baker filled in for two weeks. They continued touring and released two singles in 1981 and 1982. However, Du Cann was unable to make their last-minute booking at the Reading Festival, so Crane and Hammond used Mick Hawksworth (ex-Andromeda) as a stand-in. John McCoy later stepped in on bass at the insistence of Polydor Records, for whom they would release two further singles, “Play It Again” and “End of the Day”, which saw some attention on the heavy metal chart, but did little elsewhere, and Polydor shortly afterwards dropped the band.

With Du Cann gone, Crane set about a new form of Atomic Rooster. Paul Hammond stayed on and played drums for the following album Headline News (1983), recorded in late 1982. Several guitarists played on the album, including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Bernie Torme of Gillan and John Mizarolli. Crane added vocals to the album along with his wife on backing vocals. A tour of Germany and Italy included Bernie Torme on guitar. Mizarolli played guitar for several UK dates.

AtomicRooster01

Headline News was released in June 1983 and featured a completely different sound from anything they had ever done, including electronics and synthesizers. The album was completely written by Vincent Crane, leading some to perceive it as a Crane solo album.

Crane disbanded Atomic Rooster once again at the end of 1983. In 1984 he went on to the project Katmandu with Peter Green, Ray Dorset and Jeff Whittaker and they recorded the album A Case for the Blues.

In 1985, Crane joined Dexy’s Midnight Runners, playing piano for their album Don’t Stand Me Down and two singles, one becoming the theme song for the television series Brush Strokes.

Dexy's Midnight Runners

Dexy’s Midnight Runners disbanded in 1987 and Crane intended to reform Atomic Rooster with Du Cann once again. A German tour was planned for 1989, but Crane died from an overdose on painkillers on 14 February. Du Cann struck a deal with Angel Air Records and oversaw the release and re-release of much of his and Atomic Rooster’s material, including live recordings, compilations, compilations of unreleased material and album reissues with extra material. Paul Hammond died in 1992 and Du Cann in 2011.

In 2016 a new line-up of Atomic Rooster played together with permission from Crane’s widow. The first gig was a low-key warm up in Clitheroe, Lancashire on 14 July 2016. The line-up was Pete French and Steve Bolton, plus keyboardist Christian Madden, bass guitarist Shug Millidge and drummer Bo Walsh. In 2017 Madden was replaced by Adrian Gautrey and in September 2019, Atomic Rooster’s Facebook Page announced French’s departure due to musical differences, but he has since announced he will continue with the band. (wikipedia)

Muro do Classic Rock

In Hearing of is the third album by British rock band Atomic Rooster. Although not included on the album, the “Devil’s Answer” single was released just prior to it, becoming the band’s highest chart success at number 4 in the UK. This helped push the album to a number 18 UK chart placing, despite the fact that the four musicians pictured on the inside cover never played together. Half of the songs were written by Crane along with his first wife, Pat Darnell, who assisted with the lyrics. The backing tracks (and some vocals) were recorded by Vincent Crane, John Cann and Paul Hammond, but Cann and Hammond were let go from the group soon after vocalist Pete French was drafted in. The finished album’s sound was dominated by Crane and Hammond, with many of Cann’s guitar parts either not used or placed lower in the mix. However, Cann’s guitar does still come through loud and clear on his compositions (tracks 2 and 6) and the instrumentals (tracks 4 and 7). (wikipedia)

AtomicRooster02

These guys hardly had their head in the sky:

The follow up album to the wonderful, Death Walks Behind You is one that shows Rooster turning in a new direction, and in this transitional stage they’ve managed to create another killer album. While this one would prove to be not nearly as dark as their previous album, something evident just by looking at the cover art (this is likely one of Roger Dean’s strangest creations to date, and is a whole lot more welcoming than the cover to Death Walks Behind You), it still shows Rooster pioneering the genre of heavy prog. Their heavy riffs and piano sections mixed in with sharp vocals (Pete French joins the band at this point to take over vocals from John Cann) make for a mean team and show Atomic Rooster at what was likely the high point of their career.

One of the biggest noticeable differences here is the shift in style. While Death Walks Behind You was rather gloomy with upbeat sections, this album is entirely upbeat with maybe one gloomy moment. The band’s funk influences are clearly starting to creep in, although they haven’t taken over yet like on the follow up to this album (Made In England), with an instrumental like The Rock utilizing just that top make for a very unique blend of funk, rock and progressive rock. The closing The Price also fits into this category with its underlying organ work and fast drumming. On this album as well, the songs are a lot shorter, more condensed. There’s no sprawling 8-minute instrumental, in fact the longest tune on the album just manages to get over 6-minutes. This clearly poses no problems for the boys, however, since the band are able to develop ideas well in a short period of time. Besides, Rooster have never been known for any kind of side-long-suite or the like.

Pete French01

Of course, what we know Rooster best for is blistering tracks that are sure to blow your head clean off – and there’s some of those here, of course. One of the biggest things that helps to make this album as good as it is is the fact that it has a lot of tracks that really rock. The heavy piano off the top of Breakthrough establishes that fact immediately as French steps in to deliver his first vocals for the band. Complex pieces of guitar, organ and a wonderful drum beat coming out of the chorus sections make this track one of Rooster’s absolute best. To make things better, it’s followed up by another classic, Break The Ice. This one is a bit more straightforward than the opener, but it proves as an ample backer. Soft guitar and organ work explodes into a heavy guitar riff and we’re on our way. More impressive drum wizardry from Paul Hammond drive the song into its soft entry into the chorus which builds until we’re into a yell from French. Very impressive. Head In The Sky is the other pure rocker on the album – but this one likely rocks the hardest. The riff from this one sounds like it’s coming from some kind of proto-Max Webster (bonus points if you know who that is!) until Crane’s wonderful organ comes in to bring back the Rooster feeling. Hammond’s drumming on this one is once more incredibly potent and the vocal melodies from French are just wonderful. It may not be a ”head in the sky” zoned out space rock song – but it certainly is the kind that will knock your head clean into the sky. Check out that organ solo from Crane in the middle of the song, excellent!

AtomicRooster03

There are some slower moments on the album, but they really slow down the show. On the band’s previous album the slower moments were a couple of the most potent, emotional and memorable songs on the album. While Nobody Else (from the previous album) featured a wonderful speed change that made the first half of the song so potent the slower tunes on this album seem to like to stay the same speed. Black Snake is driven by a slow (but still impressive) drum beat and Crane’s organ. Unfortunately, for its 6-minute duration it really doesn’t pick up and while it is enjoyable thanks to French’s vocal style it does slow down the album as it opens side 2. Decision/Indecision is in the same vein, although this one does feature a blistering organ solo in the middle. This one isn’t so weak, but after the first two tracks that hit so hard it does seem somewhat out of place.

John Cann01

But what would Rooster be without their instrumentals? On this album were treated to two, the previously mentioned funk-flavored The Rock and the organ-festival that is A Spoonful Of Bromide. Crane really wanted to show off with this track, and it really works. Paul Hammond in the background once again giving the skins the what-for as this one moves on. Another stellar track.

A moment or two that lag but otherwise a very impressive work from the Rooster. Though this would likely be the last time the boys would do so well in the world of prog rock thanks to the funk road they would take by the time their next album would be released. Still, this one stands as a monument to early heavy prog and is quite deserving of a shining 4 stars. Recommended to heavy prog fans and anyone who likes a little guitar with their organ. (Queen By-Tor)

BackCover1

Personnel:
John Cann (guitar)
Vincent Crane (keyboards, vocals on 05. + 08.)
Pete French (vocals)
Paul Hammond (drums, percussion)

LPBooklet1

Tracklist:
01. Breakthrough (Crane/Darnell) 6.19
02. Break The Ice (Cann) 5.01
03. Decision/Indecision (Crane/Darnell) 3.51
04. A Spoonful Of Bromide Helps The Pulse Rate Go Down (Crane) 4.40
05. Black Snake (Crane/Darnell) 6.01
06. Head In The Sky (Cann) 5.40
07. The Rock (Crane) 4.33
08. The Price (Crane/Darnell) 5.18
+
09. Devil´s Answer (Cann) 3.20

Live at the BBC, 1972 (feat. Chris Farlowe on vocals):
10. Breakthrough (live at the BBC) (Crane/Darnell) 6.10
11. Stand By Me (Crane) 4.57
12. People You Can’t Trust (Crane) 4.29
13. All In Satan’s Name (Parnell) 3.56
14. Devil’s Answer (Cann) 5.50

UKLabels

*
**

I dedicate this post to my brother who introduced me
to the wonderful world of Atomic Rooster.

More from Atomic Rooster:
More

Vincent Crane02

The Band – Live In Copenhagen (1971)

FrontCover1The Band was a Canadian-American rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 1967. It consisted of four Canadians and one American: Rick Danko (bass guitar, vocals, fiddle), Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone), Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, lap steel guitar, vocals), Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals), and Levon Helm (drums, vocals, mandolin, guitar). The Band combined elements of Americana, folk, rock, jazz, country, and R&B, influencing subsequent musicians such as the Eagles, Elton John, the Grateful Dead, the Flaming Lips, and Wilco.

TheBand01

Between 1958 and 1963, the group was known as the Hawks, a backing band for rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins. In the mid-1960s, they gained recognition for backing Bob Dylan, and the 1966 concert tour was notable as Dylan’s first with an electric band. After leaving Dylan and changing their name to “The Band”, they released several records to critical and popular acclaim, including their debut album Music from Big Pink, in 1968. According to AllMusic, the album’s influence on several generations of musicians has been substantial: musician Roger Waters called Music from Big Pink the second-most influential record in the history of rock and roll, and music journalist Al Aronowitz called it “country soul … a sound never heard before”. Their most popular songs included “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”.

TheBand02

Music critic Bruce Eder described the Band as “one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics … as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.” The Band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 50th on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time,[8] while ranking “The Weight” 41st on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. In 2008, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2014, they were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. (wikipedia)

TheBand03

And here´s a pretty good bootleg (excellent audience recording except 19. + 20.):

THE BAND IN COPENHAGEN! Thursday the 27th of May 1971! It is now 30 years ago that a dream was fulfilled! The Band LIVE!! The expectations to experience The Band on stage was very high, but it was redeemed for certain!

ConcertTicket

The Copenhagen concert 30 years ago was unique and must be characterised as one of the best concerts ever on Danish soil. Unfortunately an experience that would not be repeated. It’s not fanatic to claim that the concert 30 years ago with The Band was a musical miracle. The sound, after Robbie Robertson finished tuning up his guitar, was played with stereo-like effects! It was fantastic!!(by Jan Ingemann Sørensen)

Recorded live at the KB Halle, Copenhagen/Denmark, May 27, 1971

BackCover1

Personnel:
Rick Danko (bass, violin, vocals)
Levon Helm (drums, mandolin, vocals)
Garth Hudson (keyboards, accordion, saxophone)
Richard Manuel (keyboards, drums, vocals)
Robbie Robertson (guitar, vocals)

Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson,
KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark May 27, 1971:
TheBandCopenhagen71_01

Tracklist:
01. Time To Kill (Robertson) 3.25
02. The Weight (Robertson) 4.50
03. King Harvest Surely Come (Robertson) 3.39
04. I Shall Be Released (Dylan) 3.39
05. Stage Fright (Robertson) 3.44
06. Up On Cripple Creek (Robertson) 4.36
07. The W. S. Walcott Medicine Show 3.45
08. We Can Talk (Manuel) 3.07
09. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Hunter/Wonder) 3.23
10. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robertson) 4.13
11. Across The Great Divide (Robertson) 3.23
12. The Unfaithful Servant (Robertson) 2.12
13. Don’t Do It (B.Holland/Dozier/E.Holland) 4.31
14. Genetic Method (Hudson) 4.41
15. Chest Fever (Roberston) 5.19
16. Rag Mama Rag ((Robertson) 3.41
17. Slippin’ And Slidin’ (Penniman/Bocage/Collins/Smith) 3.39
18. This Wheels On Fire (Dylan/Danko) 4.06
19. The Shape I’m In (alternate source) (Robertson) 5.20
20. The Unfaithful Servant (alternate source) (Robertson) 4.42

TheBandCopenhagen71_02*
**

More from The Band:
More

Colosseum – Live `71 (2020)

FrontCover1Colosseum was one of the most exciting British rock bands of the 70s and while they made fine studio albums, notably the classic Those Who Are About To Die (1969), it was on the road, playing night after night to devoted fans, that the group led by master drummer Jon Hiseman really came – alive! Mercifully, thanks to skilled recording engineers, many of their best shows were captured on tape. This superb collection of live performances reveals Colosseum blasting at full strength and with extraordinary power and passion. This 3LP set is packed with alternative versions of many of their most iconic songs and arrangements. Keyboard player Dave Greenslade and other past members of the band explain how Colosseum developed its sound and style in extensive liner notes by Repertoire’s Chris Welch, a rock journalist who saw the band from their earliest days onwards. Colosseum was truly great live in 1971. Thanks to this treasure house of high-quality recordings, professionally restored by digital craftsman Eroc, the band comes alive and kicking for us to enjoy 50 years later. (Press release)

Booklet01A

The first thing that strikes you about this new 2CD live album from Colosseum, professionally recorded across several shows in early 1971, is how sensational it sounds. Vibrant, clear, sparkling, dynamic and alive. Mixing/mastering engineer Eroc (one Joachim Ehrig, a pro recording artist in bands and solo, as Eroc, from the 70s to the 90s, now a mastering maestro) has done an astounding job!

It’s a blistering performance, too. For those who don’t know much about Colosseum, their sound is – to my mind – part of a peculiarly British sort of jazz/rock blend, involving the likes of brass, Hammond and vibraphones, that thrived briefly for roughly a year either side of 1970. It’s a sound world that had its origins in the Graham Bond Organisation of the middle 60s – in which Colosseum mainstays Jon Hiseman (drums) and Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxes) both played – was influenced by the absurdist songwriting of Pete Brown with Jack Bruce in Cream, and that was developed by Jack Bruce’s ‘Songs for a Tailor’ (1969) album arrangements (again, featuring both Hiseman and DHS) and his 1971 touring band (which reunited him with Bond), by the Keef Hartley Band (a briefly flourishing drummer-led band with horn section), by Neil Ardley’s New Jazz Orchestra (which collaborated with Colosseum on some live shows), by the first two albums by jazz/rock arranger Michael Gibbs (1970-71) and his live band, and by one or two other acts of that brief period. It wasn’t ‘jazz-rock’ as represented by the likes of Nucleus in Britain or the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the US; rather, it was a kind of progressive rock music with jazz players and influences involved and, in Hartley and Colosseum’s cases, based more around songs than instrumentals.

Booklet09A

If this new 2CD is so sensational, one might ask why it has languished so long in the late Colosseum bandleader Jon Hiseman’s archive, although really that question refers specifically to Disc 1, recorded live at a university in Canterbury on 12 February 1971. Let me explain…

During a British tour in early 1971, Colosseum, with doubtful enthusiasm from their management and label, set about recording shows with the Granada mobile, with the intention of capturing their onstage magic, and a clutch of hitherto unrecorded numbers, on a live album (Jon feeling their three studio albums to that point had lacked something of this). In Jon’s 2010 autobiography ‘Playing the Band’, it is explained that while nobody could by then recall how many shows had been recorded, the first was at Canterbury, the third was at Manchester University on 13 March, there was another at Manchester University on 18 March and the final recording was made at the Big Apple in Brighton on 27 March. Somewhere in between, there had also been a recording made at Bristol. The second show in Manchester – a free gig – was put on because the band had felt the first one was below par, with a ‘huge row’ in the dressing room after, and they were desperate to try and get something good on tape.

Booklet05A

After the Brighton show, their manager, Gerry Bron, pulled the plug on more live recordings and Jon became despondent. However, they all listened again to the first Manchester show at Lansdowne Studios and realised it was much better than they’d reckoned at the time. Thus, five tracks from Manchester on March 13, and one from Bristol (date not given, track not identified) – according to Jon in his book, the only one from a show other than Manchester that they thought was any good – became the June 1971 double LP ‘Colosseum Live’. It would be their last album, bar a compilation of oddities, until reforming in 1994.

In Jon’s book, bar a passing mention, there is no discussion of the Canterbury show. The presumption is that, for whatever reason, it was simply not considered for release and everyone moved on to the next gig recording (and the next…).

Booklet03A

Emails with Eroc reveal that the original multi-track recording from Canterbury was rather weak and needed a lot of work. Clearly, his results with today’s technology would not have been possible in 1971. Indeed, the eventual ‘Colosseum Live’ 2LP that was mixed back in the day, from the first Manchester show, was often thought to be an imperfect, rather gritty presentation, albeit capturing the energy Jon was after (the 2016 Esoteric Records expanded edition of the album, remastered by Ben Wiseman, significantly enhanced the sound). So, one presumes that technical issues rather than any questions about the performance were why the Canterbury show was never considered for release in 1971, and nor for a disc’s worth of further drawings from the well of these 1971 tapes that appeared in 2009 (more of which below).

So, what’s on the new album? Well, in different order, Disc 1 comprises Canterbury versions of five of the six (Manchester) numbers on the 1971 LP – Mike Gibbs’ ‘Tanglewood ‘63’, Jack Bruce’s ‘Rope Ladder to the Moon’, Graham Bond’s ‘Walking in the Park’ and band originals ‘Skellington’ and ‘Lost Angeles’. The 1971 LP’s sixth number* was ‘Stormy Monday’ – famously, an entirely spontaneous encore version (after that dressing room contretemps) of the classic T-Bone Walker blues. It was immediately added to the Colosseum repertoire – but, of course, it had been absent at Canterbury. The sixth number on the Canterbury disc of the new 2CD set is a barnstorming 15-minute ‘The Machine Demands a Sacrifice’ (incorporating Jon’s ‘Time Machine’ drum solo).

(* Note: ‘I Can’t Live Without You’, recorded at the first Manchester show, was added as a seventh track to all CD versions of ‘Colosseum Live’ from 1992–2004; indeed, a 1990 Japanese CD edition of the album remains the only one to NOT feature this extra.)

Booklet07A

Disc 2 of the new 2CD ‘Live ‘71’ comprises five numbers over its 73 minutes (Colosseum specialising in rather long items) that have been released before in two contexts: firstly, as a live disc of previously-unreleased tracks in the 2009 4CD Colosseum box set ‘Morituri Te Salutant’, presumably mixed by Jon Hiseman and certainly mastered by Peter Reynolds; secondly, as the second disc in Esoteric’s 2016 2CD edition of ‘Colosseum Live’, mastered by Ben Wiseman. These are: ‘Rope Ladder’ and ‘Skellington’ from Brighton; ‘I Can’t Live Without You / Time Machine / The Machine Demands a Sacrifice’ from the first Manchester show (the ‘I Can’t Live’ section being the bit added to those 1992-2004 single CD editions of the original live album, mentioned earlier); ‘The Valentyne Suite’ from the second Manchester show; and ‘Stormy Monday’ from Bristol.

Is Eroc’s mastering of the items on this disc better than the previous two outings? I believe it is. Others with more time can do a more comprehensive A/B, but from a few minutes each of two tracks compared between the Esoteric release and the Repertoire one, it’s clear that there is more warmth and depth in Eroc’s mastering without sacrificing any of the presence; Wiseman’s mastering on the Esoteric release is good, but chooses to emphasise the top end, with a slight harshness (albeit plenty of punch). At the very least, Eroc brings something fresh to the tracks on this disc.

Booklet08A

It is Disc 1, however, the 74 minutes of magic from Canterbury, that make this release essential for anyone interested in British progressive rock. To reiterate: the performance is great and the mixing and mastering are sensational. In short, a deftly covered Chris Farlowe fluffed entry into one track aside, it’s better in my view than the released-at-the-time ‘Colosseum Live’, which is itself a classic of the era.

‘Colosseum Live ‘71’ is one of five (!) Colosseum live albums that Repertoire has just released – the others being a ‘best of the bootlegs’, from quality amateur recordings made between 1969–71 at Boston, Montreux, Turku and Rome, and newly mastered (also by Eroc). The first three of these are probably of most interest to fans, in featuring vocalist Chris Farlowe’s predecessors James Litherland and Dave Clempson along with a diversity of material. The Rome 1971 set, with Chris, comprises four numbers familiar from the pro-recorded Canterbury set. Seventies ‘Melody Maker’ personality and uber Colosseum fan Chris Welch contributes notes to all of these releases. (Colin H.

In other words: A masterpiece !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Mark Clarke (bass, vocals)
Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson (guitar, background vocals)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibraphone)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Jon Hiseman (drums)

Booklet06A

Tracklist:

CD 1:

Live At Canterbury University Of Kent, 1971:
01. Tanglewood ’63 (Gibbs) 13.08
02. Rope Ladder To The Moon (Bruce/Brown) 8.39
03. Walking In The Park (Bond) 8.13
04. Skelington (Clempson/Hiseman) 13.20
05. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Brown/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Litherland) 14.58
06. Lost Angeles (Farlowe/Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith) 15.52

CD 2:

Live In Brighton, 1971:
01. Rope Ladder To The Moon (Bruce/Brown) 11.14
02. Skelington (Clempson/Hiseman) 14.17

Live In Manchester, 1971:
03. I Can’t Live Without You (Litherland) / The Time Machine (Hiseman) / The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Brown/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman/Litherland) 21.36
04. The Valentyne Suite 21.12
04.1. January’s Search (reenslade/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman)
04.2. February’s Valentyne (Greenslade/Hiseman)
04.3. The Grass Is Always Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman)
05. Stormy Monday (Walker) 5.11

CDs

*
**

More from Colosseum:
More

Dick Heckstall-Smith:
(September 26, 1934 – December 17, 2004)

Jon Hiseman:
(June 21, 1944 – June 12, 2018)