(Salvadore) Adamo – Olympia 71 (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgSalvatore, Knight Adamo (born 1 November 1943) is a Belgian singer and composer, who is known for his romantic ballads. Adamo was born in Italy and grew up from the age of three in Belgium. He holds dual citizenship of Belgium and Italy.

He first gained popularity throughout Europe and later in the Middle East, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. He has sold more than 80 million albums and 20 million singles making him one of the most commercially successful musicians in the world. He mainly performs in French but has also sung in Dutch, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish. “Tombe la neige”, “La nuit”, and “Inch’Allah” remain his best known songs. He is currently the best selling Belgian musician of all time.

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.

Adamo01.jpgAdamo was born in Comiso, Sicily. His father Antonio, a well digger, emigrated to Belgium in February 1947 to work in the mines of Marcinelle. Four months later his wife, Concetta, and their son, Salvatore, joined him in the town of Ghlin (Mons) before moving to Jemappes (Mons). In 1950, Salvatore was bedridden for a year with meningitis.

Salvatore’s parents did not want their son to become a miner, so he went to a Catholic school run by the Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes. By 1960, the family of Antonio and Concetta Adamo had seven children overall. Salvatore grew up in Jemappes (Mons), where he was a dedicated student at school and distinguished himself in music and the arts.

Adamo’s early influences were the poetry of Victor Hugo and Jacques Prévert, the music of French singer-songwriters like Georges Brassens, and the Italian canzonette. He started singing and composing his own songs from an early age. His debut was in a Radio Luxembourg competition, where he participated as singer and composer of the song “Si j’osais” (“If I dared”), winning the competition’s final held in Paris on 14 February 1960.

Adamo’s first hit was “Sans toi, ma mie”, in 1963, from his debut album 63/64. He followed this with a series of hits, the most famous being “Tombe la neige” (“The snow falls”) in 1963, “La nuit” (“The Night”) in 1964, and “Inch’Allah”. The self-penned “Petit bonheur” (“Little Happiness”) sold over one million copies by April 1970, and was awarded a gold disc.

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Adamo has sold over 100 million copies of recordings worldwide. He has recorded in many languages and, besides France and Belgium, had hits in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and also in Japan, where he toured repeatedly. He has had hits and toured also in Latin America and throughout the Middle East.

In Chile, the audience awarded him an appreciation prize known as the “Antorcha” (Gold and Silver Torch) at the “Festival de Viña del Mar” held yearly in the “Quinta Vergara”, at the seaside resort of Viña del Mar, where he once had to sing in three different, sold-out venues in the same night. In the 1980s, Adamo’s career faltered, as the style of his music was no longer fashionable. Since the 1990s, however, and on the crest of a nostalgia wave, he has successfully resumed composing, issuing records and touring, starting with a full season at the Casino de Paris venue in April 1990.

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This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.

Adamo briefly attempted movie acting when he was cast in the film Les Arnaud (1967), which starred Bourvil. Amália Rodrigues recorded “Inch’Allah” in French. “Tombe la neige”, one of his many international hits, has been covered in Bulgarian, Turkish (“Her Yerde Kar Var”), Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Chinese (Cantopop).

Adamo05In 2001, Adamo was raised into the Belgian nobility (with motto Humblement mais dignement) by King Albert II and given for life the Belgian noble title Ridder, translated into English as “Knight”. He was appointed an Officer of the Belgian Order of the Crown in 2002. In 2014, Adamo was honoured at Victoires de la Musique in France.

In 1984, Adamo had heart problems which necessitated a heart bypass operation and a temporary though total withdrawal from work. Since 1993, he has been an honorary UNICEF ambassador from Belgium and, in this capacity, has visited countries such as Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and others. In 2004, health problems forced him to cancel a scheduled tour but, since 2007, he is touring again. In December 2011, he performed in Espinho, Portugal and Bucharest, Romania.

At the end of the 1960s, Adamo married Nicole. Their children were Anthony (born in 1969), Benjamin, and then Amélie. At the height of his stardom, his own father died by drowning on 7 August 1966. His younger sister Délizia is also a recording artist. He wrote a number of songs for his sister, including her debut hit “Prends le chien” in 1974. She also joined him in his tour in 1975. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty good album by Adamo, recorded live at the Olympia/Paris (a sould out concert, of course) in 1971.

And we here many of his romantic ballads and chansons .. and he was/is a real master of this genre.

Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Salvadore Adamo (vocals)
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Grand Orchestre De L’Olympia, I Delfini conducted by Alain Goraguer

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Tracklist:
01. Salut Vieux! 3.43
02. Le Pendu 5.12
03. Nous 4.10
04. Un Petit Caillou Gris Rose, Un Petit Caillou Vert Gris 4.39
05. Les Fees Ne Mourront Pas! 4.07
06. Buvons A Notre Souvenir 3.56
07. Et Tu T’en Vas 3.14
08. Mon Cinema 3.56
09. Elle Souriait 3.47
10. Enfant, Mon Ami 3.19
11. Sois Heureuse Rose 3.16
12. Que Voulez Vous Que Je Vous Chante? 3.29
13. Medley 3.36
13.1. Petit Bonheur
13.2. Vous Permettez Monsieur?

All songs written by Salvadore Adamo

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Leo Kottke – Mudlark (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgMudlark is American guitarist Leo Kottke’s fourth album, his first on a major label (Capitol) and his first to feature other musicians. It reached #168 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts.

Recording started in Los Angeles and later moved to Nashville. Four of the cuts were recorded in Wayne Moss’s garage studio in Nashville. The song “Room 8” is titled after a neighborhood cat named Room 8 who wandered into a classroom in 1952 at Elysian Heights Elementary School in Echo Park, California and lived at the school each winter, leaving in the summer. (by wikipedia)

Mudlark rates highly on many a Kottke fan’s favorite list. This was Kottke’s Capitol Records debut, and his solo instrumental sound is augmented with the addition of studio sidemen (bass, drums, piano). His playing is superb (no surprise there) and full of youthful vigor — a fusion of high-speed picking, brash slide work, funky folk, acoustic rock, and melodicism. Most importantly, Mudlark marked the debut of Kottke as a singer, an indication that Capitol was trying to shoehorn him into the singer/songwriter genre. Kottke himself has made disparaging remarks about his own vocals, but they add personality to his virtuosic guitar chops. His acoustic 12-string cover of “Eight Miles High” is particularly strong at showing off the vocal richness.

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On later albums, the vocals would become more mannered; here Kottke takes a more forward approach — belting out the melodies with gusto. Kottke’s sound was too raucous and unpredictable to guarantee commercial success on a major label. Stylistically, Kottke is all over the map (as usual), blending traditional folk, bluegrass, blues, singer/songwriter, and classical into his own brand of high-octane eclecticism. There’s no mistaking the Leo Kottke “sound,” but it’s hard to label it. Versatility is paramount, from the down-home high-speed picking of “Cripple Creek” to the steely bottleneck slide work on “June Bug” to the Baroque classicism of “Bourrée” by J.S. Bach, all of it wrapped by Kottke’s wry, surreal wit. A landmark early album, Mudlark increased Kottke’s visibility and helped establish his reputation as a homegrown American original. (by Jim Esch)

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Personnel:
Leo Kottke (guitar, bottleneck national steel guitar, vocals)
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Kenneth Buttrey (drums, percussion, cowbell on 01., 05., 10. + 14.)
Roy Estrad (bass on track 02.)
Kim “Juke Box Phantom” Fowley (vocals on 07.)
John Harris (piano on 01., 05. + 14.)
Jeffrey Kaplan (piano on 08. + 11.)
Paul “Fast Foot” Lagos (drums on 02., 03., 07. – 09. + 11.)
Wayne Moss (bass on 01., 05., 10. + 14.)
Pat Smit (bass on 11.)
Larry Taylor (bass on 03,, 07. + 09.)

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01. Cripple Creek (Traditional) 2.01
02. Eight Miles High (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 3.39
03. June Bug (Kottke) 2.17
04. The Ice Miner (Kottke) 2.03
05. Bumblebee (Kottke) 3.45
06. Stealing (Kottke) 1.42
07. Monkey Lust (Kottke/Fowley) 1.54
08. Poor Boy (White/Fahey) 2.10
09. Lullaby (Kottke) 3.24
10. Machine #2 (Kottke) 3.04
11. Hear The Wind Howl (Kottke) 3.04
12. Bourée (Bach) 1.28
13. Room 8 (Kottke) 3.00
14. Standing in My Shoes (Kottke/Bruce) 3.11

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Raymond Lefevre – Soul Symphonies 1 (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgRaymond Lefèvre (November 20, 1929 – June 27, 2008) was a French easy listening orchestra leader, arranger and composer.

Born on November 20, 1929 in Calais, France, Raymond Lefèvre is best known for his interpretation of the 1968 theme “Soul Coaxing (Ame Caline)” (composed by Michel Polnareff), which became an international hit. He also wrote soundtracks for movies with Louis de Funès such as La Soupe Aux Choux (1981) or the legendary series Le Gendarme de Saint Tropez. During the late 1950s and early 1960s he accompanied Dalida on most of her recordings (Bambino, Por Favor, Tu peux tout faire de moi, Quand on n’a que l’amour), amongst many others. He started his musical career in 1956 on the Barclay Records label. His recordings were released in the United States on the Kapp and Four Corners record labels until 1969.

He was accepted at the Paris Conservatory when 17 years old. During the early 1950s he played the piano for the Franck Pourcel orchestra. In 1953 he played the piano at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. He started his musical career in 1956 on the Barclay label and recorded his debut album that year.

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He worked on the French television programmes Musicorama (1950s) and Palmarés des Chansons (1965, 1966, 1967) accompanying such famous artists as Dalida, Claude François, Richard Anthony, with his own orchestra.

His recording of “The Day the Rains Came” was a best seller in the United States in 1958. The song “Ame câline” (Soul Coaxing) became an international hit in 1968 and “La La La (He Gives Me Love)” was a minor hit in 1968 in Canada and the United States. In 1969 his recording of “La Reine de Saba” (Queen of Sheba) became a big hit in Japan. From 1972 until the early 2000s (decade), he undertook several successful tours of Japan.

He worked on the soundtracks of many Louis de Funès movies.

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Lefèvre conducted entries four times at the Eurovision Song Contest, three times for Monaco (in 1961, 1962, and 1963) and once for Luxembourg (in 1970).

Raymond Lefèvre died on June 27, 2008 at the age of 78. (by wikipedia)

And here´s his first album of the very sucessful “Soul Symphonies” … I guess the best way to play Classic tunes in a very uniques Easy Listening was ..

Enjoy, dream (like me) or whatever !

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Personnel:
Raymond Lefevre Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Allegro De La 40ème Symphonie De Mozart (Mozart) 3.05
02. Largo De Dvorak De La Symphonie Du Nouveau Monde (Dvorak) 3.03
03. Aria De Jean-Sebastien Bach (Bach) 2.45
04. Largo De Haendel (Händel) 2.31
05. Aranjuez (D’Après L’Adagio 2ème Mouvement Du Concerto D’Aranjuez De Joaquin Rodrigo-Vidre) (Rodrigo-Vidre) 4.43
06. 5ème Symphonie De Beethoven (Beethoven) 2.53
07. Prelude En Do De Jean-Sebastien Bach (Bach) 2.53
08. Adagio De La Sonate Pathetique De Beethoven (Beethoven) 3.07
09. Modinha (Préludio Tiré Des Bachianas Brasileiras № 1 De Villa-Lobos) (Villa-Lobos) 3.41
10. Adagio Cardinal (Vacquez) 2.40
11. Andante Maggiore Du Concerto Pour 2 Mandolines De Vivaldi (Vivaldi) 3.33
12. Le Canon De Pachelbel (Pachelbel) 3.29
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13. Concierto en do menor para oboe – 2º mov, Adagio (Marcello) 2.40
14. Concierto para una voz (Saint-Preux) 3.31

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Raymond Lefèvre (November 20, 1929 – June 27, 2008)

The Band – Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 (2013)

FrontCover1.jpgThis is my last entry in this year, in this decade … including a New Year´s Eve concert:

During the final week of 1971, The Band played four legendary concerts at New York City’s Academy Of Music, ushering in the New Year with electrifying performances, including new horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan for a New Year’s Eve encore. Select highlights from the concerts were compiled for The Band’s classic 1972 double LP, Rock Of Ages, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and remains a core album in the trailblazing group’s storied Capitol Records catalog.

For the first time, all four of the concerts’ multi-track recordings have been revisited for ‘Live At The Academy Of Music 1971,’ a new 4CD+DVD collection. The expansive new collection features new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes, including 19 previously unreleased performances and newly discovered footage of two songs filmed by Howard Alk and Murray Lerner. ‘Live At The Academy Of Music 1971’ takes a deep dive into The Band’s historic shows for a definitive document of the pioneering group’s stage prowess at the apex of their career.

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Live At The Academy Of Music 1971 is presented in a deluxe, 48-page hardbound book (not included) with previously unseen photos, a reproduction of Rolling Stone’s original Rock Of Ages review by magazine co-founder Ralph J. Gleason, an essay by The Band’s Robbie Robertson, and appreciations of The Band and the set’s recordings by Mumford & Sons and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The collection’s first two discs feature performances of every song played over the course of the four concerts, and the New Year’s Eve soundboard mix on discs 3 and 4 puts the listener in the room for that entire legendary night: Uncut, unedited, taken straight from the master recordings and presented in full for the first time. The set’s DVD (not included) presents the tracks from discs 1 and 2 in 5.1 Surround, plus Alk and Lerner’s filmed performances of ‘King Harvest (Has Surely Come)’ and ‘The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show.’

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The Band’s historic performances at New York City’s Academy of Music on Dec. 28-31, 1971 have been collected before, on one of the ’70s’ best live albums, ‘Rock of Ages.’ But the five-disc ‘Live at the Academy of Music 1971’ (which includes a DVD) paints a more complete picture of the shows. The set gathers songs from their four-concert, three-night stand, just as 1971 turned into 1972. The first two CDs compile highlights from the shows, including 29 songs from ‘Up on Cripple Creek’ and ‘I Shall Be Released’ to ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ and ‘The Weight’ as well as four from the New Year’s Eve concert where Bob Dylan joined them onstage. The third and fourth discs collect the complete New Year’s Eve concert 27 songs, including the same four with Dylan. Eleven songs in all are repeated from the first two CDs here, which can be both jarring and repetitive as you listen to the exact same performances within different contexts.

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It might all be too much for casual fans, even if 19 of the tracks are previously unreleased. The thrill of Garth Hudson’s massive organ moving from ‘The Genetic Method’ into ‘Auld Lang Syne’ loses some of its power on the New Year’s Eve set when you know it’s coming. Same goes for Dylan’s surprise appearance. Still, the concert-closing version of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ is almost as ferocious as the one Dylan and the Band played during their 1966 tour of the U.K. The DVD simply adds a visual element to some of the cuts from the album. But the Band find the various shadings in the songs without them. Listen to the way they swing through “Get Up Jake’ and pile their instrumental prowess onto the monumental ‘Chest Fever.’ Or even the way they spin the urbane Motown track ‘Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever’ toward their dusty-road Americana, all spiked by horn arrangements from New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint. That’s the sound of a band at the top of its game. (Promo text)

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Not so much an expansion of 1972’s classic double-live album Rock of Ages, but an exhaustive tribute to its source material, the four-CD/one-DVD 2013 box set Live at the Academy of Music 1971 digs deep into the Band’s year-end four-night stint at New York City’s Academy of Music. The original 18-track sequence for the 1972 LP has been abandoned in favor of a double-concert construct, where the first two discs present one version of each of the 29 songs the Band played over the course of these four nights, while the final two discs present the entirety of the New Years Eve concert that capped off this residency; this CD is remixed from the soundboard tapes, and the DVD replicates this New Years Eve concert (note that there is no footage of the NYE concert, so the music is presented with a selection of stills; nevertheless, there are full clips of the Band performing “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” and “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” on December 30, which are welcome). This structure is an appealing one but invites perhaps more duplications than are necessary.

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The 29 songs on the first two disc contain 11 songs from the New Years Eve show — including the four-song encore with Bob Dylan — but the trade-off is the NYE concert is loaded with unheard versions of familiar songs: 16 of the 27 songs are previously unreleased (in contrast, the only unearthed song on the first two discs is a killer version of “Strawberry Wine”). Perhaps some of these performances are ever so slightly rougher than the accompanying ones on the first two discs, but that liveliness is part of the appeal (besides, this is hardly ragged; as enthusiastic as the Band is, they’re also supplemented by Allen Toussaint’s horn section, so they do need to hit their marks to ensure all the elements fit together). Rock of Ages and, in turn, Live at the Academy of Music 1971 do close out the early years of the Band. They’d tour again, supporting Bob Dylan in 1974, and they turned out a few more records before disbanding in 1976, but they never seemed as triumphant as they did at the end of 1971. Although this box is not perfect — it’s hard not to wish there were no duplications on the first two discs, or the last two — it is nevertheless a mighty testament to the Band at the peak of their powers. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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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)
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Joe Farrell (saxophone, english horn)
Howard Johnson (saxophone, tuba, euphonium)
Earl McIntyre (trombone)
J.D. Parron (saxophone, clarinet)
Snooky Young (trumpet, flugelhorn)
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Bob Dylan (vocals, guitar on CD 2: 13 – 16.; CD 4: 13. – 16.)

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Tracklist:

CD 1: Live At The Academy Of Music (Part 1):
01. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 3.50
02. The Shape I’m In (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 3.49
03. Caledonia Mission (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 3.20
04. Don’t Do It (Wednesday, December 29) (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 4.28
05. Stage Fright (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 4.22
06. I Shall Be Released (Thursday, December 30) (Dylan) 4.01
07. Up On Cripple Creek (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 4.40
08. This Wheel’s On Fire (Wednesday, December 29) (Danko/Dylan) 3.48
09. Strawberry Wine (Tuesday, December 28) (Previously Unissued Performance) (Helm/ Robertson) 3.31
10. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 3.58
11. Time To Kill (Tuesday, December 28) (Robertson) 4.09
12. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Wednesday, December 29) (Robertson) 4.41
13. Across The Great Divide (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 3.28

CD 2: Live At The Academy Of Music (Part 2):
01. Life Is A Carnival (Thursday, December 30) (Danko/Helm/Robertson) 4.04
02. Get Up Jake (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 3.17
03. Rag Mama Rag (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 4.04
04. Unfaithful Servant (Friday, December 31) (Robertson) 4.30
05. The Weight (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 5.16
06. Rockin’ Chair (Wednesday, December 29) (Robertson) 4.04
07. Smoke Signal (Tuesday, December 28) (Robertson) 5.20
08. The Rumor (Thursday, December 30) (Robertson) 5.04
09. The Genetic Method (Friday, December 31) (Hudson) 7.31
10. Chest Fever (Tuesday, December 28) (Robertson) 5.08
11. (I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes (Wednesday, December 29) (Willis) 4.36
12. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (Wednesday, December 29) (Hunter/Wonder) 3.31
13. Down In The Flood (with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31) (Dylan) 5.11
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31) (Dylan) 4.57
15. Don’t Ya Tell Henry (with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31) (Dylan) 3.55
16. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan) (Friday, December 31) (Dylan) 5.26

CD 3: New Year´s Eve At The Academy Od Music 1971 (Soundboard Mix) (Part 1):
01. Up On Cripple Creek (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 5.11
02. The Shape I’m In (Robertson) 4.10
03. The Rumor (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 5.06
04. Time To Kill (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 4.23
05. Rockin’ Chair (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 4.10
06. This Wheel’s On Fire (Previously Unissued Performance) (Dank/Dylan) 4.03
07. Get Up Jake (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 3.41
08. Smoke Signal (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 5.31
09. I Shall Be Released (Previously Unissued Performance) (Dylan) 4.01
10. The Weight (Previously Unissued Performance) 5.15
11. Stage Fright (Robertson) 4.32

CD 4: New Year´s Eve At The Academy Od Music 1971 (Soundboard Mix) (Part 2):
01. Life Is A Carnival (Previously Unissued Performance) (Danko/Helm/Robertson) 5.12
02. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Robertson) 4.00
03. Caledonia Mission (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 3.29
04. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show (Robertson) 4.01
05. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 4.48
06. Across The Great Divide (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 3.52
07. Unfaithful Servant (Robertson) 4.37
08. Don’t Do It (Previously Unissued Performance) (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 4.45
09. The Genetic Method (Hudson) 7.52
10. Chest Fever (Previously Unissued Performance) (Robertson) 6.29
11. Rag Mama Rag (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 4.15
12. (I Don’t Want To) Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes (Previously Unissued Performance) (Willis) 4.40
13. Down In The Flood (with Bob Dylan) (Dylan) 5.43
14. When I Paint My Masterpiece (with Bob Dylan) (Dylan) 4.15
15. Don’t Ya Tell Henry (with Bob Dylan) (Dylan) 4.11
16. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan) (Dylan) 5.41

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Rick Danko
(December 29, 1943 – December 10, 1999)

Levon Helm
(May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012)

Richard Manuel
(April 3, 1943 – March 4, 1986)

The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies (1971)

LPFrontCover1Muswell Hillbillies is an album by the English rock group The Kinks. Released in November 1971, it was the band’s first album for RCA Records. The album is named after the Muswell Hill area of North London, where band leader Ray Davies and guitarist Dave Davies grew up and the band formed in the early 1960s.

The album introduces a number of working class figures and the stresses with which they must contend. It did not sell well but received positive reviews and critical acclaim.

Muswell Hillbillies was the band’s first album for RCA Records, their prior recordings having been released on Pye Records (Reprise Records in the United States). Their contract with Pye/Reprise expired the same year. The album was recorded between August and October 1971 at Morgan Studios, London, using a new brass section, the Mike Cotton Sound, which included Mike Cotton on trumpet, John Beecham on trombone and tuba, and Alan Holmes on clarinet.

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The album was not a commercial success (it failed to chart in the United Kingdom and peaked at #48 in the U.S.), and its sales were a disappointment following the success of Lola the previous year. Stereo Review magazine called the poor-selling record “album of the year” in 1972 (even though it was released on 24 November 1971). In the 1984 Rolling Stone Album Guide, Rolling Stone editors gave the album five stars out of five and called it Davies’ “signature statement” as a songwriter. In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album a wide-ranging collection of Ray Davies compositions which focus on the tensions and frustrations of modern life.

The front cover picture was taken in the Archway Tavern, a pub in Archway (more than two miles away from Muswell Hill). The back inset picture, showing the band below a signpost giving directions to Muswell Hill, was taken on the small traffic island at the intersection of Castle Yard and Southwood Lane in Highgate. (by wikipedia)

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How did the Kinks respond to the fresh start afforded by Lola? By delivering a skewed, distinctly British, cabaret take on Americana, all pinned down by Ray Davies’ loose autobiography and intense yearning to be anywhere else but here — or, as he says on the opening track, “I’m a 20th century man, but I don’t want to be here.” Unlike its predecessors, Muswell Hillbillies doesn’t overtly seem like a concept album — there are no stories as there are on Lola — but each song undoubtedly shares a similar theme, namely the lives of the working class. Cleverly, the music is a blend of American and British roots music, veering from rowdy blues to boozy vaudeville. There’s as much good humor in the performances as there are in Davies’ songs, which are among his savviest and funniest.

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They’re also quite affectionate, a fact underpinned by the heartbreaking “Oklahoma U.S.A.,” one of the starkest numbers Davies ever penned, seeming all the sadder surrounded by the careening country-rock and music hall. That’s the key to Muswell Hillbillies — it mirrors the messy flow of life itself, rolling from love letters and laments to jokes and family reunions. Throughout it all, Davies’ songwriting is at a peak, as are the Kinks themselves. There are a lot of subtle shifts in mood and genre on the album, and the band pulls it off effortlessly and joyously. Regardless of its commercial fate, Muswell Hillbillies stands as one of the Kinks’ best albums. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Mick Avory (drums, percussion)
John Dalton (bass guitar, background vocals)
Dave Davies (lead guitar, slide guitar, banjo, background vocals)
Ray Davies (vocals, guitar)
John Gosling  (keyboards, accordion)
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John Beecham (trombone, tuba)
Vicki Brown (background vocals on 04. + 09.)
Mike Cotton (trumpet)
Alan Holmes (saxophone, clarinet)
Ken Jones (harmonica on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. 20th Century Man 5.58
02. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues 3.33
03. Holiday 2.40
04. Skin And Bone 3:39
05. Alcohol 3.36
06. Complicated Life 4.03
07. Here Come The People In Grey 3.46
08. Have A Cuppa Tea 3.45
09. Holloway Jail 3.29
10. Oklahoma U.S.A. 2.39
11. Uncle Son 2.33
12. Muswell Hillbilly 4.59
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13. Mountain Woman 3.09
14. Kentucky Moon (demo) 3.55

All songs written by Ray Davies.

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More from The Kinks:

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Ten Years After – A Space in Time (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgA Space in Time is the sixth studio album by the British blues rock band Ten Years After. It was released in August 1971 by Chrysalis Records in the United Kingdom and Columbia Records in America. A departure in style from their previous albums, A Space in Time is less ‘heavy’ than previous albums and includes more acoustic guitar, perhaps influenced by the success of Led Zeppelin who were mixing acoustic songs with heavier numbers. It reached number 17 in the Billboard 200.

The third track on the album, “I’d Love to Change the World”, is also their biggest hit. By combining a melodic acoustic chorus with challenging electric guitar riffs, they managed to produce a sound that hit number 10 in the charts in Canada[citation needed] and number 40 in the USA.[2] Although this was their biggest hit, they rarely played it live. “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You” also charted in the USA, peaking at number 61.

Billy Walker gave the album a generally positive review in Sounds. He noted the atypically soft sound of songs such as “Over the Hill” and “Let the Sky Fall” and approved of this “unexpected but pleasing dimension to the overall feel of the album”, while simultaneously praising “the old TYA excitement” of tracks such as “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You”.

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He particularly praised Alvin Lee’s guitar work. However, he complained that a number of the tracks suffered from “lack of strength or projection of Alvin’s voice” and concluded “Ten Years After are a far better live band than their albums suggest; they get over much more of their charisma and excitement that has a job surfacing on their recorded work.”

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said the album is one “in which the rock heavy comes of age with his toughest, fullest, and most coherent album. I like it in a way, but it does lack a certain winning abandon, and I’m not crazy about the heavy’s economic theories—fellow seems to believe that if you ‘tax the rich to feed the poor’ you soon run out of rich, with dire consequences.” (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Ric Lee (drums, percussion)
Leo Lyons (bass)

US back cover:
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Tracklist:
01. One of These Days 5.57
02. Here They Come 4.34
03. I’d Love To Change The World 3.44
04. Over The Hill 2.29
05. Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You 2.15
06. Once There Was A Time 3.22
07. Let The Sky Fall 4.20
08. Hard Monkeys 3.11
09. I’ve Been There Too 5.45
10. Uncle Jam 1.57

All songs by Alvin Lee except “Uncle Jam”, which was composed by C. Churchill, A. Lee, R. Lee and L. Lyons.

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Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity?
Tax the rich, feed the poor
‘Til there are no rich no more

I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money? monopoly

I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

World pollution, there’s no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black or white, rich or poor
Them and us, stop the war

I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you

More from Ten Years After:

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Golden Earring – Seven Tears (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1Seven Tears is an album by Dutch rock band Golden Earring, released in 1971. The album was not issued in the U.S. (by wikipedia)

Along with Wall Of Dolls, Seven Tears is probably their proggiest, even if 8MH and Moontan have much to dispute them. The classic quartet is at the top of its form and Barry Hay’s songwriting (along with guitarist Kooymans) is also enhanced by his increasingly excellent voice and flute playing. He also dabbles into acoustic guitars and sax playing. But Barry is not alone on this ship. Coming with a non-committal gatefold artwork (but the title cites seven tears for seven tracks), this is their third “modern-era” album and one of their stronger, due to the fact that GE has that essential touch of dramatics and urgency lacking many of their Dutch compatriots, starting with Alquin and E&F.

Along the album, some of the most dramatic tracks are the superb Silver Ships, the spine-chilling Hope (where Hay shows that even the sax is in his reach), the ultra-classic (and long-time crowd favourite) She Flies On Strange Wings and the wild You’re Better Off Free with a killer guitar solo. Overall the brilliant songwriting and dramatic effects and plenty of instrumental interplay make the full success of the album.

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Even the shorter tracks like Don’t Worry holds plenty of energy (Rinus’ bass is overplaying, but man is that unusual sound with his Danelectro guitar), but overall the longer track are the essence of this album

Clearly GE was a force to reckon with, but aside from their previous hit Big Tree, Blue Sea (a little too Tull- ish), all that is lacking the group is international recognition, which will come with Radar Love, but that’s still two albums away. In the meantime start with this one and work backwards if you’re not familiar with them. (by Sean Trane)

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Personnel:
Rinus Gerritsen (bass, keyboards)
Barry Hay (flute, vocals)
George Kooymans (guitar, vocals)
Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Silver Ships (Kooymans) 5.42
02. The Road Swallowed Her Name (Kooymans) 4.09
03. Hope (Gerritsen/Hay) 4.47
04. Don’t Worry (Hay) 3.22
05. She Flies On Strange Wings (Kooymans) 7.23
06. This Is the Other Side Of Life (Kooymans) 3.21
07. You’re Better Off Free (Kooymans) 6.44

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