Blue Oyster Cult – Secret Treaties (1974)

FrontCover1Secret Treaties is the third studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released in 1974 by Columbia Records. The album spent 14 weeks in the US album charts, peaking at No. 53. It was certified gold by the RIAA in 1992.

In 1975, a poll of critics of the British magazine Melody Maker voted Secret Treaties as the “Top Rock Album of All Time”. In 2010, Rhapsody called it one of the all-time best “proto-metal” albums.

Many songs from this album found their way into BÖC playlists over the following years, including “Career of Evil”, “Subhuman”, “Astronomy” and “Harvester of Eyes”. It is the only Blue Öyster Cult album that does not feature any track with lead vocals by guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. The band also did not write any of the lyrics to the album, handing that duty off to producer Sandy Pearlman, rock critic Richard Meltzer and Patti Smith.

 

The cover, with art by Ron Lesser, depicts the band standing beside and sitting on a German Me-262 fighter aircraft; this scene is inspired by the song of the same name.

While the LP cover has the band name in red (a darker red on the Japanese LP), on the CD it is in lime green.

Lyrics to the lead-off track “Career of Evil” were written by future punk poet Patti Smith, a longtime contributor to the band (and, at the time, the girlfriend of BÖC keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Allen Lanier).

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A few changes were made to “Career of Evil” on the single version. The vocals are different: only Eric Bloom is heard for most of the song, instead of Bloom and Albert Bouchard singing together. Also, one verse was removed (“Pay me…” to “…kneeling in the rain”). Part of the bridge was changed also, presumably to make the song more acceptable to radio: “do it to your daughter” became “do it like you oughtta.” The line “I want your wife to be my baby tonight” was changed to “I want your life to be mine, maybe tonight”.

“Career of Evil” was the inspiration for the title of the 2015 novel of the same name written by J.K. Rowling under the pen name Robert Galbraith.[9]

The compilation Don’t Fear the Reaper: The Best of Blue Öyster Cult contains a version of “Flaming Telepaths” without the music box intro. The original version with the complete sound effects is on the collection Workshop of the Telescopes.

The psychedelic folk group Espers covers “Flaming Telepaths” on their CD, The Weed Tree in 2005. (by wikipedia)

BOC02While the speed-freak adrenaline heaviness and shrouded occult mystery of Tyranny and Mutation is the watermark for Blue Öyster Cult’s creative invention, it is Secret Treaties that is widely and critically regarded as the band’s classic. Issued in 1974, Secret Treaties is the purest distillation of all of BÖC’s strengths. Here the songs are expansive, and lush in their textures. The flamboyance is all here, and so are the overdriven guitar riffs provided by Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom. But there is something else, texturally, that moves these songs out from the blackness and into the shadows. Perhaps it’s the bottom-heavy mix by producer and lyricist Sandy Pearlman, with Allen Lanier’s electric piano and Joe Bouchard’s bass coming to rest in an uneasy balance with the twin-guitar attack. Perhaps it’s in the tautness of songwriting and instrumental architectures created by drummer Albert Bouchard, Bloom, and Don Roeser (Buck Dharma). Whatever it is, it offers the Cult a new depth and breadth. While elements of psychedelia have always been a part of the band’s sound, it was always enfolded in proto-metal heaviness and biker boogie. Here, BÖC created their own brand of heavy psychedelic noir to diversify their considerably aggressive attack. Listen to “Subhuman” or “Dominance and Submission.” Their minor chord flourishes and multi-tracked layered guitars and Bouchard’s constantly shimmering cymbals and snare work (he is the most underrated drummer in rock history) and elliptical lyrics — that Pearlman put out in front of the mix for a change — added to the fathomless dread and mystery at the heart of the music. Elsewhere, on “Cagey Cretins” and “Harvester of Eyes” (both with lyrics by critic Richard Meltzer), the razor-wire guitar riffs were underscored by Lanier’s organ, and their sci-fi urgency heightened by vocal harmonies.

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But it is on “Flaming Telepaths,” with its single-chord hypnotic piano line that brings the lyric “Well, I’ve opened up my veins too many times/And the poison’s in my heart in my heart and in my mind/Poison’s in my bloodstream/Poison’s in my pride/I’m after rebellion/I’ll settle for lives/Is it any wonder that my mind is on fire?” down into the maelstrom and wreaks havoc on the listener. It’s a stunner, full of crossing guitar lines and an insistent, demanding rhythmic throb. The set closes with the quark strangeness of “Astronomy,” full of melancholy, dread, and loss that leaves the listener unsettled and in an entirely new terrain, having traveled a long way from the boasting rockery of “Career of Evil” that began the journey. It’s a breathless rock monolith that is all dark delight and sinister pleasure. While the Cult went on to well-deserved commercial success with Agents of Fortune an album later, the freaky inspiration that was offered on their debut, and brought to shine like a black jewel on Tyranny and Mutation, was fully articulated as visionary on Secret Treaties. /by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Eric Bloom (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Albert Bouchard (drums, vocals)
Joe Bouchard (bass, vocals)
Allen Lanier (keyboards, guitar, synthesizer)
Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Career Of Evil (Smith/A.Bouchar/Bloom) 3.58
02. Subhuman (Pearlman/Bloom) 4.30
03. Dominance And Submission (Pearlman/Bloom/A. Bouchard) 5.22
04. ME 262 (Pearlman/Bloom/Roeser) 4.41
05. Cagey Cretins (Meltze/A. Bouchard) 3.14
06. Harvester Of Eyes (Meltzer/Bloom/Roeser) 4.15
07. Flaming Telepaths (Pearlman/Bloom/A. Bouchard/Roeser) 5.37
08. Astronomy (Pearlman/A. Bouchard/J. Bouchard) 6.21

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Mud – Mud Rock (1974)

FrontCover1Mud’s debut album is one of those records that truly sums up a time and a place — in this instance, England in 1974, as glam rock flirted increasingly gregariously with a similarly ongoing rock & roll revival. It was a period, after all, in which Bill Haley returned to the Top 20, Showaddywaddy was threatening to dominate it, and Mud itself had been launching some remarkably convincing Elvis impersonations into the upper echelons of the chart. Mud’s producers and songwriters, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, certainly encouraged their charges’ retro pretensions, conceiving both Mud Rock and its successor, Mud Rock, Vol. 2, as all-out party albums, with the band the greatest jukebox in the land. Their own hits are slashed through by vintage covers, while the studio itself was transformed into a dance floor, with Chapman recording the sound of the revelers as a constant background to the music itself. It was, at the time, a frightfully effective device, one that transformed what otherwise might have been a competent selection of hits and covers into one of the wildest nights the town had ever seen. Musically, the critics were unanimous, Mud Rock offered little you’d never heard before, and nothing you weren’t expecting. But the mood, the enthusiasm, and the excitement of the record are irresistible regardless. (by Dave Thompson)

Hey, boys and girls … this is fun and fun only !

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Personnel:
Rob Davis (guitar, vocals)
Les Gray (vocals)
Dave Mount (drums, vocals)
Ray Stiles (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Rocket (Chinn/Chapman) 4.35
02. Do You Love Me (Gordy Jr.) / Sha La La La Lee (Lynch/Shuman) 3.18
03. Running Bear (Richardson) 4.26
04. The Hippy Hippy Shake (Romero) 2.32
05. Shake Rattle And Roll (Calhoun) / See You Later Alligator (Guidry) 4.00
06. Medley: Dyna-Mite / The Cat Crept In / Tiger Feet (Chinn/Chapman) 5.11
07. The End Of The World (Kent/Dee) 4.06
08. Blue Moon (Hart/Rodgers) 2.24
09. In The Mood (Razaf/Garland) 3.43
10. Bye Bye Johnny (Berry) 5.28

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Jack Bruce – Out Of The Storm (1974)

FrontCover1Out of the Storm is the fourth studio album by Scottish musician Jack Bruce. It was Bruce’s first solo effort in over three years and was recorded and released in 1974, following the dissolution of the power trio West, Bruce and Laing. Originally Bruce had wanted to title the album Into The Storm but, according to Bruce, “we couldn’t find any stormy weather. We gave up and instead we found a little wood”.

The album was largely recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco at the suggestion of engineer Andy Johns, who felt, according to Bruce, that the problem with Bruce’s previous work was that he “work(ed) with too many British guys and you need to work with some great American session players and you could make an album in ten days”.

Bruce recorded the album while still addicted to heroin (which contributed to the dissolution of West, Bruce and Laing). According to Bruce’s songwriting partner Pete Brown, the band ingested PCP during one session and “they were all holding onto each Out Of The Storm Adother walking across the floor–Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner, Andy Johns and Jack. Someone said, ‘Don’t let go of me or I’ll float off into space'”. The continued and heavy drug use periodically interfered with completion of the album and engineer Dennis Weinreich was brought in to remix specific tracks so as to complete the album in a timely fashion and because the label wasn’t pleased with Johns’s mix of the album.

The album peaked at No. 160 on the Billboard album chart in December 1974. Critically well received, including a glowing review by Melody Maker’s Allan Jones, who stated that Bruce was “one of the most important individuals currently working in rock”, the album sold poorly.

Out of the Storm was the last Jack Bruce album distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records, as Bruce’s company RSO Records, which was affiliated in the rest of the world with Polydor/Polygram Records, would shift U.S. distribution to Polydor beginning in 1976.

Bruce and a photographer traveled throughout the countryside looking for a storm to photograph for the original title Into The Storm. They were unable to find one so Bruce changed the title and elected to take a photo in the woods using whatever he found, which included an old, rusty bike. Bruce is visible in the background sitting partially in the dark with the landscape and the bike more prominent than Bruce himself is in the photo. Author Harry Shapiro in his book on Bruce suggested that the photo represented Bruce’s state of mind at the time, wanting to disappear into the background and avoid all of the difficulties he was then facing. (by wikipedia)

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Out Of The Storm is Jack Bruce yet again taking a different path. No one can accuse this man of being redundant as he leaves behind the hard rock of Whatever Turns You On from his 1973 work with West, Bruce & Laing and takes on Steely Dan with a track like “Keep On Wondering.” The problem with West, Bruce & Laing is that they should have been the back-up band providing Jack Bruce the vehicle to express his artistry. “Keep It Down” would have been a tremendous track for WBL, and Lou Reed/Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter provides the tasteful licks which Leslie West would’ve used a sledgehammer to find. The title track is real introspection with more “I” references than found on a page in a Marie Osmond autobiography. Bruce uses the rock format to sing the poetry that he and long time collaborator Peter Brown have crafted here.

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When played next to his other albums, from Things We Like to Monkjack, as well as the aforementioned Leslie West collaborations, the indellible voice of Jack Bruce is found to belong, not to a chameleon, but to a true changeling. In an industry that resists change, his music evolves in relentless fashion, switching formats as efficiently and quickly as he switches record labels. While Eric Clapton achieves the acclaim, it is Jack Bruce who delivers a novel and totally original title like “One” with a vocal that moves from cabaret to blues to soul. The man has one of the most powerful and identifiable rock & roll voices, and his body of work is overpowering. “One” has the drums of Jim Gordon and another venture into the Procul Harum sound Bruce has toyed with over various albums in different ways. Out Of The Storm is another excellent chapter with Steve Hunter showing proficiency and remarkable restraint. Robin Trower, Mick Taylor, Leslie West, Eric Clapton and so many other guitar greats have put their sound next to Jack Bruce’s voice, and this is Steve Hunter aiding and abetting, but not getting in the way of Bruce’s creative pop/jazz. (by Joe Viglione)

This is another excellent Jack Bruce album with a brilliant guitar played by Steve Hunter ! Listen for example to “Keep It Down ” or to the into of “Timeslip”.

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, , keyboards, clavinet, harmonium, harmonica)
Jim Gordon (drums on 01., 07. -09., 13.)
Steve Hunter (guitar)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 06, 10. – 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Pieces Of Mind (Bruce/Brown) 5.35
02. Golden Days (Bruce/Brown) 5.09
03. Running Through Our Hands (Bruce/Brown/Godfrey) 4.10
04. Keep On Wondering (Bruce/Brown) 3.12
05. Keep It Down (Bruce/Brown) 3.45
06. Into The Storm (Bruce/Brown) 4.43
07. One (Bruce/Brown) 5.00
08. Timeslip (Bruce/Brown) 6.35
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09. Keep It Down (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3.38
10. Keep On Wondering (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3..20
11. Into The Storm (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.30
12. Pieces Of Mind (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 5.48
13. One (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.58

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Jack Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014)

Rush – Same (1974)

FrontCover1Rush is the debut studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on March 1, 1974 by the band’s own label Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally. Their first release shows much of the hard rock sound typical of many of the popular rock bands emerging earlier in the decade. Rush were fans of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, and these influences can be heard in most of the songs on this album.Rush is the debut studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on March 1, 1974 by the band’s own label Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally. Their first release shows much of the hard rock sound typical of many of the popular rock bands emerging earlier in the decade. Rush were fans of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, and these influences can be heard in most of the songs on this album.
Original drummer John Rutsey performed all drum parts on the album, but was unable to go on extended tours because of complications with his diabetes and so he retired from the band after the album was released. Rutsey contributed to the album’s lyrics, but never submitted the work to the other members of the band. The lyrics were instead entirely composed by Lee and Lifeson. Rutsey was soon replaced by Neil Peart, who has remained the band’s drummer as well as their primary lyricist.

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Originally the recording sessions were produced by Dave Stock at Eastern Sound Studios in Toronto. They were scheduled late at night during the ‘dead’ time in studios because of the band’s low budget and the rates during this period were the cheapest. Stock had also worked on the band’s debut single (a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, with an original composition, “You Can’t Fight It”, on the B-side). “You Can’t Fight It” was to be included on the album but was scrapped. Two of the Eastern Sound recordings, “In the Mood” and “Take a Friend” were included on the final album.

However, Rush were unhappy with the quality of the first sessions. They moved to Toronto Sound Studios and produced the next sessions themselves while achieving a significant improvement in recording quality. They added new overdubs to existing backing tracks of “What You’re Doing”, “Before and After” and “Working Man”. The tracks with the most advanced production were recorded entirely at Toronto Sound: “Finding My Way”, “Need Some Love” and “Here Again”. These new songs took the place of recordings from the earlier sessions. Both studios used 8-channel multitrack recorders, which was quite primitive for 1973, but the group quickly learned to make the best use of the technology that was available.

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The band and its management formed their own company, Moon Records, and released the album in Canada. Only 3,500 copies of the original Moon Records LP (catalogue number MN-100) were pressed. The first version of the LP has a cream-coloured label with a blue Moon Records logo and black type.
The album was soon picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ working at the station, selected “Working Man” for her regular play list. Every time the song was played the station received phone calls asking where to buy the record. Copies of the Moon Records album were imported to the Cleveland area and quickly sold out.

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In the 2010 documentary film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Halper says that “Working Man” was the perfect song for the Cleveland rock audience, as it was still mostly a factory town in 1974. WMMS later sponsored one of Rush’s first performances in the United States, on August 26, 1974 in Cleveland.
The record’s popularity in Cleveland quickly led to the re-release of the album by Mercury Records. The first Canadian Mercury release on the standard red Mercury label is nearly as rare as the Moon version. It also had the Moon number MN-100 between the run-out grooves, indicating that it was pressed from the same metal stampers as the Moon disc. “A special thank you to Donna Halper” was added to the album credits of this and all later versions.
At this point manager Ray Danniels scraped together an additional $9,000 for producer Terry Brown to professionally re-mix all of the recordings for better sound quality. This remix version was used for later releases most of which used the Mercury “skyline” record label instead of the red label. A later Moon Records version of undetermined origin has a pink label with grey moon craters.
The original album logo was red, but a printing error made it appear more pink in colour. This is one of two Rush albums where the cover artwork had printing errors (the other album is Caress of Steel). (by wikipedia)

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Rush’s self-titled debut is about as uncharacteristic of their renowned heavy progressive rock (perfected on such future releases as Hemispheres, Moving Pictures, etc.) as you can get. Instead of complex arrangements and thoughtful lyrics, Rush sounds almost identical to Led Zeppelin throughout — bluesy riffs merged with “baby, baby” lyrics. The main reason for the album’s different sound and direction is that their lyricist/drummer, Neil Peart, was not in the band yet, skinsman John Rutsey rounds out the original line-up, also consisting of Geddy Lee (bass/vocals) and Alex Lifeson (guitar). It’s nearly impossible to hear the anthemic “Finding My Way” and not picture Robert Plant shrieking away, or Jimmy Page riffing on the jamfest “Working Man,” but Rush was still in their formative stages. There’s no denying that Lee and Lifeson were already strong instrumentalists, but such predictable compositions as “In the Mood” and “What You’re Doing” prove that Peart was undoubtedly the missing piece to the puzzle. While longtime Rush fans can appreciate their debut because they never returned to this style, newcomers should stick with their classics from later years. (by Greg Prato)

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Personnel:
Geddy Lee (vocals, bass)
Alex Lifeson (guitar, background vocals)
John Rutsey (drums, percussion, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Finding My Way (Lee/Lifeson) 5.07
02. Need Some Love (Lee/Lifeson)  2:16
03. Take A Friend (Lee/Lifeson) 4:27
04. Here Again (Lee/Lifeson) 7:30
05. What You’re Doing (Lee/Lifeson) 4:19
06. In The Mood (Lee) 3:36
07. Before And After (Lee/Lifeson) 5:33
08. Working Man (Lee/Lifeson)  7:07

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Camel – Mirage (1972)

FrontCover1Mirage is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band Camel, released on March 1, 1974. It features some of their best-known songs,[citation needed] including “The White Rider” and “Lady Fantasy”. It is also a showcase for Andrew Latimer’s flute, notably on “Supertwister”.Mirage is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band Camel, released on March 1, 1974. It features some of their best-known songs, including “The White Rider” and “Lady Fantasy”. It is also a showcase for Andrew Latimer’s flute, notably on “Supertwister”.
There are five tracks on Mirage, two over 9 minutes. Those two are multi-part songs: “Lady Fantasy” and “Nimrodel/The Procession/The White Rider”, the latter being about The Lord of the Rings. The album was released on Gama Records/Deram Records. Mick Rock shot the inner sleeve photo.
The album was voted no. 51 in the Top 100 Prog albums of All Time by readers of Prog magazine in 2014. (by wikipedia)

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“Mirage” pretty much perfected the style of the debut-album with a richer, more varied sound and overall stronger material. Latimer had now also found his flute, and delivered one of Camel’s best flute-based pieces in “Supertwister”. The track also showed that Bardens used el-piano in a far more intelligent and tasty way than most others who used that instrument. But the centrepiece and highlight of the album was still the 12-minute “Lady Fantasy Suite”. A masterful song with lots of breaks, strong riffs and melodies and a very impressive and powerful performance from the whole band. The album also featured another suite in form of the 9-minute “Nimrodel” with lyrics inspired by Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. “Earthrise” was possibly the hardest rocking and most energetic instrumental-number they ever did, and featured some of Bardens’ best playing ever. The opener “Freefall” was also some kind of a hard rocker, but this one had also the same jazzy sound as “Earthrise”, giving it some kind of sophistication. “Mirage” is a great album, and undoubtedly one of Camel’s best. (by vintageprog.com)

In other words: A masterpiece of the great prog-rock era ! And “Lady Fantasy” is a classic composition of this time ….

Camel-Promo-CardPersonnel:
Peter Bardens (keyboards)
Doug Ferguson (bass, vocals on 05.)
Andrew Latimer (guitar, flute; vocals on 03. + 05.)
Andy Ward (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Freefall (Bardens) 5.55
02. Supertwister (Bardens) 3.24
03. The White Rider (Latimer) 9.18
03.1 Nimrodel
03.2. The Procession
03.3. White Rider
04. Earthrise (Bardens/Latimer) 6.42
05. Lady Fantasy (Bardens/Latimer/Ward/Ferguson) 12.46
05.1. Encounter
05.2. Smiles For You
05.3. Lady Fantasy”

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Backstreet Crawler – The Band Plays On (1974)

FrontCover1The Band Plays On is the debut album from Back Street Crawler, fronted by ex-Free guitarist Paul Kossoff. Keyboard player Mike Montgomery composed six songs and co-wrote two others on the album, in addition to singing lead vocals on “All the Girls Are Crazy” and “Survivor”. He dueted with Terry Wilson-Slesser on “New York, New York” (a Mike Montgomery original, and not the tune made famous by Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra). Montgomery subsequently left the band and was replaced by John “Rabbit” Bundrick.

The Mike Montgomery songs, “Jason Blue” and “The Band Plays On”, had previously appeared on a self-titled 1973 album by Bloontz, in which Terry Wilson, Mike Montgomery and Tony Braunagel had played together prior to the formation of Back Street Crawler. (by wikipedia)

While Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke left Free for Swan Song/Atlantic’s Bad Company, their ex-bandmate, the late Paul Kossoff, put together another group on Atlantic which sounded like…you guessed it…Bad Company. Terry Wilson-Slesser could easily be mistaken for Rodgers on so much of this album, be it the song “Jason Blue” or “It’s a Long Way to the Top.” This material is terrific sleeper stuff for the ’70s hard rock genre, before Foreigner made that whole world much slicker. Where Lou Gramm could sometimes annoy, Back Street Crawler creates real hard rock art, taking this oh so seriously. The song “Jason Blue” is a powerful potion, one that would fit perfectly on a classic hits station, arguably one of the best tracks here.

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It is one of six compositions by Mike Montgomery, the major force on this album. Montgomery co-writes two additional tunes and sings lead on “All the Girls Are Crazy” and “Survivor,” dueting with Terry Wilson-Slesser on “New York, New York” (a Mike Montgomery original, not the tune made famous by Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra). And by the way, how many groups would have two guys named Terry Wilson in their band at the same time anyway? The more you play The Band Plays On, the more it grows on you. It is one of those albums that has enormous depth that can’t be heard on the first spin or two. Sounding so much like Bad Company on the same label was no doubt a drawback — Backstreet Crawler02the records showing up in the same section alphabetically at retail bins, their names so closely aligned, the unfortunate big difference for Back Street Crawler was no hit single emerging from this set. Mike Montgomery’s vocal style on the excellent song “Survivor” isn’t as gritty as Terry Slesser, nor as commercial. Slesser would leave after this project to be replaced by John “Rabbit” Bundrick on vocal, who similarly joined Free when they needed his talents to replace members moving on. “It’s a Long Way Down to the Top” could be Bad Company performing “Ready for Love,” down to the riff and the mood, but so many references to that band don’t take away from the fact that this is a solid ’70s blues-rock disc with hooks, top-notch production, and lots to offer. Wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere down the road people started picking up on The Band Plays On, songs like “New York, New York,” “It’s a Long Way Down to the Top,” and “Jason Blue” are ripe for being covered. (by Joe Viglione)

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Personnel:
Tony Braunagel (drums)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Mike Montgomery (keyboards, vocals)
Terry Wilson (guitar, bass)
Terry Wilson-Slesser (vocals)
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George Lee (flute, saxophone on 07. + 09.)
Eddie Quansah (trumpet, flugelhorn on 07. + 09.)
Pete Van ((saxophone on 07. + 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Hoo Doo Woman” (Back Street Crawler) 4.17
02. New York, New York (Montgomery) 4.40
03. Stealing My Way (Mike Montgomery/Kossoff) 4.21
04. Survivor Montgomery) 3.35
05. It’s A Long Way Down To The Top Montgomery) 5.58
06. All The Girls Are Crazy Montgomery) 3.33
07. Jason Blue ( Montgomery) 4.57′
08. Train Song (Wilson/Braunagel) 4.36
09. Rock & Roll Junkie (Montgomery) 3.17
10. The Band Plays On (Wilson) 3.17

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Gregg Allman Band & Cowboy – The Gregg Allman Tour (1974)

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Gregg Allman, the singer, musician and songwriter who played an essential role in the invention of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69 of complications from liver cancer. Allman’s rep confirmed to Rolling Stone that the artist died Saturday afternoon.

Allman “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia,” a statement on the singer’s website read Saturday. “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

“It’s too soon to properly process this,” Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts said in a statement. “I’m so glad I was able to have a couple good talks with him before he passed. In fact I was about to call him to check and see how he was when I got the call. It’s a very sad day.”

Allman’s longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman added, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

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Although Allman claimed the term was redundant, the singer-keyboardist helped create the first great “Southern-rock” group as co-founder of the legendary Allman Brothers Band alongside his older brother, famed guitarist Duane Allman. The Allmans fused country blues with San Francisco-style extended improvisation, with their sound creating a template for countless subsequent jam bands. Gregg Allman was blessed with one of blues-rock’s great growling voices and, along with his Hammond B-3 organ playing (beholden to Booker T. Jones), had a deep emotional power.

Writing in Rolling Stone, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons said that Allman’s singing and keyboard playing displayed “a dark richness, a soulfulness that added one more color to the Allmans’ rainbow.”
“I’ve tried … Words are impossible. Gui Gui forever. Chooch,” Cher wrote on Twitter. “Rest in peace Greg [sic] Allman peace and love to all the family,” Ringo Starr wrote. The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir added, “Bon Voyage, Brother Gregg, enjoy your next stop…” (by Rolling Stone)

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The Gregg Allman Tour is the second album and first live album by Gregg Allman, released in 1974. It was recorded at Carnegie Hall and Capitol Theatre. It peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts in 1974. It was originally released as a double LP.
For this concert, Allman was backed by the band Cowboy, who played two of their own songs. Cowboy was a Capricorn Records label-mate and was Duane Allman’s favorite band. Several of its members had already backed Gregg Allman on his debut album the previous year.

At the beginning of the album, Gregg Allman is introduced by Martin Mull. (by wikipedia)

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Gregg Allman’s tour in support of his debut solo LP, Laid Back, led to the recording of this album (originally two LPs) at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. It’s a match for Laid Back in musical value and then some, with a good, wide range of repertory and great performances throughout by all concerned, plunging head-first and deep into blues, R&B, honky tonk, and gospel. Strangely enough, the album contains only three of Laid Back’s songs — “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” opens the show in a properly spirited, earthy manner, but it’s the second song, “Queen of Hearts,” in a soaring rendition, with gorgeous backing by Annie Sutton, Erin Dickins, and Lynn Rubin, and superb sax work by Randall Bramblett and David Brown, that shows Allman in his glory as a singer and bandleader.

Allman gives a lively, raucous, honky tonk-style rendition of the Elvis Presley hit “I Feel So Bad,” complete with a killer guitar solo by Tommy Talton, and “Turn on Your Lovelight” gets an extended treatment worthy of the Allman Brothers Band. One would expect that, with Chuck Leavell and Jaimoe present in the band, there were be more similarity to the Allmans’ sound, and that they’d be prominently featured, but Tommy Talton and bassist Kenny Tibbetts get more of a spotlight. Several Allman Brothers songs are present here, in more laid-back and lyrical versions, and the Capricorn Records band Cowboy — essentially serving as the core of Allman’s touring band — gets a featured spot with two songs, “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go,” that leave one wanting to hear a lot more concert material from them, and from Talton as a singer. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:

 

The Gregg Allman Band:
Gregg Allman (organ, vocals)
Scott Boyer (guitar)
Randall Bramblett (saxophone)
David Brown (saxophone)
Peter Eklund (trumpet)
Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson (drums, percussion)
Chuck Leavell (piano)
Todd Logan (trumpet)
Bill Stewart (drums)
Ken Tibbets (bass)
Tommy Talton (guitar, slide guitar)
Harold “Bullets” Williams (saxophone)
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background vocals:
Annie Sutton – Erin Dickins – Lynn RubinCowboy:
Scott Boyer (guitar, Background vocals)
Randall Bramblett (organ, saxophone)
David Brown (bass)
Peter Eklund (trumpet)
Johnny Lee Johnson (drums, percussion)
Chuck Leavell (piano)
Todd Logan (trumpet)
Bill Stewart (drums)
Tommy Talton (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)
Harold “Bullet” Williams (saxophone)
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Gregg Allman (organ on 06.)

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Tracklist:

The Gregg Allman Band:
01. Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing (Sain) 4.33
02. Queen of Hearts (G.Allman) 7.40
03. I Feel So Bad (Willis) 4.44
04. Stand Back (G.Allman/Oakley) 3.30

Cowboy:
05. Time Will Take Us (Talton) 5.30
06. Where Can You Go? (Talton) 8.11

The Gregg Allman Band:
07. Double Cross (G.Allman/Leavell) 4.39
08. Dreams (Gregg Allman) 7.19
09. Are You Lonely For Me Baby (Cousin/Livesey/Price/Regan) 4.21
10. Turn On Your Love Light (Malone/Scott) 10.32
11. Oncoming Traffic (G.Allman, J.B.Allman) 5.44
12. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Traditional) 6.13

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Goodbye Gregg and thanks a lot !
(December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017)

Rest In Peace !