AC/DC – T.N.T. (Australia only) (1975)

FrontCover1T.N.T. is the second studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released only in Australia, on 1 December 1975.

After the success of the single “Baby, Please Don’t Go” and the album High Voltage, AC/DC returned to Albert Studios in Sydney to record their second LP with producers George Young and Harry Vanda. George is the older brother of guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young and had enjoyed his own success in the group the Easybeats. T.N.T. marked a change in direction from AC/DC’s debut album, High Voltage, which was released on 17 February 1975; whereas High Voltage featured some experimentation with the styles of its songs and had a variety of personnel filling multiple roles, T.N.T. saw the band fully embrace the formula for which they would become famous: hard-edged, rhythm and blues-based rock and roll. They also simplified their personnel system and would use it from then on out, which was Angus strictly playing lead guitar, Malcolm Young playing rhythm guitar, and the drummer and bassist being the only ones to play drums and bass guitar respectively on the albums. In Murray Engleheart’s book AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, producer Harry Vanda states, “I suppose there might have been one or two tracks on the first album, a few things that they were experimenting with, which probably later on they wouldn’t have done anymore. So I suppose you could say that T.N.T was the one that really pulled the identity; like, this is AC/DC, there’s no doubt about it, that’s who it’s going to be and that’s how it’s going to stay.”

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In Clifton Walker’s 1994 book Highway to Hell: The Life and Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott, bassist Mark Evans speaks about the band’s creative process during this period:

Malcolm and Angus would come up with riffs and all that, and then we’d go into the studio. Malcolm and George would sit down at the piano and work it out. Malcolm and Angus would have the barest bones of a song, the riff and different bits, and George would hammer it into a tune. Bon would be in and out when the band was recording backing tracks. Once the backing track was done, he would literally be locked in the kitchen there at Alberts, and come out with a finished song.

T.N.T. contains some of the band’s best-known songs, including the title track, “It’s a Long Way to the Top”, “The Jack”, and “Rocker.” (by wikipedia)

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Originally unveiled in December 1975, T.N.T. was the second AC/DC album released in their native Australia, but is often overlooked outside the Land Down Under because its best tracks were later combined with those from the band’s first domestic album, High Voltage, for reissue as their international debut from 1976 — also entitled High Voltage. Confused? That’s actually quite understandable, since the songs culled from T.N.T. also formed the backbone of that international release, including the entire, flawless first album side, made up of such all-time classics as “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer,” “The Jack,” and “Live Wire.” T.N.T.’s B-side was nearly as formidable: boasting both of those Australian album title tracks — the proto-punk crunch of “T.N.T.” and the suitably electrifying “High Voltage” — as well as a much-needed remake of the group’s very first single, “Can I Sit Next to You Girl,” recorded two years earlier with original singer Dave Evans.

All three also made it into the international edition of High Voltage, and as for the two tracks that did not: one was concert favorite, “Rocker,” which would be duly unearthed for the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap LP, a short time later; and the other was a reverential but not exactly life-altering cover of Chuck Berry’s “School Days,” which eventually surfaced on the Bonfire box set. In other words, T.N.T., though largely lost to ancient history, was a stellar album in its own right, and especially crucial in that it marked AC/DC’s definitive break with their now seemingly heretical glam rock inclinations, in order to embrace the blue collar hard rock hat would forever after be their trademark. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Mark Evans (bass)
Phil Rudd (drums, percussion)
Bon Scott (vocals, bagpipes on 01.)
Angus Young lead guitar)
Malcolm Young (guitar, background vocals)
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George Young (bass on 08.)
Tony Currenti – drums on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s A Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.16
02. Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5,04
03. The Jack (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.52
04. Live Wire (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 5.49
05. T.N.T. (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 3.34
06. Rocker (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 2.49
07. Can I Sit Next To You Girl (A.Young/M.Young) 4.12
08. High Voltage (A.Young/M.Young/Scott) 4.02
09. School Days (Berry) 5.23

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AC/DC’s co-founder and creator Malcolm Young has died aged 64.

The legendary guitarist passed away surrounded by family, following a long battle with dementia.

Born 6 January 1953 in Glasgow, Scotland, before emigrating with his family to Australia in 1963, Young was best known for being the driving force behind the band he co-founded with his younger brother Angus in 1973.

He wrote the band’s material and came up with many of their biggest and best guitar riffs. AC/DC would go on to become one of the biggest rock bands in history, racking up hits including “Back In Black”, “Highway to Hell”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and many more. The brothers were credited as co-writers on every song they recorded, from their 1975 debut High Voltage to 2014’s Rock or Bust.

In April 2014 it was announced that Young would take a temporary leave of absence to receive treatment for dementia, before retiring permanently in September that same year.

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He was replaced by his nephew Stevie for the band’s last tour promoting the 2014 album Rock Or Bust, with his blessing.

Stevie, the son of Young’s oldest brother Stephen, previously filled in for Malcolm during the band’s Blow Up Your Video world tour in 1988 when he was struggling with alcohol issues. Some fans apparently did not notice the switch, due to Stevie’s striking resemblance to Malcolm and similar style of playing.

An official statement was posted on the band’s Facebook page confirming the news of Young’s death.

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” it read.

“Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. (by independent.co.uk)

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Malcolm Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017)
Thanks a lot for all these High Voltage Rock N Roll !
RIP

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Maggie Bell – Suicide Sal (1975)

FrontCover1The success of Angel Air’s series of Maggie Bell reissues can be easily judged by the Scottish singer’s return to the U.K. after residing for years abroad, a planned autobiography, and her intention of touring. Although critically feted in the U.K., Bell, both solo and with her former band Stone the Crows, never quite achieved the commercial breakthrough everyone had so expected. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, Bell’s recording career was punctuated by a sole Stone the Crows charting album. With that band’s demise in 1973, the soul singer went solo, releasing the (again) critically acclaimed Queen of the Night album, with 1975’s Suicide Sal following. A tougher, more energized set than its predecessor, Sal’s electrifying live feel reflects the incendiary stage shows Bell and her new backing band had been playing in the intervening time between recordings. The two bonus tracks, recorded at a gig later that year, capture their live ferocity. Intriguingly, the funky, fiery title track, an homage to Bell’s Aunt, a music hall star, is one of only two originals on this set. The second, the lavishly bluesy “If You Don’t Know” was penned by band keyboardist Pete Wingfield, and boasts a guesting Jimmy Page on guitar. The storming “Coming on Strong” also has a Bell connection, being co-penned by ex-Crow Colin Allen and Zoot Money.

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The rest of the album comprises astutely chosen covers drawn from an eclectic selection of artists. One of the standouts is “It’s Been So Long,” a powerful gospel number written by the Pretty Things’ Phil May, who not only rewrote some of the lyrics for Bell, but added his backing vocals to the song. Free’s classic “Wishing Well” gets a sensational workout, while that band’s offshoot Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu & Rabbit’s “Hold On” is taken to new emotive heights. From barrelling Beatles pop to the Sutherland Brothers poignant Gaelic ode, from ballads to hefty rock & roll, Bell struts across this set with style and such assurance, that even Aunt Sal must have been impressed. One of Britain’s greatest soul singers, showcased at her best, this magnificent album also includes an excellent, expansive biography of this crucial artist. (by Jo-Ann Greene)

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Maggie Bell (born 12 January 1945, Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish rock and blues-rock singer. Vocally regarded by some as Britain’s answer to Janis Joplin.

From a musical family, she sang from her teenage years, leaving school at the age of fifteen, to work as a window dresser by day and singer at night. Bell was introduced to Leslie Harvey, by his older brother Alex, after getting up on stage to sing with him (Alex). Leslie Harvey was, at that time, a guitarist with the Kinning Park Ramblers. Bell joined the group as one of the vocalists. After the band split up, Bell moved to the Mecca Band at the Sauchiehall Street Locarno, and later to the Dennistoun Palais Band.

She then rejoined Harvey, forming a group, initially known as Power, eventually travelling to Germany to sing on United States Air Force bases in the mid 1960s. Peter Grant, who was managing The Yardbirds at the time, spotted Power playing at one of these bases, and agreed to produce and manage them, impressed by the vocal ability of Bell and the guitar playing of Harvey. Power was renamed as Stone the Crows, an expression used by Grant upon hearing this band.

This group lasted until 1973, finding that Harvey’s death from accidental electrocution, on 2 May 1972, took too much out of the group for them to continue. The live chemistry between Bell and Harvey was missing. Peter Grant remained as Bell’s manager after the split, and organised her first solo album, Queen of the Night, which was recorded in New York with record producer Jerry Wexler.

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Although critically feted in the U.K., Maggie Bell never quite achieved the commercial breakthrough everyone had so expected — always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Her second album, 1975’s Suicide Sal is tougher, more energized set than its predecessor. Sal’s electrifying live feel reflects the incendiary stage shows Bell and her new backing band had been playing in the intervening time between recordings.

The two bonus tracks, recorded at a gig later that year, capture their live ferocity. Intriguingly, the funky, fiery title track, an homage to Bell’s Aunt, a music hall star, is one of only two originals on this set. The second, the lavishly bluesy “If You Don’t Know” was penned by band keyboardist Pete Wingfield, and boasts a guesting Jimmy Page on guitar. The storming “Coming on Strong” also has a Bell connection, being co-penned by ex-Crow Colin Allen and Zoot Money.

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The rest of the album comprises astutely chosen covers drawn from an eclectic selection of artists. One of the standouts is “It’s Been So Long”, a powerful gospel number written by the Pretty Things’ Brian May, who not only rewrote some of the lyrics for Bell, but added his backing vocals to the song. Free’s classic “Wishing Well” gets a sensational workout, while that band’s offshoot Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu & Rabbit’s “Hold On” is taken to new emotive heights. From barrelling Beatles pop to the Sutherland Brothers poignant Gaelic ode, from ballads to hefty rock & roll, Bell struts across this set with style and such assurance, that even Aunt Sal must have been impressed.

One of Britain’s greatest soul rock singers is showcased at her best with this magnificent album. (by Chris goes Rock)

In other words: The best solo-album that Maggie Bell ever recorded !!!

Single

Personnel:
Maggie Bell (vocals)
Brian Breeze (guitar)
Paul Francis (drums)
Delisle Harper (bass)
Peter Wingfield (keyboards)
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Hugh Burns (guitar on 06. + 10.)
Roy Davies (keyboards on 06. + 08.)
Ray Glynn (guitar on 02. + 05.)
Jimmy Jewell (saxophone on 10.)
Cuddley Judd (bagpipes on 03.)
Mickey Keene (guitar on 01.,03. + 09.)
Jimmy Page (guitar on 04. + 07.)
Clark Terry (guitar on 02. + 04.)
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background vocals:
Bill Laurie – Brian Breeze – Mark London

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Tracklist:
01. Wishing Well (Bundrick/Kossoff/Rodgers/Kirke/Yamauchi) 3.33
02. Suicide Sal (Trengrove/Bell/London/Clifford/Wingfield) 3.44
03. I Was In Chains (Sutherland) 3.03
04. If You Don’t Know (Wingfield) 3.54
05. What You Got (Armstrong) 2.55
06. In My Life (Courtney/Sayer) 3.10
07. Comin’ On Strong (Allen/Money) 4.07
08. Hold On (Kossoff/Kirke) 4.49
09. I Saw Him Standing There (Lennon/McCartney) 4.18
10. It’s Been So Long (May) 4.40
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11. Coming On Strong (live) (Allen/Money) 5.54
12. Going Down (live) (Nix) 5.14

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Back Street Crawler – Second Street (1976)

LPFrontCover12nd Street is a 1976 album by Back Street Crawler and was released on the Atco Records label. It was released after Paul Kossoff’s death in March 1976, ans is dedicated to him. The album is regarded as a considerable advance on their 1975 debut The Band Plays On, but Kossoff’s involvement in it is limited to lead guitar lines over the completed tracks. (by wikipedia)

This is simply one of the great-underrated rock albums of the 1970’s and the last album to feature Paul Kossoff on guitar. He actually died before the album was released due to a heroin addiction. It almost seems as if Koss knew this was to be his last effort and his playing is of an unusually melancholic and lilting quality on tracks like, “Blue Soul”, “Some Kind Of Happy” and particularly the end portion of “Leaves in the Wind.”

Blending beautifully with Koss’ guitar is the keyboard work of John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick. He has a haunting and equally reflective style that embraces aspects of melancholy and longing. His unique style brought a similar layer of sophistication to Free’s final album “Heartbreaker.” In more recent years, he has been the regular touring keyboard player with The Who.

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Paul Kossoff + Terry Wilson-Slesser, 1975

Of equal importance are the powerful, soulful and curiously unaffected vocals of Terry Wilson Slesser. His voice is just perfect for these well-crafted songs that vary between the funky “Stop Doing What Your Doing”, the acoustic driven “Raging River” and the pleading “Some Kind Of Happy.” The latter song also features some nice blending of his voice with some impassioned female back-up singers. His voice never falls into any overwrought bellowing or bluster and always provides what the song needs without drawing special attention to his voice. A perfect example of this is on the song “Just for you” which many other singers of the era would have delivered in an overdone bluesy growl. Here Slesser sings like a man truly pining for a woman he has recently lost. No bravado just a wish unfulfilled.

Two real highlights are the last two songs, “On Your Life” and “Leaves in the Wind.” “On Your Life” is a perfect example of this band working as one with no showboating. The keyboards blend perfectly with the vocals, and the drumming of Tony Braunagel is tight but never intrusive. It’s a sad remembrance captured in song. “Leaves In The Wind” starts out as a nice funky groove with some tasty bass from Terry Wilson (like this band in general, an underrated bass player) before moving into its reflective second half where, appropriately, Paul Kossoff shows off his lilting guitar playing in all its glory.

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This is simply one of the great-underrated rock albums of the 1970’s and the last album to feature Paul Kossoff on guitar. He actually died before the album was released due to a heroin addiction. It almost seems as if Koss knew this was to be his last effort and his playing is of an unusually melancholic and lilting quality on tracks like, “Blue Soul”, “Some Kind Of Happy” and particularly the end portion of “Leaves in the Wind.”

Blending beautifully with Koss’ guitar is the keyboard work of John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick. He has a haunting and equally reflective style that embraces aspects of melancholy and longing. His unique style brought a similar layer of sophistication to Free’s final album “Heartbreaker.” In more recent years, he has been the regular touring keyboard player with The Who.

Of equal importance are the powerful, soulful and curiously unaffected vocals of Terry Wilson Slesser. His voice is just perfect for these well-crafted songs that vary between the fune use…Leaves in the wind” with Kossoff’s sad guitar weeping along it’s true magic and a perfectly fitting end to a very brief life, of not only Paul Kossoff, but a band with great promise. Of course, the band would carry on under the shortened moniker Crawler, with a new guitarist, but the rare magic captured here was never quite matched again. The only negative about this album is that it is too short! (source: unknown)

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Personnel:
Tony Braunagel (drums, vocals)
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (keyboards, vocals)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Terry Wilson (bass, guitar)
Terry Wilson Slesser (vocals)
+
Snuffy Walden (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Selfish Lover (Bundrick) 3.24
02. Blue Soul (Wilson) 3.43
03. Stop Doing What You’re Doing (Braunagel/Bundrick/Kossoff/Wilson/Wilson-Slesser) 3.25
04. Raging River (Wilson) 3.10
05. Some Kind Of Happy (Wilson) 4.55
06. Sweet Beauty (Wilson) 3.13
07. Just For You John (Bundrick/Rutherford) 6.21
08. On Your Life (Bundrick) 3.57
09. Leaves In The Wind (Bundrick/Rutherford) 5.08

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Kornet – Same (1975)

FrontCover1KORNET was a jazz-rock group formed at Framnäs college in Öjebyn by guitarist Stefan BJORKLUND, drummer Ake SUNDQVIST, and keyboardist Stefan NILSSON in 1974. They were joined by Anders JONSSON on Vibes, bassist Sten FORSMAN and a large ensemble including brass, woodwinds and strings. Their sought-after debut LP ‘Kornet’ was released in 1975 on Manifest. The collective went on to release two more albums during their heyday, ‘Fritt Fall’ in 1977 [also on Manifest] and ‘Kornet III’ in ’79 on PickUp Records. (by progarchives.com)

Very good Jazz Rock band from Ojebyn,Sweden,formed in 1974,which released 3 LP’s between 1975 and 1979.All members had a good background mostly in pop music,until they got tired and decided to choose a more demanding music path.This decision led them to the release of their self-titled debut in 1975,which is their strongest effort for many Prog/Jazz Rock collectors.The band consisted of Stefan Nillson on piano/synths, Stefan Björklund on guitars, Sten Forsman on bass/cello, Allan Lundström on saxes, Åke Sundqvist on drums/percussions/vibraphone and Johan Engström on flutes/acoustic guitars.

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The tracks can be split in three categories: These into fast and furious grooves with great guitar solos and powerful interplays,these into flute-driven calm jazzy prog with a slight Canterbury feeling,while the third category includes compositions in a Free Jazz from,dominated by improvisational saxes and nice work on bass/contrabass by Forsman.All of them are of very high quality without exception,which shows the band great talent and perfect collaboration.I can also make an honourable reference to the awesome electric piano work of Stefan Nillson,who also had an underground personal career in the 80’s,releasing 3 personal LP’S.Very decent work,highly recommended to Jazz Rock lovers. (by apps79)

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Personnel:
Stefan Björklund (guitar)
Johan Engström (flute)
Sten Forsman (bass, cello on 04.)
Allan Lundström (saxophone)
Stefan Nilsson (piano, synthesizer)
Åke Sundqvist (drums, percussion, french horn on 03., vibraphone 0n 04.)
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Johan Engström (guitar on 04.)
Anders Jonsson (xycolophone, percussion 0n 04.)
Jan Skoglund (bassoon on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Skriket Från Vildmarken (Björklund) 3.08
02. Sju Hungriga År (Nilsson) 4.45
03.  Jojk (Traditional) 0.45
04. Friska Fläktar (Nilsson) 5.06
05. Frunk (Sundqvist) 3.35
06. Intrude, Tretaktar’n (Nilsson) 7.06
07. Pygges Blues (Björklund) 3.43
08. Musik Ur Filmen ‘Adams Födelse’ (Jonsson) 3.32

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John Abercrombie – Gateway (1975)

FrontCover1John Abercrombie, renowned jazz guitar player, bandleader, and teacher, has died at the age of 72. He passed away yesterday evening at his home in Cortland, New York, according to an announcement on his Facebook page. The Ottawa Citizen and The Wire report the cause of death as heart failure, related to a stroke Abercrombie experienced earlier this year.

Abercrombie was an influential guitar stylist who, after getting his start as a session musician and sideman with artists like Gato Barbieri, Billy Cobham, and Gil Evans, came into prominence as a bandleader in the 1970s through his recordings on the ECM label. His debut album, Timeless, is particularly renowned, featuring synth/organist Jan Hammer (of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Miami Vice soundtrack fame) and Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett collaborator Jack DeJohnette on drums. Abercrombie helped to define the trademark, ethereal, and genre-defying sound of the ECM label along with artists like Jarrett, Gary Burton, and Pat Metheny. He also played and recorded on-and-off for decades in the trio Gateway, with Jarrett, DeJohnette, and legendary bassist Dave Holland.

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In the ’80s, Abercrombie began playing on a guitar synthesizer and experiments with outlandish effects to expand the sound palette of his instrument, working in fusion and free-jazz idioms. He was also gifted as a performer of traditional jazz standards, and known for his muted, technically adept style and complex and imaginative harmonic sensibility. He released an album in January, Up and Coming, on ECM in January of this year, billed to The John Abercrombie Quartet. (www.spin.com)

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And here´s his debut album from 1975 …

Gateway is the debut album by Gateway, a trio composed of John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. It was recorded in 1975 and released on the ECM label in 1976.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz called it a “reflective album, but it is by no means sombre” stating “Abercrombie seems to like the open rhythmic weave and plays acoustically with great confidence and finely controlled timbre and dynamics. Holland is by no means playing at his best but he is incapable of mere journeywork and asserts his presence in the harmonic transitions i a way that more than makes up for the absence of keyboards”[3] The Allmusic review by Scott Yanow states “The interplay between the three musicians is quite impressive although listeners might find some of the music to be quite unsettling. It takes several listens for one to digest all that is going on, but it is worth the struggle”.[(by wikipedia)

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Guitarist John Abercrombie was one of the stars of ECM in its early days. His playing on this trio set with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette is really beyond any simple categorization. Abercrombie’s improvisations are sophisticated yet, because his sound is rockish and sometimes quite intense (particularly on the nearly 11-minute “Sorcery 1”), there is really no stylistic name for the music. Holland contributed four of the six originals while DeJohnette brought in the other two (one of which was co-written with Abercrombie). The interplay between the three musicians is quite impressive although listeners might find some of the music to be quite unsettling. It takes several listens for one to digest all that is going on, but it is worth the struggle. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
John Abercrombie (guitar)
Dave Holland (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Back-Woods Song (Holland) – 7:51
02. Waiting (Holland) – 2:10
03. May Dance (Holland) – 11:01
04. Unshielded Desire (DeJohnette/Abercrombie) – 4:49
05. Jamala (Holland) – 4:47
06. Sorcery I (DeJohnette) – 10:56

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Don McLean – Live At Manchester (1975)

FrontCover1Famed for — and ultimately defined by — his perennial “American Pie,” singer/songwriter Don McLean was born October 2, 1945, in New Rochelle, New York. After getting his start in the folk clubs of New York City during the mid-’60s, McLean struggled for a number of years, building a small following through his work with Pete Seeger on the Clearwater, a sloop that sailed up and down the eastern seaboard to promote environmental causes.

Still, McLean was primarily singing in elementary schools and the like when, in 1970, he wrote a musical tribute to painter Vincent Van Gogh; the project was roundly rejected by a number of labels, although MediaArts did offer him a contract to record a number of his other songs under the title Tapestry. The album fared poorly, but Perry Como earned a hit with a cover of the track “And I Love You So,” prompting United Artists to pick up McLean’s contract. He returned in 1971 with American Pie; the title track, an elegiac eight-and-a-half-minute folk-pop epic inspired by the tragic death of Buddy Holly, became a number one hit, and the LP soon reached the top of the charts as well.

The follow-up, “Vincent,” was also a smash, and McLean even became the subject of the Roberta Flack hit “Killing Me Softly with His Song”; however, to his credit — and to his label’s horror — the singer refused to let the success of “American Pie” straitjacket his career. Subsequent records like 1972’s self-titled effort and 1974’s Playin’ Favorites deliberately avoided any attempts to re-create the “American Pie” flavor; not surprisingly, his sales plummeted, and the latter release even failed to chart. After 1974’s Homeless Brother and 1976’s Solo, United Artists dropped McLean from his contract; he resurfaced on Arista the next year with Prime Time, but when it, too, fared poorly, he spent the next several years without a label.

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McLean enjoyed a renaissance of sorts with 1980’s Chain Lightning; his first Top 30 LP in close to a decade, it spawned a Top Ten smash with its cover of Roy Orbison’s classic “Crying,” and his originals “Castles in the Air” and “Since I Don’t Have You” both also reached the Top 40. However, 1981’s Believers failed to sustain the comeback, and after 1983’s Dominion, he was again left without benefit of label support. McLean spent the remainder of his career primarily on the road, grudgingly restoring “American Pie” to his set list and drawing inspiration from the country market; in addition to a number of live sets and re-recordings of old favorites, he also returned to the studio for projects like 1990’s For the Memories (a collection of classic pop, country, and jazz covers) and 1995’s River of Love (an LP of original material). (by Jason Ankeny)

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And here´s a great broadrecording from 1975:

The shutdown of Megaupload; and other cyberlockers such as Filesonic and Fileserve becoming pale shadows of what they once were, music fans will once again recall the immortal words of Don McLean.

But the lyrics to McLean’s Bronco Bill’s Lament are no less poignant and apt for these times:

Well you may not recognize my face, I used to be a star,
A cowboy hero known both near and far.
I perched upon a silver mount and sang with my guitar,
But the studio of course,
owned my saddle and my horse…

All the voyeurs and the lawyers who can pull a fountain pen,
And put you where they choose,
With the language that they use,
And enslave you till you work your youth away,
Oh god how I worked my youth away.

Thanks to Otto who shared these tracks on the net in 2010.

Recorded live at The Hardrock Concert Theatre, Manchester, UK; May 25, 1975;
Excellent FM broadcast.

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Personnel:
Don McLean (guitar, vocals, banjo)

Tracklist:
01. Bronco Bill’s Lament 3.22
02. Empty Chairs 3.38
03. La La Love You 4.25
04. American Pie 10.03
05. Homeless Brother 4.16
06. Respectable 4.04
07. The Legend Of Andrew McCrew 6.20
08. Babylon 5.00
09. This Little Light Of Mine 2.58
10. Vincent 4.04

All songs written by DonMcLean

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Harry Chapin – Portrait Gallery (1975)

LPFrontCover1Harry Chapin was an American singer-songwriter famous for his folk rock songs like ‘Taxi’, ’W*O*L*D’, and ‘Sniper’. A highly talented and popular singer, he gained much fame for his self-described ”story song”, a narrative form that borrowed heavily from older talking blues primarily dealing with themes related to lost opportunities, cruel ironies and life’s hypocrisies. Born as one of the sons of Jim Chapin, a legendary percussionist, Harry was exposed to music at an early age. He played the trumpet as a child and soon switched over to the guitar. He performed with his brothers as a teenager and also played music occasionally with his father who had divorced his mother when Harry was young. He graduated from the Brooklyn Technical High School and studied at Cornell University before embarking on a career as a documentary filmmaker. He soon switched gear and ventured into a musical career and found success with his debut album ’Heads & Tales’. He soon gained a reputation as a classy folk rock singer and also became known for his work on Broadway productions. Along with being a singer par excellence, he was also a committed humanitarian who fought to end world hunger.

The life of this amazing human being was cut short by a fatal accident which claimed him at the age of 38.  (by thefamouspeople.com)

Portrait Gallery is the fifth studio album by the American singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, released in 1975.

An early version of “Someone Keeps Calling My Name”, done in a folk-rock vein reminiscent of The Byrds, appeared on the obscure 1966 album Chapin recorded with his brothers, Chapin Music!. The main guitar riff (and entire arrangement) in this version is strikingly similar to The Blue Things’ equally obscure 1966 track “Doll House.”

The album artwork was designed and illustrated by Milton Glaser. (by wikipedia)

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 Portrait Gallery failed to follow up the great success of “Cats in the Cradle,” and perhaps that was what Chapin had in mind. Much more in line with his first two releases, Portrait Gallery shouldn’t be written off just because it didn’t get that Top 40 hit. The songs have again become more personal, and the track “Bummer” depicts a medal-winning veteran who never quite fit into society. Chilling, to say the least, Portrait Gallery is well worth the effort. (by James Chrispell)

Musically, the album is a solid mix of approachable, mostly ballad oriented, material in the long, narrative “story song” mold of song writing Chapin was most famous for. “Dreams Go By”, despite it’s title one of his more upbeat songs emotionally (Chapin had a penchant for crafting songs with sad or disappointing endings, often dealing with characters based upon life’s losers and societies most disenfranchised) became a fan favorite at his live shows for many years. “Tangled Up Puppett” , also known as “A Song For Jaime” was inspired by Chapin’s relationship with his oldest daughter, as she was entering her teen years. A beautiful melody complete with some of the violin and string arrangements famous in his more acoustic oriented work, with lyrics ripe with metaphor that none the less do a terrific job of expressing the poignancy of growing up and how it changes parent-child dynamics, it’s one of the best stories and from strictly from a pop music perspective one of his most approachable works, amazing that it didn’t enjoy greater success as a single. (by Tom From Pghon)
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Personnel:
Murray Adler (violin)
Ron Bacchiocchi (synthesiser, percussion)
Ed Bednarski (clarinet)
Gene Bianco (harmonica)
George Bohanon (rombone)
Bud Brisbois (rumpet)
Harry Chapin (guitar, vocals)
Steve Chapin (piano, clavinet, vocals)
Tom Chapin (vocals)
Rita Coolidge (vocals)
Assa Drori (violin)
Jesse Ehrlich (cello)
Joan Fishman (vocals)
Joe Flood (vocals)
Ronald Folsom (violin)
James Getzoff (violin)
Jeff Gross (vocals)
Jim Horn (saxophone)
Paul Hubinon (trumpet)
Bill Hymanson (strings)
Armand Kaproff (Cello)
Jackie Kelso (saxophone)
Christopher von Koschembahr (vocals)
David Kondziela (vocals)
Kris Kristofferson (vocals)
Paul Leka (piano, celeste, harpsichord)
Jonathan B. Lindle (vocals)
Betty MacIver (vocals)
Pete MacIver (vocals)
Michael Masters (Cello)
Marti McCall (vocals)
Jay Migliori (saxophone, flute)
Tim Moore (keyboards, clavinet)
Todd Mulder (vocals)
Alexander Neiman (viola)
Gareth Nuttycombe (viola)
Ronald Palmer (guitar, vocals)
Geoff Parker (vocals, choir, Chorus)
Judi Parker (vocals)
Don Payne (bass)
Donald Peake (Synthesizer)
Stanley Plummer (violin)
Katherine Anne Porter (vocals)
Frank Porto (accordion)
Kathy Ramos (vocals)
Henry Roth (violin)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
Tim Scott (Cello)
Jack Shulman (violin)
Frank Simms (vocals)
George Simms (vocals)
Ken Smith (flute, mandolin)
Bob Springer (percussion)
Billy Swan (vocals)
John Tropea (guitar)
Sheila Turner (vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
Rob White (whistle)
Susan White (vocals)
Carolyn Willis (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Dreams Go By (H.Chapin) 4.46
02. Tangled Up Puppet (H.Chapin/S.Chapin) 3.45
03. Star Tripper (H.Chapin) 4.19
04. Babysitter (H.Chapin)  4.36
05. Someone Keeps Calling My Name (H.Chapin) 6.30
06. Rock (H.Chapin) 4.16
07. Sandy (H.Chapin) 2.48
08. Dirt Gets Under the Fingernails (H.Chapin) 3.48
09. Bummer (H.Chapin) 9.55
10. Stop Singing These Sad Songs (H.Chapin) 2.59

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