Foghat – Fool For The City (1975)

FrontCover1Fool for the City is the fifth album released by English rock band Foghat, released in 1975. This was their first platinum album and features, along with the title track, their signature song “Slow Ride”.Fool for the City is the fifth album released by English rock band Foghat, released in 1975. This was their first platinum album and features, along with the title track, their signature song “Slow Ride”.

The album cover shows drummer Roger Earl sitting alone on a soap box fishing down a manhole in the middle of East 11th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) in New York City, near the address of Foghat’s American office. The back cover features skeptical bystanders observing Earl’s unusual activity and the other members of the band either asking him what he is doing or trying to dissuade him from it. In a 2014 interview, Earl explained how the picture was taken:“ It was a Sunday morning and I hadn’t slept. […] It was Nick Jameson’s idea […] since I have this penchant for fishing. Anyway, we lift up the manhole cover and I’m sitting on a box. Almost immediately a couple of New York’s Finest come by in their patrol car. They’re looking at us and they wind the window down. We’re like, “Oh shit.” They yell out, “Hey! You got a fishing license?” and then start laughing. So they come over and say, “What the fuck are you doing?” They took some pictures with them handcuffing me. I love New York’s finest.

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After building a solid core audience through relentless touring and a string of hard-rocking albums, Foghat finally hit the big time in 1975 with Fool for the City. It still stands out as the best album in the group’s catalog because it matched their road-tested abilities as hard rockers to a consistent set of tunes that were both well-crafted and ambitious. The tone for the album is set by its title track: This hard-rocking gem not only pairs riff-driven verses with an effective shout-along chorus, but also throws in a few surprising moments where the guitars are taken out of the mix completely and Nick Jameson’s bass is allowed to take the lead in a funky breakdown. Fool for the City also produced an enduring rock radio favorite in “Slow Ride,” a stomping rock tune that transcends the inherent clichés of its “love is like a car ride” lyrics with a furious performance from the band and a clever arrangement that works in well-timed automotive sound effects during the verses and plays up the band’s ability to work an R&B-styled groove into their hard-rocking sound (again, note the thumping bassline from Jameson).

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Further radio play was earned with “Take It or Leave It,” an acoustic-based ballad that worked synthesizers into its subtle yet carefully layered arrangement to become one of the group’s finest slow numbers. The album’s other songs don’t stand like the aforementioned selections, but they all flow together nicely thanks to a consistently inspired performance from the band and clever little arrangement frills that keep the group’s boogie-oriented rock fresh (example: the witty spoken word bit at the end of “Drive Me Home”). All in all, Fool for the City is both Foghat’s finest achievement in the studio and one of the high points of 1970s hard rock. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

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Personnel:
Roger Earl (drums, percussion)
Nick Jameson (bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Lonesome Dave Peverett (vocals, guitar)
Rod “The Bottle” Price (guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01- Fool For The City (Peverett) 4.32
02. My Babe (Hatfield/Dixon/Medley) 4.37
03. Slow Ride (Peverett) 8.13
04. Terraplane Blues (Johnson) 5.44
05. Save Your Loving (For Me) (Price/Peverett) 3.32
06. Drive Me Home (Peverett) 3.55
07. Take It Or Leave It (Jameson/Peverett) 4.56

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Black Sabbath – Sabotage (1975)

FrontCover1Sabotage is the sixth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in July 1975. It was recorded in the midst of litigation with their former manager Patrick Meehan and the stress that resulted from the band’s ongoing legal woes infiltrated the recording process, inspiring the album’s title. It was co-produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and Mike Butcher.

Black Sabbath began work on their sixth album in February 1975, again in England at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London. The title Sabotage was chosen because the band were at the time being sued by their former management and felt they were being “sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides”, according to Iommi Iommi credits those legal troubles for the album’s angry, heavier sound. In 2001, bassist Geezer Butler explained to Dan Epstein, “Around the time of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, we found out that we were being ripped off by our management and our record company. So, much of the time, when we weren’t onstage or in the studio, we were in lawyer’s offices trying to get out of all our contracts. We were literally in the studio, trying to record, and we’d be signing all these affidavits and everything. That’s why it’s called Sabotage – because we felt that the whole process was just being totally sabotaged by all these people ripping us off.” In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, singer Ozzy Osbourne confirms that “writs were being delivered to us at the mixing desk” and that drummer Bill Ward “was manning the phones”. In the liner notes to the 1998 live album Reunion, Butler claimed the band suffered through 10 months of legal cases and admitted, “music became irrelevant to me. It was a relief just to write a song.”

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Tony Iommi later reflected, “We could’ve continued and gone on and on, getting more technical, using orchestras and everything else which we didn’t particularly want to. We took a look at ourselves, and we wanted to do a rock album – Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath wasn’t a rock album, really.” According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, “The recording sessions would usually carry on into the middle of the night. Tony Iommi was working really hard on the production side of things with the band’s co-producer Mike Butcher, and he was spending a lot of time working out his guitar sounds. Bill, too, was experimenting with the drums, especially favouring the ‘backwards cymbal’ effect.” Osbourne, however, was growing more frustrated with how long Sabbath albums were now taking to record, writing in his autobiography that “Sabotage took about four thousand years.”

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Sabotage is a mix of heavy, powerful songs and softer experimental tunes, such as “Supertzar” and “Am I Going Insane (Radio)”. In 2013 Mojo observed, “Opener ‘Hole in the Sky’ and the crunching ‘Symptom of the Universe’ illustrate that, for all their problems, Sabbath’s power remained undimmed on what was what many consider one of their finest offerings.” In the article “Thrash Metal – An Introduction” in University Times Magazine, Vladimir Rakhmanin cites “Symptom of the Universe” as one of the earliest examples of thrash metal, a heavy metal subgenre which emerged in the early 1980s. Tony Iommi describes the song’s dynamics in his autobiography Iron Man: “It starts with an acoustic bit. Then it goes into the up-tempo stuff to give it that dynamic, and it does have a lot of changes to it, including the jam at the end.” The final part of “Symptom of the Universe” evolved from an in-studio improvisation, created very spontaneously in a single day and the decision was made to use it in that song. The London Philharmonic Choir was brought in to perform on the song “Supertzar”. When vocalist Ozzy Osbourne arrived at the studio and saw them, he thought he was in the wrong studio and left.[1] The title of the pop-leaning “Am I Going Insane (Radio)” caused some confusion due to the “(Radio)” part, which led people to believe the song was a radio cut or radio version. However, this is the only version of the song: the term “radio-rental” is rhyming slang for “mental”.

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“The Writ” is one of only a handful of Black Sabbath songs to feature lyrics composed by vocalist Osbourne, who typically relied on bassist and lyricist Butler for lyrics. The song was inspired by the frustrations Osbourne felt at the time, as Black Sabbath’s former manager Patrick Meehan was suing the band after having been fired. The song viciously attacks the music business in general and is a savage diatribe directed towards Meehan specifically (“Are you Satan? Are you a man?”), with Osbourne revealing in his memoir, “I wrote most of the lyrics myself, which felt a bit like seeing a shrink. All the anger I felt towards Meehan came pouring out.” During this period, the band began to question if there was any point to recording albums and touring endlessly “just to pay the lawyers”.

The brief instrumental “Don’t Start (Too Late)” is an acoustic guitar showpiece for Iommi, titled for tape operator David Harris who often despaired at Sabbath being prone to start playing before he was ready.

BlackSabbath06Sabotage’s front cover art has garnered mixed reactions over the years and is regarded by some as one of the worst album covers in rock history. The inverted mirror concept was conceived by Graham Wright, Bill Ward’s drum tech who was also a graphic artist. The band attended what they believed was a test photo shoot for the album cover, thus explaining their choice of clothing. Said Ward, “The only thing we didn’t discuss was what we’d all wear on the day of the shot. Since that shoot day, the band has survived through a tirade of clothing comments and jokes that continue to this day”. Ward, in fact, was wearing his wife’s red tights in the photo. Wright recalls in the book How Black Was Our Sabbath that the plan was for each band member to appear on the cover dressed in black and had been instructed to bring some stage clothes for preliminary photos, but when they arrived no black costumes had been laid out by the designers and “the original concept had been overruled.” The designers “carried on with the shoot, explaining they would superimpose the images at a later stage and that it would look great, honest. The session was unbelievably rushed, and the outcome was far from what had been originally envisaged … Ironically, the sleeve design that was intended to illustrate the idea of sabotage had instead become a victim of sabotage itself. By the time they saw it, it was too late to change.” In 2013 Mojo commented the cover “provides a rare moment of light relief.” On the back of the original album release, Geezer’s arm is extended as the reflection is different.

Sabotage was released on 27 June 1975 and peaked at number 7 in the United Kingdom and at number 28 in the United States. It was certified Silver (60,000 units sold) in the UK by the BPI on 1 December 1975 and Gold in the US on 16 June 1997, but was the band’s first release not to achieve platinum status in the US. For the second time, a Black Sabbath album initially saw favourable reviews, with Rolling Stone stating “Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath’s best record since Paranoid, it might be their best ever”, although later reviewers such as Allmusic noted that “the magical chemistry that made such albums as Paranoid and Vol. 4 so special was beginning to disintegrate”. Guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen told Nick Bowcott of Guitar Player in 2008 that the riff to “Symptom of the Universe” was the first Tony Iommi riff he ever heard and that “Tony’s use of the flat fifth would have got him burned at the stake a couple hundred years ago.” In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked it 32nd on their “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time” list. (by Wikipedia)

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Sabotage is the final release of Black Sabbath’s legendary First Six, and it’s also the least celebrated of the bunch, though most die-hard fans would consider it criminally underrated. The band continues further down the proto-prog metal road of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and this time around, the synthesizers feel more organically integrated into the arrangements. What’s more, the song structures generally feel less conventional and more challenging. There’s one significant exception in the blatant pop tune “Am I Going Insane (Radio),” which rivals “Changes” as the most fan-loathed song of the glory years, thanks to its synth-driven arrangement (there isn’t even a guitar riff!) and oft-repeated one-line chorus. But other than that song and the terrific album opener, “Hole in the Sky,” the band largely eschews the standard verse-chorus format, sticking to one or two melody lines per riffed section and changing up the feel before things get too repetitive. The prevalence of this writing approach means that Sabotage rivals Vol. 4 as the least accessible record of Sabbath’s glory years. However, given time, the compositional logic reveals itself, and most of the record will burn itself into the listener’s brain just fine. The faster than usual “Symptom of the Universe” is a stone-cold classic, its sinister main riff sounding like the first seed from which the New Wave of British Heavy Metal would sprout (not to mention an obvious blueprint for Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?”). Like several songs on the record, “Symptom” features unexpected acoustic breaks and softer dynamics, yet never loses its drive or focus, and always feels like Sabbath. Less immediate but still rewarding are “Thrill of It All,” with its triumphant final section, and the murky, sullen “Megalomania,” which never feels as long as its nearly nine and a half minutes. But more than the compositions, the real revelation on Sabotage is Ozzy Osbourne, who turns in his finest vocal performance as a member of Black Sabbath. Really for the first time, this is the Ozzy we all know, displaying enough range, power, and confidence to foreshadow his hugely successful solo career. He saves the best for last with album closer “The Writ,” one of the few Sabbath songs where his vocal lines are more memorable than Tony Iommi’s guitar parts; running through several moods over the course of the song’s eight minutes, it’s one of the best performances of his career, bar none. Unfortunately, after Sabotage, the wheels of confusion came off entirely. Yes, there were technically two more albums, but for the non-obsessive, the story of Osbourne-era Sabbath effectively ends here. (by Steve Huey)

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Personnel:
Terry “Geezer” Butler (bass)
Tony Iommi (guitar,  keyboards, synthesizer, harmonica)
Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Bill Ward (drums, percussion (piano, Background vocals on  and backing vocals on “Blow on a Jug”)
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English Chamber Choir conducted by Will Malone

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Tracklist:
01. Hole In The Sky 4.00
02. Don’t Start (Too Late) 0.49
03. Symptom Of The Universe 6.29
04. Megalomania 946
05. The Thrill Of It All 5.56
06. “Supertzar” (Instrumental with vocalising choir) 3:44
07. Am I Going Insane (Radio) 4.17
08. The Writ / Blow On A Jug 8.46

All songs written by:
Terry “Geezer” Butler – Tony Iommi – Ozzy Osbourne – Bill Ward

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I’m looking through a hole in the sky
I’m seeing nowhere through the eyes of a lie
I’m getting closer to the end of the line
I’m living easy where the sun doesn’t shine

I’m living in a room without any view
I’m living free because the rent’s never due
The synonym of all the things that I’ve said
Are just the riddles that are built in my head

Hole in the sky
Gateway to heaven
Window in time
Through it I fly

I’ve seen the stars that disappear in the sun
But shooting’s easy if you’ve got the right gun
And even though I’m sitting waiting for Mars
I don’t believe there’s any future in cars

I’ve watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
I’ve seen the western world go down in the east
The food of love became the greed of our time
But now I’m living on the profits of crime

 

Grand Funk Railroad – Caught In The Act (1975)

FrontCover1Caught in the Act is Grand Funk Railroad’s second live album and was released in August 1975 by Capitol Records as a double album. It was recorded live on tour in 1975 and features “The Funkettes” — Lorraine Feather and Jana King.

Early pressings of the album (including record-club pressings) simply state the band’s name as “Grand Funk” on the front cover and spine, but have the full name on the record labels.

The 2003 re-mastered version of this release has a total time of 79:08, and was squeezed down to one disc. The 2:47 “Introduction” is gone, but “T.N.U.C” and “Gimme Shelter” are lengthened. Audience interaction and applause is shortened throughout to compensate. The missing “Introduction” is included as a hidden track at the end of “Some Kind of Wonderful” on the 2003 re-mastered version of “All the Girls in the World Beware!!!”

By 1975, Grand Funk Railroad had reached a new level of fame and fortune thanks to pop-friendly albums like We’re an American Band and Shinin’ On. However, they had not dropped the turbo-charged rock & roll that built their early success and that fact is TourPoster1975proven by this exciting double-live album. Caught in the Act covers all the highlights of their catalog up to that point, including both the major hits and a generous sampling of album-track favorites. All the songs benefit from the amped-up live atmosphere and several improve over the studio versions thanks to the consistent high level of energy that the band pours into each tune. The best example is the latter phenomenon one-two punch of the albums’ opening tracks: “Footstompin’ Music” leaps out of the speakers with a galloping beat and pulsing organ that effortlessly outstrips its album version, then the band smoothly segues into a barnstorming, revamped version of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul” that tacks an infectious “Nothin’ but a party” chant onto the song’s beginning. Even the hits add new frills that keep them feeling like rote run-throughs: “The Loco Motion” is soulfully fleshed out by the addition of female backing vocals and hard rock muscle applied to “Black Licorice” transforms it into a speedy, fist-pumping rocker. Another big highlight is the atmospheric version of “Closer to Home,” which sports a tighter, more complex arrangement than its studio counterpart and makes an excellent showcase for Craig Frost’s skills on a variety of keyboard (he nimbly recreates the song’s orchestral coda with an elegant performance on the Mellotron). The end result is a live album that is the equal of the studio’s best studio-recorded outings. Simply put, Caught in the Act is a necessity for Grand Funk Railroad fans and may even attract non-fans with its effective combination of energy and instrumental firepower. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

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Grand Funk Railroad’s legions of fans helped make them one of America’s biggest-selling rock bands of the first half of the 1970s, and midway through the decade, they had another chance to experience the band’s on-stage energy on disc. Caught In The Act, GFR’s second live album, made its US chart debut on 13 September 1975.

The band had released their first in-concert disc as early as 1970, when the Capitol set simply called Live Album appeared after the success of the studio titles On Time and Grand Funk. The new album, a double, was recorded on tour in the early part of 1975 and featured some 80 minutes’ worth of Grand Funk’s live extravaganza, which included their backing singers the Funkettes

The set list included both of GFR’s No. 1 hit singles of 1973, ‘We’re An American Band’ and their remake of ‘The Loco-motion,’ along with the ’72 hit ‘Footstompin’ Music’ and earlier favourites such as ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Closer To Home.’

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The disc concluded with Grand Funk’s live versions of the Animals’ ‘Inside Looking Out’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter.’ The latter song was a longtime feature of their concerts, which they had previously recorded in the studio, for 1971’s Survival album.

GFR 1975As ever, the release was greeted with a distinct lack of enthusiasm by many US rock critics, but Billboard’s review of the live album was a more rounded overview. “Production is good throughout, with the instruments, particularly Mark Farner’s guitar and Craig Frost’s keyboards, standing out. Voices come over well, and the addition of the Funkettes backup adds some fun to the project. Excellent duplication here of a Grand Funk concert which displays a professionalism not found on earlier live efforts.”

The album reached No. 21 on the US chart in a ten-week run, and as Billboard’s review concluded: “The critics may rant, but, for what they set out to do, Grand Funk are close to the best.” Their fans wholeheartedly agreed. (by Paul Sexton)

This is one of the best Albums by Grand Funk Railraod … listen to songs like “Footstompin’ Music“, “Some Kind Of Wonderful“, “Inside Looking Out” and of course “Gimme Shelter

And “Rock & Roll Soul” is a killer song … unbelieveable … WOW !

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Personnel:
Don Brewer (drums, percussion, vocals)
Mark Farner (guitar, organ,  harmonica, vocals)
Craig Frost (keyboards, Percussion,  background vocals)
Mel Schacher (bass, background vocals)
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Funkettes Group (Background vocals).
Lorraine Feather – Jana King)

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Tracklist:
01. Footstompin’ Music (Farner) 4-07
02. Rock & Roll Soul (Farner) 4.04
03. Closer To Home (Farner) 7.09
04. Heartbreaker (Farner) 7.32
05. Some Kind Of Wonderful (Ellison) 4.15
06. Shinin’ On (Farner/Brewer) 5.32
07. The Loco-Motion (Goffin/King) 3.22
08. Black Licorice (Farner/Brewer) 4.28
09. The Railroad (Farner) 6.14
10. We’re An American Band (Brewer) 3.39
11. T.N.U.C. (Farner) 9.32
12. Inside Looking Out (J.Lomax/A.Lomax/Burdon/Chandler) 12.25
13. Gimme Shelter (Jagger/Richards) 6.58

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J. Geils Band – Live – Blow Your Face Out (1976)

FrontCover1Blow Your Face Out is the eighth album (and second live album) by American rock band The J. Geils Band, released in 1976.

The album was recorded at two concerts held in November 1975. The first show was at the Boston Garden in the band’s hometown (Boston, Massachusetts) on November 15th, and recorded by Record Plant East Remote with David Hewitt. The second was recorded by Metro Audio Detroit four nights later at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, where the band’s other two live albums “Live” Full House (1972) and Showtime! (1982) were also recorded. (by wikipedia)

Double-album live sets came into vogue in 1976 after Peter Frampton’s sales went through the roof for A&M, Bob Seger found fame with Live Bullet on Capitol, and the J. Geils Band released its second in-concert document in four years, Blow Your Face Out. There is great power in these grooves recorded over two nights, November 15 and November 19, at the now deconstructed Boston Garden and in Detroit at Cobo Hall. ConcertFlyer1976Here’s the beautiful dilemma with the Geils band: Live: Full House, recorded in Detroit in April of 1972, contains five songs that became J. Geils standards, and none of them overlap on the 1982 EMI single live disc, Showtime, chock-full of their latter-day classics. Can you believe there is absolutely no overlap from the first or third live album on this double disc, which came in between (except for “Looking for a Love,” uncredited, which they slip into the intro of “Houseparty” on side two)? The Rhino CD contains Jeff Tamarkin’s liner notes, while the original Atlantic album has an exquisite gatefold chock-full of photos, and inner sleeves with priceless band memo stuff à la Grand Funk’s Live Album. Sides one and two are great, and three and four are even better. “Detroit Breakdown” rocks and grooves, with tons of audience applause…Wolfy and the polished authority of his monologues are in command as the band oozes into “Chimes” from 1973’s Ladies Invited. About three and a half minutes longer than the five-minute original, it is one of many highlights on this revealing pair of discs. A precursor to 1977’s title track, “Monkey Island,” “Chimes” gives this enigmatic PromotionAdband a chance to jam out slowly and lovingly over its groove. There is so much to this album: the Janis Joplin standard “Raise Your Hand” written by Eddie Floyd, Albert Collins’ “Sno-Cone” from their first album, and “Truck Drivin’ Man” beating Bachman-Turner Overdrive to the punch. B.B. King producer Bill Szymczyk does a masterful job bringing it all together, and the band photos on back look…roguish. “Must of Got Lost,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” and “Give It to Me” are here in all their glory, a different glory than the studio versions, on an album that should have done for Geils what Live Bullet and Frampton Comes Alive did for their respective artists. If only a legitimate release of their 1999 tour would be issued to stand next to this monster — during that tour they combined the best elements of all three of their previous live discs. The J. Geils Band is more important and influential than the boys have been given credit for. It will be the live documents that ensure they eventually get their due, and Blow Your Face Out is a very worthy component that can still frazzle speakers. (by Joe Viglione)

A hell of a record … one of the finest live-albums ever !

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Personnel:
Stephen Bladd (drums)
Magic Dick (harmonica)
J. Geils (guitar)
Seth Justman (keyboards)
Danny Klein (bass)
Peter Wolf (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Southside Shuffle (Justman/Wolf) 4.18
02. Back To Get Ya (Justman/Wolf) 4.36
03. Shoot Your Shot (Walker/Graves/Horn) 3.48
04. Must Of Got Lost (Justman/Wolf) 6.34
05. Where Did Our Love Go (B.Holland/Dozier/E.Holland) 3.51
06. Truck Drivin’ Man (Fell) 1.51
07. Love-Itis (Scales/Vance) 4.07
08. Lookin’ For A Love (Alexander/Samuels) +  Ain’t Nothin’ But A Houseparty (Sharh/Thomas) 7.04
09. So Sharp (Christian) + Detroit Breakdown (Justman/Wolf) 8.11
10. Detroit Breakdown (Reprise) (Justman/Wolf) 0.33
11. Chimes (Justman/Wolf) 8.54
12. Sno-Cone (Collins) 3.07
13. Wait (Justman/Wolf) 3.29
14. Raise Your Hand (Cropper/Floyd/Isbell) 4.13
15. Start All Over + Give It To Me (Justman/Wolf) 8.38
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16. Blow Your Face Out (uncut version) 1.14.49

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Atlanta Rhythm Section – Dog Days (1975)

FrontCover1Dog Days is the forth album by the southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, released in 1975.

What has become known as Southern rock is now one of my favorite genres of current rock & roll, but one of the most distinctive oddities I’ve discovered about it is that it seems to take most bands several albums before they arrive at a level of competence that I can stand to listen to. Two or three pedestrian LPs and then boom!, the rhythm section’s tight and funky, the lead guitar player has stopped imitating Dickey Betts, and they’re writing and singing memorable tunes.

With Dog Days, the Atlanta Rhythm Section joins my record collection after four records. They sing of their audience:

We like raggae [sic] and we dig country
Classical music’s a gas
We play the blues in three-quarter time
But they don’t wanna hear that jazz
They just want boogie…

But there is no denying that they do boogie well, as “Boogie Smoogie,” the tune those lyrics come from, amply demonstrates. Paul Goddard’s flatulent bass and some slashing guitar work from Barry Bailey and J.R. Cobb (as well as some excellent lyrics) make for an exciting eight minutes.

Not all of the album fares as well, since the band does have a tendency to meander, but the humorous “Cuban Crisis” and the ballad “All Night Rain” provide a good change of pace. All in all, enjoyable if not earthshaking, and that’s good enough for me. (by Ed Ward, Rolling Stone, 10/23/75.)

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Personnel:
Barry Bailey (guitar)
Buddy Buie (vocals)
J.R. Cobb (guitar, background vocals)
Dean Daughtry (keyboards)
Paul Goddard (bass)
Ronnie Hammond -(vocals, background vocals)
Robert Nix (drums, percussion, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Crazy (Buie/Nix/Daughtry) 3.09
02. Boogie Smoogie (Buie/Nix/Bailey) 8.04
03. Cuban Crisis (Buie/Nix/Cobb) 3.39
04. It Just Ain’t Your Moon (Buie/Nix/Daughtry) 4.51
05. Dog Days (Buie/Nix/Daughtry) 3.37
06. Bless My Soul (Cobb) 3.50
07. Silent Treatment (Buie/Nix/Bailey) 5.16
08. All Night Rain (Buie/Nix/Daughtry/McRee) 3.13

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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

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.

MaggieBell04

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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