Humble Pie – Joint Effort (2019)

FrontCover1A showcase for former Small Faces’ frontman Steve Marriott and one-time Herd guitar virtuoso Peter Frampton, the hard rock outfit Humble Pie formed in Essex, England in 1969. Also featuring ex-Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley along with drummer Jerry Shirley, the fledgling group spent the first several months of its existence locked away in Marriott’s Essex cottage, maintaining a relentless practice schedule. Signed to the Immediate label, Humble Pie soon issued their debut single “Natural Born Boogie,” which hit the British Top Ten and paved the way for the group’s premiere LP, As Safe as Yesterday Is.

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After touring the U.S. in support of 1969’s Town and Country, Humble Pie returned home only to discover that Immediate had declared bankruptcy. The band recruited a new manager, Dee Anthony, who helped land them a new deal with A&M; behind closed doors, Anthony encouraged Marriott to direct the group towards a harder-edged, grittier sound far removed from the acoustic melodies favored by Frampton. As Marriott’s raw blues shouting began to dominate subsequent LPs like 1970’s eponymous effort and 1971’s Rock On, Frampton’s role in the band he co-founded gradually diminished; finally, after a highly charged U.S. tour which yielded 1971’s commercial breakthrough Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore, Frampton exited Humble Pie to embark on a solo career.

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After enlisting former Colosseum guitarist Dave “Clem” Clempson to fill the void, Humble Pie grew even heavier for 1972’s Smokin’, their most successful album to date. However, while 1973’s ambitious double studio/live set Eat It fell just shy of the Top Ten, its 1974 follow-up Thunderbox failed to crack the Top 40. After 1975’s Street Rats reached only number 100 before disappearing from the charts, Humble Pie disbanded; while Shirley formed Natural Gas with Badfinger alum Joey Molland, and Clempson and Ridley teamed with Cozy Powell in Strange Brew, Marriott led Steve Marriott’s All-Stars before joining a reunited Small Faces in 1977.

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In 1980, Marriott and Shirley re-formed Humble Pie with ex-Jeff Beck Group vocalist Bobby Tench and bassist Anthony Jones. After a pair of LPs, 1980’s On to Victory and the following year’s Go for the Throat, the group mounted a troubled tour of America: after one injury-related interruption brought on when Marriott mangled his hand in a hotel door, the schedule was again derailed when the frontman fell victim to an ulcer. Soon, Humble Pie again dissolved; while Shirley joined Fastway, Marriott went into seclusion. At the dawn of the 1990s, he and Frampton made tentative plans to begin working together once more, but on April 20, 1991, Marriott died in the fire which destroyed his 16th century Arkesden cottage. He was 44 years old. (by Jason Ankeny)

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And here´s a Humble Pie album that’s remained in the vaults since 1975.

Joint Effort comes out on Feb. 8, and finds the band recording in its own Clear Sounds studio between 1974 and 1975. But the album was ultimately rejected by their label at the time, A&M.

The LP’s title reflects the work made by Steve Marriott and bassist Greg Ridley on a project outside of the band at the time. But after a stretch where Marriott unsuccessfully lobbied to be Mick Taylor’s replacement in the Rolling Stones and the group saw its U.S. profile raised due to Eat It and Smokin’, they reconvened with guitarist Dave Clempson and drummer Jerry Shirley.

In addition to never-before-heard originals, Joint Effort contains covers of songs recorded by the Beatles (“Rain”), Betty Wright (“Let Me Be Your Lovemaker”) and James Brown (“Think”). The first two tracks eventually made their way onto Street Rats, the last album Humble Pie made with the classic lineup.

“Everything was so self-destructive at that point,” Shirley recalled of that period. “Everybody was doing everything in a dozen different directions and nothing was getting done. … Steve’s way of dealing with things was buying an ounce of coke every other day and burying himself in his studio. When you’ve got nothing but carte blanche studio time and all the coke in the world, all you do is record.” (Dave Lifton)

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As someone who has always been a huge fan of Humble Pie and all things Steve Marriott the news that a new album that had “remained in the vaults since 1975 will finally be released next month” was like several Christmases coming all at once. ‘Joint Effort’ duly arrived for review and as I tend to do when I review, I read nothing about it and did not research anything until I’d had a few spins and got my initial thoughts down.

Recorded in their own Clear Sounds Studio between 1974 and 1975, the album we have here contains the music put together by Steve Marriott and Greg Ridley as a side project before Pie gained momentum again due to the classic albums ‘Eat It’ and ‘Smokin” taking hold in the U.S. As a result Pie regrouped with Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson and Jerry Shirley and the recordings were ultimately rejected by A&M.

Sounded great, but even glancing at the tracklisting that first time made me wonder if maybe this collection of “never-before-heard originals, (and) covers of songs recorded by the Beatles (“Rain”), Betty Wright (“Let Me Be Your Lovemaker”) and James Brown (“Think”)” was indeed something new.

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I mean re=recorded versions of ‘Rain’ and “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ were both on the bands 1975 album ‘Street Rats’ then as soon as the metaphorical ‘needle hit the groove’ I realised that this album hasn’t exactly languished in the vaults since 1975 – I already had a copy of it titled ‘Running With the Pack’ which saw release on Alchemy Entertainment a mere 20 years ago in 1999! Not only that the Alchemy release also contained four live tracks from what was then at the time Humble Pie’s last show in the States in 1973.

Of course if you’re a ‘Pie’ fan then you’ll still be interested if you haven’t picked up that prior release (or the limited edition reissue on the same label in 2003). The sessions (or demos as Alchemy perhaps more correctly called them) feature the line-up of Steve Marriott, Greg Ridley, Dave ‘Clem’ Clempson, and Jerry Shirley, and do see the band focussing more on the Rhythm and Blues and Soul aspects of their sound than the harder edged Rock.

The one and only Dave  Clempson:
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Notwithstanding the fact that these sessions are 50% covers (and you have to remember that Pie were the masters of taking a song and twisting it to make it their own), there is some great material here.

After the blazin’ funk of ‘Think’ which to me just reconfirms that Marriott had one of the best soul voices out there come the soulful ‘This Ol’ World’ and ‘Midnight Of My Life’ which do suggest a more soulful future for the Pie. But it’s Betty Wright’s ‘Let Me Be Your Lovemaker’ that really outshines here – all blues fueled hard rocking bluster that sees Ridley take lead vocal (‘Street Rats’ sees and even heavier version of the song).

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The Beatles ‘Rain’ gets the party treatment and the best original here – ‘Snakes & Ladders’ returns to the hard rock, and ‘Good Thing’ adds more blues, before the emotion, piano and blues of the again Ridley sung ‘A Minute Of Your Time.’ We close with a funky rocker from Marriott ‘Charlene’ and an instrumental take on the song that kicked us off in ‘Think 2.’

Oddly despite the line-up at the time the cover shot of this ‘re-issue’ prominently features Peter Frampton (who left the band four years before this album was recorded) rather than ‘Clem’ Clempson who replaced him in the band, it’s rather poor form from the label.

The big mystery of course is why this album was shelved in the first place as it’s just as good as the albums that followed it. (Mark Diggins)

And … I just can’t understand why they used pictures from the Peter Framptron period for the cover and the booklet.

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Personnel:
Dave Clempson (guitar)
Steve Marriott (guitar, vocals, keyboards, harmonica)
Greg Ridley (bass, vocals)
Jerry Shirley (drums, percussion)
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unknown brass section
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Tracklist:
01. Think (Brown) 3.47
02. This Ol’ World (Ridley/Marriott) 3.28
03. Midnight Of My Life (Marriott) 4.04
04. Let Me Be Your Lovemaker (Wright/Reid/Clarke) 4.49
05. Rain (Lennon/McCartney) 5.55
06. Snakes & Ladders (Marriott) 3.59
07. Good Thing (Ridley/Marriott) 1.56
08. A Minute Of Your Time (Ridley) 3.47
09. Charlene (Marriott) 4.14
10. Think 2 (Brown) 3.35

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Eberhard Weber – Yellow Fields (1975)

FrontCover1Eberhard Weber (born 22 January 1940, in Stuttgart, Germany) is a German double bassist and composer. As a bass player, he is known for his highly distinctive tone and phrasing. Weber’s compositions blend chamber jazz, European classical music, minimalism and ambient music, and are regarded as characteristic examples of the ECM Records sound.

Weber began recording in the early 1960s, and released The Colours of Chloë (ECM 1042), his first record under his own name, in 1973. In addition to his career as a musician, he also worked for many years as a television and theater director. He has designed an electric-acoustic bass with an additional string tuned to C.

Weber’s music, often in a melancholic tone, frequently utilizes ostinatos, yet is highly organized in its colouring and attention to detail. He was an early proponent of the solid-body electric double bass, which he has played regularly since the early 1970s.

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From the early 1960s to the early 1970s, Weber’s closest musical association was with pianist Wolfgang Dauner. Their many mutual projects were diverse, from mainstream jazz to jazz-rock fusion to avant-garde sound experiments. During this period, Weber also played and recorded with pianists Hampton Hawes and Mal Waldron, guitarists Baden Powell de Aquino and Joe Pass, The Mike Gibbs Orchestra, violinist Stephane Grappelli, and many others.

Starting with The Colours of Chloë, Weber has released 13 more records under his own name, all on ECM. The ECM association also led to collaborations with other ECM recording artists such as Gary Burton (Ring, 1974; Passengers, 1976), Ralph Towner (Solstice, 1975; Solstice/Sound and Shadows, 1977), Pat Metheny (Watercolors, 1977), and Jan Garbarek (10 recordings between 1978 and 1998).

EberhardWeber06In the mid-1970s Weber formed his own group, Colours, with Charlie Mariano (soprano saxophone, flutes), Rainer Brüninghaus (piano, synthesizer) and Jon Christensen (drums). After their first recording, Yellow Fields (1975), Christensen left and was replaced by John Marshall. The group toured extensively and recorded two further records, Silent Feet (1977) and Little Movements (1980), before disbanding.

Since the early 1980s, Weber has regularly collaborated with the British singer-songwriter Kate Bush, playing on four of her last six studio albums (The Dreaming, 1982; Hounds of Love, 1985; The Sensual World, 1989; Aerial, 2005).

During the 1980s, Weber toured with Barbara Thompson’s jazz ensemble Paraphernalia.

Since 1990, Weber’s touring has been limited, and he has had only two new recordings under his own name: The 2001 release Endless Days is an elemental fusion of jazz and classical music flavors, fitting well the moniker chamber jazz. His main touring activity during that period was as a regular member of the Jan Garbarek Group. On the occasion of his 65th birthday, in March, 2005 he recorded Stages of a Long Journey, a live concert with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and featuring Gary Burton, Wolfgang Dauner and Jan Garbarek. In 2009 ECM also re-released his albums Yellow Fields, Silent Feet and Little Movements as a 3-CD collection titled “Colours”.

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In 2007, Weber suffered a stroke and was subsequently unable to perform.[3] In a January 2010 interview with Die Welt, he spoke about his medical condition and future projects.[4]

Weber was awarded the prestigious Albert Mangelsdorff-Preis in November 2009. A box set of his 1970s works was released by ECM Records the same month.

Weber’s latest albums, Résumé (2012) and Encore (2015) comprise solos from his performances worldwide with The Jan Garbarek Group, overdubbed with keyboards/treatments by Weber, sax by Garbarek, and flügelhorn by Ack Van Rooyen.

His autobiography, Résumé, was published in 2015. An English translation by Heidi Kirk – Eberhard Weber: A German Jazz Story – is due to be published in October 2021.

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Yellow Fields is the second solo album by German double bassist and composer Eberhard Weber recorded in 1975 and released on the ECM label.

The Allmusic review awarded the album four out of five stars.[2] The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded it the maximum four stars and placed it in their Core Collection, writing “Weber’s masterpiece is essentially a period piece which nevertheless still seems modern. The sound of it is almost absurdly opulent: bass passages and swimming keyboard textures that reverberate from the speakers, chords that seem to hum with huge overtones. The keyboard textures in particular are of a kind that will probably never be heard on record again.” (wikipedia)

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Since the 1970s when I first bought my copy of this LP, it has been my favorite Eberhard Weber recording, especially the second song on side one, ‘Sand-Glass’. That song casts a spell, especially Weber’s solos. Mariano’s playing is also magical. This LP is a must for Eberhard Weber fans. (by Charles Freeland)

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Personnel:
Rainer Brüninghaus (keyboards)
Jon Christensen (drums)
Charlie Mariano (saxophone, shenai, nagaswaram)
Eberhard Weber (bass)

EberhardWeber01Tracklist:
01. Touch 5.00
02. Sand-Glass 15.31
03. Yellow Fields 10.05
04. Left Lane 13.37

Music composed by Eberhard Weber

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Vienna Philharmonic & Willi Boskovsky – New Year´s Concert 1975 (1975)

FrontCover1The Vienna New Year’s Concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is an annual concert of classical music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic on the morning of New Year’s Day in Vienna, Austria. The concert occurs at the Musikverein at 11:15. The orchestra performs the same concert programme on 30 December, 31 December, and 1 January but only the last concert is regularly broadcast on radio and television.

The concert programmes always include pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. On occasion, music principally of other Austrian composers, including Joseph Hellmesberger Jr., Joseph Lanner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Otto Nicolai (the Vienna Philharmonic’s founder), Emil von Reznicek, Franz Schubert, Franz von Suppé, and Carl Michael Ziehrer has featured in the programmes. In 2009, music by Joseph Haydn was played for the first time, where the 4th movement of his “Farewell” Symphony marked the 200th anniversary of his death. Other European composers such as Hans Christian Lumbye, Jacques Offenbach, Émile Waldteufel, Richard Strauss, Verdi, and Tchaikovsky have been featured in recent programmes. (wikipedia)

You can find more informations about the Vienna New Year’s Concert here.

Musikverein concert hall, Vienna

Willibald Karl Boskovsky (16 June 1909 – 21 April 1991) was an Austrian violinist and conductor, best known as the long-standing conductor of the Vienna New Year’s Concert.

Boskovsky was born in Vienna, and joined the Vienna Academy of music at the age of nine. He was the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic from 1939 to 1971. He was also, from 1955, the conductor of the Vienna New Year’s Concert, which is mostly devoted to the music of Johann Strauss II and his contemporaries. Along with the Vienna Philharmonic, he was also the chief conductor of the Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester up until his death. A forerunner of this ensemble was the 19th-century Strauss Orchestra founded by Johann Strauss I in 1835. He died in Visp, Switzerland.

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In chamber ensemble he led the Boskovsky Quartet with Philipp Matheis (2nd violin), Gunther Breitenbach (viola) and Nikolaus Hübner (violoncello). The Boskovsky Quartet, together with Johann Krump (double-bass), Alfred Boskovsky (clarinet), Josef Veleba (horn) and Rudolf Hanzl (bassoon) formed the Vienna Octet.

Boskovsky was also a Mozart performer: he recorded all the sonatas for violin and piano, with pianist Lili Kraus, and the complete trios for violin, piano and cello, with Kraus and Nikolaus Hübner for Les Discophiles Français. He played in Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor, Op.102, with Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

A month after his last New Year’s Concert, after having already agreed with Alfred Altenburger to conduct again in 1980, on January 30, 1979, he was hit by a stroke, which caused him a slight paralysis on the right side. In October 1979, the convalescence being too slow, he communicated his decision to give up and the orchestra asked Lorin Maazel, designated director of the Wiener Staatsoper, to carry on the tradition of these concerts.

He died in Visp, Valais (Switzerland) at the age of 81. (wikipedia)

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So, whoever likes it … into the fun with all these waltzes and polkas, which even I occasionally let myself be enchanted by.

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Personnel:
Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Willi Boskovsky

The German edition:
German Edition

Tracklist:
01. Ouverture zur Operette „Waldmeister“ 9.34
02. Bei uns z’Haus (Walzer. Op. 361) 7.52
03. Stadt und Land (Polka Mazurka. Op. 322) 3.13
04. Liebeslieder (Walzer. Op. 114) 7.19
05. Explosions-Polka (Op. 43) 2.02
06. Annen-Polka (Op. 117) 3.50
07. Leichtes Blut (Polka schnell. Op. 319) 2.29
08. Auf der Jagd (Schnell-Polka Op. 373) 2.10
09. Csárdás (from the opera „Ritter Pázmán“. Op. 441) 4.09
10. Perpetuum Mobile (Musikalischer Scherz. Op. 257) 2.47
11. Vergnügungszug (Polka schnell. Op. 281) 2.55
12. Radetzky-Marsch (Op. 228) 3.16
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13. New Year´s Concert 1975 (uncut version) 54.42

music composed by Johann Strauß jun.
except on 12.: composed by Johann Strauß sen.

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Johnny Cash – Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany (1975)

FrontCover1John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Much of Cash’s music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. He was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging guitar rhythms, a rebelliousnesscoupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark all-black stage wardrobe which earned him the nickname “The Man in Black”.

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Born to poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas, Cash rose to fame in the burgeoning rockabilly scene in Memphis, Tennessee, after four years in the Air Force. He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”,[c] followed by “Folsom Prison Blues”, one of his signature songs. Alongside “Folsom Prison Blues”, his other signature songs include “I Walk the Line”, “Ring of Fire”, “Get Rhythm”, and “Man in Black”. He also recorded humorous numbers like “One Piece at a Time” and “A Boy Named Sue”, a duet with his future wife June called “Jackson” (followed by many further duets after their wedding), and railroad songs such as “Hey, Porter”, “Orange Blossom Special”, and “Rock Island Line”. During the last stage of his career, he covered songs by contemporary rock artists of the time; his most notable covers were “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails, “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden and, “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.

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Cash is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. His genre-spanning music embraced country, rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel sounds. This crossover appeal earned him the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. His music career was dramatised in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty good bootleg from a concert in 1975 and Johnny Cash sings all his fevoite songs and many of his hits.

A must for every Johnny Cash fan !

Recorded live at the Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany; September 15, 1975
Very good soundboard recording

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Pesonnel:
Johnny Cash (vocals, guitar)
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The Tennessee Three:
Marshall Grant (bass)
W.S. Holland (drums)
Bob Wootton (guitar)
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June Carter (vocals on
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background vocals:
Rosanne Cash – Anita Carter

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Tracklist:
01. Ring Of Fire (Carter/Kilgore) 3.18
02. Interlude 0.38
03. Man In Black (Cash) 2.22
04. Big River (Cash) 2.46
05. The Lady Came From Baltimore (Hardin) 2.15
06. Sunday Morning Coming Down (Kristofferson) 4.09
07. These Hands (Noack) 3.25
08. Five Feet High And Rising (Cash) 1.47
09. Pickin’ Time (Cash) 1.48
10. I Got Stripes (Willims/Cash) 2.10
11. Doin’ My Time (Skinner) 2.23
12. Cocaine Blues (Arnall) 3.18
13. Give My Love To Rose (Cash) 2.51
14. A Boy Named Sue (Silverstein) 3.34
15. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robertson) 3.56
16. The City Of New Orleans (Goodman) 4.14
17. Hey Porter (Cash) 1.13
18. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash) 1.30
19. Wreck Of The Old 97 (Cash/Johnson/Blake) 1.33
20. Orange Blossom Special (Rouse) 3.56
21. I Still Miss Someone (J.Cash/R.Cash) 2.19
22. Jackson (Wheeler/Leiber) 2:59
23. If I Were A Carpenter (Hardin) 2.28
24. It Ain’t Me, Babe (Dylan) 3.28
25. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Habershon/Gabriel/Carter) 2.44
26. Help Me (Gatlin) 2.54
27. I Walk The Line (Cash) 4.02

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Front + backcover of another bootleg edition:
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Caravan – Cunning Stunts (1975)

FrontCover1Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings, and Richard Coughlan in 1968. The band have never achieved the great commercial success that was widely predicted for them at the beginning of their career, but are nevertheless considered a key part of the Canterbury scene of progressive rock acts, blending psychedelic rock, jazz, and classical influences to create a distinctive sound.

The band were originally based in Whitstable, Kent, near Canterbury, but moved to London when briefly signed to Verve Records. After being dropped by Verve, the band signed to Decca Records, where they released their most critically acclaimed album, In the Land of Grey and Pink, in 1971. Dave Sinclair left after the album’s release and the group split up the following year. Hastings and Coughlan added new members, notably viola player Geoffrey Richardson, continuing on before splitting in 1978.

The band reformed several times in the following decades, and Caravan still remain active as a live band in the 21st century, despite Coughlan’s death in December, 2013.

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Cunning Stunts is the sixth studio album by the progressive rock band Caravan, released in 1975. It was their first album with the bass guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Mike Wedgwood. The title of the album is a spoonerism for “Stunning Cunts”, which is typical of their cheeky use of language. Three previous Caravan albums with titles that are also sexual plays on words are If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You (1970), In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971) and For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973). (wikipedia)

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“Cunning Stunts” is another superb Canterbury prog release from CARAVAN mixing all the right elements throughout. Songs range from more pop orientated (side A) to the side long epic “The Dabsong Conshirtoe” which shows a more progressive side of CARAVAN ( a six part movement). “Cunning Stunts” in many ways is actually my fav of CARAVAN’s output with some great gentle CAMEL-like canterbury keyboards and songs. Vocals are picture perfect with great harmonies and thoughtful backing vocals. The reason why I love this album is that although “Cunning Stunts” carries all the trademarks of classic CARAVAN they involve more CAMEL imagery than say SOFT MACHINE influences. A beautiful album worthy of your (by loserboy)

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The last of the great Caravan albums. The school playground humour of the title, and the rather nondescript sleeve disguise an excellent work which features many fine moments. The jazz influence which came to the fore on “Waterloo Lily” is seldom in evidence here, the album being among the band’s most accessible releases, while retaining a significant depth of Canterbury prog.

“The show of our lives” is a majestic opener, complete with chiming bells contributing to a veritable wall of sound. The stately pace and choral vocals give an almost stage show feel to the track. “Lover” and “No backstage pass” combine well to form a beautiful 10 minute piece which was to become a regular feature of their live set.

The “Dabsong concerto” occupies virtually all of side 2 of the LP. It carries many of the Caravan trademarks, with some fine instrumental work. It does tend to drift a bit midway through, but is brought back together by a reprisal of “The show of our lives” to end the track.

Overall, a slightly more commercial album than their previous offerings, but another classic Caravan release nonetheless. (by Easy Livin)

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Personnel:
Richard Coughlan (drums)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
Geoffery Richardson (viola, guitar, flute, whistle)
Dave Sinclair (keyboards)
Mike Wedgwood (bass, percussion, vocals, moog brass on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. The Show Of Our Lives (Murphy/Sinclair) 5.49
02. Stuck In A Hole (Hastings) 3.08
03. Lover (Wedgwood) 5.06
04. No Backstage Pass (Hastings) 4.35
05. Welcome The Day (Wedgwood) 4.01
06. The Dabsong Conshirtoe (Murphy/Sinclair) 18.00
06.1. The Mad Dabsong 2.15
06.2. Ben Karratt Rides Again 2.42
06.2. Pro’s And Con’s 2.29
06.3. Wraiks And Ladders 0.58
06.4. Sneaking Out The Bare Quare 4.25
06.5. All Sorts Of Unmentionable Things 5.11
07. Fear And Loathing In Tollington Park Rag (Richardson) 1.11
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08. Stuck In A Hole (single version) (Hastings) 3.11
09. Keeping Back My Love (previously unreleased) (Hastings) 5.14
10. For Richard (live 1974) (Coughlan/Hastings/D.Sinclair/R.Sinclair) 16.55

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What a great cover:
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Charlie Musselwhite – Goin’ Back Down South (1975)

FrontCover1Charles Douglas Musselwhite (born January 31, 1944) is an American electric blues harmonica player and bandleader, one of the white bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield. He has often been identified as a “white bluesman”. Musselwhite was reportedly the inspiration for Elwood Blues; the character played by Dan Aykroyd in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

Musselwhite was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to white parents. Originally claiming to be of partly Choctaw descent, in a 2005 interview he said his mother had told him he was of distant Cherokee descent. His family considered it natural to play music. His father played guitar and harmonica, his mother played piano, and a relative was a one-man band.

At the age of three, Musselwhite moved to Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a teenager, Memphis experienced the period when rockabilly, western swing, and electric blues were combining to give birth to rock and roll. That period featured Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and lesser-known musicians such as Gus Cannon, Furry Lewis, Will Shade, and Johnny Burnette. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln automobile. This environment was a school for music as well as life for Musselwhite, who eventually acquired the nickname Memphis Charlie.

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In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite then took off in search of the rumored “big-paying factory jobs” up the “Hillbilly Highway”, Highway 51 to Chicago, where he continued his education on the South Side, making the acquaintance of even more legends, including Lew Soloff, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. Musselwhite immersed himself completely in the musical life, living in the basement of and occasionally working at Jazz Record Mart (the record store operated by Delmark Records founder Bob Koester) with Big Joe Williams and working as a driver for an exterminator, which allowed him to observe what was happening around the city’s clubs and bars. He spent his time hanging out at the Jazz Record Mart, at the corner of State and Grand, and a nearby bar, Mr. Joe’s, with the city’s blues musicians, and sitting in with Williams and others in the clubs, playing for tips. There he forged a lifelong friendship with John Lee Hooker; though Hooker lived in Detroit, Michigan, the two often visited each other, and Hooker served as best man at Musselwhite’s third marriage to Henrietta Musselwhite. Gradually Musselwhite became well known around town.

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In time, Musselwhite led his own blues band, and after Elektra Records’ success with Paul Butterfield, he released the legendary album Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band in 1966 on Vanguard Records to immediate and great success. He took advantage of the clout this album gave him to move to San Francisco, where, instead of being one of many competing blues acts, he held court as the king of the blues in the exploding countercultural music scene, an exotic and gritty figure to the flower children. Musselwhite even convinced Hooker to move to California.

Since then, Musselwhite has released over 20 albums and has been a guest performer on albums by many other musicians, such as Bonnie Raitt’s Longing in Their Hearts and the Blind Boys of Alabama’s Spirit of the Century, both winners of Grammy Awards. He also performed on Tom Waits’s Mule Variations and INXS’s Suicide Blonde. He has won 14 Blues Music Awards, has been nominated for six Grammy Awards. received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Monterey Blues Festival and the San Javier Jazz Festival, in San Javier, Spain, and received the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

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In 1979, Musselwhite recorded The Harmonica According to Charlie Musselwhite in London for Kicking Mule Records, intended to accompany an instructional book; the album became so popular that it was released on CD. In June 2008, Blind Pig Records reissued the album on 180-gram vinyl with new cover art.

In 1990 Musselwhite signed with Alligator Records, a step that led to a resurgence of his career.

In 1998, Musselwhite appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000. He played the harmonica in the Louisiana Gator Boys, which featured many other blues and R&B legends, such as B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, Koko Taylor, Jimmie Vaughan, Dr. John, and Jack DeJohnette.

Over the years, Musselwhite has branched out in style. His 1999 recording, Continental Drifter, is accompanied by Cuarteto Patria, from Cuba’s Santiago region, the Cuban music counterpart of the Mississippi Delta. Because of political differences between Cuba and the United States, the album was recorded in Bergen, Norway, with Musselwhite’s wife handling the details.

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Musselwhite believes the key to his musical success was finding a style in which he could express himself. He said, “I only know one tune, and I play it faster or slower, or I change the key, but it’s just the one tune I’ve ever played in my life. It’s all I know.”

His past two albums, Sanctuary and Delta Hardware, were released by Real World Records.

Musselwhite played on Tom Waits’s 1999 album Mule Variations. He can be heard at the beginning of the song “Chocolate Jesus”, saying “I love it”. Waits has mentioned that this is his favorite part of the song.

In 2002, he was featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley: A Tribute!, performing the song “Hey Bo Diddley”.

Musselwhite lost both of his elderly parents in December 2005, in separate incidents. His mother, Ruth Maxine Musselwhite, was murdered.

Musselwhite joined the judging panel of the 10th annual Independent Music Awards, to assist independent musicians’ careers. He was also a judge for the 7th and 9th Independent Music Awards.

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Musselwhite was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. The same year, he appeared on the JW-Jones recording “Midnight Memphis Sun”, along with Hubert Sumlin. Also in 2010, he released the album The Well. In the title song he credits Jessica McClure’s ordeal as a child trapped in a well for over 58 hours in 1987 for inspiring him to quit drinking, stating,

She was trapped in there with a broken arm in the dark, in a life-and-death situation she was singing nursery rhymes to herself and being brave…It made my problems seem tiny. CharlieMusselwhite01So as a prayer to her and myself, I decided I wasn’t going to drink till she got out of that well. It was like I was tricking myself, telling myself that I wasn’t going to quit for good, just until she got out. It took three days to get her out, and I haven’t had a drink since.

For the first half of 2011, Musselwhite toured with the acoustic-electric blues band Hot Tuna. In the latter half of 2011, he went on tour with Cyndi Lauper, having played harmonica on her hit album Memphis Blues. While on this tour, he appeared with Lauper on Jools Holland’s television program Hootenanny on New Year’s Eve 2011, performing a modified arrangement of Lauper’s signature song, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.

In 2012, Musselewhite released the live album Juke Joint Chapel (recorded at the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, MS) which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. Musselwhite also teamed with Ben Harper to record the album Get Up!, which was released in January 2013. In January 2014, it won a Grammy Award for Best Blues Album.

In 2014 and 2015, he won a Blues Music Award in the category Best Instrumentalist – Harmonicist.

At the 40th Blues Music Awards ceremony in 2019, Musselwhite’s joint composition with Ben Harper, “No Mercy In This Land”, was named as ‘Song of the Year’. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 7th solo-album:

Combining two leftovers from Takin’ My Time with a much later session featuring Chicago pianist Lafayette Leake didn’t do much for this LP’s continuity, but it was nice to see the tracks see the light of day (especially Robben Ford’s jazz instro “Blue Stu,” a rare recorded example of him on alto sax). Musselwhite and Leake together proves a natural, especially on “On the Spot Boogie,” with Musselwhite quoting Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.” Musselwhite’s guitar playing makes its first appearance on vinyl here: the primitive country blues of “Taylor, Arkansas” and a nod to Earl Hooker’s slide playing, “Blue Steel.” (by Dan Forte)

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Personnel:
Pat Ford  (drums on 01., 03.)
Robben Ford (guitar, on 01., saxophone on 03.)
Tim Kaihatsu (guitar on 02., 03., 05. – 09.)
Lafayette Leake (piano on 02., 03., 05. – 09.)
Larry Martin (drums on 02., 03., 05. – 09.)
Charlie Musselwhite (vocals, harmonica, guitar on 02. + 06.)
Gerald Pederson (bass on 01., 03.)
Skip Rose (piano on 01., 03.)
Karl Sevareid (bass on 02., 03., 05. – 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Crazy For My Baby (Dixon) 2.53
02. Blue Steel (Musselwhite) 4.44
03. Take Me Back (Jacobs) 5.16
04. Blue Stu (R.Ford) 7.25
05. This Old Night Life (D.A.R.) 5.18
06. Taylor’s, Arkansas (Musselwhite) 2.46
07. Cut You Loose (D.A.R.) 4.14
08. If Trouble Was Money (D.A.R.) 5.17
09. On The Spot Boogie (Leake) 2-39

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Al Stewart – Modern Times (1975)

FrontCover1Alastair Ian Stewart (born 5 September 1945) is a British singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history.

Stewart is best known for his 1976 hit single “Year of the Cat”, the title song from the platinum album of the same name. Though Year of the Cat and its 1978 platinum follow-up Time Passages brought Stewart his biggest worldwide commercial successes, earlier albums such as Past, Present and Future from 1973 are often seen as better examples of his intimate brand of historical folk-rock, a style to which he returned in later albums.

Stewart is a key figure in British music and he appears throughout the musical folklore of the revivalist era. He played at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon, shared a London flat with a young Paul Simon, and hosted at the Les Cousins folk club in London in the 1960s.

AlStewart01Stewart has released 16 studio and three live albums since his debut album Bed-Sitter Images in 1967, and continues to tour extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK. His most recent release, Uncorked, was released on Stewart’s independent label, Wallaby Trails Recordings, in 2009.

Stewart has worked with Peter White, Alan Parsons, Jimmy Page, Richard Thompson, Rick Wakeman, Francis Monkman, Tori Amos, and Tim Renwick, and more recently has played with Dave Nachmanoff and former Wings lead-guitarist Laurence Juber.

Modern Times is Al Stewart’s sixth studio album, released in 1975. (wikipedia)

Surely the title is a bit of an allusion to the Past, Present and Future of its predecessor, but Modern Times also brought Al Stewart into the present, establishing his classic sound of folky narratives and Lennonesque melodies, all wrapped up in a lush, layered production from Alan Parsons. Hearing this production makes it clear that this is what was missing from Past, since it gives epics like the title track a real sense of grandeur that makes their sentiments resonate strongly. But it’s not just the improvement in production that makes Modern Times the beginning of Stewart’s classic period — his songwriting has leapt up and met his ambitions, as it retains the historical sweep of his earlier material but melds it to a melodic sensibility that’s alternately comforting and haunting. This skill is apparent throughout Modern Times, and is married to a sound that is its equivalent, making this an exquisite pop-prog gem. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Check out the line-up of this album …  !!!

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Personnel:
Tony Carr (percussion)
Gerry Conway (drums)
Stuart Cowell (dobro, guitar)
David Ellis (guitar)
George Ford (bass)
Isaac Guillory (guitar)
Peter Moss (bass)
Simon Nicol (guitar)
Tim Renwick (guitar)
Barry DeSouza (drums)
Graham Smith (harmonica)
Al Stewart (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Pete Wingfield (keyboards)
Peter Wood (keyboards, accordion)
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background vocals:
Brian Bennett – Neil Lancaster – Charles Mills
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Alan Parsons (string arrangements)

Alternate front + backcover:
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Tracklist:
01. Carol 4.25
02. Sirens Of Titan 2.51
03. What’s Going On? 4.05
04. Not The One 4.36
05. Next Time 4.21
06. Apple Cider Re-Constitution 5.20
07. The Dark And The Rolling Sea 5.30
08. Modern Times 8.15

All tracks composed by Al Stewart
except 08: composed by Dave Mudge & Al Stewart

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Abba – Arrival (1976)

FrontCover1ABBA is a Swedish pop supergroup formed in Stockholm in 1972 by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest. They are the most successful group to have taken part in the competition.

During the band’s main active years, it was composed of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. With the increase of their popularity, their personal lives suffered, which eventually resulted in the collapse of both marriages. The relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with latter compositions featuring darker and more introspective lyrics. After ABBA disbanded, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage, while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers.[5][6] Ten years after their disbanding, a compilation, ABBA Gold was released, which became a worldwide bestseller.

In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. A sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released in 2018. That same year it was announced that the band had recorded two new songs after 35 years of being inactive.

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Estimates of ABBA’s total record sales are over 380 million, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. ABBA were the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. They had eight consecutive number-one albums in the UK. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin America, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. ABBA were honoured at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when their hit “Waterloo” was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2015, their song “Dancing Queen” was inducted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.

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Arrival is the fourth studio album by the Swedish pop group ABBA. It was originally released in Sweden on 11 October 1976 by Polar Records. Recording sessions began in August 1975 and continued until September 1976 at Metronome and Glen studios in Stockholm, Sweden. It became one of ABBA’s most successful albums to date, producing three of their biggest hits: “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Released as a single earlier the same year (in March 1976), the track “Fernando” was included on the Australian and New Zealand versions of the album. Arrival was the best-selling album of 1977 in the United Kingdom and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The album was first released on compact disc (CD) in 1984 and then re-issued in digitally remastered form a total of four times; first in 1997, then in 2001, 2005 as part of The Complete Studio Recordings box set, and again in 2006 (as a special Deluxe Edition).

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By the time ABBA began working on their fourth album in August 1975, they had achieved a modest level of success around the world. It was with Arrival however, that they would achieve global superstardom. The first song to enter the studio was a track called “Boogaloo” on 4 August. Taking inspiration from the current disco sound (and in particular George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby”), the backing track was laid down.[2] The group knew that they had something big on their hands, as member Agnetha Fältskog remarked: “We knew immediately it was going to be massive.” With re-written lyrics, the song became known as “Dancing Queen,” and would go on to be ABBA’s biggest ever hit. Work on the song continued intermittently until December 1975 as the group’s activities were increasing in the latter half of the year as they saw a sudden surge in popularity in the United Kingdom and Australia. During this time they also recorded a song (in Swedish) for member Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s solo album, “Fernando.”

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In March 1976, with “Fernando” re-written with English lyrics, it was released as an ABBA single, becoming the group’s biggest hit to date – hitting No.1 in many countries, including a 14-week stay at No.1 in Australia. It was featured as the brand new track on their Greatest Hits album which was selling in huge numbers around that time, becoming the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK (in Australia, it was featured on the “Arrival” album placed between “Why Did It Have To Be Me” and “Tiger”). In the midst of this success, the group finally found time to return to the studio in late March. The next song they began working on was “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” which was to become yet another major hit worldwide. Member Benny Andersson has said that it is “one of our five best recordings.”

By the end of April two other songs had been laid down: “That’s Me” and “Why Did It Have to Be Me.” The latter was reworked into “Happy Hawaii” before ultimately arriving back at its original title with completely different lyrics and member Björn Ulvaeus on lead vocals as opposed to Faltskog and Lyngstad (“Happy Hawaii” would later be released as a B-side). A similar situation occurred with the next recording when a song entitled “Money, Money, Money” became “Gypsy Girl” and then back to its original title. “Money, Money, Money” would also be released as a single and become a major hit some months after the album’s eventual release.

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In June 1976, a TV special dedicated to the group (entitled ABBA-dabba-dooo!!) was filmed. Around the same time they recorded a song called “When I Kissed the Teacher,” which would become the opening track on their new album. Late July saw the next two tracks, “Tiger” and “Dum Dum Diddle” recorded. Considered by biographer Carl Magnus Palm as the “complete antithesis” of each other, the former being a hard rocker against the pure pop of the latter, both Lyngstad and Ulvaeus have expressed dissatisfaction with “Dum Dum Diddle,” with Ulvaeus admitting that it was a nonsense lyric he’d come up with in desperation. The next song to be recorded was “My Love My Life.” Originally titled “Monsieur Monsieur” and more upbeat, the song soon became a lush ballad with backing harmonies inspired by 10cc’s hit “I’m Not In Love.”

The final track to be recorded was an instrumental piece entitled “Ode to Dalecarlia.” Featuring Andersson prominently on keyboards, the track was renamed “Arrival” – a word that had already been decided as the title of their new album. By September 1976 work on the album was finished just as “Dancing Queen” was topping the charts all over the world. The album cover shots were taken of the group posing in and out of a Bell 47 helicopter at the Barkarby Airport, northwest of Stockholm. The now-renowned “mirrored-B” copyrighted ABBA logo, an ambigram designed by Rune Söderqvist in 1976 was also premiered on the album cover. Arrival was released on 11 October 1976.

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music critic Ken Tucker panned Arrival as “Muzak mesmerizing in its modality” and wrote, “By reducing their already vapid lyrics to utter irrelevance, lead singers Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog are liberated to natter on in their shrill voices without regard to emotion or expression.”In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide” (2004), music journalist Arion Berger gave Arrival four out of five stars and recommended its Universal reissue to consumers.

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The album became a major seller all over the world, becoming the top-selling album of 1977 in both the UK and West Germany for example. It housed three of ABBA’s biggest hits; “Dancing Queen,” “Money Money Money” and “Knowing Me Knowing You,” and in some territories a fourth with the inclusion of “Fernando” (which in most markets had featured on their earlier Greatest Hits album). “That’s Me” was released as a single in Japan only.

The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Arrival re-entered the UK album charts at #94 for the week of August 3, 2018, for the first time since 1979. (wikipedia)

Singles

Widely considered the Swedish foursome’s first classic album — and historically important as the first to use the now-famous mirror-B logo — 1976’s Arrival contains three huge hit singles, the dramatic “Money Money Money,” the downcast “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” and quite possibly the band’s finest four minutes, the absolutely perfect pop classic “Dancing Queen,” a combination of Spector-ian grandeur, McCartney-esque melody, and the indescribable vocals of Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The rest of ABBA’s fourth album is strikingly consistent and accomplished, from the sly, bouncy “When I Kissed the Teacher” to the atmospheric title track, making room in between for the three excellent singles and five other substantial pop tunes. Although three LPs and a greatest-hits compilation preceded it, Arrival is aptly titled, as this album announces the band’s move beyond bubblegum. (by Rovi Staff)

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Personnel:
Benny Andersson (synthesizer, piano, accordion, chimes, marimba, background vocals)
Agnetha Fältskog (vocals)
Anni-Frid Lyngstad (vocals)
Björn Ulvaeus (guitar, vocals on 08., background vocals)
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Ola Brunkert (drums, strings)
Lars Carlsson (saxophone)
Anders Dahl (strings)
Malando Gassama (percussion)
Anders Glenmark (guitar)
Rutger Gunnarsson (bass)
Roger Palm (strings, drums)
Janne Schaffer (guitar)
Lasse Wellander (guitar)

Inlet01A

Tracklist:
01. When I Kissed The Teacher (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
02. Dancing Queen (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus)  3.52
03. My Love, My Life (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.53
04. Dum Dum Diddle Ulvaeus (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.55
05. Knowing Me, Knowing You (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.02
06. Money, Money, Money (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus 3.07
07. That’s Me (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 3.16
08. Why Did It Have to Be Me? (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.21
09. Tiger (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 2.56
10. Arrival (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus) 3.02
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11. Fernando (B.Anderson/Ulvaeus/S.Anderson) 4.15

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The perfect Pop song of the Seventies:

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for a place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come to look for a king

Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah
You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, ooh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance

And when you get the chance

You are the Dancing Queen
Young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen
Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah

You can dance, you can jive
Having the time of your life, oh
See that girl, watch that scene
Dig in the Dancing Queen

John Mayall – Live At The BBC (2007)

FrontCover1On its own terms, most of this 14-track compilation of 1965-1967 recordings for BBC sessions (all but one of them dating from 1965-1967) is a worthwhile collection of supplementary work by John Mayall’s best Bluesbreakers lineups. If you’re a serious Mayall fan, however, be aware that you might have already bought this material in some form or another in the year or so previous to the release of this CD in early 2007. For the dozen 1965-1967 cuts all appear as bonus material on the 2006 U.K. expanded CD editions of the John Mayall Plays John Mayall, Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, and A Hard Road albums, all of which also include bonus tracks from non-LP singles, studio outtakes, and the like. If for some reason you do want to zero in on the BBC material exclusively, this has some decent live performances with both the Eric Clapton and Peter Green lineups of the Bluesbreakers. (The liner notes also admit it’s likely that the three tracks from October 25, 1965 feature not only Jack Bruce on bass during his brief Bluesbreakers stint, but also guitarist Jeff Kribit (sometimes spelled Geoff Krivit in other sources), who was in the group during a brief spell when Clapton left the band to go to Greece.)

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The BBC takes here of songs that also appear on Mayall’s official ’60s releases aren’t as good as the studio versions (and are sometimes very similar), but are still well done, though on the five tracks on which Clapton appears, he doesn’t seem to be playing with as much fire as he was capable of mustering. Of special interest are a few songs that Mayall didn’t put on his official ’60s recordings in any form, including a cover of Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bye Bye Bird” and (from the October 1965 session) two decent original Mayall compositions, “Cheating Woman” and “Nowhere to Turn.” Also note that while Mayall was leading the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers on the four songs from a January 23, 1967 session, it’s Mayall playing alone on one of these tracks, “No More Tears,” which would appear on his The Blues Alone LP. The two songs that end the CD are from an October 21, 1975 session, and are of far less interest than the other material, dating from a time where Mayall was a few years past his creative peak and leading a much less interesting band. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Ronnie Barron (keyboards on 13. + 14.)
Jack Bruce (bass on 04., 05., 06.
Eric Clapton (guitar on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08.
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 10., 11. + 12.)
Hughie Flint (drums on 01. – 12.)
Peter Green (guitar on 10., 11. + 12.)
Don “Sugarcane” Harris (violin on 13. + 14.)
Jeff Kirbit (guitar on 04., 05., 06
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
Dee McKinnie (vocals on 13. + 14.)
John McVie (bass on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08., 10., 11.
Soko Richardson (drums on 13. + 14.)
Larry Taylor (bass on 13. + 14.)
Rick Vito (guitar on 13. + 14.)

Booklet01+02

Tracklist:
01. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 2.07
02. Crocodile Walk (Mayall)
03. Bye Bye Bird (Williamson/Dixon) 2.49
04. I´m Your Witchdoctor (Mayall) 2.11
05. Cheating Woman (Mayall) 2.03
06. Nowhere To Run (Mayall) 1.42
07. On Top Of The World (Mayall) 2.33
08. Key To Love (Mayall) 2.02
09. No More Tears (Mayall) 2.18
10. Riding On The L And N (Burley/Hampton) 2.19
11. Sitting In The Rain (Mayall) 2.53
12. Leaping Christine (Mayall) 1.55
13. So Much To Do (Mayall) 5.31
14. Taxman Blues (Mayall) 3.50

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Gabor Szabo – Macho (1975)

FrontCover1Macho is an album by Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó featuring performances recorded in 1975 and released on the Salvation label.

Macho is right. This 1975 album is one of the headiest in the Hungarian-born guitarist Gabor Szabo’s entire catalog. Produced by Bob James, the album is deep in fretless Fender basslines courtesy of Louis Johnson, funky Rhodes pianos and synthesizers from James and former Mother of Invention Ian Underwood, guitar savvy from Szabo with Eric Gale on rhythm, and a horn section that features no less than George Bohanon, Jon Faddis, and Tom Scott, with the venerable Harvey Mason Sr. on drums. This is a tough, in-your-face, funky soul-jazz band. Szabo’s sense of camp was eternal as he covers, disco-style, Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody #2,” but slips into the souled-out groove-jazz of his own “Time,” without a seam. Szabo’s playing, with its mysterious, liquid runs and razor sharp melodic sensibilities, is centered here by James, who attempts to make Szabo’s six strings be at the absolute dead-center of the mix. Tracks like James’ own “Transylvania Boogie,” (the long title track), and Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man,” offer a glimpse of Szabo as the consummate melodist: with teeth. Harmonically, this band was as disciplined as the charts would allow, giving nothing away in the ensemble sections. This is a tough, streetwise, commercial jazz album that has plenty to offer to anyone with an open mind. In the pocket, groove-soaked, and flawlessly executed. (by Thom Jurek)

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Although this didn’t knock me out quite as much as his classic “The Sorcerer” album, this CD is still a great listen. There is also less emphasis on Szabo’s stellar guitar playing and more of a cooperative band approach to the compositions on this album. And that’s not a bad thing, especially considering the talent on offer here: Eric Gale on rhythm guitar, Bob James (who also produced this album for CTI) on piano, Louis Johnson (yes, one of the Brothers Johnson) on bass, Harvey Mason on drums, Tom Scott on sax, Jon Faddis on trumpet, and a percussion duo of Ralph MacDonald and Idris Muhammad. Can you say: Jamming! Yes, this album works the rhythms and grooves, but Gabor and crew also handle the downtempo stuff with grace and precision. I love, for example, their take on Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man.” Marvelous stuff. (Donald E. Gilliland)

Recorded at Kendun Recorders in Burbank, California on April 3, 4, 5, 7 & 8, 1975

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Personnel:
George Bohanon (trombone)
Scott Edwards (bass)
John Faddis (trumpet)
Eric Gale (guitar)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
Bob James (keyboards)
Louis Johnson (bass)
Ralph MacDonald (percussion)
Harvey Mason (drums)
Idris Muhammad (percussion)
Tom Scott (saxophone, lyricon)
Gábor Szabó (guitar)
Ian Underwood (synthesizer)

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Tracklist:
01. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (Liszt) 6.46
02. Time (Szabó) 5.31
03. Transylvania Boogie (James) 5.27
04. Ziggidy Zog (Mason) 5.57
05. Macho (Szabó) 9-09
06. Poetry Man (Snow) 4.25

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Gábor István Szabó (March 8, 1936 – February 26, 1982)

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