Polish Radio Orchestra + Peter Sanders & His Players -Melody & Rhythm – Volume 10 (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGI am really excited and anxious to find out what kind of reception this new “Melody & Rhythm” album will get from our listeners and professional programme builders. However I am confident that the originality of the musical ideas offered by Polish composers, arrangers and performer is much to good to be ignored. I would even go further and dare to suspect that the style and somehow peculiar mixture of their kind of pop music will be imitated and followed by the Anglo-Saxon leaders in this field an will ceate a new fashion. Obviosly everybody admires the genius of great Polish composers and musicians in the field of serious and avant-garde music, but this time please listen to their “instrumental pops”, convincingly played by the Polish Radio Orchestra and you will get, I hope, a few nice surprices.

Peter Sander was born in Hungary bt settled in this country when he was still very young. His musical career as a composer, arranger and pianist is quite impressive and covers a wide range of serious and commercial music. Between writing the scores for films and conducting sessions in a recording studio, he finds time to hold the post of lecturer in composiion at the Institute of Adult Education in London.

Peter was very pleased with the kind of combination chosen for our album. The instrumentation of two flutes and bass-clarinet with a light rhythm section of harpsichord, piano, bass-guitar and tuned percussion he found ideal for his sensitive musical taste. In effect he offers a refreshing sound, delicate yet colourful. The excellent quality of the recording makes the listening a pleasant experience (by Richard Frank, taken from the origiaal liner notes).

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On side one we hear a real crazy mixture of very different styles … from Discosound (“Bej-Ge-Le”), to sentimentals ballads (“Theme In A-Minor”, “Feminine Touch”), Funk (“Hurry, Hurry”) and Big Band Jazz (“The Curtain Goes Up “)

On side B we hear Peter Sanders & His Players …. and he played in a really soft and gentle way … the interaction between the flutes and the bass is really intersting and nice.

Peter Sanders sounds like music from fairy tales …

Some informations about the producer of this album, Richard Frank and the Apollo Sound label:

Richard Frank (Henry Richard Spritzer Frank) is a Polish composer, producer and music publisher. Associated with publisher Anglo-Continental Music Co., based in Denmark Street, London, who notably had a contract with Apollo Sound.

Apollo Sound:
British label based at 32 Ellerdale Road, London and largely centered around composer/publishers Albert Kunzelmann, Heinz Herschmann and Richard Frank.
The catalogue features composers from both the UK and continental Europe, including Poland, the former Yugoslavia and Hungary. Some of the material appears to be licensed. And this label is still active.

So here is a very rare libary music album .

Enjoy !

ApolloSoundWebsite.jpgThe Apollo Sound website

Personnel:
Polish Radio Orchestra (01. – 07.)
Peter Sanders & His Players (08. – 14.)

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Tracklist:

Polish Radio Orchestra:
01. Bej-Ge-Le (Sikora) 2.13
02. Theme In A-Minor (Żylis) 2.51
03. Hurry, Hurry (Gernard) 2.42
04. Abdul Ben Omar (Mikuła) 2.46
05. Feminine Touch (Maliszewski) 2.29
06. The Curtain Goes Up (Kalemba) 3.15
07. Why Do You Say Goodbye (Gernard) 2.27

Peter Sander And His Players:
08. Love At First Sight (Chubb/Sander/Moncrieff) 3.54
09. Let Me Do It (Deryng/Lauri/Crandell) 2.44
10. Dyevushka (Maylin/Elcome/Molescu) 4.53
11. I’ll Be With You (Wellgarth/Sander/Konar) 3.19
12. Sometime, Somewhere (Liebana/Elcome/Moncrieff) 3.37
13. Tell Me More (Korten/Chubb/Moncrieff) 3.42
14. Fairy Tale (Liebana/Meldrum/Elcome) 4.17

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Jess Roden Band – Blowin´(1977)

FrontCover1.JPGSinger/guitarist Jess Roden was born in Kidderminster in England’s West Midlands, and his first band was the Shakedown Sounds. In 1967, he joined the Alan Bown Set as their new lead singer. Although their records never charted nationally, he did pick up a fandom in London (and belatedly became something of a star on the Northern Soul scene) with the release of their single “Emergency 999.” He remained with the Bown group through 1970, after which he formed the band Bronco, and later worked on Wildlife, the third Mott the Hoople album, and with Keef Hartley on the album Lancashire Hustler. In the mid-’70s, he teamed up with ex-Doors John Densmore and Robby Krieger in the Butts Band, and sang on their first album. Roden finally emerged as a solo artist in his own right in the mid-’70s on Island Records, with his 1974 self-titled solo album, which was cut in New Orleans and included Allen Toussaint and Art Neville on keyboards. His albums throughout the ’70s got great reviews but he never saw any significant sales; in between his own work, he managed to sing and play on albums by Carol Grimes, Jim Capaldi, Stomu Yamashta, Sandy Denny, and Grace Jones. He was with the group Rivits on Island for one album at the outset of the ’80s. (by Bruce Eder)

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The former gravel-voiced Butts Band shouter sounds riotously confident on this live album, which has no real agenda except documenting a hot night before a British college crowd. Roden’s band is slick and proficient, with guitarists Bruce Roberts and Steve Webb being the standouts, though percussionist/saxophonist Ron Taylor gets lots of space, too. Roden and company manage to show themselves as diverse performers and crowd-pullers at the same time — no mean feat when hits drove the engine of ’70s mass-market rock. The preeminent sound is slinky, laid-back pop-funk, as exemplified on story songs like “The Ballad of Big Sally” or “Me and Crystal Eye.” Cut from similarly breezy cloth, “In a Circle” is an example of how Lowell George might have sounded if he’d grown up across the pond. The band stretches out on “Can’t Get Next to You,” which dips into the blues bag, but Roden’s husky howl shines brightest on the glistening title track (which also makes clever use of varying internal rhymes). There’s also a blistering boogie in “Jump Mama,” where Roden pushes his throat in the manner of peers like Frankie Miller and Maggie Bell. The album ends on an unconventional note with a brief, piano-led reprise of “Blowin’.” Unlike many live albums of this period, there’s no side-long solos to pad out an average evening — just a proficient band and their frontman throwing down before a packed house. The story would change after Britain went punk, but there’s no denying what Roden could offer. This isn’t an easy album to find, but worth the hunt if you see it. (by Ralph Heibutzki)

Recorded live at the Birmingham Town Hall & Leicester University, Autumn 1976

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Personnel:
John Cartwright (bass)
Chris Gower (trombone, perussion)
Pete Hunt (drums)
Billy Livsey (keyboards, vocals)
Bruce Roberts (guitar, vocals)
Jess Roden (vocals)
Ron Taylor (saxophone, vocals)
Steve Webb (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The Ballad Of Big Sally (Cartwright/Roberts) 5.51
02. In A Circle (Webb/Cartwright) 5.51
03. Desperado (Henley/Frey) 7.34
04. Me And Crystal Eye (Roden) 7.01
05. Blowin’ (Roden/Cartwright)
06. Jump Mama (Roden) 4.59
07. Blowin’ (Reprise) (Roden/Cartwright) 2.43
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08. Blowin´ Side 1 (uncut version) 19.19
09. Blowin´ Side 2 (uncut version) 19.51

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I add the inlet fo this album: An Island Catalogue from spring 1977:

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Little Bob Story – High Time (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThis is the story of Roberto Piazza aka Little Bob, the diminutive French rocker whose band Little Bob Story rode the crest of the New Wave in the UK during the late 70s showing there was more depth and edge to French rock ‘n’ roll than Johnny Halliday

For those who recall the opening salvoes of the original Punk Wars in the UK, in the late months of 1976 and the first few months of 1977, if you wanted to hear Punk Rock, there wasn’t much recorded evidence of it. Moreover, in that period, inside the (London-based) Music Press bubble, there was an ongoing debate as to who and what exactly was ‘Punk’. Where there was no real recorded evidence, artists as varied as Graham Parker & The Rumour, Nils Lofgren, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and even Bruce Springsteen were given the adjective. Whilst those names were perhaps labelled thus more for attitude than actual back-to-basics musical values, there was, nonetheless, a fairly fevered press debate.

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If the Press and music-consuming public alike were a little confused, then record labels were also anxious to include under the ‘Punk’ (or, as it was sometimes known ‘New Wave’) banner any act that might, just might, snag enough of the audience curious enough to want to hear more. In 1977, the Phonogram Records label issued a mid-price sixteen-track ‘sampler’ album, entitled ‘New Wave’, which featured a leather-jacketed spike-haired Herbert ‘gobbing’ lager over the sleeve photographer. It pulled together an array of disparate acts that may or may not have been ‘Punk’. At the time, they distributed the US label, Sire Records, so included in the track listing were songs by The Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Dead Boys, Irish combo The Boomtown Rats and licensed-in stuff by The Damned, Patti Smith, Australian art-rockers Skyhooks, the all-girl combo The Runaways, and a cover of The Small Faces’ sixties smash, All Or Nothing, by French rockers Little Bob Story.

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Little Bob Story had played the Mont de Marsan Punk Festival in 1976, which was covered in the UK music papers at the time, alongside The Pink Fairies and Eddie & The Hot Rods. It turns out that ‘Little Bob’ was born in Italy, as Roberto Piazza, but his family relocated to the Northern French port town of Le Havre in 1958, when he was thirteen years of age. Being that age, at that time, meant that he was perfectly poised to be well and truly bitten by the bug of primal rock and roll. That proved to be the case. Around 1974, he convened Little Bob Story in his adoptive home town. With a deep-seated love of classic fifties rock and roll (which the French have always shared), and also an appreciation of the likes of The MC5 and The Flamin Groovies, as well as British sixties rock and rollers, he honed a stage act and a tightly-drilled band that found a wildly appreciative audience in France, and by the mid-seventies, his notoriety had started to spread to this side of the channel. Playing the Pub Rock circuit in London brought him to the attention of notable Brit musicians, including Lemmy Kilminster, when Little Bob opened for Motorhead at the time. Future notables Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Brian James (The Damned) checked out the Bobster, and were not disappointed.

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Little Bob was uncompromising in his desire to excite a live crowd, and had the requisite level of attitude all-important at the time. The band were rather more in the vein of Dr Feelgood (with whom they had gigged), or The Flamin’ Groovies in their pre-Beatle boots era circa 1972/73 when they cut a set of ferocious tracks released on the French Skydog label in 1975. They were straight-up celebratory rock and roll, with trace elements of rhythm and blues and sixties pop, not the shouty amateurishness of a lot of UK Punk bands, but very enjoyable, and radiating a good-time energy. Bob himself cut a diminutive figure, somewhat portly and clad in a red leather bikers jacket, and possessed of a rasping, quite high voice.

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In 1978, Little Bob Story released their second album, ‘Off The Rails’, on the Chiswick Records label, alongside Stiff one of the first UK indie outfits. It helped them secure a record deal with the RCA Victor label, for which the four albums on this month’s release The Collection were recorded, between 1978 and 1982. The band’s appetite for live work and canny knack for knocking out concise, appealing and very direct rock and roll make for a very entertaining listen from one of France’s most distinctive rock and roll combos.

Little Bob is still an active performing and recording artist, and by all accounts still puts on a rocking stage show with his band Blues Bastards. (by Jonathan Beckitt)

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High-energy French rock & rollers Little Bob Story came so close to proto-punk glory that they could almost smell it. Uncompromisingly fronted by the man-mountain Bob Piazza, but equally highlighted by the elegantly wasted scarecrow guitarist Guy George Gremy, Little Bob Story effortlessly bridged the gulf between the hooligan R&B of Eddie & the Hot Rods and the nihilistic adrenaline of all that was to follow. They were just a little too early, a little too hairy (bassist Barbe Noire would have melted into the Grateful Dead), and a little too French. And so it is with High Time. For every swaggering slash of feel-good Feelgoods bar-brawling blues (the title track, a decidedly MC5-ish interpretation of “Lucille”), there’s an over-earnest attempt to update Dylan; for every slab of brutal roots (“So Bad,” the Animals’ “I’m Crying”), there’s something like “Ho Suzy,” which really should have been a Chinn/Chapman B-side. Still, at its best, High Time is as grindingly blues-nasty as any album of its age, those last dark hours before punk dawned (and, lest we forget, even the Hot Rods’ earliest albums weren’t exactly hot-snot stoking from beginning to end, either). And, while the true majesty of Little Bob Story was the live show and a couple of singles on the British Chiswick label, High Time at least is allowed in the same room as them. (by Dave Thompson)

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Personnel:
Guy George Gremy (guitar)
Dominique Lelan (bass)
Dominique Quertier (drums)
Robert Piazza (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. High Time (Piazza/Quertier) 4.09
02. Delices Of My Youth (Piazza/Gremy) 3.01
03. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan) 4.07
04. You’ll Be Mine (Dixon) 3.29
05. Ho Suzy (Piazza/Gremy) 2.25
06. So Bad (Piazza) 4.16
07. Lucille (Collins/Penniman) 2.56
08. I Don’t Wanna Be A Loser (Piazza/Lelan) 4.14
09. I’m Crying (Burdon/Price) 4.07

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Various Artists (Keith Mansfield & Co.) – Pan-American Travelogue (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThe KPM Themes International library is a resounding example of KPM’s heritage. Founded in the ’70s by renowned composers of the day, this library was created to get back in touch with the popular music of the times. The result is an incredible testament to the music of its era, and a fantastic collection of archival gems.

The Themes International Vinyl Series were recorded throughout the 1970s and ‘80s by some of the greatest session musicians of our time including Madeline Bell and Brian Bennett. Founded by Alan Parker, the collection encapsulates the true essence of those decades. From soulful jazz and ultra-cool funk to breezy, carefree easy listening; you needn’t look any further for a diverse, classic catalogue. (apmmusic.com)

And here´s a nice funky album from 1976

You know: soulful jazz and ultra-cool funk to breezy, easy listening ….

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Personnel:
A bunch of great British studio musicians

Keith Mansfield

Tracklist:
01. Alan Parker: Home Freeway 2.56
02. Alan Parker: Unlimited Love 2.08
03. Keith Mansfield: Californian Freeway 3.17
04. Alan Hawkshaw: Broad Theme 2.30
05. Keith Mansfield: The Champions 2.19
06. Len Hunter: Underpass 3.03
07. Harry Roberts: Night Rider 2.40
08. Harry Roberts: Braziliana 3.19
09. Les Hurdle: Tequila Festival 2.22
10. The Frank Ricotti Quartet: Girl From Rio 2.55
11. Mike Moran: El Zoro 2.09
12. Keith Mansfield: L.A. Groove 2.55
13. Les Hurdle: Jellyroll 1.59

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Mike Moran

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgJailbreak is the sixth studio album by Irish hard rock band Thin Lizzy, released in 1976. It proved to be the band’s commercial breakthrough in the US, and the only Thin Lizzy album with a certification (in this case, Gold) in that country. The singles include “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back in Town”, the latter being Thin Lizzy’s biggest US hit, winning the 1976 NME Award for Best Single.

After their previous two albums, Nightlife and Fighting, failed to generate sales, Thin Lizzy were given one last chance by their label, Vertigo Records. The band wrote songs and collected ideas in a studio in Buckinghamshire in late 1975, then convened at Ramport Studios in London in the new year. The band selected John Alcock as their producer, as he had worked in the studio extensively. The band worked diligently through February on the album. However, guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson felt that the speed at which it was completed adversely affected its Ad.jpgquality. Both stated that the tightness of the songs made the album feel rigid. In particular, Robertson said he would have liked more freedom to improvise his lead guitar parts. Gorham also criticized Alcock’s production, saying that he didn’t particularly care for his guitar tone on the album.

“When I wrote ‘Warriors’…” frontman and songwriter Phil Lynott remarked in 1976, “the only way I could give any sense of heavy drug takers was by describing them as warriors; that they actually go out and do it. People like Hendrix and Duane Allman were perfectly aware of the position they were getting into. They weren’t slowly being hooked. It was a conscious decision to go out and take the thing as far as it can go.”

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Initially, the song “Running Back” was chosen to be a single ahead of “The Boys Are Back in Town”, the latter being seen as possibly too aggressive for some radio stations to play. Lynott and producer John Alcock decided to employ session musicians to add more commercial elements to some of the tracks and try to produce a hit single, so Tim Hinkley was brought in to add keyboard parts to “Running Back”.[4] Robertson was against the idea, as he liked the song as it had originally been arranged, in a blues format with his own additions of piano and bottleneck guitar. He later said, “I took enormous offence to [the changes]. I couldn’t understand why they’d pay this guy a fortune just for playing what he did. Listen to it and tell me it’s not bollocks.”[4] Robertson did not play on the finished version of the song and Hinkley is not credited on the album sleeve. Lynott said at the time that “Running Back” was “very much influenced by Van Morrison. I really like that song.” Hinkley later recalled, “Robbo and Scott were not keen on it at all but they were overruled.” Thirty-five years later, Robertson recorded his own versions of the song on his 2011 album Diamonds and Dirt.

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Scott Gorham also revealed that “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” was also brought up as an option for a single, but was ultimately discarded, as “nobody was overexcited about it.”

While touring to promote the album, in the US, Lynott was stricken with hepatitis. Finally, the tour management decided to cancel the remaining tour dates allowing him time to recuperate.

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau likened the album’s songs to Bruce Springsteen cast-offs, finding Lynott’s lyrical ideas “boring” and Gorham’s guitar lines “second-hand”.[9] Stuart Bailie of Classic Rock magazine referred back to Christgau’s appraisal, writing that both Springsteen and Lynott “were indebted to Van Morrison and his Celtic soul”, and remarked how on Jailbreak “Lynott’s best attributes were coming on strong.” (by wikipedia)

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Thin Lizzy found their trademark twin-guitar sound on 1975’s Fighting, but it was on its 1976 successor, Jailbreak, where the band truly took flight. Unlike the leap between Night Life and Fighting, there is not a great distance between Jailbreak and its predecessor. If anything, the album was more of a culmination of everything that came before, as Phil Lynott hit a peak as a songwriter just as guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson pioneered an intertwined, dual-lead guitar interplay that was one of the most distinctive sounds of ’70s rock, and one of the most influential. Lynott no longer let Gorham and Robertson contribute individual songs — they co-wrote, but had no individual credits — which helps tighten up the album, giving it a cohesive personality, namely Lynott’s rough rebel with a heart of a poet. Lynott loves turning the commonplace into legend — or bringing myth into the modern world, as he does on “Cowboy Song” or, to a lesser extent, “Romeo and the Lonely Girl” — and this myth-making is married to an exceptional eye for details; when the boys are back in town, they don’t just come back to a local bar, they’re down at Dino’s, picking up girls and driving the old men crazy.

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This gives his lovingly florid songs, crammed with specifics and overflowing with life, a universality that’s hammered home by the vicious, primal, and precise attack of the band. Thin Lizzy is tough as rhino skin and as brutal as bandits, but it’s leavened by Lynott’s light touch as a singer, which is almost seductive in its croon. This gives Jailbreak a dimension of richness that sustains, but there’s such kinetic energy to the band that it still sounds immediate no matter how many times it’s played. Either one would make it a classic, but both qualities in one record makes it a truly exceptional album. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar)
Phil Lynott (bass, vocals, guitar)
Brian Robertson (guitar)
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Tim Hinkley (keyboards on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Jailbreak (Lynott) 4.05
02. Angel From The Coast (Lynott/Robertson) 3.07
03. Running Back (Lynott) 3.17
04. Romeo And The Lonely Girl (Lynott) 3.59
05. Warriors (Lynott/Gorham) 4.13
06. The Boys Are Back In Town (Lynott) 4.31
07. Fight Or Fall (Lynott) 3.48
08. Cowboy Song (Lynott/Downey) 5.17
09. Emerald (Lynott/Robertson/Downey/Gorham) 4.05

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Patti Smith – I Never Talked To Bob Dylan (1976)

LPFrontCover1Following the breakthrough success of debut album Horses, punk poetess Patti Smith and her band released the radical Radio Ethiopia in 1976. The promising young group found themselves under immense pressure to create a record that would rival the fusion of poetry and rock n’ roll that had defined their explosive debut. Investing in producer Jack Douglas with the intention of a more commercially successful album, Radio Ethiopia in turn displayed the band venturing further into experimental, improvisational material. Patti even incorporated a Fender guitar on some tracks, but insisted she not learn how to play in hopes of channeling a transcendental rhythm that needn’t require any actual talent or capability of the instrument itself. Backlash from this approach saw Smith accused of tasteless self-indulgence and selling out. The album received harsh reviews upon initial release and was considered more inaccessible than her previous work. Barely reaching 122 on the US Billboard charts was slightly disappointing after the John Cale producedHorses had peaked at 47. Despite poor reception, the band embarked on a European tour to promote the new release in fall of 1976. And on October 3 rd, appearing live at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the most incendiary performances ever by the Patti Smith Group was recorded.

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Exuding an androgynous sensuality and remarkable sense of self-confidence onstage, Patti Smith really is a rock n’ roll tour de force. Opening the set with a unique rendition of Velvet Underground’s “We’re Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together” you immediately get the impression that those in attendance were undoubtedly a part of a pivotal moment in the progression of rock music. The group’s freestyle improvisational skills ensured that concertgoers were witnessing an entirely unique experience that would never quite be recreated. Pre-dating the sub genres of grunge and riot grrrl, the Patti Smith Group exemplified elements of both and is certainly considered highly influential by musicians to this day. It becomes apparent that Patti Smith is not only a talented artist, but also a genuine aficionado and lover of music herself. A generous portion of the group’s material paid homage to the poets and musicians who have served as inspirations to her. This searing set featured a thoughtful combination of new album material, some already appreciated gems from Horses, and a few choice covers sprinkled in for good measure. A bootleg recording of the concert was later released and is frequently referred to as I Never Talked To Bob Dylan. (by Lindsay Long)

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Rising from the New York punk movement of the 70’s, Patti Smith is an influential singer and musician known for combining spoken word poetry with primal garage rock. By 1976, she had released her debut Horses and the more raw-sounding Radio Ethiopia.

Her October 3rd, 1976 concert at The Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden was filmed and recorded for broadcast, documenting this early stage in her career. Prior to the internet, the audio portion had been circulated among fans with the bootleg title, ‘I Never Talked To Bob Dylan,’ a slight reference to the short interview that accompanied the performance.

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Smith’s influence by The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed is well represented with the covers ‘Real Good Time Together’ and ‘Pale Blue Eyes’. Actually, there are quite a few cover songs here including the classics ‘Louie Louie,’ ‘Gloria,’ and the Smith original ‘Land’ which includes yet another rock classic, ‘Land Of 1,000 Dances.’ Patti’s version of The Rolling Stone’s ‘Time Is On My Side’ is prefaced by her own spoken-word piece.

‘Ask The Angels’ and ‘Land’ stand out as highlights of this show as well as a representation of the performances that inspired Gilda Radner’s Candy Slice character on SNL in the 70’s. (borntolisten.com)

In other words: this is a wonderful high energy performance (a broadcast recording) from the early days of Patti Smith, one of finest Rock N Roll artists of all time !

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Alternate CD front + back cover

Personnel:
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums)
Lenny Kaye (guitar)
Ivan Kraal (bass)
Andrew Paley (keyboards)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Reed) 2.32
02. Redondo Beach (Kaye/Smith/Sohl) 3.57
03. Free Money (Kaye/Smith) 3.51
04. Pale Blue Eyes (Reed) 5.15
05. Ask The Angels (Kral/Smith) 3.21
06. Ain’t It Strange (Kral/Smith) 8.19
07. Time Is On My Side (Jagger/Richards) 4.06
08. Radio Ethiopia (incl. Rock N Roll Nigger) (Kaye/Smith) 11.a26
09. Gloria: In Excelsis Deo (Smith/Morrison) 5.37
10. Land (Kenner/Dominoe/Smith) 6.08

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And today is Eastern … so you can listen to the legendary “Easter” album (1978) from the Patti Smith Group (click on the pic)

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Angel – Live At KBFH (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThis is the story of a real great heavy / hard drock band from the Seventies:

Angel was an American rock band from Washington, D.C., United States, formed in the mid-1970s by Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones. They were signed to Casablanca Records, and had the image of dressing in white.

Angel was discovered by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons performing at a nightclub and was eventually signed to the same label as Kiss, Casablanca.

Angel’s image of dressing in all white was a deliberate contrast to Kiss, which wore black. Angel sported an androgynous image and elaborate stage sets. They were slammed by rock critics, and Frank Zappa ridiculed the all-male band’s feminine appearance in the song “Punky’s Whips”. Angel never achieved mass commercial success but acquired a following as a cult band.

Their first album was the self-titled Angel (1975) and consisted of guitarist Punky Meadows, bassist Mickie Jones, vocalist Frank DiMino, keyboardist Gregg Giuffria, and drummer Barry Brandt. This lineup would hold for the following two albums, Helluva Band (1976) and On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1977), after which Jones would be replaced by Felix Robinson.

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They made an appearance in the film Foxes (1980) and Frank DiMino sang “Seduce Me Tonight” on the Flashdance (1983) soundtrack.

DiMino and Meadows departed the band in 1981, and the remaining members brought in vocalist Fergie Frederiksen (later of Toto) and guitarist Ricky Phillips (later of The Babys, then Bad English, then Styx), but this lineup dissolved shortly thereafter.

The former members of Angel went on to other things following the release of their live album. Lead vocalist Frank DiMino joined UFO guitarist Paul Raymond in the Paul Raymond Project in which he sang lead vocals. Bassist Felix Robinson played on the debut album of the band White Lion, Fight to Survive (1985/1986).

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Angel’s keyboardist Gregg Giuffria had modest success as the leader of the band Giuffria during the 1980s as well as with the band House of Lords, who – sans Giuffria – reunited in 2002 and released a new album, The Power and the Myth on Frontiers Records. In 2006, Giuffria appeared as a guest keyboardist on House of Lords’ LP World Upside Down, and they released Come to My Kingdom in 2008 without Giuffria.

In the late 1990s, Angel reformed with a new line-up. Keyboardist Gordon G.G. Gebert joined the band in 1999 but left in 2002. Currently, the band members are Frank DiMino, vocals; Barry Brandt, drums; Randy Gregg, bass; Steve Blaze, guitars; and Michael T. Ross, keyboards. The band’s 1999 release In the Beginning also features guest appearances by original guitarist Punky Meadows, as well as Robinson. In 2000 came the release of Angel: The Collection, making it the most extensive Angel greatest hits compilation, including 16 songs.

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In 2006, two compilations of career-spanning singles were released. “Better Days” from the White Hot (1977) album was notably replaced with “The Winter Song”. It had only been previously released on a rare 7″ single.

Bassist and founding member Mickie Jones (born Donald Eugene Jones on December 17, 1952), later changed to Michael David Jones in 1967, died in San Dimas, California on September 5, 2009, at the age of 56,[5] after a long battle with liver cancer. Jones performed on four Angel albums (Angel, Helluva Band, On Earth as It Is in Heaven and An Anthology). He toured extensively with the band in the United States for several years. Before Angel, he played in the rock group BUX, which included guitarist Punky Meadows (Angel) and singer Ralph Morman (Joe Perry Project, and Savoy Brown). BUX released one album on Capitol Records, We Came to Play in 1976 (recorded in 1973). Both Jones and Meadows were asked to join the New York Dolls but declined. After leaving Angel, he formed the Los Angeles band EMPIRE and was the lead singer. Empire included drummer Steve Riley (L.A. Guns). Over the years, he became interested in film production and would later work in the film industry.

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Singer Frank DiMino now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and plays in classic rock tribute bands. Recently, he appeared on the Sin City Sinners Christmas album, singing lead vocals on the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland”. In 2015 he released his solo album “Old Habits Die Hard”.

Punky Meadows issued his first-ever solo album in 2016, Fallen Angel.

DiMino and Meadows are currently touring together performing a set of classic Angel songs and solo cuts. They are backed by a band featuring Danny Farrow on rhythm guitar, Charlie Calv on keyboards, Steve Ojane on bass and Billy Orrico on drums.
Trivia
Angel’s logo is ambigrammatic; it reads the same when turned upside-down as when viewed normally. (by wikipedia)

This show was recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (Santa Monica, CA) in 1976 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour while the band was promoting its second LP, Helluva Band. Angel innovated a hard-rock sound that, with a healthy dose of androgyny, found a niche in between 70s hard prog rock and 80s hair metal. The group had released its debut LP, Angel, the year prior on Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records.

Only three tracks but … hear the power of Angel !

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
Barry Brandt (drums)
Gregg Giuffria (keyboards)
Punky Meadows (guitar)
Frank DiMino (vocals)
Felix Robinson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Chicken Soup (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 5.54
02. The Fortune (DiMino/Giuffria/Meadows) 8.07
03. White Lightning (Meadows/Morman) 6.58

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