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.

LittleBobStory1976.jpg

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.

LittleBobStory1976_02

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.

LittleBobStory1976_03.jpg

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.

LittleBobStory1976_04.jpg

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)

LittleBobStory1976_05.jpg

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)

AlternateFront+BackCover.jpgAlternate front + back cover

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

BackCover1.JPG

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

LabelA1

*
**

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 ….

HawkshawParker.jpg

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

LabelA1

*
**

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.”

Single1

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.

ThinLizzyLive1976A

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)

Single2+3.jpg

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.

ThinLizzy2

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)

ThinLizzy1

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

BackCover1.jpg
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

LabelB1

*
**

T-Shirt

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.

PattiSmithStocklholm1976

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)

Patti Smith Group Stockholm 1976A.jpg

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.

PattiSmithStocklholm1976_02

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 !

Alternate CD Version.jpg

Alternate CD front + back cover

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

LPBackCover1.jpg

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

LablelB1

*
**

SmithDylan4

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

FrontCover1

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.

Angel1

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).

Angel2

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.

Angel3

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.

Angel4

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 !

AlternateFrontCover.jpg

Alternate frontcover

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

Angel-KBFH-Back1

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

Angel-KBFH-CD1

*
**

Todd Rundgren – Faithful (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGFaithful is Todd Rundgren’s seventh album, released in 1976.

Rundgren explained the motivation of the first side as treating rock music like European classical music, where a piece is performed over and over again in essentially the same way. The album’s core group of musicians—Rundgren, Wilcox, Siegler and Powell (all members of Utopia)—makes this a Utopia album in all but name, though other official Utopia albums featured songs written by other members of the band and not just by Rundgren.

The first side is dedicated to “faithful” re-recordings—near-replications of the originals—of some classic 1960s psychedelic-era songs, while side two comprised original material. ToddRundgren01.jpgCritic Robert Christgau called the second side Rundgren’s “clearest and most interesting set of songs since Something/Anything?” and magazine Rolling Stone’s rock critic John Milward said “the original material that fills side two is a more ambitious tribute to his influences and his strongest collection of pop tunes since his classic “Something/Anything”.”

The closing song, “Boogies (Hamburger Hell)”, opens with a reference to Beefsteak Charlie’s, which former Utopia drummer Kevin Ellman was currently operating along with his family.

The album was released in May 1976 with virtually no advertising. Bearsville Records’ president Paul Fiskin believed Rundgren fans would purchase just as many albums as his previous releases based on word of mouth. Only the remake of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” was released as a single and charted briefly but the album itself made it to #54 on the Billboard Album Charts. (by wikipedia)

ToddRundgren02A.jpg

Todd Rundgren considered 1966 the beginning of his professional musical career, largely because the Nazz formed around that time. As a celebration, he recorded Faithful. Presumably, Faithful celebrates the past and the future by juxtaposing a side of original pop material with a side of covers. Actually, “covers” isn’t accurate — the six oldies that comprise the entirety of side one are re-creations, with Rundgren “faithfully” replicating the sound and feel of the Yardbirds (“Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”), Bob Dylan (“Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine”), Jimi Hendrix (“If Six Was Nine”), the Beach Boys (“Good Vibrations”) and the Beatles “(“Rain,” “Strawberry Fields Forever”). All of this is entertaining, to a certain extent, especially since it’s remarkable how close Rundgren comes to duplicating the very feel of the originals. Still, it’s hard to see it as much more than a flamboyant throwaway, especially when compared with the glorious second side. For the first time since Something/Anything?, Rundgren allows himself to write and — more importantly — record straight-ahead pop songs. Certainly, A Wizard, A True Star, Todd and Initiation had their share of great songs, but they weren’t delivered as pop songs; they were telegraphed as art. Here, Rundgren delivers pop and rock songs with ease, letting the melodies glide to the forefront. There are embellishments, of course, but the end result is a lushness that’s apparent even on the hard rockers. If Rundgren had made all of Faithful originals, it would have been a pure pop masterpiece. As it stands, it’s essential for the faithful — not only for hardcore Toddheads, but for devoted pop fans as well. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Singles.jpg

The singles from this album

Personnel:
Roger Powell (trumpet, keyboards, rhythm guitar on 05.)
Todd Rundgren – guitar, vocals, all instruments on 09.)
John Siegler (bass, cello)
John Wilcox (drums)

BackCover1.JPG

Tracklist:
01. Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (Beck/McCarty/Page/Relf) 3.13
02. Good Vibrations (Love/Wilson) 3.44
03. Rain (Lennon/McCartney) 3.18
04. Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine (Dylan) 3.27
05. If Six Was Nine (Hendrix) 4.56
06. Strawberry Fields Forever (Lennon/McCartney) 3.52
07. Black And White (Rundgren) – 4:42
08. Love Of The Common Man (Rundgren) – 3:35
09. When I Pray (Rundgren) – 2:58
10. Cliché (Rundgren) 4.01
11. The Verb “To Love” (Rundgren) 7.25
12. Boogies (Hamburger Hell) (Rundgren) 5.05

LabelA1.JPG

*
**

Inlets

 

Billy Cobham & George Duke Band – Live On Tour In Europe (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThis isn’t a masterpiece of jazz rock fusion by any means, but it is tasty. Billy Cobham and George Duke, along with guitarist John Scofield and bassist Alfonso Johnson server up a generous slice of seventies fusion, without too much of that disco flavor that was beginning to permeate the genre at the time.

Duke, fresh out of Frank Zappa’s band, gets to show off his twisted sense of humor on Space Lady, which harkens back to some of the improv work he did with Frank, but remains a throwaway piece. Johnson’s Almustafa The Beloved, a vocal piece, reminds me a bit of Stanley Clarke’s early compositions, albeit without the impossibly fast bass licks.

Disco does rear it’s ugly head on Duke’s Do What Cha Wanna. But it is tolerable disco, until that nasty string synth comes in during the break.

Okay, he’s got that out of his system. Now back to fusion. Frankenstein Goes To The Disco is a drum solo piece, featuring Cobham with some nice drum synth triggers (far more advanced than Carl Palmer’s just a few short years earlier).

Johnson plays a nice, but not mind blowing solo on the Chick Corea-like Sweet Wine. And the album closes appropriately with Juicy, where each band member in turn gets to shine.

Not an essential fusion album, but not a bad addition. (by Evolver)

DukeCobham01

Following two studio recordings, this impressive band hit the road and cut this session with keyboardist George Duke. Their encounter provided for an uneven, but infectious, recording. “Hip Pockets,” composed by Cobham, and “Ivory Tattoo,” composed by Scofield, begin the session with some intense playing. Things get a bit goofy with “Space Lady” (a song which probably worked better live), and a bit melodramatic with “Almustafa the Beloved.” “Do What Cha Wanna” features Duke on vocals and, ironically, made it onto Cobham’s Best of Billy Cobham. The closer, “Frankenstein Goes to the Disco,” is primarily a vehicle for Cobham, while “Sweet Wine” and “Juicy” are good jam sessions. Despite some corny moments, this is a fun session that continues to be one of Cobham’s most sought after recordings. (by Robert Taylor)

DukeCobham02A.jpg

Personnel:
Billy Cobham (drums, drum synthesizer, background vocals)
George Duke (keyboards, vocals)
Alphonso Johnson (bass, chapman stick, vocals)
John Scofield (guitar)
+
Jon Lucien (narrator on 04.)

BackCover.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Hip Pockets (Cobham) 7.10
02. Ivory Tattoo (Scofield) 4.36
03. Space Lady (Duke) 4.37
04. Almustafa The Beloved (Johnson) 6.52
05. Do What Cha Wanna (Duke) 4.35
06. Frankenstein Goes To The Disco (Cobham) 7.10
07. Sweet Wine (Cobham) 4.00
08. Juicy (Duke) 7.20

LabelB1.jpg

*
**

ChapmanStick.jpg

A chapman stick