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)

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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)

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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

Horslips – The Book Of Invasions (A Celtic Symphony) (1976)

FrontCover1Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs frequently inspired by traditional Irish airs, jigs and reels. The group are regarded as ‘founding fathers of Celtic rock’ for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts. They formed in 1970 and ‘retired’ in 1980 for an extended period. The name originated from a spoonerism on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which became “The Four Poxmen of The Horslypse”.

Although Horslips had limited commercial success when the band was playing in the 70s, there was a revival of interest in their music in the late 1990s and they came to be regarded as one of the defining bands of the Celtic rock genre. There have since been small scale reunions including appearances on The Late Late Show and RTÉ’s Other Voices. The band reformed for two Irish shows in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and the 3Arena in Dublin at the end of 2009, and have continued to play shows since then.

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The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony is the sixth album by the Irish Celtic rock band Horslips. It was a concept album based on an adaptation of Irish legends built into a complex story. It is named for the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a book of Irish mythology known as The Book of Invasions in English. Released in 1976, it is usually considered their best work.[citation needed] It was their only UK top-40 album, peaking at #39. “Trouble (With a Capital T)” and “The Power and the Glory” were released as singles.

The 30th anniversary of this album was celebrated at a small gathering in Dublin organised by Horslips fans and was attended by some band members. (wikipedia)

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The Book of Invasions is a twelfth century chronicle of the various pre-Christian colonisations of Ireland.
The race who occupied the country before our Gaelic ancestors were the Tuatha De Danann
-the Peoples of the Goddess Danann.
While their origins are unclear we do know that the Tuatha were a mystical race,
handsome and learned, elegantly dressed, expert in every art and science and supreme masters of wizardry.

In the Mythological Cycle their place is among the traditions of Immortals. In fact the Tuatha were so magnificent their existence embarrassed scholars who, when transcribing the legends centuries later did not know whether to regard them as men, demons or fallen angels.

Bravest of all peoples their leaders were wizards first and warriors second whose victories were gained more by superior
knowledge and magic than by warfare. The Agatha De Danann occupied the country and lived in relative peace from 3303 Age of the World until the coming of the Milesian warriors in 3500 Age of the World.

After their defeat at the Battle of Tailteann the Tuatha simply vanished from these islands. Tradition and popular belief has it that the Tuatha, through their esoteric powers, became the Sluagh Sidhe (Thc Fairy Host) and, taking their secrets and mysterious arts with them, entered an occult realm where they remain till this day. (taken from the original liner notes)

Horslips02Centering around the three strains of old Irish song; Geantrai, Goltrai and Suantrai, Horslips take on the task of recording a concept album around them. Each is given its own movement. Its a very ambitious work, with riffs and melodies that reappear at various points in each movement and incorporating elements from actual Celtic songs. For authenticity’s sake, they throw in mandolins, fiddles, flutes and an instrument called the concertina, which I’d never heard of prior to buying this record. Turns out its a basically an accordion. Its quite a feat, but not without its share of missteps.

That opening riff will stick in your mind well after hearing the album. Its fantastic, and makes a comeback a couple other times throughout side one. This thematic feel is in full effect throughout the LP, but there’s one thing I find rather detrimental to the overall experience; the vocal tracks, which at times can be downright silly.

After such an amazing and dramatic start to the album, the listener is met with “Trouble (With a Capital T).” Just by looking at that song title I expected it to be a goofy number long before the needle ever hit the vinyl. When the vocalist sings the song title, I find it hard to take the man seriously. Then there’s “The Power and the Glory.” Excellent instrumental work, ensuing silliness in the lyrics department: “see them bumping and grinding bareback on the wheels of the world,” and that chorus: “We’ve got the power and the glory, we’re gonna take it from here.” The man has a fine voice, but the delivery is very unconvincing. Which is a shame because that organ riff has this great medieval tone and the guitars truly are loaded with power and glory.

On side two, things get even cheesier with “The Warm Sweet Breath of Love” and “King of Morning, Queen of Day” which are two very corny love songs. Probably the weakest tracks on the LP. Between these two songs, my favorite instrumental passage makes its appearance, another awesome display of melodic guitar work. These guys are truly talented musicians. After “King of Morning, Queen of Day” another great instrumental appears, this moody atmospheric piece where the guitar, fiddle and electric piano coalesce to create the most beautiful moment on the entire album. Thankfully, the vocal number it leads into, “Sideways to the Sun” isn’t half bad.

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This is truly a strange record. I can’t recall any other concept LP that has such an odd juxtaposition between serious, accomplished music and the goofy. You know that goofy is not what the band was after, that their intentions were anything but. Still, this gives the album a certain charm that few others possess, which is commendable. (FjordCity)

Their best fusion of rock and celtic music. Many Horslips albums are unbalanced either too much rock or too much Celtic Music. However this one is the best in terms of balance. A concept album of sorts , it really doesn’t have standout tracks, the whole album just stands out as a cohesive piece of music mixing wonderful Celtic music with energetic rock. Fantastic! (by hawkfanatic)

The album is divided into three movements: “Geantraí” (tracks 1–8), “Goltraí” (tracks 9–11) and “Suantraí” (tracks 12–14).

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Personnel:
Eamon Carr (drums, percussion)
Barry Devlin (bass, vocals)
John Fean (guitar, vocals)
Jim Lockhart (keyboards, flute, whistles)
Charles O’Connor (fiddle, mandolin, concertina, vocals)

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Tracklist:

Geantraí:
01. Daybreak 2.31
02. March Into Trouble 0.51
03. Trouble (With a Capital T) 3.24
04. The Power And The Glory 3.57
05. The Rocks Remain 2.49
06. Dusk 0.38
07. Sword Of Light 4.56
08. Dark 1.38

Goltraí:
09. Warm Sweet Breath Of Love 3.26
10. Fantasia (My Lagan Love) 2.55
11. King Of Morning, Queen Of Day 4.33

Suantraí:
12. Sideways To The Sun 4.46
13. Drive The Cold Winter Away 0.36
14. Ride To Hell 4.08

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Charlie Daniels Band – High Lonesome (1976)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He was best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels was active as a singer and musician from the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the age of 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Nashville.

High Lonesome is the eighth studio album by Charlie Daniels and the fourth as The Charlie Daniels Band, released on November 5, 1976. Many of the tracks pay homage to pulp Western fiction and, with permission, the album’s title was named after the 1962 Western novel by Louis L’Amour. (wikipedia)

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Following Saddle Tramp by a matter of months, High Lonesome finds the Charlie Daniels Band retaining their focus on jamming — meaning not just long solos and improvisations, but a loose feel that brings in elements of a number of different Southern styles, blurring the line between country, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Compared to Saddle Tramp, which felt as wide-open and sunny as the plains or desert, High Lonesome is a little darker and denser, a byproduct of the Charlie Daniels Band playing harder as they up the rock quotient while simultaneously playing up cowboy myths. There are strong elements of the Allmans throughout the record, particularly when Charlie Daniels and Tom Crain trade off electric guitar leads and double-up on harmonies, and there’s a harder backbeat. Even better, there’s more of an emphasis on songwriting and tighter arrangements, which means that the Band’s improvistory fire is distilled into tight, concise four-minute bursts, which makes the record as a whole a more infectious, invigorating listen. Also, with Crain singing on “Tennessee” and a pianist taking lead on “Roll Mississippi,” this not only feels more like a band album, it has a welcome, loose, anything-goes feel, actually sounding like the work of a bunch of Southern renegades. If there are no true CDB classics outside of the title track and arguably “Carolina,” there are no bum songs, either, and the whole thing holds together well, perhaps because, unlike its predecessor, it plays as if it has a theme, thanks to the songs about cowboys and the Southern mythology, not to mention its focused arrangements and the muscular blues-rock guitar that ties it all together. All this makes High Lonesome a highlight in Charlie Daniels’ discography. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Crain (guitar, vocals on 08., slide guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, vocals banjo, fiddle, slide guitar)
Fred Edwards (drums, percussion)
Taz DiGregorio (keyboards, vocals on 06.)
Charlie Hayward (bass)
Don Murray (drums, percussion)
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Toy Caldwell (steel guitar on 07. + 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Billy the Kid” (Daniels) 5.50
02. Carolina (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.55
03. High Lonesome (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) – 5:03
04. Running With the Crowd (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 4.02
05. Right Now Tennessee Blues (Daniels) 3.37
06. Roll Mississippi (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.13
07. Slow Song (Daniels) 3.56
08. Tennessee (Crain) 4.43
09. Turned My Head Around (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.52

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CharlieDaniels02Charlie Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020)

Ian Hunter – All-American Alien Boy (1976)

LPFrontCover1Ian Hunter Patterson (born 3 June 1939) known as Ian Hunter, is an English singer-songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople, from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and at the time of its 2009 and 2013 reunions. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before joining Mott the Hoople, and continued in this vein after he left the band. He embarked on a solo career despite ill health and disillusionment with commercial success, and often worked in collaboration with Mick Ronson, David Bowie’s sideman and arranger from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars period.

Mott the Hoople achieved a certain level of commercial success, and attracted a small but devoted fan base. As a solo artist, Hunter charted with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside the rock mainstream. His best-known solo songs are “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, later covered by Great White, and “England Rocks”, which was modified to “Cleveland Rocks” and then later covered by The Presidents of the United States of America, and became one of the theme songs used for the American TV series The Drew Carey Show.

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All American Alien Boy is the second studio album by Ian Hunter. Because of management issues, Mick Ronson did not appear on this album;[3] instead, Hunter brought in keyboardist Chris Stainton to act as a balancing force in the studio. Unlike his previous album, the album didn’t feature any of his trademark rockers (apart from “Restless Youth”) and he opted for a more jazzy direction including bassist Jaco Pastorius. The album title is a play on Rick Derringer’s 1973 album All American Boy.

In 2006, the album was reissued with several bonus tracks.(wikipedia)

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After the relative success of his debut, it would have been very easy for Ian Hunter to continue in the glam-inspired vein that made that album so successful. Instead, he twisted his sound in a jazz direction for All American Alien Boy, a partially successful attempt to open up his sound from its traditional rock & roll routes. Since Hunter couldn’t utilize the producing and arranging skills of longtime cohort Mick Ronson because of a dispute with Ronson’s manager, Hunter took the reins himself and invited a diverse cast of session musicians that included everyone from journeyman drummer Aynsley Dunbar to jazz bass wizard Jaco Pastorius. The resulting album mixture of conventional Mott the Hoople-style rock and sonic experiments never truly gels, but does contain some fine tracks.

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The experiments are hit and miss: the title track is a funky, sax-flavored exploration of Hunter’s adjustment to life in America that works nicely, but the interesting lyrics of “Apathy 83” get buried in an uncharacteristically bland soft rock arrangement. The songs that work best are the more traditional-sounding numbers: “Irene Wilde” is a delicately crafted autobiographical ballad about the rejection that made Hunter decide to “be somebody, someday,” and “God – Take 1” is a stirring, Dylan-styled rocker featuring witty lyrics that illustrate a conversation with a weary and down-to-earth version of God. However, the true gem of the album is “You Nearly Did Me In,” an elegant and emotional ballad about the emptiness that follows a romantic breakup. It also notable for the stirring backing vocals from guest stars Queen on its chorus. In the end, All-American Alien Boy lacks the consistency to fully succeed as an album but still offers enough stellar moments to make it worthwhile for Ian Hunter’s fans. (by Donald A. Guarisco)

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Personnel:
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, piano on 02.)
Chris Stainton – piano, organ, mellotron, bass guitar on “Restless Youth”
Jaco Pastorius (bass, guitar on 08.)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Jerry Weems (guitar)
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Don Alias (percussion)
Dave Bargeron (trombone)
Dominic Cortese (accordion)
Cornell Dupree – guitar on 01. + 09.)
Arnie Lawrence (clarinet)
Lewis Soloff (trumpet)
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background vocals on 06.:
Freddie Mercury – Brian May – Roger Taylor
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background vocals:
Bob Segarini – Ann E. Sutton – Gail Kantor – Erin Dickins

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Tracklist:
01. Letter To Britannia From The Union Jack 3.49
02. All American Alien Boy 7.08
03. Irene Wilde 3.44
04. Restless Youth 6.18
05. Rape 4.04
06. You Nearly Did Me In 5.47
07. Apathy 83 4.43
08. God (Take 1) 5.44
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09. To Rule Britannia From Union Jack (Session outake) 4.09
10. All American Alien Boy (Single version) 4.04
11. Irene Wilde (Take 1) 3.52
12. Weary Anger (Session outake) 5.46
13. Apathy (Session outake) 4.43
14. (God) Advice To A Friend (Session outake) 5.32

All songs written by Ian Hunter

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More from Ian Hunter:
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Sammy Hagar – Nine On A 10 Scale (1976)

OriginalFC1Samuel Roy Hagar (born October 13, 1947),[1] also known as The Red Rocker, is an American singer-songwriter and entrepreneur. Hagar came to prominence in the 1970s with the hard rock band Montrose. He then launched a successful solo career, scoring an enduring hit in 1984 with “I Can’t Drive 55”. He enjoyed commercial success when he replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen in 1985, but left in 1996. He returned to the band for a two-year reunion from 2003 to 2005. On March 12, 2007, Hagar was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Van Halen. His musical style primarily consists of hard rock and heavy metal.

Also a businessman, Hagar founded the Cabo Wabo Tequila brand and restaurant chain, as well as Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. His current musical projects include being the lead singer of Chickenfoot and The Circle. Hagar also is the host of Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar on Mark Cuban’s cable network AXS TV.

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Nine on a Ten Scale is the debut solo studio album by American rock singer-songwriter Sammy Hagar, released in May 1976 by Capitol Records.

“Keep On Rockin'”, a Hagar original, was covered by Bette Midler on the classic soundtrack to The Rose, albeit with a different arrangement.
The track written by Van Morrison, “Flamingos Fly”, was not released by Morrison until a year later on his 1977 album A Period of Transition. He gave the song to Hagar after they met at The Record Plant during the recording of the album. Morrison recorded a demo for Hagar which producer John S. Carter, Jr. and Hagar intended to produce as a duet with Morrison, a move which Morrison later rejected. Hagar then re-recorded the song from scratch.

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“China”, a track written by the former Fleetwood Mac member Bob Welch, was not released by Welch until after this release. Welch included his version on the 1979 album Three Hearts.
Ron Nagle’s “Please Come Back” was originally included in the film, The Last Detail.
“Young Girl Blues” is a Donovan cover.
A demo version of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Romeo” was released as “Thinking of You” on The Essential Red Collection in 2004. (by wikipedia)

Single2While most would suggest that the seminal American hard rock debut from the Sammy Hagar-fronted Montrose is the real coming-out for the singer/guitarist, serious Hagar fans might disagree and offer that title to Nine on a Ten Scale. After two discs with Montrose (a self-titled record and Paper Money), Hagar struck out on his own and quickly released this solo debut after Capitol Records snatched up the hot young vocalist in 1976. If Hagar was anxious to show that he had musical skills that extended way beyond the gravel-voiced, Led Zeppelin-esque howling that he had demonstrated with Ronnie Montrose’s heavy metal outfit, this recording definitely accomplishes that goal. Featuring mostly Hagar-penned material, and plenty of the singer’s own guitar work as well, this disc — while not a huge commercial success — proved that Hagar possessed many talents. Unfortunately, some weak production and questionable lyrics make this record a pretty difficult listen decades after its initial release. But Hagar’s voice is unconditionally impressive, and the music has enough of a spark to suggest the artist’s rare ability to define a unique musical style. (by Jason Anderson)

In other words: What a great start in this powerful career !

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Personnel:
John Blakely (guitar)
Bill Church (bass)
Joe Crane (keyboards)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Alan Fitzgerald (keyboards)
Sammy Hagar (vocals, guitar)
Jim Hodder (drums)
Scott Quick (guitar)
Jerry Shirley (drums)
Stan (keyboards)
Dallas Taylor (drums)
Wizard (keyboards)
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horn section:
Greg Adams – Emilio Castillo – Mic Gillette – Steve Kupka – Lenny Pickett
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background vocals:
Venetta Fields – Maxayn Lewis – Sherlie Matthews – Bob Welch

Alternate front + backcover from Germany:
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Tracklist:
01. Keep On Rockin’ (Carter/Hagar) 2.54
02. Urban Guerilla (Carter/Hagar) 2.54
03. Flamingos Fly (Morrison) 4.26
04. China (Welch) 3.07
05. Silver Lights (Hagar) 5.37
06. All American (Hagar) 3.54
07. Confession (Please Come Back) (Nagle) 3.19
08. Young Girl Blues (Leitch) 7.44
09. Rock ‘N’ Roll Romeo (Carter/Hagar) 4.00

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I was born in the ’50s
I was loud and electric, didn’t I turn you on?
(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)

Got all shook up with Elvis
Yeah, yeah, I’ve been Beatled, I’ve been Rolling Stoned
Watch it!

A hot flash at Woodstock
I encored there with your favorite song, yeah, yeah, yeah

The crowd was screamin’
“Give us rock n roll”
When the spotlight hits me
I always steal the show, let’s go

(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)
(Keep on a rock n roll’s gonna never die)

Baby, I am the music
I am every note and I’m every chord
(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)

I’m the star of tomorrow
Yeah, I’m the holy ghost of the old Fillmore
Ooh yeah

The crowd was screamin’,
“Give us rock n roll”
When the spotlight hits me
Put on my axe and I blow, like this

Fats Domino, ow
Shake, rattle, and roll all night long, yeah
When the rock is right, you can’t go wrong, no
(No, you can’t go wrong)
Some things never last
But the beat goes on and on and on and on and
Oooh baby, you rock on

(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)
(Keep on a rock n roll’s gonna never die)

(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)
(Keep on a rock n roll’s gonna never die)
You just keep on a rockin’, and you roll it
Rock n roll it, rock n roll it all night long

(Keep on a rockin’, keep on a rockin’)
(Keep on a rock n roll’s gonna never die)
Baby, you just rock it , rock n roll it all night long

Baby, baby

 

Steve Goodman – Words We Can Dance To (1976)

FrontCover1Steven Benjamin Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984) was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago. He wrote the song “City of New Orleans,” which was recorded by Arlo Guthrie and many others including John Denver, The Highwaymen, and Judy Collins; in 1985, it received a Grammy award for best country song, as performed by Willie Nelson. Goodman had a small but dedicated group of fans for his albums and concerts during his lifetime, and is generally considered a musician’s musician. His most frequently sung song is the Chicago Cubs anthem, “Go Cubs Go”. Goodman died of leukemia in September 1984.

Born on Chicago’s North Side to a middle-class Jewish family, Goodman began writing and performing songs as a teenager, after his family had moved to the near north suburbs. He graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, in 1965, where he was a classmate of Hillary Clinton. Before that, however, he began his public singing career by leading the junior choir at Temple Beth Israel in Albany Park. In the fall of 1965, he entered the University of Illinois and pledged the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, where he, Ron Banyon, and Steve Hartmann formed a popular rock cover band, “The Juicy Fruits”. He left college after one year to pursue his musical career. In the early spring of 1967, Goodman went to New York, staying for a month in a Greenwich Village brownstone across the street from the Cafe Wha?, where Goodman performed regularly during his brief stay there. Returning to Chicago, he intended to restart his education but he dropped out again to pursue his musical dream full-time after discovering the cause of his continuous fatigue was actually leukemia, the disease that was present during the entirety of his recording career, until his death in 1984. In 1968 Goodman began performing at the Earl of Old Town and The Dangling Conversation coffeehouse in Chicago and attracted a following.

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By 1969, Goodman was a regular performer in Chicago, while attending Lake Forest College. During this time Goodman supported himself by singing advertising jingles.

In September 1969 he met Nancy Pruter (sister of R&B writer Robert Pruter), who was attending college while supporting herself as a waitress. They were married in February 1970. Though he experienced periods of remission, Goodman never felt that he was living on anything other than borrowed time, and some critics, listeners and friends have said that his music reflects this sentiment. His wife Nancy, writing in the liner notes to the posthumous collection No Big Surprise, characterized him this way:

Basically, Steve was exactly who he appeared to be: an ambitious, well-adjusted man from a loving, middle-class Jewish home in the Chicago suburbs, whose life and talent were directed by the physical pain and time constraints of a fatal disease which he kept at bay, at times, seemingly by willpower alone . . . Steve wanted to live as normal a life as possible, only he had to live it as fast as he could . . . He extracted meaning from the mundane.

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Goodman’s songs first appeared on Gathering at The Earl of Old Town, an album produced by Chicago record company Dunwich in 1971. As a close friend of Earl Pionke, the owner of the folk music bar, Goodman performed at The Earl dozens of times, including customary New Year’s Eve concerts. He also remained closely involved with Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, where he had met and mentored his good friend, John Prine.

Later in 1971, Goodman was playing at a Chicago bar called the Quiet Knight as the opening act for Kris Kristofferson. Impressed with Goodman, Kristofferson introduced him to Paul Anka, who brought Goodman to New York to record some demos.[3] These resulted in Goodman signing a contract with Buddah Records.

All this time, Goodman had been busy writing many of his most enduring songs, and this avid songwriting would lead to an important break for him. While at the Quiet Knight, Goodman saw Arlo Guthrie and asked him to sit and let him play a song for him. Guthrie grudgingly agreed on the condition that Goodman buy him a beer first; Guthrie would then listen to Goodman for as long as it took Guthrie to drink the beer.[3] Goodman played “City of New Orleans”, which Guthrie liked enough that he asked to record it.

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Guthrie’s version of Goodman’s song became a Top-20 hit in 1972 and provided Goodman with enough financial and artistic success to make his music a full-time career. The song, about the Illinois Central’s City of New Orleans train, would become an American standard, covered by such musicians as Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Chet Atkins, Lynn Anderson, and Willie Nelson, whose recorded version earned Goodman a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1985. A French translation of the song, “Salut Les Amoureux”, was recorded by Joe Dassin in 1973. A Dutch singer, Gerard Cox, heard the French version while on holiday and translated it into Dutch, titled “‘t Is Weer Voorbij Die Mooie Zomer” (“And again that beautiful summer has come to an end”). It reached number one on the Dutch Top 40 in December 1973 and has become a classic which is still played on Dutch radio. A Hebrew version of the song “Shalom Lach Eretz Nehederet” was sung by famous Israeli singer Yehoram Gaon in 1977 and became an immediate hit. Lyrically, the French, Dutch and Hebrew versions bear no resemblance to Goodman’s original lyrics. According to Goodman, the song was inspired by a train trip he and his wife took from Chicago to Mattoon, Illinois.[4] According to the liner notes on the Steve Goodman anthology No Big Surprise, “City of New Orleans” was written while on the campaign trail with Senator Edmund Muskie.

In 1974, singer David Allan Coe achieved considerable success on the country charts with Goodman’s and John Prine’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name”, a song which good-naturedly spoofed stereotypical country music lyrics. Prine refused to take a songwriter’s credit for the song, although Goodman bought Prine a jukebox as a gift from his publishing royalties. Goodman’s name is mentioned in Coe’s recording of the song, in a spoken epilogue in which Goodman and Coe discuss the merits of “the perfect country and western song.”

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Goodman’s success as a recording artist was more limited. Although he was known in folk circles as an excellent and influential songwriter,[3] his albums received more critical than commercial success. One of Goodman’s biggest hits was a song he didn’t write: “The Dutchman”, written by Michael Peter Smith. He reached a wider audience as the opening act for Steve Martin while Martin was at the height of his stand-up popularity.

During the mid and late seventies, Goodman became a regular guest on Easter Day on Vin Scelsa’s radio show in New York City. Scelsa’s personal recordings of these sessions eventually led to an album of selections from these appearances, The Easter Tapes.

In 1977, Goodman performed on Tom Paxton’s live album New Songs From the Briarpatch (Vanguard Records), which contained some of Paxton’s topical songs of the 1970s, including “Talking Watergate” and “White Bones of Allende”, as well as a song dedicated to Mississippi John Hurt entitled “Did You Hear John Hurt?”

During the fall of 1979, Goodman was hired to write and perform a series of topical songs for National Public Radio. Although Goodman and Jethro Burns recorded eleven songs for the series, only five of them, “The Ballad of Flight 191” about a plane crash, “Daley’s Gone”, “Unemployed”, “The Twentieth Century is Almost Over”, and “The Election Year Rag”, were used on the air before the series was cancelled.

Hoyt Axton, Odetta, Tom Paxton and Steve Goodman backstage at The Greek Theatre in 1981 in Berkeley, California:
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Goodman wrote and performed many humorous songs about Chicago, including three about the Chicago Cubs: “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”, “When the Cubs Go Marching In” and “Go, Cubs, Go” (which has frequently been played on Cubs broadcasts and at Wrigley Field after Cubs wins). He wrote “Go, Cubs, Go” out of spite after then GM Dallas Green called “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” too depressing. The Cubs songs grew out of his fanatical devotion to the team, which included many clubhouse and on-field visits with Cubs players. He wrote other songs about Chicago, including “The Lincoln Park Pirates”, about the notorious Lincoln Towing Service, and “Daley’s Gone”, about Mayor Richard J. Daley. Another comic highlight is “Vegematic”, about a man who falls asleep while watching late-night TV and dreams he ordered many products that he saw on infomercials. He could also write serious songs, most notably “My Old Man”, a tribute to Goodman’s father, Bud Goodman, a used-car salesman and World War II veteran.

Goodman won his second Grammy, for Best Contemporary Folk Album, in 1988 for Unfinished Business, a posthumous album on his Red Pajamas Records label.

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Many fans become aware of Goodman’s work through other artists such as Jimmy Buffett. Buffett has recorded several of Goodman’s songs, including “Banana Republics”, “Door Number Three” and “Woman Goin’ Crazy on Caroline Street”.[7] Jackie DeShannon covered Goodman’s “Would You Like to Learn to Dance” on her 1972 album, Jackie.
Death

On September 20, 1984, Goodman died of leukemia at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. He had anointed himself with the tongue-in-cheek nickname “Cool Hand Leuk” (other nicknames included “Chicago Shorty” and “The Little Prince”) during his illness. He was 36 years old.

Four days after Goodman’s death, the Chicago Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title in the National League for the first time ever, earning them their first post-season appearance since 1945, three years before Goodman’s birth. Eight days later, on October 2, the Cubs played their first post-season game since Game 7 of the 1945 World Series. Goodman had been asked to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before it; Jimmy Buffett filled in, and dedicated the song to Goodman. Since the late 2000s, at the conclusion of every home game, the Cubs play (and fans sing) “Go, Cubs, Go”, a song Goodman wrote for his beloved team.

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In April 1988, some of Goodman’s ashes were scattered at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs. He was survived by his wife and three daughters. His eldest daughter, Jesse, died in 2012.

In 2006, Goodman’s daughter, Rosanna, issued My Old Man, an album of a variety of artists covering her father’s songs.

Interest in Goodman’s career had a resurgence in 2007 with the publication of a biography by Clay Eals, Steve Goodman: Facing the Music. The same year, the Chicago Cubs began playing Goodman’s 1984 song “Go, Cubs, Go” after each home game win. When the Cubs made it to the playoffs, interest in the song and Goodman resulted in several newspaper articles about Goodman. Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn declared October 5, 2007, Steve Goodman Day in the state. In 2010, Illinois Representative Mike Quigley introduced a bill renaming the Lakeview post office on Irving Park Road in honor of Goodman. The bill was signed by President Barack Obama on August 3, 2010 (by wikipedia)

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And here´s his 5th solo-album:

A typical Steve Goodman mix of eclectic stylings and clever wordplay, Words We Can Dance To roams far and wide. The music ranges from a cover of the rock & roll classic “Tossin’ and Turnin'” to the Western swing of “Between the Lines,” and from the country shuffle of “Death of a Salesman” to the solo acoustic blues guitar pickin’ on the standard “The Glory of Love.” Within this broad musical spectrum, Goodman delivers his original lyrics, both humorous and heartfelt. “Banana Republics” became a staple of Jimmy Buffett’s repertoire after its inclusion on Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. In “Old Fashioned,” Goodman tells of being “out of date and born too late” as he seeks the love of an “old fashioned girl,” but in fact the lines probably described his music as well. Both “Between the Lines” and “That’s What Friends Are For” offer compelling, personal looks at the elusiveness of love, while on “Death of a Salesman” Goodman goes for the laughs in a retelling of the old traveling salesman story. (by Jim Newsom)

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Personnel:
Saul Broudy (harmonica)
Steve Burgh (guitar)
Jethro Burns )mandolin)
Peter Ecklund (clarinet, cornet)
Johnny Frigo (bass, violin)
Ruth Goodman (violin)
Steve Goodman (vocals, guitar)
Jeff Gutcheon (clavinet, keyboards)
Harold Klatz (viola)
Kenny Kosek (fiddle)
Lew London (dobro, mandolin)
Hugh McDonald (bass)
Steve Mosley (drums, tambourine)
Tom Radtke (drums, timbales)
Bobby Rossi (accordion)
Jim Rothermel (arp strings, recorder, saxophone)
Sid Sims (bass)
Winnie Winston (banjo, pedal steel-guitar)
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background vocals:
Mark Gaffney – Mary Gaffney – Bill Swofford – Raun MacKinnon – Diane Holmes – Jim Post

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Tracklist:
01. Roving Cowboy (Smith) 4.39
02. Tossin’ and Turnin’ (Adams/Rene) 3.24
03. Unemployed (Goodman) 2.27
04. Between The Lines (Burgh/Goodman) 3.27
05. Old Fashioned (Ballan/Burgh/Chamberlain/Goodman) 3.07
06. Can’t Go Back (Burgh/Goodman) 3.26
07. Banana Republics (Burgh/Goodman/Rothermel) 3.49
08. Death Of A Salesman (Broudy/Burgh/Goodman/Gutcheon/London/Rothermel) 2.53
09. That’s What Friends Are For (Burgh/Goodman/Gutcheon/Rothermel) 4.18
10. The Glory Of Love (Hill) 2.07

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When I got up this morning I walked down to the plant
I wanted to go to work but they said you can’t
And when I asked the boss why I got canned
He said somethin’ ’bout the laws of supply and demand
Well that’s the kind of thing
That gets a man annoyed
When the wolf is knocking
And you’re unemployed

And I filled out those forms they had in personnel
There’s twenty men applying for every job to fill
Some boys in line are just bums like me
And some of them got sheepskins and PhD’s
It’s a sorry situation that you can’t avoid
When you’re over educated and unemployed

I don’t want to be told how long I have to wait
And I don’t want to be no number in no jobless rate
Don’t want no welfare from no welfare state
I just want to put the groceries on my baby’s plate

When I die then I’ll get my just reward
When the devil makes me chairman of the board
Whenever they had hard times in this land before
Then they said the way you stop it is to start a war
Well I don’t want to hear none of that from no politicians no more
Or next election day they’ll be unemployed

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Steven Benjamin Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984)

Dave Greenslade – Cactus Choir (1976)

FrontCover1Dave Greenslade (born 18 January 1943) is an English composer and keyboard player. He has played 20 years with Colosseum and in his own eponymous band, Greenslade, and others including If and Chris Farlowe’s Thunderbirds.

Greenslade was born in Woking, Surrey, England. Among his works are Cactus Choir, The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony (with art by Patrick Woodroffe) and From the Discworld. Television work includes music for the BBC series Gangsters (1975–1978), Bird of Prey (1982–1984) and A Very Peculiar Practice (1986).

After this he “virtually vanished from sight”, becoming, as his friend Terry Pratchett proclaimed, “the man every TV producer in England would call when a new TV theme was needed”. Greenslade’s association with Pratchett, brought him back out into public view, with the 1994 release of From the Discworld, an album of music inspired by Pratchett’s novels. Greenslade was active, between 1994 and 2015, after the re-forming of the band Colosseum.

Two more solo albums appeared, Going South and Routes/Roots, in 1999 and 2011 respectively. (by wikipedia)

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After the break-up of COLOSSEUM in ’71 and then GREENSLADE in the mid-70’s, keyboard player Dave Greenslade decided to go solo. As such, he has somewhat strayed from his prog roots to move into a gentler territory, abandoning his organ and electric piano for a vast array of synthesizers, creating intensely surrealistic sounds that permeate his albums.

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The best of his four solo efforts are unquestionably the first two, “Cactus Choir” (76) and “The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony” (79). On the first, he dishes out everything from waltzes to classical to blues and throws in odd rhythms, fascinating progressions and a few other goodies, in a style often reminiscent of VANGELIS or Mike OLDFIELD. The second release, a fantasy-concept album often referred to as simply “Pentateuch”, may be less aesthetically pleasing but is still a monumental triumph of surrealism. All 21 tracks feature rich, imaginative synth explorations; Phil Collins and John Livingston each play percussion on a few tracks and Dave G. himself throws in some church organ and even tubular bells. However, the last two releases, “From the Discworld” (94) and especially “Going South” (99), are quite disappointing: highly digitalized, unimaginative and a sad waste of talent – the latter album features only synths except for bits of piano on a couple of tracks.

Fans of both COLOSSEUM and GREENSLADE are advised to stay clear, but the first two albums could be of some interest if you’re into heavily synth-oriented prog. (by progarchives.com)

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After his eponymous band Greenslade fell apart in the wake of 1975’s Time & Tide, keyboardist Dave Greenslade set off on his own path, constructing a loose concept album based on the American West. For listeners unfamiliar either with Greenslade or his first band Colosseum, the Roger Dean cover art for Cactus Choir functions as a good tipoff that this 1976 LP should not be seen as a companion to the Western fantasia of Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection. This is a thoroughly British prog rock record but it isn’t as dense as the keyboardist’s previous projects, possessing a jaunty sense of humor — one that surfaces clearly on “Country Dance,” along with the “Oh! Susanna” quotation on “Finale” — and a lightness that keeps the nearly cinematic sense of drama somewhat humble. Make no mistake, this is certainly an album that will only appeal to aficionados of ’70s prog rock — the record sounds precisely like the Roger Dean artwork looks, filled with densely saturated colors and intricately detailed curlicues — but Greenslade’s whimsy does keep Cactus Choir interesting and not too pompous. [Edsel’s 2014 reissue of Cactus Choir contains a bonus track called “Gangsters.”] (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, synthesizer, clavinet, effects, vocals on 3.)
Simon Phillips (drums, percussion)
Tony Reeves (bass)
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Steve Gould (vocals on 02. + 05.)
Mick Grabham (guitar on 03.)
Lissa Gray (vocals on 03.)
Bill Jackman (flute, bass clarinet on 07.)
Dave Markee (bass on 03. + 04.)
Chris Farlowe (vocals on 08.)
John Perry (bass on 06.)
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handclaps on 01.:
Dave Greenslade – Gregg Jackman – Rupert Hine
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unknown orchestra on 07.
arranged by Simon / conducted by Martin Ford

Reviews

Tracklist:
01. Pedro’s Party (Greenslade) 2.35
02. Gettysburg (Greenslade/Hiseman) 3.35
03. Swings And Roundabouts (Greenslade) + Time Takes My Time (Greenslade/Hall) 10.00
04. Forever And Ever (Greenslade) 4.04
05. Cactus Choir (Greenslade/Hall) 6.02
05.1. The Rider
05.2. Greeley And The Rest
05.3. March At Sunset
06. Country Dance (Greenslade) 5.25
07. Finale (Greenslade) 8.24
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08. Gangsters (Greenslade) 2.56

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Steve Gibbons Band – Any Road Up (1976)

FrontCover1Steve Gibbons (born 13 July 1941) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, composer, and record producer. Gibbons’ music career spans more than 50 years !

Steve Gibbons started his professional life as a plumber’s apprentice in Harborne. He joined the Dominettes by 1960 to replace Colin Smith, who had left to join Jimmy Powell’s backing group. Colin Smith later changed his name to Carl Barron and became the singer with The Cheetahs. An Elvis Presley fan, Gibbons’ first performance with The Dominettes was at The California public house near Weoley Castle.

Regular music venues for The Dominettes in the early 1960s were the Grotto Club on Bromsgrove Street, and The Sicilia Coffee Bar in Edgbaston. The group by this time included many R&B numbers into their set and this style of music suited Gibbons’ gritty vocals. Although the Dominettes had a rougher image than most groups at that time, and were sometimes hired to back strippers at some of the more seedy establishments, they attracted quite a following. Another regular venue for the Dominettes was the Firebird Jazz Club on Carrs Lane in central Birmingham and the group posted advertisements which read “anything considered”.

The Uglys

By 1963, The Dominettes were renamed The Ugly’s. Eventually, the Ugly’s were able to secure a recording contract with Pye Records and the first release from the group in 1965 was an original song entitled “Wake Up My Mind”, composed by Burnet, Holden and Gibbons. The single was advanced for its time and featured some socially conscious lyrics – very unlike the kind of material produced by most other pop groups of the period.[citation needed] The record did not sell well in the United Kingdom, but was a big hit on the national Australian chart, reaching No. 14.[2] John Gordon left in 1965, and was replaced by Jimmy O’Neill from a local band called The Yamps (he had also spent some time with The Walker Brothers). A second Ugly’s single released the same year was “It’s Alright”. This one featured prominent use of a harpsichord, as played by O’Neill. The record fell short of the UK Singles Chart, despite the group’s appearance on the television program, Ready Steady Go! to promote it.

Other Ugly’s singles were released between 1965 and 1967 including a cover version of “End of the Season”, a song composed by Ray Davies. This represented a departure from the Ugly’s’ previous records, as they had all been group compositions up to that point.

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During this period, there were many personnel changes in the Ugly’s line-up which included the departure of Bob Burnett and John Hustwayte. Bass guitarist Dave Pegg joined for a year before leaving to join the Ian Campbell Group. He was replaced by Dave Morgan from a local band called Blaises, and had also been a former member of Danny King’s Mayfair Set. Dave Pegg was later in a local group called The Exception and from there, he joined Fairport Convention. Dave Morgan also composed the song “Something” which ended up as the b-side of the Move’s chart-topping “Blackberry Way” single. Jimmy O’Neill left the Ugly’s in 1968 to join The Mindbenders and founding member Jim Holden also departed later that year.

Former Brumbeats guitarist Roger Hill (born 1 January 1945, Erdington, Birmingham died 8 November 2011, Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield) joined the Ugly’s and stayed for almost a year, before leaving to join previously-departed Dave Pegg in forming a new band called The Exception. Roger Hill was replaced by Will Hammond (from The Yamps) who stayed in the Ugly’s line-up until the end. Jim Holden was replaced by drummer Keith Smart from Danny King’s Mayfair Set. Keyboard player Richard Tandy, who also played on the Move’s “Blackberry Way”, joined in 1968 and eventually joined the Electric Light Orchestra.

By the end of 1968, Gibbons was the only remaining original member of The Ugly’s. This final line-up also included Will Hammond, Dave Morgan, Keith Smart, and Richard Tandy. They recorded a projected single “I’ve Seen The Light” which was never released.

The Balls

Gibbons teamed up with guitarist Trevor Burton from The Move in 1969 and, by April of that year, they had formed a new group called Balls, along with singer/guitarist Denny Laine (formerly of the Moody Blues), and Ugly’s’ drummer Keith Smart. The project was relatively short lived and after recording a solo album, Gibbons left the band in February 1971.

After the breakup of Balls, Gibbons returned to Birmingham from London to join The Idle Race for three months in 1971. This band rapidly evolved into the Steve Gibbons Band.

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The first lineup comprised Gibbons together with Dave Carroll and Bob Wilson on guitars, Trevor Burton on bass and Bob Lamb on drums. The new band worked the pub and club circuits until 1975 when they were spotted by Peter Meaden, former manager of The Who. This led to the Steve Gibbons Band joining The Who’s management stable and recording their first Polydor album Any Road Up in 1975 (With John Entwistle of The Who playing on a few tracks). This was followed in 1976 by a tour with The Who in the UK, Europe and the United States. Playing the concert arenas, they shared the stage with Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Electric Light Orchestra, The J. Geils Band, Rufus, and Nils Lofgren. In 1977 their second album, Rollin’ On included their biggest hit single, “Tulane”, a cover of a Chuck Berry song. The single reached No. 12 in the UK Singles Chart and spent eight weeks in the Top 40. 1977 also saw the release of the live album Caught in the Act. The band made two further studio albums with Polydor, Down in the Bunker (1978) and Street Parade (1980).

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In 1981, after a change in personnel, The Steve Gibbons Band recorded Saints & Sinners for RCA and later responded to an invitation from the German Democratic Republic to become one of the first western rock bands to tour the major cities of East Germany in 1982. Gibbons played at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which featured George Harrison. Nine more albums were released in the 1980s and 1990s, and the touring continued.

Gibbons formed the Dylan Project in the late 1990s. The trio covered Bob Dylan songs and played material by Gibbons.

Gibbons continues to tour with his band, and is also a member of the hit UK show ‘Brum Rocks Live’, along with Bev Bevan (The Move, ELO), Trevor Burton (The Move), Danny King, and writer Laurie Hornsby. The show toured the UK, and was produced and promoted by Brian Yeates Associates.

Gibbons lives with his wife Suzie in Edgbaston, Birmingham. They have two sons and a daughter.

Gibbons played in concert for the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children in February 2011. (by wikipedia)

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One of the most underrated bands ever,I saw them several times in Brum at a club/pub called
The Artesian Well if my memory serves me rightly and they were fantastic and ‘ Johnny Cool ‘that was Steve personified. (Nigel Canton)

This album was a good start for Steve Gibbons the legendary Birmingham rock vocalist and his band … including a great studio version of studio of ‘Little Suzie’ (a killer version, believe me). as a bonus track … loud and proud, hot and dirty … Listen !

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Personnel:
Trevor Burton (bass, vocals)
Dave Carroll (guitar, vocals)
Steve Gibbons (vocals)
Bob Lamb (drums)
Bob Wilson (guitar, vocals)
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John Entwistle (bass, background vocals)

Single

Tracklist:
01.Take Me Home 4.05
02. Johnny Cool 3.55
03. Rollin’  5.54
04. Spark Of Love 4.15
05. Standing On The Bridge 3.13
06. Natural Thing 4.22
07. Speed Kills 3.33
08. Strange World 5.18
09. Sweetheart 4.21
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10. Get Up And Dance 3.16
11. Little Suzie 1.59

All songs written by Steve Gibbons

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Marshall Tucker Band – Long Hard Ride (1976)

FrontCover1Long Hard Ride is the fifth studio album by The Marshall Tucker Band, released in 1976 and produced by Paul Hornsby. Guest performers included Charlie Daniels, John McEuen and Jerome Joseph. The title track was made into a short film that was played as a sort of movie trailer. It depicts the members of the band as a gang of cowboys. The album’s cover features Frank C. McCarthy’s painting “The Last Crossing”.

On Long Hard Ride, The Marshall Tucker Band’s country influences come to the fore, resulting in a strong record that failed to gain many hits. Still, the final product is well worth listening to — it’s one of their better releases. Be sure to listen for Charlie Daniels’ guest appearance. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

The Marshall Tucker Band seems to have been largely forgotten today but in the mid-1970s this band was one of the best Southern rock, country-rock outfits around.

Marshall Tucker had a very unique sound; they combined what was essentially a country and country-rock sound with elements of blues and jazz to create one of the most distinctive musical styles among the many successful bands that, at the time, were coming out of the south eastern U.S.

Single

Bands that come out of the South at the same time as Marshall Tucker included Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Charlie Daniels Band.

If you’re not familiar with the Marshall Tucker Band, there are three of their albums you should check out: Searchin’ For A Rainbow, Long Hard Ride and Carolina Dreams. All three are excellent. (by Mark Anderson)

Take a Great Ride with the MTB:
The Marshall Tucker Band have recorded a lot of great albums, and this one are among the best. I think that ALL the songs are very strong. The first melody is the title-song `Long Hard Ride`. Close your eyes and you`ll believe that you`re in the wild west! And then the band continues with seven more great songs, among these I will mention `Walkìn`the Streets Alone, `Windy City Blues` and `You Say You Love Me`. Well this cd means a lot to me. I remember that it was a christmas-gift to me back in 1976 or something like that, off course on lp. And now so many years after, it is still such a great album. (ny Henrik Lorenz)

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Personnel:
Tommy Caldwell (bass, background vocals)
Toy Caldwell (guitar, steel guitar, vocals on 02.)
Jerry Eubanks (flute, saxophone, background vocals)
Doug Gray (vocals, percussion)
George McCorkle (guitar, banjo)
Paul Riddle (drums)
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Charlie Daniels (fiddle)
Jerome Joseph (percussion)
John McEuen (banjo, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Long Hard Ride (Toy Caldwell) 3.40
02. Property Line (Toy Caldwell) 2.55
03. Am I The Kind Of Man (Toy Caldwell) 4.11
04. Walkin’ The Streets Alone (Toy Caldwell) 4.55
05. Windy City Blues (Eubanks/Gray/McCorkle) 4.46
06. Holding On To You (McCorkle) 3.42
07. You Say You Love Me (Toy Caldwell) 3.50
08. You Don’t Live Forever (Tommy Caldwell) 3.51

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The Last Crossing

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Genesis – A Trick Of The Tail (1976)

FrontCover1A Trick of the Tail is the seventh studio album by English progressive rock band Genesis. It was released in February 1976 on Charisma Records and was the first album to feature drummer Phil Collins as lead vocalist following the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was a critical and commercial success in the UK and U.S., reaching No. 3 and No. 31 respectively.

Following Gabriel’s decision to leave the band, the remaining members wanted to carry on and show they could still write and record successful material. The group wrote and rehearsed new songs during mid-1975, and listened to around 400 audition tapes for a replacement frontman. They entered Trident Studios in October with producer David Hentschel to record the album without a definitive idea of who was going to perform lead vocals. After the search for a singer proved unfruitful, Collins was persuaded to sing “Squonk”, and the performance was so strong, he sang lead on the rest of the album.

Upon release, critics were impressed by the improved sound quality and the group’s ability to survive the loss of Gabriel without sacrificing the quality of the music. The group went out on tour with Collins as frontman and Bill Bruford as an additional drummer, and the resulting performances in the US raised Genesis’ profile there. The Genesisalbum has been reissued on CD several times, including a deluxe package with bonus tracks in 2007.

Founding member and lead singer Peter Gabriel decided to leave Genesis in late 1974, midway through the tour for the album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.[1] His bandmates hoped he would reconsider, as they were still in debt and felt his departure could destroy the band’s future, but ultimately accepted that he would leave.[2] The remaining members felt they still wanted to collaborate musically, and show journalists and critics they were primarily a song writing team that could still produce good music.[3] Keyboardist Tony Banks had been close to Gabriel personally, and did not want the band to split up on top of seeing less of one of his best friends. He had written a number of songs for a possible solo project before deciding they should be used on the new Genesis album.

Following the end of the tour, guitarist Steve Hackett recorded a solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte with guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford and drummer Phil Collins, feeling unsure that Genesis would survive. He reconvened with the remaining group members in July 1975. Banks and Rutherford were particularly keen to write and record new material so that critics and fans would accept Gabriel’s departure.[4] The group began rehearsals in a basement studio in Acton, and quickly wrote material they were happy with, but had not yet found a replacement lead singer. They placed an anonymous advertisement in the music paper Melody Maker for “a singer for a Genesis-type group”, which received around 400 replies. Some applicants sent photographs of themselves in costume and wearing masks, as Gabriel had done on stage. A few weeks into rehearsals, Melody Maker managed to find out about Gabriel leaving the band, and their story made the front page of the 16 August issue, where journalist Chris Welch declared Genesis dead. The group spoke to the music papers to deny they were splitting up and explained they had a new album written and waiting to be recorded.

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“I didn’t want to not be the drummer … this is what I did. This is my territory.” (Phil Collins recalling the choice of a new lead singer to replace Peter Gabriel)

Recording began in Trident Studios in October 1975 with producer David Hentschel. Hentschel had served as tape op and then engineer on earlier Genesis albums and Collins had become a fan of his album Startling Music, a re-recording of Ringo Starr’s album Ringo on an ARP 2500 synthesizer. Collins thought the group could carry on as an instrumental act, but the others felt that it would be boring without vocals.[6] The group had still not decided on a replacement singer, so they decided to start recording backing tracks and audition singers as they went. Gabriel visited the band in the studio and listened to the album, and thought they had succeeded in proving to others that they still were “a whole, strong band without me”. He knew that the group could write strong material, but the little effort it took them surprised him the most.

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A Trick of the Tail had a positive reception from music critics, who were impressed that the group could not only survive the loss of Gabriel but still deliver a good album.The sound quality had improved from previous albums as a result of Hentschel’s production skills. The album reached No. 3 in the UK, remaining on the charts for 39 weeks, and No. 31 in the U.S. It was certified Gold in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry in June and in the US by the RIAA in March 1990. The album remained in the UK charts for 39 weeks and recouped a significant amount of $400,000 worth of debt they had accumulated by the time Gabriel left.

For the first time in their career, Genesis filmed promotional videos for their songs. The first to be filmed was the title track, which features the band playing to the song together around a piano, including composite shots of a miniature Collins hopping around on a piano and a guitar. The group also produced promotional films of “Ripples…” and “Robbery, Assault and Battery” (by wikipedia)

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After Peter Gabriel departed for a solo career, Genesis embarked on a long journey to find a replacement, only to wind back around to their drummer, Phil Collins, as a replacement. With Collins as their new frontman, the band decided not to pursue the stylish, jagged postmodernism of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway — a move that Gabriel would do in his solo career — and instead returned to the English eccentricity of Selling England by the Pound for its next effort, A Trick of the Tail. In almost every respect, this feels like a truer sequel to Selling England by the Pound than Lamb; after all, that double album was obsessed with modernity and nightmare, whereas this album returns the group to the fanciful fairy tale nature of its earlier records. Also, Genesis were moving away from the barbed pop of the first LP and returning to elastic numbers that showcased their instrumental prowess, and they sounded more forceful and unified as a band than they had since Foxtrot. Not that this album is quite as memorable as Foxtrot or Selling England, largely because its songs aren’t as immediate or memorable: apart from “Dance on a Volcano,” this is about the sound of the band playing, not individual songs, and it succeeds on that level quite wildly — to the extent that it proved to longtime fans that Genesis could possibly thrive without its former leader in tow. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tony Banks (keyboards, mellotron, guitar, background vocals)
Phil Collins (drums, percussion, vocals)
Steve Hackett (guitar)
Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Dance On A Volcano (Rutherford/Banks/Hackett/Collins) 5.55
02. Entangled (Hackett/Banks) 6.28
03. Squonk (Rutherford/Banks) 6.24
04. Mad Man Moon (Banks) 7.32
05. Robbery, Assault And Battery (Banks/Collins) 6.11
06. Ripples… (Rutherford/Banks) 8.02
07. A Trick Of The Tail (Banks) 4.34
08. Los Endos (Collins/Hackett/Rutherford/Banks) 5.44

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