Jethro Tull – Heavy Horses (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgHeavy Horses is the eleventh studio album by British progressive rock band Jethro Tull, released on 10 April 1978. It is considered the second album in a trilogy of folk-rock albums by Jethro Tull, although folk music’s influence is evident on a great number of Jethro Tull releases. The album abandons much of the folk lyrical content typical of the previous studio album, Songs from the Wood (1977), in exchange for a more realist perspective on the changing world – the album is dedicated to the “indigenous working ponies and horses of Great Britain”. Likewise, the band sound is harder and tighter. The third album in the folk-rock trilogy is Stormwatch (1979).

Produced by Ian Anderson and recorded and engineered by Robin Black in London, Heavy Horses marks the last Jethro Tull studio album with full participation of bass player John Glascock. Anderson stated that the recording of the album came at a time when other artists were moving towards the new trends in music, and the band decided they did not want “to appear as if we were trying to slip into the post-punk coattails that were worn by The Stranglers or The Police […] They were bands that were seen as being part of the punk world, but they weren’t”.

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Heavy Horses bares more earthly and prosaic themes compared to its predecessor. Songs about the conformist view of daily life (“Journeyman”), or dedicated to Anderson’s dog (“Rover”) and cat (“…And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps”), or even another one for his new son, James (“No Lullaby”). However, an element already present in Songs from The Wood, Heavy Horses served as a discourse on transience and disappearing worlds. The title track – one of two complex suites on the record – is compared by Anderson to an “equestrian Aqualung “.

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Other tracks, such as “Acres Wild” and “Weathercock”, works as a plea for better days ahead. But, alongside the changes on themes, the music went much harder, too. The mini-epic of the title track flowing from a piano ballad to a fiddle-fest (of Curved Air’s Darryl Way) to full gallop, is a great example of the album’s style as a whole. “No Lullaby” rushes from a crushing Martin Barre riff as “Weathercock” starts full folk, to add progressive rock flavours. Barre declared that ” Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses are two of the best albums from my time in Jethro Tull”.

Rolling Stone’s contemporary review was positive, calling the instrumental arrangements lavish and stating that Heavy Horses and the folk genre, as a follow up to Songs From the Wood, suited Jethro Tull perfectly.

The album reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and peaked at No. 20 on the UK Albums Chart.

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Personnel:
Ian Anderson (vocals, flute, guitar, mandolin)
Barriemore Barlow (drums, percussion)
Martin Barre (guitar)
John Evan (keyboards)
John Glascock (bass, background vocals)
Dee Palmer (keyboards, portative pipe organ)
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Darryl Way – violin (on “Acres Wild” and “Heavy Horses”)

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Tracklist:
01. …And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps 3.14
02. Acres Wild 3.25
03. Heavy Horses 8.59
04. Journeyman 3.58
05. Moths 3.27
06. No Lullaby 7.55
07. One Brown Mouse 3.23
08. Rover 4.16
09. Weathercock 4.03

All tracks written by Ian Anderson with additional material by Martin Barre and David Palmer.

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Jan Garbarek – Photo With Blue Sky (1978)

LPFrontCover1Photo with Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows and a Red Roof is an album by Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek, released in 1979 on the ECM label and performed by Garbarek, John Taylor, Bill Connors, Eberhard Weber and Jon Christensen.

Jan Garbarek’s icy and haunting tones on tenor and soprano are in the forefront during much of this set. He performs six originals (which have simple but picturesque titles such as “Blue Sky,” “Windows” and “The Red Roof”) with the assistance of guitarist Bill Connors, pianist John Taylor, bassist Eberhard Weber and drummer Jon Christensen. Nothing too exciting occurs, but this is high-quality background music. (by Scott Yanow)

From the flowing introductory licks to the final exhalation that snaps this sonic locket shut, one look at the track listing of this debut nominal album from the Jan Garbarek Group can’t help but remind us of William Carlos Williams. The full title—Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof—is a Williams verse in itself, each element drawn from the cover photo into a sonic description thereof. Together they form a concept album in the deepest sense, the anatomy of which is known before the music even graces our ears. Garbarek is as incisive as the words, each the tooth of a widening grin.

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Melody and circumstance cohabitate the sonorous waves that issue from every new turn that awaits us, and all in a language that is mellifluous, filled with open spaces, and drenched in Garbarek’s sunlit tone. The airy piano stylings of John Taylor and ever-moving bass of Eberhard Weber, not to mention outstanding contributions from guitarist Bill Connor and the omniscient Jon Christensen on drums, make for a most soluble palette. Even in such a pool of bases, Garbarek’s thematic bite loses none of its acidity. His is an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of worldly-wise meditations and humble commentary.

Each piece breaks a piece from the longer title and rolls it out into a photo in its own right. “White Cloud” works its way from the inside out, laying the tender kindling of a solo piano before being set aglow by Garbarek’s deep smolder. Slowly but surely, drums, bass, and electric guitar weave their way into this dreamlike fabric, cinched by soothing legato threads. We keep our eyes on the cover as its “Windows” are hung with lilting harmonies between Garbarek and Taylor. An acoustic guitar speculates through its translucent frame, enhancing Connors’s understated brilliance all the more. “Red Roof” finds Garbarek in a more pentatonic mode in his soaring reverberant passages, while “Wires” gives us a more animated, earthbound concept in which to contemplate the patterns of our psychic dentition.

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This track is composed not of melodies, but of wing beats tickling the edges of our brains with promises of light, and all the more soothing for its lack of vivid rhythmic separation. Every fragment falls into place in “The Picture,” which sprouts from the piano’s chromatic seeds into a small yet lush garden of life. Garbarek paints delicate images in the snatches of sky afforded to us while Weber’s bass navigates the soil below with the silent knowledge of an earthworm, closing in a gorgeous crepuscular fade.

Photo With… is far more than the “high-quality background music” it has been accused of being elsewhere. It was a finely polished stepping stone for the Norwegian saxophonist and composer, who with its ripples forged a distinct sonic shoreline that we continue to imprint every time we put our ears to its surface. (by Tyran Grillo)

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums)
Bill Connors (guitar)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
John Taylor (piano)
Eberhard Weber (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Blue Sky 6.42
02. White Cloud 9.03
03. Windows 6.42
04. Red Roof 7.46
05. Wires 5.20
06. The Picture 8.01

All compositions by Jan Garbarek

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The Osborne Brothers – Bluegrass Collection (1978)

FrontCover1.JPGThe Osborne Brothers were one of the most popular and innovative bluegrass groups of the post-war era, taking the music into new directions and gaining a large audience. Among their most notable achievements are their pioneering, inventive use of amplification, twin harmony banjos, steel guitars, and drums — they were the first bluegrass group to expand the genre’s sonic palette in such a fashion.

Bobby and Sonny Osborne were born in Hyden, KY, but raised in Dayton, OH. As children, their father instilled a love for traditional music. Bobby picked up the electric guitar as a teenager, playing in various local bands. A few years after his brother began playing the guitar, Sonny picked up the banjo. In 1949, Bobby formed a duo with banjoist Larry Richardson. The pair was hired by a West Virginian radio station and stayed in the state for a while, eventually hooking up with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. During their stay with the Fiddlers, they helped change the group’s sound to bluegrass and made four singles for Cozy Records. Bobby Osborne left the band in the summer of 1951, forming a band with Jimmy Martin that fell apart shortly after its inception. After making a one-shot single, “New Freedom Bell,” with his siblings Louise and Sonny, he joined the Stanley Brothers for a short while before being drafted into the Army.

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Sonny spent some time with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the early ’50s, appearing on several sides on Decca Records. He also cut some covers of popular Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs songs for the budget label Gateway. After Bobby returned from the Army, he and Sonny formed a band. Initially, they supported Jimmy Martin on his RCA session while they had their own spot on a Knoxville radio station. In 1956, they joined the Wheeling Jamboree; they would stay with the radio program for four years. In March of that year, Red Allen joined the brothers — four months after his arrival, they recorded their first session for MGM Records. For the next year, they toured and recorded, steadily gaining a large audience. In the spring of 1958, “Once More” became a number 13 hit on the country charts. Its success helped push the band into the mainstream.

Shortly after the success of “Once More,” Allen left the band, and the Osbornes filled his vacancy with a string of musicians and vocalists, including Johnny Dacus and Benny Birchfield. The duo stayed with the Wheeling Jamboree and MGM Records into the early ’60s. The Osbornes became the first bluegrass act to play a college campus in 1960, when they played Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. That appearance ushered in a new era for bluegrass, creating a new, younger audience for the music.

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The Osbornes left MGM in 1963, signing with Decca Records. On their mid-’60s records for Decca, the duo began experimenting more with their music, adding piano, steel guitar, and electric instruments to their music. Their adventurousness made them more accessible to a mass audience, as their string of late-’60s and early-’70s hit singles proves. Although their experimentation angered many bluegrass traditionalists, the Osbornes were the only bluegrass group to consistently have country hits during this time, even if all their singles were only minor hits.

In 1975, the Osbornes left Decca but continued to play the Grand Ole Opry and bluegrass festivals across America. Later in the ’70s, the duo returned to a more traditional sound. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s they stuck to this sound, playing concerts and festivals frequently and recording albums for CMH, RCA, Sugar Hill, and Pinecastle. Forty years after their formation, the Osborne Brothers remained an active act in the mid-’90s. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Recorded in 1978, Bluegrass Collection is the Osborne Brothers’ tribute to the fathers of bluegrass — Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers. The duo throws in nice, but unremarkable, remakes of their older hits as well, making the album a pleasant exercise in nostalgia. (by Thom Owens)

And if you would like to hear, how this good old and sweet Blue Grass sounds: here is a nearly perfect Blues Grass album by one of the greatest groups of thise genre.

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Personnel:
Kenny Baker (fiddle)
Benny Birchfield (guitar, vocals)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Bobby Osborne (drums, mandolin, vocals)
Sonny Osborne (banjo, vocals)
Blaine Sprouse (fiddle)

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Tracklist:
01. Kentucky Waltz (Monroe) 2.39
02. Pain In My Heart (Osborne/Richardson) 2.26
03. Blue Ridge Cabin Home (Stacey/Certain) 3.09
04. When You Are Lonely (Monroe/Flatt) 2.49
05. Some Old Day (Stacey/Certain) 2.04
06. I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling (Monroe) 3.37
07. My Cabin In Caroline (Flatt/Scruggs) 2.43
08. It’s A Long, Long Way To The Top Of The World (Wayne) 3.00
09. Sunny Side Of The Mountain (Gregory/McAulliffe) 2.23
10. Head Over Heels (Flatt) 2-31
11. Don’t That Road Look Rough And Rocky (Christian) 3.32
12. I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky (Monroe) 2.26
13. Your Love Is Like A Flower (Lilly/Flatt/Scruggs) 2.36
14. Sweethearts Again (Gallion) 2.57
15. Little Cabin Home On The Hill (Monroe)
16. No Mother Or Dad (Seckler/Flatt) 3.03
17. Toy Heart (Monroe) 2.53
18. Rank Strangers (Brumley) 3.13
19. A Vision Of Mother (R. Stanley/C. Stanley) 3.48
20. Lonesome Day (B. Osborne/S. Osborne) 2.50
21. My Rose Of Old Kentucky (Monroe) 3.03
22. This Heart Of Mine Can Never Say Goodbye (B. Osborne/Goble) 3.00
23. Thinking About You (Flatt/Scruggs) 2.40
24. White Dove (Stanley) 4.06

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Sea Level – Park West (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgSea Level was an American jazz fusion band from Macon, Georgia that mixed jazz, blues and rock and existed between 1976 and 1981. Initially it was an offshoot of The Allman Brothers Band, but as tensions grew between the loss of two of its founding members and personal grievances between Gregg Allman and other bandmates and associates, Sea Level took on a life of its own as an independent band.

After the initial breakup of the Allman Brothers Band when Gregg Allman and Dicky Betts left, most of the remaining members who evolved into Sea Level were the trio “We Three” comprising bassist Lamar Williams, drummer Jaimoe and Chuck Leavell (piano, keyboards, vocals). The trio would occasionally open shows for the group in 1975 and 1976. With the Allmans disbanding in 1976, the trio added guitarist Jimmy Nalls and named the band based on a phonetic pun of their new bandleader Chuck Leavell’s name: “C. Leavell.” They toured relentlessly, experimenting and refining their sound, eventually signing with Capricorn Records (home of the Allman Brothers) and recording their self-titled debut album in 1977.

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After the release of their first album, the group expanded to a septet with the additions of Davis Causey (guitar), George Weaver (drums, percussion) and Randall Bramblett (saxophones, keyboards and vocals). That configuration recorded the group’s second album, Cats on the Coast, in 1978 (with the leadoff track, “That’s Your Secret”,[1] reaching #50 on the Billboard Hot 100). By the time of the third album, On the Edge, Jaimoe and Weaver had both left, replaced by Joe English. The sextet of Bramblett, Causey, English, Leavell, Nalls and Williams recorded the fourth album, Long Walk on a Short Pier (1979), unreleased in the United States for nearly twenty years, adding percussionist Matt Greeley for their fifth and final album, Ball Room, issued on Arista in 1980. Their greatest hits album (CD) wrapped up their body of work, minus a handful of appearances on SeaLevel2various compilation albums (mostly Southern Rock). They were also featured on a 1978 live Southern Rock album which included a live version of “Grand Larceny.”

Leavell later emerged as a much sought-after session musician and producer, touring with Eric Clapton and eventually becoming a “permanent” session player touring with the Rolling Stones.

In 1998, he issued his debut solo LP, a Christmas album called What’s in That Bag? and more recently Forever Blue that includes solo versions of two classic Sea Level compositions: “Whole Lotta Colada” and “Song for Amy.” He also released Southscape, an album of Southern anthems that hearkens back to his Southern roots. (by wikipedia)

Andhere´s a superb braodcast recording from the early days of Sea Level … such a gret mixture between Southern Rock and Jazz … another highlight in the history of this criminally underrated band !

Recorded live at the Park West, Chicago, November 18, 1978
excellent broadcast recording

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Personnel:
Randall Bramblett (saxophone, keyboards, vocals)
Davis Causey (guitar)
Joe English (drums)
Chuck Leavell (keyboards, vocals)
Jimmy Nalls (guitar, vocals)
Lamar Williams (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Rain In Spain (Leavell) 6.20
02. Living In A Dream (Bramlett/Causey/Pearson) 5.24
03. A Lotta Colada (Leavell) 3.59
04. That’s Your Secret (Bramblett/Causey) 5.35
05. King Grand (Bramblett/Causey) 5.26
06. Sneakers (Nalls) 4.49
07. Shake A Leg (Hoerner) 4.01
08. Grand Larceny (Larsen) 10.52
09. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 5.19

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More Sea Level:

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Lamar Williams died from lung cancer in 1983.

Jimmy Nalls, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, died on June 22, 2017.

The Runaways – Live in Japan (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgLive in Japan is a 1977 live album from The Runaways. The album was originally released only in Japan, and some other regions including; Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It was not intended for release in the United States or UK. (by wikipedia)

Because the Runaways were much better known in Japan than the U.S., it stands to reason that their only live album was recorded in that country. This hard to find LP was available in the U.S. only as a Japanese import and sold for around ten to 12 dollars, which was a lot to pay for vinyl in the late ’70s. But American Runaways fans who were willing to make that investment found a lot to admire about the album, which boasted superior sound quality (by ’70s standards) and explosive, uninhibited versions of “You Drive Me Wild,” “Cherry Bomb,” “California Paradise,” and other hard rock pearls. The original Runaways lineup (Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Lita Ford, Jackie Fox, and Sandy West) was still in place, and the rockers’ primary focus is on material from The Runaways and Queens of Noise. Holding nothing back, Ford is at her most metallic. Except for a handful of bootlegs, Live in Japan is the only documentation of the Runaways on stage. (by Alex Henderson)

Oh yes … here are the Queens Of Noise !

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Personnel:
Cherie Currie (vocals)
Joan Jett (guitar, vocals)
Lita Ford (lead guitar, background vocals)
Jackie Fox (bass, background vocals)
Sandy West (drums, background  vocals, vocals on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Queens Of Noise (Bizeau) 3.23
02. California Paradise (Fowley/Jett/Krome/West) 2.55
03. All Right You Guys (Fay/Willingham) 3.30
04. Wild Thing (Taylor) 3.48
05. Gettin’ Hot (Fox/Ford) 2.49
06. Rock & Roll (Reed) 4.36
07. You Drive Me Wild (Jett) 3.12
08. Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin (Ford/Fowley/Fox) 3.30
09. I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are (Fowley/Lee) 3.00
10. Cherry Bomb (Jett/Fowley) 2.09
11. American Nights (Anthony/Fowley) 3.59
12. C’mon (Jett) 4.22

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Stanley Clarke – I Wanna Play For You (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgStanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American bassist and founding member of Return to Forever, one of the first jazz fusion bands. He has composed music for films and television and has worked with musicians in many genres. Like Jaco Pastorius, Clarke gave the bass guitar a prominence it lacked in jazz-related music. (by wikipedia)

A strange album, this is Clarke’s 6th and it’s half-live album (Calderone Theatre in June 78), but most of the usual suspects are not very present: Duke on 2 tracks, Dee Dee on one and Back & Gadd only on one. Clarke is letting his afro haircut grow in search of obvious pop-star recognition and indeed the music is taking that direction. Curiously recorded in the UK for the studio, while the other half is an LA thing, the album is rather disjointed, often veering to disco with those clapping beats. Notable jazzmen Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard and guitarist Ritenour make one appearance each, but none leave a lasting impression, except on the guest list.

Opening on the pleasant bluesy-funk vocoder-filled complex funk-jazz title track (it would easily find space on Modern Man as would the short Strange weather), the album’s first side quickly slips into a soul-disco-ish-funk MOR/AOR stuff that can only irritate (Feeling, ), despite the obvious talent of all concerned. Streets is reminiscent of a funkier version that era’s Santana, while Together again is insufferable with those awful fake handclaps.. The Mingus homage is short and uninteresting and way too standard-jazzy for the rest of the album.

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The flipside is mainly live and includes Clarke classics School Days and Quiet Afternoon, and we are finding the excellent JR/F that we know Stan The Man can do (so why doesn’t he in the studios?), and obviously these tracks triple the album’s value to most progheads. Indeed Clarke’s nine-man band (including a four-man horn section) is quite gifted and the rawk the heck out of you. Strangely enough, they chose to insert a Beck/Gadd/Cochran track from the previous year, but it goes almost unnoticed in the middle of the Calderone Theatre tracks. If it wasn’t for this live facet, the overall level of the album would probably sink deep because the first side is completely disjointed and wouldn’t be worth the proghead’s attention. (by Sean Trane)

Stanley Clarke stretches his muscles and comes up with a mostly impressive, polystylistic, star-studded double album (now on one CD) that gravitates ever closer to the R&B mainstream. Clarke’s writing remains strong and his tastes remain unpredictable, veering into rock, electronic music, acoustic jazz, even reggae in tandem with British rocker Jeff Beck.

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Clarke’s excursion into disco, “Just a Feeling,” is surprisingly and infectiously successful, thanks to a good bridge and George Duke’s galvanizingly funky work on the Yamaha electric grand piano (his finest moment with Clarke by far). The brief “Blues for Mingus,” a wry salute from one master bassist to another (Mingus died about six months before this album’s release), is a cool acoustic breather for piano trio, and the eloquent Stan Getz can be detected, though nearly buried under the garish vocals and rock-style mix, on “The Streets of Philadelphia.” Yet even the talented Clarke in full creative flower couldn’t quite fill a double set with new material, so he has a tendency to reprise some of his old memorable riffs a lot, and there are several energetic snapshots of his live band in action. In its zeal to get this two-LP set onto one disc, Epic deleted three of the original 15 tracks — including at least one gem, the sizzling hard rocker “All About” — and scrambled the order of the remaining tunes. Which is dumb, because the missing tracks only take up a bit less than 12 minutes of playing time, not enough to overload a 65-minute disc. Hunt for the double-LP version if you can still play vinyl. (by Richard S. Ginell)

And yes … here´s the vinyl edition of this album … and enjoy one of the greatest master of the bass guitar (listen his solo on “Jamaican Boy” and “My Greatest Hits” for example).

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Personnel:
Stanley Clarke (bass, syntheszier on 06. + 08., organ on 08., talkbox on 01. + 02., vocals)
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Jeff Beck (guitar on 03.)
Dee Dee Bridgewater (background vocals on 07.)
Darryl Brown (drums on 01., 02., 04., 05.,07., 11., 13., 14., 15.  cymbal on 06.)
Gerry Brown (drums on 10.)
Cathy Carson (vocals on 08., 09.)
Bayeté Todd Cochran (synthesizer on 01., 06., 09.,10., 12., 15. keyboards on 03.)
Juanita Curiel (vocals on 08., 09.)
George Duke (piano on 07., 08.)
Ronnie Foster (piano on 09.)
Steve Gadd (drums on 03.)
Michael Garson (synthesizer on 01., 11., 15.,  piano on 11. 12., 14.)
Stan Getz (saxophone on 09.)
Raymond Gomez (guitar on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Al Harrison (trumpet on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Freddie Hubbard (flugelhorn on 12.)
Phil Jost (organ on 01.)
David DeLeon (bass on 11.)
Bob Malach (saxophone on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Harvey Mason (drums on 07., 08., 09.)
Airto Moreira (percussion on 02.)
Gwen Owens (vocals on 08., 09.)
Lee Ritenour (guitar on 09.)
Peter Robinson (synthesizer on 10.)
Tom Scott (saxophone on 04., lyricon on 07., 08.)
James Tinsley (trumpet on 01., 10., 11., 15.)
Al Williams (saxophone on 01., 10., 11., 15.)

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Tracklist:
01. Rock ‘N’ Roll Jelly (Clarke) 2.36
02. All About (Clarke) 5.17
03. Jamaican Boy (Clarke) 3.32
04. Christopher Ivanhoe (Clarke) 3.25
05. My Greatest Hits (Clarke) 6.26
06. Strange Weather (Clarke) 1.45
07. I Wanna Play For You (Clarke) 6.19
08. Just A Feeling (Clarke)
09. The Streets Of Philadelphia (Clarke) 6.03
10. School Days (Clarke) 10.46
11. Quiet Afternoon (Clarke) 8.58
12. Together Again (Garson) 5.45
13. Blues For Mingus (Clarke) 2.19
14. Off The Planet (Clarke) 3.12
15. Hot Fun-Closing (Clarke) 7.49

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Gary Moore – Back On The Streets (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgBack on the Streets is an album by Northern Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore, released in 1978, and his first authentic solo record (1973’s Grinding Stone album being credited to The Gary Moore Band). Thin Lizzy bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey appear on four songs, including “Don’t Believe A Word” (which originally appeared on the 1976 Thin Lizzy album Johnny the Fox) and the UK top 10 single “Parisienne Walkways”. On the album’s sleeve, Moore is depicted leaving notorious prison Wormwood Scrubs in the Inner London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in a photograph by Chalkie Davies.

The album was re-issued in 1989 by Grand Slam Records with a revised playing order and an additional track (“Spanish Guitar”). More bonus tracks were available for download and on the Universal Music Group Remastered CD edition of 2013. The tracks “Road of Pain” and “Track Ten” recorded in the same sessions, remain at the moment unreleased. Yet another release with title Back on the Streets, but no other apparent connection to the original album, is a 2003 compilation of Gary Moore’s greatest hits. (by wikipedia)

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1979 was a busy year for Irish guitarist Gary Moore, who after years of seemingly aimless wandering across the musical landscape (including a flirtation with jazz-rock fusion while fronting G-Force) simultaneously re-launched his long-dormant solo career and became a full-time member of Thin Lizzy. Moore had originally agreed to help his old partner in crime Phil Lynott only temporarily, while longtime Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson recovered from a broken hand incurred in a barroom brawl. But due to Robbo’s increasing unreliability, Moore was persuaded to stay on and record Lizzy’s Black Rose album in exchange for Lynott’s help in shaping his own solo effort, Back on the Streets. And a good trade it was, too, as with the exception of the title track’s gutsy hard rock, Lynott’s singing and songwriting contributions wound up providing the album with its most coherent and satisfying moments.

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These included the highly amusing “Fanatical Fascists,” a mellow reworking of Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word,” a whimsical acoustic ballad called “Spanish Guitar,” and the simply exquisite Moore tour de force “Parisienne Walkways.” Unfortunately, these are rudely interrupted by a number of misplaced instrumental fusion workouts (no doubt G-Force leftovers) and a terribly saccharine ballad called “Song for Donna.” Half winner, half dud, the album would at least serve notice of Moore’s rebirth as a solo artist, and he would show marked improvement on his next album, Corridors of Power. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards)
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Phil Lynott (bass, guitar on 03, vocals on 02., 03., background vocals)
Gary Moore (guitar, vocals, bass on 01., guitar synthesizer, mandolin, accordion on 08.)
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John Mole (bass on 04. – 07.)
Simon Phillips (drums, percussion on 01., 04. – 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Back On The Streets (Moore/Campbell) 4.26
02. Don’t Believe A Word (Lynott) 3.54
03. Fanatical Fascists (Lynott) 3.06
04. Flight Of The Snow Moose (Moore/Campbell) 7.26
05. Hurricane (Moore/Campbell) 4.54
06. Song For Donna (Moore/Campbell) 5.32
07. What Would You Rather Bee Or A Wasp (Moore/Campbell) 4.56
08. Parisienne Walkways (Lynott/Moore) 3.21

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