Rush – Black Forest (1979)

FrontCover.jpgNeil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, died Tuesday, January 7, in Santa Monica, California at age 67, according to Elliot Mintz, a family spokesperson. The cause was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three-and-a-half years. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.

Peart was one of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant yet utterly precise style that paid homage to his hero, the Who’s Keith Moon, while expanding the technical and imaginative possibilities of his instrument. He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974, and his virtuosic playing and literate, wildly imaginative lyrics – which drew on Ayn Rand and science fiction, among other influences – helped make the trio one of the classic-rock era’s essential bands. His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their own right, each one an indelible mini-composition; his lengthy drum solos, carefully constructed and full of drama, were highlights of every Rush concert.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Lee and Lifeson called Peart their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years,” and said he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. “We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time,” Lee and Lifeson said. “Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace, brother.” (by RollingStone.com)

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This recently-unearthed gem has been the subject of a lot of controversy. First of all, it wasn’t even widely know that Rush played this date. But there’s no doubt that he’s greeting Frankfurt during the intro. Next, the setlist itself raises some questions. It’s common knowledge that Rush dropped “Something For Nothing” and “Cygnus X-1″ for most of the German shows on this tour. Yet, they appear here. When this show was first circulated, it was without these two songs. On recent releases, they have been added to the mix. A splice is clearly audible where the addition occurs, yet it sounds like these songs belong in the mix, as they blend well with the rest of the show. Legend has it that this show was leaked by Skip Gildersleeve himself. Originally, SFN and CX1 were cut so that the show would fit on a 90-minute tape. Later, upon request, Skip sent out the two missing songs. Hence the splice. Decide for yourself whether you believe all of this. Personally, based on the sound alone, I think the songs belong. (If they don’t, it raises the question of where they came from. Clearly, they are from a board, but they are definitely NOT from the two other know boards from this tour – 11/20/78 and 12/2/78. So if they aren’t from this show, that suggests the existence of yet another soundboard show from this tour. Perhaps time will tell). Soundwise, the show is incredible. It’s right up there with the Tucson and Detroit shows, and you all know how good THAT is. The performance is also outstanding, especially since we are treated to an uncut version of “Hemispheres.” A definite must-have! (Ron’s Rush RoIO Guide)

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Taken from a newly obtained source and remastered for the best sound possible for this source. A long hoarded recording that has taken many years to get out into the common trading circles. It had been long rumored that the show existed, but no one would trade it unless you complete an obstacle course to get it. Well the friends of Digital Reproductions came through again and acquired this magnificent source for every Rush fan to savor. This show is the soundboard and not a broadcast performance as there are no DJ interruptions whatsoever. And unlike the Tucson show, we finally have both a full show and an uncut version of Cygnus! Well this sounds better than any currently produced commercial version of the Tucson ‘78 show save (A Desert Passage) and a bit better than Buenos Nochas! Motor City. The source is extremely low gen, 1st gen for the majority of the show and 2nd gen for the Drum Solo. Everything is crystal clear with very little tape hiss to be heard anywhere in the recording. It is great to hear a fully uncut version of Cygnus X-1 and Hemispheres. The boys sound great on this night, Geddy is hitting the high notes with Neil putting down a firm foundation for Alex’s searing solo’s. The bass is really pronounced as is the high end, if not a bit bright. If you are a die hard Rush fan, you cannot be without this show. (The Digital Dan)

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There is of course controversy with the setlist as some believe that it is incorrect. I have about 99 per cent confidence now that the show never had SfN and CX1 even though sources very close to the band said that those songs were played that night. If you prefer the SfN and CX1 not being part of the setlist, simply extract all the audio tracks to your hard drive, delete the two tracks in question and re-burn the cdr. The tracks will line up correctly and sound just like a continuous concert… If someone tries to sell it to you, you are being ripped off as any one of many Rush traders will gladly do it for free. (by bigo magazine)

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From Ian Grandy (Rush’s sound engineer who recorded the show): (via personal email, June 2007) “I was the engineer for Rush in those days. The added two songs were recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London earlier on that tour. When we went to Europe those two songs were dropped because the band was playing a shorter set. I edited them in when I got home. The tape was originally called two different things, Alex’s copy was called ‘Blitzkrieg’ and Geddy’s was called ‘Road to Germany’ after the old Bing Crosby & Bob hope ‘road’ movies. I always loved that tape and I only recorded that day because the sound in the hall was excellent. There was a lot of low end naturally and that’s why the tape w/b a little high endish. I think half the crowd was American servicemen stationed in Germany. You say Skip released that tape but I don’t know that he ever had a copy, I sent a copy to a guy in Hartford CT who used to call me in 1994 so that might be where it started. I doubt that Alex or Geddy gave their copies away…” (digitalrushexperience.com)

Recorded live at the Stadhalle, Offenbach, Germany; May 28, 1979.
Excellent soundboard.

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Personnel:
Geddy Lee (bass synthesizer, vocals)
Alex Lifeson (guitar, guitar synthesizer)
Neil Peart (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Anthem (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 4.19
02. A Passage To Bangkok (Lee/Lifeson) 3.58
03. By-Tor And The Snow Dog (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 5.42
04. Xanadu (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 11.56
05. Something For Nothing (Lee/Peart) 4.32
06. The Trees (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 4.59
07. Cygnus X-1 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 931
08. Hemispheres (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 19.56
09. Closer To The Heart (Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Talbot) 3.21
10. A Farewell To Kings (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 5.42
11. La Villa Strangiato (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 10.40
12. 2112 Suite (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 19.08
13. Working Man (Lee/Lifeson) 3.39
14. Bastille Day (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) 1.39
15. In The Mood (Lee) 2.44
16. Drum Solo (Peart) 5.14

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Neil Ellwood Peart (September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020)

Alex Chilton – Like Flies On Sherbert (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgLike Flies on Sherbert is the first solo album released by American pop rock musician Alex Chilton. He had previously recorded a collection of songs in 1969 and 1970, ultimately titled 1970, but this was not released until 1996. Released in 1979, Like Flies on Sherbert was recorded at two Memphis studios, Phillips Recording and Ardent Studios, in 1978 and 1979. Chilton had previously been a member of the Box Tops and Big Star.

The album was originally released in fall 1979 in a batch of 500 copies by Peabody Records, a label run by Memphis singer and guitarist Sid Selvidge. Aura Records, a British label, put out a version that differed slightly from the original issue. A number of CD releases followed in the 1990s and 2000s, some with added bonus tracks. Selvidge’s 1998 Peabody CD reissue collects all the tracks from the previous Peabody edition and the Aura reissue and adds three tracks: “Baby Doll,” “She’s the One That’s Got It” and “Stranded on a Dateless Night.”

The photograph used for the cover of the album was taken by noted American photographer William Eggleston, who had previously provided the cover for Big Star’s second album Radio City.

The songs on the album were either Chilton originals or obscure cover versions of songs by artists including KC and the Sunshine Band, The Bell Notes, Ernest Tubb and the Carter Family. Critic Robert Christgau described them as a “bag of wrecked covers and discarded originals”. All were recorded with false starts and vocal and musical errors, either created by accident or on purpose. Producer Jim Dickinson later described the recording of “No More the Moon Shines on Lorena”: “Sometimes there was somebody in the control room and a lot of times there was nobody there. The beginning of ‘Lorena’ where it’s spoken, that was overdubbed because whoever started the machine didn’t start it soon enough.”[2] The musicians also sometimes used instruments that were not fully functioning, as Dickinson explained: “The Minimoog was sitting around broken at [the studio]. I played it and all I did was twist knobs.”

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Chilton later said that when the recording sessions began, he began to think, “‘Man these guys don’t know the songs…this must sound terrible’. But when I went in the control room and heard what we’d been doing, it was just incredible sounding. Getting involved with Dickinson opened up a new world for me. Before that I’d been into careful layerings of guitars and voices and harmonies and things like that, and Dickinson showed me how to go into the studio and just create a wild mess and make it sound really crazy and anarchic. That was a growth for me.”

Dickinson affirmed that Chilton consciously wanted the musicianship to be sloppy. He clarified that he plays guitar on the album despite not being technically proficient: “A lot of the guitar on Sherbert is me. Alex said, ‘You still play like you’re 14 years old.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I play bad.’ That’s what he wanted.”

Years later, for Robert Gordon’s book on the Memphis music scene, It Came from Memphis, Chilton stated, “My life was on the skids, and Like Flies on Sherbert was a summation of that period. I like that record a lot. It’s crazy but it’s a positive statement about a period in my life that wasn’t positive.” (by wikipedia)

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In most cases, adding in an unrelated EP, a second unrelated three-song EP, and a couple of random live tracks to an artist’s album would make for a disorganized and confusing set, but Alex Chilton’s 1979 album Like Flies on Sherbert was already a chaotic mess by most people’s standards in the first place, so adding in the Feudalist Tarts EP from 1985 and the three songs from 1986’s No Sex 12″ EP from 1986 plus live versions of “The Letter” and “No Sex” simply expands the chaos to something closer to epic proportions. In retrospect, Flies isn’t quite the car wreck it once appeared to be, and this two-disc package from Last Call has a strange coherence to it, full of loose, ragged deconstructive noise experiments, gutbucket R&B, and deliberately torpedoed pop and country songs. All of this is a far cry from the impressive power pop of Big Star, to be sure, but Flies and its various trailing EPs still seem to have a sense of purpose, even if that sense may have only been clear to Chilton.

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If love of Chilton’s Big Star work brings you to this, well, be prepared to be shocked, but give it all a second listen. Songs like “My Rival” and its mirror cousin, “Like Flies on Sherbert,” have fascinatingly bristling junkyard exteriors that mask a powerfully inverted pop sense, while tracks like “Boogie Shoes” and “Lost My Job” have a refreshing country-R&B shuffle feel, and “No Sex” may well be the most direct and honest song about sex in the postmodern world ever recorded. None of this is pop music trying to get over — which is what one is used to — but is instead pop music trying to get away from any perceived boundaries. What photo best captures the look and feel of the aftermath of a huge blowout party, one that is clear, in focus, and perfectly posed, or one that is blurred at the edges, tilted off axis, and has no obvious center point? The party’s over, Chilton seems to be saying, and I don’t have to look pretty anymore. (by Steve Leggett)

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Personnel:
Lee Baker (guitar)
Alex Chilton (guitar, vocals, piano)
Jim Dickinson (keyboards, guitar)
Ross Johnson (drums, vocals)
Mike Ladd (guitar, drums)
Jim Lancaster (bass)
Richard Rosebrough (drums)
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background vocals:
Lesa Aldridge – Sid Selvidge

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Tracklist:
01. Boogie Shoes (Wayne Casey, Richard Finch) 2.30
02. My Rival (Chilton) 3.28
03. Hey! Little Child (Chilton) 3.44
04. Hook Or Crook (Chilton) 2.25
05. I’ve Had It (Ceroni/Bonura) 2.24
06. Rock Hard (Chilton) 2.42
07. Girl After Girl (Shelton) 2.27
08. Waltz Across Texas (Tubb) 4.47
09. Alligator Man (Chance/Newman) 2.40
10. Like Flies On Sherbert (Chilton) 2.08
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11. Baron Of Love (Johnson) 4.12
12. No More The Moon Shines On Lorena (Carter) 4.44
13. Baby Doll (Chilton) 2.50
14. She’s The One That’s Got It (Page) 1.54
15. Stranded On A Dateless Night (Jackson) 2.31

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Alexander William Chilton (December 28, 1950 – March 17, 2010)

Canned Rock – Live (1979)

FrontCover1This is a real obscure prog-rock band from the Seventies:

Canned Rock was a vehicle for records by the trio of that name and was presumably owned by them. It appears to have issued three albums and one single during the period 1978-82, the albums being ‘Kinetic Energy’ (CAN-002; 1978), ‘Live’ (CAN-003; 1979), and ‘Machines’ (CAN-004; 1982); there had been a previous album on the Tavern label, ‘Canned Rock’ (STA-1014). Apparently the band was popular live, and had a penchant for attempting to play songs that most other people would only do in the studio, such as Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. That habit was reflected in the fact that their only single on this label coupled a cover version of the Sparks song ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ with a version of the ‘Star Wars’ theme. Its number was CANS-003 (presumably because the album it was taken from was numbered CAN-003), and it was released in November 1979, through Pinnacle. (7tt77.co.uk)

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And here´s their live album (it was the second album of the band)  and we can hear pretty good cover versins of classic progh-rock tunes from the Seventies. A real good cover band with real good musicians !

They describes themselbes as the best live band of the 70’s & 80’s … this is of course nonsense, but it´s till today a nice album.

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Personnel:
Pete Buckby (drums, percussion, vocals)
Dougie Kenward (guitar, keyboards, syntesizer, vocals)
Don Maxwell (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Mars / Star Wars (Holst/Williams) 7.25
02. Logical Song (Davies/Hodgson) 4.27
03. Fanfare To The Common Man (Copland) 5.01
04. Music (Miles) 6.51
05.  This Town Aint Big Enough For The Both Of Us (Mael) 3.06
06. Hocus Pocus / Sylvia (Akkerman(v.Leer) 5.59
07. Bat Out Of Hell (Steinman) 9.37
08. War Of The Worlds (Wayne) 7.50

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Wild Geese – Flight 2 (1979)

FrontCover1.JPGUnfortunately I found no informations about the hisory of the Irish Folk group; maybe they lived in Germany, becaus all their albums were recorded in Germany.

But I found the liner notes from their first album, written by Finbar Furey:

The past twenty years or so have seen a great re-birth and development in the popularity and techniques of traditional Irish music. Many individuals and groups have concentrated on particular aspects of the music.

If one word were applied to WILD GEESE it must surely be “variety”. The 4 musicians — Peadar, Norman and Tony from Ireland, Steve from England — play the whole spectrum of traditional music — from unaccompanied slow-airs and street-ballads to intricate arrangements of dance music and traditional songs. This scope and versatility is well represented on this, their first record together. Finbar Furey, an old friend of the WILD GEESE, wrote to us the following about the musicians: “Sligo is a great County for music. Some of the finest musicians have emerged from here. Peadar is a grand flute player who plays in his native Sligo style, which yet has to be equalled. He’s a very modest man with a smile for the ladies and a great respect for fellow musicians; as Norman would say, ‘a mighty man’. Every group has to have one — what I mean is a Norman. What’s known as a man with a gifted tongue and a shake for the Bodhrán. He also plays guitar and has one of the best voices for singing Dublin street ballads and rowdy pub songs. His Dublin inheritance gives him one of the greatest humours on or off stage. A gentleman and a scholar.

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Tony has a beautiful voice and when he sings, not only does he sing the song but tells the story and lives every moment of it. Very few people have this gift, or if you like, this combination. Tony seems to thrive on it. In other words, he doesn’t force it. His accompaniment on guitar with the Irish Reels and slow Jigs is very tasty indeed. He’s the peace-maker in the group, a very necessary man.

Steve is the fiddle player, mandolin, guitar, five-string banjo and even knocks an odd tune out of the tin-whistle. What’s known as an all-rounder. Steve you might say, is the odd man out. You have to look twice to see if he’s there. He’s so quiet sometimes and shy, you’d be afraid to bring him into Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks, in case they might be stock-taking. A very important man.

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This is the combination of the WILD GEESE and when they play together they love every minute of it, and that’s the way a group should be. They’ve done many nice things in the arrangements of their material. This group have really sat down and put their heads together and the result is this fine LP.

So if you want some furious advice, get a glass of beer, or a glass of whatever you fancy, put the record player on, sit down and relax and listen to the sporting songs, the love songs, pub songs and music of the WILD GEESE!”

And here´s their second album … and if you like this wonderful Irish traidional tunes, then is this rre album  a must !

Enjoy the music of Wild Geese (and listen to the end of “The Foggy Dew” … what a great rhythm power !)

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Personnel:
Eoin O Duigneain (bagpipes, tin whistle)
Norman King (bodhrán, vocals)
Mike Ryan (fiddle, mandolin)
Tony Small (guitar, vocals)
Peadar Óh Uallaigh (flute, tin whistle, concertina, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The First Of May (Traditional) 5.19
02. Galway Bay (Fahy) 5.46
03. Kerry Slide And Sligo Polka (Traditional) 2.28
04. Marrowbones (Traditional) 3.42
05. The Galway Rebel Boys (O Báiread) 4.09
06. The Hills Of Connemara (McCarthy) 3.05
07. Jimmy Clay (Sky/Small) 4.35
08. The Foggy Dew (Traditional) 5.26

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Taken from the sleeve notes:

THE FIRST OF MAY — The first of May: We learned this hornpipe from an old recording made in the 1920’s. The tune is used as the melody of a popular song called “The Skillet Pot”. A version of this hornpipe and also of the two following tunes is to be found in “O’Neills -The Dance Music of Ireland” edited at the beginning of the century by Francis O’Neill and now widely available. It appears as number 899 of this collection.

Trip it Up Stairs: The rhythm changes to the triple time of a single jig (O’Neills No. 372).

Another Jig Will Do: Again a change of rhythm. This time a slip-jig, an unusual dance in 9/8 time. (O’Neills No. 437).

The Humours of Whiskey: We recently learned this slipjig from the fiddle playing of Charlie and Paddy O’Neill – father and son who live in Moy, Co Tyrone.

GALWAY BAY — The text is by Francis A. Fahy and the melody is one of Tony’s compromises.

KERRY SLIDE & SLIGO POLKA — Co. Kerry in South West Ireland has its own stock of music played mostly for dancing. The Slide is a popular dance, a type of jig, found in “sets” where a group of dancers, often eight, dance through a series of set patterns.

Peadar’s family come from the village of Curry in Co. Sligo and it was here that he learnt this Polka from the playing of the local musicians.

MARROWBONES — This piece begins with a jig which we learned from Steve Power who spent three enjoyable years with The ‘Wild Geese’.

There are several Irish songs on the theme of Marrowbones with varying melodies but only minor variations of the story line, for example, “The Old Woman of Wexford” and “Tipping it up to Nancy” and many other variants in the English song tradition. The wife in every case wants to rid herself of her old husband, beginning by finding a “medicine” to blind him — “Marrowbones”. The husband pretends to lose his sight and foils the wife’s attempt to drown him. Peadar came across this version in a valuable periodical called ‘Ceol’. The transcription was from a singer called Paul Ryan of Co. Wicklow.

THE GALWAY REBEL BOYS — In 1916 the revolutionary forces in Ireland took advantage of the British Armies’ involvement in the “Great War” and made yet another attempt to end British domination in Ireland. At Easter they took control of Dublin and some rural areas. The great majority of the insurgents were members of the Irish Volunteers, later known as the Irish Republican Army — The I.R.A.

Liam Mellows was an organiser of the Irish Volunteers in the West of Ireland and during Easter week he raised over 1000 men in County Galway, capturing the Police Barracks in Oranmore and holding the town of Athenry. Due to lack of communication with the Provisional Government in Dublin and being seriously short of arms the Galway rebels were forced to disperse. Mellows disguised himself as a priest and escaped to Dublin and later to the U.S.A.

Some years later Mellows was a leader of the Anti-Partition forces during the Irish Civil War and was captured and executed in Dublin in November 1922. While imprisoned in Mountjoy Jail he often played his favourite music on the fiddle – the old Irish airs.

The only son is of great importance in rural Ireland, becoming the farmer and maintaining the family as his father ages. In this song the father, although he supports the stand of Mellows and the Volunteers in their fight for Irish Freedom, nevertheless, asks his son to remain on the farm to meet the family needs. Tony learnt this song from his father John Small and the text is by Tomas Bairead.

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THE HILLS OF CONNEMARA — Poitín is the name for homemade spirits – illicit alcohol. The cost of fighting the Napoleanic War led the British Exchequer to raise the duty on Whiskey and other legal spirits by over 500% which caused a massive growth in illegal distilling among the poverty-stricken peasants in Ireland. Cheated of a great income in taxation, the British set up a special force of revenue police in the 1830’s with the sole task of wiping out illegal stills. In 2 years alone they siezed 16,000 stills but neither they nor subsequent police forces succeeded in putting an end to the making of Poitin.

The best alcohol was made from malt and barley but this was too much trouble for many ‘moonshiners’, so potatoes and even blackberries were used. Up to the introduction of bottled gas, turf was used to fuse the stills and although it gave a pleasant taste to the Poitin, the column of turf-fire often betrayed the location to the ‘Excise Men’.

The song was written by Sean McCarthy, the prolific song writer from Co. Kerry.

The Britches Full of Stiches: This is a popular Polka from South Western Ireland. A verse is sometimes sung to the first part of the tune.

JIMMY CLAY — This song was composed by Patrick Sky, the American singer, song writer and piper. It is a bitter comment on the degradation of the individual in capitalistic warfare. He is in total contrast to the individual in the Galway Rebel Boys who is a Freedom Fighter. Jimmy Clay is merely a disposable piece of machinery.

Tony would like to thank Norman King, Smokey and Gerry Carthy for kindly lending him guitars for this album

THE FOGGY DEW — This piece comprises five tunes. The Foggy Dew is an old march followed here by a jig called Jimmy O ‘Brien ‘s jig or Cossey’s jig. The pipes then play a reel which is in fact the same basic melody as the jig. The reel is called ‘The Green Fields of America’ and , a setting can be found in “Ceol Rince Na hEireann” by Breandan Breathnach Number 79. The fiddle and flute play a second reel which is heard in County Sligo and is called Anderson’s No. 1.

The final reel is a rousing farewell from the group until we meet you all again.

Dire Straits – Live On WDR Radio (Cologne, Germany) (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgBrothers Mark and David Knopfler, from Newcastle in northeast England, and friends John Illsley and Pick Withers, from Leicester in the east midlands, formed Dire Straits in London in 1977.[8] Withers was already a 10-year music business veteran, having been a session drummer for Dave Edmunds, Gerry Rafferty, Magna Carta and others through the 1970s; he was part of the group Spring, which recorded an album for RCA in 1971. At the time of the band’s formation, Mark was working as a teacher at art college, Illsley was studying at Goldsmiths’ College, and David was a social worker. Mark and Withers had both been part of the pub rock group Brewers Droop at different points in around 1973.

Initially known as the Café Racers, the name Dire Straits was coined by a musician flatmate of Withers, allegedly thought up while they were rehearsing in the kitchen of a friend, Simon Cowe, of Lindisfarne. In 1977, the group recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love” and “Down to the Waterline”. After a performance at the Rock Garden in 1977, they took a demo tape to MCA in Soho but were turned down. Then they went to DJ Charlie Gillett, host of called Honky Tonk on BBC Radio London. The band simply wanted advice, but Gillett liked the music so much that he played “Sultans of Swing” on his show. Two months later, Dire Straits signed a recording contract with the Vertigo division of Phonogram Inc. In October 1977, the band recorded demo tapes of “Southbound Again”, “In the Gallery” and “Six Blade Knife” for BBC Radio London; in November demo tapes were made of “Setting Me Up”, “Eastbound Train” and “Real Girl”.

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The group’s first album, Dire Straits, was recorded at Basing Street studios in Notting Hill, London in February 1978, at a cost of £12,500. Produced by Muff Winwood, it was first released in the United Kingdom on Vertigo Records, then a division of Phonogram Inc. It came to the attention of A&R representative Karin Berg, working at Warner Bros. Records in New York City. She felt that it was the kind of music audiences were hungry for, but only one person in her department agreed at first. Many of the songs on the album reflected Mark Knopfler’s experiences in Newcastle, Leeds and London. “Down to the Waterline” recalled images of life in Newcastle; “In the Gallery” is a tribute to Leeds sculptor/artist Harry Phillips (father of Steve Phillips); “Wild West End” and “Lions” were drawn from Knopfler’s early days in the capital.

That year, Dire Straits began a tour as opening band for Talking Heads after the re-released “Sultans of Swing” finally started to climb the UK charts. This led to a United States recording contract with Warner Bros. Records; before the end of 1978, Dire Straits had released their self-titled debut worldwide. They received more attention in the US, but also arrived at the top of the charts in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Dire Straits eventually went top 10 in every European country.

The following year, Dire Straits embarked on their first North American tour. They played 51 sold-out concerts over a 38-day period. “Sultans of Swing” scaled the charts to number four in the United States and number eight in the United Kingdom. The song was one of Dire Straits’ biggest hits and became a fixture in the band’s live performances. Bob Dylan, who had seen the band play in Los Angeles, was so impressed that he invited Mark Knopfler and drummer Pick Withers to play on his next album, Slow Train Coming.

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Recording sessions for the group’s second album, Communiqué, took place in December 1978 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. Released in June 1979, Communiqué was produced by Jerry Wexler and Barry Beckett and went to No. 1 on the German album charts, with the debut album Dire Straits simultaneously at No. 3. In the United Kingdom the album peaked at No. 5 in the album charts. Featuring the single “Lady Writer”, the second album continued in a similar vein as the first and displayed the expanding scope of Knopfler’s lyricism on the opening track, “Once Upon a Time in the West”. In the coming year, however, this approach began to change, along with the group’s line-up. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another rarity from these early days of Dire Straits:

A great soundboard recording of the beginning of Dire Straits with very good sound.
The gig from the day after! the famouse “Rockpalast” show (16th feb 1979)

Great atmosphere and an awesome version of Southbound Again.

This is nearly a perfect soundboard recording. The bonus tracks has a bit less quality, but they they came with the package.

And we hear some jokes of Knopfler.

So… enjoy !

Recorded live at the Großen Sendersaal, Cologne, Germany, 17th February 1979
Recorded live at the Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany, 13th February 1979 (11. -13.)

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Personnel:
John Illsley (bass, vocals)
David Knopfler (guitar, vocals)
Mark Knopfler (vocals, lead guitar)
Pick Withers (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Down To The Waterline 5.18
02. Six Blade Knife 6.14
03. In The Gallery 7.10
04. Water Of Love 6.12
05. Eastbound Train 4.16
06. What’s The Matter Baby ? 3.45
07. Lions 6.39
08. Sultans Of Swing 6.19
09. Wild West End 5.39
10. Southbound Again 3.24
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11. Eastbound Train 4.44
12. Southbound Again 7.03
13. Angel Of Mercy 5.28

All songs written by Mark Knopfler

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Secret Service – Oh Susie (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgSecret Service was a Swedish new wave/pop band, popular in the early 1980s.

In 1979, Ola Håkansson, former vocalist of Ola & the Janglers and then a publishing manager at Sonet Records, teamed up with Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg as Ola+3 to write a few songs that they submitted to the 1979 Melodifestivalen, a popular contest which is the Swedish qualification to the Eurovision Song Contest. Ola+3 did not win but the members decided to continue working together and changed their band’s name to Secret Service. Besides Ola Håkansson (vocals), Tim Norell and Ulf Wahlberg (keyboards), the original lineup also included Tony Lindberg (guitars), Leif Paulsen (bass) and Leif Johansson (drums).

Norell, who along with Björn Håkanson penned most songs of the band, did not however appear with them on stage or on the album covers. Secret Service’s first single “Oh Susie” became a hit in Sweden and several other countries in Europe, in South America and Australia. Their album of the same title included another hit, “Ten O’Clock Postman”, which went gold in Sweden. Other successes followed, with their synthpop number “Flash in the Night” in 1982 (their greatest success) hitting charts all over continental Europe. In the mid-‘1980s, Norell and Håkansson started writing and producing songs for other artists. Ola Håkansson’s duet with ex-ABBA’s Agnetha Fältskog, “The Way You Are”, became a gold single in Sweden.

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In 1987, Håkansson, Norell and Wahlberg released Aux Deux Magots, their last album as Secret Service. The other members of the band had quit by then and were replaced by multi-instrumentalist Anders Hansson and bassist Mats A. Lindberg. Håkansson would become Norell’s partner with Army of Lovers’ Alexander Bard in what would be known as the Megatrio, a Swedish equivalent to Stock-Aitken-Waterman known as Norell Oson Bard. In 1992, Håkansson and his associates established Stockholm Records as a joint venture with PolyGram. They produced such artists as Army of Lovers and The Cardigans, among others.

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In 2012 Secret Service released “The Lost Box” , an album with forgotten and unreleased recorded songs from the 80’s and the 90’s, such as “Different” and “Satellites”. (by wikipedia)

The Swedish pop band with their debut album ‘Oh Susie’, first released in 1979!

Although the band’s first single, “Oh Susie” was released without any prior promotion or video clip, “Oh Susie” became the first single ever to enter the Swedish charts straight in at No. 1. It stayed there for 14 consecutive weeks!

Service Secret was only successful on the European continent, not in “first league” countries (either US or UK). Not a one hit wonder, though – they had at least several more sizeable cross-European hits before and after. A great pop band, by the way – not really heard of in the UK, say, but deserved of wider recognition for their masterful blend of various music styles and influences.

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This song in particular was obviously influenced by the great success of the first wave of synth bands from the UK, like Ultravox and Visage, and helped pave the way for synth sound in Europe. It had such a widespread appeal that it even crossed the Iron Curtain, becoming a smash (if that’s the right word) in the USSR – to this day it’s a staple on retro-oriented radio stations and people still talk about it very fondly. Also, being from Sweden they for a long time in the 1980s were the most successful after ABBA internationally until the Swedes mastered the art of pop music later in the decade. (ukmix.org)

But … this is not my kind of music, really not … but you know: Many fantastic colors …

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Personnel:
Ola Håkansson (vocals)
Leif Johansson (drums)
Tonny Lindberg (guitar)
Leif Paulsen (bass)
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Tim Norell (keyboards)
Ulf Wahlberg (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Ten O’Clock Postman (Håkanson/Norell) 3.39
02. Hey Johnny (Håkanson/Norell) 4.21
03. Give Me Your Love (Håkanson/Norell) 3.39
04. Oh Susie (Håkanson/Norell) 4.37
05. Darling, You’re My Girl (Håkanson/Norell) 3.43
06. She Wants Me (Håkanson/Norell) 3.07
07. Why Don’t You Try To Phone (Håkanson/Norell) 3.26
08. Angel On Wheels (Håkanson/Norell) 3.03
09. Family Delight (Gårdebäck/Håkanson) 3.24

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Siberian Russian Folk Chorus – Same (1979)

FrontCover1.JPGRussian traditional music specifically deals with the folk music traditions of the ethnic Russian people. It does not include the various forms of art music, which in Russia often contains folk melodies and folk elements or music of other ethnic groups living in Russia.

The performance and promulgation of ethnic music in Russia has a long tradition. Initially it was intertwined with various forms of art music, however, in the late 19th century it began to take on a life of its own with the rise in popularity of folkloric ensembles, such as the folk choir movement led by Mitrofan Pyatnitsky and the Russian folk instrument movement pioneered by Vasily Andreyev.

In Soviet Russia, folk music was categorized as being democratic (of the people) or proletarian (of the working class) as opposed to art music, which was often regarded as being bourgeois. After the revolution, along with proletarian “mass music” (music for the proletarian masses) it received significant support from the state. In Post World War II Russia, proletarian mass music however lost its appeal, whereas folkloric music continued to have a widespread support among the population, inside and outside of the Soviet Union. However the authentic nature of folk music was severely distorted by the drive to ‘professionalise’ performers, regardless of the genre they worked in: thus all folk singers were obliged to both learn Western-style classical notation, and to learn to perform classical repertoire – or else risk losing their right to perform as ‘professionals’.

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In the 1960s, folk music in Russia continued to receive significant state support and was often seen as the antithesis of Western pop music. The fact that numerous Soviet folkloric ensembles were invited for foreign tours raised the prestige of the folk performer to that of academic musicians, and in some cases even higher because access to the West and Western goods was very desirable.

Ethnic (folk) music in Russia can often be categorized according to the amount of authenticity in the performance: truly authentic folk music (reproductive performances of traditional music), folkloric and “fakeloric” performance.

Russia is a multi-ethnic country with some 300 different ethnic groups, many of them non-Slavic, living within its borders.

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Authentic village singing differs from academic singing styles. It is usually done using just the chest register and is often called “white sound” or “white” voice. It is often described as controlled screaming or shouting. Female chest register singers have only a low diapason of one octave to 12 notes.

And here´s a nice album by the Siberian Russian Folk Chorus. This group recorded their first album in 1956 and was active till the end of the Eighties.

This music is for me a real unfamiliar world, but I like to discover music from all over the world …

Maybe you will discover the music of the Siberian Russian Folk Chorus, too

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Personnel:
Siberian Russian Folk Chorus conducted by Andrei Novikov
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Chorus Rusian Folk Instruments Orchestra conducted by B.Burin

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Tracklist:
01. Siberia Our Pride (Novikov/Pukhnachev) 1.58
02. Play Perky Concertina (Gurin/Ostrikov) 2.35
03. Song Of Siberia (Ponomarenko/Osmushkin) 4.12
04. Night In The Taiga (Traditional) 3.37
05. The Far Off Star Has Lit (Levashov/Pukhnachev) 4.15
06. Through The Wild Mysterious Taiga (Traditional) 3.47
07. Don’t Soar Over Me, Sea-gulls (Traditional) 3.24
08. Motley Hens (Traditional) 2.01
09. On A Rainy Saturday (Traditional) 3.27
10. Yes, My Little Casket (Traditional) 1.09
11. My Dawn Dear Dawn (Traditional) 1.49
12. Is That My Beauty? (Traditional) 2.49
13. Maidens Have Sown Flax (Traditional) 1.26
14. Negligent Cook (Traditional) 1.33

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