Dana Gillespie – Move Your Body Close To Me (1986)

FrontCover1Dana Gillespie (born Richenda Antoinette de Winterstein Gillespie, 30 March 1949) is an English actress, singer and songwriter. Originally performing and recording in her teens, over the years Gillespie has been involved in the recording of over 45 albums and appeared in stage productions, such as Jesus Christ Superstar, and several films. Her musical output has progressed from teen pop and folk in the early part of her career, to rock in the 1970s and, more latterly, the blues.

Gillespie was born in Woking, Surrey, the second daughter of Anne Francis Roden (née Buxton) Winterstein Gillespie (1920–2007) and Hans Henry Winterstein Gillespie (1910–1994), a London-based radiologist of Austrian nobility. Her older sister, Nicola Henrietta St. John Gillespie, was born in 1946. Dana Gillespie was the British Junior Water Skiing Champion in 1962.


She recorded initially in the folk genre in the mid-1960s. Some of her recordings as a teenager fell into the teen pop category, such as her 1965 single “Thank You Boy”, written by John Carter and Ken Lewis and produced by Jimmy Page. Page also played, uncredited, on Gillespie’s debut LP, Foolish Seasons. Her acting career got under way shortly afterwards, and it overshadowed her musical career in the late 1960s and 1970s.


The song “Andy Warhol” was originally written by David Bowie for Gillespie, who recorded it in 1971, but her version of the song was not released until 1973 on her album Weren’t Born a Man. Her version also featured Mick Ronson on guitar. After performing backing vocals on the track “It Ain’t Easy” from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, she recorded an album produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson in 1973, Weren’t Born a Man. Subsequent recordings have been in the blues genre, appearing with the London Blues Band. She is also notable for being the original Mary Magdalene in the first London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened at the Palace Theatre in 1972. She also appeared on the Original London Cast album. During the 1980s Gillespie was a member of the Austrian Mojo Blues Band.
Left to right: Dana Gillespie, Tony Defries and David Bowie at Andy Warhol’s Pork at London’s Roundhouse in 1971.

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She is a follower of the late Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba.[8] She performed at his Indian ashram on various occasions and has also recorded thirteen bhajan-based albums in Sanskrit.


Gillespie is the organiser of the annual Blues festival at Basil’s Bar on Mustique in the Caribbean, for fifteen days at the end of January and it is now in its eighteenth year. The house band is the London Blues Band, which consists of Dino Baptiste (piano), Jake Zaitz (guitar), Mike Paice (saxophone), Jeff Walker (bass), and Evan Jenkins (drums) but there are also many other acts. In 2005, Mick Jagger appeared as a guest and sang songs such as: “Honky Tonk Women”, “Dust My Broom” and “Goin’ Down” but also many other Blues artists have appeared there through the years, such as Big Joe Louis, Joe Louis Walker, Billy Branch, Ronnie Wood and Donald Fagen.

From March 2021 on, she had a successful Interview & Music Podcast series Globetrotting with Gillespie from TAM TV – Temple of Art & Music in London. (wikipedia)

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And here´s their 11th solo album:

Dana Gillespie was also very active in Austria during this time and that’s why she released many singles there. Her biggest hit was in 1983 with the single Move Your Body Close to Me, which reached number three in the Austrian charts.


But her music at that time was much too pop oriented and that was not Dana Gillespie´s real strength.

That’s why this album is one of her weaker albums.


Their blues albums are much better … but her voice is also good on this album.


Dana Gillespie (vocals)
a bunch of unknown stidio musicians


01. Move Your Body Close To Me (Gillespie) 5.05
02. The Good Thing (Byrne) 3.52
03. Don’t Touch Me There (Nagle/Doornacker) 4.45
04. In Danger Tonight (Gillespie) 4.40
05. Good And Direct (Gillespie) 3.08
06. Know My Love (Gillespie) 4.38
07. The Air That I Breathe (Hammond/Hazlewood) 3.50
08. Living In Reverse (Cross) 2.46
09. Haunted By You (Gillespie) 3.21




And… she never had a problem to be photographed sexy …:
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Taken from dailymail.co.uk:
Dana Gillespie04More from Dana Gillespie:More
The official website:

Frank Stallone – Far From Over + Waking Up (1983)

FrontCover1I have to reduce my single collection:

Francesco Stallone Jr. (born July 30, 1950) is an American actor and musician. He is the younger brother of actor Sylvester Stallone and has written music for Sylvester’s movies. His song “Far from Over” appeared in the 1983 film Staying Alive and was included on the film’s soundtrack album. The song reached number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and received a Golden Globe nomination for Stallone, while the album itself, consisting of Stallone and various other artists, received a Grammy nomination.

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Stallone was born in Maryland and grew up in Philadelphia. He is the younger son of Jacqueline Stallone (née Labofish; 1921–2020), an astrologer, former dancer, and promoter of women’s professional wrestling, and Frank Stallone Sr., a hairdresser. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother’s family was French from Brittany and also of Eastern European descent. Stallone’s brother is actor Sylvester Stallone. In his teen years, he went to Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia.

Stallone has worked as a singer. He wrote and performed “Far from Over” for the 1983 film Staying Alive, which was written and directed by his older brother. The song peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his only major pop hit, and it was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.

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Stallone also played himself in a recurring role on the short-lived sitcom Movie Stars, alongside fellow celebrity siblings Don Swayze and Joey Travolta.

Stallone was the subject of repeated non-sequitur punchlines delivered by comedian Norm Macdonald during the Weekend Update segment of the television show Saturday Night Live.

Stallone appeared as a boxing consultant on the NBC reality television series The Contender in 2005. He appeared on the Howard Stern radio and television shows on several occasions. During one 1992 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Stallone had a boxing match with television reporter Geraldo Rivera; Stallone won the bout. He was a contestant on Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling, a reality competition series on CMT that followed ten celebrity contestants as they trained to be professional wrestlers. He also appeared on an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.

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On August 17, 2010, the Australian comedy duo Hamish & Andy flew Stallone, then aged 60, to Australia for a one-night-only gig called “Hamish & Andy present: Frank Stallone “Let me be Frank with you” The Fully Franked Tour'”. Following a parade in Melbourne, Stallone performed “Far from Over” to an audience of over 2,000 people. Hamish & Andy were big fans of the song, claiming it always pumped them up, and they dubbed the phenomenon “The Frank Effect”. Stallone said of the night, “This is seriously one of the best, best times I’ve ever had.”

A documentary directed and produced by Derek Wayne Johnson entitled STALLONE: Frank, That Is about the life, career and survival of Frank Stallone was released in 2021. The documentary features interviews with Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Zane, Geraldo Rivera, Joe Mantegna and many others. (wikipedia)

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And here´s his very sucessful hit single.

And this is not my kind of music, of course.
If there was only this music in the world, I would never listen to music again!


Frank Stallone (voals, guitar)
a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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01. Far From Over 3.16
02. Waking Up 3.23
03. Far From Over (Extended Club Re-Mix) 5.16
04. Far From Over Instrumental) 3.55

All songs written by Frank Stallone & Vince Dicola




Ella Fitzgerald & Andre Previn – Nice Work If You Can Get It (1983)

LPFrontCover1Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the “First Lady of Song”, “Queen of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella”. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career. Her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretations of the Great American Songbook.


While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”. In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Her accolades included 14 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, the NAACP’s inaugural President’s Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.(wikipedia)

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André George Previn KBE (born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019) was a German-American pianist, composer, and conductor. His career had three major genres: Hollywood films, jazz, and classical music. In each he achieved success, and the latter two were part of his life until the end. In movies, he arranged and composed music. In jazz, he was a celebrated trio pianist, a piano-accompanist to singers of standards, and pianist-interpreter of songs from the “Great American Songbook”. In classical music, he also performed as a pianist but gained television fame as a conductor, and during his last thirty years created his legacy as a composer of art music.

André Previn

Before the age of twenty, Previn began arranging and composing for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He would go on to be involved in the music of more than fifty films and would win four Academy Awards. He won ten Grammy Awards, for recordings in all three areas of his career, and then one more, for lifetime achievement. He served as music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra (1967–1969), principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (1968–1979), music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1976–1984), of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1985–1989), chief conductor of the Royal Philharmonic (1985–1992), and, after an avowed break from salaried posts, chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic (2002–2006). He also enjoyed a warm relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic. (wikipedia)

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Nice Work If You Can Get It is a 1983 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald and André Previn, with accompaniment from the double bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.

It was Fitzgerald’s only album recorded with Previn, and represented her first album of single composer material since her 1981 album Ella Abraça Jobim.

Nice Work If You Can Get It was the last in a long line of collaborations that Fitzgerald made with predominantly jazz piano accompaniment. Her earlier albums in a similar vein were Ella Sings Gershwin (1950), Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from “Let No Man Write My Epitaph” (1960), and Ella and Oscar (1975). For these albums she was accompanied by the pianists Ellis Larkins, Paul Smith, and Oscar Peterson respectively. Nice Work If You Can Get It was also Fitzgerald’s first all Gershwin album since 1959’s Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook.

The album cover is a caricature of Fitzgerald, Previn, and the Gershwin brothers by the American cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. The album notes were written by Benny Green. (wikipedia)


Ella Fitzgerald, who in the late ’50s recorded the very extensive George and Ira Gershwin Songbook, revisits their music on this duet outing with pianist André Previn. Her voice was past her prime by this point, but she was able to bring out a lot of the beauty in the ten songs, giving the classic melodies and lyrics tasteful and lightly swinging treatment. Nice Work If You Can Get It is not an essential CD but is a reasonably enjoyable outing. (by Scott Yanow)

Another Gershwin album recorded by the great Ella Fitzgerald. Her accompanist on piano here is Andre Previn, who switched back and forth between classical and jazz more than once. The record was produced by Norman Granz and at that time, in 1983, Ella’s voice had already acquired a somewhat rougher sound, but her interpretations of these Gershwin ballads is like this one, timeless. Recommended listening ! (Rudi K.)


Ella Fitzgerald (vocals)
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
André Previn (piano)

01. A Foggy Day 6.11
02. Nice Work If You Can Get It 5.14
03. But Not For Me 3.50
04. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off 2.47
05. How Long Has This Been Going On? 5,01
06. Who Cares? 4.29
07. Medley: I’ve Got A Crush On You / Someone To Watch Over Me / Embraceable You 4,57
08. They Can’t Take That Away From Me 3.28

Music: George Gershwin
Lyrics: Ira Gershwin


More from Ella Fitzgerald:

More from André Previn:


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Chris Isaak – San Francisco Days (1993)

FrontCover1Christopher Joseph Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American musician and occasional actor. He is widely known for his hit “Wicked Game”, as well as the songs “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” and “Somebody’s Crying”. He is known for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and crooner sound, as well as his falsetto and reverb-laden music. He is closely associated with film director David Lynch, who has used his music in numerous films and gave him a role in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. His songs generally focus on the themes of love, loss, and heartbreak. With a career spanning four decades, he has released a total of 12 studio albums, toured, and received numerous award nominations. He has been called the Roy Orbison of the 1990s and is also often compared to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and Duane Eddy.

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San Francisco Days is the fourth album by Chris Isaak, released in 1993. The album’s sound was more upbeat than that of its predecessor, the darker Heart Shaped World, and Isaak’s breakthrough hit “Wicked Game”. It did not perform as well as Heart Shaped World, but was certified gold by the RIAA while several of its tracks became longtime staples of Isaak’s live set. Later in 1993, the song “Two Hearts” was featured in the film True Romance and on its soundtrack. The album was dedicated to the memory of Louie Beeson, who was the sound consultant. (wikipedia)


Having found himself with a fluke hit single thanks to “Wicked Game,” Isaak’s next move was interesting enough — namely, for a long while, nothing. Heart Shaped World’s follow-up came four years later, after Nirvana and Dr. Dre rewrote the musical rules for what turned out to be the rest of the ’90s. As a result, San Francisco Days more than any of Isaak’s earlier albums seemed more timeless, more enjoyably out of place, than before, an effect heightened by the intentionally ’60s-styled cover art and design, right down to the listing of the song titles on the front. But while the emphasis on the surface was traditionalism and continuity, in fact, San Francisco Days was the most quietly experimental collection Isaak had yet recorded, wedding his clean and classic approach, backed by his ever-reliable trio and as always produced by Erik Jacobsen, with a variety of newer musical touches and quirkier arrangements.


Thus the barrelhouse piano toward the end of the swooning title track or the quietly sassy female backing vocals on “Can’t Do a Thing to Stop This” and “Move Along,” not to mention the dark rumble of feedback mixed with fuzzy rhythm box (!) that provides the core of “Round N’ Round,” the vocal growl at the end a surprising touch. The work of guest Jimmy Pugh on Hammond organ on various tracks is also noteworthy, adding some quietly funky smoke to the proceedings. This certainly doesn’t describe the whole album, and those won over by “Wicked Game” and its crystalline vision of smoldering appeal and emotional sucker punch will find much to love with the deceptively gentle lope of “Two Hearts” and the slow, stripped-down “Waiting.” There are also plenty of good-time numbers well suited to Isaak and company’s sly style, like “Beautiful Homes,” while a concluding cover of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man” wraps things up on a fine high note. (by Ned Raggett)

Don´t judge by album by the cover:
This is really a damn good album (listen to “Can’t Do A Thing”, “Lonely With A Broken Heart” with a great organ solo !), but the cover looks like a low-budget production … very annoying


Chris Isaak (vocals, guitar)
Kenney Dale Johnson (drums, background vocals)
Rowland Salley (bass, background vocals)
James Calvin Wilsey (guitar)
Kenny Aronoff (drums)
Tom Brumley (pedal steel-guitar)
Danny Gatton (guitar)
Joni Haastrup (keyboards)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Frank Martin (keyboards)
Prairie Prince (drums)
Jimmy Pugh (organ on 09.)
Ron Thompson (guitar)
Jeff Watson (guitar)
background vocals:
Chrstine Wall – Cynthia Lloyd – Mia Rose Antonelli – Poplar Haines
01. San Francisco Days (Isaak) 2.59
02. Beautiful Homes (Isaak) 3.49
03. Round ‘N’ Round (Isaak) 4.26
04. Two Hearts (Isaak) 3.34
05. Can’t Do A Thing (To Stop Me) (Isaak/Elliot) 3.39
06. Except The New Girl (Isaak) 3.21
07. Waiting (Isaak) 3.41
08. Move Along (Isaak) 4.03
09. I Want Your Love (Isaak) 3.10
10. 5:15 (Isaak) 3.10
11. Lonely With A Broken Heart (Isaak) 3.09
12. Solitary Man (Diamond) 2.37



More from Chris Isaak:

Leslie West – Dodgin’ The Dirt (1993)

FrontCover1Leslie West (born Leslie Abel Weinstein; October 22, 1945 – December 23, 2020) was an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He was best known as a founding member and co-lead vocalist of the hard rock band Mountain.

West was born on October 22, 1945, in New York City to Jewish parents, but grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, and in East Meadow, New York, Forest Hills, New York, and Lawrence, New York. After his parents divorced, he changed his surname to West. His musical career began with the Vagrants, an R&B/blue-eyed soul-rock band influenced by the likes of the Rascals that was one of the few teenage garage rock acts to come out of the New York metropolitan area itself (as opposed to the Bohemian Greenwich Village scene of artists, poets, and affiliates of the Beat Generation, which produced bands like The Fugs and The Velvet Underground). The Vagrants had two minor hits in the Eastern United States; 1966’s “I Can’t Make a Friend” and a cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” the following year.


Some of the Vagrants’ recordings were produced by Felix Pappalardi, who was also working with Cream on their album Disraeli Gears. In 1969, West and Pappalardi formed the pioneering hard rock act Mountain, which was also the title of West’s debut solo album. Rolling Stone identified the band as a “louder version of Cream”. With Steve Knight on keyboards and original drummer N. D. Smart, the band appeared on the second day of the Woodstock Festival on Saturday, August 16, 1969, starting an 11-song set at 9 pm.

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The band’s original incarnation saw West and Pappalardi sharing vocal duties and playing guitar and bass, respectively. New drummer Corky Laing joined the band shortly after Woodstock. They had success with “Mississippi Queen”, which reached No. 21 on the Billboard charts and No. 4 in Canada. It was followed by “Theme For an Imaginary Western”, written by Cream bassist Jack Bruce. Mountain is one of the bands considered to be forerunners of heavy metal.


After Pappalardi left Mountain to concentrate on various production projects, West and Laing produced two studio albums and a live release with Jack Bruce under the name West, Bruce and Laing. West, along with keyboard player Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears, recorded with The Who during the March 1971 Who’s Next New York sessions. Tracks from the sessions included a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Baby Don’t You Do It,” and early versions of “Love Ain’t For Keepin'” and The Who’s signature track “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Though the tracks were not originally included on the album (recording restarted in England a few months later without West or Kooper), they appear as bonus tracks on the 1995 and 2003 reissues of Who’s Next and on the 1998 reissue of Odds & Sods.

Mountain reformed in 1973 only to break up again in late 1974. West had acting roles in Family Honor (1973) and The Money Pit (1986).

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West also played guitar for the track “Bo Diddley Jam” on Bo Diddley’s 1976 20th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll all-star album. Since 1981, Mountain has continued to reform, tour, and record on a regular basis. West teamed up with Ian Gillan of Deep Purple renown, to co-write and play guitar on the song “Hang Me Out To Dry” from the Gillan album ToolBox, released in Europe in 1991. West and Joe Bonamassa recorded Warren Haynes’ “If Heartaches Were Nickels” together. West released it on Guitarded (2005), and Bonamassa on A New Day Yesterday (2000). In May 1987, West played the band leader in a series of late night pilot shows for Howard Stern on the FOX network. He taped a total of five shows with Stern, which never aired. Stern went on to create a new show dubbed the Channel 9 show without West. West continued to make occasional appearances on radio, notably on Stern’s radio show.

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West contributed the music and co-wrote the lyrics to the song “Immortal” on Clutch’s 2001 album Pure Rock Fury, which was a reworked cover of the song “Baby I’m Down” from West’s first album. In 2005 he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne’s Under Cover album, performing guitar on a remake of “Mississippi Queen”. In addition to fronting Mountain, West continued to record and perform on his own. His solo album, entitled Blue Me, was released in 2006 on the Blues Bureau International label. West was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006. In 2007, Mountain released Masters of War on Big Rack Records, an album featuring 12 Bob Dylan covers that saw Osbourne providing guest vocals on a rendition of the title track.

West married his fiancée Jenni Maurer on stage after Mountain’s performance at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in Bethel, New York (August 15, 2009). A concert crowd of over 15,000 people was present, as West and Maurer were wed under a canopy of upraised electric guitars. On June 20, 2011, West had his right leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes. West made his first public appearance after his surgery on August 13, 2011. In 2014, West was a guest performer on Eli Cook’s album, Primitive Son. His 2015 album, Soundcheck, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart.

Weeks before his death West was scheduled to begin recording a new studio album with a variety of guitarists. That group of musicians including Slash, Zakk Wylde, Dee Snider, and others, came together to record the album, titled Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West, which was released on 25 March 2022.

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By the late 1970s, West was recovering from addiction to heroin, morphine, and cocaine. West said in various interviews that his drug problems and similar drug abuse problems of other bandmates, had interfered with the success of both Mountain, and West, Bruce and Laing. In the mid-1980s, just as he was overcoming the drug problems, West was diagnosed with diabetes and his weight fluctuated over the years as he struggled with the disease. In the early 2000s he also survived a short bout with bladder cancer. In 2011, due to complications from his diabetes, West’s right leg had to be amputated. West said in a 2014 interview that he believed his past smoking also contributed to the crisis with his leg.

West went into cardiac arrest on Monday, December 21, 2020[16] and was rushed to a hospital in nearby Palm Coast where he never regained consciousness. After being contacted by Rolling Stone, West’s brother Larry West confirmed that Leslie West had died. A report by Variety based on social media posts made by Larry West states that Leslie West died on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. He was 75. (wikipedia)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive comeback in the nineties
Reviewed in Germany on 5 April 2013
Leslie West is a legend. Anyone who has played at Woodstock, jammed with Hendrix, recorded and toured with Felix Pappalardi and Jack Bruce has earned that designation. Back then, West was the thickest and hardest blues guitarist in the world. But the Eighties were a tough time for the old heroes. Leslie, too, failed to build on his successes. The albums “Go for your Life”, “Theme” and “Alligator” were mediocre at best – and sonically cheesy for the times.

But with “Dodgin the Dirt” West made an impressive comeback in 1993. Earthy sound, a strong band (Steve Hunter on rhythm guitar) and a mixture of own and well-known songs in typical scratchy-rough West interpretations. Billy Joel’s “New York”, the Gillan collaboration “Hang me out to dry”, the groovy “Cross Cut Saw” and the instrumental “Sambuca” are just a few examples. The album ends with “Red House”, an obligatory and great Hendrix bow. All in all, the album is worth five stars to me. Rock on, Leslie … wherever you are ! (Alexander Gärtner)

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If he ever had one foot in the grave, it was tapping time. They could never cover up this Dirt Dodgin’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Death Camp survivor. Leslie West loves to laugh at the irony of his perpetuity and the fact that “Dodgin’ The Dirt” might be his finest work. The big man from Mountain has lost weight but the figure he cuts is no less imposing. Leslie has a signature sound. You can hear it in everything he does from “Mississippi Queen” to three cuts on Billy Joel’s “River Of Dreams”. “Dodgin’ The Dirt” – there’s that distinctive tone and violin control vibrato. ‘His kind of guitar’ is clear focused, coming from that center inside where talent transcends personality, time and Long Island. Turn it up. LOUD. It won’t escape you. (Tom Davies)


Randy Coven (bass)
Steve Hunter (guitar, dobro)
Kevin Neal (drums)
Leslie West (lead guitar, vocals)
Paul Beretta (drums on 13.)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 08.)
Brad Russell (bass on 08.)
Kevin Russell (guitar on 08.)
Riche “The Bat” Scarlet (bass on 13.)

01. Whiskey Train (Reid/Trower) 4.23
02. Daddy Are You Angry (West) 4.09
03. New York State Of Mind (Joel) 3.18
04. Sambuca (West) 2:42
05. Juke Joint Jumpin’ (live) (Carey/West) 2.54
06. Easy Street (Carey/West) 2.53
07. One Last Lick (West/Coven) 2.43
08. Cross Cut Saw (Sanders/Ingram/Walker/Person/Ford/Moss)4.08
09. Hang Me Out To Dry (Gillan/West) 4.45
10. Wasted Years (Morrison) 3.35
11. My Friend Sam (West) 1.54
12. Thunderbird (Carey/West/Hunter) 5.13
13. Red House (live) (Hendrix) 8.05



More from Leslie West:

The official website (now deleted):

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Nils Lofgren – Wonderland (1983)

FrontCover1Nils Hilmer Lofgren (born June 21, 1951) is an American rock musician, recording artist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Along with his work as a solo artist, he has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1984, a member of Crazy Horse, and founder/frontman of the band Grin. Lofgren was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band in 2014.

Lofgren was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, to an Italian mother and a Swedish father. When he was a young child, the family moved to the Washington, D.C., suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. Lofgren’s first instrument was classical accordion, beginning at age five, which he studied seriously for ten years. After studying classical music and jazz, throughout his youth, Lofgren switched his emphasis to rock music, and focused on the piano and the guitar.

Lofgren had been a competitive gymnast in high school, a skill that was used on stage later in his performing career and reflected in the name of his 1985 album, Flip.


In 1968, Lofgren formed the band Grin with bassist George Daly (later replaced by Bob Gordon), and drummer Bob Berberich, former players in the DC band The Hangmen. The group played in venues throughout the Washington, D.C., area.

Lofgren met Neil Young while Young was performing at the Georgetown club The Cellar Door, and began a long association. Young invited Lofgren to come to California and the Grin trio (Lofgren, Daly and Berberich) drove out west and lived for some months at a home Neil Young rented in Laurel Canyon. Lofgren would eventually use his album credits from working with Young to land Grin a record deal in 1971.


Daly left the band early on to become a Columbia Records A&R Executive and was replaced by bassist Bob Gordon, who remained through the release of four critically acclaimed albums[7] of catchy hard rock from 1971 to 1974, with guitar as Lofgren’s primary instrument. The single “White Lies” got heavy airplay on Washington, D.C.-area radio. Lofgren wrote the majority of the group’s songs, and often shared vocal duties with other members of the band (primarily drummer Bob Berberich). After the second album he added brother Tom Lofgren as a rhythm guitarist. Grin failed to hit the big time, and were released by their record company.

Lofgren joined Neil Young at age 19 to play piano and guitar on the album After the Gold Rush. Lofgren maintained his musical relationship with Young, appearing as a part of the Santa Monica Flyers on Young’s Tonight’s the Night album and tour, and again on the Trans album and tour. He has also been a recurring member of Crazy Horse (1970–1971; 2018–present), appearing on their 1971 LP and contributing songs to their catalogue. In 2018, Lofgren re-joined Crazy Horse and along with the band performed on Young’s 2019 album Colorado and 2021’s Barn.


After Grin disbanded in 1974, Lofgren released his eponymous debut solo album which was a success with critics; a 1975 Rolling Stone review by Jon Landau labeled it one of the finest rock albums of the year, and NME ranked it fifth on its list of albums of the year.[8] Subsequent albums did not always garner critical favor, although Cry Tough was voted number 10 in the 1976 NME Album round up; I Came to Dance in particular received a scathing review in the New Rolling Stone Record Guide. He achieved progressive rock radio hits in the mid-1970s with “Back It Up”, “Keith Don’t Go” and “I Came to Dance”. His song “Bullets Fever”, about the 1978 NBA champion Washington Bullets, would become a favorite in the Washington area. Throughout the 1970s, Lofgren released solo albums and toured extensively with a backing band that usually included brother Tom on rhythm guitar. Lofgren’s concerts displayed his reputation for theatrics, such as playing guitar while doing flips on a trampoline.


In 1971, he appeared on stage on the Roy Buchanan Special, PBS TV, with Bill Graham. In 1973, he appeared with Grin on NBC on Midnight Special, performing three songs live. In 1978, he wrote and sang the “Nobody Bothers Me” theme for a D.C. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do advertisement, and also appeared in the ill-received Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. Lofgren appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, to promote his 1985 solo release Flip. Lofgren is credited on two of Lou Gramm’s (of Foreigner) solo albums: Ready or Not released in 1987 (Lofgren listed as lead guitarist) and Long Hard Look released in 1989 (Lofgren listed as one of the guitarists). In 1987, he contributed the television show theme arrangement for Hunter. In 1993 he contributed to The Simpsons, with two Christmas jingles with Bart. In 1995, he appeared on a PBS tribute to the Beatles along with Dr. John. From 1991 to 1995, he was the CableAce Awards musical director and composer.


Lofgren continues to record and to tour as a solo act, with Patti Scialfa, with Neil Young, and as a two-time member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. Many of the people he worked with on those tours appeared on his 1991 album, Silver Lining. During the 2000s he got his own “Nils Lofgren Day” in Montgomery County, Maryland (August 25). In 2006 Lofgren released Sacred Weapon, featuring guest appearances by David Crosby, Graham Nash, Willie Nelson and Martin Sexton. In 2006 he recorded a live DVD Nils Lofgren & Friends: Acoustic Live at the Legendary Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia.

On June 23, 2006, Lofgren performed at a benefit concert for Arthur Lee at New York’s Beacon Theater, along with Robert Plant, Ian Hunter, Yo La Tengo and Garland Jeffreys. In 2007, he appeared playing guitar as part of Jerry Lee Lewis’ backing band for Lewis’ Last Man Standing Live concert DVD. He released The Loner – Nils Sings Neil, an album of acoustic covers of Neil Young songs, in 2008.

In September 2008, Lofgren had hip replacement surgery for both of his hips as a result of years of playing basketball, “performance ‘flips’ on stage, and age.”[12]

In August 2014, a box set, Face the Music, was released on the Fantasy label. The career-spanning retrospective contains nine CD’s and a DVD covering 45 years.

The creation of Lofgren’s 2015 live album UK 2015 Face the Music Tour was inspired by his wife Amy commenting that his recent live shows were the best she’d seen him do, as well as fans wanting to have a recording of the show they’d just seen.

In December 2018, PBS NewsHour aired a 10-minute career retrospective Nils Lofgren: 50 years of ‘just being a guy in the band’.

Lofgren was a guest on a “Private Lives” one-hour radio special on East London Radio in the UK in October 2020. This series is shared across radio stations online and on FM/DAB, covering much of the UK.


In 1984, he joined Bruce Springsteen’s backing band the E Street Band,[2] as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt on guitar and vocals, in time for Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Lofgren would appear on his first Springsteen album with 1987’s Tunnel of Love and its Tunnel of Love Express and Human Rights Now! supporting tours. In 1989 Springsteen broke up the E Street Band and Lofgren returned to his solo work.

In 1995, the E Street Band, featuring both Lofgren and Van Zandt, recorded new songs for Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album however nothing else came from this reunion. In 1999, Springsteen, minus the E Street Band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The E Street Band would finally be inducted fifteen years later in 2014. Despite not being inducted in 1999 with Springsteen, the E Street Band (again with Lofgren and Van Zandt) would perform with Springsteen for the first time since 1988 at the induction ceremony. This would soon lead to a hugely successful Reunion Tour which took place from 1999-2000 and a lineup now featuring both Lofgren and Van Zandt as full-time members. The reunion tour resulted in 2001’s album,The Rising, marking the first album featuring the E Street Band since 1988, and another huge tour in 2002 and 2003. Following this tour, Springsteen would work on other projects and tour without the E Street Band’s involvement until 2007’s Magic album and tour of 2007/2008.


This tour was followed by 2009’s Working on a Dream album and tour. In 2012, Springsteen released his album, Wrecking Ball, which featured some of the E Street Band member however Lofgren did not appear though he did perform with the band on the album’s supporting tour. 2014 saw the release of the album High Hopes along with another tour. In 2016, Springsteen would celebrate the 35th anniversary of his album, The River, with a tour in support of The Ties_That_Bind: The_River_Collection box set.[13]In 2020, Springsteen released his album, Letter to You which featured the E Street Band. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a tour in support of the album was unable to happen in 2020 or 2021 however Springsteen has said he hopes to tour with the E Street Band at some point in 2022.

The late novelist Clive Cussler lived close to Lofgren’s Arizona home, and collaborated on a song with him titled “What Ever Happened to Muscatel?”

On August 17, 2017, Lofgren was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

In May 2018, Lofgren replaced Frank Sampedro in Crazy Horse for their reunion concerts with Neil Young.

On January 29, 2022, Lofgren pulled his music from Spotify, after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell had done the same. This was in response to their belief that COVID-19 misinformation was spread by the streaming service’s The Joe Rogan Experience. (wikipedia)


Wonderland is a surprisingly commercial work from guitarist/vocalist Nils Lofgren, opening with a very catchy and impressive “Across the Tracks,” followed quickly by the beautiful “Into the Night,” which has flavors of Bruce Springsteen, though Lofgren’s vocal is more precise and radio-friendly than his boss, the Boss. That’s the strange thing about the music biz — when a voice is superior and the music more commercial, it still takes a back seat to personality; listen to any hit song from Neil Young to verify that statement. And take, for example, the only cover here, Bobby Womack’s classic “It’s All Over Now.” Everything’s in tune, but the band sounds like it was programmed by a computer and Lofgren’s vocal has none of the drive found in his originals. Indeed, he is again sounding like Springsteen on the very next track, “I Wait for You,” which has that Springsteen swagger with Lofgren’s to-the-point presentation. The excellent production by the singer along with his rhythm section — bassist Kevin McCormick and drummer Andy Newmark — is much more exciting than Jeffrey Baxter’s thin sound on Night Fades Away or Newmark and Lofgren’s co-produced effort, 1977’s I Came to Dance, which had none of the snap, crackle, and pop found here.


The title track reflects that observation perfectly. Interesting that on both those aforementioned albums the cover tunes are the most successful performances, while here the originals are what work and are among Lofgren’s best, with superb sound to bring them to life. The vibes on “Lonesome Ranger” add spice, and having Edgar Winter, Carly Simon, and Louise Goffin adding their voices to the mix on this LP is indicative of the class spread all over these tracks. Even more cohesive than the 1979 classic Bob Ezrin-produced Nils album, Wonderland has tons of great moments, sparkling guitar work, and a groove that is commanding. The key thing that’s missing to bring music this good to the masses is an overpowering persona, and it seems Nils Lofgren is just too nice a guy to put that driving arrogance behind the sounds to catapult them onto AM and FM radio. Even more of a pity is that Backstreet/MCA couldn’t do it for him, because the artist certainly gave them extraordinary product to work with here. (by Joe Viglione)


Nils Lofgren (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Kevin McCormick (bass, background vocals)
Andy Newmark (drums)
Louise Goffin (vocals on 06. + 09.)
Robbie Kondor (synthesizer)
Jim Maelen (percussion)
Carly Simon (vocals on 08.)
Edgar Winter (vocals on 01.)


01. Across The Tracks (Lorgren) 2.59
02. Into The Night (Lofgren) 3.44
03. It’s All Over Now (Womack) 3.43
04. I Wait For You (Lofgren) 3.40
05. Daddy Dream (Lofgren) 4.53
06. Wonderland (Logren) 3.29
07. Room Without Love (Lofgren) 3:05
08. Confident Girl (Lofgren) 3.05
09. Lonesome Ranger (McCormick/Lofgren) 3.47
10. Everybody Wants (Lorfgren)
11. Deadline (Lofgren) 4.04



More from Nils Lofgren:

The official website:

Charlie Mariano & The Karnataka College Of Percussion (feat. R.A. Ramamani) – Jyothi (1983)

LPFrontCover1Carmine Ugo “Charlie” Mariano (November 12, 1923 – June 16, 2009) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and soprano saxophonist.

Mariano was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, the son of Italian immigrants, John (Giovanni) Mariano and Mary (Maria) Di Gironimo of Fallo, Italy. He grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, enlisting in the Army Air Corps after high school, during World War II. After his service in the Army, Mariano attended what was then known as Schillinger House of Music, now Berklee College of Music. He was among the faculty at Berklee from 1965 to 1971. Mariano moved to Europe in 1971, settling eventually in Köln (Cologne), Germany, with his third wife, the painter Dorothee Zippel Mariano.

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He played with one of the Stan Kenton big bands, Toshiko Akiyoshi (his then wife), Charles Mingus, Eberhard Weber, the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Embryo and numerous other notable bands and musicians.

He was known for his use of the nadaswaram, a classical wind instrument from Tamil Nadu.

Mariano had six daughters, including four with his first wife, Glenna Gregory Mariano: Sherry, Cynthia, Melanie, and Celeste, and was step-father to Glenna’s son, Paris Mariano. Mariano is father to musician Monday Michiru with his second wife, Toshiko Akiyoshi. He had his youngest daughter, Zana Mariano, with partner, Charlotte Bulathsinghla. Mariano had six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. Mariano died of cancer on June 16, 2009, at the age of 85. (wikipedia)

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R. A. Ramamani (* c. 1956) is an Indian singer, composer and teacher.
Table of Contentsni studied music at Bangalore University (Master 1977). She is a virtuoso of classical Carnatic music, which is cultivated in South India. In 1978, together with her husband, percussionist T. A. S. Mani, Ramesh Shotham and jazz pianist Louis Banks, she founded the Indo-Jazz combo Sangam, which later became her band Jazz Yatra. She toured Europe with the Dissidents and the Karnataka College of Percussion in 1980. In 1983 she performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival together with saxophonist Charlie Mariano. In the same year ECM released the joint album Jyothi.

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Mike Herting organised a first meeting of Ramamani, the percussionists and the WDR Big Band Cologne in 2000, which was documented on CD (Sketches of Bangalore). She toured Europe with Lennart Åberg and Oriental Wind in 1987. Ramamani then formed the ensemble KCP 5 with Herting, Mariano, T. A. S. Mani and Ramesh Shotham, which also performed at the Moers Festival in 1999 and the Leverkusener Jazztage in 2003. She has also recorded with Okay Temiz and with David Rothenberg. At the RuhrTriennale she was a guest with Century of Song in 2007.

Ramamani co-directs the Karnataka College of Percussion with T. A. S. Mani and also teaches at other institutions such as the Choreographic Institute in Bangalore. (wikipedia)

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Karnataka College Of Percussion
A percussion academy from Bangalore, in the Indian province of Karnataka. The touring music project was directed by T. A. S. Mani, and was originally documented as a large ensemble, later more often as a duo or trio, with Ramesh Shotham, and also usually featuring vocal soloist Smt. R. A. Ramamani. (discogs.com)

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And here´s a real thrilling alum:

Since 1964 the Karnataka College of Percussion has been committed to its mission of expanding awareness of Indian Classical (especially Carnatic) music. Part of this outreach has involved a number of jazz-oriented and fusion projects through which the institution has spread its affirmative message. Thus do we come to this intriguing, if seemingly forgotten, collaboration with American saxophonist Charlie Mariano, who left us in 2009 at the age of 86. The result is a fluid and respectable blend of cultural signatures that transcends any ties to genre in favor of a purely emotive experience. The voice of R. A. Ramamani figures prominently, as in the ruminative opening track, titled simply “Voice Solo.” She traces long stretches of landscape, one hill at a time, where the dry rolling plains offer up their secrets for the reward of rain. Her prayers are bifurcated through overdubbing, lending both a smile and a promise to the title.


In this diffusely lit portal we find only further portals. In “Vandanam” we are regaled with tales of old by Mariano’s rolling flute, gilded by the pleasant jangle of the kanjira and mridangam. Ramamani’s ululations walk hand in hand with flute for a unified sound. “Varshini” and “Saptarshi” are smooth and graceful spaces in which voice is both cause and effect. Mariano’s soprano is a voice in and of itself, caught in flurries of percussion and passionate resolutions. These lively stops give way to the interweaving lines of reed and voice in “Kartik,” which closes on some transportive drumming from T. A. S. Mani on mridangam. Lastly is “Bhajan,” featuring doubled voice and a palpable communication with the beyond. As the drums anchor us, so too do they spring forth to those less definable stretches of land, where only the human voice can wander in its ephemeral laudation, threaded by the twang of the morsing (Indian jaw harp) and dancing a slow and careful surrender.

Without neither pretension nor ulterior motive, Jyothi is a delicacy in the ECM catalogue and a careful coming together of thought and performance to be taken as it comes…and goes.

Recorded February 1983 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg/Germany

T. A. S. Mani (mridangam)
Charlie Mariano (saxophone, flute)
R. A. Rajagopal (ghatam, morsing, konakkol)
R. A. Ramamani (vocals, tamboura)
T. N. Shashikumar (kanjira, konakkol)

01. Voice Solo 5.08
02. Vandanam 7.52
03. Varshini 8.33
04. Saptarshi 6.50
05. Kartik 11.12
06. Bhajan 6.27

Music: R. A. Ramamani



More from Charlie Mariano:

Asia – Alpha (1983)

FrontCover1Asia are an English rock supergroup formed in London in 1981. The most commercially successful line-up was its original, which consisted of four members of different progressive rock bands that had enjoyed great success in the 1970s: lead vocalist and bassist John Wetton of King Crimson and U.K., guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and The Buggles, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Their debut album, Asia, released in 1982, remains their best selling album and went to number one in several countries. The lead single from the album, “Heat of the Moment”, remains their top charting and best-known song, reaching the top 40 in over a dozen markets and peaking in the U.S. at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

The band underwent multiple line-up changes before the original four members reunited in 2006. As a result, a band called Asia Featuring John Payne exists as a continuation of John Payne’s career as Asia’s frontman from 1991 until Wetton’s return in 2006. In 2013, the original line-up was broken once again when Howe retired from the band and was replaced by guitarist Sam Coulson. After a few years of inactivity, Billy Sherwood (of Yes, World Trade and Circa:) replaced an ailing Wetton (who died shortly thereafter) in Asia for a summer 2017 tour with Journey. Following the end of the tour, the band went on hiatus again, re-emerging in 2019 with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal replacing both Sherwood on vocals and Coulson on guitar.


Asia began in early 1981 after the apparent ending of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, two of the founding bands of British progressive rock. After the break-up of King Crimson in 1974, various plans for a supergroup involving bassist John Wetton had not been successful, including the abortive British Bulldog project with Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman in 1976. In 1977 Bruford and Wetton were reunited in U.K., augmented by guitarist Allan Holdsworth and keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson. Their self-titled debut was released in 1978. But by January 1980, U.K. had folded after one lineup change and three recordings. A new project was then suggested involving Wetton, Wakeman, drummer Carl Palmer and (then little known) guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, but Wakeman left this project shortly before they were due to sign to Geffen and before they had played together.


In early January 1981, Wetton and former Yes guitarist Steve Howe were brought together by A&R man John Kalodner and Geffen Records to start writing material for a new album. They were eventually joined by drummer Carl Palmer and finally by Howe’s fellow member of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes. Two other players auditioned and considered during the band’s formation were former The Move and ELO founder Roy Wood and the aforementioned guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, who would end up replacing Steve Howe in a reformed Yes in 1983. Rabin, in a filmed 1984 interview included in the DVD 9012Live, said that his involvement with Asia never went anywhere because “there was no chemistry” among the participants.

The band’s first recordings, under the auspices of Geffen record label head David Geffen and Kalodner, were extremely popular with record buyers, while considered disappointing by music critics and fans of progressive rock, who found the music closer to radio-friendly album-oriented rock (AOR). However, Asia clicked with fans of popular arena acts such as Journey, Boston and Styx; Kalodner had once introduced Wetton to Journey’s short-lived frontman Robert Fleischman, with a view to Fleischman becoming Asia’s lead singer. As they worked on material together, Fleischman was impressed by Wetton’s singing and felt the voice best suited to the new material was Wetton’s own. He left Asia amicably.


Rolling Stone gave Asia an indifferent review, while acknowledging the band’s musicianship was a cut above the usual AOR expectations.

Asia’s eponymous debut album Asia, released in March 1982, gained considerable commercial success, spending nine weeks at number one on the United States album chart and selling over four million copies in the States alone. The album sold over 10 million worldwide and has never been out of print. The singles “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell” became Top 40 hits, both boosted by popular MTV music videos. Both tracks went on to become stadium favourites at United States sporting events.[citation needed] “Sole Survivor” also received heavy air play on rock stations across the United States, as did “Wildest Dreams” (another MTV video) and “Here Comes The Feeling”. The band’s best performing single, and perhaps their most recognised and popular hit song, “Heat of the Moment”, spent six weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks chart and climbed to #4 on the Hot 100.

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In the United States the band sold out every date on their debut tour, which began at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York on 22 April 1982, and continued in theatres but quickly expanded into massive arenas because of high ticket demand. Asia would go on to receive a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist of 1982. MTV also played Asia videos on heavy rotation—as many as five times a day. Both Billboard and Cash Box named Asia’s debut the #1 album of the year. Asia’s logo and cover art were created by illustrator Roger Dean of Yes and Uriah Heep fame.

Asia’s second album Alpha (released in July 1983) and future Asia albums did not achieve the chart success of their debut release; however, Alpha’s “Don’t Cry” was a #1 Album Rock Track and Top 10 Pop hit in the summer of 1983, and the video received considerable attention on MTV, while “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” was another Top 40 hit for the band. The video for “Smile” also scored heavy MTV play. However, Rolling Stone criticized Alpha as an over-produced commercial album, while others stated that Howe and Palmer were effectively reduced to session musicians. Alpha received indifferent reviews from various critics, while attaining platinum status and reaching #6 on the Billboard album chart.

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In October 1983 Wetton left the group after the comparatively disappointing sales of Alpha. The band stated that Wetton quit; Wetton stated that he was fired by phone; there is no universally-agreed version of what happened. Wetton later stated a factor may have been his alcohol dependency. The next leg of their 1983 United States tour (which began in the summer but shut down suddenly on 10 September following a performance at Pine Knob in Detroit), scheduled for the autumn, was abruptly cancelled, reportedly because of low ticket sales.

Alpha is the second studio album by British rock supergroup Asia, released on 26 July 1983 in the United States and on 12 August 1983 in the United Kingdom by Geffen Records. It was recorded at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, and Manta Sound in Toronto from February to May 1983. Alpha adopted a notably more polished sound with radio-friendly elements and less emphasis on progressive rock sections. Like its multi-platinum predecessor, the album was produced by Mike Stone. It was also the last album to feature the band’s original line-up for twenty-five years until Phoenix, which was released in 2008.

The cover artwork was designed by Roger Dean, known for his work with Yes, of which Howe and keyboard player Geoff Downes had previously been members.

After Asia wrapped up their world tour for the debut album, they opted to move to La Studio to record the followup. Inner band conflict ensued, particularly between John Wetton and Steve Howe over who was more responsible for the band’s initial success. Record label executives requested for most of the songs to be written by Wetton and Downes, which left Howe with very little to do in terms of writing. His only song credit, “Lying to Yourself”, was released as a B-side. The song “Don’t Cry” was written and added at the last minute, as the band felt the album lacked a strong opener. Due to tensions within the group, producer Mike Stone was put in charge of mixing the album, where technical glitches delayed its release by several months. The band was unhappy with his final mix, with Howe describing it as a “wall of sound”.


A music video was shot for “Don’t Cry”, reportedly costing over $100,000 to film due to the elaborate set designs involved in it.

The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified platinum for over 1 million copies sold in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at number 5 and has been awarded a silver certification for over 60,000 copies sold. Despite this, it failed to meet the expectations of the record company executives, who wanted it to match the sales of the debut album.

Alpha spawned two singles. The lead-off single, “Don’t Cry”, reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbed to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart. It was the sole Top 40 entry for Asia in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 33. The B-side of the single, “Daylight”, was featured as a bonus track on album original cassette editions. The second single, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”, reached number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 25 on the Mainstream Rock charts and was the group’s last major hit. Along with the singles, “The Heat Goes On” and “True Colors” were quite popular on mainstream rock radio stations.


The album has received lukewarm reviews from music critics. J. D. Considine in his review for Rolling Stone described Alpha as “a sort of sonic confection, a concoction of tasty melodies, sweet harmonies and goopy lyrics intended more for greedy consumption than for artistic appreciation”. Chas de Whalley of Kerrang! was less than restrained and openly said that “this album is complete and utter rubbish from beginning to end and a waste of the good vinyl it’s pressed on”. Tom Demalon has given the album a retrospective rating of three stars out of five on AllMusic. “Don’t Cry”, “My Own Time (I’ll Do What I Want)” and “Open Your Eyes” have been selected as three “Track Picks”. He has compared the album with Asia and has summarized that “nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band’s debut”. ((wikipedia)


Geoff Downes (keyboards)
Steve Howe (guitar)
Carl Palmer (drums, percussion)
John Wetton (bass, vocals)

01. Don’t Cry 3.32
02. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes 3.12
03. Never In A Million Years 3.44
04. My Own Time (I’ll Do What I Want) 4.48
05. The Heat Goes On 4.56
06. Eye To Eye 3.09
07. The Last To Know 4.39
08. True Colors 3.52
09. Midnight Sun 3.47
10. Open Your Eyes 6.25
11. Lyin’ To Yourself 4.15

All songs written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes
except 02., written by John Wetton
and 11. written by John Wetton and Steve Howe



More from Asia:

Steve Khan – Eyewitness (1983)

FrontCover1Steve Khan (born April 28, 1947)[1] is an American jazz guitarist.

He was born in Los Angeles, California, United States. According to Steve Khan, his father, lyricist Sammy Cahn, “loved to hear of any and all versions of his songs”. Thus Khan grew up in a house with music. He took piano lessons as a child and played drums for the surf rock band the Chantays. The band’s guitarist exposed him to the albums Tough Talk by The Crusaders and Movin’ Wes by Wes Montgomery. In his late teens he quit the drums and started playing guitar. He was a member of the R&B band Friends of Distinction, recorded with keyboardist Phil Moore, then played on the album Bullitt by Wilton Felder (“one of my heroes”). Despite his father’s advice to avoid a career in the music business, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and theory.

In the early 1970s, he performed in an acoustic guitar duo with Larry Coryell and was a member of the Brecker Brothers band. As a session musician, he appeared on albums by Ashford & Simpson, Rupert Holmes, Billy Joel, and Steely Dan. He was signed to Columbia Records through the efforts of Bobby Colomby and Bob James.

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On his first three albums Tightrope (1977), The Blue Man (1978), and Arrows (1979), he was trying “to single-handledly keep alive the sound of the original Brecker Brothers band.” His next album was Evidence (1980), which contained an eighteen-minute medley of songs by Thelonious Monk.

He has also produced recordings for fellow guitarists Larry Coryell, Mike Stern, Biréli Lagrène, and Bill Connors, as well as pianist Eliane Elias. (wikipedia)

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I’m not certain just how this all happened, but, in 1981 I was still searching for a direction on the electric guitar and it led me to go back to the most basic sound, the one I began with when I was 19 yrs. old and at U.C.L.A.! Steve Jordan, Anthony Jackson, and Manolo BadrenaIt was pretty simple, just plug into an amp with a Gibson, dial in a little reverb, and play! I had owned a Gibson 335 for many years, but was so linked to my Telecaster and its sound that it was hard to change. I began as a Gibson player and decided to go back to it for the warmth and body of the sound. I was also ready to surround myself with a totally different group of players in conjunction with a new spirit of making music….something much looser, something not so married to having everything neatly in place and perfectly played(not that I was ever the best at that!). Some phone calls were made, and two of my favorite players and I were to get together to “see what happens.” Those players were drummer Steve Jordan, and bassist Anthony Jackson. I also felt that I wanted to include the brilliant and unique percussionist Manolo Badrena. Manolo and I had recently worked together on Mike Mainieri’s recording “WANDERLUST,” and I just knew somehow that he was the right player for this new concept.

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We used to meet to ‘rehearse’/’jam’ at Steve Jordan’s loft in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. I’m still not certain just what to call what we did….but, we would just begin to play…..sometimes ideas or grooves that didn’t seem to have a place in any other musical setting. Here you had four very unique perspectives on music making….and four of the most stubborn maniacs one could gather in a room, but somehow it was working. It was magical! I would always record CSTEs of each session and bring them home for study. As the months went by, I just KNEW that we had something exceptional, and I wanted to get it recorded before we actually figured out just what it was that we were doing. So, with the help of our old friend George Braun, who put together deals for Japan, we were able to record on a weekend in November of 1981, and to this day, “EYEWITNESS” remains one of my favorite recordings….perhaps THE favorite. Only five tunes….not one with a real ending…..but, the spirit and approach to music-making was the best I’d ever felt. No matter where I have traveled, there is always a drummer or bassist who, when speaking with me, reveals that he has been influenced by the work of Anthony Jackson and Steve Jordan on the three recordings we made together. The word “genius” is a pretty scary label to throw out there without great thought and care, but, in my opinion, Anthony Jackson and Manolo Badrena possess this gift…..the moods and textures they are able to create are just not of this earth. I treasure these musical friendships.

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In 2015, as part of his Rediscovery reviews series by, allaboutjazz.com’s senior writer John Kelman wrote an incredible review of the “EYEWITNESS” album from 1981.. The review points out how this recording has informed and influenced all of Steve’s work right up to the present. If a generation or two has missed the “EYEWITNESS” album, this is a great opportunity to rediscover it!!!
And, as if this wasn’t enough, the French magazine MUZIQ, in a fantastic column by Peter Cato, also sang the praises of the Eyewitness as a group, mentioning all 3 recordings and making a case for a musical relationship to the Rock group The Police! Very interesting!! (Steve Kahn)


Manolo Badrena (percussion)
Anthony Jackson (bass)
Steve Jordan (drums)
Steve Khan (guitar)

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01. Where’s Mumphrey? (Jackson/Badrena/Jordan/Khan) 7.31
02. Dr. Slump (Khan) 8.24
03. Auxiliary Police (Jackson/Badrena/Jordan/Khan) 5.30
04. Guy Lafleur (Khan) 10.33
05. Eyewitness (Khan) 7.19



Steve Kahn03

Ewan MacColl with Peggy Seeger – Freeborn Man (1983)

FrontCover1Ewan MacColl may well have been the most influential person in the British folk song revival. From his early manhood until his death in 1989, he remained passionately committed to folk, though not exclusively; he was also a poet, playwright, organizer, activist, songwriter, husband, and father. MacColl was born James Henry Miller in Salford, England in 1915. His father was a lowland man who spoke Scots English, his mother a highlander who spoke Gaelic. Both of his parents were singers. MacColl left school at 14 to busk and act in the streets, and was quickly discovered by the BBC. Soon he was not only singing, but also writing programs for the radio. He founded the first folk club in England, the Ballads and Blues Club, as well as the Critic’s Group, an influential early singing group that included such singers as Frankie Armstrong, Anne Briggs, and John Faulkner.

MacColl was one of the foremost interpreters of traditional songs ever recorded. The most ambitious project he undertook was to record a representative sampling of Professor Francis James Child’s English and Scottish popular ballads. While his early repertoire was mainly of street songs and traditional material, he was also an important songwriter. Most impressive was his competence in producing expressions that had an appeal to all levels of society; his songs have been covered by performers as diverse as Dick Gaughan, the Pogues, Roberta Flack, and Elvis Presley, and many have been collected in several versions from the oral tradition. They range from savage political satire to tender love songs, and are supremely effective at producing the desired emotions.

Ewan MacColl01

Beyond his activities as a singer and songwriter, MacColl was an actor and a playwright. In 1947, George Bernard Shaw commented, “Apart from myself, MacColl is the only man of genius writing for the theater in England today.” His playwriting and songwriting joined seamlessly in his “radio ballads,” radio plays that bordered on ballad operas. Many of his most lovely and best-remembered songs were written for these plays, some of which have been released in album form.

MacColl was married to Peggy Seeger, herself a singer of folk songs (and half-sister to American icon Pete Seeger). Together MacColl and Seeger, sometimes accompanied by their children, also skilled musicians and singers, recorded quite a few albums as well. Many of MacColl’s albums are out of print products of long-defunct record companies. Some, however, are readily available. All, like MacColl himself, are important factors in the history of the folk revival, to be cherished by all who encounter them. This great singer made many, many albums over many years. All of them are recommended for fans of great singing, though some may be a bit specialized (i.e., unaccompanied singing in broad Scots dialect) for some listeners. ( by Steve Winicka)


And here´s a pretty good “Best Of” album … with new recordings of his finest songs (Recorded at Pathway Studios, London)

Acknowledged by the family and Ewan himself as the very best versions of his best known songs.

A very intimate album with his strong voice and wonderful music … listen to the jazzy “Dirty Old Town” !

Enjoy this brilliant album !


Dill Katz (bass)
Calum MacColl (dulcimer, guitar, whistle, zither)
Ewan MacColl (vocals, guitar)
Neill MacColl (guitar, mandolin)
Peggy Seeger guitar, vocals,. autoharp, banjo, concertina)
Chris Taylor (harmonica)
Ian Telfer (fiddle)
Bruce Turner (clarinet)
background vocals:
Calum MacColl – Hamish MacColl – Kirsty MacColl – Neill MacColl

Rounder Records front + backcover:

01. North Sea Holes 2.39
02. The Shoals Of Herring 3.52
03. The Lag’s Song 2.48
04. Come, Me Little Son 3.50
05. Moving-On Song 3.17
06. Sweet Thames, Flow Softly 4.57
07. I’m A Rambler 4.34
08. Freeborn Man 3.46
09. The Driver’s Song 2.09
10. The Ballad Of Springhill 3.21
11. Thirty-Foot Trailer 3.56
12. Down The Lane 3.05
13. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 2.21
14. The Big Hewer 3.05
15. The Battle Is Done With 3.05
16. Dirty Old Town 2.49

All songs written by Ewan MacColl
except on 09.: Peggy Seeger



Amiga ( German Democratic Republic) front + backcover: