Willie And The Poor Boys – Same (1985)

FrontCover1With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards bickering back and forth in the press during the mid-’80s (leading many to assume that the Stones were kaput), bassist Bill Wyman decided to fill up his newly acquired spare time by forming an all-star band, Willie and the Poor Boys. The group’s roots lay in the series of high-profile 1983 ARMS Concerts (which raised money for multiple sclerosis research), which led to several of the tour’s participants taking it a step further and laying down some tracks in the studio. Included in this stellar lineup were Wyman’s Stones mates Ron Wood and Charlie Watts, as well as Jimmy Page, Mel Collins, Andy Fairweather Low, Kenny Jones, and Ringo Starr, among others, while Wyman also served as the album’s producer. The resulting 1985 self-titled album was a pleasant enough set of 12 rock & roll/R&B standards (including “Baby Please Don’t Go,” which a promo video was filmed for), but certainly not anything musically earth-shattering. (by Greg Prato)

These were not academic sessions made to bring some new light to bear on nuggets of rock and soul’s golden age. They are what they are: a great group of players who could care less — on either of these dates — about showing off their individual chops, but in simply getting together for real fun playing the music that drew them in the first place. As such, these loose, raggedy, blast-off albums work here shockingly well. Paul Rodgers’ guest vocals on Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine,” and Little Richard’s “Slippin’ and Slidin'” (with killer roots guitar work from Jimmy Page), are among the most convincing of Rodgers’ career.

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Likewise, moody rocker Chris Rea’s vocal read of “Baby Please Don’t Go,” is astonishing. Geraint Watkins, known by many as Van Morrison’s keyboard ace (and producer of Tres Chicas) turns in a killer lead vocal on “Saturday Night” and “Chicken Shack Boogie,” (not bad for a guy who everybody thought couldn’t sing). Ray Cooper, percussionist to the stars — and some regular blokes, too — sings his skinny ass off on Lee Dorsey’s nugget “Can You Hear Me?.” But it’s not just the singers who provide satisfaction here. Guitarists Andy Fairweather Low and Mickey Gee are killer throughout. The horn section of Steve Gregory and Willie Garnet add heft and weight to this entire orgy of rock and rhythm. Speaking of rhythm, the drummers here are none other than fellow Rolling Stone Charlie Watts, ex-Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones, Eric Clapton skinman Henry Spinetti, and Rockpile’s rhythm ace Terry Williams. These cats push the proceedings into the red, with splattering hi hat work and popping snares. With Wyman manning the bass with finger-popping groove and grit, guests in the chair were utterly unnecessary. Fairweather Low is also a smashing vocalist, as evidenced on a burning read of Hudson Whittaker’s “Let’s Talk It Over (Don’t You Lie to Me).” The awesome thing about the set, brief as it is, is that despite the many players, it sounds like a band, a whole band, experienced, rehearsed, and smashing.

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The final and title cut on the Poor Boy Boogie studio album is a great pastiche/medley written by Wyman. Lyrics from all the songs are used and so are themes; it’s a seamless, wooly monster. The remastering job is terrific and if ever there were a record to take the roots sound and make it fun again, this is it. (by Thom Jurek)

Hey boys and girls … let´s have some fun tonight !

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Personnel:
Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar, vocals)
Mickey Gee (guitar)
Geraint Watkins (keyboards, vocals)
Charlie Watts (drums)
Bill Wyman (bass, vocals)
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Ray Cooper (percussion)
Willie Garnett (horns)
Steve Gregory (horns)
Kenney Jones (drums)
Jimmy Page (guitar on 06.)
Chris Rea (vocals on 01.)
Paul Rodgers (vocals on 03. + 06.)
Henry Spinetti (drums)
Terry Williams (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 2.37
02. Can You Hear Me (Toussaint) 3.13
03. These Arms Of Mine (Redding) 3.31
04. Revenue Man (White Lightening) (Richardson) 2.35
05. You Never Can Tell (Berry) 3.54
06. Slippin’ And Slidin’ (Collins/Bocage/Smith/Penniman) 2.33
07. Saturday Night (Brown) 2.51
08. Let’s Talk It Over (Whittaker) 2.58
09. All Night Long (Chenier) 2.31
10. Chicken Shack Boogie (Milburn/Cullum) 3.12
11. Sugar Bee (Shuler) 3.12
12. Poor Boy Boogie (Fairweather-Low/Wyman) 3.26

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Bryan Ferry – Boys And Girls (1985)

FrontCover1Boys and Girls is the sixth solo studio album by the English singer and songwriter Bryan Ferry, released in June 1985 by E.G. Records. The album was Ferry’s first solo album in seven years and the first since he had disbanded his group Roxy Music in 1983. The album was Ferry’s first and only number one solo album in the UK.[2] It was certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry and contains two UK top 40 hit singles. It is also Ferry’s most successful solo album in the US, having been certified Gold for sales in excess of half a million copies there.

The album contained the track “Slave to Love,” which became one of Ferry’s most popular solo hits. The single was released on 29 April 1985 and spent nine weeks in the UK charts in 1985, peaking at number 10, along with the other (modestly successful) singles “Don’t Stop the Dance” and “Windswept”.

The guitar solo at the end of “Slave to Love” featured Neil Hubbard and the album featured other famous guitarists such as the Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, Pink Floyd’s guitarist David Gilmour, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and Bryan Adams’ guitarist Keith Scott.

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The eponymous closing track Boys and Girls was used in the season 2 episode Bushido of the television series Miami Vice.

Writing retrospectively for AllMusic, critic Ned Raggett complimented the track “Slave to Love” and wrote “As a whole, Boys and Girls fully established the clean, cool vision of Ferry on his own to the general public. Instead of ragged rock explosions, emotional extremes, and all that made his ’70s work so compelling in and out of Roxy, Ferry here is the suave, debonair if secretly moody and melancholic lover, with music to match.”[8]

Critic Robert Christgau wrote “His voice thicker and more mucous, his tempos dragging despite all the fancy beats he’s bought, he runs an ever steeper risk of turning into the romantic obsessive he’s always played so zealously.”

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The 1992 edition of the Rolling Stone Album Guide gave the album three and half stars out of five: “Set in the richly synthesized mode of Avalon, Ferry’s sixth album envelopes the listener in emotional subtleties and sonic nuance. Then it’s over like a pleasant dream. Boys and Girls could stand a couple of more tunes along the memorable lines of “Slave to Love” or “Don’t Stop the Dance.”[9] The 2004 New Rolling Stone Album Guide repeated the three and half star rating; “Boys and Girls, his first solo album after Roxy Music broke up, was his disco-friendly bid for solo stardom, and while it’s too fluffy, it does have one of his greatest love songs ever, the hypnotic slow-dance “Slave to Love.”

In the 1985 Pazz and Jop Critics Poll by the Village Voice it was voted the 31st best album of the year. (by Wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Bryan Ferry (vocals, Keyboards)
Guy Fletcher (Keyboards)
David Gilmour (guitar)
Omar Hakim (drums)
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Jon Carin (keyboards)
Neil Hubbard (guitar)
Neil Jason (bass)
Chester Kamen (guitar)
Mark Knopfler (guitar)
Tony Levin (bass)
Jimmy Maelen (percussion)
Martin McCarrick (cello)

Marcus Miller (bass)
Andy Newmark (drums)

Nile Rodgers (guitar)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Keith Scott (guitar)
Alan Spenner (bass)
Anne Stephenson (strings)
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background vocals:
Virginia Hewes – Ednah Holt – Fonzi Thornton – Ruby Turner – Alfa Anderson – Michelle Cobbs – Yanick Etienne – Colleen Fitz-Charles – Lisa Fitz-Charles – Simone Fitz-Charles

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Tracklist:
01. Sensation (Ferry) 5.07
02. Slave To Love (Ferry)  4:26
03. Don’t Stop The Dance (Ferry/Davies 4.19
04. A Waste Land (Ferry) 1.02
05. Windswept (Ferry) 4.31
06. The Chosen One (Ferry) 4.51
07. Valentine (Ferry) 3.47
08. Stone Woman (Ferry) 4.56
09. “Boys And Girls (Ferry) 5.25

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Poncho Sanchez – El Conguero (1985)

LPFrontCover1El Conguero is a Latin record by Poncho Sanchez (born 1951) and released in 1985 on the artist’s house label Concord. Featuring nine tracks, eight musicians, four unique cuts and cavalcades of drums and horns, El Conguero is titled after the bandleader whose skills on the congas and so-called batá drums is one important driving factor of this album. The other is a bit harder to explain, as it is based on an amalgamation of reasons.

In short: Exotica fans will likely approve of this record. The arrangements are extrapolated by melodies that are easy to grasp, compatible with one’s wish to sing along to them – which the band also does on two pieces – and mercilessly good-natured. With the quasi-exception of one cautiously shadier tune that inherits scents of Latin devotion and yearning, everything is felicitously aglow. And this is what Exotica fans might adore the most, as the vintage factor is huge. This album could have been created in the 60’s the way it is presented. No funky guitar, no keyboard, not even a synthetic drum is ever injected. The arrangements are delightfully retro. The table of contents consists of less considered Latin side notes and compositions from the classic book of jazz standards. The personnel, meanwhile comprises of an octet, featuring conguero, batá drummer, bandleader and student of Cal Tjader, the mighty Poncho Sanchez, timbalist Ramon Banda, bongo player David Romero, pianist and songwriter Charlie Otwell, saxophonist Dick Mitchell, trombonist Art Velasco and trumpeter as well as flügelhorn player Sal Cracchiolo. Whatever the original material once was, it is transmuted into something sun-kissed, percussion-driven and incessantly friendly.

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Siempre Me Va Bien launches the album as if it was running all along. This strategy of an immediate opening phase is generally called in medias res, and all the better if it is so delicately constructed as on Sanchez’s rendition of David Torres’ classic. The gleefully imposed Latinisms on this corker are silkened, more awash with light than hazily dusky. After a polyphonous alluvial plain made of brass, Charlie Otwell’s archetypical but well-working piano driblets bubble through the sound waves of Dick Mitchell’s lead tenor saxophone. Ramon Banda augments the moisture with his bright timbales, whereas Poncho Sanchez himself remains mostly in the background on purpose, only coming to the forefront in the second half, then living up to the album title’s connotative setting. This opener showcases the interplay and interaction, not the focus on a particular instrument, maybe with the exception of Mitchell’s said tenor sax and Sal Cracchiolo trumpet in the second phase.

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The following tune Mi Negra is written by Sanchez himself. This Bossa Nova features a red color scheme through its existence in the realms of sound. A prominent guiro-and-conga coppice serves as the primary percussion placenta, with frizzling cymbals, large-grained maracas and iridescent timbales functioning as brightly lit counterparts to the amicable murkiness of this piece. Less multilayered melodies do not prevent Mi Negra from being catchy: Otwell’s piano and the short-lived horn segues work to its advantage, as do the band’s vocals. Sanchez’s solo on a pair of batá drums rounds off the midtempo synergy.

Frank Foster’s Shiny Stockings is a curious choice from the outset, but not if the title is taken as seriously as on this album. Particularly faux-drenched and galloping drums mimic said stockings and the shoes that come with them. In addition, the octet decides to rev up the luminosity of the cymbals which now seems almost cosmic. Cracchiolo’s spiraling trumpet tones as well as the simultaneous insouciant mellowness of the piano backdrop make Shiny Stockings a piece that is delightfully gentle and less about a profligate, saucy interpretation. Pianist Charlie Otwell’s own Si No Hay Amor, however, is where the album becomes stellar to me, while at the same time annoying many a listener, I suppose. The reason is a magical mirage, a laid-back piece of nocturnal togetherness. David Romero’s bongos accentuate the procession softly, Dick Mitchell’s tenor saxophone emanates moon beams, the hollowness in the background oozes through the enchanted atmosphere. Admittedly, the unleashed wind chimes may be a superfluous vestige of chintziness to some, but I for one like their momentary glitziness.

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This enthralling piece is soon replaced by Yumbabé, an upbeat song of rotatory pointillism. The timbales, cowbells and piano spirals form the base frame and offer the necessary amounts of sunlight for the ten-note brass euphony to shine even more. A Samba at its core, the members laugh and shout cheerfully in this tropical high-voltage reverie, making it a great counterpart to the preceding Si No Hay Amor and a great interim closer whose drum-driven gestalt reminds the listener of the very principles which really drive the album.

Side B features an additional four cuts which launch with Charlie Otwell’s second submission to the table of contents. Called Agua Dulce, it lives up to the camouflaged and opaque sub-theme of the album, namely the liquedous physiognomy. Not a fluxion or river per se, the pianist’s piece is keen on bongo driblets and batá blebs percussion-wise, but otherwise remains in luminous climes thanks to the harmonious blending of the brass layers and the warmhearted glow of the piano chords. Said brass layers are surprisingly eclectic, offering a great task for devoted Cool Jazz fans to decipher without alienating the Latin fans or that specific clientele that views this album from an Exotica angle. Said viewpoint is not only applicable, but constantly nurtured throughout the album, and Steve Huffsteter’s Night Walk is no different. Featuring a guiro-backed Bossa Nova groove, lacunar batá-and-conga intertwinements, the piece really feels like an unmindful walk in well-known surroundings at night, with not a care in the world.

Tin Tin Deo by Gil Fuller, Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo then makes many things different all of a sudden and could well be the standout piece of the album, at least due to its permanent rhythm shifts with a more than stupefying stringency despite the occasional – and intended – wonkiness at the respective suture. The percussion instruments are the real kings here, hissing, twinkling and foaming in an excitingly polyhedric piece whose melodies cannot live up to the multifaceted skeleton. The album’s finale is based on Marty Sheller’s Cuidado, a brute of over seven minutes that presents a drum galore in the veins of Tito Puente’s Top Percussion (1957), but later merges into a catchy piece of piano corkscrews, brass flourishes and showtune allusions, all the while the octet never neglects feature #1 of this long-form serenade: the drums. And in the center: el conguero.

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Poncho Sanchez is well-beloved in the community of fans who want that Latin spirit in their music much more carved out and superimposed than the flamboyancy of Exotica or slickness of Funk, even though the tendency shifts more towards Exotica – of all things – in Sanchez’s later works. Anyway, if this basic description fits the pattern and strikes you as valuable, then El Conguero is a splendid work. Exotica fans who want birdcalls and string fests will invevitably be disappointed… or so it seems! While no one in his right mind places Poncho Sanchez in the Exotica epicenter, El Conguero comes terrifically close. The album’s disadvantage then turns out to be a huge boon: its comparably retrogressive charm.

Sanchez’s LP is embedded in the tradition of Bobby Montez, Cal Tjader’s style of the late 50’s/early 60’s and can even be considered a distant neighbor of Bob Romeo aka Bianchi And The Jungle-Sextet. Melody-wise, El Conguero features exactly those adjuvants the doctor ordered. The tone sequences are eminently sunny and open to scrutiny, and once a convoluted passage occurs, it is accompanied by marvelous drum patterns. It is those drum patterns that make diamonds out of dobs. Never too much in the spotlight while at the same time being influential undercurrents at worst and protruding pikes at best, the drummers and their conguero can cope with any tempo and rhythm. In a curious twist, the song which is less dependent on the drums is incidentally the most valuable one to my ears, and I am fully aware of this contradiction. Pianist Charlie Otwell’s Si No Hay Amor is a nightly soothorama, a haze transformed into a song. It is not particularly hard to play and neglects the talent of everyone involved, but the dreaminess is remarkable… and hence showcases the prestidigitation and skills nonetheless. (by http://www.ambientexotica.com)

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Personnel:
Ramon Banda (timbales)
Tony Banda (bass)
Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet, saxophone, flute)
Dick Mitchell (saxophone, flute)
Charlie Otwell (piano)
David Romero (percussion)
Poncho Sanchez (percussion
Art Velasco (trombone)

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Tracklist:
01. Siempre Me Va BienA1 Siempre Me Va Bien (Torres) 5.08
02. Mi Negra (Sanchez) 4.16
03.  Shiny Stockings (Foster) 4.36
04. Si No Hay Amor (Otwell) 4.02
05. Yumbambe (Campos/Loco) 4.46
06. Agua Dulce (Otwell( 5.09
07. Night Walk (Huffsteter) 4.27
08. Tin Tin Deo (Fuller) 4.54
09. Cuidado (Sheller) 7.06
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Mountain – The Ritz Theater, New York 17 September 1985 (2005)

FrontCover1Formed in 1969, Mountain became one of the highest grossing rock acts on the music scene between the years 1969 and 1972. In 1985, the band – consisting of Leslie West, Corky Laing and Mark Clarke

I’ve seen Mountain several times live, including during their peak with the late great Felix Pappalardi. This album magnificently captures the unbelievable raw intensity of Mountain live. I was transfixed and hypnotized by the savage, brutal interaction between Leslie West and Corky Laing. The bass player, Mark Clarke, is outstanding, with a fantastic voice reminiscent of Jack Bruce’s. Corky’s drumming is as powerful and dynamic as ever. Leslie’s voice sounds aggressive, yet perfectly controlled. His guitar playing is heavy and melodic, and sounds exactly as it did in Mountain’s heyday. The sound is intentionally distorted, as it SHOULD be…that’s exactly what Mountain sounds like live. I LOVED the intense, furocious sound. Crank this baby up and ENJOY! Highly recommended! (by By William Rosenfeld)

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This is the complete show … with all songs, that are not included on this “Offical Bootleg”. So, this is the complete show.

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Personnel:
Mark Clarke (bass, vocals)
Corky Laing (drums)
LeslieWest (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro 0.54
02. Never In My Life (Laing/Pappalardi/Collins/West) 2.38
03. Why Dontcha (West/Bruce/Laing) 4.20
04. Banter 0.46
05. Hard Times (West(Laing/Prager) 7.31
06. Banter 0.58
07. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 6.17
08. Spark (West/Laing) 6.23
09 Nantucket Sleigh Ride (Pappalardi/Collins)
10. Instrumental (including “Layla, “Crossraods”, “Rolling & Tumblin`”)  (West) 8.00
11. Mississippi Queen (West/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea) 0.47
12. Announcer 1.13
13. Rocky Mountain Way (Walsh) 3.29
14 Rock And Roll Music (Berry) 3.34
15 Announcer 1.07

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Louisiana Red & The City Blues Connection – World On Fire (1985)

FrontCover1Taken from the original liner notes:

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields.

“Mississippi Girl” and “Voodoo Woman” are love songs, but with the typical Red excitement. “For My Friend” is dedicated to Bo Diddley, played in the hand jive style, while “Soul Food” shows Red’s old love for soul music. And besides all the “babies of the Blues” (Red) as Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Soul the authentic stuff itself – listen to “Suffering”. The last song of the album is an adaption of an old gospel, “On My Way To The Kingdom Land”. Most of the songs were recorded some kind of live, Red often refused to play a title twice or do overdubs. The spontaneous expression was more important to him. A difficult way to work, but the “City Blues Connection” was the right partner. After the sessions in Volkspark Studio, Hamburg, Red commented: “They are better than any band I had before, even in Chicago”.

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields. (by itrockandroll.com)

In other words:This is a killer album … If you like blues, blues-rock … than you have to listen ! Unbelieveable !

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Personnel:
Rev. Josh Blackwell (keyboards)
Norbert Egger (guitar)
Heiko Petcke (harmonica)
Louisiana Red (vocals, guitar)
Mick Schreiber (drums, percussion)
Uwe Seemann (bass)
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Ben Ahrens (drums on 10.)
Ulrich Maske (guitar on 01. 09 – 10.)
Audrey Motaung (background vocals)
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The Nite Riders (horns)

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Tracklist:
01. World On Fire 3.23
02. Mississippi Girl 2.56
03. Mini Skirt 1.58
04. When I Was A Boy 2.21
05. Voodoo Woman 3.54
06. Suffering 5.16
07. Pittsburgh 2.45
08. Special Medicine 3.57
09. For My Friend 4.43
10. Soul Food 4.27
11. On My Way To The Kingdom Land 4.24

All songs were written by Louisiana Red, except 11. (Traditional)

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The City Blues Connection

Viktor Lazlo – She (1985)

frontcover1Viktor Lazlo (real name: Sonia Dronier, born 7 October 1960 in Lorient, France) is a French-Belgian singer of Grenadian and Martiniquan descent. She studied in Belgium, where she is primarily known. Her biggest hit was “Breathless” in 1987. That year she also hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1987 held in Brussels.

Dronier took her stage name from Paul Henreid’s character Victor Laszlo in the 1942 film Casablanca. She sings in French, English, Spanish and German.

She is the first studio album by French-Belgian singer Viktor Lazlo.

The album consists of several original jazz pop compositions and includes two cover versions, the first one being Rita Hayworth’s Put the Blame on Mame and a French version of the Julie London song Cry Me a River, entitled Pleurer Des Rivieres. The song was successful on the French single charts peaking at No. 27.

viktorlazlo02Seven songs were eventually released as a single off the album: Backdoorman, Last Call For An Angel, Loser and Sweet, Soft’N’Lazy, which although it never charted anywhere became quite successful.

Another single, Canoë Rose, however was successful in Belgium, peaking at No. 33 on the single charts, and in France, peaking at No. 14.[1] The song Slow Motion was later added to the CD version of the album and released as a single too, but was not included on the original album.

The album became an overnight success, and fell just short of platinum in Belgium, where it was released as a Mini LP. It went on to sell over 100,000 copies in Germany and 60,000 in Japan.

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Lazlo presented songs off this album on various TV shows, such as the single Loser on the Michael Schanze Show in September 1986.(by wikipedia)
I first became aware of this incredible performer in the late 80s when I was spending a considerable amount of time in Brussels. I speak both English and French so her songs in either language had a lot of meaning for me. Over the years I had lost this CD. I was so happy to find it here. It brings back many good memories of Bruxelles and my friends there. A great jazz sound. (dcbart)

I first heard this belgium band while in Switzerland, in the 1980s. The vocalist here is in some ways easier on the ears than even the great Sade Adu. I loved this collection- and will recommend it as all time winner for those enjoying romantic lounge jazz. (Mark Hollenstein)

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Personnel:
C. Bofane (saxophone)
G. Cadiere (saxophone)
Michel Delory (guitar)
P. van den Driesche (saxophone)
Genael (keyboards)
Steve Houben (saxophone)
Pietro Lacirignola (saxophone)
Viktor Lazlo (vocals)
Jean Pierre Onraedt (drums, percussion)
F. Philipot (bass)
Danny Willems (violine)

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Tracklist:
01. She (Cadiere) 1.36
02. Sweet, Soft N’ Lazy (Bofane/Cadiere/Lazlo) 5.20
03. Ain’t Gonna Come (Vandormaele/Lazlo) 4.00
04. Stories (Wady/Walravens/Lazlo) 4.40
05. Put The Blame On Mame  (Alan) 2.:47
06. I Don’t Wanna Love Again (Antioco/Philipo) 4.17
07. Pleurer Des Rivieres (Hamilton/Bergman) 3.42
08. Last Call For An Angel (Bergman/Roger) 3.36
09. Backdoorman (Chamfort/Bergman) 3.25
10. Loser (Roger/Lazlo) 3.30
11. Canoë Rose (french version of Stories) (Bergman/Walravens) 4.40
12. Slow Motion (Verheyen/Vandenheuvel) 4.22

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Marillion – Misplaced Childhood (1985)

FrontCover1Misplaced Childhood is the third studio album by the British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in 1985.

Recorded during the spring of 1985 at Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin and produced by Chris Kimsey, who had previously worked with the Rolling Stones, Misplaced Childhood has been the group’s most successful album to date, peaking immediately at number one in the UK charts, spending a total of 41 weeks on the chart, and ultimately gaining the Platinum status. It features Marillion’s two most successful singles, the guitar-led rock ballad “Kayleigh”, which reached number two in the UK, and piano-led “Lavender” which peaked at number five.

The album’s positive reception included its selection as one of the best of 1985 by rock publications Sounds and Kerrang!. It was later named one of the best concept albums of all time by Classic Rock. According to John Franck from AllMusic, the album was the band’s “most accomplished” and “streamlined” work to date, while Ultimate Classic Rock has called it “the cornerstone of the entire ‘neo-prog’ movement”.

Misplaced Childhood was Marillion’s first full concept album consisting of two continuous pieces of music on the two sides of the vinyl record. In live performances preceding the album Fish had originally claimed as a teaser that the next album would consist of only two tracks, “Side 1” and “Side 2”. Then, during the Misplaced Childhood tour Fish would announce, “Now there is time for one more track… the name of the track is ‘Misplaced Childhood'”, and the band performed the entire album in sequence.

“I was in ‘Padres Bay’ when suddenly I felt a child standing behind me on the stairs. I knew he was dressed as a soldier and vanished as soon as he entered the corner or my eye. Perhaps it was my muse; perhaps it was the drug. It was enough to propel me into reaming off a large scrawl of prose.” (Fish)

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The story has thematic elements of lost love, sudden success, acceptance, and lost childhood, along with an upbeat ending. As Fish explains, he conceived the concept during a 10-hour acid trip.

Several of the songs and titles contain notable autobiographical references, for example, “Kayleigh” references breakdown of relationships as a whole but is centered around a Fish’s past girlfriend named Kay Lee. The name Kayleigh was thought of by Fish to slightly obscure the original name due to the song being too personal. Another example is “Heart of Lothian” (“I was born with the heart of Lothian”) which is a reference to a traditional region of Scotland – Fish himself being from Midlothian – and a reference to the Heart of Marillion01Midlothian (Royal Mile) – a mosaic heart in the pavement of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

The theme of childhood is developed in “Lavender” which is partly based on the traditional folk song “Lavender Blue”. Like “Kayleigh” it is a love song, but whereas “Kayleigh” was about the failure of an adult relationship, “Lavender” recalls the innocence of childhood.

Like Script for a Jester’s Tear and Fugazi, the original vinyl edition of Misplaced Childhood was released in a gatefold sleeve. The album design was created by Mark Wilkinson who was commissioned to the role on all Marillion albums and 12″ singles of the Fish-era.

The front cover features a soldier drummer portrayed by Robert Mead, a then ten-year-old boy who lived next door to Wilkinson. Mead also appeared on the artwork of the album’s three hit singles, “Kayleigh”, “Lavender”, and “Heart of Lothian”, and can be seen in the music video for “Kayleigh”. The Jester from the two previous studio albums is imagined escaping through the window on the back cover.

Misplaced Childhood was released in the United Kingdom on 17 June 1985 by EMI Records on LP, 12″ picture disc and cassette and went on to be the band’s biggest selling album. It topped the UK Albums Chart, becoming the first and the only Marillion album to do so. It stayed on the charts for 41 weeks, the longest chart residency of any of the band’s albums.[11] Misplaced Childhood was certified Platinum by the BPI for sales in excess of 300.000 copies on 26 November 1985 just 5 months after the release. It was the 20th best selling album in the United Kingdom for 1985.

The album was also highly successful across mainland Europe reaching number 3 in Germany, number 6 in Switzerland and the Netherlands, the country where Marillion have one of their largest fanbases, number 10 in Norway. In the United States Misplaced Childhood came out on the Capitol Records label and reached number 47 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest position the band has ever achieved.

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Three singles, “Kayleigh”, “Lavender”, and “Heart of Lothian” were released, with the first preceding the album. “Kayleigh” peaked at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart turning out to be the biggest hit for Marillion and prompting the success of Misplaced Childhood. The two further singles were less successful but still ended up at high positions as “Lavender” reached number 5[6] and “Heart of Lothian” peaked at number 29.

In April 2015, it was announced that Fish would be performing a 30th anniversary tour of Misplaced Childhood, playing the album in full for the very last time. (by wikipedia)

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The Picture Disc

After the album-tour-album cycle of Script for a Jester’s Tear, Fugazi, and the subsequent Euro-only release of Real to Reel, Marillion retreated to Berlin’s Hansa Ton Studios with Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey to work on their next opus. Armed with a handful of lyrics born out of a self-confessed acid trip, Fish came up with the elaborate concept for 1985’s Misplaced Childhood. Touching upon his early childhood experiences and his inability to deal with a slew of bad breakups exacerbated by a never-ending series of rock star-type “indulgences,” Misplaced Childhood would prove to be not only the band’s most accomplished release to date, but also its most streamlined. Initial record company skepticism over the band’s decision to forge ahead with a ’70s-style prog rock opus split into two halves (sides one and two) quickly evaporated as Marillion delivered its two most commercial singles ever: “Kayleigh” and “Lavender.” With its lush production and punchy mix, the album went on to become the band’s greatest commercial triumph, especially in Europe where they would rise from theater attraction to bona fide stadium royalty. The subsequent U.S. success of “Kayleigh” would also see Marillion returning to the States for a difficult tour as Rush’s support act. (by John Franck)

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Personnel:
Derek William “Fish” Dick (vocals)
Mark Kelly (keyboards)
Ian Mosley (drums, percussion)
Steve Rothery (guitar)
Pete Trewavas (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Pseudo Silk Kimono 2.15
02. Kayleigh 4.04
03. Lavender 2.28
04. Bitter Suite 7.53
04.1. Brief Encounter
04.2. Lost Weekend
04.3. Blue Angel
04.4. Misplaced Rendezvous
04.5. Windswept Thumb
05. Heart of Lothian 4.08
05.1. Wide Boy
05.2. Curtain Call
06. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) 2.13
07. Lords Of The Backstage 1.53
08. Blind Curve 9.30
08.1. Vocal Under A Bloodlight
08.2. Passing Strangers
08.3. Mylo
08.4. Perimeter Walk
08.5. Threshold
09. Childhoods End? 4.33
10. White Feather 2.24

All lyrics written by Fish, all music composed by Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas.

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