Various Artists – Viva Mexico (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGThe music of Mexico is very diverse and features a wide range of musical genres and performance styles. It has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably the culture of the indigenous people of Mexico and Europe. Music was an expression of Mexican nationalism, beginning in the nineteenth century.

Many traditional Mexican songs are well-known everywhere, including María Grever’s first international hit “Júrame” (“Swear to me”), and her song “Te quiero dijiste” (English version “Magic Is the Moonlight”), written for the 1944 Esther Williams film. “La Noche de los Mayas,” Huapango de Moncayo, “Sinfonía India (Second Symphony),” “Sobre las Olas,” “La Sandunga,” “Cielito Lindo” (“Beautiful Sweetheart”), “Bésame Mucho” (“Kiss Me a Lot”), “Perfidia”, “Solamente una vez” (English version “You Belong to My Heart”), “Esta Tarde Vi Llover” (English version “Yesterday I Heard the Rain”), “Somos Novios” (English version “We Are Dating”), “¡Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!”, and “Jesusita en Chihuahua,”

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Other famous songs include “México Lindo y Querido” (“Beautiful, Beloved Mexico”), “Jarabe Tapatío’ (known internationally as “The Mexican Hat Dance”), “El Rey” (“The King”), “El Triste” (“The sad one”), “Pelea de gallos”, “Enamorada” (“Enamoured”), “Échame a mi la culpa” (“Blame me”), “La ley del monte” (“The law of the land”), “La Bikina” (“The Bikina”), “Por Debajo de la Mesa,” “La Media Vuelta,” “La Bamba,” (“The Bamba”), “Lilongo,” and “Jarabe Pateño”. “La Cucaracha” (“The Cockroach”), although popularized during the Mexican Revolution, is a Mexican corrido. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a beautful sampler with traditional music from Mexico … and if you like for example Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, then you should listen … it´s music that can make you happy … and sometimes very sentimental (“Las Golondrinas”) it´s music directly from the heart of the people of Mexico.

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Tracklist:

Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
01. Guadalajara (Guizar) 3.04
02. Las Alteñitas (Espinosa) 2.42
03. Camino Real De Colima (Vargas/Fuentes) 1.56
04. Las Perlitas (Cardenas Jr.) 2.41
05. Jarabe Tapatio (Particheia) 2.30
06. Las Mañanitas (Traditional) 3.04
07. La Negra (Vargas/Fuentes) 2.49
08. Atotonilco (Espinosa) 2.58
09. La Madrugada (Vargas/Fuentes) 2.37
10. Las Copetonas (Traditional) 2.41
11. Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Palomma) (Mendez) 2.54
12. Las Golondrinas (Serredell) 3,02

Mariachi Los Mensajeros:
13. El Guaje (Sones Jaliscienses) (Jaliscmnses) 2.18

Irma Serrano:
14. Flor Del Rio (Cordero) 2.46

Jorge Valente:
15. El Vicio (Ruiz/Zorella) 2.59

Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
16. Guadalajara (Trditional) 2.08

Trio Los Panchos:
17, La Corriente (Navarro) 2.58

Eva Garza:
18, Padre Nuestro (Delfino) 2.31

Fernando Soto:
19, Rayando El Sol (Cancion Mexicana) (Traditional) 2.18

Mariachi Los Mensajeros:
20. Chapala (Son) (Guizar) 2.19

Irma Serrano con Los Alegres De Teran:
21. La Martina (Castro) 3.02

Cuco Sanchez Y Antonio Bribiesca:
22. Maria Elena (Barcelata) 3,96

Linda Vera:
23, Guindame La Hamaca (del Rivero) 2.22

Irma Serrano & Lloren Organillos:
24. La Abandonada (Castro) 3.16

Mariachi Jalisco De Pepe Villa:
25. El Mariachi (Guizar) 2.50

Jorge Valente:
26. Calladamente (Maldonado) 2.25

Irma Serrano:
27. Carinito De Mi Vida (Valdes/Ortega) 1.46

Coral Mexicano:
28. Cielito Lindo (Fernandez) 2.22

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I got this rare item from Hermann, a reader of this blog … Thank you very much !!!

The Nighthawks – Times Four (All Previously Unreleased Material) (1982)

FrontCover1.jpgA hard-driving Washington, D.C.-based bar band with strong Chicago blues roots, the Nighthawks were formed in 1972 by harpist and vocalist Mark Wenner and guitarist Jimmy Thackery. The band earned a reputation as a solid outfit through more than a decade of touring and recording projects with John Hammond and former members of Muddy Waters’ band. Thackery left in 1986, but Wenner regrouped around longtime members Jan Zukowski on bass and Pete Ragusa on drums. Trouble, their 1991 release on Powerhouse, was a blend of blues, R&B, and rock influences, with a typically energetic sound born from thousands of gigs across the country. Subsequent efforts included 1993’s live Rock This House, 1996’s Pain & Paradise, and 1999’s Still Wild. A collection of live performances from 2001 saw release in the spring of 2002 as Live Tonight. Since then, the band has stayed active delivering such albums as 2006’s Blue Moon in Your Eye, 2009’s American Landscape, and 2015’s Back Porch Party. In 2017 they returned with All You Gotta Do, which included a version of Brenda Lee’s “That’s All You Gotta Do.” (by Bill Dahl)

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Billboard, 1982

I’ve alway felt that the Nighthawks best showcase was their live stage persona, seen them several different times at different venues, and they never disapoint. What you are getting with this double album is a taste of their special gritty take on the urban blues. Its amazing that the Nighthawks vocal harmonies, along with Mark Wenner’s just stone slutty as a dockyard doxie, harmonica solo’s are enough to draw your attemtion, but Jimmy Thackery’s out front, in the background guitar work is his standard excellence. (D. G. Luttrell)

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Personnel:
Pete Ragusa (drums, vocals)
Jimmy Thackery (guitar)
Mark Wenner (vocals, harmonica)
Jan Zukowski (bass, vocals)
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Guitar Junior (guitar, vocals on D2, D4)

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Tracklist:

LP 1: Live Sessions:
01. Ubangi Stomp (Underwood) 3.33
02. Mystery Dance (Costello) 1.37
03. Announcement 0.40
04. Boppin’ The Blues (Perkins) 3.50
05. Announcement 0.17
06. Talk To My Baby  (James) 5.23
07. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) (King) 5.43
08. Off The Wall (Jacobs) 2.18
09. Double Trouble (Rush) 9.19

LP 2: Studios Sessions:
10. Let A Woman Be A Woman (Christian) 3.26
11. All Your Fault (Maghett) 4.05
12. What A Girl Can’t Do (Guernsey) 2.44
13. You’ve Got To Move (James) 4.51
14. Claudette (Orbison) 2.27
15. Mystery Train (Parker) 4.19
16. Back Seat Boogie (Cole) 3.00
17. How Many More Years (Burnette) 4.35
18. Mind Your Own Business (Williams) 3.06
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19. Live Sessions (Part 1 – uncut version) 15.47
20. Live Sessions (Part 2 – uncut version) 17.42

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Al Kooper – Rare + Well Done (Greatest And Most Obscure Recordings (1964-2001) (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgEveryone knows Al Kooper in one form or another. If the name isn’t instantly recognizable, then Kooper’s long list of musical contributions and achievements should very well be. After all, this is the man who not only played the legendary and unforgettable organ part on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, but Kooper also did everything from having a hand in penning the classic tune “This Diamond Ring” to founding such incomparable Sixties groups such as Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The man even started out as a member of The Royal Teens who charted with “Short Shorts”. He hung out with Hendrix, “discovered” Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced a ton of classic albums. And he’s still going strong.

So much so, in fact, that Kooper has recently released Rare & Well Done, a two disc collection that fully represent the album’s title. All the tracks were 24-bit remastered with Kooper’s own supervision. Disc one is a 19-track collection of hard to find and previously unreleased material from the Kooper vaults, while disc two features plenty of the artist’s best known work, in solo and various band formats. For longtime fans, this collection is a welcome addition to their Kooper collection. For anyone else who’s even mildly curious about Kooper’s legacy, this album works as a nice springboard from which to begin exploring the man’s vast catalogue. As it usually is with such releases, not everything here works and not every “rare” found here needed inclusion, but overall Rare & Well Done is an indispensable look back at one of rock music’s most prolific artists.

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The “Rare” disc opens with a new demo, “I Can’t Quit Her 2001”. It’s not the best song on the disc that the collection could have started with. In fact, it’s a bit schmaltzy and sounds like something that you might hear Paul Schaffer’s band doing on Letterman. It’s certainly not the best version of this classic, as the live version included on the “Well Done” disc proves. However, things fall into place and start to genuinely rock with track two, Kooper’s 1964 demo of “Somethin’ Goin’ On”. Amazingly soulful, gospel tinged and incredibly deep, “Somethin’ Goin’ On” seems light years away from everything else that was coming out in ’64 — especially Beatlemania. Kooper’s voice instantly moves one emotionally as much as those fantastic piano, organ, and guitar parts. Stunning.

But then again, the disc manages to dip down for a moment as “Autumn Song” sounds like a mid-’80s fusion/muzak piece. It would have been better had the contents of this disc been arranged chronologically as the time warps back and forth through the years certainly mess up the grooves more than once. Kooper’s own phrasing of some of the words here, like “winter” also seem a bit silly as if he were just goofing off on the track. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” which follows is a bit better, though the horn section sounds like nothing more than synth brass. These are the kinds of rarities that may have been better off left on the shelves.

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Still, one can’t argue with the slow cooking “Baby Please Don’t Go” offered here in a live version from 1971 and getting and eight-and-a-half minute workout. Kooper’s amazing piano work on the track just simply burns, as does his vocal prowess once again. Giving Big Joe Williams a run for his money, “Baby Please Don’t Go” encapsulates not only the blues here, but also takes on funk and classical vestiges that must simply be heard to be appreciated. The band’s solo spots are equally remarkable, with the other-worldy synth break being especially dazzling.

But then the record shifts once more and we’re back into smoove rock territory with “I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers”, a number on which Kooper seems to be doing his best Lou Rawls impression that turns out to be not so good in the end. The sax and guitar parts are overwrought and cheese up the track way too much. “The Earthquake of Your Love” restores the good groove with an undeniably Seventies bounce and charm. This time, Kooper vocally sounds almost like Steve Miller. And that’s not too strange, considering Miller himself went on to create such plastic, yet likable boogie like “Abracadabra” a bit later on.

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Getting back to the downright essential tracks on the disc, of important note is the inclusion of Al’s very first single from 1965, “New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz)”. Again, this long lost Sixties chestnut doesn’t sound much like anything else going on at the time with its pretty flute and string arrangement outdoing the Fab Four (again), and that indelible swinging jazz outbreak at the middle of the tune being especially captivating. If Kooper wasn’t influencing both Brian Wilson and Lennon and McCartney at this time, then I’d damn sure be surprised as Al had created his own “mini-epic” right here . . . in 1965 . . . in two-and-a-half minutes.

The “English Hall” cover of XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel” is also excellent. Dare I say that it’s even better than XTC’s. Sure. I’m not so taken with that group that I can’t see that their career has been spotty through the decades. But even better than that is Kooper’s blistering version of Dylan’s “Went To See The Gypsy”, an outtake from Bob’s New Morning LP that rock fiercer than Dylan’s own take. Of course, that version was so subdued (yet equally great) that it wouldn’t be difficult to rock harder. But here, Kooper’s band injects stunning guitar parts that do sound distinctively Sixties, but all the better.

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Also of interest is Kooper’s instrumental rehearsal version of “Hey Jude” from 1969 with orchestra. Kooper jazzes the Beatles tune up with swinging horns and lickety-split drumming. It sounds a bit like a Vegas spectacular, but it’s by no means horrible. Hearing someone with Kooper’s talent reconfigure such a song in this format is impressive. Although it is hard not to laugh at “The Big Chase”, a piece of incidental music that was left out of an episode of TV’s Crime Story. It sounds like Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer got together and created the most hellish cop music they could think of. Lots of fun (seriously).

Turning to the “Well Done” disc of the collection now, the old fans should finally start feeling like they’re on familiar territory as nothing on the CD here hasn’t been released before. Things start with a live 1994 take of “I Can’t Keep from Cryin’ Sometimes” recorded with the Blues Project. Once again, Al is in his element when he has a band behind him that complements his own talent. The organ work, the guitar licks are both hot, and Kooper puts in some of his most soulful vocalizing. Tasty.

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Set the Way Back Machine for 1968 then, because it’s time to hear Blood, Sweat and Tears’ “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”. Again, there’s a stunning amount of soulfulness ripping through this track with the undeniable organ and vocal parts (especially those of the backup singers). A slow burner if there ever was one, it’s followed up with a 1975 version of “This Diamond Ring” complete with funky keyboards a-la Billy Preston’s “Outa Space”. Personally, I dig this version a lot more than the original by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

There’s still no getting over the Kooper/Bloomfield (as in Mike) number “Albert’s Shuffle” from ’68. Here it is once again in all of its blistering glory. The blues as pounded out by two of the best. All you have to do is hear that organ and guitar and those horns and that’s all it takes. Next thing you know, you’re somewhere else. All great music should move you. Here’s a number that does it every time. And the movement continues with the classic “Bury My Body” recorded with Shuggie Otis in 1969 and “Season of the Witch” with Stephen Stills in 1968. It’s truly a joy to hear Kooper’s phenomenal work from the Sixties here all laid out. The man was clearly an inspired and enviable musician at that point in his career.

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“New York City (You’re A Woman)” is also great. Here, Kooper’s organ sounds just like Booker T.’s good old Hammond B-3. And who could forget such brazen opening lines like “New York City you’re a woman / Cold hearted bitch ought to be your name / Oh you ain’t never loved nobody / Yet I’m drawn to you like a moth to flame/ . . . Yeah”? This piece of classic funkiness is then followed with a damned great live version of “I Can’t Quit Her” from 1994 that shows just how great the song really is (you wouldn’t know it from that limp version that opened the “Rare” disc as stated earlier).

The classics just keep on coming from there, from the fantastic “I Stand Alone” to another slow burner, this time in the form of “I Got a Woman”. Also included is the closing “Love Theme from The Landlord”, which is the only Al Kooper disc not currently on CD. All in all, “Well Done” lives up to its name and then some

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It’s just too bad that the “Rare” portion of this collection didn’t include an equal portion of indispensable tracks. The nuggets from the Sixties and Seventies are cool and wonderful, but with only a couple of exceptions, like “Making Plans for Nigel”, and “The Big Chase”, the rest of the rarities kind of bring about a cringe-inducing element, proving once and for all that there was a very good reason a lot of the tracks here were previously unissued.

Yet the “Well Done” disc is impeccable, making this collection a must-have. It’s great to have all these tracks in once place. Al Kooper continues to play a highly influential part in the music industry. His well-documented history up this point has been preserved beautifully and put on display for all to hear in this collection. Kooper has certainly been deserving of a release like this for a long time, and even if the whole thing isn’t flawless, it damn sure rocks 95% of the time. Thanks for the memories, Al. (Jason Thompson)

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Tracklist:

CD 1 (Rare):
01. I Can’t Quit Her (New Studio Version) (Kooper)Levine) 4.25
02. Somethin’ Goin’ On (Demo) (Kooper) 3.04
03. Autumn Song (Kooper) 2.50
04. I Can’t Stand The Rain (Bryant/Miller/Peebles) 4.29
05. Baby Please Don’t Go (live) (Williams) 8.24
06. I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers (Kooper) 5.01
07. The Earthquake Of Your Love (Demo) (Kooper) 3.19
08. Bulgarya (outtake) (Kooper) 2.32
09. Nuthin’ I Wouldn’t Do (For A Woman Like You) (Kooper) 3.29
10. New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz) Aka The Street Song (Kooper) 2.32
11. Making Plans For Nigel (Moulding) 4.07
12. I Believe To My Soul (outtake) (Charles) 4.28
13. Went To See The Gypsy (Dylan) 3.30
14. Rachmaninoff’s Birthday (Kooper) 4.08
15. Hey Jude (rehearsal tape) (Lennon/McCartney) 5.11
16. Living In My Own Religion (demo) (Kooper) 4.51
17. The Big Chase (Kooper/Calello) 3.24
18. They Just Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore (Kooper) 2.25
19. A Drive Through The Old Neighborhood (Kooper) 4.37

CD 2 (Well Done):
01. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes (live) (Kooper) 4.01
02. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Kooper) 5.56
03. This Diamond Ring (Kooper/Levine/Brass) 4.08
04. Albert’s Shuffle (Bloomfield/Kooper) 6.53
05. Bury My Body (Kooper) 8.56
06. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 11.05
07. New York City (You’re A Woman) (Kooper) 4.45
08. I Can’t Quit Her (live) (Kooper/Levine) 3.46
09. I Stand Alone (Kooper) 3.42
10. Flute Thing (Kooper) 6.02
11. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Kooper) 2.53
12. I Got A Woman (Charles) 6.29
13. Brand New Day (Kooper) 5.09
14. Love Theme (Jolie) (Kooper) 3.41

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Goblin – Their Hits, Rare Tracks & Outtakes Collection 1975-1989 (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgGoblin (also Back to the Goblin, New Goblin, Goblin Rebirth, the Goblin Keys, The Goblins and Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin) is an Italian progressive rock band known for their soundtrack work. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating soundtracks for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. CD re-releases of their soundtracks have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan. Goblin returned with a series of live concerts in Europe in 2009 and in North America in 2013.

Initially recording as Cherry Five (they had done some live gigs as Oliver), their early work spawned one eponymous progressive rock record, and they were then called in to compose the soundtrack for Profondo Rosso. The band changed their name to Goblin, rewriting most of the score, originally written by Giorgio Gaslini including the famous main theme. The 1975 soundtrack album was a huge hit. After a reshuffle in their line-up, they put out an instrumental progressive rock album Roller, before working with Argento again for 1977’s Suspiria.

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Other film soundtracks and a concept album (Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark) followed, then the score for the European version of George A. Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead. In both this and Suspiria’s opening title sequences, they are credited as “The Goblins with Dario Argento”. Tracks 1, 2 and 7 from the European version are also in the American version of the film.

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Despite their success, membership continued to be a revolving door, and the band also struggled to maintain their credibility. The remaining members continued to work on further soundtracks, and there was a partial reunification of three of the four band-members for Argento’s Tenebrae (1982) (the album was credited to the three band-members separately, not as Goblin). The last collaboration with the director took place in 2000, with the film Non ho sonno (Sleepless).

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Halloween is upon us, and it’s time to fire up the VCR for some primo fright-fests. True lovers of the blood & gore genre know that Italian filmmaker Dario Argento and Pittsburgh’s one and only George Romero are two of the best in the biz, and both turned to the Italian art-rock group Goblin when they needed otherworldly sounds to match their nightmarish visions. Goblin is one of the only rock bands that exclusively recorded soundtracks, and this collection includes some of its most inventive and creepy work. The jazzy, percussive, synth-driven tunes will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s seen Argento’s Profondo Rosso (1975) or Suspiria (1977) or Romero’s classic Dawn of the Dead (1978). That’s a fine triple bill if you have an adventurous video store in the neighborhood, but the music works just as well on its own, especially as background music for your Halloween party, or for a little vampiric necking. (by Jim Derogatis)

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Personnel:
Various line ups … look here

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Tracklist:

Profondo Rosso 1975:
01. Profondo Rosso (Main Title) (Simonetti/Pignatelli/Martino) 3.43
2 Death Dies – M32 (Original Film Version) (Simonetti/Pignatelli/Martino) 2.44
3 Profondo Rosso – M15 (Simonetti/Pignatelli/Martino) 0.40
4 Profondo Rosso – M31 (Simonetti/Pignatelli/Martino) 1.02

Wampyr (a/k/a Martin) 1976:
05 Wampyr (Finale) (Morante/Simonetti) 1.42

Chi? (Theme From The Original TV Show) 1976:
06. Chi? – Part 1 (Caruso/Baudo) 3.20
07. Chi? – Part 2 (Caruso/Baudo) 3.27

Patrick 1977:
08. Patrick – M32 Bis (Marangolo/Pignatelli/Pennisi) 3.01
09 Patrick – M1 (Marangolo/Pignatelli/Pennisi) 0.56
10 Patrick – M34/34 Bis/35 (Marangolo/Pignatelli/Pennisi) 0.47

Suspiria 1977;
11. Suspiria (Main Title) (Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 5.55

La Via Della Droga 1977:
12. La Via Della Droga – M11V  ((Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 2.08
13. La Via Della Droga – M2 (Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 2.00
14 La Via Della Droga – M6 (Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 2.05
15 La Via Della Droga – 31 (Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 4.29

Zombi 1978:
16. L’Alba Dei Morti Viventi (Marangolo/Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 6.04

Buio Omega 1979:
17. Buio Omega – M6 (Marangolo/Pennisi/Pignatelli) 2.33
18 Buio Omega – M25 (Marangolo/Pennisi/Pignatelli) 4.02
19 Buio Omega (Main Title) (Marangolo/Pennisi/Pignatelli) 2.56

St. Helen 1979:
20. St. Helen (Love Theme) (Marangolo/Guarini/Pignatelli) 2.08

Contamination 1980:
21. Contamination – M3 (Marangolo/Pignatelli) 1.40
22. Contamination – M8 (Marangolo/Pignatelli) 1.02

Tenebre 1982:
23. Tenebre (Main Title) (Morante/Simonetti/Pignatelli) 4.35

Notturno 1983:
24. Bass Theme (Pignatelli/Guarini/Marangolo) 3.22

Phenomena 1984:
25. Phenomena – M12 (Pignatelli) 1.01
26. Phenomena – M15 (Alternate Version) (Simonetti) 3.10

La Chiesa 1989:
27. La Chiesa (Pignatelli) 5.25

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Jukka Tolonen – Crossection (1975)

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Jukka Jorma Tolonen (born 16 April 1952) is a Finnish jazz guitarist. Tolonen became famous as guitarist for the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti (which means “president of the republic”).

He had grown up playing the piano, but received his first guitar at age eleven. From 1966-67 Jukka Tolonen, at age fourteen, played guitar with Arto Sotavalta and the Rogues. Their first single, recorded in 1967, was “No Milk Today,” backed by “Lady Jane.” For several months in 1969 he was a member of the Eero Raittinen-Help band which eventually split up. It was then that Tolonen and drummer Vesa Aaltonen founded the group Tasavallan Presidentti with whom he toured and recorded several albums from 1969-1974. Their third album, Lambertland, reached number seven on the Finnish charts in 1972, followed by Milky Way Moses which peaked at number twelve in 1974. Tolonen also played on albums Tombstone Valentine (1970) and Fairyport (1971) by Wigwam.

Tolonen01His first solo album Tolonen!, recorded and released in 1971 while he was only nineteen years old, displayed his prowess on both guitar (electric and acoustic) and piano, and instrumental songwriting which comfortably segues from classical, jazz, folk, blues, and rock. Tolonen! peaked at number six on the Finnish charts in 1971, winning the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Album of the Year disk. In 1972 he married Taija Sippola, his girlfriend of several years, and studied piano and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki while continuing to perform and record. Jukka’s guitar solo on “Paradise,” a hit single from Rauli ‘Badding’ Somerjokis 1974 album “This is Rock and Roll,” made it the most played song on Finnish radio for three subsequent years. Tasavallan Presidentti broke up in 1974 just before it was to embark on a US tour in support of Kraftwerk. “Windermere Avenue”, a song from Tolonen’s 1975 Hysterica album, became a minor radio hit in the USA. Also in 1975 he was asked to join ABBA as a session musician on tour, but he declined, due to the birth of his first child Dimitri and his concurrent solo career.

Tolonen is a virtuoso guitarist, who is highly respected in his native Finland as well as in Sweden, where he has lived for long periods. Among Tolonen’s side projects are Guitarras Del Norte, Trio Tolonen, and Jukka Tolonen Band (JTB). He has used many different guitars over the years, such as the Gibson ES-335 and Ibanez Artist. Since the 1990s he has used Finnish handmade instruments by Ruokangas Guitars (electric) and Lottonen Guitars (acoustic).

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Despite his earlier successes, Jukka Tolonen was eventually twice divorced, homeless, and drug-addicted. In May 2008 Tolonen was found guilty of stabbing his girlfriend and was sentenced to 27 months in jail for aggravated assault. When released in 2010, he told the media that he was quitting guitar playing due to osteoarthritis. While in prison Jukka Tolonen dedicated his life to Jesus Christ, and in 2011 he released Juudan Leijona (“Lion of Judah”), a CD of traditional Finnish hymns, in which he sings and plays piano, occasionally accompanied by other instruments and voices. He continues to perform live concerts of Christian music on piano along with other musicians and vocalists.

On 2 May 2014 Gateway Films released “Tolonen,” a career-spanning documentary. A concurrent Tolonen CD was issued, featuring many young Finnish jazz and rock musicians’ interpretations of Jukka Tolonen’s songs. In autumn 2014 he played guitar for the first time in many years (and sang) on the album “Blind Joe” by Kari Peitsamo. The same year he began to receive a State Arts Pension in Finland for meritorious activities of a creative or performing artist. Jukka Tolonen is actively involved with the Salem Pentecostal Church in Helsinki, and has enrolled in a local Bible Institute. In 2017 he began to perform on bass guitar in live concerts as part of the Ramblin’ Jazz Quartet in Finland. (by wikipedia)

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As with most Jukka Tolonen solo albums, the backing on this album, is mainly made up from members of the notable Finnish prog bands, Tasavallan Presidentti (Pekka Pöyry; Vesa Aaltonen; Heikki Virtanen) and Wig Wam (Mans Groundstroem; Esa Kotilainen).

The music a mostly Guitar/Piano/moog based Jazz Rock, with some longer solo’s parts not unlike early Santana , but with very beautiful use of Flute and Sax changing the impression into an almost Folk like texture at times. Most tracks (Northern Lights/Windermere Avenue/Silva the Cat) are mid tempo, with an laid back feeling, easily able to support a Sunday morning hangover. But three tracks need a bit more explanation, they fall outside this general description.

Tolonen2012Witchdrum: A wonderful track, starting out in a more frantic tempo than the other tracks, shifting between distinct Tull’ish flute sections, and wild guitar/bass/drum parts.

Last Quarter: Another very interesting track that makes this Tolonen album stick out. The only track that is with vocal. And written in a style, that shows an clear Gentle Gain influence, the vocal not of Giant quality, but the composition itself supreme, one of the only examples I know of anyone attempting to make a Gentle Giant style song, and actually making it very close.

Wedding Song: The last track on the album, in a slow tempo, with acoustic string bass, and acoustic guitar, flute and trombone playing the melody lines, soft percussion, very Nordic melancholic, very beautiful ending. (by Suomi Lights)

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Personnel:
Esa Kotilainen (organ, synthesizer)
Pekka Pöyry (saxophone)
Esko Rosnell (drums)
Jukka Tolonen (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer)
Heikki Virtanen (bass)
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Jussi Aalto (trombone on 06.)
Sakari Kukko (saxophone, flute, percussion on 03.)
Paroni Paakkunainen (saxophone on 01., flute on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Northern Lights 4.12
02. Hysterica 6.28
03. Tiger 6.56
04. Windermere Avenue 7.16
05. Silva The Cat 4.45
06. Wedding Song 4.48

All compositions by Jukka Tolonen

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Destroy All Monsters – November 22, 1963 (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgDestroy All Monsters were an influential Detroit band existing from 1973 to 1985, with sporadic performances since. Their music touched on elements of punk rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal and noise rock with a heavy dose of performance art. They described their music as “anti-rock.”

Destroy All Monsters never found mainstream success, but earned some notoriety due to members of notable rock groups The Stooges and MC5 who joined the group.

Although Destroy All Monsters never recorded a proper album, Sonic Youth singer/guitarist Thurston Moore released a three compact disc compilation of the group’s music in 1994.

Formed in 1973, the first edition of Destroy All Monsters was formed by University of Michigan art students Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Niagara (Lynn Rovner) and filmmaker Cary Loren. They performed in the Ann Arbor area from 1973–1976, and their only release was a one-hour cassette of their recordings available only through Lightworks magazine. Their early music was influenced by Sun Ra, Velvet Underground, ESP-Disk, monster movies, beat culture and futurism. Their sound was experimental, psychedelic, darkly humorous and droning.

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On New Year’s Eve of 1973, the first Destroy All Monsters concert was held at a comic book convention in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At the time the instruments were a violin, a sax, a vacuum cleaner and a coffee can. They performed a demented version of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and were asked to leave after ten minutes. The group performed “guerilla style”, setting up free at parties and playing for food along Ann Arbor’s frat row. They used modified instruments, a drum box, tape loops, hot-wired toys, cheap keyboards and broken electronic devices. Aside from the comic convention, the group’s only formal gig in this era was at the Halloween Ball at the University of Michigan art school in 1976.

Kelley and Shaw left the band during the summer of 1976 to attend graduate school at CalArts in Los Angeles, California. Both have gone on to lead successful solo careers in the art world. Their work is held in major collections around the world.

Niagara, Ron Asheton and unidentified drummer, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Spring of 1982

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In 1977, Niagara and Loren recruited guitarist Laurence B. (Larry) Miller and saxophonist Benjamin (Ben) Miller; both had been in the short-lived Sproton Layer with their brother Roger Miller (who later went on to found Mission of Burma). They invited Mike (Jett) Powers on bass but he soon left for Harvard University. Not long after, members of two important Detroit-based groups signed on: guitarist Ron Asheton, earlier of The Stooges, and bass guitarist Michael Davis of the MC5. Their presence garnered the group more attention than ever before. Shortly thereafter, Ron asked drummer Rob King to join the band.

In 1978, Destroy All Monsters were preparing to release “Bored”, their first official recording, when the group began to fall apart. Niagara ended her romance with Loren in favor of a new relationship with Asheton; Loren quit the group, with the Miller brothers leaving after the band’s Halloween gig at EMU, in 1978. The “Bored”/”You’re Gonna Die” single earned some attention in the UK music press, and the band was able to capitalize on the notoriety.

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Niagara, Ron Asheton and unidentified drummer,
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, Spring of 1982

In late 1978, Loren issued a live DAM EP known as “Days of Diamonds” on his Black Hole label. Another EP followed in 1979, “Blackout in the City” under the name XANADU with the Miller Brothers, Loren and Rob King. Niagara and Ron Asheton carried on with various personnel releasing a total of three 7″ singles on the IDBI label. Between 1982 and 1984, Destroy All Monsters played in bars and nightclubs in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Personnel: Bill Frank on drums, Mike Davis on bass, Ron Asheton on guitar, and Niagara on vocals. In May 1983, the band recorded and videotaped the song called “Make Mine Japanese.” Released in December 1983, this video can now be seen on-line. The Monsters broke up in 1985. The Asheton singles were released by Cherry Red Records on CD.

In 1994, Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Byron Coley and Thurston Moore compiled a three-CD boxed set of music, artwork and extensive liner notes as Destroy All Monsters: 1974-1976 on Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label.

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Single “Bored” bw “You´re Gonna Die” (1978)

The original lineup (Kelley, Loren, Niagara and Shaw) reformed for reunion shows in 1995. Loren republished the six issues of the Destroy All Monsters Magazine (1976–1979) with added DAM student artwork, flexi disc and history in the book DESTROY ALL MONSTERS:GEISHA THIS — four VHS tapes of DAM films were also issued. An exhibition of their artwork followed at the Book Beat Gallery as well as live performances in Detroit, Los Angeles and San Diego. A live CD, “Silver Wedding Anniversary”, resulted from these concerts and was released in 1996 on the Sympathy for the Record Industry label.

In 1996, the group (sans Niagara) performed in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. A display of DAM artwork was held at the Deep Gallery in Tokyo. At the invitation of Ben Schot and Ronald Cornelissen for the “I Rip You, You Rip Me” festival and seminar at the Boijman’s Museum in Rotterdam, DAM began work on the installation and film known as Strange Früt: Rock Apochrypha, an investigation of Detroit culture. This exhibition was shown and completed in 2000 at COCA (Center on Contemporary Art) in Seattle, WA., and in 2001 at the DAM Collective: Artists Take On Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This work was also selected for inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of Art in NYC.

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Single “Nov. 22” bw “Meet The Creeper” (1979)

In 2006, the “Strange Früt” exhibition and the bands archives traveled to the Magasin Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France. DAM performed at the “All Tomorrow’s Parties” festivals in Los Angeles as guest artists of Sonic Youth, and in London, UK as guest artists selected by Dino and Jake Chapman. A selection of the band’s archives was on exhibition as part of the “Theater Without Theater” show at MACBA in Barcelona, Spain opening May 25, 2007. The exhibit traveled to Lisbon, Portugal in the fall of that year.

Since 1995, the band has released five full-length CDs on their own label(s) [The End is Here]: Radio Teardrop 1996, Backyard Monster Tube and Pig 1998, Swamp Gas 2001, and on [Compound Annex]: Detroit Oratorio 2003, DAM: Live in Tokyo 2003.

DAM04A reprint of the first six issues of DAM Magazine with added band artwork, history, poster and a flexi disc was published by Book Beat in 1995 as Destroy All Monsters: Geisha This, and reprinted in three different editions. A DVD of selected DAM films was released in 2007 by MVD video as: “Grow Live Monsters” featuring early 8mm & 16mm films taken in 1971-1976.

Ron Asheton died on January 1, 2009, aged 60, of an apparent heart attack.

In 2009 the Printed Matter bookstore in NYC mounted the Destroy All Monsters exhibit Hungry for Death curated by James Hoff and Cary Loren featuring the group’s collected work.[2] The exhibition toured to White Flag Projects in St Louis, 0047 in Oslo, SPACE Gallery in London, The American Academy in Rome, Italy, Galerie 1m3 in Lausanne, Switzerland, AMP Gallery in Athens, Greece (2010), galerie du jour agnès b in Paris, France (2011) and the Boston University Art Gallery (2011). To coincide with the Hungry for Death exhibition Printed Matter released a 1975 recording Double Sextet as a vinyl album. The band also re-released the Destroy All Monsters: 1974 – 1976 compilation, without booklet, in a limited edition of 1000. In 2011, the Boston University Art Gallery released “Hungry for Death: Destroy All Monsters”, with essays by Byron Coley and Branden Joseph. This catalog included a detailed discography and a CD titled “Get Out of My Bedroom” of unreleased DAM music spanning over thirty years of band history.[3]

A facsimile reprint of the Destroy All Monsters Magazine 1976-1979 was published by Primary Information in the May 2011.

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An exhibition curated by Mike Kelley and Dan Nadel titled “Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters 1973-1977” showing work by Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Cary Loren and Niagara opened at PRISM in Los Angeles on November 19, 2011 and ran through January 7, 2012. Accompanying the exhibition was a catalog published by PRISM and PictureBox, edited by Mike Kelley and Dan Nadel with an essay by Nicole Rudick.

Mike Kelley was found dead in South Pasadena, California, on February 1, 2012, aged 57, having committed suicide. Sixteen days later, on February 17, 2012, Michael Davis died of liver failure, aged 68. (by wikipedia)

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When it comes to Detroit-area, proto-punk supergroups, I like Destroy All Monsters more than Sonic’s Rendezvous Band. The energy, the passion, the fire; it’s all just booming in this band. On the other hand, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band got a little dad-rock sounding at times, and it was pretty formulaic throughout. Destroy All Monsters were anti-rock, meaning they just did what they wanted pretty much, and in doing so, they came up with some fantastic riffs, and some fantastic melodies.

I listened to this, and it finally struck me – Sonic Youth is a complete rip-off of Destroy All Monsters. They both have that crazy, manic type sound, and Kim Gordon is a dead ringer for Niagra; vocally that is. In fact, Thurston Moore actually released everything Destroy All Monsters had ever done on a box set, so you know the influence was definitely there.

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Musically, this thing is way chaotic, and it even rocks more than The Stooges at points. It’s loaded with fuzzy guitar, and crazy free saxophone going off in each and every direction. I really like it. Especially the song “Bored”; boy does that rock. Other highlights are “Nobody Knows”, “What Do I Get”, and “Anyone Can Fuck Her”. This is crazy, testosterone-pumping rock with a female vocal lead, and it’s probably the sexiest thing ever conceived by mankind.

A sweating recommendation goes out to you rock lovers! Wooooooeeeeee!!!! (Seattle_Junkie_Queen)

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Personnel:
Ron Asheton (guitar, background vocals, bass on 09. – 11.)
Michael Davis (bass)
Rob King (drums)
Lynn “Niagara” Rovner (vocals)
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Bill Franck (drums on 09. – 11.)
Ben Miller (saxophone on 01. – 04.)
Larry Miller (guitar on 01. – 04.)
Charlie Tyfklind (saxophone on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01 Bored (Asheton/Rovner) 3.56
02. You’re Gonna Die (Loren/Asheton/Rovner) 2.49
03. Meet The Creeper (Davis) 4.57
04. November 22, 1963 (Asheton/Rovner) 4.24
05. Jesus Is A Shotgun (King/Asheton/Rovner) 2.56
06. Nobody Knows (Davis/Rovner) 3.27
07. What Do I Get (Asheton/Rovner) 4.16
08. These Boots Are Made For Walking (Hazlewood) 5.40
09. Anybody Can (Fuck Her) Asheton/Rovner)  3.33
10. Party Girl Asheton/Rovner) 3.43
11. A/D (Angel In The Daytime, Devil At Night) (Franck/Asheton/Rovner) 2.38

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Niagara in 1974

ZZ Top – One Foot In The Blues (1994)

FrontCover1One Foot in the Blues is a compilation album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in 1994 (see 1994 in music). The album contains a selection of the band’s songs which fall into the blues genre. With the exception of the songs taken from the Degüello, El Loco, Eliminator and Recycler albums, the 1987 digital remixes were used. (by wikipedia)

Before they sweated their image down to beards, babes and hot rods, ZZ Top were a down ‘n’ dirty blues-rock trio with a bonafide hot guitar player in Billy Gibbons. On this 14-track offering, Warner goes back through the back ZZ catalog and cobbles together an interesting collection of the Texas trio’s bluesier sides that originally appeared on their earliest albums. Highlights include “Brown Sugar,” “A Fool for Your Stockings,” “My Head’s in Mississippi,” “Apologies to Pearly” and Gibbons’ storming stringwork on “Bar-B-Q.” (by Cub Koda)

Wow, where do I start with this compilation of Texas’s greatest Little Ole Band from Texas ! I love this album. Alot of these songs didnt get alot of airplay , but they are some of my favorite ZZTOP song’s of all time .These songs are the reason I love ZZTOP , Oldman, Hot,Blue and Righteous,Sure got cold after the rain fell, Bron Sugar,I need you tonight, 2000 blues ! All these songs on one album. ya gotta get it. (by Judy Kopeck)

And “Hot, Blue and Righteous” and “Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell” are one of the finest rock ballads ever written.

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Personnel:
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill (bass, keyboards, background vocals, lead vocal on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Brown Sugar (Gibbons) 5.20 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
02. Just Got Back From Baby’s (Gibbons/Ham) 4.09 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
03. A Fool for Your Stockings (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.16 Originally from Degüello (1979)
04. I Need You Tonight (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 6.15 Originally from Eliminator (1983)
05. She Loves My Automobile (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.23 Originally from Degüello (1979)
06. Hi Fi Mama (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2,24 Originally from Degüello (1979)
07. Hot, Blue and Righteous (Gibbons) 3.17 Originally from Tres Hombres (1973)
08. My Head’s In Mississippi (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.20 Originally from Recycler (1990)
09. Lowdown In The Street (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.49 Originally from Degüello (1979)
10. If I Could Only Flag Her Down (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 3.39 Originally from Eliminator (1983)
11. Apologies To Pearly (Gibbons/Hill/Beard/Ham) 2.44 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
12. Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell (Gibbons) 6.47 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
13. Bar-B-Q (Gibbons/Ham) 3.21 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
14. Old Man (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 3.32 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
15. Certified Blues (Gibbons/Beard/Ham) 3.25 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
16. 2000 Blues (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.42 Originally from Recycler (1990)
17. Heaven, Hell Or Houston (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.32 Originally from El Loco (1981)

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Still alive and well … ZZ TOP in 2017