sabato 29 aprile 2017

Charlatans - San Francisco 1969 "aka" The Charlatans...plus Cream Puff War 2 PDF Book (2004 Acadia Remaster) 1969

Biography  The Charlatans is the self-titled debut album by the influential San Francisco psychedelic rock band The Charlatans and was released by Philips Records in 1969 (see 1969 in music). The album was recorded at Pacific High Studios, San Francisco, with production and engineering by Dan Healy and The Charlatans.

Although the record was The Charlatans' debut album, it was recorded and released relatively late in the band's career, a factor which contributed to its commercial failure. By 1969, the band's lineup had changed considerably from their 1965 – 1967 heyday, leaving Mike Wilhelm (lead guitar, vocals) and Richard Olsen (bass, vocals) as the only original members. Terry Wilson (drums) and Darrell DeVore (piano/keyboards, vocals) were recruited in order to flesh out the band, prior to the recording of the album.

The Charlatans was a critical and commercial flop upon its release. A contributing factor to the album's lack of success was the fact that The Charlatans' sound had become somewhat outdated by 1969, with their brand of jug band blues and gentle psychedelia being largely eschewed by the public in favor of a heavier rock sound. In his book, The Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West, author Joel Selvin describes the album as "an unenthusiastic coda to a misspent career." Other reviewers have been kinder towards the album, with critic Bruce Eder, noting that the album "is a rather gorgeous and gently challenging piece of San Francisco rock, incorporating elements of blues and big-band swing, as well as '50s rock & roll and elegant '60s pop." A single taken from the album, coupling the Van Dyke Parks-penned song, "High Coin", with "When I Go Sailin' By", was released by Philips Records in 1969 but this too was met with commercial failure. Disillusioned by the album's lack of success, The Charlatans had broken up by the end of 1969.

The Charlatans has been reissued on CD three times to date. Firstly, in 1992 by Eva Records as an unofficial (or bootleg) CD, where it was coupled with another unofficial Charlatans' album, a compilation of unreleased recordings titled Alabama Bound. The second reissue was on One Way Records in 1995 and included two bonus tracks, "The Shadow Knows" and "32-20", both of which had appeared on The Charlatans' debut single in 1966. The third reissue of the album was released under the title San Francisco 1969 by Acadia Records in 2004 and was digitally remastered from the original master tapes. The Acadia release also included a 1969 Philips Records' radio advertisement for the album as a bonus track. Of all the CD reissues, the Acadia release boasts by far the best sound quality.

Tracklist
01.High Coin 3:07
02.Easy When I'm Dead 2:38
03.Ain’t Got the Time 2:47
04.Folsom Prison Blues 2:47
05.The Blues Ain't Nothin' 4:44
06.Time to Get Straight 3:53
07.When I Go Sailin' By 2:46
08.Doubtful Waltz 3:24
09.Wabash Cannonball 4:04
10.Alabama Bound 6:53
11.When the Movies Are Over 3:04
12.Radio Advert (2004 CD reissue bonus tracks) 1:00

Line-up
Mike Wilhelm - Vocals, Guitar, Fretted instruments, Percussion
Richard Olsen - Vocals, Bass, Woodwind instruments, Percussion
Darrell DeVore - Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion
Terry Wilson - Drums, Percussion

sabato 22 aprile 2017

Socrates - Phos (1993 Vertigo Polygram Records) 1976

Biography : Socrates initially known by the more unwieldy moniker Socrates Drank the Conium were one of the best-known Greek rock bands of the early to mid-‘70s, and one of the few to earn a reputation in the rest of the world. On their first three albums they pursued a tough but technically proficient brand of post-psychedelic hard rock that occasionally revealed a touch of prog influence, but on their 1976 release, Phos, the band underwent a major stylistic shift, and embraced those prog leanings with open arms. The main facilitator for this change was famed keyboardist Vangelis, whose prog ensemble Aphrodite's Child preceded Socrates as Greece's rock ambassadors to the wider world. Vangelis came on board as producer and keyboardist for Phos (also contributing a little of his compositional talent), enabling Socrates to make the leap from thinking man's hard rock to artier, more complex song structures and arrangements. There's still plenty of bite to the guitars on most of the tracks, but Vangelis' keyboards take an active role, especially on cuts like the lovely midtempo instrumental "Every Dream Comes to an End," which he co-wrote with the band. But that's not the only route through which Socrates reach out into proggier areas here the pastoral folk-rock of "The Bride," for instance, is strongly reminiscent of Jethro Tull, and the complex lines and rhythms intertwining on "Time of Pain" aren't far from Gentle Giant territory. Not many of Socrates' hard-rocking contemporaries were ever able to take an evolutionary step like this with such success. Review by James Allen

Tracklist
01.Starvation 3:46
02.Queen of The Universe 5:00
03.Every Dream Comes to An End 5:58
04.The Bride 3:44
05.Killer 2:27
06.A Day in Heaven 4:33
07.Time of Pain 3:30
08.Mountains 7:44

Antonis Tourkogiorgis - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass
John Spathas - lead guitar, acoustic guitar
George Tradalidis - drums, percussion
Vangelis Papathanassiou - keyboards, percussion

domenica 16 aprile 2017

REPOST : California Easter Album (Penguin Records CD Version) 1967 (Bootleg)

Super rare original 2xLP set featuring an outstanding selection of hard to find recordings from the fabulous West Coast sunny Sunset Strip & San Francisco Sounds sixties legendary & essential. Killer out of the haze when the San Francisco sounds ruled the airwaves and the great Acid Wave was in full swing. Unbelievable awesome live tracks by Love with Arthur Lee from the Fillmore West 1970; Hot Shit a seemingly one off clash of the titans pre Hot Tuna gathering with Jorma Kaukonen,Jack Casady and Marty Balin amongst others recorded in 1969 in Los Angeles (was one of the earliest Hot Tuna gigs and billed as Hot Shit, their original name); Mad River Live at the San Jose in 1967; Pig Pen (Dead) & Peter Albun (Big Brother & the Holding Company); Jerry & Sarah Garcia; Blue Cheer live 1968 L.A. TV studio. Indeed just too good to be true an amazing set.

In this CD version don't included the first 6 tracks of the double LP version.

Tracklist
01.Love - If you wanna be free (Fillmore West, 1970)
02.Love - Stand out (Fillmore West, 1970)
03.Love - And more again (Fillmore West, 1970)
04.Love - Singing cowboy (Fillmore West, 1970)
05.Hot Shit - Come back baby (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
06.Hot Shit - True religion (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
07.Hot Shit - Sense of direction (pre Hot Tuna, Los Angeles Forum, 1969)
08.Mad River - Wind chimes (San Josè, 1967)
09.Mad River - War goes on (San Josè, 1967)
10.Blue Cheer - Summertime blues (TV broadcast, 1968)
11.Blue Cheer - Out of focus (TV broadcast, 1968)

Happy Easter to All Fans!


lunedì 3 aprile 2017

Circus - Circus (2000 Gear Fab Records) 1973

Biography : Circus' only released album is something of a letdown. They attained considerable popularity on the bountiful Madison, WI, rock scene and then throughout the Midwest festival circuit due to their impressive live show and jamming capabilities. And the list of artists that they supported makes for a winning resume. But Circus is not nearly as interesting as albums by fellow scenesters SOUP or Tayles because the band was mostly unable to translate the excitement of their live shows into the recording studio. Instead of a talented improvisational band, it makes them sound more often like a pedestrian blues-rock or hard rock outfit. The band's signature claim to fame is their utilization of synthesizers, particularly the Moog and clavinet, and the instruments do add intriguing textures, but they are unable to conceal the rather plodding, drab songwriting. Their original tunes pale in comparison to even the second-rate tunes by the Allman Brothers Band and the Grateful Dead, two bands that seem to be touchstones for Circus. They simply are unable to muster many melodies that are particularly memorable, and when they do, as on "Fat Boogie Mama," it is borrowed almost entirely even down to the actual hook from Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Can't Dance." The most interesting original may be "Travlin' Blues," which, contrary to the title, is solid country-rock with a nice banjo solo. It suggests that Circus may have benefited from leaning harder on that genre, at least in the recording studio. That notion is supported by their country-folk version of Ray Davies' "Skin and Bones," by far the best actual song on the album, with its exquisite acoustic slide guitar. The lack of a distinctive artistic impulse is all the more unfortunate because the five members are such outstanding players, even approaching the high skill level of their inspirations. The dual-guitar attack is hardly visionary, but it is thrilling, and Fred Omernik's keyboard work is superb. The lead vocals are nothing special, but the harmonies frequently are, especially when they appropriate the lead. Still, Circus was primarily a live attraction, and a much in-demand one at that. So it is no surprise that the most satisfying performance on the album is the 12-and-a-half-minute jam on the Rhinoceros cut "Old Age," full of awesome organ and synthesizer work and jazzy guitars as well as limber, tribal drumming. It recalls Santana one minute, space rock the next, and groovy early-'70s funk in general. In other words, it is an exceptional interpretation that evokes how strong of a live unit they really were. But as a studio band, Circus was disappointing more often than it was not. A live recording might have made for better listening. Review by Stanton Swihart

Tracklist 
01.Fat Boogie Mama 4:09
02.You To Me 4:21
03.Let Me Tell You 4:12
04.Skin And Bones 3:53
05.Arrow 3:31
06.Travlin' Blues 2:45
07.Old Age 12:28
08.C'Mon If You're Comin' 4:09
09.I'm Walkin' 3:19
10.Bar Room Wiggy 3:39

Brett Peterson - Vocals, Guitar
Randy Glodowksi - Vocals, Guitar
Fred Omernik - Vocals, Organ, Piano
Wayne Kostroski - Bass
Ray Cyr - Drums, Congas, Percussion

sabato 1 aprile 2017

Black Pearl - Black Pearl & Live (2007 Lion Records Digipack) 1969 - 1970

Biography : Back in the late '60s, there were several bands that amped up the smooth and sexy R&B sound of the day giving it a shot of adrenaline and a bit more, well, cajones. The prime example of this approach was the mighty MC5, but there were other acts that followed the same template albeit all but forgotten over the years such as Black Pearl. Although they hailed from San Francisco and were pals of the Grateful Dead, they did not reflect the expected hippie-dippie-isms from bands of that area/era. Singer Bernie B.B. Fieldings had obviously studied his James Brown records, as his vocal delivery brings to mind the hardest working man in show business, as well as the MC5's Rob Tyner at times. But unlike the 5, Black Pearl weren't loaded with as many memorable hooks in their songs, nor a raise-your-fist-in-the-air anthem like "Kick Out the Jams." Still, their lone studio album (their other release was a live recording) a self-titled release from 1969 provided a much needed alternative to all the mellow/laid-back music that was ruling the mainstream at the time, especially on such funky-psychedelic-garage rock ditties as "Crazy Chicken" and "Mr. Soul Satisfaction." As you've probably guessed by now, if you're a fan of the MC5, it would certainly be worth it to hunt down a copy of Black Pearl. Review by Greg Prato

Tracklist
01.Crazy Chicken 3:04
02.Thinkin'bout The Good Times 4:14
03.White Devil 5:02
04.Mr. Soul Satisfaction 3:39
05.Forget It 3:47
06.Climbing Up The Walls 3:58
07.Bent Over 2:56
08.Endless Journey 3:53
09.Reach Up 4:06
Live 1970
10.Uptown 4:45
11.I Get The Blues Most Every Night 6:45
12.Hermit Freak Show 4:10
13.Cold Sweat 11:02
14.People Get Ready 8:03

Bernie "B.B" Fieldings - Vocals
Bruce Benson - Guitar
Tom Mulcahy - Guitar
Jerry Causi - Guitar
Geoffrey Morris - Bass
Oak O'Connor - Drums

mercoledì 29 marzo 2017

Alacran (Spain) - Alacran (2000 Disconforme) 1971

Biography : Madrid's Alacran was the brainchild of drummer and guitarist Fernando Arbex, who enlisted fellow Spaniards Oscar Lasprilla on keyboards and vocalist/bassist Ignacio Egaña. Their self-titled debut was their only album, and the opening track, "Sticky," was their only single. Recorded in 1969 and issued with no promotion on either side of the Atlantic, the album nonetheless captured the attention of the youth culture in their homeland and in parts of the rest of Europe. Remarkably, the edginess of the guitars and the deep Latin groove in the rhythms and minor-key melodies draw inevitable and accurate comparisons to Santana. Alacran is far more psychedelic and garage-y than the Santana band and, being a power trio, relied on the blues more as well. But nonetheless, this is the sound of Latin rock at the beginning, and the album is stellar. Alacran disbanded when Lasprilla moved to England, and the two remaining members formed the legendary Barrabas. The Alacran disc, however, is better than all of the Barrabas efforts put together. It remains an underground classic in the 21st century.
Review by Thom Jurek

Tracklist
01.Sticky 3:57
02.Son (America, America) 5:02
03.My Soul (Suddenly) 4:33
04.San Francisco (California) 3:48
05.Take A Look Around You, Baby 3:30
06.Will You Keep My Love Forever 3:45

Fernando Arbex - drums, guitar
Ignacio Egana - vocals, bass
Oscar Lasprilla - guitar, keyboards

sabato 4 marzo 2017

Blackwood Apology - The House of Leather (2010 Aurora Records) 1969

Biography : An obscure concept album dating back to 1968, recorded in Chicago by musicians from Minnesota. It's not a rock opera (it has no magnitude of, let's say, "Tommy" by the Who ), more likely a musical or a vaudeville, although without the gaiety of the latter. Aesthetically, it is collection of pleasant and melodic pieces of moderate psychedelia based mainly on sunshine pop. It has some bright and promising moments, with good organ and keyboards, but they are lost in uninspiring harmonies and in eunuch-like vocals badly imitating "voice of the angels" - too sweet to be digested harmlessly.
The main catch of the album was bizarre and revolutionary plot, doomed for a greater success (which didn't happen): the story happened during Civil War, in a brothel cum ammunitions factory (in its basement), this way (I think) the facility could diversify its patriotic efforts; not "Gone With The Wind", but still...
This winning concept was concocted by 23-year old songwriter and guitarist Dale Menten, and thus Blackwood Apology was born: Dale Menten on guitar & vocals, seasoned session musician Bruce Pedalty on organ, Tom Husting (guitar), Dennis Craswell (drums), Dennis Libby (piano). Another session musician - Greg Maland - was invited to provide extra keyboards and pipe organ sound for the recording (and an impressive job he did!). Menten managed to sell the final product to Chicago-based Fontana and if the sales were far from being spectacular, a playwright was recruited, and a theatrical hastily produced. The stage performance enjoyed a grand success of 50 sell-outs in local 90-seat theatre in 1969 (but with a different line-up) , and in 1970 an ambitious off-Broadway musical was launched. This first New York performance (without original musicians) became its last.
Musical values of the album, however scarce, fell short of its reputation among vinyl collectors. allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.Medley: Swanee River Overture / House Of Leather Theme 2:06
02.Do You Recall The House Of Leather? 2:47
03.Recess With Mrs. Grim 1:03
04.Graduates Of Mrs. Grim’s Learning 3:10
05.There Is Love In The Country (On The Donny Brooks Farm) 2:03
06.Here I Am 4:27
07.She Lives With Me 1:07
08.There’s Love In The Country (On The Donny Brooks Farm)  Reprise 2:05
09.Time Marches On 5:23
10.Dixie And The War 3:21
11.Death And Reality 2:52
12.Sarah’s On Her Knees 2:46
13.Theme From House Of Leather (Epilogue In Suede) 2:45

Ron Beckman - Bass,
Dennis Caswell - Drums, Vocals
Tom Hustin - Guitar, Vocals
Dennis Libby - Piano, Vocals
Greg Maland - Keyboards, Pipe Organ
Dale Menten - Guitar, Vocals
Bruce Pedalty - Organ, Vocals

sabato 21 gennaio 2017

The City - Now That Everything's Been Said (2015 Light in The Attic Digipack Edition) 1968

Biography : With her marriage on the rocks and looking for a fresh start, Carole King moved to Los Angeles in 1967. More specifically, Laurel Canyon, where she fell in with the nascent singer/songwriter crowd. She and bassist/boyfriend Charles Larkey (formerly of the Myddle Class, a band she and then-husband Gerry Goffin had signed to their record label) soon formed a band, adding old friend from NYC, guitarist Danny Kortchmar. The trio spent time at King's house working on a batch of songs she had written with Goffin (some previously released by other acts, some not), plus some co-written by another member of Myddle Class, Don Palmer, and fellow Brill Building refugee Toni Stern. Thanks to their industry connections it wasn't long before they had a record deal. Adding drummer Jim Gordon and naming themselves the City, they hit the studio with Lou Adler producing. The outcome of the sessions was the thoroughly charming Now That Everything's Been Said LP. Released in 1968 on Ode Records, the album had one foot in the kind of radio pop bands like the Monkees and the Mamas & the Papas were cranking out and another in the earthy, homegrown realm of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and, a few years later, King herself. The songs are unsurprisingly strong, a fact borne out by how many of them were picked up by other groups (American Spring covered the title track, the Monkees did "Man Without a Dream," Blood, Sweat & Tears had a hit with "Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)," and the Byrds' version of "Wasn’t Born to Follow" memorably appeared on the Easy Rider soundtrack.) The group is obviously a very talented batch of musicians, while Larkey's melodic basslines provide a beating heart to many of the songs, and Kortchmar shades things in around the edges with subtle fills. King's piano playing isn't as up front as on her solo work, which isn't surprising since this was truly a band effort. Her wonderfully honest and crookedly real-sounding vocals are the star of the album, though. She's never been accused of being a great singer, but she's a hell of a vocalist, able to break a heart without trying very hard at all. Songs like "Wasn't Born to Follow" or the truly lovely chamber pop ballad "Snow Queen" certainly don't suffer from having a less-than-spectacular vocalist out front -- King is able to wrench all the emotions she can out of them with her expressive amateurism. Her duets with Kortchmar on a couple tracks are nice enough, too, that you wonder why they didn't do it more often. The strength of the songs plus the care and thought that went into the music make the album a stirring success. While King went on to hit far greater heights commercially, and Tapestry is an unqualified stroke of genius, she rarely made an album as strong from beginning to end as Now That Everything's Been Said. allmusic.com

Tracklist
01.Snow Queen 4:10
02.I Wasn't Born To Follow 3:42
03.Now That Everything's Been Said 2:19
04.Paradise Alley 3:01
05.Man Without A Dream 3:46
06.Victim Of Circumstance 2:31
07.Why Are You Leaving 3:55
08.Lady 2:57
09.My Sweet Home 3:09
10.I Don't Believe It 2:38
11.That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) 3:22
12.All My Time 3:16

Line-up
Carole King - Lead Vocals and Keyboards
Danny "Cooch" Kortchmar - Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Charles Larkey - Bass & Lights
Jimmy Gordon - Drums

sabato 3 dicembre 2016

Necromandus - Orexis Of Death plus...(2005 Audio Archives) 1973

Biography : Although they never did shrug off the unwelcome nickname of "Second Sabbath" and then had to endure a doom arguably worse than never being noticed at all: watching their would-be first album, 1973's Orexis of Death, pitilessly shelved forever by their record company, England's Necromandus would receive a modicum of belated recognition when said album finally gained release in 1999. Big whoop! Tell that to the three out of four bandmembers who were already in their graves by then! But, at least for fans of obscure hard rock and metal, the album's unearthing was cause for celebration; festivities that had been denied to Necromandus singer Bill Branch, bassist Dennis McCarten, and drummer Frank Hall when their supposed benefactor, Black Sabbath power chord maestro Tony Iommi, lost interest in them, and then their guitarist and driving force, Barry Dunnery, lost faith, deciding to pack his bags as things began looking grim for the group. After all, it was Dunnery's monolithic riffing and nimble lead guitar work that first captured the attention of both the U.K. press and Iommi, prompting the latter to sign the group to a management contract and personally oversee production for Orexis of Death. So it's not at all surprising that the album's opening statement, "Nightjar" (following shortly upon a cryptically named and sounding, string-scraping introduction named "Mogidismo"), is quite similar to the Sabbath template, alternating chugging staccato doom riffing and reverberating power chords from Dunnery, only fleshed out with, frankly, tighter performances and better sound by the rest of the band. What is surprising is how quickly and completely Necromandus shifts gears thereafter, scaling back on the first number's general heaviness and distortion to delve into far more supple, eclectic, and at times rather impressive stabs at the fanciful art rock prototypes typical of the era. Namely, these included the mildly jazzy "A Black Solitude," energetic folk strummer "Homicidal Psychopath" (neither of which does justice to its foreboding title, allegedly changed later without the band's knowledge), and the very definition of anything-goes prog rock that is "Gypsy Dancer." The more compact, guitar-driven construction of "Stillborn Beauty" reverts a little closer to hard rock expectations, but the title track's urgent brand of folk-jazz (including guest guitar from Iommi) and the closing reprise of "Mogidismo" ultimately leave listeners with more questions than answers. These questions combine with some of those unforeseen stylistic meanderings and the fact that Necromandus' songwriting simply wasn't on par with that of comparable success stories like Black Sabbath, Genesis, Jethro Tull, or even Gentle Giant, to in some way justify Vertigo Records' decision to not bother releasing Orexis of Death in the first place. But the album's unquestionable bright spots and the inclusion in most available CD reissues of a revealing live set from March 1973 (a show they headlined over Judas Priest!), featuring some of their other, non-LP, heavier compositions, actually do justify the interest of collectors of ‘70s rock. progarchives.com

Tracklist
01.Judy Green (Previously unreleased acetate demo) 3:39
02.Mogidisimo 0:31
03.Nightjar 4:14
04.A Black Solitude 4:32
05.Homicidal Psychopath 3:24
06.Stillborn Beauty 4:07
07.Gypsy Dancer 6:53
08.Orexis Of Death 4:30
09.Mogidisimo (reprise) (feat. Tony Iommi) 1:16
10.Judy Green Rocket (Live & previously unavailable) 3:34 

Barry Dunnery - guitar
Frank Hall - drums
Dennis McCarten - bass
Bill Branch - vocals

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Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body

Welcome to the Electric Music for a Mind and Body