Dienstag, 25. Juni 2019

Iron Butterfly - Live (1970)

This album stands as something of a minor landmark, musically -- as far back as the late '70s, its presence in used record bins attracted a great deal of attention from historically minded collectors, as a genuine live recording of its era, and of a hard rock, heavy metal band, at that. Not too many concert recordings were attempted in hard rock in those days, and even a lot of what was issued in the way of live albums -- John Lennon's "Live Peace in Toronto" and the Rolling Stones' "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!" come to mind -- were done under duress, as an attempt to undermine bootlegs that had shown up. 

And when one considers that Atlantic Records never even got around to recording the Rascals in concert, the very existence of "Iron Butterfly Live" can only be regarded something of a gift (though one that a lot of us would gladly trade for a period concert recording of Felix Cavaliere, et. al). As a concert document from the spring of 1969, the album shows off the group's strengths, which mostly take the form of a lot of raw energy and some entertaining keyboard flourishes from Doug Ingle -- lead guitarist Erik Braunn, who was to leave the group less than a year later, doesn't fare quite as well in the mix, which was one of the inherent problems with recording a hard rock band in concert during this era, although one can still make out some of the flashier aspects of his playing. And bassist Lee Dorman gets a great showcase throughout. 

Not surprisingly, given the nature of concerts and audiences in those days, there's not a lot of subtlety on display, but power and intensity count for something here. Additionally, the album is a document about how the group's second lineup, with Braunn and Dorman, approached material from the first album, such as "You Can't Win"; and it gives us a glimpse of the concert versions of "Filled with Fear," "Soul Experience," and "In the Time of Our Lives" from Ball. There are moments when the group might be aspiring to a Doors-like seriousness on some of this material, though Ingle isn't a good enough singer nor the band sufficiently articulate to bring that off. As for the live "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," it adds just a few flourishes and some longer solos to the studio original, which was a live-in-the-studio performance anyway. The sound is surprisingly good, given the technology in use and the era in which it was recorded.


Tracklist:

Side one:
"In the Time of Our Lives"  – 4:23
"Filled with Fear"  – 3:27
"Soul Experience"  – 3:55
"You Can't Win"  – 2:48
"Are You Happy" – 3:20

Side two:
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" – 19:00


Iron Butterfly - Live (1970)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 24. Juni 2019

Alice & John Coltrane - Cosmic Music (1968)

Issued in 1968, more than a year after John Coltrane's death, "Cosmic Music" is co-credited to John and Alice Coltrane. 

Trane appears on only two of the four tracks here (they are also the longest): "Manifestation" and "Dr. King." They were both cut in February of 1966 at Coast Recorders in San Francisco, with the great saxophonist fronting his final quintet with Alice, Pharoah Sanders, Jimmy Garrison, Rashied Ali, and Ray Appleton adding percussion. "Manifestation" is also the first recorded instance of Sanders playing the piccolo in addition to his tenor saxophone; he takes an extended solo on the instrument. "Dr. King" was written to honor the civil rights leader during his lifetime. King's assassination occurred less than a year after the saxophonist's death. While it begins with a sketchy modal theme, the track soon moves toward the far side of the quintet's free expression. The mix on both these tracks is a bit problematic. Much like "Om", which was also released in 1968, the sound on these two cuts is somewhat muddy, hinting that these were idea sketches and not finished works. The piano and bass are all but hidden except during solos, and Ali's fiery drumming is often out of balance -- either buried or too bright. 

By contrast, the other two tracks, "Lord, Help Me to Be" and "The Sun," offer exceptional fidelity. They are essentially Alice's first two recorded pieces for Impulse after signing a solo contract with the label. She is accompanied by Sanders, Garrison, and drummer Ben Riley. These are both fine pieces, with Alice's bluesy modal chord constructions at the fore, recorded in their home studio. The final track, while only a touch over four minutes, is a fine vehicle for Alice's signature pianism. While this record holds up quite well -- despite the problems of sound mentioned above -- it is still a minor Impulse album compared to some of the saxophonist's master works.


Tracklist:

A1 Manifestation 11:37
A2 Lord Help Me To Be 7:29
B1 Reverend King 11:00
B2 The Sun 4:02


Alice & John Coltrane - Cosmic Music
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 21. Juni 2019

African Head Charge - Great Vintage, Vol. 1

An astounding collection of early African Head Charge from the '80s, this volume of the "Great Vintage" series compiles the debut "A Hole in the Ground" and "Environmental Studies" -- all are essential recordings in the On-U Sound catalog. 

This Adrian Sherwood-produced group's dogmatic approach to dub was unique in that it was based around the acoustic percussion grooves of leader Bonjo I. African Head Charge was formed out of revolving cast of musicians that over the years included Junior Moses, Sonny Akpan, and numerous collaborators from the On-U Sound label family. Sherwood played an important role in shaping the deep tribal grooves into an electro-acoustic dub utopia. The Great Vintage series makes an excellent compendium of early tracks from this highly influential future-dub unit.

Tracklist:

* Elastic Dance
* Family Doctoring
* Stebeni's Theme
* The Race (Part 1)
* Primal One Drop
* Hole In The Roof
% Crocodile Hand Luggage
% Dinosaur's Lament
% Beriberi
%~ Snakeskin Tracksuit
% High Protein Snack
%! Breeding Space
% Primitive

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 20. Juni 2019

T-Bone Walker - I Get So Weary (1961)

Modern electric blues guitar can be traced directly back to this Texas-born pioneer, who began amplifying his sumptuous lead lines for public consumption circa 1940 and thus initiated a revolution so total that its tremors are still being felt today.

Few major postwar blues guitarists come to mind that don't owe T-Bone Walker an unpayable debt of gratitude. B.B. King has long cited him as a primary influence, marveling at Walker's penchant for holding the body of his guitar outward while he played it. Gatemouth Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, Goree Carter, Pete Mayes, and a wealth of other prominent Texas-bred axemen came stylistically right out of Walker during the late '40s and early '50s. Walker's nephew, guitarist R.S. Rankin, went so far as to bill himself as T-Bone Walker, Jr. for a 1962 single on Dot, "Midnight Bells Are Ringing" (with his uncle's complete blessing, of course; the two had worked up a father-and-son-type act long before that).

"I Get So Weary" is one more LP of Walker's elegant guitar and smooth vocals.   


Tracklist:
A1 Here In The Dark
A2 I Miss You Baby
A3 Life Is Too Short
A4 I Get So Weary
A5 You Just Wanted To Use Me
A6 When The Sun Goes Down
A7 Everytime Pony Tail
B1 Thorough With Women
B2 Street Walking Woman
B3 Party Girl
B4 High Society
B5 Lollie You
B6 Got No Use For You
B7 Wanderin' Heart


T-Bone Walker - I Get So Weary (1961)
(192 kbps, cover art included)           

Montag, 17. Juni 2019

Television Personalities - Mummy Your Not Watching Me (1982)

The second full-length Television Personalities release (and the first product of Daniel Treacy's Whaam! label, later renamed Dreamworld after George Michael's manager offered them a pot of money to change the name) adds a full-time bass player to the original trio and sets the Wayback Machine ahead about 18 months from the debut's Swinging Carnaby Street sound. 

The darker, more psychedelic "Mummy Your (sic) Not Watching Me" is considerably less innocent than "And Don't the Kids Just Love It," covering Treacy's increasingly self-effacing lyrics in a wash of keyboards and phased guitars. There are a few songs that still show the influence of the earlier Television Personalities sound, including the wistful "Magnificent Dreams" and a remake of the single "Painting By Numbers," originally released under the name the Gifted Children, but the key track is the lengthy "David Hockney's Diaries," an acid rock drone that introduces an entirely different texture into the band's sound that Treacy would explore further on the next several albums. This is a transitional album that has tended to be shortchanged by both reviewers and fans, but there's much to recommend here.

Tracklist:

A1 Adventure Playground
A2 A Day In Heaven
A3 Scream Quietly...
A4 Mummy Your Not Watching Me
A5 Brians Magic Car
A6 Where The Rainbow Ends
B1 David Hockneys Diaries
B2 Painting By Numbers
B3 Lichtenstein Painting
B4 Magnificent Dreams
B5 If I Could Write Poetry


Television Personalities - Mummy Your Not Watching Me (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 16. Juni 2019

Peter, Paul & Mary - See What Tomorrow Brings (1965)

"See What Tomorrow Brings" is a strong album that plays to the strengths of Peter, Paul, & Mary. There is a good variety of material within their folk format, and a nice esprit de corps that pervades the recording. 

All members sing lead, which brings a good balance to the proceedings. Worth noting are two early versions of Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" and Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Although there isn't one number that shouts instant classic, all cuts have something to recommend them. Lest we forget the trio's idealism, the opening song "If I Were Free" speaks to the hope of wars ending and the beginning of peaceful times. 

"Jane, Jane" and "Because All Men Are Brothers" show the group's gospel roots, while "The Rising of the Moon," an intense cut, has Irish music as its base. "Tryin' to Win" and "On a Desert Island" manifests the humorous side of the trio as they sing about real and imagined love relationships. Throughout the album, arrangements are tasteful, clean, and never obtrusive to the songs presented. All in all, this is a very good album that has variety, strong material, tasteful production, and a fine spirit that gives it a winning edge.


Tracklist:

Side one
"If I Were Free" (Travis Edmonson) - 2:43
"Betty & Dupree" (Adapted and arranged by Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey, Mary Travers, Milton Okun) - 3:13
"The Rising of the Moon" (John Keegan "Leo" Casey Adapted and arranged by Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey, Mary Travers, Milton Okun) - 3:36
"Early Mornin' Rain" - (Gordon Lightfoot) - 3:13
"Jane, Jane" - (Adapted and arranged by Peter Yarrow, Noel "Paul" Stookey, Mary Travers, Milton Okun) - 2:57
"Because All Men Are Brothers" (Johann Sebastian Bach, Tom Glazer) - 2:17

Side two
"Hangman" - (Adapted and arranged by Peter Yarrow, Joel Hendler, Noel "Paul" Stookey, Mary Travers, Milton Okun) - 2:51
"Brother, (Buddy) Can You Spare a Dime?" (Jay Gorney, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg) - 2:29
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Ewan MacColl) - 3:06
"Tryin' to Win" (Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry) - 2:33
"On a Desert Island (With You in My Dreams)" (Noel "Paul" Stookey, Richard Kniss) - 1:46
"The Last Thing on My Mind" (Tom Paxton) - 2:43


Peter, Paul & Mary - See What Tomorrow Brings (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Charles Bukowski - Hostage (1980)

This album was recorded live during a reading of Charles Bukowski at The Sweetwater, Redondo Beach, CA, April 1980. "Hostage" has to be one of the rowdiest poetry records ever released, which makes sense considering how drunk Bukowski plainly is. The drink never gets in the way of his delivery, the tough, beautiful lines and moronically macho ones always landing on target, on cue. Bukowski delivers odes to dead Roman poets, lands a few good jokes, and - most crucially - offers up a few Raymond Carver-esque glimpses straight into the human soul. No document showcases Bukowski's radiant humor and occasional grace as succinctly as this intoxicating disc.

Recorded at the height of his fame, both as a published poet and as a performer, "Hostage" is a wonderful document of what a reading might of sounded like.
Here's a snippet from the original liner notes:
In Los Angeles especially, his poetry readings became parties themselves, with "poet and audience both drunk." As you'll hear on this album, fans and poet come to these readings prepared to compete. "Is there anybody tough enough here to try me?" Bukowski taunts the crowd. "try some shit, do some anger."

Charles Bukowksi - Hostage
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 15. Juni 2019

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - It´s Your World (1976)

This Gil Scott-Heron double album, roughly two thirds of which was recorded live in Boston on July 2-4, 1976, makes the most of its Centennial-centric time frame. Between the American flag striped cover art and Heron's spoken word spiel on an 8-and-a-half minute poem/rant "Bicentennial Blues," the album loses little of its impact, regardless of how the years have mildewed once fresh political topics like Nixon, Agnew, and Watergate.

Four of its songs are studio recordings ("It's Your World," "Possum Slim," "New York City," and "Sharing"), and even though they're up to Heron's usual jazz/blues/pop standards, the disc is most effective on the concert tracks. As he explains in the 2000 penned liner notes, The Midnight Band was a compelling live unit and one listen to the brisk, electrifying, 13-minute rendition of "The Bottle," one of Heron's most penetrating tracks, is all you'll need to understand why. More importantly, like the best protest music, these tunes have lost none of their lyrical edge or incisiveness throughout the years. Musically the band is taut and rehearsed down to the finest time change, yet loose enough to open up on the jams. The heavy Latin percussion/flute/piano -- but remarkably guitar-less -- sound is equal parts Santana and Mongo Santamaria with a strong jazz current throughout, especially on the John Coltrane tribute "Trane," featuring tenor hornman Bilal Sunni-Ali's fiery lead. Scott-Heron's deep, mellifluous voice is alternately soothing and cutting, infusing the music with heart and soul, while keeping the sound focused even during the longer improvisations. Only a dated '70s drum solo belies the year this was recorded. Chestnuts like "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" explode in extended live versions that become definitive readings of the tunes. Remastered for its reissue, It's Your World crackles with energy, presenting an accomplished band at their peak and placing the listener practically on stage for the live tracks with acoustics that are full, yet airy and spacious. One of Gil Scott-Heron's best albums as well as a compelling musical time capsule, the disc is proof of the artist's musical and lyrical acuity and is a moving listening experience.

Say our friends at Dustygroove: "A standout set from Gil Scott-Heron -- and that's saying a lot, given the strength of his other 70s work! This album's a double-length live set -- one that has Gil taking on the familiar format of the 70s, and using it to really push the boundaries of his own music too! Most tracks are quite long, and filled with spontaneous energy -- a moment in Gil's music to compare to that of Curtis Live for Curtis Mayfield -- proof that soul music could be made even better live than in the studio, as long as the setting was right. The record features a very extended version of "The Bottle" which runs for 13 minutes long, and which is a jammer all the way through -- and other titles include the great jazzy groover "New York City", plus "Trane", "Must Be Something", "Sharing", and "Home Is Where The Hatred Is". One of the few truly fantastic live soul albums!"


Tracklist:

01. It's Your World
02. Possum Slim
03. New York City
04. 17th Street
05. Trane
06. Must Be Something
07. Home Is Where the Hatred Is
08. Bicentennial Blues
09. Bottle
10. Sharing

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - It´s Your World (1976)
(320 kbps,  cover art included)

Freitag, 14. Juni 2019

Pete Seeger - Sing With Seeger (1965)

Folk musician, song writer, environmental and political activist Pete Seeger passed away on Monday, January 27, 2014 at the age of 94. Seeger was a regular face in the Greenwich Village scene of the 1950’s and 60’s, playing at the Village Vanguard as well as local coffee houses. Seeger lived at 129 MacDougall Street for many years. In a PBS American Masters program, Pete Seeger stands outside the green Federal style building and notes this is where he lived, “although it did not have a plate glass window in front when we lived here.”

Pete Seeger wrote and collaborated on more than 200 songs, many of which were recorded by folk, blues and rock groups throughout the years. The Byrds in 1965 had a No.1 hit with “Turn, Turn, Turn,” Seeger’s interpretation of Biblical verses found in the book of Ecclesiastes. “Where have all the Flowers Gone,” became an anti-Vietnam war anthem. Seeger takes credit for the name of the song “We Shall Overcome,” an old gospel song that became the anthem of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Seeger said he changed the word from “will” to “shall.”

Singing with The Weavers in the 1950s, which included several well-known folk singers, Seeger popularized “On Top of Old Smokey, ” “Kisses Sweeter than Wine,” and “Wimoweh,” as well as “Sixteen Tons,” and “Kumbaya.”

Because of early early sympathies with the Communist Party, Seeger was blacklisted and snubbed for many years. He went on to say he should have left the party earlier and that he was a Communist with a small “c.”

Seeger’s identification with the working class went back to his upbringing and travels with his parents who wanted to bring music to the masses of the country. His songs have been used by several social and political movements. He said in an interview that music can say things you would not dare say otherwise.

The latest efforts by Seeger were to wipe out the pollution in the Hudson River. He started environmental cruises of the Hudson with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. By bringing attention to the pollution in the Hudson River, Seeger became instrumental in having corporations take responsibility and clean up the river.



Pete Seeger was active until the end of his life, performing in a 2009 concert benefiting the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater along with Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Emmylou Harris and dozens of other musicians; singing with the Occupy Wall Street movement along with Arlo Guthrie; and he sang at the inaugural of President Obama.

Tracklist:

A1 Run, Come See Jerusalem
A2 The Water Is Wide
A3 Careless Love
A4 Houston Train
A5 Oh Susanna
A6 John Riley
B1 Dayenu
B2 Mary Don't You Weep
B3 Stewball
B4 The Keeper
B5 Little Black Bull
B6 The House Carpenter

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2019

VA - Calypso Pioneers - 1912-1937

This anthology is devoted to classic calypso and presents 16 formative songs from 1912-1937.

The music is still emerging from a confluence of American dance band sounds, African and Afro-Latin rhythms, plus Caribbean social situations and influences.

As carnival became an entrenched celebration within the Caribbean community, the songs composed to be performed during that time came to be known as calypso.

The anthology includes early performances by such calypso heroes as Atilla The Hun, Wilmouth Houdini, Phil Madison, Julian Whiterose and Sam Manning. Vocal styles, instrumental backing, lyrics, arrangements and production are quite unsophisticated and uneven on the early cuts, but a sound and unified approach began to appear in the middle section and is quite evident by the final numbers.


Tracklist:

A1 –Lovey's Band* Mango Vert
A2 –Belasco's Band* Germaine
A3 –Julian Whiterose Iron Duke In The Land
A4 –Monrose's String Orchestra* Old Lady, Old Lady
A5 –Phil Madison Caroni Swamp
A6 –Merrick's Orchestra Married To You
A7 –Sam Manning Sly Mongoose
A8 –Wilmoth Houdini Caroline
B1 –Belasco's Orchestra* Caroline
B2 –Sam Manning Lieutenant Julian
B3 –Gerald Clark & His Night Owls* Carmelita
B4 –Bill Rogers * West Indian Weed
B5 –Wilmoth Houdini War Declaration
B6 –The Executer* My Reply To Houdini
B7 –Atilla The Hun Graf Zeppelin
B8 –Keskidee Trio Congo Barra


Calypso Pioneers - 1912-1937 
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Mittwoch, 12. Juni 2019

Alan Vega - Alan Vega (1980)

One half of the seminal electronic duo Suicide, Alan Vega was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1938. He began his career as a visual artist, gaining notoriety for his "light sculptures"; eventually Vega opened his own lower Manhattan gallery space, which he dubbed the Project of Living Artists. The Project served as a stomping grounds for the likes of the New York Dolls, Television, and Blondie as well as the 15-piece jazz group Reverend B., which featured a musician named Martin Rev on electric piano. Soon, Vega and Rev formed Suicide, whose minimalist, aggressive music -- a fusion of Rev's ominous, repetitive keyboards and Vega's rockabilly snarl -- helped paved the direction for the electronic artists of the future.

Suicide disbanded in 1980, and both Vega and Rev undertook solo careers.

Alan Vega used his first solo album to distance himself from the music made by his pioneering synth-punk duo Suicide. Where Suicide deliberately used cheap, loud synthesizers to generate a cold, crude sound, Vega hired a guitarist and made, for all intents and purposes, a rockabilly album. 

"Lonely" is Vega's homage to "Heartbreak Hotel," and it's as full of yelps and pleading as the original, as Vega does his best Elvis impression. The gorgeous "Ice Drummer" may be Vega's best solo track, a beautiful shiny pop gem. Only "Bye Bye Bayou," a misguided attempt to fuse '50s rock and Vega's extended performance art pieces, falls flat. 

Still, golden pop moments like "Ice Drummer" are good reminders of why Vega, for all his eccentricities, remains a musician worth caring about.

Vega died in 2016 in New York City at the age of 78. At the time of his death, Vega was working on new music in collaboration with his wife Liz Lamere. In 2017, these final recordings were released by Fader on the album "It".


Tracklist:

Juke Box Baby 4:47
Kung Foo Cowboy 3:24
Fireball 3:50
Love Cry 4:47
Speedway 2:27
Ice Drummer 4:30
Bye Bye Bayou 8:37
Lonely 2:39


Alan Vega - Alan Vega (1980)
(256 kbps, cover art incuded)

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2019

Pharoah Sanders - Love In Us All (1974)

Recorded near the end of Pharoah Sanders' tenure at Impulse, "Love in Us All" consists of two extended compositions. Together, they serve as an aural representation of the way Sanders' music polarized the jazz world at the time.

Like many of his "New Thing" peers, the saxophonist sought the sound world beyond the constraints of conventional harmony. This often translated into music played at the grating, far reaches of his instrument. "To John" finds Sanders in this territory. His solo begins with Coltrane-isms of short motive development before stretching out into a more personal sound. Finding himself engulfed by a rising musical tide, he plays like he's fighting desperately to stay above it. Soon his saxophone takes on a sorrowful tone as if admitting inevitable defeat. With little optimism apparent, it ultimately communicates a sense of emptiness. 

However, the often one-dimensional criticism of Sanders as an angry, confrontational musician fails to take in the ragged beauty of a work like "Love Is Everywhere." The song offers little explanation as to what the furor was all about. It begins with an exquisite bass vamp that the song builds from. "Love is everywhere" is repeatedly and passionately shouted as the music escalates into a disorienting swirl of sound. Sanders enters midway through with a surprisingly restrained and lyrical solo on soprano. 

These two songs hardly seem to belong on the same album and are best approached separately. Many of the players who took musical and philosophical inspiration from John Coltrane failed to translate it into resonant works of their own. Sanders' unsuccessful attempt on "To John" falls in this category. Yet, in a way, Coltrane himself never created a work as emotionally direct as "Love Is Everywhere."

Tracklist:
01. Love Is Everywhere - 20:03
02. To John - 20:45


Pharoah Sanders - Love In Us All (1974)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 10. Juni 2019

Carte De Séjour ‎– Rhorhomanie

Carte de Séjour was a French band composed of Rachid Taha (Voice), Mohamed Amini (Guitar), Moktar Amini (Basse), and Jérôme Savy (Lead Guitar).

Carte de Séjour was founded in 1980 by Rachid Taha, Djamel Dif, Mokhtar Amini, Mohamed Amini and Éric Vaquer (guitar). Jérôme Savy, former guitarist of the French garage rock band Arsenic, replaced Vaquer some time later. The band's name was a reference to the citizenship card carried by French immigrants.

After a major concert at the Palais des sports and performance at Place de la Bastille during the Marche des beurs, the band gained prominence with their rendition of Charles Trenet's "Douce France". Carte de Séjour's cover of the well-known song played an important role in raising questions about the status of the Beurs and other descendants of postcolonial immigrants in France, as well as the struggle against mounting right-wing and racist policies of Front national in France.

The group included in its repertoire pop, rock, punk rock, traditional Arab music and gnawa music.
The band split in 1990, after personnel changes and internal strife. Rachid Taha established a solo career and was considered one of the major singers of raï.

The album "Rhorhomanie" was released in 1984.


Tracklist:

A1 Rhorhomanie
A2 Chems We Nejma
A3 Zamana
A4 Nar
A5 Desole
B1 Ouadou
B2 Bleu De Marseille
B3 Habibi
B4 Sounefir
B5 Mirage


Carte De Séjour ‎– Rhorhomanie
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Odetta - Odetta Sings Dylan (1965)

From 1965, "Odetta Sings Dylan" was one of the first albums entirely devoted to Bob Dylan interpretations, and one of the best. In part that's because the concept was still actually fresh then; in fact, other than an obscure 1964 album by Linda Mason, it was the very first album of Dylan covers. And in part it was because, unlike most of the artists who would take a swing at the concept, Odetta was actually a major folk musician, one who had done much to inspire Dylan himself. But most of all, it was because the arrangements were excellent, featuring the guitar of Bruce Langhorne (who, of course, played on Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home" and numerous 1960s folk and folk-rock recordings) and, one presumes, the bass of frequent accompanist Bill Lee.
Langhorne, the character who inspired "Mr. Tambourine Man," also plays some tambourine, particularly on "Baby, I'm in the Mood for You." Although this is not a folk-rock album, as a result the arrangements have far more rhythm, swing, and imagination than most folk records of the era did.
The song choices are good, too, not only including familiar tunes like "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," but also some songs that hardly anyone has recorded. Indeed, Dylan never did put "Long Ago, Far Away" or "Long Time Gone" on any of his official releases, and didn't release three of the other songs ("Baby, I'm in the Mood for You," "Walkin' Down the Line," and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time") in the 1960s.

All of this is not to overlook Odetta's well-nuanced, bluesy vocal interpretations of the material, particularly on an extraordinary ten-minute version of "Mr. Tambourine Man."
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Sonntag, 9. Juni 2019

Neil Young - Live at the Bottom Line, New York, May 16 1974

Photobucket
Three months after the 1974 opening of the New York club the Bottom Line, Neil Young gave a solo acoustic performance there that was among the more remarkable shows of his career. Even for an artist accustomed to throwing a new song or two into his concerts, this set was unusual: of the 11 songs, only one, "Helpless," had been released on record, with many of the others, including "Ambulance Blues," "On the Beach," "Roll Another Number," and "Pardon My Heart," later scattered among records like "On the Beach", "Tonight's the Night" and "Zuma". But it wasn't just the set list that made the show memorable. Usually reticent on-stage, Young was talkative and enjoyed a close interaction with the audience; he told stories, explained his feelings about his songs, even gave recipes. And he sang some of his strongest material of the mid-'70s.

Legend has it that Neil Young was at The Bottom Line to see Ry Cooder, and was so inspired by his gig that Neil followed with an off-the-cuff one-hour acoustic guest. Perhaps Neil had planned to play all along. Remember that Neil didn't tour as a solo act during 1974, though he did a brief and troubled tour with his on-again, off-again bandmates in CSNY.

This concert was released on the bootlegs "First Plane Outta Here" a.k.a. "Citizen Kane Jr. Blues".

Neil Young - The Bottom Line, New York, May 16, 1974
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Odetta - Sings Ballads And Blues (1956)


One of the strongest voices in the folk revival and the civil rights movement, Odetta was born on New Year's Eve 1930 in Birmingham, AL.

Odetta's debut album was a strong, confident effort featuring just her and her guitar on 16 tracks, most of which were traditional in origin.
In its day, it was quite an influential recording; Bob Dylan, in fact, once cited this record in particular as the one that made him decide to trade in his electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustic guitar. Several of the songs would find their ways into the repertoires of subsequent folkies, and even some folk-rock bands. There's no way of knowing whether they heard the tunes first on this release, but it's entirely possible, as it was one of the first strong traditional folk LPs.
This is the initial vinyl release which has tracks 1-8 as side A, then tracks 9-16 as side B (the "Spiritual Trilogy" being counted as one track, a medley).

Tracklist:
Side One:
Santy Anno
If I Had A Ribbon Bow
Muleskinner Blues
Another Man Done Gone
Shame And Scandal
Jack 0' Diamonds
'Buked And Scorned
Easy Rider

Side Two:Joshua
Hound Dog
Glory, Glory
Alabama Bound
Been In The Pen
Deep Blue Sea
God's Gonna Cut You Down
Spiritual Trilogy:
Oh Freedom
Come And Go With Me
I'm On My Way

(256 kbps, no cover art included)


Original sleeve notes:
"A magnificent new voice is here to sing the old songs. It belongs to a woman whom we believe to be the queen of American folksingers. the latest descendent of the line which gave birth to Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, the rightful heiress to Leadbelly's Legacy. Her name is Odetta. and like everything else about this remarkable personality it is unusual. When one first sees her. her size and height give rise to the uneasy feeling that she belongs to a race a out above our own: but in her strong, haunting face there is a reassuring beauty and charm. In her normal speech her voice is quiet and delicate, but when she sings she can unleash a force that is startling. In her rendition of a number like Joshua she displays a power and intensity that could well have tumbled the walls of Jericho, while a few minutes later her voice in Glory, Glory is more like the shuffling of angels' feet.
This album is an important milestone in the history of folk-recording. For the first time devotees of traditional music may hear a truly great folk-artist in her prime—though it would be foolhardy to assume that Odetta has yet reached the height of her musical powers. She is now in her twenty-fifth year and comes to the public at a time when the recording industry is approaching the borders of perfect fidelity. Sound reproduction was in its infancy when Ma Rainey and Blind Lemon Jefferson had already reached old age. From the faint, scratchy sounds left to us from those days we can only guess at the youthful magnificence of Bessie Smith or the unrestrained exuberance of the young Leadbelly; such recordings give us a disquieting sense of loss. But this brilliant album will only whet our appetites, and we will look forward with impatience to the many Odetta performances to follow.
The foregoing is not meant to suggest that Odetta will delight only the devotees of folk-music any more than Marlene Dietrich's appeal is limited to fans of popular music or Tchaikovsky's to enthusiasts of the classics. On the contrary, the emotions of folk music, so faithfully presented by Odetta, have a universal attraction—whether it's in the lonely cry of her blues, the exultance of her work songs, the poignancy of her love ballads, or the quiet faith of her spirituals.
Though Odetta was born in Birmingham, Alabama—deep in the heartland of American traditional music—she has spent most of her life in California. Folk music was hardly her first love; she has had several years of operatic training and made her professional stage debut—as did Sonny Terry—in the hit musical, "Finian's Rainbow". She was on the road with this show when she fell in with a group of enthusiastic young balladeers in San Francisco, and for the past five years she has concentrated on folksinging. Her nightclub appearances have included the Blue Angel in New York City, the Hungry i, and The Tin Angel in San Francisco, a monumental run of two years at the Turnabout Theatre in Los Angeles, and a triumphant return to the East which began at The Gate of Horn in Chicago.
This album has entertained more people in the month before its release than most albums do in the month after they are released. This is easily explained: we at TRADITION have been too excited about it to wait patiently through the long weeks of production before introducing Odetta to our friends. At least a half-dozen acetate copies of the original tapes have been worn to a nubbin through incessant replays, and with each hearing our own delight and admiration for her power and artistry has increased. It is our sincere belief that the listening public will echo our enthusiasm. It is therefore with a pride which borders on hybris that TRADITION RECORDS presents in her first album one of the most electrifying performers of our time—ODETTA!
—DEAN GITTER"

Samstag, 8. Juni 2019

Leftfield - Song Of Life (1993)

"Song of Life" was the fourth single released under the Leftfield name and the first to have a C single release.

The song was released on 12" and CD in January 1993. The sleeve of the single had the footnote "dedicated to the memory of Steve Walters whose support, friendship and encouragement will never be forgotten".
It made #59 in the UK charts. The song was also used as the backing track for Channel 4's Dispatches programme.


Tracks:
1. Song of Life 4:17
2. Song of Life (Extended Version) 8:42
3. Fanfare of Life 6:05
4. Release the Dub 5:44
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Leftfield - Song Of Life (1993)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Ernst Busch - Tucholsky, Eisler, Wedekind

Ernst Busch died 39 years ago, on June 8, 1980.

This "pläne"-release includes some Ernst Busch interpretations of songs from Eisler's Tucholsky lieder like "Revolutionsrückblick", "Ja, damals, im November", "Rosen auf den Weg gestreut" and others.

And it contains recordings of some of Frank Wedekind´s - a German playwright, whose work, which often criticizes bourgeois attitudes (particularly towards sex), is considered to anticipate expressionism, and he was a major influence on the development of epic theatre - "Spottlieder".

Tracklisting:
01 Märchen (1:38)
02 Das Heil Von Außen (1:18)
03 Prophezeiung (1:54)
04 Der Zerstreute (1:50)
05 Revolutionsrückblick (3:34)
06 Ja, Damals, Im November (2:25)
07 Couplet Für Die Bierabteilung (1:16)
08 Immer Raus Mit Der Mutter...! (2:20)
09 Zuckerbrot Und Peitsche (2:45)
10 Die Mäuler Auf! (1:49)
11 Rosen Auf Den Weg Gestreut (2:11)
12 Heute Zwischen Gestern Und Morgen (2:35)
13 Im Heiligen Land (4:21)
1 4Der Anarchist (1:32)
15 Der Zoologe (4:05)
16 Der Blinde Knabe (2:12)
17 Brigitte B. (4:38)
18 Mein Lieschen (1:15)
19 Die Wetterfahne (0:58)
20 Die Sieben Heller (2:15)
21 Diplomaten (3:16)
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Ernst Busch - Tucholsky, Eisler, Wedekind
(320 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Rebel Voices - Songs Of The Industrial Workers Of The World

Photobucket
Flying Fish and Rounder are independent labels which started up in the '70s, specializing in various types of roots music. The former company was apparently started up by Bruce Kaplan, a dissatisfied member of the Rounder collective. One of the disagreements might have been about politics, an element that Rounder seems to avoid despite the strong presence protest songs have in many types of American folk styles. The label even went as far as to remove a controversial political song from a Hazel & Alice album, while Flying Fish, on the other hand, has actually released some product with a strong leftist bent, this compilation of labor songs among them.

The most obvious audience for music such as this are people who are upset about their jobs; based on that perhaps faulty concept, this album should have sold millions. The presence of Utah Phillips looms large. He is a combination activist, organizer, songwriter, singer, and storyteller, and there are few performers who can put across a song such as "The Two Bums" as well as he can. The album also combines its participants into various small groupings and a big ensemble finale, an idea that works just as well in an album sequence as it has on many folk festival stages. There are several numbers originating with Joe Hill, needless to say, but also a grand Malvina Reynolds cover by Faith Petric and a terrific take on the classic "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" by Bob Bovee. Besides delivering its intended messages, this collection also puts the spotlight on some fairly unknown performers in a context that brings welcome thematic strength and emotional power to their work.

The album is an amazing collection of stories and songs, that gives a good sampling of the history of the working people. The songs call for solidarity among working people, that is as relevant today as it was when the songs were originally written. The music provides a feeling of being connected, and makes you want to sing along. No matter what your interest, but especially if it's the history of the labor movement, this is a wonderful and thought-provoking collection of music.

Tracks:
1. Preamble to the IWW Constitution
2. Organizer - Jeff Cahill
3. Little Red Hen - Faith Petric
4. Which Side Are You On? - Bob Bovee
5. Two Bums - Utah Phillips
6. Banks of Marbles - Fred Holstein
7. Put It on the Ground - Marion Wade
8. Popular Wobbly - Eric Glatz
9. Song of the Rail - Mark Ross
10. Hold the Fort - Bruce Brackney
11. We Have Fed You All a Thousand Years - Bruce Brackney
12. Ain't Done Nothing If You Ain't Been Called a Red - Faith Petric
13. Hallelujah, I'm a Bum - Bob Bovee
14. Boss - Utah Phillips
15. Preacher and the Slave - Jeff Cahill
16. Mysteries of a Hobo's Life - Mark Ross
17. Stung Right - Fred Holstein
18. Jo Hill's Last Will - Kathy Taylor
19. Mr. Block - Utah Phillips
20. Power in the Union

Big up to http://newmoodswings.blogspot.com/ for the original posting.

Rebel Voices - Songs Of The Industrial Workers Of The World
(128 kbps, cover art included)

Bertolt Brecht - Songs, Lieder & Gedichte Vol. 17 - Ernst Busch singt Brecht

Photobucket"Change the world; it needs it" - this appeal from Bertolt Brecht has lost none of its validity although more than 60 years have passed since his death.

"Brecht can still help people to pose the right questions and he can sometimes provide the right answers", says theatre director Claus Peymann who heads the Berlin Ensemble originally founded by Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel. "How does injustice arise? How can the world be made a better place to live in? Why has armed conflict in the world not come to an end?"

Brecht is the most frequently performed author on the German stage after Shakespeare and the Brothers Grimm. Along with the anti-capitalistic "Threepenny Opera", Brecht's most popular works include "Mother Courage and Her Children" which revolves around war and those who profit from it.
Following his return from American exile in 1948, Brecht, who had concerned himself with Marxism since 1926, chose the German Democratic Republic (GDR) as his new home. He is regarded as the inventor of so-called Epic Theatre which uses unfamiliar techniques in order to establish a critical dialogue with the audience - examples of this are the sudden deviation of an actor from his role or the use of songs and text boards. In this way the human interaction on stage is shown as being conditioned by society which means it can be changed.

25 songs by Bertolt Brecht are collected on this compilation. The music is written by the poet himself, partly by Hans Eisler and by Ernst Busch. Busch is an impressive and brilliant interpreter of these ballads.

Ernst Busch (22 January 1900 - 8 June 1980) was a german singer and actor. He was born in Kiel and died in Berlin.
Busch first rose to prominence as an interpreter of political songs, particularly those of Kurt Tucholsky, in the Berlin cabaret scene of the 1920s. He starred in the original 1928 production of Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera", as well as the subsequent 1931 film by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.
A lifelong communist, Busch fled Nazi Germany in 1933 with the Gestapo on his heels, eventually settling in the Soviet Union. In 1937 he joined the International Brigades to fight against fascism in Spain. After Spain fell to the Franco, he emigrated to Belgium, where he was interned during the Nazi occupation and later imprisoned in Gurs, France and Berlin. Freed by the Red Army in 1945, he settled in East Berlin, where he worked with Bertold Brecht and Erwin Piscator at the "Berliner Ensemble". A beloved figure in the German Democratic Republic, he is best remembered for his performance in the title role of Brecht's Galileo, and for his stirring recordings of worker's songs, including many written by Hanns Eisler.

Tracklist:

1. Moderne Legende
2. Legende vom toten Soldaten - Sommer 1918
3. Ballade vom Weib und dem Soldaten
4. Gegen Verführung
5. Ein Pferd klagt an
6. Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt - Gegenlied zu: Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt
7. Die Ballade von den Abenteurern
8. Erinnerung an die Marie A.
9. Von den verführten Mädchen
10. Ballade von den Seeräubern
11. Die Ballade von der Hanna Cash
12. Das Lied vom SA-Mann 1931
13. Solidaritätslied
14. Die Ballade vom Baum und den Ästen 1933
15. Einheitsfrontlied
16. In großer Zeit (Rezitation) - BRECHT,BERTOLT
17. Die Krücken 1938
18. Der Kommunismus ist das Mittlere (Rezitation) - BRECHT,BERTOLT
19. Zukunftslied
20. Lob des Kommunismus
21. Das groáe Karthago (Rezitation) - BRECHT,BERTOLT
22. Der anachronistische Zug
23. Aufbaulied
24. Die Pappel vom Karlsplatz
25. Es kommt der Tag
26. Friedenslied

Betrtolt Brecht - Songs, Lieder & Gedichte Vol. 17 - Ernst Busch singt Brecht
(mp3, 192 kbps, front cover included)