Dienstag, 25. April 2017

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny Vol. 2

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 1.

In the early 1960s, after the erection of the Berlin wall, East Germany underwent a phase of economic reforms accompanied by a short-lived ideological thaw. Literature and cinema dared a critical take on real life behind the Iron Curtain. The “hot music” the regime had formerly stifled was now promoted. With the indigenous folk and protest songs came “left-wing” songs from “the other side”. The new song culture that emerged differed markedly from the songs of struggle and agitprop of previous years.

The musical protest movement in the West inspired many artists in East Germany. In 1963 Wolf Biermann wrote Ballade vom Briefträger William L. Moore (Ballad of a Mailman), which Fasia Jansen performed to resounding applause at the first West German folkfest at Burg Waldeck in 1964. In July 1966, half a year after being barred from performing and publishing his work, Biermann sent a Vietnam song to Walter Ulbricht (first secretary of the socialist party), declaring that it had “every chance of becoming an important song in the international anti-Vietnam war movement”. Gerhard Schöne, the 15-year-old son of a priest in the Saxon town of Coswig, wrote Sag mir, was ist deine Welt (Tell me what’s your world) to the tune of the West German hit Welche Farbe hat die Welt (What colour’s the world), which made a name for him in church circles. Around the same time an 18-year-old high school student in East Berlin, Hartmut König, composed Sag mir, wo du stehst based on the American song Which Side Are You On: König’s version became the most best-known title at the Hootenanny Club (later called the Oktoberklub). In 1968 Eulenspiegel-Verlag, an East Berlin publisher, put out a collection of protest songs with lyrics by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Franz Josef Degenhardt, Dieter Süverkrüp, Hartmut König et al. It came with an LP on which Manfred Krug sang songs from Chile, France, the US and a Vietnam song of his own.

In 1960 Perry Friedman, a Canadian folk singer who’d moved to East Berlin the year before, began holding “hootenannys” there, i.e. sing-along folk music parties. He set out to transplant in the GDR the casual style of singing and performing songs that had become an established tradition in American left-wing circles. In 1965, DT 64, the radio station for young people, began promoting these events, and hootenanny clubs sprouted up a year later in Berlin and other East German cities. These clubs attracted both amateurs and pros, including Perry Friedman, Hartmut König, Reiner Schöne, Bettina Wegner, the Beat band Team 4, and many others. The hootenanny movement was neither oppositional nor unofficial. Though government-funded, it was not a campaign decreed from above, but a relatively spontaneous outgrowth that was unusually laid-back and unconstrained by East German standards in those days.

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny Vol. 2 (AMIGA, 1966)
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, cover art included)

If you want to find out more about the "Hootenanny" in East Berlin, visit this years "Festival Musik & Politik".

Yves Montand ‎– Mon Pot' Le Gitan

Yves Montand was an enormously popular singer in France, his adopted country, from the 1940s until his death. He also gave concerts around the world, but he was better-known internationally as an actor.

Montand was born Ivo Livi on October 13, 1921, in the village of Monsummano Alto in the Tuscany region of Italy near Florence. He was the youngest of three children of Giovanni Livi, a broom maker, and Giuseppina (Simoni) Livi. His father was involved with the Communist Party, and in May 1924 the family was forced to move to France to escape political persecution from the Fascists led by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. They settled in Marseilles and became naturalized French citizens in 1929. At 11, Montand dropped out of school to help support his family during the Depression by working in a noodle factory. He left that job two years later and began working in a hair salon run by his older sister; eventually he passed the test for his barber's license and got a job in another salon. But in September 1938, at age 16, he first sang at an amateur show, and he soon began making professional appearances. Recalling his mother's shout to come home to the family's second-floor residence for dinner, "Ivo, montes!" ("Ivo, come on up!"), which, in her Italian-accented French sounded like "Ivo, monta!," he adopted the stage name Yves Montand.

Montand's singing career was short-circuited by the start of World War II in September 1939. In 1940, he worked in the Marseilles shipyards as Germany overran northern France; he was not able to return to singing until the spring of 1941 under the German occupation. That fall, he first headlined his own vaudeville show in Nice, and he had his first screen appearance as an extra in "La Prière aux Etoiles" ("Prayer to the Stars"), shot in January 1942. But from March to October 1942, he had to work in a youth labor camp, as were all 20-year-old French males at the time. In February 1944, fearing that he would be forced to work for the Nazis, he left Marseilles and moved to Paris, where he began performing again. In July 1944, he was booked to open for Edith Piaf at the Moulin Rouge. The two became a couple, and with France being liberated by the Allies, they toured the country in the fall and in the spring of 1945. Montand was then given his first credited role in a film, singing two of his stage favorites, "Luna Park" and "Les Plaines du Far West," in "Silence ... Antenne" ("You're on the Air!"). He also took a small part in "Etoile Sans Lumière" ("Star Without Light"), a film starring Piaf that opened in April 1946. Starting on October 5, 1946, he headlined at the Etoile theater in Paris for seven weeks; during this period, he and Piaf broke up. Director Marcel Carné's "Les Portes de la Nuit" ("Gates of the Night"), Montand's first film in which he had the starring role, opened on December 4, but was poorly received.

Meanwhile, however, he had signed to Odéon Records, which began issuing his recordings. He did not have another film role for more than a year, when "L'Idole" appeared in February 1948, and his subsequent appearances in such low-budget films of the early 1950s as "Paris Chante Toujours" ("Paris Always Sings"), "Paris Sera Toujours Paris" ("Paris Will Always Be Paris"), "Souvenirs Perdus" ("Lost Souvenirs"), and "L'Auberge Rouge" employed his talents more as a singer than as an actor. They helped to enhance his status as a stage performer. On March 5, 1951, he began a four-month run at the Etoile in which he appeared for the first time in a "one-man show," (i.e., without any supporting acts on the bill). That summer, he began what turned out to be a long shoot on Henri-Georges Clouzot's "Le Salaire de la Peur" "(The Wages of Fear"), a drama in which he played a truck driver hired to transport nitroglycerin to stop an oil-well fire. When it finally appeared in the spring of 1953 (it opened in the U.S. in 1955), it was an enormous success, winning the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival and finally establishing Montand as a serious actor.

Nevertheless, singing remained his first priority. On December 21, 1951, he married the actress Simone Signoret; two weeks later, he was off on a tour that included France, Switzerland, and Belgium. He made another film, "Tempi Nostri" ("The Anatomy of Love") in 1953, but devoted much more time to singing. On October 5, he opened at the Etoile, where he performed until April 4, 1954, selling nearly 200,000 tickets. During the run, Odéon presented him with a gold record marking sales of one million copies of "Les Feuilles Mortes" ("Autumn Leaves"), a remarkable achievement in the relatively small French record market. (He later switched to Philips Records.) In 1954, he turned to the legitimate stage, co-starring with Signoret in a French adaptation of Arthur Miller's play The Crucible in Paris entitled Les Sorcières de Salem. The play ran through 1955, and a film version was made. This further enhanced Montand's reputation as an actor, and he appeared in more movies in the mid- '50s. But he also found time in 1956-1957 to tour the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a trip that began to open his eyes about totalitarianism.
  After more film work in 1957 and 1958, Montand launched a major concert tour in September 1958 that began with some preliminary performances before settling into the Elysée music hall in Paris for five months, a run that continued until March 8, 1959, playing 160 performances before 200,000 fans. In December 1958, Montand was approached by American impresario and record company executive Norman Granz, who wanted to bring him to America. Previously, the anti-Communist McCarthy Era in the U.S. would have prevented Montand from obtaining a visa. (Although he himself was not a member of the Communist Party, he was sympathetic to its aims, and his older brother was an official of the party in France.) By the late 1950s, however, this situation was easing in the U.S., and Granz was able to get Montand a visa and book a tour. Prior to that, in the spring and summer of 1959, he toured Europe and performed in Israel. But on September 22, 1959, "An Evening With Yves Montand" opened at Henry Miller's Theater on Broadway to positive reviews. The show played 42 performances, then Montand appeared in Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. His belated breakthrough in the U.S. and the favorable notices it attracted led to a flurry of stateside record releases of material old and new. Columbia Records brought out "One Man Show" before the end of the year and in 1960 released both "An Evening With Yves Montand" and "Grandes Chansons". The same year, Monitor Records issued "Yves Montand & His Songs of Paris", and Granz's Verve label had "Aimez-Vous Yves?"

Meanwhile, Montand was forced to postpone a Japanese tour when he received an offer from 20th Century-Fox to co-star opposite Marilyn Monroe in the movie musical "Let's Make Love". He shot the film in the winter and spring of 1960 (also engaging in a much-gossiped-about affair with Monroe), and had two singing performances, "Incurably Romantic" and the title song, both featured on the original soundtrack album released by Columbia. He continued what might be called the American phase of his career by quickly shooting a series of Hollywood films, Sanctuary, Goodbye Again, and My Geisha, in 1960-61, and on October 24, 1961, returned to Broadway for 55 performances of his musical act before moving on to Japan and England in early 1962 and opening again at the Etoile in Paris in November 1962. (Meanwhile, in America, Columbia released More Yves Montand and Verve countered with On Broadway.)

But, while his efforts on-stage and before the cameras in the U.S. in 1959-61 expanded Montand's international reputation, they did not make him a star in the U.S. His concert audience was a sophisticated one interested in hearing songs sung in French, but his records did not reach the charts. And on film he remained an exotic who had learned his lines in English phonetically. So, he returned to working primarily in Europe. After his Paris performances, he also, for the first time, turned primarily to filmmaking, relegating his singing career to one of occasional comeback shows for the rest of his life. (Meanwhile, Philips issued Yves Montand Recital Paris, 1963 in the U.S. in 1963, and Columbia had Yves Montand, Paris in 1964, but thereafter his American record releases were few.) The first of those comebacks consisted of 33 shows performed in Paris in the fall of 1968, after which Montand formally announced his retirement from concertizing.

For the rest of the 1960s and in the 1970s, Montand worked frequently in film. His most notable performances included a series of political dramas made with director Constantin Costa-Gavras, Z (1969, the Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Film and a Best Picture nominee), The Confession (1970), and State of Siege (1973), films that condemned oppressive acts carried out by both right-wing dictatorships and Communist regimes. Montand did find time for one more Hollywood movie musical, starring opposite Barbra Streisand in an adaptation of the Broadway show On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970), directed by Vincente Minnelli. He sang the title song with Streisand and soloed on "Melinda" and "Come Back to Me" in the film and on the original soundtrack album released by Columbia, which spent almost six months in the charts, but was a modest seller by Streisand's standards.

In 1974, in the wake of the previous year's military coup in Chile, Montand performed a benefit show for Chilean refugees, his first live singing in six years and his only such work of the decade. But at the start of the 1980s, he rescinded his retirement from the stage, and from October 7, 1981, to January 3, 1982, he played to sold-out houses at the Olympia theater in Paris, followed by 48 shows around the country before continuing on to North and South America and Japan, the entire tour lasting more than a year. He worked less frequently in film in the 1980s, his most notable performances being in Claude Berri's Jean de Florette and its sequel Manon of the Spring in 1986. In the second half of the 1980s, he was frequently mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in France, but he declined to run. He did, however, sing a few songs on a television program broadcast during the speculation, Montand at Home, in December 1987. And he was invited to visit Poland during that country's first free elections in the spring of 1989, obliging by singing "Les Feuilles Mortes." In June 1990, he gave a few final performances at the Olympia in Paris. He continued to make occasional films, completing his last one, IP5: The Island of Pachyderms, just prior to his death from a heart attack at age 70 in November 1991.

Although outside France he is viewed largely as a film star, Montand occupies an important position as a post-war French popular singer who followed Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier with an earthier, more direct style who anticipated such immediate followers as Jacques Brel and even the rock & roll era. Largely because of the language barrier, his appeal as a singer was restricted largely to his own country, but there it was gigantic and continued without diminution throughout his life.

1Mon Pot' Le gitan
2La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean
3Le Galerien
4Rue Saint-Vincent (Rose Blanche)
5Clopin Clopant
6La Ballade De Paris
7Le Dormeur Du Val
8Compagnons Des Mauvais Jours
9Rue D'Belleville
10J'Aime T'Embrasser
11Je Soussigne
12Premiers Pas
13Donne Moi Des Sous
15Le Chef D'Orchestre Est Amoureux
16Maitre Pierre
17Vel' D'Hiv
18Faubourg Saint-Martin
19La Tete A L'Ombre
20Le Musicien
Yves Montand ‎– Mon Pot' Le Gitan
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman (Amiga, 1966)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 10.

Perry Friedman was a folksinger from western Canada who emigrated to the GDR in the late 1950s and went on to play an important role in the East German cultural scene by introducing the country to a number of folk music traditions – including their own. He began holding “hootenannys” in East Berlin, i.e. sing-along folk music parties. He set out to transplant in the GDR the casual style of singing and performing songs that had become an established tradition in American left-wing circles.

In 2004, Dietz Verlag Berlin published Wenn die Neugier nicht wär’ – Ein Kanadier in der DDR, a book containing Perry’s unfinished memoirs and reminiscences from a number of family, friends and colleagues. This work goes some way to telling Perry’s story, however, unfortunately, the memoir portion covers only up to his departure from the GDR in 1971, leaving much of his story to be told by others. For those who read German though, it’s worth tracking down.

Friedman’s casual, North American approach to music making was difficult for East German authorities and audiences to place initially, but it resonated amongst young people starved for something new and authentic. In 1960, Friedman received permission to host a Hootenanny, a sing-along folk music party format that had become popular in North America, in the newly constructed Sport Hall in the Stalinallee (later Karl-Marx-Allee). This was well-received and featured not only Perry but a number of other artists as well including Gisela May (an acclaimed actress and singer) and Lin Jaldati  (East Germany’s foremost interpreter of Yiddish song). The evening was a huge success and sparked an interest in both Friedman and the folk / protest songs he had in his repertoire. Finding himself working and earning a living doing what he loved, the decision to settle in East Berlin was an easy one.
During this period, Perry married a German girl, a West Berlin native who was studying to be a teacher in the East. Sylvia Friedman tells that on the evening that the Berlin Wall was erected (August 13, 1961), Perry and his wife were in West Berlin visiting her family. When they learned that the border had been closed, they were faced with the decision of whether to stay put or return to the uncertainty of the GDR. They chose the latter and within years were parents of three young boys.
In 1962, Perry worked with Heinz Kahlau, a poet and writer and staunch supporter of the East German regime, on a book project entitled Hör zu, Mister Bilbo (Listen, Mr. Bilbo) which contained German translations of American workers’ songs. In 1963, the West German independent label pläne released a 7″ ep I’m On My Way – Amerikanische Negerlieder, marking his first release in Germany. In 1964, Perry’s brother Searle and family move to East Berlin in order for Searle to pursue studies at the ‘Hans Eisler’ Academy of Music.
Until the mid-1960s, Perry was kept busy performing on radio and television, touring the GDR with the Hootenanny format and supporting the singing clubs which had sprouted up in many East German towns and cities. During this time his repertoire expanded to include songs from German folk and working class traditions. For many, this is seen as Perry’s most important contribution to East German culture for in doing this, he helped rehabilitate a part of German heritage which had abused and perverted by the Nazis between the years 1933-1945. The popularity of the Hootenanny shows encouraged the Amiga label to release three compilation albums featuring performances by Perry and other performers in 1966: Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman, Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman 2 and Songs, Chansons und Neue Lieder.
But a change in the cultural politics of the GDR in 1967 had significant consequences for Perry. Interested in keeping the influence of Western, and in particular American, culture at bay, the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED – Sozialistische Einheitspartei) turned over control of the concerts and singing clubs to the Party’s youth wing, the Free German Youth (FDJ – Freie Deutsche Jugend). The foreign term ‘Hootenanny’ was forbidden and replaced with the accurate, if less evocative, term ‘Singing Movement’ (dt. ‘Singbewegung‘). Having worked closely with the FDJ in the past, Perry initially didn’t see these changes as an existential threat and he took on a leadership role in the Berlin-based “Oktoberklub”, the singing club in the East German capital which found a home in the newly built Kino International in the Karl-Marx-Allee.
A short time later, however, Perry found himself blacklisted because of his Canadian/Western background. Banned from performing on radio or tv and with few gigs on offer, Perry’s Canadian passport now proved his salvation. Using this, he was able to pass through the now-closed inner-German border into West Berlin and West Germany where he was at least able to perform and generate some income. Although he was partially ‘rehabilitated’ by Kurt Goldstein, the head of GDR Radio, in 1968 with a new radio program, these were difficult years for Perry.
WIth things showing little sign of improvement, Perry decided to take the family back to Canada in 1971. By 1976, Perry had had enough of Canada and decided to return to East Berlin. For Perry and so many others of his generation, the GDR embodied an alternative to a capitalist world and the promise of a more just, equitable social order. He felt that the limits the regime placed on individuals and their freedom were, while regrettable, necessary.
Back in East Berlin, Perry was taken under the wing of the FDJ by its leader Egon Krenz (who would later go on to succeed, if only briefly, Erich Honecker as the head of after his resignation in October 1989). A revival of the ‘Singing Movement’ coincided with Perry’s return and in the years that followed, Perry toured throughout in the GDR and the Eastern Bloc. In 1979, Perry received the GDR’s National Prize for Art and Music and in 1982 he released a self-titled new album for the GDR’s Amiga label.
In addition to his work in the East, Perry was also active in West Germany. He appeared at many union events, particularly those of the IG Metall. He was also contributed to many of the huge peace protests/concerts which punctuated life in the Federal Republic in the 1980s.
In 1988, while on tour and already suffering from kidney problems and diabetes, Perry suffered a heart attack that forced him off the road. He was just getting back to work when the tumultuous events of the fall of 1989 brought down the East German state in which Perry had invested so much hope. A letter to Jack Winter written in December 1989 gives a sense of his despair at the turn of events: “We find ourselves confronted by a very painful period of our lives. . . . I fear that we are in the process of throwing away an entire chapter of our history, one named ‘Socialism’. . . . The tragedy here is that the people had a onetime chance to develop a new society and they threw it away.”
Like many of his contemporaries, the early years after German unification brought many changes to Perry’s life. He did some freelance work as a radio journalist once again, but it took him several years to find his feet artistically particularly now that the state supports which had made much of his work possible were gone. He did regroup, however, and Perry’s last musical projects brought him back to his roots. A 1992 concert featured a program of American folk and classical music while his final performance in 1994 was made up from his repertoire of Yiddish and German songs.
After a lengthy struggle with illness, Perry died at the age of 59 in Berlin on March 16, 1995.

Thanks a lot for this very informative biography to The GDR Objectified.

(01) Perry Friedman - Wenn alle Brünnlein fließen
(02) Perry Friedman - Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal
(03) Lin Jaldati - Het Kwezelke
(04) Rolf Zimmermann - Gib' deine Hand
(05) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Liebeslied
(06) Gerry Wolff - Kling-Klang
(07) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Weltuntergangs-Blues
(08) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Die Oliven gedeih'n
(09) Lin Jaldati - Sing, sing so
(10) Perry Friedman - Wake up, Jacob
(11) Lin Jaldati - As der Rebbe weijnt
(12) Perry Friedman - Oh, Jerum
(13) Lutz Kirchenwitz - Es fiel ein Reif
(14) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Singe, Soldat
(15) Rolf Zimmermann - Wenn die Sonn' am Himmel steht
(16) Lin Jaldati - Wenn die Lichter wieder brennen
(17) Jörn Fechner - In den Bäumen ist heute ein Raunen
(18) Christel Schulze & Klaus Schneider - Abendlied
(19) Perry Friedman - My Bonnie

Perry Friedman - Hootenanny mit Perry Friedman (Amiga, 1966)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 24. April 2017

Floh de Cologne - Rotkäppchen (1977, vinyl rip)

Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne.
"Rotkäppchen" is a fairy-Tale by Jewgenij Schwarz, a Soviet writer and playwright, with a lot of rock and pop music "for young and old people".

Floh de Cologne collaboreted on this album with some folks being part of the german subcultre scene of these days, for example Christiane Knauf, Fredrik Vahle, Franz Josef Degenhardt, Fasia Jansen, Perry Friedman, Hanns Dieter Hüsch, Dieter Süverkrüp and Hannes Wader.
"Rotkäppchen" was released in 1977 on the Pläne label.

A1 Rotkäppchen-Lied (Guten Tag, auf Wiedersehn)
A2 Halt, Rotkäppchen, halt!
A3 Fuchs-Lied (Durch das Dickicht schleiche ich)
A4 Lied Vvom Naschen (Selber naschen, das macht fett)
A5 Hasen-Lied (Ach, ich kann es gar nicht fassen) 21:25
B1 Wolfs-Lied (Bin der Wolf und habe Pläne)
B2 Lied vom weissen Hündchen
B3 Hasen-Marsch (Hoch die Löffel, Brüder Hasen!)
B4 Fuchs-Lied (Ríeche ich den Braten, muß ich ihn verraten)
B5 Omas Tango (Da muß man doch, eins, zwei, drei)
B6 Förster-Lied (Ich Sitz' Auf Meinem Hochstand)
B7 Hasen-Marsch (Dem Förster wird der Marsch geblasen)
B8 Lied von der Freundschaft (Fuchs und Wolf sind nun besiegt)

Floh de Cologne - Rotkäppchen (1977, vinyl rip)
(224 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

VA - Lied - Wort - Dokument (1979, Eterna)

Originally posted on April 12, 2015:
Ceremonies are being held in Germany to mark the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp by the US army 70 years ago. Survivors from all over the world are to attend.

Unlike Auschwitz in Poland, Buchenwald was not one of the death camps where the Nazis set about their "Final Solution" – the systematic extermination of European Jews. Nonetheless, it was equipped with crematoria and gas chambers and 56,000 perished, 11,000 of them Jewish.
Many were summarily executed by SS guards, subjected to horrific medical experiments or forced to work in armaments factories. Starvation and disease also claimed thousands.
Named after the surrounding beech trees, Buchenwald was set up in 1937, close to the picturesque eastern city of Weimar, home to the poets Goethe and Schiller and one of the great centers of classical German culture.

The camp housed Jews, Sinti and Roma – targeted by the Nazis on racial grounds as well as groups ranging from Soviet prisoners of war to Scandinavian and French resistance fighters. So-called enemies of the state including Communists, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses were also held there.

The contrast with the surroundings has always symbolized one of the great paradoxes of German history – the co-existence of its rich humanist culture and the barbarity of the Nazis.

In February 1945, a month after the liberation of Auschwitz, Buchenwald was the largest remaining camp, with 112,000 inmates, a third of whom were Jewish. But by the time the Americans arrived on April 11 only 21,000 were left. In the three previous days alone the SS sent 28,000 predominantly Jewish inmates on death marches to other camps further from the front.

For this occasion we post the double album "Lied - Wort - Dokument", released on the Eterna label and documenting the anti-fascist resistance in music and words.

VA - Lied - Wort - Dokument im deutschen antifaschistischen Widerstand 1933-1945, part 1                                   
VA - Lied - Wort - Dokument im deutschen antifaschistischen Widerstand 1933-1945, part 2
(320 kbps, cover art and booklet included)                                   

Die Conrads – Brecht die Macht der Monopole (1971)

"Brecht die Macht der Monopole", released in 1971 by "Die Conrads" on the Pläne label is one of the most underrated and unknown german polit rock LPs -  "Break the power of the monopolies": Propaganda against capitalism, imperialism and fascism, for socialism, communism and the peace movement, served with folk rock and acid kraut.

The German lyrics are often not sung but spoken. If you fancy Lokomotive Kreuzberg, Floh de Cologne or 3 Tornados, don't miss it.

01. Holzhammerlied 1 03:28
02. Ein Schwein bleibt ein Schwein 04:48
03. Lied vom Aufmucken 03:39
04. Mieter-Song 05:02
05. Lied vom roten Punkt 04:27
06. Familienballade 05:32
07. Giftgas 06:25
08. Als die Nazis frech geworden 04:08
09. Wem soll getraut werden 03:54
10. Holzhammerlied 2 02:49
Total time: 44:07

Reinhold Conrads: guitar, harmonica, vocals
Herrmann Conrads: banjo, bass, vocals
Heinz Conrads: guitar, bass, vocals
Josef Schmitz: drums, percussion

Die Conrads - Brecht die Macht der Monopole (1971)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Floh De Cologne - Prima Freiheit (1978)

Floh De Cologne was a collective unit of creative musicians and actors, who continually dared to take chances, provoke and surprise their audience via a blend of rock, satire, political statements and theatre. The band was formed 20 January 1966 in Cologne, Germany and disbanded in 1983.

"Prima Freiheit" is a live recording from the "Junges Forum der Ruhrfestspiele" in 1978.       

A1Ich kenne ein Land3:16
A2Ich steh´ so rum3:07
A3Ballade vom Studenten aus den kleinen Verhältnissen5:28
B1Eddi, der Bär7:27
B2Was ist der Fortschritt3:54
B3Prima Freiheit9:54

Floh De Cologne - Prima Freiheit (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 23. April 2017

The Mamas And The Papas - Monterey International Pop Festival (1971)

With the lengthy title of "Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival", this 1971 release was recorded at the event held at Monterey, CA, between June 16-18 in 1967. Six of the eight tunes appear on the box set Rhino released of the mega concert, excluding "Somebody Groovy" and "Spanish Harlem." John Phillips' arranging and songwriting genius has never been properly recognized as the inspiring force that it was and continues to be, and though this Wally Heider remote recording (mixed in the studio by Erick Weinberg) is deficient, the performance by the original group at this important point in time is enthusiastic and worthwhile.

As this writer put it in the liner notes requested by Dinky Dawson for his production of the latter-day version of the band's "Sold Out: Live at the Savoy 3/12/82" on Rykodisc, "The highly influential group has not had the luxury of each and every live cassette and studio outtake traded the way Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones get studied, sought after, and talked about." At Monterey the band included many of the musicians from the "Deliver" album -- future Bread keyboard player Larry Knechtel was utilized along with Joe Osborne on bass and Dr. Eric Hord on guitar. Replacing Captain & Tennille drummer Hal Blaine was Chicago area percussionist Fast Eddie.

The disc is vocal-heavy, as it should be for a harmony quartet, and the bootleg quality actually adds a sort of charm. Dunhill/ABC was desperate for more Mamas & Papas product and the drive of the live version of "Got a Feeling" didn't deny the label something substantial to offer the fans. A band so slick in the studio is fun heard letting it all hang out at this monumental event, and the bottom line is that for fans this is a wonderful, if all too brief, glimpse of the four in performance at the height of their fame. It's 33 minutes and 29 seconds -- including on-stage chatter -- that becomes more valuable as time goes by. Listen to the band cook on "California Dreamin'" and John Phillips belt it out with Mama Cass countering his moves. As credible as any garage rock group churning out "Pushin' Too Hard" and hoping for stardom, these stars shine perhaps because the performance is somewhat ragged. Who wants a clone of the studio stuff anyway?       (allmusic.com)


A1Straight Shooter
A2Got A Feelin'
A3California Dreamin'
A4Spanish Harlem
B1Somebody Groovy
B2I Call Your Name
B3Monday, Monday
B4Dancing In The Street
The Mamas And The Papas - Monterey International Pop Festival   
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 22. April 2017

Melanie - Affectionately Melanie

Affectionately Melanie (aka Melanie) is the second album by Melanie Safka. It contains "Beautiful People", a song that Melanie performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

Melanie's second album was a fairly strong pop-flavored singer/songwriter effort, with more serious-minded material and execution than those familiar with only her best-known songs would expect. Although folk-rock is an element here, it's actually just one, combined as well with well-done pop orchestration, a certain sensibility akin to that heard in theatrical musicals, and even a little bit of white soul (particularly on the one non-original, "Soul Sister Annie"). She would have been well advised to concentrate more on her lower, more sensual register throughout her career, as she does on the generally fine and moving vocals on this LP. The New York theater factor comes into play on the darkly semi-comic "Any Guy" and "Take Me Home," and her more utopian sentiments arise in "Beautiful People." But really, this is far more gutsy than sappy, her earnest delivery containing some real grit. Even if her songs occasionally dovetail with childish sentiment, there's just as much earthy realism, as well as some vulnerable loneliness. Don't overlook this in the bargain bins just because of her half-justified reputation as a singer/songwriting lightweight; you might find yourself surprised at how worthy and affecting this early outing is.                


  1. "I'm Back in Town"
  2. "Tuning My Guitar"
  3. "Soul Sister Annie"
  4. "Any Guy"
  5. "Uptown Down"
  6. "Again"
  7. "Beautiful People"
  8. "Johnny Boy"
  9. "Baby Guitar"
  10. "Deep Down Low"
  11. "For My Father"
  12. "Take Me Home"

Melanie - Affectionately Melanie
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 21. April 2017

Iggy Pop - Jesus, This Is Iggy (Bootleg, 1977) - Happy birthday, Iggy!

Today is the 70th birthday of Iggy Pop – godfather of punk, remarkably skinny dude, amazing showman, eater of Nico’s cat...

There's a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk: every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-'60s/early-'70s band, the Stooges. Born on April 21, 1947, in Muskegon, Michigan, James Newell Osterberg was raised by his parents in a trailer park close to Ann Arbor, in nearby Ypsilanti. Intrigued by rock & roll (as well as such non-musical, monotonous, and mechanical sounds as his father's electric razor and the local automobile assembly plants in Detroit), Osterberg began playing drums and formed his first band, the Iguanas, in the early '60s. Via the Rolling Stones, Osterberg discovered the blues and formed a similarly styled outfit, called the Prime Movers, upon graduating from high school in 1965. When a brief stint at the University of Michigan didn't work out, he moved to Chicago instead, where he played drums alongside the city's bluesmen.              

His heart remained with rock & roll, however, and shortly after returning to Ann Arbor, Osterberg decided to form a rock band. This time, he would leave the drums behind and be the frontman, taking inspiration from the likes of the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed and the Doors' Jim Morrison. He tried to find musicians who shared his musical vision: to create a band whose music would be primordial, sexually charged, aggressive, and repetitive (using his early electric razor/car plant memories for reference). In 1967, he hooked up with an old acquaintance from his high-school days, guitarist Ron Asheton, who also brought along his brother, drummer Scott, and bassist Dave Alexander, thus forming the Psychedelic Stooges. Although it would take a while for their sound to gel -- they experimented with such nontraditional instruments as empty oil drums, vacuums, and other objects before returning to their respective instruments -- the group fit in perfectly with such other high-energy Detroit bands as the MC5, becoming a local attraction.

It was around this time that the group shortened its name to the Stooges, and Osterberg changed his own stage name to Iggy Pop. With the name change, Pop became a man possessed on-stage, going into the crowd nightly to confront members of the audience and working himself into such a frenzy that he would be bleeding by the end of the night from various nicks and scratches. Elektra Records signed the quartet in 1968, issuing their self-titled debut a year later and a follow-up effort, "Fun House", in 1970. Although both records sold poorly upon release, they've since become rock classics, and can be pointed to as the official catalyst for what later became punk rock.        

The Stooges were dropped from their record company in 1971 due to the public's disinterest and the group's growing addictions to hard drugs. Pop's continuous death-defying acts also worried the label, whose decision to drop the band led to the Stooges' breakup the same year. One of the band's more celebrated fans, David Bowie, tracked Pop down and convinced the newly clean and sober singer to restart his career. Pop enlisted guitarist James Williamson (who was briefly a second guitarist for the Stooges before their breakup) and, after the pair signed to Bowie's Mainman management company and relocated to England, they eventually reunited with the Asheton brothers, with Ron moving from the six-string guitar to the bass.

Signed by Columbia Records and hoping to follow in Bowie's footsteps toward a major commercial breakthrough, the Stooges penned another punk classic, the brutally explosive "Raw Power". Pop's plan for the Stooges' third release was equally brutal; he wanted to create a record that would be so powerful, so sonically over the top, that it would physically hurt the listener as it poured forth from the speakers. Although the resulting album wasn't quite that extreme, it came fairly close, with Bowie lending his own contributions as the album's producer. Once again, the album sank without a trace. By 1974, Pop and most of the Stooges had fallen back into the world of heavy drugs, and with their star fading, the band called it quits for a second (and final) time. 

 After spending a brief spell homeless on the streets of Hollywood, during which time there was an unsuccessful attempt to form a band with Pop and former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, Iggy Pop checked himself into the Neuropsychiatric Institute in Los Angeles. During his stay at the hospital, Pop made an attempt at writing and recording some new tunes with Williamson, but when no labels expressed interest, the two went their separate ways. (Completed demos of the sessions would surface on the "Kill City" release in 1977; they would also appear on the 2005 compilation "Penetration", which featured a number of widely circulated demos, outtakes, and alternate mixes from the "Raw Power" sessions.)

During his hospital stay, another old friend came to visit him: David Bowie, whose career was still in high gear. Bowie offered to take Pop on the road with him during his tour in support of "Station to Station", and the pair got along so well that they both moved to Berlin in late 1976, during which time Bowie helped Pop secure a solo record deal with RCA. Bowie had become interested in European electronic rock (Kraftwerk, Can, etc.) and later admitted that he used Pop as a musical guinea pig on such releases as "The Idiot" and "Lust for Life" (both issued in 1977 and produced/co-written by Bowie). Both albums sold better than the singer's previous efforts with the Stooges (particularly in the U.K., where Pop was looked upon as an icon by the burgeoning punk rock movement) as Bowie joined Pop on his world tour as a keyboardist. Shortly thereafter, a surprisingly muddy-sounding live album was culled from Pop's most recent tour, titled "TV Eye (1977 Live)". It was also around this time that Pop severed his ties with Bowie and struck out on his own.    

The bootleg "Jesus, This Is Iggy" was recorded in 1977 in Ohio.

1Raw Power4:18
2T.V. Eye4:13
5Turn Blue6:54
7Gimme Danger4:30
8No Fun3:13
9Sister Midnight3:54
10I Need Somebody4:38
11Search And Destroy3:31
12I Wanna Be Your Dog4:29

Iggy Pop - Jesus, This Is Iggy (Bootleg, 1977)   
(192 kbps, cover art included)      

Donnerstag, 20. April 2017

VA - Memphis - Thats All Right! From Blues To Rock´n´Roll

If Memphis is remembered as the place where Elvis Presley ignited the rock’n’roll revolution in the mid-fifties, the city is forever linked to the rise of the musical idiom that shaped the future of western popular music, the blues.

From the colorful bards of the roaring twenties (Furry Lewis, the Memphis Jug Band, Memphis Minnie) and the one-man-band figures who performed for change on the sidewalks of Beale Street to the inventors of modern electric blues (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Little Milton), the main purveyors of the blue note ruled over the nights of Memphis before this great cotton capital became a haven for soul music.

This 24 track compilation recognizes the importance of Memphis in the development of the blues, from the early 1920s to the inventors of modern electric blues and the roots of soul music.

VA - Memphis - Thats All Right! From Blues To Rock´n´Roll
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 19. April 2017

Modena City Ramblers - Riportando Tutto A Casa (1993)

The Modena City Ramblers were formed in 1991, a casual musical group that came together to entertain friends and family playing Irish folk music. Meeting up to jam more and more often, the Ramblers began to write their own tunes, inspired by popular Celtic-influenced bands like the Pogues and the Waterboys. Two years after their formation, the band recorded their first demo tape called Combat Folk. Featuring their punk/Irish folk songs and Italian resistance ballads, the demo sold more than 3000 copies, earning the Ramblers grassroots recognition all over Italy.

Picked up by the independent label Helter Skelter, the band's debut album, "Riportando Tutto a Casa" was released in 1994. Eventually distributed by Mercury, the disc went on to sell an impressive 185,000 copies. In the years that followed, Modena City Ramblers earned a reputation as a powerful live act, performing throughout Europe in collaboration with artists such as the Chieftains and Irish rock vocalist Bob Geldof. Their sophomore effort, "La Grande Famiglia", experienced similar success to its predecessor, followed by "Terra e Liberta" which ushered in an era of international attention during which the Ramblers performed in nations such as Bolivia, Spain, Cuba and more.

Known for their progressive politics, the band aligned itself with musicians of similar values such as Manu Chao, performing at festivals like the Independent Days Festival in Bologna and the Awesome Africa Festival in South Africa. Their 2002 production "Radio Rebelde" garnered them invitations to perform in locations near and far, including Algeria, the Czech Republic, Amsterdam and Mexico. The band's 2004 album "Viva la Vida! Viva la Muerte!" (a quote from Zapatista leaders) found its way to Italian Top Ten charts, and opened doors for a 120 city tour. The Modena City Ramblers have become a staple of both the Italian rock scene and the leftist musical circuit alike.    


In Un Giorno Di Pioggia4:43
Tant Par Tachèr - The Atholl Higlanders5:33
Delinqueint Ed Mòdna4:05
Morte Di Un Poeta3:45
I Funerali Di Berlinguer6:39
Il Bicchiere Dell'Addio4:29
Canto Di Natale4:20
Ahmed L'Ambulante4:44
Bella Ciao3:17
The Great Song Of Indifference3:03

Modena City Ramblers - Riportando Tutto A Casa (1993)
(192 kbps, cover art included)


Doc Watson - Doc Watson (1964, vinyl rip)

In the latter half of the 20th century there were three pre-eminently influential folk/country guitar players: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Arthel "Doc" Watson, a flat-picking genius from Deep Gap, NC. Unlike the other two, Watson was in middle age before gaining any attention. Since 1960, though, when Watson was recorded with his family and friends in Folkways' "Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's", people have remained in awe of this gentle blind man who sings and picks with a pure and emotional authenticity. The present generation, folkies and country pickers alike, including Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, the late Clarence White, Emmylou Harris, and literally hundreds of others, acknowledge their great debt to Watson. Watson has provided a further service to folk/country by his encyclopedic knowledge of many American traditional songs.

Watson's arrival on the folk scene of the '60s was a major event in American music, due mostly to his appearance at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival and the release of this self-titled album the following year. Not only did it revolutionize folk guitar picking, but it set the standard for the rest of his career with its mix of old-timey numbers, blues, gospel, and adapted fiddle tunes. The album is incredibly varied, from the stark, banjo-driven "Country Blues" to the humorous "Intoxicated Rat," and many of these songs became Watson standards, especially his signature song "Black Mountain Rag." His incredible flat-picking skills may have been what initially wowed his audiences, but it was Watson's complete mastery of the folk idiom that assured his lasting popularity.

Doc Watson - Doc Watson (1964, vinyl rip)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included))

Banda Bassotti - Bella Ciao (EP, 1993)

Banda Bassotti is an Italian ska-punk band formed in 1987 in Rome. Their songs are generally political in nature, focusing on Communist and anti-Fascist issues. Many are about Ireland and Latin America, as well. The band was inspired by The Clash and The Specials. The band was very politically active from the very beginning, attending protests and sympathizing with anti-Fascist movements in Italy. Their name derives from the Italian version of the Disney characters "The Beagle Boys".

All Are Equal For The Law4:51
Bella Ciao2:16
La Ballata Della Sanguisuga6:16
Zio Paperone3:10

Banda Bassotti - Bella Ciao (EP, 1993)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mississippi John Hurt - Folk Songs and Blues (1963)

After a 35-year absence, Mississippi John Hurt made a return to recording with "Folksongs & Blues", and his gentle, easygoing style of country blues hadn't changed a bit in the intervening years. Hurt croons, and even occasionally whispers, the lyrics, accompanied by the lazy strum of an acoustic guitar and a few touches
of harmonica. He makes the insults in "Salty Dog" actually sound more disappointed than angry, and "Joe Turner Blues" sounds extraordinarily soothing for a song containing the line "He's the man I hate." Hurt is adept at composing lovely melodies (such as "Candy Man Blues") and his gentle, subtle performances do them justice. Still, as laid-back as it can be, it never becomes boring or insubstantial, primarily because the scarred pain in Hurt's voice, as well as the sometimes-dark lyrics, give these songs more weight than is easily apparent.

"Folksongs & Blues" is a great introduction to Mississippi John Hurt's talents, and is a must-have for anyone interested in country blues.

A1Avalon Blues
A2Richland Women Blues
A3Spike Driver Blues
A4Salty Dog
A5Cow Hooking Blues
A6Spanish Fandang
B1Casey Jones
B2Louis Collins
B3Candy Man Blues
B4My Creole Belle
B5Liza Jane - God's Unchanging Hand
B6Joe Turner Blues

Mississippi John Hurt - Folk Songs and Blues (1963)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 17. April 2017

Tom Zé - Tom Zé (1968)

Tom Zé's first release from 1968 is certainly not as unique as some of his material from the '70s, but it's a far cry from faceless.

A true Tropicalia artist, Tom Zé's material on this album runs from traditional Brazilian pop to overly quixotic arrangements - all twisted around his convoluted vocal melodies. Even early on in his career, Zé was taking from a multitude of genres - funk, psychedelic rock, and bossa nova - and creating some kind of unheard pop exotica. This is especially apparent on "Gloria," with its changing tempos, bubbling instrumentation, and off-the-wall harmonies. It's a lot to take in - each track seems to zip by before the listener can grasp hold of it. Perhaps even aware of this, Tom Zé takes a break between songs to address the listener, then resumes his zigzagging trajectory.

The album also includes the fantastic "Parque Industrial" (which was recorded by Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso on the Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses LP). This album is a great listen for anyone interested in Brazilian pop music and the restructuring thereof - yet it is almost tame compared to the found sounds, tape loops, lyrical deconstruction, and other surrealist elements that Tom Zé would grow to include on his later recordings.      


A1São São Paulo3:29
A2Curso Intensivo De Boas Maneiras2:58
A4Namorinho De Portão2:35
A5Catecismo, Creme Dental E Eu2:44
B1Não Buzine Que Eu Estou Paquerando (Rancho E Etc - Hino Da L.B.A.P.)2:39
B2Profissão De Ladrão2:35
B3Sem Entrada E Sem Mais Nada2:40
B4Parque Industrial3:16
B5Quero Sambar Meu Bem3:50
B6Sabor De Burrice4:18

(192 kbps, cover art included)


Samstag, 15. April 2017

Mississippi John Hurt - Worried Blues 1963

Together with 1963's "Avalon Blues" (as opposed to the similarly titled compendium of 1928 recordings), "Worried Blues" represents the best of Mississippi John Hurt's later work, following his rediscovery in the early 1960s.

As much a folk musician as a bluesman, Hurt included traditional and devotional music as well as blues in his oeuvre. His wide-ranging repertoire here is highlighted by "Farther Along" and "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep." Accompanied only by his guitar, Hurt is a compelling, engaging performer who eschews gimmickry. The ease with which he plays creates a peacefulness at the center of this music that's undeniably appealing. --Genevieve Williams


1Lazy Blues3:20
2Farther Along3:51
3Sliding Delta5:09
4Nobody Cares For Me3:38
5Cow Hooking Blues No. 23:46
6Talkin' Casey4:51
7Weeping And Wailing4:11
8Worried Blues4:43
9Oh Mary Don't You Weep3:26
10I Been Cryin' Since You Been Gone3:09

Mississippi John Hurt - Worried Blues 1963
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Alton Ellis & The Heptones - Mr. Ska Bean´a (1980)

One of the first vocalists to enter the Jamaican music business, Alton Ellis was generally revered as the greatest and most soulful singer the country ever produced — that is, until Bob Marley came along. Ellis had his first hit during the ska craze, but made his true lasting mark as the definitive solo singer of the rocksteady era. Sweet, smooth, and deeply emotive, Ellis was equally at home on Jamaican originals or reggae-fied covers of American R&B hits.

This collaboration with the Heptones was produced at Black Ark and Channel One and was released in 1980 on the Cha Cha label.


A1Humble Will Stumble
A2Hard To Be A Lover
A3Pure Sorrow
A4Inside My Soul
A5Loving You
B1Mr Ska Beana
B2Bless You
B3Children Are Crying
B4Woe Child

Alton Ellis & The Heptones - Mr. Ska Bean´a (1980)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 13. April 2017

Singers & Players - Vacuum Pumping (1988)

"Singers and Players" is a reggae collective formed by Adrian Sherwood and featuring various members of the New Age Steppers, Creation Rebel, the Roots Radics, and other musicians affiliated with the On-U Sound label. After a brief period of creativity in the early '80s, the collective was stagnant until 1998's "Revenge of the Underdog", which featured vocals from Bim Sherman and Prince Far I. "Staggering Heights" followed in the spring of 2000.                

By 1988, the Singers & Players saga was coming to an end, many original members were now gone, new faces were still appearing, but the creative frissom that had driven this collective was quickly dissipating. This was perhaps due to Adrian Sherwood's disinterest, as the producer remained shaken and removed from operations by Prince Far I's senseless murder years earlier.
In any event, the ensemble stirred one final time, to release the "Vacuum Pumping" album, a fine, if not quite inspired set, that proved to be their swan song. Bim Sherman's "Run Them Away" featured on that set, a militant number that gives the governments and warmongers a taste of their own violent medicine.

The riddim is a fine one, and although sparser than earlier efforts, well this was what the contemporary dancehalls demanded, and the backing still bristles with militancy. But for all his vengeful lyrics, Bim Sherman is never going to convince anyone of that he's a real menace; in fact, the backing female vocalists are more threatening than he is. Still, it's the quiet ones that often found to be the most murderous, so the wicked best beware just in case.

Not their best work, but still a reminder of Singers & Players's strength and conviction.          


Run Them Away5:18
Lighthouse / Dreamworld4:25
Holy Scripture5:38
To Be Free3:21
I Don't Want Aids3:28
Boom Um Baff Um5:22
These Eyes4:15

Singers & Players - Vacuum Pumping (1988)
(320 kbps, cover art included)