Dienstag, 23. Juli 2019

Nico - Chelsea Live

Nico's performance at London's Chelsea Town Hall on August 9, 1985, shows a woman of 46 dipping into her surprisingly vast catalogue to offer a dark and often heavy concert, a mix of solo material and songs with a synth-drenched rock band. Nico's renowned stentorian voice is even deeper and louder than ever, booming all over the messy, percussive arrangements, sometimes veering dangerously close to the borderlines of tunefulness, but still it adds to the atmosphere and the overall framework of the performance.

The set picks out only three songs from the most recent album, those being the stark, menacing opener "Tananore," the slinking, synth-influenced "Fearfully in Danger," and "My Heart is Empty," which is part of a cycle of solo songs on harmonium here, rather than the band arrangement on the studio album. Nico also dips into her other '80s venture,Drama of Exile, on quite altered versions of "Sixty-Forty," "Purple Lips," and "One More Chance," where it seems as if the whole arrangement has been overturned and instead built on '80s synth effects. She offers a glimpse of those songs before they acquired their exotic Arabic production on the original album, on a solo rendition of "The Sphinx," which loses much of its melody and beauty when performed on harmonium alone.

The harmonium is Nico's primary instrument, and she used it for composing ever since she first learned to play it in the late '60s. It offers up treats as well as nightmares, with Nico often finding beautiful, hypnotic melodies as well as depressing medieval dirges. "Procession" is in the former category, a song of mournful majesty with some hypnotic, simple synth work. The much older "Janitor of Lunacy" finds Nico reaching higher notes, and "You Forget to Answer" is unremittingly bleak but has more melodic movement. There's also a return to harmonium for her off-kilter, epic cover of "The End" by The Doors. She also covers the songs of Lou Reed from The Velvet Underground and Nico, which she participated in in 1966. She offers a simple but powerful "a cappello" reading of "All Tomorrow's Parties," and is joined by stark piano on a somewhat out of place but still entertaining "Femme Fatale."

This live recording has good sound, and Nico offers a reasonably wide glimpse of her catalogue, although she keeps away from her very earliest solo material. These songs became her stock live favourites in her later years, the busiest years of her career. After her re-emergence, she was championed by the rock press and by post-punk advocates, and, perhaps in a bid to fund her heroin habit, she took any concert going, remaining admirably active right until the month before her death in the summer of 1988. The band here is synthy, as befits an '80s rock combo, but often quite messy as well, particularly on "Sãeta," one of her most hypnotic, beautiful compositions. But, still, it's an entertaining artefact of Nico's live career in those heady 1980s.


1 Tananore 6:33
2 One More Chance 7:27
3 Procession 4:17
4 My Heart's Empty 5:00
5 Janitor Of Lunacy 4:28
6 The Sphinx 3:10
7 You Forget To Answer 3:38
8 Fearfully In Danger 4:48
9 Sixty Forty 4:35
10 All Tomorrow's Parties 3:10
11 Purple Lips 3:59
12 Femme Fatale 4:22
13 Saeta 6:22
14 The End 9:17

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. Juli 2019

Bertolt Brecht - Lehrgedicht von der Natur der Menschen (Helene Weigel, Ekkehard Schall, LITERA 1967)

These readings of Brecht´s "Lehrgedicht von der Natur der Menschen" were recorded at the 150. birthday of Karl Marx, May 5, 1968.

The poems were read by Helene Weigel and Eckehard Schall.

1. Vorbemerkung
2. Aus dem ersten Gesang „Über die Schwierigkeit, die es bereitet, sich in der Natur der Gesellschaft zurechtzufinden“
3. Der zweite Gesang„Das Manifest“
4. Aus dem vierten Gesang „Über die ungeheuerlich gesteigerte Barbarisierung der Gesellschaft“


Bertolt Brecht - Lehrgedicht von der Natur der Menschen (LITERA 1967)
(192 kbps, cover included)

Ernst Busch: Frank Wedekind – Spottlieder (Aurora,1964)

Frank Wedekind, original name Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (born July 24, 1864, Hannover, died March 9, 1918, Munich), was a German actor and dramatist who became an intense personal force in the German artistic world on the eve of World War I.
A direct forebear of the modern Theatre of the Absurd, Wedekind employed episodic scenes, fragmented dialogue, distortion, and caricature in his dramas, which formed the transition from the realism of his age to the Expressionism of the following generation.

The son of a German American father and a Swiss mother, Wedekind lived in Switzerland from 1872 to 1884, when he moved to Munich, where he remained until his death. He was successively an advertising manager, the secretary of a circus, a journalist for the satirical weekly "Simplicissimus", a cabaret performer, and the producer of his own plays. The electric quality of his personality has been attested by his contemporaries.

Wedekind’s characteristic theme in his dramas was the antagonism of the elemental force of sex to the philistinism of society. In 1891 the publication of his tragedy "Frühlings Erwachen" ("The Awakening of Spring", also published as "Spring Awakening") created a scandal. Successfully produced by Max Reinhardt in 1905, the play is a series of brief scenes, some poetic and tender, others harsh and frank, dealing with the awakening of sexuality in three adolescents. In the Lulu plays, "Erdgeist" (1895; "Earth Spirit") and "Die Büchse der Pandora" (1904; "Pandora’s Box"), he extended the theme of sex to the underworld of society and introduced the eternal, amoral femme fatale Lulu, who is destroyed in the tragic conflict of sexual freedom with hypocritical bourgeois morality. These two tragedies inspired Alban Berg’s opera Lulu. The character of Lulu is most identified with actress Louise Brooks, who portrayed her in G.W. Pabst’s masterful silent film version of "Die Büchse der Pandora" (1929).

In 1918, Bertolt Brecht attended the funeral of Frank Wedekind. He later wrote in his diary, "They stood perplexed in top hats, as if round the carcass of a vulture. Bewildered crows."

Wedekind was a prophet in the darkness. He had come before his time. A moralist who wore the mask of an immoralist, he had been the terror of the German bourgeoisie, alternately praised for being a saint and condemned for being a devil. He did not follow any group, or subscribe to any political ideology of the day. And his expressionistic visions preceded the rise of expressionism by several decades.

During Frank Wedekind's lifetime, his plays were persecuted and only performed in censored versions. They were considered pure pornography, for he dared to deal with issues of sexual freedom and release, problems of puberty, moments of ecstasy between the sexes, and moments of misunderstanding and violence. Wedekind's language was brilliant and poetic, constructed mainly of cascades of short one-line sentences often consisting of only one or two words, like verbal exchanges between pistols. His plays broke through all the clichés of the theatre of his time, and today he is considered one of the founders of modern drama.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Frank Wedekind, Ernst Busch released in 1964 as a part of his "Aurora"-series a booklet with two EPs featuring "Spottlieder" by Frank Wedekind, accompanied by Walter Olbertz.

EP 1: Im heiligen Land, Der Anarchist / Der Zoologe von Berlin, Der blinde Knabe
EP 2: Brigitte B., Mein Lieschen, Die Wetterfahne / Die sieben Heller, Diplomaten

Ernst Busch - Frank Wedekind - Spottlieder (Aurora, 1964)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dagmar Krause - Panzerschlacht (Die Lieder von Hanns Eisler)

A worthy follow up-to "Supply and Demand", this release focuses on Dagmar "The Voice Of Armageddon" Krause's interpretation of the music of Hans Eisler, a great German songwriter and contemporary of Brecht and Weill (though less well known).
As usual, the singing is stunning, and the instrumental accompaniment, which features significant contributions by Lindsay Cooper and Danny Thompson, is impeccable. Krause recorded English and German versions of "Tank Battles" (hence the title "Panzerschlacht") and both are highly recommended.

"Panzerschlacht" is an uncompromising vehicle to showcase the radical compositional method that Eisler employed even as he tried to write songs that would be popular -- among those who resisted fascism. He wrote in the vernacular of the Weimar Republic and in the sophisticated language of jazz as it entered the cultural mainstream, despite the fact that he was taught by Arnold Schoenberg in Vienna until he quit and went to Berlin, wanting to write music for people instead of periods. It's true that these are "art songs," but only through the lens of history. Krause, who is truly one of the most gifted vocalists of the 20th century, situates these songs - most of them collaborations with Brecht -- as Eisler wrote them, in the wind of resistance and commitment to defeating the fascists, reclaiming Europe from their influence, and regaining dignity for workers in a socialist struggle. But in no way do these songs sound like timepieces in Krause's treatment of them, nor do they sound like hollow moments of history run through with the holes of empty victory and decadent complacency. Krause is a firebrand of urgency and emotion -- her style goes for the heart of a melody and twists the lyric around it, whether on a labor organizing song such as "Zahlen müßt ihr," a melancholy song of displacement and loss such as "Chanson Allemande," or a song that combines both, such as "Ballade von den Säckeschmeißern."

All of Eisler's best-known songs are here, from the aforementioned to "Lied einer deutschen Mutter" and "Und ich werde nicht mehr sehen," along with many others. There are also some of his lesser-known but hauntingly beautiful pieces written for the theater, for example "Genevieve: Ostern ist Ball sur Seine."
Krause's performances of these songs are more than empathetic; it's as if Eisler and Brecht wrote them especially for her. Her sense of the dramatic is unparalleled and her voicings of the more subtle shades of meaning in the lyrics are truly visionary, offering these songs in a completely new setting -- one that is current, valid, and perhaps just as urgent in these tense times as they were in Eisler's.


1Lied von der Tünche1:58
3Zahlen müsst ihr1:37
4Chanson Allemande1:13
5Ballade von den Säckeschmeissern3:16
6Mutter Beimlein1:11
7Das "Vielleicht" Lied1:44
8Lied von der belebenden Wirkung des Geldes4:22
9Der Mensch0:54
11Lied einer deutschen Mutter2:26
12Ändere die Welt - sie braucht es1:59
14Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking6:31
15(Ballade von der) Wohltätigkeit2:45
16Mutterns Hände1:55
17Spartakus 19192:24
18Und ich werde nicht mehr sehen1:48
19Geneviève : Ostern ist Ball Sur Seine1:00
20Ballade vom Weib und Ddm Soldaten3:33
21Verfehlte Liebe1:02
22Und endlich Ssirbt1:07
23The Rat Man - Nightmare1:11
24Die Heimkehr1:26
25Der Graben3:33
26An den kleinen Radioapparat1:00

Here is the original German edition of "Panzerschlacht":
Dagmar Krause - Panzerschlacht (Die Lieder von Hanns Eisler)
(192 kbps, ca. 79 MB)

Widerstand im Dritten Reich

It happened 75 years ago: July 20, 1944, was the day Hitler was to die. Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg had prepared the assassination attempt together with other Wehrmacht officers. On this day, there was a conference in Hitler’s "Wolfschanze” headquarters in which Stauffenberg was involved. The colonel managed to smuggle a bomb into the room and to detonate it. However, Hitler survived the attack with only slight injuries; five other people were killed. 

After his return to Berlin, Stauffenberg refused to believe the news that Hitler had survived. Together with his friend Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim, he made fevered attempts to win over high-ranking officers in the military districts for the coup. In the late evening, he had to admit that the assassination had failed. Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, his adjutant Werner von Haeften, Albrecht Ritter Mertz von Quirnheim, and Friedrich Olbricht were shot dead in the courtyard of the Bendler Block that same night.

The assassination attempt was the culmination of efforts by several groups in the German resistance to overthrow the Nazi German government. The failure of the assassination attempt and the intended military coup d'état that was to follow led the Gestapo to arrest more than 7,000 people, of whom they executed 4,980. Not all of them were connected with the plot, since the Gestapo used the occasion to settle scores with many other people suspected of opposition sympathies.

Von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators saw the assassination attempt as the only chance to save Germany from a certain disaster. They were in contact with other opponents of National Socialism who, like them, wanted to establish a different Germany after the war.

Stauffenberg's legacy in postwar Germany has been mixed. Some view him as a hero of the anti-Hitler resistance movement and others see him as an opportunist who only turned against the Nazi dictator when Germany's defeat became certain.

Historian Wolfgang Benz told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper that it was important for Germans to remember the broader resistance movement and not just the military officers involved in the July 20 plot.

"Conservatives have always focused on the military resistance, but it came very late [in the war]," he said.

"Widerstand im Dritten Reich" is a feature about Hans and Sophie Scholl, Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and Oskar Schindler in german language. 

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 21. Juli 2019

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Zombie

"Zombie" was the most popular and impacting record that Fela Kuti & Africa 70 would record -- it ignited the nation to follow Fela's lead and antagonize the military zombies that had the population by the throat. 

Fela is direct and humorous in his attack as he barks out commands to the soldiers like: "Attention! Double up! Fall In! Fall out! Fall down! Get ready!" Meanwhile, his choir responds with "Zombie!" in between each statement. Since the groove was so absolutely contagious, it took the nation by storm: People in the street would put on a blank stare and walk with hands affront proclaiming "Zombie!" whenever they would see soldiers. If "Zombie" caught the attention of the populous it also cought the attention of the authority figures -- this would cause devastating personal and professional effects as the Nigerian government came down on him with absolute brute force not long after the release of this record. This is still an essential disc to own for the title track alone.


1. Zombie
2. Mr Follow Follow

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 20. Juli 2019

VA - Victor Jara - Tributo Rock

The facts of Victor Jara's tragic death are well documented. Arrested in the aftermath of a military coup d'état, Jara was one of many political prisoners led to the National Football Stadium where many were tortured, beaten, and executed. Although his hands were broken or, as many have claimed, amputated, Jara continued to sing a song supporting the ousted Popular Unity Party. After receiving many brutal blows, Jara stopped singing only when a machine gun fired by a military officer took his life. In the decades since, Jara's songs and spirit have been celebrated by numerous politically minded folksingers including Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton. Arlo Guthrie set Adrian Mitchell's words to music for the ballad "Victor Jara," recording the song on his album "Amigo". Undoubtedly, although Jara's heart may have been forcefully stilled, his music has lived on.

This album is a rock tribute to Victor Jara, based on an idea by Claudi Gutiérrez.


1. Rincidentes / Plegaria A Un Labrador
2. La Floripondio / Inga
3. Cacho Vásquez / La Flor Que Anda De Mano En Mano
4. Attaque 77 / Hermana De La Victoria
5. Ska-P / Juan Sin Tierra
6. Ratos De Parao / Canto Libre
7. Mecanica Popular / Gira,Gira, Girasol
8. Fermín Maguruza Eta / El Derecho A Vivir En Paz
9. Pedro Aznar / Deja La Vida Volar
10. La Pozze Latina / Las Casitas Del Barrio Alto
11. Los Miserables / Mobil Oil Special
12. Boom Boom Kid / Te Recuerdo Amanda

VA - Victor Jara - Tributo Rock
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Nikki Sudden & The Last Bandits - Treasure Island

Nikki Sudden must have been in seventh heaven when the Faces' keyboard boss Ian McLagan agreed to play piano and organ on select tracks from his 2004 garage-and-burn outing with the Last Bandits (John Clifford Barry on bass and Stephane Doucerain on drums), "Treasure Island". Given his total Faces and Rolling Stones worship, Sudden must have been beside himself with joy. But Mac isn't the only legendary guest on the set. Along with old mates Dave Kusworth and Anthony Thistlewaite, former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and pedal steel ace B.J. Cole also lend a hand on the set.

While it's true that Sudden gets little to no notice on American shores for his rootsy swagger and roll that takes the entirety of rock's grand yesteryear into its arms and wrings fresh life out of it with drunken joy and pathos, Sudden has made his share of fine recordings, and "Treasure Island" may his finest since Kusworth founded the Jacobites. There's the trashy swamp of "Kitchen Blues" with Taylor on guitars and the raggedly elegant balladry of "Stay Bruised," which Sudden himself deems "one of the hottest romantic numbers you'll ever hear." There's the sexed up wail of "Wooden Floor" with Mac on B-3 and Cole on steel and the spooky, Thislewaite mandolin-drenched darkness of "Russian River," the Last Bandits shambolic blues stroll in "High and Lonesome," and the faux-"Sweet Jane" doo wop Phil Spector-ism of "Fall Any Further" with Marie-Therese McCormack & the Girls crooning the chorus. 

What it adds up to is a rock & roll album of truly brilliant proportions -- you know, the kind people just don't make anymore. This one should be on the shelf between "A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse" and "Goats Head Soup". Yeah!


A1 Looking For A Friend
A2 Break Up
A3 Stay Bruised
B1 Kitchen Blues
B2 Wooden Floor
B3 Russian River
C1 House Of Cards
C2 High & Lonesome
C3 Fall Any Further
C4 Sanctified
D1 When The Lord
D2 Never Let Me Go
D3 Treasure Island
D4 Highway Girl

Nikki Sudden & The Last Bandits - Treasure Island
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 18. Juli 2019

Franz-Josef Degenhardt - Im Jahr der Schweine (1969)

As the protest movement intensified in 1968 against the backdrop of the Vietnam conference in February in Berlin, the assassination attempt on Rudi Dutschke, and the passing of the Emergency Laws, Degenhardt´s songs became more militant and direct in their demands for change. After the controversial fifth Burg Waldeck song festival in May 1968, where militant spectators attempted to dictate who should have access to the microphones, Degenhardt himself went on the ofensive, embracing Marxist ideology and advocating a "Volksfront" between SPD and DKP to overthrow the capitalist system. His political transformation entailed a further change of artistic form. With echoes of Hanns Eisler´s theorie of the "Kampflieder" from the early 1930s, Degenhardt came up with the maxim "Zwischentöne sind bloß Krampf im Klassenkampf" (1969), thereby distancing himself from the subtle nuances of his earlier songwriting. From now on his songs were no longer for the asthetic gratification of an educated audience, but for explicit agiation. This resulted in his music becoming harder-edged, his texts less ironic and more dogmatic.

The album "Im Jahr der Schweine" was recorded in Hamburg 01./02.07.1969.


1. Daß das bloß solche Geschichten bleiben
2. Im Jahr der Schweine
3. Freund'sche Fabel
4. An einige Autoritäten
5. Ausdiskutiert
6. Landleute nageln tote Eulen oft an ihre Scheunen
7. Fast autobiographischer Lebenslauf eines Westdeutschen Linken
8. An die Kumpanen
9. Zigeuner hinterm Haus des Sängers
10. Vom Machen, Schreiben, Lesen
11. Reiht euch ein in die neue Front

"Dass das bloß solche Geschichten bleiben
Die man den Enkeln erzählen kann –
Es gibt 'ne Menge Leute, die hätten
Großes Interesse daran!
Streiche von Kindern besserer Leute –
Die letzten Streiche vor dem großen Abspeisen!
Ja, so hätten sie's gern, die Abgespeisten
Und die, die die Speisen verteilen!

Jetzt kommen schon die kälteren Tage –
Mancher bleibt da in seinem Haus
Denkt an die heißere Zeit, erzählt
Paar Geschichten daraus!
Und das lässt sich leider auch gut erzählen!
Zum Beispiel so: "Das war beim Vietnam-Kongress
Als ich zu Rudi sagte – nee wart mal, das war doch später –
In der Kommune II beim Weihnachtsfest!"

Oder wie Dany nach Frankreich wollte
Im Cello-Kasten und mit schwarzem Haar –
Im Hauptbahnhof München steht heut' noch ein Cello
Weil der Geheimcode zu schwierig war!
Und dabei kann man auch Dias zeigen:
Auf einer Brücke über dem Rhein
Im Gegenlicht zehntausend rote Fahnen –
Das muss beim Sternmarsch gewesen sein!

Wenn das bloß solche Geschichten bleiben
Die man den Enkeln erzählen kann
Hockt in der Nähe der Wodkaflasche
Ein APO-Großväterchen und hebt an:
"Also damals, als wir mit Dany nach Forbach zogen
Da hatten wir Blumen im Haar –
Und Gaston war da, und KD
Und wir sangen die Internationale, und das war wunderbar!"

Das das bloß solche Geschichten bleiben
Die man den Enkeln erzählen kann –
Es gibt 'ne Menge Leute, die hätten
Großes Interesse daran!
Streiche von Kindern besserer Leute –
Die letzten Streiche vor dem großen Abspeisen!
Ja, so hätten sie's gern, die Abgespeisten
Und die, die die Speisen verteilen!

Doch wir werden sie enttäuschen – denn:

- Franz Josef Degenhardt / Dass das bloß solche Geschichten bleiben

Franz-Josef Degenhardt - Im Jahr der Schweine (1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 17. Juli 2019

Klaus der Geiger - Rumpelstielz?

Music has provided an outlet for expressing the political vision of violinist and composer Klaus der Geiger (born Klaus von Wrochem). Performing as a street musician since 1970, Klaus der Geiger has spoken out against housing shortages and the limiting of tenant and human rights. In addition to performing many concerts for the homeless, he has participated in numerous demonstrations against nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.

This album is a collection of live recordings from 20 years of making music on the streets.


1. Hiroshima(1976)
3. Drückeberger(1978)
5. Nachbar(1983)
6. Guck' dich die Welt an(1983)
8. Oha, is' ja'n Ding(1984)
9. Die Straßenverhaftung(1985)
11. Fahrrad(1995)
12. Bullan hauen ist verboten(1985)
13. Kurtis Fahrrad(1982)
14. Klausis Auto(1982)
16. Chirac(1995)
18. Bauwagenlied(1980)
19. Wie's weiter geht?

(256 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 15. Juli 2019

Hannes Wader - Der Rattenfänger (1974)

The German political folk singer Hannes Wader was born in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia in 1942.

He was an important figure in German leftist circles from the 1970s on with his songs that covered themes like socialist and communist resistance to oppression in Europe and other places like Latin America, writing both new songs himself and playing versions of older historical works.

Wader repertoire consists of traditional German folk songs (volksmusik), provocative social commentaries (Wader was a member of the German Communist Party from 1997-1991), blue-collar ballads and songs based around the works of poets and classical composers.

The album "Der Rattenfänger" was released in 1974.


1. Der Rattenfaenger
2. Eine Frau, die ich kannte
3. Manche Stadt
4. Es ist schon viele Jahre her
5. Talking-Böser-Traum-Blues
6. Die Ballade von Hanna Cash
7. Wieder eine Nacht

(128 - 256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 14. Juli 2019

Tom Robinson - North By Northwest

"North By Northwest" was Tom's Hamburg album, partly recorded January / February 1982 at Otto Waalkes's Rüssl studios in Germany. It includes an early version of 'Atmospherics: Listen to the Radio' and 'Merrily Up On High' - both cowritten with Peter Gabriel.

Those were the days of machine driven wave rock, and so this recording is very much influenced by that plain simple sound.
The single "Now Martin's Gone", a sad little love song with a fine, catchy tune, should have become a huge hit back then, but it flopped.

"`North By Northwest´ reveals depths to Tom Robinson´s talent I´d never before suspected. Shorn of the neccessity to simply and sloganise forced on him by the expressive limitations of a conventional rock format, his authentic voice speaks loud and clear. He no longer preaches the reassuringly right-on line to the converted, but rather reveals himself as a victim of incurable romanticism, bleakly nostalgic for the past, fearful of the future. This confessional self-detachment perhaps results from the perspective of living in Hamburg, where he recorded the album with the excellent Richard Mazda." - Mat Snow, Melody Maker, July 1982

This release was digitally remastered 1997 with addition of bonus tracks 11-15 (a dance mix of 'Now Martin's Gone', both sides of a rare German 7" single, and both eccentric 'B' sides from the 1983 hit version of 'Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio').

1 Now Martin's Gone
2 Atmospherics
3 Can't Keep Away (Part 2)
4 Looking For A Bonfire
5 Merrily Up On High
6 Those Days
7 In The Cold
8 The Night Tide
9 Duncannon
10 Love Comes
11 Tango An Der Wand
12 Now Richard's Gone
13 Alptraum Tango Dub
14 Any Favours
15 Out To Lunch

Tom Robinson - North By Northwest
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 13. Juli 2019

Josh White - Empty Bed Blues (1962)

"Empty Bed Blues" was Josh White's farewell recording for Elektra, the record label that helped (re)introduce him to the mainstream during the height of the '60s folk revival. To look at the sexy -- and risqué for 1962 -- cover, one would think that half of the tunes, stately renditions of gospel songs, wouldn't be at home on the album. But considering that the ribald, innuendo-laden first side is belied by White's silky voice and mellifluous guitar, he almost makes the juke-joint rave-ups sound like show tunes. 

Given his role as elder statesmen of acoustic blues, you'd be forgiven for thinking that White didn't need to be rediscovered as such, but sadly he did. Although considering this album, "reinvented" might be a better word. From the man who popularized "Strange Fruit" -- perhaps the saddest, most poignant protest song ever -- one wouldn't necessarily expect such explicit sex songs. Whether it's a tune like the title track or "Backwater Blues," White reaches back to the lowdown, alpha-male origins of the blues, but comes off a little too much like a cabaret entertainer. His playing retains the delicate precision that found him oft-imitated, and the backing, mostly by just Bill Lee on upright bass, is always tasteful. 

Still, it's a mellow set, and one partly done with a wink -- considering it was among the last albums that White made before he died. It seems too minstrely of an end for someone who's scope and influence on modern blues can't be overstated.


A1 Empty Bed Blues 3:16
A2 Mother On That Train 3:42
A3 Bottle Up And Go 2:23
A4 Backwater Blues 4:30
A5 Baby Baby Blues 5:28
B1 Lord Have Mercy 4:00
B2 Home In That Rock  2:36
B3 Paul And Silas 2:26
B4 His Eye Is On The Sparrow 5:22
B5 That Suits Me 2:30

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 12. Juli 2019

David Peel & The Apple Band - John Lennon Forever (1987)

David Peel returned to the orbit of John Lennon for this 1987 memorial album, which opens with his reconception/recomposition of "Imagine" in a heavy electric/punk style and a few guitar and backing vocal vamps that even emulate Yoko Ono's style of singing. 

His vocals throughout this album are as raw and untrained as ever -- that's part of his appeal -- but the accompaniment this time out takes the form of a nicely full electric rock & roll band with a first-rate rhythm section and some satisfyingly hook-laden lead guitar on pieces like "John Lennon Forever." 

The songs are interspersed with interview and commentary tracks, but most of what's here is music, and surprisingly accomplished music at that -- the tone may be a little overly serious (which is not surprising given the subject matter of the album), but overall this was Peel's most professional sounding (dare one say mainstream?) album since the 1970s.

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2019

Savoy Chart Busters

This is a nice collection of smash hits from the legendary Savoy catalog.

Savoy, the little record company in Newark, New Jersey, was started in 1942. While best known as the incubator of be-bop, along the way, it was also the home of some major rhythm & blues chart hits and stars of the 40s and 50s.
Programmed for your listening pleasure like an old juke box, here are some of Savoy´s most popular treasures.

You will find R & B, blues and jazz blockbusters from Little Esther, Joe Turner, Charlie Parker, Big Maybelle, Billy Eckstine and many others.

Savoy Chart Busters
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Rainy Day - same (1984)

This Rough Trade release is definitely one of my favourite records from the 80s:

"Rainy Day", featuring Kendra Smith, Susanna Hoffs, David Roback, Dennis Duck and Karl Precoda, was a tribute to Alex Chilton, the Velvet Underground, Neil Young, and other songwriters who influenced many of the so-called "Paisley Revival" bands from the West Coast in the early '80s.

Rainy Day was a one-time collaboration of members of the Bangles, Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, the Three O'Clock and Opal.

The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs turns in her most stunning vocal performances ever on Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It with Mine" and The Velvets' "I'll Be Your Mirror," while Opal's Kendra Smith is haunting on Chilton's "Holocaust" and Young's "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong." Throughout this project, the mood is often somber, well-suited to a rainy day. Most of the selections are sparsely arranged acoustic settings, making this an album of sublime beauty.

01. I´ll Keep It With Mine
02. John Riley
03. Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
04. Sloop John B.
05. Soon Be Home
06. Holocaust
07. On The Way Home
08. I´ll Be Your Mirror
09. Rainy Day, Dream Away

Rainy Day - same (1984, 320 kbps, cover art included)

Neil Young Meets Buffalo Springfield And The Squires (Unreleased Demos 1963 – 1966)

Back in 1989 when this  album came out this was a treasure trove of rare material.

Tracks 1-7 are Neil Young's 1965 Elektra Audition, Tracks 8-11 are needle drops of Buffalo Springfield rare acetates and tracks 12 & 13 are needle drops of The Squires 1963 single. Little if any noise reduction has been used so you hear every click and pop on the needle drops which is a good or bad thing depending on your perspective on noise reduction.

Post Buffalo Springfield box set and Archives Volume I this CD became slightly less essential however, the Neil Young obsessive will still need to pick this up. It appears to be the only silver pressed source of the Elektra audition that is complete. That means we get 'I Ain't Got The Blues' which was inexplicably left off the Archives and we get the complete 'The Ballad Of Peggy Grover' (titled 'Don't Pity Me Babe' on this release) which was edited quite dramatically on the Archives (this version is over 2 minutes longer in duration). This song was eventually re-written and became 'Don't Cry No Tears' on Zuma. 'Extra Extra' is also mistitled 'When It Falls, It Falls Over You'. The alternate mix of 'Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It' would also appear to be unique to this release.

Sound quality is very good throughout the only problems being the limitations of some of the source material used.           


01 Sugar Mountain* -
02 Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing* -
03 Run Around Babe*
04 Don't Pity Me*
05 I Ain't Got The Blues*
06 The Rent is Always Due*
07 When It Falls*
08 Down To The Wire#
09 Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It?#
10 There Goes My Babe@
11 One More Sign@
12 Sultan%
13 Aurora%

* Elektra Studios, New York 1965
# Buffalo Springfield: studio outtakes 1966-67
@ studio demos 1967
% The Squires: official 7" single 1963

Neil Young Meets Buffalo Springfield And The Squires (Unreleased Demos 1963 – 1966)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Gary Clail On-U Sound System ‎– Human Nature (CD Single)

"Human Nature" is a 1991 song performed by English singer and record producer Gary Clail. It is produced by Adrian Sherwood and features Lana Pellay on backing vocals. The song is included on the album 'Emotional Hooligan'. The song received remixes by Oakenfold and Osborne.

It was originally intended to use a sample of a speech by Billy Graham on the track, however his representatives refused permission, so the song used portions of the speech re-recorded by Clail. However some promo 12" singles featuring the Billy Graham sample were pressed and distributed.

1. "Human Nature" (On The Mix Edit) 3:40
2. "Human Nature" (On The Mix) 6:18
3. "Rumours" 4:40

Gary Clail On-U Sound System ‎– Human Nature
(320 kbps, cover art included)

John Cale - Ready For War (Bootleg)

While John Cale is one of the most famous and, in his own way, influential underground rock musicians, he is also one of the hardest to pin down stylistically. Much has been made of his schooling in classical and avant-garde music, yet much of what he's recorded has been decidedly song-oriented, dovetailing close to the mainstream at times. Terming him a forefather of punk and new wave isn't exactly accurate, either. Those investigating his work for the first time under that premise may be surprised at how consciously accessible much of his output is, at times approaching (but not quite attaining) a fairly "normal" rock sound. There is always a tension between the experimental and the accessible in Cale's solo recordings, meaning that he usually finds himself (not unwillingly) caught between the cracks: too weird for commercial success, and yet not really weird or daring enough to place him among the top ranks of rock's innovators.               

"Ready For War" is a great collection of live tracks, rarities, outtakes, and B-sides, released in Germany in 1993.  Fear Is A Man's Best Friend gives us detailed information about the sources:
  • She Never Took No For An Answer from the Sid & Nancy soundtrack released in 1986.
  • Heartbreak Hotel taken from June 1, 1974.
  • Mercenaries and Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores from the single released in 1980.
  • Jack The Ripper from the deleted single planned for 1978.
  • Empty Bottles taken from Jennifer Warne's Jennifer, released in 1972.
  • Feast of Stephen from the 1971 Mike Heron album, Smiling Men With Bad Reputations
  • Sylvia Said, released in 1974 as the B-side of the The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy.
  • Hallelujah taken from the Leonard Cohen tribute album I'm Your Fan released in 1991.
  • Queen Victoria taken from the More Fans ep released in 1991.
  • Last Day On Earth extract taken from the Last Day On Earth album.
  • Go West recorded with Chris Spedding.
  • Grandfather's House taken from the One Word EP.
  • First Evening and Hunger with Hector Zazou.
  • L'Heritage Du Dragon from the Paris S'Eveille EP, released in 1991.
  • Villa Albani instrumental version.

1She Never Took No For An Answer3:14
2Heartbreak Hotel5:11
3Mercenaries (Ready For War)4:36
4Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores5:44
5Jack The Ripper3:10
6Empty Bottles3:09
7Feast Of Stephen4:41
8Silvia Said4:20
11The Queen And Me3:19
12Last Day On Earth (Extract)3:24
13Go West3:38
14Grandfather's House3:08
15First Evening6:29
16L'Heritage Du Dragon3:08
18Villa Albani (Intrumental)5:34

John Cale - Ready For War (Bootleg)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 10. Juli 2019

Alan Vega - Collision Drive (1981)

"Collision Drive" continues the trend started on the first Alan Vega album of incorporating Vega's love of '50s rock and R&B. "Ghost Rider," which sounded cold, sleek, and mechanical on Suicide's first album, now becomes an upbeat rockabilly rave-up. Vega covers Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and plays it mostly straight (although he does throw in his trademark howls and yelps, along with some synthesizers). 

The two versions of "Magdalena" aren't really different enough to justify their presence, although the song itself is likable. The track that stands out the most, however, is the 13-minute "Viet Vet," an extended poetic rant in the pattern of Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop." It will either seem like a brilliant piece of performance art, or it will sound unbearably self-indulgent, depending on a listener's tolerance for Vega's excesses. For the most part, though, rollicking tracks like "Raver" and "Rebel Rocker" are enjoyable and exciting enough to offset any of the less successful experiments. "Collision Drive" may be uneven, but at its best, it will definitely provide more than enough smart art pop to chew on.


A1 Magdalena 82 3:02
A2 Be Bop A Lula 2:23
A3 Outlaw 3:30
A4 Raver 2:45
A5 Ghost Rider 4:30
A6 I Believe 5:23
B1 Magdalena 83 2:55
B2 Rebel 2:46
B3 Viet Vet 12:46

(320 kbps, cover art included)