Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2018

Quilapayun - Cantata Américas

"Quilapayún" (Spanish pronunciation: [kilapaˈʝun]) are an instrumental and vocal folk music group from Chile and among the longest lasting and most influential exponents of the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Song) movement. Quilapayún originated in 1965 when Julio Numhauser, and the brothers Julio Carrasco and Eduardo Carrasco formed a folk music trio which they simply called "the three bearded men" (viz. Quila-Payún in the mapuche language). The group became inseparable with the revolution that occurred in the popular music of the country under the Popular Unity Government of Salvador Allende.

In 1966 Patricio Castillo joined the group and they began performing and winning notoriety for their Andean music. That same year the group met Víctor Jara and at their request he became Quilapayún's musical director. The group also backed Jara on his solo albums. After three years they assumed different paths and Eduardo Carrasco became the group's musical leadership.
Since its formation and during its forty year long history - both in Chile and during its lengthy period of exile in France - the group has seen modifications to its personnel lineup, to the subject and content of its work, and controversy regarding irreconcilable differences with the current and former group director; which has led each to maintain a distinctive - yet equally impressive - Quilapayún ensemble: one in Chile (named Quilapayún-Histórico) and one in France (named Quilapayún-France).
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 30. Oktober 2018

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly - The Original Folkways Recordings

Few independent labels have had the long and enduring impact that Folkways Records has had. Founded in 1948 by Moses Asch and Marian Distler, the label issued an astounding 2,168 titles (which ranged across genres from American folk to spoken word, world music and all points in-between) before Asch's death in 1986, at which time maintenance of the catalog fell to the Smithsonian.

Under the umbrella of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, each of those titles has remained continually in print and available. Asch also licensed tracks to other independents, including the material found in this brief collection, which combines nine tracks by Woody Guthrie (several of them with Cisco Houston and one with Sonny Terry helping out), ten by Pete Seeger and two by Leadbelly (one with Terry and another with Josh White on board) into what amounts to a sampler of three of the most important influences (actually six, if you count Terry, Houston and White, which one should) on the folk revival of the late '50s and early '60s.     

Tracklist:

1. Brown Eyes
2. Jack Hammer Blues
3. John Henry
4. House Of The Rising Sun
5. Little Black Train
6. Who's Goin To Shoe Your Pretty Feet
7. Bed On The Floor
8. Danville Girl, No. 2
9. Ride Old Point
10. Michael, Row The Boat
11. Big Rock Candy Mountain
12. I've Been Working On The Railroad
13. Down In The Valley
14. Blue Tail Fly
15. Black Is The Color
16. Boll Weevil
17. Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
18. Fox
19. Casey Jones
20. How Long
21. I'v Got A Pretty Flower

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly - The Original Folkways Recordings
(256 kbps, cover art included)
    

Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest - Yiddish Folksongs

I have owned this cd for several years and never get tired of listening to it. It points up the star quality of the Bucharest State Jewish Theater, which somehow prospered under the repressive Ceausescu regime in Romania. I am not sure if it still exists, but this wonderful and inexpensive disk preserves an excellent record of their virtuosity and talent.

These are some of the most delightful Yiddish folk songs, sung in the Southern Yiddish dialect, and beautifully! I hope that this wonderful troupe still exists and performs in Romania! Zayt gezunt!

 - Murray B. Woldman



Tracklist:
1A Nigndl2:49
2Gei Ich Mir Spazim1:48
3Leig Ich Mir Mein Kepale3:05
4Lamce Ram Ciam1:35
5Di Mame Is Gegangn2:27
6Inter A Klein Beimale2:21
7Di Warnicikes2:24
8Ein Mul Ti Ich Si Banalen2:42
9Lomir Singen Ciri Bim, Ciri Bom2:43
10Wus Dergeisti Mir Di Lurn3:22
11Oi Awram1:16
12Di Mame Kocht Warenikes1:43
13Mamenlu; Liubeniu3:53
14Mit A Nudl Un A Nudl2:17
15Asoj Wie-s Is Bitter2:40
16Bin Ich Mir A Schneiderl1:25
17Meheteineste Meine2:29
18Wus-Je Wilsti?2:13


Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest - Yiddish Folksongs
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Weavers - Folk Songs Around The World (1959)


The Weavers had the most extraordinary musical pedigree and pre-history of any performing group in the history of folk or popular music.

More than 50 years after their heyday, however, their origins, the level of their success, the forces that cut the group's future off in its prime, and the allure that keeps their music selling are all difficult to explain - as, indeed, none of this was all that easy to explain at the time. How could a song as pleasant and tuneful as "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" be subversive?

The quartet went from being embraced by the public, and selling four-million-records, to being reviled and rejected over the political backgrounds of its members, and disbanding after only four years together. Yet, despite the controversy that surrounded them, and the fact that their work was interrupted at its peak, the Weavers managed to alter popular culture in about as profound a manner as any artist this side of Bob Dylan - indeed, they set the stage for the 1950s folk revival, indirectly fostering the careers of the Kingston Trio, among others, and bridging the gap between folk and popular music, and folk and the topical song, they helped set the stage for Dylan's eventual emergence. And the songs that they wrote or popularized, including "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," "Wimoweh," "Goodnight Irene," "Wreck of the John B," "Follow the Drinking Gourd," and "On Top of Old Smoky," continued to get recorded (and occasionally to chart) 50 years after the group's own time.

Tracklist:

A1 - Around The World
A2 - Bay Of Mexico
A3 - I Know Where I'm Going - Hush Little Baby
A4 - The Frozen Logger
A5 - Darling Corey
A6 - Follow The Drinking Gourd
B1 - Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
B2 - Suliram
B3 - Sylvie (Bring Me A Little Water)
B4 - Greensleeves
B5 - Along The Colorado Trail
B6 - Hard Ain't It Hard

The Weavers - Folk Songs Around The World (1959)
(192 kbps, cover art included, vinyl rip)

Montag, 29. Oktober 2018

Otto Reutter - Alles weg´n de Leut´


Otto Reutter was born on April 24th in 1870 in Gardelegen in a poor Catholic family as a son of the Ex-Ulan Andreas Pfützenreuter who was not at home, visited the Catholic primary school, absolved afterwards an education in and out of Gardelegen as a commercial assistant, ran away after finishing this and went to Berlin, earned money as a Charge at quite simple theaters, tried to be an actor and commedian at little theaters in Berlin.

His father took him away from Berlin and then he ended up being in Karlsruhe, where he joined a group of pub-singers and pub-commedians.
In 1895 he dared to have his first performance as a "Salonhumorist", first performance was probably in Bern in Switzerland.
In 1896 he got hired for the first time in Berlin, he really convinced the audience with his talent to recite the funny-pointed verses with easy melodies in a kind of spoken song and to be ironically funny even with his appearance. Reutter rose up to a popular star since his first performance in the "Wintergarten-Variete" of the Central- Hotel in Berlin. In the following years Reutter was able to remain on top of the financial and artistic top of the German little-theater-artists with the help of his huge talent and his hard work.

In 1919 after 30 years of hard work and marked by personal blows Reutter was very tired and he wanted to retire and go back to Gardelegen.
Driven on by his own ambition and the need to earn money in insecure times, Reutter created his „work of his old times“ from the year 1919. This work consisted of Couplets that were on humor and melancholy, worldly wisdom and mild old-age cheekyness and these Couplets are still part of the German humor for higher demands.

Ill and tired of life Reutter died on March 3rd in 1931 in Düsseldorf and was buried in Gardelegen.

Otto Reutter - Alles weg´n de Leut´
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons

The "Under Stalin's Shadow" subtitle of this release may be confusing inasmuch as the opening Passacaglia from the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District dates from before the period when Stalin made Shostakovich's life a living hell, and the main attraction, the Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93, was finished ten months after Stalin's death.

Actually the album is the first in a set of three; the others will cover the symphonies No. 5 through No. 9, all written during the period of Stalinist cultural control. But even here the theme is relevant: the pieces are linked by a dark mood that carries overtones (of a feminist sort in the case of the opera) of repression. And the Symphony No. 10 is decidedly some kind of turning point, with repeated (and finally triumphant) assertions of the D-S-C-H motif (D, E flat, C, B natural in the German system) that would appear frequently in the composer's later work.

Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Andris Nelsons, who grew up in Soviet-controlled Latvia, is to be believed when he claims a spiritual kinship with Shostakovich, and he delivers a full-blooded performance of the Symphony No. 10 that rises from deepest introspective gloom to a fine example of Shostakovich's sarcasm, to the discovery of the motif, to a triumphant finale enthusiastically greeted by Symphony Hall's usually reserved patrons. Deutsche Grammophon's live engineering, in the orchestra's first recording for the label, is notably clear and sharp. A superior reading of one of the lesser-known Shostakovich symphonies.   


Tracklist:

1 Passacaglia (Interlude from Act II of Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk 8:11

Symphony No. 10 In E Minor Op. 93
2 Moderato 25:39
3 Allegro 4:22
4 Allegretto 12:44
5 Andante - Allegro 13:54


Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Erich Kästner - Die Schule der Diktatoren

The play "Die Schule der Diktatoren" by Erich Kästner had its premiere in 1957 and was honoured by the "Georg-Büchner-Preis".

Kästner was a German satirist, poet and novelist, whose military experiences made him pacifist after World War I and opponent of totalitarian systems.

During the post-World War II years, Kästner was an active participant in the Munich cabaret "Die Schaubude" (from 1951 "Die kleine Freiheit").
In his play "DIE SCHULE DER DIKTATOREN" (1949) about a training school for dictator-doubles Kästner reflected his experiences during wartime and unmasked inhumanity in the form of comedy.

Erich Kästner - Die Schule der Diktatoren (new link)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Walter Benjamin - Gesammelte Schriften (7 Bände)

Walter Benjamin, (born July 15, 1892, Berlin, Ger.—died Sept. 27?, 1940, near Port-Bou, Spain), man of letters and aesthetician, now considered to have been the most important German literary critic in the first half of the 20th century.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, and Bern. He settled in Berlin in 1920 and worked thereafter as a literary critic and translator. His halfhearted pursuit of an academic career was cut short when the University of Frankfurt rejected his brilliant but unconventional doctoral thesis, Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928; The Origin of German Tragic Drama). Benjamin eventually settled in Paris after leaving Germany in 1933 upon the Nazis’ rise to power. He continued to write essays and reviews for literary journals, but upon the fall of France to the Germans in 1940 he fled southward with the hope of escaping to the United States via Spain. Informed by the chief of police at the town of Port-Bou on the Franco-Spanish border that he would be turned over to the Gestapo, Benjamin committed suicide.

Collected works in german language (pdf):

Band I: Abhandlungen. 3 Teilbände
Band II: Aufsätze, Essays, Vorträge. 3 Teilbände
Band III: Kritiken und Rezensionen
Band IV: Kleine Prosa. Baudelaire-Übertragungen. 2 Teilbände
Band V: Das Passagen-Werk. 2 Teilbände
Band VI: Fragmente vermischten Inhalts. Autobiographische Schriften
Band VII: Nachträge. 2 Teilbände

Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2018

Collettivo Del Contropotere – L'Estate Dei Poveri (1976)

 

This italian agitprop album was produced by a group of the Italian anarchy movement. It was sold to finance Radio Popolare Massa, the radio station of the Italian libertarian communist movement in Massa, Tuscany.

It was released in 1976 and never published on cd.



Tracks
01. Il nostro Maggio … 03:27
02. Vi canteremo la favola … 02:56
03. Anche lo stato … 02:30
04. Andare avanti sempre … 02:38
05. Ma non riusciranno … 02:40
06. Coi comunisti nel governo … 02:01
07. Rondinella pellegrina … 02:44
08. E allora canta ghitarra … 05:34
09. Nella fotografia grande … 04:03
10. Se da diecimila anni … 04:35
11. Avanza senza sosta … 02:23
12. Dove nel Maggio splendono … 02:44
Total time: 38:08

Musicians
Angelo: voce, percussioni, kurù
Mauro: voce, chitarra, flauti, triangolo
Michele: voce, chitarra, flaluti, percussioni
Riccardo: voce, chitarra, percussioni

Collettivo Del Contropotere – L'Estate Dei Poveri (1976)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Hammerfest – Schleudertest (1981)

 

This is down-to-earth rock with German lyrics, perfect for their thousands of live gigs. The style runs from psychedelic via prog-rock to political agitation. Only 8 songs didn't sum up to a regular LP, so they used a nice trick and pressed one with 45 rpm, at least it gives a better sound. The album was recorded at Cottage Studio, Spenge, and released on the Schneeball label. Track B4 is a cover of Shadows' Apache.           


Tracklist
A1Arbeitslos3:43
A2Bubi-Lubi2:22
A3Delirium3:30
A4Die Irren3:36
B1Panik, Panik4:30
B2Nachtschicht3:12
B3Bäume statt Beton2:25
B4A. Patsche3:45

Musicians
Wolfgang Kuhlmann (Wolli Kuhl): guitar
Rüdiger Friese (Rubbel Rüdi): guitar
Achim Patz (Ako Patz): keyboard, vocals
Jakob Künzel (Jesus Caneloni): sax
H.F. Schänder: bass, vocals
Klaus Otto (Fetzenotto): drums


Hammerfest - Schleudertest (1981, Schneeball)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 27. Oktober 2018

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)

The legendary German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff began his career in the early '50s in the groups of Hans Koller and Joki Freund, making an appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival as part of the "International Youth Band" (at 30!).

On the atypical Wild Goose, his quintet augmented by brother Emil (alto sax and flute) and Freund (tenor and soprano), all backing the British folk duo of Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart on four of the former's originals and three traditional folk songs. This folk jazz LP was released on the cult german jazz label MPS. It includes the nice modalish 'Willow And Rue'!

The album was produced by Joachim E. Berendt & Ulrich Olshausen and recorded Febraury 19th at the Tonstudio in Walldorf. Colin Wilkie (vocals, guitar), Shirley Hart (vocals), Günter Lenz (bass) and Ralf Hübner (drums, darbouka, tambourine) were accompanied by the "Jazzensemble des hessischen Rundfunks" with Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund Emils Mangelsdorff and Heinz Sauer.


Tracklist:
A1Icy Acres4:07
A2Fourth Flight7:00
A3Snowy Sunday6:57
B1Willow And Rue4:25
B2Lament3:28
B3Ich Armes Maidlein Klag Mich Sehr6:43
B4Sweet Primroses5:05

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Asian Dub Foundation - Facts And Fictions (1995)

Asian Dub Foundation's album debut finds the band with their chops fully intact, even at this early date. Dr. Das' rapping flow is speedy and intricate, though continually inflected in the same ways (very reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha).

The production and programming, by Steve Chandrasonic and Dr. Das, is the real highlight here, incorporating traditional Indian percussion and instruments, but constantly name-checking contemporary dance styles like bhangra and ragga jungle. The haunting vocals that open "Rebel Warrior" make it a highlight, while Chandra's deep drum programs provide continual thrills.               


Tracklist:
  1. "Witness" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Sun-J, Delbert Tailor, Thorpe, Zaman) – 4:50
  2. "PKNB" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 6:27
  3. "Jericho" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 7:02
  4. "Rebel Warrior" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 6:27
  5. "Journey" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 7:06
  6. "Strong Culture" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Steve Chandra Savale, Uddin, Zaman) – 6:44
  7. "TH9" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Thorpe, Zaman) – 5:25
  8. "Tu Meri" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Thorpe) – 4:57
  9. "Debris" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 4:18
  10. "Box" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 6:09
  11. "Thacid 9 (Dub Version)" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 5:32
  12. "Return To Jericho (Dub Version)" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 4:26

Asian Dub Foundation - Facts And Fictions (1995)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter

PhotobucketOn March 31, 1948, Egon Erwin Kisch, a german-speaking Czech journalist and novelist, died in Prague, Czech Republic.

Egon Erwin Kisch was "der rasende Reporter" ("the raging reporter"), a journalist whose interest in marginalized parts of society and the world outside Europe endeared him to a large number of readers. He became a figurehead in the fight against fascism. Later generations of journalists regarded his documentaries as exemplary and pioneering. He is admired to this day for the high literary quality of his journalitic work.

Kisch was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and began his journalistic career as a reporter for a local German language newspaper in 1906. His early work is characterised by an interest in crime and the lives of the poor of Prague, taking Jan Neruda, Emile Zola and Charles Dickens's Sketches by Boz as his models. He deserted from the army in World War I in October 1918 as the war came to an end and played a leading role in the left-wing revolution in Vienna in November of that year. Although the revolution failed, in 1919, Kisch joined the Communist party, a political allegiance he maintained for the rest of his life.
Between 1921 and 1930 Kisch, though a citizen of Czechoslovakia, lived primarily in Berlin, where his work found a new and appreciative audience. In books of collected journalism such as "Der rasende Reporter" (1924), he cultivated the image of a witty, gritty, daring reporter always on the move, a cigarette clamped doggedly between his lips. His work and his public persona found an echo in the artistic movement of "Neue Sachlichkeit", a major strand in the culture of the Weimar Republic.
On February 28 1933, the day after the Reichstag Fire, Kisch was one of many prominent opponents of Nazism to be arrested. He was briefly imprisoned in Spandau, but as a Czechoslovakian citizen, was expelled from Germany. His works were banned and burnt in Germany, but he continued to write for the Czech and émigré German press, bearing witness to the horrors of the Nazi takeover.
In 1937 and 1938, Kisch took part in Spanish Civil War. He travelled across the country speaking in the Republican cause and his reports from the front line were widely published.

Following the "Munich Agreement" of 1938 and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Bohemia six months later, Kisch was unable to return to the country of his birth. Once war broke out, Paris, which he had made his main home since 1933, also became too dangerous for an outspoken Jewish communist whose native land no longer existed. In late 1939, Kisch and his wife Gisela, sailed for New York where, once again, he was initially denied entry. He eventually landed at Ellis Island on December 28, but as he only had a transit visa moved onto Mexico in 1940.
He remained in Mexico for the next five years, one of a circle of European communist refugees, notable among them Anna Seghers and Ludwig Renn.

Kisch died two years after his return to Prague, shortly after the Communist party seized complete power. There are contradictory reports of his attitude - as a German-speaking Jew - to the party in this period as it began to develop the anti-semitism which culminated in the "Prague Trials" of 1952 and supported the expulsion of most of Czechoslovakia's ethnic Germans.
To remember his great work, here is "Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter", a wonderful feature in german language about Egon Erwin Kisch.

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Brothers Four - Greenfields

"Washington state's Brothers Four mined much the same territory as other commercial folk bands of the revival in the late '50s, such as the Kingston Trio.
The formula was similar -- good harmonies, simple instrumentation, and good songs that more or less fell under the folk banner. Most of the ten tracks here are very familiar -- the title cut, "If I Had a Hammer," "Rock Island Line," and others. It's certainly pleasant in a nostalgic way, but hardly likely to get any pulses beating faster. Like other bands, they were the white-bread face of folk, relatively bland and making sure there was no threatening edge in their music.

What that boils down to is that it's fun, but unless you're avid about the period, it's unlikely to be played often -- once might be quite ample for many. But it's hard not to be moved just a little by their update of the old jug band favorite "Walk Right In." And given the budget price, it might be worth the investment for those odd times when you want a stroll down the byways of American folk nostalgia."   - allmusic.com      

Brothers Four - Greenfields    
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik

Image
In the late 1980s, a new musical scene was emerging in Hamburg compromising a number of bands that sung in German but that had no record deals (with the exception of "Die Antwort"). To remedy this situation and to give the new style a platform, the record label "L'age d'or" (French for "Golden Age") was established in October 1988 by Carol von Rautenkranz and Pascal Fuhlbrügge. They signed contracts with many bands and published numerous albums. A great deal of the albums were produced by Chris von Rautenkranz, Carol's brother, in the legendary Soundgarden recording studio in Hamburg. Another label that influenced the emerging genre was Alfred Hilsberg's "What's so funny about?" which published the first albums by Blumfeld, Die Erde, Cpt. Kirk and Mutter.

Soon, however, the Hamburger Schule was not restricted to Hamburg anymore. In particular, a local scene of Germanophone bands had developed in the small town of Bad Salzuflen in Eastern Westphalia, which was centered around the label Fast Weltweit. Founders were Frank Werner, Frank Spilker ("Die Sterne"), Michael Girke, Bernadette La Hengst ("Die Braut haut ins Auge"), and Jochen Distelmeyer (then "Bienenjäger", now "Blumfeld"). They got in contact with the Hamburg scene through Bernd Begemann who was a native of Bad Salzuflen but moved to Hamburg where he established his band "Die Antwort". This led to various gigs in Hamburg for bands from the "Fast Weltweit" label, eventually causing many other artists to move to Hamburg.Another first-generation Hamburger Schule band, "Die Regierung", was not from Hamburg, but rather from Essen.

Here´s Mutter - Hauptsache Musik with favourites like "Ihr seid alle schön" ("You all are beautiful") and "Die Erde wird der schönste Platz im All" ("Earth will become the most beautiful place in the universe"):

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik
(256 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Rock Steady Beat - Treasure Isle's Greatest Hits (1967)

Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid (b.1915, Jamaica) had spent ten years as a Kingston policeman when he and his wife Lucille decided to buy The Treasure Isle Liquor Store in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning a substantial Jamaican National lottery. Wanting music to attract customers, the Duke arranged through a sponsorship deal to host his own radio show ‘Treasure Isle Time’. The people would listen to the latest American R&B tunes on 78rpm, interspersed with liquor deals going down at his store. This in time would lead to the starting of his own Sound System, where he could take his liquor to the dances via his Trojan truck. He used a large van to transport this equipment around Jamaica to dance halls and open air events. Due to the nature of the van it became known as the Trojan. With shouts of ‘Here comes the Trojan’, Duke Reid’s now named Trojan Sound System was born. It proved such a success that he was crowned King of Sound and Blues three years in a row 1956, 1957 and 1958. 1958 also saw the store which was out growing itself, move to its legendary premises, 33 Bond Street, as Treasure Isle Recording Studio

Duke Reid was a formidable character in the music business. His guns from his policing days were ever present and always on show, striking a menacing cord. The former champion marksman was notorious for his permanent armament and his 'bad men' who not only attended on his dances but also sabotaged competing sounds. It was also not unheard of for a few rounds to be let off, if the need arose. But it was his extensive knowledge of the R&B tunes,and knowing what the people liked to here that was his real strength. Like Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One he would travel to America to acquire the latest cuts. But this was proving more difficult due to America’s tastes moving on to Rock & Roll, which was not so popular in Jamaica.

His record production career began in 1959 on the "Trojan " record label, these were on 78's, such as Duke's Cookies and Chuck and Dobby "Cool School". On the Duke Reid label due to demand he issued home made recordings of the USA R & B style music. He formed his own backing band, which backed young singers like Derrick Morgan and Jiving Juniors.

1962 - 1966 was a prolific time at Treasure Isle, the Ska hits kept coming. He worked with artists like Stranger Cole, Techniques and the great Alton Ellis & The Flames. Such was the output that the releases were spread over three labels: Duke Reid's (later Duke Reid Greatest Hits), Dutchess (a name he often used to refer to his wife), and Treasure Isle. His work with Skatalites as a group came to an end after August/September 1965. Don Drummond was arrested on New Years Eve 1965, accused of murdering his girl friend Marguerita. He died in Bellevue, a mental institution in 1969. The Skatalites last gig was a Police Dance at the Runaway Bay Hotel.

1968-1969 saw the beat slowing down and reggae was evolving into Rocksteady and again Duke had his finger on the pulse. Working with the great sax player Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, the hits flowed from the studio. Paragons ‘Wear you to the Ball’, Alton Ellis’ ‘Rock Steady’, Melodians ‘Last train to Expo’ and The Techniques’s rendition of the Curtis Mayfield classic ‘Queen Majesty’ were all big hits of the day. Getting released on Reid’s own labels and in the U.K. Trojan Records (named after his Sound System) which he created with Chris Blackwell and Lee Gopthal from Island Records.

The musical style would change again around 1970, but the ever resourceful Reid would apply his tunes and start a new genre, the DJ Sound. By using his classic backing tracks and interspersing the dubbed vocal along side his Sound System DJ’s rants and raves, his tunes became hits once more.

Duke Reid became seriously ill in 1974 and sadly passed away in early 1975. He left behind a treasure chest full of his music, even today, gems are still to be found.                   

"Most of these sides were originally released as singles in 1966 and 1967, on Treasure Isle in Jamaica and on Doctor Bird, Trojan and Treasure Isle in England. Duke Reid selected them in 1967 to make up his first rocksteady compilation LP which he issued on Treasure Isle LP 101/2."

Tracklist:                           
A1A. EllisRock Steady
A2The TechniquesYou Don't Care
A3–The Three TopsIt's Raining
A4The JamaicansThing You Say You Love
A5The TechniquesOh Babe
A6Tommy McCookInez
B1The TechniquesOut Of Many One
B2Justin HindsCarry Go Bring Come
B3Phyllis DillonPerfidia
B4The TechniquesDay O
B5A. EllisGirl Have I Got A Date
B6T. McCookTrain To Ska-thederal


According to liner notes:
Track 2 ("You don't care") started life as "You'll want me back" written by Curtis Mayfield and a hit for Major Lance.
Track 5 ("Oh Babe") started life in New Orleans as "Sick and Tired", composed by Chris Kenner in 1957 (and covered by Fats Domino in 1958).
Track 9 ("Perfidia") is best known as a hit instrumental and dates back to 1941, an Alfredo Dominguez composition.
Track 10 ("Day O") is a traditional West Indian melody.
Track 12 ("Train To Ska-Thedral") started life as "Winchester Cathedral", written by Geoff Stephens and a big hit in 1967.           
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Crass - How Does It Feel (1982)

"How Does It Feel" was recorded and mixed in August 1982 at Southern Studios, London.

George Barber wrote in the Crass story, Having had a bit more time to consider their response, Crass released another single: ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead?’ A direct attack on Thatcher, it came in a black sleeve decorated with white graveyard crosses. When, during Prime Ministers Question Time,Thatcher was asked if she’d heard the record, things were getting serious.

The Conservative Party attempted to fight back, as the Guardian reported: “The Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, has been asked by the Conservative MP for Enfield North, Mr. Tim Eggar, to prosecute an Anti-Falklands war record under the Obscene Publications Act. The record ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1,000 Dead?’, by the group Crass, which also owns the record company Crass Records, which released it, is said to have sold 20,000 copies since it was issued last Saturday. It refers to Mrs. Thatcher and the decision to send the Task Force. ‘You never wanted peace or solution, from the start you lusted after war and destruction . . . Iron Lady, with your stone heart so, eager that the lesson be taught that you inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered . . . It was your decision to have those young boys slaugh- tered.” Tim Eggar was the brother of Robin Eggar, a Daily Mirror columnist who had previously written in his column:“Rock music is often used by the young to voice their protests. However distasteful the Sex Pistols appeared to be in 1977, their songs were a chilling warning of the coming recession. But anarchist band Crass have gone too far. They released last week the most revolting and unnecessary record I have ever heard. ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1,000 Dead?’ is a vicious and obscene attack on Margaret Thatcher’s motives for engaging in the Falklands war. It bears little relation to reality. Retailing at only 75p it has already sold more than 28,000 copies.”

Crass themselves escaped any direct threat from the state.“We didn’t actually get any of it,” says Rimbaud.“There’s no question at all that that was a policy.” Rimbaud cites a circular sent around the Tory party after MP Timothy Eggar opened proceedings against ‘How Does It Feel?’ which stated that “on no account must they respond to any form of provocation from us”.

A hilarious LBC radio interview ensued, where Tim Eggar debated with Andy Palmer and Pete Wright. Eggar is clearly angry fit to burst before he even starts, and – sounding like a clichéd public school Tory – starts off by blustering that the record goes “beyond the acceptable bounds of freedom of speech, being the most vicious, scurrilous and obscene record that has ever been produced”.


Tracklist:

A How Does It Feel (To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead)?
B1 The Immortal Death
B2 Don't Tell Me You Care

Crass - How Does It Feel (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 26. Oktober 2018

The SWAPO Singers – One Namibia One Nation (SWAPO Freedom Songs)


Like South Africa’s ANC, Namibia’s liberation organisation SWAPO has from time to time put together agit-prop bands or choirs, to bolster the morale of the troops or attract overseas media attention.
One generation of the SWAPO Singers came to Western attention in the mid-80s, when Jerry Dammers and Robert Wyatt respectively produced and collaborated on "Wind Of Change", which also featured Onyeka.   

DIAL AFRICA wrote about this album:
"The 1980s were the time, when the countries of southern Africa were fighting for freedom. In Namibia SWAPO organised not only this struggle but also a lot of support in Europe. One document was this LP here which led to a very pop(ular) version of a song called "Wind of Change"."

Tracklist:
A1 Afrika (Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
3:10
A2 Odi Wena Vorster (Warning Vorster Get Out Of Namibia)
Vocals [Sung By] – Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa
1:30
A3 Va Nambia Va Kwetu (Fellow Namibians)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
1:55
A4 The Wind Of Change
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
2:30
A5 Shilongno Shetu (My Country)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
3:40
A6 Twanana Swapo Yeti (We Are United In Swapo)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
2:05
B1 Mwene Kala Pamwe Na Afrika (God Bless Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser
2:10
B2 Ti Mamasa Ta Gegaisera Mo=gao (I Want To See My Mother)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
2:30
B3 Tunana Ko Ngutukiro (Lead Us To Freedom)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
2:00
B4 We Are The Soldiers Of Swapo
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Martha Elieser
1:55
B5 Give Me Back Namibia
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
2:45
B6 Power To The People
Vocals [Sung By] – Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa
3:10
B7 Afrika (Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
3:10

The SWAPO Singers - One Namibia One Nation (SWAPO Freedom Songs)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. Oktober 2018

Trio ‎– Live im Frühjahr ’82

Trio was a German band, formed in the small German town of Großenkneten in 1980. The band is most noted for the song "Da da da, ich lieb dich nicht, du liebst mich nicht, aha aha aha" (usually simply "Da Da Da") which was a hit in 30 countries worldwide.

Trio was part of the Neue Deutsche Welle (or NDW); however, the band preferred the name "Neue Deutsche Fröhlichkeit", which means "New German Cheerfulness", to describe their music. At that time, as now, popular songs were based on extremely simple structures that were ornately produced. 

Trio's main principle was to remove almost all the ornamentation and polish from their songs, and to use the simplest practical structures (most of their songs were three-chord songs). For this reason, many of their songs are restricted to drums, guitar, vocals, and just one or maybe two other instruments, if any at all. Bass was used very infrequently until their later songs, and live shows often saw Remmler playing some simple pre-programmed rhythms and melodies on his small Casio VL-1 keyboard while Behrens played his drums single-handedly while eating an apple.

"Live im Frühjahr 1982" was first released on cassette only in 1982.

Tracklist:

Sabine Sabine Sabine
Lady-O-Lady
Sunday You Need Love Monday Be Alone
Ya Ya
Halt mich fest ich werd verrückt
Nur ein Traum
Kummer
Ja ja ja
Energie
Da Da Da ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht aha aha aha
Los Paul
Broken Hearts For You And Me
JaJa wo gehts lank Peter Pank schönen Dank
Trio Bommerlunder

Trio ‎– Live im Frühjahr ’82
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2018

Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht - Meisterwerke (2 CDs)

This double album is a good Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht overview. It contains excerpts from "Die Dreigroschenoper", "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny", "Die sieben Todsünden", "Der Jasager", Happy End" and "Lady In The Dark". Kurt Weill wrote the music, Bertolt Brecht contributed most of the lyrics (plus some lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Arnold Sundgaard). These are the "classic" 1950s/60s recordings, mostly with Lotte Lenya.


Tracklist:

1.01: Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
1.02: Anstatt-Dass-Song
1.03: Kanonensong
1.04: Die Ballade von der sexuellen Hörigkeit
1.05: Die Seeräuber Jenny
1.06: Die Zuhälterballade
1.07: Die Ballade vom angenehmen Leben
1.08: Ballade über die Frage "Wovon lebt der Mensch"
1.09: Das Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit
1.10: Salomon-Song
1.11: Die Schluss-Strophen der Moritat
1.12: Alabama-Song
1.13: Havanna Song
1.14: Von nun an war der Leitspruch
1.15: Zweitens kommt die Liebe...
1.16: Sieh jene Kraniche
1.17: Meine Herren, meine Mutter prägte
1.18: Erstens, vergesst nicht, kommt das Fressen

2.01: Bilbao-Song
2.02: Matrosen-Tang
2.03: Das Lied vom Branntweinhändler
2.04: Fürchte dich nicht
2.05: Surabaya Johnyy
2.06: In der Jugend goldnem Schimmer
2.07: Die Ballade von der Höllen-Lilli
2.08: Stolz
2.09: Zorn
2.10: Unzucht
2.11: Neid
2.12: Ich bin der Lehrer
2.13: Seit dem Tag, an dem uns dein Vater verließ
2.14: One Life To Live
2.15: Girl Of The Moment
2.16: The Greatest Show On Earth
2.17: The Saga Of Jenny
2.18: My Ship
2.19: Septembre Song
2.20: Lover Man



Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht - Meisterwerke (2 CDs)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

John Coltrane - Coltrane Jazz

The first album to hit the shelves after "Giant Steps", "Coltrane Jazz" was largely recorded in late 1959, although one of the eight songs ("Village Blues") was done in late 1960. 

On everything save the aforementioned "Village Blues," Coltrane used the Miles Davis rhythm section of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. 

While not the groundbreaker that "Giant Steps" was, "Coltrane Jazz" was a good consolidation of his gains as he prepared to launch into his peak years of the 1960s. 

There are three standards aboard, but the group reaches their peak on Coltrane's original material, particularly "Harmonique" with its melodic leaps and upper-register saxophone strains and the winding, slightly Eastern-flavored principal riffs of "Like Sonny," dedicated to Sonny Rollins. The moody "Village Blues" features the lineup of McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Steve Davis on bass; with the substitution of Jimmy Garrison on bass, that personnel would play on Coltrane's most influential and beloved 1960s albums.

Tracklist:

A1 Little Old Lady
A2 Village Blues
A3 My Shining Hour
A4 Fifth House
B1 Harmonique
B2 Like Sonny
B3 I'll Wait And Pray
B4 Some Other Blues


John Coltrane - Coltrane Jazz
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 18. Oktober 2018

Television Personalities - ...And Don´t The Kids Just Love It (1981)

The first full album by Television Personalities, recorded after a four-year series of often brilliant D.I.Y. singles recorded under a variety of names, including the O-Level and the Teenage Filmstars, is probably the purest expression of Daniel Treacy's sweet-and-sour worldview.

The songs, performed by Treacy, Ed Ball, and Mark Sheppard, predict both the C-86 aesthetic of simple songs played with a minimum of elaboration but a maximum of enthusiasm and earnestness and the later lo-fi aesthetic. The echoey, hissy production makes the songs sound as if the band were playing at the bottom of an empty swimming pool, recorded by a single microphone located two houses away, yet somehow that adds to the homemade charm of the record. 

Treacy's vocals are tremulous and shy, and his lyrics run from the playful "Jackanory Stories" to several rather dark songs that foreshadow the depressive cast of many of his later albums. "Diary of a Young Man," which consists of several spoken diary entries over a haunting, moody twang-guitar melody, is downright scary in its aura of helplessness and inertia. The mood is lightened a bit by some of the peppier songs, like the smashing "World of Pauline Lewis" and the "David Watts" rewrite "Geoffrey Ingram," and the re-recorded version of the earlier single "I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives," complete with deliberately intrusive prerecorded bird sounds, is one of the most charming things Television Personalities ever did. 

This album must have sounded hopelessly amateurish and cheaply ramshackle at the time of its 1981 release, but in retrospect, it's clearly a remarkably influential album that holds up extremely well.

Tracklist:

  1. This Angry Silence
  2. The Glittering Prizes
  3. World Of Pauline Lewis
  4. A Family Affair
  5. Silly Girl
  6. Diary Of A Young Man
  7. Geoffrey Ingram
  8. I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives
  9. Jackanory Stories
  10. Parties In Chelsea
  11. La Grande Illusion
  12. A Picture Of Dorian Gray
  13. The Crying Room
  14. Look Back In Anger

Television Personalities - ...And Don´t The Kids Just Love It (1981)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2018

David Crosby & Graham Nash: Whale & Fieldworkers Benefit 1974 (Bootleg, San Francisco, CA, Dec 14, 1974)

The credit for this one goes to bigozine2.com:
Wally Heider who recorded Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at the Fillmore in June, 1970 which became the famous Four Way Street album, was again at the soundboard to record this show in San Francisco. Nothing was released till 1977, when a Crosby & Nash album called Live came out. That album was recorded during the duo’s tours from 1975 to 1977. This show is among the earliest of their professional recordings. It seems to have been edited for a live album but never released.

This was not the country-rock-pop of Loggins & Messina nor the folk-rock-pop of Simon & Garfunkel but soft rock with a conscience. Especially in that vein was Graham Nash’s Prison Song and Chicago. Not to be outdone, David Crosby contributes the angry What Are Their Names?, a song-dirge about accountability that leads into Chicago.

With Stills somewhat distracted and Neil Young tail-spinning into insular projects like On The Beach, these were the years when Crosby & Nash had star power and a real career. But whereas Simon & Garfunkel split over politics [apparently Simon was pissed that Garfunkel was not keen to include Cuba Si Nixon No on Bridge Over Troubled Waters] and Loggins & Messina had too big egos, Crosby & Nash were consumed by their own excesses or at least Crosby’s indulgence with chemicals.

By the end of the ‘70s, the duo or as a trio with Stills could be found at anti-war benefits, anti-nuclear benefits and such shows still holding on to their ideals and those familiar songs. Their solo careers took hiatus as they regrouped to release what can best be said are mediocre albums compared to the first two album as a group or as a duo. When they had stopped listening, they had also stopped creating.

All the happy songs are here in superb hi-fidelity, suitable for entertaining. Play loud. Nothing has been officially released.

- Professor Red

David Crosby & Graham Nash: Whale & Fieldworkers Benefit 1974 (Bootleg, San Francisco, CA, Dec 14, 1974)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 16. Oktober 2018

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975) - Happy Birthday, Fela Kuti!


Yesterday was the 80th birthday of the afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It is very difficult to put into words the significance and stature of an individual like Fela Kuti, and his contribution to music, politics and culture across the twentieth century.
A pioneer of afrobeat – a genre of which he was at the forefront – Fela gifted the world with songs such as “Beasts of No Nation”, “Zombie” and “Water No Get Enemy”, and his fighting spirit lives on through his sons Femi and Seun, who continue to carry the torch of his beloved afrobeat with Fela’s band Egypt 80.

This album is an overt response to the consistent harassment afflicting Fela Kuti's Kalakuta Republic in the early '70s under the oppressive Lagos authorities. The title track is a direct reference to an actual incident that occurred in which the cops planted a marijuana cigarette on Kuti - who promptly swallowed it and therefore destroyed any evidence. He was then held until he could pass the drugs from his system - which miraculously did not occur when his fecal sample was then sent for analysis, thanks to some help from his fellow inmates. Because of the costs incurred during this debacle, Kuti proclaimed his excrement as "Expensive Shit".


Musically, the Afro-funk and tribal rhythms that Kuti and his Africa '70 put down can rightfully be compared to that of James Brown or even a George Clinton-esque vibe. The beats are infectious with a hint of Latin influence, making the music nearly impossible to keep from moving to. Although the band is large, it is also remarkably tight and malleable enough to accompany and punctuate Kuti's vehement and indicting lyrics. The nature of what Kuti says, as well as infers, amounts to much more than simply whining or bad-rapping the law. His witty and thoughtful raps not only relate his side of the incident, but do so with tongue-in-cheek humor - such as the statement that his oppressors must really enjoy his feces because they want to examine it so urgently. Yet, he tries to stay away from it, for somewhat obvious reasons.

The album's B-side contains the metaphysical "Water No Get Enemy", one of my all time Fela favourite. This is a comparatively jazzy piece, with Africa '70 again exploring and stretching out its impulsive beats behind Kuti's singing. The track features some of his finest and most inspired keyboard work as well. He weaves hypnotic and ethereal electric piano lines over the earthy-sounding brass section. The laid-back groove works well in contrast to the manic tempo of "Expensive Shit."

Tracklist:
A. Expensive Shit
B. Water No Get Enemy

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 13. Oktober 2018

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)


Allen Ginsberg wrote his epic poem “Howl” in mid-‘50s San Francisco and Berkeley, and the rest is literary history. The work, first read in public in 1955 and published in 1956 before emerging victorious in a 1957 court ruling that it was not obscene, has been hailed as one of the most important poems of the 20th century, and it inspired a wave of Beat poetry.

Fantasy Records became the unofficial audio home of the movement, documenting not only Ginsberg but several other poets of the day.

Allen Ginsberg´s poetry broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".

The "Howl and Other Poems" vinyl LP was first released in 1959, repackaged for the burgeoning hippie generation in 1969, and remained in print until 1985, when the company ran out of vinyl LPs. In 1998 there was a cd reissue.


Tracks:
1. Howl
2. Footnote to Howl
3. A Supermarket in California
4. Transcription of Organ Music
5. America
6. In the Back of the Real
7. Strange New Cottage in Berkeley
8. Europe! Europe!
9. Kaddish (part 1)
10. The Sunflower Sutra

Allen Ginsberg - Howl And Other Poems (1959)
(128 kbps, small front cover included)

The Edgar Broughton Band ‎– Live Hits Harder!

By 1976, the Edgar Broughton Band had had enough. Their earlier successes had slipped away, and the band now had two albums behind them which had failed to chart. Simmering problems with their management slowly began boiling over, eventually reaching such proportions the group took them to court. By the time the case was resolved, in EBB's favor, the band were worn down and worn out.

Still, they wanted to go out on a high, and thus the group undertook a final farewell tour, recording three of the shows along the way. It was from those tapes that "Live Hits Harder!" emerged, albeit three years later, and only in Switzerland. Thus this CD reissue is particularly welcome, not merely for making a crucial set available again, but for its sympathetic remastering.

The sound is grand; and with recently recruited guitarist Terry Cottram in tow, the entire band were obviously on a musical high, enjoying every minute of every song they reel out.

There's nine in all here, spanning the group's recording career, from the storming "Love in the Rain", pulled from their first album, through the rocking "One to Seven" and the raucous roadhouse blues of "Signal Injector", both taken from their final "Bandages" set.

EBB positively luxuriate over "Evening Over Rooftops", as if they too never want the song or show to end. "Poppy" we get in two versions, presumably from two different gigs, the first has somehow hilariously slipped from cheery sing-along into ersatz reggae, the second in its truer poppy form. And then there's the phenomenal "Smokestack Lightning", here in all it's swampy, delta glory, which takes the band out in stellar style. Every number is a revelation, the band determined to give each song its due, as if for the last time, because in truth it was.

By the time of the album's release, EBB was no more, but its successor group, The Broughton Band took the opportunity to step out in the same year. And, with this reissue, they've done it again, although it's now the newly reformed EBB who are back, and setting off to tour with a vengeance.
Tracklist:

1.1 Get Out Of Bed 3:08
1.2 There's Nobody There 0:30
1.3 Side By Side 2:45
1.4 Sister Angela 1:30
2 Love In The Rain 6:06
3 One To Seven 3:52
4 Hotel Room 3:36
5 Evening Over Rooftops 6:32
6 Freedom 3:14
7 Poppy 1:37
8 Signal Injector 5:25
9 Smokestack Lightning 5:48

The Edgar Broughton Band ‎– Live Hits Harder!
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

PhotobucketIn the era of the sound bite, when songs are used to hawk everything from shampoo, soap, and cars to wine coolers, dating services, and Viagra, it is easy to lose sight of the more noble utilitarian use songs can have, and this haunting collection of 20th century labor songs calling for fairness, dignity, and a just wage is a compelling document of the power of songs to unite and enable.

Drawn from Smithsonian Folkways' vast collection and from Joe Glazer's Collector Records, which in 2006 became a part of the Smithsonian Folkways catalog, "Classic Labor Songs" from Smithsonian Folkways is by turns spirited, uplifting, wry, and ironic, and if some of these songs seem quaint in the light of today's complicated global economic landscape, the issues they raise for the fair and just treatment of labor continue to be extremely vital ones.

If one were to walk into a factory today and play Classic Labor Songs, the music probably wouldn’t rouse the employees to a frenzied state of uprising. But if performances like John Handcox’s “Roll the Union On” or Hazel Dickens’s “Black Lung” at first sound like quaint relics - poverty’s so cute when it’s in sepia - the album bristles with the passion of decades past, when standing up to the boss seemed like a realistic proposition.

Among the highlights here are Paul Robeson's stately "Joe Hill," which opens the sequence, John Handcox's unaccompanied field recording of his own "Roll the Union On" (based on the gospel song "Roll the Chariot On") from 1937, Woody Guthrie's heart-breaking "1913 Massacre" (based on a true incident during a miner's strike in Calumet, MI where 73 children lost their lives), and a shaky yet riveting version of Florence Reece singing her "Which Side Are You On" from a 1971 archival tape (she actually wrote the song during a miners' strike in Harlan County, KY in 1931) that dovetails seamlessly into the Almanac Singers' 1955 version of the same song.

But not everything here deals with miners and mill workers. Some of the songs have a distinct contemporary feel, like Tom Juravich's "VDT," which pleads the case of cubicle workers who spend all day entering data on a video display terminal, and John O'Connor's unaccompanied "Carpal Tunnel," which explores the health issues that stem from workplace tasks that require continual repetitive movement.

In an era when label-created hipsters rap on about getting personal respect all day over the airwaves, these songs seem unadorned and out of touch by comparison. But there is a quiet strength to them, and a deep understanding of what respect really means, and long after today's flavor of the week drops from sight (utility isn't always measured by chart position), these songs will still be sung.


Classic Labor Songs (Smithsonian Folkways)
(192 kbps, cover art included)