Donnerstag, 31. Dezember 2020

Happy & safe new year!


VA - Tighten Up, Vol. 1 & 2 (Trojan Records)

It was the phenomenal success of the Inspirations' "Tighten Up" single, that launched Trojan's legendary reggae series. Quickly cashing in with the astutely titled "Tighten Up" compilation, the rest is history.

That's the accepted version of the story, the actual one is more mundane, and much more calculating. Trojan had so far failed to interest the British public with its albums, and three excellent single-artist compilations released in 1968 excited little attention. In desperation, a market research study was conducted; the results were a wake-up call, for what reggae fans really wanted was a cheap sound system experience in their front rooms. Trojan responded in 1969 with a budget-priced album featuring an eclectic mix of recent tracks, kicking off with "Tighten Up" itself. The reaction was phenomenal, so much so that a follow-up set was released before the year was out.

"Tighten Up, Vol. 1-2" brings these two seminal sets together on a single CD. The first volume was surprisingly the weakest, and weighed down with reggae-fied pop covers. David Isaacs' "Place in the Sun" is the best of the batch, the two instrumentals the most fun, and the Uniques' "Watch This Squad" the oddest. Of the original numbers, "Tighten Up" itself (now inexplicably credited to producer Lee Perry) is the obvious draw, but equally crucial are Derrick Morgan's soulful, skinhead fave "Fat Man," and Brother Dan All--Stars' sweet "Donkey Returns."

In contrast to this shaky start, the second volume was stuffed with smash hits and acknowledged classics. The trio of instrumentals are absolutely lethal, with the biggest, the Upsetters' "Return of Django" having moonstomped its way into the U.K. Top Five. It's obvious this set held pride of place in many future 2-Toners record collections, with the Pioneers' "Longshot Kick de Bucket," Clancy Eccles' "Fattie Fattie," and the Upsetters' exuberant "Live Injection" all providing inspiration. From calculating Casanovas to the outright rude, from sufferers to celebrators of the new sound, in Britain "Them a Laugh and a Ki Ki" when presented with reggae in all its wonder. Great music never goes out of fashion, which is why this series' popularity has never faded.            

VA - Tighten Up Vol. 1 & 2 (Trojan)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2020

Augustus Pablo ‎– Dubbing In A Africa (1975)

As any business person will tell you, the way to success is through the discovery of a niche or a previously unexploited market. Still, few business people, and even fewer musicians, would have believed that there was a market for the sound of the melodica. What next, they would have sniggered, a kazoo? Yet Augustus Pablo would take this child's toy and launch a revolution in Jamaican music. Not only was Pablo's melodica unique, it would sweep the entire island's scene and become an integral part of the music of the era. But Pablo was no one-trick pony, he was also a virtuoso keyboardist and his playing permeated the island across myriad of his own releases and as a session man for others. He was equally talented on the other side of the recording desk and his production work was as inspired as his playing.

Originally released in 1975, "Dubbing in Africa" features arrangements from Charles Reid, while Pablo, playing organ, leads a strong cast of musicians including Sly Dunbar (drums), Robbie Shakespeare (bass guitar) and Melodice Gladdy (piano) on another journey into African-themed dub sound. "Dubbing in Africa" is an essential addition to any dub fan's music library.


A1 Dubbing In A Africa
A2 Nigerian Love Dub
A3 Mount Of Olives Dub
A4 Dub In Ethiopia
A5 I And I Dub
B1 Everlasting Dub
B2 Trench Town Dub
B3 Universal Love
B4 King Of Kings Dub
B5 Herbal Weed Dub

Augustus Pablo ‎– Dubbing In A Africa (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2020

VA - Tighten Up Vol. 3 & 4

Obviously onto a good thing, the Trojan label continued the "Tighten Up" series of budget compilations rounding up recent hits continued, with Volume 3 and 4 arriving in 1970 and 1971 respectively.

The Maytals "Monkey Man" kicked off the former set, which once again is notable for its eclectic nature. There's another trio of instrumentals, with "Shocks of Mighty" boasting the exuberant DJ skills of Dave Barker, while veteran toaster King Stitt indulges the "Herbsman". Jimmy Cliff was "Suffering", but not for long, by the time this album hit the streets he'd already hit the big time. Ken Boothe was still a few years away from that, but his "Freedom Street" was a popular number, and in Jamaica the riddim would be versioned for years to come. Jamaican born, but British based Dandy Livingston would also eventually crack the UK charts, and here delivers a sublime cover of "Raining in My Heart". Former Gaylad Delano Stewart's offering is just as sweet and emotive.

With the dawn of a new decade, culture began taking hold in Jamaica, a phenomenon reflected across a clutch of Volume 4's cuts. Niney Holness's apocalyptic "Blood and Fire", The Ethiopians's plea for repatriation "The Selah", The Pioneers's harmonic cry of "Starvation" and Merlene Webber's toasting "Hard Life" all spoke of serious matters, as did The Slickers's sublime rude boy warning "Johnny Too Bad". But amongst these heavy hitters were an equal number of lighter songs. Hopeton Lewis, for one, was "Grooving Out on Life", Jean & the Gaytones found comfort in music, and adamantly declaring "I Shall Sing", while Webber found the solution for her difficulties, advising all women to "Stand by Your Man". The Ethiopians also return for a second helping with the love-laced "Good Ambition". Reissuing these two excellent compilation albums together on one CD emphasizes the stylistic shift underway, one from which roots would emerge.

Tighten Up - Volume 3 & 4 (192 kbps)

Paul Robeson - Robeson (1958)

Paul Robeson is one of the greatest yet most unknown figures of the 20th century.  His philosophical framework was comprised of anti-colonialism, socialism, and human rights. 

Robeson was was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he was a star athlete in his youth. He also studied Swahili and phonetics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1934. His political activities began with his involvement with unemployed workers and anti-imperialist students whom he met in Britain and continued with support for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War and his opposition to fascism. In the United States he became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. His sympathies for the Soviet Union and for communism, and his criticism of the United States government and its foreign policies, caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.


A1 Water Boy 2:48
A2 Shenandoah 2:56
A3 Deep River 2:18
A4 John Brown's Body 2:48
A5 Jerusalem 1:54
A6 Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) 2:50
B1 Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child 2:49
B2 Get On Board, Little Children 1:16
B3 The House I Live In 2:26
B4 Loch Lomond 2:07
B5 Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes 3:03
B6 Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho 1:27
B7 All Through The Night 2:06

Paul Robeson - Robeson (1958)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 28. Dezember 2020

Stetasonic - Blood, Sweat & No Tears (1991)

What turned out to be Stetsasonic's parting long-player, "Blood, Sweat & No Tears" may have disappointed those expecting another "In Full Gear", but there was much to love here despite a long-winded, partially deflating running time. 

Starting out with a devastating instrumental, "The Hip Hop Band," Stetsa sounded fresher than ever on "No B.S. Allowed" and the funky groupie tribute, "Speaking of a Girl Named Suzy." "Go Brooklyn 3" sounded surprisingly reminiscent of West Coast hardcore, but the very next track, "Walkin' in the Rain," was a smooth ballad that sampled the 1972 Love Unlimited hit (and re-created the oh-so-sexy Barry White phone conversation). 

As a band, Stetsasonic still had plenty of ties to funk, dropping expressive party jams like "So Let the Fun Begin" and the P-Funk name-dropping "Don't Let Your Mouth Write a Check That Your Ass Can't Cash." Prince Paul, then coming off the success of De la Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising", hardly dominated this record; Bobby Simmons and Daddy O each produced as many (or more) tracks as he did (most of them great), while DBC and Wise also contributed. If it lacks the classic status that "In Full Gear" instantly commanded, "Blood, Sweat & No Tears" was still a fitting last hurrah to one of the golden age's most diversely talented combos.


1The Hip Hop Band2:28
2No B.S. Allowed4:30
3Uda Man5:02
4Speaking Of A Girl Named Suzy5:25
6Blood, Sweat & No Tears2:47
7So Let The Fun Begin4:53
8Go Brooklyn 33:52
9Walkin' In The Rain5:44
10Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check That Your Ass Can't Cash5:22
11Ghetto Is The World5:54
12Your Mother Has Green Teeth2:15
13You Still Smokin' That Shit?0:46
14Heaven Help The M.F.'s4:37
15Took Place In East New York2:36
16Paul's A Sucker3:58
17Free South Africa (The Remix)3:06

Stetasonic - Blood, Sweat & No Tears (1991)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 27. Dezember 2020

Karl Kraus - Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (Helmut Qualtinger)

Helmut Qualtinger (born October 8, 1928 in Vienna, Austria; died September 29, 1986 in Vienna) was an Austrian actor, writer and cabaret performer.

He initially studied medicine, but quit university to become a newspaper reporter and film critic for local press, while beginning to write texts for cabaret performances and theater plays. Qualtinger debuted as an actor at a student theater and attended the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar as a guest student.
Beginning in 1947, he appeared in cabaret performances. In 1949, Qualtinger's first theatrical play, "Jugend vor den Schranken", was staged in Graz. Up to 1960, he collaborated on various cabaret programmes with the nameless Ensemble (Gerhard Bronner, Carl Merz, Louise Martini, Peter Wehle, Georg Kreisler, Michael Kehlmann).

Qualtinger was famous for his practical jokes. In 1951, he managed to launch a false report in several newspapers announcing a visit to Vienna of a (fictional) famous Inuit poet named Kobuk. The reporters who assembled a the railroad station however were to witness Qualtinger, in fur coat and cap, stepping from the train. Asked about his "first impressions of Vienna", the "Inuit poet" commented in broad Viennese dialect, "It's hot here."

The short one-man play "Der Herr Karl", written by Qualtinger and Carl Merz and performed by Qualtinger in 1961, made the author known across German-speaking countries. "Herr Karl", a grocery store clerk, tells the story of his life to an imaginary colleague - from the days of the Habsburg empire, the First Austrian Republic, the Austrofascist regime leading up to the Anschluss (annexation) by Nazi Germany, World War II and finally military occupation by Allied forces in the 1950s, seen from the perspective of a one who is a prototypical opportunist. Qualtinger's portrayal of the petit-bourgeois Nazi collaborator came at a time when "normality" had just been restored and Austrians' involvement in the Nazi movement was being downplayed and "forgotten", making many enemies for the author, who even received anonymous threats of murder.

Beginning in the 1970s, Qualtinger frequently performed recitals of his own and other texts, including excerpts from Karl Kraus' "Die letzten Tage der Menschheit" ("The Last Days of Mankind"). These recitals were highly popular and resulted in several records being published.

Here´s an excerpt of these recitals, presenting 50 scenes from originally 220 scenes:

Karl Kraus - Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (Helmut Qualtinger)
(192 kbps, cover included)

Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2020

Abiodun Oyewole‎ - 25 Years

One of the original Last Poets, Abiodun Oyewole issued this excellent recording in 1995 on the Rykodisc imprint as part of producer Bill Laswell's Black Arc series. Laswell, who produced the set, gathered together a who's who of New York's downtown best to assist on "25 Years". That cast includes Henry Threadgill, Aiyb Deng, Umar Bin Hassan, Don Babatunde, Brandon Ross, and Ted Daniel, to name a few.

Oyewole offers the dead on proof that he is a rapper of the first order amid drums, fat rumbling basslines, rumbling percussion, reeds, and voices. His themes are related to that of the lifelong revolutionary - a diehard who never gives up hope - the irony of thug life, love and lust, unity, Rastafarianism, and the struggle of living and dying in a racist America where the only real interest of the current system is preservation at all costs no matter how bloodthirsty and cannibalistic the means to that end.

Oyewole is a prophet whose anger is righteous but whose compassion is real. His motivation is spiritual, based on the love of justice and a true equality: where what is equal is not defined by lip service but in the actions caused the removal of ignorance. Dub reggae, steamy funk, hip-hop, poetry and jazz are the means by which these articulations are brought to fruition. It is as consistent as anything by the Last Poets, and the music is as profound and moving as the message. This may be a bit tricky to find, but is well worth any effort one takes to find it.            

  1/  When the Revolution Comes               
  2/  Sample This                              
  3/  Brown Sugar                              
  4/  Dread Brother                            
  5/  Festival                                 
  6/  Son's Rising                             
  7/  Brothers Working                         
  8/  25 Years                                

Abiodun Oyewole‎ - 25 Years
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Tighten Up - Volume 5 & 6

PhotobucketTrojan's Tighten Up series had always gone for variety, but Volume 5, released in 1971, hot on the heels of its predecessor, was positively anarchic.

From the sublime, "In Paradise", to the surreal, "Hello Mother", the sweet, "It's You", to the savage, "Rod of Correction", this compilation careened madly through the reggae landscape.

For the uninitiated, reggae may appear a monolithic musical style, defined merely by its emphasis on the offbeat, but like any other generic label, the term sheltered myriad sub-styles under its umbrella. And all of them feature on this set.

Jamaicans always had a penchant for reggae-fied pop covers, and a pair appear hear. Instrumental versions of chart hits were equally popular, and once again three were included, although this time only one, "Ripe Cherry", boasts a DJ on top. Medleys were also all the rage, normally melding three of an artist's hits together, thus the proliferation of singles simply titled "Three in One".
Here it's a hat trick of sweet hits from young singing star Errol Dunkley. There's also a trio of cultural numbers, including Delroy Wilson's masterful "Better Must Come".
And in a broad hint of what was to come, The Wailers's make their sole appearance in the series with their classic "Duppy Conqueror".
Volume 6 was to be the final album in the series, with vocal groups once again coming to the fore, alongside solo singers and DJs. The Maytals's "Redemption Song" bears no relationship to Bob Marley's own similarly titled masterpiece, bar Toots Hibbert's equally heartfelt delivery. The Chosen Few showcase their soulful side, while The Maytones are all sweet ache.

Elsewhere Ernie Smith herded reggae out on the range, Clancy Eccles was submerged under strings, Mikey Chung took his guitar surfing, The Cimarons's (sic) organist headed for outer space, while Dandy Livingstone shot up the UK chart with his hit "Suzanne Beware of the Devil". Representing the DJs, Shortie suavely mashed up The Uniques's sublime "My Conversation", and I-Roy exploded across The Jumpers's "The Bomb". They were the future, as toasters ran rampart across the Jamaican scene. But Jackie Edwards's offered an escape, at least for Britain, with his fabulous performance on "Who Told You So", which tells one everything they need to know about lover's rock.

It was a wild ride, and across it this seminal series defined the reggae age, bringing hits and misses to the masses, and leaving its mark on a host of future British artists and bands.

Tighten Up - Volume 5 & 6

VA - None But The Righteous - Chess Gospel Greats 1

Chess Records was never particularly noted as a gospel label; it's probably better known for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, etc. In the early 1950s, however, the company released more than its share of great gospel recordings, and this 18-track set stands as a testimony to some of the rawest ones that the label put out.

While big names like Aretha and Reverend C.L. Franklin, the Soul Stirrers, and the Original Five Blind Boys from Alabama are accounted for, the real gems come from lesser-known acts like the Meditation Singers, the Norfleet Brothers, the Bells of Joy, Sammy Bryant, Elder Beck, and the Southern Stars.

The best known of them all is the daughter of the preacher whose sermons were already being issued by the label and luckily they did not only record the sermons of that preacher but also some of the singing of his young teenage dauhter - Aretha Franklin. Her singing was just beginning to show the maturity that would make her "the Queen of Soul". On "Never grow old", perhaps her greatest early recording, you hear her unhurried approach driven by the claps and hollers of a responsive congregation as she sings of the joy of heaven, the "land where we never grow old." A marvelous set of raw gospel music that should be in everyone's collection.


01 Don’t You Want To Go [The Meditation Singers]
02 None But The Righteous [Norfleet Brothers]
03 Anyway You Bless Me Lord [Bells of Joy]
04 Never Grow Old [Aretha Franklin]
05 Oh What A Meeting [Soul Stirrers]
06 I’ve Been Weeping For A Mighty Long Time [Original Five Blind Boys of Mississippi]
07 When My Time Comes [Rev. Alex Bradford]
08 Resting Easy [Soul Stirrers]
09 Two Wings [Rev. Utah Smith]
10 Your Mother Loves Her Children [Rev. C.L. Franklin]
11 Old Time Religion [The Violinaires]
13 Walk In The Light [Evangelist Singers of Alabama]
14 The Angels Keep Watching Over Me [Sammy Bryant]
15 Floods Of Joy [Windy City Four]
16 I’m Gonna Tell God [Elder Beck]
17 You’ve Got The Jordan To Cross [Martha Bass]
18 Don’t Give Up [Southern Stars]

VA - None But The Righteous - Chess Gospel Greats 1
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 23. Dezember 2020

VA - Guns Of Navarone / Ride Your Donkey (Trojan)

"Guns of Navarone" and "Ride Your Donkey" were a pair of highly collectible LP compilations released by Trojan in 1969, each collecting more than a dozen singles first released earlier in the '60s by a variety of artists crucial to the ska and rocksteady scenes. 

This two-fer combines both onto one CD, resulting in a solid combination of popular sides that every reggae fan should own, along with more obscure examples of the form. Opening with the title-track classic by the Skatalites, "Guns of Navarone" is all ska and mostly instrumental, comprising quite a few of the best groups of the era: Tommy McCook & the Supersonics ("Saboo"), Rolando Alphonso ("El Pussy Cat Ska"), Lyn Taitt & the Jets ("Something Stupid"), and Baba Brooks (the rudeboy standard "Guns Fever"), plus an obscure combo called the Soul Brothers ("Sound Pressure"). 

The rocksteady record "Ride Your Donkey" is all vocal, and though it doesn't have as many classic groups, it does boast quite a few obscurities from the likes of Lee Perry (a pair of bawdy tracks, "Rub and Squeeze" and "Doctor Dick") and Derrick Morgan ("Hold Your Jack"). Obviously, these don't have enough classic tracks to qualify as truly excellent compilations, but the rarities are of interest to fans as well as collectors. [Note: Four tracks were removed from the original listings for what the compilers term "technical reasons."]

1 –The Skatalites Guns Of Navarone 2 –Baba Brooks Bank To Bank Part 1 3 –Ike* & Crystalites* Illya Kurayakin 4 –Tommy McCook Saboo 5 –Carlos Malcolm Bonazaa Ska 6 –Baba Brooks Vitamin A 7 –Lyn Tate & Jets* Something Stupid 8 –The Tennors Copy Me Donkey 9 –Roland Alphonso El Pussy Cat 10 –Eric Morris* Penny Reel 11 –The Soul Brothers Sound Pressure 12 –Lyn Tate & Jets* Napoleon Solo 13 –Baba Brooks Guns Fever 14 –The Tennors Ride Your Donkey 15 –Justin Hinds & The Dominoes Save A Bread 16 –The Clarendonians Rude Boy Gone Jail 17 –Lyn Beckford Combination 18 –Alfred Brown (3) One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer 19 –Lee Perry & The Soulettes Rub And Squeeze 20 –Derrick Morgan Hold You Jack 21 –Lee Perry Doctor Dick 22 –The Gaylettes Silent River (Runs Deep) 23 –Lord Brynner Congo War 24 –The Tartans Dance All Night 25 –Delroy Wilson Dancing Mood 26 –The Gaylettes I Like Your World 27 –The Federals Penny For Your Song

VA - Guns Of Navarone / Ride Your Donkey (Trojan)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2020

Orange Juice - You Can´t Hide Your Love Forever 1982)

After leaving Postcard Records and convincing Rough Trade to finance the sessions, Orange Juice ended up signing to Polydor for their 1982 debut album, "You Can't Hide Your Love Forever". Made up of a couple re-recordings of brilliant songs from early singles ("Falling and Laughing," "Felicity"), cleaned-up versions of songs from the demo, and a few new tracks, the album is a slick, tuneful slice of early-'80s pop that's catchy and bright, and only slightly overcooked.

Both Edwyn Collins and James Kirk could have retired after this album and been secure in the history books as two of the finest songwriters of the era. Kirk's "Three Cheers for Our Side" and "Felicity" are brilliantly odd and hooky songs that sound unlike anything anyone else was doing at the time; Collins' songs are reliably witty, cutting, and romantic with lovely choruses. "Falling and Laughing" is timeless pop, "Tender Object" is rippingly good dance-punk, his ballads are heartbreaking ("Untitled Melody," "In a Nutshell"), and "Consolation Prize" takes the prize for hilarity ("I wore my fringe like Roger McGuinn's/I was hoping to impress/So frightfully camp it made you laugh/Tomorrow I'll buy myself a dress").

Not too many other folks were writing songs like these, either. Add some excellent guitar interplay between Kirk and Collins and a strong rhythm section to the mix and you've got something that seems hard to mess up. Unfortunately, some of the production choices come close to wrecking things, as the tinkling pianos and backing vocalist can come on a little strong at times. The glossy finish given to the album is also a giant leap from the scrappiness of their early sound, though its effects are lessened by the exuberant energy the band plays and sings with at all times.

These criticisms aside, once one accepts that the arty punks Orange Juice started off having fully embraced the sophisticated pop side of the world, then it's easy to see that "You Can't Hide Your Love Forever" is one of the best examples of early-'80s pop there is. That it's the one and only album the team of Collins and Kirk made before splitting only makes it all the more essential to own.


Falling And Laughing 3:48
Untitled Melody 2:05
Wan Light 2:23
Tender Object 4:24
Dying Day 2:59
L.O.V.E. Love 3:34
Intuition Told Me (Part 1) 1:09
Upwards And Onwards 2:27
Satellite City 2:40
Three Cheers For Our Side 2:49
Consolation Prize 2:50
Felicity 2:34
In A Nutshell 4:16

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 19. Dezember 2020

Ton Steine Scherben - Wenn die Nacht am tiefsten... (1975)

"Wenn die Nacht am tiefsten…" ("When the night is at its darkest…") is the third album released by Ton Steine Scherben, and is the last one released before their six-year break from recording. It shows the first signs of a change in genre: moving away from "Macht kaputt was euch kaputt macht" ("Destroy what destroys you") towards "Halt dich an deiner Liebe fest" ("Hang on to your love").

From 1973-1974, the band's interest steadily declined in being the "political musicbox" of the leftist scene. This was compounded by the problem that one could at most request an entrance fee as "contribution of solidarity" from the audience, which was difficult to live on. As such, the band slowly distanced itself from the slogans of the leftist squatting scene, even if they remained faithful to the ideology. Financial problems led to a breakup of the band in 1973. The band soon reunited, but without the bassist Kai Sichtermann. He was replaced by Gino Götz, who had already collaborated with the band on the children's radio play Teufel hast du Wind. Aside from that, the band still lacked a steady percussionist. (On the album Keine Macht für Niemand, the percussion was primarily played by Olaf Lietzau. He would have been suitable, but was still underaged and could not go on tour with the band.) The drummer that the band decided on - Funky K. Götzner - remained with the group from that point onwards. With this lineup, the decision was made to produce a new LP.


First LP:

Heut Nacht (Ralph Möbius, R.P.S. Lanrue) - 6:15
Samstag Nachmittag (Möbius, Lanrue) - 5:01
Guten Morgen (Nikel Pallat, Möbius) - 4:16
Durch die Wüste (Möbius, Lanrue) - 4:59
Nimm den Hammer (Möbius, Lanrue) - 5:22
Ich geh weg (Möbius, Lanrue) - 3:23
Halt dich an deiner Liebe fest (Möbius, Lanrue) - 6:58
Wir sind im Licht (Pallat, Lanrue) - 5:31

Second LP:

Wenn die Nacht am tiefsten… (Möbius, Lanrue) - 3:31
Land in Sicht (Möbius, Lanrue) - 7:11
Komm an Bord (Möbius, Lanrue) - 9:14
Steig ein (Möbius, Lanrue) - 20:50

Ton Steine Scherben - Wenn die Nacht am tiefsten... (1975)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 18. Dezember 2020

Lotte Lenya - Die 7 Todsünden (1957, Philips)

Kurt Weill's "Seven Deadly Sins" ("Die sieben Todsünden") dates from 1933, the year he left Germany for Paris, after his music had been labeled "degenerate" by the Nazi's.
Originally, he had envisaged it as a Freudian psychological drama and asked Jean Cocteau to write the libretto. Cocteau turned it down, so Weill turned to his long-time collaborator Bertold Brecht. Brecht agreed on condition that he could use it to depict the corruption of the individual in a capitalist society. Rounding out the famous names, George Balanchine was the choreographer for the original production.

Brecht's story became one of the greatest satires of modern music. A young woman, represented by the practical Anna I (originally sung by Lotte Lenya) and the impulsive, flighty Anna II (danced by Tilly Losch) leaves her two brothers and parents and sets out on a journey through American cities to earn money for the family to build a house.
In each city Anna II succumbs to one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and has to be reined in by the sensible Anna I, so that their ultimate goal can be achieved. The massive irony is that this goal is by no means virtuous. To make their fortune, men are seduced, robbed, blackmailed and driven to suicide by the two Anna's.

Brecht's message is clear. Capitalist ambition is the greatest Deadly Sin, and ultimately, in a capitalist world, the wages of such sins is success.
"The Seven Deadly Sins" was a work written for Lotte Lenya, Weill's wife, who was still a soprano in the 1930's. She became the custodian and champion of Weill's music after his death in 1950, and promoted his music till her death in 1981.

Lenya returned to Berlin in 1955 after a 20 year absence, and was heartbroken by the devastation of the city by the War. She made 2 recordings, the 1956 "Sins" and in 1955 the "Berlin Theatre Songs", a selection of songs from Weill's earlier German works, including "The Threepenny Opera" and "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogonny".
They were a great success of long-neglected works and led the Weill revival that continues to the present day, greatly influencing the opera/musical styles of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.

This is quintessential Weill; driving rhythms, discordant harmonies, and his unusual orchestrations. "Sins" is scored for soprano (Anna I), male singing quartet (the family) and a small instrmental ensemble, which includes accordian and banjo.
But it is Lotte Lenya's voice that sets her Weill recordings apart from all others. She first wanted to be a dancer and never formally trained as a singer. Her style is rough, earthy, almost amateur, emotional but never sentimental. By the 1950's, Lenya's voice was raspy and gravelly, a legacy of countless cigarettes, and this recording had to be transposed down by a fourth. If anything, this adds to the bittersweet but seedy tone of the whole work. Lenya loves this music, and the music loves her. Her performance is raw but also vulnerable and human.

Recorded on September 1-8, 1956, at Friedrich Ebert Halle, Hamburg, Germany. Originally released 1957 with Lotte Lenya (vocals), Ernst Poettgen, Sigmund Roth (bass), Fritz Göllnitz, Julius Katona (tenor) and Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg (conductor).

Lotte Lenya - Die 7 Todsünden (1957)
(192 kbps, complete cover art included)

Donnerstag, 17. Dezember 2020

Television Personalities - Where´s Bill Grundy Now? (1978)

Television Personalities is an English post-punk group with a varying line up. The only constant member is singer/songwriter Dan Treacy.
The Television Personalities enjoyed one of the new wave era's longest, most erratic, and most far-reaching careers. Over the course of a musical evolution that led them from wide-eyed shambling pop to the outer reaches of psychedelia and back, they directly influenced virtually every major pop uprising of the period, with artists as diverse as feedback virtuosos the Jesus and Mary Chain, twee pop titans the Pastels, and lo-fi kingpins Pavement readily acknowledging the Television Personalities' inspiration.

The debut recording from Television Personalities bore their defining anthem, "Part-Time Punks," which they unleashed on an unsuspecting world in 1978, a single which remains as vital to the history of U.K. punk as the Buzzcocks' debut single, "Spiral Scratch."

"Where's Bill Grundy Now?" is a hilarious pop tune which exemplifies their Beatles/Kinks-esque sound. "Happy Families" and "Posing at the Roundhouse" comprise the B-side of this single, which could be considered to be the birth of the lo-fi movement without a qualm.

The single was reissued a year later by Rough Trade and again in 1992 on Overground. According to punk rock legend, the single was recorded on a studio budget of a little over 20 pounds. Essential and seminal to the indie rock, post-punk, and lo-fi movements of the following two decades.


A1 Part-Time Punks
A2 Where's Bill Grundy Now?
B1 Happy Families
B2 Posing At The Roundhouse
(320 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Die Zwanziger Jahre - Musik zwischen den Kriegen

"Die Zwanziger Jahre" is a compilation with sinfonic music written between 1924 and 1929 in the time "between the wars". It was released in 1988 on the Thorofon label. "This edition represents an attempt to provide ... an overview of the ... musical scene in Berlin of the 1920's and 1930's",


  1. Franz Schreker : Kleine Suite für Orchester; RSO Berlin / Dirigent: Hans-Georg Ratjen
  2. Grete von Zieritz : Präludium und Fuge für Klavier; Horst Göbel, Klavier
  3. Ernst Krenek : Symphonie für Blasinstrumente und Schlagwerk op. 34; RSO Berlin / Dirigent: Hans-Georg Ratjen
  4. Karol Rathaus : Sonate für Klarinette und Klavier op. 21; Alois Brandhofer Klarinette / Horst Göbel, Klavier
  5. Kurt Weill : "Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen"; Staats- und Domchor, Berlin/ Dirigent: Christian Grube
  6. Hanns Eisler : "Palmström" Studien über Zwölfton-Reihen; Junko Ohtsu-Bormann, Sopran / Orchester Akademie des BPhO
  7. Hans Pfitzner : Sechs Liebeslieder op. 35; Katharina Richter, Sopran / Holger Groschopp, Klavier

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Jack Kerouac - Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation (1960)

Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation is the third and final spoken word album by the American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac, released in January 1960 on Verve Records. The album was recorded during 1959, prior to the publication of Kerouac's sixth novel, Doctor Sax.

"Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation" was the culmination of the author's short-lived recording career, a solo performance that transcends poetry and music -- it's literally spoken jazz, the artist improvising freely on the printed text of his own work in front of him.

Produced by Bill Randle, it was Kerouac's most musical performance, despite the fact that the recording contained only his voice and no accompaniment, using his voice and language the way a saxophonist might improvise on a particular melodic line or riff. He's spellbinding throughout, intense, focused, and even subtly changing voices with the work itself.

Jack Kerouac - Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation (1960)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Violeta Parra - Las Ultimas Composiciones (1966)

Violeta Parra was an amazing woman who nearly single-handedly launched a revolution in music, art and culture in Chile... and went on to inspire a political revolution as well. This album captures some of her last works. Bittersweet, sometimes angry, sometimes sorrowful, but alway masterful, it captures her sentiment not long before she committed suicide. This is a must-have for folk music lovers, Canciones Nuevas lovers, and lovers of political music. Victor Jara, Isabel and Angel Parra, Inti-Illimani, Rolando Alarcon, Quilapayun and many others owe Violeta so much. Listen and know why.

"Las Ultimas Composiciones" is an excellent collection of 14 songs ranging from sweet lyricism to driving resistance. It is the last recording issued in her lifetime and many of the songs include accompaniment by Alberto Zapican and Violeta's children, Isabel and Angel Parra. The version here of "Gracias a la Vida" is especially haunting.

Gracias A La Vida - Canción
El "Albertio" - Rin, Danza
Cantores Que Reflexionan - Refalosa
Pupila De Aguila - Huayno
Run Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte - Canción
Maldigo Del Alto Cielo - Sirilla Canción
La Cueca De Los Poetas - Cueca
Mazurquica Modernica - Mazurka
Volver A Los 17 - Sirilla Canción
Rin Del Angelito - Rin Danza
Una Copla Me Ha Cantado - Lamento
El Guillatun - Danza Estilo Araucano
Pastelero A Tus Pasteles - Cueca
De Cuerpo Entero - Cueca

Violeta Parra - Las Ultimas Composiciones (1966)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Die Dreißiger Jahre - Musik zwischen den Kriegen

This edition represents an attempt to provide, in the limited space available, an overview of the vigorous musical scene in Berlin of the 1930s, a time when Berlin was one of the focal points of the world. In the area of the arts this was the undisputed heyday of a great city.

An edition such as this can merely select, hint at and perhaps whet the interest for those works not included here; it can only give an inkling of the diversitiy and vitality that made Berlin the exhilarating metropole that it was. The works have been chosen according to these criteria: the composer had to have lived in Berlin and the compostion been written during the designated period; the composer had to have been of significance to the musical scene in Berlin; the work chosen should if possible be a first release on records, so as to enhance the presently meager supply of recordings from that era.

01. Arnold Schönberg - Begleitumusik für eine Lichtspielszene op. 34
02. Paul Hindemith - Ouverture "Neues vom Tage" mit Konzertschluss
03. Paul Hindemith - "Langsames Stück und Rondo" für Trautorium
04. Boris Blacher - Concertante Musik op. 10
05. Werner Egk - Variationen über ein altes Wiener Strophenlied
06. Ernst Toch - "Fuge aus der Geographie" für sprechende Chor
07. Ernst Pepping - "Deutsche Messe" für Chor a cappella
08. Paul Juan - 3. Sonate h-moll für Violine und Klavier

VA - Die Dreißiger Jahre - Musik zwischen den Kriegen
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Tom Robinson Band - Power In The Darkness (Deluxe Edition) - Danny Kustow R.I.P.

Danny Kustow and Tom Robinson onstage at The Brecknock, London, in 1977
Originally posted in March 2019:

Sad news from Tom Robinson´s facebook page: Danny Kustow died in the early hours of 11 March 2019 in Bath, Somerset.

"I’m devastated to have to tell you that my dear friend and former guitarist Danny Kustow died in the Critical Care ward at Bath Royal United Hospital on Monday. He’d been in a coma on life support all weekend with double pneumonia and a liver infection. But when my wife and I visited him on Sunday morning he seemed peaceful and pain-free thanks to the very best state of the art NHS care. Everyone hoped he had a chance of pulling through – but shortly after midnight on Sunday he went into a decline and quickly slipped away in the small hours of Monday morning.

Danny was mentored by the blues legend and broadcaster Alexis Korner and joined the early Tom Robinson Band in December 1976. Danny’s unique, fiery guitar playing was at the very heart of the TRB sound, and during the 70s and he played on every record of mine that ever troubled the Top 40. After TRB Danny also played in Jimmy Norton’s Explosion with Glenn Matlock, and later formed the band Time UK with Rick Buckler of The Jam. He made a guest appearance with my current band at the 100 Club in November 2017 and can be heard on the live version of 2-4-6-8 Motorway.

Danny was widely loved and fondly remembered by many and I’ll be making a formal announcement about his passing on BBC 6 Music around 1.20pm this afternoon. There is to be a private family funeral tomorrow and plans are currently under discussion for a public memorial event and tribute concert in early June."

This is the album by which Tom Robinson's works have been measured; its consistency is all the more remarkable, since he'd written several keynote tracks while toiling in the go-nowhere folk trio "Café Society" (such as Robinson's defining anthem, "Glad to Be Gay").

"Power in the Darkness" is proudly defiant as the era that inspired "Up Against the Wall," "Ain't Gonna Take It," "Long Hot Summer," or "The Winter of '79," which level fierce disdain for social hypocrisy.

So does the nearly five-minute title track and funk-rock tour de force, while Chris Thomas' production is as razor sharp as the band itself. Guitarist Danny Kustow's go-for-the-throat style is the driving force; it's storming on the rockers yet suitably restrained on quieter fare like "Too Good to Be True," Robinson's lament for oft-delayed social change. Keyboardist Mark Ambler is equally assertive on colorful Hammond organ swashes, while Robinson plunks down simple, legato basslines, and Brian "Dolpin" Taylor keeps the beat pouncing, where others might let it loiter.

The live/studio bonus EP, "Rising Free", demonstrates the band's explosive nature. The Ambler-Kustow interplay works to thunderous effect on "Don't Take No for an Answer," Robinson's bittersweet account of a soured publishing deal with the Kinks' Ray Davies; the hit "2-4-6-8 Motorway," one of rock's great drive-all-night numbers; and a searing rearrangement of Bob Dylan's plea for a wrongly accused inmate, "I Shall Be Released." The forceful tone is sometimes undermined by a strident sloganeering streak, as typified by "Right On Sister" or "Better Decide Which Side You're On," but that's a minor complaint amid the music's unflagging strength. Think music and politics don't mix? Listen to this album, and then decide. The record was reissued in 2004 with the addition of two bonus tracks: a cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting for My Man" and a remix of "Power in the Darkness."


Side One
"Up Against the Wall" - (Robinson, Roy Butterfield aka Anton Mauve) 3:35
"Grey Cortina" - 2:10
"Too Good to Be True" - (Robinson, Dolphin Taylor) 3:35
"Ain't Gonna Take It" (Robinson, Danny Kustow) - 2:53
"Long Hot Summer" - 4:44

Side Two
"The Winter of '79" (Robinson, Mark Ambler, Taylor, Kustow) - 4:31
"Man You Never Saw" (Robinson, Ambler) - 2:44
"Better Decide Which Side You're On" - 2:50
"You Gotta Survive" (Robinson, Ambler) - 3:15
"Power in the Darkness" (Robinson, Ambler) - 4:55

Bonus tracks
"Don't Take No for an Answer"
"(Sing If You're) Glad to Be Gay"
"Right On Sister" (Robinson, Taylor)
"2-4-6-8 Motorway"
"I Shall Be Released" (Bob Dylan)
"I'm All Right Jack"
"I'm Waiting for My Man" (Live at the London Lyceum, 1977) (Lou Reed)
"Power in the Darkness" (2004 Remix)

Tom Robinson Band - Power In The Darkness (Deluxe Edition)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 14. Dezember 2020

Ira Gershwin, Kurt Weill ‎– "Tryout" - A Series Of Private Rehearsal Recordings (1983)

"A series of private rehearsal recordings," notes the album cover, and inside are performances by composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Ira Gershwin, demonstrating songs written for two Weill projects of the mid-'40s, the 1943 Broadway musical "One Touch of Venus" and the 1945 movie musical "Where Do We Go from Here? "

Gershwin is featured only on the tracks intended for the latter, to which he wrote the lyrics. The film concerns a contemporary man intent on getting into the Army, and thereby the action, during World War II, despite a 4F physical rating, who stumbles upon a genie in a lamp and inadvertently ends up in various historical incidents including Columbus' discovery of America (the extended piece "The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria"); Washington at Valley Forge (where the hero overhears the enemy Hessians singing "Song of the Rhineland"); and, in a section cut from the final script, the Indians discussing the sale of Manhattan ("Manhattan [Indian Song]"). Accompanied by Weill at the piano, Gershwin sings these songs spiritedly in his distinct New York accent, Weill piping in in his high German tenor at points in "The Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria."

Gershwin's wit and wordplay are on display even on these minor efforts. The songs from One Touch of Venus, with lyrics by Ogden Nash, are much better remembered, particularly "Speak Low" and "That's Him."

Weill alone handles this material, which includes two songs, "Very Very Very" and "Jersey Plunk," that were dropped from the score before opening night. Of course, these are not polished, professional performances intended for the public to hear, but they will fascinate fans of show music.

This album is doubly precious, as not only does it offer rare recordings of Kurt Weill singing his own compositions (occasionally in duet with Ira Gershwin!) it features several songs from "One Touch of Venus," which is valuable in the absence of an extant "Venus" cast album.
As the editor of the Weill-Lenya correspondence collection "Speak Low" observes, Weill is plainly no professional singer, yet there's a uniquely pleasant and endearing quality to his voice. More than that, hearing him sing his own songs answers a question that long perplexed me, i.e., what he ever saw musically in Lotte Lenya. Maybe it was a natural affinity, or maybe the long years together as a working couple, but I can hear Lenya in these recordings of Weill: the same happy, open, all-out voice, plain yet punctuated by unexpected bursts of strong vibrato, of course individualized by Weill's distinctly masculine register and clipped German accent, in stark contrast to Lenya's sensuous Viennese one.

The Nina, The Pinta, The Santa Maria
West Wind
Very Very Very Wooden Wedding
Song Of The Rhineland (Duet With Ira Gershwin)
Speak Low
The Jersey Plunk - The Trouble With Women (quartet)
Manhattan (Indian Song) (Duet With Ira Gershwin)
That's Him

(224 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2020

Jorge Ben - Ben (1972)

One of the most important Brazilian composers and performers to appear in the 1960s, singer and songwriter Jorge Ben proved successful at infusing samba with soul music. He is the author of two of the most legendary samba songs: "Mas Que Nada" and "País Tropical." His originality and open-mindedness led him to his participation in the Jovem Guarda, bossa nova, and Tropicália movements (see "Jorge Ben", 1969, and "Força Bruta", 1970), which put him in the unrivaled historic position of having been a member of most of the important movements of 20th Brazilian popular music.

"Ben" is the ninth album by Brazilian artist Jorge Ben, released in 1972. The album has one of Jorge Ben's most famous songs, "Taj Mahal", and "Fio Maravilha", paying homage to Flamengo's iconic striker Fio Maravilha.

Ben filed a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming Rod Stewart's song "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" had been derived from "Taj Mahal". The case was "settled amicably" according to Ben. Stewart admits "unconscious plagiarism" of Ben's tune in his 2012 autobiography.

1. "Morre o Burro Fica o Homem" 2:06
2. "O Circo Chegou" 2:44
3. "Paz e Arroz" 2:03
4. "Moça" 4:58
5. "Domingo 23" 3:48
6. "Fio Maravilha" 2:13
7. "Quem Cochicha o Rabo Espicha" 3:27
8. "Caramba!... Galileu da Galileia" 2:28
9. "Que Nega É Essa" 3:32
10. "As Rosas Eram todas Amarelas" 3:52
11. "Taj Mahal" 5:29

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 12. Dezember 2020

Konstantin Wecker - Live in München (1981)

Konstantin Wecker is a household name in Germany. He is probably the country's best-kept secret to the rest of the world. For over 25 years Wecker's music has made an impact, both socially and artistically, as part of the Liedermacher genre. Liedermacher (literally, "song-maker") was born out of the 1968 student uprisings in Germany and is comparable to Nueva Canciòn of Latin America, the Chanson of France and Québec, and in some ways even the protest songs of American folk music. It is a genre with a broad range of interpretation, including all musical styles, but with one underlying similarity -- lyrics which are strong, and convey a message, usually a political one.

In Wecker's case, his art blends a powerful vocal style, with an original blend of classical, jazz, and rock. His piano is the trademark of his sound, as are his words, which are intense, carefully crafted poems which have always reflected the social and political issues important to Wecker, and reflective of the times in which he lives.

Konstantin Wecker came into the world on June the first, 1947 in Munich. He was raised and nurtured towards music in part thanks to his father, Alexander, a strong opera enthusiast. In his youth Wecker dabbled on guitar, violin, and eventually found his way to the piano, which has since become his main instrument. His interest in music, as well as the works of great intellectuals such as Nietsche and Goethe, led him to pursue piano, voice, and philosophy at the University of Munich.

He left university after four years of study in 1970, without taking a degree. Wecker continued to pursue his music while working at odd jobs -- everything from selling insurance to working in pornographic films! In 1972, his first album Die Sadopoetischen Gesange des Konstantin Amadeus Wecker (The Sadopoetical Songs of Konstantin Amadeus Wecker) was released. Someone suggested to him to add to his name "Amadeus," to make it sound more "musical." Sadopoetischen is only one of the words Wecker often creates to uniquely convey an idea which before had been untouched.

His following work continued to establish Wecker as a versatile musician, popular in intellectual circles and amongst students. 1977's Genug ist nicht genug (Enough is not enough) is one of his best-known albums, containing the song "Willy", a poem expressing many of Wecker's feelings at the time about society and justice. "Willy" was reincarnated several years ago on 1993's Uferlos (Boundless), as "Die Ballade von Antonio Amadeu Kiowa," again simply instrumentated only with piano, and presented as an elongated recitation, updated to reflect violent acts in Germany at that time towards immigrants and non-Whites. The song's namesake was a young Angolan refugee who was beaten to death by a group of skinheads.


1-1 Oamoi Von Vorn Ofanga 6:54
1-2 Fragwürdig 1:46
1-3 Endlich Wieder Unten 3:51
1-4 Und Doch Läßt Etwas Kirschen Blühen Im April 1:23
1-5 Warum Sie Geht 3:09
1-6 Wenn Man Darüber Rausschauen Könnte 1:39
1-7 Genug Ist Nicht Genug 4:52
1-8 Nächtens 5:58
1-9 Fragwürdig 3:20
1-10 Wenn Der Sommer Nicht Mehr Weit Ist 4:31
1-11 Text Zum Thema Sucht 5:17
1-12 Der Schutzengel 4:30
1-13 Der Dumme Bub 3:34
1-14 Statistisch Erwiesen 2:01
1-15 Vater, Laß Mi Raus 3:45
1-16 Tod Eines Familienvaters 2:40
1-17 Manchmal Weine Ich Sehr 3:43
1-18 Es Sind Nicht Immer Die Lauten Stark 2:26
1-19 Wer Nicht Genießt Ist Ungenießbar 3:03

2-1 Fragwürdig 1:56
2-2 Liebesflug 3:15
2-3 Schafft Huren, Diebe, Ketzer Her 3:35
2-4 Vaterland 4:27
2-5 Weckerleuchten 3:50
2-6 Lang Mi Ned O 6:04
2-7 In Diesen Nächten 6:27
2-8 Zwischenräume 4:25
2-9 Bleib Nicht Liegen 3:47
2-10 Frieren 6:12
2-11 Lauscher Hinterm Baum 3:59
2-12 Der Alte Kaiser 5:24
2-13 Susi, Oh Susi 5:38
2-14 Du Bist So Häßlich 4:26
2-15 Heut Schaun Die Madln Wia Äpfel Aus 3:45
2-16 Liebes Leben 0:52
2-17 Zirkus 2:14
2-18 Verabschiedung 0:34

Konstantin Wecker - Live in München (1981)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 11. Dezember 2020

VA - American Folk Blues Festival `65

The American Folk Blues Festival was a music festival that toured Europe as an annual event for several years beginning in 1962. It introduced audiences in Europe, including the UK, to leading blues performers of the day such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson, most of whom had never previously performed outside the US. The tours attracted substantial media coverage, including TV shows, and contributed to the growth of the audience for blues music in Europe.

Organised by Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau, the American Folk Blues Festivals did much to fuel the British 'blues boom' of the early-to-mid 1960s.

Unusually. this was a studio session recorded in Hamburg on October 7, 1965 with fine performances from Fred McDowell(1904-72); J.B. Lenoir(1929-67); Walter "Shakey" Horton(1917-81); Roosevelt Sykes(1906-83); Eddie Boyd(1914-84); Jimmy Lee Robinson(1931-2002); John Lee Hooker(1917-2001); Buddy Guy(b. 1936); Big Mama Thornton(1926-84) & Doctor Ross(1925-93).
Freddie Below(1926-88) is the drummer on 9 of the 12 tracks.
Although not a concert, this well-recorded CD is an excellent reminder of the American Folk Blues Festivals of the 1960s as well as being a superb introduction to a variety of blues artists.


A1–Fred McDowell - Highway 61 3:04
A2–J.B. Lenoir - Slow Down 1:48
A3–Big Walter "Shakey" Horton - Christine 3:58
A4–Roosevelt Sykes - Come On Back Home 2:28
A5–Eddie Boyd - Five Long Years 3:12
A6–Eddie Boyd - The Big Question 2:47
B1–Lonesome Jimmy Lee - Rosalie 2:08
B2–John Lee Hooker - King Of The World 3:40
B3–John Lee Hooker - Della May 4:00
B4–Buddy Boy - First Time I Met The Blues 4:23
B5–Big Mama Thornton - Houn' Dog 2:51
B6–Doctor Ross - My Black Name Is Ringing 4:30

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 10. Dezember 2020

Jack Elliott - Jack Takes The Floor (1958)

Jack Takes the Floor is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in Great Britain in 1958. The original release was a 10-inch LP

This record was released as a 10" LP by Topic in 1958 with a brown/orange textured pattern sleeve with Jack in the foreground. The second issue sleeve, with the same record had the generic vertical stripes with the paper information pasted over the top of the opening cover and into the inside. The third issue had the screen-printed picture which we see here. By the time of the second issue, the whole Topic operation had moved to Nassington Road. Only the first issue came from the Bishops Bridge Road address; both subsequent releases have the Nassington Road address on both sleeve and label.

Ramblin' Jack Elliott delivers folk songs of varied origins in his unique New-York-meets-Texas style. Elliott's approach seamlessly blends hillbilly and blues on almost every track. The influence of Woody Guthrie (who makes a guest appearance on "New York Town") is plain to hear, but so is his own influence on the likes of later artists like Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Townes Van Zandt.

The tracks were later reissued on a 12" record by Topic. 


A1 San Francisco Bay Blues
A2 Ol' Riley
A3 Boll Weevil
A4 Bed Bug Blues
A5 New York Town
A6 Grey Goose
B1 Mule Skinner's Blues
B2 Cocaine
B3 Dink's Song
B4 Black Baby
B5 Salty Dog

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2020

Paul Clayton - Unholy Matrimony (1957)

Paul Clayton is one of the unsung heroes of the '60s folk revival. He was an avid collector of folk songs and an early companion of Bob Dylan, who may have been influenced by Clayton's low-key, half-sung, half-spoken delivery. He's remembered today, if at all, because it's been said that Dylan wrote "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "It Ain't Me, Babe" about their relationship. 

It's widely known that Clayton's song "Who's Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I'm Gone" was the template for "Don't Think Twice," although the melody was a traditional one Clayton collected during his travels as a folklorist. All that said, this is one of Clayton's most exuberant albums, full of songs about the pitfalls of marriage and the wicked ways of women. (Clayton was gay, so maybe he was playfully venting some of his anger at heterosexual hegemony.) Clayton is accompanied here by future Greenbriar Boy Bob Yellin on banjo and cittern, a medieval stringed instrument that sounds like a harpsichord. 

The arrangements are simple -- old-time music meets bluegrass -- but Clayton's sly vocals bring these tales of misfortune and cuckoldry to life. "Stay Away from the Girls" delineates the horrors of married life; Yellin's banjo gives the tune an extra kick. "I Wish I Was Single Again" is one of the best-known songs about the hazards of marriage, again benefiting from Yellin's sprightly banjo. "The Old Wife Who Wanted Spruncin'" is slightly more feminist, the story of a widow who still enjoys sex, but her children conspire against her, embarrassed by her carrying on. "Life on the Installment Plan" became a folk hit under the title "A Dollar Down and a Dollar a Week," a warning about living beyond your means. "The Farmer's Servant" is a variation of a bawdy British song, and with a slight rewrite, it became a big pop hit called "The Thing" for comedy singer Phil Harris. "A Quick Way to Be Rid of a Wife" is a brief, gleeful tale of murder, set to the tune of the sea shanty "Early in the Morning." "The Husband with No Courage in Him" has the album's prettiest melody, probably from Scotland originally, the lament of a maid who has married a man with no interest in sex. It's the only tune that tells the story from the viewpoint of a woman, and the doleful minor-key melody gives the tune a poignant air that's missing from the rest of the album.


A1 Stay Away From The Girls
A2 The Wooden Legged Parson
A3 Will The Weaver
A4 Mother-In-Law Song
A5 I Wish I Was Single Again
A6 The Old Wife Who Wanted Sprincin'
A7 The Charleston Merchant
A8 Life On The Installment Plan
A9 The Dumb Wife
B1 Jack The Sailor
B2 Farmer's Nagging Wife
B3 Dirty Wife
B4 The Farmer's Servant
B5 A Quick Way To Be Rid Of A Wife
B6 The Butcher And The Tailor's Wife
B7 The Husband With No Courage In Him
B8 I Can't Change It
B9 Home, Sad Home

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2020

Jack Grunsky - The Way I Want To Live (1967, vinyl rip)

PhotobucketJack Grunsky (born July 1, 1945 ) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Grunsky's musical career has spanned two continents. More than three decades of recording and touring have earned him a wide following from both adult and children's audiences.

Born in Austria, he came to Canada as an infant. His singing and performing began in high school in Toronto, but after graduating he returned to Europe where his music career began. In 1966 he formed the successful but short-lived folk singing group, "Jack's Angels" who were signed to Amadeo Records of Vienna, Austria. After the group disbanded, Grunsky recorded three solo albums for the label, one of which was produced by Alexis Korner. The album, "Toronto", was recorded in London and featured tracks with Mick Taylor on slide guitar.

He was subsequently brought on board the progressive German label, Kuckuck Records of Munich, where he produced three more albums of original material. Grunsky was a featured guest on many radio and TV specials and even hosted his own half-hour weekly radio show called, "Folk With Jack" an Austrian radio ORF.
In 1974 he moved with wife and young daughter back to Canada where he connected with record producer Chad Irschick and released an independent album titled, "The Patience Of A Sailor".

In the early 1980s Grunsky developed a keen interest in music for children. Since then, he has well known for his children's music. His eleven recordings for children have received prestigious awards in children's media.

Here´s his 1967 album "The Way I Want To Live":

Jack Grunsky - The Way I Want To Live (1967, vinyl rip)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (1967)

The 1968 edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band featured a larger ensemble with a horn section, allowing for a jazzier feeling while retaining its Chicago blues core. They also adopted the psychedelic flower power stance of the era, as evidenced by a few selections, the rather oblique title, and the stunning pastiche art work on the cover. 
Butterfield himself was really coming into his own playing harmonica and singing, while his band of keyboardist Mark Naftalin, guitarist Elvin Bishop, drummer Phil Wilson, electric bassist Bugsy Maugh, and the horns featuring young alto saxophonist David Sanborn was as cohesive a unit as you'd find in this time period. 

Butterfield's most well-known song "One More Heartache" kicks off the album, a definitive blues-rock radio favorite with great harmonica and an infectious beat urged on by the top-notch horns. The band covers "Born Under a Bad Sign" at a time when Cream also did it. "Driftin' & Driftin'" is another well-known tune, and at over nine minutes stretches out with the horns cryin' and sighin', including a definitive solo from Sanborn over the choruses. There's the Otis Rush tune "Double Trouble," and "Drivin' Wheel" penned by Roosevelt Sykes; Butterfield wrote two tunes, including "Run Out of Time" and the somewhat psychedelic "Tollin' Bells," where Bishop's guitar and Naftalin's slow, ringing, resonant keyboard evokes a haunting feeling. This is likely the single best Butterfield album of this time period and you'd be well served to pick this one up.


One More Heartache 3:20
Driftin' And Driftin' 9:09
Pity The Fool 6:00
Born Under A Bad Sign 4:10
Run Out Of Time 2:59
Double Trouble 5:38
Drivin' Wheel 5:34
Droppin' Out 2:16
Tollin' Bells 5:23

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Jean Ritchie, Paul Clayton, Richard Chase - American Folk Tales and Songs (1956)

A key figure in the 1950s folk revival, Jean Ritchie was a one-woman treasure trove of near-forgotten American folk songs, most of which she learned as a child growing up in a rural corner of the Appalachian Mountains. Ritchie moved from Kentucky to New York City in the mid-'40s after attending college; there, she became a coffeehouse folksinger at night and a social worker by day. Along with her sporadic but deeply rewarding recording career, Jean Ritchie was best known as a tireless archivist of the Appalachian folk tradition.

Jean Ritchie was born into a large and musical family in Viper, Kentucky in 1922. The Ritchie family was very much a part of the Appalachian folk tradition, and had committed over 300 songs (including hymns, traditional love songs, ballads, children's game songs, etc.) to its collective memory, a tradition that Ritchie drew on (as well as preserved and maintained) during her performing career. She grew up in a home where singing was intertwined with nearly every task, and the beautiful, ephemeral nature of these mountain songs and fragments was not lost on her. After graduating from high school, Ritchie attended Cumberland Junior College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, moving on to the University of Kentucky, where she graduated in 1946. She accepted a position at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and soon found her family's songs useful in reaching out to the children in her care. Her singing, although she never had a strong pop sort of voice, was perfect for the old ballads, especially when she accompanied herself on lap dulcimer, and the ancient modal melodies of her family felt fresh and airy in her hands.

Ritchie soon found herself in demand in the New York coffeehouses, and her official career in music began. After hearing some casually recorded songs by Ritchie, Jac Holzman, who was just starting up Elektra Records, signed her to the label, eventually releasing three albums, "Jean Ritchie Sings" (1952), "Songs of Her Kentucky Mountain Family" (1957) and "A Time for Singing" (1962) at the height of the folk revival. Although she never reached the household name status of Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Judy Collins or the Kingston Trio, Ritchie maintained her Appalachian authenticity, and her subsequent albums worked to preserve the rich folk tradition of the Southern Appalachians. Among her many releases are two from Smithsonian Folkways, "Ballads From Her Appalachian Family Tradition" and "Child Ballads in America", "None but One" (which won a Rolling Stone Critics Award in 1977), "High Hills and Mountains", "Kentucky Christmas", and "The Most Dulcimer". Married to the photographer George Pickow, the couple later re-released many of her albums on their own Greenhays Recordings imprint. Hobbled by a 2009 stroke, she returned to Kentucky and died there on June 1, 2015       

Sleeve Notes:

"The dictionary says that folklore is "Traditional tales, songs, dances, customs, beliefs, sayings, preserved unreflectively among a people … " and that the folk are "A group of kindred people … bound together by ties of race, language, religion, etc., and that great proportion of its number which determines the group character and tends to preserve its civilization."
American civilization stems from Old World sources. Our American uses of the English language literature, music, and folklore come from the North of Europe. Each "group of kindred people" coming across the Atlantic brought its own lore — things of the mind and spirit — and often "unreflectively," sometimes deliberately, have kept the identity of each individual set of folk traditions. The use of the word "American" (especially "native American") can lead to confusion in the field of folklore. The only truly native American folk are the Indians, and individual tribes have to this day kept their own separate group character and civilization.
English-American lore is not confined to any one geographical location — little pockets of Elizabethan culture isolated in remote mountain hollows. Such traditions are loved and remembered wherever tale-telling grandfathers and singing grandmothers are close to their children and grandchildren. For the genuine thing, carried on through generations and acquiring lively local and individual variations, always has strength, beauty, and a sort of quietness that make it convincing. Its power often resides in understatement. It does not flare into sudden "popularity" and then die out. Our folkways are as solid, as lasting, and as adaptable as the language we use. This lore is organic, not static, and changes with each generation of singers and tale-tellers.
This record presents samples of the lore of a kindred people — those of us here in America who, whatever our origins across the Atlantic, are bound together by a common use of the English language."
RICHARD CHASE, sometimes called the American Hans Christian Andersen, was born in Alabama and now lives in Beech Creek, North Carolina. He is a writer, lecturer, entertainer, recreation leader and consultant on folk festivals, and travels through the United States, giving programs of tales, songs and dances to all kinds of groups. He is the author of many adult and juvenile books in the field of folklore, including Old Songs and Singing Games (1938), The Jack Tales (1943), Grandfather Tales (1948), and Hullabaloo and Other Singing Folk Games (1949). He is also the compiler of the Signet Key Book, AMERICAN FOLK TALES AND SONGS (1956), to which this album has been issued as a recorded companion.
PAUL CLAYTON was born in the great whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he early became interested in folksongs through those that were traditional in his family. By the time he was 15, he was presenting a series of radio programs on folkmusic. and has since appeared on radio and television programs in England, Canada and Cuba, as well as in the United States. He has made numerous recording trips through the southern mountains, as well as in other areas of the United States, and in Europe. He has made several commercial recordings of folksongs in addition to having recorded for the archives of the Flanders Ballad Collection, Middlebury College, Vermont, the BBC collection, and the Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress. At present, he is editing a volume of folksongs of Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina, for publication by The Folklore Press, N. Y.. in 1957. Previously he recorded an album of "Whaling and Sailing Songs from the Days of Moby Dick" (TLP 1005) for TRADITION RECORDS. Paul Clayton committed suicide on March 30, 1967, at the age of 36.


A1 The Gambling Suitor
A2 That's Once
A3 The Bashful Courtship
A4 The Split Dog
A5 Locks And Bolts
A6 The Snakebit Hoehandle
A7 The Old Grey Goose Is Dead
A8 The Big Toe
A9 The Deaf Women's Courtship
B1 Wondrous Love
B2 The Devil's Questions
B3 The Man In The Kraut Tub
B4 The Swapping Song
B5 The Hickory Toothpick
B6 The Riddle Song

Jean Ritchie, Paul Clayton, Richard Chase - American Folk Tales and Songs (1956)   
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 4. Dezember 2020

Klaus Nomi - Klaus Nomi (1981)

One of the first prominent persons to die of AIDS, Klaus Nomi mixed rock and disco stylings with a classical and operatic repertoire. He was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Bavaria, Germany in 1944, but moved to New York in the mid-'70s, working as a pastry chef and nightclub singer. One of his sets impressed David Bowie, and Nomi soon found himself backing the star on Saturday Night Live. He began touring Europe and the U.S. as a cabaret act and signed to RCA in 1980. His first single was a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," and his 1982 debut album included compositions from Chubby Checker alongside Charles Camille Saint-Saëns. Nomi later worked with famed electro producer Man Parrish, but covered baroque composer Henry Purcell as well as Donna Summer. He died on August 6, 1983, after which several compilations were released plus a live date in America.

It only takes a quick look at the cover to get a reasonably decent idea that this isn't your typical pop album: Decked out in a grossly oversized suit and heavy theatrical makeup, Klaus Nomi is not your typical pop singer, either. Both the cover and the music within lean heavily to the dramatic -- Nomi's delivery is all in a very operatic falsetto, though most of the music itself is more of the early-'80s European dance school (indeed, one of his collaborators here was Man Parrish, probably best-known for his later work with Man 2 Man). Only one of the tracks here was self-penned; rather, Nomi gets down to work here as an interpreter, turning in suitably skewed versions of "Lightning Strikes" and Chubby Checker's "The Twist." The real highlights here are his take on Kristian Hoffman's song "Total Eclipse," and a rather straight (ahem) reading of the aria from Saint-Saens' classical work "Samson and Delilah". It's pretty hard to imagine your typical classical music buff embracing this song, let alone the entire album, but fans of off-kilter pop music will certainly find a lot to love about this album.

Keys Of Life 2:26
Lightning Strikes 2:59
The Twist 3:10
Nomi Song 2:47
You Don't Own Me 3:39
The Cold Song 4:03
Wasting My Time 4:16
Total Eclipse 3:29
Nomi Chant 1:53
Samson And Delilah (Aria) 3:43

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2020

Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger - American Folk Songs (2002)

The folksinger Arlo Guthrie likes to tell a story about his father, the legendary Woody Guthrie, who died in 1967, at the age of fifty-five. When he was a toddler, Arlo says, Guthrie gave him a Gibson acoustic guitar for his birthday. 

Several years later, when the boy was old enough to hold it, Guthrie sat him down in the back yard of their house—they lived in Howard Beach, Queens—and taught him all the words to “This Land Is Your Land,” a song that most people likely think they know in full. The lyrics had been written in anger, as a response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” which Woody Guthrie deplored as treacle. 

In addition to the familiar stanzas (“As I went walking that ribbon of highway,” and so on), Guthrie had composed a couple of others, including this:

"One bright sunny morning in the shadow of the steeple
By the Relief Office I saw my people—
As they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if
God Blessed America for me."

“He wanted me to know what he originally wrote, so it wouldn’t be forgotten,” Arlo Guthrie has explained.

This compilation is an impressive possibility to hear Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger on one album.

1 –Woody Guthrie House Of The Rising Sun
2 –Woody Guthrie The Dodger Song
3 –Woody Guthrie I Ain't Got No Home
4 –Pete Seeger Dear Mr. President
5 –Josh White & Millard Lampell Billy Boy
6 –Pete Seeger Blow Ye Winds, Heigh Ho
7 –Woody Guthrie Do Re Mi
8 –Pete Seeger Ground Hog
9 –Woody Guthrie Hard, Ain't It Hard
10 –Woody Guthrie I Ride An Old Paint
11 –Pete Seeger Talking Union
12 –Woody Guthrie This Land Is Your Land
13 –Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger & Josh White Liza Jane
14 –Woody Guthrie Put My Little Shoes Away
15 –Pete Seeger C For Conscription
16 –Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger & Cisco Houston Cindy
17 –Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger Round And Round Hitler's Grave
18 –Pete Seeger The Sinking Of The Reuben James
19 –Pete Seeger T For Texas
20 –Woody Guthrie Talkin' Hard Luck Blues

Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger - American Folk Songs (2002)
(320 kbps, cover art included)