Monday, June 26, 2017

Blues Power (Derek and The Dominos) (LP 120)

Derek and The Dominos In Concert (Vinyl - RSO, 1973) ****

Genre: Blues

Places I remember: Real Groovy (Auckland)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Roll It Over

Gear costume: Tell The Truth

Active compensatory factors: Recorded at the Fillmore East, In Concert is the only other surviving record from the Derek and Layla period (apart from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, of course).

Interestingly, only three songs in the nine song set actually come from Layla: Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad; Have You Ever Loved A Woman; Tell The Truth. And Layla itself is conspicuous by it's absence.

For me, this is one of Clapton's peak periods and he's had a few hasn't he.  With the combination of Bobby Whitlock's organ, Jim Gordon's flamboyant drumming, Carl Radle's bass anchor, and Eric in great firey form, this foursome is tight!!

Where do they all belong? Eric would shed the pretense of being someone other than who he was and release 461 Ocean Boulevard next - which I've already blogged about. So, I think it'll be some back tracking with Cream next, if that's okay.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

We can swing together (Lindisfarne) (LP 117 - 119)

Lindisfarne Nicely Out Of Tune (Vinyl - Philips, 1970) **** 
Lindisfarne Fog On The Tyne (CD - Charisma, 1971) *****
Lindisfarne Dingly Dell (Vinyl - Charisma, 1972) *** 

Genre: Folk

Places I remember: The vinyl is from Real Groovy (Auckland) and the CD from HMV (Stratford Mall, London)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Lady Eleanor, Meet Me On The Corner.

Gear costume: It may be a little glib to say but everything else on the first two albums is pretty gear. There are some amazing songs on Nicely Out Of Tune and Fog On The Tyne. Dingly Dell has some great moments but it's without a killer track. 

Active compensatory factors: I'm a late comer to Lindisfarne albums, although I did buy Dingly Dell way back in 1972 (I sold it along the long and winding road, so this is a 'new' copy). Instead, over the years, I have used a great compilation as my Lindisfarne go to item.

The albums are something of a revelation to someone like me who just has all the hits on the best of CD. One great song after another from the principle song writers Alan Hull and Rod Clements.

Like a lot of classic musical combos, having the different vocalists, subtle stylistic changes associated with having different, strong song writers, and the multi tasking musicianship makes for a great great sound and, more important - album!

Where do they all belong? Kind of like Wishbone Ash and Black Sabbath, the first three or four albums of their career were never bettered. Next up for Lindisfarne was a couple of crap albums before Back And Fourth, which is coming up, eventually. Interesting that all of these other bands also abandoned fancy album titles and went for Wishbone Ash 4; Black Sabbath Vol. 4. Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blessing in disguise (Michael Murphey) (LP 116)

Michael Murphey Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir (Vinyl - EMI, 1973) ***

Genre: Country

Places I remember: Slow Boat Records (Wellington)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Blessing in Disguise

Gear costume: Rolling Hills

Active compensatory factors: Roger Marbeck once gave me a tape of Blue Sky - Night Thunder by Michael Murphey. It contained the hit song Wildfire, which I was immediately drawn to, but it turned out I loved the whole album. Murphey's voice is an authentic one.

Sadly the tape was munched many years ago and I've been searching for a replacement copy ever since*.

I did find this earlier album last year in Slow Boat Records. It's no where near as good as Blue Sky - Night Thunder but it's still a worthwhile record in its own right.

Straying into the poppier end of country from time to time, there is still plenty of  pedal steel and mandolin from Herb Steiner to keep it real.

Extra kudos: it's produced by the great Bob Johnston.

Where do they all belong? Still, the search goes on for Blue Sky...*

* Since writing this post I found a copy! Vinyl too! And it's as great as I remember it. It will be the next cab off the rank in this genre.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The heat goes on (Asia) (LP 115)

Asia Under The Bridge (Vinyl - The Vinyl Countdown, 2012) ***

Genre: Progressive Rock

Places I remember: The Warehouse (Hastings)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles:  Heat of The Moment from the live album is always a great source for early eighties memories.

Gear: Soul Survivor

Active compensatory factors: Supergroup Asia's debut was firmly in the prog vein, thanks to sinuous songs, John Wetton's wonderful vocals (sadly John passed away in January this year), Geoff Downes' pop smarts, and great musical chops from Palmer and Howe. 

Under The Bridge is an 'official bootleg' of a show by the original band members from 2008 in San Francisco. One of those shows where legacy bands play a whole album - in this case their debut.

It's pretty good, too.

Sidebar for Under The Bridge: Naff cover is NOT by Roger Dean.

Where do they all belong? Asia would go through numerous personnel changes and I'd lose interest from the debut, persevering with collecting Yes albums instead. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Meanwhile back at the ranch (Badfinger (LP 114)

Badfinger Wish You Were Here (Vinyl - Warner Bros, 1974) ****

Genre: Apple/ Dark Horse Records (yes, I know it's not on either of those labels, but I group all the related stuff under that umbrella 'genre').

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records (Auckland)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Know One Knows (yes - that's how it's spelt on the album)

Gear costume: Dennis (another Pete Ham classic)

Active compensatory factors: Maybe their best album, and pretty much know one knows it (sic). Their second album of 1974 was withdrawn soon after being released and its appearance on CD is severely limited.

Blame naff lawsuits for this travesty. My copy was a great find at a second hand shop in Auckland way back at the end of the seventies. It has a 'Promotional Copy: Not For Sale' pink sticker and originally came from the USA.

The album stands as Pete Ham's last contributions to the much loved, but badly treated Badfinger. His vocals alone are worth your time.

Like The Beatles, the band had a number of song writers and so variety of approach (and quality) can be an issue on their albums. All contributions here are strong and stand the test of time.

Where do they all belong? Wish You Were Here was a peak; afterwards - heart breaking suicides, patchy records with various combinations of old and new band members, live and lost recordings. A sad slow winding pathway for a once magnificent band.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You really got a hold of me (The Beatles) (113)

The classic version
The Beatles With The Beatles (CDs/ Vinyl - Parlophone, 1963) ***
The Beatles Meet The Beatles (Vinyl - Apple, 1963 ***

Genre: Beatles pop

Places I remember: The vinyl came from Noel Forth via swap deals - the American version (Meet...) is on Apple! The Australian vinyl of With... has a really bad cover (not the classic shadow one) and the various CDs are from either NZ or Kings Recording in Abu Dhabi (the remastered box set).

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: It Won't Be Long - for John's vocals!

Gear costume: Don't Bother Me 

My vinyl Aussie version
Active compensatory factors: The difficult second album: With The Beatles is a bit of a mixed bag. The first side gets off to a roaring start with four stone cold classics before John's weak Little Child and Paul's cringe inducing Till There Was You shake the side up, Please Mr Postman ends things well enough, but it's a cover and (whisper it) kind of slight.

Side 2 has some great moments and ends strongly with John's brilliant Money cover, but along the way we have Ringo's less than stellar take on the knock off I Wanna Be Your Man and the weakish Devil In Her Heart. A mixed bag, as I said.

Meet The Beatles is the American version and is even more piecemeal; it includes some singles (I Want To Hold Your Hand) and choice cuts off Please Please Me (I Saw Her Standing There) along with those less than stellar songs from With The Beatles. Weird.

Where do they all belong? Next up:  A Hard Day's Night. Back on track in a big way!