Friday, March 31, 2017
Re-issue very rare UK album from 1975 by this UK power trio with Hendrix/Taste/early Quo leanings. Plenty of guitar work and a heavy rock attitude. Somewhere between late '60's acid rock and late '70's metal. Features 5 bonus tracks and a booklet that contains band history and reproduction of UK and European artwork.A bluesy hard rock combo from Southampton whose album is very sought-after by some. The small Birds Nest label was distributed by Pye and their second 45 was also on a Pye subsidiary label although strictly outside the archive's time frame, both cuts are non-album and very rare.
01. Give Yourself A Chance (Single Mix) - 3.28
02. Clever Fool - 3.23
03. Motorway Rebel - 4.04
04. Travelling - 2.53
05. Strange Flavour - 3.55
06. Alberta - 5.43
07. Loved One - 5.59
08. Failure - 5.18
09. Children Of The Absurd - 7.47
10. Odd Man Out - 3.53
11. Highway Blues - 5.30
12. Granny Don't Like Rock'N'Roll - 5.21
13. Inteference - 1.44
14. Give Yourself A Chance (LP Mix) - 3.28
John Westwood (lead guitar, vocals)
Alan Green (bass, vocals)
Dave Rodwell (drums, vocals)
Agnes Strange - Theme For a Dream (1972-1974 uk hard rock and hard blues with 07 tracks unreleased before - flac)
Sometimes, albums become far more interesting because of their back story. Case in point: Agnes Strange. This heavy trio from Southampton, England, led by singer-guitarist John Westwood, somehow didn't make a splash on the early '70s boogie circuit despite their obvious similarities to beloved acts like the Groundhogs, Budgie and the almighty Status Quo.
Despite some heavy names in their corner, including management company DJM (led by Dick James, who had made a mint off the Beatles' publishing) and A&R folks at Pye Records, some bad luck and inexplicable business decisions led them off course.
Foremost among these was a fundamental misunderstanding of the term "pub rock," which led Pye to release Strange Flavour on a one-off label called Birdsnest, which was affiliated with a chain of theme pubs of the same name, owned by the beer manufacturer Watney's.
The existing heavy rock audience at the time reacted much as straight-edge punks would if McDonald's and Sony BMG joined forced to release a hardcore album available only at fast food restaurants, and Strange Flavour disappeared without trace, as did Agnes Strange.
Funny thing, though: it turns out that Strange Flavour is actually pretty good.
Produced by Dave Travis, whose remarkably cheesy country albums from the '60s are much beloved by Anglo-kitsch collectors, and engineered by Colin Thurston, who was about a half decade away from his heyday as a name post-punk and new romantic producer, this album is comfortably pitched between the old and the new, or at least the new iterations of the old.
Agnes Strange an interesting listen for rock obscurantists and old boogie fans alike. This reissue features remastered sound and seven tracks never released before (Stewart Mason )
Unreleased Masters (1974):
01.Theme for a Dream - 2:23
02.Messin' Around - 4:58
03.Graveyard - 5:19
04.Rockin' in 'e' - 4:39
05.Dust in the Sunlight - 3:50
06.The Day Dreamer - 3:49
07.Book With No Cover - 5:54
Original Demos (1972):
08.Failure - 5:51
09.Motorway Rebel - 3:46
10.Children of the Absurd - 7:17
11.Clever Fool - 3:31
12.Strange Flavour - 4:15
13.Odd Man Out - 3:45
14.Highway Blues - 9:41
John Westwood: lead guitar & vocals
Alan Green: bass & vocals
Dave Rodwell: drums & vocals
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Even with the huge success of their second single ‘Evil Woman’ (it sold upwards of 600,000 copies in it’s first year, and was covered on the first “Black Sabbath” LP), Crow made fateful choices that killed their career in record time. “Atlantic almost signed us,” said Dave Wagner. “We had Atlantic on one line and Amaret on the other. Amaret was decided upon because (managers) Traut and Golden felt we’d get buried with the Atlantic. In a matter of months, it turned out to be the biggest mistake we ever made.” Between late 1969 and early 1971, Crow either opened for or headlined with Jefferson Airplane, Three Dog Night, Steve Miller Band, Steppenwolf, Eric Burdon & War, Janis Joplin (three separate times) and Iron Butterfly. The group was working more than ever, but seemed to be enjoying it less. “We were becoming more and more disillusioned with Amaret by the day,” said Wagner. “We fought with them over our artistic direction. We had some really good material for what was to be our fourth album all ready. But they turned it all down saying it wasn’t commercial enough, or it wasn’t this or that.” Elektra Records were very interested in the group, but Amaret wouldn’t let them out of their contract, unless they wouldn’t use the name Crow. And Elektra didn’t want Crow without their name. In the closing months of 1971, Dave Wagner, feeling there was absolutely no way out of the band’s financial and managerial mess, left the group. In 1972, Amaret released a “Best Of Crow” (Amaret AST 5012) as a sort of epitaph to a this unique band. That same year, Amaret was sold to MGM records. A deal was worked out with MGM for Dave Wagner to release a solo album. “They sent me a list of material to choose from, about twenty songs,” Wagner said. “One of the songs they insisted I re-record was a Micky Newbury tune we had done as Crow called ‘Mobile Blues.’ I worked with some top-notch musicians. Basically, MGM was fulfilling its obligatory contract to get the album (“Dave Wagner, d/b/a Crow”) out. They had no interest in really backing the project.” And so, the album and Crow’s career, came to a quiet end.
01. Mobile Blue (3:33)
02. Cado Queen (3:48)
03. Everything Has Got To Be Free (2:52)
04. She Makes Me Warm (3:40)
05. If It Feels Good, Do It (3:07)
06. Before My Time (3:32)
07. The Time That I Love You The Most (3:38)
08. Load The Boat Up, Captain (3:30)
09. I Don’t Want My Love Refused (3:03)
10. Victims Of The Darkness (3:07)
David Wagner: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jim Gordon, Johnny Guerin, Larry Brown, Bobby Hally Porter, Joe Osborn, Mike Deasy, Don Peake, Dean Parks, Michael Omartian, Jackie Kelso, Bud Brisbois, Buddy Childers, Ollie Mitchell, Ron Hicklin, Stan Farber, Gene Morford …
The first thing to say is that this is one of the greatest albums in the history of music. It should be required listening for everybody who likes rock. This album deserves to be much better known. It is a very psychedelic album, in fact it is one of the best psychedelic albums ever made. The combination of power, aggression and beauty is still quite stunning after more than thirty years.
Before buying the album I had never heard anything by the Outsiders but was attracted by their legendary cult status and my growing interest in Dutch psychedelic and progressive music of the sixties and seventies. There are many great bands from the Netherlands who are far too little known internationally.
The Outsiders had a short career and this 1968 album was their last. You can almost understand why this was the band's last album. There is a peaking of power and feeling here, which would be next to impossible to repeat. Every track is a masterpiece.
I bought the album a few weeks ago at Fame in Amsterdam and have been listening to it continuously ever since. If you like psychedelia I would be very surprised if you did not like this album. This is not flower power psychedelia and nor is there anything whimsical about this music, that is very hard edged. It is difficult to compare to other bands but the Pretty Things would possibly be the most similar music or the era.
The outsiders should have been huge internationally. The combination of energy and aggression foreshadows punk. It is not everyone's cup of tea. It's probably one of those love or hate albums. If you like psychedelia but you also love the power of the MC5 and Teenage Head era Flamin Groovies I think you will like this album very much. The musicians are superb. Ronnie splinter should be a world renowned name for the things he was doing with the guitar in 1968. Wally Tax, who wrote the lyrics, is one of the best singers I have heard. The drummer and bass player are both very powerful.
This album should have the same legendary status as 'After Bathing at Baxters', 'Electric Ladyland' and other world renowned classics from 1968.
Another comparison I would make is with Love's 'Forever Changes'. Both albums inhabit a unique and idiosyncratic world of genius. Indeed more than inhabiting, they shape their own particular worlds. To me the world of CQ is a much darker world then Arthur lee's.
There isn't a weak song on the album. Particular highlights for me are 'Zsarrahh', 'Happyville', 'Man on a dune', 'the Bear' and 'Doctor'. The guitar of Ronnie Splinter on the latter track is awesomely powerful and innovative. The last song 'Prison song' is possibly the darkest end to an
album I know and an amazing psychodrama in itself. As soon as I had heard this album for the first time I had to play it all again straight away. I have heard thousand of albums and this is one of the few that has compelled an immediate replay.
The 2001 reissue is a piece of art in itself. Pseudonym have obviously put great effort into the packaging and sleeve notes and you will get great pleasure from this, if you choose to buy the disc. Pseudonym are my favourite reissue label, having done an equally beautiful job with the
reissue of Group 1850s Agemo's Trip to mother earth a few years ago.
Buy this album as soon as you can. You will not regret it.
I hope I have made you want to hear this album. If as a result of reading this review you are tempted to buy it please e-mail me and let me know what you think. It would be nice to know I influenced somebody to listen to the Outsiders.(By James The Bin)
Recorded in September 1968 at the G.T.B. Studio, The Hague, The Netherlands.
04. Daddy Died On Saturday
05. It Seems Like Nothing's Gonna Come My Way
07. The Man On The Dune
08. The Bear
10. You're Everything On Earth
11. Wish You Were Here With Me Today
12. I Love You No. 2
14. Do You Feel Alright
15. Daddy Died On Saturday
16. I Love You No. 2
Frank Beek : Bass, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes], Cymbal, Vocals
Ronald Splinter : Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Leendert "Buzz" Busch : Drums, Congas, Tambourine, Maracas, Jew's Harp [Mouthharp], Vocals
Wally Tax : Vocals, Guitar, Vibraphone [Vibes], Harmonica, Flute, Balalaika, Tambourine, Cymbal, Organ
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Jamming. This is Santana IV, the culmination of heavy Latin groove rock. This album has it all, the screaming Carlos guitar licks (and what chops!), the swirling organ (do you like Hammond? Oh boy, get a doctor, you'll need it), the speed freak machismo lead singer (messed up chicks swoon for this) and of course those danceable and tranced-out rhythms (even this stiff white guy noticed). The lyrics are just what you want from this kind of album: Sex, life-in-the-ghetto, grade-school mysticism and well, sex.
Right off the bat, you're pulverized with "Fire Over Water" followed by the eight minute "Walk on Hell". Do I really need to describe these tracks? Put the environment, instrumentation, song titles and influences together and you've got an aural vision. Many of the songs are catchy too - you'll be humming them for days. "Caminando", "Solid Karma" and especially "Mira Pa 'Ca" just have KILLER melodies. But where Chango excels is in the instrumentals like the pounding "Bollo" and "Bembe" plus the beautiful "Sacapa." But the best is saved for last. The nine minute title track combines relentless energy, tuneful melodies and fiery instrumental playing. It's awe-inspiring. Careful though, as you may find yourself in a big heap afterwards. Of course the closing moments have a 15 year old's imagination-girl-moaning-in-ecstasy bit. It's stupid but somehow fits.
How this album missed the big time is a mystery to me. Being 1975 perhaps it was too late for the early Santana sound, but not too many groups went down this road. I'm guessing that ABC records, not known for their marketing muscle, had no idea how to promote it. There are few albums ever that contains this kind of energy and instrumental virtuosity and combines that with a strong melodic sense. A true masterpiece and a really undiscovered gem. Fortunately the Akarma record company has done us all a favor by releasing this on CD and an exact gatefold LP.
For Chango's second album, Honey is Sweeter Than Blood apparently lead singer Pepe Gomez got too big for his britches and tossed all the members except one, changed labels to Mercury and went soul-pop. The music isn't even recognizable for those who love the first album and is a huge disappointment. For Latin Soul music, it's not bad but not exactly what I'd hoped for. I seriously doubt anyone will reissue this and it doesn't need to be. Just go straight for the first album and never look back. " (From Gnosis - progarchives.com)
01 Fire Over Water 5:34
02 Walk on Hell 7:58
03 Bollo 3:24
04 Caminando 6:57
05 Mira Pa 'Ca 3:00
06 Bembe 0:50
07 Solid Karma 4:50
08 Sacapa 1:14
09 Chango 8:21
George Tacktikos (guitar, vocals)
Reinol Andino (timbales, congas, percussion, vocals)
Pepe Gomez (drums, lead vocals, percussion, piano)
Burlin Speakes (bass)
Thomas Alletto (organ, vocals, piano)
Michael Britton (congas, percussion)
Years ago my buddy Jeff played for me a track from the first Chango album which I really enjoyed and added these guys to my wish list. A few weeks back at a garage sale I found their second album for a buck !
....and what an excellent discovery this one is too !
I think their first is really the best of the two that I have heard but in no way is this an album that you should pass on either. I would say this one is more rock than latin and quite different than their debut album. Best way i can describe this album is try to imagine "Camel" meets "Santana" with a bit of perhaps a dash of "Malo".
Apparently the lead singer (Pepe Gomez) for this second album replaced all but one of the band members to record this album.....so no wonder the vibe and feel is so different from the first album. There are some outstanding latin groove rock moments on this album! (By James Unger)
01 Life Is a Rainbow
02 The Last Ride
03 Meeting The Gods
04 Lady, Lady
05 La Rumba
06 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
07 Thumbing A Ride
08 Woman In Black
09 Evil Lady
Charles Rook (guitar)
Pepe Gomez "Peppy" (lead & backing vocals, drums, piano string ensemble, percussion)
Reinol Andino (congas, timbales, percussion, backing vocals)
Mike Cruz (timbales, percussion, backing vocals)
Ken Weissman (drums)
Burlin Speakes (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals)
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
In 1968 Ray moved from New York to Los Angeles, a year later Ray did a solo album on "United Artist". This album did well and launched his solo career. There were many well known musicians on the album, Bob Mosley on bass from Moby Grape, Jim McCarty guitarist from Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels & Buddy Miles Express, George Suranovich on drums from the group Love, and Duane Hitchings on piano from the Jeff Beck Group. There were many other well known musicians on this album.
01 - Down On The Farm
02 - She's A Lady
03 - Try Acting Like A Woman
04 - Inside Of Me (There's A Dream)
05 - Something In My Head
06 - Miss Goody Two Shoes
07 - (You Gotta) Know Where You're Going
08 - I Feel A Lot
09 - Bring Back The Old Memories
10 - Sittin' On A Hill
Ray Kennedy : Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
David Cohen, Jim McCarty, Art Del Judico, Harvey Mandel : Guitar
Bob West, Max Bennett, Bob Mosley : Bass
Dwayne Hitchings, Bill Cuomo : Keyboards
Paul Humphrey, Johnny Raines, George Suranovitch : Drums
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Fragile was an obscure band that played a heavy, twin guitar rock. They choose this name as a tribute to the band Yes, who had released an album by the same name. The music of Fragile is not unlike Cargo or Wishbone Ash. The band saw the light around 1972. They recorded an album in 1974 but it was not released until 1976. After the album was released their rehearsal location, including their equipment, was burnt down. This didn't make them stop performing, but eventually they did disband the band due to lack of income. In 2004 their album was released on cd.
Remastered reissue on CD of the one and only album by Dutch 70's psych/rural band consisting mainly of Mollucans who play guitar like crazy, as we know. On one side long track they expose a tapestry of excellent guitar fuzzing. One of the most wanted albums from Holland, and an absolute ultra rarity, originally made as a private pressing for friends, relatives, etc.(Freak Emporium)
01. "Sweet Introspect" 5:17
02. "Caroline Funk" 3:56
03. "Good Evening" 6:49
04. "Back On My Feet Again" 5:07
05. "Face To Face" 5:04
06. "So Sad" 13:01
07. "I Wonder" 4:45
Henk Limaheluw - guitars
Ferry Limaheluw - guitars
Hank Oraille - vocals, percussion
Chris Limaheluw - bass
Ted Tahapary - drums
Saturday, March 4, 2017
This would have been the final Man album were it not for the fact that, after a few years off, they got back together again. In 1976, the band decided to split and they decided to round things off with a few nights at the Round House in London which was pretty much their home venue despite their Welsh origins.
Those who had the good fortune to see the shows commented that the band were going out at the top. The rest of us are fortunate that, according to their contract, the band owed the record company one more album so we got this show.
Perhaps the enmity within the band drove them to this performance or perhaps the break up put them into some sort of last day of term mood. I think that you can hear a little of both of these in Deke Leonard's vocals. Especially on "Hard Way to Live."
The twin guitars of Leonard and Jones are of course a feature of the band's music but on this album you can hear that they can do the same thing with their voices as well.
The album is a mix of short snappy songs and the longer tracks that provide a platform for the band's extended guitar jams. I think that the mix between the two is just right on this album. We get some great short snappy tracks such as "Romain" and "Hard Way to Live" to go with the longer material. Of the latter, I really like the version of "Spunk Rock" here. Perhaps not the best but certainly a good performance.
This album would make a good introduction to the band. It displays a range of their musical styles and you certainly get to hear their vocals at their best too.(By John Peter O'connor's)
01."Let the Good Times Roll" (Theard, Moore) – 3:00
02."The Welsh Connection" (Jones, Ryan) – 7:59
03."The Ride and the View" (Leonard) – 6:01
04."Hard Way to Live" (Leonard) – 3:14
05."Born With a Future" (Jones, Leonard, Ryan) – 7:22
06."Spunk Rock" (Jones, Leonard, Williams, Ryan) – 8:31
07."Romain" (Ace, Jones, Leonard) – 4:58
Terry Williams – vocals & drums
Phil Ryan – vocals & keyboards
John McKenzie – vocals & bass
Deke Leonard – vocals & guitar
Micky Jones – vocals & guitar