Apr 30, 2009

PEDDLERS - THREE IN A CELL (CBS 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 4 bonus

The Peddlers first met in a Manchester music shop. All three were looking for a new venture after their previous bands had folded. Following the teaming up the band began rehearsals with the clear intention of developing a new approach. Phillips described their syle as "blues based with a touch of rock and jazz ............ we are trying to set trends".The debut single "Let the Sun Shine In/True girl coupled an energetic r&b track with an uncomfortable attempt at merseybeat and started a run of five more singles and an EP for the Philips label, most of the which are collected on the 1968 compilation album "The Fantastic Peddlers". Highlights of which include Phillip's "Whatever Happened to the Good Times" and "Anybody's Fool".
In 1966 the group began a residency at Annies Room in London also playing the Scotch of St James and the Pickwick where the groups first album "Live at the Pickwick" was recorded. The album is a perfect "you are there" document of the mid-sixties London club scene complete with a trying hard to be hip Pete Murray introduction and a semi celebrity audience.
The Peddlers reputation as a live attraction spread and after becoming the first Brits to play the Flamingo in Las Vegas a deal with CBS was signed. The first album for CBS "Freewheelers" contained eleven cover versions of mainly standards with one original song. The follow up "Three in a cell" followed suit although this time Phillips provided four of the eleven tracks. The group also continued to release regular singles several of which were minor hits...[net]
The Peddlers were an underrated group who had in Phillips an excellent musician, vocalist and writer and in Martin and Morais a rhythm section second to none. They left behind some great records, a enviable live reputation and were a true sound of the 60's.

Apr 28, 2009

SPIRIT OF JOHN MORGAN - S/T (CARNABY 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 1 bonus

Although released in 1971, the debut self-titled album by Spirit of John Morgan was actually recorded two years earlier, before the spirit of the '60s dissipated into the excesses of the '70s. But even back in 1969, the British quartet were already fish out of water, gasping for R&B in a Technicolor age of psychedelia. So they created their own, an entire album's worth of strong, shadowed, R&B numbers underlit by magnificent musicianship and powerful rhythms. The set opener, a menacing cover of Graham Bond's "I Want You," is a case in point, stalker-like in its intensity, with John Morgan's organ conjuring up a phantom of the opera from which there is no escape. However, Morgan's phenomenal finger skills are best showcased on a cover of Meade "Lux" Lewis' "Honky Tonk Train Blues," a fabulously masterful piano boogie woogie, as is his equally extraordinary adaptation of Albert Ammons' "Shout for Joy." And Morgan is just as skilled on the organ, as is evidenced on the band's take on Big John Patton's "The Yodel." As astounding as the covers are, the quartet offered up their own numbers that are of equal quality. "Orpheus and None for Ye," is a particular standout, a dark, driving number that initially calls to mind the Spencer Davis Group before diving into the heart of the jungle, while Don Whitaker's guitar licks like flames around the piece. It is the set's final number, however, the ten-minute epic "Yorkshire Blues" that is the heart of the album...
Keyboard player and vocalist John Morgan was a Graham Bond afficianado who turned toward psychedelia as the 1960's wore on. Billed originally as The Spirit of John Morgan, the band was successful enough to get booked into the Marquee and other top clubs, and cut three albums. Their self-titled debut into 1969 was followed by two more LPs in 1970 and 1972 (credited simply to John Morgan) for the Carnaby label. He also cut a single for British RCA in the early 1970's.[All Music Guide]

GNIDROLOG - LADY LAKE (RCA VICTOR 1972) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Gnidrolog are one of the more overlooked bands that took part in the progressive rock explosion in Britain around 1971-73. Why the band is nearly forgotten nowadays is a mystery to me. When Mike Prete first played me Lady Lake, my jaw literally dropped. Expecting some banal proto-progressive stuff, I was pleasantly surprised to hear powerful, full-blown progressive rock with an dark, original feel. The best comparisons I can make would be to groups like Van der Graaf Generator, Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant, and Gnidrolog often meets the same level of brilliance as those bands. Of course, it would be mistaken to say that Gnidrolog were simply heavily influenced by these bands, since the group was coexisting and rose to prominence in tandem with those groups. In fact, judging from their gig history, Gnidrolog were fairly integral to the prog scene at the time, playing shows with everyone from Colosseum, Wishbone Ash and Greenslade to Gentle Giant, Soft Machine, King Crimson and even Magma...[net]
"Lady Lake" is a very surprising and overlooked album of dark progressive rock from the early 70s. Gnidrolog sounds like a mixture of early Jethro Tull and Van der Graaf Generator, with heavy emphasis on both flute and saxophone. Much of the songs are structured around fairly conventional vocal melodies, with cool lyrics backed by familiar song structures, before breaking into incredible chaotic jams full of flute, sax and guitar interplay. The opening two tracks, "I Could Never Be a Soldier" and "Ship," are mindblowing, full of dark melodies led by Colin Goldring, whose emotional tone bears a passing resemblance to Peter Hammill's.
Overall, this a vastly underrated album that must have been overshadowed by the other prog gems released at that same time. Lady Lake is a great work what will appeal to fans looking for a unique, dark mix of early Tull and VdGG...[net]

Apr 26, 2009

THE MINDBENDERS - MINDBENDERS (FONTANA 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 10 bonus

...After a tour of America, Fontana abruptly left the band in the middle of a concert in 1965. Guitarist Eric Stewart suddenly became the lead singer of the band, which immediately dropped "Wayne Fontana" from its name.
The Mindbenders' first single without Fontana was the hit "Groovy Kind of Love" (a Carole Bayer Sager / Toni Wine composition).The song reached number two in the U.S., and sold one million copies globally. It was successfully revived by Phil Collins in the 1980s. The album of the same name, however, was a failure, as were their other singles and later albums.
A second song by Bayer and Wine, "Ashes to Ashes," did reach number 14 in the UK Singles Chart, after an earlier effort in 1966, "Can't Live With You (Can't Live Without You)" had struggled to break the Top 30. The Mindbenders made their final American tour in July 1966, kicking off in Atlanta, Georgia on Independence Day, in front of a capacity 25,000 crowd, but they were only the support act. James Brown was the headliner and, while Eric Stewart remembered, "we went down quite well," a more memorable show came when the Mindbenders played the Fillmore West later in the tour. "The liquid light show was great and really worked with our act, which was a lot heavier than on our records"...
Remaining together following the departure of frontman Wayne Fontana, the Mindbenders got off to one of the most promising starts any band could enjoy, when their debut single "A Groovy Kind of Love" soared to number two in the U.K. and topped the chart in America. And had the group only succeeded in locating a decent follow-up, they might well have developed into one of the finest British bands of the late '60s.
Instead, a series of disastrous choices of 45s condemned them to the ranks of rank also-rans, and it is only later that the sheer quality of their other work — material hitherto lost on two Mindbenders LPs — had been re-evaluated sufficiently to let listeners state that here was one of the greatest of all Britain's post-beat bands....

Apr 24, 2009

JIMMY VANN BAND - THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE SKY (KALEIDOSOUND 1971) Jap/Kor mastering cardboard sleeve + 2 bonus

The Jimmy Vann Band made sweet music, a hybrid of soft pop and mellow jazz. 'The Upper Left Hand Corner Of The Sky' is a collection of pure hearted music that soothes the soul. The title track, composed by Buddy Prima (nephew of the legendary Louis Prima), has become a classic of the soft pop genre.Polished & whistle-clean cocktail bar jazz band doing Association vocals, other AM radio knockoffs. Chord changes are cool, & backup vox are soft & groovy, but very produced...
The upper left hand corner of the sky is a very groovy place -- thanks to warm vocals and a sunny groove from the Jimmy Vann Band! The group's a trio, of the hotel/cocktail variety -- but they've also got plenty of Sunshine Pop touches too -- a mixture of male and female vocals, and a real love of catchy, jangly rhythms on their upbeat tunes! Although issued on a small west coast label, the set's got all the sparkle of better-known gems on A&M or Capitol at the time -- a professional, focused sound that's never too cheesy, and always sweetly compelling. Instrumentation includes organ, piano, accordion, flute, and trumpet -- and titles are almost all originals, and pretty darn great overall! Titles include "The Upper Left Hand Corner Of The Sky", "Circle V", "I'm Just Me", "Cowboys Never Cry", "Break Tune", "Everything That's True Is Blue", and "The Music Is Love". CD features 2 bonus tracks too -- "How Do You Tell A Child", and "I Love You More Each Day".[Dusty Groove America]
Remastered with tender loving care, this reissue brings you the original magic and melody of this long lost album. This first official CD-release comes in an LP miniature sleeve including obi. 24 bit digital remastered from the original master tapes.

Apr 22, 2009

HAGOOD HARDY & THE MONTAGE - MONTAGE (GRT 1970) Jap/Kor mastering cardboard sleeve

Dreamy vocal pop from early 70s Canada -- a set that owes a lot to the 60s sweetness of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66! The Montage have an approach that's a bit more rock-based overall, but there's definitely some Sergio-like touches in the music -- especially the way the two female vocalists sing together in a nicely spaced-out sort of sound -- warm, but with an undercurrent of coldness -- mixed in with some very groovy rhythms from Hagood Hardy on vibes, electric piano, marimba, and percussion! There's also a fair bit of bossa in the mix too -- not as overtly as on Brasil 66 records, and more filtered down into a 70s sort of hipness -- expanded out with wider pop influences, and some traces of Sunshine styles as well. Titles include great versions of "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", "Come Saturday Morning", "Baby I'm A Want You", "Guantanamera", "It's Too Late/I Feel The Grass Grow Under My Feet", and "If" -- and the record would be right at home on A&M! [Dusty Groove America]
Hardy is best remembered as a composer of TV advertising jingles and his 1975 hit The Homecoming (originally written to advertise tea). Before that he had a jazz tinged pop group called Montage (not the band featuring Left Banke- and Stories member Michael Brown) and they made this excellent album featuring treasures such as a brilliant reworking of Vince Guaraldi's 'Cast Your Fate To The Wind' and Dory Previn & Fred Carlin's bittersweet 'Come Saturday Morning'.
Hardy started his professional career as a vibraphonist in 1956 at the House Of Hamburg. After relocating to New York in the early '60's he became a much-in-demand performer with all of the Jazz elite including The Village Vanguard.
He began touring with the likes of Herbie Mann, George Shearing and Martin Denny for nearly seven years in such places as Las Vegas and Hawaii.
He moved back to Toronto in 1966 to form Hagood Hardy & The Montage which toured internationally for six years. It was around this time that he started music for film and television.
He wrote "The Homecoming" in 1972 for a Salada Tea commercial and once people began writing to the company to find out how they could get a copy of the instrumental piece Hardy finally released it. In 1975 it was released as a single and the song went Top-10 across Canada. Two Juno Awards followed for 'Composer Of The Year' and 'Instrumental Artist Of The Year'.
Hardy died after an 18 month struggle with stomach cancer in Hamilton on January 1, 1997 and is survived by 4 children...[net]

Apr 20, 2009

JOHN COMPTON - TO LUNA (AGELESS 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 5 bonus

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Parker Compton co-founded the acoustic band APPALOOSA with violinist Robin Batteau in the late '60s. Both musicians had been heavily influenced by the folk scene in their hometown, Cambridge, MA. Compton got his start singing in a Cambridge church choir before he and Batteau began playing the coffeehouse circuit together.
As the 1972 press release for Compton's solo album, To Luna, tells it, John Compton showed up at producer Al Kooper's Columbia Records office in late 1968, hoping to show Kooper his songs. Uninterested, Kooper told the kid (Compton was 18) to come back some other time. But a little while later, Kooper came in on Compton and Batteau performing for the office secretaries. Won over, Kooper recorded their demo, and within a year the newly signed musicians had an album out, the self-titled debut from their group Appaloosa. Also including bassist David Reiser and cellist Eugene Rosov, Appaloosa was joined in the studios by members of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and by Kooper himself.
A year after Appaloosa's 1969 release (which was produced by Al Kooper) on Columbia Records, a 19-year-old John Compton got to take the stage at Fillmore East the last weekend of December, along with the Allman Brothers, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Appaloosa soon gave way to a duo project of Compton & Batteau, and the two musicians recorded Compton & Batteau in California for Columbia. By 1971, Compton was on his own with a new LP, To Luna, but after this, it would be over 20 years before he returned to the studios. His return was marked by 1995's Mother of Mercy, which was followed by a six-song self-released recording of Compton on a Vermont radio station....

"TO LUNA" cd is now available worldwide (not only in Japan)
at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/johncompton

Apr 18, 2009

WIL MALONE - WIL MALONE (FONTANA 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Not surprisingly, the debut solo album by the major creative force behind the group Orange Bicycle is similar in nature to the latter group's music. Almost self-consciously pretty in a manner closer to art-rock (or theater music) than psychedelia (despite its richly hued multi-colored cover), the overall feel of the album, between Wilson Malone's introspective vocals and the reed- and horn- dominated accompaniments with low-volume guitar, is somewhere midway between Baroque pop and singer/songwriter-style reflection. It's all rather dark and brooding but also very beautiful in its execution, and filled with haunting melodies and rich timbres, all of this despite the narrow range and limited expressiveness of Malone's voice, which - even with all of the help he seems to get from the studio in this setting - seems to reach only about half-an-octave. You might find yourself thinking of Wil Malone as a British equivalent to David Ackles' American Gothic, which it predated by two years, but that's not a bad benchmark to have hit, even if it didn't bring Malone much success in 1970...[net]
Using simple arrangements of cello, flute bass and acoustic guitar Wil Malone gently recites his fragile pastoral folk-like songs that are embellished with a beautiful production and the odd subtle studio effect (such as on the ghostly and trippy "Love In the Afternoon") A true forgotten classic somewhere in the no man's land between psychedelia and singer songwriter....

Apr 15, 2009

BUCKINGHAMS - PORTRAITS (COLUMBIA 1968) Jap DSD mastering cardboard sleeve + 4 bonus

In 1967-68, the dam burst for Chicago's Buckinghams, and the airwaves were awash with that wonderful sound: heartfelt vocals riding over lush horn arrangements. By year's end, Dennis Tufano, Carl Giammarese and company had scored major hits with "Don't You Care," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)," "Susan," "Back In Love Again" and more. In rapid order, the group released three Columbia albums: Time & Charges, Portraits, and In One Ear And Gone Tomorrow, jam-packed with Top 40 radio smashes and much, much more. In 1967 Billboard Magazine declared that The Buckinghams were the most popular band in the world..(!!!!)
Portraits is a "concept" album it is almost diametrically opposed to the image most people have of the Buckinghams. The hits, "Hey Baby" and "Susan" are totally out of place with the rest of the material on the album which was written by various members of the band. "C'mon Home", "Have You Noticed You're Alive" and "Any Place in Here" are just fabulous!
After producer James William Guercio steered the Buckinghams in a quasi-experimental direction with their previous album, the group continued to try out material too ambitious for the 45 rpm format on their third LP. The big difference this time around was that they wrote almost everything, instead of playing songs by Guercio and other outside writers. Some bands blossom given the room to stretch; others, when given the opportunity, prove that they're better off when constrained within the limitations of commercial singles. The Buckinghams, as laudable as their ambition was, fell into the latter category. The over-arching horn and string arrangements (still by Guercio), and occasional bouts of quasi-psychedelic weirdness -- not to mention the arty reprises of three songs -- couldn't disguise that these were, at heart, ordinary pop/rock songs trying to be something better and different...[net]

RASCALS - PEACEFUL WORLD (COLUMBIA 1971) Jap DSD mastering cardboard sleeve

"Rolling Stone" Review 1971...
"The first two times I heard cuts from the first Rascals album on Columbia the radio announcers implied that this album should be judged chronologically as the Rascals' Sgt. Pepper. In setting a historical parallel between the Beatles and the Rascals I would be much more inclined to align Peaceful World with All Things Must Pass. No matter how much money Columbia paid for the Rascals' contract, they got an album by Felix Cavaliere, for in fact, the Rascals appear to no longer be a group at all. Ann Sutton, who is heralded as the group's new permanent female vocalist, appears on only two of the 12 cuts on the double album. Another female vocalist named Molly Holt appears on just as many. As many as 15 other musicians, including jazz perfectionists Alice Coltrane and Ron Carter, augment the Cavaliere production.
Taken as an attempt by Cavaliere to merge the diverse phenomena of rhythm and blues, jazz, African music, Eastern philosophy and a Roman Catholic upbringing, the album is quite good.
There is nothing as rousing as "Good Loving" or "Come on Up," but "Love Me" is as close to the feeling of revivalist spiritual as Cavaliere or any contemporary musician has recorded.
Many of the others blend together and are not easily identified as distinct "cuts." "Mother Nature Land" is a fine song: it appears first at the beginning of side two and then as "A Visit to Mother Nature Land" on side three. Other themes, beats and rhythms repeat from number to number, forcing the listener to look at the album as a work in the classical sense. "Sky Trains" is the most subdued number. Its relaxed pace is a further sign that Cavaliere no longer wishes to overwhelm us from the start and with the help of Dino's machine gun keep you shakin' for an hour or so.
The role of lead guitarist and vocalist Buzzy Feiten, who comes to this group via Paul Butterfield's Band and Dylan's New Morning, is not yet defined. He seems on this first album to simply be filling in for Eddie Brigati. He takes lead vocal and guitar on "lcy Water" and "In and Out of Love," which he wrote himself but which still somehow seem as if they were written to keep a bit of Eddie's memory alive or just prove that he can do what Eddie used to.
When Felix wants special help he calls upon Linc Chamberlain and the Bruno brothers, Bruce and Buddy. All three of these musicians are from Felix's native Westchester County in New York. All three have paid their bills during the last decade playing in and out of blueeyed soul club bands in New York.
It will take a good while for the final verdict to come in on this one. But something about the music, like the Gaugain painting on its cover, says that it will continue to grow on you for a long long time"...[Rolling Stone Jul 8, 1971]

DAVE DEE DOZY BEAKY MICK & TICH - IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE (FONTANA 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 13 bonus

Hook-laden tunes transformed Salisbury, Wiltshire, England-based quartet Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich into one the United Kingdom's top pop bands of the mid-'60s. Performing songs by their managers Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, the group scored with such Top Ten U.K. hits as "Hold Tight," "Hideaway," "Bend It," "Save Me," "Okay," "Zabadak," "Last Night in Soho," and the chart-topper, "Legend of Xanadu." Although they were among the many British bands who honed their skills while performing in Hamburg, Germany, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich were one of the first to tour the United Kingdom with established acts. Shortly after moving to London in 1965, the group hooked up with Howard and Blaikley. With the group disbanding in 1969, Dee recorded a minor hit as a soloist before turning his attention to producing. He briefly reunited with the band in 1974 and again in the early '80s. He recorded a single, "Staying with It" b/w "Sure Thing" in 1983. ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide
"If Music Be the Food of Love" was Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mich and Tich's second album, and it's by far the most succesfull of their 4 orginal albums. Originally released in 1966 the album included their recent hits "Hideaway" and "Bend it" as well as their break-through "You Make it Move". Moreover the extensive list of bonus-tracks (13) contains some of their later hits like "Save Me", "Touch Me, Touch Me" and "Okay".
The album tracks are fine; especially "Loos of England", "Master Lewellyn", "All I Want" and "Hair on My Chinny-Chin" are favourites of mine.
There is an overall good-time and optimistic feel to this album, and most songs will set the scene for singing-along.
The song-writing team Howard/Blaikley wrote all the singles and a good deal of the of the album tracks. And it's unquestionable that these guys possesed an unique skill for writing catchy pop-tunes. The band themselves also wrote some of the material for the album and some of the B-sides. Among them fine tracks like "Master Lewellyn", "Shame" and "Marina"...[net]

Apr 12, 2009

VANITY FARE - THE SUN THE WIND & OTHER THINGS (PAGE ONE 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 11 bonus

School friends Trevor Brice (vocals), Tony Goulden (guitar), Dick Allix (drums) and Tony Jarrett (bass) formed the band in Kent in 1968, originally calling themselves The Avengers. They played local clubs and were spotted by entrepreneur Roger Easterby who became their manager and producer. Having changed the name of the band to Vanity Fare after the novel, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, they signed to Page One Records (a division of Bell Records). Vanity Fare achieved a UK hit single with their first release, a cover of "I Live For The Sun" (originally recorded by The Sunrays in 1965) in the summer of 1968. Following two more singles, "Summer Morning" and "Highway Of Dreams," both of which failed to make the UK Singles Chart, they released their biggest UK hit "Early In The Morning." Written by Mike Leander and Eddie Seago, it reached number 8 in that country in August 1969 and number 12 in the U.S. in early 1970.
For their next release "Hitchin' A Ride" they added keyboardist Barry Landemen to the group. "Hitchin' A Ride", written by tunesmiths Peter Callander and Mitch Murray, gave them a million selling hit reaching number 5 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and making number 16 in the UK in January 1970. This disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The hit was preceded by a tour of the United States, following which both Dick Allix and Tony Goulden left the band and were replaced by guitarist and singer Eddie Wheeler and drummer Mark Ellen.
Two more singles followed before the end of 1970; Mike Leander and Eddie Seago's "Come Tomorrow" and Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway's "Carolina's Coming Home" both of which failed to dent the charts on either side of the Atlantic.
Over the next couple of years more singles were released including Tony Macaulay's "Better By Far" on DJM Records in 1972, but none of them entered the charts. Following this they decided to concentrate on live performances touring Europe, where they were having hit singles. Following the mid 1970s, and amid many band member changes, the group recorded only sporadically.They are still together today, and performing live stage shows...[net]

Apr 10, 2009

DAVE DEE,DOZY,BEAKY,MICK & TICH - S/T (FONTANA 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 13 bonus

Five friends from Wiltshire, David John Harman, Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies, John Dymond, Michael Wilson and Ian Frederick Stephen Amey, formed a group in 1961 called Dave Dee And The Bostons. They soon gave up their jobs (e.g. Dave Dee was a policeman) to make money from music. Apart from performing in Britain, they also occasionally played in Hamburg (Star-Club, Top Ten Club) and in Cologne (Storyville).
In summer 1964, British songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley became interested in recording them. The band was set up in the studio to make recordings with then famous producer of The Honeycombs, Joe Meek. These recording sessions failed to get anywhere off the ground as an interview with Dave Dee stated that Joe Meek "had very strange recording techniques. He wanted us to play the song at half speed and then he would speed it up and put all these little tricks on it. We said we couldn't do it that way. He exploded, threw coffee all over the studio and stormed up to his room. His assistant Patric Pink came in and said, "Mr Meek will not be doing any more recording today." That was it. We lugged all our gear out and went back home." While these recording session proved unsuccessful they eventually gained a recording contract with Fontana Records.
They changed their name to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich — an amalgam of their nicknames. The distinctive name, coupled with well produced and catchy songs by Howard and Blaikley, quickly caught the UK's public's imagination and their records started to sell in abundance. Indeed, between 1965 and 1969, the group spent more weeks in the UK Singles Chart than The Beatles.
Vocalist Dee, the ex-policeman, was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee had taken Cochran's guitar from the accident and held it until it could be returned to his family.
They also scored a Number One hit on the UK chart in 1968 with "The Legend of Xanadu".This particular track made it 'big' worldwide - even in the United States (where they had previously had little success). Their other Top Ten UK hits included "Hideaway", "Hold Tight!", "Bend It!", "Save Me", "Touch Me, Touch Me", "Okay!", "Zabadak!" and "Last Night in Soho".
In September, 1969, Dee left the group for a short-lived solo career. The rest, re-billed as (D,B,M and T) continued releasing records, until they broke up in 1972...[net]

Apr 8, 2009

KALEIDOSCOPE - S/T [MEXICO] (ORFEON 1969) Limited cardboard sleeve

Uno de los grupos mas legendarios de la escena rock en Mexico, considerado a veces como la mejor propuesta psicodelica de finales de los '60 en toda America Latina.
Aunque de conocimiento subterraneo, la musica de este grupo ha permanecido como un mito que renace cuando de repente se menciona y alguien dice por ahi –?si, CALEIDOSCOPIO, como no, yo tenia como 15 anos!… y de pronto, el album original que fue grabado por la etiqueta Orfeon y que produjo solo 200 copias, es reeditado en una produccion exclusiva para la etiqueta La Ciruela Electrica de Tijuana, limitando a 1000 copias su version CD, como intentando que la legendaria banda permanezca en los niveles bajo tierra. Y es que entre otras cosas, KALEIDOSCOPE grabo solo un disco y como dije antes, legendario.
La musica en este disco es funky, acida, 100% contagiada por la era Amor y Paz, con algunos tintes progresivos ocasionados por unos teclados incisivos, pero lo mas importante, llena de una busqueda por hacer lo diferente. Llena de un sentir rebelde, a veces sin sentido pero con mucha expresion. Se convirtieron asi en uno de los grupos mexicanos que se atrevieron a ir mas alla y por eso, sirvieron de trampolin para impulsar mas lejos a quienes se dejaron contagiar.
Existen al menos otros dos grupos de nombre igual y de epoca similar tambien; uno coreano y otro britanico, asi que ?aguas!, el mexicano es el de la portada que muestro en esta revision...
Cardboard repro of the original Orfeon LP sleeve. This is a monster psych classic from Mexico City c.1968/69, one of the rarest and most desired psychedelic albums of all time! A great album, with all songs in English—heavy grooves, super fuzzified guitar and a raving, ranting, drooling savage garage sound...

Apr 6, 2009

NINO & APRIL - ALL STRUNG OUT (WHITE WHALE 1966) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 5 bonus

The classic brother/sister duo, actors, top session musicans and hitmakers with the oldies radio staple "Deep Purple" (and yes, that record *was* the inspiration for the celebrated rockers' name!) and many more A vital brick in Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound, Nino and April continued making impressionistic, Spectoresque records well into the 1960's...their switch from Atco to adventurous LA indie label White Whale seemingly freeing up their creativity no end.....utilising Nino's jazz chops and consummate songwriting and April's torchy, intimate vocals, which speak right to the....um...heart of a young man, to best advantage...in their unique counterpoint style...in this (kind of!) missing link between Spectorsound and the emerging psychy softpop....classic stuff.....and a listening treat!...[net]
Formed in the early 1960s when Nino Tempo and April Stevens signed as a duo with Atco, the group had a string of Billboard hits and earned a Grammy Award as "best rock & roll record of the year" for the single "Deep Purple". "Deep Purple" was originally released as a "B-side" by producer Ahmet Ertegun, who was dubious of Tempo's belief that it would be a hit, calling it "the most embarrassing thing" the duo had ever recorded. When the "A-side" song, "Paradise", flopped, Ertegun relented, and the song achieved notability as the longest running hit B-side, a title it carried for 21 years.
Music journalist Richie Unterberger has described the later song "All Strung Out" as Nino Tempo & April Stevens' "greatest triumph", declaring it "one of the greatest Phil Spector-inspired productions of all time". For years following their charting singles, the duo continued recording, but failed to achieve continued sales success...[net]

Apr 4, 2009

FANTASY - PAINT A PICTURE (POLYDOR 1973) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

The story of this band started at the Chapel Farm, a farmhouse near Gravesend (Kent) were the band had their first rehearsals. It was the family home of singer Paul Petley, other musicians were Geoff Whitehorn (electric guitar), Paul Lawrence (acoustic guitar/vocals), David Metcalfe (keyboards), David Read (bass guitar) and Brian Chatham (drums), later replaced by John Webster. The lead guitar was by the promising Bob Vann but he died in a car accident, he was replaced by Pete James. The new line-up FANTASY sent a demo tape to the label Decca and changed their name in FIREQUEEN. But Polydor was also interested and they pursuaded the band to sign for them. Again the band decided to change their name, it became FANTASY, a name that fitted more to the style and flavour of the music. The debut album was called "Paint A Picture" and released in '73...[net]
Along with Spring and Cressida, Fantasy was one of the classic bands in the soft, symphonic and melodic vein of early British progressive rock. "Paint..." was unfortunately the only album they managed to get out while they still existed, but in return, the whole album is a true delight! Very beautiful, melodic and atmospheric with great songwriting from the first to the last track. Personally I like the band best when they were at their most mellow, and tracks like "Icy River", "Gnome Song", "The Award" and the title-track are among my favourites. "Politely Insane" is probably the best of the more uptempo tracks, with its catchy melody and great brass-arrangement. Both the atmosphere, sound and lyrics of the last track, "Silent Mime", reminds me actually quite a lot of the title track from Novalis' "Banished Bridge". Vocals are soft and pleasant with lots of good harmonies. Arrangements are tasty with lots of atmospheric organ, Mellotron and guitar. Overall, this is classic stuff...[vintageprog.com]

MOUNTAIN - FLOWERS OF EVIL (WINDFALL 1971) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve

Counting Leslie West's July 1969 solo album, Flowers of Evil was the fourth album in 28 months for West and Felix Pappalardi's Mountain, and the pace was catching up with them: Flowers of Evil was only half of a studio album with five new songs, its second side filled up with a live 25-minute rock & roll medley and encore of Mountain's sole Top 40 hit, "Mississippi Queen." This was unmistakable evidence that Mountain had run their course. There would be live albums, compilations, and reunions over the succeeding years, but Flowers of Evil marked the creative end of a surprisingly short-lived enterprise. [Originally released in November 1971 as Windfall 5501]
Mountain: Leslie West (vocals, guitar); Felix Pappalardi (vocals, bass); Steve Knight (keyboards); Corky Laing (drums). Mountain's second release of 1971 (and fourth release in only a two year span), FLOWERS OF EVIL, would turn out to be the band's final studio release before starting a cycle of splitting up and reuniting. Comprising equal amounts of all new studio material and live recordings, FLOWERS OF EVIL contains several Mountain gems. Highlights of the studio side remain the album opening title track, as well as the Cream-like (and appropriately titled) blues rocker, "Crossroader." Mountain were always known for their larger than life concerts, and the live tracks capture the band in all its electrified boogie glory--a 25-minute medley centered around a cover of "Roll Over Beethoven," which weaves in and out of other jams, as well as a run through of their best known song, "Mississippi Queen."..[net]

Apr 1, 2009

WAYNE FONTANA & THE MINDBENDERS - S/T (FONTANA 1965) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 13 bonus

(Continue).....The band set off for America almost immediately and ran straight into trouble. Visa difficulties had forced the band to cancel a couple of shows at the start of the tour -- immigration officials actually demanded statements from both Billboard and Cashbox to prove that the band's Stateside success actually justified their presence here. Then, the moment they stepped off the plane, the Mindbenders were served writs for one million each. They were being sued for not making two gigs in New Jersey.
Thankfully, the threat came to nothing and the remainder of the tour passed off happily. A new version of their debut album, featuring several cuts not on the U.K. album was released, making a respectable number 28; unfortunately, the moment the band's back was turned, their fortunes began to dip. Their next single, "Just a Little Bit Too Late," only reached number 45 in the U.S. (and number 20 in Britain) and when "She Needs Love" halted at number 32 in the U.K., at the same time as their second album, Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob, stiffed, it appeared as though the Mindbenders' magic had dissipated already.
Certainly Wayne Fontana, the Fontana label, and the Kennedy Street Enterprises management label, thought so. The singer had always entertained visions of eventually graduating to a solo career and, in October 1965, everybody concerned realized the time had come; everybody, that is, aside from the band. They remained in the dark until, midway through a live show, Fontana simply walked off stage, turning to Stewart as he left and saying, "It's all yours."
It was not the first time the band had played on without their frontman; back in March, nervous exhaustion had confined Fontana to bed, midway through a 21-date, twice-nightly British tour with Herman's Hermits. So, with Stewart taking lead vocals, the band finished the set themselves; the audience seemed to enjoy themselves and the decision was made to carry on as a three-piece, which was precisely what their label and management had been planning all along. And, overnight, one fading chart act became two promising newcomers, singer Wayne Fontana and band the Mindbenders...[allmusic]