Sunday, August 21, 2016

Leo Sayer - Have You Ever Been In Love (1983)

(U.K 1973 - Present)
Leo Sayer (born Gerard Sayer) had a string of highly polished mainstream pop hits in the late '70s. Sayer began his musical career as the leader of the London-based Terraplane Blues Band in the late '60s. 
He formed Patches with drummer Dave Courtney in 1971. Courtney used to play with British pop star Adam Faith. Faith was beginning a management career in the early '70's, so Courtney brought Patches to his former employer in hopes of securing a contract. Patches failed to impress Faith, yet he liked Sayer and chose to promote him as a solo artist. Sayer began recording some solo material written with David Courtney at Roger Daltrey's studio; the Who's lead singer liked the Sayer/Courtney originals enough to record a handful himself, including the hit "Giving It All Away." Sayer's debut single, "Why Is Everybody Going Home," failed to make any impact, yet 1973's "The Show Must Go On" hit number one in the U.K.; a cover by Three Dog Night stopped Sayer's version from charting in the U.S. The following year he released his first album, Silver Bird.

Just a BoySilver Bird was followed quickly by Just a Boy, which included two more British hit singles, "One Man Band" and "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)"; "Long Tall Glasses" managed to break Sayer into the American Top Ten in early 1975. Sayer's working relationship with Courtney was severed during the recording of his third album, Another Year (1975). The following year, he released Endless Flight, which was co-written with former Supertramp member Frank Furrell; featuring the number one singles "You Make Me Feel like Dancing" and "When I Need You," the record became his biggest hit in both the U.S. and the U.K., selling over a million copies in America. Following Endless Flight, Sayer became a fixture in the American Top 40, yet his hits began to dry up in England.

Sayer began the '80s with the American number two hit, "More Than I Can Say," yet it was his last big single in the U.S. His last chart entry in America was the early 1981 hit "Living in a Fantasy"; the U.K. hits didn't stop until 1983, after "Till You Come Back to Me" scraped the charts. After laying low for the rest of the decade, he attempted a comeback in 1990 with Cool Touch, however it fell on deaf ears. [extract from]
Have You Ever Been in Love is the tenth studio album by recording artist Leo Sayer. It was originally released in November 1983 by Chrysalis in the UK, and Warner the USA as the follow-up to his ninth album World Radio (1982). It was co-produced by the Grammy Award-winning Arif Mardin, in association with Alan Tarney, and Christopher Neil producing the other tracks. Sayer is credited as co-writer on the tracks "Don't Wait Until Tomorrow", and "Orchard Road".
The album reached #15 on the UK Albums Chart, making it (including the greatest hits compilation album, The Very Best of Leo Sayer) his eleventh successive Top 50 chart entry in the UK Albums Chart, in a period of a little over nine years. The album spawned three singles which all reached the top sixty on the UK Singles Chart, including "Orchard Road", which would become one of Sayer's most popular songs, this would also become the last Sayer single to make the Top 20.

When Sayer wrote most of the material for this album, he was going through a traumatic breakup with his longtime wife Janice and consequently many of the songs reflected the heartache that he was dealing with at the time. Tracks like "'Til You Come Back To Me", "Sea Of Heartbreak", "Your Love Still Brings Me To Your Knees", "Wounded Heart", and the gorgeous "Orchard Road" all give the listener an insight into the emotional turmoil he was living with at the time.

When Sayer and his first wife Janice finally divorced in 1985, the subsequent financial disclosure revealed that Adam Faith had badly mishandled his business affairs over the years, and most of the millions of pounds he had earned over the previous decade had been lost, through Faith's questionable investments and business expenses.

Sayer sued Faith for mismanagement; and the case was eventually settled out of court in 1992 with Sayer receiving a reported payout of £650,000.
On 12 February 2006, he made a return to number one in the UK Singles Chart, with Meck's remix of "Thunder In My Heart". It was his first appearance in the United Kingdom Top 10 for almost 24 years, and his second chart topper in the United Kingdom, almost three decades after his first. 'Leo Sayer: At His Very Best', a career spanning compilation album, was released in the United Kingdom on 6 March 2006. It featured the Meck single, alongside "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing".

In 2008, Sayer released a new album in Australia, Don't Wait Until Tomorrow. This album, produced by Garth Porter (from the Australian pop band Sherbet), and released by Universal Music Australia, featured selections from his catalogue re-arranged with strings and acoustic and jazz instrumentation.

In January 2009, Sayer became an Australian citizen, having lived in Sydney, New South Wales since 2005.

This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl album and includes full album artwork, along with all featured photos of Sayer from the early 80's.  Also included are several bonus tracks, the non-album B-Side to Orchard Road entitled "Gone Solo" and his first release while performing under the name of Patch - "Living In America".
It is also worth noting that the tracks on this album were written over  a three year time span with his 1980 single "More Than I Can Say" finally appearing on this 1983 album, while the title track and "Heart Stop Beating In Time" were written in 1982 and had previously appeared on his 1982 album release 'World Radio'.  The remainder were written and released in 1983. This is one of my favourite Sayer albums and I absolutely fell in love with his emotional Orchard Road when I first heard it on the radio, and it was his last single release to reach the Top 20 in the Charts.
Track Listing 
01 - 'Til You Come Back To Me
02 - Sea Of Heartbreak
03 - More Than I Can Say
04 - Darlin'
05 - Don't Wait Until Tomorrow
06 - How Beautiful Are You
07 - Orchard Road
08 - Aviation
09 - Heart (Stop Beating In Time)
10 - Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees
11 - Have You Ever Been In Love
12 - Wounded Heart
13 - Love Games14 - Never Had A Dream Come True
15 - Gone Solo (Bonus Single)
16 - Living In America (Patches) (Bonus Track)

Leo Sayer Link (150Mb)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Renee Geyer - Winner (1978)

(Australian 1970-Present)
Renee Geyer's quest for success overseas continued in January 1978, when she returned to Los Angeles where she spent a couple of months recording her seventh album 'Winner', at Crystal Studios with her former producer Frank Wilson (who had worked with her on Moving Along).
She also worked clubs around California with a back-up band including her basic rhythm section of Greg Tell, Mark Punch and Barry Sullivan.
Late in March, she returned for an April Australasian tour. To the delight of her fans it featured the original band with whom she recorded her third album, Ready To Deal.
Renee flew back to America in August (via Bangkok, where she did some gigs), and finalised 'Winner', which eventually was released in Australia (on RCA in December). One of the factors delaying the album's issue may have been the split earlier in the year between Renee and her US record company, Polydor, over poor promotion of her Moving Along album.
To round off 1978, Renee performed at a grand farewell concert held in Sydney's State Theatre on December 15th. The concert was recorded for a live album and filmed with a view to producing a television special. Renee returned to the US and a mammoth tour to promote 'Winner'.
1979 looked like being a big recording year for Renee. Apart from the planned live performance LP, she had recorded a blues album in Sydney during '78 with the Kevin Borich Express plus Mal Logan and Jim Partridge, and was to record a studio LP at Motown Records under the direction of Marvin Gaye in early '79. Her single releases for 1978 were 'Money (That's What I Want)' (April) and 'Baby Be Mine' (October).
Renee speaks out:
Gee I hated "I Am Woman" and because of it I did "It's A Man's World". I've met Helen Reddy since and she's actually a nice lady, but I wasn't crazy about the obviousness of that song of just the....anthemic thing of it, which is the very reason is was such a big hit. So that's how much I know, but it was one of the reasons I wanted to do "It's A Man's World". So it did good for me in the end.

I've had fans but never groupies. I gave off a feeling of 'don't come too close' and I still do. I don't want to get close to punters cause that's what I do on stage and it's not something you share with somebody from the audience. You're a different person to the person up there

No-one's ever tried to control my career as you could probably imagine - which is why I'm not more famous than I am. I've controlled or miss-controlled my own career. I had a manager for a while there who was a partner of the record company director, so it was all a bit of conflict of interest, but it was the wild west in those days. I pretty much have always done what I want to do and a lot of times to my detriment.

In the 70's there were very few women artists around. I've been pretty lucky,I've gotten along with the guys pretty good. But every now and again it gets a bit lonely 'cause you don't always have a lot in common with guys that are hankering after young screaming girls. You end up going back to the hotel while everyone is out drinking and parting. It can be lonely, but I wasn't whingeing about it. I was having a good time. When I was very young I was still a bit shy - believe it or not. Later on I discovered other ways to feel good. Nothing new there !
Most people in bands went through the odd substance in the 70's.

I confused a lot of people. People though I was either gay or really tough because a girl with a big voice up there with a band is considered pretty tough and self contained and assured. I was far from that, but I had a good facade.

In Australia it's an ageist thing. It's a given by certain industry people that once you hit 40 it's going over the old thing and that's not so with many artists. Steve Cummings, Paul Kelly - there's so many artists in Australia that are doing some of their best stuff now. For instance, the ARIA adult contemporary award in not televised.

[extracts from 'Love Is In The Air - Stories of Australian Pop Music' by Toby Creswell, ABC Books, 2003]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl, which I recently came across at a Salvos Opp Shop. Looks like the previous owner took care of their vinyl, 'cause this copy is pop & crackle free.  Some pretty typical disco / funk tracks on this album for that 70's era with no major hit singles but some great music non the less. I gotta admit I had a big crush on this lady when I was a teenager (and I guess I still have! ) and was lucky enough to see her perform on several occasions in the 70's in Geelong.  If you like this album, then don't forget to check out her previous album which I've posted on this blog entitled Moving Out.  As per normal, full album artwork and label scans are included.  Enjoy.
Track Listing
01 - Money (That's What I Want)
02 - I Miss You
03 - Save Me
04 - Baby I'm The One
05 - Baby Be Mine
06 - Sweet Kisses
07 - The Magic Is Still Here
08 - Bad Side Of The Blues
09 - Apartment C & D
10 - I Don't Wanna Lose A Good Thing

The Band:
Guitar - Mark Punch, Melvin Robinson
Bass - Tim Partridge
Drums - Greg Tell
Keyboards - Nate Morgan, Neil Larson
Synthesiser - Michael Boddicker
Saxophone - Ernie Watts
Percussion - Fred Lewis, Jack Ashford

Renee Geyer FLACs (267Mb)
Renee Geyer MP3 (114Mb)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Paice Ashton Lord - Malice In Wonderland (1976)

(UK 1976–1978, 2000)
Paice Ashton Lord, henceforth to be known as affectionately as PAL, is the name of a new five piece band formed by a group of gentlemen who have enough musical credits to put the London Symphony Orchestra to shame.
The idea for the band came from Jon Lord and lan Paice who, after Deep Purple finally split forever in 1976, decided that they enjoyed working together. Not a bad discovery after playing for eight years in one of the world's biggest ever bands. To Paice's drumming and Jon Lord's keyboard work they decided to add the multi-talented singer and keyboardist Tony Ashton who, over the years, has wreaked his own brand of musical havoc among bands like Ashton, Gardner and Dyke and Family.
Then came ex-Stretch bass guitarist Paul Martinez, as cool, funky and subtle as you could want, and jovial Bernie Marsden on lead guitar. Martinez and Marsden were not added simply because they happened to be buddies of Paice Ashton and Lord. No. Our dynamic trio held a long and gruelling series of auditions before arriving at Martinez and Marsden.

In fact Bernie nearly missed the boat, as he told me one night when we were watching Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow at London's Hammersmith Odeon. He hadn't even seen the adverts asking for guitarists for the new band and it was Blackmore's drummer Cozy Powell who put him onto PAL. "Best move I've ever made" Marsden claimed from behind a huge and satisfied grin. And so the band was together and they whisked themselves off to Munich's Musicland recording studio, scene of some of Deep Purple's greatest vinyl triumphs, and the result is contained in this album.
Well, there's more of the same aggression, bite, integrity and sheer consummate musical ability. But above and beyond that there's a rhythm and style which is totally new. Would you believe funky brass sections super cool chick choruses and an r & b feel that most of us thought had been lost forever?
Just listen to Tony Ashton s rich and gravelly vocals, Jon Lord's cool and easy keyboard work, lan Paice's crisp and inventive drumming, Paul Martinez's relaxed and rolling bass and Bernie's stylish and composed guitar playing. [Brian Harrigan (Melody Maker) - Linear Notes]
How PAL was formed
Paice, Ashton, Lord emerged in August 1976 amidst much fanfare in the music press, though it had been no secret that drummer lan Paice and organist Jon Lord were forming a band together after the messy demise of Deep Purple in March.

In those days rock still had enough of a counter culture attraction about it to support a number of weekly music papers. The story both of Purple's split and the new band was big news, with speculation both as to who would be in the band and what they might sound like. For those with more than a passing knowledge of Jon Lord's career the announcement of Tony Ashton as the third member of the project hardly came as a big surprise and, while funding for the new band would come out of the somewhat deeper pockets of Lord and Paice, the musical direction can perhaps be traced more dearly through Ashton's musical lineage.

Tony Ashton had been brought up not far from Liverpool and got into rhythm & blues at an early age, he joined The Remo Four, who made enough of a name for themselves to back George Harrision on a solo album and support The Beatles on a U.S. tour. By 1967 Ashton and drummer Roy Dyke decided to form a new band; Ashton, Gardener & Dyke was the result. They were recommended to Tony Edwards who was managing Deep Purple. Edwards thought they sounded promising and took them on. His decision was proved right when the band scored a success with the hit single "Resurrection Shuffle". It was through Edwards that Ashton and Lord came to meet, the pair finding a rapport which saw them working together on a number of projects. Lord helped with arrangements on a couple of Ashton, Gardener & Dyke's albums, after which he and Ashton co-wrote the soundtrack for a movie called "The Last Rebel".

1971 found Ashton and Lord writing and recording material for the "First Of The Big Bands" album which, due to pressure of work, wasn't finished until 1974. The album leaned towards the heavy rock and blues pattern developed by Ashton, Gardener & Dyke. Released under the Ashton/Lord banner ("we decided against Lord Ashton!" recalls Tony), it was a precursor to what would follow. Tony again: "We had tried to get a Phil Spector sound with as many musicians as we could, with two drummers and five guitar players It was an expensive experiment". Tony and Jon's musical path's crossed again in 1975 when they were both involved in the live performance of Roger Glover's "Butterfly Ball" at the Albert Hall.

The demise of Deep Purple in 1976 was not entirely unexpected. Their last studio album had been fine but on the road things had rapidly gone down hill. With the split came a chance for the members to branch out. For Jon Lord there was very little hesitation and having discussed it with Ian Paice he decided to start a new band, with Ian Ashton top of his musicians wants list, 
"Ian and Jon approached me with the idea of forming a band. In fact Jon had approached me before and I hadn't liked the idea much because I couldn't see myself as a front man. I also thought that with Jon and me both being keyboard players, we'd get in each others way. I'd dropped out of playing with bonds. There were plenty of sessions to do. I was also into doing commercials and jingles for television which is interesting work. It's also quite lucrative as well. I was quite comfortable and I suppose I was in a bit of a rut". Tony was nevertheless persuaded to give it a go and the project began to take shape. " This is the second of the big bands!" quipped Jon Lord after Tony said yes.
Nothing was announced but mysterious adverts (see left) in major music papers during July 1976 were enough to give a hint, especially if you recognised the phone number of Purple's office In London! "British Band Requires British Bass Player and Lead Guitarist for formation of new rock band by three established musicians". It must have had every musician in the country wondering.

A semi-pro guitarist called Ernie Tull was one of those who dialled the number and found himself with an audition:  "I've no idea how many people applied, but it was a hell of an experience to play with those type of musicians and with the power they generate ", he told me afterwards. All the players did the some number, just a blues thing in A minor. You each went into the room, plugged in and after five minutes warm up did the number. It felt really great"

Ernie's friend saw Lord giving the thumbs up sign and they took his number but Ernie feels he was maybe too much of a Blackmore-type of player to get picked.

Lord described the auditions afterwards: "If you want to know what hell on earth is like, try conducting auditions! It's not that the musicians were bad or anything, it's just that there were so many of them. We had about sixty bass players to listen to and this came down to a short list of four. One of them was a great bass player but very much in the Glenn/Roger tradition and this didn't really fit in with what we saw the band as being. Paul Martinez fitted right in within four bars, it sounded as if he and Ian had been playing together for years and as Ian is the main driving force behind the band a rapport between these two was important". Martinez was at the time playing in a band called Stretch, which Tony Ashton already knew of. "Paul had played on (Stretch's version of) Elmer Gantry's "Why Did You Do it" which was really funky so we liked him".

On the lead scene things were proving more difficult as Lord remembered, "Paul was almost the first bass player that came and Bernie was the fast guitarist, we could have saved all that trouble in the middle ". Bernie Marsden was with Babe Ruth (remembered by some - alright, me - for their vocalist, the charismatic jenny Haan) but he'd done numerous sessions and played with UFO and Cozy Powell's Hammer. Marsden hadn't seen the ads in the papers, it was Powell who told him about the vacancy. 

Jon Lord; "We were already looking at two other guitarists, Chris West was one, he played a very jazzy style, but we wanted to keep the rock and roll element there. Another point in Bernie's favour was his ability to sing". A Sounds journalist collared Bemie down at the Nashville club shortly after the audition and asked about the band. "Who did you hear that from? I didn't know anybody knew, except for me and Purple management. I only told the rest of Babe Ruth about it yesterday. I've been blowing with them twice now and it's going very well. From what I've gathered it's going to be a bit more down to earth (than Purple), with some saxes and girl singers as well. Good old English rock and roll but with a bit of taste. I'll be the first to let you know if I actually get the gig". They phoned him the next day and he was in. "It was probably only because they were so knackered. My contribution just battered them into submission!"

On August 7th the papers announced that Lord and Paice were forming a new band and the line-up was made official on August 21st, After that there was a period of rehearsal; Paice and Lord (still tax exiles) had flown Ashton out to LA as soon as they'd decided to form the group, so the three could work undisturbed for a time, "We sat around a fender piano with ideas we all had and flung them together. This produced a lot of basic things which were later polished up in the studio". By the last week of September they were over in the Musicland studio's in Munich laying down the album (with Jon Lord's solo project "Sarabande" issued that same month).
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my imported vinyl (English Pressing) which I picked up many moons ago in Flinders Street (during my Uni days).  I was a huge fan of Deep Purple at the time, and bought anything that was related, even if I hadn't heard it beforehand. I wasn't disappointed with this album and felt that it had a similar sound to Deep Purples 'Come Taste The Band'.  Needless to say, this album has become one of my treasured possessions, and in near mint condition it has withstood the test of time.  Full album artwork and select photos are included, making this a ripper post. Enjoy
Track Listing
01. Ghost Story (05:45)
02. Remember The Good Times (05:46)
03. Arabella (04:07)
04. Silas And Jerome (03:24)
05. Dance With Me Baby (03:20)
06. On The Road Again, Again (03:59)
07. Sneaky Private Lee (06:09)
08. I'm Gonna Stop Drinking (05:16)
09. Malice In Wonderland (06:07)

PAL are:
Ian Paice (Drums & Percussion)
Tony Ashston (Vocals & Keyboards)
Jon Lord (Keyboards & Synthesizers)
Paul Martinez (Bas & Hilda)
Bernie Marsden (Guitar & Second Vocals)


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Noiseworks - Love Versus Money (1991)

(Australian 1985–1992, 2007–2011)
Noiseworks gave Aussie pub rock a sophisticated and contemporary edge in the late 80`s and early 90`s with a trifecta of earthy, rootsy but well polished albums starting with 'Noiseworks' (1987), then Touch in 1988 and finishing in 1991 with the more back to basics 'Love Versus Money' album, featured here.
Charismatic New Zealand born singer Jon Stevens was a second generation Marc Hunter (lead singer of the kiwi band Dragon), but a good one at that, much like comparing Steve Tyler from Aerosmith to Mick Jagger. Their debut  album was the most anthemic and straightforward, rough and ready pub rock one of the three, which produced the excellent hit "No Lies", the closest Noiseworks ever come to replicating hard rock or heavy rock guitar. Although it was always destined to become a live favourite for the average Noiseworks fan, it strangely was outsold greatly on the singles chart by the more downbeat and formulaic "Take Me Back". The only song off 'Touch' that achieved any singles chart success was the atmospheric and poignant title song, although the acoustic "Simple Man" is a great song and should have done a lot better on the charts.
 'Love Versus Money' lacked a bit of firepower, but the single "R.I.P (Millie)", a song Stevens wrote in memory of his mother who died of cancer, and the bluesy boogie R&B classic "Hot Chilli Woman", which made it to number 7 on the Australian rock chart, were two of the best songs Noiseworks ever recorded. The band disbanded in 1992, re-formed periodically over the years until when in 2008 they officially got back together again to tour with The Choirboys and some other acts around Australia.

Interview With Noiseworks
Noiseworks are hardly a household name over here in the UK. It's in sharp contrast to their status in Australia, where the guys have had eleven Top 40 hits and two multi-platinum Top 10 albums in the past five years. Love Versus Money looks set to be their third multi and perhaps a chance for them to make serious in-roads in the major record markets elsewhere in the World.

I won't pretend that their third vinyl Frisbee is one of my red-hot records of the year, but if you like sinewy, energetic Rock with a touch of distinctive Aussie panache, then Love Versus Money could well float your boat. One thing's for sure, they've certainly proved themselves in one of the most testing environments – the Aussie beer halls.

"You've gotta be good in the pubs otherwise they'll fu*kin' throw shit at ya," laughs rugged, no-nonsense singer Jon Stevens. But, hey, we're only skimming the surface here. So, let's put on the diving gear and go…uhm…down under. Strangely enough, I don't find myself on a coral reef or a sun-kissed golden beach with a fit lookin' Sheila but in a spare room in the labyrinth of the Sony building. Sitting opposite me, apart from the previously mentioned singer, is softly spoken guitarist, Stuart Fraser. For starters, did the two of them have any thoughts on the down-to-earth, good Aussie bloke syndrome?

"I dunno why that is," ponders Jon. "Maybe it's just because of our perspective. I guess it's a pretty realistic perspective rather than a glossy type. Y'know: 'now let's make a hit record, let's try and make some money.' In Australia and New Zealand [Jon's a New Zealander] it's sorta like 'the tall poppy syndrome.' It is very much a thing over there, where you can’t be seen to be too big for your boots. I'm sure it's the same in Glasgow [he's obviously twigged I’m Scottish]. So you've always gotta maintain that you’re still a bloke."

So, now that we've established that they're not narcissistic punks or Spinal Tap look-alikes, let's move on with haste to Love Versus Money. The songs on display range from the intensely personal through to full-blooded raunch.

To try and get an insight into Noiseworks' way of thinking, let's look at the two 'extremes' of their range. "R.I.P. (Millie)" was a song written about Jon's late mother. Did writing the song help him come to terms with his mother’s death?

"Yes, definitely helpful," he says. "It was something that I didn't intentionally write. It just came out." Jon also admits that "it was just too hard for me to initially to do the song." Despite the inherent sadness of the song, John feels its effect is essentially positive. "It's a negative thing but a very positive look at it. And for me, it was a song that could possibly help other people."

His experience allowed him "to let go of her. Seeing somebody deteriorate with cancer like that affects you for the rest of your life. As a songwriter able to release those tensions, those frustrations… You can fu*kin' iron it out. Then it's gone. You've released it."

By way of contrast, "Don't Lead Me On", simply reeks of sexual tension. The story behind it is that Noiseworks were mixing their record in LA with Randy (how apt) Jackson, and a couple of Randy's lady friends came into the studio, as Jon fondly recalls.

"I just had this flash, y'know: ‘'Does anybody speak French?' and one of them went, 'Yeah, I do.'" 

"I went, 'Do you speak French or do French!?'" wisecracks Stuart.

Not to be outdone, Jon quips: "I think they did French on each other! So, she said yeah," he continues. "Well, on ya go. Turn up the mic. I don't know what you're saying but just make sure it's fu*kin' dirty, sexy; because the set-up of the song is about walking into a bar, having a drink and seeing a lady…and being tempted. The bitch is doing the come-on and this shit, and you’re sorta like, 'hey, don't play games. I'm not here to play games."

To some people that might add credence to the theory that all men are potential rapists or that most Aussie men are sexist pigs. Hmm…bullshit! It's just an honest gut / groin reaction in that type of situation. Anyway, the end justifies the means. Work that one out. 

Another song on Love Versus Money that's worthy of mention is their octane-fuelled version of 'Sly And The Family Stones' Take You Higher, which features Oz sex god, INXS's Michael Hutchence adding to the vocals. The collaboration occurred, as Stuart recalls, by chance in a Sydney recording studio.

"We were downstairs and they were upstairs, and being the regular blokes that they are, you just see them and…play table-tennis. That was how the song came about. We did it as a jam in between recordings."

Jon chips in: "As you were saying before, the attitude of feet on the ground, head out of the clouds. Y'know Michael…he's the least like that. I mean he might have this big star trip but he certainly doesn’t put that across when he’s with us."

Noiseworks have recently been quoted as saying that Love Versus Money is "still very much a rock n' roll record," and that “anyone who thought we'd do something other than a rock n' roll record doesn't know us very well." They also went on to say that the definition of rock n' roll had changed in recent years. What exactly do they mean?
."I associated the word rock' roll with Elvis, Little Richard, and Buddy Holly. That's rock n' roll," says Jon. "Rock n' roll in the '80s and '90s is just a word. There's so many different musical style that are available for people to listen to. You hear a dance record and some people call it a rock n' roll record. It's music. It's fu*kin’ music. If you like it, you like it. I think rock n' roll that's associated with Noiseworks is more from the live perspective 'cos that's definitely a rock n' roll thing. Y'know, it's live and sweaty and energetic. That's what rock n' roll is as well."   So now you know.

Noiseworks, for the foreseeable future, have won their creative freedom. They've worked at their own pace as well as producing themselves.

"We didn't have anyone saying stop, so basically we over-produced ourselves," says Jon, tongue firmly in cheek and with a glint in his eye. "It was great!"

Springtime should see them back in these Isles, "playing everywhere!" Catch them if you can. And remember when "Love" versus the "Money," love should win.    [Thanks to Mark Liddell  Riff Raff, January 1992]
Post consists of  FLACs and MP3 (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. Enjoy
Track Listing
01 Jealousy (Is A Curse)
02 Hot Chilli Woman
03 Liberty Bell
04 R.I.P. (Millie)
05 Take You Higher
06 Day Will Come
07 Miles And Miles
08 Don't Lead Me On
09 Everyday People
10 Burning Cross
11 Love Versus Money
12 Freedom

Noiseworks FLAC Link (359Mb)
Noiseworks MP3 Link (126Mb)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Van Morrison: Freaky If You Got This Far (2003)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
In the great pantheon of contractual obligation records, there is the noisy (Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music which he recorded to piss off his manager), the brassy (Neil Young's 'This Note's For You') and the phoney (Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Record).

And then there is Van Morrison's Bang Records Sessions.

In order to full fill his obligation to his early solo label Bang Records, Van Morrison sat down in 1967 or so and cranked out 31 songs on the spot, on topics ranging from ringworm to wanting a danish, to hating his record label and a guy named George. Make sure you get past the first few tunes - it takes him a few to get cooking.

Listener Scott S wrote:
As far as I know, none of this stuff was ever issued in the '60's. I can only surmise at some point in the early '90's, whoever controlled Van's Bang masters ran across the tapes and - either having questionable ethics and/or a twisted sense of humor - licensed the tapes to European labels that were releasing compilations of Van's Bang-era material.

I know of at least two double-CD sets that include demo stuff as the second disc - one is Payin' Dues on Charly in 1994, and the other is New York Sessions '67. Will Rigby told me that he saw a single-disc best-of that actually mixes legit Bang-era Morrison tracks with material from the demos - now that must be an interesting listen. I guess there's irony in the fact that Morrison recorded these tunes as a big fuck-you to his label - before he signed to Warner and recorded Astral Weeks - yet ultimately the joke's on him, now that they're being packaged as legitimate tracks (on "best-of" collections, no less).  

And so, this CD  'Freaky If You Got This Far' is one of those releases.   New York Sessions '67  is another, a two-disc retrospective album of recordings made by Van Morrison in 1967 for Bang Records that were later released in the 1990s. Other album releases with the same recordings have been called 'Payin' Dues' and 'The Complete Bang Sessions.' 

So this month's WOCK On Vinyl post fits the Crazy category, and to an extent, somewhat Crappy, but hardened Van Morrison collectors will appreciate the satirical nature of these little ditties, most less than 1 minute in length. All tracks ripped to MP3 (320kps) from CD and includes full album artwork
The Final word:
In the track "Ringworm", Morrison sings "I tell you. You're very lucky to have ring worm, because you may have had...something else".
Van Morrison is genius, even in fun.
Track Listing:
01. Jump And Thump
02. Drivin' Wheel
03. Just Ball
04. Hold On George
05. Ring Worm
06. Savoy Hollywood
07. Freaky If You Got This Far
08. All The Bits
09. Blow In Your Nose
10. Nose In Your Blow
11. La Mambo
12. Go For Yourself
13. Here Comes Dumb George
14. Chickee Coo
15. Do It
16. Hang On Groovy
17. Goodbye George
18. Dum Dum George

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mountain - The Road Goes Ever On - Live (1972)

(1969–74, 1981–85, 1992–98, 2001– present)
Mountain is one of those rare bands in the past thirty years that can be credited with forging a style and sound that would for ever change the face of Rock music. The innovative studio and live music of Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, Corky Laing and Steve Knight, Mountain, is one of those elite examples.The combination of Leslie’s unique tone and feel, Felix’s studio production skills,Corky’s powerful double bass drumming and Steve’s keyboard textures, produced some of the best and memorable rock tunes ever, Mississippi Queen, Nantucket Sleighride, Theme From an Imaginary Western, Yasgur’s Farm, Never In My Life, Blood of the Sun, Dreams of Milk and Honey, all stand the test of time and are forever etched in rock history. These songs came from the classic rock albums, Leslie West-Mountain, Mountain-Climbing! and Nantucket Sleighride. Mountain only lasted two and half years but that’s all it took to create their permanent legacy …

Mountain was born out of the sixties music explosion. Leslie came from The Vagrants,an East Coast power house band that was making a name for themselves. Corky came from the band Energy that was produced by Felix Pappalardi. Felix had extensive producing credits before Mountain formed in 1969.He was a classically trained musician who studied conducting and music arranging in college. His skills eventually lead him to Mountain. He produced Cream’s Disreali Gears and worked with many other prominent artists from the Greenwich Village folk scene. Steve Knight was brought in by Felix because of prior musical affiliations. Eventually this small web of the music scene brought these four guys together. They debuted at the Fillmore in 1969 and went on to play at the granddaddy of all music festivals Woodstock. They established themselves as one of the premiere rock bands of their time. The band eventually called it quits in 1972.

Leslie West
Mountain was one of those magical music collaborations that can’t be duplicated. Just like Cream, the Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience,The Rolling Stones,or any great band it’s a once in a lifetime twist of fate that brings individuals together to make their mark on history of music. In their short musical life they produced three gold albums and created one of the most recognized rock tunes “Mississippi Queen”. The most enduring legacy any band can hope to achieve is to have others generations of musicians aspire to copy them. Leslie West’s guitar playing did that for many guitarists. He had that rare gift to have his own tone and touch that helped define the Mountain sound. Whether you love or hate them, you can’t deny them their place in rock music.  [extract from]

Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On is the fourth album by hard rock band Mountain. Released following the band's first breakup in 1972, Windfall Records compiled the album using old live material. Mountain would later reform in 1974. The title comes from J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit.

Felix Pappalardi
I have always had a soft spot for Mountain, Leslie West was one of my favorite guitarists growing up and I used to think Nantucket Sleighride was the greatest song ever written. This live rendition of Nantucket Sleighride, all 17 and a half minutes, will blow you away. Rock and roll as it should be. Being a huge fan of live albums, I was pumped to hear a live recording of Mountain in their prime (although it's only 4 songs) including that extended side-length version of their best song. 

One thing that makes this album fantastic is that you can "feel" the excitement of the crowd while listening to it.   The guitar sound is enormous, and Leslie Wests constant rearrangement of the lead guitar lines of Mountains songs is always interesting, but on this album they just shine.  The guy is the master of major scale melody as well as minor scale blues, and at times his guitar lines almost sound nursery rhyme-like.     

Album Review
"Long Red" - Great song from Leslie's solo album, and the live cut on this album is fantastic...complete with great energy and drumming from Corky and a blistering guitar solo from Leslie. Hey, dozens of hip-hop artists have sampled this track, so it's got to be worth something. 
L-R: Steve Knight, Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West
"Waiting to Take you Away" - Interesting pick for them to include as one of only four tracks on this live album since it is only an OK song and they could have used any one of their hits from Climbing! instead (Mississippi Queen, Theme..., Yasgur's Farm, Never In My Life, etc.), but Leslie does a great job making this song sound worthy of inclusion and adds a decent guitar solo. 

"Crossroader" - Also not one of my favorite Mountain songs, but is on here because they were promoting the album at the time...One of Felix's great bass lines and Leslie fills in as only he can as usual. 
L-R: Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West, Corky Laing
"Nantucket Sleighride" - One of the most underrated songs in the pantheon of Rock & Roll. This oft-overlooked guitar epic is captured in it's finest form on this record. There are longer versions (Twin Peaks) and harder rocking versions (Mystic Fire), but no other version of this song is as complete and indulgent (without being over-the-top) as the 17-minute cut on 'The Road Goes On Forever'. 
Corky and Felix work together setting the mood throughout the entire song, making the listener truly believe they are travelling in a whaling boat in New England. Leslie adds in fill after fill throughout the verses and rips out some spectacular licks during his epic guitar solos that invoke the chaos and trauma of harpooning a whale and the ensuing "Nantucket Sleighride" as it is called. Fantastic live version! A must listen for all guitar-lovers. 

Overall, an excellent live album by a great American band in their prime, my biggest complaint is that the album is too short (see Twin Peaks) and with too many good songs not included, but still bang for bucks, one of the best live recordings of the 70's...and there were a lot of good ones !
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my trusty Australian vinyl - which has outlived three turntables and umpteen number of stylus's. Still sounds as good as the day it had its first spin.  Full album artwork and label scans are also included.
Play this one LOUD Folks!

Track Listing
01 - Long Red   (5:43)
02 - Waiting To Take You Away  (4:37)
03 - Crossroader   (6:14)
04 - Nantucket Sleighride   (17:22)

Mountain were:
Leslie West (Guitars and Vocals)
Felix Pappalardi (Bass and Vocals)
Corky Laing (Drums)
Steve Knight (Keyboards)


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Helen Reddy - Play Me Out (1981)

(Australian 1970–2002, 2011–present)
Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia, the daughter of show business parents. In 1966, she won a television talent contest and was on her way to America, in search of fame and fortune. Within a few months, she had met and married an assistant mailroom boy, Jeff Wald, who became her manager. Twenty-seven record labels rejected her material before she was finally signed by Capitol Records in 1970. Her first charted song, "I Don't Know How To Love Him", was one that Helen never liked, and only agreed to record it as a "B" side for one of her singles. However, husband Jeff thought different, and with only a credit card and a phone, worked eighteen hours a day, phoning radio stations, pleading for air play. His efforts paid off, when "I Don't Know How To Love Him" became a top 20 hit in the spring of 1971.
In 1972, Helen recorded the song that would not only change her life, but become an anthem for the woman's movement around the world. "I Am Woman" hit the top of the charts and earned her a Grammy award. Her next release, "Peaceful", also was a hit and led to her most successful record, "Delta Dawn", again following her image as a spokesperson for the woman's movement.

The song nearly slipped through Helen's fingers, as Bette Midler had planned on releasing it and a very young Tanya Tucker actually did. When the song started to get some notice, Tom Catalano who was producing Barbra Streisand, decided that Barbra could have a hit in the pop market with it and had an instrumental backing track recorded. When Barbra refused to sing the song, United Artists song plugger Wally Schuster called Jeff Wald to ask if Helen would be interested. They made the deal and Helen put her voice on the track.
In the summer of 1973, the song was released just two days ahead of the Bette Midler version and ended up at the number one spot on the hit parade. D.J.s preferred Helen's version and flipped Midler's record over to make a hit out of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy".Helen Reddy went on to solidify her position as one of the most successful female hitmakers of all time with "Ruby Red Dress" in 1973, "Keep On Singin'", "You and Me Against the World" and "Angie Baby" in 1974. She followed in 1975 with "Emotion" and "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady" before less successful songs in 1976 and 1977 like "Music Is My Life" and "You're My World". [extract from]
Bandstand Years
It is now part of the Channel 9 archives and Australian showbiz history that contestant No. 8, Helen Reddy, a confident tomboy-type young woman from Stanmore in Sydney's inner west, won the Bandstand Starflight International talent quest and consequently a plane trip to America plus the recording contract and went on to knock out the Yanks and become one of Australia's biggest showbiz exports.
Just after her 23rd birthday Helen Reddy convincingly won the 1965 'Bandstand Starflight International Talent Quest' and, full of hope and talent and laden with promises, flew across to New York. But when she got there and went for an interview at the company which was, as part of her quest prize, supposed to be launching her recording career she was in for a shock.
The interview was short and one-sided. 'Great grief,' said the recording firm interviewer. 'We hoped they'd send a boy. We've had a glut of broads. Anyway—call us before you catch the plane to go back.'
So, Miss Reddy from Stanmore made use of a popular and appropriate Aussie phrase - Piss Off !- and strode out the door into 53rd Street with the residue of the $400 prize money and nowhere to go.
She did the rounds of the agents and picked up a few dollars around and about. Til never forget that spot I did in the Bronx for shell-shock victims of World War 1,' she told me in 1970 during a working visit to Sydney with her husband, Jeff Wald the New York wunderkind personal manager.

And so in New York she subsisted for a time on those handout spots and gradually worked her way down to Greenwich Village. 'Not because I wanted to be way out or with it—strictly from hunger.'
Helen took up residence in the Village for six months or so. Then she met an ambitious young man with hair longer than hers called Wald who turned out to be just what the Muses ordered. A bright New Yorker with a flair for management and production. Wald was then the phenomenal Tiny Tim's manager.
Mr Wald fancied Miss Reddy as a business prospect at first and then romance blossomed and they wed. Not long after the honeymoon, Jeff landed Helen a part in a Chicago revue. 'And then it all started happening,' she said.
Helen Reddy cut a few tapes and the recording company which told her to ring them before getting the plane back home rang her. She wasn't too keen about working for them but she made one recording.
'They insisted I was their property—so we cut one disc,' said Helen. It was called (ironically enough) 'One Way Ticket' and didn't exactly set the charts afire but it did kindle in the arctic souls of American agents and entrepreneurs a sizeable respect. She and the unpredictable recording firm parted company.
The rest of the Helen Reddy emergence story is well documented. She went on to put down record chart-stoppers like 'I Am Woman' and 'Ruby Red Dress' and get her own national TV show and become an American citizen and reveal that she'd been reincarnated a few times. And she said some pretty disparaging things about the Bandstand talent quest and Australia's attitude towards talented aspiring entertainers.

It was largely those last two actions that provoked a wide-open, long-lasting Reddy-Oz feud. Australians didn't much appreciate being given the unpatriotic flick by one of their own. And when Reddy disclosed that her current earthly state was not her first; that she'd been a soldier, a slave, a priest and a gypsy in other lives, they weren't quite as open and receptive to the peculiarities of reincarnation as their Yank cousins.
Warwick Freeman, who directed Ms Reddy on Bandstand, summed up the unfortunate, never truly reconciled running feud thus: 'I couldn't care less whether she was Lucretia Borgia in another life. No two ways about it—Helen was a tremendous talent and deserved every bit of the great success she achieved. She won the Bandstand thing hands down. But she owed Bandstand for getting her to where her talent could be fully promoted and exploited. She said things and made claims that were bitchy and wrong. That was gross ingratitude and improper to the point of stupidity.'
But then the often acerbic, at times misread Bandstand designer-navigator never was one to mealy-mouth about with any individual or on any issue.  [taken from Bandstand.... and all that!  by John Byrell, Kangaroo Press, 1995. p15-16]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Promotional Vinyl which still sparkles as bright as the day it came off the presser.  Full album artwork and label scans are included.
This is not Helen's best album by a long shot, but it is a hard one to find because it didn't sell well when released. Grab it while you can
01    Optimism Blues    3:10
02    Do It Like You Done It When You Meant It    2:28
03    I Can't Say Goodbye To You    3:46
04    Save Me    3:10
05    You Don't Have To Say You Love Me    2:43
06    The Stars Fell On California    3:54
07    I Don't Know Why (I Love That Guy)    2:35
08    When I Dream    3:54
09    Let's Just Stay Home Tonight    3:09
10    Play Me Out    3:07
Helen Reddy FLACs Link (210Mb)
Helen Reddy MP3 Link (82Mb)